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"Objects that appear phallic"[edit]

I propose this section to be revamped/removed. It appears to be either a joke, or either some highly POV phallus-obsession. Wanka 18:56, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Perhaps we ought to find sources for some of them. I'm sure many (especially the more recent ones) have been discussed elsewhere. jdb ❋ (talk) 20:20, 16 January 2006 (UTC)

Both Gherkin & Swiss Re are improper names. Might as well use Gherkin Ghosts&empties 02:11, 20 January 2006 (UTC)

Guitar and flag? Wow, a testament to some people's stupidity. —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talkcontribs)

Maybe they meant "flagpole"? But I tend to see Wanka's point; this list seems kind of juvenile. JakeApple 16:10 26 February 2006 (UTC)

The Russian Orthodox Church (House of Worship) should not be used as an example of a phallic symbol! Please correct, and replace with something else, another photo...

Most Phallic building in the world? Perhaps "phallic architecture" wouldn't be inappropriate Graldensblud 13:01, 15 May 2007 (UTC)

No mention of Priapus.[edit]

I am saddened. Should I add this, or was it left out for a good reason? -Kasreyn 08:25, 11 February 2006 (UTC)

Go for it. There already is an article on Priapus but it should be mentioned here and linked and all that good stuff. Go for it. Carptrash

Female version?[edit]

Wouldn't vulval or vulvallic be the feminine word/equillivant for phallus/phallic? —The preceding unsigned comment was added by (talkcontribs) 1 May 2006 (UTC)

  • Vulval or vaginal works, I believe. -Anonymous
  • no there is another term used i cant think of it or find it at the moment though --voodoom 07:03, 20 June 2006 (UTC)
  • Although it is debated, I believe the most-commonly accepted term is 'yonic', from 'yoni' for the female genetalia. If anyone is viewing this and has an opinion, please record it! If no one's got an argument, I think I'll start a page in the next couple of days. EDIT: Although it is unreferenced, further research reveals that Yoni lists 'yonic' as the equivalent. *shrug* PaladinWhite 01:04, 28 February 2007 (UTC)
the term "cteis" may be what you are looking for. (talk) 22:02, 23 May 2008 (UTC)

More contemporary-ness needed[edit]

Needs more modern stuff, some psychological dude probably said something about the fact that kids draw them all over other kids' pencilcases at school, I'm sure if you looked hard enough you could find something interesting about modern examples. I don't really care if this article is rubbish or not so I cba to find anything about it/write it in, I just came on it for a laugh so dont expect me to do anything about its current state of poorness. Plebmonk 00:05, 12 October 2006 (UTC)

The Russian Orthodox Church (House of Worship) should not be used as an example of a phallic symbol! Please correct!

Guns, Phallic Symbolism, and Empowerment[edit]

Is this the appropriate article under which to discuss studies related to this topic? If that is of any interest to anyone, I can include some cited research on this subject.

HonorableMan 21:39, 9 July 2007 (UTC)


This article need more work. It look a friend's dialogue, not an encyclopedic article. Mostly the psychoanalysis issue. Moreover some remarks are childish. Need a idea, a reasoning. Anselmocisneros 21:27, 15 January 2007 (UTC)

Original research section removed[edit]

Much as I agree withe the section, per wikipedia rules it must go. Please provide quotations of notable researchers who point out of abundance of phallic symbols in architecture. `'mikka 21:37, 23 January 2007 (UTC)

This is sentence 2 or 3 of the article. " Any object that visually resembles a penis or acts as a symbol for it may also be referred to as a phallus". To deny that the structures pictured below are not phallic because an expert has not said so seems ludicrous and absurd. I feel that the Phallic architecture section should be placed back in the article.
Agreed, this should go back in.Erikacornia 23:49, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

Carptrash 21:31, 29 January 2007 (UTC)

It is a somewhat overlooked area in architectural history research, but I will see what I can do. Carptrash 23:57, 23 January

2007 (UTC)

However, these folks not only include the Nebraska State Capitol and Ypsilanti Water Tower in the competition, but the Tower actually wins, being named the most . . ..... well, check it out for yourself. Carptrash 00:10, 24 January 2007 (UTC)

In architecture[edit]

The phallic shape is often used in architecture and frequently include detail that is almost alarming. For example Bertram Goodhue's Nebraska State Capitol contains at it's tip Lee Lawrie's statue of the Sower or Seed Thrower. Since this is exactly the place where the male "seed" exits the phallus it is difficult to imagine that this relationship was unrecognized to the architect and sculptor.

Other notable examples of blatantly phallic architecture include the Ypsilanti Water Tower and others.

The phallic firm can often be found in cemeteries, particularly from monuments of the Victorian Age.

For the origin of the phallic inuendo (Gherkin) of the Swiss Re building in London see 30 St Mary Axe.


I have removed the following sentence. I do not think it is appropriate to include every Internet joke and harassment on a living person Alex Bakharev 05:20, 26 January 2007 (UTC)

When Russian President Vladimir Putin called on women to have more children, journalist Vladimir Rakhmankov wrote a satiric paper calling Putin "the nation's phallic symbol." [1]

(minor edit to let reference display on talk page only. Keesiewonder talk 18:35, 11 February 2007 (UTC))

Everyone could see that Alex Bakharev himself has deleted your new insertion of Putin Phallus in "In satire" section. Here is his edit and his comment [1] Current revision (23:16, 22 February 2007) (edit) (undo) Alex Bakharev (Talk | contribs) (→In satire - rm irrelevant). So again, Biophys just confirms he is doing nothing except false accusations campaign against me. He lied that Alex Bakharev endorsed him. Moreover you have inserted the same episode of Putin defamation in the article dedicated to Political Bloggers although Putin Phallus journalist wasn't a blogger. So you just seekin to defame Putin by any means vailable.Vlad fedorov 04:48, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
It was me who moved the Phallus section to the talk page (Talk:Phallus#Putin). Yes, I do think the information is out of place here. It would be quite appropriate in the article Vladimir Rakhmankov. Just imagine a Pig#Pasternak article devoted to much more notable citation by Semichastny. Or a long list of sections in Pederasty and Prostitution articles devoted to all celebrities ever mentioned in Internet with the correspondent epithet. I have heard Putin named Burationo,Klein Zaches (kroshka Tsakhes) or even the Louse that roared but never Phallos.
This discussion is out of place. But I think that in chapter Pig#Soviet_propaganda (not Pig#Pasternak - I am not doing Phallus#Putin) the citation by Semichastny would be completely appropriate as an example of Soviet propaganda.Biophys 05:51, 23 February 2007 (UTC)
Since no one keeps Dubyas nicknames in Bush article, there is an adequate policy in Putin's article, which is fair and right. If we would list their nicknames, more than the whole articles would be description of these.Vlad fedorov 05:19, 23 February 2007 (UTC)

Section on Ancient India[edit]

There appears to be a comment under Anceint India that came from the user stating their opinion on the subect. I would be tempted to revert it back, though I have no idea of the accuracy of any of the comments. Perhaps someone with more knowledge of the subject could divert a little attention to it? Fitz05 23:46, 11 February 2007 (UTC)

  • The Lingam article has already been mercilessly vandalised by someone offended by the association of sexual symbolism with Hinduism, which is the opposite of every art history book I've ever read. I just rewrote the Indian section to reflect a more balanced approach. I wonder how long it will last?Erikacornia 23:48, 21 February 2007 (UTC)

A Spare Seven Cents[edit]

(used to be two cents)

It strikes me that the section on psychoanalysis does not mention Carl Jung and his popular "Man and His Symbols". His trust in common knowledge did not lead him to shy away from the imaginative association of certain oblong markers with male sexuality, interchangeing Phallus and Lingam in the process, as seemed to be good practice for a long time.
No doubt the efforts of the authors of Lingam are commendable, if only for highlighting the subtle difference between Linga and Lingam (the latter still the sanskrit wording one gathers from the introduction, and presumably the one used in the Kamasutra ?)
The subtility in Phallus is less obvious, for it is hard to understand how the object can be described as mimetic while at the same time illustration and the common view is kept confined to the exagerated Penis, thus banning the imaginative approach.
In the absence of reference to Jung the lapse is understandable. It is Jung's insight in the close association of mimesis (to symbolise, to make believe) and poesis (to fashion, to make, to create) that has made him the champion he is (over Freud) to a vast majority of workers in the fields of art history and creative imageing (poets, storytellers, painters and designers).
Of course there is also my own private view that will always prefer any other illustration over that of a buckle, since I aways associate that with the interests that will try to force me to wear it. Call it biased. (... and bring back phallic architecture into the article)
(Lunarian 11:22, 12 February 2007 (UTC))

Brazen Firm[edit]

In Jean Chevalier, Alain Gheerbrant Dictionnaire des symboles Paris, Robert Lafont 1969/1984 the lemma on Phallus opens with the following:

"Symbol of generating force, source and channel of the semen as an active principle. Many symbols entail a phallic sense, for example the foot, the thumb, the dressed stone, the collumn, the tree, etc. Their representation is not forceably esoteric (see linga, omphalos) nor erotic: they simply signify the generating force, that is venerated under that form in many religions."

The lemma (1984) on tower notes that Danaë received the shower of gold while kept in a brazen tower.

Wiki's lemma on Danaë adds the cave as a place of conception, the reference to female fertility need not be spelled out. The association by students of art history of the symbol with the Renaissance grotto (nymphaeum) on the other hand needs to be brought to the attention of the worthy contributors to the classical project since it is of some importance to the history of architecture.

Note that the esoteric symbolism links to Linga in which case the cited dictionnary is for the greater part in line with the contributors to Wiki's Lingam. The confusion over the distinction between Linga and Lingam (ref Burton's translation of the Kamasutra) is to be regretted.

To name the numerous experts that contributed to the Dictionnaire is beyond the scope of this lines. There seems little doubt that many would with great interest look at the phenomenal symbolism of the Nebraska State Capitol.

(...and will you please bring back phallic architecture into the article...please? no? yes? )

(Lunarian 12:05, 15 February 2007 (UTC))

Image thingy[edit]

is there any image of that , looking more serious? means less like the SPARTAA guy petting his penis? —Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 01:56, August 26, 2007 (UTC)


I've noticed that this page has been vandalized quite frequently according to the page history. Should the admins be notified to semi-protect this page? Sandy of the CSARs (talk) 07:24, 22 January 2008 (UTC)

Inspiring architecture[edit]

" From Apis sprang the race of unicorns, that ridiculous beast of ancient writ whose learned brow lengthened into a gleaming phallus, and from the unicorn by gradual stages was derived the late city-man of which Oswald Spengler speaks. And from the dead cock of this sad specimen arose the giant skyskraper with its express elevators and observation towers . We are the last decimal point of sexual calculation..."

Henry Miller in Tropic of Capricorn ISBN 0586020004 (Granada ed 1980 pg 177)

"It was a vision of crystal fairyland, a transformation scene in some Olympian pantomime-cruelly vast in scale, cruelly blue above, and cruelly white all round in the glare, with only here and there rock shadows black as jet, and dark fantastic pinnacles of dolomite jetting up from the slopes in phallic towers with streaming flanks of wetness in the sunshine"

Reginald Farrer in Rainbow Bridge (1921, on plant hunting in Tibet -quothed from Cadogan Books 1986 pg 83 ISBN 0946313482)
Lunarian (talk) 12:30, 27 January 2008 (UTC)
P.S. Phallic Architecture ?

India section removed for?[edit]

Why was the "India" section removed by an unsigned user? No justification was given and I propose that the section be reinstated immediately. Also, this page ought to be protected given the childish games people get up to with its contents. Denihilonihil (talk) 17:27, 21 April 2008 (UTC)

New Image[edit]

Thanks for offering Image:Soft-2.jpg.

The issues I have with this are: 1) The article is about Phallus. Most often phallus is used in the context of an object of some kind shaped generally like an erect penis. Secondarily it can refer to an erect penis itself, although this is a less common usage. Your image is simply of a male penis. As we have images on the penis article that document the secondary definition well, I think we should focus on the primary definition here. 2) We have a ready supply of erect male penis images on the commons site we could use for the article (See Image:Erect penis.JPG, Image:Human penis erect.jpg, Image:My non erect & erect penis.jpeg, Image:Human penis flaccid and erect.jpg, Image:Superficial dorsal vein of the penis (erect).png, Image:Erection Homme.jpg, Image:TypicalHumanPenisScale.jpg, Image:Pompeya erótica6.jpg, Image:Human penis07.jpg, Image:Illu repdt male erect.jpg, Image:Erection partial.jpg, Image:ErectPenis54.jpg, Image:Human penis.JPG, Image:Circumcised penis - Flacid and Erect - High Res.jpg, Image:Erection by David Shankbone.jpg) with new ones being added every day.

My preference would be for an image that matches the primary usage of Phallus as an object that is erect penis like or erect penis shaped. The current lede image, showing a phallic costume in a parade is pretty good, even if slightly varying from the/my ideal image preference. Perhaps Image:CandlePenis.jpg, Image:Lovci mamutu stylized figure.jpg, Image:Pranger-Bonn-Münsterplatz-052.JPG, Image:天狗の面鉄輪温泉PB060289.jpg, Image:Phallus ravenelii torrey.gif, Image:KdVDeadSpermBank.JPG, Image:Barrel man revealed.jpg, Image:Danxiashan yangyuanshi.jpg, Image:Nationalmuseet - Cophenaghne - Male figure.JPG or Image:DelosPhallus.jpg.

3) In your image Image:Soft-2.jpg the lighting is poor, and does not compete well with many of the other images, and is not erect.

Atom (talk) 14:23, 8 September 2008 (UTC) has four definitions of Phallus, 2 of which chiefly describe it as another word for penis, the other 2 describe it as an image or carving of a penis. "an object of some kind shaped generally like an erect penis" is not given by any. In this context I can see no reason not to include a photograph of an erect penis, and will add Image:ErectPenis54.jpg. (talk) 19:15, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
And I will remove it again. Please establish consensus before adding such clearly controversial images. AndyTheGrump (talk) 20:17, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
Please explain your reasoning. I see nothing contraversial in adding a photograph of a phallus to an article on the phallus. I think the image I added was " an unemotional, non-sexual standard anatomical position " in line with WP:GRATUITOUS. — Preceding unsigned comment added by (talk) 21:03, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
First, please explain why you made a ridiculous claim that you added the image according to talk page discussions, based on you adding a single comment to a thread dating from 2008. And then explain how an image of a (semi?) erect penis can be 'non-sexual'. And then explain why you have developed this sudden obsession with spamming Wikipedia with pictures of the male genitalia... AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:10, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
Andy the way you phrased that paragraph was confrontational (even noting the IP uer's comments on your talk page) and it won't achieve anything. Regarding the image I agree that there is no need for it and have removed it again. according to WP:BRD, please don't put it back without a consensus being achieved here. Callanecc (talkcontribs) talkback (etc) template appreciated. 21:19, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
A little context here may clarify. is currently engaged in discussions regarding the adding of images of human genitalia to multiple articles (which he/she is of course entitled to discuss), and doing it in a distinctly confrontational manner (which isn't helpful). Such matters need to be settle by consensus, with due regard to Wikipedia policy, and not by per-emptive addition of what is clearly going to be controversial material, followed by edit-warring to include it. WP:BRD actually requires discussion... AndyTheGrump (talk) 21:28, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
It does clarify thanks for that, but we as experienced editors need to be setting the example and standard of what is expected. Regarding the image on this article, looks like the IP user has stopped adding it. Hence why I cited it :). Callanecc (talkcontribs) talkback (etc) template appreciated. 21:44, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
I am sorry. Can you make a coherent and concise arguments as to why this photograph of an erect penis is inappropriate on the page devoted to phallus which means erect penis. I see no consensus on this page in favour of the omission of such an illustration, but mention of unexplained (at least on the talk page, where such explanation should be made) deletion of it. Wikipedia is not supposed to be censored and should be open to improvement and discussion. I meant non-sexual as written at WP:GRATUITOUS "but they normally choose images that portray the human body in an unemotional, non-sexual standard anatomical position over more sexual images due greater relevance to the subject―the more sexual one is not given special favor simply because it is more offensive." (talk) 23:59, 20 July 2012 (UTC)
A simple answer? The topic 'Phallus' in the sense of meaning 'an erect penis' is covered elsewhere - in our human penis article for a start. The topic of this article is clearly the phallus as a cultural/symbolic object - and need not duplicate other articles. Actually, it shouldn't duplicate other articles, at this would make it a content fork. And with regard to the particular image you have chosen, it isn't exactly the best representation of the penis as a 'phallic' object anyway. Without wishing to malign the individual concerned, it appears to be either towards the lower end of the norms regarding length, or to be less-than-fully extended.AndyTheGrump (talk) 00:11, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

AndyTheGrump thank you for engaging in discussion. I agree that the photograph I added is not the most phallic, but I was trying to avoid offense. It might be better to use which shows an erect penis next to a flacid one, which, to me, minimises the sexual element, although it could be argued that the flacid penis is irrelevant to the article. You say that this article is about representations of the erect penis rather than the erect penis itself, and that adding a photographic representation of an erect penis would make a content fork. I argue that a photograph of an erect penis is relevant and helpful to the article on phallus because it a) depicts the subject of the article and b) provides a visual reference for the cultural and symbolic objects shown that derive from the phallus. There are more than enough photographs on wiki-commons to avoid duplication.

Sorry, but that image doesn't "[depict] the subject of the article". It depicts the subject of the article human penis. As for 'a visual reference' the article is already replete with images of the subject matter. AndyTheGrump (talk) 01:09, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
AndyTheGrump the sources say that one meaning of the phallus is erect penis. This article is about the phallus. There are currently no photographic representations of an erect human penis in this article, which is about representations of the penis. There is no consensus on this page for this omission, and your argument fails to explain why such an omission should be made. (talk) 01:32, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
It's fun to add provocative images to articles, but there is no shortage of dick pics on the Internet (nor at Wikipedia), so the issue boils down to what material would be WP:DUE for an encyclopedic article. The proposal to add "look at my erection" pictures to this article fails that last point (my characterization of the picture refers to the genre, not to any editor here). Johnuniq (talk) 01:45, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
This article is about the erect penis, and representations of the erect penis so a photographic representation of a penis is WP:DUE. There are no shortage of images of anything on the internet, so your argument rests on unstated opposition to images of penis's. The representation I have suggested adding does not show the face of the person, so I do not see how "look at my erection" applies. (talk) 01:58, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
There are already images of penises in the article, there is no reason to add a real penis to that. As has already been stated Wikipedia has an article on the Human penis so we don't need to duplicate it. I don't know how much clearer we can make that. In any case there is a consensus against adding it. Callanecc (talkcontribs) talkback (etc) template appreciated. 14:08, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

restoration of previously deleted material[edit]

I have restored some material that was deleted by unsigned users with no explanations, such as this edit and this one. I also added back the architecture section with a ref tag. It's unreferenced, but so is a lot of other material in this article and it is interesting (I'm surprised the Washington monument was not included). that's all I plan to do to this article, as I followed a broken link to get here and tracked it down to an unexplained deletion. I have also identified a user who needs to be blocked, and I will make the appropriate report. Tom Reedy (talk) 16:38, 21 April 2010 (UTC)

Unsourced Material[edit]

Further to the first post in this discussion (January 2006), I suggest the removal of the architecture section which is heavily under-sourced and leans more towards personal pontification - it's hardly encyclopaedic material. (10 May 2010) User:Uq —Preceding undated comment added 23:06, 9 May 2010 (UTC).

India material WARNING[edit]

I have restored material deleted by an unsigned user. Looking at the editor's history, it appears that he is systematically deleting material he believes is detrimental to India's image. He has been deleting this material for at least two years. If you are that user, do not delete material without discussion. If it is unreferenced, tag it as such, but don't delete it. If you continue, we will go to the noticeboard. Tom Reedy (talk) 14:03, 10 July 2010 (UTC)

RfC Is a photographic image of an erect penis appropriate in this article?[edit]

RfC closed as consensus against inclusion. While Wikipedia is not censored, the consensus appears to be that the page is about cultural depictions, not erect penises, and the image is not relevant to that. SWATJester Son of the Defender 04:22, 25 August 2012 (UTC)
The following discussion is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Is a photographic image of an erect penis appropriate in this article about the erect penis, and representations of the erect penis? (talk) 03:03, July 21, 2012‎ (UTC)

  • Yes A photograph conveys information that it is impossible to convey verbally that aids understanding of the article. There are no current images in the article that accurately depict an erect penis. A photograph also provides a context for the representations of an erect penis in the article. Photographs were present in the article until removed without discussion. (talk) 03:34, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
WP:NOTCENSORED includes "However, some articles may include text, images, or links which some people may find objectionable, when these materials are relevant to the content. Discussion of potentially objectionable content should not focus on its offensiveness but on whether it is appropriate to include in a given article. Beyond that, "being objectionable" is generally not sufficient grounds for removal of content". (talk) 03:42, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Comment. This is a malformed RfC, based on a loaded question, and should be closed as such. We already have penis and human penis articles, and to suggest that the subject matter of this article is "the erect penis" is to imply that it is a content fork, whereas it is clearly nothing of the kind. The subject matter of this article is 'the phallus' as a cultural/symbolic object, as represented in art/material culture. Any attempt to broaden its scope in the way proposed can only lead to the article's deletion. As for WP:NOTCENSORED, I'd ask to stop being such a dickhead. That we have a policy that states (somewhat misleadingly in my opinion) that we don't exclude material on the grounds of censorship is never, as the policy itself makes abundantly clear, a reason in of itself to include material. If wishes for policy to be revised to enable off-topic pictures of human genitalia to be added to whatever article he/she wants, on the basis that it is supposedly 'censorship' to do otherwise, this isn't the place to do it. Until then, it is for those wishing to include material to justify it, and to do so on better grounds than offered here. AndyTheGrump (talk) 04:59, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
A photograph of an erect penis is relevant to an article on the erect penis as represented in art/material culture. I do not understand your deletion argument. This article is also concerned with psycho-analytical theory. Phallus means erect penis. This is relevant, as someone looking for phallus is unlikely to be shocked by a photograph of an erect penis. Erect penis is covered in both Human penis and Erection. There is no reason why there should not be a short section on the erect penis here, linking to the Erection article- this does not create a content fork, and would put the rest of the material in context. (talk) 05:41, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Penises are common enough objects that a photograph does not convey any information that isn't available in life anyway. The photo of the erect penis is not needed, and good taste excludes it.Brechbill123 (talk) 04:01, 24 July 2012 (UTC)

The very concept of omitting illustrations and topics that are common in life is shocking. This encyclopaedia is part of life. Get used to it or get out. I cannot speak for your life, but as I go about my daily affairs I cannot remember when I last saw a penis on public display, much less in any manner that would render its illustration or mention redundant in a source of reference. Why pick on the penis if sexual objects are your pet abomination; why not flowers -- such filthy hermaphroditic abominations, and flaunted about us every day in shops, gardens and magazines -- totally unnecessary! To regard such a matter as a matter of taste is in itself such appalling taste that I cannot express the scale of natural repugnance. What good taste excludes is not the factual content or familiarity of topic of an encyclopaedic article, but people reading about horrible things that they are not interested in. If that is not to your taste, taste something else instead and give your sensibilities a rest. The rest of us are trying to achieve something of value. JonRichfield (talk) 10:06, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
Do you actually bother to read a discussion before taking part in it? Clearly not, because your comments refer to other articles entirely - penis and human penis. This article isn't about 'the penis', it is about representations of such in material culture, as the article makes clear. Attempts to make it into a fork of human penis are not only contrary to policy, but stupid, as if this succeded, it would be deleted entirely - just how many articles on dicks do the 'Wikipedia isn't censored so I can put a picture of some naked girl taking a piss into any article I like' crowd need? AndyTheGrump (talk) 11:53, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Unnecessary. The article, as Andy states, is not about the Penis. There are several good illustrations of the article's symbolic subject already. This is no more necessary than having a photo of a Mouse on the page devoted to Mickey Mouse. WP:NOTCENSORED is not relevant here; WP:OFFTOPIC is, however. Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 12:57, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
Nice to find myself at home in good company. The point is not whether the subject is about penes or phalli (which incidentally are far closer synonyms than this article suggests, but let that pass) nor yet whether that picture (I haven't checked) adds anything, whether it is off-topic or not. If that were the stated issue I would not have bothered. I never even mentioned notcensored etc. My problems were:"Penises are common enough objects that a photograph does not convey any information that isn't available in life anyway. The photo of the erect penis is not needed..." and "...good taste excludes it." If you read B1's comment carefully, you might trace wording along those lines in it. If you then can bring yourself also to read what I wrote, you will see that my remarks had nothing whatever to do with whether the subject matter was penis, phallus, or Mickey mouse, but whether someone's personal (ahem!... GOOD) taste had anything to do with the matter, or whether the fact that penes occurred with high frequency in our everyday environment had anything to do with the appropriateness of the inclusion of a penis in the article. Perhaps this photo was inappropriate and undebatably should be zapped (eg as being off-topic, uninformative, or even pointlessly offensive) but that would have nothing to do with the objection as B1 raised it. Furthermore, B1 upped with practically the same complaint in the Talk:Penis article, so to claim phallic privilege in this article seems just a weeeny bit precious, doesn't it? Consider the MM article and the notional mouse. Certainly such a topic does not intrinsically demand an actual mouse picture, but neither does it exclude one in principle. If I insisted on inserting one because Mickey is a mouse, I could deservedly be thumped and rv'd, but if I were discussing Disney's art and making a point related to its contrast to what a real mouse looks like, then that could be perfectly well justified, even if some readers regard the appearance of a real mouse as being in bad taste. JonRichfield (talk) 13:39, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
I quite agree that issues of taste are irrelevant. If other editors are using the argument here or elsewhere, it adds nothing to their argument. I myself wasn't using the taste argument nor one about offensiveness or censorship. I just don't think such an image is sufficiently on-topic to be included here. If we need another picture, far better to have another good image of a phallus in art, sculpture, ethnography or whatever. I am puzzled and slightly concerned by the efforts of to introduce photos of genitalia and urination wherever possible in WP. It strikes me as an odd kind of preoccupation. But my puzzlement is not the cause of opposing this particular photo on this particular article. Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 14:13, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
Oooohhh bloody Kaaay... I agreed with your attitude and statement to the extent that I went hunting through the history for the pic in question. Having found it I could not see that the text as it stood (or stands) required the picture. I could imagine text in such an article that would justify its presence, but right now, in the location that I saw it in the history file, I don't see the point, so to speak, though I probably could find you folks a nice shot of a cypress or a tea-kettle if you like. As I said in the Disney connection, the fact that an article does not intrinsically demand a picture does not imply that it could not in principle accommodate text that justifies the picture. However, it does not imply that the article as it stands therefore should have the pic anyway, suitable text or not. And of course, if someone did attempt to donate such text, it would have to meet the usual standards of criticism before being included, picture or no picture. Good luck to anyone sufficiently interested in this topic to do something about it one way or the other, but until there is some better argument for inclusion than that the picture would lend more clarity to non-existent text than its absence would, I am not inclined to lend my support for inclusion of the picture. Article quality comes first. Flavour beats taste, you might say. JonRichfield (talk) 17:44, 24 July 2012 (UTC)
  • No. This is a question of scope, as Andy the Grump has been saying. The article isn't about the physiology of the penis, nor is it about erections. Phallus should be about the cultural construction of the male generative organ (how it's conceptualized and represented). That said, if there's a specific photo by an artist that an RS discusses as representing a phallus, phallicism, or phallic sexuality, then it could be included, with an explanatory caption footnoted with the source. Mapplethorpe comes to mind. Such photos, however, are likely to be of recent date and as works of art will be under copyright. I wish policy were a little more clear that the inclusion of images can also be a form of OR, because a mere photo of a penis, erect or not, doesn't illustrate "phallus" as a concept unless it's been interpreted that way. I've also seen people try to pass off their amateur photos of naked people as illustrations for "art nude", when the article should be illustrated with previously published examples discussed as "art nudes" by RS. (As for the unnecessary discussion of the "medical" usage, I hope this has been resolved by pointing to primordial phallus, because again, physiology doesn't belong here.) Cynwolfe (talk) 21:19, 25 July 2012 (UTC)
  • Yes. First, it is clear that the word means 'penis' at least as much as it means 'representation of penis'. Next, none of the sources I've seen have said that the word specifically means erect penis. Most importantly, it makes sense to have the real version of the object that is being represented for comparison. -Oreo Priest talk 18:34, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Clear from what? Do you have RS saying that "phallus" just means "penis"? Do you have a "real life" photo of a penis that an RS identifies as a phallus? Otherwise, we just want to be naughty children and put pictures of penises in an encyclopedia. Let's see some of these sources that support your claims. Cynwolfe (talk) 18:44, 3 August 2012 (UTC)
Actually it definitely is clear that phallus has both meanings (see refs below), but as I have pointed out, pictures should support or amplify relevant text. I fail to share the apparent aversion to genital representations that some of our correspondents profess, but in this article I still don't see any text that a picture of a human penis, erect or not, would add value to. If anyone wants a nice impertinent prick in the article, then fine, put it in; but first supply the pertinent text that it is supposed to embellish. JonRichfield (talk) 15:57, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
  • No per AndyTheGrump: the topic of this article is not human penis, but the cultural/symbolic meaning of it. The photograph of erected human penis isn't helpful with understanding the cultural or symbolic meaning of penis, and as such is completely irrelevant here. — Dmitrij D. Czarkoff (talk) 16:55, 9 August 2012 (UTC)

The discussion above is closed. Please do not modify it. Subsequent comments should be made on the appropriate discussion page. No further edits should be made to this discussion.

Phallus in medicine[edit]

I have tried to add the following section , but it has been deleted. I think that it should be included as it is a documented meaning of phallus, and omitting it may cause confusion. Medical Meaning In medicine phallus is used to describe the penis. It is also used to describe the sexually undifferentiated tissue in an embryo that becomes the penis or clitoris[1], which is technically described as the first embryonic rudiment, or primordium, of the vertebrate penis or clitoris that develops from the genital tubercle.[2][3]" (talk) 05:44, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

This is an encyclopedia. If you are thinking of contributing, some study of scholarly books (secondary sources) will be required. We do not add appealing factoids gleaned from online dictionaries or photo galleries. Johnuniq (talk) 08:08, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
Check the references- they are to dictionaries published by respected publishers- The American Heritage® Medical Dictionary, Dorland's Medical Dictionary for Health, and Merriam-Webster. (talk) 08:57, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
I notice that the Etymology section is sourced to an online dictionary. (talk) 09:05, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
In the mean time I have added a link to Primordial phallus at the top of the article. (talk) 09:17, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
A feature of a problem editor is that they read only what they want in the message they reply to (see the "secondary sources" part). I never suggested the dictionary was not a reliable source as far as a dictionary goes. Johnuniq (talk) 09:56, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
Please engage with the discussion. Tertiary sources such as dictionaries are acceptable sources. The information was previously in the article, was removed without discussion, and is sourced. Why do you object to this information being included in this article? (talk) 10:59, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
The sources are:
  1. penis.
  2. a representation of the penis.
  3. the primordium of the penis or clitoris that develops from the genital tubercle.
  1. penis
  2. the first embryonic rudiment of the vertebrate penis or clitoris
  1. The penis.
  2. The sexually undifferentiated tissue in an embryo that becomes the penis or clitoris.
  3. The immature penis considered in psychoanalysis as the libidinal object of infantile sexuality in the male.
The article's assertion that "phallus" means erect penis is unsourced (as is most of the first half of the article), and these dictionary definitions seem to contradict that assertion, and do include the development meaning. On that basis, unless someone presents a strong source to support the article's present definition, I'm happy to rely on these dictionaries. I haven't searched for other sources. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 14:02, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
I have not followed this discussion, but why there should be doubt about the refs for Phallos, phallus, penis thing, I cannot imagine. The original was phallos in classical Greek (allowing for alphabet transcription of course) and in late Latin it was Latinised to phallus. When the Greeks got phallus-fixated and carved phallos representations, they called such a sculpture (guess?) a phallus, much as when we represent a lion we call it a errr... lion! There does not seem to be any hint that the effigy came first and they then named the organ a phallus in imitation of the sculpture or mythology. I did try to find etymology for Priapos, but with disappointing results. Nearly everything I found stopped with the god, except for an ambiguous suggestion that connected it with a Norse word for fruitfulness. YMMV! My refs include one of the Oxford dictionaries and good ol' Jaeger.[4] JonRichfield (talk) 15:05, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

I'm not clear on your point here. The etymology of the word phallos doesn't determine or limit what the word phallus means in contemporary English. The vast majority of scientific terms are built from Greek and Latin roots. The question is article scope. If you do just a general Google books search on "phallus", you get a number of works from the humanities and the psychoanalytical tradition that treat the phallus as a form of symbology (these disciplines are connected through the Freudian and Lacanian recourse to classical mythology), as well as books that have the physiological meaning, including my favorite about ostrich phalluses. But how does it serve readers to conflate the two topics of physiology and symbology? The sources and methodology of these two uses are utterly different. They don't belong in the same article. For instance, in the section on "phallic sexuality" in the article "Sexuality in ancient Rome", it would be off-topic to provide a physiological diagram of the erectile functions of the penis, or a photograph of a penis. This has nothing to do with "censorship," as other images in the article make plain, but with article scope. The physiological terminology with its attendant diagrams or photos belongs in one article, and the treatment of symbology and cultural constructions of the phallus in the other. Why is this a problem? That said, there is a massive amount of scholarship available on the symbology of the phallus, including feminist interpretations, and the article makes next to no use of it. Cynwolfe (talk) 16:52, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Let's try once more. Determining or limiting what the word means in contemporary English, apart from not being the definitive function of WP, or being possible at all, is far less important than establishing a basis for constructive use and comprehension of the word for the benefit of our readers. Nor, if things were otherwise, could either the etymology or the content of a million self-absorbed books stuffed with unfalsifiabilities do so. The point of searching for the etymology of "Priapos" (not phallos!) was somewhat different anyway; I never mentioned the etymology of phallos, you may note. I had hoped that "Priapos" might mean something like "going erect before" or something that might lend perspective to the relationship between Priapos, phallos, and penis. Like any other etymology, this would not impose any definitive meaning, but by indicating the historical lines of thought of the early users of the word, might assist in giving us a perspective from which to understand the various usages of today and of authors at various times in the past. It is a pretty poor student that is unable to work with anything less than certainties and compulsory strictures, don't you think?
I rather like ostriches myself, but fail to see what is so special about your favourite reference, as compared to the genitalia of a few thousand other species of vertebrates. Still, enjoy! The fact that the usage "penis" dominates that of "phallus" or "phallos" in morphology in most modern languages (possibly even in all languages) does not imply that the minority usage is invalid or undesirable in appropriate contexts. You say that you don't understand the point here of giving dictionary definitions? What do you understand about dictionaries? Or about definitions of any other sort? Please narrow it down a bit can you? I dread having to present a full course on basic philology. Is it that you don't like definitions? What would you accept in their stead? You say that "The sources and methodology of these two uses are utterly different. They don't belong in the same article." That is a large claim. The differences between the predominant contemporary usages certainly justify having separate articles, but it does not follow that every concept in each must be recognised in one article only. Are you prepared to claim that every aspect of the symbolic concept is independent of the physical nature and function of the organ that shall we say, gave rise to it? There is more to perspective than that, I should say. Of course, if you are in a mood to call for a third independent article... JonRichfield (talk) 18:57, 4 August 2012 (UTC)
Although I like your pun, I still don't see your point, or where you're getting a proposal for a third article. I appreciate your offer to teach me about classical philology. My joking remark about the ostriches was meant to indicate that the article on physiological usage might include animal as well as human forms. Our current article on the symbology of the phallus deals with many historical cultures that don't share modern scientific assumptions about physiology, so diagrams and explanations of erectile function are off-topic and non-informative. When we come to the contemporary period, I also doubt that physiology sheds any light on why the giant phallus costume from San Francisco has a face. The point (again!) is article scope: how is "phallus" as a topic distinguished from penis or erection? Two ways that I've seen: one, as a symbol of phallic sexuality in the discourse of the humanities, sociology, and psychoanalysis, which has a historical dimension independent of modern scientific physiology; and two, as a scientific term in modern physiology. The two are no more related than Pluto (mythology) and Pluto the dwarf planet, even though the latter is named after the former (a fact that's dealt with quite well in a section that duplicates virtually no content from the mythology article). The collocation of dictionary definitions given above probably indicates a need for a dab page. If what you're saying is that we need Phallus (symbology) and Phallus (physiology), or something to that effect, then that seems like a reasonable proposal, but very few of the articles linking to phallus seem to want the physiological sense. Cynwolfe (talk) 21:02, 4 August 2012 (UTC)


  1. ^ American Heritage® Medical Dictionary
  2. ^
  3. ^'s Medical Dictionary for Health Consumers
  4. ^ Jaeger, Edmund Carroll (1959). A source-book of biological names and terms. Springfield, Ill: Thomas. ISBN 0-398-06179-3.

Merger proposal[edit]

This article is about the roles of male erections in symbology. For their physiology, see erection.[edit]

This text currently appears at the top of the article. It is wrong. This article is about the erect penis, not male erections. This needs to be corrected, but anti-IP censorship prevents me from doing so. (talk) 11:03, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

I disagree. This article is not about the erect penis. It is about symbolic representations of the erect penis and their significance. It's correct to redirect people seeking a more physiological discussion. Kim Dent-Brown (Talk) 11:44, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
Those dictionary definitions just say "penis." Can someone point me to a definition that prescribes "erect" please? --Anthonyhcole (talk) 14:18, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
...And if the article is in any way about the subject as defined by these dictionary definitions, it is a content fork of penis and/or human penis, and must be deleted or merged into the relevant article(s), per policy. We do not allow content forks (and this is not a dictionary). AndyTheGrump (talk) 14:49, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
Why? Please explain where this idea comes from?
Ah. Fair enough. Nevertheless, the lead should, in my opinion, mention the other uses of the term; and I'd still like to see a citation confirming the necessity of "erect." But content fork? No. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 15:19, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
The lead should summarise the article content. There is already a hatnote that makes clear what the article is about. We don't need to say the same thing twice. AndyTheGrump (talk) 15:26, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
OK. I agree. The hatnote pointing to Primordial phallus does the job. --Anthonyhcole (talk) 02:31, 22 July 2012 (UTC)

IP, do you see the point being made here, that primordial phallus, a stage in the development of the (human?) penis/clitoris, belongs in its own article or one that addresses the development of genitalia, and this article isn't about that? --Anthonyhcole (talk) 15:38, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Not exactly. It is one meaning of phallus, is obviously related to the main subject of this article, and was previously part of this article. That it is not now included is self evident - but the argument that the article is not about this, so it shouldn't be included is non-sensical. There is only a hat note because I added it, as all references had previously been removed. (talk) 21:53, 21 July 2012 (UTC)
Kim Dent-Brown - exactly - the note should read "This article is about the roles of the erect penis in symbology. For the erect penis, see erection. " - at some point it was changed to the current, inaccurate, "censored?" description. (talk) 21:53, 21 July 2012 (UTC)

Deleted section[edit]

I removed the section on Abrahamic religions on the grounds that it is about circumcision, which certainly relates to the penis, but has little to do with the topic of this article which is the "phallus" or erect penis. The Abrahamic religions, far from worshipping or displaying the phallus, made a considerable issue about keeping the genitals covered. This matter is referred to both in the story of Adam and Eve (who cover themselves in shame) and in the story of the Drunkenness of Noah in which one of the sons discretely covers his father's nakedness.

I put back the reference to two modern sects, of which one has a stated position of Phallus worship.

Amandajm (talk) 08:04, 4 August 2012 (UTC)

Bogus claim, bogus reference[edit]

(I am copying this from Talk:Bear in heraldry, though using the quotation that was from this page)

An instance of such an omission led to an angry letter by the authorities of Appenzell in 1579 to the city
counsel of St. Gallen. The conflict was resolved by a well-respected bishop, after nearly escalating into a
war. [Brown, Gary (1996). Great Bear Almanac. pp. pp. 340. ISBN 1558214747.CS1 maint: extra text (link)]

There are so many things wrong with this claim that expose it as an obvious fake:

  1. The reference cites page 340, yet the book itself only has 340 pages, and that's only if you include the front cover, back cover, blank pages, TOC, index, etc. (See the Google Books online preview of this book)! The alphabetical index starts on page 315, and presumably, pg 340 is the back cover, which, course, makes no such claim.
  2. Giving the benefit of the doubt, I next searched the source for the word "Appenzelle", which appears only once in the entire book, and that is in a table listing discovered remains of the now-extinct cave bear. Here's the search for the word "Appenzell"
  3. Further still, the word "penis" appears three times, in sections referencing only anatomical and taxonomic differences between various species of bear.
  4. I could find no historical reference to support the claim that the war in 1579 -- the so-called 'linen affairs' -- had anything to do with the stated claim. They had much bigger things to fight about in 1579.

It's amazing that this paragraph has remained unchallenged for almost four years, but this needs to be properly cited or be deleted under WP:V. A Google search shows that in that time, it has been quoted ad nauseum, so the challenge will be to find a reference that is not a circular one (See WP:CIRCULAR). (talk) 22:16, 10 November 2012 (UTC)

In fact, the claim seems to be real — I find numerous sources for both the red penises and for the war between Appenzell and St. Gallen, all of which predate wikipedia:
  • "The bear is not easy to depict graphically. The fur should be rendered clearly but not naturalistically, and the artist must be prepared to paint the animal's male organ bright red, or he may be mocked (in Switzerland at least) for having painted a she-bear. This was actually the cause of a war between St. Gallen and the canton of Appenzell in 1579." (Neubecker, Ottfried (1976). Heraldry : sources, symbols, and meaning. New York: McGraw-Hill. p. 120. ISBN 9780070463080.)
  • "An armorial bear once nearly caused war between Appenzell and St. Gallen (Switzerland) in 1578. The Appenzell people were very proud of their heraldic bear. The first St. Gallen printer, Leonhard Straub, printed a calendar in 1578 which portrayed the coats of arms of many different cities, and the Appenzeller people discovered that the sex of the bear shown on their coat of arms was not shown, although it was supposed to be a male bear. Since St. Gallen and Appenzell had been involved in a number of disputes in the past, this was seen as the supreme insult. Negotiations to improve matters were unsuccessful, and when the threat of war developed, the pages of the calendar with this bear had to be destroyed in order to pacify the Appenzell citizens." (Grzimek, Bernhard (1972). Grzimek’s Animal life encyclopedia. New York: Van Nostrand Reinhold Co. vol. 12 p. 119.)
  • "In Switzerland the male organ of the bear had to be painted bright red, or the heraldist would be mocked for use of a she-bear. Such mockery led to a way in 1579 between the cantons of St. Gallen and Appenzell." (Brown, Gary (2009). The bear almanac : a comprehensive guide to the bears of the world (2nd ed.). Guilford, Conn.: Lyons Press. p. 216. ISBN 9781599213316.)
  • "Er war es, der um ein Haar den Anlaß zu einem Krieg zwischen den Appenzellem und St. Gallem gegeben hatte. [...] 'Der Buchdrucker Leonhard Straub in St. Gallen gab auf das Jahr 1579 einen Kalender mit den Wappen aller XIII Kantone der Eidgenossenschaft heraus. Kaum hatte sich dieser Kalender im Lande verbreitet als es da Lärm gab: der Bär in ihrem Wappen habe kein männliches Zeichen, die St. Galler haben, durch Darstellung eines Weibchens, ihres Standes Ehrenwappen auf eine recht schimpfliche Weise entstellt usw. Die Obrigkeit von Appenzell schickte nur eine Gesandtschaft an die von St. Gallen, um sich über den Schimpf ihres Landwappens, über das Verbot gegen den Gamgrempel (Handel) und anderes mehr zu beklagen [...] die Appenzeller wurden darüber so aufgebracht, daß sie ihr Banner auf dem Rathhause ausstellten und das Volk ermahnten, sich zu einem Kriegszuge bereit zu halten.'"(Strehler, Hermann (1965). "Das Churer Missale von 1589". Gutenberg-Jahrbuch 40: 186; quoting Hartman, Georg (1818). Geschichte der Stadt St. Gallen. St. Gallen: Beym Verfasser. pp. 371–372.)
  • “En nous menant chez lui, M. Kurz nous montra sur la salle en bois du tir fédéral l'ours mâle d'Appenzell et l'ours femelle de Saint-Gall, dont le sexe a été une cause de guerre entre ces cantons.” (Michelet, Jules (1959). Journal. Paris: Gallimard. p. 285 (Friday 10 August, 1838.))
I'm going to reinstate those two sentences. Heraldicbear (talk) 19:32, 30 September 2014 (UTC)

Why "Erect Penis'?[edit]

oxford dictionaries say "noun (plural phalli /-lʌɪ, -liː/ or phalluses) a penis, especially when erect (typically used with reference to male potency or dominance): the hill figure is a naked man brandishing a club and displaying a huge phallus figurative the building was a monumental steel and glass phallus an image or representation of an erect penis, typically symbolizing fertility or potency: three wooden painted phalluses" (talk) 22:46, 15 August 2013 (UTC)

Phallic worship in Hinduism[edit]

Removed the section on Phallic worshipping in Hinduism. Refer link ( It is a common misconception because of the term "Lingam". FtheKing (talk) 04:57, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

We do not cite Quora as a source - the content is user-generated, and accordingly fails to meet our policy on reliable sources. Having said that, the existing content also failed to cite sources, so I haven't restored it for the moment. I will however do so, with any necessary changes, if I can find proper sources - it appears to be an issue of some dispute. AndyTheGrump (talk) 05:33, 9 June 2015 (UTC)

A Commons file used on this page has been nominated for deletion[edit]

The following Wikimedia Commons file used on this page has been nominated for deletion:

Participate in the deletion discussion at the nomination page. —Community Tech bot (talk) 01:22, 12 March 2019 (UTC)

Phallic religious sculpture?[edit]

The caption of the second image in the article describes it as "Phallic religious sculpture of Linga, Kathmandu street, Nepal 1973", but exactly how it is phallic isn't clear. Where is the penis in this image? PaleCloudedWhite (talk) 07:53, 26 August 2019 (UTC)

Linga doesnt mean Penis. It is a common misconseption amongst westerners. You can compare it with the cross that christians were. Dheerajmpai23 (talk) 13:36, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

Linga doesnt mean Penis. It is a common misconseption amongst westerners. You can compare it with the cross that christians were. Dheerajmpai23 (talk) 13:36, 5 September 2019 (UTC)

A well researched article is over here . Hence I am removing all the misleading content on the page. Dheerajmpai23 (talk) 19:03, 5 September 2019 (UTC)