MEN'S CONFIDENTIAL, Vol 12 No 11 (November 1996):
pages 8-9.


You may not have a foreskin, but that doesn't mean you can't
preserve sensitivity.  Here's a complete guide to protecting the
circumcised penis.

Years of exposure to the elements can toughen the skin on any
part of your body, but for the head of the penis, the stakes are
considerably higher and the "elements" include things as
seemingly innocuous as jean seams.  While there's no cause for
worry on the part of the 20 percent of American men who aren't
circumcised - they have 12 square inches of protective skin, a
veritable penis parker - the rest of us need to take protection
into our own hands.
   "Nature clearly intended the head of the penis, or glans to be
an internal organ," says Jim Bigelow, Ph.D., author of The Joy of
Uncircumcising (Hourglass, 1995).  "If the foreskin is stripped
away, the skin on the glans will eventually toughen and become
callused, just as on an elbow or hand or foot."  This toughening
is cumulative:  After 20 years of exposure, the glans may feel
fine; but after 50, there may be a definite lessening of
sensation that can weaken erections and tone down orgasms.  But
you can take steps today that will dramatically improve your
sensitivity tomorrow.  Here's what to do:

   Use lotion.  The foreskin's first duty is to keep the glans
soft and supple.  You can replicate its effects with a simple
lotion. "Try applying some moisturizing hand lotion to your penis
twice a day," recommends Paul Gleich, M.D., chief of urology at
St. Paul-Ramsey Medical Center in St. Paul, Minnesota.
   Look for a brand without perfumes or additive, as these could
be irritating.

   Wear cotton underwear.  Without the protection of a foreskin,
the glans rubs against the nearest layer of clothing - all day,
every day.  So it's a good idea to make that clothing as
penis-friendly as possible.  This means clean, loose-fitting
breathable cotton underwear, says Dr. Gleich.  Boxers and looser
Jockey-type shorts are both good choices.
   You may also want to wash them with a non-irritating laundry
detergent (such as Dreft) that's been developed for infant
clothing. "Treat your penis the same way you would a baby's skin
says Dr. Gleich.

   Use lubricant.  As we get older, our bodies naturally produce
less lubricant.  And a dry glans is not only less sensitive, but
it's also more prone to injury.  So be sure to use plenty of
lubricant during sex and masturbation. (For a complete evaluation
of lubricants, see our product tests in "Slide Effects,"
September 1995.)

   Try a faux foreskin.  Some men swear by a silky man-made
foreskin replacement called the Man Hood.  This sleeve fastens
around your penis with Velcro and, when worn regularly, promises
to make your glans softer and more sensitive.
   We found it comfortable, if a little awkward.  Write to R&C
Associates, Box 203 RPO Corydon, Winnipeg, Canada R3M 3S7 for
more information.

   Consider restoration.  Of course, to have all the benefits of
a foreskin you would need to create one.  And that is what
thousands of men have done just that by slowly stretching skin
from their penile shaft so that it covers the glans.  While its
not the real thing, those who have tried this technique claim the
skin looks and functions well, and even provides a pleasurable
"gliding" mechanism during intercourse.

   There are a variety of devices and do it yourself plans
available for those with patience and determination.  "They're
all basically safe and work by using tape and/or weights to
slowly stretch the skin of the shaft says Gary Rhineschild," a
urologist practicing in Anaheim, California.

   Bigelow's book (available from UNCIRC, P. O. Box 52138,
Pacific Grove, CA 93950) outlines a three-part do-it-yourself
method of tape straps, rings and small weights that achieves
results in two to six years.

   A company called American Bodycrafters, Inc., 1-800-628-1852,
manufactures a device called the P. U. D. (Penile Uncircumcising
Device) Tugger, a weighting system that promises results in one
to two years.  It sells for $115 to $125 depending on the weight

   For more information, point your Web browser to
<>.  This site includes
a detailed well-illustrated overview of non-surgical foreskin
restoration.  MC

Foreskin Restoration Surgery: Is it safe?

While surgery to create an artificial foreskin is unusual, two
methods are occasionally performed. In one procedure, surgeons
transplant skin from the scrotum onto the shaft of the penis and
bunch the extra skin toward the top to fashion the a foreskin.
There's usually some scarring and a discolored, hairy spot on the
shaft of the penis where the scrotal skin is sewn on.  The other
procedure uses a small balloon inserted under the skin of the
penis.  It is slowly inflated over 10 weeks, and once the skin
has grown to cover it the balloon is removed and the extra skin
fashioned into a foreskin. "I have profound reservations about
both surgical approaches," says Dr. Rhineschild, who has helped
to unrestore several botched surgeries.  "The surgery tends to
result in a lot of scarring and a marked instability of the
penis, resulting in flexible erections that tend to fall out of
the vagina." Enough said.

Men's Confidential (ISSN 10665706)
33 E. Minor Street
Emmaus, PA 18098

Copyright 1996 by Rodale Press, Inc.  All Rights Reserved.