Low hanging fruit.

Guess what?  It’s time to talk testicles.  You didn’t think I’d do it, but here I go.

P.S.  I decided against a video blog.

If you’ve ever done the weight-machine circuit at the gym or followed the calisthenic stations at the park, chances are you may have noticed a lack of program development for the Cremaster Muscle.  A gross oversight for sure, as this muscle is very important to the healthy function of the testicles.  The word “cremaster” comes from the Greek verb “I hang“.  Clever.  The cremaster is responsible for keeping the sperm-generating process underway by regulating temperature in le sac as well as keeping the boys protected in dangerous situations.  Like tennis.

Spermatogenesis is the process of generating “mature sperm”.  (I’m going to avoid making any comments using the term “oxymoron”.)  This process happens inside the testicles and not only requires about 64 days, but also needs the perfect environment.  Immature sperm cells don’t thrive in heat.  Depending on outside temperature, body temperature, and the tightness of one’s pants, the cremaster is busy lifting or lowering the testicles to find an amount of heat that’s just right.  The cremaster is like the Goldilocks of the scrotum.  If you jump into a cold body of water, it’s the cremaster that yanks the boys towards the heat (your body) in order to protect the growing sperm.

The cremaster works automatically (without you having to think about it), and in addition to temperature, this muscle also fires under stress.  In the hunter-gathering days, stressful situations usually meant a threat to physical harm.  The cremaster gets busy tucking the sensitive bits out of the way.  The Stress-Cremaster response is very old in our DNA, so it hasn’t quite gotten the message that the stress you are feeling these days is more likely coming from driving in bad traffic or reading an email from the boss.  You end up with testes close to the body more often than optimal, which can create over-heating of these precious tissues.

The testicles can also be lifted into the body by using the pelvic floor “don’t wet/soil yourself” muscles (pubococcygeal) or by sucking in your stomach.  Sucking the belly IN is really sucking the belly UP.  “Sucking it in” creates a vacuum that pulls the contents of your abdomen up into the dome of your diaphragm and raises the pelvic floor with it.  The waistline flattens out, but now your testicles are perpetually heating up and your diaphragm isn’t free to move when you’re breathing.  Now there’s a hefty price for vanity.

Scientists have been wondering for years, why the left testicle hangs lower in most men (about 70-85% depending on the source).  Researchers have even created studies examining all ancient statues of nude men, cataloging the percentage of right vs. left.  Now there’s a job.  “Hey, get off my back, it’s for research Man!”  I tend to think that right/left Testicle Altitude might have something to do with one psoas being tighter than the other, resulting from the use of a dominant leg.  Other fun testicle facts:  The word “avocado” comes from the Aztec word ahuacatl, meaning “testicle tree”.  Avocado fruit hangs in pairs, with one slightly below the other.  I wonder what the word for guacamole would be then.  🙂

For optimal sperm and organ (testicle) health, it is best to avoid interfering with the health-regulating processes your body uses on a regular basis (say Bon Voyage to your leather pants, unless it’s a very special occasion).  Stress plays a factor in many diseases, and pelvic floor and testicular health is no different.  To check and see if you have your testicles in a (stress) vice, stand up and see if you can relax the pelvic floor just a bit.  Most of us, men and women, think that we have to not only shut off our urine, we have to Super Shut it off.  It’s like we get points for reallly not wetting ourselves.  Guess what, no prizes today.  In fact, if you’re going to get any prize (really healthy testes) use the minimal amount of force to keep your bladder closed, not the maximum.

I wonder, if I made a infomercial for the Cre-Master would it sell as well as the Thigh-Master?

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15 thoughts on “Low hanging fruit.

  1. Can I say that you have really got balls? What a sense of humor! Glad I am not the only one that can say it like it is. What I was waiting for though is what sort of convoluted and twisted Rexi stretches you will come up with to engage or disengage the cremaster for optimal sperm production and or show its relation to prostate health.

  2. And finally – I thought – an article just for men! But no – I assume that one want healthy “mature sperm” to make healthy babies – so the women get in the mix once again!

  3. ok, so the left one’s not necessarily “bigger” just “lower”? So then, where DID the phrase “I’d give my left nut for it” come from? Maybe since it’s lower it appears bigger and therefore has been perceived the more valuable of the two?

  4. Makes me think about two things I’ve heard in the news: 1) baby boys kept in disposable diapers (as opposed to cloth ones) tend to have a lower sperm count when they’re older and 2) the heat from a laptop computer actually put on a man’s lap can lower his sperm count. I have no idea how true either of these things might be. Any thoughts?

    1. Hmmm, I’d have to look and see if there was any journal articles on diaper types and sperm counts. With so much time in between diaper-wearing and sperm counting, a lot of things could be influencing findings. And I know that heat can influence sperm count, so if you put a HOT laptop on your lap all the time, it wouldn’t be unbelievable. If you typed with the laptop BETWEEN your legs, that would have an even greater impact. And, FYI, I just put my laptop on the table (to get it off my lap!) 🙂

  5. Hi, Katy.
    Great article, as usual. Thank you. A delicate touch to a ‘delicate’ subject.

    Re the left ‘family jewel’ hanging lower than the right, I had always thought that it was to help avoid having them crushed against each other by having them at slightly different altitudes.

    So I am told, that fact and the way the penis hangs are both taken into account by any GOOD tailor when he is making a pair of trousers to order for a man. The usual question is, “Do you dress left or right?” meaning does the man prefer to have his penis and testicles hanging to the left or the right of the seam in the crotch of the trousers.

  6. Dear Katy,

    Thank you for talking about testicles. My testicles do not hang anymore since I went to get acupuncture in 2008 and the procedure hurt my sexual functioning which means that my precious issues have been over heating for years now. How can I get help for this? Is it because of a malfunctioning cremaster muscle or tunic dartos muscle? Would physical therapy help this or medications or alternative medication such as herbs help? Also my penis does not hang also like it used to. What causes a penis to hang in the flaccid state? Does it also have a muscle that enables this to do so? It is like I stepped out of a cold pool. What do you suggest?

    Please send me a reply even if you cannot help me. Thank you very much.


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