The first time I saw an uncircumcised penis, I was flabbergasted. It was in my study abroad apartment in Barcelona, and I was about to deflower a tall, dark, and handsome Spanish man. Knowing he wasn’t Jewish and that circumcision isn’t popular in Europe, I had braced myself for it, but nothing could prepare me for his foreign penis. It looked like it was stuffed inside of a stocking and my libido was having none of it. Luckily, the sex was over within seconds and we both left the escapade with a new experience under our belts. He was no longer a virgin, and I was no longer a stranger to the elusive uncircumcised penis.

As a Jewess who tends to date Jewish men, I rarely run into foreskin. Although the procedure is declining in the States, 81% of American men are circumcised. The odds of a gal like me running into an uncut penis are very low, so it can be a jarring experience because of a lack of familiarity. I talked to a handful of Jewish women to hear what their first time was like. Unsurprisingly, they sounded a lot like mine:

Michelle, 23

“I assumed all guys are circumcised, and when I saw that his wasn’t I honestly didn’t want to have sex with him. I thought it was weird how the extra skin goes up and down with movement, and I felt like it was less clean. So, I told him I wouldn’t give him a blow job but we did have sex. Once we put on a condom, it was fine.”

Lily, 18

“So the dude pulls it out, and I was like ‘What’s uh…. What’s up with that?’ And he was like, ‘What do you mean, the foreskin?’ I said, ‘Yeah, why do you still have it?’ Which led to a whole conversation. I explained to him what a bris is, and he got sort of offended. I personally am not a big fan of uncircumcised penises because the ones I was with weren’t kept very clean.”

Alison, 23

“I always say it looks like it’s in a sock or an umbrella case. The first time I saw one I asked if I’d feel the extra skin, which I didn’t. I wasn’t grossed out, but I heard so many horror stories about some guys who don’t clean them and that they can get really dirty. I get UTIs and yeast infections very easily, so I was scared. But, as long as it’s kept clean it’s totally fine! For some of my friends in their mid 30s, not being circumcised is a complete deal breaker. I think it’s interesting because when you pull all the extra skin down and take a picture of it, you would never be able to tell if it was uncircumcised.”

Miranda, 26

“I was like, WTF is this? It’s in a sleeping bag? I was so nervous because it was all new to me. I had to pull the skin back for the head to come out… it felt like a puzzle! It’s not that bad once you try it, and I think there’s a stigma for Jewish girls because we were raised only knowing circumcised penises. Like, it’s all we’ve been accustomed to. It’s Jewish gossip to be like, ‘Oh, uncircumcised dicks are nasty and unclean’ but that’s not true at all.”

Jenna, 23

“Actually, the first penis I saw in real life was uncircumcised. It only looks gross and different when it’s flaccid. I think a lot of the stigma comes from porn because a flaccid, uncircumcised penis doesn’t look like the typical hard penis we see on PornHub.”

Rachel, 25

“It was really alarming and I wasn’t expecting to have to know what to do with the foreskin. I was like, ‘WTF? Who are you? Get the fuck out of my way!’ And the skin just kept getting in the way, so I was like ‘You know what? Fuck it. Call me when you get this removed.’”

Emily, 21

“The first time I saw one I was really underwhelmed. Everyone had talked about how gross they were and I didn’t think it was that bad. I didn’t even really notice the extra skin because he was clean. The second time I saw one was literally disgusting. When I pulled back the skin, it was crusty and smelled gross. It reminded me of the back of my earrings when they smell really weird. That’s when I finally understood why some girls are so freaked out by uncircumcised penises.”

Toby, 21

“I felt really bad for the guy, but when I saw it, I thought it looked funny and I couldn’t stop laughing for a solid 10 minutes. We never ended up having sex because I’m pretty sure my laughter killed his boner.”

Arielle Kaplan

Arielle Kaplan is an Editorial Fellow at Alma.

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