First of all, let’s dispense with the euphemisms. By ‘male sexual wellbeing’ I mean both penile health and general male sexual health, in terms of both wellbeing and sexual functioning.
Male sexual wellbeing
I am not an accredited health professional, male health or otherwise. However, my experience of shame—and sexual shame in particular—shows that we can’t perceive clearly what we are ashamed of, and this can affect both our physical and psychological health.
Thus, if we are ashamed of our sexuality—which is the default in patriarchal societies such as ours—then we can’t perceive the sexual parts of our bodies clearly. If we suffer from erectile dysfunction we may race off to buy Viagra. In fact we might be better off questioning whether this condition arises from unconscious sexual shame and tackle it that way.
Similarly, we may attribute decreasing erectile performance and the onset of prostate difficulties to ageing. But does our shame prevent us from realising there are simple lifestyle changes that may alleviate these issues?
We may attribute decreasing erectile performance and the onset of prostate difficulties to ageing. But does our shame prevent us from realising there are simple lifestyle changes that may alleviate these issues?
Here are four simple ways to improve the general and sexual health of the penis, along with a deeper, more challenging one. I’ve ranked them in a sort-of easiest to hardest sequence—though you may disagree!
1. Loose clothing
Studies have shown that tight-fitting clothes—particularly skinny jeans—can be damaging to male health. The scrotum in particular cannot breathe, and the flow of blood around (and into) the penis can be constricted. My genitals simply feel better when they’re not encased in tight clothes, and if they feel better then I feel better—and my wellbeing has improved.
2. Do the Mula Bandha
No, it’s not the latest Brazilian dance craze. It’s a very simple exercise that comes to us from the Tantra tradition. This exercise consists simply of lifting the muscle between the scrotum and the anus, the levator ani. Strengthening this muscle improves bladder control as well as helping control ejaculation.
Lift and release the levator anias high as you can, as quickly as you can. If you do this while peeing you’ll see (from your ability to stop the flow) how much control you have. For a full description of the Mula Bandha, I refer you to André Van Lysebeth’s Tantra – the Cult of the Feminine.
3. Cold scrotum shower
I’ve noticed two improvements to my health from this daily practice. First, my prostate function has improved. I was having difficulty, particularly after peeing during the night, but that has now vanished. The second is that my penis size, at rest, has increased—which is a nice feeling.
I start with a warm shower to wash then turn the temperature to cold and blast the shower nozzle at my genitals. I no longer notice the cold and can stand it as long as I want. After the shower my scrotum feels tight and healthy. Blood rushes into my penis to warm it up, which also enlarges it. I feel better and I know I’m healthier.
4. Lingam massage
In our anti-sex society men store a lot of tension in the penis—or the lingan, as it’s known in Sanskrit, the language of Tantra. Of course, if you ask for a full-body massage from a mainstream practitioner they will not touch your penis and will generally pussyfoot around it. For a lingan massage you will need a specialist.
These generally come in two flavours: those working as Tantric practitioners, and those working in the sex industry. The difference is that the first will not result in climax and the second may well do. The line between the two can be blurry so it’s a case of caveat emptor (hey, if we can have some Sanskrit, we can have some Latin too). Try to figure out what you’re getting up front.
A lingan massage with a ‘happy ending’ can be a double-edged sword. With a sensitive practitioner, climaxing feels like a natural extension of the massage. With a heavy-handed practitioner—typically a sex worker with no genuine care for Tantra—the two can seem disjointed and the climax can feel, well, anti-climactic. You have been warned.
5. Release sexual shame
All the tips listed above are pretty easy to implement. The next one is much more challenging but offers much more potential for long-term wellbeing. Our society is mired in sexual shame but it’s invisible to most people. Read the Shame blogs on my site and you’ll get a sense of just how extensive the reach of shame is.
You can release sexual shame by focusing on a specific issue in your life, or just generally recognising its presence. Either will draw it from your unconscious up into your consciousness where you can deal with it. Start with deep, steady, conscious breathing—this means keeping your awareness not in your mind but on your breath as it flows in and out of your body. Then bring the shame to mind. Recognise its existence without judging it in any way. Accept it completely.
Gradually you will open a dialogue with the shamed parts of yourself and, as you fully accept them without judgment, they will fall away. When you release shame around a specific issue you will note your behaviour improves without effort.
If you have specific male health issues you should consult a professional. However, a huge amount of improved wellbeing can be achieved by recognising and releasing body shame or sexual shame, and implementing a few simple steps for improved wellbeing such as those listed above.
I’ve created a toolkit for this—Releasing Unconscious Shame.