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6 Things You Need to Know About The Intact Penis

mother deciding whether or not to circumcise her son

Circumcision, the surgical procedure involving the removal of the foreskin covering the tip of the penis, has deep historical roots spanning millennia. It is intertwined with cultural, religious, and medical practices worldwide. Conversely, the decision to remain intact, preserving the foreskin, presents a range of benefits and considerations that are often overshadowed by the prevalence of circumcision and the spread of misinformation by the medical establishment. This article will explain the advantages and critical aspects of being intact, fostering a platform for informed decision-making and comprehensive understanding.

Must-know Information About The Intact Penis

1) Exploring the Intact Penis in Depth

Understanding the anatomy of the intact penis reveals the importance of the foreskin. This natural covering offers lubrication and is crucial in maintaining sensitivity and protecting against external irritants and infections. The foreskin’s presence significantly contributes to sexual sensitivity due to the dense concentration of nerve endings within its structure. 

The foreskin on an intact penis plays several roles:

  • It serves as a protective sheath for the glans, shielding it from irritation and contaminants.
  • Provides erogenous nerve endings that contribute to sexual pleasure.
  • Offers natural lubrication and facilitates the gliding motion during sexual activities.
  • Helps maintain the moisture of the glans, keeping it sensitive and protected.
  • In infants, it’s fused to the glans, protecting it from direct exposure to urine and feces.

2) Tracing the Historical and Cultural Significance

The practice of circumcision is deeply embedded in cultural and religious contexts, with various communities viewing it as a symbolic rite, a religious mandate, or a hygiene practice. However, evolving perspectives within the medical field have sparked debates regarding the purported health advantages of circumcision (which have been disproven upon further research) versus the ethical consideration of bodily autonomy. These debates underscore the importance of recognizing and respecting cultural beliefs and narratives that shape perceptions surrounding circumcision and the identity associated with being intact. By exploring the historical and cultural significance in greater detail, we gain a deeper understanding of the multifaceted layers that contribute to the ongoing discourse surrounding male circumcision practices worldwide.

Ancient Egyptians were among the earliest known practitioners of circumcision, possibly for reasons related to hygiene, religious beliefs, or social identity. This tradition persists today in diverse cultures and religions, such as Judaism and Islam, each with unique historical and cultural importance.

In addition, the impact of circumcision on sexual function and pleasure has been a topic of interest in recent studies. Research shows that the presence of the foreskin enhances sexual experiences for males due to the unique sensations it provides during intimacy. This aspect adds another dimension to the conversation surrounding circumcision and underscores the need for a comprehensive examination of the factors influencing individual choices regarding genital modifications.

3) Medical Perspectives on Circumcision

The American Academy of Pediatrics states that it is not medically necessary to circumcise.

When considering circumcision, proponents often highlight the supposed medical benefits, such as the reduced risks of urinary tract infections, penile cancer, and certain sexually transmitted infections. These reported advantages are statistically insignificant, with the proven disadvantages, dangers, and traumas caused by circumcision easily outweighing them. Critics of circumcision and fellow intactivists demand the necessity for more conclusive evidence to support the routine practice of circumcision. Concerns are raised regarding the risks and long-term effects, such as diminished sensitivity and the psychological impact on individuals undergoing the procedure.

Click here to learn more about how circumcision injuries are underreported

Noteworthy health organizations like the American Academy of Pediatrics and the World Health Organization advocate for a balanced approach, encouraging individuals to thoroughly evaluate the benefits against the risks and cultural considerations before opting for circumcision.

The medical establishment’s promotion of circumcision has been influenced by various factors over the years, including historical medical theories, cultural practices, and financial incentives. Some critics argue that the perpetuation of circumcision by healthcare providers may not always be driven by clear medical necessity but rather by tradition, societal norms, or potential revenue.

This Penis Business, by Georganne Chapin

4) Benefits of Being Intact

In contrast to circumcision, maintaining natural sensitivity by remaining intact offers real, unique, proven advantages. Intact individuals avoid potential risks associated with circumcision, like the risk of infection and complications during the healing process. Furthermore, choosing not to undergo circumcision respects the principle of bodily autonomy, empowering individuals to make informed decisions about their own bodies. In addressing misconceptions surrounding hygiene and sexual performance in intact individuals, it is crucial to emphasize that proper hygiene practices can effectively address any concerns that may arise.

Benefits of being intact include:

  • Natural protection of the glans, maintaining its sensitivity.
  • Presence of erogenous tissue contributing to sexual pleasure.
  • Natural lubrication during sexual activity.
  • Avoidance of potential surgical risks and complications.
  • Preservation of the foreskin’s immunological functions.

Click here to learn more about how to keep your son intact

5) Caring for an Intact Penis

While hygiene is paramount for overall health, ensuring proper care for an intact penis is of utmost importance. Regular and gentle cleansing beneath the foreskin is essential to prevent the buildup of smegma, a natural secretion that, when neglected, can result in irritation and discomfort. Educating parents and individuals about the significance of gentle retraction and thorough cleaning techniques is critical to promoting optimal health outcomes and reducing the risks associated with inadequate hygiene practices. By raising awareness and fostering understanding of these care practices, individuals can effectively uphold good genital hygiene, improving their overall well-being and quality of life.

Caring for an intact penis involves simple steps that ensure cleanliness and avoid potential issues:

  • Wash gently with water, avoiding forceful retraction of the foreskin.
  • Clean the visible parts without using harsh soaps inside the foreskin.
  • Allow the foreskin to retract naturally over time, without forcing it.
  • After natural retraction, rinse under the foreskin during regular bathing.
  • Dry the penis gently after washing to prevent moisture buildup.

6) Ethical and Human Rights Considerations

The decision to perform circumcision for non-medical motives is an ethical and human rights violation concerning the child’s entitlement to bodily integrity and self-governance. 

Male circumcision, particularly when performed on non-consenting infants, arguing that it may infringe upon an individual’s right to bodily integrity and autonomy.

Across various societies, circumcision holds a deep-rooted cultural significance and historical context. However, opponents and intactivist organizations much like our own, stress the importance of upholding personal autonomy and bodily integrity. These deliberations advocate for delaying irreversible choices until the individual can actively engage in the decision-making process, thereby nurturing a culture of respecting personal autonomy and prioritizing well-informed consent.

The decision between opting for circumcision or remaining intact is a life-altering one, influenced by an array of factors such as cultural traditions, societal conditioning, religious pressures, and medical misinformation. Our hope is that you fully comprehend the impact of the physiological, psychological, and ethical aspects associated with the decision to circumcise or protect the intact penis. By promoting transparent discussions and facilitating informed decision-making, individuals and parents can navigate this intricate subject matter while upholding principles of health, personal well-being, and autonomy. For those seeking additional insights and support, a plethora of resources are accessible through health institutions and advocacy organizations devoted to furnishing comprehensive details on this specific topic.

Click here to learn more about intactivism.

At Intact America, we emphasize that there’s no medical justification for routine circumcision. Circumcision permanently changes a boy’s genitals, removing protective tissue, and exposing him to risks without meaningful benefits. Care for an intact penis is straightforward, requiring no special treatment. It’s important for parents to consider these points, as circumcision is irreversible and often life-altering. For more detailed information, read further on our website and consider joining the intactivist movement.

People Also Ask These Questions About The Intact Penis

Is circumcision necessary for hygiene?

No, proper hygiene for an intact penis is simple and does not require circumcision. Gentle washing is more than sufficient.

Does circumcision prevent diseases?

Claims that circumcision prevents diseases are often overstated. While it is true that circumcision has been associated with a reduced risk of urinary tract infections (UTIs) and some sexually transmitted diseases (STDs), the severity of the risks, dangers, and long-term traumas far outweigh the statistically insignificant (purported) benefits. UTIs and STDs can still occur in individuals regardless of their circumcision status. It’s important to consider all aspects and consult healthcare professionals for comprehensive advice on sexual health.

Is caring for an intact penis difficult?

No, it requires no special care beyond normal hygiene practices. It is important to emphasize not forcibly retracting the foreskin in young boys, as this can cause injury and lead to issues in the future. Gentle cleaning with water is usually sufficient to maintain good hygiene.

Does circumcision offer any medical benefits?

The purported medical benefits of circumcision have been a topic of debate within the medical community. The discussion concerns whether these claimed benefits genuinely outweigh the risks and loss of protective and erogenous tissue. Numerous studies and opinions contribute to this ongoing dialogue, highlighting the complexity of the issue and the importance of informed decision-making in matters related to circumcision.

Can circumcision impact sexual pleasure?

Yes, the foreskin is a highly sensitive part of the male anatomy and contains numerous nerve endings that play a crucial role in sexual pleasure. These nerve endings, which are rich in sensory receptors, contribute significantly to the overall experience of intimacy and pleasure during sexual activities. During circumcision, the removal of the foreskin results in the loss of these nerve endings, potentially impacting sexual sensations and experiences for individuals later in life.


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Marilyn Fayre Milos, multiple award winner for her humanitarian work to end routine infant circumcision in the United States and advocating for the rights of infants and children to genital autonomy, has written a warm and compelling memoir of her path to becoming “the founding mother of the intactivist movement.” Needing to support her family as a single mother in the early sixties, Milos taught banjo—having learned to play from Jerry Garcia (later of The Grateful Dead)—and worked as an assistant to comedian and social critic Lenny Bruce, typing out the content of his shows and transcribing court proceedings of his trials for obscenity. After Lenny’s death, she found her voice as an activist as part of the counterculture revolution, living in Haight Ashbury in San Francisco during the 1967 Summer of Love, and honed her organizational skills by creating an alternative education open classroom (still operating) in Marin County. 

After witnessing the pain and trauma of the circumcision of a newborn baby boy when she was a nursing student at Marin College, Milos learned everything she could about why infants were subjected to such brutal surgery. The more she read and discovered, the more convinced she became that circumcision had no medical benefits. As a nurse on the obstetrical unit at Marin General Hospital, she committed to making sure parents understood what circumcision entailed before signing a consent form. Considered an agitator and forced to resign in 1985, she co-founded NOCIRC (National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers) and began organizing international symposia on circumcision, genital autonomy, and human rights. Milos edited and published the proceedings from the above-mentioned symposia and has written numerous articles in her quest to end circumcision and protect children’s bodily integrity. She currently serves on the board of directors of Intact America.


Georganne Chapin is a healthcare expert, attorney, social justice advocate, and founding executive director of Intact America, the nation’s most influential organization opposing the U.S. medical industry’s penchant for surgically altering the genitals of male children (“circumcision”). Under her leadership, Intact America has definitively documented tactics used by U.S. doctors and healthcare facilities to pathologize the male foreskin, pressure parents into circumcising their sons, and forcibly retract the foreskins of intact boys, creating potentially lifelong, iatrogenic harm. 

Chapin holds a BA in Anthropology from Barnard College, and a Master’s degree in Sociomedical Sciences from Columbia University. For 25 years, she served as president and chief executive officer of Hudson Health Plan, a nonprofit Medicaid insurer in New York’s Hudson Valley. Mid-career, she enrolled in an evening law program, where she explored the legal and ethical issues underlying routine male circumcision, a subject that had interested her since witnessing the aftermath of the surgery conducted on her younger brother. She received her Juris Doctor degree from Pace University School of Law in 2003, and was subsequently admitted to the New York Bar. As an adjunct professor, she taught Bioethics and Medicaid and Disability Law at Pace, and Bioethics in Dominican College’s doctoral program for advanced practice nurses.

In 2004, Chapin founded the nonprofit Hudson Center for Health Equity and Quality, a company that designs software and provides consulting services designed to reduce administrative complexities, streamline and integrate data collection and reporting, and enhance access to care for those in need. In 2008, she co-founded Intact America.

Chapin has published many articles and op-ed essays, and has been interviewed on local, national and international television, radio and podcasts about ways the U.S. healthcare system prioritizes profits over people’s basic needs. She cites routine (nontherapeutic) infant circumcision as a prime example of a practice that wastes money and harms boys and the men they will become. This Penis Business: A Memoir is her first book.