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Playboy Advisor: Can Anal Sex be Detrimental to my Wife’s Health?

Playboy Advisor: Can Anal Sex be Detrimental to my Wife’s Health? : SKIP STERLING

SKIP STERLING

QUESTION: I’m a newly widowed 40-year-old man and also visually impaired. I’m ready to date, but this is the first time I will be trying as a blind man. Once upon a time I was accustomed to using eye contact to know when a woman might be interested. What do you suggest I do when it comes to flirting?—K.F., San Diego, California

PLAYBOY: There’s no surefire trick beyond becoming a sensitive listener and upping your verbal charm. But even for the sighted it can be tough to pick someone up out in the real world, especially when it seems as though every other single person in the bar is waiting for a date they found online or through an app. Rather than try to work around this, embrace technology. Dating4Disabled.com is one option, as is the immensely popular dating site OkCupid, which can pair you with both sighted and blind potential matches.

Q: My wife and I have been married for more than two decades, and she has had increasing trouble getting wet. We started to use lube during sex, which gave us a bonus thrill: I got into the habit of going down on her and using my tongue to spread the gel around and lube up my fingers before inserting them into her vagina. Once while we were engaging in this foreplay, I put my lubed finger near her ass and she started to moan, so I inserted my finger and she went wild with excitement. This became part of our foreplay routine, with my wife climaxing intensely whenever I inserted my finger into her anus. We’ve graduated to anal sex and have it at least once a month. Why is anal stimulation causing her intense climaxes now? Second, I’ve heard anal sex can be bad for your health. Could our bedroom practices be causing our bodies harm?—B.R., Grand Rapids, Michigan

PA: Congratulations on finding a new way to enjoy sex together at this stage in your relationship. And kudos to you both that you’re on the same page regarding anal sex. Let’s put your lucky discovery into perspective. You have stumbled upon the pleasures of the “taint,” slang for what is otherwise known as the perineum. It’s a nerve-packed pleasure center that, as the slang suggests, ain’t the vagina and it ain’t the anus. When you finger your wife’s anus, in addition to putting pressure on the perineum, you’re also stimulating the entire clitoral complex, which extends far beyond the visible external portion of the clitoris and deep into the vaginal cavity. Inserting a penis in the anus can also put pressure on the clitoral complex. As for your health concerns, as long as you’re gentle and sufficiently lubricated, you’ll be fine. You could wear a condom to protect yourself from potential urinary tract infections, and to protect your wife you should refrain from following anal with vaginal sex. The fact that you’re using gel and have anal sex only once a month, and that your wife isn’t experiencing any pain or discomfort, leads us to believe you’re doing it the right way. And you might be interested to know you’re on trend: Studies show that heterosexual anal sex is on the upswing. See the question below for further proof that we’re having a bit of an anal moment.

Q: Can you suggest a good prostate massager? I’m looking for a product that has been recommended by a real doctor, is made in the U.S. (FDA approval would be nice) and is safe. Are there any proven health benefits to prostate massage, or is everything I’ve read on the internet junk science intended to get me to buy something?—M.R., Austin, Texas

PA: Some alternative-medicine professionals believe prostate massage may alleviate the pain suffered by men with prostatitis (that is, an inflamed or infected prostate gland), but there are no credible studies that back up this belief. Most doctors recommend modifications to diet and behavior and sometimes prescribe antibiotics to treat prostatitis. If you suspect you have the condition, by all means seek professional medical advice. But if you count sexual satisfaction as a component of mental health, then yes, a prostate massager can be a useful tool if you’re interested in exploring anal play. But let’s call a prostate massager what it is: a sex toy. More precisely, it’s a variation of a dildo designed to put pressure on your prostate when inserted into the anus. Although you’ll find some websites that tout the medical benefits of prostate massage, seldom are these sites run by medical professionals; more often than not they encourage you to buy a particular product. The cleverly named Aneros, considered the best prostate massager out there, is made with FDA-approved medical-grade plastic, and happy customers report intense orgasms from prostate stimulation alone.

Q: A few months ago Playboy published an article that claimed the denim jacket is always in style (“Full-Denim Jacket,” Style, October). I recently wore an old, faded blue-jean jacket, and someone asked if I was celebrating Throwback Thursday. I could not care less about the comment, but I am curious about the type of jackets that are still in style. I have a few in my closet: a classic Levi’s dark blue denim jacket, which according to your article is in style; a heavily faded, nearly whitewashed-looking jacket; a black denim jacket; and a couple of colored Guess jackets that still fit well (one is olive green and the other tan). Which are safe to wear?—G.K., Northborough, Massachusetts

PA: It sounds as though you have a solid collection of jackets that you should continue to hold on to and that will serve you through decades of shifting trends. Colored denim is still in style. Neutrals are always okay. We’re not surprised it was your faded denim jacket that inspired the TBT comment; darker denim is currently more in favor, while faded denim is strongly associated with the 1980s. If you were living in a hipster neighborhood in New York or Los Angeles where ironic references to retro style abound, you might actually have gotten a compliment on it. But we like that you don’t care. Giving a shit about what you wear while not giving a shit about what other people think about what you’re wearing is one of the hallmarks of a man of substantial style. Whatever color you wear, fit is foremost. As long as the cut and color flatter your body type and coloring, and you’re man enough to rock them fearlessly, you should be fine. Sartorial fearlessness is always in fashion. That said, fashion tends to repeat itself, so chances are good that in a couple of years your faded denim jacket will be all the rage in Northborough again.

Q: Several times a month I go out with a large group of friends for a weekend dinner so we can catch up. The meal typically consists of drinks, salads, appetizers, a main course, dessert and occasionally coffee. At our last dinner, we stayed at the steakhouse for more than two and a half hours on a Saturday night; we talked for about 45 minutes after finishing dessert. The tables around us turned over twice with new customers. Is there a time limit we should observe or etiquette we should follow? Leaving immediately after we finish eating would definitely help the restaurant owner and relieve the wait time for diners arriving after us. Some people in our group are a little more “European” in their attitude and feel dinner should be a more relaxed process; unlike the rest of us, they don’t seem to think our long stays are problematic. Any guidance or advice would be appreciated.—A.K., Atlanta, Georgia

PA: Restaurateurs expect tables of two to take roughly 90 minutes to two hours per seating, tables of four to take two and a half to three hours and larger groups to take even longer. So from a time standpoint alone, it doesn’t sound as though you’re outside the norm for a group as large as yours. And the fact that you’re ordering a decent amount of food as well as drinks goes a long way to justifying the time spent. Still, no matter what the size of your party is, staying past dessert for 45 minutes puts everyone in an awkward spot. It looks downright inconsiderate to the restaurant and to any diners who might be waiting for a table to be simply talking and not partaking in the essential goods and services the restaurant provides, i.e., the food and drink. When a restaurant needs your table, employees will let you know, subtly at first, by offering to wrap up leftovers to go, and then more obviously, perhaps by asking if guests need their valet tickets stamped, and lastly by outright stating that a party is waiting to take the table. That said, we do love a languorous, unrushed European-style meal. If you’re uncomfortable with occupying a table for an extended period of time, instead of trying to police your fellow diners’ behavior and pressuring them to end the night, you might want to suggest taking the last reservation of the evening, say at eight P.M. or later, which in most cases will buy you an extra half an hour or so and will allow you to shut down the restaurant without worrying about other parties needing your table. Take care not to push it too late—you don’t want to be the last table in the place, with the lights turned up and all the busboys and line cooks sitting at the bar, staring at you.

Q: Where does the Advisor stand on the circumcision debate? My obstetrician and pediatrician are vague on the subject, and the American Academy of Pediatrics doesn’t seem to take a clear stance either. I know there are possible health benefits to circumcision to consider, but what about the sexual pros and cons? Do uncircumcised men enjoy sex more? And what about their female partners?—D.W., Detroit, Michigan

PA: The Advisor’s position is that there are pros and cons to both decisions. We’re not about to tell anyone what they should do with their (or their son’s) penis when it comes to practices that don’t cause obvious harm. Circumcision is at the center of one of the biggest debates surrounding our privates, and there hasn’t been much measured reporting on the subject. You could argue that it’s traumatic for the child, but we have seen no compelling evidence that circumcised men suffer lasting physical or psychological effects. Some people claim it’s medically unnecessary and thus unjustified. Male circumcision has been shown to significantly reduce the rate of the spread of HIV in southern and eastern Africa. Removing the foreskin reduces the possibility of tears and infection and also reduces the number of infectable cells. But practicing abstinence or using a condom is equally effective. The Mayo Clinic recently published a comprehensive review of studies related to circumcision and concluded that the procedure reduces the risk of urinary tract infections, STDs and prostate cancer. But good hygiene and, again, safe sex are equally if not more effective measures. Some people cite “looking normal” as the reason to circumcise. But normal is relative: In the U.S. roughly 50 percent of male newborns are circumcised, while in Europe only 10 percent are. The Council of Europe, a pan-European human rights organization, is lobbying to curtail infant circumcision on the grounds that it’s not medically necessary and therefore violates a child’s human rights. Of course, Jews and Muslims justify circumcision on religious grounds. As for the pleasure factor, yet again, studies contradict one another. All that said, the Advisor does have more than one adult friend who, when pressed on the matter, admitted to wishing they still had the tips of their dicks. Which may begin to explain why U.S. circumcision rates are slowly declining. If you choose not to circumcise your son, he can always go in for a snip on his own when he turns 18.

Q: When I travel for business I usually carry an expensive soft leather briefcase. I’ve observed that public restrooms in airports and restaurants rarely have an adequate place to stow bags inside the toilet stalls or next to the urinals, and I have no choice but to rest my briefcase on the floor. I’m concerned that germs, fecal matter and urine droplets will attach themselves to the bottom of the case. When I arrive home I’m extremely uncomfortable resting it on anything in my house, including the floor. Am I correct in believing that the bottom of my bag has been contaminated and could be a health hazard? If so, can you suggest a method of cleaning and disinfecting the leather?—M.S., Northridge, California

PA: Leather is porous and you are putting it in contact with what are perhaps the germiest surfaces you’ll encounter in everyday life. So yes, you are picking up some nasty germs. Over time most of them will die, but you’re likely bringing some of them into your house. You also need to keep the situation in perspective and accept that even in your home you’re surrounded by dangerous germs and still manage to get through the day without making yourself sick. Your shoes are easily as dirty as your bag, and your kitchen sink drain is likely dirtier than your shoes. Just don’t put your bag on your dining room table or kitchen counter and you’re at a very low risk for cross-contamination. You could use disinfecting wipes now and again, but most people don’t and they still don’t get sick.

Q: My question deals with proper gifting etiquette. I am one of three children. I have one son, my brother has twins and my sister has three children. Each year we exchange gifts for various holidays and birthdays. Is it proper to give each child a gift worth the same amount, say $50 per child, or should the cost be on a somewhat sliding scale since my siblings and I each have a different number of children? Should my only child and my brother’s twins receive any more than their three cousins? My sister is under the impression that if one of us had 20 kids and another had only one, each child should still receive the exact same amount. Otherwise, she believes, it would be unfair to the individual child. The holidays are fast approaching, and any insight into this issue would be helpful.—J.T., Roanoke, Virginia

PA: We side with your sister on this. Christmas is about the kids. If you want to bring down your average expenditure, you could take advantage of this Christmas’s post-holiday sales and use the presale suggested retail price as your cost. Then everyone, including you, will feel as though they’ve been treated fairly.

Q: My wife and I recently started getting back into sex for the first time after the birth of our child. After the first couple of go-arounds she developed terrible urinary tract infections. What are we not doing correctly? Do I need to Purell myself and gargle peroxide?—J.F., Las Vegas, Nevada

PA: To reduce the potential for infection, you could both bathe before sex. She should bathe afterward, urinate before and after sex and stay hydrated to flush out the urethra. If she is using a diaphragm, which can increase the chances of developing a UTI, try another form of birth control.


For answers to reasonable questions relating to food and drink, fashion and taste, and sex and dating, write the Playboy Advisor, 9346 Civic Center Drive, Beverly Hills, California 90210, or e-mail advisor@playboy.com.


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