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» Got Questions? Get Answers. » SCARLETEEN CENTRAL » Gender Issues » Weird ideas about people with penises

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Author Topic: Weird ideas about people with penises
Heather
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This might seem a bit strange, unless you read our boards often, in which case it probably seems sound.

Here's what I'm thinking about, and do a lot: this notion, that seems relatively common, especially for people afraid of pregnancy from things other than sex, that people with penises -- primarily guys -- are ejaculating pretty much everywhere it's possible, and leaving ejaculate places like on toilets, door handles, shared towels, etc.

OR, are touching their penises pretty much all the time so that we've got people worried about pregnancy or STIs because they have the impression that young guy pretty much = hand-on-penis-at-all-times.

I personally find these ideas not just unrealistic, but actually feel like they suggest some things or ways of thinking about guys that are based in some pretty messed-up stereotypes, like the idea that young guys are non-stop fixated on sex or masturbation. And total slobs, to boot, just by virtue of having a penis. I find it all very disrespectful, honestly.

What do y'all think about this?

[ 05-17-2013, 11:32 AM: Message edited by: Heather ]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
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nosalis
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I think that these sorts of ideas just speak to the gender divide that's especially prevalent among teens and young adults. People are naturally afraid of that which is alien, and the opposite gender's sexuality is alien to most people. Just as girls might believe in some of the stereotypes Heather listed, guys might believe in the virgin/whore dichotomy about women's sexuality.

Personally, I do find the stereotype that men think about sex all the time to be absurd, and the stereotype that all men are slobs to be ridiculous. However, like I said, I think stereotypes about sexuality are born out of ignorance.

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Jill2000Plus
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I agree that it's messed up, though sometimes I find myself frustrated by the fact that at least people acknowledge that teenagers with penises are very horny (usually) but not many people acknowledge that teenagers with vulvas are very horny (usually), of course I don't want to blame guys/people with penises for the stereotypes that people have about them... there's a lot to unpick about all sorts of overlapping prejudices about gender and body parts and the people that have them. Like some guys/penis having people probably feel really ashamed of their sexuality because people keep on going on about how they're dogs and all they ever do is ejaculate onto things... it's a pretty dehumanizing view of men/people with penises, and it makes girls/people with vulvas feel potentially even more ashamed when the one masturbating 5 times a day is them (there is nothing wrong with masturbating as many times a day as you want to), because their sexual desires and horniness are often not even acknowledged.

[ 05-17-2013, 01:13 PM: Message edited by: Jill2000Plus ]

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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Jill2000Plus
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Just wanted to say sorry if I derailed the thread.

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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Starfire&Shadows
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I think a lot of the stereotypes you mentioned are out there, Heather. Just from my experiences of listening to people.

But in my personal case, the pregnancy worries mostly came from not understanding precum and how fragile sperm are. I didn't realize how little sperm were actually in precum (and rubbing a towel all over your body and getting a little "wet" seems reasonable)- and that sperm aren't viable once they dry out. So some biology lessons (courtesy of this site) helped.

I think some of that comes from being taught to deal with cold and flu viruses that are tough buggers *streamlined* to survive outside well.

Sorry if this is a derail, because I *do * think that the attitudes you talked about exist.

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Jill2000Plus
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I think Starfire&Shadows is probably right about some of it being a misguided application of what a person's been taught about cold and flu viruses. Not that that means that there aren't people (significant numbers of them) who believe the stereotypes about men/boys/people with penises that you mentioned.

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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Robin Lee
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I'm wondering if those pervasive fears about sperm being as powerful as germs from the common cold would be so pervasive if there weren't underlying beliefs that young guys (or guys of any age) are flinging their ejaculate and pre-ejaculate all over the place. Thoughts?

I'm also wondering where people think those stereotypes come from, because I've always had the impression that many folks with penises go to great lengths to hide and contain their fluids (burying tissues they used to wipe up deep in the garbage, etc).

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Robin

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Jill2000Plus
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My perspective on this is partly formed by the fact that when I was a teenager I often wouldn't wash my hands after masturbating because my personal hygiene was generally rather poor (mostly due to mental health issues and disability), I recognize that I'm probably not representative of the majority of teenagers, and certainly not the overwhelming majority. I don't believe that all teenage boys have poor hygiene, and even if there's some truth to the view that they tend to be less hygienic than teenage girls on average (and it's not as simple as "more hygenic=good" "less hygenic=bad, because quite a few girls feel like they have to wash away any evidence that they have bodily functions and substances even to the point that it's bad for their health as with the upsetting of vulval/vaginal PH balances, to an extent that teenage boys don't tend to so much), it's not like there aren't plenty of teenage girls with poor hygiene and plenty of teenage boys with good hygiene, plus it's important to distinguish between personal hygiene and the cleanliness/tidiness of a living space in making an analysis - one can definitely observe that cisgendered boys and men tend to be less in the habit of cleaning their living space than girls and women for cultural reasons to do with sexism, but that doesn't necessarily say much about showering and handwashing habits or post masturbation cleanup (especially since there's a far greater degree of stigma associated with the "mess" of masturbation than with not doing the dishes, for instance, in society generally).

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Always knock before entering my room when I am in there alone, as I may be doing all sorts of wonderfully thrilling things that I'd rather you didn't see.

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Pilgrim White
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I suspect that it might have to do with mystifying the genitalia that one doesn't have. I know that, as someone with a penis, the vagina seemed like such a mystical magical thing and for a long time it was such a mysterious thing to me. I think Jill2000Plus hits the nail on the head about gender stereotypes regarding hygiene and cleanliness (also about the conflation between the two).

I also suspect it's due to a lack of understanding regarding sexual health and hygiene. There's the saying that "we fear what we don't understand" and I think the mystery of penises, semen, and sperm in conjunction with all the misinformation out there is the perfect combination for an irrational fear of penises and semen.

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On a journey for justice...

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Cnon
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quote:
Originally posted by Heather:
This might seem a bit strange, unless you read our boards often, in which case it probably seems sound.

Here's what I'm thinking about, and do a lot: this notion, that seems relatively common, especially for people afraid of pregnancy from things other than sex, that people with penises -- primarily guys -- are ejaculating pretty much everywhere it's possible, and leaving ejaculate places like on toilets, door handles, shared towels, etc.

OR, are touching their penises pretty much all the time so that we've got people worried about pregnancy or STIs because they have the impression that young guy pretty much = hand-on-penis-at-all-times.


People who do the above, are just gross. [Embarrassed]

Cnon

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Robin Lee
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I suspect that if any people actually do all of the above, they are in the smallest, smallest minority. I'm actually pretty doubtful if anyone does live their life this way.

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Robin

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