I lost my left testicle in a not so tragic bike riding accident when I was thirteen. It was really quite uneventful. I crashed into my friend James because I was looking at a girl while we rode past the park. I popped off my seat and landed on the crossbar. It wasn’t comfortable, but it also wasn’t that painful either, neither of us had a scratch. We rode home, red faced because the pretty girl saw us fumbling over our bikes like total dorks.
The ache came on slowly, but unrelenting. By the time I got up— excuse the pun— by the time I got up the balls to tell my mother I was in pain. I could barely walk. We made it to the hospital sometime around 9pm that night, but it was apparently too late. The doctor explained that I had a ‘testicular torsion’ which meant the blood vessel had been twisted and pinched off blood flow. I was sent in to surgery, but I when I woke I was around 1 oz lighter.
I really can’t reiterate enough how much it didn’t matter when I was a kid. My doctor explained that this really shouldn’t change anything. I would still be able to have children, hormonally I shouldn’t see any problems. The only thing to worry about was aesthetics, but my mom being the loving mother she was told me “girls don’t like balls anyways, honey. They’re gross. If anything when you find someone, she’ll probably be happy about it.”
I took this to heart.
I made it through my twenties and clumsy late night sex without it ever really being a problem. One night stands presented no issue. If a woman spoke about it the next day to her friends, who cares? She had a story to tell friends and I had sex. Everybody wins! But most of the time it just went unnoticed. The rare occasions when I dated someone for any prolonged period of time weren’t much more difficult. We had a conversation and I either pretended to be sad or cavalier about it, whichever seemed like it would result in some sort of sexual engagement at the end of the conversation. Usually sad. Women like wounded.
But as 30 came, and then 35, and next week I turn 40, I’ve grown progressively more and more conscious of it. Within the past year it has become borderline debilitating. Not because my singular testicle hurts— it’s not more annoying than any pair of testicles— but because I’ve grown increasingly worried about losing that one. I’ve never settled down and got married, or even close really, nor have I had any fruitful accidents. Hence, I’ve never put my sperm to good use. What happens now if I have an accident?
I’d stopped riding bikes a long time ago, but now I’ve stopped playing racquetball, intense running, and soccer. I have completely overhauled my underwear drawer three times in the past seven or eight months. Boxers are more likely to allow for an accidental impact. Briefs hold the testicle close, but potentially keeps it too warm for proper health.
It’s begun to consumer me, and I’m making terrible decisions because of it. Awful, wrong, un-like-me decisions. I’m not sure whether I am acting out of some innate self preservation drive, or I am actually losing my mind. Last night I took out a young woman from my office. Off the bat this is wrong because I’m a partner and she is a junior, and I’ve never done anything to compromise my career in the past, but this is what I’m talking about.
I decided to take her out because I had concluded that she was an ideal candidate for a mate. Young enough to easily bear a child, smart enough to work at my firm, beautiful enough to grab my eye, and with a lean build an healthy look. We got very drunk and I took her back to my apartment. I didn’t use a condom. I invited her back tonight.
What the fuck am I doing?