I was at a party last week and a friend of mine proclaimed rather loudly, “I would never be with someone who is uncircumcised!” I am very rarely shocked, although I have to say, I was quite surprised that one of my friends was clearly uneducated around this topic. Me, being the curious sex therapist I am, asked her to share more about her beliefs. She shared that her understanding of foreskin is that it is “gross and dirty,” and any man who is not circumcised is just “weird.” I talked with her about the foreskin and even shared that if given a choice between the types of penises that I would like to play with, it would be one that has foreskin (uncircumcised). This is because the foreskin is a sheath over the head of the penis, creating less pull on my pussy upon penetration. The foreskin acts as its own lubricant. I am not alone in this belief, either. Restoring Tally wrote a blog post discussing how women overwhelmingly prefer sex with a man who has a foreskin.
Just because circumcision is common, doesn’t mean it’s “better”
Circumcision is a common procedure in the United States in which the foreskin – the skin covering the tip of the penis – is surgically removed. It is usually performed on a newborn boy within the first 2 days of life and before he leaves the hospital. In the Jewish faith, it is performed in a special ceremony when a baby is 8 days old. The U.S. is the only country in the world that circumcises the majority of its sons without religious reason. Male circumcision is one of the oldest and most common surgical procedures worldwide.
One thing that is important to get straightened out here, is that foreskin is natural, and when a man is circumcised it means he has experienced surgery on his penis to remove the foreskin that naturally existed. The first known drawing of a circumcision is on the wall of a 6th Dynasty tomb at Saqqara, Egypt, about 2400 BC, or 4400 years ago. Presumably, the practice began long before that. It is therefore thought of as a primitive blood ritual.
Circumcision was virtually unknown in the U.S. until conservative doctors began to promote it, beginning in the 1850s, as a cure for masturbation. When it was discovered that masturbation could not be prevented in this manner, they sought out other propaganda. In the 1950s it was believed that circumcision would keep you from getting cancer. The only current organization that supports circumcision is the World Health Organization (WHO).
In 2007, the WHO released a paper stating, “There is conclusive evidence from observational data and three randomized controlled trials that circumcised men have a significantly lower risk of becoming infected with the human immunodeficiency virus (HIV).” The WHO recommends circumcision for men living in the sub-saharan region of Africa where the prevalence of HIV is extremely high. Other than this, there are virtually no medical reasons to perform circumcision.
Do uncircumcised men have more sensitivity?
Men who are uncircumcised report having more sensitivity during sexual behavior and they experience more pleasure than men who are circumcised. Many men have reported this to me, although it is hard to say that one way is better than the other. Comparing pleasure is difficult. It is uncommon, yet some men who have been circumcised will report numbness or lower sensitivity around the scar tissue area from circumcision surgery.
One issue I often consider around this topic is body memories. Our bodies hold memories of the past, and the body will hold the memory of the surgery. At any age, the memory of a surgery can be held as a trauma. This lasting impact of surgery in the body is somewhat common and I have worked with men who find trauma related body experiences that can be traced back to circumcision surgery.
So why did my friend think that uncircumcised cocks are gross? She was referring to the smegma. Smegma is a build up of exfoliated skin cells, oil and moisture that build up in the folds of the genitals. Ladies develop this build up in the folds of the labia, and uncircumcised men will also get the same build up under the foreskin. It is easy to wash off with soap and water, and if one showers on a daily basis, they will never have much trouble with excess buildup or smell.
Although rare, I have worked with clients who have never pulled the foreskin back on their penis. To do this, just retract the foreskin over the head of the penis, use lukewarm water, and gentle soap to clean the area. If this area has never been exposed, it will be quite sensitive at first. If you are unable to retract your foreskin, you might have something called phimosis. One of the best forums for learning more about phimosis is network54. This forum will answer most of your questions and teach you how to stretch the skin.
Are you asking yourself why so many men, maybe yourself, are circumcised? In the 1970′s, about 90 percent of American-born males were circumcised. Today that number has fallen to around 60 percent. The debate over whether or not to circumcise can get quite fiery, and it remains a divisive and controversial issue. For example, there is a growing movement whose members call themselves Intactivists, who trying to raise awareness around what they see as male genital mutilation.
If you are curious to read more about circumcision, The Art of Manliness does a great job addressing the topic more in-depth.
Further reading: All About Penis Size