Australian hospitals, please stop covering up the forced cutting of our penises

Dear Australian hospitals,

Please respect the bodily integrity of our baby boys. Boys do not need to be surgically altered when they are born, and when this happens, please do not attempt to cover it up:

Sydney Children’s Hospital Foundation attempts to hide the truth on circumcision.

Medical associations recommend traction devices for treatment of Peyronie’s disease

If you have noticed a bend or curve in your penis that has not always been present you may be suffering from Peyronie’s disease.

Bent road sign representing peyronie's diseaseCommon estimates on the prevalence of the condition range between 1% and 5% of men above the age of 50. Like with many other conditions relating to male genitals the true rate is unknown as many men are too embarrassed to seek help.

Peyronie’s is caused by fibrous lumps, technically known as plaques, that form internally on one side of the penis. Upon erection, this plaque stops the penis from extending to its full length on that side and therefore pulls the penis to that side. While the common result is a bend, the plaque can also cause other deformities such as bulging or depressions.

While medical experts debate the cause, anecdotal evidence suggests that it is most often caused by some sort of injury, with online Peyronie’s disease forums forums filled with stories of men developing the condition a few weeks after hearing an audible popping sound during a rough sexual experience. The theory is that the injury causes an auto-immune response from the body which creates the plaque at the site of the injury.

The Melbourne Bladder Clinic suggests that injecting repeatedly into the same site for erectile dysfunction treatment may also increase the risk in developing Peyronie’s.

While those with mild symptoms may be able to function normally, most with Peyronie’s will experience some adverse such as discomfort, pain and sexual dysfunction. Given that some research suggests that only 13% of men with the condition experienced a full recovery with no intervention, many men will put their embarrassment aside and seek some form of treatment.

Treatment options can be classified into three categories, being surgical, medicines (topical and oral) and stretching.

Surgical

Like for most surgery on our genitals, we at Aussie Penis believe that surgery should be the treatment of last resort. Among other side effects, the most alarming side effect from one of the surgical options called the the Nesbit’s procedure is shortening of the penis. And although we know we shouldn’t really care about penis size, I’m sure there are few of us who would want to make our penis shorter. Unless you are like Keith on this episode of Embarrassing Bodies, who opted for the penis-shortening Nesbit’s surgical procedure to treat his Peyronie’s, but had more than enough length to begin with.

Other surgical options are explored in this information sheet by Queensland urologist Dr Peter Campbell.

Topical and Oral Medicines

These are generally thought to be the least effective treatment. But given that they are the least invasive treatment and there is some evidence that they can at least improve, if not cure, the condition, some sufferers opt for this treatment. See this page for information on the effectiveness of topical and oral medicines.

Stretching

Stretching the penis over as period of time (usually at least months) has been shown to increase the length of the penis. Traction devices such as this one have been used by men for many years to successfully increase the length of their penis. Recently, the medical community has adopted this for the treatment of Peyronie’s disease.

The following is from Better Health Victoria, which was written in consultation with the Urological Society of Australia and New Zealand:

Penile traction device – this has proved useful, along with medical therapy, to lengthen the penis and reduce the curve in the erect state. Studies have also shown that use of a penile traction device may increase penile width, suggesting a benefit in the management of Peyronie’s disease. It has also been used pre- and post-surgery to prevent penile shortening.

Men’s Health Melbourne have even started offering traction devices as part of their treatment services for Peyronie’s disease.

For those looking to buy a device online, water based pumps are also an option with Penomet being a popular option for men with a curvature of 20% or less.

While some doctors and medical associations are open to recommending traction devices for the treatment of Peyronie’s disease, others are a little more hesitant, suggesting that most men do not have the dedication or patience to wear a device every day over the course of months, even though thousands of men have been able to do this with similar devices for the purposes of penis growth and foreskin restoration.

I know that if I am ever unlucky enough to ever suffer from the condition I would certainly be willing to try the traction device treatment before resorting to the more invasive surgical options.

And I won’t be too concerned I manage to grow some extra length as a side-effect.

 

Image courtesy of nuttakit at FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Australian websites jump on the penis dunking and penis beaker craze

Australian online news sites have recently been abuzz with reports on the previously unknown post-coital act of what has been coined ‘penis dunking’ with a newly defined object now named the ‘penis beaker’.

I think I’ve given enough information for those with even a limited imagination to understand the concept, even though it seems none of us actually do it.

But for those who need a little help to put the picture together, here is some text from the original post on a site called mumsnet:

“We have a dedicated post-sex clean-up area on the bedside table. A box of tissues, a small bin, and a beaker of clean water for temporary cleaning/dunking while the bathroom is occupied by me. Apparently our penis beaker is strange and not the done thing. Does everyone else just lay there in a sticky post coital glow until morning? Really?”

The answer to the question posed in the last sentence, judging from the comments on the post, appears to be ‘yes’. While there were different variations on cleaning up involving showering, bides or plain old wiping, no comments confirmed the same routine.

So this latest ‘craze’ is not is not for the act of ‘penis dunking’ or the ‘penis beaker’ itself, which has now been confirmed as being performed by only one man worldwide. Rather, the craze is in the reporting of it.

Firstly there was a news.com.au article on October 11 titled “Query about ‘penis dunking’ goes viral on UK website Mumsnet”. Then today the Sydney Morning Herald picked up the story with their article “Why we can’t help wondering about other people’s sex lives“.  Curiously, this article links through to the news.com.au article rather than the Mumsnet post, perhaps revealling where they got their inspiration for the piece. We recently saw a similar pattern of copying penis related articles when news.com.au reported on foreskin restoration, not long after a similar article on a UK online news site.

And yes, we are also guilty, and probably more so by reporting on the reporting of the penis dunking/beaker phenomenon. But we are simply fascinated that the unique routine of one man, when each of us probably have a unique penis related routine, could cause such a stir.

One serious question we wanted to explore though was whether there was any benefit to washing one’s penis after sex. The results of some quick research were surprising.

We found that a study, presented at a HIV conference in Sydney, has shown that washing the penis immediately after sex actually increases the risk of contracting HIV, at least among uncircumcised (intact) men. The study states “there ought to be a little time left for postcoital cuddling before you go and wash”. Sounds familiar? Perhaps written by a woman with another agenda?

The only other guidance we could find suggested that washing your hands immediately after sex could reduce the risk of contracting sexually transmitted diseases. We could find no further recommendations on washing genitalia.

So it seems that there is no compelling reason for the ‘penis dunking’ into the ‘penis beaker’. Even if there was evidence to suggest it reduced the risk of STD infection, apparently the partaker is in a monogomous relationship with his wife. So it appears that the act is done purely for personal preference, to which we say, good on him.

 

 

Bonds: not very very comfy undies

One of my pet hates is false advertising. I once considered complaining to the ACCC about Woolworth’s ‘fresh food’ claim when I realised that green bananas and rock hard pears are technically fresh off the trees. But can’t they just leave them on the trees a little longer? When I am shopping how am I supposed to know if I’ll feel like a banana next week?

One legitimate claim I may have though is Bonds’ claim of ‘comfy undies’. They have been using this tag for years but I have never heard them acutally back up why they claim that their underwear is comfortable. Is this just ‘puffery’? (See, I did remember something from Law 101). What makes them so comfortable? They can parade Patrick Rafter around in their underwear as much as they like but I think that Australian men deserve some specifics.

So here are some specifics on why I think they are uncomfortable. Firstly, they are too tight around my testicles. Now I don’t have particularly large balls, but even for me the undies pull them up into my body. This can even be painful when sitting or lying in certain positions. Even worse is the fact that it is now commonly understood that this increases the tempeture which can have a negative affect on fertility.

Secondly, while being too tight around the testicles I find them too loose around the penis. Unfortunately I was a victim of forced circumcision as an infant, and as a result my glans (head), which should naturally be mostly an internal organ, is constantly exposed to annoying friction with underwear. If this part of the underwear is loose, my glans are allowed to move around too much causing a great deal of irritation.

So in my opinion, Bonds have it back to front – their men’s underwear is too tight down low and too loose up high.

I should admit that I actually wear bonds underwear. But here is what I need to do to actually make them comfortable. I buy them, and like a good cellar wine, I put them away for at least 3 years. In this time, the cotton seems to become more relaxed, and makes them just right around the scrotum. Unfortunately they also become looser around the penis. But as I can now cover my glans with my foreskin remnant following an almost complete foreskin restoration this is now less of an issue.

So as a repeat customer, i don’t think my complaint to the ACCC would stand up. I would like to understand if Bonds actually did any market research into what Australian men actually want from their underwear. Bonds – if you do decide to actually do some research please let me know and I’ll be happy to tell you more.