"Men Without Balls"
For modern-day eunuchs, the path to sexual liberation cuts through the nut sac and slices off the family jewels. Castration fanatics expalin their stomach-churning kink.by Dan Kapelovitz
The average guy walking down the street cringes at the prospect of being kicked in the balls, much less having his nuts surgically removed; but some testicle owners want nothing more than to become geldings.
"I feel very glad to have my balls cut off," says Rick, a 45-year-old Seattle, Washington, resident who fantasized about being castrated most of his adult life. "It feels good to have a huge empty area between my legs. I'll be happy if I never have another orgasm."
And then there are those extreme eunuchs for whom deballing is simply not enough. A nullo is a neuter who has also had the shaft of his penis removed, leaving only a urethral opening and scar tissue where a dingaling once hung. Nullos are also called smoothies, although purists insist that a true smoothie is a nullo who has also excised his nipples.
Steven is a Canadian who travels extensively in western Europe, visiting dungeons in search of the perfect dominatrix; for Steven, castration would be a dream come true.
"I'm looking for a dominant woman who would enjoy extreme forms of cock-and-ball torture—up to and including castration and removal of the penis," Steven says. "My penis is a nice size—a little more than eight inches long and five inches in circumference. If I could find a dom who would be into it, she would be welcome to keep [my cock and balls], of course."
History books remind us that eunuchs were trusted harem guards in Ottoman Turkey, and that they were slaves in ancient Rome. In the Assyrian empire, neuters sat at the highest levels of the court and were responsible for granting or withholding access to the emperor. Castration is still practiced by the Hijras, a religious sect in India that claims more than a million members.
At various points in its history, the Catholic church has also dabbled in castration, most famously by cutting off the balls of prepubescent choir boys. The resulting castrati were prized for their high singing voices. (Contrary to popular belief, an adult's voice does not become high-pitched upon castration—the procedure must occur before puberty sets in.)
Historical precedent stops well short of explaining why a sane man would want to have his balls removed. For transsexuals, castration is a crucial step on the journey to becoming women; but many eunuchs have no desire to be women, at least in the literal sense.
A substantial faction of nutless wonders are masochistic denizens of fetish dungeons who view their testicles as the ultimate sacrificial offering for their mistresses.
"I'm just a natural-born submissive," explains Derrick, a German eunuch who lives in Australia. "I was born to submit to beautiful women while they laugh and spit at me, because I'm an ugly, fat slut with a little dick and no balls. It drives me crazy when a dominant lady offers cruel, merciless verbal and physical humiliation—maybe she cuts my dick off and throws it in her glove compartment."
"Many of us like the humiliation and total frustration of being completely feminized and used to serve the female sex with a completely useless set of male genitalia," adds Boyjulie, a eunuch who frequents Internet chat rooms devoted to the topic. "To have a cock which does not function, but which is available for punishment and for torment by females, must lead to exquisite humiliation and mental torture."
Leonard, a nullo from the Midwest, believes that castration allows slaves to better worship their S&M (sadomasochism) mistresses.
"If a guy has his cock and balls removed, he's only good for about one thing," says Leonard. "And if it's for a mistress, let's just say he gets a lot better with his tongue."
The ultramasochist is one brand of castrato; Gianna E. Israel, a psychologist who specializes in gender counseling and is the principle author of Transgender Care, believes that the sex maniac is another.
"These individuals suffer an unremitting libido, which interrupts their day-to-day functioning and relationships," Israel explains. "Most commonly, a husband will be horny every day, all day, while his wife may be considerably less so, and his libido is a dissatisfaction to both. Many times, males prefer to undergo chemical or surgical castration to reduce these feelings of frustration."
Mistress Lena, a dominatrix in Los Angeles, California, who performs extreme cock-and-ball torture (such as suturing the scrotum over the penis with a needle and thread, stepping on the foreskin with her stiletto heel, and/or driving heavy-gauge needles through the head) has had clients beg to be castrated.
"A lot of these guys are sex addicts and compulsive masturbators; they're just overwhelmed and overpowered by their hormones," Lena postulates. "They feel bad about being male, because men are pigs."
C.M. is a 46-year-old writer living in Denver, Colorado, who injected himself for a year-and-a-half with Depo-Provera, a drug commonly used by women for birth control that reduces testosterone to negligible levels, because his sex drive was completely out of control. Ultimately, C.M. was castrated.
"My sexual fantasies revolved around violent sex, and that really bothered me," C.M. says. "I'd buy magazines and go to porno flicks, and it became an unhealthy thing for me. I was living kind of a double life—wanting something, getting it and being repulsed by it. I was tired of always having the urge and never being satiated; so I decided I would just do away with the urge."
Gerald, a legal secretary from Baltimore, Maryland, says that the presence of testicles in his scrotum almost cost him his career.
"I had a real problem with sexual urges before [castration], and would oftentimes masturbate three or four times a day," Gerald says. "It was very inconvenient and almost got me fired from my job. I still masturbate, but only a couple times a week, and most of the time I can't come; so that makes it more special.
"Another change is my erotic thoughts," Gerald adds. "Before I was castrated, I was more interested in shoving my dick in an orifice and screwing it. Now I realize that I might not be able to perform, and that my lips, teeth, tongue and fingers might be the only sexual tools I can use. I find that very erotic."
Without testicles, where semen is produced, a eunuch spits very little man milk when he comes; the meager spew resulting from a no-nut orgasm is mostly clear, and comes from the seminal vesicles and the prostate gland.
While ejaculation is a possibility, a castrated man's sex drive is normally so low that without taking shots of Depo-Testosterone (a synthetic form of the hormone), orgasms may be mightily difficult to achieve. Prolonged, vigorous wanking may produce a climactic payoff, but the excessive stimulation might also just leave a man's meat stick red and raw.
Why would a man remove his balls, and and then inject himself with male hormones to regain his testicle-driven urge to hump? According to Gianna Israel, such a case may be suffering from a psychological malady called genital dysphoria.
"Essentially these are individuals who do not like the look, feel or presence of their genitals," Israel says. "This can range from dislike of their testicles, to testicles and penis. The majority of [afflicted] individuals have this condition their entire life, and their unhappiness ebbs and flows."
Tom the Nullo, who paid a surgeon $10,000 to cut off his cock and balls and surgically relocate his urethra, knows several people who suffer from this esthetic displeasure with their nuts.
"Most of these people are saying variations of, 'I do not like my genitals; I have never taken ownership of them as a legitimate part of my body, and I don't like their look or feel. I'm not a female, but I don't like those dangly bits attached to me. They spoil the line of my swimsuit,' " says Tom.
Genital dysphoria may explain the many eunuchs who don't complain about hopped-up libidos, but instead cite lifelong castration fantasies when accounting for the motivation that drove them to seek removal surgery.
"I always thought of my body as castrated," says Randy, who had his testicles removed by a cutter, an unlicensed underground surgeon, in July of 1999 and is seriously considering excising his penis in an operation known as a penectomy. "I remember that when I was young, I would often tuck myself to give myself a smooth crotch. There was no sexual thing to that at age six or seven, but there was a feeling of familiarity and comfort to it. I don't know what it was that I was born differently with, but certainly there was something."
When asked to explain his bizarre longing to be rid of his family jewels, Gelding, a heavily tattooed, burly man who lives in Florida, points to a childhood experience.
"I bumped into a guy on the bus in high school," Gelding recalls. "He squeezed my balls and said, 'If you do that again, I'll crush them.' And I still remember that, because it was something that started me thinking about [castration]."
Like Gelding, a castrato who goes by the name No Nuts says that a childhood incident put him in touch with his inner eunuch.
"When I was about 13, my mother caught me playing stink finger with our neighbor's daughter," says No Nuts. "She said if she caught me again, she would have me 'altered.' Well, that stuck with me from then on, until I finally thought it was a good idea too."
According to Gelding, many of the emasculated males he knows are homosexuals who find the absence of balls to be a dude magnet.
"A lot of guys get turned on by the fact that I'm a eunuch," Gelding says. "Just the idea that I don't have any balls and I like to have sex.
"I'm very masculine and hairy, and I found it difficult before getting castrated to get [a partner] to play a dominant role because I look like a dominant," Gelding adds. "But I'm mostly bottom. I used to have a business card that said, CASTRATED GAY MALE."
Victor T. Cheney, an avid castration proponent and the author of a book on the subject, The Advantages of Castration, believes he understands men who have their balls cut off to satisfy a sexual kink.
"I just put them in kind of the weirdo category," says Cheney, a retired Air Force Lieutenant Colonel who resides in Florida. In 1993, Cheney was diagnosed with prostate cancer, and had his testicles surgically removed. The Advantages of Castration touts human neutering as a wonder procedure capable of curing everything from alcoholism to the AIDS epidemic. (Cheney would like to see every HIV-positive man undergo castration to stem the spread of the virus.)
Cheney asserts that widespread castration could prevent other sexually transmitted diseases, such as syphilis, gonorrhea, herpes and chlamydia. He further posits that castration precludes baldness, acne, priapism, drug addiction, unwanted pregnancies, testicular cancer, and may even prevent strokes and heart attacks by thinning the blood. While all this is plausible, it's equally true that decapitation lessens migraines.
In the "minus" column, castration can spur various maladies. In addition to the loss of blood and infection that may occur during back alley surgeries, eunuchs often suffer from hot flashes similar to postmenopausal women. Men without balls also gain weight, develop rounded hips and even grow breasts. Osteoporosis is another risk.
Unfortunately for the wannabe eunuch, nut removal is easier envisioned than done. Few doctors are willing to perform this unusual operation, often because it appears to be in conflict with the oath that physicians make upon graduating from medical school to "do no harm." In some municipalities, consensual castration, even when performed by a licensed doctor, can result in a criminal indictment under laws proscribing mayhem. The rare physician who will agree to carry out the procedure usually feels justified in charging an exorbitant rate for the service.
Philadelphia physician Dr. Felix Spector is one surgeon who performs elective castrations. Spector did his first deballing procedure (known as orchiectomies in medical circles) in 1957 on a transsexual patient in Casa Blanca, Morocco, and estimates that he has performed thousands since.
"I keep pretty busy," says Spector, who has a virtual lock on the castration market. "There are about eight or ten doctors in the world who know what they are doing. I think the general pattern is such that it will be better accepted as time goes on, and probably others will enter the field."
Balls are removed from scrota in hospitals all the time, but mostly for pressing medical exigencies, such as testicular cancer. A few doctors are willing to castrate male-to-female transsexuals, but only in accordance with the Harry Benjamin International Gender Dysphoria Association Standards of Care, which require a potential eunuch to go through a psychiatric evaluation and live for an entire year as a woman.
"I think that's a little extreme," Spector says of the guidelines. "It's demeaning. When they come to me, I trust the individual to know what he wants."
Tom the Nullo believes that a man considering castration should discuss the decision with a professional first.
"I would strongly suggest some psychological evaluation to make certain that the desire is not an acting out of some fetishistic fantasy, and there are no major phychopathologies," Tom says. "But other than that, I have to say that the one thing each person owns is their own body, and decisions about it should be theirs and theirs alone."
Hiring a licensed physician to perform a castration is not cheap, even without psychotherapy. Dr. Spector charges $1,600 for a two-hour testicle-removal surgery. For an additional $1,200, Spector will slice away the eunuch's scrotum.
Dr. Spector is willing to perform controversial elective surgeries, but there are some lines even he isn't willing to cross—namely, penectomies (removal of the penis).
"I'm a little conservative in my attitude," Spector admits. "I will do the castration, but I don't go way out in ways that I'm sometimes asked."
Men who are seriously interested in being divorced from their testicles, but can't afford a surgeon, sometimes turn to underground castrators, known as cutters, who often work for free. However, aside from entailing far greater risk than in a modern hospital setting, these crude, amateur doctors don't advertise, since practicing medicine without a license is a criminal offense, and are consequently hard to find.
Edward Bodkin, a 56-year-old cutter from Huntington, Indiana, placed ads for his services in Ball Club Quarterly, a magazine that focuses exclusively on testicles, and Unique, which emphasizes genital modification and removal. Bodkin used everything from cattle-farm implements to manicure scissors to castrate five willing "patients" before his roommate turned him in to the authorities. Bodkin pleaded guilty to practicing medicine without a license, and was sentenced to four years in prison, with two-and-a-half years suspended. He was released in September of last year, and has since changed his name and moved out of state.
Although Bodkin didn't charge a fee for his services, he did ask for two (or, depending on who's counting, three) things from his clients: the right to videotape the operation, and the testicles themselves. When police searched Bodkin's apartment following his arrest, they found nine jars, each containing one teste, labeled either "R" for right or "L" for left. (Bodkin only removed nine balls because excessive bleeding forced him to abort one backroom procedure.)
Jim the Cutter is a fellow amateur surgeon who says he was in E-mail correspondence with Bodkin before the Indiana cutter ran afoul of the law. Jim is not surprised that Bodkin wound up in jail.
"He sent me his videos, and I was appalled by the lack of professionalism in his work," Jim blanches. "Shoving a paper towel in a seeping scrotum is not what I would consider good practice."
Another recently imprisoned castrator is Dr. John Ronald Brown. Although Brown performed many orchiectomies and sex-change operations in his career, an elective leg amputation finally landed him in prison. Seventy-five-year-old Philip Bondy paid Dr. Brown $10,000 to remove his leg. Bondy died in a hotel room from a massive infection, and Brown was convicted of second-degree murder.
Randy, a gelding who asked to be identified only by his first name, believes that cutters such as Bodkin and Brown give the eunuch community a bad name.
"I would imagine that 95% of the people out there wouldn't even believe that this subculture existed," says Randy, who has no complaints about the cutter who castrated him. "The 5% that maybe have heard something about it have only heard about the problems."
Contributing to the abysmal PR profile that plagues the eunuch community is the fact that men who can't find a cutter and can't afford a doctor sometimes take their balls into their own hands.
Gelding economized by cutting his own nuts off, and he nearly paid with his life. In 1991, Gelding tied off his testicles, took a pair of surgical scissors and cut off most of his scrotum. Gelding began bleeding profusely; he recognized the signs of clinical shock from his military training, which probably saved his life.
"I put what was left of my scrotum and balls in a plastic bag, dressed myself, called a taxi and took myself to the hospital emergency room," Gelding recalls. "The Catholic urologist who treated me was literally postal because he couldn't understand why somebody would castrate himself. He got very, very angry, as though I had committed a personal affront—if not to him, to God."
An outraged emergency-room doctor stitched Gelding's scrotum back together, thwarting his attempt to live up to his adopted name, but only temporarily. Gelding finally achieved eunuchism when a sadist chopped his balls off in an extreme fetish club. Gelding has a penis, but his urethra has been rerouted; he now urinates out of an opening near his anus that resembles a small vagina.
Men obsessed with heisting their own family jewels have been known to tape up their balls and shoot them off with a gun, or electrocute their nut sacs in the hopes of rendering their testicles useless, while traditionalists usually favor the classic butcher-knife method.
Self-castrators who shy away from scissors, knives, guns and razor blades, and can't stand the sight of blood, turn to constriction devices, such as an elastrator, which wraps around the base of the scrotum, preventing blood from reaching the testicles. This is the preferred method of castrating farm animals, since it shuts down hormone production but does not require expensive and potentially dangerous surgery. The balls wither away and die, and can easily be removed.
In spite of his brush with death, Gelding dismisses the dangers associated with do-it-yourself oyster removal.
"Even the guys who cut off their own cocks rarely die," Gelding insists. "The blood supply to the penis is a danger only if you have an erection. I have seen videos where rank amateurs do it with nonsurgical instruments—kitchen knives, Exacto knives. If a guy has a fixation, a true compulsion to be castrated, he's gonna be happy no matter what happens to him—complications, a stay in the hospital—you name it."
In an eerie dovetailing of the interests of ultramasochists and the criminal justice system, several state legislatures have jumped onto the castration bandwagon in the belief that a decrease of testicles in the sex-offender population will lead to a corresponding drop in the rates of sexual assault and rape.
In 1996, California passed a "chemical castration" law, by which repeat child molesters, as a condition of parole, must either submit to surgical castration or take weekly shots of Depo-Provera. Georgia, Florida, Iowa, Louisiana, Montana, Oregon and Wisconsin have all followed the Golden State's lead by enacting similar legislation.
Many sex offenders are enthusiastic proponents of castration treatments, but some are not satisfied with hormone shots—they want to join Gelding and No Nuts as eunuchs.
Texas resident Larry Don McQuay, a convicted child molester, begged to be castrated as his release date approached, pleading that he would continue to assault innocent children unless he was de-balled. The state refused to pay for the surgery, but the Texas legislature passed a law allowing repeat sex offenders to seek voluntary oyster shucking. At that point, Justice for All, an anticrime organization based in Houston, stepped in to help raise money for McQuay's eventual castration.
Elizabeth Schroeder, of the Texas branch of the American Civil Liberties Union, worries that convicts may be coerced in "volunteering" to be castrated.
"People are desperate to get out of prison, especially now that a sex offender whose prison term is finished may have a civil commitment where he could spend the rest of his life in a mental hospital," Schroeder says. "Convicts may request castration hoping to impress a parole board."
Despite concerns over the rights of convicted sex offenders to keep their cojones safe inside their ball sacs, the involvment of state legislatures in mandating castrations may be a blessing in disguise. Public awareness of chemical castrations and the existence of court-ordered orchiectomies may insper more licensed physicians to join Dr. Felix Spector in helping separate men from their testicles in a safe manner.
"I hear that Dr. Spector may be retiring soon," says castrato Gerald. "I just hope for the sake of othermen who want to [become castrated] that other doctors have the guts to open shop and fill the need."
(This article first appeared in the May 2001 issue of Hustler Magazine)
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