Daily Archives: December 1, 2011

“Blue Balls” & the Point of No Return: Man-Made Myths?

During my dating years, there were two phrases men liked to bring up in an effort to convince women that they not only wanted but needed to have sex. I have long wondered about the veracity of their claims. Were they stating an objective fact? Twisting the truth a little? Telling an outright lie? Or did they believe wholeheartedly in what they were saying? (As George Costanza on Seinfeld said, “It’s not a lie, if you believe it.”)

I’m betting that some husbands have used them from time to time as well.

Myth vs. FactHere are the phrases:

“I’ve Got Blue Balls.” Unfortunately, that’s what it’s called. However, the proper scientific name is vasocongestion.

The condition of “blue balls” does exist. During sexual arousal, a man’s testicles fill with blood and swell to approximately 50% larger. If this pressure is not relieved through ejaculation, the man’s testicles may ache.

The claim that orgasm is the best way to relieve the pain is partially true. Ejaculation is the fastest way to relieve that aching feeling and cause the blood flow and swelling to go down. However, without having sex or ejaculation, the blood and swelling will slowly subside.

To be fair, a small number of men report that the pain of prolonged arousal without ejaculation can last for several hours and can affect not only the testicles but even the lower abdomen. One man likened the brush-off of vasocongestion to people who claim that menstrual cramps are mostly in your head; as we gals know, that’s a load of hooey. So if men say it hurts, I believe that it hurts.

The conclusion I draw is twofold: First, men should not be getting aroused for long periods of time without the possibility of climax. When we engage as God intended, with a husband and wife arousing and satisfying one another, intense vasocongestion won’t occur. (Prolonged, unavoidable times away from one another are an exception.) Yet, fooling around outside marriage or engaging in pornographic arousal or other activities may cause problems. Second, the claim of “blue balls” is still not a reason to engage in intercourse outside the parameters that God commanded, so men shouldn’t use the excuse and women shouldn’t buy it.

“I’m at the Point of No Return.” The way that I heard men use “point of no return” (with me and with girlfriends) is different from what my research unveiled. Guys claimed that at some point in sexual arousal, they couldn’t stop and needed to have sex.

The point of no return recognized in my research is that moment when ejaculation cannot be stopped. But men retain control of where that ejaculation occurs, and it is not necessary to have intercourse to complete the male orgasm. Although the physical response to ejaculate becomes involuntary at some point, the decision to engage sexually is still voluntary. And prior to that moment of automatic response, he retains control.

Of course, God’s design is for a husband and wife to engage together, and the husband to ejaculate as part of the sexual act between them. Physical intimacy in marriage may include penetration or another form of bringing about the husband’s ejaculation with the wife’s assistance (e.g., oral sex, “hand job”).

Pre-marriage, the man’s “point of no return” does not include a need to penetrate. He still has a choice. Moreover, he shouldn’t be getting to that point with a woman who doesn’t have a ring, a vow, and a wedding album.

As I suspected, these phrases are suspect as reasons to engage in sexual intercourse. Yet, being aroused over and over without release is hard to cope with. In marriage, however, I don’t believe the physical side of the difficulty is as painful as the emotional rejection.

If a husband is turned on by his wife, desires to be intimate with her, and is repeatedly rejected, he may get a case of vasocongestion. However, I hear more husbands complain of a blue heart than “blue balls.” They take it personally that their wives don’t want to engage sexually with them and can’t understand why this way of expressing love is off limits.

Still, husbands shouldn’t use phrases like the ones above to convince wives to engage sexually. At best, they may get pity sex.

Wives, meanwhile, shouldn’t withhold sexually to the point that their husbands are so uptight that they are willing to settle for pity sex. At best, they will feel used.

Discuss with each other what your desired frequency is. You could compromise between the two, or go for broke and follow author Sheila Gregoire’s advice of “Just Say Yes to Sex!

Remember that intimacy is not about satisfying physical needs or inclinations. Yes, God made us fleshly beings with desires and sensations, but we are made in His image as persons who desire connection. God desires to connect with us, and He designed marriage as a lifelong connection between a man and a woman.

Sexual intimacy expresses and fosters that connection. If a husband and wife are engaging with each other as God intended, those two phrases will rarely, if ever, be used.

What do you think? Have you heard these claims before? What is your opinion of them?