While more men get circumcised at birth, just as many men remain uncut.
There are many misconceptions about the foreskin. But why is there so much controversy over an extra layer of skin on the male genitalia?
Here are 10 facts to know about the uncircumcised penis.
1. There Are Different Reasons to Not Circumcise
Just as there are many reasons to not circumcise, there are just as many reasons to not circumcise.
Circumcision is most common amongst religious groups, such as the Muslim and Jewish religions. But circumcision became the norm and most parents circumcise their sons as a cultural practice.
But there are just as many reasons to keep your son whole.
This movement believes men should have a choice over their bodies. In addition, the foreskin serves a vital function. The foreskin protects the penis and also protects his urinary tract.
In addition, most countries don’t circumcise. The United States is one of the only countries that practice regular circumcision. It’s estimated 80% of the world’s population doesn’t practice circumcision.
2. Circumcision Is a Surgical Operation
It’s hard to think about putting your newborn through a surgical operation.
Technically, that’s what circumcision is. Circumcision requires cutting off all or most of the foreskin. This is necessary in order to expose the full head of the penis.
The penis is numbed, circulation is cut off, and the foreskin is removed. The procedure only takes about 15 minutes and can take as long as 30 minutes.
Circumcision is commonly performed by a pediatrician or family medicine doctor, especially when the patient is an infant.
But adult circumcision is becoming more popular. This is usually done by a surgeon.
3. There Are Side Effects of Circumcision
With such a common procedure, there are side effects that men of all ages can experience.
The most common one is pain. Even though the penis is numbed during the operation, the healing process can be painful. Many men also experience irritation around the penis.
There is also heightened risk of injury to the penis, during and after the procedure as well as in the future.
The foreskin protects the penis head and urinary tract, and removing the foreskin exposes this sensitive area to the environment.
Immediately after circumcision, there’s a major risk of excessive bleeding and even infection.
4. Uncircumcised Penises Are Normal
As mentioned previously, most countries don’t practice circumcision. In the United States, just as many men are circumcised as they are uncircumcised.
There are also anti-circumcision movements, claiming circumcision goes against a man’s choice over his body and argues the foreskin is an essential part of men’s health.
In regards to sex, uncircumcised penises don’t look any different compared to a circumcised penis. That’s because the foreskin pulls back when a man has an erection.
5. The Foreskin Doesn’t Hold Onto STIs More Than Circumcised Penises
One of the biggest circumcision myths is a man with his foreskin still intact spreads STIs more than men with uncircumcised penises. This myth comes from the belief that men hold STIs in their foreskin.
There’s no medical consensus that proves this is true. But medical professionals in the US recommend parents to give their sons the procedure and also warn about other dangers such as irritation and infection from smegma.
Cutting off the foreskin doesn’t prevent infection and STIs. Here’s what will:
Cleaning and caring for the penis. Proper hygiene will help prevent minor infections such as UTIs.
Protected sex. For sexually active men, the best way to prevent an STI is by wearing a condom and having monogamous sex.
6. Uncircumcised Penises Are Also Not Dirtier Than Circumcised Penises
Another uncircumcised penis myth is uncircumcised penises are dirtier than circumcised ones. The myth mainly comes from the penis holding onto smegma.
Smegma is a sebaceous secretion consisting of dead skin cells and oils that gather under folds of skin, specifically in the genitalia.
First and foremost, smegma isn’t dangerous. It’s perfectly natural, even though some people think it’s unsightly.
In addition, smegma development is just as common for women as it is for men.
Smegma buildup is less common in circumcised men because they don’t have as many extra skin folds, but that doesn’t mean smegma forms on circumcised penises.
The most important fact to remember, whether or not you’re circumcised (and for women!), is to clean your genitals. In the shower, take a gentle soap such as baby bath, and wipe down your genitals with either your hand or a washcloth.
7. Men With Uncircumcised Penises May Have Better Sex
We’re emphasizing the point, may have better sex. That’s because there’s a lot of speculation on this theory.
The theory is, since the foreskin has many nerve endings, men lose a little sexual pleasure when their foreskin is removed.
All we know is yes, the foreskin has additional nerve endings. The foreskin also slides back and forth on the penis during intercourse and oral sex, which is more stimulating for men.
But we also know the foreskin is only a small piece of skin, so many experts don’t believe the difference in pleasure isn’t that drastic.
There’s another myth that men with uncircumcised penises don’t harden as easily as men with circumcised penises. That’s because their full penis isn’t exposed.
Nothing has proved this theory.
When proving these theories, who’s the best source to trust (other than science)?
The partners, of course!
In terms of heterosexual partners, women state they can’t notice a difference in sexual performance between circumcised and uncircumcised penises (though some women may not prefer the look of an uncircumcised penis).
Do You Have an Uncircumcised Penis?
Is sex better with someone with an uncircumcised penis? Is circumcision safe? Are more men circumcised or uncircumcised?
For years, the extra piece of foreskin eluded us. Now, more research is emerging that proves uncircumcised penises aren’t as dangerous or as controversial as we expected.
Our sex and relationship topics don’t end at the foreskin! Continue reading our blog for more advice, from dating to intimacy and sex.