Wednesday, January 27, 2021

To Circumcise or not circumcise: A woman’s Perspective!

Hello gentlemen, may I engage your attention on the ‘mega’ question in the caption above; To circumcise or not to circumcise. I’m a woman and YES I would like to ‘talk’ to you about circumcision! Gentlemen, the way I see it, the direct ‘conversation’ on the matter with us women is long overdue because of one very straight forward reason. A woman is an integral ‘stakeholder’ if not the sole, in a man’s sexual matters. Well, at least for a strictly heterosexual man. Sexual matters and circumcision go hand in hand and there is no way we can ‘divorce’ the two.

Surprisingly, women’s take and thoughts on circumcision are often grossly overlooked.

Consequently leading to it as one of the contributing factors to why some men who are yet to make a decision on circumcision find themselves in the unpleasant, ‘torturous’ ‘undecided bracket’. In my view, an ‘undecided man’ is by far worse off than one who makes a decision, a ‘wrong’ decision. The former is ‘trapped’ and simply not living his sexual life to the fullest because of all the conflicting and biased opinions out there on circumcision! What a shame! Take heart there though, a woman can easily liberate him by simply sharing her thoughts on circumcision and sexual matters surrounding the ‘chop’.

Gentlemen, for the duration of this read, may I ask that you not raise your eye-brows at me in judgement or annoyance. I can already see ‘Mompati’s’ eyes obnoxiously piercing down at me thinking “Nxa! This woman, doesn’t she realise this isn’t her place to engage us on whether or not to circumcise!” Well sorry Pati! I believe it is MY PLACE and all women out there involved in heterosexual relationships. We have been disregarded in the decision making long enough, it’s got to stop.

I have heard and read several opinions, participated in various ‘heated’ debates with friends, colleagues and social network pals on the ‘million bucks’ question; Is it a wise move for a man to circumcise or not? And several times I picked from the debates that this ‘wisdom’ in making the decision to circumcise or not is greatly attached to circumcision effect(s) on the intensity of the ‘sexual pleasure’ experienced by men. No, not by us. I picked very interesting and puzzling positions from different men on both sides of the ‘chop’ divide. You see, I can’t comprehend how a man who is NOT circumcised and intends not to can boldly asset that circumcising is detrimental to sexual pleasure (intensity) when he has never experienced intercourse as a circumcised individual his whole life to give an accurate comparison account.

Why he alarms his ‘poor’ circumcised fellows this way to believe they are missing out on an incredible high peak sexual pleasure experience is beyond me. How does he know for sure his circumcised counterparts are worse off? He is irresponsible. He is interfering with important decision making there for his mates. Similarly on the other hand, the guy who hit the ‘chop’ straight after birth like some cultures practice will only have experienced intercourse all his life without foreskin.

It’s astonishing how he confidently beats the drums the loudest in giving a comparison account of the sexual experience under both scenarios, circumcised and uncircumcised. Yet he has only experienced intercourse under one scenario all his life. How can he accurately give the direct functional relationship between having or not having a foreskin and sexual pleasure? He can’t accurately tell us from experience how the foreskin relates to sexual pleasure.

The research scientist in me tells me that the question of whether or not the intensity of sexual pleasure is reduced with a ‘skin-less’ penis compared to one with foreskin is better placed to be answered by ‘subjects’ who have actually experienced intercourse under BOTH scenarios. i.e studies should gather data on men who have had sex with foreskin in their adulthood and later on circumcised, still engaging in the same sexual patterns.

Men who have been circumcised straight after birth or have never been circumcised will NOT provide accurate information with regards to comparing sexual intensity under the two scenarios. To enhance findings even more, the methodology used to gather the information from the subjects should include age, culture, traditions, sexual patterns and partners of subjects as they are all important factors in ‘sex quality’ and experience. Sexual pleasure is not centred on the sexual organ alone.
A sub-study can also be conducted to find out the FEMALE preferences on the issue. The females must be the same partners the male subjects had sexual relations with before and after circumcision in adulthood.

It goes without saying that to adequately address the issue at hand, we must be conversant with the role(s) of the foreskin. Let’s do a bit of biology. The foreskin protects the glans and the urinary opening of the penis (when flaccid). The gliding mechanism of the foreskin facilitates insertion, reduces friction and chafing during intercourse and facilitates smooth masturbation. The foreskin also provides a seal, keeping the secretions necessary for comfortable intercourse contained within the vagina. The foreskin contains 20,000ÔÇô70,000 erogenous nerve endings, the majority of which are concentrated in the ridged band, which encircles the inner opening of the foreskin. When the penis is flaccid, the nerve endings are protected but, when erect, they are exposed.

Circumcision removes about three-fourths of the nerve endings in the penis. A study by Sorrells et al. (2007) revealed that the five most sensitive areas of the penis are on the foreskin and the glans is more sensitive in the uncircumcised penis. It’s conceivable from this front why the ‘anti-circumcision’ gentlemen ‘spring’ up to advise their mates not to go for the ‘chop’. But! The study has been criticized by Waskett and Morris (2009), who argue that re-analysis of Sorrells’ data shows no significant differences. Schober et al (2009) reported on self-assessed sexual sensitivity in 81 men, 11 of whom were not circumcised. When assessing areas producing sexual pleasure, the foreskin was ranked 7th, after the glans, lower and upper shaft, and the left and right sides of the penis but above the area between scrotum and anus, the scrotum itself, and the anus. With conflicting findings from studies, the circumcised men need not have sleepless nights envying their uncircumcised ‘brothers’! It’s very possible there isn’t a single dose of ‘unbelievable’ sexual pleasure they are missing out on enjoyed by the men with ‘head gear’!

Arguments have been advanced that due to the high concentration of the erogenous nerve endings on the foreskin, your ‘average’ uncircumcised man is a regular at the ‘bunch of premature ejaculators’ club! Well, it’s no brainer a premature ejaculator is no girl’s best friend! On hygiene and health fronts, circumcised men are sitting pretty. The penis with foreskin will ‘house’ a lot of bacteria, fungi and ‘germs’ in general. This is because ‘germs’ multiply and flourish in moist and warm areas without easy air circulation. The foreskin gives this atmosphere perfectly! Simply put, a guy with foreskin CAN’T afford to go for THREE days say camping or at the cattle post without a bath. He will be in trouble! However, his circumcised counterpart can easily get away with a whole week without a bath as he won’t accumulate nasty bacteria or fungi. His penis is kept ‘germ’ free because it’s moisture free, exposed to air and thus unfavourable for microorganism growth & accumulation. In general, men with foreskin have to up their game on hygiene WAY MORE than uncircumcised men because of this reason of accumulating microorganisms. The rigorous ongoing campaign by our government for Batswana men to circumcise in a bid to lower incidences of HIV infection and rates isn’t a farfetched one at all! Several studies by scientists have discovered significant correlating patterns between high HIV and sexually transmitted infections and men with the foreskin. This is attributed to the ‘specialized cell markers’ found on the foreskin that facilitate HIV infection.

While circumcision DOES NOT prevent HIV infection, removal of these specialized cells by taking away the foreskin, greatly reduces the chances of infection. The best prevention tool for HIV infection is using protection at all times. However, in case of any ‘accidents’ with protection, all hope is not lost for the gentleman without the foreskin. Odds he will get infected by an HIV positive partner are slightly reduced in comparison with his uncircumcised mate.

As a member of the gender that is an important stakeholder in sexual matters of heterosexual men, I believe it is wrong for the health sector to make a bold statement ‘instructing’ men to circumcise citing health reasons only. The pros and cons of circumcision from all fronts must be presented to the men who are yet to make a decision on circumcision. This will enable them to make an informed choice that is best suitable for them, their sexual patterns and partners. Currently, uncircumcised men are being bombarded or pressured with a lot of biased information, mostly sorely health orientated, to make the decision to go for the big ‘chop’. They are made to believe keeping their ‘head gear’ will entirely send their health to the dogs! While the already circumcised men, straight after birth, feel very unsettled they could have been possibly ‘robbed’ of sexual pleasure ‘out of this world’. This is due to a lot of ‘irresponsible’, inaccurate and biased information doing the rounds out there from the ‘anti-circumcision’ camp!

I appeal to the gentlemen of my beloved country, who took the brave step in adulthood to undergo circumcision to share their motivation to go ‘under the knife and their pre and post circumcision experiences. They owe it to the ‘brotherhood’ of this nation to set the record straight and dispel the misconceptions surrounding circumcision and the foreskin.

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