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May 2, 2012

I am a straight 29-year-old guy and I've been into ball busting—having my balls kicked and stomped—since I was 14. The fucked-up thing is, I only enjoy getting my balls busted by other guys. I've been hit in the balls by girls, and it doesn't do anything for me. I thought I might be bisexual, since I want guys to kick me in the balls, but I don't get turned on by the idea of sucking cock or getting fucked by a guy. Only ball busting with a guy turns me on.

I've tried getting busted by girls, watching videos of girls kicking men in the balls, etc., but I never even get hard from it. Sometimes I can see a good-looking guy on the street and I'll get hard just thinking about his feet kicking my balls. In fact, while sitting here writing this question to you, I'm hard because you're a good-looking guy and I'd love to have you kick my balls.

In my current relationship, I've snuck out and met with guys I've found online to have my balls busted. It feels like I'm leading a double life, but I don't know what to do. I've thought of trying a relationship with a guy, but I don't know how that would work since I'm really not into having any kind of sex with a guy. Just ball busting. I've tried to subdue my urges to get my balls busted, but I can't. I seem to need to get it every couple of months, otherwise I get stir-crazy. I'm confused and really just don't know what to do about it. I was hoping that you might have some advice or insight to explain why my brain is so messed up about all this and what I can do.

Balls Smashed To Death

At the risk of my inbox filling with angry e-mails—a risk I run on a weekly basis—I'm gonna quote the late psychologist and sexologist John Money. He was wrong about a lot of things, from gender being socially constructed to "affectional pedophilia" being harmless, but Money was on to something when he wrote about paraphilias, aka kinks.

"A wide range of sexuoerotic diversity has its counterpart in the diversity of languages historically manifested in the human species," Money wrote in his book Lovemaps: Clinical Concepts of Sexual/Erotic Health and Pathology, Paraphilia, and Gender Transposition in Childhood, Adolescence, and Maturity. "[Sexual] diversity may be an inevitable evolutionary trade-off—the price paid for the freeing of the primate brain to develop its uniquely human genesis of syntactical speech and creative intelligence."

So why does having your balls busted by other dudes turn you on when you're not even remotely interested in other dudes romantically or sexually? No idea. We simply don't know why a person has this, that, or the other kink, BSTD, and almost everyone has at least one sexual interest that is seen as kinky by those who don't share it. But it probably has something to do with your big, complex brain and the way it makes big, abstract, and sometimes seemingly random connections—the kind of connections that lead to syntactical speech, creative intelligence, and crazy-ass kinks.

So take comfort: The fact that you have this kink isn't proof that there's something wrong with you. It's proof that you're human.

Which is not to say that a kink like yours is easily incorporated into a person's sex life. As one sex researcher I shared your letter with put it, BSTD, your kink involves an "override" of your usual erotic "target interest," i.e., women. While that kind of override is not unheard of, it's not something that's easily explained to a girlfriend. And as your encounters with other men pose no physical risk to your female partners (you're not exactly gonna catch an STI getting kicked in the nuts), you can certainly justify getting your balls busted on the DL. But secret double lives are stressful, and most people leading them eventually get found out. And when your girlfriend inevitably stumbles over—read: snoops and finds—evidence that you've been sneaking around behind her back with other men, you won't be explaining just your kink to her, BSTD, but your betrayal, too.

So is there anything you can do about your kink?

"These problems are often highly treatable," said Dr. Paul Fedoroff, who is a neuropsychiatrist, a forensic psychiatrist, and the director of the Sexual Behaviors Clinic at the Royal Ottawa Mental Health Centre. "Typically, a low-dose SSRI works magic."

SSRIs, or "selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors," are a class of drugs that are usually prescribed as antidepressants. SSRIs can crater a person's libido, as is commonly known, but they can also, according to Fedoroff, help a person overcome an unwanted sexual interest or compulsion. "I had one patient who used to tie his testes with rope and then hit them with a hammer," said Fedoroff. "He was referred to me by a urologist when he asked for surgical castration. I prescribed an SSRI, and a month later he told me, 'That [was] the craziest idea I ever had.' He had no further interest in 'ball busting' and said his life would have been different if he had found this medication earlier."

Fedoroff also had some thoughts about why you want to do this with men.

"The last time I saw a case like this was about four hours ago," said Fedoroff. "This was a 50-year-old, highly successful businessman, a lifelong heterosexual who self-described as 'dominant' with women, [yet he was] advertising on the internet to find men he could perform oral sex on." For some straight men, "being dominated by another man provides more 'humiliation' than being dominated by a woman."

Fedoroff isn't the only doctor out there medicating kinksters. In his absolutely terrific book The Other Side of Desire (which is where I first ran across that John Money quote), journalist Daniel Bergner profiles a foot fetishist so paralyzed by shame that he seeks treatment from a shrink who prescribes him a drug that "cures" him. The drug? The "lust-obliterating" Lupron, an antiandrogen that is sometimes used to "chemically castrate" sex offenders.

Now, I'm generally a fan of Western medicine—prescription drugs, invasive procedures, hospital cafeteria Jell-O—but I think taking SSRIs or chemically castrating yourself to suppress an urge to get kicked in the balls six times a years... well, BSTD, that's even more extreme than your kink. You would be better advised, in my opinion, to accept both your kink and your contradictions. Yes, BSTD, your kink will probably shock even women who have a few kinks of their own. But if you present your kink to your girlfriends as just one fun, crazy, weird, hard-to-explain-but-endearingly-quirky aspect of your sexual expression, BSTD, they're likelier to react to it positively. And if you look for women in the fetish/BDSM scene—where straight men are sometimes known to engage in S/M play with each other—your chances are better of finding an open-minded woman who isn't threatened by your kinks.

You might find a woman who wants to watch.

Finally, BSTD, another sex researcher urged me to urge you to bank/freeze some of your sperm in case you wind up busting your balls, like, permanently. Your nuts can take only so much abuse—people have ruptured and even lost testicles when ball busting, sack tapping, or CBT went too far. (It can even kill you: As it doesn't take a lot of force to make a guy feel like his balls have been "busted," BSTD, ask your ball-busting buddies to pull those punches, kicks, and stomps.

Find the Savage Lovecast (my weekly podcast) every Tuesday at

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Comments (179) RSS

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This was way, way, WAY less hot than the ass-erotica column a couple of weeks back.
Posted by CW in LA on May 1, 2012 at 5:44 PM · Report this
Robin8 2
Gee, I would have said it was just because only a guy can hit his nuts hard enough for his taste.
Posted by Robin8 on May 1, 2012 at 5:57 PM · Report this
Omg the cartoon that goes along with this. 10/10
Posted by Liv on May 1, 2012 at 6:10 PM · Report this
Skye Blu 4
@2- I know LOTS of women who would be happy to prove they could punch/kick as hard as a guy. And if he wants an audience... sign me up.
Posted by Skye Blu on May 1, 2012 at 6:15 PM · Report this
Wait, so you DON'T think gender is a social construct, Dan? Tell me more! I promise I'm not hating, I just think you're really smart and I'm curious about your take. Uh, and try not to get glitter bombed again....?!?!
Posted by Sssssss7 on May 1, 2012 at 6:17 PM · Report this
I knew there was something homo-erotic about all those ball-busting scenes from the "Jackass" shows and movies. Even though it was educational, I'm disappointed that this was the only letter this week.
Posted by it's only gay if you kiss, right? on May 1, 2012 at 6:27 PM · Report this
Satire, and transparent. Good luck with that, only a subhuman neurotic nympho homo like yourself cant see past it. As for this well grounded, educated, hetero, you make me laugh. Not with you, but at you. As if i would actually care about your hate filled and protagonist rants. And they actually call people like you journalists these days. My, how we have devolved as a society. Well, there you go, you provoked a less than loving response from me, congratulations! You win. I probably should move on, swimming in filth tends to wear on a guy. 24 hours on this site if a lifetime of experience. You have probably done 10x the damage to your cause in the past 2-3 weeks than a million dollar campaign against you could. All we need to do is let you run rabbid for a while and your true colors shine. You will attrack similar devolved folks, but you are losing the war. So long! LOL!
Posted by Firsttimelasttimevisitor on May 1, 2012 at 6:30 PM · Report this
Posted by Get Real on May 1, 2012 at 6:40 PM · Report this

No, you cannot pound the shit out of your expert, John Money, before you quote him.

Posted by Hunter78 on May 1, 2012 at 6:47 PM · Report this
Gosh, we sure are gonna miss you, man. Sure you won't stay?
Posted by chicago girl on May 1, 2012 at 7:02 PM · Report this
#5: John Money's ideas on gender as socially constructed were discredited by the case of David Reimer, whose penis was burned off in a botched circumcision when he was a baby. John Money believed that there is no biological basis to gender whatsoever, and he persuaded the boy's parents to raise him as a girl (the fact that he had a twin brother made the situation an irresistible test case for Money). Money touted the success of the treatment and published a lot about how great "Brenda" was doing as a girl. But when David found out what had happened, he insisted on living as a male from that point on. John Colapinto wrote about the story in As Nature Made Him (2001). David Reimer committed suicide in 2004. I'm sure that Dan believes that gender is in part socially constructed, but Money's idea that it's 100% socially constructed is bogus.
Posted by aeiouaeiou on May 1, 2012 at 7:24 PM · Report this
mtnlion 12
@7: I'm sure you brought lots to the table. Enjoy your little life now and pray extra hard when all the gays are able to marry and the discrimination against them fades, which will happen sooner or later.

@ this research: WTF?! This is the first I've ever heard of SSRIs being used for kinky people who don't want to want their balls to be harmed. I'm going to look into the lit on this tomorrow. I find it strange, but also believable.

Of course, let's not forget the amaaaazing power of placebo: give a man a pill and say "this will make your ball-busting urges decrease" and about 40-60% of the time (depending on which studies you read) their ball-busting urges *will* decrease.

Oh and 5 you're not for real are you? Gender is ridiculously complicated. Annoyingly so (what's really annoying actually is that it matters so much to people). But no, you cannot carve a vagina in a baby boy, socialize it as a girl, and expect it to grow into a socially normal woman.
Posted by mtnlion on May 1, 2012 at 8:20 PM · Report this
mtnlion 13
@7: I'm sure you brought lots to the table. Enjoy your little life now and pray extra hard when all the queers are able to marry and the discrimination against them fades, which will happen sooner or later because God really doesn't give a shit about it, I'm telling you! It's just people!

@ this research: WTF?! This is the first I've ever heard of SSRIs being used for kinky people who don't want to want their balls to be harmed. I'm going to look into the lit on this tomorrow. I find it strange, but also believable.

Of course, let's not forget the amaaaazing power of placebo: give a man a pill and say "this will make your ball-busting urges decrease" and about 40-60% of the time (depending on which studies you read) their ball-busting urges *will* decrease.

Oh and 5 you're not for real are you? Gender is ridiculously complicated. Annoyingly so (what's really annoying actually is that it matters so much to people). But no, you cannot carve a vagina in a baby boy, socialize it as a girl, and expect it to grow into a socially normal woman.
Posted by mtnlion on May 1, 2012 at 8:22 PM · Report this
Anyone who has ever seen a baby turn into a toddler can tell you that gender is not fully socially constructed. My son has a toy kitchen and baby doll, but god forbid we have to walk down the car aisle at Target.

Only one letter today, and not a terribly interesting one at that. At least there was some science/philosophy involved.

And it's quite obvious that #7 is a hate-filled Santorum lover (or is he a Santorum-filled hate lover?) who still has his panties in a bundle that that awful man will never see (or perform any acts whatsoever in) the inside of the oval office.
Posted by yo_in_Seattle on May 1, 2012 at 8:23 PM · Report this
mtnlion 15
damn, doublepost! also, apologize for "queers" if that is offensive in the second one.

also, sorry for "carve a vagina;" that sounds fucking AWFUL.

i am slightly drunk.
Posted by mtnlion on May 1, 2012 at 8:24 PM · Report this
Wow. Ball-busting. That is one strange fetish. I personally have had a testicular varicocele since I was 14 (the veins in my scrotum are exteremely enlarged, resulting in the appearance that I have abnormally large testicles). This condition is considered benign, but can be painful and my scrotum is extremely sensitive. I cannot imagine having someone kick, punch or even mildly squeeze my balls.

Be that as it may, I am curious about this week's letter. I would think that such activity as described is extremely painful, if not dangerous. I cannot imagine the agony that such treatment would encompass.

@ #7 -- clearly you are upset at Dan's controversial speech this week in which he upset some uptight Bible-thumping idiots. I listened to Dan's speech on the internet; all I heard was a man who told the truth. And in reaction, I saw some people who couldn't accept the truth walk out of his talk. Dan is 100% correct; the Bible is full of bullshit. It's nothing more that a collection of superstitious myths strung together with a bunch of uptight "moral" admonitions thrown in. It's time we stopped letting people act like complete assholes in the name of religion, or being intimidated to call out those religions - and I mean ALL of them -- as a bunch of old superstitions and fairy tales. Thank God that Atheism has become the fasting growing "creed" in the US, with a full 17% (more than blacks, Hispanics, gays or almost any other demograph) now admitting to having no religious beliefs whatsoever.
Posted by Gay Movie Fan on May 1, 2012 at 8:32 PM · Report this
chibby 17
The idea of taking drugs for a kink is kinda scary.A little too "Clockwork Orange" for me. Maybe necessary for some very extreme cases,but a run of the mill ball buster?Meh.
Posted by chibby on May 1, 2012 at 9:02 PM · Report this
When does kink become psychosis (cannabalism, apputation, asphyxiation)?
Posted by truth? and its consequences on May 1, 2012 at 9:15 PM · Report this
Great thorough advice Dan!
I do have to nitpick on the "And when your girlfriend inevitably stumbles over—read: snoops and finds—evidence"... Maybe this isn't what you're implying, but it sounds like you think all women will snoop and pry (inevitably, really?). Sure, you could have been referring to the fact that S.O.s of both genders snoop, but there are some people who actually respect boundaries! Snooping should never be considered inevitable in a relationship, even if you are arousing suspicions through disappearing 6 times a year and coming back with mysteriously bruised balls.
Women, and men, are actually capable of asking questions to find answers instead of snooping!
Posted by Dynomite on May 1, 2012 at 9:16 PM · Report this
shurenka 20

Gender identity might not be socially constructed (as per your example with an XY baby raised as a girl), but, the expression of gender certainly is.
Posted by shurenka on May 1, 2012 at 9:33 PM · Report this
shurenka 21
The problem with gender being or not being a social construct is, there is absolutely no way to isolate gender from society. We know that raising kids as opposite of their biological genders often goes awry, but there is nothing biological in that, say, boys in America like cars and girls don't (as @14 seems to suggest, although maybe I'm reading that wrong?). In fact, even in very young toddlers, they have already been socialized enough to know the differences between the genders, and how they are supposed to behave for their gender.
Posted by shurenka on May 1, 2012 at 9:37 PM · Report this
Jesus fucking christ. This kind of response makes me want to tear my hair out. I'm sorry but if someone has a kink that is leading them to lose their freaking nuts possibly, MAYBE an SSRI might be a good idea. Shit people take SSRIs because they can't deal with their boss or MIL, this seems reasonable enough. We do NOT have to accept all our kinks if they are dangerous or cause us to be very upset (I don't mean with shame, I mean our logical brains just say "um, this seriously isn't appropriate. No. It's really not. And not something I feel comfortable with.")
Posted by wendykh on May 1, 2012 at 9:53 PM · Report this
Gender is real, and it's something people are born with. It's not necessarily dictated by your genitals or your chromosomes.

I believed that gender was socially constructed until I majored in genetics and bio-chem. I did a paper on intersex, and came to the conclusion that no--it's something else.

We don't know what causes a person's brain to be wired "male" or "female" Almost all of the time you can look at their genitals and chromosomes and make the call, but sometimes people's genitals are ambiguous. The weird thing? Almost all (I'm talking 99.99%) of those people will identify with one gender or the other, even if they are surgically altered and lied to so that they don't know that they were born intersex. Often they will identify with a gender they weren't raised to identify with.

The really tragic thing about the plight of the intersex is that most doctors are concerned with the size of the penis, so they'll almost always go "female" because it's much harder to "make a hole than grow a pole." So even when common sense says "This is a male" they'll surgically make them "female."

When I discovered that, I had to re-think a lot of my preconceived notions.

I am damn lucky to be born cis-gendered. I am such a girly girl, and now I'm less ashamed of it. I'm less afraid to admit that I like to wear make-up and I like pretty dresses. I no longer equate being "socially evolved" with transcending gender and trying to be androgynous.
Posted by DianeLGD on May 1, 2012 at 9:58 PM · Report this
and much like it's totally cool for adults to beat the shit out of each other for sex pleasure, but not cool if it's for any other reason, why is it cool to take medications if someone has an uncontrollable urge to hurt themselves, say cutting for example, but oh hey ball busting omg if you suggest meds for that this is so bad because you're harshing who he IS! My ass. Hurting yourself isn't cool, even if it's to get off.
Posted by wendykh on May 1, 2012 at 10:18 PM · Report this
@18 Though not necessarily a sexual "kink" per se, I have heard of cases (severe OCD) where the patient gets obsessed with having a particular part of their body amputated. There are some cases where they actually even found someone to do the amputation (unethically IMO), and then afterward, they get obsessed with having ANOTHER part of their body amputated. In this type of case, I feel medication is FAR preferable than the original condition.
Posted by whiteorchid1 on May 1, 2012 at 10:47 PM · Report this
First off, considering that anyone would ever in a million years use nipple clamps, there's got to be different types of sensations coming from trauma to the testicles for different people. For a lot of these painful kinks, there's often a level where things are safe and still provide enough sensation. That said, it seems like ball busting would be one that could be duplicated mechanically and with a video or two without having to take the risk of trust that other kinks require.

19. Dan has said before that he thinks most people snoop. He's also, that I've seen, only ever said snooping as a second hand opinion. e.g. "I'm going to get angry letters if I don't say snooping is wrong, so here it is, snooping is wrong."

23. It would be interesting to know if there's any correlation between the final gender the intersexed person identifies with has any relation to how their families respond to behaviors that fit more with the gender that wasn't selected at birth. It could be that what they really need is to be both genders (sorry to be simplistic). So it'd be interesting if different results come from familial attitudes that either encourage expressing the "other" gender or suppress it.

Basically, is there a push towards gender reassignment when there's a pattern of, for example, "only girls like xyz!" "I like xyz, but I'm a boy, aren't I?"?

Posted by EclecticEel on May 1, 2012 at 11:23 PM · Report this
hey, wendykh, i know, isn't it completely absurd that people think it's okay to HURT EACH OTHER just because they're turned on. as if being turned on makes something that's otherwise abhorrent okay.

just like SEX ITSELF, right? i mean, thousands of people have been forced into sex against their will, and rape is rightly considered a terrible thing. so why is it okay to engage in sex, just because people are aroused and consenting? i mean, arousal and consent themselves can't turn an abhorrent act into a wonderful, intimate one, can they?
Posted by broker on May 1, 2012 at 11:54 PM · Report this
While it would be an interesting study, I don't think it's relevant to social policy.

I loved playing with cars and trucks as a child. I never really cared for dolls. I wasn't a tomboy by any stretch of the imagination (I wasn't active enough to be a "tomboy." I hate sports and I've always been queasy at the sight of violence. Blood and guts I can handle, but someone hitting someone else? Eww!)

But when I reached puberty, I sort of became more and more "Traditionally feminine." Don't get me wrong. I love comic books, I play video games, etc.

But I also suddenly developed a love of pink and glitter that disturbed the hell out of me. I started feeling the urge to manifest more and more "girly" characteristics. I started talking more, and being social for the first time in my life. I felt the urge to join other girls in their trips to the bathroom.

And I was intensely ashamed of my desire to be a "stereotypical" woman. I hid it.

I honestly don't know if the behaviors are inborn or taught. What I do know is fighting them is really really difficult, painful, and can lead to a lot of self-doubt.

Is it really harming anyone for girls to be stereotypically girly or boys to be stereotypically masculine? No. As long as we stress moral behavior in both genders, living up to your potential, and we allow people to deviate from their stereotypes when they want to, then it's harmless.

I guess the attitude of "You could be androgynous if you really wanted to" bothers me because of the inherent sexism.

In our society we stress that a woman can't be smart if she is at all pretty or feminine. That's why I fought my own femininity for so long. When women are beautiful, it's generally assumed that they are dumb.

And the most "attractive" women are the ones who have the most "hyper-feminine" faces. This demonstrates the fact that she has a lot of feminizing hormones, and thus is probably very fertile.

So the more "feminine" a woman looks, the more we underestimate her intelligence.

Having other people recognize my intelligence was important to me. I noticed that when I wore make-up, people treated me like I was stupid. When I wore clothing that showed that I had breasts, the same thing happened. When I expressed an interest in children, or showed any empathy people started talking down to me.

So I wore baggy clothing, no make-up, and I was downright insensitive for years. When I got to college, I met a lot of girls who did the exact same thing (I was in the "honors" dorm.)

None of them realized that they were doing it, but most of them did it to some degree.

And so the vicious cycle continues.

My husband says it's not as hard for men, but even then there is a little mockery among the geek community if you admit you play sports--tinged with respect as "masculine" behaviors in our society get more respect with the general population than "feminine."

So while we should study this stuff (like we should study everything), I think we should be extra careful to let children chose their own gender roles independent of anything else.
Posted by DianeLGD on May 2, 2012 at 12:15 AM · Report this
18: Psychosis is a different thing. I think the term you're looking for is "psychopathology," or more generically, "mental illness."
Posted by Veit on May 2, 2012 at 12:26 AM · Report this
28. I was speaking to 23's remarks about intersex people and whether they choose to reassign their gender designation (or wish they could) or choose to stay with the gender assigned them as children.

If females do have a tendency towards sparkles, and males do have a tendency towards cars (as aggregates that convey no obligations to any individual), then do intersex people have a tendency towards both?

I wonder if your concerns about developing stereotypically feminine interests and habits was because your earlier identity was centered on being a "tomboy" (for lack of a better term). I recently saw a parenting article that advised against calling girls "tomboys" just for being adventurous, but I can't find it, so instead I'm sharing this one about not calling kids "shy":…

Posted by EclecticEel on May 2, 2012 at 1:28 AM · Report this
Drat, 30 isn't as clear as I wanted.

I wasn't suggesting social policy in 26, I was describing a topic that I would find interesting to read about if someone ran a study.
Posted by EclecticEel on May 2, 2012 at 1:31 AM · Report this
13- Re: SSRIs for kinks--

I believe they could work.
My experience: My kinks can all be worked out in fantasy so I've never had to worry about the dangers of trying to make them real. (They're the rape and humiliation sort.) I tried prozac once because a doctor prescribed it for pain, not for depression. (Long story involving being allergic to more obvious sorts of pain killers.) Without having any idea that there were "sexual side effects" to SSRIs, I started to be aware of that the prozac:

Lessened some of my mild irrational fears (nothing so severe that I would ever have sought treatment for them).

Removed all of my sexual fantasies from my brain. I simply stopped getting turned on by any of the things that normally would give me a passing jolt (such as reading about spankings or torture).

Removed my desire to the point of my not initiating sex with my boyfriend.

Made it impossible for me to come despite doing all the things that I used to.

I stopped taking the evil medicine right quick (and still hold it against the doctor that she didn't warn me). But I can see that if someone had an inclination that was a danger to themselves or others (I'm not sure where ball busting falls on that scale- it sounds pretty dangerous to me), it might make sense to try an SSRI to see if it could remove the desire.
Posted by Crinoline on May 2, 2012 at 3:45 AM · Report this
wheres the - who knows you get lucky and find a guy, gay straight, or bi whos into kicking you in the balls, and a girl who will fuck you silly afterwards.
Posted by joeytwostep on May 2, 2012 at 5:49 AM · Report this

I saw this story online.…

With respect, I don't care for this kind of language. I have never insulted you, or what you believe, or don't believe; I am a longtime fan. I would ask that you show the same restraint. Hope all is well,

Posted by Onychophoran on May 2, 2012 at 6:18 AM · Report this

I was never described as a "tomboy." By anybody. Because, once again, I was never all that physically active, or adventurous.

The reason I was so afraid of developing stereotypical interests with puberty was because of an unspoken rule in our society that the more "feminine" you are, the less intelligent you are. Because women can't be smart, it naturally follows that the smartest women are the ones who are the least like other women.

I'm pretty sure that pink isn't programmed into us by biology (after all, pink wasn't always a "girl" color historically. It was thought of as too close to red, therefore too violent for delicate young females in the middle ages), but the urge to identify with one gender or another is. I think, because you can't separate gender from society, the best way to study which behaviors are in-born versus which are programmed is to study the stereo-types in as many societies as you can and see which are universal.

It's not a perfect study, of course. But it's more likely to yield results than a small sample-size study of the people who don't fit into the gender they were assigned.

Sorry. I'm really sensitive to how much we blame parents for their children's eccentricities in our society. I really resent the idea that we should push children to fit some sort of ideal. I shouldn't have projected.

With intersex people, I suspect that the majority of them are not "both" but one or the other. It's just really hard to predict which one you have. After all, with transsexual children who aren't intersex I haven't really noticed a pattern with how their parents treat them. But my evidence is purely anecdotal.
Posted by DianeLGD on May 2, 2012 at 6:21 AM · Report this
How in the world does this kink NOT result in horrific physical damage?

Still, I find it hilarious that he sneaks out to meet strange men to kick him in the nuts. A great pitch for a Shia Le Beouf vehicle! (once Ryan Gosling, Bradley Cooper & Josh Hutcherson all turn it down...)
Posted by wayne on May 2, 2012 at 6:33 AM · Report this

Dan's been doing this 20 years, he can spot a fake. Maybe you're not as educated as you think.
Posted by Texans on May 2, 2012 at 6:53 AM · Report this
smajor82 38
I see a lot of posts like 7. What bunch of creepy, crazy-ass closet cases. Do they really visit every site that they disagree with and make lengthy, psychotic posts? I'm guessing it's the ones that support gay rights. Hmmmm ...

100 bucks (If I was Romney I'd be betting 10,00) says 7 has, at least once, jerked off to a picture of Dan Savage and then engaged in some masochistic self-punishing ritual afterwards. Kinky.
Posted by smajor82 on May 2, 2012 at 7:26 AM · Report this
ALWAYS Clear Your Cache!!! 39
Dead @36.
I thought a man kicking another man in the balls violated some sort of Man Code? Even in a knock down drag out, you'd stomp a guy in the face...but you wouldn't stomp his sack?

A couple of considerations:

(1)His GF may want kids and would be pissed to find out not that he's sterile, but that he can't impregnate her because he allowed random dudes to kick him in the scrote.

(2) Maybe she could dress up as a guy and kick him in the nads. The only problem is that she may break her foot on his pubic bone.
Posted by ALWAYS Clear Your Cache!!! on May 2, 2012 at 7:35 AM · Report this
valiumland 40
wendykh, I have to say I totally agree with you. It's frustrating to me when Dan, in his overarching desire to unconditionally accept all kinks, lambasts the idea of a low-dose SSRI and tells a guy to "freeze some spunk" in case his fetish permanently sterilizes him. I'm sorry, folks, but that's just plumb stupid. If your kink is putting a body part at grave risk for permanent damage, then it's not a kink that needs to be celebrated. As for SSRIs: The dose makes the poison. A low dose of Prozac--say, 10mg--can take the edge off a sexual compulsion, and is hardly what most people would consider chemical castration. I have a psychiatrist friend who uses it in male patients, gay and straight, who like to cruise public restrooms. Yes, restroom cruising is a kink, and everyone has a right to their kinks, but it can also get you beat up and/or arrested. If taking a baby dose of Prozac can keep you from feeling a compulsion to engage in a risky act that's ultimately not very rewarding, where is the harm in that? I just don't get it.
Posted by valiumland on May 2, 2012 at 7:54 AM · Report this
valiumland 41
Oh and also. About the "gender as social construct" thing. One thing I've learned while accruing massive student loan debt is that anyone who tells you that any human trait is 100% socially constructed or 100% NOT socially constructed is an idiot. Gender is not sex. Your gonads are formed in utero; your fears, assumptions, desires, expectations...hmm. Not entirely. It's a complex interplay of social stimuli on malleable genetic traits. Absolutism and dismissal are two hallmarks of a simplistic mind.
Posted by valiumland on May 2, 2012 at 7:59 AM · Report this
There is a difference between a kink and a compulsion. You have to consider if the kink can bring harm to the person. Licking feet is a kink. No one gets hurt. Ball busting and other genital torture could cause a medical emergency. This treads dangerously near chemical castration, but if you are compelled to self harm, medication (in this instance) is a positive solution.
Posted by jnurse on May 2, 2012 at 8:26 AM · Report this
shw3nn 43
@41 I'll see your "anyone who tells you that any human trait is 100% socially constructed or 100% NOT socially constructed is an idiot" and raise you an, "anyone who even thinks they have some sense of where their own thoughts and desires come from is completely deluded."
Posted by shw3nn on May 2, 2012 at 8:55 AM · Report this
Helix 44
I was going to post about the sperm if you didn't mention it, Dan. He's got a super high risk of going sterile doing this, so if he wants kids he should save some of his sperm.
Posted by Helix on May 2, 2012 at 9:05 AM · Report this
@34: With respect, grow the fuck up. Which bothers you more, the thought that someone else thinks some of your beliefs are bullshit, or the possibility that they may in fact be bullshit? No matter what you believe, someone is going to think that it's bullshit. And if it's someone whose intelligence you respect, you should consider that they may have a point. If your goal is to be intellectually honest with yourself, then they're doing you a favor - confident adults welcome conflicting viewpoints as an opportunity to learn and grow. But if what you really want is to hold a belief system that is demonstrably, objectively full of bullshit, and yet not have to hear any criticism of that belief system, then you're asking to be treated as a spoiled child, and you can go fuck yourself instead. Is that clear?
Posted by Chase on May 2, 2012 at 9:55 AM · Report this
Dan is the Ann Landers of our time. I am soooooo sure ball buster letter has to be fake, then you prove maybe not.
Posted by A fan of Dan on May 2, 2012 at 10:29 AM · Report this
@24: I read that as Dan counseling on ways to perform this act in ways that fall short of causing injury. I also read the thing about freezing some sperm to be as much about warning him to take caution seriously as about "just do this and everything will be peachy." He was saying it's dangerous.

By way of contrast with your other example, there's no way to perform cutting that doesn't cause injury. Well, yes, one could just run the knife along surfaces without breaking the skin, but then it wouldn't actually be "cutting," would it?
Posted by avast2006 on May 2, 2012 at 10:34 AM · Report this
I'm a bit disappointed that Dan did not also suggest possible talk therapy, not to necessary "fix" the fixation, but find out why. Why is it only men that gives him the ball busting boner? Is it just a kink to live with but some residue from something from his past that he is not dealing with? Maybe talking about it to a professional and digging a little deeper, while not necessarily eliminating the kink, may help him get a better handle on it and understand it. I recommend that so much over drugs!!
Posted by LZito on May 2, 2012 at 10:43 AM · Report this
Holy fuck. I am FURIOUS reading some of these comments. What's with this thy body is a temple (of god/self/whatever) and thou shalt not get thy gonads kicked prudery?? What, do you still tsk tsk at people for the misfortune of not producing children? Do you just assume that the LW is incapable of considering his choices and making informed decisions about his future? Most of life involves calculated risks. Even fucking entry-level bondage kink involves risks. Safe, sane, consensual/ RACK/ whatever, the kink community has social mechanisms to regulate behaviour and mitigate harm, thank you very much.

Dan, your own advice was fine. Why feed this kink-panic by quoting hardcore medicals more suitable for psychos, are you saying the LW is a psycho? Why even go anywhere near "chemical castration"? You've just fed the sensationalist responses and ick reflexes in the comments. Bad form.
Posted by ravished on May 2, 2012 at 10:51 AM · Report this
That is true, with the odd kinks, I was watchin Aqua Teen Hunger Force once and those moon guys started to rape the neighbor guy in the wife beater and I got high turned on, and that freaked me out started to think what was wrong with me! but know I know I'm just a human being, thanks Dan I love your articles
Posted by dawn420 on May 2, 2012 at 11:01 AM · Report this
re:49: I've calmed down a bit & realized it's been a stressful few days around Savageland. While I find the column problematic, I also admire the Slog post on Old/New Testament - kudos.
Posted by ravished on May 2, 2012 at 11:05 AM · Report this
John Horstman 52
@19: Dan thinks all everybody does (and should, to a degree) snoop/pry. It's not a gendered view.

@41: Yes, exactly that. Everything about us is the result of an unimaginably complex interaction of genetics, physical environment, cultural environment, and personal history. HOWEVER, when we in the academic fields of or related to gender studies say things like, "Gender is entirely a social construct," what we mean is that the set of traits/behaviors defined as comprising 'a gender' is a cultural construct. There may be a class of people more prone to aggressive behavior because of high testosterone levels, for example, and such people may be much more likely to have an XY chromosome 23 pair, but because there is not a perfect correlation between aggressive behavior, testosterone levels, and chromosome sex markers, the 'decision' (through cultural evolution - I'm not suggesting someone sat down one day and came up with this on the spot) to include aggressive behavior as an aspect of masculinity is purely cultural. There may be a reason - higher incidence in people with XY chromosome pattern who also have much higher incidence of other markers of what we have decided is masculinity - but the gendering is still all cultural.

The same goes for sex (biological gender) as well: for example, we consider growing coarse facial hair to be a secondary sex characteristic of 'males', although not all 'males' by most definitions (hormone levels being a possible exception) grow coarse facial hair, and some 'females' do. The fact that we've selected a trait with imperfect correlation to whatever definition of sex/biological gender we're using (and also the fact that there are at least 7 distinct - though somewhat interrelated - ways in which one might draw a binary with respect to sex/biological gender*) demonstrates that the characteristics we select as determinant of 'sex' are also a cultural construction. The traits themselves are biological (and various behaviors may have strong biological components), but the gendering of them (as with the establishment of gender in the first place, and a binary gender in the second) is cultural.

*chromosome 23 pattern - genetic testing is the second most common, usually through amniocentesis or as the result of mandatory testing for things like gender-segregated sports; hormone levels; gonad presence/absence; external genital appearance - this is the most common, with the determination made in utero via ultrasound or at birth; expression of 'secondary' sex characteristics; essentialized self-definition; read sex, which is likely to be based on one or several of the preceding
Posted by John Horstman on May 2, 2012 at 11:32 AM · Report this
Hey, where exactly are these bathrooms that straight guys can cruise? For women, I mean.
Posted by rp on May 2, 2012 at 12:46 PM · Report this
"That [was] the craziest idea I ever had."

Crazier than tying up your nutsack with rope and hitting it with a HAMMER?
Posted by Gnarles Barkley on May 2, 2012 at 12:51 PM · Report this
Why would you encourage BSTD to continue with his kink when it's potentially harmful enough to leave him sterile? That's really dangerous, and you're telling him that you're more comfortable with him doing irreversible damage to his body rather than just taking a simple medication that could save his poor balls. WHAT THE HELL DAN???? I'm a big, big fan, I usually love your advice, but what the fuck?
Posted by Garythecat on May 2, 2012 at 1:10 PM · Report this

My problem with the idea that gender is entirely socially constructed (I will grant you that to a certain extent the expression of gender is very socially constructed), is that many people take it to the next "logical" level. They decide that if it's socially constructed, they can "train" their child out characteristics that are inborn.

Example: My mother never let us play with guns growing up, or violent games. If we wanted to learn to shoot, it was at a shooting range with real guns. Guns were not toys, and play-fighting simply wasn't acceptable in our house.

When my sister had sons, she planned to keep the same rules concerning violence that my mother had. Imagine her horror when her sons made "guns" out of their fingers, legos, and anything they could get their tiny hands on. She worked for years to suppress it, before finally giving up.

Now I don't know how much of it is inborn, and how much of it is trained by society, but she actually got criticism from many of our friends for not suppressing the "evil violent man ideas" that were obviously socially constructed, and therefore could be trained out of them if she were determined enough.

There is one of my nephews who isn't inherently violent. We've treated him the exact same way as the others, but he keeps tending towards stereotypically "feminine" behaviors. It's quite fascinating. The kid identifies as male, just like his brothers. Our general policy is to let him be himself, and not call any attention to it. It's not like anything we can do will make a difference, right? And even if we could, why should we? He a happy moral child, so who cares? We do keep a look-out to make sure he doesn't get bullied, though.

Gender is really complex, and genetics alone don't determine it. What if, by some fluke, instead of getting bathed in estrogen a fetus is bathed in testosterone during the third "hormone bath"? The child will have a more "feminine" mind, but have the chromosomes and genitalia of a woman.

I think the brain determines gender more reliably than anything else. People fall on all different parts of the "male to female" scale.
Posted by DianeLGD on May 2, 2012 at 1:30 PM · Report this
What I'm struck by in the sea of negative reaction to BSTD's kink, has no one ever watched JACKASS? I've only ever seen bits flipping through the channels, but as far as I can tell, Johnny Knoxville and his merry band of straight, whack-job buddies made a rather lucrative career of busting each other's nuts in increasingly inventive and potentially damaging ways (John Waters referred to them "sexual terrorists" as a compliment in one interview).

So, BSTD, is it interfering with your life? If it is, get help. If it's not, ride it while you're enjoying it. Other places you might want to look for partners, fight sites like Vangar. Ball-busting is fairly specific, but there are plenty of guys into it (vet anyone on fighting site very thoroughly before connecting, obviously, but my experiences have been mostly positive).
Posted by usagi on May 2, 2012 at 1:31 PM · Report this
Good column, Dan. I'm glad you gave the guy a couple medical solutions that you deemed a little excessive, since that's his call to make and those options should be presented to him. Advising him to bank some sperm, and to have his abusers pull their punches and kicks, was also sensible and sane.

I do feel your comment about gender begs for a fuller explanation. So what's your take, Dan, on gender construction, gender identity and gender expression?

Oh, and @54: I'm pretty sure the craziest idea that guy was referring to was tying his nutsack with rope and hitting it with a hammer. The sentence construction was a little confusing, but I'm pretty sure he did not intend to say that going on medication was his craziest idea.
Posted by Functional Atheist on May 2, 2012 at 1:34 PM · Report this
We all take risks every day. So what? Smokers are clearly performing a self-destructive act. Alcohol is poison. Driving is risky. So is eating raw oysters. Sky diving. Mountain climbing.

I thought the whole point was life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.
Posted by SlimNnunn on May 2, 2012 at 1:51 PM · Report this
Alcohol is poison? Now you tell me!
Posted by wayne on May 2, 2012 at 2:34 PM · Report this
valiumland and wendykh I agree. I mean if a kick is going to cause permanent, life altering damage then looking for another solution might be a good idea.

But the other side of this is that for a lot of people any sort of kink, even mild ones like liking feet or wearing panties, is viewed as wrong and bad the person who has them must be a serial killer or something like that.

So I think Dan will often fall of side of accepting kinks because there are lot of folks out there who won't.
Posted by msanonymous on May 2, 2012 at 2:45 PM · Report this
#59: any motherfucker's moral right to smoke stops at my nose.
Posted by saucetin on May 2, 2012 at 2:51 PM · Report this
Just watched that video on youtube about the so called "panzy ass" comment you made... Fucking awesome man! Thank you for sticking it to those stupid people who fail to see their own flawed logic and sense of morals. Keep up the good work!
Posted by Random guy 1 on May 2, 2012 at 3:06 PM · Report this
@35, DianeLGD, I agree about the pink thing. I doubt it is innate. I have always made a point of not buying my baby nieces anything pink. I refuse to take part in the commercial cultural indoctrination of little girls with that horrid color.
Posted by cockyballsup on May 2, 2012 at 3:11 PM · Report this
@55 Garrythecat, SSRIs are not tested or approved for this use. Hell, it turns out they don't even work better than placebo for their main approved use, namely mild to moderate depression, unless you suppress a number of negative studies and cherry-pick only positive studies (and even in the positive studies they help only 1 out of every 10 people more than placebo does). There has been a growing scandal about this building up over the past decade or so already.

However, they have many side effects, including increased risk of suicide, and apparently permanent loss of libido in some people. Yes, permanent. So prescribing them for a problem like this based on only anecdotal evidence seems pretty drastic to me.
Posted by cockyballsup on May 2, 2012 at 3:27 PM · Report this
valiumland 66
To #65, just to clarify, what you're talking about is "off-label use" and it's done all the time. That's how they found out that Viagra, a blood-pressure medication, was a darned fine boner pill. Also, I am not arguing that much of the perceived benefit to SSRIs, including libido reduction, is not attributable to a placebo effect. I believe it is. But, placebo or not, that doesn't mean it doesn't work. At a 10mg per day dose, even if titrated up to 20mg for a while, let's say a year's course of medication in all, will not cause permanent loss of libido. Further, increased risk of suicidal ideation in patients treated with SSRIs is primarily a phenomenon observed in children and adolescents. Also, you're erroneously failing to draw a distinction between off-label use and anecdotal evidence. Anecdotal evidence is "oh somebody told me once that this could happen." Off-label use results from observed affects on patients already taking a prescribed drug, such as the incidence of weight loss while on Zyban.
Posted by valiumland on May 2, 2012 at 4:04 PM · Report this
There are actually guys who LOVE getting their nuts kicked in??

Oh, yeah. Rick Santorum. I forgot about him.
Posted by auntie grizelda on May 2, 2012 at 4:26 PM · Report this
destroythebrain 68
Is there a way to try to analyze and break some of those associations? If it were me and I wanted to minimalize a kink with changing my more preferred sex drive as little as possible, I'd go to therapy to see if I couldn't figure out why that kink turned me on. Are you saying the human brain is too complicated to figure this stuff out? It might be, but maybe it's worth trying. Find a dominatrix lady with lady parts with whom you get a fun, sexual fear from her, get her to bust your balls and then you also get to sex her up. If, that is, your kink stems from an unconscious belief that men have more power than women and therefore have more power to make you a victim, as you like. Can one try to rewrite these associations and rewrite your kinks? Is it possible? I'm honestly curious, and don't mean to sound ignorant.
Posted by destroythebrain on May 2, 2012 at 5:04 PM · Report this
no no no, gender is socially constructed, as in gender roles in society, but biological sex is not socially constructed. the two aren't the same thing. conflating sex and gender leads to all sorts of problems. gender not innate, biological sex - yes, probably innate, even in transsexual identified people, they usually experience an innate sense of being the opposite to their biological sex.
Posted by rebby on May 2, 2012 at 6:04 PM · Report this
I realize the writer is more concerned with whether he's gay than whether he's doing himself permanent or lethal physical damage, but: I just don't see anything wrong with suggesting he at least consider the SSRI. If he doesn't like the effect he can quit. Or maybe it shifts his world view in a way he likes, like the guy our doc treated who realized that getting castrated didn't seem appealing after all.
Posted by IPJ on May 2, 2012 at 7:02 PM · Report this
Noadi 71
I think people are confusing "gender" with "gender expression" and our language hampers things as well. The first is hardwired into our brains, the second is highly cultural. There are cultures in which men, not women, wear makeup and have fancier clothing options. Pink is a manly or gender neutral color in most other cultures in the world. I could go on, just about every example in our culture of something that is considered "masculine" or "feminine" there is another culture who thinks of it as the opposite. Even the number of genders varies around the world, two is not the universal number (I don't really think other cultures have more genders but instead a richer way to describe gender than we have).

Our culture has very rigid gender norms and they get reinforced very early. Some kids seem a bit oblivious to those norms and for one reason or another can't or won't conform to them. I was one of them, which is why I was mercilessly bullied by other girls in school. I couldn't even give a guess at how many times I was called a slut or a dyke (sometimes oddly in the same sentence) because most of my friends were boys, I liked sports, and I was a nerd/geek more into books than makeup.
Posted by Noadi on May 2, 2012 at 7:04 PM · Report this
I wouldn't mind if my boyfriend wanted to bust his balls now and then.

I'd watch. If I didn't have anything better to do that day.
Posted by jess6113 on May 2, 2012 at 7:18 PM · Report this
If my boyfriend wanted some other dude to bust his balls, I would watch, drool, jack off, mop up, and DTMFA. Next!
Posted by wayne on May 2, 2012 at 9:57 PM · Report this
Yeah boy, I called bullshit on this one early on.
Posted by cbdv26a on May 2, 2012 at 10:07 PM · Report this
@48 - Thank you! I was starting to wonder why no one had called attention to this yet. Further, CBT (cognitive behavioral therapy, not cock & ball torture) is proving to be as or more effective than SSRIs in treating unwanted paraphilia issues. Important to note, I'm talking strictly in terms of treating unwanted kinks. If BSTD (or any other ball-busting fetishists) is not overwhelmingly squicked by his kink & wants to continue to explore it (hopefully mindful of RACK or SSC practices), then obviously discussion of SSRIs is sort of moot. And just to echo you, 48, talk therapy absolutely helps to explore and clarify kink(s) and decisions about how to express & utilize the fetishy parts of erotic life.
Posted by zerbinetta on May 2, 2012 at 11:40 PM · Report this
I'm wondering about the guy who does the kicking. Isn't there some sort of liability for him? How would this work, the man who wants to be kicked signs a waver in the event emergency treatment is needed? I'd be afraid BSTD or those like him could back out and say that it wasn't consensual after all. The man doing him the "favor" would be up for criminal prosecution, no?
Posted by Crinoline on May 3, 2012 at 5:25 AM · Report this
@22 - chemical castration 24-7 (at least mild, SSRIs are not kind in this respect) to get rid of a minor, non disgusting fetish? Who would sign up for that? I can absolutely see plenty of women being ok with this, especially if it's either kept somewhat off their radar (i.e. they don't have to attend), or it doesn't involve creeping around. Not a big deal.
Posted by gnot on May 3, 2012 at 8:00 AM · Report this
@60 - Just ask my liver.
Posted by SlimNnunn on May 3, 2012 at 9:00 AM · Report this
Love that the kick ball tourney ad is on the page.
Posted by Thomas Em on May 3, 2012 at 10:07 AM · Report this
The comment about John Money being wrong about gender being a social construct is a reference to the case of David Reimer, and was chronicled in John Colapinto's excellent and mesmerizing book "As Nature Made Him: The Boy Who was Raised as a Girl."

This was a tragic case and shows what scientific hubris can do. So in the case of John Money, I think you most certainly DO "bash" him. In fact, Dan didn't bash him hard enough. I'd have kicked him in the balls--but not if he liked it.
Posted by Anoush on May 3, 2012 at 10:28 AM · Report this
@valiumland, until there is a large enough repeatable study confirming an effect, off-label "evidence" counts as anecdotal. In the majority of cases, such off-label "evidence" either gets disproved by serious studies, or the studies find side effects worse than the off-label condition. Sure, there are exceptions (like Viagra), but they are the minority. I disagree that it is ethically justifiable to take a medication for the placebo effect - you forget that medications have side effects that placebos don't have (and the suicide risk of SSRIs extend at least to people in their early to mid 20s, not just children and adolescents). And unfortunately there is no way of predicting who and at which dose will suffer a permanent loss of desire, especially in a case like this where modification of desire would be the point of the whole exercise.
Posted by cockyballsup on May 3, 2012 at 10:39 AM · Report this
@BSTD I actually knew a couple of guys up in Vancouver that were straight and loved to be dominated by men, one of them at least had the permission of his wife.'s not impossible, I'm sure it isn't easy though telling your gf/wife about this fetish but I've found that the best relationships really are "warts and all" honest. Being brave enough to venture this to someone else, own it despite all it's social stigma, is sexy in and of itself. Not that you should over-share or anything but as far as the ones you really care about learning that the world is, in fact, really messy and non-conforming and not to get too hung up about it is probably a good lesson for anyone.

@7 - You could stand to learn this lesson...sigh...
Posted by LAN8 on May 3, 2012 at 11:40 AM · Report this
John Money was not just "wrong" about gender being socially constructed, he drove a man (who he attempted to change into a girl), to suicide. He also took a lot of photos of this child in sexual positions, among other horrible things. If Money had driven a gay kid to suicide, I wonder if Dan would still be speaking with him. I'm especially pissed off that John Money's expertise on paraphilias basically amounts to "Duuuuuh, I dunno." I'm not even reading the rest of this column. Go fuck yourself John Money.
Posted by TheLastComment on May 3, 2012 at 1:13 PM · Report this
Anyone who cares about how evil Dr. Money is, watch this show about David Reimer, the dead kid, on youtube.… It is one of the saddest real life stories I have ever seen, if not the saddest.
Posted by TheLastComment on May 3, 2012 at 1:17 PM · Report this
valiumland 85
To cockyballsup-- you make good points. I have to disagree with you that it is not ethically justifiable to take a medication for its placebo effect. In that case, taking any of the newer classes of psychiatric drugs, especially the SSRIs, is not ethically justifiable, because about 80% of their reported efficacy overlaps with that of a placebo. Why this is true is poorly understood, but in fact the placebo effect is present in any medical intervention, pharmacological or otherwise. Does the fact that the patient may well be responding to the act of "doing something" rather than the actual chemical action of the drug make the use of the drug unethical? In patients that are not under investigative study, how would you even know? You wouldn't. Speaking for myself, I was on Prozac for a year to manage panic disorder. My doctor at the time fully admitted that under such a small dose, the protocol was simply to make me feel like I was empowering myself by medically addressing the problem. Was it the chemical action of the drug or the act of taking the pill that helped? We'll never know. It was a full array of interventions, including talk therapy, that helped me right the ship.
Posted by valiumland on May 3, 2012 at 1:18 PM · Report this
@71, thank goodness you clarified that!

I started to freak out because I've (apparently wrongly) been explaining gender vs sex in an effort to promote more acceptance of people in the transgender community.
I should have been saying 'gender expression' in some cases. I'll have to remember to from now on.

My parents didn't really 'tell' me what a little girl was/wasn't meant to do.
Posted by Imperfekto on May 3, 2012 at 1:26 PM · Report this
Ahhhh premature posting!

Anyway, I chose masculine things to do. Played with trucks instead of dolls (which are creepy) and due to that start, continued because I didn't see the point in putting effort into being feminine. No one considered me to be a 'girly girl' and I didn't mind being called a lesbian, I wasn't one. But of all the things I could be called, I figured there were a lot more ways to be insulted.
Posted by Imperfekto on May 3, 2012 at 1:29 PM · Report this
What role do hormones play in the gender debate?

Example: if testosterone has a certain effect on behavior (theoretically aggression) then would the gender producing more or less of it would behave in different ways? Granted, not all people produce the same amount, nor do they do it consistently from day to day, but there must be some room for basic biology in the discussion.
Posted by Maggie818 on May 3, 2012 at 1:53 PM · Report this
If we let people engage in boxing, MMA, playing football, and all other risky behavior (like jumping out of perfectly good airplanes with a backpacks full of material that SHOULD break our falls) then why not just let this guy get his rocks off a few times a year. I love the suggestion of finding a woman with fetishes, too.

I think that if this guy leads a double life, THEN the snooping would happen because it would be something that would take his time and attention away from his unsuspecting partner. She would likely "know" that "something" was up, and THEN it would be (in my eyes) quite justified snooping.

When my husband started acting squirrely, I found out he had a strong cuckold fetish. I found out by snooping, and it took a while, as he was pretty good about covering his tracks. When I asked him about it, I said, honey, I know you're embarrassed, but can I help you somehow? I was happy to help him, and it has opened our life up immeasurably. (especially when he switches and punishes me for my "transgressions"!)
Posted by PhoneSexWorker on May 3, 2012 at 2:03 PM · Report this
I'm kind of surprised there wasn't a bit more about the physical aspect of this too. Mistress Matisse wrote about ball busting a few times - I couldn't find any relevant columns in my brief search, but was hoping Dan would have asked her to chime in - my understanding is that it's risky but possible to do moderately safely, and knowing the do's and don'ts seems like it would help...
Posted by octothorpe on May 3, 2012 at 2:06 PM · Report this
so a while ago a relationship was ending and we decided to get dinner as friends and she told me about a date she had been on where, within 5 minutes of meeting her, the guy slapped $300 cash down on the starbucks table and said it was her's if she kicked him in the balls as hard as she could.

true story.

she didn't do it. but probably would have for free on the third date.
Posted by Swearengen on May 3, 2012 at 4:34 PM · Report this
I appreciate everyone's theorizing, but reading this week's column just makes me want to kick this fellow's nutsack off of his body.
Posted by laughing bee on May 3, 2012 at 4:54 PM · Report this

"When we in the academic fields of or related to gender studies say things like, 'Gender is entirely a social construct,...'"

How can you academicians say that? The animal world is full of gender specific behavior. When we evolved into humans, there was no magic filter straining out the pre-existing gender specific behaviors.
Posted by Hunter78 on May 3, 2012 at 7:38 PM · Report this
"In fact, while sitting here writing this question to you, I'm hard because you're a good-looking guy and I'd love to have you kick my balls."

So an ugly guy can't kick his nut sack?
Posted by jrotszta on May 3, 2012 at 7:59 PM · Report this
"I'm hard because you're a good-looking guy and I'd love to have you kick my balls."

Does that mean he wouldn't want an ugly guy to stomp his nut sack?
Posted by jrotszta on May 3, 2012 at 8:02 PM · Report this
Okay, I don't even have balls and I'm cringing! To each their own!
Posted by ejshand on May 3, 2012 at 9:19 PM · Report this
I've actually seen several perfectly heterosexual people in the BDSM scene and D/s scene have great experiences with other heterosexual people in the course of scene events, without having to worry about their sexuality.

Being into a particular kink that involves people of your same gender doesn't make you gay, any more than wanting to role-play as a submissive necessarily means you are a submissive person in general (not that there's anything wrong with that).

Your best bet is to have a partner that's open to or at least accepting of your kinks, doesn't feel too threatened by them, or doesn't find them a deal-breaker.

I'm personally not comfortable with the idea of leading a double life, or keeping secrets from my spouse. But then he's extremely accepting, and there's nothing I can't tell him (or that he can't tell me). But not everyone is like that, and if you get along with and love another person very much, and the only fly in the ointment is that they're fussy about or can't deal with one little thing, it's probably worth putting up with, I suppose.
Posted by CoyoteConscious on May 3, 2012 at 9:29 PM · Report this
@93 "The animal world is full of gender specific behavior."

I think John@52 would say that humans created the idea that animals come in female & male, and that you can tell which is which by looking at their genitals or their genes or their hormone levels or gonad presence/absence. The animal world is full of animals doing stuff, and some of those animals are presumably born intersex, and some look "like boy dogs" but act "like girl dogs" and on and on, the same overlaps that we see with humans. I'd like to think that dog packs are easy-going with dogs who don't follow the right behaviors for their genitals, but I don't know how much that has been studied.
Posted by EricaP on May 4, 2012 at 1:03 AM · Report this
Hello Erica,

Glad to have you back. At least for now!
Posted by Hunter78 on May 4, 2012 at 3:03 AM · Report this
Hi Busted....I'm a nice 30 year old mom soccer mom from the burbs. If my hubby asked for this either from me or to go get it done with a man, I would be more than happy to comply. There is a woman out there for you! You can find someone who in into your kink, or GGG and accepting of this! Good luck!
Posted by Kalichristy on May 4, 2012 at 7:38 AM · Report this
101 Comment Pulled (Spam) Comment Policy
Posted by Kylere on May 4, 2012 at 8:16 AM · Report this
If gender is completely socially constructed, how do you explain the existence of trans people?
Posted by PsychoLinguist on May 4, 2012 at 10:12 AM · Report this
Dan's advice is spot on. It's not sexist. Get over yourself if you think it is. Also any discussion of gender is a distraction and not particularly helpful.

I'm going to be the one to mention FetLife. Assuming that BSTD wants to find guys to bust his balls as safely as possible (given that ball busting is fairly radical CBT), FetLife is the place to find guys who will do this regardless of sexual orientation.
Note, that one found me on FetLife for something similar, although his flavor of CBT is not ball busting. His wife won't hurt him even though he has begged for it. Since he's straight and I'm gay, there is no potential for any relationship problems, and therefore this is safer for his relationship than finding a woman to play with. I don't even take my clothes off.
There are sadistic men out there who can do the job. I think it more likely that a gay man could do a better job of ball busting than a straight one simply because I think very few sadistic straight men would have tried it themselves, and one who has tried receiving it is more likely to understand how to do it more safely.

Personally, I'd prefer that his wife of 20 years knew and approved, but I accept that he has too much too lose to risk revealing what he is doing.
Posted by vab251 on May 4, 2012 at 10:58 AM · Report this
@7 - Sorry to hear that us rabbid protagonists won't attrack more educated gentlemen like yourself.
Posted by Jareth Cutestory on May 4, 2012 at 11:19 AM · Report this
@103 some people were born with a penis and act like women -- act the way people in our society think "women" act. "Women" is a category invented by humans, which fits some individuals better than others, depending on an assortment of traits (see the list at the bottom of John's post @52). Does that help?
Posted by EricaP on May 4, 2012 at 12:43 PM · Report this
Females are a category created by nature, not society. Women are socially conditioned to behave a certain way, but that's another matter.
Posted by Amanda on May 4, 2012 at 2:48 PM · Report this
After reading through all the comments, @23's response makes the most sense.
Posted by Amanda on May 4, 2012 at 3:40 PM · Report this
@106 -- Psycholinguist's point is that if gender was entirely socially constructed rather than based in anything biological, everyone would just identify with the gender they're socialized into, which doesn't happen in reality. In this sense, the existence of trans people seems to bolster the argument that gender is at least partly innate, as did John Money's horrifying experiments with David Reimer.
Posted by Amanda on May 5, 2012 at 12:21 AM · Report this
It seems to me that BSTD's kink isn't really relevant to his problem.

He's mostly heterosexual, but wants to occassionally go off and interact sexually with a man. He doesn't think his female partners would be OK with this, and so keeps it secret.

It seems like the situation would be essentially the same if he wanted to get/give blowjobs or have anal sex with men instead of being kicked in the balls.

If a man who was bisexual, but closer to heterosexual to homosexual, wanted to be cured of their attraction to men, wouldn't this be considered unethical by most psychiatrists?
Posted by James Hutchings on May 5, 2012 at 2:04 AM · Report this
mydriasis 111

Nice try.

You could argue that the kink isn't relevent in the context of why the LW is writing in and why he's worried about his relationship.

However, the gender of the person injuring the LW's genitals isn't relevent to the psychiatrist's reccomendation that he modify his behaviour. The fact that he could seriously and permanently hurt himself is the issue.

In short, the situation may be entirely the same to the LW, if it were anal, but it would not be the same to the psychiatrist.
Posted by mydriasis on May 5, 2012 at 6:08 AM · Report this
santamonicatom 112
Please....this is a self-hating homosexual (yes, there are tons of them out there!), who wants to hide his "good looking male" lust under some self-imposed punishment that he (luckily!) gets to have administered by the objects of his lust.
Posted by santamonicatom on May 5, 2012 at 6:47 AM · Report this
7 is a homeschool kid, I promise you. Over use of big/SAT words, exaggerated sense of self-importance, total sureness in the fact that they're totally right and you're wrong. Not that ALL homeschooled kids are like this (I've met some lovely ones) but this kind of attitude generally comes from a homeschooled kid. At the very least, a high schooler from a bible school. Also, the use of LOL is kind of youthful, no? Probably bragging to all his/her friends about how s/he 'witnessed' to a bunch of fags today.
Posted by MinnySota on May 5, 2012 at 9:21 AM · Report this
@111 - No no no! That's just you projecting, and other kink-panicking comments as well. The issue is not the potential harm of the kink. It's the "double life", the sneaking behind his girlfriend's back, the gender-anxiety, that's the issue.

Like recreational drugs, harm mitigation is much more successful through socializing its use than suppression. Other commenters have mentioned talk therapy, but really Dan's advice is the key - come out to yourself about the kink, find a girlfriend (and preferrably a kink community) that will accept you and help you fulfill your desire safely.
Posted by ravished on May 5, 2012 at 9:36 AM · Report this
mydriasis 115

Actually, if you read what I wrote, I wasn't advocating or condemning the psychiatrist's position. Simply pointing out the incorrectness of someone else's assesment of that position.

It's not "kink-panic" to point out that that specific behaviour has risks associated with it (and if you read what Dan wrote, you'll see he also expressed concern about these practices and urged the LW to hold back on specific sub-behaviours and stick to the safer versions).

And by the way, if you actually read what the psychiatrist said, you'd see he prescribed medication to the man who hit his testicles with a hammer, he makes no mention of what treatment (if any) was given to the man who sought out experiences with other men to feel dominated.
Posted by mydriasis on May 5, 2012 at 9:54 AM · Report this
Find somebody into open relationships. If poly (emotional non-monogamy) doesn`t work for you, try a sexually non-monogamous but emotionally monogamous relationship.

Fetlife can be a good way to meet kinky people. Just try not to treat it like a hook-up site. Talk about your fetish on your profile, but also talk about yourself as a human bieng - what are your passions, your hobbies, your interests?
Posted by Brie on May 5, 2012 at 9:56 AM · Report this
I listened to your conferance where you strayed from your topic and attacked the Holy Scriptures.The very Christ that has given us our moral standards cares about you Mr. Savage.
I cannot pretend to understand all of your pain , but He understands and is waiting for you to come to a place of repentance and faith.

The sexual morals that God has given us are eternal and timeless.I can only say that there can be no true happiness for anyone that violates these standards.God wants you to be happy and be fulfilled but outside of His will there can be no peace. The best thing about the Gospel is that when Christ takes upon Himself our sins He forgets them and they will never be mentioned to us again.I hope you find that peace Mr Savage.God could use a man like you.
You will be in my prayers.

Hopefully yours in Christ someday, Dan
Posted by Danclrksvll on May 5, 2012 at 10:09 AM · Report this
I am wondering if we are on the wrong track when considering hardcore ball-busting as a sexual kink. Assuming the receptive partner knows that the risk of permanent life-changing injury to himself is high (hypogonadism, infertility, etc.), maybe it would be more productive to think of it as akin to self-cutting or other forms of self-injury. There are many possible reasons for this, and depending on the underlying cause, various therapies. See… for an introductory discussion.
Posted by cockyballsup on May 5, 2012 at 10:26 AM · Report this
@109, Just because something is a social construction doesn't mean that our bodies are irrelevant. Or that we as individuals (or parents of individuals) have much control over the social aspects.

Music is a social construction, but human bodies have differing responses to music. If parents of a deaf child tried to make that child a piano virtuoso, they would be setting themselves up for failure.

Likewise, cutting off David Reimer's penis didn't magically get rid of his other physical attributes, which affected how he fit (or didn't fit) into our society's gender roles.
Posted by EricaP on May 5, 2012 at 10:35 AM · Report this
Dan-I just read that your going to debate the motherfuckers of NOM. I want a ticket. I want to be there when all the bigots heads explode. I want them to see Satan coming out of Brian Brown's skull. I want to bring cleanup wipes to those who will be in need. Please, please, please!

Posted by pickthescab on May 5, 2012 at 10:46 AM · Report this
Gender is designed by by God for a purpose.As an active Latter Day Saint I believe that God has a plan for men and women and that is to be married for all time and eternity.Sexual relations are to be enjoyed but only within the confines of a legal marriage between one male and one female.Sexual relations outside the marriage covenant cannot bring happiness in this life and will bring sorrow in the life to come.
Children are to be welcomed and raised to respect God and trust in Christ as Savior.

Marriage is not easy.There will be seasons of pain and dissapointment mixed with great sacrifice but these are small prices to pay and with a lot of humor and common sense couples can succeed.
Each of us is a beloved son or daughter of God with eternal worth and possibilities.Regardless of our past or how many sins we have on our balance sheet Christ and His sacrifice are able to forgive and make us new.Those past sins will never be mentioned to us again, they are gone!

There is an old Methodist hymn that I love written by Charles Wesley. One of the stanzas expresses this idea of forgivness better than I can:

''He (Christ)breaks the power of cancelled sin, He sets the prisnor free!His blood can make the foulest clean, His blood availed for me!''

If you're reading this I hope you will take the Savior up on His offer.Nothing that you've done shocks Him,He only wants you to come home.He's waiting to put an understanding arm around you and give the love you have serched for and best of all it's free.

Posted by Danclrksvll on May 5, 2012 at 11:02 AM · Report this
@115, I admit I didn't parse your post in close detail, I was responding to the spirit in which you responded to @110. I've looked at the column again in detail and believe I've read correctly the first time round: the "cures" mentioned were to do with shame, and readings of permanent damage are kink-panic projections.

Federoff treated the hammer guy with an SSRI to "help a person overcome an unwanted sexual interest or compulsion". No mention of the request for surgical castration as a result of damage, or shame/fear. (If it was a result of damage already suffered, SSRI was too late. If it wasn't, why castrate? In any case, permanent damage is only one possible reading, not the only.)

The Bergner reference is about shame - foot fetish hardly involving any physical damage.

I should disclose that my reading is coloured by experience of topping in ball-busting. It really depends on what the sub can take. Putting hammer to balls may sound more dramatic than is actually experienced by the sub.

All this reminds me of the thread a few weeks ago on D/s relationships in public: the same kink-panic, leaping to conclusions about kinksters. It seems that many commenters here really think that kinksters are impulsive cretins with no consideration of consequences or sense of moderation and control ...!

I maintain that the permanent-damage reading - which Dan raised towards the end, in context of a socializing kink behaviour, not drug treatment - is a kink-panicking projection. (BTW I don't imply this kink has no risk; I wrote about "harm mitigation", I wrote about "fulfilling the desire safely". No sane kinksters operate under the pretense of no risk! All that stuff about needing to draw boundaries on certain kinks are basically straw man arguments.)
Posted by ravished on May 5, 2012 at 12:11 PM · Report this
@121: "There will be seasons of pain and dissapointment mixed with great sacrifice but these are small prices to pay and with a lot of humor and common sense couples can succeed." etc etc.

And you think gay married people don't experience that? Or straight married people with open marriages? Are virtues like sacrifice, humour and mutual support and understanding (and joy, and, God forbid, love) only granted acknowledgement for certain couples and not others?
Posted by ravished on May 5, 2012 at 12:17 PM · Report this
Pink may be a raw sexual display color.

Posted by Hunter78 on May 5, 2012 at 12:56 PM · Report this
@106: Not "invented" but "observed." There are some "masculine" and “feminine” behaviors that are innate, and not socially constructed. That means we humans OBSERVE these behaviors rather than consciously or unconsciously TEACH these behaviors to one or the other gender. We may then choose to include these behaviors in our categorizations of gender, but that shouldn't mean that we are socially constructing gender, rather it means we are choosing to order our thinking about gender in a way that best corresponds to our observations. One behavior, for example is the observation that boy toddlers seem to take more physical risks than female toddlers.
Exceptions do show up, but when a behavior can't be explained by social conditioning, and can't be explained by chance, and the only good explanation seems to be the fact that a child is born of a particular gender, we ought to accept that categorization rather than play intellectual games in order to preserve bizarre notions left over from the "tabula rasa" days of psychology. The choice to include an observed correlation as a general description of that gender does not mean the correlation is socially constructed, unless you are willing to argue that ALL categorizations involving life are socially constructed, since exceptions can always be found.
If that's what some want to argue, I would respond by saying that although some social constructions are invalid and mutable, others are VALID and immutable, or mutable only at the cost of great suffering and possible suicide. If that’s true, then what really matters is distinguishing between valid and invalid social constructions. But that’s just the same as distinguishing between prejudice and beliefs based in reality.
Here’s my conclusion: There’s typical male behavior and typical female behavior that is innate. There’s typical male and female behavior that is taught. Then there are behaviors that are caused by a combination of innate tendencies, environment, and social conditioning. The essential moral thesis ought to be that there is nothing wrong with any individual behaving in a way that is not typical of their gender. But we ought not get so out of touch with reality that we believe that all gender-related behavior or all gender categorization is “socially constructed.”
Posted by Rene on May 5, 2012 at 5:02 PM · Report this
@125 "unless you are willing to argue that ALL categorizations are socially constructed"

Yep. Atoms, bees, and comets don't buzz around categorizing things. Only people in society do.

How do you know that "boy toddlers seem to take more physical risks than female toddlers"? Only because some creatures you've already defined as "boy toddlers" take these risks. How do you know they're boys? Because they wear blue outfits? Because they take risks? Because they have male names? Because you've seen their genitals? Because you've checked their hormone levels or their chromosomes? Because you've asked them if they identify as a boy? Not all those categories lead to the same answers for every individual, even if there is, as John said @52, a lot of overlap.
Posted by EricaP on May 5, 2012 at 6:17 PM · Report this
@125/126 in other words, maybe the statement is more true if phrased: "people with more testosterone take more physical risks," where most of those people also have a bio-penis, and like the color blue, and have a male name, but not all.
Posted by EricaP on May 5, 2012 at 6:19 PM · Report this

"Because you've seen their genitals?"

Yup. That's the one. They have penises. Toddlers with penises tend to be more physically aggressive and rambunctious than toddlers with vaginas, who tend to be chattier than their male counterparts from an early age. Anyone who's worked in child care can attest to those things.

The concept of time is a construction. There is no giant clock in outer space counting down the minutes and hours. Those are systems of measurement created by humans to make better sense of the world. But humans do age, the seasons do cycle, and things move forward and change. Time isn't some completely arbitrary human invention, and neither is gender. I've had people in gender studies tell me that sex is what a baby is born with, and gender is what society assigns the baby. I don't think it's as simple as that.

Posted by Amanda on May 5, 2012 at 7:35 PM · Report this
That is a sad situation that can eventually cause permanent damage. I would rather take a medication than risk damaging that part of my body though repeat kicks or blows to it even at the risk of losing my libido. The very idea of what he wants from another guy being kicked in the nuts or the other one who ties his balls with a rope and then hits them with a hammer just makes me cringe.
Most guys love their cock and balls and would not
knowingly do anything to damage them.
Posted by mousemess on May 5, 2012 at 10:26 PM · Report this
@128 What conclusions do you draw from the fact that most toddlers with penises like to take more physical risks?

That we shouldn't cut off their penises and carve them vaginas? I'm with you on that.

What about the toddlers with penises who like to wear tutus? I've met a few of those (my son was one for a while). Can we let them wear their tutus in peace, and wait to see what they want from their lives, or do we have to encourage them to be more rough-and-tumble, because it will be easier for them as teenagers if they learned in toddler-hood to be more "boy"-like?
Posted by EricaP on May 5, 2012 at 11:26 PM · Report this
For me, the point of noticing that gender is a social construction is not to say that macho guys shouldn't be macho, or that flouncy girls shouldn't be flouncy. Be what you want to be, y'all!

My point is that when you start hearing that lots of guys want to be pegged, or wear frilly underwear and heels, or stay home with their children, or drink cosmopolitinis, that should also be okay, and not as a huge surprise.
Posted by EricaP on May 5, 2012 at 11:39 PM · Report this
@129: yes, YOU would find it sad, YOU would cringe, but not those guys that do enjoy it.

YOU don't get to call this kink sad, just because YOU are not into it.

People, stop hating on this kink.
Posted by ravished on May 5, 2012 at 11:44 PM · Report this
@131 -- I married a guy who likes being pegged, drinks fruity cocktails, and owns more shoes than I do, so I'm totally cool with that. I'm also able to realize that he's not a representation of the typical guy (I'm not attracted to typical or "macho" guys in the least).

I think everyone should be themselves and embrace the macho or girly stuff they like without stigma. I do find it odd that viewing sexual orientation as innate is considered progressive while viewing gender as at least partly innate is considered totally antiquated, but to each their own.
Posted by Amanda on May 6, 2012 at 2:26 AM · Report this
I also believe that evolution has free will and wants this person to render themselves incapable of procreation and is constantly whispering "IIIIIT FEEEEELS SOOOOO GOOOOD!" while he's beating on them with a bat or whatever it is he does to "feel sexual gratification", " I NEEED A DUDE WHO IS A SAN FRANCISCO 49ers fan with berets in his hair to drive over them with a HYUNDAI !! SOOO GOOOOD !" are we certain that these kinks are not just natures way of self destructing some individuals because try are mentally diseased or something ? Seriously this is the most self destructive and insane thing to do. What if rather than this he would pull out his hair, are we saying when it's sexual insanity it's ok, or necessary or whatever but if it were non sexuapelt would be clearly understood that he be ape shit mad ?
Posted by CamTheregistereduserisdouchey on May 6, 2012 at 5:03 AM · Report this
I like how one can't behave violently with a tutu, the white girl college crowd and EricaP are funny.
Posted by Camtheregisteredusedisdouchey on May 6, 2012 at 5:06 AM · Report this
Whaaaa? No girls have penises and boys have vaginas right ?
Posted by Camcam on May 6, 2012 at 5:09 AM · Report this
mydriasis 137

"readings of permanent damage are kink-panic projections"

Okay I don't think this sentence makes sense.
You don't think that testicles can become permanently damaged if you hit them with a hammer? Are you serious?

The part about castration... what??

Anyway, long story short, I disagree with you. I don't thik it's "kink panic" at all to say that the way he's engaging in his kink (stomping is a particularly agressive kind of trauma) is dangerous.

Especially because, you know what? Just because I personally think it could do permanent damage, doesn't mean I'm judging him, and it also doesn't mean that I think he should be forced to stop. Same deal if the person's kink was hitting themselves in the head with a hammer.

Pretending that permanent damage isn't a relevent or even likely risk worth mentioning is not the same as being accepting.
Posted by mydriasis on May 6, 2012 at 6:23 AM · Report this

Your sexual behavior is hetero, so I would say your desire to have your balls busted by a guy has little to do with sex. You are seeking demotion in the male hierarchy. Getting kicked by a woman wouldn't affect your position within that order. Demotion is a defensive activity-- low ranked males face less intense conflict, as long as they scamper out of the way as needed. It's ironic that your coping mechanism entails pain.

I recommend against this practice. It's only a matter of time before some guy plants a shinbone in your groin MMA-style and causes serious damage. MMA guys wear strong cups, you don't.

Low-dosage SSRI worked for the one guy-- seems like a low risk experiment worth taking. "That [was] the craziest idea I ever had!"

Posted by Hunter78 on May 6, 2012 at 7:15 AM · Report this
A thought... is BSTD interested in BDSM at all? I know plenty of dommes who'd be happy to arrange for their slave to get his balls busted by a guy, and really enjoy watching it too.

Doing it this way has the added bonus of, at least psychologically, taking the responsibility for choosing to do it out of his hands. There are some kinks that just don't work as well when you're asking for it as when someone else is "making" you do it.
Posted by maudite on May 6, 2012 at 7:55 AM · Report this
A thought... is BSTD interested in BDSM at all? I know plenty of dommes who'd be happy to arrange for their slave to get his balls busted by a guy, and really enjoy watching it too.

Doing it this way has the added bonus of, at least psychologically, taking the responsibility for choosing to do it out of his hands. There are some kinks that just don't work as well when you're asking for it as when someone else is "making" you do it.
Posted by maudite on May 6, 2012 at 7:57 AM · Report this
@133: The problem with gender being viewed as innate is that it is then used to enforce gender on people according to their genitals. ("This is how boys act.") This is the opposite of orientation being innate, which allows a given individual to be oriented to whoever he is oriented to, regardless of his physical form.

-- Innate gender: enforces roles and expectations; restricts individual freedom
-- Innate orientation: does not enforce roles and expectations; greater individual freedom
Posted by avast2006 on May 6, 2012 at 8:06 AM · Report this
mydriasis 142

"it is then used to enforce gender on people according to their genitals"

It may sometimes happen that way, but many transgender people believe their true gender is innate. Just because gender is innate (and I'm not arguing that it 100% is, but I believe it partly is in most cases) does not mean that it corrosponds to the person's genitalia.

I don't think it's inherently damaging to think that gender is primarily innate. I think enforcing cis-gender or insisting that people rigidly conform to all qualities a society associates with that gender is often damaging.
Posted by mydriasis on May 6, 2012 at 8:18 AM · Report this
mydriasis 143

In other words, I'd change

"The problem with gender being viewed as innate is that it is then used to enforce gender on people according to their genitals."


"There is problem with gender being viewed as innate when it is then used to enforce gender on people according to their genitals."
Posted by mydriasis on May 6, 2012 at 8:26 AM · Report this
I'd never thought much about ball busting until I read this guy's letter, but it's actually sounding kind of hot.

It taps into the same moJo that makes MMA and Fight Club (and Jackass and the NFL) so exciting.

Am I turned on by the thought of Brad Pitt or Johnny Knoxville actually causing injury to my testicles? Not really. But finding myself vulnerable and humiliated in the presence of an "alpha male?" That starts to tap into some primal fears.

Some of our primate and mammal cousins decide who gets to mate by staging physical contests between the males. You may have just gotten the shit kicked out of you by that other guy, but if he's slightly worse off, your dick will need to be stiff pronto, because it's now sexytime.

No surprise that hereto sex and homo violence are intertwined for at least some of us. I think that's why have busty ring girls between boxing matches, The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, and Hooters waitresses.

Keeping an eye on the prizes, so to speak, reminds the boys to give it their all and risk injury, life and limb to win the contest and reap the rewards (and by rewards I mean access to the vaginas of hot women). Testosterone levels of *fans* go up after their team wins. Battling for dominance of the individual or tribe is a (vestigial?) part of at least some folks' sex drives, no doubt (just ask any college starting quarterback if he is having a problem getting laid).

"Alpha" status is now conveyed also to dweeby rock stars and corporate snakes and in some minds, even to regular ol goodlooking guys. So, having a goodlooking guy kick you where it hurts could understandably rev up all those ancient and otherwise dormant fight, flight, or fuck systems.

And the more I think about Brad's $400 sneaker making some forceful contact with my junk, the more I might be into that, as long as Angelina's okay with it.

I hope the guy who wrote in is smart enough to avoid lasting injury and brave enough to get his fantasies fulfilled ethically by the hottest (safe sane and careful) guy he can find.
Posted by SavagedSince1995 on May 6, 2012 at 8:54 AM · Report this
I'd never thought much about ball busting until I read this guy's letter, but it's actually sounding kind of hot.

It taps into the same moJo that makes MMA and Fight Club (and Jackass and the NFL) so exciting.

Am I turned on by the thought of Brad Pitt or Johnny Knoxville actually causing injury to my testicles? Not really. But finding myself vulnerable and humiliated in the presence of an "alpha male?" That starts to tap into some primal fears.

Some of our primate and mammal cousins decide who gets to mate by staging physical contests between the males. You may have just gotten the shit kicked out of you by that other guy, but if he's slightly worse off, your dick will need to be stiff pronto, because it's now sexytime.

No surprise that hereto sex and homo violence are intertwined for at least some of us. I think that's why have busty ring girls between boxing matches, The Dallas Cowboys Cheerleaders, and Hooters waitresses.

Keeping an eye on the prizes, so to speak, reminds the boys to give it their all and risk injury, life and limb to win the contest and reap the rewards (and by rewards I mean access to the vaginas of hot women). Testosterone levels of *fans* go up after their team wins. Battling for dominance of the individual or tribe is a (vestigial?) part of at least some folks' sex drives, no doubt (just ask any college starting quarterback if he is having a problem getting laid).

"Alpha" status is now conveyed also to dweeby rock stars and corporate snakes and in some minds, even to regular ol goodlooking guys. So, having a goodlooking guy kick you where it hurts could understandably rev up all those ancient and otherwise dormant fight, flight, or fuck systems.

And the more I think about Brad's $400 sneaker making some forceful contact with my junk, the more I might be into that, as long as Angelina's okay with it.

I hope the guy who wrote in is smart enough to avoid lasting injury and brave enough to get his fantasies fulfilled ethically by the hottest (safe sane and careful) guy he can find.
Posted by SavagedSince1995 on May 6, 2012 at 8:58 AM · Report this
@142/3: Okay, I see what you are saying, and grammar lesson meekly accepted.

On the other hand, gender being enforced on people according to their physical form is the basic working assumption of, frankly, most of society. To make the point I was trying to make, I think I would change the wording to "all too often it is then used ..." rather than "when it is then used..." The nature of the problem is not only that it is damaging when it happens in this way, but that it happens this way constantly. (Even for strongly cis-gendered individuals. You don't have to be transgender to be harmed by rigid enforcement of The Male Code/The Female Code.)

Also, the idea of the transgender person saying "I'm a girl, I always have been a girl, and there's no way for me to be anything but a girl" is not at all the same thing as "You have a penis so you had better stop wearing pink and start wearing baseball caps." Gender being innate and immutable within the individual is orthogonal to the idea of gender being innate due to physical form. When I am talking about the problem of the enforcement aspect, the other aspect is not part of the problem.
Posted by avast2006 on May 6, 2012 at 9:08 AM · Report this
I think it's strange that Dan thinks taking an SSRI to rid oneself of a kink that one WANTS to be rid of is somehow worse than the risk of losing a testicle or even dying (ruptured testicles can kill). I think it's quite likely that over the years, if this guy is meeting random strangers off Craigslist to kick him in the nuts, he's going to run into some sicko who wants to beat the shit out of a "freak."

Dan's pro-kink stance is great, in general, but he's taken it too far in this case. The guy doesn't want this kink, it's just a weird random brain-link without meaning (according to Dan's explanation), and it's dangerous.

The risks of low dose SSRI's are minimal, and the effects wear off in a few weeks if it doesn't work or if there are undesirable side effects. He should try it.

Posted by aimeeday1972 on May 6, 2012 at 9:56 AM · Report this
Thanks, avast & mydriasis for a productive back-and-forth. I'd add only that the "social construction" argument doesn't say that we get to ignore our bodies; it just points out that people have a lot of cultural baggage in their minds when they look at an actual person's body.

Me, I just want people to be more aware of the baggage, and more generous to other people's understandings of what their "innate bodies" want.

So, in a sense, the contradiction Amanda pointed out @133 goes away -- our bodies have innate propensities as far as sexual expression & gender expression. The progressive approach in all situations is to let people figure out what their bodies want (including their minds), and not enforce rigid, artificial categories. (Note that people may want things which are damaging to other people, so this isn't saying everyone necessarily gets what they want.)
Posted by EricaP on May 6, 2012 at 10:42 AM · Report this
Pink: I've got it. And you want it.

Posted by Hunter78 on May 6, 2012 at 12:15 PM · Report this
@126, I think we both agree with 142/3, 146 and others that we don't want to enforce gender roles on anyone, and we also don't want to discourage genders from taking on "traditional" behaviors and roles if that's their free choice.

However, I disagree with your idea (& @5, @20, and others, especially @52 and John Money) that our conceptions of gender, gender roles or gender-correlated behaviors are completely social constructs.

To be fair, I'd like to verify what you mean by a “social construct.” Do you really mean a complete fabrication created solely out of the collective imagination of human beings, with no correspondence to reality? Because at this point you seem to be arguing that gender is a social construct because every human-made categorization is a social construct, and therefore categorization by gender is meaningless. Further, any behavioral correlations with what we call “males” or “females” are false correlations since, in your mind, gender is merely a social construct. Is that what you are arguing?

From the practical and ethical side I have to ask: is it good to make categorizations like female/male, atoms/molecules, and even “’social constructs’/’descriptions of pre-existing conditions’”? I.e., does it generally help our species figure out how the universe works, shape tools, develop useful theories, discuss less than useful ones that (tongue firmly in cheek)? Does it bring us closer to truthful statements about the universe and ourselves?

Or is it bad to rely on “social constructions” to help us understand how our universe works? Does the creation of “social constructions” simply lead to prejudice and false assumptions?

If you believe social constructions are good, then what’s your point? So our species is good at making them. You call them "social constructions" and others call them "conclusions of fact," "theories" and "hypotheses." Whatever it’s called, let's continue to make them, since its been working so well for us.

Yes, sometimes we have to revise what we think we know, because new facts come up. But that just proves that these “constructs” are not really “social,” since these facts are discovered rather than created by society. And if that’s true, then I would suggest that the term “social construction” is itself misleading.

If, however, you believe that it’s bad to rely on “social constructions”, I ask you to show me how we should handle all of the separate data that come at us every day without making those general categorizations. If there's an exception to every categorization and you therefore want to deconstruct everything, how do you even manage to read these words and write a sensible response?

For example, how do you know that when I write the word "deconstruct" that it means the same thing it meant the last time you used that word? Sure, it's in the same category of "words that have the same letters in the same order as 'deconstruct'" but you have to make all of those nasty assumptions about my state of mind when I wrote the word. You make those assumptions based on what you know of other human beings, which again are a bunch of generalizations based on observations you’ve made. But you haven't really checked my mind, have you? You haven’t checked the mind of every other human being who has used the word “deconstruct.” So you’re forced to use social constructions just to engage in this conversation. Is that somehow wrong?

Which brings me back to the idea that what you call "social construction" is actually the only way that people can work and live together. Further, it gets us closer to understanding our world than your alternative, which is to take each fact as a separate instance and never make any generalizations about anything, since that would be something only humans do. (By the way, if generalizing does get us closer to a conceptually correct understanding of our world than your alternative, then by definition, it means that it’s more “true” than your alternative.)

One can theorize and come up with all sorts of ideas that sound clever and are self-consistent but that don’t describe the way things actually work. So I offer a more concrete example besides gender to back up what I’m saying. Think about the periodic table and the laws of chemistry. They’ve helped us make new materials, new medicines, and accurate predictions about the birth and death of stars light-years away, etc. etc. etc. Is the periodic table a social construct, or is it a fairly accurate description of pre-existing conditions?

So, it’s true that humans are intelligent enough to discover and describe those pre-existing conditions, whereas “atoms, bees and comets,” are not intelligent enough. However, I hope you’ll admit that those atoms, bees and comets and the rest of the observable universe still obey the laws of chemistry we discovered. So what is the value of calling those laws a “social construction” just because they happen to have been discovered by humans?

I think the answer is to avoid the extreme position of stating that all generalizations made by humans are social constructions. Each generalization needs to be judged on its own merits. The laws of chemistry, for example are not a social construction. The concept of race is a social construction, as I’m sure you’ll agree without my having to argue it. However, the case for gender being a social construction is not as clear as you state. As I’ve shown, such a case cannot be made simply by stating that all generalizations are social constructions and therefore false. You'll need to do it the hard way, with specific countervailing facts and theories that do a better job of explaining what most of the rest of us think of as "gender."
Posted by Rene on May 6, 2012 at 1:05 PM · Report this
Correction, Paragraph 1: Should be ". . . and we also don't want to discourage anyone from taking on 'traditional' behaviors and roles if that's their free choice."
Posted by Rene on May 6, 2012 at 1:17 PM · Report this
@150 "the extreme position of stating that all generalizations made by humans are social constructions."

I do believe that extreme position, but I also don't think we can ever escape social constructions. I wouldn't want to do without language, and it's a social construction too.

The point is what you said in your first sentence:
>> [not] to enforce gender roles on anyone, [or] discourage [people] from taking on "traditional" behaviors and roles if that's their free choice.>>

Posted by EricaP on May 6, 2012 at 1:27 PM · Report this
John Horstman @52 is absolutely incorrect to say that gender is completely a social construct. If it were, then society could demand that people behave according to the gender that society assigns them, irrespective of brain chemistry (since chemistry and brains, for that matter, are just social constructs also, right?). This was the assumption that John Money made, with disastrous consequences, and is indeed the mistake that the religious fundamentalists make, too, in trying to "cure" homosexuals through prayer/social pressure.

Developmental biology has come a long way in understanding how hormones and genes react to create the genitals, germ cells, and secondary sexual characteristics; but it has a ways to go to learn how hormones, cells, and genes interact to determine how the brain forms sexual desires, self-identity, and behavior. Human behavior can clearly be modified through social interactions, but lots of desires and sexual identity are pretty clearly innate, and therefore NOT socially constructed.

For example, Dan's homosexuality is clearly NOT socially constructed; he's described many times how he tried to be a straight boy, according to social norms, but reality intervened.

The words "male" and "female" are social constructs, but they describe characteristics of most species that existed for hundreds of millions of years before there was human society.

Noadi @71 has a really useful definition, to say that "gender expression," rather than gender itself, is socially influenced.
Posted by Biologist in the stix on May 6, 2012 at 2:14 PM · Report this
I zoned out about half way through. Oh well, there's always next week.
Posted by wolfhound on May 6, 2012 at 6:13 PM · Report this
I find it interesting that it is mainly women who will dress themselves in particular colors around the pink part of the spectrum as feminine displays. Men as a group do not have any particular color preference that is comparable. For example, men do not generally prefer blue, and won't choose to dress themselves in blue in the way women choose to dress in pink. If small boys are dressed in blue, it is because of their mothers, not their fathers. The only general color preference that can be ascribed to men is a negative one, in the sense that men will avoid dressing in pink (and related colors) because of its feminine connotations.

Being gay, I have no idea whether a woman dressed in pink is more sexually attractive to straight men than a women dressed in blue, for example. Maybe some of the straight guys here can weigh in on this. Could my strong aversion to pink be a function of my gay orientation?
Posted by cockyballsup on May 6, 2012 at 6:34 PM · Report this
@155 The pink/blue thing used to be the opposite. Pink used to be considered a boys color, and blue was considered a girls color. I forget why they switched it. I don't the feminine associations of pink have anything to do with attraction. It's about people falling for marketing. Michelangelo painted God wearing pink, nobody complains that God looks feminine.
Posted by TheLastComment on May 6, 2012 at 7:17 PM · Report this
nocutename 157
When my older daughter was a shade under 2, she and the little boy the same age used to fight viciously over the one pink chair at their daycare. Those fights occasionally ended with my sweet, feminine, gender-conforming princess biting the boy hard enough to bruise! Thankfully, the day care provider bought a second pink chair!
Posted by nocutename on May 6, 2012 at 10:15 PM · Report this
nocutename 158
@155: I know several men who have strong preferences as to the color one is allowed to dress their sons in: can't afford to have that toddler or preschool be seen as unmanly.

And I have a friend whose son, now a big, strapping, football-playing 16-year-old who'd rather die than be associated with anything that smacks of girlyness, used to love dressing up in my daughter's pink, sparkly, princess-y dresses every time he came over--to the great consternation of this father. We had to talk dad down every single time.
Posted by nocutename on May 6, 2012 at 10:35 PM · Report this
Most people do not know enough about history to know that American society did not make children gender conform until 100 years ago. Children were considered genderless in the past. That couple that became famous on the news for refusing the disclose the gender of their child was actually doing the more traditional thing. This is a real photo of FDR as a child.… It was very common for boys to dress as girls back then.

What the hell happened to make our society so psychotic about gender conformity from babyhood? That's what I want to know.
Posted by TheLastComment on May 7, 2012 at 8:08 AM · Report this
I make home-sewn baby gifts. Not having children myself, I asked mothers how they feel about colors for babies in blankies, booties, clothes, diapers, quilts, toys, etc. The answer from everyone I know was a resounding "we don't care." (Meaning that they're thrilled with home-made gifts but are agreeable as to colors.) I make gifts in brights, darks, lights, pastels, anything I find pleasing. The only universals I've found is that babies like soft, sparkly and the cartoony faces that I hate.

I think the point that's emerging from the discussion on gender roles is that kids start looking at the world around them much earlier than parents usually believe. Just as parents are shocked (in a good way) by how smart their babies are when it comes to learning the language (where did he learn that word or that grammar construction?), they're similarly surprised that babies have picked up on the essential gender expressions that adults think are masked.

So there's a tendency for a cis-gendered girl baby to identify with adult women or slightly older girls. She sees that most women move in a lighter, more fluttery way than men and that they're more likely to wear lighter or brighter colors than the men who have a slight tendency to be heavier and to wear neutrals. When she's old enough to speak her preferences (also earlier than many parents expect), she wants a pink tutu. The parents object since her own mother and father both wear faded jeans, but the girl has figured it out by looking around. The child's ability to generalize is intact.
Posted by Crinoline on May 7, 2012 at 8:45 AM · Report this
nocutename 161
It's telling that even as you introduce the idea of genderless childhood, you say "It was very common for boys to dress as girls back then." In fact, "boys" weren't dressed like "girls" when all young children wore loose-fitting smocks; they all dressed like "infants." Historical infancy was a much longer-lasting developmental period than it is today.
Posted by nocutename on May 7, 2012 at 8:47 AM · Report this
@161 "Genderless" is an exaggeration. They look genderless by today's standards, because today everything is so blatantly male/female. But in the old days they still treated boys and girls slightly differently.… In this painting, for example, the child with a dress and no necklace is James II of England. His lack of jewelry identifies him as male. So does his red colored dress. It can be difficult to tell what things symbolize gender, since it varies from culture to culture. For example, this boy is wearing a blue dress. File:David_L%C3%BCders_Knabenportrait.jpg">… But, he also has a gun and a dog, traditionally both masculine things. I am not aware of any Western culture that ever socialized boys and girls in the exact same manner, and I'm not aware of any European culture that made boys look exactly like girls. Although there are some paintings were it is very difficult to tell them apart.
Posted by TheLastComment on May 7, 2012 at 10:03 AM · Report this
nocutename 163
@162: I don't know if you meant to use this painting as an example, but in the one you linked to, James is wearing breeches, not a dress. Further, his sister is also wearing red, which would seem to connote royal status more than gender. Additionally, males, both old and young wore jewelry at this time, and are pictured with it as a sign of wealth and status.

I agree that boys and girls have always been treated differently. I was quoting you ("Children were considered genderless in the past.)
Posted by nocutename on May 7, 2012 at 12:23 PM · Report this
nocutename 164
@163: Never mind--I think I was looking at the wrong person.
Posted by nocutename on May 7, 2012 at 12:32 PM · Report this
nocutename 165
I blame the only 3/4 hour of sleep last night for turning me into an idiot today.
Posted by nocutename on May 7, 2012 at 12:50 PM · Report this
This kink would seem to be a ticket to Youtube stardom.
Posted by Faradn on May 7, 2012 at 2:04 PM · Report this
Really hitting bottom Dan. First the bully Christian bating hate speech and now this pathetic column. You must get 1,000 letters per day and this is what you throw at us?

A Christian stole Dan's bulshit detectors and the guy is a fake or he is a self hating closet homo who can't admit his sexual attraction to men. Either way Dan dropped the ball.

Prozac to kill your sex drive so you lose your fetish? Why not use it to chase away the gay while your at it! If you gay men are like my wife- no sex ever- then you will not go to hell for your abominations. SSRI's could be the key to the Kingdom of Heaven fellows. Give me a break.
Posted by Professor on May 7, 2012 at 10:14 PM · Report this
my sac puckered up just reading this one, OUCH.
Posted by CornsilkSW on May 7, 2012 at 10:55 PM · Report this
@163 "Further, his sister is also wearing red, which would seem to connote royal status more than gender."

Wow. That sister is actually a brother, who, yes, is wearing red to connote his gender AND is still young enough to be wearing a gown rather than breeches, as did all boys at the time.

If you're going to spout off about historical cultural gender markers, know your period first.
Posted by ami on May 8, 2012 at 5:54 AM · Report this
Your life has a purpose and busting balls is not it. You need to focus on how you can be a positive member of society. You see, when you bust your balls, society ends up catching you in our safety net and paying your medical bills and closing the gap for your missed worked while you are recovering. I think that you can focus on being a more productive member of society. There is work to do - people are starving, children are homeless, women are being brutalized and sold as sex slaves while you get off on busting your balls.
Posted by ProEthics on May 8, 2012 at 8:43 AM · Report this
mydriasis 171

That is some junior-high level understanding of ethics.
Here's the cliff's notes: all of those things are happening while you're sitting on the internet.

But you're right, none of us should ever get off again as long as bad things happen.
You go first. Let us know how it is.
Posted by mydriasis on May 8, 2012 at 10:13 AM · Report this

Ironic that you criticise others for immaturity.
Posted by Hunter78 on May 8, 2012 at 2:32 PM · Report this
mydriasis 173

Your opinions: still beneath me.
Posted by mydriasis on May 8, 2012 at 2:52 PM · Report this
nocutename 174
Jeezus, Hunter, what do you do? Lurk around hoping that mydriasis will post something so you can shoot a barbed arrow at her?
You're as obsessed with putting her down as Seattle Blues is with denouncing homosexuality.
Posted by nocutename on May 8, 2012 at 3:35 PM · Report this
nocutename 175
Yes, ami, mea culpa. I actually used posts 164 and 165 to apologize for my stupidity.
Posted by nocutename on May 8, 2012 at 3:38 PM · Report this

No. I'm not looking for My. But I'm not giving her a free ticket to spew her crap.
Posted by Hunter78 on May 8, 2012 at 3:43 PM · Report this
There aren't just a few women who would be happy to watch their SO get his knuts relocated... there are many, many, many, MANY women who would be happy to watch. They won't even care if it's a turn-on... they'll just be happy to watch. Most of those women are middle-aged and therefore experienced with, clued-in and hip to every form of male jack-assery that has been invented, and will therefore be completely unsympathetic afterwards, but that won't be a problem, right? In fact, you'll probably be fulfilling one of their sexual turn-ons.
Posted by oregonbird on May 9, 2012 at 10:05 PM · Report this
I'm glad I've heard that there is help for controlling unwanted sexual actions.
Posted by SuperSick on May 16, 2012 at 6:08 PM · Report this
Gou Tongzhi 179
@7 I personally enjoy Dan's "hate filled and protagonist" rants.

Hee hee! Dumb people trying to sound smart never stops being funny.
Posted by Gou Tongzhi on May 20, 2012 at 5:34 PM · Report this

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