(Much of the following text is part of the Circumpendium:)
Circumcisions on infants and children are performed for a variety of reasons. One thing they all have in common - the consequences they have for those affected. Talking about those consequences is something that costs quite an effort.
Barely anyone is comfortable with the idea of publicly talking about sexual or psychological problems. The inhibition threshold to disclose one's weaknesses and vulnerabilities is high. Many are not even able to overcome the shame face to face with their family, friends or doctors.
In the USA, several groups have been campaigning against the usual routine (non-therapeutic) infant circumcision for over 30 years; in Europe, the debate, which had previously hardly come to public attention, gained a significant boost in the wake of the Cologne judgement of 2012, and found its way into the spotlight of public attention. Since then, more and more negatively affected men have spoken out, and documented their ordeal. The number of unidentified cases must be considerable, since the image of the tough "superman", who is expected to be free from mental and bodily problems, is still very much present in people's consciousness.
Many overcome their problems or blame their symptoms on other causes, to avoid having to face the unpleasant truth that they are suffering from the consequences of an operation their parents caused on the assumption of doing the best for their child. The subconscious refusal to comprehend parts of their upbringing as something negative can be observed in many childhood traumas. Especially in the context of religious circumcision, dealing with with the consequences of the circumcision often also means a critical examination of the religion itself, because, when a ritual that was praised as good and important - that is meant to be a blessing and a gift for the circumcised - is the cause of personal grief, it may put the validity of religious commandments in question. Often religious families and communities lack the understanding and willingness to scrutinize the ritual critically, and those affected are met with little or no empathy.
Many who suffer from the consequences of religiously motivated circumcision and now openly speak out, have broken with their religion, and for many it has burdened their relationship with their parents. I have collected several case histories and tales of woe. Some of the affected have asked for shortening or alteration of their names to protect their privacy. To fully appreciate the courage of sharing the reports of their ordeal with others, I have included their reports in their entirety.
- 1 Hannes M.
- 2 Önder Özgeday, 29
- 3 Anonymous, 25
- 4 Martin Wolper, 39
- 5 Jonathon Conte, 31
- 6 Andreas A.
- 7 See also
- 8 External links
- 9 References
Thinking back to my circumcision, I do not remember physical pain. After all, it was performed cleanly and according to the standards of medical practice in a clinic.
I do not blame my parents, who were acting in good faith, since my paediatrician considered the operation absolutely necessary. It was still the rule that a male foreskin had to be fully retractable by the time you got to school. And mine wasn't. And since I could not pee in a straight line, but only to the side, the "cure" was clear: circumcision.
In the year 1980, a radical removal of the foreskin was the only method of choice for many doctors. And since it was said to be only a tiny intrusion, without any negative consequences, my parents followed the demi-god in white. I only remember very little about the operation and the time following. The most distinct memory is lying in the hospital bed, with a thick bandage around my penis.
Immediately following the circumcision, I was extremely inhibited. I was ashamed, felt like a misfit. I refused to shower with the others after PE classes, because I felt like a monster with a penis that didn't look like a penis. On top of that, there were the awful, bulging scars and for a long time, the unpleasant feeling when my penis rubbed against my underwear. It only faded gradually, and I calmed down.
When I reached puberty and began to be interested in sexuality, I naturally read the sexual education pages in the "Bravo". I still vividly remember how they often wrote about how pretty and hygienic a circumcised penis would be and how long lasting circumcised men were during sex. I believed all of it and claimed it myself for years. I was proud of my circumcised penis and how long I could last.
In my circumcision, the entire foreskin, and therefore all of the sensitive tissue on its inside, was amputated. Since the glans was now exposed as a result, the constant excitation from underwear and the strong friction from masturbating with my hand caused it to become more and more callused and therefore less sensitive. Callused does of course not mean my glans looks like other people's heels. But the surface of my glans is dry, much thicker and often fissured. It is nowhere near what it is on a normal penis: tender, moist, sensitive. My sexuality was always mingled with disappointment. Disappointment that the feelings I had were never so intense. Disappointment that fulfilment often failed to appear. Disappointment about the feeling to give, but not to receive much. Intercourse often ended in my partners' pleas to come to an end, since they where starting to feel pain, while I was often just starting to build up intense feelings at that point.
Due to ignorance, for a long time I blamed it on the individual women. I thought they were frigid or assumed they "just don't know how to do it". Only recently I realised how very wrong I had been. When the urge to experience a sexual "kick" culminated in several adulteries, my marriage was almost ruined as well. Meanwhile, we managed to save our marriage, and I am endlessly grateful to my wife for that. My circumcision has deprived me of a huge part of my sexuality for ever. It not only burdens me a lot, but also my wife, who suffers a great deal from being unable to give me what I desire.
My pathway from being a proponent of circumcision to an opponent was long.
I would have eagerly granted him the "better aesthetics" and "better endurance". In the beginning, I could not understand why my wife resisted and refused to agree to a circumcision. I had always thought she was as convinced by my "enhanced" penis as I was - but that wasn't the case.
Instead she went to see a child urologist. When she saw my son and his harmless phimosis, she was shocked about the flippancy with which our paediatrician wanted to circumcise our son.
A really key experience came two years later. I had by then read on several internet forums that the surface of a circumcised glans gradually becomes thicker and sensitivity fades. So I tried to fight the callused skin with facial defoliant cream. I did not feel any pain, it did not even feel unpleasant.
That was when I slowly realized what I had really lost with the foreskin amputation. I was shocked: what was normal for me my entire life was just a faint "residual sensitivity". I had more sensitivity on my upper arm then on my supposedly most sensitive spot.
This experience also made me understand why so many circumcised men have such a hard time realizing their loss. It is an unimaginably huge step to be able to accept that one has not been refined, but to the contrary, one has lost so much.
I meanwhile found a personal solution. It consists of special latex covers that I use as a foreskin substitute.
The first oral sex after wearing them for about two weeks was incredibly intense. Never before had I felt something like that. Since then, I no longer need desperately to"work" towards reaching climax quickly, but instead I can just let go. Something that I barely knew before: I now can really enjoy sleeping with my wife. And that despite the fact that I still only feel a small portion of what an intact man can.
To me, the circumcision of underaged children or even infants without a pressing medical indication has become an act of bodily assault and abuse of position of trust, no matter if it is performed for religious, traditional or other non-medical reasons.
Önder Özgeday, 29
I was circumcised at the age of 10. Since my parents are of Turkish ancestry, the question of "why" is irrelevant, even though I later learned that a German paediatrician advised it because my foreskin was not retractable.
We all know today that phimosis during childhood is normal and certainly not a reason for circumcision. I think that if I had experienced pain BEFORE the procedure, I would still remember it today. But the pain came AFTER the ritual. The circumciser was a Turkish doctor. To this day I don't know if my parents knew this man beforehand. All I know is that he circumcised many boys in our circle of acquaintances.
I remember my parents preparing me. It would be important and would bring me benefits. It was explained to me as if it was something self-evident. The first visit to the dentist, the first day at school ...
I was neatly dressed and was pretty excited. I would make my parents very proud. I did not want to show fear. I remember the moment when I lay down on the metal table and got out my penis. Full of confidence. Those were my last minutes as a complete human. I got a shot and my lower body became numb. Then he started. I remember the cutting sounds ... blood sprayed in his face. The young assistant helping him looked at me with pity and I did not understand that back then. Wasn't it something nice happening to me? Wasn't it making me into a man? Then the sewing started. When he was done and my penis was packed up in bandages we made our way home. The pain started on the way home. It was unbearable. From this point on I was aware of the betrayal of trust, my betrayal. The pains were so unbearable. And it was to stay that way for months. Infections followed, and the whole thing just refused to heal. The ceremony was due soon as well.
To this day I suffer from the psychological and physical pain. I often hear the term of "rules of medical practice". I doubt my mutilation was done according to them. The pains in my body are everywhere, the cosmetic outcome is miserable. I have the feeling that an amateur mutilated me. I feel betrayed by my parents, by my culture, by Germany. No one protected me, and all of what happened and broke me forever, was legal. I am in therapy up until today, and this experience has marked me forever. When I follow the current debate round here, and see how insensitive and harsh most people are towards this topic, it hurts me a lot. It's about the basic rights of any human! Not about freedom of religion or tolerance. Basic rights are not negotiable. There is even a discussion about benefits and drawbacks. This has to be decided upon by a mature person for himself before he lets his body be modified !!! This goes far beyond parental rights.
Some time ago, I heard of people who stretch their remaining skin with certain devices, to get at least a penis that appears intact. I will start to do this as well, hoping that it will aid my "healing".
I was circumcised at 8 days old during a Jewish bris ceremony. My family is Orthodox Jewish, and they believe that circumcision is a requirement. I witnessed many circumcision ceremonies in my extended family. I always felt very uncomfortable, and some of my uncles would leave the room when the cutting took place. When I started masturbating, I didn't understand that I needed to use lubrication, and so I injured myself. I experienced frequent chafing and bleeding. This still happens if I do not use proper lubrication. I have tight erections. Sometimes when I get erections only the top end of my penis gets erect, starting from the scar midway along my shaft. This condition is known as lymphedema. A few times it has been really painful and it stayed bloated for hours.
I have no frenulum, just scar tissue on the underside of my glans, and therefore no sensitivity under the glans. Unless my glans is moist (which requires external lubrication), I experience virtually no pleasurable touch sensation on my penis. I started restoring almost a year ago, but I have not been doing it regularly because of my active lifestyle. I bike a lot and do lots other activities that require me to be mobile. I think in the near future when I grow more skin I will be able to wear my device while doing such activities. Now I wear my device only 1 to 3 hours per day, and not every day, although I am working on making it more of a habit. One positive result so far is that my shaft skin is more mobile. There are also psychological benefits; doing something to help myself feels really empowering.
Martin Wolper, 39
I was born in the 70s, my older brother had already been circumcised due to an alleged phimosis, and I remember that, from the day I could think, it was said that I had a narrowing of the preputial orifice and when I was about to start to go to school, that it would "have to be done". My parents really believed that, in good faith of doing the best for me. After all, back then in the examination protocols for children as young as two years old phimosis was diagnosed. At an age, where this condition is anatomically totally normal.
I remember the examinations of my foreskin as very unpleasant and painful, and I remember trying to resist them until pre-school age. After that, I believed my parents‘ explanations that it would be necessary and not cause any problems.
A surgeon who was acquainted with my parents was supposed to perform the operation. One time, when I was around 4 years of age, he and his wife came over for dinner, and later on, before bedtime, "Uncle X would examine me". I remember vividly that I was very nervous during dinner, because I didn't want that. Later, everyone - my parents, "Uncle X", his wife and my brother, who had already been circumcised by him - came to my bedroom. I was already lying in bed and I struggled and resisted, my legs were held, my pyjama pants were pulled down, and I cried and still I remember precisely the pain, when my tight foreskin was forcefully pulled back - or rather tried to, because only a small opening could be seen - and my brother laughed at it, and all the other spectators said it wasn't so bad and over soon. The verdict was announced right away: when I got to school, it would "be done".
I also remember the pre-school examination and the school examination in 1st grade very well, when I stood in front of the school doctor, and she pulled down the front of my underpants and immediately tried to pull back my foreskin, which was impossible even in a flaccid state and hurt a lot. Then she said that this would need to be "operated on immediately". In 1st grade, this examination happened in front of the schoolmistress. The conclusion remains that in school medicine of that day no opportunity was missed to subject boys to unnecessary and, in case of the very common narrowings, painful examinations of their penis - with the clear aim to combat all phimoses still present in primary school by complete foreskin amputations. There is no other way to explain this ever-repeated sifting through the school classes.
When my penis was still intact, which was up to almost 7 years of age, I myself never felt any need to pull back my tight foreskin. This was always just of special interest for the doctors. I never had any infections. Only the ballooning during urination was a bit unpleasant, which was also seen as an urgent indicator for an urgent foreskin amputation. What a ridiculous assessment! Today, being almost 40 years old, I stretch my way to a new foreskin with customary devices, and I gain almost half a centimetre a month. For an unhindered flow of urine, it would have taken just few more millimetres of preputial opening. How easily could I have been helped with the most simple methods of careful stretching, without sacrificing my otherwise unscarred and uninfected foreskin.
Even though my parents openmindedly discussed my phimosis with me (sometimes with others as well, which I always perceived as very embarrassing), they never really explained to me how a foreskin was supposed to function. My dad, who was still intact by that time, never showed me the foreskin on his penis and how my penis would look after the circumcision. I only remember my mother once mentioning that a single cut could be placed in the foreskin, but that it would then "hang like rag", so cutting it off would be better, and that a lot of other boys had that, too. A therapy with creams was never tried on me, and people who claimed a phimosis could be treated with stretching were ridiculed. The doctor who was acquainted with my parents, who eventually performed the operation when I was six years old and who had "examined" me several times before (meaning he tried to forcefully retract my foreskin) also wasn't man enough to demonstrate to me how a foreskin was to be retracted and, most importantly, what my penis would look like after the operation. I very vividly remember the moment when I first saw my penis afterwards, deeply shocked about the blood-red naked glans, but the doctor quickly said it had all gone perfectly and that I wouldn't need to be worried.
No one told me beforehand that my penis would be altered in appearance for ever and could never again be experienced in the intended way.
In the following years I didn't really suffer from being circumcised, and due to the doctors' relentless screenings there where several other boys in my class sharing my fate. Puberty didn't change that as well, and I had generally good sex with my girlfriends.
In my 20's, that began to change. I got more and more aware of my differentness, I felt robbed of my intact penis and of the experience of how it would feel with a retractable foreskin. I grew an interest in observing other, intact men. The thought of a flaccid, uncut penis with ample foreskin and especially its movement started to cause strong sexual arousal. To see and to feel what I myself didn't have, wasn't allowed to experience and still wanted so desperately.
I began to increasingly envy intact men for their unadulterated relation to their penis, combined with a feeling of inferiority. This does also increasingly inhibit me towards women, even though I know that women usually have no objections towards circumcised penises.
Three decisions have help me tremendously:
- acting out the "foreskin-fetish", which I developed as a result of adults‘ fixation on my tight foreskin as a child. I have accepted it as a form of bisexuality and learned to enjoy it - to enjoy in others what I myself miss so much. I'll wait and see if that fascination will fade when I hopefully possess my "new" foreskin in a couple of years.
- beginning to restore my foreskin. Finally I can experience being the master of my own body again, and to step out of the passiveness that something has happened to me. The results of this measure is a re-sensitivization of the glans and the remaining inner foreskin, to a degree I never expected and never thought possible. This proves to me by my own experience, HOW MUCH sexual sensitivity is destroyed by circumcision, partly for ever, partly actually recoverable.
- No one has the right to do that to someone else.
- ANYONE affected is AFFECTED, regardless if he is aware of it, if he is happy or unhappy. I wasn't aware of it for 25 years, and still I was severely limited in my sexual experience the whole time.
- I want to encourage every man to engage in the search for that lost sensitivity. It belongs to us!
- My coming out publicly concerning my own experiences of circumcision in the wake of the debate about the recent full legalization of forced circumcision for any reason. The proponents have provoked and hurt me with their outrageous statements in such a way, that I could not abstain from publicly speaking out and getting involved.
Finally, I want to say that I am very glad to see that it seems to be most common these days to treat phimosis first with creams, sparing more boys circumcision more often. Today, I would maybe have been spared as well ... in any case, my example shows that at primary school age, one is simply too young to grasp the late effects of such an irreversible intervention, and that even with sympathetic support by my parents, feelings of powerlessness and being at someone‘s mercy still persist.
Jonathon Conte, 31
As a child, I grew up believing that my body was whole. I grew up assuming that my penis looked and worked the same as any other. I grew up thinking that the scar on my genitals was just a natural part of my body and that all men had it. I grew up figuring that the soreness brought on by clothing and masturbation were normal aspects of being a guy. I never questioned why so many types of underwear were painful, I only found it strange that anyone could manage to wear them.
I was about 14 years old when I learned that part of my penis had been cut off. It seems like this is something that one might realize earlier in life and yet I never did. I was never taught about normal male anatomy and no one ever explained to me that I had undergone genital surgery as an infant. When I learned the devastating truth, my stomach sank and my throat closed up.
It wasn't easy for me to accept reality. Even though I understood that part of my body had been removed, I was in denial about the implications of this fact. I battled with depression, particularly whenever I had to see my penis. Each time that I got undressed to take a shower, I would see the scar and I would be reminded of what was stolen from me. Each time that I urinated, I would be reminded that I would never know how my body was meant to look and how my body was meant to feel. I felt violated and helpless. I felt embarrassed and angry. I felt robbed and betrayed. I felt incomplete and damaged. And yet, I was incapable of verbalizing any of this. I was paralysed by embarrassment of my condition and by fear that others would neither understand nor sympathize.
It took over a decade of trying to cope with my emotions before I gained the strength to take a closer look at the issue. I read about the functions of the intact penis. I studied the numerous physical, physiological and psychological problems that result from male circumcision and I began to recognize many of them in my own life. I learned of the way that babies are restrained during the surgery and the various techniques that are used to rip, clamp, crush, and cut their tiny bodies. I came to understand the greed, arrogance, and ignorance that perpetuates the genital mutilation of children.
So now I speak out. Because I don't want any other child to have to make the same painful discovery that I did: That they were denied their human right to keep the whole body with which they were born.
(Jonathon Conte is an events coordinator for Bay Area Intactivists. He is proud to have served on the Committee Opposing Forced Male Circumcision which gathered the signatures of over 12,000 San Francisco voters in support of the San Francisco Male Genital Mutilation Bill. This speech, which he kindly provided me with, was held at the AAP Conference in New Orleans in October 2012)
„I was not really a boy anymore“ - Circumcision: experience report of an affected person - October 2013
I was circumcised at the age of about 8 years in the early nineties. The reason for this was that my foreskin did not retract easily and it hurt to urinate. My parents drove my sister and me to an urologist. There I was laid on a couch and the doctor examined me, while my family stood by and watched. I felt humiliated and embarrassed, but apparently they did not worry about my feelings. After a short time the result of the examination was announced: I had to be circumcised.
My parents had indeed heard of the foreskin, but did not know what it was exactly. But the doctor calmed my parents, saying it was only a small cut and then I would be free of the problems forever. My parents did not learn more. Neither were they informed about the alternatives to being circumcised, nor were they told everything is cut and what effect this would have.
Since there seemed to be no big deal, my parents agreed and we drove an appointment a few days later in the hospital. There I was, “according to the rules of medical science”, i.e. under additional local anesthesia and general anesthesia cut radically, that is the entire foreskin was removed. The surgery went as planned and there were no complications. When I was woke up in the hospital from the anesthesia, I still did not worry because I had been told that it was only a small cut. That same day we were able to drive home.
But already on the way the anesthesia wore off and the pain came. It began to burn terribly and with every movement, a sharp pain shot through me. At home, I could then take a look at the result of circumcision, because I had no [surgical wrappings], but only a kind of loincloth made of bandages around my penis. The first look was a shock for me. It just looked terrible. The glans was colored bright red and below was the swollen and blue tarnished wound with dark red edges of the wound, from the dark blue threads were held together. Was this the "small cut" done there? I had not been prepared because no one had told me what all would be cut off. My parents were surprised that so much had been cut off.
In the days after the surgery I had severe pain. On the one hurt the fresh wound, and came to the pain that was caused by the fact that the now unprotected glans constantly rubbing on cloth bandage. It was particularly bad when urinating, because it was scorching and therefore I could let it run only dribs and drabs. My mother made me then regularly use a lukewarm liquid in which I had to dip my penis. I did not know for what good it did, because it did not relieve the pain. The odor of this liquid has so burned into my memory that I can still clearly remember even today.
During the healing phase, I could not wear pants, and even the blankets in bed were not possible without pain. However, that was not my biggest problem. Were much worse for me the psychological effects. I felt mutilated and incomplete. I was of the opinion that I could not be a real boy anymore because something has been cut away from the penis and I had no full body more. Could what was left be called a "penis" at all? A penis always includes the foreskin.
Several times I asked my mother if it would grow back, what had been cut away, but I never got a concrete reply.
It took several days before I could go back to school. My classmate asked me, why I had been so long absent from school and whether I was sick, but I gave them no answer. It was not only too embarrassing, but I had such inhibitions that I did not even mention a single word about it. My teacher, however, told the class about my circumcision and what it did. In the very first hour of class she spoke about it. She told the students what is done at a circumcision and said that it was not bad at all. I felt exposed and betrayed, but even here no one seemed to be interested in my feelings. Of course, my teacher meant well, but while I was at the center of the conversation, but I just felt like an outsider.
I stayed in that school until the end of elementary and beyond, but I began to close myself off from my classmates. The whole class knew now that I was mutilated and I was not a real boy more. My already weak self-confidence was thereby greatly damaged. From then on, I felt uncomfortable in school and often had abdominal pain. It was especially bad on days on which we had physical education. While in the locker room we were never completely naked and had never took off our underwear, even this situation scared me. It would eventually be can someone runterzog [take off?] my pants and you mocked me.
After primary school I went to high school -- it was an all-boys school. Since I still did not feel like a real boy, I felt out of place there from the beginning. This fact in connection with my low self-confidence made sure that I hardly made any friendships and isolated me from my classmates. In the second year at this school we got swimming lessons. The pool was just a great all students locker room. The other boys apparently had no problem with it, before the eyes the others move out, and walked around there freely. With a feeling of envy I had to see that they had a full body and still had what had been cut off my body. It gave me the unbearable feeling of being inferior, and I was ashamed of my incomplete body. So no one was allowed to see my mutilated penis and figure out I was not a real boy. It was also incredibly embarrassing to me that my penis was completely exposed and you could see the most intimate part of my body. In nearly panic, I looked for the most inconspicuous corner and waited with the Relocate [?] until most classmates were ready and I felt unobserved.
For a time, this tactic worked, but one day I spoke to a classmate about my behavior. He realized that I was ashamed to show myself naked, spoke to me courage and waited for me. I moved on a frantic heartbeat before his eyes. When he saw that I was circumcised, he suddenly stopped talking and stared at me with a pitying look. I turned around and pulled my [suit on] quickly to continue. I was totally embarrassed that he saw me and felt physically exposed. More than that, I had at that moment lost control of it, to determine if someone found out about my circumcision. I don’t know today whether he kept it to himself or told others in class. This uncertainty caused that I did not trust my classmates and even felt a little threatened by them.
The whole situation at this school gave me great stress and increasingly I always got frequent headaches. My absenteeism increased and my grades were always worse. After several visits to the doctor to find a solution to this problem, I was sent to the school psychologist to find out the cause of my problems. Even after several appointments, I could not think how to tell him the real problems. I never talked to anyone about it and my parents sensed nothing during my school years about my problems with circumcision.
Eventually, I was unable to stay at this school, due my high absenteeism. I went to another school for secondary school, where my situation improved somewhat again. No one knew of my mutilation and that I was not really a boy anymore. There were a few situations where I had to be careful that no one saw me naked or otherwise, of my obvious circumcision.
In religious education, there was the situation in which talked about religions where the boys are circumcised. I found the subject very embarrassing and I hoped that no one would notice and find out that I myself was circumcised. I feared the teacher would ask us who was circumcised, but fortunately that failed to materialize.
What I noticed was, however, as harmless and of course the topic was presented. I had quite a different experience, but I was too embarrassed to talk about it. Otherwise I had during the school day fear more school trips, because here the Risk was that someone saw me in the shower. Therefore, I rarely went into the shower and was careful that no one was near. The fear of the showers was also that kept me from doing in my spare time sport. Similarly, it would be inconceivable for me been on public toilets to go to the urinal.
The discovery of sexuality
Sometime during my school days I started with masturbation, which without foreskin was not quite simple. First I tried with a dry hand to rub the glans, but except unpleasant to painful feelings nothing further happened. I then tried different techniques and tools such as soft cloth from which it although somewhat worked, with which I also sometimes minor injuries, such as Abrasions on the glans, drew upon. Eventually I came up with the idea as shampoo to use a lubricant. It worked quite well for a short time, but ultimately it dried the Skin quite strong, so that created fissures on the surface of the glans and for some time no more pain-free masturbation was possible. It took a long time until I right had found techniques and lubricant with which the masturbation without major problems was possible. Especially during the time of experimentation I wished again my foreskin back. I just wanted to be a normal boy.
Meanwhile, I had finally given up the hope that my foreskin grow back would and so I had to somehow come to terms with my condition. I wish my foreskin back and tried many times to imagine what it would be like to have a foreskin. The Certainty that nothing would change in my condition caused an oppressive feeling and I wondered how I could endure my life that way. In the youth magazine "Bravo" I read at that time, that it is quite normal to be circumcised, and therefore no one Has disadvantages. These statements came as naturally called, because it would mean that I could lead a normal life and should not worry about that. I tried to convince myself that only a small useless piece of skin was removed and that I actually should have no problems with it. I suppressed my problems, but has been very successful I did not order.
At every opportunity, the problems came up again and again. It was enough of, if, for example, by trimming hedges or right was the speech and I was immediately reminded of my circumcision and my imperfect body. Still felt I envy and a sense of inferiority when I thought of that other boy a were allowed to have their whole body and not on intimate area of her body piece had been cut away. In this situation, it was still almost impossible for me to build my confidence. One few times, I still took all my courage and spoke with a friend or classmate about my circumcision and the problems I had with it. However, the subject was in each case downright stalled, even before I had ever uttered. My problem was simply not taken seriously, and yet circumcised with phrases such as "There are so many guys, this is quite normal." or "It is much more hygienic and can be much longer during sex." recklessly dismissed.
The first relationship
I was already 18 years old when I got my first relationship - that is, in my case, my first Friend - had. Before that I had indeed been longing for a loving friend, but was long Time with my body so dissatisfied that a relationship for me was out of the question. I was Fear of being rejected because of my imperfect body and also wanted anyone do my mutilated penis. I also felt in the presence of other Boys still inferior.
So then I met my first boyfriend know. The first question posed to me was how he would react when he first sees me naked. I suppose I could with my incomplete body does not meet his expectations completely. Also, I had anyway Inhibitions to show me somebody naked.
Finally it came to first sexual Contacts with him. We lay together in bed when he suddenly went into my pants with his hand. He began the skin on my penis around, obviously trying to pull, not mine to move existing foreskin. My heart was racing and I began to tremble, for now he would find out that I was circumcised. Then after a short time when he actually noticed that something was wrong, he asked me if I was circumcised. So now the moment had come, where I had to tell him. With difficulty I managed a quiet "yes" out. To my surprise seemed not seem to mind, because he showed no negative Reactions. However, his touches were still not much more pleasant, because he simply did not know how to deal with a circumcised penis. Conversely, it was otherwise, because I did not know how to deal with an uncircumcised penis had.
Apparently I added him to pain, as I rubbed my hand just above his penis. He then showed me how I had before and push the foreskin back at him, which for me is a fascinating feeling was that I did not know before. Another surprise for me was that his penis hardly smelled. I had heard that it is always damp under the foreskin and therefore quickly forms a strong smell, but both did not apply. Although it was already many hours ago since, my friend had recently washed, to my amazement was hardly a smell perceptible.
Less enjoyable for me it was the difference between a circumcised and a to experience intact penis. So far I can only speculate as an intact penis in detail looks like and I did not even know how the foreskin works. Now I had the first time direct comparison and I had a number of negative effects of circumcision with me notice. Besides the obvious difference being that my foreskin was missing, the glans lay under it was only a thin scar line, I noticed at first sight clear color - and structural differences. While he was a delicate purple, pink foreskin and a Acorn had a smooth surface, my penis was pale and had more of a gray-brown color. Moreover, the surface was not smooth, but a dry and slightly shriveled Skin layer, a thin cornea that had formed over the years, because of the Protection of the glans through the foreskin was missing.
But not only in appearance but also in the sensitivity, there were clear differences. Unlike my friend who reacted very sensitive to touch, it took with me have a fixed pressure, so I felt anything at all. Since me with the sensitive inner foreskin is an erogenous zone was cut away and the glans due to lack of protection was dulled with time; I was mainly at the edge sensitive glans, where a few millimeters residual foreskin and circumcision scar was. Had at this point my friend touch with firm pressure and with the help of lubricant, so I sufficiently was stimulated. If he did not touched me in the right place, I felt a little something and when the handle was too hard or not enough lubricant, it quickly became uncomfortable and sometimes painful. It took quite a while to get my friend had taught the proper technique. He told me often during this time, how easy it but whether in its intact ex-boyfriend was, and what else he could have done to him what with me was not possible. It is therefore not the case that only a small piece of skin missing and the circumcision has no major influence on sexuality, as is often claimed.
For me it has the appearance, decrease its sensitivity and by the lack of foreskin and the sexual design options limited. I realized that my penis is not as worked and provided more than ever, I felt my body as mutilated. After about half a year my boyfriend broke from me again. He told me afterwards, that he finds a circumcised penis boring, but not what is the reason for the separation. What little confidence I had built up until then, was one stroke back destroyed. In my relationships I had since then, I remembered it again and again and had each time been re afraid of the moment when I had to admit circumcised be. Fortunately, there was only this one negative reaction my first friend, the others it was relatively unimportant - at least they said it that way.
In every relationship I had to the following begin again to teach my partners, as they had to deal with me, since none of them previously had a circumcised friend. It always took a long time until it smoothly worked. As long as I just had to lend a hand to an orgasm, which was unsatisfactory not only for me but also for my partner. In addition to that particular the need of lubricant usually bothersome, unpleasant or even disgusting was. Overall, it was hardly possible to enjoy a natural and carefree sexuality. The only exception was a sexual partner who was also cut at this point. He knew already, but in this case the sex was unsatisfying for me. I was already clear I find that a circumcised penis unattractive, because it just seems to me mutilated and I order a lot of negative associations linking.
These feelings were wrong during sex all around in my head time, so simply nothing worked. In an intact sexual partners I feel even negative emotions such as grief for their own loss and Envy, but these feelings can hide themselves much better.
The circumcision debate
For several years, I have a boyfriend who is just fine with my circumcision so I could suppress the topic quite well at this time. I rarely came in depressive Phases, which I previously had a lot more often. But changed the circumcision debate in 2012 the back. The judgment of the District Court of Cologne, the circumcision as injury evaluated, was very surprising to me, because there was no question for me that it comes to a Injury is. There is finally a useful part of the body removed, to a series leads to negative consequences, as I had to experience it on your own body. What the debate for me made so onerous were the newspaper articles and commentaries in which the circumcision almost unbearable, it has been trivialized. It was frightening for me to determine how little people knew about the effects of circumcision. Circumcision was shown partly as a harmless procedure that is comparable to vaccination or cutting hair.
The circumcision debate, and especially the comments trivializing attended me for it, that the painful memories of my circumcision came to the fore again. I was forced to investigate this issue myself again. I realized how much the circumcision had affected my life so far. The effects of my circumcision make even now, 20 years later, felt. It leaves a distinct mark when grow up with the feeling of not being a real boy, and thereby inferior years feels. I still have low self-confidence, which in my life in many Ways limits. Especially in professional life that is still a big problem for me. I am dissatisfied with my body and the physical disadvantages of circumcision. The ever more progressive desensitization is noticeable.
Meanwhile, I have during sex active and focused work towards orgasm and it cannot just relax and enjoy. Often these efforts are in vain. Even today, I am reminded every day of my circumcision. So much so that even anyone going to the toilet and the sight of my circumcised penis gnaws on my mood. At some point, enough is enough and I'll be back regularly in depressive phases. My friend tells me in such moments, so that it cannot go on and I think he's right. Currently I find out about psychotherapy and hope that I thus at least a part of my Problems getting to grips with.
However, since the circumcision debate I can handle more open with my circumcision. While I have it hidden for 20 years, I can now talk about it. I have started with friends and colleagues about circumcision and also my personal Problems to talk to. In doing so I often find that my interlocutors little about know the subject and misinformation that are still widespread. But at least my problems are now being taken somewhat seriously and not as it used to directly quashed. I was also concerned with, share with them via the Internet or just read about their experiences. I realized that many other men have such problems, and these places are amazingly similar.
The conversation with the parents
After talking with many people about it, I also spoke for the first time my parents of my circumcision. They did not at all that I so such problems and had also still have. They led my problems in school do not flow and since I had never spoken to them about it, they thought it was fine for me, to have been circumcised. I have them also on the physical and mental health problems told that I have since then, but I did not feel that they the full extent of my Problems comprehend. Especially my father, my problems do not seem to understand. My parents cannot imagine the consequences of their decision had on my life is. They have thus determined in a manner of my life today, as it is not for them. They have determined about my current physical and mental state. They also have deep encroached my sexual self-determination, by having made sure that I do not can learn normal sexuality. Although I assume that my parents only the best for I wanted and not have decided otherwise would have because the doctor did not properly had cleared, I see the relationship with my parents as a burden.
I ordered from my parents also exactly the problems that I had at that time report. So far I assumed that I had a tight foreskin (phimosis) and therefore cut was, with a phimosis itself only in the rarest cases, requires a radical circumcision. But what my parents told me not listened to for a phimosis. It seemed rather as be that easy for me, the foreskin is still fused to the glans in childhood, had not been properly replaced and the removal process did not go completely smoothly. When so, my circumcision would be difficult to justify, as it is, this is a ordinary process. Today I know that the vast majority of medical justified circumcision is unnecessary because there are other promising measures such as are ointment therapy and foreskin-sustaining interventions or because the problem in many cases with themselves over time done. When I look at all this together, I have to assume that with me no compelling need for a circumcision was. I nevertheless has been tweaked and now has to live with the drawbacks, is more depressing. I would have wished that my parents are better informed and more patience with my former would have had problems.
About half a year I started with a manual foreskin reconstruction. There the shaft skin is stretched and with time forms on the train points under the skin after. Although it can not restore the sensitive tissue of the foreskin, but the one can thus produce an almost normal appearance, and the other protects the so-produced the glans skin, which then can regenerate a bit far. When pausing the elongation, I make sure with a rubber attachment that the glans is protected around the clock from friction. At night I wear in addition to a cornea-dissolving moisturizer.
This treatment shows first effect already. The color of the glans is going to return to normal and the sensitivity has increased a little. Overall, it will take several years, until enough skin has formed to cover the glans. While it will never be like a real foreskin all its functions, but I can at least the physical effects of my circumcision somewhat mitigated. So far, the skin has already become a little looser, so that they at erections less stressed. It's not much, but even such little progress has help me a lot continue to build my self-confidence.
Another attempt to build my self-confidence is to do sports, to me feeling more comfortable back in my body. So far I have in my life as good as any sports made, and little care of my body, because for me it just does not make sense made. After all, he had been mutilated and it would stay forever. Meanwhile, I 'm but believe that I can achieve that progress. A sportier character in connection with at least one optically reconstructed foreskin is safe for both my well-being as well boost my self-confidence. Therefore, I have decided to regularly go to the gym to go. From the very first appointment I was also forced me my greatest to provide fears and showers to go there. For me it was a great challenge to me pull out a room in which other men are. My legs were shaking so much, that the pulling me alone caused difficulties. I felt again as in Swimming lessons in the school, but I got used to it after a short time situation. I took a shower, dried off and got dressed again - it was done and no one had bothered that I am circumcised. It was a great feeling, this situation, before I was always afraid to experience than normal.
Meanwhile, more than a year has passed since the Cologne court ruling and we have a law that allows parents to circumcise their sons, just because they want it. In a society, which is only slightly aware of the far-reaching consequences of circumcision, this law causes a lot of suffering. Many people in Germany are unnecessary although circumcision already critical, but the understanding of the full extent of the problem still seems to be very widespread. Still be the most common Misinformation disseminated, partly self-critical set of people. Currently I am involved in it, to establish a society of and for genital self determination of children used especially of boys. I want there with the experience of my circumcision contribute to the suffering of many circumcised men is recognized in society and belong to the past unnecessary circumcisions.
- How It Feels to Be Circumcised as an Adult, VICE, 2015-03-31
- Infant male circumcision is genital mutilation, The Guardian, 2011-12-06
- The Tip of the Iceberg - Men who resent being circumcised