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From March 28th to March 31st 2019, the 12th French Congress on Sexology and Sexual Health was held in Montpellier. And just like last year, Droit au Corps was there to run a booth.
Five of our members were able to interact with the many health professionals from different French-speaking countries who came to meet them: sexologists, urologists, gynecologists, pediatricians, midwives, nurses and psychologists.
Our booth focused on penis health and foreskin restoration, thanks in particular to the presence of Luc (creator of the Phimosis ABC website) and Bernard (creator of the Nouvelle peau website) who brought documentation and materials concerning their specialty.
It’s also worth noting that we had at our booth business cards from the collective Brit Shalom, l’Alliance sans Souffrance. Upon learning of this alternative ritual to circumcision, some visitors expressed their relief and enthusiasm. Finally, we also had brochures kindly sent by GAMS and Foregen, which were very popular as well.
Most of the professionals we met were unfamiliar with the topics presented by Droit au Corps. Some entirely discovered how the foreskin works and its role in sexuality. They were very interested in the explanations of our members and were happy to take away some documentation. This year, we have again received many thanks and encouragement for our work.
Droit au Corps thanks the organizing committee of the French Congress of Sexology & Sexual Health 2019 for its renewed confidence, as well as the people who made the presence of our association possible through their volunteer work or their donation.
Official website of the event: assises-sexologie.fr
IMPRESSIONS OF THE MEMBERS OF DROIT AU CORPS WHO WERE PRESENT AT THE BOOTH
My experience at the French Congress of Sexology & Sexual Health 2019 was very rewarding because it was contact with the field, with « real life », through visitors to the booth.
I was able to observe the collective maturity of health and/or sexuality professionals regarding the importance of the foreskin and the right to choose to be circumcised or not. A doctor told me: « You confirm what I was telling my patients. »
The high demand for information from these professionals has shown the general lack of accurate knowledge of the foreskin, and the separation between the purely medical issues, and the sexuality and psychology of the men concerned. We constantly felt the lack of discussion in the public debate about male circumcision, as some questions, very relevant, were focused on elementary knowledge, about the erogenous zones in particular.
Some people were very surprised to learn so much about the foreskin and its place in sexuality. This shows how and to what extent the abusive acceptance of circumcision is based on its trivialization, the minimization of the role of the foreskin and the denial of the feelings of babies, boys and men who have so much to say, alongside those who argue with statistics.
I am coming back from this congress very encouraged by the collective consciousness, which is making great progress on this subject.
I would like to thank all the professionals for their widely expressed encouragement.
I participated in the French Congress of Sexology & Sexual Health 2019 to talk about phimosis and the solutions to resolve it without surgery. At the booth I presented a lot of teaching material.
Visitors’ questions were often oriented towards the functioning of the foreskin and its role in sexuality. That turned out well : we had brought a sex toy equipped with a mobile foreskin, so I was able to show the different phases of the functioning of the foreskin in sexual intercourse, and to my great surprise the reactions were: « Look at this, it is super important in sexuality, it is a sophisticated mechanism! »
I also noted several reactions from nurses: « How is it possible that we have to come here, to the French Congress of Sexology & Sexual Health, to learn about the treatment of phimosis and the role of the foreskin? It is abnormal that this topic is not taught in our courses! “
I referred several sexologists to Bernard so that he could talk to them about foreskin restoration, because it can be useful for some of their patients.
I was surprised by the thirst for information about the functioning of the penis, the evolution of the child, phimosis, alternatives to circumcision, the damage of circumcision in terms of sexual mechanics, but also in psychological terms.
The presence at the booth of brochures on Brit Shalom for Jews triggered reactions of relief from professionals of Jewish origin: « Whew, finally an alternative to protect babies. »
We received a lot of sympathy from the visitors, I did not expect as much.
It was my first participation at a Droit au Corps event. I was circumcised at the age of 4 due to a medical problem and I experienced a negative impact on my sexual and emotional life. I successfully started a foreskin restoration a few years ago.
My direct testimony was of great interest to the health practitioners with whom I was able to discuss at the booth, in particular the fact that I rediscovered some sensitivity thanks to the protection I recovered.
Some practitioners came to the booth with the idea that circumcision has no sexual impact, and after reading the documents, photos, testimonies… they left with the intention to dig deeper into the subject and review their beliefs.
Psychotherapists told me they are counselling circumcised men, for whom the subject is already a key to their issues. Others have indicated that they will now investigate this idea.
All this is very encouraging, the taboo is falling.
As early as Thursday, when we were setting up our booth, a first visitor working for « Montpellier événements », himself circumcised, was visibly happy to see a booth denouncing the bad consequences of circumcision. He came back later to get more information, especially on the restoration of the foreskin.
Our booth was almost at the end of an aisle while the entrance to the show and most of the conference rooms were on the other side. There were many quiet periods without visitors, but also periods with large groups of people during which it was useful to be together to provide information more effectively.
Undoubtedly, it was the most active booth of the entire exhibition. Some booths were limited to a table with some documents on display and sometimes no one was even there, while we were two to four persons (even five on Saturday) to represent Droit au Corps.
We’ve been quite complementary to one another. Françoise explained the child’s natural sexual development as an introduction, while Luc could give details on the usefulness of the foreskin and the non-surgical treatment of phimosis. On my side, with Rémy, I was talking about the possibilities and techniques of restoring a foreskin after circumcision.
In the documents we distributed, although our business cards with only a few words and our website addresses contained the essential information and could be produced in large numbers at low cost, it was finally our brochures, much more detailed, that were most widely distributed. Unfortunately, we had received too few brochures about Brit Shalom compared to the number of interested visitors.
Overall, we met many people who were interested and sometimes surprised by what we were teaching them, even though, obviously, some urologists did not agree with us.
The last visitor to our booth was a well-known urologist from Montpellier who also said he was a sexologist. We talked to him for a few dozen minutes, but strangely enough, he did not want to recognize the phenomenon of keratinization of the glans, which is often observed.
Women tended to make initial contact with me.
I am interested in how a little boy grows up sexually and I have read a lot on this topic. Thus, I was able to give explanations to the visitors about the health of the penis, together with Luc.
Concerning the suffering that can result from circumcision, I referred visitors to Rémy who, as a concerned person, is convincing in what he has to say on the subject.
I was surprised by the number of people that the Droit au Corps booth attracted.