Things People Don't Understand About Uncircumcised Guys, According to One
I was born in 1976 at a clinic that lacked ample tools and facilities to perform a successful, safe circumcision. As a result, I was left uncut.
My mother didn't schedule a follow-up, but did broach the topic during my childhood, and encouraged male family members to go over my options with me. I have a vivid, terrifying memory of an uncle who'd chosen to be circumcised as an adult explain in gory detail just how excruciating the procedure and recovery were. That did it: I grew to maturity fully intact.
I'm sure at least some of you assume I've therefore spent my life subjected to all forms of ridicule, disease, pestilence, and scorn. But actually, most of what you assume about uncircumcised men is dead wrong. Let me debunk some common misconceptions for you.
Myth: Uncircumcised penises look weird
Newsflash: all erect penises look the same! I have not received a single complaint from any previous sexual partners about the appearance of my penis. When you are in the heat of the moment, all your partner cares about is whether it's the right length, girth, and whether the man knows how to use it. Most of my sexual partners didn't even know I was uncircumcised, because the extra skin disappears once the penis is erect. The skin at the end of my penis is easily moved back and forth (providing additional friction at all the right times, I might add). Anytime said skin is pulled back, my penis takes on the "normal" appearance most men and women in the US are accustomed to.
Myth: Circumcision is perfectly painless
Most children circumcised between 24 and 72 hours after being born. If a pain-numbing option is used (and they aren't always), everything from topical anesthesia to a dorsal penile nerve block has potential side effects. Studies show newborn babies most certainly can feel pain -- and other research suggests babies even remember it.. Must we continue to traumatize newborns just because this outdated act is considered "normal" in our society?
Myth: It's just a flap of skin
Flat-out lie. The foreskin actually accounts for up to HALF the penis' skin -- that's 15 SQUARE INCHES on an adult man. The tissue connecting foreskin to the head of the penis on small children is equivalent to the tissue connecting your nails to the nail bed. I won't go into what's involved to cut that off -- suffice to say it's not just a little clipping.
Myth: Circumcision doesn't inhibit a man's sexual pleasure
I hate to break it to you, but this one is completely untrue too. Lopping off skin on the penises means hacking off "fine-touch neuroreceptors" that respond to light touch. Skin is packed with nerve endings. If you remove the skin, you lose those feelers. And if you've ever had a piercing or scar in your life, you know a thing or two about scar tissue… which reduces sensation even more. Studies have unsurprisingly found that circumcised men have reduced sensitivity in their penises.
Myth: But uncircumcised penises are dirty!
Wrong again. Hygiene may be an issue for children, or for people living without access to bathing water, but it's ridiculously easy to keep an uncircumcised penis clean. It takes a little more effort to pull back the extra skin and clean thoroughly, but in almost 40 years of life, I have never had an infection, foul odor, or any other issue the uneducated associate with intact penises. I was taught at an early age how to take care of that part of my personal hygiene... just like I was taught to brush my own teeth and wipe my own ass.
Sign up here for our daily Thrillist email, and get your fix of the best in food/drink/fun.
Corey B. King is an actor, singer, and author on a mission to save some skin. Follow him on Twitter: @coreybking.