Old Wives' Tales
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Legend: Woman who suffers a seizure clamps down on the penis of the man she's orally pleasuring.
Origins: Although this story is routinely told as a true, local, and recent occurence, versions of it have been in circulation for decades, and folklorist Bill Ellis states it has antecedents dating to the early part of the
Similar to the
This legend can also be viewed figuratively, as an expression of a man's fear of finding himself trapped in a romantic relationship he cannot extricate himself from. Drawn in by the good things a woman has to offer, would he later find himself unable to pull away? Would something unforeseen work to prevent him from reclaiming his freedom?
The tales serves, literally and figuratively, as an expression of male fear. Though the woman is the target of retaliation by her partner, an act that causes her to be harmed as well, the focus is primarily upon the man and how the experience affects him.
In the examples quoted above, the woman goes into a fit during fellatio, a turn of events unforeseen and wholly accidental. Though she becomes the instrument of pain, neither malice nor recklessness is involved. Consequently, neither she nor her partner bears any responsibility for how things come to this sorry pass. Also, neither of the parties to the act endures severe or life-threatening injuries; the harm done to them is more of the "we now know what you were doing" nature, plus some minor physical injuries. In other versions of the basic tale, the plot has a different
[Collected via e-mail, 2002]Once again, fellatio leads to a penile mishap, but in this case the woman does not merely chomp down upon the appendage, she bites it off. The castration takes place before or during an auto accident in which either she alone, or she and the now-penisless man, are killed. Akin to the JATO legend, the whole sorry affair is worked out only in retrospect by police sent to investigate the scene.
A couple dies after getting into a car accident. She was giving him oral sex. He loses control of the car and bleeds to death when his penis is bitten off and she chokes to death.
[Legman, 1975, collected in New York in 1960]
A man is killed in an automobile accident while joy-riding with a girl, who is also killed. He is found, at the morgue, to have no penis. After a good deal of puzzled searching, they pry open the dead girl's jaw, and find the man's penis there. The accident is then reconstructed: the girl has been fellating the man while he drove. He has driven the car faster and faster as he became more and more excited, finally losing control as his orgasm approached. The girl has bitten off his penis at the moment of his orgasm, and the resulting wrecking of the car, in which her neck has snapped and broken.
The legend is told two ways: The man's being orally pleasured causes him to lose control of the vehicle, which results in the auto accident wherein he loses his penis, or the woman castrates him at the height of his passion, which causes him to wreck the car. Either way, their causing the fatal accident through their own reckless act moves what was a cautionary tale about men's finding themselves trapped in less-than-satisfactory relationships into a new realm. Now it becomes a warning against both hanky-panky at the wheel and sex itself in which both participants pay a horrific price for having engaged in a practice society does not fully approve of: she with her life and he with his penis (and sometimes his life).
This legend exists in a non-fellatio form as well:
[Legman, 1975, collected in Los Angeles in 1968]Barbara "a bird in the hand" Mikkelson
A man is berated by the state-troopers for not having strapped on his girl friend's seat belt before the accident in which she was thrown through the windshield and killed, while he is still alive behind the steering wheel. "So what?'' he says bitterly, "go take a look at what she's got in her hand!"
Update: A May 2009 news story purporting to have taken place Singapore yet have been reported in the Chinese press relates that while orally servicing her boss in a parked car at a local park, a secretary bit off the man's penis when the vehicle they were in was struck by a van. A private investigator that had followed the woman to the park on behalf of her husband saw the car begin to shake violently (presumably as the couple was going at it), then after it was struck heard the woman scream and saw that her mouth was covered with blood. The article reports that the woman later followed her lover to the hospital with part of the sexual organ she'd nipped off.
Chinese newspapers are not bastions of journalistic correctitude — there have been instances of their running unverifiable tales based on urban legends (e.g., the 1994 reporting of an account that was a cross between the "Mother's Little Helper" and "Fatal Telegram" ULs). Ergo, that this story about a bitten penis was reported in a newspaper does not make it factual; more information is yet needed.
Sightings: Sharp-eyed viewers will find this legend in the 1982 film The World According to Garp. An aviation form of the legend appears in Lewis Grizzard's 1988 humor book "Don't Bend Over in the Garden, Granny, You Know Them Taters Got Eyes."
Last updated: 5 May 2009
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