Advice from our guy friends. This week, they answer the following question:
I'm about to have my first baby--it's a boy. Should I get him circumcised? I've heard it's unnecessary, and may reduce sexual sensation. Clitorectomies are crazy, so sort of the same thing, right? But then what about the dreaded "smegma"? I've also heard that can be a problem in nursing homes, once a guy makes it to that age, and can lead to infection.
Here's what the guys say:
Straight single guy (Colin): I'm glad you've checked out the downsides, but I don't think your son will ever resent you for confiscating his foreskin. Aesthetically, I think my penis looks awesome foreskin-free, but this may be a part of my strong antipathy for turtlenecks of all sorts. It sounds like you'll raise him with an open mind to healthy sexuality and he'll wind up enjoying his sex life regardless.
Em & Lo weigh in with their own thoughts about the circumcision debate.
Gay Committed Guy (Terence): A mother's concern over the cleanliness and health of her son's uncut dick is absolutely understandable and defensible. But let's try to put it in perspective: you should worry about it as much as you'll worry about how he wipes his bum, or flosses between his teeth to avoid a painful cavity. Aren't little girls taught which direction to wipe to avoid bacteria spreading toward their vagina and getting infections? I would think that if you teach a boy how to care for and clean his body, whether its teeth, bum, penis, or ears, he'll catch on pretty quick and things will generally turn out fine (like with girls). If it's aesthetics you're worried about, maybe you've just seen too much American porn? Don't worry, one day the U.S. porn industry will catch up, and boys with hoods will rule the day. As far as the benefits go: I think it's pretty well accepted that hoods protect the head of the penis, keeping it much more sensitive than heads that are exposed to and rubbed directly up against underwear their entire lives. The hood also eliminates the need for lubrication during ----- s, which definitely comes in handy whether he's solo or partnered up. So leave him be. He may not actually thank you for it, but we both know he'll be thankful.
Straight Married Guy (Matt): Back when I was growing up (the '70s, in L.A.), being uncircumcised made someone a bit of a freak. I remember a kid getting laughed at and pointed at in the showers at camp for having an intact foreskin. "What's THAT?!?" people asked him. I'd imagine it's different these days. More young parents I know are forgoing the snip. I'd say it's about 50/50 from what I hear from friends. Either way, I can tell you that as far as loss of sensitivity, as a snipee I can attest that things are plenty sensitive. I don't feel like I'm missing out on anything. Comparing it to a clitorectomy is absurd. I don't know about smegma other than jokes from middle school, but it sure sounds nasty. If that's a frequent occurrence with foreskin, I'd say that's a big con. But to me, all of this is made irrelevant by the fact that circumcision is proven to reduce the chances of HIV transmission. I have friends who get belligerent when the subject comes up, calling circumcision child abuse or mutilation or whatever, but I'd much rather have been snipped (and snip any future son of mine) than deal with a significantly higher HIV risk. So zip it, anti-snippers! Case closed!
Can you handle an unsnipped guy? What if he were Leo DiCaprio or Keanu Reeves?
Our "guys" are a rotating group of contributors, some of whom wish to remain anonymous and some of whom like the attention. This week's Straight Single Guy is our former uber-intern, Colin Adamo.
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