Penis sensitivity is one of the more important aspects of penis health. In many ways, it’s a delicate balance. When penis sensitivity is too keen, it can bring about issues such as premature ejaculation. But on the other hand, when there is diminished penis sensitivity, a man may get less pleasure and enjoyment out of sex; in some cases, diminished penis sensitivity can even lead to erectile difficulties. One popular activity which is known to lead to some diminishment of sensation in the penis for many men is cycling, especially long distance cycling.

The issue

Although cycling has been popular since the introduction of the bicycle in the 19th century, the attention focused on how biking can diminish penis sensation gained significant attention only in the last few decades. This coincides roughly with society’s increased emphasis on physical fitness and with the increased use of bicycles. More and more, people were adding cycling to their list of exercise options, including the use of stationary bikes at gyms.

Long distance cycling also grew in popularity during this time, both as an activity unto itself and as part of triathlons, in which biking joined running and swimming to form one big endurance event.

The penis sensitivity problem began being increasingly reported around this same time. The problem essentially is this: dedicated bikers, especially those involved in cycling for long distances and/or for lengthy periods of time, tend to sit in positions on the bike seat which place a lot of pressure on the perineum (the space between the anus and the balls). In addition, many cyclists wear compression shorts which compress and constrict the penis and balls.

The combination of these two factors tends to create "numbness" - a diminishment of sensitivity - in the penis and balls. Although the actual feeling of numbness is typically transitory and goes away some time after cycling is finished, in many cases men do experience over time a more lasting decrease in penis sensitivity.

New study

A recent study has looked at this problem, and estimates that erectile dysfunction occurs in as many as 24% of male cyclists. "Effect of Oscillation on Perineal Pressure in Cyclists: Implications for Micro-Trauma" appeared in a recent issue of Sexual Medicine, and looked at the issue in a laboratory setting.

Participants were studied while seated and not pedaling on a typical bike seat; while seated and pedaling; while seated and not pedaling on a bike seat with shock absorbers; and while seated and pedaling on a bike seat with shock absorbers.

Not surprisingly, the impact using shock absorbers was 53% less - indicating that bikers need to use shock absorbing seats (something many currently do not do).

While this seems like common sense, studies like this allow scientists and doctors to work from an evidence base to develop new recommendations and strategies for addressing common issues. It will be interesting to see if this study will lead to new ideas and thoughts concerning how to approach this problem - and whether hardcore cyclists will be willing to adopt new strategies. Finding something that protects penis sensitivity without interfering with a cyclist’s competitive advantage can be challenging.

Whether one enjoys cycling or not, a man wants to always protect his penis sensitivity. One method he can employ is to use a first class penis health creme (health professionals recommend Man 1 Man Oil, which is clinically proven mild and safe for skin) to maintain his overall penis health. Of special note are those crèmes that include L- carnitine, an amino acid with neuroprotective properties which can help with penis sensitivity and peripheral nerve damage. The best choices also include vitamin B5. Also known as pantothenic acid, B5 is a vital nutrient that is required for proper cell metabolism and tissue maintenance.