They’re having aggressive intercourse in a weird position, and often feeling stressed in case they get caught out cheating. The penis gets bent too far, and suddenly… snap.
The erection instantly withers as the penis starts bleeding under the skin. Then it starts to swell. Not surprisingly, it’s agony. And without surgery to repair the damage, the guy may well have trouble getting an erection in future.
There’s no bone to fracture in a penis, of course. What breaks is the layer of stretchy, fibrous tissue running around the outside of the penis, called the tunica albuginea. It can bend – but only so far, before it snaps or tears.
Penile fracture patients have usually been having forceful sex in an athletic position, says researcher Andrew Kramer from the University of Maryland School of Medicine.
But there’s another more surprising factor they often have in common: they’re cheating on their wives. And snatching a moment of tense passion in a tight spot – a toilet, car or lift.
Dr Kramer gives a couple of examples. Take the married 41-year-old man who hooked up with a colleague at an after-work cocktail party. Too drunk to drive home, they were having sex on the back seat in the car park, when the man felt a “pop” in his penis.
Or the couple having a furtive fling at the office behind their colleagues’ backs. They would get together for passionate sex in secret spots around the building. Then one day in the toilet after work, it was more than the guy’s penis could take.
Penile fracture is extremely rare, so there’s no need to limit your love-life to gentle sex in the bedroom. But according to Dr Kramer, there’s no doubting the extra risk factors: the stress of extramarital sex in unusual locations.
It seems a broken penis could be the come-uppance for having sex with a guilty conscience.