Monday, November 28, 2005

More Funky Drawers

One of the things I like most about working in HIV/STD prevention is getting paid to learn all about offbeat methods of sexual gratification. From fisting to fellatio to foot worship, it’s my job to provide people with up-to-date, medically-accurate information about the possible risk factors of any and all sex acts.

Because officialdom often lags far behind what is actually going on in people’s bedrooms, I supplement my knowledge by faithfully reading Dan Savage’s Savage Love column every week. In addition to being hilarious, Savage assesses risks in a manner that is sensible and easy to understand.

For example, let’s say you’re an underpants fetishist. The Internet is fairly brimming with women willing to part with their soiled panties for a fee, but is it safe? To find out, Savage enlisted Planned Parenthood’s Robert Harkins, who said:

“Depending on how recently the panties were worn, there is a danger of contracting an STD. If the woman who was wearing the panties had an actively seeping herpes sore, for example, and the panties were rubbed around the face and mouth, there is some danger of contracting oral herpes. With chlamydia or gonorrhea, if the panties came into contact with the mucus tissue of the eyes, and the panties were fresh enough, there is a chance of transmission."

Fortunately, these dirty bugs don’t live long once they’re outside the body, so the risk is effectively minimal. Savage recommends airing the mail-order undies out before use, which is good advice all around.

And just in case you’re wondering, the fact that I’ve done two posts about underwear in less than a week is purely coincidental. Really. Stop looking at me!

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