A man chopped off his own penis and testicles because he wanted to become a genitalia-free ‘nullo.’ Trent Gates, 23, severed his testicles in April 2016, then removed his manhood with an ultra-sharp ceramic knife in January 2017 after seeing a photo of another famous nullo called Gelding at the age of 15.
Trent, from Washington DC, only used iced water for the first procedure, but performed the second removal after after taking regular painkillers to counter the pain. Recalling what made him decide to remove his genitalia in his first ever interview, Trent told Metro US: ‘It really didn’t feel like part of me. It’s along the lines of being trans, but not quite. ‘I have no desire to be a woman. It’s kind of a middle ground in-between the two, an androgynous in-between.
‘I came across some pictures when I was in high school, online, and I’ve been that way since, back since i was probably, 15. ‘I saw a photo online – it was like, bam, first photo I saw, thats me, I want to be there some day. ‘I think it was a photo of (famous nullo) Gelding. He’s kind of like the grandfather of the community.’ Trent describes himself as a non-binary person who is sexually attracted to men. But he does not like the pronoun ‘they’ and says he feels more male than female.
He says that nullos are different to eunuchs – men who were historically castrated to guard female living areas of royal courts – because they have their penises removed too.
The IT worker sliced his testicles off at his apartment and later removed his penis in a North Carolina hotel room after meeting a local ‘spotter’ online who agreed to call an ambulance if he suffered a medical emergency.
He used a knife sanitized with alcohol, then travelled to the hospital immediately after on both occasions, where a surgeon stitched him up and gave him painkillers.
He talked to a mental health team about his decision to remove his genitals. Trent also took photos of the process, which are too graphic to reproduce.
The IT worker recalled: ‘I used a ceramic (knife) because its sharper than the steel, less ripping and tearing. ‘I sanitized it all beforehand with alcohol.
I took every precaution. I had no infection. I went to the hospital right after. ‘I honestly didn’t have a problem with the pain. I used a little bit of a numbing agent, a little bit of lidocaine on it, and I took to five milligrams of oxycodone that they prescribed me when I did my balls to take the edge off.
‘It really wasn’t that painful, it wasn’t that euphoric of a feeling, it was just kind of “Yeah, it’s happening”.’ Recalling the aftermath, Trent continued: ‘I had the same surgeon both times.
I was 16 hours away from where I did my balls but i had the same surgeon both times. ‘She ran me through the ringer, because it was a couple of months after I had been at a different hospital 16 hours away. ‘They made sure I got psychiatric treatment just to make sure I was sane and that it was a good decision. ‘The therapists and the psychiatric staff said “Yeah, yeah, he’s good, he’s sane…miraculously”.’
‘It really wasn’t that painful, it wasn’t that euphoric of a feeling, it was just kind of “Yeah, it’s happening”.’ Recalling the aftermath, Trent continued: ‘I had the same surgeon both times. I was 16 hours away from where I did my balls but i had the same surgeon both times. ‘She ran me through the ringer, because it was a couple of months after I had been at a different hospital 16 hours away. ‘They made sure I got psychiatric treatment just to make sure I was sane and that it was a good decision. ‘The therapists and the psychiatric staff said “Yeah, yeah, he’s good, he’s sane…miraculously”.’
Trent says the wound where he removed his testicles took a month to heal, while the area where his penis once sat recovered in around to to three weeks.
He inserted a catheter for several weeks after removing his penis to ensure there was a hole through which he could urinate.
Trent says he enjoys sex even more now he has no penis or testicles, explaining: ‘I’ve actually found that my orgasms have gotten a hell of a lot more intense. ‘The first time that I had sex afterwards, I almost passed out and was shaking for hours afterwards. ‘It was that intense of an orgasm. It’s kind of weird. I actually do (ejaculate).
It’s essentially the clear pre-cum that is produced by prostate.’ Trent says his boyfriend fully accepts his modified genitalia. He did not tell his parents about removing his privates until after he had done so, and he has not told his three younger brothers about the makeshift surgeries. He said: ‘My parents were a little bit shocked but accepting. (My) grandparents more (were) shocked than immediately accepting, but they are accepting, and great grandparents were immediately accepting, surprisingly.’ Trent also revealed how he kept his penis in the freezer – with his mother sparking a family row after throwing it out. He said: ‘(My privates) were preserved in the freezer and they got thrown out. My mother threw them out – I don’t really want to go into much more detail on that right now. they’re still working that out. They were preserved, they were brought home and then…yeah.’ Trent says he has no regrets about becoming a nullo, and added that it has helped him overcome crippling depression which saw him attempt suicide multiple times while at school. He explained: ‘I feel happier. I feel more me. I feel, I guess, freer in a sense. It’s kind of hard to describe it. ‘More how I’m meant to be, at heart. I feel more like the me I’ve always felt I was. ‘With people who have a problem I’m like, fuck it, its not your body, don’t worry about it.’