When I started having sex at 21, I was expecting clumsy awkwardness, not pain. But during penetrative sex, I found it was impossible to retract my foreskin without experiencing incredible discomfort. Either I would need to stop and put things right – a moodkiller – or fake an orgasm. Eventually I learned to avoid sex altogether. I was too embarrassed to talk to a doctor.

Seven years and a handful of partners later, I was finally mature enough to acknowledge the problem. After speaking to a GP and two separate consultants, I was diagnosed with a condition called phimosis – a tightening of the foreskin – and advised to have a circumcision.

I was given detailed information, but it was all dry and pragmatic. I went in search of lived experience and found stomach-churning images, horror stories and misinformation. None of which was borne out by my experiences after the operation. (If you are facing any kind of surgery, never look online!)

Six weeks after the operation, everything is healing nicely. Sex is much better. The lack of pain is one thing, but the fact that I’m no longer worried about my foreskin getting trapped means I feel more relaxed. My girlfriend even says my penis looks neater.

I have read about people who have regretted having a circumcision (along with tips for “restoring” your foreskin) but I have no such regrets. Now I just need to get my aim back when I pee…

Each week, a reader tells us about their sex life. Want to share yours? Email sex@theguardian.com

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