Foregen makes good progress towards goal of foreskin regeneration

Since it was founded in 2010, I have been following the progress of Foregen, a not-for-profit organisation researching regenerative medicine to regrow the foreskin for circumcised men.

Initial reactions from the foreskin restoration communities were full of hope. But once the initial excitement wore off the mood evolved to skepticism, with many asking the tough questions around the science, the funding model, the official charitable status of the organisation and even the motivations behind the directors.

microscopeIn a move to quash some of the doubt, Foregen President Vincenzo Aiello took to YouTube in this video with respected intactivist and TLC Tugger vendor Ron Low, to talk through the vision for the organisation, assure supporters of the transparency of the finances and to call for donations. Ron was also announced as Treasurer for the organisation.

Now they have demonstrated real progress including securing labs, carrying out successful testing with animal tissue, securing a source of human tissue, registering as a tax-exempt charity in the US and announcing a much requested crowd sourcing campaign, many of the detractors have been silenced.

The recent announcement of some of the above news has also attracted the attention of the mainstream media for the first time, with stories being featured in the UK’s Mirror and then the Daily Mail. Other news providers and bloggers then followed suit, with this Mama Mia piece being the first major Australian site to run with the story, albeit with an insensitive tone.

While I’ve had quite a satisfactory sex life with my current circumcised status, I’ve been I’ve been keeping an eye of Foregen’s progress, and would not have ruled out taking up the regeneration option should it ever become available. However, there is small but significant detail highlighted in the Mirror that leaves me a little squeamish:

This involves finding donor foreskins from dead bodies, stripping them of the donor’s cells (decellularization) to leave behind a tissue scaffold, and then populating that scaffold with the patient’s own stem cells, taken from their penis.

Using the organs and other body parts from those selfless souls who wish to leave them for others is now widely accepted. But the idea of having part of the penis from someone else attached to me brings visions of some low grade horror/pornography crossover movie. Would I be able to block out thoughts of the previous owner during love making?  How would my partner feel, or should I not tell her? Would I be obligated to disclose this information?

I applaud the progress that Foregen has made in their short history, and hope that thousands of men will finally feel complete once the procedure is proven successful.

I’m just not sure at this stage if the procedure is going to be for me.

 

Image courtesy of Photokanok at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to officially measure your penis length, and why most men are doing it wrong

There are a few different ways to measure your penis, and while most men have measured their penis at some point in their lives, many are doing it wrong.

When I was about 17 years old I read an article in a Cosmopolitan magazine which outlined the average penis length and girth. At the next opportunity I grabbed a ruler. After I took the measurement I felt both relieved and even a little pleased with the result.

Measure penis sizeBut years later I received a rude shock. According to another study on penis size, I hadn’t measured myself correctly. As a result I may have overestimated my size.

I found out that there is typically a large difference in length, depending on which side you measure your penis from. I naturally took the measurement from the underside, or ventral side, because I figured this is the side that, when erect, is most visible to a partner. It seems that many other men also make this same mistake.

The problem with measuring from this side is that it is difficult to know at what point to start the measurement from. It is possible to stretch the scrotal skin at the base of the penis further under the body because the penile shaft actually extends in this area further than what can be initially seen.

So how should you measure your penis?

Almost all surveys and studies on penis length measure the penis from the upper or dorsal side. That is, the side that is closest to your abdomen when your penis is erect.

The easiest way to determine from which side to measure your penis is simply to look down. The side you can see is the side along which you should measure.

The base, or starting point of the penile shaft (where the shaft meets your body at your pubic mound) is more defined here, and therefore it is more accurate and there is less temptation to cheat.

From this base point, the penis should then be measured to the tip of the glans (or ‘head’). Note that while some say that pushing the tape measure into your pubic mound is cheating, most official surveys of penis size say that this is OK. If this gets you a little bit extra I say go for it.

If you are lucky enough to still have your foreskin and it extends beyond your glans when erect, you should retract your foreskin so that you can measure to the end of your glans.

So I went from thinking that I was two centimeters (or almost one inch) over the average penis size to realising that I was just on average. Nothing to be too disappointed about. But being well over average height means that I may be proportionately on the small side.

 

SizeGenetics

Image courtesy of imagerymajestic at FreeDigitalPhotos.net