Circumcision: An Introduction

If you, like me, are a male born in Canada, the US, or certain other countries around the world, in the 20th century, you are more likely to have been circumcised than remain intact (if you are one of the lucky ones who has remained intact, credit to your parents and doctors in keeping you that way). First of all, what is circumcision and why is it bad? Circumcision is basically the removal of the foreskin from the penis of a male. It was done as a common procedure on male babies just a few days after birth from about the mid 19th century to the end of the 20th century. It was done for a variety of reasons: cultural, the false belief that the body is more hygienic without the foreskin, the false belief that it reduced the risk of sexually transmitted diseases (sexually transmitted infections today), religion, aesthetics, etc. Despite all these reasons people gave and continue to give, however, the procedure is completely unnecessary and there is no real reason to perform it, except perhaps for extreme medical reasons (and here the operative word is extreme) and even here I have my doubts if such a real medical reason exists.

But circumcision is not only unnecessary, but harmful. Despite people, including doctors, thinking that the procedure is beneficial, it is completely the opposite. It reduces sexual pleasure both for the male who had it done to him and to his sexual partner(s). Now if you’re a circumcised man or the sexual partner of one, you might object at this point and point out that your sex life is great. “Reduction of sexual pleasure?” I hear you ask. “We have no problems whatsoever with our sex life.” That may be true, and I certainly wouldn’t blame you for thinking that way. In fact, I suspect that it’s partly why circumcision took a strong hold in first world countries like Canada and the US. If your father was circumcised and you were circumcised too, for instance, your father probably thought that sex is great too even if you’re circumcised.

But as I will argue in this blog, this is only because a circumcised man does not typically know what he is missing. Yes, sexual activity for a circumcised man can still be great, but sexual activity for an uncircumcised man is incredible and absolutely amazing. Consider this analogy. Let’s say instead of a procedure to amputate the foreskin at birth, we had a procedure to go colour-blind that we had babies undergo after birth for whatever reasons. Everyone is colour-blind. You might think such a world would be a sad one to live in, but would the people who live in such a world feel the same way? Remember they have no concept of colour. They don’t know what they’re missing. To them seeing things in black and white and shades of grey is perfectly normal and satisfactory. A novel that illustrates this idea perfectly is The Giver by Lois Lowry. The book is about a community where the people have no choices, there are no colours, there is no pain or suffering, etc., yet they remain perfectly happy and content with their lives. A 12 year old boy, Jonas, is chosen as a receiver of memories, meaning he is to go to The Giver on a regular basis. The Giver is the current holder of memories and has Jonas experience what he is missing from being in the community. Circumcision I argue works the same way.

I would also like to point out a lot of men have problems with their sex lives, problems that are caused by being circumcised. Still others, such as myself, have feelings of loss, resentment, and betrayal by our parents, doctors, society, country, etc., contributing to psychological harm as well. Finally, besides these sexual and psychological harms, there are personal things about my circumcised penis that make me additionally unhappy about it and that I will elaborate on in another post.

Despite all this bad news about circumcision, however, it is fortunately becoming a less common thing to do. Moreover, for us men who have already been circumcised, it is indeed possible to reverse much of what was lost and to re-grow another foreskin through a process known as foreskin restoration. I wouldn’t be surprised if you haven’t heard of such a thing. I didn’t know that it was possible to reverse circumcision until last spring. In the posts that follow, I give details on this process, how it is working for me, as well as say everything I believe needs to be said on the subject of circumcision and intactivism (the movement against non-concentual circumcision).

Love always, Jake Norman (pseudonym), foreskin restorer and intactivist.

 

 

 

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DTR with Direct Air

I haven’t updated again in a while, but I continue to restore my foreskin. Before I elaborate on my newest foreskin restoration method, I would like to correct something in my last post about retaining. The silicon scar sheets that I picked up from Shoppers Drug Mart have ended up not doing that great of a job of retaining the foreskin over the glans. I found their stickiness went away after only a few days so they aren’t a good choice for retaining. The silicon Scaraway sheets that I got from Rexall, however, continue to work very well.

My newest restoration devices involves another one of Chuck’s devices from his website http://www.foreskinrestore.com. He says that when you reach a plateau in the journey and progress seems to slow down that it is good to switch methods. One method in particular he says that works is his direct air method to be used with the DTR.
Chuck’s direct air methods basically works by having a tube attached to the DTR from which air can be blown through, expending and putting tension on the foreskin. To prevent the skin from increasing in girth, however (the goal after all is to only increase the length of it), a cloth is wrapped around the penis to hold the expanded skin in place with a velco strap.
Chuck comments that such a method gives an extreme stretch to the skin. I seemed stuck on the infamous CI-3 hump (where the skin would sometimes not stay over the corona on its own) and, as such, thought I would try it. I already had the DTR and his kit for turning it into a direct air device would only cost me a few more bucks. He also warned, however, that using the direct air kit isn’t as easy to put on as the DTR as used for dual tension. It has more parts and if you don’t put it on right, air can unfortunately escape making any good stretch disappear.
Since ordering the kit and trying it out, I do agree with him on this. For this reason, I don’t use this method everyday. Instead I often like to alternate between different methods. Also instead of a binder clamp that Chuck uses to prevent the air from escaping through the tube, I use one of those one-way valves I got from the Hyperrestore balloon method to get a great amount of air in. You do have to be careful here because it is very easy to get too much air so that it starts to hurt, but it does help get in the maximum amount of air before you start to feel pain (as always, pain should never be part of the restoration process).

I can also testify, however, to the benefit that Chuck says of it keeping progress going. Ever since trying the DTR direct air method out, my CI-3 stage, the skin rolls over and stays in place almost all of the time now. To me this is great progress, especially since I’ve been restoring for almost two years now. I can only imagine what my progress will be like in another two years. It definitely looks like I’ll be able to enjoy almost all of my adult life with a great foreskin. Different people’s skin, however, reacts in different ways so hopefully you can take this advice with a grain of salt. Experimentation is part of the journey and finding out what works best for you personally. I think I’ve found out what works best for me.

Love always, Jake Norman (pseudonym), foreskin restorer and intactivist

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Retaining and DTR Use

Admittedly, it’s been a while since my last post. The real world kept me pretty busy over the last few months. Despite this, however, I continue to reverse my circumcision and restore my foreskin. There have been two important milestones that have occured since my last post last summer.

 

Back in August, I started retaining my new foreskin. Retaining is basically keeping my new growing foreskin over my glans when I am not actively restoring. I had two reasons for starting to retain. One had to do with curiosity. I had developed enough foreskin to be able to hold the foreskin over my glans rather comfortably and I wanted to see if doing so would benefit my restoration journey in any way. I didn’t make the decison lightly. Once you start retaining, there is a risk that it no longer becomes a choice to do so on any given day. This has to do with how an intact penis functions and one of the purposes of having a foreskin. In an intact penis, the glans are incredibly sensitive, so sensitive that if something foreign comes into contact with them, it feels uncomfortable. It is analogous to an eyeball, which is another incredibly sensitive body part. The eyelid protects the eyeball in much the same way that the foreskin protects the glans. After circumcision has taken place though, the glans are constantly exposed, causing them to harden and deaden so that the nerves in them do not repond as well. Over the long term, retaining all of the time causes the glans to resort back to their naturally sensitive state.

 

While I have been retaining for 5 months now, my own glans still remain in that harden and deaden state. I am optimistic, however, that they will eventually become more sensitive. It’s all about seeing restoration as a journey and not expecting fast results. Retaining, however, has certainly still made some noticeable changes to my penis. During the first week that I started retaining, my penis started developing a very strong odour that was akin to rotten fish. It was very unpleasant for a few days, but it has gotten a lot better since then, although once in a while the unpleasant smell still comes back. When it’s gone, however, the smell is replaced by a kind of musky smell that is more pleasant, which I believe is the kind of smell that is associated with an intact penis. I have also started developing smegma at times under my new growing foreskin, which is another characteristic of the intact penis. Whenever it occurs, I always wash it off in the shower. In fact, due to my retaining, I have had to learn how to properly care for my “new penis”. Whenever I shower, I will wash my genitals like I’ve always done with soap and water. This time, however, I leave the glans and the inner foreskin alone. I will then wash my glans and inner foreskin with only water. Since my glans and inner foreskin are now “interior organs”, they do not need soap any more than, say, my eyeballs need soap.

 

The other reason for keeping my glans covered all of the time is purely psychological in nature. While I am aware that it takes years to restore a foreskin, I wanted my penis to be and look “as intact as possible”. Ever since I started retaining, I’ve noticed that I feel a bit more complete knowing that my glans are covered. It also felt weird at first to not be able to feel my glans in my underwear. Before I started retaining, I always felt the glans against my underwear. Now that I’ve started retaining, however, I no longer feel them, which took a bit of getting used to. Once I got used to this lack of feeling, however, I felt even more complete because I now feel what an intact man feels physically throughout the day. For holding the skin over my glans, I used Silicon Scaraway Sheets, which I just picked up from a Rexall drugmart. They are like bandages, but are more permenent and can be used several times so long as you regularly wash them. I’ve just used up one package and have gotten some silicon scar sheets at Shoppers Drug Mart, which appear to do the job equally well.

The other update on my restoration journey has to do with my use of the DTR. As I explained in my last post, I was using the DTR with the tugging strap to help restore my foreskin. This was because using the DTR with the push plate, rod, and elastics was simply too uncomfortable. The good news, however, is that in the last week I have managed to grow enough skin so that I can now indeed use the DTR with the push plate, rod, and elastics. In fact, I can use two elastics and it is still comfortable now. Also, instead of using elastics to push down the rod and plate against my glans, I can also use one of the screws to hold the push rod in place as well. Either way, I can comfortably get a good stretch and I can wear it for 1-3 hours at a time. I find using the DTR in this way to be more convenient in a couple of ways. When I was wearing the strap, I found the tension would vary a lot, such as whether I would be sitting, standing, or walking since the strap was going down most of my leg. I would often need to readjust the strap to keep the tension consistent. Without the strap, however, the tension is the same regardless of what my body position is at any given moment and if it is moving in any way. It is also more convenient because I can now wear the DTR in the summer when it’s hot and when I want to wear shorts. I do not need to worry about keeping the strap covered by wearing pants. The whole device is right in my crotch and is entirely concealable with shorts.

May my journey continue to be successful.

Love always, Jake Norman (pseudonym), foreskin restorer and intactivist

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The DTR Tugger and the HyperRestore Balloon

A year ago, I started on the incredible journey of restoring my foreskin. The journey still continues. I am still at a coverage index of CI-3, meaning that my new foreskin isn’t long enough to cover my corona, but I trust it will get there sooner or later. Getting the skin long enough to be able to cover the corona naturally has been said to be one of the biggest hurdles in restoring a foreskin.

In my last post I mentioned how back in April I saw a urologist about my foreskin restoration. While the urologist saw no problem with using a foreskin device on myself, he unfortunately didn’t see any benefit to restoring a foreskin. But that was his loss, and I know my own body better than anyone else. I had been using only manual tugging for nearly 10 months in a row at that point and by then I badly wanted to start using a device so that I could not only free up my hands for other activities, but also to get in more restoring time throughout the day.

I ordered in the full DTR kit from the website www.foreskinrestore.com. The DTR is a foreskin restoration device that basically works by placing the glans inside this small plate attached to a rod, which is put inside this bell with the rod sticking out. The rod is secured to the bell by means of screws. The penis shaft skin and/or foreskin is then rolled onto the bell and is secured there by a silicon gripper. Elastics are then used to create tension.

I also ordered in a tugging pin and a tugging strap, which is used to convert the DTR unit into a tugger. Instead of the plate and the rod that is attached to the bell, the tugging pin, which is smaller, is attached to the bell. To skin is rolled similarly onto the bell by a silicon gripper, and tension is created by a tugging strap attached to the tugging pin and is stretched down to your calf where it is secured.

While I waited for the DTR to arrive, I spent the waiting time experimenting with o-rings. These are small rings that hold the skin over the glans with minimal tension. I noticed, however, that after an hour of wearing an o-ring my testicles hurt. I knew that pain shouldn’t be part of the restoration process. I tried using the o-rings several times, but the pain wouldn’t go away. I will admit I was kind of hoping it wasn’t the o-rings. When the DTR finally arrived, my testicles were still in pain. I asked my therapist about it who was very sympathetic. She suggested I let the pain go away first before I risked hurting myself further. This wasn’t because she didn’t approve of my decision to restore my foreskin, she’s been more than supportive, but she just suggested I take a week off of not having any device attached to my penis to see if the pain healed.

I finally decided that she was right and that I was should let my body heal from the pain. Disappointment and anxiety overwhelmed me. What if the DTR didn’t work for me? What if no device worked for me? If a simple o-ring was causing this amount of pain, would any device be safe? Would I have to restore just using my hands for the next several years?

My therapist who has worked with me and continues to work with me on my anxiety issues suggested I fill out a thought record. This is a mental exercise to help combat anxiety where you write down what’s triggering the anxiety, what my automatic thoughts are, and what some alternative thoughts are. My automatic thoughts were basically the ‘what if’ questions I wrote above. Some of my alternative thoughts were the following: ‘Hurdles like these are part of the journey’, ‘There are a lot of devices out there so the odds are in my favour that at least one of them will work for me’, ‘Experimentation is a stage that I need to get through’.

I put my new DTR kit and my o-rings aside. The pain continued to stay with me over the next week, but then gradually waned and disappeared a few days after. It was then that I decided to try using the DTR again.

I tried the DTR with the tugging strap first since the maker of it recommended it for beginners. I bought a cuff to attach the tugging strap to my calf with. I found it fit all right and thankfully didn’t cause any pain at all. It was certainly easy to tighten the strap enough for me to feel pain, but using right amount of tension led to a good stretch for my new developing foreskin, while not feeling any discomfort. I started to wear it six to eight hours on almost every day.

Trying the DTR with the push plate, rod, and elastics, however, was a different story. I tried experimenting with this method for a few days, but found I couldn’t get quite comfortable with it. I would always feel pain or at least a slight discomfort. I didn’t, and still don’t, regret buying it, however. It will probably become more useful later on in the process. I continue to experiment with it too.

I was very pleased with the progress I was making with the DTR tugger though. It seemed like everyday my skin would feel a little looser, and I definitely noticed a difference each time I masturbated. Unfortunately with the warm weather coming up though, I knew that I would need a second method. To hide the tugging strap when out in public or at work I needed to wear pants. If I wore shorts, people might wonder why the heck a strap was coming out of my shorts and attached to a cuff around my calf.

After doing a bit more research on alternative devices and reading what other restoring men thought was useful, I found one that I felt was worth trying out. It’s called the HyperRestore Balloon and the link for it is here: http://hyperrestore.com/. It works quite differently than the DTR. Instead of a push plate and a bell pushing against the glans, a balloon that’s a little inflated does the job. Two cones also replace the jobs of the silicone gripper and the bell. I ordered one in and found it to be pretty comfortable to wear and seemed to give me good tension with good results. I found it very easy to inflate the balloon too much to cause pain and had to experiment a bit to find out what my threshold of pain was like I did with the DTR tugging strap. I have noticed, however, that as I continue to use these devices my body can tolerate higher amounts of tension for longer periods of time. I also often like to use both devices on a given day to add a bit of variety to my routine.

I can usually wear either device for at least 1-2 hours (often longer) before feeling the need to take it off again and wear at least one of them several times per day. I also wash the devices daily with some kind of soap detergent. It also feels great to go around wearing these devices. I feel a little more whole, knowing that my penis looks natural instead of circumcised. It’s made a lot of my sadness and frustration over being circumcised evaporate. Now I simply have to stay the course until I have a foreskin again.

Love always, Jake Norman (pseudonym), foreskin restorer and intactivist

 

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Visit to Urologist

Last month, I had an appointment with a urologist regarding my foreskin restoration. I’ve waited eight months for this appointment, totalling almost 10 months since I began restoring using manual tugging techniques with only my hands, tugging on average one hour per day. My main reason for seeing the urologist was simply to air on the side of caution and to see if there were any risks in using restoration devices on myself. As I’ve said in a pervious post, another doctor who made the referral had trouble giving the go-ahead in using devices on my new growing foreskin and so made the referral to see the urologist.

I have to admit I was pretty anxious leading up to the visit. I wasn’t sure how the urologist would react to hearing that I was restoring my foreskin. I’ve read and heard about a lot of doctors simply not understanding the need to restore a foreskin, as well as personally experiencing this myself with another doctor. My therapist, however, is very understanding of my problem with being circumcised and of restoring my foreskin and has helped a lot as I’ve said in my last post. She helped me draft up some solid questions to ask the urologist. They were as follows:

Is surgical restoration a viable option or is it best for me to continue to restore through non-surgical tugging?

How much frenulum do I have left? (In case you aren’t aware, the frenulum is a specialised tissue that connects the foreskin to the glans in an uncircumcised penis, much like how the tongue is connected to the floor of the mouth, and circumcised men often lose some or all of this tissue to circumcision.)

Is it safe to use a device on myself? Are there any risks?

I would also print off some pictures of devices I would think about using, in case he needed to see them.

Overall, the visit with the urologist went well. When I went to the hospital, I checked in and patiently waited in a waiting room. One of the doctor’s medical students saw me first. He first asked me why I was in. I told him I was restoring my foreskin for both psychological reasons (to feel whole and complete as a man) and for sexual reasons (to gain sexual pleasure). He then gave me a physical. It was then that I thought it would be a good time to ask him if I had any frenulum left. He then looked and confirmed that I did indeed still have a normal frenulum.

I felt a bit of relief then. At least the doctor who circumcised me wasn’t entirely ruthless. He had left me with some of the more specialised bits of tissue. I always suspected I had a bit of frenulum left, but I thought a lot of it would have been removed. It doesn’t appear to be the case fortunately.

Then the doctor himself came in. I again explained how I was restoring my foreskin, and he gave me another physical. He commented on how much foreskin I had, which I was pleased with. He quickly informed me that surgery wasn’t a good option in restoring my foreskin because of a lot of risky complications, which may compromise my sexual function. I showed him a picture of a possible device, and he informed me that I could use whatever devices on myself I wanted to so long as no pain was involved.

He did not, however, see the point of restoring a foreskin and believed that there is no difference in sexual pleasure between being circumcised and being uncircumcised. He said the internet is filled with incorrect information, one of them being that uncircumcised is more pleasurable than circumcised and that there have been studies done on men who have been circumcised later in life and report no difference in sexual function (so I guess this is my way of spreading the “incorrect” information that uncircumcised is more pleasurable on the internet haha). I kindly pointed out that my experience in restoring my foreskin so far has proved to me that I do experience more pleasure in having more and more foreskin. The doctor, however, was set in his views, and I honestly didn’t see the point of arguing with him about it. I had achieved my goal at the appointment, that is, obtaining the information that it is safe to use devices on myself to restore my foreskin so long as I didn’t feel pain.

A couple of hours after the appointment, I found myself ruminating on the doctor’s attitude toward foreskin restoration. Despite circumcision being a controversial topic nowadays, it reminded me that I still live in a culture that is still too pro-circumcision for my liking. As time went on, however, relief that I could finally use a device on myself replaced the rumination. I also texted back and forth a couple of friends who have been supportive of my decision to restore my foreskin, which also helped.

I will update my progress in the next post.

 

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Month 8: The Benefits of Therapy

I don’t have much to report on my progress of my foreskin restoration journey. The skin continues to get looser and looser, benefiting me more and more sexually, but there’s no visual change. I am, however, experiencing a positive change in my feelings toward being circumcised, which has come about through therapy. I saw a therapist before who helped me toward my decision to restore my foreskin, as well as how to talk to my parents about their ill-informed decision to have me circumcised when I was born. After those sessions ended, I felt that mental health professionals has done enough for me and that, in time, hopefully the issue would affect me less and less.

Unfortunately, however, as the months wore on, while my feelings improved slightly, they were still interfering with my life. It seemed that every other week for a few days I would have a very depressive episode where negative thoughts and feelings surrounding the circumcision issue would flood my mind. Thoughts like “Why did this happen to me?”, “How could my parents let this happen?” “Why aren’t more people seeing this as big as an issue as I’m seeing it?” I felt distance from other people during these days and felt a sort of bitterness toward them. It got to the point where I finally admitted to myself that further therapy might benefit me.

I’ve had five sessions already with another therapist and things are starting to improve (not that there was anything wrong with the first one, I would recommend him to anyone, it was due to other circumstances that I’m seeing a new one).

My therapist and I talked about a lot of the things that were bothering me and we went through CBT (Cognitive behaviour therapy) and she showed me how thoughts influence feelings, which in turn influence behaviour, which in turn influenced thoughts again. It was a vicious cycle. We first discussed how to possibly break this cycle. Were there any repetitive behaviours that I was doing that were influencing thoughts? There indeed were. I was checking various foreskin restoration internet sources several times per day. I was also in the habit of looking down my pants several times per day to see if I could see any progress to my foreskin restoration efforts (sometimes I could see progress, other times I couldn’t, depending if some of the skin was covering the glans or not). We came up with a partial solution during the first session for me to stop doing these actions as frequently. Instead of doing these things several times per day I instead would do such checking whether it be on the internet or on my own body only once or twice per day.

I noticed a slight change in my mood. My mind seemed to cling on to the circumcision issue less. At a subsequent session, we further discussed my anger over the circumcision issue to see if we could tackle the thoughts and feelings themselves. We talked about how it was affecting me and how it appeared a lot of people were simply “not on board” with the circumcision issue as much as I was. Everyone I talked to seemed to be more or less against circumcision, but they seemed to take a practical approach to the issue rather than an emotional one like me. Their messages were pretty much the same: I should accept my circumcision state, accept the fact that it was done in my best interests, and to simply not circumcise any sons I have since it is now a more controversial practice to do so. As for foreskin restoration, “do it if you want to, it’s your body” and as is especially the case with females “don’t tell me the details on that.” This wasn’t the exact wording that a lot of people used, but it was the message they were sending me: a practical message. Mind you, I completely agree with everyone on this advice. Yet the fact that I couldn’t find anyone to connect with emotionally about it made me feel very lonely. It was as if everyone was dismissing my own feelings about it, which ended up affecting my relations with others negatively. I felt alone with the issue and it certainly felt good to let these thoughts and emotions out to my therapist.

Then at the last session I had with her (which was just this past week), we talked a lot about this problem. She prompted me to think of ways why other men would be less upset about this issue and why it was indeed affecting me this much. It could be, for example, that since most men knew from a very young age that they were circumcised that they did indeed have strong feelings when they were first found out about it, but that it lessoned over time, whereas for me it was only about three years ago that I found out I had been circumcised.

They could have found done a lot of sexual experimentation to find out what they like and don’t like and have found that a circumcised penis gives them what they like. I’ve also noticed that, unlike me, a lot of restoring men are homosexual or have male family members and/or relatives who are intact and, as such, they would feel weird. For heterosexual men, however, they might care less about male genitals since it is only their gentials that are affected by it, but not their partners’. A homosexual man, on the other hand, would place more concern on anything to do with male genitals since it not only affects his own, but also his partners’.

As another point, some men could generally feel less lonely than me because they have had plenty of girlfriends or boyfriends, while for me I’ve never gone out on a single date, which I will admit has trigger loneliness in the past for me. I want to say, however, that all this speculation between me and my therapist was simply to help me accept that others would be less emotional about the issue than me and, as such, I cannot say if any of these reasons have any basis in fact.

We also talked about the concept of advocacy in general. The world is filled with many problems, circumcision being only one of them, and that not everyone has time or the energy to be emotionally invested all of these problems even though they may know what the issues are. For example, there are issues regarding environmentalism, human trafficking, animal cruelty, etc. The list is practically endless. While I do have strong opinions about such issues, I am not as emotionally invested in them as I am with other issues such as circumcision. Different people will be drawn toward different issues depending on their life experience, how a particular issue affects them, their personal philosophy, their upbringing, etc. My therapist also said that in order to connect with others, it is not necessary to be emotional about the same exact issues. Such insights I feel are really helping me to heal and get rid of my ruminating thoughts and feelings regarding the circumcision issue.

Even though it’s only been a few days since that session, I feel more accepting of others and find I can connect more with others on other issues, even if we don’t connect on the circumcision issue. It was as if a weight was removed from my shoulders, an obsession that was weighing me down. It’s been an utter relief to be getting the therapy I need. I hope it all continues to get better.

Love always, Jake Norman (pseudonym), foreskin restorer and intactivist.

 

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Month 7 and Emotions

I’m now 7 months into restoring my foreskin. I took my monthly photos of my progress a couple of days ago and always can notice an improvement of my new growing foreskin compared to last month’s photos. The skin is getting increasingly wrinkly and as the weeks pass by, the skin continues to get looser and looser. It takes less and less effort to pull the skin over the glans even though it doesn’t stay there on its own yet. I am still at a CI-3 of the Coverage Index (explained in Foreskin Restoration: 3-6 Months), but I feel my sensitivity and sensations are slowly but surely improving.

I’ve also reflected on how far I’ve come though in the last 7 months. It was at the beginning of last summer that I began my restoration journey and here it is in the middle of winter. I’m most of the way through my first year of restoring. My motivation for continuing hasn’t lessened a bit. In fact, my motivation is increasing. If I’ve come this far, then I know I’m in this for the long haul no matter how long it takes. The years that it will take to restore no longer appear to be that daunting given that I’ve spent most of a year already at it. Last June when I began was indeed a turning point in my life.

Restoring a foreskin can be compared to running a marathon. It is best to view it as a series of short sprints. With the continuing improvements I’m experiencing, I wonder how masturbation will feel like a month from now, or even a week from now, or even tomorrow. It is indeed a wonderful journey of self-exploration and self-discovery. I also feel I’m beginning to intuitively understand why nature gave me a foreskin to begin with before it was cut off. My masturbation sessions continue to improve with the looser gliding skin and it makes me really wish to know what it will feel like once I am fully restored. There are certainly times that I feel impatient, but to quote a cliché, it is good to stop and smell the flowers along the way.

Sometimes I can get really down about being circumcised though. Mind you, as I continue with my restoration and with life in general, I’m learning to cope better with what was done to me and to not let it interfere with my everyday functioning. There are still occasional days, however, where it can really get in the way. During these days, a range of emotions passes through my mind: anger, sadness, frustration, etc. I hate that this was done to me especially since I was born and am living in a first world country, I hate how this hasn’t been made illegal yet, and I hate how society can so nonchalant over the issue and not properly address these emotions that I’m feeling.

During these times I feel so alone as well, and there are various reasons why I feel alone with this issue. One reason I feel so alone is the attitudes of other circumcised men who may be really nonchalant over being circumcised. Mind you, I do believe that people are free to think what they want and that includes circumcised men on their circumcised status, but the fact that the vast majority of circumcised men think this way still creates frustration within me. I’ve yet to meet another man in person who also feels the need to restore his foreskin. One soluton I’ve found, however, is to join a restoration internet group, which has fortunately been proven helpful. It’s great to be able to communicate with other restoring men even if distance makes it impractical to meet in person.

Another reason I feel so alone is society’s lack of resources on this particular issue. Foreskin restoration isn’t very well known, and even a lot of doctors don’t seem to understand it with some even against it. Sexual resources barely touch on the issue of circumcision. I’ve seen, for example, sexual pamphlets that take a tone of indifference to circumcision, except to say that it shouldn’t be done because it’s medically unnecessary and as such no insurance will cover it. Well, that’s all very fine and good for the baby boys who are being born now, but what about those of us who were born in the last century when circumcision was unfortunately incredibly common? Assuming I live a long life, I still have well over half a century of my life left. A lot of these pamphlets, doctors, etc., however, seem to shrug and say “So you’re circumcised. So what? Your penis still seems to give you pleasure, right? What’s the big deal?”

But you’re missing the whole point. It’s not that I still can’t enjoy myself, it’s that a large part of what I could be feeling was taken away. Also, I have this feeling of being violated, like how a rape victim can feel violated. The problem is that this feeling of violation from circumcision and having the desire to be whole again is still foreign to North American culture, as well as to many other places/cultures around the world. Mind you, I can understand why. We’ve been circumcising male babies for a century and a half and so it seems strange to complain about being circumcised. I do, however, continue to fight against this attitude.

Another reason I feel alone has to do with how society has labeled sexual topics as taboo topics. Due to the very nature of the issue at hand and that it deals directly with genitals (especially mine), I find I have to be discrete with how and who I share this issue with. One solution that I’ve come up for this last problem is to blog about it anonymously (hence why I started this blog). I wish I could use my real name and say who I really am, but if I did so I feel I would be putting my reputation at risk, both socially and career-wise. There are certain sexual topics that modern society just isn’t ready to be open to as of yet and genitals is definitely one of them. The society of 2017 unfortunately just isn’t ready for that yet.

I will say, however, that I am grateful that I was born as late as I was in the twentieth century. Had I been born in my parents’ generation in the 1950’s I would not only have surely been circumcised, but I could very well have had no knowledge on the miraculous process known as foreskin restoration (this is why some men born back then are just getting around to restoring their foreskins now, foreskin restoration was known millennia ago but it was only rediscovered at the end of the twentieth century). I am still young in my twenties so I still have the majority of my life left to live and to have many happy years to live with a restored foreskin. And being born at the age of the internet has also allowed me to advocate this issue through such means as this blog, not only to raise awareness but also for my own personal therapy.

Love always, Jake Norman (pseudonym), foreskin restorer and intactivist.

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Foregen: The Possibility of Foreskin Regeneration

Last spring when I first heard that it was possible to restore my foreskin lost from circumcision, I also heard of another possible solution as well to reverse my circumcision. This solution is called foreskin regeneration, which regenerates a foreskin through regenerative medicine. When we are wounded, our brain sends instructions to the site of the wound to form scar tissue, which in the case of circumcision is what makes up the scarline. If we lose a part of our body, however, each cell actually contains a blueprint of what all of the different parts of the body should consist of, even after having a part amputed or harmed. Regenerative medicine works by taking advantage of this by having our brain send instructions to the cells at the site to regrow the lost tissue as though we were still in the womb.

Such a solution, however, is not yet available and won’t be for some time if it ever is. It was and still is being developed by an Italian research group called Foregen. Their website for it is http://www.foregen.org/ where they provide occasional updates and explain exactly what they are doing . If it does become successful at some point in the future, it will work somewhat as follows. The penis at the scarline will be opened up and part of a donor foreskin (probably from a corpse) will be attached with microsurgery. Once it is attached, your own DNA will actually take the place of the donor foreskin so that it will truly be yours, as though you had never been circumcised to begin with. I won’t go into the full details of how exactly this is accomplished, you can read all about it on the website. It does sound incredible that this might actually happen, but it is indeed what Foregen is working on.

Understandably, different circumcised men will take varying attitudes towards Foregen. A lot of them simply don’t want to take the risk of more surgery on their penis and risk having their penis ruined even more. The penis is after all a very delicate organ with a lot of delicate nerves. Another reason that circumcised men might not want to opt for Foregen if it does even become successful is psychological. They simply don’t want another doctor touching their penis with a knife, regardless of the doctor’s intentions and if it has even been proven to be 100% effective. Also, how will the procedure work for men who have already restored their foreskins? It may require having a second circumcision done, which is a possibility that some restoring men do not want to face because it will be taking away all of their hard work they have put into reversing their circumcision for years.

There is also good reason to be a bit skeptical on Foregen’s mission happening at any time, let alone in the foreseeable future. Can you really get back those specialised nerve endings and structures within the original foreskin? And if it is successful, how much will it cost? Thousands of dollars if not tens of thousands of dollars surely.

On the other end of the spectrum, you’ll hear of circumcised men who don’t want to go through the trouble of taking a lot of time and energy to restore their foreskins through the current best technique that is foreskin restoration, especially when Foregen might give you the real deal back and are optimistic that Foregen will indeed be successful at this during their lifetimes. Some of these men unfortunately are only having wishful thinking, while others are less bothered by the fact that they are circumcised, but will opt for Foregen if it becomes available. Still others hold a middle ground and have their own personal conditions that Foregen would have to meet before they would be willing to get the surgery.

My own personal philosophy? To quote a cliché, a bird in the hand is worth two in the bush. While Foregen might be available in the future, the fact remains that it isn’t available now. For right now, I have two choices: to restore my foreskin with the tried and true non-surgical techniques or not do anything and remain circumcised. There’s no telling of when Foregen will be publicly available or if it will ever be publicly available at all. Even if it was successful, it would have to be proven to be even more effective than the non-surgical techniques I’m using right now for me to opt for it; otherwise why replace my restored foreskin with one from Foregen’s surgery?

I also have a second reason to restore now even if Foregen is successful in the future. Suppose for the sake of argument that Foregen is successful in say ten or twenty years and that I knew this for certain. Would I cease restoring? No, I wouldn’t. I want to cease being circumcised as soon as possible so that I can enjoy my body sexually as much as possible in my lifetime. Also, in the next ten or twenty years, I will undoubtedly have my first sexual experience with a woman, get married, and hopefully have a great sex life with my future wife. And if I don’t do anything while waiting for Foregen, my sex life until Foregen’s success won’t be as great than if I had indeed chosen to restore. I will also add that I have personally decided that I want to remain a virgin until I have completely restored my foreskin and given that I am still in my twenties I don’t see any problems with this. I want to feel psychologically whole first and I think it’ll make my first time to be even more special. Again, this is just a personal value I have and that I don’t expect everyone or even anyone else to adhere to.

This all being said, I certainly wish Foregen the best of luck and they have my utmost respect for daring to try something like this and that just might help a lot of circumcised men down the road. And if they are successful with it and are proven to be more successful than the non-surgical approach, then I will certainly opt to have my restored foreskin replaced with a regenerated one. I have even started donating to them once a month. It’s not a large amount, but it’s enough to make me feel that I am doing something to help with their progress. In the meantime, I will keep on tugging!

Love always, Jake Norman (pseudonym), foreskin restorer and intactivist

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