Infibulation - Male

Male

Historically, infibulation also referred to suturing the foreskin. In ancient Greece, athletes, singers and other public performers infibulated themselves by using a clasp or string to close the foreskin and draw the penis over to one side, in a practice known as kynodesmē (literally "dog tie"). This was seen as a sign of restraint and abstinence, but was also related to concerns of modesty; in artistic representations, it was seen as obscene and offensive to show a long penis and the penis's head in particular.

Many examples of kynodesmē are depicted on vases, almost exclusively confined to symposiasts and komasts, who are as a general rule older (or at least mature) men. Tying up the penis with a string was a way of avoiding what was seen as the shameful and dishonorable spectacle of an exposed penis, something that was only portrayed in depictions of those without repute, such as slaves and barbarians. It therefore conveyed the moral worth and modesty of the subject. Infibulation was performed on slaves in ancient Rome to ensure chastity, as well as voluntarily in some cultures. Without removing tissue, it was intended to prevent sexual intercourse, but not masturbation.

Male infibulation is now usually performed as genital modification, but it can also refer to self-torture, such as piercing one's nipples, labia, clitoris, scrotum or penis with sharp objects for pleasure. In an extreme example, the American serial killer Albert Fish derived sexual gratification by jabbing sewing needles into his penis and scrotum. After execution, his autopsy revealed nearly two dozen needles in his pelvic region.

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