Hey, C: Every year about this time, I take a couple of weeks off. But for some reason, I forgot to schedule my annual holiday break and consequently find myself at a computer at Christmastime having to bang out a sex column. Trouble is, I don't have a sex column in me right now.
When I'm stuck like this, I do one of two things: Change the subject, ignore your questions, and write about the Impeachment of William Jefferson Clinton, food, movies -- anything at all, really. Or if I'm really feeling lazy, I'll hand the entire column over to a guest expert.
This week I'm feeling tremendously lazy, so I'm going for option two: Dr. Peter Shalit, M.D., Ph.D., Sm.Rt.E.Pnts will tackle your question, Curious, and a few others from gay men I found on my desk. Shalit is the author of Living Well: The Gay Man's Essential Health Guide, a terrific new book that covers everything from balding to branding to buttfucking. He had three suggestions on finding a man:
"First, there's the Zen approach. Don't look for him, and he will come to you. This approach takes patience and faith, but it can pay off big-time. In any case it's always healthier to be relaxed and philosophical about finding the right man. Desperation and cynicism are not attractive.
"Second, straight women make good matchmakers. Tell a few female friends about the kind of guy you are looking for.
"And third, use your computer. There are lots of gay chat rooms and Web sites, where you can explore meeting people online. The guys tend to be intelligent because they have to be at least a little computer literate to get online in the first place. Problem is, you might meet the man of your dreams and then find he lives in Belarus or Singapore. Could be inconvenient."
Hey, Faggot: I'm a gay black guy with fantasies about being fucked in the manner many gay porn stars are. I like the idea of being dominated by another man, but I was wondering what, if any, medical problems I might suffer from this kind of rough sex? I'm afraid to seek out the experience due to fear of injury at the hands of some psycho.
Wannabe Bottom Boy
Hey, WBB: "You're confusing fantasy and reality," said Dr. Shalit. "Porn sex is not the same as real-life sex. Even though the action in porn looks spontaneous, there's lots of preparation before the scene -- and tons of editing afterward. Real-life sex is different.
" 'Rough sex' or domination scenes are a fantasy activity that many men enjoy. It doesn't mean going out and getting abducted and raped, though. Domination scenes are a cooperative effort between two players, a Top and a Bottom, each of whom knows what he wants and honors the other's wishes. And guess who's the boss? The Bottom. A proper Top will respect you and will not harm or damage you, while nonetheless making you feel properly dominated.
"And you won't suffer any medical problems from being fucked, unless it is done brutally or uncaringly. Use condoms and the plainest water-based lube you can find. Oil-based lube can damage condoms, and fragrances or spermicides in lube can burn the inside of your butt."
Hey, Faggot: I have an anatomy-related question I am too embarrassed to ask my regular M.D. My partner and I have been together for five monogamous years. I really get off on taking him down my throat and can do this with some effort in the 69 position. Can this be harmful to my throat? Please ask your sources about this one for me.
All Choked Up
Hey, ACU: Dr. Shalit felt you should, "Go for it. You won't hurt yourself. There are two tubes that go down your throat, and his cock won't damage either one. The one in front is the esophagus. You swallow (food, drink, your boyfriend's cock) down this tube. Behind the esophagus is the trachea, or windpipe. If his cock accidentally goes down your windpipe, it won't cause damage, but you won't be able to breathe. Most people can't breathe with a cock down their esophagus either, because it tends to close off the airway. If you can, more power to you."
Hey, Faggot: I am a Hispanic guy in his late 30s and I regularly have sex with this other Hispanic guy who is about 10 years younger than I am. I have no concerns about HIV infection because I am exclusively a top. But recently I've become concerned about hepatitis C. I know nothing about it.
Can you get it from kissing? Sucking dick? Getting blown? Fucking without a condom? How prevalent is it in the gay community? Is it true that it is not curable? I am very conservative in my sexual life but I have reason to believe that my fuck buddy is not.
Hispanic, Horny, and Careful
Hey, HHAC: Dr. Shalit didn't think "careful" was the best word to describe you. "I'd be happy to introduce you to a roomful of exclusive tops who caught HIV. If you are 'conservative' in your sexual life but your fuck buddy is not, and you don't use condoms with him, then you are susceptible to every sexually transmitted disease that he might pick up."
Hep C would appear to be the least of your worries. But can hep C be sexually transmitted? "There definitely is sexual transmission of hepatitis C, but it is not common. Hep C is easily transmitted by blood; for example by transfusion or sharing needles. In monogamous couples where one partner has hepatitis C, it is rare for the other to contract it, even if they are having completely unprotected sex."
About 1.5 percent of the U.S. population carries the hep C virus, perhaps the worst of the three heps: There isn't an effective treatment for C, and in time it can destroy your liver -- and end your life. "Its prevalence in the gay population is not known with certainty," said Dr. Shalit. "I suspect that it is higher, more like 5 percent, based on experience with my patient population. There are drugs (interferon and ribavirin) which can occasionally 'cure' hepatitis C, but the treatment is difficult, and it is effective for only a small minority of people who take it. For now I'd consider hepatitis C incurable.