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Thread: Size did matter in Viking Times!

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    Size did matter in Viking Times!

    Size matters in Viking times

    NOT SO FIERCE: Viking warriors were sexually insecure, consumed with performance angst and troubled by the thought that size really did matter, research suggests

    Being hung like a Norse was key to social hierarchy and being considered a real man in 10th-century Icelandic society, according to a new paper, Size Matters: Penile Problems in Sagas of Icelanders, presented to the International Medieval Congress in Leeds, England, this week.

    The comprehensive cultural history of the penis in medieval Iceland was researched by Carl Phelpstead from Cardiff University, Wales, who analyzed contemporaneous accounts of otherwise brave Viking warriors being ridiculed by women and girls for their dainty manhood and sexual timidity.

    "For Viking men who suffered impotence or erectile problems, it was not merely a medical pr oblem or an unfortunate constraint on their sex lives, it profoundly affected their identity," Phelpstead said.

    Society in medieval Iceland operated under a one-gender system in which people were categorized not as male or female but as physically adequate or inadequate, Phelpstead believes.

    "The result is a distinction between men on the one hand and everyone else, including most women, children, slaves and otherwise disenfranchised men on the other," he said.

    In the ancient stories, penis size determined a man's status in a society that distinguished able-bodied, virile men from all other people. In rare cases, some women were able to gain this position of social status. Phelpstead points to repeated imagery and metaphors in the stories that referred to a penis as a "borer" and "drill of the hill of the leg."

    "These descriptions suggest that the penis not only marked social position but could be used to establish or reassert social standing through phall ic aggression," he said. "A penile problem such as erectile dysfunction compromised the ability of a man to assert or maintain this dominant position."

    Phelpstead found evidence for his argument across all genres of Old Norse-Icelandic literature, as well as a cult of the phallus in pre-Christian Scandinavia, including ithyphallic rock carvings from Stone Age Norway and Bronze Age Sweden. He also identified castration anxiety among Viking men caused, he believes, by laws in force until 1260 allowing it as a kind of contraception and social engineering.

    According to Phelpstead, having a penis was of less significance than whether its possessor had sufficient virility to produce an erection.

    "Erectile dysfunction was both a symptom and a sign of men's move from one side of the social binary to the other," said Phelpstead. "If they were no longer vigorous men, they lost their gendered identity altogether."

    To complicate matters further, Phelpstead found evidence in the stories that it was as unmanly to have an outsized penis as an undersized one. In the 13th-century Njal's Saga, the warrior Hrutr Herjolfsson is cursed by a jealous queen with an erection too big for intercourse with his bride.

    Source(Tapei Archives - defunct site?):
    http://www.taipeitimes.com/News/world/archives/2004/10/15/2003206950

  2. #2
    - Personal note : Well, men tend to be goofy when tacky matters like someones naughty parts need attention, but wondering if the article wasn't anxious to describe the Vikings as some bunch of phallofiliatics, so I went for a second opinion to my old friend, Ingemar Nordgren, who is the author of an important study on the origin and connection with Scandinavia of the Goths and chairman of Historieforum Västra Götaland, an organisation to support historical and archaeological research, which also publishes books and magazines on mentioned disciplines.

    It seems that size did matter -- but rather in a cultic sense:

    Well, a little exaggerated but indeed size mattered - at least on the rock-carvings. Since it deals with production of children needed to sustain the society and able to capture fertile women on their expeditions to get new blood to the Viking society. Concerning Iceland Irish women were specially popular to import wether they liked it or not. In Sweden and Norway we had a dried horse-phallus, Völse, being sent round in the household in november as a sacrifice to Frejr with his big dick.

  3. #3
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    I suppose fertility was more important back in the day ay.

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    Of course, since there wasn't any cure.

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    NOW we're gettin' somewhere. And what, no head one-liners? Where were Coon and spreading calipers when we really needed them. Though, if I recall, he did refer somewhere at least to the Lapps' equipment.
    In a woman's love is injustice and blindness towards all that she does not love... Woman is not yet capable of friendship: women are still cats and birds. Or, at best, cows. Woman is not yet capable of friendship. But tell me, you men, which of you is yet capable of friendship? --- Nietzsche, TSZ

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