63 Naked Men Talk About Their Penises — & It’s Eye-Opening (SFW)

This post was originally published on September 12, 2014.
Whether positive or negative, women's body parts receive a lot of attention in the cultural conversation. Recently, 100 women stripped down to talk about their boobs. Meanwhile, Nicki Minaj focuses on the buns, hun. And, while some women struggle to accept their thighs, others turn to the labia library to confirm that, regardless of what porn depicts, their own lady parts are very, very normal. Men's body parts, on the other hand, go relatively undiscussed — at least in any thoughtful manner. And then, lo and behold, along comes a documentary dedicated to that misunderstood member of our society: the penis. Dick: The Documentary is out today online, and the plot is simple: 63 naked men share their innermost thoughts about their dicks. And, many of them may surprise you.
Director Brian Fender first got the idea for the project while at an independent filmmakers' conference in August 2008. "I'm a gay man; of course the first thing that pops into my head is a documentary about men and their dicks," he relates in the trailer above. Immediately, Fender posted an ad to Craigslist inviting men to come into his home, strip down, and spill the details of their relationships with their genitalia. He started filming the very next morning with his first volunteer. The director recognizes the apparent shadiness of his online proposition: "If you poll the majority of this country, they would say ‘What kind of pervert would answer an ad, take his clothes off, and talk about his dick?’... [But] I thought they were incredibly thoughtful."
Fender was diagnosed with ALS in 2011; when the trailer above was shot, his speech was halting, but still coherent. As his condition worsened, filmmaker Ladawna Whiteside and producer Chiemi Karasawa (whose past credits include the Elaine Stritch documentary, Shoot Me) joined the Dick team to help realize Fender's vision of bringing together (anonymous) men of all types — gay, straight, bi, muscular, soft, young, old, black, white, ex-Marine, monk, designer — to speak candidly about what it's like have a penis. Some are nervous ("I've never done a nude scene before," one jokes), but all are eager to have this conversation. "You always see things about female body parts — never about male body parts," one man observes. "There's not a good discourse," another points out.
The 63 men interviewed, who range in age from 22 to 83 years old, speak of the first times they realized they had penises, their first sexual experiences, and their current sex lives. One recalls his first orgasm from masturbation: "I don’t think there is anything in my life that has been as profound as the first time I actually made myself come," he says. "This was something that was completely within my grasp…that I could be in such extreme and simple rapture... I told all my friends, and they were like 'Oh yeah, that’s jerking off.' I was like, 'That’s it, that’s jerking off?'"
Other stories are more serious: Multiple men describe with regret how their parents never spoke with them about their sexual development; others speak of past sexual abuse and its impact on their relationships with their bodies. They showed up at Fender's apartment out of curiosity, and out of their desire to broach a topic they felt they couldn't discuss elsewhere. This simple, DIY movie is one step toward de-stigmatizing that topic. As of today, the film is available to purchase for on-demand viewing online; you can also pre-order the DVD, available in 2015.

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