#SexIs - #SexFeed - The Foreskin: 3 Common Questions about Uncircumcised Penises

Ansley Ansley


The Foreskin: 3 Common Questions about Uncircumcised Penises, by Roland Hulme! - Click here to read Roland's article about why the foreskin is a good thing, not a bad thing.





What does the foreskin do?

The pro-circumcision lobby might tell you that the foreskin doesn’t have a purpose, but it actually has an important one: it’s a means of facilitating vaginal penetration.

Aren’t uncircumcised penises unhygenic?

One of the most common misconceptions about uncircumcised penises is that they’re somehow “dirty” or “unhygienic.” This is totally untrue – a penis is pretty much as clean as its owner, and you’d be better off with a clean guy’s uncircumcised cock than a skuzzy fellow’s cut one.

I have a son. Should I tell him to wash under his foreskin when he takes a bath?

Quick answer: No. Lightly longer answer: Hell, no.

One of the reasons so many kids get circumcised because of “complications” with their foreskin is because American parents and doctors alike are woefully ignorant of how a boy’s penis grows and develops during childhood – and they can actually damage them as a result.


The foreskin issue in American culture often leads to heated debates with one or both parties throwing their arms up in the air and storming off when a decision can't be reached. One camp is that it's been done safely for thousands of years, that an uncut cock is more appealing to the eye, and that it's generally cleaner and easier to take care of in the end.

The extremists for the other side likens it to female genital mutilation and thinks its an abomination of the worst kind and that the practice should be outlawed. If you're up on current events, there's no doubt you heard about the poor child who's mohel preformed a "routine"' circumcision and sucked the blood from the child's wound with his mouth, giving the child a herpes infection which proved to be fatal. So, there is no doubt that things can go terribly, terribly wrong.

What is your opinion of circumcising? Were you aware of the facts Roland points out in his article?
Answers (private voting - your screen name will NOT appear in the results):
Are you...
Pro-circumsicion
32
Anti-circumsicion
26
Undecided
17
.
4
Should the decision be made by the child once they are an adult?
Yes, 100%.
33
No, the surgery should be performed after birth and well before adulthood.
23
Undecided.
16
..
3
Do you think circumsicion has its benefits?
Yes..and I'll tell you in the comments.
20
I can't possibly see how it benefits anyone.
17
Undecided..
29
...
4
Are you circumcised, is your male child(ren) circumcised?
I am male and I am circumcised and so are my children.
3
I am male who is not circumcised, but my children are.
I am male and neither I nor my children have been circumcised.
7
I am male and I am circumcised, but my children are not.
4
I am a woman and my children and husband are not circumcised.
3
I am a woman and my husband is not circumcised but my children are.
3
I am a woman and my children are not circumcised, but my husband is.
6
I am a woman and my children and husband are circumcised.
18
....
19
Do you think the practice should be outlawed?
Yes!
10
No!
45
Undecided!
16
Total votes: 358 (78 voters)
Poll is closed
08/23/2012
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Kindred Kindred
Studies have shown that there are some health benefits to circumcision preventing STDs. However, you have to weigh the potential benefits against the risks. Personally, I'm circumcised and choose to keep my sons intact.
08/23/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by Kindred
Studies have shown that there are some health benefits to circumcision preventing STDs. However, you have to weigh the potential benefits against the risks. Personally, I'm circumcised and choose to keep my sons intact.
What led to you making that decision, Kindred?
08/23/2012
Ryuson Ryuson
I am totally torn on this subject, actually, but luckily I have quite a few more years to make up my mind (and I might never have a son, so I might never have to do it.)

I think that circumcised penises are nicer to look at and keep clean, but there are risks to having it both ways. My boyfriend is happy he got cut, though I know it can lead to premature ejaculation.

I dunno, I'm gonna see if anyone makes any interesting points either way on here.
08/23/2012
Champagne and Benzedrine (Roland Hulme) Champagne and Benzedrine (Roland Hulme)
"I think that circumcised penises are nicer to look at."

You see THIS is the mentality that I have a problem with. We are supposedly sex positive, and we are against giving giving women unrealistic expectations of how their body is supposed to look, and certainly shouldn't encourage a society in which breast enlargements, or labioplasty, or any other body modifications are required to be beautiful.

Yet when it comes to women talking about men's equipment, there's NO reaction to the frankly unsettling suggestion that men should mutilate themselves because it "looks nicer."

If ADULT men want to do that, that's their choice - same with breast enlargements or labioplasty or anything else for women. But I would CERTAINLY consider any man who said "I prefer fake breasts, they look nicer" to be a superficial and sexist douchnozzle, and the fact that we don't hold women who say circumcised penises "look nicer" to that same standard is beyond me.
08/23/2012
Kindred Kindred
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
What led to you making that decision, Kindred?
I chose to leave my sons intact because I do not believe in performing a medical procedure with potential risks simply because I am circumcised. I also feel that the benefits can be gained equally as well with my educating them on the risks of unprotected sex. When going through the decision process, I can not tell you how many fathers I heard say "I want them to look like me." My opinion is I want to do what is best for them. If I were born with one arm, I would not amputate an arm just so they look like me. Though not as dramatic, circumcision is not entirely different. It does serve a biological function. Plus, I feel like they can make the decision as an adult to have the procedure done if that is their wish. I was born in the era when circumcisions were performed routinely and it was done without question. I don't fault my parents at all because they did what they thought was best at the time. By the same token, I am doing what I think is best based on the information currently available.

Besides, I'm a little jealous of men who are intact.
08/23/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by Kindred
I chose to leave my sons intact because I do not believe in performing a medical procedure with potential risks simply because I am circumcised. I also feel that the benefits can be gained equally as well with my educating them on the risks of ... More
"Besides, I'm a little jealous of men who are intact."

Care to distinguish the difference between that statement and the "I want them to look like me" statements that horrified you? It seems like it's just the other side of the same coin. Same for an uncut father to say he wants to circ his boys because he doesn't like his foreskin.
08/23/2012
Kindred Kindred
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
"Besides, I'm a little jealous of men who are intact."

Care to distinguish the difference between that statement and the "I want them to look like me" statements that horrified you? It seems like it's just the other ... More
I'm not sure how you are relating those statements as the same? I'm jealous of circumcised men because of the supposed increased sensitivity intact men experience because the foreskin protects the glans and prevents the skin from cornifying. Is that similar to a father that wants their son to look like them? I'm asking honestly.
08/23/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by Kindred
I'm not sure how you are relating those statements as the same? I'm jealous of circumcised men because of the supposed increased sensitivity intact men experience because the foreskin protects the glans and prevents the skin from cornifying. ... More
It seems to be a pretty easy avenue to argue one way or another, but I guess (and I'm just asking honestly as well) how can one really know what is increased and what isn't if you haven't experienced both?

Sure they say there is increased sensitivity, but what if along with that sensitivity comes other issues, like being too sensitive?
08/23/2012
Kindred Kindred
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
It seems to be a pretty easy avenue to argue one way or another, but I guess (and I'm just asking honestly as well) how can one really know what is increased and what isn't if you haven't experienced both?

Sure they say there is ... More
I'm sure there can be other potential issues, but again the way I look at it is that's the way we were born. You can potentially take measures to counter at least some of the issues, but you can't realistically replace the foreskin once it's removed. So I elect to have my children make the decision for themselves. You can always get circumcised, you can never replace it.
08/23/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by Kindred
I'm sure there can be other potential issues, but again the way I look at it is that's the way we were born. You can potentially take measures to counter at least some of the issues, but you can't realistically replace the foreskin once ... More
Agreed.
08/23/2012
Ryuson Ryuson
Quote:
Originally posted by Champagne and Benzedrine (Roland Hulme)
"I think that circumcised penises are nicer to look at."

You see THIS is the mentality that I have a problem with. We are supposedly sex positive, and we are against giving giving women unrealistic expectations of how their body is ... More
But at the same time, I can say openly that I think that curvier women look nicer than boney women, but that doesn't make either right or wrong. Sex positivity aside, I was just stating my opinion on aesthetics. There are people out there who think that large, fake breasts look nicer, but they have the right to feel that way.

Similarly, there are people who find tattoos to be sexy, but is that something to be ashamed of? It's not like they're saying that everyone should be tattooed to fit their own personal attraction, and they're not saying that they won't be with someone because they don't have a tattoo, they're just saying that they like how they look.

Wow, there are all kinds of controversial subjects on the forums today! And Kindred, thanks for sharing your opinion about it. You shouldn't waste your time being jealous of what other people have or don't have, though, but you have good reasoning for not getting it done to your sons.
08/23/2012
Kindred Kindred
Quote:
Originally posted by Ryuson
But at the same time, I can say openly that I think that curvier women look nicer than boney women, but that doesn't make either right or wrong. Sex positivity aside, I was just stating my opinion on aesthetics. There are people out there who ... More
I think part of the issue is that circumcision is considered bodily mutilation by many, and to say that is the preferred look could be offensive. The problem is that it is ingrained into our (American) culture. Right or wrong, it is what was at least once accepted and considered the norm. The challenge is convincing people that it is a form of mutilation and the decision to do so should be left to the individual and not the parents.
08/23/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by Kindred
I think part of the issue is that circumcision is considered bodily mutilation by many, and to say that is the preferred look could be offensive. The problem is that it is ingrained into our (American) culture. Right or wrong, it is what was at ... More
One could argue breast implants are self-mutilation. Or well...anything that changes the body from its original state. The term mutilation can be wielded in many ways. I think it ultimately boils to the issue that it isn't the child's choice - there is no consent on their part.

I'm pro-whatever-the-hell- the-parents-want and I have no children and there are no male children in my family. Just a bunch of women who don't know the difference.
08/23/2012
brevado brevado
I think this debate is as wrong to have here as abortion... it's a personal choice, not something that anyone else, especially a government creating laws, or a group of anonymous people, should be deciding.
08/23/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by brevado
I think this debate is as wrong to have here as abortion... it's a personal choice, not something that anyone else, especially a government creating laws, or a group of anonymous people, should be deciding.
But isn't saying that we shouldn't be having this conversation/debate here just as wrong as a group of anonymous people trying to make or break a law in favor or against circumcision?
08/23/2012
Ryuson Ryuson
Quote:
Originally posted by brevado
I think this debate is as wrong to have here as abortion... it's a personal choice, not something that anyone else, especially a government creating laws, or a group of anonymous people, should be deciding.
As long as everyone is mature and states their opinions (and counter-opinions) in an adult, mature way I think that debates are wonderful ways to think more critically about your own points of view. So far this has all been pretty respectful and thought-provoking, which is what conversations are supposed to be.

We're not deciding anything on here, we're just having a talk. I think that the main issue is if it violates the human rights of the child (when abortionists usually consider their fetus to be a part of THEM until it's cut off and out of them.) I really like this because I have hypocritical, nonsensical views on this subject and so does my partner, so I was hoping that talking about this on the forum would help me get a clearer idea of why I feel the way that I do.
08/23/2012
Dixiemomma Dixiemomma
i prefer a circumcised penis, they are easier to care for, dont harbor ickyness and are far nicer to look at... i've been with both and far prefer cut to uncut... my man is cut and if we by some chance had a male child he would be as well.
08/23/2012
indiglo indiglo
I am passionately against circumcision, but will try to stay as brief and on-topic as possible here. lol

I saw an interesting documentary last year on the topic. It followed the story of several men who were recreating their foreskins with a medically approved device/procedure. It takes a long time, and a LOT of dedication - the basic idea is that the device encourages the body to grow new skin cells by keeping tension on the skin of the penis. (Kind of like how surgeons will use "spacers" before certain types of surgery so the patient will have enough skin to cover the surgical wound.)

Anyway, it's a long, arduous process, BUT by the end of it the men walked away with a real foreskin, and a penis that looked the way it would have if they hadn't been circumcised at birth. The other interesting thing is that the men reported increased sensitivity after having their foreskins regrown.

So, (the documentary goes into loads of detail) basically, it was just saying that restoring the foreskin can restore some of the foreskin's functions as well. Just showing that it isn't "just" extra skin, it's a functioning part of the male body.

One of the many interesting points made in the documentary is that the penis (in its natural state) is more of an internal organ than we normally perceive it to be. It would naturally always have protective skin over it. That would make a BIG difference in function and sensitivity!
08/23/2012
indiglo indiglo
Quote:
Originally posted by Ryuson
As long as everyone is mature and states their opinions (and counter-opinions) in an adult, mature way I think that debates are wonderful ways to think more critically about your own points of view. So far this has all been pretty respectful and ... More
Interesting viewpoint! I'm going to ask an honest question, not to provoke, but because I genuinely find that viewpoint interesting.


As far as who's right it is to decide on the matter... Is it logical to compare a fetus still inside/connected to the mother to a child that has already been born and is now outside/disconnected from the mother?
08/23/2012
Ryuson Ryuson
Quote:
Originally posted by indiglo
Interesting viewpoint! I'm going to ask an honest question, not to provoke, but because I genuinely find that viewpoint interesting.


As far as who's right it is to decide on the matter... Is it logical to compare a fetus still ... More
I personally think that once a fetus has brain activity it should for all purposes be considered 'alive.' Masses of tissue do not have brain activity, in my book. I would never have an abortion because I consider it killing a living being, but that's how I think it should be handled in reality. The reason that I think it should be handled that way is that it gives the mother time to speak with her doctor about complications and terminate the pregnancy early so she doesn't drive down to Mexico, but at the same time it has the same definition of 'life' as 'death.' (brain activity.)

I PERSONALLY consider it life at conception because it has a different genetic make up from the mother. All cells in your body (usually) have the same genetic code, but the fetus only has half of your genetic code. Using this logic, I do not consider it to be part of their body, but another body that is connected.

As far as whose right it is? I hate myself for leaning towards circumcision, if that makes any sense. It's hard at this point to differentiate between my actual thoughts and what the media has raised me to think.

Do you have the name of that documentary you watched? It sounds really interesting, especially about how the penis is an internal organ that we reveal. That's a really cool way of thinking about it.
08/23/2012
indiglo indiglo
Thank you for explaining your POV Ryuson! I find your logic to be extremely sound and reasonable - and you explained your belief very well. That was a very enjoyable read, and look into your mind!

I also enjoyed reading your thoughts on circumcision, and now I understand what you meant by "they are conflicting". But you know, my views on all these matters have changed over the years - as I learn more and have more experiences. I think that's ok. As long as I remain open to reevaluating my beliefs and stances as new data becomes available to me - what else can we do, ya know? I always consider myself and my beliefs a "work in process", and I have some conflicting opinions too. That's the fun of being human!

And you're right, culture can have such a huge impact that can be very powerful and yet hard to identify.


I have been racking my brain trying to remember the name of the documentary, and so far I haven't been able to. I believe it was by the BBC, but again, I could be mistaken, because it was over a year ago. I'll try doing some Googling and see if I can turn it up. I'm pretty sure I watched it on the website "Documentary Heaven", but I don't know if they are still hosting it or not.
08/23/2012
Girly Juice Girly Juice
Routine infant circumcision is a disgusting and barbaric practice. NO ONE has the moral authority to make irreversible unnecessary decisions about ANYONE else's body. The choice should be up to the child once they are of age.

I believe that anyone who identifies as a feminist and/or cares about the idea of informed consent must also be an intactivist or they clearly don't take those feminist/consent-based ideals very seriously.
08/24/2012
jryder3891 jryder3891
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley


The Foreskin: 3 Common Questions about Uncircumcised Penises, by Roland Hulme! - Click here to read Roland's article about why the foreskin is a good thing, not a bad thing.





What does the foreskin do?

The ... More
Everyone deserves thechance to decide. I am and im happy about it.
08/24/2012
jryder3891 jryder3891
Quote:
Originally posted by Dixiemomma
i prefer a circumcised penis, they are easier to care for, dont harbor ickyness and are far nicer to look at... i've been with both and far prefer cut to uncut... my man is cut and if we by some chance had a male child he would be as well.
Agreed. But everyone has views.
08/24/2012
jryder3891 jryder3891
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
But isn't saying that we shouldn't be having this conversation/debate here just as wrong as a group of anonymous people trying to make or break a law in favor or against circumcision?
I agree. Thank you stormy
08/24/2012
jryder3891 jryder3891
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
One could argue breast implants are self-mutilation. Or well...anything that changes the body from its original state. The term mutilation can be wielded in many ways. I think it ultimately boils to the issue that it isn't the child's choice ... More
I believe breast implants are self mutalation. But everyone still has there own choice.
08/24/2012
Ansley Ansley
Quote:
Originally posted by jryder3891
I believe breast implants are self mutalation. But everyone still has there own choice.
Everyone definitely has their own choice, I guess it's deciding when to step in and correct those choices in an effort to protect others that makes things difficult.
08/24/2012
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by Ryuson
I am totally torn on this subject, actually, but luckily I have quite a few more years to make up my mind (and I might never have a son, so I might never have to do it.)

I think that circumcised penises are nicer to look at and keep clean, but ... More
The uncircumcised penis is actually MORE appealing to the eye when not seen through the lens of popular media. My partner is uncut and he is just as clean as my circumcised partner. Also there is NO special cleaning required for an uncut penis even for a boy child. it's actually easier to clean a boy's uncut penis than it is to clean a girl's vagina.
Also my uncut partner has never had ANY problem with premature ejaculation and in area of the world where circumcision is elective there are not reports of an increase in this statistic.
Yes, it might be easier to get STDs if your penis is not rubbed to almost complete insensitivity by friction...but using a condom takes away this advantage and keeps the field even.

I have the perspective of being able to see first hand the drawbacks of circumcision and the only real advantage that I and my partners see is its easier to pee standing if your are circumcised...it's not impossible but it can be easier.

My partner was adamant about having his son left as nature intended him to be. My husband had bought into the whole "teenage boys might laugh at him" argument. So I said well then we will start our girls on plastic surgery, diets and extreme exercise because female teenagers might laugh at them for being fat, "ugly", any host of other things that teenagers poke at each other about. I never base my life decisions on whether a locker room will erupt in a High School. FFS I home school my kids to avoid the shit that goes on in a High School. Neither my partners nor my children regret this choice.

As a result my girls have never had their genitals mutilated and neither has my son. One real benefit is I don't have to change my potty training habits for my son since his Dad prefers to sit and pee. All kidding aside I honestly think an uncircumcised penis is uncomfortably bare and looks just plain wrong. Erect there is no difference between my guy (beyond the length and girth!) so i really have to laugh at the argument that it is "visually" more appealing.

Having slept with an uncut man without a condom I can say that I never have lubrication problems or lose sensitivity. I can let him move slowly and savor the experience rather than having to rely on friction to allow him to retain an erection. The experience is just so vastly different.
08/24/2012
Airen Wolf Airen Wolf
Quote:
Originally posted by Ansley
"Besides, I'm a little jealous of men who are intact."

Care to distinguish the difference between that statement and the "I want them to look like me" statements that horrified you? It seems like it's just the other ... More
Honestly? Who stands around and compares genitals with their parents? I never based my sense of worth based on whether my breasts or vagina looked like my Mother's. From what I can gather, most men have never stood and actually thought about whether their penis looks like their Dad's.

I would answer that your son is going to look like you with his clothes on, genetics willing, and since it's not quite moral for you to actually go around looking at your son's nude genitals...or showing them off, so to speak, who's going to EVER notice whether he is circumcised except his doctor and future lovers. Since the doctor's only concern is a healthy body he or she isn't going to stand you side by side and compare. Any future lovers won't be looking either!

No one is ever going to look at the genitals of a father and son and say, "OH YES those two are father and son", ergo it's a ridiculous argument. I have no tonsils and my daughter and son do...they can swell and cause problems and you can live quite well without them. Should I have an elective surgery to remove said tonsils so the doctor can look into their throats more easily? To prevent future POSSIBLE infection? I mean I had a cousin die from a ruptured tonsil in a totally bizarre and freak accident...so there is a CHANCE that it could happen. This would be the slippery slope we are already at the bottom of and climbing out of.

We allow ZERO alteration of female infants beyond life saving procedures but argue and invent statistics (proper safer sex conventions prove the statistic to be specious) to prove we must alter male infants. Don't men deserve to be celebrated just as nature intended them to be...just like women?
08/24/2012
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