Many of the negative effects of circumcision are sexual, but these problems are not often recognized as being due to circumcision and are often blamed on the female partner. Foreskin restoration can repair a lot of this damage (though it will not have all the same structures as the original foreskin.) Read how circumcision affected this family.
Guest Post by Amy McDonough
Amy’s husband Jeff Sanger blogs at http://shouldicircumcise.blogspot.com/.
I have been with my husband, Jeff Sanger for 16 years. We met when we were young; we were freshmen in college. I remember our first date like it was yesterday. I called my best friend and told her that while I was never the girl that had my wedding planned out from a young age, that I had met the man that I would marry. And we were married. We bought a house and decided to have children. I remember my first pregnancy so clearly. With your first pregnancy you have all this time to reflect and daydream and imagine what life will be like with a baby. (With the second and third pregnancies I barely had time to pee.) Our first child was a wonderful baby girl but I remember having the circumcision conversation with Jeff before we knew her sex. A friend of mine had sent me her birth plan so that I could use it as a model to write my own. On her birth plan it said: We do not want our son circumcised; he will be circumcised at the pediatrician’s office. I then asked my husband, “What if we have a son, how do you feel about circumcision?” I remember my husband’s reaction so clearly because it was somewhat visceral. He said, “I could never do that to anyone, let alone my own son.” I just agreed and didn’t think about it too much after that.
Then came the birth of our second child, a beautiful, perfect little boy, Sullivan. I never knew that having a son would be such a healing experience for my husband. Prior to his birth we didn’t talk very often about circumcision but after he came into this world intact it stirred a lot of emotions in Jeff. I remember the time so clearly and when I look back at pictures I can feel the sadness; it was sad only because my husband’s healing journey had just begun. He went through a lot of depression and he felt so disconnected at times that it broke my heart. He’s had a beard since I can remember and sometimes it gets a little long when we’re busy but eventually he has me trim it. His beard grew so long during this time and once I asked him if I could trim it back for him and he made some kind of comment about not wanting anyone to go near him with razors or scissors. I respected his need for space and time to think but it was hard for me, especially with a new baby who needed so much and our daughter who was a toddler.
Jeff, like most babies in the U.S., was circumcised shortly after he was born, in 1977. We later learned that his type of circumcision is what doctors refer to as a “tight circumcision.” He was left with literally no foreskin. During his months of depression I gently brought up the idea of restoring his foreskin. He was open to the idea. I think he knew he needed to start the healing process and move forward. I ordered him a Tugger from TLC Tugger and when we got it in the mail he completely lost it. It was a bad night and he completely broke down. He didn’t want to put it on and he was having a hard time figuring out how. I tried to help him but he didn’t want me to touch him. I realized more than ever in that moment what an effect circumcision had on him.
Jeff has been restoring now for almost five years. He has come a long way and I am proud of the man that he is. He talks to everyone about circumcision, even pregnant women on the bus. One of the reasons we are both so passionate about this is because of how it affected our sex life. Sex is supposed to be one of the most powerful ways we express ourselves and that was taken from Jeff when he was circumcised. It was taken without his consent and it created a lot of damage, damage that has been repaired over time, but he will never experience sex the way nature intended.
I can remember crying after sex many times and for many years. We literally could not have sex without oral sex first or without using lubrication. Sometimes I would lay in bed with an ice pack between my legs. It never occurred to me that this was from his circumcision; I thought it was my problem. I thought it was a bad combination of a large penis and a smaller vagina. I thought maybe I was too sensitive. Once he started restoring, even after just a couple weeks sex was 1,000 times better. He no longer had to thrust so hard to get feeling. Now after he’s been restoring for almost five years sex is amazing. Jeff wears his Tugger all day at work and even the skin on his glans has changed, it’s more supple and it’s softer just from it being covered all day every day. He now has a lot of pre-cum, something he never had before. That natural lubrication means we no longer need any artificial lubrication. I haven’t had a lot of sexual partners but I have a sneaking suspicion that we are not the only couple to go through this, given the sheer number of lubricants on the market. Not only did sex get better because the feeling is more intense for him, but because we have gone on this healing journey together we can talk about anything. Communication is stronger, we are stronger as a couple and, ummm… well, can I say again that the sex is amazing!