Normal is a spectrum. Ejaculation is healthy. The prostate is a gland. Exams are a part of life. But can all four of these things occur simultaneously? Namely, is a doctor’s finger in the butt an unexpected shortcut to Sploogeville?
This is a question haunting many men who fear a digital rectal exam (DRE) — as illustrated beautifully by a viral tweet this week.
The tweet migrated over to Reddit, too, where it kicked off a mixed thread of jokes, jealousy, occasional homophobia and mostly disbelief that such anecdotes are even real.
So, are they?
If you believed everything you read in online forums, you’d sure think so. It’s not the first time one of these tales has appeared online. Six years ago, another Reddit thread told the story of ejaculating during a prostate exam, and that the doctor “said it’s not uncommon,” but the poster said it’s “still so embarrassing.”
It shows up in a forum on WebMD from a 28-year-old who claims that, much to his horror, 20 seconds into his digital rectal exam, he ejaculates while flaccid. “My doctor said it was completely okay and it happens to a lot of guys,” he writes. “But after doing some searching on Google, I can’t find any evidence that it DOES happen to other guys! Just how common (or uncommon) is this? Am I a freak?”
It shows up in a question on Yahoo! Answers, where a 20-year-old wonders if it’s normal that he “blew the biggest load” he has “ever done” in his life when given a DRE. It shows up in surfer forums where the accounts read more like Penthouse letters, featuring sexy female doctors who administer the finger-blowing load. It shows up in MMA forums, where men claim their girlfriends have exes who nutted every time they got the exam. And in overzealous religious forums warning men to never get a prostate exam because you don’t know where it will lead.
What’s much more difficult to find are posts from medical experts describing this phenomenon’s existence at all.
One big reason the posts seem dubious: Many of the accounts are from men in their 20s, and men in their 20s don’t typically get prostate exams. They’re recommended for men over 40 because that’s when prostate cancer risk typically increases. There are exceptions for earlier testing ages for African American men, who are predisposed to higher risk, or any men with prostate cancer in their immediate family.
But complicating matters further is that the prostate is involved in erections and ejaculation, plays a role in making seminal fluid, and is also considered to be the male G-spot. Prostate massage or play can produce very powerful sensations and orgasms for some men. It’s also the size of a walnut, so you’d be forgiven for thinking of it as a nut button.
Then there’s the procedure itself. A digital rectal exam involves the doctor inserting a “gloved, lubricated finger” into the rectum to feel around the prostate for any abnormalities, which is similar to how you’d locate it for sexual pleasure. But the DRE is just supposed to take a few minutes and only produces mild pressure. There’s a big difference between what’s done between the sheets for good times and the sterile, antiseptic medical environment.
One would think that if the prostate were a 24/7 insta-cum button, men would receive some kind of warning before having it examined, or doctors would at least have some tissues or a face mask on hand in the event of volcanic activity.
This is probably why most of the responses on these threads are incredibly skeptical this would happen at all.
Turns out it’s not really a thing.
“I’ve never seen that phenomenon nor have I heard of a man ejaculating during a prostate exam,” he told MEL by email. Danoff would know — he’s performed thousands of prostate exams.
He confirmed that men in their 20s would not be the target demo for getting prostate exams.
“Men should start to have an annual prostate exam starting at age 40,” he advises. “And if, there is a male member of their family (father, brother, uncle) who has a diagnosis of prostate cancer, the exam should start at age 35.”
Which means these “anecdotes” online merely represent crippling fears about rectal exams, or perhaps wishful thinking that they’re only going to be done by hot doctors. Hey, we don’t blame you, but let’s keep this sort of thing where it belongs.
“Nice try, TROLL,” as commenter CherryBlossom says on the Yahoo! Answers thread. “For one, there is NO reason in the world that a 20-year-old needs to have a prostate exam. Obviously you have sexual fantasies and that’s fine, but you shouldn’t be sharing them on Yahoo Answers hoping to get yourself off on the answers.”