I vividly remember grim warnings from my secondary school gym teachers, who lectured us on exactly what would happen when we didn’t put them on.
Best case scenario, we’d never have the ability to have children. We’d twist the incorrect way, and that’s it, our reproductive organs could be mangled beyond repair.
And this was if we were lucky. Worse case, we’d suffer testicular trauma. There’d be ruptures, fractures, contusions, torsions; there was no end to the horrible things that could occur to our nuts during the friendly game of pickleball.
Related: The Greater Man Project, 2,476 ideas to help keep you happy and healthy for a lifetime
Nevertheless I haven’t place on a jockstrap since sentences like “I’m concerned with tomorrow’s algebra test” and “I sincerely feel that dry-humping my girlfriend throughout a slow dance at prom seems like a meaningful relationship milestone” were things I contemplated regularly.
Which is, until a publicity rep for Diamond MMA compression jock and cup system-available for just $90-sent me a complimentary set a couple of weeks ago.
In case your first thought was, “Hey, isn’t how the same cup Dairy Queen uses for their Banana Splits?”, we are totally on the same page.
At the beginning, I left it on my desk, like a sort of perverse tip jar. I even briefly used it being a makeshift container for pens and Post-It notes.
I Then chose to strap it on for the Men’s Health Monday morning editorial meeting.
There’s something weirdly exhilarating about going to work wearing the level of testicular protection usually restricted to MMA athletes.
Because as soon as your balls are that ensconced, you understand, with no shadow of any doubt, how the day won’t end with you being rushed to the emergency room with internal scrotal bleeding.
Needless to say, you could potentially claim that about most days-especially if your job, like mine, involves long periods of typing on the computer, or having conversations with calm, entirely nonviolent individuals who are unlikely to judo chop you from the nuts out of nowhere.
But there I was, all but daring my fellow editors-with merely a smug smile-to thrust their elbows into my gonads, or grind the organization end of their shoes into my giggleberries.
Not surprisingly, there was no takers.
Afterward, I purchased to chatting with some my male coworkers about balls-hey, these topics just show up-and what, if something, we’re doing to shield them. I learned that not just a single one of those wears jockstraps anymore.
Not only round the office. Even at the gym. Or wherever they exercise. They’re essentially free-balling it.
Jay Ferrari, an ordinary MH contributor who has a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, says the past time he wore a jockstrap “was for pee wee football. But a jockstrap during college football or jiu jitsu? Never.”
So why not? Why were mens jock straps necessary in our youth, however, not a great deal in 2015?
When our high school gym coaches warned us from the testicular Armageddon that can are caused by letting our boys dangle unprotected, were they filled with shit?
“Probably,” says Brian Steixner, M.D., Director from the Institute of Men’s Health at Jersey Urology Group in Atlantic City.
Dr. Steixner has treated some truly horrifying, gory male organ injuries. But with regards to testicular trauma, a minimum of among non-pro athletes, he insists it rarely happens.
Of the approximately 2,500 patients he treats each and every year, no more than a pair of those are susceptible to scrotal injury.
How exactly does it happen? “Maybe a horse kicked them in the balls,” he says. “Or there was clearly an automobile accident in which the controls went inside their nuts. Often it is related to farm equipment or heavy machinery. Your job involves pulling a strap and something breaks and snaps.”
To put it differently, nothing that’s very likely to afflict you. (Except for the vehicle accident. But even then, using a controls rammed into the balls appears like a long shot.)
“Modern boxer briefs pretty much solves the situation,” he says. “You don’t have to wear this weird contraption which has these straps that wrap around your butt. Try on some tight-fitting underwear, because it does everything a jockstrap did, which is keep things high and tight. That’s everything required.”
While underwear has changed, not a whole lot changed in jockstrap and cup technology, which first came into vogue in the late 1800s.
“A jockstrap can be a jockstrap, today as it was in the past,” says Kevin Flaherty, whose great-great-great-grandfather founded the first jockstrap manufacturers in america, the J.B. Flaherty Company, Inc., in 1898.
In the past 100-plus years, the materials have changed. Flaherty’s company-now Martin Inc., which produces Flarico, Bub, and Activeman products-has evolved from knitted waistbands and straps into more comfortable woven products.
The waistbands have a plush back, and there isn’t a three-inch-wide component of rough elastic. But adding to that, and a few fashion colors, there hasn’t been lots of dexjpky93 within the design.
Except, naturally, for goods like the Diamond MMA. Their compression-jock-and-cup product is made of polycarbonate, a durable thermoplastic material that’s used in bulletproof glass.
That may be useful should your job requires people trying to kill you, or at best severely damage your yam bag. But for us non-MMA athletes, should we require very much ball-protecting technology?
Sure, fluke accidents happen. But that doesn’t mean you ought to walk around wearing a helmet and elbow pads. That will be insane.
“The only other time I’ve seen serious scrotal injury was from a parent,” Dr. Steixner says.
“Excuse me?” I ask.
“Like a dad getting kicked hard within the nuts by certainly one of his kids. That happens constantly.”
“It does?” I ask this although I absolutely know he’s right.
I’m a parent of any 4-year-old boy, and I’ve been on the receiving end of the barbarous foot or elbow. I’m knowledgeable of what it’s like to be given a crushing ball blast from the kid not of sufficient age yet to understand that scrotums have a similar general resistance to blunt force trauma as hard-boiled eggs.
Later that night, as i return home, I’m still wearing my Diamond MMA compression jock and cup. But unlike the professional interactions with my co-workers, I don’t discourage a violent reciprocity with my testicles.
“C’mon!” I shout at my son, who can’t believe what his daddy is asking him. “Hit me again! Really throw your whole body into it now!”
“Everything concerning this makes me uncomfortable,” she announces, such as this proclamation will somehow make my son stop hurtling into my nutsack with extreme prejudice.
My son and so i just laugh, and he continues to deliver blow after merciless blow onto what must be my soft extremities.
“It’s okay,” I make an effort to illustrate to her, after pretending to the umpteenth time that my son had caused me irreparable scrotal damage. “This is what boys do.”
He then tries on his cup-the Diamond MMA individuals were kind enough to deliver me two-and I give his groin a pounding (although admittedly I pull my punches.)
My lovely wife eventually walks away. She can’t carry it anymore. But my son and i also keep laughing, and maintain punching the other person in the nuts, amazed at the loud CLUNK our knuckles make every time they interact with what needs to be testicles.
“This is the greatest night of living,” my son laughs, falling to the floor, clutching his ribs with laughter.
Testicular violence is absolutely nothing to laugh at. But testicular violence where nobody gets hurt due to modern technology designed specially for professional athletes? Well, that’s just a reminder that we’re located in a remarkable age, unlike anything our high school graduation gym teachers could have imagined.