Arts, Activism, Awakening in Mind, Body, & Spirit

body mutilation

OpEd: Why Is Circumcision Still Considered a Humane Procedure?


© 2013 by Trish Causey.  All Rights Reserved.

Man in Turtleneck Sweater - End CircumcisionIn my current class on Methods of Inquiry, one topic that came up is the ethics of the social sciences and research.  My professor shared a power point presentation from a friend of hers, and in it, various points were made in regard to research on human subjects.  The Nuremberg Doctors’ Trials, the Tuskegee syphilis scam research project, and the Stanford prison study all contributed to the passing of the National Research Act of 1974.  This act allowed for the creation of the National Commission for the Protection of Human Subjects of Biomedical and Behavioral Research, which helped establish certain guidelines for conducting tests and research on human beings:

  • Voluntary Participation
  • No Harm to Participants
  • Informed Consent
  • Protection of Vulnerable Populations
  • Honest Reporting of Results

Of course, I had to bring up the human rights violation that is routine infant circumcision.  Circumcision itself is not a research project, except that there is research surrounding circ that just happens to use live babies, and apparently, circ is not covered in ethics classes or the social sciences when discussing inhumane, unnecessary medical procedures.

Here, then, is my post in my class’ discussion of the humane treatment of consenting volunteers — I thought my avid activist readers would enjoy a good Irish rant.

On the subject of human experiments, my activist ire is burning brightly, so you can ignore the entire rest of this post…. But if you’re brave….

Saying research on humans must be completely voluntary is great, but the reality is that is not what happens in the United States on one particular kind of “research”.  Non-consensual human research does in fact still happen.  In the United States, routine infant circumcision (RIC) on baby boys occurs on a daily basis — female genital cutting has been outlawed in the United States, but it is still practiced in some parts of the world.  Both male and female genital mutilation are violations of a child’s basic human rights to body autonomy and self-determination.

While parents think they have the right to mutilate their sons, the boy himself actually has the only say in what happens to his body, especially when circumcision is an unnecessary cosmetic procedure.  Even if the parents’ religion “requires” circumcision, the boy himself is too young to voice if he has chosen to join his parents’ religion.  Thanks to the First Amendment to the Constitution of the United States, every American citizen is guaranteed the Freedom of Religion; and in the case of circumcision, boys have the right to Freedom FROM Religion.  HIS body.  HIS choice.

So why do I bring this up?  (Besides the fact that I’m an intactivist — an activist for keeping boys’ and girls’ genitals intact.)  When a child is circumcised, he may not receive any anesthesia — even if given a local anesthetic, it does not do much.  The male foreskin has 20,000 – 30,000 nerves.  Yes, he DOES feel it.  If he isn’t screaming, he’s in shock.  So, is this humane?

Circumcision is now being shown to hinder a baby boy’s desire to latch on during breastfeeding — the baby probably feels betrayed by the mother.  New studies are showing that circ affects the way in which the neurological pathways grow and connect as well as the psychological development — it’s no coincidence that the most violent and misogynist countries in the world tend to practice routine infant circumcision — America is especially included!

I invite you to watch a video of circumcision on YouTube.  If you can’t sit through it without wincing, ask yourself how HE feels — and why does our culture still do this to infants who are only days old?  Is this humane?

Worse than all of this is that the foreskins aren’t just thrown away.  The hospitals sell the amputated foreskins to research labs since animal research is no longer an accepted practice (and rightfully so!).  The DNA and cells from the foreskins are used in research by bio-engineering and cosmetic companies.  Cosmetic companies are looking for the “fountain of youth”, and they’ve found it in the mutilated genitals of non-consenting newborn babies.  The next time you’re shopping for some anti-wrinkle cream, call the company — Mary Kay, SkinMedica, Cover Girl, etc. — and ask if they STILL use foreskin-derived cells in their products.

Interestingly, the buying and selling of body parts is illegal in the United States.  I can’t sell a kidney or an ovary or even a length of my hair because it would be considered trading in body parts.  And yet the medical system does exactly that — buying and selling the human body parts of non-consenting children and profiting handsomely from it.  Must be nice to own the FDA like that.

Over the course of its use and being sold and re-sold and then put into over-priced facial creams, one baby foreskin can eventually be worth $100,000.  So everyone from the doctor to the hospital, to the labs, to the bio-medical and cosmetic companies gain big returns for stealing parts of a boy’s body, and yet the boy loses — so much more than just the foreskin.

Think circumcision prevents AIDS?  It doesn’t.  Prevents infections?  It doesn’t.  Looks “better”?  No, it doesn’t.   The studies done in Africa were skewed from the beginning, and a recent study showed higher HIV rates among circ’d men than intact.  In fact, the foreskin contains special cells — Langerhans cells — and according to Nature Medicine magazine, “Langerin is a natural barrier to HIV-1 transmission by Langerhans cells.”  The foreskin is not supposed to retract until it is ready to, usually around the onset of puberty; the foreskin actually protects the penis from infections.  The foreskin also keeps the head of the penis smooth and soft, unlike circ’d glans that tend to look dry and cracked and develop keratinization (thickening of skin similar to scar tissue) from rubbing up against the boy’s/man’s clothes.

It is also estimated that 60% of erectile dysfunction in adult men is due to routine circumcision that was done when they were newborns.  While the foreskin itself is small when it is amputated during RIC, once the boy grows into a man, the amount of skin removed equates to about 15 square inches of penile skin, including the frenulum (of the frenular delta) which is the most nerve-dense part of the foreskin.

Women who have been sexually active with intact men say there is a difference in the way intact men approach sex.  These men seem to be more sensitive to the woman and more aware of what is happening in her vagina than cut men are.  The foreskin mucosa also acts as natural lubricant.  I can attest that men who have been circ’d have problems expressing themselves emotionally and in bed.  Many cut men need “dry sex” to feel friction against the scar tissue (keratinization) on the underside of the penis in order to reach ejaculation.  Dry sex is painful for women, but I can also attest that women don’t want to hurt the man’s feelings; and so, we endure painful sex so as not to further damage the man’s self-esteem.  (Note:  Not all circ’d men need dry sex “to feel something”, but many do, and many circ’d men have fulfilling sex lives.)

At Good Samaritan Hospital in Cincinnati, Ohio, a study is being done on 200 newborn boys who are being mutilated to determine which of two circumcision clamps is “better.”  This “better” clamp will be determined subjectively by seeing which clamp produces fewer blood-soaked bandages and by judging the amount of pain expressed on the babies’ faces.  Again, when did these boys give consent to participate in this study?  Is this a humane study?  Doesn’t this violate the National Research Act of 1974?

Circumcision can cause all sorts of problems from infections to damage to the meatus and urinary tract.  And there is even a consequence called “degloving”, in which the doctor accidentally removes ALL of the skin from the baby boy’s penis.  Yes, this happens often enough that there is a name for it.

If all of this were not bad enough, on average, 117 baby boys die each year in the United States from “routine” circumcision.  If a diet pill caused 117 deaths each year, the FDA would ban it.  And yet, circumcision is “routine”.

So why, then, is it not outlawed?  Because some people are afraid of offending people of Jewish culture — however, few Americans would be afraid to offend Muslims, who also practice circumcision.  A person can be proud to be of Jewish culture and NOT circumcise their son, who may or may not choose to join Judaism as his chosen religion, if any.  A baby cannot voice that he does or does not want to be Jewish (in religion), so whatever his parents’ religion might be is superfluous.  (Again, I point out the freedom FROM religion guaranteed to every American citizen.)  Added to that, the “ritual nick” that is supposed to be the “bris” is NOT what is “routinely” done by skinning the penile glans of its protective barrier, the foreskin.  Circumcision as it is practiced in America today is actually the modus operandi from the sexually repressed Victorian age, who touted circumcision — to the otherwise intact population — as a means of preventing boys from masturbating.  But if you’re interested in the Jewish perspective of RIC, check out JewsAgainstCircumcision.org.

For more information on the erroneous myths and so-called science behind the pro-circ propaganda, visit IntactAmerica.org, Circumstitions.com, and similar — and for those in the SanFran area: BayAreaIntactivists.org.

As a tribute to the natural penis, I asked intact men to submit photos of their penis in various states to help women (and other men) get accustomed to what a natural penis looks like, and I wrote this article on my blog (warning: it’s NSFW :-) ).  If you’re on Twitter, you can ask a question about circumcision, and be sure to use the hashtag #i2 to reach out to the #nocirc intactivists.  To learn more about the history of circumcision, how it’s done, and consequences, watch “Circumcision: The Whole Story” (also NSFW).

Activist rant is complete… for now…. :-)

trish


NEWS: New Mexico Takes #GOP’s Stupid Pills to Usurp Rape Victims’ Reproductive Rights


New-Mexico-Rep-Cathrynn-Brown-Criminalize-Rape-Victims-Who-Get-AbortionsAs if the NEWS in 2012 were not horrible enough in the GOP’s effort to completely thwart women’s bodily autonomy, New Mexico legislators are bringing the GOP’s misogynist KoolAid to the forefront in 2013.

State Rep. Cathrynn Brown (R) (<– of course!) introduced New Mexico House Bill 206 that would require law enforcement to charge a rape victim with a third-degree felony for “tampering with evidence,” if she terminated a pregnancy conceived through rape or incest.

According to the language in New Mexico House Bill 206:

“Tampering with evidence shall include procuring or facilitating an abortion, or compelling or coercing another to obtain an abortion, of a fetus that is the result of criminal sexual penetration or incest with the intent to destroy evidence of the crime.”

Brown offered this as justification:

“New Mexico needs to strengthen its laws to deter sex offenders. By adding this law in New Mexico, we can help to protect women across our state.

After a shit-storm of negative response by pro-choice activists and Democrat legislators, Brown explained the bill’s idiotic thinking:

“Its intent is solely to deter rape and cases of incest. The rapist — not the victim — would be charged with tampering of evidence. I am submitting a substitute draft to make the intent of the legislation abundantly clear.”

A petition has been started on Change.org to let these women-hating, rape-condoning legislators know women will not stand for such abuse of their bodies.

trish

Recommended Reading:


Anatomy: #TeamUncut Intact Natural Penis Collage for #ForeskinFriday (21+ NSFW)


Oral - Woman Kissing Uncut Penis HeadAbout a month ago, I put out the call for submissions for uncircumcised men to send in photos of their uncut penis.  Sure, I got lots of teasing on Twitter, but I was diligent in my self-prescribed duty to look through lots of penis photos to create the collages below.

The purpose of the collage is to normalize the uncut penis in an effort to end routine circumcision. Men who were circumcised as infants face a number of medical issues from pain in the penis to sexual dysfunction and loss of sensation, not to mention the women who often endure painful friction sex with cut men.  These uncut men also suffer social ridicule for looking “different,” or “nasty” or “not normal,” when in fact, the intact penis IS what is normal — the circumcised penis is what is NOT normal.

Circumcision is a barbaric, unnecessary procedure of sexual assault on a child and a gross violation of that child’s basic human right to be left whole, particularly in America where routine circumcision is so prevalent.  What’s worse is that adult circumcision has been touted as preventing transmission of AIDS and/or HIV, and that is not true.  Circumcision is blatant sexual assault carrying a Bible and wrapped in a flag — to paraphrase Sinclair Lewis’ definition of fascism.

For the collage, the men who submitted pics took photos with their phone or laptop camera.  (Maybe in the future, we can do a pro photo shoot — with me supervising! YUM.)  There is even  a photo of a restored foreskin!  Can you tell which one?  (Hint: the pic is in Photo #1.)

Below, you can see the wonderful variations in the penises’ shapes in the shaft, head, curvature, and coloration.  You will also notice how the skin covers the glans/head differently on different men and in various states of arousal.  I particularly love how the foreskin covers and even extends beyond the tip like it’s the wrapping on a present — a present for me to open… Just sayin’.

In photo #3 of the erect penises, you can see how the foreskin slides back, creating the ridged band on the anterior of the penis and the frenular delta (triangle of attached skin) on the underside of the penis head.

To join the anti-circumcision discussion leave a comment below.  Also, if you’re on Twitter, use the hastags, #i2, #nocirc, and #circumchat, and use #4skin for talking about foreskin restoration.

All photo collages are Copyright 2012 by ArousedWoman.com which is owned by Trish Causey.  If you post these photos on your own blog or social media page, do not remove the copyright notice (which I have embedded on every penis) and please provide a link in the Reply box below so I can see.  :-)

And YES, I hope to do more collages, not only on the penis, but the testicles, and to celebrate the differences in women’s vulvas, clits, and breasts.  As my mantra goes, “The human body is beautiful. Sex is beautiful. Orgasm is natural. Reject any dogma that shames what is beautiful and natural.”

To the guys who submitted photos – THANK YOU!!!

ENJOY!

trish

Related:

Click on an image to enlarge.


Submission Guidelines for #TeamUncut #ForeskinFriday Penis Pics to ArousedWoman


In a selfless gesture to help the women of America overcome their phobias and misunderstandings about uncircumcized penises, I am accepting self-portraits of men who are uncut, aged 21 and over.

Don’t get me wrong — I love ALL penises: circumcized penises, small penises, large penises, all of them.  But some uncut men in the United States still have to deal with discrimination from partners who are unaccustomed to seeing, handling, or loving a natural, intact penis.

I recently saw a tortured comment from one uncut guy on Tumblr.  He was so distraught by a girlfriend calling his natural penis “nasty,” he was seriously contemplating getting circumcized at his current age of 23 or 24.  I was horrified — not only at the thought of an adult male choosing circumcision just to be considered “normal” in a culture that has no clue about what normal sexuality should be (i.e., not evil, not sinful, not shameful, not jackhammering a vagina), but this girlfriend then told all her friends about his “nasty” penis and he became the laughing stock of his friends and acquaintances — at a college, no less.

** Stepping up on soapbox:  America’s Puritanical overlords and evangelical bullshit have so warped our culture, few people have a clue as to what is natural and beautiful… in penises, breasts, or vulva!  And yes, I am one of those radical tree-huggers who views routine infant male circumcision and any female circumcision as aggravated sexual assault with a deadly weapon, with the perpetrators being culpable and deserving jail time.  (Stepping down…) **

I have already had a few submissions, and while some are great, some are a bit lackluster — not for size or shape, but for the absolute disregard for ambiance!!!  Jeez!  Dudes!  You’re taking pics of your penis for a woman!!!  Why is the toilet in the background?!

So I’m laying out some Submission Guidelines.

  • Photo must be of you and submitted by you, and YOU must be 21 years of age or older, regardless of where you live in the world.
  • Photo must be a close-up of your penis and testicles, or of your body somewhere from your navel to above your knees, i.e., your face should not be in the pic.
  • Multiple photos are permissible to show the way the foreskin moves/changes in different states: unaroused/natural, partially aroused, fully erect, etc.  No cum shots will be posted (but you can send them anyway :-) ).
  • Photos should be taken in natural light with NO FLASH — using flash does NOT make your penis look inviting.  (Sorry, but that’s the truth.)  So take the pic near a window, outside in the woods or other place where you won’t be arrested for indecent exposure, etc.
  • Higher resolution is better.
  • Photo may be edited by me for size, color tone, etc.
  • I HATE BLUE!!!  So please don’t have anything blue in the picture.
  • All men — straight, gay, bi — are more than welcome!

If in doubt as to tone and ambiance, PLEASE look at my Tumblr page.  I adore sensuality.  Crude porn shots is NOT what I’m looking for.  I want to honor the male and the uncut penis.

Sumbit via email on the main ArousedWoman.com website.

P.S.  Cut guys — feel free to send pics, too, and I’ll put them in a separate collage.

trish

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AskTrish: Man with Small Penis Wonders If He Can Fully Satisfy a Woman


Dear trish,

I was born in a Muslim family and had circumcision at an early age, and I think the doctor messed up or something cause I have a really small penis.  The question is — does size actually matter to fully satisfy a woman?  My gal and I have been having sex, enjoying various positions.  She says she is happy and she actually does have an orgasm most times. She also does all she can to pleasure me to the highest during foreplay and even sometimes taking control of the sex.  But, since I’m on the smaller side I want to know does size matter cos my gal hasn’t had any other partners so she doesn’t know the difference.  We are happy together, but this is a matter of curiosity and maybe to help my gal explore something better.

Anonymous, in Mangalore, India

Dear Anonymous,

Penis size is an issue that is debated in the neuroses of men, but not so much for women, in my opinion.  You actually have several issues going on here, but allow me to address circumcision first.

Routine infant male circumcision and any female circumcision is not medically necessary and should be considered sexual assault, especially since the child cannot give informed consent to the procedure.  In males, circumcision can damage the penis head as well as the shaft, not just the foreskin.  So there may be a chance that the length of your penis has been “shortened” due to a botched circumcision that left the skin too tight.  Also, some reports say infant circumcision is responsible for 60% of erectile dysfunction in adult men.  Not to get on my anti-circ soapboax, but there are methods of foreskin restoration that might help loosen the skin of the penis so that your erections might become “fuller.”

You sound young to me, perhaps in your early 20’s, and since your girlfriend has not been with anyone else, I’ll assume she is also in that age range.  The fact that she orgasms at all during penetrative sex means you’re doing something right!  Female orgasm statistics consistently show that 70% of all women have never orgasmed during penetrative sex, with that percentage being lower for women in their 20’s.  The best way to make sure your woman orgasms is to be well-versed in female sexual anatomy.  There’s more to our genitals than just the clit or the G-spot, and so many more kinds of orgasms than just clitoral or vaginal.  (Just as there are more kinds of male orgasm than just penile/ejaculatory.)

Your concern over the size of your penis — when clearly, you’re doing just fine in the bedroom — may be a result of culture and media influence. What porn and media don’t explain is that the average length of the vagina for all women, regardless of height, build, ethnicity, or childbirth, is 3 to 4 inches.  When fully aroused, the vagina can expand in length by 50% and widens at the top, so the maximum length of the vagina is around 6 inches.

As a woman, I can testify that a penis that is too long (9-inches+) can hurt!  So being on the ” short” side (5-inches or less) when fully aroused is not a bad thing.  Remember, the vagina will only be about 6 inches when fully aroused.  You just have to know what positions work best for a smaller penis, such as woman-on-top.  If I had to choose a penis size, I’d go for a fat, thick penis over a long penis any day of the week.  But since penis size isn’t something I consider when choosing a sex partner, I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

Please note, however, that in order for a woman to be truly aroused and ready for sex, she needs at least 20 minutes of “foreplay” so that her own erectile tissues can begin to fill with blood as well.  This 20 to 30 minutes of arousal-play  also allows the woman’s mind to shift from mundane issues to relaxing into a sexual mode.

As for satisfying a woman fully, regardless of penis size, I’m assuming you have fingers, a mouth, a tongue, even a big toe, all of which can be used in the physical side of sexually satisfying a woman.  However, a woman’s most important sexual organ is her mind, that non-physical field that exists in the ether around the physical cranium.  Start with her mind, then engage her body, beginning with her skin, and her breasts (if she likes breast stimulation), and sensual massage.  Allowing the woman to relax into the moment is the most important step to help a woman orgasm.

Since you say she has orgasms “most” of the time, I’m assuming you have an orgasm every  time.  The activist part of me says the sex should not be over unless both  partners have at least one orgasm.  The horny woman part of me wonders why are you even entering her vagina with your penis if you haven’t already eaten her to a few orgasms with your mouth on her genitals?!  Oral sex on the woman is an almost guaranteed orgasm technique — your mouth sucking her clit and labia with a finger or two in the vagina and/or anus drives most women to passionate madness.

***As a shameless plug, I’m in the process of developing my own orgasm training method, so be sure to check back here for updates on when it’s ready.***

Experiment with positions and techniques that you both find interesting and arousing, and just enjoy the discovery of your own bodies and your sexual preferences.  Communication should be the foundation of your relationship anyway.  Keep in mind, that sex is supposed to be enjoyable and fulfilling, not a competition or a race.  Relax, experiment, discover.  If you love the journey, the destination is bound to be wonderful.

trish

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