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Your Blue Balls Aren’t the Problem


A penis owner discusses blue balls with a doctor.

With lackluster sex education still the norm, the notion of women’s sexuality as men’s sexuality light persists. Following feminist theory, the dominant group remains in charge and thus the subordinate, women, continue to experience oppression, even in the bedroom. Enter the conversation about blue balls.

What is Epididymal Hypertension (EH) aka Blue Balls?

The term blue balls, clinically known by the medical term epididymal hypertension (EH), describes discomfort in the testicles when ejaculation does not succeed erection. WARNING, this condition is only dangerous in the context that it is weaponized as a means to secure sexual activity. The penis and testicles are not in grave danger, as a result of not getting any.

The discomfort caused by blue balls is caused by pooled blood in the testicles as a result of prolonged sexual arousal, which can sometimes cause a bluish hue. Recovery from said discomfort easily dissipates when the previously increasing blood flow returns to normal, i.e. when the erection has left the building.

Methods for reducing the uncomfortable symptoms of blue balls include: thinking about something non-arousing, movement or light exercise, a cold shower, and ejaculation.

This is where things can get sticky. Ejaculation as a relief method is not required to transpire from a partner. Consent however, is always required. Meaning an enthusiastic, “yes”, in sexual activity.

If your partner claims they need to orgasm, or else be in unbearable pain, and it is your responsibility to provide relief because you are the cause of an erect penis, run.

Okay, maybe don’t run, but here’s an opportunity for education. Women experience blue balls too, which is called blue vulva (calling it pink vulva perpetuates antiquated paradigms around gender norms, no thank you). Women can experience discomfort around the vulva because of the pooling of blood without an orgasm. Yet women have never complained or used this as a source of pressure to assert sexual dominance.


Patriarchy is the Problem, Not Blue Balls

Herein lies the problem, sex is not a male experience, and it is not about orgasm. Sex is about pleasure and reciprocity. When both individuals feel good about themselves, the experience, and the pleasure they are able to give and receive, this marks positive sexual engagement. If you are experiencing a discrepancy in your libidos, there’s hope.

The patriarchy continues to assert men as having agency in the bedroom and women as submissive bystanders. Many individuals, unbeknownst to them, follow this narrative and believe men have a superior right to sexual satisfaction. All individuals have a right to pleasure, and men and women’s sexuality are not one in the same.

At one time, gendered roles were utilized for stability, production, and protection. Today, consider the positives of both the masculine and the feminine in society and as a requirement for intimacy. Patriarchal rule hurts both sexes.

Women are not an object, a toy to fill and dispose of. Women are not to be used as a “finisher” and when one person finishes the sex isn’t over. Orgasms need not be the pinnacle of sexual expression, rather a premium.

Further, the reliability of orgasm is ultimately your responsibility, not that of your partner seeing as an orgasm begins in the brain. Entitlement will tell you otherwise, but this necessitates a deeper dive into our patriarchal society.

By all means, if you want to help your partner achieve orgasm, go for it. Do it because you feel emphatic about providing this experience for a partner, not because you believe they will suffer without it.


Combat Blue Balls with Sexual Health Education

If you experience a long period of time with pain in the testicles when not aroused, please talk with your doctor. You may be experiencing other medical conditions such as testicular torsion or epididymitis, and need additional professional medical advice, diagnosis, or treatment.

The solution, to your blue balls, more accurately, is an encompassing sex education. Consider spending more time learning more about women’s sexuality to help close the sexual reciprocity gap. Those with penises will be just fine with a little discomfort, individuals with vaginas handle a little every month.

Modern Intimacy is a group therapy practice, founded by renowned Psychologist and Sex Therapist, Dr. Kate Balestrieri. This inclusive blog is designed to provide a wealth of information and resources for mental health, relationships, and sexuality. Subscribe today to get the latest information from our expert contributors from all around the world.


Author Bio

Heather "Lulu" Mazzei is a Clinical Associate at Modern Intimacy, in Los Angeles, an Associate Clinical Social Worker, supervised by Dr. Kate Balestrieri, Heather is passionate about healthy relationships and helping the people she works with to develop relationships that thrive.



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