Any difference between circumcised and uncircumcised?

Dr. Patti:

My first boyfriend had a non-circumcised penis, and my current boyfriend has a circumcised penis. Is there any difference (medically) in having sex with men who have circumcised penis?



Dear R:

Your question speaks to the changes in medical politics that affect our sexuality. As early as 1975, 93 percent of all American boys were being routinely circumcised (had their foreskin surgically removal) just after birth. Since then, there has been a movement to stop such a medically unnecessary (circumcision is routinely done for hygienic, not medical, reasons) practice. The figures today are much lower: in 1990 only 63 percent of infant males were circumcised for reasons other than religious (in the Jewish tradition, boys are circumcised in a ceremony called the "bris.")

As for your involvement with a man without his skin, it feels different. There are advantages for him and for you. First, he doesn't need to worry about daily cleansing of his foreskin. Men with an intact foreskin must take special care to move it up and down and clean inside the covered areas to avoid odors or more serious effects from a buildup of material. Thus, fewer bacteria and germs will surface that can affect your sexual health, as well as his. Second, some women prefer a man with a circumcised penis, as it may move inside them in a less friction-based manner. Once he is inside your vagina, his unhooded penis may easily slide up and down to create pleasure for you both.

Safer sex can be an added concern for the uncircumcised man and his partner. Men with foreskins sometimes have difficulty finding the right condom or keeping one on during penetrative sexual activity. That can spell disaster in bed as well as produce unneeded anxiety. With a proper fit and ample lubrication that problem is often quickly alleviated.

There is no better or worse case with circumcision when it comes to sexual pleasure. It really is a matter of personal taste. Either way, know that both are medically acceptable conditions and that with either a covered or clipped partner, you can still enjoy the ride.

Visit Dr. Patti's website at for more advice.

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