To mark the occasion of Valentine's Day, Vice News and MedPage Today dug into all the horrific ways that lovemaking can potentially go wrong. Their cautionary tale stems from a review of about 450 sex injuries logged from 2009 to 2014 in the National Electronic Injury Surveillance System, which is run by the federal Consumer Product Safety Commission—meaning a consumer product was somehow involved in each of these injuries. (Injuries related to drugs like Viagra live in a separate FDA database.) Six takeaways:
- Beware the dead of summer: February may be the month of love, but it ranks third in terms of reported sex injuries. The most dangerous month: July, followed by April. March is the tamest, relatively speaking.
- You're far more likely to get injured another way: Sex injuries made up less than .02% of the 2.3 million injuries filed during the six-year span, though it's believed that "most" sex injuries go unreported.
- Keep the pencil out of your you-know-what: Among the less expected objects that became lodged in an orifice: pencil, pool ball, toilet plunger handle. Other product categories that made a showing as causing the injury: "lawn mower, not specified," go-carts, and coins.
- No part of the body is safe from harm: The most commonly injured areas are the pubic area and lower trunk, but there are certainly exceptions; one dental injury occurred when a 19-year-old's sex swing broke loose from the ceiling. The database includes entries for parts like "arm, lower (not including elbow or wrist)."
- There are a heck of a lot of potential injury diagnoses: "Foreign body," was the most common diagnosis, but burns, conjunctivitis, nerve damage, and poisoning also made the list.
- There is a silver lining: "None of the injuries were fatal."
Meanwhile, a new analysis by Flowing Data
uses NEISS data to review the 17,968 ER visits for foreign bodies stuck in a rectum over the same six-year period. About three-quarters of patients were men, with 41% of the visits involving sex toys. That article is here
; If you want to read the sex-injury-specific article, MedPage Today's version
lacks the NSFW photo. Or read about the "most dangerous" sex position
. (Read more sex