Tuesday, July 17, 2012

Realization of Circumcision

By James Stewart


I was 16 when I first learned about circumcision.

I was in a child development class and as soon as I had a semi-clear understanding of what circumcision was, I immediately became disgusted at the fact that there were people who would do such things to children. Of course, it only took a couple seconds for it to hit me -- the realization that this was done to me. I didn’t want to believe it. I couldn’t imagine that my parents would ever do something so obviously cruel to me, and right after I entered this world, but there was no denying it.

After that painfully obvious realization my disgust was dwarfed by the most intense anger I have ever felt. I felt violated. As though I had just learned that I was sexually assaulted as a baby. Which literally is what it is, as far as I’m concerned. I’ve never seen circumcision as anything different. I still don’t understand how anyone can.

As I felt all these feelings, I looked around the classroom. Too my horror no one else seemed to be bothered by this new information and the teacher was casually explaining the topic as though it were any other lesson. It was like something I would see in The Twilight Zone. I have never been so disappointed in people. How could everyone be so blind, I thought? This is how felt before I learned about the functions of the foreskin...

For two years I thought I might actually be the only one in the world who felt this way. When I was 18 years old I decide to Google 'circumcision.' I knew there had to be others who felt this way. The first thing I saw was a video on YouTube of a girl expressing her feelings on the subject. It was relieving. 

And then I saw many other videos like it. Each one I watched made me feel better. After two long years I was finally able to get it off my mind and I was able to find my faith in human kind again. It took me years more before I could even talk about it with a friend. And longer still before I could confront my parents. No one should ever have to go through what men like myself have. And I will continue to fight until this cruel tradition meets its end.

Resources on circumcision and intact topics at: Are You Fully Informed?
Get involved, and save a son at: Saving Our Sons

Emily Voras on the U.S. Capitol wall during Men's Health Week 2012.
Photo © DrMomma.org

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20 comments:

  1. Thank you for speaking up James! I know it can't be easy to share such personal thoughts. You are raising awareness with your bravery, and it's inspiring!

    http://www.facebook.com/IntactMO

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  2. Thank you for sharing this, James. I felt very similar when I learned what had been done to me. I was emotionally paralyzed on the topic for years as it hurt too much to think about, much less talk about. My desire to protect future generations of men from the pain I have experienced grew and I eventually reached the point where I could vocalize my feelings. It still hurts and continues to be an emotional rollercoaster but at least I know that I wasn't one who remained silent in the face of such a grave injustice.

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  3. The Glans-Ridged Band Dyad
    There are two levels of sexual receptors in the penis. The ridged band is a ring of innervated tissue just inside the tip of the foreskin, while the corona is the rounded base of the glans. On the top of the penis, there are more receptors in the corona while on the underside of the penis there are more receptors in the ridged band. This unequal distribution of nerve endings works in tandem to heighten sensation awareness. When the ridged band in the foreskin is completely removed (circumcision) this connection is disrupted and the increased sexual sensations are lost. Like going from stereo to mono.

    Cold/Taylor-the presence of smegma preputii is a rare finding; in a prospective examination of 4521 uncircumcised boys, only 0.5% had smegma.

    Dr. John Taylor penile and heart researcher - Sexual Function of the Dartos Muscle (loosely):
    Upon erection the Dartos muscle tenses creating a one-piece solid skin tube, where any action on the penile shaft is transferred to act on the erogenous Taylor's Ridged Band and through its loop to the Frenulum, this action it transferred to act on the erogenous Frenulum, together the male's sexual nexus. No action on the shaft is wasted on these sexual structures.
    Circumcision always removes all of the erogenous Taylor's Ridged Band and part to all of it's connecting Frenulum. Having this hangman's noose of the male's sexual receptors missing no longer keeps the whole of the penile Dartos muscle tense. With tension gone, all action on the erect penile shaft is wasted to act on the Ridged Band and Frenulum. Action must be applied directly to the Frenulum remnant, if any remains.

    Circumcision cuts off 65%-85% of the male's sexual receptors (85% when the frenulum is cut or scraped off infant). This leaves 15% sexual receptors located in the glans corona where it's overpowered by the more populous pain/thermal receptors, ratio 5% to 95%. It is this case that men report "If I felt anymore sensitivity, I think I would die of a heart attack!" (Larry David) Circumcision changes the way, means, and type of sensations felt. Circumcision sexually handicaps.

    While banning abortion takes away a women’s choice, banning infant circumcision gives a man his; if he should so choose to have a circumcision done when he reaches the age of consent and sexual maturity, he can get one, unlike the millions of men who think with regret on the loss of sensitization in their penis due to lack of foreskin as an adult but find there is little they can do about it because others made the choice for them. Pro-choice legislation regarding abortion is not framed around the rights of parents to decide for their daughters whether or not they will have an abortion based on their personal beliefs, and neither should legislation regarding male circumcision.

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  4. Thank you for sharing! Hopefully your experience will help parents think twice about making an unnecessary, irreversible decision to modify their son's body.

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  5. You WERE sexually assaulted as a baby. You have every right to feel agnry and to moarn the part of your body that was taken from you. So so sorry and many HUGS. Thank you so much for sharing your story and your feelings with us.

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  6. This is exactly how I felt, James, when I found out what circumcision is. My son was about to enter the world, and luckily I read one sentence in a parenting guide that started me researching. That saved my son. The only thing worse than knowing the truth is having people scoff at it when you try to tell them. It IS like the Twilight Zone! People choose to remain willfully ignorant because they don't WANT to know that something bad happened to their penis or partner's penis. Then they do it to their kids, somehow justifying in their own mind that everything's OK. But it's not. Thanks for speaking out, man.

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  7. Thank you for sharing your experience. It's so important that men speak out on this issue.

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  8. Thank you for raising your voice against this horrific practice. WE SUPPORT YOU!!!

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  9. James, Thanks for having the courage to speak out. More more men's stories we hear the sooner we'll stop this craziness.

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  10. Thank you for having the courage to voice your opinion. By doing this, you will help others and you will be able to heal yourself as well. You were victimized by your culture at the hands of your parents. One day, when you are comfortable, confront them. Tell them how you feel, and with time they might seek forgiveness and heal with you.

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  11. My husband has not fully dealt with it all.. He gets upset when I discuss things for more then a minute... He encourages me to talk to others he just can not hear about it for too long before it eats at him. He so wants our boys to have the things/choices he never had including a whole lot of family time and love....

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  12. snake oil savages among us... circumcision has cured every disease known to man...

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  13. As the parent of a daughter, I had never really thought about the information that you offered in your comments. Thank you for opening my eyes to a new passionate way of thinking.

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  14. James, thank you sp much for speaking the truth and standing up for innocent baby boys that have a right to keep a functioning part of their body. What a very strange society we live in to accept such barbaric practices as the "norm." I have faith circumcision will end soon everywhere. Keep speaking up, I promise I will!

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  15. As a European, I had never seen a circumcised penis until I as a mature adult came across a photograph of one. I was horrified! I had heard about Jews and Muslims and Americans circumcising their boys and had disliked the thought because I thought it wrong to interfere with a sensitive child's sexual organs.

    But the thing is that I had visualised them doing what they SAID they did: take 'only a tiny little snip of skin'. I had no idea that they actually BARED all of the glans! And left it to dry out and keratinise!!! It was a deep shock to me what the extent of this mutilation actually is - this said apart from all the sexual and medical and psychological consequences --- just the sight of it showed me how far out this is!

    I have since learned that Americans are conditioned to say 'eww' at the sight of an intact penis, but let me tell you to one who has grown up with the natural look, the mutilated version is a shock. There is no doubt that this is a sexual molestation and a partial penis amputation.

    I am unendingly happy that the tides are turning in the US and people are starting to realise that they have been victims of a collective, and sinister, delusion.

    My best wishes for James, may you find ways to be fully joyful in spite of the loss. And thank you for your courage which will help many people.

    Gray.

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  16. A Confession from the Wife of an Intact Man

    Even now, 10+ years later of being with the man I love, I am still not used to how his intact penis looks. Before my foreign born husband, I had only been with American men that were, sadly, circumcised as infants. Thus, while I accept my husband's body and I am grateful he was left whole, I am still stare at him when is naked. It is involuntary. I know it is rude. Just like when you see somene at the grocery store or on the side walk that is different, you aren't suppose to look but you do. It is human nature to be curious.

    My husband doesn't know I still view him as odd. In his eyes, he is just like the 80 to 90% of all the men in the world, normal and intact. Until him, I didn't even know what foreskin was! And, let me tell you ladies, sex with him is so much better than with any circumcised man. It is pleasant, joyful, gentle, naturally lubricated, fun for both parties. I have never experienced vaginal dryness nor needed KY jelly.

    So, I can understand why so many women say, "An intact penis looks gross!" Well, if you have never seen one, it does look odd. However, I could never look at my perfect newborn son that I had just spent 9 months preparing for birth and say, "You look gross and disgusting and odd!" What kind of mother would I be? I will never tell my husband that, to me, he looks odd because of my American ignorance and lack of factual education on a normal and natural body part. It is me that is odd not my husband.

    A refrain that is all too common from women in talking about having had sex with a man with foreskin is that it was dirty, unclean, and unhygenic. Well, ladies, I am just curious, was he having sex in the heat of the moment? Did he clean himself before you two got hot and heavy? Was he a young man who has not yet learned to wash before sex? Well, all those questions apply to young males who were circumcised. In my experience, there were some nasty, stinky, dirty circumcised penises. The men were young, we had been out drinking, and they didn't wash themselves. Come to think of it, my girl junk gets pretty funky too. Thankfully, my parents left me intact, my labia (the lips) whole, my foreskin (covering the clitoris) uncut. If i don't do some housecleaning in the land down under, well, any man that goes to eat me out and provide me with oral sex is going to say, "Oh Gross, so dirty and nasty, it stinks."

    There was a time with my husband where "cleaniness" was an issue. There were times with my circumcised male boyfriends of the past that "cleaniness" was also an issue. It is simply a human thing. With some patience and lots of effort, I finally got my DH to understand this, "Dude! You have to wash that things!" before each time we have sex. That same conversation took place with my circumcised partners. Quite frankly, cut or intact, it would be good for the male to wash and clean himself before sexual penetration takes place. It isn't that the foreskin is dirty as so many American women seem to think. It is that you are not used to the natural body and will use any excuse to look away and avoid it and remain complacent in your ignorance. Women, you need to remember, that men are blessed with weak noses whereas we are blessed with the noses of bloodhounds.

    There, I made my confession. An intact penis can stink just as much as an unwashed cut penis can stink. An intact penis looks just as odd to me as a cut penis looks to a foreign woman where male genital mutilation is uncommon or even illegal.

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  17. Thanks for speaking out! So many people don't even question why circumcision is done, they just do it. I am a member of a popular parenting board for women and it's staggering how many have no knowledge at all about intact male genitals and consider circumcision no different than piercing an ear. My cousin, who is a nurse, was horrified that we decided to leave ds intact. She kept telling me he would have constant infections and that I have to be sure to pull back and clean under his foreskin every diaper change. My uncle told me no girl would want to sleep with him and my grandmother told me my son would hate me for leaving him intact. She even called while we were in the hospital after he was born to convince me to 'do the right thing' and have him circumsized. I am very glad we ended the cycle of male genital mutilation. I am shocked that baby boys are not protected from genital cutting but girls are. Boys deserve protection too! My dh is very glad that his son is whole, even though he himself is circumsized.

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  18. James you and I share a name and the feeling about being circumcised. I completely understand where you are coming from more than you think. I was circed against my will at 15 and am restoring. If you are not already you may want to look into it. I did a webcast with a friend on www.talknorthwest.com and I run http://www.oregonintactivist.com we need more men like us to speak up in order for things to change.

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  19. I am reaading this blog because I heard that circumcision might become mandatory as a result of a CDC recommendation. For most of my life, I have neglected by body because I felt that my circumcision made me ugly anyway. So, I got as fat as a blimp! Then I found out that it is possible to restore at least the look of an un-circumcised penis. That gave me hope and a goal to lose about 140lbs. However, losing weight is very hard to do. I wished that I had known about restoration before now. I would have been more careful not to get so heavy.

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  20. Thank you, James Stewart, for the blunt truth from your heart. "It was like something I would see in The Twilight Zone. I have never been so disappointed in people." We will end this nightmare as soon as humanly possible. ~Brother K

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