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This Is A Tough One

I did have my boys circumcized.  I felt horribly guilty as they recovered from the procedure.  Now that they are healed, they really do not care.  My oldest son was upset with me when he found out that I let the doctors perform this procedure.  Thankfully, he quickly got over it.

I think its a very personal decicion.  I worried about cleanliness and infections.  Plus if a boy/man is going to get it done, shouldn't it be done when the healing process is at it quickest and the memory of it will not be there?  That's just me.

I was so happy to have a girl the third time around.  Because I dont know if I could have allowed them to do it.  My husband would have but now that I have done more research it seems to be more cosmetic.

NoGodsNoMasters NoGodsNoMasters 31-35, F 19 Responses Oct 8, 2009

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"I think its a very personal decicion" - exactly. A personal decision for the perso who owns the body, not a parent. It should not be forced on babies. The whole of Europe actually has lower instances of HIV than the USA - yet most European men are not circumcised.

Please don't feel guilty over having your sons circumcised. My parents did not have me circumcised because in the 1940s, nothing was given to minimize pain. Four sons grew up intact because our parents meant well. The problem is, as adults two of us have had to seek circumcision as adults. It is very embarrassing and costs much more to be done as adults. Hard to retract foreskins, tearing during intimacy with wife, problems with hygiene - irritation of wetness under the skin when out away from conveniences of home, all contributed to me having the operation one year ago. It was the best thing I have ever done for myself. I appreciate my parents' good intentions, however I wish they would have allowed the procedure done right after I was born. An OB nurse reportedly begged my Mom to allow the procedure. My quality of life would have been so much better. Plus there is the risk of increasing spread of STDs and increasing the risk of cancer for female partners to men who are uncircumcised. I am a lab tech. We use foreskin cells harvested from infant male foreskins to grow herpes and other pathogens in cell cultures in the lab. Bravo to you for giving your sons best possible outcomes. You saved them from possibly needing it done later. Besides, in our culture many young women reportedly prefer circumcised males. I hope you'll not be hard on your self over this controversial issue!

If an intact man comes down with an STI, his moral and common sense failings are to blame, not his foreskin.
The percentage of Japanese and continental European teens and men who are circumcised for medical reasons is at most 1%. Is this a good reason to remove all foreskins routinely? Offsetting your reasoning are the men circumcised in infancy whose adult penises are damaged. We lack hard evidence about such cases, because American medicine refuses to look for them. But there is ample anecdotal evidence on the internet. RIC has largely ceased in Australia and New Zealand because of doctor reports of tragic outcomes.
Just because you were circumcised as an adult does not mean that it would have been ethical for your parents to have you undergo RIC at birth, without anesthesia.

For sure - anesthesia is the way to go - if procedure is desired. As early as the 80's, some pediatricians were using local anesthesia to mimimize the pain. I don't understand why the methods are not universally used. Part of it is - they are in a rush and don't want to take the time to wait for cream and shot to work and save the patient pain. Minimizing procedures and pain are the way to go. In my case, at birth would have saved me years of trying to cope and then having to have the operation.

It is quite possible that a lot of the problems you experienced were due to the fact that American medical and popular culture are ignorant of the natural penis and how to keep it trouble free.

The occasional chronic foreskin problems are NOT a valid reason to remove all foreskins at birth. Especially given the growing evidence that what RIC cuts off is an important player in the sexual satisfaction of both genders.

Many, maybe most, pediatricians inject lidocaine. But most circumcisions are RICs done by obgyns in the maternity ward. Obgyns are curiously deaf to a male baby's screams. The flat out refusal of many USA doctors to use lidocaine when doing RIC is blatant evidence of a lack of humanity, and of a smug belief that "if I wasn't warned about X when I did my clinicals, then X isn't a problem." This inhumanity is a reason why I decide not to make medicine my profession.

The whole of Europe actually has lower instances of HIV than the USA - yet most European men are not circumcised.

"I think its a very personal decicion" - exactly. A personal decision for the perso who owns the body, not a parent. It should not be forced on babies. The whole of Europe actually has lower instances of HIV than the USA - yet most European men are not circumcised.

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OrionsSword, you are entitled to feel as you do. But do not assume that other men feel as you do, or that cut boys will grow up and feel as you do. Everyman should have the right to decide the fate of his own penis for himself. My mother insisted on that in 1949, and I am very deeply grateful to her.

i had it done, have no regrets, and i think far too much is made over the issue. FORTUNATELY, it is still the parents choice, like it or not. It would be very stupid to take that right away from them.. let them and their child deal with the issue, later. the child doesn't have choice rights at that time in it's life, legally, so it is not even a real point to be maid. as i said, there is far too much made out of it. i have read the issues, and have no regrets in any way. i'll be damned if i will feel badly about my parents choice in the matter.<br />
unless you just want to rant, don't reply. this is a one time visit here.

It's a personal decision for the person who owns the body, not a parent. It would be very stupid to take that right away from them. It should not be forced on babies. The whole of Europe actually has lower instances of HIV than the USA - yet most European men are not circumcised. You don't have to feel bad about your parents. But that's not a reason to encourage what they did.

yawn

feel bad about my parents? how ridiculous. encourage in hindsite?? spock, explain this to him!
the child still has few rights under u.s. laws, this being one of them.
take it up with your lawyer, instead of whine in past tense about what should have been (in someone elses life, not your own)

@NoGodsNoMasters:<br />
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"First it only done to girls to ensure they do not enjoy sex."<br />
ME. When Africans are queried about the custom, the reasons they give for it are more complicated than that. Also, adult African women done as girls firmly assert that they have ******* with their husbands<br />
<br />
"That is not why we circumcise boys."<br />
Circumcision became fashionable among the British and American upper middle class 120 years ago, because it was believed to make boys less likely to **********, and grown men less prone to misbehaving sexually. It was believed to achieve this by making sexual activity less thrilling.<br />
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This anti-horndog agenda has been forgotten, and the current urban myth is that circ has no effect on sexual pleasure, This is not true at all. It DOES diminish pleasure to a degree that varies by individual and slowly increases with age. And there are women who definitely prefer intercourse with an intact partner.<br />
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Circumcision persists mainly because many parents don't want to see an odd looking penis every time they change a diaper or give a bath. This is an ethically indefensible reason to circ.

You wouldn't cut a baby girl's prepuce off, so why would you cut a boy's off? It's his body, so let him decide for himself. If you wait, it's safer than an infant circumcision, it hurts less, and the results are cosmetically better. In England, only 1 in 140 males left intact ever needs to be circumcised for a medical reason, and it's getting rarer.<br />
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If my son wants to be circumcised when he's 18 (16 if he knows what he's going), I'll gladly pay for it, and help him find the best surgeon. Until then, no-one is cutting parts of his genitals off. His body, his decision.<br />
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It's worth remembering that no-one except for Jewish people and Muslims would even be having this discussion if it weren't for the fact that 19th century doctors thought that :<br />
a) ************ caused various physical and mental problems (including epilepsy, convulsions, paralysis, tuberculosis etc), and<br />
b) circumcision stopped ************.<br />
<br />
Both of those sound ridiculous today I know, but how that's how they thought back then, and that's how non-religious circumcision got started. If you don't believe me, then google this: "A Short History of Circumcision in North America In the Physicians' Own Words". Heck, they even passed laws against "self-pollution" as it was called.

@BettyValenine: I don't see a lot of "persecuting" of parents who circumcise. I see a lot of urging to 1) find out more what it actually entails (eg, see a video, such as <br />
http://video.google.com/videoplay?docid=-6584757516627632617&hl=en or<br />
http://newborns.stanford.edu/Gomco.html),<br />
2) consider the rights of the person on the other end, and<br />
3) not just do it because someone else is<br />
<br />
"I just remember a boy in my music class in Year 12 (we were 17/18 years old) got an infection in his foreskin and had to get circumsized."<br />
These anecdotes do the rounds, and when one like that is put up here, maybe hundreds of people see it, but we never hear the anecdotes from the millions and millions of men who go through their whole lives with intact penises that cause no trouble at all.<br />
"He said it wasn't too painful,"<br />
Yet one reason given for doing it to babies is supposed to be because it's more painful for an adult. <br />
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@cerberus3030150: "they believe male circumcision is barbaric just as western society believe female circumcision is barbaric. " They don't actually. Wherever they cut girls, they also cut boys (with the exception of one obscure tribe that used to cut boys too). What they do do, is justify female cutting by reference to western male circumcision. We would live in a far less glassy house when we throw stones at FGC if we didn't still practise MGC.<br />
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@Nogodsnomasters: "First it only done to girls to ensure they do not enjoy sex. That is not why we circumcise boys. " You do know that non-ritual circumcision was introduced to prevent or "cure" ************. (It didn't work of course, but it certainly did punish it, and those who did it might think it worked, because the kids would make damned sure they weren't caught again, lest worse befall them.) <br />
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For centuries, the foreskin was known to be pleasureable, and circumcision seen as reducing the pleasure, though its purpose then was only religious.<br />
<br />
But from the child's point of view, it doesn't make any difference what the purpose is, or what their sex is. It's still a violation of their right to autonomy and integrity.

NGNM: the intent in Africa is to reduce the sexual pleasure of women. There is some evidence that this intent does not become reality.<br />
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Male circumcision became fashionable in the UK and USA in order to reduce male sexual excitement, and to discourage boyhood ************. After 1920, this goal was soon forgotten, but the cutting continued. 15 years ago, medicine began to understand that what circumcision discards is the most high sexualised tissues in the entire male body. The Sorrels et al (2007) study only reenforced this.<br />
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The youthful circumcised penis is quite capable of enjoying pleasure. But I wonder if 40-50 years of constant contact with underwear does not take a toll. I surmise that the extra sensitivity of the intact penis comes in handy after age 50.<br />
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So we stopped wanting to reduce male pleasure. But that appears to a consequence regardless.

There is a difference between female and male circumcision. First it only done to girls to ensure they do not enjoy sex. <br />
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ME. First, African women who have been circumcised often claim to experience ******. Hard to believe, but women who are missing most or all of the clitoris also claim to experience ******.<br />
<br />
Second, female genital mutilation encompasses a number of alterations of the girly bits. All alterations that do not affect the glans of the clitoris do not reliably reduce a woman's sexual pleasure. In particular, to remove all or part of the hood of the clitoris, or the inner labia, is evil but usually does not affect a woman's capacity for ******.<br />
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That is not why we circumcise boys.<br />
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ME. You are completely correct about the past 70-80 years. But routine infant circumcision began before WWI primarily because our ancestors thought that circumcised boys were much less likely to **********. <br />
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Our ancestors thought that ************ was very gross and immoral. It was immoral because they thought that the only moral sexual pleasure was vaginal intercourse between married people. The notion that you could have do it yourself sexual pleasure any time really scared them. They saw that as a threat to the entire moral order and to the central role of marriage and family life.

how could anyone do such a thing to a child? were you angry because they caused you pain during delivery?

Americans circumcise their boys, not because they value the operation for some perverted or cruel reason, but because they see the natural penis as a grave social disability. Millions of Americans fear that uncircumcised boys are bullied, and uncircumcised men can't marry well. Most Americans have never seen a natural penis in the flesh, and expect the penis to be bald 24/7.

let's not confuse the issue by oversimplifying things. It would be nice if we just stopped doing it hours after they go through the most traumatic event of their lives (birth). Let's let them cut their own dicks up when they are old enough to want it. That shouldn't be our call. Remember:<br />
<br />
Your children are not your children.<br />
They are the sons and daughters of Life's longing for itself.<br />
They come through you but not from you,<br />
And though they are with you yet they belong not to you.<br />
You may give them your love but not your thoughts,<br />
For they have their own thoughts.<br />
You may house their bodies but not their souls,<br />
For their souls dwell in the house of tomorrow,<br />
which you cannot visit, not even in your dreams.<br />
You may strive to be like them,<br />
but seek not to make them like you.<br />
For life goes not backward nor tarries with yesterday...

There is a difference between female and male circumcision. First it only done to girls to ensure they do not enjoy sex. That is not why we circumcise boys.

Removal of the clitoris is not «female circumcision», but is usually designated as FGM. Female circumcision is an operation identical to circumcision in males, i.e. removal of the clitoral foreskin.

Female circumcision takes many forms, not all of which damage or amputate the clitoris. Many African women who have undergone FGM swear that they enjoy their marriages. A lot of African discourse claim that female circumcision is cleaner and nicer looking. There has been no talk in your lifetime or mine that male circ reduces male pleasure. But there was such talk in the late 19th and early 20th centuries, when circumcision started to become fashionable in urban upper middle class families. It was advocated in good part because it was believed to prevent ************ and to help men to behave more chastely.

From a female point of view on the sex thing, I've always found sex better with an intact man than it is with a circumcised man. The man won't notice the difference because he's only ever known the one side, but his partner will notice.<br />
I wonder why you didn't have your daughter circumcised like they do in africa? To me there's no difference, they believe male circumcision is barbaric just as western society believe female circumcision is barbaric. Yet both procedures are done for similar reasons, cleanliness, reduced spread of disease, religious belief and the reduction of sexual pleasure. Who is to decide which is more barbaric? cutting off a piece of your sons genitalia or cutting off a piece of your daughters genitalia seems to be the same mutilation just a different gender. In this day and age of supposed advancement and equal rights of the genders, you would think that genital mutillation of either gender would be considered eqaully barbaric.<br />
Do people who circumcise also have their child's tonsils and appendix removed at birth? I mean these things can get infected and cause great pain and illness later in life, severe infection or a burst appendix can even result in death; wouldn't it be better to remove these things at birth when the child will recover from the operation more quickly and not remember the ordeal? <br />
It's rediclous how a person can justify one action with a pissy excuse and then frown on an almost identical action with utter disgust or contempt simply because it doesn't fit into their nice little belief structure the same way.<br />
I know that change is hard for a lot of people and it's easy to be guilted into circumcising your son because your whole support network (family, friends, doctors, etc) just goes with the tradition without any open minded, unbiased consideration of the facts. It's the same in Africa with female circumcision, it's tradition, they have justified it to themselves for so many generations that they believe their own propaganda about the "reasons" why the procedure is "necessary".<br />
How do you feel about female circumcision? are you going to convince yourself, like most westerners do, that it's not the same? the difference is a piece of skin on a penis and some folds of skin on a vagina, is a penis less important than a vagina? Westerners need to look at male circumcision the same way that they look at female circumcision and Africans need to look at female circumcision in the same way that they look at male circumcision, then perhaps all people will realise that genital mutilation of our children is simply barbaric and should not be practiced at all, period.

Just mention it in the confessional, and say 3 hail mary's - then you'll no longer have guilt.

You know even though my boys penis's are completely healed, I still feel guilty for having them snipped. I wish I would have been provided with more information with my first born. Instead I was pressured by the doctors and family to circumcise. I would NOT call it "amputated" that is a bit of an exaggeration. My husband is circumcised and has no problem enjoying sex so I doubt my sons will either. (Although that thought creeps me out beyond belief.)<br />
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I still think its a very personal decision that must be made carefully.

It is a private decision, family or individual, and I personally consider you have made the right choice: being snipped as a baby is a blessing, because it's quite complicated to do it later, and the advantages for hygiene, protection from bacterial and urinary infections, are increasigngly undeniable. So is the cosmetic and erotic appearance: since you have a circumcised husband, you probably feel that circumcised penises are attractive. Do not let yourself be touched by the vocal anti-circ minority. Most of them are racists in spirit (after all, Jews, Muslims, and many African communities were traditionnally the «cut» groups before circumcision was made more common in North America, European countries, and Eastern Asia). You've made the right decision.

It's a private decision, all right, but private to the man, not his parents. Let a man decide for himself whether cut is more attractive or erotic.

It is not true that it is easier to do an infant than on a man. It only seems that way because a baby's pain can be ignored while a man's cannot be. Even though Europe and Japan do not circumcise, they are not experiencing chronic infections of the tip of the penis. Racism means disliking people because of the way Nature made them. I submit that disliking foreskins and intact men could be taken as racist.

You have given your sons a wonderful blessing and have shown them that you love them very much. Hopefuly when they grow to adulthood they will be unfamiliar with circumcision and at any rate I'm sure that they will be eternally grateful to you. In the last few years there has been great healing for everyone on this issue. Men who have been circumcised have the penis that they have. We don't really know what we are missing because we have never been able to experience it ourselves. Although for me I rely greatly on my imagination and fantasy to bring about maximum enjoyment of sex, I have been blessed with a great empathic nature. I am able to strongly tune into what my partner is feeling during sex. I am deeply aware of the pleasure that she is experiencing and am turned on by her experience. I feel her uterus contract, her muscles tense and her clitoris throb. This provides me with tremendous pleasure and closeness and more than makes up for sensations that I would experience if my foreskin had been left as it was.

hermest....my deepest condolences...that is so sad. i am so glad i didn't have my son cut.

The fact that parents are able to have parts of the genitals of their baby boys amputated is a gross violation of the boys sacred rights as a person. The boy was not allowed to express his opinion about a painful proceedure that amputates a very personal, private, and sensual part of his body. The boy is forced to go through life without the most erotic parts of his penis. He will never be able to experience life with the penis that God gave him and is permanently denied being able to experience the pleasure of sex which men who are lucky enough to have been allowed to go through life with all the erotically responsive parts of their penis intact experience. <br />
I have no foreskin as mine was amputated at birth. This creates a most ironic situation in that a major component of all penises at birth is a totally unfamiliar mystery to me. In fact, many women who have had sex with an intact man know more about the foreskin than I do. I am totally ignorent of a factory installed part of the male penis and will never experience sex as intact men do. Why do men with foreskins wear them covering the glans? My glans is permanently exposed and I am forever denied the benefits that a foreskin provides. I have heard that the inside of the foreskin consists of an erotically sensitive mucous membrane and gives the intact man much pleasure when his penis is erect and the foreskin covers the shaft of the penis. For many years I didn't know that the foreskin was made like this and I will never be able to experience this. My penis has no mucous membranes. My shaft consists completely of regular skin and does not give me any type of erotic pleasure. The natural glans is moist, soft, and quite sensitive erotically. I am totally unfamiliar with this natural part of the male body. My glans is permanetly exposed and is dry with a rough texture that often rubs on my underwear and provides little erotic sensation during sex. I don't have any of the sensitive erotic nerve endings that I have heard are a part of the penis before I was circumcised. I have no idea of what it is like to have the penis that all men are born with and I must ask men who haven't been circumcised what it is like to have a whole penis.<br />
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My mother has always been proud of the fact that she had my penis circumcised at birth. Throughout my life she has periodically brought up the fact of my circumcision and feels that she has done me a great service. From my point of view this is far from the truth. She has always told me that if my penis had been left intact that it would be very difulcult for me to keep it clean and free of horrible substances that an intact penis has and because of this I would have suffered infection and great discomfort. I don't have any experience of this. What does it feel like to have ****** under a foreskin and what exactly is this substance like? There are many men who live with intact penises and they are able to live life without great discomfort, cancer, or disease caused by their foreskin.<br />
There is quite a double standard here. I have had sex with several women who had ****** in their vulvas and they were not even aware of its presence. Thay did not suffer pain, irritation, or cancer from their ******. I am very thankful that fewer boys are being circumcised and in America women are not mutilated sexually because of the fact that there genitals also accumulate a natural substance that is considered so harmful in males and requires immediate surgery at birth to remove the parts of the penis that are responsible for this grave danger.<br />
<br />
Why the double standard?

This long and eloquent comment should be an experience in its own right.

It was long associated with possible infection, but u really do have to avoid washing for that. There is something about it desensitizing the glans so ****** is delayed. they might thank you for that when they grow up to be stud muffins.