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Giant penis-worship artwork adorns Bhutanese homes

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The GlobalPost's Iva Skotch visited Bhutan, a tiny country located between China and India, to check out the giant penises that adorn much of the architecture. Only a small number of tourists are permitted to enter Bhutan each year — an effort to avoid diluting the ancient culture — but those who are able to visit tend to be shocked by the ubiquitous phallic imagery. In the West we are accustomed to nude images of the female body, but not giant, erect, dragon-encircled dicks painted all over buildings. The Bhutanese, however, shy away from depictions of the female nude.

Depictions of the male phallus both celebrate sexuality and honor master of mahamudra Buddhism, Drukpa Kunley, also known as “The Divine Madman” or “The Saint of 5,000 Women.” Kunley, born in 1455, had some extremely progressive approaches to religion (emphasis mine):

Kunley traveled through Tibet and Bhutan, urging followers to reject the hypocrisy and greed of the world and to lead honest and spiritual lives. He spent his days singing and drinking with the ladies and deflowering virgins. His sexual escapades are legendary, so much so that a monastery in the Punakha valley was built in his honor after he subdued the cannibal demon goddess of the area with his “magic thunderbolt of wisdom.”

In Buddhist Bhutan, the country's success is measured not by their GDP, but instead by something called Gross National Happiness (GNH). And that index measures exactly what you think it would. So, basically, the Bhutanese are a feminist, sex-positive, penis-worshipping, singing, drinking, sexing people. I bet their GNH is off the charts.