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All the Ways You Can Break Your Penis

Red alert: a penis has been carelessly injured. Allan Blake, a 28-year-old man, was having sex with girlfriend Emma Pearce when she “jolted around to watch the show which was on TV in the background,” Metro UK reported. (The show was X Factor, should anyone care.) Blake’s head was blocking the television, so when she jerked her head around quickly to find out the results of the singing competition, her body followed suit. Trouble is, his body kept going the other way, and in the intervening confusion, he ripped his frenulum, or what’s called the “banjo string” of skin between foreskin and shaft. Blake survived — he scored painkillers at the ER and some medical care to reduce the bleeding and swelling — but he couldn’t have sex for a month.

For something that ostensibly gets a lot of action either alone or with a partner, the dick remains a very resilient organ. You’d think it would be easy to mangle — it’s always inserting itself into everything — yet, according to the Urology Care Foundation, it’s “hurt much less often than other parts of the body.” Yet when it does get injured, it’s unforgettable.

Typical causes, the Foundation explains, are car and machine accidents (yikes), gunshot wounds, burns and sports. You can also cut your penis, bruise or chafe it. But the most common way to hurt your boner is — you guessed it — during sex. And the way it’s hurt is pretty obvious: Thrusting wildly away, you miss the vagina or anus or whatever opening you were going for, and instead bang it against flesh or an object nearby. That’s when your dick bends, or you hear the infamous “popping” sound that everyone describes. Sometimes, this happens from someone merely grabbing and bending your dick too hard.

This is when you have, in essence, broken or fractured your penis, only the popping sound is not a bone breaking or fracturing. “The pain and sound are made by a tear in the tunica albuginea, which is stretched tightly during an erection,” Urology Care Foundation explains. “Urologists often call this injury a penile ‘fracture,’ even though there is no bone in the penis.”

They go on to explain that blood builds up after his injury which is what causes the swelling and potentially bruising. It can leave your penis actually curved and make it hard to urinate. If you see blood at the tip of your urethra or in your urine, this indicates a serious injury.

Another source of penis sex related injuries is the cock ring, which when too tight or left on too long will seriously mess with the blood flow of your member. And another injury can come, apparently, from putting things in the tip of your penis.

Stories of sex-induced penis injuries are very popular, and never sound like any fun, though most people do seem to eventually recover. But not always. If this one Reddit tale is to be believed, the man in question experienced the dreaded pop and pain during violently, badly coordinated thrusting on his very first sexual encounter. The pain was so bad he passed out. Later at the hospital, surgery was required to fix the tears. He couldn’t get an erection again so he underwent another surgery the result of which is him pressing a button at the shaft of his dick to inflate it when he wants to have sex.

Other tales involve a woman on top coming down hard on a dick and “breaking it,” and indicate that many people think sex involves using the entire weight of your body to slam down on your partner, as if it’s the sex version of something you’d see in a bad wrestling match. In one version the man is said to have had a heart attack in response to seeing his bent dick. (Note: Recent research shows that the risk of sex-related heart attacks is real, but extremely rare.)

Recent research found that the most likely positions to injure your member are doggy style, missionary or woman on top, Men’s Health reported. Researchers believe it’s in part because men may become so wildly excited by this type of sex that they go nuts in the department of vigor.

This is good news, if the subtext here is correct: more mature men are usually not so eager about sex because they actually get it. These tales make it sound like dick-breaking is the province of the more inexperienced lover, because even when sex is intense and thrilling, once you’ve done it a million times, you can usually calm down enough to make sure you actually do it right. In case anyone isn’t sure, sex is definitely supposed to take you places, just not a place called the emergency room.