January 3, 2017

Circumcision: Honoring and Healing the Wounds

This week, we begin our series with the powerful and amazing Caffyn Jesse. She will be sharing with us expert perspective on sexual healing, particularly focusing on male sexuality as this is a topic that often goes unaddressed. We start off by taking a look at the trauma of circumcision.


Inside the womb, a fetus touches and plays with genitals, enjoying arousal and orgasmic sensation. Self-pleasure in utero is an important contributor to nervous system development. When babies are born, what happens to all this erotic aliveness? As many as 3/4 of all infant boys in the USA and 1/3 of infant boys in Canada are subjected to a violent genital surgery, with profound effects on individuals, and our whole society.

On the infant’s tiny penis, the foreskin does not retract as it does on an adult penis. It must be forcibly peeled away from the glans. The newborn is immobilized, and a clamp is used to forcibly separate tissues in this most sensitive area in the human body. The foreskin is then sliced down, crushed and cut away. Circumcision is bloody and excruciatingly painful. It is performed without general anesthesia, since anesthetizing a tiny baby is very dangerous. The surgery leaves an open wound that forms scar tissue over 7-10 days.

In recent decades, neuroscientists have studied the effect of early life trauma on a child’s developing nervous system. Infant trauma can be held in the body throughout life, causing physical and emotional distress and dysregulation. Traumatized people often feel upset and angry, or withdrawn and numb, without knowing why. How many of the characteristics associated with masculinity are really the residual effects of this widespread infant trauma?

Circumcision destroys the most sensitive parts of the penis. The foreskin is a complex organ with many specialized nerves and functions. People who are circumcised lose the nerve endings that most appreciate delicate touch. In adults, the foreskin glides up and down over the glans during arousal, providing thrilling sensations from tens of thousands of nerve endings. Foreskin also protects the moist glans of the penis, like eyelids protect our eyes…but with a lot more pleasure. The glans and inner foreskin of the penis are naturally moist and exquisitely sensitive. A circumcised penis forms scar tissue. The skin is keratinized, tough and dry. (Keratin cells on the surface are no longer alive. They have no nucleus or organelles.)

Because people who have lost the foreskin have lost so many nerve endings, they usually require much harder, faster stimulation to access arousal and orgasm. This can be so difficult for people in their relationships. 

Infant foreskins are sometimes sold to biomedical, pharmaceutical and cosmetics companies. They are used in the production of wrinkle creams, collagen injections and burn treatments.

Many adults who were circumcised as infants do not feel wounded, and they can simply and happily enjoy their genitals as they are. This is wonderful. People who do carry the trauma in some way may need support, counseling and coaching to find their way to healing and wholeness.

Rachel’s program can help address the psychological effects of circumcision. Physical work with scar tissue can complement this program, helping men recover sensitivity and expand sexual sensation while releasing embodied trauma. Partial foreskin restoration is also possible through these means. An extensive program on how to do scar tissue work for circumcision will be available for free on my website later this month.

Please contact me at http://www.erospirit.ca/contact/ if you would like to be notified.

And be sure to come back next week when I'll be discussing, "Shame, Pleasure and Performance: Men and Sex".


Caffyn Jesse is a Certified Somatic Sex educator and a Certified Sexological Bodyworker who supports diverse people on their journey to sexual wholeness. 

People from around the world visit her Salt Spring Island studio, where Caffyn offers workshops and coaching. She teaches an Intimacy Educator training and the Certified Sexological Bodywork – Somatic Sex Educator training in Canada. 

She is the author of Science for Sexual Happiness and Erotic Massage for Healing and Pleasure. See her website at www.erospirit.ca and order her books at Amazon online.


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