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Arguments and counter-arguments have been brought forward
for ages about the merits and demerits of this age-old practice.
When Michael Magezi, 24, went for a circumcision, it was
against a backdrop of talk that circumcised men enjoy more sexual pleasure than
their uncircumcised colleagues. Being friends with many Muslim friends, who
circumcise as part of their religious obligations, Magezi was taunted by his
friends and decided to ‘brave the knife’.
“I was told that the sheath that covers the penis makes it
very sensitive and therefore minutes into love-making, an ejaculation occurs,”
Magezi says, adding that the strangest story he heard was that uncircumcised
males are more likely to experience wet dreams even in their adult years.

Uncircumcised men, he was told by his circumcised friends,
have weak and short-lived erections. Circumcised men are said to enjoy a
stronger sexual drive, longer erectile function and higher sexual satisfaction.
Richard Kaganzi, 25, a student of IUIU Kampala Campus admits
that though health reasons were a priority as he went for circumcision, he also
had his mind on the sexual advantages that he knew come with circumcision.
“Before circumcision, I would experience itches and pain on
the glans (rounded head of the penis) during and after sex. Probably because it
is ‘hidden’ under the sheath and only comes out during sex, the tip could
redden but after [circumcision], I no longer experience the pain,” he says.
He adds that removal of the sheath creates a more “intimate
and close physical contact with the female genitalia during an intercourse,
making sex more enjoyable.” Dr Ian Clarke, the proprietor of International
Hospital Kampala, which is running a circumcision drive, says circumcision and
sex drive are not necessarily related.
 “Sex drive is all
about hormones and other mechanisms in the body; circumcision is just a small
piece of skin removed from the penis and cannot affect sex drive,” Dr Clarke
says. He adds that from a medical perspective, it is unproven that circumcision
affects erectile function.
Noting that he was not aware of circumcision increasing sex
drive, Dr James Sekajugo, a Principal Medical Officer at the Ministry of
Health, however says such talk should be considered as “communities that
practice circumcision are experiencing a notable increase in population”. He
added that circumcision becomes more effective especially in relation to
communicable diseases like Aids when carried out during childhood.
Dr Vincent Karuhanga of Friends Poly Clinic notes that
circumcision affects the “five levels of a sexual cycle” of desire, erection,
peak, ejaculation and resolution.
“Reaching the peak depends on how sensitive one’s glans is and how much
excitement it is causing. Circumcision reduces such sensitivity,” Dr Karuhanga
says.
Dr Karuhanga adds that circumcised men take longer to reach
the resolution stage, after ejaculation, where no erections are expected to
occur. However, Dr Karuhanga warns that talk on circumcision is scientific
conjecture as no conclusive research has established the relationship between
circumcision and sex. Removing much of the sensitive nerves in the circumcision
process can lead to loss of libido and sex drive, Dr Karuhanga warns.
Temucin Senkul, a urologist and researcher, writing in the
2004 edition of the US-based medical journal Adult Urology, a publication of
the American Urological Association, argues that circumcised men take longer to
reach ejaculation, a scenario blamed on circumcision reducing penis sensitivity
as sensitive penis tissues are destroyed during circumcision.
However, medical experts warn that circumcision should not
be interpreted as a cure for premature ejaculation. Dr Karuhanga notes that
pre-mature ejaculation depends more on hormones and is more prominent in men
under 40.
Dr Karuhanga says: “You cannot feel anything when you
masturbate a circumcised manhood.”
He also suggests that circumcision may affect erectile function as the
sensitive glans that leads to erections is removed during circumcision. Marvel
Williamson, writing in the Journal of Sex Education and Therapy, notes that
women prefer circumcised men for sexual activities like felatio, manual
stimulation and visual appeal.
Williamson also established that a circumcised penis is more
sexually appealing because “it tastes, smells and looks more appealing.”
Proponents of circumcision also beat the hygiene drum as lacking in
uncircumcised men. The coronal ring of a circumcised penis is constantly
exposed to air, which prevents accumulation of bad odours and secretions.
Vindicating earlier research studies, Dr Sekajugo agrees
that circumcision reduces transmission of STD’s especially HIV/Aids by 60 per
cent.Balanitis, an inflammation of the glans, can also be prevented by
circumcision
Dr Jonathan Wright, a researcher from the Hutchinson Center
of Public Health, established that men who had been circumcised before their
first sexual encounter had a 15 per cent reduced chance of developing prostate
cancer compared to those who are uncircumcised.
It has also been argued that circumcision thickens the inner
foreskin, which is otherwise prone to minor injuries.

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