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Sensitive Penis: Causes and Best Treatments

8 min read
Sensitive Penis: Causes and Best Treatments

The sensitivity of a person's penis allows them to enjoy the pleasurable sensations associated with sex. However, too much of anything can be a bad thing - penile sensitivity included. When a person’s penis feels overly sensitive, it’s possible that it can have a negative impact on their sex life.

For example, hypersensitivity can reduce the amount of time it takes for an individual to ejaculate. This may lead to embarrassment, sexual frustration, or in extreme cases a sexual dysfunction known as premature ejaculation (PE).

If a sensitive penis is impacting your sex life you may be looking for answers.

This article explores all things penile sensitivity, from what causes a sensitive penis to how an individual can reduce the symptoms.

TLDR Summary

  • Penile sensitivity contributes to male sexual arousal but excessive sensitivity can negatively impact one's sex life, potentially leading to premature ejaculation (PE).
  • Overly sensitive penis may be associated with premature ejaculation, affecting both the individual and potentially their partner.
  • Studies have suggested a link between penile hypersensitivity and PE, with vibration threshold tests indicating a higher likelihood of PE in men with a lower threshold.
  • Factors affecting penile sensitivity include circumcision, phimosis, balanitis, summer penile syndrome, UTIs, penile injury, spinal cord injuries, and psychological factors.
  • Treatments to manage penile hypersensitivity include using condoms (especially those designed for PE), numbing creams or sprays, and seeking psychological therapy.
  • It's crucial to communicate with partners about penile sensitivity concerns and consult a medical professional for any ongoing or severe issues.

What is a Sensitive Penis?

A sensitive penis is usually considered normal, with sensitivity contributing to male sexual arousal and the build-up to orgasm. According to research, the most sensitive part of the penis for sexual pleasure is the upper side of the glans. However, if the penis becomes overly sensitive it may negatively affect a person’s sex life.

How does an overly sensitive penis affect men’s sexual life?

Hypersensitivity in the penis may be linked to premature ejaculation (see next section). PE is a sexual dysfunction that involves men being unable to enjoy sex due to ejaculating sooner than they would like. After early ejaculation takes place, it’s likely the individual will experience a loss of arousal.

Ejaculation is a recognized phase in the male sexual response cycle. After it takes place a “resolution” or recovery phase occurs. A male may be unable to become erect or aroused until the resolution phase has passed, which can often take hours.

Given that the individual suffering from PE will often lose interest in sex after ejaculating, a frequent occurrence of early ejaculation may also negatively affect the sex life of their partner.

Penis Sensitivity and Premature Ejaculation

Although the sensitive nature of the penis is often a good thing, research suggests that being overly sensitive may be linked to premature ejaculation. Two studies measured penile sensitivity by gauging the participants’ response to vibration using biothesiometers and arrived at a similar conclusion.

Although the sensitive nature of the penis is often a good thing, research suggests that being overly sensitive may be linked to premature ejaculation.

The first research study examined 420 subjects who attended a clinic with the symptoms of premature ejaculation. Participants recorded the time they took to ejaculate during intravaginal sex and had their threshold to vibration measured at the glans and shaft of their penis. The study concluded that a vibration threshold may be used to predict the severity of premature ejaculation. In other words: the lower the threshold to vibration, the increased likelihood of PE.

A smaller study also explored the vibration thresholds of 120 men with premature ejaculation. The vibratory response was measured at the subject's glans and shaft of the penis as well as their scrotum and index finger. This study noted the prevalence of penile hypersensitivity among men with premature ejaculation.

What to do if you’re experiencing PE due to penis hypersensitivity

If you believe that you are experiencing premature ejaculation due to penile hypersensitivity, you should consult a doctor for a professional opinion. They will be able to carry out appropriate testing and provide recommendations for treatment.

Potential Causes of Changes in Penis Sensitivity

The sensitivity of an individual's penis can vary for a number of reasons. We’ve highlighted some of the main factors which may affect penis sensitivity below.

Circumcision

Circumcision is a surgical procedure in which the foreskin is removed. It may be performed for religious or medical reasons, such as phimosis and balanitis (see below).

When determining whether circumcision affects penile sensitivity, research arrives at mixed conclusions.

Some reviews of existing literature claim that circumcision has no adverse effects on penile sensitivity, while other research studies suggest that penile sensitivity may be reduced or increased as a result of circumcision.

Phimosis

Phimosis describes when an individual is unable to retract the foreskin that covers the head of the penis. Male circumcision is considered the most effective method of treating phimosis. As mentioned in the previous section, circumcision may affect the amount of penile sensitivity an individual feels.

Balanitis

Balanitis is a condition in which an individual's penis glans become inflamed, affecting up to 11% of men in their lifetime. The symptoms of the condition include pain, swelling, and discharge. One of the treatment options for balanitis is also circumcision. In cases where a person undergoes circumcision to treat balanitis, their penile sensitivity may be affected.

Summer Penile Syndrome

It’s possible that individuals may experience temporary hypersensitivity to the penis due to a condition known as Summer Penile Syndrome. The syndrome is a seasonal condition with research attributing its cause to insect or chigger bites in up to 98% of cases. Furthermore, the research states that the condition typically lasts between 1 and 18 days with an average duration of just over 4 days.

Urinary Tract Infection

A urinary tract infection (UTI) is a bacterial infection of the bladder. This may result in individuals experiencing an unusual sensation in their penis, such as pain or a burning feeling when they are passing urine. Other symptoms of urinary tract infections may include nausea, vomiting or pain in their side or back.

Penile Injury

When the male genitals experience an injury (for example, from sports, workplace, or sex-related accident), it’s possible that an individual could experience changes in the way their penis feels.

A study found that painful erections were one of the most common complications for those who underwent surgery to address penile fractures, with around 10% of patients reporting the complication.

Spinal Cord Injury

Spinal cord injuries can be dangerous and even result in mortality. However, this type of injury may also affect an individual's genital sensation. Research notes that genital sensory damage as a result of spinal cord injuries can affect an individual's ability for achieving erections and ejaculation, as well as affect their quality of orgasm and sexual arousal.

Psychological Factors

Individuals with psychological difficulties may find they experience issues with penile sensitivity. Research claims that individuals who experience premature ejaculation report more sexual difficulties associated with anxiety and interpersonal issues. Individuals who are taking SSRIs, a type of antidepressant for treating mental health conditions, may also experience a reduction in penile sensitivity.

Treatments to Decrease Sensitivity in the Penis

There are a number of techniques an individual can use in an attempt to reduce penile sensitivity. We’ve explored some of the treatments for decreasing penile sensitivity below.

 CONDITION/CAUSE EFFECT TREATMENT
Summer Penile Syndrome Temporary hypersensitivity of the penis after insect bites Oral antihistamine and cold compresses
Urinary Tract Infection Painful or burning sensation experienced when passing urine Antibiotics are often a preferred treatment for addressing male UTIs
Circumcision Some research suggests circumcision may increase or decrease penile sensitivity Consult your medical professional as treatments may vary across individuals
Psychological Factors Premature ejaculation may be caused by psychological factors such as anxiety or depression Side effects of SSRIs may include reduced penile sensitivity. Psychological therapy may be used to address deep rooted causes of PE

Non-medical ways to reduce penile sensitivity

If an overly-sensitive penis has become a concern and is damaging your sex life, you might be looking for a way to manage the condition. We’ve listed some options below that may help to reduce your penile sensitivity.

Condoms

Condoms place a thin layer of latex between both partners' genitals during sex. This reduces the amount of sensitivity experienced and may increase the timeframe you’re able to last before ejaculating.

Condoms differ in thickness, which allows the wearer to find an option that offers the best balance of pleasure and sensitivity.

If you struggle to find a condom that reduces penile sensitivity to your liking, it may be worth exploring premature ejaculation condoms which are designed for reducing sensitivity. PE condoms contain anesthetic such as benzocaine, which numbs the penis during use.

Numbing Creams or Lotions

Using numbing creams or sprays can reduce the amount of sensitivity experienced during sexual activity. Penile numbing creams or sprays often contain a local anesthetic such as lidocaine, a popular numbing agent used in dentistry. The numbing products are typically applied 10-15 minutes prior to sex, allowing time for them to take effect.

Numbing creams can be applied more precisely than sprays, but are generally less discreet and messier. Numbing sprays may be more subtle and easier to apply but offer the user a little less control during application.

Always check the product's ingredients for allergens (for both partners) before use.

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FAQ

Does circumcision affect penis sensitivity?

Research studies have arrived at mixed conclusions as to whether circumcision affects penile sensitivity, proving it is a subject that divides opinions. Like all surgical procedures, circumcision involves risks - and it’s important that you are made aware of all the potentialities if you are considering undergoing circumcision.

How do I discuss penis sensitivity with my partner?

If you’re having problems with your penis sensitivity, confiding in a trusted partner may help reduce your worry surrounding the condition. Providing you trust your partner; you should be honest about any sensitivity issues at the earliest opportunity. This will allow your partner to understand your situation and put you in the best position to work past the condition together.

When should I seek help?

You should seek help as soon as penile sensitivity is having an adverse impact on your health or sex life. Consulting a medical professional will help you get the ball rolling and offer peace of mind that you’re working towards treating any potential sexual dysfunction.

Summary

Although a certain amount of penile sensitivity is natural, too much may be problematic and have a negative impact on an individual's sex life. There are links between penile sensitivity and sexual dysfunction premature ejaculation.

An individual's penile sensitivity can be affected by a number of things including infection, injury, surgery, and even psychological factors.

There are a number of ways an individual can aim to reduce their penile sensitivity which includes using condoms, penile numbing sprays, and creams. Although the information in this article is intended to be informative it cannot be considered a substitute for medical advice. If you’re having penile sensitivity issues, always consult a doctor for a professional opinion

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