Everybody loves an incredible dick trick, especially one performed for a political cause. That's just what Glen Callender, the founder of the Canadian Foreskin Awareness Project (CAN-FAP!) presented over San Francisco Pride weekend at Civic Center.
In case you missed it, Callender was the guy dressed in a white lab coat guiding groups of UN Plaza passers-by inside his foreskin demonstration booth, a white tent adorned with red and white Canadian flags and a banner declaring "Foreskin is Fabulous!"
In the tent, groups of 20 people watched as Callender disrobed and exposed his "I <3 My Foreskin!" t-shirt and uncut dick. Callender then demonstrated the natural grape-carrying capacity of his foreskin by unloading guess how many red seedless grapes from his flap? Finally, he displayed the difference between cleaning a circumcised and uncircumcised penis, showing that it's not that difficult.
Both hilarious and informative, the show provided more than exhibitionism and penis puppetry. A comedian from Vancouver BC, Callender has been displaying his foreskin to Canadians for a year. But he specifically brought his one-man act to SF to sway voters to support the city's anti-infant circumcision ballot initiative. "No one should vote on the ballot initiative who hasn't seen a foreskin in action," CAN-FAP's press release stated.
Like the Bay Area Intactivists, who aptly had a booth stationed next to CAN-FAP, Callender is anti-infant circumcision and believes that promoting foreskin awareness will help create converts and legislative action against the tradition. "I feel like I won the stupidest lottery in the history of the universe by escaping the early 1970s with my foreskin when most boys at that time were cut," Callender told SF Weekly.
Callender shared his foreskin love with an estimated 225 people over the weekend. The CAN-FAP banner has since become viral on Reddit.
SF Weekly caught up with the penis puppeteer via email to talk more about foreskin and the anti-infant circumcision issue.
First off, why did you decide to bring your foreskin demonstration to Pride specifically?
The Pride crowd is generally very open-minded, sex-positive, and progressive. Also, queer men interact with penises other than their own, so most of them are keenly aware that men with foreskin enjoy sex more.
How does foreskin affect intercourse?
Circumcision removes more than half of the penis's nerves, and all of the most sensitive
fine-touch nerves. It makes a huge difference to a man's sex life. Many American women experience pain and soreness during sex and are diagnosed with a 'lack of vaginal moisture', when the real problem is that their man is circumcised and the unnaturally dry and rough surfaces of his penis are chafing her.
The mucous membranes of the penis and vagina normally lubricate each other during sex, ensuring a smooth and pleasurable experience for both partners. However, when a penis is circumcised most of its mucous membrane is removed and the head of the penis builds up a layer of scar tissue to protect it from the elements, making it harder and more abrasive. As a result, the toughened circumcised penis tends to chafe the delicate mucous membranes of the vagina.
If circumcision has so many adverse affects why has it been performed for so long?
In modern times, circumcision was introduced by Victorian doctors who wanted to stop boys from masturbating and stop men from committing adultery and going to prostitutes. The theory was to leave a man with the bare minimum amount of penis that would still be functional for procreation, thus trimming away all the excess lust that a fine upstanding Victorian man had no use for. Since then the rationale for cutting boys has changed with each generation. Circumcision has always been a cure in search of a disease.
What about choice? You may have heard that religious groups have filed a lawsuit to remove San Francisco's proposed circumcision ban from the ballot. Given that circumcision has been practiced by some traditions for a thousand years, what do you say to the religious freedom argument for infant circumcision?
Everyone has the right to choose their religion and decide which traditions they wish to follow, and we all know that children do not necessarily adopt the beliefs of their parents, so ritual amputations such as circumcision should be delayed until adulthood when the owner of the body in question can give informed consent.
To be clear, everybody has the right to be circumcised, and everybody has the right not to be circumcised. The way to protect both of these rights is to ensure that adults can modify their bodies as they see fit, and ensure that children can't have circumcision forced upon them. A boy's foreskin doesn't belong to God, the government, or his parents--it belongs to him. Therefore, it should be his decision.
People may wonder why, out of all the fucked-up shit happening in our world, you might choose circumcision as your cause célèbre.
The truth is that the genital mutilation of children IS one of the most fucked-up things happening in our world. I think that most people who watch a video of a baby being circumcised would agree that this is absolutely immoral, yet it happens to 3000 baby boys a day, every day in the United States.
Once upon a time, Americans thought abuses such as slavery and the execution of 'witches' and queers were acceptable. I am confident that when Americans take a hard, honest look at infant circumcision they'll realize that it is also an abusive institution, and enact legislation that ensures that all children are protected from genital mutilation.
What do you see in the infant circumcision debate's future?
I know I'm going to live to see the largest class action suit in history. When circumcised American men become better educated about the harm of circumcision, millions will sue the doctors who cut them. The American Academy of Pediatrics confirmed in 1971 that there is no medical reason to circumcise a healthy baby boy, and there could be no greater malpractice than to take perfectly healthy children and subject them to an unnecessary amputation.