‘Manhood: The Bare Reality’: 100 Men Had Their Penises Photographed To Explore Masculinity
Laura Dodsworth doesn’t have an average day job. For the past year, she’s been photographing men’s penises for a photography project.
The resulting work, ‘Manhood: The Bare Reality’, isn’t as gratuitous or sordid as it might sound. The book, which features 100 penises in total, explores men’s attitudes to their bodies, masculinity, sex and sexuality.
The result is a menagerie of men’s experiences: from the 20-year-old who quit porn after he became addicted and unable to have a healthy sex life to the 58-year-old who has spent his life embarrassed about his penis size.
Now, she’s turned the lens on the boys.
“Breasts and penises are not direct counterparts but they respectively embody ideas of what it is to be female and male,” she told HuffPost UK. “Manhood is a word for penis. It seemed like a good starting point for a conversation about manhood and masculinity.”
The men self-selected to be part of the project and are all anonymous. Whether they were asked directly by Dodsworth, recommended by a friend or replied to social media, all the participants were “100% happy to take part”.
But when it came to stripping off in front of her, Dodsworth says the men’s reactions were varied: “Some were really comfortable with getting naked. Some were a bit shy. Some were proud.”
Dodsworth said she felt “surprised” and “moved” by the men’s honesty in front of the camera.
“We never know someone’s story till we ask… Men stepped into the space with a real hunger. I don’t think men are given much opportunity to be honest and raw about their lives and feelings. I had never heard men talk like this. Some of the men said they had never talked like this to anyone, including their partners. It’s a real privilege to be able to offer these stories to the world.”