having a problem. Twice when my girlfriend has given me oral
sex, I’ve come in her mouth and then a little urine came out.
She’s understandably mad. The first time it happened was in
the morning when I had wood, so I thought it was just me being
full of piss, but the second time was when I wasn’t full of
piss. I just came a lot and she kept sucking and a little
bit of urine came out. Her technique involves a lot of sucking,
so could she be creating some vacuum pressure? Or is there
just something wrong with me?
Swallowing a little piss may be the least of your girlfriend’s
worries, PBA. Researchers at the Johns Hopkins Bloomberg School
of Public Health announced last week that oral sex—blowjobs
and cunnilingus—may cause throat cancer.
First the bad news—and you better sit down, because it’s really,
really bad: If you and your girlfriend have had more than
five oral-sex partners in your lives, PBA, you are both 250-percent
more likely to develop throat cancer than some sad
asshole who’s never had oral sex. Researchers are too polite
to point this out, but I’m not: Most Americans eat pussy and
swallow cock. According to the National Center for Health
Statistics, 90 percent of straight men and 88 percent of straight
women report engaging in oral sex. Half of all American teenagers
have had oral sex; by age 19, the number rises to 70 percent.
believe,” reports New Scientist, “[that] oral sex may
transmit human papillomavirus (HPV), the virus implicated
in the majority of cervical cancers,” and the virus lodges
in the throat, where it can cause cancer. Study subjects infected
with HPV were 32 times more likely to develop throat cancer;
folks who tested positive for one highly aggressive strain
of the virus, HPV-16, were 58 times more likely to develop
throat cancer. Smoking, previously believed to be the
culprit behind most throat cancers, only triples a person’s
risk. (A new slogan for the tobacco industry: “Smoke cigs,
But before we panic—it’s just one study—let’s put throat cancer
in perspective. Despite the fact that nearly all Americans
engage in oral sex, throat cancer accounts for a tiny percentage
of the roughly 1.5 million cases of cancer diagnosed every
year. According to the Cancer Facts & Figures report released
by the American Cancer Society in 2007, we will see 35,000
cases of oral cancer this year—that’s tongue, mouth, pharynx,
and “other oral cavity.” That compares to 271,000 cases of
digestive-system cancers, 229,000 cases of respiratory cancers,
220,000 cases of prostate cancer, 180,000 cases of breast
And let’s put HPV in perspective, too. While most sexually
active adults are exposed to HPV at some point, our immune
systems usually “clear” the virus on their own. So not every
HPV exposure leads to infection, and not every HPV infection
is lifelong. Clearly, men and women need to keep an eye on
their throats—and researchers are, according to reports, working
on a saliva test for HPV—because when it comes to cancer,
early detection saves lives.
So while the news is alarming, and the mainstream media will
doubtless go into full hysteria mode, last week’s report in
the New England Journal of Medicine shouldn’t be read
as, “Eat yourself some pussy, get yourself some throat cancer!”
Engaging in oral sex puts you at a greater risk—significantly
greater, admittedly—of contracting a virus that, if your body
doesn’t clear it, has a very small risk of causing throat
cancer. It’s not a certainty; it’s a risk. As
with any pleasurable activity, sexual or otherwise, we weigh
risks against benefits and make decisions. Smart folks minimize
their risks—by, say, using condoms for oral sex (har har)—but
most sexually active adults are likely to conclude that the
real and immediate pleasures of oral sex are worth risking
a distant and unlikely case of throat cancer.
And now for the good news: There’s a vaccine that offers 100-percent
protection against the strains of HPV that cause cervical
cancer in women and, it now appears, throat cancer in men
and women. The HPV vaccine has already been approved for women
and is currently being tested in men. You may have already
heard of this vaccine thanks to the controversy that surrounds
it. The HPV vaccine is most effective when administered before
a person becomes sexually active; doctors recommend that girls
receive the vaccine at age 11 or 12. Religious conservatives
believe that the HPV vaccine undermines abstinence education
by making sex less risky. Never mind that numerous studies
have shown that abstinence education does not work, HPV vaccine
or no HPV vaccine. The right would rather see 4,000 American
women die of cervical cancer every year than call off the
idiotic, ineffective fraud that is abstinence education.
And up to now the mainstream media have refrained from calling
the right’s opposition to the HPV vaccine what it is—delusional,
psychotic, homicidal—because up to now only women’s lives
were at stake.
That’s about to change.
Here’s the headline from my morning paper: “HPV Factors in
Throat Cancer: Study Could Shift Debate About Vaccine.” You
bet it will. Up to now the HPV vaccine—which, again, has proven
100-percent effective against the cancer-causing strains of
the virus—could merely prevent 10,000 cases of cervical cancer
in American women every year, along with 4,000 deaths. But
now the debate could shift—it will shift, it already
has shifted—because it’s no longer “just” the lives
of 4,000 American women that are on the line, but the sex
lives of 150 million American men.
men got pregnant,” goes the bumper sticker, “abortion would
be a sacrament.” Now that straight men can get cancer from
eating pussy, the HPV vaccine is going to go from controversial
to sacramental faster than you can say, “Suck my dick.”
Okay, PBA, getting back to your original question: Who knows?
Maybe someday, researchers at Johns Hopkins will discover
that piss cures throat cancer. If that day comes, your girlfriend
will thank you for those mouthfuls of piss. She’ll be married
to someone else by then, of course, and may only contact you
through her lawyer, but still. It could happen. Just in case
it doesn’t, PBA, you might want to discuss your orgasm-induced
urinary incontinence with a doctor.
a gay college student, and I really like the guy I’m seeing.
He recently left his e-mail signed in on my computer. My curiosity
got the better of me and I read an e-mail he’d sent to his
ex. In it he implied that I have a small penis that doesn’t
work well. The e-mail was from early in our relationship and
I do have problems getting fully hard the first few times
I’m with someone (these problems have long since been resolved
with this boy!), but I don’t have a small penis! And I am
uncomfortable with his ex being his confidant! Am I the asshole?
Is he? What do I do?
Inappropriately Spills Sexually Erroneous Details
a good rule of thumb—one I just made up—for e-mail snoopers,
PISSED: If the transgression your snooping uncovers is a more
serious transgression than e-mail snooping itself, you apologize
for snooping and confront. But if the uncovered transgression
is less serious, you keep your fool mouth shut.
My advice: Keep your fool mouth shut.
a new Savage Love podcast every Tuesday at www.thestranger.com/savage.