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Ball movement...
May 2, 2005 3:51 PM   Subscribe

A question about nads...

So I can move my balls voluntarily. By contracting a muscle in my stomach, I can shift my testicles up a total distance of about one and a half inches, leaving what appears to be an empty scrotum, and when I release this muscle they quickly slide back into place.

I've been doing it since they were low enough to go anywhere, and never thought twice about it, but my girlfriend was so thoroughly impressed by my little talent the other day that she began bragging about it to her friends. This quickly led to an informal poll, and as it turns out, out of over 100 men questioned at this point, I'm the only one who can do this.

Googling around has yielded some fairly inconclusive information; apparently this contraction takes place involuntarily during orgasm and moments of extreme duress, but the rare site that mentions voluntarily movement always calls it "theoretically possible."

What I'm trying to figure out is, how widespread is this ability? Can anyone else here move their balls up and down (hands free)?

Have I finally found my true calling?
posted by saladin to Health & Fitness (46 answers total) 1 user marked this as a favorite
 
Can't Sumo wrestlers do this too?
posted by interrobang at 4:01 PM on May 2, 2005


I read a story a while back about some monks who could pull their testicles all the way into their body.
posted by thebabelfish at 4:04 PM on May 2, 2005


Man, that's phenomenal. I could have used that talent a few times in gym class...

I've never heard of anyone able to do this with the exception of the martial artist thing. I'm not sure exactly how you'd learn to control those muscles though...

I'll ask some of my friends, see what they say.
posted by jackofsaxons at 4:25 PM on May 2, 2005


Welcome to the Male Kegel Excercise. Enjoy.

I can do it too. Impresses the wife.
posted by boo_radley at 4:29 PM on May 2, 2005


It's mentioned in a James Bond book -- whichever one has James going to Japan.
posted by willnot at 4:29 PM on May 2, 2005


The real question should be, "are there any scientists out there that are willing to give me money to study this amazing power?"
posted by pwb503 at 4:31 PM on May 2, 2005


There's been a 5-part art piece devoted to the very muscle that allows you to do this. Quite possibly NSFW.
posted by LionIndex at 4:32 PM on May 2, 2005


I admit, I tried it just now. Can't do it.
posted by Sonic_Molson at 4:34 PM on May 2, 2005


Welcome to the Male Kegel Excercise. Enjoy.

Wait, are you using your PC muscles to do this? I was going to comment and ask if any of the guys responding had ever done Kegels, but you mention a stomach muscle...
posted by Specklet at 4:39 PM on May 2, 2005


I used to be able to do the same with the left one. But it always made me feel weird, so I haven't really been utilizing this skill recently.
posted by philscience at 4:43 PM on May 2, 2005


Specklet, it feels like a combination of Kegel and something else; when I do it, I'm also flexing my abs, and the effect is increased if I breathe in while I'm doing it.

Boo_radley, let's go on tour!
posted by saladin at 4:48 PM on May 2, 2005


Specklet — it's the cremaster, not the PC. See LionIndex's link (sort of).

For what it's worth, I can hoist mine a short distance voluntarily, but I can't retract 'em all the way. It doesn't feel like a truly voluntary movement — it's more like I'm provoking a reflex, the same way I can make myself gag by pulling my tongue back or make myself kick by whacking my own knee.
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:50 PM on May 2, 2005


I read a story a while back about some monks who could pull their testicles all the way into their body.

And this related to unlocking the mysteries of being how?
posted by sourwookie at 4:51 PM on May 2, 2005


(On further consideration, I think the PC is involved. Current theory: I'm doing something voluntary with my kegel muscles, and that's provoking an involuntary reaction that tightens my cremaster and moves my balls up.

I'd do more research, but the cat's starting to look at me funny and I don't want him getting any ideas...)
posted by nebulawindphone at 4:52 PM on May 2, 2005


huh, i've always been able to do this and didn't really think anything of it.
posted by puke & cry at 5:06 PM on May 2, 2005


Straight Dope
posted by stuartmm at 5:07 PM on May 2, 2005


[tangent]
Lionindex: I'd been furiously trying to remember the name of that "film/cycle/art piece" for days now (after mentioning the idea of it to my gf). Now you point it out, and there is no way to see the cycle (outside of art festivals, and even then probably not the whole cycle), because there is no DVDs (other than the limited collector's edition (10 printings) which sold for $100,000.) These same collectors refuse to allow a DVD to be released...flipping wankers.

*head asplodes*
[/tangent]

I can lift the "low-ball," but not the other.
posted by schyler523 at 5:10 PM on May 2, 2005


schyler523, cremaster videos make the rounds on eBay and yahoogroups.
posted by fionab at 5:12 PM on May 2, 2005


"Step right up folks to see the show of the century! Nads disappear! Nads reappear! No pushing, we have room for everyone in the tent. Fifty cents please."
posted by caddis at 5:27 PM on May 2, 2005


Lionindex: I'd been furiously trying to remember the name of that "film/cycle/art piece" for days now (after mentioning the idea of it to my gf). Now you point it out, and there is no way to see the cycle (outside of art festivals, and even then probably not the whole cycle), because there is no DVDs (other than the limited collector's edition (10 printings) which sold for $100,000.) These same collectors refuse to allow a DVD to be released...flipping wankers

I've seen a couple copies of Cremaster 3 at Amoeba in Hollywood, but that's about it. I don't know if it was the actual movie or some kind of "the making of Cremaster 3" thing, but it was there. I actually saw the final exhibition at the Guggenheim a couple years ago after the completion of 3 and I also had a hard time understanding how in the world they could deign not to sell dvd copies of the movies, even at the exhibition, where they had the actual dvds and laserdiscs on display. Instead I have a massive book. It seems to me that when it goes on tour, they play the whole thing--a local art cinema played the whole thing over the course of a week a few months ago.
posted by LionIndex at 5:27 PM on May 2, 2005


This quickly led to an informal poll, and as it turns out, out of over 100 men questioned at this point, I'm the only one who can do this.

We all have our weird abilities. I can manually flex muscles in my inner ear, causing my hammer/anvil/stirrup to click and manually opening my eustachian tube (great for airplane takeoff) without any jaw movement or flexing at all. Just sit there perfectly motionless and tap out audible morse code for half an hour (at which point the muscles tire) if someone holds a mic up to my ear. Learned to do it when I was three and I've never talked to anybody else who could selectively do it without yawning or moving their jaw in weird ways. Another friend can twist his tongue completely upside down - running the top side over his lower teeth. There's also a guy I read about who has such fine control over his scalp muscles he can part his hair using them.

Even if your unique 'talent' isn't as publicly demonstrable, it makes for great small talk at really dull parties. Enjoy it.
posted by Ryvar at 5:49 PM on May 2, 2005


I saw the entire Cremaster cycle of films over 3 days in Seattle last year. It was by turns excruciating and fascinating.
posted by matildaben at 6:18 PM on May 2, 2005


I can do what Ryvar mentions with the ears, I can also move my ears up and down, and do what the original question mentions as well. I have never thought of polling people for this, though, and I'm quite surprised by the discussion so far.

I can also vibrate my eyeballs horizontally very rapidly.
posted by odinsdream at 6:31 PM on May 2, 2005


Vibrating eyeballs: check
Clicking inner ear: check
Hoisting nads: 1/2" so far, and practising :)

One I can't do, and it drives me nuts, is the Eyebrow Trick (making one eyebrow go up and down and inch or so without apparent movement of anything else). One of my colleagues could do this proficiently with either eyebrow at will, and I've been green with envy ever since.
posted by flabdablet at 7:05 PM on May 2, 2005


Clicking inner ear
What the hell is that?
posted by boo_radley at 7:09 PM on May 2, 2005


I'm in the club. I thought everyone could do that.
posted by The White Hat at 7:10 PM on May 2, 2005


The cremaster reflex is, by far, the best part of the required "learn to do a male pelvic exam" patient sessions in medical school. Second only to the scrotum-flashlight trick. The digital rectal, of course, comes in dead last.

(Try the reflex on your male partners! Or willing friends, if you're a lesbian.)
posted by gramcracker at 7:19 PM on May 2, 2005


What the hell is that?

According to my doctor it's the inner ear bones grating/snapping together. The sound is completely different from normal take-off 'popping.' I was told not to overdo it because it will damage your hearing long-term if you wear down the bones too much.

One I can't do, and it drives me nuts, is the Eyebrow Trick (making one eyebrow go up and down and inch or so without apparent movement of anything else). One of my colleagues could do this proficiently with either eyebrow at will, and I've been green with envy ever since.

Right eyebrow only, and despite considerable practice I still set off my "pull-entire-scalp-backwards-an-inch" muscle about a quarter of the time. Can't do the left at all. Can also do the ears up and down and back and forth, odinsdream, but that's ultra-common.
posted by Ryvar at 7:31 PM on May 2, 2005


I thought everyone could do it.
posted by kenko at 10:04 AM on May 3, 2005


Now I feel special. I'd trade it for the ability to do the eyebrow thing, though.
posted by sanko at 10:22 AM on May 3, 2005


I don't know if it was the actual movie or some kind of "the making of Cremaster 3" thing

It's a small subsection of the third film, entitled The Order. Runs about 35 minutes, though the DVD has multiple angles so they list it as 120+ minutes on the package. Which is cheating, really.

As mentioned above the other films do show up on various P2P networks, though I have yet to stumble across a full version of Cremaster 3, just rips of this DVD.
posted by PinkStainlessTail at 10:31 AM on May 3, 2005


I know somebody who can "pop it" - He pushes down hard on the base of his erection, and it makes a loud hollow popping noise. Back in high school he would do this in class to disgust and amuse those of us who knew that sound.

I never got up the courage to try it... have any of you heard (of) this?
posted by hartsell at 10:36 AM on May 3, 2005


"Popping it" sounds revolting, and unsafe too.

I can't retract my boys, but I can move my scalp an inch or more without moving my eyebrows. The ear-popping thing is easy for me too.
posted by Four Flavors at 10:45 AM on May 3, 2005


My husband may forbid my return to MetaFilter after this, but I'm gonna have to ask him this evening.

I can do the eyebrow thing, but only the left one.
posted by deborah at 10:47 AM on May 3, 2005


Eyebrow-Meister here. Innate thing - never questioned the ability and can't remember ever not being able to do it.

Ball-juggling. Hm. I'll keep my trick, thanks.
posted by Ridge at 10:48 AM on May 3, 2005


It is the cremaster muscle, and it's fully capable of doing what you are describing. What's unusual is that you are (I am assuming) an adult - the cremaster muscle plays a much more prominent role in adolescents. Your typical 10-14 year old will have a very strong reflexive pull of the testicle up when you stroke the inside of the thigh on the same side of the body. They can easily do it on purpose as well, though few realise it. The instinct goes away with development, and voluntary control is uncommon simply because most people never learn it before the muscle weakens.

Y'all can stop looking at me funny - I learned this in med school :) Well, for my medical engineering schooling- close enough.
posted by blindcarboncopy at 10:49 AM on May 3, 2005


Retracting the "boys" is easy. Just think of, say, Loreena Bobbitt and they scoot right up in there.
posted by kindall at 10:56 AM on May 3, 2005


I'm jealous, what with all this talk about what you can do with your testicles. I can't do the eyebrow thing or wiggle my ears or move my scalp either! Not fair!

I can, however, make a little three-leaf clover shape with the tip of my tongue... And tie a cherry stem in a knot before you can say "retractable nads".
posted by Specklet at 11:24 AM on May 3, 2005


I cannot do this.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 11:29 AM on May 3, 2005


I've always thought that "popping a boner" was bad, bad news.
posted by boo_radley at 1:16 PM on May 3, 2005


Ryvar,
I believe this talent of yours involves the smallest muscle in the human body.
posted by weapons-grade pandemonium at 3:30 PM on May 3, 2005


Turn your head and cough.
posted by fourstar at 4:26 PM on May 3, 2005


There are guys who can't do this?
posted by sid at 8:23 PM on May 3, 2005


Left eyebrow: check; Cloverleaf tongue: check; Kegel: check. Non-ball-bearing.

Fun thread! There doesn't seem to be much info on this, aside from the caveat of "usually involuntary", but it looks like Swedenborg (philosopher, theologian, chemist, anatomist, and mystic) was a nadlifter, too. (Seek the yellow text, my son.)
posted by taz at 11:54 PM on May 3, 2005


I think I can, but will have to check latter, the maid is about.

My talent: I can move my eyes independently. Freaks people out. Probably I'm part chameleon, on my dad's side.
posted by Goofyy at 11:58 PM on May 3, 2005


Great answers, all, thanks!

To conclude, ball movement is a fairly isolated talent, but alas, not rare enough for me to make money at. Guess I'll have to rely on my other talent, which is being able to let dirty old men suck my toes without throwing up.
posted by saladin at 7:28 PM on May 4, 2005


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