The other day, a male friend and I were trying to explain to a female friend what happens to a guy when he is hit in the groin. Many women (including the one we were speaking with) don't understand it at all. They equate a strike below the belt to that of any sort of physical collision: An object (or horrible, awful boyfriend that you should get out of your life) hits your body, causing the nerve endings where you got hit say "Ouch! That hurt!" and that's the end of it.
If only it were that simple.
I personally believe that God has made it so that the accumulation of these unfortunate attacks or mishaps help to balance out the fact that we don't have to go through childbirth. There is a whole science to being hit in the nuts that makes it much more painful than it would first appear. For my example, I shall use one of the worst hits to that area that I have ever endured, courtesy of an ultimate frisbee "accident."
My friend Mark can catch and throw a frisbee like he was born to do it. Unfortunately, this awesome talent that makes you popular on the college quad also make him an agent of blinding pain and anguish.
During one particularly grueling and testy ultimate frisbee game that we were both participating in, Mark made an incredible diving catch right in front of me. He rolled up off of the ground, threw the frisbee as hard as he could at a vertical launch, and hit me right in the junk.
According to Mark's account, he was very frustrated with someone else on the field, thought I was him, and only meant to throw it at said person to hit them in general. He even claimed that his throw was not specifically targeted for their nuts. I would like to believe him, but the unborn children that I will never be able to have since that day whisper a different story in my ears as I cry myself to sleep at night.
Now let's talk about what happened to me (and anyone else that receives a pulverizing shot to the groin) during those critical first 5 minutes.
The Physical Strike
For starters, yes, it is a physical strike to a part of your body, which due to nerve endings can and will hurt. But unlike other areas, the groin lacks much of the protection that the rest of your body does. Think about those slow motion camera shots of a football player being tackled or a boxer being punched in the face. Then take away the bones and large muscle mass or fat that covers most of your body. Now imagine that part of your body receiving a hit with the same type of force in slow motion.
Optional/Inconsistent Side Effect: The Rage
At the time you are hit, you maybe have maybe 5-20 seconds where you are either in shock or in a blind rage at the person who did this to you. During these few seconds, you are able to move ahead fueled solely on adrenaline and anger. I once saw a friend who after getting kicked in the nuts, chased his attacker for 3 blocks before finally falling to the ground.
I, however, went down like a sack of bricks immediately during this particular incident. But I have had the "rage push" before. Afterwards is when the real agony begins.
The Stomach Ache
As you lay on the ground or keel over, you develop a very weird stomach ache. It's particularly odd because you know that no type of release from your large intestines will cure it. It almost feels like someone is spraying a type of stomach ache gas that is slowly making its way towards your lungs. The sensation tends intensify greatly at first and then just lingers.
This is caused by the fact that your testicles are connected to your abdominal region via nerves and blood vessels. The pain that you felt on initial impact travels up to that area (and later to your spine) via the spermatic plexus, which is the primary nerve in each of your testicles.
The stomach ache kept me firmly on the ground, groaning in pain. Unfortunately, I was far from the end of my suffering.
The next feeling that many groin hit victims experience is nausea. This is caused by one of two things: A rush of sympathetic nervous system discharge (which hinges greatly upon how susceptible you are to vomiting in general) and/or the severe and sudden contraction of stomach muscles associated with the physical strike.
My susceptibility to motion sickness is bad enough that the movie Cloverfield (which I absolutely love) causes me to get sick every time I watch it. As you might imagine, this did not bode well for me while laying on the ground after getting hit in the nuts.
The False Bleeding Sensation
Next you might feel as though all the blood in that part of your body is rushing forward to get out. Often times, you will mistakenly believe that you are actually bleeding. You're (most likely) not, but you never get used to the fear. No matter how many times you get hit in the crotch, it always feels like some type of horrible permanent damage as been done.
Due to the fact that I cannot find anything online to support this false bleeding sensation to the testicular area (and that I was afraid to click on some of the search results), anyone that can confirm having also felt this would make me feel much better.
The Empathetic Pain
The next part is psychological. We have all watched TV shows, internet videos, or even real life situations where someone gets hit in the nuts and we proceeded to laugh. Suddenly, you feel awful about that. How could this agony and despair ever be used as a source of humor or ridicule?
This type of empathy towards others in pain is not uncommon, but it can give the receiver of a recent hit to the nuts a crushing feeling of guilt and despair.
Once you get up, you feel weak and timid. If it was a really solid and dead on hit, you'll still feel the pain long after you have come out of the initial shock and start trying to move around. The stomach ache is still there and you're having trouble walking without a limp. Your pride and your body have been hurt in the worst way possible. It sticks with you. Guys will talk about getting hit in the nuts "the other day" when referring to an incident years ago. It's that traumatic.
So there you go. I hope some of you have learned something new. To the women reading this, I still think that childbirth has got to be far more taxing. The thought of a person coming out of another person might have some sort of poetic/metaphoric beauty, but the science and actual physical process of it sounds horrifying.
But unless you're an NBA groupie or a Mormon, you're typically not going to have 20 incidents of childbirthing pain in your lifetime. Just please don't use this article as an inspiration to help balance the scales with men.