Literally anyone can have a dick. Maybe she’s born with it maybe she went out and bought it maybe it’s leftover from a failed relationship. Maybe it’s a part of the body that you might not ascribe this meaning to but someone else would. That scene in Sex and the City where Samantha waggles her fingers in the air and brags that her girlfriend has ten dicks. Once after a break-up my friend’s ex returned all her sex toys by mail and then sent her the receipt for the postage. That’s how mundane a dick can be.
My friends have a group chat called ‘dick talk’, I am not in the group chat but sometimes they discuss it irl when I am there. They are looking up pictures of John Hamm’s giant bulge and passing the phone around. One of them turns to me and apologises. The implication being this conversation is irrelevant to me, and probably repulsive.
A list of all the dicks in the world that do not belong to cis men
All dicks that are a natural part of women’s bodies
All dicks that are a part of non-binary people’s bodies
All dicks produced by phalloplasty
All body parts creatively and lovingly given the name dick
All dildos belonging to people who are not cis men
All dildos that have been manufactured but as yet belong to no one
All dicks belonging to animals
All graffiti dicks
There are probably no dicks in space but of course we love to imagine that gender exists out there the exact same way it does here.
Smoking outside this Jewish music event. An older woman we know from the Jewish Lesbian Group smuggled in a flask of vodka and I am feeling good about my community etc. The friend I’m with and the straight girl she has a crush on are talking about fucking men. I want to contribute something useful, say I’ve thought about making a Grindr profile just to see what happens. The straight girl turns to me and asks what gay guy would want to sleep with a girl though? Awkward silence. I backpedal. I wouldn’t really want to be with a man. I hate them too much. The straight girl says is that because of their dicks and she’s telling me not asking. Like she knows it’s not that I love women, it’s that I can’t stand to look at a penis. Like there aren’t thousands of women who have dicks like I don’t have one of my own at home. We go back inside, this huge macho experimental klezmer band is playing. I keep my legs stiff to hold myself up but inside my body I am sinking down towards the floor.
I go to see Joan Nestle read. It is the second in a series of three performances, her last public appearances. It’s close to 40 degrees, I feel sick from the heat, Joan Nestle is wearing a black slip as a top with slacks. She says it is her tradition to perform in this slip. She reads ‘My Woman Poppa.’ Oh, my darling, this play is real. I do long to … take your courage into my mouth, both cunt, your flesh, and cock, your dream. She calls it, her lavender hardness.
The dream of the body is that it could be more than it is. When I see my body – the parts that are physically present for the light to bounce off of – I am often disoriented because there are so many other manifestations of myself that feel equally real. I think my body is a group of ghosts, and the body I am physically inside of is just the most solid ghost.
Think about an instance when two bodies are present at the same time. For example the first half of Orlando when Tilda Swinton is a man before his magic transformation into a woman. Here is Tilda Swinton as we know her, on the red carpet or in her weird mansion in Scotland, in some fancy gown. And here is Tilda Swinton as Orlando, a man, in velvet breeches, fucking Queen Elizabeth. Until the moment in front of the mirror when Orlando turns around to reveal her whole naked body to the camera, Tilda Swinton the actress and Orlando as a boy exist as two bodies in one. After I shaved my head the first time I would catch a lot of people double-taking me when we passed each other. Once coming out of the women’s toilets this girl walking in stopped and stepped back to look at the sign and then look at me again. Brief moments of the body like Schrödinger’s cat. Either/or and therefore maybe both.
Cis women celebrities tweeting about their dicks.
What are they talking about? Does it matter? Ariana Grande and her invisible flaming dick in the donut shop declaring I hate America. A holy queer punk image. A dick is a state of mind I want to be in like…some of the time.
I am wearing a dress the first time I wear a dick. We don’t have a harness so we stuff it through a pair of too-tight y-fronts and test it out just for a minute fully clothed because we need to be somewhere. My pink turtleneck, their grey multi-purpose hiking pants that zip off at the knee. The striped bedspread covered in cat hair and radical literature. The detachable piece of plastic stuck to my body. Sometimes having a dick feels regular and sometimes I feel like Don Draper in Mad Men. Everyone wanted to fuck Don Draper, maybe because John Hamm’s dick is so big.
In her song ‘Bonnie’ Young MA talks about not needing a dick because her girlfriend keeps one with her all the time. When I’m on the road and she at home I leave it with her/ Cause while I’m doing shows and she alone, she need it with her. The queer body asserting dominance by performing a trick a straight, cis person couldn’t, or at least wouldn’t think of. Innovative ways of sharing our bodies with each other. The deep intimacy of casually leaving a part of your body with another person.
In my late teens, head full of Tumblr queer discourse, I took all the language off my body in an attempt to become a better person and a good trans ally and then I found I didn’t want to put it back on again. Some people, you couldn’t pry the language from their cold dead hands, but who knows. You might be surprised how fast it slips off your body, and how good it feels not to have it there.
This trans boy on Instagram buys a new dick. He posts a photo of all his dicks lined up on a silver platter. He posts a video of his hands pouring almond milk into the new dick through a funnel, the dick squirting almond milk into the air. The dick as a part of the body that is separate from the body but still belonging to the body. The trans body as a site of infinite potential. All language removed and waiting to be placed back anywhere, on anything, like for example in a magical girl anime when the transformation happens and there is a moment when the body is naked and all the clothes are hovering around the body and changing and then they are sucked back in again. The meaning of all body-related language like a loop of neon text on the train cycling around and around and around. My body – the piece of flesh and bone that carries me through the world. My body – one of the many ghosts whose presence I feel daily as my own. My dick – a standard lavender dildo. My dick – my hands. My dick – an imaginary extension of my body. The conceptual presence of the dick like a moon orbiting my body or bouncing off me like the little dots on the tops of the words in karaoke.
A bouquet of sunflowers between my legs on the bus, a phantom cock, a ward against harassment from men. The opening chapter of Jeanette Winterson’s The Powerbook where Ali, smuggling two tulip bulbs and one stem in his pants, is captured by pirates and brought to a princess to teach her the ways of love. Every day they go a little bit further until the day comes when Ali has to undress, and he is convinced he will be found out and beheaded but at the last minute the flower comes to life. Flowers are Sapphic but multi-gendered. The pistil and stamen growing so close together on each blossom that we cannot impose Western human ideals of gender onto them.
You can go online and donate to the development of this robotic packer that a company called Transthetics is making. The packer is called The Bionic. The webpage describes a series of futuristic features, including an option for the prosthetic to be attached to the body using a set of magnets, half of which would be implanted under the wearer’s skin, and a touch-sensitive remote to control the prosthetic’s erectile function, which could be inserted into the vagina and would respond to contractions of the pelvic muscles. I text the link to a friend, I say, The batteries are in the balls!!! The future is now!!
I love it when trans people refer to their genitals as my junk. Something very personal but ultimately a bit pointless. A handful of loose change. A cosmic accident. When Björk released those promotional photos for Utopia, the ones where she is dressed as a sort of alien faun and wearing a maroon strap-on, people were losing their minds. I like that the prosthetic on her face is made to look natural but the dick is obviously an external addition to the body. That even in the fantasy of this image it doesn’t need to be ‘real’. The queer body as mythic but not in need of additional magic powers.
Where are our bodies in the future? What do they look like and what are we calling them? Perceiving the body as something that extends beyond what we might think we know to be the body. Something easier to share and hold for each other. My body – your body. My first girlfriend sewed me a giant plush velvet anatomical heart for my birthday and said It’s becauseI’m giving you my heart. Something that isn’t alone in the universe. My body – an organism on the earth. Something that continues after death. My body – ashes. My body – in the ocean. My body – a tree. My robotic dick donated back into some communal dick-sharing program. Even John Hamm will pass on one day and be buried with his giant dick in the ground. Our souls flung out into the ether. Our dicks in space after all, maybe. All of us returned to the earth with new bodies walking on the earth over us and the earth with all our bodies and all our dicks rolling rolling rolling through spacetime for infinity.
MIRA SCHLOSBERG is a writer and comics artist whose work has appeared in The Lifted Brow, Meanjin, Rabbit, and others. They are the editor of Voiceworks magazine and edit comics for Scum Mag. Their comic book Guidebook to Queer Jewish Spirituality is available through Glom Press. You can find them on twitter @miraschlosberg.