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Glenn, J. (1969). Testicular and Scrotal Masturbation. Int. J. Psycho-Anal., 50:353-362.

(1969). International Journal of Psycho-Analysis, 50:353-362

Testicular and Scrotal Masturbation

Jules Glenn


Three cases in which testicular or scrotal masturbation was present have been described. Eight-year-old Eddie initiated this activity after being threatened with circumcision. Cathexis was displaced from the penis, which had been the centre of masturbatory interest, to the testicles. Drive discharge or masochistic wishes were achieved and mastery of fear of penis and testicular injury was attempted through testicular and scrotal masturbation. Painful squeezing of the testicles satisfied masochistic wishes. Al, also 8, defended himself from oedipal wishes and hostile impulses due to feelings that he was deprived, by resorting to a masochistic position. This boy rubbed his testicles while fantasizing putting out a fire with urine produced by his testicles. The fire represented his sexual and aggressive strivings and the urine both his burning impulses and the defences against them. Mr L., an adult, found pleasure in holding his testicles or having them held. Through stimulating his testes, which were felt to have attributes of both sexes, he could picture himself as the masculine impregnator appreciated by women or the feminine person in contact with a beloved man. By identifying with a woman possessing testicle-breasts, he could feel maternally cared for as he held his genitals.

Having demonstrated that scrotal stimulation can be pleasurable and used for masturbation and that painful testicular pressure served to evoke masochistic gratification, I described the additional role of attempted mastery of past traumata to the testicles or penis in the testicular masturbation.

Hypotheses regarding the determinants of the fantasy that the testicles produce urine—a previously unreported but not uncommon fantasy—were suggested. I then described factors which lead to patients associating the testicle–scrotum area with both femininity and passivity, emphasizing the role of genital sensations and noting that there is more perceived activity in the penis than inside the scrotal sac during sexual excitement and orgasm. Biological factors appear to make the penis feel more active even in childhood.

In the final section of the paper I undertook to explain why testicular cathexis and castration anxiety is more pronounced in some persons, while in most men phallic cathexis and castration fear

prevail. I attributed the greater frequency of penile cathexis and castration anxiety to the association of the testicles with passivity and femininity, and the penis with activity and masculinity; men generally fear losing the active masculine part more than the feminine passive part.

Among the factors contributing to some males' greater testicular and/or a scrotal cathexis and their autoerotic employment are: displacement from the penis, direct threats to the testicles, marked testicular stimulation early in life, threats to organs symbolically associated with the testes, constitutional factors and tendencies toward masochism and passivity.

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