Something They Haven't




"Hey, Anteater!"

"Oh, yearh, lookee CHUCK! CHUCK's got an ANTeater!"

Chuck's heart sank. Just when he was minding his own business, enjoying the shower after the game (he'd nearly scored a winning touchdown), here it came again. Guys had been taunting him about his foreskin since he'd been a little kid, and he'd had enough.

Something snapped and he answered "You're just jealous because I've got something you haven't!"

But he still felt sore. He decided to talk to someone about it. But who? His father was circumcised, his uncle wasn't but he was a bit, um, strange. Chuck didn't know whether the school counsellor was or not, nor if he would understand. A woman? Maybe.

Then he remembered his older cousin in the next town. He'd always looked up to Brett (a few years ago he'd played for State), and long ago at the swimming hole he'd noticed that Brett also had a foreskin. It was a week before they could get together.

Chuck wondered how he could start. First he told Brett he wanted to talk, that something was bothering him. Brett invited him out on to the deck and offered him a cola.

"You might think this is just nothing," he began, "but in the shower after the match the other day, a guy really bugged me. He called me an anteater."

"An ant- ohhh!" Brett was pretty quick on the uptake. Chuck told him how he felt and what happened next.

"What you said is probably true," Brett said. "Nobody wants to think there's anything the matter with his dick."

"You're telling me!" said Chuck.

"Well, don't let them get you down. Remember you have got more than them in the dick department. But what to say?

"Best not to call them names in return. You could say 'Stop looking at my penis!' or 'Interested in dicks, are you?' But saying nothing is always a good idea. Remember, one reason they do it is to get a rise out of you, so don't give it to them."

"Well, whatever they say, I just hate being the odd one out."

"So did I," said Brett, "and when I was a kid I was the only one. It really gave me a boost back then at the swimming hole when I saw you were intact too."

"Gosh! It did? That makes me feel better already. But what's that word, 'intact'?"

"Untouched, whole. A much better word than 'uncut', don'cha think? Makes us the normal and them the changed ones, which is the truth. But circumcision is going out of fashion, we're just ahead of our time. I'm surprised if there aren't any other intact guys at your school. Maybe they're hiding."

"Well, how many guys are cut, anyway?"

"In the US, it's down to about 55 per cent overall, I'm told. More in the east and north than the south or west. But remember, outside the US, most guys are intact like us." Chuck felt really good to hear Brett say "like us."

"What is it with this circumcision thing, anyway?"

"Damned if I know, Chuck. Most guys around here were circumcised soon after they were born, but the reason anyone does it is mysterious. Habit? Power? No national medical association in the world recommends it. When one bad medical reason is dealt to, another rears its head. And you know you're just as clean as they are.

"As you've probably found out, your foreskin gives you pleasure. And it protects the head, which is highly sensitive to pain. At least it is if you're intact."

"I hear there are lists of famous guys who are, um, intact."

"Yup. I've seen one of them. The ones I can remember are -

"Hank Aarons, Leonardo DiCaprio, Joe Dimaggio, Joe Louis, Luke Perry, Joachim Phoenix, Prince, Ricky Martin, Elvis Presley and the Van Halen brothers;

"Most British celebs - such as Sean Connery, Robbie Williams, Daniel Craig, Hugh Grant, Mick Jagger, Ewan McGregor, Ian McKellan and Patrick Stewart;

"Virtually all European celebs, such as Roger Federer, Bjorn Borg and, Boris Becker.

And just think, most of those top East European athletes we see in the Olympics are intact. And soccer players. Just about every player in every team in the World Cup - yes, David Beckham - just not the US, the Phillipines or South Korea."

"Hey, we're in good company!"

"We sure are!" laughed Chuck.

The topic soon turned to football, and Chuck left feeling a whole lot happier.

Here are some more questions intact teenagers ask:

My foreskin won't go back: the opening is too small. Should I get cut?

Is it a problem? If it doesn't hurt, and your sex life seems OK, don't worry about it. To keep it clean inside,

If it hurts, or if you want it to retract, for any reason or none, see a doctor. Try to find one who is "foreskin-friendly", and say firmly you don't want to be circumcised. Ask about betamethasone. (0.05%. You apply it once or twice a day to the farthest half of your foreskin, and it makes the skin more stretchy. You should start to see results in the first week and by the eighth week, it should be all taken care of.)

What's the white stuff under my foreskin?

It's called "smegma" (which is Greek for soap). It's basically the same stuff in men's and women's genitals, made up of shed skin, skin oils and a very small amount of bacteria that gives it the characteristic cheesy (male) or fishy (female) aroma if it's left for a while. Men have less and it doesn't smell as strong as women's. Both are perfectly harmless, but many people don't like the smell, and it can be easily washed out with water and mild soap (if any).

I have white specks embedded in the head of my penis. (My cut friends don't.) Is that normal?

Perfectly normal, they just show more because the outer layer of your glans is thinner. They're called papillae (one is a papilla) and in some mammals, such as cats, they're sharp and stimulate the females during sex. (Maybe that's why they howl!)

The thin cord under the head of my penis is very tight and pulls it down when I have an erection.

If it doesn't hurt, don't worry about it. If it does, it can be fixed without circumcision.

It doesn't hurt but it has torn and bled.

If that keeps happening, you should see a (foreskin-friendly) doctor.

Should I put my foreskin forward or back when I'm about to have sex?

First off, if you're not talking about your virginal wedding night, you should be thinking about condoms (see the next question). But if HIV is not an issue, as far forward as comfortable is probably best to start with, so that it can roll back as you penetrate and you take full advantage of the gliding action. An exception might be if you have so much foreskin that the end folds over the glans and it won't roll back. In that case, you should roll it back at least part way first. Experiment: you may not even want to do it the same way every time. A foreskin gives you options you don't have without one.

Should I put my foreskin forward or back when I'm about to roll on a condom?

Again, you can experiment with different ways. If you're inclined to premature ejaculation (coming before you're ready), try holding the skin forward to cover your glans before you put the condom on. But if you roll the skin right back and hold it there before you put the condom on, the condom will follow the contours of your foreskin when it glides back and forward.

Recently a technique has been developed of pulling the skin forward, putting a drop of water-based lubricant on the tip and unrolling about 3.5cm (~1.5") of the condom, before rolling the rest on, allowing the skin to roll back in comfort.

Everyone says uncut guys can't get oral sex. Should I get cut?

That's something cut guys like to say because it makes them feel better. Maybe it's not an issue for your partner, so don't assume it will be. It's certainly not one outside the US! And if someone doesn't want to give you oral sex, your foreskin may have nothing to do with it. Not everybody likes doing it, and they don't have to have any reason not to. Certainly some partners prefer not to give oral because they think intact cocks are "dirty". So choose your time and place: after skinnydipping and in the shower are two scenes when that excuse can't apply. Right after you've done the same for them is good.

As for getting cut, that would be throwing the baby out with the bathwater. In particular, don't get cut because one partner demands it. It could hurt your sex life, and you would lose your partner AND your foreskin.


Anteater Pride!

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A book about adolescence, aimed at 9-12 year olds and particularly suited to intact boys, is "The What's Happening to My Body? Book for Boys: The New Growing-Up Guide for Parents and Sons" third edition (2001) by Lynda Madaras.


See also:

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