Why Are Men Dipping Their Balls in Soy Sauce? An Investigation.

All in the name of science

TikTok user and pioneer of soy sauce ball-dipping @alxjames
TikTok user and pioneer of soy sauce ball-dipping @alxjames
Mike Falco

Men have been dipping their testicles into various things for various reasons for very long. Take, for instance, the Tennessee man who made headlines for dipping his balls into a customer’s salsa after said customer tipped only 89 cents.

But there’s a new TikTok trend making the internet rounds, and it involves men taking the dunk for science. The TikTok videos typically feature men dipping their (off-camera) testicles into bowls of soy sauce and filming their facial reactions.

According to Buzzfeed, the trend started when TikTok user @cryinginthecar posted a video referencing a 2013 Daily Mail article about a study that claimed: “Testicles have tastebuds,” then asked men to please dip their balls in something to find out.


please I need to know

♬ original sound – cryinginthecar

User @alxjames got a hold of the above TikTok, did his own research and found out the amino acid in soy sauce is one of the tastes that can be detected by the balls. After putting soy sauce on his testicles, he claimed he could “taste the salt.”


oh.. my god….. 🤭😳

♬ original sound – alxjames

And so it began. While @alxjames simply dipped his fingers in soy sauce, others decided to go all in.


Y’all. I AM SHOOK #perfectmeal #funfacts #tastebudchallenge

♬ original sound – stuylewis

Many tried and came back with only wet balls and disappointment.


Myth busted. Blow this shit up #fyp #soysauce #mythbusted

♬ original sound – cargianlos

Now, of course, the inevitable question arises, does this actually work, or are people just doing this for the views? Luckily we live in an age where we have TikTok doctors to educate us and dispel testicle-tasting rumors.

Dr. Kirten, a super attractive foot and ankle surgeon who’s educating the TikTok teens on health and wellness, basically called bullshit on the phenomenon, saying the “taste buds” have more to do with fertility. And unfortunately, the hot doctor is right.


Skinny dipping #react to cryinginthecar #todaywelearned #doctor #wellnesstips

♬ original sound – cryinginthecar

Turns out we have taste receptors all over our bodies: in our respiratory system, bladder, pancreas, brain and liver. According to MedicineNet, sour, bitter and umami —the savory flavor present in soy sauce — can be found in cells throughout the body. The initial 2013 study that sparked the trend had more to do with how these taste receptors are crucial for fertility, as the mice who had their receptors blocked were later found to be infertile.

And just because taste receptors have the word taste in them, doesn’t mean they act like taste buds. According to MedicineNet author and editor William C. Shiel Jr., MD, FACP, FACR, smell plays a vital role in taste as well.

“Flavors are recognized mainly through the sense of smell,” Shiel said. “If a person holds his or her nose while eating chocolate, for example, the person will have trouble identifying the chocolate flavor—even though he or she can distinguish the food’s sweetness or bitterness. That is because the familiar flavor of chocolate is sensed largely by odor.”

So for those who claimed their balls could taste the soy sauce, it’s possible they were just fucking with everyone or their brain convinced them they could based on the strong smell. Whatever it may be, we’ve all learned an important lesson today: be wary of unattended bowls of soy sauce.

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