This may go down in history as the year the penis became omnipresent. A symbol of power since the Greco-Roman era, the phallus’s prowess in America’s post-fig leaf society has resided largely in its invisibility. But this year the penis suddenly became visible even when it wasn’t. Last month, from within his trousers, Jon Hamm’s bulge
upstaged his campaign for Obama. In October, New York’s Mayor Bloomberg appeared turned on, in more ways than one, as he held a Hurricane Sandy press conference. And who can forget the Boner Rower whose Olympic bronze medal appeared to be crowned by a public happy ending? The recent swell in penises on the big screen has served to dismantle the symbolic power of the phallus and, in a time where reality and entertainment are blurred, it is little wonder that celebrities’ off-duty members are commanding our attention as much as Judd Apatow’s penile punch lines – and shedding their masculine mystique at the same time.”
— From the Salon.com essay, The Package Deal by Soraya Roberts, detailing depictions of phallic imagery from ancient times to Michael Fassbender’s (shameless) Shame.