Sexuality : “I have vowed to myself to only have a relationship with an intact man”


Coming from a country where circumcision is rare, Diana first had sex with intact men. Then, having worked in large companies with people from countries where circumcision is the norm, she became acquainted with circumcised partners. In this testimonial, she explains the impact circumcision has had on her sexuality and shares her thoughts on the ethical aspects of the practice.


Diana’s testimonial

As a woman who has had intimate relationships with circumcised and intact men, I want to shed some light on the negative consequences of male genital mutilation (MGM) that I have personally, as a woman, experienced. I hope that sharing my experience can help foster open conversations about this sensitive topic.

When I first encountered MGM in an intimate relationship, I was unaware of the potential negative consequences that this practice could bring. Having grown up in a society where MGM was not a thing I had no idea people even did this and was shocked to learn about it.

The first time I saw a penis that was circumcised I had no idea what I saw and wondered what freak accident had happened to this young man and asked him about it. He was an American and was quite insulted by my question as he came from a culture where it was totally normal. We ended up having a conversation about it. At the time I didn’t know what other experiences I would have that were going to be uncomfortable because of this having happened to him as a newborn baby boy.

During my relationship with him and later in life I learned much more about the physical complications of MGM and it was an eye-opener for me. I have learned a lot more about it in the meantime and have had conversations with several men who went through the ordeal at a young or not-so-young age. Some of the men experienced infections during the healing process, leading to discomfort and prolonged recovery periods. I learned that the removal of the foreskin could result in excessive bleeding, and in some unfortunate cases, surgical errors led to scarring and unnecessary pain. For some babies, excessive bleeding can even lead to death. I can only imagine how painful it must be for a newborn baby boy to be in a nappy and wet themselves over an open wound. This must be traumatising to repeatedly feel that.

As I became more emotionally connected with my previous partners, I discovered that MGM affects their sexual experiences. Some had reduced sensitivity, which affected their ability to experience the full spectrum of pleasure during intimate moments. It was heartbreaking to see that a surgical procedure they had no choice in could impact their sexual satisfaction and overall well-being the way it did.

It also resulted in me having less satisfaction during intimate moments as they needed so much more friction. The foreskin plays an essential role in sexual pleasure, as it contains thousands of nerve endings that enhance sensitivity during intimate encounters. MGM results in dryness during intimate moments, as the natural lubrication is not there. This leads to discomfort for both partners and may require additional lubricants to mitigate the effects.

The loss of the foreskin’s protective function can also expose the head of the penis to friction and rubbing, which may contribute to discomfort for women during intercourse. The vagina was not designed to deal with a “calloused” head of the penis due to the skin having hardened because of the lack of the foreskin’s protective function. This can cause issues with the cervix and the vagina as both are very sensitive areas of the body.

I have had a vaginal problems that cropped up without there being an infection, but it was looking like an infection. This took over a year to heal and required no vaginal sex to be able to heal. It took ages before the gynaecologist figured out what was going on and in that time I had been put on a whole array of medication to see whether it was an infection they didn’t know about and with broad-spectrum antibiotics they hoped it would heal, no culture ever showed anything being off.

For me, MGM has caused discomfort or even pain depending on the intimate moment. This has affected my sexual relationship and overall intimacy with circumcised partners to the point where I didn’t want to have sex with them anymore. Now that I’m single I have vowed to myself to only have a relationship with an intact man.

The ethical aspects of MGM weighed heavily on my mind. I found it troubling that the decision to circumcise was often made for infants who could not consent or voice their opinions. This disregard for bodily autonomy raised important questions about the rights of individuals to make decisions about their own bodies. Being intimately involved with a circumcised man made me reflect on the societal norms surrounding this practice. I couldn’t help but notice the stark contrast in attitudes when it came to male genital mutilation compared to the widespread condemnation of female genital mutilation (FGM). It made me realise that we need to examine our biases and foster a more balanced approach to these sensitive matters.

Note from Droit au Corps: links inserted in the text by us.