Airing it all out | Savage Love | Halifax, Nova Scotia | THE COAST

Airing it all out

Is it safe for me to air out my penis? Plus: Beginner butt stuff, and determining whether it’s OK to cheat.

Q A couple of months ago, I got candida (a fungal infection) under my foreskin. I went to the doctor, picked up some cream and used the cream as directed. The infection went away for about a week and then returned. I got this idea that maybe the cream didn't work the first time because it's so naturally moist under the foreskin. So I used the cream a second time—but this time, after each application I would "air out" my penis, i.e., pull back the foreskin and leave the head exposed to the open air for a little while. The candida cleared up. What surprised me, though, was that I really enjoyed this twice-a-day airing out. I've continued doing it. I have no idea why I find this enjoyable. I'm not masturbating while I'm doing it. I just use that flap on the front of my underwear to help keep the foreskin back and leave my glans exposed for about 15 minutes.

I'm wondering if, by airing out my cock in this way, there's any risk of causing damage. From reading the all-knowing internet, it seems that this amount shouldn't cause any problems, but I'd like to get an expert opinion. I have noticed a slight decrease in sensitivity, but that has been a positive thing, as I've always been quite sensitive. This airing out of my penis seems to accomplish a slight desensitizing that I find beneficial. Can I continue to do it? —Apparently Into Retraction

A "This shouldn't be a problem," says Stephen King, a urologist and one of my go-to guys on all things dick. "It sounds like he found a unique solution to a couple of issues: infections and sensitivity."

So you can continue airing out your cock with King's blessing—and congratulations on coming up with a successful foreskin hack, AIR. But Dr. King wouldn't recommend your foreskin hack to uncircumcised/intact dudes with a very particular medical condition. (I'm using "hack" here in the "life hack" sense, obviously—perhaps a poor choice of slang, considering that humanity has been needlessly hacking away at foreskins for millennia.)

"The only time keeping a foreskin pulled back for a prolonged period of time becomes a problem is when someone has phimosis," says King. An adult with phimosis either can't retract their foreskin over the head of their penis or has a very difficult time doing so—a condition an adult may develop as the result of an infection or some other trauma that scarred the foreskin. "In patients who are elderly or demented, the foreskin can get stuck in the retracted position," says King, "trapping blood in the head of the penis like a tourniquet, causing severe pain—we call this 'paraphimosis.'" Paraphimosis is some serious shit—gangrene can set in, and the head of the penis might have to come off.

"I don't think this is an issue for AIR," says King, "so he can continue as desired. Just tell him to be careful with that zipper!"

Q Gay 20-year-old boy here. I want some ideas on what kind of anal toys are best for beginners like myself. I've already used my fingers, but I want to move up to an actual toy before moving on to an actual boy. A recommendation from you would be great! —Boy Undertaking Tushy Toys

A They're not glamourous or groundbreaking, BUTT, but the old reliable butt plug is still the best bet for anal-play newbies—gay, straight or bi. They look like tiny lava lamps, they fit neatly in butts and anal sphincters hold them firmly in place—freeing up your hands for other things, from jacking yourself off to swiping right to writing advice columns.

Q I love that you use the term "cocksucker" only in a non-pejorative way. I don't know if you've said so explicitly, but I imagine your aim is to remove its negative connotation. As the owner of a cock, I think cocksucking is WONDERFUL! Therefore, cocksuckers are wonderful as well. There needs to be more cocksucking in this world! Following your example, I am trying to use the term only in its literal sense and only in a positive light. Do you have a good substitute word for a person one is not pleased with? —Changing Language Is Terrific

A "How about "kochbrother," CLIT? Same number of syllables, same explosive/percussive "K" sound at the start, same "er" ending—and our democracy (and our environment) would be a lot better off if there were more cocksuckers and fewer Koch brothers.

Q I would like some clarification. Does my situation fall into the "when it's OK to have an affair" category or am I just looking for you to absolve me of guilt? I got divorced a year ago, and I'm 100 percent focused on being a mom during the time my son is with me and helping him through the divorce transition. I met a man who has been married for 20-plus years and I'm having an affair with him. He and his wife spend all of their time taking care of their adult disabled son. He said they have nothing in common but caretaking. He's never said anything bad about the wife except they've grown apart and he can't (or won't) leave because of their son. It works for me because he's the most incredible lover I've ever had and he doesn't bother me or demand attention when I'm busy being a mom. I do have strong feelings for him but no expectation of him leaving his wife to be with me. Does this meet your "OK to cheat" criteria?—Loving Isn't Always Really Simple

A Indeed it does, LIARS. Your situation, in fact, is a good example of the kind of affair people rarely hear about and advice professionals pretend don't exist—the affair that saves a marriage and improves the lives and lots of everyone involved, whether directly or indirectly. Your marriage is over, of course, but you're getting your sexual needs met by someone who doesn't distract you from your son's needs. And the time your lover spends with you—the intimacy, affirmation and release you provide him—has doubtless helped to make him a kinder and less resentful companion/partner and a better father/caretaker. Here's hoping your lover's wife is getting the kind of sanity-preserving intimacy, affirmation and release she needs, too—whether sexual or in some other form.

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