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

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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


Take #ArousedWoman’s Orgasm Questionnaire!


Chakra-aura-orgasm-energy-systemHey, everybody!

As I look ahead to my online orgasm training workshop, I am conducting an Orgasm Questionnaire and would love to have as many readers participate as possible!

This questionnaire should take about 30 minutes to fill out, and there are no wrong answers. It’s also pretty nosy, so brace yourself!

Filling out this questionnaire in NO WAY obligates you to participate in the workshop. But the questions are geared to those who would be interested in taking my online orgasm workshop this summer.

No part of the questionnaire will be published without your express permission. However, some of the responses may be used ANONYMOUSLY in a post here on ArousedWomanBlog.com, based on the statistical information that may be of use to my readers.

NOTE: Some of these responses are required, so look carefully at each question. (I hope you’ll answer each one!)

I appreciate you taking this Orgasm Questionnaire so I can better understand my readers’ sex lives and orgasm habits.

Thanks!

trish

ArousedWoman’s Orgasm Questionnaire:
© 2013 by Trish Causey. All Rights Reserved.

ANSWER EVERY QUESTION EVEN IF IT ISN’T FOR YOUR GENDER, or if it DOESN’T APPLY just put N/A. The form will NOT submit if a question is not answered (blame WordPress).





























































Recipe: Almond Milk & Chia Seed Vegan Drink for Omega-3


Copyright 2013 by Trish Causey. All Rights Reserved.

almond-milk-chia-seed-drinkA quick recipe for a quick drink that can be the vegan answer to taking fish oil for Omega-3’s!

Omega-3 is an essential fatty acid that your body must have but cannot produce on its own, so we have to get it from our food.  Omega-3’s are required by the brain for proper cognitive function, and recent research is starting to link Omega-3 deficiency and Alzheimer’s.  Omega-3’s are also shown to lower blood pressure in hypertensive patients and decrease internal inflammation that affects joints and organs.  Plus, Omega-3’s help with arthritis, depression, and mood swings.

What does that mean for orgasms?  Proper blood circulation is required for erections (in men and women), and of course, nothing works if the bowling ball on your shoulders isn’t working to keep all your bits and pieces functioning in top form.

I still take fish oil for Omega-3’s, but I’ve started incorporating this drink into my morning regimen.  When I first go into the kitchen, I start this and let it sit while I’m making breakfast and trying to get the child up and get ready for school.

While there is a debate whether the fish oil source of Omega-3’s is better than the plant-source, chia seeds are a great vegan option for getting your essential Omega-3’s.

The almond milk is simply the carrier of the chia seeds.  Also, almond milk is non-dairy, which makes it groovy for vegans.  At only 40 calories per cup, almond milk doesn’t have the calories, fat, or sugar content of milk.  This unsweetened “original” formula, Almond Breeze, by Blue Diamond has the fewest number of additive ingredients than others on the market.  Of course, you can make your own almond milk, but I haven’t gone that far … yet.

These are actual Chia Seeds — if you remember the TV commercials for the tiny green ground-cover plant on clay figurines with the voice-over singers chanting, “Cha-Cha-Cha-Chia!” … yes… those chia seeds.

Chia Seeds are the best kept secret in the Omega-3 world, as far as I’m concerned.  While flaxseed is more famous, chia seeds have more Omega-3’s than flax, in a better ratio to the unfavorable Omega-6, and taste much better than flaxseed, to me.  Unlike flaxseeds which cannot be digested whole by the body, chia seeds can be eaten whole.  Two tablespoons of whole chia seeds provides 2,500 mg Omega-3, 6g dietary fiber, and 2g protein.

Sweeten with stevia to avoid using sugar.  Stevia is an herb, and teaspoon to teaspoon, stevia is 600 times sweeter than sugar.  The vanilla is to help the overall flavor of the drink, especially if you’re using the chia seed meal (pre-ground chia seeds) as I am right now — I grabbed the wrong bag at the health store, not realizing the ground seeds were right next to the whole chia seeds.  (Grrrrrrrrrr….)

You can also throw in some antioxidant-rich fruit such as blueberries or strawberries.

At this point, I just do the almond milk and whole chia seeds, but feel free to add in the optional ingredients for added flavor and nutrients.

Almond Milk & Chia Seed Vegan Drink for Omega-3’s

1 Cup almond milk

2 Tablespoons chia seeds (2.5 Tablespoons if using ground chia seeds)

1/4 teaspoon real vanilla extract, optional

1 to 2 stevia packets, optional

2 Tablespoons freshly puréed fruit, optional

In a small glass, stir almond milk and chia seeds together and allow to sit on the counter for 15 minutes, or until the milk becomes slightly thickened by the chia seeds.  Add the vanilla and the stevia packet(s) if you want to sweeten it.  You can also add any freshly puréed fruit, such as strawberries or oranges, etc.  Stir and drink.

Enjoy!

trish

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AskTrish: Man Confused As to Why I Love the Penis So Much


TeamUncut ForeskinFriday - Uncircumcised Man - Ginger - Gold Baroque FameDear Trish,

I cannot understand the appeal of what makes a man’s cock gorgeous in your eyes since I am not a woman nor gay. I am still trying to figure out why men and some women, are so hard wired to love breasts, large or not. The mind is an interesting organ.

Anonymous

Ohio

Dear Anonymous,

Cock?  No.  Penis, lingam?  Yes!  The penis is absolutely divine.  Lingam puja is a specialty of mine… or it was — back when I was sexually active…

There is just no describing that feeling of being full — being filled by a penis, stretched by the width, rubbed by the corona on the anterior wall (where the female prostate lives!!) — it’s just too amazing to put into words… or seeing how the penis changes under different touch, whether by fingers, lips, tongue, sliding my labia up and down the shaft, massaging the muscles of the shaft, following the raphe seam with my tongue, sucking the balls, seeing the pre-cum glistening as it oozes out, tonguing the swollen meatus that looks like tiny labia, dipping my tongue into the urethral opening… hearing a man moan because of it… the taste of sweet ejaculate… yum…

The penis is just an awesome toy to play with.  I really miss that…

Breasts are a whole other story… And especially for women, the mind is the most important sex organ.

trish

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Sample Consult: Man Has Trouble Keeping Erection and Can’t Climax During Sex


male-nude-standing-behindEver wondered what a consult with me sounds like?  Is it formal… or scary?  (I don’t think so!)

Here’s a consult I did tonight over Twitter — yes, Twitter.  See!  Consults are conveniently arranged via phone, Skype, or even Twitter.  Sure, you can ask me a question for an AskTrish post, but it can take a while (read: months) to get an answer posted due to the number of questions I receive.  To schedule a consult — especially if your question is time-sensitive, just contact me via the Consult page on my website.

NOTE:  I know this client, so some info on his background, health, etc., were not covered in this Consult.  In this Transcript, Twitter typos have been fixed. Permission to use was granted by the client, who is represented by Q (Querier).

Q:  I have had sex with 2 women in the past 3 months. I have had problems before but moved past it.  The first few times I sleep with a woman, I can’t climax, and I have a hard time staying erect.  I can’t focus, and all I think about is if she is enjoying it and I just totally suck.  LOL

T:  You’re putting too much pressure on yourself!

Q:  It has been that way since I first had sex.

T:  There are tell-tale signs a woman is enjoying sex that you can look for.  Read my post on “The Face of Orgasm.”

Q:  I feel that way and think about her because I have a hard time staying hard.  It just stays semi and like floppy, it’s bigger so it’s harder to control when not hard.

T:  You need to read my blog more often.  Seriously.  Orgasm is NOT the same as ejaculation.  You can orgasm for hours and never even get an erection.  Read my rant on “Have Multiple Orgasms Already!”

A “floppy” penis is actually normal for a larger penis.  Even getting hard, a larger penis may not stand at full attention and has nothing to do with your arousal level.  If you’re getting anxious, that triggers adrenaline, which affects the brain, breathing, and triggers the fight-or-flight reflex, as well as releases stress hormones like cortisol.

Q:  Yeah, that’s how I feel, I’m nervous the first few times.  I don’t enjoy sex and can’t come close to climax.  After the first 3 or 4 times, I’m good.

T:  What changes by the 3rd or 4th time that you can actually enjoy sex?

Q:  I think I finally get comfortable, get used to her feel, her movements, I guess.

T:  How does she react those first few times?  Does she say or do something that makes you feel less “manly” or just inadequate?  Or does she go out of her way (or maybe overboard) to boost your ego?

Q:  I have never asked.  Some women don’t come back.  Those that stick around like it.  I just feel embarrassed, and it gets worse each time.

T:  Are you drinking alcohol?  On any meds, legal or otherwise?

Q:  There have been times when this has happened that I had been drinking and it happened.  Most times, sober.

T:  Alcohol is a social norm, but terrible for sexual response!  But even sober, you’ve had enough bad experience with this that you’re talking yourself into being anxious even if you’re not realizing it.  Sex with a person the first time is always a little nerve-wracking.  And if a woman doesn’t understand that, she’s not for you anyway.

Have you told the women up front that you’re nervous?  That you focus on the woman so much you sometimes don’t climax, and that’s okay with you?  As in, you are focused on HER, and not yourself.  That you just want to be with her?

Q:  I never have said anything.

T:  Ah… Communication is paramount.  This is why one-night stands and at-the-bar hook-ups can be difficult for some people.  They don’t feel comfortable talking about such things.  You have to talk to the woman.

I also think you should begin some yoga or meditation exercise that helps you with stress and anxiety.  You don’t need alcohol or meds to help with this, IMHO.  Learn to control your breathing, which actually affects your brain, hormone response, and nervousness.

Q:  How do I go about starting the anxiety control?

T:  Contact a yoga or meditation teacher in your area.  You want to find someone who is experienced in yoga (hatha, ashtanga, tantra, kundalini) — some tradition that is REAL yoga, not New Age… especially if you seek a Tantra teacher — you need a REAL Tantra teacher, not a New Age one.  The purpose of the breathing meditations is so you get into your body to control the reactions you’re having to stress…

Q:  I see, I never thought of that.  I will do that!  So how do I go about being intimate the first time?

T:  Dude, you’re jumping ahead here!  You’re not ready to have sex yet.

Q:  LOL  I see that!

T:  Of course, I teach this as well. :-) But you need a teacher that you can learn from w/o having sexual attraction to — like a man… (Not that you’re attracted to me, that’s not what I’m saying! Just that a male teacher might be better for you.)

Q:  Like shadow a man you mean?

T:  Learning from a male teacher will have a different energy than if you’re studying with a female (since you’re straight, the opposite would be true if you were a gay man).  Since you’re doing this with the idea of great sex being the benefit, learning from a woman might trigger some of that stress.

Q:  So what would I learn from him?

T:  For starters, a man who’s mastered breathing and stress control would be better able to teach you how to control a penis, from the man’s perspective.

Q:  Wouldn’t triggering the stress help me learn to deal with it?

T:  No.

Q:  Well, can you help me.  Even from a distance, I imagine you can.

T:  If you want the male teacher, I can recommend one.  And you could tell him about the sexual side of things, whereas you might feel weird talking about this with the average yoga teacher you don’t know, or talking about this with a man you’re afraid will mock you.  Finding a teacher you feel completely safe with is crucial.

Q:  There is a reason I came to you with this problem!!  Okay, you are the master.  Thank you.

T:  You’re welcome. :-)

###

trish

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