Q&A With Campus’ Favorite Sex Columnist

I was having oral sex and the guy I was with came in my eye. Is there a risk of transmitting an STD? I know that I should have been safer but this is not something that I could foresee happening. Any advice?

So, I know that this situation may seem a bit odd but, it is not all that rare. Come happens … if you’re doing it right. Don’t be so hard on yourself — after all, being hard on you is what got you in this position in the first place.
Okay, but in all seriousness, there is a risk of bacterial infections like chlamydia or gonorrhea being transmitted in this manner. However, these things are usually accompanied by other symptoms like red, painful, itchy eyes or strange ocular discharge. Unless you’re experiencing these things, you’re probably fine. Additionally, viruses such as Hepatitis B and HIV have an almost negligible percentage of transmission in this manner. That’s a long way of saying that you don’t have to worry about being cockeyed. However, even in your short message, I can sense a bit of anxiousness about the whole situation. If it bothers you that much, see a doctor and get it all checked out.

What advice can you give about hygiene practices for the ladies? My girlfriend’s vagina has a very strong smell; that’s just the way it is. The doctor says she’s healthy but her smell can be unattractively poignant sometimes. I’ve mentioned it to her a few times but she gets upset and withdraws from the sex. Am I wrong to mention it? I just want the situation to be better for both of us.
Dumb boy?

No, you’re not dumb, DB. Some women do have particularly poignant smells in their body basement. But before I get started on information about that, I want to make one thing clear. I know that our patriarchal culture and gendered expectations of hygiene give you (and millions of vagina-bashing dweebs) a big arena to complain about your girlfriend’s ‘poignant vag’. However, how frequently do you hear people complaining about the smells of penises? Almost never. This is not because cocks don’t produce unpleasant aromas — any sweaty area of the body secluded from light and air will have a bit of a funk to it. The fact is that conventional sex roles allow the female body to be critiqued and objectified and the male body valorized.  So, before you go complaining about your girlfriend’s musky muff, remember that your scrotum probably smells like goat cheese and she never complains. Why? Because she has done you, her lover, the gracious favor of acquiring the taste of cock and the smells of cock. Being intimate is not only about the feelings of stimulation, but the tastes, sounds and smells of intimacy. Goat cheese is one of those smells — deal with it.
Yet, I digress. To answer your question, there are many factors that contribute to the smell of your girlfriend’s vagina. If she does not have an infection, it may be the effects of some of her lifestyle choices that are causing the smell to be ‘poignant’.  One of those things is diet — what you put into your body is what you secrete from your body. So, if your girlfriend is eating eight onions a day, I can imagine that her stew may taste like French onion. Acidic fruits, especially pineapples, yogurt are supposed to be great for maintaining good vaginal pH. Your girlfriend’s choice of panties may also contribute to the smell — loose, cotton panties, as oppose to synthetics, are breathable and allow vaginas to get a breath of fresh air. Hair also retains sweat and smell — a little trimming of the pubic hair can very effectively alleviate some of this smell situation. Most importantly, your girlfriend should be thoroughly cleaning her vulva every day with mild, unscented soap, and water. She should never, ever clean inside of her vagina or douche. The vagina is a self-cleansing organ and will do the job itself. Manually cleaning the pipes ruins the very delicate balance that the vagina works so hard to maintain by unsettling vaginal flora.
This can be a lot to swallow for your girl, DB, and it sounds like you’ve clumsily broached this topic before. Be sensitive and unimposing when talking to your girlfriend about this. Don’t isolate her — explain that everybody, even you, struggles with the natural smells of the body (mention the cheesy dick thing) and that it’s okay. Of course, it is ultimately your girlfriend’s decision to make changes to her routine. But, I’m sure you could convince her to do it if you did it with her.

My girlfriend and I have been dating for more than a year. I love her and we have a good time. The problem is that she has this friend who “really gets her” — they come from a similar background, have similar interest, and can always keep the “most amazing conversations”. Obviously I am a bit jealous, but of late I’ve been questioning whether or not their relationship is strictly platonic. They spend a lot of time together and I’m beginning to feel like this friendship is threatening our relationship. Do you think I have grounds to ask her to stop seeing him?
Earl of Sandwich  

EOS, it sounds like you have a good relationship with your girlfriend. The fact that you’ve been dating for a while and you have a ‘good time’ is indicative of this. If this is the case, I don’t think that you do have grounds to ask her to stop seeing this friend. There comes a time when we must realize and take responsibility for our own ungrounded insecurities. That’s not to invalidate the way that you feel, but to help you understand that jealously and a bit of feeling left out may be more the source of your problem than your girlfriend’s friendship. Just realize that your girlfriend has made her choice — she has decided to be your girlfriend and have a ‘good time’ with you. This means that you’re special to her, backgrounds and interests aside, and she wants you intimately. So, when you start feeling those natural bits of insecurity and experiencing all-too-human stints of jealousy, remember that you are the one your girlfriend wants and push those nagging thoughts to the back of your mind. A good partner should gracefully deal with their own petty insecurities in a way that doesn’t affect the happiness of the other partner. Friendships like the one your girlfriend is having with this other person are friendships of comfort, established between two people who enjoy having someone who understands where you’ve been and what you’ve been through. Don’t let your jealousy ruin that.

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