Sex and circumcision, from a woman’s perspective

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



Women talk and they know what works. Listen to what they have to say.

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 ( and you can follow her on Twitter


My previous post on the decision of circumcising our son: To Cut or Not To Cut

Comments are welcome and those that are respectful and appropriate will be approved.

  • Theresa Powell

    Floored! I was never given a choice w my boys and never encountered one. Good info to know, because I had been taught it was “unclean” to not be circumcised. If I ever get a chance to “know” one, you certainly make it out something to look forward to, LOL

  • Ashley

    This was refreshing! It’s so nice to see someone talk about forskin in a positive way rather than the usual lambasting that occurs. I wish more people would see that it is an essential part of the male body, and not something to be removed at birth.

  • cosmopolite

    Thank you for having had the courage to put in the public domain this very intimate aspect of your life journey. Rest assured that you are not alone in what you have discovered. While I do not like the research methods underlying “Sex As Nature Intended”, quite a few women have used the internet to bear out its bottom line: a moving foreskin makes intercourse less abrasive and more enjoyable.

  • Erin

    I’ve blamed myself all these years for the “dry” sex problems my husband and I have had. Not only is he circumsized he has a place where it grew together incorrectly because his parents did not keep him intact. No one really talks about that. It also causes problems because he tears and bleeds every time we have sex. He and I both wish he had just been left alone.

    • Kevin Knauss

      There is always heated debate over the prerogative of the parents versus the rights of the child when it comes to circumcision. Your situation, and many others, highlight the importance of parents really thinking hard and doing research on the topic before they move forward with circumcision. No parent ever wants to make a decision that will cause their child pain in the future.

      • C

        The parents have no “right” to amputate healthy body parts. There is no need to think hard, or do research; it is not their right to begin with. That they would even think they had such a right in the first place is pure arrogant entitlement.

  • A. H

    First thing this article made me think of was “I better go find myself an intact man to f**k.” then I realized this article has to do with quality of sex. Have sex with 4 men; two of each. You have no emotional connection with either and can’t see their penis’, only “feel them.” I think you would be hard pressed to find a woman or man for that matter that could genuinely say the 2 intact were SO much better. We’ve all had mind blowing sex, and we have all had sex that was lackluster. I appreciate that the author thinks that intact men are SO much better, but quite frankly I think they were just a lousy lay.
    -mother, wife and believer in freedom of choice

    • Kevin Knauss

      Intimacy with your partner is, first and foremost, about the quality of the relationship. Two people who may not match up physically can still have a perfectly fulfilling relationship regardless of the nature of the foreskin. As your comment suggests, along with the insight provided in Maria’s blog post, there are many different issues for both men and women when it comes to having a satisfying intimate relationship.

    • ???

      Whose choice, yours as a parent or the infant who will eventually be a man? It’s not the same as rules, ideas or beliefs that are easily changed once a person is grown up enough to decide those things for themselves. It’s a much more permanent thing. I just recently read a post by a young adult female who was upset about having her ears pierced as a baby because they are now crooked, lopsided and infect easily. Similar situation with similar feelings I think. Freedom of choice should mean the person who’s body is being altered has the choice.

    • Maria

      I think you are missing the point of this post. The point was not to bash circumcised men, or say all circumcised men were bad lays. That’s just untrue.

      The point of this post was to explain with personal experience how changing form – circumcision, changes function – how sex works. I’m speaking from personal experience from a three-year relationship with an intact man vs. my experiences with circumcised men, including my husband, with whom I share a deep intimate connection and have awesome sex.

      Something that happens when challenging and exposing cultural myths is cognitive dissonance. Cognitive dissonance is the tension that is created from holding conflicting psychological states of mind. As part of this cultural shift away from child circumcision, Americans are being forced to cope with their own cognitive dissonance:
      *Circumcision changes sex, but I love my husband’s penis and sex is great.
      *Circumcision steals the right to bodily autonomy and denies choice about which healthy sex parts a person wishes to keep, but I circumcised my children because it’s a cultural tradition.
      *I’m circumcised and I like my penis (as a man), but I am able to see that circumcising children is unethical.

    • Giovanni Santostasi

      Freedom of choice? I bet you would change your mind if we did this to girls. How absurd and disgusting. Let’s cut women’s labia just for fun and then let me know what you think about that. NUTS.

  • Restoring Tally

    I was circumcised at birth and my circumcision was tight. I recently started restoring my foreskin. From the man’s point of view, there has been an incredible improvement in sex while having a foreskin, even a restored one. From my partner’s point of view. she thinks the foreskin makes a big difference, too. She says she no longer gets sore from sex. We both like that we do not need to use lube like we used to. It is a shame my parents let the doctor cut off an important part of my favorite body part.

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  • Kevin Knauss

    Comment from Jaime via email:

    I have had the chance to engage in long sexual relationships with both a circumcised and an uncircumcised man and had fulfilling sex with both. However, being with an uncircumcised man was a mind altering experience. I thought that sex was just always going to be uncomfortable… that’s just how it is for women, right?!?! WRONG!! Sex does not need to be uncomfortable, and the difference is in the foreskin.

    With circumcised man, we had lubrication issues and I was always left feeling a little frustrated and sore… However, I thought that’s what sex was like and I enjoyed myself because I loved this man and the connection we shared. I just didn’t think that sex was ever going to be that enjoyable physically.

    Boy was I wrong. Sex with uncircumcised penis is beyond phenomenal. It is quite a treat. I feel fortunate to be one of a small group that has had the pleasure of trying it out, and I can honestly say that I’ll never go back!

    Men have the right to choose, and if I have a vote, I say uncircumcised please!!!

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  • Harmed

    Not only is circumcision penis reduction surgery (why any man would want a smaller penis is beyond me) but by removing the only moving part of the male sexual organ, you’ve turned a piston into a stick.

    • Kevin Knauss

      If all you have ever known is dysfunction, that is your normal. The public needs to learn that normal is what you were born with.

  • cosmopolite

    The American obsession with stamping out the male foreskin has vandalised a number of marriages. It makes masturbation and handjobs harder and less enjoyable. It greatly increases the need for store bought lube. A number of women have attested to the fact that the moving foreskin makes penetration smoother and gentler. Other women have commented on how the natural man is more sensitive and requires less work during handjobs and fellatio. Most valuable, I think, is that playing with the foreskin makes it easy to get a man hard in 1-2 minutes, if that’s what a woman wants. The foreskin is intensely sexual, like no other part of the male body.

    • Kevin Knauss

      I couldn’t have said it better myself. Foreskin has an evolutionary design purpose, just like ears and the nose. Rarely does man improve upon nature when he wields a scalpel.