Men Have Their Uses | Help Solve the Gore Vidal Radish Mystery

PLEASE NOTE: Disclaimer DO NOT insert anything into any orifice unless you know what you are doing!


One of the greatest Americans who ever lived is Gore Vidal. Now for an under statement: If you haven’t read any of Gore Vidal’s books – at least the historical novels – you’ve wasted your time on planet earth!

In Gore Vidal’s Creation, a tour de force of history and a brilliantly enjoyable read, he throws in one of his tantalising nuggets. The scene is set in India circa 500BC and the punishments for adultery are relevant to the plot or sub plot. A character notes that a woman discovered in the act of adultery will be punished by strangulation until death. A man discovered in the same act is to be punished by means of a radish inserted where the sun don’t shine – aka his anus.  Was this as unfair as it at first seemed?  Was the disparity between punishments so large?

The Purpose of this Article

The REAL purpose of this article is to discover why this radish punishment existed.  NOT to encourage adult men to carry out a personal form of experimental archaeology. That said, if you or any other adult human male* you know have carried out this exact experiment in the past PLEASE COMMENT!

Don’t for a moment think I’ve never called for volunteers. I did ask a few male friends (prospective guinea pigs) to carry out what has been described but they all declined to do so. I’ve asked them since and they still say, words to the effect, “NO!” To actually find out would be interesting. Perhaps I’m the victim of a Gore Vidal spoof – confirmation of that (one way or the other) would be appreciated.

What was the Effect of a Radish Punishment?

If anyone reading this can explain why shoving a radish where the sun don’t shine could have been a punishment – please put me out of my misery.  Tell me!

NB: I’m aware that there are differences between the female and male anus. For starters, females do not have prostate glands – this I think could have something to do with it – that is why nobody should actually carry out the experiment. There’s really no need for anyone to draw diagrams – not unless they’re pertinent to the question.

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Comments 3 comments

CarB 6 years ago

You are hilarious! :) Now I have to find this book at the library. That doesn't sound like much of a punishment for the men. Plus, radishes are pretty skinny and some might have even enjoyed it. Hmmmm.

Wilma Proops profile image

Wilma Proops 6 years ago from London, Liverpool, Paris, New York and Tenerife Author

Thank you for your comment - exactly the response Wilma hoped for. However, it is in Gore Vidal's Creation and Wilma can't see that Gore made this up. He is famous for the thorough research he carries out. Creation is really worth reading...

For more by Wilma Proops see her hubs here and visit her Comedy Problem Page

Mel 6 years ago

if the skin were peeled off the radish it would burn just as bad if not worse upon initial entering as having lemon juice squirted in your eye. After that the pain would escalate as the radish where shoved further in.

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