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November 2000

NORM Southern California's meeting for November brought together 25 men from a variety of backgrounds and experiences, not to mention locations - some came from such far- flung locales as Washington, New York, and the United Kingdom! Having so many new faces among our crowd of staunch regulars made for a lively, fun and informative gathering. We love having out-of-town guests, so if you're going to be in Southern California soon please check our meeting dates on the home page and consider yourself invited.

Our British guest was Peter Ball, a member of NORM-UK and one of the producers of the videotape Restoration in Focus. He paused to visit us while on his way to Sydney, Australia for the Seventh International Symposium on Sexual Mutilations. Also attending the Symposium next month will be Gary Harryman, former coordinator for NORM Southern California and possibly the only man alive to have attempted foreskin restoration with duct tape. (Gary has since recovered, in every sense of the word.)

Gary brought several pieces of news to our attention. First was the current court case involving Matthew Price, a three-year-old intact boy who is the subject of a lawsuit between the boy's parents. Matthew's father is trying to prevent the boy from being circumcised. Gary emphasized that this is a landmark, precedent-setting case that should be of interest to us all, especially those of us who have restored enough to know that we were robbed when we were circumcised. NORM SoCal urges everyone to learn the facts of this case, and to get involved.

Also on the intactivist front, we were told of a new article by Dr. Paul Fleiss in the November/December issue of Mothering magazine: "Protect Your Uncircumcised Son - Expert Medical Advice for Parents." Dr. Fleiss presents several of the most common arguments doctors use to convince new parents to circumcise their sons. He responds to each with counter-arguments that are intelligent, logical and factually-based. The full article will be available online at Mothering's website after December 15th. This fine magazine has consistently shown an awareness that circumcision is damaging and unnecessary for infants, and Gary urges everyone to applaud them by subscribing.

Next came a demonstration by Gary (with help from Dahl and others) of several restoration devices and techniques, some of which we haven't often discussed at NORM SoCal. These included the DILE, the PUD, the Pill Tube, t-tapes, j-tapes, adhesive bandages, and manual tugging. It was a great reminder that no single method or technique is right for everyone, and that there are a variety of devices and techniques available to restoring men. We each need to discover the method(s) that will work best for us.

One of our first-time attendees asked several good questions about restoration techniques, including an inquiry about the efficacy of vacuum pumps for foreskin restoration. The consensus was that there are some very real dangers inherent in using vacuum pumps, including the possibility of doing permanent damage to erectile tissues. These dangers aside, vacuum pumping is seen as being counter-productive to restoration efforts because it encourages lateral growth, and foreskin restoration is almost exclusively a matter of longitudinal growth. Lateral growth does not encourage coverage of the glans, and may in fact work against it. NORM Southern California does not know any individuals who have successfully restored their foreskins using vacuum pumps, and we do not recommend the use of these devices.