A Few Tips … About Circumcision
Or, how two recent Facebook posts caused a whole lot of attention.
First, let’s get these out of the way first: I’m Jewish and have no foreskin. For those unaware, I do not remember my bris, or brit milah in full, the Jewish ritual of circumcision, as these things happen when you are an eight-day-old infant.
Neither do I remember my mohel, he who was responsible for the elimination of my penis orlah, or foreskin, which was disposed as waste.
Some say their foreskin was treated with a bit more respect and ceremonially buried. Others say their remains were used to create bio-skin grafts for burn victims. Still others insisted theirs were purchased by German restaurants and used, with other mammal foreskins such as swine and bull, to add flavor to Weinerschnitzel.
I’d suggest taking that last, though whispered about for years by many, with a grain of salt.
Pretty bizarre once those pieces are put together, huh? Of course that was totally intended …
Regardless, as for my own bris, I heard the celebratory meal afterwards was delicious. No joke. Bagels and cream cheese were everywhere. So were high-fives and lots of congratulatory kisses.
I’ve been told.
It’s all part of the program for Jewish male circumcision.
Not that you have to be Jewish for those in attendance to have a good meal after.
Circumcision and The Bible
The roots of ritual male circumcision are explained in The Bible’s Old and New Testaments.
From the Hebrew Bible, Genesis 17:10–14, God commanded Abraham and his descendants to be circumsized:
This is My covenant, which ye shall keep, between Me and you and thy seed after thee: every male among you shall be circumcised. 11 And ye shall be circumcised in the flesh of your foreskin; and it shall be a token of a covenant betwixt Me and you. 12 And he that is eight days old shall be circumcised among you, every male throughout your generations, he that is born in the house, or bought with money of any foreigner, that is not of thy seed. 13 He that is born in thy house, and he that is bought with thy money, must needs be circumcised; and My covenant shall be in your flesh for an everlasting covenant. 14 And the uncircumcised male who is not circumcised in the flesh of his foreskin, that soul shall be cut off from his people; he hath broken My covenant.
Leviticus 12:3 provides the following:
And in the eight day the flesh of his foreskin shall be circumcised.
In the most orthodox of Jewish sects, the penalty for not following this ritual is called the kareth, or the spiritual excision from the Jewish nation.
And, according to scripture, Jesus too was circumcised.
For more comprehensive information on biblical and other global cultural circumcision rites (the practice is not limited to Jews), see the following Wikipedia articles: https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Brit_milah and https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Circumcision.
Today, adult ritual circumcision is more common than one may expect, especially in the Jewish community.
My family has never been religious. We have had relatives who were. Not circumcising my two brothers and myself were thoughts that were never seriously considered.
The health benefits are said to be substantial, including a decreased risk of penile cancer and ED, easier hygiene, and lower risk of STDs.
But to be honest … I haven’t a clue. I don’t remember a life with a foreskin. Sexually — Spoiler Alert! — there are no issues and the sensation is overwhelming. Most ritually circumcised Jews with whom I’ve spoken have said the same.
There was one angry guy, however, who bemoaned that the loss of his foreskin wasn’t his choice and he remains incensed about it.
But he is certainly not the only one, as over the years the practice has come under increasing scrutiny.
The American Medical Association largely agrees that the health benefits of male circumcision far outweigh the risks, though they stop short of recommending it as a practice. The risks are said to include pain, bleeding and/or infection, irritation and/or inflammation.
Those risks are atypical, and most frequently do not generally follow an individual into adulthood. Regardless, there remains strong debate about the practice.
Though this article focuses on male circumcision, no matter your sex or gender please let me know your thoughts.
Note: A follow-up article on ritual female circumcision will be posted on this platform in the coming days.
A Few Tips
- If you are a new parent and concerned about the practice, speak to a doctor first.
- If you are an adult who for whatever reason wishes to be circumcised, the same applies. Contact a doctor, as risks in adulthood may be more severe.
- Though I can only speak for myself, I can promise you that — though I have no other frame of reference — at 56 years old my orgasms are still dizzying. Sorry. TMI, but if you’re a worrying about a lack of sensation on the part of your child or yourself … I’m not so certain. Yes, studies have yielded mixed results, so nonetheless once again I’d advise to speak to an expert.
The comments are still ongoing.
To the posts that inspired them …
Followed by this post shortly thereafter, based on some comments received …
And, to a sample of those collective comments (with my retorts in bold) …
- I honestly really don’t care enough to die on this hill, except that I kind of question the necessity of circumcision. I feel the only real reason it’s done is that it’s a Judeo-Christian holdover that never really received a lot of attention in the U.S. because our collective nation thinks talking about pee-pees is taboo.
- It’s an unnecessary procedure that mutilates the child. If an adult wishes to be circumcized, go for it, but I think it’s wrong to force it on a baby.
- I’m uncircumcised, thankfully, so have no idea re: loss of sensation. I’ve read that is the case, but who knows?
- Ya knows how his reply feels … kinda like a man what can touch da bowl, to a man what can only reach da edge … like? (Note: I’m still translating this one.)
- Circumcised men lose 60% sensation.
- Did he ever cite any science behind the 60% figure? What’s being … um, measured here?
- I’d drop dead if I had 60% more sensation.
- No problems here, but maybe it’s different if they performed the operation with a rock.
- I’m cut and it still works just fine. Thank God. I don’t want my wonder worm to look like something out of Stan Winston’s studio.
- 53-years-old and have NEVER missed my foreskin.
- (To the above) How can you miss something you don’t even remember having?
- The same way someone who hasn’t had it done can be judgmental about what happens to someone else’s dick.
- How can ya question 50% loss of da penal sheath comprising densely innervated skin? The foreskin is not just a “flap” of skin, but a double-layered fold of densely innervated skin and mucosa, of considerable area.
- I suppose one could use an EEG type set up to measure brain activity. (This response was based on the 60% loss of function comment.)
- I had a boyfriend years ago, a very sexually active young man. He ended up with a problem where his foreskin attached to the penis head, and had to have his foreskin removed. He said once healed there was no difference at all in his sexual pleasure.
- Well, once it’s gone, you can’t recover it, except with a cute hat or something …
- I thought circumcisions were necessary for health and sanitary reasons, like not getting filth underneath the folds of that extra skin.
- I witnessed this done with broken glass to a 12-year-old boy in a ceremony in Gabon.
- If you practice common hygiene, it’s NOT a problem. You could just as well argue (incorrectly) for removing a woman’s labia as bacteria-harboring skin folds of nastiness. It’s simply not an issue if you wash it like you wash everything else.
- Does the rest of your body have filth in all its crevices?
- I will never go off half-cocked as it were …
- I really don’t want to get into a pissing match over penises. May I suggest you try Tantric sex to better your experiences?
- I’m fighting for all mankind here! (He’s against the practice.)
- If you lost a leg you’d never miss it, right?
- This is the exact reason why my wife and I want to adopt a girl, if possible. We disagree on this issue and it’s easier to just get a girl. (From a woman and member of the LGBTQ community.)
- There is no correct. There is only the penis we have.
- The nerve endings are in your dick, not your foreskin.
- I’ve already given my pound of flesh. Don’t think about it anymore.
- What do lesbians and gay men like?
- Not all lesbians use dildos.
- Omg those wankers (as pictured in the first post, above) were on my daughter’s college campus last fall for homecoming!
- If you masturbate enough, it just wears off anyway.
- If people do it for religious reasons, that’s between them and their gawd.
- I couldn’t walk for nearly a year after having it done.
Finally, my favorite:
- What? Dat a woman’s erogenous zone extends from da top of her scalp down to da tippy toes of her feet … and her orgasm can last fer over 20 seconds … ours is pretty much limited to 12 inches of flesh (really?) … minus dat 60% … and lasts pretty much “pop” followed quickly by zzzzzz …?? sorta deal?
As for my two cents, personally I’m neither religious nor do I have children. My gut tells me I would have gone with the old family tradition in the end, though the more liberal side of me says the practice is meaningless.
I waver, though again I believe I’d have veered to the side of the ritual in the end.
Thank you for reading.
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