Thursday, September 15

I Bet You Never Knew....

exactly how amazingly-made the man-stick, bacon rod, beastus maximus, Captain Winky, purple-helmeted spartan of love, wang, dong, wiener, Flesh rocket or whatever you've named your Johnson really is! Before you write me off as a total perv, let me explain!

When we talked about circumcising our baby, not knowing it would actually be a girl, we both had a lot of reservations about it. When we asked a doula friend what she thought, her opinion was hard for me to wrap my mind around. She argued that to circumcise the penis was to mutilate it. I didn't quite buy that explanation because Conrad's wee-wee sure doesn't look "mutilated". He really only complained for a day or two after his surgery and it doesn't seem so bad... I've always imagined that a circumcised peen would look more appealing than one that wasn't, having never seen an erect uncircumcised wang though, it's hard to judge that theory. You might want your sons "kick stand" to look like his Dads. I wouldn't want my son to be judged or made fun of in the locker room if his "big Lebowski" wasn't circ'd like the other dudes. And what if woman reject him because of his extra skin? (I guess that wouldn't be so bad actually.... it might help keep him pure during the very hormonal teen years. Maybe? I wouldn't want him to be with someone who didn't accept him as he was anyway.)

I think after seeing this video, and actually learning how the uncircumcised "man-asaurus rex" worked, visually seeing the job of the foreskin, kind of got both Dustin and I thinking. Is it really our right to alter our child's penis without his consent? Just because we think it "looks" better? We aren't so sure that circumcision is the way to go, just as we knew that culturally, even though cesarean birth is considered a normal way to birth a baby,  it wasn't the way we felt our baby should be born, (if there weren't life or death complications during birth.) Our feelings are very mixed having learned more about the topic.

Did we take away from our son, the choice to be cut or not to be cut?
Could sex really be that different for him if he hadn't been cut?
Is circumcision a cultural thing that we just "do" to our kids, making that decision to alter their body in a way that they might not want?
Would our son resent us if he were never circumcised? 

I highly recommend watching this video. The information in it will really get you thinking. 
Tell me what your thoughts are on the topic. I'm really interested to know how you feel.

It makes me feel kind of strange having made that choice for him. 
My feelings are very mixed. 

*Please only share your thoughts once you've viewed the video.

Ps, I'm not (that big of) a perv.
Pss, It's ok to be passionate about your opinion or disagree with me.
It won't hurt my feelings. 


  1. We had our son circumcised and I regret it to this very day! I was so against it but my husband was for it and of course his family was for it too. I felt pressured. If I could go back in time I wouldn't have done it, and have let him choose later on in life. It was a HORRIBLE experience for me, and really regret doing that to my baby.

    It is definitely a culture thing. Back in the day circumcision was only done on the rich folk, then as time went on it became the norm. It is so sad, I feel awful altering my son's body just for "culture's" sake.

  2. I feel regret not having had any research on circumcision. I never watched a video on how it's done, I didn't read about why we actually do it, if it had any actual medical evidence of helping him in any way, I had never actually spoken to an uncircumcised grown man and gotten his view on it (is it hard to clean, do woman not like it, do you know like it, does it stink....were you teased?) I feel like with the second baby, I'm starting to question EVERYTHING and I need to KNOW the why's and what's about my kids.

    Thanks for sharing.

    Ps, THANK YOU Janelle for enlightening me with this video!

  3. As a person with upwards of twenty piercings and a handful of tattoos, I view circumcision as (among other things) permanent body modification. That's not the kind of decision I would want someone else to make for me. So Rob and I are leaving the decision up to the owner of the body in question.

    If my son wants (or needs) to be circumcised later in life, it will be his call.

    Also, maybe it's because I have never (in this lifetime) been a person with a penis—but I cannot wrap my mind around the "he'll look like Dad" position. I can't imagine it mattering to a man that his penis looks or doesn't look like his father's! But, as I say, I've never had a penis. Maybe that kind of thing is super-important in some way I and my female body could never appreciate.

  4. P.S. I didn't mean for that to come off sounding judgmental. I just wanted to share how my partner and I came to the conclusion we did.

  5. I had both boys circ'd. I'm Jewish (so the boys are as well), so for us it was a religious decision. I did not watch Xav's, but I did sit in a nearby room cringing everytime I heard his cries. A day or two of discomfort followed, as well as a few weeks of the foreskin trying to grow back over and us having to pull it down. I felt horrible for doing that to him, but I didn't know the difference between circ'd and uncirc'd. With Grayson we decided to circa again, and this time I sat trough the procedure with him. Watched as the doc numbed the area, clamped the penis, and made the cut. Apparently Grayson was tougher...once he had his bink, all was right in his world. And he hasn't had any issues since.

    My nephew, on the other hand, isn't circ'd because my sister-in-law saw a video of how it's done and she couldn't bear putting her son through that torture. Our boys are 3mos apart, so I guess they can compare when they become sexually active.

    Oh, and another reason...I know the procedure is extremely painful for men later in life, and as diabetes runs on both sides of my family we decided to have it done.

  6. I wonder though if a man is numbed just as a baby is numbed and goes through a few days of discomfort, wouldn't a baby's pain be the same as a man's pain? If it's really painful for a man (who could articulate is pain, unlike a baby really) wouldn't it be just as painful for a man?

    Just curious.

    And I think parents should be allowed to sit next to their child while the surgery is being done. I wasn't allowed to be in the room, I wasn't even sure how it was done until I watched a video, but I think parents should so it happen and know how it happens. Just so you're very aware of how it happens AND so you can comfort your baby yourself.

    Good comments though! Thanks for sharing.

  7. Very interesting video. I've thought some about this topic but still don't have a concrete answer. I keep telling myself to read and remind (or educate) myself on why in the first place men were circumcised in the Bible. Because, for me as a Christian... I think that is why we have circ'd to get the procedure without even thinking about it. Although, the New Testament does talk about the freedom of being uncirc'd. In which, I feel that more and more children aren't being circ'd now days (as in the last couple years).

    My mother gave birth to me and my two brothers at home naturally. My older brother was circ'd in a hospital a few weeks after he was born. My mom said the experience was horrible. He was strapped down kicking and screaming. For my little brother, (I actually can remember the day, haha) my parents (although not Jewish but Christian) has a rabbi come to our house. The rabbi circ'd my little brother on our kitchen table. My dad by his head distracting him and my mom holding his feet. It was quick, easy, stress free, and lil brother only made a peep. My mom said it was night and day experience difference.

    So, if my husband and I opt to get our son circ'd I'd probably try going the rabbi way too at home.

    I have heard that when circ'd as a adult it's extremely painful and recovering them is twice as long. But, again I'm a women so I really don't know.

  8. First of all, thanks for giving me a good laugh with all your ween-euphemisms! You crack me up.

    It's inaccurate to say male circumcision is equivalent to female circumcision (aka Female Genital Mutilation) but the similarities of the justifications of the two are significant. Think about it: "culture", "religion", "cleanliness", "social norms". Most of us would be appalled at the idea of messing with our daughter's junk in such a way, but many thoughtlessly use the same justifications for their sons. Intact weens aren't any dirtier than an unwashed vagina and our mothers had no problems showing us how to rinse it off in the shower. And the culture excuse is just a cop-out.

    Ultimately, I would have to say that circumcision is up to the parents. I don't *like* to see it, but the damage, in most cases, is probably minimal. But its is a completely POINTLESS procedure and I'll be happy to see it go out of style.

    Anyway, I appreciate you bringing up the topic and making a highly personal subject funny and approachable! I think, no matter what parents end up choosing, they are most responsible for informing themselves on the topic and being realistic about their reasons for choosing circumcision.

  9. We have not a single regret about circumcising Isaac.

    While Ben was in the military, he was friends with several guys who were not circumcised. They decided to do it as men, which they would all argue is thousands of times more painful. Apparently men get lost of boners at night? Well, every time they would get one while sleeping it would pull on the bandages and they would wake up in excruciating pain, to the point of tears. And they even took longer to heal and it was much easier to get an infection. I guess you could say their mothers gave them a choice, but it ended up being the "wrong" choice to them. They all wished their parents had done it for them as babies.

    I think there are reasons the law had Israel circumcise their boys on the 8th day. (one being that it's not until the 8th day that their bodies can fully blood clot correctly, which is why we waited until day 8 with Isaac). But also because they won't remember the pain. And I honestly don't think it's as painful. It heals faster and easier.

  10. We chose not to circumcise either of our boys. With my oldest boy, I had decided I wanted to birth naturally and delay vaccinations. I felt like I had been doing a lot of research and decision-making, so I decided to leave this decision to the penis-holding member of the relationship. :) He is circumcised, but, after reading up on it, he said it was not necessary and we should avoid it. I had a hunch that would be my conclusion if I had done the research anyway, so I agreed. I did tell him if he decided to have it done to our boys, that I wanted it performed on the 8th day, by a Jewish mohel (the "guy" who does it in Jewish tradition), if we could find one who would do the circumcision on a Christian boy.

    It's also interesting to note that the circumcision of the Bible is not the same as a circumcision performed today. To my understanding, Biblical circumcision was much smaller, almost just a slit, whereas now, a (relatively) large section of skin is removed.

    And, yes, it's happening less and less. When my oldest son was born, over 5 years ago, it was about 50/50 on the West Coast (I only remember the info from the US), and the number of parents choosing to leave their boys "whole" has risen since then.

  11. Chelsea, I cannot believe they didn't allow you to be in the room while they did the procedure! :-(

    And Catherine, I agree with you that it is a pointless procedure and it actually will go out of style soon.

    The men on my side of the family are not circumcised but the men on my husband's side of the family are. So I was stuck in the middle, and ultimately circumcised just for the sake of having my husband's and my son's penis look "alike". Dumb! Like I said, I really do regret it, and I hope my baby is never angry at me for altering his body.

  12. It's not just because we want to make it look better, it's for sanitary purposes as well. For instance my son got constant bladder infections when we decided not to do it. We obviously cleaned him well but bacteria just gets trapped. We decided to do it when he was 1, poor child, and no more issues. Also, my friends husband is not and she makes him take a shower before sex even if he already has that day because of the smagma issue. Google that image if you want to go blind. YUGHCH! Barf.

  13. Women produce smegma, too—under the hood of the clitoris and around the labia minora. It's part of having a healthy male or female body, and a natural lubricant.

    Or maybe we should start cutting off our daughter's clitoral hoods and labia minora!

    (That was meant to sound judgmental, for the record. I take umbrage with the "genitals are gross" attitude.)

  14. All I'm sayin is my man ain't circ'd and I have two under two. Doesn't seem to be an issue here :]
    We've decided to not circ our future boys since we are educated on how to care for the uncirc'd penis. As Christians we know that Jesus's blood has taken care of any blood sacrifices that were once required of us :]

  15. I fully agree with you mae and noelle. great comments.

    I learn somethin' new everyday!

    Good stuff.

  16. LOVE this post. I researched this to death when I was pregnant with Nolie and all the information made my decision easy. This pregnancy I was faced with the idea of cutting it as being a form of taking away body autonomy. I won't presume to make a choice for my son that he can one day make for himself. Obviously with babies we make decisions about their bodies daily, ones for their health and safety- circ'ing doesn't fall under either category and therefore I won't do it.

    My husbands initial response, last time, was that it was biblical- till he actually read the bible (on this topic specifically) and then he came to me, in tears, saying "we have no blood sacrifice left to give" . (basically what Mae is saying) and we just sat and rejoiced in that and how beautiful it is.

  17. I have had two adult males talk openly with me about being uncircumcised and both of them seemed to be very happy this way. In fact, I would venture to say that they were more pleased with their sexual relationships than many of the circumcised men I've known and talked to. Perhaps their pleasure was just something that came with their personalities, but the experiences they shared did influence my opinion that circumcision should be avoided. Now, between seeing this video and having read articles that discuss how painful the procedure really is for babies, my opinion is even stronger.

    This post got me thinking about two of the common fears that come with not circumcising: First, the fear of the man being rejected by women. As someone who has seen a few uncircumcised penises (sorry if that's TMI), the appearance isn't THAT different...and it certainly isn't unattractive (as many cultural references seem to suggest). Furthermore, I think that a respectable woman would find joy in the increased pleasure her partner experiences by being uncircumcised. And as for the fear of being teased by other (circumcised) boys: I agree with Catherine and Lea-- that the practice should go out of style. Many people are already thinking that these days, which means that many more boys will be growing up with uncircumcised peers and it won't be such a big deal.

    My husband and I are hoping to have a boy someday. I know that my husband is of the opinion that our son should be circumcised, mostly for the whole "like father, like son" issue, but I'm hoping that he'll keep an open mind. Videos like this one would be great to show him.

    Thanks for bringing up the topic and sharing this video.

  18. very informative, and kinda hilarious (all those penis nicknames are a hoot! but you forgot one..."crawl the warrior king" sp? LoL From How To Lose a Guy In 10 Days. funny movie;)

    Anyway, thanks for being so open Chelsea! I wasn't very informed at the time our little boy was circumcised...we did it because Adam (my husband) was circ'd, for cleanliness, and tradition/culture I guess. Wow, writing that I'm a bit embarrassed at how passive it sounds. Adam was there to watch it...even recorded it (which made our doctor a bit nervous, for legal purposes) to show me later. I couldn't watch more than 4 seconds of it. But even though I couldn't stand to watch that procedure done on my boy, is it bad to say that I don't regret it? In no way, shape, or form do I consider circumcision mutilation. It does permanently change a part of the body, but it was not performed for reasons mutilation is. Makes my heart hurt to think of people thinking we mutilated ours son :( I plan on talking with my husband about this and doing more research...we may change our mind if we have another son. Especially the part about sexual pleasure, makes me think for sure...I don't want to take away from my son and his future wife.

  19. honestly, that's what sold me on not circumcising our future kids, the pleasure part. and it just seems like there are fewer people who circ than i thought. maybe our kids wont be "weird" for having un-cut peens???

    who knows. the video was neat though i thought.

  20. I just had my fifth baby, which is my third boy, two weeks ago. To be honest, having to decide whether to circumcise or not was a reason why I had hoped for a girl.

    My oldest was circumcised the day he was born in the hospital. It didn't really seem like a decision to me. It was just what you did. I didn't even think about it. It was done and he was completely healed by the time we were home from the hospital. It was never an issue.

    With my second son we had to take him to the doctor's office to have the circumcision done. {He was 8 days old} I think having that time to think about it made all the difference for me. Why am going to do this to my son? Is this necessary? I kept remembering an anthropology class I took in college where I studied about female circumcision and how barbaric that was to me--yet it was culturally accepted in other parts of the world. Why was male circumcision any different? To those who are unfamiliar with it, where it isn't the cultural norm, I imagined it too would seem barbaric.

    Circumcision is not a part of my religious beliefs, so for me the only reasons to circumcise would be cultural and the oft cited hygienic reasons. In the end, we decided to circumcise our second son--mainly because we had circumcised our other son. I was very hesitant and felt uneasy about it.

    His circumcision took about 8 months to heal. We had to pull back his foreskin with EVERY diaper change--essentially recircumsicing him daily for months. It was a gaping bleeding wound. The doctor would pull it back even more forcefully at every visit. I cried every time I changed his diaper and felt tremendous guilt. I worried I had maimed my child for life. I deeply regretted having it done.

    He did eventually heal completely and has no lasting ill effects from his circumcision {although I must cause writing about it now has made me emotional about it all over again!}.

    Through much research and prayer we decided NOT to circumcise our third son. I believe that God created our bodies and so it just makes sense to me that our bodies are perfect the way they are. They don't need to be altered. With that said, it is still difficult to chose something unknown to you. This will be a new, foreign experience for us.

    Sorry for such an epistle. This is a decision I have wrestled with for months and only settled for myself just this week. It has been constantly on my mind so apparently I have a lot to say about it. This is a very personal decision, and not one I made lightly or easily, and I would never condemn anyone for making a different decision than me. I had two of my sons circumcised, so I can certainly understand others making that same decision too.

  21. stephanie, i just have to say that i REALLY appreciate your comment and your openness to talk about your experience with the topic.

    I too agree that each parent has the choice to do whatever they will do with their children. I'm a big believer in the idea that whatever you do in your parenting you have to have complete confidence in what choices you make, and it seems like you're at peace with your choice.

    We both agreed that we were glad that we didn't have to make that choice, but in the future, we both feel strongly now that we'll let him keep his skin! ;)

    I'm really glad I got so much input from woman that I respect and look up to because it has opened my mind alot more about the issue.

    I appreciate your opinions ladies.

    Thank you.

  22. we had our son circ'd. After reading all about it, I was on the fence and asked my hubs what he wanted to do. He's circ'd and wanted our son to be as well. I was still sort of arguing with him about it. Then we talked to two different pediatricians in our *little* town, full of educated, relatively wealthy and probably reasonably clean people, and the peds said that they see a handful of cases each year where older children have to get circ'd for various medical reasons. For me, then, it became a question of is it worse to do it a few days after birth, when he doesn't have a choice in the matter? or, if it became medically necessary later, to put my child through that physical AND emotional trauma when he's old enough to understand his penis, what it's for and is (no pun intended) more attached to it? After realizing that our peds saw more cases than I had initially thought was common, I decided that I'd rather have it done when he won't have the emotional/sexual trauma attached with the procedure. I know the chances of him having to deal with issues in the future were probably slim, but so far I haven't regretted the decision. I feel like parenting is difficult enough without everyone judging each other for these sorts of decisions. And while it is the child's body, I find the "he didn't get to decide" argument not all that strong b/c don't parents decide a thousand things for their children every day that the kids don't get a say in? the food they eat, the way they dress, the ideas they're exposed to, the way they're disciplined, the way affection is shown, the people they're left with? all of these things still can affect the child into adulthood (hello obesity). I'm not saying that I think circumcision is "right" or "better" - like I said, I was leaning towards NOT doing it for most of the reasons other commenters already said - but I don't think the decision to circ makes you a horrible parent or a "mutilator" or whatever. All of us are simply trying to do what we think is good and healthy for our children and I would hope, as parents, we could all support each other in that.

  23. K, I'm interested to know what medical reason's the doctors had for circumcising older children- what infections they got? Interesting.

    I certainly don't want to come across as judgmental. I also had my son circumcised. I agree that we make lots of decisions for our children each day. My only point was that after learning more about the male anatomy, I felt really strange about having made that choice for my son. It has been good to hear what everyone else has to say about the matter.

    I appreciate the conversation.

  24. I know that a lot of women will vote against circumcision for obvious reasons and I would completely agree with them if it wasn't for the fact that my mother chose NOT to circumcise my little brother (who is now 24) and he told me his thoughts.

    1.) He felt sexually odd bc he wasn't the societal norm and thus felt trapped to a degree in his own skin. I know society shouldn't dictate to us how to live our lives but I feel like that's a easy thing to say when you're the norm.

    2.) As a child my brother developed some scare tissue due to infections underneath the foreskin which resulted in pain during intercourse and masturbation (obviously I am TOO comfortable talking to him about these things-ewww)

    3.) As an adult my brother was circumcised (at 22) due to above (namely #2) and it was a much more traumatic (not horribly painful but more embarrassing and uncomfortable) process and he will never look perfectly normal downstairs (not that I have or will ever see this). He's glad he did it bc sex isn't meant to be painful but he is still undecided as to whether he'll circumcise his future children which I do think is interesting. I on the other hand most definitely will...

  25. Noelle, I never said or even implied that women do not produce smagma. And by the way, it’s not exactly the same. I never suggested or implied women should be circumcised because they do produce smagma. You definitely took that one to another level.

    I never suggested that genitals are gross either. I specifically said smagma is gross, because it is gross. To look at, smell etc. Period.

    And Mae, I never said or implied that smagma or being uncircumcised affects fertility. That is really stupid.

    GEEZ, People really need to listen to each other and STOP being so “holier than thou” about it all. No one is wrong. No one is right. Our opinions are just different.

  26. I want to put these topics out there to gain understanding about what other people know or feel about a specific idea or topic, but lets all be sensitive to each other's different opinions and respectful.

    Hearing each person's (passionate) feelings about the topic has helped open my mind up about it and i appreciate each person being honest and open, that being said, I too don't think there is a right way or wrong way to go about it. But learning from one another is the whole point of posting blogs like these.

    With everything that was said, just as i do, you must take them with a grain of salt and not take them to heart or get offended.

    Thanks ladies.

  27. Sorry Chels, Allow me to clear up Anon's misunderstanding, apparently she has smagma in her ears...or eyes I guess.
    I was just saying that taking a shower before sex isn't a big deal. If you like your husbands sweaty balls banging up against you, by all means, to each their own. I was just saying that using "you have to SHOWER before sex" is a pretty lame excuse to cut an infant's penis because of a religious sacrifice that was done by people who don't believe that the Messiah has come. I'm sorry you had a bad experience with that and I'm glad that you were able to make a decision that positively effected him.
    Don't call me stupid, obviously your husband's circumcision doesn't positively effect YOUR love life. Get laid and stop hatin on other people's blogs! :D

  28. I agree Mae. On everything you said BUT mostly about showering before sex.... circ'd or not. No one likes sweaty balls. NO ONE! ;)

    no matter how you slice it or dice it, it is totally a personal choice.
    Like i said before, these topics are meant to educate me and my readers and open our minds to things we maybe haven't thought about before. They aren't meant to make anyone feel like their choices are wrong.

    What I've taken from this topic and these comments is that whether you're circumcised or not, you can have issues with your peen-either way.

    There will ALWAYS BE SOMEONE READY TO TELL YOU A HORROR STORY whether it's circumcision, day care, vaccinations or my personal favorite (sarcasm) birth! With anything in life, there is good and bad that go along with it.

    * I recently heard a story about a girl who was allergic to the medicine in her epidural and after she got it, she died... does this mean that woman should have unmedicated births (yes!) no, to each is own. We all get the option, and with that choice, comes bad outcomes sometimes.

    Thanks for your comments ladies.

  29. Just a side note. I think this blog will soon become an ANONYMOUS FREE blog from now on.

    I'd rather someone say what you want to say and be comfortable with your opinion than to post anonymously.

    I have thick skin and another person's point of view won't shake me. The point was to hear LOTS of points of views-which has helped me greatly.

  30. This is my first time on your blog! First off, I'm pretty surprised by the comments. I see the whole point of letting my son (I have a daughter and am pregnant with another girl) making his choice later in life BUT in our culture holy cow! I mean sex is great, and you don't hear guys complaining about their lack of nerve endings... AND jr. high is bad enough. I can't imagine if we had say, skin over our nipples, how I would have felt in the locker room after a volley ball game if I was the ONLY one who looked this way. Plus, there truly ARE hygeine reasons. Even after seeing the video, we will probably make that decision for our son. My husband is in politics and you might be surprised by how many times this comes up - as if it is the same as FGM OR if it should even be legal. HUGE issue, clearly. Love that you shared this!

  31. I haven't taken the opportunity to comment on this till now... but wanted to take my turn. When we found out that we were expecting a boy, I began to think about the big question- if we were going to have him be circumcised or not. I spoke with a lot of my peers, my midwife, hypnobirthing instructor etc... there were a lot of different points of view. Bottom line was that, as my husband and I did our research, we couldn't find any solid reasons to have it done. Our reasons were more social or based on tradition and so we opted to leave his penis intact. I don't regret this decision at all. I cringe at the thought of him being hurt in any way and am happy that I didn't provide the opportunity for him to be in pain. I am certain that we would stay with this decision for future sons, if we have them. There's a lot of stuff out there that will lean one way or the other. From what I experienced though, I'd say the best advice I've followed is to be as informed as possible and to follow my gut. No regrets :)