Arts & Culture » Culture

Is he cut or not?

Q: How can you tell if a man is circumcised?

A: While he has his clothing on, only by asking. If he is an Arab or a Jew, then it's a fairly good guess that he is, since circumcision is both a cultural and religious practice for both. When he has his clothing off, it's much easier to tell when he is flaccid. An erect penis, cut or not, looks much like all other erect penises. So if you're lucky enough to have a man spring to attention in your company and stay that way until the action is over, you might not ever know. As for the visuals — if the flaccid penis looks like an arrow or a rocket, with a shaft and a distinct bulbous head, he is circumcised. If it looks like an anteater, with a shaft that tapers to a point with folds of skin either visible or flapping, he is uncircumcised. I'm so glad you didn't ask which is better or which do women prefer since I wouldn't touch that one with any length pole, tapered or with a knob.

Q: Last weekend I had a dinner party at my house and I invited this guy who I knew liked me. We all got very drunk and he ended up staying after everyone else left. I was so drunk I can hardly recall the details, but we ended up in bed. So far, so good, so what ... but at some point he tried to have anal sex with me. I think I said yes at first. Then it hurt, so I said no. Finally we did have anal sex which ended up not being uncomfortable at all. That’s about as much as I remember. Next morning he tells me I told him in the most graphic way possible that I got angry because we were having anal sex and that later I couldn’t even tell if he was inside me or not. He didn’t make me feel bad or anything, but I couldn’t believe I’d said that. So, we had sex again, and it was great. Then I saw him again that night and went home with him and we had anal sex again. Quite nice, no problem, but then following day all he wanted to do was have anal sex; that time it hurt so I said "No, let’s have normal sex." We moved to the bed and he lost his erection and felt like he was some sort of sadist or pervert, but I couldn’t care less. He was having a brunch that day with all his friends and his family and paid no attention to me at all the rest of the day. So, dressed in his clothes, I left, and said I’d send his clothes. I want to see him again but he didn’t even ask for my number, though we have lots of friends in common. Should I send him his clothes? I don’t want him going around saying that on top of everything else I kept his clothes. Maybe I should just burn them? Is there anyway I can clear up this mess and not have him think that I am sex-starved and desperate? Or should I just forget about it?

A: There is no "should" here except to stay sober in the future. Safe sex is not only about using condoms (of which I hear no mention), but is also about keeping your reputation and heart intact as well. What if you phoned or e-mailed him saying you'd like to get together for a drink and to return his clothes? Yes, it sounds like you're possibly interested in another sexual go-round but that's a far cry from sounding sex-starved or desperate. He will either be interested in getting his clothing back and seeing you again or he won't be. In any case, you've lost nothing by making the effort. By the way, anal sex is not only real and normal sex for many people, those who prefer it are not sadistic or perverted, only anally oriented. Isadora Alman, author of Doing It: Real People Having Really Good Sex, is a board-certified sexologist and a California-licensed marriage-and-family therapist. Contact her at Her Sexuality Forum is at

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