I have come to a conclusion: Balls must be the loneliest parts of the male reproductive system. Perhaps we could argue that it’s the prostate, but I don’t agree for one second. Balls are always there, hanging, begging for attention and rarely receiving the kind they deserve. The prostate just hides inside and waits for some nurse who needs a specimen to come along and poke.

The life of the testicles is not an easy one. Early on, girls figure out that the balls are the easiest and most effective target on male schoolyard bullies. Boys drop like flies on the four-square courts, clutching their tummies and wondering “Why me, God? I was one of the beautiful ones.” Later, around the time hair starts growing “down there,” balls itch and sweat constantly, trapped by clothing, choked by a tropical humidity that forces them to do the backstroke. As if their lives weren’t bad enough, one would think that they would get rewarded during intimate moments with a partner: Maybe a little stroking, perhaps some kisses to show appreciation, even a light squeeze to reassure them that they are, in fact, valued members of the male anatomy. But, alas, balls are lonely and underappreciated.

The nuts work more for their owners than almost any other part of genitalia, male or female. Constantly in motion, they do what they can to accommodate themselves and the lucky owner. When it’s hot, they give themselves room to cool off and breathe by moving away. When it’s cold, they snuggle up to the body to keep warm and cozy. In essence, they are the perfect partners: They give you space when you need it and they get close when you miss them. You don’t even have to say a word – they just know.

So, after some research and endlessly questioning too many men I don’t know that well, I came up with a general consensus: The balls need more love. Even just a hint of romancing the balls is better than none at all.

We should start off slow. Maybe say the word “testicles” over and over. Repetition makes it less foreign and more comfortable.

If you aren’t that familiar with testicles, take baby steps. Walk your dainty little fingers across their surface, touch them, poke them, get to know them – softly. The sooner you feel comfortable, the sooner you can explore.

Cupping is the perfect way to ease into exploration. It’s simple. Make a cup with your hand. Now place it gently underneath the balls. Don’t worry; it’s supposed to feel silly, like you’re holding a bag of two tangerines at the grocery store. And speaking of produce, the best pressure, when you’re ready for it, should be something akin to checking oranges to make sure they’re ripe. A few little bursts of pressure here and there, maybe a long one for good measure, sort of like Morse code.

With someone you don’t know that well, pressure on the balls can be a little scary because no one knows what will happen next. Fondling feels good, but sometimes it begins to “breach the threshold of pain.” So go slow and communicate. It might be weird to tell someone you don’t know that well to “drop ’em,” but your babies are at stake. Don’t take chances with someone who is pawing at your balls.

While some accept mild suction, others said it felt as if they were “unwisely intimate with a vacuum cleaner.” So keep your ears open because your mouth is full and you probably can’t ask if he’s okay. Also, for your protection, smell check. Balls that haven’t been properly ventilated are sweaty, and no one wants sweaty balls in her mouth. No one.

There are plenty of ways to show appreciation to the balls. The reach around during coitus is a good one. Even just a little love tap to remind them and their owner, that you care. Your own personal experimentation will probably yield countless other ways to please them and your partner.

Just don’t forget that they’re there. Too often, the penis overshadows the balls. They deserve their moments in the sun – and hands and mouth.

You can find Daily Nexus sex columnist Nina Love Anthony at the farmers’ market most Sundays practicing her technique.