This is a serial about love and awakening. Enter the contest below and win a free book. Check “Recent Posts” on right side of page to read past installments or start with Part One.

I knew there was a bio of me on Wikipedia, but I’d only seen it once. Last week, though, a friend said he checked his regularly to make sure it was accurate. I went to the site, typed in my name and read: “Davidson’s first job was with the Boston Globe, where she became a national penis finder.”

I blinked. I read it again. Was I seeing what I thought I was seeing? Yes, there it was in the familiar blue type of the free online encyclopedia, the source people trust, the source that gets 30 million visitors each day and is said to be more accurate than the info in a professionally produced encyclopedia. “National penis finder.”

How the hell had this happened? I tried contacting Wikipedia, which is like trying to contact a human at Microsoft. Anyone can edit anything on the site, anonymously. It’s monitored by volunteers who can’t possibly keep tabs on edits to 13 million articles. How do they prevent this from happening all the time?

I clicked the edit button on my bio, deleted the two words and restored what had been there before, “national correspondent.” I saw a box that asked you to “describe your edit.” I typed in bold: “I AM Sara Davidson and I removed “penis finder” as my job description.”

I clicked “save” and the insulting phrase was gone. How long, I wondered, had it been up there for everyone to see? Had damage been done? I imagined my obituary stating, “Davidson once attained recognition as a national penis finder.”

At least it was national, not local. The perpetrator gave me that. But what a strange choice of words! He (I’m sure it was a guy, but maybe not?) could have said, “national penis lover,” or “national penis killer.” What did he mean by penis finder? That I’m a dowser, a human divining road who can locate hidden stores of penises underground? Maybe this could be a career move.

Or was it like the children’s book, “Where’s Waldo?” A tiny image of Waldo wearing a red and white striped shirt is secreted in a dense pictorial page, and kids must search to find him. If there was a penis secreted, was I the go-to person to find it?

What had motivated someone to slime me like this? My friend, Tina, an artist and writer who always tries to put a positive spin on things, said, “It’s probably an acknowledgment of your curiosity and sensuality.”

“Tina, would you want this in your bio? I asked.

“Definitely not!” she said. “The perp doesn’t wish you well.”

We collapsed in helpless laughter, the kind where you can’t stop, you gasp for breath and tears run down your cheeks. When it does subside, you feel so good.

I was sort of sorry, now, that I’d removed “penis finder.” Without it, the bio seemed dull. And would people believe that the words were there to begin with? Would they think my eyes had been playing tricks, as they have in the past? This time they were not, and I printed the page as proof.

Maybe the words were some kind of message? Carlos Castaneda would have called it an omen. This wasn’t the first time I’d read something strange and out of place that seemed an omen.

Ten years ago, I was suffering for many months from heel pain that might have been a bone fracture or plantar fasciitis. No matter how it was diagnosed or treated, the pain would not go away. I winced with every step, and finally, in desperation, I made my way to the Smoky Mountains of North Carolina to see a friend and spiritual teacher, Nina Zimbelman, hoping she could help me cure the pain. She couldn’t, (or so I thought) and as I drove down the dirt roads of Appalachia on my way back to the Atlanta airport, I passed barns that had “Jesus is Lord” and “Jesus Saves” painted on them. When I reached a two-lane blacktop, I saw, in the distance, a billboard that said, “You Work for Jesus.”

When I drew closer to the sign, though, it said, “Your Bank Has Loans.” What?! I hadn’t merely thought I saw, “You Work for Jesus,” I had seen the words clearly. I took it as a message from my subconscious or the universe – You Work for God. And I was cool with that. Mission accepted.

I limped home and the next morning, I had made tea and read the paper before I realized: the pain in my heel was gone. I tested it – walked all over — and the pain never returned.

Could this penile haiku, this anonymous jab on Wikipedia also be a message I need to hear? If so, what is it?

I invite you to participate. Pretend this is the cartoon caption contest in The New Yorker. Whoever submits the most enlightening (or amusing) interpretation of “national penis finder” gets a free autographed copy of one of my books – your choice. Thanks, and Good luck.


Please leave a COMMENT, or your interpretation of “national penis finder.”

This blog is based on a true story.
The title “Sex Love Enlightenment” is an homage to Mark Matousek’s book, Sex Death Enlightenment



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I look forward to hearing your thoughts and conversing. So please leave a comment below.

54 thoughts on “Part 13 – MY JOB AS A NATIONAL PENIS FINDER

  1. charliemay

    As a male reader of your writings, I think your contest could have “stiff competition”.

  2. Harry Tucker

    National Penis Finder, huh? Wow. I guess with all of the stuff going on in the world, it could be worse.

    Maybe it could translate into a series on TV, perhaps playing opposite Ghost Whisper.

    In the series, you are able to reconnect children of unknown fatherhood with their fathers, somehow being able to lock in on the afore mentioned body part.

    How you make the connection is something better left up to the writers. 🙂

    The series culminates with you making a high profile connection between a child born out of wedlock and a senior member of the British Parliament.

    You plead your case to the Speaker of the House who exposes the scoundrel with the opening remarks “Parliament recognizes the “member” from …..”

    Thanks for an interesting musing!


  3. Michael

    I would not take it in the sense of finding penises within the nation. Rather that job refers to the task of finding the penis OF the nation.

    This is clearly an allusion to indentifying, comprehending and accurately describing the role of men in the US of A.

    Men do seem to have played some role in your career's work, and maybe they were not all men, but comparisons are called for, and so some Italian and Australian ( did you just picture Hugh Jackman pouring water over his brawny hide?) men might have been required.

    Yes, your Work for the Lord has definitely involved being chief NPF.

  4. laura neville

    Fabulous!!!! And absolutely hilarious…This might be a huge club (unknown to many of us by name…but we are members nonetheless) that includes an extensive population of assorted individuals.

    After I stop laughing (this really is funny) I will ponder the more profound meaning
    Thanks for making me smile and laugh.
    Laura from kansas

  5. Harry Tucker

    By the way, there was also the time that President Carter was busy signing bills into being.

    The headline was supposed to read “President's Pen Is Busy” but somehow the space got dropped and the newspaper caption read “President's Penis Busy”.

    Perhaps that was a prophesy about the next Democrat president. 🙂

    Take care,


  6. Gail

    Sara, I LOVE your sense of humor about this, one I wickedly share. A positive spin on “national penis finder” is being on the lookout for a good man. Although now I'm afraid to look at the Wikipedia on moi. ;-D

  7. Chance

    Oh Sara!

    It's never easy to see something like that, something that just happens 'to' us without our knowledge or consent – especially when it seems to be less than complementary!

    Maybe the change was from a man you actually helped? One to whom you offered something pure and beautiful, and this empowered him enough to 'find his penis' so to speak? It's an odd use of words, but it might be far worse to think you 'broke' or 'removed' such an important aspect of a man. When I read it, I didn't see it as a slam, actually. I saw it more as directed toward a woman of power, of enlightenment, and of some compassion …


  8. ajbernath

    Hi Sara !
    Well let me tell you – most of the women ” I ” know having been looking for their penises a very long time :)))))))))

    I admire your whole hearted open minded humourous response to our W I K I
    W = what
    I = is
    K = kafoofled
    I= info

  9. Samantha

    SO if this country had a national credo from the standpoint of the patriarchal, warlike, super-patriotic, goal-driven type of American, maybe that credo, or symbol, would be “national penis”. Then you, Sara, being a sensitive, humorous, muckraking author and journalist of very different persuasion would be labeled the “national penis finder” because you have the ability to root out and name the qualities and trends that lead to this way of living–this way of thinking….!

  10. John Austin

    What's wrong with a “national penis finder?”
    Most people have been finding them on the local level since the beginning of time…hence the propagation of the human race…

    Maybe a national version can be equated to a matchmaker of true love for those who can't find intimacy??

  11. del

    Sorry, but I have to admit to cracking up when I read your description.
    If everything is pre-ordained, maybe it was for some reason, as yet to be determined.
    At least you caught it, and were able to make the change.
    Not a bad job description though, and when first starting out, there are things we have to do, before we get famous. James Dean had to do “IT” several times, he said.

  12. Eleanor I. Cook

    Is it possible that this is a bizarre typo? I wish I could think of something that could be substituted for the offensive word that would make sense. I suspect you already thought of this.

    Otherwise, it is hilarious yet puzzling.

    Eleanor Cook, librarian and fan

  13. rick the celestial cowboy

    America, thanks to the Internet, has turned into a nation where there are no secrets.
    I lived in the Caribbean 5 years on the islands of Nevis, St. Kitts and St. Maarten. One reason I left America was to get away from the Police State Mentality, the Joe Arpaios of the world and to find the kind of freedom i surmised was in the islands.
    It doesn't exist. Oh, it's there in more abundance than in the U.S., but the Internet, the Cell Phone and television has absolutely ruined the world for many, many individuals.
    People hate the success of others and will do many things to destroy that success. The person who wrote 'penis finder' is the same kind of person that wants a guy to go to jail so the other inmates can abuse him, preferably with a bar of soap. I can see why Sara must have been offended at those words. People need to fight for their personal freedoms and take whatever steps are necessary to rid themselves of others who would destroy their freedom. Sarah, baby, I'm on your side.

  14. Sunnymay

    You always find the juiciest tidbits. Do you trip over them or do they come looking for you? I had an eyebrow raiser at a women's workshop at the local Home Depot for hanging pictures when they mentioned stud finder or stud locator. Either way, it still cracks me up and I know how to find studs and make holes in the wall.

  15. Sara Davidson

    Eleanor, how could this be a typo? That's where a few letters are jumbled, at most. When I finally spoke with someone at Wikipedia, they said they call this “vandalism,” and do their best to prevent it by finding it quickly and undoing it. But in my case, they did not. At least it gave us some laughs.

  16. Beauregard

    No one needs to deliver a cheerful “may you live in interesting times” to Sara. She creates her own.
    Can't imagine who the vandal was or is or what type person.
    I only know I, a man, first encountered Sara, at least her words, in a story about discovering tantric sex.
    I saved it and it piqued my interest and led me to other discoveries.
    Perhaps the Wiki vandal had a similar experience and thought this was some kind of off-beat humor.
    Doesn't matter, really. In this age when eveyone has a world-wide megaphone we just have to learn to cope with reality that there are a lot of weird people giving voice.
    It is still unusual to find anyone, women more so, speaking openly about sex and so that candor stands out. Probably some people are offended. More of us are grateful and growing and learning as a result.

  17. charliemay

    Hmm, hard to see the librarian's thought that this is a “bizarre typo”.

    Given the tenor of SJD's posting on Huffpost with Billy Bad/Good, what comes to my mind is the nursery rhyme:

    ” Finders,keepers, Losers, Weepers”

  18. Gini Maddocks

    National Penis Finder: Like American Idol, you would watch all the peni (plural for penises) go by and week by week, excuse the ones who don't measure up (oops, did I say that?) and arrive at the National Penis by the end of the Season! You could do this in every country, and never have to find another job again.

  19. Anonymous

    Got a huge kick out of this, and think you should have left it. I want to correct one comment of yours, Sara, Wikipedia doe NOT have the reputation of being more accurate than etc. I wonder where you heard that. It is wellknown that keeping an eye on contributions for distortions, mistakes, and in some cases downright lies is a major headache for the people who run the project. Fortunately, being the ultimate democratic cooperative effort, the mistakes and lies ARE found and get corrected eventually because so many people do contribute and keep an eye on things. Despite the headaches I love Wikipedia just because it belongs to everybody.

  20. Sara Davidson

    You made me laugh out loud! I think you've got a hot idea for a reality show. Remember the Plaster Casters, who made plaster models of the peni of rock stars, back in the daze? Where are they now?

  21. Femalia

    The one thing I noticed about the comments so far, is that a much higher percentage of guys responded to this topic than to all the ones about relationships.

  22. Donna

    Sara, your “vision” problem must be catching. When I read your line about the barns, ….”seen the line clearly,” I thought it said, “semen the line clearly!”

    Penis, penis, everywhere, and not a drop to drink…..

    Or, as the True Blood slogan goes,
    “It hurts so good!”

  23. Peter Lake, LAKE Real Estate

    Not mentioned here is the answer to the question: “Did you find The National Penis?” and if you did find it, what exactly did you do with it and where is it now?

    It sounds like some kind of homage to the film “National Treasure”.

    Can we look for “National Penis” in our local theatres someday?

    (Would the popcorn boxes have little holes cut in the bottoms?)

    your pal,

  24. Harry Tucker

    Thanks, Sara.

    In regards to the TV series …

    When you accept your Golden Globe nomination, you might be called on to identify the person on the cast who had the greatest contribution to the success – in essence, “the most outstanding member” of the cast.

    You could erect a statue in his honor.

    Sorry … couldn't resist.

  25. Harry Tucker

    … of course, when the “member” from Parliament is recognized, out of respect for this senior member, the Speaker of the House may also ask all the members to rise … that's where a strategic commercial is inserted.

    When you sell this to Hollywood, may I be a screenwriter? 🙂

  26. OneSassyGirl

    I'm wondering if it's a government job and if you should alert President Obama of your new position. And while you're at it make that “Senior” National Penis Finder – you're going to need a large staff. This is a big country with a lot of penises!

    It would seem to me that the person rewriting your profile was a bit of a ” weenie”. 😉 If you're going to insult someone, insult them. Unless that wasn't their intention.

    I find it rather sophomoric and I'm imagining two 12-year-olds cruising Wikipedia, indiscriminately changing information, giddy with excitement at doing something “bad”. Somewhat reminiscent of prank phone calls from yesteryear… a modern day version of “Do you have Prince Albert in a can??!!”

    If anything for me it would be the unanswered wondering of “who” and “why”…

    Sara, I absolutely love your writing. It's entertaining and always so refreshingly real. I look forward to your next entry.


  27. Anonymous

    “I tried contacting Wikipedia, which is like trying to contact a human at Microsoft.”

    C'mon. “Contact Wikipedia” on the left on every page, then links like “the problem concerns myself”.

    “Anyone can edit anything on the site, anonymously. It’s monitored by volunteers who can’t possibly keep tabs on edits to 13 million articles. How do they prevent this from happening all the time?”

    Very true, Wikipedia surely has a problem with their many biographies that hardly anybody reads. If hardly anybody reads them, hardly anybody monitors them.

    The good thing is that if hardly anybody reads them, the damage by misleading information is very limited.

  28. JoAnn

    Imagine an old house with a root cellar, in a dark and spooky basement, lined with shelves of jars of peni in formalin procured by some wacko, hidden by a secret wall, years later to be discovered when one of the walls start to crumble? Could be the dream of a National Penis Finder….(Something out of an Edgar Allen Poe story!)

  29. Anonymous

    This is absolutely hysterical.

    I think it means you are going to find a great mate soon.

    from your sister in Hawaiian Heaven

  30. Brynna

    I picture a detective agency. You are the head sleuth, who locates all those penises (penii?) that are either kidnapped, or have perhaps run away from neglectful or abusive owners. Ransom notes show photos of the stolen members.Alas, cries for help are silent ejaculations. It's a delicate job, matching stolen members to clients. . . .

  31. Gordon

    Sara, darling, you are evidently unaware that there is indeed a National Penis. It is the shadow side of real democracy–the principle of dominance or “power over” that still lurks in the citadels of corporate capitalism.
    As Norman O. Brown wrote long ago in Love's Body, “the king is an erection on the body politic.”

    So, in the new movie in which you star, as the female counter-part to Nicholas Cage in National Treasure, it's your job–in the movie, National Penis– to unravel the secret possibility of collectively shared power. “Power with” as Riane Eisler puts it–which is the real alternative to the demonic illusion foisted upon the rest of us by the “power over” barons on Wall Street. Your job, like that of Joan of Arc, is to bring down this phallic tower of false power. So put that blade in your chalice, honey.

  32. Sara Davidson

    I love the concept of the “National Penis.” It sounds like “National Velvet,” one of my favorite movies. Maybe National Penis could win the Triple Crown?

  33. Ben Miller

    Maybe you'd want to hang your shingle? “PI for Hire” … then rent yourself out. Although you might get picked up for violating some laws.

    Maybe you'd eventually have to testi-fy at a trial.

  34. H

    I'm not quite sure what ” National Penis Finder” means but I can relate to your situation. When visiting my son on Parent's weekend during his freshman year we were greeted with a list of names on a bulletin board hanging by the elevator at his dorm. The list displayed various students, their room numbers and their “dorm resonsibility” ie… Resident adviser, Peer counselor etc…. Next to my son's name was “Condom King” (makes a parent proud.. especially at $40,000 a year… you can buy a whole lot of condons for that money)When questioning my son, he explained that the Health Services provides him with a bag of condoms which he makes available to students as the need arises. I asked him what he charged for this service. He said it's free, they were given to him. After reminding him that he was in the business school, I told him that they were $1.50 each and $3.00 after midnight. Needless to say he made Dean's List each semester. (I guess Dean was a frequent customer) I seem to have answered your question like a true politican…. state the question and them ramble on about something else… OMG!! I've become Sarah Palin… just stop me now…H.

  35. BEV HON

    Freud believed that we women were constantly in pursuit of a penis – – and if that is true, women like Sara and me, single for decades, have lived the Freudian ideal . . lots of times. .

  36. BEV HON

    Freud believed that we women were constantly in pursuit of a penis – – and if that is true, women like Sara and me, single for decades, have lived the Freudian ideal . . lots of times. .

  37. BEV HON

    Freud believed that we women were constantly in pursuit of a penis – – and if that is true, women like Sara and me, single for decades, have lived the Freudian ideal . . lots of times. .

  38. Anna Freud

    Bev Hon,
    You misunderstand. Freud thought that women WANTED TO HAVE penises as part of their own bodies. What independent women are in pursuit of is finding male penises (along with minds and hearts) for the enjoyment of their own female bodies,which suit them just fine the way they are. And Sara hasn't been single for decades: simply not legally married (does that equate with “single” in your eyes?)
    Anyway, to answer Freud: it's not men's penises women sought, it was their lives of privilege and advantage. Maybe he wrote that stuff while he was a cocaine addict. Or, simply couldn't imagine anyone not preferring his glorious body to hers.

  39. Sara Davidson

    Well said, Ms. Freud. Although I must admit, I used to wish I could be a male for just 24 hours, just to see what it felt like to be in that body. I worked briefly on a TV movie called “My Life as a Man,” in which a woman dressed herself and moved in the world as a man, and wrote about it in the Village Voice.
    And you're right, I've spent more of my adult years with a partner than single. But as we're living longer now, many of us could find ourselves “single for decades.” But that's a subject for another time.

  40. Anna's little sister

    Peter Lake: You're proving Anna's point!! The “pissed woman” isn't mad that she isn't wearing the penis, but that society won't let her pee where she is, even though both sets of pee would land in the same place.
    Besides, the phrase “waddle off into the woods” sounds woman-hating. Why would a woman be any more likely to “waddle” than a man?

  41. Betsy

    When my sister came back from trekking around India, she said to me, “You know how much trouble we always have finding bathrooms in cities and on the road? Well, in India, if you just wear a long skirt and carry keenex, nobody cares if you squat in an alley or on grass. They don't pretend like nobody ever does it, anymore than they pretend like nobody ever breastfeeds. It was such a relief not to have to scout out restrooms!”

  42. Jill

    Right on, Betsy! Peter Lake is just proving Anna's point: that women don't want the penis, but the advantage that western civilization grants the penis. They don't think, “I wish I had a penis so I could pee where I stand.” They think, “why do I have to go hide, when if I peed here it would land in the same spot as the penis pee?”
    And, Peter: why would a woman “waddle” any more than a man would?

  43. BEV HON

    Hey, people, in talking about the “search for the penis,” I was paraphrasing Mae West!!!! She was asked if she had ever had a husband and answered, “Sure, lots of times.” Find your senses of humor, folks.

    As for Bad Billy, he is like a train wreck. I can't read or contribute anything about him and Sara any more. Will keep up with other subjects

    Bev Hon

  44. BEV HON

    Hey, people, in talking about the “search for the penis,” I was paraphrasing Mae West!!!! She was asked if she had ever had a husband and answered, “Sure, lots of times.” Find your senses of humor, folks.

    As for Bad Billy, he is like a train wreck. I can't read or contribute anything about him and Sara any more. Will keep up with other subjects

    Bev Hon

  45. BEV HON

    Hey, people, in talking about the “search for the penis,” I was paraphrasing Mae West!!!! She was asked if she had ever had a husband and answered, “Sure, lots of times.” Find your senses of humor, folks.

    As for Bad Billy, he is like a train wreck. I can't read or contribute anything about him and Sara any more. Will keep up with other subjects

    Bev Hon

  46. Paul Krassner

    Denial is a common byproduct of the search for lost organs. Sara, you really ought to join PFA — Penis Finders Anonymous — and you'll see that you're not alone. Either that or start a union. Ah, penis finding…it gives a new meaning to hunting and gathering. xxx, paul krassner

Comments are closed.