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Leviathan meets the Incredible Hulk

The Willie I Have

Posted on 2007.01.26 at 08:34
So I was reading my friend sarahenany's journal last night, and it led me on to a number of strongly-worded editorials on circumcision. Now, this isn't something I've ever given a lot of thought to. It was done routinely in my family, so all the Johnsons I saw growing up were foreskinless, and in my mind, a circumcised penis is a "normal" penis, because, that's what I saw growing up.

I know people for whom it's an issue. The aforementioned sarahenany has long waged a lonely battle in Egypt to rally public interest in the idea that circumcision, male or female, is an evil. maple_mahogany has also expressed strong views on the subject, and written an utterly charming story "Matter of Wizard Pride" that discusses it.

But it never has been for me. I had the Dursleys have it done to Harry, quite late -- aged three or four -- to show how thoroughly unpleasant they are, but I've never thought it was a terribly big deal. I mean, I'm circumcised, and I'm entirely satisfied with my penis. Well, OK, I wish it weren't embarrassingly small, but I also know that that's an appearance based on the fact that, as fat as I am, much more of it is essentially inside me than most blokes, so, yeah, no biggie.

But reading sarahenany's discussion of the subject, she talks about the circumcized penis as a poor, mutilated thing. She talks about the glans as something that should be moist and protected, like a woman's labia, and the foreskinless glans as hardened and comparatively insensate.

So now I'm looking down at poor Mister Happy, and thinking WTF?

sarahenany talks of men who've survived circumcision and don't complain as being heroically courageous, with our stiff upper lips and need to hide our pain...

And, well, no. Mister Happy there, humble but proud, is, to me, a normal penis! It's the only one I've ever had, and it doesn't _hurt_ (You know, unless I catch it in a zipper or something equally brilliant.) It feels good when I -- or someone else --- plays with it, it stands at attention with the least provocation, even now that I'm forty-five years old.

And now, while part of my mind looks down at this mutilated and crippled thing, and thinks, "What have I been missing out on?" the rest of me shrugs, because it's the only way I've ever been, the only way I've ever known being, and I find myself paraphrasing our former Secretary of Defense, Donald Rumsfeld.

I have to wank with the willie I have. It's not the willie I might want or wish to have.

And I guess I'm OK with that?


impysh at 2007-01-26 14:27 (UTC) (Link)
I always thought of it just as a cultural or religious thing, up to the families to decide (well, except for female circumcision which does seem to have some serious medical implications)

But it does throw me to read about HP characters being circumcised, because it's not what's usual in the UK - here it's done only as a religious thing, and none of the characters seem to be practising Jews.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-01-26 14:41 (UTC) (Link)
But apparently, male circumcision has much more serious implications than we normally think, too. Apparently I'm hugely less sensitive because poor Mister Happy has been hanging around for forty-five, years rubbing against stuff without being able to hide in his handy turtleneck sweater. Apparently he's dried out and thick-skinned and insensitive, which means that my dick and my boss have way more in common than I want to think about, when he should be as moist and cherished and protected at the end as your clitoris. But instead it's this dried-up, insensate thing, and I always thought it was perfectly good.
The Impysh One
impysh at 2007-01-26 23:26 (UTC) (Link)
But at least there are people around kind enough to let you know that...

(though seriously...is it even possible to judge which dick is more sensitive, and determine that the difference is due to circumcision? Seems kind of unlikely to me)
alloy_ at 2007-01-26 15:41 (UTC) (Link)
um.....gee Jon let it all hang out why don't you?

You might say I'm the victim of a blotched Circumsition (by a Jewish Doctor no less, I have substantively more foreskin than my clipped brothers, yet less than others....

But as you say, I make the best of it ;-)
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-01-26 16:07 (UTC) (Link)
And, honestly, if you hadn't had brothers to compare to, you wouldn't even think of it as "making the best of it." Because it's the only way you've ever known it. (Unless you werre old enough when it occurred to remember now, in which case, i>Ouch</i>, dude!)
alloy_ at 2007-01-29 06:09 (UTC) (Link)
I remember squat, but as an interesting aside, there are a number of african manhood ceremonies which conduct circumsision when the participants are in their teens....very ouch
maple_mahogany at 2007-01-26 16:23 (UTC) (Link)
Oh L,
Thank you for the mention. Although this topic is something I feel serious about, and I think its lovely that you are giving it some thought, I'm sorry you have been made to feel as though you should be unhappy with your 'lot in life'.

As an American woman who has only dealt with American cut men, I can only theorize on the benefits of being natural. I refuse to believe that the natural penis is dirty or dangerous or that men are too stupid to know how to wash properly. But I've done my bit in life advocating and debating it and it basically isn't very fun to get all worked up about it (and I'm here for the fun). I also know first hand that inspite of whatever 'benefits' being natural have, a cut one (barring an ill performed surgery) works and functions and plays just fine.

My sons are one each. I let the first get cut because I hadn't learned enough about it and 12 hours giving birth I was easily coerced into getting it done by the Ped and my Mr. The second time around, it was rather an argument with my husband who is very happy with his and sees it as simply 'normal'. The argument ended with something like "sweetheart, I love you, but I will beat you down in the street with stick and die slowly before I let that happen to my new baby boy" ... such was my voracity on the subject.

So now, we have one of each. And it's my job to make sure that they both understand the practical implications and that they both feel confident with their willies as they are, because I hope for both of them to have healthy, satisfying sex lives and self confidence. My little one's generation (currently age three) will likely see his male peers about at about 50/50 cut/uncut and I think he'll be just fine.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-01-26 16:49 (UTC) (Link)
I'm sorry you have been made to feel as though you should be unhappy with your 'lot in life'.

Well, I don't really. I just do find myself wondering what might have been. I mean, if this thing is this much fun with most of its nerve endings rubbed off, how great would it be if that ended in something as moist and sensitive and protected as a clitoris?

My Sister-in-Law expressed an opinion that it's important that boys be either cut or not, but the same as their fathers, which I thought at the time was interesting, and still do, but I think, in the end, your approach is the right one. You teach your children to take care of their willies, just as they are, and that there's nothing wrong with either kind.

Because you go to bed with the willie you have!

maple_mahogany at 2007-01-26 17:09 (UTC) (Link)
See that 'like father, like son' argument is one that I've never understood, on two accounts.

A boy's bits look nothing at all what so ever like a grown man's bits. A foreskin not withstanding. Lots of boys have different hair color, eye color, and general musculature as their fathers. How often in life do fathers and sons compare penises?

Two, as girl, my childhood parts looked nothing at all like my mother's parts and it never occurred to me that they should.

*shrugs* Just had to comment on that. ;)

To me, the argument FOR circ, is either that its done for religious significance, or because that is simply what the parents want to see. It's a cosmetic surgery. If that's what parents want for their boys, then okay, but they should be honest that its really about 'looks' because all the other arguments about medicine and safety etc. just don't hold up.

Ack! Sorry. I got way more into it, then I meant to. *biting tongue now*
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-01-26 17:27 (UTC) (Link)
Those are excellent points! I wonder if those folks feel fathers should shave till their sons hit puberty... After all, I would assume that end of dad's doesn't resemble resemble that end of theirs.

Yeah, the more I think about it, the less it makes sense to me either.

No tongue-biting called for, from where I sit. The whole purpose of this thread is to explore this stuff!
Wanderings  of an artist
nutnatz at 2007-01-26 17:00 (UTC) (Link)
I actually didn't realise that it was such a contentious issue before. See, where I come from circumcision isn't the norm. It's purely a reliigous thing. So I didn't even realise that in the US, many men are circumcised and for non religious reasons.

When I talked to a Jewish friend who went to med school about it, she said that the foreskin is similar to the clitoral hood, so I can imagine what cutting it off would be like with a woman.

With regards to female circumcision, I know that it tends to be done near to puberty and in a way that permanantly damaged woman and put them at risk in serious health issues. And that female circumcision tends to be completely invasive mutilation, likened to a removal of the penis and testicles.

I didn't really want to get involved in the conversation as i said before because it's such a contentious issue and I don't know much about it, but I do think that people need more education on the issue, and also, there needs to be respect for religious beliefs, or we'll never get anywhere. It'll just be a loud noise in a the desert that never gets heard.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-01-26 17:29 (UTC) (Link)
It's just so weird for me to suddenly be thinking that, as much fun as I have with it, Mister Happy may be a mere shadow of what he should be.
mythicvictory at 2007-01-26 19:36 (UTC) (Link)

The Resident Penis Expert

When we discovered that I was pregnant with a boy-child #2, I did extensive research. There is ALOT of information out there, pros and cons, and mostly stated along the lines of a small religious war. It is a subject, like breastfeeding, that on the surface, appears to be a mere parenting choice, but scratched, is a raging political, judgmental, raging decision.

I came away (oh, for want of better phrasing) with the conclusion that we most likely did not want this. I reasoned that boys didn't suddenly develop nerves along there upon reaching puberty, and that removal without medication would be barbaric. I gathered all the info and turned it over to my DH, our resident penis expert. My only stipulation was that if we did, I insisted on the maximum pain relief available, as I firmly DO NOT believe that babies/small children don't remember pain, and can therefore suffer without relief. It actually proved to be quite the challenge to find a Doc willing to preform it with any kind of relief at all.
So my DH decided that we would, so that he and his son would have the same, er, frame of reference.
Pain relief was supplied, at my rabid, post-partum insistence.
I let the issue rest, after this. (groans again at phrasing)
My two resident experts can deal with the issue should it ever, sigh, come up again.
Naturally, my DH is gleefully referring the female aspect of such issues to me. I still haven't figured out how that means I control the age of ear ring consent, but I suspect it will be worse with bras and other piercings.
*goes to investigate the social norm ages for tattoos*
Tia, Mel
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-01-26 20:10 (UTC) (Link)

Re: The Resident Penis Expert

See, here we go, more weirdness for me. (Because, you know, it's all about me.) I hate piercings and tattoos. I hate them. I have no religion, but the closest I come is how offensive I find the arrogance of mutilating the human body for decoration, of injecting ink to change the color of skin, because I think our bodies are a perfect triumph of design and decor, literally perfect, and so making those changes, adding that ink, those holes, that to me is tantamount to graffitti-ing on the Mona Lisa.

Yet every time I pee, I'm holding a pecker that has been substantially re-engineered, and I've never given a thought.

alloy_ at 2007-01-29 06:19 (UTC) (Link)

Re: The Resident Penis Expert

I must agree with you on the issue of body modification.

I firmly believe that cosmetic surgery should be limited to corrective procedures, and not enhancement procedures.

Likewise while I see to problem with tempory Henna tattoos, permanent tattoos are something which become faded and unattractive.

Just my 2c za
shygryf at 2007-01-26 19:42 (UTC) (Link)
My mom said she did it to my brothers so it would be easier for them to keep themselves clean. she was also not told about all the side effects.
Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-01-26 20:12 (UTC) (Link)
It's one of the more commonly given reasons, I understand.
mrsquizzical at 2007-01-26 21:22 (UTC) (Link)

i love maple more than string (to quote shocolate) as she said what i always say - re the 'looking like dad' thing. also the cleaniness thing - it's a furby with increased apparant credibility because for a while in america (and australia) people were so inexperienced with the care of uncut boys that there were some medical issues. but with a little bit of education most of these things are not an issue.

i hate that the topic means that a man may look at himself differently. admittedly many get defensive and bluster about being 'just fine thank you very much' as though it were a critisism of their performance somehow. but, as the mother of sons i can't let that guilt me into allowing an uneccesary procedure. if there is so much MORE available to them, why would i not fight for that?

re the female circumcision i agree with sarahenany's assertion that it devalues the argument against female circumcision of you say 'but it's ok for the blokes'. there is the perception that female circumcision is brutal, but male is necessary. i got all offended also at comparisons between removing 'a flap of skin' and actual flesh. the fact is that female circumcision varies greatly from tradition to tradition. in some cases it is a flap of skin also, in others the clitoris itself and others actual chunks of flesh. it is ALWAYS brutal. it is ALWAYS uneccesary.

(nb. my father is from jewish stock and i understand the tradition there, and the whole cultural reference also challenged. i'm not even 'going there' in this comment.)

the images i saw when i investigated circumcision were revolting. and i'm not talking about the sensational 'worst case scenarios'. the description that made the most impact on me was the comparison to removing a fingernail - with all that connective tissue.

like maple i have debated long and hard at various times about this, and now tend to back down a bit, taking comfort that i'm protecting my boys if nothing else. but when it comes up like this (shut up!) i have to throw my hat into the ring. *sigh*

L - i think your satisfaction with what you have is great. it's what we all aim for with ourselves, and for our kids. but also the realization that there could have been more? i think that is confronting and there can be the regrets etc.

and then you go back to being happy with yourself, and exactly how happy? i think you can keep to yourself huh? mr king of tmi. *grin*

*hugs all 'round*

Jonathan Andrew Sheen
leviathan0999 at 2007-01-26 22:57 (UTC) (Link)
It's a weird experience. I guess it takes a real friend to just ruin your dick for you.
i_m_b00 at 2007-01-27 01:20 (UTC) (Link)
This is an issue that i have been looking into lately. Much of what I found on the topic is very emotional and people get very passionate about it. To be honest I still don't know some of the new research that has been done in Africa


seems very interesting. I don't know how true it is but it is something to think about.

I worry about people being judged for what they have chosen for themselves I don't believe that any one makes a choice to hurt their babies but makes the choice with the information that they have on hand. I belive that all woman love their baby and truly feel that they are doing what is best for them and should not be accused of not.

I am sorry if I offend but i do believe that female circumcision is a different thing. It is about keeping women from liking sex to much and can make sex painful that is why it's call female genital mutilation. I am sorry if i offend but it is different for girls.

On a side note I have never seen an uncut one and all the men i have known seem to be happy with what they have.
alloy_ at 2007-01-29 06:24 (UTC) (Link)
I agree 100% with your opinion on female circumsition, it's sole purpose is the subjucation of woman.

I'd like to go back in time and ask the idiots who came up with both Male and Female Circumsition exactly WTF they were thinking.
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