Why is penis glans over-sensitive or painful if you have phimosis?

Individuals with phimosis will often experience some sort of discomfort when they touch their penis glans. This discomfort can be minor in some cases while in some cases you may find it painful. So, why is the penis glans so over-sensitive or painful if you have phimosis?

The reason the Glans is over-sensitive, and sometimes painful to touch if you have phimosis, is because glans hasn’t been exposed often to the outside environment. Since the foreskin hasn’t been retracted often, the glans has not been used to the outside touch. Hence, the glans will take some time and outside exposure to feel less sensitive.

It can be a problem and  sometimes, even a nuisance when it comes to sexual intercourse. However, it is very easy to solve in a small to medium amount of time, as we will explain later.

What is Glans?

The glans  is basically the section of the penis that is covered by the foreskin. It can also be referred to as the head of the penis. The head of the glans has urethral opening from where the discharge of urine or semen occurs.

The below diagram will hopefully help you understand the glans-

Glans of penis- Phimostretch
In a normal uncircumcised penis, you should be able to fully retract your foreskin over the glans. In fact the gliding action of the foreskin over the glans is what gives pleasure during sex or masturbation.

When it comes to sensitivity of the glans here is the order in terms of decreasing sensitivity-

Phimosis >Uncircumcised>Circumcised

Males with phimosis will have more sensitive glans which is often times painful when directly touched. Uncircumcised males with normal foreskin will still have more sensitive glans than circumcised males.

Glans Sensitivity - Circumcised Males

For circumcised males, since there is no foreskin that covers the glans or the head of the penis, the glans is directly exposed to the environment all the time.

The glans is used to being exposed to air, physical touch through either intercourse or just clothes, or water etc. As a result, it is much less sensitive if you have a circumcised penis in comparison to males who have foreskin.

Believe it or not, this is actually a disadvantage when compared to uncircumcised penis. The glans along with frenulum is much less sensitive if you get circumcised. This is one of the reasons why so many adults who go through circumcision report issues with erectile dysfunction and lack of pleasure during intercourse.

A little bit of sensitivity is a good thing. This is why we recommend people to stay as far away from circumcision.

Glans Sensitivity - Uncircumcised males

Normal uncircumcised males can retract their foreskin fully, when penis is flaccid or erect. However, their glans is still going to be more sensitive than uncircumcised males, since in a flaccid state, the glans is covered by the foreskin most of the time. Some of the instances where the glans is exposed to the environment is during intercourse, masturbation, bath and may be urination.

The glans is well lubricated with sebum/oil inside the foreskin when penis is in the flaccid state. This not only helps with the gliding action during sex and masturbation, but it also keeps the glans more sensitive and pleasurable as well.

Along with the frenulum which is the most sensitive part of your penis, the gliding action of the foreskin over the glans is what makes sexual intercourse for males with foreskin so pleasurable.

Even though the glans is more sensitive for people who have foreskin, when compared to circumcised males, it is not painful to touch as is the case for those you have phimosis. In fact it is pleasurable to touch. So, the sensitivity here is perfectly normal and does not lead to any discomfort.

Glans Sensitivity - Phimosis

Your experience will differ depending on which stage of phimosis are you in. But generally speaking, your glans will be much more sensitive than that of those who have normal foreskin and even more sensitive than glans of circumcised males.

  • If you have pinhole phimosis, chances are you may have never seen your glans. So, before worrying about the glans sensitivity which you will have no way to ascertain, much higher priority should be given to expanding the foreskin. You can try using Q-tips for initial expansion until you can fit in a 3 mm Phimostretch ring.
  • If your phimosis is at a stage where you can see your glans but you can’t retract the foreskin fully when flaccid (10 to 24mm rings), this is when it makes sense to start working on desensitizing your glans while having a good phimosis stretching routine with the rings.
  • When you are at a stage where the foreskin can be retracted fully while penis is flaccid but not when erect, this is where you need to start putting in real work to desensitize your glans with the methods that we will show here.

How does this pain feel like?

It usually stings slightly when you touch your glans.It is tough to describe it unless you have experienced it. It is akin to being gently pinged by a thousand small needles as you touch your glans. However, in most cases you may find that touching it is not as difficult as rubbing it. Let’s just say that touching or rubbing your glans is something that you will feel anxious about if your glans is not used to it ;and for good reason !

Why do you need to fix it?

You may wonder why you need to desensitize your sensitive glans?

Well, the simple answer to that is that it is not a good experience to feel this sort of pain during intercourse or in instances where you have to expose your glans. Sexual intercouse is all about pleasure, and it can really suck if you have to worry about this pain before and during the intercourse.

It can not only lead to bad sexual experiences but can also be a cause of erectile dysfunction during sex as the body registers this stinging sensation and hence your body reacts accordingly. In some instances, you can also mentally psyche yourself out of having an intercourse. Sexual intercourse is something you should anticipate; not something that you should dread. Hence glans sensitivity could cause performance anxiety during sexual intercourse.

This is why it is important that as you progress through your rings, you also should work on exercises that will desensitize your glans to make it “normal”.

How to fix glans sensitivity?

Okay. So, now we really get into the nitty-gritty stuff. You have a tight foreskin, and a sensitive glans. What can you do about it? Here are some ways you can desensitize your glans-

  • Oils - You should start witht extra-virgin organic coconut oil or castor oil to regularly apply on your glans. With the added lubrication of oil, it is much easier to touch or rub your glans than with bare hands. Make it a habit of doing this as much as possible throughout the day. This way your glans starts to get used to mild outside exposure and with consistent use, your sensitivity will start to get much better over the next few weeks.

  • Warm water exposure- When taking shower, it is also a good practice to expose your glans to water for at least 5 to 10 minutes. Make sure the water temperature is lukewarm. While taking batch, gently retract your foreskin (Don’t force it as that could cause tears!) and just stand in the shower for a few mins and let the water fall over your glans. If the water speed is high, just guide the water midway through cupping your palm.  There is a huge caveat here though. Under no situation should you ever use soap or any other chemical over the glans while taking bath. Soap kills the “good bacteria” and cause bacterial imbalance over your glans.

  • Physical touch- Once you are consistent with steps 1 and 2, you can now start doing physical touch exercises over your glans. You will generally find that it is tougher to rub over your glans than to just touch it or place your fingers over it.. You can also use a clean cloth to rub. Make sure to make it a consistent habit to expose your glans though and you should be fine.

  • The goal is to reach a stage where your glans now feels comfortable with physical touch. This is something that takes time but with consistent exposure, your glans sensitivity will become normal.

    Sex and glans sensitivity

    Just because you have phimosis and sensitive glans does not mean that you would need to compromise on pleasures of sexual intercourse.

    In fact, as you strive towards eliminating phimosis and glans “over-sensitivity”, you can still enjoy sexual intercourse like normal males.

    You will just need to do things slightly different. We recommend following a protocol like shown below to optimize your experience-

    With Condoms- If you have phimosis, we would highly recommend using condoms as much as possible.Condoms help shield your foreskin from “forced-retraction” during back and forth movement of the penis inside the vagina during the intercourse.

    If you don’t use condoms, the vaginal walls will exert much more pressure on the foreskin to retract. This may not only cause tears but can also lead to paraphimosis.

    Paraphimosis is when the tight foreskin is retracted too much behind the glans and is “stuck” there. This can be very unpleasant as it can constrict blood flow (If this happens, this is a medical emergency, and you should run to the ER as fast as possible!).

    The only drawback to using condoms is the “lack of feeling” during the intercourse and staying erect. Since the condom prevents your frenulum and glans from direct contact, the feeling of arousal may just be a little bit lacking.

    In a normal penis with foreskin, the correct practice is to retract the foreskin first, and then place the condom. With phimosis, however, since your foreskin is also covering the glans, the stimulation and pleasure is just a little more challenging with a covered foreskin in the way.

    However, with practice, it is only a small hindrance to overcome. And we highly suggest this should be your first protocol of choice.

    Without Condoms- If keeping up the erection during the intercourse (with condom on) really becomes an issue, then you may be tempted to give it a go without condom during the intercourse.

    This could be okay too but it presents a different set of challenges. Your foreskin is now more susceptible to forced retraction during intercourse. This could cause scarring/tears on the phimotic band.

    Since the glans is now much more sensitive, a direct contact with vagina (especially if dry) may be a bit tricky and sometimes painful considering the heightened sensitivity of your glans.

    If your phimotic band circumference is big enough, it could also lead to your foreskin to be pulled back all the way and getting stuck behind the glans during erection. This situation, which is called paraphimosis, should be avoided at all costs.

    The above scenario could be exacerbated if your glans and foreskin are not lubricated at all. This is why we highly recommend to use natural oils to lubricate your penis before the intercourse.

    The two best oils on the planet for this purpose are coconut oil and castor oil. Both have their pros and cons.

  • Coconut oil- If you are using coconut oil, please make sure to buy extra virgin organic coconut oil. Some added advantages of this oil are that it is an effective anti-fungal and hence is an additional barrier towards some STDs. It also smells great and is very pleasant to use even for oral sex. One disadvantage, however, of coconut oil is that it gets absorbed easily by the skin and hence your skin may need repeat applications to keep it well lubricated. 
  • Castor oil- Castor oil doesn’t get absorbed by the skin so quickly as coconut oil and hence one application can be good enough. It is also a good anti-fungal and has all the advantages of coconut oil, except one. Most people will not like the smell and taste of castor oil. If that is something you feel is not going to be a big issue during sex, then castor oil is also as good an option as coconut oil.
  • It is also important to make sure that your partner’s vagina is well lubricated and moist as well, as that definitely helps with smooth back and forth movement, reduces the discomfort and pain with the over-sensitive glans, and prevents forcible retraction of the foreskin.


    There is no reason why you cannot have a normal sex life, even when you have phimosis and an over-sensitive glans. While you are trying to cure phimosis,moving up different ring sizes is a journey and it takes a little bit of time and effort. In the same manner, it is totally possible to gradually desensitize your glans through exercises and exposure. While both phimosis and glans sensitivity can be challenging to truly enjoy a fulfilling sexual intercourse, this does not mean you should put a hold on normal pleasures in your life, especially, when it comes to the pleasures of sexual intercourse. With some precaution and preventive measures, and irrespective of your individual circumstances, you can still certainly have some fun, while you try your best to cure your phimosis!

    PS- If you really want to cure phimosis, click here to find out more about Phimostretch kit which has an excellent success rate. If you already know about this kit, and you can’t wait to kickstart your phimosis journey, click the "BUY NOW" button below to purchase today.