About 15 years ago, John, a pseudonymous human rights lawyer from Australia, now in his mid-fifties, began experiencing a loss of sensation in his penis during intercourse. He’d already had intermittent problems with intimacy, sometimes withdrawing from his wife’s touch when it focused on his genitals. Still, he and his wife thought the penis problem “normal” at first, perhaps something that came with age.

But by 2016 he had little to no interest in sex, and when he did, he often could not achieve an erection. After growing more alarmed by the issues, his wife took charge, conducting research about impotency and other sexual health concerns on the internet. She eventually came around to articles covering the potential side effects of circumcision, knowing that John had long held a grudge against his parents for circumcising him at birth.

He’d seen his first “intact” penis when he was 19, while showering at a gym. When he later asked his parents why they’d opted to circumcise him, he received what he considers “bizarre” reasoning in response: “To look like your father,” they said.

“Nobody in their right mind would do that to a child,” says John, who, at one point through sobs, claims he developed “very real” trauma from the procedure. He adds that the resulting denial of additional sexual pleasure “hurts deeply.”

Continuing down the rabbit hole of circumcision web content, John and his wife soon uncovered information about foreskin restoration, where men use one or a series of methods and gizmos to grow new skin on the penis, gradually stretching it out to a desired length over the shaft and head, mimicking their original form. John decided to give it a shot.

He began massaging and pulling on his penis’s skin at and around the point where his foreskin had been lobbed off as an infant. After eight or 10 months of loosening scar adhesions and cultivating skin flexibility, in 2017 he purchased the popular TLC-X Tugger, a device that costs $89.50 today, and uses suction cup-like dynamics to generate what its maker calls a “gentle tension” on a growing foreskin. It’s marketed as comfortable and compact enough to be worn day and night, something the most eager of restorers happily do.

Last year, taking advantage of a pandemic-induced work-from-home lifestyle shift, John reverted back to manual methods, continuously pulling on his regenerating foreskin across hourly sessions that last two or three minutes. He stuffs his penis into a silicon retaining cone when not engaging in the foreskin physical therapy, and when he’s through with work responsibilities, he works out his foreskin for another hour straight, keeping all this up on weekends, as well.

When not at home for long stretches of time, he explains, “Every now and then I’ll make off to the restroom for two or three minutes, whether I have [to] pee or not.”

Since redoubling his efforts beginning last May, his foreskin has grown from a length that supplied what he calls “half coverage” of his glans to almost full coverage.

“I don’t have coverage over the end,” John says. “I’m still working on that.”

Sadly, John’s wife passed away in 2018, so he cannot testify to any enhanced sexual pleasure now that he’s nearly completely restored his foreskin after years of toil. However, “psychologically,” he says, he feels like “a whole man” once again.

“If I had known about foreskin restoration in my twenties, I’d have undertaken it back then,” John says.

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