Over on GQ this month, Julieanne Smolinski ponders male nudity in film, and surmises that it doesn’t do much for her. From my perspective, at least, she’s not wrong: Who really wants to see a floppy dangler or a hairy bag of balls blown up 10 sizes on the big screen? There’s nothing wrong with the male form, of course, it’s just not really … pleasant. As Smolinski notes, male nudity is better utilized as a comedic device instead of an erotic one.
Part of the problem is vestigial. We’re conditioned to see male nudity and think: funny! Like, say, Will Ferrell’s butt. Or all those naked people in The Full Monty. Our discomfort with the male member has long been mined to make us laugh—Graham Chapman’s penis was actually the first one I’d ever seen. (I’m not counting Mark Wahlberg’s in Boogie Nights, which is really closer in spirit to a Muppet than to a sexual part.) That is, in my opinion, the sole advantage the male apparatus has over the female: Our junk just isn’t as funny. It’s not as kinetic. It will probably never make anyone laugh, nor would it be medically possible to watch a woman’s genitals flop around while she cries, like Jason Segel’s did so memorably in Forgetting Sarah Marshall.
Even aside from the actual cock shot, it’s hard for me to process, let alone get turned on by, all the general eye-fucking of the newly bare male form. When the camera lingers on Justin’s bare-butt musculature, I might as well be trying to get turned on by a Michelangelo sculpture.
Abs can be appreciated by both women and men (at least the ones who are comfortable with their sexuality). Penises? They’re kind of gross, and testicles are even worse. Or is that only the case for guys like Will Ferrell and Jason Segal? Is there something more appealing about Alexander Skarsgåd and Michael Fassbender’s junk? There may be different shapes and sizes, but it seems to be it’s all floppy bits and hair.
Take a look at this short video compiled by GQ, a reminiscence of the naked male form in film (and worry not, the naughty bits have been blurred out so it’s safe for work as long as no one at work sees you watching it). Does any of this appeal to you at all?