"I coughed. 'Um ... why, precisely, is that desirable?'
His embarrassment faded slightly into shock.
'Why... it... the ... the loss of the male essence is most debilitating. It drains the vitality and exposes a man to all manner of sickness, as well as grossly impairing his mental and spiritual faculties.'" (585)
Would it help if I were to mention that this scene takes place in the eighteenth century?
"The object in question consisted of two concentric circles of metal, the outer one flexible, with overlapping ends, and a sort of key mechanism that enabled it to be tightened. The inner one was sawtoothed—much like a bear trap, as I'd said. Rather obviously, it was meant to be fastened round a limp penis—which would stay in that condition, if it knew what was good for it." (p. 585)
'It is called a jugum penis,' Dr. Rawlings explained to me, his color increasing noticeably.
'It looks like a bear trap. What is it—it can't be a device for performing circumcision, surely?' I picked up the object, which caused Dr. Rawlings to gasp, and I eyed him curiously.
'It—er, please, dear lady...' He almost snatched the thing out of my hands, thrusting it back into his chest.
'What on earth is it for?' I asked, more amused than offended by his reaction. 'Given the name, obviously—'
'It prevents nocturnal ... er ... tumescence.' His face by this time was a dark, unhealthy sort of red, and he wouldn't meet my eye." —Diana Gabaldon, An Echo in the Bone (New York: Delacorte Press, 2009), 585