How about an April Fools riddle: What 100-year old garment accessory lives less than an inch from your privates and is a leading cause of penile injury? Nope, not your stylish skivvies! It’s your pant zipper.
An American invention from 1913, the “hookless fastener” was first used on rubber boots and tobacco pouches. It took another several decades before the zipper landed on men’s trousers. Now, roughly 14 billion zippers are made worldwide every year and they can be found on everything, including ziplock bags.
Zippers Can Hurt
A brand new study now reveals the dark side of this neat little invention that conveniently speeds up the morning dress routine: the penile zipper injury. Here are the facts:
- There are about 2200 emergency room (ER) visits in the U.S. annually for penile zipper injuries
- Zippers are the 5th leading cause of penile injury
- Zippers surpass bicycles as a leading cause of penile injuries in men needing ER visits
- Falling toilet seat injuries are more common than zipper injuries in little boys (girls, don’t ask!)
- The female labia can also get caught in zippers; however the scrotum tops the labia for zipper attacks
- Penile zipper injury rates have remained stable over the past 8 years–Thank goodness!
Slowly Back Off
Just in case you find yourself trying to undress after that rare drunken stupor or assembling yourself following a listless sleep and get your member zipped, here’s what to do: back down the zipper slowly. If still stuck, add some mineral or vegetable oil. Use a cotton swab to help back the skin out. And although conceptually attractive, kissing it really doesn’t help.
You might as well be prepared for that zipper attack, as you and your privates will share a long life with them. In the words of comedian George Burns: “First you forget names, then you forget faces. Next you forget to pull your zipper up and finally, you forget to pull it down.”