Keeping your foreskin back: auto circumcision explained

Auto circumcision sounds scary, but all it means is keeping your foreskin pulled back over long periods of time or even permanently.

Some men choose to keep their foreskin permanently retracted as a way of testing what it feels like to be circumcised, whilst others may simply prefer the way it feels or looks.

Before attempting to retract your foreskin for longer you should make sure that you can easily move your foreskin between normal and retracted states when you are soft (flaccid) and hard (erect).

If you are unable to do so then you should not try to keep your foreskin permanently retracted, as this could lead to paraphimosis.

You may find that you need to get used to the feeling of keeping your foreskin retracted for extended periods of time. You may initially find the experience painful or sensitive, or you might find yourself having more frequent erections.

The head of your penis, called the glans, will also start to dry out and may change colour slightly as it does so. This is natural and fully reversible if you stop keeping your foreskin back.

Your foreskin is unlikely to stay retracted for longer periods. This is because the frenulum – the small, elastic-like band at the base of the head that connects the foreskin to the shaft of the penis naturally pulls your foreskin down to cover the head of your penis.

Sometimes, wearing tight underwear is enough to keep the foreskin from returning to its natural state, although you may still have to adjust it regularly.

Some men use medical tape to physically retract the foreskin. You should be very careful when using foreign objects to keep your foreskin retracted. Avoid using medical tape in a circle around your penis as this can potentially restrict blood flow.

Avoid paraphimosis

You should only keep your foreskin retracted if it is comfortable to do so. If you have a tight foreskin, called phimosis, then fully retracting the foreskin may result in a condition called paraphimosis, where the foreskin is stuck behind the head of the penis and cannot be pulled forward into its natural position again.

Paraphimosis is a medical emergency. If you experience paraphimosis you should contact your doctor or attend a hospital or clinic immediately.

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