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Sexual Health Guide

Rosa Cabrera RN

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I’ll be honest; I had to do a lot of research before sitting down to write this article. I have only come into contact with one uncircumcised penis during my short stint as a single adult woman, and it didn’t really seem to be that big of a deal at the time.

However, when it comes to uncircumcised penises, there’s more than meets the eye . Approximately 50% of men are “uncut,” which is really how the penis is meant to be in the first place (not many men outside the United States are circumcised). Circumcision originated among ancient religious populations as a way to purify man by removing the source of his sexual pleasure. This tradition has held its ground into the 21st century, which can lead to quite a bit of confusion when a woman unexpectedly comes into contact with a penis au naturale.

It may surprise you to learn that the foreskin itself, before it is separated from its owner, is extremely sensitive to pleasure. During circumcision two very important things are removed that will never grow back: the frenulum, the band near the tip of the penis that connects the foreskin with the glans, and then of course, the foreskin and all the nerve endings that go along with it.

Not only are these sources of pleasure eliminated during circumcision, but the shaft of the penis is left unprotected and slowly loses its responsiveness through a process called keratinization. In an article published in Fathering Magazine, Rio Cruz explains that “the male glans and inner foreskin, just like the clitoris and inner labia of women, are actually internal structures covered by mucous membrane that, when exposed to the air and harsh environment through circumcision, develop a tough, dry covering to protect the delicate, sensitive tissue.”

The main difference in having sex with an uncircumcised penis is that the foreskin acts as a glider of sorts, and it stays in place while the glans and shaft continue to thrust. This leads to less friction in the vagina and thus a more pleasurable experience for the female.

We value and respect our HERWriters' experiences, but everyone is different. Many of our writers are speaking from personal experience, and what's worked for them may not work for you. Their articles are not a substitute for medical advice, although we hope you can gain knowledge from their insight.

Add a Comment247 Comments

misvives HERWriter Guide

Very interesting article and the comments are fantastic. I do not have children yet, but this will certainly make me think differently about circumcision.

Thanks to the writer and the people that have commented. What a great thing to know 'being a woman'. Also to the writer, thank you for the additional tip at the end...:-)

February 6, 2010 - 10:24am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Anonymous @ 11:13 PM wrote: "and should be against the law."

Several countries have approached this. There have been restraints enacted in South Africa. The Australian Medical Association in concert with The Children's Commissioner has sponsored legislation in that country. Courts in Germany and Finland have rendered judgments putting limits on it. Vietnam has outlawed it and The Oregon Supreme Court stopped the circumcision of a 9 year old boy where the father wanted him circumcised and the mother didn't. It gave the decision to the boy and the circumcision was never performed.

Much as Sweden was the first to ban female circumcision and most of the world's developed nations followed suit in the next twenty years, some country will ban minor male circumcision and the other nations will eventually follow their lead.

In just the last 20 years, the circumcision rate has fallen by almost half. When these boys reach maturity and start forming their own families, it is highly unlikely they will circumcise their sons. With those that are seeing the truth, the circumcision rate will plummet. Evidence of this has been seen in Canada that once had a 57% circumcision rate. As a result of better informed parents and physicians, the circumcision rate had dropped to 17% by 2002 when Ryleigh McWillis died as a result of his circumcision. This was the wake up call to both parents and physicians and in the next two years, the circumcision rate dropped to 6%. In some (most) areas of Canada it is very difficult to find a physician who will circumcise a newborn these days.

The medical profession has always been the driving force behind this cultural practice. An early 1980's study performed at a military hospital in Hawaii to quantify the effect of parents getting correct and accurate information about infant circumcision. At the begining of the study, the infant circumcision rate was 80%+. The circumcision rate immediately dropped to 20% and remained at this level throughout the study and only grew slowly after the study. This tells us that parents want to do what is best for their children and will mostly take that information to make the decisions. It also tells us that their physican can be the most influential factor in making that decision and that these physicans are giving them either no information, useless information or wrongful information.

.

.

February 6, 2010 - 8:33am
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Great article. According to Canadian Dr. John Taylor who did extensive studying of the nerve endings in the foreskin, circumcision cuts off around 20,000 erogenous nerve endings. According to the Sorrells' study which was done by a group of doctors in California, circumcision cuts off the 5 most sensitive parts of the penis. Circumcised males can have a lot of sexual pleasure, but they can't have nearly as much pleasure as if they had never been circumcised. Most circumcised males who find out what they're missing are outraged that they were circumcised. The U.S. is the only country in the world where it is common to circumcise baby boys for non-religious reasons. I think circumcising baby boys in the U.S. is a very evil and inhumane ritual which does many times more harm than good and should be against the law.

February 5, 2010 - 11:13pm
Restoring Tally

Dr. Buffman, there are several studies that address the effect of male circumcision on women. I am an engineer and I readily understand how the natural male anatomy aids in sex. The mobile foreskin serves as a sleeve that allows the glans to move within, stimulating both the man and the woman. I have restored enough of my foreskin to verify that it works that way. It feels great and she likes it, too.

The New Zealand Journal of Medicine published "Effects of male circumcision on female arousal and orgasm." This study determined that sex with circumcised men was a cause for many female problems, including vaginal dryness and women being sore from sex.
http://www.nzma.org.nz/journal/116-1181/595/

Another study is "The effect of male circumcision on the sexual enjoyment of the female partner" published in the British Joural of Urology International.
http://www3.interscience.wiley.com/journal/119091407/abstract

February 5, 2010 - 1:49pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

Just another quick comment on foreskin restoration - although some do use tape and weights to pull the skin, it can be done by hand. All it takes is to stretch out the remaining skin on the penis several times a day, for a few minutes each time. The skin eventually does expand - much like if you were to wear heavy earrings and stretch out your earlobes.

February 5, 2010 - 1:03pm
Susan Cody HERWriter Guide

As a woman, I could never tell the difference!
This is all new to me, and an interesting read!

February 5, 2010 - 12:50pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous

An intelligent post about male genital mutilation being harmful to the sexual experience?! Kudos to you, madam. These are few and far between. As for "doctor" barry buffman, quit trying to justify mutilation of male genitals, your entire profession is a disgrace.

February 5, 2010 - 11:56am
buffydaddy (reply to Anonymous)

If the profession is such a disgrace maybe the epidemiology of disease doesn't lie.

February 27, 2010 - 10:39pm
Hugh7 (reply to buffydaddy)

You can't just talk about circumcision "reducing the rate" of this or that disease, without saying from what, to what. It turns out that the NNT (Number Needed to Treat, for all us ignorant non-doctors) is in the hundreds or thousands for most the of diseases it is done for. By the circumcisionists' own figures, 991 of every 1000 circumcisions to prevent Urinary Tract Infections are wasted, one on a boy who will get UTI anyway, 990 on boys who will never get them. (While the ~40/1000 girls who get UTI are, of course, treated without surgery.)

The (rest of the) English-speaking world tried the circumcision experiment, declared it a failure and gave it up. There has been no outbreak of any of the things circumcision was supposed to be good for. Europe, Scandinavia, South America have never adopted it and, where other demographic factors are equal, enjoy just as good health as the US.

The epidemiology of circumcision, now, that is one of the curiosities of the modern world. It's largely passed on from father to son (carried on the Y chromosome maybe, along with unwillingness to use maps or give up the remote?), but it spread from the US to South Korea in the 1950s, and is still epidemic there.

March 24, 2010 - 9:01pm
EmpowHER Guest
Anonymous (reply to buffydaddy)

Oh and btw. Whatever happened to "first do no harm?"

February 28, 2010 - 10:24am
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