Comedian Lawrence Mooney thinks circumcision is no laughing matter

MooneyCrop1Australian comedian Lawrence Mooney makes people laugh for a living but his performance at the 2016 Melbourne International Comedy Festival showed that he is clearly not in the slightest bit amused by the fact that he was routinely circumcised as an infant.

Mooney assured his audience that he had done his research on the issue and he didn’t disappoint. In a wide-ranging rant, Mooney mocked the Abrahamic covenant with god which calls for all males to be circumcised, showed utter disdain for the notion of circumcision as a 20th century fashion statement and lamented about the impact that having a foreskin-free penis has on his sex life.

Mooney began his sketch by revealing that ‘When I was but a few hours old, my parents gave me to a complete stranger. And he took me into a room and hacked the top of my cock off. Let’s just sit with the loneliness and brutality for a moment shall we?‘ He concluded by saying ‘My knob has been rubbing against my undies for 50 years, and it is dead to the touch. Alright? It is. No seriously, you could hit it with a hammer and I wouldn’t bat an eyelid. I could bang you for two hours…and nothing.

Mooney’s performance was powerful but predictably awkward. Those assembled laughed sheepishly at times but appeared somewhat embarrassed about having such a sensitive issue unexpectedly foisted upon them.

It was a brave and commendable effort by Mooney. He somehow managed to seamlessly weave serious social commentary with disarming humour, which is always the hallmark of a quality entertainer.

Watch Lawrence Mooney’s anti-circumcision tirade below.

Anti-genital mutilation protester shut down at Oprah’s Adelaide show

An intactivist protester at Oprah Winfrey’s show in Adelaide tonight was apparently shut down by police only 2 minutes after arriving.

The man was objecting to Oprah Winfrey’s endorsements of a face cream derived from human foreskin.

A hand-written sign held up to crowds outside the Entertainment Centre read:oprahforeskin

“Foreskin Facecream Oprah’s Shame”

He was apparently threatened with arrest, although the police could not provide information on the details of the charge, so he was allowed to leave with his sign tossed onto the footpath.

We understand this was the first anti-genital mutilation protest to be held in Adelaide. A facebook post of the short-lived encounter has been met with support, and generated interest in organising a larger protest in the future.

LoveForeskincropped

 

 

Canadian Paediatric Society faces potential child sex scandal

In order to maintain a perception of credibility, so-called ‘peak’ medical authorities in any modern society must ensure that they observe the highest possible standards when they disseminate information to the general public. The Canadian Paediatric Society (CPS) has recently let itself down in this regard by referring to source material that was originally published by a person who is currently serving time in jail for multiple child sex and child pornography offences.

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In September 2015, the CPS released an updated ‘position statement’ on the issue of newborn male circumcision. The document ultimately concluded that the CPS ‘does not recommend the routine circumcision of every newborn male’ however the CPS position statement listed a brochure called ‘Circumcision: A guide for parents’ as one of its selected resources. The primary author of that brochure was Brian Morris, a prominent Australian pro-circumcision campaigner. The brochure was originally published by ‘The Gilgal Society’, a UK-based organisation which was principally maintained by Vernon Quaintance,

MorrisGilgal1croppedUnderlinedPart1

In April 2013, during a discussion that occurred on a Facebook page called ‘Response to Ignorance’, Morris confirmed that he had engaged Quaintance’s services in the publication of the ‘Circumcision: A guide for parents’ brochure. Morris badly contradicted himself during that conversation. In the first instance, he claimed that (quote) ‘I have never met Quaintance…nor have I ever spoken to (him)’. He then went on to confirm that (quote) ‘Quaintance offered to assist in production of professional quality brochures and I accepted his offer’.

MorrisApril19th2013Underlined1

In April 2012, Quaintance was convicted of possessing child pornography. The ‘Croydon Advertiser’ reported that Quaintance had been found in possession of three video cassettes which contained seven to nine hours of ‘graphic footage of child abuse ranked at the second-highest level of severity’. The court found that  boys as young as 11 years old engaging in sex acts were discovered on the videos. The judge in that case sentenced Quaintance to a 40 week suspended jail sentence. In October 2014, Quaintance faced court again, this time on multiple serious child sex offences. It was revealed that Quaintance had ‘targeted young boys and asked them to expose themselves’. On this occasion he was jailed for 2 years and 4 months.

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After hearing of Quaintance’s first conviction on child sex offences, Brian Morris attempted to distance himself from Quaintance and ‘The Gilgal Society’. He changed the name of the publisher of the ‘Circumcision: A guide for parents’ brochure to simply ‘Brian Morris’. He also deleted every reference to Quaintance and Gilgal from his website. This action represented nothing more than a desperate and futile attempt at re-writing history. It represented hopeless and cynical brinkmanship at its finest.

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Great care, consideration and research are required when official documents are produced and published by ‘statutory authorities’. Referencing documents prepared by Brian Morris can never be a good look for any organisation which purports to provide balanced information to the public on the issue of male circumcision. Over many years, Morris has built himself a strong reputation for disseminating one-sided, agenda-driven propaganda on the issue. Professor Basil Donovan, a sexual/public health expert from the University of Sydney, has stated that Morris publishes information which is ‘dangerous’ and ‘amounts to a serious disservice to parents’. What is much more damning in this case however is that the Canadian Paediatric Society has referred to a document which was originally published by a twice convicted child sex offender. As such, the CPS has proven itself to be (at the very least) utterly careless in the preparation of its latest ‘position statement’ on newborn male circumcision.

Image sources:

1. ‘Canadian Paediatric Society’.

http://www.cps.ca/documents/position/circumcision

2 and 6. ‘Circumstitions News’.

http://circumstitionsnews.blogspot.com.au/2012/04/sydney-brian-morris-fails-to-erase.html

3. ‘Response to Ignorance’ Facebook page.

https://www.facebook.com/responsetoignorance

4. ‘Croydon Advertiser’, April 21st, 2012.

http://www.croydonadvertiser.co.uk/Croydon-circumcision-campaigner-caught-child-porn/story-15866127-detail/story.html

5. ‘Croydon Advertiser’, October 3rd, 2013.

http://www.croydonadvertiser.co.uk/Upper-Norwood-circumcision-fetishist-jailed/story-23040107-detail/story.html

Minority Reporter: How Brian Morris fought a personal war against the human foreskin (and how he lost)

white_flagBrian Morris is a former Professor of molecular biology at the University of Sydney. He has spent much of his adult life attempting to defend the practice of routine infant circumcision. He has, in essence, fought a personal war against a normal part of the human anatomy (the male foreskin). Morris has utilised a wide range of tactics in order to prosecute his case in relation to this issue. He has mastered the art of optimising media opportunities to promulgate his views on the subject. He has also surrounded himself with like-minded individuals, whom he has hoped would provide credible support for his war against the foreskin. Morris and his allies have attempted to harness scientific research in order to underpin their opinions and they have been unrelenting in their attempts at discrediting those who express views that contradict their own. Despite his dedication and persistence, the evidence provided below demonstrates quite clearly that Morris has lost the battle. The ‘courts’ of science, medicine and (perhaps most importantly) public opinion have ruled against him.

Public visibility has been a major weapon in Brian Morris’ war against the foreskin. He has used his ‘status’ as a professor with great efficiency in this regard. Every notable story/article about circumcision that has appeared in the mainstream Australian media over the last few years has featured Morris. His recent television appearances include segments on the Nine Network’s ’60 Minutes’, the Seven Network’s ‘Sunday Night’ and SBS’s ‘Insight’. In addition, to the best knowledge of this author, Morris has also been quoted in every mainstream Australian print media article on the subject of circumcision in recent times. Morris has benefited from the fact that all mainstream media outlets attempt to set up a ‘polemic’ debate about seemingly controversial issues. It might, therefore, appear to some that Morris’ media war against the foreskin has been a success but public responses to his input tell a different story. In every relevant forum, the overwhelming majority of commentators have been scathing of him and his position. It is therefore obvious that Morris’ mainstream media war against the foreskin has been a dismal failure. He has lost.

Morris has also been very proactive in using internet weaponry in his war against the foreskin. In the first instance he created a website called ‘CircInfo.net’. That site is still active and contains nothing other than pro-circumcision propaganda. Until recently, ‘CircInfo’ contained an entire page devoted to tasteless ‘circumcision humour’, which included a photo of an underage boy with his penis trapped inside a mobile phone. There was clearly no educational value that image, which leads this author to question Morris’ motivation in posting it. ‘CircInfo’ was originally hosted on University of Sydney servers but, after a complaint from a member of the public about a conflict of interest, Morris was ordered by his employer to move it to another server.

Morris continues to use that site (and the internet in general) to try and discredit those who speak out against his war against the foreskin.  ‘CircInfo’ has a whole page devoted to this endeavour. There are many misrepresentations and much misinformation offered on that page. When one assesses the character of some of Morris’ own associates (see below) it would appear to be quite hypocritical for him to attempt to discredit the entire anti-circumcision movement on the basis of ‘guilt by association’. Morris has even gone so far as to attempt to discredit the profession of paediatrics. He claims on his website that (quote) ‘most paediatricians are well-intentioned. However, clearly this specialty would attract male medical graduates with a sexual predilection for children’. Aside from the fact that such a comment reeks of a smear campaign, there seems to be something grossly incongruous about the fact that, on one hand, Morris has sought to denigrate paediatricians, whilst on the other hand, he has since put his name to a statement which congratulated the American Association of Pediatricians for issuing a statement which alleged that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweighed the risks. It is, therefore, apparent that Morris is a cynical opportunist of the highest order.

Another example of Morris’ ruthless attempts at discrediting those who oppose him occurred in 2004, when respected scientist Dr Karl Kruszelnicki published a short article titled ‘May the foreskin be with you’. Morris objected to  Kruszelnicki’s highlighting of the fact that the foreskin is ‘a uniquely specialised, sensitive, functional organ of touch’ and accused him of promulgating ‘blatantly biased propaganda’. Morris’ hypocrisy in this instance was breath-taking, given the one-sided nature of his own web site. Morris lodged an official complaint with The Australian Press Council but it was dismissed in its entirety. Given all of the above, it is clear that Morris’ propaganda war against his opponents has been a dismal failure. He has lost.

Morris has fought his war against the foreskin under the banner of ‘an evidence based appraisal’. Clearly however, his use of scientific studies to support his argument in favour of circumcision has failed the credibility test in two hugely important regards. First, Morris has only ever referred to studies which purport to give credibility to his position (most of which are authored or co-authored by Morris himself). There is no impartiality or balance in Morris’ so-called ‘appraisal’. No acknowledgement is given to the massive amount of credible literature which calls Morris’ position into question. Furthermore, Morris has not met the professional standards required in order be regarded as an expert on the issue of circumcision.

Morris has regularly used ‘sleight of hand’ in order to fudge statistics and other information to suit his argument. To provide just one example, Morris once co-authored an article which claimed that a UK study had found that ‘cumulative prevalence (of UTI’s) to age 16 was 3.6% in uncircumcised boys’, however the article in question actually made no reference at all to the circumcision status of the boys included in its study. That document also claimed that circumcision ‘protects against recurrence’ of UTI’s. It cited an article in the Journal of the American Medical Association (JAMA) as supporting evidence for that claim, however the JAMA article in question stated quite clearly that ‘the lack of circumcision documentation in 47% of male children limited our ability to accurately assess risk based on this important factor’. These serious misrepresentations of supporting evidence clearly call into question the credibility of Morris and the other authors of the article referred to here.

Morris and his views on circumcision are clearly out of step with the majority of medical professionals in Australia. The Australasian Association of Paediatric Surgeons describes neonatal circumcision as ‘inappropriate and unnecessary’. Furthermore, in 2012, the results of a poll released online by the ‘Australian Doctor’ revealed that only 2% of those surveyed supported the view that infant circumcision should be mandatory. Conversely, 51% of respondents ‘likened the procedure to child abuse’. Morris must therefore most certainly be regarded as a ‘minority reporter’. One observer has even gone so far as to aptly label him ‘Professor 2%’. It is clear that Morris’ pseudo-scientific war against the foreskin has been a dismal failure. He has lost.

Morris has developed extensive networks with others who share his desire to fight a war against the foreskin. Clearly, his choices in this regard have often been less than ideal. Morris was previously closely associated with the UK based ‘Gilgal Society’. Until recently, the Gilgal Society was led by Vernon Quaintance. In 2012, Quaintance was found guilty of possessing child pornography (including images of males under the age of 16). In April 2013, Morris claimed on a Facebook page called ‘Yes, I’m Circumcised’ that he had ‘never met’ nor spoken to Quaintance however, curiously, he then went on to confirm that (quote) ‘Quaintance offered to assist in the production of professional quality brochures and that…(he)…accepted his offer’. Until shortly after Quaintance’s conviction those very brochures were available for download from Morris’ website and they carried the ‘Gilgal Society’ name and logo.

In 2010, Morris helped found an organisation known as the ‘Circumcision Foundation of Australia’. The President of CFA is Dr Terry Russell. Russell is the principal operator of ‘Circumcision Australia’, a small group of Doctors based in Brisbane and Melbourne who proudly claim that they have performed ‘over 30,500 circumcisions’ in the last 20 years. Russell himself has been performing circumcisions for more than 35 years. As such, Russell clearly has a significant financial vested interest in the promotion of circumcision. In 2004, Russell was reprimanded, ordered to repay $4,488.88 and to undergo counselling by the Professional Services Review (PSR), an independent Commonwealth body established to ‘protect the integrity of the Medicare and Pharmaceutical Benefits schemes’. The PSR found that Russell ‘opportunistically diagnosed tongue-tie’ in patients referred to him for circumcisions. It found that 90% of such procedures performed by him (for which a Medicare rebate was claimed) were ‘inappropriate’ on the grounds that there were ‘no clinical indications for the services’ rendered.

In addition, Morris has co-authored ‘peer reviewed’ papers with others who have no relevant formal academic qualifications, most notably Jake Waskett. In April this year, Morris confirmed via the ‘Yes, I’m Circumcised’ Facebook page that Waskett is ‘an IT expert’ who ‘did not complete his degree’. Morris attempted to validate his association with Waskett by suggesting that he ‘has an academic level knowledge of the medical literature on male circumcision’. Despite Morris’ protestations, it is clear that Waskett is neither a doctor nor a scientist. As such, he is in no way qualified to contribute to publications which claim to possess mainstream medical or scientific credibility.

Ultimately, social and ethical issues are decided in the court of public opinion. In the case of Morris’ war against the foreskin, the jury has spoken loudly and clearly. In Australia, routine infant circumcision rates have been in dramatic freefall since the 1970’s. At that time, around 85% of boys were subjected to the practice but that figure has now fallen to around 15%. The practice is banned as elective surgery in public hospitals in most jurisdictions. This situation is mirrored in all other Western democracies. Circumcision is now firmly entrenched as a minority practice in all of Europe, the United Kingdom, Canada and New Zealand. Even in the United States (where circumcision has traditionally been most firmly entrenched as a cultural norm) the tide is turning. Routine circumcision now impacts upon less than 50% of the neo-natal male population in America and that number continues to fall. These statistics provide clear evidence that Morris’ public relations war against the foreskin has been a dismal failure. He has lost.

On his own website, Morris makes the following observation: ‘Imagine holding a set position for years, a good portion of one’s life dedicated to that cause, only to find out the effort had little effect’. Ironically, that comment summarises Morris’ current position perfectly. He has fought a long, hard and sometimes dirty personal war against the human foreskin but, as the evidence provided above clearly shows, when judged against any relevant measure, Morris has lost the fight. It is, therefore, surely time for him to raise the white flag and officially surrender.

Footnote:  A screenshot of Morris’ comments on the ‘Yes, I’m Circumcised’ Facebook page is available upon request. To obtain a copy, send us an email via the ‘Contact Us’ page on this site.

Despair, embarrassment, grief and survival: A personal account of the impact of infant circumcision

In this special guest post, one of our members talks about the impact that circumcision has had on his life. He wishes to remain anonymous but he hopes that sharing his story will have two main impacts. First, he hopes that expectant parents who read his story will think long and hard before they subject any male offspring to genital cutting and, second, he hopes that adolescent and adult males who have been negatively affected by circumcision will read his story and be reassured that they are not alone in their experience and that there are steps they can take to lead happier, more productive lives. Here is ‘Richard’s’ story:

The first time I ever saw an intact (uncircumcised) penis was in the change rooms at Primary School. I remember thinking ‘that’s weird, I don’t look like that’. I had no idea why he looked different, I just thought that maybe he looked different because he was from England. All the Australian boys looked the same as I did. I didn’t really think much more about it until I was around 8 or 9 when, for reasons unknown, I asked my mother what circumcision meant. I think the word got mentioned on television. She didn’t really explain it. All she said was, ‘you know what Chris (the intact boy who lived next door) looks like…that’s because he hasn’t been circumcised’. I didn’t really think that much about it at the time. Shortly after that, I remember my father saying to me ‘you are circumcised, just like your dad’. I said to him ‘why daddy?’ and his response was ‘oh, just because it is nice and neat’. Once again, I didn’t really think that much about it at the time but my world was about to come crashing down around me.

Like most of us, my sexual awareness really kicked in around the time that I reached puberty. I had been having something resembling sexual relations with another boy since we were around six years old. I remember him saying to me ‘we’re poofs you know’. I had heard the word ‘poof’ before and knew what it meant but that was the first time that I even considered the idea that it applied to me. Having sexual contact with another boy seemed like the most natural thing in the world to me and I couldn’t reconcile that with the negative connotations which I knew that the word ‘poof’ had.

At this time I became racked with guilt and confusion but much worse was to come. Not long after all of that came the first time that I really inspected my penis and the grim reality hit me instantly. I suddenly realised what had happened to me. I suddenly realised what circumcision really meant. I had a dark band of scar tissue that went all the way around the shaft of my penis and there was also a ‘gap’, a second band of much lighter ‘depressed’ scar tissue. I was instantly devastated, instantly enraged and my whole outlook on the world instantly changed. (Thanks to the internet, I later discovered that the second band of ‘depressed’ scar tissue had been caused by an ‘improper closure’. The wound had not been stitched together tightly enough and had to be re-sutured. I almost certainly suffered severe blood-loss and I probably went into shock).

Almost overnight, my whole personality changed. I became extremely depressed and I became anti-social. Looking back at it now, I think that I had something akin to a mental break-down. I became increasingly dependant on alcohol and cannabis, in order to maintain something that resembled happiness. I had been an outstanding student in Primary School but over the next couple of years my academic results went badly downhill, to the point where I began failing subjects. I became an introvert. My childhood friends fell by the wayside and the small group of friends that I had made at High School couldn’t understand why it appeared that I was sabotaging myself so badly. I remember one of them saying to me, ‘you are smart, you are funny and you are a good-looking guy, so why are you behaving like such a twat?’

There was no way that I could provide an honest response to that question. My faith and trust in my fellow human beings had evaporated. I had become wracked with despair, embarrassment and grief and I hated myself. Instead of going on to complete High School and studying law at university, as I had always wanted to do, I dropped out and became a full-on ‘party animal’. I took loads of drugs. I didn’t recognise it at the time but I had gone into self-preservation mode. I tried to ‘do the right thing’ and stay employed but I couldn’t. I had developed a severe anxiety disorder. I couldn’t even do the basic things in life properly. I couldn’t feed myself properly. I couldn’t keep my clothes or my house clean.

During those especially dark years, my negative self-image also resulted in me avoiding having sex, even though I really desired it. I suppose my homosexuality complicated the situation in this regard because I feared that any male partner would see my penis and reject me. Eventually, a guy came along who I really liked. We had built up a good friendship and so I thought I could trust him. I was wrong. When we got naked I noticed that he had an intact (and I must add rather large) penis. When he saw my penis his behaviour changed immediately. He kept staring at it and wouldn’t touch it. At that point, I put my clothes on and walked the 5km to my home. After that experience, I didn’t even attempt to have sex for over ten years and, when I eventually did so, I felt the need to be in absolute control of the situation, in order to avoid a repeat of the humiliation.

My quality of life has improved somewhat over the last few years. To some extent, distraction ended up being a positive factor. I finally made it to university and completed an Honours Degree in International Relations. That achievement (and the recognition from others that it created) has helped me realise that there is more to my existence and my identity than just my status as a circumcised man.

On a different level, the internet has been a great resource for me. All of a sudden and ‘out of the blue’, I realised that I was not alone in the way that I felt. I discovered that there is an international ‘brotherhood’ of circumcised men whose life experiences have been as traumatic as my own. I also discovered that there are a large number of intact men (and also some women) who empathise with me and respect me for who I am. These people do not judge. These people inspire. These people are my friends. I no longer perceive myself as being a victim. I now perceive myself as being a survivor

Thanks to the internet, I have also discovered foreskin restoration. I know that I can never completely reverse the damage that was done to me by circumcision but I know that I can reverse some of it. It provides me with some comfort to know that, eventually, I will have more or less the same sexual appearance that I would have had if I had not been subjected to genital mutilation. That, for me, is the main benefit of foreskin restoration, although regaining some of the normal sexual function that I have been deprived of is also important.

So here I am, a 43 year old man who feels that he has been through hell (which is pretty weird considering that I am an atheist) and lived to tell the story. I now believe that my quality of life will continue to improve, even if it means sometimes taking two steps forward and one step back. I no longer judge myself in the way that I once did. In the end though, I know that I will always have to live with the burden of something that occurred in only a short few minutes of my life and which was imposed upon me without my consent.

Whoever reads this will no doubt sense that I still retain some self pity, however I consider it to be a great virtue that I am now able to use some of my psychological and emotional energy to help prevent as many boys and men as possible from experiencing problems similar to my own, as a result of being circumcised as an infant. I live in hope.

Want better, longer lasting sex? Advanced Medical Institute (AMI) vs foreskin restoration

Advanced Medical Institute (AMI) billboardMany of us would have seen those bright yellow billboards across the cities of Australia with confronting and sometimes contoversial messages including ‘want longer lasting sex?’, ‘want more sex?’ and more recently ‘oral strip: to last longer making love‘.

This latest advertising campaign appears to be an amalgamation of previous campaigns, and claims to help with both premature ejaculation and erectile dysfunction. According to the webiste of company behind the advertising, Advanced Medical Institute (AMI), “The new Oral strip technology for treatment developed by AMI is the World’s first for the treatment of Premature Ejaculation and Erectile Dysfunction (sexual dysfunction) in man.”

Can AMI actually deliver on those claims? Recent history would suggest that potential customers should take caution. In 2003 the ACCC prosecuted AMI over previous campaigns, and the NSW Office of Fair Trading has investigated numerous complaints against AMI over alleged unconscionable contracts and undeliverable guarantees. The late Ian ‘Turps’ Turpie, once an ambassador for the company’s nasal spray, also admitted that it didn’t cure his impotence.

Rather that putting their faith in oral strips and nasal sprays, perhaps Australian men should be asking a confronting question of their own: Could their circumcision be a contributing factor in premature ejaculation and other sexual dysfunction issues? And if circumcision is a factor, is there anything that can be done by circumcised men to reverse the damage?

The first thing to note is that is that circumcision significantly alters the form of the penis. Most estimates on how much skin is lost range between 10 to 15 square inches. In addition, what is lost is not just skin, but a complex set of structures including the frenulum, ridged band, frenal band, mucosal skin and other specialised nerves and structures. As most engineers will tell you, you can’t alter form without altering function, so with so many structures lost to circumcision, there is no doubt that the function of the penis is severly altered.

The most significant function of the foreskin, and the most relevant to premature ejaculation, is what is known as the ‘gliding’ or ‘rolling’ action. Without a foreskin, during sexual activity the foreskin will not ‘roll’ over the glans (head) of the penis in the way that it does on an intact penis. This results in an unnatural friction on the glans and can trigger ejaculation.

While premature ejaculation can be an issue for younger men, the opposite problem is more frequent in older men. A Danish study released in June 2011 concluded that male circumcision was “associated with frequent orgasm difficulties in Danish men and with a range of frequent sexual difficulties in women, notably orgasm difficulties, dyspareunia and a sense of incomplete sexual needs fulfilment.”

So if circumcision is a possible cause of these problems, is their anything that circumcised men can do? While there is nothing that can bring back all of the complex structures that are lost to circumcision, many Australian men are undertaking foreskin restoration to undo some of the damage. The restoration process is a non-surgical method which grows additional skin from what remains of the foreskin. There are many tools and methods, but each method involves tensioning the remaining skin which encourages the growth of new skin, to eventually cover the glans of the penis, recovering much of the function and appearance of an intact man.

The result is that many of the younger men who have undertaken foreskin restoration will say that the re-grown skin reduces the direct stimulation of their glans and allows them to last longer. For those with the opposite problem, the coverage regains the sensitivity of the glans, which had previously been de-sensitised from decades of friction against clothing.

Advanced Medical Institute has recently moved to also target females, by claiming that they can help with a range of sexual dysfunction issues for Australian females. The negative effects of male circumcision on female partners has already been documented in a study by Australian authors published in the Journal of the New Zealand Medical Association and in the website sex as nature intended it. Again it is mainly the lack of the gliding or rolling action in a circumcised penis that is to blame, causing too much friction. Female partners of restored men will often say that there has been an improvement in both comfort and pleasure.

The impact of circumcision on sexual function will always be a topic of debate. But for circumcised men, when comparing the options of using an oral strip or nasal spray with minimal amounts of an active ingredient, or restoring part of the penis that should naturally have been there, I know which option I think would be more likely to get results.

Australian women discover foreskins not ‘useless’ after all

Foreskin facecream for Australian womenWhile most of the younger generations of Australian women understand how useful foreskins are from enjoying them on their intact partners, it appears that older generations may have finally found a use for them as well.

But while the traditional benefits of being with an intact partner, such as having a more comfortable and enjoyable sexual experience,  are now well known, this new less conventional ‘use’ comes in the form of a cosmetic face cream.

The irony is that many of these older women who may have been conditioned by society, or convinced by their doctors in the past to believe that ‘foreskins are gross and useless’ are now smearing their faces with a product that is apparently ‘engineered’ from infant foreskin.

When the Australian retailer of SkinMedica products, Advanced Skin Technology, was challenged on the use of foreskins in its products, it was quick to clarify on its Facebook page that its products do not contain actual human tissue. But they were silent when questioned further on what the key ingredient was actually derived from.

We are left to rely on the extensive information on various human rights and anti-circumcision (or pro-intact) websites, where there are claims of a lucrative trade in infant foreskins to supply bio-engineering and cosmetics companies. Looking specifically at the SkinMedica products it appears that foreskins are not being continually harvested for their products, although it is clear that at least one infant’s foreskin was used as part of the creation process.

According to SkinMedica’s webiste, their “TNS Recovery Complex” product contains “Human Fibroblast Conditioned Media”, or their own trademarked version of this called “Tissue Nutrient Solution (TNS)”.  This ingredient has been promoted as a “physiologically balanced, naturally secreted and stabilized growth factor blend that helps improve the appearance of fine lines, wrinkles, and overall skin tone and texture”.

Oprah Winfrey, when promoting this product, has described the ingredient as being “engineered from human foreskin”. Dr. Pat Wexler, a cosmetic dermatologist, also confirmed on the Oprah Winfrey show that a baby foreskin was used in the creation process.

I’m no scientist, but to me the difference between a product that contains actual human foreskin tissue and one that contains something that was “engineered” from human foreskin tissue is minimal. And considering that the original owner of the foreskin would not have consented to its removal and use in this way, from a human rights perspective they are one and the same.

To buy the products would not only endorse the forced circumcision of baby boys, but would also support the concept that it is OK to sacrifice the bodily integrity of another individual for the purpose of personal vanity. The Australian sales figures will show if older Australian women feel the same way, or if they are finally ready to embrace the idea that foreskins really are useful, albeit for this unintended purpose. We can only hope that they now understand that the real use and value of a foreskin is to the person it is attached to.

Further reading:
Foreskin Facecream
The Foreskin in Oprah’s Facecream