Feb 252011

(UPDATED 3/30/11 – take a look at the bottom of the post)

A case report showed up in my feed recently. A woman and her partner were using a glue container in her urethra and it got lodged in her urinary bladder. They couldn’t remove it, so they went to the emergency department, where it was removed. She was discharged after a few hours of observation.

I thought this would be a good opportunity to talk about urethral sounding. Urethral sounding (usually just called “sounding” in the kink community) is when a cylindrical object is inserted into the urethra. Most of the resources I found were aimed at men, but women can do this also (Note: the urethra in men and women are different lengths and shapes! Knowing anatomy is helpful here).

Sounds should be made out of stainless steel, hardened rubber, or a similar material. They should not have ANY cracks or deformities. Glass, although traditional, is a bad idea because it can break within the urethra. Sounds need to be sterilized before and after use! Lubrication should be water-based and glycerin-free (Source). Glycerin (aka glycerol) is a sugar, and thus can serve as food for bacteria. Yickes! I’ve seen at least one guide recommend using individual lube packets to prevent contamination.

Risks include urinary tract infections (UTIs), from poor sanitation or scratching the urethra. UTIs can lead to bladder infections and kidney infections if not treated. Cranberry juice or pills can be taken to help prevent UTIs, but should NOT replace proper hygiene.

Please talk with your doctor regarding sounding and your own health history if you plan to play with it.

Other resources (may be seriously NSFW):

Medicaltoys.com Library

Sin Central Forums


UPDATE 3/30/11:

Hey folks! Thanks for all the interest in this post. If you want to know more about urethral sounding (especially female sounding), check out Mistress160’s excellent informational page on her blog (warning: site contains very graphic images). If you have further questions, feel free to ask here, on Fetlife, or contact your local BDSM organization(s) and/or dungeons.

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  9 Responses to “Urethral sounding: Case report and safety notes”

  1. Oh my god, the idea of a glass sounding rod breaking inside made me cross my legs like John Bobbitt at a spay/neuter ward.

  2. I’ve heard of this done for health reasons.


    This particular guy was born with hypospadias and has to do this to keep his urethra wide enough to pass urine. Scary stuff, especially when you consider it could have been avoided if he was never operated on.

    I had no idea this was a kink. I can’t imagine this being in any way pleasant. To each their own though, eh?

    • That’s interesting! I hadn’t heard of it being done for health reasons before. My understanding is that sounds have also been used medically to remove obstacles from the urethra. I may want to edit this article later to mention medical uses for sounding…

      Thanks for much for bringing that up…and absolutely, to each his own. My favorite phrase lately has been “Your kink is not my kink”.

  3. I enjoy sounding, too, and have found the orgasm I get when I sound is incredibly intense. I use a steel rod, regular Astroglide lube, and insert the sound until I have it in far enough. With enough lube on my glans, I can “lightly press” (lightly, as in very little pressure) the glans together with my fingertips enough to rub the interior of my urethra against the steel rod. Oh. Boy. POW!
    But be very careful, use enough lube, STOP if something hurts, and take it easy overall.
    When I take a few days break from sounding, and then have a session, I usually have a small (key word: SMALL) amount of tingling or burning when I urinate afterward, but if I have been careful enough, there is no real “burning,” just heightened sensitivity.

    • Glad you’re finding safer ways to enjoy yourself. 🙂 And I greatly appreciate the personal feedback here. Have you found that you’ve gotten more urinary tract infections since you’ve started sounding, or not so much? Do you take any preventative measures (beyond lube and sterile instruments)?

      • No, no urinary tract infections at all. I’ve been experimenting for years, and am thinking of trying some “e-stim,” too. Wash up before hand, make sure sounding tools are clean, and go for fun! Slow and steady, and Oh. Boy. POW! Have fun!

  4. Oh, make sure EVERYTHING is clean, including your body!! Next to Godliness, if you must.

    Clean is imperative. Have fun!!

  5. As an add-on to this discussion, I have found a company that makes many different styles and sizes of rubber urethral sounds, and in an array of hardness or softness. SiliconeNozzels dot com. I have a number of their “toys” and am extremely happy with their product and their company. And as for lubes, I usually use Astroglide. Enjoy!!

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