In the comments section of my last post, a couple of people thanked me for the pictures of uncircumcised male genitalia, and Will remarked that he was glad to see that more guys are being left intact these days. It is true, obviously, that I consciously selected uncut meat pics for the last post. I like there to be some common theme to the pictures, even when the pictures have nothing whatsoever to do with my writing. But I'm pretty much an agnostic on the topic of male circumcision.
Fair warning: two or three of the pictures in this post could reasonably be considered disturbing, and in no event do you want to view them during or immediately after a meal. Sorry about that.
Or, more accurately, I'm apathetic on the subject of routine infant male circumcision. I was circumcised at birth. I certainly have no conscious memory of the procedure, and you would be hard pressed to convince me that I'm suffering from any sort of unconscious psychic wound because someone got rid of some of my foreskin (for whatever reason, the doctor performing the procedure left a fair amount of foreskin, and some of my less experienced playmates have initially mistaken me for an uncircumcised man, though that's probably because my cock shrinks so much when it's flaccid that the remaining foreskin covers the head; that mistake hasn't happened in a while, though, probably because I usually don't bare my lower half until I'm already erect).
Adolescent or adult circumcision is another matter entirely. A few years ago, my father was having another urologic procedure done, and the doctor told him that it made sense for him to "go ahead and have the circumcision" taken care of while he was getting this other procedure. Mind you, my father was over seventy at the time, so exactly why the doctor thought that there was some sort of imminent, foreskin-related problem remains unclear. My father's not one to ask questions of medical professionals, so he agreed to have himself circumcised. He told me that the recovery was very painful. That procedure certainly did strike me as a form of mutilation.
The same is true for cultures where circumcision is considered a rite of passage into adolescence or adulthood. Frankly, it seems barbarous to cut off the foreskin of anyone who's old enough to know what's going on or to remember what's happened. I don't have a problem with rites of passage per se, but wouldn't some sort of required accomplishment (I dunno: killing a rhinoceros with your bare hands or slamming the door on your first Jehovah's Witnesses or raising a tomato from seed or something) be better than painful mutilation? I mean, really, is it any wonder that men still go to war when the people who are meant to protect them take sharp objects to their penises? If you look around the web, you can find pictures of cultures where the boy is all dressed up as he's on his march to the
But I just can't get all worked up over routine infant circumcision. I don't want to get into an argument with anyone, and I understand all the reasons against clipping the skin, but there are also arguments in its favor, most notably that circumcision appears to significantly cut (ahem) the rates of AIDS transmission. And, of course, there's always smegma.
Back before I was a parent, the ex and I discussed the issue briefly, and it wasn't really a close call for us: if we'd had a boy, we'd have left his foreskin intact. I mean, I know that some men think their sons' penises need to resemble their own, but why? And why are grown men so worried about the appearance of their sons' penises in the first place? How much time are you going to spend looking at your boy's dick? If you're changing his diaper, you'd better keep it covered up, or its circumcisional status is going to be the least of your worries.
There was certainly a period during which I was fascinated by uncut cock. It was something exotic, something I didn't have, and I'm told that we, as individuals and as a society, find attractive that which we lack. (Except, of course, for when we don't: I know lots of cut men who will only play with other uncut men. Oh well, more for me.) But while I certainly enjoyed (and continue to enjoy) playing with skin when I found it, it was never that big a deal to me. And nowadays, I really just couldn't care less. I've seen enough uncut cock that it's just not exotic any more, and as a friend of mine once told me: ultimately, every cock is interesting. (I, of course, would add to that: ultimately, every cock is less interesting than the ass on the same guy, but chacun a son gout, n'est-ce pas?)
Anyway, I certainly don't mean to cast aspersions on the crusaders who are out to End Circumcision Now! but I just can't get that worked up over it. On the whole, I find circumcision a bad idea, but it seems to me that there are probably greater injustices in the world. For starters, let's get rid of flip flops in all cases where you're more than fifty yards from a major body of salt water. Or perhaps we should start with all those people who wear Birkenstocks with socks. Or, you know, maybe we could get started on that whole world peace thing.
I just think that circumcision is one of those areas where we can all get along. I mean, sure, celebrate the foreskin if they guy's got one. Treat your foreskins well. Whatever. But let's not pretend that there aren't both uncircumcised and circumcised penises of great beauty. All penises are worthy of celebration (though, again, all asses are worthy of more), but, really, what a guy's cock looks like is so far down on my list of physical characteristics (and physical characteristics are already below mental characteristics) that it's hard for me to envision a situation where two guys are otherwise so similar that the presence or absence of a foreskin is the tie breaker. And if that situation ever does arrive, I'll probably just resolve the dilemma by taking both.