Circumcision cuts female pleasure?

An author argues that "frigidity" can be blamed on "the abnormal structure of the circumcised penis."

By Tracy Clark-Flory

Published July 16, 2007 7:20PM (EDT)

What better way to ease into the week than by talking about an uncontroversial topic like circumcision? Or, better and tamer still, talking about it in relation to female pleasure? Oh boy. Yesterday, the San Francisco Chronicle gave voice to an author convinced that circumcision destroys women's sexual experience and a sexpert convinced that she's, oh, a little nuts.

It used to be that Kristen O'Hara, author of "Sex as Nature Intended It," didn't enjoy sex with her husband -- in fact, she says, it was painful. That is, until her husband went through foreskin restoration; "sex became a beautiful thing again," she told the Chronicle. On her Web site, O'Hara likens sex with a circumcised man to "being poken with a broomstick" and writes: "On the natural penis, the soft, flexible foreskin cushions the coronal-ridge hook (of the penis head, or glans) and prevents it from scraping the vaginal walls, giving only pleasure, not soreness." But famed sexpert Susie Bright says it would be wrong to turn a personal fetish into a "biology lesson." She told the Chronicle, "Some people make a cause out of their sexual preferences, and find an eager audience ... The myths are apparently catnip to many."

The question of whether there's any scientific truth to O'Hara's assault on the circumcised penis' pleasure-giving potential is set aside -- for lack of evidence -- and the article turns to some random women's takes on the cut-or-uncut debate. The result: Sophomoric sound bites -- including comparisons of uncircumcised members to snakes, anteaters and elephants -- that are sure to make many men and women cringe. The piece ends with a quote from Bright, who says that "most women, unfortunately, do not pay a lot of attention to a man's penis." She continues: "They've been brought up not to look or dwell on a part of the body, or to sexualize one's genitals."

At first, that kicker -- following those women's, er, imaginative comments -- seemed contradictory. But maybe not. Anyone else see a connection between the schoolyard-like taunts about uncut men and Bright's suggestion that women are taught to desexualize the male member?

Tracy Clark-Flory

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