Urethral sounding: Is this extreme sexual act worth the risk?

The practice started as a medical procedure to clear blockages from the urethra, but can be a pleasurable form of sexual play.

It may not sound like it, but urethral sounding is an extreme kink that can be sexually satisfying if practised safely. The risks are high - infection, injury and potential trauma - but its proponents say the pleasure derived from it is worth the risk.

What is urethral sounding?

Also known as catheter fetish, urethral sounding involves inserting a thin rod - known as sound - into the urethra through the opening of the genitals. The urethra is the tube that transports urine from the bladder.

The practice started as a medical procedure to remove obstructions in the urethra, but is now a common BDSM practice. Although technically, both people with a penis or a vagina can engage in the act, it is commonly practised by men.

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A sound is a thin rod made mainly from steel. Getty Images

Why do people do it?

The urethra passes by the prostate glands or the ‘P-spot’ in the penis, the clitoris and the G-spot. Since the genitals are thick with nerves, sounding stimulates these sensitive areas directly. If inserted deeply enough, the sound can stimulate the prostate, optimizing the sensation.

Also, some people just love it because it's risky, taboo and non-traditional. Cory B., kink coach and sex educator, who’s sounded men more than 10 times, told Men’s Health:

Most people think that it’s painful, but it’s not—if you know what you’re doing. It doesn’t have to be something that’s masochistic or necessarily ‘kinky’ either, and I’ve actually done some really tender sounding scenes, (sexual activity).
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Sounding is often practised by men and people with penises. Getty/ Diy13

Risks and precautions

Sounding does not have any health benefits, unless it is for medical purposes, in which case, it’ll be performed by professionals in a medical setting. However, people who want to engage in it for sexual pleasure ought to be aware of associated risks which include:

  • Urinary Tract Infection caused by bacterial infection from the rod if not properly sterilized.
  • Tissue damage from possible tearing and puncturing of the tissue inside the urethra; this can have permanent consequences.
  • The toy could get stuck or lost inside the urethra.

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If it must be done, it must be done well

Despite these risks, sounding can be a pleasurable experience if done properly.

  • First, sterilize the toys and wash your hands properly, and get into a comfortable position (sitting, standing or lying down).
  • Make sure your penis is not fully erect, as it may be difficult for the object to get in. Then, slowly and carefully insert the object into the pee-hole. If it stops moving in, remove the toy, apply more lubricant to it and try again. You could also switch to a smaller sound.
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The sound should be properly sterilized before and after use. Getty/Diy13
  • Once it has reached a comfortable depth, take your time to explore it by either moving it up and down or in circular motion. You can also massage the penis or use a vibrator. To enhance the experience, your partner can put their lips on the toy, and humming to vibrate the insides of the urethra.
  • When done, slowly remove the object, urinate to remove any bacterial infection and sterilize the toy properly. Store it away in a safe and hygienic place until your next session.
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