I think it’s reasonable to speculate that most heterosexual men think about penises other than their own and will at least sneak a peek at them if they can do so unobtrusively. The penis is the predominant symbol of a man’s masculinity and virility so it only seems natural that men are curious about them and, at least at an unconscious level, compare them to see how they measure up.
There was a time when men more openly, albeit very casually and with no overt homosexual overtones, compared penises. This was a time when men regularly swam naked together and routinely walked about naked in locker rooms and showered together. There may have been some good-natured ribbing about one’s equipment but one soon got over any embarrassment. Being too embarrassed to be seen naked in the locker room or shower inevitably invited ridicule.
Perhaps it in the latter part of the 1960s or early 1970s that this began to change. This would have been around the time that women began to seek opportunities in areas that were once considered the exclusive domain of men. With women becoming more liberated and more common in the workplace, men began to feel that their masculinity was being threatened. They felt less secure about their manliness and this carried over to places where there were no women, namely male locker rooms.
Feeling less secure in their manliness, they began to avoid even inadvertently glancing at another man’s genitals, lest he be thought of as gay. Nowadays, this has gone to extremes. Now in locker rooms, men cover themselves with a towel as they change. Many men don’t shower at all after a workout and, if they do, they will shower in a swimsuit or in underwear. Many schools no longer require students to shower after a Physical Education class. When I went to school it was mandatory.
Now gyms and pools will have enclosed private changing cubicles and showers. Almost no one sees anyone casually naked anymore outside of nudist events and venues. It’s no wonder men and women alike loathe their own bodies. Advertising and entertainment media have sold us the idea of perfect bodies which, in real life don’t exist. Everything in our culture tells us that we can never measure up to the ridiculous standards they’ve created while demanding that we aggressively pursue our efforts to reach them.
There is nothing wrong with seeing a penis that’s not your own and there’s nothing wrong with anyone seeing your penis. Having a penis is quite common and, in the vast majority of cases, they all work the same. The differences in appearance are individual and have no bearing on your own penis or on your manliness. It’s just a penis.
It’s my considered opinion that all the rhetoric I’m hearing about clinging to conventional gender and sexual identities is a sign that they are becoming outdated, irrelevant, and meaningless. Many people are afraid of change and don’t want to give up the comfort of the old, traditional binary identities of male and female, masculine and feminine, and straight and gay. The binary paradigms are becoming more fluid and more analog. Despite our dependence on binary technologies, we live in an analog world, a world that offers infinitely more options than those offered by binary logic.
The long established patriarchies are beginning to crumble and the identities and paradigms they’ve created are falling by the wayside. Men are afraid of losing their power and their dominion over whatever they’ve felt they’ve had power over. That’s a good thing for humanity.
Power is simply Work over Time. Power as related to dominance is an illusion and maybe we are starting to finally sufficiently evolve to realize that.