There has been so much debate around the topic of circumcision and it’s still hard to say if this practice should be continued as a default gold standard in both customary and cultural settings or if it should become an elective procedure.
Some suggest it’s for hygiene and prevention of disease and then there are the religious practices as well.
There are arguments about it being inhumane, suggesting it’s barbaric and desensitizes a man’s sensuality.
I was never circumcised but I am very curious to learn from men who have been circumcised as adults, to find out where and why this procedure originated and how it affects their sexuality?
After speaking to two friends who decided to get circumcised as adults – I can say I feel lucky to be born into a culture (Armenia) during a time when circumcision was prohibited in the old Soviet Union.
Both of my friends voluntarily decided to get circumcised. One friend was 21 and the other 26.
They both reside in the U.S.
One did it for aesthetics reasons, the other because of discomfort during oral sex and intercourse.
The friend who got circumcised at 21, started watching porn at the age of 17, by the time he was 21 he was convinced that circumcised penises looked better and that’s what women preferred.
Without doing any research or speaking to other men he decided to get circumcised.
11 years later he has a very different point of view:
“I swore when I got circumcised, I would never regret my decision. Today, I live with that regret.
I am reminded of this regret every time I am intimate with a woman.
With my foreskin, I had a wonderful feeling of sensuality and sensitivity that I will never get back and never knew I would miss until it was gone.
I had many experiences with a foreskin before I was circumcised and many more since I was circumcised.
I am in a very good position to speak on the subject since I have experienced both sides.
And each time I hear discussions where parents are making the choice of whether or not to circumcise their child for various reasons including misplaced notions of health, I want to scream.
With a few necessary medical exceptions, this is a barbaric practice that is mutilating your son in the most intimate way.
My penis was always clean and sensitive. Now part of it, a truly wonderful part of it is gone and restoration is not an option to bring it back.”
My other friend got circumcised when he was 26 for medical reasons – here are his thoughts:
“Sex was pleasurable and ejaculations were intense.
Initially penetration and oral sex were uncomfortable, but after a while it would become intense and explosive.
One girlfriend I was dating at the time said it was difficult for her to give me a pleasurable blowjob because she could never get access to my head when I was fully erect.
I thought it was normal for the foreskin not to expose the head during erection.
For oral sex with her I had to manually expose the head prior to erection, otherwise the head could not clear the foreskin opening after a full erection.
She convinced me to see a urologist saying I would be amazed at the pleasure of having my head easily exposed.
I made the appointment and when the urologist asked how he could assist me I said I want to be circumcised and he immediately responded “no you don’t”.
He gave me a magazine and asked me to go into a room and have a fantasy moment – which I did.
When he came to check on me and saw my erect penis with the head trying to break through unsuccessfully he was shocked and said ‘yes you do want a circumcision.’
Of course I didn’t want one and asked if he could just stretch the opening or just cut away a little of the skin but he said no these were not viable options.
He said repeatedly that he normally discourages adult circumcision but in my case he saw no alternatives.
We scheduled surgery and the following day after surgery I felt excruciating pain like no other pain I had ever felt.
The morning erections became an anticipation of daily awakening horror.
After several weeks things properly healed and my first fully exposed head blowjob felt worth the efforts and pain.
But as time has passed the intensity is not as great as it was the first year.
I’m certain it’s due to the daily rubbing against the surface of my underwear as the nerve endings are constantly exposed.
If I had to do it all over again I would still elect to have the surgery because of my unique condition.
If I hadn’t had the condition I’m sure I wouldn’t have ever considered circumcision as an adult.
That being said, I can’t imagine anyone wanting to or not regretting to have this procedure as an adult for non medical reasons.
So why do some cultures still practice circumcision and others don’t?
In his book “Circumcision A History Of The Worlds Most Controversial Surgery” David Gollaher does a great job diving deep into the history.
He explains why and where this practice originated and why it’s still being practiced in some countries like South Korea, U.S. Iraq, Turkey, etc…
The chapter that was very eye opening for me was how circumcision entered modern Anglo-American medicine — how it was transformed from a Jewish ritual into a routine medical procedure deemed suitable for all boys.
He also does a great job of explaining the intellectual and cultural context of medicine in the 1870’s, and why circumcision came to seem so reasonable and powerful.
He clearly opposes routine circumcision, though not in a biased way. Instead he presents the available evidence.
I also enjoyed reading his summary of the foreskin restoration movement.
- The foreskin holds sexual fluids during sex creating a more friction – free environment.
- It’s estimated that the male penis has 24,000 never endings, of which 20,000 are contained in the foreskin.
- It’s been noted that Dr. Kellogg (From Corn Flakes Cereal) introduced the procedure to the American culture in the late 1800’s.
- Structurally, the penis is highly integrated. The glans and foreskin function as one, not as a collection of separate parts.
- Circumcision is a very ancient custom, found in diverse cultures. There are some evidence that circumcision was practiced in pre-dynastic Egypt.
Personally, I think the consideration of whether or not to have a circumcision as an aspect of sexuality is best left to the individual to decide.
The decisions should be based on sound research, a second medical opinions from physicians and friends and gain a total awareness of the immediate and long term post surgery effects.
In some parts of the world where clean water and showering everyday is still a luxury, it is said that circumcision is a necessity to prevent disease.