Penis splitting, known clinically as penile bisection or genital bifurcation, is a type of body modification. It’s done by surgically splitting the penis in half.

Traditional bisection involves opening the head, or glans, of the penis. It may be split once down the middle or along each side of the shaft.

Penis splitting is often used as an umbrella term. There are many different ways to split the penis, and each procedure has its own name.

Head splitting

This is done by cutting the head of the penis in half, leaving the rest of the shaft intact. Your surgeon may recommend getting a meatotomy done first. A meatotomy expands the hole for your urine to come out of.

Whole-shaft splitting

This is done by splitting the entire penis in half, from the tip of the head all the way down to the bottom of the shaft. When this is done, your penis may look like it’s curling inward when you have an erection.

Inversion

This is done by cutting the shaft of the penis in half while leaving the head whole.

Superincision

The top of the penis is cut open but not all the way through to the other side. This may be done from the head back towards the shaft and the base of the penis, or on just one area of the top of the penis, such as the head or shaft only.

Subincision

The penis is cut from the meatus down to the beginning of the shaft.

Penis splitting is a highly personal modification. There are a number of reasons why you or someone you know may undergo this aesthetic procedure.

During an anonymous Reddit AMA, one person said that they chose to get a meatotomy and subincision because it allows the urethra to receive sexual stimulation.

For some people, splitting may be done as part of a BDSM act, either to one’s self or another consenting adult.

You may want to split your penis simply because you like the way it looks.

No reason is invalid. What’s important is finding a community that’s accepting and supportive of your choice to modify your body.

Several cultures practice penis splitting.

For example, the Arrernte people in modern Australia practice a form of penis splitting that they call arilta. It’s done as a sort of rite of passage for teenage boys. The act of creating a split penis is thought to represent a young boy becoming a man.

In some contemporary Papuan and Hawaiian cultures, subincision is used to help young males transition into adolescence and adulthood.

In these cultures, children who complete the ritual without showing signs of pain or fear are welcomed into the community at large and allowed to take on more responsibility.

If the child cries or otherwise reveals their discomfort, they may not be allowed to take on the same responsibilities. For example, they may not be allowed to travel outside of their community.

Some communities that once performed ritualistic penis splitting no longer observe the same practices.

For example, the Lardil people in Queensland, Australia, once used penis splitting as a gateway into learning a special language called Damin. They believed that this language was only available to those who went through this procedure.

Penis splitting is considered safe if it’s done by a professional in a sterile surgical setting.

However, doing this procedure yourself or having it done in an unlicensed facility can be dangerous and may result in one or more of the following complications:

If it’s done by a medical professional while you’re under anesthesia, this procedure shouldn’t hurt at all. But if it’s done without the use of anesthesia, it will hurt, as sensitive skin, nerves, and blood vessels are cut open.

In either circumstance, you’ll likely experience mild pain and discomfort while you heal. You may be able to relieve some discomfort by taking nonsteroidal anti-inflammatory drugs (NSAIDs), such as ibuprofen (Advil).

Bisection won’t affect your ability to pee unless your urethra is split or otherwise modified. The more you open the urethra, the more pee can spray outward.

For example, you may find that it’s harder to release and direct your urine after undergoing a meatotomy or subincision.

You may end up needing to sit down when you pee in order to ensure that your urine goes into the toilet.

You can still get hard and ejaculate after you’ve had a penis splitting procedure.

Here’s why: There are three cylinder-shaped pieces of spongy tissue — the corpus spongiosum and two corpora cavernosa — in the penis. These tissues swell with blood to cause an erection.

With bisection, these spongy tissues are split between two or more independent penile appendages. Although each appendage is capable of erection, this division of tissue may make it difficult to remain consistently firm.

You may need to change how you enter or use a water-based lube to make it easier to slip in.

As for condoms, you’ll need to fully cover both sides of your penis. This is the only way to prevent STI transmission or unwanted pregnancy.

Depending on the type of split, you may find it helpful to:

  • put a separate condom on each side of the bisected penis
  • put a condom over the side where the urethral opening is located
  • put a single condom over both sides for full coverage

There’s no clear research as to whether penis splitting affects your fertility.

Aesthetic changes typically have little to no effect on the internal mechanisms of the penis. Sperm count, quality, and volume generally aren’t affected.

But complications, such as penis or testicle infection, may affect your fertility. One 2015 paper suggests that inflammation from infection can cause damage to sperm DNA and impact your sperm quality.

More research is needed to truly understand how this modification and any related complications affect fertility.

It can be difficult to find a professional who performs this procedure.

You may find it helpful to reach out to someone who specializes in plastic or reconstructive genital surgery or even gender confirmation surgery.

These surgeons are more likely to have facilities equipped for safe genital modification procedures. They may be able to point you in the right direction.

You may also find it helpful to browse websites, such as BME, aimed at the body mod community.

One person suggests reaching out to a licensed practitioner who inserts body art implants or performs scarification. They may be able to connect you to someone who performs splitting procedures.

Your surgeon will inject a local anesthetic to numb the area or administer general anesthesia to keep you asleep during the procedure. Then, the procedure is done according to your request.

Meatotomy

Your surgeon will cut a V-shape from the urethra down to open the meatus. Then, they’ll stitch the tissues together until your urethra has your desired look: larger, fully open, or otherwise.

Head splitting

Your surgeon will use a scalpel to gently and gradually slice the penis head into two even halves. They’ll cauterize the exposed tissue to stop the bleeding and allow healing.

Whole-shaft splitting

Your surgeon will use a scalpel to cut the penis in half from head to base. Then, they’ll cauterize the exposed tissue on each side.

Inversion

Your surgeon will cut through the penis shaft, from either the top or bottom, and widen the incision until its size meets your expectation. Then, they’ll cauterize the exposed tissue inside the opening.

Super- or subincision

Your surgeon will make an incision along the top (super) or bottom (sub) of your penis. If the subincision will expose your urethra, your surgeon may also perform a meatotomy so the opening meets your expectations.

Recovery time varies according to how extensive the procedure was. A meatotomy may heal in a few days. A complex procedure may take weeks. Be sure to follow all aftercare instructions provided by your surgeon.

Some suggestions from general guidelines are:

  • Change your surgical dressings every few hours after you get home.
  • Wash the surgical site with warm water and a gentle soap.
  • Use NSAIDs to relieve pain.
  • Sit in a warm bath to reduce pain after the surgical dressings are removed and incisions begin to heal.
  • Don’t lift anything over 10 pounds or exercise for a week.
  • Don’t have sex until your surgeon says it’s okay to do so.

As with any body modification, some risks are involved in performing the procedure and taking care of your penis afterwards.

Do your research and choose the one that works best for you — and consult with a few professionals before you move forward with the procedure.

Finally, follow all of your doctor’s instructions to make sure you heal properly and that you’re aware of any special care you need to take of your split penis.