The Quickie: Does Testicle Tanning Increase Testosterone?
Carlos O'Leary debunks junk science and deciphers the latest in social media trends and sexual health news.
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A Conversation with Carlos O’Leary
Can COVID impact a man’s fertility? Does pressing down on a woman’s stomach stimulate her G-spot during sex? Is it wrong to show your bulge while working out? In this week’s episode of The Quickie our host, Carlos O’Leary, takes on these questions—and more—that have the social media world abuzz.
We also explore, in this episode, if tanning your testicles with infrared light can boost testosterone—a controversial trend Tucker Carlson is backing. Although some studies have proven this method works on animals, doctors say Carlson dropped the ball on this potentially dangerous trend and are urging men to keep the infrared lights away from the boys down south.
For “Tucker Carlson’s” recent episode titled “The End of Men,” the TV personality voiced his enthusiastic support for “testicle tanning” after interviewing a self-proclaimed “bromeopathy” expert. That’s right: bromeopathy—as in bro plus homeopathy. So, bros, does science back this up?
I’m Carlos O’Leary, and this is The Quickie.
According to the aforementioned fitness guru, Andrew McGovern, men can “optimize” and take their testosterone “to another level” with infrared light therapy, which involves dousing your balls in red LED—or, as Carlson insists on calling it, “testicle tanning.”
So does testicle tanning, this brave new form of bromeopathic medicine, actually work? Well, probably not. One Cornell urologist went so far as to say no properly conducted studies demonstrate this.
And here’s the thing: Testosterone levels are indeed dropping—but it’s largely due to lifestyle changes, such as rising obesity rates, and it's not a symptom of Americans’ decline in manliness. In terms of being a completely science-backed practice, zapping your junk with infrared light just doesn’t pass muster at the time being. Plus, tanning your genitals could give the delicate scrotal skin a nasty burn.
Moving on, there’s plenty of bad advice floating around TikTok—the same platform that told people to put ice in their genitals and to use industrial-strength super glue as a hair gel substitute.
But there are also plenty of gems: like this pearl of wisdom from TikToker Nurse Ria, who often shares sex advice. In a viral video, Ria explains that pressing down on a woman’s stomach during sex could help stimulate her G-spot.
For the uninitiated, the elusive, near-mythical G-spot refers to an area on the interior portion of the clitoris on the upper outer third of the anterior surface of the vaginal wall. Got all that?
Because the G-spot is wrapped around the urethra below the bottom part of the bladder, pressing down on the lower belly could—in theory—stimulate it from the outside and improve orgasms. But before you go sneak attack pressing down on someone’s tummy during sex, you’ll first want to make sure your partner is on board.
Now, a U-turn for our final story, where we take you away from science and to the floor of your gym, to re-introduce you to a common sight: the visible penis line or VPL. A fierce debate recently raged on Reddit and Twitter when a man revealed that he wears only compression shorts to the gym, and that two women recently walked up to tell him that his outfit was inappropriate for "exposing" his genitals.
The online response was staggeringly, and surprisingly, against compression-shorts guy, who was portrayed as the "asshole" in this situation for making others "uncomfortable" even if he didn't mean to. Worse, others presumed he was intentionally "showing off."
But is the online outrage fair? After all, compression shorts and tights are associated with a ton of health benefits, including less strain on muscles, better circulation and minimized fatigue. A visible outline of a flaccid penis, big or small, is simply what happens when men exist in the world.
That said, if you are concerned about what others might think of your VPL, thin shorts over compression shorts or tights might be a reasonable move.
And after leaving you with that piece of hard-hitting journalism—more like soft—that’s our show! For more thoughts on gym bulges and tips on enhancing your orgasms, visit Giddy, the world’s largest resource for sexual health reporting, at getmegiddy.com.
I’m Carlos O’Leary, and this has been The Quickie.