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How Circumcision Affects Your Sex Life (Or Doesn't)

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Although porn would lead us to believe that the only sexy penises are ones with the foreskins removed, a new study finds that circumcision (or lack thereof) has little impact on your sex life (although sex with a circumcised guy is different than sex with an unsnipped dude).

Researchers at Queen's University surveyed 196 people with male sexual partners and found that the majority were "very satisfied" with their partners' circumcision status and wouldn't change it—in spite of their reported preferences. According to the study, whether a man has or doesn't have a foreskin doesn't affect his ability to arouse his partner, give her an orgasm, or bring her sexual satisfaction.

The study also found that men and women have different viewpoints on circumcision. While the women surveyed expressed a slight preference for circumcision (believing circumcised penises to be more hygienic and more attractive), the men surveyed had a strong preference for uncircumcised penises. This is perhaps related to the fact that the foreskin has more "fine-touch neuroreceptors," according to researchers from Korea, and is therefore more sensitive and responsive to light touch.

And know this: Despite expressing a preference for circumcised men, women with uncircumcised partners reported higher levels of sexual satisfaction—though whether the difference in satisfaction levels is statistically significant is unclear, says the study's lead author Jennifer Bossio. This is not particularly surprising. Although there's no real answer on how circumcision affects female pleasure, a Danish study published in the International Journal of Epidemiology found that women with circumcised partners are more likely to experience sexual pain than women with uncircumcised partners. According to Darius Paduch, M.D., Ph.D., a urologist and male sexual medicine specialist at New York-Presbyterian/Weill Cornell Medical Center, this could be because uncircumcised penises have a glossier, more velvety feel—and so women who don't lubricate well could feel less discomfort with guy who's uncut. (Is Your Guy Normal When It Comes to Sex?)

Bottom line: Even if you like the porn star look, an intact penis isn't going to be a dealbreaker.

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