Top Five Types of Phimosis — Which one are you?

You have tight foreskin. You’re not alone. According to a 1968 study, after age 17, 1% of men still have difficulty retracting their foreskin.

Phimosis isn’t a disease. Since so many have it, it could be considered a normal variation. But the only one to judge is you. Do you have pain during sex? Are you afraid your foreskin will get stuck? Is it affecting your confidence? Do you want to experience the “gliding effect”? If so, then you may be able to fix it yourself, in your own home.

How researchers classify phimosis

Just about all medical research for phimosis is in children. By age ten, 50% of boys should be able to retract on their own. In 1993, researchers Kikiros and others studied the treatment of phimosis in boys using steroid creams and daily stretching. They created this classification to describe the cases they were seeing. (Read the paper)

  • Type 0 – Full retraction, not tight behind glans, or easy retraction, limited only by congenital adhesions to the glans
  • Type 1 – Full retraction of the foreskin, tight behind the glans
  • Type 2 – Partial exposure of glans, prepuce (not congenital adhesions) limiting factor
  • Type 3 – Partial retraction, the meatus just visible
  • Type 4 – Slight retraction, but some distance remains between the tip and glans, that is neither meatus nor glans can be exposed
  • Type 5 – Absolutely no retraction is possible

My diagrams

There are very few diagrams of phimosis cases that people can point to and say “Hey, that’s me!” I slapped together these tasteful pictures for you, based on photos that men posted on the Internet. I hope they are a helpful reminder that you are not alone.

Type 1: Tight behind glans

Penis with paraphimosisYou can retract completely over the glans, but then it’s a struggle to get it back in place. You have to pinch the glans to get the swelling down, and painfully lift the skin back over it.

You’re afraid of it happening, and so you tend to avoid sex or even relationships that might lead to it.

Type 2: Partial retraction

Penis with phimosis

You can retract a little but it won’t fit over the corona (thickest part) of the glans. Sex may be painful, though a condom can help.

Type 3: Meatus just visible

Phimosis with very tight foreskin and little retraction possibleYou can pull it back a little and see the meatus (me-AY-tus, the urinary slit) of the glans. But it’s too tight to go any further.

Since it stretches very little, sex isn’t painful, but is isn’t mind-blowing either. While the glans is not nearly as sensitive as the foreskin, its stimulation would add a new dimension to your sexual experience.

Type 5: No retraction (pinhole)

Pinhole phimosis. No foreskin retraction is possibleWhen you pull it back, everything just stretches down. The opening doesn’t enlarge at all. You might be able to see a tiny bit of what’s underneath, or it might be lost in the skin folds.

This is what I have (pics). Despite appearances, the only negative effect is that I can’t get enough stimulation from intercourse alone.

Persistent Acroposthion (Type 4?)

Phimosis with an acroposthionWhen soft, many men have an acroposthion (where the foreskin bunches together). It usually unfolds easily when stretched. However, with any of the above, you might have some folds of skin that never stretch out.  Here is an example of it in the no-retraction case.

The acroposthion might be on top, underneath, or anywhere. It depends on the length of your frenulum, which you will have to stretch as well.

What do I do?

Read the guide. Many men can solve tight foreskin with consistent, daily stretching. If you can fit two fingers in, then you can pull it apart for as little as 10 minutes a day. More stubborn cases will need something you can wear for a few hours at a time, like a flesh tunnel.

Flesh tunnels
Designed for stretching ear lobes, flesh tunnels have more interesting uses

You will have to find a way to reach in and stretch the tightest part. It may take some ingenuity. There is no one method that works for all. Some men have built their own devices out of molding plastic. I’m constructing tiny plugs from Q-Tips and PTFE tape.

It's hard to find the size I need, so I had to make them myself
It’s tough to find the size I need, so I had to make them myself

Your doctor can prescribe betamethasone cream to help progress faster. It  will make the skin more loose.

Surgery

Some men do not have the time or patience to stretch. Not everyone has the ability to find or invent stretching tools and use them every day. For them, surgery is a last-resort option.

Partial surgeries such as preputioplasty or dorsal slit often fail and patients keep returning to the gurney to fix problems. In 2003, a small study of 23 children showed a 64% satisfaction rate. In Canada, no surgeon is willing to do one, and if they did, you would have to pay out of your pocket.

As a last resort, you can get a circumcision. Personally, having just discovered what a foreskin can do, I’m going to do everything I can to keep it. But many who have been circumcised couldn’t be happier and wish they’d done it sooner. Here’s one story from a fellow Canadian.

On the other hand, this hardcore porn also makes some persuasive points.

Did I get it right? How does phimosis affect you? Let me know in the comments.

Follow me on Twitter for humour and instant updates on the status of my penis. @PhimosisJourney

59 thoughts on “Top Five Types of Phimosis — Which one are you?

  1. In my case,I have type 3 with (meatus just visible).How much should I stretch.Should i stretch daily?
    If yes!Then how much times a day?
    Will it cure the cause?
    Will it be effective in pulling the foreskin back and get behind the glance permanently ?or its just a short time remedy?
    Please help !

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  2. Hey there.
    I am sure that I have type 5/Pinhole phimosis. But I feel normal while masturbating. There is no erection problem at all. Is it normal to leave it untreated? I am afraid of a surgery, and I am afraid of what will happen during my first intercourse. I’m looking forward for your reply.
    Thank you!

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  3. I’m 25 years and unmarried. I had no phimosis at all. I stopped masturbation for 10 days and I get type 4. The longer I stop masturbation the worse it gets. I can’t get past 3 days without having any problem. Is there any solution or I have to keep my penis going on a daily basis even if I don’t want to. Im afraid daily or twice a day masturbation is also not good.

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    1. You don’t have to masturbate to stretch your foreskin effectively. Instead, you can either use the two finger method (described in the guide of this site) or stretch by retracting like I do. Although my method is different than yours, I also have a concern if it’s healthy in a longer run, so I posted a detailed question about my method to the forum. According to the moderator, my method has no effect on my health. I just wish there would be more replies confirming that. Here’s the link:

      http://www.network54.com/Forum/244184/thread/1480704280/last-1480712666/Making+good+progress+with+stretching+by+retracting.+Is+it+healthy+in+a+longer+term-

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  4. Hey there, I am confused that is it phimosis or paraphimosis that I’m facing? My penis gets stuck behind the glans when it’s erect, and I need to push the foreskin over the glans then it gets retracted? I’m confused and little worried too.

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    1. Your comment is unclear. Phimosis means impossible or difficult retraction. Paraphimosis occurs after forcible retraction when the foreskin is too tight and strangles the penis. It can be very dangerous, and you must immediately see a doctor if you can’t put it forward on your own. Squeezing the glans with your fingers might help to do so.

      My advice is: never retract too far until you’re sure your foreskin is loose enough for that. Try stretching your foreskin gradually (the two finger method or stretching by retracting). Read also my reply to Deepak’s question above.

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  5. When you’re referring to types of Phimosis, is this when you’re fully erect or flaccid. When i have sex with my girlfriend and it’s not with a condom and the foreskin pulls back all the way over the head i feel like it’s basically being strangled. Does that mean i’m a phase 1?

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    1. Yes, that’s type one.

      I believe the types in the paper originally referred to flaccid because they were experimenting on children. However, I propose that for adults we use erect, because that is more practical for describing any dysfunction.

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  6. I’m Brazilian and have discovered I have phimosis just now age 25. I am very scared to because I do no want a surgery, never seen my gland before. and if I do this surgery it will be always unprotected by the foreskin? I don’t know it.

    I don’t even know what type I have. I just never retracted before, because I can’t even sorft or erected.

    Idk what have to do, maybe my is type 3. when I try to retract I can see a bit in and put almost a finger, and not 2 fingers.

    I don’t fell pain while masturbating. I don’t want a surgery, and I’m very worried and afraid about it too. Someone please can help me?

    I have to try to stretch it while soft or erected? I read the guide but don’t get it that much. (Because IDK English very well).

    I just wanna say thank you for this blog, and I hope somebody gonna help me.😦

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    1. Read my replies to other comments above. I hope they help you. It’s probably better to do the two finger method when flaccid, but stretching by retracting is more effective when erect. Never retract too far until your foreskin is loose enough. If you see a doctor and get a prescription for betamethasone ointment, it will speed up your progress. But you have to be careful with how to apply it.

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    1. Not sure if my reply will help after two months, but I’ll try it anyway (at least for others). You should never use too much force to stretch. It might become even worse. You probably experienced paraphimosis. Read my replies to other comments above.

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  7. I have type 3 phimosis( meatus only visible). I have no pain during masturbation and my masturbation technique is also completely normal( similar to an intercourse). i haven’t had sex yet. I have stretched my foreskin backwards with considerable amount of force and have experienced absolutely no pain. the fact is i am completely comfortable with what i have. There are no issues whatsoever. I just want to know that should i start stretching or just keep it the way it is?

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    1. Start stretching. Read my replies above. If you see a doctor and get a prescription for betamethasone ointment, it will speed up your progress a lot. But you have to be careful with how to apply it.

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  8. I have type 3 problem (meatus just visible), but I don’t have pain during masturbation. I have never tried to see the glans. I usually masturbate by rubbing my penis against a wall or something, not using my hand. It gives me more pleasure than a hand. I’m 20 now and a virgin. I’m afraid that it will cause pain during sex. Do I need to undergo surgery? Please help me.

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    1. Surgery is not needed. You need to stretch it the way you would have, had you been using your hands. With patience you will have it working properly. The two finger method is best, described in the guide.

      During sex, there should no pain if you are using a condom. Without a condom, it is difficult to say if it will hurt. Does it hurt if you yank it back?

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  9. I have type 3. I’m 19 n haven’t tried sex coz I’m afraid that it may cause pain. So please help out to solve this problem.

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  10. I have type 3. The hole is very small that I can’t even put a finger inside. I having this from the age of around 9-10 years old and now I’m 20. So please help me out.

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  11. **A note to any young males who feel nervous or embarrassed about their phimosis**

    Firstly I would like to thank the creator of this blog sincerely, for sharing their struggle, with what I unfortunately now find to be quite a common problem for what appears to be affecting many men around the world.
    I wish I had stumbled upon this blog sooner as I am, thankfully, nearing the end of my ‘phimosis journey’ ! I did not quite have a pinhole/Type 5 to begin with, I was probably closer to Type 3 and this gave me an easier starting point for stretching etc.. I will just give a brief account of my experience with the condition.

    I noticed that something was wrong with my penis as I was approaching my late teens and as it turns out, on the verge of becoming sexually active. Friends of mine had talked about the first time they could retract their foreskin and how painful it was for each of them and naturally enough I lied and gave false accounts of my supposed first time retracting my foreskin. It was at this point where I stopped and realised that I had to do something about this as I didn’t want to face into any awkward situations where a girl has to be notified and warned that my penis doesn’t work the way most guys’ do!

    I did a lot of research on the topic and of course procrastination came with this and I was quite casual about fixing the problem until I got serious about this girl. This motivated me to make my first time with her as least awkward as possible when we decided to take ‘the next step’, so to speak! I read about many steroid creams, stretching devices and surgeries prescribed for this condition but the solution what many former suffers recommended was simply committing to follow a stretching routine for a couple of weeks and noting the results. I did this every night that I got the chance and for the most part I was diligent enough to stay committed to my schedule of retraction and recovery.

    I went from Type 3 all the way to full retraction when flaccid in a matter of 3/4 months! I was delighted with the results and I am now only facing the problems of tightness behind the gland, caused by the (Phimotic Band), and hypersensitivity on the glands itself which is due to the fact the glands not being used to all of the exposure. I am very proud of what I have accomplished in such a short space of time but at the same time shocked and disappointed at how schools’ sexual education classes had not even touched on this topic as so many of us face these problems!

    I hope my story helps other teens or young men, who feel like nothing can be done for them! My story is a small example of how patience is really the key to beating this. Myself ad my generation are at a great advantage over,lets say my parents, due to the existence of the internet and abundance of information on the topic and great resources such as this blog.

    Keep stretching!

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    1. Would you mind helping me out? I have Type 2 Phimosis I believe, maybe Type 3 but it’s painful to try and pull back. Specifically, what stretches did you do that I could use to solve this? Thanks man, your story helps alot!

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  12. Hi there, first of all wanted to thank you so much for your helpfulness – your perseverance through having the pinhole, one of the more extreme forms of phimosis if you dont mind me saying so, has been an incredible motivation for me; i was on the brink of getting circumcised when im stumbled upon your blog and was inspired not to give up on my foreskin just yet. Thanks mate, you are a godsend!
    Down to brass tacks _ I should be a Type 2 erect, Type 1 flaccid (at any length aside from fully erect). Any idea on how long it should take me to achieve a Type 0, given daily stretching? Also, does stretching more than the recommended amount of time make any difference? Thanks again, would really appreciate your help on this one.

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    1. Ben, same here!
      Type 1 flaccid, can pull down, but scared to get stuck in erect. When erect – Type2. For me, it seems like I have too short frenulum and that’s the reason I can’t pull it down when erect.

      Keep on stretching!

      Like

      1. i’m facing type 1 phimosis, why i doesn’t fully retracted, will it cause pain during sex??

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  13. These types refer to a flaccid penis or to an erection? I don’t seem to have any phimosis when flaccid but during erection i have something between type 2 and 3 phimosis and it is painful while masturbating.

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  14. I was wondering if anyone had experience with sex AFTER fixing their phimosis? I have no pain during sex and because of the decreased sensitivity I can enjoy sex with my girlfriend for 45 minutes to 1 hour if I have the energy. Because my glans is so sensitive I worry that fixing the phimosis will have be prematurely cumming like when I was 17 again, which was embarassing and not satisfying. I can orgasm during sex and my girlfriend loves that I can last so long. The only drawback is that it also takes her 30 minutes to give me an orgasm during oral. I’m wondering if I should even bother fixing it?

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  15. Hi, your article was really helpful to know what I am going throught right now. I am 16 and I discovered that I have Type 3 (Meatus just visible) phimosis. What should I do to cure it completely and how much time would it take? I cannot tell anyone about it and I cannot buy any cream or anything. I am really scared of it. And also when my penis is not erect I tried to pull the foreskin back but something (like a string or something) is holding it as well. What is that? I need help I am really scared of this, please help. Thank you

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    1. Use a steroid cream if you can get some and a bobby pin. The tension is adjustable this way. See my comment above. You can put one end of the bobby pin in and pull slightly to the side to add tension for a few days. In no time you will be able to put both ends of the bobby pin inserted. Then eventually pre-open the bobby pin a little wider and fit it in the opening. As time goes you can make it wider. When you are about 1/4′ then I highly recommend moving on to SKIN GAUGES. Like for stretching out ear lobes. You must use SILICONE, FLEXIBLE gauges. They will squash in and can be inserted into the opening and left comfortably for long periods of time. My son is in a size 0 which is just over 1/4″. His first going from the bobby pin method was a 6mm. I apply some cream then slip in the gauge at night and he wears it to bed.

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  16. My son, 8 years old has type 5, pinhole phimosis . I was told that due to scarring the cream most likely will not work. I left in dispare. Then I bought extra strength Scar Zone and applied it 3X a day for a week. After a week I started using the steroid cream. I could not seam to actually stretch or retract his foreskin. A qtip would not fit either. I used a Hair pin, one end, and put it into the hole. I then gave a very slight pull yo one side. I held it as long as I could. I did this twice a day for 2 weeks. Every other night if follow his steroid cream with more Scar Zone. ITS WORKING! I can now take that hair pin and OPEN IT slightly, about an inch and a half. This adds Flexable resistance. I insert both ends into the opening and it adds the tension. I leave it for 30 minutes 2x a day after applying the cream. Again using Scar cream also every other day to soften the tissues making them more elastic. It’s been a month. I can now retract his foreskin and see the meatus and the gland slightly pushes through the opening. I use a tip and apply the cream under, inside the foreskin. It is definitely working. I will continue to do this until the opening is large enough the use fingers! The bobby pin is cheaper than the tool shown in the article. It’s also too big for pinhole fimosis.

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  17. Type 5.. wht to do..?? Should i start strecthing.. is it must to cure phimosis.. will it create the problem..?? I ususally masturbate by rubbing my peni against the matress or pillow.. should i change my way of masturbation?? When erect, my foreskin so tight that it doesnt retract without great effors.. and it just retracts slightly.. plz help.. i am in a lot of tension.. depressed.. need a help..

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  18. Type 4.. wht to do..?? Should i start strecthing.. is it must to cure phimosis.. will it create the problem..?? I ususally masturbate by rubbing my peni against the matress or pillow.. should i change my way of masturbation?? When erect, my foreskin so tight that it doesnt retract without great effors.. and it just retracts slightly.. plz help.. i am in a lot of tension.. depressed.. need a help..

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  19. Type 1 when flaccid and somewhere between type 1 and 2 when erected.
    It started when I was a child. When I was about 5 years old my mother noticed it and she made me a special bath (the recipe was in a very old herb book). Every night I had to sit in that stinky yellow liquid and retract for 5 min every night for a month. Then one morning, I could retract easily. I was so happy I ran to my mother naked and showed her what I can do now. Then she said ‘Good. Now you have to retract every day a few times until you are 18, so It stays like this.’. But at that time I had no idea what is this good for so basically that day was my last time retracting….
    Later when I was 10 I discovered masturbating and when I was 13 I found my father’s VHS porn stash. Soon later I realized what an idiot I was but I was too afraid to tell anyone that there is something wrong with my penis. The rest is just like written here. Sometimes I can retract the foreskin behind the glans (usually when in shower) but it takes a lot of effort and some pain to move it back forward. I don’t do this very often because I am very scared there will be a time I won’t be able to move it forward.
    Now I’m 27. In the past 10 years I tried not to think about it much but at the same time I always avoided relationships and never had any form of sex in my life because of my foreskin. Just like you mention this at the description of Type 1.

    I can fit in 2 fingers easily but I didn’t do the stretching before because I was not committed to the cause enough.
    Your amazing journey however moved me to a point when I think I’m ready to do this too.
    I’m gathering some more courage and determination, and one of these days I will purchase the Phimocure kit and start to stretch daily!

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  20. Type 3 here. Spent a year stretching it and then I was able to get it back behind glans only when flaccid, but still type 3 erect. Then it started to get sore and would swell for a day or two. This put me off now I am back to the beginning again.

    Its really ruined all sexual confidence. It can take me up to 5 minutes to get inside a girl and they have to be extremely wet. After spending that long, I usually get soft again so we have to continue foreplay. By the time I do get inside, on the 3rd or 4th time usually, all I can think about whilst sex is the anxiety and pain of it pulling back or having it rip/split. I can’t even have sex in many positions.

    It screwed my whole sex life up as far as I’m concerned. The worse part is I can’t have a circumcision because the main artery on top goes all the way along the foreskin and around and then along the bottom connecting to the main vein. I definitely avoid circumstances where sexual relations/ interactions might come about. I’m 19 years old and I’ve had sex with two girls and probably would have ended up having sex with many many more.

    fml. Type 3 is seriously screwed up.

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    1. If it’s getting worse with stretching you could be scarring it. Use Scar cream for a week then resume with steroid cream and add scar cream periodically. Read my comment below. Good luck! Don’t give up!

      Like

  21. I think I have phimosis type 3. I did know that 4 days ago. I can see just the tip of the head of my penis. I am 22 and half. The size of the penis while erect is around 6 inches. There is no problem while urinating or masturbating. I even masturbate the same way by of back and forth motion of palm while holding the penis (have never rubbed the upper part). And never had pain. Started masturbating just 6 months ago. I live a healthy and happy life otherwise. There are no problems at all. Don’t want to get curcumcised. Have been concerned and distressed for the last 4 days. Have never even tried retracting the foreskin because I fear for the pain there would be. The information on internet is varied and misleading. The smegma forms but not in great amounts. And I do clean that away while bathing. But one year ago it built up too much and I was just vey distressed and didn’t know that time that it was smegma( although I have noticed one more thing that when I masturbate with back and forth motion of palm before ejaculation most of the times some substance like smegma comes up. It is sticky and and has a foul smell and doesn’t look good and I am not sure that whether it is definitely smegma. So I want to also ask that that how to take care of that). There have not been lack of confidence earlier. I get spontaneous and morning erections very easily and without any pain.But for the last 4 days I do not know what to do.
    Is phimosis normal? Whar are the risks? Is cure needed? If yes, then how will it change my life? Would there be further implications related to infection, general health and sexual life? Will sex hurt if skin doesn’t retract? Because until now it has never hurt and even while I imagine myself having intercourse ( visualise) it doesn’t hurt.
    P.S. I don’t want to get circumcision. And I would always be thankful to you for a response.

    Like

    1. With type 3 (meatus just visible) you can’t fit any fingers inside. But surgery is not needed. Use two Q-tips (Cotton swabs) to stretch. Put them in and slowly pull them apart for 5 minutes, 3 to 5 times a day. Within a few weeks you will see results.

      Like

  22. Thank you for your wonderful post. MY brother has type 1 phimosis and he has no problem retracting, but feel painful and difficult to pull the foreskin back from the ring. What can he do? Thanks

    Like

  23. I am type 1. Does it really help to stretch in my case? I had sex using condoms previously, but I am scared for when I don’t use a condom . What should I do to be a type 0?

    Your blog has only useful information, unlike other blogs that are full of domestic ads.

    Like

  24. Hi, I just wanted to say I really appreciate your blog. It’s like that network54 forum only in an organised and easy to read format! I do not have pinhole phimosis, fortunately, and am able to fit in a flesh tunnel fairly easily. But your tip on using the PTFE tape really helped me. I bought some and used it to increase the size of the flesh tunnel and make it a lot more comfortable to put in! Thanks heaps!

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  25. If your penis is fully repaired and the 3 spongy chambers aren’t damaged you should be getting spontaneous erections. Erections without needing to touch it or coax it up. This is what you should aim for . You want them to last as long as possible. Hopefully you will feel the glans pushing against the foreskin trying to escape. it is this pressure which should expand the hole and create new skin. So this is why you want them to last a while. If you arent getting spontaneous erections then you know your penis is damaged somewhat and you need to allow it to repair by not using it.

    Like

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