Circumcision

I was circumcised at birth and I'm at odds with it. In the U.S. during that era it was simply a matter of course. To some degree it still is, but parents in the U.S. are becoming more aware of the fact that it is unnatural and unnecessary. Some are even referring to the procedure as genital mutilation. But many Americans still believe circumcised penises look better. I think that's because they are conditioned to believe that penises are supposed to be that way. Circumcision is so common here, many women are actually put off by foreskins, which must seem absurd to most European women. In the end, I think circumcision at birth is wrong, not to mention being an unnecessary trauma for a new born. The question is, are we violating the rights of infant boys by altering their bodies without their consent?

What is cut off is typically one half of the penile skin, which consists of thousands of highly sensitive nerve endings. As a result, the glans are no longer protected and become dry and desensitized from being exposed all the time. If too much skin is cut off, what's left is tight and may be very uncomfortable during an erection. To some degree, this makes sex and masturbation less pleasurable for the man, and some believe for the woman also. I believe there is no good reason to cut off an infants foreskin, unless an individual male has a compelling medical condition or physical impairment. Men should have that choice when they are old enough to make a rational decision.

Some believe circumcision helps to prevent the spread of diseases such as HIV. With the exception of certain places in Africa, where HIV is so prevalent, and which also may have more to do with hygiene than circumcision, medical studies have proven this notion wrong. Religion is no valid reason, either. This has to do with ancient, antiquated beliefs that have no place in a modern society. (When the procedure is done for religious reasons, at least the boy is older than an innocent infant and they usually don't cut off more than the very end of the foreskin). Actually there are a number of Jewish organizations that are trying to get circumcision taken off the program. And hygiene is no valid reason. This notion assumes men aren't savvy enough to keep themselves clean. Luckily we don't apply the same rationale to women, whose genitals also have folds of skin with inner areas that stay damp and would be inclined to develop odors if the area isn't kept clean. Except for some third world countries in Africa and the Middle East where they are still living in the middle ages, no one is cutting off any female parts. Fact is both men and women are conscientious enough to practice good hygiene.

Thankfully there are procedures available to restore your foreskin. I'm using one of them myself. It involves a small device that connects what little foreskin you have left to a rubber band that provides a gentle but constant tug. I've been at it six months and the results are incredible. With my penis in a normal flaccid state, about one half of my glans are covered. I'm going for full coverage. Still, there won't be enough foreskin to cover the glans during an erection, but that's neither here or there for an old guy like me. Though it is impossible to get those lost nerve endings back, at least my glans will be protected and will become more sensitive, and I will look more like the way Mother Nature intended me to. It's a long process, but thousands of determined guys are doing it. It simply becomes a daily routine much like putting your shoes on before going to work. Plus my wife has had a good sense of humor about my little project, commenting from time to time about the progress I've made.

You might ask what does circumcision and foreskins have to do with naturism. Simple. Everyone knows a man's penis is a focal point on his body. Unless he has a big scar across his chest, one of the first of his features you are going to glance at is his penis (just try to deny that). Many men, myself including, want to look like nature intended. Nevertheless, I guess this is all academic in the clothed world. But in our world nothing is left to the imagination. A man's penis is part of his physical persona, something that is quite important to him. I'll gladly suffer the year with my little device to get my foreskin back.

This blog is not meant to disparage guys that prefer to be circumcised, or women that prefer men that way. To them that's the way it is, and it seems normal. Plus a circumcised guy doesn't remember the agony he suffered shortly after birth, so to him the whole issue is incidental. But it's like the general consensus on nudity: grow up in a nudist family and you will never see anything shameful about the nudist body; grow up and live in a world where almost all the boys are circumcised, and odds are you'll think foreskins are unnecessary or unsightly. I suppose it's a matter of 'to each his own.'

So how do you see it? Do men look better circumcised? Should their foreskins be cut off at birth? Or do you think men should be able to make the decision for themselves?

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115 thoughts on “Circumcision”

  1. I think circumcision should be a personal choice, not something that parents should impose to their recently born boys. Circumcision is so normal in the US, that it even its representative in pop culture to be circumcised (like how dildos are made and even cartoonish drawing or adult cartoons). People have to realize that the majority of men's population has a foreskin.

    I'm not in favor of circumcision because if we were born with it, it has a function.Its just how we are naturally born and why mess with nature? The only way I could approve of circumcision is for medical reasons. I'm not against circumcised men either. In naturism, variety is the spice of life, in terms of how we look physically and mentally. So I don't discriminate circumcised men, and I can appreciate them, but I personally prefer foreskin.

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  2. I was cut at birth, had no say in the matter. So I have no idea what it's like to have foreskin. I really hate that! I've thought about foreskin restoration, but at my age I wonder if it's worth it. I might have to give it a try just to satisfy my curiosity. Thanks for the post!

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  3. It's so old I forgot I already commented. Peter commented early on about how difficult it is for a cut man to orgasm.
    When I was younger I wondered why some practices were so popular. Cut men do not experience the pleasure provided by a sensitive glans and the foreskin itself.
    Ernest Lim may want to re-think his opinion of cut men being <none the worse>. I also linked to a medical opinion.
    http://pediatrics.aappublications.org/content/103/3/686.full

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  4. An excellent blog Martin, I fully agree with you that circumcision at birth is wrong, as long as a boy cannot make a rational decision about it, knowing the consequences of circumcision, he should be left untouched unless there is a medical reason for it. Unfortunately my parents have it done to me when I was about 4 or 5 years. Later I found out that there was not really a medical need for it at all. So I still regard this as a mutilation of my body. It is not only the loss of sensitivity and the esthetical aspect, but also the trauma that it caused when I was young. At the showers after the gym on school I found out that I was the only one who had this done and therefore the center of attention. I started being a nudist at a very young age and it annoyed me that I always had to explain it to my friends the first time that they saw me naked. So it made me reluctant to get naked the first time in front of my friends.
    By the pictures and the information on the web I found that the surgeons had not done a very neat job. Anyway nowadays as a being a nudist, I do not care anymore. Most of the adults in Europe know all about it and regarding this as a normal thing. As for people who are doing this to their babies and young boys for religion reasons I want to say shame on you ! I regard this as an unneeded genital mutilation and for me it is child abuse.

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    • Im with you on this Martin and Paul. Apart from some medical condition (such as phymosis, which was once "cured" with circumcision) letting parents do this to their children is unacceptable. Would I have been cut, as an adult Id probably be there trying to prosecute the "doctor" who did it.
      But Im not sure to fully understand the aestethics factor. I mean, penises come in so many different shapes and sizes, both changing depending on their state, that I dont get how it can be an issue as adults (as kids everything is different and I suffered for this myself).
      Ooops! I see only now the thread is pretty old 🙂 Anyway it has been worth reading it.

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      • Hi Paolo, It’s good to hear that you agree with Martin and me with the esthetic part of it I mean that some people just for the looks of it having it done to their kids. I think that is a crime, fortunately in my case it was not done for that reason, but I had a problem with the foreskin being a bit narrow that always caused a bit of a mess when peeing, so my parents just got it done to me, my father also had this. They believed it was a good solution. But it was not discussed with me as I only was 4 or 5 years old. I had no choice in the matter. But it is true this is affecting a male’s body image and sex life as long as he lives. And don’t forget all the bullying at school in those old days. I truly hated it but there was nothing I could do about it anymore.

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        • I do understand, My brother and I both had that condition – called phimosis – and he got cut for that. I was lucky enough to be younger and made the surgery years later. My mom, who didnt like the idea to have me cut, found a surgeon who applied a new tecnique. I was 10yo and we discussed the thing, Having seen my bro I didnt want my penis to look that way, so I had the other kind of surgery which leaves you with a totally normal foreskin. I had size issues that made me feel different as a youngster, though, so I kind of know what you mean :@

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          • I know phimosis can be a problem, I recently had a friend of mine who had to have her son circumcised due to this condition.

            Women can also get phimosis.

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  5. I am a roundhead because it was 'normal' in the UK in 1944 and have often regretted it. My exposed glans looks 'bald'and unnatural. If I were younger I might have done something about it.
    I agree with those who criticise religious 'modification' but can think of lots of far worse things done in the name of religion.

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  6. I think that all people need to study and understand "TRADITIONS" that are hundreds and thousands of years old. That is where fundamentalist religions go wrong, with no understanding of the heart and mind of the Law-giver. I cannot read the original biblical languages nor do I know if they were copied and translated correctly over the years. All I do know is imperfect people try to follow the law imperfectly. Perhaps it was originally meant to prevent the problem Dean Clayton and my ex-father in law experienced.
    I know that if I do not peel my foreskin back regularly it does tighten over time and is very painful. When I was young and had regular morning erections it wasn't a problem

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  7. Except for religious purposes I see no point in child mutilation. Why cut away the most sensitive tissue on your child to satisfy fashion. All the various studies cannot agree on there being value in doing it so, medically speaking, how do you justify it? My mother told me her doctor was very experienced and forward thinking and saved me from the barbarity. Unfortunately my daughters' husbands wanted their sons to look like them, confirming my opinion of them.
    Even religious circumcision can be done snipping off smaller sections so the blood can flow without total destruction. That
    We used to have a radio show with a doctor who spoke about all this stuff without bias. Alas he retired.

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      • I would like to agree with Richard here but I know this is highly contentious. Practising Jews and Muslims will insist on circumcising their kids. I read recently that some doctors in Germany refused to perform circumcision on infants. I suppose it's like telling my parents not to have me baptised as an infant. But of course a bit of water doesn't cause any harm to the baby and it's quite unlike circumcision which is permanent. But this is a sensitive matter particularly for Jews and Muslims.

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      • I'm sure that Jews and Muslims would disagree (well, this is one of the few thing they might agree on), bur barbarism is barbarism. It's like saying that the ISIS executions are OK because they are done in God's name. Sure, proponents say, really it's not a big deal, just a like piece of skin, but the point is not one has a right to hurt another person. No one, especially strange men in hats.

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        • I agree with both you and Martin. ISIS has shocked the world into understanding how pernicious political correctness can be. We used to smile and say nothing because "it's sensitive; it's other people's religion". But ISIS has shown us that we can't keep on doing that. So what if it's a religion? It used to be that when someone declares something is his religion, everyone stops all objection. It doesn't matter if it's a cruel way to slaughter an animal because his religion demands that that is the way the cow has to be slaughtered. ISIS has shown that if you don't put your foot down, it'll be our heads next.

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  8. I am circ'd and glad of it. I have been catheter-dependent for almost five years, and I wouldn't want to have to deal with a foreskin, and the cleanliness issues surrounding having one. I have enough problems with UTI's without having that as well.

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  9. I agree it should be left up to the individual as an adult unless for medical reason which can't wait till then or leave it if that reason can wait until informed consent can be obtained for example from a teenage. 95% ish of the guys my age that I know are uncut.

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  10. For all; the reasons stated, I am very pleased to not have been circumcised, even though my father was. (I never asked why.) At school, the 'roundheads' as we called them were in a minority of one Jew and one other, the rest of us being uncut or 'cavalier'.
    Good luck with your device but I am puzzled by the comment about 'there won't be enough to cover the glans during an erection' as I think most uncut guys have the glans fully exposed then.
    I agree that view that baby and infant circumcision for religious and cultural reasons should be abolished, in the same way as I do not approve of adults tattooing or painting the nails of babies and infants.

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    • I've not heard of babies' nails being painted but I don't see a problem with that because it's a temporary cosmetic device. But tattooing and circumcision are permanent. As a cultural Christian, I don't really care much about religious rules (both my kids are still not confirmed and I won't have them confirmed unless they fully consent to it and not just to please me or my mother). But I know what a touchy topic this can be to Muslims in my country who view circumcision as an obligatory practice so I usually express no opinion on it. 🙂

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      • it's common, just depends on the amount of foreskin the guy has and what shape he is. Mine exposes totally, my brother's doesn't for example. Mates I've seen erect are a mixture too. I'm sure there will be some research published somewhere!

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        • Haha, how is it that you guys are so observant? I've never noticed anyone else's foreskin and I certainly don't see my brother erect. Haha. And when I think about, I don't think I've seen another person's erect penis. Some people in naturist settings do become erect but I don't look when that happens. Perhaps you are talking about porn actors in porn films. Porn actors aren't real. From my own personal experience, I think the foreskin usually retracts when the penis is fully erect. Sometimes the foreskin may cover a little of the head of the penis but if it's a full erection, the foreskin tends to get pulled back.

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    • As an uncut man, if I get an erection with no manual adjustment of the penile skin, the head of the penis is (may be) covered entirely by the foreskin. Normally of course, the penile skin is retracted during foreplay and the head is exposed. However I have found that under certain circumstances such as when the woman is not fully lubricated or you are having sex in the pool and the natural lubrication is washed away you can pull the skin up over the head entirely and introduce the fully covered covered head up against the viginal opening and the resistance free inch or so as the head move through the skin is enough to reach the lubricated inner part of the vagina.

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  11. Both side have compelling arguments and bevies of studies to back them up. However, the prevention of sexually transmitted diseases for boys before they are sexually active is not really an issue. I'm for informed consent and choice.

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  12. A well written and well argued piece. Almost no one is circumcised where I live, or is it even considered. I wondered why it is so prevalent in USA – do the doctors just want more fees, or is it genuinely believed to promote health, or is it just herd following by the profession? Over the history of medicine and psychiatry many former practices, believed to be beneficial, have been abandoned. Think of blood letting, etc, etc. Maybe widespread circumcision is just another practice that will be seen as ridiculous and unnecessary in future years.

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  13. I'm the one who wishes it had been done at birth, but it's hard to tell in advance whether it will be necessary later in life. My foreskin was too tight, and worsened as I matured. It reached a point where pulling it back to wash was excruciating, and the glans was too sensitive to even touch. So, off I went to the urologist, and off came the offending matter. He cut what he called a "ring", so what remained of the foreskin could be easily retracted. Standing, I look "cut", but seated it tends to "turtle", making me look uncut. It was a very uncomfortable procedure with a long recovery period; the glans needed time to toughen up enough to be comfortable when exposed. I was born at a time when infant circumcision was automatic, but they were too busy trying to keep me alive to worry about sharpening the pencil. Looking at it from another perspective, had it been done at birth I might be wondering if it was really necessary. Well, it was in my case, and who knows how many others done at birth might otherwise have needed to go through it?

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    • I used to be an avid listener of a daily medical program that was broadcast for over 20 years. Dr. Dean Edell was a surgeon who discovered he preferred the study of and teaching of medical information over the practice.
      He was Jewish and an avid opponent of circumcision. He also referred to Kellogg as the initiator of circumcision although he is more famous for his enema clinics.
      Assuming good hygiene there is no medical reason for most men to be cut. There are the few who do need it.
      One thing older men should be aware of is shrinkage of the foreskin if it is not pulled back regularly. An acquaintance in his 70s needed to be cut for that reason. He hadn't stretched it for a "long" time and it ripped when he finally did. He also had stopped washing and that did not help.

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  14. The rate of circumcision in Canada varies across the country going from west to east, from 32% to less than 1%. Where I live in Quebec it is at 12.9%. Over time, 1950's to now, there has been a steep decline overall, but steady or rising numbers in pockets where there are Muslim and Jewish populations. The practice is being delisted (not paid for) by each provinces Medicare, since it is not believed to be medically required, but done for religious or traditional reasons. I am of Russian descent, my parents arrived in Canada as refugees in 1949. I was one of two uncut boys in all the gym classes I had in high school. (The community we lived in was virtually completely Caucasian and English speaking). Things have changed, at the beach, I can see that many of the older guys are cut, while younger men are not. I did not have my two sons cut.

    I am very much opposed to neonatal circumcision for the simple reason that the child can not give consent.I believe that boys can only consent when they reach the age of legal maturity (18) or perhaps a little younger. Same for piercings (other than earrings) and tattoos. For medical reasons, circumcision at any age is fine.

    Although it may sound harsh, it is indeed a form of genital mutilation, it does lessen sensation for men for sex with women or other men because the glans becomes desensitized since it is exposed and in constant contact with clothing or the environment (this may be a good reason to be a nudist). There is no need for lube to masturbate, the foreskin (which if full of nerve endings slides over the glans readily and stimulates it, and the skin is not stretched tightly over the shaft. This is only from my observations and it is only my opinion. I'm sure that others will have a widely differing view, and are entirely correct for themselves.

    We all learn to do the best with what we have, and I am certainly not telling other what to do, or not to do. As nudists we accept ourselves and others as we are.

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  15. I was circumsized when I was a kid, (not a baby, and I cried for days I'm told), for medical reasons apparently. The legacy of that is my ex-wife (who's a nurse) says they made a bad job of it with scarring and awkward spots in places. Even so, we managed to make 2 wonderful daughters, so it still works, which is the main thing.

    These days, I'd mainly like to have a foreskin for sun and wind protection to the penis head while naked hiking. (yes I do use suncream, but in the high alps sometimes a bit of textile is still useful from time to time).

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    • Hi Richard, this is exactly what happened to me, I am sure my parents did it with the best intentions, but the surgeons didn't do a nice job on me as well, I had a lot of issuess with it and was reluctant to use public showers at school because of this. So I hated it, but I also have to nice sons. So at least everything still worked 😉 Just to go short, Parents must respect the physical integrity of their children. Let them decide later if they want to be circumsised when they are grown up or at least have the knowledge about it.

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  16. In my country, almost everyone isn't circumcised unless there are medical reasons requiring circumcision or you're a Muslim. There are very few Jews here. Because of that, circumcision is conceptually linked to the Muslim practice in the minds of most people.

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  17. As a gay man I can say that I do prefer uncut penises (I'm uncut myself too). For me, they not only look better, but they make sex and masturbation easier due to the free up and down movement. Some tightly cut cocks are almost impossible to give a hand job without applying lubricant which can be messy. The theory that uncut penises are dirty and smelly is a myth – I can tell you that many cut penises can be very smelly indeed due to the fact spit is often used for masturbation and if its not washed it quickly become stinky! Cut penises are desensitized to some degree so often require more work to get them off (which can either be annoying or a good thing which ever you prefer). It is true that uncut penises can contract HIV easier than cut cocks due to the thinner skin so its something to be aware of if you are uncut and prefer sex without condoms.

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  18. Over here in Germany it is not usual to circumcise at birth.
    (except of religious reason.
    I totally agree with you that it should be the choice for teenager/man when they are old enough to make a rational decision.

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  19. Good blog! When I grew up (in the UK), hardly any of the boys that I knew were circumcised. In my view, circumcision at birth is unnecessary. If it is done at all, each man should be able to make that choice for himself. As mentioned in the blog, female genital mutilation unfortunately still happens in some cultures and may be more frequent than people think. This is just barbaric and needs to be stopped.

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