Our resident sexologist Richelle Menzies answers more reader questions on sex and sexuality.
I have a new sexual partner, and everything is going great in the bedroom, apart from one small problem – he can totally retract his penis.
The best way I can describe it is that when his penis is flaccid, he can put pressure on the top with a finger and it is totally pushed up into his body.
This isn’t a problem of ‘buried penis‘, which is all I found when I searched online – he is comfortably well-endowed and very skinny, and this doesn’t happen when he’s erect, only when flaccid.
I have never come across something like this before in my not inconsiderable experience.
Is this normal?
Should he or I be concerned, and is there any reason he should stop doing this ‘party trick’?
– Retractable Penis
Dear Retractable Penis,
This is not uncommon, and many people with a penis can do this – but not many people actually try it out to see if they can.
It will not cause damage if done for a short period of time but is not recommended for long periods.
Inside the pelvic cavity is what is known as the inguinal canal, the cavity where the testes were before they descended. This is often where trans women tuck their penis, and some people can find the area very sensitive or arousing.
The penis can only be tucked in this cavity when flaccid because it is too rigid when erect.
Know your girth
I would like to know whether penis thickness can vary depending on the level of arousal we feel.
I ask because three times I happened to measure my penis girth while I was masturbating. I noticed that in the beginning, my penis was measuring 14.4 cm around, already hard. After more than an hour of masturbating, I measured it again and noticed that it had reached 14.8 cm around.
While I masturbated, I got more and more aroused, so I assumed that this increase in thickness was due to the rushing of more blood into my penis. Am I right or is there another explanation for that?
– Scientifically Curious
Dear Scientifically Curious,
You are correct in assuming that the growing thickness is due to blood flow, or actually engorgement.
The penis is made up of a spongy tissue that holds blood. The more aroused you are, the more blood, so it makes sense that as you masturbate more and become more aroused, the girth will increase.
You may not have heard of this before because few people might bother to measure the girth of the penis during masturbation, and many don’t masturbate for an hour to know what changes there will be in that time.
I’m in recovery from a medical condition that has left me with weak and easily fatigued muscles. My larger muscles have recovered for the likes of walking, but I still have issues with smaller parts like my hands and face, which can affect my sex life.
I find that giving oral sex now hurts my face pretty quickly, and masturbating fatigues my hands.
I’ve spoken to my physiotherapist without being too dirty – saying instead that using a pen hurts my hand. Do you have any additional suggestions for how I might be able to exercise these body parts or types of sex toys that could help when my hands won’t play ball?
– Impatient Patient
Dear Impatient Patient,
Several toys can help with masturbation while you recover.
Masturbation sleeves are sex toys for people with penises. They are flexible sleeves that fit over the penis and are filled with all sorts of ridges and whorls to create exciting sensations. Some sleeves also vibrate, which can be great for people who have limited mobility or motor control because the vibration does the work for you.
Several toys work for solo penile stimulation. The Fleshlight, Rocks Off Hand Solo, Fun Factory Mantra, and Hot Octopuss duo from Pulse can all be very useful if you have issues with grip.
The issue with your jaw and oral sex is something that will take time, but some vibrating toys may be helpful in stimulating a partner while you kiss or lick their genitals.
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