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The Impressively Long History of Penis Worship

Published: FEBRUARY 15, 2016 | Updated: FEBRUARY 15, 2022
Most of us have never literally worshipped a phallus, but historically, penises have been the focus of much religious veneration.

While it could certainly be argued that lady-parts have been religiously charged for longer, the mighty phallus has always had an ample share of admirers. The oldest known stone representation of a penis devotional is the Hohle phallus. It's believed to be 28,000 years old. Despite its advanced age, it's still totally hard and ready to … do whatever siltstone penises are meant to do. Clearly, this find represents the dawn of penis worship.


Penis Worship in Green Mythology

Greek god Dionysus is well known as the god of wine and theater. He is also the god of ritual madness, fertility and erotic ecstasy. A traditional festival of Dionysus featured drunkenness, dancing, live theatrical performances, and sex ... lots and lots of varied, raucous, intense, and very public sex. With that in mind, it's not surprising that Dionysus' son by Aphrodite was even more phallus-focused than his father.

The son in question, the hilariously named Priapus, was cursed by the gods and cast out of Mount Olympus. He was raised by humans and believed for years that he was human. His sizable member and permanent erection made him a sought after mate, and a pioneer in inspiring penis worship. Even after Christianity came on the scene and declared sex and drunkenness to be inappropriate in a religious setting, monuments to Priapus remained erect. (No word on whether he called a doctor every four hours as the erection-pill commercials suggest.)

In 1980, St. Priapus Church was founded and houses a congregation of presumably-devout gay men. Located in scenic Montreal, this Temple of Priapus proselytizes that members should spend at least four hours of quality time with their penis each day. Masturbation, or helping a friend achieve orgasm, is their most pious act. The temple is also the subject of a documentary detailing their holy wanking and more modern style of penis worship.


Penis Worship in India and Egypt

Shiva, consort of Kali and god of destruction, also sports an impressive member. Commonly referred to as Linga, or Lingus, Shiva's holy dong is worshiped by, and I am not kidding, getting it wet with water and then stroking it while meditating. Egyptians were also into the exaltation of the wang. Their fertility god, named Min, and was commonly depicted holding his erect penis in his left hand while waving to the people with his right. As Egyptian pharaohs were considered living gods, they were not averse to penile exhibitionism or even masturbating in public.

Penis Worship In Japan

In Japan, penis worship has been a thing for as long as people have been writing such things down. The Mara Kannon Shrine is believed to be 450 years old, and is one of the few remaining statues honoring the blessed phallus. This shrine is still a hot spot today, hosting an annual penis festival replete with schlong-themed candy, hats, fake noses, and all the puns you could possibly stand. On the serious side of things, the Mara Kannon is also a place where prostitutes go to pray for safety and a year free from sexually transmitted disease. Thy will be done, Holy Penis.

Norway's Phillip the Penis

Public displays of giant wangs persist into the present day. In Norway a man was spottedroaming the local beaches in a giant penis costume. Is he looking to be worshiped? Maybe. His penchant for spraying unsuspecting people with glitter is more likely to inspire a sacred ass-kicking. Phillip claims to be raising awareness on sexually transmitted disease. Does anybody really need a reason to run around Norway in a giant penis costume? Surely shooting glittery love-juice on random beachgoers is its own reward.


Subdued Penis Reverence in the United States

In the United States, our penis-reverence is far more subdued. Despite its painful looking corners, many argue that the Washington Monument represents the most patriotic of phalluses. I'll believe that when someone slips a giant condom on it. Oh wait, someone actually did that in 2011. Really, there's video.

No article on penis worship is complete without mentioning the Ypsilanti water tower in Ypsilanti, Michigan, which has won accolades for being the most phallic structure ever. I can only presume they mean the most accidentally phallic structure. I have to wonder what designer William R. Coats would say about his creation being commonly referred to as "that penis water tower" and "the brick dick." Here's hoping he had a strong sense of humor.

Penis worship is not as common as it once was, but you can surely find it if you look long and hard enough. And it definitely has a long, impressive history.

Wednesday Lee Friday

Wednesday Lee Friday is an eclectic writer of fact and fiction. She has worked as a reptile wrangler, phone sex operator, radio personality, concierge, editor, fast food manager, horror novelist, and she owns a soap shop. She prefers jobs that let her sleep during the day. Everybody knows all the best art and literature happen at night! Wednesday's work has appeared in Women's Health Interactive, Alternet, Screen Rant, The Roots of Loneliness Project and Authority...

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