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blue balls

Page history last edited by Andrew Alder 15 years, 6 months ago

Warning - some frank self-disclosure follows


A number of times in my life I've had an incredibly painful experience with blue balls.


The scenario has been as follows:


  • In a steady and exciting romantic relationship.


  • An occasion when there was extended (and very pleasant) contact with my partner.


  • For some reason, no release (what Kinsey calls "outlet").


The result: swollen and very painful testicles, which didn't show any sign of going down when the source of stimulation had been removed. They looked bruised, blue-black, and they felt bruised too. It has been relieved in the obvious way.


In fact, I'd guess that it was the epididymis that was swollen. That's the upper part of the testicle.


The reasons the problem wasn't relieved immediately varied. At times in my life I've been very reluctant to masturbate, seeing it as sinful. Other times I've been more relaxed about it. This is a major issue in itself of course, and a very important one, but it's not what this page is about. The point is, even if you are relaxed about this form of relief, it's not always possible anyway... for example, I was a victim of "blue balls" on a church fellowship camp once, over a long Easter weekend, and there was simply no alternative to suffering. I was in a leadership position, and neither the sleeping arrangements nor the toilets gave any privacy, nor did my partner have any idea of the pain she was causing me, simply for example by the innocent and very welcome kiss on the back of my neck as I was about to lead grace at breakfast.


And suffer I did! I could hardly walk for several days afterwards. I went to the doctor, who read me the riot act on prostate cancer and told me never to do it again.


Easier said than done


Medical opinions seem to be varied on this matter


* A few agree with my doctor of many years ago, that it's something life-threatening in the long term.


* Many say that the congestion will go away of its own accord if nothing is done (and on my experience, they are wrong in some cases at least).


* Some say, what's the problem, just relieve it in the obvious way, why take chances?


All agree on the causes, and all agree that the pain can be relieved by a sexual climax. Some say that the pain may hang around a while even after this relief (and they are right), others hint at it, and the rest don't say.

Some web links:


http://health.discovery.com/centers/sex/sexpedia/blueballs.html "Blue Balls Describes a Temporary, Minor Pain"

http://www.goaskalice.columbia.edu/1726.html "classic Alice"

http://magazines.ivillage.com/cosmopolitan/experts/carnal/qas/0,,638355_590357,00.html Cosmo magazine: What exactly happens when a guy gets blue balls? Or is this just a myth?




http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/106/4/843 "Blue Balls": A Diagnostic Consideration in Testiculoscrotal Pain in Young Adults: A Case Report and Discussion

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/content/full/108/5/1233 A reply: We agree with the authors' conclusions that "a greater awareness and discussion of this entity would benefit both physicians and their patients."

http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/cgi/eletters/108/5/1233#1241 Another reply: the true cause of blue balls



My old web page on some of the issues


So who do you believe?


Interestingly, none of the above links (at the time of writing, and with the possible exception of Google which gives over 300,000 hits) give a formal name for the phenomenon. They mostly say that blue balls is a slang term, but nobody seems to have a better one. It seems to be something many people are very interested in reading about, but a bit reluctant to write about. Like most sexual matters.


(And that's not always a bad thing. But we want information, otherwise none of us would be here. It's good that some people do write.)


So without calling any of them liars, let's look at some of the agendas.


  • One of the accounts points out that women can suffer from a similar but far less painful problem, for the same reasons, and some of the less sympathetic accounts seem to have been written by women. There's mention in a couple of different places of men using the risk of blue balls as an argument in order to persuade a woman to have sex with them, and at least one account jokingly recommends it. I'm sure some men have done this! So there's every reason for women, who may have suffered themselves from a (relatively) minor form of the problem and/or had or heard of men using this story, to say "big deal". Wouldn't you? Especially in the absence of any open and intelligent discussion of the topic, which then becomes a vicious circle.


  • There's a long history of denial on the subject of masturbation. The suggestion that masturbation might be good for you, in any circumstances at all, can be expected to be rejected by some people (and particularly by some Christian leaders) without feeling any need to consider medical evidence. Sadly, these even include some high-profile Christian medicos.


I'm not forming any conclusions at this stage, other than that conclusions are hard to form.


I post these thoughts as a start. There's a lot on the subject on the WWW and elsewhere, but I find none of it terribly helpful.


Most views seem to be of one of two extremes:


  • There's nothing wrong with masturbation, so there's no problem.


  • A Christian should simply avoid being stimulated in this way, so there's no problem.


Neither of these is a very good answer in my opinion.


What we do know


We know:


  • That blue balls is a painful and well-documented phenomenon.


  • That it's most often but not always avoidable.


  • That it is relieved by sexual climax.


  • That intercourse with a woman is not necessary for this relief.


  • That some guys imply that intercourse is necessary, and that they are most certainly lying (and their motives are pretty obvious).


  • That some (reputable) Christian authorities discourage masturbation even in these circumstances.


  • That there's a long history of Christian opposition to masturbation on doubtful grounds, for example calling it onanism or the sin of Onan, and that those who cite this as Biblical evidence are either lying or ignorant of what the Bible actually says (or possibly both - but in any case again the motives are pretty obvious).


At the risk of stating the obvious


I will offer the following (interim) advice:


Guys, if you're not going to climax, don't get highly stimulated. It can be very painful, and there are some who say it's dangerous. You have been warned.


Girls, don't tease your guy so he gets into this position. It really can hurt. In view of this, be fair. The reason he refuses that lingering kiss may not be that it's unwelcome!


That advice may all seem too obvious for words, but I haven't seen it anywhere else!

This is the personal view of one contributor to Christian Sexuality - a user guide. See also the csaug page here. This material might eventually go into csaug, but it is not as yet official csaug material!


If you wish to comment on them but fear that your comments might be too explicit for normal Yahoo! groups, feel free to use the cyberchurchx uninhibited feedback channel at cyberchurch.


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