Penile trauma is defined as an injury from a downward thrust bending the penis forcefully, sometimes accompanied by a cracking noise, pain, and swelling.

A small sample survey collected data from men who visited hospital emergency rooms with penile trauma symptoms that ultimately required corrective surgery at the University of Maryland Hospital.

The incidence of penile fracture is increased by certain unusual sexual behaviors. This study found that 50% of men were engaged in extramarital sex when the injuries occurred and 81% were having sex in unusual settings, including work offices, cars, and public bathrooms.

Authors of the study suggest that sex leading to penile injury is frequently hurriedly completed in awkward spaces and may involve a chance of being caught in the act.

This greater physical and emotional stress of the act increases injury risk. Future research might gather data on sexual positions to examine which are most likely to result in penile fracture, as well as the number of suspected, but unreported cases of penile fracture.

Here’s the science behind a penile fracture, plus three other questions about your old boyanswered.