The Voluntary Eunuch

painting by Mike Simpson

painting by Mike Simpson

I think most people are familiar with the term “schadenfreude”, to revel in others’ misfortune.  Surely there must be some word to describe a variation on this sensation:  experiencing something painful or disturbing and then feeling the need to inflict it on others.  Whatever the name, consider it the motivation for this post.

There are men in this world – lots of them apparently – who would prefer to be without their manhood:  voluntary or wannabe eunuchs.  Researchers from Dalhousie University in Canada have taken a keen interest in this community, conducting multiple studies on an online group of these folks to gain insight into who they are and, more importantly, WHY??  Here are some nuggets of information for you:

  • The most frequently cited (40%) reason for desiring castration was to achieve what’s called a “eunuch calm”.
  • The number of wannabes who were motivated by a fetish was roughly equal to the number who wanted to do it for “cosmetic” reasons.
  • A major problem within this community is employing “street-cutters” or attempting self-castration.  Let me say that again:  street-cutters.
  • There is something called “chemical castration”, which does not involve acid as I initially feared.
  • 19% of all wannabes in one study had attempted self-castration, with only 10% seeking medical assistance.

A famous self-castrater?  How about Boston Corbett, the man who shot and killed John Wilkes Booth 144 years ago:

“On July 16, 1858, in order to avoid the temptation of prostitutes, Corbett castrated himself with a pair of scissors. Afterward, he ate a meal and went to a prayer meeting, before going for medical treatment.”

And that ends this public service announcement. Enjoy your day!

April 23, 2009 1:38 pm

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