February 13, 2011
Fast on the heels of the Trans community in the social political realm of surgical gender body modification is the MTE (Male To Eunuch) community. Formerly isolated MTEs (non-transgender males who have their testicles removed electively), “Nullo” and “Smoothies” (non-trans males who have both testicles and penis removed for a smooth completely genital-less appearance*) have formed strong communities since the advent of the internet and are becoming increasingly activist in lobbying for medical/surgical services that are currently offered only to those males who have a conflicted “internal gender identity”. MTE’s say the fact that they retain their male identity should not limit their access to the same medical and surgical services offered to transgender males with genital dysphoria.
Clip from “American Eunuch” a 2003 Sundance Film Festival documentary about MTEs. WARNING GRAPHIC
Nullos and MTE’s often seek castration and penectomy from surgeons in Thailand and India, and a few SRS providers in the US who have been willing to forgo the Harry Benjamin Standards of Care which were set up for MTF and FTM clients, but not for MTE’s who cannot meet their requirements (such as living in the opposite sex’s social gender role for a year) simply because they have no interest in undergoing social gender reassignment. Some US states allow chemical castration and Texas allows voluntary surgical castration for criminal sex offenders but not to lawful citizens which MTE’s assert is unfair.
Many MTE’s and “smoothies” report wanting to remove their genitals since early childhood, and some seek out desperate remedies for their surgical desires, either attempting self-castration, or seeking out the illegal services of “cutters”: self-styled underground surgeons who will perform castrations and penectomies in hotel rooms using substandard dirty equipment, often with tragic results.
Why do MTEs and Nullos want to be castrated? Their narratives vary, from a typical one here: “ I became a eunuch because I had an overwhelming desire to be castrated. I started out cutting my scrotum and for a few years, I never considered castration, but somewhere along the way, my desire/fantasy changed and I couldn’t stop thinking about getting castrated. I couldn’t control the desire and finally got castrated. It wasn’t to control my sex drive, it was a desire I couldn’t control, I’d go to bed thinking about it and wake up thinking about it. Maybe my desire for castration was a result of sexual frustration or maybe it was my way of finding some sort of weird sexual satisfaction, I don’t know, but I had to be castrated and finally was castrated. “
Other MTE’s and self described “Neuters” seek genital nullification or castration for the purported “Eunuch Zen” described as a feeling of peacefulness and calmness that occurs after the removal of one’s genitals. Some Nullos retain some sexual pleasure in the prostate area, some do not, and according to one report “Some of us who have had had total removal of the penis nonetheless experience almost perpetual arousal at times.”
There is a long history of MTEs through the ages, but only since the internet have MTEs Smoothies and Nullos been able to share voices worldwide. Talula of Eunuch.org says “We need, as a eunuch community, a medical way to say ‘Yes! I want to lose my testicles!’ without getting sexual reassignment surgery. People will do it themselves if there’s not an alternative,” he says. “I know. I know because I did it.”
(*Some Nullo purists contend a “true” Nullo undergoes nipple excision as well as castration and penectomy for total “smoothie” effect)