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Hey, Faggot:

I am always alone on Valentine's Day. No romance, no relationship. It's depressing. I know: whine, whine, whine. But I am tired of feeling sorry for myself on Valentine's Day! So, do you have any ideas on what to do, where to go, any neat things I could do for myself or others that day? A onetime volunteer opportunity might be nice, but where? I'd like to make plans ahead of time to do something more constructive on February 14 than feeling sorry for myself. No more whining, nor more pity parties! --B

Hey, B:

Valentine's Day sucks.

It's one of those two or three days a year when everyone and everything conspires to heighten our expectations to absolutely unrealistic levels, assuring us a miserable letdown of an experience. If we dare watch TV, or pick up a paper, or leave the fucking house anytime around Valentine's Day or Christmas or Thanksgiving or New Year's Eve or Mother's Day we're barraged with images of impossible-to-attain levels of material and emotional comforts, images that force us to draw unflattering comparisons with our own piddling less-than-Hallmarked lives.

And you know what, B? Valentine's Day sucks whether or not you have a squeeze. If you don't have one, you feel like a loser. If you do, they forgot to send you flowers, or they were too busy to see you, or you couldn't get reservations at a decent restaurant, or whatever. But something invariably happens that makes you feel like "your" Valentine's Day, the Valentine's Day promised you by every goddamned Hallmark card commercial and every fucking florist from here to the Arctic Circle, was ruined.

Valentine's Day seems to exist solely to make us feel like our relationships are less than perfect, in the same way Christmas seems to exist to make us feel like our families are less than perfect. I loathe the whole nasty business.

So, what to do if you're single? You could go out on Feb 14 in hopes of running into other squeezeless types, who may be a little more vulnerable, and therefore makeable, due to VD's cruelest premise: if you don't have a Valentine on Valentine's Day to send you a card and suddenly overpriced flowers, you are a loser.

But matches made in desperation aren't usually matches worth making, so I advise you to bow out of the whole ugly business. Go with your altruistic impulse: spend the day at an AIDS hospice, an old-folks home, or a homeless shelter--there are plenty of people out there in need of a valentine, even (or especially) a platonic one.

Or you could go to Vegas for three days, hole up in a suite with a case of Scotch, a stack of Dean Martin CDs, and order up yourself a boy or girl from one of those classy modeling agencies that serve the hotels. It'll cost ya, but you won't be alone--there'll doubtless be plenty of other folks there doing the exact same thing.

Hey, Faggot:

There seems to be an increase in the personals these days of men looking for a lactating female to help "fulfill a fantasy." A recent episode of NBC's Friends had the friends all tasting someone's breast milk. Doesn't ingesting breast milk pose a potential health risk? Shouldn't one check out the breast's HIV status first? --Carla

Hey, C:

I missed the episode of Friends you refer to: I'm out of the Friends loop (not TV), but I have noticed the increase of personal ads from men and women seeking lactaters. Isn't it interesting how kinks and fetishes, like everything else, go in and out, wax and wane, come and go?

The risks? Well, if a woman is HIV positive, her breast milk contains pretty much the same amount of the virus as her blood or the semen of an HIV-positive man. For this reason, HIV-positive mothers are advised not to breast-feed.

But here's an interesting little fact: HIV-positive mothers who breast-feed against doctor's orders increase their infant's risk of seroconverting (becoming HIV positive) by only 15 percent. Considering that the children of HIV-positive breast feeders are exposed to their mother's breast milk (and thereby the virus) several times a day for up to two years, a 15 percent seroconversion rate is pretty low--further evidence that oral exposure to HIV is less likely to result in seroconversion, or to "take," than other exposure routes.

If someone were to, say, get fucked up the butt (sans condoms) three times a day for two years by a guy with HIV, the odds that he or she would end up HIV positive after being exposed to all that semen would be considerably better than 15 percent, probably up there 'round 100 percent, right? And a guy who shared a needle for two years with an HIV-positive person, repeatedly exposing himself to HIV-positive blood, could count on being HIV positive too, right? Puts that 15 percent in perspective, don't it?

So, while your concern for grown-up breast feedees, Carla, is commendable, the risks of a single, fantasy-fulfilling "taste," even if you happen to be taking a nip from the breast of an HIV-positive lactater (which is not a given--something we seem to forget when we're assessing the risks of various sex acts), would have to be described as slight. So long as the taster's mouth is in good repair--no cuts or open sores--the mouth's lining and the acid present in your saliva should protect anyone who's realizing his "mother's milk" fantasies from contracting HIV. If the lactater in question is HIV negative, the only health risk the taster is running is heart disease.

Hey, Faggot:

When I make love, I love my breasts to be squeezed and sucked very hard. Although I enjoy this a great deal, my nipples rarely get hard--even during intercourse. I have tried to pleasure myself and that doesn't work either. If they get hard, it's only for a brief moment. My boyfriend always thinks he isn't satisfying me. Even when he does, they still don't get hard. Are there any other women with this problem and what does it mean and what can I do, either alone or with him? I've rented a few porno movies over the years and I have never seen any of the women with anything other than hard nipples. What do I do? --Thanks

Hey, T:

What do you do? You accept the fact that, for whatever reason, your nips aren't of the hardening variety. Not everyone--girls or boys--is capable of nipple erections. If your nonerect nipples lead the boyfriend to believe that you're not excited, when in actual fact you are excited, just direct his attention to your sopping wet pussy. That should be all the evidence he needs of the veracity of your arousal.

And did you know that people's nipples get more sensitive as they age? You may find in ten years or so that your nips have become more responsive. Or you may not.

Send questions to Savage Love, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611.

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