Think sex, and sexually transmitted infections might jump to mind.
But for men, there is a much more unpleasant-sounding risk – a penis fracture.
In certain positions a bloke’s pride and joy can actually break, with victims of the most barbaric of sex injuries, describing hearing an ominous snap.
While thankfully rare, hitting the penis hard at the wrong angle can cause penile fractures, leaving a man’s privates bent and swollen like an aubergine, experts warn.
And, recently a poor soul in China fell victim.
He was rushed to hospital for emergency treatment after a night of “passionate sex” landed him with broken willy, reports the People’s Daily Online.
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A penile fracture occurs when an erect penis is hit with considerable force.
The penis is made up of three cylindrical tubes, two of which fill up with blood when a man becomes aroused.
The tissue surrounding these tubes also expands.
But, if the penis is hit with force – such as a woman’s pelvic bone when thrusting a little too enthusiastically – it can bend and cause a pressure overload in the tubes and in turn cause a rupture.
With that in mind, it is probably best to know the positions you need to be extra careful in.
You’d be forgiven for thinking it’s those experimental, slightly acrobatic positions you need to watch out for, but you’d be wrong.
It turns out the most dangerous sex positions are actually some of the most common.
A 2014 Brazilian study looked at the eye-watering details of 44 men who had to visit hospitals with suspected penile fractures.
Of these men, 28 had a broken penis caused by vaginal sex.
And the researchers found there were three positions that cropped up again and again, causing the painful injury…
1. The cowgirl
Top spot in the danger list goes to “girl on top”.
While a popular one for gals and guys alike – putting the woman firmly in the driving seat – it’s one blokes need to be wary of.
Of the men surveyed in the Brazilian study, half of them had been having sex with the woman on top when they fractured their member.
In this position the woman is in control of pressure and penetration but that can often go awry, the researchers warned.
If a woman moves her body weight the wrong way, or comes down too hard on the penis, she can cause it to bend and break.
The same thing can happen in the reverse cowgirl position, where the girl is on top but facing away from the man.
2. Doggy style
Taking second place, is another “oldie but a goodie” – doggy-style.
This time it’s down to the man to take control, but when doing so be careful not to get too over-excited, the researchers warned.
Vigorous thrusting can lead to the most painful of side effects.
From this position it’s possible for a bloke to hit a woman’s pelvic bone, or pop his member in at a slightly skewed angle – both of which can lead to a dreaded fracture.
This position was responsible for 28 per cent of the injuries reported in the study, the Brazilian team noted.
Not the position you thought you’d see on the list, granted!
But the good-old missionary position can be quite the dangerous one it seems.
Much the same as doggy-style, here the is in control, dictating the speed and angle of his thrusting.
But, that can spell disaster if a guy gets carried away.
In 21 per cent of the reported fractures in the study the man had been having sex in the missionary position.
Again, the break is caused by hitting the pelvic bone or accidentally bending the penis at an odd angle.
So how do you know if you have fractured your penis?
Yep, wincing at the mere phrase “penis fracture” is unsurprisingly totally justified.
To note it causes excruciating pain is stating the obvious.
But, the Brazilian researchers warned if the agony isn’t enough, a guy will know he’s broken his prized possession because the injury is likely to cause an audible “cracking” noise.
The injury can also cause blood in the urine, they added.
Despite the horrific injury – and likely mental scar it will leave – suffering a penis fracture does not mean an end to a man’s sex life.
Treatment is available and it works.
The best treatment is immediate surgical repair of the tubes, with more than 90 per cent of the patients reporting a normal sex life afterwards.
But the longer you leave the injury before you seek medical help the more likely you are to suffer scarring that can lead to erectile dysfunction, the researchers warned.
If it is starting to sound like sex is a danger zone that is best avoided don’t be put off just yet, there is a position that minimises the risk of breaking your manhood.
Dr Kat van Kirk told Vice that the safest position is the spooning position.
She said: “There’s no real pressure on any specific joint.
“Insertion, even though it’s typically through rear-entry and not through the front, usually has a little bit of buffer with the body so the penis won’t hit the pelvic bone as quickly or bruise the cervix as often.”
She also explained that all positions can be safe if a few simple measures are followed, including using lube, communicating and not forcing things before someone is ready.