s In History
Napoleon’s penis (or an object reputed to be Napoleon’s penis) has in fact circulated among collectors for some decades and is currently in . . . well, I was about to say in the hands of an American urologist, but perhaps “in the possession of” would be a better way to put it. The owner claims it’s authentic, and I guess a urologist ought to know. However, given the frequency with which the death of a famous male is followed by claims that (a) he didn’t really die or (b) someone has his penis, we’re entitled to some doubt.
Is the penis Napoleon’s? Is it even a penis? Who knows? Given the march of science one presumes it’d be easy to establish the item’s provenance conclusively, but understandably no one seems to be in any hurry to do so. After you’ve paid three grand for a dead man’s penis, who wants to be told it’s a grape?
Grigori Rasputin (1869 1916) was a Russian mystic believed by some to be a psychic and faith healer having supernatural powers. He was seen as having greatly influenced the later days of Russian Tsar Nicholas II and his wife the Tsaritsa Alexandra. When Rasputin was murdered by a group of noblemen in 1916, some accounts say he was also sexually mutilated and his penis was severed. Since then, a number of people claiming to be in possession of his severed penis have come forth, although none of them have been able to prove it definitively. Witnessed described the penis thus:
One woman confessed that the first time she made love to him her orgasm was so violent that she fainted. Perhaps his potency as a lover also had a physical explanation. Rasputin’s assassin and alleged homosexual lover, Felix Yusopov, claimed that his prowess was explained by a large wart strategically situated on his penis, which was of exceptional size.
This is perhaps the most viewed penis in all of history. When the Victorians ran about cutting penises off statues for reasons of propriety, David fortunately survived mutilation, but the cast of David at the South Kensington Museum (now the Victoria and Albert Museum), had a detachable plaster fig leaf, added for visits by Queen Victoria and other important ladies, when it was hung on the figure using two strategically placed hooks; it is now displayed nearby. David is a masterpiece of Renaissance sculpture sculpted by Michelangelo from 1501 to 1504. The 5.17 meter (17 ft) marble statue portrays the Biblical King David in the nude. Unlike previous depictions of David which portray the hero after his victory over Goliath, Michelangelo chose to represent David before the fight contemplating the battle yet to come. Commentators have noted David’s apparently uncircumcised form, which is at odds with Judaic practice, but is considered consistent with the conventions of Renaissance art.
John Wayne Bobbitt’s penis became so famous when his wife cut it off, that it spawned a new verb: “to bobbitt: to cut off a person’s penis”. On the night of June 23, 1993, John Wayne Bobbitt arrived at the couple’s Manassas, Virginia apartment highly intoxicated after a night of partying and, according to testimony by Lorena Bobbit in a 1994 court hearing, raped his wife. Afterwards, Lorena Bobbitt got out of bed and went to the kitchen for a drink of water. In the kitchen she noticed a carving knife on the counter and “memories of past domestic abuses raced through her head.” Grabbing the knife, Lorena Bobbit entered the bedroom where John was asleep; and she proceeded to cut off more than half of his penis which she fled with and proceeded to toss into a field. It was later recovered and re attached and John went on to star in a number of extremely tacky porn movies.
John Curtis Holmes (August 8, 1944 March 13, 1988) better known as John C. Holmes or Johnny Wadd, was one of the most prolific male porn stars of all time, appearing in about 2,500 adult loops, stag films, and pornographic feature movies in the 1970s and 1980s. He was best known for his exceptionally large penis, which was heavily promoted as being the longest in the porn industry, although no definitive evidence of Holmes’ actual penis length exists. Holmes’ first wife recalled him claiming to be 10 inches (25.4 cm) when he first measured himself. Holmes himself once claimed his penis to be fifteen inches (38.1 cm) long and his manager said: “I saw John measure himself several times, it was 13 and a half inches” (34.3 cm). Another longstanding controversy regards whether or not Holmes ever achieved a full erection. A popular joke in the 1970s porn industry held that Holmes was incapable of achieving a full erection because the blood flow from his head into his penis would cause him to pass out. Holmes’ co stars have stated that his penis was never particularly hard during intercourse, likening it to “doing it with a big, soft kind of loofah.”
What is this? A woman on a list of penises? Well, Lili Elbe happens to be the first documented case of a transexual. Einar Wegener (born in Denmark) was a leading artist in late 1920’s Paris. One day his wife Grete asked him to dress as a woman to model for a portrait. It was a shattering event which began a struggle between his public male persona and emergent female self, Lili. Einar underwent a series of experimental operations in which his penis was removed. The surgeon attempted to implant ovaries and a uterus but was unsucessful. When the experimentation was finally over, Einar became Lili Elbe. The government annulled her marriage and she even managed to get a new birth certificate listing her as a female. Quite extraordinary for the times.
Jean (or Juan) Baptista dos Santos is said to have been a “Gipsey”, born in Faro, Portugal around 1843, to normal parents with two other normal children. His career as an exhibitionist seems to have been confined strictly to medical circles; in 1865 turned down a sum of 200,000 francs to appear for two years with a French circus. He was shown before the Royal Medical and Chirurgical Society and Saint Mary’s Hospital in London and examined by numerous doctors in England and France. The prevailing opinion, at least in dos Santos’ early years, was that his third leg should be amputated. Dr. William Acton of the Royal Society feared that the limb’s “low vitality” would ultimately doom him, and expressed grave concerns about the leg’s lack of circulation.
Dos Santos’ third leg, which was attached to his lower spine by only a small band of tissue, was a composite of two legs, having eight toes, two heels, and two tibiae and femora. He had neither sensation nor active movement in the extra leg. The knee was completely ankylosed and immobile; dos Santos claimed this was due to a Portuguese doctor having broken and reset it when dos Santos was a year old, in order to make the leg less obtrusive. The leg could be concealed easily by strapping it tightly to his right thigh. Thus, dos Santos was not at all encumbered by the dangling appendage, and he walked, ran, and rode horses with ease.
It was not dos Santos’ three legs that most excited medical men, but his double genitalia. He possessed two functioning penes and three scrota, the outer two of which each contained a single testis. Dos Santos claimed that the central scrotum had also contained a pair of fully formed testes, but that these had retreated into his abdomen when he was ten years old. He functionates with both of the penes, finishing with one, then continues with the other.” He urinated and achieved erections with both penes simultaneously. In fact, since his fame coincided with the career of Blanche Dumas, the three legged courtesan, it was rumored that the two of them had an affair!
Possibly the most well known pornographic performer in the history of the biz, rotund ladies’ man Ron Jeremy (aka “the Hedgehog”) has appeared in over 1,500 adult features since his debut in 1978. His playful onscreen demeanor, as well as his instantly recognizable moustache and gut, have earned him popularity not only with consumers of pornography but mainstream audiences, too, making his name shorthand for comedians and pundits who need to reference the adult film industry.
The puckish pornster was a hit with women who responded to his cuddly charm, men who identified with his average looks, and devotees of the bizarre who appreciated his ability to fellate himself (a talent he displays in films like Inside Seka and Fresh Meat).