When I say I was damaged by infant circumcision, I should be specific. There wasn't anything immediately wrong with the genital cutting I was subjected to. My parents and the doctor were quite happy with the immediate result, and frankly, other than a few hurtful comments about how short my penis appeared, I didn't know any different as a child.
Puberty changed everything.
You see, it is impossible to tell how much penile skin a baby will need when he grows up. His tiny penis isn't developed yet. Doctors have to make a guess about how much of the mobile structure of the penis to destroy. They often guess wrong. One of the most common complications includes the removal of too much skin, as happened to me.
During puberty I experienced tight, painful erections. Without enough slack skin, the bulk of my penis had been trapped my whole life. It made my penis look shorter than it really was. When erections and my growth spurt started, this caused me a great amount of pain. My penis skin literally split under the tension. I was left with less than half the penile skin I should have had. No one noticed this, because frankly, some kids are just less endowed than others. And, what parent is going to try and get their child to have an erection to check and see if he has enough penile skin? No, that never happened. That would have been a whole other level of child abuse.
The growth and erections of my teen years left me with stretch marks and awful scarring. Masturbation was actually impossible for me because of the tight skin until I was 15 years old. Oh, I was as horny as all the other teens, but I just couldn't do anything about it because of the pain it caused me. I never told my parents this, because, let's face it, teenage boys DO NOT talk to their parents about their penis or masturbation habits.
With no one to talk to about it, I assumed that all my sexual problems were my fault.
I blamed myself for not being masculine enough.
I blamed myself for being defective.
Twice before I was 18 I tried to kill myself because of my perceived failings as a male.
When I finally had sex, I was disturbed to discover I just couldn't feel anything from my partner. Years of scarring and thickening of the skin left me with an insensitive member that wasn't equal to the task. The only way I could feel anything through my penis was during masturbation and with a death grip that could crush full beer cans. A vagina has some grip, sure, but no where near enough for me to feel what I ought to have felt. This led to years of depression, self blame, and a lot worse. I had to fake orgasms with women. It was devastating to my psyche. Eventually it was just too much work, so the relationships would break down because of lack of intimacy.
I came across foreskin restoration a few years ago, and it was a purely cosmetic choice for myself. I had grown up around my intact cousins, and I always felt my penis was wrong looking. The idea of hiding my horrible scars under a fold of skin sounded really appealing. Within the first few months of starting foreskin restoration I noticed a change. As I slowly developed more slack skin, my penis slowly began to heal for the first time since I'd started puberty. The more slack skin I had, the better things functioned. By the time I developed enough slack skin to again cover the glans (head) properly I was sold. When the skin covers the glans, the glans starts to heal and shed all the thickened skin that has built up over the years. My sensitivity magnified a hundred fold. Shedding the thickened skin and healing the glans also allowed the scaring around my meatus to soften. Pain I had had my entire life while urinating suddenly disappeared. That pain was so constant and expected that I thought it was normal. My mind had become accustomed to the pain so much that it no longer registered. Suddenly not feeling a pain I had had my entire life was a revelation.
Eventually I researched and discovered that I had been suffering from Meatal Stenosis all my life. At nearly 40 years of age, I was finally cured of it. Foreskin restoration has reduced the look of my scars, improved the function of my penis, and improved my overall mental, physical and sexual health. I have had enough foreskin now to know what both sides of circumcision feel like, and it is no contest. Foreskin is simply better in each and every way. There really is no excuse to remove a body part this valuable and functional.
Images from the Global Survey of Circumcision Harm
My own parents, when I was a child, were just like all the pro-cutting parents I try and educate. They were convinced I was 'fine.' I was a happy child, and I didn't know any better. When asked, my parents were proud of their decision, and would recommend it to their friends because of how happy THEY were with the configuration of MY penis. But they didn't know the reality. They never could, and never can. Neither can you if you cut your son.
When I hear men brag about their penis, and claim, "I'm cut, and I'm fine," I laugh, because I know the truth. The more insecure you are about your penis, the more you lie and claim everything is fine. Everything is fantastic, "I am so very, very happy, happy with my cock!" It is a lie, and an evasion. I know. I used to be the King of Denial. I used to say those very same things. It takes a VERY brave man to admit his penis is less than it should be. I would have walked into burning buildings, or into a war zone without blinking, but to admit my penis was flawed was something I didn't have courage enough to admit. It took restoring my foreskin to finally make me admit out loud what had been wrong for so very long.
Now I brave insults and ridicule for spreading education about the abomination that is genital cutting. I'm sorry to say, if you cut your child, you will probably never know the damages you have done. Boys and men are not wired to talk openly and honestly with their parents about this. A man will die before he lets anyone think there is anything wrong with his penis, or his masculinity. You can claim, 'my son is fine' all you want, but you just cannot, and likely never will, know the actual truth. He may not be able to face the truth of this himself. More than to anyone else, he will lie to himself.
There is no way to know how much skin a baby boy will require for his penis when he is grown. It is NOT something that can be predicted. Doctors have to guess. They can, and do, guess wrong more than they guess right. I speak out against genital cutting because I know first hand how horrible and wrong it really is. I know what the circumcised child is missing. I know what he can suffer. I know what you've put him at risk for. I've experienced it. I've researched every aspect of it, and there really is no excuse to take this pleasure away from another person.
Make no mistake, the foreskin is erogenous tissue. It is more pleasurable to have one than to NOT have one. It IS a valuable part of the penis. It is an organ with specialized functions that make a man's life better. Its loss is not insignificant. It is NOT just skin.
If men were supposed to have foreskin, they would be born with it. Don't just research circumcision. Research the foreskin.