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.

  11 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!!

  6. I enjoy Sounding so much. I discovered it on accident…..Long story short I was in bed and had my guitar hanging from my wall just in reach and the whammy bar had this super smooth rounded tip and For some reason i decided to kinda touch the tip the opening of my penis with it while masturbating….well It kinda just slipped in like a perfect fit and OHHHHHHHHH My God. I pulled it out in an adrenalized panic thinking “that can’t be good for me…… I thought wow that was so intense. So I put it back in and slowly and carefully explored how deep I could go. That was about 10 years ago… The GOOD is that it is awesome. The BAD is that I’m 100 percent sure it made it harder to achieve orgasm because of desensitization. It is very hard for me to Get off with out great effort from my partners (Usually too much effort is needed and they get tired of it after a while leading to many short term relationships) I also find that most partners are very alarmed by Ureathral Sounding/Play. AND YES….It will make urinating painful for a day or 2 afterwards depending on how much you indulge. My personal opinion is that it is a High Risk activity so I only do it every now and then not Regularly. Why is it that things that are bad for us feel so Good?

  7. I disagree.

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