Welcome to Question of the Day. It gives interns something to do!
Everybody’s talking about penises lately. Specifically, the foreskin—that little jigger of skin that is like a hood for the penis head. For years, people have been getting foreskins chopped off their baby’s dicks because their god told them to, or because circumcision is believed to prevent some infections (this is something people argue over), or because it just looks nicer and cleaner (another thing people argue over). But now circumcision has come under attack. Some people say it’s unfair to chop up an infant’s dick when the infant has no say in the matter. Others point to the babies who got herpes during Jewish circumcision rituals. Still others have drawn pro-foreskin comics that are a little anti-Semitic. The controversy has gotten to the point where Germany has banned circumcision, though we’ll see how long that lasts. In the midst of the controversy, we took to the streets to ask ordinary people if they liked their cocks circumcised or uncircumcised.
Casper, body piercer: Definitely circumcised. I would know.
Why, are you circumcised?
Yes, I am.
Some people argue that circumcision is immoral because a baby can’t consent to having his foreskin chopped off. Any thoughts on that?
Parents need to have their kids circumcised. It’s for cleanliness.
I’ve heard uncircumcised penises get some build up under the skin.
It’s called smegma. It’s an oily discharge that forms in the folds of an uncircumcised penis.
Louis: What do you mean? Like, sexually?
Sexually, aesthetically, morally.
Louis: Aesthetically, I think uncircumcised is better.
Mary: Sexually, I say uncircumcised. There’s more going on.
Is that because the extra skin adds some thickness?
Louis: It’s better for the man and the woman. The man has that flap covering the head, so there’s barely any exposure to it. Then, when the head is finally exposed, there’s so much more sensitivity.
Mary: Circumcised penises can lose sensitivity rubbing up against things, like clothes.
There’s this whole argument that it’s wrong to circumcise anyone who can’t consent.
I think it should be the way it’s always been.
Hows that? I haven’t been around too long.
I can tell. It’s cleaner and it’s healthier to be circumcised.
Is it better looking?
I’d say so.
Have you seen both?
[Laughs] No! I’ve only been with my husband. I’m 78. I won’t be seeing many more.
Savvy, left: Circumcised.
Crystal, right: Uncircumcised.
Why uncircumcised, Crystal?
Crystal: That’s the natural way. You can’t just chop off a part of someone because you think it’s ugly.
Why do you say circumcised, Savvy?
Savvy: I’ve only been with one man who was uncircumcised. It was a little gross. You have to clean it more.
Angela, tattoo artist, middle: Circumcised.
What’s so great about it?
It feels better, it looks better, and it’s much cleaner.
Uncircumcised guys probably think their junk is just as clean as other guys.
Yeah, but uncircumcised guys get dirt trapped in their flaps.
C.J., actress: Do you want to know if it’s it better for the guy or for the girl? Because for the guy, being circumcised is better.
I’m just asking in general, is it better, for the guy, the girl, society, whatever.
Morally, it’s tricky because when they get older, the circumcision is more painful to go through. God forbid you have a kid and they’re like, “MOM, why the fuck didn’t you circumcise me? No girls will sleep with me.”
I doubt that’s happened.
It doesn’t bother me though. Is this going to be online? I’m Muslim.
Ah, fuck it.
Patricia, retired waitress: Gosh, I just don’t know.
You’ve got to be leaning towards one.
Circumcised. I think that’s the way it’s supposed to be.
Have you seen an uncircumcised penis?
Yes, I have. I like circumcised better, it’s more sanitary.
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