By Ronnie Cohen
Before scheduling a bikini wax, or shaving down there, consider the results of a new study.
Men and women who trimmed or removed their pubic hair were nearly twice as likely to report having had a sexually transmitted infection, or STI, compared with non-groomers, researchers found after adjusting for age and number of sexual partners.
The lesson, according to the study’s senior author, Dr. Benjamin Breyer: “I wouldn’t groom aggressively right before a sexual encounter with a partner I didn’t know well, and I would avoid having sex with an open cut or wound.”
Removing pubic hair might tear the skin, opening an entryway for bacteria or viruses, the authors write in the journal Sexually Transmitted Infections.
But in a phone interview, Breyer, a urology professor at the University of California, San Francisco, cautioned that pubic hair grooming also might mask other contributing factors to STIs. Groomers, for example, could be more likely to engage in risky sexual behaviors – behaviors not considered in the study.
It is the first large-scale investigation into the relationship between grooming practices and STIs.
Researchers surveyed 7,470 randomly sampled adults who reported at least one lifetime sexual partner. Some 84 percent of the women and 66 percent of the men groomed their pubic hair.
The 17 percent of groomers who removed all their hair were more than four times as likely to report a history of STIs compared to those who let their hair grow naturally, the study found.
The 22 percent of groomers who trimmed their pubic hair at least weekly reported more than triple the rate of STIs compared to those who left it alone.
U.S. cases of the three most common sexually transmitted infections – chlamydia, gonorrhea and syphilis – reached an all-time high last year, according to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.
But Debby Herbenick, a sex researcher and professor at the Indiana University School of Public Health in Bloomington, isn’t ready to advise people to discard their razors on the basis of the study.
“What was really missing from the paper was the aspect of sex,” she said in a phone interview. “That’s important because you’re not getting an STI from shaving or trimming your pubic hair.”
The only question researchers asked about sex was how many partners participants had in their lifetimes.
“For me, the study isn’t enough to urge anyone to change anything about what they’re doing about the body,” said Herbenick, who was not involved with the research.
A previous study found that women who removed all their pubic hair were more likely to engage in casual sexual hookups as opposed to long-term relationships – possible evidence that something other than grooming itself caused the STIs, she said.
Along those lines, in the romantic comedy, “How to be Single,” Rebel Wilson playing Robin laments her friend’s LTRP, or “long-term relationship pubes.”
Regardless of whether and how people groom their pubic hair, Breyer stressed the importance of practicing safe sex, especially using a condom when engaging in casual sex.
Pornography and Hollywood, particularly a painful-to-watch 2000 episode of HBO’s hit “Sex in the City,” with Sarah Jessica Parker playing Carrie Bradshaw getting a Brazilian bikini wax, popularized women stripping their genitals bald, Herbenick said.
The trend appeared to slow during the recession and may be reversing. Earlier this year, Vogue magazine ran a story headlined, “The Full Bush Is the New Brazilian.”
But men and women still remove their pubic hair. Because they frequently do so in preparation for sex, Herbenick sees groomers as unlikely to heed Breyer’s advice about waiting to heal after grooming and before having sex.
“We know people are grooming in preparation for sex,” she said. “So I don’t think waiting is the answer.”
In another recent study in JAMA Dermatology, more than 80 percent of American women said they groomed their pubic hair, and 56 percent reported doing so to get ready for sex. Women groomed regardless of how often they had sex, the gender of their sex partner and their sexual activities.
Complete Article HERE!
By Ed Noon
The British are a nation of stoics, often too proud to admit we have a problem, and too polite to bother anyone else about it. Men are particularly bad at piping up about health issues, especially when it comes to our penises. Often, a source of embarrassment can be a simple lack of knowledge. Fortunately, the male anatomy is quite easy to understand, and learning what to say when seeing your GP can help avoid red faces. Read our guide from a working NHS doctor for how to keep your penis healthy…
Don’t use slang
The number of highly imaginative slang words that have been used to describe penises can leave patients embarrassed and doctors wondering. Keep it real and you’ll be taken seriously. Here’s a quick anatomically correct dictionary of our own for you to memorise and check off next time you’re in the mirror:
Penis and foreskin – no explanation needed.
Shaft – the main length of your penis but not including the glans (tip).
Glans/tip – the highly sensitive area at the end of the penis, usually covered by a foreskin, unless removed in an operation called a circumcision, with an opening for urine and semen to escape.
Meatus – pronounced “me-ay-tuss”, this is the medical name for that opening.
Testes – otherwise known as testicles or balls. All are acceptable.
Scrotum – this is the stretchy skin that forms a sack for your testes. A thin muscle allows the scrotum to contract, which it does so in cold conditions to maintain your sperm at a constant temperature.
Epididymis – behind and above the testes lies the area that stores the sperm made in the testes. Above the testes is a firm tube that carries your sperm from the epididymis (via the prostate which lies near your bladder, so it goes a long way) eventually out through your urethra to come out in the hole in the tip of your penis (yep, the meatus – well remembered).
Knowing just a small detail of anatomy can really take the embarrassment out of a problem when explaining things. So next time you notice that something’s not right, be confident and just tell your doctor “straight up”.
DIY penis maintenance
Many male problems don’t require the attention of a medical professional. Allow GQ to fill you in.
How to clean your penis
We often gaze in awe and talk excitedly about the nose-tingling, fungus-coated, ash-rolled, squishy goodness that is a well-stocked cheese counter. That’s not what you want people to experience when getting up close and personal with your penis. The “knob cheese” that is technically known as smegma, has a particularly vile smell and builds up when the area underneath a foreskin hasn’t been cleaned. This area should be cleaned daily (just pull back) along with the rest of your genitals, your bottom and the area in between, called the perineum. Use a mild soap as these areas can be sensitive.
How to examine your scrotum
Testicular cancer is the most common cancer in young men. For this reason, every week you should examine each testis (the plural is testes) in turn between your finger and thumb by rolling the skin over them. The most common symptom is a lump of any size but you should book an appointment with your GP if you have any new feelings in the scrotal area.
On a lighter note, most lumps in the scrotum aren’t cancer, and if it does turn out to be cancer, it’s one of the most treatable forms of the disease. You should get to know your balls like the back of your hand.
Maintaining an erection
Erectile dysfunction, or impotence, is unfortunately common from middle age onwards and it’s caused by a narrowing of the blood vessels that pump blood to create and maintain an erection. This narrowing may occur for a number of reasons but high blood pressure, diabetes and smoking are high on the list. Giving up smoking seems like a no-brainer, and maintaining a healthy body weight and undertaking regular exercise reduce your risk of developing high blood pressure and diabetes.
Protect your penis from STIs
STIs are invisible and often give no symptoms for many years so you won’t know if you’ve just passed one on, so you should always wear a condom. Available free at GPs and sexual health clinics, they significantly reduce the risk of the transmission of STIs but they’re nowhere near as effective if they remain unopened in your wallet. There are so many easy ways to get tested for STIs – a simple fingerpick test can detect HIV, and many GP surgeries have urine pots to test for chlamydia and gonorrhoea that you can pick up and drop off discretely without even making an appointment. No excuses.
Be careful with trimming
Many of us take pleasure in keeping neat and tidy. There are no hard and fast rules about what to do here, but a sensible one is to exercise caution. Be especially careful in the craggy terrain of your scrotum if shaving, where it can be technically more challenging to not make a tiny cut in the skin – this could potentially introduce harmful bacteria which could cause cellulitis, abscesses or worse, Fournier’s gangrene (Googling not recommended).
Penis size really doesn’t matter to women
A 2015 survey of women presented with photographs of all types and sizes of penises published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine revealed that penis length was one of the least valued attributes. “Overall cosmetic appearance” came out on top. So no need to worry about whether your penis size is above or below average. Just keep it looking good.
Use your penis to keep it healthy
Make ejaculation part of your daily routine. Here’s why: a large Harvard study of nearly 30,000 men found the risk of prostate cancer was 33 per cent lower in men who’d ejaculated at least 21 times per month, compared to those who ejaculated only 4-7 times per month. This included ejaculations during sex, masturbation and, um, “nocturnal emissions”. Time to play catch up.
Complete Article HERE!
Hey sex fans,
Alrighty then! As I promised, I have a swell Q&A show in store for you today. I have a whole bunch of very
interesting correspondents vying for their moment in the sun, so to speak. Each one is ready to share his or her sex and relationship concerns with us. And I will do my level best to make my responses informative, enriching and maybe even a little entertaining.
Matthew Wants to know about Bent-Con.
Some guy calls in with a story about a big dick he saw.
Dan is looking into rimming.
Meth User is concerned about his burning ejaculation.
Dr Dick has a ditty about porn woes.
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