The Anatomy of Male Pleasure

This article was scientifically fact-checked by Social Psychologist Dr. Justin Lehmiller.

One of the reasons that we are so good at making ourselves orgasm is that we know our bodies so well. In fact, it’s that self-exploration of pleasure that helps improve our sex lives with our partners (that and some good old-fashioned communication skills). However, when it comes to our partner’s body (or a new partner’s body) we sometimes don’t pay the same care and attention to all its parts, maybe because we found one erogenous zone they love, or because you’ve both been too shy to communicate. Thus, below we offer you a lesson of the basic anatomy of male pleasure.

The Anatomy of Male Pleasure

The Shaft

Though penises vary in length and girth, their size is mostly made up of the shaft. While the biggest part of a penis, it also has the fewest nerve endings. That doesn’t mean, of course, that it should be ignored during foreplay, just that it doesn’t need to be the be-all and end-all of penis stimulation. Experiment with different pressures and sensations by using different parts of your mouth and hands along the shaft, near the head and the base.

The Glans

The head of the penis is comparable to the clitoris in that it has the majority of the nerve endings are (and the two, in fact, originate from the same material in utero). The highest concentration of these nerves is around the outer ridge, which can be much more pronounced in uncircumcised penises. Kiss, lick, suck, nibble (gently!) all over it for intense sensations.


While in the United States non-religious circumcision is quite common (about 79% of the population) it surprises many that this is not the default elsewhere. Even in Canada, which is quite similar in terms of newness and culture to the United States, has only about 30% of its population circumcised, which varies from almost 0% in one province to 40% in the one next to it.

The Frenulum

This is the V-shaped part under the head of the penis where the glans meets the shaft. It has some sensitivity to it, but less than the glans itself.

The Scrotum & Testicles

The scrotum, which both protects and regulates the temperature of the testicles, can be one of the most sensitive parts of the male anatomy, but not always in a pleasurable way. The scrotum itself is analogous to parts of the vagina, and has a similar number of nerve endings that make it responsive to cupping, sucking, and licking, Some men also enjoy gentle tugging, but treating the area too roughly (without the go ahead and clear communication of interest in that particular kink) can cause intense pain and even nausea, as nerves surrounding the testicles go all the way up the stomach.

The Perineum

The term ‘perineum’ refers to the area between the scrotum and the anus. You can you use your fingers to stroke this area, or apply firm pressure. Doing so in time to thrusting is an amazing way to intensify the sensation while giving a blow job, or during sex when your own legs are elevated, if you can reach!

The Anus

Just as women can enjoy the sensations surrounding anal sex and play, many men enjoy the stimulation of the opening or just within, with mouth, finger, or a vibrator. A water-based personal moisturizer should be used when stimulating this area, and it is important that if not using a toy made just for anal play that the massager is either covered with a clean condom or cleaned thoroughly before it makes contact with a vagina afterward.

The Penile Tissue

Pleasuring all of the tissue throughout his entire penis with deep, resonant sensations can reach all the way down his shaft and stimulate his prostate, if the vibrations are strong enough. When the penis is erect, that’s because of the corpora cavernosa get engorged with blood. These long strips of spongy tissue extends nearly to the prostate, and with a deeply sonorous hummer blowjob or a masturbation sleeve that uses sonic stimulation like the LELO F1s, you can provide these penetrating sensations the give pleasure like nothing else.

The Prostate

This walnut-sized, semen-storing gland located at the root of the penis is often described as ‘the male G-spot.’ Stimulating it can cause powerful orgasms, and has been linked to improved prostate health. It can be stimulated with a finger, though it can be difficult to reach and awkward to stimulating properly, thus making a high-quality prostate massager essential for unlocking the powerful pleasure of the P-spot.


While perhaps one of the most clinical articles we have ever posted on Volonté, (at least in terms of male erogenous zones) we hope that this frank look at all the wonderful, unique pleasure points and how to stimulate them has helped you gain a little understanding into your partner’s body, so you can come to learn it as well as your own.

Facts checked by:

Dr. Justin Lehmiller

Dr. Justin Lehmiller is a social psychologist and Research Fellow at The Kinsey Institute. He is an award-winning educator, having been honored three times with the Certificate of Teaching Excellence from Harvard University, where he taught for several years. Dr. Lehmiller has published more than 50 academic works, including a textbook titled The Psychology of Human Sexuality that is used in college classrooms around the world. He helps people maintain healthy intimate lives through science-based, sex-positive education via his Sex and Psychology blog, workshops, and frequent media appearances.

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Written by: Katy Thorn

Katy Thorn is a post-grad writer with a passion for writing about sex, sexuality, and all things rated R. She received her degree in Women’s Studies with a focus in Intersectionality at the University of California, Berkeley (Go Bears!). She has a cat named Yoko, drinks too much black coffee, and hates writing bios.


  1. Thank you for this clear, straight-forward article about male pleasure. It should be required reading for all men, young and old. After a long marriage with very little sexual intimacy, I have found a completely confident, feminine woman who has opened the world of sexuality to me. She already knew all of this information, and has shared the depths of her womanhood with me. She opened my mind to understand my bisexual feelings, and to enjoy the wonder of the human body.

    Your research was well done!

  2. Foreskin! Giving metrics for the concentration of cut vs. uncut doesn’t constitute covering the anatomy or physiology of this body part! I feel that it would have been more effective to write that it is not “extra” skin and men that do have a foreskin are technically the norm while circumcised men are the abnormal. The foreskin protects the glans! It keeps the sensitive glans moist and responsive to stimulus. That being said, the glans is no joke! It is extremely sensitive in uncircumcised men because it is covered all day. Women, do not be afraid of an uncut guys penis. To be quite frank in certain positions foreskin stimulates the g spot and keeps the tip of a mans penis lubricated during sex. Foreskins are natural! Embrace them.

    -sincerely a societally butthurt uncut guy.

    • Please no circumcision wars here. I am cut. My penis is sensitive. It makes me feel really good.

    • At age 8 my foreskin became so tight it was painful, got circumcised, i think it has affected my sensitivity seeing as i can bang for actual hours unless in a certain position.

  3. Never listen to a woman who is a self proclaimed penis expert. So tell me woman, how does it feel when the penis is confined in underware? Where does a man feel the first tingle of orgasm? Describe the sensation a man feels while his penis is becoming erect? These are things that only a man with a penis between his legs can answer with any degree of accuracy.

  4. Merci !

    I love when my wife does a testicles massage to me. After a few minutes, I’ve got waves of pleasure in my body. I just lost my mind and I sometimes cry. My back is also sensitive. Anus and prostat too. And I still have my foreskin. We do not cut it in France (unless you are muslim or jewish) and it is very sensitive.
    I am happy to see a woman publishing that kind of articles. I think that to many men do not know their erogenous zones.
    Do not listen to Bill.

  5. Thanks for this! As a male I feel that mostly the stimulation of the shaft is pleasurable because it indirectly affects the other parts of the penis frenulum, prepuce and testicles. It is like a handle for most of the genital area, or a sort of neutral base.

    I would add to this list the entry of the urethra. Loved the bit about the sound and vibration. Good one!

  6. My partner squeezes my balls gently and sucks the end of my penis at the same time. It is so sensitive I’m usually coming within minutes

    • Imran Abdulafeez

      Wallahi ! U a very correct . U a Good to go coz I av the same verdict as U do the sensation derived from the shaft of the penis is bearable and enjoying than that from the glans and frenulum which would be perceived as quick, some how irritating sensation,general weakness of the body for days ,long time refractory period ,retarded libido over a period of days before the body reset it self etc. Keep it up U are potential researcher

  7. when a women gets the grip of the shaft slowly licking the glans so sensitive with her tongue wrapping her lips on the head hands touching the balls

  8. I had a girlfriend a while ago that didn’t know much about this little tricks to pleasure a male penis. Everytime she gave me oral sex, she will focus to much on the fat head of my penis by squeezing with her hands too hard. Not going to lie, at the beginning it will feel good, but after a while, specially after precum or after cumming, the sensation that I got off of that will be to overwhelming that it actually will feel too uncomfortable and sometimes a bit painful. I had to teach her the right way to pleasure my penis by telling her to be gentle with the tip of the penis by rubbing it gently ( As is by far the most sensitive area of a man’s body ) and licking softly with her tongue the frenulum. Thats stimulation that I got from her was the best feeling ever. She managed to make me cum pretty fast and I will have probably the best orgasm. Best experience ever!

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