If you told someone with a penis that you were going to scratch, slap, or tie up their genitals, chances are, they'd recoil at the mere thought of the pain. But, there are also people out there who wouldn't just withstand that agony; they'd love it. They enjoy a kink based on this specific kind of pleasure: cock-and-ball torture (CBT).
Just like some folks enjoy the sensation of being spanked with a paddle, some people with penises enjoy having their cock and balls "tortured." According to Goddess Aviva, a lifestyle and professional dominatrix in New York City, CBT is a type of BDSM play that can involve anything from tying up penises and testicles, to using hands, nails, or a toy (like a crop) to inflict pain on the region.
Like we said, the kinds of activities CBT entails may not sound enjoyable to everyone. They're painful, but that's also part of the appeal. And anecdotal evidence suggests that CBT is actually a relatively common kink within the BDSM world (as you can imagine, there's not much scientific data on this). Mistress Bettie Bondage, a professional dominatrix and BDSM educator in Los Angeles, says that CBT is a very common request she gets from submissive clients with penises during sessions. And on FetLife (a kinky social media platform), the cock-and-ball torture group boasts 16,572 members. To put that number into perspective, FetLife's spanking group (which is considered popular) has 55,267 members, and its nipple torture group has 1,408 — so it might be safe to assume that CBT falls somewhere between those two kinks in terms of popularity.
""CBT is definitely a more precarious sort of play, but as with most BDSM, it involves being tied up and different forms of restraint and pain," says Moushumi Ghose, a Los Angeles-based kink-friendly sex therapist. So, at its core, CBT is about giving up control and getting pleasure from pain. (And for what it's worth, studies suggest that deriving sexual pleasure from bondage and/or masochism is something people outside of the niche BDSM community often experience.)
At its core, CBT is about giving up control and getting pleasure from pain.
If CBT sounds appealing to you, keep in mind that it's important to take appropriate precautions before administering or receiving any pain. Ghose says it's a good idea to take a class or try CBT with a more experienced partner who's well-versed in BDSM practices, especially if you're trying any form of restraint, gagging, or rope play. Luckily, there are BDSM workshops and classes at dungeons and sex shops around the country (though you may have to travel to one of the bigger cities to find one near you). "Do some research first, and get involved in the community if you can," Ghose says. "The BDSM communities tend to be well-versed in kinky dangerous play done the consensual and ethical way."
If you're just curious to see what CBT looks like, a quick search on the S&M porn site Kink.com will pull up a plethora of ethically-made videos. Just remember: While watching porn is a great introduction to CBT, the performers in these videos are usually highly experienced in BDSM and have pre-consented and essentially choreographed all of the activities (which is something people should do IRL, too).
Also, you don't have to go full-on torture chamber to try CBT: Aviva says you can begin by discussing boundaries and safe words with your partner and starting off slow (lightly slapping the penis is a good starter activity). Then, communicate throughout to make sure everyone involved is enjoying themselves and feels safe. Once you're done, take the time to bond with your partner to ensure that you're both content after the sex is over (a.k.a. "aftercare" in the BDSM world). This means checking in with your partner to discuss how it felt, your likes and dislikes, and how the next time can be even better, Aviva says.
And if fear of inflicting pain has you too scared to try any of this on a consenting partner who's turned on by CBT, take it from Aviva: "It's amazing what some men can take."