Columns Feb 15, 2012 at 4:00 am

University of Alaska Anchorage


@100 "I take it you have an uncircumcized penis then."

No. I'm just recognizing nature. "Regular" is how we come naturally. Circumcisions aren't natural, they are a surgical procedure.
@99, anti-semitism? My god, no, I didn't know that. It was just the first connection I thought of; like JensR above, I had previously associated circumcision with religious practices. It was indeed sheer ignorance, I really didn't know. (How exactly did anti-semites use circumcision to argue against Jews in America? I can google it of course, so if you think that me asking the question is offensive I'll refrain from doing that.)

As for the lack of a wife... As far as the gender roles are concerned, I think they're more afraid of a male being somehow forced into a female (to them inferior) role ('who is the wife?') than about the absence of any such role. But anyway, I disagree that the roles are the main source of fear for them: I really think in this case it is the idea of 'contagion', that somehow mentioning gays under a not-all-too-negative light (as one would have to if the local school said it was OK for gays to get married) will help the gay virus propagate and will facilitate 'recruiting' in highschools (which homophobes are afraid of). At least so much of their speech seems concerned with the idea that gay sex will somehow be normalized, taught, imposed on the children (with gay-straight alliances being façades hiding operations to recruit naive children into the gay lifestyle) or some other stupid fantasy like that.

But as far as the idea of roles contribute to it, I think they imagine it's humiliating for a man to have to be another man's "wife."
@103(Mr Horstman), you make me curious: are there many men in America who do feel mutilated because of circumcision? I had thought it was a widely accepted practice, with pretty much everybody happy with or at least indifferent to, it.

I see I have a lot to learn about circumcision in America. I probably should go google a little about it.
@4 and 5 and 14 or whatever - because no matter what that vaccine might do to your kid, it's better than cancer. Cancer cancer cancer. And why not give your kid the option? She's old enough to choose. Keep in mind most boys aren't vaccinated currently, so if she's involved with guys... And you can't get all high and mighty if you intend to rely on the umbrella effect of other kid's vaccinated selves to protect your kid. Lousy pool, midear.
And yes, you are being irrational. Try looking up complications from things like Tylenol. You'll find a hell of a lot more than for Gardisil. And why would a researcher come out against it? $$$$$$$$$$$$$$. You don't think anyone might be interested in paying her for her views? Really? Stop helping the crazy Christians, even if no one with any sense is listening to you either.
Also, you sound like a bot. Or paid by someone smarmy and dumb. Quit it.

Take a xanax.
There many benefits to circumcision, and if I had a son I'd probably have him circumsized for

a. the health benefits
b. his future luck with the ladies

The comparison you're drawing to child sexual abuse is pretty damn spurious and offensive to the children and adults who have been victims of it. Though medical procedures can be unpleasant, painful, and sometimes even involve the genitals they are nothing like being sexually abused. I... I can't even.
ankylosaur, I believe the practice of circumcision becoming more widespread in the U.S. occurred in the first quarter of the 20th century (or maybe I should google it, too), as part of an effort to curtail masturbation.
It is coincidental that Jews do it as part of their religious practice, and it was initially coincidental that hygiene was improved by the practice (though with an ordinary amount of diligence, the cleanliness issue is pretty much moot).
what's the quote Dan gives on circumcision?

"Four out of five cocksuckers agree"
Yes, some men feel mutilated. Some have surgery to try and reconstruct the penis in its natural state. Some men feel violated and mutilated against their will, and hold on to resentment.

There are always people who like to be angry about something . . .
I mean, I understand the point about being angry that an unnecessary mutilation was done without their permission or knowledge. But I have a hard time being able to appreciate the sense of righteous anger and resentment and sense of victimhood that you'll find among some men who fall into that category.
And yes, Hunter78, if it turns out that the reason for the prevalence of circumcision in the U.S. has nothing whatsoever to do with the proportion of Jews in the medical field, but instead comes from anti-masturbation ("self abuse") movement beginning in the late 19th century by non-Jews, then it is an act of anti-semitism to suggest that there is a connection.
Sorry Dan, wrong on the female circumcision one. Female Genital Cutting (FGC) describes a range of behaviors, not all of which could be accurately classified as mutilation in the "cutting off her clit" sense. In many cultures, FGC is a medical procedure (like male circumcision), that removes the clitoral hood or a small piece of tissue from the clitoris. It is reasonably painless, voluntary, does not interfere with sexual expression or experience, and is respectful of cultural traditions. Certainly, there still are instances of actual mutilation, but let's try not to paint with such broad strokes.
Ms Erica @99 - You're not doing a lot better than Mr Ank. I assume you have never been asked, "Which one of you is the wife?" by someone who was not going to be a bit less hateful whatever the answer. The haters would only go on to accuse same-sex couples of making a mockery of perfectly good roles, with the advantage of controlling the terms of the debate and having us in a capitulatory position.
@118 (Mr. Ven): And the "which one of you is the wife?" has much less to do with which one takes on the cooking duties and picks up the dry cleaning, I suspect, than it is coded language for "which one of you gets penetrated?"

Homophobia and its attendant equality-in-marriage-phobia seems to be all about a lurid and obsessive preoccupation with who does what to whom sexually.

It would be sad/funny if it didn't cause so damn much misery.

And it seems that that is what's behind the whole "kindergarten teachers will be forced to talk about homosexuality" freakout. The homobigots honestly think that the teacher will tell a classroom of 5 year-olds about the mechanics of anals sex, because that is the aspect of homosexuality that THEY can't stop thinking about.
(ahem) anal sex, not "anals."

"inordinate" does not mean "a lot".

   [in-awr-dn-it] Show IPA
not within proper or reasonable limits; immoderate; excessive

So yeah, saying what amounts to "the Jews have too much power" is antisemetic.

Go ahead and give an example of this inordinate position. Your circumcision reason's been debunked so I'd like to hear the next half-cocked example you can pull out of your ass. I know a little bit about your society, if anyone has an "inordinate" position it's fundimentalist Christians.
Dan - I don't know how to organize a Google-bomb, but isn't one in order for "Issa"?
you are thinking of Adam Sandler's Hanukkah song(s).
Which are about the Jews in show business, not about how Jews dominate American culture, and are furthermore meant to be funny.
I'm late to the party, but I feel the need to toss in my two cents on the circumcision/anti-circumcision debate. As far as I'm concerned, it is unacceptable to surgically alter an infant's genitals unless there is a compelling medical reason to do so. And no, minute reductions in the rates of penile cancer and STD transmission do not constitute a compelling medical reason. Male circumcision does appear to significantly reduce the risk of female-to-male HIV transmission, which is the only convincing pro-circumcision argument I have encountered to date. However, in a first world country, an uncircumcised man can easily offset his increased risk of contracting HIV from a female partner by using a condom. We don't cut off babies' penises to shield them from the consequences of whatever unwise sexual choices they may make down the road; why is okay to cut off their foreskins for the same reason?
UAA, your ex is a twit. Good fucking riddance.

Your offer to mutilate yourself for her if she would agree to mutilate herself for you was obviously a rhetorical way of saying "Not going to happen." And what does she go and do? Take you seriously -- as if you had affirmatively suggested FGM, as if you would actually want her to go without some of the best nerve endings on her entire body?

Yes, your request was more unreasonable than hers, but first, that fact doesn't make her request reasonable ("Sure, I'll eat rat poison for you, if you eat plutonium for me.") and second, you didn't actually mean it. The only one who wanted anyone to get mutilated was her.

Find a girlfriend with a higher IQ

agreed and agreed. Maybe he should have said I will get a circumcision if you will get a boob job. Another offensive and outrageous demand that your partner mutilate there body to suit you. obviously his request was not meant to be taken literally, and she is the asshole, not you.

It's called harm reduction.

Have you heard of the hep B shot? Yeah, you can offset your risk by not using IV drugs or having unprotected sex but I do believe in protecting people beforehand. Even if the shot does hurt at the time. Same deal with the HPV shot. "My daughter could just not have sex", "My son could just use a condom"

But if I had a child I'd want to reduce his or her risks whether or not their behaviour down the line is ideal.

I've never heard of any evidence that suggests that circumcision has any sort of psychological effect on a baby. You ever heard of this thing called birth? It's no fucking picnic for him either. Yet all babies do it.

And thirdly, well, see my posts above.
@110, quite an interesting read. Thank you.
@111(nocutename), indeed -- I had heard from doctors here in the Netherlands that it was not a necessary practice. The text @110 linked to above suggests that the practice became frequent because of (basically unfounded) concerns with masturbation and veneral diseases.

@112(Hunter78), at least I didn't have any anti-semitic thoughts when asking about that. But I can understand that this might sound bad, especially if anti-semites did indeed use circumcision as part of their argument, and given that Jewish influence was not a part of the popularization of circumcision in America (which now reminds me of Fahrenheit degrees and the imperial system, just one of those historical accidents -- like the British driving on the other side of the road -- that are later on difficult to give up because of the momentum they've gained).

@mydriasis, but if the health gains were substantial, why wouldn't doctors outside of the US agree with American doctors? Circumcision in the US sounds to me now more like a culturally motivated practice, like, say, cutting off the tip of every baby's little finger in some far-away culture: not a big risk, not a big handicap in life, but other than aesthetic reasons (and that's what "luck with the ladies" means), the only argument would be the argument from comformity ('let's not be different from the others').

All in all, if Americans want to do it, I'm not against it. All I can say is that me, and every Brazilian and European male I know, are not circumcised, and as far as I know this never was a problem. (Actually, even in America I don't remember having had a problem with the ladies because of that; at most they were curious and liked to play with the foreskin, but nobody ever even looked disgusted because of it. Maybe it was the university environment?)
@119(nocutename), the obsession with gay sex and its mechanics does seem to play an important role, akin to a fascination with that which they (were taught to) find digusting. I'm more familiar with homophobia in Brazil and Eastern Europe, where it indeed includes this 'do you know what THEY DO?!?' element (here is an example from Latvia that actually impressed me; note that the author, who reacted with such deeply felt outrage against the anti-gay protesters, is himself someone who doesn't support pride parades and thinks gays shouldn't adopt children).

But considering how the debate in America so often drifts toward the 'is being gay a choice?' (as if this should matter), I think the danger of contagion is stronger in America. It is as if people were really afraid that, if gays became more visible and normalized, everybody would turn gay.

To repeat what Ankylosaur said @130: if the medical evidence in favor of circumcision is so cut and dry (please pardon the pun), then why is it not routinely practiced worldwide? It seems to me that the preventative benefits of infant circumcision are insufficient to justify its continued practice (especially in first world countries where condoms are easily accessible and female-to-male HIV transmission is extremely infrequent). If infant circumcision magically made men immune to AIDS, then I'd say sure, snip 'em all. But a circumcised man who practices unsafe sex is still at major risk for contracting any number of nasty diseases.

Your comparison to vaccination is spurious. Circumcision isn't a momentarily painful jab with a needle; it's the irrevocable amputation of erogenously sensitive tissue. Studies on the subject have come up with mixed results, but there is a non-trivial possibility that circumcision decreases genital sensation (Kim and Pang, 2006), (Yang, 2008) and increases the likelihood of sexual dysfunction (Frisch, 2011). (The first article is hosted on an anti-circumcision site, but it was originally published in the British Journal of Urology International.)

As for the argumentum ad antiquitatem defense of circumcision (and I'm convinced that this is primarily what keeps the practice alive in the US, despite all the dubious health benefits that are invoked to justify it) . . . Granted, because circumcised penises are widely seen as "normal" in the US (see @53), most women here report a preference for them. However, there is some evidence suggesting that uncircumcised penises may actually produce greater satisfaction for the female partner during vaginal intercourse (O'Hara and O'Hara, 1999, Frisch 2011). And with the rate of infant circumcision in the US trending downward, the perception of uncircumcised penises as somehow aberrant may be on its way out. Finally, an intact adult male decides that his foreskin is damaging his sex life, then he can make an informed decision to undergo surgery. A circumcised adult who is unsatisfied with the condition of his genitals has no such recourse.
@131 (ank):
I think you're right, although it is a point that always mystifies me. I mean, do they think that all it takes to change one's sexual orientation and change whom one is attracted to is the normalization or acceptance of other people's orientations and attractions? I guess so, but it's such a weird illogical theory. After all, gay people are exposed to the normalization of heterosexuality, and it doesn't make them become attracted to people of the opposite sex!

When my daughter was two weeks old, my father and I returned from a walk with her to find a thoughtful package of more bibs, onesies, and spit-up cloths on the front porch (oh, she spit up like crazy, that baby!), a gift from the lovely lesbian couple who lived next door. I commented on the wonderfulness--and timeliness--of the gift. My father was unhappy. He said, "I don't know; I just don't want her to grow up and see them and think it is okay to be a lesbian, and maybe become one herself." I gave the baby to my father to hold, and said, "Dad, if she is a lesbian when she grows up, it's because she's a lesbian *right now.* Would you love her any the less?" He stammered something about no, he wouldn't love her less, but he didn't want life to have to be hard for her, and I said that the way to address that would be for society to change its attitudes. He snorted and we ended the discussion.

That was 17+ years ago. To my knowledge, my daughter is straight. My father is never going to be a huge champion for gay rights, but I've seen a change in his attitudes over the years. He's 75, but I hope by the time he's 85, he's seen enough of homosexuality becoming normalized that, were he to have a brand-new great-granddaughter whose lesbian neighbors gave a present to, he wouldn't blink an eye.
@133 - please see the link I posted to the research survey - that's not a minor or trivial (in the noise) reduction in the risk for STI transmission.

Moreover, a number of countries in Africa have undertaken adult circumcision campaigns to help reduce HIV transmission - the rate reduction is not negligible.

Those are real health benefits.
@128 mydriasis - if you see the words MUTILATION or AMPUTATION just accept the fact that any further discussion will be as constructive as debating Obama's place of birth or the 9/11 conspiracy.

FYI, the AAP has been holding on to a draft policy revision that will lean more towards the medical benefit of infant circumcision. They were supposed to release it last year, but the topic has become more political than medical. Maybe the Virginia legislature can decide this issue for us.
@Afinch thanks for doing the legwork :)

You're right.

Finally: the anti-circumcision trend is just as much a cultural artifact as circumcision itself.
@98 ankylosaur
It happens with pediatric medicine. I doubt that they pester adults about it. My son is still young but the older he gets the less pressure we feel. When he was born and when he was a few years old was when the real heat was put on us. I think a lot of people would probably just go along with it. The thing that gets me is that there is no reasonable justification given for amputating the guy. It's just what you have to do. It's my nature to say fuck you when presented with that attitude.

Daily vitamins irk me the same way. It's a prescription routinely handed out to treat no condition in people who are not sick. It's just going to give you more magic "healthiness." My question is always, "what will that look like in contrast to the present state of me?"
I mean, I understand the point about being angry that an unnecessary mutilation was done without their permission or knowledge. But I have a hard time being able to appreciate the sense of righteous anger and resentment and sense of victimhood that you'll find among some men who fall into that category.
I feel the same way about those victims of female circumcision, and rape, and incest, and child abuse, sex abuse, and torture. We get it. Now quit harping and get over hit!
@137 mydriasis
First do no harm. It's reasonable to expect a rational explanation from your doctor as to why they want to perform surgery. Often their explanation amounts to "because I'm the doctor here and I said so." I refuse to accept that.

I can't speak to your medical experiences but I've found doctors answer all my questions (and I ask a lot).
First do no harm? I have one word for you: episiotomy. Heck, pretty much any surgical procedure breaks that rule if you take it the way you're talking about.


Is that meant to be facetious?
If not... your level of ignorance disgusts me in a way I cannot truly express in words.

After doing some further reading, I am willing to concede that the potential benefits of male circumcision may be greater than I initially believed, although the study that you linked to is hardly above criticism. (Note that Fergusson's findings conflict with those of several significantly larger studies.) At this point, I think it's probably fair to say that the evidence supporting the health benefits of circumcision is non-trivial, but it's also far from equivocal.

Whatever role circumcision may play in reducing STD and cancer risks, part of that benefit (although obviously not all) would be rendered redundant by universal HPV vaccination. I am aware of the potential benefits of circumcision as a method of reducing the transmission of HIV in Africa; however, as I am sure you are aware, the epidemiology of HIV in Africa differs markedly from the epidemiology of HIV in the West, and I'm not convinced that continuing to enforce circumcision as a cultural norm is key to managing HIV in the US. There are, of course, any number of confounding factors, but one can certainly point to countries in which circumcision is extremely rare and HIV rates are well below those of the US. (Denmark and Japan are two that come to mind, but I'm sure there are others.)

Finally, neither you nor mydriasis address the possibility that circumcision may in some cases result in diminished sexual sensation, or the reality that it necessarily involves removing erogenous tissue from a child who could not possibly consent to any such removal. Ultimately, my position on infant circumcision is essentially the same position advanced in this paper: the demonstrated medical benefits of infant circumcision do not outweigh the ethical concerns.


Virtually every human opinion or behavior can be described as a cultural artifact. I'm not sure what your point is.


I agree that "mutilation" is an extremely fraught term, which is why I haven't been using it. If you can think of a better term than "amputation" to describe the surgical removal of an external body part, I would be delighted to hear it. (Upon reflection, I suppose that "excision" might be a better way to describe the process, but that still doesn't sound terribly warm and fuzzy, does it?) I'd also be delighted if you didn't trivialize ethical concerns about infant circumcision as merely "political."
MrVen @118, you're right, I shouldn't have said the haters would be nicer if gay men agreed to play by traditional gender roles. The only thing that ever seems to make the haters less hateful is getting to know friends & family who are in long-term happy relationships.

echizen_kurage @133, if circumcision increased sexual dysfunction, wouldn't we have solid cross-cultural evidence? You cites one study which looked at 5000 Danish men, finding that a somewhat higher percent of those circumcised had sexual dysfunction -- but maybe in Denmark, people who get circumcised are looked down on (since only 5% do), and it's the scorn that affects their sex lives. Are there studies that show that 20th century American men had significantly higher levels of sexual dysfunction than Europeans?

my@141 current research suggests that episiotomies may actually lead to worse tears than would have happened otherwise.
Aaaaarrgh. The last word of the first paragraph at @142 should be "unequivocal," not "equivocal."
Regarding circumcision: Arguing that a foreskin makes diaper changes difficult is bizarre ... cleaning shit out of a tiny vagina is at least as awkward and discomfiting, if you're discomfited by that sort of thing.

If we habitually circumcised girls in the U.S., but only the equivalent to male circumcision -- some degree of hood-ectomy -- would any of your pro-circumcision arguments -- "I like the way a clean, hoodless pussy looks"; a possible, though slight, population-level long-term health benefit; etc. -- hold water with you?

Well that's mortifying.
But the point still stands, most surgical procedures require harm to come first - after all, you're cutting someone open.

If I ever have kids I'm avoiding all that shit and getting a c-section instead.
@142- I don't mean to dismiss your viewpoint or those that are rationally against routine circumcision. Ultimately these debates are pointless. If you are going to start with the assumption that circumcision greatly reduces male sexual pleasure, then everything from that point is colored. Leave aside the fact sexual pleasure is subjective and near impossible to measure. Leave aside that there are articles, and anecdotes that say otherwise. But ultimately, if that is what you believe, and you have your literature to back up your gut-held beliefs (and the other side has theirs) then there is nothing to argue.

It’s the same as abortion. When "life" begins is subjective but if someone truly believes aborting a 6 week fetus is morally equivalent to killing a viable human, then what is there to argue?

Circumcise. Don't circumcise. It doesn't make that big of a difference. If you strip away the hysterics, the medical literature shows it is a relatively safe procedure, performed millions of times per year without incident. Here. In Canada, Australia, South Korea, the Philippines, and most of the Muslim world. It offers some slight benefits and has some slight risks. Somehow that gets spun into "WHY DON"T YOU JUST CUT OFF YOUR BOYS PENIS TO SPARE HIM FROM CANCER!!"

This all reminds me of Sailer's law of female journalism: "The most heartfelt articles by female journalists tend to be demands that social values be overturned in order that, Come the Revolution, the journalist herself will be considered hotter-looking." You can virtually assure yourself that those who are the most pro and anti-circumcision are the ones who want to make sure their penis is considered "normal" looking in their society.....
@145 check out this interesting perspective on female circumcision (the author rejects the motto 'zero-tolerance of FGM')…

@149 well said.

Thanks for the link, Erica.

I'm circumcised, and I don't feel like my parents abused me by deciding to have that done, if indeed they had any choice. I just have no patience for cultural habits masquerading as something other than cultural habits.

It's an unnecessary removal of a body part (topologically not equivalent to an episiotomy) without consent. Let's not put too much lipstick on this pig, shall we?

If we weren't in the habit of circumcising boys in this country, there would be no pro-circumcision movement rising up to save the boys from all the health risks of being boys with foreskins.
@mydriasis, of course anti-circumcision is a cultural phenomenon. Like democracy, or women wearing skirts and men ties, or the fact you speak English in the US rather than Dutch or German (or French). I don't think there's a point in there.

I've looked at the links, pro and con, and I still don't see much need for circumcision: all the health gains in there could be gained by other means.

Seeing no need, however, is not equivalent to saying it should necessarily be stopped. It is a cultural feature of America, like using the Fahrhenheit scale or Imperial measures instead of the metric system: you may well want to keep it precisely because it's part of what makes you different from other countries and peoples. After all, there doesn't seem to be big bad consequences from circumcision; the debate between circumcisers and anti-circumcisers depends on a few percentage points, plus ideas like 'the feeling of being mutilated' (probably more keenly felt by foreigners).

As far as I can see, there is no urgency in the matter. So, frankly, if Americans want to keep circumcizing their kids, they're welcome to. There are many other things I'd be happier to see change in American society (like gay rights, sex workers rights, tolerance and equality, religious freedom including the freedom to be irreligious, misunderstandings about vaccination, etc.) than circumcision.

I certainly won't get circumcized, nor will I have any male sons of mine circumcized; but frankly, not because of any big reasons, simply because this is not the norm in the culture where I grew up and in the one where I now live, and any circumcized sons of mine would suffer (have less success with the ladies, etc.) if they were circumcized. In other words, just inertia.
@149: Cute point, but bullshit. Mine would definitely not be the norm if I had my way.
@152: "Let's not bicker about oo killed oo ..."
@142 @ @149 - I'm not really intensely partisan about this; I was circumsized, I'm happy with it. I think there is a balance of evidence to suggest that there is some benefit. Just because STIs aren't as rampant here as in Africa doesn't mean the underlying physiology is different.

I'm not sure the health reasons are quite strong enough to make this mandatory, but they certainly aren't non-existant either. It's also not clear that this "mutilation" is really anything of the sort, or that it's causing anywhere near the damage opponents claim.

If you really hate it, don't do it to your kids. It is not mandatory. It's a free country.

@148 Arguendo ad absurdum is fine and all, but there is an obvious difference to most people between a bilateral radical mastectomy and a circumcision. I have also gathered that mastectomy has fallen rather increasingly out of favor since it appears that it does not do much in terms of changing outcomes, even when done as prophylaxis. I don't have time to dig up the cites.

The problem of diminished sensitivity is tricky; how do we measure? How do we know how to compare?

I personally suspect that those of us who've run around 'uncovered' all these years are probably slightly desensitized, but then again, we aren't wearing a sweater either. Since I'm not a foreskin owner, I can't speak personally, but in most of the erect uncut penii I've seen have still had that covering. Like most things, your sensitivity adjusts.

Male circumcision is much more akin to a 'hoodectomy' which increases sensitivity for many women. It is not removing the nerve centers.
Uncut straight dude here. Sorry to be late to the party, but I'm surprised no one here has commented on the fact that having a foreskin is fucking AWESOME.

It's not like it's some kind of flap of skin with little sensation. It's full of blood vessels and nerve ending and it's awesome to be played with. If a woman runs her tongue between your foreskin and head, it feels AMAZING. You don't need lube to get a handjob. And I've been told that all the extra skin moving around feels great for her.

I've never slept with a woman who was grossed out that I'm uncut. A couple have been a little surprised and curious, but even that's pretty rare. If someone I was dating expressed disdain or disgust, I would break up with them in a heartbeat. Just like any dude who insisted his girlfriend get a boob job should get his ass handed to him.

Male circumcision isn't the end of the world, sure--and I would never compare it to female circumcision--but it seems like such a pity to permanently cut off a totally awesome part of someone's anatomy for minimal aesthetic or medical benefit.
@Mr J, I tend to agree with you on vitamins; I'm a believer in letting the body take care of itself and interfering as little as possible... In health, I'm a Republican: the best health management is the one that manages least. :-)

Since, however, my wife is Russian, and from a culture that has a number of curious beliefs about 'magic health' and how to get it, I've decided to live with vitamins (and ginseng and whatnot). It costs me so little, and it pleases her so much!...
@134(Ms Cute, as Mr Ven says :-), I have thought a few times about precisely this question -- why should people be so afraid of contagion from homosexuality? I have a preliminary conclusion; I wonder if you'll agree with it.

From personal experience, it seems sex is always a complicated topic. The first experience most people (at least most people in my generation) is often still tainted by traditional assumptions: sex is something you shouldn't talk about, it's dirty, it's animal, it brings you away from god and closer to the devil, etc. The resulting feelings of shame lead to repression: people often prefer not to know too much about what exactly they like. That is, people (especially young people) try to conform to whatever sexuality they're supposed to have, and repress the rest (even if it's something as simple as curiosity about oral sex), and for as long as possible ('wait till you're 18! wait till you're married!').

So I thought: people very frequently have the experience of having to fight against, or repress, sexual feelings, because they're "inappropriate" or "unseemly". As a result of that, they're often unaware of what exactly they want or like; and if something in the surrounding environment brings some desire to their mind (be it a girl wearing a short skirt), they project the cause of this sudden sexual feeling on the source ('it's her fault for wearing that short skirt! oh, women, they are the devil's servants, always trying to lure men into sin!').

Now, if the experience of having sudden sexual desires awakened by external events is really widespread, and if people often are out of touch with what they really like or don't like sexually... and if people project the cause of their sexual feelings in the outside world ('it's the woman showing her leg, not me!')... then it's easy to imagine that they might think their sexual reaction wouldn't exist without the external stimulus. If women weren't around seducing men, they wouldn't think about sex so often, right? They -- the women -- create the desire in us -- the men. It's their fault! We'd be angels if they weren't there!

Now, if you buy into the idea that your sexual desires are caused by the outside -- if you think the only reason why men think about sex with women is that women 'convince' them to with their seductive powers -- then it's not hard to imagine them also wondering if homosexuals couldn't do the same. Maybe, they might think, if gays were more visible everywhere, they -- like women -- would also use their paranormal sexual powers to create an interest in us that wouldn't be there if we hadn't been exposed to the gays (just as we poor men wouldn't be thirsting for women if women hadn't used their paranormal sexual powers to create this thirst in us to begin with).

Or, in sum: since we feel "mysteriously" attracted and seduced by the opposite sex, and we don't understand why and it doesn't seem to come from inside us (or so the traditional culture suggests), why, maybe there are also "mysterious" attraction powers in gays that would have a similar effect on us if we let them use said powers openly. And that would be The End of the World As We Know It.

In other words, I'm guessing this fear of contagion comes, among other things, from having repressed one's own desires to the point of thinking that sex as a whole comes from the outside, not from the inside, so anything could come in, including gay desires -- if we're not attentive. (Watching closet cases come out may strengthen this myth: people around who 'were still straight' a year ago 'were seduced by the gays' and now have become gay, too.)

There are other factors at play, of course, but I think this is an important one.
@134(Ms Cute), I have so often heard the argument 'I don't want my child to grow up gay because s/he would suffer in this unfair world; if we lived in a better world I wouldn't mind, but in this one!...'

It has some truth in it, but I have often noticed that the people who use it are hiding other feelings inside of themselves that they don't want to consider or look at -- basically anti-gay prejudice that they don't like to have inside themselves (because they're basically socially liberal people who agree that anything that doesn't harm others is in principle OK) but nevertheless do have.

I'm reminded of Spencer Tracy's character in Stanley Kramer's famous movie Guess Who's Coming To Dinner. Tracy was a liberal writer and journalist who had come strongly in support of ratial equality; but when his daughter came home with Sidney Poitier as her future husband, he was initially against it in a way that he himself obviously didn't like to be. He tried to find something other than race that was wrong with Poitier, and failed; so in the end he did mention the "but your kids are going to suffer! haven't you thought about that?" argument.

So, even though there is truth in this argument, in most cases I don't think it's this truth that motivates those who use it, but a residue of prejudice that they themselves don't like and wish they could get rid of.
@157(Dutchie), I had heard about that, but I wasn't so sure because I was told (rightly or wrongly) that circumcised penises also feel certain things uncircumcised penises don't feel. I'm also uncut, and I only know one situation, so I don't know how to compare. My foreskin feels great (and I agree with the pleasure it gives you with blowjobs), but since I've always had it I don't know if the sensation is better than it would be without the foreskin.

My experience in America also agrees with you in that no woman I slept with in America ever showed disgust at my penis -- curiosity and interest, yes, but nobody ever went eewww.

@159 (ankylosaur):
I must confess that your theory is more complicated than I think is warranted, though I also confess to not really caring so much *why* homophobia/fear of contagion exists, as much as I care how to dispel it.

I only have so much energy.
Misread CSA's letter as saying that the lesbian friend was dating a "guy man" and was trying to figure out what other kinds of man there was. I ended up coming to the conclusion that it was a Say Anything reference and was kind of disappointed that it was just a "gay man".
@ Erica:

Any simple comparison of rates of male sexual dysfunction in circumcised versus non-circumcised countries would be rendered meaningless by a host of confounding factors (different rates of other health problems, different rates of reporting and diagnosis, et cetera). In any event, it's fairly obvious that except in rare instances of gross surgical error, male circumcision is not massively sexually crippling. The question is not if infant circumcision dooms boys to a lifetime of psychological trauma and genital anesthesia, but rather if it deprives them of a source of sexual pleasure (and possibly a degree of tactile sensitivity) that they would have otherwise possessed, and I'm not at all confident that the answer to this latter question is "no."

Men who have undergone adult circumcision don't inevitably report reduced genital sensitivity, but there are enough of them who do that I think there are some very real red flags. There have been precious few attempts to quantify tactile thresholds in circumcised and uncircumcised men, and the data from these studies has been mixed, but at least two reasonably sizable studies have found a correlation between circumcision and diminished genital sensitivity.

One of the more striking findings of the Danish study was that circumcised men were significantly more likely than uncircumcised men (11% vs. 4%) to report frequent difficulty achieving orgasm. However, circumcised men were not significantly more likely to report decreased sex drive or erectile dysfunction, so it's hard to attribute their greater rate of orgasmic dysfunction to a simple sense of shame over their "non-standard" penises -- if psychological issues were at the root of the problem, I'd expect to see signs of a more generalized sexual dysfunction.
Given that the origins of the widespread American practice of infant circumcision are in a desire to cut back on masturbation (forgive the pun), it makes sense that circumcision leads to a diminished sense of stimulation or genital sensitivity. That appears to have been precisely the point of the exercise.

I'm not weighing in on pros or cons, just saying that to some extent the procedure itself in its original intent would seem to validate the claim that it has that effect.
I'll never understand the mass of otherwise open minded progressive people who are down with altering the body of an infant, without any sort of reasonable anasthetic, for dubious medical reasons at best. I'm a Jewish mom of three intact sons. I couldn't really justify doing that to them when I enjoy bacon deeply. Plus, I don't practice my religion ON other people. I made peace that if God was angry at me for not slicing infant genitals I wasn't super interested in currying his favour anyway.

And hey Butt Sex writer? Accept that it might not happen. It's really okay to be super into the idea of assplay and hot for it and end up just doing some play and never working up to all out butt sex. Particularly if your lover has a larger than average cock, and super particularly if you are lacking a prostate. It doesn't make you any less sexy or hot if you just aren't getting any pleasure out of it or don't want to. And there are plenty of men gay and straight out there who are not only not into it but find it downright gross. And there are straight women and gay men out there who if a man says "I'm so not into anal" will start salivating and want to swallow his cock all night they'll be so turned on by that phrase alone.
I'd love to see people balance their hatred of circumcision with some time spent watching their naked toddlers wander around a park, happily undiapered. And some time encouraging parents to talk to their preteen sons and daughters about masturbation (mix it up! have some fun!) And organizing events teaching adolescents to name what they want, out loud, proudly, and then listen to each other.

Forgive me for not thinking that foreskins would make much difference to the imbalance in sexual desire which causes much of the sexual problems in this country.

You have your priorities, I have mine.
Some of your best and funniest responses in a while. THanks!
@48 for the win! GK Chesterton = George Will, wish I'd thought of that.

Silvio Levy
@164 - you can say the same thing about damn near anything your parents do. Some of us grow up and get over it. If we had clear evidence that this was an abusive "mutilation", that would be a bit different.
@AFinch and Erica

Excellent points and thanks for pointing them out so I don't have to.


It's not about turning your nose up, it's about having a preference. And despite what people are implying, it's not about a familiarity thing. The first penis I ever saw or dealt with was uncut (French guy) and I had no problem learning how a foreskin works and etc. But when I made a switch over to cut I was definitely happy about it. It just looks better to me, feels better.

I love how every time someone has a preference they need to be attacked as if it's everyone's job to make everyone else feel good about themselves by never rejecting anyone.

Hunter, you'll find anyone with any degree of standards has lots of things that turn them off and lots of things that turn them on. People that don't have any turnoffs or dealbreakers probably experience benefits from having no standards. But I have benefits from having them.

@162(nocutename), it's fine if you think so.

Though of course a good theory could help your endeavor of dispelling this feeling by suggesting what steps could be taken (in specific cases, or perhaps even in general) to dispel homophobia.

If my theory is right, for instance, it would be a good idea to make people identify with their own sexual impulse and desires. The more you realize it's you who desire, not the outside world that throws a fishhook into your midn, the less likely you are to think you're suddenly going to start being attracted to things that... well, you just don't find interesting. Just like people who are in contact with me don't suddenly develop an urge to learn to speak Latvian. :-)
@169(EricaP), oh yes! I agree entirely.

Frankly, I don't think there is much in support and/or against male circumcision as practiced in America. I'd leave it as a matter of choice and fashion, perhaps comparable to deciding whether or not to shave one's vagina, to trim it, or to let the hair grow as nature intended.

Or whether or not to pierce ears so as to wear earrings. For some absurd reason I am slightly squicked by earrings; I sometimes get strange images of earrings becoming heaving and heavier, till they deform or even tear apart a person's earlobe... I'd prefer women (and now men) never pierced their ears. But it's just a personal preference.

I see mydriasis above likes circumcized cocks. Great! And I see cockyballsup likes uncircumcized cocks. Great! Please go on preferring what you prefer. As far as I can tell, there's no big compelling reason for you to change your tastes.


I think the piercings is probably the closest comparison. Some people pierce their children's ears when they're babies. If my parents had've done thiat when I was too young to remember it I'd be thankful. Saves me some trouble. (Yes circumcision is more extreme but if I was an adult uncircumcised male who wanted to get cut I'd be nearly as angry as an adult circumcised male who wished he wasn't - because what adult wants to undergo that surgery?)

Or how about this one: braces. Permanent change, extremely painful and something that children typically don't get any say in. But easily the best parenting decision mine ever made. I'd be pissed if I had to get braces as an adult.

It's interesting you dislike earrings - I'm assuming you REALLY dislike body/facial piercing?

Do you have children?

Physical or not, parents affect their children every day with every decision they make. Oftentimes permanently. I could have grown up to say "man I wish my parents didn't make me suffer through years of periodic pain just so my teeth could look the way they thought they should look" and indeed, I do wish they had done many many things differently, but the physical things are the least of my worries. (I'm glad they made me wear braces though as I have nice teeth)

It's impossible for parents to defer all choices to their future adult children. Yes, this applies to permanent ones as well. The very nature of being someone's child is nonconsentual and nonelective. Many of us would opt out if we had the choice - but we don't. I understnad that you see the unsatisfied cut adult as worse off than the unsatisfied uncut adult (he has a choice) but the other factor that weighs in is that the cut adult who had to do the procedure as the adult is not in the same position as the cut adult who grew up that way. I would bet dollars to donuts that the pleasure sensation is different when you grow up that way.
Hey Dan,

Thanks for coming to Alaska. We really need you up here. I just moved to Bethel in rural western Alaska last year, and it's nice to know that at least Anchorage is moving in a progressive direction. Hopefully the anti-discrimination law will get passed this time. I was in Anchorage a couple years ago when the first round was attempted and I remember all the bigots and haters who came out to oppose the proposed ordinance. Here in Bethel I am pretty much back in the closet all over again. Maybe if the progress that is needed in Anchorage finally happens it will start to trickle all over the state, and I can feel comfortable once again in my workplace. It's been tough going from Seattle, a gay mecca, to Bethel.
@181: "Do you have children?"

I do. Two boys. I'm circumcised, and don't regard it as having ruined me. But the idea of cutting off part of their bodies so they could look like Dad (i.e., me) is utterly appalling to me.

"I would bet dollars to donuts that the pleasure sensation is different when you grow up that way."

Seems like a reasonable bet. Considering, however, that childhood circumcision implies that the penis spends extra decades without its protective sheath, by far the likelier outcome is increased desensitization. If you have a hypothesis on why a circumcised penis would actually benefit in sensitivity from being bereft of its protective sheath, I'd love to hear it.

(Can't help wondering if guys who are concerned with this loss of sensitivity should try a condom and some skin lotion as a replacement sheath. And scrupulous hygiene, just like you need with an intact foreskin.)

With respect to your orthodonture reference, presumably your crooked teeth were bad enough that they were interfering in your bite. I have crooked teeth that weren't that severe, and still have them today. Orthodonture is generally, though not always, a procedure of medical remedy rather than purely cosmetic; circumcision tends to be the exact opposite. Be that as it may, if you use braces as an analogy to circumcision, a more apt procedure would be having a few teeth pulled (or better, ground down to a sharp point, the way they do in Borneo) because your parents just really liked that gap-toothed look. Rearranging teeth to achieve better alignment is not a good analogy to permanent removal.

(Gads, now I'm imagining what braces for foreskins would be like. Brain bleach...!)
@177, ankylosaur: "I'd leave it as a matter of choice and fashion, perhaps comparable to deciding whether or not to shave one's vagina, to trim it, or to let the hair grow as nature intended. Or whether or not to pierce ears so as to wear earrings."

Pubic hair grows back in a matter of weeks. Ear piercings close up if left alone. Even tattoos can be removed with reasonable success. Circumcision is irreversible.
Mr Ank/Ms Cute - I'm worn out for the moment from discussions that centre the experience of straight men who happen to be the obstacle to whatever positive social change one is attempting to create. Theories are interesting, but so often it just amounts to so much misdirection.
I appreciate your being worn out. I'm a bit peaked, myself.
"If you have a hypothesis on why a circumcised penis would actually benefit in sensitivity from being bereft of its protective sheath, I'd love to hear it."

Oh no, I think you misunderstood me.

Ummm let's make it less ambiguous. Say if you have a sensitivity level of 10 if you're uncut. I was suggesting that an adult who has been cut since just after birth might have a sensitivity level of 9 (or even 10, see below) while a man who grew up uncut and then gets surgery as an adult would drop from 10 to maybe say 7 in sensitivity. Does that make more sense?

As for why I would believe that might be...

Well it's mighty late so I'd have to look into the details of it at a later time. But umm okay here's an example from an animal model - this is fuzzy as it's from memory but I can try to look up a for real paper later on. So we all know how whiskers work right? They're very sensitive to tactile input and very important to the animals that have them. So there's a part of your brain that maps out all of the parts of your body capable of feelings things (the somatosensory cortex) - parts of your body that have more nerve endings get a bigger chunk of your brain.

So what they did with some mice is removed some of their whiskers. And what they found was that instead of that part (the part that mapped out the now missing whiskers) of the brain going silent, the mapped out part for the remaining whiskers grew into that area. Soon all of the "whisker" area was filled with the remaining whiskers. (Presumably this meant that the remaining whiskers became more sensitive.)

If I'm not mistaken we see similar phenom for people who were born blind or deaf (since there's dedicated parts of your brain for seeing and hearing)

The ability of your brain to adjust and accomodate declines with age.

So my on the spot theory would be that if you circumcised a baby, the part of his somatosensory cortex that used to be dedicated to foreskin would come instead percieve other parts of the penis. In fact, because pleasure is perceived in the brain after all, this person may be able to FEEL the same degree of pleasure even with a relative paucity of nerve endings. Who knows. My point being: this might not work as well/completely with an adult?

Anyway, it was sort of an off-the-cuff educated guess, not really a strongly held theory. Perhaps they've done studies on this?
The folks over at One Anchorage really need to fix their website to conform with web standards. The w3c validator barfs all over their site. I gave them $18 anyway, but I was pissed about it.
@185/186, that's fine. After many efforts with few results one does tend to feel worn out. But hope springs eternal...
@184, I understand that, which does make circumcision a slightly heavier matter. Maybe getting a tattoo would feel more comparable? Granted, one can get rid of tattoos with surgery (or so I've heard), but aside from that they're pretty permanent, and they're also mostly a fashion or personal expression matter.

P.S. Re: braces - I'm pretty sure it was a mainly cosmetic decision.
@179 - "frankly it is useless for us to continue the discussion."

Oh, we passed that point a long time ago. The object of the debate is hardly to persuade one another, only the audience. Fortunately, you and I won't be having a baby, so we can agree to disagree. ;-)
Seems like a reasonable bet. Considering, however, that childhood circumcision implies that the penis spends extra decades without its protective sheath, by far the likelier outcome is increased desensitization. If you have a hypothesis on why a circumcised penis would actually benefit in sensitivity from being bereft of its protective sheath, I'd love to hear it.

So, here's my thought and an idea for research; first, some questions:

1) is the foreskin itself full of orgasm inducing nerve endings?

2) Can we extend cocky's anecdotal experiences to something statistically significant by looking for a correlation with premature ejaculation and circumcised vs. uncircumcised? Or additonally, a correlation between inability to orgasm


If the foreskin is sensitive just like the glans and frenulum, then it is just as likely to be "desensitized" as any of the anatomy it shields.

Whether or not it is sensitive, the foreskin is shielding the glans and frenulum from contact. I don't know about you, but I know my sensitivity goes to hell when I put on a condom. Do all foreskins completely retract?

Finally, no matter the answers to the above to permutations, if there is improved sensitivity, on average, in uncircumcised men, we'd expect to see an observable correlation with average time to achieve orgasm; I'd expect to see a slightly higher incidence of PE (two pump chump syndrome) among the more sensitive men.

My personal prediction is that this sensitivity issue is completely bogus (ie, no correlations) mainly because I am reminded of all the advice Dan hands out to people who've been 'doing it wrong' (masturbating - death grip, face down, humping a towel) and have 'worn a groove' in their psycho-sexual-pathways...this applies to women who use too much vibrator as well.

The fact that such people exist in the first place implies that sensitivity is a function only in part of raw physiology, and also an issue of common usage. People are adaptable, and as Dan frequently advises, the only way out of the "I can't come with my partner" is to abstain and retrain the sexual neural pathways. That means we're adaptable, and these responses are adaptable. Our brains adjust and adapt to the level of sensory input.

For a simple analogy, easy to reproduce, try putting in some of those roll-up foam earplugs in the morning. Notice how everything is suddenly muffled. Walk around all day with them in. Notice how by the end of the day, you don't notice them anymore (and you can hear things). Remove them, and notice HOW LOUD THE VERY QUIET ROOM IS.
And now for the weekly edition of: Hunter's protips for tricking women into sleeping with you!
Circumcizing a newborn is wrong because yo9u're chopping off a piece of his genitals without hsi consent. Who the fuck are YOU to say how someone else will or should feel about their own damn genitals? If it's "ok" then he should have the right to say yay or nay right? Why does any parent have the right to chop off healthy pieces of any child's genitalia? There isn't a reason that doesn't translate to someone thinking their son's dick is their property to do with as they please.

@191: Your parents' decision to put braces on you may have seemed purely cosmetic (especially to a pre-teen or teenager), but often crooked teeth and over or underbites signal jaw mis-alignments which can cause big problems later in life. Plus, orthodontia is expensive: a two-year course of braces is roughly $2-3K.
I doubt that many parents go through the hassle and expense just to make a slight cosmetic change.
Dan! I'm a big fan but... I gotta call BULLSHIT on your answer to the guy who was getting peed on by his girlfriend who thinks she's a squirter.
I'm sorry to have to do this, (I have only ever disagreed with you twice in the 20 or so years of reading your column) but I have to set the record straight.
Women who "ejaculate" are extremely rare. Their ejaculate is normally white, has the same components as a man's semen, sans the sperm and much of the testosterone that is in a mans junk, and it comes out in spurts. Just like a man's does.
Women who "gush" clear or yellowish, water like fluid, that usually smells like piss, are pissing themselves and whoever is underneath them. Sure, some of this fluid may test positive for things that are not normally found in pee, but that could be because they are ejaculating while they are pissing.

You may wonder what makes me an expert on this? Well, I have been studying sex, women and the human body for as long as I can remember (I'm 50 Now). I was 14 when I read the Kama Sutra and a stack of other related books and magazines. Since losing my cherry and being royally fucked over by the woman I first fell for, I became commitmentphobic but since I still loved women so much, I ended up have been with so many that I lost count at least 20 years ago. Shortly after moving to the big city. :)
I maintained a rather decent revolving harem from about 1995 until 2010 and have had a number of alleged squirters who, as it turns out, were really just pissing themselves, and me. I learned this the hard way. By being pissed on many times in the name of being GGG. I instinctively knew it was just piss, from the smell, among other things, so I did some research. Then one fateful day I met a genuine squirter. A sweet little Asian girl who could hit a standing man in the face from lying on the couch at almost 6 feet away. And yes, it was white, gooey and tasted almost the same as my own junk. A little less salty though.

So please tell your readers that this woman was pissing on him. If she was truly ejaculating, he wouldn't have to ask. If anyone doubts it, go have your neighborhood squirter squirt for you and taste it, smell it, and rub it between your fingers. If it smells like piss... If it tastes like piss... If your fingers squeak instead of slip... Well, I'm sure you get the idea. If you are still in doubt, take it to your local lab and have it tested to see what the bulk of it is made up of.

Thank you.


p.s. That's short for Man Meat by the way. ;)

p.p.s. Sorry I didn't write in when you asked for some wild stories of manogomish tales, as I have a few. ;)
For the record, I don't think it's pee, although I wouldn't want to state authoritatively that female ejaculate has no urea at all. Whatever.

The question for me, is: why do people care? Why do people act as if ejaculate would be okay, but if it's pee then she'd better not do that.

It is uncontroversial that some women ejaculate a bunch of liquid at the moment of orgasm, and that for some women, those orgasms are especially intense. What does it matter if there's some urea in the liquid or not?

How much methylene blue do you need? If it's just a few grams I can send you some. My email is levy at msri dot org.

Silvio Levy
As the mom of a 19 year old intact (uncircumcised) son, his circed dad and I never considered allowing part of his penis to be cut off. (actually, I think the conversation during pregnancy went something like this: ME: "what about circumcision?" HIM: "Oh hell no!" ME: "I concur.")

My partner never had any problems with his state, but it just struck both of us as completely ridiculous to expose our baby to the risks (however small, but real: infection, a botched job) and pain involved for NO VALID REASON.

Secular circumcision of infants is a COSMETIC procedure, and one many insurance companies no longer pay for as a result. My sis-in-law circed all 3 of her boys because SHE'D had a few bad experiences with uncut men with poor hygeine during her time in England. SHE thought uncut dicks were ugly.

All the arguments for this primitive practice are weak, imo.

STDS; they're called CONDOMS. We have them in this country.

Penile cancer; well, let's premptively remove their prostates, testicles, and breast tissue, too, just in case.

Hygeine; it's called WASHING we clip off the labia of our girls to make it easier to wash down there?

Looking like daddy or the other kids in the locker room; my son's dad being cut and him not being was a non-issue.
Our son noticed it, asked what was up with daddy's dick, and we told him that daddy's parents had decided to have his foreskin removed when he was born. Oh, he said. End of "issue".

And as fewer and fewer U.S. parents opt to alter their sons (the rates have been falling for decades and are esp. low in some areas, like Portland), it is just as likely that the cut kid will be the "freak" in his locker room as the other way around.(and do pre-teen and teen-aged boys really LOOK at each other's dicks and/or raise the issue anyway?)

If a medical issue emerges later, or if the MAN decides to have the surgery done for cosmetic reasons, fine. Otherwise, I would no more snip off his foreskin for him without his consent than I would have him tattooed as an infant.

My son seems happy with his so far (not that we've discussed it, lol). But no urinary tract infections in his past or present, the cleaning issue was never an issue (trust me, as soon as the foreskin WILL retract at a few years of age, the little boy WILL retract it in the bath and at every other opportunity; they can't seem to keep their hands OFF their junk, can they? :) and when he was older, dad simply mentioned that retracting and washing well was important.

The foreskin evolved for a reason (protection of the glans and lubrication/sensation during sex). Removing it may not be as significant as removing the clit or labia, but it IS a significant alteration with lifelong consequences.

And bravo to the guy who told his GF that he'd cut HIS foreskin off if she did the same (a hoodectomy). Yeah, I BET she didn't like that, but she totally DESERVED it.

"I doubt that many parents go through the hassle and expense just to make a slight cosmetic change."

Now we know where the "cute" in nocutename came from. You're swell.

But 'many' is a subjective word. Depending on what circles you run in, you'd be surprised.
@199/200: I think there's quite possibly a little urine in there, but so what?

I'm with EricaP: who cares and why do they care?

If it is urine, it's pretty diluted urine, or the color and smell would make such questions unnecessary. So the guy doesn't mind getting her "ecjaculate" on him, but her watered-down urine is some sort of toxic waste?

I squirt, if sufficiently aroused and stimulated. Sometimes it shoots across the room, and sometimes it gushes and pools. My G-spot has to be stimulated for me to squirt, so it doesn't happen every time I come. It doesn't smell or taste like pee (well, I've never deliberately tasted pee, so I have to go by what I imagine, based on smell, it tastes like!), and I can have a sense that I have to go afterward (I like to keep my bladder full during sex because the extra pressure on my interior clitoral tissue feels great), but just as in times following other non-squirting orgasms, for a little while post-orgasm, I can't relax my sphincter enough to really pee forcefully. However, once I am able to pee, I experience the complete sensation of emptying my bladder, and feeling that emptiness, even if I had just squirted a LOT (and I squirt a lot). All these lead me to think that whatever it is, it isn't entirely urine, though I wouldn't be at all surprised or upset to find that there's trace amounts (or even more) of urine in it. I don't feel like I've peed myself; I feel like I squirted when I came.

Why anyone would get so hung up on the origins of the liquid, so long as the smell isn't too acidic, is beyond me. Did you feel good? Good. Did you make her feel good? Good for you. End. of. Issue.
@200 EricaP
Why do people care? Because it might be pee! The same reason that makes it highly desirable to me makes it highly undesirable to others. The bigger deal social convention makes of it (read: dirty) the more people will give a damn one way or the other.
Mydriasis, you don't have kids, right?

I spend thousands of dollars on them per year to have clothing, food, medical checkups, regular dental visits, trips to the optometrist, haircuts, presents for the countless birthday parties they get invited to. I get them music, books. I know they want to fit in and look as cute as be, and I buy all the face washes, and new conditioners that are asked of me.
I make under $50K a year.

And when they have those appointments, the follow up at the eye doctor to pick up the new prescription, the orthodontist tune-up every 5 weeks, the Pertussis booster they need because of a recent public health crisis, the trip to the ER because . . . well, with kids, there are a few of those. All the follow-up visits to the pediatric orthopedic clinic a broken bone requires, I have to miss work or move around commitments.

I will gladly pay the thousands of dollars my kid's orthodontia cost--and did. And I will gladly--and did--rearrange my schedule so that she could go to those many orthodontist appointments, even if it meant a major time sacrifice.

And I'm glad for her sake that her teeth are pretty and her smile is devastating and she will no doubt reap the benefits of attracting more people throughout her life with her beautiful teeth, but if it wasn't for a sound medical reason, I doubt I would have said, "let's get the kid braces." As I said earlier, most of the crookedest teeth or worst overbites or underbites are the result of a medical necessity for orthodontia. And if you've ever sat up with a kid who can't sleep for five days following an adjustment to her braces, you would realize that the braces are rarely kid-driven.
#194, the foreskin IS full of highly sensitive genital-tissue nerve endings. A woman's labia is as well, and while that area may not be the primary focus of orgasmic pleasure, it IS sensitive and plays a role.

The fact that circumcision was once widely prescribed as a cure for masturbation speaks to the role this bit of tissue plays; it secretes lubrication and slides back and forth over the glans during intercourse or masturbation.

Cutting it off deprives the glans of protection (desensitizing and drying it out) and removes a relatively large amount of highly sensitive tissue almost as full of nerve endings as the glans itself.

I've never had the experience of sex with an uncut man (to date), so I can't speak directly on exactly how the differences in anatomy tend to manifest in the sack.

But I have known several women who had been with both cut and uncut who MUCH preferred the uncut men (both for their endurance AND heightened responsiveness , which may seem like a paradox, but I am assured it is not) and for the much improved sensation THEY received.

It was explained to me thusly: The typical extreme THRUSTING in and out so many men engage in is, in part, a symptom of a desensitized glans; they hammer away and slide way out on each stroke trying to get that sensation of tissue sliding back and forth over their glans, which is also less sensitive due to rubbing on clothes, etc..

an intact man tends to stick much closer to the woman, and remain inside more, since he is not completely relying on HER tissues as he exits and enters for the sliding sensation...his thrusting tends to be deep but with less "recoil"/more steady contact with the clit and other sensitive tissues.

None of the women who shared with me had any complaints regarding staying power. Perhaps because their uncut men lasted as long as or longer than their cut men, or because their uncut men's manner of fucking got THEM off sooner so it didn't matter that he last a long time...they still came before or with him.

I suspect the latter, since I've also frequently heard the female complaint about the (cut) guy who takes FOR-FUCKING-EVER to come and whose porn-style thrusting is just NOT doing it for the woman, who begins to daydream about what color she's going to paint her nails when it's finally over.

Mr. J, if I was with you, I would pretend that the fluid was urine. That way you would be able to satisfy your transgressive kink, and I'd be getting the GGG award for creativity!

I didn't say it was kid driven. I said it was cosmetic.

These things are cultural, which is what I was trying to allude to without getting into a lengthy off-topic comment. There are parents that make very frivolous decisions just like that. More of them than you might be comfortable with, actually.

It's very sweet and naive that you think that all parents are as lovely and selfless as yourself but I can tell you that the real world isn't like that.
@208 nocutename
You'd get high marks for a lot of things. *sighs*
#206, I was just recommending a film to someone yesterday..."Gap-Toothed Women" (1987..featuring Lauren Hutton and a host of other women with a gap between their 2 front teeth)

Here I am reading/discussing the issue of TEETH again. What ARE the odds? :)

I have a problem with the current U.S. fixation on perfectly straight, blindingly white, cookie-cutter perfect teeth. Look at the cover of any celebrity-focused rag and note how virtually all of them have THE SAME TEETH.

It creeps me out.

My 12 yr old daughter saw a photo of Paula Dean on a magazine the other day and said, "OMG! That is SCARY!" It was. Huge smile, liquid-paper white, "perfect" teeth...retouched or not, very disturbing.

I took a friend of mine to a foreign film a while back and she was appalled at the TEETH of the actors because they were gapped and/or slightly crooked. WTF? Not like they were hideously deformed or rotting or filthy. They were perfectly healthy, clean teeth attached to perfectly attractive and talented people.

Me, I LIKE interesting, unique teeth. I respect those in the public eye and otherwise who DON'T "fix" their teeth (Steve Buscemi, Drew Barrymore, Vanessa Paradis, Lauren Hutton, etc..)

And it's a socio-econmic issue as well. A native-american friend once remarked to me that you could always tell who grew up on/lived on the reservation by their teeth. The reservation folks didn't have the same access to dental care and tended to have crooked and/or naturally tinted teeth, while those with more means had straight, very white ones.

This applies to the rest of U.S. society as well.

Yes, I happen to HAVE crooked teeth (one incisor that juts out like a vampire fang, a row of jagged lower front ones, and a pretty severe underbite (i think that's what it lower teeth angle inwards to the point that my upper ones virtually cover them).

My mom couldn't afford the braces they recommended when I was a kid, so I never got them. I actually felt self-conscious about my teeth for most of my life, but never had any problems eating, talking or in any other way because of them.

I looked into getting braces several years back, and opted not to do it (mainly because as an adult I would likely have to wear a retainer every night for the rest of my life to keep them in line AND it would involve the removal of a few perfectly healthy teeth.)

At 46, I have finally become comfortable and even a little proud of my unique, interesting smile (same way I have made peace with my unruly, curly hair and largish, small nippled, never-were-upwards-pointing-perky breasts.)

Hey, my crooked teeth are healthy, clean, and reasonably white (but not blindingly so). It seems to me that we in the U.S. (esp.) are being propagandized to see a problem where none really exists and sold a fix for it.

My now 19 yr old son had braces for a while. They really didn't seem to do much for what was a not-very-noticable "problem".
My daughter's teeth seem fine (straight-wise) and I would be very hesitant to getting her braces even if they WEREN'T. Barring severe deformity or actual dental health issues, forget it. The torture and expense is not worth it.

I'm a film student/maker myself, and seriously considering making a doc on this topic. Perhaps over the summer. If anyone is interested in participating/sharing their story and image (I am open to using the technique used in the film I mentioned above for those who don't prefer to have their whole face shown and just shoot the mouth as they talk) email me.

I'm cut and your description is way off as far as my sexual style or sensual experience goes. No resemblance. Also, fucking/thrusting is a tiny fraction of the sexual experience. It's not worth the emphasis you give it unless it's being done to you in some atrocious porn star way that you (or for that matter, I) personally don't enjoy.
For Fuck's Sake, Mydriasis!

I'm not claiming to be "lovely and selfless" for what, exactly? Fixing my daughter's teeth for more than purely cosmetic reasons? And by implication suggesting that any parents who put braces on their kids' crooked teeth primarily for cosmetic are in horrible, shallow, and selfish, by contrast. You think I wouldn't be "comfortable" knowing that some parents put a high premium on cosmetics? Grow up.

I wasn't attacking your parents' or your friends' or your own future parenting decisions. I don't care whatsoever about who gets orthodontia or why. I merely said in an earlier post when you brought up cosmetic orthodontia that given the cost of braces, most parents don't them put on for purely cosmetic reasons, which wasn't meant to be a judgment.

Calm down and don't interpret every response to your comments as an insult and a call to arms.
Penis Facts.

Saying male circumcision is not nearly as damaging as female circumcision is just plain wrong. Modern male circumcision removes most of the foreskin, the ridged band, and the frenulum. The frenulum is commonly referred to as the male g-spot. The ridged band is a densely packed ring of pleasure receiving nerves. The foreskin itself is not even skin at all. It's a mucus membrane packed with more pleasure receiving nerves. The fact is, male circumcision is more damaging than female circumcision. At least a woman who has had her clit cut off still has her g-spot. Men who have circumcisions are left with damaged penises where the circumcision scar is actually the most sensitive part of the penis. That is for real by the way.

And on a side note, a non-invasive cure for phimosis is skin stretching. This causes new skin growth which will loosen up the foreskin.

Just for the record, Mr. J (#212) it wasn't MY was my relation of descriptions from others I know.

As I stated, I personally have no idea, one, not having a cock and two, never having had sex with an intact male to date.

I'm sure there is a WIDE variance involved in this, as with most other things.

My late partner who was circed tended to thrust a lot and take a while to come BUT he was also very attentive in all the other ways that matter a hell of a lot more (we agree on that!)

@215 AnastasiaBeaverhousen
Sorry for the misattribution. Being lumped in with a bad bunch of lays irked me.
@207, 212, 215, 216:

1) I sure wish I had paid better attention to technique the two one-off times I had sex with an uncut man!

2) I hope I have a chance to experience sex with an uncut man again--and this time, I'll take notes.

3) What does it say about me--that I'm not discerning? that I have poor taste?--that I *like* a lot of vigorous thrusting when I fuck?!
Understood, Mr. J. :)

It's all good.

As my late partner used to say, "the worst sex I ever had was fantastic" (and he was a fantastic lover)...I am not one who thinks most or even a significant # of circed men suffer any noticable loss of enjoyment or function.

I just think they have no way of knowing IF they have lost something even better,(never having HAD it) and am personally opposed to the cosmetic removal of a naturally occuring body part without the informed consent of the "victim" (as it were).

As I said, I'm sure the experiences and feelings of individual men both cut and uncut range across the spectrum. The reports I shared were anecdotes I used to make a generalization which may or may not be valid overall.

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