It’s time to play the music 
It’s time to light the lights 
It’s time to meet the Muppets on the Muppet Show tonight. 

Welcome To The World Of Peniloquism!


Reservoir Mum is dining out with her Netball team to celebrate the closing of another season and it’s 9.30pm before I manage to single-parent my four school holiday frazzled boys to bed. A good hour of writing passes by swiftly before the headlights come a-flashing through the study’s blinds and after a few more moments of frantically prodding at the keyboard to finish a sentence the front door squeals open and RM’s standing beside me. I’m resigned to the end of my writing time when I see RM is giggling like Chris Farley, her eyes bulging with the need to share a story.

‘We had the funniest night,’ she says. ‘For some reason we were talking about how hopeless boys are at using the toilet, you know, spraying all over the floor and walls, and then Laura starts telling us about a friend of hers who went camping with her husband, ages ago, and the husband gets up to go to the toilet in the middle of the night and his piss just starts flying off in all directions…’

‘Like a punctured can of Coke?’ I say.

‘And he goes back to the tent to tell his wife that he’d found… um… you know those little plastic ties that… hold new shoes together and tags on clothing?’


‘Yeah, he told his wife that he had one of those… unwound like a string… stuck in the eye of his penis.’


‘So Laura’s friend explained that there must have been one in the sleeping bag and that it got stuck inside her husband’s penis while he was rolling around in his sleep…’


‘And so I slam my hand down and say, “Okay, hands up anyone here who thinks the plastic tie got into his penis by accident?” and I was surprised because half of the people put their hands up – it was about fifty/fifty – and then we’re all just laughing our heads off because there’s this debate going on with Laura leading the group who think a thin piece of plastic could accidentally crawl inside a penis and me leading the group who think it’s virtually impossible…’

RD-peniloquist‘Well, how did it get up there?’ I ask

‘They must have put it up there as some kind of sexual thing…’

‘Really? You think?’

‘Yep. I mean, it’s like those people who go to the doctor and the doctor says, “So how did that vibrator actually get stuck in your arse?” and they say, “I fell on it”.

‘Maybe it didn’t go all the way in,’ I say. ‘Maybe his penis pressed up against it for so long in the one position that it just stuck to the end of his penis and partially covered the hole like that time I fell asleep on all that rice and didn’t know it was stuck to my face until you told me about half an hour later…’

‘Some men do put things inside their penis you know.’

‘Yeah, I’ve heard of it but, Jesus, I just assume sticking things in there would hurt.’

‘Maybe hurting’s the point,’ RM says, logically.

‘Don’t knock it till you try it,’ I shrug. ‘Can you remind me to pack some plastic ties next time we go camping?’

‘Anyway,’ RM says. ‘So then there’s this whole discussion about the eye of a penis and how it’s closed and, you know, hard to penetrate and there were so many funny penis jokes and one liners and it just went on and on until we started talking about how penetrable the eye of a penis was and then I slammed my hand down again and said, ‘Hands up who hasn’t opened and closed the eye of a penis and pretended to make it talk…’

‘Oh my god.’

‘And this time everyone put their hand up.’

‘What? No one else had ever used their partner’s penis like a puppet?’

‘Not one,’ RM says, laughing, breathless.

A brief period of time passes by as my imagination creates the scene from RM’s perspective. There is an entire Netball team seated around me with their arms raised, every face shaped by the smile-squint of the perplexed, their minds filled with this unerasable image…

RM is hunched over a naked man’s body. She has a penis in her hands. Her thumbs are perched on each side of the glans and she’s opening and closing the tiny hole there to match the rhythm of her vocalisations, ‘Hurrow, everybodeeee,’ the penis says, in a tone RM uses to cute-ify her voice; a cross between Alvin the Chipmunk and Scooby-Doo. ‘I’m RD’s pee-pee. Aren’t I a cute widdle pee-pee? Hands up if you think I am a cute widdle pee-pee.’

RM-peniloquist-2‘It was hilarious,’ RM continues. ‘We even came up with a name for it – peniloquism… why are you looking like that.’

‘A couple of reasons,’ I say. ‘Because out of that whole table of women you are the one and only peniloquist which means that if all the husbands and partners were to have accompanied the women tonight, I would have been the one and only peniloquist puppet. I’m also very nervous about catching up with any of the women from your netball team. I won’t be able to have a chat to them without redirecting their eyes up towards my face and saying, “Hey, my mouth’s up here”.’

RM’s laughs for a long time before heading for the door but before she enters the hall she leaves me with, ‘I wouldn’t worry about it. There’ll probably be another fourteen peniloquist puppets starring in their debut performances at this very minute.’

And there’s an image to rival the opening of The Muppet Show.


So time for a bit of fun and honesty. Have you ever practiced peniloquism? Or been a peniloquist’s puppet?