Is this thing on my penis normal?

Six months ago, my wife and I were giving our newborn his first bath. As we gently pulled down his foreskin, we looked down in horror. It just kept going and going! It was like something out of an alien movie, unlike anything we’d ever seen in our lives.

“I’m sure it’s okay, dear!” I reassured my wife, wringing my hands behind my back. “Penises come in all shapes and sizes!”

“Are you sure?” she asked me. I hugged her closer, and plopped a wash cloth over the alien mushroom.

“I know so,” I told her.

That night I snuck away and Googled for penises. I was shocked to find out that my baby was normal, and it was I who was unusual. I also learned many things that weren’t covered in phys. ed. class.

Note: We retracted his foreskin very gently and have not done so since. Retraction of a child’s foreskin for cleaning is not recommended.

“My foreskin is stuck on a piece of skin”

You’ve seen the frenulum before. Pull on your upper lip. You also have one under the lower lip, under your tongue, and several inside your body. Frenulum of upper lipThe one on your penis is special. On circumcised men, (if they are lucky) it is the only remaining part of the foreskin, and it is therefore considered by Americans to be the most sensitive part of the penis. It connects the bottom part of your meatus (urinary slit) to the foreskin. It functions as a spring that pulls the foreskin back over the glans. It can grow quite long, so it is colloquially referred to as the banjo string.

Diagram of frenulum of penis
Your frenulum is on the underside of the penis

In men with phimosis, the frenulum can be very short. If your opening is wide, but the foreskin still seems to be stuck, you may have to stretch your frenulum. This is accomplished the same way as the lip stretch above. Simply grab the lower part of your foreskin and pull it away from your body for a minute, whenever you get a chance. Make a habit of it when you pee, so you don’t forget.

Stretch to cure frenulum breve

“I have a wiggly scar on my penis”

This is your perineal raphe. It’s a wiggly line that goes from your anus, under your body, up the bottom of your scrotum, and finally ends at your meatus. In some men it seems to curve up the sides of the penis. It is nothing to worry about, and it is perfectly normal.

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The raphe is a line extending from the anus to the tip of the penis

“I have little bumps on my glans”

Perhaps around 8% of men are startled find they have grown some flesh coloured bumps on the corona of their penis. These bumps are Pearly Penile Papules.

Many animals, such as cats, chimpanzees, and hyenas have spines on their penis. As they rake over the vagina, they promote ovulation. Fortunately for women, evolution has shrunk these structures to harmless little bumps. If you have them, it’s part of what makes you special!

Diagram of pearly penile papules
Pearly penile papules are normal in some men

“There’s a strange bump on top behind the head”

On the top side of your penis, just behind the ridge of the head, there is a mottled patch of skin that unfolds as you roll back the foreskin. This area is called the sulcus. It is used to being skruntched together, so it appears wrinkled. In addition, several purple veins run through it and can appear to be popping out of the skin.

It isn’t pretty, but it’s perfectly normal.

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