A Sex Educator's Guide to Foreskins

Apr 4, 2024

Here at Global Protection, we pride ourselves on maintaining up to date, inclusive educational materials. Thanks to our customers' questions and our own research, we know there are very few discussions being had around foreskins in the sexual health and education space. Representation is important on all fronts. All penises want to shine! It’s silly that the majority of sexual health education resources are centered around only one experience, so we created this handy guide to fill the “Foreskin Gap.”

Education to Address the Foreskin Gap

The “Foreskin Gap” 

Studies show that roughly 80.5% of males in the US aged 14-59 are circumcised. However, the most recent information from the CDC highlights the fact that “across the 32-year period from 1979 through 2010, the national rate of newborn circumcision declined 10% overall, from 64.5% to 58.3%.” And despite the fact that tens of millions of American penises and the majority of people (almost ¾ ) across the globe are not circumcised, there is little guidance or education for them centered around sexual wellness and harm reduction. In the United States, circumcised penises are viewed as the default, and uncircumcised ones are rarely discussed in sexual health education settings. 

Even in places like the UK where 80% of people with penises had foreskins, “condom instructions, even sex education resources, completely ignore how to put them on well” and don’t even mention foreskin. Nevermind in the US where “it's never ever discussed except in hushed tones. There's virtually zero sexual education aimed at young boys and men regarding hygiene, contraceptives, etc.” Looking at our own resources, we realized we also need more foreskin expertise and educational materials. 

Foreskin Action Plan

Survey: Let's Talk Foreskin

In our efforts to close this ‘Foreskin Gap’, we sent out a Foreskin Action Plan (F.A.P.) survey our ONE® customers.  We received almost 1,000 responses prior to Foreskin Day, allowing us to learn more about the needs of our foreskin friends! 

Condom Challenges and Recommendations

What stood out to us immediately was that 79% of people with foreskins reported difficulty using condoms. Based on the feedback, the main issue for people blessed with a foreskin is that the condom will bunch up in the foreskin and/or constrict movement.

79% of people with a foreskin have experienced difficulties using condoms

Of the 79% of people who’ve had difficulty using condoms with their foreskin, 27% reported that condoms bunched up in their foreskin, creating friction and leading to slippage and even breakages. For a lot of people this issue was exacerbated by improperly fitting condoms. Regular condoms are too snug for 70% of people, a condom that doesn’t allow for a little breathing room is more likely to become entangled in the foreskin and constrict movement. That’s why so many of the people we surveyed preferred our MyONE® Custom Fit™ lineup of 52 condom sizes, since it enabled them to enjoy the natural gliding action of their foreskin without having to worry about friction and breakages. Their experience was further enhanced by adding some extra lubricant in the tip of the condom prior to putting it on.

Traditional straight condoms fit overly tight and either become stuck between the foreskin & glands or prevent movement of the foreskin - Customer Comment

For those lucky enough to have a proper fit with standard sized condoms, there are a few amazing options under our ONE® brand. People loved our thinner and extra lubricated ONE® styles such as Vanish®, Super Sensitive™, and UltraFeel®. 

People also loved styles with a little extra room at the head such as Legend XL and Pleasure Plus. Varieties with extra space at the tip are a great option for the 26% of survey respondents who have experienced constricted movement of the foreskin with other condoms. Legend XL features a flared shape that adds an extra dimension of comfort and pleasure with a roomier head, they are longer and wider than standard sized condoms. Pleasure Plus on the other hand features a unique pouch at the tip with a ribbed texture for pleasure. The pouch moves back and forth during sex, stimulating both partners simultaneously. It specifically targets the frenulum, a sensitive area on the underside of the penis. 

To Retract or Not to Retract?

Penis Measuring: To Retract of Not to Retract

Apart from issues with fit and pleasure, of the 79% of people who’ve had difficulty using condoms with their foreskin, 21% were unsure whether or not to retract the foreskin prior to use. We’ve found that there is no definitive suggestion to make, as it comes  down to personal pleasure. Whether you’re team up or team down, you’re sure to have a pleasurable experience if you use a properly fitting condom that enables your foreskin to move naturally, possibly with extra space and/or lubricant depending on your individual preferences.

21% were not sure whether of not to retract their foreskin prior to condom use


Foreskin Pride

Every penis is different, and so is every foreskin. People tend to think of foreskin as binary - you either have it or you do not. However that simply isn't the case. Some people have more, some people have less, some people have loose and some people have tight foreskin. For some people, getting an erection means the foreskin will fully retract, for others their penis could be completely covered and even have a little overhang. Even among those who have been circumcised, some will have more or less skin remaining, some even have enough to actively restore their foreskin through stretching. It’s not just shape and size that makes a penis unique, it’s everything. From the head down to the base; and from the foreskin to the heart, we will always be committed to inclusivity!

Read Our Blog on Closing the Foreskin Gap in Condom Education to learn more!

Stigma, Myths & Misconceptions 

33% of people with a foreskin have been treated differently by a sexual partner

The results of our study found that 33% of people with a foreskin have been treated differently by a sexual partner because of their natural ‘hoodie’. From looks of confusion and last minute rejection, to straight up body shaming, so many people shared truly eye opening personal experiences. Unfortunately, there are a myriad of myths and misconceptions that impact people’s perceptions of foreskins. 

Misconception 1: Penises with foreskin are dirtier than those without.

We received a great deal of feedback highlighting the perception of foreskin hygiene. This makes sense, since many people will purport improved hygiene as a benefit of infant circumcision. There are so many people out there that believe an uncircumcised penis is inherently more unclean or ‘stinky’. 

“I've had female friends that say they won't have sex with guys that have foreskins because of hygiene.” - ONE® Foreskin Survey Participant 

“This is the most common sexual stigma I've faced as a cisgender man. Even though the majority of the male population of Earth is not circumcised, in America, circumcision is the norm and there is a vocal disdain for foreskins. The usual reasons are given: unclean, unhygienic, leads to increased risk of STDS/HIV, looks and feels ‘weird’.” - ONE® Foreskin Survey Participant  

penis and bubbles


We’re here to tell you that is simply not true. In fact, according to Adam Ramin, M.D., Urologic Surgeon and Medical Director of Urology Cancer Specialists in Los Angeles, “uncircumcised penises aren’t inherently dirtier than circumcised ones. As long as good hygiene practices are followed, this shouldn't be a problem.” 

However, it is true that people with foreskins do have to pay a little extra attention to their meat. Cleaning the penis should be part of the daily shower routine for everyone, not just people with foreskins. Professionals suggest retracting the foreskin daily and cleaning the glans as well as foreskin itself with mild soap and water. It just makes sense that those with more moving parts would have to dedicate a few extra seconds to hygiene.

If someone with a foreskin neglects to clean frequently, smegma—dead skin cells and oils that combine to form a white substance—can build up which can cause an unsightly appearance and carry an odor that is most likely the source of this myth. The sad truth is that some people just don’t keep up with their hygiene, foreskin or no, which can reinforce these stereotypes and lead to a misconception like this taking hold. 

Misconception 2: People with foreskins are more likely to have health issues and spread STIs.

I've had women tell me they were afraid of Foreskin - foreskin survey participant

Something we heard repeated again and again through our survey was that prospective sexual partners were oftentimes ‘scared’ of their foreskin, because of a common concern that having a foreskin means someone is more likely to have health issues and spread STIs. 

“I noticed I get asked if I'm clean more often than when I’m with a partner who also has foreskin. I've also been turned down outright by guys just because of my foreskin. It's disappointing that the natural state of the penis, which is normal in most of the rest of the world, is treated like a defect.” - ONE® Foreskin Survey Participant 

While there are studies that suggest circumcision can help prevent HIV, scholarly reviews show that the findings of said studies are not often generalizable. They were often done with small and uniform sample groups in locations without consideration of societal and cultural implications.  Dr. Robert Van Howe, Professor of Pediatrics and former Chief of Pediatrics at Michigan State University tackled the common misconception that circumcision lowers rates of STI transmission and penile diseases in a paper published in 2013.

He found that, “in studies of general populations, there is no clear or consistent positive impact of circumcision on the risk of individual sexually transmitted infections…Most specific STIs are not impacted significantly by circumcision status. These include chlamydia, gonorrhea, HSV, and HPV” and that, “consequently, the prevention of STIs cannot be rationally interpreted as a benefit of circumcision, and a policy of circumcision for the general population to prevent STIs is not supported by the evidence currently available in the medical literature”. 

Even so, there will always be debate within the medical community regarding circumcision. This issue is fraught with passionate voices on both sides and the dialogue is still open. Ultimately, the best protection against STI transmission is still condom use and practicing safer sex on a personal level. 

Misconception 3: Penises with foreskins are ugly and not as pleasurable.

This misconception seemed to have the most negative impact on the people who completed our survey. While aesthetics and pleasure are personal preferences, it’s never okay to belittle or insult someone. Many people wrote about experiences where they were judged by sexual partners before, during, or after sex because of their foreskin. Several respondents were directly told or even commanded to undergo a circumcision based on nothing more than their partner's personal preference. And don’t forget, this is all in addition to hyperfixation on length and girth. 

“I was born in the US, and the expectation it seems is that everyone should be circumcised. There's nothing more humiliating than someone reacting with surprise, disgust or even a lecture on hygiene. Really ruins the mood.”
“Some partners have expressed their preference of having my foreskin removed for their personal pleasure during oral sex.”


It’s no wonder penis owners out there can feel self-conscious, unsure, and afraid to ask questions. While the above misconceptions are prevalent, the good news is many people do find the foreskin aesthetically pleasing and pleasure enhancing. 

Check out our blog Beyond the Hoodie: Uncovering the Truth about Foreskin to learn more!


We want to make it clear that not everyone with a foreskin has experienced negative reactions. Cultural, geographic, and personal factors influence individual experiences. Most people with foreskins, even those who have experienced that kind of discrimination, love their built in hoodie and all of the pleasure opportunities it adds to their sex lives. 

There are so many things to consider when it comes to foreskin, so our survey participants shared some tips and tricks for maximum enjoyment for all.  

Tip 1: Be gentle!

Since foreskins are not at the forefront of education, it’s possible to be a little overwhelmed when handling one for the first time. It’s not simply just an extra flap of skin, it’s a double-layered, retractable, invertible sheath of tissue that works in wonderful harmony with the other parts of the penis. All together a foreskin has an average of  30-50 square centimeters of surface area and countless specialized nerve endings that increase pleasure and sensitivity. 

“Because it's so common to be circumcised in America, many partners don't know how to work with it, usually ending in them being WAY too rough and causing pain” - Foreskin Survey Participant 

The increased sensitivity of a penis with a foreskin can be euphoric, but if your partner is not careful this can turn into a mixed blessing. That’s why it’s important to communicate with your partner before grabbing the sheath and pulling like you’re starting a lawnmower. There are people who do want the foreskin fully retracted during sex and enjoy stimulation on their exposed head, there are people who prefer the back and forth gliding motion of the foreskin over the glans, and there are people with longer foreskins who prefer to keep it up the whole time. 

Frenulum Image


Everyone with a foreskin will also have a frenulum, it is where your foreskin meets the underside of your penis. It looks like a small V just below the head. Even for those without a foreskin, usually at least a small part of it remains after circumcision. Many people report that the frenulum is the most sensitive part of their penis so it only makes sense to pay some extra attention to it. 

While keeping the extra sensitivity in mind, don’t be afraid to explore, experiment, ask questions, and have fun with the experience. 

Tip 2: It’s all in the glide

With all this talk about the aesthetics of penises and foreskins, so many of us seem to be forgetting – it’s not the size of the boat, it’s the motion of the ocean. This gliding motion is usually the main source of pleasure for people with foreskins, yet there is barely a mention of it in most sexual health education and resources. 

Gliding Foreskin


The glans are so extremely sensitive on all penises, but especially so for people with foreskins. The protection that it provides to the penis head prevents keratinization – the process by which skin hardens and loses sensitivity as a result of exposure to air and/or friction against abrasive clothing. This means that providing stimulation directly to the penis head of someone with a foreskin can oftentimes be overwhelming. 

Our customers recommend going slow and steady at first and letting the penis function naturally. Like a vagina, a penis with a foreskin is self-lubricating due to the secretion of pre-ejaculate that collects in and around the foreskin. This allows the foreskin to glide easier and reduces friction on the penis itself.

“Almost all of [my partners] have enjoyed it more compared to circumcised penises, due to aesthetics, increased feeling, less friction, less lube required and lube lasting longer.” - Foreskin Survey Participant 


Tip 3: Get creative!

Apart from the logistical considerations, the foreskin really is a blank canvas for your sexual artistry. We received so many responses from customers highlighting the kinky, unique, and oftentimes amusing things they can do with their foreskins. Like this person with their foreskin fanatic partner:

“My gf likes to play with it and put skittles in it, personally I think it's pretty cool tbh no one's really done that to me before, she also likes to make it talk by pinching its ‘lips’ and moving them to make it talk.” - Foreskin Survey Participant 


Taste the Rainbow


Now you can truly taste the rainbow, although the leprechaun might be surprised by what he finds at the end. We wouldn’t recommend putting food of any kind into a foreskin from a sexual health perspective, but we definitely recommend foreskin theater. Perhaps you could get a foreskin to recite some Shakespeare or a treatise on quantum thermodynamics. Maybe you could even use it as an aid in any relationship conflicts – after all, it’s hard to get upset at a talking foreskin. And if a foreskin can talk well then you know it can sing. 

“Like that bloke at school who had a musical one (he could make these tiny farting sounds and could almost do the national anthem) - would you need a large one to play tunes? Or tie a knot in it perhaps?” - Foreskin Survey Participant 

We highly advise against tying a knot in your foreskin, but we’re all for foreskin symphony orchestras. We’d love to hear a rendition of Beethoven’s Fore-th, just don’t forget to begin in B♭ minor with a low B, play the pizzicato and pianissimo by the strings, and follow up with a long-held chord in the wind. Or you could just blow into it like a kazoo – art is art at the end of the day. 

Interested in Learning More? Check out our Foreskin First: A Pleasure Enhancement Guide

What Can Educators Do?

Like ALL condom instructions in the US always show a cicumcised penis - Why? - customer comment

Use this guide as a starting point to learn more about penises with foreskins. As you explore more, start normalizing conversations about foreskins and aim to make your educational tools inclusive to all penis types! When you do condom demonstrations, include facts and information about the foreskin -- so everyone in class feels included.

Send us your questions, suggestions, and ideas for how to spread foreskin awareness all year round! 

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