I know circumcision isn’t a very sexy topic for a blog that’s supposed to be promoting sexy products in the form of erotic fiction. It’s right up there with moles, puking, and diarrhea in terms of its ability to kill a mood. However, as unsexy as it may be, it is something that affects our sex life.
According to the CDC, around 79 percent of males are circumcised in the United States. If circumcision were a movie, it would have a fresh rating on Rotten Tomatoes. Something that prevalent and popular is sure to become entrenched to some extent. It becomes one of those traditions we just don’t question.
It’s not unlike what happens when a certain song or band becomes popular. It attains a loyal following of supporters that dare not question it, no matter what. Just look to Justin Bieber fans for proof of this.
I admit I didn’t really give circumcision much thought. It happened when I was an infant. Nobody remembers much about what happened to them as an infant. In that respect, it’s the perfect time to perform circumcision. What sober-minded adult would agree to let a doctor mutilate his genitals?
I’m sure there are a few. There are men who pierce their genitals, after all. Just google a Prince Albert, but make sure you have a strong stomach. Even with these outliers, it’s hard to imagine 79 percent of all men would consent to something like this. So why should we give circumcision a pass?
This brings me to my personal story. It happened very recently during a conversation with my mother. I won’t divulge the context or situation of the conversation. I have a feeling there are members of my family who would kill me in my sleep if I did. I’ll just say that we were talking about babies and infant care. It’s a topic that’s relevant for certain members of my family. That’s all I can say without looking over my shoulder for the rest of my life.
During this conversation, my mom told me the story about my circumcision. Apparently, I was not circumcised shortly after birth, which is when most babies have the procedure. I had mine a few days after. I don’t remember what went into the decision-making process behind this.
As far as I know, I think the logic was that my father was circumcised. So logically, I should be circumcised as well. It’s a tradition, I guess. Tradition is sometimes the only logic behind certain decisions. Then again, we’re not talking about a Christmas dinner here. We’re talking about a baby’s junk.
Whatever the reason, I had to get my circumcision several days after my birth. My mom then described the visit to the doctor’s office. It starts out simply enough. She says I was a healthy baby. Then, the big moment comes. The doctor breaks out his tools and prepares to cut into my baby parts. This is where it gets somewhat telling.
Before he does what he does, he asks my mother to leave the room. This may be something that’ll be uncomfortable, which ranks right up there with the warnings on imported fireworks as the most obvious statements in the world, and it may make me cry. My mom, trusting her doctor, does what he requests.
However, she says at the time, I give her this look that seems pretty telling. I know I couldn’t talk at the time, but I think I may have been trying to say, “Why are you letting this man cut up my penis, mommy?”
What I try to say doesn’t matter much in the end. I still get circumcised. I don’t imagine it’s all that comfortable. I think it’s pretty fair to assume I cried and there’s no shame in crying over getting your junk cut. Even the most manly of men have to admit that. After that though, my mom never speaks of it again and I never ask about it.
Now let make this clear. I love my mom. I love my dad. I have two of the best parents any guy can ask for. However, my parents are still prone to the influences of tradition and peer pressure. I don’t blame them in the slightest for deciding to circumcise me and my brother.
It’s just one of those inescapable truths. Sometimes society really does function like an 80s high school drama where people eat paste and snort ketchup on a dare. They probably understood that if I didn’t get circumcised, I’d look different than 79 percent of the male population of this country. In a world where people get bullied for awful reasons, it’s not unwise for parents to limit those reasons as much as possible.
So in light of tradition and peer pressure, it seems circumcision isn’t going away anytime soon. However, if tradition and peer pressure really are the primary reasons why we do this, I think it’s worth talking about. This is why I wanted to share this personal story. I know it’s not as entertaining as me admitting that I sleep naked, but this is something that affects me. It’s something that affects the lives of many men. Since it affects our sex lives, it’s going to affect women by default.
So let’s put it out there and ask a few uncomfortable questions. Sure, it’s going to make for some uncomfortable answers. It may even reveal that some of our cherished traditions may be bullshit, but in the same way open communication is important for our sex lives, it’s just as important for our overall health. When the conversation involves cutting up our genitals, I think that’s an conversation worth having.