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 monitor boys before puberty and encourage early prevention.

2012 : note from author: My previous idea of monitoring boys before puberty is impractical, unecessary and now only of historical interest. please see Postscript.

updates and supporting education on new site :


Phimosis, Ballooning, Infant Adhesions, Balanitis,
Paraphimosis, Frenulum Breve, and a Self Circumcision.

I was thrilled to find your site, as your experience seems to be a bit like mine, because I had all the foreskin problems you talk about - phimosis, adhesions, frenulum breve and also others you don't mention - paraphimosis and a couple of attacks of balanitis - and got no sympathy or help when I was growing up with them.

When I got independent, one of the first things I did was to get myself well and truly circumcised, and the day I lost my foreskin was one of the greatest days in my life, and I'm glad to write about it, because there's so much talk these days on the net, especially from the U.S. (where, after all, most of the net comes from) against circumcision. I've got some sympathy, because I don't think it's right to circumcise babies, who don't have a say in the affair, but as you say, about 1 in ten of all kids have foreskin problems, like you and me, and I think that circumcision later on - either as older kids or as adults like me - should be encouraged much more. Certainly in my case, if by some miracle I woke up one morning with my foreskin back, I'd go straight out to get it cut off again.

Phimosis / Ballooning / Weak Bladder
A lot of my hassle was to do with having a tight foreskin, though some was also to do with my weak bladder and having to urinate more than the other kids and having "accidents" like wetting my bed. My main worry was always that I couldn't aim properly. All the time when I was a kid I was liable to spray and start ballooning out, and I got into trouble for being dirty and wetting my trousers with drips.

Round our way when I was little, all the kids were circumcised and I was the only one that wasn't, so I felt out of it for two reasons - the weak bladder and the foreskin, and I was always sort of ashamed of both, and I got the idea (the other kids did too) that they were connected and the reason I had to urinate so much was because I had a foreskin. I've often wondered if I and my friends were right when we were little, and my tight foreskin and my weak bladder were connected.

I don't remember too much about my foreskin, when I was between about six and nine. but I know I had bad phimosis. I know that to start with it wouldn't pull back at all, because I can remember trying to see inside the hole at the end and not being able to see anything.

You ask about details, well, the overhang at the end is what I call the nipple. In some guys it's longer, and you could call it a trunk. In other guys it's shorter. The tight bit was just on the inside of the end of the nipple. The hole in my foreskin was a sort of rounded triangle of white grissly skin with curved sides, and rounded off points. When I pulled back on it, the hole stretched and a bit of my glans showed through, but when I let go the skin came fully forward again, and it shrunk back to how it was before.

In time I met other kids who weren't circumcised either and even some who also had tight foreskins and I realised I wasn't the only one in the world, but I always hated having a foreskin and it got me terribly interested in other kid's penises and jealous of the circumcised ones. I've seen lots of tight foreskins, and they're mostly like I was.

I think that about the shape of my foreskin and the problems with urinating was the real reason why I started to open up my foreskin and clear the adhesions,

I remember wanting to be able to pull my foreskin back, because I wanted to be like my circumcised friends, and starting to try. I remember stretching the skin and slowly I could see more and more of my glans as the skin stretched.

Finally I got it so that the skin would pull back almost to the back rim of my glans, but there it stopped because of adhesions, and I think I was like that for a long time - maybe as much as a year. Then I remember one day seeing that when I was playing with myself and pulling the skin back, there was a hole appearing between the pink inner foreskin and the dark skin on one side of my glans, where the adhesion was starting to split. I think it worried me a bit, because I didn't understand it, and I didn't know why I had a hole there, but it got bigger, and the adhesion slowly gave way and I realised that it was just that the skin was now going right back, and I soon pulled the rest of the adhesion out, and I could get the skin right the way back like all my circumcised friends. I think I was eight when this happened, so the whole thing took two years or so.

Your remark about it being a bit like stripping sticking plaster off is good, and if I remember right, it hurt a bit, but not very much, and I didn't mind because it was something I was interested in doing. I probably mostly pulled at the skin when I was hard, just using one hand to pull the skin back from the back of the glans, but I think also I pulled using two hands, one on the glans and one on the foreskin, just gently easing them apart, and this would be when I was limp. But I don't really remember.

The next time I remember things to do with my foreskin came when I was about twelve, and I had to go and stay with some friends (while my Mum was in hospital), and there were two brothers in the house about my own age who were both tightly circumcised, and I was very jealous, and I started trying to stretch my foreskin again, and went on with it when I got back home, and either because I was too rough with it, or because it was scarred from the last time I got it back, this time it got sore, and became very painful and infected, so that even though I eventually got the skin to go back as I had before, it hurt.

The pain came when I got urine on the inside of my foreskin. In the daytime it was usually O.K., because as I've said, it happened while I was stretching my foreskin, so I could pull it back enough to be able to urinate without my foreskin getting in the way. But at night, when my foreskin was forward, it hurt each time I wet myself

I tried to keep it quiet, but it made some sort of pus, (which sometimes sealed up the hole so I ballooned right out till the pressure pushed the plug of pus right out, and it hurt). The pus also stained my pants, and my mum saw it, and I had to go to the doctor. He prescribed some ointment which had to be pushed inside my foreskin every night, it worked, and the soreness, which I now know was balanitis, went, but I didn't dare play with my foreskin any more, and it soon closed up again.

Summary till 16 yrs. old
So, the story is that till I was nearly eighteen, I only had two periods when my skin would go back. Whether you call it phimosis or not I don't really know, but with me it was just that the hole in the end, a bit inside the nipple was naturally tiny except when I stretched it. I definitely remember that when I was 16 before I started stretching it, the hole was so small that I couldn't get my little finger in,

For all my early teens, I couldn't pull my foreskin back at all, and as I said, I didn't really ever try. Masturbation didn't do much for me, because my puberty was very late, but when I got to sixteen I started to get worried, and started secret regular masturbation in the hope of getting something to come, but nothing did, and I got the idea that, (like years before with my urine), that I'd never be able to masturbate properly till I got my foreskin back, so I started slowly and carefully trying to stretch it again.

My puberty finally started just before I was seventeen, and my voice broke soon after my seventeenth birthday. I remember the thrill I got when I first started getting feelings if I masturbated really hard, Sometime round then I got my foreskin to go right back without any soreness, though it was terribly tight to start with. That was the time when I had trouble getting the skin forward again once I'd got it back - paraphimosis.

It was never very bad, but I remember it giving me a scare a few times, and I learned that if the skin wouldn't come forward, the thing to do was not to panic, but to slowly squeeze my glans and press the blood out of it till it got small enough for the tight bit of the skin to go over the rim. I just pressed it gently with the fingers and thumbs of both hands, and the blood was slowly squeezed out. I'm sure any similar method would work. I can remember the feeling as it slowly got smaller, and then the skin more or less slipped forward over it.

My parents split up soon after I was 17, so I had to go into care for a time, and I liked it because there was no secrecy about masturbation, nearly all the boys did it all the time, and I learned a lot about how to masturbate, which I still found difficult.

I had a medical check when I went into care and circumcision was recommended. But it didn't happen because I wasn't there long enough. In fact I'm glad it wasn't done while I was at the hostel, because a couple of other boys were circumcised while I was there, and they both had butcher's jobs, and it was always rumoured that they set the medical students onto the care boys.

It was while I was in care that my bridle broke.

Broken Bridle
As for my frenulum (I've always called it my bridle), I think all through when I was growing up it was short, but thin. When I got my foreskin right back after I'd cleared the adhesions, it pulled on the bottom of my glans, and it pulled my slit downwards and tightened it, so that it made me urinate in a real jet, which I liked, though, as I said, it didn't last because my phimosis came back. It was O.K. like that till I was about 17, which was when I finally got my foreskin to go to and fro fairly comfortably.

This pulled my bridle to and fro, and slowly it got thinner, and then it separated from the bottom of the shaft and became just a sort of length of tough skin like a bit of string running from the underside of my foreskin to the bottom of my glans, with an eye hole between it and the underside of my penis. Finally, one day, when I was masturbating in the bath , it just broke. It didn't hurt much, and there was only a tiny bit of blood, and that was it. I was a bit sorry, I haven't got any bridle at all now.

After mine ripped, there were very small dangly bits at each end, that is, on my glans and on the underside of my foreskin, but they both soon disappeared, and just went back into the rest of the skin there.

When I got to 18 and got independent I still hated having a tight foreskin, and I was shy of going to a doctor, so I did what is a bit unusual, but I've met other guys who've done it - I cut off all the tight end of the skin myself and in fact gave myself a slack circumcision.

I was very careful, and did quite a lot of reading in preparation, and used all the ordinary surgical care about asepsis, etc., but I've got to say it's not a thing that I could ever recommend, even though it was O.K. for me, it could have easily gone wrong.

I cut off all my overhang and a bit more, and since I didn't want to use stitches, I did it in three stages, and allowed healing between each. The cuts were done with a fine pair of surgical scissors, which were sharpened to razor-sharpness. As a result, the cuts needed very little force, and they were virtually painless and clean, bled very little, and healed easily.

For the first cut, I got my foreskin fully forward, and gripped the left hand side of the foreskin, between finger and thumb, pulling it right forward, and then cut round where I had gripped it, cutting about equal amounts of outer and inner skin.

Then I pushed the skin back, which it did quite easily now that the tight bit was cut off, and in fact the cut edges aligned themselves behind my glans without any help, but I put micropore tape across the cut to keep the edges in place while they healed, which only took a few days. The first cut was fairly small, because I was cutting out the tight bit of foreskin, but the second cut was bigger, done in the same way on the other side, and the third one cut off all the skin on the underside. I always used micropore tape to align the edges of the inner and outer skin, and the healing gave no trouble at all. There was very little bleeding. I didn't use any ice or anything as anaesthetic. It wasn't necessary with so little pain.

Looking back, I have to repeat that it is not a thing I can recommend, because though it worked very well for me, there might well have been complications.

After the three cuts, the whole of my overhang and a bit more had been cut off, and I guess I had removed just under half my foreskin. So, instead of having a foreskin which was naturally forward but could be pulled back, I had one which was naturally back but could be pulled forward. There was a sort of roll of skin at the back of my glans. If I pulled it forward, it would stay so long as I stayed more or less still, but in normal everyday movement, it just slid back. And of course, when I had an erection it wouldn't stay forward at all. So for the first time I lived with my glans uncovered as I'd always wanted and I loved it.

I was happy with this for many years, and of course I never had any more trouble from balanitis or anything, but as time passed I felt more and more that I was only half circumcised because though my glans was uncovered, I could still cover it, or at least most of it, and I just felt that I wanted to be so that I couldn't possibly cover it. So, when I was in my thirties I had myself radically cut privately when I was less shy about it - and, of course, when I had the money. I've never regretted it for a moment.

As for making an article about my letters, I'd be happy, because I'd like to think that it might help other guys who are worried about foreskin problems.

Peter S. Nov 96 - Feb 97

Peter would appreciate your personal letters at