Functions and Mobility of Real Foreskin
"It is never too late to give up your prejudices." --Henry David Thoreau
Many people(particularly in the United States) have been denied access to their own or their partner's full genitalia. This lack of access has led to a lack of knowledge of why foreskin exists and what it does. With this page, I hope to promote understanding of this much misunderstood body part.
On this page for educational purposes, showing the mobility of real foreskin are 5 photo gifs and 4 brief video clips. Before you view those unless you already familiar with the foreskin's functions, I recommend you watch the two videos in the next section first. At the bottom of this page, there are some excellent links to learn more.
Note: If you have foreskin and would like to contribute to the educational mission of this page by sharing an anonymous close-up video clip, then write to me here.
Note: If you found this page because you have tightness or other condition, read this page.
In 1999, the American Academy of Pediatrics(AAP) reviewed 46 years of research and concluded routine neonatal circumcision is not recommended.
CGI Foreskin Animation and Circumcision -- 3 mins
The AAP also currently states: "The uncircumcised penis is easy to keep clean. No special care is required." No attempt should be made to forcefully retract the foreskin of a child whose foreskin is as yet unretractable.
Functions of the Foreskin -- 19 mins
(courtesy of Doctors Opposing Forced Genital Reductions)
In the late 1800s, circumcision was introduced into American culture as a way to discourage and punish masturbation. Before this time, nearly all Americans were uncircumcised. The practice of routine infant circumcision did not become Widespread in American until after WWII when large numbers of American women began giving birth in hospitals instead of at home. Some hospitals at this time would do circumcisions en masse automatically without consulting the parents.
In this photo, the same penis in an unerect state alternates between coverage and retraction. If you only saw the retracted photo would it be obvious to you he had his foreskin?
The foreskin is a natural, retractile, covering for the glans(head) of the penis that protects it from dry friction. If you are female, imagine that your clitoral hood had been cut off at birth and your clitoris was allowed to dry out and rub on clothing for your whole life. What effect do you think this would have on the sexual sensitivity of your clitoris? Likewise a man whose penis has foreskin does not lose any sensitivity in his penis as he ages.
In this 5 photo sequence of a flaccid penis, notice how extensive the foreskin is:
Click here for more information at each stage.
Also please notice the ridged band, which is a highly innervated and sensitive part of the foreskin(most prominent in the third and fourth picture). To learn more about the discovery and function of this specialized structure, visit:
The foreskin also plays a natural mechanical-lubrication role. It serves as a gliding sheath during masturbation or sexual activity, which means much less need to ever rely upon artificial commercial lubricants.
The foreskin is not 'just skin' and is not 'extra' or 'redundant', in that no other part of the body does what the foreskin does, or feels what the foreskin feels. The foreskin is the most erogenous area of the penis in terms of the quantity, concentration, and quality of specialized nerve receptors and stretch receptors that it is endowed with, especially on its underside and in the highly sexually-sensitive frenulum(the frenulum connects the foreskin to the back of the glans and is often also cut off during infant circumcision).
The average adult foreskin consists of 1½ inches of outer skin, 1½ inches of inner mucosal lining -- totaling a length of 3 inches -- and is 5 inches in circumference when erect. This amounts to a surface area of 15 square inches, or a surface area equivalent to that of a 3" by 5" inch index card!
Clip 1: Flaccid Retraction -- 27 seconds
Clip 2: Becoming Erect -- 26 seconds
Many Americans have actually seen an uncircumcised penis(in adult films and even real life) but didn't realize it because the foreskin was pulled back. In the clip below, if you only saw his retracted erect state, would it be obvious to you he had his foreskin?
Note: If you want to view it again, just click the play button in the lower left.
Women have a foreskin as well, called the clitoral hood, which covers and protects their clitoris in the same way the foreskin covers and protects the glans(head).
Clip 3: Erect Retraction -- 38 seconds
The U.S. is the only country in the world to circumcise the majority of its babies for non-religious reasons. Worldwide, only 10-15% of men are circumcised. In Europe for example, non-Muslim/non-Jewish circumcision is rare.
Clip 4: Erect with Full Movement -- 24 seconds
Some doctors have undisclosed motives for encouraging infant circumcisions in that they will sell at an additional profit the freshly amputated foreskin to biomedical companies to be used in research and in some cases in the manufacture of commercial cosmetic products such as injectable collagen and anti-wrinkle creams.
Excellent Pages to Learn More:
What does foreskin do?:
What is lost due to circumcision?:
Basic Foreskin Curriculum:
Note: All of the following links contain pictures of penises.
Contrast and compare pictures of cut and uncut penises:
NOT just a flap of skin!:
What is the Anatomy of An Intact Penis:
Anatomy and Functions of the Foreskin:
Your Anatomy - Uncut, Cut and Restored:
Three Zones of Penile Skin:
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