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If you think about it, testicles take a lot of wear and tear. They get stuffed into skinny jeans, bump about when you go commando, and even get slapped around during sex.

Even though they’re resilient enough to take all this, too much force — like a kick in the ‘nads — can leave you doubled over in pain.

Not only does a kick in the balls hurt like heck, but enough force can also cause serious scrotal or testicular trauma that requires emergency treatment.

Read on to learn why getting kicked in the balls hurts so much, why some people like it, and when you should be worried.

Genitals are densely packed with nerve endings. This small area contains a higher concentration of them than other parts of the body where nerves are more spread out.

This is why any type of touch can result in some major feels — good or bad — depending on the amount of pressure.

Unlike other organs that are protected by muscle and bone, the penis and testes are all out there.

They’re only loosely attached to your body. And your testicles’ only protection is a layer of fibrous tissue called the tunica albuginea. While tough enough to handle some pressure, it can only handle so much.

Feeling pain somewhere other than the actual source is called referred pain. This is what’s at play when you get kicked in the dingleberries but feel the pain in your stomach. It happens because of the shared nerves and tissues between your abdomen and scrotum.

Your testicles developed in your abdomen from the same level as your kidneys before descending down to the scrotum and pulling nerves down with them.

The other tissues and layers of your scrotal wall are also a continuation of the layers of your abdominal wall. These connections are what cause you to feel pain in the stomach when you’re kicked in the balls.

Like some other relationships, the one between your belly and your balls can sometimes cause nausea and vomiting when they take a hit.

Totally normal! Getting your balls busted may not be everyone’s bag, but that doesn’t mean there’s anything wrong with it.

Some people have what’s known as a ball busting fetish. They derive sexual pleasure or arousal from actions like binding, squeezing, slapping, or striking the balls using hands, paddles, whips — you get the idea.

If you want to partake in this, here’s how to go about it safely:

  • Always give and get consent before engaging in any type of sexual contact.
  • Communicate and set clear boundaries about what you want.
  • Agree on a safe word to be used when you want to stop.
  • Start slowly with light slapping or gentle squeezing before working your way up to more force.
  • Know that swelling is possible, even with light touch.
  • Stop if the pain gets to be too much or your balls turn deep red or purple.
  • If you puncture the skin or see blood, it’s time to visit your healthcare provider.

If you get kicked in the balls and aren’t too keen on the feeling, the following may offer relief:

  • Lay down for a bit.
  • Take an over-the-counter pain reliever, such as ibuprofen or acetaminophen.
  • Apply a cold compress to the area.
  • Wear supportive underwear, or even just tight briefs, to limit movement.

A swift kick to the balls or any forceful trauma can cause damage to any of your scrotum’s contents, especially if the protective covering is torn in the process. Given that your testicles produce semen, infertility is a possibility if you do enough damage.

Permanent damage can be caused by testicular rupture, which can affect fertility.

Testicular torsion is another serious injury that can result in the loss of a testicle if not treated within a few hours of the injury. It happens when the spermatic cord twists, cutting off blood supply to the testicle.

Sometimes, trauma can cause epididymitis, which is inflammation of the epididymis. This is a tube at the back of the testicles that stores and carries sperm. Left untreated, it can lead to shrinkage of the testicles, death of testicular tissue, and infertility.

The pain caused by a kick in the balls should subside within an hour or so. Pain that lingers more than an hour or is accompanied by other symptoms can be signs of a serious injury that requires immediate treatment.

Go to the nearest emergency department or urgent care center if you have:

  • pain for more than an hour
  • bruising on one or both testicles
  • nausea and vomiting that doesn’t improve
  • a puncture wound on or around your genitals
  • trouble peeing
  • blood in your urine
  • a fever