For as long as I can remember, I've been subject to what I think is some type of oral herpes. Anytime I bite my lip hard enough to break the surface, and sometimes during periods of high stress, I develop mouth sores. These sores are like little craters and they last for about a week, maybe a week and a half. At first they are very painful but hard to see. Then they feel fine but look hideous: covered in white goo. They usually reside far enough inside my mouth that passersby or interlocutors cannot spy them. But sometimes not. Ugh.
What is this malady I suffer from? Can it be cured? Or can healing be speeded up somehow? Is this contagious? Can it be passed through kissing? Through oral sex (of either variety)? Would I be more susceptible to catching STDs during one of these bouts?
I am not a doc. I haven't had a look in your mouth and wouldn't want one--so take this advice with a grain of salt and consider having a real live doc check your mouth out sometime. Now, having laid down the above buttcover, it is my considered opinion that you are not suffering from oral herpes at all. What you got goin' on is plain old everyday boring canker sores. Oral herpes lesions, sometimes called cold sores, usually appear outside the mouth on the outer edge of the lip, and they're caused by that pesky herpes simplex type one virus. Oral herpes can spread from the mouth of an infected person to the genitals of an uninfected person, and it's a big ugly bummer, though by no means the end of an afflicted person's sex life--there are treatments nowadays that can keep herpes pretty much under control, lots of people have them, and they won't kill ya. Canker sores--what you're suffering from--appear inside the mouth, usually as a result of a break in the skin (like when you bite yourself). They can also be caused by an allergic reaction to something you ate, or from stress. They're small but very painful, and a few days after appearing they're usually covered or filled with the whitish gook you describe. The good news: Canker sores are not contagious--you can't give them to your partners. The bad news: There is no cure, and, as you so astutely suspected, you are more susceptible to picking up STDs via, say, oral sex with an infected partner while you have a canker sore in your mouth. Luckily, canker sores are freakin' painful and usually located on the parts of your mouth and lip lining that move across your teeth. Giving a blow job or eating pussy with a canker sore in your mouth will cause the sore to grind against your teeth--a painful but helpful wee reminder that you probably shouldn't be engaging in oral sex at the moment.
Please print this because no one can give me straight answers. I have a problem with birth control. Normally I use rubbers when my girlfriend and I get at it. But I hate rubbers (so does she). She won't take the pill, and female condoms and diaphragms are gross. What I want to know is how effective will it be if I just use spermicidal jelly and pull out before I come? And also, where can I get a vasectomy, how much will it cost, and how effective is it? And could I get my balls fixed later on in order to have kids? --Need Help
According to a Columbia University survey, 21 percent of women who used only spermicide to control pesky births "experienced accidental pregnancy." As birth control, pairing spermicidal jelly and withdrawal isn't all that wise, as loads of girls get knocked up after boys put it in "just a little." You see, there's a steady stream of active wee sperms trickling out of your boy-dick even before you have your boy-orgasm, and even the trace amount of sperm in your precome can be enough to knock someone up. If the girlfriend is OK with the concept of combining spermicidal jelly, withdrawal, and the occasional abortion, then by all means, proceed. But make damn sure she's OK with abortion before you throw away those gross male and female condoms and diaphragms; otherwise it's child support payments for you or a New Jersey prom night for her, if you know what I mean. As for vasectomy--now you're talking birth control, son. It'll cost you anywhere from $250 to $1,000--with family planning clinics costing much less than private docs. The procedure is relatively simple, takes about ten minutes, and no scalpel is involved. You'll have to go in for presnip counseling and a follow-up spunk check to make sure you're shooting blanks before you get the blow-ahead. The snip will not impact the quantity, taste, or viscosity of your spunk. Reversing a vasectomy later in life, however--getting your "balls fixed"--is a much more expensive proposition. It'll cost you between $5,000 and $15,000, and it doesn't always work. Unless you're positive you don't want to have your own wee bio kids, don't get a vasectomy. (And don't forget about STDs: Killer jellies, abortions, and vasectomies may protect you from parenthood, but they will not protect you from herpes, warts, syph, wee bugs, HIV, etc. Only abstinence, proper/obsessive use of latex, or getting way too hammered to get it up in the first place will protect you from all STDs--but be careful not to choke to death on your own vomit. Well, in all honesty, getting smashed won't protect you from STDs, but it will make your date more beautiful, if only temporarily.)
I never thought I'd be writing you a letter, but when you quoted that woman in your column as saying the average female takes 45 minutes to an hour to come, I felt I had to write.
On a sampling of two--my girlfriend and I--I'm skeptical. For me, I'd say the average is 20-25 minutes (I'm assuming that woman meant during masturbation). My girlfriend wouldn't weigh in with a time, but just rolled her eyes and said, "No way!" Anyway, I'm hoping you'll make further inquiries on the subject. Am I really fast, which would be ironic because during my entire life I've been consistently criticized for being too slow, or is the 45-minute figure wrong? --Orgasmic 500
A lot of women wrote in to challenge the 45-minute rule, as laid down by guest expert Ellen Barnard of A Woman's Touch in Madison, Wisconsin. I sent my research assistant, wee Kevin, out to confirm or debunk that estimate. Sadly, Kevin couldn't find any competing figures, and I didn't have the heart to make him do lab work on the subject. So I called Ellen to ask what the hell she thought she was talking about. "What I'm talking about is the full arousal cycle, from the first glimmering--from the moment the thought enters your head--to the final whatever," not 45 minutes of direct and concentrated stimulation, "but the whole arousal cycle, from 'Hey, baby, let's go,' to 'Oh, baby, I'm coming.'"
Hmm. That may be so, but as "arousal cycles" are subjective and personal and can be influenced by all sorts of things--how turned on we are, how drunk we are, how much we're being paid--we probably shouldn't be slapping numbers on 'em. It takes the time it takes.
Send questions to Savage Love, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611.