Let's talk about blue balls. A lot of people seem to believe it's a myth, but this couldn't be further from the truth.
It's a real problem impacting countless men across the globe. At this very moment, there are at least two billion men with blue balls; it's an epidemic.
Just kidding. We actually have no idea how many men have blue balls right now. And now that we're really thinking about it, we don't want to know.
But there is a science behind why men get this uncomfortable feeling and why it's been labeled as such. Before we get into it, however, it might be helpful to define or describe blue balls for those unfamiliar with the term.
Blue balls is the painful and dull aching sensation a man gets in the testicular region following protracted sexual arousal without climax.
In other words, it's probably similar to how women feel after sex the vast majority of the time, only this disappointment is focused in one specific area.
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There is widespread debate over treatment for this pain, which includes everything from cold showers to manual stimulation and sleeping it off. Most agree that ejaculation is the only real solution to this issue.
Simply put, sexual healing is real in this sense. Marvin Gaye was on to something.
Even after orgasm, however, a man might find the pain hasn't fully dissipated. Don't worry, if you happen to experience this dreaded sensation, be comforted by knowing it will eventually subside one way or another.
Now let's explain why men sometimes experience this discomfort. It all has to do with what is known as epididymal hypertension, the medical term for blue balls.
In essence, when a man gets aroused, blood flows to the penis and scrotum, causing everything to become engorged. Pressure will continue to build up in this area until ejaculation.
Thus, if he remains aroused for an extended period of time, the pressure could lead to the pain we often refer to as blue balls.
Indeed, this is a very real problem; science says so. But let's not forget about the ladies' suffering, too.
There is evidence only around 70 percent of women are able to orgasm during intercourse, according to a study from the Kinsey Institute.
Perhaps what all of this suggests is we need to pay more careful attention to the needs of our partners -- mentally, physically and emotionally.
Citations: The Science of Your Blue Balls (Mens Health), What is Blue Balls (Cosmopolitan ), Normal Variations in Personality are Associated with Coital Orgasmic Infrequency in Heterosexual Women (Kinsey Institute), Epididymal Hypertension (Blue Balls) (SexInfo Online)