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 Must we continue to traumatize newborns just because this outdated act is considered "normal" in our society?