Touch Fibres, Autonomic Fibres and Kissing

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April 12, 2023 | 11 Comments


  1. Comment from Spruce

    Slightly off topic, but I wanted to mention one potential idea I have had, to do with the small fibre neuropathy testing, and PSSD.

    As with most PSSD sufferers my genitals are numb, and I feel the skin on a lot of the rest of my body has been affected by this numbness too, but to a seemingly lesser extent (sometimes the scalp on my head feels quite numb, and I feel there has been a general numbing on the skin of most of my body, but the numbness on the rest of my body, feels a milder numbness, compared to the numbness in my genitals).

    There is one exception. The skin on my lips is noticeably very sensitive, and doesn’t appear to have been affected by the PSSD numbing effect.

    This has led me to an idea. Would it perhaps be useful to ask PSSD sufferers to try and identify if there have been any areas on their body, that doesnt seem to have been affected by the PSSD numbing effect; and that seems to have maintained its pre PSSD sensitivity.

    Could we then perhaps take a skin sample from this more sensitive area, and somehow compare and contrast it with a skin sample from the area more strongly affected by the numbness, to look for differences in the function, or density, of the small nerve fibres etc, between these two areas?

    Would doing this perhaps not help show the mechanism of how SSRI’s might have affected the small fibres, by comparing the difference between numb areas, with areas seemingly not affected by the numbing effect?

    • Interesting you should mention that your lips are fine. CT fibres are not found in the lips.

      “The so-called C-tactile (CT) fibers also have been associated with body perception and social well-being. These and other observations led to the “CT social touch hypothesis” suggesting that CT afferents are of crucial importance as a mediator in interpersonal touch. CT fibers have been recorded from human skin with exception of glabrous skin (eg, the lip vermilion, soles of the feet, and palms of the hands). However, it is still unknown whether the genital area—covered by glabrous and hairy skin—contains CT fibers.”

      • S

        They are not my lips – they belong to Spruce. Thanks for the comment – its intriguing. Anything else that might link PSSD to the social touch hypothesis would be great to get.

        The paper you link to suggests CT fibres might play a part in hypoactive sexual desire disorder which is the group the Kisspeptin trial was done in


  2. I would like to know sth about genital anesthesia. It is a terminology missconception that I need to have claro.

    We are talking about genital numbness all the time lately but what is REALLY genital anesthesia?

    I have talked about It with several PSSD sufferers and people have different conceptions about that.

    Some people complain of genital anesthesia/ numbness in terms of they cant feel anything there. The sense of temperature, rub, pain iz alteres.

    Other people like me complain about not feeling erotic sensations innthe genitals. You dont turn on. You dont have your old sexual pleasure when touching so It makes difficult to orgasm etc …but you still feel your genitals are there and have temperature changes, rub, pain etc normally.

    Can you Dr Healy make clear what is genital numbness so??


    • We don’t know the answer to this. People vary in the extent of their numbness – for some its just genitals, for others its their entire groin, for others it may include nipples and other bodily parts. For some it is dense so you can rub chilli paste into genitals and they don’t feel it, others are less affected and some claim they have no numbness but on testing you can show they have.


  3. May i ask if there is any alternative to Pirenzepine exept that is absorbed into the body so it can fully affect pssd?

    • D

      This is a great question. There will be another RxISK post in 2-3 weeks laying out the answer to this – when I say answer I don’t mean something that tells anyone what to do but rather the factors everyone needs to take into account when thinking about what to – what might work and how do we stay safe trying it.

      I have just submitted an academic article related to the question you ask. Ideally it needs to get accepted before I say too much. If accepted it will hopefully a bunch of leads for you and others to chase.


  4. See the last comment from D and response.

    Another researcher, someone with a PFS background, got in touch saying:

    I saw your post about kisspeptin. I also became interested in this substance. I found a clinical trial by Dr. Stephanie Seminara who has a special interest in this peptide. I contacted her asking whether I could participate. She let me know the trial is for people with hypogonadotropic hypogonadism so I am not eligible. She has publications about kisspeptin.

    I also tried DIY treatment. I ordered kisspeptin from CanLab (in Canada) and bought the other gear for injections. I did a few shots and didn’t feel any results. I didn’t keep up with it for long because I was nervous about injecting gray market products on my own.

    I want to address another topic in your post, the shrunken penis associated with PFS. I trust you know that DHT has a crucial role in male genital development. Without it, the genitalia are ambiguous and range from non-functional to slightly functional. Abnormalities include hypospadias and micropenis. (The condition is 5-alpha reductase deficiency. The story of the origin of finasteride might be of interest.)


    Merck preposterously suggested that DHT is not necessary in adult males because males with 5-alpha reductase deficiency were generally healthy as adults. (Lots more to say about this but it’s out of scope here.) It is entirely plausible that DHT is involved in maintaining penile tissue health in adult males. I have done considerable investigation into the sequence of events that could lead to penile abnormalities (which resemble Peyronie’s disease).

    This article sets the context: Research review: Alterations to penile and prostatic tissue associated with finasteride and dutasteride treatment. Then this manuscript proposes an etiopathology of the penile injuries.

    DH (ghostwriter for researchers working on enduring sexual dysfunction).

  5. Regulators primarily want to stay in business …Check out who funds the MHRA

    Freedom of Information request
    13 Aug 2021 — We do receive funding from the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation as well as other sources outside government

    How is the MHRA financed? – a Freedom of Information …

    WhatDoTheyKnow? ( is Easy to use for FOI requests online for free) › request › how_is…
    19 May 2021 — MHRA (fees from pharma companies) ± 4 million (± 2%). Imperial College, CEPI and Oxford- Uni and other Universities (funded by B Gates and Big …

    today from MHRA
    Invitation to hear the recommendations of the expert safety review of Isotretinoin
    11:25 AM (28 minutes ago)
    Recommendations of Isotretinoin expert safety review
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    You are invited to attend an online information session to hear the recommendations of the safety review of Isotretinoin on Wednesday, 26 April 2023 at 9:30am (BST).

    The Commission on Human Medicines (CHM) set up the Isotretinoin Expert Working Group (IEWG) in March 2020 to review the risks of psychiatric and or sexual side effects suspected to be associated with Isotretinoin.

    Patients and stakeholders were an integral part of the safety review and provided valuable contributions through the engagement sessions held in July and December 2021. We are now inviting you to attend an information session to discuss the recommendations of that safety review.

    Register now
    The deadline for registering to attend the information session is Monday, 24 April 2023 at 10:00am (BST).

    This information session will include a 20-minute update from the expert panel and 25 minutes for questions.

    An accompanying report will be published on our website after the information session. Additionally, any follow up questions after this session can be emailed to

    If you have any questions on signing up for the information session, please email us at

    We valued the contributions made by patients and stakeholders which were very important for the safety review.

    We really hope you will join this information session and look forward to seeing you.

    Kind Regards,

    Patient, Public and Stakeholder Engagement team

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  6. I find that what generally makes psychiatrists so arrogant, disrespectful and stubborn is that they lack basic academic criteria and critical standards that almost every other field learns early on. Psychiatrists are taught to be always right, that their methods are a kind of absolute super science and doesn’t need further questioning in it’s applications. Every field learns to analyse and question it’s semantics. Maybe especially fields which work a lot with semantics, like the humanities but also history. Psychology and in tandem psychiatry are some of the most semantics heavy fields of all, yet the fields which are the most authoritarian of all. In effect psychiatrists are commonly manipulative and narcissistic, even by common standards. Because they see themselves outside of any standards but their authority.

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