Male Paranoia

Discuss the historical aspects of magic, including memories, or favorite stories.
Richard Stokes
Posts: 185
Joined: September 11th, 2008, 8:18 pm

Male Paranoia

Postby Richard Stokes » October 2nd, 2016, 4:58 pm

Ever woken one morning with your penis missing?
Ever blamed it on a witch?

Check out the online article by Callie Beusman: "Witches Allegedly Stole Penises and Kept Them as Pets in the Middle Ages". ... iddle-ages

This sounds a bit like an X-rated Monty Python sketch from The Holy Grail.

Has this phenomenon already been explored by magic historians? e.g. Peter Lamont or Ricky Jay who tend to collect weird anecdotes from the past.

The source of the Penis Paranoia is Malleus Maleficarum, Heinrich Kramer's witch-hunting manual (1486?)

Anthony Donne, New Testament Scholar, alerted me to Beusman's article.
http://historicaljesusresearch.blogspot ... estal.html

Here's a link to two images of medieval nuns harvesting penises from trees and this predates the Kramer book. trees ... 1_1280.jpg

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Richard Kaufman
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Joined: July 18th, 2001, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Theodore DeLand
Location: Washington DC

Re: Male Paranoia

Postby Richard Kaufman » October 2nd, 2016, 6:02 pm

This is not news to anyone who's read Scot's Discoverie of Witchcraft.
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Daniel Z
Posts: 154
Joined: June 17th, 2008, 8:32 pm

Re: Male Paranoia

Postby Daniel Z » October 3rd, 2016, 10:23 am

Claims of shrinking and vanishing penises, and related accusations of witchcraft occur around the world, not just in Europe or in the past.

A few years ago there was a lot of press about attacks on penis stealing witches in West Africa. Similar cases have also reported in various Asian countries.

These seem related to a disorder called Koro: “(in Chinese called suo-yang), the panic anxiety state in which affected males believe that the penis is shrinking and/or retracting, and perhaps disappearing.” (

Richard Stokes
Posts: 185
Joined: September 11th, 2008, 8:18 pm

Re: Male Paranoia

Postby Richard Stokes » October 3rd, 2016, 2:32 pm

Thanks. I'll have to take a closer look at Reginald Scot's writings.

There's a fairly new book by Philip Almond - England's First Demonologist: Reginald Scot and 'the Discoverie of Witchcraft' - maybe I'll start there.

Tom Frame
Posts: 1058
Joined: January 17th, 2008, 12:00 pm
Favorite Magician: Del Ray
Location: San Francisco

Re: Male Paranoia

Postby Tom Frame » October 4th, 2016, 4:05 pm

Ah yes, Koro. It’s a culture-specific syndrome seen most frequently in Asia and the Middle East. It occurs predominantly in young, single males and consists of the fear that his genitals will retract into his abdomen and lead to death. It’s typically preceded by feelings of depersonalization, which is a nonspecific syndrome in which the patient feels that he has lost his identity, or that he is different or strange or unreal.

Tying a red string around the penis or clamping a wooden box around it is used to prevent the syndrome. A proactive placebo is a great thing! Hey, whatever works!

What we have here is classic Freudian castration anxiety, typically manifest during the Oedipus complex, which usually occurs and is resolved during the phallic stage of psychosexual development (age 3–6).

Not that we need it, but this case provides even more evidence that men worry more about the size of their penis than women do. And that’s because men spend more time gazing upon, and pondering and ravaging their own junk than they do in using it for carnal purposes with another person.

Over the years, I’ve successfully treated many patients with penile size concerns and the subsequent anxiety that it can elicit. My intervention is simple.

Sometimes a cigar is just a cigar. Don’t mistake a symptom for a problem.

I empathize with the man’s concerns, which ultimately have nothing to do with the size of his torpedo. They often involve self-esteem, identity, cultural and self-imposed expectations, childhood sexual abuse, relationship discord, substance abuse, or a depressive episode.

I encourage him to examine and work through those underlying issues first. If he is willing to engage in that work, receive the insight, and practice new thoughts and behaviors, his sexual concerns are likely to resolve within a month.

If he isn’t willing to engage in honest introspection – if he defensively focuses on his presenting symptom, instead of the underlying problem – I plant this seed, so to speak:

It’s not about the size of your wand, it’s about the magnificent magic that it can produce.

Most importantly, I urge him to talk to his partner about what works best for him and them during their sexual encounters.

Ah, time for a cigarette.
"There is more to consciousness than meets the mind's eye." - Frame

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