Updated: Jan 21, 2020
I contemplated taking the entire day off today, but around 5:00pm decided I had to write this. I shall start with this: Yes, it's uncomfortable to talk about penises. For most people anyway. This includes some of our contributors. Not all, but let's say a handful or so. And of course they knew when they sent their work what they were getting themselves into, but I suppose this changed a bit when promotion time rolled around. How do I know this? Some have directly communicated this with me, others indirectly. For example, one contributor said: How will I feel telling my family and coworkers that I'm in an anthology called Stories About Penises? The question of course was not answered. It wasn't necessary. The question said it all. How will I be judged?
And so, I started to give this some thought today. If our contributors are feeling this way, then how are the readers feeling? And the general public? In all likelihood, uncomfortable. Not all, of course, but some. And in response I have this to say: That is the whole point of the anthology. Not the only point, but an important point. It's ok to feel uncomfortable.
Let's start with what Stories About Penises is not. It is not a work of pornography. It is not a book of Erotica, though some stories are indeed erotic. And, it is not political.
So, what is it? It is a discussion of male genitalia. By younger and older writers, by men and women, both gay and straight. It is a celebration or commemoration of the penis, a reflection on this body part and how this group of writers feels about it. It's an intimate look at their thoughts and feelings and experiences. Some are playful and humorous. Some are thoughtful and sincere. Some are angry. Some are bizarre. Collectively they form a modern-day picture of how we feel about the penis.
Educated or uneducated. Young or old. Gay or straight. Please, I ask you to not judge. I know it's uncomfortable, and hope you can push through this discomfort and open the book and find out for yourself what it's about.
Julianne Ingles is the founder of Guts Publishing and editor of Stories About Penises. Visit gutspublishing.com to purchase your copy (we ship to the UK, US & Canada). It is available at The Word Bookshop and Gay's the Word (both in London). As well, you can order a copy from any bookshop, anywhere. We distribute with Ingram. Please support independent bookshops when possible. Stories About Penises is also available on Amazon worldwide and with many other online retailers.