People who regret genital cutting
First-person accounts from
"It was [in May 1989] that, as a nursing student, I first witnessed a circumcision. I will go to my grave hearing the screams of that tormented baby in my ears. As I watched in disbelief, I began to cry. The doctor looked up at me and said, 'There is no medical reason for doing this.'
"Within a year, I'd done enough research to know that the doctor was right, and I began telling everyone what I had learned only to realize that I was talking about 'down there' to people who didn't want to admit they had a 'down there' much less hear about the harm and horror of circumcision.
"As a nurse, I told parents what I wished someone had told me before my sons were circumcised. I thought every parent had a right and an obligation to be fully informed. I was told to keep my mouth shut. So, I made a video of a circumcision for parents. I was told it was too much for parents to see. I said, 'Perhaps, then, it's too much for a baby to endure!' The video was censored, and, in 1985, I got the ultimate censorship I was fired.
- Marilyn Fayre Milos, May 11, 2001
As an American middle class woman I had always thought penises were supposed to look a certain way with the exposed rounded “head” at the end. It never occurred to me that anything had been changed or cut off to make them appear that way. As far as I knew males were born with penises that looked like that. ...
When the baby and I came home and I first began changing his diapers, I found that he too had a penis in the style and shape to which I was culturally accustomed, with the rounded glans exposed. The end of the baby’s penis was bright red for the first few days, but soon healed. The baby screamed every time his diaper was changed. Being a naive new mother, I had no idea why diaper changing upset him so much. Perhaps all babies did that. I never gave the appearance of my baby’s penis any concern.
Two and a half years later, in 1974, our second son was born in another hospital, again by the Lamaze method. This birth experience included several progressive practices such as rooming in. I was also more aware of the baby undergoing circumcision. The morning following his birth the doctor came by, took the baby to another room where he cut off his foreskin and brought him back to me about 15 minutes later. Although I expected that the procedure would be painful for the baby it never occurred to me not to have it done. This baby also now had a penis in the style which seemed normal to me. The new baby’s penis healed within a few days and I forgot about it.
Two years later after our second son’s birth I again became pregnant. ...
The idea occurred to me that if our new baby was a boy, perhaps he should not be circumcised. However, I knew practically nothing about it. None of our doctors ever gave us any information about the operation – pros, cons, why or how it was done. Although mothers regularly discuss at length all aspects of pregnancy, birth, and infant care, I had rarely heard anyone else talk about circumcision. While I regularly discussed in detail such things as nutrition, breastfeeding, exercises, breathing techniques, and postpartum care in my Lamaze classes, it never occurred to me to discuss circumcision. Despite my extensive knowledge in many other areas, and my wholehearted desire to do the very best for my children, my awareness of circumcision consisted of nothing more than a basic concept that that was the way that penises were supposed to look and a vague idea that it was somehow supposed to be cleaner.
Early one morning in April of 1977, our third little son came into the world in the peace and comfort of our home. ... During the next few days our new son nursed contentedly, slept peacefully, and rarely cried. He had a peacefulness and serenity that I had never known with my first two babies – something very special and rare.Another thing that was different about this baby was that he had a penis that was straight and long, coming to a point at the end. While I had always thought that intact penises looked “strange”, this baby’s penis seemed normal and natural the way it was. The first few days of our new baby’s life were peaceful and joyous and our new little son was whole and perfect.
What incomprehensible force brought me from this beautiful, untraumatized birth at home to a strange doctor’s office one week later – sitting there frightened and reluctant, holding my sleeping, peacefully trusting newborn infant? “He shouldn’t be different from his brothers or father.” “I’m afraid he’ll have problems.” “Our relatives would object if we didn’t have it done.” All these thoughts went through my head, while all the while I wanted so much to protect my baby from any harm .
My husband and I found ourselves relinquishing our baby and leaving the building. When we returned about 15 minutes later the office was filled with our baby’s screams! I found our precious baby on the doctor’s operating table with a penis that was cut, raw and bright red! I remembered his brothers’ penises looking that way, but while they, to me, seemed to have been born that way, this baby had definitely been injured, damaged, and traumatized! My maternal protective instincts had been violated! I immediately held and nursed him, trying to relieve his pitiful screams. Soon he mercifully fell asleep and I took him home. I felt like I had brought home a different baby. His tense, agonized little body reminded me of the way his brothers had been as newborns. Within a few days the redness around the end of his penis healed. But this time I was not about to forget! The trauma and torture that was inflicted upon this tiny, helpless little being was to come back and haunt me again and again. From this sprang my quest to do extensive research for my book Circumcision: The Painful Dilemma which was published in 1985 by Bergin & Garvey, S. Hadley, MA. (Now online)
- Rosemary Romberg, from her website, "Peaceful Beginnings"
... My first son was circumsised because I never reseached it and let it up to my husband. After I saw his raw wound, I knew I did something wrong. It looked horrible and he was in so much pain. Please leave him intact.
- Jenn Bane, March 24, 2014
I had my son circumcised due to his father. I wished i didn't it was harder keeping he clean right after the circumcision and there really is no point other than cosmetics. Teach your son how to wear condoms and clean themselves then the reasons to have a circumcision is moot. ... If I have another son i wouldn't go that route again.
- Mrscjones, March 25, 2014
Facebook, April 5, 2014
Facebook, April 5, 2014
Facebook, April 5, 2014
Facebook, April 8, 2014
Facebook, April 8, 2014
"I'm so upset. I know when my son was done they screwed him up. It does not look right even today. They just sent him back to me like nothing ever happened, with a completely messed up penis that's barely there!! I'm so heartbroken" she said with tears in her eyes. Before I could even say anything, she continued, "and now I see that I did not even have to do it. It had 16 functions; that baby on that cutting board was my own son!"
- A mother speaking to Shelley Wright at a solo protest, April 14, 2014
- Written to a mother who was "feeling guilty"
about circumcising her son.
- Comment on a video about Russell Crowe
I am a circumcision-regret mother. It was only after my son was circumcised that I learned it was not necessary, excruciatingly painful, and that all the things I was told about circumcision were myths. I learned that I circumcised him to prevent future problems, but the risks of circumcision actually outweigh any so called benefits. I chose to leave my second son intact. Intact boys are easy to clean! Unfortunately that myth intact boys are hard to clean is a pretty strong driving force for many people to continue to do it to boys, but that is all it is: a MYTH. I hope through education and speaking out, more and more parents will learn the real truth and protect their boys from such unnecessary harm, and protect themselves from guilt upon learning the truth too late like I did. Please spare any future sons from the unnecessary harm and torture. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ceht-3xu84I
- Tessa Tewksbury on Facebook, April 20, 2014
- Facebok, April 27, 2014
... Some of the more open minded MEN non practicing or reformed ages 20- 65 that I've spoken to have told me they regret being circumcised and wish their parents would have named them without cutting them. My 32 yr old son is one of those men and I am one of those parents. I regretted being bullied into it by my family the second I heard that baby scream. I was so furious at myself and everyone there for clapping and laughing that I threw them all out of my house that instant including the rabbi and mohel, who wouldn't leave without getting paid. I didn't pay him and have no idea who did. My son grew up wanting to be intact like his step dad. I am in these groups because the sound of that baby's shriek will be in my head forever. Everytime I hear a baby will be cut I feel sick to my stomach and try to change the parents minds.
- Roni Silk Jones (friend of Brother K) on Facebook, May 3, 2014
I cut my son because of pressure from my father and grandma, you know, to continue the tradition. I regret it every day. I told my son not to circumcise his son, my grandson. I mean you’re born with it, right? As soon as I let it happen I knew it was wrong.
- A Jewish father to Brian Herrity, Walnut Creek, May 12, 2014
- Hellobee, May 19, 2014
- Hellobee, May 19, 2014
- Facebook, June 4, 2014
- Facebook, June 7, 2014
- Facebook, June 20, 2014
- Facebook, June 30, 2014
- Facebook, August 10, 2014
- Facebook, August 13, 2014
- Facebook, August 28, 2014
- Facebook, August 29, 2014
- Facebook, September 2, 2014
- Response to a post by Foxy Wine Pocket, September 3, 2014
- Seven News (Australia), October 1, 2014
- Facebook, October 20, 2014
- Facebook, October 24, 2014
- Facebook, October 24, 2014
- Facebook, October 24, 2014
- MichaelGrahamShow Facebook page, November 6, 2014
- Modern Alternative Mama, November 7, 2014
- Facebook, 2014
... He screamed so hard after his circumcision that he passed out afterwards for hours and didn't want to eat for a long time. I was lucky though because we worked through it, and he's two years old (next week) still nursing. There is NO NEED for circumcision and we need to make a fuss like I wished someone had made a fuss to me!! You don't have to do this!
- Jennifer Hackler on Facebook, December 8, 2014
Yes, I regret doing that to my eldest. I remember that day in the hospital and yes, he was crying, so yes, it fucking hurt him. I did it because the doctor told me that it would be better for him. Stupid, yes. I know better now, but that won't change what happened then.
Leigh Wallace on Wavey Davey's YouTube "I Want My Foreskin Back", June 2015
- comment on "Is Male Circumcision
- comment on Atheist
Republic's "Are male and female
circumcision morally equivalent?"
on Twitter, September 15, 2017
- Twitter, January 4, 2018
- Comment on Madeline Montgomery's
report on a Bloodstained Men protest
in Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, March 28, 2018
- Comment on WWay News, March
- Comment on the mom.me page on Facebook, January 21, 2019
Men who regret being circumcised as adults
circumcision is retarded. I am circumcised and did it when I was 18 because I felt I wasnt normal. I enjoyed it for about 6 months until I started to realize how much it SUCKS. You lose SOOO much feeling. It's funny cus guys who have been circmszd since birth don't know what it's like to have a normal penis.? They miss out on SOO much. It seriously removes 200% sensitivity to ur penis. Plz remember that I WANTED TO be circumcised.
breastimus on Youtube ~June 2009
As male who was circumcisied at age 29 and is now 31, I can say with 100% certainty, it was the absolute worst choice I have ever made! I did it because I wanted to fit in so to speak. The circumcision debate is identical to the vaccine/autism debate. It's based on crap science and cultural "norms". After living both sides, circumcision is as evil as Euginics!
Woods on Reuters January 8, 2011
I was circumcised at the age of 18 for medical reasons.
But i have had a taste of life before that event and i can assure everybody that capacity for enjoyment is radically different.
While before the operation, a feather could rattle me, sandpaper today can barely make me budge.
Pro advocates have no idea of the difference, otherwise they would be totally mute.
I could go into more details but i would probably be deleted by the overseers.
CIRCUMCISION SHOULD BE BANNED. period.
mellowg on the Globe and Mail January 14, 2011
I was circumcised as an adult so I know what's it like to be sexually active male both with and without a foreskin. I had a full foreskin until the age of 26 when, due to phimosis, my doctor recommended circumcision. I wish I'd known when I agreed to it what I know now.
With a foreskin, the glans is covered most of the time, so it's like a very sensitive (almost painfully so) mucous membrane. During sex when the foreskin retracts it provides extremely strong sensations both from the friction on the sensitive glans and the foreskin rubbing back and forth across the corona. Post-circumcision, this very sensitive skin becomes "keratinised", i.e. it toughens up like any other part of our external skin so the sensitivity is vastly reduced. A good before vs after comparison of the change in the degree of sensitivity would be the difference between touching your eyeball with your finger and touching your fingertip with your finger. Try it and see if you can judge the difference.
Re: hygiene, I washed regularly, I never experienced any hygiene problems when I had a foreskin. No smell, no smegma, nothing.
Re: pain, the surgeon insisted he do the procedure under general anaesthetic. Quite likely the adult penis is far more sensitive than a baby's, but even so, I think the fact that I needed a general anaesthetic tells you something. When I woke up it was extremely painful even with a healthy dose of painkillers.
In retrospect, I feel stupid having agreed to circumcision. I feel I have lost a huge part of myself. I feel my libido is far lower, when I have sex I feel a fraction of what I felt before.
My circumcision was very neatly and professionally done, I've suffered from none of the horror stories mentioned above. But with the experience I've had, I don't understand why anyone would feel the need to circumcise anybody, let alone a child, unless it offered a better, fuller, more enjoyable life experience than what they currently have.
Anonymous on Psychology Today, September 15, 2011
I wasn't cut until I was in my 20's. If I had it to do over, I never would have had it done. The sexual experiance and sensations are a lot more intense for an uncut male than a cut male because the foreskin keeps the head of the penis moist and it's a heck of a lot more sensitive to the touch. By circumcising your sons you are robbing them of ever having the maximum sexaul satisfaction possible. Teach them to wash it under the foreskin and cleanliness shouldn't be a problem. I'd never have my kids circumcised. To cut or not to cut is something for them to decide once thay get older, not me.
TheCosmicCowboy on StarPress.com, September 19, 2011
A medical condition meant I had to have a circumcision at 18. The experience t[a]ught me that circumcising a new born is just plain wrong. The procedure is painful and it takes weeks for the body to get used to a highly sensitive area being exposed. It should only be performed on the consenting mature individual. Any parent who has their child circumcised is in my opinion violating the rights of the child. A parent should not have the right to mutilate their child just because in the future the is a tiny chance something might go wrong.
- Ben on Sydney Morning Herald, March 2, 2011
I opted to be circumcised around age 20 for medical reasons[. I]f I had known what it would be like I would never have gone through with it. Doctors do not explain things properly to you in this country they're so free and easy to hand out pills and book you in for operations without you or them really knowing what the consequences will be. Being circumcised was not worth it for me, I'd rather have lived with the pain I was in than with with virtually no sensation at all. I haven't even mentioned the pain of the operation under a local anaesthetic which did not help whatsoever.
Shin Ra on NeoSeeker, March 25, 2012
I was intact until I was 19, and after some bad medical advice I was circumcised. There is no comparison in sensation - before I had an exquisitely sensitive sexual organ. Now the sensation is nil. I have erectile dysfunction and do not orgasm.
I have tried to restore for years but it's difficult and takes a lot of commitment. I wish every day I could go back and not make that mistake. It has totally destroyed my life.
Steve Bennett on MindOfOwn's blog, June 22, 2012
I was circumcised for medical reasons as a 17 year old. I had sexual experiences before with my un mutulated penis and now with the mutulated penis. I know from first hand experience what if FEEL's like with or without forskin.
I can assure you that most of the nerves that the body has for pleasure are located in the very skin that is removed during circumcision. that fact alone should make it mandatory to have the person of a legal age where it can make an informed decision.
those health claims are completely culturally biased. there seems to be no neutral factual science that will come to this conclusion of recommending this proceedure. there are probably similar reasons to permanantly remove the teeth, or fingernails or what ever needs cleaning on a regular base. .....
Kalle on KQED, September 4, 2012
Alan asked 15 hr ago
I had a circumcision 10 days before. After 6-7 days all the stitches are removed. I tried to masturbate yesterday, but I couldn't do it because of pain.
And the skin under my penis is uneven and looks like it can cause bleeding while having sex. Are these things normal.? Or should I consult a doctor for this.?
Alan on Yahoo! Answers, December 16, 2012
Parsecskin on Foreskin Restoration, June 27, 2014
The worst thing I've done to my body was getting circumcised at 26, by choice. But at least it was a choice I made myself. I would urge all parents to let their boys choose as they get older. I did it for religious reasons. However, I lost a lot of sensitivity. Do not cut your boys- if God didn't want foreskin- He wouldn't have created it!
Louis Renier Erasmus on Facebook, November 11, 2014
- comment on "Intactivism: Why a Florida mother
took her son into hiding to avoid circumcision"
in The Washington Post: May 27, 2015
... Pre-circumcsision, masturbation by manipulating the tip of the foreskin was exquisite. A rainbow of glorious sensation and proper orgasm. Post-circ (I was cut for phimosis in my teens--medical negligence). Neither my parents nor I consented to the procedure as we never gave informed consent. I was led to believe it would help me, but it actually ruined my life [b]y removing all sexual pleasure. Now I know from histological studies that the glans is non-erogenous and all the erogenous nerves are in the foreskin. The people saying the glans clitoris is the hub of female pleasure are in all probability wrong too. I haven't seen any neurological evidence the glans clitoris is the primary erogenous tissue.
- Terrestrial Toes, in the Atlantic, August 28, 2015
|I made the mistake of electing to be circumcised as a
healthy adult, having been
born in non-circumcising Denmark and raised in
circumcising Alaska. The stigmatization of
uncircumcised men can be considerable - at least, that
used to be the case in the US. Getting circumcised was
- without serious competition - the
single most idiotic decision I've ever made.
I was circumcised successfully - everything went
exactly according to plan - and yet
I lost almost all the sensation in my penis.
The little erogenous feeling I have I owe to a
miserable scrap of mucosa on the underside of the
distal end, proximal to the glans. I'd mistakenly
attributed the sensations I'd enjoyed during
masturbation to the glans being stimulated by the
foreskin, but in fact it's the other way around: the
glans is mostly useful for its size and shape - it's
an excellent anvil against which to work and over
which to roll one's foreskin.
Now, during sex, I barely feel anything at all until the end. Condoms are a total loser for me - and my difficulties maintaining an erection, much less attaining orgasm (to say nothing of actually enjoying the experience) force me to engage in risky sexual practices that I know I really ought to avoid.
People make a lot of assumptions about how the penis works, and they're wrong. The glans is not the most erogenous part - it feels only deep pressure and pain (to which it is very sensitive). The 'inner lip' of the tip of the foreskin is just about all men have to get by on. We owe our convictions about male sexual response to intuition, and intuition is not science. In fact, intuition is a great threat to science.
Don't make the mistake I did, boys.
When I was 27 our son was born. The family doctor tried to present convincing arguments for having him circumcised but both my wife and I felt it wasn't our decision to make since it wasn't our body being modified. I did buy his rationale and asked for a referral to get myself done. I never had a problem with hygiene, infections or any other issues. He just made it sound like things would be better. A few friends commented that I was going to be in agony and that it was difficult for an adult. I was nervous as heck but went to the outpatient surgery section for my appointment. I was given an injection of demerol I'm thinking more for anxiety than anything else. The procedure took about 35 minutes and I was kept for an hour and a half to check for bleeding. I was told to leave the compression bandage on for two days. That evening we went to the company Christmas party and I went to work next day. I was astounded at the lack of expected pain. When I took the bandage off it wasn't a pretty sight with bruising swelling and stitches. For me the worst part was the itching caused by the stitches but they soon dissolved. The part that had been formerly covered was a distraction being constantly in contact with my clothes but it soon desensitized. When fully healed and able to resume sexual activity I was surprised at how much sensation I had lost. For those cut at birth they would never have anything to compare. Also my wife noticed a big difference which wasn't for the better. She truly preferred me intact and in hindsight so did I. The reason I'm telling this is to dispel the myth that adult circumcision is much more difficult than for infants. I made a choice and got the type of cut I asked for, I just never really knew what I was giving up. I'm totally against routine infant circumcision and honestly believe we as a society need to respect a boy's right to bodily autonomy and remove the decision from parents to take that right away from him by having him cut. Thanks
Stephen Nelson on whatUneverknew, February 1, 2015
I got a late circumcision in adulthood because the doctor told me I had to, and I regret so bad that I didn't look up alternative solutions.
The following applies and is worsened the older you have your circumcision: from what I gathered, if you circumcise in your late teen years or adulthood, your loss will be bigger. If you do it early I'd say that because your body is developing and growing, it adapts and recovers a lot better to changes in your body and I think you may grow more sensitive nerves elsewhere in your penis. But when you stop growing, there are no new nerve endings. For intact people the majority of the sensation comes from stimulating and rubbing that whole foreskin against the gland.
So after the circumcision, the difference in sensation was so great that I got depressed for a year or so, which led to my loss of interest in sex and getting angry for doing it. I eventually had to lift myself up and am ok now because I don't think about it much and have to move on. But never again have I had pleasure just by stimulating my penis, I always have to be in mood for it and have to fantasiese really hard. The pleasure now is mostly psychological and not physical. I can bearly feel a thing on my gland and where I feel the most is a little ring section right below the scar, where I guess I have some nerve endings left.
I once read this great analogy: circumcision is like going from seeing the world in colors to seeing the world in shades of grey. Which I agree 100%.
Also, I don't get the people that were circumcised before ever masturbating that say that it's better being cut than uncut! Wtf?! How are you saying that something you never tried is worse than what you have?!!!
And while restoring foreskin may improve the sensation a bit, I hear it's still far from being intact.
limp6986 on Wavey Davey's YouTube "I Want My Foreskin Back", April 2015
(40 regretful men)
| Culture, Health &
https://doi.org/10.1080/13691058.2021.1879272 [on this site]
Joining the tribe: adult circumcision among immigrant men in Israel and its traumatic aftermathLarissa Remennick
Neonatal male circumcision is closely tied to Jewish identity and is socially normative in Israel. Soon after the mass arrival of secular, uncircumcised Jewish immigrants from the former Soviet Union in the early 1990s, the state sponsored mass circumcision campaigns for adolescents and adult men enabling them to join the Jewish collective, socially and religiously. Some two decades later, these men break the silence exposing their traumatic experiences in the wake of this body-altering surgery. This paper builds on the narratives of these men, belonging to Generation 1.5 of Russian Israelis, emerging in online forums, media features, live events and personal interviews. Driven by social pressure and the need to belong, most young men (and their parents) consented to the operation without proper counselling and unaware of its ramifications. Men share their intimate memories of the rapid surgical procedure, painful recuperation, and their belated regrets, both aesthetic and sexual. The willingness to expose their lingering trauma signals evolving concepts of masculinity and vulnerability among these former Soviet men. Their voices join the local and international movement opposing medically-unnecessary genital surgeries of any kind – on men, women and intersex people.
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