Pan

Posted by Madam Bubby

 

We’ve been seeing the word pandemic as we encounter at varying levels one throughout the world. A Greek root in the word, “pan,” means all.

It’s interesting how we have created many words with this root. The most famous example is pandemonium, a word the poet John Milton created in his epic Paradise Lost. It is the name of Lucifer’s city in Hell:

“Pandemonium, the palace of Satan rises, suddenly built of the deep: the infernal peers there sit in council.”

 

Pandemonium, Illustration by Gustav Dore for Paradise Lost
Pandemonium - Source: Gustav Dore, illustrations for Paradise Lost

 

Based on its characteristics, one of its definitions has evolved into meaning a noisy cacophony, or an overall chaotic situation or experience, even though, analyzing the Greek, it literally means something like “all or every little demon.” Whose idea was it to build the city? In Milton’s universe, the figure of Mammon, who represents the greedy pursuit of material gain.

Geologists named the original supercontinent on Earth before it split up Pangaea, and related to the above, specifically, Mammon, a notoriously corrupt real estate company in Chicago is called Pangea (go to Yelp to find out more).

 

Pangaea
Pangaea - Source: http://www.geologyin.com/2018/02/facts-about-pangaea- most-recent.html

 

The word pansexual has become popular in today’s nomenclature as cultural norms about sexuality become more flexible, and some have even defined it as being attracted to the personality of a partner rather than that person’s gender identiity.

But there’s another Pan, and his name doesn’t literally correspond to the root discussed above. He’s that Greek god everyone recognized as a goat man who plays pipes.

But there’s more to him than the clichéd figure of the satyr. I found out via Wikepedia that, according to some myths, his father Hermes (associated with large phalluses), taught him how to masturbate. Pan liked to “chase girls” (yes, he was definitely a predator), but women devotees of his cult were sometimes called “pan girls.”

 

The god Pan
Pan - Source:
http://www.marvunapp.com/Appendix/pansatyr.htm

 

I don’t know if he had sexual encounters with males, but adding to the sexual elements of his personality and cult, his half-brother was Hermaphroditus, the intersex son of his father Hermes and the goddess Aphrodite.

The word panic actually comes from the story that Pan, possessed of a deep, authoritative voice, could create fear among humans by shouting, and he even was able to control a horde of giants attacking the gods by shouting. I assume he made a sound like that during his frequent sexual encounters.

Going back to the first meaning of pan, I like to think of what we sell at Bijou Video as “pan-porn.” Yes, the content is primarily gay male, but our products reveal a variety of bodies, personalities, identities, sexualities.

I think we need to remember that the “all” of human experience isn’t monolithic; many parts interact within that all; thus every day, if we keep our minds and hearts open, we discover what we thought was the “all” is something new and, in these days of fear, a matter of preserving life.

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Some Famous Male Nudes

 

posted by Madame Bubby

Yes, nudes. Nudies. And not just Greek sculptures. (In fact, one might think Tumblr would not block these images. Hmm … )

And famous Greek sculptures, like the Eros of Praxiteles (see below) enabled Chuck Renslow, the pioneering gay erotic photographer and pretty much the founder of the contemporary gay leather/BDSM community, to stay in business. In other words, a full-frontal male nude can be aesthetically beautiful. It's not “dirty” and, in line with the Romantic sensibility that correlated truth with beauty, not morally offensive.
 

Praxiteles' Eros
Praxiteles' Eros

The famous sculpture of Eros by Praxiteles was so lifelike and seductive, that according to one source, a visitor to Thespiae named Allketas fell in love with it and jacked off against it. Pliny, the famous historian, claimed he left “traces of lust” on it. Cum stains? Scandalous. Nero also fell in love with it, but it perished in the great fire of 64 A.C.E. Of course, now someone would end up doing something that Allketas did and put it on Pornhub.

The seventeenth century Italian artist Caravaggio, one of the LGBTQ family, was always in trouble with his prudish Counter Reformation employers for using hot models for his mostly religious paintings, including street hustlers (who frequented the streets around the palaces of the Cardinals). In fact, one of his patrons, the creepy Cardinal Francesco del Monte, cultivated young men (some things never change). Caravaggio's painting “Victorious Love” or “Amor Vincit Omnia” shows Cupid as a naked youth “trouncing various symbols of human achievement and sophistication,” according to Leigh Rutledge. Ouch.

In the eighteenth century, a nude marble statute of an obscure local saint, Guignole, was supposedly able to cure infertility and frigidity. Keep in mind that many of the medieval saints were closely tied in person and function with pre-Christian religious practices, which usually focused on keeping life forces going, that is sex. According to Leigh Rutledge, women took scrapings from the statue's big cock, mixed them with water, and then drank the mixture. The monks - yes monks, supposedly chaste males - who tended the statue ended up having to keep repairing the mutilated penis. Thus, they drilled a hole through the statue's groin and inserted a long phallus made of wood down through it. As followers of the big-cocked saint scraped the penis down to size, a blow with a mallet from the rear would cause the dick to regain its original length. Oh my. So much is going on there.
 

Statue of Saint Guignole pierced with needles
Statue of Saint Guignole pierced with needles

Jumping to 1972, in the wake of the age of sexual liberation, Burt Reynolds appeared naked for Cosmopolitan magazine. Well, not completely, his dick was covered … but still, wow.
 

Burt Reynolds in Cosmopolitan
Burt Reynolds in Cosmopolitan

Yes, the audience was women, but this spread paved the way for Playgirl magazine, the publication for women and gay men. In fact, Playgirl's first centerfold was the hunky Lyle Waggoner of Carol Burnett fame. Even the incredibly talented Carol needed some eye candy hanging about for the benefit of the ladies and her gay fans.
 

Lyle Waggoner in Playgirl, June 1973
Lyle Waggoner in Playgirl, June 1973

Overall, one can see an objectification of the male body, but at the same time, a complex relationship of that body to the surrounding culture. The big dick here may be the god or God here in these scenarios, but it's not just the dick itself, but what it does and what you can do with it. Nature is just the inspiration point for the creative process of the human imagination.

Source: Leigh Rutledge, The Gay Book of Lists

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Fun Dick Myths, Such as the Mystery of the Disembodied Penis

 

 

Chronos Castrating Uranus

In Greek mythology, Chronos, son of the god Uranus (essentially means “heaven” in Greek), castrated his father and threw his dick into the sea. Aphrodite, goddess of love, rose from the sea where Uranus's penis had fertilized the waters. So much for heavenly love, or filial love, for that matter. It's all about sex and power. 

In ancient Egyptian mythology, Typhon (also known as Seth, god of chaos) slew Osiris (dismembering him) and kept his dick as a souvenir.. To honor Osiris, his wife Isis mandated that the phallus be an object for worship. (Osiris did get put back together again. I wonder if they found the dick.) 

 

Typhon, Egyptian God

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