Also, for anyone here that has a partner or knows someone who is upset about being circumcised please ask them to share their experiences here.
O.K., I will try to explain, and hope this is not TMI for most of you.
I grew up on a fairly isolated farm, and was blissfully unaware of my penile status until I was sent to a boy's boarding school at the age of 6. I can still remember the very first night when about 20 of us were herded into the communal shower room which contained a row of tubs for our evening bath. It was immediately obvious that many of the other boys had a penis that did not resemble my own. I was clearly missing something. This, in itself, was disturbing and I could not fathom why anyone would have done this to me. That started a lifelong curiosity as to what was circumcision and why was it done. I searched for information in every library I came across, but there was very little to be had. The first revelation was Rosemary Romberg's book "The painfull dilemma". I was fascinated by what I read, and it validated all my feelings of violation and the conviction that loosing my foreskin had been a very bad thing. I had always felt that I was missing something important, and I envied those boys who were whole. Coupled with the fact that I did not hit puberty until several years after all my peers I was flooded with feelings of inadequacy and shame. I felt so embarrassed that I did not dare have any interaction with girls and never had a girlfriend until 21. I believe that the lack of self confidence had a profound impact on the way I grew up. At least initialy.
When I finaly got acess to the internet I was amazed at the wealth of information that I encountered. I learned what a foreskin was, how it worked and how important it was to one's sex life. Now I really felt disappointed and angry that I had been subjected to this barbaric custom. By this time I was married and had two children. My life was pretty normal except for this cloud of shame and regret that hung over me.
For as long as I can remember I had always been terrified of doctors. Any time I had to have an injection I was overcome with this huge feeling of fear. As an adult, whenever I found myself in a clinic or a hospital, even just visiting, my blood pressure increases by up to 50% ( that is not an exageration - I went for a colonoscopy a couple of years ago and it was over 200 when they took it prior to the procedure). For years I wondered why this was. After all the medical community has always claimed that those circumcised as infants do not remember it. Then I learned that there are two types of memory: Explicit memory - that of what we learn throughout our life which starts at about age 3. Implicit memory which is active from when we are in our mother's womb. Everything that we are subjected to leaves a trace on our brain. So infants that are circumcised rarely remember the event in a conscious sense, but that does not mean that it had no effect on them.
I have learned that having a foreskin helps a man regulate himself during intercourse. This makes sense. Young circumcised males are plagued by premature ejaculation. I certainly was. Now that I am much older, the opposite is taking place and sometimes I suffer from retarded ejaculation and have difficulty getting there. I keep reading of people happily having sex into their 80's, mostly in non circumcising cultures. I have a couple of decades to go and yet already there is precious little feeling left. I feel robbed. I'm not sure that any circumcised man truly has an orgasm (as opposed to just ejaculation). Sure it feels good, but having observed the rapture enjoyed by my partners where their whole body is taken over by the experience, I know that I have been missing out all my life.
I have probably rambled on long enough, so in a nutshell circumcision has cost me a full sex life, confidence, a feeling of being whole. It has caused regret, anger, shame and embarrassment. I absolutely hate that it was ever invented, and that is why I frequent forums such as this: To try and help people become educated, to make the decision to keep their sons whole and to dispell the myriad of myths propagated by an often unethical and ignorant medical community. If you got this far - Thank you for listening!!
I've always hated being circumcised. I have always disliked the discomfort of the most sensitive part of my body rubbing against clothes. I have always hated the lousy sex and unfulfilled feeling that circumcision causes, the broken relationships, the lost opportunities, the constant resentment for a wrong that was committed against my body. And I have always hated my parents for having me circumcised.
When did I first realize that my parents had made a tragic mistake by having me circumcised? I guess it was when I woke up in the hospital in a pool of blood. I called a nurse, and I will never forget the look on her face when she saw the blood-soaked sheet around my penis -- or what was left of it anyway.
Ironically, I escaped the knife at birth. But most Baby Boomers were born at the peak of circumcision madness (sounds like a B horror movie, doesn't it?) Everyone was doing it, and it was free because most everyone had insurance that covered it by then, Dr. Spock was recommending it strongly in his baby books, the U.S. government's public health agencies were busy promoting it, doctors were manufacturing health reasons to do it, and everyone was happy. Because the truth about circumcision was suppressed.
Most children who were born in this era had fathers who were intact, because the fathers had been born in the 1920s and 1930s, when few American boys were circumcised. My father was intact because he was born in a small rural town that had only one doctor, and the doctor was 100% totally opposed to circumcision. He used to say that circumcision was foolishness, including in a column he wrote for the weekly paper in a nearby town. Nobody could accuse the guy of waffling on the subject.
But then things changed.
In my case, I escaped the knife at birth because my mom's doctor was Catholic, didn't believe in circumcision, and he refused to circumcise me. So did my pediatrician later on. So my mother's obsession to have me circumcised got put on hold until I was 14 years old, and she knew she was running out of time to have it done, and she found a quack to do it. My mother was not the sort of person who could leave well enough alone.
I was against the operation, but I wasn't asked for my opinion, and my father just went along with it.
I think, in most cases, it's the mother who makes the decision to circumcise, and the father just goes along -- even if he's intact and knows better. The mother's got Dr. Spock on her side. Who's the father got?
A few years later, Dr. Spock changed his mind about circumcision, and abruptly did an about face. But by then it was too late for a lot of us.
Circumcision is big business in the U.S. A couple of billion dollars a year, most of it pure profit. And now there are billions more to be made by selling baby foreskins to the big pharmaceutical giants to resell to the cosmetics and biogenetic trades. If you think circumcision is going to go away in the U.S. any time soon, think again. There's too much money at stake. This is a country where money talks, and you know what walks.
Meanwhile, baby boys born in the U.S. are the last group in the country to be denied their Civil Rights. Baby boys have their Human Rights violated when they are only a day or two old, and have the most sensitive part of their body torn off in a barbaric ritual that can't be justified. A country that takes advantage of defenseless babies in this senseless blood ritual is a country that needs to take another look at its dark soul.
My husband regrets it and I do, too. The reasons are many, but mostly sexual. Since we have both researched it extensively, we realize that we are missing out on a sexual experience as nature intended it. That alone, it heartbreaking.
Yep, same with us. I'm so proud my hubby had the guts to allow his child to remain intact!
It's clear to me that ignorance grants cover to the perpetrators of wrong. Educated and informed people are less likely to be victimized. So when I came to my senses as a young male that my circumcision in 1946 was never justified, I had an epiphany and vowed to do all I could to get that repugnant practice ended. Why should the defenseless and helpless among us be subjected to have a section of his penis cut off, excised and destroyed? The pretexts for it are absurd. It is preposterous that a civilized people would have consented to blanket pseudo-medicine. That there are millions of dollars to be made, that misinformed parents are so duped and that the medical industry doesn't care is outrageous. What about the circumcised males who resent that they were cut? Shouldn't that be the alert to stop this madness and leave it up to self-determination. I take great pride that my son and grandsons were left intact. This male never had an issue of thinking, "Well, I'm OK, so circumcision has to be OK." That is tripe. Males could end circumision today if they just recognized the issue of human rights and wholeness. Foreskins are complex, sophisticated, protective, mechanical, nurturing, moist and full of nerve. Shame on anyone -- parent or medical person -- who would destroy such a delicate structure of males' precious sexuality.
Sex was as painful as it was pleasurable, until after few months of restoration, the skin has expanded enough to prevent friction injuries to myself and my wife. I have very little pleasurable sensation. I feel movement and pressure but little pleasure. Finishing inside my wife can be difficult. Oral sex does almost nothing for me.
I will restore until I have a "foreskin". Only death could stop me.
Ego and ignorance have allowed MY healthy and natural body tissue to be amputated! I am angered and saddened because not only will I NEVER experience natural sex in my life time, the remaining penile sensation has greatly deminished! My frenulum was removed when I was circumcised as an infant which furthered loss of sexual pleasure even more! There is a "nasty" circumcision scar that sometimes inflicts a burning or stabbing pain around the shaft! Iv'e been criticized for taking too long to climax during sex. I am now to the point that sex is so frustrating to me that I more often just give up during sex, never reaching climax. Incidently, as a result of my infant circumcision, a meatal stenosis developed inflicting even more pain on what should have been the most pleasurable zone on my body.
I was circumcised as an infant. I'm not sure of the exact reasoning for me being circumcised, but I was born right at the peak of circumcision rates in the United States, and in the Upper Midwest, where it was most common. I am unhappy with the decision to have me circumcised. If I have a son, I will not have him circumcised, because it takes away his right to bodily integrity.
When I first learned about circumcision, it was from a friend who wasn't circumcised at birth because of other health complications. He wanted to be circumcised because he felt different, but it spurred my interest in the topic. Being a 15 year old kid with monitored dial-up internet, my research was limited to encyclopedias and anatomy textbooks found in my house. I found out that my painful erections were due to being cut too tightly. I was able to find information on the history of routine infant circumcision in the United States, and how it was pushed by Dr. Kellogg to discourage masturbation, my opinion on the procedure immediately turned negative. I showed that information to my friend, and he decided to not get circumcised. I didn't realize why circumcision would "discourage" masturbation, but after a camping trip with that friend, and witnessing him masturbate, I not only was against circumcision, but I was instantly jealous of men that hadn't been circumcised.
Fast forward a few years to when I figured out ways around my parents following my internet history, I researched more and more and became more and more upset. I found out about foreskin restoration and decided to give it a try. The two year timeline and the lack of privacy living at home provided made it difficult and I eventually stopped restoring until college. My freshman roommate had an upperclassman girlfriend, which meant I pretty much had the room to myself. I started restoring again, and started to see progress, but I haven't been religious about it, and it has taken me way more than two years.
There is no way for me to know exactly what I am missing. Since starting restoration, sensitivity has definitely increased because the keratinization that inevitably occurs on the glans of a circumcised penis is reversing. The painful erections went away almost immediately.
If I have a boy, he will definitely not be circumcised. I don't go into this much detail, but when one of my friends is expecting I do encourage them to leave their son intact. Most of the time they are opposed at first, but it at least lets them know that it is an option and they end up doing research. Almost all have thanked me for bringing it up later on.
In order for this thread to remain open, I need to ask that many of you edit your posts. Per the MDC guidelines:
While circumcision has sexual impact, any discussion of a sexual concern needs to remain clinical in nature, focused on the actual impact of circumcision and in keeping with the MDC User Agreement:
|Do not post profane or sexually explicit text. Discussions of a sexual nature should be within the realm of topics inherent to Mothering discussions such as sex after delivery, sex and the family bed, etc.|
Please avoid slang terms for anatomy. Posts containing graphic sexual discussion or that link to or reference sexually explicit material are inappropriate for the forum and will be removed. Foreskin restoration discussion is beyond the current scope of this forum, however, we encourage those interested to check the Web Resource Thread for further information and helpful sites devoted to this topic.
Many of these posts leave the realm of clinical and have jumped the line to sexually explicit. I will be removing many of these posts and PMing members so they can edit their posts and return them to the thread within the guidelines.
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Circumcision affects the sexual life of the adult that your son will become. Circumcision affects how your son lives his sexuality. Which is why the discussion of sexuality and the effects of circumcision is relevant. Mothers have to know that if they alter the genitals of their babies, they are altering the sexual life of their adult sons.
Yes perhaps we went a bit explicit. But we were not writing erotica or porn. We are children of parents who circumcised for one reason or another, and this has affected our sexuality. Having my post removed feels like a slap after an injury.
It's like, how can I tell why I'm upset without being able to tell why I'm upset, see the contradiction there? I edited my text. I don't describe sexual acts now. But sex is inherent to the conversation by the very nature of what circumcision did to us.
I agree and I hope that's how my edited post is perceived.
Foreskin restoration discussion is beyond the current scope of this forum
That's unfortunate because we can talk of the headache (as long as we don't say where it hurts or how it hurts) but we can't talk of the aspirin. But okay.
I hope my edited version won't have that issue. If it does, let me know please.
I hope this new version of my post is not as sexually explicit. It is "focused on the actual impact" --- the ACTUAL impact of circumcision is a negative effect on sexuality for both male and female. How can we explain that without saying the truth? We were not writing erotica, we were talking about the real damage that circumcision has made and how it has affected our sexual life as adults. But if there are complains please let me know and I will remove my comment. I do mention sex but not specific acts. It's just impossible to talk about the subject of surgical alteration of a sexual organ and its effects without talking about sex - and moms need to know that.
Not being a home born American I was not circumcised at birth. However, when I was 5 or 6 years old (not absolutely sure about the age), the pediatrician diagnosed me with phimosis. I remember being in (what I now assume was) the operation room, and suddenly something from what's going on caught my attention and I remember myself asking "why are you going to cut off my pee pee (penis - but that's how I said it since I was 5 years old)?"
The doctor said it wasn't that. He said I had phimosis (I remember that word since that time) and he was going to cut a piece of skin. He said if he didn't do it he would have to put a needle on my penis for me to be able to urinate. (Now, I don't remember having problems urinating - which doesn't mean that I didn't have them, but I don't remember it).
I said: "I don't care, leave it like that, I like it like that". He must have repeated the same thing. I knew there was no arguing that would help me, so I tried to run. I remember getting off from the bed/table and trying to run, and I remember (a female nurse?) grabbing me from behind.
I don't remember more.
This year, as I tried to go back through this memory, this fact really surprised me, that I could remember the conversation, that I could remember the word phimosis, but I couldn't remember the procedure. My initial thought was that someone held me and covered my eyes. I've since learned that I was sedated.
So this sounds like legitimate, therapeutic use of circumcision, right?
No, it wasn't.
At that age, the foreskin is not supposed to be retractable, not necessarily. So phimosis would have been a wrong diagnosis. I don't doubt that I might have been experiencing some discomfort, it would be normal at that age especially if the synecchia (or balanopreputial membrane - the membrane that holds the glans and the foreskin together and prevents retraction) is starting to separate. The doctor might have thought it was a legitimate reason. I don't feel it was, knowing what I have learned so far.
My second feeling as I remember this, is that the doctor should have called my parents. He should have tell them that I was anxious to the treatment. Heck, he should have considered if there were any alternatives to the treatment. To the best of my knowledge none of those things happened. I was sedated and then cut.
I know that it affected my self esteem. I really didn't think much of it, but it was always like "that secret" in the back of my mind.
One day my wife told me: "do you realize that this is a scar", pointing to the place where my foreskin was cut. I was 27 and I had never realized that I had a scar.
When my son was born, I didn't have to face the decision of circumcising or not. In my country, hospitals won't ask if you want your baby circumcised. If you were to ask a doctor to circumcise your baby, they would ask you if there was anything wrong, if there was any health problem. It's just not a decision, not anymore than cutting the pinky of the left hand or the earlobe. But I did know that I wished my baby wouldn't ever need it. To this day I can report I have a healthy teenager who didn't have to go through this.
I moved to the U.S. and I was surprised when I learned that most American babies are circumcised shortly after birth. A friend got married, had 2 children, and one time that he came to visit me, he changed the diaper of the youngest one and I noticed that he was circumcised. I wondered if he had phimosis or something similar at that young age, or why was he circumcised.
A few years later another friend had another baby. He announced he was taking a day off to circumcise his baby. I asked him why. All I knew back then was that for me, circumcision meant sadness, meant sense of loss, so why would someone circumcise a perfectly healthy baby was beyond my understanding. He said it was what he knew, it was the way he grew up. I don't remember if he said it was cleaner, he might, but I remember that he didn't go into more health reasons. I felt sad for the baby but I didn't say more because I didn't know more at the time.
One day reading a blog on sexuality I learned how "medical" circumcision started in the United States due to the Victorian morality and wanting to "cure masturbation". I was upset by the whole idea. That doctor J. H. Kellogg sounded like a pure sadists, a religious fanatic, and most likely a pedophile who found pleasure in the pain and fear he inflicted to children by cutting their foreskins with no anesthesia as punishment and to disrupt the habit of self-pollution. This made me extremely angry, so I kept reading.
I've learned how circumcision changes the structure of the penis - as it removes the moving skin and a high concentration of nerve endings (Meissner's corpuscles) that are meant to feel pleasure.
I actually had a happy sexual life. Not too intense (I was shy and introverted with somewhat low self esteem) but what I did I enjoyed.
And this is where the revelations hit hard.
Would I have enjoyed my sexuality more? Would I have had better self esteem if I didn't go through the experience of circumcision?
I won't be able to tell you how to avoid getting into restoration, but I learned that circumcision causes these damages:
* Keratinization of the glans - basically becomes callous due to the lack of protection.
* Removes the moving skin from the penis. Having that moving skin helps intercourse for both male and female. In absence of this skin this is why hand lotions and lubes are so popular.
* Removal of Meissner's corpuscles which feel pleasure - including sensations that a circumcised man will never be able to experience.
* The glans and the foreskin are meant to interact through circular pressure. There's a lot of information in the book "What the doctor may not tell you about circumcision"
If these differences are so notorious, how come more men are not protesting? Well, simply THEY DON'T KNOW IT. We don't really sit down and compare the mechanics of sex and our experiences. So how are we supposed to figure out that other men's sexual experiences are different from ours?
The mechanics of sex, and the perception of sex, are permanently altered by circumcision. Physical sensations and possible sexual experiences are removed from our possibilities. When you understand this, when you really really really understand this, then there is no denying that non-therapeutic circumcision is a mutilation.
I've remembered my own experience, and I can see now how circumcision affected what I was able to feel. I enjoyed sex of course. But I know that the mechanics were damaged and I could have felt different sensations if I had not been subjected to this operation.
I'm restoring my foreskin yet I know that I will never have a ridged band, I will never have those Meissner's corpuscles. But hey, I'll take what I can.
And I will use my energies to educate people about the functions of the foreskin and about the ethical issues of performing an amputation as "preventive" medicine in a person who is not sick at all, who is not at an immediate risk of becoming gravely sick, and who cannot provide consent - with the secondary but guaranteed effect of altering that person's perception of sexuality before he is even aware of his own body.
When you circumcise a baby, you circumcise the man that he will become.
You can't force an adult man to get circumcised. But when you do it to a baby, 18 years later you still have the same result: an adult man who was circumcised without his consent. The fact that you signed the consent form makes very little difference for that man.
I'll never be upset at my parents. They did what they thought they had to do. They trusted the doctor. It's not like those years ago there was a Google.
If you circumcised your baby, please help him go through life. They need your support. Don't just assume they will be okay. For one, they need to know that they were circumcised (I've learned of teens and adults who learned it later on in the streets or school or gym and were very angry about it), and they need to know that they can enjoy life and sexuality. But also let them know that you now know more, and you think that circumcision is not necessary. Let them know that if you knew what you now know, you would have not had them circumcised. Do it, for the sake of your grandchildren. Be careful not to hurt your son's self esteem, but also think of sparing your grandsons from an unnecessary procedure.
A little of awareness, that's all it takes.
Hi Dreamer Fla. Did you recieve my PM? It should have had the copy of your original text in it. If you haven't let me know and I'll resend it. I understand your frustration about how in detail you are allowed to go into on MDC. If you read the introduction and the forum guidelines, I hope you will have a better idea of why these are in place. If you are still uncomfortable with those guidelines, myself or one of the administrators would be happy to discuss it with you via PM.
I truly appreciate how passionate you are about intactivism and spreading the word. It's a very important message, and I thank goodness I was educated before I had my 3 boys. Keep up the good work!
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When they talk about the risks of circumcision, they mean what happens before the baby leaves the hospital. Sometimes the real consequences are not seen until years later. As we age, we lose sensitivity. The foreskin contains up to 80% (McGrath) of the nerves in a man's penis. Losing all those nerves has consequences. This has been known and published in Medical journals for years.
In 1997, the Journal of the American Medical Association wrote this: NHSLS data indicate that circumcised men engage in a somewhat more elaborated set of sexual practices than do men who are not circumcised.
I speak from personal experience in explaining why this is true. When too much sensitivity is lost, natural intimacy becomes harder or even impossible. This has consequences not only for the man, but for his partner as well.
The most shocking part of this story is that the media blitz of circumcision benefits cannot really be substantiated when we look at statistics from Europe. The EU has a lower rate of many of the claimed problems. And when we investigate further, we see an growing industry using foreskin cells supplied by un-consenting infants. They deserve better.
I want to say that I appreciate the detail that members have been going into. I think it helps others understand the implications of circumcision in a more personal way. My son is intact but my husband was circumcised at birth. He's cut too tightly and has pain every single time we have intimacy. We're also both really freaked out by abrasions on his glans and we're considering restoration. Hearing from men who feel the way he does about the circumcision and who have taken the step to restore really motivates him to consider it himself.
Moving on. I am a female-to-male transgender man. I went to school and work as Sean (not Sarah). In order to help my relationship with my husband, I decided to stop injecting testosterone two years ago (which also helped me prepare my body for pregnancy). I haven't restarted it because I'm nursing our son and the testosterone would knock out my supply immediately (even though the prolactin would still be there for a while). Now, the point of mentioning all this is that I'm someone who has spent most of his life wanting more than anything to have normal functioning male genitalia. Aside from this awesome childbirth thing, I've always felt that I was born with the wrong kind of body. Eventually, my doctors put me on testosterone and I was even on the path to get mastectomy.
But no matter how much I'd love for my body to finally be "right," I'll never get bottom surgery. The best surgery for leaving tissue intact, metoidioplasty, essentially involves a circumcision. The clitoris naturally enlarges from the testosterone treatments (and it's fast, like you'll see most of your growth from your very first week of treatment, and it's irreversible even if you stop injecting), and the hood of the clitoris is cut so that it can hang down lower and look like a fuller penis. Then you can get a surgery to reroute the urethra through it so you can void while standing. You can get testicular implants in a scrotum formed from the labia (which is homologous tissue, as well)--that usually also involves a vaginectomy to reduce cancer risks.
I used to consider myself transsexual because I used to want to surgically alter my body to make it right. I'd go for any of those surgeries except the metoidioplasty--the most important one. Once I did the research, I had to relabel myself as just generally transgender, because even though I feel like a male despite having a female body, the only medical treatments available would leave the most sensitive part of my body constantly exposed. It would completely change my sexual experience for the worse. It's sadly ironic because it's a procedure that I want so that I can be whole, but I'd have to have a part of me cut away to do it.
I hope this isn't too much detail, but I wanted to be clear in explaining how physically, a female person has the ability to feel what it's like to be an intact male. It's direct clitoral stimulation versus what you'd feel if you pulled the hood back first. Imagine never being able to tone it down. It's like an exposed nerve. The difference between my experience and that of so many American men is that I get to decide what I want for myself--infants who have been circumcised didn't. And as much as I want to just be an anatomically normal guy, I can't without sacrificing too much.
An Open Letter to the Intactivist Community
When I first started lobbying against circumcision in California in 1975, I became accustomed to the odd looks & condescension from some people; others, if not most, wholeheartedly endorsed my approach, and encouraged me to speak out more vigorously. In 1980 I completed my manuscript, "The Circumcision Instinct," an attempt to shed light on this ancient & strange custom. That same year I became convinced that direct action in the streets would be necessary to force the issue into the public consciousness (and conscience), so my friend, Carole Babyak, and I formed Cititzens Against Ritual Violence (CARV), a protest group dedicated to exposing the deceit & misinformation behind the circumcision campaign in the United States.
We were somewhat successful in that initial endeavor. The Associated Press (AP) and United Press International (UPI) both sent out articles nationwide over their wire services, and newspapers across the nation, including many in California, covered CARV's activities. Many people reported to me that they also saw the television coverage on our picket in the Sacramento & San Francisco markets, as well as ABC nightly news, and many radio stations as well.
We were pleased to receive many letters from a widespread community across the United States, but perhaps most significant for the movement, we were gratified that Dr. Dean Edell, Marilyn Milos, Rosemary Romberg, Jeff Wood, and John Erickson (to name only a few) took a deep interest in our activities, and communicated their firm support in their correspondence with us.
My personal journey took on urgency in 1985, when I realized that I would always be circumcised unless I uncircumcised myself. Many men have other ways of accomplishing that task; in my case, I viewed circumcision as a spiritual mark on my body--the curse of an angry & ancient God--and I saw no way to uncircumcise myself except to renounce the birthname that was associated with that deity. I changed my name to Brother K, keeping a vestigial remnant of my birth name for some reason, which later became clear to me -- K stands for Kind.
Now that the AAP has stepped up their war against boys, I am returning in full battle gear for the fight. The circumcisers will not give up their sharp weapons willingly, and they have numerous ways to spread their propaganda among the American public. You can count on me to fight to my last breath to stop this barbaric practice against our youth.
I am gay. My boyfriend of 10 years is intact. It was only from seeing his penis that I ever had any idea of what I'm missing. I have a lot of difficulty reaching orgasm. Usually I only can do so from my own manual efforts. It's really depressing that I'm not able to appreciate sex as much as nature intended. And worse than that, it even makes me less capable of fulfilling my partner. That's even more depressing. It's like I feel sex through a thick glove, I have so little sensitivity. Intact men do not have this problem. Men who don't see the harm are happily ignorant or in denial, it is harmful.
Lets see, regret being circumcised? Regret that the most important part of my anatomy for sexual function and feeling was removed for no good reason? Regret that I had to suffer through the trauma of unbearable pain on the order of waterboarding or worse, when I couldn't deal with it mentally as an infant? Regret that my (and my partner's) sexual experience was a lukewarm shadow of what it could have been?
Oh yes, big time.
But I had no idea. And if I had never restored, I would still not know. But now I do know a lot of what I was robbed of. And it was a lot.
Yes, I regret it. If I could go back in time and prevent it, I would. And I am restoring to get back as much as I can. And now I know the real, unstated reason, why they do it to infants. That way the man has no way to know what he lost.
I'm only 28, and already my glans is almost completely numb. If I touch it with my finger I feel sensation only in the fingertip. When I see porn where the woman is gently touching the head of the penis, and moving the foreskin up and down over it, I know what I have lost. The loss itself is hard to deal with, but to hear people in the circumcision "debate" claiming that it causes no loss in sexual function, that it is just a snip of a useless piece of skin, is like getting kicked in the ribs. Knowing that millions of boys are still being circumcised and there is no law to protect them makes it impossible to heal and move on.
The sexual aspect is only one part of it. Another is seeing video of a baby strapped down by his wrists and ankles, screaming until he can barely breathe, while his perfectly healthy penis is gushing blood from surgical wounds. This act was done to me. There are people who tell me that because I cannot remember it, it is perfectly all right. I feel violated physically and sexually, and betrayed.
The only thing that makes me feel better about any of this is to see people choosing not to circumcise. When I see mothers expressing their regret I grieve with them and feel less alone with my pain. All of this is so easily preventable... I wish I could be more eloquent and persuasive but it is so hard for a man to talk about another violating his manhood. There is a lot of shame and self reproach, even though I know there was nothing I could do to defend myself. I still feel like less of a man.
But, at the same time, it's great. It's great to know that people who were circumcised without their consent are doing something about it. Some are restoring. Even if a circumcised-but-regrets-it man will never have kids, or just had daughters and no sons, the ball is still rolling in the right direction.
It's the beginning of an avalanche. It's small right now, but it's growing larger by the day.
This thread is proof that the lies thought up by the doctors "he won't remember it" or "it's painless" or whatever they're saying is just that. LIes.
Keep fighting the good fight, everyone. Even if you're done having kids, you just had daughters, or even if your sons are circumcised and you realized you didn't know better at the time, you're still very much in the fight.
I am the wife of a circumcised man and it has impacting me negatively. After years of marriage we are realizing that his lack of foreskin is causing me pain during sex. I always thought the chaffed, burning and raw pain that I feel for several days after sex was my fault. I tried everything to make sex more comfortable, but nothing significantly helped. Now, we are realizing that circumcision is the cause. I am so angry over what circumcision has taken from our marriage! I am so upset that my husband and I cannot enjoy each other the way we are meant to! His parents made this decision for him, but I do not feel it should have been their choice. Now my husband and I have to live with the consequences of that decision for the rest of our married life. Male circumcision impacts women, too.
Foreskin restoration is an option that many men in this situation have found helpful. It takes some time, but if the problem is that bad, you can do something about it. I was cut very tightly as a baby. Today my doctor thinks I'm intact. Wife really likes the difference from when we first married. Good for both of us.
I can best respond to this thread by offering a link to an article on the The Whole Network which I was asked to submit after responding to another contributor's story.
Voicelessone, I understand your sense of loss for the foreskin you were born with.
Education is the discovery of our own ignorance. Will Durant
"You give a little love and it all comes back to you....
You know you gonna be remembered for the things you say and do."
I have just come back to this thread, and read all of it. I can see the common thread of shame, violation, anger and regret in the posts from the men. It makes me sad to realise that there are millions and millions of us in that same stinking boat, most of whom are silent in their own world of torment. I see the sadness in the posts from women who have figured out why their sex life is unfulfilling, and who show great empathy toward circumcised men. Thank you. I am most grateful for forums such as this, where we can participate with others of a like mind. It feels a bit like an extended family!
One thing that I did not mention in my original post is how I feel toward my parents: I have never hated them for what they did to me. I realise that they thought they were doing the best thing for me and my brothers. They were the unwitting victims of bad information. They had no access to an internet, or even libraries. They had no option than to believe what they were told. I will say that I wish they had thought about circumcision more objectively. Did they not consider that nature does not make mistakes? Did they not consider that cutting off a part of a baby's genitalia is bizarre? After all, there were plenty of intact boys in our society.
I'm a man that was circumcised as a baby and I really wish I wasn't. I was denied my choice to keep a functional, healthy, erotogenic body part.
ALL forms of female genital cutting - equal to or less invasive then male circumcision - are illegal for any reason, including religion. Yet, a parent can remove a baby boy's foreskin for any reason including, "just because" and "I think it looks better". This doesn't make sense. This isn't equal rights under the law but a violation of the 14th Amendment's "Equal Protection Clause", the "Universal Declaration of Human Rights", adopted by the United Nations and the "Canadian Charter of Rights and Freedoms".
The legislative branch of the U.S. government outlawed female cirumcision in 1997. But there is a reason you can not look to the U.S. government to similarly outlaw the circumcision of baby boys. It's because circumcising baby boys is official U.S. government policy: your executive branch at work for you (against you, actually). Beginning around 1950, the U.S. Public Health Service began two big public health crusades aimed at children: circumcision of baby boys, and water fluoridation. As recently as 2009, the CDC, another part of the U.S. government's public health bureaucracy, tried to put the "Universal Circumcision" of baby boys into effect, but was forced to backtrack: under this plan, all boys born in the U.S. and its posessions would have been required to be circumcised, whether the parents requested it or not. Meanwhile, stimulus funds were used to promote circumcision in Africa. The National Institutes of Health and other public health agencies, alarmed by falling U.S. circumcision rates, have been trying desperately to manufacture new justifications for circumcising newborn baby boys. They have been bankrolling "studies" by pro-circumcision researchers in Africa to demonstrate that circumcision prevents AIDS. Why Africa? Because of the 600,000+ men who died of AIDS in the U.S., nearly all of them had been circumcised. What makes Mothering so special? Because instead of rubber-stamping the press releases of self-serving government agencies and professional trade associations like the AAP, Mothering presents the common sense side of the issue, and trusts you to draw your own conclusions.
I have been trying to put together my thoughts and feelings for days about this issue. Like many men I was circumcised as an infant and as an adult I'm none too happy about my parents decision. I've thought about asking them why they made such a decision, but I realize it would do no good, won't bring back my foreskin and likely make for an uncomfortable discussion with both of my parents. I feel robbed of a fully functioning penis as nature designed, not as society wished it to be.
What am I doing at this point to help myself and others you may wonder? For myself, I'm restoring my foreskin- it's a long process and quite irritating that I have to go through this due to the momentary slice of the doctors knife 37 years ago. I'm trying to get involved and speak to others about the importance of being intact, but I'm meeting a lot of resistance within my group of friends. No one cares to listen and people are defensive and shut down. I don't believe my approach to be offensive or argumentative, so it seems that the conservative social constructs of the USA's feelings on sex are a huge impediment to any meaningful discussion.
I'm happy to say that I spoke with a close friend of mine who was expecting a boy and while it was a bit awkward broaching the subject of what him and his girlfriend were going to do regarding circumcision it was a quick and easy discussion because they had already educated themselves on the subject!
I hope that we as a society, as a culture, can move past this terrible practice of Routine Infant Circumcision (RIC) and leave future baby boys intact as nature intended. If I ever have a son I will ensure that he is left intact and not allow such a violent act of circumcision be visited upon him.
Here is my rant that (rightly or wrongly) I have been posting to every mothering forum I can sign up to for free...
You can skip it if you want, it's more of the same (mum thought she was doing the right thing based on doctors information) with a ton of links.
Most importantly: Thank you for existing (forum) and opening this discussion. Too many of the mothering forums I've been on in the last hour have had a complete lack of discussion, or discussion of the misinformation. Genital mutilation is evil, we can make it stop (and everyone benefits, except the bastards that profit from it)
Dear forum members.
Before I risk putting any of you off, PLEASE DO YOUR OWN RESEARCH BEFORE SUBJECTING YOUR CHILD TO GENITAL MUTILATION.
I wish to raise an issue that many of you, as mothers and parental guardians, may have to make a decision on. (Though it shouldn’t be a decision, just like not cutting out an eye or removing a toe shouldn’t be a decision).
Forced genital mutilation, sometimes known as circumcision, is a practice that continues to this day in the USA for a variety of reasons including; misinformation, misguidedness, profit, anti-masturbation hysteria.
I, personally, suffered this procedure at around the age of 10 as a ‘treatment’ for issues of bed wetting and possible phimosis. Absolute mal-practice. Bed wetting, and related issues, are common in 5% of the population at that age and decline naturally as the individual matures. Phimosis can easily be treated by stretching. Also, Phimosis is NEVER an issue in immature children, it can only exist in males that have begun puberty.
- Mutilating your child’s genitals provides NO health benefits.
- It is extremely damaging psychologically and physically.
- You wouldn’t mutilate your daughter…
- It drastically reduces sensitivity
- It continues as a practice for reasons of greed.
- At the very least, let your child CHOOSE to get it when he is a consenting adult – if he wants to (which he won’t assuming he has learnt how to use Google)
1. In order to prove 1 requires a very mild understanding of logic. USA = high circumcision and high rates of STIs, Europe = low circumcision and low rates of STIs. That should be fairly simple to understand.
Studies that say otherwise are easily debunked, for example: A study shows less UTI’s in circumcised males. This study is comparing full circumcision to babies whose mothers retract their foreskin. DO NOT RETRACT YOUR BABIES’ FORESKIN. The foreskin is designed to protect the glans (head) of the penis. Your child will retract it when he’s ready (around puberty). Another study shows lower rates of STI’s amongst circumcised populations. This is comparing Islamic states (high religious societal control) with non-Islamic states… go figure.
2. There are a great deal of studies that show how trauma as a baby can impact on your subconscious throughout your entire life.
3. Male and female genital mutilation are equivalent in damage. Why then would you do that to your son? (youtube) /watch?v=98f3IavuEgQ
4. It removes 85% of the nerve endings (they are in the foreskin). It dries out what remains, and numbs it – when you remove the foreskin, the glans must toughen via ‘keretinisation’ in order to withstand clothing. This loss of sensitivity has a direct impact on the mutilated individuals relationships.
5. thewellspring (dot) [com]/flex/myth-circumcision-is-neither-harmful-nor-painful/2617/circumcision-who-profits.cfm & norm-uk (dot) [org]/where_do_foreskins_go.html
If you have already circumcised your child, I understand that it could be difficult to face this information. Please do not close up about it, instead – spread the word, and when your child comes of age explain that you did what the doctor advised. Don’t let it ruin your relationship with your child, they WILL have the internet and they WILL know how to use it to find out the truth, better they hear it from you than that they discover it by other means and blame you for it.
http://circumcisionnews.blogspot.co.uk/2011/09/debunking-another-myths-article.html (In depth debunking of myths)
http://circumcisionnews.blogspot.co.uk/2010/05/fatally-flawed-bollingers-circumcision.html (More in depth debunking of myths)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ceht-3xu84I&feature=channel_video_title (PhD presentation on genital mutilation)
http://www.notjustskin.org/node/7 (FAQ on genital mutilation)
http://momsnotbombs.blogspot.co.uk/2012/03/difference-between-intact-cut.html (NSFW, explicit images documenting the difference)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=98f3IavuEgQ (The similarity between male and female mutilation)
https://www.youtube.com/user/canadiangirlstalk (2 Canadian girls that are actively against forced genital mutilation)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=U5kaEEckXmU (Dutch documentary “Mum, why did you circumcise me?”
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=NAHGFx95D80 (Mutilated at 18, speaks candidly about his loss)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=DqIGGq175ps&playnext=1&list=PL5CB70719DE8480F6&feature=results_main (An entire playlist of women talking out against mutilation, starting with ‘A mother’s regret’)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Y7FOGCsNgRM&playnext=1&list=PL3AAD8FA7F462D698&feature=results_main (An entire playlist of men talking out against mutilation)
https://www.youtube.com/user/Bonobo3D?feature=watch (A youtube channel with a good set of videos)
https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=z8izJ6odbCo&feature=youtu.be (This guy is awesome)
Sources: (sans linkage)
circumcisionnews blogspot co uk/2011/09/debunking-another-myths-article.html (In depth debunking of myths)
circumcisionnews blogspot co uk/2010/05/fatally-flawed-bollingers-circumcision html (More in depth debunking of myths)
youtube /watch?v=Ceht-3xu84I&feature=channel_video_title (PhD presentation on genital mutilation)
notjustskin org/node/7 (FAQ on genital mutilation)
momsnotbombs blogspot co uk/2012/03/difference-between-intact-cut.html (NSFW, explicit images documenting the difference)
youtube /watch?v=98f3IavuEgQ (The similarity between male and female mutilation)
youtube /user/canadiangirlstalk (2 Canadian girls that are actively against forced genital mutilation)
youtube /watch?v=U5kaEEckXmU (Dutch documentary “Mum, why did you circumcise me?”
youtube /watch?v=NAHGFx95D80 (Mutilated at 18, speaks candidly about his loss)
youtube /watch?v=DqIGGq175ps&playnext=1&list=PL5CB70719DE8480F6&feature=results_main (An entire playlist of women talking out against mutilation, starting with ‘A mother’s regret’)
youtube /watch?v=Y7FOGCsNgRM&playnext=1&list=PL3AAD8FA7F462D698&feature=results_main (An entire playlist of men talking out against mutilation)
youtube /user/Bonobo3D?feature=watch (A youtube channel with a good set of videos)
youtube /watch?v=z8izJ6odbCo&feature=youtu.be (This guy is awesome)
circumcisionnews blogspot co uk/
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