There’s been a pretty big battle over circumcision in both sex positive and parenting circles lately.
On the one side, people say circumcision is absolutely necessary. It’s a way to keep your penis cleaner and disease-free. Plus, women prefer it anyway.
People on the other side view circumcision as a barbaric practice that should be outlawed. Why would you mutilate a child for no genuine medical or religious reason?
You may think you know what camp you fall into already. But we promise you, when we pull back the curtain (or, uh, foreskin), you’ll be surprised.
Circumcision is the surgical removal of the foreskin of a penis. The foreskin is the tissue covering the penis’s head. It’s generally performed on babies that are one or two days old, but Jewish people wait until the eighth day for religious reasons.
During the circumcision of an infant in a hospital, the baby is taken to a room where they’re softly restrained so they don’t startle. Then, they’re given a pacifier for comfort, sometimes with sugar water.
Now this is gonna get a little graphic, but you asked. Anaesthetic is injected into the child’s penis or applied topically. This reduces or eliminates pain during the procedure. Then, the doctor will put a plastic ring or clamp around the baby’s penis and clip the excess foreskin. This process generally only takes five to ten minutes.
Circumcision is a super common procedure, and it’s very safe. Only about 0.2% of babies have any sort of major complication. Babies also don’t seem to have any sort of PTSD from the whole affair. You’d have to look pretty hard to find a person who says they remember their own circumcision.
Circumcision is usually performed on children, but some people get the procedure as an adult.
Often, this is for elective reasons. Men who are uncircumcised face some stigma, and they might get made fun of for being different, especially in countries where circumcision is the norm. Changing your body because of what other people say is a little wild, but you do you.
Some people need to have adult circumcisions because of a medical problem. If someone develops large or multiple genital warts on the foreskin, it may need to be removed. Lichen sclerosus is a skin condition that causes scarring on the foreskin. This makes the foreskin become tight, which can result in infections, so circumcision is often the best option. You might also need to be circumcised as an adult if you have phimosis, which occurs when urine gets trapped underneath the foreskin. This leads to an infection and, again, snip snip.
Pain from adult circumcision has been shown to be mild to moderate, and severe pain is very rare. Generally, recovery takes about two to three weeks, and patients might want to request a week off of work to stay sitting and ice their junk.
It’s important to note that adult circumcision hurts worse than circumcision in infants. Babies just heal more quickly. It’s their superpower.
So how many people get this procedure, anyway?
Well, it really depends on what part of the world you’re in.
About 37-39% of men are circumcised worldwide. This may surprise you if you live in an area with a high circumcision rate like the U.S., which boasts a whopping 71.2%. The Middle East also has one of the highest rates of circumcision, because the vast majority of Muslims and Jewish people are circumcised. Plus, both Iran and Morocco have circumcision rates of over 99%.
Countries like Canada, Australia, the UK, and New Zealand have culturally moved away from the practice. Less than one fifth of European men are circumcised. In fact, a German court actually banned the circumcision of young boys, saying it violates “the fundamental right of the child to bodily integrity.” (This is a problem for religious people, but it definitely made a statement about the country’s stance.)
Basically, it’s weird that Americans are alone in their secular need to alter people’s junk.
We won’t get too much into the history of circumcision, but it’s important to understand why the practice is so common in the U.S. Because it’s pretty weird.
Circumcision was regularly used as a way to stop boys from masturbating, all the way back to Victorian times. It was common all sorts of places from 1870 through 1920, because it was thought to cause a whole host of diseases.
This practice was perpetuated in America by John Harvey Kellogg. Yes, of Corn Flakes and Pop-Tarts fame.
He was super freaked out about masturbation, and called it the “vile practice.” (Methinks the lady protests too much, but okay.) He thought jerking it caused poor digestion, memory loss, impaired vision, heart disease, epilepsy, insanity, and plenty more issues. Also hairy palms, maybe?
So boys who had masturbation habits were brought to Kellogg to be circumcised. Not as infants, but as kids. He actually recommended the procedure be done without anaesthetic, because “the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind.” AKA, he thought the PTSD would stop the boys from jerking it.
While this isn’t exhaustive, it’s interesting to learn what lengths people would go to to keep their kids from masturbating. Think about that while you eat your Rice Krispies.
Let’s get into the nitty gritty about uncircumcised penises.
One wide stereotype is that they’re not clean. People say that they smell and just get generally ickier than circumcised penises.
Smegma is the substance that can make an uncircumcised penis smell or taste unpleasant. It’s just made up of oil and dead skin cells, so it’s not some sort of pus or discharge. People with vaginas can also develop in the folds of the labia.
If left alone for too long, smegma will accumulate, creating an odor. In the case of an uncircumcised penis, it can also build up under the foreskin and harden. If you leave it alone for even longer, it can actually make it so the foreskin can’t pull back.
However, a smelly dick is not the norm if you’re uncircumcised. All you have to do is actually wash your junk.
Here’s how to clean an uncircumcised dick:
If you keep your foreskin clean, you’ll feel cleaner, and your partner will appreciate it. Plus, you’ll be giving people with foreskins a good reputation.
Many people think it’s important to circumcise their children because it lowers the risk of STIs and other infections. This one’s actually mostly true.
Uncircumcised people are more likely to contract HIV from a female partner by rates of about 50%. They are also more likely to get herpes of syphilis. This is true for a few reasons. First, the foreskin can tear during sex, giving these STIs an entryway. Second, these infections can survive in the space between the penis and the foreskin. Third, the foreskin is made of different materials than most of the skin in the body, and it has more of the type of cells that HIV infects.
There hasn’t been enough research to show whether uncircumcised men who have sex with men are more likely to get HIV. It seems like someone should get on researching that, though.
An increased risk for STIs, including HIV, is a big deal. However, that doesn’t mean you should go sign up for your adult circumcision ASAP. This risk can also be mitigated by getting tested and having safe sex every time. If you have an HIV+ partner, you can also take PreP to greatly reduce your risk of contracting it.
There’s been some research that circumcision helps prevent urinary tract infections. One small study suggested that the risk of a UTI in young boys was reduced by 88% if he was circumcised. However, these studies have only been done on infants, so the risk may or may not carry into adulthood. Plus, UTIs are very rare in children, with only 2% of boys getting one before age 5. And UTIs are easily treated with antibiotics. So this isn’t as big of a deal as circumcision advocates make it out to be.
Some people think you’re less likely to get cancer if you’re circumcised. This likely isn’t true.
There have been studies that showed a decreased risk of penile cancer, but they’re not conclusive. Also, this type of cancer is uber rare. Only about 1 in 100,000 men are diagnosed each year, and it only accounts for 1% of cancer in the United States. This probably isn’t something you have to worry about, whether you’re cut or uncut.
Many circumcision advocates say that uncircumcised penises are more sensitive. This might be true, but it’s hard to measure. How do you know your dick is more sensitive since it hasn’t been circumcised if it’s never been circumcised? See the problem?
It’s possible that the foreskin is the most sensitive part of an uncircumcised penis, like this study shows. But these researchers didn’t find any difference in general pleasure from the participant, and they said minimal changes in sensation occur due to circumcision.
A circumcised penis has 4,000 nerve endings, and a clitoris has 8,000. An uncircumcised penis has between 10,000 and 20,000! Maybe it’s hard to study, but it would make complete sense that an uncircumcised person feels more than a circumcised one.
This study looked at how both circumcised and uncircumcised dicks responded to pain, touch, and heat in four different areas. They didn’t find any difference between the sensitivity of the two different types of penises.
It seems like the head of the penis might be more sensitive in some men, and you might have to play with it differently. Generally, it’s kind of like the clit; you don’t just want to start pounding it out of the blue. It requires a sensitive hand.
It’s also possible that circumcision can make you more prone to more issues with orgasming. Men also reported that they didn’t feel like their sexual needs were being met. However, that study got a lot of shit and might not be relevant.
Basically, all of our evidence for whether circumcised cocks or uncircumcised ones feel better is anecdotal. Honestly, both of them definitely feel pretty damn good.
So actually, it’s possible to restore your foreskin, at least kinda. People have been doing it since ancient Greece. So why is no one talking about it?
People get this part of their anatomy restored often because they want to take control of and reclaim their body. Since they didn’t have the choice to have their foreskin removed in the first place, they want to make the choice to get it back. There might also be a chance of increased sensation, more natural lubrication, and less chafing during sex.
Foreskin restoration can be done with or without surgery. Generally, it’s safer and cheaper to use a nonsurgical technique. To make this happen, you complete manual tissue expansion to restore the foreskin. AKA, you stretch the skin around the penis to give it more length gradually over time. Eventually, it will be able to cover the head of your penis.
One popular nonsurgical method uses a Foreballs device. It hangs from the penis during the day to stretch the skin. There are also tons of other devices you can use to achieve the same result.
Unfortunately, using nonsurgical techniques just expands the skin. It doesn’t restore any of the cool parts of the foreskin, like the penile nerves or the frenulum.
You can also take the surgical route. In this procedure, a plastic surgeon will transplant skin from another part of your body to construct your foreskin. (They often choose skin from your balls.) The advantage of surgical restoration is that it does restore the frenulum.
However, the skin might not look right, and there’s a chance for complications. Plus, it’ll be expensive.
Make sure you do a lot of research before you undertake either of these methods.
Many men are self-conscious about their uncircumcised cocks. They get teased in locker rooms for them in parts of the world where circumcision is mainstream. Plus, there are lots of stories that women think uncircumcised dicks are dirty.
So here’s the bad news. There are a lot of studies that suggest that most women have a preference for a circumcised penis. There’s a huge Thought Catalog article where women state their preference for cut vs. uncut, and it’s fairly...disheartening.
Here are some rather blunt opinions:
“Women do not like to pull down a man’s pants to see a disgusting uncircumcised penis.”
“Uncircumcised carries bacteria and it’s kinda gross-looking…circumcision is a must here in America.”
“Every female prefers a circumcised male. First of all, it looks better & no odor, plus the scar around is not that noticeable/bad looking. What is noticeable are uncircumcised penises. Why would I want a guy that has an odor down there all the time, unless they go wash up pretty good every-time before any sexual contact. I mean do guys like ugly vaginas that have an odor? I don’t think so. So why would we?”
Now of course, people are allowed to have preferences. No one should be forced to have sex with someone they find unattractive, even if it’s because of their junk. However, it seems like some of these girls are buying into some myths about circumcision, and being a little body shame-y to boot.
Women would feel better about uncircumcised penises in the U.S. and other countries with high circumcision rates if they just encountered them more. The stereotypes are real. Maybe as circumcision rates drop, the stigma will pipe the fuck down.
And guys? Don’t be the person with the nasty-smelling dick that puts women off uncut penises forever. Just some soap and water will make a world of difference.
Have you never been with an uncircumcised guy before? Don’t worry. It’s a little different, but you’ll do just fine.
First, if you’re eyeing someone with an uncircumcised cock or just want a little more experience, look for porn that features pornstars who are uncut. Do some research and look at pictures. This aesthetic might take a little getting used to, but it’s worth it for whatever sexy guy you’re hooking up with, right?
Giving a handjob to an uncircumcised guy will be a completely different experience. When you give an HJ to a circumcised guy, you need some type of lube, whether it be actual lubricant, lotion, or spit. With an uncircumcised dude, you won’t necessarily need to take this step. This is because the foreskin lubricates the experience and keeps your hand from creating too much friction.
The great part of jerking off an uncut dick is that you can do it anywhere. You don’t have to worry about whether you brought lube with you. This allows you to be more spontaneous.
For most circumcised men, the undersides of their penises are more sensitive. This is because it’s not rubbing on fabric all day. In the same way, the head of an uncircumcised penis is super sensitive. While you might jerk all the way past the head on a cut dick, give it a minute before you try this with an uncut guy. It might actually hurt to go full force all at once.
Giving a blowjob to someone who’s uncircumcised can be intimidating. Where are you supposed to put all the foreskin?
Don’t try to suck an uncut dick like a cut dick. It just won’t work. The head is too sensitive, and it will be too intense. Don’t incorporate teeth, either; he’s just too sensitive for that.
Pull the foreskin back a little, but not so much that the entire head is exposed. You just want to give him a taste. While you suck, you can grip the skin and work it hard. Some guys have a hood of extra skin, and he’ll absolutely love if you play with it.
You can pull the head over the dick over and over. Another unique way to play with an uncut dick is to put your tongue inside the foreskin and roll it around. This will drive him crazy. Lastly, you can move the foreskin in the opposite direction you’re sucking. When your mouth goes up, your hand goes down on the foreskin.
If that all sounds a little complicated, remember, you can always ask what he likes. It’s possible to do this in a sexy way without taking away from the moment. (“What do you want me to do to you?” “How do you want me to suck you off, baby?”)
P in V sex won’t feel that much different with an uncut guy. However, there are some distinct advantages that you’re going to love.
Many women say that penetration is easier and more enjoyable with an uncircumcised person. This is because the foreskin basically acts as lube and glides along with his strokes. It reduces friction, so fucking is smoother.
When you have sex with a circumcised guy, his shaft withdraws on each thrust. This gets rid of his partner’s natural lubricant and makes the whole situation drier. While you’re having sex with someone with an uncut dick, their foreskin traps your vaginal moisture, further lubricating the experience.
One great perk is that the foreskin can stimulate your clit. This is especially possible when you’re on top. When it bunches up at the bottom of the dick, it’s in a great position to grind up on. This will provide double stimulation for you and hopefully double the orgasm.
You are going to notice a difference in how you put a condom on. When you put it on, you’ll need to make sure that the foreskin is pulled back. You can probably leave this job to him unless he asks you to pull it back for him.
So now you know all about circumcised and uncircumcised penises!
While they’re a little different, we can all agree: any cock is a good cock, right?