- Even when performed quickly, as by a sword strike, it is excruciatingly painful, because not only the testicles, but also the spermatic cords, are thickly wrapped in nerve fibers and extremely sensitive to impact and injury, but most castrations as punishments were performed as slowly as possible to worsen the intensity of the victim's agony and lengthen its duration. Standard practice in France from the Middle-Ages to the French Revolution was to crush the condemned's testicles in a vise, which burst them as mush from the scrotum, then crunch the spermatic cords with pliers. The condemned was turned upside down in order to maximize the blood flow to his brain after which he was unable to pass out or enter a state of shock until, perhaps, the last few seconds of his ordeal. The condemned was sure to vomit repeatedly with violent convulsions, even well after he had voided the contents of his stomach, but he rarely screamed except for an initial shriek, which immediately silenced, because the pain overwhelmed his ability to breathe. Most men would hang and thrash wildly during and after the crushing of each testicle, and their thrashing would renew upon the crushing of each spermatic cord, This torture method (accompanied by others) was usually reserved for the crime of regicide or attempted regicide. The condemned was mercifully put to death afterwards, but his torture routinely lasted for the better part of a day, witnessed by large crowds. It is interesting to note that, whereas most crowds were instructed to jeer, mock, and ridicule the condemned, and did so even during a disemboweling, and drawing and quartering, most crowds remained silent and stared with shocked expressions as a castration was carried out in this manner. Onlookers, male and female, are recorded to have vomited at the sight of the spectacle. The crushing of the spermatic cords produces a sound, which veterinarians (who routinely perform this castration procedure on anaesthetized, large livestock, such as horses) usually describe as similar to crushing an entire head of frozen celery, wrapped in rubber bands.
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