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Are Circumcised Men Better Lovers?

By Matty Silver, Sex Therapist on December 28, 2015 in Other

Photo: Ben Gibson

Photo: Ben Gibson

Male circumcision has become a controversial procedure and divisive issue in the medical profession and on parenting forums, with passionate voices on both the pro and anti sides of the debate.

Circumcision is an operation to remove the foreskin covering the tip of the penis. The procedure is most prevalent in the Muslim world, the United States, Israel and parts of South-East Asia and Africa; it’s relatively rare in Europe, Latin America and most of Asia.

Circumcision used to be routine practice in Australia in the 1950s, but this trend has reversed and these days less than 25 per cent of baby boys are circumcised. One reason is that the procedure has been banned in public hospitals since 2006, unless medically necessary.

Last year Brian Morris, Professor Emeritus of Molecular Medical Sciences at Sydney University, published a review claiming the health benefits of circumcision are many and include reducing the risk of transmission of HIV and some STIs, genital herpes and certain strains of the human papillomavirus (HPV). According to the review, it can also help prevent urinary tract infections (especially for babies) and may provide some protection against prostate and penile cancer.

But not everyone agrees. The Royal Australasian College of Physicians’ policy maintains the medical benefits “do not warrant routine infant circumcision”. Social media and the Internet are swamped with personal accounts from very unhappy circumcised men. Videos of the procedure show cases of the damage that can be caused and various groups are trying to convince people that circumcision is unnecessary and can be harmful and dangerous.

Another contentious issue is the belief that circumcision affects sexual functioning. Several studies have been conducted on erectile function, premature and delayed ejaculation, sexual satisfaction, sexual sensations and penile sensitivity. But those reviewing the literature have reached different conclusions, and overall no one agrees with each other.

One popular opinion is that circumcision can cause the loss of some nerve endings in the head of the penis and leave it exposed. The constant rubbing on clothing and exposure to temperature changes may reduce the sensitivity and responsiveness of the nerve endings, creating the demand for more stimulation to trigger a pleasure response. For some men, especially those who are circumcised during adulthood, this means it takes longer to ejaculate, which could be an advantage.

Unlike in the US, it seems there is hardly any research done in Australia on whether women prefer partners to have a circumcised or a non-circumcised penis. Women in the US usually have never seen an uncircumcised penis until they travel overseas and are often unpleasantly surprised by the look of them. One online comment read: “gross”.

Some reasons women give in favour of a circumcised penis are it looks better, and it is usually cleaner. Often the main reason parents choose circumcision is because they want their boy to look like their father.

So do circumcised men make better lovers? It’s a difficult one to answer. I believe it’s not so important what a penis looks like, but what you can do with it!