Get SF Weekly Newsletters
Pin It

My Life as a Eunuch 

What's a man to do if he doesn't want his balls hanging around? Simple: Just find someone to cut them off.

Wednesday, Jun 28 2000
Comments (4)

Page 5 of 5

"I don't attempt to make up their minds one way or another," Spector says. "They have their minds made up by the time they come to me. I do demand that they be serious about it."

Serious enough to put up a $300, nonrefundable deposit against the $1,600 fee. For that you get a guy who performed his first transsexual operation in 1957, knows anatomy, can prescribe real painkillers, and knows what to do if things go wrong.

Not surprisingly Dr. Spector frowns on home castrations. "I absolutely speak against such a procedure by someone who doesn't know the anatomy or all the rest of the workings of the body. They can cause great pain, and great danger."


Given the cost of castration, the potential danger, and the fact that most modern cultures consider eunuchs freaks, the obvious question is: Why bother?

Gelding and his brethren have a hard time answering that one. "I've heard a hundred different reasons," Gelding says. "And I always ask, 'Is that it? Is that reason enough to cut off your balls?'"

After several years of counseling would-be castrates, he does make an effort to discern the serious from the frivolous. But as to motive, he knows better than to seek a definitive answer.

"I really don't know," says Bob Capeheart, an amiable 60-year-old from Gainesville, Fla., who traveled to Mexico in March to have his testicles removed, his penis shortened by four inches, and a new opening made in his urethra. "It just got to the point where I said, 'To hell with it, I don't want to put up with it anymore.' I had been thinking about it for a long, long time anyway."

Capeheart is divorced, has two grown children, and works as an automotive technician. Plumbing his subconscious for some Freudian insight into motive is a wild goose chase, because he seems as happy as a schoolboy with his new genital arrangement.

"It probably goes back to my childhood," he concedes. "But I never liked having balls. And I never liked the fact that I was circumcised. I blame that on my parents, but back then it was the thing to do."

He set up the operation through a Beverly Hills plastic surgeon, who has contacts in Mexico. The three individual procedures would have cost a total of $11,500. He got the package-deal price of $6,000. Thus far the only downside has been the hourly hot flashes Capeheart has to endure. "I was warned about it, and they are not real comfortable, I'll tell you that. They last about three to four minutes, and from your waist up you are very hot." Once those subside in a few months, he anticipates settling into a peaceful, urge-free life.

"I figure if I'm crazy, I'm crazy. I don't think I am. It is just something I wanted to do for a long time. My kids are grown, I had the money, so I just had it done."

Robert, a 40-year-old resident of Palm Springs, Calif., who didn't want his last name used, is at a loss to explain why he's seeking castration. "When I was in high school, I used to fantasize about having a vasectomy, and it kind of progressed from there until I finally realized what I wanted."

He got married, divorced, and took a male lover, but the thought of castration never left his mind. It's the presence in his underwear that he can't stand. Or something like that. "The testicles hanging between my legs, they are just annoying to me. I don't like the weight. They are uncomfortable. I prefer when it is lighter and smoother and cleaner. I want to keep my penis, I want to keep my scrotum, but I just don't want them down there."

The sex drive will go, an inevitable result of castration, but one that can be reversed with testosterone therapy. "I am kind of discouraged with the sexual scene out here," he says. "I like sex, but I want to experience the loss of desire. Why go through this unless you are willing to pay the price?" Should he find a sex scene to his liking, a shot or two will enable him to jump right back in.

If all goes well, Robert will be cut this summer. First he has to save a little money to fix his car's transmission. Then he has to come up with plane fare to South Florida for a rendezvous with Gelding. They've met only via e-mail and the phone, never in person. Still, Robert is confident Gelding is the man for the job. "My whole thing is I have to trust the person," says Robert, who describes himself as cautious. "And I have gotten to know him."

Through castration Gelding has also come to know himself. And what he's learned is that the human mind, or more precisely his mind, was enigmatic, illogical, and awash in hormones that controlled him in subtle and disturbing ways. At least now he's in charge of the hormones.

"I don't like to be controlled by something I don't understand," he says. "This controlled me, the urge, it controlled me for years. You don't know how much you are driven by your hormones until you take them away."

About The Author

Bob Whitby

Comments (4)

Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

 
Subscribe to this thread:
Showing 1-4 of 4

Add a comment

Popular Stories

  1. Most Popular Stories
  2. Stories You Missed

Slideshows

  • clipping at Brava Theater Sept. 11
    Sub Pop recording artists 'clipping.' brought their brand of noise-driven experimental hip hop to the closing night of 2016's San Francisco Electronic Music Fest this past Sunday. The packed Brava Theater hosted an initially seated crowd that ended the night jumping and dancing against the front of the stage. The trio performed a set focused on their recently released Sci-Fi Horror concept album, 'Splendor & Misery', then delved into their dancier and more aggressive back catalogue, and recent single 'Wriggle'. Opening performances included local experimental electronic duo 'Tujurikkuja' and computer music artist 'Madalyn Merkey.'"