They have been boiled, fed to ducks, even attached to balloons and cast into the night sky -- when it comes to permanently depriving a cheating lover of a recently severed penis, the imagination of the wronged Thai woman knows few bounds.
Thailand has become the world center of penis reattachment surgery, but then it has been forced to be. While not unique to the kingdom, penis severing has been honed in the kingdom to its most devastating effect through a heady mixture of routine infidelity, assertive womanhood and a national cuisine that lends itself to a kitchen full of sharp knives.
The men are now fearful of a rash of Thailand's most notorious crime of passion, according to the surgeon who has stitched back many a male member for grateful patients.
Sitting in his office at Bangkok's Paolo Memorial Hospital, surgeon Surasak Muangsombot recalled how he re-attached his first phallus in 1978 and soon discovered that penis hacking was a peculiarly Thai form of sexual violence.
Since then Sweden has had three cases, the US two and one in Australia.
In the same period, Surasak's team alone has operated on 33 cases and many more have been reported around Thailand.
"Some years there are three or five and then it goes quiet. It goes in and out of fashion but sometimes its like an epidemic," he said, mimicking with his nimble surgeon's hands the swoop of a blade on an unsuspecting member.
Doctors and psychologists blame the shocking attacks on a cultural mix of Thailand's tradition of polygamy, which was banned about 100 years ago but still persists, and the fact that the phallus is revered as a symbol of power and fertility.
The phenomenon has become so widespread that doctors have had to keep up with increasingly inventive and angry wives and lovers who want to prevent the offending item from being reattached.
"They boil them, feed them to ducks, flush them down the toilet, bury them and have even tied them to balloons and let them float away," Surasak said.
He said his hardest case required bribing an angry wife to confess its location in a septic tank and the hiring of a wrecking crew to retrieve it.
"I asked the nurse to clean it up well and warned the patient that he may get septicemia and he said, `do your best and if it gets septicemia I will die with my penis.'"
"It was 15 hours between it being chopped off and reattached, which is much longer than the books say it can be done, but I went ahead and to my surprise everything went fine," he said.
The latest case was reported on Tuesday when a 29-year-old northeastern farmer was admitted to hospital for surgery with a severed penis, claiming that his wife kicked him.
The couple had fought, she then denied his requests for sex and kicked him when he complained, according to his account to doctors. Such were the length of her toe nails, she severed his penis.
Thai psychologist and media commentator Dr. Wallop Piyamanotham said the practice stemmed primarily from the outlawed, but flourishing, habit of keeping secret wives.
"Before a man could have many wives but later we followed the Western law of one man one wife, but men still act the same and have many wives so the only revenge open to the wife is to cut off his penis," Wallop said.
"Very few of these men have sex with their main wife and this leaves her feeling sexually unimportant and the only joy they have is getting him to come home and spend more time with his family," Wallop said.
The phallus also plays a special role in Thailand as a symbol of personal vigor and prosperity, and carved wooden and stone phalluses are found everywhere from shop fronts to ship prows.
Wallop said this special symbolism also made it a prime target for a vengeful partner.
"It's not just about being practical and getting his mind off sex, it is like a symbol of potency so they cut off his power," Wallop said.
In another reported case this year, a bloodied Preecha Nasomyon, 31, was found by neighbors after he had an argument with his wife over an extramarital affair.
The fight ended with Preecha's privates being nearly completely severed by a large kitchen knife.
The distraught man refused to press charges against his wife and had his penis successfully re-attached by experienced surgeons.
Surasak said despite the damage done to patients such as Preecha, the recovery rate is surprisingly high.
"The operation success rate is 100 percent but I think only about 50 percent can again experience normal reliable function again," he said.
"The wife of one recovered patient complained her guy made love to her four to seven times an night and was waking her up at all hours because it only lasted two to three minutes," said Surasak with a resigned shrug, adding "we do our best."
He warned men who insist on being unfaithful to follow a few golden rules.
"If you have a mistress they [wives] will get mad and cut it any time, so make her very happy, always carry a thermos to put it in and keep the name of a good doctor close by," he said.
Vaccines that protect against severe illness, death and lingering long COVID-19 symptoms from a SARS-CoV-2 infection were linked to small increases in neurological, blood and heart-related conditions in the largest global vaccine safety study to date. The rare events — identified early in the pandemic — included a higher risk of heart-related inflammation from mRNA shots made by Pfizer Inc, BioNTech SE and Moderna Inc, and an increased risk of a type of blood clot in the brain after immunization with viral-vector vaccines such as the one developed by the University of Oxford and made by AstraZeneca PLC. The viral-vector jabs were
A steam of sweat rose as hundreds of naked men tussled over a bag of wooden talismans, performing a dramatic end to a thousand-year-old ritual in Japan that took place for the last time. Their passionate chants of “jasso, joyasa” (“evil, be gone”) echoed through a ceder forest in Japan’s Iwate Prefecture, where the secluded Kokuseki Temple is ending the popular annual rite. Organizing the event, which draws hundreds of participants and thousands of tourists every year, has become a heavy burden for the aging local faithful, who find it hard to keep up with the rigors of the ritual. The Sominsai festival,
‘PUTIN IS RESPONSIBLE’: Authorities detained more than 100 people in Russia, as mourners remembered the opposition leader outside embassies around the world Floral tributes to Alexei Navalny, Russian President Vladimir Putin’s fiercest foe who died on Friday in a Russian penal colony, were removed overnight by groups of unidentified people while police watched, videos on Russian social media show. More than 100 people were detained in eight cities across Russia after they came to lay flowers in memory of Navalny, said OVD-Info, a group that monitors political repression in Russia. Yesterday, police blocked access to a memorial in the Siberian city of Novosibirsk and detained several people there as well as in another Siberian city, Surgut, OVD-Info said. Video footage shared on social media
COLLECTIVE ACTION: Over 150 trainee doctors quit over the government’s plan to increase medical school admissions by 2,000 students next school year The South Korean government yesterday warned that trainee doctors were putting public health at risk after more than 150 tendered their resignations to protest a government plan to admit more students to medical schools. The South Korean Ministry of Health and Welfare said it had issued a back-to-work order to the 154 doctors at seven hospitals, warning that refusing to comply would result in punishment. The government plans to raise medical school admissions by 2,000 students for the 2025 academic year and to add 10,000 doctors by 2035. Currently, about 3,000 students enter medical schools each year. The plan has drawn intense protests