Video: The Science of “Blue Balls” and “Blue Vulva”

August 3, 2018 by Justin Lehmiller

The term “blue balls” is frequently used to describe “a dull, aching sensation that occurs during sexual arousal before or without ejaculation.” You may or may not realize this, but the “blue” in blue balls actually has a dual meaning. First, and most obvious, is the fact that the testicles themselves actually appear to take on a bluish hue. However, this term also references the fact that blue balls is considered to be a sad experience because the implication is usually that one is aroused but cannot find sexual relief (i.e., it’s often considered to be a state of sexual frustration).

So what happens when someone gets blue balls anyway? Why do the testes appear blue? Also, is there any way to relieve the symptoms other than the obvious (i.e., having an orgasm)? Our friends over at ASAP Science address these and other questions about blue balls in the video below. Contrary to popular belief, it’s not just testicles that get “blue” sometimes–there’s also “blue vulva” (sometimes known as “blue clit”). Check out the video below to learn more!

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Written by
Dr. Justin Lehmiller
Founder & Owner of Sex and Psychology

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He runs the Sex and Psychology blog and podcast and is author of the popular book Tell Me What You Want. Dr. Lehmiller is an award-winning educator, and a prolific researcher who has published more than 50 academic works.

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