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Urology/Unable to achieve an orgasm


Dear Dr. Leslie,

I'm 21 years old and have noticed since I started to become sexually active that I am unable to get close to achieving an orgasm during sex. I always used to masturbate in the prone position and since reading various articles describing this problem as Traumatic Masturbatory Syndrome (which I believe has no real medical backing but yet still describes my case quite well) I decided to try and use my hand to masturbate in the conventional way. I find that I was successful after quite a bit of practice but I have to be quite fast, fairly tight on the head of my penis (where I find all the sensitivity is)and extremely aroused. It takes quite a while to for me to orgasm and sometimes I have to give up and finish in the prone position. I have done this for about a month now, trying to ween off prone masturbation but when I give in and finish prone, I notice my penis becomes sore on the foreskin and it slightly hurts on the glans too the next day which I am guessing is because I am getting used to the new way that I masturbate?

I am now in a relationship and like all other sexual encounters before, I can't orgasm... this is due to the fact that my partner is fairly gentle and I have to masturbate pretty hard to get any result (I would like to stress that we have not yet had penetrative sex). I was basically wondering if you think abstaining from masturbation for a few months would restore my sensitivity and bring it back to a normal state or if there's certain ways that I can train my penis to become more sensitive, I have read that some people try to use soft materials to stimulate the nerves or a very soft touch so that they regrow that way... I would rather avoid going to a urologist as I am very shy on this issue. Also because I live in the UK, it is quite hard to bypass a GP to see a specialist so if there is anything I could do about it myself or anything you can recommend I'd be grateful to know.

Thank you for taking the time to read this,



I doubt that abstinence is going to help your problem.  There may not be any known way to increase sensitivity of the penis or to improve orgasm.  If there were a magic pill that did this, I'd keep it all to myself!!!  In most cases, we tend to think of difficulty in achieving orgasm as a psychological issue but first you'd need a checkup to make sure there is no physical issue.


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Stephen W. Leslie, MD


Questions concerning erectile dysfunction, kidney stones and prostate disorders including prostate cancer. I have a special interest in kidney stone disease prevention.


Full time practicing urologist with 30 years experience. Associate Professor of Surgery and Chief of Urology at Creighton University Medical Center. Editor in Chief of eMedicine Urology internet textbook. Author of only NIH approved book written for patients by a urologist on the subject of kidney stones "The Kidney Stones Handbook". Inventor of the "Parachute" and "Escape" kidney stone baskets and the "Calculus" stone prevention analysis computer program.

American Urological Association, Ohio State Medical Association, Sexual Medicine Society

Men's Health, Journal of Urology, Urology, Healthwatch Magazine, Emergency Medicine Monthly, eMedicine, "The Kidney Stones Handbook", and numerous articles in various newspapers. He is also the editor of the Urology Board Review by McGraw-Hill used by urologists to study for their Board Certification Examinations.

Graduate of New York Medical College with residencies completed at Metropolitan Hospital New York, Albany Medical Center and University of Wisconsin-Madison.

Awards and Honors
Thirlby Award of the American Urological Association. Rated as one the country's Best Urologists by the Independent Consumer's Research Institute

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