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January 2001

We got off to a great start for 2001, beginning with NORM San Diego's second-ever meeting on the 14th. Six men gathered together to discuss a multitude of restoration-related issues, compare notes, and share stories. With no planned agenda for the meeting there was still plenty to talk about - we were surprised at one point to glance at the clock and discover we'd been talking for more than three hours! Bruce anticipates that the number of attendees will grow over time as word spreads that NORM now offers monthly meetings in San Diego.

The following weekend we were back in Los Angeles among 25 restoring men, many of them first-timers. It was encouraging to note that we're seeing increasing numbers of younger men at our meetings. The majority of our regulars have been in their thirties on up, so it's great to extend our age range and live up to our credo as a support group for restoring men of all ages.

As usual there was a lot to discuss. Among the topics we covered were strapping techniques, the number of hours per day that we actively stretch ourselves, when to move from beginning techniques to more advanced methods, and when to stop the process.

But the most dramatic and potentially important subject of discussion came from a San Diego visitor, who one week earlier brought the same information to the NORM San Diego meeting. He told us of an accidental discovery that may lead to breakthroughs for many restoring men. This man is required to take fairly large doses of ibuprofin for reasons that are unrelated to foreskin restoration. He noticed that when he was experiencing a "plateau" in skin growth, the ibuprofin seemed to trigger a release and his skin began expanding rapidly again. He attributes his remarkable rate of progress (complete coverage while flaccid after three months of restoration!) in part to the ibuprofin.

If there is a true cause and effect at work here, it may be because ibuprofin is an anti- inflammatory medication. Any restoring man who has experienced his skin becoming a little "puffy" or swollen has experienced inflammation, a defense mechanism meant to protect the skin from damage. A few of us have decided to experiment with similar doses of ibuprofin and report back next month. [NORM Southern California cautions everyone that this is not to be taken as medical advice, and that any restoring man who would like to repeat the experiment should only do so after having consulted a licensed physician.]

We were also reminded of the importance of maintaining a sense of humor during the process of restoration. After recounting some of the humorous incidents we've heard, one man was prompted to tell us this:

I had a rather unusual experience at my local gym. My gym is set up so that when you go into the locker room, there are two almost identical doors, men here and women here. My locker was right near the door and I happened to be facing the entrance. I was toweling off my hair and had my face covered. When I lowered my towel, standing at the entrance to the men's locker room was a woman who had made the mistake of going in the wrong door. My penis was completely covered at the time with a little bit of an overhang, which she noticed. It was really obvious what she was staring at. She said, "Oh, I'm really sorry, I got the wrong locker room!" I said, "OK, whatever." She turned around and took one-and-a-half steps and stopped, then turned around and said, "You must feel pretty lucky to have all of your skin. I had a boyfriend a while back who was intact, and it was way better than my current boyfriend." I said, "Actually, this is a restoration job." Her jaw dropped to the floor. I said, "Go to the Internet if you're interested. Your current boyfriend can do it if he wants to. Just have him type in 'foreskin restoration' and do a search. You'll be amazed what's out there."

Another man revealed that he experienced complete coverage for the first time "when the Supreme Court announced their decision on the election."

Toward the end of our meeting we turned to one of the major concerns of men who are considering restoration, or just starting the process - how long it will take. Bruce delivered a thoughtful, articulate response that recast the matter as a question of effort versus results:

We've got guys in this group that have been working on restoration for seven years plus. That will give you an idea of just how valuable this is to these guys, to work that long to get it back. Myself, I'm a very practical person - I don't invest any serious effort or time in something unless I'm getting back some serious, concrete results. I'm not going to stop until I have a nice little bit of overhang. If it takes another year or year and a half, then that's how long it's going to take. The benefits vastly outweigh the efforts.

What convinced me was the first time I experienced a really noticeable shift in sensory responses. Everything slows down. It gets smoother, it gets gentler, and it gets way more intense. I've discovered that the slower you move that skin back and forth, the better it feels. Your brain starts taking in every little nuance as the skin rolls back over the glans. That's when the really hot stuff happens. It's a shame that there's no way of accurately conveying what all of that feels like. The words simply don't exist in the language. The only way you can know is to try this experiment. Put the process into motion. Find out for yourself. I guarantee there is nobody in this room that has made this effort who will tell you it wasn't tremendously worth it.

Next month we look forward to more words of wisdom and encouragement, more laughs, more men looking to start restoring, and hopefully more positive results from men using ibuprofin to overcome plateaus in skin growth. If you're anywhere near Los Angeles or San Diego and are interested in or supportive of foreskin restoration, come join us!