January 2022
Let's Talk About Sexual Health
Hedda Fay

Understanding the Old Chap

The aging penis is our topic this month. People with penises have a lot of penis pressure put upon them. I do not have one and cannot imagine the stress involved with it. Imagine being measured as a human depending on one fleshy appendage! We are not here to talk about the performance or size expectations put on our neighbors with penises, oh no, we are going to talk about what happens as they age.

Yes, as one ages, so does their penis, much differently from the changes people with vaginas go through.

First, penis bearers begin to experience a one-percent annual reduction in testosterone beginning around age 40. For most it is a gradual diminishing, so slight that most don’t notice much difference.

Lower testosterone, also called late-onset hypogonadism, is common among aging people with penises. It can lead to reduced muscle mass, depression, loss of interest in activities including sex, scrotal sagging, and reduction in penis length and girth. It’s estimated that penis bearers with high belly or stomach fat lose half an inch in penis length for every 30 pounds they are overweight. That adds up.

A growing prostate will increase your desire to urinate while restricting the flow. Your semen output can fall as well. Peyronie’s disease is common in people with penises who are 55 years old and older, and you can tell whether you have it from curvature in your penis. As you age the smooth muscle tissue that holds your penis upright is replaced with collagen, which affects size and girth. It’s normal for it to shrink and work differently as you age.

People with penises come under even more pressure to perform as they age.

Erectile dysfunction is common in men 50 and older. Up to half of people with penises in this group experience erectile dysfunction, increasing toas high as 70% in those over 70. If you feel you are experiencing late-onset hypogonadism (age-related lower testosterone), make an appointment with your provider for some bloodwork and a follow up appointment. It is treatable, and there are other medications that get you back to six-to-midnight in no time!

Remember, you are not your penis. Your penis is your penis, and it ages with you. Its needs change as you do. It will hang lower, as will your scrotum. Do your balls hang low, do they wiggle kind of slow? —just kidding, there’s no song. There should be.

People with penises come under even more pressure to perform as they age. They may have their “personhood” judged on how long they can stay erect before ejaculation. I can’t imagine being judged how long Ican hold off an orgasm, and I find that judging metric both unfair and unreasonable.

It’s important to be supportive of our penis-bearers and encourage them to see their providers if they believe they are experiencing low testosterone. A blood test can gauge your testosterone level and whether you may need supplementation. Hormone-replacement therapy can help people suffering from this, and as with any medication it’s important to see a provider before beginning therapy. Hormones can have many side-effects, and your friend from the gym is not the best place to get replacement hormones. Just saying.

The AMA suggests that people with penises get their prostates checked annually to prevent prostate cancer. If you have frequented tanning beds sans bottoms, you are at increased risk for penile skin cancer. Yes, that's a thing as you age, too, so get those moles checked!

If you are going to handle, fondle, caress or insert a penis this holiday season, use protection. Unless that penis with the erection has been checked over with a full medical inspection, do not touch it without protection.

This is Hedda Fay reminding you that to get the most out of your 2022orgasms, make them fun and safe!

Hedda Fay, the Community Outreach and Program Manager of Northland Cares, answers your questions about sex and sexual health.