My name is Talula and I am a Eunuch
"Your only obligation in any lifetime is to be true to yourself. Being true to anyone else or anything else is not only impossible, but the mark of a fake messiah."
- Richard Bach, Illusions

My name is Talula and I'm co-archivist over at The Eunuch Archive. I'm also a Eunuch. Shannon has graciously asked me to begin writing this column which is something I am honored to do. I'll continue this as long as I can find something entertaining and informative to write about. Over the course of the next few months I'd like to talk about what is a Eunuch and why some folks volunteer to become one. Plan on seeing some interviews from Eunuchs regarding their lives and why they chose castration as a lifestyle alternative. Also if anyone has questions they would like answered feel free to email me at [email protected].

What is a Eunuch? The online Merriam-Webster dictionary defines the term as:

  1. A castrated man placed in charge of a harem or employed as a chamberlain in a palace
  2. A man or boy deprived of the testes or external genitals
  3. One that lacks virility or power <political Eunuchs>
The Greek origin of Eunuch is a combination of the words enue, "bed," and echein, "to have charge of" which would provide some validity to the first definition. However men have been castrated for a plethora of reasons throughout history, not just for work in the harem, so really the definition of a Eunuch is a castrated man or boy. Historically Eunuchs were produced as a punishment, to create a "superior" sort of slave, to enhance their singing voice, to allow them to ascend to high political offices without the fear that they would attempt to take total power, and for a whole slew of other things. It is even said that Roman Emperor Nero had a boy castrated then married him. In any case, the history of eunuchism is well established and there are little doubts that some Eunuchs were created voluntarily. There are also little doubts that most were not.

Technically there are three different ways in which to create a Eunuch.

  1. Remove the testicles.
  2. Remove the testicles and scrotum.
  3. Remove the testicles, scrotum, and penis.
Today men are castrated primarily for medical reasons such as injury or prostate cancer and gone are the days of involuntary castration, with one possible exception. There is a group of "MTF transsexuals" in Pakistan and India known as the Hijra who claim they do not support involuntary castration, but this article here and here suggest otherwise. I cannot confirm or deny these claims nor do I intend to. You be the judge. There is also a movement to provide chemical or surgical castration to sex offenders but that is beyond the scope of this column.

"Why would anyone want to voluntarily become a Eunuch?", asks the reader whose anus is now rapidly clenching while the legs cross and the hands reach down to protect the genitalia. I can tell you for me it was an overwhelming desire to have my testicles removed. Some would say it is a form of sexual dysphoria which sounds a little extreme, however an overwhelming desire is probably the one somewhat common reason I have heard from other Eunuchs trying to explain. This is known as the skoptic syndrome which is as good a term as any but is somewhat inaccurate in that the Russian Skoptics practiced castration and mutilation of the genitalia for religious reasons and have long ago died out (or are staying very, very quiet).

Other reasons folks desire castration are probably as numerous and varied as there are Eunuchs out there that underwent the procedure voluntarily which is why I intend to interview several different Eunuchs and let them describe their lives and history in their own words. But lets not kid ourselves, there are several pros and cons to becoming a Eunuch.

For me, the pros are that for the first time in my life I feel in control of my body and am very happy - and I no longer accidentally sit on my nuts. Sure I might enjoy some of the other reported benefits of castration such as a longer life and keeping a head of hair but I figure I'll die when time suits itself, and I have lots of hair up there as anyone who knows me can tell you. Becoming a Eunuch was a good thing for me and life is much better. Unfortunately this is not the same for all of the Eunuch community as there are a few who regret their decisions.

One of the physiological cons to castration up and beyond the actual procedure that the Eunuch must face is the real likely-hood of osteoporosis which is likely to develop without the conscious intake of calcium or a treatment known as Hormone Replacement Therapy. HRT provides an artificial replacement of testosterone lost by the removal of the testicles and can be administered via several different methods. This leads us to what is probably the biggest debates in the Eunuch community. There are three primary arguments:

  • The first says that if "you are going to take HRT why on earth did you become a Eunuch in the first place?"
  • The second feels that "HRT is ok for some but not for me. I need a state of low sexual desire".
  • The third says "I am satisfied with the loss of the testicles but am unwilling to risk some of the potential negativity effects of castration. Give me HRT."
I subscribe to the third argument and get a shot of depo-testosterone once a month. It goes in the hip and is not an exact replacement for testosterone.

Who would want to undergo voluntary castration? Well, the Eunuch community is full of people whom you might never guess. There are farmers, photographers, restaurant owners, postal workers, computer programmers, and more. They come from all walks of life and the only way that you would know is if they told you or by fondling the pubes. Perhaps even a co-worker, friend, or acquaintance of yours might be a Eunuch.

This body modification is by it's very nature, not for everyone - then again there is no one body modification for everyone. Some are more popular than others, but none for everyone. It was the best one for me. There are some social stigmas attached but rarely do folks walk up and pants one another just to see if they have family jewels. My doctor chuckles. He says I'm easy to check for a hernia.

Until next time folks.


Talula is, of course, a eunuch, and the co-archivist of the prime eunuch megasite You can read an interview with Talula that BME published back in 1998 by clicking here.

Copyright © 2003 BMEZINE.COM. Requests to republish must be confirmed in writing. For bibliographical purposes this article was first published June 6, 2003 by BMEZINE.COM in Tweed, Ontario, Canada.

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