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Linda D.
Linda D., Psychotherapist, LMSW, CASAC
Category: Mental Health
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Experience:  LMSW, CASAC
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What causes some adult men to spend so much of their waking

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What causes some adult men to spend so much of their waking and sleeping time with their hand on or near there penis?
Likewise, why is it that some men seem to have clearly outgrown this socially inappropriate behavior, while others have not?

Welcome to JA. My name is ***** ***** I am a licensed psychotherapist in private practice in NYS. I am preparing my reply and will post in one moment.

Hello Amber, interestingly Women's Health magazine did an article on this subject. It is written by a male and unfortunately he uses the word junk instead of penis,,,,,,,,,,,,but he does a good job of giving some reasons. I work with a lot of males in my practice and I also think to answer your second question that it is also how a male has been socialized in his family of origin that determines what he understands is socially appropriate regarding his sexuality and his body. This is an excellent question you ask and one that many females wonder about. Thank you for waiting so long for an answer, I was celebrating Mother's Day and my birthday yesterday so was not available. Sincerely, ***** ***** LMSW, CASAC I will send article in the next thread.

Your penis gets itchy just like any other part of your body—and when it itches, it’s every bit as excruciating. (Even worse if you have jock itch, which is athlete’s foot on the groinal region.) It’s just a more noticeable area to scratch. I could have my eyes locked with a colleague talking about project deliverables while absent-mindedly itching my forearm, and she wouldn’t think anything of it. But substitute the forearm for my testicles, and all of a sudden I’m an HR nightmare.

I started wearing boxer-briefs around puberty to keep my penis in place, but that was only like plugging a hole in a dam with a handkerchief in that it only fleetingly solves the problem. Sometimes, it’ll be slung awkwardly to the right or the left, and it especially needs some adjusting anytime you move to cross your legs. If you cross your legs and your testicles aren’t in the right position, you’re liable to tweak something or downright crush it. I actually have this interesting situation where my balls go up into my pubic region pretty often, so I’ll have to slide my hand down my pants to push them back down from my gut. (I should probably ask a doctor about that. It seems abnormal.)

Look: Your groin/taint area in underwear and jeans is subject to what is essentially a greenhouse effect. The groin and armpits are the warmest-running areas of the body, and when they're encased in layers of cloth that don’t breathe very well, it perspires freely. And to try and find some modicum of comfort, we’ll shift things around down there.

When you get an erection in public and you’re standing up, you really only have two options: You can stand there with your tent pitched for everyone to see, which I would say is a bad move in about 98 percent of situations, or you can do the boner tuck. That’s when you tuck your erect member up into the waistband of your underwear and jeans so that others can’t tell that you’re hard as a rock. It’s super uncomfortable but a necessity.

Sometimes, there’s no reason at all for us to grab our jewels, but we do it because we’re used to doing it. (It’s like when I have a beard, I can’t help but stroke it incessantly. Or how if I meet a terrible person, I will try to date them. I do it without even noticing.) One of my friends sits around with his hand down his pants almost all the time. He says it’s just his go-to way to bask in leisure, that he knows it’s there and that it’s fine, but that he just likes to have his hand on or around it. It’s like a security blanket, I guess. Except it’s a penis.

These are some honest answers Amber, but unless we have the experience of having a penis, I guess we just have to believe that this is what it is like and therefore some of what seems like inappropriate touching actually has a purpose? I hope this was helpful. Sincerely, ***** ***** LMSW, CASAC

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
That last paragraph in the article was the most helpful part.
However, I am wondering about a slightly more specific behavior.
I have to run really quickly. But I'll type a more detailed description as soon as I have a moment.
Thanks!

That would be great. Linda

Customer: replied 5 months ago.
Hi Linda,
Specifically, my boyfriend has a habit of sitting down with his hand resting on/near/around his penis.
After awhile of this, he sometimes starts hinting at sexual relations. When I suggest that perhaps his sudden interest in sex might be connected to the fact that he has been groping at himself, he denies that there is any connection!
Same thing happens when he is drifting off to sleep. He falls asleep with his hand on/near/around his penis and then if/when he wakes up, he feels frisky. And denies that it could have anything to do with his own self-stimulation!
On the other hand, my former partner of 8.5 years has no such habits.
Here is where I suspect that your theory on how they were raised comes into play...

Yes, the way we are socialized within our formative years is crucial to how we see ourselves and the world around us. And yet, whatever we have learned we can unlearn. That is the good news and yes, we can replace old habits with healthier ones if we are able and willing. Let your boyfriend know that it makes YOU uncomfortable when he "gropes" himself. It is not a necessary behavior so if he is willing to have a strong, healthy relationship with you it is important to respect what matters to you. Try not to say it with judgment just simply this is something that makes you uncomfortable. Thanks again for your interesting question. I wish you all the best. Sincerely, ***** ***** LMSW, CASAC

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