One lazy Sunday afternoon in college, my gay friend Mike came over to regale me and my roommate with tales of the previous night's hookup. The guy was a real catch. There was just one minor issue.
"He's uncircumcised," Mike told us. "It threw me for a loop."
Lindsay and I were fascinated, as we generally were with Mike's tales. We had so many questions. What did it look like? How could he tell? What was this mythical appendage of which he spoke?
We huddled around the kitchen table, Mike carefully drawing what looked like a pig-in-a-blanket while Lindsay and I watched, shaking our heads.
"Never seen one of those!"
"I'd definitely remember that!"
But then I moved to England. Click here
to find out what Erin learned about handling an uncut unit.
When I first encountered an uncircumcised penis, I found it daunting
-- not because of its appearance, but because of my self-consciousness at trying to figure out what to do with the darn thing
. Would my same bag of tricks still work? Were certain areas more sensitive? Would I hurt him?
It didn't help that my British boyfriend seemed to consider my curiosity a mocking affront to his, ahem, Royal Scepter.Cutting Through the Numbers
Though the percentage of American newborn males being circumcised is dropping -- many believe it's basically a cosmetic procedure -- the number still hovers around 60%. In the 1970s, that figure was 85%, which means that men of our generation are much more likely to be turtleneck-free.
By contrast, only 24% of British males are circumcised. In fact, hop on an international flight to almost anywhere -- excepting Jewish or Muslim regions where circumcision is a cultural rite -- and chances are that the hottie you meet at the hostel hasn't been snipped.
I turned to Amy Levine, sex coach, certified sexuality instructor and founder of SexEdSolutions.com
, for help.
"It can be quite shocking to see an uncircumcised penis once you are used to a circumcised one," Levine says. "In the flaccid state, it can look like a sausage in its casing. Erect, it's basically the same as what you're used to seeing, depending on the amount of foreskin."Advice on His Anteater
What I learned: While intercourse is the same whether a guy is cut or not, an uncircumcised penis calls for a different approach
to manual stroking, oral sex and condom application.
"When giving a hand job, add water-based lube and use the sheath of the foreskin to stimulate the glans," she advises. "During oral sex you can slip your tongue underneath his foreskin and swirl it in a circular pattern.
"When using a condom, be sure to pull back the foreskin before rolling one on. Best of all, ask him what he likes, have him show you how he likes to be touched, and create signature moves based on his response.
"The bottom line: If you know your body, you'll be able to reach your pleasure potential no matter if he's circumcised or not."
Amen to that!Erin Donnelly is a frequent Lemondrop contributor.
Have you dated a man who was uncircumcised? Do you have a preference?