What does "blue balls" mean?

I've heard the term "blue balls" before but I'm not sure I know exactly what it means. One of my girl friends told me its caused by a guy going too long without a release, but I thought if a guy goes long without release, then he just has a wet dream. My other girl friend told me that its when a guy gets worked up but doesn't actually climax. I'm too embarassed to actually ask any of my guy friends.


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  • Technically the second friend is correct. Blue balls is a condition that happens when a male becomes sexually aroused but does not get sexual release.

    When a man becomes sexually excited, the arteries carrying blood to the genital area enlarge, while the veins carrying blood from the genital area are more constricted than in the non-aroused state. This uneven blood flow causes an increase in volume of blood trapped in the genitals and contributes to the penis becoming erect and the testicles becoming engorged with blood. During this process the testicles increase in size 25-50 percent.

    If the male reaches orgasm and ejaculates, the arteries and veins return to their normal size, the volume of blood in the genitals is reduced and the penis and testicles return to their usual size rather quickly. If ejaculation does not occur there may be a lingering sensation of heaviness, aching, or discomfort in the testicles due to the continued vasocongestion. This unpleasant feeling has popularly been called blue balls, perhaps because of the bluish tint that appears when blood engorges the vessels in the testicles. Google is your friend.


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What Guys Said 4

  • In all honesty, it doesn't mean anything.

    I've heard guys say it, and we joke around about it between guys, but it's really just an imaginary and fictional concept.

    Medically, "blue balls" is "epiditimitis" or; the inflammation of the epiditimus. This happens when there's an infection, or in the event of some physical injury (such as being hit in the area).

    If a guy doesn't experience release, two things start to happen:

    1. The testes lower their rate of sperm production. The production of sperm is a resource intensive task for the body. It requires a lot of protein, sugar, and antibiotics. The body doesn't exactly want to invest all those calories into something that's never going to be used. So when it knows it pretty much has sperm to spare, it redirects the availability of those resources to other areas of the body as needed. (some trivia knowledge: this is why ancient tribal cultures did not allow sex or masturbation at least 3 days prior to hunting; and why boxers and professional athletes are not allowed to have sex 2 days prior to a game)

    2. The body starts to break-down "old" or "aged" sperm. When sperm is more than 28 days old, the body literally decomposes it into its most basic parts, and begins the formation of new sperm. Old sperm has a high risk of mutations, which isn't exactly good news for any potential offspring. So the "balls" can never really "fill up". And when they get close, there's no "wet dream" or need to release. The body takes care of itself.

    There is no actual pain caused by lack of release. If a guy says so, he's lying in a desperate attempt to make you feel guilty. All he's feeling is frustration. Perhaps if he was teased, aroused, turned on, and lead to believe he would release, but then didn't, he would be feeling sexual frustration; but not pain.

    Of course, the important thing to take away is the message he's probably trying to communicate; that he's sexually frustrated. If it's sexual release he's looking for and not getting, he'll just masturbate. If it's sexual intimacy he's looking for and not getting, he'll just find someone else. The only person he has to blame for not having his wants met is himself. Though expression of his frustration can be taken as him trying to communicate; "I'm not getting the degree of sexual intimacy I desire, and I really don't want to just go find someone else if I can find it with you" (of course, if he can't, then he'll just go find someone else)

    The other thing that happens when there's no sexual release is that the body shoots down its libido. In a last-resort effort to cope with sexual frustration, the body eliminates feelings of frustration; if not by release and satisfaction of desire, then by removal of desire!

    Now, not too many guys would be okay with that ever happening to them. So instead of voluntary chastity, they would just get up and leave; and find the sexual intimacy they want with someone else. Unless they have some fetish.

    • I would have to say I disagree. I have experienced some pretty annoying discomfort. If you don't, that's you, but I would suggest you keep from saying "all guys" or anything, cause guess what man, we ARE different. which is think is one of the points to this site, eh?

  • That one guy said it pretty well. I will say this much though, blue balls sucks... You can't sleep, eat or think very well untill you get it out... >.<

  • im pretty sure your first friend is correct, I have heard somewhere on tv talk show that "blue balls" is caused by men not masturbating

    • Only if the man becomes sexually aroused in the first place and doesn't finish himself off, if he isn't aroused in the first place, then it doesn't matter how long he goes without masturbating.

  • Straight answer: Blue Balls are real, and it's even called "epididymal hypertension" by urologists (FYI, the epididymis is the structure coming off the back of each testicle which stores sperm and extrudes it into the spermatic cords during ejaculation - or basically the epididymis is the halfway point from where the sperm are made in the testicles proper, and the cords or "vas deferens" which are the tubes delivering the sperm and semen during ejaculation). So, "Blue Balls" is just a slang way of talking about the sensation of pressure when a guy's genitals get engorged with blood when he gets sexually aroused but doesn't get relieved through sex or masturbation. Trust me, at first it can be uncomfortable and after a while it gets painful. Guys kid around about it, but it's real - just not medically serious. -Cody


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