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How to Decrease Your Penis Sensitivity

Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM

Reviewed by Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM

Written by Geoffrey C. Whittaker

Published 04/28/2022

Updated 01/07/2024

Most of us guys think about erectile dysfunction, sexually transmitted infections and prostate health when someone brings up sexual health. But if you’ve got a too-sensitive penis and a suffering sex life to show for it, you’d probably argue that your stamina should be on that list of issues as well. 

Whether your sexual experiences last for about the length of a Vine video (RIP to that app) or you just think that your sexual problems could be solved with the extra time provided by a less sensitive penis, you’re here looking for safe and healthy solutions, and that’s what we’re going to give you! 

Below, we’ve explained what penile sensitivity is, why decreasing it could be a good thing for you and the safe ways to last longer.

Penile sensitivity — as you’ve experienced since you hit your adolescence — is generally considered a good thing, but it has its limits. While having an orgasm is pretty much always a satisfying experience, having one too fast — an event medical professionals refer to as premature ejaculation (PE) — can be downright awful. 

So why do some guys have more sensitivity than others? Well, it can depend on a lot of factors. 

Anything that affects your skin, function, nerve endings or exposure of your glans (not glands) can, in theory, change your sensitivity. Spinal injuries, which can impact your nerves, may also change your sensitivity.

Potential causes of changes in sensitivity include:

  • Injury or trauma to the shaft, base or head of the penis

  • Circumcision (removal of the foreskin)

  • Medical conditions like an infection or STD

  • Bike riding

  • Phimosis

  • Nerve damage

That said, nerve damage generally isn’t going to typically make you more sensitive or faster on the trigger, but there are things that can.

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And this is where we need to talk about possible premature ejaculation causes. Many of them are psychological factors and mental health issues like: 

  • Depression

  • Guilt

  • Anxiety

  • Stress

  • Trauma

  • Relationship problems

Health conditions could also potentially contribute to premature ejaculation, so make sure you address problems like:

  • Diabetes

  • Hypogonadism (low testosterone levels)

  • Alcoholism

  • Recreational drug use

  • Erectile dysfunction

  • Abnormal hormone levels 

  • Low serotonin levels

A word to the wise: if you’re concerned that one of these problems may be causing your increased or extreme sensitivity, you should talk to a healthcare professional. It’s always a good idea to get medical advice, whether your problems are caused by depression, a physical issue or something else entirely.

Feeling like PE or hypersensitivity are hurting your numbers? We’d love to show you a bunch of statistics on how getting less sensitive leads to elevated swagger levels, but sensitivity is a subjective… err… subject. 

Some people actually struggle to orgasm or ejaculate — a condition called anorgasmia, characterized by increased lube costs, a lot of frustration and visits to the urologist. 

That said, the more commonly maligned sexual dysfunction is definitely finishing too soon. 

If you suddenly had the ability to last longer, it could erase the symptoms and trickle-down issues of PE. It can improve your mental health, self-confidence and the intimacy and joy of your relationship’s physical side, as well as keep you from having to hope for a comeback in the second half (or just later in the night). 

Sound like a list of benefits you want in your life? Let’s talk about how to get them safely.

Hypersensitivity — abnormally sensitive sexual function — isn’t what most men want, regardless of how long you and your partner want sex to last. So, there are three categories of ways to decrease sensitivity that have been shown to be safe and potentially effective that we’d direct you to: topicals, medications and non-pharmaceuticals like therapy and exercises.

Topical Premature Ejaculation Treatments

We’d have to say that desensitizing your penis is the most straightforward and most obvious treatment for premature ejaculation, because it’s so simple. 

Topical medications and ointments like lidocaine and benzocaine have been proven to give you this benefit by temporarily desensitizing your penis.

Benzocaine is an effective treatment option for premature ejaculation, and data from a randomized placebo-controlled trial even showed that benzocaine can triple the time to ejaculation. 

Yes, benzocaine is the stuff used in over-the-counter oral medications, but the tooth sensitivity treatments are formulated for tooth sensitivity, not glans sensitivity. Tooth discomfort products typically have a benzocaine concentration of around 20 percent — more than five times the recommended dosage used in PE wipes.

Instead, medicated wipes and topicals (like our Clockstopper benzocaine wipes and delay spray which uses lidocaine) contain the correct amount of numbing treatment so that you’re able to ride longer, but no less hard. 

Just remember to wait at least 5 minutes before having sex — the numbing ingredients on your genitals can be transferred to your partner’s, and one of the most commonly reported side effects is numbing of the vagina.

PE Medications

Of course men’s health isn’t all about the penis, which means one can also treat PE by way of other channels.

Some data shows that ED medications like sildenafil (which treat sexual function problems by affecting blood flow in the penis’s blood vessels) can effectively addess PE, as well. And if that’s not enough, some research suggests it can shorten the latency period between one orgasm and the next, which can help if you’re a stamina guy who knows how to rally.

Antidepressants like sertraline and paroxetine have also been shown to delay ejaculation for some people. 

Technically, delaying ejaculation is a side effect of selective serotonin reuptake inhibitor (SSRI) antidepressants — healthcare professionals have essentially made lemonade out of lemons for some men and often prescribe SSRIs off-label for PE.

Other Techniques to Last Longer

A variety of tools are at hand for you — some of them literally. Some studies have suggested that masturbation beforehand, the so-called squeeze technique (in which you literally squeeze the tip to prevent ejaculation), edging and other hacks can help you last longer in bed. If you’re interested in any of these exercises you should definitely check out that last guide.

But one of the simplest options for treating PE is to take it seriously and see a primary care physician, therapy professional or other healthcare provider. 

PE can be associated with intimacy issues, self-confidence and other penis-related problems. Therapy is a great way to talk through some of these fears with a professional conveniently and discreetly.

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Penis sensitivity is a sensitive subject, and we get that you may have a fear of heading to a urology office to talk about it. But while there are a great number of effective products, anesthetic creams and squeezing aren’t necessarily going to treat the root problem. 

If you’re wondering how to desensitize your penis, talk to a healthcare provider about your concerns. They should be able to diagnose the cause of your hypersensitivity and suggest treatment options. 

If physical health or mental health conditions might be interfering with your stamina, you can address them with therapy and other treatments for PE or those other health conditions.

Take your well-being seriously and get your sexual activity times back in the green. Reach out when you need us.

9 Sources

  1. Saleh, R., Majzoub, A., & Abu El-Hamd, M. (2021). An update on the treatment of premature ejaculation: A systematic review. Arab journal of urology, 19(3), 281–302. https://doi.org/10.1080/2090598X.2021.1943273.
  2. Singh R, Al Khalili Y. Benzocaine. [Updated 2023 Feb 25]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK541053/.
  3. ​​Mohee, A., & Eardley, I. (2011). Medical therapy for premature ejaculation. Therapeutic advances in urology, 3(5), 211–222. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC3199591/.
  4. Ridwan Shabsigh, Michael A. Perelman, Robert H. Getzenberg, Allison Grant, Jed Kaminetsky. RANDOMIZED, PLACEBO-CONTROLLED STUDY TO EVALUATE THE EFFICACY, SAFETY, AND TOLERABILITY OF BENZOCAINE WIPES IN SUBJECTS WITH PREMATURE EJACULATION. Journal of Men's Health. 2019. 15(3);80-88. https://www.jomh.org/articles/10.22374/jomh.v15i3.156.
  5. Hyun J. S. (2017). AB012. Update on treatments for premature ejaculation. Translational Andrology and Urology, 6(Suppl 3), AB012. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC5565572/.
  6. Crowdis M, Leslie SW, Nazir S. Premature Ejaculation. [Updated 2023 May 30]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK546701/.
  7. Jenkins, L. C., & Mulhall, J. P. (2015). Delayed orgasm and anorgasmia. Fertility and sterility, 104(5), 1082–1088. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4816679/.
  8. McPhee AS, Stormont G, McKay AC. Phimosis. [Updated 2023 Aug 8]. In: StatPearls [Internet]. Treasure Island (FL): StatPearls Publishing; 2023 Jan-. Available from: https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/books/NBK525972/.
  9. Paick, J. S., Jeong, H., & Park, M. S. (1998). Penile sensitivity in men with premature ejaculation. International journal of impotence research, 10(4), 247–250. https://pubmed.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/9884921/.
Editorial Standards

Hims & Hers has strict sourcing guidelines to ensure our content is accurate and current. We rely on peer-reviewed studies, academic research institutions, and medical associations. We strive to use primary sources and refrain from using tertiary references. See a mistake? Let us know at [email protected]!

This article is for informational purposes only and does not constitute medical advice. The information contained herein is not a substitute for and should never be relied upon for professional medical advice. Always talk to your doctor about the risks and benefits of any treatment. Learn more about our editorial standards here.

Mike Bohl, MD, MPH, ALM

Dr. Mike Bohl is a licensed physician, a Medical Advisor at Hims & Hers, and the Director of Scientific & Medical Content at a stealth biotech startup, where he is involved in pharmaceutical drug development. Prior to joining Hims & Hers, Dr. Bohl spent several years working in digital health, focusing on patient education. He has also worked in medical journalism for The Dr. Oz Show (receiving recognition for contributions from the National Academy of Television Arts and Sciences when the show won Outstanding Informative Talk Show at the 2016–2017 Daytime Emmy® Awards) and at Sharecare. He is a Medical Expert Board Member at Eat This, Not That! and a Board Member at International Veterinary Outreach.

Dr. Bohl obtained his Bachelor of Arts and Doctor of Medicine from Brown University, his Master of Public Health from Columbia University, and his Master of Liberal Arts in Extension Studies—Journalism from Harvard University. He is currently pursuing a Master of Business Administration and Master of Science in Healthcare Leadership at Cornell University. Dr. Bohl trained in internal medicine with a focus on community health at NYU Langone Health.

Dr. Bohl is Certified in Public Health by the National Board of Public Health Examiners, Medical Writer Certified by the American Medical Writers Association, a certified Editor in the Life Sciences by the Board of Editors in the Life Sciences, a Certified Personal Trainer and Certified Nutrition Coach by the National Academy of Sports Medicine, and a Board Certified Medical Affairs Specialist by the Accreditation Council for Medical Affairs. He has graduate certificates in Digital Storytelling and Marketing Management & Digital Strategy from Harvard Extension School and certificates in Business Law and Corporate Governance from Cornell Law School.

In addition to his written work, Dr. Bohl has experience creating medical segments for radio and producing patient education videos. He has also spent time conducting orthopedic and biomaterial research at Case Western Reserve University and University Hospitals of Cleveland and practicing clinically as a general practitioner on international medical aid projects with Medical Ministry International.

Dr. Bohl lives in Manhattan and enjoys biking, resistance training, sailing, scuba diving, skiing, tennis, and traveling. You can find Dr. Bohl on LinkedIn for more information.

Publications

  • Younesi, M., Knapik, D. M., Cumsky, J., Donmez, B. O., He, P., Islam, A., Learn, G., McClellan, P., Bohl, M., Gillespie, R. J., & Akkus, O. (2017). Effects of PDGF-BB delivery from heparinized collagen sutures on the healing of lacerated chicken flexor tendon in vivo. Acta biomaterialia, 63, 200–209. https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S1742706117305652?via%3Dihub

  • Gebhart, J. J., Weinberg, D. S., Bohl, M. S., & Liu, R. W. (2016). Relationship between pelvic incidence and osteoarthritis of the hip. Bone & joint research, 5(2), 66–72. https://boneandjoint.org.uk/Article/10.1302/2046-3758.52.2000552

  • Gebhart, J. J., Bohl, M. S., Weinberg, D. S., Cooperman, D. R., & Liu, R. W. (2015). Pelvic Incidence and Acetabular Version in Slipped Capital Femoral Epiphysis. Journal of pediatric orthopedics, 35(6), 565–570. https://journals.lww.com/pedorthopaedics/abstract/2015/09000/pelvic_incidence_and_acetabular_version_in_slipped.5.aspx

  • Islam, A., Bohl, M. S., Tsai, A. G., Younesi, M., Gillespie, R., & Akkus, O. (2015). Biomechanical evaluation of a novel suturing scheme for grafting load-bearing collagen scaffolds for rotator cuff repair. Clinical biomechanics (Bristol, Avon), 30(7), 669–675. https://www.clinbiomech.com/article/S0268-0033(15)00143-6/fulltext

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