Oct 19, 2014

The Hillside Penis of Cerne Abbas

Who isn't fascinated by lost civilizations and ancient mysteries?  Stonehenge, the Palace at Knossos, Mayan temples, Easter Island, the serpent mounds of Ohio.  But the museums usually hide the gay connections, and the tour guides skip over them, insisting that everyone in ancient times was heterosexual.

Not with the Rude Man of Cerne Abbas: his gay connection is visible for miles.
He's is a chalk figure of a 180-foot tall giant carved into a hillside in Dorsetshire, England.  His disproportionately small head and curvy arms lead some people to believe that he is modeled after aliens who visited the neolithic Britons.

Neopagans believe that he is the image of an ancient Celtic god, or a Roman depiction of Hercules.

Most historians believe that he was carved during the English Civil War as a parody of notoriously conservative Oliver Cromwell.

But they can all agree on his best feature: a penis that extends 31 feet up against his chest.

Double the average penis/height ratio! The Icelandic Museum of the Penis has nothing like this.

Heterosexuals traditionally spent the night on the penis to ensure fertility, and gay men, because it's fun to spend the night on a giant penis.

You're not allowed to walk up onto it anymore.

The Rude Man is unique.  The only other male hillside figure in England, the Long Man of Wilmington, lacks a penis (though he was "vandalized" with a 6-foot tall one in 2010).

He has been the subject of several songs, and used for everything from condom ads to a PSA about testicular cancer.  When The Simpsons Movie premiered in 2007, a chalk figure of Homer Simpson appeared next to him.

In the series finale of the bromance comedy Men Behaving Badly (1997), Gary and Tony (Martin Clunes, Neil Morissey) must give up the sofa on which they've had so many adventures, and somehow they end up with it on the Rude Man.  There's something touching about the long-term partners saying farewell on a giant penis.

The village of Cerne Abbas is about 25 miles from Glastonbury and 40 miles from Stonehenge, so you can easily see all three in a weekend.

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