One Man And His Adult Circumcision - The Circumcision Decision
To start at the beginning I'm a 21 year old straight guy who was circumcised on the 8th of October 2004 at Custom House surgery in London's docklands.
My aim in putting up these few pages is to provide others with (hopefully) unbiased information on the procedure, along with my own experiences of my adult circumcision, so that others who find themselves considering circumcision can at least gain some insight into the operation and what to expect afterwards.
There is a great deal of misinformation, scare-mongering and 'propaganda' on the web concerning this age-old procedure, mostly related to the routine circumcision of newborns in the USA (this site will not deal with the issue of routine infant circumcision - RIC).
My first encounter with circumcision was as a young boy, when a group of us kids were talking. One of us had recently been circumcised and some how this came up in the conversation, we were told that he'd simply had the skin on the end of his 'willy' snipped off and that it hurt. The conversation was left at this.
The next time I came into contact with circumcision was when I started at secondary school and we were forced to have communal showers after P.E. At this point I came to notice that there were two types of penis; those with the head exposed (putting two and two together I realised that these must be circumcised), and those whose heads were covered with skin (the category I fell into).
All throughout secondary school and college I spent a large amount of my time wanking (definitely not wasted time!) and didn't realise that I had any problems with my foreskin until I started having sex (at the grand old age of 18). Every time I had sex my foreskin would be sore afterwards, and my frenulum would feel bruised. Then during a particularly heavy sex session my frenulum tore, which hurt like hell and bled really badly (it took about 30 minutes to reduce the bleeding to an ooze). Needless to say I was off sex for a little while until my frenulum healed and stopped being painful. I later learnt that I was suffering from a tight (but retractable) foreskin and a condition called 'frenulum breve', which is essentially a tight frenulum (when ever I tried to retract my foreskin beyond the glans this would pull the glans down at a 45 degree angle - this improved a little after the tear, but not by a great deal). I've also had quite a few problems with Urinary Tract Infections and infections under my foreskin (even with regular washing) - and even though circumcision may not make any difference to this (well the UTI's anyway) it was an added bonus. The aesthetic side of circumcision came into play after an ex told me that my flaccid penis looked like a shar-pei (a Chinese breed of dog characterised by the loose, wrinkled skin covering its body), which really just clinched the decision for me.
Not knowing much about the procedure I took the plunge during a drunken chat with a mate and brought the topic up. I found out that even though he wasn't circumcised he'd also had a tight foreskin and had considered circumcision in the past (after being told to stretch his foreskin as a youngster), but had never really given it much more thought. And I thought I was the only one having these sort of problems 'down there'. This chat prompted me to do a little more research into circumcision, both on-line and chatting to friends about it when the opportunity arose (turns out none of them were circumcised so wasn't as helpful as I had initially hoped).
The majority of information I gathered on the subject came from the internet, and was my first exposure to the 'anti-circumcision' movement. Basically this is comprised of men who were circumcised as infants and feel that as a result they have missed out on life with a foreskin - and there are a lot of sites out there promoting this view (which in the more extreme sense involves trying to put everyone off circumcision and even outlawing it, and providing biased, baseless information & 'studies' to support their views). However as with everything there is also a 'pro-circumcision' movement, which also includes some 'radical' views and opinions - however they don't seem quite as militant as the 'anti-circ' brigade. (This is the last you'll hear of pro, anti, and RIC!). I also subscribed to a few Yahoo groups on the subject of circumcision, which put me in touch with guys in my situation, as well as guys who had been circumcised as adults (and I think this was by far the most useful source of information).
Aside from all of my research (and even trying to keep my foreskin retracted to simulate circumcision - which was a total non-starter) I never really had the nerve to go through with a circumcision (partly down to wondering if claims about diminished sensitivity and 'mutilating' my penis were true, and also because of the cost). This all changed after an accident at work. I slipped from a piece of machinery and injured my knee, and as a result had to have an arthroscopy to asses the extent of the damage. As usual with the NHS I had no idea of when I would receive my appointment apart from being given a 9 month window. However one afternoon at work I received a phone call asking if I would be willing to attend two days later for my op as a cancellation had arisen (and jumped at the opportunity!). This gave me two weeks off of work and while I was layed up considered the possibility of getting cut the following week. This would give me a week to recover from my knee, and then a further week to recover from my knee and circumcision (without having to hand in a sick-note for getting cut, I can imagine how long that would've taken to get around my department!). So on the Monday I decided to phone Custom House to see if they could fit me in on the Friday (a long shot I know), and was surprised when I was offered an appointment on Friday 8th at 11:45. It didn't really sink in what I was doing until that day when I was sat on the train to London (due to my knee operation I had to rely on public transport - which was hell), and I gradually got more and more nervous until I got off of the Docklands railway and considered turning around and going home (although in hind-sight I'm very glad I didn't).
Which now leads into my circumcision experience.....