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Glans and Foreskin

2 jongens kijken op een computerscherm

The glans is the most sensitive sexual spot for a man. The glans is at the tip of your penis. It’s covered by the foreskin, unless you are circumcised.


The glans is smooth, soft and usually pinkish red in colour. When you get an erection, the penis and glans fill up with blood. The glans swells up and gets darker (or redder). The foreskin covers the glans. At birth, the foreskin is still attached to the glans. Somewhere between 8 and 14 years old, the foreskin automatically separates from the glans.

diagram van eikel en voorhuid


The glans is exposed when you have an erection. The foreskin slides back over the glans. If you have a longer foreskin, the glans may still be covered when you have an erection.


The glans is the most sensitive sexual spot for a man. The ridge of the glans and the frenulum form the most sensitive section. The frenulum is the elastic band of tissue that attaches the foreskin to the glans.


When you play with yourself or have sex with someone, you can stimulate your glans. Read more about masturbating, jerking off, penetrative sex or fellatio.

Little white spots

Some men have little white spots on the rim of the glans. This is not an STI, it's a normal phenomenon called ‘pearly penile papules’.

Problems with the foreskin

Some boys have difficulty pushing back their foreskin properly. This means it may be painful to jerk off or to have penetrative sex. It also means you can't clean your glans properly. Often you can do something about this yourself. Sometimes you need to go to your doctor. Read more about problems with the foreskin.


When a man is circumcised, he no longer has a foreskin. The glans is then exposed.

Why would you circumcise? 

  • Circumcision is usually carried out for reasons of religion or hygiene. For example, many Jewish and Muslim men are circumcised.
  • Sometimes a boy is circumcised because his foreskin is so tight it cannot be pulled back over the glans.
tekening van besneden en onbesneden penis


You can enjoy sex as normal when you're circumcised. You can come as well. However, the glans is often less sensitive:

  • When you are uncircumcised, the foreskin protects the glans. The glans is soft, lacks the thick outer layer of the epidermis, which means it's very sensitive.
  • In circumcised men, the glans is always exposed. That’s why the outer layer of the epidermis on the glans is thicker. The glans is slightly less sensitive, but that doesn't have to stop you having a good sex life. It might take you longer to come, when masturbating or making love.