The first question any man asks me – without exception – when they hear that I run naked is (the word choice varies, but the point is always the same!):
So, as women have sports bras, what happens with your penis? Isn’t it painful?
Being that our genitals – specifically in this case the penis and testicles – are filled with a concentration of nerve endings and are naturally one of the most sensitive parts of male bodies, men imagine – with horror – that running naked is going to be incredibly painful.
Quite simply put: it isn’t; you don’t feel a thing.
Here’s why, in my own non-scientific words:
First, our bodies have evolved anatomically in line with our circumstances. Yes, we have been wearing clothes, including supportive undergarments, for hundreds of years, but in evolutionary terms we haven’t been wearing clothes for very long at all. And, as other websites, blogs or published books will explain, running is one of the physical activities the human race has been doing since we were able to stand (to hunt, to escape, to migrate, etc.). Essentially, the penis and the testicles have evolved to swing, sway, bounce, wobble – whatever – in symbiotic motion with the rest of the body. It feels perfectly natural. It doesn’t hurt. In fact it is hardly noticeable.
As personal evidence, below is a photo montage created from still images from my naked run at San Francisco’s Marshall’s Beach. The video records 30 frames per second. It transpires that my penis makes a full 360° swing rotation every 24 frames or ever 0.8th of a second – or is it a figure 8? I can’t decide. (The shadow from my arm hides half of the swing, but you’ll get the idea!). In strictly mechanical terms, that’s 75rpm (revolutions per minute). That’s one fast spinning sausage!
It is possible, of course, that the lack of pain – or any sensation of any kind – is partially psychosomatic, that our consciousness involuntarily switches off some of the nervous system communication and ignores any minor unpleasant sensations that might occur. Nevertheless, it is surprisingly easy. All of this nonsense of jock-straps, underpants, running shorts. All unnecessary socialisation and consumerism. They are simply not physically required.
Here are some videos of other runners to demonstrate the swing. These guys aren’t really working up their heartbeats or they would shrink, too – these are clearly semi-erotic photographic exercises. Nevertheless, they do illustrate the swing.
Second, as any true sportsman will admit – if he is being completely honest – as the heart rate rises during physical exercise, the blood flow is concentrated to the areas of the body that require oxygen (the leg muscles, etc.). As most guys who exert themselves through exercise will tell you, as a flexible, blood-filled organ, the penis loses a lot of its mass (size) in these circumstances. In plain English: it shrinks. In line with point one, above, this may be part of the physiology of the body, a smaller penis swings less and doesn’t slap against the legs, causing less pain, perhaps.
And the testicles? Well, they retreat inwards, as they usually do when they feel threatened (by temperature or circumstances) to protect and ensure the production of sperm.
The conclusion to all of this supposition? It doesn’t hurt, guys. You can’t use this as an excuse not to run naked. Strip those shorts off and give it a try. You’ll be glad you released the sausage from its restrictive packaging!
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