Photo via Ray Elbe
WARNING: You'll never want to have sex again after reading this post. You might even have trouble walking. You're going to read it anyway. Abandon hope, all ye who enter here.
Earlier this month, Ultimate Fighting Championship contestant Ray Elbe shared a horrific story on an MMA message board: while having sex with his girlfriend in the cowgirl position, she descended at the wrong angle ("Everything was under control until 1 bounce went a 'little' too high") and snapped his dick. This is how he describes it:
"Falling face first I ko'd myself on the floor ... chipping two teeth and busting my chin... [The nurses] have been trying to clean the dry blood of my swollen shaft in between my tears and pleads for them to be gentle... There has been a tube stuck out of the small hole at the end of my pee-pee which has allowed me to go urinate without having to get out of the bed...however I must admit, seeing the amount of blood leaking from the hole onto the sheets has made me feel like puking every morning. Lesson learned-- I will never let a girl on top again."
Fortunately for Elbe, the $6,000 surgery was successful. He received 10 stitches and will have to "take anti-erection pills for 2 weeks." Even more fortunately, his girlfriend "to make it up to me ... has promised me a threesome of my choice." So, the pain was all worth it! (At least he didn't sue his girlfriend like a Massachusetts guy did after a similar injury.)
Here's the scary part: It could happen to you.
It's rare but not that rare, like getting hit by lightning, except worse. Doctors treat approximately 2,000 penile fractures per year. First you'll hear a loud popping sound--that's a membrane tearing--and then your erectile blood leaks, which causes a swelling colloquially known in the medical community as "eggplant penis."
It's a freak accident while you get your freak on. You can, however, take a few precautions to protect your junk. (And you thought "safe sex" was just about pregnancy and herpes...)
1. Man On A Missionary
Elbe's case is typical: most penile fractures occur from girl-on-top, because it's much more likely that you'll either bump into her pubic bone or get bent out of shape. In the helpful, illustrative words of Dr. Oz, "Imagine the penis is like a sausage... it can crack."
That said, missionary sex is like chicken for dinner: pretty satisfying, but you wouldn't want to have it every night. Besides, sometimes you get tired (or you're just super drunk) and want her to take over. Whether that's worth the risk is up to you and your fragile member.
2. Your Cheatin' Dick Will Tell On You
Half of men who experience such a fracture are having an extramarital affair, according to Dr. Andrew Kramer, possibly because the sex is rushed: "[T]he time you don't see a lot of men fracturing their penises is in the bedroom with his wife that he's been married to for a number of years."
Don't go behind your lady's back, or else alimony might be the least painful of your worries.
3. Bone At Home
Kramer also found that the majority of penile fractures happened in "out-of-the-ordinary" locations, such as an office, public bathroom, automobile or elevator, which necessitate "a weird position." He warns erotic sightseers, "If you're having acrobatic sex … you do have to be careful."
("Acrobatic sex" is literal. University of Washington urology department chair Hunter Wessells recounts, "We had this patient who suffered penile fracture after running across the room and trying to penetrate his wife with a flying leap.")
4. It's A Marathon, Not A Sprint (Or You'll Need A Splint)
A few years ago, Jamaican doctors noticed an increase in penile fractures due to an "obsession" with "daggering," a kind of super aggressive humping. A surgeon at Kingston Public Hospital said, "[D]uring very rigorous intercourse, the penis slips out and in an attempt to ram it back in, the man hits the woman's pubic bone..." Go easy, mon.
5. Pill Popping = Peen Popping?
Earlier this year, a 29-year-old Texas man sued the makers of "ultimate male enhancer" supplement VirilisPro for a fracture that made him impotent for life. More lovely details:
Photo via abovethelaw.com
But prescription pills can be just as dangerous: young people who use Viagra as a recreational drug--even though they don't need it--get extra-hard boners prone to snapping. (Older people who actually need Viagra are less likely to get a fracture if they take their medicine, because a flag at half-mast is also highly breakable.)
6. Trade Your Mattress For A Hammock
A Japanese study found that only 19% of fractures happen during sex, whereas "the majority of cases reported as the result of masturbation and rolling over in bed onto an erect penis." Good luck falling asleep after you jack off tonight.