Sex is a dangerous thing. While people undoubtedly enjoy doing it, we all know horror stories about the guy who got sent to the ER because he broke his penis, or the woman who was horrified to find that something was stuck inside her. And what about the people who have heart attacks mid-coitus – there’s always lots of stories about them. Also, there’s all the STIs (which, by the way, are on the rise) so its always best to approach sex with a healthy bit of caution and lube.
Recently, one intrepid team of researchers decided to take a deep, long and throbbing scientific look at just how dangerous sex is.
Scientists at the School of Medical Sciences, University of Campinas (UNICAMP) and Pontifical Catholic University of Campinas (PUC) in Brazil decided to take a deeper dive into the murky waters of sexual injury.
They classified the most dangerous sexual activities in their lengthily-titled paper “Mechanisms Predisposing Penile Fracture and Long-Term Outcomes on Erectile and Voiding Functions.”
Phew, that’s a mouthful!
Just like the number six most dangerous sexual activity – oral sex.
Why is oral sex dangerous, you ask? Well, according to IFLScience, which wrote an entire article on the subject, “whether it’s fellatio or cunnilingus, the risk of inadvertent injury is insignificant.”
What they’re saying is, it’s not actually engaging in oral sex that’ll hurt you…
It’s engaging in autofellatio.
Autofellatio, according to the Urban Dictionary (since Merriam-Webster is too high-brow to touch this stuff) is “a form of male masturbation” in which the man bends over to, well, you can imagine.
The urban dictionary then goes on to show the myriad of different ways a person can autofellate, but that’s not what we’re concerned with here.
What we’re concerned with is the danger factor. Autofellatio can literally crack your spine, which just goes to show – unless you’re a Cirque du Soleil contortionist, you should probably leave the contorting to the licensed professionals. Or, you know, go out and buy a sex toy like everyone else.
Speaking of which, number five is using sex toys, which is sort of a given.
There’s all sorts of sex toys with all sorts of handy handles, hooks, gadgets, devices and vibratory functions, so we’re not surprised it’s high on the list. Playing with any kinds of toys can be very dangerous – just look at how many kids’ toys are recalled each year.
But it’s not ordinary playing with sex toys that’s so dangerous, it’s the fact that people like it stick them into places. By people, we mean men, and by men, we mean the urethra.
The word “urethral injury” comes up a lot of times in the Brazilian paper, and that’s because some people enjoy a little bit of urethral stimulation. In fact, this humble urethra plug (sex toy – it’s a sex toy) has several glowing reviews.
“My husband really likes it!” said reviewer Southern Charm. “We were very curious about trying something like this, but we are both open minded and decided to give it a go. My first advice is lube, lube, lube- second advice is to go very slowly, especially if you’ve never used a toy like this before.”
Number four is the cowgirl, which, incidentally is one of the favorite sex positions for both men and women.
While the cowgirl gives the ladies a little boost of power in bed, it’s unfortunately very dangerous to gentleman as it can cause a penile fracture.
In plain words, going hard on the cowgirl can literally snap a man’s unmentionables.
Surprisingly, masturbation comes in at number three, but the reasoning behind it is not so surprising.
Some men enjoy a little rough and tumble action… so rough, in fact, that they end up breaking their man bits. This is a recurring theme in all the positions – potentially breaking the penis.
Hunter Wessells, the chair of the urology department of the George Washington School of Medicine explained the mechanics to the Scientific American.
A penis break is called a penile fracture. 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 tunica albuginea tears, the blood that is normally confined to this space leaks out into other tissues. You get bruising and swelling.”
The takeaway here is the penis is a delicate organ. Don’t do anything that will break it because OMG… it just sounds horrible.
The old standard, missionary position, comes in at number two for a surprising reason.
Okay, maybe not so surprising. Remember penis fractures? Well, you can get them during those fraught few moments the penis slips outside the vagina. The Brazilian study euphemistically describes this as leading to a “great impact at the time of trauma.”
But the number one most dangerous sex is dangerous for a surprising reason…
It’s equally dangerous to both men and women.
“Doggy style,” the childishly named but perennial favorite sex position for both men and women is dangerous because it can cause vaginal tearing in women, and that old reliable – penis fractures – in men.
It’s basically the Russian roulette of sex acts – everything’s all fun and games until someone breaks a penis.
The takeaway here is, sex, like every other thing in life, can be dangerous.
So go slow, use enough lubricant when the moment calls for it, and be safe out there, ladies and gents. Cause, you know, you could literally break or tear something very sensitive. And nobody wants that.