A close friend is uncircumcised and his penis is extremely sensitive to being touched

Last updated on August 12, 2020


One of my close male friends has a condition that has been yet to be diagnosed.  He is extremely religious and Armenian. Circumcision is not a possible solution for him.  That being said, I finally convinced him to go see a urologist about his condition.  He is an uncircumcised male whose foreskin pulls back easily upon erection, but who has extreme pain with it is pulled back.  His penis is extremely sensitive to the touch.  The urologist could find nothing physically wrong with his penis and prescribed a cream for the mild irritation he had on the tip of it.  He’s used the cream for two weeks, and still has both the redness and the pain upon contact.  He is 24, a virgin, mainly for the fact that any contact without the foreskin over his penis creates pain.  Having made a second appointment to see this doctor, he then canceled the appointment, perhaps out of frustration or shame.  What can I do or say to him to convince him to continue to look for a solution?  Can you think of any possible causes for his major discomfort?  I am concerned that both with the stigma of being Armenian and not being properly taught to care for his sexual parts, and with his frustration and reluctance to get himself checked again, that he will continue to be depressed.  Help!


It is a bit unusual for a man with a retractable foreskin to have extreme sensitivity. What typically happens is a man has problems retracting his foreskin but, because of the circumstances in his upbringing, he doesn’t realize that there is a problem. When the foreskin is eventually pulled back, the glans (the head of the penis) is extremely sensitive because of its lack of tactile contact.

In normal development, spontaneous erections causes the glans to be exposed often enough to desensitize it. I’m guessing that your friend has a long foreskin so that his glans remains fully covered even as an adult and that because of the pain, he “trained” himself not to have full erections.

Since the doctor found nothing wrong, let’s assume that the problem is just sensitivity. What he can do is train himself to be less sensitive. It will take several months, but it is doable and it will work.

  • As often as he can, he needs to retract his foreskin and purposely touch his glans. At first, he is only going to be able to manage a gentle poke. He should then wait for the pain to subside and try again another time.
  • Eventually, he will get to the point where he can touch the glans repeatedly without pain. Some men are able to retract their foreskin and it will stay retracted until it is moved back into place. If your friend is one, then in the privacy of his own room, he should take his penis out, retract the foreskin and leave it exposed as long as he can. It will feel uncomfortable at first because the drying out of the glans will cause discomfort.
  • When this becomes more comfortable, he should sleep at night with nothing on below the waist and retract his foreskin as often as he can. The light touch of the sheets is going to be painful at first, but after repeated exposure, it will fade.
  • Next, wearing loose boxer shorts in the privacy of his room, he should retract his foreskin while leaving his penis under the shorts. The boxers are going to contact his glans continuously, but by this time the discomfort should be tolerable.
  • Finally, each time he uses the restroom, he should retract his foreskin before zipping up his pants. His pants will increase the pressure a bit, but again the discomfort will only continue for a while.

All of these things can be done privately and will work if he sticks to it. If the pain is extreme at the beginning, he can consider taking a pain reliever before exposing his glans.

Even with his condition, there is no reason that he can’t consider getting married. Men with this condition are able to have sex with their wives by using a condom to reduce the sensitivity of the glans. Of course, this will make it difficult to have children, so it is not a route I would recommend. Nor would I recommend circumcision. All this does is force a man to expose his glans all at once. The result will be the same in the end, but the pain at the beginning will be extreme. At least with the routine above he can control the amount of discomfort he endures at a time.