One of the observations in Jamie Dunn‘s 10.23 Guardian piece about such appearances (“Full frontal: why the fuss over Chris Pine’s ‘dazzling’ penis?“) is that gay journalists over-react when this or that actor goes willy-nilly.
“Is this the reason so many young actors are squeamish about getting naked for their art?,” Dunn asks. “Speaking in these pages back in March, James Ivory was irate that nude scenes in his Call Me By Your Name screenplay were altered to conform with Armie Hammer and Timothée Chalamet’s no-nudity contracts. We can understand Hammer and Chalamet’s trepidation. Just imagine, for example, if one of them were a grower and not a shower? Or, God forbid, their junk turned out to be a bit funny looking? The body shaming would be relentless.”
I happen to believe that growers who do nude scenes risk career damage. The nude wrestling scene between Alan Bates and Oliver Reed in Ken Russell‘s Women in Love didn’t exactly suggest associations with horses or elephants, but the editing saved them. Cillian Murphy did himself no favors when he allowed Danny Boyle and Anthony Dod Mantle to briefly glimpse his package in 28 Days Later. There was a scene in Patrick Brice‘s The Overnight (’15) in which Adam Scott (whose character was deeply bothered about having a small junk) did a nude scene — Scott was wearing a small-dick prosthetic but most audiences didn’t know that.
Guys performing nude should always work up a little heft before the director says “action!” A former girlfriend who used to work for Viva, the women’s magazine that ran nude male centerfolds, once told me that photographers always wanted their male subjects to be in a state of “maximum tumescence in repose.” One way not to look like you’re “hung like a cashew” (a devastating phrase coined by James Ellroy) is to pop Viagra or Cialis. In the military drill sergeants refer to low-level soldiers as “swinging dicks” — said medications actually allow that condition to manifest.