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