Your penis is not a perfect, special snowflake. There are objective standards of beauty for men, just as there are for women. For the edification and enjoyment of your female partners, not to mention the quality of oral sex you’ll get throughout your life, you should get circumcised. And you should do it to your newborn sons, too, as early into their lives as possible.
Circumcision is in the news again because two parents in Florida are disagreeing over whether to perform the procedure on their child. From what I can tell, it’s actually just a proxy war and the real issue is how much mom and dad absolutely and utterly hate each other. But plenty of people are getting excited about circumcision once more – particularly in the “manosphere,” where, to a certain breed of men’s rights activist, giving your little one the snip is something akin to rape or female genital mutilation.
These “Intact America” types need to get a grip. Sorry to be a dick, but circumcision is just good grooming. Let’s start with the obvious one: women – and men – prefer it. Figures start at about fifty-fifty: 54 per cent of women say they prefer a circumcised penis, according to a survey of 1,000 women on AdamandEve.com. They go all the way up to four-in-five: 71-83 per cent of women in this Iowa survey said they preferred circumcised.
This shouldn’t be a surprise to us. Circumcision isn’t a recent invention of misandrists, sadists or religious nuts: 15,000 years ago, men realised that making their wieners more attractive improved their chances of oral sex. Perhaps as a gay man I’m biased, but aesthetics matter. And let me tell you – sorry if this veers into “TMI” territory – that I’m infinitely more likely to make you happy down there if you’re cut.
Then there’s the medical stuff. Getting circumcised reduces the risk of urinary tract infections, some sexually transmitted diseases, including HIV and penile cancer and cervical cancer in female sex partners. It prevents a whole galaxy of hideous illnesses that come from having a turtleneck: balanitis, balanoposthitis, phimosis and paraphimosis. (I won’t spell them all out, but they’re all horrible and, more to the point, avoidable.)
It drops the risk of heterosexual HIV acquisition by about 60 per cent. It drops the risk of HPV, herpes and other stuff by similar amounts. And the risk of urinary tract infection in the first year of life goes down by an astonishing 90 per cent. The Mayo Clinic and the NHS both list huge advantages, together with the obligatory, diplomatic disadvantage list.
The American Academy of Pediatrics agree that the health benefits of newborn male circumcision outweigh the risks, but the benefits are not great enough to recommend universal newborn
The Greeks thought small penises were attractive. So they were wrong about two things, because Michelangelo’s David is uncircumcised too, which just proves that even the supposed personification of male perfection can be improved upon.
Yet the anti-circumcision lobby is powerful, and growing. In the US, fewer babies every year have the operation done. According to one “intactivist” website, the circumcision rate in the United States is now below 40 per cent, much lower in some parts of the country, down from 81 per cent in 1981. In other words, we’re losing the argument.
At least some of the new squeamishness about it is driven by the men’s rights movement, which publishes lurid pictures of disastrous operations with words like RAPE in bold red print, and which occasionally dabbles in anti-semitic pseudo-history about the origins of the procedure. It’s a pity, because this hysteria drives away normal people, irrespective of the merits of their arguments.
I’ve written at huge length in the past in support of journalists, academics, bloggers, YouTubers and authors who say that society is becoming hostile to men. I think they’re right about that. But these silly and hysterical rants about circumcision as “rape” or “mutilation” are absurd. Men get “raped,” if you like, in the courts over custody of children and alimony. I completely agree. But performing a minor bit of medical surgery that improves the life of both the dude and his sexual partners isn’t remotely the same thing.
More to the point, I’m not sure it’s consistent with manosphere principles. If “game,” the system by which men on many of these forums say they live in order to attract more and better-looking women, consists of changing your body shape and changing your behaviour, why shouldn’t it include making the best of yourself through a tiny surgical procedure? You lift so your sexual market value goes up, right? You cut your hair for the same reason? Well, getting trimmed down there is just good game, bros.
It’s not as if women don’t go under the knife to please men. And that’s before you even get to the 474 days over a woman’s lifetime she spends applying make-up. I’m not about to cry over how terrible it is that women have to wear high heels, but come on. And while we’re on the subject of sacrifices, let’s not get into that whole it-kills-the-sensitivity argument. Yes. It does. Lucky you!
Most men can barely last twenty thrusts… but those with snipped Johnsons tend, in my experience, to have significantly better stamina than their raincoated colleagues. (The research backs me up on this one.) In what world is climaxing sooner a good thing? Getting the chop does indeed reduce sensitivity up top. In the process, it makes you better at sex, and reduces the chance of you passing on anything nasty. Men can get a pill to clear up the stinging or itching; women can be left infertile.
The foreskin isn’t an aberration or a mistake but an essential part of male anatomy, say some men. Well, sure. But two things: one, we don’t say women’s bodies can’t be improved on with fake tits, makeup and vertiginous heels. And, two: why then does nature keep messing up, making so many foreskins the wrong size, length or shape? If you are so eager to experience the deep discomfort of Mother Nature’s hideous anatomical screw-ups, do the rest of society a favor and put a zip tie on the head of your penis, instead of kvetching about your lost inch of elephant trunk.
It seems to me that, annoyed by the constant refrain from feminists and the far-Left about “consent,” men’s activists have gone out in search of a way in which men are acted upon without their consent so they can say: “Look, us too!” Understandably, they have fixated on circumcision. But in the process of whataboutery they seem to have overlooked one salient fact: getting rid of grandma’s vacuum cleaner is not performed as a demonstration of power over a helpless victim, as rape is, nor purposefully to rob a man of sensual pleasure, as FGM is.
Rather, it’s done in good faith, for his own good. That’s why hysteria about it turns people off men’s rights. By all means, make your case. But you turn yourselves into an object of ridicule when you compare circumcision to rape or FGM. They’re just not even remotely the same and, if that’s your tent pole, you are destined to drive away moderates, who will then be less willing to hear you out on stuff that really matters.
It’s easy to argue that the process can be painful, perhaps even traumatising, for an infant. Mostly because all men are touchy about their junk. But to make those arguments, you have to rely on lurid details from obscure religious ceremonies, or invoke horrific, oppressive tribal customs from the third world. Sure, those African tribesman may indeed have some PTSD, but it’s got more to do with not having any food and getting shot at on a weekly basis, I’m guessing, than anything done to their genitalia.
It’s also easy to sketch out the religious history of circumcision to show that it has been used as a way of controlling people or instilling fear. Yeah, yeah, OK. Fine. But the fact is that we have it now, and it works, and it makes your life better. So why not hang on to it? We should think of it as the male facelift, except – thanks to the patriarchy! – we get it free, and at birth, so it doesn’t even cause us any discomfort or expense. None that we remember, anyway.
Get the snip and you end up cleaner, sexier, better in bed and less prone to disease. What’s not to love? And I say this, I may as well confess to you, as someone who, despite matrilineal Jewish heritage, never got it done, and is too much of a coward to book myself in for it as an adult. Spare your kids the same conundrum. Women don’t want to hurt your feelings, so they say it’s fine and they don’t mind. But they do. Cut your kids.