The revelation of Prince Harry’s circumcision highlights the problem of phimosis, the consent of childhood

If you’ve ever spent time contemplating Prince Harry’s penis, it seems you’re not alone.

In a leaked excerpt from his forthcoming memoir, Save on computerhe writes that his penis was “a matter of … public curiosity,” with “countless stories” speculating whether he had been circumcised.

Contrary to popular belief, the Duke of Sussex has revealed he was actually “snipped” as a baby.

All the better for him to “mount” a woman quickly, it seems.

Odd verb choices aside, Prince Harry underwent surgery as a child that I considered growing up. But I decided against it.

Male circumcision is becoming increasingly controversial – especially when performed on children, as was the case with Prince Harry.

A group of campaigners opposed to male infant circumcision were among the first to dissuade me. They call themselves “foreskin complainers” or “intactivists” (an artificial word made up of “intact” and “activist”).

They argue that the unnecessary removal of a child’s body part without their consent, which permanently alters their body and their sexual function or pleasure later in life, violates bodily autonomy.

Whether the reason is culture, religion, or tradition, they want to prevent foreskins from being treated as a birth defect or as useless.

In the 1950s, the circumcision rate in Australia was around 80 percent. Today, the ratio has reversed: it is estimated that about 20 percent of newborn boys are now circumcised.

Unlike Harry, I wasn’t – and won’t – be chopped up.

I thought about it because I have a condition that few talk about due to taboo – phimosis. In plain language: A tight foreskin that cannot retract completely.

Thanks shows like Sex and the City Because I portrayed the foreskin as repulsive, I grew up believing my penis was ugly and disordered.

It’s none of those things. It’s just different. Today I finally believe that my penis is perfect just the way it is.

There are three main treatments for phimosis – steroid cream, circumcision, or just accepting it. I went with the latter option, with a little help from the first. Steroid cream, once I’ve worked up the courage to ask my doctor, makes things a bit smoother.

In some cases, especially when phimosis causes pain, circumcision may be necessary; Always talk to your doctor and never feel embarrassed.

Current medical advice is that circumcision should be a last resort.

The stigma prevented me from talking about it. But a heartbreaking story and some unnerving statistics made me speak up today if there are any men fighting in silence.

“I’ve been left with a numb, botched stick”

The heartbreaking story of Alex Hardy, 23, who took his own life after being circumcised might give you food for thought.

Tragically, it wasn’t until his suicide note that Alex revealed his phimosis and the “awkward moments it caused in the bedroom.”

Brit Alex lived in Canada, where circumcision is more common. A urologist he saw recommended it immediately.

In his last email to his mother, Alex described the constant painful stimulation of the sensitive tip of his penis, which was no longer protected by his foreskin.

He likened being tortured by clothing friction to an eyeball when the eyelid was amputated.

Meanwhile, Alex’s erogenous zone has been wiped out. He estimated that he had lost 75 percent of his penis’ sensitivity.

“Where I once had a sex organ, I now have a numb, botched stick,” he wrote.

It was his dying wish for his normally reserved mother to talk about it.

In Australia, figures from the University of Sydney showed that between 2001 and 2016, the number of cases in which GPs treated phimosis increased by 90 percent.

Medicare article reports showed that male and male circumcisions increased 60 percent between 2017 and 2019.

That concerns me. Young men believe they need surgery to make their penis “attractive” and uncovered.

Every penis is beautiful

Foreskins have so many benefits, even with phimosis.

It is estimated that there are between 20,000 and 100,000 nerve endings in the foreskin, making it the most sensitive part of the penis and an erogenous zone. The body was designed in this way for sexual function.

It all boils down to good communication with your partner about what feels good and what doesn’t. Discovery is part of the fun.

But nobody talks about it, maybe for fear of sounding crass or creepy. (As a gay man, I may find it easier to say this publicly.)

Some men tell me they prefer penises with foreskin even with phimosis. To me, all penises are beautiful, circumcised or not.

It’s so important that we talk about phimosis. Generations of boys are growing up hating their bodies, unaware that others have penises that are different. Some men are so full of anger; I sometimes wonder if that’s why – society constantly shames their penises or aesthetically demeans them.

Learning to love them and using them respectfully and lovingly will lead to a more harmonious society.

Gary Nunn is a journalist and author @garynunn1

Originally released as Prince Harry’s circumcision, it reveals a worrisome penis problem

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