I vividly remember grim warnings from my secondary school gym teachers, who lectured us on what exactly would happen when we didn’t wear them.
Best case scenario, we’d never have the capacity to have children. We’d twist a bad way, and that’s it, our reproductive organs can be mangled beyond repair.
And therefore was if we were lucky. Worse case, we’d suffer testicular trauma. There’d be ruptures, fractures, contusions, torsions; there was clearly no end to the horrible things that could afflict our nuts during the friendly game of pickleball.
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Having Said That I haven’t put on a jockstrap since sentences like “I’m concerned with tomorrow’s algebra test” and “I sincerely feel that dry-humping my girlfriend during the slow dance at prom may sound like a meaningful relationship milestone” were issues i considered regularly.
Which is, until a pr rep for Diamond MMA compression jock and cup system-designed for just $90-sent me a complimentary set a couple weeks ago.
Should your first thought was, “Hey, isn’t the same cup Dairy Queen purposes of their Banana Splits?”, then we are totally on the same page.
At the beginning, I left it on my desk, like a sort of perverse tip jar. I even briefly used it being a makeshift container for pens and Post-It notes.
I Then chosen to strap it on for the Men’s Health Monday morning editorial meeting.
There’s something weirdly exhilarating about gonna work wearing the type of testicular protection usually reserved for MMA athletes.
Because once your balls are that ensconced, you already know, with out a shadow of a doubt, that the day won’t end along with you being rushed on the emergency room with internal scrotal bleeding.
Of course, you can claim that about most days-especially if your career, like mine, involves extended periods of typing over a computer, or having conversations with calm, entirely nonviolent those who are unlikely to judo chop you in the nuts unexpectedly.
But there I found myself, all but daring my fellow editors-with nothing more than a smug smile-to thrust their elbows into my gonads, or grind the business end of their shoes into my giggleberries.
Unsurprisingly, there have been no takers.
Afterward, I bought to talking with some my male coworkers about balls-hey, these topics just show up-and what, if something, we’re doing to protect them. I found out that not just a single one wears jockstraps anymore.
Not only across the office. Even in the club. Or wherever they exercise. They’re essentially free-balling it.
Jay Ferrari, a regular MH contributor having a black belt in Brazilian jiu jitsu, says the very last time he wore a jockstrap “was for pee wee football. But a jockstrap during college football or jiu jitsu? Never.”
So why not? Why were mens jock straps necessary in our youth, but not so much in 2015?
When our high school gym coaches warned us of your testicular Armageddon which could originate from letting our boys dangle unprotected, were they loaded with shit?
“Probably,” says Brian Steixner, M.D., Director of the 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 terms of testicular trauma, at least among non-pro athletes, he insists it rarely happens.
From the approximately 2,500 patients he treats annually, approximately 2 of those are suffering from scrotal injury.
How can it happen? “Maybe a horse kicked them in the balls,” he says. “Or there is a car accident the location where the steering wheel went inside their nuts. Sometimes it involves farm equipment or heavy machinery. Your career involves pulling a strap as well as something breaks and snaps.”
To put it differently, nothing that’s prone to happen to you. (Except for the auto accident. But even then, having a controls rammed into your balls looks like an extended shot.)
“Modern boxer briefs just about solves the trouble,” he says. “You don’t have to wear this weird contraption containing these straps that wrap around your butt. You can wear tight-fitting underwear, because it does everything a jockstrap did, which can be keep things high and tight. That’s everything required.”
While underwear has evolved, not a whole lot has changed in jockstrap and cup technology, which first came into vogue during the late 1800s.
“A jockstrap is actually a jockstrap, today mainly because it was in those days,” says Kevin Flaherty, whose great-great-great-grandfather founded one of the primary jockstrap manufacturers in the country, the J.B. Flaherty Company, Inc., in 1898.
Previously 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 much more comfortable woven products.
The waistbands currently have a plush back, and then there isn’t a 3-inch-wide part of rough elastic. But aside from that, and a few fashion colors, there hasn’t been plenty of dexjpky93 in the design.
Except, needless to say, for items like the Diamond MMA. Their compression-jock-and-cup technique is manufactured from polycarbonate, a durable thermoplastic material that’s found in bulletproof glass.
Which might be useful should your job requires people looking to kill you, or at a minimum severely damage your yam bag. But also for us non-MMA athletes, do we actually need so much ball-protecting technology?
Sure, fluke accidents happen. But that doesn’t mean you need to walk around wearing a helmet and elbow pads. That would be insane.
“The only other time I’ve seen serious scrotal injury was coming from a parent,” Dr. Steixner says.
“Excuse me?” I ask.
“Like a dad getting kicked hard from the nuts by certainly one of his kids. That takes place all the time.”
“It does?” I ask this though I absolutely know he’s right.
I’m a parent of any 4-year-old boy, and I’ve been about the receiving end of your barbarous foot or elbow. I’m well aware of what it’s prefer to be given a crushing ball blast from your kid not old enough yet to appreciate that scrotums have a similar general potential to deal with blunt force trauma as hard-boiled eggs.
Later that night, as i go back 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 whole body involved with it now!”
“Everything about this makes me uncomfortable,” she announces, such as this proclamation will somehow make my son stop hurtling into my nutsack with extreme prejudice.
My son and I just laugh, and that he consistently deliver blow after merciless blow onto what must be my soft extremities.
“It’s okay,” I make an effort to illustrate to her, after pretending for that umpteenth time that my son had caused me irreparable scrotal damage. “This is just what boys do.”
Then he tries on his own cup-the Diamond MMA individuals were kind enough to deliver me two-and i also give his groin a pounding (although admittedly I pull my punches.)
My wife eventually walks away. She can’t take it anymore. But my son and i also keep laughing, whilst keeping punching the other in the nuts, amazed at the loud CLUNK our knuckles make every time they connect with what ought to be testicles.
“This is the best night of my life,” my son laughs, falling into the floor, clutching his ribs with laughter.
Testicular violence is definitely not to laugh at. But testicular violence through which nobody gets hurt as a result of modern technology designed especially for professional athletes? Well, that’s just a reminder that we’re living in a remarkable age, unlike anything our high school gym teachers could possibly have imagined.