Penis care and maintenance

Your penis is one of the absolute most sensitive parts of your body, and a model of engineering, so be glad that you have one, and learn to take great care of it!

Taking proper care to maintain its health and sexual strength is key to having a happy and illness free life. Some basic concepts that we are about to discuss involve three simple themes. First is cleaning your (un)circumcised cock, then we will move on to how to inspect and handle your dick, and then finally we will discuss your aging member and some changes that you should be prepared for and how to avoid certain potentially dangerous and unnecessary accidents.

Let’s begin.

Cleaning your cock

Your body has its own natural scent. No matter how much bathing and cleaning you do, it will return. It is dictated by the factors of genetics, diet, overall health, physical activity, aging and the good/bad bacteria that have happily made a home on your skin.

This, of course, includes, the skin on your penis. Every guy has a natural musk which perfumes his private parts, exudes pheromones and even attracts sexual partners. Nothing about this is bad, abnormal or even sinful. Sometimes we can not only bathe away the dirt and grime from daily living but we can also upset the delicate chemical and hormonal balance of our physical ecosystem.

It’s YOUR DICK…handle with care.

When we are born, our dicks are blessed with a wonderful protective helmet of skin called a foreskin. Foreskins are amazing. They hold thousands of very sensitive nerve endings, provide for extra pleasure but also are nature’s way of protecting your dick head. If you are still in possession of your hood and are reading this, you should know that it is not always necessary to retract your foreskin for cleaning. Some of you might not be able to do so due to a restrictive foreskin that does not pull back over the glans naturally. More about foreskins is discussed in its own section on this website, but for now, what you should understand is that possessing a foreskin is just as natural as having a penis. It is what you were born with to protect your cock head from the daily rigors of life. It also produces a natural lubricant for fucking and jerking off, called smegma. This is an amazing and wonderful product that your body creates to protect the head of your cock, create almost frictionless movement of the foreskin over the penile glands and also to aid in lubrication for sexual activity.

One of the greatest concerns is that if you don’t retract your foreskin and scrub with harsh soaps, you will have an excess build-up of smegma, which is made up of dead skin cells, moisture, body oils and enzymes, urine, pre-cum, and left-over seminal fluids. Also known as “dick cheese”, smegma contains 26.6% fats and 13.3% proteins. Please know that nothing about smegma is fatal or life threatening. Some people just find it gross, but we at GMJ know that it is as natural as having a cock. No worries.

Before puberty, very few males are able to produce smegma regularly, and its production is known to decrease as guys age. But smegma is known to be found in young boys as young as 5 years of age, as the penis undergoes changes where the foreskin detaches from the head, thus causing skin cells to shed and smegma to be produced. Some intact (uncircumcised) men will never produce smegma, and this too is fine. It is recommended to periodically pull back your skin to clean under the hood. Not doing so over long periods of time is known to inhibit one’s ability to not only retract their foreskin but also may make for painful erections, as the skin sticks to the glans because of smegma’s ability to take on a glue- like consistency over time and become an inviting breeding ground for bacteria.

Circumcision gained popularity in the United States during the 19th century to help stop masturbation, with the help of the late great Dr. Kellogg. Yes, the corn-flakes Kellogg!

So how does one clean and maintain an intact penis and why? (cleaning under the hood)

As stated above, a buildup of smegma can be a hot bed for bad bacteria, and this may create conditions of balantitus, which is the inflammation of the penis head, including a foul smelling discharge. To avoid this, health officials advise washing under the foreskin, at least once a day, with warm water ONLY, not with shower gels, deodorants, perfumed soaps or any other such products.

It is very important to never force the foreskin back in order to clean as it may damage the penis, cause pain, bleeding, tearing and scaring.  Over-bathing of your cock is highly discouraged, as it not only makes the very sensitive skin red and irritated, it also creates conditions of dry skin, flaking and a thickening of the glans.

If your dick has been snipped, just as with your hooded brothers, a wash with warm water is perfect to clean what is seen. But, since you are down there, don’t forget to wash the base of your cock, pubic hairs and testicles as not doing so may also produce a strong smell and be a breeding ground for unwanted bacteria.

Is it good on a cracker?

This is a question for those who wonder about the oral ingestion of smegma. The quick and dirty answer is that it is safe to eat your own and from a healthy partner that does not have any STDs or lesions associated with oral sex, including herpes.

You will not contract any STD’s or illnesses from chowing down on the stinky cheese as it is not a carrier of infectious materials, including HIV. Some may find its sometimes strong pungent odor objectionable but, again, it is not harmful to eat and it does possess some protein. Just like with urine, pre-cum and ejaculate, the taste, texture, smell, and even color of smegma will vary from man to man and even from day to day, taking into account the accumulation of cheese will intensify all of the above.

How to inspect your junk

Since you are washing down there, take some time to look around. The better you know your penis, the better prepared you are to notice even the most minor changes in skin color, bumps, irritations, growths, lesions and infections. This is true for your sexual partners as well, and you don’t always need the lights on to do these few simple steps.

Genital Self-Examinations (GSE) are recommended as most males have little knowledge about their penises and most with sexually transmitted diseases are not aware that they’ve caught something. Let’s begin with you getting undressed and taking your cock in hand.

1. Start by examining the head of the penis from the urinary opening down to where it extends out a little just above the shaft. If you are not circumcised, pull down the foreskin, if you have one, to examine the head.

2. Look over the entire head of the penis in a clockwise motion. Carefully look for any bumps, sores, or blisters on the skin. Sometimes the bumps or blisters may be red; at other times they may be light-colored. They may even look like pimples. Bumps and blisters sometimes develop into open sores. If you see anything that resembles a sore, blister, or bump, see a health care provider. In addition, look for warts. Genital warts may look like warts you may have seen on other parts of your body. They may first appear as very small, bumpy spots. Left untreated, they could develop a fleshy, cauliflower-like appearance. Some warts are hard to detect with the naked eye. If you feel any bumpy growth, no matter how slight, have it checked by a physician.

3. Once you’ve examined the head of the penis, move down the shaft and look for the same signs or symptoms. Then go on to the base. At the base, try to separate your pubic hair with your fingers so you can get a good look at the skin underneath.

4. After careful examination here, move on to the underside of the penis. This area is often difficult to see, and sometimes gets overlooked. It is very important that you check this part of your body. You may want to use a mirror to be sure that you’ve seen the entire underside. The mirror may also be helpful as you move on to the scrotum. Handling each testicle gently, examine the scrotum for the same signs or symptoms. Also, be alert to any lump, swelling, or soreness in the testicles themselves.

5. Once you’ve examined your entire genital area for redness, sores, bumps, and warts, be aware of these other symptoms often associated with sexually transmitted infections. STIs may cause burning or pain when you urinate. Some STIs cause a drip or discharge from the penis. This drip may vary in both color and consistency. The drip could be thick and yellow, or it could be watery or very slight. Any drip or discharge from the penis that is not pre-cum or cum should be brought to the attention of a health-care provider.

A quick note on sexual partners. Even though the above examination is designed for you as an individual, there is no reason why you cannot perform this same activity on a potential sexual partner. Even in the dark, this “test” could alert you to his having an STD. Before you put it in your mouth or in your ass, it is a good idea to inspect the goods.
  • The skin which makes up your penis, from shaft to tip, is not only sensitive but dries out very easily. It is important, like the rest of your “man-hide”, for you to keep it properly moistened and avoid using products which are known to dry out the skin such as those which contain alcohol and perfumes and artificial chemicals. This includes anti-bacterial soaps.
  • We have always been told to wash our hands after touching our cocks, and definitely after taking a piss but what about washing your hands BEFORE you touch your cock? Weil-Cornell researcher Christopher Mason spent 18 months riding the NYC rails and found the entire subway system contains germs known to cause bubonic plague, meningitis, stomach troubles, and antibiotic resistant infections. His team detected signs of 15,152 different life-forms. Think about that before you ask someone to suck your Jimmy. But seriously, most of the bacteria were found to be harmless; the scientist said the levels they detected pose no public health concerns. BUT STILL…

A final note on why you may not want to wash your dick often or with anything harsher than plain warm water. Phthalates (chemicals often used in the production of plastics) significantly inhibit testosterone production. They may be known to absorb odors, which is why they are found not only in plastic containers but also in such items as scented soaps, colognes, shampoos, deodorants and soaps. Either way, it is not worth your testosterone level and its ability to help your little soldiers swim and to make your cock rise. Instead, if you must use a soap, buy unscented products made from olive oil, coconut oil, Shea butter and natural mineral salts.

If you notice any changes or something out of the ordinary around your cock, contact a physician as soon as possible. Don’t wait and make it there too late.

So, you’ve had a long run together, and you are wondering if this is the end of the line. Or you are young and afraid that your best friend might not be as committed to you, as you are to it, as you age. Either way, we are about to have a real talk for grown folks.

Over time your penis will change in appearance and size. Starting around the ripe ole age of 30 (yikes!), you can expect to start seeing some changes to the color of your cock head, and a reduction in blood flow to the shaft, possibly resulting in softer erections. Excess weight gain, as mentioned in the Erection Section of this site, will reduce the length and girth of your member, but this may be reduced with some attention to caloric intake and exercise.

1. The changes in size and color will not be drastic, overnight occurrences, rather they will be part of a gradual process. But you may begin to notice more noticeable changes in cock sensitivity and urinary function, says Dr. Madeleine Castellanos, author of “Penis Problems: A Man’s Guide and a sex therapist practicing in New York.
2. The decrease in sensitivity is due to a decrease in testosterone, which helps to support nervous tissue. As the levels decrease so does the level of sensitivity. Also the erections will not be as hard. She states that it is an issue of “use it, or lose it”. The good news is that the good doctor explains that you may protect your wood by having daily erections, even if they aren’t to the point of orgasm. This keeps the blood vessels open and in shape.
3. As we mention in the Piece on Urination, issues with having to piss often or not being able to go at all, is common with men of a certain age. Effecting 20% of men in their 40’s, 50-60% of dudes in their 60’s and 90 percent of guys in their 70’s and 80’s, know that you are not alone in this fight. But there are a few things Dr. Castellanos points out may be preventative actions that we go deep into in that section. Check it out!

ED & U

The Massachusetts Male Aging Study (MMAS) found that dudes as young as in their 20’s have some form of erectile dysfunction (20%) and this prevalence increases about 10% per decade, so that a man of 50 years of age has about a 50% chance of having some problem getting his soldier to salute on demand, and 70 year olds have a 70% chance.

The issue of erectile dysfunction is so serious that we have created a separate section to address its causes and possible treatments, but in this primer we just wanted to let you know that you are not alone in your concerns about having this condition. Things can be done to help you out. Along these lines you also should know that ED has many causes including biology, psychological issues, relationship dynamics and psychosexual skills. So, just popping a little blue pill might not be the answer. It is best to consult a physician for proper assessment and treatment.