By Ms. Robinson, February 6 2020—
Years ago, my high school boyfriend and I were discussing when we were going to having sex for the first time. Neither of us were virgins — we’d been with several other people. But, he broke down in tears and told me that he had “a big, embarrassing secret” to tell me before we did the deed. The secret turned out to be that he was uncircumcised.
I was shocked. Not that he was uncircumcised, but because he was so ashamed of it. Many years — and plenty of uncircumcised penises later — I’m still shocked, because I’ve experienced similar stories on multiple occasions.
It turns out, there are a lot of people being body-shamed for having an intact penis. In reading online forums, Twitter posts and even in conversations I’ve had with others, there’s a woeful lack of education about uncircumcised penises. People remark that they would “never touch an uncircumcised penis” and that they are “gross” or “dirty.”
Circumcision is very common in North America, but that isn’t so in other parts of the world. I still come across people who’ve never seen an uncircumcised penis and say they wouldn’t know what to do with it if they did.
I’m not going to debate the cultural or moral aspects of circumcision, or cite medical reasons for or against the practice, but rather dispel a few commonly-held beliefs and tell you why the intact penis is my personal, sexual preference. My hope is that people with uncircumcised penises, and those who encounter them, come away a little more informed and confident.
The belief that uncircumcised penises are dirty or smell bad because it’s difficult to clean under the foreskin is patently ridiculous. Not all vaginas are neat, tidy and tucked in. They come in all shapes and sizes and if it’s possible to properly clean in between lips and folds of skin, it’s absolutely possible to clean under the foreskin of a penis. If someone can’t clean their foreskin I doubt their overall hygiene. Quite frankly, if you don’t clean yourself all over, I’m not interested. It isn’t the penis — it’s the person.
Another myth is that uncircumcised penises are difficult to handle. I have a hard time with this one too as the statement assumes that all sex acts should be easy and require zero work. Would you just stick something inside a vagina without warming its owner up first? I certainly hope not. Any sex act should require a bit of care and attention and just as every partner likes something different, not all uncircumcised penises should be handled in exactly the same way. As with any partner, you should be asking what they like. That being said, it normally is not preferable to yank the foreskin back. If you’re going to use your hands, use the upstroke before the downstroke and allow some of the natural lubrication that exists between the foreskin and the head of the penis to help glide things along.
Speaking of lubrication, an uncircumcised penis — in my experience — keeps a vagina wetter for longer. While the ridge of a circumcised penis feels like it’s pulling the vagina’s natural lubricant out with every stroke, the foreskin of an uncircumcised penis sort of acts as insulation and keeps wetness inside. The foreskin reduces friction which makes the whole event go a bit smoother. They’re also incredible for anal sex. That gliding sensation feels somehow gentler and less painful.
I love uncircumcised penises because they’re often more sensitive. It doesn’t generally take as long to bring an uncircumcised penis to orgasm, and when you do, it seems more intense for the penis’s owner. Plus, I like how they look. It’s a vintage statue-of-David kinda situation.
Whatever your preference is, it’s never okay to body-shame people. Sex is incredible because of the people involved and I’m tired of hearing people speak about uncircumcised penises in absolutes.
This article is part of our Opinions section and does not necessarily reflect the views of the Gauntlet’s editorial board.