At first glance you could be excused for dismissing a site whose primary feature is to track the circumcised status of Australian men as a fetish site.
While expecting quite justified accusations of hypocrisy, this is exactly what we thought when we stumbled upon the site Helmet or Hoodie.
For international visitors who may not be familiar with the Australian terms, ‘helmet’ refers to the shape of the glans (or ‘head’) of the penis, which is left exposed after circumcision. Think of Darth Vader and you should immediately get the reference. ‘Hoodie’ refers to the foreskin covering the glans when the penis is left intact, and makes references to a hooded jacket which is Australia is given the same name.
The majority of the content on the site is a simply listing of celebrities with a note on their circumcised status – #hoodie for those who are known to be intact and #helmet for those who have been circumcised. Listings include actors, musicians, sportsmen, models and media personalities. Given the part of the body in question, it would appear that the site is at least a ‘curiosity’, and perhaps borders on what most would consider ‘fetish’.
But digging deeper reveals some more noble outcomes, either accidentally or perhaps intentionally from the the authors.
It is evident from the letters page that many who visit the site get reassurance about the status of their own penis, or to help them make decisions about cutting their own children. This includes men who were cut as children who can see that they are not alone, or men who were left intact who can see that their favourite celebrities are also intact, and expectant parents who can discover that the majority of younger Australian celebrities are intact.
Whatever the reason for visiting, the site is resulting in people becoming more informed, and for Australian men, more confident about their own genitalia.
The FAQ page at Helmet or Hoodie states that they are not a fetish site, and we agree.
Image courtesy of siraphat at FreeDigitalPhotos.net