Sometimes I am confronted with the reality that I don’t know everything. That is why I asked Maria Bangs if she would write a guest blog post for me on male circumcision from a woman’s point of view. Circumcision, as we know, can effect sexual health. Experience is one of the best foundations for making important decisions and a woman’s perspective on this issue is supremely important. ~ Kevin Knauss
Most of the time, circumcision is discussed as a human right’s issue. The right to genital integrity, the right for boys to decide which parts of their penises they wish to keep. Most intactivism1 is devoted to annihilating ignorance and debunking long held cultural myths about the natural male body. In a way, this post will accomplish that, but this post is about sex, and how sex changes with circumcision for women.
Sexual revolution continues
I was born in the eighties, post-sexual revolution. The previous generation had already laid the groundwork for what would become modern feminism, and extramarital serial monogamy became largely socially acceptable among secular culture. As a result, most of my generation and subsequent ones will have multiple sexual partners.
For this, I am eternally grateful
I began dating my first *real* boyfriend when I was 19, and we dated until I was 22. I was still fairly sexually inexperienced and naive at 19, that is to say, not nearly as cosmopolitan, educated, or world-traveled as I am now, a decade later. What made this relationship especially unique is that this man fell into a 10% minority for men his age born in the rural Midwest of the United States, in that he was intact. He was not circumcised. A diamond in the rough.
Which puts me in a very small minority of American women my age who have had extended and long-term relationships with intact – ‘uncircumcised’ – men.
Foreskins: Sometimes more is more
I noticed a difference in sex almost immediately following that relationship. I attributed the mediocre sex to not truly loving these men, so that’s why I didn’t enjoy the sex as much. Recently I’ve come to understand sex was so good with my first boyfriend because he had a foreskin.
The foreskin allows the penis to glide in and out of the vagina without chaffing the sensitive mucous membranes of the vaginal wall. I have found myself with an aching vagina following raucous love making, usually when the sex is great.
The younger generations of circumcised boys have been cut much looser than previous generations, retaining some of this gliding motion. I have seen penises of older lovers who have almost zero moveable skin. When this happens, the penis rubs during coitus, rather than slides, and it is rarely enjoyable. Well endowed men with tight circumcisions have been known to cause vag-throb.
Lubrication needn’t come from a tube
Oh but what about the smegma, the horrible stanky dick-cheese? Well that’s just natural lubrication that develops so that the penis can enter the vagina initially with ease and comfort. Both women and men make their own lubrication, and the natural stuff works great. I have actually never encountered a stinky intact penis. I have, however, known the BV- bad vagina, because the vagina makes five times as much lubrication as the intact penis.
So anyway, very few men actually choose to circumcise themselves, it is a choice made for them often the first few days of life, to fulfill a cultural mandate, so this topic usually incites a lot of emotion. Being a penis enthusiast, I hope that all men love their penises and enjoy having sex with them. It is also important to note that sex can and is amazing with circumcised men.
It’s just not sex as nature intended
Some men, who were circumcised as infants, are restoring their foreskins through non-surgical restoration. They attach a device to their penis that pulls the shaft skin, stretching it, so that it begins to cover the glans. Many of these men report their glans starts to become soft and moist, and the penis begins to make its own lubrication. The rolling action of the foreskin during coitus is noticeable almost immediately as the skin begins to stretch over the glans. TLC Tugger makes the most commonly used device, and a company in Italy called Foregen is also a major player in foreskin restoration.
We often think of women as being the ones to reclaim their sexuality, but I see foreskin restoration as a very symbolic reclamation of male sexuality for the men who feel compelled to restore.
1. The advocacy to keep baby boys intact, activism against automatic circumcision at birth.
Maria Bangs is an Intactivist who advocates for the right to genital integrity for all humans. She blogs at Barrels Of Oranges (www.holisticmomma.com) and you can follow her on Twitter @barreloforanges
My previous post on the decision of circumcising our son: To Cut or Not To Cut
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