I vividly remember grim warnings from my high school gym teachers, who lectured us on exactly what would happen whenever we didn’t use them.
Best case scenario, we’d never have the capacity to have children. We’d twist the incorrect way, and that’s it, our reproductive organs could be mangled beyond repair.
And that was when we were lucky. Worse case, we’d suffer testicular trauma. There’d be ruptures, fractures, contusions, torsions; there was clearly no end for the horrible things which could occur to our nuts throughout a friendly bet on pickleball.
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However I haven’t place on a jockstrap since sentences like “I’m concerned with tomorrow’s algebra test” and “I sincerely assume that dry-humping my girlfriend in a slow dance at prom seems like a meaningful relationship milestone” were things I seriously considered regularly.
That is, until a public relations rep for Diamond MMA compression jock and cup system-designed for just $90-sent us a complimentary set a couple of weeks ago.
When your first thought was, “Hey, isn’t that the same cup Dairy Queen purposes of their Banana Splits?”, then we are totally on the very same page.
In the beginning, I left it in my desk, like a kind of perverse tip jar. I even briefly tried it being a makeshift container for pens and Post-It notes.
Then I made a decision to strap it on for that Men’s Health Monday morning editorial meeting.
There’s something weirdly exhilarating about gonna work wearing the level of testicular protection usually reserved for MMA athletes.
Because whenever your balls are that ensconced, you know, without having a shadow of the doubt, that this day won’t end along with you being rushed on the emergency room with internal scrotal bleeding.
Needless to say, you can say that about most days-particularly when your job, like mine, involves extended periods of typing on a computer, or having conversations with calm, entirely nonviolent people who are unlikely to judo chop you inside the nuts out of nowhere.
But there I had been, all but daring my fellow editors-with nothing more than a smug smile-to thrust their elbows into my gonads, or grind the company end of their shoes into my giggleberries.
Unsurprisingly, there were no takers.
Afterward, I got to talking with some my male coworkers about balls-hey, these topics just appear-and what, if something, we’re doing to protect them. I discovered that not much of a single one of those wears jockstraps anymore.
Not simply round the office. Even in the club. Or wherever they exercise. They’re essentially free-balling it.
Jay Ferrari, a consistent MH contributor who may have a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, says the final time he wore a jockstrap “was for pee wee football. But a jockstrap during college football or jiu jitsu? Never.”
Why not? Why were jocks underwear necessary in our youth, however, not so much in 2015?
When our senior high school gym coaches warned us of the testicular Armageddon that could are caused by letting our boys dangle unprotected, were they loaded with shit?
“Probably,” says Brian Steixner, M.D., Director of your Institute of Men’s Health at Jersey Urology Group in Atlantic City.
Dr. Steixner has treated some truly horrifying, gory male organ injuries. But in relation to testicular trauma, no less than among non-pro athletes, he insists it rarely happens.
Of the approximately 2,500 patients he treats annually, approximately a couple of those are suffering from scrotal injury.
How does it happen? “Maybe a horse kicked them from the balls,” he says. “Or there was an automobile accident in which the controls went inside their nuts. Sometimes it is related to farm equipment or heavy machinery. Your task involves pulling a strap and something breaks and snaps.”
In other words, nothing that’s very likely to eventually you. (Aside from the automobile accident. But even then, possessing a controls rammed into your balls may seem like a long shot.)
“Modern boxer briefs just about solves the issue,” he says. “You don’t need to wear this weird contraption containing these straps that wrap around your butt. You can use tight-fitting underwear, mainly because it does everything a jockstrap did, which happens to be keep things high and tight. That’s everything required.”
While underwear has evolved, little changed in jockstrap and cup technology, which first came into vogue during the late 1800s.
“A jockstrap is a jockstrap, today because it was back then,” says Kevin Flaherty, whose great-great-great-grandfather founded the first jockstrap manufacturers in the nation, the J.B. Flaherty Company, Inc., in 1898.
Before 100-plus years, the types of materials have changed. Flaherty’s company-now Martin Inc., which produces Flarico, Bub, and Activeman products-has changed from knitted waistbands and straps into more at ease woven products.
The waistbands currently have a plush back, and there isn’t a three-inch-wide bit of rough elastic. But in addition to that, and a few fashion colors, there hasn’t been a lot of dexjpky93 within the design.
Except, of course, for items like the Diamond MMA. Their compression-jock-and-cup method is made of polycarbonate, a durable thermoplastic material that’s utilized in bulletproof glass.
Which may be useful if your job requires people attempting to kill you, or at least severely damage your yam bag. But for us non-MMA athletes, can 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 would be insane.
“The only other time I’ve seen serious scrotal injury was from the parent,” Dr. Steixner says.
“Excuse me?” I ask.
“Like a dad getting kicked hard inside the nuts by one of his kids. That takes place all the time.”
“It does?” I ask this although I absolutely know he’s right.
I’m a parent of your 4-year-old boy, and I’ve been around the receiving end of the barbarous foot or elbow. I’m knowledgeable of what it’s prefer to be given a crushing ball blast coming from a kid not of sufficient age yet to realize that scrotums have the identical general resistance to blunt force trauma as hard-boiled eggs.
Later that night, after 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 entire body involved with it this time around!”
“Everything regarding this makes me uncomfortable,” she announces, this way proclamation will somehow make my son stop hurtling into my nutsack with extreme prejudice.
My son and that i just laugh, and that he is constantly deliver blow after merciless blow onto what needs to be my soft extremities.
“It’s okay,” I try and explain to her, after pretending to the umpteenth time that my son had caused me irreparable scrotal damage. “This is what boys do.”
Then he tries on their own cup-the Diamond MMA everyone was kind enough to send out me two-and that i give his groin a pounding (although admittedly I pull my punches.)
My partner eventually walks away. She can’t accept it anymore. But my son and I keep laughing, while keeping punching the other person from the nuts, amazed at the loud CLUNK our knuckles make every time they connect with what must be testicles.
“This is the best evening of my life,” my son laughs, falling onto the floor, clutching his ribs with laughter.
Testicular violence is certainly not to laugh at. But testicular violence by which nobody gets hurt thanks to modern technology designed particularly for professional athletes? Well, that’s just a reminder that we’re residing in a remarkable age, unlike anything our secondary school gym teachers may have imagined.