Playboy Advisor: Does Sex Attract Bears?

By Playboy Advisor

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My wife and I went camping for a few days in Yellowstone. I wanted to make love, but she refused. She said that having sex in the woods might attract bears. Is that true? —T.Y., Boulder, Colorado

Unless you’re covered in honey or make love while frying bacon, you aren’t putting yourself in danger. Professor Steve Herrero of the University of Calgary, who has documented nearly 900 bear attacks over the past 30 years, has found only a few where a couple reported having sex before the bear showed up. “That’s probably nothing more than chance,” he says. He won’t dismiss a connection completely—“a bear’s sense of smell is as good or better than any bloodhound’s”—but the chances you’ll be attacked are almost nil to begin with if you observe the standard precautions of backcountry camping, such as keeping your food properly sealed and stored (most attacks occur when the animal is surprised by hikers). Herrero has also recorded only three or four cases where a bear attacked a woman who happened to be menstruating, another common but exaggerated fear. Bears can be as unpredictable as humans, however, so triple-bag fresh and used tampons and sanitary napkins, scented soaps and colognes. Then again, if you’re carrying cologne into the woods, you don’t belong there.I have never gone skinny-dipping because I’m afraid a fish will bite my penis. Do you know if something like that has ever happened? —A.E., Loveland, Colorado

As long as you don’t swim in a jungle river near a dam, you’ll be okay. That’s because the fish most likely to take a chance like that is the speckled piranha or one of its toothed cousins, and they gather near dams. They aren’t aiming for your privates but for whatever flesh they can find to defend their young. Vidal Haddad Jr. of the Botucatu School of Medicine in São Paulo, an expert on fish attacks, knows of only one study that even mentions penis bites (published in 1972), and he hasn’t heard of any incidents in his own research. There is a well-documented case of a tiny catfish, known as a candiru, jumping into a man’s urethra as he stood thigh-deep in the Amazon to urinate. He needed surgery to remove it.

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


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