Monday, September 13, 2010

The Uncircumcised Penis: Often Overlooked in Historical and Paranormal Romance and Erotica

People don’t like unpleasant thoughts or visuals in their romance and erotica stories.

Most often nothing is mentioned about using the restroom or even the simple act of cleaning up sticky messes after a wild sex romp.

Nor do you see anything mentioned about unshaven legs (when did this become a common practice for women), unpleasant body odors (bathing everyday was not exactly a common thing in centuries past), or the glaring omission of a male body part…well part of one anyone.

The uncircumcised penis. That little piece of foreskin is often left out of historical romantic fiction and erotica even thought it would be historically accurate to include it.

Consider that circumcision for non-Jews did not become popular until the Victorian era.

Before the early 1900’s it was not common for a non-Jewish male In Europe, Canada or the US to be circumcised.

Not only is this little tidbit overlooked in historical fiction it is also overlooked in paranormal fiction, especially vampire romance and erotica.

So you’ve got a vampire who is a couple hundred years old, he’s not Jewish. But he’s circumcised? How’d that happen? Did he get snipped in modern times after becoming a vampire? Wouldn’t the foreskin have grown back considering in much of vampire fiction things heal and regenerate (example: Jessica on True Blood, the forever virgin no matter how many times she has sex)?

It’s something to ponder.

Yes, I know it’s an odd topic but it just popped into my head.

I just realized that I rarely see anything mentioned about uncircumcised penile foreskin in the books I read. I think I have read two historical/vampire books that actually mentioned it. That probably equals out to being like .001% of all the historical and paranormal fiction that I’ve read.

So why do writers who go to painstaking details to make sure everything is historical accurate often overlook this?

Maybe because no one cares.

Or maybe because many don’t even think of it.

I am a non-Jewish woman in the US. I’ve never even seen an uncircumcised penis except for in photos. So I rarely think about it, today being the exception to this rule.

I know when I’m writing a steamy sex scene and imagining a guy with a nice package, I’m not picturing anything other than what I’m used to because frankly since I have no experience with an uncircumcised cock I have no way to describe it- and I don’t think my husband would appreciate it if I went out and tried to get firsthand knowledge on the topic either. :-)

So romance and erotica authors out there, what do you think?

Have you ever pondered this topic?

Do you include foreskin or have you completely overlooked this tidbit of fleshy historical data?

I would love to hear thoughts and input on this topic.


Yllektra said...

This is actually a very good question. I live in Greece and Greek men don't get circumcised.. It is not in our religious practices to do so, so it seems weird for me every time I read a sex scene without any mention of that.
I mean especially in the beginning circumcision was exclusive to Jews, so I am not sure how everyone ignores that! lol

Ariel Tachna said...

I agree with Yllektra. Even in modern times, if the character is not American, chances are he isn't circumcised.

As a writer, I try to remember when and where my characters were born, and I've actually had people comment on the fact that I have included reference to the foreskin in my sex scenes, especially the historical and paranormal ones. My husband was not born in the US, so it is what I'm used to, which probably helps. I actually know what I'm describing. That said, I'd like to think I would have remembered and included it anyway.

Roxanne Rhoads said...

I'll have to read your work Ariel I'd love to see how certain things are described (for research purposes only of course :-)

Roxanne Rhoads said...

Yllektra I read somewhere before that Greek men aren't circumcised- interesting bit of intel that I had forgotten.

I'll have to remember that in the future just in case I ever have a Greek character that I'm writing.

Margaret West said...

I've never really thought about this topic. But it has made me smile reading about it lol

Pat Brown said...

I have on occasion had men uncircumcised. Interestingly enough, one of the first men I had sex with wasn't circumcised, so I guess I didn't realize how uncommon it was. I also ran into it a lot in gay porn as being desirable, so I put it in my stories.

But it is a darn good question and no, I never consciously thought about it.

lulilut said...

I've seen this topic, to cut or not, turn into a flamewar on several websites. It's almost a cliché now. I wonder what would happen if an author didn't leave it up to our imagination.

Berengaria Brown said...

Hi everyone
I've had *cough* hands-on experiences with both kinds of cock and I use both in my books, simply for variety. I tend to write MMF menage and one of each is fun. For non-Jewish characters born in Europe, I agree that circumcised cocks are quite wrong.
They also offer extra games to play and a deeper sensation.
Berengaria Brown

Leigh M. Lane said...

Interesting speculation, Roxanne. I don't typically spend too much time describing body parts, and I have to say I really never considered mentioning circumcision or lack thereof in any of those vague descriptions. I can see where it might be important to the credibility of one's mythos, and it's definitely good food for thought.

Rikvahl said...

I have a somewhat unique view on this subject - I own one! An uncisrcumcised one that is! It goes further (not the length of it - average and adequate for the purpose!) but my knowledge as a medic in a past life. I have seen my fair (and dark!) share of them and I will tell you it varies by region of the world, and age.
For instance the 60s wisdom of cancer and hygiene caused a hysteria of doctors pushing every male child's mother to be pushed to get it cut. Now a different more balanced wisdom prevails. There are certain medical reasons for some. Were you aware Muslims also practice circumcision slightly different from Jewish - so much for the Greeks representing the majority in the Middle East! As for the ladies that experience the different "it," some are fascinated, some like it, some don't know what to do with it - but all move on and soon forget about the difference. I will tell you this - either way it works exactly the same.

Madeleine Drake said...

Fantastic blog, Roxanne! I'm going to be grinning for the rest of the day. And I'm definitely going to have to include a mention of Rihat's foreskin in the next story I write about him. :)

But yes, you're right, most men throughout history wouldn't have been snipped. I've read that the Victorians started doing it as a way of discouraging masturbation in male children...I bet it was zero percent effective.

I just bought "A Halloween to Remember." I can hardly wait to read it!

Roxanne Rhoads said...

Madeleine thanks for buying A Halloween to Remember, I do hope you enjoy. It was a fun one to write- a little heavier on the erotic than the romance though in the end it is still a romance but definitely has a lot more sex than in many of my books.

Rikvahl thanks for an "experienced" point of view. I like that you say no matter what they work the same :-) I don't think more truer words could be spoken.

I did read that some Muslims practice circumcision I just wasn't sure if the source was accurate so I didn't mention it.

I also have since read that the Greeks consider it to be mutilation.

It is definitely an interesting topic for an erotica writer to ponder.

Thanks for all the input and discussion.

Gianna Bruno said...

Great topic, Roxanne. Like most posters here, I have never had sex with an uncircumcised man and have no clue so I never considered writing this into a scene. Never even thought of it.

Like many others' my husband wouldn't take kindly to field research on this topic.

I do recall hearing from others that there is a sensation of a pop when the foreskin retracts, and both partners find that pleasurable. I have also heard that an uncircumsised penis is more sensitive.

But everyone agrees that once things get going, it doesn't matter.

I've read some of John Updike's work and I surmise he was uncircumcised since he does mention it in either the Widows of Eastwick or the Witches of Eastwick. One of the gals is reminiscing about oral sex with one guy who is and one who isn't (not at the same time) and the adjective velvet softness or something like that was used.

Now I'm really interested in this and am going to continue "academic" research.

Let's see if I can work up the courage to ask one of my male crit partners for input. A mite personal, even for an erotic writer.