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Are 'blue balls' a real thing?

The first thing people who have never experienced blue balls usually ask is: “Are blue balls actually, like, a thing?” To put it simply, the answer is yes. In fact, blue balls even have a fancy medical name: epidydimal hypertension. Not all men get blue balls, however, and, as much as they suck for those unfortunate souls who do, they’re not a serious medical condition.

Basically, what happens is that when a man gets turned on, blood flows to his penis and testicles and stays there, causing an erection and increasing the size of his balls. After a man has an orgasm, blood usually leaves the area immediately, and everything returns to its normal size. But in some cases, if a man is turned on for a long time and doesn’t ejaculate, extra blood remains in the testicles, putting pressure on them and causing the pain commonly known as “blue balls.”

Learn all about the condition in this first installment of Fusion’s “Womansplainer” series!

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