Are Blue Balls Real? Causes And Cures.

4 minute read

You may have heard of blue balls, but what exactly causes them, what do they feel like, and are they even a “real” thing or just something penis-owners say to convince their partner to do the deed?

Spoiler alert: blue balls are real, but never a reason to continue sexual activity unless partners enthusiastically agree. Read on to learn more about blue balls: what they are, why they happen, and what to do about them.

What are blue balls?

If you’ve heard of blue balls, you might be wondering what does blue balls mean. The blue balls definition describes epididymal hypertension — a dull aching sensation in the testicles when a penis-owner is aroused but doesn’t ejaculate. While the condition can be uncomfortable, it isn’t dangerous.

Are blue balls real?

Having blue balls is described as being very painful by some who’ve experienced it. But are blue balls real? As it turns out, blue balls are real, but the condition is not dangerous and the discomfort will subside. Blue balls, or epididymal hypertension, happen when a testicle-owner gets very aroused but doesn’t orgasm. And while blue balls are real, they aren’t a reason to feel pressured, or to pressure someone else, to perform acts that’ll aid orgasm.

Why is it called blue balls?

Epididymal hypertension is colloquially referred to as blue balls because the balls actually do turn kinda blue. When a person experiences blue balls, deoxygenated blood builds in the genital area. This causes slight discoloration of the testicles. The word “blue” might also refer to the feeling of frustration a penis-owner might feel due to the discomfort caused by blue balls.

Why do guys get blue balls?

Most penis-owners have experienced blue balls at some point in their life, but why do guys get blue balls? Blue balls happen when a person is aroused, but doesn’t ejaculate. This can be painful as blood pressure in the genitals increases.

What do blue balls feel like?

Those who’ve experienced blue balls say it can be a painful sensation. Some symptoms described are a darkening color and aches in the testicles, a dull pressure and heaviness in the penis, and a general feeling of sexual frustration.

What to do about blue balls?

If you’re experiencing blue balls, you can make the pain go away by bringing yourself to completion with masturbation, or engaging with a partner who enthusiastically consents. Blue balls aren't dangerous and the pain will subside naturally, too. If you can’t orgasm, try taking a cold shower or thinking about or doing things that lessen feelings of arousal.

Most penis-owners have experienced blue balls at some point or another. But while blue balls are a very real thing, they’re never a reason to pressure someone, or to feel pressured, to engage in sexual activity. If you have blue balls, just take care of yourself or wait it out. You’ll be fine!

Louise Bourchier, MPH

Reviewed for Medical Accuracy

Louise Bourchier is a sex educator and sex researcher with 8 years experience in the field. She teaches about sexual health, sexual pleasure, and communication in relationships through workshops, live-streams, and with written content. Using a sex-positive approach, a dash of humour, and bag full of fun props, Louise’s style of sex education for adults is not what you got in high school! Since 2011 she has taught over a hundred workshops to a wide range of audiences, from university students, to refugees, to medical professionals, to adult store clientele. She has a Masters of Public Health, and is currently a PhD candidate.

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