In the US, circumcision is a contentious topic. Most American born men in my age range are circumcised and not through their own choice. This usually cosmetic surgery was done when they were newborns, often with no anesthetic. The men had no say in what happened to their own bodies when they were infants.
Circumcision became popular in the 19th century as a means to prevent sinful male masturbation. As anyone who has known a man with a circumcised penis or is circumcised himself can tell you, circumcision doesn’t prevent masturbation. It reduces natural lubrication created by the foreskin, but it doesn’t stop it at all. And who would want to? Masturbation is a healthy, normal, beneficial activity. In a world where most people don’t believe they’re going to hell for masturbating, it’s time to get rid of a Victorian era remnant of morality.
I am very much against circumcision. I consider it genital mutilation. We scream with outrage when a woman faces a clitorectomy she doesn’t want, but we don’t respect our baby boys with the same body rights. This is very odd since it’s usually women’s bodies that are treated with a lack of respect.
When I first got pregnant, my ex and I presumed we would circumcise any sons we had since he was circumcised as were all the other men in the family. It’s just what everyone did, so we didn’t give much thought to it. Mercifully the internet became the wealth of information it now is around that time, and we were able to research the topic more fully once our birthing instructor gave us some information we found alarming. Once we realized what circumcision does to a baby boy and can do to a man’s sex life, we both became firmly against. My ex realized through that research that a lot of the penile pain he deals with is related to a semi-botched circumcision because he was cut too tightly. If he could go back and make the decision for himself, he wouldn’t have been circumcised. He certainly didn’t want any future sons to go through it either.
When my son was born, I didn’t think we were going to get him out of the hospital uncut. Every single person who came in the room asked if we wanted to circumcise him even though it was on the chart. No, we did not want to. It was like there was a reward for converting us. I’m sure part of that is financial: The hospital makes more money for doing procedures than when they do nothing. Still, that’s not a valid reason to do cosmetic surgery on a baby’s genitals. No means no, and the repetitious question got very annoying.
So many people like to use the argument that boys should look like their dads and therefore should be circumcised. Our experience was that it didn’t make a difference in our household. We walked around naked in front of our kids (when showering or dressing) when they were little until they developed a sense of modesty (which kicks in around ages 4-6 for many kids when they aren’t in a household that shames nudity). Thus, our kids saw our bodies. At one point, my three year old son announced to me that “Daddy has a big penis and I have a little penis.” Yup. That’s about it given the 3+ foot height difference between them at that point!
Even when he was slightly older, my son never really realized his dad’s penis was all that different from his own. When he was about six or seven, the topic of circumcision came up at the dinner table for reasons I can’t remember. It was probably me ranting about a friend having decided to circumcise her son. When my son asked what circumcision was, I explained that it was cutting the foreskin off the penis. The look of horror on his face as a young boy said it all. He couldn’t comprehend why someone would want to cut off part of a penis. Clearly he had never really taken in the difference between his uncircumcised penis versus his father’s circumcised penis in the hundreds of times they had seen each other naked. The argument that boys need to look like their dad’s was clearly pointless in our experience.
One of my friends was married to a man who was nominally Muslim. In Muslim culture, circumcision is the norm. She deferred to his wishes for his son’s genitals to look like his even though it wasn’t a religious decision for him. However, she soon regretted it. For three days after the circumcision, her son screamed in pain each time he urinated because the urine burned the wound so badly. It hurt her terribly to deal with her baby being in such pain for a surgery she really didn’t want for him.
Fifty percent of boys aren’t being circumcised in the US now; that’s partly because health insurance companies are declaring it elective and refusing to pay for it. That’s a decrease from about 80% around the turn of the century. While I disagree with making decisions about bodies based on money, I am grateful that more men will be able to make their own decisions as adults as to what they want their bodies to look like. If they want to be circumcised as adults when they can take adequate pain meds to handle the procedure, that is their decision. However, it’s one I don’t think we should be making for our sons without their consent unless there is a legitimate medical emergency necessitating it.
I have unfortunately never had the privilege of having sex with a man with a foreskin. I know they are out there; in my age range, they usually they are foreign-born immigrants to the US. Every time I see a new lover’s cock, part of me is disappointed to see yet another penis that has been cut. I like the look of foreskins. That doesn’t mean I don’t thoroughly enjoy those circumcised cocks. Still, one of the few things on my bucket list is sex with an uncut man. I’m waiting for the day that will happen.