An organ of pleasure
Nature has wisely associated sexual sensation with pleasure in order to ensure reproduction. The sensory input of the foreskin receptors originally invokes sexual pleasure at some point of its processing in the brain. So apart from its inseminating role the penis is an organ of pleasure. And the most sensitive part of the penis is the foreskin. Circumcision removes about 75% of the cutaneous receptors of the penis but leaves the parts of the brain that process their information intact and idle. As we have already discussed that part is large and intermingled with the most ancient parts of the brain that generate emotions. The foreskin has an important role not merely in genital sensation but also in emotionality.
Circumcision severely reduces penile sensitivity and deprives sexual experience from sensorial completeness. The sexual act after circumcision activates smaller parts of the brain. It does not bring the sexual sensation to the thorough state anticipated by the nervous system. The trimmed sexual organ does not supply the brain with the full sensorial input predicted by nature. Full and normal sensual gratification and emotional fulfilment cannot be achieved through circumcised sexual organs simply because the greater part of their receptors is absent.
Indisputably, circumcised men do experience sexual satisfaction. This is because the cutaneous sensitivity is not the only source of sexual gratification and because the foreskin does not hold all of the penile receptors. The circumcised do not experience the adequate sensual experience that nature has preordained but may be unaware of that. Still they treasure it since it is the only one they have.
The complete natural sensual gratification is physically unattainable to the circumcised because they lack the necessary receptors. Regardless of how hard they try they could not experience the completeness of the natural gratification. The consequences of circumcision interfere with sexual perception. The most immediate result of the reduced sexual sensitivity following the proper circumcision should be prolonged and tougher sexual act. The unwanted side-effects of circumcision can simulate a boost in sexual stimulation. The pain of the circumcision scar as well as the new sensations that the circumcised penis generates may be misinterpreted as increased sexual pleasure.
When circumcision is correctly done and has no ill side-effects it leads to a significant loss of penile sensitivity. Normal circumcision serves well to its original goal which is subduing sexuality and reducing the sinful nature of man.
Undoubtedly, the removal of a sensitive part of the pleasure organ reduces sexual perception and alters the meaning of sensual gratification. Normally, those who were circumcised as babies do not perceive the sensual deficiency as such later in life because their sexual sensitivity was undeveloped when their foreskins was cut off. The absence of the receptors cannot be felt directly and there is no way for the circumcised to know the potential they have lost. The adults circumcised at infancy have gradually developed other compensatory senses and abilities that offset the lost one. Meanwhile the cortical reorganization has overridden the lost sensitivity and has replaced it with others. It has disseminated the sexual dissatisfaction in other spheres of mentality. The sexual satisfaction that circumcised experience during their infancy involves and tends to be completed by other more or less unrelated feelings.
A man circumcised during his babyhood may frankly affirm that his sexual gratification is normal and complete. But there is no way for him to know from personal experience whether it is optimal. He will unintentionally misinform those who seek his opinion. He will honestly lie about what it is like to be circumcised. And this is valid for surgeons, too. This raises the logical question whether the physicians who were circumcised at their infancy should be allowed to recommend circumcision?
Cat Stevens [i]
Those who were circumcised at their infancy are unsure if they have lost some sensitivity and can only surmise its quality. An example for the helplessness of the circumcised to apprehend the meaning of the foreskin is the irresolution with which the well-informed, intelligent and caring father Cat Stevens approaches the issue. In his web article “Making the Cut: The Circumcision Quandary” he seeks advice from the public whether to cut his son. The poet is ready to disobey the tradition and withstand the pressure of relatives but he is obviously uncertain about the sense of doing so. He even seems to hope the discussion to be suspended as if he feels that he cannot be persuaded anyway.
Notice that he treats God and medicine as a team of concordant abstract factors. He puts the Priest and the Physician in the same boat, the boat of good, presumably. With the great capacity of abstraction, uncertainty and moralizing typical for circumcised at infancy he mixes personal with tribal, facts with beliefs or physical with mental. The oversimplification, however results in a moral pathos that is distanced from concrete reality. It amalgamates cause and effect and is and helpless in sorting out particulars.
Circumcision during mid-childhood
From the early childhood the sexual sensitivity begins to develop. The specialization of related somatosensory pathways increases with age and gradually restricts the cortical reorganization that circumcision could cause. The circumcision before puberty[ii] still triggers a cortical reorganization but one of a smaller scope. Eventually the latter masks the lost sensitivity to a large extent but not entirely. As a result, the compensations for the lost sensitivity remain more or less associated with sexuality. The abstract reasoning further developed will tend to remain in the captivity of passions.
Actually circumcision has endlessly postponed the accomplishment of their sexual gratification rather than redirecting and profoundly transforming it. As in the case with infant circumcision, neither the behaviour nor the opinion of such men about the effects of circumcision is reliable.
A man circumcised during his sexually active life is fully capable of apprehending the reduced sexual pleasure because he can compare the states before and after. But he has to be unprejudiced, self-observant and sensitive. Still, in time memories fade as the cortical reorganization goes on and replaces the lost sensitivity. The sufferer may learn to compensate with stronger stimulation and may overpower the sensual deficit to some degree. So a close constant and sensitive intimate partner who serves as a corrector is useful for the unbiased evaluation of the change in sensual perception following circumcision. Generally, circumcised adults’ estimation of their loss can be trusted.[iii]
Summary: how adults experience circumcision depending on age it is performed
The circumcision of adults triggers minimal cortical reorganization, if any at all. The loss of sexual sensation and pleasure is clearly perceived. Its compensations are sexual and conscious. The circumcision of children before puberty evokes a psychological shift of medial profoundness. The loss of sexual sensitivity could be partly realized because sexuality was partly developed at the time of circumcision. Its compensations tend to remain more or less associated with sexuality and are partly unconscious. Neonatal circumcision produces the profoundest cortical reorganization and psychological transformation. The loss of sensitivity is not realized. Its compensations are maximally dissociated from sexuality and tend to be asexual and entirely unconscious.
The long-term effects of circumcision depend on the age when it is performed. With decreasing the age of circumcision the compensations of the sexual insufficiency it causes gradually disassociate from sexuality, branch out and become profounder. In other words the potential of sublimation of sexual energy is inversely proportional to the age of circumcision. How adults experience circumcisiondepending on the age when it is performed is summarized in the table and chart.
|LONG-TERM MENTAL EFFECTS OF CIRCUMCISION ACCORDING TO THE AGE IT IS PERFORMED|
|Circumcision performed during||Sensual deficit is||Compensations tend to be||Mental shift / Cortical reform / Sublimation|
|adulthood||realized||conscious & purely sexual||questionable|
|childhood||partly realized||semi-conscious & sex-related||median|
|infancy||unrealized||unconscious & asexual||profound|
Circumcision makes the ultimate pleasure unreachable and induces a sexual frustration. The earlier in life circumcision is performed the vaguer and less sexual is the feeling of the lost pleasure that adults experience and the profounder is the neuropsychological transformation it triggers. The cortical reorganization gradually reutilizes the brain potential of the missing sensitivity, and tends to alleviate and mask the sexual nature of the frustration. Correspondingly, with decreasing the age at which circumcision is performed the profoundness and diversity of its compensations increases while their sexual motivation becomes more and more obscure. The psychosocial effects of neonatal circumcision are profound and immense but they become distributed into wide seemingly unrelated fields.