Circumcision used to be an entirely functional medical operation. In prehistoric times, circumcisions were performed as part of a rite to initiate the young into full-fledged members of a tribe. The removal of the foreskin (or a tooth, finger or earlobe for that matter) was considered as a sacrifice to a deity in exchange for his protection.
The Jews and Muslims saw circumcision as a symbol of accepting religion i.e. a sign by which the true believers differ from all the others. The Christians gave up the practice. Paul the Apostle wrote in his Epistle to the Galatians (6:15): “For in Christ Jesus neither circumcision availeth any thing, nor uncircumcision, but a new creature.” What might have happened had the message gone astray?
These days circumcision or surgical removal of the foreskin of the penis is usually performed for religious and ethic reasons. At times the operation is required for medical conditions and as a means of prevention of disease.
Circumcision as a medical treatment
Circumcision is normally performed on patients diagnosed with certain medical conditions, mainly phimosis and paraphimosis.
Phimosis is the narrowing of the opening of the foreskin, which therefore cannot be drawn back over the underlying glans penis. This predisposes to inflammation, which leads to further narrowing.
Phimosis is not lethal yet the condition can either turn sexual intercourse into a very painful experience (if the foreskin can be drawn back over the glans to some extent at best) or render it impossible if the foreskin cannot be drawn back over the glans at all.
Paraphimosis or the retraction and constriction of the skin behind the glans penis may occur in some patients with phimosis on erection of the penis. The tight foreskin cannot be drawn back over the glans and becomes painful and swollen. The condition requires urgent surgery. Circumcision is required to prevent a recurrence.
Circumcision as a means of prevention
Circumcision for prevention purposes has never sparked lots of enthusiasm in Russia, while the West saw at least three “epidemics” of total circumcision.
1. John Harvey Kellogg, U.S. inventor of prepared cereals, was a trained physician. At the turn of the 19th century, Kellogg launched a campaign against masturbation in the U.S. He advocated the use of circumcision as an effective means of curbing masturbation.
2. In the 1960s, scientists gathered enough evidence to prove that circumcision can be used to effectively prevent cancer of the penis and venereal diseases. Circumcision for prevention purposes quickly became a large-scale phenomenon in the U.S. and Europe. Even the President John F. Kennedy spoke publicly in favor of the procedure. Moreover, he set an example for his fellow Americans by undergoing circumcision.
3. More recent research into the beneficial effects of circumcision showed that it can lower the risks of catching HIV. The foreskin of the penis gets frequently damaged, and therefore the penis becomes more vulnerable to the virus. “If circumcision saves lives, it should be performed at a wider scale despite the prejudices men have against this operation,” said President Bill.
Cut it off right away
Circumcision is strongly recommended if associated with medical conditions. In other cases, one had better follow the good old saying that goes like this: “Look before you leap.”
In any case, there is nothing to be afraid of. Circumcision is minor surgery performed on an out-patient. The operation takes about an hour to complete, it is normally performed under local anesthesia. The operation and postoperative treatment in Moscow’s private clinics cost from $200 to $300.
The wound usually heals up within 1 or 2 weeks. Please bear in mind that the glans of a circumcised penis will no longer be protected by the foreskin, and therefore the glans will be very sensitive to pain caused by underpants in the first several weeks following the operation. The patient should wait until the skin over the glans becomes harder and painful sensations begin to gradually disappear. The patient should also refrain from having sex for 1 or 2 months at the least.
Surgeons have started using laser for performing circumcision lately. The use of laser is thought to cause less pain to the patient during the operation. Laser-aided circumcision also reportedly enhances the healing process.
Things worth considering after circumcision
A number of issues should be given a thought or two once the operation is conducted.
Firstly, a man should actually get used to his new sexual organ, which looks pretty weird and feels even weirder. For example, how on earth is he supposed to play with himself if the foreskin is missing?
Secondly, the glans of a circumcised penis becomes less sensitive to stimuli. On the other hand, circumcision can improve sex life since the decrease in sensitivity results in longer sexual intercourse. That is why circumcision is sometimes performed on patients with premature ejaculation.
Did circumcision bring out any changes? Men speak out:
"My penis has become less sensitive but I got used to the sensation…”
“I make love longer after having my penis circumcised but sex became less spectacular than before. All the women I had sex with before and after tell me that I’ve become more insatiable. However, my wife never liked having sex with me before, and she doesn’t love it just the same.”
"Guys, don’t do it. Circumcision sucks. Blowjob is out of the question, it takes a lot to come. My whole sex life is actually in ruins.”
"I’m 19 years old. Circumcision really worked for me.”
Did circumcision bring out any changes? Women speak out:
"My sensations didn’t change a bit. Though my jaws grow numb after oral sex ‘cause the whole thing takes so long to accomplish. Everything’s just fine, by and large”.
"Everything looks beautiful, pretty neat and clean.”
"Lovemaking has become longer than before, that’s the only difference.”
The persecution of the Jews was one of the most favorite pastimes of the Europeans in the distant past. The Jews were persecuted for being…Jewish. Jewish men used a variety of methods of the foreskin reconstruction in an attempt to conceal their Jewish origins. The most ancient method involved the use of special weights, which were attached to the remaining foreskin for stretching it out.
Things changed for the better for some time as the Dark Ages faded to black. However, the issue of the foreskin reconstruction became a matter of life and death in the 20th century as the Nazis started persecuting the Jews in the Third Reich. It made no difference to the Nazis whether an operation was performed for religious reasons or for the treatment of phimosis. Circumcision was a one-way ticket to a concentration camp and gas chamber. The foreskin reconstruction operations became the most costly plastic surgery in the Nazi Germany.
These days some men also want to have their foreskins reconstructed. They list the following reasons behind their desire:
They do not want to be taken for Jews or Muslims;
They do not like the appearance of their circumcised penises;
They experience discomfort when urinating;
They want to bring back the sensitivity of the glans;
They experience psychological disturbances associated with circumcision.
Today a number of surgical operations can be performed for the foreskin reconstruction. All operations are rather simple. However, surgeons are quite skeptical about this kind of surgery. In any case, one should think twice and seek professional advice before applying for such an operation.
Translated by Guerman Grachev