Self-ratings of genital anatomy, sexual sensitivity and function in men using the 'Self-Assessment of Genital Anatomy and Sexual Function, Male' questionnaire

BJU Int. 2009 Apr;103(8):1096-103. doi: 10.1111/j.1464-410X.2008.08166.x. Epub 2009 Feb 24.


Objective: To assess the perceptions of healthy men of their genital anatomy and sexual sensitivity, along with the re-test reliability of these ratings, in a new self-reported questionnaire, the Self-Assessment of Genital Anatomy and Sexual Function, Male (SAGASF-M).

Subjects and methods: Eighty-one healthy, sexually active, men aged 22-57 years (median 33), with no history of genital surgery, completed the SAGASF-M. This questionnaire comprises written text and images enabling men to rate details of their genital appearance, overall genital erotic and pain sensitivity, orgasm intensity, and effort required for achieving orgasm through stimulation of specified areas around the glans and shaft of the penis, scrotum and anus, along with the contribution of other sexually sensitive areas of the body. Anatomical locations were compared for the functional ratings by mixed-model analysis of variance (anova). A second sample of 38 healthy men (median age 26 years, range 22-64) from the same source completed the SAGASF-M twice with an interval of 2 weeks.

Results: There was little variability in anatomy ratings. Ratings of overall penile sensitivity to sexual stimulation gave higher values of 'sexual pleasure' for penile stimulation by the partner than by self (P = 0.002) and marginally higher ratings of 'orgasm intensity' by partner stimulation (P = 0.077), but there were no corresponding differences on ratings of 'effort needed to reach orgasm' or of 'discomfort/pain'. Overall discrimination between genital areas was highly significant (mixed-model anova, P = 0.001) for ratings of 'sexual pleasure', 'orgasm intensity' and 'orgasm effort', but was not significant for 'discomfort/pain'. Ranked by degree of 'sexual pleasure', the area 'underside of the glans' was highest, followed by 'underside of the penile shaft', 'upper side of the glans', 'left and right sides of the glans', 'one or both sides of the penis', 'upper side of the penile shaft', 'foreskin' (11 subjects), 'skin between the scrotum and anus', 'back side of the scrotum', 'front side of the scrotum', and 'around anus', but not all pair differences were significant. The rank order was similar for 'orgasm intensity', but less similar and with fewer significant pair differences for 'orgasm effort'. Overall discrimination of other body parts that help orgasm when touched/stimulated was also highly significant (P = 0.001) and included (in order of degree) scrotum, ear, skin between scrotum and anus, neck, breast/nipples, buttocks, anus (exterior skin), anus (inside with penetration), wrist, and axilla, but many pair differences were not significant. In the reliability study, which was limited to the 45 function items with sufficient variability and sample size, the re-test reliability values (Pearson r) were distributed as follows: seven were >or=0.80, 16 >or=0.70, 15 >or=0.60, four >or=0.50, two >or=0.40, and one >or=0.30.

Conclusion: The SAGASF-M discriminates reasonably well between various genital and nongenital areas in terms of erotic sensitivity, when administered to genitally unoperated men varying widely in age and socio-economic level.

Publication types

  • Research Support, Non-U.S. Gov't

MeSH terms

  • Adult
  • Analysis of Variance
  • Humans
  • Male
  • Middle Aged
  • Orgasm / physiology*
  • Pain Threshold / physiology
  • Penis / anatomy & histology*
  • Penis / innervation
  • Penis / physiology
  • Sexual Behavior / physiology*
  • Surveys and Questionnaires
  • Touch / physiology*
  • Young Adult