Structures of the Penis
The foreskin has twelve known functions, they are :
When fully retracted, the foreskin is designed to cover essentially the entire penile shaft, yet is loose enough to "glide". The ridged bands are situated about halfway down the shaft, when the foreskin is retracted fully. Note: In some cases, a man may have difficulty retracting the foreskin. This is not an indication for circumcision, because there are good alternative treatments available that preserve the structure and function of the foreskin.
The most important components of the physical erogenous stimulation of the penis during foreplay and intercourse are the sensations from the foreskin, frenulum/frenar band, and glans. These structures each have their own feeling, and each contributes in its own way to the man's total experience of lovemaking. It must be emphasized that emotional excitement is an extremely important component of sexual enjoyment, and intensifies the man's perception of any physical sensations from his penis.
1. The foreskin has an inner and outer layer. The outer foreskin layer contains nerve endings which respond to gentle touching during the early stages of sexual arousal. This helps to trigger an erection. The nerves of the inner and outer foreskin contribute to the experience of penile stimulation, up to and including orgasm. These receptors are stimulated by stretching, or when the foreskin rolls over the surface of the glans during intercourse or masturbation.
2. The foreskin contains sensory receptors called Meissner corpuscles. We believe that these nerves, similar to nerve endings in the fingertips, are there to provide pleasure, as well as fine sensory perception. This seems to help a man to enjoy sex longer without ejaculating prematurely, because he can more easily tell when he is approaching the threshold of orgasm.
3. Stimulation of the frenulum and frenar band results in intense pleasurable feelings during arousal. The frenar band consists of a number of "ridges", described by Dr. John Taylor. Sensations from these structures during intercourse or masturbation are thought to be the primary trigger of orgasm in the intact male Dr. George Denniston writes
The ridged bands, which are like horseshoes only in that they curve forward underneath toward the point where the frenulum attaches, can be found in several pictures in John's paper. There are some 20 concentric ridged bands, which rub over the corona. Each ridge has Meissner's corpuscles, which respond to pressure, and they produce the sexual pleasure that no individual has a right to take away from another individual.
Following circumcision, the foreskin of the penis has been cut away. The surface of the glans has developed a thick, dry layer of keratin (toughened skin), which makes it less sensitive to unwanted stimulation, but also less sensitive to the more subtle qualities of lovemaking.
All circumcised men have an annular scar on the shaft of the penis. The location of the scar varies, from near the head to far down the shaft. For some men, so much skin has been removed that erection becomes difficult and even painful. This was one of the most common complaints reported by circumcised men in a recent poll.