20 Functions of the Foreskin

This list is intended to be exhaustive (including all functions, no matter how trivial, just as the most trivial of reasons to circumcise is taken seriously), in descending order of importance in each section.



Erotic pleasure, especially via the ridged band and Meissner's corpuscles


Acts as a rolling bearing in intercourse and masturbation


Prevents dyspareunia (painful intercourse)


Stimulates partner's genitalia, giving erotic pleasure


Supplies skin to cover the shaft in erection and prevent tightness


Stores pheromones and releases them on arousal


Stores, releases and helps distribute natural lubricants ("smegma" and pre-ejaculatory fluid)


Makes the glans a visual signal of sexual arousal


Provides a seal against the vaginal wall to contain semen



Prevents the glans becoming keratinised, and keeps it soft and moist


Protects the thin-skinned glans against injury

But you know what happened to me when I was 10 years old? I was playing on a playground and slipped down a wet slide backwards. I landed facedown at the bottom. The ground was covered in rocks there from someone who had dumped a pile at the bottom of the slide. I scratched up my legs and stomach and tore my penis skin. It was hanging almost from a strand. The doctor made sure it was clean and sealed it with glue. Do you know what he said to me? He said, "If you were missing your foreskin, you would be having cosmetic surgery right now." My penis skin saved me from surgery!

- LK, aged 13 on The Daily Guggie Daly, Februrary 1, 2011


Protects the nerves of the glans, retaining their erotic function


In infancy, protects the urethra against contamination, meatal stenosis, (and UTIs?)


Provides lysosomes for bacteriostatic action around the glans


Pigmented, it protects the unpigmented glans against sunburn


Vascular (rich in blood vessels that bring heat to the tissues), it protects the less vascular glans against frostbite, as Sir Ranulph Fiennes found on his epic transpolar walk.

17As a tag with which to pull the penis out through the fly


Provides skin for grafts to burnt eyelids, reconstructive surgery, etc.

... to close an ulcer on his shin, caused by an auto accident. ...

Hawaiian_Gecko in the Washington Post, December 28, 2013

19Provides sensitive skin to line the vagina in male-to-female sex-reassignment surgery


"The foreskin is important embryologically in the formation of the end of the penis and the urethra. If there is no foreskin the urethral opening is not at the end of the penis where it should be, but somewhere on the underside of the penis (hypospadius [sic])." - Dr Edgar Schoen (!) (but he claims that is its only function. Aposthia is not a prerequisite for hypospadias.)


Holds absorbant tissue in place after urethral surgery, in case of minimal incontinence, etc.


Holds semen after masturbating until it can be disposed of. Comedian Joe Diaz describes doing so here (3:55 NSFW).


Holds M&Ms in a "pouch-off" (contest to see whose holds the most). (NSFW)

To win a bet/as a joke: Man fits 42 Gummy Bears in his Foreskin (NSFW)


Conceals notes. "Members of the IRA were known to hide notes under their foreskins when incarcerated"

- Richard English, Armed Struggle (2004) 200-201 quoted in Non-Therapeutic Male Circumcision, Issues Paper No 14, 2009, Tasmania Law Reform Institute


Stores contact lenses, keys, drugs, smuggled jewels, etc. - not all recommended uses ...

Wilts and Gloucestershire Standard
April 8, 2008

Dealer hid heroin in his foreskin

By Simon Davies

Drug Dealer John Goscombe
Drug dealer John Goscombe has been jailed for five years

A DRUG dealer caught with two packets of heroin hidden around his foreskin was jailed for five years today.

John Goscombe, 33, of Jubilee Green, Cirencester, had denied having the intimately concealed drug with intent to supply it.

But a jury at Gloucester Crown Court took less than an hour to find Goscombe guilty.



February 3, 2011

Officers Say Drugs Found In Man's Penis

Police: Suspected Crack Cocaine Found In Foreskin

LOUISVILLE, KY. - A Fairdale man faces charges after Louisville Metro Corrections officers said they discovered suspected crack cocaine in the foreskin of his penis.

According to the arrest report, officers asked Antoine Banks if he had any drugs, weapons or contraband on him as he entered Metro Corrections after his arrest. He told them he didnít, police said.

During a clothed pat-down, officers said they found a small bag of suspected cocaine tied to the waistband of Banksí boxers.

After that bag was found, a strip search was ordered, according to the arrest report. During the strip search, another small bag was in the foreskin of his penis, police said.



This Is Lincolnshire (UK)
October 26, 2011

Boston cyclist hid drugs under his foreskin

A MAN hid four wraps of illegal drugs under his foreskin, magistrates have heard.

Police, acting on tip off, had stopped Edward Sear as he cycled along Witham Bank West, Boston, on September 28.

Scales of Justice

He was arrested and taken to Boston Police Station where the wraps of diamorphine, a Class A drug, were discovered.

Unemployed Sear, 34, of Jubilee Avenue, Boston, admitted a drug possession charge.

He was sentenced to take part in a six month drug rehabilitation course and pay £40 costs.


I always keep a [hand]cuff key hidden in my foreskin.

- DogtheBountyHunter on the Gothamist, April 5, 2012

... it would be preposterous to suggest that babies should be cut to prevent them doing this as adults, but such is the irrational pressure to cut, there are those who will.

The Doctors Opposing Circumcision (DOC) website has a clear and comprehensive video about the structure and functions of the prepuce.


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