Phimosis is a medical condition in which the foreskin is unable to retract over the head of the penis, and this can make it difficult to have safer sex.
Phimosis and Condoms
Of course, when referring to safer sex, I mean using a condom. A lot of uncircumcised men are still confused about how to put on a condom. If this applies to you or your partner, read up on it here: ‘Condoms and Uncircumcised Penises.’
Lightbulb-shaped condoms, like the LifeStyles WYLD, are great for gripping the base of the uncut shaft, while leaving a lot of extra head room, and they are really easy to put on and take off. But sometimes, the foreskin gets caught in the tip of the condom causing discomfort and increased friction. This is an extremely common problem, so if you are experiencing this and feeling frustrated about it, you are not alone.
The trick is to find a condom that is wide enough at the head to accommodate the extra skin, with being so wide that it bunches up underneath the foreskin, causing friction and irritation. The truth is, there may only be a few male condoms that fit you or your partner in this perfect way.
Using the Condom Size Chart to find your size range and then trying on some condoms from the Condom Sampler Packs are the perfect ways to get started in the quest for your quintessential condom. And, if you can’t find one that works for you– don’t forget about the FC2 female condom. Here is an article about how they work.
When wearing any type of condom, using an adequate amount of additional lubricant is very helpful for comfort’s sake as well, as this helps the condom to slide around without getting caught up in the fishnet of foreskin. Plus, it also reduces the heat created by friction, which can lead to breakage. Personally, I prefer the luxurious silicone-based lube known as Pjur Body Glide Woman.
As it turns out, even women can have trouble with foreskin retraction. As discussed in ‘Cunnilingus Tips, Tricks and Techniques,’ the clitoral hood and the foreskin share similarities. In clitoral phimosis, the hood cannot be pushed back from or separated from the clitoris, which leads to decreased pleasure and less sensitivity during sex, since the clitoris is partially obstructed.
If you or your partner has phimosis, and it is effecting self-confidence and sexual performance, have a discussion about what this means for both of you. Be patient with them as treatments and trying a variety of condoms and lubes takes time and dedication. Your support throughout the process will be appreciated.
The Facts on How To Retract
For uncircumcised men, most of the time the foreskin retracts before puberty, with the average age of retraction being 10.4 years old. However, some are late bloomers, even well into their teens, and for some men, this retraction doesn’t occur at all. Usually at this time, medical advice and treatment are sought out.
Foreskin stretching routines, creams and steroids are often employed to help the foreskin retract over the head. Occasionally, these methods don’t improve the amount of retraction and an adult circumcision is performed in order to get rid of the retraction issue all together. This is inpatient surgery, however, and it should be taken very seriously.
Another, perhaps less radical, surgical procedure called preputioplasty can be performed if there is a stenosis problem with foreskin retraction. This outpatient procedure involves a parallel with the shaft slit being cut into the foreskin, and then a perpendicular stitch job. It is most commonly used when the foreskin opening is smaller than the erect circumference, which results in a waist-like shape where the foreskin retracts. Unlike an adult circumcision, only local anesthesia is used for preputioplasty.