This is not a story I particularly want to tell nor one you may wish to read. But tell it I must.
Most of the anti-circumcision advocates I’ve met are women. I think a man’s perspective is in order. After all, we are the ones forced to deal most directly with the effects of circumcision. Most men are reticent to discuss this. As much as guys enjoy bragging about their sexual prowess, a frank discussion about the condition of their genitals is not a conversation they’re usually comfortable having with others. I’m not particularly comfortable discussing this, either, but I think it’s important. So, I’ll set aside my discomfort and carry on.
I was circumcised as a baby. I don’t know what method(s) were used. I don’t know why my parents decided to do it. We’ve never discussed it and I don’t intend to ever bring it up. I’m not angry at them. I don’t particularly hold any animosity toward them. I do wish they hadn’t done it, but I suppose they were just following the custom of the time. For all I know, they thought they were doing me a favor.
For most of my life, I never thought twice about this. Only in the past few years, after much research, have I even begun to realize what was done to me.
Part of my body was amputated. I had no say in this. My penis was mutilated. I’m sorry if that makes anyone uncomfortable, but it’s my body and that’s how I feel. I was born with a fully-functioning penis and my parents chose to have part of it chopped off.
I must have been in a lot of distress during the circumcision. I probably screamed and cried. I may have went into shock. It is incredibly painful and frightening for a child. Research shows that circumcision negatively impacts a developing baby’s brain. And how could it not? To be taken from one’s mother, forcibly strapped down, and sliced at with a scalpel would be horrifying for anyone, especially a newborn. What a terrifying introduction to the world.
To make things worse, after considerable reading, I now know that my foreskin would have been a useful part of my anatomy. It serves to provide ample pleasure for the male during sexual activity. More pleasure? Yes. More pleasure. I have been denied this. I don’t even know what I’m missing. How much better would sex be if I had my entire body at my disposal?
And it is not only I who suffer. My wife misses out on a great deal, as well. A man’s foreskin not only enhances his pleasure, but that of his female partner. Honestly, this knowledge troubles me the most. I do sometimes feel less than adequate. My body does not provide her the pleasure she deserves. Do I worry that she’ll seek out another who can provide her that extra stimulation? No, not at all. So much more goes into sexual intercourse (and relationships in general) than just an intact penis. Yet, I worry she wonders what she’s missing out on. This bothers me. I worry that I’m not “man” enough for her.
I hate that this was done to me. I wish my parents had done some research prior to consenting to the surgery. I wish they had chosen not to take something from me that could never be returned. I wonder if they ever considered that someday I would be a grown man and that I might not share their values and beliefs. I wonder why they chose to have a purely cosmetic surgery performed on me as a newborn. I wonder if they even asked any questions of the doctor. It troubles me that what I might have preferred, as an adult, was probably never considered.
I live with their decision everyday. I share this not to elicit sympathy, but to simply ask that you look at your new baby boy – not as a baby – but as the man he will become. Why take that choice away from him? Why deny him that which cannot be recovered? It is his body, after all. Shouldn’t he decide for himself?
Well, that was uncomfortable to write. Hopefully, my discomfort may mean that other little boys may not endure the same barbaric procedure. Thanks for reading.
More info at the following links:
Detailing the functions of the foreskin. Graphic images. Definitely NSFW.
Dispelling the purported medical benefits of circumcision.
More info from Saving Our Sons.