A look at the Glansie

“What’s this?” My wife asked, on her way back from the mailbox. In her hand she clasped a brown envelope, torn open and leaking pink bubble wrap. Inside was something silver and glistening, like an alien embryo.
Discreet packaging does not work on my wife.
“Nothing!” I told her and snatched them away. The Japanese writing on the envelope confirmed my suspicions.
“Are they for your penis issues?” She asked.
“No. Yes!” I put them away so I could properly document my new tool.
Your fingers are the best method for conquering tight foreskin. You can pry your foreskin open with the exact amount of force to get a good stretch without hurting yourself. Make a habit of doing this for a few minutes, several times a day, and you should be able to retract within a few months. Read the Guide to Curing Phimosis.
Phimosis stretching diagram
At the time, two fingers wouldn’t fit in. One? Sure. It was fun to pull the tight band up around my finger and wiggle it up like a sock. It felt just like an elastic band stretched to its limit.
Other than two Q-Tips (cotton swabs), the Phimocure rings were my only choice. Many men use them without problems, but I would often get small cuts if I left them in too long. Moreover, sometimes weeks would go by without any progress. I could have kept trying, but as a highly influential blogger with literally tens of readers, I knew that I had a duty to try as many tools as possible. So I resolved to try this new gift.
The Glansie is well made, and feels satisfyingly heavy. The tip of the tool is a little smaller than my pinky finger. It comes in the SX version for $100 and the DX version for $120. At rest, a set of springs pull them closed. As you squeeze the handles the clamp opens. 
For the extra $20, the DX includes a ratchet that holds it open for you. I never used it because  I wanted to use the exact amount of force to keep it stretching the whole time. This required a steady hand. The problem is, as a commenter puts it:

…the grooves are fixed at specific increases. This means that the stretch might be too tight or not tight enough. Also, the shape of the grooves means you have to expand it more than you may be comfortable with so it exceeds the peak of the groove, so it can rest in the dip and you have to do that again when releasing it. You can manually hold it like you did, but it isn’t practical for people who want to use it longer than five minutes, and defeats the point of the ratchet system.
A better mechanism would be the dial method, like on a spanner, allowing adjustable minute incremental changes. — John

Since I did not use it, the ratchet mechanism eventually fell off, but only because it had spun around too many times in my backpack. It screws back on easily enough.
In the samples I received, the pricier DX version also had a finer tip than the SX. This can make a difference if you are starting from a very small opening.
I switched from using Q-Tips to the Glansie for several weeks. I would take five minute breaks, excuse myself to the bathroom, and get to work. Unlike the Q-Tips, which bend easily, the heavy metal was an unstoppable force. I quickly found that it only required one hand to hold, so I could still operate my phone. Over the course of the five minutes, my foreskin would gradually stretch as I pressed the handle with infinitesimally more force. After I removed the tool, the skin would remain loose for several hours.
One issue is that the Glansie is spring loaded. If you let go, the pincers snap closed. On my finger it doesn’t hurt at all. But you can only imagine what would happen if they got your ulta sensitive glans, that has never before been touched by anything, trapped in their metallic claws.
It certainly wouldn’t break the skin, but it might hurt. Luckily, this was never an issue. I was careful.

Stop grimacing. That’s my finger

The tool worked surprisingly quickly. In a few weeks I reached the limits of the device. Perhaps if I were a man of less breadth in my bratwurst, I would have been done. However, it became clear that I would need to continue my efforts using fingers or the larger Phimocure rings.
The Glansie is a good investment if you can afford it, and you can’t or don’t want to use your fingers, and if your case is relatively severe. Use them often enough, and they can get you well on your way to curing your phimosis.

Unboxing the Phimocure

I was working in my basement home office. Upstairs, I heard the door slam. My wife was returning after picking up our 5-year-old and the mail.
“That thing you’ve been waiting for came,” I heard her shout downstairs.
“What thing?” I bellowed back.
“Your–” she was cut off by a kid shrieking about her boots not coming off.
“My WHAT?!”
“Your– KATRINA! Stop biting your sister!”
“What is it?” I shouted. “TELL ME WHAT ARRIVED!”

“THAT THING FOR YOUR PENIS,” she screamed back, with the full force of five years of motherhood.

I bounded up the stairs and greedily snatched the mail. It was a small, discreet envelope. You’d never know that it contained the cure to an embarrassing medical problem.
That is, if you were blind. The large customs declaration sticker was stamped “Medical Devices and 7ml antiseptic cream”.
No matter. I’m not shy. I tore it open and held up the small plastic container with glee. These precious Phimocure rings promised to cure my tight foreskin. Moreover, as a highly influential blogger, with a vast world-wide audience of nearly tens of readers, I had pestered the UK-based company enough to send me a kit for free!
I quickly photographed my treasure, and got to work comparing them side-by-side with some generic silicone flesh tunnels.

How rings & flesh tunnels work

Flesh tunnels are designed to stretch ear-lobes into giant, gaping holes through which their owners can fit a cucumber. Folks who modify their ear lobes will start from a small piercing, and then gradually increase the size of the ring they use by 1mm every 45 days.

Before flesh tunnels, body modders had to use whatever was handy.

Fortunately, foreskin stretches faster. On the Phimosis Discussion Board, men report moving up a ring size every one to two weeks.
This works because of a cellular process called mechanotransduction. When skin cells are distorted, stretched, or squeezed, they are more likely to begin mitosis (cell division). The more you stretch, the faster skin cells will divide. As long as you don’t damage the skin, it will grow.

Using your fingers alone, you can stretch your foreskin and eventually cure your phimosis. However, this can easily take 30 to 40 soul-draining minutes out of your day, while you hold the position and wish you were doing something else. Once you become adept at inserting and removing the rings, you can save a lot of time.

Bathroom door graffiti
Still stretching without rings? You will learn to appreciate the literary value of good bathroom stall graffiti.

Flesh tunnels & the Phimocure rings work because they provide continuous, gentle stretching for 60 minutes at a time, or as long as you can comfortably leave them in.

Phimocure Rings vs Flesh Tunnels

The first thing I noticed is that the Phimocure rings come with more sizes and larger sizes than the generic flesh tunnels that I have. If I wanted to match the Phimocure with generic rings, I would have to order several more individual ones, which would have made the total cost very similar.

Phimocure rings
The largest ring is 40mm and it gives me nightmares.

The careful design of the Phimocure rings is immediately apparent. First, they are made of a thinner, softer material. This is important, because you have to squeeze them into a heart shape to insert them, then let them unfold to provide a stretch. The stiffer generic ones are difficult to squeeze, and they snap open with more force, which could cause pain or tear your skin.
Both the flesh tunnels and rings have rims on them to hold them in place. Although they are absolutely necessary, these rims make both insertion and removal difficult. On the Phimocure rings, the rims vary in size, so that the smaller ones are easier to insert. You will appreciate this very much.
Flesh tunnels (clear) vs. Phimocure (white)

Phimocure vs. flesh tunnels
Generic flesh tunnels (left) vs. Phimocure (right). The Phimocure kit is more flexible and has smaller rims on smaller rings.

My experience

After I photographed them, I put them high on a shelf. My foreskin opening was only 8.5 mm, far too small for the 10mm ring that the kit starts with. I would have to continue to stretch manually using two Q-tips for a couple of weeks before I would be ready.
Exactly one minute later, I was unlatching the box. When folded, the ring went in easily. There was slight pain as it opened. No matter. I smiled. My phimosis journey would soon be over!
As I stood there, it dawned that I had made a massive mistake.


My foreskin gripped the ring tighter than a mouse with mozzarella. With my jeans still around my ankles, I began to panic and hop around the room. I pulled at it, but nothing happened. I pulled harder. My foreskin grew longer and longer, like a tiny elephant’s trunk, until pop! I leaped straight up. I felt like I’d been stabbed. The ring bounced under the couch. I shoved the thing back in its box and resolved not to try it again until I was ready.
As I write this, three weeks later, I have the Phimocure ring comfortably inserted, and I can remove it with a quick, painless pull. Sometimes upon insertion, it rests uncomfortably on my frenulum, but the discomfort goes away after a moment. I really enjoy the time savings, because I no longer have to awkwardly sneak away for 10 minutes to stretch.

Should you buy them?

I found the ring to be painful at times, because it presses against my frenulum. I suspect the smallest ring is slightly too large for my extreme case. Most men will have a more comfortable fit, even with a larger ring size.
Although the Phimocure rings cost about twice as much as generic flesh tunnels, I recommend them for these reasons:

  • The rings can provide continuous, gentle stretching for an hour at a time. They can make you progress faster and get you over a plateau.
  • The foreskin is more delicate than an ear lobe, and the subtle design differences of the Phimocure make it better than a generic flesh tunnel.
  • Both flesh tunnels & rings can be difficult to insert the first few times you try. If you are using Phimocure rings, you have the best possible chance of it working.
  • If you have problems or need to request additional sizes, Phimocure has excellent customer service. In my dealings with them, email responses always came within minutes.

On the other hand,

  • The rings are nice to have, but not necessary. All you need is your fingers, or a pair of Q-Tips to stretch successfully. Stretch manually for 10 minutes, 3 to 5 times a day and you will get results.
  • Some men can’t get them into the proper place no matter how hard they try. If that happens to you, you can’t return them.

Happy stretching!

Instructions for Inserting a Phimocure Ring

The official instructions from Phimocure are on their web site. I’ve paraphrased them here based on my own experience.

Step 1

Set aside at least 20 minutes to practice getting it in for the first time. Locate the tightest part of your foreskin.

Phimotic band
If you have to leave your house, you are circumcised.

Step 2

Squeeze the phimocure ring into the shape of a heart. This makes it about 50% smaller. Insert it as far as you can, making sure the rim makes it through the phimotic band.
Folded phimocure ring

Step 3

Let ‘er ri– I mean, allow the ring to unfold. If it falls out, then try again, and make sure you get the rim past the your phimotic band. If you have difficulty, try first hooking one side and then the other. The first session will take several attempts, but the results are worth it.
These photos will help you decide whether you selected the right size. To be sure, you should always start with the smallest ring size and move up.

 Step 4

Sit back and relax! Your skin cells are already starting to divide and grow. Start with a 30 minute session. The longest time recommended by Phimocure is 60 minutes, three or more times daily. Some men use it for longer periods. Do not use it while sleeping.
To remove it, gently pull until it pops out. After offering initial resistance, the skin should roll over the rim and release it. If it causes pain, then move to a smaller ring, or stretch using other methods until you are ready.

multitasking dad
With the Phimocure®, Anytime is Foreskin Stretching time!

How did it work for you? Write your own review of the Phimocure below.

Follow me on Twitter while I fix my weird penis: @PhimosisJourney

Is this thing on my penis normal?

Six months ago, my wife and I were giving our newborn his first bath. As we gently pulled down his foreskin, we looked down in horror. It just kept going and going! It was like something out of an alien movie, unlike anything we’d ever seen in our lives.
“I’m sure it’s okay, dear!” I reassured my wife, wringing my hands behind my back. “Penises come in all shapes and sizes!”
“Are you sure?” she asked me. I hugged her closer, and plopped a wash cloth over the alien mushroom.
“I know so,” I told her.
That night I snuck away and Googled for penises. I was shocked to find out that my baby was normal, and it was I who was unusual. I also learned many things that weren’t covered in phys. ed. class.
Note: We retracted his foreskin very gently and have not done so since. Retraction of a child’s foreskin for cleaning is not recommended.

“My foreskin is stuck on a piece of skin”

You’ve seen the frenulum before. Pull on your upper lip. You also have one under the lower lip, under your tongue, and several inside your body. Frenulum of upper lipThe one on your penis is special. On circumcised men, (if they are lucky) it is the only remaining part of the foreskin, and it is therefore considered by Americans to be the most sensitive part of the penis. It connects the bottom part of your meatus (urinary slit) to the foreskin. It functions as a spring that pulls the foreskin back over the glans. It can grow quite long, so it is colloquially referred to as the banjo string.

Diagram of frenulum of penis
Your frenulum is on the underside of the penis

In men with phimosis, the frenulum can be very short. If your opening is wide, but the foreskin still seems to be stuck, you may have to stretch your frenulum. This is accomplished the same way as the lip stretch above. Simply grab the lower part of your foreskin and pull it away from your body for a minute, whenever you get a chance. Make a habit of it when you pee, so you don’t forget.

Stretch to cure frenulum breve

“I have a wiggly scar on my penis”

This is your perineal raphe. It’s a wiggly line that goes from your anus, under your body, up the bottom of your scrotum, and finally ends at your meatus. In some men it seems to curve up the sides of the penis. It is nothing to worry about, and it is perfectly normal.

The raphe is a line extending from the anus to the tip of the penis

“I have little bumps on my glans”

Perhaps around 8% of men are startled find they have grown some flesh coloured bumps on the corona of their penis. These bumps are Pearly Penile Papules.
Many animals, such as cats, chimpanzees, and hyenas have spines on their penis. As they rake over the vagina, they promote ovulation. Fortunately for women, evolution has shrunk these structures to harmless little bumps. If you have them, it’s part of what makes you special!

Diagram of pearly penile papules
Pearly penile papules are normal in some men

“There’s a strange bump on top behind the head”

On the top side of your penis, just behind the ridge of the head, there is a mottled patch of skin that unfolds as you roll back the foreskin. This area is called the sulcus. It is used to being skruntched together, so it appears wrinkled. In addition, several purple veins run through it and can appear to be popping out of the skin.
It isn’t pretty, but it’s perfectly normal.

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Seven Mistakes You’re Making When Treating Your Phimosis

You have a tight foreskin and you’ve heard that daily stretching can help. Before you plunge in, here’s some of the common mistakes that men have made.

Stretching by pulling down

162804555Most kids and teens will eventually pull down their foreskins by — ahem — repeated attempts. Some adults have reported success with this method. But it has some drawbacks, and there is a far better way.

  • If it hasn’t worked already, it probably won’t work now. Penile tissue is too flexible to provide enough force to stretch adult skin.
  • Accidentally retract too far before you are ready, and it might get it stuck. Paraphimosis can be painful, because you will then need to pinch your sensitive glans for a few minutes to reduce its size and carefully lift the foreskin back over it. Ouch!
  • You probably have a short frenulum as well. Pulling backwards will then bend your meatus (the urinary opening), and then you might have problems peeing straight.

The correct way to stretch is to get one or more fingers in and pull outwards and away from the body. Flesh tunnels and other safe tools can help if you can’t fit a finger inside.
Phimosis stretching diagram

Stretching unhealthy skin

asian_elephant_trunkSkin naturally contracts as it heals, so it is essential that you get the skin healthy first. Healthy skin should never crack or split or get red lines. It should not smell bad, even if you have never cleaned inside.
The most common problem with foreskin is a Candida (yeast) infection, which you might not even know you have. If you have cracking skin, redness, or pain then it couldn’t hurt to treat the fungus with a cream containing clotrimazole. You will need to check the women’s section of the pharmacy to get it.

Using antibiotic creams and soaps

1950-snake-oil-is-wonderful-stuffThe inner parts of your body have a flora of healthy bacteria that fights off other contaminants. If you upset this balance, then you could develop an infection. Wash using only water.
As a moisturizer, you may use diaper creams containing few ingredients, i.e. Zinc & Caster oil. Virgin coconut oil from the grocery store is also good.
You may have heard about creams that will help in stretching. Corticosteroids are not necessary, but can help you progress faster. Only a doctor can prescribe a corticosteroid of the proper strength. The cortisone cream that you can buy over the counter is thousands of times weaker, and will not be effective.

Letting a urologist discourage you

“Stretching? Take my advice: It won’t work for you.”

Urologists study many things, including cancer, kidney problems, and erectile dysfunction. Minor skin issues may be outside their field of expertise, but they know that a circumcision will work 100% of the time. Nobody who stretched ever went back to tell the doc it worked. Success cases simply never return.
Stretching is something you need to do every day for a few minutes. Doctors have a hard time getting people to do something as simple as take their pills on time. When your doctor says stretching won’t work for you, he or she is really saying that you won’t put in the effort.
When your penis is at stake, you can prove them wrong. Skin expansion is backed by science and recent medical studies.

Not having patience

The amount of time it will take depends on a lot of things:

  • Do you have a few millimetres or a few centimetres to go? Skin cells can only grow so fast. In general, the larger opening you have, the faster progress you will make.
  • Are you stretching every single day, several times? Whenever you are not stretching, the skin will slowly return back to its original shape. Break it up into several sessions each day to stay ahead.
  • Can you use a passive stretching method? Supercharge your stretching with a silicone flesh tunnel or something you can leave in for several hours at a time.

As a general guideline, after two weeks of stretching every day, you should start to see some changes. Some lucky guys might be done in a month, and extreme cases may take six. In any case, you should continue stretching for a few weeks after you reach your goal to make sure the changes stick.

Stretching with surgery scheduled

Doctor with Stethoscope Holding A Very Large Knife.When you cut into skin, it forms scar tissue and contracts. Loads of men who have had preputioplasty or partial circumcision operations end up worse than when they started. In Canada, doctors will not perform a preputioplasty. The government will not pay for one, because they have a high failure rate, and patients have to keep returning to the operating room to fix things.
If you don’t have the patience for stretching, and you cannot live with your tight foreskin, then circumcision will certainly work. Though a few regret it, many men who are circumcised for phimosis could not be happier and wish they’d done it sooner. On the other hand, getting surgery is a major life event that can take more than a year to arrange, worry about, and heal from. Stretching is easier and has fewer risks. Moreover, after researching the foreskin you may find that it has important sexual functions that would be fun to exercise.
Like a fitness program, stretching has its down days, and weeks will pass when nothing happens. Men who attempt stretching while they wait for surgery will always give up. The lesson is: don’t consult for surgery if you want to keep your foreskin.

Not being fully committed

729139Stretching is a lot like beginning a fitness program. Loads of men try it, then stop. You have to find your own motivation. Why are you doing this? What do you hope to get from it? Focusing on your goal will help get you through the toughest weeks when nothing seems to be happening.

Learn more about your penis. Follow me on Twitter: @PhimosisJourney

What causes phimosis?

It’s 2:30 in the morning and the snuffling starts. Eyes half closed, I throw on a bathrobe, and grab the baby. Unzip, wipe, toss the old diaper. I glimpse his tiny penis before I cover it with a cloth. (I’ve learned his tricks.) My three month old baby is miniature version of Dad, down to the smallest detail. That’s a problem, I now know. Not with him: With me.
Already, my baby is starting to explore the world with his hands. He likes to grab the rings on his play mat, my wife’s hair, whatever is in reach. When he’s finally free from diapers, he will explore his body. Someday, by the time he reaches his teenage years, he’ll be under his covers while the rest of us are asleep. Like 99% of intact boys, he will have the strange experience of pulling his foreskin down for the first time.
For me, that never happened. It just never occurred to me to do that, just as I would never turn my eyelids inside out or try to stick a crayon up my nose to try to touch my brain.

Upset Senior Woman with The Wooden Spoon Isolated on a White Background.
“Stop making that face,” said an auntie once, “or else it’ll stick that way!”

Well, auntie, something stuck. Now that I’m 35, I have a tight foreskin, just like 1% of adult men. Many of them don’t realize it.  I’m lucky: with the extra covering, sex is painless but anticlimactic. In others it can cause great physical and emotional pain.

The moment of realization

I was never taught about the foreskin in school. Left on our own, men can take a long time to figure it out.

I’m 33, and found out I had phimosis and frenulum breve only a few months ago as a result of a partner that told me that she’d never been with a guy that had a foreskin that didn’t retract. I’d always known that the foreskin didn’t retract fully and that it caused me pain, but I’d never really thought about how normal that was or whether it was something I’d like to change.

The human brain is a great reasoning machine, and it hates the idea that something is wrong. Despite seeing other penises throughout my life, I just assumed that mine, although different, was in the range of normal. Men will invent all kinds of reasons to explain it.

I’m 21. I discovered this when I was 19 yo. Before that I used to wonder while watching porn that why the f**k I have very unique dick! Everyone else’s penis is so different. I thought they were circumcised and I ignored it before.

Sometimes, it takes a sexual partner to help break the news.

Dated someone with this – he actually didn’t know that the foreskin should be able to be pulled back. (I ended up just saying something like “Oh I’m sure you’re right” because I wasn’t quite sure how you break it to someone that their penis isn’t “normal”)
I guess his case wasn’t as bad because he could still have sex – we just needed to use LOTS of lube. And… how do I say this… it couldn’t ever be too hard/fast or it would hurt him.

A tight foreskin affects both in a relationship, as this woman writes:

First of all, I constantly have to worry that I’m going to hurt him when we’re being intimate. His foreskin literally cannot retract at ALL while erect without causing pain. I’ve never seen even a little bit of the head of his penis. If it does get pulled back accidentally, it can’t go back over the head until it’s flaccid again (or so he tells me; I’ve never actually seen it happen). So whenever I’m giving him a hand job, instead of enjoying the experience, I have to feel like I’m defusing a goddamn bomb.

When foreskin tightens later

Phimosis, or tight foreskin, can simply be a case of never having stretched during the important formative years after puberty. To fix it, all you have to do is stretch it using foreskin stretching techniques, for 10 minutes at a time, as often as possible.
But when it suddenly occurs there can be a more nefarious cause. Any problems with the skin must be first solved before stretching will work.


A yeast infection (candida) can take many forms. Sufferers complain of skin irritation, redness, splitting skin, red lines of cuts, soreness, itchiness. Since the skin is irritated, it swells and tightens, and it becomes painful to retract.
You are more likely to get a yeast infection if you disturb the natural bacteria in your body. That can happen if:

  • you are on antibiotics, or you apply an antibiotic cream
  • you wash your foreskin with soap (instead, use only water)
  • you’re diabetic
  • you are using corticosteriods to aid in stretching.

An infection of Candida is unlikely to be passed to a sexual partner.
Luckily, the solution is simple. Buy an over-the-counter cream containing clotrimazole. You may also take a one-time pill containing fluconazole.
Of course, there are lots of other more serious infections that have similar symptoms. I’m deliberately not talking about them because they are very rare. Treat for yeast first, even if you don’t think you have it, because that’s probably what it is.

Lichen Sclerosus

Lichen Sclerosus can occur on skin anywhere on the body of men or women. It is a chronic condition that may require lifelong treatment. It may disappear for years and return, or it may simply go away when treated. It used to be called “BXO” when it was on male genitals, but there is no reason to use a different term.
Lichen Sclerosus presents as ivory-white, inflexible raised patches on the skin. As they form, the patches will grow larger and fuse together. This thickened foreskin may be painful or impossible to retract. It may also appear to be a white band of tightness around the foreskin.
(Search for Pictures of Lichen Sclerosus on Google)
The treatment is a trip to a dermatologist, who will prescribe a super-potent corticosteroid, such as clobetasole. You will need to apply this daily in the beginning, and then as needed.
Once the white patches become manageable, you can start a stretching routine to get your foreskin to retract.

More help

You can get help by reading through the Phimosis Discussion Board. The moderators will be happy to examine your photos and offer suggestions and reassurance.


How does phimosis affect you? I’d love to hear. Leave some comments below.

Learn more about your penis. Follow me on Twitter: @PhimosisJourney

Top Five Types of Phimosis — Which one are you?

You have tight foreskin. You’re not alone. According to a 1968 study, after age 17, 1% of men still have difficulty retracting their foreskin.
Phimosis isn’t a disease. Since so many have it, it could be considered a normal variation. But the only one to judge is you. Do you have pain during sex? Are you afraid your foreskin will get stuck? Is it affecting your confidence? Do you want to experience the “gliding effect”? If so, then you may be able to fix it yourself, in your own home.

How researchers classify phimosis

Just about all medical research for phimosis is in children. By age ten, 50% of boys should be able to retract on their own. In 1993, researchers Kikiros and others studied the treatment of phimosis in boys using steroid creams and daily stretching. They created this classification to describe the cases they were seeing. (Read the paper)

  • Type 0 – Full retraction, not tight behind glans, or easy retraction, limited only by congenital adhesions to the glans
  • Type 1 – Full retraction of the foreskin, tight behind the glans
  • Type 2 – Partial exposure of glans, prepuce (not congenital adhesions) limiting factor
  • Type 3 – Partial retraction, the meatus just visible
  • Type 4 – Slight retraction, but some distance remains between the tip and glans, that is neither meatus nor glans can be exposed
  • Type 5 – Absolutely no retraction is possible

My diagrams

There are very few diagrams of phimosis cases that people can point to and say “Hey, that’s me!” I slapped together these tasteful pictures for you, based on photos that men posted on the Internet. I hope they are a helpful reminder that you are not alone.

Type 1: Tight behind glans

Penis with paraphimosisYou can retract completely over the glans, but then it’s a struggle to get it back in place. You have to pinch the glans to get the swelling down, and painfully lift the skin back over it.
You’re afraid of it happening, and so you tend to avoid sex or even relationships that might lead to it.

Type 2: Partial retraction

Penis with phimosis
You can retract a little but it won’t fit over the corona (thickest part) of the glans. Sex may be painful, though a condom can help.

Type 3: Meatus just visible

Phimosis with very tight foreskin and little retraction possibleYou can pull it back a little and see the meatus (me-AY-tus, the urinary slit) of the glans. But it’s too tight to go any further.
Since it stretches very little, sex isn’t painful, but is isn’t mind-blowing either. While the glans is not nearly as sensitive as the foreskin, its stimulation would add a new dimension to your sexual experience.

Type 5: No retraction (pinhole)

Pinhole phimosis. No foreskin retraction is possibleWhen you pull it back, everything just stretches down. The opening doesn’t enlarge at all. You might be able to see a tiny bit of what’s underneath, or it might be lost in the skin folds.
This is what I have (pics). Despite appearances, the only negative effect is that I can’t get enough stimulation from intercourse alone.

Persistent Acroposthion (Type 4?)

Phimosis with an acroposthionWhen soft, many men have an acroposthion (where the foreskin bunches together). It usually unfolds easily when stretched. However, with any of the above, you might have some folds of skin that never stretch out.  Here is an example of it in the no-retraction case.
The acroposthion might be on top, underneath, or anywhere. It depends on the length of your frenulum, which you will have to stretch as well.

What do I do?

Read the guide. Many men can solve tight foreskin with consistent, daily stretching. If you can fit two fingers in, then you can pull it apart for as little as 10 minutes a day. More stubborn cases will need something you can wear for a few hours at a time, like a flesh tunnel.

Flesh tunnels
Designed for stretching ear lobes, flesh tunnels have more interesting uses

You will have to find a way to reach in and stretch the tightest part. It may take some ingenuity. There is no one method that works for all. Some men have built their own devices out of molding plastic. I’m constructing tiny plugs from Q-Tips and PTFE tape.

It's hard to find the size I need, so I had to make them myself
It’s tough to find the size I need, so I had to make them myself

Your doctor can prescribe betamethasone cream to help progress faster. It  will make the skin more loose.


Some men do not have the time or patience to stretch. Not everyone has the ability to find or invent stretching tools and use them every day. For them, surgery is a last-resort option.
Partial surgeries such as preputioplasty or dorsal slit often fail and patients keep returning to the gurney to fix problems. In 2003, a small study of 23 children showed a 64% satisfaction rate. In Canada, no surgeon is willing to do one, and if they did, you would have to pay out of your pocket.
As a last resort, you can get a circumcision. Personally, having just discovered what a foreskin can do, I’m going to do everything I can to keep it. But many who have been circumcised couldn’t be happier and wish they’d done it sooner. Here’s one story from a fellow Canadian.
On the other hand, this hardcore porn also makes some persuasive points.

Did I get it right? How does phimosis affect you? Let me know in the comments.

Follow me on Twitter for humour and instant updates on the status of my penis. @PhimosisJourney

How Palmolive® ruined my sex life, and other things you need to know to treat phimosis

By age 35, the body modification crowd usually settles down, gets a nice job in insurance and begins to wonder if the ability to pull a kielbasa though it’s collective earlobes is still compatible with its lifestyle.
Yet it’s 11pm and here I am, a father of three, dredging ebay for a deal on a new pair of silicone flesh tunnels. I’m holding rulers up to the screen.  Should I order the glow-in-the-dark hearts or the pink skulls? flesh tunnels - pink skulls I’m not getting piercings. I want to help my body to do what it should have done when I was 10 years old.  Maybe I didn’t play with myself enough. Maybe I was doing it wrong. Or maybe, just maybe, it was because I refused to step into a bathtub without a cupful of Palmolive® dish detergent.

Forget Mr. Bubble. Only Palmolive® offered the finest suds for my luxurious boyhood bubble baths

Whatever the reason, instead of stretching open, my foreskin sealed up tighter than a Burmese python in spandex. I didn’t discover I was different until two weeks ago. Now I’m trying to help it along, so I can avoid a circumcision. I’ve grown very attached to my foreskin. It represents 100% of my sensitivity up till now.
Here are some of the tools that you’ll need if you want to take matters into your own hands. Everything here has worked for countless men on the Phimosis Discussion Board.

Steroid cream

I’ve already gone to the doctor and cajoled a tube of betamethasone cream. Betamethasone is a moderately potent corticosteroid that is commonly prescribed to fix a non-retracting foreskin in children. As I explained in a previous entry, it breaks down collagen in the skin, making it loose and pliable. Studies have shown that Mometasone Furoate 0.1% (Elocom) will also work.
betamethasone cream
Steroid cream is not necessary for foreskin stretching, but it speeds the progress.

Your Hands

Most men with phimosis can resolve it by pulling at their foreskin for 10 to 20 minutes each day for a few weeks.method8Unfortunately, for me to do this I’d need the fingers of a gerbil. (Don’t even think about tweezers! That’s setting yourself up for injury and scarring, which will set you back months.)
That’s why I need:

Flesh Tunnels

Flesh tunnels can stretch ear lobes to massive proportions. They’re measured in gauges for Americans, and millimetres for the rest of humanity. Phimocure offers a model tweaked just for foreskin, but at 10mm, the smallest is far too large for me. Instead, I ordered a complete set of silicone flesh tunnels from ebay for $20. Flesh tunnels
While I was waiting for my order to come from Hong Kong, I picked up a pair from a local Ardene. I had to cut the end off [the flesh tunnel] to get it to fit.

Aren’t they glamorous?

In retrospect, I would have been better off getting the Phimocure rings, which are designed for the purpose. In any case, flesh tunnels of any kind are not practical until your opening is at least 10mm wide.

Plumber’s Tape

Here’s a trick from the ear-stretching folks. PTFE (Teflon) is one of the most frictionless materials ever created. It’s safe to use in the human body, and can be sterilized with alcohol. You can wrap it around a flesh plug or flesh tunnel to create in-between sizes. Although it’s not sticky, it mushes together when you press it down so it won’t unravel. Available from your hardware store, PTFE tape is approximate 3.5 mils (thousandths of an inch) thick. Each six layers wrapped will add approximately 1 mm in diameter to your flesh tunnel. applying PTFE tape to a flesh plug Even if you don’t need it, I highly recommend wrapping it (the flesh tunnel) with at least one layer of tape for comfort. I found the snipped end of the flesh plug would stab my glans and I’d be afraid to walk. The tape is a nice soft coat and I can even wear it around my kids, who enjoy slamming head-first into my crotch whenever they want attention.

Lube & Cleaners

At the pharmacy, pick up some lubricant (the gentlest most “sensitive skin” kind you can find). It really helps with insertion. You’ll also want a bottle of 70% isopropyl rubbing alcohol. This solution will easily kill any bacteria or virus on the things you are sticking in your penis. (99% is not better because more water is needed to penetrate a bacterium’s cellular wall.) Note: This will not kill certain STDs.

Coconut oil from the supermarket smells great, it works as a lubricant and will cure or prevent yeast infections.
Coconut oil from the supermarket smells great and it’s safe to use as a lubricant. Plus, it has delicious flavour!

While you’re there, you might as well get a tube of clotrimazole vagina cream. Flesh tunnels seal moisture against your skin, fueling the growth of the yeast fungus that is always present. I use a kid’s medicine syringe to squeeze in 1 mL nightly to keep it under control.

Canesten clotrimazole cream for yeast infections, in drug store
One tube will last a long time.

The Phimosis Discussion Board

Each month about 50 men post on this discussion board convinced that their penises are beyond help. Post your story, and the moderator Jim will patiently reassure you that you are not alone, and if you read some of the other posts, you’ll learn all there is to know about fixing it through stretching.
It took a bit of work, but I managed to fit my 3mm flesh plug into my tiny foreskin opening. Here’s what it looks like:

Bill Cosby with cigar
After inserting the flesh plug into my foreskin, I looked down and saw: Bill Cosby

Just kidding. Read my story from the start when I was shocked to find out I was different, and how my wife found out. Or, if you really want to see my penis, it’s a click away.

Follow me on Twitter for foreskin jokes and instant updates on the status of my penis. @PhimosisJourney

Skin Science: Resolving Phimosis with Stretching

You’re here because you want to fix your foreskin. If it doesn’t retract all the way by the time you hit puberty, join the crowd. You are part of 1% of men for which this happens. Most of them don’t mind, and some don’t even realize they are different. But a non-retractile foreskin can get in the way of experiencing the full joy of sex. For some it only needs to be a few millimetres larger, and for others (like me) it needs to expand from a tiny pinhole. Retraction may seem unobtainable.
Skin is a remarkably adaptable organ. Young_woman_with_stretched_ear_piercing pregnant-belly large-ear-stretchings-and-lip-plate-piercing All of the above feats were accomplished the same way: with gradual, persistent, gentle stretching.

What is skin?

Your foreskin is made of layers of different cells and connective tissue. Aside from skin cells, it’s packed with nerve endings, mucous membranes, and strong muscle tissue. You can’t control this muscle, but you can feel its effects. It contracts when it gets cold. Skinlayers Skin is layers of cells. The upper layers are the epidermis. The cells of the epidermis have hard, strong walls and fats between them to keep bad things out of your body. About a dozen layers below the epidermis lies the dermis — a mixture of different cells that help give skin structure. Fibroblasts, for example, exude collagen — a fibrous protein that helps pull everything together. Collagen gives skin its tightness. As people age, they produce less collagen, their skin stops snapping back when you pull it, and they get wrinkles. wrinkly skinHere’s a section of foreskin up close:


Near the bottom, some cells are dividing. They are undergoing mitosis. The epidermis is constantly replaced, as cells migrate up from the lower layers, every 48 hours or so. When you stretch skin, the cells flatten. But skin cells don’t like to be stretched out. During the time they are bent out of shape, they are more likely to begin mitosis (cellular division). This signalling method is called mechanotransduction.
To modify your skin, you will need to stretch it gently for as long as possible each day, without damaging it. This will stimulate new cell growth.

Corticosteroids and skin stretching

Many studies about fixing phimosis have found that you can get the best results with stretching in combination with a topical corticosteroid. If you use cream without stretching, probably nothing will happen. Stretch without cream, and you’ll need to do it for longer to see results.betamethasone creamHere’s where things get confusing. Corticosteriods have a devastating effect on skin. Seconds after they are applied, the epidermis will start to atrophy. Old cells shrink, and new cells will tend to divide more slowly. Since it is not being replaced, the epidermis — the hard upper layer, will grow thinner.
This seems counter-productive. When stretching, you want to promote growth, not inhibit it. However, corticosteroids have another important effect. The fibroblast cells in the dermis will also stop producing collagen. As the old collagen breaks down, the skin begins to resemble that of an elderly person. It becomes thinner, looser, and very pliable. Collagen production is suppressed for at least two weeks after application of a corticosteroid. If, during that time, you can stimulate some cell growth, you will have a long-term gain in skin surface area.

Gentle stretching and steroids

Gentle stretching and steroid creams are the first thing to try when resolving non-retracting foreskin. In many studies in children, 90% of the cases are resolved. With adults, it will take persistence, and a daily routine of stretching for several months.
How exactly? I’ll explain that in my next post.
Follow me on twitter @PhimosisJourney to get a stream of entertaining updates on my penis.

“Normally, we give this to two-year-olds, but…”

Went to the doctor’s office today. I told them on the phone: “I’m self treating for phimosis, and I’d like to discuss it with him.” So he was all ready to meet me:
Just kidding. My Canadian doctor is like Dr. House; he sends his interns in first. I explained to the fresh-faced med student about how I was Googling for penises one day and noticed that “foreskin retraction” meant much more than I ever realized. I explained how I had delayed no ejaculation during intercourse, and — yes — although I have three children, we had to “work around” the problem to obtain them (I left that part up to his imagination).
I told him that I was about to embark on a regimen of stretching, and thought it prudent to check with a real doctor rather than some internet forum.
SNAP — on went those latex gloves and I dropped my drawers to demonstrate the difficulty.

“WOW,” he exclaimed, “that really is a small hole!”

After typing in all this information, including the phrase “tiny prepucial orifice” into his Windows XP computer, he left to check with his supervisor, no doubt to be instructed on the art of understatement.
Hours later, in walks Dr. House. Except in real life he talks just like Ned Flanders. I am not making this up.
“Well although it’s a little un-diddly-usual to have a non-retractable foreskin at your age,” he said, “I’m sure if we can fix it you’ll be A-OK in the old ejaculatory department!”
He was already carrying a prescription for betamethasone cream.
“This is the same stuff I give to two year olds, ” he continued. “Try it for six weeks, and if it doesn’t work, I’ll give you a referral to a urologist.”
I went to the supermarket and filled out my prescription for $5. I had mixed emotions. There was no big fight. Nobody had even mentioned the C-word. Although he’d never heard of them, he was totally fine with me shoving flesh tunnels and other “dilation tools” up my foreskin.
But will this tiny bottle of cream really fix TEN YEARS OF DISAPPOINTING SEX?
creamApparently I need to pick up a few things from the hardware store to help.

“I’m unhappy with my penis,” I told my wife

With the crying baby, an inquisitive five year old, and a three year old story-telling chatterbox, my wife and I don’t get a lot of time to talk, despite spending at least six hours together each day.
But I had to bring her in on my plans somehow. The thought of it made me sick. With a single look, she could veto the whole thing. All I had was advice from a random chatroom on the Internet. I hadn’t even seen a doctor yet.
I was distracted the entire day, trying to find a way to bring it up. Time was growing short.
At nightfall, she was brushing her teeth as we worked through the daily administrivia.

So tell me about your day!
So tell me about your day, honey!

“..so because of my appointment WHIRRR SPLISH SPLASH,” she spat, “I need to you drive Katrina to ballet WHIRRRR SPLASH on Wednesday. WHIRR WHIRR SPIT”
“No problem, dear! Can we talk for a second?”
“Sure WHIRR WHIRR what’s on your mind? SPLASH SPIT”
“I’m unhappy with my penis.”
While she finished brushing, I demonstrated how my foreskin didn’t retract at all, and explained that in your Standard Model Penis, the pee-hole was actually much larger and should roll open, allowing the glans to protrude.
I told her about surgeries, Dorsal Slit, and preputioplasty, which could result in an ugly scar.
“Don’t worry about that, honey,” she soothed. “I think all penises are ugly.”
I explained how I wanted to try stretching it, because it worked for random people on the Internet, and not to worry if strange packages full of “Flesh Tunnels” started to arrive in the mail.
We sat on the floor in our pajamas and Googled for penises together.  We gawked at the images that popped up, and I found a video of a foreskin retraction.

The shraders watch TV
My wife and I react to videos of how a foreskin is supposed to work

“See,” she said, cheerfully jabbing a finger at the screen, “Ugly!”
I love how honest and supportive she is. She had no problem with my trying to stretch it out myself and offered to let me raid her collection of knitting supplies to find a suitable object.
“I want you to do what makes you happy,” she told me.
 That’s why I married her. I can’t begin to tell you the relief that comes with telling her my secret.
The only thing is: she made me promise to go to the doctor. You won’t believe what happened there!
Follow my journey on Twitter: @PhimosisJourney