Dear Internet: An Open Letter about Circumcision

An uncircumcised American guy discusses the more awkward and painful parts of his sexual coming-of-age, due to never being taught about his foreskin, or how and why it’s different to most other American dicks. This story is yet another example of the poor sex-ed in this country preventing us from having good sex!

Dear Internet,

I am a 31 year old man, and like an ever growing portion of the U.S. male population, I am uncircumcised. You probably won’t be surprised to hear that my parents never addressed this topic with me (or any other sexual topics) and, surprise surprise, my public school sex-education was not very good. (The only information my middle school Health class gave on the topic was “an uncircumcised penis still has the foreskin around its head, but most men are circumcised.”) Thus, for much of my life I was completely ignorant as to how I was different from the guys I saw in porn, and that I might need to do something extra in order to enjoy sex like most men did.

Because no one ever told me that my foreskin is supposed to roll back behind the head of my penis (nor that I should be consistently pulling it back for things like cleaning or sexual stimulation), I never did it, and the skin remained extremely tight. In fact, while experimenting during adolescence with pulling it back even just a little bit, it was very painful, and so I figured I just shouldn’t do that. When receiving my first blow-job—which was in theory supposed to lead up to my first time having sex—my foreskin was pulled back and went behind the head of my penis for the first time in my life. The blow-job giver had never been with an uncircumcised man, and pulled away at the sight of it. “Is that supposed to happen?” she asked, scared. But I was also frightened and confused, and meekly answered, “I don’t know.” She shrugged it off and tried to keep going, but this newly exposed flesh was way too sensitive and I couldn’t take it. I had no idea what was going on and my foreskin was so tight that it wouldn’t go back to normal. The head of my penis was turning darker and darker, and I was afraid that something was seriously wrong. (I was imagining the conversation I was going to have to have with a doctor at the ER.) Eventually, the girl and I gave up trying to maintain the sexiness of the moment—we stopped and talked for a bit as I tried to pull the skin back up. After about ten minutes I gave in and pulled very forcefully, bared through the pain, and it finally popped back into place. Needless to say, the moment of passion had passed and my virginity lasted.

I spent the next day researching this on the internet and found the condition “tight foreskin,” aptly named because the foreskin is too tight to roll back behind the head. (Though you can probably imagine the condition without further explanation, there’s now a great description of it on The prescribed way to deal with this during sex was simply to not roll the foreskin back, and to wear a condom over it to keep intercourse from pulling the foreskin back too far. That night I met up with my lover and we tried again. This time when she went down on me I told her what I’d learned, and asked that she be careful to not to pull it back. My foreskin stayed where it normally was, and after the blowjob I put a condom on (which I would have done anyway, of course) and we had sex for a few hours. But I never came. It was enjoyable and still fun and all, but truth be told it was very anticlimactic and a bit frustrating (for both of us).

The next time I had sex the results were similar. This woman was a bit more experienced, though, and when we gave up and I took off the condom she asked, “You rolled your foreskin back before you put that on, right?” I told her about the condition, but I wondered if it really had to be this way. I started gently stretching my foreskin back while I was in the shower and not erect. At first even this hurt (and the water hitting the exposed part hurt in a different way), but eventually, with lubrication, I could roll back my foreskin while fully erect without discomfort. The process took at least a few months, but the next time I was lucky enough to have sex I was able to roll the skin back and have normal sex, and was able to orgasm easily. Too easily for her, to be honest, but I was way too excited feeling like the Big O might finally happen to hold back. When I told her that was my first time cumming while having sex and she was really surprised. Then I ate her out for a while, and we had sex twice more that night. It was awesome; everyone was a winner :)

Now, almost a decade later, I’m so much wiser and more comfortable with my body, but I can’t really say the same for most in our male society. I know there are many men out there who are in similar situations to how I was. I know there are women who have sex with these men and have their own frustrations. There isn’t really a male equivalent to the yearly gynecologist visit, and even with their doctor most men don’t want to talk about this kind of thing. Not even close male friends will talk openly about sexual problems (not even when drunk), though when I have occasionally brought up the topic, often someone in the conversation will candidly tell me in private that they’ve experienced a similar problem.

I’ve shared my story and it’s been helpful to some. But to truly solve this problem we need a system in place to educate men about their bodies, which would greatly help them (and the people who they’re fucking) out. The level of sex-ed in this country is already pretty dismal, and the minimal sex-ed we do get is usually very woman-centric, and often (problematically) centered around teaching girls how to fend off advances from guys, rather than how to have positive sexual experiences. But guys need help learning about our bodies, too.

Love, Kevin



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