OA_show('Wallpaper');
OA_show('Leaderboard - Xx90');
Choose your edition:

Search form

Wrapping your rimming

Ideas

Wrapping your rimming

Keep the pleasure, skip the parasites
Dear Dr Ren,

I’ve recently completed five weeks of meds to get rid of amoebas, contracted from rimming. This is not the first time I’ve gone through this.

The nurse I dealt with basically said, “Nice boys don’t rim anymore, due to this issue.”

Maybe it’s the porn I watch, but it seems that rimming is actually a very common, generally expected (not to mention pleasing) component of the active gay man’s sexual repertoire.

What to do? —Ass Lover

***
Dear Ass Lover,

Though the nurse’s judgmental remark was undoubtedly well intentioned, it was incorrect on several levels. Nice boys, and naughty boys, as well as girls of many stripes, rim.

It’s also true that rimming carries the risk of transmission not only of amoebas, but also of hepatitis A, genital warts, parasites such as shigella and giardia, and herpes and syphilis if an open area or sore is present.

These nasty complications are not passed just by licking someone’s ass, either. Any behaviour that brings someone’s fecal matter from their gastrointestinal tract to your mouth — rimming, fingering or even just sharing sex toys — can do it. You can even get infected from licking or sucking your lover’s balls or butt cheeks after anal sex.

If you’re thinking that a shower and a thorough anal douche will eliminate the risk, you’re wrong. While this is logical, remember that we are dealing with microscopic organisms. Remain conscious of where your hands, mouth and dick have been in relation to your partner’s ass. You want to keep “ass” last in the sequence to minimize the chances of contamination with your mouth.

Of course, I’m talking about thinking rationally about risk reduction at times when rationality and risk are low on the list of things you’re likely thinking about, after pleasure, excitement, maybe romance. If STIs were devious, plotting creatures, they’d be counting on this. We need to be considering our risk before we’re tipsy with pleasure. In other words, plan ahead.

Probably the best protection when rimming is to use ordinary household plastic wrap. It provides full visuals and heat transference and is easier to use than thicker, smaller and pricier dental dams. It even comes in gay-friendly rainbow colours! A generous dab of water-based lube on the butt-side will help it stay put, and you can also “pin” it in place with some deep tongue or finger penetration.

Keep in mind that you may not be aware of symptoms even if you are infected, although you can still infect your partners. Sometimes all you may notice is some diarrhea. If you are HIV-positive and take meds that often cause diarrhea anyway, a bacterial or parasitic infection can go undetected and untreated. If you have AIDS, these infections can develop into more serious illnesses and may recur even following treatment.

For all these reasons, using a barrier for any sexual behaviours that involve a risk of possible fecal contamination with your mouth is just plain smart. Sexy? Maybe not at first glance, but avoiding repeated infections could change your whole appreciation of plastic wrap.

I am reminded of a recent therapy session with a heterosexual couple, the woman suffering from chronic bladder infections. She also complained that her mechanic husband’s hands and nails were often rough and dirty, but she’d not considered the two might be related. When I suggested he wear gloves during sex, they both balked: “Not sexy.”

I related the story of listening, in grad school, to gay men talk about how they had learned to eroticize safe-sex practices and about how our homework assignment had been to write about (and practise!) ways we could do this ourselves. All these years later, the snap of a latex glove still makes me wet, considering, Pavlov-like, how good I know I’m going to feel in the next few minutes.

Granted, plastic wrap or dams are difficult to swoon over, as they interrupt the flow of the action and require a modicum of communication. Still, the choice is easier after a couple of rounds of catching amoebas from licking someone else’s shit, isn’t it? That realization has got to be more of a downer than the inconvenience of stretching a barrier over your lovely’s rosebud and watching him squirm with delight, eh?

We have been talking about the specific instance of what can happen during unprotected oral/anal sex. It’s important to shift our perspective a bit to consider a more universal approach.

I don’t think many of us enter into new sexual relationships looking forward to discussing how we’re going to manage safe-sex decisions. Frankly, we’d rather not have the discussions or have to use the protection. It’s more fun, more romantic and quicker to avoid the topic and the mechanics altogether, but the days of risking nothing more serious than crabs haven’t been around since harvest-gold appliances.

I agree with you that rimming is a common and pleasing menu item for gay men (and others). Worrying about getting sick from doing it diminishes your enjoyment. Okay, so does having to rim through plastic wrap. Your choices are to give up rimming or learn to eroticize the safe-sex version. Door number two is the easy winner!
OA_show('Text Ad - #1');
OA_show('Text Ad - #2');
Sign in or Register to post comments