How To Take Care Of Your Foreskin: A Guide For Uncircumcised Men

How To Take Care Of Your Foreskin: A Guide For Uncircumcised Men

Although circumcision rates have been plummeting over the last few decades, the majority of adult men in the U.S. don’t have foreskins. Because of the prevalence of circumcision, there isn’t a lot of education around how to take proper care of uncircumcised penises. If your foreskin is intact, here’s what you need to know to keep it happy.

What is Foreskin Anyway?

If you’re the owner of a foreskin, you (hopefully) know what it is, but let’s go over the basics anyway. The foreskin is a flap of skin that covers the head of the penis and attaches at the base of the head. Baby boys are born with the foreskin fully attached to their penis, but it gradually loosens as they age. By the time boys reach puberty, the foreskin can usually be retracted down to the base of the glans (the head of the penis) with ease. All men are born with a foreskin, but about 60% of baby boys in the US undergo circumcision, where the foreskin is removed.

How to Keep Your Foreskin Healthy

Foreskin ownership is generally uncomplicated, but it does require some basic care. You’ll need to clean underneath your foreskin when you bathe. Gently retract your foreskin and rinse it with warm water whenever you’re in the shower. It’s generally not advised to use soap, as harsh chemicals can dry out the delicate skin tissue (potentially even leading to infection or irritation). Foreskin has the tendency to build up smegma, a delightfully-named mixture of dead skin cells and body oils, so cleaning is essential.

The tissues of the foreskin are more fragile than other parts of the penis, so you’ll want to exercise a bit of care. Don’t ever forcibly retract your foreskin. You may also want to consider using lube to masturbate, to ensure that you won’t be tugging on your foreskin. Just make sure to wash the lube off afterwards, since you don’t want it getting trapped underneath your foreskin.

What Foreskin Owners Should Watch out For

There are a couple of medical conditions specific to foreskin owners. Infections are somewhat common, and can often be confused with sexually transmitted infections (STIs). Posthitis is an infection that creates redness, swelling, and discharge. Balanoposthitis is accompanied by inflammation and irritation. Both have the tendency to recur, and can lead to serious complications. TL;DR: wash your foreskin, and see your doctor right away if you notice redness, irritation, or a change in discharge!

Foreskins can also get caught in zippers a little more easily than circumcised penises, so make sure to exert extra caution when closing your barn door, especially if you’re a fan of freeballing.

Phimosis is another foreskin-specific condition. It occurs when the foreskin is especially tight. If you remember from the first section of this article, boys are born with attached foreskins that loosen over time, but about 5% end up developing phimosis. If you’re the owner of a penis and know for certain that you don’t have phimosis, I suggest skipping the rest of this paragraph. We’re about to get really graphic, and we don’t want you cupping your junk in sympathy-induced pain. Phimosis can lead to a whole host of problems. If you’re not able to retract your foreskin, you can’t clean it, meaning you’re more likely to get infections. You can also get urine trapped in there when you’re trying to relieve yourself. In severe cases of phimosis, getting an erection can be painful, and can even cause tearing and bleeding in the foreskin itself.

Fortunately, there are treatments for phimosis. It’s important to work with a doctor, who may prescribe you a steroid cream to help loosen the skin. He or she may also recommend a manual stretching routine (don’t attempt this without medical supervision!), which should help gradually loosen up the skin over time. In the most extreme cases, adult circumcision may be necessary, but this is rare.

Finally, let’s round it out with Paraphimosis. This condition occurs when the foreskin gets stuck in a retracted position (you may want to avert your eyes here again), essentially choking the penis and cutting off circulation. In some cases, it can require emergency intervention. Sometimes men with Phimosis (too-tight foreskin) can get overly-aggressive with their foreskin-stretching routines, leading to a case of Paraphimosis.

How to Introduce Your Partner to Your Foreskin

There’s a good chance that you’ll have at least one sexual partner who has never been with an uncircumcised guy before. Just like any other person sleeping with someone new, you’ll have to show your partner the ins and outs of what works for your body. In particular, it’s important to tell your partner not to forcibly retract your foreskin. Just say something simple, like, “let me show you how I do it”, and masturbate for your partner a bit.

There’s no elegant way to put this: some uncircumcised guys experience odor issues with their foreskin (to be fair, some circumcised guys experience odor issues too). It’s a fold of skin in an area that doesn’t tend to get a lot of air, so it makes sense. If you’re ever aware of or concerned about your odor, try giving yourself a quick rinse before being sexually active with a partner. It would be especially appreciated if you’d like your partner to perform oral. There’s nothing to be ashamed of here; we’re just talking about taking a few extra seconds to be a thoughtful partner.

If you’re ever penetrating your partner, you’ll need to take one extra step when you’re putting on a condom. Gently pull your foreskin back to the base of the glans, then put the condom on. This method should increase your foreskin’s ability to move within the condom. Adding a drop of lube to the tip of the condom helps things glide even better. There are some men who prefer to keep their foreskin stretched out over the glans, then apply the condom, typically because they don’t enjoy having the glans so exposed. I recommend giving the former method a try first, since it tends to keep the condom anchored a little better. If you’re not using a condom, there’s no need to pull your foreskin back.

Love Your Foreskin

Since circumcision is still considered the “norm” in the US, a number of circumcised men feel some level of self-consciousness about their penises. One shocking demonstration of this dynamic: 5% of adult circumcisions are done for purely cosmetic reasons. In particular, some men are concerned about their partner’s reaction to seeing foreskin. While some people might say they prefer the “look” of a circumcised penis, it’s the same thing as someone saying they like big boobs or a round butt. We all have our preferences, but if someone makes you feel ashamed for being uncircumcised, they’re not someone deserving of your time.

While we won’t get into the debate over whether or not to circumcise in this article, it’s worth noting that some of the roots of the modern popularity of circumcision lay in the anti-masturbation movement. Circumcision was seen as a way of preventing “self-abuse”. If you ever find yourself at odds with your uncircumcised penis, think of yourself as a rebel against this anti-pleasure movement! Consider the fact that you enjoy up to 40% more nerve endings than circumcised men. Some have made the argument that less sensitivity equates to lasting longer in bed, but having more nerve endings does not make you orgasm faster. Perhaps the best way for you to develop a better relationship with your foreskin is to revel in the added sensation you’re able to feel. Try different ways of masturbating with your foreskin. Use lots of lube to help your foreskin glide back and forth over your glans. Try keeping your foreskin pulled over the glans and focusing your efforts on just the head of your penis. Enjoy your foreskin in all of its nerve-filled glory!


  • Americans are weird, glad I don’t live in a country where genital mutilation is the norm.

    • Wasn’t always so. I was born in 70’s and it was standard practise to lop it off. Can’t do anything about it now but glad that my nephews (I have girls) were never done. If we had, had a boy he would be left intact.
      I believe back then it was a mix of health and social norm (my older brother was done as well) … hot debate among some people still – we know friends with sons who had it done – so it’s still out there.

      • Same here on both counts – I was done (1979) and while it hasn’t affected my life to any huge degree, had it been my choice and not my parents it would have stayed.
        A friend had her son circumcised about 4 years ago and I tried to talk her out of it, but she was adamant that it be done “for (preventative) medical reasons”. I was going to suggest that she have both his legs removed at the same time to prevent any possibility of him breaking one at some point in his life but knew that the argument was falling on deaf ears.

        • “while it hasn’t affected my life to any huge degree,” I believe it must have if you think about what was taken away. With an intact penis your sex life would be much better.

          • Thats a terrible thing to say. Everyone’s sexual experience is different. You have not a single clue about what this man’s sex life is like – and you can’t compare it. His penis IS in tact. It just doesn’t have the foreskin anymore. I’m very against routine circumcision, but you can’t belittle people for something which was out of their control and then say their sexual experience is lessened when you have no idea what his sexual experience has been like. Sex is more than just tingly feelings in your penis.

  • What I find even weirder is that at least one extremely detailed 3D medical anatomy app on iOS (Human Anatomy Atlas by Visible Body) is showing the male model minus a foreskin, like it has evolved to just drop off at birth or something.

    Australia was however a country where circumcision WAS the norm for quite a few years, not sure when it really started to become less commonplace but I think sometime in the late 80’s perhaps.

    • She doesn’t know what she is talking about. Intact males are lubed! with the best lube ever. A lube that also helps maintain a balance pH inside the foreskin for optimum health and healing. Using lube I would think in time would negatively diminish the penis natural lube production and possibly play havoc with the pH level.

  • I read somewhere that the foreskin makes sex better for the female………things slip in and out a lot smoother. Also you don’t need lube to jerk………you don’t even need to take too much care, the foreskin is designed for tugging roughly at……..the people of the USA just find the foreskin mysteriously dangerous, like some sort of male unicorn horn. Which is why women rub baby foreskins into their faces to make them young forever………

  • Because of the prevalence of circumcision, there isn’t a lot of education around how to take proper care of uncircumcised penises
    All men are born with a foreskin, but about 60% of baby boys in the US undergo circumcision, where the foreskin is removed

    That still means 40% of men are still uncircumcised, even if they choose later on to change that, it is still a significant amount of people, so I dare say the lack of education is less about the amount of people needing to know (which is a poor excuse anyway) but probably because no one wants to discuss why they are doing it.

  • This is a lousy article. Sorry but it is so bad that for a minute I mused it must be humorous. Here’s why, from the top, I must list: “flap of skin” is this like a pocket flap, a flag flapping in the wind? It’s tube of skin and Mucosa. “Attaches to the base of the head” so when they remove the foreskin, they cut in at the base of the head? (sometimes true but rarely). “Baby boys are born with the foreskin fully attached to their penis, but it gradually loosens as they age.” What? so the foreskin becomes then not attached to the penis? “foreskin can usually be retracted down to the base of the glans” So all the foreskin when retracted to expose the glans, ends up at the base of the glans? I would agree with can usually be retracted down to the base of the penis. That’s a huge difference. Then there’s “the inside on the foreskin is fragile” so fragile that she suggests using lube then cautions no to get it trapped in the foreskin. The foreskin interior is always lubed naturally and is so high a quality that it can’t be manufactured better. Right well this flies in the face of mother nature’s grand design through the ages. I guess i should be lubing my mouth before eating, sucking, oh and my rectum before anything comes out and goes – otherwise nasty tears and scrapes. FORESKIN?? WATCH OUT!!!! “Infections are somewhat common”, and confusing (to STDS)! Really? And because this is only specific to having all of one’s penis skin, this means then that those cut, having half the skin, don’t have confusing infections as all infections are STDs.? Alarm! – about foreskin “see your doctor right away” if you happen to “notice redness, irritation, or a change in discharge!” Oh but not before you “wash your foreskin”. Uh, I’m going to say i bet the doctor would like the field as it is natural, not messed with cleaning and possibly erasing immediate clues or changing the pH level. Any redness you need to hire a medical professional -IMMEDIATELY! Eeek gads what crap! but wait… Alarm! Foreskins need EXTRA CAUTION. “Foreskins can also get caught in zippers a little more easily than circumcised penises, so make sure to exert extra caution.” “especially if you’re a fan of freeballing.” Uh, I believe if your freeballing then your already going to be more aware knowing there’s no protective curtain of underware. At least I do. So this “especially” talks down. I’d like to see a ref. for her claim on zippers. Logically the end of the foreskin is so fine-touch sensitive albeit inside that I would think this would still be way more sensitively aware at the outside tip than any circd glans with its crude pain / thermal receptors. Isn’t this part of nature’s arrangement that the foreskin tip is more aware of the surroundings than the glans so protects better? “Phimosis is another foreskin-specific condition” NO IT’s NOT. In fact, phimosis can be a complication of circumcision. ” If you’re the owner of a penis” what, you want females especially to read the WARNING STOP DON’T READ FURTHER RUN AWAY phimosis – mind and stomach twisting graphic. “Phimosis can lead to a whole host of problems.” As opposed phimosis is usually not a problem. “If you’re not able to retract your foreskin, you can’t clean it,” Most phimotic foreskins can retract when flaccid so cleaning is not a matter. Otherwise, if can’t retract then direct water into the foreskin or balloon the urine shake the balloon and let go, repeat. Urine is near sterile (there’s a new report). “You can also get urine trapped in there when you’re trying to relieve yourself.” Really how does this happen? That would mean something is horribly wrong with the dartos muscle like being so scarred, it is inflexible. “phimosis. It’s important to work with a doctor” Again ALERT HIRE A DOCTOR. And WARNING DO NOT EVEN TRY TO STRETCH YOUR FORESKIN UNLESS WATCHED BY MEDIC WHO DIRECTS THE MANIPULATION AND STRETCH. The steroid cream doesn’t work by itself. It’s with stretching. The writer has the cream and stretching mixed around. No mention of devices like PhilmoCure. “Paraphimosis” This article is title “How to Take Care of Your Foreskin:” and oddly restates “A Guide for Uncircumcised Men” yet there’s no mention of the immediate first step the owner should take. It’s simple to understand, and it’s what medical help will first attempt anyway. From the DOC “This situation can easily be treated with gentle prolonged hand pressure using a well-lubricated glove, squeezing the glans gently until the blood is forced out of it, and the foreskin can be pulled over it.” “Consider the fact that you enjoy up to 40% more nerve endings than circumcised men.” I’ll have to check cuz the number of nerve endings do not correspond to the number of receptors. I can say circumcision cuts these numbers of receptors off @ 65%, 75% average, 85% frenulum gone. (Taylor)

    • Your remarks are good. But it was easy to misunderstand Vanessa when she writes, “Baby boys are born with the foreskin fully attached to their penis, but it gradually loosens as they age.” She means that the whole foreskin mucosa surface is attached to the whole glans mucosa surface, with fairly loose connective tissue, that attachment is slowly disappearing . But ti break it by force often produces so-called pseudo phimosis.

  • The incidence of circumcision among native-born American white men between the ages of 30 and 70 and not born in poverty, is at least 90%, and may be as high as 95-98%. The high educated elite that calls the shots in the USA is overwhelmingly composed of circumcised men or of women married to such. This is probably why America simply cannot let go of the bald penis. The typical American doctor, lawyer and politician has a bald penis, and every penis he saw while growing up was bald. Any exceptions were attached to Latinos or immigrants or boys born in poverty. The typical American upper middle class woman with professional degrees has never been intimate with an intact male. She may go through life having no idea what the foreskin is or looks like. The result is that otherwise well educated Americans can be incredibly ignorant about the penis Nature Intended. To my thinking, it is easy to see why millions of Americans find the intact penis disgusting, and sexually off-putting. Their claims that it is unhealthy are mere rationalisations of this disgust.
    Last century nearly all American textbooks assigned in medical schools, nursing schools, and classes in human anatomy and sexuality, depicted the penis as having no foreskin. The male foreskin is not a “flap”. It is a sleeve of skin that normally retracts to expose the glans completely. The outside of this sleeve consists of skin; the inside is mucous membrane. The foreskin is attached to the underside of the glans via an elastic frenulum, which may be the most sexually sensitive part of the male body. Most American infant circumcisions damage or entirely remove the frenulum.
    The foreskin greatly facilitates doing foreplay on men. Playing with the foreskin stimulates the flow of pre-ejaculate. The moving foreskin catches the pre-ejaculate and spreads it around optimally. Many women have revealed in social media that intact men can be more satisfying for PIV. This fact is due to the way the foreskin enhances the natural lubrication of men, and to motion of the foreskin itself.
    All men should rinse off the tips of their penises before entering the bedroom. This is triply true of fellatio is on the menu. Civilised sex can take place only if a bath is no more than 10 meters away.
    I live in New Zealand, where a large majority of baby boomers were circumcised in the maternity ward. But the two medical schools in New Zealand began teaching against RIC in the 1950s, closely following the UK. In 1969, the Crown defunded RIC. By 1985, the practice was gone from maternity wards. Today, very few New Zealanders who are not of Moslem or Pacific Island ancestry are circumcised. RIC is not an option in New Zealand maternity wards; you have to take your son to a urologist, and pay for the procedure privately. Hence in New Zealand, grandpa is cut, Dad may or may not be, boys never are. But nobody talks about this situation, much less stresses over it. A handful of New Zealanders are active in American intactivism, either via social media or live protests.
    Israelis are highly circumcised, but for religious reasons. Most South Korean circumcisions are done in adolescence. Hence a high RIC rate is now a mere American peculiarity. In my opinion, RIC in the USA is doomed, because the proportion of young American women who’ve been intimate with both kinds of men is rising, as is the willingness of American women to share aspects of their intimate lives with other women.

  • I’d suggest Vanessa should avoid doing articles like this.
    The first thing I thought when reading this was it was written by somebody circumcised or by a woman.

  • The correct term for a man who retains his natural genitalia is “intact,” not the pejorative “un” term. Would you call an African woman who escaped genital cutting “unclitoridectomized?”

  • This is why men no longer write articles educating women about their genitalia. The authors understanding of her subject matter is woefully inadequate. She may well be good at relationship counselling and whatnot.. I think male anatomy is not her strong point.

    While I imagine Marin paraphrased a few articles she found around the place, the omissions she chose to make and the words she chose to use in lieu of the originals have actually degraded the content (in some places to the point of uselessness). Stick to relationships, and female genitalia.. get a (preferably genitally intact) male urologist to write the articles on penises.

  • Well okay i am uncircumcised and i like it. i made the mistake of circumsising my son as a baby. i want to say a few important things all uncircumcised MEN SHOULD KNOW!
    As NATURAL PENIS men here in the east coast of the U.S.we are OUTNUMBERED. So we need to all show woman that we are NOT dirty and ugly.HERE ARE SOME TIPS!
    First off my I have gotten a surgery called Frenuloplasty. Its a small local anesthetic surgery. I got it done besuase i felt like my frenulam (under skin string connection)was a little tight and it got in the way. It helps for me to keep the under side of my head that meets the shaft clean. Some men don’t have the freunulum but are still uncut. When foreskin is pulled far back it looks like a CIRCUMSISED penis. i don’t have too much extra so i feel comfortable with it. If you have TOO MUCH SKIN id say to cut the whole thing, but not too sure on that one either the person should decide that on there own, id hate to loose all the great feeling of sensitivity. I would make the suggestion to a young man to get the FRENULOPLASTY any day. it was COVERED under my standard urologist charges threw my Health Insurance.
    Secondly Clean It, no girl like a dirty smelly penis. I have a FEW mETHODS on keeping a UNCIRCUMSISED PENIS LOOKING FRESH AND CLEAN FLESHY LOOK! Use a WASH CLOTH when bathing around the foreskin and let the suds flow for a second before you run water over it. I prefer DIAL vitamin C boost body soap. it leaves a citrus taste to it. Use a small silky cloth or silky underwear to DRY AROUND THE FORESKIN. i always use the Sporty silky boxer briefs to wear and to dry. THEN right after that i pull back my skin and dry in front of a fan for a second. This helps keep you best skin tone under the flap of the foreskin.
    Third use a little vitamin E oil when you masturbate. too much roll over action will dry up around the rim of the skin in its natural soft position. Lastly don’t pull it too far back very often, save it for when your intimate. Sometimes i pull it back when i pee for the couple a second s when peeing..

    • Your right im uncircumsised ill take your comment and start cleaning that way too im in US too i heard something good.

  • I love my foreskin! One of the greatest life gifts was being left intact – undoubtedly grateful for being able to enjoy and appreciate my entire manhood

  • The foreskin is not a flap of skin.

    Flap (noun): “something flat and broad that is attached at one side only and hangs loosely or covers an opening: the flap of an envelope; the flap of a pocket.”

    The foreskin is not flat, it is not broad, and it is not attached at one side only. It is therefore not a flap.

  • Use an antibacterial penis health creme… these destroy bacteria on contact and will keep things extra clean and fresh. I use one called Man1 Man Oil… it works really well and is safe too. Check it out.

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