I was just interviewed for an article about Circ! - Page 3 - Mothering Forums

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#61 of 106 Old 07-09-2007, 12:53 AM
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"Both said they respect the decisions of any parents who consider the matter carefully."

I asked you about this quote. You said that the reporter quoted you accurately.

I'm not talking about religious circ here. I'm talking about routine infant circumcision (RIC). You still respect parents who "consider the matter carefully" and still choose to circ? I understand you don't want to make it illegal. But you still respect them? Why and how? : (Again, talking about RIC.)

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#62 of 106 Old 07-09-2007, 01:04 AM
 
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I've said it before and I'll say it again, not everyone has the zero tolerance approach to intactivism. I think onlyboys has made it clear that she supports intactivism and keeping boys whole. But the fact of the matter is, not everyone is ready to go Rambo on every single person who does choose circ, even if we don't believe the parents should have that right.

The best she can do is present the information to people and if presented with that information they still choose to circ, it is out of her hands. I also see why she would say what she said in the article in the effort of not appearing unapproachable and "out there."
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#63 of 106 Old 07-09-2007, 01:09 AM - Thread Starter
 
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I think being sensitive to another culture, and approaching discussion/education taking that into account is reasonable. I think, when I have spoken accross cultural barriers that is what I do. But, the education on it's own is VERY powerful. And, I don't withold information for fear that becoming educated may make someone feel bad. Information and science is just that. You present the information and facts, then logical people will draw logical conclusions from those facts.

Would you feel any different if you were dealing with a mother who was from a culture where it was very normal and even demanded of that their girl be circumcised? I once spoke to a Egyptian woman who was taken (as a child) to egypt to receive a sunna circumcision. It was such a deep part of her culture, every woman had it done, and her mother claimed fear that her family would be shunned and that she wouldn't be married off as the reason why she had it done. Do I think her mother was evil? Of course not. Uneducated, ignorant, misinformed, culturally biased...yes. It's been horrific for this woman, the feelings that the woman experienced growing up, and living here in the US what normal intact genetilia are like...well, it was so similar to the men who have come to this board. They have honestly been devistated beyond words. It is so difficult to love someone experiencing that pain (I know as my DH is circ'd and he knows so much information), and know it was completely preventable. I think about, what if his mom had gone to a different OB. What if, just one person had spoken out and told her "I have an intact penis, and it's great...why not keep his like that?" I think now too, of the women I know who have circumcised who have expressed such regret as well. Some have told me, if someone had just put themselves in an awkward position to educate, to not worry about offending someone, they likely would researched and made a different choice...know what I mean?

I do think the key IS information. Knowledge is power. These parents need to have all the information. To present factual, specific, scientific information...it's rather clear that having a natural human penis is normal and healthy. To share that multiple studies show that to circumcise is to cause permanent sexual losses...that stuff is serious, and should be shared. It can be painful...of course. It's painful to know what I know about circ even, though I am lucky to be an intact woman, I am married to a circumcised man, and my brother was circumcised without consent at the hospital after his birth. My parents, not wanting my brother to "feel bad", decided to never tell him the circumstances about his circumcision nor share the fact that our father was intact. Guess, what happened...what that silence caused...I now have two circumcised nephews. Sadly, my brother is a decade older than I am, and I didn't know what I know now about circ. I wish I could have been that person to share the information.
I am so sorry for your brother, nephews and your parents! And for you, the educated sister.

I honestly do not know what I would do in the case of potential female circumcision. All the introspection in the world won't confirm for me what I would do.

My class (it's the last one in the series) spends 30 minutes discussing circumcision. I describe the procedure, give them the full disclosure statement, relate studies on sensitivity and anecdotes about sensitivity, and give them websites where I tell anyone who is considering it to go to. It's been successful at least once that I definitely know of, but I'm hopeful that there are more. I am not mincing words here, or stating that it's okay if they do, just know what their son is going through. I tell them exactly like it is. In fact, I suppose that I overemphasize those aspects that are most likely to convince them. For example, if a mom is worried about breastfeeding, I am sure to enforce that it can interfere with that. I do my best to tailor the information for those who are attending my classes.

Trust me, I am anything but PC about circumcision. I was clear in my interview (and this was published) that being Christian negates the Jewish mandate of a bris milah. I feel that you think I am being two sided here--perhaps I give them the PROS of circumcision too? There are none and I state that without embarassement or reason for worry.

I think that short of showing them a video, I can't educate them more than I am. I've been thinking of doing a Saturday class (like a 2 hour block with discussion) on it exclusively. We'll see how that pans out.

Just to give you some background on me, I am a full-fledged, card carrying introvert. You know those personality tests? Yep, 100% introvert. For me to do this article, complete with photo bigger than my actual head, and taped interview, as well as let the whole world know the terrible, horrible mistake that I made was very difficult and out of character for me. I am not staying here in my safe space and letting those around me escape the truth about circumcision. I'm not saying this to toot my own horn, but rather to let it be known that I do stand up for foreskins.
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#64 of 106 Old 07-09-2007, 01:23 AM - Thread Starter
 
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Originally Posted by A&A View Post
"Both said they respect the decisions of any parents who consider the matter carefully."

I asked you about this quote. You said that the reporter quoted you accurately.

I'm not talking about religious circ here. I'm talking about routine infant circumcision (RIC). You still respect parents who "consider the matter carefully" and still choose to circ? I understand you don't want to make it illegal. But you still respect them? Why and how? : (Again, talking about RIC.)
I respect that the decision is theirs to make. If I am not keen on letting the gov't make this choice for us, then what other recourse do I have? Sure, I could isolate them and make them feel horrible for their choice, or I can let them know that their next boy can be intact if they want, that my own family is a hybrid of circed/intact and tell them how this works for us.

Do I respect them for making this decision? Is this a test of my intactivist-ness? Their decision saddens me. It makes me worry for them. It makes me cry to think of what their son is going/went through. Does the sight of them sicken me? No. Do I wish them ill? No.

I think I could toe the party line on this one, sure. But who would I reach with THAT message? Who could I convince?

Anyway, what is YOUR point? Do you wish I had never given interview for the article? Do you want me to confess that I am truly a supporter of RIC in disguise? I am different than you. I love foreskins too, can't we just get along?
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#65 of 106 Old 07-09-2007, 01:41 AM
 
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I've said it before and I'll say it again, not everyone has the zero tolerance approach to intactivism. I think onlyboys has made it clear that she supports intactivism and keeping boys whole. But the fact of the matter is, not everyone is ready to go Rambo on every single person who does choose circ, even if we don't believe the parents should have that right.

The best she can do is present the information to people and if presented with that information they still choose to circ, it is out of her hands. I also see why she would say what she said in the article in the effort of not appearing unapproachable and "out there."
:
I think that the article was a great step.

Homeschooling mom of 2 rambunctious, loving, spectacular boys, wife to an incredible man who has been my best friend on this journey <3

 

 

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#66 of 106 Old 07-09-2007, 02:38 AM
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Anyway, what is YOUR point? Do you wish I had never given interview for the article?
No, I just wish that you/the article could have been stronger toward anti-RIC. But, as other have said, it's a start.

"Our task is not to see the future, but to enable it."
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#67 of 106 Old 07-09-2007, 02:43 AM - Thread Starter
 
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No, I just wish that you/the article could have been stronger toward anti-RIC. But, as other have said, it's a start.
Ah, thanks for clarifying.

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#68 of 106 Old 07-09-2007, 05:24 AM
 
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Onlyboys! Thank you for all you have done for this interview, your teachings to others and your dialog on this thread!!!!!!!!!

TCAC forum does have a prohibition on discussion of religious circumcision. It is inevitable that it will come up in passing due to the nature of it being included in the religious practices of some religions. I think the way it has come up in this thread is fine as it's been respectful and the focus has remained on routine infant circumcision (RIC).

Again, Onlyboys, thank you so much for your willingness to do this article and to put yourself out there to speak out!

"To err is human, to forgive, canine." - Unknown
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#69 of 106 Old 07-09-2007, 07:03 AM
 
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I think the article was awesome. Great job, Amanda!

I'm the other anti-circ mom quoted there (Nancy Moses). Like Amanda, I don't feel that I was completely and correctly represented, but I think he did a good job. I wish more of my complete quotes had been included, not just pieces, but I understand that's how it works.

Anyway - I'm just so glad to have it out there as a conversation starter!
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#70 of 106 Old 07-09-2007, 08:59 AM
 
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Again, I think the article is excellent overall, and has the potential to help move people toward accepting intactness and choosing it for their families.

Could we get it pinned here? Amanda / Onlyboys, would you be OK with something like that?

This kind of article helps, it does. I wonder, if we wanted to organize, how we could help parenting and pregnancy magazines create their own articles like these. I think it may be worth asking the newspaper author (and I'm talking about the ladies who were in the story to do this, Amanda and Nancy) about re-printing or having other publications use (and credit) his work.... I'm not sure how that goes or how he or his employer gets paid for that, there must be a system. I think it would be worthwhile to encourage the writer to put it out there, or to ask his permission to do that, or ask him his advice on what would be the best way to get the story or the topic out there even more.

Even more influential than magazines, would be the parenting books.

Anyway, I'm thinking in terms of how to spread the momentum and information further, beyond Florida to a national US audience.
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#71 of 106 Old 07-09-2007, 03:34 PM
 
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Amanda and Nancy,
Great job!!!!! You came off as very nice and mainstream, and you looked lovely. Thank you for being willing to go beyond the boundaries of your comfort zone in order to help end RIC. The article was good and I think it will make a lot of people think twice about this bizarre custom.
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#72 of 106 Old 07-09-2007, 10:17 PM
 
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The title of the article is "More Parents Loathe Circumcision."
Did they change the title? When I clicked the link the title read, "In Last Four Decades, Circumcision Has Lost Popularity in the United States"

Was "Loathe" too strong a word???


Amanda--Great job! Thanks for doing this.
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#73 of 106 Old 07-10-2007, 12:28 AM
 
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Dear Mr White:

Thanks for your article about intact boys in the Ledger. Our international
physicians' charity is engaged in encouraging our colleagues to abandon the
practice, a holdover from the Puritan 1870s. I find amusing (well tragic,
actually) the suggestion there is no downstream sexual damage. That was the entire
point in 1870.

As late as the 1970's medical books were claiming that desensitizing the boy
was good medicine as well as good morality. The idea of that, touted openly by
medical scholarship with notable pride, was carefully tucked away when the
sexual revolution permitted sexual pleasure.

We estimate the sexual sensation loss at over 75%. Indeed, a study to that
effect was published in the UK in February. I could send you a copy.

Moreover, do you really want to believe a doctor who makes a living from the
procedure and is likely himself circumcised (thus without the slightest
knowledge of what he missed?)

Thanks again, though,

John V. Geisheker, J.D., LL.M.
Executive Director,
General Counsel,
Doctors Opposing Circumcision
2132 Westlake Ave. N Suite #150
Seattle, WA 98109
tel +1. 206. 465. 6636

(posted withpermission of the author)
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#74 of 106 Old 07-10-2007, 01:35 AM
 
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I just found this thread and looked at the article. You'll be happy to know that it was linked to, by someone OTHER than me on my due date club on a very mainstream board!

Happily married to my dh, mama to ds1 (01/2005), ds2 (07/2007)  and dd (07/2009).
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#75 of 106 Old 07-10-2007, 02:16 AM
 
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I love DOC but are they sure about this?

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We estimate the sexual sensation loss at over 75%.
75%? Wow, that's really, really high. I dunno....
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#76 of 106 Old 07-10-2007, 02:53 AM
 
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Wow you got the MODS here, this thread is HOT!!!

Thank you onlyboys for really putting yourself out there. That takes guts. I understand your approach on reaching people. I'm the kind of person who is more likely to go "Rambo" on the parents considering this unnecessary tragic procedure done only for shallow reasons. I'm in the process of trying to BAN RIC starting with the MGM Bill. The only reason there is a law against FGM is because our culture thinks this is barbaric. In the same way we have to condition our culture to despise RIC (MGM). Personally I think this is a very powerful way to get this bill to pass. How do we reach the "mainstream" and begin this process? We start by reaching them in the middle. Once we have them by the hand we can draw them nearer to our side. Its counterproductive if we just shout from our end. They would be pushed away farther and we would be thought of as NUTS and then no one will listen to us. I think its important to e-mail the writer, thanking him for doing the article while emphasizing the admiration of this mother's decision to keep their sons intact. This will encourage future articles on circumcision. Again, onlyboys, you did great!
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#77 of 106 Old 07-10-2007, 03:32 AM
 
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Wow you got the MODS here, this thread is HOT!!!

Thank you onlyboys for really putting yourself out there. That takes guts. I understand your approach on reaching people. I'm the kind of person who is more likely to go "Rambo" on the parents considering this unnecessary tragic procedure done only for shallow reasons. I'm in the process of trying to BAN RIC starting with the MGM Bill. The only reason there is a law against FGM is because our culture thinks this is barbaric. In the same way we have to condition our culture to despise RIC (MGM).
Have you bothered to read this thread at all????

Personally, while I oppose circumcision, will not circ any son of mine, and try to convince my friends pregnant with boys not to circ, I would be fully and totally AGAINST any such bill, and indeed any such bill would be totally unconstitutional. (Religious freedom ring a bell?)
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#78 of 106 Old 07-10-2007, 11:01 AM
 
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I love DOC but are they sure about this?



75%? Wow, that's really, really high. I dunno....

Once talked to a man who was circumcised as an adult, he had "no medical problems" but felt "uncomfortable" about having a foreskin and his physician was happy to lop it off. Anyhow, he said it was the worst mistake he made in his life. He said that more than half the pleasure during intercourse was gone, and that masturbation was a joke. Whole sensations just no longer existed after he was circumcised.

Twenty or so years later he discovered restoration, and was working on it for a few years. He said that he's gotten quite a bit more back, thought it's not the same it is pretty close to intact (I think he said he thinks its about 75-80% of what he used to feel with an intact penis).

And, I don't doubt it, honestly. My DH has slowly been working on restoration, and he's said several things that have coincided with this. He has whole new sensations that didn't exist before. Plus, I've noticed some changes as well.

Some people will say, circumcision decreases sensation...sure, that IS true, but it is more powerful to say even that circumcision takes away some sensations that are impossible to feel with a circumcised penis. Sad, but true : . Most men in this country want to deny it as they are circumcised themselves.

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#79 of 106 Old 07-10-2007, 12:27 PM
 
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<<(Religious freedom ring a bell?)>>

Religious freedom does not permit child abuse. There was a case of a
Native American group who practised a tradition of biting teen aged boys
on the arms. It was a part of a religious coming of age ceremony. They were reported and it went to court. They had to stop the practise.

If there was a religious group that advocated animal torture or child sacrifice, none of that would be allowed. It's estimated that 200 baby boys in the U.S. are sacrificed due to genital mutilation every year. This is why we need to end it. All the beautiful traditions of religious ceremonies which welcome new members of the tribe can be kept. Cutting kids' genitals has no place in today's society.
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#80 of 106 Old 07-10-2007, 12:32 PM
 
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Once talked to a man who was circumcised as an adult, he had "no medical problems" but felt "uncomfortable" about having a foreskin and his physician was happy to lop it off. Anyhow, he said it was the worst mistake he made in his life. He said that more than half the pleasure during intercourse was gone, and that masturbation was a joke. Whole sensations just no longer existed after he was circumcised.

Twenty or so years later he discovered restoration, and was working on it for a few years. He said that he's gotten quite a bit more back, thought it's not the same it is pretty close to intact (I think he said he thinks its about 75-80% of what he used to feel with an intact penis).

And, I don't doubt it, honestly. My DH has slowly been working on restoration, and he's said several things that have coincided with this. He has whole new sensations that didn't exist before. Plus, I've noticed some changes as well.

Some people will say, circumcision decreases sensation...sure, that IS true, but it is more powerful to say even that circumcision takes away some sensations that are impossible to feel with a circumcised penis. Sad, but true : . Most men in this country want to deny it as they are circumcised themselves.
I totally believe that they lose sensation and senstivity. But 75% would mean that their penis is only 25% away from being completely numb and non-feeling. As an intact man I can't speak on how it feels to be circ'd, but I imagine if it were that severe more people would complain and have a difficult time.
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#81 of 106 Old 07-10-2007, 01:15 PM
 
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As an intact man I can't speak on how it feels to be circ'd, but I imagine if it were that severe more people would complain and have a difficult time.
I will add to my previous discussion that the man circ'd as an adult had also told me that the "orgasm" was pretty much the same, and it was the actual pleasure during the act that dramatically decreased. Which is why circ'd men tend to be more "goal oriented"...race for the finish. The difference in the pleasures of the actual sex act and orgasm are much greater for the circumcised man. For the intact man, the entire sexual act is so extremely pleasurable, and the orgasm is just a cumulation of all that pleasure. It's more of a relaxed dance of pleasure, and he enjoys everything the whole time. I would think that it is similar for the intact woman as well (that's my personal experience ).

Keep in mind too, that women who are circumcised (through research) still report that they are able to orgasm and enjoy sex. Some people seem to think it's some all or nothing thing. Even type II MGM (glans/foreskin amputation), these men can still orgasm and procreate....

I think the point is, does anyone have the RIGHT to decrease sexual pleasure arbitrarily on a person? Is any genital mutilation OK as long as the person can still orgasm?

I hope that further clarifies. This is what I have deduced from years of research.

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#82 of 106 Old 07-10-2007, 01:25 PM
 
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I will add to my previous discussion that the man circ'd as an adult had also told me that the "orgasm" was pretty much the same, and it was the actual pleasure during the act that dramatically decreased. Which is why circ'd men tend to be more "goal oriented"...race for the finish. The difference in the pleasures of the actual sex act and orgasm are much greater for the circumcised man. For the intact man, the entire sexual act is so extremely pleasurable, and the orgasm is just a cumulation of all that pleasure. It's more of a relaxed dance of pleasure, and he enjoys everything the whole time. I would think that it is similar for the intact woman as well (that's my personal experience ).

Keep in mind too, that women who are circumcised (through research) still report that they are able to orgasm and enjoy sex. Some people seem to think it's some all or nothing thing. Even type II MGM (glans/foreskin amputation), these men can still orgasm and procreate....

I think the point is, does anyone have the RIGHT to decrease sexual pleasure arbitrarily on a person? Is any genital mutilation OK as long as the person can still orgasm?

I hope that further clarifies. This is what I have deduced from years of research.
No, no. We're totally on the same page.

But now that you said the orgasm is pretty much the same, then it makes sense. Because I was thinking that with a 75% the orgasms would be much weaker and not feel as good.

But what you said makes sense. I'm just questioning that 75% figure because it sounds so large! Just like when the HIV crap came out and they said that circ reduced the chance of HIV infection by 60%. Large percentages like that always make me raise an eyebrow.
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#83 of 106 Old 07-10-2007, 01:41 PM
 
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No, no. We're totally on the same page.

But now that you said the orgasm is pretty much the same, then it makes sense. Because I was thinking that with a 75% the orgasms would be much weaker and not feel as good.

But what you said makes sense. I'm just questioning that 75% figure because it sounds so large! Just like when the HIV crap came out and they said that circ reduced the chance of HIV infection by 60%. Large percentages like that always make me raise an eyebrow.

Yep, the orgasm thing...that is something that I think that helps explain it more. It helps to understand that one more. Which is why the circumcised man tends to be more orgasm oriented. There's another male poster on MDS who too commented that the orgasm was pretty similar (he was circumcised as an adult) though the actual pleasure of the act was substantially decreased. Which makes sense, the orgasm originates in the brain apparently. Interesting enough, I read some research about mapping orgasms on an MRI. Women who were paralyzed from the waist down and are unable to feel sensation can still orgasm, they tested it using an MRI. The women had "thought" they were orgasming, though physicians doubted them "called it a phantom orgasm". So, they did an experiement with them using an MRI, and sure enough the same locations in the brain were lighting up just like in the non-paralyzed women. So, the receptors are present in the brain, and if they are stimulated in the right way they will eventually fire off, evoking that biochemical then muscular response we enjoy so much. Interesting huh?

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#84 of 106 Old 07-10-2007, 01:55 PM
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Once talked to a man who was circumcised as an adult, he had "no medical problems" but felt "uncomfortable" about having a foreskin and his physician was happy to lop it off. Anyhow, he said it was the worst mistake he made in his life. He said that more than half the pleasure during intercourse was gone, and that masturbation was a joke. Whole sensations just no longer existed after he was circumcised.

Twenty or so years later he discovered restoration, and was working on it for a few years. He said that he's gotten quite a bit more back, thought it's not the same it is pretty close to intact (I think he said he thinks its about 75-80% of what he used to feel with an intact penis).

And, I don't doubt it, honestly. My DH has slowly been working on restoration, and he's said several things that have coincided with this. He has whole new sensations that didn't exist before. Plus, I've noticed some changes as well.

Some people will say, circumcision decreases sensation...sure, that IS true, but it is more powerful to say even that circumcision takes away some sensations that are impossible to feel with a circumcised penis. Sad, but true : . Most men in this country want to deny it as they are circumcised themselves.
Wow! And keep in mind that his loss of sensation must be less than in men who got circ'd in infancy because they had 20+ years more of keratinization : .
Isn't that crazy that circ'd men do it to their sons?! :
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#85 of 106 Old 07-10-2007, 09:32 PM
 
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Have you bothered to read this thread at all????

Personally, while I oppose circumcision, will not circ any son of mine, and try to convince my friends pregnant with boys not to circ, I would be fully and totally AGAINST any such bill, and indeed any such bill would be totally unconstitutional. (Religious freedom ring a bell?)
Let me ask you this. Are you opposed to female circumcision? For the sake of religious freedom this practice would be okay to preform. So why is it against the law to preform female circumcion? And yes I've been following very closely on this thread.
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#86 of 106 Old 07-10-2007, 10:16 PM - Thread Starter
 
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Just heard that Gary's email has been flooded by people who are both in support and up in arms over the article. For some reason, it's been pushed up to the top spot on the website again.

And, on a more personal note, the young man (he is 19) who bought a car from me a couple of months ago called me today to tell me he saw the article in the paper. He just called to tell me THANK YOU! He said he's intact and appreciated hearing my story.

My mother has gotten several emails, some positive, some negative; my husband got a thumbs up at a meeting at work; my sister had phone calls from irate friends ("How dare she say I MUTILATED my son!!!"); the birth center is thrilled for the plug.

Thanks, all for the great discussions and the support. Please feel free to sticky this, or whatever to help the cause!
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#87 of 106 Old 07-10-2007, 10:55 PM
 
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I think the article was awesome. Great job, Amanda!

I'm the other anti-circ mom quoted there (Nancy Moses). Like Amanda, I don't feel that I was completely and correctly represented, but I think he did a good job. I wish more of my complete quotes had been included, not just pieces, but I understand that's how it works.

Anyway - I'm just so glad to have it out there as a conversation starter!
Nancy Moses, you deserve some credit for this too. Thank you.

"Nancy Moses, a friend of Mann's, arrived at the same outlook while pregnant with her first child, who turned out to be a girl. Four years later, Moses gave birth to a son, John, who is now 2 and, as Moses proudly states, not circumcised."

"I think I always knew that I found circumcision odd, creepy and cruel, even," said Moses, 31. "But it wasn't until I was pregnant that I knew how horrible it would be if someone hurt my baby. And imagine if I was the one to allow that."
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#88 of 106 Old 07-10-2007, 11:02 PM
 
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But now that you said the orgasm is pretty much the same, then it makes sense. Because I was thinking that with a 75% the orgasms would be much weaker and not feel as good.
I don't have any way of knowing, and my case wouldn't be a "normal" one, but I would say the my botched circ and re-circ easly cost me 85% of sensation initially and that has probably increased to 95% in the last 3-4 years. The orgasm itself, not bad. But getting there........

I appreciate the efforts of the OP and understand where she is coming from. It's a start to an issue that I, sadly, don't expect to see resolved in my lifetime.

But make no mistake about it, I want it outlawed. If a female's genitals are good enough to be protected by federal law, then so are a male's. There's no consititutional right or inherent freedom to mutilate a child's genitals. I believe in a consenting adult's right to do what they want to their genitals by their own choice, but NOBODY...not my parents, or ignorant doctors, or some religion....had any right to slice up my penis without my permission.
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#89 of 106 Old 07-11-2007, 12:02 AM
 
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There was an article about FGM in our city's newspaper. I wrote a letter to the editor about my feelings on Male Circumcision. It was published and won letter of the week . Two years later, I get a phone call from a producer making a documentary on circumcision. She wanted an interview. Keep the letters going to the editors and it will snowball from there.


_____________________________
Serena wife to Nic. mom to DS1 , DS2: and DD:
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#90 of 106 Old 07-11-2007, 12:37 AM
 
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Cool, Serena, thanks for sharing that. You throw a small pebble out into the pond and the ripples make bigger and bigger rings. . . and, "poof" cutting has ended forever, everywhere.
We're all part of the solution.
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