Swaziland: uncircumcised and hairy men are dirty

Written by Bongiwe Zwane

As the circumcision program is rolled out in Swaziland, it is hoped that the number of HIV infections will decrease. Some men dispute how the removal of the foreskin prevents HIV transmission. Let this be a discussion for another day!

My word is, modern women prefer circumcised organs as they make men clean and bring added pleasure to the relationship. Circumcision is now fashionable!

Growing up in Swaziland, I always had a loathing for men with hair – it seemed to symbolise poor hygiene to me. Whether the hair is on their arms, legs or head, I am simply uncomfortable! Perhaps it is due to growing up reading fairy-tales about grizzly bears and big bad wolves or maybe watching too many movies where paedophiles were usually outrageously hairy men with hair as long as Rapunzel’s.

Fortunately, in my part of the world, more and more men are starting to realise the benefits of being clean-shaven or at least keeping their hair short and beards neatly trimmed. There are, however, those who still think a good show of manhood is having a thick mound of hair on the armpits and head.

Our traditional attire in Swaziland exposes this a lot, when men lift their hands to wave, there is an unsightly display of hair that has taken many moons to grow. What happens on a hot day can only be left to the imagination. And then imagine how hairy they are in other secret places where the temperature is conducive to hair growth and repulsive odour!

Like many women, I think hygiene is an essential component of a relationship and above all love-making. We prefer to kiss and even take it a step further with men who at least appear to have taken a shower in the last few hours. Chances of a guy who looks like he needs a good scrub getting lucky, are close to none. To go beyond the basics of general love-making and actually go down on a guy, means he really has to have just stepped out of the shower or at least look fresh enough. My girlfriends have always had a problem getting really intimate with some people.

The craziest of the lot, Gabi says: “I broke up with my boyfriend because he had not been circumcised.” Men, for your own information, a circumcised organ is hygenic and many women admire this in men. They may not say it, but this is the fact. Gabi goes on to say that her first boyfriend had been circumcised and putting up with an uncircumcised one made the relationship really difficult. She says when she suggested circumcision to her boyfriend, he said that nobody in his family had ever been circumcised and therefore he would not consider it.

Circumcision, although relatively new in the kingdom of Swaziland, has been well received by many women. Besides the major benefit of decreasing one’s chances of HIV infection, women are grateful that their men will be cleaner. Once you have seen an circumcised organ, an uncircumcised one just pales in comparison – it is actually quite unsightly!

Some men say that after circumcision, their partners are more comfortable experimenting with lovemaking. Senzo Mabuza for instance says that he got circumcised in 2010 after his girlfriend encouraged him to. He points out that lovemaking with his partner is now more enjoyable because she is more comfortable with him. She can also challenge certain traditions as in most instances, she initiates the act. “I guess this has helped to keep the fire in our relationship,” says Mabuza.

Population Services International (PSI) Swaziland Clinical Director Dr Khumbulani Moyo says “a circumcised [male organ] is definitely cleaner than an uncircumcised one.” He says men find it easier to clean their organs after circumcision. Circumcised men are also more likely to be assertive sexually as awareness of a good body image is a very important factor in building self confidence. Even parents of newborn baby boys say it is far easier to maintain cleanliness of their son’s organ if it is circumcised.

Thank goodness we have many “get circumcised” campaigns all over Swaziland. They have so many advantages – not just reducing HIV and AIDS, but also bringing greater happiness to women, whose “needs” seldom feature in such debates!

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