Dear Dr. Richards,

I have always been a fan of Taoist literature and have found interesting articles there stating that during masturbation the penis is more sensitive to friction, rather than applied pressure. The book also continued stating that this is reversed for the vagina.

So naturally I became wondering if it’s actually possible to reverse the sensitivity of the penis by training it to endure more pressure. In my mind it may affect how it responds to friction and make it more durable overall. Training it to endure friction involves practices that I consider a bit more dangerous overall so I really hope that the pressure will also affect friction sensitivity. Is that correct as a statement? I also read that the most sensitive part of the penis is where the inner foreskin joins into the outer foreskin.

On a side note, I am 38 and actually get all my ejaculation through real sex with my wife. I have stopped masturbating almost completely and feel good about it. I probably ejaculate here and there from nocturnal emissions but it’s all good. There is a problem when my wife is not around for weeks at a time since she has a somewhat unconventional work. The problem is that I have year long periods where I will either ejaculate too fast, or it will be reversed and I will ejaculate too slowly. I really want to stabilize the phenomenon and really be more consistent so could you tell me how to affect one and the other and what Is causing it?

I also notice that my prostate gets a full feeling and when I ejaculate during the night with a full prostate I get a sharp pain sometimes. Is it somehow damaging for the prostate if it does not contract daily or weekly?

Thank you for your dedication to answering all of our questions!

It’s a pleasure. Let me start with some of the main anatomical / biological in nature factors behind penile sensitivity. Mostly responsible are androgen hormones, neurotransmitters (like dopamine, acetylcholine, serotonin, oxytocin, norepinephrine) and nitric oxide, and prostaglandins.

Balanced androgen – neurotransmitter – prostaglandin ratio will lead to balanced ejaculatory response. The opposite applies as well, so certain imbalances on biochemical level will lead to sensitivity and ejaculatory issues. For instance, heightened prostaglandin E2 may lead to oversensitivity and premature ejaculation, while biochemically abundant prostaglandins E1 E3 with prostaglandin E2 lowered under the normal range (usually targeted by a prescription drug) can lead to the opposite. The above will be true only if certain ratios between androgens and neurotransmitters are kept in somewhat proper range, of course. It’s a complex mechanism to influence on a biochemical level but it can be done if you know your current levels.

For instance, Prostaglandin D2 can heat up the skin and improve erection and sensitivity, but if the mechanism is chronically prolonged can trigger additional histamine and other inflammatory / excitatory factors for premature ejaculation and negative neuroplasticity. Supporting the proper nervous modulation on inflammatory response (Serotonin-GABA) can really help with erection / sensitivity / premature ejaculation issues.

As for the opposite, you can train your ejaculatory nervous reflex by stimulating L1 and L2 spinal nerves with prostate / PC (Pubococcygeus) muscle exercises to release more prostaglandin E2, DHT, temporarily improve your erection, orgasm response, and promote faster ejaculation.

The most sensitive area is located approximately 1 inch from the urethral orifice, under the glans penis.

Semen / sperm retention (chronic and for long periods) is as bad as over-ejaculation as excessive testosterone, DHT, prostaglandin E2, norepinephrine, epinephrine, and oxytocin in it will hyper-activate sympathetic nerves L1-L2 and vagal nerves for symptoms like anxiety, sleeping disorders, short temperedness, and in your case inflammatory and congestive pain in the seminal vesicles, prostate, perineum, and tailbone. Additionally, excessive sperm accumulation inside the testicles will interfere with the proper cycle of activin – inhibin release from the testicles, both of which are supposed to influence hypothalamic-pituitary-adrenal-testicular axis for androgen and sperm production. Semen / sperm retention will slow down testosterone production with about 35% – 40% (with the exception for temporary spikes observed at day 7 and several more), which has been observed in vasectomized men. Given that you had initial testosterone levels of under 800 ng/dl (which is usually the case these days), this significant testosterone drop will kill male sexual performance, penile sensitivity and erectile power.

The usual cycle for a 40 year old male to reach his peak testosterone of about 600 – 700 ng/dl would be 4 to 7 days of abstinence. If he continues with the practice, those testosterone levels will fall to 400 – 500 ng/dl and he will slowly start experiencing increased sympathetic responses. He will lose libido, have difficulties staying hard, and experience premature ejaculation once he has sex. This is not to be confused with the abstinence that is necessary to recover from sexual exhaustion as there are numerous other factors, both internal and external, involved.