Saturday, July 13, 2013

Circumcision vs. Foreskin: Which Is the Fetish?

Among the smear tactics that circumcision advocates use to try to discredit intactivists, the accusation that they have an erotic fixation with the foreskin, to the point of a fetish, is not uncommon. I do believe that it may come second, the anti-Semite card being the first.

This notion that opponents of circumcision have an ulterior "foreskin fetish" is ridiculous in more ways than one, beginning with the fallacious logic that being opposed to the forced removal of a body part must automatically mean there is a sexual fixation with it. Under this same logic, those who oppose female genital cutting must have some sort of sexual fixation with the labia and/or clitoris. Perhaps those who devote themselves to creating breast cancer awareness must have an erotic fixation with breasts as well.

Fetish - What Does It Mean?
To understand what the word "fetish" means, as it relates to sexuality, let us analyze its definition from a few different sources. defines (sexual) "fetish" as:

3. any object or nongenital part of the body that causes a habitual erotic response or fixation.

This definition is straightforward, but something is missing. "Any object" is accurate, as this includes all objects, any object, that might not normally trigger a "habitual erotic response or fixation" in most people, such as shoes, neckties and aluminum foil. "Nongenital part of the body" is not clear enough; the breasts and buttocks are "nongenital parts of the body," although these elicit a a "habitual erotic response or fixation" in most males, at least in Western society. At least to me, "fetish" refers to "nongenital parts of the body" which do not normally cause a "habitual erotic response or fixation" in most people, such as the feet, the space behind the knee, or the underarms. This definition is close, but, in my opinion, incomplete.

The Free Dictionary defines (sexual) "fetish" as:
3. Something, such as a material object or a nonsexual part of the body, that arouses sexual desire and may become necessary for sexual gratification.
This definition comes closer, except that it is, in my opinion, forgiving. At least to me, "fetish" not something that "may become necessary for sexual gratification," but something without which sexual gratification is not possible. In this sense, is more accurate, with its inclusion of "fixation."

Finally, Merriam-Webster defines "fetish" as:
1 - c : an object or bodily part whose real or fantasied presence is psychologically necessary for sexual gratification and that is an object of fixation to the extent that it may interfere with complete sexual expression

Merriam-Webster is much less forgiving, but still forgiving, with its usage of "may." It conflicts with "is necessary" in the first part of the definition. Since its real or fantasied presence "is psychologically necessary for sexual gratification," then a fetish most certainly does interfere with "complete sexual expression."

So Who Has a Fetish?
Now, let's analyze the realities surrounding the state of the circumcised and anatomically correct male human penis. While the presence of a foreskin is normal in all males at birth, the circumcised penis is a forced, artificial phenomenon. A subversion of what would otherwise be anatomically correct male genitalia, the circumcised penis is a contrived vision of what the male human penis is supposed to look like, which doesn't actually occur normally in nature; being born without a foreskin is considered a congenital anomaly, known as "aposthia."

Those who follow the exchanges between circumcision advocates and intactivists will notice that, while circumcision advocates accuse intactivists of having a "foreskin fetish," at the same time they argue ad populum that "women prefer circumcised penises," and that, furthermore they would not have sexual relations with men who were not circumcised.
"Foreskins gross me out. I would never have sex with a man who wasn't circumcised. My son's future wife will thank me because I didn't leave my son with a gross-looking anteater."

Let me reiterate Merriam-Webster's definition of "fetish":
1 - c : an object or bodily part whose real or fantasied presence is psychologically necessary for sexual gratification and that is an object of fixation to the extent that it may interfere with complete sexual expression

If not being circumcised is a problem to the extent that a person cannot have sex with a man with anatomically correct organs, and to the extent that such a person encourages others to refuse sex with genitally intact men, and that others circumcise their children to produce "sexually desirable men with circumcised penises," then I'd have to say that circumcision advocates have an obsession with circumcision that goes beyond a "fetish."

It's a Two-way Street, BUT...
The fetish accusation can go both ways; if a person cannot be sexually gratified unless a man has anatomically correct genitalia, if being circumcised is a deal-breaker, if that person is turned off by pornography with circumcised men in it, then it could be said that a person may have a "foreskin fetish." Therefore, only someone who for whom circumcision or the foreskin poses no obstacle for sexual gratification, one way or the other, can be said to not be harboring any kind of "fetish."

But something does not sit well with me; while those who prefer circumcised penises can be said to be "obsessed" with an artificial absence of a perfectly normal body part, those who prefer intact members would be "obsessed" with naturally occurring male genitals.

Let's change the body part and see what happens; if a man is attracted to women who are missing a breast due to a mastectomy, it could be said that that man has a fetish for women with a mastectomy. Could it be said, then, that a man has a "fetish" if he has a preference for a woman with both of her breasts, and is sexually turned off by a woman who is missing a breast?

Bluntly, my question is this; how can a sexual preference for normal body parts as they occur in nature, sexual body parts, mind you, be considered a "fetish?"

How is it "normal" to feel that sex without a foreskin is "complete sexual expression," and that the presence of a normal, healthy body part poses an obstacle for sexual gratification?

In what backwards society is the preference for normal, healthy genitals considered a "fetish," and a preference for maimed, mutilated organs, to the point of being unable to achieve sexual gratification otherwise, considered "normal?" 

The Rabbit Hole Goes Deeper... 
In addition to having a sexual fixation for the circumcised penis, there are those who derive sexual gratification from the act of circumcision itself (see apotemnophilia and acrotomophilia). They have sexual fantasies of power and control, that often involve minors and infants. These people, dubbed "circumfetishists" by those who know about them, have a few clubs and websites where they get together to discuss the erotic stimulation they experience by performing circumcision on others, voluntary or otherwise and/or watching other males being circumcised, swap fiction about it, and trade in videotapes of actual circumcisions.

Groups such as the Acorn Society, the Gilgal Society, and the Cutting Club openly admit to a morbid fascination with circumcision to the point of sado-masochistic fetish. These groups advertise that doctors are among their members; there are anecdotal accounts of doctors becoming sexually aroused when circumcising boys.

For those who can stomach it, the comments and behaviors of proponents of circumcision would make a fruitful area of psychological study. Circumcision certainly provides an opportunity not only to handle boys' penises without the condemnation that a sexual assault (in the sense that phrase is normally used) would attract, but also the opportunity to exercise power over another human being, to alter the penis and to control it and the boy's future sexual life.

In Closing
So who are the fetishists?

Is it those say children should be circumcised to make them "sexually attractive?"

Or is it those who insist children should be left alone?

Could it be that when circumcision advocates accuse intactivists of having a "foreskin fetish," the pot is calling the kettle black?

Related Posts:
CIRCUMGATE: UK Circumfetish Czar Finally Caught Red-Handed

NYTimes Plugs PrePex, Consorts With Known Circumfetish Organization

Of Ecstacy and Rape, Surgery and Mutilation
External Links:
CircLeaks - Circumfetish


  1. The reason why the idea of a foreskin fetish is even conceivable is because of how prevalent circumcision is in the US, to the point that people hardly even remember what a normal part of the body looks like. In other words, it's a symptom of how sick our society already is. In the house of the sick, the healthy is abnormal.

    In places where circumcision is not prevalent, this accusation would make no sense at all.

  2. Oh I also recommend this video:

    The Enlightened Male denounces the NYTimes use of Brian Morris as reference and shows the sick nature of circumfetish.

  3. Of course it's the pot calling the kettle black. It's their pitiful attempt to divert their own guilt and perversion. UGH!

  4. Well, in my case, foreskin is deffo the fetish but that's only the result of it being hard to find . . .

    1. You must be here in the US then. Hard to find? I could more easily find a needle in a haystack with both hands tied behind my back than find an intact man. I am a freak...apparently I am a fetishist because I desire a partner with a natural, intact penis. I have even been told that I am dysfunctional simply because my natural, intact lady parts aren't adequately pleasured by an unnatural, circumcised penis. Wait...what? I have what nature intended...but I'm the one who is broken? The insanity makes my brain hurt.

  5. Just throw their insanity back in their faces.

    When someone says: "Why are you so obsessed with other people's penises?" Respond: "Hey, I'm not the one cutting up other people's penises!"

    When a mother says: "I find circumcised penises more attractive." Respond: "Were you planning on blowing your own son?"

    Aside: As you are an analytical fellow, I would have expected you to write "to try to discredit intactivists" rather than "to try and discredit intactivists". Think about it.

  6. If you truly prefer a man to not have a whole penis, I judge you for that.

    Imagine if I were a Somalian man declaring my preference for women without labia! It's a disgusting thing to say - not just because it's a weird, fetishistic preference to have, but because girls have these body parts FORCIBLY REMOVED from them in order to cater to these fucked up expectations.

    So I'm not saying you're *morally wrong* for being attracted to mutilated penises, but I do think:

    - It's fuckin' weird
    - It's more than a little twisted
    - You really need to think deeply about what has been done to these men whose penises you prefer
    - You also might consider whether your own preferences are really your own, or a product of the backwards, genital-mutilating culture you were raised in.