` Let me go to the beginning: Back in January, I typed up this most... interesting bit of information from a computer that wasn't even mine in an apartment that wasn't mine, either. It's been sitting in draft mode for a while, and I think it's a pretty appropriate time to post it.
` So here goes:
` As you probably know, I spend a lot of my time both reading books and existing in a state of, not so much lecherousness as wishing that I could be lecherous. (Quite a predicament!) It doesn't matter what I read, however; I'm aroused as long as my brain is working.
` It is no surprise, then, that I tore all the way through the utterly brobdingnagian Guide to Getting it On by Paul Joannides (4th ed.), which is witty and informative on all kinds of sex-related topics including its place in culture, talking about sex to young kids, making love despite spinal cord damage, homosexuality, 'gnarly sex germs', and of course, much discussion of various techniques.
` None of which I am familiar with, personally, so hooray for the fact that I know the mechanics of what I'm missing. [Update: Replace the word 'missing' with 'unable to feel'.]
` So, what hornilicious item is it that I regard as a most amazing goal in life?
` The Normal Penis.
` Oh my, yes, those are difficult to come by in this bizarre country they call America. And It's not like I can just walk up to a guy and ask him; "Has your penis suffered heavy losses?" Of course, he may well not know what I was talking about, and would probably run the other direction.
` A behavior I'm thoroughly used to observing in the first place.
` That aside, I don't actually talk about the subject much unless I actually overhear someone else discussing it! For example, the time I heard a girl say that she would puke if she ever saw one.
` That was an ugly intellectual showdown.
` Grisly details aside, I am well aware of the facts surrounding penises and their normalness. It is safe to say that this girl was - shall we say - phobic of something she doesn't even understand. Not only that, but she is amazingly intolerant and probably wants them eliminated from the face of the earth.
` Somehow, though, I'm not surprised considering the tiny amount of scientific/critical thinking-oriented education that people receive in this country.
` And, to give you a good idea about the kinds of things I already knew anyway (except written with such wit!), I've dedicated this post to reproducing this particular section of the Guide:
` Chapter 49 - Fun With Your Foreskin.
` It's actually history-oriented rather than fun-oriented, believe it or not!
` ...Although, on the page before the chapter begins, we find a partial letter from a reader who describes her amazement with the amount of funness she discovered in foreskins and comments: "...The wanton horny bitch that resides within myself has now been released and owes you all at the Goofy Foot Press gratitude and the author the best blow job ever!"
` The author responds graciously:
"Drive south on 1-5 until you reach the Corvallis exit, go west..."` And, without further ado:
` Medically speaking, routine circumcision makes about as much sense as removing a kid's eyelids or cutting out the labia of a baby girl. So why are so many American boys routinely circumcised?
` During the 1880s, a few influential men like John Harvey Kellogg, physician and founder of a famous American cereal company, started preaching that boys masturbate because the foreskin rubs on the head of the penis. Until that time, most American men were not circumcised. As a leading anti-masturbation fanatic, Dr. Kellogg believed that boys who were circumcised at birth would be less likely to play with themselves. His influence helped circumcision to become a routine operation in America. Swell guy that he was, Dr. Kellogg also reccommended that girls who masturbate have their clitorises burned out with acid.
` [It's a wonder that did not become more popular, considering the status of women at the time. Not that I'm complaining.]
` Is There A Medical Need For Circumcision?
` America's medical establishment has tried to justify its hand in circumcision by saying that it prevents cancer of the penis, cancer of the cervix and numerous other medical calamities. [Similar medical reasons are also given for routine female circumcision by some doctors in other cultures!] If this were true, why would physicians in England decide that the operation is not such a good idea. Less than 10% of blokes in the UK have their dicks docked.
` [And the reason for this still-unusually high percentage is that routine circumcision used to be much more popular in English-speaking countries. It is evidently still in the last stages of 'wearing off' in Britain, and for some reason, the US is its last stronghold.]
` As for cancer of the penis and cervix, it now seems that a strain of the HPV virus is the culprit. Either way, there is no evidence that circumcision prevents cancer of the penis. In fact, in circumcised men who do get cancer of the penis, the cancer tends to break out on the circumcision scar.
` [Hey, doesn't scar tissue encourage cancer development?]
` Women who live in countries where men aren't circumcised have no higher rate of cervical cancer than women in America. The only penis-related item that increases a woman's chance of getting cancer of the cervix is having numerous male sex partners, circumcised or not. Condom use might help decrease this risk, but circumcision has no impact.
` Cancer of the penis is extremely rare. More men get breast cancer. In evaluating cancer risks, it is twice as dangerous for a woman to have intact labia than for a man to have an intact foreskin.
` [Indeed, as I've always joked - it's first and foremost important to cut off his pecs if the object is to prevent cancer! Amputating the foreskin, in comparison, would be like an afterthought.]
` In Sweden, where few men are circumcised, cancer of the penis is just as rare as in the circumcision-happy United States. It would be interesting to compare the number of penises lost to cancer with the number of penises mutilated [more than the mandatory amount] through botched circumcisions.
` As for other claims, one study years ago did show that circumcised males were less likely to get urinary tract infections during the first year of life. However, in that study the parents of the uncircumcised babies were instructed to pull back their foreskins and wash under them. [Pssh!] Yet parents should do just the opposite, because nature did not intend the foreskin to retract before one year of age. It is quite likely that the instructions given to the parents were what caused the higher rate of infections among the uncircumcised boys. But even if those figures are correct, the number of urinary tract infections is still much greater in female babies, and no one is reccommending preventive surgery for them.
` There have also been claims that uncircumcised men are more apt to catch sexually transmitted diseases, including AIDS. However, European men don't show any greater incidence of these diseases than American men, and European men are mostly uncircumcised. Until recently, American men who were uncircumcised tended to be from poor families. Whether circumcised or not, poor people often get diseases at a higher rate than those who are rich.
` Finally, there exists a myth that large percentages of uncircumcised [or normal-penised] babies will have foreskins that don't retract (phimosis), and that these males will need surgery when they grow older to correct this condition. In reality, fewer than 1 out of 100 uncircumsized men have this condition, and a foreskin-friendly urologist can almost always help to resolve the problem without having to cut the kid.
` So Why Do They Keep Doing It?
` A physician makes between $150 and $300 per circumcision. Doing one circumcision per day, five days per week, at a fee of $150 each minus time out for a six week vacation nets a physician an extra $34,500 per year for a procedure that takes less than ten minutes. [During which the baby is screaming his lungs out.] And that's only one a day at the lower rate. No wonder why pediatricians and obstetricians used to fight over who got to do the circumcision!
` Another reason for doing circumcision is medical bias. Until recently, physicians in this country have had a long-standing bias that hysterectomies are good for women and circumcisions are good for men. Before managed health care, they also had a bias for C-sections over natural births, given that C-sections were much more profitable and easier to schedule.
` In short, there appears to be no medical reason besides possible income enhancement for doing routine circumcision. There does, however, appear to be a very good reason why nature equipped the penis with a foreskin. Not only is the foreskin rich in pleasure-producing nerve endings, but it also keeps the head of the penis [a distinctly internal structure] moist, and the [not] extra skin provides added sliding pleasure during intercourse and masturbation. The foreskin is extremely elastic and is said to be as sensitive to touch as the human lips. Far from being unneccesary, a foreskin is a nice thing to have.
` How They Do It
` During male circumcision, they stick a prodding instrument into the foreskin to tear it away from the head of the penis. One third to one half of the skin on the penis is then cut off. Traditionally, male circumcisions have not been done with anesthesia [hence the struggling and screaming], but even when anesthesia is used [which isn't very effective on infants], there is still pain from the raw scar on the penis.
` [Might I add that doing a non-medical procedure like this - to boys or girls - is legally considered to be sexual abuse, torture, and genital mutilation. It also violates the rights to self-determination and the right to be allowed a sound, healthy and unmolested body while in the care of other people.
` Those are the rights of everyone. However, some people don't seem to understand that, no matter how much they hate having been circumcised. One such person has said; 'It's up to the parents to decide, even though I know how bad it is' though the truth is that the parents don't have the authority to infringe on their children't rights.]
` Religious Considerations
` Some people will say, "But circumcision is done for important religious and cultural reasons." The same is true for female circumcision, which we refer to as genital mutilation.
` Some people say this is being direspectful of an important ritual in the Jewish faith. This is true. We are also disrespectful of the Catholic Church's ban on birth control and masturbation. If Jewish men want to be circumcised as an expression of faith, why not let them wait until they are eighteen years old and able to call the Mohel themselves? That would be a far greater expression of faith than having the end of your penis shopped off when you're only a few days old and can't tell the Torah from a phone book.
` According to psychologist Ronald Goldman, not all Jewish men are circumcised. Theodore Herzl, the founder of modern Zionism, did not allow his own son to be circumcised. Even Moses did not circumcise his son, and circumcision was not done during the forty-year period in the wilderness. It is quite possible that this custom arose out of the Egyptian practice to circumcise Jewish slaves. Over time, this became a ritual or custom, and eventually became associated with the Covenent.
` The ultimate goal of circumcision, according to ancient rabbis and Jewish religious scholars from Philo to Maimonides, was to decrease sexual pleasure for both men and women. This would give men more time to study the Torah, and result in women receiving less sexual pleasure from a man who was circumcised.
` In 1843, Reform Movement leaders in Frankfort, Germany started a mini-house revolt against circumcision. This group of intellectuals and professional argued that 1) Circumcision had not always been practiced among Jews; 2) It was not commanded to Moses; 3) It's not unique among Jews, given how Muslims do it as well; 4) It is only discussed once in the Mosaic law and not repeated in Deuteronomy; 5) There was no comparable practice for females.
` Perhaps one of the most interesting elements of circumcision in the Jewish religion is that for the first 2000 years of practice, only the tip of the foreskin was cut. [As seen in Michaelangelo's Statue of David.] This was called Milah. It was only after the first 2000 years of Milah that they started whacking off the entire foreskin.
` Resource: A very helpful book on this subject is Questioning Circumcision - A Jewish Perspective by Ronald Goldman, Ph.D., Vanguard, Boston, 1998.
` The Parents - Foreskin Care
` Do not try to retract the foreskin of a young boy unless there is a specific medical reason. During infancy and childhood, the inner surface of the foreskin is physically attached to the skin on the head of the penis. This protects the opening of the penis from irritation, infection and ulceration. Over time, the cells that attach these two surfaces together will dissolve on their own. By trying to retract this foreskin prematurely, you are ripping apart these delicate tissues that nature has "glued" together.
` A young boy will often push his foreskin away from this body. As he gets older, he will begin to pull it toward his body. A number of males don't fully retract their foreskins until they into their teenage years [sic]. This is normal and will usually happen without any coaxing or encouragement from mom and dad.
` Parents do need to tell their teenage boys about cleanliness. They should explain that once a boy is able to retract his foreskin he should clean it every day in the shower. [And they should mention that soap can wreck the pH balance - as with women - encouraging the growth of pathogens.] Enlightened parents might also explain that boys who don't keep their genitals clean don't get nearly as much oral sex as boys who do!
` Circumcision Information and Resource Pages
` National Organization of Circumcision Information Resource Centers (Includes a list of foreskin-friendly physicians)
` No Harm
` Circumcision Resource Center
` Doctors Opposing Circumcision (D.O.C.)
` 2442 NW Market Street, Suite 42
` Seattle, Washington 98107
` Pictures of intact foreskins
` Reader Comments [The 'fun' part, I presume.]
` "I'd never even seen an uncircumcised penis until my current lover, but I've decided now that it's the best thing since sliced bread. The foreskin makes hand jobs 100 times better and easier because it slides over the penis so you don't need lube. [As is discussed in detail in another chapter!] I was kind of nervous about it at first but then I realized how stretchy the foreskin is even though it looks kinda fragile. For blow jobs, I pull the foreksin down to the base and massage it there and go to town."
` female age 18
` "The only Jewish guy I ever slept with was also the only uncircumcised guy I ever slept with. He seemed to have more stamina than any of the others, but that might just be a coincidence."
` female age 21
` "For a blow job, pull the foreskin up over the head and stick your tongue down inside the opening and swirl it around."
` female age 38
` "Just ask the guy how he likes it. Some guys like you to pull the foreskin tight, others say this hurts."
` female age 20
` [Apparently they're muscular and dextrous....]
` "I use my foreskin to massage her clitoris. This might only be possible with a partner who has a larger than normal clitoris. You need to be able to get ahold of it."
` male age 65
` [This one explains why primitive humans did not need to invent lubrication - normal penises naturally have a lot of it:]
` "Once my wife and I are ready for penetration, I roll my foreskin all the way shut. I press it gently against her labia while spreading them slightly, and push the glans in just a little. Then, I withdraw the glans back inside the foreskin, never exposing it to open air. What this does is spread her lubricant all over the first half of my penis. After several strokes like this, I am able to slip inside easily. Sometimes we find this so pleasurable that we continue a good long while before penetrating father."
` male age 38
` "A partner should know that the inside of a foreskin is where there is the most feeling, so gentle movement of it over a cock-head [I love that word...] and down the shaft feels great. The best part of getting a blow job is what a tongue and mouth can do with that inside lining of a foreskin."
` male age 59
` "One thing I find particularly stimulating is to lubricate a finger or thumb, slip it between the foreskin and the head, and massage the glans. It feels really, really great."
` male age 19
` "When did I first retract it? I was around ten. I would slowly pull it back every day in the shower. After about two weeks I was able to pull it all the way down."
` male age 22
` "Letting the foreskin balloon is quite nice both when peeing and when enjoying the pool jets."
` male age 37
` "I like to do the trick of clamping the end shut while peeing and making it swell up. Also, a similar and a more satisfying experience is to leave just a bit of the end open and put it under a strong flow of water so that the water flows in but has a place to get out."
` male age 20
` I have finally consulted the resources of a guy with a foreskin and his nakedness, and managed to find many of these things true before we were interrupted by a Very Angry Ex-Girlfriend. He must have told her what had been going on because she was chewing him out as Lou and I made our escape. Lou had said; "We'll get out of here before someone comes back with a shotgun."
` I have also previously consulted the resources of the AMA and the APS, as well as those of other countries, and they are all in agreement with this chapter. It is abundantly clear that routine circumcision is one of the more disturbing side-effects of culture.
` I have heard its effects from time to time. In fact, I have been ridiculed for my rational attitude.
` 'What? You don't believe in circumcision? Why? That's barbaric!'
` 'I'm glad I don't have a foreskin. I saw pictures in school and it was disgusting!'
` 'I can't figure out why my friend is impotent after being circumcised. Other circumcised guys can have sex. Do you think it's all mental?'
` Is it all mental? Let us ask 'Steve', a young man I interviewed who tragically lost his foreskin and has had to narrow his definition of the word 'sex'. He had plenty to say on the subject.
` I kid you not.
` Conversely, plenty of people do not understand the appeal of any type of genital mutilation. I have been told all of these things, each by different people:
` 'I think that's just creepy and gross. I'm sorry, if they cut off part of my genitals, I would be so alienated by that.'
` 'I saw it happen to my little brother when I was about four. I was so freaked out by all the screaming and the blood that I convinced him not to have it done on his son. He didn't understand why it was important to me, but at least he listened.'
` 'Circumcision is the reason I know my parents aren't perfect.'
` 'I just can't figure out why people do that! It's crazy.'
` 'That was awfully inconsiderate of my parents. Apparently, they didn't think that I might enjoy not having my genitals cut up.'
` It is just as well - medical doctors do not have the right to do this kind of thing, in any country. They may do so anyway for personal reasons - or because they are ordered to - though they must be forgetting that people have rights that protect them from this kind of maltreatment.
` (Or yes, Galtron, monetary reasons.)
` When a professional has a non-medical or pseudo-medical opinion, they should not be allowed to use that to violate someone's body and well-being. Yet, it happens.
` Similarly, some pharmacists will refuse to fill women's prescriptions for birth control pills on non-medical grounds. Plan B especially freaks some pharmacists out. If a woman cannot get ahold of that, she may wind up facing pregnancy and rearing or getting rid of her a child - or even scarier, abortion!
` What the hell?
` Anyway, I think that this is the limit of my ranting on this subject. In fact, I may never write of it again, as my goal was to write about this at least once....