In 2013, George Clooney, gently poking fun at the world’s obsession with staying young and looking good, joked that he ironed his testicles in order to keep them looking smooth. Most people, recognizing that Clooney was making a funny at the expense of image-conscious Hollywood, chuckled and moved on. Some, however, took him seriously, actually spawning a real-live treatment that would gently resurface one’s testicles with needles, lasers, and all sorts of other accoutrement that don’t belong anywhere near one of the most sensitive parts of the body.
Of course, this testicle treatment was roundly mocked and we all went back to living our saggy-scrotumed lives. We forgot that such a thing had even ever existed until we needed to come up with a fun fact at a holiday party. “Did you know,” we’d slur happily to the people around us, “that George Clooney irons his balls? I’m being for real.”
This year, none of us will have to dig so deep. Because while ball ironing may have died somewhere between Reddit and real life, a strange and exciting new treatment has taken its place. It’s called scrotox, it involves injecting neurotoxins right into your (“Look at the big brain on Brad!”) scrotum, and it’s only performed by one doctor in America (although you can also get the procedure done in Mexico, if you’re so inclined).
What are the benefits of Scrotox? According to a man who’s had it done it several times, it makes the testicles hang lower (why?), makes them more smooth (okay, but…), and enhances sexual pleasure due to the confidence a pair of low-hanging nuts imbues in the owner. There are also some dubious claims floating around that women (and probably men) love the feeling of having some big ole’ balls slap against their genitals or perineums while engaging in sexual activity. That last one is purely a personal preference, by the way, even if it is true. A reddit thread on the topic suggests that some people do like the feeling, while several women we talked to — and who asked to remain anonymous because they don’t want to have a Google hit for “my name + ball slapping” — responded with much less enthusiastic reactions, ranging from “I’m not really into that” to “I’ve just never really thought about it, but like, yeah, I could see how that would feel good.”
But we’re not here to shame anyone. If you want to get your balls pumped full of toxins, be our guest. And the author of this piece — who once ate 12 pounds of candy in one sitting because why not? — certainly has no right to cast aspersions. We simply wondered why exactly Scrotox has become increasingly popular, whether it’s going to be the next big thing, and whether dudes really need it. So we went to the source: Dr. John Mesa, a Manhattan (and New Jersey) based plastic surgeon who was the first to bring a needle full of dangerous fluid to the scrotums of a hungry public, only six years after Saturday Night Live lampooned the idea on the show.
Speaking to us from his New Jersey office, Dr. Mesa — who confirmed that he had at least one procedure, a man from California (shocker), scheduled this week — said he’s not surprised that the practice is taking off. He’s seen 15 men this year and expects that demand for the procedure will skyrocket next year when it’s more mainstream (read: covered by the media) and feels like less of a taboo practice. Mesa is familiar with the paper that suggests that botox in the genital area can be therapeutic (at least for testicular pain) but he says that he didn’t start offering the treatment for that reason. Instead, he explains, his practice embraced this new non-surgical procedure when someone contacted him and asked for it.
“I got into Scrotox,” Mesa says, “because patients found me on the internet. They sent email inquiries and asked if I was willing to do Botox in the scrotum. I said okay, the face is the most difficult area to do and I can do it easily. Why not doing it down there?”