I have read articles that circumcision results in less enjoyment from sexual intimacy than men who have retained their foreskins. A report from Belgium supports that claim.
The study implies that men circumcised either as children or adults report less intense sexual pleasure and orgasm than their uncircumcised counterparts.
The new study surveyed 1,369 men over the age of 18, who responded to leaflets handed out in train stations across Belgium.
The men were asked whether they were circumcised, and were then asked to rate how sensitive their penis was, how intense their orgasms were and whether they experience any pain or numbness when aroused.
310 men who took the survey were circumcised, and 1,059 were not. Each rated how sensitive their penis was on a scale from 0 to 5, with higher numbers being the most sensitive.
Overall, uncircumcised men reported between 0.2 points and 0.4 points higher sensitivity and sexual pleasure compared to circumcised men. This small difference does not seem significant.
Currently, about half of U.S. baby boys have their foreskin surgically removed at birth.
Some religions, such as Judaism and Islam, consider circumcision part of religious practice, while other people choose circumcision for possible health benefits – including a reduced risk of urinary tract infections.
It is also of interest that Dr. Aaron Tobian, who studies circumcision but was not part of the new study, said that previous randomized controlled trials looking at sexual performance and satisfaction did not find a difference.
One possible explanation for any potential difference in sensitivity is that a man’s foreskin may protect the glans from rubbing against underwear and clothing. It’s possible, the researchers write, that friction makes the head of the penis thicker, drier and ultimately less sensitive.
The American Academy of Pediatrics says the benefits of male circumcision outweigh the risks, but stops short of recommending universal circumcision (see Reuters story of Aug. 27, 2012).
Bottom Line: I personally haven’t heard too many complaints from circumcised men about their sexual enjoyment. Not one man has ever come to my office and asked to have his foreskin restored.