7 Dangerous Things That Can Happen During Sex

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Sex can leave you feeling invincible, sure, but if you’re particularly freaky—or even just a little careless—it can also leave you with cuts, bruises, or even a trip to the ER. So what happens if your body takes a beating? Read on, and avoid these dangerous things that can transpire during a good night’s work.

Penile fracture.

Although there are no bones in your boner, there are tubes—called the corpora cavernosa—that engorge with blood to make it hard. Think of your penis like a tire, which becomes firm when it’s filled with air. If you’re thrusting into something rigid, or going at it at an odd angle, you can rupture the spongy tissue and cause a penile fracture: basically, your pecker buckling under pressure.

“We call it ‘eggplant deformity,’ because your penis gets purple and huge,” says Richard Santucci, M.D., director of the Center for Urologic Reconstruction. And obviously, like a flat tire, you’ll lose your erection immediately. While penile fracture is relatively common, it’s typically treated via surgery. “Usually, we’ll make an incision and find the area that’s torn. Then we sew it back together,” says Dr. Santucci. If that freaks you out, refrain from super-rough sex in positions like woman-on-top, which are more likely to cause a fracture.

Friction burn.

Imagine having sex with a Chinese finger trap—it’s the same as having sex without lube. (And yes, “Chinese finger trap” is your new favorite vagina euphemism.) When you put your penis into something as dry as a bone, you’re likely to chafe from the friction, causing burning, stinging, and redness. Don’t skip on the lube next time, lest you get rubbed raw again. To treat a friction burn in the meantime, apply some kind of soothing lotion or aloe vera gel and give yourself a sex hiatus until it heals.

Cock ring swelling.

The upside to using a cock ring is that you’ll keep your erection for longer. The downside is that if you don’t take it off, you’ll keep your erection forever. If the ring is worn for too long or if it’s too tight, it can block the blood supply from the penis, causing it to swell. It can also tear through the skin beneath the ring. “I once saw a guy put the head of a sledgehammer around his penis,” says Dr. Santucci. “That thing is really hard. It’s like steel. We had to call the fire department to bring the saw they use to cut cars open, and it took hours to cut off.” Moral of the story? Stop trying to make homemade cock rings, and make sure to get one with a fastener—like elastic, Velcro, or snaps—so you can remove it.

Suction marks.

Whether your partner is an oral-sex master or you’re using one of those vacuum sex toys, excessive suction on your penis can leave reddish, purplish marks. It’s basically like a hickey on your hard-on. And just like a hickey anywhere else on your body, it’s a result of capillary hemorrhaging from the blood vessels in your penis. But since the skin on down there is especially sensitive, don’t try any of those homespun hickey-removal techniques, like brushing it with a dry toothbrush. Leave the thing alone and it should go away within a few days. If it’s still there after a week, see your doctor.

Bite wound.

It’s the last thing you want to hear during oral sex: CHOMP. First, check out the damage: Is the skin broken? If it is, dab it with antibacterial cream or visit a doctor for a dose of antibiotics since the potential for infection is high. That said, it’s highly unlikely that your partner can accidentally bite that hard. “To tell you the truth, most bites to the penis occur during a sexual assault,” says Dr. Santucci—so unless you’re like this guy, it’s doubtful that you’ll end up with a legitimate bite. Instead, a BJ-gone-wrong might yield scrapes or teeth marks, which you can treat with a swab of antibiotic ointment.

Sore penis.

After a marathon sex event, the skin on your penis might feel tender, or even appear darker or reddish. If it’s not chafing of the skin—you remembered to use lube this time—then it could just be the result of an extraordinarily long-lasting erection. It takes a lot of blood to keep that thing up, and if you’ve been going at it for a long time, then your tenderness could be from that. If you still feel sore the next day, just take it easy, champ—you should be ready for the next race in no time.

Sore balls.

Sex shouldn’t wear your pair out—but occasionally, you might feel slight soreness in your testicles. If your romp regimen involves twisting, pulling, or squeezing your balls—even gently!—then that could be the culprit. Remember, your goods are sensitive things, and they must be treated with care. It’s also possible that a really, really intense orgasm can cause minor “trauma” on your testes, and some men have reported physical aches after a powerful ejaculation. It’s sort of like the antithesis of blue balls. While there’s no real treatment or course of action, all we can say is: Congrats on that orgasm.

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