Below is the text of a article that I recently came across.
I think most of you will find it of some value.
Circumcision: Much More Dangerous than a Foreskin
NOTE: Although perhaps the finest essay written on circumcision in quickly readable form, there are multiple points which (intentionally or otherwise) Dr. Paul Fleiss's "The Case Against Circumcision" does not mention. I think Dr. Fleiss wanted to leave his essay open to as many people as possible, wherefore he chose to keep it short and keep it fairly dry and scientific. For those who can handle more info, here is more. This is a mature topic, and while I've endeavored to keep it as modest as possible, please remember that this topic is intimately tied with sex and sexuality.
Male Circumcision Causes Harm and Diminished Pleasure to Women and Men
Female circumcision, of course, harms both partners by reducing intimacy by decreasing the female's capacity to enjoy sex as nature intended it. Although most circumcised males are not wont to admit it, male circumcision has exactly this same effect, but actually arguably worse. One way in which MALE circumcision is worse is that it not only harms the male partner, but also physically harms many female partners by eliminating the "rolling" motion created by the foreskin, which are the natural mechanics of intercourse, protecting and increasing pleasure for both partners, and process destroyed by male circumcision. This leads to greater friction for both partners. Male circumcision also removes nearly all mucosal skin, a moisture which normally is analagous to constant feminine moisture. This leads to frequent requiring of artificial lubrication. The amputation of his skin creates a dryness for both partners, and encourages the male to achieve pleasure via a violent "slamming" motion. Men who are intact are much more physically sensitive to sensation and light touch and other natural processes. When unmolested, the prepuce (scientific term for foreskin, pronounced "pray-pyuce" or "pre-pyuce") encourages a gentle "rocking" motion from the male. For more information on the proper anatomy of sexual intercourse, see the bottom of this page by CIRP (Circumcision Information Resource Pages), which has sketches illustrating the natural and pleasurable "rolling motion" eliminated by circumcision. See also the book, "Sex as Nature Indended It" by Kristen O'Hara.
Women who think pain is a normal part of sex are probably having intercourse with a circumcised man. I have numerous first-hand accounts of wives of women whose husbands went through a both new and ancient non-surgical process called Foreskin Restoration, and were able to have their first reliable orgasms after their husbands' foreskin was restored (more later). This led to greater intimacy, less interpersonal conflict and frustration, and I've heard often, "it saved our marriage". I have never heard of a circumcision saving a marriage (except due to a cultural bias), even though I've talked to many pro-circumcision people.
Subjective Difference in Sensitivity Circumcised vs. Intact
Even so, circumcised men say that their glans is very sensitive, claim sexual satisfaction, and do not knowing what they are missing. Most circumcised men do not understand that they are capable of the same kinds of incredible orgasms which intact females experience. As I once heard, "Circumcised men will never know what they are missing; intact men will never know what they have." The only way to truly know the difference in feeling is to ask a man who has been circumcised as an adult, and knows the difference. On one NOCIRC.org circumcision video, Paul Tardiff, a man circumcised at age 30, describes sex without a foreskin as "sight without color." See the previous link for statements by men circumcised as an adult. This should give you some idea of what you're missing. However, men circumcised as babies feel even less sensitivity than men circumcised as adults, or even adolescents, because more skin is taken the earlier the age, and the penis never gets to develop fully. It has been first-hand explained to me by multiple adult men who voluntarily chose circumcision as an adult, and regretted it immediately, that orgasm for a circumcised man is similar to "each stroke" for an intact man. And orgasm for an intact man is 'incomparable to anything a circumcised man will ever experience.' I have numerous first-hand accounts like this (I would have to find them or solicit them from the individuals again, but I'll do my best to make available any requests). There are studies proving that circumcision results in penile sensitivity loss and harm. Fink, Carson, and Devellis did the broadest one I can find on men who were circumcised as adults. Here is an easier-to-read report by Dan Bollinger on the study.
The most sensitive part of the body on a man, an extremely sensitive organelle called the frenulum (sometimes described as "the clitoris of the penis"), is typically and unwittingly either partially or fully amputated during the circumcision process (even though it in itself is not a target -- think of it as "collatoral damage"). There is also the drying/toughening process the glans skin must subsequently undergo to protect itself in the absense of its natural protection. This is called keritanization. All men who have endured modern medicine's (radical) circumcision, or the procedure it was modeled after, the Jewish bris periah, a radical departure from the original circumcision, experience keritanization. To quickly review from Fleiss's article, the glans skin has no sebaceous (oil) glands of its own, relying on the foreskin, as well as the foreskin's mucosal tissue for moisture, and relies on the outer side of this 2-sided skin for protection. Most circumcised men are unaware that the normal skin of the glans should resemble inner vaginal skin, and for good reason. The remaining shaft skin is tightened, especially during erection. Hair and scrotal migration usually results. The severity depends on the tightness of the "circ". The sulcus (the mucosal valley between glans and shaft) and the glans which remain get completely and permanently dried out, worn down, and keritanized. The effects increase over time, usually leading to impotence by the senior years. More on this later.
Root Purpose Uncovered
After years of researching the origin and history of circumcision, especially for the male gender, but generally for both, it definitely seems that the ultimate root of all practices of non-voluntary circumcision, whether female or male, ancient or new, religious or secular, can be found in the goal of reducing the ability of the victim to achieve sexual pleasure. I use the term victim because the procedure for both genders is both harmful and forced. If people were genuinely concerned about supposed and nameless "infections", they would not circumcise, thereby not creating an open wound which has constant contact with urine, feces, and dirt. There would also be lots of research into painless & noninvasive cures for any infections resulting. Most Americans wrongly see foreskin as a bomb that's about to go off, a problem waiting to happen, or go so far as to see it as some kind of birth defect. It is the opposite of all these, and ironically serves as a protection from infection and injury. In fact, the more one learns about the subtleties and amazing properties of the foreskin, the more one is convinced of a supreme intelligence which designed nature. Infection is not the real reason for circumcision, or the procedure would be banned already. Are you ready for the real reason, and undeniable brief history of circumcision in our country?
Fleiss's essay clearly documented that the origin of circumcision started in this country as a means to punish children for masturbating (both boys and girls), and were soon claiming that circumcision cured everything from bed-wetting to insanity. This practice was successfully evangelized shortly after the turn of the century, most notably by the great quack Dr. Kellogg, co-inventor (but not manufacturer) of Corn Flakes (Dr. Kellogg actually took his brother to court to try prevent him from selling them, since they had small amounts of sugar, which Dr. Kellogg said was poisonous). Dr. Kellogg was famous for dissolving the clitorises "with pure carbolic acid" of girls who were caught masturbating. For boys, radical circumcision was fitting punishment for the same crime. For both genders, he advocated the procedure with no anesthesia, making it as painful as possible, saying the pain had "a salutory effect upon the mind", since children would forever associate masturbation and sex itself with the memory and pain of their circumcision. Yes, female circumcision was practiced in our country, by the same opinion leaders who popularized male circumcision, and for the same reason (not reasons). You see, Dr. Kellogg thought sex was unhealthy in every way, and advocated it for procreation -- only -- ever. It was also clear that without either a clitoris or foreskin, masturbation would be difficult, and quite possibly painful. Dr. Kellogg, the world's most successful advocate of circumcision, also kept his own foreskin his whole life.
Here are some highlights from John Harvey Kellogg's book, "Plain Facts for old and young: embracing the natural history and hygiene of organic life", pub. 1877. These are quoted from the circumstitions web page on Kellogg. Please remember that you are witnessing the birth of a long tradition of medical quackery and compulsion surrounding circumcision, the effects of which are still very much with us today, no less illegitimately:
From page 295:
Covering the organs with a cage has been practiced with entire success. A remedy which is almost always successful in small boys is circumcision, especially when there is any degree of phimosis. The operation should be performed by a surgeon without administering an anæsthetic, as the brief pain attending the operation will have a salutary effect upon the mind, especially if it be connected with the idea of punishment, as it may well be in some cases. The soreness which continues for several weeks interrupts the practice, and if it had not previously become too firmly fixed, it may be forgotten and not resumed. If any attempt is made to watch the child, he should be so carefully surrounded by vigilance that he cannot possibly transgress without detection. If he is only partially watched, he soon learns to elude observation, and thus the effect is only to make him cunning in his vice.
From page 297:
In females, the author has found the application of pure carbolic acid to the clitoris an excellent means of allaying the abnormal excitement, and preventing the recurrence of the practice in those whose will-power has become so weakened that the patient is unable to exercise entire self-control.
From page 282:
In another case, in which phimosis also existed, there was paralysis of a few of the muscles of the leg, which produced club-foot. Circumcision was also performed in this case, and the child returned in a few weeks completely cured, without any other application, though it had previously been treated in a great variety of ways without success, all the usual remedies for club-foot proving ineffectual. Both of these cases appeared in the clinic of Dr. Sayre at Bellevue Hospital, and were operated upon by him.
Amazing, isn't it? But not even Dr. Kellogg, the world's most famous hypochondriac, ever advocated Routine Infant Circumcision (RIC). When I read about the fantastical reports of the laundry list of ills which circumcision was reported to cure, it became clear that doctors of the time lied about their findings to increase the popularity of circumcision, with the secret hope that it would cause children to masturbate less. Either way, the main thrust of circumcision was to discourage masturbation by a reduction of sexual sensitivity. This backfired, for we now know that circumcised men actually masturbate more frequently, and engage in a wider variety of sexual practices (including pornography) than uncircumcised men. (Study: University of Chicago, published in The Journal of the American Medical Association [JAMA], July-Aug 1997.) More on the psychology of circumcision later.
Circumcision to stop or prevent masturbation is still continuing, in our country, and in our generation. I know a man whose parents had him circumcised "at the age of 12 [because they] believed it would curb my excessive masturbation..." He said, "it worked only until my incisions healed -- about 6 days! However, I soon forgot about it and continued to grow up and masturbate." He later had his two sons circumcised, and came to regret that decision greatly. He is now actively engaged in Foreskin Restoration and has talked to his two sons about it, and apologized.
There never, ever has been -- nor will there be, ever -- a true medical justification for today's radical circumcision. Never. Ever.
The true purpose of routine circumcision -- male or female -- always has been -- and always will be -- behavior modification through sexual damage.
Even though many American pro-circumcisionists claim there is a huge difference between male and female circumcision, the actual procedure, effects, and history are essentially identical -- namely, the amputation of healthy and purpose-serving protective and erogenous tissue from the genitals. It is quite clear that the purpose of female circumcision is elimination of orgasm in females, with the side "benefits" of decreased interest in both masturbation (considered by people with this type of mentality as sinful) and sexual intercourse (thus being a temptation for infidelity). Certain religions/societies would probably make orgasm itself impossible in the male too, if they could keep procreation going. The "best" they could get was male circumcision: the greatest amount of trauma possible which still preserving the function of procreation.
Anesthesia-free Circumcisions Still Occur, and Anesthesia Helps Little
Anesthesia-free circumcisions still occur commonly. The concept that babies can even feel pain being a relatively new enlightenment and epiphany of the medical community. But any human being who has seen one done takes the experience as proof that babies feel pain intensely. Some even go into shock during circumcision. Those who have witnessed a circumcision commonly say it was the most disturbing thing they've ever witnessed. Routine Infant Circumcisions are usually not even performed by doctors. They are usually performed by nursing students, medical school students, and nurses. A surprising 1.8% of circumcisions have complications, while the risk of an intact child ever having a penile infection is quite less. Not only that, complications from circumcisions go from serious to disastrous. Every year, numerous infants die or are given a "gender assignment" (sex change) due to a botched procedure which served no original purpose. It would be analagous to giving infants needless appendectomies at birth to prevent appendicitis. More accurately (this is my favorite), it is "like removing eyelids to preven pink eye". "It's just a flap of skin." It would be very much like removing girls' breasts at birth to prevent breast cancer.
Medical workers are reluctant to use anesthetia because both topical and injectable anesthetics are dangerous, can cause swelling and make the surgery more difficult, and it is impossible for the worker to ascertain from the "patient" if the anesthesia was administered correctly. Even if administered properly, anesthesia still usually is not effective at relieving the immense pain of circumcision. Topical anethestics, while less risky than an injection, are less effective, because the anesthesia cannot penetrate through the foreskin into the incomplete glans, where real damage also takes place, leaving a raw and bloody open wound. It would be like putting a topical anesthesia on a finger to lift off a fingernail. But instead of the fingernail simply being lifted off, imagine scissors used to cut into the nail, from the tip back to the cuticle, and then having it cut away from the root. That is essentially how circumcision takes place. Only it's worse. I talked to one nurse in training who said that the topical anesthesia she saw being used seemed to have no effect on the babies. Her witnessing circumcisions, and the knowledge that this was a necessary part of her training, was the main reason she quit the training and went into another field. She refused to do circumcisions once she saw the horror they are.
Circumcision is not merely "cutting around", or making an incision and just "slipping" off the prepuce (proper term for foreskin). Quite to the contrary, the prepuce is fused to the glans like a nail to the finger, and there is no real skin underneath, just like a fingernail which gets torn off -- only even more painful, if you can imagine. Few things are as painful as having a nail ripped out, but the glans and foreskin are light years more sensitive. Babies often vomit, defecate, shake, and go into shock during circumcision -- even with anesthesia. Screaming is only the beginning, and those who have heard it say that there is a quality to the scream which you will never hear come out of another human mouth.
Living through circumcision is likely more painful than most forms of death.
Ripping and tearing are necessary to get the skin off -- the foreskin must be ripped from the glans in order to be finally cut off. Even in euphamistic terms, the term "forcible retraction" sounds brutal, and is. This is typically done by forceps, but if the membrane which fuses the glans to the foreskin (called the synechia) is resisting to being torn and broken, then the scissors are brought out, with the foreskin being cut straight back to the corona, The rest is torn away (separated) from there before final amputation, which process I won't get into here, because it is somewhat complex. If you think you should, you can see a photographic essay of a circumcision using a Plastibel clamp here at CIRP [graphic].
Genital Reduction Surgery
The wound, then, is not just an incision around the corona. The bloody, skinless, open wound comprises the entire glans, from top to bottom. The prepuce is double-sided skin. Outside, it is shaftlike skin, but more sensitive. Inside, it is super-sensitive mucosal tissue. So the prepuce is acually double its perceived length. That means that 65-75% of the skin on the penis is cut off during Routine Infantile Circumcision -- a truly shocking amount of surface area. Later in life, this amounts to insufficient shaft skin, which also normally would be able to have its own "gliding" motion to reduce friction for the female, but instead is forced to rub rather rudely against the vagina. And remember, the glans itself does not have proper skin when surgically exposed. Male and female circumcision are reffered-to collectively as genital reduction surgery. For males, this is a substantive penile reduction in both width and length of a circumcised male. The width part is obvious; length is not. A circumcised male is generally intentionally left with insufficient shaft skin for a proper erection, when adult, or even child. The origin of this has been handed down since the 1870s, when an anti-masturbation hysteria eventually translated to mass cirled to :
To obtain the best results one must cut away enough skin and mucous membrane to rather put it on the stretch when erections come later. There must be no play in the skin after the wound has thoroughly healed, but it must fit tightly over the penis, for should there be any play the patient will be found to readily resume his practice not begrudging the time and extra energy required to produce the orgasm... We may not be sure that we have done away with the possibility of masturbation, but we may feel confident that we have limited it to within the danger lines.
(E.J. Spratling, MD. Medical Record, Masturbation in the Adult, vol. 48, no. 13, September 28, 1895, pp. 442-443)
Overhang vs. Tightness
A baby boy's foreskin contains excess skin called overhang which will, upon puberty and lengthening of the penis, balance out to a perfect covering. Cutting not just this, but the entire prepuce off leaves no room for growth. Circs are often so "tight" (and yes, that is the proper medical term) that erection or insertion becomes at least somewhat painful. Even when circumcisions are not this tight, there is usually an unnoticed but undue pulling effect during the erection, pulling the shaft into the body. Although not missed beforehand, most men who practice foreskin restoration often experience a slight perceived lengthening of their penis -- but it is, in most cases, it is not "longer" at all. In fact, what usually happens, is that the shaft can fully extend, and this amounts to a slight but noticeable lengthening almost immediately into the restoration process. (It happened to me with virtually no actual restoration/coverage, just loosening. I myself didn't realize how tight I was until there was a change).
The tightness of most circumcisions causes at least some hair migration from the groin up the shaft of the penis (the "hairy dick" phenomenon). Most, though not all men with hairy penises are circumcised. This is mostly due to insufficient shaft skin present during puberty, with groin hair being pulled onto the shaft. The groin hair "becomes" shaft skin, but this is not normal, and is a direct result of circumcision. This effect is more pronounced during erection and may not be noticed when flaccid. Restoring men also often experience a reduction of hair migration.
Frenulum Amputation & Circumcision Methods
Though not targeted, modern circumcision tools (clamps) normally amputate the frenulum, a small area of ribbed skin where the foreskin terminates at the ventral area. It is much more sensitive than even the glans itself. The foreskin and frenulum have by far the most soft-touch nerves, which give equisite sensations, while the glans has predominately pressure-sensitive nerves which are less exquisite. As stated, the frenulum has been described as "the clitoris of the penis", an is by far the most sexually sensitive area of the body. The most common method of RIC, the clamp method, created in the 1940s, which was attempt to reduce bleeding through crushing, but in the process, it caused even more severe pain and damage. The clamp does not follow the natural contour of the glans, and so naturally crushes off all or part of the frenulum, even though this is not an intended consequence. The clamp method is so cruel that it is only generally used on infants. It is nevertheless apparently the most common method used today in the USA.
The author's was frenulum was essentially completely amputated during circumcision (the clamp method). I have only a scar where the penile frenulum used to be, though it took me years of studying circumcision even discover I was missing one of my most valuable parts. On intact males, the most sensitive area is the frenulum, which is crushed off during a clamping. On circumcised males, the most sensitive part which remains is the glans corona, or rear flare of the glans. Unfortunately, the glans corona is the penis's most prominent horizontal protrusion. Normally, it (the corona) is the most-protected area of the intact penis, but on circumcised men, ironically then receives the most chafing from clothing, etc., than anywhere else on the penis.
The freehand method of circumcision is more risky and requires more skill of the circumciser, but generally leaves the frenulum in place, and therefore less damaging when successful. The frenulum is nevertheless often specifically targeted even after a freehand circ by many Muslims and mohels (Jewish ritual circumcisers, pronounced "moyle"), even though it is not part of the foreskin and its amputation never, ever had even any alleged "health benefits". This proves once and for all that the purpose (of at least those) circumcisions is to reduce sexual pleasure and fulfillment -- in other words, sexual damage. There is no other reason that the most sexually sensitive part of the male anatomy would be amputated, except for a chilling remark by some mohels, because "it looks better".
Circumcision: Much More Dangerous than a Foreskin
Botched circumcisions are more common than the infections they are supposedly designed to avoid.
By "botched", I mean permanent disfigurement or disability, urethral bloackage, gangrene, massive blood loss, scrotal migration, painful or impossible erection, undesired penile amputation, excessive incision, or some other irreversible or life-threatening injury -- or death. Circumcision is by no means a graceful procedure. It is complex, dangerous, typically done by trainees and those without medical licenses. A child going into shock due to circumcision does not constitute a "botched" circmcision. Neither does frenulum amputation, apparently. Neither are most painfully tight circumcisions. About 1.8% of child victims of circumcision experience complications due to circumcision (not necessarily botched). All of these cumulatively are more likely to happen as a result of a circumcision than the risk of a child getting a(n easily-curable) penile infection at any point during his life. Ironically, one of the most common complications from circumcision is infection. This is easy to understand, as circumcision creates a massive open wound on a baby who barely has an immune system. Since there is no formed skin underneath, the entire glans, plus the stump/scar of the cut-off foreskin, forms the open wound. The foreskin stump is not even sutured together, just wrapped in gauze if you can believe it. As such, the whole wound area is constantly exposed to feces, urine, and dirt -- just the things which the foreskin is designed to protect from.
Even worse, circumcision screwups have permanent consequences, whereas infections do not. The medical community is so ignorant of the less-obvious longterm consequences of circumcision, like insufficient shaft skin, keratinization, long-term sensitivity reduction, impotence, etc. (discussed nonexhaustively here), that such consequences are not even considered side-effects; circumcision is so common that people just what they are experiencing is a normal part of nature.
Erectile Dysfunction (Impotence)
Male Erectile Dysfunction is epidemic in America (also known as impotence), and is not caused by nature or age. Though most are unaware, it is generally due to circumcision, or more specifically, the keratinization (toughening/drying/hardening) of the skin of the glans due to its forced externalization and removal of emollients and oils (remember, the skin of the glans has no sebaceous glands of its own). Keratin is the same material which forms hair and nails -- and in animals, even shells, hooves and horns. The glans is an internal organ which was never meant by nature to be exposed to the "outside world". Thin layers of this hard, tough protein form around the glans to protect it after circumcision (although the glans initially has no formed skin after circumcision, just as a fingernail has no skin underneath it when you rip it off). Also, as mentioned, the most sensitive part of the penis, called the frenulum, is normally either fully or partly amputated, even though it is not part of the foreskin. Those who claim that these things affect neither the sensitivity nor the pleasure of the individual who experiences them are either insane or know not of what they speak. The only time a natural, normal glans is ever outside the foreskin is when it is actually inside someone else, which environment is almost exactly the same as inside their foreskin. In fact, a significant fraction of the time the glans spends in that environment is still spent inside its own prepuce (foreskin).
The glans relies entirely upon the foreskin to produce its oil and other natural emollients. As life (and friction) progress, a circumcised man's penis becomes more and more keratinized, until there is almost no feeling left. This not just noticeable by sensation; it's visible. It's provable. This is why Viagra is such a big deal in America and Arabia, even amongst middle-aged men (one famous instance is one of Saddam Hussein's wives' accounts of him needing/using Viagra), whereas it is of little significance in Europe other uncircumcising regions. There are certain cases where erectile dysfunction is caused by other problems, such as clogged arteries, but circumcision seems to be the most common factor.
Whole men are typically "procreatively viable" at any age, as long as they've got enough energy to lie down. Not so for circumcised men. Though they may still be physically capable, interest diminishes as keratinization increases with age and wear. Intact men experience no such wear -- neither do women, who in this country, from my unscientific observation, seem to maintain their libidos better in their age than men (who are usually circumcised), even past menopause when they are procreatively inviable. This is not mere hair-splitting. The build-up of these effects creates factors which are leading causes of divorce (sexual incompatibility and friction, both literal and figurative), such as frustration, agression, infidelity, and other problems erupting from an unsatisfactory sex life.
From my years of dialogue with circumcised men on the topic, another cruel irony of circumcision has been uncovered. For some (most?) men, circumcision appears to be the reason behind premature ejaculation. This has to do with different types of sexual nerves (fine/soft touch vs. pressure sensitive nerves) and ratios and densities they are distributed between in foreskin, the glans, and the frenulum -- how they naturally work together -- and what the response of different nerves gives to the autonomic and ejaculatory reflexes. The explanation is fairly technical and lengthy; therefore, I will provide more information upon request. This is a topic which has been fairly ignored by researchers, but the information is out there for those who are seeking it. The best answer, is, again, Foreskin Restoration. The hypotheses in the Restoration community have been validated by observing its reversal through the Restoration process.
Difficult Climax for Men (and their Women)
Not all men who are circumcised experience symptoms of premature ejaculation. In fact, many circumcised men actually have the opposite problem, even if they can get an erection. It is well-known by very sexually active people that circumcised men actually usually take longer to ejaculate. This may seem like an advantage to some, but circumcised men generally get less out of the sexual experience, and their partners must "work harder". Restoration makes the process easier for both partners, and even though actual coitus takes less time, the reporting I have heard back is that their wives actually orgasm quicker and more reliably.
When you understand the mechanics behind it, there is little irony there. Vaginal tissue is very similar to foreskin tissue, and but dissimilar to a keritanized/circumcised glans. Vaginal skin, like prepucial skin, is much more receptive to light, sensitive touch than the glans, especially a keritanized one. In fact, such mucosal tissues are so sensitive that there is usually a pain response when exposed to anything other than similar mucosal tissue. Circumcision removes basically all mucosal tissue from the penis. It also changes glans from delicate sexual tissue into rougher/thicker skin similar to regular skin on the body, as well as eliminating lubricative and rolling action of the penis, designed to create pleasure for both partners. Again, many men go from "no feeling" to "fully body orgasms" beyond what they had even experienced as a circumcised teenager, even in old age.
Foreskin Restoration is a critical topic when discussing the damage of circumcision. Restoration is a quickly-growing movement, but one which is at almost as old as circumcision itself. His essay also does not mention certain products aimed at increasing sensitivity for circumcised males, such as the Canadian product ManHood, the undergarment for circumcised men, which I wear "religiously", night and day, sometimes even in the shower, and has been the only thing previous to my efforts at Restoration which helped decrease some of the irritation, dryness and chafing directly resulting from my own routine (unecessary) infantile circumcision, aside from certain natural oils and plant extracts like aloe gel and olive oil. (Be sure to remove the velcro and use a vinyl hair band instead if you wear the ManHood at night, due to nocturnal erections.)
The Foreskin Restoration process is a non-surgical, do-it-yourself, inexpensive and safe process. However, it is time-consuming, inconvenient, and sometimes a bit uncomfortable. The most wonderful thing about Restoration is an eventual natural function of most restorations -- a process called dekeratinization, in which the glans reverts from its toughened, leathery, less-sensitive state, back into its natural moist, smooth, ultra-sensitive state. This can even happen on restored older men (60+) who were previously so keratinized as to not have "no feeling" in their glans (that's a quote from someone I know), or who were completely impotent without drugs or pumps, subsequently achieving a potency and ability to achieve pleasure which rivaled any sexual experience they had ever had, even during early phases of their lives. This, if anything, is a testament of the damaging and unnatural effects of circumcision. Even though foreskin restoration cannot restore most of the subtler functions of the foreskin, many of the perceived effects (such as greater pleasure & sensitivity) and some of the physical effects (such as the production of smegma and healthy bacterial flora), can be restored. Unfortunately, however, the frenulum (the most sensitive part of the penis, typically amputated along with the foreskin due when circumcision clamps are used), at this time appears not to be normally regeneratable with our level of scientific technology. I have heard mixed feedback with frenulum restoration, but it appears to me at the moment that one needs to have at least some intact rear frenulum available (which I no longer have).
"Radical" vs. "Original" Circumcision
I do not believe that Dr. Fleiss's essay points out that the today's hospital circumcisions ("Radical" circumcision) bears almost no resemblance to original/true mosaic/abrahamic circumcision. Original circumcisions just cut off the "overhang" which is a small tube of skin which hangs off the front, which migrates backwards as the penis lengthens later in life (circumcised men often have so little shaft skin that erections are painful). The fact that original cirumcision only cut off the overhang explains how biblical Zipporah, Moses's Hamite/Ethiopian wife, was able to circumcise their son in a moment with "a sharp stone" and then "throw it at his feet" with time left to curse him (Moses refused to do it, and I can't blame him). You can't do a radical circumcision like that! It could be done just by lopping off some of the overhang. Although still of course damaging, this still leaves the victim mostly sexually functional; most of the foreskin remains intact, so does the frenulum, most of the protective qualities, nerves, and skin remain, and, if the child is pre-pubatal, the remaining foreskin remains fused to the glans to allow proper development of the penis. The procedure would not impact sexuality as terribly as radical circumcision, although there would be an effect, especially upon the child's mind, and his culture, for becoming insensitive to such a violent yet solemn hazing/initiation of children and babies into life.
Around 140AD, Jewish heirarchy became enraged at certain Jewish males performing upon themselves an early form of foreskin restoration using a weight called a Pondus Judeaus (not unlike some modern techniques) in order to bypass certain taxes levied upon them by the Romans. In response to this, the Jewish heirarchy ordered a change in circumcision technique to make it "radical", which means to remove essentially all possible foreskin. This the type of circumcision, called bris periah, was borrowed from modern Jews during the anti-masturbation hysteria of the late 1800s and is still in practice today in American and Canadian medical facilities. This is also known as radical circumcision. and it creates many more problems than the Jewish bris milah, which more closely resembles the original circumcision. Bris milah is less common but still practiced today. See other essays by the author on the religious invalidity of circumcision, especially by Christians.
Hormones and the Proper Development of the Penis
The foreskin contains high levels of growth and other types of hormones, including sex hormones. It is suspsected that these play a part in the proper development of the penis. However, their exact roles are unknown at this time. What can be unequivocally said is that a the penis is forced to mature unnaturally and prematurely when circumcised, and inflicted with much stress, even the part which remains. The infant's glans is normally fused to the prepuce until around puberty. Even then, full retraction is normally not possible until later into puberty. During this time, the glans is forming. On an infant, it is simply not fully formed, in the same way an unhatched chick is not fully formed. Circumcising a boy is like opening a fertile egg too soon. As a result, the glans penis is forced to mature before its time, and without moisture, emollients, protection, and growth and hormones it otherwise would have had to develop properly. This is innocence lost by forced externalization, the full effects of which, both psychologically and physically, are not understood today, being difficult to study. The foreskin is arguably the most female part of the male body, aside from breasts. Most circumcised men do not know that they, too, are supposed to have something like a "flower". The similarities to certain parts of the female anatomy are striking. While one is celebrated in our culture, the other is loathed -- cut off from babies, and thrown away or sold! ...only depending on a gender.
Parents who claim to circumcise "to prevent infections" don't even know which infections they're trying to avoid. What kind of infection is so vicious that amputaion of a functional and important part of the body at birth is recommendable -- when there is no infection? It turns out that the types of "infections" boys get are the same types girls get -- typically yeast and (even less frequently) urinary tract infections. Boys usually get them from bathing or swimming with a female who has such an infection, actually. In our society, yeast infections are considered on an order of severity similar or even less than toe fungus or warts. It usually does not even require professionalmedical attention -- and no one would think of radically amputating parts of female anatomy in order to dry it out, even with recurring infections. Why these infections are so terribly feared on boys, while no cause for alarm on females is due to gross, disturbing, mass ignorance and hysteria. Again, botched circumcisions are more common than the minor infections they are supposedly designed to avoid.
A Medical Scam
"Routine" Infant Circumcision is code for "Unnecessary" or "Unwarranted" Infant Circumcision. In other words, the procedure is performed, even there is no illness to remedy. It is sold to the parents that the foreskin is such a problematic organ, that its immediate amputation is justified. This couldn't be further from the truth, and doctors now know that the actual process of circumcision is more dangerous and fraught with consequences than the risk of any (unlikely) yeast infection. These unnecessary operations at best amount to needless cosmetic surgery and sexual alteration. It is, plain and simply, a medical scam. Circumcision fits both elements of a scam: deception and profiting from the deception. “At an average cost of $350 per circumcision, OB’s are generating $193 million in revenue performing a surgery that ACOG itself says is medically unnecessary. They are soliciting unnecessary surgery. That’s fraud,” says Dan Bollinger, co-director of International Coalition for Genital Integrity (ICGI). Circumcisions at hospitals are almost always performed by medical technicians, trainees, nurses and students. This variety of medical scam amounts to millions of dollars worth of unnecessary operations for the medical indistrustry every year. Cirumcision is probably the oldest and continuously-running scam in medical history... the medical equivalent of an "old wives' tale", only much worse. Childhood circumcision is non-theraputic, non-consenting, and non-essential. Even when not used as pseudo "preventative maintenance", there is no physical or religious circumstance known for which a typical radical circumcision is a proper or ideal solution. It violates the hippocratic oath.
Hospitals often pressure doctors and nurses to not dissuade parents from circumcision too much. I have a firsthand account from a nurse who was reprimanded when the circumcision rate fell below 50% in her maternity (the rate fell below 50% due to her informing the parents of the realities of circ). The free brochures at hospitals and clinics dishonestly purport a "balanced" approach, and come down suggesting that circumcision is wisest. This is because of the money hospitals make on circumcisions. Hospitals make money on circumcisions in two ways. First, on the procedure itself, which is no longer covered by most insurances, because a foreskin is not a birth defect and insurance companies know that it is not preventative maintenance. If it saved them money in the long run, they would not only cover it, but encourage it. The second way hospitals make money on foreskins is from the sale of foreskins. The amputated erogenous tissue is often sold to biopharmeceutical companies for stem cell research, hand lotion, and the manufacture of "artificial" skin, due to the incredible elastic qualities which foreskin has, especially from babies (only eyelid skin is similarly flexible). This is a de facto segment of the human body parts trade, which in every other case, is underground and illegal, even with aborted fetuses. Parents sometimes receive a discount on the circ for the sale of their son's amputated foreskin, making it "blood money" to the parents who sell a healthy, functional organ of their baby to pharmeceutical companies.
Mistaken Religious Reasoning
Although many parents get their boys circumcised for "religious reasons" (inexplicably even Christians), circumcisions performed in hospitals have no religious validity (see my essay, "Let Him Not Be Circumcised"). Even contemporary Jewish brits bear little similarity to the original, non-radical circumcision ritual of cutting off only the overhang. Besides, Jews completely disregard so many Mosaic laws (such as the death penalty for homosexual behavior), that it is staggering they would continue with this one. Religious (Mosaic law) circumcisions must be performed by one who has authority (priesthood and more), which is why very few Jewish babies, ironically, are circumcised in American hospitals. Jewish circumcisions are performed by a Mohel, who is trained in circumcision. Jewish males who were circumcised in a hospital by a doctor are often very reticent to mention this fact, because their circumcisions are technically illegitimate.
And why a Christian would circumcise their son for "religious reasons" is beyond me, given all of the anti-circumcision rhetoric in the New Testament and LDS scripture (and complete absence of support for it). Why they feel that hospital circumcisions would be religiously acceptable anyway, while not even acceptable under Jewish law, is beyond me. Again, hospital circumcisions bear almost no congruency to true Mosaic and Abrahamic circumcisions. You will find that Christians who circumcise their sons for "religious reasons" have done essentially no scriptural study whatsoever. There literally could not be a more ignorant or contradictory religious practice. This practice singlehandedly outdoes all other Christian hypocrisies and pseudo-doctrines.
The nearly-nonexistant infections which intact children can sometimes get is typically just a yeast infection, and when seen and understood as such, the madness of the panic justifying circumcision becomes quite obvious. There are easily-available, easy-to-use, painless, natural remedies available. When the happiness and wholesomeness of this solution is contrasted with the horror and medieval brutality (and even expense) of circumcision, the reasonable choice should be painfully clear. Males generally yeast infections by swimming or bathing with women who have yeast infections. The problem is easily cleared-up with painless, natural bath additives
available at places where natural remedies are sold. When any other problems arise, I have found that it is always because parents have been "doing something" to the boy's penis; generally, forcible retraction in an effort to "clean" an area specifically designed by nature to be self-cleaning and closed to everything but the nearly identical environment of a vagina, even fused until puberty (see "Care..." below). As one doctor pointed out, Circumcision, even later in life, "the biggest problem a boy ever has with his penis is that someone thinks there's a problem." Circumcision is never, ever a necessary option; it is simple as getting a natural bath additive, which clear up the problem without worry. Circumcising in response to infection is now comparable to (but more grave than) the now-defunct practice of removing tonsils when children got tonsilitis. Doctors now admit that was a crude, unnecessary, and dangerous practice motivated by greed, ignorance, and fear. These happen to be the biggest factors which keep circumcision going in this country, too.
Another area Dr. Fleiss kept away from was the area of litigation. I can hear a serious rumbling in the distance now that the American Pediatric Society (APS), in its own "CYA" way (Cover Your A..), admitted publicly that Routine Infant Circumcision is in fact more of a minus than a plus, basically; that's a paraphrasing of the way they put it. They would've looked like idiots had they spoken the truth, as they're the ones who've been the biggest voice for the continuation of RIC for decades -- and oops, they were wrong, without so much as an apology for all the needless circumcisions performed in the past by their recommendation. That's why there was a half-hearted attempt to suggest "potential benefits" if parents still chose to circumcise -- potential benefits which are obliterated by the above paragraph. There was no mention in their press release of specific negative effects and risks of circumcision which led them to their neo-conclusions -- why? Well, they will probably will never condemn the practice in this generation or the next, or until the last circumcised male dies out, due to the risk of litigation concerning their disastrous and now-renounced medical advice.
In most states, non-essential, non-theraputic cosmetic surgery is illegal to perform on minors. But now that the APS has declared circumcision non-essential and non-theraputic (assuming there is no imminent reason to circumcise, hence "routine"), has RIC stopped? No. Lessened, yes, but as we've seen before, hospitals don't want it to disappear, and from my experience, the brochures which hospitals give parents to "help" them decide are out of step with the times, wherein "both sides" are presented, which come to a disingenuously pained win-by-a-nose conclusion that circumcision is after all probably the wisest choice, even though it's not necessary. You don't need to be a genius to understand this issue, though. When medical widsom flies in the face of common sense, it's best to choose common sense, especially on something supposedly preventative.
As Ronald Goldman, executive director of the Circumcision Resource Center, said, “Cutting off a normal healthy functioning body part to prevent an unlikely disease or infection would be like pulling healthy teeth to prevent tooth decay.” Unfortunately, when parents "research" the decision of circumcision, they typically don't go beyond the conflict-of-interest hospital brochures. All they'd need to do was go to a search engine and type in "circumcision" to discover that the vast majority of literature and information concerning circumcision overwhelmingly undermines the practice (try it -- just go to your favorite search engine -- google, for instance, and type "circumcision").
Parents of circumcised children who do internet search usually regret heavily having circumcised, and commit to leaving their future children whole. I have saved multiple babies and thus whole lines in families from the torture and lifelong effects of circumcision by pointing mothers towards internet research for an uncensorable, true sampling of views on circumcision. I know that those childrens' children will also not circumcise. In that child, the cycle is broken. The cycle has been in effect in our country for a little under over 130 years, and has every bit of its practice in nonsensical pseudo-science, which is why the reason behind it has changed so many times. At one time of another, circumcision was the cure or prevention for a succession of just virtually every ailment humanity's ever seen.
Another point which I direct at people who believe that male circumcision helps stem any likely disease, as if the foreskin is a problem waiting to happen: how do they feel about anyone who would want to circumcise male animals? Has anyone ever even heard of a male mammal having a problem with its foreskin? I certainly haven't, and surgery wouldn't be the answer anyway. And certainly not circumcising all male animals to prevent such a thing! Actually, in most states, circumcising a male animal will likely get you locked up for animal cruelty, while doing the same thing to a frightened tiny boy is legal -- no training required. Baby boys literally have a lower status of legal protection from sexual modification than animals.
But that could be changing. There is already a pattern of young adult males and new mothers winning suits against hospitals which circumcised without parental consent. The day will come likely come soon when hopitals are sued for performing nontheraputic cosmetic surgery on minors (which is illegal in most states) in the form of Routine Infant Circumcision. The day will also likely come when some form of ligitation or legislation is passed making little boys on equal status for protection from sexual modification and assault as females now have. Now that Routine Circumcision has been proved non-theraputic, it is time to end the procedure, religious beliefs or no. We don't respect the religious belief that little girls should be sexually modified, so why should we permit it in little boys? As Dr. Fleiss did say, physical harm should not be inflicted upon any child for the mental health of the parent.
A Mother's Duty
And I do believe the onus is more upon mothers; women, listen up. It is the natural duty for the mother to protect the child, and the husband the wife. If the mother does not protect her child, who will? With even mainstream Science
now having put the concept that circumcision is "a good thing" behind it, and the trend being to travel further down that road, think of where the Science
will be in 10 to 20 years. Do you want to have to explain to your son(s) why you had such a barbaric and injurious practice inflicted upon them for no reason, with all of the Science
which will be available 20 years from now? (--which will be, inevitably, something on the order of, "nature knows best"...)
I have found women to be more receptive to the message against circumcision, because they are more educated about, and more sensitive to, the issue of female circumcision. Women have a greater instinct to protect babies. Women, do not depend upon your circumcised husband to honestly research the issue of circumcision. Men who are already circumcised, ironically, are the biggest proponents of it. Abuse begets abuse. You are the one who must stop it. For a man to question his circumcision is to question almost everything he has understood about life, the people who cared for him, and even his concept of humanity/self-image. That is why you mostly find old men (60+) and gay men restoring; these segments have already gone through the process of questioning everything, or being nearly forced to take off society's blinders to be able to continue on with new realities of life. Due to various circumstances of my life, I was forced to undergo this rethinking earlier than most (and many never do). To come to grips with one's circumcision is a voluntary descent into a seemingly bottomless pit of just-gets-worse information, unfortunately. "Ignorance is bris." Thankfully, there is a lot of light at the end of the tunnel (see previous notes on efficacy and transformational effects of Restoration for both husband and wife). The bad news is that the older one gets, the more difficult Restoration becomes due to reduced elasticity of elderly skin, though it is never impossible.
Canadians today have a much lower rate of circumcision than the United States, due to its British influence. The United Kingdom's medical community was turned away from the practice in the 1950s by a well-written essay by Dr. Douglas Gairdner. The effect of that article on the world is hard to understate. Here was his summary. It shows you that even in 1949, there was medical knowledge as to the ineffectiveness, danger, and general backwardness of circumcision. Pay special attention to the third one:
The development of the prepuce is incomplete in the newborn male child, and separation from the glans, rendering it retractable, does not usually occur until some time between 9 months and 3 years. True phimosis is extremely rare in infancy. [note: this is stated because doctors in the last generation used to routinely list "phimosis" as the reason for circumcision, because their prepuce was fused to the glans at birth, knowing full well that this was absolutely normal. Synchronistic illustration of the evolution of the deliberate medical scam.]
During the first year or two of life, when the infant is incontinent, the prepuce fulfils an essential function in protecting the glans. Its removal predisposes to meatal ulceration.
The many and varied reasons commonly advanced for circumcising infants are critically examined. None are convincing.
Though early circumcision will prevent penile cancer, there is reason to suppose that keeping the prepuce clean would have a like effect in preventing this disease. [note: cancer.org says about the penile cancer data Gairdner dealing with, "most researchers now believe those studies were flawed because they failed to consider other factors that are now known to affect penile cancer risk." The only truth remaining, then, is that circumcision prevents penile cancer like a preventative double mastectomy on infant females would prevent breast cancer.]
In the light of these facts a conservative attitude towards the prepuce is proposed, and a routine for its hygiene is suggested. If adopted this would eliminate the vast majority of the tens of thousands of circumcision operations performed annually in this country, along with their yearly toll of some 16 child deaths.
You see, in the United Kingdom, medicine is a service, not a business. Once they realized the fallacy -- that it does not serve a child's interest, they stopped. The "business" aspect is the main reason it continues in the USA. In Japan, a culture obsessed with tradition and cleanliness, and which essentially learned its medical techniques from Americans after WWII, circumcision continues to have somewhat of a stronghold. Aside from that, RIC is not common, but genital mutilation continues in all parts of the world, usually associated with barbaric cultures. Anti-masturbation fervor never swept the rest of Europe, so circ is all but unknown to everyone but Jews, Muslims, and some Africans there. In Sweden, circumcision is a human rights issue, and was almost banned to anyone under 18 by parliament in 2001. After much negotiation with Jewish leaders there, a very watered-down version of the original bill was passed, which requires that circumcisions be performed by a doctor or someone who has "necessary competence" (i.e. a mohele), who applies for a permit. Children must also relieve pain relief, and this must be administered by a doctor. None of these requirements apply in the USA. Here, no pain relief is required of any sort; circs are usually performed by trainees or low-level medical workers; mohels do not appear to be subject to government regulations. As long as we permit this, our country will be inhumane.
Effects Upon Psychology
Dr. Fleiss's article does not delve deeply into the psychology of adult victims of infantile or childhood circumcision. However, circumcision does appear to deeply affect one's psychology. One of the main things which separates humans from animals is that humans not only need food and shelter to survive and remain mentally and physically healthy... humans definitely need pleasure as well, making us nearly unique. When one considered the organelles and countless exquisite soft-touch sexual nerves connected straight into the brain being amputated before they even have a chance to fire, instead substituting for it the most painful event they will likely ever experience the duration of their lives, at their most sensitive and vulnerable time, not only is the mind and brain affected short-term, but the sexual amputation in the long term leaves the male with a feeling similar to a sexual "itch he can't scratch". This is not to say they're consciously aware of it, or that I would even wish such a realization upon anyone. Many circumcised males resort to pornography or other means to tortuously fulfill a physical need which cannot be physically satisfied. This is in part due to the fact that neither masturbation nor intercourse happen "the way nature intended it".
I believe another part of it is because there are certain parts of the brain waiting to be stimulated by nerves & organelles which simply aren't there. On some level, we (as victims of circumcision) miss this, and yearn to be whole. And while I can't empirically prove something like this, it is my overwhelming experience that pain does stay in the body-mind memory. As one man who went through the Restoration process stated publicly, "...I began to heal... wounds that I didn't even know were there." My first-hand experience is the same. I have discovered that much of my uptight nature could be attributed to my circumcision, now that I am restoring, I am calmer and happier and less angry about things in general -- not just circumcision. People have actually noticed this and commented to me. Yet for most of my life, until recently, I thought circumcision was a good thing, and even advocated it myself, so my previous uptightness and such was not some form of "victim mentality" at all. In fact, learning about circumcision and restoration helped me in part to overcome "victim mentality" in other areas.
As I stated before, circumcised men masturbate more often and are more likely to engage in a wider variety of sexual practices. This includes pornography and homosexuality. I have had communication with adult males who believe that their homosexuality or bisexual tendencies are the result of their circumcision. These men have provided me with a fair amount of anecdotal evidence concerning friends and acquaintances supporting the possibility. My understanding is that there have been some suggested links in psychology, but I do not have any study results at this time. But a proven fact is that the state with the highest Routine Infant Circumcision rates in the country, Utah, also has the highest consumption rate of cable pay-per-view pornography in the country. Ironically, the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints has more religious doctrine against the practice of circumcision than any other popular religion on Earth. LDS interdiction of circumcision appears in the Book of Mormon, and even has its own section in Doctrine & Covenants (section 74) on the topic, not to mention the New Testament. (See my essay on circumcision from the Christian/LDS perspective.)
With any other non-essential event as traumatic and painful, we would do all we could to protect babies from, of course because of the harmful effects it would have upon the mind. So how could anyone allege that such a traumatic experience has no negative effect? To allege that it wouldn't would be ludicrous. I have at least one first-hand account of a Jewish mother who who saw a huge change after circumcising her child. Now, Jewish boys are circumcised on the 8th day, so she had time to get to know her son, unlike most American gentile parents who choose circumcision. The baby smiled on a regular basis before the circumcision, but she never saw the baby smile in the same way ever again. Here is the link and a collection of other mothers' first-hand accounts. To read a letter written about the experience and thoughts of father of that boy, click here.
Female vs Male Circumcision
Although most American circumcised men claim to be sexually satisfied, so do most female victims of female circumcision, who are often the ones who perform the circumcision on their own daughters. It's funny how in the West, we understand female circumcision well enough to call its recipients "victims", even if they do not regret or are actually glad it was done to them, yet most westerners scoff at the idea of males being called "victims" of circumcision. The reasons used to excuse female circumcisions are, in spirit, the same used to condone male circumcision. See the NOCIRC article on this, the NOHARMM article on this, and a Compleat Mother article. The major difference between female and male circumcision is that with females, there are erogenous tissues left undisturbed after the amputation (i.e. the vagina and usually the labia). Not so for circumcised males. Men have only one main erogenous area, and there is no part of this erogenous area left undisturbed or unchanged by circumcision.
Most Americans believe that one form of circumcision is medically or religiously legitimate, whereas the other is not. It is also amazing how female circumcision is so obviously wrong to westerners, yet so obviously right in the same way to people in Muslim regions of the world. Most Americans do not know that circumcision was and still is based on constantly-changing pseudo-scienctific "facts", which are just "the medical equivalent of old wives' tales" and no longer seen as true by most modern North American doctor.
To continue on this point, a male muslim (Saudi) young adult I met in America who supported the concept of female circumcision explained to me that women "have another place where they can feel pleasure", therefore it did not paralyze or eliminate the ability to have pleasure, so what's wrong with it? While this sounds ridiculous to most Americans, most of these same Americans have much the same philosophy towards male circumcision ("I don't have any problem experiencing pleasure").
If it is acceptable to call female circumcision "Female Genital Mutilation -- 'FGM'", then why do some