Frenulum function

Dear Alice,

I'm a 21 year old student and I'm still virgin. My question is: when you penetrate her for the first time, can your frenulum get broken? Is it supposed to tear usually?

Please, give me an answer.

Dear Reader,

Virgin or not, it's great to be in touch with the way your body feels and functions and to be curious about what will happen in certain situations.

The frenulum is the piece of sensitive skin on the underside of the penis near the center of the head, where the skin from the foreskin attaches itself to the penis. The frenulum does not act like a hymen, in the sense that many people believe a torn hymen is evidence of being "devirginized" — the frenulum should not tear or break. (See Hymen Stretching for more info about why a broken hymen does not necessarily mean that a woman has had sex.)

If you are circumcised, your frenulum may not be a concern, because most or all of the frenulum was likely removed along with the foreskin during circumcision. Because not all circumcisions are created equal, some people may experience a partially intact frenulum or develop scar tissue after circumcision. If you are uncircumcised, your frenulum should be intact and remain that way even after having sex. Some men have a short or tight frenulum, which can cause some discomfort, however even a short frenulum shouldn't "break" during sex.

If your frenulum does cause you discomfort (for example, if it's painful to pull the foreskin down below the head of the penis when you have an erection), then check with your health care provider. You may be referred to a urologist, who may recommend a minor operation to cut the frenulum, or if appropriate, perform a circumcision to remove the foreskin.

Be confident that for most people, the frenulum causes no problem and won't break or tear during action, solo or partnered.

Last updated Apr 16, 2015
Originally published May 02, 1997

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