Old Wives' Tales
Radio & TV
Toxin du jour
Claim: A deceived woman exacts revenge on her married lover by slipping his wedding ring onto his penis.
Origins: In March 2005 various media outlets picked up on a story said to have originated in Romania, about a married man whose girlfriend took revenge on him by putting his penis through his wedding ring while he was sleeping. Her motivation for doing so was variously described as payback for her boyfriend's having fallen asleep after making love to her, or because her search of his pockets while he was enjoying a post-coital nap turned up a wedding ring (a discovery that revealed his nuptialized state). Whatever the reason for her ire, though, her act of vengeance was to slip his wedding ring over his male member, thereby setting him up for a world of hurt upon his return from dreamland.
Unfortunately, the information provided in any of the various "trapped Romanian" news item is too sketchy to allow for confirmation of the tale's details. Although some tellings identified the victim as a married father of two, none of them included his name, nor was his girlfriend
Although the tale of the trapped Romanian and his vengeful girlfriend can neither be confirmed nor dismissed, its premise — that men have gone limping into emergency rooms with wedding rings well and truly lodged on their penises — is factual. While this might not be the most common of penile injury for an E.R. staff to encounter, it has happened enough times that it can't be regarded as startlingly unusual. For example, in April 2004 firemen had to bring a jewelers saw to the casualty unit at Torbay Hospital in Devon (UK) to facilitate such a ring removal from a man in his fifties. (Rather than trust the medical staff with the procedure, the gentleman took the machine and, under supervision, cut the ring off himself.) A
Well-stocked emergency rooms keep jewelry saws on hand because patients of both sexes have been known to turn up with a variety of metal objects affixed in all manner of bodily locations — some embarrassing, some not. Oftentimes, submitting these items to the ministrations of a jewelry saw proves the best way of freeing such patients from their predicaments. Thicker metallic objects are hacked off with bolt cutters or the same types of instruments used to cut accident victims from wrecked vehicles.
As for male-specific incidents, penile strangulation is a devastating injury that can result in gangrene and loss of the appendage. Such mishaps, as embarrassing as they may be, need to be dealt with promptly; if a man can't free himself from whatever mischief he's gotten up to, he needs to get himself to an emergency room post-haste rather than waste a few hours (or even days) futilely hoping the matter will resolve itself.
While it lies within the realm of possibility that acts of revenge upon the unconscious could account for an entrapment or two of this nature, when medical literature describes how patients have come to be in such distress, such injuries are invariably described as self-inflicted: the patient was either seeking an increase in sexual performance (by retarding ejaculation through keeping the penis rigid) or pursuing auto-erotic or masochistic pleasure.
Barbara "more simply, fear not the vengeful girlfriend; a man's worst enemy is himself" Mikkelson
Last updated: 22 July 2007
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