Circumcision. Seeking opinions based on personal experiences

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Kathyd
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Circumcision. Seeking opinions based on personal experiences

Post by Kathyd » November 8th, 2017, 9:09 pm

My husband and I have begun discussing whether or not we should circumcise our 11 yo son. When he was born, neither of us had given the decision much thought. Our insurance wouldn’t pay for it, and it is not that common around here (pacific northwest), so we just didn’t do it. But it is very common in the midwest (90%) and other parts of the country, while in other parts of the world it can be virtually non-existent.

I'd heard all the usual arguments FOR circumcision --- it's religious tradition (we're Christian), it's more hygienic, it can help prevent prostate cancer, etc, but I hadn't heard too many against circumcision. That is, until I started googling. It turns out there is a whole world of opinionated people out there when it comes to the topic. It's something like the abortion debate, many people seem to resort to invoking morality, and trying to convert everyone who doesn't agree. Typically, it's the anti-circumcisionists trying to do the most converting. This is only natural, as they're still in the minority in the U.S. and feel a bit more defensive when it comes to their opinions. Those who support circumcision largely seem to be those who don't want to rock the boat too much - they'll circumcise because they were circumcised and nothing bad ever happened to them as a result, so why not?

I was largely surprised to see so many people invoking ethics. On most boards and forums, it seemed to come first from the anti-circumcisionists. Failing to convert the circumcision supporters, a few anti-circumcisionists would begin flinging around words like "genital mutilation" or "torture." The pro-circumcisionists would usually counter with words like "hygiene" and "tradition" and begin accusing the anti-circumcisionists of inflammatory language. And then, invariably, the "proof" would come. Both sides would begin copy/pasting studies either against or in support of circumcision. And both sides would accuse the other of using exaggerated "scare tactics". And in short, people left more confused than they were when they arrived. Now what do I do? Do I circumcise or do I not circumcise? Which is the best choice?

However, there may not be a best choice. Because both sides truly do have legitimate concerns. Also, research has just been too darn inconclusive. It seems like every six months researchers are debunking previous researchers and coming up with the exact opposite results. For instance, I came across two articles--one stated that circumcision is an answer for helping to prevent AIDS in Africa. A study had shown that circumcision significantly reduced the risk of contracting and spreading AIDS. After everybody on the board had debated back and forth about how much this really mattered, since none of us live in Africa and condoms are just as effective, somebody else posted another article which declared the exact opposite - uncircumcised penises had a much lower risk of contracting and spreading AIDS. I'm sure it won't be long before yet another study declares the opposite, and so on. I have heard both sides claim a lowered risk in prostate cancer. I have even heard both sides claim better hygiene - circumcised penises don’t require cleaning underneath that flap and so present a lower risk of infection and uncircumcised penises have that natural protective flap covering the membranes and urethra and so present a lower risk of UTI. Ultimately, when it comes to medical support for either side, the scientific world is still very much in limbo. There is no ultimate truth that says that one decision definitely outweighs the other. Whether or not a person tends to support one side or the other often depends on which articles he/she has read most recently.

Ultimately, since medical data is so inconclusive, people really do just end up relying on their own personal moral code and gut instincts when it comes to the circumcision decision. Some invoke the immorality of mutilating another's genitals, while others call on religious tradition for reassurance. As a Christian, I believe that, first of all, people don't have to be circumcised to be "saved." This is a Jewish belief that was changed in the new testament when Paul became the "Apostle of the Gentiles" and began teaching that Jesus came to save all men, not just Jewish ones. Still, the practice has persisted among Christians as religious tradition, and Jews still practice it as law.

I sometimes have to wonder why God would have asked that particular sacrifice of his people? Why foreskin? Why was a lack of foreskin the sign that you were a child of God?

Then I read up on foreskin. I googled words like "foreskin" and "uncircumcised penis." Basically, from all my googling I learned that foreskin does indeed have a purpose. Its almost exclusive purpose is to aid in the pleasure and facilitation of sex. (If you're squeemish and/or offended by sex, skip the next two paragraphs, because for those of you who have never researched this, I'm about to get descriptive). The tip or head of the penis, "the glans," is designed to be constantly moist, much like the interior of a person's mouth or vagina. In an uncircumcised male, this glans is covered by the foreskin when the penis is flaccid and only emerges when the man has an erection. The foreskin is then able to slide down the shaft of the penis and back up over the glans, back and forth, adding extra stimulation to the male and cushioning against the more harsh friction from the vagina (or your hand, whatever floats your boat). It is also more pleasing to the partner, as the tip is naturally lubricated from being protected by the foreskin for most of its life. An uncircumcised penis enters the vagina far more easily and quickly than a circumcised one. The added lubrication means the pressure of lubricating for sex doesn't fall entirely upon the woman or on a bottle of K-Y. Win win. Finally, the foreskin contains approximately 3/4 of a male's stimulatory nerves. This means that uncircumcised men theoretically experience four times the pleasure. Also, the nerves are highly focused in one area and somehow help the man to better control ejaculation. Instead of feeling an all-over feeling of pleasure that results in an often unpredictable explosion, an uncircumcised man is able to control the pleasure in its more localized (but undoubtedly more intense) state. I also learned that circumcision only became prevalent in America in the 1800's during the Victorian era, where it was primarily used to help curtail masturbation in teen boys, the idea being that without the foreskin the experience would be much less pleasurable and therefore, less appealing and addictive.

After reading all of this, I realized for the first time why sex with my husband is so much different than it was with my jewish ex-boyfriend. I had always attributed it just to him being a better lover, but now I realized that it was the foreskin that made all the difference. I had just never thought about it and put two and two together until I read about it.The difference is simply remarkable. My husband seems to be much more sensitive and responsive when it comes to sex. I can send him through the roof just by lightly caressing his foreskin, but my ex was much less sensitive, and seemed to only enjoy the act of sexual release. Sex with my H seems to be very fulfilling to him, and he doesn't need to thrust as hard during intercourse, but my ex only liked violent thrusting and never seemed to enjoy hjs or bjs nearly as much. Now I know it was because of the lack of foreskin. Also, for those of you who do not know, it is far better from the women's pov with a foreskin. I would say that sex is 10 times better with my H than with my ex, yes 10 times! The gliding motion of the foreskin just feels better, it's not as rough, and no lube is necessary. It's just a whole different ball game if you ask me, like night and day, like multiple O's versus none at all, and there is no way I could imagine ever going back to a circed penis. In fact, I can't imagine any woman being satisfied sexually with a cut guy after having had an uncut guy. It's just that much better for both parties, especially considering that I enjoy it more when I know my partner is also enjoying it immensely. I would definitely feel "jipped" going back to a circumcised penis.

But back to the point.... Actually, after reading up on it and seeing firsthand the incredible difference in pleasure for both parties, especially the man, it began to make a little bit of sense to me why God chose to ask men to cut off that particular part of their body. What better way could there be to show dedication to God than to deny yourself 3/4 of your sexual pleasure? Denial of sexual pleasure has been part of religious tradition since the institution of religion. Why do you think priests don't marry? Why is there some version of the chaste monk and/or nun in nearly every religion? Even religions which claim to have no God outside of the self have people taking vows of chastity for meditative purification purposes. Of course, some religions take the opposite extreme, but the point is that withholding sexual pleasure has long been a means of showing dedication to certain religious ideals. Nowadays, we have chastity rings. Back in the Old Testament they chose to be a bit more graphically symbolic. True dedication meant cutting off a portion of your penis. It insured you were taking one more step toward being totally focused on God.

Of course, circumcision is still common practice today and not everyone does it for religious dedication. Plenty of circumcised guys are complete sleeze bags. Plenty of rapists and sexual predators out there are circumcised, I’m sure. This just goes to show that in asking man to sacrifice some of his sexual pleasure to show his true spiritual dedication, God still left man enough sexual pleasure to procreate. Men could still have sex, but it was for procreation, not for his personal pleasure. Sex for pleasure was considered a "distraction" from your walk with God, a distraction keeping you from being totally focused on Him.

Point being, the only legitimate religious reason I can see for circumcision, unless you’re Jewish, is desiring to dedicate yourself or your child to God through a sacrifice of a portion of yours or his sexual pleasure. And this is where those who don’t support circumcision will call those who do extremely barbaric, but seeing as research remains inconclusive and that both sides seem to have their medical pros and cons, it's really not up to anyone on either side to pass judgment on another's circumcision decision. Religious reasons or not, there are risks and benefits to both sides.

So what am I going to do? I haven't entirely decided yet, but I'm leaning toward doing the deed for the following reasons, in order of importance:
1. I'm already going to have trouble enough keeping a son from becoming sexually deviant as a teenager (excessive masturbation, internet porn, etc). I've even already found pornography and sexually suggestive texts on his phone, and can only imagine what’s in store for me when he’s 13. So, do I really want to deal with a son who experiences four times the pleasure? :shock: Four times the challenge! And do I really want to deal with a teen stepson who would give some teen girl 10 times the pleasure? :shock: Ten times the challenge! It's like, why make the situation even more difficult?

2. As a Christian, I like the concept of dedication to God. The idea of sacrificing something for God, of dedicating my child to God, seems very appealing to me, barbaric or not.

3. Medically, the pros and cons seem to balance each other out. Ultimately, I think I tend to side with the "he'll hate me more if he has to get circumcised when he can remember it, than he will hate me because I circumcised him against his will as a child" argument.

I'm really interested in hearing everybody's pro/anti circumcision arguments, though I doubt they will sway me in either direction. As I've said, I've pretty much read them all, even if I didn't mention all of them in this post. But I am even more interested in how people generally feel about circumcision, particularly in relation to themselves, and the philosophical underpinnings behind those feelings. So for guys, how do you feel about being circumcised or not circumcised, and why? Are you satisfied with your parents’ decision, or are you bitter about it? For gals, are you happy that your man’s parents made the choice that they did, or do you regret it? What do you think about their decision, and why?

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Re: Circumcision. Seeking opinions based on personal experie

Post by Greta » November 8th, 2017, 10:52 pm

My nephew was not circumcised on the basis that it appeared to be pointless child cruelty. It made sense to me too. He is an adult now, and glad he wasn't done. I think the clincher for my view came from the old claims that infants couldn't feel the operation because they slept through it, when it truth they had passed out from extreme pain. Seems like a tough thing to inflict on a defenceless infant, although I can imagine that in some very hot and humid environments that there may be a health benefit.

My partners in the past never seemed to have much opinion about it and neither seemed to especially regret the procedure or be wildly glad for it.

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Re: Circumcision. Seeking opinions based on personal experie

Post by Burning ghost » November 8th, 2017, 11:54 pm

I'd be more worried about him being brainwashed into having the same beliefs as you regarding "god". As long as you give him the freedom of choice about his religious position I would deem the matter of circumcision as trivial at best.

-- Updated November 8th, 2017, 11:58 pm to add the following --

I should add that I am not against circumcision if its done for the right reasons. I think it can be a very meaningful ceremony and marks the passage from childhood into adulthood. If you're only looking at it as a matter of hygiene or sexual gratification then I would have to ask what's the point?
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Re: Circumcision. Seeking opinions based on personal experie

Post by Scribbler60 » November 21st, 2017, 10:43 pm

What did you decide, Kathy?

Milady and I were discussing this last night. Though we're both too old (and I'm vasectomized) to start a family, we agreed that, unless it would be medically necessary, we would not circumcise a male child.

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Re: Circumcision. Seeking opinions based on personal experie

Post by LuckyR » November 22nd, 2017, 3:14 am

I assist families in making this decision professionally (in the Pacific NW). Briefly there has been significant amounts of energy put into evaluating the medical risks and benefits, so there is a comprehensive medical opinion. As has been alluded to, the overall medical computation leads to a benefit. However the benefit is almost insignificantly small.

Therefore I encourage folks to make their decision on family, cultural and/or religious grounds.

In the OP's specific case the overarching fact is the age of her son, 11. As a practical matter the procedure (and especially the recovery) at his current age a dramatically bigger deal than a procedure done right after delivery.

My advice is since the son is within a few years of adulthood, continue to hold off on making a decision and let him make it when he is 18.

Good luck
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Re: Circumcision. Seeking opinions based on personal experie

Post by Steve3007 » November 22nd, 2017, 4:03 am

Interesting and unusual OP for this site.
Denial of sexual pleasure has been part of religious tradition since the institution of religion.
Yes. I presume that's why female circumcision is carried out too.

Aside from cultural or religious reasons I guess the only practical reason for any kind of routine mutilation would be if we believe that there are some aspects of the human body that are "badly designed" - that can we help our quality of life or health by changing them. This is certainly possible. Childbirth is the most obvious aspect of human physiology where the natural process often needs to be altered, by such things as Caesarian sections (or less drastic things like pain relief). The need to walk upright combined with the large human brain means that if Evolution had foresight it might have introduced a zip in the woman's abdomen!

But in the case of circumcision I don't think there is such a practical justification in the modern world. You've noted that hygiene is often cited as a reason. No doubt this reason was much more pressing in times gone by (and possibly still in some parts of the world) when there was no such thing as daily washing. But these days, in the modern world, it's easy and normal to keep clean. As you've said, the foreskin serves a valuable purpose in lubricating and protecting the glans. That's why it's there. I wouldn't want to lose mine. It may be ugly and wrinkly but, like an elderly relative, I still love it.

So unless you have a very strong cultural and religious reason to do it I'd advise not to. And even then, consider breaking with the tradition in order to help to bring the custom up to date and into the modern world of showers and shower gel.

-- Updated Wed Nov 22, 2017 9:07 am to add the following --

LuckyR:
My advice is since the son is within a few years of adulthood, continue to hold off on making a decision and let him make it when he is 18.
in your experience, do many 18 year old boys/men voluntarily choose to have this done? I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have.

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Re: Circumcision. Seeking opinions based on personal experie

Post by LuckyR » November 22nd, 2017, 4:51 pm

Steve3007 wrote: LuckyR:
My advice is since the son is within a few years of adulthood, continue to hold off on making a decision and let him make it when he is 18.
in your experience, do many 18 year old boys/men voluntarily choose to have this done? I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have.
...exactly my point... (and BTW I'm sure the 11 year olds agree even more).
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Re: Circumcision. Seeking opinions based on personal experie

Post by Kathyd » November 22nd, 2017, 6:30 pm

Thank you for all of your honest replies. I really appreciate and value all the different POVs, since this is such a sensitive (no pun intended :lol: ) decision.
Steve3007 wrote:
LuckyR: My advice is since the son is within a few years of adulthood, continue to hold off on making a decision and let him make it when he is 18.
in your experience, do many 18 year old boys/men voluntarily choose to have this done? I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have.
Yeah, Lucky, I see your point, but I feel the same way as Steve does here. I can't say too many would want to have it done willingly once their older! Ouch… The problem occurs when they don't want to get it done, but they have to have it done because of an infection or other complication. I have heard of this happening to a few guys, and can only think how painful that would be for them. If I could ensure that would never happen, then I would probably just keep him natural, for sure. But since I can’t, I’m thinking it’s probably best to just do the deed now. It just seems more prudent to do it now, before he develops a painful infection, rather than wait and hope he doesn’t. Then he might have to have it done later anyways, and under even more painful conditions. Oh, choices….
Scribbler60 wrote: What did you decide, Kathy?

Milady and I were discussing this last night. Though we're both too old (and I'm vasectomized) to start a family, we agreed that, unless it would be medically necessary, we would not circumcise a male child.
I’ve pretty much decided to do it. The only problem is finding the right doctor. Apparently, nowadays they normally only do ‘generic’ cuts, meaning minimum foreskin removal and leaving the frenulum intact, but that isn’t really what I want. My preference, based on all my exhaustive research, is an extremely ‘tight’ cut, which entails maximum removal of the foreskin, as well as complete removal of the frenulum. This is not based on any appearance or hygiene issues, but rather on reason #1 above - I figure that the more erogenous tissue removed the better (the frenulum is also loaded with nerve endings). But apparently that type of cut is a bit more risky. It requires what is called the ‘freehand’ method, and so far no doctor has wanted to do it because of liability concerns, plus most of them were opposed to the idea of intentionally reducing sensitivity.

However, fortunately I found out that my sister, who is a pediatrician, is certified to do circumcisions, and she completely understands my reasoning and will do the ‘freehand’ cut. She told me that she will remove all of the foreskin down the entire shaft, as well as all of the frenulum, which will maximize the reduction in sensitivity. This in contrast to a typical modern circumcision, in which only the upper portion of the foreskin is removed, leaving a lot of foreskin at the base of the penis (as well as the entire frenulum), which still makes masturbation quite pleasurable. She also said she will trim off the outer ‘ridge’ of his glans, thereby removing some of the pleasurable friction a partner normally feels from a circumcised penis, and she will even snip some of the lateral nerves which run from the main dorsal nerve to further reduce sensitivity. But she also warned me that, being an older boy, the operation will probably be much more painful than your typical neonatal procedure. She said he might be in ‘intense’ pain for days or a few weeks, and that sometimes full recovery takes over a month. However, she has said she will write him a prescription for the pain, an analgesic cream which she says is pretty effective.

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Re: Circumcision. Seeking opinions based on personal experie

Post by Steve3007 » November 22nd, 2017, 8:09 pm

The problem occurs when they don't want to get it done, but they have to have it done because of an infection or other complication. I have heard of this happening to a few guys, and can only think how painful that would be for them. If I could ensure that would never happen, then I would probably just keep him natural, for sure. But since I can’t, I’m thinking it’s probably best to just do the deed now. It just seems more prudent to do it now, before he develops a painful infection, rather than wait and hope he doesn’t. Then he might have to have it done later anyways, and under even more painful conditions.
I don't see why infection has to be a serious risk for people who wash regularly. Having a part of the body chopped off because it might one day become infected seems a bit odd to me.

-- Updated Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:11 am to add the following --

I wouldn't have considered having either of my two sons circumcised when they are perfectly healthy and capable of keeping themselves clean, any more than I would consider having their legs chopped off just in case they one day get gangrene.

-- Updated Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:31 am to add the following --

Looking back over your OP, I have to say the reasons you've given here seem to me very odd:
1. I'm already going to have trouble enough keeping a son from becoming sexually deviant as a teenager (excessive masturbation, internet porn, etc). I've even already found pornography and sexually suggestive texts on his phone, and can only imagine what’s in store for me when he’s 13. So, do I really want to deal with a son who experiences four times the pleasure? :shock: Four times the challenge! And do I really want to deal with a teen stepson who would give some teen girl 10 times the pleasure? :shock: Ten times the challenge! It's like, why make the situation even more difficult?
You want to stop your son from masturbating because you think there is some way in which that will cause you trouble, and you want to do that by making it less pleasant, or perhaps more painful? How will it cause you trouble? Why is it a challenge? It's the most natural thing in the world and a perfectly healthy sexual outlet. I think prohibitions against masturbation, which seem so worryingly common, are extremely harmful. There is no such thing as excessive masturbation for a teenage boy.
2. As a Christian, I like the concept of dedication to God. The idea of sacrificing something for God, of dedicating my child to God, seems very appealing to me, barbaric or not.
This is the oddest one. I guess it goes back to that guy who thought God had told him to kill his son. The idea that you show dedication to God by inflicting pain on another person seems bizarre. If inflicting pain really is a sign of dedication (which I don't think it is) then shouldn't we at least inflict it on ourselves?
3. Medically, the pros and cons seem to balance each other out. Ultimately, I think I tend to side with the "he'll hate me more if he has to get circumcised when he can remember it, than he will hate me because I circumcised him against his will as a child" argument.
I'd bow to the superior knowledge of a medical professional on this one. But, as I said earlier, common sense suggests to me that this is an example of an ancient practice that has been superseded by the invention of hot running water and shower gel. Another one in quite a long line of religious edicts that may have made sense 2000 years ago in a semi-desert region of a world with a tiny fraction of its current population, but which makes very little sense now.

-- Updated Thu Nov 23, 2017 1:52 am to add the following --

This part is also interesting:
Finally, the foreskin contains approximately 3/4 of a male's stimulatory nerves. This means that uncircumcised men theoretically experience four times the pleasure. Also, the nerves are highly focused in one area and somehow help the man to better control ejaculation. Instead of feeling an all-over feeling of pleasure that results in an often unpredictable explosion, an uncircumcised man is able to control the pleasure in its more localized (but undoubtedly more intense) state. I also learned that circumcision only became prevalent in America in the 1800's during the Victorian era, where it was primarily used to help curtail masturbation in teen boys, the idea being that without the foreskin the experience would be much less pleasurable and therefore, less appealing and addictive.
I hadn't previously realized the extent to which male circumcision serves a similar purpose to female circumcision, which is more widely accepted as being a barbaric assault on girls. It seems that a main part of the purpose is tied to the general idea that sexual pleasure is morally wrong and should be punished with the infliction of pain and shame. The result tends to be societies of people (particularly males) who have learnt that the feelings and desires that they have, which are as natural and essential as eating, sleeping and urinating, are wrong. Often resulting in confusion and anger.

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Re: Circumcision. Seeking opinions based on personal experie

Post by Kathyd » November 22nd, 2017, 9:58 pm

Steve3007 wrote:I don't see why infection has to be a serious risk for people who wash regularly. Having a part of the body chopped off because it might one day become infected seems a bit odd to me.

I wouldn't have considered having either of my two sons circumcised when they are perfectly healthy and capable of keeping themselves clean, any more than I would consider having their legs chopped off just in case they one day get gangrene.
Well, he's had a few infections before, and I'm thinking since I already have other reasons for wanting him circumcised, wouldn't another plus be that he wouldn't have to ever potentially go through that again? I mean, if he ever did develop another infection he might have to be circumcised anyways, so why not just "play it safe" and just do it now so we won't have to worry about it?
Steve3007 wrote: You want to stop your son from masturbating because you think there is some way in which that will cause you trouble, and you want to do that by making it less pleasant, or perhaps more painful? How will it cause you trouble? Why is it a challenge? It's the most natural thing in the world and a perfectly healthy sexual outlet. I think prohibitions against masturbation, which seem so worryingly common, are extremely harmful. There is no such thing as excessive masturbation for a teenage boy.
I know masturbation is "normal" and "natural", but I have to disagree that it's always a "perfectly healthy sexual outlet"or that it cannot be "excessive". Particularly in my case. And my husband basically agrees with me on this. He was masturbating daily, and I'm sorry, I don't think that's "normal" or "natural" for a 11 yr old boy! :shock: And he was also fantasizing about very inappropriate things. I have found japanese cartoon porn on his computer and phone, and several times I've caught him on my computer looking at photo shoots of me in swimwear and lingerie (I model on the side). Now, I'm not a sexual prude but I think that's just WEIRD and I really feel uncomfortable about it, and so yes, if having him circumcised causes him to masturbate less, then I do consider that another good reason to do it.
Steve3007 wrote: This is the oddest one. I guess it goes back to that guy who thought God had told him to kill his son. The idea that you show dedication to God by inflicting pain on another person seems bizarre. If inflicting pain really is a sign of dedication (which I don't think it is) then shouldn't we at least inflict it on ourselves?
It's not about inflicting pain. God has never required physical pain as dedication. That is barbaric. As I said in my OP, it's about sacrificing your sexual pleasure, which all religions have done throughout history. As I said, there is some version of the chaste priest or monk in most religions, and even in godless ones you have people withholding sexual gratification as a means of 'purifying' themselves in meditative practices.

Now, as for people doing it for themselves is concerned, let's look at what the Bible says:

(This is the original covenant God made with Abraham in Genesis 17: 10-14): "This is my covenant with you and your descendants after you, the covenant you are to keep: Every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 You are to undergo circumcision, and it will be the sign of the covenant between me and you. 12 For the generations to come every male among you who is eight days old must be circumcised, including those born in your household or bought with money from a foreigner--those who are not your offspring. 13 Whether born in your household or bought with your money, they must be circumcised. My covenant in your flesh is to be an everlasting covenant. 14 Any uncircumcised male, who has not been circumcised in the flesh, will be cut off from his people; he has broken my covenant."

God commanded Abraham to circumcise babies in verse 12. He says that any male who chooses not to be circumcised is effectively cut off from his people (verse 14) because he has broken God's covenant. God even commands Abraham to circumcise his slaves (those bought with money from a foreigner--those who are not your offspring). It sounds like back then, the only "choice" people had was be circumcised and be a part of God's people, or don't, and not be a part of God's people. I like to think that God commanded that babies 8 days old be circumcised in order to save a lot of grown men from having to go through the pain of fulfilling that covenant (especially without medication back then...ouch!) Abraham had to show that dedication as an adult, but everyone else was mercifully allowed to have it done as an infant before they would be able to remember it and still have it "count" as fulfilling the covenant. So yes, you could definitely let your son decide for himself, but how many grown men will choose to go through the procedure? How many will sit there wishing they'd just had it done before they could consciously remember it? They may wish they had that mark or sign of being part of God's people, but don't have the strength to actually go through with it as an adult, being able to consciously remember the pain, and having already experienced the wonderful sexual pleasure of an intact penis. You could of course argue that many might sit there and wish they'd never had it done as well. And that's where I really think you have to make a personal decision.

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Re: Circumcision. Seeking opinions based on personal experie

Post by Steve3007 » November 23rd, 2017, 4:26 am

Kathyd:
Well, he's had a few infections before, and I'm thinking since I already have other reasons for wanting him circumcised, wouldn't another plus be that he wouldn't have to ever potentially go through that again? I mean, if he ever did develop another infection he might have to be circumcised anyways, so why not just "play it safe" and just do it now so we won't have to worry about it?
I'm not a medical professional and, even if I was, I don't know your son's case. So despite what I've said about my opinions of circumcision I don't have any right to tell you, or your son or husband, what to do, or to condemn you for your decision. Whatever decision you take, I hope it works out well. If he has had infections before then maybe it is the right decision. I don't know.

To be honest, I'd never really thought much before about the rights and wrongs of male circumcision before reading your interesting OP. Where I live (in the UK) apparently it's quite rare now. About 5% or something. So I suppose that's one reason why we never considered it for our sons. Female circumcision (usually referred to as Female Genital Mutilation or FGM) is obviously in the news from time to time. I was surprised to read the research that you have done which suggests there are more similarities between the reasons for doing it for males and females than I thought there were. But maybe there are still genuine medical reasons for doing it to males that don't apply to females.
I know masturbation is "normal" and "natural", but I have to disagree that it's always a "perfectly healthy sexual outlet"or that it cannot be "excessive". Particularly in my case. And my husband basically agrees with me on this. He was masturbating daily, and I'm sorry, I don't think that's "normal" or "natural" for a 11 yr old boy!
I don't know about the age specifically. And I suppose it's difficult to precisely define what is "normal". We're all different. But I really do think that it absolutely is a perfectly healthy sexual outlet. The subject of the sexual fantasies is a different matter. But masturbation, in itself, is essential. Aside from your understandable concerns about the subject matter, what do you think is not perfectly healthy about it?

My experience of being a teenage boy (admitedly a long time ago!) is that it is essential. It's unhealthy not to do it. And, to be absolutely honest with you, only once a day seems quite infrequent! When we're teenagers, and being flooded with testosterone, several times a day is not unusual.

When I was younger, the society I live in (and the slightly awkward and embarrassed attitudes of my parents) still meant that it was something to be kept secret and not discussed with adults, leading to the mistaken idea that it was something to be ashamed of. Thankfully things have changed. My own eldest son (about the same age as your son) has started to talk to me about it in a way that I find very encouraging. I wish that had been possible when I was his age!
And he was also fantasizing about very inappropriate things. I have found japanese cartoon porn on his computer and phone, and several times I've caught him on my computer looking at photo shoots of me in swimwear and lingerie (I model on the side).
I can see how that, particularly the second one, would be disturbing. I don't know how you should deal with that one. But, in general, I think you probably do have to accept that heterosexual males do like to look at pictures of attractive young women without many clothes on! We can debate the rights and wrongs of objectifying women, and lament the fact that us men appear to do that while women tend to get more turned on by the whole person (unlike us shallow men), but i don't think we're ever going to change it. When I was young, before the internet and when pornographic magazines were out of reach on the top shelves of newsagents', it was the underwear section of the Littlewoods shopping catafalque! (That was so common that it's become a cliche.)
Now, I'm not a sexual prude but I think that's just WEIRD and I really feel uncomfortable about it, and so yes, if having him circumcised causes him to masturbate less, then I do consider that another good reason to do it.
As I said, I can see why you'd think certain subject matter is weird. And I can perhaps accept circumcision as a cure for some infections, if people with more medical knowledge than me recommend it. But I DEFINITELY think it would be wrong to mutilate a boy to curtail masturbation. God know what psychological problems and attitudes towards sexual please that stores up. Sorry to say that so honestly, but that is what I think.
It's not about inflicting pain. God has never required physical pain as dedication. That is barbaric. As I said in my OP, it's about sacrificing your sexual pleasure, which all religions have done throughout history. As I said, there is some version of the chaste priest or monk in most religions, and even in godless ones you have people withholding sexual gratification as a means of 'purifying' themselves in meditative practices.

Now, as for people doing it for themselves is concerned, let's look at what the Bible says:...
Abstaining from sex is one thing, with obvious practical reasons, particularly in an age before contraception. Mutilation in order to permanently curtail any form of sexual pleasure is, I think, entirely different.

i suspect that many religious edicts have their origins, to some extent, in practicalities. But practicalities change with time. What might have been a good idea in the middle east 2000 years ago (when washing was infrequent) is not necessarily a good idea now.

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Re: Circumcision. Seeking opinions based on personal experie

Post by Eduk » November 23rd, 2017, 5:05 am

If I am not too late to the party I recommend this site

https://sciencebasedmedicine.org/circum ... ience-say/

The key bit that may be of interest to you is that sexual gratification is unchanged. Of course you have personal experience which contradicts that, but try to remember that that is anecdotal evidence and with a small sample size. Try not to read too much in to your experience alone.

The overall conclusion, for those who don't want to read the whole article, is that science has almost nothing to say on circumcision. Although this was for babies, not soon to be teenagers (I have it somewhere in my brain that as you get older the procedure is less pleasant but I have nothing to back that memory up - although LuckyR agreed).

My personal opinion duplicates that of LuckyR exactly.

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Re: Circumcision. Seeking opinions based on personal experie

Post by Burning ghost » November 23rd, 2017, 12:39 pm

One thing I can say.

I don't think a woman has idea about being a boy or a man. This decision should not really be made by a woman.

Then we have the "lets look what the Bible says" ...

I'm more worried about brainwashing an innocent mind with the ramblings from a 2000+ year old book taken from a long dead social blueprint. But hey! Go ahead and chop his dick and fill his head with drivel! There is currently no law against it and at least he has a fighting chance if sent to a school where evolution is understand as a fact of nature.

All said and done though at least I can congratulate you for coming here and sharing your problem and looking for a reasoned discussion on the topic. Like steve says above, given we don't know the full extent of the circumstances we cannot generally say what is better or worse. I can perfectly understand this kind of ceremony as a passage to manhood or such a thing, yet some of your reasoning seems a little foggy to me. The decision, I really think, is for the male side of the species in this case. I find it worrying that quoting verses from the Bible could be considered even slightly relevant.

My understanding of women is only from a mans perspective and remember that the reverse is just as true.
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LuckyR
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Re: Circumcision. Seeking opinions based on personal experie

Post by LuckyR » November 26th, 2017, 3:47 am

Kathyd wrote:Thank you for all of your honest replies. I really appreciate and value all the different POVs, since this is such a sensitive (no pun intended :lol: ) decision.
Steve3007 wrote: (Nested quote removed.)


in your experience, do many 18 year old boys/men voluntarily choose to have this done? I'm pretty sure I wouldn't have.
Yeah, Lucky, I see your point, but I feel the same way as Steve does here. I can't say too many would want to have it done willingly once their older! Ouch… The problem occurs when they don't want to get it done, but they have to have it done because of an infection or other complication. I have heard of this happening to a few guys, and can only think how painful that would be for them. If I could ensure that would never happen, then I would probably just keep him natural, for sure. But since I can’t, I’m thinking it’s probably best to just do the deed now. It just seems more prudent to do it now, before he develops a painful infection, rather than wait and hope he doesn’t. Then he might have to have it done later anyways, and under even more painful conditions. Oh, choices….
Your conclusion makes a not uncommon statistical error in two separate areas. First, you don't need to be personally responsible for his lifetime penile/foreskin infection risk (probably north of 70 years), you are only responsible for the next seven years, after which time he is responsible and almost certainly will have a more correct opinion than you can have, by definition. The chance, statistically of him having a penile infection REQUIRING an urgent or emergent circumcision in the next seven years is not zero but it is close to zero.

Secondly, therefore you would be giving him a 100% chance of a very uncomfortable and not risk-free procedure and recovery to ward off a nearly zero percent risk chance of an uncommon event. Think of it this way: you mentioned that there are areas of the world where essentially no one gets circ'ed. Very true. If dudes there were getting infections all the time, guess what? They'd come to your current conclusion and change their practice. But they don't.
"As usual... it depends."

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Re: Circumcision. Seeking opinions based on personal experie

Post by Steve3007 » November 26th, 2017, 7:50 am

I'm still a bit taken aback by the whole reducing masturbation thing.

In my ignorance and naivety, before reading this topic I'd assumed that circumcision was simply a religious ceremony whose only practical justification was the reducing the risk of infection one. I honestly hadn't realized that it supposedly reduces sensitivity and therefore is partly motivated by a desire to deter masturbation. So it has more in common with Female Genital Mutilation (FGM) than I had originally thought. I guess we learn something new every day.

So I think it's important that we, as a society, get over these ancient irrational hangups about the perfectly natural act of having a jostle. To quote Woody Allen in the movie Annie Hall:

"Don't knock masturbation. It's sex with someone I love."

(Although I wouldn't want to hold up Woody Allen as an emblem of sexual morality.)

-- Updated Sun Nov 26, 2017 12:52 pm to add the following --

But he is a good source of one-liners.

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