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Circumcision Exposed
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Does Circumcision Cause Sexual Numbness
for Middle-Aged Men?

William Douglass, M.D.
Excerpted from Second Opinion - September 1995

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I have a feeling that the problem discussed in the following letter will hit home to more people than will admit. When most women are reaching their sexual peak at about 40, many men are losing it. This may not be a life-and-death matter, but for many it is a festering psychological problem that can, in many cases, be cured and/or prevented by simply saying "no" to the doctor's knife. (If your parents didn't say "no" when you were born, it's a little more complicated -- but not hopeless.)

"I am 45 years old and I have developed a problem that is certainly not uncommon, as I understand it. There is a lessening of sensation with intercourse and an increasing difficulty reaching orgasm. It's just not like it used to be. A friend of mine said the fact that I was circumcised as a child might be a factor and that the restoration of the foreskin might make a difference. Is a restoration possible and do you agree that it might help? I am afraid of becoming impotent and I think I am heading in that direction."

- Name and state withheld on request.

Yes, it is very possible that foreskin restoration could help your problem and, in fact, might solve it all together. That's a strong claim, but sometimes the results are quite remarkable (but of course, not always). As a circumcised man ages, the glans of the penis, which has been dry since the day of his mutilation by the doctor or priest, loses sensitivity. It is no wonder that a large percentage of men are impotent after the age of 50; the wonder is that most of them aren't impotent.

This barbaric custom, performed on babies without anesthesia, is a cruel introduction to the world and to "modern medicine." It is stupid, pointless, and often harmful as, I suspect, in your case. The Egyptians started it and then the Jews took it up as a covenant with God. No one has an explanation as to why God would want newborn babies mutilated in this fashion, but the custom has not only persisted, it has been accepted by many Europeans and most Americans. The practice was introduced here in the late 19th century from England as a "cure" for masturbation, which was believed to lead to insanity and blindness.

When it was decided that masturbation did not cause these terrible diseases, the British wisely rejected the procedure. But in the U.S., these attacks on the newborn have continued, with the excuses that intact foreskin is unhygienic and causes cancer and infection. None of this is true. The American medical community continues to use one excuse after another (even claiming it prevents AIDS!) to justify a surgery most of the world scorns.

Until 1989, the American Academy of Pediatrics decried the practice of circumcision. But, because of the pressure of greedy "snippers" within the organization, the AAP meekly dropped its opposition to penile mutilation. In Australia, apparently the pediatricians are not so pusillanimous and continue to discourage the practice.

If the foreskin is restored, much of the sensitivity will return -- and you will realize what you have been missing for 40 years. A 1991 survey of 301 males seeking foreskin restoration revealed that 70 percent of them hold deep resentment toward their parents for allowing this assault on their body. On investigation, I was surprised at the amount of deep resentment there is among many circumcised men. Here's a classic comment by one victim of circumcision:

"When we men discuss our feelings about circumcision, no one listens, not even doctors. I'm one of the millions of men who doesn't like the fact that I'm circumcised. I've never liked it and wish I had been able to sit up and scream at the doctor: 'Take your hands off that; it's mine!'"

And another statement by a man who obviously is deeply disappointed from having circumcision as an adult:

"After 30 years in the natural state, I allowed myself to be circumcised because, in my physician's view, 'there might be problems in the future.' For me, the sensitivity in the glans has been reduced at least 50%. Orgasm ... has not changed, but the once sharp, strong sensations from the surface of my glans and upper shaft have given way to much duller sensations."

Restoration is not necessarily easy. It is not a simple assured surgical procedure. But it can often be achieved without surgery if there is patience and persistence.

Ashley Montagu, Ph.D., put this grotesque ritual into historical perspective when he wrote:

"It is a remarkable fact that there hardly exists a people in the world which does not, in one way or another, mutilate its members. There is hardly a part of the body that has not been the object of what, to the dispassionate observer, would appear to be the calculated wrath of its elders, for it is usually upon the young, and frequently the newborn, that these mutilations are inflicted."

America is no different.

Action to take: Read Say No to Circumcision! by Thomas Ritter, M.D. and The Joy of Uncircumcising! by Jim Bigelow, Ph.D. These books can be obtained through the National Organization of Circumcision Resource Centers (NOCIRC, P.O. Box 2512, San Anselmo, CA 94979, Tel: 415-488-9883) or the National Organization of Restoring Men (NORM, 3205 Northwood Dr., Suite 209, Concord, CA 94520).

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