BIMIN-KUKUSMIN(Papua New Guinea)
Arapesh, Ari, Banaro, Baruya, Busama, Dani, Darabi, Dobu Isl., Eipo, Etoro, Foi, Gebusi, Huli, Jaquai, Kaluli, Keraki, Kewa, Kimam, Kiwai, Koko, Kwoma, Lesu, Manus, Marind
Anim, New Britain, New
Ireland, Normanby Islanders, Paiela, “Sambia”, Trobrianders, Vanatinai, Wogeo
Bibliography: New Guinea
Poole (1982, 1983,1984, 1985a,b, 1987, 1990)observed that mothers
systematically “masturbate” the penes of their baby boys:
“She [mother] is
expected to masturbate him periodically to ensure the growth of his
genitalia, but she must carefully avoid the excessive development of erotic
“infant lust” which may injure his finiik [spirit][...]. When mothers rub the
penes of their infant sons, the little boys wriggle on their mothers’ laps
and have erections. These tiny erections bring laughter. It is play. It will
make their penes big when they are older. But “infantile lust” can become too
strong and can damage the growing “spirit or life-force” (finiik) of little boys. You will see
mothers and sons together in this way everywhere” (Poole, 1990:p127, 106).
As cited by DeMause (1999): “Much of the ribald joking among
mothers is for the purpose of denying that the erotic use of the child is in
fact incest-it is blamed on the infant’s “lust” only-for only “bad” mothers
“are believed to stimulate their sons beyond the bounds of “infantile lust”[] in order to satisfy their own
sexual desires [...]”. Those mothers who completely
give in to their own “lust” are called “witches” who are said to be “driven
[...] to destroy all aspects of masculinity through jealousy and rage”  a condition all women can fall into,
particularly when they are young, inexperienced mothers or are treated
harshly by their husband’s family. In order to prove that she isn’t being too
lustful, mothers deliberately cover their breasts with bark cloth when they
are stimulating the penis in a ritually prescribed manner. Indeed, this often
highly ostentatious act of covering the breasts is a display to an
ever-watchful public that the mother is acting properly in tending her son.
On occasion, I have witnessed older women admonish a young mother for failing
to cover her breasts when rubbing her son’s genitals (P., 1983:p11)”. More
privacy is afforded at night, however, when mothers can rub against their
children’s entire bodies because they sleep naked with their them, “together
in each other’s arms” and when they also can “regularly rub” the boy’s penis
to erection (P., 1987:p115).
Poole interviewed one young boy, Buuktiin, who
described how when his mother was depressed or angry she often “pulled,
pinched, rubbed, or flicked a fingernail against his penis” (P., 1987:p118)
until he cried, afraid it might break off. “When he struggled to escape,
she held him tightly and rubbed his penis even harder” (P., 1990:p159).
“Kiipsaak [his mother] had masturbated him earlier as mothers often do [...].
[But] now she increased the tempo and roughness of the episodes [...] and he
often jerked at her touch and struggled to get away, hitting her and
complaining of throbbing pain in his penis. “It hurts inside. It goes “koong,
koong, koong” inside. I think it bleeds in there. I don’t like to touch it
anymore. It hurts when I pee” (P., 1990:p137).
Girls are initiated at menarche at the late
age of 17 to 18 (Poole, 1981 [1986:p142]). Male and female siblings are to chaperon
the neothelarchic girl, since she is now regarded attractive. Premarital
virginity is highly valued. There is no custom of courting per se, and
betrothal often occurs before menarche; the girl’s consent is held essential.
During elaborate boy initiation cycli (ais am), which strike one as abusive (in
fact, ritual death is implied to be symbolised), boys (9-12y) are stripped
and their genitalia washed, which considering the life phase is exceptional
and embarrassing (Poole, 1976;
1982:p121). Another humiliation consists of the application of blood to the penis,
which is thought to be feminine and destructive to the tissue (ibid., p126-7, 130). Moist gourds are
said to stretch the penis (p130).
D. F., Growing Up Sexually. Volume
I. World Reference Atlas. 0.2 ed.
2004. Berlin: Magnus Hirschfeld Archive for Sexology
revised: Jan 2005