Circumcision & Normal Penis

Circumcision & Normal Penis

Structures of the Penis

  • The outer foreskin layer is a continuation of the skin of the shaft of the penis.
  • The inner foreskin layer is not properly `skin', but mucocutaneous tissue of a unique type found nowhere else on the body .
  • The frenulum, or frenum, is a connecting membrane on the underside of the penis, similar to that beneath the tongue. When the penis is not erect, it tightens to narrow the foreskin opening.
  • During erection, the frenulum, forms a ridge that goes all the way around, about halfway down the shaft.
  • The reddish or purplish glans or glans penis (head of the penis) is smooth, shiny, moist and extremely sensitive.

The foreskin has twelve known functions, they are :

  • To cover the mucosal surface of the glans and inner foreskin
  • To protect the infant's glans from feces and ammonia in diapers
  • To protect the glans penis from friction and abrasion thoughout life
  • To keep the glans moisturized and soft
  • To lubricate the glans
  • To provide an aid to masturbation and foreplay
  • To serve as an aid to penetration
  • To reduce friction during intercourse
  • To serve as erogenous tissue because of its rich supply of erogenous receptors 

Intact penis
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.
Penile Stimulation
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.

  • We believe that stimulation of the glans is most significant in the later stages of sexual intercourse, when penetration is deepest and emotions are running at there highest. Sensations from the glans contribute to the quality of the sensual experience. They are also apparently capable of triggering orgasm on their own, as would be the case in a circumcised man.

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.


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