Monday, June 23, 2014

Stop that or you'll go blind.

I first published this article on my previous blog in 2009. It's still one of my favorites, so I thought I'd share it with you today.

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In the Victorian era life was simpler: queens wore tiny crowns, heroin & opium was legal, and masturbation was apparently the single greatest threat to life and civilization. Tripping your own trigger was blamed for everything from insanity to acne, and the people of this era spent an alarming amoutn of time and effort creating and patenting devices to protect people from this great evil, whether they wished to be saved or not.


Patented in 1899 by Mr George Dudley, this elaborate doodad was designed with a trigger and alarm system. When the wearer's cock hardened, the trigger would go off, causing a bell to ring. Ding! Top floor, women's lingerie and wet dreams. The bell's purpose was to warn the wearer (and anyone else within earshot) of impending arousal. How the wearer explained their wickedness was apparently left to the individual, but I’d like to think that “Honey, of course I was thinking about you” ranked high on the list.
the cock ring from hell


spermatorrhoea ringThis horrifying creation needs no explanations, though I was stunned to discover that several different designs had been patented by different inventors, meaning that more than one twisted mind conjured up the same sick idea.


bowen device
Obviously crafted by a bored demon from the second circle of hell, this device used basic hydraulics in its war against wanking. It’s comprised of a small cup that fit over the head of your trouser snake and a series of chains and clips attached to conveniently close and very sensitive hairs. Should the subject succumb to his urges, the hairs would be plucked and ripped, distracting him from his deviant thoughts to more immediate concerns, like the rapid balding of his groin.


 Proving that the worst Scottish invention is not, in fact, Haggis, Scotch physician John Moodie invented this truss-and-shield device in 1848. He thoughtfully included a tube with a slot on the side for the boy to push his penis out in order to urinate, though from the look of this creation that was the only benevolent thought he had while designing it.


spermatorrhoea Bandage

 A Device designed to keep the devil’s squirt gun tightly bound, cutting off enough circulation that erections became just plain impossible. If the subject was overly keen though, there were models that came with what I have determined is a Victorian doctor's favourite deterrent, metal spikes.


Spermatic Truss

Continuing the disturbing trend of naming torture devices after themselves, this little gem was patented in 1876 by, you guessed it, a man named Stephenson. This device favoured the "tie it off before the fun even starts," approach.
The offending member was placed in a pouch, stretched, and bound between the legs, making an erection just plain impossible. Twenty-one years later Stephenson apparently was still refining his creation, and added a patent for a metal hood, under which things could move freely. It was at this time that he too fell victim to the siren song of spikes, adding them to the shield so that that any stiffening would drive the hapless member against the nasty metal teeth.


the Cage In what might be considered a kinder, gentler device for the time, the 1885 Handbook of Medicine offered its clients a metal cage that could be used to foil the urge to reach out and touch yourself. Unlike many other macabre designs, it was spike free and actually allowed erections, merely ensuring that nothing came of them.


  Taking the concept of a cold shower to new extremes, this next contraption was patented by Frank Orth 1893. Obviously a man with too much time on his hands, he created a device that required the donning of waterproof pants, and then slipped the offending organ into place between two levers, so that should stiffening occur, the levers were spread and caused a flow of cold water to hit the overheated area. His goal, in his own words was that "The cold water... cools the organ of generation, so that the erection subsides and no discharge occurs."


Mechanical Sheath  Designed to be small enough for "walk around" use, this locking, mechanical sheath was patented in 1906 by Raphael Sohn as a sort of chastity belt for men. It's maker was a man of purpose, and so was his invention. He described it proudly "Once positioned, it will be impossible to remove the appliance without great physical pain and possible mutilation, and if removed it cannot be replaced without the key, so that detection will be inevitable."

This begs the question, whose job was it to examine all these contraptions for tampering and removal...and more to the point, what did he put on his business cards?

ELECTRIFIED CAGE (Spike upgrade available)

Albert Todd Device version 2 I will end this foray into the strange and wonderful world of Victorian quackery with this last device, patented by Albert Todd in 1903. It is a truly stark example of the cruel and unusual lengths people went to to avoid the sin of pleasure. Mr Todd, who was obviously a descendant of the Marquis de Sade, created a wire-coil penis and testicle cage that would, in Mr. Todd’s words, "limit longitudinal extension." And was built to resist any unauthorized attempt to remove it. The cage was not sufficient by itself, so a galvanic belt composed of zinc and copper plates that generated an electric current was built in. 

Yes, an electrified cage. It would seem Mr. Todd was very damned serious about his anti-wanking wizbang. There was of course the risk of serious burns to the affected area, so this device was set up to allow for the adding of chamois cloth to prevent crisping the wearer's most sensitive areas with too much electricity. I cannot imagine that anyone went into this device willingly, and those that tested it lived in fear of a moments weakness. 

Alfred Todd Device

*Research into this strange topic led me to the Museum of Sex and the book "Lovers Book of Lists" by Ron Louis and David Copeland