Alas, the penis is such a ridiculous petitioner. It is so unreliable, though everything depends on it—the world is balanced on it like a ball on a seal's nose. It is so easily teased, insulted, betrayed, abandoned; yet it must pretend to be invulnerable, a weapon which confers magical powers upon its possessor; consequently this muscleless inchworm must try to swagger through temples and pull apart thighs like the hairiest Samson, the mightiest ram.
William Gass (b. 1924), U.S. fictionist, essayist, philosopher. essay, published as "Metaphor and Measurement," in Salmagundi, no. 24 (Fall 1973). "Food and Beast Language," p. 255, The World Within the Word.