Updated: DECEMBER 24, 2018

When referring to male anatomy, the shaft is the length of the penis that runs from the scrotum to the glans or head. It is comprised of three different cylinders of soft and spongy tissue, known as erectile tissue. Each cylinder contains numerous small blood vessels which make the shaft sensitive to pressure, temperature, and touch. These blood vessels fill with blood during sexual arousal, causing an erection. The urethra, which transports urine and semen through the penis, also runs through the erectile tissue.

The shaft is also sometimes referred to as the body of the penis.

More About Shaft

Shafts come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and colors. While some men are competitive about the length and thickness of their shaft, experts insist that size matters little. The first third of the vagina has the most nerve endings, so longer shafts do not necessarily provide greater pleasure for heterosexual female partners. Despite this, men with longer shafts often feel more sexually attractive.

While the shaft is sensitive to the touch, it is not as sensitive as the head of the penis, which has more nerve endings. However, there are two particularly sensitive parts of the shaft. The coronal rim, which separates the shaft from the glans, is rich in nerve endings as is the frenulum, a small triangular area on the underside of the shaft near the glans. Many men enjoy it when their partners pay particular attention to these parts of the shaft during a hand job or oral sex.


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