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THE GENTLEMen's DEPARTMENT

THE GENTLEMen's DEPARTMENT

April 15, 2019

Is Blue Balls Real? Blue Balls Debunked!

Gather round, fellas. It’s time to have a serious talk. There are two things that plague every man from time to time. We’re going to get into one of those issues today. That’s right; we’re talking about blue balls. We’re going to explore the medical science behind blue balls and see if it’s a real thing. Then, we’re going to tackle some of the biggest myths tied to the notion of blue balls. You’re likely to learn things about your favorite body part. You also might learn a few things that can help you with the ladies, so pay attention. 

The Slang

Before we can really get in depth about blue balls, we have to agree on the conversation. It’s clearly a colloquial phrase, and as such, people place different tidbits and emphasis on what it really means to have blue balls. Where we all generally agree is that blue balls is a painful phenomenon that occurs after prolonged sexual stimulation without release. In other words, lots of foreplay with no money shot can lead to blue balls.

There’s less universal agreement as to why the word blue is in the phrase. Some swear that the balls literally turn a blue shade. Others say that it’s a reference to the type of pain. Blue balls feel like they’re bruised, hence the slang. A small group of people claim that the color blue refers to the rare side effect of taking Viagra that makes you see a blue hue.

 So, blue balls refers to some combination of these symptoms. Let’s find out if this is a real thing.

Epididymal Hypertension

This is the official medical term for testicular pain that is associated with arousal. So, there is something medically happening, but is it really blue balls? Before we can answer that, we have to learn about the epididymis. That’s the coiled tube in your testicles that actually stores and pumps sperm. When it gets inflamed, the condition is caused epididymitis. That can be caused by a number of things, but bacterial infection is the most common (usually related to a UTI).

Epididymal hypertension isn’t quite the same thing as epididymitis. In fact, epididymal hypertension (let’s call it EH) isn’t a properly documented medical condition. Physicians and researchers refer to it, but there isn’t a real body of research on the condition itself. That said, there are some dominant theories and a basic consensus on the issue.

Enough guys — especially during adolescence — have commented on testicular pain that physicians all agree something is happening. The consensus is that this pain is caused by a pressure buildup in the testicles. More specifically, when you get aroused, two things happen. First, the veins in your sex organs constrict. This causes blood to pool and creates a boner. The second thing that happens is fluid pressure builds in the epididymis. This pressure is what puts force into ejaculation.

is blue balls real? blue balls debunked!

So, you get turned on, and you have two sources of pressure mounting in your testicles. Your biology is wired to release that pressure when you get off, but if there’s no release, sustaining that pressure can create discomfort. This is the medical explanation of blue balls.

There’s more! The flesh actually can turn blue-ish. The backed up blood can actually be seen through the skin (in rare cases), and it has a blue hue. Some doctors also speculate that testicular tissue can absorb some of the oxygen in the blood and gain a little additional blue. In either case, very few guys actually see their balls turn blue. That said, the pain is real and there is a medical explanation.

Busting Myths

If there’s a real medical cause to the pain, why hasn’t it been researched? Some people think it’s political. Blue balls affect adolescent boys the most, and since “relieving the pressure” is the best cure, doctors and researchers might not want to be the group that advocates adolescent masturbation. There may be some truth to that, but the biggest reason no one is researching the issue is because of the leading myth tied to blue balls.

Blue Balls Are Dangerous!

If you’ve felt this pain, you understand the origin of the myth. Every guy assumes that pain in his jewels is a bad thing. In reality, blue balls is a completely harmless situation. As soon as blood flow returns to normal, the pain subsides. There has never once been a documented case of long-term harm associated with blue balls. No one researches the “condition” because it doesn’t matter. There’s nothing to cure.

That said, testicular pain isn’t always harmless. If you have pain that comes with other symptoms (unknown discharge, painful urination, blood in the urine/semen) then you have something besides EH. Also, if the pain doesn’t go away when you’re no longer hard, then this is a separate issue. Any testicular pain that might not be from blue balls should be taken seriously and merits a talk with a doctor. Go ahead and take care of that now. You can read about blue balls later.

is blue balls real? blue balls debunked!

Ejaculate to Get Rid of the Problem

Let’s tackle this next myth. It’s really more of a half-myth. Ejaculation usually does relieve blue balls, and it’s often the fastest remedy that exists. It’s not the only way to solve the problem. Simply going flaccid will get you the same results. That’s why the classic advice of working out or taking a cold shower really does work. If you can distract yourself enough to lose the erection, the pain will subside. That said, it’s not instant relief. Sometimes the aching will persist until all of the pressure is relieved (which can take up to an hour or more after the immediate erection is gone).

There’s a second half to this myth. Ejaculation can definitely relieve blue balls, but there’s no reason to assume that ejaculation requires a partner. In fact, once you get enough sexual experience, you’ll realize that no one can get you off as fast you can anyways. If you have a partner who wants to help, that’s great, but blue balls are never an excuse to pressure someone into sex they might not want. The five-finger solution is perfectly fine. In fact, it usually works better.

It’s Backed up Sperm

You can see why an adolescent who hasn’t studied biology might think this. It’s completely untrue. Your testicles are designed to handle sperm buildup, and it doesn’t involve blue balls. This is an old myth, and it’s time for it to die. 

Only Men Get Blue Balls

The term has a decisively masculine element to it, but there is in fact a female variation of blue balls. It’s more commonly referred to as “blue vulva,” but in principle, it’s pretty much the same thing. When a female is aroused, she also increases blood flow to the sex organs, and that blood flow can cause a pressure buildup that leads to minor swelling, throbbing and aching. Blue vulve, like blue balls, is completely harmless. It’s also alleviated the same way: relieving the arousal. And, like with men, orgasm is usually the fastest relief. If only you guys reading this were competent enough to be part of the solution.

You’ll Always Get Blue Balls if You Don’t Finish

While unreleased arousal is the cause of blue balls, it doesn’t mean every arousal will lead to pain if you don’t orgasm. In fact, the vast majority of EH only afflicts adolescent males. By the time your hormones normalize and you learn a little bit of control over your boners, the pain becomes pretty uncommon. Most grown men will only suffer from blue balls when they undergo a significant change in sexual activity. If you go from having sex multiple times a day to zero times a week, you might get blue balls until your body readjusts. It rarely takes longer than two weeks, and in many cases the adjustment is even faster than that.

The point is that your blue balls are no excuse to be lazy with foreplay. You have to hold up your end of the deal, and even if you do end up with a little EH, you can always take care of yourself.

That’s the whole story. Blue balls aren’t just in your head. They’re also nothing to worry about. Learn how to manage your erections and this is a problem that won’t stay with you.

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