I’ve been dating someone now for about three months who I really like. He seems like the kind of guy that I could get even more serious with. But there’s one problem: he’s uncircumcised. I’ve only been with circumcised men, and I hate to say this, but I’m kind of disgusted at the sight of his penis. It doesn’t feel different inside me, but I’m really into oral sex and it just turns me off. I’ve had less of a desire to be with him intimately lately and I’m worried that this is the beginning of the end. What should I do?—NS, New York, New York
The gay woman’s perspective: Jody Fischer
Wow, NS, I’m way out of my league here, but if you feel disgust at the sight, feel, or whatever of his penis, I’d say that’s a deal breaker. I’ve heard that if he’s uncircumcised, he needs to keep himself very clean. If that’s the issue, perhaps you can talk with him. I know that to circumcise or not is a big issue among new parents in the United States. Some view it as a barbaric ritual from days gone by; more and more parents are opting out of it. Therefore, it’s likely that there will be more uncircumcised men out there in the future.
Since you do really like him, perhaps you need to talk to other friends who have been with men who are uncircumcised and find out how they learned to love the skin he’s in. My advice to you is similar to my response to “Confused” this month. Go over the checklist for a quality long-term relationship. If you have a lot of checks there, maybe you can find a way to see past this. Maybe not. Since I have no word of mouth experience here, all I can really say is if I didn’t relish a woman’s body, I would have a hard time faking it. I don’t envy you. I’m guessing that there are probably lots of lovely snipped men out there who’d love some lovin’, too. So at the risk of being crude, I will remind you that there are smoother skins in the sea.
The straight woman’s perspective: Rebecca Brown
No offense to anyone or their genitalia, but all things considered, most penises aren’t gonna win any beauty contests. (Nor will most vaginas for that matter—sorry, Eve Ensler.) I bet if you were honest with yourself, you’d remember that your reaction to the very first big, hard shlong you saw was, “ewww.” But then you saw one outside of health class for the first time, and you realized that that veiny-looking thing could actually do you some very pleasurable favors and eventually, you got used to the way it looked. It’s kind of like stepping into someone’s house that has a specific smell; after a little while, you don’t even notice the smell anymore.
But after three months, I would think you’d be used to it by now and over the worst part of your disgust—if it’s possible to get over. I’d like to tell you to talk to him about your concerns, or suck it up and educate yourself a little by doing some reading on how, if a man keeps himself clean, a little skin shouldn’t be cause for worry. But something tells me given your strong words that no matter how clean that thing is, your mind is already made up. I wish I could in good conscience tell you to just break up with him over something lame and not give him the real reason, because I think the real reason is going to be hard to hear. But that’s just cruel, and if this is someone even slightly special, he deserves to know at least a watered down and easier-to-digest version of the truth. Tell him you think he’s great, but that you just don’t think the physical chemistry is there. That’s not a lie, but at least you’re not telling him that you think his dick is heinous—I don’t think he’d ever get over that. Find yourself a man you’re physically attracted to—in every way. (That should make for some fun research.)
The straight man’s perspective: Chris Kennedy
So here’s the deal: you’re really into oral sex and you’re having a hard time—pardon me—enjoying it. That’s a valid concern. I know you feel shallow but I don’t think ignoring your feelings is the answer. It doesn’t appear you’re getting any fonder of his down yonder.
I think there’s a direct way you can let him know without insulting his manhood. Something like, “Gosh, I’m just not used to foreskin. The guys I’ve been with in the past have been cut and honestly, I’m having some issue with your extra man tissue.” This way you’ve let him know and you two can decide together how you’ll proceed. You’ll either get over your distaste or he can decide to undergo an adult circumcision. Ouch. Let me write that again: ouch! Remember, this is a sharp instrument cutting into his penis. Would you really want him to go through that because you think it’s disgusting? Would you do it if you were him?
Let me tell you, if I went through that, I’d be darn sure the girl was cut-worthy. So are ya? Are you cut-worthy? Let him know your issue and he’ll have to decide if you’ve made the cut.
The gay man’s perspective: Darren Maddox
This is a delicate situation for you indeed. I don’t recommend the direct approach of, “get the anteater out of here or I'm hitting the road.” Remember, circumcision was not originally his choice—it was his parents’ choice.
With that said, I’m discovering that many men get cut later in life. Just the other day, a friend of mine told me his father got snipped at the ripe old age of eighty! When I asked my friend why in the world his dad would ever want a change at that age, he told me he’d always wanted to have it done and thought his new wife probably had something to do with it. Either way, to answer your question about whether or not this is the beginning of the end, I think you’re the only one who can answer that. Can you get past this “imperfection” in your perfect man? If not, then yes, it’s the beginning of the end. At the beginning of the relationship, you should not be able to keep your hands off him. It sounds like it’s more of a stretch for you to even put your hands on him. At three months you can’t really ask him to go under the knife, so the choice here is all yours. If you’re not willing to explore something new, you need to let him go.