It’s time to talk about that mysterious, little known buddy-up-your-butt, the prostate. Unfortunately, the prostate has more confusion surrounding it than the Trump administration. So if you’ve ever been curious about what the prostate is, why it’s important, and how you can monitor your prostates health keep reading to unveil all these mysteries!

What is Your Prostate?

Simply put the prostate is a gland located between your bladder and your penis. Your urethra (the tube that carries urine and semen) actually runs directly through the prostate. The prostate secretes fluids, which mix with sperm during ejaculation to protect and nourish your little swimmers as they go out into the wide world. The combination of this fluid and sperm is called semen.

Why’s it Important?

Other than its aforementioned purpose, the prostate can also play a big role in men’s sex lives. When stimulated by way of the anus, the prostate can enhance the intensity of male orgasms. And this doesn’t just apply to gay men. Both homo- and heterosexual men can enjoy prostate stimulation, and there are now many products out there to aid in your sexual endeavors. Prostate massagers, vibrators, and dildos are now widely available in most places that sell sex toys.

Direct stimulation—such as a finger or massager making contact with the prostate—is only one way of getting the job done though. Vibrations—like those you’d receive from an anal vibrator—are enough to stimulate the prostate as well without direct contact. Always remember the importance of lubrication when engaging in anal sex play and avoid insertion of objects with rough surfaces that might cause damage to the sensitive walls of your anus. If you’re engaging in anal play or prostate stimulation with a partner ensure that hands are both clean and that fingernails are trimmed.

How Do I Find It?

You’re in luck; despite what you might have heard the prostate is relatively easy to find. No road maps or snarky GPS required. Whether you’re performing it on yourself or a partner the technique is pretty much the same. To stimulate a partner’s prostate insert your ring finger into their anus, with your palm facing towards you, and making a “come hither” motion with your finger. You should feel a small, walnut shaped nub. And just like that, bingo: you’ve found the prostate. 

giphy

When Do You Need to Get it Checked?

Lately there’s been a lot of focus on the prostate. A large portion of medical professionals believe that regular prostate exams should start at around forty years old. Screening the prostate is done largely to detect prostate cancer. According to the National Cancer Institute, as of 2015 prostate cancer is the third in terms of lethality. The majority of prostate cancer is found within men over the age of fifty though, so there has been some debate about when exactly screening should begin to take place. 

Typically a man’s prostate starts to enlarge after forty. This is referred to as benign prostatic hyperplasia or BPH. BPH can cause bladders issues as the prostate swells and squeezes the urethra, making urination difficult. BPH is often most recognized by its symptoms, which include a weak stream, stopping and starting during urination, a feeling of urgency followed by difficulty starting/finishing urination, “dribbling”, a sense of not feeling as if you’ve successfully been able to completely empty the bladder, blood in the urine, and even complete blockages that result in urinary track infections.

Though usually harmless—if symptomatically inconvenient—BPH can also be a sign of prostate cancer and should be examined by a doctor if you notice any of the above issues.

There is very little confirmed research about what how to maintain good prostate health but some reports suggest that massaging and stimulating the prostate is beneficial to overall prostate health. Otherwise, there isn’t any hard data supporting many other means of keeping your prostate healthy. In other words, get out there and start massaging that prostate.