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Death-grip syndrome

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Death-grip and death-grip syndrome (DGS) are slang terms for suffering adverse effects from one's aggressive and recurrent male masturbation technique, which result in an unsatisfactory experience when engaging in regular sexual intercourse with a partner. A similar condition, dead-vagina syndrome, has been asserted to exist in women.[1][2][3]


Death-grip syndrome, sometimes abbreviated as DGS, was arguably coined in 2003 by sex columnist Dan Savage and is an issue that affects both men and women.[3] For women the slang term used is "dead vagina syndrome."[1][2]

Although men with the indisposition may still experience an erection, it may impact a relationship negatively due to a sense of being sexually incompatible with a partner due to the habit of lasting too long during sexual activity, and subsequent side-effects such as blue balls or inhibited ejaculation.[4] Some people who have claimed to "experience the death-grip" state that although they can still experience pleasure, the typical vagina feels too loose, and fellatio provides insufficient friction to produce an orgasm.[5] Richard Santucci, chief of urology at Detroit Receiving Hospital's Center for Urologic Reconstruction, believes that "too strong masturbation" is not a common cause of delayed ejaculation, and states that "diabetes, medications, low testosterone, anxiety" are the common causes.[6]


The concept of death-grip syndrome is not recognized by any mainstream medical bodies.[7] Some analysts[who?] have argued that sexual techniques that have a vacuum effect, such as oral pompoir or vaginal pompoir could alleviate DGS.[8] Some analysts[who?] have argued that there are other forms of social conditioning ingrained during adolescence that occur concurrently with DGS, such as a reluctance among men to make audible sounds of pleasure such as moaning. Such silence during sex is learned from growing up in one's household and attempting to remain discreet when around family.[9]

See also[edit]


  1. ^ a b Jones, Alexandra (2018-10-25). "Is my vibrator stopping me enjoying sex?". BBC Three. Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  2. ^ a b Scott, Ellen (2017-12-13). "Is dead vagina syndrome a real thing?". Metro. Archived from the original on 2017-12-13. Retrieved 2020-03-08.
  3. ^ a b Barrett-Ibarria, Sofia (22 March 2018). "Women Get 'Death Grip Syndrome' Too, and It Sucks". Vice. Archived from the original on 2018-04-02.
  4. ^ POLONSKY, DEREK C. "The Sexual Challenges and Dilemmas of Young Single Men." Handbook of Clinical Sexuality for Mental Health Professionals (2011): 231. ISBN 9781135967499
  5. ^ Flemons, Douglas, and Shelley Green. "Just between us: A relational approach to sex therapy." Quickies: The handbook of brief sex therapy (2004): 126-170. ISBN 9780393705270
  6. ^ Pearl, Mike (2015-08-28). "Is It Really Possible to Ruin Your Penis From Jerking Off Too Hard?". Vice. Archived from the original on 2018-01-09. Retrieved 2019-11-16. The idea of too strong masturbation rewiring you to expect really strong feelings during sex? I just don't believe it's that common.
  7. ^ Spitzer, Robert L.; Endicott, Jean; Micoulaud Franchi, Jean-Arthur (2018). "Medical and mental disorder: Proposed definition and criteria". Annales Médico-Psychologiques, Revue Psychiatrique. 176 (7): 656–665. doi:10.1016/j.amp.2018.07.004. S2CID 149968368.
  8. ^ Ruuhilahti, Susanna. "Good Sex–Enhancing Wellbeing in Sexuality Education by Utilizing Stories." in Proceedings of 2012 NACS conference in Helsinki; page 135.
  9. ^ Melnick, Alexandra S. "But What Does “It” Mean: An Analysis of Feminist & Mainstream Pornographies." (2016).