Big ones, small ones, some as big as your head.
The Icelandic Phallological Museum is full of dicks; over 215 to be exact, and has quickly become a national treasure. Visitors can get up close and personal with a variety of penises from 93 specimens, from tiny mice dicks to massive whale dongs.
“Most of our specimens are from Icelandic mammals,” says Hjortur Gisli Sigurdsson, Director and Curator of the museum. “We have very good contacts all over that let us know if something happens that could be of interest to us, like if a whale gets beached. Hunters bring us specimens also, both Icelandic ones and from abroad.”
Sigurdsson stresses the specimens are ethically sourced, and says the museum has never asked for an animal to be killed just to harvest the organ nor have they paid for a specimen.
There is, however, a few specimens that have been promised to the museum while the mammal was still living. A 95-year-old Icelandic man, who was a womanizer in his youth, pledged to donate his penis to the museum, and it was added to the collection in 2011. Three other men – a German, a Brit, and an American – have followed suit, pledging to contribute their members after their deaths.
In addition to the specimens, the museum also boasts an impressive collection of penis shaped objects; umbrellas, telephones, lamps, all of which are family friendly, according to Sigurdsson.
“The main misconception is that this museum is some kind of sex-museum,” he says. “That’s not the case at all. There is nothing pornographic or lewd on display. In fact, we take pride to showcase only things that are safe for the whole family.”
Sigurdsson takes the museum’s penises seriously, as he should, since his whole life has revolved around the collection. His father, Sigurður Hjartarson, founded the museum in 1997, but the collection of penises started in 1974, when Hjartarson received a gift of a cattle whip made from a bull’s penis. He was given a few more specimens and bit by bit, or dick by dick, the collection grew.
“My father started collecting when I was 10 years old so I pretty much grew up with it and
just accepted it as normal, which of course it is,” says Sigurdsson, “I had some great adventures as a young man going to remote places on the island to harvest organs with my father.”
Sigurdsson is now taking on the family legacy and is working to keep the study of phallology alive.
“Phallology is a relatively new science,” says Sigurdsson. “In fact, it was my father who coined the word ‘Phallology’ in the early days of the collection. Phallology is important to the world because it opens a discussion on a subject that is usually taboo.”
Sigurdsson believes that everyone’s visit to the museum will be a happy ending, even those who might be wary about spending their Icelandic vacation surrounded by penises.
“The museum is a chance for people to learn and see new things, and to study the wonderful diversity of the penis,” says Sigurdsson, “To the hesitant ones I would say, don’t miss it, you won’t see anything like it anywhere else.”
Address: Laugavegur 116, 105 Reykjavík, Iceland
Admission: 1500 ISK (about $20 CAD)
Duration: About an hour