Friday, January 18, 2008

Too Much Information, Re: Circumcision

A few weeks ago, I was listening to a conversation between my mother-in-law (hubbie's mother) and my sister-in-law (married my husband's brother). Neither of these women are really related to me – other than by marriage. And although I would not pick either woman as a friend, I have to at least be cordial to both.

They were talking about . . . er, circumcision.

Okay. First thing is that I know little about the issue, other than all of my sexual experience has been with circumcised men. And I did not want to offer that up in the conversation.

Well, mother-in-law was trying to convince sister-in-law that her unborn child should not get circumcised. The only think I really know about the issue I heard from Dr. Dean's radio show years ago. Well, basically his position on the issue is that it is an unnecessary surgery and it reduces pleasure in the male. I found his site today, and it appears a recent study sort of says the opposite. Then there are studies saying circumcised penises are responsible for women not having enough orgasms. Okay, the study says it contributes to female arousal disorder, something I have never heard before.

When I used to listen to the Dr. Dean Edell show, a lot of the questions were about sex. I figured that was so because the call screeners realize that sex brings in more listeners. Plus people who did not want to discuss this with their physicians (it gets in the medical record) could approach a stranger with a million eavesdroppers. Okay, I don't quite get that. But anyway, the radio show explored a lot of sexual subjects. Okay for a radio show, not okay for a holiday discussion between family members.

So here I am, listening to a mother-in-law (who probably has limited information concerning penises) discussing this with sister-in-law (who probably has limited information, though more current information, concerning penises). You know, I thought about taping the conversation and having a transcript placed in the baby book, but you know, that might not be appreciated.

Sister-in-law finally said that they had not decided yet, but the decision would theirs to make. Probably better than telling your child, "Yeah, we wanted to have a surgeon whittle away at your foreskin, but grandma was adamant that you keep it." I broached the subject with hubbie later, leaving out the Dr. Dean stuff, and he paused and said, "I don't know. I guess the little snip-snip might help with locker discussions in gym class."

I had no idea that men compared their penises in gym class. And I am so glad I refrained from entering that weird discussion.


Anonymous said...

Ok, get your SIL aside and tell her that you will cause undue giggling in the locker room shower if you don't get the wee one circumcised.

I found out my FIL is NOT circumsised and I couldn't believe it.

You have to do extra cleaning in that area if you aren't.

And sex probably feels better when you are circumcised.

Plus most American women - I hear from Brits - don't understand how to treat the uncircumcised penis. They end up yanking too much and causing pain.

Which leads me to this joke.

Little Timmy was fidgeting and scratching himself profusely on the playground. His teacher asked him if he was ok. He told his teacher that he had been circumcised over the Christmas break and it was itching. The teacher send Timmy to the nurse to call his mom to see if they can give Timmy benedryl or a pain reliever. Timmy comes back to class with his penis hanging out of his pants. Timmy's teacher asks, "Uh, Timmy, why are your privates hanging out of your pants?" Timmy responds, "My mom said if I can stick it out until lunch she'll come and get me."


Grant said...

I didn't know guys compared penises in locker rooms either. My locker room experience has always been that we kept our eyes locked at chest level or higher. For locker room purposes, the penis does not exist.

You probably don't want to know this, but I'm not circumcised. It is unnecessary, but considered normal in our society. It's not something that affects me much on a daily basis, but when it comes up I always wish it had been done.

Prata said...

I didn't know that guys compared penises in gym locker grant doesn't exist in the locker room. Chest high eyes always!

On the other hand, I'm circumsised and what's worse I had it done _twice_ because they screwed it up when I was a kid and when I was 13 or so I had to have it done again. Let me just tell ya...that was _most_ unpleasant.

Leesa said...

edge/jef: cute joke. Funny that you said something similar to what my husband did (about the giggles).

grant: chest up. Sort of makes sense, but I never really thought about it. Oh, by the way, there is a passage in the Bible about circumcision. Probably a few. Something about one group, an enemy of the Jews, wanted to join their forces. Well, the Jewish leader said they all had to be circumsised, and when this was done, the Jews wiped out their foes, still recouperating from the operations.

prata: you know, I heard about someone else who had the operation done twice because of the same reason. Sort of makes you wonder about who is doing the snipping.

Jake said...

The more you know about circumcision, the worse it looks. Let a kid decide for himself.


Ian Lidster said...

There is a verified connection between uncircumcized penises and penile cancer. As for circumcizion and inability to bring a woman to orgasm, then all I can say is all my sexual partners through the years must have been faking it -- though I know they weren't.
Personally, I am very happy my parents had it done.

Leesa said...

jake: for many boys, I guess they want it to be done before they have a recollection of the experience.

ian: medical knowledge is so confusing. There are pros and cons of every decision we make.

LarryLilly said...

Leesa, i worked with a guy that had to get "cut" as an adult. A baby gets cut and the baby cries like, well a baby for 15 minutes. A man gets cut, he cries like a baby for some 4 hours, and then moans about it for another 5 days after.

Where I went to school, checking out the tools was not overt, but it was done, and the especially large uns would seem to strut an extra time or two around with it flapping like a flag in a gale!

LarryLilly said...

as far as screwing the cut, today they have a plastic cup devive that attaches to the baby's johnson, and the doc pulls the skin over the top of the edge which extends out, and with a razor scalpel, he glides it around the formed plastic edge cutting through the skin yet the plastic cup keeps from cutting past the skin itself. What I dont know is who do the form the up edge? That must be doctors choice.


RWA said...

I don't remember ever comparing penises in the locker room in middle school or high school.

~Deb said...

Penises: a topic lesbians normally don't discuss, unless it's made out of rubber.

Anyway, staying out of that conversation was probably the best thing you could have done.

From what I have learned, it is thought that an uncircumcised penis is "dirty". A lot has to do with that good ol' moral issue, however, they state that bacteria gets wedged inside the skin. But, if you're a clean guy - no worries, right? I even watched that show Penn & Teller (love those guys) and they had this huge segment on it. They were against circumcision and even showed an 80 yr old man who was circumcised, who made himself develop a foreskin by tying little weights to the top of the shaft. It worked. It looked creepy and weird, but viola - foreskin!

Prata sweetie - I feel for ya man! OWWWWWWWWWWWWWW!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

*shakes head*

And I thought having this damn uterus inside me was bad. I gotta chuck that out soon.

Have a good weekend, Leesa & friends!

Frankly Speaking said...

I never understood the adament people who make the mutiliation argument. I had it done as a baby, don't remember a thing and am happy as can be that it was done that way.

Leesa said...

larry: I know to say "ouch", but I wonder if it matches childbirth.

rwa: I guess everyone was looking at yours.

frankly: I think your comment is pretty common.

Sister Sassy said...

My boys aren't cut, I looked in to this and had my husband do research before we decided what to do. I had to think that I think female circumcision is barbaric so why would I do it to my boys? Plus my nephew's was botched and had to be redone when he was 4..ouch! Maybe if we lived in a 3rd world country where AIDS was rampant...but we don't and I didn't do it. I hope no one makes fun of them for being different.
just my two cents

Jake said...

"for many boys, I guess they want it to be done before they have a recollection of the experience."

This is quite a curious statement, Leesa. For all boys, by the time they can verifiably want anything, they are already of an age that they can recall the experience. Almost all males who reach this age with their genitals intact choose to keep it that way. Are you saying there are many intact males who really wish they had been circumcised as an infant, but are unwilling to undergo the surgery of their own free will? I cannot believe there are many, and any there are surely have far less claim to having been wronged than a boy who lost his foreskin forever through no fault of his own and wishes he still had it, but can never get it back.

An ironic aspect of this is that voluntary circumcision permits far better anesthesia than infant circumcision, and the foreskin needn't be torn away from the glans causing additional scarring.

Anonymous said...

Let's have a little scientific reality check here--the foreskin contains the MAJORITY of the nerves of the penis--and almpost ALL of the specialized nerevs, so, anyone trying to pretend that there is no sensation loss with it's loss is delusional--and any study that tries to pretend there is not loss by doing a study that ignores the foreskin itself is being scientifically absurd.

Study Confirms Male Circumcision is Genital Mutilation

A new study in the British Journal of Urology International shows that men with normal, intact penises enjoy more sexual sensitivity — as much as four times more — than those who have been circumcised. Circumcising slices off more of a male's sensitivity than is normally present in all ten fingertips.

Foreskin anatomy:

Steve S said...

The US is pretty much the only industrialized country where hospitals still do this although it is on the decline so parents don't need to worry about their boys 'looking different' in the locker room anymore.

Most Australian states have actually outlawed circumcision in public hospitals and European countries never practiced circumcision in the first place. Their disease rates of the male urinary tract and genitals and STD rates are low so it's pretty clear that aside from a few flakey studies there's no evidence of any medical benefit but there is evidence of some harm. Circumcision, even if done in a hospital, is just a ritual.

Sadly, I think a lot of blokes who were circumcised back when parents were given no choice don't want to think that there's something wrong with their equipment so they keep supporting this ritual. A better solution would be to get angry at the medical establishment.

royce said...

In the late 19th and early 20th century, the educated upper middle class in English speaking countries acquired this notion that the foreskin was gross. This at a time when only hookers did BJs. All sorts of medical problems were blamed on the foreskin, but it boiled down to this. The Victorians considered that the Mother of All Social Problems was Horny Men. They further assumed that circumcised men were less horny. Ergo...

Also, Victorians considered boyhood masturbation soooo gross. Like too gross for a proper Mom to have to think about. Boyhood circumcision was one of many reactions to the discovery of bacteria and disease. Having to teach a boy to clean under his foreskin was deemed Above and Beyond the Call of Duty. Worse yet was to expect Mom to check whether the foreskin was retractable! It's so much simpler to just cut the dang thing off, even if doing so hurts like hell because it's done without anesthesia -- lidocaine wasn't marketed until 1950.

Continental Europe never went for circ. Instead, Mums taught their sons to skin back in the bath. Continental European women enjoyed fondling the foreskin during foreplay. They like the way such foreplay gets precum flowing, and the way the foreskin spreads precum. Continental European women are also less fixated on BJs, which can be gross when he's not tip-top clean, and are more into HJ.

When the UK socialized its medicine in 1948, the taxpayer refused to pay for routine baby circ. And so it died. New Zealand did the same in 1969. Australia began walking away from circ starting 1970, Canada in 1980. Now it's down to South Korea, and 55% of USA babies.

YouTube suggests that young unmarried USA women, the next generation of mothers, tend to find routine circ sexually weird. There are young women out there who can work up a lot more anger at circumcision than I can. Perhaps they, like me, see the foreskin as a feminine detail they want to preserve and protect. Women have sent me PMs saying that the one intact lover they have been privileged to know was a turning point in their sexual histories. And so the Great American Foreskin Holocaust may come to an end in our lifetimes.

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Anonymous said...

Nature Really Likes Male Circumcisions

Way down under in Melbourne, Australia is the story of a tightly done male adult circumcision of the ultimate kind. You’ll never believe the story … or will you?
Around 17 years ago, I became aware that circumcision was of interest to me. How to go about it ? What an embarrassment, how to sneak into a Doctor cost etc. I became more and more frustrated, as I knew I wanted it done. Australia is a hot climate too and I wanted a slick model penis, not a sock, at half mast. I had learnt from school that I was bisexual, I would use the odd opportunity to check out and occasionally talk another classmate into pulling down his pants and letting me give him oral sex. Both circumcised and uncircumcised, although I didn’t know what circumcision was then, I was only ten ! We start pretty early in Australia !
Anyway back to circumcision. I became more and more, frustrated and there didn’t seem to be a way of resolving the issue. Then I had a bereavement in the family. If I couldn’t solve this simple problem… It was a question of honor.
So what I did may surprise many. I am an everyday kind of bloke, a family now, job and the rest of it. So don’t be too shocked. Where there is a will there is a way.
I had been researching on the net at the time and I was reading and seeing pics of tribal and African circumcisions. There are great stories of the Tuli in the Philippines and also teens putting their penis on a log with a piece of twine and the elder slicing off the foreskin, high and tight, leaving a terrific red patched scar.
I decided after much viewing and research that this is what I wanted. I was a bit far from the Philippines and Africa, so this is what happened.
One long weekend when there was a Public holiday, I decided to have a go myself. This is not for the faint hearted.
On the Friday night, I did the usual, a few beers then came home. I opened a bottle of white wine and proceeded to watch an x-rated video. Of course with a long ring barked cock or two. After a while I was ready. A bit of popper amyl and I was more or less ready to have a go. At circumcision.
I knew the skin would be sensitive, so I had purchased from an adult store, delay spray. This I think had lidocaine like when you get Suntan mozzie burns cream from the supermarket only stronger. I applied it to my foreskin until the end of my cock felt number, than usual. Another drink and some poppers, a look at the tightly taut scarred cocks on the TV screen and it was time. Time to join the rest of my male brothers on the planet with a permanently forever nude glans and a stripped pointed helmety penis. Intention purple glans to always lead the way, from that night on or else.
I sized and drew a line working out where to cut and checked this out numerous times. Another drink, more amyl and an inspection of the video playing and I was ready.
I took a very sharp pair a medium size sewing scissors and sat down. Carefully lining them up, I very slowly, and I mean really really slowly, put them through the line on the foreskin I had drawn. I had already pulled the foreskin as hard as I ever could in front of my glans.
Slowly but surely I got the job done. Everything dropped back behind my glans and my foreskin lay on a tissue. A dream come true. I couldn’t believe my absolute relief and satisfaction.
All this time later nearly two decades on, I am still happy. A couple a days later, I consulted a friendly doctor and some stitches were added on the quiet to complete the job.
Result is I have a very tightly circumcised penis, with absolutely no frenulum or foreskin.
The absolute tightest male circumcision possible, for myself and any partner I should choose, whether it be female or male. Amazingly there is no two tone scar and the circumcision join is one color and height. No different levels of skin height or misalignment.

Nature really does like circumcisions.