Tuesday, January 5, 2010

Answerbox: Penis, Uninterrupted (Scientific Yet NSFW Pics Ahead!)

I got an email in the Answerbox the other day from a person who had just started dating an uncircumcised man for the first time, and wasn't quite sure what to do once his pants came off. In response, I give you an introduction to penises as nature makes 'em!

Men are born with a foreskin, which is a 2-layered fold of skin that covers the glans, (head) of a flaccid penis. Because most adult men in America today (65%-80%) have had their foreskin removed (been circumcised or 'cut'), many Americans have never seen an intact penis. This here is an example, for the uninitiated:

The outer layer of skin is, obviously, a continuation of the shaft's skin. The inner side is a mucous membrane, like the inside of the mouth or inner folds of a woman's yoni. When the penis becomes erect, the foreskin essentially turns inside out, exposing this more tender skin, as well as the head of the penis:

Where are all the not-porny pictures of non-white penises?! This irks me.

There are some foreskins that don't retract all the way back during an erection, and these can usually be manually retracted, or not, depending on a man's preference. Guys will know from solo efforts how best to handle the situation. If it just won't retract, no matter how he or you try, he may have a condition called phimosis, and should at least talk with a healthcare professional, especially if it would be the first time doing so. He may need medical intervention (though not necessarily).

To maintain a healthy uncircumcised penis, it needs to be kept clean (which can be said for any penis) and protected by condoms with new sex partners. Condoms are especially important because the mucous membrane makes uncut penises much more susceptible to STDs. This increased STD risk is one of the arguments made for circumcision, but the whole circumcision argument is something for another day.

From a partner perspective (which is the only perspective I've got, being female and all), I've found there's not much difference between intact and circumcised once a guy's standing at attention. The skin on the shaft of an erect uncircumcised penis slides up and down a lot more, condom technique varies slightly, and uncut penises tend to be more sensitive at the tip. Other than that, they're really very similar, and each is a treat in its own way!

penis treat!

Finally, if you have questions about any given unit, the absolute best person to ask is the guy attached to it. You can make it sexy and fun: start out gently, asking "do you like this?" while lightly touching him. Then just keep trying stuff ("...what about this? This?") until you get the hang of it. Don't be shy - there isn't a man out there that doesn't like undivided attention paid to his penis, especially when it's in an effort to pleasure it more effectively.

So, here's to the ever-fashionable Snake Sweater! Leaving penises intact is becoming more and more common in the US, so it's wise for young folks (or those with a taste for young men) to have a familiarity with what's coming up on deck. Thanks for your contribution, Answerbox submitter - now go get some with confidence. Have fun!!

Do you have a question for the Answerbox? Click here, or at the top of the page and ask away. All questions will be answered, and all names will remain 100% confidential!


  1. I still prefer circumsised penis that the uncircumsised one. In my country most men are circumsized and we find it really odd for men who are not.

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  2. As a woman, I find that uncircumcised penises look better . . . and feel better. :)

  3. I don't really see a difference between routine infant circumcision (most circs in the US are not religious) and any other plastic surgery performed for no medical benefit on someone unable to consent.

  4. I tend to agree with you, Meg. In places like sub-Saharan Africa, male circumcision can significantly reduce the risk of contracting HIV, but studies in the US have not shown the same protective factor. I don't want to tell anyone what choices to make with their kids, but penises are lovely as they come - why 'fix' what ain't broke?

  5. id prefer Uncircumcised men because i heard for the man the foreskin is very sensitive and enhances sexual pleasure more so than a "cut" man.

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