THE PHIMOTIC RING
A tightness at the end of the foreskin hinders retraction. There
are two typical forms of this tightness, an infant
phimosis and the phimotic ring. An infant phimosis has an easily
recognisable tubular form, this is common and healthy in infants.
The phimotic ring is a thin contour of tough skin tissue which branches
out from underneath the penis, and curves round over the front of the
inner foreskin, like a noose.
Phimosis Research gives
detailed information on the exact positioning of this phimotic ring.
(To diagnose definately, underneath the foreskin is not so tight, you
will notice that you even have a little flap which you can flip away).
The phimotic ring is by nature less elastic and expands relatively
less than the rest of the foreskin, so any difficulty with retraction
when flaccid is magnified when erect. The anatomical and sexual effects
are varied and depend on the tightness and elasticity of the ring.
(Imagine a ring which is either too small to fit the finger, or
if it does rub over the knuckle it hurts, or it gets stuck).
A primary phimotic ring (from birth) will stretch; whereas a secondary
ring (developing later in life) will tighten. Phimosis
Treatment gives details on the individual treatment of different
types of ring.
Most infants have a ring and this usually stretches
naturally during childhood. Sometimes the ring does not stretch, in
addition it can reappear for a number of different reasons, at any
time of life.
The development of a ring in mid-life is sometimes an indication
for diabetes. In old age together with the general drying and tightening
of the skin, fibrotic elements lead to a deterioration of the rings
elasticity. The ring is also prone to rip and then as it joins, due
to the scar it will become tighter.
The connection between the ring and LSA is particularly convoluted.
Often the abrasive action of the ring during masturbation and the warm,
damp, dark, enclosed area between the foreskin and glans can lead to
LSA. On the other hand due to external influences (partner, soaps,
side effects of other medicines,) LSA may occur and this leads to degeneration
of the skin tissue when subsequently a ring will develop.
Phimosis Treatment gives
details on the different histological types of ring.
THE DIFFERENT DEGREES of PHIMOTIC RING
and THEIR EFFECTS
The phimotic ring varies in tightness and it can have areas of
different elasticity and tensile strength. It is by nature less elastic
and expands relatively less than the rest of the foreskin, so any difficulty
with retraction when flaccid is magnified when erect. The anatomical
and sexual effects depend on the tightness of the ring.
Very extreme degrees (often called pinhole phimosis) cause urinary
complications or infections in childhood, and therefore are often recognised
and treated early.
A partial phimosis will reveal part of the glans but penetration
will often cause frustration as the foreskin bags up in a barrier,
sometime being forced painfully behind the glans causing paraphimosis.
A relative phimosis only becomes obvious during erection, and it
usually starts being problematic at the beginning of puberty as it
rubs over the glans during masturbation which hurts and causes soreness,
often leading to infections.
FULL PHIMOSIS - (PINHOLE PHIMOSIS)
Extreme degrees often cause urinary complications in childhood, for
example not being able to aim, spraying and ballooning, and lets face
it, after urination, not being able to shake all the urine out, (and
the consequent wet trousers). In addition, due to the hot damp environment
between the foreskin and the glans, infections can easily develop.
Should a boy be unfortunate enough to arrive at puberty with a pinhole
phimosis during erection the foreskin is held firmly in place over
the glans, therefore masturbation causes no actual pain. It has been
described as a straight jacket. Beauge describes in detail various methods of masturbation boys use without
Throughout adolescence as behavioural patterns develop, youths grow
accustomed to their condition, either believing themselves to be normal,
or if they do recognise their phimosed status some men obviously grow
to prefer it. Intercourse is possible though this depends on the degree
of lubrication and openness of the vagina and the brutality of penetration.
Reports suggest either little sexual activity or a one sided appetite.
It is possible that at times late treatment would create greater disturbances
than it would cure. Men who are aware of their condition often complain
that the only problem they have is other people telling them they have
"Somehow I like the idea of the glans being hidden and stimulation
being more of a challenge. ... the tightness of the skin is very exciting
to me when it is played with or when I masturbate. ... It does have
a smell most of the time, but it is a very nice male smell that hardly
anyone has objected to." (see
ARCforum1 letter no.37)
With a partial phimosis when erect part of the glans is visible and
some mobility is possible during masturbation.
Partial phimosis often first presents a problem by intercourse and
(more than with pinhole phimosis), penetration requires lubrication,
otherwise the foreskin ruffles up in a barrier (adding much frustration
to the first sexual encounters). If the ring is a little looser or
the vagina a little tighter, it may be forced behind the glans for
the first time causing paraphimosis.
Paraphimosis is when the phimotic
ring gets stuck behind the coronal ridge of the glans, this occurs
typically during the first explorations at the beginning of puberty
or on first love making and is considered a medical emergency.
The condition which is loosely referred to as "tight foreskin",
indicates a degree of this phimotic band which is hardly noticeable
when flaccid. However when masturbating normally ("alternate back and
forth movement" (Beauge) ) relative
phimosis causes pain and difficulty.
As the foreskin is retracted the ring scrapes over the coronal ridge
of the glans. As the ring repeatedly rubs against the glans, the soreness
and abrasion often leads to inflammations and as the process continues
these can easily cause infections, (LSA or balanitis). This development
is frequently reported.
When the phimotic ring is put under stress; (through stretching exercises
or during masturbation when the ring passes repeatedly over the coronal
ridge), it can easily rip. These rips appear to occur lengthwise between
the ridges of the phimotic ring. As the rips heal, they leave scars
which cause a tightening of the phimosis.
With all degrees because of the overall impression that the foreskin
remains forward, there is a tendency for the adolescent to forget to
wash the area. With a pinhole phimosis reports suggest washing is performed
by flushing the area out and squeezing, and/or using a q-tip. or holding
the foreskin closed when urinating, to "swill out all the smegma".
Some medical studies misquote others and give statistics of 1%, there
are other documents giving this figure which have no references Even
if the statistics were only 1%, this would be too many to ignore.
There are no reliable studies which show less than 2.4% and this
statistic was the result of a seven year long selected test study.
For accurate information on statistics, please see The
Encyclopedia of Phimosis Statistics.