RSS Feed (xml)

Powered By

Skin Design:
Free Blogger Skins

Powered by Blogger

Monday, September 22, 2014

Facing the knife is macho

Dennis D. Muhumuza shares why circumcision is manly and not for the fainthearted.

Don’t be deceived; circumcision remains a macho thing regardless of where it is done. Some say that only cowards go to hospital and real men face the crude-looking traditional knife as used live among the Bagisu. But as I found out on August 19, and in the three weeks of throbbing pain and discomfort that followed, even medical circumcision is not for the fainthearted.

A wooden phallus showing the beauty of a circumcised penis
On that day, which coincided with this year’s imbalu season, I woke up with excitement as I was finally going to do something I’ve wanted to do for a long time—the removal of my foreskin. I was also apprehensive in case the procedure went horribly wrong like the case of a man whose tip of the penis got severed off!

But the doctor who welcomed me that morning allayed my fears saying the circumcisers were experienced experts who had no record of messing up. He held a wooden phallus depicting the beauty of a circumcised male organ. He articulated the rewards of circumcision: it being a HIV/Aids preventive measure, hygienic benefits and better sex. He was so convincing that had he pulled out a knife then I would have faced it without anaesthesia.

Next, I was counselled and HIV-tested by a doctor who asked me to be honest and tell him how many times I have had sex this year, and whether I used a condom. The way he talked you would think I’m a sex machine with unrivalled notoriety for hanky-panky.

After that, I was shown into a small room to remove my clothes and wear a circumcision gown. Therein, I found a plus size boy of about 12 who looked dead-frightened and asked me in a shivering voice if I thought it would hurt. Obviously he had been dragged to face the knife.

I was moments later stunned to discover that the physician who was going to circumcise me was not only female but also a ravishing beauty. My eyes quickly run to her fingers looking for a wedding ring. Alas! her hands were gloved. She looked me in the eye and ordered me with professional authority to lie on my back on the operating table. I lay there in utter surrender, spread my legs and closed my eyes praying that her first touch would not make my body react. “I’m going to anaesthetise you and it won’t hurt thereafter,” she said tenderly, like a mother to her beloved child.

Three times I felt dizzying pricks of injection at the base of my sexual organ and wanted to yelp like a little girl. But I remembered a Mugisu young man somewhere who as the traditional knife descends sharply on his foreskin is not expected to wince no matter the pain. What I was facing in the hospital paled in comparison, and that helped me to face my trial with courage.

The procedure took about 20 minutes. I was then ushered into another room where a doctor advised me to clean my member with salty water twice everyday and to let the stitches come out of their own accord. I was also strongly warned against having sex before six weeks have elapsed, and to use a condom in the first six months after that.

The pain began on my way home. Ceaseless, stinging pain like red ants were mauling me beneath the bandages. For the next fortnight, I could not walk. And I could not sleep. It would get worse while passing urine. The morning erections brought unbearable pain too. I was swollen. In panic, I called one of my doctor friends, who brought me some liquid with which to cleanse the wound and powdered antidote to apply thereafter. This really helped. At the end of the third week, I began wearing trousers again and going about my business without pain.

Today I’m glad it’s all over. The three-week discomfort and pain helped me to rediscover my ability to endure. I feel better, cleaner and stronger. Circumcision regardless of where it’s done is truly a rite of passage that turns big boys into real men.

--Sunday Monitor, September 21, 2014