Smegma is Beneficial Not Bad and
Cleaning is Easy
A mother posts:
I feel that it is easier to take care of, THEREFORE, helps to prevent bacteria build-up (schmegma, as they call it), and results in less chance of the penis becoming infected. Come on, we all know how careless children can be in their "bathing".....so, since I don't want to have to "inspect" my son's penis after every bath (humiliating, I feel), I feel this is in his best interest to avoid infection which may cause a circ to have to be performed at an older age. [See Myth: Circumcision Inevitable Later and Which is Worse -- Adult or Infant Circumcision?]
Like the mother above, many parents and doctors are misinformed and sometimes boys intact are inspected and probed. Overly aggressive cleaning -- attempts to retract -- and invasive inspections (apparently expecting the worst) -- all can cause problems, including the infections circumcision is meant to avoid.
Little boys intact need not ever be subjected to humiliating inspections. For some odd reason, our society is extremely paranoid and obsessed over the idea that the foreskin is difficult to clean. This is not at all true. It is very simple. All any little boy has to do is gently pull back the skin, rinse in clean water and let the foreskin fall back into place.
My intact son is 5. Before I wash his hair, I tell him to clean his surprise as he calls it. Just as I have to push him into taking a bath in the first place, I may have to prod him a few times to clean himself. I do have to brush his teeth for him, but cleaning an intact penis is so simple, any boy can and should do it without assistance from anyone.
Isnt it insulting to the average males intelligence to think that surgery is preferable because he cant be entrusted with washing his genitals when somehow he manages to brush his teeth, clean his ears and blow his nose? [Cole] See Natural Penis - Easy to Clean
Obviously, all penises, circumcised or not, require cleaning. Circumcision does not guarantee a problem free penis. Many people are unaware of the fact that one purpose of the foreskin is to prevent infection during the diaper period as well as throughout life. Circumcised infants are more likely to experience an infection of the raw wound from exposure to human waste. Males who have been improperly circumcised (which is not all that uncommon) can have problems effectively cleaning themselves. Debris can become embedded in the exposed and toughened glans. This can cause irritation, and if not cleaned sufficiently, an obvious infection.
Regarding the issue of dreaded smegma: Comparatively little is formed in childhood. A noticeable increase occurs during adolescence, with its great acceleration of penis growth. ...[Smegma] lubricates the cavity between the foreskin of the penis and the glans, thus allowing smooth movement between them during intercourse. ...The adult stage follows with its period of maximal sexual activity. Sexual intercourse becomes a regular feature of life and the function of smegma for lubrication assumes its full value. Middle age follows with a decline in amount until there is a virtual absence of the substance in old age. [How Smegma Serves the Penis]
It is my understanding that all circumcisions do not end the production of smegma. Women also produce smegma, quite a bit more than men actually. Smegma is not dirt. Interestingly, in ancient Greek, smegma means soap. Smegma is a combination of natural glans lubrication and discarded cells. The production of smegma is part of the process of cellular regeneration. It is natural and healthy.
Remember that it is stale and accumulated smegma that is a source of ill health for the penis. Freshly formed smegma, washed away regularly and constantly replenishing itself, is a wholesome lubricant - making for ease in erection and smoothness in sexual intercourse. [How Smegma Serves the Penis]
My son only bathes two or three times a week, Im embarrased to admit. He has never had an infection or problem of any sort. Nor has my nephew, age 6, or my own father, who is intact and 69. I have repeatedly read the same accounts for countless boys and men through family members online.
Myth: Circumcision Inevitable Later
Which is Worse -- Adult or Infant Circumcision?
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HOW SMEGMA SERVES THE PENIS, Sexology (New York), Vol 37, no. 2 (September 1970) pp. 50-53, by Joyce Wright, M. D. who has done research on infectious diseases for many schools and institutes in the U. S. and Great Britain and was a regular contributor to Family Doctor, a health magazine published by the British Medical Association.
Cole, Ph.D., Louanne, Sexologist, San Francisco Examiner, pB-7, Aug. 11, 1993
Word Count: 709
Originally written 8/1/97
Last Revised: 2/16/99