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Acucullophilia

Updated: AUGUST 23, 2021
Reviewed by Kinkly Staff
on October 2, 2022

Acucullophilia is a fetish for people who are circumcised or for other aspects of circumcision. A person who has this sexual preference is known as an acucullophiliac. A person with acucullophilia is likely to pursue a partner who has been circumcised, both for relationships and sexual encounters.

While acucullophilia is likely not a very common fetish, surveys have found that women express a preference for circumcised penises in male partners. Research around gay men's opinions here are scant, but may be generational. Note, however, that by definition, a fetish means not just a preference for circumcision, but a very strong fixation on it, or even a need for it in order to achieve arousal and gratification.

The biggest difference between a circumcised and uncircumcised penis is in appearance - the head of an uncircumcised penis is covered in foreskin when it's not erect. The foreskin retracts and almost disappears when the penis is erect. With a circumcised penis, the foreskin covering the glans of the penis is removed, leaving the penis permanently exposed whether flaccid or erect.

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More About Acucullophilia

Interestingly, there is some data to suggest that not everyone is able to recognize whether a penis is circumcised or not - even when that penis is their own. In a small survey, 34% of men who believed they were circumcised were subsequently examined by a doctor and were found to be uncircumcised. The same percentage of men who stated they were uncircumcised were also found to be circumcised.

The national rate of circumcision in the U.S. has declined over the years and while the American Academy of Pediatrics said in 2012 that the benefits of the procedure outweigh the risk, it does not recommend the procedure to new parents.

In recent years, there has also been growing concern about the impact of circumcision on sexual experience and sexual functioning. However, the data is really mixed in terms of whether being circumcised impacts sexual functioning or pleasure. One study found that the foreskin was the most sensitive part of the penis, but studies around whether a lack of foreskin leads to higher rates of sexual disfunction have not been conclusive.

Circumcision does, however, reduce the transmission of some STIs, including genital herpes and HPV. Circumcision also reduces the risk of HIV transmission by 50-60%, at least in the case of having sex with an HIV-positive partner with a vagina. The data for gay males is less clear but circumcision is still believed to provide some protection.

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