Anal “Pear Of Anguish”

OK, I already mentioned this in Friday’s bondage links, but it deserves its own post, really.

If you’ve spent any time at all surfing the kinky web, you’ll have fairly quickly found yourself at one or another of the many many sites that document historical restraints and torture methods, as applied to martyrs, suspected witches, criminal wretches of ancient times, and the like. Although there can be quite a lot of overlap with modern BDSM fantasies and tropes, I’ve never had — despite a few exceptions — a lot of time for that material; my sense of justice, love of due process, and empathy for the real anguish of long-dead victims of oppression tends to overwhelm any sexual frisson I might otherwise get from the tools of bondage under discussion.

One classic example is that infamous tool of the Spanish Inquisition, the so-called “pear of anguish”. In its classic form (and you can find photos of lovingly-wrought examples of this tool all over the internet) it was a simple screw device with three curved iron petals. Screwed closed, it was roughly the shape of a butt plug, or, poetically speaking, a pear. In this state it could be inserted in the anus, the vagina, or the mouth. And then, of course, the inquisitor would start turning the screw, causing the petals to be forced apart. Whether this caused “mere” pain or horrid disfigurement presumably depends on how far the screw was turned, but many of the historical examples have additional spikes attached, making it clear that avoiding tissue damage was emphatically not a priority. Not sexy, not to me.

But the idea of it has some play room in its memespace. If you had one that was well-machined of smooth steel, small enough to be inserted in the first instance with no greater trauma than any other butt plug or dildo, you could have some fun with it. But the machining, the complexity, the difficulty … nobody’s ever going to bother with that, not for any project less vital than rooting out the dire menace that is witches in all of our cupboards. Right?

Wrong:

locking anal pear

Not only has somebody started manufacturing these intrusive beasts for sale, they took the minor added step of making it lockable, so that it can’t readily be removed by unauthorized persons. And — in a move I think clever, given the bloody horror at the historical root of these vicious little items — they are marketing it as an anal chastity “ass lock” device:

Sometimes, you want others to know that your ass is off-limits. One glance at the Ultimate Asslock in use will be enough to let others know move on – this ass is spoken for! Simply insert this steel piece of botany into your back door and widen its petals to blossom while inside you to achieve a truly unique feeling of fullness.

Sadly, the thing is so pricey I fear most of us will just have to imagine owning one. (Although, I do see that right now it’s on sale, at more than a hundred bucks off its usual list price.)

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15 comments on “Anal “Pear Of Anguish””:

Armchair Historian commented on May 22nd, 2011 at 10:58 pm:

Don’t worry too much about the actual victims of these sorts of devices. Most of them were invented solely for torture museums after the Middle Ages. Specifically, this pear, the Iron Maiden, and the Judas Cradle are all fictional devices created in order to titillate visitors to museums and as private showpieces. It is possible that complex devices were used in a few rare cases but never in widespread use.

Simpler devices were used for torture. Whips, knives, hammers, stocks, and pillories. It isn’t hard to inflict pain on the human body. Making brutal torture devices was simple and didn’t require complex mechanical devices.

Torture also wasn’t as common as is depicted. The threat of it was usually enough. Inquisitors usually acted as a sort of educator/detective/commissar rather than torturer. Which is not to say that it didn’t get bad at times.

Rope Guy commented on May 23rd, 2011 at 7:12 am:

As they say on wikipedia, citation needed.

My understanding is that most of the examples currently in museums were built for display purposes, but that there exist historical accounts of all of them in actual use. Some of these histories are lurid and potentially unreliable — but some of the historians seeking to debunk historical torture accounts have agendas, too (typically, apologia for the Catholic Church).

As for the “torture wasn’t all that common / was usually just threatened” meme, that’s very definitely a historical whitewash aimed at prettying up the Inquisition. I’m not saying that’s your agenda, I don’t believe that — it’s just, you’ve bought a story that’s been several hundred years in the building and the telling. The victims of the Inquisition haven’t maintained a continuous public relations push sustained over centuries the way the perpetrators of it have.

Victoria commented on May 23rd, 2011 at 8:35 am:

Wouldn’t this device run the risk of pinching something inside when you closed it? Using an inflatable plug just seems safer.

Rope Guy commented on May 23rd, 2011 at 8:55 am:

Victoria, I’ve wondered about that myself. As I imagine the physics of this thing closing while pressed around with elastic tissue, I don’t think it’s likely to be a problem; but I’m far from certain. I’d sure enjoy hearing from somebody who has actually played with one!

Cardy commented on May 23rd, 2011 at 9:23 am:

Rope Guy, this particular post is an appropriate place to ask: Do you happen to know what happened to Inquisition World? After a long period of erraticly-timed postings, they seem to have disappeared altogether. Gone forever?

Rope Guy commented on May 23rd, 2011 at 10:08 am:

Well, the site is still there, so I wouldn’t describe them as “gone” or “disappeared”. But they don’t seem to be doing updates for the last six months.

I don’t have any information, but the usual way a niche porn pay site “fails” is that when it stops making enough money to justify doing new shoots, the owners stop doing them, but they leave the site up for existing members and to get a continuing (declining) revenue stream from people who are sufficiently excited by the niche that they will sign up even despite the lack of recent updates.

One common tactic for sites with a deep archive is that they’ll pull the oldest update forward with an automatic script once a week, putting a new date on it. That way new potential subscribers have a hard time seeing that there will never be any new content. IW is, at least, not doing that.

tife commented on May 24th, 2011 at 1:26 pm:

“As they say on wikipedia, citation needed.”

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Choke_pear_%28torture%29

Wikipedia’s article indicates that there are no first hand accounts of the pear being used at all. The earliest account found is from the 17th century ” … in F. de Calvi’s L’Inventaire général de l’histoire des larrons (“General inventory of the history of thieves”), written in 1639, which attributes the invention to a robber named Capitaine Gaucherou de Palioly in the days of Henry of Navarre. Palioly would have used a mechanical gag to subdue a wealthy Parisian while he and his accomplices robbed the victim’s home.” Also note, again from Wikipedia, “Up until at least the early 1900s, the mechanical Pear of Anguish was considered a spring-loaded device, for oral use only … It is only in recent decades, possibly due to an increase in their popularity in torture museums, that other possible uses for such devices appear to have emerged.”

I wish I could remember the name of a documentary that essentially went down “the list” of popular torture devices and tested them for practicality and dug into research to see if they could find any records of them being used. It was very interesting to see what could/couldn’t be debunked. They tried the pear in a simulation of the mouth & vagina/asshole and the only time it was able to ‘spread’ properly was in the mouth, though even then it required an excessive amount of force to do physical damage. Like Armchair Historian, the advent of the horrifying medieval torture device was essentially for shock and show.

Tried pear commented on June 14th, 2011 at 5:15 pm:

I have just the same model as in starter´s picture. Expensive, well crafted thing.
First of all I am wondering, how long people have been stretching their asses, as I have very hard time inserting something this size, and smaller versions (metal buttplugs also) are rare.

First of all number 2 ;) : feature that it can be locked in place, is one of the greatest sexual dreams for some, like I.
I actually wasn´t happy at all with it for two reasons:
- That pin that the lock goes in, is threaded to the base. It can easily be unscrewed, so there goes the locking thrill… Second, you cannot screw the device to expand. You have to push, and I did not have enough strenght to push it at all, and I am quite big guy. So I modified it to suit better for my preferences. I drilled hole from side towards locking pin, made treads and screwed a plug with screw lock in the hole. Then I axially drilled to the other side hole and threads to the base. I put bolt with threadlock to that. Wingnut is there for slowly opening the device, and when it is fully open, it can be locked.

Tried pear commented on June 14th, 2011 at 5:19 pm:

…addition to my comment: I am heterosexual and primarily using this kind of devices in selfbondage. I planned (not yet tried) to screw a metal post to wall next to bed and lock that thing straight to it. Waiting for the ice melt and drop the keys from ceiling.

SpankMe commented on September 29th, 2011 at 12:42 am:

Rope Guy wrote:
> The victims of the Inquisition haven’t maintained a continuous
> public relations push sustained over centuries the way the
> perpetrators of it have.

Unfortunately, that’s false. Protestant Europe produced a large corpus of propaganda revolving around “accounts” of torture by the Inquisition, many of them obviously porn, featuring beautiful half-clad women, others less obvious.

See “Inquisiton” by Edward Peters for a start.

Anal Pear On Cable TV – Bondage Blog commented on January 10th, 2012 at 8:40 am:

[...] you ever think you’d live to see the day when something like the Ultimate Ass Lock (see here) got a loving camera zoom on a cable television drama? The world is changing, oh my [...]

Pallando commented on March 19th, 2012 at 5:57 am:

I did buy one, and it is fun.

Alas, even when fully spread and locked, it is small enough to remove. :-(

Daniela Kuhmeier commented on July 23rd, 2012 at 9:06 am:

This toy is perfect. If you want to make sure that your girl does not run away you can also make a chains on the locking system and the other end of the chains to a wall. I’m sure it would be also very funny if you would chain two or more girls together with this anal plug and so you could have fun with two girls.

Friday Bondage Links Cornucopia #78 – Bondage Blog commented on February 23rd, 2013 at 11:43 am:

[...] the locking anal pear, AKA “the Ultimate Asslock”? Well, here’s a photo of a guy who’s got one [...]

Anal Pear Comic – Bondage Blog commented on September 23rd, 2013 at 10:30 am:

[...] since the anal pear started to become an item of commerce you can buy at The Stockroom, I’ve started paying more [...]

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