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So I was innocently browsing the personal ads on Craigslist and saw one from a dude who was looking to try “saline balls” for the first time. Having no idea what this was, I Googled it. Even worse, I Google-imaged it. I pride myself on being unshockable, but I was completely and utterly mortified at what I saw. With that said, my copious Internet searching failed to yield the answers to the basic/most important questions regarding saline balls: (1) What is the procedure/process for salining one’s balls? (2) What about it turns on the saliner/salinee? (3) How long does the effect last? (4) Can it be (god forbid) irreversible? —Completely Utterly Mortified
“The technical name for what CUM is asking about is ‘scrotal inflation,’” says Dart, a leatherman, BDSM/kink educator, and host of Dart’s Domain, a podcast. “It’s a type of body-modification play where the scrotum is infused with approximately 500 milliliters to one liter of saline solution via an IV/cannula drip, which results in the balls appearing to have enlarged to the size of a pair of grapefruits.”
Saline, of course, is simply salt water, and sterile saline solutions are administered intravenously to dehydrated patients so that they don’t, you know, die. But some people—like the guys your Craigslist friend was seeking out—engage in recreational saline play. But they’re not putting saline in their balls, CUM, they’re putting saline in their ball sacks.
“The skin of the sack has a great deal of elasticity and can safely stretch to this large size without incurring damage,” says Dart. Balls, of course, are not noted for their elasticity, and they can burst.
“While this is a more extreme form of kink play, if done under sterile conditions with hospital-grade materials, it can be accomplished with a minimal risk,” says Dart. “No one should experiment with scrotal inflation without some experienced guidance, and no one should do it alone. Some of the risks that can happen include local infection and cellulitis, which can occur from a lack of sterility. There can also be dangerous problems if any air was present in the tubing of the IV during the infusion. But again, if proper precautions are taken, these risks can be avoided.”
The inflation process takes about an hour, the effect lasts for a day or two, and the sack gradually returns to normal size as the saline is absorbed into the body. So the process is always reversible—so long as you’re inflating your sack with saline and not, say, silicone, Spackle, or packing peanuts. Your sack may be a little looser afterward, but you’re not going to be stuck with a giant sack forever.
As for why this is a turn-on, well, turn-ons are highly subjective.
“The turn-on answer varies from person to person,” says Dart. “For some, there is a certain rush from temporarily modifying a part of their body to a ‘monstrous’ size. Others have ‘medical play’ fantasies. In a power exchange setting between a dominant and a submissive, the dom may get off on ‘altering’ a part of the sub’s body against the sub’s will, while the sub may get turned on by the humiliation aspect. It’s a wide spectrum. As I say, it’s not for everyone. But many, including myself, have engaged in it safely and had a pretty fun time doing it.”
Anyone who wants to see a pair of grapefruit-sized “saline balls” in action should go here: tinyurl.com/salineballs. Anyone who wants to find Dart’s blog, podcast, and videos should go here: dartsdomain.com. —Dan
You once pointed out that you only heard from readers when their attempts to be GGG backfired. If something went wrong, you got a letter. But when an effort to be GGG didn’t cause a problem, no one wrote you. And this was leading other readers to conclude that being GGG is always a risky mistake. So I thought I’d write to tell you that nothing went wrong after I was GGG for my girlfriend (we had sex in a series of semipublic places) and she was GGG for me (she arranged a small CFNM party at which I was the NM). We are being GGG and all is well with us, Dan, and we wanted to thank you for giving us the tools that we needed to talk about this stuff! —Clamoring About My Experiences
Thanks for sharing, CAME. —Dan
I have a problem with a guy I like and his porn habits. I know you’ve answered a lot of questions about porn, but I don’t think you’ve answered one like mine. The problem is I used to be his porn. I work part-time as a cam girl. He was one of my regular customers. I came to like him as a human being, and he seemed to feel the same about me. This last summer, we actually got a chance to meet in person. It was fucking amazing! Since then, we’ve continued playing online, although for free now, because it feels unethical to charge someone who I really like. We’ve also tossed around the idea of another visit. So here’s the problem: He’s still paying other cam girls, and it makes me upset. I don’t mind that he looks at porn, Dan. I don’t even mind that he pays for live interactive porn. There are plenty of times when he’s horny but I’m asleep (we live in different time zones) or I’m at my other job, and I don’t care what he does then. The thing is, I feel I should be the one he plays with when we’re both awake and online at the same time. But just as often, when we are both awake and online, he’s busy with other cam girls. It makes me feel ignored and neglected.
Am I overreacting? Should I ask to be prioritized over porn? And how can I bring up this subject? I don’t want to tell him that he can’t jerk off or insist that I have to be at the center of everything he thinks about sexually, but feeling constantly sidelined isn’t okay either. And frankly, it makes me feel like a chump for not charging him anymore. —Clever Acronym Missing
Monitoring this guy’s porn habits seems like a waste of time and emotional energy, CAM, considering that he’s not your boyfriend, you’ve only met in person on one occasion, you don’t live in the same time zone, and a second meeting is just an idea that’s being “tossed around.” You’re not in a relationship with him and, really, would you wanna be? I’m pro-porn and I’m pro-porn-cam girls, but a guy who invests the amount of time, money, and emotional energy in porn that Mr. Not Your Boyfriend does, well, he hardly seems like decent relationship material.
But you’ve got nothing to lose—literally nothing—so go ahead and ask him to prioritize you over porn, and to prioritize the free porn you’re offering him over the porn he’s still paying for, and see what he says. If you don’t like what you hear, CAM, if he makes it clear that he doesn’t feel about you the same way that you feel about him, then you should definitely start charging him again. —Dan
CONFIDENTIAL TO READERS IN THE UNITED STATES: Please vote on Nov. 6—or before Nov. 6—for Barack Obama. And if you’re in Maine, Maryland, Minnesota, or Washington State, please vote for marriage equality! —Dan Savage
Send your Savage Love questions to firstname.lastname@example.org.