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COLUMN

Savage Love

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So I was innocently browsing the personal ads on Craigslist and saw one from a dude who was looking to try "saline balls" for the first time. Having no idea what this was, I Googled it. Even worse, I Google-imaged it. I pride myself on being unshockable, but I was completely and utterly mortified at what I saw. With that said, my copious Internet searching failed to yield the answers to the basic/most important questions regarding saline balls: 1) What is the procedure/process for salining one's balls? 2) What about it turns on the saliner/salinee? 3) How long does the effect last? 4) Can it be (God forbid) irreversible?
Completely Utterly Mortified

"The technical name for what CUM is asking about is 'scrotal inflation,'" says Dart, a leatherman, BDSM/kink educator, and host of the Dart's Domain podcast. "It's a type of body-modification play where the scrotum is infused with approximately 500 milliliters to one liter of saline solution via an IV/cannula drip, which results in the balls appearing to have enlarged to the size of a pair of grapefruits."
Saline, of course, is simply salt water, and sterile saline solutions are administered intravenously to dehydrated patients so that they don't, you know, die. But some people – like the guys your Craigslist friend was seeking out – engage in recreational saline play. But they're not putting saline in their balls, CUM, they're putting saline in their ball sacks.
"The skin of the sack has a great deal of elasticity and can safely stretch to this large size without incurring damage," says Dart. Balls, of course, are not noted for their elasticity, and they can burst.
"While this is a more extreme form of kink play, if done under sterile conditions with hospital-grade materials, it can be accomplished with a minimal risk," says Dart. "No one should experiment with scrotal inflation without some experienced guidance, and no one should do it alone. Some of the risks that can happen include local infection and cellulitis, which can occur from a lack of sterility. There can also be dangerous problems if any air was present in the tubing of the IV during the infusion. But again, if proper precautions are taken, these risks can be avoided."
The inflation process takes about an hour, the effect lasts for a day or two, and the sack gradually returns to normal size as the saline is absorbed into the body. So the process is always reversible – so long as you're inflating your sack with saline and not, say, silicone, Spackle or packing peanuts. Your sack may be a little looser afterward, but you're not going to be stuck with a giant sack forever.
As for why this is a turn-on, well, turn-ons are highly subjective.
"The turn-on answer varies from person to person," says Dart. "For some, there is a certain rush from temporarily modifying a part of their body to a 'monstrous' size. Others have 'medical play' fantasies. In a power exchange setting between a dominant and a submissive, the dom may get off on 'altering' a part of the sub's body against the sub's will, while the sub may get turned on by the humiliation aspect. It's a wide spectrum. As I say, it's not for everyone. But many, including myself, have engaged in it safely and had a pretty fun time doing it."
Anyone who wants to see a pair of grapefruit-sized "saline balls" in action should go here:
tinyurl.com/salineballs. Anyone who wants to find Dart's blog, podcast and videos should go here: dartsdomain.com.

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