What is Foreskin Restoration?
I just realized that I am blogging about foreskin restoration as if everyone knows what I am talking about. I am sure many visitors to the site wonder what I am talking about. Well, let me tell you about foreskin restoration.
Foreskin restoration is a process for creating a reasonable facsimile of the natural foreskin. To understand what that means, we need to know what an intact foreskin is. Because the United States has a circumcising culture, many people in the United States have no idea what a foreskin or an intact penis looks like or how it works. And, without knowing anything about the intact penis, people do not understand what is missing by being circumcised. Until I discovered foreskin restoration I had no idea what the differences were.
An intact penis has a foreskin that covers the glans, or the head of the penis. The foreskin is a double-layer of skin that glides over the penile shaft and the glans. The outside of the foreskin is outer skin, which is pretty much normal skin. It has a layer of dartos muscles, just like the scrotum. The inner foreskin is mucous membrane, just like under the eyelids. Here is a video of the penis showing how a foreskin works. Often, an intact penis is referred to as uncut or uncircumcised. I prefer to use body positive language such as intact penis. Using uncut or uncircumcised implies that intact is not the default condition of the male sex organ.
Circumcision removes most of the foreskin. Typically, only enough skin is left after circumcision to accommodate the penis when erect. A side effect of circumcision is that the mucous membranes of the glans and inner foreskin remnant keratinize over time. That is, the mucosal tissue develops a hardened, calloused layer. The keratinization is nature's response to the abrasion and rubbing of the mucosal tissue against clothing and bedsheets. In my case, the keratinization was severe enough when I was in my 40s for me to notice that I was not as sensitive as I used to be.
Sex is better with a foreskin. First, the foreskin protects the glans. This makes the penis more sensitive. Second, the foreskin has a gliding action as it moves back and forth over the corona and glans. The Sex as Nature Intended It website convinced me to start restoring with its illustrated explanations of how the foreskin makes sex pleasurable. Not only is sex better for the man with a foreskin, but sex for women is better, too. There is a study that shows that some problems women have with sex are caused by a circumcised penis. With a restored foreskin I don't need to use lube when masturbating or when having sex. And, my wife is not sore after extended sex like she used to be.
Foreskin restoration is the process of lengthening the shaft skin to grow a skin tube. The skin tube simulates the original foreskin and allows for the gliding action. The restored foreskin covers the glans and protects it. By protecting the glans, the glans returns to its natural state, which is a sensitive mucous membrane.
Restoring the foreskin cannot replace the ridged band nor can it restore the function of the frenulum. The ridged band is at the very tip of the extended foreskin. The band has a very high concentration of Meissner's corpuscles, which are fine touch nerves. The ridged band is a highly erogenous part of the foreskin and is one of the most sensitve parts of the intact penis. See Sorrells study. Fortunately, the inner foreskin remnant, the frenulum, and the corona are also sensitve parts of the penis and remain after circumcision.
Another part of the foreskin removed during circumcision is all or a part of the frenulum. The frenulum keeps the foreskin from fully retracting during sex. It tethers the tip of the foreskin to the glans. The frenulum also has a high density of nerves and is erogenous tissue. Foreskin restoration cannot restore the frenulum if it has been complete excised. But, many men find that they still have a frenulum remnant even though they thought it had been excised.
An advantage of foreskin restoration is that much of the function of the natural foreskin is restored. As described here and here, there are many benefits to having a foreskin, even a restored one. Sex is better for both partners. And, having a protected penis gives me a sense of wholeness and well-being that is hard to describe. It just feels right, like my restored foreskin belongs there.
How foreskin restoration works
Non-surgical foreskin restoration requires growing new skin. Our bodies will grow new skin when properly stimulated. Doctors do this all the time for patients. It is called tissue expansion. Many times doctors need skin to graft onto a patient. They will insert a balloon under the skin. Pumping up the balloon over time will cause new skin to grow. The balloon applyies tension to the skin and mitosis is induced to grow new skin. Restorers use the same principle to restore their foreskin. Instead of implanting a balloon under the skin, though, restorers apply tension externally to the skin on the shaft. Over time, the shaft skin grows into a skin tube long enough to cover the glans.
It is possible to restore a foreskin using surgical methods. A common method is to borrow skin from the scrotum and use it to wrap around the glans. Many men who were surgically restored are not satisfied with the results.
How it is done
Foreskin restoration involves applying tension to the skin on the penile shaft. There are several ways restorers do this. Manual tugging with only your hands is one way. It is my personal choice. By grabbing the skin on the penis and moving my hands apart, I tension my shaft skin. Restorers know this as manual tugging method 2. I only need to do this for a few minutes at a time throughout the day.
Another way to restore is to use elastic to pull on the skin. One end of the elastic is attached to the skin with tape or a device like the TLC Tugger. Yet another way is to attach a weight to the skin, either with tape or some other mechanism, such as a gripper. Still another way, and one that is gaining popularity, is to use a self-contained bi-directional device that tensions the skin. A list of such devices can be found here.
How long it takes to restore a foreskin depends upon how tightly a man is cut and his coverage goal. There is a Coverage Index that allows men to determine how tightly they were cut. Most men have a tight circumcision, which is a CI-1 or CI-2. There is another index called The Real Coverage Index that helps restoring men gauge their progress. Typically, foreskin restoration is a multi-year process, particularly if erect coverage is desired. Fortunately, benefits are usually noticed within months.
To learn more, visit the following sites:
Restoring Foreskin.org has tutorials and a member-only area
Foreskin Restoration / Intactivism Network is a forum with information on restoring methods