The reasons for castration
Although castration is considered a step towards sexual reassignment for many MTF transsexual/transgendered people, as well as being one of the standard treatments for several varieties of cancer, this article primarily deals with those who undergo the procedure on a voluntary basis, for its own sake.
Most voluntary castrations fall into two categories. The first is those who are castrated as a result of a sexual fantasy, who find the idea arousing, and who plan on continuing to engage in sexual activity post-castration. The second are those who desire castration to put an end to that side of themselves, and plan to remain celibate after their testicles have been removed.
"I've been to see a local psychiatrist, by the way, just to settle my own curiosity about whether I'm tightly wrapped or not, and he thinks I'm just fine, except for this one strange but not uncommon fixation. This seems to be the case with most eunuchs I know, that they are all great guys and mostly very intelligent, successful, artistic, sports-minded and fun-loving but have this strange fixation. Each, by the way, has his own personal reasons for getting castrated (neutered, nutted, de-balled, and other terms we use with each other) and no two of these reasons are the same for any two eunuchs, except for the one about feeling out of control (being fanatical about having sex all the time without the ability to control one's sexual activities). They certainly solved that one. Both of the guys are 'calm' (without sex hormones and loving it)."
Persons interested in using any of these methods should perform their own research as this section is intended to give a brief introduction to techniques that have been used.
Under local anesthesia, a slit down the center or on each side is cut with a scalpel through the various layers of tissues. The spermatic cord is dissected, tied off, cut and tied in place. The surgeon removes the testis and sutures the 1/2" long incision. The scrotum may fill with congealed blood (which is just as bloody painful than the operation). Squeezing out the congealed blood (which looks and feels like grape jelly) is best described as painfully amusing.
A doctor in Miami, FL, supposedly will pay for this kind of operation in exchange for donating the testes to science.
This method uses a rubber band to restrict blood flow. The testes and part of the scrotum in animals castrated this way just fall off from dry gangrene. This method, like any clamp, is excruciatingly painful. After 12-24 hours, the testes are dead.
A compound level clamp used in livestock castration smashes shut the spermatic cords. This causes dry gangrene in the testes, which then shrivel up and die. Researchers at Wayne State University who have tested this method out concluded that it had potential for human use as an alternative to surgical removal. Of course, the technique requires someone else to squeeze the handles rapidly and forcefully to be effective.
Injection of Caustic Substances
A few reports of alcohol injection (alcohol denatures proteins) supposedly do exist.
Lactic acid has been used in animal castration. A few humans have used lactic acid injections. Aside from having to attempt this multiple times, there is a risk of injecting too much acid (which could eat away too much material).
In theory, hydrogen peroxide (a strong oxidizer) could similarly be injected, but no reports have been located of any successful attempts nor should any attempts be made. A small volume (1 cc) of 40 vol could generate 40 cc of oxygen in a 20 cc space and plenty of heat. Of course, attempting this would probably be bloody painful as the testis essentially cauterizes itself from the inside and swells up like a balloon.
In short, it's probably best NOT to inject anything into the testes but anesthesia.
Cautery pens can be used to burn out the testes in cases of extreme CBT scarring when normal surgical extraction fails.
Heating pads have been suggested, but there's not much data on effectiveness.
There are three primary types of people who perform castrations: doctros, cutters and DIY.
Castration by a doctor is, by far, the safest method of castration, and potentially one of the hardest to achieve. Most doctors will absolutely refuse to perform a voluntary castration upon a patient. However, there are a few medical professionals out there who are open to such ideas. The difficulty lies in both locating them and obtaining the funds for travel as well as the fees they charge. Generally, their fee ranges is $1200-2500.
It is important to remember that, even with the use of a doctor, there are still risks, and complications can develop.
Those who desire castration because of a sexual fantasy, as well as those who are unable to find or afford a medical professional, often turn to the use of a cutter. This is the first choice for those who wish to have their castration performed as part of an S&M scene, something that doctors will not likely agree to.
Using a cutter is generally riskier than using a doctor in that they may not possess the skills, knowledge or equipment to do a castration safely, especially should a complication arise during the procedure. Some cutters may be (retired) vets or ranchers and thus familiar with castration. As well, as they operate outside the law, in many cases the cleanliness of the environment and sterility of the tools are questionable as well.
Some castrations performed within the context of an S&M scene include eating the testicles, raw, or more commonly, cooked — they can be quite tasty lightly cooked in a mushroom sauce. The outer tough covering must be removed before eating the inside, which tastes somewhat like roasted pork. Consistency will vary depending on how much ball torture related scar tissue was created in the years prior to castration.
Legal ramifications of using a cutter
Anyone considering the use of a cutter should be strongly advised that, unlike some other extreme modifications which may fall into a grey area of law, the performing of a castration by anyone other than a doctor is completely illegal.
Because of the legal ramifications, one could potentially find oneself thrown out on the street if something goes really wrong (as happened in Oak Park, MI in 2003) and one's cutter deported.
In 2006, three men were arrested rural North Carolina, USA, and charged with castrating willing victims. Their operating room happened to be on top of a mountain accessible only during summer. According to news reports, the men admitted performing at least eight surgeries, including castrations, on six consenting clients over the past year. Each man faces 10 felony counts; 5 each of castration without malice and conspiracy to commit castration without malice, and 8 misdemeanor counts of performing medical acts without a license. Consent is not a defense in North Carolina state law.
This is potentially the riskiest form of castration, and is often the last resort of those who are unable to achieve their goals through any other method. The two main tools used in self-castration are the burdizzo and the elastrator, both of which were designed for veterinary usage, not for humans. Since many of those who attempt self-castration are not knowledgeable in anatomy or medical procedure, this often results in a very dangerous situation. A large percentage of those who attempt self-castration wind up having to receive emergency medical help, which can not only result in a large medical bill, but can also result in a psychiatric commitment as a danger to one's self.
The consequences of castration
No matter what route is chosen in attaining castration, there are risks involved in the procedure itself. Most notably, bleeding and shock are the biggest risks during the actual procedure, with infection being the biggest risk during the healing process. All three can pose problems even when the procedure is performed by a doctor, but are more likely to cause problems when the castration is done by a non-medical professional. The risks of can be minimized with proper procedures, a clean environment, and appropriate aftercare. They should not be taken lightly though, and should receive immediate medical treatment as they can be life threatening.
After castration, those who wish to maintain their libido and sexual lifestyle can opt for HRT (hormone replacement therapy), through several methods. Testosterone can be injected on a regular basis, or patches (Androderm), gels (Androgel), or pills (Andriol) may be used. The effects of each form may vary from person to person, with varying degrees of effectiveness. As well, the costs involved will depend upon the form used.
Generally speaking, those not taking testosterone will lose all desire and interest in sex, as well as experience hot flashes, a permanent loss in penis length and girth (said to be caused by the lack of nocturnal erections). There will also be a greater tendency towards weight gain (despite exercise), gynecomastia (breast growth), and a general loss of muscle tone. More seriously, eunuchs who do not take hormones are at significant risk for depression (particularly if they have had problems with it in the past), as well as osteoporosis. Decreased energy levels and memory/cognitive changes have also been reported by a number of eunuchs. The use of testosterone should minimize or eliminate these risks.
The medical community is somewhat divided over the long-term affects of low (or no) testosterone on men, with various studies indicating low testosterone levels may help prevent or help cause heart disease, cause insulin resistance and potentially lead to diabetes (or deny such accusations), and even increase the risks of Alzheimer's. Only time will tell which of these potential side effects may be a risk.
On the plus side, eunuchs who do not take hormones will not have any problems with male pattern baldness, experience a thinning of body hair, reduce their risks of prostate cancer significantly, and may even experience the 'Eunuch calm' (a reported state of peace and tranquility).
Ejaculation can still be reached (mostly by those on testosterone), but sperm is not present (obviously). Most of the fluid ejaculated is actually produced by the prostate, and amounts will vary depending upon testosterone levels, as will the colour and consistency. Generally speaking, someone who is castrated will have less ejaculate, and it will tend to be clearer, only slightly milky. Levels of testosterone affect sexual ability far more than the presence of testicles — some males become more sexually confident due to the realization of their fantasy (while some give it up for exactly that reason). A eunuch without testosterone will quickly lose his interest in sex as well as his ability to perform. This can be almost immediately reversed with the application of testosterone.