Ancient Egypt and the Ancient Near East, mythology, goddesses, monsters, etc.
I am only a lay student in these areas, so take what I say with a grain of salt!
I am also ikhet-sekhmet.livejournal.com. My reverse harem can be found at aegyopoisoned.tumblr.com.
Gay Robins, “Male Bodies and the Construction of Masculinity in New Kingdom Egyptian Art”
Proof that men have always been bizzarely in love with their penises—when no one else is—for thousands and thousands of years. Men are pitiful, and they always have been.
It’s a shame to reduce Robins’ discussion to this one introductory sentence. All but one page of the chapter is available on Google Books, and it’s well worth a look. (For example, why are the penises of kings hidden in art, while gods’ are impressively erect?)
But what really puzzles me is what determinative for the word “male” would be more appropriate than a cock and balls. A more interesting question, perhaps, is why there’s no corresponding hieroglyph depicting the female genitals. (There is a breast, though.) My guess is that it’s because, like so many languages, male is the default in Egyptian - so just using the determinative of a man isn’t going to be clear enough, whereas if you put the seated woman hieroglyph at the end the meaning will be unmistakeable.