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April 19, 2006 8:52 AM   Subscribe

How were you circumcised? A fascinating discussion of circumcision scar styles left by the different methods of circumcision. (NSFW, penis photos, slightly gruesome discussion of circumcision methods.)
posted by agropyron (165 comments total)

 
Presented by Circlist, a "comprehensive source of information on circumcision", with circumcision stories, discussion groups, and more on the instruments of circumcision.
posted by agropyron at 8:52 AM on April 19, 2006


I can't have a normal relationship with society since my circumcision. My scars, both physical and emotional, are so vast they have their own zip code. It's true. I get mail addressed to my glans every day. Mostly credit card offers, which sucks, because my dick has no pockets for a wallet. Anyway, where was I?...
posted by docpops at 8:57 AM on April 19, 2006


Jesus. I should not have read that. Now that I know how it was done I feel slightly ill.
posted by Ryvar at 9:02 AM on April 19, 2006


Reading through the Considering Circumcision section, Circlist appears to have a pro-circumcision bias, despite their disclaimer that they have no official position on the issue. I say this because the "Reasons Parents Choose Not to Circumcise" lists only one reason: The risk of the surgery being done incorrectly. They go on to note, "Additionally, a small but very vocal minority of men (most of whom are childless) have recently begun a wide-spread campaign to halt circumcision, despite its benefits. Parents often receive erroneous or biased information from these sources and therefore choose not to elect routine infant circumcision."
posted by agropyron at 9:06 AM on April 19, 2006


I can't click the link because I'm at work, but this sounds like anti-circumcision propaganda to me.

You anti-Semite.
posted by fugitivefromchaingang at 9:07 AM on April 19, 2006


I wasn't, thankfully. I was fortunate enough not to be raised in a society that legalised male child abuse.
posted by Decani at 9:08 AM on April 19, 2006


Actually, that's not strictly true. It's legal, just not widely performed.
posted by Decani at 9:10 AM on April 19, 2006


Here we go...
posted by NationalKato at 9:10 AM on April 19, 2006


I was fortunate enough not to be raised in a society that legalised male child abuse.

You lucky bastard. Where I grew up beatings were routine and cattle prods were hung over every door.
posted by docpops at 9:11 AM on April 19, 2006


fugitivefromchaingang : "I can't click the link because I'm at work, but this sounds like anti-circumcision propaganda to me."

Ditto on the "at work" problem, but considering the "determine how it was done from the scar type", it sounds like a mix of propaganda and interesting contents.
posted by Bugbread at 9:12 AM on April 19, 2006


The link wasn't meant as propaganda either way. I found the scar type page interesting. The rest of the site appears to have a pro-circumcision slant.
posted by agropyron at 9:13 AM on April 19, 2006


wtf, agropyron? flamebait much?
posted by puke & cry at 9:14 AM on April 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


Finally, it will be important for you to discuss with him your decision to leave him uncircumcised as he nears adolescence and to provide him the opportunity to be circumcised before he reaches puberty. This is particularly important if his peers are circumcised.

I'm all for letting 12 year olds make major medical decisions with lifelong impact for themselves, especially when the deciding factor is their potential for high school popularity.
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:18 AM on April 19, 2006


I don't think it matters if you meant it as propaganda; posting about circumcision is just one of those Ways to Make a Thread That Will Not End Well.

You know, like talking about fat people and how gross they are. Stuff like that.
posted by jenovus at 9:19 AM on April 19, 2006


Thanks, Doll. Keep the tip.
posted by ColdChef at 9:20 AM on April 19, 2006 [1 favorite]


Circumcision is pure nonsense. Pure nonsense. Completely pointless and utterly mystifying.
posted by mokey at 9:21 AM on April 19, 2006


Oh this is such a clear cut case.....eeehhmm sorry ;-)

I mean picture this as if you were dreaming :

You are surrounded by people, all yapping and talking. They smile they seem happy, some of them is WoRRied ! They all look at you as if you were the center of universal attention ? Isn't it fun ?

Suddendly an idiot dressed like he is important or something comes with a big meat and poultry pointy knife and while a smile of his ugly face he cuts the skin off your dick !

Yes, HE CUTS THE SKIN OFF YOUR DICK !
________________________________


I would wake up from this nightmare and kick and beat the shit out the fucking moron harming my precious dick ! FUCK YOU ! DIE !

/* goes batshit postal insane squared

So why the fuck do you do this to a baby ? WHY ? WHY ? WHY ? WHY ? Fuck wait till he is older he will decide for himself , you and your thousand years old baloney religiouscrap !
posted by elpapacito at 9:21 AM on April 19, 2006


I love these threads.
posted by sharpener at 9:24 AM on April 19, 2006


I thought last week was Penis Week.
posted by ninjew at 9:25 AM on April 19, 2006


I was circumcised by a band of angles, singing Handel.
posted by Mean Mr. Bucket at 9:25 AM on April 19, 2006


I wonder if it was child abuse when I had my braces. My parents made the decision for me, it findamentally transformed this perfect body that God made for me, and it hurt like fuck.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:26 AM on April 19, 2006


I was circumcised with pinking shears.
posted by horsewithnoname at 9:28 AM on April 19, 2006


Only the most obtuse angles would mutilate a baby like that!
posted by thirteenkiller at 9:29 AM on April 19, 2006


Mean Mr. Bucket: Were they acute, obtuse or just right?
posted by Captaintripps at 9:30 AM on April 19, 2006


Elaine: Have you ever seen one?
Jerry: You mean that wasn't -
Elaine: Yeah.
Jerry: No.. you?
Elaine: Ya.
Jerry: What'd you think?
Elaine: No...
Jerry: Not good?
Elaine: No, had no face, no personality, very dull.
posted by ninjew at 9:33 AM on April 19, 2006


I don't think the angles on pinking shears are usually obtuse, so we're safe.
posted by Hubajube at 9:33 AM on April 19, 2006


Uhm yeah, NSFW, as in porn gallery.
posted by StarForce5 at 9:34 AM on April 19, 2006


We obviously can't have respectful discussions about penile skin flaps.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 9:34 AM on April 19, 2006


Yes, my pizzle wears a sawtooth crown. All hail, my pizzle!
posted by horsewithnoname at 9:35 AM on April 19, 2006


I didn't mind being circumsized, but I'm furious they removed my baculum. Bow my wiener is all flippy floppy.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:36 AM on April 19, 2006


Now, not bow.

Although you might want to bow before my flippy floppy circumsized cock. It's spectacular.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:37 AM on April 19, 2006


Won't be long now....
posted by Floydd at 9:39 AM on April 19, 2006


What? Mean Mr Bucket was circumcised by the English, singing about knobs?
posted by NinjaTadpole at 9:40 AM on April 19, 2006


halo
posted by poppo at 9:40 AM on April 19, 2006



posted by wakko at 9:41 AM on April 19, 2006


I was wondering where I left that.
posted by Astro Zombie at 9:45 AM on April 19, 2006


I named my baculum Scott.



UH-OH....
posted by stenseng at 9:46 AM on April 19, 2006


Jesus, people it is just a page how how to identify circumcision scars through borderline "art" photos. I'd love to see a post judged on its own merits instead of turning into high school debate 101.

As for circumcision: it is simple body alteration. Everyone on this group has altered their body through diet, exercise, or lack thereof. Some have used medical procedures. Some call their body mods "art."

You don't want to mutilate your baby? Then don't. You don't like what another religion does? Convert and change from within.

Yeah, I'm glad we had girls. Nasty stuff cutting up your boys to remind them who is in charge.
posted by ?! at 9:48 AM on April 19, 2006


Wasn't really expecting the sample penises to be from porn sites and Gaydar profile pics. Hey ho.

Here are two pics of the tattoo I had to simulate a circ scar. It was done over two sessions a week apart. Each session lasted about 20 minutes. My girlfriend is really pleased with the "new" look. I think a nice brown circ scar is very erotic and lets everyone know, without a doubt, you are circumcised.

That must've stung. Not to mention being a rather odd thing to do. Or is customising one's circumcised region a popular American hobby? (For all I know, there's a telly programme called Pimp My Cock.)
posted by jack_mo at 9:51 AM on April 19, 2006


Oh Gawt let me vent my righteous indignation at this absolute imbecility known as "Considering Circumcision" site
Should I have my son circumcised?
Do the rich and famous circumcise their sons?

Chrissake ! The rich and famous ? Who cares about them, if they jumped from the bridge, would you too ? Would you recommend your daughter to act like a spoiled bitch because Paris Hilton is rich, famous, spoiled and bitchy ?
Many parents choose to have their sons circumcised because other men and boys in the family were circumcised or because they don't want their son to feel different.
Oy vey ! Fear of being different ? Now that's a common one, so what ? All humans are similar, yet all humans are different so why should one feel afraid of being different ? He/She already is and it's oh-so-normal
Reasons many parents choose circumcision : big list
Yeah some reasons, but rationalizations were offered for throwing jews into ovens and some of them perhaps made sense, but the perpetrators remain homicial genocidal maniacs.
If you choose not to have your son circumcised, you need to talk to your pediatrician about the proper way to keep your son's penis clean. This is important in order to avoid infection. Additionally, when your son is old enough, you will need to teach him how to keep his penis clean and ensure he continues to clean under his foreskin until he is an adult.
Yeah sure people have issues speaking about sex, they still used bees and cauliflowers even broccoli with 18 year old people ! You expect Rabbi to extoll the virtues of cleaning your penis ? DREAM ON !
As a parent you are required to make a number of important decisions for your children. You may be criticized for having your son circumcised, or leaving him uncircumcised.
You will also be criticized for half a dozen more reasons including the fact you probably smell funny, so what ?
many men feel that they were in some way neglected because their parents failed to have them circumcised atr birth or during childhood, especially when the majority of their peers and/or relatives were circumcised. Recent studies have shown that uncircumcised boys are less satisfied with their status than their circumcised peers.
No wonder ! Their spineless (in my opinion) fathers and mothers didn't teach him that it is not SANE to be afraid of other people judgment.

For instance, if they told him red haired people are evil and wicked , would you recommend your boy to comform and color his hair or cut his bigger head off to please the criticizers ?

But hey ! The penis foreskin ! I would never tell my boy to color his hair black, but suuuuure he must cut part of his penis off because a wicked sky-god sustains it's DA SHIT !
posted by elpapacito at 9:59 AM on April 19, 2006


WTF is there a post about this subject every few weeks on Metafilter?! W H Y?
posted by ParisParamus at 10:01 AM on April 19, 2006


I used a dull thread about creationism to circumcise myself.
posted by OmieWise at 10:02 AM on April 19, 2006


> I was circumcised by a band of angles, singing Handel.

Heh. Non Angli, sed angeli. They actually offered me a choice, and I went with Palestrina. Then the heavenly mohel showed up and just waved in the direction of my Little Willie and poof, the obscuring shroud (which is about as attractive as that placenta thingy Tom Cruse supposedly ate) vanished and there Willy sat, naked and pink and proud just like me. All the girl cherubs went "Ooooo" and "Ahhhh." And I'm not even Jewish. Goodness only knows what He does for the guys He's under contract to.
posted by jfuller at 10:04 AM on April 19, 2006


Paris: maybe because one of our moderators have knack for penis ? *ducks* Not that there is anything wrong with liking penises.
posted by elpapacito at 10:04 AM on April 19, 2006


Synonym for foreskin: debris.
posted by ParisParamus at 10:07 AM on April 19, 2006


So this guy goes to buy a wallet, and the store owner shows him a group of wallets that cost $1000 each. "What's so special about these?" the guy asks.

"Rare material," the store owner answers. "They're made from the tip of the penis that comes off during a circumsicion."

"I still don't understand why they cost $1000," the guy says.

"They're very special wallets," the store owner answers. "When you rub them, they turn into suitcases."
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:10 AM on April 19, 2006


The scar at the base of the penis, sometimes hidden by the pubic hair, is one of the preferred methods of the Japanese.
Man, I don't even know how to parse that. That's akin to saying "Pointing the thumb upwards and sewing the tip of it to the base of the neck is one of the preferred methods of attaching human fingers to human backs in America." Well, sure, it might be, but we're talking a sample pool of like 3. I've been to a lot of baths in Japan, so I've seen a startling number of bare male penises, and the only circumcised ones I've ever seen were on other gaijin.
posted by Bugbread at 10:16 AM on April 19, 2006


ParisParamus : "WTF is there a post about this subject every few weeks on Metafilter?! W H Y?"

I dunno, but this particular post actually stands a bit above the others, in that it actually presents something somewhat novel (how to determine circumcision methods based on scar type). True, the linked site has plenty of plenty of problems, but unlike most MeFiCision threads, there's actually a redeeming quality.
posted by Bugbread at 10:19 AM on April 19, 2006


Yeah some reasons, but rationalizations were offered for throwing jews into ovens and some of them perhaps made sense, but the perpetrators remain homicial genocidal maniacs.

So my parents are as evil as the Nazis?
posted by NationalKato at 10:21 AM on April 19, 2006


Nazis didn't circumsize, so your parents are actually worse than Nazis.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:33 AM on April 19, 2006


docpops: I get mail addressed to my glans every day. Mostly credit card offers, which sucks, because my dick has no pockets for a wallet.

This almost makes the thread worth it.


elpapacito: Fear of being different ? Now that's a common one, so what ? All humans are similar, yet all humans are different so why should one feel afraid of being different ? He/She already is and it's oh-so-normal

And here I thought all this time I had been teased for being smarter than everyone else!
posted by KirkJobSluder at 10:33 AM on April 19, 2006


> rationalizations were offered for throwing jews into ovens and some of them
> perhaps made sense,

Gracious, the thread went Godwin and I didn't even notice. S'what I get for skimming.

Which were the ones that made sense?
posted by jfuller at 10:35 AM on April 19, 2006


Which were the ones that made sense?

Jews are surprisingly good sources of energy. Two Jews can heat a home for sixteen days. Our gymnasium was warmed for a year by a single Jewish earlobe we kept lit near the window.
posted by Astro Zombie at 10:38 AM on April 19, 2006


elpapacito, it's important when feeling strong about a position to refrain from drawing comparisons to mass genocide. Especially when we're talking about a bit o' dick skin. Just sayin'...
posted by NationalKato at 10:48 AM on April 19, 2006


Oh, and Astro Zombie, you oughta try Cambodian.
posted by NationalKato at 10:49 AM on April 19, 2006


The Holocaust was totally about circumcision the Nazi's were all "How could these monsters do that to their kid's wee wee's?" it was designed to be the final solution to the problem of circumcision look it up in a book or something.
posted by I Foody at 10:53 AM on April 19, 2006


I recommend trimming the labia too.
posted by hoverboards don't work on water at 11:00 AM on April 19, 2006


That is a horrible page -- very hard to view.

Sometime in the future I am sure that my theory on circumcision (based on decades of personal experience) -- is going to become scientific fact: these infants are far more likely to have serious sexual problems as adults.

Sorry, c-guys ... so, very, very, very sorry.
posted by Surfurrus at 11:12 AM on April 19, 2006


What the hell kind of sexual problems are you talking about? I also speak from decades of personal experience, here.
posted by Ryvar at 11:18 AM on April 19, 2006


I'll second Ryvar's comment, Surfurrus: please explain your theory.
posted by NationalKato at 11:22 AM on April 19, 2006


Two words: cigar cutter.
posted by kirkaracha at 11:25 AM on April 19, 2006


So did anyone else hear the story last week on NPR about how circumcision is being promoted to reduce AIDS transmission rates in Africa? Apparently recent results are extremely positive.

http://www.sfgate.com/cgi-bin/article.cgi?file=/c/a/2005/07/06/MNGANDJFVK1.DTL
posted by Wood at 11:25 AM on April 19, 2006


The point of my brownish V-shape is off to one side; it looks like i was circumcised on a bias by a left-handed person who was made to use the right hand. Maybe y'all'll SEND ME MONEY to correct this horrid deformity, which I now see is responsible for every problem I ever had, perhaps by tattooing pretty flowers all over my shaft to hide the ugly scar? I promise to send pictures to show what you paid for. (For enough money I'll have your signature tattooed on there too, really!)
posted by davy at 11:35 AM on April 19, 2006


Wood: that story was on MeFi a few months back. It's hard to dismiss given the size of the study. I'm not going to be having any orgies in Africa anytime soon, and I suppose I'm a bit miffed if there are any sensitivity issues (although I suspect my wife isn't), but in all honesty my penis kicks 87 kinds of ass so I have no complaints.
posted by Ryvar at 11:37 AM on April 19, 2006


Ryvar : "What the hell kind of sexual problems are you talking about?"

Excessive vigour and overpowering power!
posted by Bugbread at 11:38 AM on April 19, 2006


Exactly, bugbread.

Next up on Foxnews: is circumcision a secret feminist plot? We report, you decide.
posted by Ryvar at 11:40 AM on April 19, 2006


Portnoy's Complaint was that he was circumcised! It's the besis for all Jewish neurosis!
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:41 AM on April 19, 2006


Like teaching a child how to clean himself is hard? Oh please...
posted by onhazier at 11:47 AM on April 19, 2006


Obviously you've never taught a child to clean himself down there. Talk about AWKWARD!
posted by I Foody at 12:20 PM on April 19, 2006


So my parents are as evil as the Nazis?

I don't know, were they ? The point is : one can offer tons of plausible rationalization, another will invariably see them as
just a bunch of excuses not to stop the behavior. Consider that even if your parents were well intentioned in circumcising you
and didn't mean to harm, they were arguably selfish in doing so, because you were probably too little to understand the
implications and consequences, yet who lost his natural foreskin forever ?

Similarly, parents of a friend of mine decided not to baptize her daughter and to let her decide.

Which were the ones that made sense?

Jews were considered enemies, vile, rotten, infected, contagious and a bunch of other false accusations were thrown at them,
as far as I know. Certainly the accusations were false, but from the point of view of people who believe the accusation to
be true, extermination made sense and destroying corpse made even more sense from a criminal point of view.

Problem is that people can be at the same time -sane- from a physical point of view , but behave in a way that many consider
to be completely insane : you can see that in how the extermination of jews was meticolously organized and planned out ; the
methods were rational, the organization was excellent, the intended outcome was completely insane ; similarly, some people
behave normally in most occasion, then do totally insane things like cutting the foreskin of a baby because sky-god told them so,
because of "tradition" and provide rationalization in the form or "medical advantages" ...again without asking for baby consensus.

Similarly, masturbation will blind you (catholics and other fear mongers) , tomcruise have pills of knowledge (quackery mixed with religion ) , feminale genitalia must be mutilated ( I believe some kind of muslims think so ? I dunno). Some people will do that AND at the same time build the Space Shuttle, proclaim they want freedom, but they don't notice anything odd with supporting abovesaid repressions and mutilations.
posted by elpapacito at 12:32 PM on April 19, 2006


When my sons were born I just wasn't sure if it was something we wanted to do or not so I chose the only reversable path.

And that was to not do it.
posted by glenwood at 12:38 PM on April 19, 2006


WTF is there a post about this subject every few weeks on Metafilter?! W H Y?

seriously, why? are we that umbilical (penisilical)?
posted by matteo at 12:41 PM on April 19, 2006


so I've seen a startling number of bare male penises

I'd be really interested about all the non-male penises you've seen
posted by luneray at 12:44 PM on April 19, 2006


Next up: new doctrine ensures that "remembering to clean behind your ears" will be irrelevant.
posted by dreamsign at 12:50 PM on April 19, 2006


Obviously you've never taught a child to clean himself down there. Talk about AWKWARD!

Only if you're an obsessive/compulsive.

For the rest of us, a quick rub with the soap in the bath or shower does just fine -- even with foreskin intact.
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:51 PM on April 19, 2006


Yup - the little guy isn't circumcised... the wife left it up to me to decide that, AND teach him how to clean himself - and we've managed pretty well. Only had ONE time when he tried getting by without cleaning for a few days. Oddly enough, he had some minor problems that cleared up after cleaning properly again...

So all I need to do is remind him now and then to clean himself properly - because it won't be ME that's hurting if he doesn't!
posted by JB71 at 12:53 PM on April 19, 2006


My penis in blue jeans
Boning Lisa with my phony tail
he's a-bouncin' throbbin' work of art
he's the knob who'll steal your heart
My penis in blue jeans
Is the little fella I adore
he's my very special angel too
A fairy tale come true
They say there's seven wonders in the world
But what they say is out of date
There's more than seven wonders in the world
I'll show you number eight
My penis in blue jeans.....
posted by Floydd at 12:54 PM on April 19, 2006


A Jew checking in here. Who the frack cares what we do to our penises? Basically, the idea is an old, old, old idea that it is a tribal mark - you can't lie about it when your pants are around your ankles. Your basic tribal scar. If you want to be in the tribe, you have the mark to show it.

I hate agreeing with PP, but he has it on the money here.

I was at a very orthodox Jewish (Hasidic, actually) briss a month ago, and the (maybe 80 year old) rabbi/mohel who did the cutting was a real pro - kid cried for a few seconds, then stopped. The family brought this famous Hasidic circumcisor (in Jewish: Mohel) in from Zurich for the ceremony (in Budapest.) When done properly the experience seems to be a lot less traumatic than the way a adult aged person concieves of it. Partially it is done on the eighth day because the kid can't really protest, secondarily because an eight day old kid is extremely easy on the healing scale. I don't know about situations concering older circumcisions, but I spend my summers in Istanbul, where the Muslim circumcision parades are daily sight ing late summer. The kids seem OK with it (since that day is the day that they get to dress like princes and can have anything they want...)

As for my personal cut - well, it is rather folksy. My Father's best friend remembered how drunk the Mohel was at my briss. Which explains a lot, but has never bothered me ... or limited me.
posted by zaelic at 12:56 PM on April 19, 2006


The rest of the site appears to have a pro-circumcision slant.

To the extent that it actually reads like a site for people with a circumcision fetish.

How else to explain all those photos of uncut, erect cock?
posted by PeterMcDermott at 12:56 PM on April 19, 2006


argopyon, you're correct; very much a pro-circumcision biased evinced.

I have a son who is not circumcized, though I am. My wife left this decision to me, and I elected not to do it because there wasn't a compellling reason to do it.

Then again, I know someone who circumcized their son "so he [would] look like his dad." So it takes all kinds, I guess.
posted by davejay at 12:57 PM on April 19, 2006


elpapacito writes "and provide rationalization in the form or 'medical advantages'"

"Medical advantages" aren't really in quotes, cutting provides a significant protection from HIV infection. Swaziland has seen near riots of men wanting to get circumcised.

I really don't feel strongly about this, but I find the anti-cutting crowd to be almost creationist in its fervor, and just as likely as creationists to choose not to pay attention to disconfirming evidence.
posted by OmieWise at 1:02 PM on April 19, 2006


luneray : "I'd be really interested about all the non-male penises you've seen"

Touche.

Elpapacito,

You might want to avoid putting line breaks in when you type, because on some screens (most 1024 x 768 screens), it comes out looking like this:
---

---
Which I assume is not the effect you're trying to get.
posted by Bugbread at 1:08 PM on April 19, 2006


Plus, OmieWise, you don't want to be lumped in with them nasty Nazi buggers, do ya?
posted by NationalKato at 1:09 PM on April 19, 2006


Yeah, I hate Nazis!
posted by OmieWise at 1:10 PM on April 19, 2006


scientific fact: these infants are far more likely to have serious sexual problems receive more blow jobs as adults

At least according to a quick poll of 24 classmates. The girls really don't want to mess with uncuts ("eww, gross!" "it's like old cold cuts glued onto it!" "gets caught in your teeth" "ugly!" "often smelly!") and amongst the uncuts we have 2 poor souls whose foreskins fused to their penises when they were children, necessitating painful surgery. Damn! Previously I'd only known one person who had the fused penis problem, so I thought it was quite rare. I remember when he had surgery, it was a seriously painful and long recovery, You can imagine how much he wished that his parents had chosen to circumcise him as an infant.
posted by zarah at 1:24 PM on April 19, 2006


The girls really don't want to mess with uncuts ("eww, gross!" "it's like old cold cuts glued onto it!" "gets caught in your teeth" "ugly!" "often smelly!")

I wonder how the girls would react to the suggestion that they should go to the Vagina Institute for corrective surgery on their gross, ugly, often smelly labia. Actually, never mind, I have a horrible suspicion they'd think it was a great idea.
posted by Armitage Shanks at 1:36 PM on April 19, 2006


zarah, IANAD, but I suspect that those "painful surgeries" were unnecessary. The foreskin (or, in circumcised boys, what's left of it) is often used to the penis until puberty. If you don't get an erection, it's unnecessary to have a foreskin that slides back.

2 boys out of less than 24 is a lot. I'd be curious to know at what age these boys had surgery to "correct" something that's not necessarily a problem.
posted by rxrfrx at 1:47 PM on April 19, 2006


Who the frack cares what we do to our penises?

Dude, seriously, no one cares what you do to your penis. Lots of people care about what you do to your kids, and I'm not sure "how long they cry afterward" is all that good a gauge.

I really don't feel strongly about this, but I find the anti-cutting crowd to be almost creationist in its fervor, and just as likely as creationists to choose not to pay attention to disconfirming evidence.

The anti-cutting crowd definitely screams louder, but I tend to see more baseless posturing from the other side. If this really is a tribal mark, then I should care equally little about an actual brand, say on the arm, so long as the kid doesn't cry much, apparently. There just seems to be a certain hypocrisy born of frequency or familiarity with this particular practice which suddenly disappears the moment you compare it to anything else. (barring the inevitable "vaginal mutilation is so much worse" derails – since when is "there is something worse" a good reason for anything?)

I sympathize with the anti-cutting crowd, despite the fervour, because they at least appear willing to discuss this as one of many practices, not protected in some sacred vision of what is acceptable... just because it is.

Interesting, ah, idea for a site, though. Not sure about the reality.
posted by dreamsign at 1:49 PM on April 19, 2006


Armitage - Yah, I wondered as well, heh. But they were all of the mind that if boys didn't like the way their vaginas looked or smelled they were entitled to that opinion and free to look for their preferences in someone else. Pretty reasonable, I think.

rxrfrx - The 2 classmates had the surgeries in their late teens, the family friend had his in his late 20's.
posted by zarah at 1:58 PM on April 19, 2006


Growing up (uncircumsized) I always thought my frenulum was a scar from some sort of surgery that my parents were too uncomfortable to talk to me about. If only internet porn existed back then...
posted by srboisvert at 2:05 PM on April 19, 2006


zarah- I never knew it was that common (more than 1%)... this says less than 3% by mid-teens
posted by rxrfrx at 2:08 PM on April 19, 2006


Dreamsign: Lots of people care about what you do to your kids, and I'm not sure "how long they cry afterward" is all that good a gauge.

Yes, but these days Metafilter often seems predominantly a USA-centric forum, and those of us who don't live in the US of A often couldn't give a hoot about the American missionary-syndome compulsion to worry about how we raise our kids, how we eat, or whether we fit the categories that sell the most magazine or TV ads in the US these days.

We Yids have been doing this for 5000 years: we didn't care what the ancient Egyptians thougt about it, we don't care what y'all think of it.

We are just a bunch of Yidn. It suits us well.
posted by zaelic at 2:40 PM on April 19, 2006


?! : Nasty stuff cutting up your boys to remind them who is in charge.

Actually, interrobang, it's cutting up your boys to remind you who is in charge. The covenant was with Abraham as a representative of the Jews, not with Isaac (who wasn't even born yet). This is why a Mohel will do everything possible to make the infant comfortable -- the covenant does not require that the infant suffer, it requires only that the parents suffer so that they understand what they are giving up to confirm their covenant with God. Your anti-religious snark will be more effective if you base it on the real religious underpinning instead of just making stuff up.
posted by The Bellman at 2:43 PM on April 19, 2006


I wish the world would stop circumcising. And it really ticks me off when women make comments about how it looks, as if boys should undergo surgery to impress women in future. I feel strongly about that.

But, I feel compelled to post this picture:



Thank you for your attention.
posted by Hildegarde at 2:47 PM on April 19, 2006


Oh, let me add: when I say I wish the world would stop circumcising, I mean all those who do it for aesthetic rather than religious purposes. Because I would not want to stand between a Jew and his G-d, no sir.
posted by Hildegarde at 2:51 PM on April 19, 2006


Oh, let me add: when I say I wish the world would stop circumcising, I mean all those who do it for aesthetic rather than religious purposes. Because I would not want to stand between a Jew and his G-d, no sir.

That sounds reasonable - my own was religious reasons, and the "so he looks like his father" excuse is just fucking stupid. I would want to append something to your statement about demanding male circumcision in areas that are overrun with AIDS. If I lived in Africa, I sure as fuck would want to be cut at birth, circumcision just isn't a big enough deal to risk your life over.
posted by Ryvar at 3:02 PM on April 19, 2006


we didn't care what the ancient Egyptians thougt about it, we don't care what y'all think of it.

I don't know if it's a particularly American perspective that non-state relationships should be subject to certain controls. I have a friend who thinks quite honestly that if he owns a business, he should be able to govern his employees however he sees fit, labour laws or no. And I spend some of my working days trying to figure out ways to explain to developing countries why we (Canada) place certain restrictions on freedom of speech that they do not -- because their experience so far has taught them that any restrictions are more dangerous than none. So maybe I'm a poor choice.

I don't mean to suggest that this (or the "tribal mark" concept) is a ridiculous perspective. I just see a lack of consistency when it comes to the kind of behaviour in which we are willing to intervene in private relationships and the kind where we are not. The religious element does not help to clear that up. If anything, it muddies it, partly because we have no substantive, non-arbitrary way of deciding what is "legitimate" religious thought and practice, and partly because people have yet to reconcile cultural and religous autonomy and the modern conception of human rights (witness my own nation's recent fumbles with sharia law). And it certainly isn't difficult to imagine religous practices in which we would be more willing to intervene than circumcision, coming between a man and his G-D or no.

on preview: but yes, circumcision for fashion or vanity is difficult to defend, to say the least.
posted by dreamsign at 3:08 PM on April 19, 2006


"Medical advantages" aren't really in quotes, cutting provides a significant protection from HIV infection. Swaziland has seen near riots of men wanting to get circumcised.

I don't really have data to prove that circumcision doesn't protect or protects from HIV, but one could do a reverse analysis and notice the correlation between people infected with HIV and absence or presence of foreskin. I suspect presence/absence of foreskin is not nearly as relevant as presence/absence of condoms, which seem to be safest methods that doesn't require abstinence.


You might want to avoid putting line breaks in when you type


Usually I edit in notepad , paste in web interface and remove the breaks I notice :o is there some better way other then editing directly in webpage ? Thanks for the head up :)
posted by elpapacito at 3:10 PM on April 19, 2006


How was I circumsized? One in a million accident with a pneumatic bung dropper.

Sad, but true.
posted by The Monkey at 3:18 PM on April 19, 2006


elpapacito : "Usually I edit in notepad , paste in web interface and remove the breaks I notice"

In Notepad, do you have word wrap on? If not, are you hitting enter at the end of each line?

I tested in Notepad now (with word wrap on), and it doesn't appear to add any line breaks, so my suspicion is that you have word wrap off and are manually entering line breaks, and then removing them later.

My Windows is not in English, so the exact phrasing may be off, but on Notepad's menu bar, under perhaps "Format", should be "Word Wrap". Try turning it on, and not putting any breaks at the ends of individual lines.

Also, if you're using notepad because the MeFi entry window is too small, and you are also using Firefox, I recommend the Metafilthy extension. It's mainly for making quoting of people easier, but one handy feature is that you can manually specify the size of the MeFi entry window.
posted by Bugbread at 3:23 PM on April 19, 2006


Your basic tribal scar. If you want to be in the tribe, you have the mark to show it.

So the females you marry and mate with, they're not in your tribe? Strange.
posted by beth at 3:39 PM on April 19, 2006


Well, in the era when people were still concerned about tribal scars, females were property, so they didn't count.
posted by Ryvar at 3:56 PM on April 19, 2006


in the era when people were still concerned about tribal scars

We're still in this era. Alas.
posted by beth at 4:00 PM on April 19, 2006


beth : "So the females you marry and mate with, they're not in your tribe? Strange."

No, they are, but they don't need to be marked. Yes, it's strange. Most folk customs are.
posted by Bugbread at 4:00 PM on April 19, 2006


We're still in this era. Alas.

Cool! I can't wait to tell my wife!
posted by Ryvar at 4:02 PM on April 19, 2006


Well, in the era when people were still concerned about tribal scars, females were property, so they didn't count.

Well, except for the whole part of Judaism being matrilineal.
posted by Snyder at 4:29 PM on April 19, 2006


Snyder : "Well, except for the whole part of Judaism being matrilineal."

Oh, snap!
posted by Bugbread at 4:39 PM on April 19, 2006


Nice.

That is just for descent - determining whether someone counts as Jewish - right? (I'm not terribly well-versed in Judaism).
posted by Ryvar at 4:51 PM on April 19, 2006


Hildegarde wins!!! I laughed my head off.
posted by eritain at 4:56 PM on April 19, 2006


Metafilter: respectful discussions about penile skin flaps.
posted by zardoz at 5:07 PM on April 19, 2006


bugbread writes "Also, if you're using notepad because the MeFi entry window is too small, and you are also using Firefox, I recommend the Metafilthy extension. "

Nice utility, greasemonkey is another one you may want to check out
posted by elpapacito at 5:18 PM on April 19, 2006


"How were YOU sexually mutilated to satisfy the aesthetic preferences of the female misandrist Western power structure?"
posted by HTuttle at 5:25 PM on April 19, 2006


(If you DON'T think women were and are in control, you're a naive fool.)
posted by HTuttle at 5:26 PM on April 19, 2006


I know they're in control of my penis. They say "jump" and my penis says "how high?" Well, it doesn't really say anything, but instead releases fluid, which I presume to be an attempt to communicate.
posted by Astro Zombie at 5:42 PM on April 19, 2006


HTuttle, both men and women participate in patriarchy. That doesn't mean that women are, or ever have been, in control.

As I've said above, I loathe the culture of circumcision. I think it's horrific and I think very much less of any woman who would speak in derogatory terms about un-surgically altered male genitalia.

But I don't think the culture of circumcision is driven by women and women's tastes. From the reading I've done on the subject, it appears that, at its heart, the North American obsession with circumcision comes from Christian morality. The "hygiene" argument seems to actually be rooted in the belief that a circumcised boy is somehow being discouraged from masturbating. (Please don't make me explain this. I could, but I'm really not qualified to do so.)
posted by Hildegarde at 5:55 PM on April 19, 2006


Hildegarde writes

The 'hygiene' argument seems to actually be rooted in the belief that a circumcised boy is somehow being discouraged from masturbating. (Please don't make me explain this. I could, but I'm really not qualified to do so.)"


My guess is that _obsession_ with intimate hygiene is connected to the association genitals=dirty=dirt ; as far as I understand female hygiene outside of the period doesn't require particular attentions, if not a) noticing unusal or foul discharges b) paying attention to some kind of infenctions that while not very irritating may be dangerous ; also too much washing and with wrong products that may alter the natural acidic secretion may have_negative effects_ and even lead to infections, but I guess a gynecologist informs patient of all that they need to know.

I hope so !

So by analogy, that particular secretion that most man with a foreskin have may be gross if excessive and if the man doesn't have shower / clean regulary ..but I guess the association with "dirt" and "bad" is the same association of "urine" with "gross" ..while the smell of urine is due to, afaik, the ammonia parts and urine itself is not "infected" on the contrary it is almost sterile unless the man has some kind of infection going on.

I guess it's bottomline aversion for some kind of smell , like that of sulfates, that is generally not liked by many. Connect this with cultural wickedness "sex is bad" and there you go you have phobias and 99 kinds of psycological troubles.
posted by elpapacito at 6:20 PM on April 19, 2006


TheBellman: Thanks for the interesting religion lesson.

Let's start with the obvious error: In my country it's pronounced "exclamark." I understand many of you use "interrobang," but that's a whole other person.

You mention an "anti-religious snark." However, my comment had no more to do with religion than does the man in the moon. (No one worships the man in the moon do they? I don't want to offend any maninthemoonies.)

You see, when I wrote "Yeah, I'm glad we had girls. Nasty stuff cutting up your boys to remind them who is in charge."

I was being literal. Let's deconstruct the sentence: "Yeah, I'm glad we had girls." We, as in me and the spouses. Part of that multi-denominational group known as "parents." It's easy to see -- if you don't have religion blinders affixed to your head -- that when I say "your boys" I still mean that group known as "parents." You see, because "parents" are in "charge" of "children." (Well, except for the family across the street.)

In the hell-hole where I grew up boys were hacked at no matter their religion. Clamping off little Richard's wee skin was as normal as blowing the family rent at Joe's Elbow Room. If this isn't clear, I'll restate: that wasn't anything about religion.

However, this was: "You don't like what another religion does? Convert and change from within." In other words, my poor sailorman, those who were making with the anti-Semitic crap were wasting our time. Instead of mouthing off they should work for change for what they feel is wrong. I apologize ever so slightly if that sentence wasn't as obvious as "Nasty stuff cutting up your boys to remind them who is in charge."

Tomorrow, in phase two of Deconstructing Humor we waste more time explaining The Aristocrats, Harold Lloyd, and Red Skelton.
posted by ?! at 6:22 PM on April 19, 2006


Do you all realise just how much of this wouldn't be a problem in America if they just showed more weenises on TV?
posted by NationalKato at 6:23 PM on April 19, 2006


Also, interestingly, I seem to remember all 'cutaway' or bisected images in my anatomy books of a circumcised penis. Is this just for ease of study or Western bias?
posted by NationalKato at 6:25 PM on April 19, 2006


Your basic tribal scar. If you want to be in the tribe, you have the mark to show it.

I'm assuming you have signed affadivits from the 8 day old children involved signifying that they do, in fact, want to be in the tribe.

Besides, circumcision kills and wounds babies - a fact the Jewish are not unware of as a third child is exempt if his three brothers have died of it under talmudic tradition (Yebamot 64B). Perhaps not often, but why would you want to expose your infant child to the slightest uneccesary risk?

we didn't care what the ancient Egyptians thought about it, we don't care what y'all think of it.

Hardly surpising, since the Egyptians, Syrians and the Canaanites also practiced it at the 'Time of Abraham'. Hardly a distinguishing covenent at the time, was it? So what you have is another craptacular, occasionally fatal, method of religious social control and conformity, probably interpolated into Bereshith (genesis) at the time of Persian subjection (say 600bc). Certainly neither the J version of Bereshith (the earliest) nor the three proceeding versions mention Abraham's covenant being sealed with circumcision.
posted by Sparx at 8:07 PM on April 19, 2006


I'm surprised no one has mentioned the whole circumcision-lowers-transmission-rates-of-HPV thing. Maybe that's something that's been brought up so many times before that it's not worth repeating? Or is it possible that the anti-circumcisers don't care about the greater number of women who might get cervical cancer from these uncut dongers? Or maybe it's not that they don't care; maybe it's that the little flap of skin around the head of their pee-pees is more important than the health of their female sexual partners.

I'm sort of playing devil's advocate, here... if I had a male baby myself, it would be very hard to choose whether or not to circumcise. And I'm very, very anti-female circumcision, and I don't want to be a hypocrite. Of course, the male equivalent to female circumcision would be to lop the head of the penis clear off, so it's not really the same, but whatev.

Also: Astro Zombie made me LOL, for reals. Nice one!
posted by blueloggy at 8:50 PM on April 19, 2006


Should I give my daughter a clitoridectomy?
posted by Citizen Premier at 8:53 PM on April 19, 2006


bleuloggy: If you can supply a reason for the correlation (scientifically validated), rather than just statistics, I'll consider that a valid argument.
posted by Citizen Premier at 8:59 PM on April 19, 2006


blueloggy. Sorry.
posted by Citizen Premier at 8:59 PM on April 19, 2006


Blueloggy: What is lost with circumcision. The foreskin is about 20,000 nerve endings, the most contained in any given penile area. It's not quite a clitoridectomy, but if you clipped the top off one you might get an equivalence.
posted by Sparx at 9:21 PM on April 19, 2006


And also, the HPV studies I've found are notorious for not mentioning which strains they found and in what percentages of the subjects. The wart causing variants are not the same as the cancer causing ones.
posted by Sparx at 9:22 PM on April 19, 2006


If the question is "Why the fuck — ?!," one answer, my friend, lies buried in the rind.
posted by rob511 at 11:15 PM on April 19, 2006


Put it this way: I was circumcised "routinely" as a baby (as a "medical" procedure, not a religious one), and I like my penis and don't feel mutilated. (Even though my circumcision scar is slightly wonky.) But if I were to wake up in the morning with a magically reappeared foreskin I would not rush out to have it chopped off -- knowing myself the first thing I'd do is investigate whether masturbation felt much different. Nor would I have my son (were I to have one) circumcised as a baby, as it does seem like something somebody should decide whether to have done himself.

That said, circumcision of male infants certainly is less odious than what many cultures do to female genitalia. Then too there are worse things you can do to a boy, like raising him/her up to be the kind of virtual wanker who argues at length on whether or not circumcision is a horrible thing.

And I really will have my penis tattooed if y'all pay for it. If interested email me for how to SEND ME MONEY. (If an admin feels this paragraph is bad please delete it and not the rest of the comment, okay?)
posted by davy at 11:15 PM on April 19, 2006


I already had my penis tattooed. Well, somebody needed to welcome people to Jamaica, mon, and tell them to enjoy their stay.
posted by Astro Zombie at 11:56 PM on April 19, 2006


I've been to a lot of baths in Japan, so I've seen a startling number of bare male penises, and the only circumcised ones I've ever seen were on other gaijin.

Interesting. I go to the gym where I live here in Korea several times a week, and though I'm not exactly scrutinizing the other guy's gear, I'd say that nearly all Korean men are circumcized. I'm a bit surprised, because in most things (even if they refuse to admit it out of their overweening national pride), Koreans follow the Japanese slavishly.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:03 AM on April 20, 2006


guys', damn it.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:04 AM on April 20, 2006


On the other hand, maybe they've just got the turtleneck rolled back or something. I dunno I'm not really an expert on any penises other than my own.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 12:06 AM on April 20, 2006


stav's comment made me think -

Do you suppose the average sexually active straight women is more knowledgeable about penises than the average straight man?
posted by raedyn at 3:11 AM on April 20, 2006


Hilldegarde: flagged as awesome, I laughed 'til I choked, then looked again and laughed some more.

I am the expert here, you may all bow before my awesomeness. I was circumcised at age 8.

One does not have to be teased for having a foreskin to notice and feel different. As a kid, I was the only uncircumcised male I ever saw. And be sure, I looked. It had nothing to do with understanding the difference, either. I did not like being different.

When I had some problems with my foreskin, I did not like all the attention one bit. I did not like the accusations that I was not doing what I was supposed to do. The whole thing was a vast and confusing mess.

My partner is whole. He had some problems early in our relationship that caused him pain. What a horrible start for a sex life!

I think I would choose to leave a son of my own whole, but I would want to be sure he learned how to train the thing to work right as he grew older. Clearly, cut is ultimately less trouble.
posted by Goofyy at 3:25 AM on April 20, 2006


how to train the thing to work right

I found it came pretty instinctively myself.
posted by Sparx at 3:39 AM on April 20, 2006


I like my circumsized pee pee. When it comes down to it, I will probably circumsize my sons if I have any, simply because I don't know how a non-circumsized weiner works, and frankly that's the kind of research that I just don't want to do.
posted by antifuse at 3:45 AM on April 20, 2006


I like my circumsized pee pee. When it comes down to it, I will probably circumsize my sons if I have any, simply because I don't know how a non-circumsized weiner works, and frankly that's the kind of research that I just don't want to do.

http://ask.metafilter.com
posted by ArmyOfKittens at 4:05 AM on April 20, 2006


I will probably circumsize my sons if I have any, simply because I don't know how a non-circumsized weiner works, and frankly that's the kind of research that I just don't want to do.

Aha! So men want to circumcise their sons because to do otherwise might demonstrate some interest in the penises of others, thereby making them look (or possibly feel) gay.

I knew it would come back to homophobia eventually.
posted by Hildegarde at 6:18 AM on April 20, 2006


Sparx: My anecdotal evidence of one case proves they don't all work painlessly from the beginning. Two cases, really, if you count myself, but my troubles were pre-pubescent. My partner was fine until he started actually having someone else pay attention to his. It took the better part of a year to get it loose enough to function in a normal way.
posted by Goofyy at 6:44 AM on April 20, 2006


I knew it would come back to homophobia eventually.

I keep waiting for it to get around to antisemitism, but I think the comment that the Nazis may have had good resons for throwing the Jews in the ovens might have already gotten us there, even if accidentally.
posted by Astro Zombie at 7:26 AM on April 20, 2006


Racism, must drag in racism. Somehow, somehow, circumcision has to be racist. Hildegarde, you're our go-to person on tendentious draggings-in, help us out here.

posted by jfuller at 8:06 AM on April 20, 2006


jfuller, go back to watching American Idol.
posted by Hildegarde at 8:14 AM on April 20, 2006


Astro : don't you have to be wishing them a nice "day" not a nice "stay" -- otherwise why would anyone ask you who Wendy is?
posted by The Bellman at 2:08 PM on April 20, 2006


Y'know, all of this "circumcision prevents HIV" bullshit is ridiculous. There seems to be a correlation between circumcision status and chances of contracting HIV, sure. But getting your foreskin lopped off isn't going to automagically protect you from ever contracting. Come on, show a little critical thinking here.

As for the whole debate... i'm uncut, thank Ghu. So have most of the guys I've been with... and of that not insignificant number, I can only think of two who ever had foreskin problems.

Seriously. Chopping 20K nerve endings off your child because you 'don't know how it works'? Come on. It's not that difficult.. when in the tub or shower, pull back the skin and wash it. Fundamentally no different than cleaning behind your ears. If it's too tight to do so, that's a condition called phimosis, and the gold standard of treatment is cortisone cream and gentle stretching.

Mutilation on a nonconsensual person is assault, and should be treated as such. Routine circumcision is not medically necessary, so don't you dare blether on about parents consenting for children in medical/surgical procedures. It's mutilation. If your boy really wants to be circumcised, let him make that decision when he's a grownup. Until that time, it's your duty to shelter and nurture and protect your child. I find it hard to understand how mutilating a perfectly normal and healthy body part is nurturing or protective.
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:12 PM on April 20, 2006


I still don't understand why you "anti circumcision" people give a fuck. Really.

If you don't like circumcision, fine. Don't circumcise your kids. But why do you give a shit about what other people do with their children? Please just shut the fuck up already. You are not better than anybody. Nor are you right OR wrong.
posted by jahmoon at 9:18 PM on April 20, 2006


Uh. It comes that way naturally (no pun intended.)

Circumcision is some backwards ass shit. Leave the boy's wango tango the hell alone.


Plus, the foreskin protects the glans, keeping it nice and sensitive, which is awesome, and will enable junior to have awesome erections and fantastic sex into ripe old age.

And, you don't need any lube to shake hands with beef.
posted by stenseng at 9:48 PM on April 20, 2006


But why do you give a shit about what other people do with their children? Please just shut the fuck up already.

I have no horses in this race, and I don't personally give a damn what people do with their weiners, and am amused by how worked up folks get about it, but: for christ's sakes, at least make a token attempt to see where others are coming from, huh? You know, rather than just telling them to 'shut the fuck up'?

Here's what an anti-cutter might say (I'm guessing):

1) Circumcision is medically unnecessary.
2) Circumcision is a form of physical mutilation.
2a) Parents do not have the right to arbitrarily choose to mutilate their offspring in arbitrary ways. Imagine if it were, say, cutting off an infant's ears to appease the parents' savage god or something. Who's gonna defend that?
3) Therefore: circumcision is wrong, and one ought to discourage parents from doing it.

Again, I don't necessarily agree with this argument, but it doesn't take a whole lot of mental wattage to see that someone could quite easily make it.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 9:53 PM on April 20, 2006


Plus, the foreskin protects the glans, keeping it nice and sensitive, which is awesome, and will enable junior to have awesome erections and fantastic sex into ripe old age.

And, you don't need any lube to shake hands with beef.


While I was being facetious above (except that I do think I will probably circumsize my sons, should I have any, but it's something that my wife and I will decide if it ever comes up, and non of your silly arguments will sway me either way), I've always found this argument bizarre. I have absolutely fantastic sex, perfectly normal erections, and never use lube to shake one off. "Sex is better with an uncircumsized penis" is really only something that someone who has done it both before and after circumcision can attest to, and even then I'm not really sure that they can be fully objective, as they will most likely have "I miss my old penis" issues, not to mention the fact that ALL of us tend to sometimes think that sex was better in the old days. Hey, you might be right - the nerve ending issues might make you more sensitive. But frankly, I'm plenty sensitive enough as it is! :)
posted by antifuse at 1:10 AM on April 21, 2006


OK ... it has taken me two days to get back to my original comment about 'circumcision causing sexual problems'. I am astounded at how this thread has continued -- I really didn't expect to see so much heat (and so little light) in this thread.

As for my original comment, I expect (hope) someday to see more serious scientific studies of circumcision and sexual function -- especially on 'retarded/delayed ejaculation' in males who have been circumcised. I have seen little understanding of delayed ejaculation in the general medical community -- in fact, it is sometimes laughingly dismissed (that's a problem?!). But then, most medical doctors receive little training in diagnosing and treating sexual disfunction.

I will also state (regarding my limited personal experience) that I have only known of 'retarded/delayed ejaculation' in (American) men who have been circumcised. The incidence has been markedly more frequent than I would have expected. I have never known of it in being a problem for an uncircumcised man.

Yes, women notice these things, and talk about them -- though, NOT as a joke; it is usually quite distressing for the man as well as his partner. There is little written about this condition, and since most research is based on self-reporting, much of what is written is mostly conjecture. (I will admit I am inclined to feel resentful of any dismissals of physical problems as 'psychologically based' when a physiological one may well need to be investigated ... this tactic has been common in the history of treating women's medical problems; it should not be repeated for men's.)

I will also admit that I am one of those who believes there is absolutely NO justification for infant genital mutilation. Again, I am very, very sorry for those who have had it done; hopefully, the majority will never develop any problems related to it.
posted by Surfurrus at 7:03 AM on April 21, 2006


But why do you give a shit about what other people do with their children? - jahmoon

This is a good questions in general, not just in the context of circumcision. But people spend a lot of time telling parents what they should or should not do, including a lot of people who have never parented. The smart parents don't worry too much about what other people say, for their own sanity, and for that of their children.
posted by raedyn at 7:21 AM on April 21, 2006


But why do you give a shit about what other people do with their children? - jahmoon

I don't think this is a "good question" ... perhaps it would have been one 50 years ago in america when a parent could easily kill their own child without anyone objecting much. Children were considered property; parents could DO anything they wanted to them. After all, in this country there were even laws to protect animals before there were any to protect children.

I believe our society has progressed some since then.
posted by Surfurrus at 8:28 AM on April 21, 2006


Surfurrus -
I didn't mean to imply that parents should be able to do whatever they want to their children without restriction. But people spend a lot of time giving parents conflicting advice about how they will destroy their children, and in raising kids there's a lot of things without an objective right or wrong answer.
posted by raedyn at 8:46 AM on April 21, 2006


raedyn - I understand your point of view about parents being burdoned with far too much (often conflicting) advice. I was objecting to (more on topic) jahmoon's voicing of the tragic belief, that no one has any right to question what parents "DO" with their children.

I do not believe children are property. Most everyone will agree that it is the obligation of society to protect children from violence and abuse -- I extrend that to include society's obligation to question the practice of circumcising (mutilating) infants.

I believe circumcision is violent and abusive -- and that future laws will no doubt reflect a more humane perspective on how male infants should be treated. ("The definition of civilization is the progression toward more kindness." - Jennifer James, Urban Cultural Anthropologist)
posted by Surfurrus at 10:06 AM on April 21, 2006


Stavros said: I have no horses in this race, and I don't personally give a damn what people do with their weiners, and am amused by how worked up folks get about it, but: for christ's sakes, at least make a token attempt to see where others are coming from, huh? You know, rather than just telling them to 'shut the fuck up'?

Actually, I can see where the others are coming from just fine. It's the anti-circumcision people that are not willing to see the other side. I'm circumcised and I like it. Can you not fucking understand that? I'd want my son to be circumcised too. Can you not understand that?

I sure as hell can understand and support YOUR decision to not circumcise your children.
posted by jahmoon at 3:39 PM on April 21, 2006


One more thing - Let me guess, most of you anti-circumcision people are probably also pro-choice people, right?

Right.
posted by jahmoon at 3:45 PM on April 21, 2006


One more thing - Let me guess, most of you anti-circumcision people are probably also pro-choice people, right? - jahmoon

I'm unclear what the point you mean to make here is. Can you clarify?
posted by raedyn at 4:03 PM on April 21, 2006


jahmoon : "It's the anti-circumcision people that are not willing to see the other side. I'm circumcised and I like it. Can you not fucking understand that? I'd want my son to be circumcised too. Can you not understand that?"

Yeah, I can understand that.

But I'm with Stavros here.

From the point of view of the pro-circumcision camp, circumcision is a non-harmful, minor surgical procedure, not scarrification or mutilation. Therefore, people who don't want to circumcise their kids don't have to if they don't want to, but they should lay off on telling people who do want to circumcise their kids not to.

From the point of view of the anti-circumcision camp, circumcision is a type of mutilation. Therefore, the argument that they should lay off because it's someone else's kid doesn't matter, any more than the arguments "don't tell me not to fuck my own baby. It's my kid, not yours" or "don't tell my not to cut my baby's fingers off. It's my kid, not yours" would matter.

Apparently, judging from most people's comments in this thread, this ability of mine to understand both people's positions makes me a fucking genius.

jahmoon : "Let me guess, most of you anti-circumcision people are probably also pro-choice people, right?

Right."


I don't know if they are or aren't, but you're comparing apples to oranges either way. The pro-choice point of view is not "you can do anything you want to your own children, including killing them". It is "a fetus is not yet a child, so you can do what you want to it. At a certain point, long before birth, it either becomes a child, or enters a grey zone, such that you can't do what you want with it. At birth, it's definitely agreed that it's a child, so you can't kill it." So if you're arguing that being anti-circumcision and pro-choice is hypocritical, you're going to have to either argue that you can kill kids when they're born, or that fetuses should be treated the same as children.

Either way, again, I don't really have a car in this race, but I suspect that arguing pro-choice vs. pro-life as supporting evidence in a pro-circumcision vs. anti-circumcision argument is like deciding to walk from New York to Los Angeles because walking to the airport is too tiring.
posted by Bugbread at 4:34 PM on April 21, 2006


Well, except for the whole part of Judaism being matrilineal.

that has nothing to do with women having any sort of rights. They just didn't have DNA testing back then, so patrilineage was harder to strictly enforce.

I actually found this link pretty interesting - I didn't realize there were so many different methods to cutting. Also, I had not been sure before this if I'd ever been with someone uncircumcised - thought maybe I just didn't notice or something. But having seen those pics it's clear I'd have noticed. It is definitely a very different aesthetic, one which, as someone mentioned, you don't generally see represented in anatomy books or dildos or really anywhere. Except maybe the phrase "one-eyed monster" which had never really seemed like a good euphemism before...

especially on 'retarded/delayed ejaculation' in males who have been circumcised.

yeah, this is definitely not an overwhelming problem, in a society where the overwhelming portion is cut. And is there an increase in premature ejaculation among the uncut?

also, not to get too, uh, detailed, but to anyone qualified to answer, does sex with an uncircumcised guy feel different? is there ever a problem with the girl not being satisfied b/c the guy is just kind of moving within his own foreskin...?

I can't think of a good analogy for circumcision. It's a bigger deal than ear-piercing, but I don't think it's child abuse, and some percentage will need to be cut later when it will be more painful. I dunno, I can see both sides, but mostly it just doesn't seem worth being a real issue.
posted by mdn at 5:40 PM on April 21, 2006


"I will also state (regarding my limited personal experience) that I have only known of 'retarded/delayed ejaculation' in (American) men who have been circumcised."

I'm sorry, but this has to be one of the most absurd comments I have ever read. Not only have I never heard of this condition, and since premature ej is, probably 1000s of times more likely....simply a staggering contention!
posted by ParisParamus at 5:50 PM on April 21, 2006


ParisParamus : "Not only have I never heard of this condition, and since premature ej is, probably 1000s of times more likely....simply a staggering contention!"

Someone's limited personal experience is a staggering contention? You are easily staggered. I'll help stagger you some more: the only Laotian I've ever met liked Erasure. Considering that liking other bands is probably 1000s of times more likely, this is a staggering contention!
posted by Bugbread at 6:32 PM on April 21, 2006


I'm circumcised and I like it. Can you not fucking understand that? I'd want my son to be circumcised too. Can you not understand that?

I sure as hell can understand and support YOUR decision to not circumcise your children.


See, you're once again proving that you're either not terribly quick on the uptake or not too strong on the reading skills. Nowhere did I say whether I am circumcised or not (I am), nor whether I like it or not (I'm cool with it), nor my intentions for some potential future son (I don't plan to have any children).

Read, comprehend, understand.
posted by stavrosthewonderchicken at 6:47 PM on April 21, 2006


jahmoon writes "I'd want my son to be circumcised too. Can you not understand that? "

Yes I can understand that. Understanding it doesn't mean that mutilating him is right. Seriously. Why do you have the right to remove a perfectly healthy and normal body part from your son, affecting his sex life? Fact is, you don't. We as a society have agreed that parents do not have the right to abuse their children. If there are limitations on corporal punishment, how the hell is circumcision even allowed?
posted by dirtynumbangelboy at 7:36 AM on April 22, 2006


"Someone's limited personal experience is a staggering contention? You are easily staggered."

OK, maybe I should have said "speechless"? Its an absurd claim, in any case.
posted by ParisParamus at 9:03 AM on April 22, 2006


Not only have I never heard of this condition, and since premature ej is, probably 1000s of times more likely.... ParisP

Hmmm ... yes, that is simply a staggering contention! Since you have never heard of delayed ejaculation (and since you have obviously - so sorry - heard of premature ejacualtion) it must not exist.
posted by Surfurrus at 12:35 PM on April 22, 2006


... this [delayed ejaculation] is definitely not an overwhelming problem, in a society where the overwhelming portion is cut. - mdn

Delayed ejaculation is not often reported unless it seriously inhibits sexual relationships. After all, our culture (american) extoles a macho version of extended sex; would a man go to a doctor to complain about having 'endurance'? - and would most doctors take him seriously?

Delayed ejaculation might not even seem to be a problem for men involved in 'serial monogamy'. One woman wrote about men who had delayed ejaculation and who thought it was 'not an overwhelming problem' -- she described sex with them as "ham-handed". This approach to sex certainly makes the experience 'feel different' -- although, mdn, I don't think it answers your question about 'how it feels' precisely. There is a lot more to sex than the physiological sensation of flesh on flesh.

Sexual function is quite complex -- and misunderstood. Most people experience some kind of dysfunction at some point(s) in their lives, which is why it seems ill advised to gamble on the possibility of more serious problems by destroying part of normal genitalia.

I can't think of a good analogy for circumcision. It's a bigger deal than ear-piercing, but I don't think it's child abuse, and some percentage will need to be cut later when it will be more painful. - mdn

The argument that 'the operation may need to be done later anyway' (due to phimosis) should be juxtaposed with statistics on the number of penises that have been damaged or destroyed by botched circumcisions. Oh, and make sure you compare world statistics, since the vast majority of the world does NOT practice circumcision.

Even though the internet is a good source of some information, it is worthwhile to read a text sometimes. I recommend this one: "Exploring Human Sexuality"
.
posted by Surfurrus at 1:26 PM on April 22, 2006


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