It’s almost like being ‘ribbed for her pleasure
To cut, or not to cut? Although circumcision rates are declining in America, foreskin is still a hotly debated issue. Cosmopolitan.com spoke to three American women and two American men on the merits and pitfalls of sex with circumcised versus uncircumcised penises.
How old are you?
Woman A: Twenty-seven.
Woman B: Thirty-four.
Woman C: Twenty-nine.
Man A: Twenty-two.
Man B: Thirty-one.
Have you ever slept with a guy who has an uncircumcised penis?
Woman A: Yes. Three, actually. And dated two of them for a few months.
Woman B: Yes.
Woman C: Yes.
Man A: Once, yes. It was a surprise.
Man B: No.
Have you ever slept with a guy who has a circumcised penis?
Woman A: Yes, the majority do.
Woman B: Yes.
Woman C: Yes.
Man A: Yes.
Man B: No.
Do you have a preference between the two?
Woman A: For sheer aesthetic purposes, circumcised. It is not a deal-breaker at all if they’re not, because it doesn’t feel different, but it is definitely more aesthetically pleasing to have them be circumcised. It’s also something my girlfriends and I talk about, and there is always a negative stigma associated with non-circumcised guys. The weird thing is, it’s very comparable to the female vagina, but yet I have never heard of that comparison.
Woman B: I do not have a preference when it comes to regular intercourse but I prefer circumcised when performing oral sex.
Woman C: I much, much prefer an intact [uncircumcised] man! Sex feels better. The natural penis isn’t dried out looking like circumcised penises and the foreskin is useful! Did I mention it feels really, really good?
Man A: I wouldn’t say I have a preference. It really is a nonissue for me as long as it works.
Do you find there is a difference in sensation during intercourse?
Woman A: Honestly, I think that if a guy is uncircumcised, it feels better because there is more friction, as weird as that sounds.
Woman B: I feel like there is a little something extra when a man is not circumcised. It’s almost like being “ribbed for her pleasure.” I don’t think it necessarily makes it better than a circumcised man, but it is a little different. I also think the after-sex rituals are different. Usually, when a guy is not circumcised, he has to get up and clean off sooner.
Woman C: Yes! I have a decent sample size of both intact and circumcised men, and while I have had circumcised men be able to get me off from vaginal intercourse alone, it’s only been after plenty of getting to know each other sexually. The uncircumcised men have been the only ones who I orgasm from vaginal intercourse alone easily, even during casual encounters. The gliding sensation from the foreskin just does it for me.
Man A: I never noticed any difference.
Is there a difference in taste during oral sex?
Woman A: Taste, I would say no, but they have to have good hygiene. I think being uncircumcised leaves much more room for smells and tastes to become apparent, because they have to clean deeper than most guys do. I feel like I am pretty adamant about a pre-oral shower, just to be safe.
Woman B: Yes! There is a huge difference in taste. I usually will not give oral sex to a guy who is uncircumcised. Sometimes there is a weird smell and a weird taste.
Woman C: Not that I’ve noticed. Bodies have scents, circumcised or not, and it’s not hard to get a guy to rub his dick in the shower.
Man A: I also never noticed a distinct difference with this. If there is a strong taste for anything, I’m hoping it would just be soap.
What about during other sexual acts?
Woman A: I think that it can be weird for girls to experience a flaccid uncircumcised penis, because it looks like a rocket ship and we don’t grow up seeing images of uncircumcised penises in pop culture. It’s kind of like, “What do I do with this?”
Woman B: I think it is more fun to give a guy a hand job if he is uncircumcised because you can use the skin to please him more by applying different amounts of pressure when moving up and down.
Woman C: Hand jobs are much easier and more enjoyable to give when a guy has his foreskin. I don’t have to keep spitting on my hand to keep things lubricated and blow jobs are more fun when I have foreskin to play with too.
Man A: Giving a hand job to a man with an uncircumcised penis is different, but definitely not a negative experience. As a circumcised man, there is just a different “look” to what is happening.
Does it matter to you if a guy you’re sleeping with is circumcised or not? Why/why not?
Woman A: I’ve debated this in my head before and at 21 years old, I would have said, “Yes, it’s too weird, non-hygienic, ugly, and I don’t like it.” But now, at 27 and having really liked the guys I’ve been with who have not been circumcised, my answer is no, because it’s not something they had any control over as a child, and it’s really not bad once you get used to it and know how to work with it.
Woman B: It doesn’t matter to me. I have enjoyed sex with both types. As long as the sex is great, I do not care. The only time I have a preference is if I want to perform oral sex.
Woman C: I wouldn’t not sleep with a guy strictly because he is circumcised since he likely didn’t get a say in the matter, but I really, really, really prefer uncircumcised men. I mean, why would I prefer a man missing a significant part of his penis?
Man A: No, not at all. I’m not going to complain too much about size or shape as long as things work in a way that pleases us both.
Guys, are you circumcised?
Man A: Yes.
Man B: Yes.
Do you ever wish you were/weren’t? And has that opinion changed over the years?
Man A: I have never thought too much about the possibility. I feel like most guys are circumcised so I guess I just feel like I was “normal.”
Man B: I wish I wasn’t — mostly because I’ve learned that uncircumcised men experience more pleasure. It took me until my mid-20s to learn about this, and I felt cheated out of a natural and beautiful part of my body by a decision that was never given to me.
Do you talk about it with your partners?
Man A: No, it’s never been a question posed to me or from me.
Man B: Nope, there’s never been any reason to.
Have you ever experienced any judgment from sexual partners for being circumcised/uncircumcised? What happened?
Man A: Not at all.
Man B: Never any judgment. I honestly didn’t think about it much until my mid-20s and because I can’t change it, what’s the point of talking about it?
What are the pros and cons, in your experience, of being circumcised/uncircumcised?
Man A: I would say the benefit of being circumcised is that it’s not a surprise. I assume the guys that I will be sleeping with are, and I’m thinking that they probably assume the same thing of me. But I don’t want that to seem like I’m insulting uncircumcised guys. I’m a pretty laid-back guy. Whatever you have in your pants is probably a nonissue.
Man B: Pros: I think it looks better to be circumcised. Cons: Sex is less pleasurable, for both men and women, and the organ itself is more sensitive than it ought to be. I remember reading somewhere that there are about 12 square inches of skin removed in circumcision. Also, there is probably buried body trauma of the event itself that still affects me in sex although I don’t consciously remember it.
If you had a son, would you get him circumcised?
Woman A: Definitely. For all the things I mentioned above, there are far more negative circumstances he would encounter than positive in having an uncircumcised penis. Unless I heard some very good reasons why having an uncircumcised penis was necessary, I don’t think there is a reason not to just snip it at birth.
Woman B: I think I would have him circumcised for sanitary reasons. I just feel like it is more hygienic for a baby to be circumcised. I mean, the poor little things sit in diapers all day for, like, a year.
Woman C: Absolutely not! Nature knows best. The foreskin is there for a reason and all the justifications people use to defend circumcision are B.S. Women have plenty of nooks and crannies we manage to keep clean without having bits cut off. We get UTIs sometimes, and antibiotics, not circumcision, are the answer. Condoms prevent STIs and you get to keep your whole penis. If my son really wanted to get circumcised later in life, fine. That’s his decision to make about his own body. I’m not about to deprive him a normally functioning penis. It’s unethical and barbaric!
Man A: I haven’t ever thought of this, but I probably would. As a circumcised guy with a circumcised boyfriend, it’s something that we would both probably just agree to. I would think that doctors would recommend it, so it would happen shortly after birth. Thinking as a gay couple: If we were to adopt a son that were older than a newborn, I don’t think we would circumcise the child.
Man B: No; I feel that should be his decision. (I know, what mature man in his right mind would decide to get part of his penis cut off, right?)