Gerbil Remedies: Fact and fiction about Felching

I am sorry for the blog post about felching. Dr. Brenda Love identifies felching in the Encyclopedia of Unusual Sex Practices in two different ways. The first variant refers to the act or taking semen from a partner after anal sex. The second variant refers to stuffing small animals into the anus or vagina for sexual stimulation. The existence of the first variant is not doubted. There are many online discussions about whether or not the practice of inserting small animals in bodily organs is actually legal. If felching is a practice, it might be a sub-type musophilia. Dr. Anil Aggrawal’s 2009 book Forensic and Medico-legal Aspects Sexual Crimes and Unusual Sexual Practices identifies it as involving sexual arousal by mice. However, he does not provide any details as to how that sexual arousal could actually occur.

Richard Gere is the most famous felching story. In the mid-1980s, a false story circulated that Gere had visited Cedars-Sinai Hospital in California to undergo an emergency ‘gerbilectomy’. The Gere story is so well-known that it has been mentioned in both mainstream movies (e.g. Scream in 1996 and Urban Legend in 1998) and comedy television programmes (e.g. The Vicar of Dibley, Dawn French’s character commenting on Richard Gere’s sex appeal says she wouldn’t mind being the hamster). Sylvester Stallone, an actor from the USA, stated publicly that Richard Gere was responsible for starting the rumour in 2006. A reporter from Philadelphia’s KYW TV (Jerry Penacoli), was reported to have taken a gerbil out of his colon. Same story, different person.

Jan Harold Brunvand is the author of The Encyclopedia of Urban Legends. Citing an academic paper by Becky Vorpagel published in an 1988 issue of International Folklore Rev (“A rodent of any other name: Implications of an Contemporary Legend”), Jan Harold Brunvand says that the 1984 ‘gerbilling story’ began as a tale involving an unknown gay man with a mouse. The unknown gay man was transformed into Richard Gere and the mouse became the gerbil.

Two stories were also published online in 1993. These “news” stories, the first being attributed to Los Angeles Times but never appearing in print, have been repeated in numerous online articles about felching. (And here I am again repeating them)

News story 1: “Retrospectively, lighting the match was my biggest mistake. Eric Tomaszewski explained that he was trying to save the gerbil, but that he had only been trying to do so. After a serious felching session, Tomaszewski and his homosexual partner Andrew Farnum were admitted to the hospital for emergency treatment. He explained that he had pushed a cardboard tube through his rectum and slipped Raggot (our gerbil), in. Kiki shouted ‘Armageddon’, his cue that he was done. “I tried to rescue Raggot, but he wouldn’t come out again. So I peered into the tube, struck a match, hoping the light might attract him. A hospital spokesperson described what happened next at a hushed conference. The match ignited an intestinal gas pocket and a flame shot from the tube. This ignited Mr. Tomaszewski’s hair and severely burned his face. The match also lit the gerbil’s fur, whiskers, and ignited more gas up the intestine. This in turn caused Tomaszewski to sustain second-degree burns, and Farnum to suffer first and second degrees burns to his lower intestinal tract.

News story 2: A 26-year old male presents to the ER complaining about rectal bleeding. Although he is embarrassed to give a detailed history, he gives the examining physician a hint: “There might have been something stuck in my back end.” A rectal exam reveals that blood has come from his anus. A speculum examination revealed bloody stool and a dead Gerbil. The rodent was forced into his rectum by the cardboard tube made from a paper towel roll. The tube was then pulled out of the animal’s mouth. It is believed that the gerbil will suffocate and then scratch at the rectum lining, causing intense pain for the patient. However, the rodent had to be exceded. The swelling and bleeding had led to the animal’s retention. After the animal was removed from his body, the patient needed pain medication and antibiotics. He was allowed to return home.

I did a literature search in academic databases but couldn’t find any case of someone seeking treatment for a rodent problem. However, Dr Siu Fai Lo (Kwong Wah Hospital in Hong Kong) described a case where a 50-year-old man had to have a live animal removed from his rectum. (You can see the reference below if you don’t believe it). According to the authors, rectal perforation caused by the ingestion of live animals into the rectum has never been reported. A paper on anorectal injury was published in the 1989 American Journal of Forensic Medicine and Pathology. It is worth noting. Eckert, and Dr. S. Katchis. They spoke out about felching. They said that felching is a common practice in which rodents (gerbils and mice) are inserted into the rectum. The animal’s futile attempts to claw its way out of danger result in mucosal tears. They didn’t provide any evidence to support its existence.

There is always the possibility that the sexual practice may have occurred, but it has never been discovered. Others have also tried to locate evidence. An online essay about felching was reported, for example.

“Researchers, including Mike Walker, from the National Enquirer tried in vain to record any instance of Gerbil-stuffing by anyone or anywhere. The American Hospital Association published a book in 1992 that contained a promising lead. The Hospital Emergency Department: A guide to Operational Excellence was edited by Theodore A. Matson. It included the entry “rectal Mass – Gerbils” in the category of emergency-room procedures that take 25 minutes or more to complete. John A. was contacted by an investigator. Page, the author of the section, claimed that John A.