Ask A Guy: Why Are Dudes Always Touching Themselves?!

Why do guys touch themselves

What are they DOING down there?! | Source: ShutterStock

Hi Ethan,

Sometimes I see guys scratching their private area, or touching their members in public. What is that all about?

Grossed Out by Guys

Guys certainly do have a reputation for grabbing themselves with frequency…but that’s only because it’s true. While I can’t quite defend the act, perhaps I can shed a bit of light on why we do it.

First of all, holding our Mini-Me’s is a comfort thing – the strangely reassuring act makes us feel safe. Whether deliberately or subconsciously, a less secure guy may do it in public to assert his manhood, especially in the presence of women.

It can also, of course, be pleasurable—and not just sexually. Although the testes work best at temperatures lower than that of the core body (95-96.8 degrees Fahrenheit as opposed to 98.6), our genitals often feel like the warmest parts of our body because they are generally the most concealed. Regardless of the weather, our meat and potatoes always have underwear and two thighs keeping them cozy at all times, so we’re naturally attracted to this area from when we’re very young.

Finally, the most common reason is that, well…things can get messy down there. Ladies have their own share of womanly obstacles, but imagine having an immobile slab of flesh between your legs that can get itchy, sweaty, sticky, and bent in all types of uncomfortable ways. And don’t even get me started on testicles

Perhaps breasts – also annoyingly external – are the body parts most analagous to a penis on a woman. Any girl who’s worn a bra knows how irritating boobs can get, especially on a hot day. Plus, I’m sure you’ve scratched your own privates at some time or another – even vajayjays need a little attention now and then.

So the next time you witness a guy sneaking a grab or a pinch out in the open, try to look the other way and pretend you didn’t see. However, if he’s grabbing on purpose or with utter abandon, you have my permission to slap that hand and scold him like a bad puppy.

Good luck!

Ethan Fixell is a writer and comedian from New York City best known as one half of comic “dating coach” duo Dave and Ethan. He is also the creator and editor of For more on Ethan, visit…or call his mom, Robin.

Are you confused about a guy? Do you find yourself wondering, “What is he thinking?” Tell us everything in the comments! And if you have a question for Ethan, email him at!


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Posted in: Ask A Guy, Love Advice
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  • garbo

    Well, okay, but it seems like *some* guys don’t realize how often they grab themselves, and how visible it is. Guys, if you’re having a conversation with someone, looking into one another’s faces, messing with your crotch is totally in peripheral vision. Polite people will pretend they don’t see it…but if you do it more than just occasionally, it’s really (*REALLY*) off-putting. And especially off-putting if you’re not a gorgeous guy or your hygiene isn’t top-notch. Ain’t no other way to say it…

  • Jayyden

    I on’t know why, but this made me laugh. Lol.

  • Tori

    I’m fine if they’re just getting comfortable but but when they’re jerking off in the middle of History that’s over the line for one like all the girls get all turned on (and some boys) and that’s just nasty with so many um…hot people in one classroom just nasty

    • pinkheart

      That is just wrong if guys are jerking off in your History class. I did hear on the news about the guy getting in trouble for masturbating in class and I have heard about guys getting hjs and girls getting fingered during some classes at our school. Maybe some people would be turned on but not most, even if it was the hottest guy in the class doing that.

  • mick

    Guys always do dat me gud nd makes guys fil comfortable

  • Lolly

    If I were a guy, I’d be touching myself all the time. I’d be all, “Hey, a penis! I love you, penis. What? Sorry, officer, I didn’t mean any harm.”

    • Deya

      You’re cool :)) I’ll be doing the same :))

  • pinkheart

    LOL, I just posted in fooling around about balls getting stuck to their thighs. Asking why it happens. I have noticed it a few time and I had to do a visual double take because it looked so weird, but apparently it happens to them. Maybe that is one reason guys grab their crotches and jiggle what they got.

  • ICanMakeYouSmile

    My bf tells me the reason he always scratches his balls area is because they sometimes get stuck to his leg, or in an uncomfortable position in his pants. Short and simple answer.

  • RJ

    Wtf is up with the font, or is that just me?