Male nudity *can* be classy, but it’s a fine line.
Back in November of 2008 I went and saw a musical that featured some female toplessness. This inspired me to write my list of the 11 Occasions To Expose Your Breasts In Public, Ranked By Classiness. I always liked that list and, frankly, I’m surprised it took me this long to follow it up.
The world of exposing the penis is very different than the world of exposing the breasts. While breasts are generally considered harmless, the penis is considered evil and makes Helen Lovejoy freak out about how no one’s thinking of the children. When I mentioned to my girlfriend I was working on this, she instinctively responded: “There’s *no* proper occasion to expose a penis in public.”
Well I simply don’t think that’s true. Here are 11 legitimate instances when penises are exposed in public, rated by classiness (from most to least classy). Not, mind you, by arrest-worthiness — though they somewhat go hand-in-hand.
1 | Being sculpted
There is no classier penis in the history of the world than the one on Michelangelo’s David. It may not be the biggest and it may not be the thickest, but it’s prestigious. Plus, the theory goes that it would’ve been bigger but Michelangelo that all of the blood in David’s body had rushed to more crucial places before his battle with Goliath.
And look. You’re probably not going to be sculpted by a future master. No one sitting in that art class is going to have a ninja turtle named after them. But you still will walk out of that room with a groin full of class.
2 | A stage performance of a play like Equus or something of similar high prestige
When someone’s potentially viewing your penis through opera glasses and analyzing its symbolism, you’re golden. (And you might even get points added for Gryffindor.)
3 | Greek Olympics
I don’t know that the Olympics are ever going to go back to full frontal like back in ancient Greece. But if they do, feel proud to show off the muscular male form for the world. And be prepared for NBC to find a way to affix a camera to your genitals. They love putting cameras on things.
4 | Spencer Tunick photo shoot
If you’re not familiar, Spencer Tunick is a photographer who goes around and gets thousands of people in a city to volunteer to pose naked together. It’s looked at as pure art — on the continuum of erotica to Hustler, it definitely checks in on the left side. I only rank it this low because I always look at his photographs and think “that looks like the world’s lamest orgy.” Plus, for whatever reason, everyone in his photos always looks like they’re freezing.
5 | A performance Puppetry of the Penis, a college art show, or something of similar iffy prestige
Going nude for a community or college theater show is quite different than stripping down in legitimate theatre. It’s like the difference between Halle Berry’s nudity in Monster’s Ball versus her nudity in Swordfish. Or Courtney Love’s nudity in The People vs. Larry Flynt versus her nudity at a random Wendy’s drive thru.
6 | Stripping
Shave down, oil up, and get ready for women to make whooping sounds. Whether it’s at a male strip club or you’re a cast member in the Thunder From Down Under show at the Excalibur, it’s not pure class… but at least you’re getting paid. Unlike…
7 | Streaking at a sporting event
I reluctantly ranked it underneath all of those others because you don’t get paid and probably do get Tased. But at the same time, all things considered, if you’re not an actor, athlete or model and you simply must show your male genitals to a live crowd… there really isn’t a better venue.
8 | Naked run in college
They didn’t have one of these where I went to school. But various pieces of anecdotal Internet evidence plus a mediocre straight-to-DVD American Pie spinoff assert that they exist. Not classy, but basically acceptable. Unless you already graduated from that college and go back as a townie to participate.
9 | Urine emergency
Outside of higher salaries and superior math skills, the ability to pee anywhere is the greatest thing going for the male gender. Sure, it’s not particularly classy, but you’ve got to crack a few eggs to make an omelet. Or something.
10 | Courtroom where you need to prove your genitals have been erroneously described by a witness thus acquitting you of a crime
This finishes very low because, really, you don’t want to be in a scenario where your only means of legal absolution is to show your genitalia to a jury of your peers. (Especially because, afterward, they will no longer wish to be your peers.) But if it comes to that, whip it on out.
11 | Dirty bus stop flasher
It’s never, ever a good thing for men to flash in public. Whereas, in many cases, it’s considered a wonderful, memorable thing for women to do so. Along with longer life expectancy and the ability to win every argument, it’s the greatest thing going for the female gender.
The ability to read Jodi Picoult on the beach without being judged is number three.