Episode 1.8


Beth, Tracie and Jen discuss genital mutilation...

  • Tonya

    Thank you ladies =D

    Oct 5, 2011 at 1:39 am
  • Michael M.

    I more or less am on the side of allowing the boy to decide later, but what about medical conditions like phimosis (http://blogs.webmd.com/sexual-health-sex-matters/2007/07/phimosis-the-ins-and-outs-of-a-difficult-foreskin.html)? Won’t males with this condition have to get circumcised, as intercourse may hurt or be near impossible without it?

    Oct 5, 2011 at 1:50 am
  • Nemo Utopian

    On the issue of ” We circumcise children as babies because they can not remember it later”. When I hear about this I think of the age related dementia residents I work with.

    While many forms of age related dementia include trouble forming new memories, I still think it would be wrong to cause them needless pain even if they will not remember that later.

    I think this is an opinion that is shared by society at large. If someone was discovered torturing an elderly person with dementia, the excuse “they will not remember it” would not carry any weight with people.

    So how come society looks the other way when we cut up a baby’s gentiles? Why does “he will not remember it later” carry any weight when we are cutting into one of the most sensitive portions of a child’s anatomy?

    Likewise if a person is sexually molested while drugged in such a way that it will leave no memories, it is still considered sexual abuse. If the abuser took care to not transmit disease, If the abuser caused no physical damage, the abuser would still be considered a sexual offender. The excuse “they will not remember it” will simply not fly.

    It seems deeply fucked up to me that someone can look at a baby and not feel the same way.

    Oct 5, 2011 at 3:12 am
  • Arf Arf

    Circumcision to treat phimosis is analagous to amputation to treat a wart.

    If surgery is required, then a simple dorsal slit will open the foreskin without removing any tissue. But the preferred treatment is a steroid cream combined with a stretching regimen that doesn’t take very long.

    Doctors should prefer to do the minimal thing that works. Surgery should be the last choice after everything else has failed. Circumcision is never necessary for phimosis.

    Oct 5, 2011 at 8:46 am
  • Desdemona

    This episode was a real eye-opener for me. I had no idea that circumcision was that common in USA, or in fact practiced at all outside of certain religious communities like Jews and Muslims. That’s a big culture gap I was not previously aware of. Having grown up in Finland I’ve never seen a circumcised penis in my life (and I’ve seen plenty) because the practice is generally frowned upon unless done for very specific medically valid reasons.

    Unfortunately intersex babies still routinely get their genitals mutilated. I’ve lived with genital dysphoria most of my life, and I can’t imagine how horrible it would be to find out that you were born with something preferrable, but the doctor decided to change it for the worse because it wasn’t just the right size or shape! As far as I know, they still don’t let the parents know that the child may very well grow up with a gender identity that’s in conflict with what they decided would be appropriate based on some external doodads. Not to mention that some of the operations done on IS babies are identical to female circumcision. To me that’s not really any different from other forms of genital mutilation, just not motivated by religion but a misguided cultural ideas about normality.

    Oct 5, 2011 at 10:35 am
  • Amanda

    Ouch ladies! I love your show! Today have been crossing my legs and cringing the whole time I listened to this one. I never even thought about circumcision as being male mutilation until I watch an episode of the atheist experience where it was discussed. I really never even thought about it before. I have no children but I agree completely and love your show! Keep up the good work.

    Oct 5, 2011 at 10:35 am
  • GodlessDick

    Amanda summed up most of my thoughts on this episode. It was difficult to listen to a lot of it without cringing, but I am very glad the topic was covered and covered extremely well. Jen’s first appearance on the Atheist Experience where she covered this topic is what really convinced me that this automatic circumcision of boys we practice really is barbaric.

    I too had just never thought about it before; and I think that that is true of most people. It’s tradition. It’s the norm. And people are just too afraid of being different, which is really a shame. Because we’re all different in different ways. And sure it’s not always easy, especially for those who have some extreme differences that may really make them feel alone, but to go to the lengths of mutilating your child’s genitalia just so he/she will look the same as others is really quite sick. Call me crazy, but I think it’s just wrong to perform unnecessary permanent cosmetic surgery on an infant.

    And for a show note: you gals should really work on your show closings. I’m not saying you have to go to the lengths that Denis Loubet does in preparing something, but avoiding the rather awkward closings would probably be a good idea. On the other hand, I think the openings are probably getting better. But that stuff is really not all that essential anyway, and I’m sure that’ll all just come with time. Great show! Keep up the good work!

    Oct 5, 2011 at 2:17 pm
  • Lance

    Another excellent show, so well stated, so articulate, so rational. Particularly Jen, wow, it shows you’ve clearly done your homework and are presenting well researched factual information. Props to the GBs.

    Oct 5, 2011 at 6:03 pm
  • KarenL

    I curious about the GBs (or others’) stance on piercing little girls’ ears. Jen defined ‘mutilation’ as body modification for non-medical reasons without consent.

    I’ve always cringed a bit seeing pierced ears on babies and toddlers. Sure, it’s not a large change, but still. The kids didn’t get to choose it. Would you consider that mutilation?

    I’m also curious about the ‘non-medical reasons’ qualification. I know some pediatricians think circumcision reduces the risk of urinary tract infections and possibly cancer (or at least they did 20 years ago, when I was having kids; not sure if that’s changed). And they recommended circumcision for that reason. Does this make it not mutilation?

    Oct 5, 2011 at 10:02 pm
  • Dabbt

    Thank God (pun intended) that somebody agrees with me about the piercing of kids’ ears, let alone hacking at their genitals! Why are we so keen on stabbing and cutting at infants?

    Oct 5, 2011 at 11:00 pm
  • KarenL

    OK, so clearly I need to listen to the ENTIRE podcast before commenting, since my questions were addressed! (These days it seems if I wait till the end to comment, there’s a serious risk I’ll forget what I was going to say.)

    So the ear piercing is technically mutilation, but trivial. Hmmm, OK. Though I will point out the holes in my ears are still visible after not wearing earings for 25 years, so I’m not sure that the justification about ‘the holes will close up if she doesn’t wear earrings’ holds water. I guess ‘body modification’ is a continuum.

    Still curious about whether pediatricians these days recommend routine circumcisions to reduce the risk of infection. I think a lot of parents who are undecided about circumcision will be swayed by the doctor’s recommendation, so that may be an important area to work on.

    Oct 5, 2011 at 11:42 pm
  • Samantha

    Great show! I love the insight of all the topics. Learned so much from all the podcasts lately, and I can’t wait to learn more. :) thank you for your intellectual reason on all these topics. Peace out from seabrook, TX

    Oct 6, 2011 at 12:28 am
  • Ulrich

    Thanks for presenting this in such a rational and undogmatic way.

    Oct 6, 2011 at 4:10 am
  • George

    This podcast keeps getting better. Not to knock Matt and the other males, but developing more female voices is not only refreshing, but good for atheism.

    Some personal observations - I am an intact, 55 year old male. My parents were immigrants and I grew up in an ethnic (primarily Polish, Irish and Italian) neighborhood in Chicago. From my locker room memories, the majority of boys were not circumcised. We did comment on some penises - but never on their cut/uncut status. If we could call you curve or banana, we said something about your penis.

    I like Jen’s comments about getting boys to wash their penises. Truly not a difficult task. I remember when I was a young boy - probably 3 or 4. My father bathed me a few times and instructed me in cleaning my penis. I know that some guys have hang ups about their penis or give it some weird name. I think because of my father’s hygiene lessons, I never had any problems. My penis was a useful organ (both pleasure and waste disposal) that needed to be kept clean.

    Fortunately the circumcision rate in this country is falling but 55% of newborns are still cut. I do think that some of the early circumcision proponents in this country were right about one think. It is much easier to masturbate if you are not circumcised. I never needed any lubricant. If I did, I probably would have gone broke before I turned 18.

    Oct 6, 2011 at 12:14 pm
  • Olin B.

    Awesome show! By the way, a few years ago, after listening to and reading quite a bit of Dr. Dean Edell, when I was desperately trying to convince my sister not to circumcise my nephew, my dad started researching it and actually came to me and apologized for circumsizing me! Unfortunately, we couldn’t convince my sister, or more specifically my brother-in-law, because, you guessed it, “I don’t want to him to look different than the other boys.” What a bizarre world we live in…

    Oct 6, 2011 at 12:18 pm
  • mikekoz68

    Another great podcast! Regarding male cir. I didn’t hear you say anything about oral sex. My GF prefers ‘cut’ men to the point that its a dealbreaker and one of her main reasons was oral sex. She is turned off totally by the extra skin and the schmegma? While I am against cir. for babies, I would like to think that I would have had it done myself at 16 or so, instead of as a newborn.-(Anecdote Alert!)- All the girls that I have asked all prefer a man who’s cut. That does not make it right for babies however.

    Oct 7, 2011 at 9:42 am
  • Bridgey the Geek

    Another entertaining, thought provoking and informative podcast. Can’t compliment you all enough. Thank you, thank you, thank you.

    Speaking as a 20-something male with Jewish heritage (so was circumcised at only a few days old) I’m not bothered that I’m cut. As was rightly pointed out in the podcast, here in the UK it’s the norm to not be circumcised, so I’m a bit different. But bullied because of it? Never, not even once. It’ s never been pointed out or commented on in changing rooms or anything.

    Sure it’s come up (no pun intended) in conversation, but only in proper adult conversation about the differences between circumcised and not.

    Mind you, given that us brits actually have a national religion you’d have thought religious rights discussions come up all the time. Far from it. We just look on at your crazy fundamentalists and think… damn!

    Keep up the fantastic work!

    Oct 7, 2011 at 12:15 pm
  • squirrel

    I’m a non-circumcised male. I remember that a while back I was having a discussion with somebody and this person brought up the line about circumcision reducing the risk of some infections (which could be easily avoided by following common hygiene practices) and that it was best to circumcise the baby to avoid those possible infections in the future. I replied that it’s also possible for the baby to catch conjunctivitis, herpes or some other eye infection, so it follows that removing the eyelids would also be a good idea, and that the baby could eventually learn to live without eyelids. The atrocity of the thought made this person think at least for a moment instead of just spewing out crap without even thinking about the consequences of this barbaric practice rooted in stone-age religious practices.

    Great show, keep them coming!

    Oct 7, 2011 at 2:45 pm
  • Derek

    I’m a circumcised male and am very glad for it. If I had a son I’d do it for him. In no way do I think my life has been diminished for it - in fact the majority of women I’ve been with prefer it over the unclean men they had had the misfortune of occasionally hooking up with.

    I’ll try to summarize this: - I don’t remember it happening - Less maintenance required now - My experience is that women prefer it cut (and if I ever met one who didn’t prefer it they’d be a bleeding heart liberal who wouldn’t hold it against me)

    So throw all that together, plus evidence that it reduces disease transmission, then it is a winning proposition.

    I just want to stress that this is my day-to-day life experience. It is not about politics, or religion, or why they started circumcising babies originally, or some fleeting pain I supposedly felt as an infant.

    Oct 8, 2011 at 12:56 pm
  • Microbiologychick


    But it is NOT associated with decreased disease transmission. The only studies that show that are in Africa and usually have methodological flaws.


    Oct 8, 2011 at 1:04 pm
  • Kropotkin

    Great podcast!

    I don’t remember where I read it, but someone said that the men who can really weigh having a cir. versus non-cir. penis are the ones who have had their foreksin removed in adulthood for medical reasons, and from testimonies made by those men they reported having more trouble orgasming etc. Like I said, I don’t remember where I read it, so it’s hearsay.

    Regarding women not liking non cir. penises, I think it’s a cultural thing, if there’s many cir. penises they will be less used to the thought of a non cir. one. But if the woman is willing to leave a man for not having a part of his penis lopped off, I think she might be a bit obsessive.

    Oct 9, 2011 at 7:44 am
  • Gliktch

    Haven’t listened yet, just downloaded it while reading through the comments, but from the wording people are using here, I wonder if this show also touched on the topic of language used to talk about this barbaric practice?

    I do seem to recall from Jen’s original exposé on TAE that she may have covered it there, or perhaps it was in a blog post afterwards, but using the terms “intact” and “cut” can go at least partway to shifting peoples’ thinking - moving them away from euphemisms and abstract ideas of ritual and instead pointing out the reality that this involves _cutting_ a defenceless person’s body and harming their physical integrity without their consent.

    I’ve once or twice used the analogy of removing infant girls’ breast tissue to reduce the chances of breast cancer in adulthood, but that comment about the eyelids is perhaps more appropriate because of the way it would expose a somewhat-internal organ (the eyeball), thus making it less useful, just as the glans penis will become keratinized and less useful for sexual pleasure (a valid function!), not to mention the associated issues of loss of lubrication and so on.

    I’m glad that I’m intact, since as George indicated, masturbation can be difficult or painful for cut guys due to this loss of functionality - and if I had to use artificial lubrication I’d need a second job! :p I’m thankful that my parents have always been only mildly religious and didn’t unduly impose their faith upon my brothers and sisters and me, in this regard or any other.

    As for the supposed medical benefits… I have yet to hear ANY that even APPROACH justification of *routine, infant* genital cutting. To the person who mentioned a possible reduction in HIV transmission: Really? Are you sure that your focus shouldn’t be on stopping babies and children from having sex first?? Even IF HIV transmission were reduced substantially by removing part of the penis, this is NOT a valid argument for cutting the genitals of infants, and NOT a preferable alternative to other, more effective preventative measures such as #1 - comprehensive, age-appropriate sex (and relationships) education, and #2 - ready access to condoms and such.

    And phimosis? Pathological phimosis is an uncommon condition, affecting only 0.6-1.5% of people under the age of 17. This should not be confused with ‘physiological phimosis’, which is simply the natural inability to fully retract the foreskin, which is common and normal among infants at 1yr, and relatively common in the few years following, and NOT a medical condition that requires any treatment. Even *when* pathological phimosis is diagnosed, the best treatment (very low risk coupled with high efficacy) is a topical application of steroid cream along with manual stretching/movement of the foreskin. Incidentally, pathological phimosis is a _potential side effect_ of circumcision! This is mostly due to the abnormalities that can arise from healing scar tissue.

    I’d better stop writing about this now because if I don’t, the urge to go find a Moyl to punch out may overwhelm me. :P

    And I’ll end with a ‘props’: loving the show ladies! My Katie and I listened to episode 1.6 together and really appreciated your ‘coming out’ stories - we’re dealing with some of the same issues (though, mercifully, of a milder bent) from her family and it always helps to have other people share their experiences. Looking forward to future episodes! :)

    Kind regards, - Matthew

    P.S: When attempting to submit this comment the first time, I was directed to a page (http://godlessbitches.podbean.com/wp-comments-show.php), displaying nothing but the line “Javascript is required to submit a comment. Safari might have problem here, please try Firefox.”. I am using Firefox 3.6.23 with add-on NoScript. When I used the Back button (the only avenue available to me then), the comment was lost. Good thing I copy before submitting these days! May I suggest adding a warning above the comment box, something like “Please enable javascript and reload this page before trying to comment”, make it bold and red, then you can put an inline script right after it which hides that line with javascript (so obviously if the reader sees the line then it applies to them) ;)

    Example code, with angle brackets replaced with curly braces to keep the comment filter thingy happy, and style declaration kept separate as is best practice:

    {div id=”commentwarning” class=”warningtext”}Please enable javascript and reload this page before trying to comment.{/div} {script type=”javascript”} document.getElementById(’commentwarning’).style.display=’none’; {/script}

    …and of course an entry in the site’s stylesheet to make .warningtext be red and bold. HTH :)

    Oct 9, 2011 at 8:49 pm
  • Gliktch

    If I may make another suggestion, what do you think of providing relevant links in the podcast posts? See http://www.chariotsofiron.com/page/3 for examples of this. Especially useful when providing citations or mentioning worthy organisations in your show. :)

    Further reading for this episode (or places to point loved ones who may be struggling against misinformation and indoctrination)…

    http://www.circumstitions.com/ http://www.notjustskin.org/node/7 http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Medical_analysis_of_circumcision#Potential_complications

    I think it’s worth noting that stated ‘complications’ or ’side effects’ do not usually include ‘reduction in penis size’ - whereas this is practically impossible to avoid when you’re removing part of an organ.

    Oct 9, 2011 at 9:09 pm
  • mond

    It really amazes me the woolly justifications made for routine male infant circumcision. The plain fact is that it is not medically necessary. If an informed adult wants to make cosmetic(or other) decision about their own body then that is a different ball game.

    Incidentally, for those people claiming that women prefer it, then I would suggest that just because it is the cultural norm is still no justification. (argument from popularity , me thinks).

    Oct 11, 2011 at 7:07 am
  • squirrel

    Along the lines of what mond and others mentioned about cosmetic or cultural reasons, the same thing could be said of women shaving their armpits or some other body parts. My wife does it and I like it that way, but in some other cultures that’s quite uncommon and even a turn-off. There are no medical reasons to do it.

    Oct 12, 2011 at 11:39 am
  • LykeX

    @Nemo Utopian:

    >On the issue of ” We circumcise children as babies because they can not remember it later” … >if a person is sexually molested while drugged in such a way that it will leave no memories, it is still considered sexual abuse

    If someone brings up this argument to me, I’ll simply ask them if they’re OK with me molesting their child. After all, the kid won’t remember it later, so no harm, right?

    Now, if you’ll excuse me, my brass knuckles have an appointment with the maternity ward. It’s just harmless fun, you know.

    Oct 13, 2011 at 8:20 am
  • mikekoz68

    Still no comments on the oral sex question, I’m against routine circumcision but no women I’ve talked to prefer an ‘intact’ penis over a cut one

    Oct 13, 2011 at 10:06 am
  • godlessbitches

    I have no preference.


    Oct 13, 2011 at 5:38 pm
  • squirrel

    The reason why “no women I’ve talked to prefer an ‘intact’ penis over a cut one” is because your geographical location, culture or religion make circumcision very common among men and therefore that’s what most of the women you’ve talked to know. Try asking women in Finland, for example, and they’ll give you a different answer. Even in some provinces in Canada the newborn circumcision rate is close to 0%.

    According to Wikipedia:

    Circumcision is most prevalent in the Muslim world (near-universal), parts of Southeast Asia and of Africa, the United States, the Philippines, Israel, and South Korea. It is relatively rare in Europe, parts of Southern Africa, and most of Asia and Oceania.[5] In Latin America, prevalence is universally low.[6] The WHO states that “there is generally little non-religious circumcision in Asia, with the exceptions of the Republic of Korea and the Philippines”.[5] Estimates for individual countries include Spain,[7] Colombia[7] and Denmark[8] less than 2%, Finland 0.006%[9] and 7%,[10] Brazil[7] 7%, Taiwan[11] 9%, Thailand[7] 13%, and Australia 58.7%.[12]

    […] Data from a national survey conducted from 1999 to 2002 found that the overall prevalence of male circumcision in the United States was 79%.[20] 91% of men born in the 1970s, and 83% of boys born in the 1980s were circumcised.[20] An earlier survey, conducted in 1992, found a circumcision prevalence of 77% in US-born men, born from 1932–1974, including 81% of non-Hispanic White men, 65% of Black men, and 54% of Hispanic men, vs. 42% of non U.S. born men who were circumcised.[21]


    Oct 14, 2011 at 7:00 pm
  • Vicky

    Even though I disagree, I think this was one of the more sane discussions I’ve heard about this topic. Also, I think Jen’s argument of “there are more male circumcisions done than female, so arguably it’s the worse of the two.” That doesn’t hold up. More people get punched in the face than vivisected, but that doesn’t mean being vivisected isn’t worse than a punch in the face.

    Oct 14, 2011 at 8:55 pm
  • Paul

    I wish I could have been part of this discussion 15 years ago, before I had my son. At least then I could have made a more informed decision instead of repeating what was done to me for reasons I do not know. Good discussion ladies. Disturbing, but good.

    Oct 15, 2011 at 6:06 am
  • Sheri

    I wish I had known this 6 years ago… Theres no undoing what I have done to my sons, and I hope they understand my ignorance.

    Oct 15, 2011 at 7:36 am
  • mikekoz68

    @squirrel- You are prob. right about location being the reason why women would prefer cut to uncut, but the women I’ve talked to have had both. From a womans perspective I can see no reasons to prefer an uncut penis, while there are numerous reasons in favour of a cut one. As much as it pains me to say it, religion may have (unknowingly) got this one (half)right -just not for babies but as an option for young men.

    Oct 15, 2011 at 11:21 am
  • squirrel

    @mikekoz68- I agree that there may be no reasons from a woman’s perspective to prefer an uncut man, but there certainly are many from a man’s perspective not to be cut. It’s the same with female mutilation, it may be preferable (in a sick, perverted way and for all the reasons that were mentioned in this show) for the man. But it comes down to the ability to chose what to do with one’s own body, and not having something forced upon you while you are a baby and have no choice, for whatever the reason (religion, tradition, lack of knowledge, etc). If an adult wants to do anything with their body (tattooing, piercing, mutilation, dying their hair green), so be it; but there’s no valid reason for a baby to be forced to the suffering of a genital mutilation. We’re talking about choice; about informed decisions, about respecting somebody else from the moment they’re born. If growing up somebody sees that they have more chances of getting laid by, say, getting circumcised, having their boobs surgically enhanced, whitening their teeth or dressing up in a certain way, it’s their choice, and we ought to respect it. But we can’t take away that choice; the baby’s body does not belong to us. Nobody belongs to us, ultimately. Only ourselves, at least that’s what I think.

    Good discussion!

    Oct 15, 2011 at 6:18 pm
  • Gliktch

    @mikekoz68 There certainly are reasons for a woman (or gay man) to prefer an uncut partner; whether or not most of the people you associate with would be aware of those reasons is another story though. May I assume from your username that you are also in Australia?

    I don’t know about you, but if it wasn’t for the internet, I would probably still be mostly ignorant of the issues surrounding Intactivism seeing as it’s generally not discussed in any context for most aussies unless they go actively seeking it. I’m fortunate in that my parents are approachable about most topics including this one; well, I think I’ve only mentioned it to my mum in passing, when basically just saying thanks for not imposing their religion on my brothers and sisters and me, including maintaining our bodily integrity rather than multilating us as part of a stone-age blood sacrifice. Even with that sort of openness though, one has to be aware of the problem before it can be brought up of course! ;)

    Another side of it would be that - at least in my experience - aussie kids don’t use communal showers or even changerooms, not in my 12 years of schooling across 4 schools was this done as a matter of course (I do recall a couple of us in around 5th grade sneaking into a classroom full of girls getting changed for a swimming day - never before had we heard so much shrieking and squealing in one place! :p But that was an improvised use of the room and probably happened all of once a year; IIRC we boys were relegated to using the toilets if we had to change)… Point being, that aside from the occasional zealous pantsing, we boys never saw each others’ tackle, so at least there the ‘getting teased for looking different’ argument surely falls flat..

    Back to your query, though, about the benefits for women/others who are with an intact man:

    - Natural (mechanically) lubricating effect of the rolling sheath during penetration, complementing the natural lubrication of the woman and avoiding many complications (often blamed on the woman) due to uncomfortable additional friction - Not having to deal with the effects and side-effects of male genital cutting: reduction in penis length, reduced penis girth, minor or major disfigurements ranging from bowing due to uneven healing of the wound (I’d imagine having your pecker bending to either side can cause problems) to wound/burn scar tissue, scars from tissue death as a result of phimosis or infection of the wound (fairly common considering the open wound will be exposed constantly to faeces and urine), or from subsequent surgery in infancy to correct skin bridges, urethral fistula, or other complications due to performing unneccessary surgery on a (previously) healthy infant. - Also other effects on the couples’ intimacy due to pain or discomfort resulting from genital cutting, such as painful erections in adulthood from too much flesh being removed. Of course, people against the cutting of children would say *any* is too much, but here I’m referring to the fact that scar tissue doesn’t stretch the same way as healthy tissue, and since the penis ‘grows into’ the foreskin as one acheives adolescence, this can lead to erections that strain against the limitations of the healed woundsite.

    There are cultures which stretch the necks of women with metal rings, or crush their feet to keep them small, and I’m sure many men of those cultures and time periods saw those things as desirable, simply because they were brought up to feel that way. It is barbaric and abusive to do those things to a child or infant without their consent, just as it is a violation of the rights of an infant to cut their genitals for any reason other than medical necessity, which in case you were wondering is vanishingly rare.

    If you think it beneficial to get penis surgery, then fine, you go ahead and make that choice for yourself. Promote it to others even, if you think it’s a trend worth setting among adult males. Just don’t force that choice on others, regardless of their age or any other factor.

    Sorry for the massive posts, I haven’t done much writing lately and when I get started on something I’m passionate about it can be hard to hold back! ;)

    Kind regards, - Matthew

    Oct 16, 2011 at 6:31 am
  • LykeX


    For “worse than” read “a greater social problem than”. That should clear it up.

    People being punched in the face is indeed a far bigger problem than vivisection, since the former affects people every single day, whereas the latter is practically non-existent.

    Oct 16, 2011 at 8:59 am
  • mond

    mikekoz68 said “there are numerous reasons in favour of a cut one[penis].”

    I would like to hear these numerous reasons. BTW personal subjective aesthetic preference and dubious medical claims don’t count as valid reasons.

    Oct 16, 2011 at 11:57 am
  • Vicky

    @LykeX That certainly makes more sense XD

    Oct 17, 2011 at 3:32 am
  • mikekoz68

    @mond Re: the numerous reasons, I didn’t elaborate because I dont want to insult anyone but the women I’ve talked to all speak of an unpleasant odour and inability to keep it clean. Also there can be a buildup of mucous (shmegma?) and the excess skin is apparently disgusting during blowjobs. None of these can occur with a clean, cut penis. If the foreskin retracts, then they both look the same when erect, so in lieu of the above concerns, I dont readily see why a woman would prefer uncut.

    Oct 17, 2011 at 7:50 am
  • mikekoz68

    @Gliktch Not an Aussie, but a Canadian-close enough! Your points are interesting and well taken, the natural lubrication during sex is the first plus I’ve heard of for uncut. Losing size and/or scar tissue causing bowing or bending were additional complications I had not known. I wonder if these would be lessened by circ. being done after puberty. Understand, I am not advocating or promoting circ. just trying to get all the objective facts I can. For oral sex a woman seems to prefer a cut penis, and for intercourse you have stated a reason for an uncut penis.

    Your examples of doing things for cultural preferance is exactly why I’m trying to see if circ. is justifiable for real reasons.

    And again, I am against all circ. without consent

    Oct 17, 2011 at 8:19 am
  • Ben

    I’m so glad you brought up the piercing of girls ears as well. I’ve heard ridiculous arguments that “They don’t feel it” (why do they cry?) or “There’s no cartilidge there” (so what?) etc…

    @Michael M. Citing abnormalities in sexually mature persons has nothing to do with infants. Its the same argument as the Aids prevention argument. There is no reason to cut an infants penis, especially not for the prevention of complications that won’t even be an issue until they are sexually mature, and able to decide for themselves.

    Oct 17, 2011 at 3:48 pm
  • squirrel

    @mikekoz68 - You said “None of these can occur with a clean, cut penis.”

    Let me fix it for you: None of these can occur with a clean penis.

    Much better now.

    It takes only a few seconds to wash your genitals properly, and that goes for both sexes. Certainly less than brushing your teeth and probably about the same as washing your hands. If someone can’t wash himself, and especially if a girl can’t ask his partner to wash himself, then I think that the problems go beyond the topic of circumcision. We’re getting into the area of respect for oneself and respect for your partner, which is not the subject of this podcast and speaks more about the person than about his dangly bits. Inability to keep it clean??? Really? What are the women you talked to dating, 8-year old boys? Please, be serious.

    Oct 17, 2011 at 9:20 pm
  • mond


    You have literally stolen the words out of my mouth in your response to mikekoz68.

    I would just going to add that if we are start amputating ‘high maintenance’ parts of our bodies then the foreskin is way down on the list. The teeth are an excellent example. We have brushes, pastes, flosses and a whole sub-category of medicine dedicated to our teeth. They must be a prime candidate for removal also.

    Oct 18, 2011 at 1:54 pm
  • mikekoz68

    You’re all forcing me to go there- from what I’ve been told the smell and slimeyness occurs a few short hours after bathing making spontaneous sex an unpleasant experience for the woman. Unless one is going straight from the shower to the bedroom, odours and slime will develop at an accelerated rate for an uncut man vs a cut man. So I am back to asking why any man would want to have foreskin?

    I brush my teeth & floss twice daily, using gum &mouthwash in between to stay fresh-not so much ‘high maintenance’ as it is enjoyable activites, esp. flossing.

    Oct 19, 2011 at 9:29 am
  • squirrel

    mike, what you describe look like the symptoms of gonorrhea, chlamydia or some other STD or STI. This has nothing to do with being cut or not. Tell the woman to get tested, and have her partner tested as well. In my 44 years of age, I’ve never experienced anything like what you describe.

    Oct 19, 2011 at 1:29 pm
  • Gliktch

    Eww.. Yeah, Mike, what Squirrel said. I’m not well-versed in other areas of genital health but I have had the displeasure of experiencing a girl with strong genital odour despite her being quite hygienic - as it turned out it was due to Thrush (candidiasis, or yeast infection), which can be suffered by males as well. It’s one of those conditions that requires correct (but fairly simple) treatment, and no amount of washing will really get rid of it - an over-the-counter antifungal is possibly the answer to your friend’s (friend’s partner’s?) health issue. I can assure you, on behalf of those intact males among us who do look after themselves, if something started smelling funky down there we’d get it looked at, because that’s not normal!

    I am assuming you’re extrapolating from one or two anecdotal instances from the way you presented the information; if this is not the case and you have a citable source then I’m sure the skeptics of genital cutting would like to check it out. ;)

    I feel it worth pointing out, though, that this would in no way be an argument for RIC (routine infant cutting), unless you’re concerned about the comfort of the kinds of people who would be handling boys’ genitals. :S

    The question of *what* age a person should be able to consent to their genitals cut, well… that’s a different matter, I personally would feel that, along with things like breast implants, cosmetic surgery on the genitals (or the face, or any other part of the body really) should be impossible to get before the age of 18 without a referral from a shrink stating that the person is of sound mind and isn’t suffering from body dysmorphia or any of those other body image things, and is capable of making the decision to alter their body permanently. I would even be in support of a mandatory 3-or-more sessions requirement over, say, 6 months. To some people this may seem overbearing, but really, if you were serious about getting something like this done then a vetting process wouldn’t really phase you. It may, however, go a long way towards helping to stop many vulnerable individuals from hastily changing their body in an attempt to compensate for underlying issues.

    Okay, I realize I’m veering off-topic a bit, reining it back in ;)

    — Anyone who knows me in real life please stop reading here.. seriously. Fair warning haha —

    @Mike, with regards to the ’slimy’ bit.. without more to go on it’s hard to say if that’s part of a health issue or just the natural state of the glans.. If you google up pictures of intact vs. cut penises (I know there’s a squick factor lol, but it won’t kill ya), you’ll probably see a fair range. I’m not sure which site it was on (I looked up something like ‘nocirc’ or ‘circumstitions’ and it was linked in the first 3 or 4 results in google) but I saw at least one instance of a glans that was very ‘wet’ looking, similar to the sensitive, moist tissue of the ‘inner’ labia minora in females. At the risk of crossing the TMI line, I can say that mine is closer to resembling the sensitive, moist-but-not-wet skin of the (mouth’s) lips, right at the point between ‘inside’ and ‘outside’ the mouth. I wouldn’t call it dry, but nor would I call it ’slimy’ - even on the occasions it gets to be like that I wouldn’t use that word as it feels inherently negative :P

    Gonna stop typing now because I may have overshared (and I do use this username for many sites lol), but I guess I would just hope that anyone who comes across it (and the others of you here) can be adult enough to appreciate my frankness as a way of trying to combat the vacuum of information that tends to surround issues of sexuality and healthy body function.

    Can I also just add how great it is to be dealing with ACTUAL issues, and not imaginary crap such as different interpretations of the skydaddy’s orders, or arguing with people who think that strength of a conviction is somehow a validation of its merit?? Such a refreshing thing to be among people who understand that only rational arguments need apply. :)

    Kind regards,. - Matthew

    Oct 23, 2011 at 4:40 am
  • Tommy

    Almost no one from Sweden used to get circumcised, its not in our culture. But since this country have a huge immigration (that our people never asked for), our politicians recently decided that our hospitals should offer male circumcision as a harm reduction strategy, because this was found to be done in secret on boys by adults with no medical experience and without anesthesia.

    Many doctors refuse to do this surgery, and don’t have to do it then, and some hospitals refuse to implement this offer to. The politicians don’t seem to happy about this either, but they argue that its more humane for the children that it’s done in a safe way if its going to be done anyway in a more barbaric way otherwise.

    I am very frustrated about this whole thing. We integrated a fucking cruelty on children into our society. Its like these idiotic parents are holding their children as hostage and say “I’m going to torture my child if you don’t offer this surgery!” and our country are giving in to their demands. How the hell do you deal with that!? Its a no-win situation. I cannot see any solution to it and it piss me off. :(

    Oh, and about the sand inside the foreskin thing, that’s just laughable! I’ve never heard about that argument before. There is just no risk that happening. At all. It never happened to me and I never tried to avoid it because the thought never crossed my mind. And if you actually manage to get in that situation where you get sand or something else there, just draw the foreskin back and the problem is solved. The foreskin is there for protection and they argue that it does the opposite thing.

    Also, how sick is that rabbi suck child dick thing? Put them in jail for sucking on children dicks ffs! Got damn pedophiles…

    Good show!

    Oct 24, 2011 at 12:15 pm
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  • Kitsune

    Hi I am married to an intact man and love it! I originally wasn’t going to comment (I don’t see a need to you all do such a great job), but than I read mike’s comments. I have to say I have been with cut and intact men. Before I met my husband I had only experienced cut men, and when I first had sex with my husband I was a bit weirded out because I didn’t know that a penis could look any different than what I had experienced before. My husband and I actually sat there and he explained to me with medical terminology what the part were, what they did, ect. Though since I have been with my husband I could never imagine going back to being with a cut male (my husband has even offered to get circumcised but I told him no way in hell) . It does feel a lot better for me and spontaneous sex is actually more possible now since we don’t need to have lube on hand or wait to get my motor running for it to be pleasurable for me.

    Nov 9, 2011 at 4:24 pm
  • Gonzo

    If what mikekoz68 is claiming was a widespread phenomenon there would be countries full of women complaining and having miserable sex lives because oral sex requires cleaning first and everything he describes. There aren’t. Don’t kid yourself, mikekoz68. I’ve heard this argument before, always coming from mutilated guys trying to come up with a lousy argument to feel good or better than the rest.

    I’m sure you know casual observation and feedback from women you know does not count as scientific evidence. You can claim whatever you want but that doesn’t make it a fact.

    Dec 4, 2011 at 7:29 pm
  • Dom

    I’m completely against circumcission. It’s needless and stupid. That’s like introducing the cutting off of nipples of men. Why are they there? Hmmm let’s get rid of ‘em. And then lettign that become the normal tradition over generations. I mean, just the thought of it is insane to me! Why hack off parts of your body. For what??!! As usual. Religion poisons everything. Including the body.

    To finish off…I’m sooo glad I’m whole, not in pieces.

    Dec 7, 2011 at 9:38 am
  • Dom

    That’s a disgusting ritual- the sucking of a babies weener after using a sharpened finger nail. Disgusting! Another thing. How can you let some old fuck suck on your kid’s private part. What’s wrong with you apes? Oh. I know what’s wrong. You’re religious. You have to really be twisted in your mind IE CRAZY!!!!! to find any comfort in this primitive religion. Any religion. It’s almost 2012, people. Evolve already! Us atheists are waiting….

    Dec 7, 2011 at 9:54 am
  • lizabeth

    Listening to this, all I can think is: your child is not your fucking fashion accessory.

    Dec 30, 2011 at 12:13 pm
  • lizabeth

    Not your child, I’m saying. Parents in general.

    Dec 30, 2011 at 12:14 pm
  • ufo42

    Well said, ladies. I agree completely. I was circumcised at age 11 on general principals as they were understood by the doctors at the time (mid 1950s). It was pretty traumatic even though it was done with a general anaesthetic. Pissing was very painful for a couple of weeks afterwards… and it still doesn’t look like a proper circumcision (according to my Jewish wife) :) I wonder what effect it has on newborns to be tortured like that with nothing but a bit of wine to dull the pain… but even so, it is probably a very minor inconvenience compared to the agony of having your genitals cut off by unskilled hands in unsanitary conditions and without any pain relief at age 6 or so if you’re a girl unlucky enough to be born in a culture which mandates female genital mutilation.

    Jan 16, 2012 at 8:51 pm
  • ufo42

    It is encouraging to hear a Texan accent say something that actually makes sense after being treated to the rantings of your august governors (present and past).

    Jan 16, 2012 at 8:59 pm
  • Eryemil

    Just wanted to clarify that the Egyptians only practiced circumcision among the clergy. It was not common in the lower classes.

    Jan 30, 2012 at 3:35 pm
  • UltraHLE

    I would suggest before everyone hops on the anti-circumcision train they read this: http://www.reddit.com/r/AskReddit/comments/p1nga/reddit_would_youdid_you_circumcise_your_son_why/c3m1a2a

    There are many, many reasons medically to preemptively remove the foreskin. While I disagree with the religious aspect of it, I believe it still has valid, medical points. The author of the post even has identified studies that show that there is no difference before and after feeling wise. The whole anti-circumcision argument seems to be intertwined with the concept of “men’s rights” groups or militant atheists. While I am myself a non-believer I don’t feel the need to bastardize every single item in whichever holy book you subscribe to.

    Jan 30, 2012 at 8:37 pm
  • fenchurch

    It’s important to remember that ear piercing is mutilation if only to get the question right when playing Trivial Pursuit. I guess I had dick on my mind when I got the answer wrong. :-/

    @UltraHLE: I wasn’t aware there was an anti-circumcision train, or that the ENTIRE argument was mixed up with “militant atheists”. A basic respect for the function and sanctity of a healthy human body is all that seems required.

    Throwing out inflammatory labels is kind of a red flag that you don’t have a valid argument, just want to demonise a certain group who doesn’t agree with you (or resort to name-calling).

    Feb 2, 2012 at 1:55 pm
  • Puma

    great pod cast.. ladies..

    I think we need to change the language, Instead of circumcised and uncircumcised. We should use the word natural and unnatural.

    May 1, 2012 at 12:47 am
  • Allen Tree

    THANK YOU! Just started listening to your show a couple of days ago after hearing someone (Sorry, I’m really terrible with names) on The Innerside with Scooter here in Houston. I’ve only gotten a few eps in so far, but am loving it. I’ve had this discussion a couple of times with friends that I know are intelligent, well educated, thoughtful people, and have been SHOCKED by some of their arguments, all of which I think you hit on in the show (except maybe prostate cancer. I think I’ve read somewhere that there is something like a 15% reduction in prostate cancer among men who have been genitally mutilated. Don’t remember the source, never read the actual study to see if it was believed to be a causal or correlary relationship, so I don’t know how much any of that is worth. Not to mention, 15% is not a HUGE number). The little girls having their ears pierced is by far the most ridiculous one. One friend kept throwing that in my face. When did I ever say that little girls SHOULD have their ears pierced? How is that relevant to my current argument?

    Jun 18, 2012 at 11:30 pm
  • Lee

    RE “What the is wrong with our show.”

    Not a goddamn thing!


    Jul 25, 2012 at 2:07 pm

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