Do not consider the contents of this blog as professional medical advice.

11 January 2011: Reader Q&A I

Courtesy of the comment box, I received some questions from an anonymous reader that I felt prudent to publish (with permission) and relevant to this blog.

A reader writes:
"When you had painful erections, where specifically was the pain - on either side of the skin bridge?  Was it a sharp pain like "oh my god my dick is about to tear open!" or a dull ache?"
The pain varied.  It was sharper during erections and dull after the refractory period afterwards, but this dull ache regularly faded after a while.  The dull ache was like the kind one feels from a bruise.

If I had to describe the sensation during erection, I would say that the pain at the beginning and ending of the bridge was sharp where the skin pulled on my scar and corona, and in the middle it felt completely different.  When skin gets pulled too tight, the sensation is different for everyone, but in this case, the sensation throughout the bridge was much like “snakebite,” that thing that kids used to do to each others' forearms in playgrounds.
Afterwards, the entire area would ache, dully.
"Did the pain interfere with masturbation and sex?"
This pain did interfere with the normal functioning of my penis, and I was basically incapable of sex or masturbation, let alone a simple erection without pain when it started to come on around age 16.  It started gradually and increased as the skin bridge got tighter as my penis grew and the skin bridge did not.
 "If masturbation and sex were impossible after age 16, how did you release your semen?"
Nocturnally.  I would wake up with an aching semi-erection from time to time, and find myself a mess.
"Has your circumcision damage prevented you from having sexual contact at all?"
This is a complex question, but a good one.

In the literal sense, yes, because pleasurable sexual stimulation wasn't really possible during my five year hiatus with erection pain.

On another level, the mental/emotional/social level, I am not immediately sure how to express my answer. I stated in my first entry that I always was conscious of something being wrong or different down there, and in the grand scheme of things, I wonder how this really has changed how I grew up, or how I perceived sex growing up.

For example, around the early teen years, my peers became very interested in sex. My interest in sex and females grew, but I did not embrace that same confidence that they employed, and never came to. Now that I think back on this, I wonder if the weight of having an abnormal "outside-of-either-box" (it didn't look either like either a like an intact one or a "typical" cut one) penis did not on some fundamental level subtly undermine my confidence with the opposite sex if not my confidence in general, at least as I grew increasingly conscious of my problem. Locker room teasing began in phys-ed, and it all went downhill from there.

It certainly has impacted how I approach the topic of relationships and women.  I want to someday start a family, surround myself with people that I care about and care about me in return, but oddly enough, I have practically no drive nor interest for sex.  Under the sex-as-baseball analogy, I am still on that bench, and have crossed nary a single base.  Not back then.  Not today.

This disinterest in sex is the part that is the hardest for me.  This is the part that I feel set me apart from everyone else back then, and still does today.  I found it difficult to contemplate something that would only lead me to literal physical pain, and possibly embarrassment of my body.  I had thus written myself off of the sexual roster back then, assuming that I would never be able to function down there without pain.  Such a terrible self admittance back then is not so easily overcome today, years later, without some personal lingering effects for me, I will say.
"What does your erection feel like now, now that the skin bridge is gone?"
The pain I described earlier is gone, but there are new, unpleasant (but not entirely painful) sensations during my erections. The lack of mobile skin makes my erections uncomfortably tight, drawing up a fair bit of hairy skin onto my shaft from my pubic area and scrotum. The scars being pulled taut produces a sensation much like pin-prickles after regaining sensation in a numb limb.

See one of my earlier entries for more details on that.

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