General Question

DominicX's avatar

NSFW anatomy question: is the foreskin supposed to retract all the way when erect?

Asked by DominicX (28586 points ) April 5th, 2010

I really feel like I can ask anything now, so I know this question is embarrassing and weird, but please be serious and helpful.

For those uncircumcised folks out there, I was wondering: is the foreskin supposed to retract all the way when a person is erect?

I seem to have gotten that impression lately from some things I’ve read and well, that’s not quite what happens with me…

Am I supposed to do something about it?

Observing members: 0 Composing members: 0

22 Answers

Fyrius's avatar

“Supposed to”? No.
It can retract, or it can stay put. I don’t think either case is bad in any way.

DominicX's avatar

@Fyrius

I was just starting to get worried because of some of the stuff I was reading on Yahoo Answers (I know, it’s a craphole) that were basically saying “if it doesn’t, you should get a circumcision”. And I was just like…“uh”...

cytonic_horus's avatar

it’s only a problem if it is too tight or causes pain when it retracts that you should then go to a dr to see about getting it chopped off (foreskin that is…not the full thing)

Grisaille's avatar

If it is tight and you cannot retract it (read: pull it back) when fully erect, then yes, I’ve heard some sort of medical intervention is needed.

Otherwise, stop worrying yourself.

DominicX's avatar

@Grisaille

Well, I mean, it just doesn’t move very far when I’m erect and it is pretty tight, compared with when I’m not erect and I can retract it fully.

Why would I need medical intervention though? What are the downsides of not being able to retract it all the way when erect?

Grisaille's avatar

Yeah. I’m going to direct you to get a physical and explain it to a doctor, because otherwise I’m talking out of my ass.

Don’t trust me.

FutureMemory's avatar

Unless you’re having some sort of trouble, I wouldn’t worry about it at all. If you don’t have pain, or swelling or irritation of some kind I wouldn’t sweat it. Perhaps the doc didn’t circumcise as much as he could have? I think it would be normal for each guy to have varying amounts of loose skin, but the only dicks I’ve really seen other than my own are on porno actors. They have weird dicks anyhow though.

DominicX's avatar

@FutureMemory

Oh, I’m completely uncircumcised.

And yeah, I haven’t had any problems with it. It was just that it was shocking to find out that uncircumcised people could retract it all the way when erect. I didn’t even know that was possible. :P

Fyrius's avatar

If the foreskin is too tight, and it does end up retracted when the pen0r is up, it can cut off circulation to the head. I believe that’s why it can be a problem.
If you think that’s a realistic thing to worry about in your case, it might be a good idea to ask a doctor just to be sure. Otherwise, no worries.

RandomMrdan's avatar

What I wouldn’t give to have my foreskin back…. I hear it makes sex more enjoyable for men to keep the foreskin. Sadly my parents decided to take it away from me at birth =/.

FireMadeFlesh's avatar

@RandomMrdan I heard the opposite, since it exposes the head which is the most sensitive part. It is also supposed to cause scar tissue which makes STD infection slightly more unlikely.

FutureMemory's avatar

@RandomMrdan I hear it makes sex more enjoyable for men to keep the foreskin.

I wonder how they gauge that…

DominicX's avatar

Alright, I don’t want this to become an argument about circumcision…I have absolutely no intention of getting a circumcision or anything like that. I like being uncircumcised and I believe my parents made the right choice. No need to do anything drastic.

But thanks for the answers, guys. :) I actually just read that there are methods for stretching the foreskin. I suppose if need ever came for that, I might try that. As it is, nothing ever caused me trouble; it was just reading about it that made me question it. And I am sexually active with my boyfriend, no problems there. I did read that it could cause pain with vaginal intercourse, but I don’t exactly have to worry about that… ;)

Scooby's avatar

Check this out!! User discretion is advised!! ;-)

http://indra.com/~shredder/intact/anatomy/

Hope it helps!

DominicX's avatar

@Scooby

Yeah, see, in that first set of pictures, I can only get mine to go as far as the third picture. Interesting.

Scooby's avatar

@DominicX

Yep, I had a similar problem when I was younger, in my teens! Things soon sorted themselves out after some gentle hands on.. :-/as advised by my doctor…

anartist's avatar

does it hurt?

dpworkin's avatar

If it hurts there are things you can do about it. If it’s not painful, and sex is enjoyable, try not to think so much.

whiteroseman's avatar

I think the key for anybody in this situation is pain/discomfort levels. If there are none then it is fine – it ain’t broke so don’t fix it. if you did have any discomfort I would recommend a visit to a sympathetic doctor (one who does not automatically recommend chopping it off because the majority of people in the US seem to think that is how it should be). Seems strange from the UK side of the pond but each to their own.

davidbetterman's avatar

Give it a Briss…

Dr_C's avatar

If you can’t retract the foreskin behind the head of the penis you may be describing phimosis, which basically is the inability to retract the distal foreskin over the glans penis (head of penis). Physiologic (or normal, naturally occurring) phimosis occurs naturally in newborn males. Pathologic phimosis defines an inability to retract the foreskin after it was previously retractible or after puberty, usually secondary to distal scarring of the foreskin.

Physiologic phimosis results from adhesions between the epithelial layers of the inner prepuce and glans (the skin of the shaft and head of the penis). These adhesions spontaneously dissolve with intermittent foreskin retraction and erections, so that as males grow, physiologic phimosis resolves with age.

Poor hygiene and recurrent episodes of balanitis or balanoposthitis lead to scarring of preputial orifices (the opening of the foreskin), leading to pathologic phimosis. Forceful retraction of the foreskin leads to microtears at the preputial orifice that also leads to scarring and phimosis. Elderly persons are at risk of phimosis secondary to loss of skin elasticity and infrequent erections.

Patients with phimosis, both physiologic and pathologic, are at risk for developing paraphimosis when the foreskin is forcibly retracted past the glans and/or the patient or caretaker forgets to replace the foreskin after retraction. Penile piercings increase the risk of developing paraphimosis if pain and swelling prevent reduction of a retracted foreskin.

With time, impairment of venous and lymphatic flow to the glans leads to venous engorgement and worsening swelling. As the swelling progresses, arterial supply is compromised, leading to penile infarction/necrosis, gangrene, and eventually, auto-amputation.

This may not be your case but I would suggest that if you can’t retract the foreskin easily or find it to be tight when the penis is erect you go get checked out.

Hope this helps.

Answer this question

Login

or

Join

to answer.

This question is in the General Section. Responses must be helpful and on-topic.

Your answer will be saved while you login or join.

Have a question? Ask Fluther!

What do you know more about?
or
Knowledge Networking @ Fluther