Excerpted from "Sex in the Romance: A Review of Romantic Encounters of the Close Kind".

(copyright John L. Ferri 1994, jlferri@epix.net)

The Penis !

Whether or not a penis is an absolute necessity for a love scene depends on your point of view. If the point of view is from the owner of an erection, the penis is vitally important. If a survey of sexually active males asked if they would rather lose an arm or their penis, I know what my answer would be -- hey! I have two arms.

I've had many discussions with my wife and others about the female/male situation and who is under more pressure during sex, with the argument inevitably extending to life in general. The usual contentions are that women bear children, menstruate, and usually sleep on the wet spot whereas men only occasionally get the wet spot.

There is no doubt that in areas other that those mentioned above, women have been exploited by men and a male dominated society. Personally, whenever I vote, my policy is never to vote for a lawyer and always vote for a woman. I will, however, vote for a female lawyer. Is this a logical choice? Given that the world, including our country, is far from the condition that most people would like, and given that most of the decisions leading to this have been made by males, then my direction seems clear. When a situation is not going well and someone requests advice, find out what they are currently doing and tell them to stop doing it. It sounds so simple.

Back to childbearing, menstruation, and the wet spot. First, we have no choice about which sex bears the children. You're pregnant for nine months and we have to deal with an expanding female with wildly fluctuating hormone levels. Round one -- tie. Second -- menstruation -- same argument, except for the expanding part. Round two -- tie. Third, we had what causes the wet spot but we gave it to you. So it's your decision where to put it. Round three -- tie.

The overwhelming tie breaker that puts most of the pressure on the male, but is thought of as trivial by the female, is the erection. We can't fake one. It's either genuine or it's not there. Talk about pressure. To be fair though, we can always blame you. (Remember, we're males and we'll try anything.) Round four -- tie.

The most frequent reference to the penis, at 21%, used or contained "hard". Next, either alone or in combination, came "manhood", "erection", and "arousal" at 16%, 14% and 10% respectively.

Penis references follow:

Missing from the list are dick, hard-on, pork, prick, wang, wazoo, and joint none of which are likely to find their way to the working list of romance authors' "penis" words. To illustrate, "She stroked his dick" just doesn't convey the same imagery as, "She gently massaged his straining masculinity."

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