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John Wayne Bobbit As far back as anyone can remember people have thought it satisfying and entertaining to lop cocks and balls off in retribution for everything from rape and infidelity to being black and male in Klan territory to choosing the wrong side in a third world coup. In recent times, the most famous incident of vengeful tallywhacker whacking—thanks to the wonders of modern media—is the 1993 unmanning of John Wayne Bobbitt. Lorena Bobbitt, fed up with being smacked silly by good ol' John, decided to inflict a little damage of her own. So she sliced off his sausage, hopped in the car, and flung the estranged member to the winds as she burned rubber down the road.

The bobbed member, found laying curbside, was successfully reattached and even surgically enhanced with the resultant super penis later available for viewing in such films as John Wayne Bobbit Uncut. John Wayne is not alone in his Frankenpenis condition however, contemporaries from Thailand to Warsaw have had their weenies sewn back on after an impassioned severing at the hands of others (or themselves). But not all such tales end so happily however. In 1987, for example, the wife of Hong Kong resident Lin Yuk-sang, snipped off his penis with a pair of scissors and flushed it down the toilet. Motive? Yuk-sang had been porking a mistress on the side.

No doubt the Victorian analyst Sigmund Freud would have felt vindicated by this flurry of penile castration. According to Freud, most women resent their own lack of a penis and therefore unconsciously long to lop their lover's schlong off. Naturally feminists have sneered at this suggestion, accusing Freud of projecting his own issues on to his patients and onto women in general. And scholars of castration history have scratched their heads over Freud's obsession with penis chopping since historically it was the balls, not the penis that was associated with castration.

But as Lorena and other whacking women have demonstrated, Freud was obviously onto something. Women were becoming disillusioned with society's reverence of the penis. But what 19th and 20th century women were really peeved about was less the lack of a penis than the lack of all the privileges that went with the penis.

After hundreds of years of being told "I'm sorry dear, but you don't have a penis—sit down, shut up, and spread your legs," the female gender got mighty uppity and began demanding the vote, equal pay, contraception, and finally even orgasms. So in a sense, Freud was right—a lot of women really did want to cut the penis down to size. (Of course some more literally than others.)

Once upon a time however, in the lands of the Mediterranean and the Middle East, women discovered that the mighty penis was a mighty fine friend—if you instead cut it down to size by removing its sperm sacks. Ironically enough, while rich men and sultans were paying top dollar for de-balled slaves to guard their harems from penile intrusion, the women of the harem were discovering that men who were made Eunuch after puberty could still get it up. And what's more, a woman could fool around with eunuchs as much as she wanted, without getting pregnant. (Although getting caught could be a death sentence, especially for the eunuch.)

Castration Device

Later, during Medieval and Renaissance times, men were losing bits and pieces and sometimes the whole shaft of their penis—for the sake of their own pleasures and desires. Alas, it was the age of venereal disease. Long before the invention of penicillin, health practitioners used the cutting and cauterizing (i.e. burning) of the flesh to remove lesions and infections gained by gentlemen unlucky in love.

While many men (and women too) squirm uncomfortably at the thought of these excisive acts, many modern men (and, again, women) find castration and penis torture extremely sexy. And happily for all the men who fantasize about being made eunuchs, there are fem-doms (female dominatrix) who love hating penises with equal passion. Many gigabytes of web space have been devoted to the violently sordid stories they weave for themselves and one another—with some of the men putting their money where the mouth is and taking "erotic body modification" to a new level.

But is a man still a man without his external male organs? Societies have asked this question for thousands of years, with varying results. Usually the person with most kick-ass power wins the argument.

Which is why MTF transsexuals—men who lop off their dicks only to inject estrogen and don a bra—are learning to stridently invoke anti-discrimination laws. It is also why religious fundamentalists hope God really hates fags.

In the meantime, should anyone choose to ask, "What Would Jesus Do?" let us recall that it was he who urged all good Christians to become "eunuchs for the Kingdom of Heaven."

Related Trivia

  • When Las Vegas' famed Caesar's Palace first installed their look-a-like version of Michaelangelo's hunky statue "David", they covered his crotch with a fig leaf. Patrons complained and a new, more exact and revealing copy, was put in its place. But now the Palace had a new problem—David's dick looked too small by contemporary American standards. So poor David was hauled away yet again, castrated, and outfitted with a new big boy schlong.

  • Until fairly recently, amputation of the penis for either medical or punitive reasons generally caused death from loss of blood—unless the wound was immediately cauterized (burned shut).

  • One tenet of Marshall Applewhite's Heaven's Gate suicide cult was castration. Eight members chose this sacrament.

  • Some transpersonal psychologists (i.e. those who believe that consciousness extends beyond ones present embodied form), might respond to Freud with the suggestion that since many women are simply reincarnated men, they are subconsciously angry that their peckers are missing.

  • German teenage serial killer Jurgen Bartsch died during a castration operation.


17 Nov 2003 A jury in San Diego, California votes to recommit convicted serial child molester Allen Lewis Fields to the Atascadero state mental hospital, despite the fact that he had submitted to castration. In March, both of his testicles were removed at Scripps Hospital in La Jolla.


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