Involuntary circumcision is a controversial procedure that has all but died out everywhere in the world but the United States. Here many of us still want our baby boys to look like their fathers. Here many of our women still think male foreskins are gross, that they look odd and collect unpleasant odors. Here performing the procedure is still an extra few bucks for doctors and hospitals. All of that is slowly going by the wayside, as is the old misguided female perspective. Women in the U.S., like women all over the world, are beginning to appreciate the male body in it’s natural state. Due to our indoctrinations, there are still many men that believe penises look better circumcised. In fact they are glad they themselves are, and they intend to have the procedure performed on their newborn sons. I don’t mean to disparage these men, everyone is entitled to their own point-of-view. But consider this: if circumcision wasn’t a common practice, if all the guys in the locker room had foreskins, if women didn’t believe foreskins are gross, you would be glad you had one too. But if I’m wrong, it still would have been better if you had been given a choice. Rest assured that many of our sons are going to regret our decision to have them cut.
This article represents a woman’s point-of-view. Her name is Susan and she has contributed her thoughts to Enlightened Male. Susan is among the growing numbers of American women that have positive attitude toward foreskins. The videos are by ladies that echo Susan’s views.
By Susan … A Woman’s Positive View on the Male Foreskin
I want to begin my homage to foreskins with a disclaimer: I am only speaking of my own experience, others’ experiences, and studies that have been done on the subject of circumcision. Of course circumcised men experience lust, are desirable, and can be fantastic lovers. I am not trying to belittle anyone or make him feel less of a whole man. But it is wonderful that we are finally beginning to speak about sex in an adult manner, that people are studying sex in a serious way, and perhaps consequently we will stop mutilating our baby boys’ penises.
My husband and I have been partners for most of 43 years, and I have never tired of his beautiful body. I have serious health issues which have sometimes caused my sex drive to waver, but just looking at my husband’s muscular forearms and their silky hair can turn me on. I love the stubble on his cheeks, the sweep of his eyelashes, his strong arms and legs, his penis, the tip of which peaks out at me from its hood of purple-pink skin.
I am a woman who consistently experiences orgasm during heterosexual intercourse. I never thought much about this, I just accepted it as normal, figuring it might have something to do with my husband’s and my long-term relationship. Until I got a vibrator, the only way I experienced full-blown orgasms was while fucking. About a year ago I began reading about sex on the internet, discovered dodsonandross.com, and realized that my experience was not that common. I don’t agree with Betty Dodson that it’s extremely uncommon, but I think she has a point that often women do not get stimulation from intercourse and that a lot of women fake orgasms during intercourse.
It’s great for women to learn to pleasure themselves and to teach their partners what gives them pleasure, and frankness about sexuality will go a long way toward liberating women’s and men’s sexuality. What is surprising is that circumcision itself may interfere in the intimacy between a man and a woman. There are young women speaking frankly on YouTube about sex, and their experiences have led me to believe that foreskins not only enhance men’s sexual pleasure but also the pleasure of their female partners.
My husband’s intact penis has made intercourse not only pleasurable but ultimately extremely satisfying. And all along I thought it was just his wonderful technique!
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There will come a time when people will look back over past eras of human history and scratch their heads wondering why society condoned the surgical removal of the male foreskin. We are already headed in this direction. Circumcision is quite unusual in most countries around the world and becoming more so in the U.S. Regrettably, here and in some religious circles, traditions and customs die hard, no matter how misguided they may be.
Some still believe a penis looks better circumcised, a belief rooted in one’s personal environment and lifelong indoctrinations. A penis is beautiful only in the sense it is a natural part of a man’s body and designed by Mother Nature for desirable purpose. It is beautiful because of the role it plays in a man’s life and the role it plays in his intimate relationships. If your mind was suddenly wiped clear of all knowledge, you would think the penis is quite odd the first time you saw a nude man, an impractical, rather ungainly anomaly dangling below his belly. You would see it as an unsightly protrusion that distracts from the smooth flowing symmetry of his torso, arms and legs. It would not occur to you that this odd looking anomaly would look better if the bit of skin gathered over the end of it were cut off.
Authors: Ryan McAllister, Research Assistant Professor of Physics and Oncology at Georgetown University & John W. Travis, Adjunct Professor of Well-being at RMIT University
The foreskin is the most sensitive part of the penis.
For centuries, children have been subjected to cultural and medicalised practices that were ultimately proven harmful and a violation of basic bodily integrity. Such practices have included foot binding, forehead flattening, scarification and genital cutting.
Today, there is increasing awareness that infant male circumcision – once deemed a “parental choice” – is really an unnecessary, irreversible and harmful bodily modification.
With the recently discovered functions of the foreskin and a growth in awareness, we’re fortunately beginning to see the rights and experience of the child become the paramount consideration in discussions about circumcision.
The human foreskin is a contiguous part of the skin system of the clitoris or penis.
In infant males, the foreskin is attached to the head of the penis (glans). The outer foreskin protects the more sensitive inner foreskin and the glans from abrasion and injury.
When circumcised males lose sensitivity and skin mobility, it’s likely to significantly alter their sexual experience.
One recent Danish cross-sectional study concluded that male circumcision was associated with sexual difficulties for men and their female partners.
Surgery without consent is ethical only in cases for:
1) incapacitated patients, in order to save their life
2) minors, with proxy consent from a parent or guardian, but only for surgery that addresses an underlying condition.
Excision of an infant’s foreskin for dubious medical or cultural purposes is an anomaly. Because it removes healthy, typically-developed tissue, the procedure fails to meet either of the above conditions.
Circumcision of minors also stands in contradiction to other medical ethics principles, including:
Avoiding causing needless harm
Promoting the patient’s medical well-being
Providing information on a procedure that a reasonable person would deem significant.
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Dozens of case studies describe severe complications, including penile amputations and death; several infant deaths have been reported in the past few years. Continue readingPin It
Looking at this image, you may wonder how anyone came up with the idea of cutting off a man’s foreskin. I know I do. I think even the advocates of circumcision would reject the notion if this questionable procedure had not somehow gotten imbedded into our religious or national psyches. Given a choice, many of us would have chosen otherwise.
A question from Yizreel:
Actually I have a question . Does circumcision have an effect on your penis size ? I’m 13 and want to be cut.
Usually circumcision affects on your penis size no more than a haircut will make you look shorter. However, you are losing some skin, so of course your glans will appear to have a smaller diameter. Also, it depends on how much skin is cut off. If too much is cut, the lack of skin may restrict your erections, which may also cause discomfort; and some believe when infants are circumcised, and too much skin is removed, this restriction could inhibit penis growth. But at age thirteen, you may already be close to your full size.
This is an important decision for a guy your age to make. Think about it long and hard. If you’ve been teased in gym class or something like that, it would be tragic to give up your foreskin and then end up regretting it the rest of your life. And by the way, Yizreel, aren’t you supposed to be 18 to be on this site?
Yizreel’s age points to an element of the human condition. This site is about human sexuality and the human body, presented in a frank and open manner, subjects we all are curious about once we reach puberty. If our society had it’s way, young people would be starved of this knowledge, picking up misguided scraps of information haphazardly. Our quest to protect young people from what has been labeled unsuitable for their age in effect jeopardizes an otherwise healthy lifelong perspective.
Consider the early American Indians, and various cultures around the world even today, families living in single room tents and huts. Nudity certainly isn’t an issue in these peoples lives, but what about the young people and even the children who wake up during the night and see their parents having sex? Or the ten-year-old that watches his mother breast feed a sibling? Are these young people detrimentally affected. Are they scarred for life? I happen to believe, as a whole, these young people growing up in these circumstances are far better adjusted to what should be the natural harmony of life.Pin It
Is circumcision cleaner and healthier?
Published on September 13, 2011 by Darcia Narvaez, Ph.D. in Moral Landscapes. Photos added by me.
Reality check: In babies, the foreskin is completely fused to the head of the penis. You cannot and should not retract it to clean it, as this would cause the child pain, and is akin to trying to clean the inside of a baby girl’s vagina. The infant foreskin is perfectly designed to protect the head of the penis and keep feces out. All you have to do is wipe the outside of the penis like a finger. It is harder to keep circumcised baby’s penis clean because you have to carefully clean around the wound, make sure no feces got into the wound, and apply ointment.
Reality check: The foreskin separates and retracts on its own sometime between age 3 and puberty. Before it retracts on its own, you wipe the outside off like a finger. After it retracts on its own, it will get clean during the boy’s shower or bath. Once a boy discovers this cool, new feature of his penis, he will often retract the foreskin himself during his bath or shower, and you can encourage him to rinse it off. But he should not use soap as this upsets the natural balance and is very irritating. There is nothing special that the parents need to do. Most little boys have absolutely no problem playing with their penises in the shower or anywhere else! It was harder to teach my boys to wash their hair than it was to care for their penises.
Reality check: Actually, smegma is produced by the genitals of both women and men during the reproductive years. Smegma is made of sebum and skin cells and lubricates the foreskin and glans in men, and the clitoral hood and inner labia in women. It is rinsed off during normal bathing and does not cause cancer or any other health problems.
Reality check: Medical advice may have promoted infection in uncircumcised males. A shocking number of doctors are uneducated about the normal development of the foreskin, and they (incorrectly) tell parents that they have to retract the baby’s foreskin and wash inside it at every diaper change. Doing this tears the foreskin and the tissue (called synechia) that connects it to the head of the penis, leading to scarring and infection.
Misinformation was especially prevalent during the 1950s and 60s, when most babies were circumcised and we didn’t know as much about the care of the intact penis, which is why the story is always about someone’s uncle. Doing this to a baby boy would be like trying to clean the inside of a baby girl’s vagina with Q-tips at every diaper change. Rather than preventing problems, such practices would cause problems by introducing harmful bacteria. Remember that humans evolved from animals, so no body part that required special care would survive evolutionary pressures. The human genitals are wonderfully self-cleaning and require no special care.
Myth: My son was diagnosed with phimosis and so had to be circumcised. Continue readingPin It
DENVER — Circumcisions would again receive state funding under a proposal introduced by several Colorado lawmakers.
The bill would allow Medicaid to again cover circumcisions. The procedure was dropped from Medicaid last year as a money-saving move. Several states have stopped covering circumcisions amid concerns that they’re not medically necessary. Colorado projected that it would save about $186,500 a year if it stopped covering circumcisions.
Colorado’s bill was proposed Thursday (1-19-12) by several Democrats. It awaits a hearing in the Senate.
Note from Martin:
Those of us that have been circumcised, to some degree, have accepted it, albeit grudgingly. Circumcision is not natural. It’s not the way we were born. I’m usually not so opinionated on subjects that are considered subjective, but this issue is not subjective, it is wrong to cut off part of a male infant’s penis. There is simply no religious or medical reason that justifies violating a newborn’s human rights.
There are growing numbers coming down on the side against circumcision. There are growing numbers of men who regret being denied the choice. Cutting off an infants foreskin needs to stop. It’s the way we’re born. Despite the fact some men would choose circumcision, they deserve the right to be old enough to make the choice. Even in Africa, where AIDS is so pervasive, where research indicates circumcision reduces the risk of this dreaded disease, is it a better alternative to education and good hygiene?
A Jewish friend of mine, fraught with his own mixed emotions about this time honored but controversial practice, has spent a great deal of time researching the Jewish point of view. He has found many who oppose circumcision among our Jewish brothers and sisters. A sampling of the opinions he has collected are listed below, followed by links to other informative sites.
The current San Francisco circumcision referendum has made the public aware of the severe physical consequences of the controversial surgery. The idea that an individual has the right to their own body is recent by historical standards. For many years, a number of courageous Jewish and Israeli scholars, historians, activists, and parents have raised serious objections to circumcision surgery. More and more Jews are choosing not to circumcise their sons. These Jewish voices against circumcision are just starting to enter the mainstream conversation.
Here are some of these pioneers in their own words.
“Coming from a European background… where many Jews reject a brit milah as an archaic and barbaric ritual… This author grew up in France in a traditional Jewish family. Not a single male of her generation or her children’s generation within her large family (or in her circle of Jewish friends) was ever circumcised.”
- Nelly Karsenty, Humanistic Judaism, 1988.
“Judaism has always been a core piece of my identity, even though my practice and understanding have evolved over the years. I have great reverence for what we hold as spiritual. When the authorities of my tradition define the sacred in a way that violates the most elemental and life-giving forces, mothers and babies, then something is very wrong. That which is not ethical, cannot be spiritual. That is a basic Jewish tenet… It is Judaism that has taught me that reverence for life, the principle of pikuah nefesh, and the mandate incumbant upon all of us to distinguish (l’havdeel) between what is holy and what is profane. It is precisely these fundamental tenets of Judaism that have led me to conclude that circumcision is not holy in terms of Jewish ethics.… What is most satisfying to me is knowing that I have helped a number of parents, particularly Jewish parents, come to the conclusion that they can be good Jews and leave their baby intact.”
- Miriam Pollack, Defying Convention: An Interview With Miriam Pollack, Beyond the Bris, July 27, 2011
“Circumcision is child abuse…It is a poor way to introduce a newborn male into the world and into the Jewish community. This presentation will focus on my experience as an active Jew living in an observant Jewish community in Brooklyn, New York, who chose not to have his son circumcised. I will present the brit (literally “covenant”) b’lee milah (without circumcision) ceremony that my wife, a full participant in the decision, and I held on the eighth day of our son Sammy’s life.”
- Moshe Rothenberg, Ending Circumcision in the Jewish Community.
“Mutilation of the divinely made human body is as far from Judaism as anything could be… Torah mentions circumcision only cursorily. Circumcision is conspicuously absent from the Sinai commandments, and from the subsequent listings of rules… Deut30:6 mentions circumcision metaphorically at most, “circumcise your heart.” No less likely is the meaning, “tame your pride.”
- Israeli Linguist Vadim Cherny, How Judaic is the circumcision?
“Laurie Evans is the director of the New York Hudson Valley Chapter of the National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers. She said that as a Jewish woman, it was difficult to stand up to her family.
“Once I witnessed a bris (ritual Jewish circumcision), understood the function of the foreskin and the long, lasting harm of circumcision, I had to follow my conscience and leave my son intact,” Evans testified.
“My son is now 20, is grateful, as he understands just what he was spared,” Evans said. “When I realized how many parents were uninformed about this surgery, I founded and became director of the New York Hudson Valley Chapter of NOCIRC.”
- WND, March 05, 2010Pin It