Think about how you like to relax at home. After a hard day’s work, maybe you plop on the couch, put on a game, kick up your feet . . . and slide your hand down your pants.
That’s just what guys do. Many men naturally reach for their junk both in private and in public without batting an eye. This includes fully submerging your hands in your underwear, occasionally reaching down to adjust your package, or even just playing a little pocket pool.
Related: 6 Ways to Keep Your Junk Fresh
So how come you do it? These three surprising reasons might explain why.
1. A Hand Down There Protects Your Package
Lodging your hand between your precious jewels and the potential hazards of the outside world makes you feel comfortable and safe, says Vanessa Van Edwards, author of Human Lie Detection and Body Language 101: Your Guide to Reading People’s Nonverbal Behaviour.
Guys subconsciously default to this position when they relax because they feel more at ease with their essential organs out of harm’s way. “You could think of the hand there like insurance against a friend who might give them a nut jab or a kid who accidentally hits a ball at them,” says Van Edwards. Maybe this explains why cricket players are constantly readjusting their junk at the crease.
2. It Eases Your Nerves
About to make a big pitch or close a deal? Rubbing your stomach or other body parts in a non-erotic way triggers the release of oxytocin, a calming hormone, according to a study in the journal Frontiers in Psychology.
That may be why touching your junk can be soothing. But since letting your hand massage your groin in a board room could get you fired, Van Edwards often tells nervous public speakers to stroke or touch their arms or the backs of their necks to reduce anxiety.
3. It Helps You Assert Your Dominance
Facing a business rival with your hand in your pants could mean you’re consciously or subconsciously trying to establish who’s boss, says Rob Kominiarek, D.O., a family physician and founder of the Alpha Male Medical Institute.
Telling other guys to back off by pointing to your junk helps you mark your territory, he says. Evolutionarily speaking, he who mates the most wins—even if these days, that means landing clients and accounts rather than producing offspring.
Originally published on menshealth.com