Death Grip Syndrome: 
What It Is & How To Avoid It

Written by: Don Watson | Updated: May 3rd, 2019

There's no use in being cute about it or dancing around it with fancy wordplay. Men jerk off, a lot. There's a good chance that before any man has sexual contact he'll have pleasured himself a few dozen to a few hundred times himself.

Just from the ages of 16-20, at a wank a day that's 1460 individual jerk off sessions. 

If we assume five minutes a session, that's about 121 hours of straight up and down on the penis. Five whole days of jerking off over four years. Masturbation seldom stops after age 20, so it's safe to say there's a fair time commitment here.

Imagine if you rubbed your arm back and forth consistently every day at the same rate, would you expect it to be completely unchanged after four years?

I don't think so. I'm a man, I've been there, so don't think I'm talking out of my ass here. I've had my fair share of voracious self pleasure where calling it "gentle" would have been the furthest thing from the truth. Sometimes there's a really good feeling I just have to chase, can you blame me? I was always the type to shut off all higher thinking during anything sexual, I always just thought of it as par for the course.

I later learned that this kind of play can result in the development of something referred to as death grip syndrome. It's mainly reported by men who have watched pornography throughout their sexual development and can have some dire repercussions on the male anatomy.

What Is Death Grip?

Sometimes men like to switch it up a bit, but for the most part jerking off follows a simple formula. Wrap hand around penis, move up and down until desired results are achieved. Seems foolproof, right?

Well, it appears that over time and without the use of lubricant, men tend to tighten up their grip over time on the penis either due to desensitization from regular masturbation or a desire for more intensely pleasurable feelings. This leads to a man frequently using as tight as grip as possible without causing any pain while masturbating, with some pretty bad side effects.

While not necessary from too strong a grip, any over stimulation of the penis that will cause desensitization, I.E. using a coarse towel, is often also categorized under death grip syndrome.

One damaging effect is that many men report having difficulty with both maintaining an erection and reaching orgasm when with a real woman. It's not particularly scientific, but many of the men who have gotten together to deal with the issue seems that over time with consistent death grip style masturbation the brain subconsciously becomes accustomed to certain sensations being part of it's concept of sex. Sex with a real woman is hardly the same as a hand at any level of grip strength and far from the tightness possible with the hand. For that reason, I think that explanation holds water. Difficulties reaching orgasm can also be tied to desensitization of the penis with time.

There are some visible side-effects as well, overeager masturbation can produce dark bruise-like spots on the penis that take a fair bit of time to go away.

Add all of that together coupled with the risk of tearing penile tissue during strokes, and you have a condition worth avoiding. Did I mention penis fractures? Yeah, those are a thing. Most happen during masturbation for what it's worth.

How To Avoid Death Grip

Ease Up On Your Grip

I promise the rest of the tips on this list won't be so blatantly obvious, but it's something that clearly needs to be said outright. Go easy on yourself, your penis isn't going anywhere any time soon so you best figure out how to treat it right. It's also a good way to connect with yourself sexually. See what kind of sensations are pleasurable, use the lightest grip you can while still having a good time.

From personal experience, making sure that you have at least some level of dissociation with whatever you're using as a masturbatory aid can help you avoid accidentally going a bit too hard. I've zoned into porn before and not noticed just how much I was going for gold until I was finished. Keep enough of your mentality in real life and focus on the sensations as opposed to what's on the screen.

Use Lubricant

An overabundance of friction is what drives the negatives of death grip, so adding some much needed lubrication reduces the chances that you'll end up damaging your genitals greatly. It also increases how pleasurable masturbation can be, resulting in a looser grip for the same effects.

We have a really comprehensive article should you desire some lube information. Chances are you'll be able to find the right lube so you won't end up dreading it. Of course, there's always Vaseline.

Use A Male Masturbator

Honestly, at this point it makes some sense to cut out the hand entirely. Not literally, keep the hack saw in the garage, just outsource your masturbation to a toy, the American way.

The sensations from male masturbators aren't localized in a small area so there's no risk of wearing out certain part of the body, and they're soft as can be. Of course, you need to use a toy you can fit inside and that isn't too tight, but most toys are made with 90% of men in mind.

What To Do If You Have Death Grip

If you find yourself wondering if you have death grip or god forbid know for a fact you have it, know that you aren't in an impossible condition. Reversing the effects of death grip will take time but there's no reason for you to not make a full recovery eventually. 

The quickest way to go about this would be to cease all masturbation for as long as you possibly can to let your nerves go back to their old sensitivities. I'm not going to pretend that stopping jerking off altogether is a very likely thing to materialize, the most realistic outcome is to masturbate less frequently and when you do use any of the tips above. Give it a few months and you should notice a difference. 

Parting Words

If you're a little bummed out it'll take some time to go back to normal, I can understand that. The thing is the negatives from death grip slowly compounded over time, so reversing it is going to take some time as well, that's just the way the cookie crumbles. Prevention is always better than a cure, so practice safe masturbation!

About Don Watson

My name is Don Watson and I love to support my wife Angela's passion for human sexuality. It pays dividends for me personally and I enjoy writing about the topic as I'm a sexual person by nature. I concern myself with everything on the website that has to do with the male reproductive system to compliment my wife's female-oriented content.

Leave a Reply 0 comments

Leave a Reply: