westhompsonYou know you remember it. That time, palms all sweaty, you sat silently and nervously as your sex ed teacher talked about all those horrible diseases. You desperately wanted to know how you could prevent them in your own sex life — a kind of sex your conservative teacher or school district refused to recognize. No mention of blowjobs and certainly no mention of gay sex. Well, it’s qnotes’ annual sex issue and we’re here to help. We sat down with Wes Thompson, a physician assistant who works at Rosedale Infectious Diseases. He sees LGBT clients all the time and knows exactly how to answer even the most sensitive of questions. Here are some we threw his way…

Read more features from our 2015 Love & Lust issue Opposites Attract Let’s Get it On: How Charlotteans like their sex

1. Should I really use a condom during a blowjob, when I go down on a woman or during rimming? No one I know ever does.

I hear this a lot from my patients, as well. While most people do not use condoms or dental dams during oral sex, condoms or dental dams will reduce the chance of STDs. If you’re not going to use condoms or dental dams, please be sure to get routine STD screenings that include getting your throat and butt swabbed and genitals checked. Gonorrhea and chlamydia of the throat and butt are most often asymptomatic and you don’t know you have them.

2. If I’m giving a guy a blowjob, is it safer to spit or swallow?

They’re about the same. For those people who like to swallow, your esophagus gets more acidic on the way down and this acidity kills the virus before it hits the stomach. So, it’s really the same either way.

3. Straight people “pull out” to try to prevent pregnancy, can I do the same thing during anal sex to prevent HIV infection?

“Pulling out” to prevent pregnancy is supposed to work, but oftentimes there is semen present in pre-cum, so it doesn’t always work. The same is true for HIV and STDs. Even if you’re not a leaker, you can still transmit HIV and other STDs in pre-cum.

4. Is there a higher chance of STD infection for me and her, if she is having her period?

Theoretically, there is a higher risk of STD infection when a woman is on her period, for several reasons. There is blood present, which carries HIV. The lining of the vagina changes during a period and makes it more susceptible to infection for both female and male partners. Also, blood gets very sticky under friction, so intercourse during a period can cause more irritation to the penis, to the vagina and to external genitalia for women if you have sex during a period.

5. Is there anything unsafe about a fetish like watersports?

In the absence of a bladder infection or an STD, urine is sterile and there is no problem with watersports. Enjoy it.

6. I’ve heard anal sex can be really painful. Is there anything I can do to prepare?

Anal sex, just like vaginal sex, is something one has to get used to. Vaginal sex is sometimes painful until a woman learns to relax and it becomes customary. The same is true for anal sex. There are techniques to learn how to relax and prepare yourself, and don’t forget to use lots of lube and take your time.

7. Everyone seems to have an obsession over big cocks. What is the average size of a dick?

Average cock size with all men is 5.6 inches measured from the base of the penis — that’s the side closest to your belly button. Unfortunately, most porn stars start at their butt hole and measure forward. Interestingly, 48 percent of all men — gay, bi or straight — are worried that their penis is too small. But the range for the majority of men — 85 percent of all men — is a penis between 4.7 inches and 6.3 inches in length, again measured from the base. Only 15 percent of men actually get over 7 inches, three percent over 8 inches and 1 percent over 9 inches. Also, you cannot tell how big someone is when they are soft or flaccid. Some men are growers and some are showers; there’s no correlation and you can’t even guess most of the time. People also say that you can judge the size of a penis by the size of feet or a thumb or a nose or some other body part. That is not true. Additionally, there was also a great study published in 1999 that said — for reasons we don’t quite know, perhaps because of the exposure of prenatal hormones — that, overall, gay penises when compared to straight penises were slightly larger in length.

8. People call me a slut or a whore just because I have sex often. What do you think is a healthy sex life?

A healthy sex life is one that you enjoy and one that does not interfere with the rest of your life. For example, if you call out from work, avoid family or skip school in your pursuit of sex, then it’s too much. If you plan on having sex with one person, but end up having sex with five people over the weekend, that, too, could mean that sex is an issue or a problem for you. If your pursuit of sex includes sitting on porn sites, viewing porn and masturbating, instead of interacting with people, then sex might also be an issue for you. If you think sex addiction might be an issue, there are numerous support groups in town for people who are sex or love  addicts. Also, many clinicians can evaluate whether or not you are addicted to sex. For more information or assistance, contact us here at Rosedale ID.

9. My partner has asked me how many people I’ve had sex with. Is this really all that important?

Most of the time, this question means some anxiety on your partner’s behalf. He or she may worry that you’re more experienced and they are not going to be able to please you sexually. It could also mean they are concerned about STDs. I would recommend open and honest conversations. : :

For more assistance, contact the staff at Rosedale ID at rosedaleid.com or by phone at 704-948-8591. Rosedale ID is located at 103 Commerce Centre Dr. in Huntersville.

Matt Comer previously served as editor from October 2007 through August 2015 and as a staff writer afterward in 2016.

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