November 20, 2007

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The topic for today? Penises. Yep, the schlong. Junk, johnson, shaft ("shut yo mouth!"), dong, phallus, member, prick, dick, willy, weiner, pecker, knob, rod, "Little Elvis", man-meat, noodle, The Lizard, cock, kielbasa, Snake of Love, peepee, weewee, hose, wonder wand or stiffy. No matter how you slice it, we're talking about the wang. Sadly, we're also talking about slicing.

A couple days ago, Beth asked me what I thought about circumcision. I told her that I was 34 years old and that decision was most definitely behind me. Then I noted the fact that I am actually circumcised (did I share too much?) and asked her to please pay more attention to the details of our relationship. Then she clarified. She was, in fact, inquiring as to my thoughts about circumcising our son. Almost immediately, I cast my vote for the snip. And then I thought about it for a minute and came to a conclusion - that shit's gotta hurt. So the jury's still out.

Later in what was becoming a rather penis-centric day, Beth and I briefly discussed the v word. See, after our as-yet-unnamed son is born, we're done. And the best way to be done is for me to start firing blanks. Lights! Camera! Vasectomy! I'm totally on-board. At least I was, until I started absorbing the reality of what is done when said surgery is performed. I know, I know - my wife went through far worse to bring Mia into this world and carrying our son can't exactly be a carnival either. A little snip pales in comparison. But still...uh...knives and, well, that area don't go together. At all. So, the jury's still out on that one...only not really.

The trifecta of this penile extravaganza? As previously reported, my daughter has discovered that I have a penis. The new wrinkle? She wants to tell the world about it. The cashier at the grocery store, waiters in restaurants, and the UPS guy. All of these people know that I have a penis. I'm sure they all could have guessed. But now they know.

Some days it's all about the penis. Wait. That didn't sound quite right.

Posted by Chris at November 20, 2007 6:54 AM

This was a nice holiday post. Thanks.

Posted by: Debbie at November 20, 2007 7:10 AM

Isn't it wonderful she's learned to talk?

That is so funny!!

Posted by: ann adams at November 20, 2007 7:36 AM

first of all, your opening monologue reminded me of one of the scenes in the movie Four Rooms -- I almost thought it was a direct quote.

talk about a mellow topic that nobody has an opinion on! Our son isn't circumcised -- we didn't see the need, as there is no real reason unless you're Jewish, or have some other religious drive, and because of the surgery he was having just after birth we would have had to postpone the circumcision until he was 9 months old!
sure he'll look "different" in comparison, and that might cause some strife...but, seriously, by the time kids are noticing their differences and can think it's odd isn't there already strife? what's a little more.

without circumcision there is a little extra cleaning big deal.

I know I'm not really help this decison along, and this definitely won't help (I'm typing on my phone, so you just get ideas...): my younger brother was uncircumcised, and chose to have it done when he was 18 -- hygene issues, and maybe some reluctance from the girls down south.

oh, and as far as the big V...I'm right there with you. Well, not THERE, ummm, er...well, you know.

happy thanksgiving! thanks for the dessert conversation fodder!

Posted by: jason at November 20, 2007 7:40 AM

Read this guys blog, he's just had a vasectomy...

Posted by: Grilled Pizza at November 20, 2007 7:46 AM

Really, I figure, compared to pushing out two 7 pound babies (albeit, years apart) from my hoohaa, the least my husband could do was go get the snip, and spare me major invasive surgery or a lifetime of oral contraceptives. And he did. And he sat with an ice pack on his crotch for a day or so, but then he was otherwise fine... (But, he did milk it for all the attention he could get - and you can too).

Posted by: sarah at November 20, 2007 7:47 AM

We went back and forth on the circumcision thing, especially now since the overall opinion is that there's almost no reason to do it except for looks. It sort of felt weird to be making decisions about my son's body parts before he was even born. However, Linda at All and Sundry had a good point that sort of swayed me: baby boys have enough creases and crevices to clean and they don't need one more. She was right!

Posted by: Claire at November 20, 2007 7:51 AM

Your Google searches today are going to be interesting. We don't routinely circumcise boys in the UK so I have two ...uh...intact small boys. Doesn't cause a problem as far as I am aware. But then I don't handle the "appropriate cleaning regimes for male nether regions" instruction sessions in the bathroom (definitely a dad job!)

Posted by: Loth at November 20, 2007 8:03 AM

I don't really get the American thing with circumcision, in the UK people only do it for religious or medical reasons. Just seems like more stress to add to the general stress of parenting/being a small baby. None of my boyfriends have been circumcised and they were perfectly clean. It also seems like extra protection for a particularly sensitive area.

I love it when little kids learn about penises, one of my brothers was absolutely insistent that his gran had one as well.

Posted by: Katherine at November 20, 2007 8:10 AM

My boys used to point out penises on every man we met in the store, the bank, the park, a restaurant... "Look, Mom! I bet that man in the red shirt has a penis! Right there!"

It was great.

Good luck on your other decisions.

Posted by: Alissa at November 20, 2007 8:11 AM

My first son wasn't circumcised because he was very sick when he was born. By the time he was healthy enough, it just seemed cruel! He was a year old by that time and I didn't want to put him through it. When he was 10 he had a hernia. The Dr. discussed circumcising him at the same time as the hernia removal. It was something my son wanted to do. It was his decision. He wanted to look "normal". So we did it and it all worked out fine.

Our second son was circumcised before he left the hospital.

Hubs had the big "v" a year ago. Best thing we ever did. He refused for YEARS but finally agreed that I was the one who endured pregnancy and childbirth twice and then I took care of the birth control for 10 years so it was his turn. He was fine the next day.

Posted by: Lisa at November 20, 2007 8:25 AM

We too are in the midst of the "V" debate. The debate is not if I should have one, it is how we are going to pay. My lovely insurance (I work for a Hospital) does not cover the "V", can you believe that?!?!?

Posted by: Josh at November 20, 2007 8:26 AM

You should be glad to know that my 2 year old daughter talks about penises and ginas all the time. At first I was really worried about it...thinking that maybe she was going to grow up and be a porn star or a nympho because of her childhood infatuation. That is until my wife told me about all the kids talking about it at her daycare...and reading you post a few days back. Thank God it appears to be normal.

Posted by: harrylips at November 20, 2007 8:28 AM

We decided not to have our son circumcised as it just seemed like the poor guy went through so much already with the birth and it is pretty much cosmetic and it is something he can opt to do later in life if he wants to. And then we didn't have to worry about him trying to pee in a diaper with a sore wee-wee.

Just as a note though, there actually isn't any "crease" to do extra cleaning in, in fact our doctor specifically told us not to try to pull anything back until he hit a couple years or so, until then there really isn't enough extra skin to have any extra cleaning or anything.

Posted by: Cassandra at November 20, 2007 8:38 AM

The vasectomy thing makes me wince and squirt tears. How does Beth feel about getting her tubes tied? Have you considered becoming a monk? Seriously, there seem to be a LOT of options outside of letting a man holding a knife violate your love hammer. Actually, why not teach Mia to say 'Love Hammer' instead of 'penis'? That? Would be awesome.

As for circumcision, I haven't a clue. I had it done and it hasn't kept me from living a full life, so it's really hard to say whether one way is 'better' than another.

Posted by: You can call me, 'Sir' at November 20, 2007 8:48 AM

Our son is circumcised. I had no real qualms either way and if I had the choice alone I likely would have left him as is but I told my husband I was open to either and he said circumcised so we did that. My husband's reasoning was this: he is circumcised and he felt that most of the people around would be circumcised. That it might hard to explain to other people why our son was so different looking DOWN THERE if he were uncircumcised. Kevin also said it was not as bad the literature we read said it would be.

It it was it is I suppose.

Also, I just talked with my hubby about the possibility of a vasectomy last evening. He looked a little terrified and said "what about you?" Hmm, there will be more discussing to occur with regards to this matter...

Posted by: Christina at November 20, 2007 9:16 AM

Do you know how much Doctors get paid to perform a circumcision?

Nothing. They just take tips.

(old SNL Skit)

Posted by: william at November 20, 2007 9:18 AM

In our house (with two boys and a husband) EVERY day seems to be all about the penis. Our boys are circumcised. It's a personal decision, but one we both felt pretty strong about.

Posted by: Susan at November 20, 2007 9:20 AM

We are in the same boat. Due with our second, a boy, in February. Our first is a girl, so we didn't have to worry about circumcision. I am freaking out about it! Funny, I actually Googled it myself yesterday. Have fun with what you find! :) Not that any of this helps, because we are at the same crossroads as you are. Good luck!

Posted by: JD at November 20, 2007 9:35 AM

Unsolicited $0.02, at the risk of sounding judgemental: we berate other cultures for female circumcision, and yet we're still great with male circumcision, mostly because the numbers still put it in the realm of 'normal'. Males can be circumcised at any age, so if a person really wanted it, he could have it later. I'd rather have sovereignty over my own body than have such irreversable changes be made to me before I knew what my body even was. It's always seemed unfair to me, but again, that's only my opinion. I never thought a foreskin was some sort of evolutionary mistake that we had to correct. What's more 'normal'--what you were born with, or what you choose to do after? I dunno, but I do think the choice should be with the individual.

Posted by: martin at November 20, 2007 9:37 AM

Well, I can't weigh in on the circumcision decision, I don't have a penis and I birthed girl children.

But I do have a story about vasectomies. My (ex)husband had a no-scalpel, no-needle vasectomy. The doctor here in Ottawa (Dr. Weiss) has men coming from all over Ontario and even New York state, to get the vasectomies done at his clinic. You can find info on his site at www dot vasectomy dot ca. Maybe you can find a doctor who can perform this procedure near you, it seems to be lightyears better than the old way. Instead of a needle, the anesthetic is spray-injected (like in the old Star Trek shows) and he doesn't use a scalpel.

My ex was pretty apprehensive about the whole deal, but it took roughly 4 minutes and he had no pain and only minor discomfort for a day or two after.

Posted by: alison at November 20, 2007 9:44 AM

Who doesn't love a little willie talk?

I have a 'gina and am childless but I'm going to weigh in anyway . . .

Chris, do you remember your circumcision? Nope. Have it had a negative effect on your life? Nope. Then to make your son look like you, do it. He'll be fine.

And it is time for you to "take one for the team". Men are frightened about the big V and that is understandable, but it is your turn to undergoing a little bit of pain (not a LOT like Beth has and will do birthing the boy) for the long term happiness of your family. Stock up on frozen peas and get it done!

Posted by: Anna at November 20, 2007 10:05 AM

I personally am anti-circumcision, unless you have a cultural reason to do it. They used to think it was necessary but now they know it is not. Seems pointless to me. Why do I have an opinion about this? Hours of debate between my friends who do have kids, so clearly it is a subject people have strong opinions about.

My friend's little boy discovered he had a penis when he was about Mia's age, and he also discovered that it had feelings. He loved to announce to people that his penis was happy. I'll never forget him running across the playground yelling "Happy penis Mama!" at the top of his lungs. Kids are funny.

Posted by: bad penguin at November 20, 2007 10:09 AM

I think that you are certainly man enough to go ahead and have the big "V" :) - Wow we must be getting to that age though b/c I think I have had this discussion with 3 friends in reference to their husbands this week alone!!

Here maybe this will help:

Posted by: Stephanie at November 20, 2007 10:09 AM

did you write that lead yourself or just copy it straight out of Roget's? Either way, nice job. Excellent vocabulary there.

We circumcised My Kid simply b/c I think it's better for everyone - him as well as the women he will one day have sex with. Also, my husband's family is Jewish although we had a pediatric surgeon do it and not the rabbi. Still, that's kind of an excuse I guess.

While the V. is a less complicated procedure than having one's tubes tied, that is also simplier these days than it used to be and could be done while Beth is in the hospital following the delivery. Just saying.

I opted for the IUD b/c the new ones are great and there's no thinking about contraception for 5 years. My insurance paid for it and it's actually more effective than the pill. The hormones are absorbed locally (rather than thru the blood stream) and eventually you quit having a period altogether which is a big bonus for me. And also for Big Daddy.


Posted by: kalisah at November 20, 2007 10:19 AM

Your search-string thingies are going to be funny after this entry!

Posted by: Sue at November 20, 2007 10:36 AM

Your search-string thingies are going to be funny after this entry!

Posted by: Sue at November 20, 2007 10:36 AM

As far as the big "C" goes, don't do it. There is no medical need, so why should you put your poor kid through it?

I'm on a waiting list for the big "V". A bag of frozen peas is on standby.

Posted by: Steve Boyko at November 20, 2007 10:36 AM

There are two very different kinds of men when it comes to getting a vesectomy. The ones with balls and the pussies! (did I say too much?) Be nervous, be afraid, hell, talk to the little man out loud calling him by name to calm his fears if it helps... But the fact that you'll do it anyway gives me a great amount of respect for you.

Oh, and- - - OMG, you have a penis?!?!?!?!?

Posted by: SassyPants at November 20, 2007 10:46 AM

I'm Jewish and have attended circumcisions. Babies cry horribly while being strapped down and cut and those sounds of my cousins screaming will be with me forever.

My two year old son is most definitely NOT circumcised (guess I suck as a Jew) since I could not do that to him for a medically unnecessary procedure.

When he starts his career in the porn industry, I have no objection to his getting the snip, having made the decision for himself.

My husband is also circumcised, but that was not a factor in our decision.

Posted by: Jacqueline at November 20, 2007 11:02 AM

Once I noticed you're not actually asking for opinions on the C or V I realize you're not likely to set up a poll either. People come out of the woodwork for this kind of thing though, so maybe you're missing out on some kind of pay-per-vote opportunity here :) You guys obviously you care deeply about everyone involved and will make the best decision for your family.

Posted by: Laura GF at November 20, 2007 11:10 AM

Brandon had it done. It was not a big deal. I mean, I drove him and waited for good 15 minutes and it was done. Drove home. Left him on the couch and that was it. According to him, it's uncomfortable for a few days but it's nothing. Then again, he's a former Marine with high tolerance for pain and low tolerance for drugs. All he took was a few Aleve.

So, suck it up, Liberal! :)

Posted by: oakley at November 20, 2007 11:12 AM

*gets popcorn*
*settles in to watch circumcision debate*

Posted by: Busy Mom at November 20, 2007 11:22 AM

We did not circumcise our son. I am an "intactivist." My husband is circumcised, by the way. My cousin, however, is not and wrote me a very funny email about his penis and how he loves it being whole, which I am willing to forward you if you want a 20-something year old man's opinion. It's not as gross as it sounds...

And I'll leave it at that, because I've seen this topic get VICIOUS.

Posted by: heels at November 20, 2007 11:27 AM

Oh my, do I ever have input on this one. I'll leave it later today.

Posted by: Mr Lady at November 20, 2007 11:32 AM

We circumcised Rito, so there would be a matched set in the house. He slept through the procedure. The Doctor almost shit himself when the kid didn't wake up. Myself, I cried the whole time, there was a lot of blood and I couldn't bear it - but it is over so fast. The only time Rito was uncomfortable is when he had an explosive shit that day and we had to clean off his "wound".

Posted by: SleepyNita at November 20, 2007 11:35 AM

When I came to the part where you type in "the v word" and before I started reading the next sentence I immediately thought, "Wtf? You list all sorts of different words to label a penis but you can't even give a proper shout out to vajayjay!"

But ooops - you were talking about the other v word. My mistake. Carry on.

My daughter is also very curious about the extra appendage. When she hears daddy going to the bathroom, she comes a running. We're also potty training so she's pretty curious about the whole peeing while standing up thing.

Posted by: Rengirl at November 20, 2007 11:47 AM

You forgot Purple Headed Yogurt Slinger.

And I'll stay out of the circumcision discussion. It's can become a big debate. Since we didn't know whether we were having a boy or a girl, we had to have it but luckily we agreed with each other, just not most of the rest of the world.

Posted by: donna at November 20, 2007 11:54 AM

My husband and I were on the fence too about circumcision too...what finally convinced us was this tidbit of information: Our OB told us a story about one of her patients who keeps getting urinary tract infections because her husband is uncircumcised. They can be painful and she was frustrated and it was affecting their sex life and their marriage.

Not that you want to think about your future kid's sex life-but whether to circumcise or not could have an effect on his family life later. I have also read that the proceedure is a lot more painful as an adult than as a baby-but I couldn't say or know if that is true or not.

Posted by: Joanne at November 20, 2007 12:21 PM

josh is circumcised. we are jewish so it wasn't even an issue for us. it's hard for me to give an opinion, because it wasn't something i even thought about...

but the big "v" - i'd love for gabe to get one...but my urologist friend told us that it's REALLY painful...

Posted by: ali at November 20, 2007 12:25 PM

Daddy, you have a tail! Why is it on your front?

Posted by: OddMix at November 20, 2007 12:52 PM

When you are embarassing to her when she's in junior high and high school you can just remind her how she embarassed you telling the world about your penis. Store these moments away. You'll need them later!

Posted by: snakeepoo at November 20, 2007 12:56 PM

re: snip 1 (baby snip)... as a member of the other (uncut) group, I've got to say that it isn't necessary, and if I ever have a son he won't be. Something to put a little perspective on it: in Canada, circumcision is legally a "cosmetic surgery".

re: snip 2 (Daddy snip)... if you haven't yet, try reading Dad Gone Mad's tales of his V.

Posted by: SciFi Dad at November 20, 2007 1:17 PM

I know you don't care, but my friend is having her 4th baby any day now. She's a vasectomy baby. Her husband was tested 6 months after the snip and was told he was firing blanks too. I'm just sayin'.
As for circumcision - and to be one of those readers of yours to give assvice (although to my credit I think this is the first time in doing so)

Posted by: Jessica at November 20, 2007 1:25 PM

Out of all these comments, I'm sure someone has already mentioned that uncircumcised penises are harder to clean and more prone to infections. But I'm too lazy to check. So there ya go. As far as YOUR penis is concerned... I told Hoop that if one day he needs to get the big V, he can do me anywhere his little heart wishes (once). On a Ferris wheel? Fine. The front row of the movie theater? Sure. Just as long as it doesn't involve a parachute or national television.

Posted by: Tink at November 20, 2007 1:37 PM

Waaaaait, you have a penis? I need to leave now.

Just kidding.

I have no advice on the topic, I just needed to be funny. Although not really.

Just be glad you're not a cat, it's hardly as nicely treated to have your stuff cut when you're a cat.

Posted by: Poppy at November 20, 2007 1:55 PM

Well, The Man had a vasectomy. He was off work for a day afterwords. No heavy lifting. It was a piece of cake. And Beth will enjoy driving you there. Really. It will be worth it just for her blog entry the next day. Yes it is all about us the readers isn't it? Seriously, I was disappointed I reckoned the procedure should last at least an hour. AND there should be screaming. (Not even 10 minutes - he had a scalpless vasectomy.)

As for circumsion, The Boy isn't circumcized (The Man is.) We felt strongly against it. (It's not covered by our health care coverage here in Canada either, you can opt to pay for it -- right after the neonates guy tries to talk you out of it.) Our doctor (who happends to be Jewish) recommended against it as well. In fact, no one could give us one sounds medical reason to do it. There have been no issues with "not looking like dad" either. (I think there was question once.) With no medical reason to do it, I couldn't see exposing our child to the risks associated with it. I mean what if they fuck it up...

Posted by: Nat at November 20, 2007 1:56 PM

If we ever have a boy, we won't circ. DH is French and not Jewish, so, ahem, they aren't. So, our son won't be, either. I don't think it's really necessary, anyway, but I'm not strongly opinionated on the matter,

Posted by: Dawn at November 20, 2007 2:00 PM

My only advice with circumsions is talk to your doctor IN ADVANCE about the pain killer/control/relief that will be used for your son during the procedure and after. Some doctors use nothing at all....

Posted by: Leilani at November 20, 2007 2:10 PM

when a friend's husband got a vasectomy, she went out and got him a whole bunch of girlie magazines. which he hated her for and we thought it was hilarious as hell. okay, yeah, it was mean to buy him the things when she knew full well he couldn't really enjoy them on account of possible pain should any of the content prove to be too tantalizing but, like i said, hilarious to us. and it was the first time some of my friends had actually bothered to look through a playboy. bit of a learning experience all around. "hey! what do you know. it actually does have articles!" ha.

Posted by: patricia at November 20, 2007 2:15 PM

Penises and penis talk... they come and they go.

As for the "V" talk, well may I lightly, ever-so-lightly, suggest the reported-but-impossible-to-verify-because-I'm-sans-vagina comfortable IUD, and it's 5 year guarantee? Gives you some time to make the final call.

Posted by: Brad at November 20, 2007 2:18 PM

If you choose not to do it your son may wonder why he doesn't look like you "down there".
I had my son circumcised because his dad was, and he did fine. He was given a little bit of pain reliever, and I nursed him right after. He suffered no ill effects nor did he cry non-stop. He handled it beautifully, and I was glad I had made the choice to do it early.
One reason for choosing circumcision is as he gets older he may come against some rejection and hurt feelings or they may even encourage him to have it done as an adult, and adult circumcisions are not cheap and are actually more painful to have done, and the healing process is longer. A friend of mine recently went through one and it cost him $6,000 of his own money because his medical insurance would not cover it. He expressed that he was ridiculed in school, and lost many girlfriends over it. That shouldn't be the soul reason for having it done, but he mentioned he would have preferred his parents went ahead with the circumcision when he was a baby and given a little pain reliever than have to endure what he went through growing up.

Posted by: Felicia at November 20, 2007 2:22 PM

My son was born third. My daughters were 3 and 4 years old when my son was born. He looked different. The first time my husband changed Ethan's diaper both of my daughters pointed and said "whats dat?" My husband told them it was a penis and thats how Ethan goes pee. From that moment on, my daughters loudly let everyone know that "Ethan has a penis". The lady at the grocery store, the bank teller, their preschool teachers, everyone at the family reunion....the list goes on and on. :)

Posted by: Marsha at November 20, 2007 3:50 PM

hm. i was expecting lamps.

Posted by: jessica at November 20, 2007 3:51 PM

You have a penis? I am shocked! Why did you keep it a secret for so long?

Anyway, did you know that it is very rare to have a circumcision in The Netherlands? I do think some people do it for religious reasons. I guess it is more common in the US?

Posted by: Nadine at November 20, 2007 4:17 PM

Hey Chris -- i figure you know where i stand on this, get the snip will be fine, sitting in the waiting room before the surgery is the worst part (other than all the blood). As for your new one, that is up to the parents, but Julie has an interesting idea -- don't chop-up the boy when he is born and let him choose when he gets old enough (hmmm, I wonder what he will pick, especially if he is like his dad and he is freaked-out at the idea of sharp objects around is boys...think of it as the golden jewels rule, do on to other's jewels.....)

Posted by: Scott at November 20, 2007 4:43 PM

Mother of three sons here and I came from a family where the only male was my father. I have no idea if he is or isn' know...cut.
However, my husband is and though our aim was not to make sure the boys match their father in that regard, something happened to a friend of ours that reinforced the decision we came to.

Some friends had a son who was born with several birth defects. The poor kid had a stroke while still in utero and was somewhat paralyzed on one side of his body. He had glaucoma and...neurofibromatosis. The tumors mostly invaded his face and his skull. Their growth prevented normal sight as well as his ability to breathe without fear of choking...and speech. Before he was two years old he had had his head opened up three times. At birth they had decided against circumcision, but his frequent hospitalizations required catheterization. Many, many times and the repeated invasion of this poor boy's junk created an infection that required a circumcision at age four. THAT, my friends, was traumatic. What boys/men among us remember their circumcision at birth. Nobody in my house, but something that happens to you when you're four (and the long healing process thereafter) is something else entirely.

That and trying to make sure your kid is really, REALLY cleaning his junk the way he's supposed to without invading his privacy.

It's a personal choice and, of course, one that you're obviously making for another human...who may or may not appreciate what you decided for him later on. Sorry if this story is scary, but it was hard to watch that kid suffer and his parents regretted adding to it by not having the thing done earlier. One way or the other doesn't matter...really...until it does.

Sorry to hijack your comments.

Posted by: wordgirl at November 20, 2007 5:02 PM

I agonized about this when Bubba was born. I ultimately okayed the snip so that he could look “normal”. He will most likely grow up to and spend some time in a locker room in a high school somewhere and man, I hear that place is brutal. I still wonder if I made the right decision. Perhaps someday I will ask him. “Honey, do you miss your foreskin?”

For the big V. (When people say “the big V”, vasectomy is not usually the v-word that comes to mind.) Come on, it’s time to man-up and take one for the team. I’ve known quite a few men who have had them and they all say that it’s uncomfortable for ONE day. If Beth where to have something done, it’d be agonizing for a few weeks. Be a hero.

Posted by: Stephanie at November 20, 2007 5:22 PM

My husband is getting the big snip snip after this one is born too.

I can't feel too bad for him!

Posted by: tuesday at November 20, 2007 6:00 PM

To the extent you are thinling about your fetus son's future sex life, I've -ahem- handled both circ'd and non and can confirm both are acceptable.

Posted by: vaguely urban at November 20, 2007 6:18 PM

I realize you're not really asking for advice... but I'm going to follow the trend and give you my $.02. When I first found out I was pregnant again, I started researching circumcision. My husband, being circumcised, immediately voted pro-circ. I read a lot about penises and what the foreskin actually does and yadda yadda, and then I watched a video. And the video made up my mind for me. Watching a newborn scream and all that blood and obvious discomfort for no real reason made me sick. After my husband watched it, he agreed that it wasn't necessary to have matchy-matchy parts. Also, it's very interesting to me that female circumcision is considered barbaric in the US, yet for boys, it's very much the norm.

As far as the big V decision goes... my husband doesn't want to do it either. =) But since it will be such a simple procedure for him and not so much for me, well, we'll see.

Posted by: Jennie at November 20, 2007 6:42 PM

I have to say, that doesn't sound like a lot of fun. But you'll get through it...with an interesting blog post to accompany it, I'm sure. :)

Posted by: Zandria at November 20, 2007 6:55 PM

Add me to the nocirc crowd.

Son #1 is circumcised. Problem #1 - they did the circ too tight. Problem #2 - the too-tight circ caused meatal stenosis. G'head, look it up on wikipedia.

Back yet?

Problem #3 - the meatal stenosis FUHREAKED him out. It's rough, needing to pee and not being able to because your hole is scabbed over/shut.

So, to summarize: Life sux when you're Little and you hafta pee at 2AM, and you can't because some jackass doctor jacked with your junk.

Posted by: Emily at November 20, 2007 7:26 PM

I didn't get the title until the very end! And I don't have any idea what I'd do with my own hypothetical son. But as with all the women, I've gotta say suck it up and get the V ;)

Posted by: Heather at November 20, 2007 8:42 PM

Sorry, too busy with Thanksgiving plans to read all of the splendid comments, but re:

Penis Story #1: When we were discussing circ, the best advice came from a doctor friend who said, "do 'em like Daddy". That's what we went with because the 'pro/con' thing was driving me buggy.

Penis Story #2: After our 'perfect' family of three children, we were done. Husband had the vasectomy. I am a med tech, so I did the post-vas exam. None of his guys. All clear. Approximately 4 months later, I couldn't stop throwing up. I took a preg test and SURPRISE! I 'forced' my husband to give me another sample and I drove to work, ran into the lab and put that under the microscope. Friggin' sperm. They were BACK! Grace Lorraine born several months later. Amazing Grace, we call her.

Penis Story #3: No answer. You could try teaching her 'schlong' instead. **shrugs**

Posted by: angela marie at November 20, 2007 10:17 PM

My comment got too long, so I had to turn it into a post. A post just for you guys, though.

Posted by: Mr Lady at November 20, 2007 11:42 PM

Penile Topic #1 - I don't envy you having to make this decision, especially after reading some of the other comments and stories. Wow! I will just add we had a hard time (no pun intended) deciding with our son but eventually did get him circed. Everything went fine.

Penile Topic #2 - hasn't really come up (again no pun intended) yet.

Penile Topic #3 - my son likes to call it his "winkie". Just thought I'd add that to your already creative names list. Thankfully he doesn't tell the general public about his far anyway.

Posted by: Judy at November 20, 2007 11:46 PM

My husband has always been pretty weirded out about Zoe seeing him naked. Now he's even more so that she's, well, getting close to eye level with the twig'n'berries, is curious, and can talk. He will not be naked around her, but feels I can all I want ("she's got the same stuff!") - and I do because a mom's gotta shower sometime. Anyway, I don't know how Zoe's ever going to know boys have penises . . . wait. Is that a bad thing?

Posted by: kate at November 21, 2007 6:57 AM

OK, so I am totally in the minority here, but after 4/4 was born, I had the tubes tied WHILE I was in the hospital. No pain, no extra trip in, no recovery time, nothing. Easy. Painless. I'd HIGHLY recommend that (which I'm sure YOU"RE happy to hear, but not so much your wife.)

Posted by: susiQ at November 21, 2007 9:49 AM

Chris - I'm not going to wade into the philosophical BS, or the 'torture' discussions that inevitably play out at this point when discussing the circ.

I'll give you my thought processes when we got to this point on day 3 of my son's life.

1. What does daddy look like, and will you identify better during potty training if you look like daddy?

2. I saw my father get snipped at 55. It's more common than people think as things often...ummm... grow closed. Not a fucking pretty sight.

3. Take a look at statistics regarding the rates of ovarian cancer in women whose partners are un-circumsized versus those with circumsised partners. You may be surprised. It's an indirect benefit - but a point to consider.

4. Clean is clean. Most women I have asked DO have a preference.

At the end - it's your decision (and Beth of course) and the masses may bitch - but ultimately don't mean a damn thing.

I also chose to not only be present in the process but assisted in my sons circumcision. Not horrible, not tortureous, not barbaric. Though it is a little wince inducing. He didn't cry from the procedure ONCE - other than from being held down. A week to heal and it's done. Never did he cry during cleaning or dressings, it just was.

So. Theres my $.02.

Cheers man - happy turkey-day too...

Posted by: Scratch at November 21, 2007 12:33 PM

My husband was totally for the circumcision and I was against. I provided all the reading material I could muster to support my opinion and he pulled out the "he'll be teased" argument, so I busted out the "he won't be teased because that would mean the other boys would be openly admitting to looking at his penis." I told him he had to do better than that to convince me of the necessity. When boy #1 was born the doctor told us that it wasn't like god made this big mistake and the doctors were there to save the day. The foreskin serves a purpose. To protect the penis. And unless you live in the middle east where the sand storms rage and there is a good chance of getting sand lodged in there and getting infected then there really isn't a need. Also, the only reason we're so pro-C here in the US of A is because those slutty soldiers who came home from WWII all circumcised because of the rampant VD that was going around. Before that we didn't do. And the rest of the world (minus the Jews and some middle eastern places where the sand blows) doesn't do it either.

And I never did any "extra" cleaning of my boys' penises. In fact I never even peeked under that foreskin. Never stuck a q-tip in there to clean it up or nothing. And guess what? No infections. Not a one. But I heard of infections from the mothers who were always frantically cleaning in there.

It's more than two cents, but that's my feeling on the matter of the schlong as it pertains to circumcision.

Oh and the V thing? My hubby and my father both rave about it. And it's mostly lasers and very little knifes. :-)

Posted by: Amy at November 21, 2007 6:54 PM

Wow...I was lucky when I had my son, there were really no horror stories that I heard of, and his went well. There was no blood or scabbing involved. There was a plastic ring for a couple of days, but it all seemed to go well. And I know that every one has their preference. It is a tough decision for any parent to make.

My ex did the V and to be honest with you I was lucky I didn't have another child, since half way through the day he wanted to make sure it worked! LOL It did! LOL AND his surgery lasted a whole 15 minutes... The medication beforehand made it all worth it for me, he was funnier than shit! Hearing phones ringing and having conversations with people that were not even there! But not having the V was not an option, I was one of the lucky one's that got pregnant on the pill. AND complications from my 2nd birth, I certainly was not going to do it. And we had to fight with the doctors because he had never performed one on some one so young. I reminded him that I was YOUNG and couldn't afford 9 children unless he wanted to step up to the plate and pay for our food and medical bills! LOL Suddenly the surgery was on!

Posted by: gypsy at November 21, 2007 10:47 PM

We wrestled with the decision about whether to circ our first son.

We considered it, I read all of the scientific literature. I talked to everyone I knew. It was months of back and forth. Everyone in both of our families was circed, except one family member that was not but has had terrible problems.

In the end (pun intended), we decided that we just couldn't take a perfect beautiful baby right out of the oven, stick a needle in his little dick, and peel the foreskin off of it (it is attached like fingernails to fingers at that age), and then cut it off - leaving a wound behind.

Graphic notes aside - the family member later recounted how conventional wisdom when he was young called for the foreskin to be forcefully retracted early and often leading to a life of problems with balanitis. Ironically, in the face of this unfortunate condition - in the face of the suggestion that he could be circumcized now to avoid any additional problems - he was horrified. Geez, if you wouldn't do it to yourself now, even with the problems, why would we do it to a baby?

Should he look like his daddy?

When my son noticed that my husband was missing his foreskin, he asked what had happened, and J told him that a doctor had taken it off. Son was horrified - frightened child "they won't do that to me will they?"

The circ rate in the U.S. continues to drop - social reasons aren't enough.

If you do decide to, it is for cosmetics only. Just know that.

Then, do what you think is right and stand by your decision.

That said, we've been very happy with our decision.

Posted by: K at November 23, 2007 8:46 PM

So my husband was pretty much on board for the vasectomy when we discovered the Essure procedure. ( Since neither of us had to be cut open I was willing to take one for the team. I had it in August and it was incredibly easy. Twilight anesthesia so I don't remember any of it. I woke up, pumped, peed, and they let me go home, where I took care of my two kids for the afternoon. Major con: it is NOT reversible. That was fine by me. We have a boy and a girl and I'm nearly 42. We are so done.

Posted by: kim at November 25, 2007 10:56 PM