I decided to type up a guide to cars and penises.
Wait no, stay with me here.
The other night while hanging out with friends the Speed channel was on TV, with some show about restoring and building replica cars. One of those I didn’t recognize… it was clearly patterned on something LeMans-ish (fiberglass body, barely street legal if at all, etc)… stood out from some of the others.
“That car,” said one female friend, “is totally a penis.” Another of the ladies agreed.
Wait what? I had to correct them. It clearly wasn’t for a number of reasons, not the least of which being the effort being put in to it. But it occurred to me that there is indeed an identifiable set of criteria that will most likely show that a car is meant to compensate for something. And as such, here’s a guide, dedicated to Donna and Jessica.
Criteria 1 – It has to be relatively effortless. By this I mean to say that a guy who’s looking to compensate isn’t going to spend months upon months working on a project car to be his little surrogate wang. He wants something that he can get out there and show off soon, because his ego doesn’t have time to wait, so he’s just going to go out and buy it. This is why that one project car on the show clearly wasn’t compensation (or the first reason I guess): way, WAY too much effort. If that was what he needed he could head out and buy a Porsche easily.
Criteria 2 – There has to be some amount of status conveyed with it. Nobody that needs to compensate buys a Honda Civic penis. This is where the BMWs, Mercedes, Porsches, Lexuses, etc., start to come in to play. That’s not to say owners from those makes are automatically compensating, but the same kind of prestige with the badge they have is one of the tops of the list. But this ties in nicely with the third item.
Criteria 3 – The penis is for show, not for fun. This is the tricky one because it’s not always immediately obvious. BMWs, Porsches, etc., can certainly be compensation… but someone who goes out and gets one of these and genuinely loves driving it probably isn’t using it to compensate. Case in point: Have you ever seen a Corvette on the freeway going over the speed limit and keeping up with traffic? For being so sporty it’s pretty fucking rare. Most of them seem to have middle aged men behind the wheel, more concerned with looking good and making sure they don’t blow their insurance fees up. So why get the car? To be seen out there with your penis. And as a corollary to this rule, look for sports cars that are renowned for “comfort”. Everyone wants a comfortable penis, but someone with sporting intentions will suffer a bit of discomfort for a great drive.
Those are the three rules I’ve worked out for this. Just about every example I can consider can fall under a blend of the three rules. There are, of course, exceptions, but you can work it out most of the time with a little thought. So a few examples.
Corvettes – All three criteria here. Like I mentioned for 3, it tends to be shown off rather than driven for fun (convertible ones driven by males are always automatically penises btw). 2, it’s a Corvette, the best known American sports car, so it has the status. And as for 1, it’s relatively inexpensive compared to other sports cars.
BMW Z4 – Take a look at the bulging hood covering that engine and tell me that’s not compensation. This is mostly a 1 and 2 thing, with a little 3 to go with. They’re a great roadster so it’s not automatically compensation, but usually safe to assume.
Mazda Miata – Here’s a fun one. This is almost never compensation. Really! It’s generally considered a ‘girly’ sports car so dudes driving one are pretty secure in themselves, and the men who drive them will tell you they’re incredible to drive in spite of the low price. They’re becoming increasingly popular to buy second hand for autocross racing, too. Actually racing it = not penis.
Lamborghinis/Ferraris/Really high end shit – These are all very tricky. They definitely have the status and they’re made to be showy, but because of the price they’re never easy, and they’re all great drives. They’re kind of the domain of the rich, and rich who need to compensate can’t be distinguished here from rich who want a nice fucking car.
Huge pickup trucks – If you don’t see dirt on them then it’s either never used as a truck, or it’s constantly, meticulously polished (like a penis). If they’re clean but heavily scratched up, you know it gets real use. They do have the status and are showy in different ways. Smaller pickups are a lot less likely to be used for this. Similar applies to the offroad vehicles that have all the bolt on shit bit never have a speck of dust on them.
Convertibles in general – Convertibles often seem to get labeled as compensation. I think this is another of those that can’t really serve as a rule. True, it does go to the showing off side of things, but then cruising in a roadster is awesome on its own. Not an automatic guarantee on its own.
Track Day/Not Street Legal cars – Track cars, like the Ariel Atom or street cars modified such as to no longer be road legal, are never, ever penises. Why? Because if it’s only legal on the track (or only barely legal on the road), it’s no good as a penis. The point of a car as a penis is that everyone can SEE you and your penis.
Anyway, this is the best ruleset I’ve been able to work up. I almost made the comfort thing it’s own fourth criteria but it seemed like a subset of 3.