But doing the deed can also have a dark side — in fact, it can hurt, and even kill, you. As a species, we as humans will go to great lengths to have a mind-blowing orgasm, including risking our very own bodies. While most wounds obtained during sex are minor — like rug-burns to the knees or bruises left over from some overzealous necking — the medical literature is full of bizarre and brutal injuries acquired during coitus. Accidents Happen Perhaps the most common sex injuries are the bumps, bruises, and scrapes that we so often overlook in the heat of the moment.
The acrobatics of sexual activity cause a staggering number of injuries annually. A British survey, for example, found that roughly one-third of adults have experienced a sex-related injury , with pulled muscles, strained backs, and carpet burns the most common complaints. Five percent said they had an injury bad enough to miss work, including 2 percent who had suffered a broken bone during intercourse. Then there are the really, really unlucky ones: A year-old woman sought medical attention after six months of persistent cough, sputum, and fever.
Despite another four months of antibiotics and other treatments, her symptoms remained. Finally, a chest examination including video bronchoscopy revealed a foreign object in her right upper lobe: But even otherwise healthy patients can put themselves at risk. There are reports of patients struck with severe, acute headaches right when they finish — which is referred to as benign orgasmic cephalgia — and of those where orgasms have led to bleeding in the brain , a potentially fatal condition.
During an intense make-out session, her beau got so zealous that his love-bite actually caused bruising to her blood vessels and a clot to form.
Several days later, she was admitted to the hospital for a minor stroke when her left arm became paralyzed. The doctors realized that the hickey on her neck was to blame. The Harder It Is Many men attempt to get a harder, longer-lasting erection by cutting off the blood flow at the base of the penis using a penile ring.
Such rings can be purchased at a novelty store, but some attempt to create their own out of anything small and somewhat circular, including bicycle parts, bottle caps, rubber bands, and washers. When the ring is not removed promptly, penile strangulation injuries can occur, which range from swelling and skin ulcers, to complete loss of sensation, to enough gangrene and necrosis to require amputation. Other men have tried drugs to enhance their virility — literally.
There are several case studies in the medical literature of men injecting cocaine right into their shafts to enhance their erections.
In one case, a man entered the ER after six days of increasing pain , swelling, and fever. Because he did not use a sterile technique, he had introduced bacteria into his body and become septic, and his penis was gangrenous. He survived, but did not recover all of his previous functioning. One study, for example, found that 40 out of 56 patients with penile injuries acquired them during sex or sexual activities like masturbation. Yes, you read that right: You can fracture a penis.
Human penises are bone-free, but they can still fracture. This occurs when a hardened penis is bent forcibly, causing the rupture of the tunica albuginea, one of the tissues that plays a key role in keeping the penis erect. Often, patients hear a loud cracking noise, which is followed by deep, dark bruising. A broken penis can lead to permanent damage to the urethra or the erectile tissue, leading to sexual dysfunction. For example, multiple men have come to the conclusion that vacuum cleaner hoses are the right size and shape in which to insert a penis.
In another case, the choice of lube proved life-threatening. A male teenager was rushed to the ER after a day of shortness of breath, chest pain, and excessive thirst. Doctors diagnosed him with salicylate poisoning, but only later learned the source: His case is hardly unique: The objects ranged from oven mitts to toothbrushes and screwdrivers — even liquid concrete.
A whopping 97 percent of the patients were men, and most of the time the only complications were mild abrasions or cuts in the gastrointestinal tract, which healed easily. But several experienced large tears, especially those who attempted to remove the object themselves.
For example, one patient who inserted a bottle attempted to use a hook made of coat hanger wire to retrieve it, which only caused further injury. Such complications can be gravely serious: There are also cases of vaginal and penile insertion that would make even the least squeamish person a little nauseous.
A man in Ireland went to the ER after seven days of increasing pain and trouble urinating. He soon admitted that 10 days earlier, he had inserted a long, skinny balloon into his urethra during consensual intercourse.
Rumor Has It Not every cringe-worthy sex injury is recorded by doctors or scientists for posterity. A recent viral story tells of an elderly Russian couple who got stuck together while attempting a complex Karma Sutra position.
A young couple in Maryland made headlines when they decided to amp up their sex toy by affixing it to a saber saw. Unfortunately, when they turned on the machine, the blade cut through the plastic penis and injured the woman, who sought medical attention immediately. This story has been reported by several reputable outlets , but so far, the doctors have chosen not to write up the incident. Perhaps they felt that cautioning against the use of power tools as sexual devices was unnecessary as the danger should be evident… but experience would suggest otherwise.