James Holmes

May the Foreskin Be With You

Filed By James Holmes | March 01, 2012 12:00 PM | comments

Filed in: Living
Tags: Alan Cumming, circumcised penis, Intact America

Yesterday actor Alan Cumming wrote a blog post for Intact America - a group fighting for the end of infant circumcision. Cumming has written a new book on the subject hilariously named May the Foreskin Be With You. In the post he describes the reaction most Americans have upon seeing an intact penis. Alan_Cumming.jpg

The gasping was due to the fact that most people had never seen a real, unadulterated, uncircumcised penis before, and some of the people who were seeing mine had, to be frank, been round the block a few times so their reaction was all the more surprising and on reflection, upsetting.

Most of the reactions Cumming experienced were shock, confusion, curiosity, and/or disgust. But what I find more interesting are the reasons men continue the tradition with their own sons.

Occasionally the 'covenant with God' angle will rear its head, though when I say that we have stopped most of the other barbaric practices described in the Bible so why are we so keen to continue this one, nobody really wants to listen. Then, prospective fathers who are defending future circumcision on their boys will say things like 'He'll be teased in the locker rooms.' Why? For having all his body parts intact? Or, my personal favorite: 'I want him to look like me!' Is this a part of American culture I have not been enlightened about yet? Do you all go home at Thanksgiving and get your wangs out in front of your fathers and compare notes? I mean, really.

In my own experience, I never encounter an uncut cock until my junior year of college - and only two more since then. But I did not go in fearing disgust - it was more jealousy than anything, and something I was looking forward to exploring. I loved it personally. There was a certain beauty about it. But I was a little confused about how to handle it - and was worried I would do something wrong, but I learned.

Since then I have been greatly opposed to the continuation of what I believe to be a barbaric practice. When my nephew was born, I tried to talk my sister out of having him circumcised - but she did anyway. Her reasoning - she didn't want to deal with cleaning it! Ugh.

Cumming goes on to explain the inspiration for his book. While on Broadway performing in Cabaret, his make-up artist confessed than she had never seen one, so he offered to show her.

'Oh, I see,' she exclaimed, bounding towards me, all nerves gone, now caught up in a physiological field trip. 'It's not at all how I thought it would be!'

'What did you think it would be like?'' I asked, feeling slightly objectified but also in the same moment acknowledging I had totally invited it.

'Well,' she said, her eyes still fixed on my pudendum. 'I thought it would be more like a flip-top bin!'

'What, like you'd stand on my foot and my foreskin would pull back?' I guffawed.

'Something like that!' she shrieked, and soon the two of us were bent double with the silliness of it all.

At that moment, a vision was hatched. I chose to accept a mission to lift the lid as it were, to educate and enlighten what a penis is supposed to look like, without having to actually get mine out every time to do so!

I won't lie, I really wish I had not been circumcised, and while we don't pull ours out at Thanksgiving, the subject often comes up. My mother loves to tell the story of how while the wound was still healing, some how a hair got stuck in the plastic cap that is used to crush the foreskin, and she was terrified that it would fall off if she tried to get it out. Thanks mom - I'm glad you find it funny.

May The Foreskin Be With You will be released later this year by Magnus Books.

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