It is a subject that comes up more often than you think. Who has to deal with more pain, women or men? I have fallen into the argument many times. Let me begin by saying that, as of this writing, I am a man. I have never been otherwise, nor do I have any plans to that effect. As such I have a somewhat one sided view of the subject. Dare I say the vast majority of the planet is similarly handicapped, though about half of you are on the opposite side of the issue. I guess there are a few functional hermaphrodites out there who could put the issue to rest, but until one of them speaks up, I am forced to speculate. However, never one to let ignorance stand in the way of a good debate, permit me to speculate like crazy.
Women have the big one, and they love to point it out. Childbirth. Supposedly, this is the most intensely painful thing imaginable, and you seldom have to look far for a woman who takes pride in having had to endure it. We will ignore the fact that many, if not most, of these women had more pain killers and tranquilizers coursing through them than a rogue rhinoceros. It doesn’t take a particularly vivid imagination to conjure up how having a baby would hurt. Yet, for some reason, we are given the following illustrative example. “Imagine taking your bottom lip and stretching it over the back of your head.” Oh, I can imagine that, but it leaves me with questions. I may not have the firmest grasp of the female anatomy, but I’m pretty sure the baby does not come out of the bottom lip, or even the mouth, for that matter. I mean… does the baby come out and pull your lip over the back of your head? Does the doctor do it? Is that how the baby gets shot out, do they pull your lip like a rip cord? If not, then come up with a better example. Here’s a suggestion. “It is like pooping out a bowling ball.” There. I mean, I think scale is about right on that one, and it is in the appropriate general region. Plus, everybody has a butt, so we can all picture it.
Men have something else entirely. For whatever reason, nature decided that, not unlike a boss from a crappy NES game, male mammals needed a weak spot. Something that, against all logic, can take us down with one hit. And wouldn’t you know, it was placed right between our legs. Just perfectly positioned so that even things half our size have easy access. I can only guess that at some point in evolution males were getting to be a little too aggressive, so nature tagged us with an off button, just to even things out. Unlike childbirth, it would seem that the good old groin shot has never been assigned a handy gender-neutral pain analog. Maybe men didn’t feel it necessary to subject the opposite sex to such vivid imagery. Well, time to set that straight. “Imagine putting your eyeballs in a bag and slamming that bag in a door. Now imagine leaning on the door, hard, for the next half hour.” That is a kick to the balls. Some of you women may be confused by the second part. Let me explain. The human body has a pain gating mechanism. It can only feel a certain amount of pain at once before it slams the gate and doesn’t let any more through. As a result, things like 3rd degree burns and compound fractures don’t fry our brains with too many overexcited neurons eager to deliver their important “you just hurt yourself real bad” message all at the same time. Most pain slams against the gate and mopes away, but the testicles are more clever than that. They max out the pain, then wait at the gate. Once it opens a crack, more of them muscle their way through. The result is a pain that comes in installments over most of the rest of the day. It is like a credit card bill that you pay in pure agony, and the interest rate is outrageous.
Now for the comparison. I explained to a girl once what a kick to the nuts feels like, because I am a gentleman, and got this reply. “Yeah, for women that’s what it is like when people pull our hair.” No. I have hair, it has been pulled. It is not the same. Unless you have a couple of dozen times more nerves wrapped around your follicles than we do there is no comparison. You may say the same thing about the ball kick as compared to giving birth, and on a one to one basis I agree with you. But how often are you going to give birth? Maximum once every nine months or so. I could get kicked in the balls thirty times a day, every day, for the rest of my life. Granted it isn’t likely, but it is possible. Worse, I could get kicked in the balls all of a sudden. I could be walking down the street and then BAM! You aren’t going to be standing on line at Starbuck’s and then out of nowhere OH MY GOSH SUDDEN CHILDBIRTH. Childbirth never takes you by surprise. You always have at least a few months to prepare. Plus, if I’m not careful, I can accidentally sit on my balls. If you are getting on a bicycle and accidentally have a baby all of a sudden, then you win. Until then, I’m going to say that, in an average life, the potential pain scale is skewed WAY over on the ball kick side.
I hope I’ve advanced this debate a bit, and if I have spurred some spirited discussions on the subject, then my job is done. In parting, I have a question about a horrible pain which I have never felt, and is reputedly the male equivalent of giving birth. That is passing a kidney stone. There is a handy little reply button on these posts for folks to post their thoughts, so consider this an assignment. If you have ever had a kidney stone, let’s hear about it. And hey, if you are a hermaphrodite and have the full perspective on this stuff, then by all means give a shout. The world is waiting for a definitive answer, people. It is up to you to provide it.