This article originally appeared in Kink-E-Zine, in a column called “Private Duty” that had an ask-the-kinky-nurse format. These articles were edited by a kinky MD, Dr. Who.
Question: I’ve been doing play piercings for awhile and my partner wants to try doing it on my testicles. What should I know before doing this? You shouldn’t, like, put a needle straight through a ball, right?
Um. Yes. As you have so aptly surmised, it is not the best idea to put a needle right through your testicle. Or through the shaft of your penis. Just say no, these things are not good for you.* Now, the SKIN of your scrotum and cock, on the other hand, is entirely fair game! But before we get to that, let’s go a bit more into the “this is what you should NOT do” side of this type of play.
First off, there is a rather fragile tube called the vas deferens that runs from each testicle into the body. This is how sperm goes from the testicles (the sperm making factories, in case you were too busy giggling to pay attention to that anatomy lesson during middle school) into the ejaculatory duct and then the urethra for ejaculation. If you want to be infertile, this is what they will snip when you go get a vasectomy (VAS deferens? VASectomy? Get it? Ahem).
As you can likely intuit from this, if you care at all about preserving your fertility, you should care a WHOLE LOT about protecting your vas deferens. That means no sticking needles through them, or even in the vicinity of them — anatomy is tricky, different people’s bits are in different places, and if you’re shoving needles through the testicles it’s hard to be totally sure where the vas deferens is to avoid hitting it. Even if you’re not interested in fertility, there are much more efficient methods of birth control than poking the vas deferens full of holes. So, where are the vas deferens located? Laterally (off to the sides, where the testicles rub up against the thighs), starting out at the epididymis (which is on the ass side of the testicles) and moving more towards the front of the testicles at the base of the penis. How do you avoid them? Keep to surface piercings, and don’t place them laterally.
This is not to say that people don’t put needles (or… other things) through the testicles — do a google image search for “testicle skewering” (maybe make sure you’re not on a work computer first) for some idea of what I’m talking about. Several people I’ve talked to who have bottomed for this particular activity said they had blood in their ejaculate for about a week. None reported lasting ill effects (though none were concerned with fertility), so they got lucky, in the grand scheme of things… however I believe there is an official medical term for “bloody semen” — wait for it, this is pretty technical — “BAD.” Yeah, that’s BAD.
Infections are a primary BAD thing that can happen anytime you break the skin, but things get much more serious if you start piercing organs —- and testicles are organs! I think it’s a no brainer that an infection involving the genitals is worse than an infection on, say, your thigh. If you go through the testicles, even sterile needles can cause a huge hematoma (collection of blood) which can easily superinfect. Here is a medical word soup of male genital infections: orchitis, epididymitis, posthitis, urethritis, balanitis, balanoposthitis… I could go on. Does any of that sound like fun? Yeah, I didn’t think that’s what you meant when you said “medical fetish.” Bluntly put: You could end up with a sack of pus where your testicles should be and a substantial likelihood of life-threatening blood poisoning (“septic shock”) or at least losing your testicles. That means: no babies for you, and bye-bye male hormones and sex drive.
Moving from the testicles to the penis itself, you don’t want to damage the urethra or the corpus cavernosum (which are the parts that fill with blood when a man has an erection). However it is somewhat less risky to pierce through the head of the penis — one popular technique involves putting needles through the coronal ridge (the rim around the bottom of the head of the penis — the head of the penis is also part of the corpus spongiosum) to create what is called a “crown of thorns.” That is an advanced technique and one that your top shouldn’t be attempting without a lot of experience and in-person training.
So now let’s talk more about what TO DO rather than what not to do. It is significantly less risky to pierce the SCROTUM (the skin “sack” that contains the testicles) rather than the testicles themselves (this is all relative! risks still exist! etc). Use sterile medical needles (22 gauge is a good starting size, 1 or 1.5 inches long. These can easily be obtained online, for example here) for this — unless you own an autoclave, it’s hard for me to imagine how you could get something else (sewing needles? actual BBQ skewers? what else do you want to stick through your most delicate anatomy?) to a reasonable level of “not covered in nasty bacteria that are going to try to make your balls fall off.” Be sure to clean the skin appropriately before you start, and follow all basic sharps handling/”clean zone” practices (gloves, sharps container, etc).
Right along the center of the scrotal sac can be a great place for a line of needles — position them so the point goes toward a thigh, with you on the side with all the hubs (it’s a good idea for the needles to all point the same general direction and away from you to minimize your risk of sticks). You can line them up there all the way down to the “taint” — this is going to be much easier on people who have more loose skin, which varies wildly from person to person. The technique of “burying the points” (which involves weaving the play piercing such that you leave the point of the needle under the skin, rather than sticking out above the surface) is something best left for other areas — there is going to be some movement of the scrotum after the needles are placed, and points that are buried will get more buried and can cause more trauma than you’ll be aware of.
Moving from the scrotum to the cock — if your partner is intact (not circumcised), there is a lot more pierce-able skin to play with! Be aware that on an intact cock, the head of the cock is generally much more sensitive (it hasn’t keloided over from constant exposure like the heads of circumcised cocks). On some cocks, you can clearly see the veins running along the surface of the cock — avoid shoving your needles through those. Arteries run deeper than veins, so you should be able to avoid these by simply sticking to superficial piercings. Anywhere you can pinch up the skin and pierce just along the surface is fair game!
In terms of how many surface piercings you can do, you’re limited mostly by degree of masochism and the number of needles you’ve brought with you. I’ve personally seen someone take 300 needles in his cock and balls, all surface piercings… he looked like a porcupine had take up residence in his crotch when they were done with him. Good fun!
*Disclaimer — In My Humble Opinion! Certainly some people practice testicle skewering. It is about assessing the risk vs reward ratio and making a decision about what amount of risk is acceptable to you. Practices involving sticking needles through testicles are too high risk for my personal taste, I wouldn’t personally do it, and I advise others not to do it either. But I am very risk adverse. The aim of this article is to help you make your own assessment, equip with some knowledge of the risks involved.
(This is a picture of a butterfly board, with birthday candles!)
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