Here’s the Rub with Prostate Massage

By | July 21, 2022

Prostate massage is inserting fingers into the anus and stimulating the prostate. This process can be used for sexual pleasure or medical examination.

The prostate – the walnut-sized gland that separates the rectum from bladder and penis-parts – releases seminal fluid (aka semen) when it’s massaged. Fun fact: the prostate is also the location of the quasi-mystical male g-spot.

It turns out that massaging the prostate might yield some other medical benefits as well.

Whether you want to get poking around back there for health or pleasure, here’s everything you need to know (including how to do a prostate massage).

prostate massage
Thais Varela/Stocksy United

Benefits of prostate massage

There are many benefits to prostate massages, both medical and sexual. It can be used to detect and (maybe) treat a number of male reproductive and urinary health issues. It can also give people with male bodies a mind-blowing orgasm.

Here’s a list of some good things that can come from prostate massage:

  • Anal orgasms. We’ll get this out of the way first, the male g-spot is completely legit. Orgasms from anal stimulation in male bodies are 100 percent real. If your question is “can prostate massage make me cum”, the answer is yes. You’ll need proper technique and a little patience, mind.
  • Prostatitis management. A number of conditions cause painful inflammation of the prostate. Medical folk lumped them together and labelled them as prostatitis. Some docs believe prostate massage can help with symptom management.
  • Urine flow correction. Developing urine flow issues later life is common if you have a penis, but they can strike at any age. It’s possible prostate massages are a way to hack male bods and make them pee properly again.
  • Reduced painful ejaculations. A number of conditions cause it, but pain during ejaculation is only just starting to get recognized as “we should probably be talking about this, guys”, even in medical circles. There’s a chance those convos could end with treatment plans that feature prostate massage.
  • Erectile dysfunction (ED) treatment. At the other end of the “medical penis conversation frequency” scale, ED is a well known male sexual performance concern. There’s a little evidence out there suggesting prostate massages might help.
  • Reduced premature orgasms. Another common concern: a fair few peeps with peens ejaculate far too early for them or their partner to have a good time. There’s little scientific evidence to support it, but anecdotally there are many accounts of prostate massages being used to help win back the bedroom from premature ejaculation.
  • Reduced ejaculation difficulties. On the flipside, delayed orgasms are also a regular complaint. Same as above; there’s not really science to back it, but some folk seeking a way back from psychologically-rooted difficulties with ejaculating report back that prostate massages helped them get there.

What research says about the effectiveness of prostate massage

Now we’ve covered prostate massage in briefs, let’s get to the bottom of the science behind their medical benefits (#sorrynotsorry).

A quick disclaimer – the research on prostate massages is pretty thin. We cover many topics at Greatist, some more scientifically backed than others. Prostate massage definitely isn’t holistic medicine or healing crystals stuff (which is fine if that’s your thing, but science doesn’t back it, sorry). However, there’s surprisingly few in-depth prostate massage studies.

Prostatitis

Prostate massage has been a therapy to relieve prostatitis symptoms for decades. Prostatitis is an umbrella term for a number of conditions that cause painful inflammation of the prostate. There’s a few varieties, such as bacterial prostatitis and chronic prostatitis (sometimes called chronic pelvic pain syndrome).

Urine samples before and after prostate massages are used by some doctors to detect prostatitis. Prostatic massage (as medical peeps call it) used to be a go-to treatment for prostatitis too, but in recent decades antibiotics are favored.

A 2006 clinical trial found that prostate massage helped relieve symptoms of chronic prostatitis, but it wasn’t as effective as antibiotics. There’s plenty of anecdotal accounts of prostate massage relieving prostatitis discomfort, however.

Urine flow

Research suggests prostate massage may help male bodies keep urine flow healthy and regulated (especially ones that have racked up some mileage).

A case series of five men aged 64-75 ended with 4 in 5 participants finding regular prostate massage allowed them to go catheter-free instead of undergoing invasive surgery on the urinary tract.

A 2009 evaluation of 115 men with pee-disrupting lower urinary tract symptoms (LUTS) suggested that a clinical trial of at-home prostate massage devices to help manage urine flow issues was 100 percent needed. 2009 is a while back though. If this clinical trial ever happened we’ve yet to see the results.

Again, research suggests anecdotal accounts of easier peeing after prostate massage are correct, but there’s been no thorough studies to definitively confirm.

Painful ejaculation

Keeping on-brand for prostate massage, research into painful ejaculation is scant. As recently as 2020 papers have been published calling for greater consideration to be given to ejaculatory discomfort/pain when diagnosing a variety of male-body-specific conditions.

There’s a number of names for pain during ejaculation including dysejaculation, odynorgasmia, dysorgasmia, or orgasmalgia (depending on cause). Pain can range from an unpleasant ache to a burning sensation, and normally is concentrated around the penis.

Blah blah more research needed, but there’s evidence prostate massages could help reduce orgasm pain in some cases. A 2017 review of hematospermia literature found that prostate massage is helpful in diagnosis of potential causes, at the very least.

Since prostatitis can cause pain during ejaculation, prostate massages may help in these cases. A 2013 study of 721 chronic pelvic pain syndrome cases (43 of which included ejaculatory pain) found that prostate massage improved pain symptoms. That’s hardly enough evidence though, so the jury is still out at this point.

Erectile dysfunction (ED)

ED affects an estimated 30 million people in the United States. It can also be a side-effect of certain hormone therapies for transwomen. No matter your gender, the inability to get or maintain an erection can disrupt your sex life and even mental health.

While it’s definitely more common in later life, as studies like this 2017 investigation show there’s no minimum age for ED, and the causes can be both psychological and physiological. Can prostate massages help?

Let’s cut to the chase: not much research, evidence promising, more needed. For example, a 2004 case study shows that at least one 69 year old male with ED found prostate massage helpful. That’s only one guy though. This lack of depth is synonymous with pretty much all ED prostate massage research out there. However, anecdotally many men and penis-having transfolk alike would be prepared to testify in court that prostate massage helped them bring their Johnson/Johndaughter back from flaccidity.

Improved ejaculation

Problems ejaculating on time are common, both premature ejaculation and delayed ejaculation. Whether you cum too fast, not fast enough, or struggle to blow your load at all, there’s a chance that prostate massage may help.

Prostate stimulation can induce a so-called “g-spot orgasm” in male bodies which is more intense than the regular kind. Anecdotally many claim these prostate orgasms in turn helped manage ejaculation during intercourse. There’s not really been any research on this yet that isn’t carried out by manufacturers of electronic male g-spot massagers. While their science may be sound, we’d rather wait for an unbiased source.

What to expect during a prostate massage

There are men who will read this and find the prospect of a doc sticking fingers up their back passage uncomfortable. A 2017 study on men’s attitude toward prostate exams found that many needed to “mentally overcome fears of losing their masculinity and accept the intrusiveness of screening”.

While this was an incredibly gendered study, there’s nothing to suggest that transwomen and other not-men peeps with penises are immune to these worries (even if masculinity isn’t their bag). A prostate massage is more invasive and prolonged than a rectal exam, so you can bet your bottom dollar a lot of folks are apprehensive.

If you’re here because you’ve got an impending prostate exam at the doc, allow us to put your mind at ease. Here’s what to expect when visiting your doctor or health professional for a prostate exam:

Your doc/the person performing the massage inserts a gloved finger into your rectum. This will be lubed up to avoid friction.

Once they’ve found your prostate they’ll do a quick sweep back and forth across it for about two seconds to assess tenderness and check for tumors or masses.

You may find the procedure uncomfortable, but it shouldn’t be painful. We won’t beat around the bush here- if you experiment with anal play in the bedroom a prostate massage won’t be out of your comfort zone. If you’re experienced with your bum being an entry as well as an exit, and the massage has you feeling touched for the very first time like Madonna, speak up. If you’re a bit more vanilla the few minutes after initial entry can feel unpleasant to some. However, prostate massages shouldn’t be painful for anyone. If you’re experiencing pain during the massage, especially around the penis, bladder, or testicles, vocalize it.

Once the massage is complete you should get some privacy to get dressed before discussing results.

Depending on the reason for treatment, you may have to have several massages every week for about a month before reducing the visit count.

Prostate massages are similar to digital rectal exams (DRE). The main difference is that a DRE is usually over faster, and your doc will be inspecting your entire rectum instead of just the prostate. Prostate massages are focused on the prostate (duh), and last much longer on average.

How to prepare for prostate massage/exam

If you’ve experimented with anal-anything before, you’ll know shoving anything up there without prep is a recipe for a bad time. Here are some tips to prep yourself for prostate massage:

  • Make sure your fingernails (or your partners) are trimmed and filed. Why? Cuts and scratches up your butt are exactly as painful as you’re imagining, that’s why.
  • Washed and dried hands are a must. Infection risk aside, there are many substances that you wouldn’t notice on your skin that cause a world of hurt internally, including some soaps.
  • Clean yourself out beforehand with a douche or bidet. These remove fecal matter from the rectum. Not only does this make things more hygienic, it reduces the chance mood-killing complications unique to anal play in the bedroom.  
  • Have plenty of lube on hand, especially if you intend to achieve an anal orgasm (which can take a while). The skin of the anus can easily tear. You may need to apply lubricant more than once to keep things smooth and painless.
  • Start small. If you’re new to anal insertion, it can be painful starting with multiple fingers/an electronic prostate massager. Even though you might not be able to reach the prostate with it, begin with your pinky and work your way down the knuckles until you’re comfortable, then expand to fingers with greater length and girth, or a massager.
  • Relax. Easier said than done we know, but tension or apprehensive makes most folks’ involuntarily squeeze their butt muscles. Trying to massage a prostate through a clenched anus is 100% more uncomfortable. A relaxed back-passage makes the process much easier.
  • If you’re massaging your prostate for pleasure, it helps to be aroused first. Your glands move position when you have an erection, making your prostate both easier to find and more sensitive to stimulation.

How to perform a prostate massage

While there are many medical benefits, most folks want to know how to do a prostate massage because they want to unlock the power of the male g-spot orgasm. If you’re one of them, here’s a step-by-step guide to massaging your own prostate.

As a disclaimer, many report it took them a few tries to achieve a prostate orgasm. Don’t get disheartened if you don’t reach the big Anal-O first time.

  1. Get your anus nice and lubed up (for reasons stated above).
  2. Gently insert your index finger to the first knuckle. Lightly masturbate while you do this to keep your body in a state of arousal and sexual-receptivity.
  3. Pull your finger out and re-apply some lube.
  4. Still stroking as you go, push your finger back in to the second knuckle this time. If you’re finding your sphincter tightens as a reflex and makes this difficult, try slowly pushing the finger in-and-out to relax it.
  5. Keep gently masturbating while you repeat steps 3 & 4 until you’re ready to insert to the third knuckle.
  6. With your full finger now inside your ready-and-receptive rectum, search for a lump that’s about the size of a golf ball (4 inches, give or take). It’ll be located somewhere near the root of your penis.
  7. Once you think you’ve found it, gently apply some pressure. If you start to feel a tingly sensation that might be oddly more pleasurable than touching the rest of your rectum was, congrats, you’ve found your prostate!
  8. Gently massage your prostate using a ‘come hither’ or circular motion. Alternatively you can apply a little pressure for 7-10 seconds, release, then re-apply.
  9. Keep going until you achieve anal orgasm. How will you know you’re there? According to the many male-bodied peeps who experience them regularly, you’ll know. They’re too intense to miss.

What are the risks of prostate massage? 

Prostate massages are generally safe, but they do come with some risks, especially if you’re using them in a sexual context where they’re administered by a non-medical professional.

Here are some prostate massage risks to be aware of:

  • Performing prostate massages too vigorously or without proper technique can damage your rectum and/or prostate, making symptoms worse (or creating symptoms in otherwise perfectly healthy prostates).
  • Using electronic prostate massagers without training can also lead to harm. Even though many electronic massagers are available as sex toys, they shouldn’t be treated as ‘plug in and play’ like vaginal vibrators.
  • Folk experiencing conditions like prostate cancer, rectal cancer, anal fissures, or haemorrhoids should avoid prostate massages for pleasure. If they’re medically beneficial, your doc or similar specialist will prescribe them (although if there’s any kind of structural damage in that region, it’s incredibly unlikely). Don’t try and self-treat anything with prostate massages – always speak to your doc. The science backing prostate massage benefits might be thin, but the same isn’t true in reverse. Prostate massage if you’ve got any condition involving a compromised prostate or rectum is dangerous.

Bottom line

Outside of being used for sexual pleasure, there’s some evidence that prostate massages help relieve a number of male-body problems including ejaculation pain, erectile dysfunction, and some urinary issues common in penis-adjacent bladders. There’s nowhere near enough research to definitively recommend them as treatments though, which is why only some medical professionals prescribe them under specific circumstances.

It’s known that prostate massage comes with risks for prostate cancer, fissures, and hemorrhoids. For this reason, despite the anecdotal evidence, you should never self-prescribe prostate massage for medical reasons. Even if it does help with various complaints, these can be a sign of more serious conditions. Always speak to a medical pro first.

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