VICE News celebrated Valentine’s Day in the most VICE way possible: by investigating sexual mishap data to determine the world’s most common sex injuries. Anyone else just reflexively cross their legs?
In partnership with MedPage Today, VICE examined nearly 450 reports of sex-related injuries found over six years in the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System (NEISS), which is compiled by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission. The results? It turns out sex injuries are a lot more common than you might think.
Take the 62-year-old man who experienced a “penile crushing injury” following use of a DIY’d device. Or the 19-year-old woman who sustained a dental injury after her sex swing fell out of the ceiling. Or any of the many, many unfortunate souls who lost foreign objects in their orifices.
According to the data, a foreign body that gets lost or stuck is the most common sex injury by far. That includes both toys that were designed for sexual activity and those that were decidedly not. Other common sex injuries are lacerations, strains and sprains, contusions, abrasions, dermatitis and conjunctivitis. Mostly relatively harmless stuff, although burns, dislocations, internal organ injuries and even poisoning also make the list.
Emergency physician Dr. Robert Glatter, of Lenox Hill Hospital in New York City, notes that many patients wait too long before seeking treatment for a sex-related injury. “We see a ton of these. Patients delay and sometimes don’t come in for a few days,” Glatter said. “The longer you wait, sometimes you can even get septic.”
If there’s a takeaway here, it’s this: stick to body-safe toys, use them correctly and, if the worst happens, don’t let embarrassment get in the way of treatment. Those ER docs have seen far worse.