Last week, I appeared at a "Savage Love Live" event at Radford University in Virginia. Questions are submitted on index cards at SLL events, which allows questioners to remain anonymous and forces them to be succinct. The crowd at Radford was large and inquisitive. The students submitted more questions than I could possibly hope to answer in two hours---and Radford students also managed to stump me. Twice. I promised the crowd that I would get answers for the two stumpers and answer as many of their other questions as I could in this week's column.
Q When I sneeze, I ejaculate. Is this normal?
A Yes, totally. Nothing to worry about. This happens to all guys. That's why they make men's underwear out of cotton, dude.
Q Why do all the beautiful girls only go for guys who are assholes?
A Why do all the guys only go for the beautiful girls who only go for assholes? PS: You might want to skip the next question.
Q I really like this guy and I know he likes me, but he is so unapproachable! He always seems to be pissed off about something. How can I get his attention without throwing myself at him?
A Someone who knows you're interested in him and who's genuinely interested in you but who affects an unapproachable, pissed-off demeanour is a game-playing douchebag, and game-playing douchebags are lousy boyfriend material. Surely there are some attractive guys on your campus--- guys you like, guys who like you---who aren't grumpy, game-playing assholes. You know, nice guys. Maybe you could date one of them?
Q Is it normal for girls to orgasm from dry-humping alone?
A Many girls learn to masturbate by grinding their crotches/clits against something (a pillow, typically) and dry-humping is a pretty effective way to re-create that particular sensation---it provides her with the intense, direct clitoral stimulation she needs to get off.
Q Can you get AIDS or an STI from a dead body? Just wondering.
A This is one of the two questions that stumped me. I promised to get an answer, and here it is: "As long as this isn't a thinly veiled necrophilia question, the answer is no," says Caitlin Doughty, a mortician, founder of the Order of the Good Death and the star of the popular, hilarious and informative "Ask a Mortician" YouTube video series. "When the AIDS epidemic first hit in the '80s, there were terrible stories about funeral homes that would charge more for bodies with HIV/AIDS or flat-out tell the family the body was a threat and needed to be cremated immediately. Thankfully, that's now considered wildly unethical and incorrect. Unless you're an embalmer or coroner and dealing closely with all manner of fresh corpse fluids, there should be almost zero risk to you."
Q Is it OK to want to be single for 15 more years?
A More and more people are delaying marriage or remaining single---you might want to read Hanna Rosin's The End of Men and Eric Klinenberg's Going Solo: The Extraordinary Rise and Surprising Appeal of Living Alone---so yeah, it's OK. It's generally OK to make your own choices and live your own life.
Q Should I not have sex with my best friend's babydaddy even though he was my boyfriend before he was hers and we were about to get back together before I found out she was pregnant?
A Yes, you should not.
Q Do you have any advice for non-openly-gay people at a school where gays are almost non-existent?
A Recognize that you're part of the problem. The non-openly-gay people at your school---you and the other closeted gays---create a negative non-existence feedback loop. You don't come out because no one's out, and no one comes out because you're not out. My advice: If you're in a position to come out, come out. If you're not in a position to come out, make plans to get to a place where you can come out. And in the meantime, refrain from whining about a problem that your choices and/or limitations contribute to creating.
Q How do you tell someone that they are bad at sex?
A You don't. You tell someone that there are particular ways you like to be touched/kissed/fucked/bound/whatever and you encourage someone to touch/kiss/fuck/whip/bind you in those particular ways. Hopefully this will lead to someone getting better at sex over a few months. If someone doesn't get better at sex in that time frame, well, then someone either is incapable of getting better at sex or doesn't care that you're unhappy with the sex, and it's time to dump someone.
Q Can you get a yeast infection from licking a yeast infection?
A Another stumper. "Wet folds are a great place for yeast to grow," says Dr. Anna Kaminski, associate medical director for Planned Parenthood of the Great Northwest, "especially if other things are a little out of balance. For example, a woman might be more prone to yeast infections due to other things in the vagina---spermicide, blood, antibiotic-induced changes in vaginal pH balance or hormonal changes. But mouths are really good at keeping yeast in check. So it would be unusual for a person to get a yeast infection orally---unless you suffer from something that predisposes you to oral yeast infections, e.g., you are on antibiotics, you are immunocompromised, you have bad oral hygiene."
Q I've always considered myself a lesbian, but a few weeks ago, I got really drunk and slept with one of my male best friends. Am I not a lesbian?
A Female sexuality is a lot more fluid, as they say, and many lesbian-identified women have slept with men. Your sexuality identity---the label you choose to apply to yourself---should communicate the essential truth about your sexual interests and partner preferences. So you're free to identify as a lesbian even if you slip and fall on the occasional dick.