Voluntary Castration: Religious Fervor and Modern Kink
Castration has been considered one of the most severe punishments a man can receive throughout the history of human beings, but for some people that is not exactly the case. Throughout history there have been examples of voluntary castration for sometimes ascetic purposes, others a sign of devotion to their faith; and in more recent times in the fantasies of some BDSM practitioners. The ultimate act of chastity, one of great power and gravity as well.
During the formative years of the Roman Republic and their acquisitions of new territories, several deities were adopted into the Roman pantheon. Cults of worship from other lands were amalgamated into their own as the Roman armies spread across surrounding countries to conquer and claim. Some cults, like that of Bacchus (née Dionysus of Greece) were deemed murderous sex fiends by the Roman government. Others like the cult of Cybele, were sanctioned as official by the Roman Senate.
Originating from the Phrygian region of Asia Minor, her worship was introduced to the Greeks and remained as a protectress of great strength. Eternally accompanied by her lions and as wild as the mountains from which she hails, she was assimilated into the Minoan goddess Rhea (Titaness mother to the gods and personification of fertility). A mother figure as well she was similarly associated with indomitable Demeter, whom ruled over hearth and field. Cybele is a perfect example of the dichotomy seen time and again in Goddesses and their realms of influence.
The myth that to this day she is most known for is that of her consort Attis’ self-castration. There are many different versions of how this story begins (including Zeus jacking off onto Cybele and impregnating her with the hermaphroditic Agdistis. The gods promptly castrated Agdistis out of fear and buried the penis, which became an almond tree that impregnated a river nymph whom then birthed Attis.) Cybele took notice of the comely boy and fell in love. Promising undying fidelity, Attis proceeded to fall in love and attempt to marry a mortal woman. Cybele became so furious with jealousy that she drove everyone in attendance at the wedding insane including Attis, who fled into the wilderness. Castrating himself in front of a pine tree, Attis bled out and died. Cybele plead with Zeus to aid her in his restoration and after being resurrected, Attis remained her ever faithful consort. Her priests called “Galli” castrated themselves becoming eunuchs to show their devotion and connection with the Magna Mater.
Skip forward a few thousand years and castration fantasies are not just Freudian references and psychoanalytical complexes, but full aspects of some people’s sexual desires. I was fortunate enough to have been given permission by an anonymous male submissive to share their thoughts on their own castration fantasies:
“The notion of genital/gender punishment — as an element of a Femdom relationship — was something that surfaced very early in my sexual psyche, definitely pre-pubescent. It wasn’t until my late teens/early twenties that the notion of actual castration began to infiltrate my fantasy set and later still when the bridge was crossed into castration play that potentially risked the actual thing. While I’ve done deep-dives into myself to see if I can find a “place” the notion came from initially, I’ve never succeeded in finding one and no longer really bother wondering the why/where of it all. The biggest moment in this element of my journey wasn’t my own fantasies but when a partner revealed their own “desire” to castrate me in the heat of the moment, validating me in a way few had done prior.
The core, for me, is always one of power exchange, of surrender and transformation. What I find interesting is that the two longest-held fantasies of mine — while similar in the power exchange of the thing — could not be more different in tone. The first — and still greatest — castration fantasy I have came fully formed, like Athena, in my late teens. In it, I am finally being collared by my Dominant in front of a group of her Femdom peers and after receiving it, she asks me for a totem of our dynamic in return. It’s then when I am secured to a medical table, angled for the group, and two of the other Dominants – surgeon and nurse – proceed to castrate me in front of the group, an artisan turning my testes into earrings for my Dominant as they suture my empty sac back up.
In the other longest-running fantasy, I am one of dozens of thralls at a Femdom ranch and as part of my intake I am branded and castrated, one of many in a long, on-going line; chattel for my betters.
The first is incredibly personal and intimate; the second is cold and anonymous; yet, they both came within relative moments of each other, have lasted for years, and reflect that deep core need for me — sacrifice to the dynamic, rejection/transformation of self for pleasure of partner.
Being a RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink) player, the legitimate high-risk nature of the play is a rush, both for myself as a castration fantasist and as a submissive looking to please a sadistic/dominant partner. Like some other areas of my play, it’s a (relatively) small pool so it’s a great thrill to be able to provide that particular scratch to those with the itch.
The flip side to the risk is the depth of TRUST required to swim with someone in those waters. Whether it’s a blade or a band, there is a lot that can go wrong, quickly and catastrophically, and to find partners with whom the trust level is there to even play to that risk is really invigorating and rewarding. As for the notion of literal castration, the attraction for me comes from one of my driving submissive desires which is to transform for my Dominant. Changing my nature — temporarily or permanently — to please my Dominant, to become closer to their ideal for a sub/slave, is one of my prime motivators and desires. Playing with a lot of sadists, Female Supremacists and misandrists, castration is a notion that tends to crop up, either as threat or goal and that has – over time – increased my own draw to it conceptually. All of that said, castration — fantasy or play — tends to be something that I communicate as a limit to partners until we have been playing for a LONG time and it becomes clear that our takes on something that outre and risky are aligned.”
As with a lot of things in kink and BDSM, that which has been historically a torment may be the most sublime pleasure for those in the modern day.