The penis problems page: The answers to your most personal questions are all here!

Answers to men's, boys' and women's questions about the penis, sex, masturbation, love and relationships

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These are the questions answered on this page. Click on a question to go there.

1 I've hurt my penis by masturbating by "humping the bed" (known as Traumatic Masturbatory Syndrome", or TMS)

2 I've hurt my penis with too much rough masturbation

3 My foreskin is red and inflamed

4 My penis is flaking!

5 My penis is a weird shape!

6 I have white spots on my penis

7 I have a very sensitive glans which is uncomfortable to touch

8 I'm worried I have a fungal infection on my penis

9 I'm 14 and worried about precum. What is it?

10 What's this white stuff under my foreskin?
11 My boyfriend has a very large penis - but he can't keep it hard

12 Am I gay or bi or straight?

13 How can I get over TMS? (Traumatic masturbatory syndrome) And I think I've broken my penis with TMS

14 My glans is uncomfortably over-sensitive. Is this going to be a problem during sex?

15 When I pee in the toilet, it burns a bit

16 My girlfriend and I are ready to have sex, but I don't know how to do it! And my penis stands upright, hard and erect - what sex positions can we use?

17 I'm 20, and I can't get hard again after I've ejaculated until 30 minutes have gone by, and my girlfriend is pissed at me for it

18 I have a tight foreskin which won't roll back

19 My penis skin is so red and sore and my scrotum's affected too.

20 My penis is twisted! Help!

21 Help! I'm getting cloudy urine and what looks like some discharge from my penis

22 Help! I have blisters on my penis. Could they be the result of too much masturbation?

23 I get sexually aroused when I have a shit! Why?

24 I don't feel anything during sex!

25 I'm 17 and I'm worried my erections aren't hard enough for sex. What can I do?

26 I can't get erect with my new girlfriend at 17!

27 I'm 19 and have lost interest in masturbating and can't get hard.

28 I'm 14 and wondering if I'm sexually mature. I haven't ejaculated yet, and my penis is small.

29 I get erections all the time! What can I do so my girlfriend doesn't find out?

30 Skin on penis tears when having sex.

31 My penis skin tears during sex.

32 Low sex drive and can't stay erect at 30 years old.

33 My penis is a funny shape when it's erect.

34 I can't come when I masturbate or during oral sex.

35 Problems ejaculating and urinating.

36 Problems with Klinefelter's and not being able to get a relationship.

37 Foreskin won't go back and my glans is very sensitive

38 I come immediately I enter my partner

1 Q: I'm 15 and I hope my sex life is not ruined. I hump my bed to masturbate and I have never used my hand. I've been doing this since I was 13 and it always felt good until recently.

Now when I actually cum it doesn't really feel that a sexual disorder from humping the bed for a few years or is this normal? Should I be worried? Also my penis skin seems a little sore and red around part of my skin. Is any of this going to affect my sex life? Is there any way to make it feel good again? Please help as I'm really scared.

A: Humping the bed - which means masturbating by lying face downwards on a bed and pushing your penis into the mattress without using your hands - is called "Traumatic Masturbatory Syndrome". A variation practiced by some guys is to do this on the floor. The problem with this kind of masturbation is that it puts pressure on the penis and the base of the penis in a way that is hard to replicate in other forms of sex or masturbation.

Therefore, guys who masturbate like this may end up unable to have sex or masturbate, or to reach orgasm, in any other way than by humping the bed. It can also make the penis sore.

What's more, when a guy who has learnt to get off like this tries to have sex, he may need to reach orgasm by replicating his movements - for example between the legs of his partner - before he can come. His whole system may become desensitized to normal sexual stimulation. It's almost the opposite of premature ejaculation!

Guys who masturbate like this have almost always discovered it for themselves. Guys who learn to masturbate from their friends tend to use much more conventional techniques, such as making a fist around their penis and moving it up and down along the length of the shaft, often using lubricant to help them reach orgasm.

An important point is that TMS is not like normal intercourse. Normal sexual intercourse involves completely different movements and sensations on the penis to the harsh pressure of TMS. In short, TMS is not a way of practicing for sex, nor does it help a guy learn how to have sex.

I think it may have something to do with a fear of sex or touching the genitals for sexual purposes - I haven't done any research, but my guess is that guys who have had a sexually repressed upbringing and who are sexually inhibited may be more likely to experience TMS than others. One reason I think this is because it is such a harsh and aggressive act - almost like one is being punished for having sexual desires or masturbating.

Fortunately guys with TMS can learn to masturbate normally, and restore sensitivity to the penis. Many guys with TMS want to do this because they can no longer reach orgasm or they cannot get an erection.

Here are the websites which can help you to understand all of this and show you how you can learn to masturbate normally again.

A good information source on TMS

Remember, you don't need to quit masturbating. You only need to modify the way you practice it. You taught yourself how to masturbate face-down, and now you can teach yourself to masturbate face-up. It'll be easier this time around because you already know what turns you on, but in some ways it will also be a challenge because you have to set aside some of the shortcuts to orgasm you've been taking.

2 Q: The shaft of my penis is swollen after a long and somewhat rough masturbation session. Is this serious, and will it go away on it's own?

A: Leave it alone for a few days and it will heal normally. The swelling is a consequence of fluid retention in the tissues due to damage from your masturbation session. But the penis is remarkably resilient and adapted to friction, so it can cope with this kind of injury. Having said that, if you notice any change in your erection size and shape, or any damage that does not appear to be healing after a week or so, see your doctor.

3 Q: I happened to visit your site when I was looking for advice. For 2 weeks now my foreskin has been inflamed with terrible itching & pain. The inflammation gets worse after having sex. One of my friends told me that I might be suffering from "phimosis".

A: A phimosis is a tightening of the foreskin opening so that it will not roll back over the glans or down the shaft of the penis when it becomes erect. This does not seem to be your problem.

From what you describe, there are two likely possibilities: the first is that you have a fungal infection, which can be cleared up by using a cream from your doctor. The second is that you have a sexually transmitted disease, which you will need to get diagnosed and treated by your doctor. So it's off to the the doctor for you, I'm afraid!

4 Q: The head of my penis, the glans, is quite sensitive and has been since I was young I think. The other day when I rubbed the head to see if it was any better it was quite uncomfortable. Then I noticed that the skin went all wrinkly and looked all crackly. Then 1 day later I noticed that the skin on the head was peeling off in flakes...I am really worried. What can I do ? Is this normal? By the way I am uncircumcised.

A: You may have a fungal infection, which is easily cleared up with anti-fungal creams from your doctor. If so, you will probably also have redness and inflammation, with some itching, which you don't mention. So, I am at a bit of a loss to help, and I think if you are concerned a visit to your doctor might be in order.

Just two other possibilities, unlikely though they are, occurred to me. I was wondering if you are seeing some smegma, the natural deposit of dead skin and oils which can build up under the foreskin if it isn't washed regularly. And even less likely, but I suppose possible, is something I have come across a few times both personally and when very alarmed guys have emailed me in a panic thinking their penis was falling to pieces: that's the effect you get when vaginal juices from lovemaking dry out and crystallize on your penis. If you don't wash them off after sex, they can dry on the penis and then flake off later in what might look like skin flaking off.

5 Q: I have a question about my penis. After having seen penis pictures at your site, I realize that my penis might be different. And that troubles me. Here's how it looks: It's more like an oval or ellipse rather than perfectly round (circled). Imagine a cut at the middle. Then the height is much larger than the width. I'd be glad for any advice and/or pointers to other web sites describing this and what is normal and what is not.

A: Penises vary enormously in size and shape, so much so that it is almost impossible to describe an average one. This is not much help if you have one of the ones that lies outside, say, the range which includes three quarters of all men. And the more unusual you are, while still "normal", the more you are going to feel different and perhaps fear having sex or getting undressed in front of a partner.

However, the truth is that as long as your penis works, and gives you pleasure, it really doesn't matter what shape the cross section of the shaft is. You might even find it stimulates women more excitingly than an average penis - this is certainly true for some guys with a deformity called hypospadias, where the unusual shaped head can really drive women wild when it rubs on their G spot during lovemaking. If you want to see how you compare with other men, a good place to have a look is Penis Website

6 Q: I'm 15 and I've got these tiny white/creamy colored spots on the foreskin of my penis. The "Fordyce spots" that you described sound a bit like them, but mine are in clusters. I don't know what to do. Please help!

A: These are almost certainly Fordyce spots. All men have these, and some men have almost all their penis covered with them. They are certainly something you can think of as "normal". I receive dozens of emails asking for help with these spots, but there is nothing that can be done about them - they are a natural part of the skin of the penis.

Often guys who are very concerned about these spots have some deeper insecurity about their penis - they are worried about sex, or masturbation, and they project all their fears onto their penis, worrying about its size or shape or the spots you have described.

Another thing that happens very often is that for some reason men suddenly examine their penis more closely and see these spots for the first time - they then panic, and think they have some terrible disease.

But in fact the Fordyce spots are there from early in teenage years - I think they grow when a guy's testosterone starts to flow during puberty. All I can tell you is that all men have them, and no woman is ever going to be upset by the sight of them. So you can relax! Read about these white spots here.

7 Q: The glans on my penis is very sensitive and uncomfortable to touch. It's been like that for years...ever since I was young. I haven't had sex yet either. I was worried that it would be painful to have sex. I don't have any itching on the glans, it is just uncomfortable to touch, and it isn't at all pleasurable.

A: It's possible you are one of those men who have a very sensitive glans. And it can be a real problem, with cold weather, or even gentle touch, feeling uncomfortable. There are various ways you can help things improve:

First, if you are uncircumcised, expose your glans more to your underwear so that it gets accustomed to the rubbing of the material. This often helps if you can get over the initial discomfort - you might have to do it for a few minutes a day to start and gradually build up the time that your foreskin is pulled back.

Obviously this won't work very well if your foreskin won't stay back behind your glans, but it is a good way of building up a thicker layer of skin on the glans and making it less sensitive. An alternative, completely opposite, approach is to keep your foreskin over your glans to protect it. Second, if you are circumcised, you could buy a protective cotton sheath to cover your glans. Here's the link: Manhood

The small consolation I can offer you is that when you are sexually aroused the feeling of your glans being touched will actually be more pleasant, and intercourse should not be a problem.

However, you may find that after orgasm your penis is so extremely sensitive you cannot bear to have it touched - actually, this is not uncommon even among men who have a "normally" sensitive glans. You can read more about this problem and find helpful links at:

8 Q: Please tell me how you can catch a fungal infection, and how long they last, as I want to be sure whether I have one or not.

A: A fungal infection can be like athlete's foot or jock itch - you get it from spores in the environment and they grow because the area is moist and warm. If you don't have redness or itching, you most likely don't have a fungal infection.

You can also get it from a sexual partner if you don't use condoms - some women (and some men too, for that matter), carry an infection in their vagina/penis without even knowing it and pass it on to their partners each time they have sex. This can lead to false accusations of infidelity from the carrier to the partner who keeps getting re-infected!

With appropriate treatment from anti-fungal cream, they will clear up in a few days.

9 Q: I am turning 14 this year. I have just hit puberty. I wanted to ask you this: When I get a "boner" sometimes this clear sticky liquid come out of my penis. What is this? I don't think it's cum because cum's color is more of a cream. The stuff that comes out is clear and sticky. What is it and what does it mean? Is this a good thing?

A: Good for you for seeking the answers to these questions! What you are seeing is called pre-ejaculatory fluid or pre-cum for short. It's released when a guy is sexually aroused, and, like you say, it is clear and sticky. Its purpose is to prepare the urethra (the tube down the center of your penis down which you urinate) for the release of semen, by neutralizing any traces of urine which might damage the sperm.

In men who are uncircumcised, it also lubricates the foreskin so that it will move easily over the glans of the penis during sex, as the man thrusts his penis in and out of his partner's vagina.

10 Q: My penis is uncircumcised and if the skin is pulled back, there is white stuff under the skin. I don't know what it is but can you please email me back and let me know something about it?

A: It's called smegma - it's made up of natural skin oils and dead skin cells. It can smell a bit unpleasant if you don't wash it. Just clean up with a mild soap and rinse well with plenty of warm water and you'll be fine - it's quite natural. But good hygiene like this is important in keeping the penis fresh and clean. That way you can be sure a sexual partner will always find your penis attractive.

11 Q: My boyfriend has a very large penis...about 9 inches erect. He seems to have trouble maintaining an erection. I have found that with most guys they quickly get erections but my boyfriend doesn't.

He requires manual or oral stimulation for a while first. He is able to orgasm just fine during oral sex and keeps his erection but will lose it very quickly if I stop even for a second. We have not had intercourse yet but we tried to and he seemed to have issues with his erection. He doesn't have an erection while we mess around...he needs manual stimulation first.

Then when he went to put the condom on he lost the erection and had to masturbate to get it back up. He also doesn't seem hard enough to penetrate. He is like that with oral sex too and it takes a while to get him as hard as he would need to be for penetration. Is this normal? Is it because of his size? Am I doing something wrong?

A: It's difficult to say, but I guess his size probably has something to do with it. After all, it takes a lot more blood pressure to fill a big penis than a small one! Seriously though, it could be an issue. I don't have any information on this, so if guys with large cocks will write in and tell me if they have a similar problem, this would help.

It might also be a confidence issue, in that he is just not confident sexually, in which case my suggestion for you is to consider using Viagra - at least for a while.

This will help him have a firm erection and if he has a confidence issue, will help overcome it. He may also be frightened of his size - 9 inches is big and it may need a lot of sexual experience to be confident with a woman when your cock is so big.

I can actually imagine him wanting a smaller penis, because he thinks it may hurt you, or it may not fit, or some such idea. A big penis is not always a blessing! With condoms, strangely enough, a lot of guys have trouble keeping an erection while they put a condom on - this is discussed here:

However, the other possibility is less satisfactory - at least from your point of view. He might just not be very turned on, which could be because he is not attracted to you, and he is just going through the motions of sex with you because a) he thinks you want it, and he'd like to please you, or b) he wants to know what sex is like, and you are willing to have it, or c) he's more interested in men than women, or d) he's frightened of sex and/or women.

12 Q: Hi, I need your professional help to know if I'm straight, gay or bi. Here are the facts:

I am 29 yrs old, not in a relationship, and have not been in a relationship before.

Being straight:
1. I had sex with women before (around 3 occasions) in 1 year around 3 yrs ago. They were all prostitutes as I am not involved with any girl.
2. I want to marry a beautiful lady and have children with her and live happily as we get older.
3. I enjoy looking at beautiful women and get turned on if they are sexy.
4. When I masturbate, I think of women 40% of the time.
5. I don't have any sex experience with me.

Being gay:
1. I have visited a gay bar before (around 2 times) in a week 5 years ago. I have not visited again ever since. This gay bar had men who stripped on stage.
2. In the bar, I touched one of the men, I touched his penis and balls, and I enjoyed and think about it. (I did not visit the gay bar again or had sex with men maybe because I relocated, no access, and now I'm more active in church.)
3. I think of naked men when I masturbate around 50% of the time (higher than women).
4. I imagine giving a man a blow-job most of the time (but I have not done so).
5. I enjoy looking at good looking/sexy men, sometimes I envy them and wish I could be as good looking as
them, and I visit gay websites.
6. When I watch porn, I enjoy it more when there are men, also enjoy women only but not as much.
7. I feel drawn to rent/watch gay porn movies.
8. I feel like having sex with a man (to see if I will enjoy it) but currently do not have any access to male prostitutes (I don't want to have sex with a man who knows me for now).

Being bi:
1. I think of having sex with a man and a woman around 10% of the time.
1. I don't have and don't think I ever will have any feelings/love towards another man.
2. I have equal number of close men and women friends. Most of the men are good looking but I don't have any sexual or emotional feelings towards them.
3. I have not got a girlfriend before because I am very choosy with their looks and those good looking or nice ones do not like me. I don't hesitate approaching a girl and ask her out if I like her.
4. I'm a little more vain than most men but it's because I like to look attractive to women.
5. I envy men with big penises and want to have a big one also.
6. If there are good looking men that I regularly see but don't know them, I want to be around them.
7. When I masturbate thinking about men, after I ejaculate, I suddenly lose my interest in men and I don't think about men again for a while.
8. Women also turn me on, after I ejaculate during sex or after masturbating and thought about women, I still enjoy the feeling of having sex or thinking about women.

I hope the above information is enough, please help me in discovering myself. My attraction to men is physical only and I don't have plans to live my life with a man.

A: I think you are frightened of women and that you have sublimated your sexual desire onto men because that is safer and less threatening: after all, you are a man so you understand something about how they operate and are likely to respond to you.

And paying for sex with a prostitute is easy and safe - it's a business transaction, and you don't get involved. I think that if you were gay or bi you would probably have had sex with men by now.

After all, sex with men is very easy to get. If you really wanted it you could easily have experienced it, unless you are consumed with so much guilt at the thought of having sex with men (and for all I know you may be, as you mention your Church activity, and that is a background pretty good for inducing guilt) that it prevented you from being sexual with men, of course. I guess you can answer that better than me.

So my working hypothesis is that you are essentially straight and what you need to do is to become more confident with women. (And I am pretty sure you need to be more confident of your masculinity as well.) I think your lines about being choosy about women are a defense against your fear - and, yes, I know you said you are confident in approaching them, but my experience suggests the first statement about being choosy means more than the one about being confident in approaching them.

Anyone can talk to women, but whether or not they respond sexually depends on how they see you. Women will not respond - generally - to a man they see as desperate or weak or unsure of his masculinity in the settings in which I infer you are trying to pick them up. You (that's you, not men in general) are much more likely to be successful in bedding a woman if you start developing a friendship and let her see your good qualities.

You are, I think, wasting your time trying to be a stud, as I suspect you have neither the skill nor the charisma to back it up. And to be honest, the tone of your comments about being choosy suggests to me you are just rationalizing to yourself your failure to get a woman into bed or into a relationship.

I don't mean to be harsh, but I think you need a wake-up call. The fact that you have written to me suggests you are ready to begin your process of development and change.

And I think you have a lot of ground to make up. So, I ask you to consider: did you have a hard time around sex/masturbation/the penis/sexuality, etc, etc, from women, especially your mother, when you were growing up? Did you develop a normal healthy interest in (usually) first boys and later girls when you were in your teens? Or did you avoid women as much as possible? Was any significant female in your life a domineering, invasive, narcissistic or suffocating individual who stopped you from developing in your own way? Are you frightened of women?

(Be honest with yourself. We are talking about the little kid in you, not necessarily the 29 year old you are now. It's the little kid in you who controls who you get to go to bed with. And what he does depends on what he learnt as a child about sexual relationships.)

And, maybe the most important of all, did you have a strong, compassionate father, who was assertive, stood up for himself with women, and gave you a good role model to follow ?

After you've thought about these questions for long enough - and my advice is not to ruminate on them endlessly, that's a waste of time - I suggest you take some action:

1) Find a good therapist.

2) Perhaps try a sexual surrogate: research this on the internet.

I really wish you well on your journey. If you embrace it fully, you can find your self and have fun and excitement on the way. Unbend a little! Be adventurous. And enjoy life....

13 Q: I have given up TMS and now I'm worried sick! I think I may have broken my penis because every time my penis is erect it hurts. I suffered from TMS, and have never tried the "right" way to masturbate until just now. The problem is I think my dick is broken from humping the bed too much...I must have put too much pressure on it or something and broken it....can I be cured? What should I do? I'm only 15 and already have problems!

Also, could you tell me if it's normal when you're lying on your back and masturbating using your hand for your dick to be erect but not sticking up? Is that normal? While lying on my back, I don't know how to reach orgasm -nothing ever happens

Plus I get an erect penis a lot especially when I wake up in the I in any major trouble here?

A: Stop thinking of yourself as a sufferer and start thinking of yourself as a young man who has the power to take control of his life and behave more maturely than he has before. Why do you think your penis is broken? If you believe you have done it some damage, go and see a doctor.

I suggest you look for support about your TMS in a teenage discussion forum on the internet. There are plenty of great ones around. Type in "teen forum" or "teenage forum" or teenage sex forum (or something like that) into Google and see what comes up. There's also a support group in Yahoo forum for TMS guys.

A good information source on TMS

As you learn to masturbate "normally", you have to learn how to reach orgasm without the harsh stimulation of humping the bed as you used in TMS. OK. First, do not go back to your old habits. That is just going to make things worse. Second, read: And third, try masturbating standing up. Try masturbating for longer, as you may just not be getting enough stimulation to reach orgasm.

As far as your erection is concerned, it's completely normal for a penis to be hard and lie on your belly when erect. Almost all men have a morning erection. Play with it with your hand if you like to do so: after all it's your erection, your body, and you can enjoy it as much as you like. I'm sure if you just play with it with your hand you will find that at some point you get aroused and begin to move towards orgasm. At that point do NOT hump the bed! Lastly, try not to worry about this. I am sure your penis will be fine when you have retrained your body to enjoy normal masturbation.

14 Q: Quick question. When I get an erection, the foreskin exposes a large area of the very sensitive unprotected part of the penis, which I'm worried might be a problem, as it might me painful during sex.

A: An over-sensitive glans is a common problem for men who are uncircumcised. The glans will toughen up - it forms a layer of thicker skin - if it is gradually exposed more and more each day in your underwear - although you can only do this if the foreskin will stay retracted.

Many men find that their foreskin rolls forward again, in which case there isn't a lot you can do. However, I can reassure you that the warm, moist environment of a well-lubricated vagina is not one that I ever hear men complaining about, no matter how sensitive their glans may be normally! I think you will find that your fears are unfounded when you actually come to make love.

15 Q: When I pee in the toilet it burns a bit. It's been like this for a little while now say 3 months. I have been to a doctor to see if there's an infection but there was none. What could this be?

A: You may have non-specific urethritis (NSU). Try typing non specific urethritis into Google - that may help to get more information. But basically doctors call this burning sensation NSU when they cannot find out what is wrong...a difficult problem to solve, though they often try antibiotics and, indeed, that approach may sometimes work. The suggestion then is that you have some kind of unidentified infection, and the antibiotics have cleared it up.

It is faintly possible that you have caught something from your partner - not necessarily a sexual disease but some kind of bacterial infection that has been floating around in the moist environment of the genitals. Here is what one medical website says:

Urethritis not caused by either gonorrhea or chlamydia is called non specific urethritis, or NSU. The cause of NSU is not known, however antibiotic treatment is effective.

Although NSU does not cause symptoms in women, female partners of men with NSU may need to be examined.

Information about NSU.

Sometimes NSU is very hard to get rid of. It can return or recur, and since the cause is unknown, the solution can be hard to find.

Urethral irritation may also be set up by:

repeated squeezing or milking of the urethra

very frequent or vigorous masturbation or sexual activity

concentrated urine caused by dehydration

caffeine and/or alcohol, some medications

general illness


soap or cosmetic entering the end of the urethra.

General advice which may be helpful is to avoid the above, and see what happens. In additions, if you use soap to wash your penis, make sure you wash well, since soap can be irritating to the urethra. If you use latex condoms, try polyurethane ones instead, as you may be allergic to latex. And see a different doctor.

Sometimes the symptoms of urethritis are slow to settle, or they may return after a week or two. If you have taken antibiotics and there has been no further sex, it is unlikely that any infection is still present. The symptoms are likely to resolve in a week or two and you should not need further treatment. If you have had further sex or did not take all of the medication as directed, you may need further tests and should consult a doctor.

16 Q: My Girlfriend and I are ready to have sex within the week, and I'm worried that I don't really know what to do that will make her feel good and make her cum. Also when I get an erection my dick stands up in the air - it doesn't hang down, so if we wanted to do it Doggy Style we couldn't since my dick is erect and up in the air. I think there are few positions for a guy with a hard dick like mine. Please help as I want to make her feel good.

A: There are loads of positions you can try. See, for example, best sex positions for you.

In general, a man who has a hard penis that stands upright when he is standing up will indeed find that it lies hard against his belly when he is on his back. And it is true that he may find doggy style sex a bit uncomfortable.

But even if you decide you don't like doggy style sex, there are lots of positions where you will have no difficulty - the most obvious being the man on top, or the woman on top with her lying chest to chest on top of you. It really isn't much of a problem, and I suspect your fear comes from lack of knowledge about how to approach first time sex. Happily, there is lots of great advice on this page:

Good luck!

17 Q: I am a 20 year old straight male. When I am with my girlfriend and we get into foreplay, I get a really large erection, a nice hard erection, and I am able to engage in intercourse. However, after reaching orgasm for the first time, I can't seem to get it up again for a certain amount of time. I can have sex pleasurably and normally for as long as the first orgasm takes to come. But after that my penis just remains dead.

After 30 minutes or so, with the right stimuli, it gets incredibly hard once again. However, it is a real turn off for my girlfriend to have to wait, needless to say we have had fights about it. She's really been patient. When I was younger I used to masturbate quite a lot, always reaching orgasm once. Would this have had any effects on my future sexual ability? (We've been together for almost a year and a half and she is my first woman, I had never had sex before her/)

A: The problem is your girlfriend, not you. What you're describing is completely normal, even for a 20 year old man. The "downtime" you describe is called the refractory period and it can vary from 15 minutes to a day or more - the latter occurring when you are in your forties or older. I would certainly expect many 20 year old men to have to wait half an hour before being able to get an erection after ejaculation.

So I suggest to you that if your girlfriend, who is clearly ignorant of basic male sexual physiology, does not accept your explanation that you are actually a normal, sexually healthy male, you get rid of her and find a girlfriend who is more accepting of you as you are.

I'd also suggest you don't put up with this kind of whingeing and over-demanding nonsense, which, as you say, is making you feel bad about yourself. Maybe she's testing you in some way, and wants you to stand up for yourself? Since you are inexperienced with women, here's a piece of advice: you don't have to be polite to women at the expense of your own welfare!

Find out something about your own strength of character by telling her it's all normal, which it is, and you don't want to hear any more about it. If she continues to whine, then make a choice - dump her, or entertain her with oral sex or something while you wait to get your penis hard again. The former choice might be better for your self-esteem.

18 Q: When not erect I am able to retract my foreskin without problems. However when fully erect it does not retract without me pushing it back, even then it can be painful and difficult. What would you suggest would be the best cure for this? I can not see how I would be able to have intercourse with it in its present condition as I feel as though I could rupture the bit of skin on the underside of my penis. Any advice would be appreciated.

A: You have a phimosis, a tight foreskin opening, a condition which affects about 3 men in 100. A phimotic opening can be be stretched gently till it reaches normal size if it is simply that the foreskin is naturally tight. You can use a well lubricated finger inside the opening of the foreskin every night and morning.

With gentle pressure, the skin may stretch until you are able to move the foreskin easily. However don't pull too hard or you may end up tearing the skin and making it even tighter when it heals. If, however, the phimosis is a result of a fungal infection called balanitis, then you may have no option but to have a circumcision. For more information on all these issues, see Penis Myths

19 Q: I am a 26 year old uncircumcised male who has been having a major problem for over a year now. The best way to describe it is that my skin on my penis gets unbelievably sensitive. It is just red and kind of raw when it is bad, both on my scrotum and on the head and foreskin, but not really on the shaft. I have seen an urologist and numerous dermatologists, who seem to think I am nuts and that there is nothing wrong with me, yet I guarantee there is.

If it was just simply a problem of being a little oversensitive, I really wouldn't care, but the head of my penis becomes unbelievably red and irritated, leathery and scaly, like I could peel the top layers of skin right off, yet no skin ever comes off. It occurs to different levels of severity, but I would say at least 50% of the time the level of severity is extreme.

The first dermatologist I saw diagnosed it as either psoriasis or eczema, although even he would admit that he really didn't know. The urologist simply said he has no idea what it is.

From what I have found on the internet, the symptoms sound like either balanitis or a yeast infection, but I have tried all sorts of cortisone and fungal creams, all of which seem to inflame the problem, rather than help. The fact that my scrotum is also affected makes me question balanitis.

The first dermo that I saw told me to not do anything for two months, no creams or sexual contact. For two months I didn't even masturbate, which is not hard these days as I have very little sex drive due to this problem, and the situation got better. I started a more regular routine of masturbation, 2 or 3 times in a week.

After 1 week, the problem returned as bad as ever. A lack of anything is the only thing that helped at all. I have been on all sorts of antibiotics, creams and whatever else you can imagine without any success. I have also had std testing, blood tests, urine tests and even had a skin sample taken with no help.

I feel my only option left is to get circumcised, but I have no idea if that would help because of the fact my scrotum is also affected. I really am not that worried about the scrotum, it is a problem I could live with. It is the head and the foreskin problem with an erection that is ruining my life! I don't know if circumcision would help because whatever it is isn't only in that area.

The most useful advice I have gotten from any doctor yet is to use lube and to seek mental help for the depression. Lube prevents the scaling and leatheriness, but makes it extremely red and makes the recovery period take much longer, like a few days.

The only thing I have found was an email you have on your site about a guy who used accutane to relieve the white spots on his penis, and since has had severely dry skin on his penis. I also took accutane for the same reason and this problem started around that time, but I am not positive if the rash-like problem came first or the accutane. Is this a possible reason why?

I have reached a point of feeling utterly hopeless, as should be expected by 14 months of going to doctors and getting nothing in return, and in fact often just being blown off. Any advice would be much appreciated, like do you think circumcision would help with the head and foreskin area?

A: You are having a struggle, aren't you? The worst thing is not being taken seriously when you know something is wrong. I would guess at the accutane being the cause of the problem, but who knows? It might help to find other guys who've been in this position.

Try an internet search on Google for penis and acutane (spelt correctly, I'm not sure if it's one or two) and see if you get any useful information. You could also try and find other guys with similar experiences by going to some of the health forums on the net and checking out if this problem has occurred for anyone else. Try searching on terms like:

penis skin dryness
penile skin leathery
penile skin inflammation
foreskin and glans inflammation

It may be eczema, but I think the more likely culprit is the accutane. Did you put the accutane on your scrotum? The skin of the glans and scrotum are different in structure to the rest of the penile skin, so they might react differently to the skin on the shaft of your penis, which is what you are describing. However, this is hardly proof.

I suggest you try a therapist. You say you are not a bit interested in talking to someone about your penis. Why? That is a bit surprising. Your cock is causing you a load of hassle, why not see someone who can help you get your thoughts straight and maybe come to terms with the situation more?

As for a remedy, I think you should try alternative medicine. You may be skeptical, but what have you got to lose? See a male homeopath and be frank about the problem. You could also try aromatherapy, but for heavens' sake be very careful what oils you put on your need to research it carefully and use the correct dilution of the correct essential oils in a pleasant base carrier oil.

You might want to get advice from a good aromatherapist before you start. Lastly, try using a good quality skin moisturizing cream twice a day. This may keep your skin softer and moister, and therefore less inflamed. I am sorry you are having such trouble, and I wish I had more constructive advice to offer.

You may, however, have to face the possibility that you have to live with this, in which case, as I said above, therapy would be no bad thing.

20 Question: Hi. Ever since I was 13 or 14 I have had a twist in my penis, it's something I never really figured out why I have, but I do, and I have come to accept it. It basically looks like a normal penis accept instead of hanging straight down the skin twists so I'm looking at the side of it instead of the top.

This is something I do worry about, and I thought you may be able to answer or maybe have some advice for me. The twist itself is not too bad, and most of the time it doesn't bother me. But there are times when my penis will twist itself all the way around so I am looking at the bottom of my penis instead of the top.

The thing really looks whacked out during these periods, and it is virtually impossible to pee standing up when this happens, 'cause it will go everywhere. Now while I have dealt with this for about 6-7 years, really without thinking about it, all of a sudden I have come to worry that this could be a problem I should get checked. I really don't know, so I wanted to consult someone that maybe has heard of this or at least get some advice.

Answer: Sometimes such a twist is associated with a condition called hypospadias where the penis opening is displaced back down the shaft of the penis. You can read about hypospadias here:

Whether you have hypospadias or not, the twist is a congenital feature. It's caused by some unequal growth inside the penis during its development (and sometimes by injury during sex or masturbation.

And, rarely, by a circumcision injury). I'd say it occurs in about one to three men in 100. Sometimes it happens when a penis is a bit smaller than average? So do you have a normal sized penis? If not, you may like to read some of the material here about coming to terms with a smaller than average penis.

The twist may be most marked when your penis is contracting (say because you are cold or nervous) and less marked when your penis is relaxed. This is because the muscle fibers inside the shaft of the penis contract unequally. When they are relaxed, the penis looks more normal.

It's unfortunate that you have to sit down to pee, but there are worse things in life! Usually the twist is no more than 90 degrees from base to tip, but men who have this issue report that with an erection it usually straightens out a lot. As far as sex is concerned, most girlfriends don't bother about it, after all, they see it mostly when it's erect! (or at least they will look more closely at it when it's erect!)

And I am sure you will find that it gives you great pleasure even though it looks a bit unusual! By the way, surgical correction is not usually possible, but you might wan to see a urologist to confirm this.

21 Q : After I've had a shit, and come back later to urinate, when I urinate, there are white globules in my urine that were very visible. What can they be?

A: The globules are in fact semen. When you shit, your faeces press on your prostate, so that later when you urinate, the semen may come out in your urine. This is a normal situation. However, sometimes these symptoms can indicate Prostatitis. So it's wise to check with your doctor for prostatitis if this happens regularly .

22 Q: Hello there, I am a 16 year old who has been masturbating since the age of 13. On the underside of the head of my penis I have a couple of small blisters and I am convinced they have formed from too much masturbation..

Is this a common situation for young men? I masturbate using the foreskin going up and down over the head and have never used a lubricant. Having never had a sexual partner this is surely the only way these could have come about.. Any tips on how to get rid of these? Thanks for your time!

A: I think you are probably correct, but to be sure you really need to see a doctor. Whenever you have a penis problem, it's always worth getting a medical opinion, even if this seems a little embarrassing, because your penis is such an important part of your body. It deserves as much, if not more, care as any other part!

23 Q: I was doing some research tonight and found your website. When I read the "my prostate" page, I found the following statement:

"When a friend asked him what he did with all his sexual energy, he replied that sometimes when he went for a shit, he had a spontaneous ejaculation. This must have been because of the faecal matter pressing on his prostate as it passed through his rectum - the prostate is full of nerves associated with ejaculation and sexual arousal in men." I have a problem similar to this, but not to this degree.

Every time I have a bowel movement, I experience a strong sexual urge immediately thereafter. Sometimes I can feel the sensation of fluid moving through my tubes at about the time I feel the urge for a bowel movement. Unlike the man described above, I don't ejaculate right away. I have to masturbate or be stroked by my wife to ejaculate. I have been to many doctors about this problem (urologists, neurologists, chiropractors, allergists).

None of them have been able to find anything wrong with me, nor do any have an explanation of why this might be occurring. Your website is the first place where I have found anything related to what I'm experiencing. Do you know where I might be able to find more information about this?

Do you know of anything that might alleviate this problem? I have thought in the past that this may be the result of food allergies or a problem with digestion. I have tried a lot of supplements (herbs, enzymes, etc.) and have tried various diet programs. Nothing has helped. In fact, the problem has gotten worse. I would very much appreciate any help you might be able to provide.

A: I don't really see this as a problem, though I can understand it might be inconvenient for you. The cause of this is undoubtedly that your prostate is being stimulated as you have a shit, by either the pressure of the waste matter in your rectum or by your muscular straining as you push out the waste.

I don't think there is anything you can do about it either. The only thing that is slightly niggling at me is this: I'm wondering if this is happening because your prostate is slightly enlarged. I think it would be a very good idea to go and have a check up at your doctor.

24 Q: I am 23 years old. I have had sex a number of times but never felt anything, not even the slightest sensation, therefore never climaxing. I cannot hold a girlfriend because of this and it's making my life very unhappy. What could be causing this? How can I start having enjoyable sex? Is it a nerve in my penis or something else perhaps? Your advice would be greatly appreciated on this matter.

A: I think you need to see a doctor or a sexual therapist. The problem is that this might be physical; but it's much more likely to be a psychological issue around your ability to feel sexual pleasure. I seriously doubt that your nerves are not working! It's the bit of the nervous system in your brain that's the problem - for some reason you are cutting off from feeling.

That may be because of sexual trauma earlier in life, or a belief that sex is wrong or "dirty" because of a overly-moralistic upbringing, or fear of women, or a desire to be with men: the problem is that without knowing you or your sexual history, it's impossible to say what might be the problem.

But you can take matters into your own hands and go and see a sexual therapist, which will undoubtedly lead to the unfolding of a lot of emotional material which you may never have even suspected......and hopefully in the end, a much better sexual responsiveness.

25 Q: I'm only 17 years old and I'm having problems with my erections. I want to get into sex really bad with my g/f but my erections are nowhere close to hard enough as I want them to be. When I get turned on, it's enough to masturbate and come, but I can bend it and there's no hardness behind it. What could be wrong? What can I do?

A: The question is this: is your penis really hard enough for sex or not? In other words, have you got the wrong idea about how hard a penis has to be to have intercourse?

If you've seen porn films, you might think that "real" men have steel rods which stay hard endlessly while they shaft a woman for hours. But real life is not like that: men do not all have really hard erections, and many men with a low sex drive find that getting a really hard erection is often quite difficult.

If you are hard enough to penetrate a woman, then you have an erection that is hard enough for sex. The best way to find out is to try - and of course you might have a challenge there because if you are a "first timer" then you'll probably be nervous and perhaps lacking confidence, which in itself is likely to make your erection flop!

So first of all make up your mind that you're going to have sex, and you're going to try it out, come what may! The best way to do this, especially if your g/f is also a virgin, is to make it fun and light hearted, not a grim challenge in which your manhood is at stake! Tell her you want to get intimate with her, and see how sex goes.

You can tell her you love her (but only say that if it's true) and that you want to make her happy, but because it's your first time, you need to tell her that while it may be great, it might also be a real challenge, and since you'll be nervous, even though you find her incredibly attractive and sexy, you might need to get confident with her by playing around a bit before you actually make love.

Then, you've set the scene. She isn't going to be expecting a massive orgasm and a wonderful romantic session of lovemaking. And, believe me, women do expect men to know how to make sex good for them and even on their first time they often have romantic visions of a special time with a loving man.

Their expectations are completely out of kilter with reality, and to ensure you control this situation you have to make sure that she knows what is likely to happen. Sex is never great the first time a couple do it! This kind of scene-setting is all part of being a man. And here's an outline of how it might all pan out.

Obviously this is only one of many possibilities: Right, so you choose your moment, when you have privacy and time so you are not rushed.

You make her feel special by being loving and affectionate in the time leading up to your sexual connection. You tell her how excited you are, how attractive she is, and so on, and then you settle down into a cuddle.

You kiss and gently explore each other's bodies - don't leap straight for her breasts or vulva. You'll know when she wants more intimate touch, and it often takes a woman time to get to the stage of arousal where she wants to be touched on her genitals and breasts.

I say you'll know when she wants more intimate touch because things take on their own momentum, and each step will unfold naturally when the time is right. This is one of the remarkable things about sex - if you go with the flow, so to speak, you'll find it all much more relaxed.

All you have to know is where you're going to, and you'll get there! At some point you may begin to get naked, and clearly that takes things to the next level.

My suggestion to you is this - to make her happy this first time, try masturbation or oral sex on her before you attempt penetrative intercourse. She may or may not have an orgasm, but she will adore the attention. If you don't know much about the female genitals or how to masturbate a woman, then have a good read of some informative websites:

Now, after all this activity, let's go back to the situation where you are with your girl and hopefully aroused. Your penis may or may not be hard, but you are probably wanting sex: you have masturbated or given her oral sex, so you ask your girl if she is ready to move to making love, telling her that you are very excited and nervous, so you may find you lose your erection, or you may come the minute you enter her - all this is normal for a first time!

Don't fumble with your penis between her legs - you have never done this before and she needs to help you get it into her. If she's not wet enough, use saliva as a lubricant. You will know pretty quickly if you are hard enough to have sex or not! My guess is that you will find no problem at all in getting your penis into her vagina, even if you think it could be harder!

If you come too quickly, just laugh about it, and tell her that she excites you so much you couldn't help it, and it will get better each time you do it. Don't forget to use contraception.

All I can say is good luck. I think you have a bad case of first time nerves and I really doubt your penis is too soft to make love. Having said all that, if you really find that it's a physical issue when you get down to sexual contact, then you are going to have to see a doctor to get a medical opinion. But honestly, I just don't see that happening!

26 Q: I'm 17 yrs old and I am having difficulty getting my penis erect, it used to get hard all the time, like anytime I would hug a girl or kiss one. Though I've had sex a lot, it was all with the same partner, but I recently broke up with her, found a new girl and now I can't seem to get my penis erect.

Even when she gave me a blowjob I wasn't even close to coming. And when she stopped my penis went limp almost instantly. I don't know what's wrong because I sat there for hours messing around with her tits, her vagina and everything but still I couldn't get it up. It really bothers me - I feel like I am impotent or something.

Also it's not like I have a small penis or anything; I have a large one I think for my age 7 inches but it's not like it matters if I can't even get it up. This new girl means a lot to me, and there's nothing about her that doesn't turn me on, including the smell of her vagina, the taste of it, but still I cant get a hard on. Any advice would be greatly appreciated.

A: Well, the obvious answer is that you're not over your old girlfriend - have you grieved or cried about losing her? You'll have to get her out of your head because it sounds to me like you want to be with her and not with your new partner. The penis always reveals what a guy actually wants, even if he thinks he wants something different. Your cock seems to be telling you that you don't really want to be with this new girl!

27 Q: I am 19 and have been masturbating for quite some time now - probably about 4-5 years. Recently I have been doing it a few times a day. The past few days I haven't been getting any erections. Now if I try to masturbate I only get about half way hard, though I can still orgasm and it feels good. I just don't seem to get as hard as usual.

Also, my desire to masturbate seems to be non-existent recently. Could this just be that masturbating so much recently kind of wore myself out? I am somewhat concerned. Could I have turned impotent?

A: I think the problem lies in why you were masturbating a few times a day. That is a bit unusual. Were you bored? Stressed? Depressed? Angry? Such frequent masturbation suggests something isn't quite right emotionally, and my guess would be that whatever was inducing you to masturbate so frequently is also the cause of your sudden lack of interest in sexual activity.

Although this may sound like a paradox, it could be that you were seeking relief from some stressful emotional situation, and since masturbation does initially make one feel good, this would temporarily be effective.

However, it doesn't solve the underlying problem, whatever that may be, and in the end that problem will reassert itself, as it appears to have done for you with your decreased sex drive and lack of erections: a classic sign of depression or stress.

So my suggestion is to look inside yourself, and ask honestly what might be bothering you. The answer will be there, if you care to acknowledge it. A final word: some medications can decrease sex drive - many prescription medicines have this effect, so that may be another explanation of your difficulties.

28 Q: Hi. First I have to say that I love your site. Secondly, I am 14 yrs. old. When is the latest time that you start to produce semen, I mean, I think I can cum a little, but it's not much at all. And does your penis grow much more after the age of 14, because it seems like it has been the same size as when it was 2 yrs. ago? Could you help me? How can you exactly tell the difference between sperm and urine when it comes that time? Do you just know?

By the way, I have been very sheltered by my parents. I still haven't received the sex talk and in fourth grade I didn't even know what porn was! I'm not very sure about my sexuality at this moment. I mean, I like women, but sometimes I like men's bodies.

A: It sounds from your email as though you are not yet sexually mature. If so, then I am sure that you will find both the volume of your ejaculate and the size of your penis increase between now and the time you are 17 (which is about the age when every guy can reasonably conclude he has passed through puberty).

Needless to say of course if you have any reason to think that your puberty has not progressed as it should, you might want to see your doctor to get it checked out.

As to the difference between semen and urine, well I think it will be obvious when you ejaculate for the first time. Try to have an open mind, don't be scared, and enjoy whatever happens without embarrassment or fear. Growing into a man is a wonderful and exciting journey, but you must take it at your own pace and not feel pressurized by what you see around you.

The first clue that you have ejaculated is the feelings you have when you "come": very pleasurable muscular contractions, tension and excitement that is resolved into a wonderful feeling of contented relaxation when the semen comes out of your penis. (Semen is the milky fluid in which sperm are contained.)

You may also have exciting sexy thoughts - sometimes they may seem strange, but don't worry about that. Fantasy allows your mind to range through all kinds of ideas which you are never going to try out for real!

And as for thinking about men's bodies - well, all pubescent boys go through a phase of thinking about male bodies. Sexual orientation isn't fixed until you are about 21 years of age - or even older. So don't worry about your thoughts and feelings - they will most likely change as you get older.

29 Q: I am an embarrassed teenager looking for an explanation. I've heard that it isn't totally uncommon for teenagers to have erections when they wake up. How uncommon, exactly? I also find myself with problems of getting erections on the bus, sometimes even in tight car situations, and rarely, just sitting in class.

What bothers me is that I don't at all feel aroused or anything, I'm just trying to enjoy my bus ride or what-not and suddenly I'm looking down asking my dick "What the hell are you doing? We're in public, go away."

I'm inclined to believe that such spontaneous and unprovoked erections aren't all that common, otherwise how would men survive on a daily basis? I manage to hide it most of the time but how uncomfortable it is to have to get off the bus hoping no one can see a bulge in my pants.

And the worst part is that it happens when I'm with my girlfriend sometimes, even if I'm just holding her or kissing her. It's stupid because I know we're not going to have sex or anything and I don't even want to but even feeling in love gets my penis excited. I think I've managed to hide it from her but we're very much in love and it isn't something I'll be able to conceal forever.

So I want to know exactly what it is, am I just more sensitive than usual? How can this be dealt with? So far I've tried to simply discipline my mind and thus control my body, and while it's helped, it still isn't a sure thing. I'd really appreciate any information available, it's a very embarrassing and uncomfortable thing.

A: Thanks for your email.

As you can see, what you describe about getting erections all the time for no obvious reason is perfectly normal. But a bit more information might be helpful for you.

I would say that all men get morning erections very often - some will wake up every day with an erection. It has nothing to do with a full bladder, it happens because the levels of testosterone in your system are highest at that time of day. Only in your 40's will these morning erections begin to decline.

Spontaneous erections are extremely common. You ask how do guys manage? They learn to adapt! I remember one memorable occasion at school when one guy refused to stand up and present some work at the front of the class until the teacher forced him to do so.

Sadly, when he reluctantly stood up, his burgeoning erection was all too obvious to both guys and girls alike, and he never lived it down - as though the other guys never had spontaneous hard-ons! The truth is, it happens all the time, everywhere, for all men, though it does decline with age.

As for the erections you get when you are with your girl, well, I'm not surprised that you find it embarrassing, but I'm also not in the least surprised that it's happening! You have more testosterone in your system than you ever will again, and your body is responding very naturally to this. ( A girlfriend = potential sex, therefore, give him an erection in readiness!)

How you deal with this depends on many things, not least how relaxed you are talking to her about sex. Something you may not realize is that for her, vaginal lubrication is the natural counterpart to your erection - it's her way of getting ready for sex with you. The only difference is that you don't realize this is happening to her! If you are getting an erection, she may well be getting "wet", especially if you are kissing or feeling romantic.

Now, she will have sexual desires and she will know her body is responding to you - after all, she feels her increasing wetness as sexual arousal, and she will see it, when she undresses, on her underwear.

However, she is spared any outward signs of this arousal, so she finds it easier to deal with than you do with your obvious erection. But let me ask you this: why would you wish to hide from her the fact that you find her sexually attractive?

There's no shame in liking a girl, and wanting to make love to her - especially if you are in love - and the fact that you respond to her sexually doesn't mean you have to take it any further. You could make a joke of it, and say something like: "Boy, I find you so sexy and exciting to be with, you can even see what it's doing to me!"

My point is that she's going to learn one day that men get erections when they kiss a woman or hold her close. It's natural, it's a part of being a loving, sexually alive man. (And don't forget - she may well be getting sexually aroused too, but like I said, it's just less obvious.)

One of the reasons that the slow, close dance evolved was so that a woman could judge how her man felt about her - she can obviously sense his arousal when they dance close, and in turn she will respond to the exciting knowledge that he wants her sexually. That's a part of the dynamic between men and women!

You might therefore be able to see all this in a different light, where, instead of being an embarrassing thing, it actually becomes exciting for both of you, and it teaches her something about the way men respond sexually to a woman they adore.

It doesn't mean that men "just want sex"; it doesn't mean that men "are only interested in one thing"; it just means that this is how we men are - that our glorious male sexual energy is always ready to give pleasure to both us and our partner if we choose to make love.

So, I'd encourage you to see your erections as normal, and accept my assurance that what you're experiencing is absolutely normal in every way for a healthy young man, and is in fact something to be celebrated!

By the way, if you are in love with your girl, I wonder if you have thought that being in love implies a willingness to trust the other and a willingness to communicate your thoughts, feelings and experiences, rather than trying to protect her from your reality?

You actually have no idea how she would react to either knowing about your erections or the fact that you are sexually excited by her. She might actually be very flattered. Don't underestimate how important it is to a woman to know that her partner fancies her and appreciates her sexually.

That's a major part of a sexually mature woman's psychology. I feel very strongly that you should not feel shamed or ashamed because of what you fantasize she might think about your sexuality. What you're experiencing is normal for men! Maybe you can explain it all to her?

Lastly, if you are sexually active, there are obviously ways to get pleasure without enjoying full intercourse. And enjoy your sexuality: it's something to be proud of.

30 Q: Hello, I'm a 17 year old uncircumcised male. The skin on the underside of my penis will sometimes tear, leaving a red spot that hurts for a while. It doesn't bleed much, but I'm still unsure about whether it is a problem, or just something I'll have to deal with?

Other things that may or may not be of interest: my penis curves downward (the skin on the underside seems tight when erect), and there are also some bumps near the base on the underside (they don't hurt, as far as I can tell). Can you can shed light on any of these (I'm more interested in the answer to the first one)?

A: The spots are probably Fordyce spots - very normal, everyone has them. You can check them out here: (section B1)

As for the tearing, it could be you have a short frenulum (the frenulum is the band of skin connecting the head of the penis to the foreskin).

This may be shorter than normal and making the skin on the underside of your penis tight: it's hard to know without a picture. You can read about short frenulum ("frenulum breve") here and see if it sounds like your problem:

31 Q: Hello, I'm a circumcised man, aged 28. The skin underneath (on the ventral side) of my penis will sometimes tear during sex, leaving red marks that hurt for a while. They don't bleed much, but they can hurt a bit.

A: I realized that you are circumcised, so maybe the information in my previous email was irrelevant.
I'm wondering if you mean the skin on the shaft of your penis tears when you have sex. If so, then maybe you just don't have enough lubrication when you're having sex.

If your girl is not producing enough lube, you can always use artificial lube: I suggest Probe or Astroglide, though Durex do a good one called (I think Sensitelle). You can get this off the internet or in a pharmacy, and the good lubes are just like natural female vaginal lube. If you don't use too much (which can lessen the sensations) it may well stop the friction which can cause minor skin tears.

32 Q: Hi. I am 30 year old male who is still a virgin. This has been down to several factors, however I have managed to resolve most of them, but I'm stuck with one main problem. This being that I struggle to maintain an erection for more than a few seconds. After this I have to tense the muscles in my penis, which causes it to sort of jerk, however this only has the effect of keeping it stiff for a few seconds longer.

I went to the doctor (with whom I was not totally honest) and got some Viagra tablets. However this does not seem to have really helped. I wonder if you have any idea what my problem might be?

On a second note, my foreskin is a little tight. Although it will go over the glans when I massage it back, it does not automatically go back over the glans when my penis is flaccid. Should I be thinking of having my foreskin removed? I look forward to any comments you have.

A: First, see a good sexual therapist or a psychotherapist who deals in sexual issues. Work with him or her to understand why you have some issues with sex. Start looking for one here:

Next get a full hormonal assessment done by a competent doctor who is qualified to work out your hormonal profile. You may want a referral to an endocrinologist ( a hormone doctor) to check if you have low testosterone.

Third, I think your erection issues will go when you have worked on the two things above. So many of the problems we face as men are down to the confusion and conflicts in our minds about sex. For example, have you any fears about being gay? Did you experience sexual abuse as a child?

Did you suffer emotional abuse from women which has left you unable to establish a sexual relationship with them? There are many possibilities, and only working with a good therapist can solve them. Often, however, when they are solved, what appeared to be a case of low libido is spontaneously changes to a more healthy state of sexuality.

Fourth, about your foreskin, try the simple stretching techniques described here (see the "foreskin won't go back" section): Penis Myths

33 Q: I just have a question about the shape of my penis. When it erects, it bends over to the right and then the beginning of the penis starts out straight and then all of a sudden it bends down and to the left. It wasn't like that a couple of years ago though, now it's come to a point where I can't masturbate properly. Is there anything I can do about it?

A: It sounds like you may have Peyronie's disease:

I think your best course of action is to see a urologist (a dick doctor!) Ask your general practitioner or family doctor to refer you to a specialist. Try and see one at a teaching hospital - the expertise is likely to be much better.

34 Q: I am a 20 year old male who has been having a problem for quite some time now and it has really been bothering me. I thought it's about time I did something about it instead of continually worrying.

I wrote to you guys a year ago saying I had trouble retracting my foreskin over my glans when my penis was erect. You said that I probably had a mild phimosis or something. Anyway the advice you gave me worked and I am so happy with it now. (See: Penis Myths.)

I can't thank you enough. Anyway this current problem is very embarrassing for me but here goes.

I have always had trouble with masturbation and still do! I never really tried to masturbate until I was about 17 I think and I could never do it. I would get very hard but never ejaculate. I thought that this may have been because of my foreskin problem but I appear to be over that now and still can't masturbate!

The thing is I don't have any erection problems. I am sexually active and have no problems at all ejaculating having sex. It's just masturbation and 'hand jobs' and 'blowjobs' don't get me off! The only ways I can get myself off is by humping a pillow and watching porn..

This whole situation is causing me a lot of distress because I can't masturbate the way most people do and I worry a lot about future relationships. What will girls think of me when they suck me off and I don't ejaculate?

I told my girlfriend my problems today and she told me to go and see the doctor and he said that he thinks it's more of a mental thing and not a physical problem as I have no erection problem and can ejaculate having sex. Anyway I was just wondering what your opinion is on this matter and any help or advice would be greatly appreciated.

A: Hi there. Funnily enough, most men can't come through oral sex alone. It's a myth that they can - often there just isn't enough stimulation to make it happen unless the woman also uses her hands to help "complete the blow job". I'm glad you can come during sex - that makes me think the only problem you have is that you have trained yourself to only come in a certain way when masturbating. You can therefore "untrain" yourself. See if the ideas for curing traumatic masturbatory syndrome sound helpful:

35 Q: I am 38 and about 5 years ago I started having some problems and discomfort during ejaculation. I have noticed that my sperm does not shoot out like it used to, therefore I do not have the sensation that I used to have. I may have one good contraction and then it feels like it just dribbles or runs out (which doesn't provide the same sensation).

My ejaculations also don't seem as long. I now have to be on top when I ejaculate to get the sensation whereas before I enjoyed being on bottom better because of the sensitivity and sensation.

If I ejaculate on my side or when I'm on bottom I have some discomfort instead of sensation, sometimes a burning feeling and the head of my penis will hurt. If I stay inside of my wife after ejaculation while she continues to move so as to reach orgasm it can be uncomfortable. I have also noticed that I do not release all of my semen: if I squeeze my penis after sex more semen comes out. I am not able to push it out during ejaculation.

I've also noticed a problem when I urinate. I am not able to push the remaining urine, it will dribble out after I have finished. When I try to push it out nothing happens. I do not have any discomfort or burning feeling when I urinate, so I know that I don't have an STD.

I have had my prostate checked and recently had a test by a urologist where they put a tube up me into my bladder and everything is fine. Are these two issues related and is this common? What can I do to get back to the good old days of powerful ejaculation whether it be on my back, side or on top?

A: Hi there. I'm sorry you are having these problems. I don't know what could be causing them, but I'd suggest you have a full screening by a doctor qualified to measure hormone levels and see if perhaps your testosterone is a bit down. This can lead to a decrease in ejaculatory power and some deterioration of the condition of the muscles responsible for ejaculation.

You could also try Kegel exercises, contracting and relaxing the muscles responsible for ejaculation (also the ones which you use to stop peeing in mid-flow) as many times a day as you can. This will increase their strength and increase the force of your ejaculation.

I also wonder if you may have non-specific urethritis. This is usually characterized by a burning sensation in the penis during urination and even though you don't have this, it might just be one of the factors affecting you. You can look it up on Google by typing non-specific urethritis into the search box.

I would normally think of the prostate as the cause of such a problem, but you have had it checked, so this may suggest your problems are more muscular and perhaps psychological - maybe a lack of confidence of a degree of anxiety has begun to affect you? Relaxation therapy could be helpful in overcoming your fears.

36 Q: This is going to be very upfront and personal. I've been trying to locate a consoling website because I have a very unusual problem. Although the way it looks here, I'm certainly not alone. I'm a 50 year old male who's been suffering with Klinefelter's since I was 19.

All the classic symptoms: i.e. high pitched voice, small penis, small scrotum, low sex drive, little (no pun intended) secondary hair. Having been married, albeit for a short time I know everything works; no kids. At one point, I asked my best friend to do the right thing and donate sperm, but he declined; he insisted that I was FULLY capable. No luck.

My best friend thinks I'm gay; I keep reassuring him that I'm not. He's tried everything (within reason) to help me meet/go out with women. I love women, but that extra chromosome has been hindering me for years.

I'll talk with a woman, but I just can't seem to ask them out. I've inundated myself with working and volunteering, but have not had sex in about 10 years. Talk about extremely low self-esteem. Holy crap! If I told this to the average male, they'd think I'm totally screwy. I'm not gay, have no gay tendencies and love women. Masturbation is no problem, never has been. I'm 5'5, 198lbs. work overnights and a part-time job (no choice right now).

At this stage of my life, I miss the tenderness of a woman's touch, etc. I have a female "friend" who's been my "friend" for 2 years, with no sex. I told her that my resolution this year is to be more giving and caring and spending more time with her, as well as losing weight. I've had all of the tests done for Klinefelter's, Karyotyping, and sperm count.

I haven't been to an endocrinologist in years. Do you have any suggestions? Something's got to give! Don't you think? Any help/suggestions you can give me will be greatly appreciated. Thanks.

A: First of all, let me say how very sorry I am that you have had to live with this problem. I have worked with many guys who have penis problems and I know how very fundamental to a man's sense of masculinity his penis is. So, I am sorry that you have these problems. Of course, that isn't enough! The important thing is to find a way to deal with your current problems.

First, the physical. By the way, I'm a therapist, not a doctor, so you might have to help me. Do you have a reasonable sex drive and erections (I assume so from what you tell me). If so, then there's no reason to seek testosterone supplementation? And of course, if you have sex drive and feel a drive to have a relationship with a woman, then it's the emotional side of things that needs attention.

We live in a society where being a man is often seen as being macho and - by implication - having a big cock.

The question I'd ask is where this leaves guys with small penises, who in every other way are quite capable of having loving relationships: have they perhaps incorporated into their psyche the idea that they are not "good enough" for a woman because they are not macho or male enough?

Think about it: no matter how normal it is for you to want a relationship with a woman, you have the self doubt and fear of rejection that very naturally come from being different to the average plus the fear of not meeting society's supposed standards of masculinity.

It doesn't matter that many women don't care about these things - that they just want to be loved and cared for - what is more important to you may be avoiding the pain of rejection or humiliation. And that prompts me to ask if you have had a series of humiliating events centered on your penis size?

I know that boys can be very cruel - from hearing it over and over from clients, and indeed from my own experience (I have hypospadias) - and such experiences can, it seems to me, scar one for life and set up a decision in a boy's mind never to trust anyone in a situation where he may be exposed to the same possible experiences again - eg, of course, in sexual situations. The power of this can be incredible.

I have seen many men who think, "Well, I want a relationship with a woman," and who genuinely mean it, but who still can't get one because of the force of their childhood experiences and the fear of humiliation being repeated. So - would that be your experience?

Lastly, I wonder if you have any deep anger towards women that is holding you away from them. This might, for example, be the product of a bad relationship with your mother when you were young, or maybe a bit later in life. Was sex a taboo subject or one that was surrounded by a sense of shame in your family?

Did your parents ever talk to you about sex or Klinefelter's? The point I am getting at is this: you may have developed a sense of shame in your mind from how others behaved towards you - not necessarily because of your extra chromosome, but perhaps because of your parents' or caregivers' own issues with sex and relationships.

I wonder also if you were privy to a good, harmonious assertive relationship when you were a child, or whether the family environment was somewhat toxic? Such environments often lead adults to have difficulty with relationships when they are older.

By now, you may have recognized something of yourself in all of this. You may be wondering what you can do about it. I think the answer is therapy from a good sexual therapist. Indeed, I'd go so far as to say that I think it's essential to get you back to a place where you see yourself as the wonderful human being you are, worthy of a relationship with a loving woman, and with a stronger self-esteem.

You can find a therapist here:

37 Q: I really need your help. I am only 14 years of age and I have a problem. I have read the problems on your site and I have foreskin does not pull back over the glans and my underneath my foreskin is very sensitive. You have solutions to both of the problems but they involve touching the glans which is really painful. Is there any other way I could solve the problems without touching the glans?

A: Your glans will indeed be very sensitive if your foreskin has never been retracted, but it will become less sensitive as it is more exposed. I'm afraid there isn't anything to do about this aspect of the problem than to put up with the discomfort until it the glans has become less sensitive. As for retracting your foreskin, you could try the stretching process described in the article on this page: Penis Myths

(see "your foreskin won't go back over your glans")

However I think a visit to your GP would be a better idea. If your foreskin is not retracting because it has not separated from the glans, as sometimes happens, there is a steroid cream which should loosen the attachments and free the glans.

Your doctor would be able to prescribe this and also could advise you on how to deal with the sensitivity of your glans as well. From your email to me you seem mature enough to cope with seeing your GP about this problem - I know it may be embarrassing but from his point of view it will just be a routine matter. From your point of view it is important to get the medical help you need to live a full and happy life, including in all aspects of your sexuality.

Lastly, is it possible you could confide in your Dad, or perhaps another older man you trust? All men have an understanding of how important the penis is to our self-image, and I would hope someone in whom you put your trust in a matter as personal as this would be supportive and understanding in helping you solve the problem.

38 Q: I come immediately I enter my partner, and I cannot stop myself. She's very upset about it, so what can I do?

A: Lack of ejaculation control is probably the most common male sexual issue. The real deal is that you don't have control - not how quickly you come. Because with voluntary control you can choose how quickly you reach orgasm - for example, speeding up your pelvic thrusts will make you come more quickly.

Keeping to a slow rhythm will help you last longer - possibly as long as you wish. With no control, your ejaculation sneaks up on you unexpectedly, and you find that you're shooting your load before you know it. It's a common problem among men of all ages, but especially in men in their twenties and thirties.

Some men find it goes away as they get more sexual experience. If you want a premature ejaculation treatment, there are many on the internet.

Ejaculation is an involuntary reflex which allows for some control. A man with ejaculatory control tolerates high levels of sexual arousal from any source - masturbation, oral sex, intercourse - without ejaculating and indeed chooses when to ejaculate. Lack of control is variable - some men never seem to have much control, others are in control during oral sex or masturbation, but not intercourse.

These ejaculatory issues may be down to lack of knowledge, lack of skill, or lack of attention. When you're very excited you don't have much control. All this means that men need to take more time to understand each other's needs and explore sex slowly without heading straight into sexual intercourse.

Get to understand what your partner likes and what she wants you to do to her (and vice versa) - and also take time to talk during sex and in your lives. Check out Bernie Zilbergeld's The New Male Sexuality where you will find lots more information that helps men get greater ejaculatory control.