“Babe, you’re giving me blue balls, and it hurts. Why would you turn me on if you weren’t going to finish me off?”
Though this is a slight dramatization of something many women have heard from guys trying to manipulate us into sleeping with them (side note: run as fast as you can if you hear this from a guy), you get the gist. When some men get “blue balls,” they try to guilt-trip us into sleeping with them by suggesting that we’re the ones who are causing them pain. Some of them go as far as saying that the condition is dangerous and that we would have sex with them if we cared about them and their health.
Though “blue balls” are a real medical phenomenon, they’re not dangerous, and it’s no excuse to manipulate or guilt-trip a woman into having sex.
The Science Behind “Blue Balls”
“Blue balls” (or the more science-y name, epididymal hypertension) are defined as an uncomfortable condition caused by excess blood staying in the penis and testicles during a prolonged erection without ejaculation. Symptoms include “heaviness in the scrotum, an aching sensation, testicular pain, mild discomfort, and possibly, a faint blue tint.”
“Blue balls” is an uncomfortable condition caused by excess blood staying in the penis for too long.
It doesn’t sound like too much fun, and the solution for “blue balls” is to ejaculate or to decrease arousal so the blood vessels can go back to normal. This isn’t exclusive to men, as women can get “blue vulva” when the clitoris swells due to lack of sexual release. This isn’t considered a serious condition because it has a simple treatment, but it’s important to talk to your doctor if the discomfort becomes unbearable.
Why This Is a Manipulative Tactic
Now that we know what “blue balls” really are and that they’re not dangerous, let’s discuss how some men use this as a manipulation tactic. One thing that’s important to note is that nobody is entitled to sex at any time. Both parties have a choice to participate in sex, which is why consent is important.
This is where the manipulation and guilt-tripping come in. Though feeling entitled to sex isn’t exclusive to men, many of us have met men who feel entitled to sex once they get aroused. If he’s a good guy, he’ll respect your “no.” (If he’s an even better guy, he won’t even let himself get that far.) If not, he might resort to the “blue balls” manipulation tactic.
Men use blue balls to guilt-trip women into thinking that they’re the ones causing them pain.
Men who use this tactic guilt-trip women into thinking that they’re the ones who are causing them pain, some going as far as to exaggerate the pain they’re in or that it’s a serious condition. If you feel the need to guilt-trip a woman into having sex with you, that’s not love. That’s manipulation.
It's a dirty trick to use on women, who we know are more agreeable than men. We're more easily guilted into doing something to please others, and skeezy guys know this. They want to use your natural, feminine desire to please as a way to shame you into sex, and that's a big no-no. His lack of sexual self-discipline isn't your problem to solve.
Instead, learn how to use your words and be assertive about setting sexual boundaries. Make sure that your actions back up your words, too. If you tell him "no", your actions (moving away, de-escalating the sexual activity, etc.) should match your words. This isn't anything to do with victim-blaming. It's about communicating clearly at every level with him what your intentions are. Men are simple creatures, so keep your communication simple, straightforward, and consistent. You'll feel much more empowered to make sexual decisions when you're ready.
Ladies, don’t let a man guilt-trip you into sleeping with them with this excuse. It’s nothing short of immaturity and manipulation, and you deserve so much better than that.
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