So you think your frenulum is too short. But what is a frenulum, how should it look like and what kind of problems can it cause?
Let's first look at what the frenulum is exactly. It's a small elastic band of tissue that sits between the prepuce (or foreskin) and the glans (the head of the penis). The foreskin itself is attached to the head of the penis, at the base of the glans, but the movement of the foreskin over the glans can be (severely) limited by the length of the frenulum. The frenulum also plays an important role during sexual intercourse. Its primary function is to retract the foreskin from the glans during an erection. In this way, the friction of the lower vaginal wall on this (sensitive) spot can cause an orgasm (and ejaculation).
On the picture below you can see what the frenulum looks like. You'll notice it resembles the little band under your tongue, which bears the same name.
During an erection, the foreskin should be able to move completely behind the glans. However, in most young men the frenulum is a bit too short.
This can result in two problems:
As long as you cannot pull back all of the foreskin behind the glans during an erection without your glans bending down, your frenulum is too short.
If you stretch your frenulum too hard, it will become white, another indication it is too short.
What can happen if you have a short frenulum, or a frenulum breve as it is officially called?
Let's see what your penis probably looks like if you remove your foreskin.
On the four pictures above, you can see the foreskin being pulled back. The last picture shows what is probably happening with your foreskin: the frenulum on the back is too short, preventing the foreskin to be pulled back further. If you look closely at the backside of your penis, you'll see the frenulum turning white, an indication that it is stretched to the maximum.
On these pictures you can see how far the foreskin has to be pulled back to have normal intercourse. Don't worry, you probably won't be able to do that (yet), but at least you can see what the goal is: just like on the picture on the right, you should be able to pull the foreskin completely away from the glans causing it to stretch out and become flat. The glans should only bend downwards slightly.
Mind you, there is a difference between a short frenulum and a tight foreskin. When you pull down your foreskin and you notice the circumference is too small for the glans to come through, you probably have a condition called phimosis or foreskin adhesion. This is not the same as having a short frenulum although the problems this condition causes, are the same.