You might have read Dennis Rodman's cringe-worthy account of how "there was blood everywhere" and a "crack" when he broke his penis during sex, on three separate occasions, according to a report. This isn't necessarily the stuff of sensationalized journalism or nightmares, though. It's very possible to "break" your penis.
We spoke with Brian Christine, M.D., a urologist with EDcure.org and the Urology Centers of Alabama to cover everything you need to know to protect your manhood. If you didn't read Rodman's graphic account, go to news.com.au for the full story.
What happens when you "break" your penis?
Okay, so you're not technically breaking your penis; you're deaing with a penile fracture. And while it's rare, Christine says it's not unusual.
When your penis is erect, it's engorged with blood. But if it's bent suddenly or forcefully, typically during sex, that force can cause a fracture. Now, fractures are usually synonymous with bones. And even though your penis can get a boner, there aren't any bones in it. When you fracture your penis, you actually tear the deeper tissue. "There are two cylinders of sponge-like tissue in your penis called the corporal body—that’s what fills up with blood to give you an erection," Christine says. "There’s a layer of pretty tough tissue that surrounds the corporal body and that layer is called the tunic, which is what gets ruptured during vigorous intercourse," he adds.
How do you know if you've fractured your penis?
You’ll hear a pop or a crack, which is the rupturing of the tunic, followed by excruciating pain in your penis, Christine says. Since the tunic controls when you get hard or soft, you'll immediately lose your erection now that it's been severed. "Sometimes the penis will look like an eggplant—that's how swollen and black and blue it can get," Christine says. There’s high hydraulic pressure in the corporal body that makes your penis rigid, so when you tear that tissue a lot of blood leaks out—sometimes it's even visible at the urinary opening of the penis (as Rodman described). These are the telltale signs.
"Some guys come in and say they were having sex, their penis slipped out, and there was some pressure because they thrust their penis into bone, but there was no pop or signs of bruising," Christine says. This isn't much cause for concern. Trust us: You'll know if you've fractured your penis.
What should you do if you've fractured your penis?
You need to see a physician or a urologist immediately. If it’s nighttime, when these cases often occur, go to the emergency room. You need to be seen immediately—your penis and its ability to have healthy, normal erections depends on it.
"It’s a surgical fix," Christine says. Surgeons need to sew that laceration of tissue back together. "If you get to the operating room quickly and suture up the tear, that will give you the best chance to recover sexual function and will prevent the formation of scar tissue in the tunic, called peyronie’s disease," Christine says. That scar tissue can cause really severe curvature or a bend in your penis when it becomes erect.
What are the most dangerous sex positions?
The sex positions that lend itself to a penile fracture the most are woman on top, doggie, and anal where she’s on her hands and knees and you’re entering from behind. "Imagine she’s on top, things are getting pretty vigorous, and your penis slips out," Christine says. "What happens is she settles back down with all her weight on your penis and it, instead of being in her vagina, is bent on her pubic bone." It’s this violent bending of your erect penis that causes a rupture or a tear.
How can you reduce your risk?
Christine doesn't suggest you avoid those positions. These are great positions! But he does recommend you be more cognizant when you're doing them. "You don’t want your penis to slip out of her vagina or anus and thrust into her," he says. "Keep your hands on her hips when she’s on top so you can control her speed and weight if things get a little out of control," he suggests. And when you’re entering her from behind, build up a slower rhythm so you’re not jack-hammering (which, by the way, isn’t conducive to getting her off anyway); this will help prevent your penis from slipping out, buckling, and tearing if you thrust into her and getting bent out of shape—literally.