This site discusses phimosis in its specific forms of phimotic ring, frenulum breve, adhesions or skinbridges. During erection these conditions inhibit the relationship between foreskin and glans. This functionally restricts the erection, and thus has an effect on the sexuality. With our culture's attitudes on health care, it would be appropriate to monitor boys before puberty and encourage early prevention.

2012 : note from author: My previous idea of monitoring boys before puberty is impractical, unecessary and now only of historical interest. please see Postscript.

updates and supporting education on new site : Phimosis.cloud

GARY`S STORY

This must be a history piece posted in the NewsGroups in 1993 ... (the American anti circumcision campaign got an early start online, letter also mentions the start of the ridiculous debates that used to take place - and maybe still do) ... Gary had a lot to do with originally setting up NOCIRC ... link pending

>Newsgroups: alt.sex,soc.men,misc.kids
>From: gburlin-at-eskimo.com (Gary Burlingame)
>Subject: The pain of circumcision
>Message-ID:
>Date: Wed, 15 Dec 1993 01:15:10 GMT

I am very unhappy that I was circumcised severely as an infant. This may not be my number one personal problem, but the fact that I am 5 months into a foreskin restoration project that I expect to take 3 years, indicates that it does have some import in my life. For those unaware, I would like to detail the negative effects I have seen personally.

It is my thought that this would be a better technique to convince people that neo-natal circumcision should not be performed than the horrible thread going through so many news groups lately. Maybe if I had not been so severely circumcised, I too like many men, would wonder what the problem is, but I'm afraid that the problems I document below are all too common. Given that the benefits of circumcision are so highly debatable that we don't really know if there are any true benefits, then I have to come squarely down on the side against neo-natal circumcision. It would be a joy to care for my foreskin, I don't think even ridding me of any hygiene "problem" is a benefit. The cancer angles have not been scientifically proven with a strict control group. And it is difficult to perform a correct circumcision, which I would define as one giving just those non-existing "benefits", and NOT causing all these problems on an infant penis, which is too small, and not fully grown, especially not through puberty. Maybe you are thinking that just cutting a little off, or just a tiny piece, will make things better, but until I see scientific studies proving what each of these types of circumcision do to or for the person years later, I will remain steadfastly against it. How do you know you will see what you believe are "benefits" if you don't cut enough? What IS the correct amount of skin to cut off?

Negative effects of my circumcision:

1) I had a skin bridge, a condition in which the circumcision incision bonds in places with the corona of the glans during the healing process. This causes the skin to be even tighter in those places, and covers up part of the penis where stimulation is the most pleasurable. Finally, 7 or 8 years ago, after contemplating it for years, I cut through the skin bridge myself. I would have done it much sooner, if I had understood what it was, and that there were no significant veins or nerves to be cut. This was significant trauma throughout my life, wondering why I had this extra hole in my penis, and how it got there. What I wanted then was a penis that at least looked like a "normal" circumcised penis. However, I was left with an external pucker midway down the shaft, at least the glans looks "normal". It's important to not feel like part of your body is disfigured, although I still feel terribly disfigured by the rest of the circumcision.

2) I was circumcised too tightly. There are several effects that this has.

a) Intercourse can be painful. Without lots of lubrication, it has always been too painful for me. Some women, my wife in fact, do not fully appreciate this, and may urge me to enter, and I have found that the anxiety produced by expecting pain, immediately ends the possibility of intercourse. Even explaining this ahead of time isn't completely sufficient, as in the heat of the moment, sometimes she forgets.

b) Sex, whether intercourse, self-masturbation, or masturbation by a partner, is not as pleasurable. Some circumcised men retain some movement of the skin during an erection, I did not. In fact, I was so tightly circumcised, that I wasn't aware that it was even normal for the skin to be able to move. When you can't move the skin, the only stimulation possible, is rubbing skin against skin. The underlying shaft can only get stimulation indirectly, instead of directly from moving the skin. Plus, rubbing skin against skin is hampered by friction, causing heat, dryness, chafing, and soreness. In fact, I have not found it possible ever to masturbate or have intercourse without lubrication. Using lubrication may be enjoyable even for an uncircumcised man, but being forced to use it, having to search for the best type and the correct amount, and having to deal with the extra mess and inconvenience, is not pleasurable. Also, prolonged stimulation, whether by masturbation or intercourse, even with lubrication, can cause problems. It even can cause problems for a partner. As women age and get closer to menopause, my understanding and experience is that less lubrication is produced. That means more friction through rubbing, more pain, or more artificial lubrication, with all of its inconvenience. I would think that women would NOT want men circumcised. It only adds to the abrasion in the vagina, which is fine while the lubrication lasts, but not as good and not natural.

c) My penis was always pulled in closer to the body, appearing smaller. This is significant, especially during adolescence in places like the gym class showers. It even affects how you feel about yourself in relation to other men. Living with such a shortened penis isn't as pleasurable, either, because it won't stay where you put it in underwear. If I were to put it down, the tight skin pulled it up at the first opportunity, and it would stick straight out. Wearing boxer shorts doesn't seem to be as comfortable in this condition, either. In any case, it takes a lot of work to overcome the feelings of inferiority of a smaller than average flaccid penis.

3) There is all the mystery, shame, and embarrassment caused by circumcision. Parents don't in my experience sit their boys down and explain what was done to them, and why. They have to learn it essentially in the streets, or in religious classes where circumcision is talked about. Even then, it is not easy to understand what was done to you. I could never figure out where the skin covering the glans came from before it was cut off. All of this is what I believe generates the cruelty that circumcised boys often deal out to the minority uncircumcised boys. Without being taught what it is, and what is was for, they have to find a way to feel good about themselves, and being better than an uncircumcised boy helps. So not only are the victims of circumcision affected, so are those who were not circumcised. What a sad way for an advanced society to operate!

4) There are many things I do not even know I am missing. For instance, the sensitivity of the glans and mucous tissue is most likely reduced. I am beginning to know what it is like to have some mobility of the shaft skin, but just barely. In my restoration program, I am most pleased with the little bit of gliding mechanism I have achieved. During intercourse I can now move in and out without the outside circle of skin having to move against the vagina. How much more comfort and pleasure can be realized by having enough skin for it to stroke the glans during intercourse? That I don't know yet, but I am eager to find out. Unfortunately, I will be missing my frenulum, as well, and I will never completely know how pleasurable my complete foreskin would have been.

Summary: There are too many problems with neo-natal circumcision for no proven benefits. Maybe some people were lucky enough to get a perfect circumcision, but I as well as many other men were not. For these and many reasons, neo-natal circumcision should not be performed. I would like to add here, that I have read victims' accounts of having been circumcised as a "punishment" for masturbation. This, and any other circumcision against the victims' will must be stopped. It is simply NOT acceptable.

For parents having their baby boys circumcised, I ask what kind of circumcision is he likely to get? Some of you know, but I expect that most do not. Why would you risk a poor job for so little benefit if any? I also think that if you ARE going to have your baby boy circumcised, that you OWE it to him to explain it to him, and be prepared to justify it. I don't think this should wait until the boy asks, either, as that is a difficult task, and the boy may already being feeling negative effects if only psychological, without you knowing it.

For those of us circumcised that either have difficulties with it, or simply wish that it had not been done, it's time to step up and let yourself be heard. Let's tell the community the pain, humiliation, embarrassment, anger, shock, guilt, inadequacy, resentment and grief that this needless neo-natal circumcision causes. If you happen to be very pleased with your neo-natal circumcision, maybe you were lucky, maybe you don't know what you are missing, or maybe your point of view has been affected by it. But those of us who ARE suffering should speak up. Otherwise, you are responsible for allowing it to continue.

This is my point of view. Anyone who wants to argue with me, good luck. I am certainly willing to listen to corrections I could make, ideas on how I could have stated this better given my sincere feelings on it, and I may entertain recanting part of it if need be. But I am against circumcision before the age of consent, especially neo-natal circumcision. And certainly, anyone with questions or needing clarifications is welcome to e-mail me.
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Gary Burlingame gburlin-at-eskimo.com