The prostate is a mysterious and oft-misunderstood organ. A walnut-size gland found between a man’s bladder and his rectum, the prostate’s main function is to produce fluid that is expelled as part of semen during ejaculation; it’s also the source of prostate cancer, which is the most common cancer in men. While many men dread their first prostate exam, the so-called “male G-spot” can also be a source of mind-blowing pleasure, according to those men who have experienced prostate orgasms.
While many men are wary of anal stimulation, the male G-spot is increasingly becoming a subject of conversation. While prostate massagers (like this Aneros Progasm) are typically viewed as toys for gay or kinky men, they’re increasingly becoming more mainstream. According to the pleasure product company HealthyAndActive, prostate massager sales have increased by 56% over the past five years, particularly among straight men over the age of 45. This trend is reflected in Google searches as well: according to Google Trends, searches for “prostate massager” have more than tripled since 2004.
Additionally, some doctors are encouraging men to perform regular prostate massages (either by doing it solo, or with a licensed practitioner), claiming they can potentially help alleviate the symptoms of various health issues. While it’s worth noting that some experts are skeptical of these benefits — “[they] may be an excuse for guys to persuade their partners to hunt for that elusive male g-spot,” says Jesse N. Mills, MD, an associate clinical professor of urology at the David Geffen School of Medicine at UCLA —, we decided to speak to doctors and men’s health experts to determine the potential benefits of prostate massage.
1. Erectile Dysfunction
While there isn’t much scientific literature to definitively prove that prostate massage can improve erectile function, every doctor we spoke to say that it could help in theory.
“The theory behind the potential benefit involves an improvement in blood flow resulting from vigorous milking or massaging of the prostate. Because erections are largely the result of good blood flow, any increase could potentially lead to better boners,” says Joshua R. Gonzalez, MD, who has his own practice in Los Angeles.
2. Urine Flow
Urine should come out in a steady steam, but if a man has a swollen prostate or an inflammation, the prostate can irritate the bladder, causing the urine flow from the bladder through the urethra to be slow or even cut off.
“The improvements seen in urine flow from prostate massage again can be the result of decreasing inflammation in the prostate, which may be contributing to a man’s urinary problems. Manipulation of the nearby pelvic floor muscles, which contract and relax in a coordinated fashion during urination, may also improve urine flow,” says Dr. Gonzalez.
3. Painful Ejaculation
Painful ejaculation can come from infection or inflammation in the epididymis (a tube near the testicles that stores and transports sperm), prostate, seminal vesicles, and/or urethra. It can also signal a blockage in the ejaculatory duct. “Massage can reduce prostate inflammation and make ejaculation less painful,” says Dr. Mills.
Another cause of painful ejaculation can be tight pelvic floor muscles, which can occur when men have an inflammation or infection of the prostate. “Manual manipulation of those muscles during prostate massage can further alleviate ejaculatory pain. This is definitely something you would want a specialist to work on with you. There are even physical therapists that specialize in treating your pelvic floor muscles,” says Dr. Gonzalez.
Prostatitis is an inflammation of the prostate gland, which can be caused by a bacterial infection.
“Symptoms include everything from burning from urination to pain with ejaculation, lousy urine stream, and discomfort in perineum behind the scrotum and in front of the rectum,” says Danny Keiller, MD, who specializes in urology at Genesis Healthcare Partners in San Diego and is an advisor to the non-profit organization the MHealth Network
While Dr. Keiller says there are no scientific studies that prove prostate massage can help with prostatitis, he says some doctors, such as J. Curtis Nickel, M.D., a professor of urology at Queens University in Canada, are using it as a treatment method with good results.
“I have seen benefits in about 5% of my [prostatitis] patients. When it works for a specific patient, we know quite quickly, and for that patient it is better than the other treatments,” says Dr. Nickel.