Intact Penis Care: Embracing Natural Well-being

Intact Penis Care: Embracing Natural Well-being

The argument against circumcision is founded on an unwavering commitment to bodily autonomy and the irrefutable benefits of remaining intact. Across cultures and through the annals of history, circumcision has been practiced for a myriad of reasons — yet today’s enlightened understanding of human rights and medical ethics calls for a staunch opposition to this unnecessary procedure. 

Preserving one’s natural anatomy is a stand against an invasive procedure that lacks conclusive medical justification. Studies reveal that over 80% of the world’s male population remains intact, highlighting a global norm that contradicts the pro-circumcision narrative prevalent in the United States. Furthermore, the foreskin is recognized for its functional importance, housing thousands of nerve endings that enhance sexual pleasure, a fact that underscores the loss experienced through circumcision.

Moreover, the historical context of circumcision in various cultures does not diminish the contemporary understanding that every individual has the inherent right to make informed decisions about their own body. It’s high time to discard outdated practices in favor of respecting bodily autonomy and celebrating the human body’s natural state. The movement against circumcision is gaining momentum, fueled by the undeniable evidence of the benefits of staying intact and the growing recognition of the importance of personal choice in matters of health and well-being.

Circumcision Myths vs. Facts: Dispelling the Misconceptions

Intact penis care involves confronting a myriad of myths that obscure the truth, spreading misinformation and unwarranted fears. From exaggerated claims about hygiene difficulties to baseless health risks, these misconceptions perpetuate stigma and undermine the natural advantages of remaining intact. Below, we dismantle these myths with facts, advocating for a well-informed, anti-circumcision stance that celebrates the simplicity and inherent benefits of embracing one’s natural anatomy.

Myth: “Intact Penises are More Difficult to Clean”

  • Fact: The hygiene of an intact penis is straightforward and uncomplicated. Simple, gentle washing with water is sufficient for cleanliness, negating the myth of excessive effort.

Myth: “Circumcision is Necessary to Prevent STDs”

  • Fact: Effective STD prevention hinges on safe sexual practices, not circumcision status. Major health organizations emphasize condoms and safe sex education as the most reliable methods for STD prevention.

Myth: “Phimosis is a Common Problem That Requires Circumcision”

  • Fact: Phimosis, or the inability to retract the foreskin, typically resolves naturally as a child grows. Only in rare cases where phimosis persists and causes issues are treatments required, which often do not involve circumcision.

Myth: “Circumcision Promotes Better Sexual Health”

  • Fact: The foreskin is a highly sensitive part of the male anatomy, contributing to sexual pleasure. Studies have shown that circumcision can reduce sensitivity, arguing against the notion that circumcision offers sexual health benefits.

Myth: “Circumcision is Widely Accepted and Preferred”

  • Fact: Cultural norms vary greatly, and remaining intact in many parts of the world is the standard. The perception of circumcision as the preferred or normative state is culturally specific and not grounded in universal health or hygiene principles.

To learn more about the profit motives behind the deliberate disinformation campaigns and shaming of the intact penis, read our article about the actual costs of adult circumcision

Health and Hygiene: A Gentle Approach

Basic Care Guidelines

The journey of caring for an intact penis spans from infancy through adulthood, requiring nothing more than a gentle and respectful approach. For infants and young boys, the foreskin should not be forcibly retracted. Instead, cleaning should involve only the external parts. As boys grow and the foreskin naturally becomes retractable, a simple rinse with water during regular bathing is sufficient. This respectful, non-invasive approach ensures comfort and prevents potential harm, highlighting the ease of maintaining cleanliness and health without undue stress.

Dealing with Phimosis and Balanitis

Phimosis and balanitis are conditions often cited in arguments for circumcision. However, understanding these conditions reveals that non-invasive treatments are effective and preferable. Phimosis, a condition where the foreskin cannot be fully retracted over the glans, often resolves naturally over time. In cases where intervention is needed, topical treatments and gentle stretching exercises are successful alternatives. Balanitis, inflammation of the glans, is usually a result of poor hygiene or infection and can be treated with proper cleaning and medication. When understood and addressed with care, these conditions do not necessitate circumcision.

The Truth about UTIs and STDs

While proper hygiene is indeed crucial, the actual risk difference between circumcised and intact individuals is minimal when good hygiene practices are followed. Emphasizing cleanliness and safe sexual practices offers effective risk mitigation, presenting a strong case for the natural approach to health and well-being without the need for surgical intervention.

The Benefits of Remaining Intact

Sexual Health and Pleasure

The foreskin is rich in nerve endings, contributing significantly to sexual sensitivity and pleasure for both the individual and their partner. Its natural lubrication and motion during intercourse enhance the sexual experience, illustrating one of the key benefits of remaining intact. The impact of foreskin on sexual health and satisfaction is a testament to the advantages of embracing one’s natural anatomy.

Psychological Well-being

Choosing to remain intact also supports psychological well-being and body positivity. In a world where body image issues are rampant, embracing natural bodily autonomy fosters self-esteem and confidence. The decision to stay intact, supported by informed care practices, champions the right to personal choice and respect for one’s body.

Medical Perspectives

Healthcare professionals increasingly recognize the advantages of non-circumcision, advocating for informed choice and respecting bodily autonomy. The medical community’s insight underscores the importance of education and understanding in making care decisions that prioritize the individual’s well-being and rights.

Intactivism and Education

Global recognition and appreciation of genital autonomy are fundamentally rooted in education. The enlightenment process involves personal understanding, sharing knowledge about the intrinsic benefits of remaining intact, and advocating for gentle, respectful care practices. By breaking down the facts, debunking myths, and presenting clear, evidence-based information, we foster a culture of informed decision-making that places personal choice and bodily autonomy at its core.

However, the mission doesn’t end with individual enlightenment; it’s about creating ripples across communities, societies, and the world. This is where organizations like Intact America play a pivotal role. Intact America is at the forefront of advocating for genital autonomy, working tirelessly to change societal norms, challenge harmful traditions, and end unnecessary genital surgeries on minors who cannot consent. Our efforts are crucial in amplifying the message that every person has the right to make informed choices about their bodies.

Become an Intactivist: Support Intact America

  • Educate Yourself and Others: Leverage the wealth of resources provided by Intact America to deepen your understanding of genital autonomy and the benefits of remaining intact. Knowledge is power, and sharing this knowledge is instrumental in shifting societal perspectives.
  • Advocate for Change: Use your voice, whether in conversations with friends and family, social media, or community gatherings, to spread the word about the importance of bodily autonomy and the critical work being done by Intact America.
  • Donate or Volunteer: Consider supporting Intact America or volunteering your time. Your contribution can significantly impact the fight for genital autonomy, supporting educational campaigns, legal efforts, and outreach programs.
  • Stay Informed and Engaged: Follow Intact America on social media, subscribe to our newsletter, and stay engaged with our latest campaigns and initiatives. Staying informed about ongoing efforts and successes maintains momentum and inspires continued advocacy.

By aligning with organizations like Intact America, you’re championing a cause that seeks to protect future generations from unwarranted medical interventions. Join us in this vital mission: educate, advocate, and support. Together, we can make a difference, ensuring that personal choice and bodily autonomy are honored and celebrated.


Intactivism 101: An Anti-Circumcision Guide for Foreskin Activism

Intactivism 101: An Anti-Circumcision Guide for Foreskin Activism

Driven by a fervent commitment to bodily autonomy and human rights, pioneers of the movement to end circumcision coined the dynamic terms “intactivist” and ‘intactivism” to describe the actions and mobilization of those who advocate for the preservation of the male foreskin and oppose the practice of medically unnecessary circumcision. This article presents practical ways to engage in foreskin activism, which champions the rights of every individual to bodily autonomy and a common-sense approach to welcoming baby boys into the world as we welcome baby girls—as nature made them.

What is Intactivism?

The terms ”intactivism” and “intactivist”—a powerful blend of “intact” and “activism/activist”—represent a vibrant social movement and its participants who advocate for preserving the natural state of the human body, specifically concerning male circumcision. Originating as a direct response to the widespread practice of medically unnecessary routine infant circumcision, the goal of intactivism and intactivists was to shed light on the health risks associated with the removal of the foreskin from baby boys’ penises and the benefits of retaining the foreskin. Research by the pioneers of this movement into the history and reasons for this pervasive practice in the United States revealed that the supposed health benefits of circumcision were based on medical myths and cultural conditioning outside of religious tradition and ritual as opposed to any reasonable scientific or medical basis. As information was available and knowledge was accumulated, the core of intactivism embraced the fundamental right to bodily autonomy. By challenging societal norms and fostering critical dialogue, intactivism seeks to ignite a transformative shift in public perception and discourse surrounding circumcision to spare male babies, children, and adults the physical, psychological, and emotional trauma associated with medically unnecessary surgery on a sensitive sexual organ. 

Intactivists and Arguments Against Circumcision

Arguments against circumcision may have started with the fact that it is medically unnecessary. Once that issue was proven (as a uniquely American fallacy) and information was available for dissemination on websites, videos, interviews with intactivists, and re-educating medical and health personnel through the NOCIRC (National Organization of Circumcision Research Centers) sponsored symposia all over the world, the ethical and human rights issue gained attention. Removing a natural functional body part (the foreskin) from an organ as sensitive as a baby’s penis brings up a wide range of concerns.  Intactivists working to end circumcision represent the interests of non-consenting infants, who are unable to voice their decision on removing a body part (other than through their screams of pain and apparent emotional trauma) and cannot provide informed consent.  The intactivism movement believes that the decision to circumcise a baby or child should be deferred until individuals are of an age where they can make choices about their own bodies based on the short- and long-term consequences of circumcision.

Intactivist Strategies and Initiatives

Intactivists employ a range of strategies and initiatives to raise awareness and advocate for the importance of genital integrity and informed consent. Through public protests, the distribution of educational materials, and outreach programs, they tirelessly educate parents and healthcare providers about the potential risks and ethical considerations surrounding circumcision. 

Marilyn Milos, in Please Don’t Cut the Baby!, which chronicles the growth of the movement from the 1970s to today, writes about several early efforts to end circumcision that raised awareness in both the health community and the public. Notably, the “Bloodstained Men” movement utilized striking visuals and street theater to capture attention and ignite discussions on the ethical implications of circumcision. The men would appear at demonstrations in white outfits with red paint on the crotch, symbolizing the bloody wound of circumcision. Another robust response to ending circumcision was when a group of nurses at St. Vincent Hospital in Santa Fe refused to participate in infant circumcisions, declaring themselves conscientious objectors—a brave move considering they could have all lost their jobs, as Marilyn did when she began to educate parents at Marin General Hospital. 

Marilyn points out that the most straightforward thing anyone can do to end circumcision is to spread evidence-based information about both the risks of circumcision and the human rights violations of a child’s body.

“Those who market anything and everything know that consumers trust personal recommendations above all other sources of information.”

Word-of-mouth can make a tremendous difference to individuals on the fence or simply clueless about circumcision. 

However, the advent of social media and online communities has played a pivotal role in amplifying intactivist voices, facilitating the sharing of information, stories, and resources, and connecting like-minded individuals who share concerns. These digital platforms, like intactamerica.com, have become epicenters for constructive dialogue on the issues surrounding circumcision.

Chapin and Milos memoirs

Intact America’s latest intactivism outreach campaign, Skin in the Game (skininthegame.org) features images of people of every race, ethnicity, sex, and body type who share their interest in the topic of circumcision and how the practice of circumcision has affected them. What it shows is that circumcision cuts through all of us. It has both short-term and long-term physical, psychological, and emotional consequences for male infants, children, and adults. But it also affects relationships and family dynamics. A wife or partner may not understand the sexual repercussions of a circumcision gone wrong. Children may be angry at their parents for allowing them to be circumcised. Parents may feel guilty about a decision made before they are fully informed.   

Intact America Founding Executive Director Georganne Chapin reveals in the epilogue to her book This Penis Business that the intactivist organization, in tandem with the group Doctors Opposing Circumcision, is “on the cusp of signing off on a custom-developed consumer-facing electronic system called DoNoHarm.report” that will be launched state by state in 2024. The program will consist of standardized forms that collect complaints from parents and others who were pressured by doctors or hospital personnel to circumcise their sons, who experienced any aspect of circumcision complications, or who have been victims of forcible foreskin retraction, a common issue that both parents and medical personnel misunderstand. With this information, doctors and medical organizations can no longer claim they have not heard of any complaints about circumcision or have no access to records of complaints.

How to Get Involved in Intactivism

Anyone can become an intactivist in word and deed by recognizing that boys, like girls, are born perfect and that the foreskin is a functional body part with thousands of nerve endings that serve no one but the medical industry when they are amputated. 

  • Inform yourself and educate others by visiting intactamerica.org regularly (and supporting it with donations if possible) and other intactivist organizations, googling podcasts and listening to interviews on the subject, reviewing articles and videos, and asking questions and requiring answers.
  • Hold healthcare providers at all levels accountable for providing you with information about circumcision. Do not rely on any one medical organization to do so, as they represent stakeholders in promoting circumcision because doctors and hospitals are paid for each circumcision they perform.
  • Lobby lawmakers to make legal changes that support the rights of a child to genital autonomy and bodily integrity. If you can’t do that, support those doing so by publicizing their efforts through word-of-mouth or social media platforms.
  • Initiate or participate in community events like Pride celebrations that highlight circumcision education and promote intactivism.
  • Speak out about your own or your family’s experiences with circumcision complications.
  • Buy or borrow the memoirs This Penis Business by Georganne Chapin and Please Don’t Cut the Baby! by Marilyn Milos, or listen to the audio versions of the books.

We outline practical steps for those interested in becoming intactivists and emphasize the significance of education, advocacy, and outreach. By responding to common counterarguments, intactivists seek to foster constructive dialogue and present evidence-based perspectives. Intactivism thrives through diverse strategies and initiatives, often aided by social media and online communities. As we conclude, we reiterate the paramount importance of informed decision-making, respect for bodily autonomy, and the ongoing dialogue surrounding circumcision and foreskin activism. We encourage readers to explore this critical subject further, engage in open conversations, and contribute to the broader discussion on the rights and choices surrounding circumcision.  Engaging in respectful discussions and presenting evidence-based counterpoints allows for a comprehensive exploration of the topic, ultimately promoting informed decision-making and emphasizing the significance of consent in matters of personal health.

IOTM – Alan Cumming

JUNE 2013: Every June, people in cities across America celebrate Gay Pride Week, and intactivists in both New York City and San Francisco will be marching in Pride parades, spreading the message that boys deserve the right to genital integrity. We’re proud to honor those in the gay rights movement who also fight for the rights of infant boys to keep the bodies they were born with. That’s why we’ve chosen outspoken gay rights activist Alan Cumming as June’s Intactivist of the Month.

Award-winning star of stage and screen, Alan Cumming joined Intact America’s Board of Advocates shortly after the organization’s founding, and has partnered with Intact America (IA) on several occasions. One of the many reasons we love him is because Alan uses his public platform to highlight our issue. In television interviews, magazine articles, even onstage in monologues before solo performances, Alan talks about the insanity of cutting the foreskins off baby boys, and about the virtues of being intact. Last year, Alan wrote a piece for the Wall Street Journal, which was deemed “too raw” for its readers…so he posted it on his blog and allowed us to reproduce it on the Intact America blog. The piece was called “May the Foreskin Be With You.”

Alan’s devotion to intactivism started well before he joined Intact America’s Board of Advocates; for years, he’s been a supporter of Great Britain’s National Organization of Restoring Men (NORM-UK). “I have a foreskin,” he says. “I am meant to have one. It’s not there for no reason. Why are so many babies (more than half the population of U.S. males alone) made to have a piece of their genitals lopped off at only a few days old? It’s insane and cruel and pandemic, and I believe we all need to question why we do it, examine the (sometimes tragic) effects of doing it, and be educated about foreskin health. We need to stand up and question why we allow such a traumatic and violent act to be repeated unthinkingly generation after generation!”

alan_macbethWhen interviewed by David Mixner, gay rights activist and former political advisor to President Bill Clinton, about the work of Intact America, Alan said, “Online organizing will build grassroots support for male genital integrity (a phrase I absolutely love). Intact America’s online petition to the Centers for Disease Control [demanding that it avoid recommending circumcision] very quickly went ‘viral’ and drew tens of thousands of signatures. With millions sharing our view that circumcision is wrong and harmful, it’s just the beginning. Already, the rate of circumcision in the U.S. has declined from 80 to 56 percent since the 1960s; [supporting] Intact America will hasten that trend.”

“I am profoundly honored to count Alan Cumming among Intact America’s supporters,” says Georganne Chapin. “Alan isn’t just smart and talented and funny—he is a compassionate and intuitive person who understands the full implications of circumcision, both for males subjected to it, and for society at large. I am thrilled that Alan has chosen to openly support Intact America and advocate for the rights of boys and men to their whole, natural bodies.”

Alan achieved international fame with his Tony Award-winning performance in Cabaret, and has been featured in dozens of Hollywood films, including X2: X Men United, the Spy Kids trilogy, and The Anniversary Party. In 2013 he performed in a one-man version of Macbeth on Broadway, and donated part of the proceeds from ticket sales to Intact America.

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