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COLUMN

Savage Love

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

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, 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 at the University of Ottawa. “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,” Fedoroff said. “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,” Fedoroff said. “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.

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