Boo Boos in the Bedroom Are More Common Than You Think

Love is a battlefield -- complete with head wounds, broken bones, and the occasional penile fracture.

While most sex-related injuries don't require a trip to the doctor, getting hurt in the heat of passion is a pretty common -- but seldom discussed -- problem, sex experts say.

Julieanne Smolinski, 26, a New Yorker and blogger for, had her own brush with carnal catastrophe when she was in college.

VIDEO: Consumer Reports tests condoms

"I did a kind of accidental back handspring off my boyfriend and cracked myself on the head," she says.

"My boyfriend got the worst of it and 'fractured' his penis. We didn't seek medical attention, [but] later I read that penile fractures can be really serious," she says, wondering in retrospect if they should have taken him to the hospital.

Though they can be embarrassing to report to your doctor, sexual injuries are fairly run-of-the-mill in the emergency department, according to a U.K. poll of one thousand adults.

The study, commissioned by a phone-recycling firm,, found that a third of Brits reported having a sex-related injury -- five percent admitting that they had to stay home from work while on the mend from one of those bedroom blunders

Most often, these mishaps were sustained while having sex in non-traditional settings, such as on stairs, over kitchen tables, or in closets, or when trying new sexual positions. asked sex experts and emergency room doctors to weigh in on the kinds of sexual injuries they encounter most often and how to safeguard against them.

Everyday Erotic Accidents

Not all sexual injuries involve the kind of sexual acrobatics that Smolinski tried. Most often, a simple muscle pull or stumble is enough to leaving you throbbing in a less-than-pleasurable way.

In the U.K. study, the most common sex injury was a pulled muscle, with back injuries, carpet burns, and cricked necks pulling in close behind. And perhaps surprisingly, the most dangerous spots for sex were also the most ordinary: the sofa, a chair, or the shower.

In the U.S., "we don't have a good handle on how common [these injuries] are, mainly because people do not admit that that is how they got injured," says Debby Herbenick, research scientist at Indiana University and author of "Because It Feels Good."

"Patients will say they slipped in the shower if it's something [particularly embarassing]," she says.

The most common issue she hears about is small tears or cuts in the vagina, which can occur when sex is more vigorous and there isn't enough lubrication.

Women will often not feel any pain until after sex, because the arousal raises pain tolerance, Herbenick says, but if the cuts are sizable and bleeding doesn't stop on its own, a woman should seek medical attention to prevent infection.

Irritation or tearing from vigorous sex can be minimized by using a lubricant, she says, "but aside from that, there isn't much you can do. If you want to have rough sex, it's going to be … rough."

When Sexual Play Goes Awry

Those working in the emergency room see the more serious cases of sexual injury, says Dr. Billy Goldberg, assistant professor of emergency medicine at the NYU School of Medicine, and "they're not an uncommon complaint." he says.

"People do some strange stuff."

Goldberg says he's seen "a lot of rectal foreign bodies," citing one case in which a man had to be brought to the hospital by his mother after a screwdriver became lodged in his rectum during a sexual act.

  • 1
  • |
  • 2
Join the Discussion
blog comments powered by Disqus
You Might Also Like...