PRINT January 1993


the New Penile Code

YOU CAN HARDLY OPEN a magazine or newspaper these days without getting smacked in the face by a penis, or some facsimile thereof. Most prominent is white rapper Marky Mark massaging his wad for Calvin Klein: if you live in a big city, you’ll see him not only, in the pages of Vanity Fair and Interview but on the sizeable illuminated walls of your neighborhood bus stop. Mark’s crotch-clutching style (an appropriation from his black rapper forebrothers, the vanguard of fuck-you, he-man performance art) has been spreading like wildfire, appearing everywhere from the fashion pages of Harper’s Bazaar to the narrow pathways of Wall Street. His new book, Marky Mark, is dedicated “to my dick.” In the Year of the Woman, the Primacy of the Penis would not be ignored.

Thinking back, you could see it coming. First Robert Mapplethorpe, repackaging porn, unsheathed the penis and reconstituted it as

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