Friday Weird Science: Things you shouldn’t do “for kicks”

Not only are these things you shouldn’t do for kicks, but things that you should NEVER EVER have your friends do to you at a bachelor party. Those people are not your friends.
You’d think that, no matter how drunk you were, you wouldn’t agree when someone said “Hey, let’s see if we can fit this in your penis…” Quin, G, McCarthy. G. “Self insertion of urethal foreign bodies”. Journal of Accident and Emergency Medicine, 2000 May; 17(3): 231.
Oof. Really, I’m a girl and I’m crossing my legs over this one…

So apparently, though insertion of foreign bodies into the urethra is unusual, it’s not all THAT rare. And when we say “insertion”, we’re talking about way more than the tip of the swab that you get when you’re tested for STDs (which is something that everyone should have done, btw).
This particular study is actually a description of two case studies. The main point of the paper is this: if you have something inserted far into your urethra, DO NOT PULL IT OUT. Pulling will not work. If you’re are unfortunate or stupid enough to have this happen to you, hie thee to a urologist, and hope that your erectile function (and urinary function, for that matter) will remain intact.
Case Study number 1: A 36 year old man was at a “stag party”, which I believe is a bachelor party, right? One can only hope that he was NOT the guy getting married, this would certainly disrupt some new-found conjugal bliss. Anyway, he was probably in a pretty severe state of inebriation, and his ‘friends’ thought it would be really funny to insert a length of TENNIS WIRE into his urethra. I don’t know how conscious he was at the time, but he certainly had no recollection of exactly how much had gone in. Honestly, boys these days. After reading about this, I can only conclude that ‘stag parties’ involving strippers are the ones on the tame side.
So the first thing the doctors did was to try and pull it out. No dice. Upon getting a scan, it was revealed that the guy had 2-3 METERS of tennis wire coiled in his BLADDER. No wonder he was having trouble peeing. He ended up having to have bladder surgery. No reports on whether his equipment is working correctly.
Case study number 2: Another 36 year old man (what is it about 36 year old men?) walked into the urology department claiming to have trouble peeing. It turns out that he had inserted the outer plastic sheath of a cable into his penis “for kicks”. Apparently this is a form of “pathological masturbation” (the famous Kinsey of the Kinsey reports was even known for doing this), in which guys get off by inserting things into their penis. Since I imagine this hurts a great deal, one can only assume they also get off on pain. So this guy inserted a plastic sheath into his penis, and it was still sticking out (I suppose it’s good that it wasn’t all the way in there). But he had inserted so much that there was actually a knot of cable sheath up in his bladder.
urethral insertion.jpg
Of course they didn’t know this at first, and tried to pull it out. You can imagine how well that went. Hello, surgery.
The authors conclude that, even if the object inserted is protruding out of the meatus (the head of the penis), you shouldn’t go try to pull it out. Most likely that’s not all that’s in there. Not only that, pulling doesn’t seem to work most of the time. Usually surgery is necessary. But I would say the main lesson of the paper is this: don’t insert things into your penis.
G. Quin (2000). Self insertion of urethral foreign bodies Emergency Medicine Journal, 17 (3), 231-231 DOI: 10.1136/emj.17.3.231

13 Responses

  1. During med school had a urologist telling these stories with a lot of pictures. Remember one after insertion into a vacuum cleaner…..
    Kept us alert.
    Kind regards Dr Shock

  2. A ‘friend’ of mine once sent me a horrific clip from a porn video showing some forceful urethra insertion, I’ve never been the same since. God knows why people think that this sort of thing would be a good idea but at least they keep the rest of us entertained in a non-lethal Darwin Awards kind of way 🙂

  3. Upon getting a scan, it was revealed that the guy had 2-3 METERS of tennis wire coiled in his BLADDER.

    What!? *double take* What!?

  4. I have a sudden urge to pee. after I get done squirming.

  5. One of my High School friends worked in the ER at our local hospital for a long time. He would always tell me stories about some of the weird cases that had come in. Some of the involved urethral insertions:
    One involved a teenage boy who had decided to stick a headphone hack down his urethra. He had come into the ER with his mom by his side. Apparently he waited an entire week before telling anyone.
    Another involved a gay man who was trying to impress his mate. He though it was a good idea to stick a rose stem down his penis. He was smart enough to make sure there were no thorns, but he neglected the millions of tiny hairs that stick out of the stem. Let’s just say once he got it down there… there was no getting it back out. The tiny hairs would actually dig themselves further into his urethra the more he tried to pull it out.

  6. Just a quick comment on the sexual health component of this juvenilia. Fear of the urethral swab – for all the reasons you recounted here – is a major reason why man may put off seeking sexual health testing. It’s important to note that any well-equipped pathology lab can now do all the same tests using first-catch urine, so there’s no need for the swab. Just make sure you go to a sexual health clinic, rather than your family doctor who doesn’t do all that many STI tests and isn’t up with it.

  7. OMG.
    My jaw was dropped the whole time I read this post, wondering “who the FUCK would do that???”
    To someone else, let alone yourself!!!

  8. As disturbing as it may be, this practice of sliding objects up the urethra is calling sounding. It gets it’s name from a term used for measuring depths. It is very common amongst sexual fetishists and can be found to some degree at any “fetish ball” club event (there are many of these held routinely through-out north america europe and asia).
    Though the people in this article sound mostly like uh amatures, I guess you would say, there is a thriving community built around this and several small scale machine shops that make specialized medical tools have cashed in on this making sounding kits out of surgical steel and providing instrument care and safest practices pamphlets.
    Don’t think this is an odd thing in the realm of sexual experimentation, you just might find out how much more skin crawling that world can get, far beyond sounding.

  9. I am thrilled that this is the first I’ve ever heard of such and hope it is the last.
    Sure, it’s a layman’s diagnosis, but these people are crazy.

  10. Holy shit!
    When I first read about the toothpick fish some years back, I spent a week in the foetal position cupping my equipment!
    People voluntarily do this to themselves???!!!!

  11. a urology student i lived with at uni told me of a gay guy who would keep coming in to the hospital with urinary tract infections. eventually the doctor asked wtf was going on and he said him and his boyfriend would connect their shlongs with a piece of hose that went in their urethras (kind of like a double ended dildo). they would then piss in to each other’s dicks. hence the infections.

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