Sharing Experiences

Chinese families do not practice circumcision. At least, that was what I thought when I was a little child. However, if you were born in the United States in the 60s, it was almost mandatory!

  My family immigrated from Hong Kong to the US in 1961; the same year that I was born, and which the circumcision rate in the US for that year was 95%. My parents never explained to me about my circumcision. However, I remember from several incidents, at a very young age, that made me aware that I was "different",and "something" was done to my penis.

  My earliest recollection was about 4 year-old and seeing my fatherīs penis. He was born in the country-sides of China and is uncircumcised. I remember see this dark hairy root, much like an old rotten carrot. Another incident was when my aunt’s family first arrived to the US, also immigrated from Hong Kong six years after us. My mother was so proud to be the first to come to America, and just became a citizen.

  She was about to showing her sister all she knew about the American way of life. She explained that American boys are different- they are all circumcised. She made me pull off my pant to show her my penis. I remember my auntīs expression of disgust that made me feel something was wrong." Her son, my cousin Stan, who is 6-months younger than me, was born in Hong Kong, and was not circumcised. Growing up together, Stan and I were constantly being compared by the two families, and my competitive nature added to the friendly rivalry from physical differences to academics. I attending Columbia University and he attended Stanford.

  Because of my father and Stan, I felt very self conscious in my early childhood. This quickly changed, when my brother and Stanīs brother were born. Both of them were born in 1967. My brother was circumcised, and I guess my mother talked my aunt into circumcising, this time, their "American" son.

  I remember my brother having to stay an extra day in the hospital to be circumcised, and my mother complaining about having boys and the need to paid $10 more for the circumcision. Times have changed, but circumcisions in America have not. When my son was born in 1994, in Mount Sinai Hospital New York, the price for circumcision was $600, and we had to take him home only a few hours after he was circumcised. My mother had it easy.

  The biggest break through was in junior high school; where after gym class, showers were mandatory. I got to see all my friends that I know from elementary school naked. Now, I realized that they are all circumcised like me! With only a few Asians in my school, being picked on was quite common. I remember the few who were uncircumcised, and were teased. For the first time, I understood my mother, and appreciate being circumcised. It was the my only prove that I was not just Chinese, but an American-Chinese. Circumcision is not a daily topic for discussion.

  All of my previous partners, including my wife, for the first time were surprised that I was circumcised. They all claimed that they would not have given me oral sex, if I was uncircumcised. Is this experience true with other guys? Are most Asian guys uncircumcised? Can others, especially Asians, please share their experiences? I would appreciate any thoughts and/or responses.

Write to Gene,