HOME

 

People who regret genital cutting

First-person accounts from
parents who had sons circumcised
men circumcised as adults

"I did not know what exactly happened during a circumcision
(if I did, there was no way in hell I would have consented)
and what I saw will haunt me for the rest of my life."

- Tanibani on Mothering.com, February 2, 2004

 

"It was [in May 1989] that, as a nursing student, I first witnessed a circumcision. I will go to my grave hearing the screams of that tormented baby in my ears. As I watched in disbelief, I began to cry. The doctor looked up at me and said, 'There is no medical reason for doing this.'

"Within a year, I'd done enough research to know that the doctor was right, and I began telling everyone what I had learned ­ only to realize that I was talking about 'down there' to people who didn't want to admit they had a 'down there' much less hear about the harm and horror of circumcision.

"As a nurse, I told parents what I wished someone had told me before my sons were circumcised. I thought every parent had a right and an obligation to be fully informed. I was told to keep my mouth shut. So, I made a video of a circumcision for parents. I was told it was too much for parents to see. I said, 'Perhaps, then, it's too much for a baby to endure!' The video was censored, and, in 1985, I got the ultimate censorship ­ I was fired.

- Marilyn Fayre Milos, May 11, 2001

 

As an American middle class woman I had always thought penises were supposed to look a certain way with the exposed rounded “head” at the end. It never occurred to me that anything had been changed or cut off to make them appear that way. As far as I knew males were born with penises that looked like that. ...

When the baby and I came home and I first began changing his diapers, I found that he too had a penis in the style and shape to which I was culturally accustomed, with the rounded glans exposed. The end of the baby’s penis was bright red for the first few days, but soon healed. The baby screamed every time his diaper was changed. Being a naive new mother, I had no idea why diaper changing upset him so much. Perhaps all babies did that. I never gave the appearance of my baby’s penis any concern.

...

Two and a half years later, in 1974, our second son was born in another hospital, again by the Lamaze method. This birth experience included several progressive practices such as rooming in. I was also more aware of the baby undergoing circumcision. The morning following his birth the doctor came by, took the baby to another room where he cut off his foreskin and brought him back to me about 15 minutes later. Although I expected that the procedure would be painful for the baby it never occurred to me not to have it done. This baby also now had a penis in the style which seemed normal to me. The new baby’s penis healed within a few days and I forgot about it.

Two years later after our second son’s birth I again became pregnant. ...

The idea occurred to me that if our new baby was a boy, perhaps he should not be circumcised. However, I knew practically nothing about it. None of our doctors ever gave us any information about the operation – pros, cons, why or how it was done. Although mothers regularly discuss at length all aspects of pregnancy, birth, and infant care, I had rarely heard anyone else talk about circumcision. While I regularly discussed in detail such things as nutrition, breastfeeding, exercises, breathing techniques, and postpartum care in my Lamaze classes, it never occurred to me to discuss circumcision. Despite my extensive knowledge in many other areas, and my wholehearted desire to do the very best for my children, my awareness of circumcision consisted of nothing more than a basic concept that that was the way that penises were supposed to look and a vague idea that it was somehow supposed to be cleaner.

Early one morning in April of 1977, our third little son came into the world in the peace and comfort of our home. ... During the next few days our new son nursed contentedly, slept peacefully, and rarely cried. He had a peacefulness and serenity that I had never known with my first two babies – something very special and rare.

Another thing that was different about this baby was that he had a penis that was straight and long, coming to a point at the end. While I had always thought that intact penises looked “strange”, this baby’s penis seemed normal and natural the way it was. The first few days of our new baby’s life were peaceful and joyous and our new little son was whole and perfect.

What incomprehensible force brought me from this beautiful, untraumatized birth at home to a strange doctor’s office one week later – sitting there frightened and reluctant, holding my sleeping, peacefully trusting newborn infant? “He shouldn’t be different from his brothers or father.” “I’m afraid he’ll have problems.” “Our relatives would object if we didn’t have it done.” All these thoughts went through my head, while all the while I wanted so much to protect my baby from any harm .

My husband and I found ourselves relinquishing our baby and leaving the building. When we returned about 15 minutes later the office was filled with our baby’s screams! I found our precious baby on the doctor’s operating table with a penis that was cut, raw and bright red! I remembered his brothers’ penises looking that way, but while they, to me, seemed to have been born that way, this baby had definitely been injured, damaged, and traumatized! My maternal protective instincts had been violated! I immediately held and nursed him, trying to relieve his pitiful screams. Soon he mercifully fell asleep and I took him home. I felt like I had brought home a different baby. His tense, agonized little body reminded me of the way his brothers had been as newborns. Within a few days the redness around the end of his penis healed. But this time I was not about to forget! The trauma and torture that was inflicted upon this tiny, helpless little being was to come back and haunt me again and again. From this sprang my quest to do extensive research for my book Circumcision: The Painful Dilemma which was published in 1985 by Bergin & Garvey, S. Hadley, MA. (Now online)

- Rosemary Romberg, from her website, "Peaceful Beginnings"

 

... My first son was circumsised because I never reseached it and let it up to my husband. After I saw his raw wound, I knew I did something wrong. It looked horrible and he was in so much pain. Please leave him intact.

- Jenn Bane, March 24, 2014

 

I had my son circumcised due to his father. I wished i didn't it was harder keeping he clean right after the circumcision and there really is no point other than cosmetics. Teach your son how to wear condoms and clean themselves then the reasons to have a circumcision is moot. ... If I have another son i wouldn't go that route again.

- Mrscjones, March 25, 2014

 

Meagan - worst decision ever

Facebook, April 5, 2014

 

Firefli - I'm horrified

Facebook, April 5, 2014

 

Omar - regret it so much

Facebook, April 5, 2014

 

Jesse - If I could take it back, I would

Facebook, April 8, 2014

 

Firsttimer - Barbaric practice

Facebook, April 8, 2014

#10

"I'm so upset. I know when my son was done they screwed him up. It does not look right even today. They just sent him back to me like nothing ever happened, with a completely messed up penis that's barely there!! I'm so heartbroken" she said with tears in her eyes. Before I could even say anything, she continued, "and now I see that I did not even have to do it. It had 16 functions; that baby on that cutting board was my own son!"

- A mother speaking to Shelley Wright at a solo protest, April 14, 2014

 

Nancy - I wish I wouldn't have done it

- Written to a mother who was "feeling guilty" about circumcising her son.
(page removed)

 

Jillian - I thought that's just what you do. I know, stupid excuse

- Comment on a video about Russell Crowe

 

I am a circumcision-regret mother. It was only after my son was circumcised that I learned it was not necessary, excruciatingly painful, and that all the things I was told about circumcision were myths. I learned that I circumcised him to prevent future problems, but the risks of circumcision actually outweigh any so called benefits. I chose to leave my second son intact. Intact boys are easy to clean! Unfortunately that myth intact boys are hard to clean is a pretty strong driving force for many people to continue to do it to boys, but that is all it is: a MYTH. I hope through education and speaking out, more and more parents will learn the real truth and protect their boys from such unnecessary harm, and protect themselves from guilt upon learning the truth too late like I did. Please spare any future sons from the unnecessary harm and torture. https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=Ceht-3xu84I

- Tessa Tewksbury on Facebook, April 20, 2014

 

Danielle: I will never forgive myself...

- Facebok, April 27, 2014

 

... Some of the more open minded MEN non practicing or reformed ages 20- 65 that I've spoken to have told me they regret being circumcised and wish their parents would have named them without cutting them. My 32 yr old son is one of those men and I am one of those parents. I regretted being bullied into it by my family the second I heard that baby scream. I was so furious at myself and everyone there for clapping and laughing that I threw them all out of my house that instant including the rabbi and mohel, who wouldn't leave without getting paid. I didn't pay him and have no idea who did. My son grew up wanting to be intact like his step dad. I am in these groups because the sound of that baby's shriek will be in my head forever. Everytime I hear a baby will be cut I feel sick to my stomach and try to change the parents minds.

- Roni Silk Jones (friend of Brother K) on Facebook, May 3, 2014

 

I cut my son because of pressure from my father and grandma, you know, to continue the tradition. I regret it every day. I told my son not to circumcise his son, my grandson. I mean you’re born with it, right? As soon as I let it happen I knew it was wrong.

- A Jewish father to Brian Herrity, Walnut Creek, May 12, 2014

 

Mrs McCarthy: ''I regret it because the procedure was so horrible ... I am not going to go through with it again.''

- Hellobee, May 19, 2014

 

Nadsia: I would absolutely NOT do it again. ... the most horrifying experience of my life''

- Hellobee, May 19, 2014

 

Erica: It's unnecessary

- Facebook, June 4, 2014

#20

it isn't worth the pain/non stop crying

- Facebook, June 7, 2014

 

Mariia: not much I can ever do to express my regret

- Facebook, June 20, 2014

 

''Melina: the biggest mistake of my life''

- Facebook, June 30, 2014

 

Michelle - 'he tried and tried to cry but he had no voice left'

- Facebook, August 10, 2014

 

Megan-Renee: ''Never again

- Facebook, August 13, 2014

 

Denee Metzger & Jayme Camp

- Facebook, August 28, 2014

 

Juliet Spencer

- Facebook, August 29, 2014

 

Rachel Ann: ''I asked questions, but was lied to. I tried to research, but couldn't find good resources. I just didn't search enough. The moment I saw his raw, sore penis, I cried. I knew I failed him. Miserably. Eventually, I was in a group,that discussed circumcision. I asked a friend for more info. I kept my next two sons intact. The only one with any penile issue is my cut son.''

- Facebook, September 2, 2014

 

Jeff: ''My wife and I had the same argument with our first son, along the same exact lines. Except I won. I wish I would have lost. I’ll always regret it. Always. But we had two sons. We didn’t for our second. Still doesn’t deaden my regret.''

- Response to a post by Foxy Wine Pocket, September 3, 2014

#30

Colleen Parker: ''I was horrified and I now carry a ton of mother's guilt''

- Seven News (Australia), October 1, 2014

 

Juliet: ''...wish I had known...can't turn back''

- Facebook, October 20, 2014

 

Rina: ''complications and infections''

- Facebook, October 24, 2014

 

Kyra:

- Facebook, October 24, 2014

 

Jennifer Marie:

- Facebook, October 24, 2014

 

Carl: ''I wish I hadn't''

- MichaelGrahamShow Facebook page, November 6, 2014

 

kara: ''Hindsight is always 20:20''

- Modern Alternative Mama, November 7, 2014

 

Tiana ''Let that baby be Katie ''felt terrible afterwards''

- , , 2014

 

... He screamed so hard after his circumcision that he passed out afterwards for hours and didn't want to eat for a long time. I was lucky though because we worked through it, and he's two years old (next week) still nursing. There is NO NEED for circumcision and we need to make a fuss like I wished someone had made a fuss to me!! You don't have to do this!

- Jennifer Hackler on Facebook, December 8, 2014

(37 regretful parents)

 

Men who regret being circumcised as adults

 

circumcision is retarded. I am circumcised and did it when I was 18 because I felt I wasnt normal. I enjoyed it for about 6 months until I started to realize how much it SUCKS. You lose SOOO much feeling. It's funny cus guys who have been circmszd since birth don't know what it's like to have a normal penis.? They miss out on SOO much. It seriously removes 200% sensitivity to ur penis. Plz remember that I WANTED TO be circumcised.

breastimus on Youtube ~June 2009

 

As male who was circumcisied at age 29 and is now 31, I can say with 100% certainty, it was the absolute worst choice I have ever made! I did it because I wanted to fit in so to speak. The circumcision debate is identical to the vaccine/autism debate. It's based on crap science and cultural "norms". After living both sides, circumcision is as evil as Euginics!

Woods on Reuters January 8, 2011

 

I was circumcised at the age of 18 for medical reasons.

But i have had a taste of life before that event and i can assure everybody that capacity for enjoyment is radically different.

While before the operation, a feather could rattle me, sandpaper today can barely make me budge.

Pro advocates have no idea of the difference, otherwise they would be totally mute.

I could go into more details but i would probably be deleted by the overseers.

CIRCUMCISION SHOULD BE BANNED. period.

mellowg on the Globe and Mail January 14, 2011

 

I was circumcised as an adult so I know what's it like to be sexually active male both with and without a foreskin. I had a full foreskin until the age of 26 when, due to phimosis, my doctor recommended circumcision. I wish I'd known when I agreed to it what I know now.

With a foreskin, the glans is covered most of the time, so it's like a very sensitive (almost painfully so) mucous membrane. During sex when the foreskin retracts it provides extremely strong sensations both from the friction on the sensitive glans and the foreskin rubbing back and forth across the corona. Post-circumcision, this very sensitive skin becomes "keratinised", i.e. it toughens up like any other part of our external skin so the sensitivity is vastly reduced. A good before vs after comparison of the change in the degree of sensitivity would be the difference between touching your eyeball with your finger and touching your fingertip with your finger. Try it and see if you can judge the difference.

Re: hygiene, I washed regularly, I never experienced any hygiene problems when I had a foreskin. No smell, no smegma, nothing.

Re: pain, the surgeon insisted he do the procedure under general anaesthetic. Quite likely the adult penis is far more sensitive than a baby's, but even so, I think the fact that I needed a general anaesthetic tells you something. When I woke up it was extremely painful even with a healthy dose of painkillers.

In retrospect, I feel stupid having agreed to circumcision. I feel I have lost a huge part of myself. I feel my libido is far lower, when I have sex I feel a fraction of what I felt before.

My circumcision was very neatly and professionally done, I've suffered from none of the horror stories mentioned above. But with the experience I've had, I don't understand why anyone would feel the need to circumcise anybody, let alone a child, unless it offered a better, fuller, more enjoyable life experience than what they currently have.

Anonymous on Psychology Today, September 15, 2011

 

I wasn't cut until I was in my 20's. If I had it to do over, I never would have had it done. The sexual experiance and sensations are a lot more intense for an uncut male than a cut male because the foreskin keeps the head of the penis moist and it's a heck of a lot more sensitive to the touch. By circumcising your sons you are robbing them of ever having the maximum sexaul satisfaction possible. Teach them to wash it under the foreskin and cleanliness shouldn't be a problem. I'd never have my kids circumcised. To cut or not to cut is something for them to decide once thay get older, not me.

TheCosmicCowboy on StarPress.com, September 19, 2011

 

A medical condition meant I had to have a circumcision at 18. The experience t[a]ught me that circumcising a new born is just plain wrong. The procedure is painful and it takes weeks for the body to get used to a highly sensitive area being exposed. It should only be performed on the consenting mature individual. Any parent who has their child circumcised is in my opinion violating the rights of the child. A parent should not have the right to mutilate their child just because in the future the is a tiny chance something might go wrong.

- Ben on Sydney Morning Herald, March 2, 2011

 

I opted to be circumcised around age 20 for medical reasons[. I]f I had known what it would be like I would never have gone through with it. Doctors do not explain things properly to you in this country they're so free and easy to hand out pills and book you in for operations without you or them really knowing what the consequences will be. Being circumcised was not worth it for me, I'd rather have lived with the pain I was in than with with virtually no sensation at all. I haven't even mentioned the pain of the operation under a local anaesthetic which did not help whatsoever.

Shin Ra on NeoSeeker, March 25, 2012

 

I was intact until I was 19, and after some bad medical advice I was circumcised. There is no comparison in sensation - before I had an exquisitely sensitive sexual organ. Now the sensation is nil. I have erectile dysfunction and do not orgasm.

I have tried to restore for years but it's difficult and takes a lot of commitment. I wish every day I could go back and not make that mistake. It has totally destroyed my life.

Steve Bennett on MindOfOwn's blog, June 22, 2012

 

I was circumcised for medical reasons as a 17 year old. I had sexual experiences before with my un mutulated penis and now with the mutulated penis. I know from first hand experience what if FEEL's like with or without forskin.

I can assure you that most of the nerves that the body has for pleasure are located in the very skin that is removed during circumcision. that fact alone should make it mandatory to have the person of a legal age where it can make an informed decision.

those health claims are completely culturally biased. there seems to be no neutral factual science that will come to this conclusion of recommending this proceedure. there are probably similar reasons to permanantly remove the teeth, or fingernails or what ever needs cleaning on a regular base. .....

Kalle on KQED, September 4, 2012

 

Alan asked 15 hr ago

I had a circumcision 10 days before. After 6-7 days all the stitches are removed. I tried to masturbate yesterday, but I couldn't do it because of pain.

And the skin under my penis is uneven and looks like it can cause bleeding while having sex. Are these things normal.? Or should I consult a doctor for this.?

Additional Details
I'm 25. I did this because of some infections. Now I think it was better with foreskin.

Alan on Yahoo! Answers, December 16, 2012

 

''The second biggest mistake of my life''

Parsecskin on Foreskin Restoration, June 27, 2014

 

The worst thing I've done to my body was getting circumcised at 26, by choice. But at least it was a choice I made myself. I would urge all parents to let their boys choose as they get older. I did it for religious reasons. However, I lost a lot of sensitivity. Do not cut your boys- if God didn't want foreskin- He wouldn't have created it!

Louis Renier Erasmus on Facebook, November 11, 2014

(12 regretful men)

 

On other sites:

Contributions to this page are welcome.

Related pages:

 

Back to the Intactivism index page.