Want to avoid a penile fracture or an ‘aubergine’ deformity? Of course you do. Here are some positions it might be best to steer clear of
A man holds his head in pain.
More pain than pleasure. Photograph: LightFieldStudios/Getty Images/iStockphoto
More pain than pleasure. Photograph: LightFieldStudios/Getty Images/iStockphoto
Pass notesSexReverse cowgirl: the world’s most dangerous sexual position

Want to avoid a penile fracture or an ‘aubergine’ deformity? Of course you do. Here are some positions it might be best to steer clear of

  • Name: Reverse cowgirl.

    Age: Anybody’s guess.

    Appearance: Like two people trying to elicit the answer “Tetris” in a round of nude charades.

    So it’s some type of adult game? Sort of. It’s a sexual position.

    What kind of sexual position? The world’s most dangerous sexual position, according to various reports.

    Describe it to me, so I don’t end up doing it by accident. The man lies on his back with the woman sitting on top, facing away from him.

    Oh, that. I’ve also heard it called: “OK, but I’m not missing The Bear for this.” Evocative, but reverse cowgirl is shorter.

    I would have thought the most dangerous position involved the risk of falling out of a window or driving off a bridge. Nope. It’s reverse cowgirl.

    But how can that mildly exotic arrangement possibly be dangerous for women? It’s not. The reverse cowgirl is most perilous for the penetrating sexual partner, who is at risk of penile fracture.

    I don’t want to talk about this any more. According to a viral TikTok video by Dr Karan Raj, the position was responsible for up to 50% of bedroom-related broken penises.

    I think I made it clear I was no longer interested in the subject. If the thrusting of the two sexual partners gets even a little out of sync, says Raj, it can lead to the male member slipping out and “being crushed by the female pubic bone.”

    I’m just going to sit down for a minute. Of course, the human penis doesn’t have any bones in it, so when we speak of a penile fracture we are really talking about a tear in the rubbery sheath of tissue known as the tunica albuginea.

    That doesn’t make it any better. No, it doesn’t. According to a 2021 study, such forcible bending of the erect penis can lead “to haematoma formation and classical ‘aubergine’ deformity”.

    My vision is going white at the edges. Are there no safe positions that would enable someone to have intercourse and watch television at the same time? Apparently not. A 2017 study from the International Journal of Impotence Research named doggy style as the most dangerous position, accounting for 41% of penile fracture cases.

    I guess it’s missionary or nothing. The missionary position came second, with 26%.

    Have you got any advice for practising safer sex? Turn off the TV and concentrate on what you are doing.

    Do say: “Reverse cowgirls are for circuses.”

    Don’t say: “Honestly, if we’re going to do it this way, I think we should pull over.”

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