The prostate takes part in the sexual response cycle, and is essential for the production of semen. Due to its proximity to the anterior rectal wall, it can be stimulated from the anterior wall of the rectum or externally via the perineum.
Digital rectal examination (DRE)
Prostate massage is part of the digital rectal examination (DRE) routinely given to men by urologists in order to look for nodules of prostate cancer and to obtain an expressed prostatic secretion (EPS) specimen for microscopy and microbiological culture to screen for prostatitis.
Therapy for prostatitis
In the late 1990s, a small number of doctors tried prostate massage in conjunction with antibiotics for the treatment of chronic bacterial prostatitis with uncertain results. In recent trials, however, prostate massage was not shown to improve outcomes compared to antibiotics alone. As a consequence of these findings, prostate massage is not officially sanctioned in western medicine for the treatment of any medical disorder today. Prostatic massage should never be performed on patients with acute prostatitis, because the infection can spread elsewhere in the body if massage is performed.
Once the most popular therapeutic maneuver used to treat prostatitis, it was abandoned as primary therapy in the 1960s.
In the late 1990s the ineffectiveness of drug treatments for chronic prostatitis led to a brief resurgence of interest in prostate massage. In a recent trial, however, prostate massage was not shown to improve outcomes compared to antibiotics alone.
The practice is still used in some parts of China.
Vigorous prostate massage has been documented to have injurious consequences: periprostatic hemorrhage, cellulitis, septicaemia, possible disturbance and metastasis of prostate cancer to other parts of the body, and hemorrhoidal flare-up, and rectal fissures.
Electroejaculation is a procedure in which nerves are stimulated via an electric probe, which is inserted into the rectum adjacent to the prostate. The stimulus voltage stimulates nearby nerves, resulting in contraction of the pelvic muscles and ejaculation. It is most commonly encountered in animal husbandry for the purpose of collecting semen samples for testing or breeding. Some devices are used under general anesthesia on humans who have certain types of anejaculation. Electroejaculation is a different procedure from manual prostate massage.
Prostate massage as sexual practice
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Prostate massage is also used for sexual stimulation, often in order to reach orgasm. The prostate is sometimes referred to as the "male G-spot". Some men can achieve orgasm solely through stimulation of the prostate gland, such as prostate massage or receptive anal intercourse, and men who report the sensation of prostate stimulation often give descriptions similar to females' accounts of G-spot stimulation. Prostate stimulation can produce stronger and more powerful orgasms than solely penile stimulation.
Prostate massage may also be a common sexual practice in couples' sexual lives. The advent of equipment and products for prostate massage encourages people to try it. Many couples though do not purchase such devices but use a finger for anal penetration and prostate stimulation to enhance the man's orgasm. The finger or the prostate massager is introduced into the rectum through the anus and the prostate gland is gently massaged. The main problem in using the finger is that it may be too short to reach the prostate gland. Prostate massage can be performed individually or with the help of a partner. Some men prefer being anally stimulated by their partner during foreplay or after their main form of sexual activity.
There are safety matters relating to prostate stimulation and anal penetration. It is strongly recommended that plenty of lubricant is used with prostate massagers to prevent rectal lining damage. A smaller instrument or finger may be introduced gradually to minimize the discomfort that some may feel. Massagers may be used with or without a condom; however, because of the bacteria found in the rectum, if a condom is not used, it is very important to clean the tool with antibacterial soap before use in another orifice or by a partner. Receiving anal stimulation may cause feelings of having to evacuate. More often than not, this is just a "feeling" that the stimulation causes and may take some getting used to.
A prostate massager is a device for massaging the prostate gland. The shape of a prostate massager is similar to a finger, since prostate massages are traditionally given digitally (for example, via fingering). They usually have a slightly curved head to effectively massage the prostate. Lubricant is necessary before inserting anything into the anus, so a lubricant is used. Caution should be exercised when a prostate massager is used because of the sensitivity of the prostate. Correct use involves a medium to light repetitive massage, or circular motion—the device being used to administer the massage should not thrust.
Prostate massage equipment ranges from dildos to butt plugs and G-spot vibrators. When used in sexual practice, prostate massagers are commonly referred to as "prostate toys", "prostate sex toys", and "anal toys". These prostate massagers are inserted into the rectum through the anus and are intended to stimulate the prostate by simple massaging or vibrating. They are used during foreplay by many couples.
Prostate dildos are similar to vaginal dildos, but they tend to be more curved, slimmer and with a softer texture. Some of the new prostate dildos on the market are driven by batteries and offer vibration at the tip; the speed or intensity of which may be changed depending on the subject's personal preference. Unlike vaginal dildos, the anal prostate massager has a flared end to prevent it from being fully inserted and 'lost' inside the rectum.
Some men prefer butt plugs, which are easy to use, can be inserted freely and left in place while the man's hands are free for other sexual activities such as masturbation. Anal plugs also come in various shapes, sizes and designs and are not commonly intended to stimulate the prostate. Newer, more angled models (second generation) of prostate massagers have been developed to provide a more direct and thorough massage of the prostate gland. These new devices feature a more curved shape and are slightly longer than the originals. They commonly have a narrow neck and a flared end to avoid losing them in the rectum. While many massagers rely upon the body's own natural muscular contractions of the anal sphincter and anal wall to stimulate the prostate, some of the newer models come with vibrators built into them to increase sexual pleasure.
A G-spot vibrator can be used as a prostate massager as long as it is handled carefully and is provided with a safety base that will not allow it to be lost in the rectum. Vibrators for prostate stimulation usually have a pronounced curve at the end.
In popular culture
In House of Lies season 2, episode 3 ("Man-Date"), Doug Guggenheim receives a prostate massage from a masseuse.
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