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Click on a problem to go down the page to the answer. If your problem isn't here, try the other problem pages on the menu above.

1 A bent penis

2 Is my penis normal?

3 Penis size! It isn't big enough

4 The hidden penis - retracted inside the body

5 Son's penis is not normal

6 Hypospadias

7 Newly wed husband with hypospadias

8 White or yellow spots on the penis skin

9 More on hypospadias

10 My penis is not sensitive

11 Too hairy!

12 What's this veiny lump on my penis?

13 A penis problem that terrifies me

14 My disappearing penis

15 My swelling penis!

16 Even more on hypospadias

17 I never knew my foreskin went back!

18 My penis makes me feel bad

19 I have a small penis at 16  

20 Vein like swelling on my penis

21 My shrinking penis!

22 What's this ridge on the underside of my penis

23 My frenulum has torn!

24 My foreskin won't go back over my glans!

25 Those tiny white spots again!

26 What's this bump on my penis?

27 My penis bends - help!

28 Is this wrinkly skin normal?

29 A hypospadic penis with two holes

30 What's this lump on my penis?

31 My penis is too damn' small!

32 The doctor forced my foreskin back!

33 My penis hole is getting bigger

34 Penis snapped in an accident

35 No balls?

36 Penile pain on erection

37 Penis disappears into my body

38 One ball bigger than the other

39 My twisting testicle 

40 Foreskin won't budge

41 My retracting penis

42 My bendy erection point downwards

43 Semen color

44 Ring of dark skin on penis?

45 Why does my husband masturbate?

46 Has masturbation like this ruined my penis?

47 No way I can get to orgasm except by this weird method

48 Frenulum Breve

49 My penis is losing its sensitivity

50 Can't stay hard like I used to!

51 Rash on my penis - too embarrassed to get help!

52 Just pulled my foreskin back and penis head is too sensitive!

53 I didn't develop normally in puberty

54 What's wrong with my penis?

55 Smegma?

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1. A Bent Penis

Q: I think I have Peyronie's disease. My penis bends to the left like the ones I have seen on websites about the disease. But on the sites it says that the condition arises because of an injury during intercourse. But I am a virgin, and my penis has been like this for as long as I can remember so I don't think it can be the result of anything that happened to it. My pee comes out of the tip and for the most part my penis looks like a normal penis, but will this get worse over time, and will I be able to make love to a woman?

Ans: If you have continuing pain in your penis you may have Peyronie's. It is possible to injure the penis even when you are unaware that you have done so. Even a small injury to the internal cavities of the penis can cause scar tissue and plaque formation, which causes one side of the penis to be less flexible on erection and makes it bend when erect. But the other possibility is that you have just been born with a penis that has one side bigger than the other. You don't tell me how bad the bend is, and I am wondering if it is less significant than you imagine. Lots of penises bend up or down, one way or the other, and many are not symmetrical. (You can see that on this website's page with photos of erection angles.) If your penis does not have more bend than is normal, and you are worrying about it because of some concerns about sex or masculinity, I think you may find that when you come to make love the shape of your penis will be much less important for your partner than you imagine. Many women actually like an upwardly curving penis as it can provide more stimulation of the G spot in the vagina.

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2. Is my Penis Normal?

Q: I have been worried for 30 years. Of course, I don't dare look at other men's parts in the changing rooms, but mine looks as though it has sewing stitches along it (they are very faint now that I am 40, but when I was 20 they were very clear). Is this normal, please?

Ans: Are you looking at the median raphe, which is the the join where the penile skin comes together during a baby boy's development in the womb? Sometimes this can be very prominent, a dark color, and zigzag its way up the penis. Sometimes it is hardly noticeable. I think you can stop worrying, though!

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3. Penis Size! It isn't Big Enough

Q: Hi, I'm 22 years old. I live in California and I have a girlfriend. We haven't really done anything that involves my penis, this is because I'm embarrassed about my size. I need help in getting my penis bigger. I don't want surgery, I just want to exercise it to make it become larger and thicker.

Ans: You are going to have to get over the hurdle of showing it to someone, sometime. And if you're in a relationship where you love each other, then it won't be a problem. Besides, she may be worried about the size of her breasts, or something! Why don't you introduce her to the idea gradually - tell her that you feel you are a bit on the small side, and that you will need gentle encouragement and support? Honesty is always the best policy. And on a wider front, there is no doubt that guys are very concerned about penis size. Do they need to be? Good question. There is loads of information at Penis Myths and Facts about penis size, and the various options for enlarging your organ.

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4. The hidden penis - retracted inside the body

Q: I am wondering what the problem is when someone's penis doesn't stick out like normal. When I am with a woman it gets erect, but under normal circumstances, though, it is not visible.

Ans: This is called a "retractile penis".  Many men have a hidden penis that shows nothing or maybe just a bit of the glans when they are not sexually excited. This retraction into the body is just one of the aspects of human variation. Most of these men would show a normal - by which I mean 5 inches or more - sized erection. They are mostly quite unhappy about not having a prominent penis, as you can see if you visit the message forums and web sites devoted to penis size. For pictures of the condition, see: Images of Size 

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5. Son's penis is not normal

Q: My son is 8 years old. He was born with a large penis which is now probably 3" erect. I noticed one morning when he was using the bathroom and had a morning erection, his penis's curvature is down instead of the normal up position. It would not have caught my attention but is very pronounced like an L. I do not want him to have problems in the future and would appreciate any insight in this issue.

Ans: First off, don't panic. It's likely you can get whatever is wrong put right. This sounds a bit like chordee, which is usually associated with hypospadias. If you have read about hypospadias you may know that chordee is a tight band of tissue on the underside of the penis which is associated with a congenital malformation of the penis. Chordee will pull the end of the penis down. You can easily check if your son has hypospadias by seeing if his urethral opening is in the normal place. If it is a slit or a hole which is displaced backwards down the shaft (i.e. it opens on the underside of the glans, on the coronal ridge or on the shaft itself) he probably has. If so, you need to get the advice of a pediatric urologist and think about joining the support groups listed on Hypospadias Association

However, I think I am right in saying that chordee can develop without hypospadias on rare occasions, although even here, you still need the advice of a pediatric urologist. However, my first step would be to see the family doctor and ask advice. NB IF HE IS UNCIRCUMCISED, AND DOES HAVE A PROBLEM, THEN DO NOT LET ANYONE CIRCUMCISE HIM AS THE SKIN MAY BE NEED FOR REPAIR! THIS IS VERY IMPORTANT! You MUST also see an expert - as you will see from the messages in hypospadias support groups for parents, going to a medic who has no experience can result in devastating damage! If you can, try going to a teaching hospital as the expertise is often much higher. Please don't leave the problem unresolved - the psychological effects of this condition can be very severe, as you might guess.

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6. Hypospadias

Q: Hi. I am 17 years old and have hypospadias. It is bad. I can't piss standing up straight and my penis is only about 4" erect. This condition has made my life hell.

Ans: I know how you feel. I have counseled many men with a similar problem. And yes, it is true that it can affect life in many ways. You have certainly been given a short straw in life. The question is, can you get to an emotional place where you feel better about yourself? The first thing is that life seems hopeless right now, and that isn't surprising. You feel very different from the guys around you, and perhaps you are imagining that you can never do the things they are doing. OK, so you have a penis that is different. Does that stop you finding some way to achieve happiness? You may think so. But there are men in the world who have this condition and are in very loving relationships. I know, because I have met many of them. Do you believe that if they can do it, you can too? Somewhere inside, can you see that it might be possible to live with the hypospadias, even if it doesn't seem so right now?

Please go to the Yahoo support groups for hypospadias (the links are here: Hypospadias Association), and read the messages. You can read a lot of experiences from men with this kind of problem, and you will find that they understand your pain. They may not all have a penis like yours, but they all understand the pain. Are you able to speak to your doctor? Or Dad, or another male relative? Whether you can or not, please have a look at the Yahoo forum: think of it as a band of brothers! Have you considered the possibility of surgical correction, or at least seeing if it would be possible?

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7. Newly wed husband with hypospadias

Q: I have just been on your very interesting and informative website. I am a relatively newlywed and I believe my husband has hypospadias. I had never heard of this condition, and didn't even know what it was until I started researching the internet. He has a regular hole in the tip but it is "sealed off". The pee hole is on the underside and he has half a foreskin. He has bouts of kidney stone attacks and always has a dribble (leak). I would appreciate any information you could offer. Please allow me to be frank about my feelings. In fact, when I first saw him, I was a bit shocked. It wasn't until I started searching the web that I found out what it was. Before we were married, we talked about things and he assured me that he was circumcised. Yes, he has half a foreskin...that is the only way I can describe it. On top there is loose skin, sort of a hood but underneath there is none. It is like a sort of split on the corona, then below that is the "pee hole." OK, now about his feelings. I don't think he has maybe never seen another man's parts because he thinks his is the way other men's penises look. Does that make sense? (My ex-husband looked very different.) To be perfectly honest, he got very defensive when I asked if he would like to read about hypospadias. Our sex life sucks, plus he has impotence problems, but I would never cheat. He is only 31. Can his impotence be a result of the urethral tube not being long enough? I am really searching for answers here. Even in the most "down and dirty" situations, he never gets very hard. He has a 9 year old daughter, though, so I know it works. I would greatly appreciate your advice and insight. Thank you so much for your help.

Ans: I don't think his impotence has anything to so with his penis structure. I feel it is much more likely to be psychological. And that might imply the need to see a sexual therapist or a psychotherapist....and I guess from what you say, it isn't going to be easy to persuade him to try that idea. It is possible, but a bit unlikely, that he doesn't know he is different; however, if you look at the messages in the Yahoo hypospadias forum (link to be found on this page: Hypospadias Association), you will see some guys in their 30s and 40s writing about not having known they were different until quite recently, so it is possible. But I do know that until you get him talking about it, nothing is going to change. Yet if he feels defensive or threatened by his problems - the hypospadias, or his impotence, or his kidney problems, or the urine leaking - he may be very unwilling to engage in a dialogue. You can imagine how much psychological stuff must be whizzing around in his mind and, of course, it's rubbing off onto you as well. Personally, I think he could benefit from seeing a urologist to find out if his penis can be surgically corrected. This may produce improvements in leaking and kidney problems, his impotence, and therefore also his state of mind. You have a lot on your plate, and so does he. I would start by trying to gently encourage communication. Or even make it clear to him that you expect him to talk about these issues, since they affect you !

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8. White or yellow spots on the penis skin

(which you can read about by clicking here)

Q: Hi, I'm 15 (male) and, well, here's the problem. Okay, it all seems well and good that these tiny little white, yellow or creamy colored spots on the shaft of the penis or the coronal rim are just harmless sweat glands (they are harmless, right?). What did you call 'em, Fordyce spots, right? "They cannot be controlled, massaged, oiled, or wished away, or anything else." So what the hell am I to do if I've got these for the rest of my life? Have there been any cases where they've disappeared? Cos y'know, I'm a popular lad an' still a virgin, so it won't be good if my first sexual encounter ends with a scream of terror from my girlfriend followed by a slow embarrassing life at school, which is probably then followed by suicide... You say they are responsive to testosterone in the body...right? Well, since I'm 15 my hormones are goin' mental and I do masturbate (which I don't usually admit) regularly, as in, every day or so... (by the way, is that healthy, it can't be, can it?) Anyways, I guess you know how troubled I am about this, so PLEASE could you email me back, thank you VERY, VERY much...

Ans: Your email made me smile....sounds like you have a good sense of humor, which might be a good thing in the circumstances! On the subject, though, you have to learn to live with these "spots". (And yes, they are harmless!) You don't want to hear this, I know, but here's how it is: all men have them, you are not alone, and I get loads of emails from men and boys with exactly your query. So I do know how troubling they can be. OK, now, all these other guys have these spots (although I admit some men have more spots than others), but it hasn't stopped them having good sexual relationships, right? And it won't stop you, either! And, when the time is right for your first sexual experience, you will find it doesn't matter at all. For one thing, remember that the skin of the labia - the lips around the vaginal opening - can develop these spots as well, so your girl may have exactly the same "problem".

For another thing, she will probably be too concerned with the size of her breasts, or their shape, or the size of her labia, or whether she can please you - or something - that the last thing she will be thinking about is the spots on your penis! During sex, everyone is wrapped up in their own concerns, and seems to think that these problems will be just as significant to their partner - but the funny thing is that this is almost never the case!

I can reassure you that with age and experience, this will not seem like the big deal it does now. Believe me, I am not discounting your worries right now, but the fact is that you can't do anything about these spots. Also, here's another thought: you sound like a guy who can get along with people, so remember that when the right girl finds you (or vice versa) she won't want you just for your dick - she'll want to be with you for the sake of YOU. That's how women see sex - as a part of love, so to her it will be closeness, touching, kissing and loving intimacy that is most important, not the size and appearance of your penis.

By the way, are you worried about anything else? I ask because sometimes people project their sexual worries onto things that they can see, like these little blemishes on the skin.

As for the masturbation, I would say enjoy it - it's quite normal and very healthy (as long as it doesn't become an obsession!).

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9. More on hypospadias

Q: I ran across your website out of curiosity. I am 34 years old and have hypospadias. At one time, I too felt that I was abnormal. When I was growing up I had to explain things to other boys on more than one occasion. I didn't feel like it was that big a deal and they must have agreed since I was never made fun of. My sex life started to blossom in my college years and a glorious time it was. Contrary to girls who had slept with me telling other girls that I was deformed or abnormal, they would brag to their friends about how big I was. My penis is 8 1/2 inches long, when erect, it has a strong curve downward (like a banana), and the head is huge since it is more or less separated on the bottom. My pee hole is located on the shaft very close to the head. Every girl I have ever slept with can't seem to get enough. Maybe that's because of the curve, head size, or both. Guys with this "problem" can hit areas inside of a vagina that very few others can. Think about it - if you are doing it doggie style you have got full pressure on a girl's G-spot! Face it, if you are capable of getting the ladies to take their clothes off and have sex, what your dick looks like will never matter one bit - it's what you do with it that counts! Any woman will tell you this - and they mean it. I'm not trying to come off as being a "stud". I'm trying to point out that this condition shouldn't be thought of as a deformity, it is a part of you that makes you unique. It is something that a lover gets from you that she may NEVER get again if she lets you go!

Ans: Many guys with hypospadias have actually got short-changed in the size dept as well. You are right in all the comments you make, but any guy who has the condition in the form you have it will know (well, maybe he will, let's hope so!) the truth of what you say. For someone who is struggling with hypospadias AND a small penis size, well, I don't think things are so easy. I am glad you have had such a great experience....you're a lucky guy.

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10. My penis is not sensitive

Q: I'll try to get right to the chase. I am a 23 year old gay male. My partner and I have noticed that I am not as sensitive on my penis as other men, because it takes me a long, long time to reach an orgasm. The only part of my penis shaft seems to be sensitive is a small part on the underside where the glans and shaft meet. My partner is sensitive everywhere, and can have an orgasm very quickly. Is there any treatment or surgery which might help?

Ans: No. Men who have a penis sensitivity problem are often "cut off" from their feelings, by which I mean that something is blocking their experience of sexual enjoyment. It's not likely to be a physical problem, so I think the answer may lie in the area of sexual therapy to deal with emotional issues around sex.

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11. Too hairy!

Q: I’ve a problem that I never heard about before (and I’ve searched in various sites and forums) - I have too much pubic hair in my genital area. You might say that is very common, but it has spread to my penis and is growing in size and length. This is causing me various problems like pain, discomfort, bumps on penis caused by inner growth of hair follicles and so on.

Ans: An answer from a public discussion forum: "I have excessive hair growth on the shaft of my penis. One good thing is that I have blond pubic hair and it is not as noticeable. But the solution is simple. I just shave myself (carefully) every couple of days with a disposable razor while taking a shower. I must admit it is a real turn on to see the results."

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12. What's this veiny lump on my penis?

Q: Hi there. I'm very worried about my penis because there's a lump on the top of it that looks like a shoe lace. It's only about 2 inches long and half the size of a shoelace. It feels hard, it's just under the skin and when I move the entire skin around my shaft it stays in the same position. I can move it with my finger. It also seems to get thicker and harder when my erection gets bigger. I'm only seventeen. What do you think it is?

Ans: I think it is a vein, and perhaps it has hardened by rough masturbation/sex. But to know for sure, you really need to have a quick check up at the doctor's to make sure that it is nothing more serious.

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13. A penis problem that terrifies me

Q: Hi. I noticed a couple of months ago, that I had a cyst-like pimple at the base of my shaft, right above the testicles. When my penis is relaxed, it is soft, but when my penis is erect, the cyst gets harder and I can actually feel its roundness (it feels like a tiny pellet). It looks as though I can squash it, but it is fairly hard, I wouldn't try anyway. It causes absolutely no pain at all, it hasn't grown so far, but I know I didn't always have this and I'm terrified at what it is...can you help me?

Ans: The only way to be a 100% sure is to go and get a check at the docs. The sooner you go and get confirmation it is harmless, the sooner you can stop worrying!

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14. My disappearing penis

Q: I have a problem. I am not a overly huge man, indeed I am about normal weight, but when I am not erect I have a problem with my penis going back into my body. I have been circumcised. This has just started four months ago, and at 25 years old it is very uncomfortable and irritating. Is there anything I can do to stop this from happening?

Ans: This is not uncommon, but what is a bit unusual is that it has started at 25. Most men whose penis does this would recognize it as a thing that has always happened to them. There seems to be no simple explanation of the retractile penis, which is what it is called, or why it happens. I think it is probably a genetic thing; you're just born with a penis like this. However, I do know that a nervous disposition, with a high-ish anxiety level seems to make it more likely, so it probably has something to do with the muscle fibers in the skin of the penis contracting under the influence of adrenalin. Also, I have the impression from my work with guys who have this sort of penis that a decline in testosterone makes it happens more often, so, if you're experiencing a decline in sex drive or difficulty in getting erections, you might like to go and get a hormonal check-up.

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15. My swelling penis!

Q: I am miserable! A few days ago, I noticed that my foreskin and shaft has become thicker. Now, I'm a teenager, and this happened in the span of a few hours, after masturbation. I do not know if that was the trigger or not. There's no pain or discomfort, either flaccid or erect, but I'm worried about a sudden change in the skin - slight swelling, if you will. I can't tell whether it is inflammation of some kind, or irritation from a pubic hair I found caught underneath the foreskin when I was cleaning in the shower. I have not seen a doctor yet as I wanted to see whether it would return to normal by itself. Your advice would be greatly appreciated.

Ans: Could be a bit of edema or water retention in the tissues, especially if you were a bit rough during masturbation. I suggest if it hasn't gone down after a few days, you have a word with your doctor, just for reassurance, because although it doesn't sound serious, you won't want to take any chances with your most precious bodily part!

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16. Even more on hypospadias

Q: Thanks for putting up the info on hypospadias. (That's to be found here.) I'm a guy in my early 20s and have mild hypospadias and chordee. Unfortunately, it has caused me so much psychological and emotional suffering that it's as if I had been born crippled. The problem is cosmetic, but when you're talking about something like the penis, it doesn't matter whether it's cosmetic or functional...any abnormalities are significant, and a large part about being male and having a penis IS cosmetic. I cannot have sex without it constantly being a worry for me what will be thought of my large opening and bent penis, and I simply don't have a feeling of comfort with myself that I know most men have when it comes to sex. What I would do to have been born with a normal penis like some I've seen. In any case, the reason I'm writing is to share my views/advice on 2 things I think anyone with this problem, or any parents who have a son with this problem should read:

1. If a son has any kind of penis abnormality, it is FAR better to have the problem fixed while the boy is young (6-12 months) rather than wait and "have him choose". Any surgery at that age most likely won't even be remembered by the child (do we remember being born?) and the psychological effect of having even the slightest abnormalities when older will most likely psychologically devastate him as they have done to me.

2. Be sure to find a doctor who has extensive, extensive, experience in reconstructive urology and don't just go to your local doctor. VERY FEW urologists know how to do hypospadias repairs properly and successfully. I had 2 operations on my penis when I was an adolescent, and not only were they emotionally painful because of my age, but they were done by an urologist who wasn't even close to being an expert in the matter. My parents didn't even take the time to get 2 or 3 opinions! Now I have to see someone to have the damage repaired. I live in a large metropolis and I've seen 3 uros here: 2 of them referred me to a world-renowned expert in reconstructive urology and both said that there is no-one in my city of several million who is qualified to do the surgery. Good thing I got 2 second-opinions, since the first guy didn't even know of this specialist, and was willing to do surgery that he admitted wouldn't result in much success. I wish my parents had done the right thing when I was younger, and maybe I wouldn't be in this predicament.

Ans: In the Yahoo hypospadias groups you can get support, and share your experiences. It's well worthwhile joining, as you'll soon begin to see yourself as less out of the ordinary and more normal. Links to join can be found on this page.

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17. I never knew my foreskin went back!

Q: I am 23 years old and had never heard about retracting the foreskin till just recently. When I did try, it kinda hurt, so I stretched the opening, and that helped. But anyways my question is: After I push the foreskin back, is the glans supposed to feel so weird? It's such a different, weird sensation, and it's hard to describe.....

Ans: Hi. I would say you probably have a tight opening at the end of the foreskin, and if you can stretch it, that would make things easier for you. My guess would be that the glans feels weird because it isn't used to being exposed. After all, if it has been protected by the soft warm skin inside your foreskin, it will be much more delicate than if it had been exposed for masturbation or sex, or even just rubbing on clothes, for several years. I think it will feel better as time goes by, but if it still feels weird after a few weeks, then just visit your doctor for a check up. if you have a tight foreskin, you can read about the condition on this very website or Penis Myths and Facts

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18. My penis makes me feel bad

Q: Just wondering, most places I have looked to see about these white spots on the penis say that they are normal and are just glands underneath the skin, something like that. I even asked my doctor. Point is, healthy or not, they produce a horrible insecurity that I have not been able to overcome in the last 5-6 years of my life. Do you know you know of anything that can be done to reduce or eliminate them?

Ans: Interesting question. Guys often project other worries about sex or their penises onto the small things they can see like these white spots. I wonder if there is something deeper bothering you, like you're ashamed of your body, your penis, or frightened to show it to others, or terrified of getting into sexual situations? If so, then I think a bit of counseling may be called for. And remember, a sensitive partner would probably help your confidence enormously, whether you are gay or straight. What's more, your insecurities are not going to keep you away from sex for ever! Your time will come, but maybe you can speed up its arrival by seeing a counselor.

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19. I have a small penis at 16

Q: Hey, I'm 16 years old, 4" inch erect, 4" girth. And I wanted to know if this was a problem, and at what age does it stop growing? Thanks for responding.

Ans: OK, I know this is a sensitive subject. I have dealt with a lot of men and especially those with penis problems in my work as a counselor, so I know how sensitive this issue can be for teenagers and adults. I think you probably realize you are below "average" for your age. However, an average means of course that some will be bigger, and some smaller. So that isn't really helpful - some men will always be below average, some above, and you can't do a lot about it. It's like the size of, say, your feet: controlled by mother nature, and your inheritance. So, that raises the question, is it "normal", and will it get bigger? I don't know the answer, but maybe I can offer you some thoughts.

First of all, have you developed pubic hair, a deeper voice, and hair on your body (armpits, etc). Are you masturbating and ejaculating? Do you have a higher sex drive than at 11 or 12? I ask these questions because first and foremost if the problem is that you haven't started puberty, you need to get help or advice from a doctor. And I think the same is true if you started puberty late, or you feel it isn't going as it should. By the way, I don't think you can use penis size as a measure of that - I think things like testicle growth and body hair, and sex drive and masturbation are more likely to be signs of pubertal development. So, start by asking yourself if there may be a hormonal problem, and, if you think there may be, get the advice of a doctor.

On the other hand, if you feel happy that your puberty generally is going well, this leads to the question of penis size. I think it fair to say that penis growth stops at about 17. Two sources of information that may be helpful to you is the size page on this very website, and Jackinworld. These will tell you lots of things about development in the teen years, and maybe give you an idea how you are doing.

Suppose, having said all that, that your penis is now as big as it ever will be? I guess that's what you're thinking about. But this size of penis, however it makes its owner feel, is actually quite common. 0.5 per cent of men have a penis of four inches long when erect, which makes about 500,000 men in America alone. (By the way, there would be 2,500,000 men with a penis 4 and a half inches erect or less). The fact is, many of these guys have happy relationships with women who love them for more than just their dick size. They love things like their man's personality, loving nature, the fact that he a great dad to their kids - whatever.

I want to be realistic about this because it is true SOME women think penis size is important - but then some women think having a husband with an income of over 100,000 dollars a year is important. Do you see what I am getting at? Women love different aspects of a man, and that is why penis size is mostly a male issue, not a female one.

So, is having a four inch penis a problem? The simple answer is that it's only a problem if it's affecting your ability to interact in some way with people. Since you've said that you're basically shy of getting into a sexual situation because of your penis, therefore I would say it is a problem! However, the other way of looking at the issue is not from your point of view, but from the likely point of view of a woman. First let me say that I think you do need to accept that there are some women out there for whom things like penis size is important. This is inevitable, and whatever you think of this point of view, it is simply the case that some women believe it to be important to them. So in some cases, there will be women whom you meet for whom it may be an issue. But you need to remember that anyone who is taking the view that a physical characteristic like penis size outweighs the importance of a man's other qualities, like his caring nature, his sense of humor, and so on, is probably a superficial person anyway.

So, the question is, if you have these doubts, how can you get into a situation where you trust a woman enough to "reveal all"! The answer is that you will know when you meet someone special, who really cares for you, and the whole process will unfold naturally. And I think there is something else you can do as well which will give you power and control over your fears. Honesty is always the best policy in relationships, and when you trust someone enough to want to get sexual with them, you can make gentle hints about how you find it difficult to get intimate because you have been blessed with a penis on the smaller side. Her response to this will give you a good idea of how supportive she will be, and on the basis of that you can decide whether to go further or call the whole thing off. This may sound negative, but it is a lot better than getting hurt by a negative reaction after you have taken your clothes off! If you are thinking that it would be impossible to say such a thing, then I ask you to think about the fact that all of this relates to sexual intimacy, which is an expression of emotion between 2 people that deserves open and honest communication. People make themselves vulnerable when they get sexual, and this can be scary, but some of the fear can be discharged by talking openly with your partner. I hope this helps. If you want a one line answer, though, here it is: penis size matters to some people, some of the time, and not at all to others.

Whether it matters to you or not will probably depend in many ways on how careful you are in picking your sexual partners, even if this means waiting a bit longer for the right moment! BTW, i know this may seem even more ridiculous, but is your Dad the kind of guy you could confide your fears in? He is a man, after all, and he will know where you are coming from. (Don't worry if this idea seems to have come from another planet. I suspect most guys couldn't bring themselves to do this! However, I do think you might be surprised by the reaction if you broached the subject.....but you know best whether this is a good idea or not).

From the tone of your message I would say you are an intelligent guy, so you may now be thinking I might be right but somehow you can't apply all this information to yourself. If you are having a problem believing things will be OK for you, have a look at the small penis forums for advice and support. You can find some information here: Penis Myths . You will find support from guys who are successfully living with what nature has given them.

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20. Vein like swelling on my penis

Q: Hi. I have something going on with my penis. It is strange and difficult to describe. I guess the best way to describe it is that there appears to be a vein that gets "full" of something. It doesn't look like blood and appears to be white in color (under the skin). It is hard but not solid. It is located under the head of my penis. I am circumcised, by the way. Sometimes it extends almost a quarter of the way around the head of my penis. The end of it (the part that is most usually there) is "loose" and can be moved as though it is like a tail. Usually it is there after sex or in the morning after I wake up. But sometimes it goes away and sometimes it doesn't. I first noticed it after sex in the shower and I was cleaning myself and noticed that what I thought was a vein, was not subsiding and I thought that it would go down when my penis went down. But it was still there the next day. A few days later, we had sex again and when we were finished it was gone. Now it comes and goes and there is no link between having sex and not having sex. There's no pain involved either. Just the curiosity and a little apprehension about the situation. Do you have any idea what this is? I am hesitant to try to see a doctor because I don't know if it will be there when I get to see him. You know it's just like when you take the car to a mechanic for a knock in the engine and then the car doesn't make the sound for the mechanic. So, if you have any ideas, I would appreciate any information you can give me.

Ans: I think it may be an edema (or oedema) caused by the friction of sex. However I cannot offer you a medical opinion. If it were an edema, this would be a swelling caused by the accumulation of tissue fluid - a bit like a blister. Harmless, but a nuisance. However, you need to see a doctor, as I guess you know, just to get it checked out.

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21. My shrinking penis!

Q: As I have become older (now 38), my penis has shown a marked decrease in length and a little in circumference. I have also gained a lot of weight and developed a "pot belly". Is this the cause or is there some other common ailment?

Ans: There are actually two causes: one, the fatty tissue spreading over your pubic region does make your penis look smaller, without doubt. The root of the penis extends back towards you anus and is fixed, so it follows that if you grow outward with fatty tissue in your pubic region, your penis will look smaller. If you lose weight, obviously it will return to its old appearance. Second, if your sex drive has decreased, there may be a hormonal aspect to your penis shrinking. You can read about that here: http://www.the-penis.com

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22. What's this ridge on the underside of my penis?

Q: I think your website is really great, and showed me that my penis is reasonably normal. It curves slightly upward when erect, which I used to worry about, until I saw on your site that it is normal for a penis to do this. However, there is something else about it which bothers me. On the underside of my penis, there is a small ridge. At the bottom, it is in two parts, and joins together about an inch up. Then it goes right up to the end, and finishes in a little point, just under the glans. It is soft, and appears to be just skin. It shows up much more when my penis is erect. I used to think this was normal, until I read a gay pornographic magazine (I'm bisexual), and realized that none of the men in the magazine had this feature. Nor have I seen any other pictures of a penis which had this feature. This ridge doesn't hurt or feel of anything and my penis works as normal, but I'm curious to know what it is. I'd be grateful for any advice.

Ans: You are wrong about this - it is quite normal, and all men have it. It is called the "raphe", and it is seen on every penis to a greater or lesser degree. There is a picture of this on the problem page of The Penis.com - so go and have a look - you will find an explanation of it as well.

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23. My frenulum has torn!

Q: Hi there! My name is ... hmm ... Anonymous .. or you can call me Joker! I have a problem of course! I'm from Bulgaria! That's not the problem! The problem is with my penis. One day I was masturbating and at the end at the orgasm I pulled the skin too hard. (Forgot to tell you .. I am a virgin and I am a guy.) And that skinny thing between the head and the foreskin tore, but not entirely and some blood came out! One day it opened again, and more blood came, though it soon stopped. So, my questions are: What's supposed to happen when you lose your virginity (I mean is this skin supposed to break?) Should there be any blood coming out? And, more to the point, what the hell should I do now? Is this going to ruin my first experience of sex? Do these things usually break when you lose virginity?

Ans: This skin, which attaches the foreskin to the base of the glans, looks like a little piece of string. It's called the frenulum. It's a common myth that a boy has to tear his frenulum when he has sex for the first time. But it isn't true! I really don't know where the idea comes from, unless it has something to do with the idea that men have to bleed a bit, like a woman when her hymen is torn. Anyway, it isn't true. Having said all of that, when a guy has a short frenulum, it can tear when he masturbates or has sex, and it is unfortunately often uncomfortable thereafter. The best thing to do if this has happened to you, and it doesn't heal up quickly and stay healed, is to go and see a urologist, who may be able to do a simple surgical repair that prevents it tearing again.

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24. My foreskin won't go back over my glans!

Q: My "friend" has a question for you. He is uncircumcised and when the penis is soft he can fully retract the foreskin. When he gets an erection the foreskin gets very tight around the penis and becomes unretractable. The most he can do is maybe get a tiny peek at the head, which is too wide for the foreskin to roll back. If the foreskin is retracted before he gets an erection it rolls back over the head as he gets bigger. I would like to know if this is normal and if it is not what can we do fix the problem Thanks.

Ans: Have a look at the answer to this problem on the problem page of this site and see if that answers your question. Basically, you can stretch the foreskin or have a circumcision.

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25. Those tiny white spots again!

Q: I have some tiny white growths like the tip of a paint brush around the ridge of the head of the penis. It's difficult to describe but maybe you've seen or heard of this.

Ans: If you look at the problem page of Penis Myths, you will see there is lots of information about these white spots - they are called Fordyce spots and they are completely normal and harmless.

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26. What's this bump on my penis?

Q: I've noticed something today that I've had for at least a year or two and paid little attention to. On my penis shaft, just below the head, there is a small, hard, round, and movable bump. It isn't visible on the surface, and is much more noticeable during an erection when it is easily felt. I can move the outer skin without moving the bump, but if I put any pressure on it I can move the bump around a bit. It doesn't cause any pain, and I haven't noticed any change in it since I first noticed it a couple years back. This seems very different from all the "outer bumps" mentioned on health sites I've seen.

Ans: I can't offer medical advice, but it sounds a bit like a sebaceous cyst (blockage of a sweat gland and subsequent swelling). A minor thing, easily removed by a doctor, and completely harmless. But, just to be safe, please get a medical opinion.

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27. My penis bends - help!

Q: I just can't pucker up the guts to tell ANYONE not even the doctor, about my problem, after all I'm only 15! The thing is my penis bends to the left very much when erect, and the foreskin is too tight to pull back over the head. I think that it is so tight that it may have caused my penis to grow in a bend during puberty. Is there anything I can do? It bends starting from around half way up and bends about 30 degrees to the left!

Ans: Right, first things first. So, you are 15. By not seeing a doctor, you are denying yourself the right to  something you have every right to have - happiness and better health. The fact that you are 15 and the problem concerns your penis is really irrelevant. You are a man who needs help in this matter and you have every right to get it! The fact that you are 15 does not stop you you having all the rights and expectations of any other man whatever his age. Indeed, it probably gives you more rights because at that age you need the support and guidance of older men who know what you are going through as you grow up. This means you can expect older men like the doctor to help you, and hopefully you need not be scared of telling them your problems!

I think you now have to summon your courage and go see a male doctor. Let me explain my thinking. First it sounds like you have a phimosis, and you can't retract your foreskin. If this is so, you need to get it sorted, as it will make sex uncomfortable later in life. Plus, if your foreskin does get retracted and then won't move forward again, you have a bigger problem (try to make sure this doesn't happen when you are masturbating, by the way). You don't necessarily have to have a circumcision or a full circumcision to cure this - you can read about the options on this very website. Take some time to do that, so you know what you are dealing with. Second, you are understandably troubled by all this stuff and need some practical support. If you can't speak to your dad, then your doctor, bound by confidentiality rules, and having seen it all before in his career, is the obvious choice. But you might be surprised if you did try speaking to your dad about this, by his willingness to help. Don't forget he is a man, and he knows about the penis! If you can't do that - is it even remotely possible you could talk to your mother about it? Third, the phimosis may have some bearing on your penis shape. It might be that the restriction of the skin is causing some of the bend - although the bend isn't out of line with what a lot of men have got, by the way, although I know that may not be much comfort - and if this is so, then the sooner you get the phimosis attended to, the better. Fourth, the longer you leave this problem, the more it may affect you. BUT if you start getting it sorted out now, in 12 months (or six or three, or whatever) you might be completely free of it, and happier about everything!

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28. Is this wrinkly skin normal?

Q: Hi. I am uncircumcised and I was wondering if I had a problem. What happens is that a lot of the time my foreskin will not completely cover the head of my penis so it makes the skin on my penis look wrinkly. This usually happens after an erection. It almost always eventually goes back to completely covering the head of my penis without looking wrinkly, but it bothers me when it does. I was just wondering if it is normal for the uncircumcised penis to look wrinkly sometimes. Thanks.

Ans: Yes, everything you describe is completely normal...I would say that the majority of uncircumcised penises behave like yours, rather than having a foreskin which completely covers the glans. No need to worry!

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29. A hypospadic penis with two holes

Q: I am writing because I have not come across the condition I have found in my boyfriend. My boyfriend lives in Scotland and I am a New York lady. Well, I have not encountered too many foreskins but when I pulled back his foreskin to perform oral sex I noticed another hole where the foreskin and shaft met, about 1/4 to 1/2 inch away from the top of the penis (which has a hole as well). I asked him and he said the hole on top was where he urinated and the hole on the underside was where he ejaculated. He then showed me how semen comes out of the hole on the underside and I almost fainted! At 31, I feel I am experienced enough to know that this is not the norm! We went to the doctor's and we were told it was a birth defect and he can be referred. Have you ever heard of this condition and what can be done to fix it? I am concerned about both infection on his behalf with such an exposed hole (the hole is about 1 cm) and fertility: will it affect his fertility? His semen is much stickier than any other I have ever encountered, very different in fact.

Ans: I think he has hypospadias. You will find this condition described on this website. It is a birth defect. Usually this means a hole in the wrong place, but one form of it can be that a man has two holes, one of which is in the correct place, one of which is in the wrong place. However, if he has a normal foreskin which goes all around his penis, rather than just a hood over the top, that would be quite unusual for hypospadias, as the foreskin is usually abnormal as well. Still, anything is possible, and the only way to find out would be to see a urologist (dick doctor). The other thing that comes to mind is that he may have had his penis pierced - yes, hard to believe, I know, but some men do have rings through their penises in exactly the way you describe - the piercing is known as a Prince Albert. I doubt this is the case with him, though, as the hole is so large. His semen and fertility will be no different in any way because of this condition.

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30. What's this lump on my penis?

Q: I am concerned about a hard lump on the shaft of my penis, it is situated where the largest vein on the penis ends. It is slightly smaller than a lentil and has been present for months now, I am unsure if there has been any change in its size. It swells with blood upon erection and has no surface expression. I have been to the doctors twice and both times he has told me it is a varicosity, and not cancer. I am very concerned that he isn't considering the possibility of cancer because it is so rare.

Ans: OK, so if you are concerned, go and see a dermatologist (skin specialist). Then you would know for certain.

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31. My penis is too damn' small!

Q: I am frustrated with the size of my penis. It's only 5 and 1/2 inches when hard. I am embarrassed to take my clothes off in front of a girl and my self-esteem is real low!

Ans: You have a normal sized penis. Here's some information on penis size: Penis Facts

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32. The doctor forced my foreskin back!

Q: Hi, please help me to answer some of my queries. I'm an Asian, have a penis size of 6 inches, age 19. When I was young, I had an minor accident causing my penis to swell. When I consulted a doctor, he forced my foreskin to retract back. This was really painful. After that I recovered, and didn't notice anything different until one day, I saw all of my friends' penises were different from mine. When they are not stimulated, their foreskins will remain more or less over the glans; when they are erect, their foreskins are fully retracted, revealing their glans. But with mine, excited or not, I have to use my hand to pull my foreskin back to reveal my glans. When I manually pull back the foreskin, it looks exactly like the others, and this is not painful to do. Most books say that if it doesn't cause pain when pulling back the foreskin, everything is normal, but I still feel that mine is different from others. Will this cause problems when I have sex in future? Is it normal and acceptable? Can you please give me some advice whether I need to go for circumcision or whether it is alright without the operation.

Ans: There is nothing unusual about this at all. Many men have to pull their foreskin back manually and many find that it will not stay back. If you can move it back, and there is no pain, you are fine, and sex will be very good. The doctor was however very wrong to force it back. This can really hurt and and cause discomfort in the future, as it tears the adhesions between the glans and the foreskin. These can then heal with scar tissue on the glans which may make it very sensitive. A boy's foreskin should be left to separate naturally from his glans, and if it remains attached at puberty, then is the time to get the help of a doctor.

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33. My penis hole is getting bigger

Q: I am 19 years old. My penis's hole seems to be slowly tearing towards the back half of the shaft, into a slit-like shape. It is now about twice the length it should be (about a centimeter). I have always (or at least for the past few years) had trouble urinating straight or in a single, thin stream, but as of late I have had sensitivity in this area. For the past few months, my penis has hurt when rubbed across the top of the head sideways across the hole (slit). It has also hurt of late when penetrating my girl friend, wearing boxers, or when my penis is in the wrong position in briefs. Is this a huge problem? Should I worry or not worry about it? It there a way that I can cure the problems...the slit and/or the sensitivity? Please give me a few more options other than seeing a doctor. I do plan to see a doctor in the next month, but do not wish to see my family doctor about this embarrassing problem. Please give me any advice to help this problem.

Ans: I haven't come across this before. Did you have a slit or a hole to start with, and where was it located? On the face of it I would say that you MIGHT have a mild form of hypospadias. This means that a boy is born with the opening of his penis located below the head of the penis. Sometimes the opening is a slit, sometimes a hole. If it is a slit, and the overlying tissue is weak, I have heard of cases where the slit has lengthened in later life. But I am not a doctor, and can't see your penis, and therefore am a bit stuck. You might like to read the hypospadias page of my website, and then follow the links to the hypospadias support groups, where you can see photos: that will tell you if you have the condition.

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34. Penis snapped in an accident

Q: When I was 16 I hit my penis against the bed when I had an erection and felt a snap. Now I am 18 and I only get semi hard, and there is a curve in my penis. I believe the upper side has scar tissue in it and the underside is trying to grow while the top won't so that the curve gets greater every year. Also since that time my penis goes straight out in front rather than upright when erect. Is there any surgery or procedure I could have which would solve the problem?

Ans: What you say does fit with the scar tissue problem. The only way to deal with it is to see a urologist (dick doctor) who can advise you what to do next. You can get a referral through your family doctor. The penis can rupture, for although it has no bone inside it, the fibrous tissue of the erectile chambers can snap during sex, often when the man misses the woman's vagina as he thrusts. It is a painful event, and can lead to scar tissue forming inside the penis cavities - which is what seems to have happened to you. Another possibility is that you are developing peyronies disease. In any case, you need the help of a doctor to diagnose and fix the problem.

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35. No balls?

Q: I have recently had sex with a male around 20 years of age, and I noticed that his balls were extremely small and extremely tight, it was almost as if he didn't have any or there was no sack. Is that normal at all?

Ans: Well, it isn't common, but it isn't unusual either. Some men have a very tight scrotum, and their balls can appear very small because they are held tight up against the body wall. Sometimes balls can be very small, too. See this reference for more information.

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36. Penile pain on erection

Q: For about the last 5-7 days, I've experienced a degree of pain when I achieve an erection. This is a moderately dull-to-sharp sort of "muscular" pain - slightly akin to the type of pain one might associate with a bruise, although there is no visible bruise on my penis. The painful area is only on the left side, near the top of the shaft, and a little in the center of the head. I have absolutely no pain when not erect. I am sexually active with a monogamous partner, and I also masturbate fairly frequently. (Incidentally, masturbation/ejaculation does not worsen the pain.) What do you think this is, and what should I do about it?

Ans: I think it is a bruise inside the erectile chamber of the penis (caused by rough or vigorous sex or masturbation) and that it will ease with time, but to be sure, see a doctor. From the emails I get, I would say that such internal penis injuries are very slow to heal. Another (remote) possibility is that this is a problem in your back and the nerves to your penis are being stimulated in such a way that you feel the pain there. I don't think this is likely, but it can happen. Read about penile pain here.

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37. Penis disappears into my body

Q: I am 24 years old. For the past couple of months my penis has been retracting into itself like a turtle's head does. It is very uncomfortable and has never happened before. It seems to happen more when I am running, or driving. What should I do?

Ans: I don't think you can do anything. The retractile penis, as it is known, is fairly common, and unfortunately it is uncomfortable. Most guys do find that it gets worse as they get older - I'm not at all sure why, though I have often wondered if it is to do with declining testosterone levels. If you had any pain or discomfort that hadn't been there before, you'd obviously want to get it checked out by a doctor.

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38. One ball bigger than the other

Q: Hello. I've read your articles and I think that they are great and good advice too. I looked at your article on testicle size and it only helped me a bit. I'm 18 years old (19 in a few days) and one of my testicles is really big and the other is really small. Sometimes it shows through my trousers, it's so damn big! This has been bugging me for a number of years now, but I'm too scared to go to the doctor. I read somewhere that if you had a testicle this size it can lead to cancer - is this true?

Ans: No. But the fact that it is so much bigger than the other is unusual. It would clearly be wise to see a doctor and check it out.

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39. My twisting testicle

Q: I am 14. I have a problem with my left testicle. About 1 month ago I was watching TV and I went to take a shower. When I took my clothes off I realized that my left testicle was twisted around. It did it again exactly 10 days after that. The first time it spontaneously turned back around in about 20 min. The second time it was more like 35 min. Before the second time I could ejaculate multiple times. Now only one big ball of semen comes out. I think I am ruined for life. Do you think that it was damaged? I think I am only going to have one that works now. Please answer back....I am nervous.

Ans: OK, well if you have had no pain or swelling, or discomfort, you will not have had any damage, so don't worry about that. I think you would be wise to see a doctor, just to get his advice. Not that I believe there is anything wrong, because testicles do turn around like this in the scrotum. As long as they go back, there is no problem. But there is a medical emergency when a testicle spins around and refuses to go back - this needs urgent medical attention at the ER. The pain and swelling would leave you in no doubt if this had happened to you.

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40. Foreskin won't budge

Q: I have an average penis and no problem with erection, but I can't pull my foreskin behind my glans - I can't even stretch it by hand. It just doesn't work. What can I do to get loose foreskin to have sex without pain? Is it also possible that my always fast ejaculation is related to this problem?

Ans: If sex is uncomfortable, as it can be if the foreskin doesn't slide easily, then I suspect that you may have developed a habit of ejaculating quickly so as to shorten he time during which you feel uncomfortable. You can read all about the ways to deal with a tight foreskin on problem page 1 of this website.

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41. My retracting penis

Q: Having read all the information available on line, I still have the same question. I understand the withdrawal back inside the body of either the penis or testicles is called retraction. My question is can this condition be eliminated? Is it caused by nervous reaction or something based on body temperature, outside temperature or what? In a normal, non-aroused state my penis is 3 to 3-1/2 inches long. That's when it has not retracted. When retracted it can be from about 1-1/2 to 2 inches long with the skin pushed back and wrinkled and usually part way over the head, which has been circumcised. This condition does attract the attention of sexual partners or anyone else who might observe and can be very embarrassing. Any cure?

Ans: No cure, sorry. But surely if your penis is erect when it needs to be, you don't have a problem?

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42. My bendy erection point downwards

Q: Hello, I am not sure as to how I should start, but I will give it a try. What I would like to ask is if I am right that I have a problem of sorts. I am a virgin, non-circumcised, and it seems that whenever I have an erection my penis is not fully erect. It feels really hard when I do touch it but it is bent downwards not upwards. I am not sure what causes this problem and I am not sure as to what I should so.

Ans: But this is normal.....some penises do bend downwards when erect, and so long as it is hard enough to go inside a vagina, you have no problem. Some penises bend upwards, some downwards, some to the left and some to the right. it is all part of the variation in the penis. unless your penis looks deformed or abnormal, then you are probably just one of those guys with a bendy penis. See Penis Myths for more information.

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43. Semen color

Q: Hi. Crazy question: sometimes my semen is very yellow and sometimes it is white. If you can explain this I would be very happy. Thank you.

Ans: It isn't a crazy question. It comes up a lot, actually. Many guys say the color of their semen changes from day to day. They often wonder why it has a greenish tinge or yellowish color. I'm not quite sure what the cause is but it is certainly a common thing. I think maybe it is remnants of urine which discolor the semen. You could test this by drinking a lot of water till your pee is colorless, then see if your semen is yellow or white! Anyhow it definitely is not anything to worry about! If, however, you ever get any blood in your semen, then you need to pop along to the doctor pronto.

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44. Ring of dark skin on penis

Q: Hello, I'm 18 years old. I am writing you because I have an embarrassing aesthetic problem with my penis. I have become aware of a ring of dark skin about an inch away from the head. I understand that this kind of scar can arise from circumcision but I'm not sure that mine has. Anyhow, how can it be a scar if it's not scar tissue? I think it may have arisen from the way I hold my penis when I masturbate. I continue to give this theory credence because I do not believe that this scar has always been here and I was circumcised at birth. This is a very embarrassing problem for me and I would like to get an anonymous diagnosis before I go and pull my pants down for the family doctor. What is this and how do I get rid of it?

Oh, and I get erections a LOT. How can I calm it down - when I see my girl, my pants go 'flying upwards'.....is there no way to calm it down besides yelling "down boy!" and looking like a fool - LOL! No, seriously?

Ans: The word scar is not really accurate, it isn't so much a scar as the dividing line between the skin of the shaft and the remains of your foreskin (which is a different type of skin) - depending on how far back they cut it off, then the ring of different color will be higher or lower up the shaft.

I get loads of queries along the lines of "How do I stop getting so many erections?" Well, sorry, you can't! Just be glad you're so masculine. (I know it can be an embarrassing problem, but you have more testosterone in your body now than you ever will again in the rest of your life, so the erections are quite normal - almost everyone has them at that age!)

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45. Why does my husband masturbate?

Q: Hi, I am a woman, writing in hopes that you can honestly answer a question for me or at least clear up some confusion. I am not sure how many letters you receive from women, but I was interested in a topic that was related to your site. Here is my situation..... My boyfriend and I have been together for about a year and a half and for the most part we share a healthy sexual relationship. However, recently I have become more frustrated with the fact that he still masturbates 1-2 times a week. He tells me it is perfectly normal and has nothing to do with our relationship or how he feels about me. I am still really uneasy about the whole thing and I feel pretty insecure when I know he has done it. Sometimes he will even do it the day after we have had intercourse, that seems unnecessary to me, am I wrong? Also I would like to have sex more than we do, which is usually 2-3 times a week. I would rather we just had intercourse rather than him masturbate. However, he will often complain that he just doesn't want to engage in it as often as I do, that makes no sense to me because he is still masturbating in place of us having intercourse. I am so confused and frustrated. Can you please let me know if this is normal or do I have something to be concerned about. On the average, how many times a week do men with partners masturbate? Will this decrease as he gets older? I forgot to add that my boyfriend is 24 and I am 22. Please respond to my letter, I really need some feedback.

Ans: Several women have asked this question. It doesn't mean he doesn't respect or love you. Masturbation for men, even when they have a partner, is really normal. I would say every man does it. This seems to be the consensus of all my reading and research. OK, if so, then why? Well, because I think that despite female consciousness raising and greater sexual freedom, it is generally true that men have a higher sex drive than women, and sometimes it is nice to just engage in a quick method of relief and release that is simple, rewarding and feels good. The significance of masturbation is very different for men than it is for women: though men like to be in a relationship, there is a form of sex (wanking) which is just like snacking because you're hungry, as opposed to sharing a feast with a loved one. I am sorry if this doesn't convey an adequate explanation of why he's doing it. But you also need to understand it is no reflection on you. And finally why don't you offer to masturbate him, without necessarily expecting more sexual intimacy? He might like this, though I have to say, knowing something about men, I would be surprised if he accepted your offer, or, even if he did, this stopped him masturbating on his own. In short, don't feel it's a reflection on you; it isn't, it's how men behave!

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46. Has masturbation like this ruined my sex life?

Q: A question on my problem, which I didn't find on your site. When I started to masturbate at 13 years of age, I would rub my penis against the sheet rather than using my hand. If at home in bed at the time, at the moment of orgasm I would stop myself ejaculating by pushing very hard downwards against the sheet & mattress, and no sperm would come out (& mother wouldn't know as there wouldn't be any tell tale stains on the sheets). Where did the sperm go? I ask because I feel almost no pleasure during sex, whether masturbating or with a partner. I remember that after I stopped myself ejaculating, the next time I masturbated I had far fewer pleasurable sensations. Since then I feel almost no pleasure at all during sex, just a little at orgasm & ejaculation, but the main experience is the release of tension.

I have always had a strong sex drive though slowing now compared with what it was. I have seen a sex therapist, he didn't seem to believe me (about stopping the ejaculation) as he said there was nowhere else for the sperm to go. He recommended trying sex toys to masturbate into, which I did try but no difference. He saw the problem as purely psychological. I wonder if he is correct because I still have sexual hang-ups due to my strict religious upbringing and uptight, domineering mother. I have finally accepted that I am bisexual, and have told my wife, siblings & a couple of friends. I have a reasonably healthy sex life with my wife, but there could be so much more pleasure. I recall reading years ago about a penis with broken nerve connections or something like that and the guy no longer felt anything during sex. Could something like this have happened to me?

Ans: It is very unlikely you have suffered any damage. During masturbation, I think that you probably forced the semen back into the bladder, a condition known as retrograde ejaculation, and not uncommon. (BTW that sex therapist must have been quite ignorant if that possibility did not occur to him. If he didn't know of it, I find that extraordinary). Anyway, I suspect that IF this is what happened - then your body needs retraining to ensure you get a lot more pleasure from sex. The other possibility is that you would get more pleasure from sex with men, you don't say if you've tried this or not. I think the best idea is a good sex therapist, and a partner committed to helping you. I am sorry I can't be more specific, but I don't think you're going to be able to deal with this without professional help.

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47. No way to get an orgasm except like this

Q: Hi. I am 18 years old and a virgin. When masturbating I can't ejaculate and have an orgasm without lying on my back tensing up all my muscles in my body up (up to the stage where I get cramps in my legs). If I don't do this, I can masturbate for ages until I lose interest and lose my erection. Will this happen with a girl? I'm worried that I'll go soft before getting an orgasm 'coz I won't be able to use this tensing my muscles trick.

Ans: One of the problems with learning to masturbate in a particular way is that it can become a habit, and in the worst cases, impossible to ejaculate in any other way. You need to retrain yourself so that you can experience different ways of bringing yourself to orgasm. The help of a willing partner would be useful, so when you get to be with a girl, make sure you choose one who will be understanding and sympathetic if you lose your erection. Personally I doubt you'll have a problem anyway, in the excitement of exploring sex with a woman for the first time.

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48. Frenulum Breve

Q: I think I might have Frenulum Breve, the frenulum is joined at the tip of the penis and meets the hole, I've heard that it normally joins the shaft lower down. When I masturbate and the penis gets really erect the frenulum digs into the head and this is usually the time when the penis begins to go soft. Does this sound like Frenulum Breve?

Ans: Could be FB. Why don't you go see a urologist and explain it all to him, he can then decide what to do. You can read about frenulum breve on the links listed on this page: The Penis.com Problems

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49. My penis is losing its sensitivity

Q: I'm 24, and masturbate 2-3 times a week. I've noticed that my penis isn't as sensitive as a couple of years ago. I can get hard and ejaculate, it just takes a little longer. Everything else seems normal. Will not masturbating for a while increase the sensitivity? How about another lubricant?

Ans: All good questions, which I get over and over again. One day someone will do some research on why men's penises become less sensitive. Many men report their penis seems less sensitive than it used to, but don't know why. I can only think it might have something to do with the penis head getting rougher and less sensitive due to years of underwear rubbing on it (if you are circumcised). As for a cure, you probably need to experiment. More lubrication like baby oil may make masturbation a smoother experience, while for other men, less lubrication - to increase the friction they experience during masturbation - seems to work better. You could also try different lubricants, leaving longer between masturbation so you get more urgency, and increasing the strength of your PC muscles to increase the force of your orgasm. (Read about that here.)

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50. Can't stay hard like I used to!

Q: I am a 45 years old male. My problem is that I can get erect but right after I ejaculate I go soft instead of staying rock hard like I used to. How can I maintain it?

Ans: This is a symptom of age, and lowering testosterone levels. You could try Viagra. And read about the symptoms here.

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51. Rash on my penis - too embarrassed to get help!

Q: OK....I'm really embarrassed cause I'm only 15...and my problem is my penis, for like 2 or 3 days now I've got a rash on the head of my penis and it has like kinda bumps on it and white spots! I'm like freaked out cause I don't want to go to a doc or show my folks. Do you have any idea what my problem is or the cause of it? Can I heal/get it better w/o doctors or parents involved? Please Help ME....Thank You!

Ans: Whoa, hold on! You may only be 15, but so what? You're a man, or rapidly becoming one....so why do you think having a man's problems is embarrassing? And going to the doctor is not really embarrassing at all - it is a sign of maturity - you have a problem, you solve it, in this case by getting the advice of a professional in the field. Anyway, he will have seen it all before, and seeing your dick isn't going to be a problem for him. What you have may be a fungal infection like athlete's foot or jock itch, but you need the appropriate diagnosis and treatment from a doctor. If you leave it, it will only get worse, so summon up your courage right now, and go to the doc - tell your folks you have a rash or something, on your genitals, or if that's a bit embarrassing, on your crotch...they will understand, I hope, and not ask any more questions. Alternatively, have a quiet word with your dad - he is a man, after all, and may well have experienced this himself! And, of course, he does know you have a penis - after all, he has one himself!

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52. Just pulled my foreskin back & penis head is SO sensitive!

Q: Hi there, I am 22 yr old male. Still a virgin. I have been masturbating almost once every day or more for the past 5 years. I didn't know until recently that the foreskin can go down and expose the head completely. I guess my foreskin was tight. But now it goes back okay but not completely and is fatter at the middle (because it doesn't go all the way back). Well, that's the background. The problem is 1) when my penis is not erect I can take the foreskin all the way back to its limit but when erect it just stops after the base of head. 2) I have seen in porno videos that while having sex they actually lick the head. I tried touching it and it is very, very sensitive. When I try to rub it between my hands it really is so uncomfortable that I lose my erection. It is not like pain but it is so sensitive that I can't stand the feeling. And I just lose the erection. I like my foreskin going back and forth over the head but I think if I tried to have sex or had a partner lick my penis head, I would not be able to stand it and would just lose my erection. Even so, my gut reaction says that this is normal as I have just started doing it. But I just wanted to run it past you.

Ans: One of the big complaints of circumcised men is that they lose sensitivity in the penis head because it has rubbed against clothing and so on for so long. I think many of them wish they were uncircumcised. But of course, as you point out, one big disadvantage of being uncircumcised is the extra sensitivity of the glans! By the way everything you describe is completely normal, including the fact that your foreskin goes back a different amount when your penis is erect than when soft. So don't worry about that. So, what about the sensitivity? Well, the natural movement of the penis in a vagina is to slide back and forth inside the foreskin as you thrust in and out - a sensation which you mimic in masturbation. If you have a partner who wants to masturbate you, she (or he) can do the same thing as you. You will probably find that when you have oral sex, you will want to pull the foreskin back, and that the sensations in your partner's mouth when he or she licks the head of your penis will be very good indeed. If you want to reduce your sensitivity a bit, you could try walking around for a few hours a day with your penis foreskin pulled back (if it will stay back on its own) inside your underwear. Of course you may find that this merely gives you an erection, but you could work at it. All in all, however, I wouldn't worry, I think everything you describe is normal.

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53. I didn't develop normally in puberty

Q: I'm 17 and a half and haven't developed. It's not just my penis - about five inches long when erect but thin - but it's like I started puberty at 13 and have slowly being going through it for 4 years. My dick has not grown at all. I do have some hair but not much and I have a little showing on my legs and under my arms but that's it. I have a bit of a moustache but never shave. And my girlfriend doesn't know that I feel I can't have sex because I'm in a child's body, although I think I disguise my despair well. I don't know what to do.

Ans: There are two ways of looking at this. First, you might be on the low edge of the normal range of normal male development. Second, you might have a problem that could benefit from medical treatment. Let's think about it.

You do have some sexual development. Your penis, although it is in the lower size range, is not "abnormally" small. Even if it isn't thick, it will still be the same size as many men's - you can check this out on the stats on the size page of my website. (Though I know if you feel its size is part of a larger picture of developmental problems, this may be no comfort.) Your facial hair, although not dense, may continue to develop as you get older. You said you have had some wet dreams, and that you do masturbate, and I assume ejaculate, so your fertility is probably OK, and my guess is that you could father a child. I forgot to ask if you have a high sex drive - do you masturbate once a week or more than once a week? If it was less than that, it would be on the low side of "normal".

OK, so where does this take us? I have counseled a man with a genetic trait in his family where some of the men lack what I would consider to be signs of "normal" masculine development - low levels of facial and body hair, for example, and in one case, abnormal penile development. (I forgot to ask you if you penis is anatomically normal. This might be important, because if it were hypospadic, i.e. the pee hole opened in the wrong place or the foreskin was hooded and incompletely formed, that could be a good indicator of a deficiency of testosterone in your body when you were growing in your mother's uterus. You can read about hypospadias here.)

The man I counseled maintains that he did not experience anything like a normal puberty - no spots, no wet dreams, no masturbation until he was 19 (which points to a low sex drive), and he grew comparatively little body hair, although he did get spontaneous erections in his teens and masturbated a lot in his twenties. His position was exactly the same as yours - he said he felt like "a man in a child's body". Without the dramatic development that some boys go through, I think boys can feel they are not developing properly. Another male in this man's family went through a more obvious puberty but even as an adult has little or no facial hair, although he does have a wife and two children. Which leads us to a possibility I want you to consider - that in fact you are at the lower end of normal development, and that you will be able to live as a normal male despite your feelings of deficiency. The problem then would be coming to terms with this.

On the other hand, you may have a real problem of development. Some of these problems can be treated by hormones, and some cannot. For example, if you lack male hormone, this could be administered by injection or patches. But if your problem is that you have normal levels of hormone, and your body tissues are a bit unresponsive to it, then there is little that can be done to make you more masculine than you already are. Suppose for a minute that for some reason you are deficient in your hormonal system. OK, either that can be corrected, or it can't. But unless you go and see a doctor, you will not know the answer to this question. And you will, of course, continue to live with your self doubt, worry and unhappiness. My suggestion has to be that you get medical advice. I think it is important that you do that now, because the sooner any problem is treated, the better.

How would you go about this? Well, you could go to your family doctor, and explain, very clearly, what you believe to be the problem. A family doctor may be able to make some judgments about your development - for example, key indicators of testosterone production are testicle size and whether or not your voice has broken (I assume it has?) - but he is not really very well placed to give you an in depth analysis. If you want to pursue this to the natural conclusion, and set your mind at rest, you are going to need to see an endocrinologist (hormone doctor) who of course will be very well versed in such issues - obviously, that's what he spends his life working at! Such a doctor will be a hospital specialist.

Now, can you do this? You have said that you don't want to talk to your doctor or even your Dad for fear of looking like a fool. Well, as for looking a fool, forget it. Not taking care of yourself seems more foolish to me. This is your health, your future, and your happiness you're talking about here. You need to see an endocrinologist, who will give you a thorough examination and set of tests. They are usually found in big city or teaching hospitals. I strongly suggest you get your family on your side, unless you have good reasons for not wishing to confide in them. Are you intimate enough with your girlfriend to ask her for support - would she be mature enough to act as support for you? But however you do it, I think you should act NOW! And I believe you have a real problem which needs the support of medical professionals.

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54. What's wrong with my penis?

Q: Hi, sorry to bother you but it would appear that something isn't right down there! I suffer sharp pains when I urinate and the head of my penis is very sore when squeezed. Also there seems to be a whitish/yellow discharge leaking from the pee slit...the head does feel firmer than usual. I don't know what to do. Please advise asap?

Ans: Well, it sounds like an infection - you need to see a doctor as soon as possible. If you have an infection and you leave it untreated, then you may get serious bladder or kidney problems. If you have had sex with a partner whose history you are unsure of then of course you may have a sexually transmitted disease, so you need to stop having sex, and get along to the sexually transmitted diseases clinic to find out what is going on.

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55. Smegma?

Q: Could you please tell me if there is something wrong, as I have a white substance on my penis. It's not a liquid. Can you tell me what this might be? I don't have any irritation.

Ans: I think this is this "smegma" - a natural white substance that builds up from the dead skin and oils of the skin, easily removed by washing, completely natural and nothing to worry about. (except possibly the smell it generates if you don't wash it off!)

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