As a result of the 2004
Athens Olympics, there was quite a lot of reference to the fact
that in ancient days, the Greeks undertook their athletic Olympic
events in the nude. However, research has shown that this was
not quite true. It appears that they actually wore a device /
garment called a 'kynodesme'. A kynodesme was a thin leather
strip, worn by tying it tightly round the part of the foreskin
that extends beyond the glans. (the prepuce) The kynodesme can
then either be attached to a waist band, or tied to the base
of the penis so that the penis appears to curl upwards.
It served several purposes, for what appears to be a variety of mixed reasons. For the athletes, it restrained the penis and stopped it flopping about, which the ancient Greece apparently found this preferable.
If addition to
offering all the above advantages to the ancient Greeks, there
was still one further attribute that it offered. The Greek standard
of modesty held that the foreskin should cover the glans. Visible
glans in an uncircumcised man was taken as evidence of sexual
arousal and was thus considered indecent within the arena. Many
athletes therefore wore the kynodesme. Its strand of string looped
around the foreskin, closing it tightly over the glans, prevented
mishaps,. The Greek code of genital etiquette obviously places
circumcised Jews at an embarrassing disadvantage in the public
baths, wrestling matches, and competitive games.
For more information on the Kynodesme, have a look at this webpage.
Another Peter has also written a very informative page on the Kynodesme.
The Kynodesme is such a simple device that I could not resist trying it out. It is a delightfully simple thing to wear. I found that a long shoelace would fulfil the same function as a Greek leather strip, in fact I suspect that a shoelace is probably better, as it is softer and more 'grippy' than leather as you can see from the photos.
My only concern was a possible problem tying the lace around the prepuce, but in fact it was very simple and effective. All I needed to do was to pull the prepuce forward, slightly stretching it, and then using a simple knot; the lace stayed in place and did not slip. The version that tied around the waist was the obvious first choice, as it was straightforward to get it into position, and tie the ends of the lace around the back of my waist.
Most of the ancient Greek photos show the Kynodesme attached in some way to the base of the penis. It is not immediately obvious how they attach the tied prepuce to the base of the penis. One possibility might be that the actually tie it to some strands of pubic hair. That option was not available to me, and the only way I could think of attaching it was to tie it around the balls. It does work, but it does not look like the old images. Any ideas?
The kynodesme has its uses even to todays world. I've used when running to stop my penis from flopping about, when wearing a 'marginally short' tee shirt. Have a look at my 'Nude Running Section' for more details.
The idea of trying out a kynodesme has appealed to some of my webpage readers, some of whom have photographed their efforts. If you want to let us all see your kynodesme, just send your photos to me and I'll add them to this 'mini gallery'.
It may appear obvious, but if you tie the knot too tight for long periods it will stop the flow of blood to end of the prepuce. This is not a very healthy situation and it will eventually go blue!
So be sensible, I would not like to think that anybody hurt themselves while experimenting with a kynodesme!
Some comments from David's 'field trials':
Allans comments regarding nude running
Our first experiences of running naked was only about six weeks ago and I was surprised how little banging about there was from down below but having seen your web site thought I'd try the kynodesme.
As I have a very short foreskin so thought I'd try the circumcised version with the lace below the glans. This gave me the different feeling you describe but after about 4 miles I found my penis head was quite cold when I'd removed the lace. Next time I pulled as much foreskin forward as I could and could just tie the lace round it and if the knot is tight enough it holds for several hours. There was a slight mark when I took the lace off the first time but I've now found a round lace that works better and doesn't mark.
Overall I find that pulling and tying the foreskin gives a better feel than tying behind the glans, my balls are pulled higher and the air seems to get all round them giving a much better feeling. Having said that when running naked I want to feel naked and now wear the kynodesme when I'm running in shorts which I find really comfortable.