Dateland: Keep Your Pants On


I have acquaintances who are unnaturally proud of their 2-year-old son’s penis. Each time they drop by my house—which, frankly, is far too often for my nervous system to bear—they ask me the same question. It’s a question that I’m fairly certain would get them arrested in most states and many Caribbean countries.

“Hey, Jennifer,” they say, with a bit too much sparkle in their eyes, “have you ever seen an uncircumcised penis?” And before I can answer, they whip off the kid’s diaper as if he was a performer in a Vegas strip club. And there it is, in all of its toddler glory, a baby uncircumcised penis.

“Very nice, very grand,” I say, trying to avert my eyes. But the kid, encouraged by the bizarre attention, typically takes the cue to thrust his arms in the air like a young Caesar, and proceeds to parade around the house pants-less for the rest of the visit.

Even though I’m a lesbian, I’ve seen my share of pee-pees (my preferred term for the object). I came out relatively late in young adulthood, so I had several opportunities to dabble with men. I don’t have a problem with pee-pees as long as they keep their distance. When they get excited, they seem kind of angry. And that’s why I don’t like them pointing at me. On the occasions that they have, I’ve always felt like I’m being accused of a terrible crime by a fierce prosecutor. “YOU did this to me,” it seems to be saying. “You and those large breasts of yours.”

And, in answer to the question posed by the weirdo parents mentioned above, yes, I have seen an uncircumcised penis. I tell them this every time they ask the question, but they never remember the story because they are far too weirdly obsessed by their own kid’s member to pay attention to my anecdotes. (This explains why I consider these people acquaintances and not friends.  Anyone who prefers their child’s penis over my bon mots will never be a friend of mine.)

Here, then, is the story of the first time I saw an uncircumcised penis.

It was at a dinner party. A very sophisticated party hosted and attended by gay men. I was the only woman invited—a great honor! Usually the only woman at a gay boy party is someone like Lee Radziwill, straight, chic and eats nothing but vapor and compliments. I think it speaks very well of my ability to entertain and charm that gay men regularly choose me, a lesbian with unruly hair and a tendency to dribble wine on herself, to be the token lady.

The party was going very well until there was a squeal of excitement and terror from the kitchen. We all ran in and found our host laughing uncontrollably at the pork roast he had just removed from the oven. He pointed at it, too hysterical to speak. Soon, all the men joined in the laughter.

“What’s so funny about a roast?” I asked.

“Have you ever seen an uncircumcised penis before?” the host asked. Apparently, the roast looked exactly like one. Up to that moment, I hadn’t seen one. So, the host helpfully ran to his bedroom and returned with a stack of porn magazines dedicated to men with foreskin. And, that, pretty much signaled the end of the dinner party. As I grabbed my coat, I glanced at the group of men ooohing and ahhhing while they flipped through the pages.

So, before you ask me the question again, the answer is yes, I have seen one. And, no, I don’t want to see another one. But good for you if you have one! Just, please, keep it contained when you’re around me.

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