Penis overuse

Originally Published: April 25, 1997 - Last Updated / Reviewed On: June 4, 2010
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Dear Alice,

Penis overuse can result in swelling and soreness?

Dear Reader,

You betcha! Friction caused by excessive penetrative sex (oral, anal, vaginal) or masturbation can definitely lead to irritation, soreness, and possibly swelling of the penis. How much sex or masturbation is excessive depends on the person, skin sensitivity, and the enthusiasm of the friction. To reduce friction, a person may ease up on the suction during oral sex, be gentler during anal or vaginal penetration, or vary and lighten the grip while masturbating (self or another). Also, consider the use of a little (or a lot) of lube when getting busy with a partner or alone. Using lube to reduce friction can help you keep going longer, whether solo or with a partner. Check out the Related Q&As for all you ever needed to know about lube.

You might also consider that while there are no muscles in the penis, the ligaments that attach it to the pelvic bone can be strained. If you think this may be the cause of the soreness, try giving the overworked appendage a few days of rest. 

If using lube or giving the boner a break from the action doesn't relieve the discomfort or pain, a trip to a health care provider or urologist may help find some relief for a sore stiffy. Students at Columbia can make an appointment by calling x4-2284 or logging into Open Communicator. If you're not a Columbia student, call your health care provider for guidance and/or an appointment. And never fear, plenty of people experience sore "parts" at some point in life.

Alice