Please help - penis head too sensitive.
February 28, 2010 8:05 AM   Subscribe

I am uncut 26 year old male. I have phimosis, but have been doing some stretching exercises, and now I can pull the foreskin back, exposing the glans (not without difficulty, but I believe after more stretching, I'll be able to loosen it up). However, once exposed the glans is very very sensitive. It's too uncomfortable to have intercourse, with or without condom, and oral sex - I can only do those things when glans is not exposed.

I'm pretty sure that's NOT how it's supposed to work - my sexual experience is limited, but from seeing porn I know that uncircumcised guys are supposed to pull the foreskin back before having sex. Every girl I've been with tried to pull it back, and I had to stop them, causing the situation to get weird.

This is causing me a lot of discomfort.. and erection problems :( Although that could be due to the fact that I've been watching too much internet porn, and been masturbating since age 13 with foreskin not retracted. So normal sex with a woman feels "weird". But I think it's also due to the too sensitive glans thing.

Can you please help me - what do I do to desensitize the glans? And just how less sensitive it's supposed to be? My goal is to be able to pull foreskin back, and be able to have normal intercourse (with or without condom) and oral sex, without feeling discomfort.

Your help will be GREATLY appreciated, this is seriously ruining my life!!! Thank you!
posted by anonymous to Health & Fitness (14 answers total) 2 users marked this as a favorite
You're right, that's not how it's supposed to work, and it sounds related to the phimosis, since sometimes phimosis is inflammatory in nature. You want a urologist. Don't be worried that they may recommend to go ahead and circumcise. It's not so bad, I had a friend who got cut at 25 and was back to enjoying his penis in short order. There may also be another fix for the underlying problem.
posted by a robot made out of meat at 8:18 AM on February 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

My guess is that one way to get used to the sensations is to practice--masturbate with the foreskin pulled back, slowly and gently at first if you have to.

A friend who was circumcised at 18 for medical reasons ended up enjoying it because he was less sensitive and took less time to orgasm, so I don't think the sensory overload is all that unusual.
posted by PhoBWanKenobi at 8:21 AM on February 28, 2010

this is seriously ruining my life

Why have you not seen a urologist? Your life is being ruined, and the solution is likely a half-hour appointment away. Go!
posted by sallybrown at 8:23 AM on February 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

I think your first issue is to get that foreskin sorted out. See a doctor, get it stretched. I think they put an expandable ring on it. Shouldn't take too long to get it to expand so you can use it properly.

Re: your glans, you can't put a belt sander on it. You're not accustomed to the intensity of sensation that can happen. I doubt your penile tissue is different than any other man's, so don't get psyched out.

Instead, educate your penis. Dan Savage the sex columnist would tell you to change the way you masturbate and be strict about it -- don't relent at the last second and do it the way you like. Eventually your brain and your penis will want to get off so much, they will come around. I would do it the "standard" way -- make a fist and slowly move it up and down the shaft as much as you can bear. Repeat -- don't do it the way you used to do it. And maybe take it easy on the Internet porn; try to rely on fantasizing.

Good luck. You'll be fine.
posted by teedee2000 at 8:25 AM on February 28, 2010

Too bad you don't have an anonymous email account associated with this post.

Listen, you have the same hardware as a great many of us. And you're having the same problems that many of us have. You don't necessarily need to see a doctor/urologist, because you're right, it will stretch to the right diameter, just like people stretch piercings without a doctor. It's normal, and phimosis happens to more people than you might think.

As to your unusual sensitivity, it will fade. Be patient with it. If you're not using condoms, start using them. They may provide enough of a barrier to let you get used to how sex feels. And furthermore, they will prevent other, much more embarrasing, painful, and long-lasting sexual problems that you cannot get out of with mere stretching.

FYI, there are condoms with desensitizing agents in them. They are usually marketed as letting you last longer. You might try those, too.
posted by fake at 8:49 AM on February 28, 2010

I am not a doctor.

It's amusing that opinion is always so divided when it comes to this. The first option with phimosis is not *always* circumcision but medical management with topical steroids *and* stretching to avoid inflammation, scarring and contraction. Any urologist that would go straight to slicing is either being irresponsibly knife happy, or is facing an organ with such severe scarring already present that recovery is extremely unlikely.

You absolutely should not be attempting stretching of a noncompliant foreskin without medical management. Continuing to exert trauma on the organ, withought taking measure to monitor and prevent injury and disordered healing, risks sudden, sometimes emergent, issues.

Go to a urologist.
posted by meehawl at 9:05 AM on February 28, 2010 [2 favorites]

[A few comments removed. If you can't talk about this without SHOUTING IN ALL CAPS or descending into mefi self-parody, do not answer. If there's a real problem, take it to Metatalk.]
posted by cortex (staff) at 9:06 AM on February 28, 2010

Sorry, last should read:

risks sudden, sometimes emergent, issues.
posted by meehawl at 9:06 AM on February 28, 2010

Hi. I don't know so much about the sensitivity, but just wanted to say stretching didn't work out for me and someone pointed me to frenuloplasty instead of circumcision and I'm really glad I went that way instead. A urologist can help sort out what's right, but think of the options.
posted by Not Supplied at 9:19 AM on February 28, 2010 [1 favorite]

you should also try using hand lotion when you're by yourself or lubricant (or a condom with lubricant), both, when you're by yourself or with a partner. You can get some at the pharmacy, where the condoms are, and it's pretty discretely packaged.

Some of the sensitivity might be attributed to dryness.
posted by bitteroldman at 9:21 AM on February 28, 2010

You're 26. Time to get to the doctor and have some conversations. Good luck!
posted by amanda at 9:25 AM on February 28, 2010

A good urologic surgeon can take care of the phimosis in about a minute, fully exposing the glans permanently.

It's just a quick trim of the skin with a very sharp scalpel. Don't worry, he'll pull the skin away from the glans during the procedure, so that all that gets cut is the unwanted skin.

I was in the hospital emerg for something else, he was brought-in since the other docs were having difficulty inserting a catheter. He simply asked if I wanted the phimosis taken care of while he was there. It was fascinating to watch just how efficiently he was able to trim it away, it was painless, and I don't think there was even any bleeding.

I was sensitive previously, while the skin was still on there, but that went away quickly once it got used to being always exposed.

One note, if you decide to keep the skin, I did the stretching thing as well, but the foreskin was still an issue, and once you stop pulling it back regularly, it'll tighten back up again, and you're back to square one.

In the meantime, you should be able to obtain some sort of topical pain-reducing creme or ointment for the sensitivity, if you go see even a walk-in doc.
posted by hungrysquirrels at 10:19 AM on February 28, 2010

Go to a urologist. Trust me, they've seen worse and weirder.

I would do it the "standard" way -- make a fist and slowly move it up and down the shaft as much as you can bear.

This is the standard way for circumcised guys, and not even for all of them. There's a lot more variation in what people do, especially when a foreskin is involved.

I think you need to first resolve the phimosis issue, and then work on the sensitivity issue. And, assuming you are in the US, remember that most of the women you sleep with will have rarely or maybe never encountered an uncircumcised penis before, so you need to be ready to explain what feels good and what doesn't. I don't have the sensitivity issues you do -- but even so a lot of the rough treatment one sees in porn, or just an overly enthusiastic partner, is enough to make me curl up holding myself protectively.

tl;dr: See a doctor; deal with the phimosis; then deal with sensitivity.
posted by Forktine at 10:20 AM on February 28, 2010

Forktine: "And, assuming you are in the US, remember that most of the women you sleep with will have rarely or maybe never encountered an uncircumcised penis before"

This is changing, and is quite region-, ethnic- and class-specific. Overall rates of new circumcision in the US regions now are around 35% in the West, 55% in the South, 65% in the Northeast, and 75% in the Northcentral. Overall, the national rate is around 52% currently, and is significantly less in States within Medicaid regions that have followed the recommendation of the American Academy of Pediatrics and discontinued routine funding for infant circumcision in the absence of immediate medical indications.

During my pediatrics rotation, out of several dozen live births, I witnessed only a single incident of requested elective circumcision where the parents, upon being informed that their health insurance did not cover routine circumcision, actually chose to fund the procedure themselves out of pocket. A small sample size I know, but indicative of where many people's priorities lie.
posted by meehawl at 11:09 AM on February 28, 2010

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