Am I Alone? - The Cultural Taboo
When I first discovered my condition, the doctors rejected the idea
that this condition influenced my erection and my sexuality. I thought
my situation must be a complete rarity. I started to research through the literature and question other
people about their experiences.
When I first wrote to the Kinsey Institute and the British Health
Education Authority (Oct '94), my sample group consisted of 4 men who had experience of phimosis.
Talking with these first few men was more informative than over a hundred
publicly available books.
When first going on line (Feb 96) I`d talked with around 120 people
and directly with 15 cases. (see impressions from my
first sample group).
Now, (Feb 2001) I have talked personally with over fourty cases,
and heard through the www. of at least 1,000 more. All experiences
are described in The Passages to Manhood, not one experience disagrees with my descriptions.
We seem blinded by cliches about male sexuality e.g. that the size shape etc. has nothing to do with the sexuality, and that no male should worry about their penis, because "everyone's normal we're all just a bit different"
Male pride avoids this subject. The subject of genital
difficulties and especially foreskin difficulties is socially unacceptable,
men don't complain, and especially about foreskins.
Occasional medical studies point out the lack of research. "It cannot be masculine pride alone ... which has caused the
phenomenon to be neglected by male physicians and psychoanalysts, ...
resulting in a general or collective repression of the phenomenon." (Grewel)
"The request for circumcision to alleviate painful erections
and intercourse and frenular tears is not widely appreciated in
the urological literature. Being unpublished, these complaints
can easily be ignored... " (Pienkos)
My impressions from practicing doctors appear to confirm this, and substantiate Grewel's view of the psychologists collective repression.
Our male dominated medical profession appears totally blind on the subject of phimosis. The clearest demonstration of this is the sheer lack of terminology. The conditions comprising phimosis have for centuries not been named. On the other hand names for infections caused by phimosis are of sentence long latin complexity. Naming is a clear sign of cultural recognition
added to the confusing effects of over a century of anti and pro circumcision
fanatics, which has left our culture with a legacy of rumours and red herrings
about foreskin conditions and circumcision.
The basis of the taboo lies in deeper areas. Perhaps the evolutionary and social insignificance of the sexually inadequate male plays a role.
When I first started thinking about circumcision and phimosis, I used to get a gut reaction in
my stomach. I could
only think about it for a short while and then I`d feel disgusted
and I had to stop, ... but it would keep coming back, ... Why did
I feel this revulsion for the theme?