Bodily Integrity and Men

The other evening, I was walking home from the grocery story and two people were walking at the same pace behind me, allowing me to hear clearly a portion of their conversation. It went like this:

Woman: Did you know that they’re developing a cure for baldness that seems to actually work?

Man: Hmm.

Woman: Only thing is that it uses babies’ foreskins.

Silence

Woman: Well, they cut the things off anyway, so they might as well be put to use.

More silence

Somehow, I get the feeling that if a man had been talking so casually about lopped off labia I would have turned into the dreaded salivating bulging-eyed feminist monster of Rush Limbaugh’s nightmares.

I’ve gotten to an age when I can look back and see where ideologies have led me to mistakes and where I’ve gotten things right. One thing I believed when I was younger, and experience has only strengthened that belief, is the importance of bodily integrity or bodily autonomy. For instance, once upon a time I knew even less about trans issues than I do today, but I was probably prevented from doing or saying hurtful things because of a general belief in bodily autonomy coupled with the notion that one person cannot tell another that other person can or should feel.

It seems like a rather banal thing to say, but a man has a right to do as he likes with his own penis. However, it’s quite obvious that many parents, especially in the U.S., don’t feel that way. I’m gratified to see that rates of non-therapeutic circumcision have declined in the U.S., but I would really like to see it become non-normative. I was just really disturbed to hear the blase way this young woman was talking about other people’s bodies.

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11 comments
  1. I miss the foreskin I got to enjoy. I agree with you on this completely. Excellent that you bring it up. Very thought provoking.

    • fojap said:

      Thanks for the comment. It’s a somewhat delicate thing to talk about, not having one myself. I really, really don’t want to make anyone feel uncomfortable about his body, but I just don’t really get why we do this. When I was young, I just accepted it as normal, but now that I’m older is seems really wrong on principle.

      • I’ve no idea why we still do this either. I’ve read that the foreskin has a lot of sensitive nerves on it and enhances sexual pleasure for the penis owner. I do wish I could’ve tried mine out before it got cut off.

      • I’d sure wish I had mine. Hell, anything that could make sex feel even BETTER on my cock is OK in my book.

      • fojap said:

        Cannot disagree!

  2. I live with someone who doesn’t have one. I’ve been with him so long that I can’t remember the difference now. His was removed for therapeutic reasons as a baby. Doesn’t seem to bother him (or me).

    • fojap said:

      Therapeutic reasons are a totally different question. Parents do have to make decisions about their child’s health. I’ve had both long term lovers who circumcised and intact, and I haven’t noticed a huge difference beyond the obvious, at least from my point of view. The circumcised men I’ve slept with have definitely enjoyed sex.

  3. I suppose we need the opinion of a man who had his foreskin removed later in life to make that definitive…hmmmmm. Also I was also wondering if the couple you were following, the man, was he balding?

    • fojap said:

      No. As far as I could tell they were both very young.

      • Exactly, the only way to determine if there is increased or decreased sensation is to speak to someone that had it done later in life and I have heard of guys that have done it …UGH!!!!

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