No two men are alike

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Each man is different and this section is targeted at men. Here you will find basic information about life changes, emotional changes and other changes that are rarely talked about. We will discuss diversity of penis size, masturbation and sexual desire.


If you are a person who identifies as a man and was not assigned male gender at birth some of the information on this page will not be relevant to you, however some of it will be. If once you have read this page, you still have questions or are seeking information you are welcome to contact uson our confidential helpline 061 316661.


In this section you will find information on:

  • Puberty
  • Body Changes
  • Penis Size
  • Masturbation



People talk about puberty like it’s a thing we all understand. In fact, puberty is different for everyone and the only thing that is certain for everyone is that going through ‘puberty’ means that your body will change.


Puberty is a stage of sexual development and growth experienced by humans, generally experienced, around the age of 10 to 18. Mainly, people experience the beginning of puberty between the age of 13 and 14. Puberty can continue until the early 20′s. If a person begins taking testosterone then they may experience a change similar to puberty.


As well as bodily changes, you will experience hormonal changes that you may find can be quite difficult. During puberty you may find your thoughts and emotions developing, which may include you becoming aware of a physical, and/or an emotional attraction to some people. This is the beginning of sexual attraction. It may mean that at some point you start thinking about developing sexual relationships, and may have a desire to masturbate more often.


You may find that your thoughts and also dreams become sexual and that you start to become curious about sex. Your body can respond to these thoughts and emotions in many ways and sometimes these may be embarrassing as they can happen at school, over dinner, out at the shops, during PE, etc….. and most males would experience some or all of these things during puberty:

  • Hardening of penis
  • Hardening of nipples
  • Sweaty palms
  • Reddening of face (blushing)
  • Get tongue-tied
  • Night time ejaculations (wet dreams)


Understanding what you are feeling, the changes you are experiencing and communicating this to others, may or may not be easy at times. If you have a friend, a parent, teacher or someone else you trust, keep them in mind if you are struggling, confused or frustrated and need someone to talk to.


Body Changes

Your body will change throughout your life, it never stops changing. Some changes are due to ageing, some because of changes in circumstances or lifestyle and others may have a medical reason.


During puberty there are a lot of changes that happen over a few years. Some of the things you may experience include:

  • You may get taller and more muscular
  • Your shoulders may widen
  • Your voice may deepen
  • Your genitals (penis and testicles) may get bigger
  • Hair may grow, darken and thicken on specific parts of your body; legs, genitals, arms, face, chest, underarms, back, neck
  • Your nipples and chest area may become sensitive for a while
  • Your joints, (knees, ankles, shoulders) may become painful for a while, these are characterised as growing pains
  • Spots and black heads may appear on your face, neck, chest back or other places
  • You may sweat more and notice a much stronger body odour which could mean you need to shower and wash your clothes more often


These body changes can have an effect on your day to day living. You may suddenly experience a phase of clumsiness, you may find you break things without intending too. Males who are experiencing body changes because of puberty can often gain strength without realising it.


Learning to control your new found strength or height can take time so be patient with yourself.

As you grow older the changes are less pronounced than they were during puberty but your body still continues to change.


Some of the things you may experience throughout your life include:

  • Lines on face, neck, body, arms, legs
  • Nose, eyebrow and ear hair growth
  • Greying of hair, including pubic hair
  • Moles, freckles, skin tags may appear or become more pronounced
  • Eyesight changes
  • Altered muscle definition
  • Less frequency of erections and/or changes in duration of erections
  • Less sperm production
  • Hearing changes
  • General health changes
  • Needing to pee (urinate) more often
  • Change in sleep patterns


Some of these changes are due to simply getting older; others can be brought about through experience, lifestyle, stress, environmental factors and health (eg: stopping taking testosterone). Please refer to our other pages in this men’s sexual health section for more information or contact your medical professional if you experience anything that causes you concern, including:

  • Loss of erection
  • Painful testicles
  • Unusual lumps
  • Loss of libido (interest in sex)


Penis Size

Many males worry that their penis is smaller than other males. This may be because we do not have a realistic idea of what other men’s penises actually look like.


Many factors can influence penis size, your penis can become smaller or larger depending on whether it is; soft or hard, when cold or warm, this is natural. The penis comes in many different shapes and sizes. Some turn to the left, some turn to the right, some are curved, some are thicker, some are thinner, some have large heads and some have small heads.


As men, we do not view our penis as other people, as we look down at our penis. The best way to see your penis as it really is, is to look at yourself naked in a full length mirror.


If you have difficulties peeing (urination), masturbating or sex, consult a medical professional.


Masturbation (wanking)

Most males rub or stimulate their penis to get an erection or have an orgasm. Masturbation can start at any age but a male will not be able to ejaculate until during or after puberty. You can however, experience orgasm without ejaculation.


Masturbation is not a health risk, you will not go blind, you will not grow hairs on the palms of your hands and you cannot pull it off! Some people masturbate everyday, others more than once a day, and others not at all, this is a personal choice.


Masturbating can help you to understand how you like to have your penis touched and what turns you on. In turn, this may help you develop healthy and pleasurable sexual relationships. Some people include masturbation as part of their sexual activity with others.


There is a myth that the older you get, the less likely you are to want to masturbate, age does not necessarily diminish your libido or desire for pleasure. In fact, many men find that they become more active and assertive about pleasure and sex as they grow older.


If you find that you do not get an erection (hard on) when you wish to masturbate, or have sex, this could be due to stress, tiredness, alcohol or other drug; it could be the first signs of a medical condition so please consult your medical professional.