This week, a German court made circumcising young boys for religious reasons illegal. The decision followed a grievous bodily harm case that was brought against a doctor who had circumcised a four-year-old Muslim boy as per his parents' wishes. The court's argument was that the kid's body was "irreparably and permanently changed" by the operation, and that the religious freedoms of his mom and dad weren't compromised because he could have had his foreskin sheared when he was a real-life grown-up if he so wished.
I was drinking with my hipster friend Jason the other day when he suddenly piped up that he was due in for a circumcision on Saturday morning. Considering the multi-faceted moral and legal arguments swirling around this issue right now, I decided to go along with Jason and laugh at him getting his dick cut off.
VICE: Hey Jason, please tell us why the fuck you're doing this.
Jason: Well, I’ve always had issues with my foreskin. You don’t realize you have issues when you are growing up, because you don’t know about other dudes' penises, just your own. So you think everything is pretty much standard, but then when you grow up and go through adolescence, you start meeting other people and girls get involved and it becomes a bit different.
So what exactly was your problem?
Basically my foreskin is too tight. It’s like my dick is wearing a belt when I’m fully erect, near the top. It’s like it’s wearing a corset. I was talking to my best friend Laurence about this once when we were younger and he had exactly the same problem, so he got a "Cirque du Soleil"— which is what I call it.
Your name for circumcision is the name of a French circus?
Yes. Laurence got it about two years ago and says it's improved his performance ten-fold, which is not much of an improvement for Laurence, but whatever. So I’m going to go and get it done too.
So is it purely for sexual improvement?
Well it’s for hygienic reasons, too. I’ve been speaking to a few girls about it and it’s a preferred look. A more professional look.
It’s a bit of an ordeal to submit your main man to though, isn’t it?
I had a previous operation a few years ago to help. They cut the sides and fold it and then sewed it back, and that kind of worked for a bit, it made my sex life a lot better. But I still have a little waste, so I kind of want to get that sorted. It’s kind of freaky.
Are you nervous or worried?
I’m not, but the more people ask me if I’m nervous, the more I think I should be. I know it’s going to suck, I’ve had a similar operation before, but I know this is going to really suck for three weeks. Whatever, I’m man enough to deal with it.
A few days later I decided to tag along with Jason. His mother came with us.
Jason’s Mom: Pictures? No you’re not! You are not taking pictures of my son's manhood and putting them in your magazine. Nah, that’s nasty. You are not a porn actor, Jason. God!
Jason: Mom, it’s a medical journal. What are you on about?
Jason’s Mom: It’s not a friggin’ medical journal, it’s The Voice.
Jason: Haha, yes, Mom, the Jamaican newspaper. "Wapp’m, cease wid dis foolishness."
It’s VICE, not The Voice.
Jason: Mom I’m getting documented. You know I love science. I’m committing myself to the cause. Do not stand in the way of my dreams.
Jason’s Mom: Don’t take pictures of him, I don’t want that. Not while I’m here, I’ll get very upset.
Jason: Oh whatever, it’s getting done, I’m not some page-three model. This is for science.
Jason’s Mom: But why would you want to do that?
Jason: Laurence told me I had a problem when I was 21. I should have known I had a problem before then. There are other people out there with this sort of problem and it needs to be broadcasted.
So before the operation we had a quick chat with the doctor who wanted to remain anonymous about what the operation would entail. This is what he said:
“Circumcision is removing the skin around the head of the penis so that the head of the penis is exposed all the time. The skin is tight and this is a procedure to release that skin. The skin of the shaft of the penis will be stitched underneath the head."
What about the risks, doc?
"The penis itself will ooze and bleed a little bit. You may want to sleep on a towel for the next few nights so it doesn’t ruin your bed sheets. If blood is pumping out of you, then you will need to come back in because that means there is an artery or something bleeding… but that is extremely rare.
"The second risk is infection. Obviously cutting and removing skin leaves a raw area which bugs can get into. Down below is not the cleanest part of any man's body no matter how often we shower or wash, so there is a risk. If it gets very red, swollen, pus-sy or anything like that, see your doctor and get some antibiotics.
"The final risk is the sensation on the head of your penis. This will change, initially it will become super-sensitive, because at the moment it is under a nice cover of skin and it will become exposed so it will rub against your clothes and things and it may become a bit sore as a result. It also starts to dry out, so use cream or Vaseline to keep it moist."
Jason was finally ready for the operation. After waiting an exhausting eight hours for Jason to wake up, I caught him in his bleary-eyed, morphined-up state.
Alright, so how does it feel?
Didn’t feel a thing for most of that. Was asleep for most all of it.
Can’t even feel it. It is like I’ve got no penis.
Morphine is a hell of a drug
Are you excited to try it out?
It’s not a fucking sports car. I’m not excited to try it out. I don’t even want to see the bloody thing. I’m going to faint as soon as the bandages come off, I know that much. Last time they made me stand up and blood went all down my leg and I fainted instantly. So I’m just waiting for Monday, because that is going to be the worst day—when I have to wash it and dab it with saltwater. That’s not going to be fun.
Are you not worried about waking up with morning wood?
I spoke to the doctor about that and he said it’s actually quite good if it doesn’t heal in a flaccid state.
I got Jason to pop into the VICE offices a couple of weeks later so we could catch up and monitor his progress.
So, it’s been two weeks, how is it going so far?
Pretty good, considering.
I was supposed to see you a few days ago, the doctor told you to take the bandage off but you decided to leave it on a bit longer. Any reason for that?
I don’t remember the doctor saying that.
You don’t remember much.
I was tripping fucking balls. Smacked off my face. Whatever they put me on was awesome. Anyway, I washed it last night, the bandages were supposed to come off but I had to leave them on.
Because they were stuck to my body via a massive scab on the underside of my bellend where I have just been cut and resewn.
How has the pain been since the snip?
No pain, really. It’s more uncomfortable.
Well that is good news for those about to go through the same procedure.
Yeah, I'm more worried about it getting infected than the pain. I gave it a saltwash earlier and it didn’t burn too much, so it’s OK.
What about morning wood?
I had a semi today and it wasn’t so bad, to be honest.
But you haven't been at full-mast?
No, but it’s hard to stop myself thinking about dirty stuff because it's been almost two weeks now since I’ve done anything remotely dirty. So it’s getting on. I can feel the tide rising. I might fold soon. I’m not looking forward to it to be honest, I will co-codamol myself up before I go to bed so even if I do get a boner, I won’t feel a fucking thing.
Well thanks Jason, you have been a great sport about the whole thing. I am sure there are thousands of men out there who will thank you for your sacrifice.
So, I guess the moral of the story is being circumcised is OK, and there are numerous health benefits to it. But fuck having to go six weeks without a hard on.
Follow Omar on Twitter: @OzKaterji
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