My penis is better than yours.

Or is it?

Born into a religion that reveres male circumcision, my penis’ fate was sealed.

Which means… my penis was no longer to be.

I’d spare you the gory details, but where’s the fun in that? Clamp expunging the foreskin, bawling, blood spatters…

Actually, I have no recollection of being circumcised – and no, it’s not post-traumatic memory loss – I was only a newborn. But can you imagine?!

Besides, self-diagnosis with Traumatophobia of the penis means I would’ve probably never agreed to having my foreskin snipped as an adult.

To the guys who got circumcised later in life, kudos to you – balls of steel!

Life without foreskin? Nothing much I can say about it, but, boo-ya… less cleaning for me.

Then again, no one ever asked my permission to remove a piece of my flesh. Do I feel violated?

Not in the slightest. Grateful, in fact. Best thing anyone has ever done for me without my permission.

To cut or not to cut – that is the question
Some opponents to circumcision believe it’s unnatural while others feel it’s unethical to snip away at a penis without its owner’s consent.

But then you get some of those very people who baptise their kids without their consent.

Po-tay-toe. Po-tah-toe.

Then there are, of course, those who believe it’s obligatory.

In some South African cultures, male circumcision is a rites of passage from boy to man. But botched male circumcisions have led to the death of many young South African men, so if you’re considering the snip, make sure you consult professionals such as Marie Stopes.

Christianity has a neutral view on circumcision, while Jewish men or male converts to Judaism are traditionally required to undergo circumcision in order for a boy or man to enter the covenant of Israel.

Islamic male circumcision has no symbolic meaning, but is rather a way of improving cleanliness.

Now let’s look at the research: while there could be insignificant downsides to circumcision, the benefits by far outweigh the perils.

Now, now… this is not a cue to go head to head: turtleneck’s versus kosher penises. No.

Studies have shown that circumcision changes the bacteria ecosystem of the penis, and notably, the foreskin contains immune cells targeted by HIV infection, which could explain why it lowers the risk of HIV infection.

Circumcision has also been associated with a lower risk of human papillomavirus (HPV) infection and some strains of genital herpes, according to studies.

In a more recent study at the University of Montreal and the INRS-Institut-Armand-Frappier, researchers have shown that men circumcised after the age of 35 were 45% less at risk of later developing prostate cancer than uncircumcised men.

Circumcision can also eliminate the risk of Phimosis (tight foreskin) which can make cleaning and passing urine difficult and painful.

A study in the British Journal of Urology suggests that circumcision can reduce sexual pleasure. According to the study, men with uncircumcised penises enjoy more sexual sensitivity.

But hold up: several experts say the study is flawed based on its biased sample population, so study findings couldn’t be confirmed.

Circumcision is safe with a very low complication risk, but know that all surgical procedures involves some risk.


Get Cut For The Right Reasons
Now that you’re circumcised, you don’t have to wear a condom, right? Wrong. Reality check: circumcision doesn’t prevent HIV, but it can reduce your risk. Man, just because studies have shown that circumcision can reduce HIV infections, doesn’t mean you should go bare. Cover up, mate!

Wuss The Man?
If you’re going to base your manhood on foreskin, then you might as well snip off your penis. Think it through carefully. Speak to a mate who has had it done. Whatever you do, know what you’re getting yourself into.

Consult Your Doctor
Even if your doc doesn’t do circumcision, he’d probably be able to refer you to a registered professional. ‘Tis never been wise to leave your penis in just anyone’s hands.

Time Heals All Wounds
Don’t let a snip scare you. Circumcision can be done under local anaesthesia with minimal pain and wounds, in adult men, can take up to six weeks to heal.

But whatever anyone says, remember: experience is the best teacher.

  • You really are biased towards cutting, aren’t you? “But then you get some of those very people who baptise their kids without their consent. Po-tay-toe. Po-tah-toe.”
    The physical part of baptism can be wiped off with a paper towel. Circumcision, not so much. The spiritual part can just be denied or renounced.
    Bacteria schmacteria, our whole bodies are covered with trillions of them, and it would be life-threatening to get rid of them all. The fact that circumcision changes them implies nothing.
    The prostate studies failed to reach statistical significance, which means they proved nothing.
    The HPV studies are conflicting depending on where on the penis they measured. We now have a vaccine against HPV, much better than circumcision could possibly be.
    Phimosis can be treated without surgery, or with other surgery. Circumcising to prevent it is like cutting off your toes to prevent ingrown toenails.
    Your “experts” seem to mainly be Professor Brian Morris, who has never seen a reason for cutting genitals he didn’t like, and plays fast and loose with the facts:

    Bottom line, human rights. His penis, his choice. More and more men are coming out to say they hate that this was done to them before they could resist, and they have every right to do so.
    What men considering getting circumcised should remember is that there is no going back. There is not much that this experience can teach you – it’s not as though you’re likely to consider doing it again.

  • Mario Meyer

    I think it should be a dudes choice not your perants…. and quite frankly most dudes I know that have HIV is cut and those who have not like me is uncut….

  • Ashraf Booley

    @Hugh7:disqus Thanks for your insight. To me it’s not so much about reversing baptism, but about the principle of doing it without someone’s consent. Same goes for circumcision (though I’m happy mine was done without my consent)! I merely used it as an example. I’m not advocating circumcision, I’m weighing up the pros and cons. I concur that it’s “his penis, his choice”. So ultimately you decide whether you want the snip or not.

    • William Ortego

      Ashraf, there ARE NO “pros” it genital mutilation.

  • Amin Soleimani

    Theres no need to correct gods work.

  • Tebogo

    I feel that circumcised men enjoy sexual intercourse more than those whom are not circumcised becuase when penetraiting the forskin pulls back to a point whereby pain is intoduced.

    • William Ortego

      You had/have a short frenulum, that’s rare. Most of us uncut men don’t have that issue.

  • Marco Cherrono

    Seriously, can you be any more bias? I am uncircumcised and I would not change that for anything. In terms of cleanliness, have you heard of bathing and showering?

  • William Ortego

    Circumcision is genital mutilation that to robs the male of most of his sexual pleasure. It does NOT reduce HIV. In the US, we have 60% cut men and we also have 300% the HIV transmission and infected population proportionally compared to Europe that has LESS than 5% cut men. Herp a derp. There are no benefits to cutting your penis.

  • joseph4gi

    Trash piece obviously written for self-justification.

    Just look at the premises and questions presented. “Is my penis better than yours?”

    Of course you’re going to say it is! What man wants to think there is anything wrong with his penis?

    Here’s the trick though; circumcised men are missing part of their penises. Whatever positive things you have to say about it, it is less than what nature gave you. You need to say whatever you have to to feel adequate and un violated. “Po-tay-to, po-tah-to.”

    You can’t verily say you’re “not grateful” because saying so means having to deal with the reality that there’s very little you can do about it.

    How can you seriously say “less cleaning for me” if you don’t know what it’s like to have a foreskin firsthand?

    How is circumcision not “unnatural?” And how is it not “unethical?” And how can you compare dousing with water with cutting part of a person’s penis off?

    You bring up a good point that parents do many things to their children without their consent. Is this fact somehow supposed to justify male genital mutilation? How far does this line of thinking go? Female genital mutilation too then? Tattoos? Scarification? How far does it go? No, there are limitations as far as parenting.

    The benefits far outweigh the perils? Is this something any respected medical organization has said? Or is this your own personal observation?

    Here’s a hint; no medical organization in the world recommends infant circumcision; all of them, even the AAP say that the benefits simply aren’t great enough.

    Let’s talk about some of the “perils.” Losing your penis for example. Yes, this happens even in medical settings. Death. Talk about the perils too, not just the purported “benefit.”

    There is misinformation presented here that must be corrected. Yes, circumcision has been found to change the bacterial environment of the penis, not that it’s relevant to HIV, seeing as it is a virus and not a bacteria. Additionally, I would encourage you to read the fine print in the “research.” There is, as of yet, no scientifically demonstrable causal link between the presence of anatomically correct penises and reduced HIV transmission. The so-called HIV-receptor cells theory has been disproven.

    Let me repeat; no actually scientifically demonstrable proof exists that circumcision can help “reduce” HIV transmission period, let alone by 60%.

    The HPV myth has recently been blown out of the water too.

    Regarding prostate cancer, not even the American Cancer Society says that circumcision has any effect on prostate cancer. In fact, they state that 1 in 6 men will be diagnosed yearly. (80% of US men are circumcised from birth.)

    “But hold up: several experts say the (sensitivity) study is flawed based on its biased sample population, so study findings couldn’t be confirmed.”

    Who are said “experts?” It might not happen to be Brian Morris and his friends might it? Because I’m afraid they don’t count. (BM is not an expert by any means.) The study was actually quite well done and supersedes the flaws of its predecessors. The results haven’t been confirmed because thus far, none have dared to recreate them. They’re inline with the fact that circumcision removes nerves and keratinizes the glans though.

    And where do you get off that Chritianity is neutral about circumcision? You don’t read the bible much, do you.

    Men’s Health really should not allow amateurs to dispense medical and sexual advice. This is nothing more than a column written by a man seeking to establish self-reassurance for having mutilated organs. Someone with actual knowledge on the matter please? Preferably someone with an MD? Thanks.

  • Damien Noir

    Thankfully I’m not an idiot and I’m not about to compromise my sex life and remove sensitive, important parts of my body based on the information in a very biased article.

  • JB

    Totally biased article. Referencing “turtlenecks” which is a derogatory term for intact penises? Congratulating guys who did it as an adult? Giving an opinion before providing the reader with any information. Mentioning that the sensitivity studies are questioned but NO mention that the HIV studies are HIGHLY FLAWED and questioned by medical communities around the world? Yeah, that’s what I call bias. I get that this is a “blog” entry and not “journalism”, but come ON, you’re using the Men’s Health branding and you owe it to your audience to not lie to them. If you’re so insecure that you can’t admit that your parents permanently diminished your ability to experience sexual pleasure, the least you could do is not mislead others.

  • Michael Reed

    Circumision is genital mutilation, plain and simple.