Saturday, June 30, 2012

I'm Circumcized - Ignorant and Happy

When I was born, all male boys in America were circumcised.  It was as normal as cutting the cord to give a baby a good looking belly button.  Nobody wanted a kid with a tail in the front, so they sliced it off, as they do today.

As a young boy, I would pee like other boys, wash myself like them, and even compare myself to other young lads to see where I was developmentally.  I never saw an uncircumcised unit - ever.  Never even knew they existed.

I grew up and went to college.  There, I began to hear about a rift in America and the rest of the world.  People were breaking into factions over what was called "the mutilation of little boys."  I would look at myself and think that I looked pretty damn good for a man of my size.  I couldn't see the problem.

Then I was righteously outraged when I heard of the common practice in the Islamic world where they mutilate a girl by performing a surgery called "female circumcision/mutilation".  Essentially, this barbaric practice is carried out with the belief that it reduces a woman's sexual drive.  That is beyond sick.  It disgusts me to no end.  All human beings should be allowed to enjoy the unholy pleasures of sexual gratification to their fullest orgasmic heights.  On the other hand, I couldn't understand why people had their undies in a wad over male circumcision.

As time went on, I began to see the argument become two-pronged.  First, the medical benefits of circumcision were proven negligible by many studies and the detractors reasoned that there was no cause for performing the procedure on their sons.  Second, the practice was determined to be a religious exercise and thus, logically came under the hot microscope of skepticism.

At the point of this realization, I had already circumcised both my sons and had enjoyed over a decade of penile usage in its most purest form, not to mention the previous two decades of necessary spillage.  I had no frame of reference for considering what life would be like pre-foreskin slice and dice, rather than what I was enjoying currently.  Asking for testimonials from those that hadn't been circumcised was foolishness because they would also have no frame of reference for how life was without a wrapper - not to mention, they would walk away, mumbling inaudibly.

I had relatives that had to be circumcised as adults because their foreskin became tight and inhibited normal urine flow.  I picked their brains (the ones in their know, the thing connected to the neck...above the shoulders (damn innuendos)) and discovered that they actually enjoyed life better without the extra skin. (This anecdote is NOT AN ENDORSEMENT for baby mutilation.  It's only to point out that sometimes it may be medically necessary.  That is all.  And yes, they were adults.  I get that and it's an awesome point.)

That was enough for me.  I don't get the brouhaha  The fracas.  The vexation.  It's as odd as the crowd that is so dead set against immunizations.  And the funny thing is, they are usually not bedfellows.  Those who are against circumcision are usually that way due to logic and science, the same exercise that gives them reason to trust in inoculations.

As you probably guessed already, there is no point to this post, except to say, I am convinced that male circumcision is a free choice and people can choose to do it to their sons if they so please.  It doesn't hurt them and it doesn't help them, though it could do both.  Frankly, my life in all areas to do with my penile member, is perfect.  I wouldn't change it for the world.  Not even if science discovered that sensation was tenfold with it back on.  I'd freaking explode.

Ramble over...


  1. "Asking for testimonials from those that hadn't been circumcised was foolishness because they would also have no frame of reference for how life was without a wrapper - not to mention, they would walk away, mumbling inaudibly."

    Guys with a foreskin can simply pull it back to experience life as a circumcised man. Except it takes a while for the glans to dry out; and the cosmetic appearance isn't permanent.

    "I had relatives that had to be circumcised as adults because their foreskin became tight and inhibited normal urine flow. I picked their brains (the ones in their know, the thing connected to the neck...above the shoulders (damn innuendos)) and discovered that they actually enjoyed life better without the extra skin."

    No kidding. However, this is bad reasoning. It's as silly as saying that guys with rotten teeth prefer life without those teeth means that pulling everyone's teeth preemptively is a good idea.

    "As you probably guessed already, there is no point to this post, except to say, I am convinced that male circumcision is a free choice and people can choose to do it to their sons if they so please."

    It's certainly a choice, but it should not be the parent's choice.

    "Frankly, my life in all areas to do with my penile member, is perfect. I wouldn't change it for the world. Not even if science discovered that sensation was tenfold with it back on. I'd freaking explode."

    This is a common sentiment, but it really serves no purpose other than to comfort circumcised guy's egos. Glad everything still works and you enjoy it, but by no means does that mean that everything is ideal or that there is any reason to perpetrate the practice on the unwilling.

  2. You obviously are in the "against it" crowd. I'm in the indifferent crowd because I've been mutilated myself, have already mutilated my sons, and have to live with my decision - to which, I simply shrug my shoulders.

    If you want to preach against it, I'm with you 100%! If you want to be 100% for it, I'll be very skeptical. I'm not yet to the level of being against it enough to rail.

    But you have proved an excellent point. I'm biased - as I said others were in my post. I'll take the punches for my bias because I can't put myself in other's shoes. But I won't recommend the practice to others.

    Now, if you stand up for female mutilation, I will be the first to perform it on you. (I mean that in tongue and cheek).

    Again, I am not for or against the practice on male children. Just indifferent. As indifferent as if I watched parents feeding their kids nothing but McDonald's. And I would argue, that is much worse.

  3. It does hurt them, horribly & permanently, body and brain. The studies on whether circumcision is painful were stopped because they were causing so much pain (& yet they continue to do it in hospitals every day). Babies who were circumcised have more extreme reactions to vaxes even 6 months later. They have permanent changes to their brain pathways. Many have to have repeat surgery, far more than would ever need to be circumcised as adults. And, just for the record, the first and 95% successful treatment for phimosis in the rest of the world is steroid cream, not amputation. There are over 100 babies who die every year in the US from circumcision, plus the ones who are permanently damaged (accidental glans removal, etc) Then there are the men who have so little sensitivity they can't get any pleasure anymore, or even have kids without assistance.

    I suspect your relatives were still in the early stages, when the glans is still sensitive instead of keritanized. Men who've restored would certainly disagree strongly with them.

    Anyway, there is way too much info for one comment., & others have more information. Just watch out for the circumcision fetishists on the pro-circumcision sites like C*rclist

  4. Oh. I must add one thing. My personal note about my relatives was most definitely NOT me saying that circumcision was the right way to go. Hell no! LOL! I would never say that. It was merely to point out that it isn't always a bad choice.

    Another case in point. A mohel sucks on the foreskin of a Jewish lad in order to perform a ritual. While that is an excellent argument against the religious ritual (simply because it's freaking weird), it doesn't really prove anything scientifically. Many jump on that ritual as THE reason to not circumcise and I don't blame them. I just think it's shortsighted.

    The fact that the ritual AND science has determined that it isn't necessary is enough for me to say that, given the opportunity again, I wouldn't have done it to my boys.

    Anyway, hope that helps.

  5. I'm going to correct myself. The sucking of the wound is not just a religious problem. It's high risk and unhealthy. Ick. I guess that's a good science argument after all.

  6. Thanks, Blue.

    Actually, my relatives were 20 and 50 years old when they went through the adult circumcision.

    Also, "amputation"? It's a foreskin, not an arm.

    My brother's son almost bled to death from a botched circumcision. I wouldn't do it on my kids again. But I don't see it as something to get too excited about. A good idea? Probably not.

    Keep talking, you might have me convinced.

  7. I'm in the same boat as you I.C.

    When my boys were born, we got them circumcised because we thought it was the better option - they'd be like me and they'd be lest prone to infection (our doctor TOLD us this). I've since then read more about circumcision, and given the choice to do it all over again would definitely not have them circumcised.

    One response to Blue: I don't remember my own circumcision so I can't tell you how much it hurt or even how it was done, but my boys both had knife-less surgeries. They were little plastic things that did the whole thing slowly, and neither boy complained at all the entire time. So if there was pain, it wasn't enough to produce in whimpering or signs of distress.

    Anyway. Life is freaking complicated.

  8. I did not circumcise my son but because it cost money. Why would I pay money for a useless surgery? The only problem was that no one taught me how to clean it properly and it has caused it to be all weird now. When I asked a doctor about it she said not to worry about it and that it would unstick from the head on its own after he started masturbating. My husband is cicmcised and he is just fine, no big deal, I have no complaints about the functionality or the look of his penis. People say they get the surgery so the boys can look like their dads, I have no idea how that could possibly be important because I never thought my genitals looked anything like my mom's (due to the hair and also I never actually saw my genitals because of the angle). Never bothered me. Those are my thoughts on the subject.

    1. This is one of the big problems in North America as more and more parents are opting out of circumcision for their sons. There's no cultural knowledge of how to take care of a baby's uncircumcised penis. All you really get are people saying that they dated some European guy who would pull the foreskin back in the shower to clean it, mixed with all the residual hysteria over men's penises being so dirty and prone to infection, and you end up with a whole lot of parents ripping the foreskin off the head (which can lead to all sorts of awful problems - some of them making circumcision medically necessary).

      For anyone who doesn't already know this, an uncircumcised baby's penis does not require any special care. As a newborn, clean the penis exactly in the same way as you would a finger. Later on, when he's old enough to sit up in the bath and splash/play, it'll get clean just fine just from the soaking. Penises, like most of our body parts, are largely self cleaning.

  9. I have one who is and one who isn't. I can say that if I had it to do over again I wouldn't, because as chief diaper changer and wound dresser? Oh heck no. Which is why #2 is the intact child.

    And that's all I'll say on the subject since this isn't my personal soapbox :)

  10. " Not even if science discovered that sensation was tenfold with it back on. I'd freaking explode." LOVE this sentence!

    Meh, I am with you on this one. I circumcised my son, and he didn't show any signs of trauma. Not only that, no one remembers the first week of their life. Having to be circumcised as an adult I am sure hurts a hell of a lot more and it's an experience no man will ever forget.

    I went for it so that he would look like his dad, and based on all his young comparisons that I know of (his Jewish friends), they all looked alike. In all his years, he has never once expressed any regret. Yes, we did talk about it.

    The only problem with this controversy, like most, is the emotion people bring to it and the certainty that their position is not only right, but RIGHT! As in all people who disagree are fools, or worse, evil. Bwahahahaha.

    (That was my evil laugh.)

    When I asked my son how he would decide, he said he would leave it up to his wife because he doesn't have a preference. I like that kid.

    1. "I went for it so that he would look like his dad." This reason always makes me laugh! If you (or your baby-daddy) has a penis that is at all comparable to a small child's, you have much bigger problems to worry about!

  11. The little plastic ring, that's what our doctor used also. Our son never showed any discomfort. Like all newborns, every sensation is dulled compared to what they will see/feel/understand in a few short months. They pretty much have one sensation when they're that tiny- hunger.

    That kid was a champion nurser.

    1. For the record, there are pretty big numbers of us that don't circumcise and who also don't vaccinate. In the natural/organic living crowd, many of us don't do either. My husband is circumcised, and he was always upset with his parents when he learned they had cut off part of his penis. We did not circumcise our son, and at 3 he has a perfectly retractable foreskin, with no issues. It isn't a big soap box of mine, but I feel like people should be allowed to make the choice to alter their own bodies, if and when they decide to, and not have others do it for them. I don't really like seeing baby girls with ear rings, either. That is something they should get to decide on their own.

  12. I was circumcised as an infant, I'm now 30. Never had an issue with it. I understand where the against-crowd comes from, since it the practice is forcing something on someone who doesn't have a voice in the matter. In my experience, the against-crowd is mostly women and uncircumcised males. To me, it seems like the uncircumcised males have such an identity with the foreskin, to the point that they feel that would lose almost aspects of themselves if they were circumcised. That, and it feels like they're attacking me and my parents. They say things such as "mutilated". I don't look down and feel like I'm mutilated, I like the appearance of my member. I don't have sensitivity issues that they claim I should have. Though, if you look into it, the most heavily circumcised nation is the US, and the biggest thing that goes around is guys not lasting long enough. In my head, that would mean circumcision would let you last longer in bed, but that doesn't seem like much the case. I understand the lubrication part, though how many people use condoms? Also, if you go bareback, or care about lubrication inside the condom (seems odd for that) use a cheap water based lubricant.

    So, my ending point is that I do disagree with forcing an elective cosmetic surgery on a child, however the crowd that's doing the protesting is doing it in the wrong way. Don't call it mutilation, and try to have circumcised males be the largest percentage of your population. A bunch of women and uncircumcised males going around telling me I'm mutilated and that my parents are evil, is just going to piss me off and push me away, thus losing members (no pun intended) to your cause.

    1. There are a lot of circumcised guys against the practice, especially guys who wind up with complications. And a lot of intact guys are against it because they resent the pressure exerted upon them, and the irrational fear and ignorance which surrounds their very natural bodies. They resent the implications that their own genitals are in any way less attractive or are unhygienic. All the talk about how an intact person might be made fun of, or how girls might not like or know what to do with him, is incredibly offensive.

      Your ending point is very, very, true. Generally, though, so many people have come to accept that the circumcised penis is normal, when in fact it isn't; they've come to accept that it is more aesthetically pleasing, when there may be visible scarring, or when people haven't ever really seen an intact penis. So a lot of the mutilation talk is intended to change this whole mindset, to strip away the euphemism which hides the truth. We need to change the things people have become accustomed to, and allow them to accept the natural appearance of the human body.

      So I agree wholly, that mutilation talk is offensive and ought to be curtailed, but the paradigm needs to be shifted somehow, and the sooner people realize that what their assumptions are faulty, the better.

    2. Assuming that sex with a circumcised male is similar to sex with a guy wearing a condom, there is a HUGE difference for the woman that goes well beyond lubrication.

      I don't think that uncircumcised male have their identity tied to their foreskin, but rather that it really is a horrible cultural practice when you look at it objectively, but that circumcised men have their feelings about it all bound up in their own identity ("I don't look down and feel like I'm mutilated. I like the appearance of my member") and in their love for their parents ("That, and it feels like they're attacking me and my parents").

      Anyways, you've been mutilated only in so much as your appearance has been surgically altered. Though technically correct, "mutilated" is a very emotionally-charged word, however, and you are right that it shouldn't be used. And while some people might condemn your parents, I think that it's important to remember that condemning a practice is not the same as condemning the person who does it. I'm sure your parents are amazing and lovely people who cared deeply for you, and I'm sure that they made what they thought was the best choice. But due to a lack of information (and, often, deliberate misinformation), they just made one bad choice. That is absolutely NOT saying that they are evil!!

  13. My son was circumcised because his dad was. As far as pain, he was wrapped in a papoose board (sorry it's what they've always been called) and the doctor used the cone. It was easy to take care of and he never had any complications. We were out to dinner and I asked him if he remembered having it done? Pain, discomfort? Anything? (We have conversations that range from the sublime to ridiculous when we're out) and he said nope. He looked like his friends, and that was that.

    It's like the controversy by some dentists to release the tongue flap under the tongue to help with jaw development. Ain't gonna happen.

    I say leave it up the family. This debate of course could go wrong like the crunchy or creamy peanut butter one, the breastfeed or formula one, and the never ending over/under toilet paper saga.
    (I don't care which way the roll is on BTW as long as it's one)

    1. Why? Why should the family make any decisions about their children's genitals? There's really no reason other than tradition.

      I fail to see how in the heck cutting away a portion of healthy genitalia is in any way comparable to which peanut butter anyone eats.

  14. I had an older friend who daughter contracted polio the year before the vaccine came out. She described the torture that she and the other parents went through, waiting out the virus, not knowing if their children would die, or if they lived, how damaged would their tiny bodies be? It was hell. They weren't even allowed to comfort their children, as the polio victims had to be isolated to try to contain the epidemic.

    Her daughter survived, but was confined to a wheel chair the rest of her life. She went on to have a career and a fulfilling life, but I'm sure she would still rather not have had polio.

    Needless to say, I vaccinated my children. I did it for their health benefit, and for the benefit of society at large. We are all part of a community, and we do have a responsibility to be our brother's keeper too. People who don't vaccinate put everyone else who doesn't vaccinate at risk too. And with our highly mobile international community, the odds are increasing every day that non-vaccinated carriers of infectious disease exist in all our communities.

    I would never gamble with my child's health and happiness like that.

  15. I don't have a penis, and I find the anti-trimming people to be peculiar. The data they have against the procedure is largely emotional or hyperbolic, so I don't feel right forming an opinion based off of such information. Also, I feel that there are much more urgent things to get worked up over such as animal welfare or feeding the hungry.

    The trimmed men I know have feeling similar to I.C.'s

    1. There isn't any sort of dichotomy at work, one can be worked up over both animal cruelty and cruelty towards children.

      One should not need to present parents with data to convince a parent that cutting healthy tissue from their children's genitals is a bad idea. What data do parents request regarding ears, or arms, to convince them those are worth keeping?

  16. This guy had some complications:

  17. Personally and this is from the days before i was a nice married lady, I didn't like guys who weren't circumcised. It reminded me of a fire hose and totally turned me off.

    And Anonymous you haven't lived till you've slogged through 75 pages of peanut butter war comments on a message board.

    Oh yeah, I vaccinated my children. The first I stopped the T of the Dtap at his second because he had such a bad reaction. 11 years later he got pertussis. Which was worse, his fever and discomfort as a baby or almost losing him to the disease? If I had it all over to do, I'd space the vacs out and still do it.

    1. The reason you didn't like normal penises is simply because you've been fooled into thinking circumcised ones were normal. This is another good reason the practice should be stopped.

    2. Someone once likened circumcision to color-blindness. Some sexual colors are simply missing, and many color-blind folks don't even realize those colors exist. Even watching a black and white TV is pretty great!

      "Not even if science discovered that sensation was tenfold with it back on. I'd freaking explode."

      This addresses the intensity of stimuli, whereas what the foreskin provides is simply a wider array of stimuli.

      It's like saying you don't want the volume on the guitar turned up anymore, when in reality, what we are describing is more like adding a bass line, piano, etc.

    3. That's a nice theory, but again, I'd only take those words from someone who has been on both sides. And even then, I'm comfortable in my own skin, or lack thereof.

    4. "That's a nice theory, but again, I'd only take those words from someone who has been on both sides."

      Why? It's like being color-blind and saying that you don't believe 'orange' exists unless someone who has been both color-blind and not tells you so.

      Generally, since people don't willingly remove a healthy body part or ability they enjoy, the people most likely to have removed something and able to report on the difference are most likely to have not been happy with their previous state in the first place.

      And it's actually fairly important to be comfortable in your 'color-blindness', but it should be recognized as something not to be inflicted on someone without their permission.

    5. Great! So be an advocate!

      I have banana bread to bake. The subject really bores me. Many more people care so much more. I'm sort of caught up in arguing for marriage equality and more salt in my food.

  18. I haven't read any comments, so I'm probably repeating something that someone has already said better, but I'm a blabber mouth who just has to add my opinion on every topic, so apologies in advance.

    As the US has amply demonstrated, most circumcised men grow up just fine (there are the botched circumcisions that result in terrible sexual dysfunction and sometimes even death, but they're pretty rare). Even if there is a correlation to something negative, it's clearly a very small one at best.

    But I don't think that's enough. "It won't hurt them" is not a good enough reason to give a parent permission to permanently alter their child's physical appearance. It's a matter of personal autonomy, of being able to choose for yourself, what aesthetic alterations are made to your body. Parental preference and parental religion do not change this.

    To me, it's a sign of respect. Do you respect your son as an individual? Do you see your role as a parent more as a temporary steward or as an owner? Once you know that circumcision is the exception worldwide and that there are no medical benefits to it being performed routinely, to choose to have it performed anyway shows a lack of respect for your son's selfhood.

  19. More salt! More salt! More salt!

    Pro-salt: Everything tastes better with salt. Your body need sodium to live. Iodized salt is an easy painless way to prevent goiter.

    Anti-salt: Too much salt makes high blood pressure worse. There is lots of sodium already in most foods. I've never known anyone with goiter, so rather than assume the reason goiter is rare is because people use iodized salt, I say goiter is a myth that salt manufacturers invented to get people to buy their product.

    I for more salt. ;-)

    ps (I was accused recently of only wanting to argue, and I hate to let a good accusation go to waste.)

    pps THIS POST IS MEANT ONLY FOR HUMOR! Please do not engage in salt wars as a result of this tongue-in-cheek post.

  20. Cosmetic surgery should be chosen by adults. And the adult men who were circumcised? They were in pain before, of course life was peachy afterwards.
    Being a lady who enjoyed herself before marriage, from a lady's POV, the foreskin seemed better to me - more to play with.