Shocked doctors had to perform emergency surgery on a man in the Australian capital Canberra after he lodged a 10 centimetre (four-inch) steel fork inside his penis for sexual pleasure.
The bizarre incident was considered so unusual that it was written up as a case report in a recent issue of the International Journal of Surgery.
According to the paper 'An Unusual Urethral Foreign Body', the 70-year-old arrived at the emergency department of Canberra Hospital with a bleeding penis "following self-insertion of a fork into the urethra to achieve sexual gratification".
It said he had put the dining fork inside 12 hours prior "for autoerotic stimulation" but it became stuck.
Baffled doctors called it a rare and unusual incident. The fork was not visible and "multiple retrieval methods were contemplated".
Success was achieved using forceps and "copious lubrication" and the man, who was put under general anaesthesia, was sent home. It did not say when the incident occurred.
"The motives for insertion of a variety of objects are difficult to comprehend," the doctors said.
"This case warrants discussion given the great management challenge faced by the oddity and infrequency with which a fork is encountered in the penile urethra."
The paper said only a handful of foreign body insertions into the lower urinary tract had been detailed over the last nine years.
It went on to cite medical literature listing other strange objects found inside parts of the body, including needles, pencils, wire, toothbrushes, batteries, light bulbs, thermometers and plants and vegetables.
"The practice manifests primarily during states of pathological masturbation, substance abuse and intoxication and as a result of psychological compounders," the case study said
"Autoerotic stimulation with the aid of self-inserted urethral foreign bodies has been existent since time immemorial and have presented an unusual but known presentation to urologists."
It said death could occur through infection if people delay seeking medical attention due to embarrassment.