Deeper Into Circumcision: An Invitation to Awareness

"Feelings Too Violent to Describe"

Some statements by circumcised men --
distilled by John Erickson from personal
communications over the past several years

...I've wondered what it's like to have a foreskin all my life.

...Adrenalin shoots through me when I hear the word "circumcised." I freeze.

...I couldn't even make myself say "circumcised" until I was in my twenties.

...I hate that word. The sound "cir..." makes me shudder.

...I used to think there were two kinds of boys: circumcised boys like me and real boys.

...The fact that other boys were circumcised too never made me feel any better.

...When I was a child I prayed I would get my foreskin back in heaven.

...I wanted to be a girl when I was a child because I knew that girls weren't circumcised.

...I think of myself and other circumcised men as amputees.

...I have always felt that I was cut off of my foreskin, not vice versa.

...I think of myself as existing in two parts: my missing foreskin and the rest of me.

...I am always thinking: where is my foreskin?

...I feel like half a man.

...I feel as if part of me had been murdered.

...If the only uncircumcised guy in the locker room feels different, imagine how the only circumcised guy feels.

...I went to a nude beach in Yugoslavia and felt like a freak.

...I asked a friend if he felt "different" when he was the only uncircumcised man in the shower and he said, "Yes -- gloriously different."

...I'm Jewish and I hate being circumcised.

...I would rather have been BRANDED ON MY BUTTOCKS WITH THE STAR OF DAVID or HAD A FINGER CUT OFF than to have had my penis butchered. When I realized that Judaism cut me off from part of myself, I cut myself off from Judaism.

...Anti-Semitism comes easily to a circumcised gentile.

...I'd give everything I own if I could wear a T-shirt with "UNCUT" printed on it and it could be true.

...I envy my dog.

...What possible advantage could there be to removing from the penis its only movable part?

...It hurt. It bled. It left an ugly scar.

...The head of my penis is just dead.

...What circumcision did to my body is bad enough, but what it did to my mind is worse.

...My first sado/masochistic experience was when I was a baby, when I was circumcised. [Computer bulletin board]

...My mother told me she could hear my screams from the other end of the hall.

...My greatest fear to this day is having a knife pulled on me.

...I have nightmares about being circumcised by force.

...I was circumcised by force when I was nine and it has ruined my entire life.

...I was circumcised when I was five -- seventy years ago. I felt rage then and I still feel rage now.

...I was circumcised when I was a year old. I remember my foreskin. I want my foreskin back.

...I never got used to being circumcised. I just learned to endure it.

...I think I could have accepted a deformity that was an accident of nature, but I can't accept that someone did that to me.

...I have never been able to accept the fact that someone cut part of my penis off when I was a baby. The sheer monstrousness of it haunts every waking moment of my life. Sometimes I think I'm beginning to make some sort of adjustment to it, but then I see an unmutilated man in a magazine or shower and I become overwhelmed by uncontrollable feelings of outrage and disbelief that I was made the victim for life of something so sick. Sometimes I feel I'm at the edge of madness and just can't handle it.

...The title of a story by Harlan Ellison conveys my feelings exactly about having been circumcised when I was born: "I HAVE NO MOUTH AND I MUST SCREAM."

...It cast a pall over my entire life.

...It's a life sentence at birth.

...Hardest to take was my wife leaving me for a man who was intact.

...I don't have sex with anyone because I wouldn't want to have sex with anyone who would have sex with someone who was circumcised.

...I never let women see my penis because I think it's ugly.

...I have a good sexual relationship with my wife but I'm also turned on by foreskins and have had several uncircumcised lovers. Would I still have been gay if I hadn't been circumcised? I'll never know.

...The only reason I'm gay is that I was circumcised when I was a baby. I feel deprived. It's only with an uncircumcised man that I can have a foreskin. [This man later died of AIDS.]

...My parents could accept that my uncircumcised younger brother and I were both gay, but they couldn't accept that we were lovers.

...How can I contact Foreskin Sharers of America? To find a man whose foreskin I could play with as freely as I would my own if I had one, is my endless quest.

...I masturbate two or three times a day, always to the same fantasy: the image of my foreskin as it would look and feel now, had it not been cut off when I was born.

...I feel that my father betrayed me by letting my mother have me circumcised against his wishes, and I've always sensed that deep down he rejected me because he saw me as damaged.

...I tried several times to ask my mother about what had been done to me; but when I opened my mouth to speak, the words stuck in my throat and no sound came out.

...I think about my mother with her ears docked, like a Doberman's, face down in her coffin, facing hell.

...When I think about what my parents let happen to me, I want to take a razor and slit their throats.

...Damn my parents and their superstitious religious rituals!

...I've never told my parents how I feel.

...I have revenge fantasies about circumcision.

...If I knew who cut my foreskin off, I'd cut off his entire dick.

...I want to kill the doctor who circumcised me.

...My feelings about the doctor who circumcised me are too violent to describe.

...I was just a baby -- I couldn't stop them.


..."Butchered at Birth" [Printed on T-shirt on teenage boy on MTV, early March 1993]

...There's something very, very wrong and very frightening about a society that systematically tortures and mutilates babies.

...Circumcision should be mandatory.

...Why would anyone cut off part of a baby's penis? Why would anyone let himself or anyone else do it?

...I wish I could circumcise every uncircumcised man in the world, so they'd all be like me. I don't have a foreskin and no one else should have one either.

...The worst thing about circumcision is that it produces circumcisers.

...Fear, pain, crippling, disfigurement, and humiliation are the classic ways to break the human spirit. Circumcision includes them all.

[Yes, the statements above are "just anecdotal." But why are they just anecdotal?]

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