Flicking through the (digital) pages of The Guardian/Observer this morning, I spotted a story about male circumcision and how one husband’s insistence on it for his sons ended his marriage.
With circumcision the predominant look in north America, it’s unsurprising that ‘the look’ is mainly of the ‘cut’ variety.
In Europe, however, the predominant look is to be uncircumcised (uncut).
Uncircumcised male naturist with foreskin intact
Circumcised male naturist with foreskin removed.
There are social and religious reasons for circumcision. It was once believed that circumcising prevented masturbation (untrue) and offered more protection against infections (debatable), which were the social reasons for cutting.
Muslims and Jews routinely circumcise their male children, even now, for religious reasons.
I confess that I grew up in a slightly sheltered environment, and it wasn’t until I became a naturist that I had a range of penises to compare. Because my naturism has exclusively been in Europe, my exposure to the naked male form offered me an overwhelming experience of uncut men.
Of course, there were still circumcised males around, in a minority, and I do remember being intrigued by that look in my early naturist days.
My husband was circumcised as a boy, for a medical condition known as phimosis, that it a foreskin that is too tight for retractable purposes. As such, he never knew sex (or masturbation) as an uncut male and says he’s totally unqualified to comment on whether there is a loss of sensitivity as a result of circumcision.
As I’ve never had sex with anyone but my husband, neither am I in a position to make any comparisons either, but there are many articles on the internet which lay out the pros and cons of sexual experiences with cut and uncut men. There’s also some debate as to whether oral sex is preferable with a circumcised penis.
The internet is full of such arguments, although I draw the line at some people suggesting a circumcised penis ‘looks more natural’. Some of what males were born with has been removed. How is that remotely ‘more natural‘?
Of course, all of this debate is moot in the context of Second Life. What I think Second Life has done, for some users, is to expose them to a circumcised look they might not, as Europeans, or an uncircumcised look, as north Americans, they would have experienced in real life. In a sense, the likes of Second Life (and internet porn, too, of course) have ‘normalised’ the circumcised look for Europeans, and ‘normalised’ the uncut look for Americans.
One thing we can be sure of is that in SL & RL naturist circles it becomes immaterial after a while. We aren’t judging on how our male partners look in that regard, but how they are as people.
Conversely, UK’s Channel 4 begins a new series tomorrow night called ‘Naked Attraction’, in which people are asked to pick a date purely on the basis of their naked form, and then move to a clothed date to see if chemistry initially sparked by a purely physical attraction to another person’s nudity can develop. I have to say this sounds awful, if only for the fact that it reinforces a link between nudity and sex -something we as naturists are continually begging to refute.