Experts have been unable to understand the origin of the practice of routine male circumcision. Most of the literature shows no awareness of phimosis - its frequency - or the sexual and erectile problems which can be cured by circumcision. If routine circumcision had been introduced for this most obvious reason of eliminating difficult foreskins; then the importance of an alternative modern method, suitable to our culture's attitudes in this day and age, would be clear.


Appendix to and Continuation of Ancient Methods of Genital Modification

"The Alfur (Celebes) inserted pebbles under the skin of the glans" (50). Bryk describes this in detail
"I read a reliable account that in present day Malaysia and Indonesia, this is still done in cetain circumcised males these days..but stainless ball bearings are inserted into the cuts in the glans instead. These are then stitched so that the ball bearings remain forever as "lumps" This tradition therefore is also contemporary." (from Peter G editor: African Sexuality) -

This bit in the jigsaw is still somewhat puzzling "In India a bit of stick is used as a probe, and carried round and round between the glans and prepuce, to ascertain the exact extent of the frenum, and that no unnatural adhesions exist." (60)

The above quote is taken from the Jewish Encyclopedia, it appears that this is a traditional and accepted practice in Indian medicine. Why has Indian medicine developed a probe check, unless it was very common and somehow accepted to have a phimosis . . . ?

The Hindu religion apparently disallows circumcision, ". . . there is no allusion to it in Sanskrit literature" (73). Has anyone any more information?

Among the Australian aborigines and some tribes of New Guinea, there is an operation called subincision "Subincision (opening the urethra, along the inferior surface of the penis)" (74) "varying from a little over a half an inch in some cases, to a gash opening up almost the whole of the penis . . in others." (75)

The Greeks and the Romans used to practice infibulation, this involves giving oneself an artificial phimosis (57). Related practices exist among Chinese and Indian mystics. In his journals, Cook remarks that the Maoris were accustomed to tie up the prepuce in order to make it cover the glans (76). It should come as no surprise to us that this was also practiced in New Guinea.

Purely out of interest in the creativity of some of these ancient operations, consider "the Dayak usage of piercing the glans with a silver needle, and after the wound heals, of inserting in it small rods of brass, ivory, silver, or bamboo, the silver rods sometimes being perforated at both ends for little bundles of bristles." (51).

Dean wrote:
I did some checking on the Dayak and found the following:

They live on the Island of Borneo, in an area called West Kalimantan, a part of Indonesia. Currently they are in a struggle with clearing of the forest and Muslim settlers. While they were once fierce headhunters, since the early 1930's have been mostly Catholic. They do still mostly live in long thatchouses, often 30+ per house.

I met a man many years ago from Madagascar, raised in a village where his father had seven wives. He was one of 28 of his fathers children, he related that most of the boys of about 15 would all be circumcised in August in a big "public" gathering, if one yelled out it would disgrace the father. They also stuck a stick thru the penis right behind the glans and this stayed with them and was supposed to 'help' in satisfying the women. He was grateful that he survived after the ceremony and that his stick had come out on its own, (apparently if it came out, that was not considered bad), but he had an awful scar from both the rough cut circumcision and the wound where the stick had been pushed thru. He had no idea as to why it was done, only that he intended to live in UK until after sons were born and have them circ'd in a hospital where the danger and pain was not so severe.

see also: Dorsal-slit Virtual circ