Thanks and kudos to Mike for giving me this opportunity to speak of my own very satisfactory experience of circumcision. I hope my
"testimonial" will help to counterbalance the extreme position sometimes
adopted by the anti-circumcision camp.
In my view many anti-circumcisionists make two mistakes: 1) they completely ignore the problems which the foreskin presents to many uncircumcised men; and 2) they exaggerate the disadvantages of circumcision, unjustifiably suggesting that circumcised men are sexually and psychologically crippled. This is an inexcusable disservice to multitudes of perfectly contented circumcised men, creating much unnecessary resentment and self-dissatisfaction.
Like 85% of boys born in central and western Canada in the 1960's, I was routinely circumcised at birth. I have never been aware of the slightest inconvenience arising from my circumcision. This is as contrasted to many of my uncircumcised friends, who have complained of numerous problems (which I'll describe later), and of whom some have decided to be circumcised in adulthood. Also, as I shall describe, I do not believe that I have suffered any diminshment of sexual pleasure as a result of circumcision.
Like the vast majority of my friends, I received a "moderate" or "loose" kind of circumcision. The external surface of my foreskin was removed, but the inner lining was left largely intact. When my penis is measured erect, this very sensitive inner lining extends from about 1 3/4 inches to 2 inches (about 5 centimetres) from the corona of my cock-head to the circumcision scar (that is, more than a third of the length of my shaft). My frenulum is about 1 and three quarter inches (slightly less than 5 centimeters) long, extending a little less than than 1/3 of the way down shaft. That is to say, I have, so far as I can tell from making comparisons (as described below), as much sensitive inner lining as many uncircumcised men, and more than some uncircumcised men with short foreskins. This suggests to me that my experience of sexual penetration differs very little, if at all, from that of many uncircumcised men.
When my penis is flaccid, and in its normal distension (that is, not compressed by tight clothing), the head is almost completely exposed, with the inner-foreskin folded behind the head, against the corona. When I get an erection, the inner foreskin gets pulled back along the shaft. The skin on the penis looks tight, but it's not. I have enough loose skin to pull forward and cover most of the cock-head (about 2/3 to 3/4 of it). When masturbating, or being masturbated by my partner, there is no need of lubricants. The skin can simply be pulled back and forth over the corona and the head. Most circumcised men whom I have asked masturbate in this way.
Is my cock-head less sensitive because of constant exposure to the outside world? I believe it is. Does that make sex less pleasurable? No. Why? Because I perceive my cock-head as sensitive enough, but not excessively sensitve. I intensely enjoy direct friction on the head, without finding it unbearable. Several of my uncircumcised friends complain that direct friction on the head is not pleasurable, but painful.
As noted above, I have, although circumcised, an ample frenulum. Whether or not the frenulum is an indispensable source of sexual pleasure is debatable. My point, however, is that circumcision does not necessarily excise the frenulum. In fact, in the vast majority of circumcised men with whom I have spoken, or whom I have observed, most if not all of the frenulum remains.
Some people complain that circumcision leaves an "ugly" scar. Whether or not the scar is ugly is, I suppose, a matter of opinion. However, I would like to note that my own scar is barely visible. It appears as a faint ring around the circumference of the penis about a third of the way up the shaft. One has to look carefully in order to see it. Many circumcised men I know have an equally faint scar. In some cases a scar is completely invisible.
That's my experience of being circumcised. Most of the men I know have had this same kind of "loose" circumcision. However, I also know quite a few men who have had a more radical kind of circumcision, in which not only the external layer of the foreskin has been removed, but also most of the inner layer, along with the frenulum. Some people have criticized this kind of circumcision on the grounds that it removes too much skin, and leaves the penis de-sensitized. As I received a loose circumcision, I can't speak about this from personal experience. However, I know a lot of men who highly appreciate this style of circumcision. So far from complaining of a diminsihed sex life, these men tell me that they conceive intense pleasure from their tightly circumcised penis. I have also known men who have chosen to be re-circumcised, in order to tighten the skin and to have the frenulum removed, and have considered this a definite improvement over a loose circumcision.
As for being uncircumcised, this is what I have discovered. Of fourteen uncircumcised friends with whom I have discussed this issue, only five have reported no significant problems. Of the rest, 1) four have phimosis, the foreskin being so tight that it cannot be retracted during erection, making many sexual activities painful, difficult or impossible; 2) two suffer frequent infections and inflammations, 3) one without phimosis suffers pain during intercourse on account of the foreskin folding in on itself, and 4) two say that, because of the movement of the foreskin during sex, they cannot keep a condom on, and therefore cannot have protected sex.
Of these fourteen friends, two decided to be circumcised, and claim that they are very happy with the results.
Of my five uncircumcised friends, who report no problems, what kind of foreskins do they have? In all cases, they have loose, rather short foreskins, just covering the head, with no redundancy. When they are erect, their foreskins completely retract. The appearance of their erect penis is almost indistinguishable from that of a man who has had a moderate/ loose circumcision. Four of them measured the lenght of the inner lining of their foreskin at my request. Three reported an inner foreskin of 1 and a half inches and one, a foreskin of 1 and 3/4 inches. That is, three out of four of my uncircumcised friends had an inner foreskin lining no longer than mine, and I am circumcised.
What do my women friends say about circumcision? Virtually all of them say that they prefer a circumcised partner. They say that, in general, a circumcised penis, with is flared, uncovered head, gives far greater pleasure to them. Also, it is their experience that circumcised men have greater "staying-power"- are better able to control their orgasm- than uncircumcised men. They also believe that the circumcised penis is "cleaner" than uncircumcised. Whether this belief is correct or incorrect, it is a belief that uncircumcised men have to deal with.
The moral, so far as I am concerned? Circumcision has spared me the potential inconveniences of a foreskin, without depriving me, so far as I can tell, of any of the pleasure. The skin on my penis is highly sensitive, loose and flexible. Although I would not say that my "moderate" style of circumcsion is better than the more radical, tighter variety, I would say that my experience of sex, as I very much suspect, differs little from that of a man who has a moderate (as opposed to a very long) foreskin.
To those of you who are considering circumcision, I say have no fear. To those who have been circumcised, I say, do not be discouraged by the propaganda of the anti-circumcisionists. It is probable that you, like me, have all the pleasure of the foreskin, with none of disadvantages. If you have had, like me, a moderate rather than a radical circumcision, it is likely that you are at no disadvantage, and may be at a considerable advantage, to your uncircumcised friends. If you have had a more radical kind of circumcision, you probably have your own special kind of pleasure, one which, as I have found, many circumcised men appreciate and some uncircumcised men envy and sometimes opt for. Email Brad