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Ask Dr. K

Sometimes with frequent or vigorous masturbation, the glans of my penis becomes irritated and maintains a taut shiny appearance as if it were erect. It is very sensitive to touch. This may last for three to five days and usually resolves itself as long as I abstain from stimulation, but not before shedding a layer of skin -- much as when you're sunburned. Is this normal? Can something else be done besides abstinence?

It sounds like you have trauma and/or irritation from masturbation. Sometimes, water-based or silicone-based lubrication can help if applied during masturbation, or even afterwards.

You might try masturbating in other ways besides physically stroking the glans. Many men are stimulated by erotic imagery, stimulation of other parts of their body -- anus, nipples, etc. There is a book called "The Complete Guide to Safer Sex" by the Institute for the Advance Study of Human Sexuality where you may be able to get some ideas.

To your health,
Dr. K

Last modified on Tuesday, June 03, 2008.
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