For most men, having a penis stuck in a vagina probably sounds more like a blessing than a problem; they may envision fantasies of carrying a partner around in a perpetual sex marathon throughout daily life. But many will be surprised that there is an actual, though rare, problem called "penis captivus" in which a man cannot withdraw from a woman. Generally, the issue doesn’t threaten vaginal or penis health, and doesn’t require medical attention. Learn more about the phenomenon below.

Penis Captivus

A man’s erection is created by a rush of blood engorging the penis. As he has sex, his penis may further engorge, making it larger than it was upon entry. On the woman’s end, pelvic muscles contract when she has an orgasm. The contractions can cause the muscles to clamp down on the penis. While this generally feels very pleasant for the man, it may make it difficult for him to remove his penis during this time or shortly thereafter.

Some women have a condition called vaginismus in which their vaginal muscles contract involuntarily; this may increase the likelihood and frequency of getting stuck together. For some women, the condition makes it difficult or impossible to have sex.

Cause for Concern?

Generally, penis captivus is a temporary situation that resolves naturally. After a man orgasms, or just loses arousal, blood begins to drain from his penis, allowing it to soften and decrease in size. Likewise, after orgasm, a woman’s vaginal muscles generally relax, releasing tension on the penis. It may take a couple minutes, but patience and not panicking are all that should be needed for lovers to separate themselves.

Speed Up Separation

For couples who feel a need to speed up the separation, there are a few things that may help:

- Cold water: A man can apply some cold water to the base of his member and his testicles to encourage his organ to return to its flaccid state, making withdrawal much easier.

- Adequate lubricant: Even if a woman produces plenty of lubricant naturally, this can dry up during lengthy or rough encounters. A couple may find it helpful to apply a quality product partway through intercourse to reduce the friction at the finish line.

- If a woman is affected by vaginismus, she can seek out a variety of treatment options. If she experiences anxiety around sex or in general, this could be related, and counseling can be beneficial. She can also try vaginal trainers, which are penis-shaped objects of varying sizes she can insert while at home to get used to having objects inside her vagina without contracting. If an underlying nerve issue is indicated, medication can be helpful. She may also benefit from pelvic floor exercises, which can give her greater control over those muscle contractions.

Keeping sex comfortable and enjoyable for both partners is imperative. Reducing friction with lubricant will not only help release the penis after sex, but protect the vaginal and penile skin from uncomfortable friction that may lengthen recover time and, therefore, the time between this romp and the next.

Another step men can take to reduce the impact of friction on their penises is to employ a quality penis health crème (health professionals recommend Man1 Man Oil) on a daily basis. This product is not a sexual lubricant, but a moisturizer with Shea butter and vitamin E that keeps penile skin smooth, soft and supple. It may also contribute to nerve health, helping men maintain high sensitivity levels that contribute to enjoyment, as it contains the neuroprotective ingredient acetyl L-carnitine. Man1 Man Oil is a great skin care product to add to a man’s daily hygiene regimen.