Warning: I say the word “penis” seven times in this column and imply it almost constantly.
Here’s something you didn’t need to know about me: I’ve never had any sort of body modification. When using that phrase, the mind travels first to piercings and tattoos, since these are the modifications most pe
n>ople choose. However, for about three-quarters of guys my age, their first, and possibly only modification was an unwilling removal of a few inches of skin.
In many countries, especially those with high Arab and Jewish populations, circumcision is nearly universal for religious or cultural reasons. In others, such as most of South America and Europe, it is quite rare. In the ’60s, American circumcision rates reached 85 percent, declining only moderately to the current 65 percent rate.
One of the main reasons for circumcision’s persistence in this country is its popularity. Even though the American Academy of Pediatrics decided in 1971 that circumcision was unnecessary, parents immediately thought forward to locker room showers and chose the option that will give their sons the ability to fit in.
Locker room showers seem to have been abolished by the time I entered high school, but I was already acutely aware that I was not in the majority. As much as everyone loves to blame things on pornography, I think it even preceded my exposure to the world of porn, in which “uncut” is a subcategory that must be specifically sought out.
More likely culprits were the sex education classes I took in fifth grade, with their diagrams of circumcised men and possibly a small picture comparing them to a natural penis. In junior high, during my obsession with Greek mythology, I remember looking at a picture depicting a battle between Greeks and tribal Africans. The exposed glans of the foremost African was greatly exaggerated and brightly colored, as the Greeks almost never circumcised. It was comforting to think that there was a culture, or there had been, in which I would be considered normal.
Of course, my discomfort in those days was one of being abnormal, like a more embarrassing left-handedness. However, almost immediately after I had my first kiss, I realized that being uncircumcised was going to be quite a hassle. One of the perks of having man-to-man sex is that it is almost certain that your partner has many years of knowledge of how to pleasure a penis. Depending on the girl, she may have had plenty of years, too.
However, when they have never dealt with your type of penis before, this practice becomes useless, the passion stops and you have a short window to give a lesson on how to please you, before the mood is ruined.
Circumcision exposes the head of the penis (the glans) to the environment, and it protects itself by becoming less sensitive. Therefore, the head can be touched relatively casually, although a little spit or lube never hurt anyone.
There won’t be a positive reaction if you try this on a head that has been protected by its foreskin since birth. More sensitive does not imply more pleasure. Pleasure and pain have a complicated relationship, which can definitely be explored, but most people are interested in conventional pleasure, so that’s what we’ll shoot for here.
So what’s to be done with an uncut penis? The idea is still to stimulate the head, but by using the foreskin as a go-between. Its two-sided nature makes it a natural simulator of this sensitive region.
Later, with sufficient arousal and copious amounts of lubrication, it is possible for direct stimulation to feel good, so it wouldn’t hurt to try it out if you think things are going well.
As far as actual techniques go, there are no rules, as each guy will prefer a different touch. If all else fails, there’s never anything wrong with a sultry “Show me how you like it,” assuming that we’re still talking about hand jobs.
This is not an argumentative column. My thesis is not that circumcision is wrong. I can’t really say which I prefer without experiencing both situations. I don’t even know which I’d choose for my son. But arguments over which is “better” are fruitless. When the goal is pleasure, the key is knowledge and, of course, practice.