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On Sunday the 21st, NORM-SoCal members had their November meeting at the SHARE! center near LAX. Thirty men filled the room to capacity with lots of familiar faces and a few new ones. If the trend continues, we'll have to move to a larger venue soon.
Our featured guest was Marc Christian. Marc recently concluded four-and-a-half years of foreskin restoration and capped it off about five weeks ago with some "finishing" surgery on his new "fauxskin" to create something akin to the frenar band of an intact penis. He now has a snug foreskin which closely adheres to the contours of his glans and which stays in place without the use of o-rings or tape rings. Marc is justifiably delighted with his new look and generously shared his restoration experiences as well as a 40 minute videotape he made of his touchup surgery! [A partial transcript of Marc's presentation follows.]
Also in attendance were two other guests of note. One was another long-term restorer who, two years earlier, had a similar surgical procedure performed by the same urologist who operated on Marc's penis. It was clear when we compared the results of these two men that the procedure has been dramatically refined over the past two years.
The other guest of note was Dr. Paul Fleiss, author of Where Is My Foreskin? The Case Against Circumcision. Dr. Fleiss briefed us on an upcoming trial in which about twenty NORM-SoCal members will be evaluating the effectiveness of testosterone cream in promoting skin growth. At the conclusion of the trial Dr. Fleiss will be submitting his findings to a medical journal as a "Case Report."
As usual, our two-hour "formal" meeting passed all too quickly, and many guys stayed behind talking in small groups until nearly 5:30pm.
I was born two months prematurely in 1953 at Hollywood Presbyterian Hospital and was promptly circumcised as soon as I was well enough. I recently found that in a baby book my parents kept which listed all the maladies I had in my first year. One entry said, "Circumcision: ten dollars."
I can remember when I was a child, even at ten years old or younger, I used to sit in my room and take the head of my glans and push it inside the skin. I always wanted to know what that felt like. And I'd probably never even seen an uncircumcised penis at that time. Even as a teenager, I used to buy rubbers and cut the end off, then put them on and pretend I had a foreskin, to see what that would look like.
Then I didn't think about it for twenty years. I just accepted the way I was, and occasionally I'd come into contact with someone who was intact and it would kind of jar my memory.
I found out about restoring on the Internet. Just before that I made a trip to Europe. In Europe, nobody's uptight about being nude anywhere. You go to the beaches and people are nude. You go to a hotel and in the hotel's sauna people will be nude; often the sauna will be co-ed. I was so embarrassed being circumcised in front of all these Northern European intact men. I'm not shy by nature, but I wanted to put a towel over my lap.
When I got home from my European trip I finally got online, and I must have typed in the word "penis" or "circumcision" or "foreskin," and all of these web pages came up. My first reaction was, "How can you restore something that no longer exists?" It seemed really foreign to me. But I spent the next three hours reading everything I found. When I turned the computer off that night I immediately went to the bathroom and got a piece of tape and taped up. And I never looked back. I made my decision right then: "If I can get it back, I'm going to do it."
Of course, I got the "bible" immediately. [Jim Bigelow's "The Joy of Uncircumcising."] This book is very important. Virtually everything you need to know to get started is in here.
I tried everything. I tried the PUD...I tried o-rings, which are great once you have enough skin to keep yourself covered. My final choice was the t-tape. With the t-tape, you're getting expansion on the inner and outer foreskin in equilibrium.
The other thing I found is that it's good to take a break once in a while. If you do 24/7, the penis is gonna say at some point, "I've had enough of this; I'm not going to stretch any longer." What I used to do is stretch as long as I could, maybe three weeks, then I'd quit for a week. And my penis would say, "Great! That's over!" It would relax a little bit, then I'd start taping up again. And it went back into the growth mode. I think taking breaks on occasion is good, and you shouldn't feel bad if you're not as consistent as you want to be because none of us really are. It took me about four and a half years to restore. I probably could have done it in three, but I don't regret it because I didn't injure myself. I didn't have any problems.
In this book ["The Joy of Uncircumcising"] I found Dr. Michael Scott. He prescribed testosterone cream for me four years ago. All I can say is, this stuff really works. It promotes skin growth on the shaft skin. If you want to use this, tape up as you normally would, then apply it behind the tape once or twice a day. You don't want to get any on the tape.
Q: Did you use the cream the entire time?
Yes, the entire time.
Q: There were no adverse reactions?
Q: Do you have to have a prescription?
Q: Why wouldn't you put it also in front of the tape?
You don't want to put it on the tape, but I put it on my glans as well and it really helped get the old skin off. What you can also do when you're untaped, after a shower or when you're going to bed if you're not going to tape up, put it on the entire shaft. You don't want to put it on the area before you're going to be taping because the tape won't stick, but you can certainly put it on the entire surface if you're not going to be taped up.
One thing I loved about Dr. Scott was that every time I came in to see him...I used to go in about once a year...he'd say, "You're not ready." Last year I went in every six months and I was rather shocked the first of October when he said, "Anytime you're ready, we'll do it." Then the ball was thrown back in my court and I thought, "Do I really want to go under the knife? What if it doesn't turn out right?" But then I thought, "I don't want to go through the rest of my life wearing an o-ring or t-tape." I pretty much had full coverage, even when erect, but I realized it wasn't going to stay in place if I were to walk around nude. And I always say to myself, when you do a project it's good to have a beginning, a middle, and an end.
Dr. Scott was doing this surgery ten years ago, but differently than what he does today. In those days he did what was called the diamond tug or the purse-string, which took the suture around the end of the new "frenar band" and closed it for six weeks. Although it works with some men, he thought it was probably a little premature for most men who came in and wanted it done.
I joked with him during the operation. I was lying on the table with my little digital camera set up to record the operation. It has a flip-out screen and a remote control so I was zooming in and out, and telling the nurse to move the camera. I said, "Hey, this is Hollywood!"
Q: Did he put you under?
No, he used local anesthesia, about 20 shots. I wanted to be conscious. And he was very good; he discussed what he was doing. He made a comment right before he made the first cut; he said, "This is the hardest part for me." I said, "Why?" He said, "Because it took you so long to get this new skin."
He didn't cut any of the length, he took a little "V" part out of the new frenar band I created, and closed it up.
[At this point Marc showed us his videotape of the surgery.]
I was at the gym last week, and there's a guy that I always see. Usually he starts working out the time that I'm finishing, or visa-versa. Last week we ended up in the shower at the same time, for the first time ever. After the shower we were getting dressed and he was looking at me kind of funny. I said, "What's the matter?" He said, "I didn't know you were born in Europe." I said I wasn't. He said, "Oh, you were really lucky to escape the knife." I said, "No, actually I've had it done twice." And then he said, "What?!" and I quickly told him all about my restoration and everything. He'd just assumed that you can't be American and be intact.
Questions about Marc Christian's restoration
can be directed to Marc himself at: