Just be thankful you're not a medieval penis investigator

Impotence was a pressing concern for men and women in late medieval England.

Late medieval is ~1250-1500. The Black Death rocked through Europe in the middle of the 1300s (and repeated waves rolled through every few years thereafter), so I expect there was a fair bit of pressure to repopulate the land.


A tiny prick that doth cause great swelling?


Your medieval jurisdiction may vary, but the “eww, gay” response played differently then than it does among contemporary homophobes. The act of buggery (or whatever term for hot man-on-man action) was a no-no, although winked at in a lot of circumstances. (I mean, it’s one thing if you’re away on the Crusades—what happens in Constantinople stays in Constantinople—but don’t do it in the local churchyard.)

But just getting a boner in the company of men? Nah. Particularly not when the point was to prove that a boner was physically possible for the man in question. Medieval legal proceedings are often surprising for the extent to which they are about technical points of compliance with this or that arcane law, and not about burning witches.


I wasn’t entirely serious. It was more an allusion to stuff like those witch trials where a woman got thrown inte the water. If she floated she was a witch and burned, if she drowned she was innocent. (And I know that’s not exactly how it worked either, but that’s the common myth).

I know. Burn, right?

What, no mention of the Roman-era eunuch-testers?


Investigate every legal penis!

– Medieval Arse Gratia Artis.


“Step aside, Butch.”

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