By Randall Delaware
About 20 years ago a professor said to me, when I was inquiring about starting college and majoring in urban planning: “It’s already past the registration period — poor planning.” Things haven’t changed much in 20 years, for it was on the spur of the moment that I “Pricelined” a $12-per-day rental car. Then it was off to the airport on the bus to get my rental, drive back to my apartment and load up the car with my signs, my music CDs, some extra clothes and my sleeping bag.
It was close to 2 o’clock when I headed south on Route 95 to the nation’s capital. About 12 hours later, I pulled into a rest area somewhere in Maryland and slept in my sleeping bag for maybe three hours. Then with everything still dark outside I drove on to the District of Columbia. At some point when daylight came around, I paid $20 for a visit to a fitness center so I could work out, take a shower and shave.
Around 3 o’clock, I made it to the Capitol. Dave Wilson was there with his fellow “intactivists” — intact activists. I had demonstrated with Dave at several events since my first N.O.C.I.R.C. Symposium at Georgetown University in 2002. I had 10 T-shirts to give out. The front of the shirts read “VAGINA LOVES FORESKIN GLIDING,” which refers to the gliding mechanism of the foreskin moving back and forth during coitus, reducing friction as it does so and leaving the vulva with less micro-abrasion. The back read “MORE LIGHT TOUCH NERVES WITH FORESKIN,” which refers to the specialized encapsulated sensory nerve endings present in the inner lining of the foreskin. There are several types of these encapsulated nerves or corpuscles, but this usually refers to the Meissner’s corpuscles, which have light-touch-sensing ability.
I greeted Dave, after having given out a few of the T-shirts, by referring to him as Cousin Dave. A joke, which made us both laugh, since we don’t know if my Wilson ancestor is related to his. Dave doesn’t like much small talk. He is a man with a mission — a 25-year mission, which is the number of years he has been paying for the permit to demonstrate on the West Lawn of the Capitol. Dave’s story is similar to many male intactivists. He learned about his own circumcision as a boy and felt deep anguish and betrayal. Female intactivists tend to be regret moms or mothers of intact sons. Dave is also involved in another men’s-rights issue. His summer demonstration is for fathers’ rights. Dave’s website is S.I.C. Society, or Stop Infant Circumcision Society.
After speaking with Dave, I ran into Sandy Roman, a Jewish-raised man, a physicist who spent time down under on Antarctica and an inventor of a foreskin restoration device. In the past, I’ve met people like Dr. Robert Van Howe, a medical doctor who opposes circumcision and has written about the flaws in African HIV studies; Dr. George Denniston, a triple Ivy Leaguer, who is the director of Doctors Opposing Circumcision (D.O.C.); Dr. Mark Reiss, a Jewish man who is the executive vice president at D.O.C.; and Steven Svoboda, a Harvard Law School graduate who directs Attorneys for the Rights of the Child.
It’s getting close to 4 o’clock and the Capitol Police are ready to escort us to visit President Donald Trump’s humble abode — the White House. Dave has also made arrangements for this. I don’t participate in the march down Pennsylvania Avenue but drive to within two blocks from the White House. I park on the street and grab my favorite signs: “UNCIRCUMCISED EUROPEANS HAVE LOWER SEXUAL DISEASE RATES THAN CIRCUMCISED AMERICANS” and “THE FORESKIN HAS MORE SPECIALIZED NERVE END ORGANS THAN
THE GLANS CLITORIS,” and still another “PARENTS WHO CIRCUMCISE: AMERICAN, MUSLIM, JEWISH, AFRICAN, KOREAN, FILIPINO.”
I generally stand there displaying two signs at a time with my arms extending outward. Dave usually engages the crowd. “Do you know how circumcision started in the 1800’s?” “To stop masturbation.” That does the trick, and some people approach to listen to more. He always tells the story of the retired German rocket scientist from N.A.S.A. who approached him 20-something years ago and said, “I’ve never seen sexual lubricants in Germany that you have for sale in your stores here.”
One man has me hold still for a photo that he is going to send to his urologist daughter. Some black men with accents take a photo too. Another man takes a photo and said he is going to send it to his friend in Israel. Finally, a British woman on holiday starts talking to me and finds it’s very odd that Americans still practice circumcision. All English-speaking countries, except the Celtic ones, offered infant circumcision as a remedy for sexual disease but, after a 1949 study by Dr. Gairdner, circumcision saw its demise in England. This woman also mentions that actor Ben Affleck supports our movement.
Around 6:30, it’s time for this Irish citizen to find an Irish pub. Actually, the group has planned on dinner at The Dubliner Restaurant near Union Station. Of course, I order up a Guinness, in a way my County Kerry grandmother, a teetotaler, wouldn’t have. There, I speak briefly with a small group of men who are restoring their foreskin by tissue-expansion techniques. I mention Ron Low, a Kellogg Business School Graduate and inventor of TLC Tugger, a restoration device. He earned over a $100,000 in sales from this device in one year. I also mention Jim Bigelow’s book “The Joy of Uncircumcising,” a how to manual. I ask if they have seen the “1 to 24 months” restoration site: https://www.foreskinrestore.com/results_1-24months.html. Then I speak with Danelle Day, a mother of an intact son and a boomer’s wife, whom I hadn’t seen in a few years. After that it’s on the road again, to a rest area for the night and then on to Maine on Easter Sunday, arriving back in South Portland with daylight still left.