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Urology/Erectile dysfunction and possible permanant damage due to lifelong incorrect masturbation technique

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Question
This is a pretty long and complicated backstory; I apologize for the amount of information here but I don't want to leave out anything that may be a contributing factor.

I am a 27 year old male. I have had type 1 diabetes since I was 7. It was in poor control for most of my life but has been better in the last 5 years. I figured out how to masturbate when I was around 3 years old. I have been in the habit of masturbating before falling asleep since I was very young, possibly as early as 4 or 5. I have tried dozens of times to stop but have never made it more than a week without doing it at least once.

I masturbate without an erection by pushing my penis inside the scrotum and massaging the tip between my palm and fingers or thumb and index finger. I have never heard of anyone doing it this way. When I entered puberty I found myself getting an erection when I did it. Not understanding what it was, I always waited for it to go away so I could do the deed and fall asleep in the afterglow.

I did not have any sexual thoughts during the process. I started doing that years later (maybe around 13 or 14?), well after I became interested in girls, when I found out that it was a sexual act and those thoughts were a normal part of the process.

A friend told me about the "traditional" method when I was around 14. I tried it but was unable to climax- I got bored because it didn't feel good. I probably had my first orgasm with this method in my late teens or early twenties.

I have varicoceles and wonder if it has something to do with my masturbation technique.

In addition to all of this, I am attracted to a specific, fairly uncommon body type and am unable to get an erection thinking about other types of body. I will occasionally get an erection making out with a woman with a different shape, but it usually lasts less than a minute no matter how "in the mood" I am.

I have had three sexual partners, the first when I was 23. The first was "my type" and I was usually able to get an erection when we had sex, though not always. The other two have been more conventionally attractive and more experienced/talented in bed, but I was unable to have sex with them without viagra.

In addition to difficulty getting and maintaining an erection, I have a severe lack of feeling in my penis. The shaft is so numb that I cannot tell when I'm "in".

For years I thought that my inability to get an erection was because I'd psychologically trained myself not to, and solving the problem was a matter of re-training. This has not worked so far. In the last couple of years my erections have become less frequent, and I rarely become fully erect (ie, enough to actually have sex). In the last couple of months I have experienced a sort of dull pain in the middle of my penis, mostly at night. It is not really painful, but it feels like the sort of thing that will get worse as time goes on.

I am concerned that I have caused permanent damage to my nerves and erectile tissues by masturbating incorrectly, made worse by various psychological issues. I have decided to finally seek medical advice but would like to do as much research as possible beforehand. So far I have not had much luck. Mainly I want to find out if there is any hope of ever having a more normal sex life and what steps I should take.

Answer
Andy:

I have not heard of this particular method before, but it still would not account for all your problems.  There is probably some psychological factors involved although your diabetes is certainly enough to be a factor in your decreased sensation and ED.  You might well benefit from Viagra or similar medications to help with the ED.  Talk to your physicians about this.

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Stephen W. Leslie, MD

Expertise

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

Experience

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.

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

Publications
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.

Education/Credentials
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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