Apparently testicles have tastebuds so I dipped mine in soy sauce to prove it

My first gastronomical gonad experience


Fleming discovering Penicillin. Jenner administering the first vaccine. Humankind has advanced so far with the discovery of new medical practices that surely you’d think that we’ve learnt everything there is to know about medicine and our anatomy.

You’d be wrong. Log into Twitter and you may (or may not depending on who you follow) be surprised to learn that people around the world are dipping their testicles into soy sauce. Why, you ask?

Tastebuds. Testicles have tastebuds.

A medical journal was released back in 2013 that claimed testicles, along with other parts of the body, have tastebuds. It says “these taste receptors have been found in tissues other than the tongue, such as the digestive system, respiratory system, brain, testis and spermatozoa.” And somehow people are only now dipping them in various solutions to test this theory??

Boys group chats across the land may very well be full of various claims, as males egg each other on to dip their sacks into everything from orange juice to soy sauce to debunk this myth. Well, there is no need, fellas. I will graciously be the one to test this fully as, if this is true, I appreciate the certain glory that this discovery could bring for us, a never-ending list of possibilities; the Michelin star meal just gained a groundbreaking new element, as did the bedroom.

The methodology

Popping to the nearest Tesco, I needed to pick liquids that were strong, both in sugar content as well as umami flavour. Soy sauce was the obvious choice from Twitter, but I also filled my basket with orange juice (without bits) and a bag of sugar to make an intensely sweet liquid so that I could personally control the variables of this experiment.

Balling in Tesco

Trudging back into the office, I could already feel the uneasy looks from various coworkers – am I unhinged for doing this? Being one of the few who literally and figuratively has the balls to pick up such an article feels surprisingly awkward.

Picking bowls came next. I found a lovely little Oliver Bonas set in the communal kitchen that looked just the right size to accommodate my package comfortably and allow for little overspill. The chosen liquids were quickly sloshed in as people from other companies in the building were hastily rewarded for their curiosity with a half-arsed “we’re doing a taste test” explanation.

Going from least to most likely to work, I decided that the sugar water would be my first foray into testing out my testicular palette, then orange juice before finishing with soy sauce – an apt three-course spread for my first gastronomical gonad experience. The bowls were full and looking oddly aesthetic, the stage was set. A final swig of water to clear my mouth and soothe my nerves, I walked in and before I knew it my balls were sat at the bottom of a bowl full of lukewarm, sugary water for the first of three 60 second sessions.

A boy stands with bowls of liquids for his testicles

Sugar Water

As soon as I started this process I knew this would be messy, but I had seemingly neglected to understand the overall volume that my testicles take up – I had filled the bowl so much that sugary water began to cascade down my legs onto the floor as soon as they were placed down. Mopping up the excess, I soon got into a comfortable position crouched over the sink, where I began to count down.

I started with this liquid because I thought it was the least likely to work, and I was completely right – inconclusive change in taste, in either my mouth or elsewhere. I quickly mopped the floor with toilet paper, removed the sodden trousers from my ankles and prepared myself for round 2.

Orange Juice

By this point, I’d had several disgruntled people come up to the toilet to try and open the door, which did nothing but spur me on in my valiant struggle for a scientific breakthrough. I grabbed my orange juice bowl which, having been taken from the refrigerated section at Tesco, proved as much a shock to the system as a logistical problem. A firmer pressure applied to the bowl remedied this effectively.

6o seconds later, I was starting to feel blue-balled, quite literally – inconclusive again. There were a few “maybe” moments but I put these down to smelling the orange and thinking I was tasting it. Alas, the soy sauce was the only hope now.

Starter, main and dessert

Soy Sauce

If there was any liquid to magically allow a man to taste with his testicles, Amoy’s extra dark soy sauce was going to be it. Fragrant to the point of unpleasant, staining the sides of the bowl that it sat within, this liquid was a full-on assault on all of the senses. I was wearing my favourite orange t-shirt, and like fuck was I risking getting any stains on it, so that came off.

60 seconds went by slowly as I grew increasingly anxious that somebody could somehow get in and see me, naked, resting my testicles in a bowl of soy sauce, silently perched over a sink in the office bathroom. I had many expectations of this experiment, both realistic and unrealistic, though none were that this would actually work. Walking triumphantly from the bathroom, I had both a syrupy sack and conclusive results to deliver to the office.

And I’m sorry to disappoint, but it didn’t happen.

Concluding Remarks

I can only guess that people think it works with soy sauce because the odour is so pervasive that you can’t help but breathe in that sickly smell and feel like you’re tasting it. It seems odd that anyone would ever think this would work, but then again I’m the one sat at my desk with a sticky scrotum, so I guess I’m the biggest loser here.

Related stories recommended by this writer:

• I switched to women’s toiletries for a week and realised it’s all a big con

• I ate like an Olympic swimmer for the day and never felt worse

• I tried to eat and drink my way into making a profit from a first-class train ticket