The name sounds as innocent as a kids’ game, but actually, the mention of Blue Balls is one of the most manipulative ways in which males abuse females’ naivety, when the heat gets turned on.
Blue Balls refers to a high state of arousal in men, when the penis is engorged and prepared for ejaculation and orgasm, but is doesn’t happen. This could either be because one of the partners decides to stop the motion or (more rarely) because of a glitch in the man’s system.
The Myth of Inevitability
There is a very prevalent myth, circulated across cultures, wherever boys want sex and girls are taught to hold out. The myth of blue balls holds that once a man reaches a certain level of arousal, he has reached a point of no return and has to let it all out. Orgasm – according to such discoloured boys – cannot be withheld. Keeping a guy from orgasm will do him grievous harm and leave him writhing in pain.
In reality, the genuine “point of no return” is a moment before orgasm when there is really no return. Orgasm will happen anyway. It is very deceptive to confuse not being able to stop with not wanting to stop.
Lies or Misunderstandings
Way too many women and girls are caught up in blue ball manipulations. Being told that they are responsible for arousing their partner, but then choosing not to have sex or participate is relieving his hard-on, they are made to feel guilty for his dire situation. The term “blue balls” even implies some trauma or danger to this part of his anatomy, about which many females are not perfectly clear.
Having “blue balls” generally refers to the ache that occurs in the testes, because the penis is throbbing and hoping for relief, and the testes, or balls are preparing to release their two bags full, when the stimulation is stopped. This means all the blood vessels have constricted, and are holding the blood in the penis, and are preparing for ejaculation, but just when body and mind want to orgasm, the necessary strokes, rubs or thrusts are not forthcoming.
How painful is it really? The superlatives used during the moments of negotiation are not a great reflection. Part of the pain that guys tend to describe is not happening in their groins, but rather in their ego and that part of the brain which controls expectations. All that can be experienced from an unrequited hard-on are a few minutes of moderate to heavy discomfort. It will pass and nothing will fall off.
How do we know this? Because men aren’t the only ones who experience this feeling. A woman who is highly aroused but isn’t brought to orgasm will experience the same level of discomfort when her vulva is grossly engorged and orgasm is not brought on. There is even a weaker version of blue-balls-for-her when a multi-orgasmic woman is given one orgasm and she does not continue it to its natural potential. She will remain pre-orgasmic and discomforted, until all engorgement is released. Either she’ll finish off what she started or wait a few minutes for it to settle.
It’s not brain surgery. Just give it a few minutes, and all will go back to normal. The blood vessels that constrict to entrap all the blood in the genitals begin to relax once stimulation is reduced, so the blood slowly seeps back out. Any discomfort will disappear, as though it was never there.
It may be quicker to find relief by masturbating, if it is appropriate. It is certainly more appropriate than demanding that the solution to your desires necessarily lies with some part of her body.
Playing the blue balls card is bad on a lot of levels. Firstly, whether a guy is knowingly lying to a girl about how it feels or whether he is inexperienced and misinformed about the basic horniness facts, talking a partner into any sexual act that she is not partaking of freely, is just sad, not to mention legally dubious.
On a whole other level, control is very important to good sexual practice, and this is just one way to learn to practice control. Learning to delay gratification and also to withhold orgasm until it is an appropriate time for yourself and your lover, may be one of the best feelings you can have sexually. It certainly is better than the feeling of “needing” orgasm so badly that you’ll do anything to let yourself blow.
POST SCRIPT (June 2012): The Dinah Project wishes to acknowledge a lack of inclusiveness in referring to the pain of blue balls as merely a function of negotiation for sex, when in fact it clearly can be extremely painful in some cases. Whereas most occurrences pass within a number of minutes, as mentioned, it is reported that in some individuals, on certain occasions it could last as long as an hour.
It would be further insensitive to compare the pain described by men in the subsequent comments to the pain of childbirth, but suffice it to say that pain is subjective. We hold by our original assertion that no amount of discomfort is justification for manipulating a woman into sex. And the notion of blue balls is continuously used by some individuals for devious means.
We have chosen to republish the original text published in Dec. 2007, with all the (unedited) comments because the debate (perhaps witch-hunt) that resulted, inspired such fascinating input. Please, keep it coming…