Tight foreskins and circumcision

A Lovers’ Guide visitor writes: I believe it is necessary to share some knowledge which is very important for your readers to help dispel some common misperceptions about what to do about tight foreskins and about what actually occurs to the penis subsequent to the circumcision operation.

Other than the US, adult circumcision rates for the EU are less than 1%, given creams, stretching and dietary changes are all that is needed to correct any foreskin-related issue. Surgery should not be prescribed except for the most extreme case, and only after all options have been exhausted. Why? Well, depending on which survey you consult, between 40-90% of men experience diminished sexual pleasure after having this erogenous, sexual tissue removed.

The foreskin is a highly vascular structure richly endowed with nerve endings concentrating on the Frenular band, and wrapping radially around to the orifice. This webbing is referred to as the Ridged Band, a phrase coined by Dr JR Taylor in his landmark study [1] published in the well-respected British Journal of Urology in 1996. These nerve endings are similar to those found in other muco-cutaneous junctions like the lips or eyelids. You can image that having little detailed anatomical information in formal studies, and none getting so much review as this one, published just 10 years ago, there would be a lot of misinformation regarding the structure and function of this unique and important part of the penis. In fact, the density of nerves exceeds those found in the glans, and their type is also of a different character. The glans is more suited for sensing gross changes in pressure, but cannot detect subtle temperature changes or specificity of touch as the mucosal tissue can, especially as concentrated in the frenulum and ridged bands of the prepuce (foreskin). All this to say that the type and severity of the removal of foreskin in the adult male will determine the resulting pleasure he is capable of. It is very important to note that keratinization (callousing) of the glans will lead to progressive sensation loss over the years, as nature intended this to be an internal organ.

If a man has just been circumcised, his pleasure may be greater in the glans initially, (although some complain of discomfort due to over-stimulation even while simply walking or moving), but it is the amount of inner mucosa removed that will determine whether he is one of a, sadly, large group of men who are not satisfied with being cut. Unhappy men are less likely to complain about their equipment for fear of being labelled as inadequate. As I mentioned, published surveys exist which place the number of men who experienced diminished pleasure and sensation between 40 and 90%. This is too large a number to advocate circumcision, and given that the rest of the civilized world has such low adult circumcision rates and has simple alternatives to amputating sexual tissue, I find it highly unlikely that other, more humane and simpler solutions cannot be found.

The pleasure dynamic for both the female and the male is enhanced by utilizing nature’s creation, 300 million years in the making. The gliding of the foreskin allows for easier entry, less uncomfortable friction, a stroke which keeps the male’s pubis more constantly in contact with the clitoral hood, and makes premature ejaculation less likely.

I strongly urge you to consider publishing this so your readers can benefit, as it is a very misunderstood topic. It is the reason for my time in writing you. Understanding this can lead to a more sexually fulfilling life for men and their partners.

Thank you.

Sincerely, Andre Maranhao

Notes: [1] The prepuce: Specialized mucosa of the penis and its loss to circumcision. J.R. Taylor, A.P. Lockwood and A.J. Taylor BRITISH JOURNAL OF UROLOGY, Volume 77, Pages 291-295, February 1996. http://www.cirp.org/library/anatomy/taylor/

If you have been circumcised in adulthood, please share your experiences. Have you experienced diminished sexual pleasure? Or, if you had tight foreskin problems, have you found non-surgical solutions satisfactory? Whatever your views and experiences, please email: YourLG@loversguide.com

Posted in Health, Your Body