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.


Dear Robin,
I'd prefer if you don't publish my email address on your site, but you can publish this letter if you like.  I want to respond to two things on your site.
First, I was in a nearly four year long relationship with a man several years back.  It was my first relationship and began shortly after we left high school.  When we became intimate, he told me he wasn't circumcised.  Now, having grown up in the Midwestern USA, I had never seen an uncircumcised penis before, or even a drawing of one, so when I saw his phimotic ring and the non retracting foreskin I had no idea that this was not normal.
My ex had problems with painful erections, lots of trouble urinating, often couldn't urinate when he needed to and, well, every sexual problem that the anti-circ fanatics like to associate with circumcision--he needed to masturbate vigorously to achieve orgasm, he had hair on his shaft, he couldn't control his orgasm, and his penis had a bend in it.  He was also into BDSM and encouraged me to mock and hurt him, particularly teasing him about his small, ugly penis. 

We did not have intercourse and I failed to see how it would "work" if we even tried it.  There was no way that crooked penis could get inside of me, not to mention if I tugged down on the foreskin, he would be in extreme pain and I only imagined that him penetrating me would cause more such pain.   We broke up after four very frustrating years.  I blamed lack of circumcision and myself. 
I never had any idea at all that my ex's penis was anything but normal.  I had no education on foreskins at all, except that they cause trouble and are removed at birth.  What I experienced with my ex only confirmed it for me.
Okay, fast forward to years later.  I lost my virginity to my now-husband, who is circumcised.  The sex is wonderful and after learning that I could touch him, masturbate him, and actually have success in giving him orgasms, I have much more confidence in myself. 
Anyhow, I had a pregnant friend who became a member of the anti-circ militants during her pregnancy.  I pulled her aside and told her confidentially about my ex's problems and urged her to have her child circumcised after he was born.  She said something like, "What you're describing is impossible.  Most men can retract their foreskins."  I remember a sense of shock that lasted weeks.  After a quick Google, I found the word "phimosis" and finally had a word for what had caused all of the sexual problems in the relationship of four years. 
I also found several statistics, ranging from 2 and 10 percent of men suffering from phimosis. 
I also read the anti-circ propaganda. 
I am utterly horrified that the anti-circs suggest that phimosis and non-retraction are normal until puberty and often after puberty.  I am equally horrified when I am told by an anti-circer that most adult men who cannot retract are fine with the way they are and don't see the need to treat.  Same goes for when someone tells me that the problems I experienced with my ex are rare.  In a sexually restrictive society where people have no information on retraction and up to 10 percent of men are suffering from phimosis, I'm quite sure my problems aren't normal.  In fact, I've since talked to another friend who had the same problems and has vowed to educate everyone she knows on "the dangers of not circumcising."
Every time I hear an anti-circer spewing the above nonsense, it makes me more likely to promote routine circumcision and tout its benefits.  I think it's preferable to see everyone circumcised at birth than to have all of this hidden pain and shame--both on the part of these suffering men and their partners.  The worst is that the people who fought to "keep them intact" are the ones telling them that they're fine and shouldn't be allowed medical treatment.
I think that this anti-circ craze will last all of one generation in America.  I predict that after an angry generation of boys goes through adult circumcisions, they will have their sons circumcised. 
I enjoyed your site.  It is refreshing to see an anti-circumcision person who is reasonable and REALIZES PHIMOSIS IS A SERIOUS PROBLEM FOR MEN AND THEIR PARTNERS, one that causes a lot of pain, physical and emotional, and cannot be brushed off as an oddity.  Thank you for your perspective.  I do like your idea of checking for phimosis, but can't see it happening in the USA without some serious value modification.  We value our privacy.  We don't want to be touching or looking at our sons once they can wash themselves, and we don't want anyone else doing it, either. 
Those are my thoughts for now, but I'm still thinking on it.  Thank you for the information and thank you for being the only anti-circer on the internet to acknowledge what a problem the anti-circ movement is in the process of causing their boys.
Jan -- a mid-western girl


Dear Jan,

Well this gets my prize for best letter of the month (sorry no money, but if you want to make yourself a badge or T shirt with “best ARC letter of the month” then Id be happy :). This will definitely get published (naturally without real names or addresses).

Maybe youd be interested in a special section on my site called “Women Suffer Too” – you can find this by going to

I totally agree with everything you say, fully appreciate your experience, and your estimation of the anti-circ fanatics (and thanks for the compliments to my site).

A few points about your boyfriend. The hair on the shaft is just an unfortunate extra that he had, and naturally the bend in the shaft has nothing to do with phimosis. Bending is a typical sign of “penis fracture”. One medical study on penis fracture suggested sometimes this is caused by bumps when the baby is still in the womb. This is pure speculation but suggests that at sometime he may have had a penis injury.

This added to a painful phimosis (probably a mixture of frenulum breve and phimotic ring) gives him a very crazy penis and a very crazy self image etc. – I often wonder how much this sort of physical inhibition and pain leads to humiliation fantasies – as pain and inhibition is always associated with sex and he learns to heighten this for fulfilment.

It is a very unfortunate and sad situation … and so absolutely ridiculous because cures are so easily available … if only the medical profession would monitor boys, or at least give out information on the subject. The big problem is that the subject is so tabooed and men are so embarrassed that previous to internet no one ever talked about it and so the problems just recurred in each generation. The idea that phimosis could in any way influence sexuality appears laughable in our culture and in my personal experience around 20 doctors rejected this idea.

I had 43 years before discovering my phimosis and realising this was not normal. This was 43 years of avoiding pain, and slowly developing humiliation fantasies, I couldn’t easily penetrate, whereas masturbation was easy to control with my own hands, though none of my girl friends could touch my erection, I loved a lot of girls, at least I enjoyed the cuddling, but the sex was often worrying and I believed my sexual problems were psychological. When I actually discovered the phimosis, the doctors didn’t want to know and tried to persuade me this wouldn’t change my sexuality and the problems were indeed psychological. Incredible closed mindedness. If you want to read my story it is under

Now back to your letter, Ive studied the statistics in depth and unearthed many studies which other sites don’t have, statistics of 2.4% were recorded in one controlled study, however in spot checks, the statistics range from 4% to 14% this is probably because different degrees of phimosis are being measured, and added to this doctors have only ever studied phimotic ring, there are no statistics on frenulum breve except among animals! And there are no statistics for phimotic ring in the erect state – so from all accounts we are talking about far more than 10% of men who suffer “phimosis”.

I really agree with your horror at the mindlessness of the anti circ brigade, and your prediction – everything –

I am aware of the prudery problems in the USA – but here if monitoring cannot become normal practice then education MUST be, and boys must receive the information, and here, what hope have I got with the anti circers on one side the pro circers on the other, and both these are supported by numerous doctors!!

The pro circers, advise a full circumcision, this is to prevent such things as AIDS, cancer, infections, etc. it has not been proved that full circumcision does prevent these things, but the arguments between anti and pro often follow these lines. To cure phimosis and most degrees of frenulum breve a partial circumcision is all that is necessary.

Whilst in the modern world I am totally behind my wish for education and monitoring, I often marvel the wisdom of Abraham who introduced the PARTIAL circumcision 4,000 years ago. For any culture previous to “modern health care” this partial cut seems an excellent measure … in the old days the partial circ could be performed with a simple guard and guillotine … the full circumcision practiced in the USA is a modern development I guess in the last 100 years; mainly due to plastics and technology which has enabled the development of various plastibells and gomco clamp etc to perform a full cut easily.

Full circumcision is also an inhibition (eg. men must use lubricant when masturbating). Partial circumcision allows some movement of the foreskin – if the doctors in the USA performed routine partial circ, I believe the anti circ campaign would never have developed.

Those are my thoughts for you.

Thanks again for your experience and thoughts.