I just finished my freshman year at college, and I dated two women who were turned off by my intact penis. One refused to have sex with me. I’m happy I’m intact, but I want to stop surprising and being rejected women. Do you have any advice for me?
—Bob in Boston
I am sorry that you have encountered women who do not know how wonderful it is to have sex with an intact man. Most American women are ignorant when it comes to the normal penis. Simple education is a good way to overcome their hesitancy.
Start talking about your normal penis when you think the relationship is likely to become sexual. Tell her: “I have a normal penis, the one I was born with, just like Leonardo DiCaprio and Russell Crowe. And Elvis Presley was intact, too.”
Acknowledge that she might be hesitant to sleep with an intact man because so many lies have been told about foreskins. If she seems interested in knowing more, tell her that circumcision grew popular in this country as way to stop little boys from masturbating. Explain that the foreskin is highly innervated and makes sex more pleasurable for men, and that the gliding action of the foreskin makes sex more gentle for women. You can also add that foreskin gives you more control over your orgasm. 😊
One more thing. Women worry they don’t know how to handle an intact penis during foreplay and oral sex. So help them out. Tell them or show them what you like. In the end, good sex is rooted in good communication, whether you are intact or cut.
We cannot deny that the increasing violence being perpetrated in America today is carried out by boys and men. “Mental illness” is invoked as an explanation, and “more mental health services” are proposed as a solution. Bigotry and hate – perhaps even more complex than mental illness – are also cited as “motives” for many mass shootings and individual crimes against particular racial or ethnic groups.
We shake our heads and ask, “What is making these guys so angry?”
We posit answers like “broken homes,” “bad parenting,” “lack of opportunity,” social and economic disadvantage when compared to other groups or races or cultures… or we throw our hands up in the air and label the killers as “cowards” or “just plain evil.”
Maybe it’s time for us to look at the deepest roots of this violence. Why are boys and men committing mindless mass murder against people they don’t even know, and taking their own lives at unprecedented rates? Where does this all come from? How far back does it go?
For nearly eight decades, American doctors have been engaged in the routine sexual maiming of American boys, carried out (to emphasize the obvious) without boys’ consent, and without regard for their future wellbeing.
Furthermore, until recently, circumcision has been practiced with no pain relief for the child, despite the fact that it is mostly occurs in a medical setting where pain management is given for other surgeries. Even now, though the use of local anesthetic has become more common, it’s not obligatory or particularly effective. And even after the physical wound has healed, the boy must live with scars on his penis and his psyche, and dismissal of his concerns by the same establishment that violated his rights and his body.
The roots of this astonishing lack of compassion for the youngest and most vulnerable members of our society include extreme ignorance and denial (e.g., the assertion that “babies don’t feel pain”), greed (“I can do more circumcisions, more quickly, if I don’t have to wait for anesthetic to take effect”), and mindless disregard, if not contempt, for future physical and psychological consequences (“it’s harmless,” and “anyway, he won’t remember”).
And now, even as more and more boys are being protected from circumcision shortly after birth, they have become targets for another type of violation and act of physical violence – forcible foreskin retraction. Parents are increasingly reporting taking an intact son for medical appointments that have nothing to do with his genitals and being blindsided by a doctor or nurse intent on forcing back the boy’s foreskin, causing great pain and trauma.
Explanations for mass violence, as for all social phenomena, are necessarily complex, and we must resist the impulse to toss out overly-simplistic observations and solutions.
But we need to listen to the growing number of men speaking out about having been violated as babies when an essential (i.e., of its essence) part of their penis was forcibly severed. And we must ask ourselves whether the nearly ubiquitous violation of baby boys as a class of people and the assembly-line acts of violence carried out upon individual newborns might be responsible for at least some of the rage, pain and feelings of impotence that underlie the epidemic of mass killings we are witnessing today.
I will conclude with a quote from my dear friend and fellow intactivist Shelton Walden, who called me as I was writing this introduction:
“We need to treat each other well. We need to stop doing things that make people crazy.”
– Georganne Chapin
This essay was originally published on June 13, 2022, in the Intact America May/June newsletter.
My wife says I bruise her cervix when we have sex. She says it is not because my penis is long, but that I thrust too hard. She blames it on me being circumcised. I’m her second husband and her first was not circumcised. What’s that all about?
—Dumbfounded in Fort Wayne
She may be correct. When the nerve-laden foreskin is removed from the penis the result is a desensitized penis expecting and clamoring for more sensory input. To accomplish some sort of sexual satisfaction, a cut man will tend to thrust faster, harder, deeper in order to achieve climax.
Painful sex is the number one complaint of American women and I think this is because four out of five men are cut. Frictional pain is the most common reason for painful sex, and generous lubrication often alleviates this. But the second most common reason I’ve heard is from bruised cervixes. It really does hurt. A lot.
You see, an intact man tends to move slower and doesn’t have to go as deep into the vagina. The result is pleasurable sex for him and her.
You have a number of solutions available to you. 1. Just go slower and enjoy the ride. The goal isn’t always to orgasm, but to connect with your lover. 2. Try positions that tend to limit your penetration. The so-called ‘doggy style’ for one. The ‘cowgirl’ is also effective since she is in control of the depth. 3. Finally, there is a product call the Ohnut which was designed by women to cure this problem. It fits over the penis and limits the depth. It is flexible, cushy, and comfortable. And kinda kinky in a fun sort of way. Think of it as a bumper or shock absorber.
I am expecting a boy in August. My husband is circumcised and all the men in my family are circumcised, and they have never complained about it. But I have seen some moms on pregnancy forums say that when their babies returned from being circumcised, they cried and cried and wouldn’t breastfeed. My obstetrician assured me that circumcision is not painful for the baby. Is she right?
—Meredith in Providence, RI
I am so glad you are questioning your obstetrician’s statement, because she is wrong.
Many believe that babies are too young to feel pain, but that has been disproven. Any mom who, before disposable diapers were invented, accidentally stuck her newborn with a diaper pin knows that babies feel pain. And I know from my own experience that they do. I was a nursing student when I witnessed a circumcision for the first time. The baby was lying on a molded plastic board, struggling against the restraints that held his arms and legs down. Nothing was given to the baby to manage the pain. The doctor told me to let the baby suck on my finger. When the doctor began the procedure, the baby let out a scream I’d never heard come out of a human before. It wasn’t like a baby’s cry when he’s hungry or needs his diaper changed. It was primal. He screamed for the next 15 minutes.
There is no medical reason to circumcise your son. Keep him intact, just as nature intended.
I did not know that I was circumcised until I was 11 years old. My aunt and cousin, who live in France, came to visit us. My cousin stayed in my room, and one day as we were dressing I noticed that his penis looked different from mine. He showed me his foreskin, which he was able to retract.
I was devastated. I kept thinking that someone had sliced off a part of my penis and I could physically imagine the pain I must have felt as a baby. I confronted my parents and asked why they would do such a thing. They insisted it was no big deal and it was for the best.
Now I’m in my twenties and I feel more angry than ever. What can I do to move past this?
—Calvin, Denver, Colorado
I am so sorry for your loss. Your parents made a mistake by allowing you to be circumcised and seem afraid to to take responsibility for that decision. A simple apology from them would be the first step to coming to terms with what happened to you. Consider approaching your parents today to talk about how you feel.
Counseling benefits almost all survivors of abuse and is likely to help you process your feelings. A therapist can help prepare you to go back to your parents and ask them to acknowledge your feelings of loss and pain.
I’ve spoken to thousands of survivors of male genital cutting, and I’ve seen many who find solace when they get involved with the genital autonomy movement and find they are not alone, and that there are many people who share their grief and anger. I urge you to join us in fighting to save baby boys from experiencing what you have experienced.
Some men also turn to foreskin restoration. I suggest you read my answer to a reader’s question about whether foreskin restoration is worth it. This might be something for you to consider.
I hope you can find peace in your future.
My husband and I are the parents of two girls and are now expecting a baby boy. I started thinking about this a long time ago, and I am quite sure I do not want our son to be circumcised. The problem is that my husband, who was circumcised as a baby, is very angry that I am taking this stance. He says that it will be impossible to keep our son clean, and that I will be ruining my son’s chances with future girlfriends. How can I convince him that it’s better to keep our son whole?
—Samantha, New Mexico
Sadly, I have heard some variation on this question many times. First, I want to congratulate you for following your instinct to protect your son from a painful and unnecessary surgery with a lifetime of consequences. Second, I want to suggest that you consider why your husband is reacting this way. It is likely that your husband, a circumcised man, thinks you’re saying “something is wrong with YOUR CUT PENIS” when you say you don’t want to cut your son’s penis.
Reassure him that you love him just the way he is, and that you know he has his son’s interest at heart. Ask him to hear you out so you can explain why you want to stop the cycle of unnecessary cutting by keeping your son intact.
Tell him that a lot has changed since he was a baby. More men are speaking out against circumcision, saying they wish they hadn’t been cut. Researchers have found that babies really feel pain when their genitals are cut, and many babies are traumatized by it. Explain that the foreskin has thousands of sensitive nerve endings that give men and their partners pleasure during sex. Tell him that more than 100 babies die each year because of circumcision complications, and that hundreds more live their lives with disfigured penises. Ask him if he thinks it’s worth the risk to perform basically a cosmetic procedure on your son. And ask him to check out this informative website covering the historical practice of newborn circumcision .
You can also point out that, because the U.S. is the only western country that routinely circumcises its boys, men in the rest of the world are intact. They know how to clean their genitals and have no problem finding women to love them .
Tell your husband that you hope he trusts your feelings about this issue, and that you both want the same thing: to peacefully welcome a beautiful and healthy baby boy into the world and raise him to be a wonderful man like his father is.