Topic: Strange story from a renowned sexologist.
Michael Perelman: Some of the strangest things that I have encountered are because the doctors themselves are not asking questions. For instance, one young man was referred by a dermatologist because he had these horrible sores all over his penis, and no one knew the origin of this, and it caused him to withdraw socially and he was afraid to engage in any sexual experiences with a partner, at least as the dermatologist and his primary care physician understood it. I took a sexual history and one of the questions I always ask is tell me about your last sexual experience, and I also ask about the last time you masturbated yourself and what technique do you use when you masturbate? This poor man, who was so anxious at work, would lock his door and rub himself against this industrial carpeting on his office floor and severely burn and abrade his penis, which he didn’t notice because he was aroused, until after he had ejaculated, he would find these sores, and then, of course, they were very tender. And he was humiliated at the thought of telling anyone about this, yet he went to the dermatologist and his primary care physician in the hope of finding relief, some kind of medication, that would take away these burns or at least alleviate the pain that he was experiencing, and yet he had a problem with compulsive masturbation. In part, he found that it was a relief for the high anxiety he experienced at work. So this was a multidimensional problem. And we were able to fix this by helping him learn better skills to cope with work, develop an alternative pattern of masturbation, limit the frequency of masturbation, and eventually get him dating, having sexual experiences with other partners. He is now married and has two kids and he limits his sexual experiences primarily to those with his wife with some occasional masturbation, using the technique most people would find more conventional.