I’m too broke to buy a copy of your book, but I’m dying to know what you decided to do about your son’s circumcision! This is a big issue between my husband and myself. I’m all for circumcision–I don’t want to wash that thing! And what about infections? Teenage boys aren’t exactly hygienic, ya know! He says “genital mutilation” and “let him choose when he’s older.” Now, come on–when you were 13, if someone asked you to lop off a bit of your dick, would you say yes? –Just Say No to Mud Flaps

Those of you who can afford to buy a copy of my book, The Kid, please skip to the next letter. Those of you too broke to buy the book, here’s what my boyfriend and I decided to do about our son’s foreskin:


Sorry, JSNTMF, but I’m on your husband’s side, pro-mud flaps so long as no mud flaps wind up in my mouth. As for washing “that thing,” well, when the time comes to roll back and wash underneath–which won’t be until age three-ish, according to Dr. Spock–I can’t imagine that washing under my son’s foreskin will be any grosser than digging hard-packed shit of out the crack of his ass and folds of his scrotum, mopping vomit off floors, tabletops, car seats, high chairs, house pets, houseplants, my boyfriend, my mother, and the top of my head, or sitting through multiple matinee screenings of The Adventures of Elmo in Grouchland.

After the riveting column about your new baby’s circumcision (or lack thereof) all I can say is, good work, Dan. You have struck a blow for gays everywhere by showing that they’re just as self-obsessed and insane when it comes to their kids as straight people. Who cares if you circumcised your kid? What can we expect now? Delightful stories about his teething? First solid food? First haircut? You and your partner’s squabbles about toilet training? I can’t wait. Sign me… –Who Gives a Rat’s Ass?

My boyfriend and I adopted almost two years ago, WGARA, and I hardly think mentioning the kid once in two years is evidence of straight-style, kid-induced self-obsession. Rest assured that my son has already teethed, already started solid food, and already had his first haircut. Not only didn’t I mention any of these milestones, but I wouldn’t have mentioned the kid at all if I didn’t have a book to sell, The Kid. Mentioning the kid was a crass and commercial move, not motivated by sentiment, and if you buy The Kid, you’ll quickly discover that its perhaps the least sentimental book on making or buying a baby that you’ve ever read. In fact, I wanted to call the book “$200 an Ounce,” what the baby cost when we divided the expense of his adoption by his birth weight, but my editor–the lovely and talented Brian Tart–wouldn’t have it.

I’ve met kid-obsessed hetero parents and been subjected to boring teething, solid-food, and first-haircut stories. As I have a kid, they assume I’m fascinated and go on at greater length than they would with a childless misanthrope such as yourself, giving me greater cause to dislike them than they could ever give you. Tell you what, WGARA: I’ll promise not to bore you with boring details of my boring kid’s boring life if you’ll promise not to accuse me of sins I haven’t committed. Deal?

The biggest drawback about having foreskin has not been women refusing to suck my stanky dick but rather being teased as a kid in the locker room. Your son is not likely to escape this fate. Another disadvantage I recently learned about is that being cut reduces the spread of HIV in men. However, the advantages to having foreskin are many. Masturbation is a snap. Work the skin back and forth, and voila! None of mom’s messy hand lotion needed. Pulling up my “collar” can make entering a tight spot a cinch and less painful for the delicate head. If I want to last longer during sex, again, I just pull up my collar, put on a condom, and I am a porn star for the next couple of hours. –Very Important Penis

Don’t worry about my son, VIP. Only about half of the boys born in North America these days are circumcised, so uncut kids won’t be an oddity in the locker rooms of the future. Cut kids may still gang up on the uncut kids, but the uncut kids will be large enough in number to retaliate, ganging up on the snipdicks and making them feel like the freaks.

Your “pro-cutting stance was never grounded in any sound medical…arguments” because there is no medical reason for circumcision. The foreskin, as you fail to mention, protects and lubricates the penis. Further, it is atingle with nerve endings, making it one sensitive piece of flesh, much like the clitoris. This makes me wonder if foreskin envy is the real issue behind the push to circumcise. A man loses much of his capacity for sexual pleasure when he’s cut, and doctors once recommended circumcision as a solution to the “problem” of masturbation!

–Friend of Foreskin

The problem with most anticircumcision activists–besides how easily some slip into anti-Semitic rhetoric (one who read The Kid, in which I mention Jewish friends, asked if we considered circumcising my son as a result of pressure from “Jewish circles” we were “enmeshed in”)–is a tendency to wildly overstate the anticircumcision case.

Take your letter, FOF. When you claim that “a man loses much of his capacity for sexual pleasure when he’s cut,” all the cut guys out there reading your letter–guys like me and my boyfriend and most every guy we know, gay and straight–think, “Hey, I’m cut, and I derive plenty of sexual pleasure from my cock. These anticircumcision crybabies are full of shit.” And those who compare male circumcision (the removal of the foreskin) to female genital mutilation (the removal of the clitoris) don’t help either. Removing the clit is comparable to cutting off the head of the penis, not the foreskin, and comparing the two procedures comes off as cheap “me too” victim mongering. A little less hysteria, a little less overstatement, and a lot less anti-Semitic rhetoric, and anticutting forces might change more people’s minds.

Finally, I’m going to let someone else have the last word. In the cut-or-not-to-cut column I wrote that nine of ten cocksuckers prefer cut cock. Here’s a letter from one of that ten percent.

As a 35-year-old who has had countless cocks in her mouth, I can honestly say that I love uncut cock. Owing to its protected life within the sheath of foreskin, the skin on the head of uncut cock has a silky, ultrasmooth texture that I adore, much like the texture of the interior labia. I also think that uncut cock tastes better: it actually has a taste, whereas cut cock skin tastes much the same as the skin on the rest of the body, not much different from sticking a finger in your mouth. The only time an uncut cock has had a less-than-favorable review from me was when the owner had sleazy hygiene habits. If a guy can’t manage to clean himself he’s not much use to me anyway.

–One Out of Ten Cocksuckers

Send questions to Savage Love, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611 or to letters@savagelove.net.