Of course, I was skeptical.... Glamour is going to explain his entire naked body to me? When I flipped to page 144, this is what I found:
His Naked Body Quirks Explained
What to do when he looks a little...unusual
One ball, three nipples and a crooked you-know-what? (OK, laugh a little) -- it happens! Billy Goldberg, M.D., and Mark Leyner, authors of Why Do Men Fall Asleep After Sex?: More Questions You'd Only Ask a Doctor After Your Third Whiskey Sour, tell us women how to, um, handle anything.This quickie from Glamour [read the full 'article' online here] gives women advice on how to 'handle' various 'body quirks' such as a crooked penis, a third nipple, a 'uniball' (i.e., one testicle) and... a foreskin? Huh? Since when is having an intact foreskin a 'quirk'? Not that the other three things are necessarily problems or issues either, but there's just something extra weird about describing a penis that hasn't been mutilated as 'unusual' or 'quirky'.
The actual write-up they gave the 'uncircumcised penis' wasn't too bad. It was, for the most part, void of some of the usual 'anti-foreskin' sentiments that certain magazines love to express. (Ahem, New York.)
So he's got an uncircumcised penis...
For those who are accustomed to a sharpened pencil, there should be nothing alarming about the penis au naturel. Some studies have found that uncircumcised guys may be more likely to give you an STD, but many men and women argue that foreskin enchances sexual pleasure.And then there are those who think there's not a big difference. Ultimately, you want to be with a man who's comfortable in his own skin - or lack thereof. And whatever it looks like, put a condom on it!It's not exactly perfect of course. They're still perpetuating the unproven claim that uncircumcised men are more likely to contract HIV (which is based mainly on studies done in Sub-Saharan Africa and may have little bearing on circumcision in the U.S.) and the 'pros' basically amount to 'it might make sex better... maybe'. But overall, it wasn't too bad and we like that they encouraged safe sex regardless of whether he's cut or uncut.
But I still just have to wonder why exactly does a penis in its natural form require explanation? It's not just Glamour that thinks so. Cosmopolitan has also tackled this topic in their Sex Q&A:
My guy isn't circumcised
Q: I've just started dating a guy who's uncircumcised. I've never encountered this before. What should I expect, and are there any special tips I should know? [Get Cosmo's answer, it's not bad.]
A: When your guy's penis is flaccid, a nerve-packed sheath of skin, known as the foreskin, covers and protects the head (glans). When erect, the foreskin retracts, and some or all of the glans becomes exposed. A circumcised penis is accustomed to 24/7 exposure and may toughen over time as a result of brushing against the fabric of underwear or pants. An uncircumcised member, on the other hand, may be more sensitive to touch because it's usually under wraps.
If your man indicates that his penis needs a little more TLC, use water-based lube when stimulating him manually and go easy on him. You'll send him over the erotic edge during oral sex if you insert the tip of your tongue underneath his foreskin and swirl it in a circular motion. And you can maximize the sensation he feels when using a condom by making sure the foreskin is completely pulled back before rolling on the rubber.
If you find that he's overly sensitive, let him direct the action. If he knows you are eager to please him, he will be just as eager to educate you.The part that stands out to me in the question is "I've never encountered this before." I don't know if it's just because I've had more sex than some people (maybe) or that I just read about sex more than some people (probably) but the idea that a foreskin is strange and confusing baffles me. Let's check out the stats: According to the World Health Organization approximately one-third of males worldwide were circumcised by adulthood in 2008 and 56.1% of boys in the United States were in 2006, based on statistics from the National Hospital Discharge Survey. In the U.S. your chances of coming across an intact foreskin are pretty much almost as good as coming across a circumcised one.
And the numbers appear to be on the decline... in part due to the fact that there's little-to-no medical reason to recommend it. (See our last post on the subject Sexual Mutilation or Routine Medical Procedure?)
So why all the fuss? Why is this phenomenon of having an intact foreskin considered 'unusual' or 'quirky' when almost half of the males in the United States have one? We hate to ever say anything good about these women's magazines but their advice isn't so bad... It's not a terrible idea for women to know how to... um, handle a penis with an intact foreskin, especially since they're apparently becoming increasingly more commonplace in the U.S. (There's certainly no limit to the amount of print that Cosmo&Friends give to the circumcised penis.)
What I object to is the characterization of the intact penis as something weird or confusing or icky. It's not. It's the way the penis was meant to be. We don't need to be so scared of a little foreskin! That's not saying that a circumcised penis is necessarily weird or icky either, but just that all penis is good.