Crime Library: Criminal Minds and Methods

Your Daily Creepout: X-ray of man who forked himself for ‘gratification’

A man in Canberra, Australia, showed up in the emergency room in early August 2013, with “bleeding urethral meatus” and a 4-inch fork shoved up inside it.

The unnamed man, 70, reportedly inserted the steel implement into his penis to achieve “sexual gratification” according to an paper submitted to the International Journal of Surgery Case Reports¬†on the incident titled, An Unusual Urethral Foreign Body. It turns out that as unusual as the object itself may seem for such a purpose, the act itself is not that unusual. At least not to ER doctors.

An X-ray of the foreign object before retrieval.

An X-ray of the foreign object before retrieval.

To clarify, the author, quoting from an article titled Putting Lead in Your Pencil, lists other types of objects that have been retrieved from men’s penises, no we are not making this up, including, “needles, pencils, ball point pens, pen lids, garden wire, copper wire, speaker wire, safety pins, Allen keys), wire-like objects (telephone cables, rubber tubes, feeding tubes, straws, string), toothbrushes, household batteries, light bulbs, marbles, cotton tip swabs, plastic cups, thermomethers [sic], plants and vegetables (carrot, cucumber, beans, hay, bamboo sticks, grass leaves), parts of animals (leeches, squirrel tail, snakes, bones), toys, pieces of latex gloves, blue tack, Intrauterine Contraceptive Devices (IUCD), tampons, pessaries, powders (cocaine), fluids (glue, hot wax).”

Happy ending: Doctors successfully removed the fork “via forceps traction and copious lubrication.” [Insert dramatic pause here.]

For those of you who just have to see, there’s a WARNING: really graphic series of photos of the actual procedure here.

It seems like this particular guy was lucky, because the paper also says that putting off the trip to the emergency room or trying to remove such an object on one’s own may result in “urethral injury and foreign body migration,” which sounds a lot like the object in question could wind up moving into the body cavity, requiring a more invasive removal procedure.

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