Before I started reading M. Butterfly, I did some reading on the real story that the play is based on. I mainly read this article (click here) from the New York Times from 1993. And all through reading the article and even as I read M. Butterfly, I am just thinking, “How did Song Liling/Shi Peipu hide his penis?” To be in a 20 year intimate relationship with a man and have him be completely oblivious to the fact that Liling/Peipu had a penis, Liling/Peipu has got to have either cut it off or had sex-reassignment surgery. But he didn’t do either. So I did some research on how male anatomy works (because I’m clueless) and I found out that some guys can do this thing called “tucking”.
Here is a visual of how it works:
Here is a description of tucking from Buzzfeed (the visual is also from the same article SOURCE):
“Tucking is a practice, well-known in both trans and drag circles, of putting one’s penis between and behind one’s legs, so that it’s not visible from the front of the body. Some people push their testicles back as well, while others move them upward and rest them on the lower part of their abdomen before securing them in place.”
Here is an excerpt from the New York Times article I read where Shi Peipu explains, or rather shows, how he did it:
“Then, as the examination is ending, the prisoner, without being asked, says that he would like to explain something to the doctors. Easily, smoothly, he pushes his testicles up into his body cavity. The skin of the scrotal sack hangs slack, like curtains. The man now pushes his penis between his legs, toward his back, bisecting the skin of the scrotum, and squeezes his legs tightly together. The penis is hidden, while the skin of the scrotum resembles the vaginal lips, beneath a triangle of pubic hair. Pushed between the empty scrotal sac, the penis has also created a small cavity so that shallow penetration is possible.”
So for all you other clueless people like me who were also wondering how he hid his penis, now you know.