What is Penis Envy?

Penis envy is a strain of the fungus Psilocybe cubensis that grows as an entheogen and psychedelic drug. It gets its name from the phallic shape and male-oriented effects it has on those who consume it.

Freud theorized that penis envy is a stage in female childhood that occurs when a girl notices boys’ well-proportioned penises and longs for one of her own.

Freud’s Theory

Freud’s theory of penis envy is one of the most well-known concepts to emerge from psychoanalysis. He proposed that this feeling occurs in preschool girls and that it reflects a desire to possess male genitalia. Freud’s theory formed a central part of his psychosexual development theory.

He believed that this phase of female children’s lives is a critical part of their gender identification process and sexuality. He suggested that during this stage, girls become fixated on their lack of a penis and begin to blame their mother for the condition. He also posited that the girl becomes envious of the genitalia that her father has and begins to fantasize about possessing it. Freud’s theory was highly controversial, and many of his assumptions were disputed by other psychoanalysts.

One of the main criticisms was that his theory was biologically improbable and didn’t have clinical support. Another was that it limited women to traditional female roles and was harmful for their mental health.

Today, this concept is largely considered obsolete and is not used by most psychoanalysts. However, some researchers believe that it is still important to discuss the psychological impact of penis envy, as it can have serious implications on intimate relationships and self-esteem issues. These issues can impact an individual’s overall quality of life and may lead to other mental health problems.

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Psychoanalysts’ Views

Psychoanalysts like Sigmund Freud have long held an interest in the unconscious. His theories have been adapted to help with everything from understanding phobias to addressing body dysmorphic disorder, a mental condition where an individual becomes obsessed with their own or another person’s appearance. Penis envy is a good example.

While Freud’s theory of penis envy is controversial, many experts agree that young female children can become envious of men’s sexual organs at some point in their lives. The feeling isn’t based on hatred of the organ itself, but rather a desire for the benefits associated with being male.

Some experts suggest that this phenomenon may be triggered by the fact that girls are exposed to boys’ sexual activities at a very early age and often perceive their parents placing more value on a boy than on a girl. This resentment is thought to then manifest as a desire to possess a penis.

However, Freud’s penis envy theory has been largely criticized as being misogynistic, as the notion that a girl envies and desires a man’s sexual organ is considered a form of objectification. Instead, some experts prefer to refer to the feeling as social envy, a response to the power and status that cisgender men enjoy in most societies around the world. It’s also worth mentioning that, for a number of reasons, a girl might not wish to have a penis at all.

Nonliteral Interpretations

Although penis envy is often portrayed as a male-oriented phenomenon, it can be interpreted as a female-oriented one as well. Women can be envious of men’s penises, particularly large ones, because they are seen as symbols of masculinity and dominance. Some psychoanalysts, including Karen Horney, have reframed Freud’s penis envy theory to include this idea, which is sometimes known as “womb envy” or the “biological functions of the female genitals.”

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Freud’s original concept of penis envy was a stage in girls’ psychosexual development during which they realized that boys derive more sexual pleasure from their penises than do girls. The parallel reaction in boys is known as castration anxiety. While this is an accurate description of what happens to many girls during adolescence, it has been widely criticized by feminist psychologists. Those who subscribe to this view argue that to assume that all girls are envious of men’s penises is a misogynistic assumption, and that the concept of penis envy does not apply to women.

As for the actual mushrooms, Penis Envy is a strain of psilocybe cubensis, which means it contains the psychoactive substance psilocin and other related compounds. They are a variety that has been isolated and propagated by mycologist Rich Gee, who is the founder of Homestead Mushrooms in California. He reportedly got the mushroom from friend and colleague Terence McKenna, who had traveled to Colombia in the 1970s to meet with an elusive rainforest shaman.

Social Envy

In the years since Freud first published his ideas about penis envy, psychoanalysts both during and after his lifetime have interpreted the idea in various ways. Many psychoanalysts agree that young girls often experience feelings of anxiety when they realize that they do not have a penis, though they are not necessarily envious of the size of the organ itself. These emotions are a necessary part of female psychosexual development and can be seen as an important step in the formation of the Oedipus complex.

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Other theorists have come up with less classical definitions of the concept, and some experts suggest that it is more appropriate to view penis envy as a societal phenomenon rather than a mental health disorder. For instance, a woman’s obsession with her penis may be a response to the social stigma against women’s bodies. Similarly, a transgender man’s desire for a large penis is often a result of the fact that society places men in positions of power and prestige, which women do not have access to.

The most famous example of this is the case of a strain of magic mushrooms known as Penis Envy, named after Sigmund Freud’s theory about female sexual development. In a 2021 podcast, Hamilton Morris sat down with mycologist Rich Gee, who claimed to have discovered the spores that give rise to this mushroom strain. He disputed the rumors that he received the spores from Pollock, and explained that he actually obtained them from a friend who had been given them by Terrence McKenna himself.

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