Relationships, though everyone seems to think they are the ultimate brass ring, often end badly. Someone cheats, someone lies, someone just gets sick and tired of dealing with someone else’s crap and the romance is over, fini, caput; the fat lady sings, and someone’s heart is broken. It almost makes you wonder why everyone seems to be constantly searching for love. When you find it, far too often love just brings you pain.
The pain and agony of a broken heart is something we’ve all suffered to one degree or another. It’s real. Though your friends may tell you to man up and quit sniffling like a little girl. Broken Heart Syndrome is a medically proven fact, a recognized illness that can effect your every waking hour. And even though there is medical evidence to support the dangers of a love affair gone wrong, gay men all over the world still pursue the almighty LTR. We also pursue the ONS; a good fuck buddy offers the best of two worlds: plenty of sex, a relationship based on physical need instead of emotional turmoil, and a stress free life in no danger of ending in a broken heart. But even a one night stand is rife with dangers.
Sure we all know of the dangers of STDs. And those who play often in Thailand are well aware of the dangers of the Walking ATM Syndrome too. Thrown in the Broken Heart Syndrome, and there’s much to be worried about when matters of the heart meet matters of the libido. Through experience we learn how to avoid those dangers. A condom on both your dick and on your wallet should protect your sex life and bank account. Our orgasms then should be both plentiful and worry free. But are medical and monetary ills the only concerns we need to be aware of? Is protecting yourself from disease and financial ruin enough? Are there other horrors waiting to ambush us when we’re trying to get off?
Yup smells like science to me.
Urologist and surgeon Andrew Kramer says sexually active men have a much bigger concern than suffering from a broken heart. According to an article he published in Journal of Sexual Medicine, we also need to worry about breaking our dicks. Penile fractures are not an unheard of medical trauma. It turns out that many men who have popped a boner, have also popped their bone. And a broken dick is no laughing matter.
Given that there are no bones in the penis, you’d think breaking yours would be an impossibility. But Dr. Hunter Wessells, chair of the urology department at the University of Washington School of Medicine in Seattle, says that there is an unfortunate injury termed “penile fracture” that can indeed occur. It is a severe form of bending injury to the erect penis that occurs when a membrane called the tunica albuginea tears. The tunica albuginea surrounds the corpora cavernosa, specialized spongy tissue in the core of the penis that fills up with blood during an erection. When the it tears, the blood that is normally confined to this space leaks out into other tissues. You get bruising and swelling. And that swelling is not the kind you were hoping for. “Usually there will be a popping sound,” says Wessells. “It most often occurs when there is thrusting and when the penis, instead of penetrating its normal location, is hitting some solid structure, such as the perineum.”
While then it sounds like bad aim is the culprit, Dr. Wessells reports that it usually has more to do with position. He says penile fractures usually occurs during sex with a bottom on top who comes down on the erect penis and it buckles. But it can also happen in the missionary position or during sexual acrobatics. “We had one patient who suffered penile fracture after running across the room and trying to penetrate his partner with a flying leap,” he said.
Dr. Wessells says that he has seen dozens of cases over his career and that at the Harborview Medical Center where he works they see one or two cases per month. Most cases involve young men in their 20s and 30s, those who tend to be engaged in more vigorous sexual activity. But they also have seen the problem occur in men in their 40s and 50s. he believes the reduced risk to older men is due to the fact that the tissue in their penises tends not to get quite as rigid as it does in the young.
But it is not just the stiffness of your stiffy or willingness to perform daring feats of acrobatics that is responsible for penile fractures claims Dr. Kramer. In his recently published study he claims that having sex under stressful situations is equally dangerous. According to Kramer, half of the penile fractures he saw between 2007 and 2011 were sustained during an extramarital affair. The majority of the others, he said, were suffered while getting it on in “out-of-the-ordinary” locations, including cars, elevators, and public restrooms. So cheating on your partner may not only result in a broken heart, but in a broken dick too.
However, Dr. Kramer believes that the heighten risk of penile fracture among those cheating on their partners is not due to the illicitness of the affair, but rather because those affairs more often occur in weird places and that the sex is often rushed. “Being extra excited and maybe doing more forceful or frequent thrusting is the key,” says Kramer. “You have less control over the angle the penis can penetrate, and that’s what can predispose the fracture.”
Dr. Wessells is less concerned over place or circumstance. He warns of the physical danger regardless of the who or where. “Protect your penis from getting buckled or getting hit at an angle,” he says. “Because that’s where it’ll happen.”
And the trifecta of danger evidently is engaging in sex with someone who is not your partner, in a weird place or using an unusual position or technique, and doing so while in Jamaica. Doctors in the tiny island nation are ‘alarmed’ that the number of broken penis cases have tripled in local hospitals; men have been breaking their penises in recent months than any other time in Jamaica. Last September Dr. Alverston Bailey, a past president of the Medical Association of Jamaica (MAJ), warned that the instances of penile fractures were on the rise in the wake of the new ‘daggering’ dance craze. According to Jamaica’s newspaper, The Star, here is what the ‘daggering’ dance craze involves:
“Basically, it’s taking the practice of grinding while dancing to the next level. Guys dance around with an erect penis trying to poke the ladies with it. It’s more or less simulated sex on the dance floor. Now, here’s where it gets interesting – apparently some guys have taken the practice into the bedroom, poking their partners anywhere and everywhere and when things get too rough, they fracture their penis, causing extreme pain, swelling and bruising.”
Ah, those crazy, fun loving Jamaicans. Dr. Bailey could not confirm if any of the cases regarding broken penises took place when the men were doing the dance version of daggerin’ as opposed to rough intercourse. “During very rigorous intercourse, the penis slips out and in an attempt to ram it back in, the man hits the pubic bone and pops the penis,” he said.
All three doctors stress the need for immediate medical attention to avoid permanent damage. Dr. Wessells describes the procedure used to repair the fracture:
“We put the person on general anesthesia and open up the skin through one or more incisions in the penis. Then we find the edge of the tear and close it up with sutures. Sometimes these tears are extensive and span half the circumference of the penis (usually the tears are crosswise), requiring about 10 stitches. Then we close everything up. The operation takes about an hour, and most people go home right after. Most can resume sex in about a month.”
Huh. No band-aids, no cast, not even a sling? And I was thinking how much fun it could be to have people sign your cast. Regardless, the next time some guy dumps you, just be glad he only broke your heart. Or consider the possibility for a bit of revenge during a quick bout of breakup sex.
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