General Question

panzerfaust's avatar

To snip or not to snip...

Asked by panzerfaust (34points) March 27th, 2008 from iPhone

So, I grew up with all the boys around me being cliptips, so it felt odd that I was the only one with foreskin. Now I’m 18, have my own doctor, but still can’t decide whether or not to get circumcised. Girls won’t give me an honest answer and say it really doesn’t matter, but what’re your opinions people?

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59 Answers

delirium's avatar

I like my men uncircumcised. Hands down. Cut just looks… violent to me.

FlutherMother's avatar

Girls actually are giving you an honest answer – it really doesn’t matter to them. If you are caring, considerate and into her – won’t matter a bit. And, if you are only thinking about circumcision because “everyone” else seem to have it and no other reason, then don’t. Of course, if you have health issues because of it, then do what will improve your quality of life. Remember in the end, it is not whether you are circumcised or not (or have brown eyes, or are 7 feet tall, etc., etc.) it is who you are as a person that counts.

sndfreQ's avatar

Ouch-speaking from personal experience, that procedure becomes increasingly painful with age. Why do you care about what others think-it’s your body…I think culturally it’s becoming accepted that unclipped is fine, and clipped has no real health benefits or advantages.

Of course, males do it for various reasons-family traditions (my dad did it, and I’m supposed to “look like him” too-totally unfair to do to a baby IMO), religious practice, etc.

But I guess those aren’t necessarily factors in your case, so my response is then, doing that won’t make you a “cut” above the rest (okay-poor punnage there but it sounded good on paper).

bulbatron9's avatar

You are more open to infection with your prepuce, and uncircumcised looks smaller.(or so they say) This is really up to you, and your securities.

@delirium you mean you like your “man” uncircumcised, since you’ve only had Nate?

delirium's avatar

I’ve seen other cocks, though, bulbatron… and I know my preference. I don’t know the difference sexually, but I do know that cut ones look kind of sad to me. I can’t imagine doing that to a baby. It really seems cruel.

(Plus, you lose sensitivity if you’re cut.)

nocountry2's avatar

man I think it’s cool to be different… Have pride in your package

bulbatron9's avatar

I had to have it done as a baby, and I am so grateful.

That’s why I put the query at the end, I just knew you had only been with one male. To each his(or her) own!

Randy's avatar

I had it done when I was like four. I actually think it looks cleaner when its done. I have heard it gets painful as you get older though. Your the one it will really matter to though so don’t do it based on what others say.

delirium's avatar

Also, the general health/infection ideas about it are all not true.

And it does have a purpose:

The foreskin has twelve known functions.

They are:
to cover and bond with the synechia so as to permit the development of the mucosal surface of the glans and inner foreskin.
to protect the infant’s glans from feces and ammonia in diapers.
to protect the glans penis from friction and abrasion throughout life.
to keep the glans moisturized and soft with emollient oils.
to lubricate the glans.
to coat the glans with a waxy protective substance.
to provide sufficient skin to cover an erection by unfolding.
to provide an aid to masturbation and foreplay.
to serve as an aid to penetration.
to reduce friction and chafing during intercourse.
to serve as erogenous tissue because of its rich supply of erogenous receptors.
to contact and stimulate the G-spot of the female partner.

bulbatron9's avatar

That is BS! I didn’t urinate for the first thirty-six hours of my life, because of my prepuce. And if you think a couple of drops of urine held in a warm, dark, and moist place won’t cause an infection, then you’re sadly misinformed.

delirium's avatar

Also, panzeer: Here’s personal accounts from people…

And bulbatron: that’s you. Not everyone. It is much more likely to cause MANY more problems than it could prevent.

“Many parents are led to believe that circumcision is safer than leaving the penis in its natural form. Your Child’s Health by Barton Schmitt reports one out of every 500 circumcisions results in a serious complication. Many things can go wrong including hemorrhage, infections and damage to the penis. Much of the harm of circumcision does not become apparent until adulthood.”

” Little girls in Africa share a common bond with American boys. During female circumcision, their genitals are also cut. Their natural genitals are seen as ugly and unclean. They are considered unfit for marriage unless they are circumcised.

There are American women who similarly insist that the natural male is unclean and unappealing. They say they prefer a circumcised male. These women are not unlike African men who demand that their wives be circumcised. This common bond between African men and American women demonstrates an ignorant intolerance for natural genitals. Both cultures are unmindful that circumcision hurts them as well. Cutting the genitals of either gender modifies the sexual experience of the person cut as well as their sexual partners. Meanwhile, in other cultures, Europe for example, where the circumcised penis is the exception, women say they prefer a natural penis. It is natural to assume the idea that we prefer what is familiar to us.

The foreskin is errogenous tissue that can enhance penile sensations during sex. This flesh “is like the hood of the female clitoris in function and anatomy. Both are comparable to the sensitive tissue of eyelids, inner lining of the tips and palms of the hands.” [Home]

Unlike the penis intact, the circumcised penis is not protected by a sheath. “The constantly exposed glans grows layers of nerveless cells (cornification) in an attempt to protect itself and [over time] the head becomes an abnormal, unnatural, desensitized and toughened organ.” Men circumcised later in life have complained that the removal of their foreskin dramatically reduced their sensual experience.

Many circumcisions result in too much skin having been removed. It is especially difficult to realize how the amount removed as an infant will ultimately affect an adult male. One of the most common complaints of circumcised adults is that they experience painful erections because their circumcisions were drastic.”

Randy's avatar

I agree totally with bulbatron. Thats two for two, delirium…. All those purposes you listed sound like a bunch of phoney bologna to me.

bulbatron9's avatar

@delirium I assume you leave your armpit hair in its natural form, so you can emit your pheromones more efficiently as well? Everything you have just said is purely speculative, and comes from the internet. I would check my sources, if I were you. I am not saying anything is wrong with fore-skin, I was just giving my personal account.

delirium's avatar

I actually didn’t want to type up my notes from all of my classes in anatomy and human sexuality.

If my pheromones mattered, I would leave it natural. Since it doesn’t, I don’t.
Shaving is a lot different than radical surgery, too.

My information isn’t for you, bulbatron… its for panzeer.

sndfreQ's avatar

Well, “bulbatron”, perhaps you were just sadly misformed…I don’t think the concensus is that this little flap of skin we’re arguing over has any lasting detriments to health…perhaps you should agree to disagree, and show some respect for delirium and her contribution here.

Okay bulbatron, so I am able to jump in an edit this time-to support your side of the discussion, my younger brother and I were circumcized together, at ages 7 and 5, respectfully. While I didn’t have those problems (pain associated with too tight a foreskin), my baby bro did have that problem and it was getting worse-so his situation deemed it medically necessary.

If we can see that it really depends on: personal preference, medical circumstances, and cultural/religious/familial mores, then we can all just get along! I for one am having a ‘jolly old time’ chatting about foreskin with you all (ROFL)...respect.

Randy's avatar

Circumcision is what seperates us from the animals!

Don’t take that seriously, panzerfaust. I stick by my statement of you doing what’s comfortable to you.

Randy's avatar

@ delirium, its not that radical. Espically if its done at a young age.

delirium's avatar

That’s arguable. Do you believe in female genital mutilation too as long as its done at a young age?

bulbatron9's avatar

@sndfreQ Maybe I was happily deformed(talk to my wife)? “Misformed” is not a word, and perhaps you should show respect to those with a vocabulary that is far superior to yours. I doubt delirium took offense to my personal experiences, and you got a little brown on your nose!

@delirium No! However if you were unable to urinate the first few days of your life, then something would have to be done.

delirium's avatar

Bulb: Don’t be rude. :/

Also, sure… but that’s just you.

sndfreQ's avatar

buddy relax-it was a “play” on your comment above aimed at delirium ”...then you’re sadly misinformed.” C’mon, you’re really turning this into a personal bent here-so whatever if you can’t find humor. Didn’t mean to get under your skin with that one!

bulbatron9's avatar

No problem!

@delirium I love how you tried to tell me what he meant, but the retracted(edited) your statement after sndfreQ admitted that it was a play on words.

delirium's avatar

And panzer, sorry for calling you panzeer all along. I just realized my mistake. <.<

sndfreQ's avatar

I don’t know, maybe I’m just having foreskin envy from all those years sans prepuce; I do know that my vocabulary is intact, however, even if my sense of humor isn’t…guess I’ll “cut to the chase” and say “hate to cut and run” but “I gotta cut this one short”!

It’s been real-enjoyed the convo-keep up the love “y’all”! G’nite.

delirium's avatar

Hahahahaha. Goodnight. :D

panzerfaust's avatar

No worries about my screen name Delirium, and you’ve definitely brought up some great points in favour of keeping intact. This wasn’t just an out-of-nowhere thought I had, I’ve actually been looking into it here and there over the past few years, and still you mentioned some things I never knew (it was the foreskin hitting her G-spot, and here I thought I was just good! lol).

I was waiting for the word “infection” to come up so once that (false) issue was knocked aside, real points in favour of circumcision could be brought up. But I have yet to see anyone mention any. Personally I obviously want to keep all sharp cutting objects away from my unit, but I want to know from a mate’s (can’t say “girl’s”, almost got in trouble last time) perspective, which they prefer.

jonno's avatar

It seems the only reason it is still done in America is because it’s what “everyone else has”. Being circumcised is definitely the minority in most countries other than the United States. If you asked girls outside of America I daresay most would say that circumcised looks weird.

mcbealer's avatar

Curious here, what about along ethnic divides in America? Is this just a Caucasian American phenomenon?

Emilyy's avatar

Since nobody has brought this up that I can see:

This article makes me question a little bit whether everything people say about infections actually is false.

But, on a more personal note: one of my exes had to get circumcised during the time that we were dating because we couldn’t have sex without him being in extreme pain. So for him, it was a necessity. I think he was 20. I think it was also pretty painful to have the procedure done, but I don’t think that should deter you if you really want to go ahead with it. I do, however, have a little untested theory, which is that after the circumcision, he would reach orgasm very quickly and had to slow down if we were going too fast. I had hypothesized that maybe it had something to do with the fact that the skin under the foreskin had always had a little protective cover, and without that, it was just extremely sensitive. But maybe over time it will get a little more desensitized. So because of that, I would recommend staying as you are.

I agree with the very fluthermother’s comment which is that I personally wouldn’t care either way. If I’m sleeping with you, it means that I’ve already narrowed you down from the millions of other men out there and decided that I want to get down with you. So a little foreskin or lack of foreskin is not going to matter to me at that point. I would say most women probably agree, and anyone who doesn’t is probably quite superficial and not worth your time. Good luck!

gailcalled's avatar

FWIW. the younger generation in my family who have two little boys (ages 4 and 2) chose to not have them circumsized. Both mother and father are Jewish altho I don’t know what the father looks like. We are family, but not that close.

I urge you to click on EmilyNathon’s link.

Here’s the beginning of the article;

” Link
Q&A About the NIAID-Sponsored Adult Male Circumcision Trials in Kenya and Uganda (National Institute of Allergy and Infectious Diseases)

Circumcision appears to reduce a man’s risk of contracting AIDS from heterosexual sex by half, United States government health officials said yesterday, and the directors of the two largest funds for fighting the disease said they would consider paying for circumcisions in high-risk countries.

The announcement was made by officials of the National Institutes of Health as they halted two clinical trials, in Kenya and Uganda, on the ground that not offering circumcision to all the men taking part would be unethical. The success of the trials confirmed a study done last year in South Africa.

AIDS experts immediately hailed the finding. “

gailcalled's avatar

Clitoridectomy is more-than-radical surgery; it is life-threatening and often fatal, usually done w. a rusty razor blade or a shard of unbroken glass..

Circumcision done shortly after birth by a skilled surgeon in a reputable hospital has rarely any risks. The men I have been with were both w/o and w foreskin and I didn’t notice any difference in sensitivy.

And the natural scheme of things, pheremones matter. Most women out of the US shave neither their armpits, legs or pubic area.

cwilbur's avatar

It seems to me that circumcision lopping off the most sensitive skin on the penis for the sake of aesthetics. It’s not that difficult to keep clean, and if you’re using condoms anyway the relative chance of contracting HIV ought to be immaterial.

I wouldn’t have it done, but hey, it’s your foreskin.

iSteve's avatar

All is can think to add is… ow.

Riser's avatar

I am happy I am cut because I don’t want to look down and feel like I’m watching a discovery channel underwater special not to mention I like it rough and, in my experience with un cut men, you can’t be as rough with them as you can with cut men.

cwilbur's avatar

@Riser: in the interests of good taste, I’ll leave out details and just point out that yes, you can, and you get more bang for the buck.

Riser's avatar

I have been with panseys, I guess. Thank you for the revelation.

panzerfaust's avatar

I imagine it being easier to tear..stuff.. being cut. However i refuse to look up penis injuries online to compare between the two so I really don’t know. Personally I could be rough with or without the hood.

nomtastic's avatar

it seems like you’ve gotten this far without an infection, diaper or otherwise. if the issue is keeping clean, you’re a grown man and i expect you’re able to do that. seems like a lot of pain at this point.

Noon's avatar

I find it fascinating that people can even debate this. So much debate on something that should be so simple. The male child is born this way, and what gives you the right to perform an irreversible surgery on him. This should be a decision made by an adult, just like piercings and other body art.

As for the aids related research. First of all many have found the 50% statistic inflated. Also the research was funded by Americans, (a culture that for the most part believes in male circumcision), and this only lowers the risk for transmitting the virus to the male in a heterosexual intercourse. And I’m not really good with math, but I found a paper that had a study which claims that transmission from male to female is 2.3 times more likely. Again, not good with math, but I’m thinking that American monies could be used better in providing condoms (99% effective) and safe sex education. Cheaper than providing circumcision. And I’m pretty sure considering that transmission is 2.3 times more efficient, there could be a case made that HIV infection rates would rise because a whole group of newly circumcised men would go out thinking they are now “immune” and no longer use condoms.

judochop's avatar

Wow who would have thought that the skin or no skin thing would be such a hit!
I personally think that penises with the foreskin look kind of funny and weird to me. Probably because I have only played around with my own penis which is cut. Health benefits really hold no factor in this matter as you are 18 and able to wash and cleanse your junk and not have to sit in a dirty diaper for any time on end (unless thats your thing). If you want to cut it off then do it. As far as it being painful, sure it is going to hurt…. It is surgery. Pop a couple of pain pills and ride the recovery out in a soft, stoney haze. You are only 18! Psssht you are practically superman at that age. Just remember to cover your member during playtime with others. Enjoy yourself, what ever you do.

hurleygrlblink's avatar

I like them circumcised.

scamp's avatar

I am not fond of turtlenecks. But I don’t think you should have such a painful procedure just for cosmetic purposes. I have been with both circumcised men and uncircumcised, and other than appearance, I have noticed no difference. If you do decide to go for it, you can look at this link to look into selling the skin to help defer the costs. It will probably be sold anyway, so why not let the profit fall into your pockets?

Riser's avatar

There was an article in an Esquire Magazine explaining how a man can reverse circumcision through use of special tape that forces his skin to grow in the pattern it is being stretched.

gailcalled's avatar

@noon; the data shows that in third world countries, men who are not well-educated and often labouring under poverty conditions, never use condoms, thinking they are unmanly. So circumcision is a good compromise. Additionally, the women are embarrassed or uncomfortable or probably terrifiedto go against cultural norms and ask for condoms.

Emilyy's avatar

Gail, I think we’re in agreement on this one. Plus, developed nations have been trying to push condoms in underdeveloped nations for years, and AIDS and HIV still rage on. I think that the argument that men who get cut when they are newborns will go around thinking they are immune to HIV is similar to the argument that girls around the age of 12 or 13 who get the HPV vaccine will think it’s an open door to have as much unprotected sex as they want. I think medically, we just have to take as many precautions as we can and continue to educate people that a circumcision or vaccine doesn’t equal immunity. And if one of those precautions that we can take is circumcision, then it should probably be done, but in addition to other precautions like using condoms.

I agree that you should probably question every study/article you read, but the NY times one seems pretty good to me.

Response moderated
Riser's avatar

Buster… you are my hero.

Noon's avatar

@ EmilyNathon and @gailcalled
In all honesty I’m revolted by how you are speaking about third world countries. Treating them like animals that are worthless to educate, and would be better controlled by a scarring surgery. I mean, if you are so quick to go that rout why stop there. If you really want to control HIV spread in 3rd world countries why not force testing and brand all those who are HIV+ and create a cultural stigma against those marked. I can assure you that would be cheaper than circumcision and condoms.

To think that it is better to circumcise people living in the third world than to educate them is classist, racist, and over all inhuman. It’s like fixing pets to make sure they don’t get pregnant, cuz they just don’t know better.

And with all my ranting, I had completely forgotten what the original question was. So to answer the original question. I say stay uncut. It’s how you were born and meant to be. And from my experience, when the penis is erect and foreskin pulled back most people can’t even tell the difference.

Emilyy's avatar

Wow. @Noon, did you even read my post?

I don’t recall referring to anyone in a developing nation an “animal” or making any such insinuation. I NEVER, EVER said that they are “worthless to educate” and certainly do not feel that way. The article I linked from the New York Times suggests that in addition to education, circumcision may help to reduce the spread of AIDS and HIV, which is something that I think most of the population is in favor of. I also wrote that it is my opinion that we have to take medical precautions, and continue to educate. Education is clearly the first priority, and I thought I made that clear. Forgive me if I did not. But whether you find it offensive or not, people around the world are suffering needlessly from diseases like HIV because of the lack of access to reproductive education and the extreme resistance to educational efforts (like Gail said, people refusing to use condoms despite the fact that they have been educated about the benefits of using them). Do you have a better suggestion of a way to end the HIV/AIDS crisis, since clearly education alone is not going to solve the problem?

If someone were to develop an immunization that we could give to individuals living in developed nations (or all nations) to greatly reduce (but not eliminate) their risk of contracting HIV, do you think we would go ahead with it? Heck yes we would. But do you think we would still continue to educate? Heck yes we would! The only reason this issue is so polemic is because it’s not an immunization, it’s a circumcision. I understand that the foreskin serves a lot of beneficial purposes so it’s not as easy as deciding whether or not to get a shot.

I’m not a doctor and I can’t verify if the NY Times findings are true, but if a reputable doctor told me that circumcision would ensure that my baby boy would have a greatly reduced risk of contracting HIV in the event that he were to grow up and have unprotected sex, I might consider it. Would I still feel the need to educate my son? Hell yes.

I hope that clears things up about what I meant before. But like you said, this is off the original topic so it’s probably best to continue this privately if you feel the urge to do so.

gailcalled's avatar

@Noon; I am sorry that we revolted you. I was reporting, I believe.

Here is a dispassionate and heartbreaking link from one of dozens of sites from World Health Org., Joint UN Programme, International Red Cross:

“Sub-Saharan Africa is more heavily affected by HIV and AIDS than any other region of the world. An estimated 22.5 million people were living with HIV at the end of 2007 and approximately 1.7 million additional people were infected with HIV during that year. In just the past year, the AIDS epidemic in Africa has claimed the lives of an estimated 1.6 million people in this region. More than eleven million children have been orphaned by AIDS.”

“In four southern African countries, the national adult HIV prevalence rate has risen higher than was thought possible and now exceeds 20%. These countries are Botswana (24.1%), Lesotho (23.2%), Swaziland (33.4%) and Zimbabwe (20.1%).”

“Relative to the enormity of the HIV/AIDS epidemic in Africa, providing condoms is cheap and cost effective. Even when condoms are available, though, there are still a number of social, cultural and practical factors that may prevent people from using them. In the context of stable partnerships where pregnancy is desired, or where it may be difficult for one partner to suddenly suggest condom use, this option may not be practical.”

gailcalled's avatar

@noon; I am happy to take this private if you wish.

Noon's avatar

@ Gail and Emily
Just to clear up my stance before I take it private. I did read your post, and understand clearly what you two are saying, I’m sorry you don’t see the inherent classism in your posts. I also understand that there is a huge problem with HIV in developing nations. But I’m having a problem when you say we need to do something, when the thing that we are doing is to them instead of with them.

Also just to put the math out there again. Circumcising men would reduce their chance to get infected by 50%, but transmission between male to female is 230% times more likely than male to female. So is irreversible surgery really a worthy “compromise”.

bulbatron9's avatar

I consider myself “decent” at math, and Noon, I don’t understand yours. Please elaborate.

Noon's avatar

Yeah…actually I’m still trying to figure out the math, so if you could help I’d greatly appreciate it. I’ve found two competing statistics.

1) Circumcising males reduces female to male HIV transmission by 50%
2) HIV+ females are 2.3 times more likely to transmit HIV to their male partners than HIV+ males are to their female partners.

Would you be able to figure out the math about how much circumcision actual reduces HIV transmission considering it’s only reducing it for female to males which is already reduced significantly when compared to male to female transmission?

cwilbur's avatar

@Noon: one of your statements has male and female backwards – you say several posts above that male to female transmission of HIV is 230% more likely, then you say in the post immediately above that females are 2.3 times more likely to transmit HIV to their male partners. Considering the rest of the argument and the direction the fluids tend to go, I suspect you mean to say that males are 2.3 times more likely to transmit HIV to their female partners.

What it really comes down to is that we can help people in less developed countries, but the final responsibility needs to be theirs. They need to acknowledge the problem they have (if they even consider it a problem), and they need to be the ones who solve it. We can’t make them use condoms, and we sure as heck can’t go around lopping the tips of their foreskins off without their informed consent.

And, frankly, I see male circumcision and female circumcision as comparable: genital mutilation with the original intent of reducing sexual pleasure. If it’s your plumbing that you’re thinking of altering, fine, that’s your choice; leave others’ alone.

arnbev959's avatar


MissAnthrope's avatar

I wouldn’t do it. There’s no real reason, medically, and I think you’ll find that a lot of women either don’t mind or prefer the uncut version. If you feel really insecure about it and it would improve your confidence, then it’s worth considering for your own happiness, but really, I think you should wait a bit. Get some sexual experience under your belt, gauge the reactions of your partners, and experience the benefits of a foreskin (I’m told being uncut garners extra sensitivity for you and pleasure for you both).

titan9's avatar

im at the other end of your spectrum, i grew up cut, but kinda wish i still had “all” of me, just cause i never had the option

evelyns_pet_zebra's avatar

I was circumcised as an infant, and when I grew up, everybody was that way. When I saw my first intact penis, I thougth it looked ‘wrong’. Upon learning what was done to me without my consent, and for a religion that I don’t even follow anymore, I was angry. I had no choice in the matter; the choice was made for me. Circumcision brings out strong emotions in a lot of people on both sides.

Personally, I’d like to have mine back. If I were you, I’d keep it. Once it is gone, you can never get it back. I’ve met plenty of cut men that wish they would have had a say in the mutilation of their body. You will appreciate it when you get older, because the glans becomes desensitized from rubbing against your clothing over the years.

A million lurve points to delirium for putting out the facts about the purpose of the foreskin. And for those who would assume infant circumcision is a good thing, go here These pictures are very disturbing and make me wonder who in their right mind would do such things to helpless children, especially when there is no medical reason to do it.

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