Making The Cut: An Investigative Report On Reverse Circumcision
INCH BY INCH, MEN IN THE U.S. HAVE STEADILY BEEN ROLLING BACK MALE CIRCUMCISION. AND WHILE SOME ADULT MEN ARE STRETCHING THEIR OWN BOUNDARIES IN AN ATTEMPT TO REVERSE THE PROCEDURE, THERE ARE OTHERS WHO VOLUNTARILY HIT THE CHOP SHOP. HERE, VIBE GIVES YOU A SLICE OF LIFE FROM BOTH SIDES OF THE FORESKIN REVOLUTION
Words: CHLOÉ HILLIARD | Illustration: MISHA TYUNTUNIK
A MAN STANDS BEFORE A CAMERA alone and completely naked holding his junk. He’s shot conveniently from mid-chest down, and he’s clearly on a mission. No, this isn’t a porno clip, and there will be no “money shot” at the end. This video is intended for educational purposes. The lesson: How to restore your foreskin.
There is no talking, but he slowly gives a step-by-step tutorial on how to apply the Dual Tension Restorer device (DTR), one of several popular utilities credited with helping to stretch the skin of the penis shaft, giving the appearance of a foreskin on an uncircumcised penis. He places a firm white rubber cap, called a “bell” on the tip of the penis. Next he rolls the shaft’s skin over the bell and rolls the “gripper,” a clear flexible rubber sleeve on top to keep the skin in place. The rod attached to the end of both pushes down the bell and lifts the gripper, stretching the skin with the use of suspension bands. It’s a gruesome looking procedure, but it shows the lengths some men will go in an attempt to restore their foreskin lost in circumcision.
Society puts great importance on the male genitalia. But at birth, the penis faces its first true test: to circumcise or not to circumcise. For generations, the question was a no-brainer because most fathers want their sons to “look like them.” At the peak of its practice in the 1970s, an estimated 80 percent of American parents circumcised their newborn sons, removing what would be nearly four inches in adult foreskin and 20,000 nerve endings.
Like the man in the video, Eddy, 38, is also restoring. He said he suffered from a “growing lack of sensitivity” after being “modified” as a child. His online research into the matter led him to this skin stretching method. “I wear the Dual Tension Restorer under my clothing for roughly nine hours a day and more if I can,” he says. “I usually give it a rest on the weekends.” Eddy’s decision to restore his foreskin won’t bring back what was removed when he was a newborn, but is enough to give him a better sense of confidence and comfort. Since he began restoring 19 months ago, he’s grown roughly 3/8” of new skin. The men who opt to restore do so because, like women who were circumcised, they didn’t have a choice and feel their bodies have been altered for the worse.
OVER THE YEARS, the procedure has declined in popularity in the U.S. In 2011, an estimated 54 percent of American boys were circumcised at birth (down from 80 percent in 1970). Parents are deciding to break from tradition. Medical research has proven that the foreskin is more than just an extra flap of skin. It’s a natural shield, lubricant and erogenous zone. “Since 1979 there has been a lot of research done that has established the actual value of the male foreskin,” explains Richard Russell director of communications for Doctors Opposing Circumcision (DOC). “And the costs of its loss, in terms of sexual sensing and performance.”