Winnipeg Free Press - PRINT EDITION

Sometimes it lasts in love, sometimes hurts instead

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What does a mixed-martial-arts (MMA) fighter worry about before a fight? I've interviewed boxers, never an MMA fighter, but I suspect losing the match is the first concern. Or possibly breaking an arm, leg or sustaining other serious injuries.

But I'd bet one MMA fighter, even in his wildest dreams, never envisioned he'd encounter this sexual nightmare.

Ray Elbe, who was on The Ultimate Fighter season 9, was on a training tour in southeast Asia.

Like any other testosterone-driven male, he, too, realized there's more than just training all the time. So why not arrange for a little "amour?" His sport is dangerous, and vigour in the ring provides the win, but the bed has different hazards. In this case, the ultimate fighter suffered the ultimate injury -- a fractured penis.

In an online video message, Elbe revealed his injury and cautioned other males: "Keeping it safe during sex isn't just wearing a condom."

So how often does this physical and psychological sexual nightmare occur? Possibly more often than we think, as who wants to admit it happened?

Many years ago, I was in a hospital library looking through medical journals. To my surprise, I found a study reporting 67 documented cases of the fractured male organ.

One case involved a man who was admitted to the emergency department at 1 a.m. in obvious distress.

He was agitated, his skin cold and clammy, suggesting blood loss. Doctors were shocked to discover a markedly swollen penis. Emergency surgery was required to remove a large blood clot.

How did it happen? The man was reluctant to explain, but finally admitted he had been masturbating vigorously and suddenly heard a loud snap followed by intense pain and swelling. The diagnosis? A fractured penis.

When I read about how other such cases occurred, it was hard not to chuckle.

One amorous Romeo was making love to his partner standing up. It appeared he must have been a fantastic lover, as she suddenly fainted.

She didn't suffer any harm, but the her sudden fall caused quite a snap.

Some males suffered this embarrassing malady after bumping into a chair or bedpost during the night. Others were kicked during a fight.

Another Romeo was injured while having sex in a moving car, and when the car came to a sudden stop, his penis smashed against the dash.

It takes some imagination and a course in gymnastics to speculate how another such accident happened. The victim claimed his penis was fractured when he closed the car door.

Then there's the case of the shepherd who was sitting in a tree watching his sheep.

He fell asleep, had an amorous dream, developed an erection, fell out of the tree, landed on a wooden bar and there was another snap for the medical records.

But what happened to the UFC fighter is unknown. Perhaps his Waterloo was similar to the "honeymoon syndrome."

A 26-year-old man's honeymoon suddenly ended when his penis slipped during sex, striking his wife's pubic bone. There was a clicking sound and the penis was bent. Can you imagine the scene and the angst?

Treatment depends on the extent of the injury. Most such injuries require pressure dressings, ice packs, support for the penis and tranquillizers to calm the psyche. Surgery is needed when there's a massive blood clot.

Years ago, following my initial column on this subject, a farmer contacted me.

He said I wouldn't be chuckling if I were a farmer and this happened to my favourite bull.

I also vividly recall that seven editors in the U.S. Bible Belt fired me for writing the column.

Now I have more than the Bible Belt to concern me. Today, being a free-lance journalist is a hazardous job. Newspapers have to cut expenses, and I never know when this column might end. So I'd recommend adding your name to my free website You'll continue to receive the column if this happens.

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Republished from the Winnipeg Free Press print edition January 11, 2013 A19

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