Penis tatoos in New Zealand Maori were a sign of chiefly rank. Maori men received their first tattoo at puberty about 12. This was an indication of sexual maturity. Additions made reflected their social position, genealogy, and personal achievements. A warrior with a full tattoo was held in great regard. A warrior without a tattoo was not accorded the same respect. There are traditional designs on the penises of ancestral figures which suggests that a chief would have a tattoo on the shaft of his penis. Other societies did tattoo the penis. According to Kramer (1903) the scrotum and penis of Samoan men was tattooed. In the Marshall Islands Spenneman (1998) reported that penis tattooes were very rare even at the end of the 19thC and implies they may have been restricted to chiefs there as with Maori. Maori men wore their hair long and secured it up with a comb. Warriors were sometimes bearded : there seemed to be no rule about this. Paintings and sketches of war haka generally show men without beards, though written accounts sometimes indicate the reverse was followed. Pubic hair was not shaved. Very little is written about the Maori chiefly penis tattoo. What there is alludes to the practice. Penis tattoos are consistent with Maori traditions and customs.
Today penis tattoos have a limited following amongst American black youth and in the American gay community. A variety of designs are followed. Logan McCree, an American actor who stars in gay pornography movies has a traditional looking penis tattoo. McCree’s tattoo is made up of three lines on the shaft of the penis from the base but not including the head, being a continuation of three Maori like designs on the stomach area. A commercial website in 2008 describes a penis tattoo being made on another movie actor, but this was not of a ethnic design and covered part of the shaft, not the full shaft as with the example mentioned. The making of the penis tattoo is apparently not unusually painful. It is fairly clear from the video description that the making of the penis tattoo was rather erotic. At the time the tattoo was complete the actor was erect despite the pain and ejaculated as if to mark its successful completion, a sort of a finishing off ceremony. Apparently the desire to ejaculate during penis tattooing is also not unknown. The website contains a photograph which shows the tattoo artist at work holding an enlarged penis. From the point of view of the tattoo artist a hard penis would be ideal as there would be a firm surface to work on. The conclusion with the penis tattoos of Logan McCree is that for the lines to be exactly proportioned and straight on his erect penis is that the tattoo was done on an erection. This does imply that the traditional penis tattoos of chiefs were made on an erection. As for a ceremonial ejaculation on completion we can only guess. It is assumed that the design used on chiefs was linear. A survey on the Yahoo Group “Tattooed dicks” in 2007 indicated that about 75% of respondents found the pain of a penis tattoo tolerable. Just over 25% ejaculated. Interesting tattoo artists charge a special penalty fee for this. Modern tattoo artists prefer to work on erect penises when tattooing the shaft as this is easier unless you have a guide sketch on it. Evenso the image will be distorted if a flaccid penis is worked on. Some people have a difficult time maintaining their erection, but generally speaking the determination to remain erect outways the pain. A tattoo artist writing in 2006 reported that he had tattooed 19 pines in his career. Penis tattoos are a very special tattoo as they underline male masculinity, that is are phallic and this sets them apart from tattoos in general. A variety of designs are followed. Regretably ethnic designs are unusual today. In traditional Maori times the penis tattoo was a mark of priviledge, not something that was optional, not something in which there were a variety of designs to choice from. A key difference with today is that penis tattoos were uncovered in a public setting. It would be unheard of for the contrary to apply. Today they are part of a secret private world in which one would rarely know whose penis it was. Logan McCree has the distinction of being the only example of someone in modern times who has a traditional looking Maori penis tattoo who makes no attempt to hide his identity. Howard.