Can You Put Sunscreen on Your Penis?
Through the course of a lifetime, men get all kinds of ideas (not to mention suggestions from advertisements or media) about which products to put on, or inside, their penis. While there are certainly safe options available for sexual, medical and recreational use, it's important to note some products carry a potential for harm.
Use at your own risk
Some of these products may present only a marginal danger to the health of your penis or other parts of your body, but all risks associated become exponentially greater if the product is incorrectly used, or if other factors are at play. Always practice safe sex, and never experiment with your genitals unless you've truly done your due diligence in terms of research.
Penile occlusion devices
Nothing is inherently wrong with these wearable accessories, typically called cock rings or penis rings. These items are meant to reduce the amount of blood that flows away from the penis during the presence of an erection.
However, homemade alternatives with string or rubber bands, as well as occlusion devices too small or tight for the size of your penis, can be damaging, painful or difficult to remove without a trip to an emergency room for help from a medical professional. It's important to make sure you purchase a wearable device in the right size specifically designed for your genitalia, ideally from a reputable manufacturer.
Sounding is a relatively niche kink, largely because of how extreme the practice is. When sounding, you or a partner insert a metal rod into the urethra. Without necessary precautions, sounding can lead to urinary tract infections, tissue damage and the inability to remove the inserted utensil. Generally, the urethra is not designed for intake at all, so the practice of sounding is risky as is.
While sunscreen is an effective tool for decreasing the risk of skin cancer, there are some concerns you should be aware of if you're a fan of sunbathing au naturel. First, whether you prefer tanning beds or natural tanning methods, it's definitely important to protect your body using lotions that provide defense against ultraviolet rays. When exposed, the genitals are no more protected from the sun than the rest of your body.
That said, the head of a penis (particularly if uncircumcised) is made of considerably more sensitive flesh than the rest of your body. Therefore, it's worth noting that certain products, which feel fine on the rest of your body, may affect the penis differently. Take note of chemical compounds and other ingredients used in your preferred sunscreen, and always wash thoroughly once you're done exposing your genitals to UV rays.
Heating or cooling lotions
Products designed for relieving pain or addressing inflammation, such as creams or ointments with cooling elements like menthol, are not intended for use on male or female genitals. The nerve endings in your genitalia are more sensitive than those on the majority of your body, and the ingredients in these types of products can cause an allergic reaction, a burning sensation or persistent irritation that may require treatment from a doctor.
The reaction doesn't only result from direct contact. Make sure you wash your hands thoroughly after using these products, and before touching the skin on or around your penis.
Delay creams or desensitizing sprays
Men who experience premature ejaculation and/or uncomfortably heightened sensitivity of the penis during sexual contact may be interested in various sprays, lubricants, oils, ointments or creams that are advertised as delaying ejaculation, numbing sensitivity or assisting in orgasm control.
While these products can be effective in addressing such problems, there are a few potential complications that could arise from their use. Because they're designed with the principle interest of numbing sensitivity, they can make it difficult to maintain an erection or experience pleasure during sexual activity. While it may seem ideal in terms of prolonging sexual performance, they can negatively delay or deny the orgasm experience and thereby decrease overall enjoyment for users.
Additionally, the transference of delay creams or sprays to a partner through oral or penetrative sex can cause problems. You might see potential complications such as an allergic reaction or, if the product is ingested, issues in the stomach. A dependency issue can also form in frequent users, thereby exacerbating the original problem of heightened sensitivity or early ejaculation when the product isn't available.
Pay close attention to the instructions provided on the packaging. Some of these products have different application and usage methods than others, which may include washing the penis between application and sexual contact.
Listen to your doctor
Questions pertaining to your penis should generally be addressed by a urologist or other medical professional, ideally before experimentation begins. Be specific with your inquiries, and don't be shy about addressing your concerns when consulting your doctor.