Men, if you are embarrassed, angry, or just generally unhappy with the fact that your parents had you circumcised without your permission, there’s hope: You CAN regrow your foreskin.
That’s what author Jess Swanson reveals in the Broward-Palm Beach edition of New Times. Her in-depth article covers interviews with various South Florida men about the movement, the history behind circumcision, the new restoration movement, and how it’s done.
Wayne Griffiths is considered the founding father of the modern restoration movement. As Swanson writes:
He used stainless-steel balls of his own design to stretch his skin in the 1980s and went on to found the National Organization for Restoring Men (NORM) in 1990. It is a support group for those considering or in the process of restoration. The first meeting, which was advertised in the San Francisco Chronicle as “providing information and help,” drew 25 men to a small apartment. “Gay men, straight men, we were free and open and talking about penises,” recalls Griffiths, now 85 and living in northern California.
NORM was wildly successful. … Many [men] use internet forums that grant anonymity, according to Griffiths. Small discussion groups on Yahoo! and MSN eventually led to sites such as restoringforeskin.org and foreskin-restoration.net.
There is a medical option for restoration, where skin is moved a few inches during an operation. “The patient takes anti-testosterone medications to halt erections for three months, until a follow-up operation completes the job,” Swanson reports. This procedure costs roughly $8,000 and is considered cosmetic surgery, so you can’t get your insurance to pay for it.
A slower and cheaper method requires a restoration device that you hook onto the skin behind your penis head. One such device is called the TLC Tugger (pictured below), another is the Dual Tension Restorer (main image above). These stretch skin gradually, much in the same way that earlobes are stretched to become longer for gauges. (Dermatologists use a similar technique to regenerate skin for burn victims.) Most of these devices are small enough that you can wear them under your pants in public and no one will know you’re stretching your schlong skin.
According to the men in the article, it doesn’t hurt but can be uncomfortable, and it does take a long time — specialists recommend two hours a day, and for some guys it can take more than a year to achieve the desired foreskin length. For others, these manual techniques don’t really work so they have to choose an operation if they’re really serious about getting their skin back.
Looks aside, there’s no guarantee you’ll have more feeling in your fun stick, though some claim they do.
Circumcision in western cultures began mostly among Jewish people due to biblical teachings. It caught on among Americans of all faiths during the Victorian era, when Dr. John Kellogg (of Corn Flakes fame) claimed it could stop childhood masturbation. A circumcised penis was eventually believed to be more hygienic than a non-circumcised one, and the lack of foreskin allegedly reduced the chances of catching sexually transmitted diseases. So, by the late 1970s about 80% of men born in the U.S. were getting their turtle tamed. Those beliefs waned, some men argued against the procedure, and that number decreased; while only 55 percent of male newborns were circumcised in 2007, the debate goes on as to whether or not the benefits outweigh the physical or emotional cost.
To learn more about the men in this movement, read the full New Times article.