Hard is Good and Not So Hard is Good Too: Discovering the Wisdom of the Penis

When we talk about what mid-life men really want, sex is certainly a topic we cannot ignore. Now I know it’s politically correct these days to acknowledge that men’s most important sex organ is the brain, but I’d like to put in a vote for the penis. I always thought the penis had a lot to say if we ever took the time to listen properly. But we’ve lately fallen into the habit of denigrating the penis, something we’ve also been doing to their owners. For instance,

Let’s talk about this phrase “premature ejaculation,” a terrible term that we often inflict on young male penises. If we listened to the wisdom of the penis, what might he be trying to tell us? I think we’d hear something like this: “I want to get this over with as quickly as possible.” Now why would Mr. P want to get it over with as quickly as possible? Well, I can think of a few reasons. “I’m scared. I’m anxious. I’m over-stimulated. I’m embarrassed. I come from a long line of successful men who ejaculated quickly before a wild animal could catch him with his pants down and end his reproductive life forever.” Listen to the wisdom of the penis. “Premature ejaculation” is a derogatory label that tells us nothing useful. “I want to get this over with as quickly as possible” is a neutral description and tells us a good deal about what Mr. P might be wanting us to understand.

Here’s another word that I hate–“Impotence.” Oh, wait. Let’s be medically correct. The current term is “erectile dysfunction,” or “ED” for short. Of course now that we have Mr. P’s communication labeled as a medical problem, we can offer a medical solution. Viagra to the rescue! And let’s face it, Mr. P and a lot of his compatriots have accepted the medical definition of his communication. Viagra sales declined 2 percent to only $1.6 billion in 2005. Of course Viagra had some stiff (OK, pun intended) competition from other ED drugs like Cialis and Levitra.

But what might we discover if we listened more closely to what Mr. P is saying. Is he really saying, “I’ve got a medical problem and need a drug to give me (as one ad on Google proclaimed) hard erections, quick?” Or could he be saying, “I don’t want to have intercourse with you just now.” Now, why in the world wouldn’t Mr. P want to have intercourse with you just now? Isn’t Mr. P always ready to rock and roll? Doesn’t he want to have intercourse whenever he can? Well, no.

No? Hell, no. “Let me tell you why I might not want to have intercourse with you,” I heard Mr. P shout to anyone who would listen. “I’m tired. I’ve had a bit to drink and I’d just like to sleep. I know I’m supposed to see your inner beauty and all that, and I’m not supposed to be so shallow as to be fixated on your physical appearance, but (and I know you don’t want to hear this) I’m not turned on to you since you’ve gotten fat. And another thing, while we’re on the subject, I’m sick and tired of being the one who is always asking for sex and being turned down. It would be nice, if you initiated sex once in a while. And, one more thing…”

Damn, I can see why some of us don’t want to listen to Mr. P. He’s pissed off and he’s not going to take it anymore. But, then maybe that’s the problem. When we refuse to listen, the pressure builds up, and when he gets the chance, he explodes. Perhaps if we listened more closely, more honestly, with more compassion and respect, Mr. P would talk to us in a more gentle tone of voice.

Now, I know there are a few of you out there, who have some familiarity with Mr. P. What do you think he’s trying to say to you? What does Mr. P really want?

©2010 Jed Diamond

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Wealth can't buy health, but health can buy wealth. - Henry David Thoreau


Jed Diamond is the internationally best-selling author of seven books including Male Menopause, now translated into 17 foreign languages and his latest book, The Irritable Male Syndrome: Managing. The 4 Key Causes of Depression and Aggression. For over 38 years he has been a leader in the field of men's health. He is a member of the International Scientific Board of the World Congress on Men’s Health and has been on the Board of Advisors of the Men’s Health Network since its founding in 1992. His work has been featured in major newspapers throughout the United States including the New York Times, Boston Globe, Wall Street Journal, The Los Angeles Times, and USA Today. He has been featured on more than 1,000 radio and T.V. programs including The View with Barbara Walters, Good Morning America, Inside Edition, CBS, NBC, and Fox News, To Tell the Truth, Extra, Leeza, Geraldo, and Joan Rivers. He also did a nationally televised special on Male Menopause for PBS. He looks forward to your feedback. E-Mail. You can visit his website at

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