Foreskin Sensitivity

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Anatomical investigations have identified the prepuce as a primary erogenous zone in humans.[1]

For over a hundred years, anatomical research has confirmed that both the penile and clitoral prepuce (foreskin) are richly innervated, specific erogenous tissue with specialised encapsulated (corpuscular) sensory receptors, such as Meissner's corpuscles, Pacinian corpuscles, genital corpuscles, Krause end bulbs, Ruffini corpuscles, and mucocutaneous corpuscles. These receptors transmit sensations of fine touch, pressure, proprioception, and temperature.[2][3][4][5][6][7][8][9][10]


Contents

Nerve Types

The two primary sensory receptors in primate skin are free nerve endings and encapsulated or corpuscular receptors. While free nerve endings (pain, itch, and temperature receptors) are found in most skin, the encapsulated receptors are concentrated in regions that require specialised touch sensitivity, such as at the fingertips, lips, external genitalia, perianal skin, and transition areas between skin and mucous membranes.[11]

The Innervation of the foreskin is impressive [12] The foreskin is what's known as a specific erogenous zone. [13] This means that it is richly equipped with a high density and concentration of specialized and sophisticated nerve receptors that convey pleasure.The presence of specialized nerves, nerves that do no not exist elsewhere, make this part of the penis especially important. Consequently, this has been studied in detail by respected anatomists for over a century, who have transformed their knowledge by detailed empirical observation of the nerves that are present in the foreskin.

As the most richly innervated part of the penis, the foreskin has the largest number of nerve receptors, as well as the greatest variety of nerve receptors. These specialized nerve endings include:

Meissner's corpuscles, [14]

free nerve endings, end bulbs of Krause, [15] [16]

Corpuscles of Ruffini, [17]

Pacinian corpuscles, [18]

genital and bulbs [19]

Genital bodies, [20]

Merkels disks, Golgi-Mazzoni corpuscles, [21]

and Vater-Pacinian corpuscles. [22]


These remarkable organs provide the foreskin with its amazing ability to detect the slightest sensations of touch, motion, temperature, and pressure. We are still unaware of all the facts about these fascinating structures. Future research may discover even more nerve receptors in the foreskin and help clarify what purposes they serve.The primary zones of erogenous sensitivity are the frenulum, ridged mucosa, and the preputial orifice and the external fold of the foreskin. All of these zones are orgasmic triggers. Continuous gentle stimulation of any one of these areas can elicit pleasure, orgasm, and ejaculation.

Meissner's Corpuscle

Meissner's corpuscle.

Distributed on various areas of the skin, but concentrated in areas especially sensitive to light touch, such as the fingers, lips, nipples and foreskin.[23][24][25][26][27] They are concentrated in areas of the body denoted as erogenous zones, which include the foreskin, clitoris, lip and nipple.[28] J.R. Taylor (1996) noted their presence in the foreskin,[29] and C.J. Cold & Taylor (1999) reported "Most of the encapsulated receptors of the foreskin are Meissner corpuscles, as they contact the epithelial basement membrane."[30] Early observations were noted by A. S. Dogiel (1893),[31] D. Ohmori (1924),[32] and H. C. Bazett (1935),[33] reported the presence of Meissner's corpuscles in the foreskin. Haiyang et al. (2005) found and measured the density of Meissner's corpuscles on the foreskin.[34] Dong et al. (2007) reported that the quantity of Meissner's corpuscles on the fused smooth mucosa of the foreskin decline with age, but not on the ridged band.[35]

Ridged Band

In 1991 the ridged bands of the male prepuce were identified as a concentrated area of corpuscular receptors.[36][37]

Fine-Touch Sensitivity

Fine Touch Pressure Thresholds in the Adult Penis.

The foreskin has important sexual nerve receptors that are removed during circumcision.[38][39][40][41] Circumcision removes the most sensitive part of a man's penis. The five most sensitive areas of the penis are on the foreskin. The transitional region from the external to the internal foreskin is the most sensitive region of the fully intact penis, and more sensitive than the most sensitive region of the circumcised penis.[42]

In a 2007 study, which was published in the British Medical Journal. They physically measured the sensitivity of all the parts of the penis. They used a very accurate pressure sensing probe while the test subject, who’s view was blocked with a screen, reported a sensation of touch. To demonstrate precision they took each measurement multiple times. To no surprise, their results corroborated with the nero-anatomy that has been discussed previously.

"Five locations on the uncircumcised penis that are routinely removed at circumcision were more sensitive than the most sensitive location on the circumcised penis[...] The glans in the circumcised male is less sensitive to fine-touch pressure than the glans of the uncircumcised male[...]The most sensitive location on the circumcised penis is the circumcision scar on the ventral surface [...] When compared to the most sensitive area of the circumcised penis, several locations on the uncircumcised penis that are missing from the circumcised penis were significantly more sensitive. " [43]


AAP skepticism that loss of foreskin could actually affect sex.

AAP brushes off findings as inconclusive

In the AAP's 2012 Circumcision Taskforce report, the issues of sensitivity reduction were given obligatory mention but largely glossed over, and little space was devotes to the topic.

At right is an easy-to-understand illustration of the Sorrells study showing the loss of tissues. Tissues show in color their relative sensitivity thresholds to light touch. sensitive tissue. On the infographic's opposite side: The AAP's expressed skepticism (quotes from their 2012 Circumcision Taskforce report) on whether loss of all that erogenous tissue could really affect sexual enjoyment.

Arguably, claiming there's no evidence that circumcision diminishes sexual enjoyment is essentially implying the obverse: that it's perfectly safe and reasonable to assume that the human foreskin, despite evolving over millions of years, has no anatomical significance in sexual mechanics, and has zero relevance to sexual pleasure and satisfaction. That statement sounds immediately absurd, however.


References

  1. Winkelmann, R.K. "The Erogenous Zones: Their nerve supply and significance." Proceedings of the staff meetings of the Mayo Clinic. 34.2 (1959): 39-47. Print. PMID 13645790
  2. Dogiel, A.S. "Die Nervenendigungen in der Schloemhaut der ausseren Genitalorgane des Menschen." Aroh. f. mikr. Anat. 41. (1893): 585-612. Print.
  3. Dogiel AS. Über die Nervenendapparate in der Haut des Menschen. Ztschr Wiss Zool 1903;75:46-111.
  4. Ohmori, D. "Enwickling der Innervation der Genital Apparatus als peripheren Aufnahme-Apparat der genitalen Reflex." Ztscr. f. d. ges. 70. (1924): 347-410. Print.
  5. Yamada K. Studies in the innervation in tenth month human embryo. Tohoku J Exper Med 1951:54:151. Yamada K. On the sensory nerve terminations in clitoris in human adult. Tohoku J Exper Med 1951;54:163- 74.
  6. Winkelmann, R.K. "The cutaneous innervation of human newborn prepuce." Journal of investigative dermatology 26.1 (1956): 53–67. Web.PMID 13295637
  7. Winkelmann RK. The mucocutaneous end-organ. Arch Dermatol 1957;76:225-35.
  8. Krantz KE. Innervation of the human vulva and vagina: a microscopic study. Obstet Gynecol 1958;12:382-96.
  9. Winkelmann, R.K. "The Erogenous Zones: Their nerve supply and significance." Proceedings of the staff meetings of the Mayo Clinic. 34.2 (1959): 39-47. Print. PMID 13645790
  10. Butler AB, Hodos W. Comparative Vertebrate Neuroanatomy: Evolution and Adaptation. Wiley-Liss, 1996:26 Print. ISBN 0471210056
  11. Stenn KS, Bhawan J. The normal histology of the skin. in: Farmer ER. Hood AF. eds. Pathology of the Skin. Norwalk, CT: Appleton and Lange. 1990.
  12. Moldwin RM, Valderrama E. Immunohistochemical analysis of nerve distribution patterns within preputial tissues. J Urol 1989 Apr;141(4):499A. (abstract)
  13. Winkelmann RK. The erogenous zones: their nerve supply and its significance. Proceedings of the staff meetings of the Mayo Clinic 1959 Jan21(2):39-47
  14. Taylor JR, Lockwood AP, Taylor AJ. The prepuce: specialized musocsa of the penis and its loss to circumcision. Br J Urol 1996 Feb;77(2): 291-5
  15. Dogiel AS. Die Nervenendigungen in der Haut der ausseren Genitalorgane des Menschen. Archiv fur Mikroskopische Anatomie 1893:41:585-612
  16. Bazett HC, McGlone B, Williams RG, Lufkin HM. Depth, distribution and probable identification in the prepuce of sensory end-organs concerned in sensations of temperature and touch; thermometric conductivity. Archives of Neurology and psychiatry 1932 Mar; 27(3):489-517
  17. Bazett HC, McGlone B, Williams RG, Lufkin HM. Depth, distribution and probable identification in the prepuce of sensory end-organs concerned in sensations of temperature and touch; thermometric conductivity. Archives of Neurology and psychiatry 1932 Mar; 27(3):489-517
  18. Ohmori D. Uber die Entwicklung der Innervation der Genitalapparate als peripheren Aufnahmeapperat der Genitalen Reflexe. Zeitschrift fur Anatomie und Entwicklungsgeschichte 1924;70(1):347-410.
  19. Halata Z, Munger BL. The neuroanatomical basis for the protopathic sensibility og the human glans penis. Brain Res 1986 Apr23;371(2):205-30.
  20. Ohmori D. Uber die Entwicklung der Innervation der Genitalapparate als peripheren Aufnahmeapperat der Genitalen Reflexe. Zeitschrift fur Anatomie und Entwicklungsgeschichte 1924;70(1):347-410.
  21. Ohmori D. Uber die Entwicklung der Innervation der Genitalapparate als peripheren Aufnahmeapperat der Genitalen Reflexe. Zeitschrift fur Anatomie und Entwicklungsgeschichte 1924;70(1):347-410.
  22. Winkelmann RK. The Cutaneous Innervation of the human newborn prepuce. Invest Dermatol 1956 Jan;26(1):53-67
  23. Cauna, Nikolajs, and Leonard L. Ross. "The fine structure of meissner's touch corpuscles of human fingers." Journal of Cell Biology. 8.2 (1960): 467-82. Print. DOI: 10.1083/jcb.8.2.467
  24. Hoffmann et al. "Meissner corpuscles and somatosensory acuity." Anat Rec A Discov Mol Cell Evol Biol (2004): 1138-47. Web.
  25. Bongiorno et al. "Neurofibromatosis of the nipple-areolar area: a case series." Journal of Medical Case Reports 4.22 (2010): n. pag. Web. 27 Dec 2010. DOI: 10.1186/1752-1947-4-22
  26. Martini and Bartholomew. Essentials of Anatomy and Physiology. 3. Pearson Benjamin Cummings, 2010. Print.
  27. Afifi and Bergman. Functional neuroanatomy: text and atlas. McGraw-Hill Professional, 1998. 16. Print. ISBN 0070015899
  28. Winkelmann, R.K. "The Erogenous Zones: Their nerve supply and significance." Proceedings of the staff meetings of the Mayo Clinic. 34.2 (1959): 39-47. Print. PMID 13645790
  29. Taylor, J.R. "The prepuce: Specialized mucosa of the penis and its loss to circumcision." British Journal of Urology International. 77. (1996): 291-95. Print. PMID 8800902
  30. C.J. Cold and J.R. Taylor. "The prepuce." British Journal of Urology International. 83. (1999): 34-44. Print PMID 10349413
  31. Dogiel, A.S. "Die Nervenendigungen in der Schloemhaut der ausseren Genitalorgane des Menschen." Aroh. f. mikr. Anat. 41. (1893): 585-612. Print.
  32. Ohmori, D. "Enwickling der Innervation der Genital Apparatus als peripheren Aufnahme-Apparat der genitalen Reflex." Ztscr. f. d. ges. 70. (1924): 347-410. Print.
  33. Bazett, H.C. "Methods of investigation of sensation in man and the theoretical value of the results obtained." Proc. A. Research Nerv. & Ment. Dis. 15. (1935): 83-97. Print.
  34. Haiyang et al. "Observation of Meissner's corpuscle in abundant prepuce and phimosis." Journal of Modern Urology (2005): n. pag. Web.
  35. Dong et al. "Observation of Meissner's corpuscle on fused phimosis." Journal of Guangdong Medical College 2007: n. pag. Web. ISSN:1005-4057.0.2007-01-004
  36. Taylor JR. The prepuce: What, exactly, is removed by circumcision: a preliminary report. In: Milos M,Richter L, Hodges F; eds. Proceedings of the Second International Symposium on Circumcision. 1991. SanAnselmo: NOCIRC. 1994.</p>
  37. Taylor, J.R. "The prepuce: Specialized mucosa of the penis and its loss to circumcision." British Journal of Urology International. 77. (1996): 291-95. Print. PMID 8800902
  38. Winkelmann, R.K. "The cutaneous innervation of human newborn prepuce." Journal of investigative dermatology 26.1 (1956): 53–67. Web.PMID 13295637
  39. Winkelmann, R.K. "The Erogenous Zones: Their nerve supply and significance." Proceedings of the staff meetings of the Mayo Clinic. 34.2 (1959): 39-47. Print. PMID 13645790
  40. Taylor, J.R. "The prepuce: Specialized mucosa of the penis and its loss to circumcision." British Journal of Urology International. 77. (1996): 291-95. Print. PMID 8800902
  41. C.J. Cold and J.R. Taylor. "The prepuce." British Journal of Urology International. 83. (1999): 34-44. Print PMID 10349413
  42. Sorrells, et al. "Fine-touch pressure thresholds in the adult penis." BJU International 99.4 (2007): 864–9. Web. PMID 17378847
  43. Morris L. Sorrells, James L. Snyder. Fine-touch pressure thresholds in the adult penis . BJU 2007 Oct:22, pp. 864-869
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