July 22, 2014

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Savage Love

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Foreskin Foul-Up

Q:

 I am uncircumcised, and the opening at the end of my foreskin is not large enough for the head of my penis to pass through. This means my foreskin doesn’t pull back when I get an erection. The Internet says this is a condition called “phimosis,” and a lot of medical websites recommend circumcision. I’m not super-excited by that idea. I don’t have any pain or difficulty with sex or urination, and I’ve never had any health problems related to being uncircumcised. The foreskin isn’t stuck or fused to the glans — the hole is just small. Is there a safe, nonsurgical way to enlarge the opening in the foreskin? —Dick Hole Panic

 

A:

 “Tell Dick Hole Panic not to panic,” said Stephen H. King, MD, a urologist in Washington state and my new go-to guy for all questions dick. “Phimosis occurs in an uncircumcised penis when a circular ring of the foreskin becomes scarred, often from prior infection, inflammation or trauma. This scar prevents the normally elastic tissue of the foreskin from fully retracting to expose the head of the penis.”

Roughly one in a hundred men has phimosis, said Dr. King, “and depending on the degree of narrowing, complications of phimosis can vary widely. These can include difficulty with cleaning or hygiene, infection, pain with erection, bleeding from skin cracking, and paraphimosis.” Paraphimosis sounds like something you want to avoid: “It occurs when a narrow foreskin is pulled back to expose the head of the penis but then can’t be pulled back over the head, which then constricts blood flow to the glans,” said Dr. King. Paraphimosis can cut off blood flow to the head of the penis, which can cause the head of your cock to become gangrenous and die, which is why anyone suffering from it should head to an emergency room immediately. Here’s something else to worry about: “Although extremely rare, penile cancer can arise, usually in older patients with recurrent infections and inflammation.”

You’re probably panicking now, DHP — hell, hearing about paraphimosis has me panicking, and I’m circumcised. But the doctor said your case doesn’t sound serious: You aren’t experiencing any pain, your dick seems to work fine, you haven’t suffered from a series of infections. You don’t need to do anything about your phimosis for now, said Dr. King, but if you’re worried about complications arising in the future, or if you want your sex partners to see the head of your dick someday, there are nonsurgical remedies.

“‘Preputial gymnastics’ is one way to resolve phimosis,” said Dr. King. “It sounds like an Olympic event, but it involves gently pulling the foreskin back to expose the tip of the glans to the point where the ring of scar is exposed.” In other words, pull your foreskin back until you can’t pull it back anymore, and you’ll be looking at the scar tissue. “Hold this position for one minute and repeat three to four times a day,” Dr. King continued. “In combination with topical application of a steroid cream twice daily, typically betamethasone 0.05 percent (requiring a prescription), more than 90 percent of cases will dramatically improve or resolve within four to six weeks.”

And if you’re one of the 10 percent of phimosis sufferers whose case doesn’t improve through preputial gymnastics?

“Then he should break out the Manischewitz for his impending bris,” said Dr. King.

 

Q:

 I have rarely ever been able to have an orgasm during intercourse. The few times it happened, I was stimulating my clit. But I think my body is used to clitoral orgasms without a penis thrusting inside my vagina. Recently, I started mixing pot and sex. I’ve been a pot smoker for years but never thought to have sex on pot before. It has always been just a social thing with friends. It is incredible! Marijuana relaxes my body and heightens my senses so that when my BF and I have sex, I come! And come and come — and I squirt, which I have never done before! When we have sex without smoking, the sex is still great, but I don’t orgasm like I do when I’m high. I feel like I need weed to orgasm the way I want to. Before I dated my BF, I smoked pot only once a month or so. Now I’m doing it once a week at least. My sex life is finally amazing and fulfilling. Three questions: 1) Does this sound like a huge problem? 2) Should I be worried? 3) What do you suggest? —Blazing Orgasms Newly Gained

 

A:

 In order:

1) It does sound like a problem — a problem that’s been solved.

2) Not if you live in Colorado or Washington State, BONG, where voters legalized pot use in last November’s election.

3) A vaporizer.

 

Q:

 I am in a great relationship with a very sexy and open-minded woman. Recently we were talking about likes and dislikes, and she mentioned “role-play scenes.” This sent me into a little bit of a panic since this is something I’ve never engaged in. However, since I am more on the dominant side in our relationship, I’d rather not ask her a lot of questions. I’m hoping to take the lead and find out something about it on my own. I want to seem imaginative to her and not just copy what other men have done. Unfortunately, my web searches have been fruitless. Cosmo, Glamour and even men’s sites have articles about “role-play” from time to time, but they seem to be written for juveniles. Do you have any ideas about role-play scenarios — especially ones that could be initiated by a man?

—Apprehensive About Role Play

 

A:

 I have plenty of ideas about role-play scenarios that could be initiated by a man, AARP, but sexual pleasure is highly subjective — one gay man’s hot role-play scenario is likely someone else’s nightmare scenario. So you’re going to have to talk with your woman about what kinds of scenarios turn her on.

Some people have a hard time talking about their kinks. Just saying the words “I’m into role-play” or “I want to try bondage” is such a struggle that a nervous kinkster is emotionally exhausted after the big reveal. The kinkster feels like she’s done the hard part — she said “role-play” or “bondage” out loud! — and her partner should do the rest of the work, i.e., make her fantasies come true without asking her to talk about it anymore. But you can’t fly blind into someone else’s sexual fantasies. If she’s turned on by something mild like a sexy-cop-and-speeding-driver role-play scenario, AARP, surprising her with a serial-killer-and-his-terrified-victim role-play scenario is likely to backfire. Likewise, someone who’s turned on by gentle neckties-and-bedposts bondage isn’t going to be happy about an intense institutional-restraints-and-soundproof-leather-hood bondage session.

She’s going to have to give you more information, AARP, and you’re going to have to let go of the notion that being the Dom means not asking questions. A dominant’s first job — before a role-play scene begins, before anyone gets tied up — is to ask questions and find out what his submissive wants to experience. The trick is to give her what she wants while building in small surprises and gradually, over time, pushing into new territories together.

But you’re going to have to ask her more questions, and she’s going to have to answer them. If she’s too shy to talk about her kinks face-to-face, have the convo over email.

 

This week on the Savage Lovecast: Dan Savage talks with author Emily Bazelon about sexting, slut-shaming, bullying, and suicide: thestranger.com/savage.

 

Send letters to mail@savagelove.net or @fakedansavage on Twitter.

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Comments in violation of the rules will be denied, and repeat violators will be banned. Please help police the community by flagging offensive comments for our moderators to review. By posting a comment, you agree to our full terms and conditions. Click here to read terms and conditions.
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