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ISSUE 121 VOL 6 PUBLISHED 11/2/2007

Sex on the Hill: Sex-related injuries

By Katherine Oyster
Contributing Writer

Friday, November 2, 2007

One of the best things about sexual activity is that it is very physical. Sex quickens the heart rate, increases breathing and, if done vigorously enough, can actually be considered a form of cardiovascular exercise. However, like any other contact sport, what makes sex fun also makes it dangerous.

Allow me to introduce a new term to the St. Olaf Campus – sex-related injury (SRI). An SRI is a specific malady that is an instant and obvious effect of nookie. SRIs can range from the mundane to the meriting of an ER visit. They are also always fun and awkward to explain. Here I present three different types of SRIs and how to handle/hide them.

Type 1 – Mild abnormalities. These can be bumps, bruises, scratches, hickeys or other small physical ailments. Bumps and bruises are pretty easy to play off as an injury from another source, such as running into a door frame or whacking your … whatever on a desk.

Sex scratches might be a little more difficult to explain, especially if they are obviously a row of fingers (you kinky Ole, you!). If these scratches do indeed come from your partner's (or your own) hand, make sure to clean it thoroughly and hit it with some triple-antibiotic ointment. You can still probably play off most visible scratches as caused by other agents – cats, squirrels, bar fights, etc.

Hickeys, however, are another story. It's pretty difficult to receive one from a source other than a sexual partner, and hickeys are quite easy to identify. As I see it, there are only two ways to successfully deal with a hickey: hide it or flaunt it. There's no middle ground with a hickey – your friends will give you grief about it if they see your hickey and you don't mention it. Turtleneck shirts, scarves and concealer work well on hickeys. Otherwise, start your conversations with friends with, "Hey guys, look what I got last night!"

Type 2 – Moderate SRIs. These are a bit more life-affecting than type ones, but still aren't worth a visit to the local emergency room. Perhaps the most common of these is pulling a muscle or throwing out your back. Luckily, since these are only visible by the way you carry yourself throughout the day, they are infinitely easier to cover. Most muscle maladies can be successfully explained away by the use of two words: "Heavy lifting." Depending on the position you were in when you received the injury, this might even be accurate! If you enjoyed the position you were in before you got hurt, you might want to consult a trainer or athletic friend to find exercises that will build up those muscles before you try it again.

Type 3 – Severe SRIs. These are generally pretty ugly and require immediate medical attention. Type threes can range from broken bones caused by falling out of a (perhaps lofted) bed to losing objects in the rectum to – get ready for it – the fractured penis.

A fractured penis occurs when an erect penis is bent past its possible range of motion and generally happens during wild receiving-partner-on-top sex where the partner lands on the penis the wrong way. There is a telltale "crack!" and part of the penis looks like it has acquired an intense bruise. And it hurts. A lot. Physiologically, a fractured penis is the breaking of one or more of the three blood chambers that engorges to make a penis erect. You might be embarrassed, but if this happens to you get to an emergency room as soon as possible. Surgery might be required to save your schlong. Penis fracture is a pretty rare occurrence, but it does happen. Be prepared.

SRIs are nothing to be ashamed of. They can occur for a multitude of reasons: you experimented with a position that didn't work, you or your partner are inexperienced at sex, you and your partner are into S&M (sadism and masochism for those of you playing the home game) or you were just too caught up in the moment to notice risky sex behavior. Do not assume that you suck at life or in bed because of an SRI – anyone who plays the game chances an injury. Think about how many injuries or maladies you see on different Ole's bodies throughout the day – I guarantee that at least some of them are SRIs.

So, the next time you encounter an SRI on another, be as sensitive, understanding and non-judgmental about it as you can. It's simply luck of the sexual draw. And your own number might be up sooner than you think.

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