The Dangers of Masturbating With a Vacuum Cleaner

The Dangers of Masturbating With a Vacuum Cleaner
AP Photo/Charles Krupa
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The things one can find in the scientific literature never cease to amaze. For example, researchers have reported the existence of radiation-consuming fungi near Chernobyl's ruined nuclear reactor. They've described the surprising history of a parasitic plant found only near Chicago. And they've documented numerous cases of penile injury caused by masturbation with vacuum cleaners.

Yes, you read that last one correctly.

The most recently reported instance was in 2017, when Italian doctors recorded their efforts to fix a 61-year-old man's ruptured penis after he "vigorously" masturbated with a vacuum cleaner. Luckily for the man, they were successful.

In 1992, a different team of doctors also triumphantly repaired skin lesions and urethral lacerations to a man's member in the wake of a similar sexual bout. Strangely enough, that instance also occurred in Italy... That might say that Italian men really enjoy their vacuum cleaners. It could also simply say that they are willing to admit it.

That latter hypothesis might be the correct one.

While practicing at the prestigious Mayo Clinic in Rochester, Minnesota, urologist Ralph C. Benson was surprised at the number of penile injuries he witnessed which were caused by vacuum masturbation.

"The fact that five patients were found to have vacuum cleaner injuries to the penis in the past twenty years in a town of approximately 50,000 persons suggests that this may be a more common injury than was supposed. Most patients will attempt to fabricate a plausible story to explain their penile injury, but the majority, on closer questioning, will eventually relate the truth. Perhaps the true cause of many penile injuries goes unrecorded in busy metropolitan emergency rooms, and this may account for the paucity of reported cases."

Benson unintentionally became somewhat of an expert on vacuum-involved penile injuries. His 1985 review anchors the published research on the topic.

"Penile injuries from vacuum cleaners range in severity from edema, ecchymosis, and minimal lacerations that are not extensive enough to warrant suture, to degloving injuries requiring split-thickness skin grafting, and up to extensive lacerations of the glans, penile shaft, corpora cavernosa, and urethra. The more severe injuries can result in subsequent penile deformity and urethral strictures... The majority of the reported injuries were sustained when the erect penis was placed directly into the body of the vacuum cleaner or electric broom where the fan blades are located, approximately 15 cm from the inlet."

Translation: If men choose to masturbate with a vacuum cleaner, they're putting their penises at serious risk. Benson's review featured a few photos, and they were quite gory, indeed.

As pornography has grown more accessible and the pandemic has hindered human interaction, it's possible that these injuries have only increased in prevalence.



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