Sexpert Q&A: Is Circumcision Bad For a Man's Sex Life?

Is male circumcision bad for a man's sex life? Jason

Dear Jason, The foreskin is the highly sensitive, thin layer of skin that surrounds the tip of an uncircumcised penis. During sexual arousal and sex, it retracts, acting as a "sleeve" and lubricant, keeping the head of the penis moist much like the eyelid does for the eyeball. During sex the foreskin glides back and forth, minimizing friction, which some may see as a benefit for not circumcising.

Penises with and without a foreskin are both very erogenous. Yet a major reason the foreskin is such a hot spot is because it's packed with nerve endings, making it very delicate and an area that should be handled with care. The benefit to having a foreskin is that it contains a richer variety and greater concentration of specialized nerve receptors than any other part of the penis. Some men who are circumcised feel that they have been robbed of their full erotic potential in not having a foreskin.

Lately, research indicates that being circumcised is beneficial to a man's sexual health. Removal of the foreskin can slightly lower his risk of contracting some sexually transmitted infections, e.g., HPV and HIV. With the foreskin removed, a man has less mucosal skin (or surface area) as far as virus exposure, decreasing the chance of transmission. The circumcised penis, however, often requires additional lubricant for pleasure and some research indicates that it may make for decreased sensation during sex.

Dr. Yvonne KristAn Fulbright is a sex educator, relationship expert, columnist and founder of

Sexuality Source Inc.

She is the author of several books including, "Touch Me There! A Hands-On Guide to Your Orgasmic Hot Spots."