Warm. Cozy. Stretchy. Protective. Functional.
Did you know women have a foreskin, too? It’s our clitoral hood. And just like a woman’s clitoral hood protects her clitoris, a man’s foreskin protects the surface of the glans (head) penis. Here’s a great mouse-over animation that shows how both structures develop in a human embryo: LINK. Without that protection, the mucousal surface of the clitoris and the head of the penis is exposed to air and rubbing against clothing. This constant, unnatural exposure causes the delicate, sensitive skin to dry and thicken, similar to the way the bottoms of your feet callous if you go barefoot all summer. Unlike the callouses on your feet however, the keratinization of the head of the penis is lifelong.
What other nifty stuff does the foreskin do?
Well, the foreskin itself is full of nerves and blood vessels. An adult’s foreskin is a double-layered, mobile, tubular sheath 15 square inches in size. So much for a little snip, eh? It protects the glans (head) of the penis just as a woman’s clitoral hood (also medically known as the “prepuce”) develops from the same embryonic tissue and protects her glans clitoris, keeping it slightly moist, soft, supple, and ultra-sensitive. Without this built-in, physiological protection a process called keratinization begins. Over time, the mucousal skin dries out and builds up additional layers, in much the same way as the bottoms of our feet would become calloused from going barefoot all summer, except, unfortunately, the keratinization resulting from infant circumcision continues throughout a man’s entire lifetime. Find out more about the wonders of the foreskin:
- The Prepuce (Part1)
- The Prepuce (Part 2)
How the gliding mechanism works: Anatomy of the Penis and the Mechanics of Intercourse Just how much skin does routine infant circumcision remove from a future adult male?