The top 5 most disturbing things your boy will eventually read about his circumcision

I sometimes hear about parents who refuse to do their research about circumcision. They have made their mind up about it and just want to ‘get it done’. That’s fine for them. They may not want to read about the immediate damage and risks from the operation itself, or the life-long damage it causes, but one day, their circumcised son will read these things. He will ask himself ‘why?’ He may even go to his parents and ask them the same question.

If you are, or plan to be one of these parents, it might be wise to start preparing your answers. To help you prepare, these are the top 5 most disturbing things your son will eventually read about his circumcision:

1. Circumcision may have made his penis smaller.
While not the most serious complication, this is one of the first things that will get your son’s attention. We all know that size doesn’t matter, but we also know that every teenage boy will get out the measuring tape at some point. An Australian study found that the average size of a circumcised man was 8mm shorter than that of an intact man. It is believed that the growing erection is tethered by the reduced skin length, and cannot extend to its full size. This is validated by men who have restored their foreskins, with many reporting a subsequent gain of 1/2 to 1 inch in length.

While many will agree that length shouldn’t matter, girth is considered by many to be important. Circumcision will reduce penis girth between the glans (head) and circumcision scar. An intact man has a double layer of skin here resulting from the foreskin retracting to this position, while in a circumcised man this is obliterated, leaving just a single layer.

2. His circumcised penis is more likely to cause discomfort to his partners
Most men like to think they are capable of pleasing their partner. So it will no doubt be disturbing for him to find out circumcision will likely cause her discomfort. The foreskin is designed to slide over the glans during sex, creating a ‘smoother ride’. When it is gone there is an unnatural friction, which she may find irritating and even painful. There will also be reduced pleasure for him, but this will come as less of a surprise given that he has probably already had some experience. This aspect deserves it’s own post, but for those who want to read up on how circumcision affects enjoyment for both partners check out sex as nature intended it.

3. The irritation is not normal, and is slowly de-sensitising his penis
That chaffing feeling in his trousers is actually not normal. The glans is supposed to be covered and protected by the foreskin, and when it is not there the friction against clothing and bed sheets can be very annoying. In addition, over time that friction is creating a thin calloused layer, gradually turning the glans from a highly sensitive, mostly internal organ into a de-sensitised, dry and leathery external one. This is suspected to be one of the contributing factors to the high level of erectile dysfunction in Australia.

4. Just how much he is missing
Many people think that only a small amount of tissue is lost from circumcision. The truth is that while it may appear that a small amount of skin is taken from a baby, when the boy becomes an man, that lost skin is estimated to be between 10 and 15 square inches. The lost skin is also more richly nerve-laden than normal skin. In fact, to call it skin is a misnomer, as the foreskin is a complex series of structures including the frenulum, ridged band and mucosal tissue. All of these structures have important functions relating to protection and sexual activity.

5. He has more hair on his shaft
While every man is different, generally speaking most intact men have very little hair on the penis shaft. But your son will read that an erect circumcised penis will draw skin up onto the shaft from the scrotum to accommodate the increase in size. This results in the hair from the scrotum ending up on the shaft where it doesn’t belong.


You might find that thinking about your son and sexual activity makes you a bit uncomfortable. So on that basis, why would you even think about circumcising him as a baby and altering every single future sexual experience?

10 thoughts on “The top 5 most disturbing things your boy will eventually read about his circumcision

  1. Wonderful! Now Australia and New Zealand also have a good intactivist site. The 5 reasons for not circumcising any baby boy should be included in parenting guides in the U.S.

  2. This is truly wonderful. And it’s true–this does happen, and we get very upset. Permanently.
    It’s important to get parents thinking about this.

    I do have some criticisms though: there are some things that are not scientifically definitive. Of course circumcision makes your penis thinner but I’m not convinced that circumcision accounts for the slightly shorter on average penises found in studies.
    The glans is mentioned as being very sensitive, but it’s actually one of the least sensitive parts of the penis. The frenulum, ridged band and preputial opening are the most sensitive.

    #5 is problematic because some circumcisions are “loose” while others are quite tight. Not all men will have hair further up their shaft.
    But that’s one of the problems: you never know what you’re going to get. Will the circ take off too much skin? Or “too little” and risk skin tags, adhesions, etc? Will the doc use a mogen clamp and remove his sensitive frenulum, or will he use a gomco clamp and keep more frenulum but leave a darker, v-shaped scar? Will the scarring be uneven? You will never know if there’s a problem, because you will never do ‘check-ups’ on his penis throughout his life. Only he will see it and he will have no idea that a problem is caused by circ. Even after studying circ, it may be years before he realizes that it affected his life.

    Some other notes:
    – Taylor found that women were slightly more likely to orgasm from intercourse with intact men
    – The dutch study found that men were significantly more likely to report problems like pain during intercourse, trouble orgasming, etc.
    – Masturbation will be more difficult and less enjoyable without moveable skin
    – Men have more difficulty regulating their arousal level, and so can’t necessarily control orgasm as easily, and enjoy sex less. http://youtu.be/DD2yW7AaZFw (more of an “off/on” switch). As a result of less controllable arousal levels:
    – His orgasms might not be as intense
    – He may develop body image issues if he hates being circumcised, and unlike being intact, it is “unfixable”.
    – Having too much skin removed might potentially cause curvature. This has not been definitively proven, but it makes sense insofar as: if the skin is too tight, it can make bending it one direction or another impossible. Whether or not this can cause permanent physical disformity is not known.

    • ” Will the circ take off too much skin? Or “too little” and risk skin tags, adhesions, etc? ”

      Lucky me , I had both !

      I have pubic hair on the shaft , and when I’m erect , the skin of the scrotum covers one third of the underside of my penis !

      I also had 3 hideous skin tags on the circumcision scar , that looked like a kind of venerial disease , which I had removed after 30 years of shame and depression .

      Of course , I have developped ” body image issues ” .

      Also , I cannot masturbate without imagining intense sexual fantasies ( because of the lack of physical sensation ) , and when I get a blowjob , I don’t get hard , and with an intact partner ( I live in Europe ) it takes ages before I come , extremely embarrassing !

      I HATE being circumcised !

      Circumcisers are criminals !

      • Well said. I agree with your anger. I feel that my genital mutilation is the most horrible and unfair thing that has ever been done to me.

  3. A circumcised penis is less penis. Period. Full Stop. A few years back Bigelow and Griffiths articulated well the loss of the gliding mechanism. Only recently have we begun to understand the wrinkles-onto-wrinkles effect of the bunched-up-at-base-of-penis shaft skin interacting with a woman’s labia to continue this feature of foreplay throughout the act of coitus. The bunched up shaft skin comes from what the retracted foreskin provides at the other end of the shaft. This aspect of foreskin function may be lumped together w/ loss of girth, but may also be seen as another distinctive feature that is lost to circumcision. A loss of 8mm (3/8″) of length may be inconsequential to a man with a 7.5″ erection, but could be significant to a man with a 5.0″ erection. There is after all, some point at which staying-in power can be as important as staying power. And one never knows when that “shorter” man may lose 15mm rather than the average 8mm.

  4. I would add that thanks to the Internet, a male can now see and hear an infant being tortured and sexually mutilated, and he can study the devices of torture – Mogen clamp, Gomco clamp, Plastibell, Circumstraint. Infant and child circumcision is so barbaric and perverse and a gross human rights violation.

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