Erections and Perceptions

erectionA friend of mine in cyberspace sent me an email commenting and wondering about my photos which generally let the viewer know that I am skyclad, but somehow not showing my penis. Now this practice makes sense if using social media such as Facebook, Instagram or Twitter; but it doesn’t make sense on a naturist site where seeing full frontal images with male and female genitalia is the norm. What is not normal in most “real” naturist sites, be they virtual or real-world venues, is the presentation of the male genitals with an erection. The naturist world weighs heavily on the belief that naturist is asexual, non-sexual, and overt sexual displays such as an erection, need to be either hidden by a towel, or better yet, non-existent. There isn’t much threatening about a limp penis.

naked-old-man-erectSo, what drives men to show images of themselves with an erection is complicated with no clear answer that covers all. For some, perhaps the majority, it is simply about insecurity and the need for praise (See! I’m a big boy now). So many men are criticised as being childish by their female partners and/or their mothers. Flaunting an erection is a response to the doubt that many face regarding their status as “real men.” For older men, it is a protest statement that defies ageing, a statement that there is still a vital man hidden behind the wrinkles and grey hair.

Why? Why do men show images of themselves that show an erection? tumblr_naegjzNmur1qfqu7go1_250There is no simple answer. And, the answer changes dependent upon which school of psychological thought a psychotherapist has as a base, which philosophy informs the lens through which the therapist views the world. My view is through a Jungian lens, a depth psychology lens that has more than the brain and the body as determinants. For cognitive (brain-based) and behavioural therapists, showing an image (or the reality) of an erection is dysfunctional and abnormal. The problem can best be “fixed” by reprogramming behaviour and by critical analysis that educates the ego to rethink behaviour.

However, in depth psychology, the lens through which I understand the human psyche, the answer lies in the unconscious, the shadow regions of the self. Contrary to what most believe, we are a mystery to ourselves and the unconscious aspects of ourselves does impact our behaviour. In other words, there is meaning that hasn’t yet connected with the ego, the aware part of ourselves. The behaviour is symbolic of something deep within that needs attention.

Addendum: I have lost my Facebook account due in large measure because of this post. I guess that “education” has different meanings for FB. There is no education if there is a nude image involved.

About A Naturist's Lens

I am a therapist that focuses on the use of active imagination, photograph, dreamwork and Jungian Psychology in order to uncover the whole person hidden beneath layers of personae, complexes and clothing.

Posted on September 3, 2016, in Jungian Psychology, Naturism. Bookmark the permalink. 10 Comments.

  1. A salient, factual, and well-written observation. I don’t think I’ll ever understand why all the hullabaloo regarding nudity and genitalia, whether male or female. To me, a penis or vulva is a part of the human body just like a hand or a foot, but we don’t make any efforts to hide our toes or fingers, so why hide our penis or vulva? A penis, whether erect or flacid, is no different from a hand, whether extended or retracted. An erect penis indicates that all the plumbing is working just fine, so congratulations.

    • Totally agree with your statement !! The fear of the erect penis to us seems totally unfounded, however it is all about context and how the erection came about as well. 🙂

  2. The prejudice against photographs of men is sexist, bigoted, and offensive. Natural men sometimes hang down and sometimes we stick out. Pretending that men are “obscene” or “indecent” or otherwise “bad” for sticking out is bigotry that needs to end. If someone doesn’t want to see a man’s body, they should not be hanging out at nudist places and web sites.

  3. “Why? Why do men show images of themselves that show an erection?”
    Why not? Are we men not normal human beings? A better question is why men are expected to hide our bodies when our body is responding to life in a normal male way. Why all the prejudice against men even in nudist places where they claim that normal human bodies are accepted (except men’s bodies)?

  4. Even when I think I understand the reasons for the separation of the sex-sexual-sexuality aspects of human nature from the naturist environment, and accept to support them, what I don’t get is why do our society is so urged to make those aspects perceived as wrong, bad, dirty, evil, sinful… And perhaps are those last words the key, we are still dragging the heavy arguments used by ancient mystical communal leaders of ancient dessert peoples to hold control over them and their individual behavior.
    How in this world is an erect penis a threat to someone nearby? Does any one have killed someone? I thought guns had. Certainly, in a less than needed educated society in sexual aspects of human life, where young ones are taught to hide those aspects, to pretend they are not there, and that rape is the natural response to a little disclosure of the human sexuality, a threat can be found in an erect penis. But for the educated people and the educated naturist, any erection should no represent a threat more than a set of erect nipples or an open vulva.

  5. I find it quite ironic that I’ve ready two messages this morning regarding the display of erect penises in naturist blogs. The other article correctly states that the erect penis is a sign of masculinity or male power. It demonstrates the virility of a male which is an important part of our identity. Unfortunately in today’s society that virility or masculinity is now declared sexist, outdated, and not acceptable. Modern psychology that reflects more the opinions of people than science fact, suggests that men displaying their genitalia and/or erections are in need of a behavioral correction. By doing this they suppress a vital component of the male psyche which could manifest itself in other abnormal behavior or lead to depression.

    I think that societies’ repression of masculinity is a contributor to the modern phenomenon of “dick pics.” Men need and want a way to express their masculinity in our repressed society so they do it in this manner. Even millennial males whose masculinity has been stripped away at birth have this innate desire to share pictures of their erect penises with women. I’m not condoning this behavior because I think it is classless, but it may explain part of the reason it is so popular.

    Having power means knowing when to properly exercise it. There is a time and place to demonstrate your masculinity, and social nudity settings are not one of those. Also I don’t like seeing erect penises in artistic creations unless there is a purpose for it. Although I love my penis, I don’t think they look very artistic unlike the female form. On the other hand, I see nothing wrong with a man not wanting to be all shriveled up if they were being photographed. There is that fine line, and there is nothing wrong with men being masculine and displaying it in the proper context.

    For better or worse, men’s arousal is very noticeable while with women it is more subtle. I’ve had a couple of recent conversations with women that are fascinated with aroused men. They tell me that they often are aroused in public by an attractive person, but you just can’t tell it. Unfortunately our society’s warped idea of sexuality doesn’t understand the nature of our erections.

    • “Unfortunately in today’s society that virility or masculinity is now declared sexist, outdated, and not acceptable. ”

      “There is a time and place to demonstrate your masculinity, and social nudity settings are not one of those.”

      Somehow I was stuck by the apparent contradiction of those two statements. Are you complaining abut the “unfortunate” condemnation of men and virility, or demanding that we obey and promote it?

      • I’m saying that we should be proud of our masculinity and our genitalia. There is nothing wrong with having a positive image of what we have. On the other hand, I’m also politely saying that it is not a good idea to walk around with an erection in a social nudity setting. There may be times where it is unavoidable but most of the time you’ll be labeled a “perv.”

  6. Un homme est un homme en érection où pas c’est la nature ça m’arrive parfois de courir entièrement NU en forêt et parfois mon sexe est en érection je n’en ai pas honte Dieux nous a créé ainsi

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