Circumcision — it’s one of the most hotly debated sexual health issues in the medical community. In part that’s because in this country, and other developed countries, there isn’t any clear benefit to circumcise or not to circumcise, says Karen Boyle, M.D., director of male reproductive medicine and surgery at Chesapeake Urology Associates in Baltimore.
Intact men enjoy four times more penile sensitivity than circumcised men, according to the “Fine-touch Pressure Thresholds in the Adult Penis” article published today in the British Journal of Urology International. The study was conducted to map fine-touch pressure thresholds of the adult penis in circumcised and uncircumcised males to compare the two populations.
Researchers measured fine-touch sensitivity of the penis at 17 specific sites on the intact (non-circumcised) penis and the remaining 9 sites plus two scar sites on the circumcised penis. The results surprised the research team, according to Morris Sorrells, MD, lead researcher, who said, “The most sensitive part of the penis is the preputial opening. The results confirmed that the frenulum and ridged band of the inner foreskin are highly erogenous structures that are routinely removed by circumcision, leaving the penis with one-fourth the fine-touch sensitivity it originally possessed.” Five sites on the penis-all regularly removed by circumcision-are more sensitive than the most sensitive site remaining on the circumcised penis. Researcher pediatrician and statistician Robert Van Howe said, “Oddly, the most sensitive site on the circumcised penis is the circumcision scar itself.”
This was in fact reported by a Michigan State University study, that found that the most sensitive part of a circumcised guy’s penis is his circumcision scar. A possible explanation: After circumcision, “the penis has to protect itself—like growing a callus on your foot, but to a lesser extent,” says Darius Paduch, M.D., Ph.D., a urologist and male sexual medicine specialist at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center. This means nerve endings are further from the surface—and therefore, may be less responsive.
Circumcised men prefer it rough – The study has received international attention. Politicians from California, for example, have been in contact with the researchers because they want to ban circumcision in their federal state.
There appears to be a very simple reason why circumcised men and their partners are having problems with their sex lives. The circumcised man develops a thin layer of hard skin on his penis head, which decreases the sensitivity. This means that in order to reach an orgasm, he needs to work harder at it, and that can lead to a painful experience for their partner.
Previous studies documented that circumcised penises are shorter; now researchers have compared and found them lacking in sensitivity, too. From their findings, researchers of this study conclude that circumcision ablates the most sensitive parts of the penis. These findings come several decades after Masters & Johnson said there is no sensitivity difference in a circumcised and a non-circumcised penis. Now their questionable findings have been disproved and the results of this study provide additional evidence about the importance of preserving the protective, sensitive foreskin.
It’s worth mentioning that women with circumcised partners are three times more likely to experience sexual pain than ladies with uncircumcised spouses, the study from Denmark found. “The uncircumcised penis is much glossier, a more velvety feel,” says Paduch. “So for women who aren’t lubricating well, they experience much less discomfort having sex with a guy who is uncircumcised.” He adds that guys who have their foreskin intact require lubricant far less frequently during sex and masturbation, since the skin of their penis in naturally slicker.
This article has been republished with permission from Deepak.
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