Penis Captivus (or captive penis), occurs when the vagina literally captures the penis. The anatomical explanation is – during intercourse, an erect penis is filled with blood. In the orgasmic state, women’s pelvic muscles go through spasms. Sometimes, these spasms cause the vaginal walls to clamp down on the penis, making it difficult for the man to withdraw.
Dr. John Dean, a UK sexual health physician, said that, “When the penis is in the vagina, it becomes increasingly engorged. The muscles of the woman’s pelvic floor contract rhythmically, at orgasm. While those muscles contract, the penis becomes stuck and further engorged. However, when the vaginal muscles relax, the blood flows out of the penis and the man can withdraw. It is very common in dogs, but extremely rare in humans.”
Prior to hearing Dr. Dean, I had never even considered that there was a scientific reason for what I had previously known as “the magun effect”. I wasn’t the only one; when I discussed this scientific explanation with my friend, she vehemently refuted the explanation. She wondered why known cases of penis captivus only involved situations of adultery – which is a valid question; one, that I couldn’t find answers to.
Personally, I believe the explanation proffered by science. My belief is a grudging one, though. At times, I feel like science is rapidly eroding my lifelong beliefs. I believe that penis captivus can happen to anyone.
So, why does it appear to happen in just situations of infidelity? I think that cheating, although exciting for some, has elements of fear. So when penis captivus occurs, the fear leads to further spasms and more painful engorgement of the penis.
Dr. Dean advised that the best solution in such sticky situations is to relax and not to panic. Eventually the spasms will stop and disengagement will occur. If that doesn’t work, call for help and seek medical care. Exactly how a man who is stuck in a woman, is supposed be calm – I’m not sure 🙂
Nola Solomon is a Specialist Public Health Nurse, with a background in Paediatrics. She blogs at www.anethnicnurse.com and lives in Manchester (UK) with her five beautiful children.