Could my problems be due to over-vigorous masturbation?

Last updated on October 9, 2020



Thank you very much for your website. It has been a real help over the years. I am pretty much at the end of puberty (19 years old) but still have a couple of questions. I seem to have various complaints regarding my genitalia (short frenulum, repeated balanitis despite cleaning). I feel I know enough about these issues, but I have a few that remain.

You stated in one of your previous answers that to have veins on your penis is for your penis to become more like a man’s. While you say this is normal I’m still a little concerned.

  • When I have an erection I have very prominent veins. I’ve had this for quite a while now, and I was wondering whether this could be Mondor’s disease or a lymph problem? Most of the advice says that these conditions disappear within two weeks to six months, but I’ve had this for far longer.
  • Could this be damage due to over-vigorous masturbation in the past? (Although I masturbated far more frequently when I was younger, I don’t have this problem now). Even when I’m not erect, sometimes the dorsal vein is still prominent, like a thick cord that I can move about. Sometimes when I have this, the penis, though flaccid, becomes like a ‘hard’ tube.
  • Because my penis points downward when I’m fully erect (and standing up), I sometimes get pain on the underside where it bends (i.e. where it comes out of the body). Is this just something I have to put up with?
    Probably because of my previous masturbation behavior (I feel shame as it arose often as the result of lust and habit), I would turn to lie face down and stimulate the glans and the top of the shaft with my hand without uncovering and re-covering the glans). Could this have affected the angle? I can bend my penis at this point (or push it down) unless I clench it with my muscles if that makes any sense. Is that normal?
  • Another site on the web rails against “prone” masturbation? Do you share this view? There only seems to be one disputed study done, and I would question the website author’s views on a number of other areas.
  • I have this band that appears under the glans that become thick (almost 0.5cm) when I move my hand up and down the shaft. It is not a vein but I’m not sure what it is.
  • Are all these various problems the result of past behaviors and habits? Despite stimulating myself less and less as the years have gone by, these ‘issues’ seem to have come to the forefront. I’ve come to a different conclusion than you about masturbation, so I have cut it out of my life and do it very infrequently typically in response to lingering lustful feelings (not that lust is as infrequent, I’m sorry to say).

Sorry for the very long message. Thanks again for your work.


Just as different people have different sized feet, ears, nose, penis, etc., the dorsal vein at the top of the penis can be different in size. You don’t have Mondor’s Disease because that includes pain in the dorsal vein when you are erect and masturbating. It would not be a lymph node problem because there aren’t lymph nodes located along the top of the penis. Nor would masturbating cause a large vein. It just what you were born with.

When the penis becomes like a hard tube, you are probably in a semi-erect state where the penis slightly enlarges, but not enough to cause it to stiffen.

There are three things that can cause a downward curve to the penis when erect:

  • The weight of the penis is dragging the tip downward. This would basically happen when you are not fully erect. It would also mean that when you are lying on your back, the curve toward your toes would not be there. There is a cord that loops around the base of the penis to cause it to angle upwards. It is possible to stretch this cord and it would be painful as it is being stretched. When you were masturbating while lying face down, did you have your penis pointed toward your toes? If so, that would definitely have stretched the cord and it could remain tender for a while.
  • A short frenulum (frenulum breve) would pull the end of the penis downward. However, this typically only is seen at the end of the penis, giving the erect penis a slight hook at the end.
  • Peyronie’s Disease is scar tissue in one of the three chambers that inflate to cause an erection. There are two chambers at the top of the penis, on the left and right side, and one chamber along the bottom. Scar tissue in the bottom chamber will cause a downward curve and it can be painful when fully erect. However, the pain tends to be there no matter what direction your body is.

Boys masturbate in different ways. Many lie on their backs, stand or sit and manipulate their penis with their hand. Others lie on their stomachs and hump whatever they are laying on. Neither is directly harmful. While touch is needed to trigger an ejaculation, what some boys don’t realize is that it doesn’t need to be a forceful touch.

The band you are describing sounds most likely where the foreskin doubles over so that it can cover the glans. It would be normal.

Balanitis is a swelling of the foreskin. It is typically caused by irritation, such as a fungal infection; however, it can also be triggered by over-scrubbing the skin under the foreskin, by not rinsing all the soap off under the foreskin, or by an allergic reaction to lotions or deodorants.