Hey everyone, I'm new to the board and would appreciate help with a rather embarrassing problem I've been having!
Basically, I've noticed that my penis has very little sensitivity. It doesn't feel completely numb, it just feels like almost any other part of the body. When I touch the glans I can feel some sensation, but it's very slight and not particularly noticeable. Orgasm on ejaculation still happens, but again it's nothing to write home about and I swear it used to be a lot better.
I never really realized there was much of a problem, because it seems like something that's just crept up on me gradually. I'm 22, but I think it's been like this at least since I was 18 or so - I can't really remember. What I do remember is when I was much younger feeling significant pleasure just in touching the penis, which I'm pretty sure is what is normal for most people!
With sex erection is usually fine, but I'm never anywhere near as much into it as the girl.
I actually had a blood panel done not that long ago, which didn't reveal much wrong, although my estradiol was actually low. I don't see how that could cause the problem, but there you go.
My other main symptom is low libido, and I guess I've always considered my drive to be less than most guys.
Anyway, mainly I'm just confused about the whole thing, and would appreciate any help or ideas anyone has.
Are you on any medication? Some medications can decrease libido and sexual pleasure (cholesterol-lowering drugs, anti-depressant, anti-anxiety, and more). Also, do you recall having an injury at all or change in exercise routine? Any of this could contribute to your complaint. You should definitely seek out a urologist, and you may need a more detailed blood test.
<small>[ 04-27-2009, 08:53 AM: Message edited by: Moderator ]</small>
There are a number of reasons that this could happen...1)you could be masturbating too much. 2)
Smoking and drinking. 3) high colesterol (some believe that the colesterol "clogs" sensitivity in the penis. 4) poor aerobic capacity--you've got to be able to breathe to have sex--it is very demanding and debilitating for men--that is why old men have such difficulty engaging in hot and heavy sex. If you cannot run at least three miles comfortably in 24 minutes, you are in no condition to engage in sex--if your are over 40, I would double this mileage factor. 5)Poor blood flow to the lower extremities (see point 4). 6) Trauma to the lowever Uro-genital area (for example if you are an avid bicycler or horseback rider). 7) Tension in the lower pelvic area: causes restricted blood flow (for example, if you are not loose and limber take up Yoga and do plenty of stretches) poor nutrition--you should stay away from red meats and soda and eat plenty of fresh fruits and vegetables and nuts unless you are allergic. Do not eat Soy products and stay away from milk since it is pure female hormones.
If, after doing all the above you still feel the same way, I would recommend that you obtain acupuncture from someone that has studied in China. Today's American Doctors are "certified" in acupuncture, but most really do not understand it. For them it is a way of increasing their income.
After you have faithfully done all the above, then you should go to a doctor that specializes in Testosterone related issues. I would find one by contacting a sex therapist and ask who he/she uses. That person will be much more knowledgeable than your average American Physician--including your standard Urologist. Testosterone is a very poorly researched and poorly understood hormone. To this day, we cannot unequivocally tell you what the optimum number is. The numbers often quoted are merely averages. If you fall in the lower quartile, you are definitely low on Testosterone, but your doctor will most likely say that there is nothing medically wrong. So find someone that has much experience in dealing with this problem.
And when you do have your testosterone checked, make sure it is a 24 hour complete "free available testosterone check." To date that is the only accurate way of measuring testosterone.
The fact that you are having this problem at such a young age is an indicator that you will most likely be totally impotent in a number of years if you do not address this issue now. At the very least you should make some serious lifestyle changes immediately--of suffer the consequences--your choice, your life.
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Thanks for the replies everyone, and apologies for a belated response.
In response to the general questions:
--- I have had my hormones checked a couple of times now. Testosterone has always come back fine, usually in the upper half or upper quartile of the range. Free testosterone has also been fine. I do have below range estradiol, but beyond that hormones appear to be OK.
--- I haven't sustained any injury that would've caused this, and I'm not an avid cyclist or horse rider either.
--- I'm not on any medication, my aerobic capacity is fine, and my diet is also fine.
So right now I've not had any real progress in finding out what the cause of this is. It's been going on for a long time, and is not an acute problem.
Right now I have a few theories as to what could be behind it. I could have some chronic infection, possibly of the prostatitis variety; the subnormal estradiol could be a problem; it could represent some neurological fault; or it could be psychosomatic. My next step at the moment is to get a blood test to check for overall chronic infection (esp. white blood count, platelet count). If that fails, I will hopefully seek referral to a urologist eventually.
I'm also open to the possibility that I may have some physiological quirk causing this that I cannot cure. Sensitivity probably varies among people. It's not impossible that I could simply not have it.
I don't know if this is your problem or not, but I am circumcised. What does this have to do with anything? Well, the glans (head of the penis) and the inner foreskin remnant is mucous membrane. That is the same type of tissue that is under your eyelid or inside your mouth. With the removal of the foreskin by circumcision, that mucous membrane is exposed to constant rubbing against underwear and bedsheets. Over time, the mucous membrane keratinizes (develops a protective layer of skin), which desensitizes the penis. My penile skin is dry and tough, the same as the skin covering the rest of my body.
By the time I was in my 40s I had trouble enjoying sex because I had lost so much sensitivity. Fortunately, I discovered foreskin restoring. It is possible to regain some protection of the penis by making the skin grow into something resembling a foreskin. I started the process and have noticed that my penis is regaining its sensitivity. My new foreskin is protecting my glans and what remains of my inner foreskin. The skin is returning to the way it should be: sensitive.
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