This site discusses phimosis in its specific forms of phimotic ring, frenulum breve, adhesions or skinbridges. During erection these conditions inhibit the relationship between foreskin and glans. This functionally restricts the erection, and thus has an effect on the sexuality. With our culture's attitudes on health care, it would be appropriate to encourage early prevention.

Jan 2021 : Please read the new summary.


The short version of this file is a good introduction and advised for easy reading. This is about ten times longer

The specific mixture of foreskin malformations which I grew up with, led to a bizarre initiation into manhood and were an underlying influence throughout my post puberty life.

The first time I remember masturbating was around the age of 11 when I still had adhesions. I have a vivid memory of the occasion, it was after a bath when I discovered my erect penis. I remember that nothing was movable (due to the adhesions), and I worked the erection down until it was flaccid, and as this was good fun, I simply continued manipulating without any erection - and shortly afterwards ejaculated.

The next erection was in all probability on the following night, when I was lying in bed and the lights were out. On this occasion, I peeled back the adhesions. They were stuck evenly and it was like peeling off elastoplast, it was painful but intriguing. Then, all at once, the phimotic ring of a relative phimosis scraped unlubricated over the coronal ridge, latched behind the glans for a split second, (creating a spring mechanism with the frenulum breve); and then shot forward again.

I held my phallus in panic thinking I'd done myself a permanent damage: I'd obviously done something which I shouldn't have done! This had been an experience like putting your hand in fire, or rather, more like an electric shock - I had learnt without any shadow of doubt, that my foreskin was not meant to be retracted.

I forgot (repressed) this frightening experience. School and family doctors put me through every required check, I was certified 100% healthy and normal.

Throughout at least the first two years after puberty, I masturbated in the flaccid state, and this was the foundation of my own experience of my male body. Though soft masturbation is often thought to be impossible it is not a total rarity: though reported in old age, it was the reports during adolescence and one medical study on the curious masturbation methods used by men with phimosis from Beauge, which gave me the extra courage needed to start writing this diary.

Wet Dreams
For as long as I can remember, and probably every night, I would half wake up with a dream time erection. My automatic reaction was to hold this firmly to suppress it. As the erection subsided, I'd return to sleep. The process took maybe 15 seconds, a sleepy semi conscious experience which I grew accustomed to and could recall when waking. This behaviour precluded any spontaneous wet dreams.

"Normal" Masturbation
I must have been around 13 or 14 when I discovered that I could also masturbate "normally". On these occasions, I didn't grasp my erect penis, I held it at finger length between my finger tips and thumb.

As I neared full erection, I started making quick pulls at the end of the foreskin to keep it forward, I was only dimly aware of this pulling sensation. It was a very quick automatic action which slowly became more regular until, previous to ejaculation, every two strokes I would quickly pinch and pull on the foreskin, to keep it forward; this happened as part of one continuous motion. I had been largely unaware of this process for around thirty years. It had become so natural, that in the period of time before my operation I was able to observe with some amazement the habit which had developed.

Love Making
I was emotionally very fit, happy, open hearted and good looking, and my first sexual relationships started at age 15. The first two were foiled on penetration. Particularly entertaining was trying to use a condom for the first time. Though this may be a precarious manoeuvre for the normal youth, consider the extra practice needed by those who must put the condom on while holding the foreskin forward, ... I wonder if any other boy has had the experience of the condom flying a good few feet across the room, or if this was my spring mechanism in action.

With my third girl friend after extended practice together, I succeeded in penetrating the gates of heaven by kneeling and holding my foreskin forward and guiding the phallus into her, a procedure which took both hands and an amount of acrobatic ability. I felt very pleased with myself and celebrated this successful initiation process and realised the secrets of manhood, ... and reinforced my rather suspect behavioural patterns.

It is generally considered impossible, during intercourse, for a man to control the size of his erection. I maintain that the fear of a potential pain exerts a predominant influence and that this can teach specific and even unnatural behaviour.

The fullest erection I could experience was by pulling the foreskin forward, this also allowed me to use "the floppy bit" (the overhang) as a tickler, (very enjoyable for both!) ... Making love was easier when I was not fully erect. (This was another fact which I only half recognised and was uncomfortably guilty about).

With later girl friends I experimented within the bounds of my limitation, grew somewhat acrobatic, but I always needed to hold the foreskin forward. I can only remember isolated moments when I was erect, inside a lover, and these were cuddle moments, holding her with both my hands, but without any pumping movement.

When my girl friends held my phallus I always lost my erection. There was one exception to this and she used to pull the foreskin forward (i.e, away from the problem area). When once she tried to hold the phallus I lost my erection, she was disappointed and I had to explain, as always, "Yeah that always happens".

Regardless of the love and trust in a relationship, when such a problem is unconscious there is bound to be a degree of anxiety about one's phallus being touched. Controlling my erection with my own hands, was indeed a most appropriate and natural response to my circumstances and this behavioural response was the expression of my sexuality.

I experimented twice with men but this also revealed nothing due to losing my erection when held - (There was no thought of comparison and also the lights were out).

The following study or analysis appears totally necessary, but it becomes increasingly psychological and consequently may become increasingly boring, in which case srolling down quick is advisable

Emotional Health and Adaptability
I believe it was my basic emotional and psychological health which led me to sleeping and cuddling with a wonderful variety of women. Often these relationships were not of a sexual nature, however among them were around thirty sexual adventures, of which around ten were non starters, but around ten lasted over six months.

The intimacy of melting in love by cuddling was an experience which often left me feeling confirmed as a person, and I am certainly not complaining about this. Within the bounds of my possibilities, I was experimental enough to have enjoyed a relatively enviable amount of intimate female sensuality. With a few of my girl friends the erotic fun lasted regularly three hours.

Some people may now be asking what on earth the problem was. When we compare my "success rate" to any number of men with emotional problems, then it is clear I "scored" relatively well . . . What I'm complaining about is among all the hundreds of other complicated (emotional and psychological) influences which confuse relationships . . . could there be anything else so simple?, obvious?, preventable? . . . and so completely ignored by our culture?

As a teenager there was obviously no significant or severe emotional or psychological problem. It is very probable that if I hadn't have been so open emotionally with cuddling etc., I would never have so clearly noticed my sexual limitations. The type of sexual intimacy I experienced, was literally "conditioned".

Added to this was the guilt and embarrassment, wondering why I masturbated soft, wondering if I'd ever grow out of it, slowly coming to terms with "my" sexuality ... Every girl friend, and this was especially traumatic with those who I loved, I thought this cant be the right one, because I was convinced that the right one would surely resolve all my sexual fears.

I could describe more of the tendencies I developed in intimate relationships, but I do cherish these times and do not believe that any further example would convince the sceptic. My general argument is in "The Passages to Manhood".

My Search for Answers
Public Information

Two doctors in VD clinics (which I visited because of genital herpes) probably didn't notice, but anyway mentioned nothing about my condition. It was partly because of reading that herpes could be cured by circumcision, and partly in my never ending search for ideas about what could be wrong with my sexual identity and behaviour, that at the age of twenty eight I consulted the literature on circumcision, ...

I remember being a little surprised that the first two books I looked in on male sexuality said nothing on the subject. The third gave the classical medical description that: circumcision is indicated when the foreskin cannot be retracted without pain or difficulty (with the classical omissions of the fact that this applies to both the flaccid and erect states or that often when erect the foreskin remains retracted and rarely a mention of the frenulum). I checked myself, when flaccid and there was no problem: I thought maybe it refers to being erect. On this occasion, because the area was lubricated the foreskin retracted without any pain or difficulty... and naturally sprang forward again!

It required far clearer information than this, to break the belief (which had been established over a period of 17 post puberty years), that I was normal and in good health. The idea that my condition was a healthy one was confirmed by the traditional medical description: Yes! I was able to retract the foreskin without pain or difficulty,... but I didn't wish to do this... and I certainly wouldn't ever dream of holding it retracted, especially when erect!.

Since I had been a youth I had felt uneasy about my sexuality. Our cultural understanding, and the best professional advice, was and still is, that such problems are always the result of upbringing and environment. Thus I spent around 25 years post puberty, questioning what on earth it could be in my upbringing which had caused such problems in my sexual behaviour and attitudes.

My parents didn't beat me, they didn't lie, they are normal to good human beings, they fed me three times a day, helped me with my homework, kept me in after ten, .. and did exactly what our culture wants good parents to do and naturally took me to all the prescribed early medical checks. ... I doubt if an upbringing could be more culturally acceptable than that which I received.

However, because of our modern psychological understanding of sexual problems, I believed my parents must be to blame. I attempted for years to come to terms with this, eventually I "forgave" them by accepting that even if they had subverted my sexuality they had given me enough love and trust to enjoy emotional relationships with the opposite sex, and thus I really wasn't so badly off in comparison to most of the other men who I knew.

During my thirties, I visited two psychologists and presented the symptoms of soft masturbation and waking up just before a wet dream and quelling the erection. Both suggested deep rooted childhood problems, neither of these mentioned avoidance of potential pain from foreskin conditions. How could they have been expected to? Even the experts in psychosexual research who I have consulted during the past three years since my discovery, have rejected the ideas.

Psychologists are firmly of the opinion that adult sexual problems are always based on environmental and parental problems ,... I used to believe this as well ...

Whatever influences there were from my parents which may have inhibited my sexuality - the influence of pain from infant adhesions during the first 11 years of life is a far more basic influence. It is clear that psychologists and sexual researchers have never even considered this.

EARLY LEARNING - A Resumé (Added in 1999 and is it relevant?)
Against the background of the two primary behaviour patterns, (the soft masturbation and quelling my night time erections), any subsequent disorientation in my sexuality seems pretty logical. So let's go back a step further, from the ease with which these two habits became established it is obvious that they had developed previous to puberty and possibly even in infancy. It is clear that the frightening experience with my condition at puberty confirmed these pre puberty behaviour patterns, the question is why did these behaviour patterns start, what was their origin?

Those of a psychological leaning might again suspect that environmental parental or educational factors played a part, so lets consider the possibilities and implications.

Firstly yes, there is an almost complete unawareness and lack of education on problem foreskins. The fact that foreskins only work if they retract is not recognised as one the facts of life ... it should be ... Even these days parents themselves receive no adequate education on foreskin conditions, how can they be expected to care for their sons?

But this lack of education is not the essential problem, .... if my parents or culture had told me that the foreskin should comfortably retract, knowing this in itself would not have changed my physical condition. I would suggest if education is needed then surely firstly the medical profession need to research this and understand it.

Regarding environmental or parental influences, it is very easy to find all sorts of funny quirks in ones own childhood once you start looking
We could imagine that my Mum was embarrassed by my infant erections, she may have had me always in nappies, and it is even possible that she stopped me playing with myself. Possibly most feasible would be an interpretation along the lines of the soft masturbation being a subconscious response to my mother's embarrassment and simply in order to please her I may have learnt to quell my erections and enjoy myself in secret. But where would I have learnt to quell my night time erections? My Mum maintained no supervision over my private sphere and after the age of 2 or 3 she would in all probability only have seen my erections during bath times.

From my ability to be open emotionally, and from the integrity and love which I was able to enjoy and to a large extent establish in my relationships, it seems highly unlikely that there was any significant parental problem which inhibited me emotionally or psychologically. A healthy basis for manhood certainly had a fair chance of developing.

On the other hand, it is undeniably true that from birth through early infancy until puberty, during every subconscious erection every time I tried to move my foreskin, the infant adhesions caused pain, ... and similar to twistingyour own arm or hitting your own head, every healthy non-masochistic pre-puberty boy, learns to avoid pain.

The initial and the basic stimulus for my behaviour must be seen as the "natural" pain from infant adhesions. The basic inhibition must be seen as avoidance of a potential anatomical pain; any lack of appropriate preventative measures from my mother can only be secondary.

Kicking the Ball back in the Psychologists Field
I was amazed by the number of psychologists who wished to put the blame on my parents ("its not a question of blame, we only want to help you understand the causes")

Books on the first years of a child's life are full of ideas on Oedipal and anal stages, but they miss out any consideration of the relationship between an infant boy's erections and the development of his sexuality!

The omission of research on this aspect of early male body/touch self experiment and behaviour patterns is astounding, ... The effects of pain from infant adhesions have (to my knowledge) never been questioned by medical researchers.

It is clear that psychologists specialising in sexual research have no awareness of any of the more obvious effects of foreskin conditions, e.g. they are unaware how a partial phimosis hinders intercourse or they imagine that frenulum breve pulls the glans downwards (93). One psychologist had seen many men who complained of foreskin conditions and he said he always considered them to be perceptual problems (61).

I would argue the essential responsibility for this problem rests not with my parents but with modern psychology, for confirming the taboos in our cultural education and attitudes, by sustaining the myth that all adult sexual problems stem from parents, environment and education.

Stop Press: Contrary to the experts in human psychosexual research, I have very recently uncovered a number of veterinary studies which clearly recognise that sexual dysfunction due to physical malformations are a fairly common occurrence among bulls, boars, cats and dogs, - Ah! ... since the development of psychology, the human being must have risen above these simple, merely physical complaints!

The first statistics of "persistent frenulum praeputii" are now also available to me. These are taken from two studies on Beef herds!! - ... the reason for this interest in animals is apparently that sexual dysfunction "Can be economically devastating for the small farmer". As I am still rolling round on the floor laughing about this crazy new development - my thoughts, cultural analysis and full references etc., will be developed at a later stage - in the meantime - be warned: Check the budgie!

Discovery - July 1994, age 43
No one has ever asked me "How did you eventually discover?" I consider it a far more interesting question than the usually asked: "Why did it take you so long to discover?"

Over the years I had been involved in a long process of different directions of enquiry into my sexuality. The final point of this last phase was crucial, and I believe a very important general lesson in life: - The answers are easy - its getting the questions right which is the tricky part!

I had reached a point where it was useless to repeatedly think through everything which appeared logical and possible. There must always be new possibilities, there is no such thing as an unsolvable problem. Thus, I rationally decided to start considering illogical and impossible questions . . . "maybe its something anatomical?" . . two weeks later I remembered the first traumatic experiences with erections at the beginning of puberty and had the answer.

The subconscious problem which had influenced my entire post puberty development, and the main congenital foreskin inhibition (the frenulum) was removed at the age of 43. I then enjoyed the most amazing erections. Not only could I see the glans, and because of the diversity of skin surfaces the phallus looked far more interesting, but also I measured 2cms. extra in length. Within the first ten erections, the coronal ridge had also clearly started to swell out.

I was amazed, this was truly a "self" revelation, this hidden part of my manhood had been discovered, recognised, confirmed, and celebrated. There was no bitterness at life, I was simply astounded, I wept tears of release as I recognised my potential manhood, and in understanding this, I felt made "whole".

I stopped masturbating soft - it just seemed pointless. It is interesting to note the psychological change after the op. this was the first time the erect penis started figuring in my fantasy, Ok so the libido was strong, but so was the erection - it took around a month before my fixated sexuality had matured, so that I became interested in ideas of intercourse or fellatio

It was clear to me that our culture and the medical profession did not understand phimosis and the frenulum, their nature and their possible effects. The phimosis was not visible when flaccid, and so this was no real problem, (it was often referred to as a cosmetic problem). I briefly considered the possibility of having a circumcision from so called "free choice".

My experience had proved the success of self experiment and so I decided to find out for myself the exact nature of this "phimosis", this constriction which is only vaguely described in any of the literature.

I discovered a thin band of gristly skin. By retracting the foreskin quite firmly, to spread out this thin band of gristle as wide as possible, I was able to see the nature of the problem quite clearly. This is fully described under the section on Phimosis Research. It became clear to me that a normal circumcision would be a rather inaccurate cure for this condition. However, I strongly and firmly advise no one to repeat any experiments which stretch the foreskin fully backwards during a full erection.

Kipling's Initiation
I believe to some extent, one could compare my situation to a leg being taken out of plaster after a number of years. It requires gentle therapeutic exercise. It had been on about the thirtieth fully expanded erection after the operation that I had made the examination involving the extremely strong retraction. The examination had lasted approximately five minutes and it must have had some sort of decompressing effect on the erectile tissue. Afterwards, I continued masturbating. A few seconds later, something shot with an intense pain internally through one side of the phallus.

I was shocked, even traumatised, I held myself for consolation and hoped the pains would go away. They didn't

So, this really put the lid on the soup: first I have a foreskin problem which is a delusion, it is only logical that this should be followed by pains which are imaginary. The pains were diagnosed as psychosomatic, and urologists referred me to psychologists.

It seemed that until a psychologist would give me the backing on the effects of frenulum breve and relative phimosis for over thirty active sexual years; the urologists wouldn't start to take my case seriously and consider what could have gone wrong. The psychologists referred me to the experts on sexual psychology - and the experts (as already mentioned) are convinced that such problems are parental.

It is something of a challenge not to get overwhelmed by the situation ... trying to keep my head, when everyone around is sure I've lost it, I am reminded of Kipling's initiation in "If": " ... And then my son you'll be a man".

To argue I'm correct on both points, is the certain proof for most people that I'm wrong on both points. There are similarities between my previous foreskin problem and my present symptoms: both involve genital pain, both have psychological aspects, (as can be expected); both have been taboo subjects for centuries; both are unstudied - but here the similarity stops.

Atypical penis fractures and nerve ruptures are unstudied because they involve internal and very subtle functions and the doctors have only had the technology to study them recently. Foreskin conditions are part of the external body, and I bet my bottom dollar that even our primitive ancestors had recognised the problems (and the possible problems) and treated them (by introducing routine circumcision).

I believe in myself. I know that what I say is real and true (and correct). And, I do hope and pray that the great celestial hand will continue to reach down and tickle me under the chin, ... (worry is probably a good modern word for the devil).

And I`ll cut it at that point, this is where the original version ended (1996).

- it seems a nerve has ripped, probably a form of sports injury walking often hurts, and sex is impossible, ... I put up a couple of pages on my post operation pains, 6 or 7 men contacted me (by year 2000 this was over a hundred men) with similar problems, but none had anything to do with foreskin conditions. So it seems rare and coincidental that I have had two genital problems neither of which the doctors understand.

Thanks for reading