Over the years, you may have noticed that your penis has become less sensitive. We’re not talking completely numb, which is a different story—just a little less receptive to stimulation. This can be a bit of a bummer; while some sexual pleasure is psychological, a lot of it comes from physical stimulation, meaning you might not enjoy sex as much when you have decreased sensitivity. You might even struggle to orgasm, which can be extra frustrating, and leave you desperate for ways to increase your penis sensitivity ASAP.

The issue is relatively common in people with a penis, according to experts. “We see a lot of men in our sexual health clinic who complain of decreased penile sensation,” says Michael Ingber, MD, a urologist and urogynecologist at Garden State Urology. While that may not sound like good news, it does mean urologists are adept at treating folks who experience reduced sensitivity. They know the common causes and can provide solutions.

But before getting to the best ways to reverse the condition, it’s important how penis sensitivity works in the first place. “The penis is innervated [supplied with nerves] by a nerve called the pudendal nerve,” Ingber says. The pudendal nerve doesn’t just provide sensation to the skin of the penis, but also the perineal region, scrotum, and anus.

“Still, the skin on the phallus is the same skin that’s on the rest of your body,” says Jamin Brahmbhatt, MD, a urologist and sexual wellness expert at Orlando Health. “Depending on the thickness of the skin and presence of nerve fibers, sensation can be felt in different ways.” The skin on your penis is less thick than, say, the skin on the soles of your feet, which is why your penis is more sensitive.

Alright, now that you have a better understanding of the skin on your penis and the nerves that cause stimulation, let’s go ahead and address why you may be seeing a decrease in sensitivity and what you can do about it.

Cause: Too much friction

“Your body will naturally decrease sensation to the penis if there is constant mechanical friction in a short period,” Brahmbhatt says. There’s actually a word for the diminishing physiological response to a frequently repeated stimulus: habituation. So habituation can happen “with too much masturbation” or if you “go at it all night.”

Solution: You gotta switch it up! If you’re masturbating aggressively with a ton of pressure (often referred to as white-knuckling), they you need to loosen that grip. At first, it won’t feel as pleasurable, but over time, your body will reacclimate, and you’ll regain sensitivity.

Having sex or masturbating with a little less frequency is another way to increase sensitivity, Brahmbhatt adds. If you’re going at it for hours on end or jerking it three or four times a day, give your little fella a break.

Lastly Brahmbhatt recommends changing sexual positions. Again, habituation is a response to doing the same thing the same way over and over again. So if you’re always jerking off with a death grip in the same position, your body will habituate to it. If you only do it in doggy style, your body will habituate. Switch things up so your penis can experience multiple sensations and never habituate to a single one.

Cause: Frequent bike riding

“Riding a bike, especially one with a narrow seat, can constrict blood flow over time, as much as 60%,” Ingber says. “This is because the artery that supplies blood to the penis gets compressed [when you’re sitting].”

Solution: Obviously, biking less would help, but we don’t want to suggest that to avid bike riders. Ingber recommends investing in a split bike seat, which will allow for better blood flow.

Cause: Sitting for too long

Just like riding a bike, “Working from home can put pressure on your perineum and prostate. This is where the nerves and blood vessels that go into the penis travel,” Brahmbhatt says. This can affect sensation and even erection quality.

Solution: Find ways to spend less time sitting, like scheduling daily walks or getting a standing desk. It can also be helpful to set hourly reminders on your phone that tell you to get up and move around.

Cause: Low testosterone

Sensation is a complex process, and your hormones could play a role. “Low T can cause a decreased libido which can translate into a decrease in how you ‘feel’ sexual activity,” Brahmbhatt says.

Solution: Get your testosterone levels checked. If low, your doctor may suggest administering testosterone replacement therapy, Brahmbhatt says. (FYI, there are several delivery methods for TRT. Often, we think TRT and then think injections, but there are also skin patches, gels, and tablets that dissolve in your mouth.) Most people will notice relief from symptoms within 4–6 weeks of starting TRT.

Cause: Alcohol

If whiskey dick doesn’t strike, you still might not have a rewarding sexual experience if you drank too much because your penis will become less sensitive. “Alcohol is a depressant and can cause you to have decreased sensation—as well as a whole line of other things—especially when you’ve had one too many,” Brahmbhatt says.

Solution: There’s no magic number for how many drinks you can have and still be able to get hard, or how many will decrease your level of sensitivity even if you can get erect. If you’re worried about your performance on a day you’re also drinking, keep it to two drinks, max. If you overdo it, don’t panic: whiskey dick or lack of penis sensitivity caused from excessive drinking abates once you sober up. (However, chronic heavy drinking can lead to long-term ED, so be careful there!)

Cause: Medications

“There are several medications that can decrease your ability to perceive pain—a big one is opioids,” Brahmbhatt says. Many meds that decrease pain decrease sensitivity overall, which might be why you don’t have as much feeling down there as you used to.

Solution: Let your doctor know you’re having decreased penis sensitivity. Ask if it has anything to do with your current medications, and then see if your doctor can adjust your meds.

What if there’s no direct cause?

When the direct cause is unclear, lack of penis sensitivity can be challenging to solve. That said, there are some other things you can do to help remedy the problem. “I’ve had patients who have practiced tantra, meditation, and have been able to improve their sensitivity based on this alone, but we also have some innovative therapies that have been working great in several men,” Ingber says.

One therapeutic option is “Platelet-Rich Plasma” or PRP. “This therapy involves taking your own blood and isolating the ‘stem cells.’ These cells are then reinjected into your penis in a few different locations,” Ingber says.

There’s a far less invasive option that works for some folks, and that’s cream specifically designed to increase penis-sensitivity. However, we don’t promise any miracles with these products. A quick read through the reviews of Amazon’s most popular creams shows that it works for some and really does nothing for others. But there’s no harm in giving it a shot.

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