Czech "peter meter" test for gay asylum seekers slammed by EU

If you think a TSA grope is bad, gay men seeking asylum in the Czech Republic are forced to drop their pants and get hooked up to a penile plethysmograph to find out just how gay they are. After the "peter meter" device is attached to their penises, they are subjected to all kinds of pornography to see what happens to their junk. This test then determines if they can seek asylum.

The European Union's main human rights agency, the Fundamental Rights Agency, denounced the procedure. BBC reports, "The case first came to light after a German court refused to deport an Iranian asylum seeker to the Czech Republic, saying as a homosexual he would be subjected to the test." Apparently, your religious views about viewing pornography are ignored. And it's OK, sez Czech officials, because they only do it to asylum seekers who identify as gay.

The device was developed in what's now the Czech Republic by psychologist Kurt Freund, who then moved to what's now called the Centre for Addiction and Mental Health (CAMH) in Toronto, Canada. Freund's CAMH protégés are still the most vocal proponents of the device, and this peter meter has been used on children as young as 13 in Canada. Earlier this year, a Canadian tester was charged with sexual assault. (BBC via The Advocate)


  1. I’m a law student in Ontario. This technique is still used in Ontario (mostly for “dangerous offenders”).

    Here’s a link to Canada’s public law case report system that shows some of the many cases involving the use of this questionable technique:

    There are several 2010 cases in there.

  2. The mechanics of the device are quite simple. The official hooks up the sensor to the subject’s penis. The official is careful to make sure the penis is properly attached, re-checking all straps and bindings. Then the official presses the single ‘TEST’ button. Finally the device prints out the following message on a strip of thermal paper:


  3. Oh, and if you hit the ‘Factory Rest’ button, the test strips will revert to printing:


  4. On the other hand if you’re claiming asylum on the grounds that you’re being persecuted for your erotic preference for having wires attached to your dick, you’re pretty much home and dry.

  5. I couldn’t believe it when I first heard (a couple of days ago) what exactly we were doing…
    The only thing I can say in any sort of defense of this practice is that it’s a win-win situation; you either “respond accordingly” and get the asylum or you are 100% scientifically proven not to be gay (at least in the “tubes on my penis, doctor groping Clockwork orange way” – I know it’s BS) which could perhaps help you out a bit in the country you are trying to flee.
    At least in this case you’re rewarded for your gayness for once…
    [Hangs head in shame]

    1. Man, I need to wear my glasses full time – I read that your text as “I couldn’t believe it when I first heard (a couple of gays ago) …”

  6. I thought maybe this was just Stanley Milgram’s latest experiment, in which he shows what a bunch of sick fucks immigration officials are..

  7. That is some quality science based homo-detection going on right there.

    Do the Czech really have a problem with letting gay guys into their country?

    1. I think you’re looking at it from the wrong direction. It’s not that they’re trying to keep out the gays. They’re trying to make sure they’re only granting this sort of asylum to gay people. Otherwise anyone could show up, claim to be gay, and be protected no matter their actual reasons and sexual preference.

    2. @arikol: The device was originally developed to catch recruits claiming to be gay to avoid military service. That’s sort of how it’s being used here, to catch asylum seekers saying they are gay, but aren’t. Problem is that penile arousal is not necessarily evidence of sexual orientation. Ask any adolescent guy who got a spontaneous erection in a decidedly unarousing situation.

  8. Being a former friend of an unfairly accused sex offender (long story, and not the point) this device is well in use in the State of Colorado as well. I have read many times that we have the strongest laws and punishments for sex offender crimes in the nation, but I distinctly remember my friend describing this, and being horrified at the prospect back in High School.

  9. Actually the peter meter is not given to every gay person but only gays who been cheated in his asylum form. You must understand to my country is trying get all sort of people and many of them are kinda mafia from exSoviet Russia and Chechnya.
    PS: sorry for bouble post

  10. Are they testing for a boner from gay porn or the lack of a boner from straight porn? I think a lot of gay guys would still get aroused by straight porn, since there is a lot of “wood” involved, and a straight guy trying to fake being gay could use his imagination to insert a woman into the scenario when he looked at gay porn.

    Someone who was relatively asexual or someone suffering from depression or various other health conditions might not get aroused by any kind of porn.

    1. @mitch: As I understand it, they are testing for lack of boner to straight porn. I imagine sitting in a room with no pants with a thingamajig around your unit is not the most boner-inducing situation, unless your fetish is having wires hooked to your dick, as @sergeirichard mentioned.

      1. That’s funny, I thought exactly the opposite – having someone wrap your bits up in a velcro cuff and lock you in a room to watch porn would be horribly boner inducing. Guess I had a wires-hooked-to-your-dick fetish all this time and never knew!

      2. Yeah, that was my thought, too. Chick-lovin’ straight man though I am, porn doesn’t do much for me, but even a nude 19-year-old Sophia Loren clone writhing in front of my face wouldn’t get a stiffy out of me if I had someone with a clipboard hanging around watching some dials on the ol’ plethysmograph wrapped around my rapidly shrinking member.

        I might have thought that one could pretty accurately observe the presence or absence of erectile function without the use of an expensive Black & Decker Pecker Checker.

        But then, I am just an unschooled layperson.

  11. I am stunned to learn that CAMH is associated with this practice in any way. They describe themselves as a “teaching hospital” and are a “PAHO/WHO Collaborating Centre, fully affiliated with the University of Toronto.” Had often thought of seeking out their assistance for depression. Very disturbing.

    The Czech republic is home to one of the most successful gay porn companies in the world, Bel Ami. Perhaps the practice is in some way motivated by the misguided belief that the country is being diminished in the eyes of the world community which remains largely homophobic. There was a recent scandal in another European country when a (very hot) police officer had to quit his job after it was discovered he was doing porn videos for Bel Ami.

  12. OK, I get what the little cuff in the picture is for, but, what exactly do they do with shiny metal rod?

  13. “And it’s OK, sez Czech officials, because they only do it to asylum seekers who identify as gay.”

    If they self identify as gay, what’s the fucking point of the test?

    (Answer: Harassment.)

    1. Nope, the point is to verify that those who claim to be gay are not lying in order to get the asylum. It’s not that we don’t let gay people in; but if you claim persecution on the basis of your homosexual orientation (e.g. you emigrated from Iran), we don’t take your word for it and you have to prove it to doctor Mengele et al. (The test is actually voluntary, but I suspect those who do not submit themselves to it are not exactly helping their prospects.)

      1. Yeah, that’s interesting…the nature of the persecution alleged makes such a refugee claim different from one based upon ethnicity or religion – which would seem to be easier personal characteristics to ascertain. One may lie about one’s sexuality – it is more difficult to do so with respect to religion, and close to impossible to do so with respect to race or ethnicity.

        OTOH, people have been in fact in the past been persecuted for their ethnicity, faith or sexual orientation – even though their identification by the persecutors as a Jew, or a Muslim, a Roma, a homosexual, or whatever, is in error.

        I would think that one may in fact be persecuted, even though you are not in actual fact what the persecutors claim you to be as they persecute you: and I don’t think that the fact that the persecutors are in such a factual error, ought to necessarily bar their victims from gaining asylum from persecution.

        That is to say, that it ought to be the existence, the reality, of the unjust persecution itself, and not the actual race/religion/sexual orientation of the claimant alone, which ought to primarily determine the outcome of any particular claim.

        If a country is persecuting homosexuals, why ought one wrongly treated as such by their persecutors, and thus subject to persecution, be refused asylum – so long as the persecutors think you’re gay, and act on that, IMHO that’s all that ought to matter to those considering whether or no you have a just claim to be a refugee from persecution.

        1. Oh, I definitely agree many people may be persecuted for their perceived homosexuality and in that case their true orientation should be irrelevant. I also suppose that if they can prove such persecution to the immigration office that should be sufficient grounds for granting the asylum.

          However, although I strongly dislike the way in which the testing is performed, I have to admit it has a certain degree of logic or at least consistency.
          If we wish to limit the asylum to a certain group of applicants, giving anyone who claims to be gay a free pass would negate all other limitations (and would perhaps give an unfair advantage to asylum seekers from countries which persecute homosexuals over applicants from non-gay-bashing oppressive regimes.)
          Come to think of it, once you accept the core logic, what would be a better method?

  14. I would always generate a false positive on this test as, despite my ambivalence to gay pornography, I am extremely turned on by having my genitalia attached to any kind of solid state test equipment.

    Just ask the Wife.
    and Betty Sue (my oscilloscope.)

  15. I can’t imagine reacting to porn while being interrogated in that manner with asylum being at stake. Fun and games for the Czechs.

    1. “I can’t imagine reacting to porn while being interrogated in that manner..”

      What manner of interrogation do you imagine would be required for you to react? Do tell!

  16. There’s a scientific paper showing that the more serious homophobes are more aroused by gay porn than by heterosexual porn, by a large percentage.

    I think they likely used the same sort of penile measurement device pictured in this article.

    I’ve always felt “methinks he doth protest too much…!” typifies most homophobes. If you don’t swing that way, who cares? If you do, but are horrified by your response, by your own self-hood, well, I could see where that would cause hysterical over-reaction to anyone who accepts their gayness, while one rejects one’s own sexuality.

    Just saying…

  17. For anyone trying to imagine such a situation, watch Scarface – Al Pacino escapes Cuba by pretending to be gay. Don’t think he would have passed this test though :)

    1. Wasn’t this also used by some as a means to dodge the draft for the Vietnam War?

      Or did they just send you off to some Mental Hospital/Prison back then, if you tried to dodge the draft by that route?

      I really can’t recall.

  18. If we wish to limit the asylum to a certain group of applicants, giving anyone who claims to be gay a free pass would negate all other limitations (and would perhaps give an unfair advantage to asylum seekers from countries which persecute homosexuals over applicants from non-gay-bashing oppressive regimes.)

    Is there much need to give asylum to people from Candyland?

    1. Candyland?

      You mean the place with the cookie carnival and all? This place?

      Who could need asylum, from someplace so sweet?

      Also, how many non-gay-bashing oppressive regimes are there?

      1. Also, how many non-gay-bashing oppressive regimes are there? Well, I don’t know, but Belarus and China come to mind. While probably not exactly gay friendly, being gay in and of itself won’t get you in the same kind of trouble there as in, say, Uganda.

        Antinous: I didn’t get that at all.

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