Tattoo Leaves Man With Permanent Erection


macrumors G5
Original poster
Aug 1, 2004
St. Louis, MO

You'd think somebody repeatedly sticking a needle in your penis would be a little off-putting, but the 21-year-old Iranian apparently thought it would be a grand idea to have Persian script reading borow be salaamat (good luck on your journeys), and the first initial of his girlfriend's last name ("M") tattooed onto his little gentleman.

He was left with a permanent semi-erection as a reminder of just how good the idea was.

His case raises a number of questions, not least whether the wish for good luck is directed to the penis or to the man, and if it's to the penis, where, exactly, is it going? But, medically speaking, how could getting penis ink give make the organ go haywire?

The answer rests in the traditional technique the man subjected himself to. "Handheld needles are used and there is no control of the depth of the needle," Iranian urologists reported in the most recent Journal of Sexual Medicine. "Henna, ash, and other natural pigments are used by traditional tattooists. They first use their needles to penetrate the skin. Then they apply the coloring material on the perforated skin surface."

Naturally, this proved painful. After several days, the pain subsided. Soon after it did, though, the man noticed that his nighttime woodies were lasting a long time. A week later, he had a 24/7 priapic erection.
As erectile dysfunction pill commercials constantly remind us, non-sex-related erections lasting longer than four hours are dangerous for penises. The lack of fresh blood flow can starve the spongy tissues of oxygen, destroying them and resulting in impotence.

There are two types of priapism, ischemic and non-ischemic, according to UCLA urologist Dr. Jeffrey Bassett. In a normal erection, blood flows into the penis via arteries, and as pressure builds, the veins leading out are temporarily blocked. In ischemic priapism, the veins don't open up again.

In non-ischemic priapism, the veins allow blood out of the penile tissue, but too much blood is flowing in via the arteries and the veins can't keep up. So blood pressure builds. This isn't as dangerous since fresh blood is coming in all the time, but it can be pretty inconvenient. If it doesn't resolve, either on its own or with treatment, it can cause damage in some cases.

Bassett once treated a 24-year-old skateboarder who'd traumatized his pelvic area in a skate accident. It tuned out that the injury caused a blood vessel fistula that interfered with normal flow into and out of the penis.

According to the Iranian doctors, this is what happened to the young man. The tattooist punctured too-deep holes that damaged vessels in the penis, resulting in fistulas, and then a pseudoaneurysm, a pooling of blood outside a vessel wall. They recommended he see a specialist to have the blood removed, but he rejected that idea and saw another doctor to have a shunt procedure performed. It didn't work.

Since the fellow is still able to have sex, and achieve a more-or-less normal erection, he's rejected any more treatments, even the one his urologists recommended in the first place.
In one of those statements you'd think nobody would actually have to make, the Iranian doctors wrote "based on our unique case, we discourage penile tattooing."
Huh, who would've thought it was a bad idea to repeatedly poke your dick with needles?


macrumors P6
Mar 22, 2008
On tenterhooks
Tatoo leaves man with a permanent semi-erection

So let me get this straight - if I get a tattoo on my dick I'll get a great erection?

Where do I sign up?!:p
Sorry, the thread title should read as above.

And no, a lime-sized Prostate won't work in any event.

Maybe a splint, heavy on the wood?


macrumors 68000
Sep 25, 2009
Orlando, FL
As a guy, I can say that I would never ever want a needle anywhere near my penis. I admire those that have the courage to pierce or tattoo their manhood. It's certainly not me for me.

Hopefully he'll make the most of this erection before he loses it for good.


macrumors Core
Jan 6, 2004
i don't know anyone who has a tattoo on their penis. piercings, yes.

i know piercers and i know that they are very careful with what they do - this goes for any piercing anywhere on the body.

i would imagine that if this is a possible side effect that tattoo artists would know about it, unless of course this is a very very rare place to get a tattoo on ones body. the only other explanation is that the tattoo artist messed up majorly.


macrumors 6502a
Jul 25, 2002
an oldie, but topical:
"there was this guy who was really in love with his girl friend wendy, so he decided to tattoo her name on her penis. when the penis was erect it said wendy, when it wasnt erect it only spelled the letters W and Y. so after this guy and his girlfriend got married they went on thier honeymoon to jamaica. so one day in a restaurant the guy went to the bathroom and saw a black guy peeing next to him and on his penis he saw the letters W and Y. so he asked " hey, do you also have a girlfriend named wendy?, and the black guy said " no, my tattoo says, welcome to jamaica, have a nice day" "


macrumors 68020
Jun 7, 2008
I laughed like a school kid for like 5 minutes after reading this.

Even now...LOL:D