Seth* was born with a rare genetic disorder that left him with an even rarer side effect. To put it simply, he pees when he comes. In fact, he is the only person in the world who does this (we think). In spite of this, Seth maintains a rather enviable sex life, but his condition has left him with a sense of isolation few of us can understand. What’s it like to be the only person in the world who does something? Seth was happy to enlighten us.
* Seth isn’t his real name, but his real email is at the bottom of the article if you’d like to contact him.
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The first time I ever came, I peed all over myself. It shocked me as much as it shocks any adolescent male whose first ejaculation comes without warning, but my astonishment quickly faded as I realized what the emission was made of.
I was used to wetting myself at that point. In fact, I’d been doing it for the better part of my childhood, the consequence of more surgeries on my urethra than I care to remember. Still, I remember sitting there, putting the pieces together in my head as the warm, slightly salty sensation of piss soaked into my pants. Though I hadn’t expected to pee at the pinnacle of my first orgasm, given my condition, it wasn’t all that surprising.
I was born with VATER Syndrome, a little-understood constellation of birth defects that tend to occur together in the vertebrae, anus, trachea, esophagus and kidneys. Just about any severity and configuration of anomalies can occur from it. For example, I have some deformation of my digits and intestinal issues, and I was technically born without an anus. (Don’t worry, surgeons created one for me after a few re-routing procedures.) However, one of the more notable ways it affects me is that I pee when I come. Not like occasionally or if my bladder is full — I mean every time I come, I pee at the same time.
In fact, I’m the only person I — or the massive network of VATER specialists, urologists and other doctors I’ve seen over the past 30 years — know of who has this problem. It’s so rare it doesn’t even have a name.
To be clear, it’s nearly impossible for men to pee and ejaculate at the same time. Male anatomy contains a natural reflex that prevents this — when a man is nearing orgasm, a sphincter at the base of his bladder contracts, preventing the flow of semen backwards into bladder territory. That same sphincter keeps the bladder closed off until ejaculation is complete. This mechanism prevents retrograde ejaculation and keeps urine and sperm as far away from each other as possible.
It’s a great system, but it doesn’t quite apply in my situation. I was born with something called a rectourethral fistula, which basically means I had an abnormal hole between my urethra and my rectum. Repairing it surgically caused scar tissue to build up in my urethra, fusing it together so I couldn’t pee properly. A second surgery was needed to “create an extra runway” for me to urinate out of. Both these operations happened before the age of two, far before their effect on my sexual functioning would become clear. It wasn’t until I started getting erections for the first time during my adolescence that I discovered something was off.
The first time I got hard, I was watching Nickelodeon — one of those shows where people got slimed. For some reason, when certain girls would get slimed, I’d get so excited. I couldn’t look away — the way the green ooze dripped down their faces and bodies was irresistible. I noticed a sensation beginning to grow in my penis. It felt really good, but it also felt like I had to pee. I was too young to know that wasn’t normal, so I never vocalized what happened when I got hard to my friends (despite the sort of incessant boner talk boys that age are prone to). Because of that, it never occurred to me other people didn’t get the pee sensation when they were getting hard — I thought guys just peed a little when things felt good down there. More tellingly, I hadn’t had sex ed yet — or the awkward, inevitable “talk” with my parents — to inform me otherwise.
Flash forward a few years and I’m 13, in the throes of my aforementioned first orgasm courtesy of the Elle Macpherson film Sirens. This time, casual rubbing culminated in a series of intensely pleasurable contractions during which I peed everywhere. It was much more startling than what happened when I’d gotten innocent childhood erections or when I’d wet the bed because it was accompanied by something that felt really good.
By then, I’d had enough exposure to porn to know what “normal” ejaculate looked like. I remember trying to set up a covert appointment with my urologist to get an explanation of what was happening, but doctor-patient secrecy is hard to maintain when you’re 13. I had to tell my parents that I was “coming weird.” It was a tough subject to broach, but I was determined and they were very supportive, thankfully.
The urologist said the urethral stricture I’d developed as a baby had never fully been dealt with and that the remaining scar tissue would need to be addressed. This spurred a new series of urethroplasties, which resulted in an entirely reconstructed urethra at the age of 20. It helped me pee better, but the other issue was never dealt with. To this day, doctors don’t know if these operations led to my condition or if my congenital abnormalities are to blame.
At this point, I don’t really care why this thing happens to me. My dick’s been through enough tests and procedures. (Ever had a cystoscopy done on your scar-constricted pee-hole, or had an injection of Viagra pushed directly into your shaft? Not fun.) These days, I’m more concerned with how to live with it.
Here’s how I make it work.
I pee when I get an erection, and when I come. If I don’t want to pee, I can clench my Kegel muscles, which stops the flow of urine. However, the harder and longer I clench, the more difficult it is to get or stay erect — contracting those muscles as hard as I do cuts off the blood to my dick. I can’t ejaculate when I’m clenching either. Or rather, I can, but it’s painful and seems to be related to the formation of testicular cysts I often have the pleasure of mistaking for cancer.
I can only get hard and come comfortably when I relax my muscles, but since relaxation means urine, I try to be prepared with towels or a cup to catch it in (which is a lot easier when I’m alone). The objective is to pee out as much as I can before I start having sex, but since bladders are constantly refilling, it’s hard to get it all out. I can empty it completely if I self-catheterize, but that sucks — it’s painful, it takes a minute to prepare and sterilize and it’s not my favorite activity to keep the romantic momentum going when and if it’s going.
Communicating with my partners about it is a much better option than self-catheterization. I fill people in on my situation whenever possible — it’s usually better to prepare someone so they know what they’re getting into. However, I’ve also been in situations where things get hot and heavy too fast for me to give them the full run-down. In those cases, they get the abridged version — “I come a lot, so let’s lay something down.” No matter how prepared we are, though, there’s always cleanup involved, but it’s never been like, “Oh my God, gross, you peed on me!”
Condoms, as I’m sure you can imagine, are tricky. They tend to fill up pretty fast and shoot off. That’s partially why I’m quick to go down on my partner, to play the role of the “giver.” Sometimes that’s because I like that role and it’s nice to help someone feel good, but other times, it’s because I don’t want to deal with the mess. I don’t like to always be thinking about my body. It’s usually better just to think about theirs.
If I do have sex with someone, the shower (or somewhere where it’s easy to rinse off afterwards) is ideal, but not always possible. Either way, I always pull out and come into whatever item is most sanitary and/or nearby. I’ve actually never ejaculated inside someone. I know urine is sterile, but I’ve never fully understood what happens when you let a steady stream go inside someone. So I’ve never really been able to drop my anxiety about that.
Feeling bad for me?
Don’t. I’ve have a fairly active sex life; more so than many friends of mine who aren’t dealing with a hybridized pee/come situation.
Generally speaking, there’s this tendency to assume people with birth defects or disabilities aren’t sexual people, but I’m a testament to the contrary. For me, and for others living with disabilities, finding partners and making sexuality part of our lives is doable — too doable, in many cases (thanks, internet). In actuality then, I’ve had nothing but positive, mostly affirming sexual encounters with women, none of whom have taken serious issue with the way I come. That said, I’ve yet to meet someone with an actual pee fetish or who really gets off on golden showers. I’d love to experience being fetishized for it, though. I’m sure the way I come makes me someone’s dream guy (call me!), but the people I’ve been with are more just “okay with it” than innately turned on.
That’s part of why I spend a lot of time chatting online with cam girls. Thanks to the awesome sorting power of the internet, I can seek out people who are into my condition or at least have never seen it before and pay them for helping me out at the same time. It’s just nice to feel like my condition could be pleasurable for someone as opposed to something they “don’t mind.” For the same reason, I tend to watch a lot of pee porn. It’s funny because I’m not even into pee, it’s just that I can envision myself in the position of the person who’s urinating, and that gets me off. In other words, it’s the representation that turns me on, not necessarily the act itself.
For all that positive sexual experience, I did have a slightly unfortunate one, though. Once, when I came into a girl’s mouth, it ended up being too much for her and she choked on it. Everything was fine in her neck of the woods — she wasn’t grossed out — but the experience left a lasting impression on me. Her expression and the fact that I’d made her choke felt like the validation of a fear I harbor about my condition being strange, toxic and possibly harmful. That’s the hard part of this, actually. While none of my partners have made me feel bad about the way I come, I’ve never been able to fully relinquish with my own fixation, shame and anxiety about the matter.
If I had to psychoanalyze myself, I’d say that’s a major factor in why I’ve not had many long-term relationships. Not because the women I see have some big problem with it, but because on some level, I’m ashamed. I feel unworthy, not able to fulfill the role of a “normal,” functional man. I tend to run away, never having to exist as an “unfulfilling man” for an extended time with any partner. I realize a lot of people feel that way about themselves — congenital birth defects or not — but I haven’t quite figured out how to process these feelings and keep them from being an obstacle.
That’s why I seek out new partners and new scenarios often. On some level, I’m trying to prove to myself I can have a sex life in spite of my condition. It’s like I’m caught in this perpetual loop of reinforcing for myself that there are actually people who aren’t repulsed by it, as if their acceptance of my body will finally instill me with the self-acceptance and confidence I can’t seem to allow myself. I’m not proud of that behavior, but because I refuse to accept how I am, it’s become hard for me to allow others to.
It does get pretty bleak, and I often feel like I’m alone dealing with this stuff. With nearly every other human condition — be it a disease, an emotional state or certain situation — the pacifying refrain used to make someone feel better is always “you’re not alone.” With over seven billion people on the planet, it’s hard to be. Statistically speaking, there have to be at least several hundred other people out there who are just like you; who are dealing with the same thing. There’s so much comfort in that. I mean, why else are we so determined to find life on other planets? Why do we spend billions of dollars investigating deep-space transmissions from other galaxies?
Because it gives us hope we’re not alone.
Obviously, for me, that’s not necessarily the case. And trust me, I’ve tried to find others. I’ve looked at every message board, medical journal and health forum. I’ve asked every doctor and surgeon I’ve seen — which is a lot. I’ve scrolled deep into the paginated expanse of Google’s results on the hunt for kindred ejaculators, but all I can find are articles about male incontinence, female squirting and prostate orgasms accompanied by curiously large loads. That, and about 50,000 articles describing why it’s categorically impossible for men to pee and come at the same time.
From where I stand, I seem to be the exception.
Still, I haven’t given up hope that there are others out there like me. There has to be. I look for them whenever I can. If I ever find someone who knows what this is like, I’d love to talk to them; ask them about their experience. It would feel so good to know other people are going through this. Like I said, there’s such comfort in shared experience.
That’s why it’s so important for me to get out there and share my experience with others. I want to get my story out there so people understand that it’s okay to live with conditions like this, it’s okay to be pissed that your body won’t cooperate, it’s okay to be the exception to the rule. If I can, I want to help remind people that it’s still possible to exist with this stuff and have pleasure and intimacy in their lives — even if it involves some clean-up afterwards.
So, if you’re reading this and you come like I do, reach out to me at firstname.lastname@example.org. Because I promise, you aren’t alone.
—As told to Isabelle Kohn