Next time you’re stuffing fistfuls of delicious bacon into your mouth, you might want to consider sticking a piece or two of crispy goodness into your crotch, then up your butt for good measure. No, I’m not suggesting you develop a kinky bacon fetish (although experimenting with bacon condoms is always a good idea), I’m just a firm believer in enjoying the maple-hickory goodness with all of your body’s taste receptors. Including the ones chilling on the tops of your testicles and at the entrance to your anus. Yeah, you read that right: if you have testicles, you also have a gorgeous set of taste receptors right at the tippy tops of your gonads, just waiting to approve or disapprove your flavored condom choices. The same goes for the neat cluster of taste receptors sitting just inside your anus, although we feel kind of bad for that particular part of your anatomy . . . something tells us Nature gave them the sh*tty end of the stick.
If you’re worried that taste is about to become more of an anal and testicular than an oral pastime, don’t be — the taste receptors in your anus and testicles aren’t likely to overwhelm more traditional forms of taste any time soon. In fact, your non-oral taste receptors (which, by the way, are also present in your stomach, intestines, pancreas, lungs, and brain) are pretty much limited to tasting sweet and umami flavors (like the kind contained in bacon, for example). None of your non-oral taste receptors come close to the tasting power of your tongue, however, so you probably won’t be tasting your toilet paper.
At this point, though, you’re likely less concerned with where the funky taste receptors are and more curious about why any possible evolutionary process would slap some taste receptors where the sun don’t shine. Unfortunately, science doesn’t really have an answer. . . yet. Scientists discovered the unusual taste receptors while studying fertility in rats, and they know that taking away male rat’s testicular taste receptors rendered them permanently sterile. So we know that, somehow, tasting the delicate bouquet of ballsweat flavors is vital to the reproduction process, we just don’t know why. Researchers will continue to study the link between flavor receptors and reproduction, and we’ll continue to pretend we don’t know any of this information. At least until the next time we grab some bacon-flavored condoms.