We’re always hearing that we could be having better sex, a better orgasm, or a better relationship. But how often do we hear the nitty-gritty of how we can actually better understand our deepest desires and most embarrassing questions? Bustle has enlisted Vanessa Marin, a sex therapist, to help us out with the details. No gender, sexual orientation, or question is off limits, and all questions remain anonymous. Now, onto today's topic: what you need to know about pleasing someone with an uncircumcised penis.
Q: I’m dating my first uncircumcised guy. I feel pretty confident about my skills in the bedroom, but this foreskin thing is really throwing me for a loop. I don’t know what the heck to do with it. It feels like I have to start all over again and learn how to please a guy. And, if I’m being completely honest, I’m even a little weirded out by it. It looks so different from what I’m used to. Help!
A: Thanks for your question. We all have our aesthetic preferences, but we have to be careful not to make other people feel bad about how their bodies look (more on this below). Circumcision rates have been on the decline for a while, so you’re likely to see more and more uncircumcised men. Here are five tips for encountering your first uncircumcised penis.
1. Learn The Basics
Let’s talk about what the heck a foreskin even is in the first place. All baby boys are born with foreskin. It’s a thin piece of skin that covers the head of the penis. If a baby’s parents decide to circumcise him, the entire flap is surgically removed, leaving the head of the penis exposed.
If the boy is not circumcised, the foreskin grows as he grows. During puberty, the skin loosens up a bit, to the point where it can be retracted down to the base of the head. You know how cartoon penises are usually drawn to resemble little mushroom heads? An unretracted foreskin typically covers up the head, so the penis looks like one smooth shaft. When the foreskin is retracted, the “mushroom cap” is exposed, and the foreskin gathers around the base of the “mushroom.” The foreskin typically retracts on its own when the guy gets an erection, but some guys have to gently pull the foreskin back.
And just to debunk the myth: there's nothing inherently "unhygienic" about having a foreskin. Guys have to clean their foreskins just like they clean the rest of their penises, but it's really not a big deal.
2. Treat The Foreskin With Care
The good news about foreskin is that it’s filled with nerve endings, so uncircumcised men generally feel more stimulation than circumcised guys. The trade-off is that the foreskin can require a tiny bit more caution than an uncircumcised penis. You never want to forcibly yank back on a foreskin, or pull it forward too hard (this likely isn't something you would do anyways!).
Most uncircumcised guys like to keep the foreskin retracted when they put on a condom, but some guys like to pull it forward once the condom is on. Let him take the lead in putting on the condom, or ask him about his preference. You should also use lube when you’re giving a hand job or having sex, to help the foreskin slide along (but you should be doing these things anyways, so it’s not a big deal!).
In general though, you usually can play with an uncircumcised penis in the same way you would with a circumcised penis. No special technique required. Everything in our guides to hand jobs and blow jobs will work just fine!
3. Ask Him To Teach You What He Likes
Your new guy is the expert on his foreskin, so take advantage of the experience he already has! In general, you want to get a sense of how he usually treats his foreskin. Does he like paying extra attention to it, or does he just treat it like the rest of his penis? Does he like to keep it retracted, or pull it forward? You want to pay attention to the way he treats the head of his penis too. Some uncircumcised guys don't like direct contact on the head of their penis because it's too sensitive, while other guys love it. Keep in mind that getting to know your partner’s body is something you would do with any partner.
If you’re feeling a little unsure about giving him a hand job, ask him to masturbate in front of you. Say something like, “I want to learn what you like” or “I want to watch you pleasure yourself.” Watch if his foreskin retracts naturally when he gets erect, or if he has to nudge it along. As he’s moving his hand up and down on his shaft, watch to see what he does with the foreskin. Does he hold it in place with one hand and stroke up and down with the other? Does he leave the foreskin in the retracted position? Does he touch the head of his penis or not? If he feels a shy or put on the spot, offer to masturbate in front of him too. That will turn it into a sexy two-person play session instead of a one-sided clinical demonstration.
Again, there's no need to get overly fixated on the foreskin, but you can always try a couple of things out and ask him for his feedback. Try pulling his foreskin forward and gliding your fingers over it, then slide the foreskin back and touch the head of his penis. Ask what he likes better. Put his penis in your mouth and compare swirling your tongue over the foreskin with over the exposed head of his penis.
4. Don’t Body Shame Him
Like I said above, it’s really important not to make your guy feel like a “freak” because he has a little flap of skin that never got cut off. Most of us are already self-conscious about our genitals, and don't need our partners to add to the angst. The bottom line is that your guy’s foreskin is simply a part of his body. Treat it with the same respect that you would treat any other part of his body. It’s OK to let him know you’ve never been with a circumcised guy before and have a few questions about how to please him, but you don’t want to make him feel like there’s something wrong with him, because there’s not!
Try putting yourself in his shoes. Imagine he told you, “wow, I’ve never seen labia like yours. I don’t know what to do with them and they kinda weird me out” That would feel horrible, wouldn’t it? Instead, imagine he said things like, “What makes your body feel best?” “Can you show me what you like?” or, “Do you like it better when I touch you like this or like this?” Way better, right?
5. Give His Foreskin Love
There’s actually a lot to love about foreskins! All those nerve endings make sexual experiences extremely pleasurable for him. Feeling his foreskin slide around while you give him a hand job or blow job can be quite erotic (and even make things smoother). If you get to the point where the two of you are having sex without condoms, you’ll also get some extra sensation from his foreskin gliding back and forth inside of you.
And if you can’t love his foreskin, let him move on to a woman who will.
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