The head of the penis contains a lot of nerve endings — 4,000, to be precise. These nerve endings are related to penis sensitivity and allow for men to get aroused and achieve an erection.
Before we dive into exactly how to make the penis more sensitive, let’s cover the reasons for reduced sensitivity. From there, you can take the next steps toward having a healthy penis and a fulfilling sex life.
Reasons for Reduced Sensitivity
Reduced penile sensitivity is sometimes confused with penile numbness, though there’s a big difference between the two. Reasons for a numb penis, meaning a penis that does not feel sensation, can include prostate cancer, nerve issues, Peyronie's Disease, and others.
Reduced penis sensation, on the other hand, refers to feeling less sensation than previously and can be caused by a variety of factors such as bicycle riding and masturbation technique.
Bicycle riding puts pressure on the perineum, which is the space between your genitals and your anus. In doing so, it presses on the blood vessels and nerves that give feeling to the penis, which can reduce your sensitivity (and also cause numbness).
In some cases, masturbation techniques can affect your penis sensitivity. Frequent masturbating with a tight grip can lead to the desensitization of nerves and subsequently, a difficult time climaxing without that particular grip or “move.”
Penile sensitivity tends to decrease with age. Testosterone, which is the hormone responsible for things like sex drive and sperm production, also begins to lower with age. In addition to being less responsive to sexual stimulation, low testosterone can also lead to mood changes and a decrease in libido (sex drive).
When talking about how to make the penis more sensitive, ointments are often discussed. However, certain ointments, like lidocaine skin cream, can also lead to a decrease in penile sensitivity. Lidocaine is an anesthetic that’s commonly used to prevent and treat pain from certain procedures. It’s also used to treat minor burns, scrapes, and insect bites. A common side effect of lidocaine is numbness, so if you’ve used this ointment in the genital area, this may be a reason for reduced sensitivity.
Depression and Anxiety
Psychological issues, like depression and anxiety, can also interfere with your sexual sensations. Additionally, if you’re on medications for either of these issues, this can lead to a lack of sensation or numbness in the penis as well.
Symptoms of genital herpes can sometimes take months, or years, to appear. In some cases, this can include spots or red bumps around the genital area, pain at the head of the penis, and flu-like symptoms. With a recurrent infection, symptoms can also include a “tingling” sensation or sensitivity.
Phimosis is a condition that can occur in uncircumcised men. In some cases, the foreskin of the penis is too tight and cannot be pulled back from the penis head, which leads to pain and extreme sensitivity. Additionally, because the foreskin is a particularly sensitive part of the penis, there has been debate as to whether or not uncircumcised men experience more penis sensitivity than circumcised men (though research has not proven this).
Effects of Reduced Sensitivity
Men who have penile hypersensitivity may experience premature ejaculation, while those with reduced penis sensitivity may experience delayed ejaculation.
How to Increase Penile Sensitivity
Figuring out how to increase the sensitivity of the penis has a lot to do with addressing the root cause of its lack of sensitivity. Below are some ideas for increasing sensitivity based on the possible underlying issue. If you’re curious about increasing your sensitivity, ask your doctor if these methods can improve your situation:
If it’s masturbation that’s affecting your penile sensitivity, this means that climaxing during masturbation works well, but climaxing with your partner is a bit more difficult. If the sensation is reduced during sex with your partner, you can try switching up your technique. Opt for positions with a tighter fit (have your partner position themselves in a way that keeps their legs tightly together). You can also try to utilize sex toys and body-safe lubricants to help you “recondition” your penis sensitivity and elevate the sexual experience for you both.
If you’re trying to figure out how to increase the sensitivity of the penis, and you’re an avid cycler, consider changing to a bicycle seat that doesn’t put pressure on the nerves and blood vessels. Opt for a wider seat or a seat with a cushion. If you’re planning a long ride, be sure to take regular breaks.
Additionally, sitting for long periods of time in a hard work chair can also lead to the same issue. Get up and take breaks or invest in a cushion with gel or padding to help with your sensitivity issues.
Low levels of testosterone are another root cause of penis numbness and penis sensitivity. Speak with your healthcare professional about ways you can increase your testosterone. If your testosterone levels have dropped, you might feel less sensitive and less responsive to sexual stimulation. Certain medications can be used to combat low testosterone, but it’s recommended to consult with your physician before turning to these options. Changes to your lifestyle—like getting more exercise and adequate sleep—are seen to help a lot in increasing testosterone levels.
The connection between the mind and body includes your genital area, too. Feelings of anxiety or depression can sometimes interfere with sexual experiences. Not only can they reduce sensation and sensitivity, but emotional issues can impact erections and sexual performance. If you’re struggling in this area, reach out to a medical professional. The good news is, it’s common and treatable, and once you combat the emotional aspects, the physical components oftentimes fall into place.
Certain medications like Viagra and those used to treat Parkinson’s Disease can cause numbness and decreased sensitivity in the penis. If you’re currently taking medication and wondering how to increase penis sensitivity, speak with your doctor about potentially eliminating or replacing your medication or figuring out a way to decrease its side effects.
The Next Steps
In certain cases of erectile dysfunction, doctors may suggest some of the following methods of increasing your sexual satisfaction and penis sensitivity:
Some healthcare professionals may recommend oral medications like Sildenafil (Viagra), Tadalafil (Adcirca, Cialis), Vardenafil (Levitra, Staxyn), or Avanafil (Stendra). All of these medications enhance the effects of nitric oxide and aid in the relaxation of the penis. Keep in mind, these tablets don’t produce an automatic erection and they can come with various side effects like nasal congestion, headache, and upset stomach.
Penis pumps, also known as vacuum erection devices, are a hollow tube with a hand-powered pump. Because these penis enlargement tools create a vacuum that helps to increase blood flow to the penis, they’re sometimes suggested as a treatment option to help in cases of erectile dysfunction. Again, these ED products can often have negative side effects, so consult a doctor before trying this type of treatment.
Penile implants are a treatment option that involves surgically placing devices into each side of the penis. These ED devices, which are either bendable or inflatable rods, help you to control your erections. Despite being offered as a treatment, penile implants are considered highly invasive and expensive, and aren’t perceived as a viable option by many men.
Your doctor may also suggest penile cream to help increase sensitivity. These topical ointments are specifically created to help with penile sensitivity and sexual pleasure. Different blends will be made from different ingredients, so it’s always a good idea to discuss this with your healthcare provider before trying any at home (as certain combinations can sometimes lead to allergic reactions).
Eddie by Giddy
Eddie is a wearable device that’s designed to treat erectile dysfunction and improve male sexual performance. It’s an FDA Registered Class II medical device that is available over-the-counter. If you're curious about how to increase penis sensitivity without all the unnecessary side effects of drugs, Eddie by Giddy may help. It’s available in four sizes and is designed to fit the anatomy of the penis and work with the natural physiology of an erection. Eddie is worn at the base of the penis, in front of the testicles, with the opening facing down. It can be used before, during, and after foreplay or sexual intercourse.
Whatever the preference of you and your partner, Eddie by Giddy can help you get there.
Penis sensitivity can be a tough topic to discuss, but it’s normal, common, and treatable. For something as important as sexual health and satisfaction, you should feel empowered and confident to talk about penis sensitivity with your physician or partner. Doing so will only speed up the process of finding a solution that works best for you and can lead to an overall better quality of life.
From all of us at Giddy, thanks for reading. If you have any questions, feel free to check out our ED product, Eddie by Giddy, today. We’ll help to guide you in the right direction.
- Too Much, Too Fast: Death Grip Syndrome. Healthline. URL. Accessed January 8th, 2021.
- Lidocaine skin cream or ointment. Cleveland Clinic. URL. Accessed January 8th, 2021.
- Genital Herpes. NHS Inform. URL. Accessed January 8th, 2021.
- What Causes Penis Sensitivity? Healthline. URL. Accessed January 8th, 2021.
- What to Know About Penis Sensitivity. Medical News Today. URL. Accessed January 8th, 2021.
- Sex Info. UCSB. URL. Accessed January 8th, 2021.