What in the World Is Scrotum Stretching?
Humans have been modifying their bodies for a very long time. We've certainly been doing it since the earliest days of recorded history, and likely for much longer.
Tattooing, for instance, existed at least as far back as 3250 B.C.E. in Europe and a century earlier in Egypt. Shifting to more intimate forms of body modification, evidence of circumcision goes back at least 8,000 years to ancient Egypt.
Today, piercings, scarification and other forms of body alterations are everywhere.
One of the lesser-known forms of body modification, though, is scrotum stretching—the practice of manually stretching the scrotum or affixing weighted rings or other devices to the scrotal sac in an effort to make it longer.
Why would anyone stretch their scrotum? And how? Are there any benefits to scrotum stretching? What about risks?
Is scrotum stretching possible?
Stretching the scrotum may not be on everyone's to-do list, but a fairly surprising number of guys are looking for more information on the practice. One such forum, subreddit r/BallStretching (NSFW), has nearly 30,000 members who share photos and discuss their progress and techniques.
"I became curious about it while frequenting a male enhancement site," said Redditor Fuelhead1968, a 55-year-old hydraulic technician from upstate New York. "This site is for vacuum pumping and saline injection as well as body modification. I started with the stretching a year and a half ago. I got more serious about it last fall."
Let's caveat this entire discussion by saying there isn't much credible scientific research on ball-stretching. Just as penis stretching is a thing, however, elongating the scrotum seems to be possible.
According to anecdotal evidence and a simple understanding of anatomy, it makes sense. Most of our skin is pretty malleable, to a certain degree, and as most men know, the scrotum is particularly stretchy, elongating and contracting depending on the temperature, among other factors.
If you intend to get that stretched look, take it slow. Numerous delicate and important structures are in the spermatic cord that connects the testicles to the lower abdomen.
Indeed, the single example of a peer-reviewed study on the subject is an animal study from 2003 performed on rats. That research suggested that temporary stretching of the testicle for even just 30 days resulted in thinning of the smooth muscle layer of the vas deferens and testicular atrophy. When it comes to testicular stretching, buyer (or trier) beware.
How do you stretch your scrotum?
Most blog and forum posts on scrotum stretching suggest guys should start by using their own hand or a partner's to encircle their scrotum above the testicles and gently tug downward. An old LA Weekly blog post on the topic recommends three "exercises" whose cumulative effect is to stretch the scrotum to the point that the testicles touch the belly above the penis.
The post suggests six minutes of reps once or twice per day.
For long-time dedicated practitioners, manual stretching is the starting point. Eventually, they bring in the heavy equipment—literally. The top search result for scrotum stretching is the company Chaingang, popular with Redditors and others in the community. They sell various weights, collars, straps and other devices that fit around the scrotum and force the testicles to remain a certain distance from the top of the scrotum.
"I started with split collars and now have three different doughnut weights, 30 millimeters, 40 mm and 50 mm," FuelHead1968 said. "I wear one all the time. I wear the 30 mm or 40 mm for work, and I switch to the 50 mm when I get home and wear it until morning."
Depending on the inside diameter size, these rings can weigh from 4 ounces to 3 pounds.
Why engage in scrotum stretching?
Other blogs and website forums discuss scrotum stretching and testicular massage as more than simply a way to make your scrotum longer. Some say scrotum stretching can increase your testosterone and/or increase the size of your actual testicles. Zero evidence exists to back up these claims.
"Regarding scrotal stretching, I can't find any research that reports on the impact of it or testicular massage on testosterone levels," said Amy Pearlman, M.D., a men's health specialist and co-founder of Prime Institute in Fort Lauderdale, Florida. "Which means we just don't know the impact and it hasn't been studied—but it may or may not be true."
What is true is that sexuality and how we feel about our bodies is subjective. For some people, having a scrotum that hangs down and gives them that "bull bag" look is compelling. FuelHead1968 says both he and his partner find the look aesthetically pleasing—and a turn-on.
"Sexually, it feels great having the weight swinging with your balls while you have sex or jerk off," he said. "I don’t like the look of them when they're a big round bulge and take away from the length of my cock. My balls look better hanging lower, and it defines the testicles more."
It's not a type of body modification that's as well-researched or tested as some others are. Its benefits for male sexual health are anecdotal, at best. Even so, scrotum stretching remains popular with a segment of the population—popular enough to keep several product makers in business, and numerous forums and websites have no shortage of curiosity-seekers.
To reiterate, we don't really know a lot about the effects of stretching your ball sack. Certainly not enough to be able to say it's completely safe. It's never a bad idea to talk with a medical professional who can help you make sense of anything you find online.