One of the effects of high gas prices is to encourage people to use bicycles. This also includes the police, where some jurisdictions are taking cops out of cruisers and putting them on foot or on bikes. Bike police (and bicycle messengers, people who use their bikes in crowded urban areas to endanger pedestrians), spend much more time in the saddle than most, other than professional racers and bike fanatics. A new study in the Journal of Sexual Medicine says the continual pressure on thei perineum is causing genital numbness in males. The culprit seems to be the nose on the traditional bike saddle:
Ninety bicycling police officers from 5 metropolitan regions in the U.S. (Northwest, Southern, Desert West, Midwest, and Southeast) using traditional saddles were evaluated prior to changing saddles and then again after 6 months of using the noseless bicycle saddle.
The findings show that use of the noseless saddle resulted in a reduction in saddle contact pressure in the perineal region. There was a significant improvement in penile tactile sensation, and the number of men indicating they had not experienced genital numbness while cycling for the preceding 6 months rose from 27 percent to 82 percent using no-nose saddles.
Use of the noseless saddle also resulted in significant increases in erectile function as assessed by the initial evaluation, but there were no significant changes noted in Rigiscan® measures, a method used to record penile rigidity while the subject sleeps. (ScienceDaily, h/t Medgadget)
Here are pics of a noseless and a typical bike saddle:
I don’t have a subscription to the Journal of Sexual Medicine so I’ll just have to wonder how one measures “penile tactile sensation” and nocturnal penile rigidity.
Here is the citation (note the toe curling title):
“Cutting Off the Nose to Save the Penis.” Steven M. Schrader, Michael J. Breitenstein, Brian D. Lowe. DOI: 10.1111/j.1743-6109.2008.00867.x Volume 5 Issue 8 (August 2008)