Nerve endings are responsible for most of the pleasure that you experience during sex.
In particular, the somatic nerves in your penis provide the sensory-induced sensations and help contract your bulbocavernosus and ischiocavernosus muscles. These muscles are largely responsible for ejaculation and stabilizing erections, respectively.
It’s not uncommon for men to experience a numbing of these somatic nerves from time to time. For example, drinking too much alcohol can result in these nerves not responding to stimulation and can even result in erectile dysfunction. But alcohol is far from the only cause of reduced penis sensitivity.
Here's what to know about reduced penis sensitivity, improving it, and how side effects can have a serious impact on your sexual function and overall experience.
What Causes Reduced Penis Sensitivity?
There are a few reasons why your penis might lose sensitivity over time. Contrary to popular belief, circumcision doesn’t appear to have any impact on sensitivity and isn’t the reason behind issues with erectile dysfunction either.
It can be difficult to get to the root of penis sensitivity issues as they can be related to psychological, physical, or even lifestyle factors. The most common causes of reduced penis sensitivity include the following.
Neglected Mental Health
Psychological issues such as stress, depression, and anxiety can have a substantial impact on sexual function. Mental health issues won’t necessarily affect your nerves, but rather your brain’s responses to your environment.
These conditions can make it harder to respond to stimulation and get in the mood for sex. As a result, they're commonly linked to erectile dysfunction.
It’s also common for certain medications that are used to treat mental health issues to cause reduced penis sensitivity. Certain antidepressants, especially selective serotonin reuptake inhibitors, can reduce sexual satisfaction, delay orgasms, or lead to erectile dysfunction.
Your testosterone production reaches its peak by the end of your 20’s or in your early 30’s. After this, testosterone production begins to decrease by an average of 1.6% every year.
Low levels of testosterone can affect your sex drive and make it more difficult for physical stimulation to help you get aroused.
Another potential cause of low testosterone is stress. Your body releases the hormone cortisol when you're stressed. Cortisol and testosterone have an inverse relationship with one another. More of one can lead to less of the other.
Masturbation can physically reduce your penis sensitivity, especially if you do it frequently and have a strong grip. Sometimes referred to as “death grip syndrome,” using too strong of a grip or too much force when you masturbate can eventually lead to a decrease in physical sensation.
Eventually, this can make it more difficult to experience the same level of pleasure from anything outside of that grip. It’s not uncommon for men that masturbate excessively to experience delayed ejaculation.
Sitting for extended periods of time or regularly riding a bicycle can put a lot of pressure on the area between your anus and testicles, known as the perineum.
There are a considerable amount of nerve endings and blood vessels in this area that are important to sexual function and erections. The most important nerve in this area is the pudendal nerve. It helps to carry sensations in the area to the muscles in your pelvic region that help sustain your erection.
If this nerve is constantly experiencing pressure from sitting or unusual pressure on the region, it can begin to lose sensitivity over time.
How Do You Increase Penis Sensitivity?
The most effective way to increase your penis sensitivity will depend on what caused you to lose it in the first place!
These are a few other possible solutions that can help you to increase your overall penis sensitivity:
Check Your Testosterone Levels
If you think you have low testosterone, your doctor can perform a simple blood test to find out. They may suggest making a few lifestyle changes or testosterone replacement therapy.
Testosterone therapy involves testosterone being administered by injection, gel, pill, implant, or patch to help restore your testosterone levels to an optimal range.
Physical exercise can help improve your sexual function in several ways. Not only can it help to increase your blood circulation and improve erections, but it can also increase testosterone production, help reduce pressure placed on your perineum by sitting too much, and improve your overall mood thanks to the release of endorphins.
Your mental health plays an important role in sexual function. Talking with a therapist can help you to identify, diagnose, and manage potential mental illness or concerns that might be affecting penis sensitivity or performane.
If you've already been diagnosed and are taking antidepressants that may be contributing, talk to your prescribing doctor about changing to another medication with fewer sexual side effects.
Change Your Masturbation Habits
Both masturbating less and relaxing your grip a little may help to increase your penis sensitivity.
If frequency or method is a struggle for you, set limits for how often you masturbate weekly or monthly and start using lube to help decrease the friction on your penis. [Read about on the "no-fap" movement.]
Try Different Positions
Speaking of friction, trying different positions with your partner is a good way to help you manage reduced sensitivity.
Having your partner lie on their stomach or put their legs together may help you to experience more pleasure during sex. This can also help you to manage yourl owered sensitivity while you make changes with your romantic partner to help increase it.
There are many reasons why you might experience reduced penis sensitivity. Fortunately, options exist to help you restore penis sensitivity and avoid sexual issues. The most effective approach to restoring penis sensitivity will depend on the cause in the first place, and addressing it appropriately.
If left untreated, reduced penis sensitivity can lead to other issues including delayed orgasm and even erectile dysfunction.
An online consultation from a Rex MD clinician may help, too. We help guys get prescription men's health medications from the comfort of home, all done online. Click here to learn more.