Why do men touch their crotches so much?

Why do men feel the need to touch their groin so many times a day - even in public places? It turns out that there are several reasons.

 Working from bed - a man works from home with a laptop in bed. (photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)
Working from bed - a man works from home with a laptop in bed.
(photo credit: Wikimedia Commons)

It turns out that the subject of men touching their groin area really perplexes experts.

An initial question is simply this: How many times a day do men touch their crotches?

A viral discussion that is still garnering responses on Reddit chose to ask that question exactly, and the responses were a mixed bag.

The top-upvoted response stated that "any answer I give is going to sound like an exaggeration to anyone without a penis."

One user responded to the first, voicing agreement and adding that he "can't even begin to come to an accurate count between going to the restroom, masturbation if it happens that day, scratching, readjusting, or hell even just putting my hand over it while I watch a random show or read a book."

 Reddit app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021.  (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION) Reddit app is seen on a smartphone in this illustration taken, July 13, 2021. (credit: REUTERS/DADO RUVIC/ILLUSTRATION)

So what is the actual number of times a day an average man touches his groin?

If you believe the conclusions drawn from the discussions, though, men touch or scratch their penis between 23 and 30 times a day, and this is certainly a figure that cannot be ignored.

What do the experts say?

Experts claim that there are several explanations for this behavior in both adolescent and adult men, starting from physical reasons such as itching in the area after losing hair or wearing pants that are too tight. There are mental reasons, too, such as strengthening a sense of masculinity and reducing anxiety.

"I would say that belonging is an important part of wellbeing," an integrative psychotherapist told Vice in an interview on the subject earlier last week.

"And that the guys that do feel they belong to a tribe of people who display this [behavior]. The penis is a strong symbol of masculinity, and all men want that department to be working well. That's the message."

Low-intensity physical touch releases oxytocin in the brain, Dr. Andras Kolto, a senior postdoctoral researcher at NUI Galway, also told Vice.

Oxytocin, as it were, plays a big role in social bonding and mood regulation. As most people know, it's the "touch hormone," meaning that it is released when someone we love touches us. 

According to Kolto, this does have a partly sexual nature to it nevertheless, although the goal is "not related to erotic stimulation."

Nevertheless, the Reddit forum did take a comical turn. "If you're not constantly touching your penis, dose this mean you detach it and keep it in a separate carrying case?" one user asked.

"Yes," another responded. "The carrying case is my own rectum."