As every mother knows, parenting can bring with it many challenges. It’s extremely enjoyable, and there is nothing like the feeling when your little one is full of fun and frolics, even when your house is upside down after the latest “play session”. But, at times, you won’t have all the answers.
Im a google mum. And a texter. Being able to reach someone to seek reassurance on whether a sniffle is just the beginning of a cold, from other mothers who have been there and done that, for example, is a godsend.
So is Mumsnet. When my daughter was very young, it was a great way of picking up tips and tricks from other parents. During pregnancy, it was full of useful information on everything from employment rights while expecting, to what to expect at different stages of your baby’s development. I used it frequently, and mostly checked out the same topics, expanding my knowledge along the way.
Imagine my surprise, then, when I stumbled across a topic quite unlike any other I’ve seen on the Mumsnet site. Or, anywhere. Ever. The topic in question was “Penis Beakers”. Yes, you read right, and I’ll say it again for effect. Beakers for Penises. You can find it here.
I couldn’t believe my eyes. A poster to the thread, clearly had a burning question that she needed answers to. On the internet. With the whole world watching. She simply wondered whether it was a regular occurrence for couples to keep a glass by the bedside table for, er, dunking the man’s penis. As you do. Obviously.
The post went viral almost instantaneously, so much so, that the influx of viewers, (almost 600,000 of them) crashed the servers of the Mumsnet site. There was a deluge of answers to her question too, though admittedly maybe not quite what she was looking for. Sara Crewe and her penis beaker became an internet sensation. They even made The Guardian and the Telegraph. I bet that was some conversation over dinner with Mr Crewe. “I’ve something to tell you sweetheart… I’ve made your penis famous!”…
Most replies to the topic were hilarious, as people the length and breadth of the country got in on the ,em, act, and began to open up to what they did or didn’t do behind closed doors.
I’m no prude, but even I was stunned at how graphic some of the disclosures were. They were also side-splittingly funny. I found myself laughing out loud, unable to tear my eyes away, except to share the link with other female friends so I could enjoy it with them too.
There is a school of thought that says as a society these days, we are not really interested in what others do in the bedroom. “Penis Beaker” knocked that theory into oblivion. The thought of a couple dunking their post coital member in a glass on the bedside table sent people’s curiosity through the roof. Personally, it required a stiff drink while reading. Excuse the pun, it was too good to leave out.
Not content with staying on top of their own bedroom activities, hundreds of people decided to engage in what quickly seemed like a worldwide debate. Most rejected it outright. Others added their own routines for good measure. It snowballed. People are now actually selling their “recyclable penis beakers” on EBay. The nation became obsessed.
My favourite question in the comments section of the site was “Has there ever been a midnight mix up with a glass of drinking water?” I was almost afraid to look at the answer. What penis beaker also did, though, was exactly what people do everywhere. We bond, through either laughing at, or sharing our own experiences, or others experiences of sex. The only difference was that this was much bigger bonding. On a national scale.
Penis Beaker allowed us to giggle from the safety of our own bedrooms. But it also gave us a glimpse into the lives of other people. We’re nosy like that. We do like to read about what others get up to, even if we’re laughing at them. Admittedly, maybe not in as much detail, but nevertheless, we read, and pass it on, and silently thank Christ the woman admitting to the post sex clean up isn’t us.
Bonding is good. How else do we learn from each other? Good sex is something to be celebrated, tips swopped and discussed, just like any other topic. My advice to Sara Crewe and her partner is to do what you like with your beaker, as long as you both enjoy a happy and healthy sex life. I’d also like to thank her for opening up a national debate and giving me the best laugh I’ve had all year. Some of the comments were witty in the extreme, all of them contributing in their own way to normalising sex discussion in a frank and joyous way. It was refreshing.
Though, if anyone else has a green beaker, they’re never admitting to it now. However, if the idea has tickled your fancy, I’ve found another site selling them. With instructions….