Can a Penis Really Get Stuck Inside a Vagina During Sex?

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In medieval times, people believed that a man’s penis could literally get “sucked into a woman’s vagina” during sex in the missionary position. Where could this belief have come from? Perhaps a prevailing fear of women’s nether-parts? Or maybe it was the moral of a fable about saving sex for true love and “locks and keys” or something?

No, it stemmed from an actual medical possibility, as an Italian couple found out last week. They were having a fun aquatic sex romp in the Mediterranean Sea when they realized their genitals would not “disunite,” says MTV News. While it’s rare, this is a real and horrifying condition called penis captivus that occurs when a vagina spasms and won’t let go of an erect penis. Having sex in water increases the “suction” and oh my God I need brain bleach to forget that this is a thing that could happen.

Luckily, according to medical experts, there is a way to “disunite your genitals”: Just think unsexy thoughts to lessen sexual excitement, thereby decreasing blood flow to the, ahem, engorged area. Repeating the words “penis captivus” in your head might do the trick.