Blue balls, debunked.
Of all the very real, diagnosable sexual maladies out there, it can often feel like the affliction we hear tossed around with maximal frequency is “blue balls.” Surely, someone has at least relayed a tale to you in which a man makes the claim that he must reach climax because the very fact of being turned on has created unbearable, loathsome pain. Which is to say, not making him cum is an act of cruelty.
But, here’s the question: Are blue balls even a real thing?
Yes and no. The proper title for that which we’ve deemed “blue balls” is epididymal hypertension—and it does, indeed, refer to pain in the scrotum caused by prolonged sexual arousal without ejaculation. And often, in such cases, balls will swell or feel “full” and—you guessed it—turn an ever-so-slight shade of blue.
That said, it’s not exactly a life or death scenario. You see, when a person with male anatomy is aroused, blood rushes towards the testicles, resulting in erection. Maintaining a hard-on for a prolonged amount of time without release (read: orgasm)—and thus a decrease in arousal—can certainly cause discomfort. But typically, the condition does not manifest in overwhelming pain. It’s more like a mild unpleasantry. And if it does cause some kind of excruciating sensation, doctors recommend exploring other underlying symptoms that may be causing scrotum pain.
Can women experience blue balls too? In a way, yes—women experience blood flow to the genitals when aroused as well. Blood rushes to the area, and when no orgasm occurs, there is a similar sensation of sensitivity.
All in all, many doctors attest to the fact that blue balls will actually go away on their own. So hang on, allow your sensitivity to subside, and you can be on to the next.