Baby bottle nipple retainers
Before I started restoring my foreskin, my penis was not very sensitive. My glans and shaft were the same color and texture as my arm. That is, my penis looked just like normal skin. Also, it was not particularly sensitive. I lost a lot of sensitivity with 50 years worth of rubbing against my shorts. The rubbing calloused my mucosal membranes. Then, I started restoring my foreskin.
After 2 months of manual tugging, my shaft skin was very wrinkled. I was almost a CI-3 on the coverage index scale. My inner foreskin remnant was starting to bunch up against my corona. With my inner foreskin remnant bunched up and protected, it started getting sensitive.
Unfortunately, as I moved around the bunching of the inner foreskin rolled back and forth against my shorts. The rubbing of the newly sensitive inner foreskin was very irritating. The solution was to pull my growing foreskin forward so that the inner foreskin would stay inside and be protected.
At first, I used my extra DTR gripper as a retainer. The silicone gripped my foreskin very well when I pulled my skin over my glans. It also stayed on well when I tossed and turned at night. But, I lost it. So, I decided to make a replacement. The DTR site has instructions for making a new gripper, but I could not find Dr. Brown's nipples in my area.
I tried Avent brand nipples, and they were fine when I first started. But, as I grew more skin, they turned out to be too short. I tried the Playtex Wide Large nipples, but they were way too large for me.
I finally found the Born Free brand of Wide-neck silicone nipples. The Born Free nipples are almost identical to the DTR gripper, but they are slightly thinner and more pliable, which is nice. The bell shape is good because it grips on the sides of the nipple and stays on better than the shorter Avent brand nipple.
The picture below is a side-by-side comparison of the various baby bottle nipples I tried. The edges in the picture may look jagged, but the silicone is soft and pliable. I cannot feel the edges. The edges are not sharp, nor do they irritate me.
The DTR nipple pictured is the holeless gripper that came with my DTR. The Born Free nipple is slightly taller than the DTR nipple. Both the DTR (Dr. Brown's) and the Born Free nipples have cylindrical walls that grip the skin on the sides. The Avent and Playtex nipples are more dome shaped. The Playtex VentAire Advanced nipple is just waaay too large for me to wear.
When I was CI-4 or less, the dome shape of the Avent nipple retainer worked because the skin was stretched to cover the glans and the Advent nipple retainer held fine. As my skin grew so that I could pull it past my glans, the cylindrical shape of the DTR (Dr. Brown's) and Born Free nipples worked better at gathering the tip of my foreskin past my glans.
Making the foreskin retainer
I used a sharp knife to cut the baby bottle nipples into the pictured retainers. I used a plastic pill bottle that was slightly larger than the nipple. I stretched the nipple over the bottle as far as it would fit. I used a sharp knife to cut around the bottom flange of the baby bottle nipple. I then used the point of the knife to cut the sucking end of the nipple off.
The size of the hole at the top is not too critical. If you have a lot of skin that extends past your glans when flaccid, a larger hole will allow you to pull your skin through the foreskin retainer. I don't have that much skin, yet.
Wearing the foreskin retainer
When I started, I preferred the Avent brand nipple retainer, but as my skin got longer, the straight sides of the Born Free (same as Dr. Brown) nipple retainer do a better job of gripping my skin. I sleep nude and the nipple retainers stay on all night, even when I toss and turn.
The pics to the left show me wearing (1) an Avent baby bottle nipple foreskin retainer, (2) a Born Free baby bottle nipple foreskin retainer, and (3) a TLC Tugger Your-Skin Cone foreskin retainer.
At first, I wore the baby bottle nipple retainer whenever I was not manual tugging. I wore it all day and at night when I went to sleep. After 4 or 5 months of wearing the foreskin retainer I had enough slack skin that my underwear would keep me covered during the day. I wear briefs and they are tight enough that my foreskin is held in place. At night I sleep in the nude, so I graduated to wearing a retainer only when I went to bed. My ultimate goal is to have enough skin to not have to wear a retainer at all.
To put the foreskin retainer on, I just pull the skin forward until the foreskin covers my glans. I pull the forward by making the OK sign with one hand, like I am about to manual tug with method 2, and then pulling (or pushing) my foreskin towards and over my glans. I place the retainer over the tip of the foreskin so that there is some skin touching all the way around the inside lip of the retainer. When I let my foreskin naturally retract, the skin rolls down and pulls the retainer with it. I don't have to force it or try to make the retainer go around my skin. The secret to keeping the retainer on is to have the foreskin slightly pull against the retainer.
For the best grip, the retainer should be clean, as well as the foreskin. I wash the foreskin retainer with soap and water. After drying with a towel, the silicone grips the skin very well.
For those guys who have some flaccid overhang, a packer will help tension the skin. The packer is placed against the tip of the glans and the foreskin is pulled over the glans and packer. I may start doing this soon. I have enough flaccid overhang that, when it is cold, the tip of my foreskin puckers and is too small for the retainer.
Retaining versus Tugging
For the most part, holding the foreskin over the glans does not tension the foreskin sufficiently to induce mitosis. Wearing a retainer is not a good way to tug the skin because the tension is so light.
But, when first starting out, the shaft skin may be tight when pulled over the glans. If so, there may be enough tension of the foreskin by the retainer to induce mitosis. Also, nocturnal erections will increase the tension of the foreskin. My retainer stays on all night, even when I have erections.
As described above, the foreskin can be tensioned by using a packer. TLC Tugger sells packers. Some resourceful restorers have made their own packers and this is how they restore.
- Foreskin retainers, part 2 of this blog post describes other foreskin retaining methods
- How to start restoring your foreskin describes why many men retain during foreskin restoration
- Magic Briefs: How to retain your foreskin without trying by just wearing tight briefs
- More information on retainers can be found in the member section of Restoring Foreskin.org.
- Making a Gripper Instructions at the DTR website