Gayish: For skin, or not for skin? If you had to build your perfect ‘member’, would it have foreskin?
Gayish on GLUE: Two homosexuals unpacking queer stereotypes, one at a time.
If you were tasked with building your perfect di*k, would it have foreskin?
Foreskin is one of those topics that folk rarely talk openly about, but everyone has an opinion on the matter.
From studies that argue circumcision reduces the risk of contracting HIV, to the inactivists (a fun portmanteau of intact activists) who call it ‘genital mutilation’ – there’s certainly plenty to consider.
One stat that might surprise those in places where circumcision is prevalent, like the United States, the Middle East, and Africa, is that about 62% of penises worldwide are intact. In other words, having foreskin is more common than not.
In spite of the foreskin majority, gay men are no strangers to making others feel shame about their body. Bisexual icon and inactivist Alan Cumming said in a recent interview for Irish Times, “I never thought anything about my foreskin, and then I came to America and I was having sex and people would just be gasping because they’d never seen a foreskin before”.
“I was made to feel weird and freakish because I had an intact body”, he said.
Luckily for Cumming (and for cumming), according to a 2015 Canadian study, the first to include same-sex male partners when surveying sexual pleasure in terms of preference for foreskin, gay and bi men reported to actually prefer foreskin for sex.
According to the study, men “indicated a strong preference for intact penises” for all the sexual acts they survey for: oral, anal, and handjobs. Oh my!
Women, on the other hand, reportedly have conflicting beliefs about foreskin.
While they held more positive beliefs about circumcised penises, including the belief that they are ‘more attractive’, women with intact partners reported significantly higher levels of sexual satisfaction than women with circumcised partners.
On the other hand, in spite of a supposed preference for intact men, gay and bi men reported no difference in sexual satisfaction based on circumcision status…
…verifying with science that what we really want is dick — any dick.
Now, we know what you’re thinking, before singling out The Gays as being uniquely obsessed with dick, others have had much weirder things to say about foreskin.
The Vatican in 1900 decreed that anyone who spoke about Jesus’ foreskin would be excommunicated.
And Oprah once recommended a face cream made from human foreskin. In comparison, conversations about health, sexual impact, and bodily autonomy are pretty tame.
So, the next time you’re thinking about your perfect dick, give foreskin a second thought! #
To take this conversation further and hear more on the topic of foreskin, including Jesus’ foreskin and where it is, take a listen to the foreskin episode of Gayish, available on Apple Podcasts, Spotify, or your favorite podcatcher.
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