“The first time it happened, I was 23,” says a man who, given the details that follow, asked to be called “Tuttle.” “It had been a few days since I’d made a deposit at the porcelain bank, and nature started pounding on the door after my morning coffee.” Tuttle says he “walked with fierce purpose to the nearest available toilet and sat down expecting fireworks.”
Fearing hemorrhoids, Tuttle refrained from pushing and waited for his body to take over. “I was hunched over, holding back tears, hoping that this wasn’t the end when my phone rang,” he explains. “The break in concentration opened the floodgates, but when I looked down to survey the damage, I was shocked. Near the front of the toilet bowl was an unmistakable bloop of semen that had apparently zoomed right out of my dick.” Upon seeing this, he adds, “My groaning became more like, ‘OoohhhOOWWHHaaa?”
So what, uh, happened there?
Medically speaking, Tuttle experienced something called a “urethral discharge.” According to Alex Shteynshlyuger, Director of Urology at New York Urology Specialists, because the rectum sits adjacent to the prostate, “constipation-induced pressure in the rectum can cause pressure on the prostate and result in the urethral discharge of prostatic fluid.” (To be clear, prostatic fluid isn’t semen.)
To that end, constipation-inspired urethral discharges aren’t as rare as you might think. Last week on Reddit, for instance, numerous men rhapsodized about their own bowel movements that also arrived with, as Tuttle puts it, “a little jizz plop floating along.”
Ryan, a 35-year-old in Vermont, first experienced a urethral discharge in college. “It really freaked me out, but I didn’t say anything to anyone or ask anyone about it,” he says. “I did, however, search it up online, only to find very minimal info. It basically just said it will happen to some people.”
For what it’s worth, Tuttle says calling it a discharge isn’t exactly right. “It definitely feels good, but not at all like a full-blown nut buster,” he tells me. “My best comparison would be, if cumming is like a really good neck pop after a long day, flaccid-poop jizzing is like popping one of your fingers — still nice and all, but no one nearby is going to be like, ‘Ooh, that sounded good!’ afterwards, ya know?”
As is the case for Tuttle, Ryan says this “happens routinely now, depending on diet and stool size,” but neither have opted to speak to their doctor about it. “I’ve never told a doctor about it because it never felt like something was wrong,” Ryan explains.
More often than not, Shteynshlyuger says such a urethral discharge is little more than a sign of constipation. However, if it happens often enough that constipation can be ruled out, it’s time to consult a physician. Most notably, it could be the sign of an enlarged prostate. “An enlarged prostate can protrude in the rectum and cause increased pressures, as well as an increased amount of prostatic fluid that can be expelled during bowel movements,” he explains.
While neither an enlarged nor inflamed prostate are signs of prostate cancer, both can lead to more serious health problems. An enlarged prostate could be to blame for urinary tract infections, kidney stones and hemorrhoids, and an inflamed prostate, which Shteynshlyuger points out is “often caused by a variety of STDs,” can be the cause fertility issues, among other things.
With that in mind, “if the urethral discharge is a persistent or frequent occurrence,” Shteynshlyuger advises a medical evaluation “may be of value, and may result in a diagnosis of a significant, but treatable, medical problem.”
When I relay this information to Tuttle, he assures me that he’ll set aside the embarrassment and mention it to his doctor the next time he gets a physical. Nonetheless, his enthusiasm for the act remains high. “You always remember your first time,” he concludes. “Because on that day, I became more than a man and achieved what few people can — I went into that stall expecting to go number two, but instead, I created a number five.”