Category Archives: Masturbation

Risky Business: Consuming Ejaculation

Dear Sexpert,

I hang around in the evening with friends and we sometimes have some beer. We were hanging recently and we all got a McDonald’s. I was with three guys and we were fooling about and they ejaculated into a shake and got me to drink it. I was like Eew at first but when I started drinking it I quite liked that they were all focused on watching me and the attention I got. I couldn’t taste their stuff and it was fine. Is this risky? I’m guessing they may want to try it again soon.

 -Risky Business

Dear Risky Business,

Let me start out by saying there’s no single definition as to what “risky” sexual behavior is. For example, risk can refer to the likelihood of getting pregnant or contracting a sexually transmitted infection (STI), your personal safety during an encounter, your comfort level and how close the encounter came to any personal boundaries you may have, or to potential social or interpersonal impacts of a sexual encounter. Additionally, some sexual activities can be legally risky or illegal. While legality, and the risk of getting pregnant or contracting an STI can be somewhat objectively interpreted (through the known effectiveness of different types of contraception and knowledge of your partners’ and your own sexual history and STI test results), your comfort and safety regarding a sexual encounter have to be interpreted through your own feelings. Let’s address each aspect of risk of your encounter in turn, but remember that many of the aspects solely rely on what you want to do sexually, and what you consent to.

First, you cannot become pregnant through drinking ejaculate (or through oral sex, for that matter). However, you can still contract STIs through contact with bodily fluids (i.e., blood, semen, vaginal fluid). Many of the most commonly spread STIs, including gonorrhea, chlamydia, and herpes, can be spread through oral contact with ejaculate. Without knowing the STI statuses of your friends, you were potentially incurring risk for STI transmission. Engaging in oral play is safer with use of barrier methods (e.g., condoms) and/or confirming negative STI status of partners involved.

Consent by all parties, and trust that your partner(s) will abide by the limits of your consent, is crucial for any sexual encounter. Consent must be affirmative (“yes, I want to do this with you”), specific (“I want to do ___ with you, but not ___”), ongoing (“I am still okay with what we’re doing”), and uncoerced. If someone pressures you to do something until you give in, that is not consent freely given. Additionally, if someone is incapacitated (due to drugs, alcohol, or mental or physical incapacitation), they cannot give consent. By your description of the encounter, it is unclear whether you fully consented to the activity, or may have felt pressured into it. You said that you were initially uncomfortable with it and it also sounds like you had not discussed ahead of time what you were going to do, and what you were comfortable with. If this is the case, it could suggest that future encounters with these friends are risky in the sense that they may again not listen to and respect your wishes. I encourage you to reflect upon how much you trust them, and whether you are comfortable with what happened and/or feel confident that you can be honest with them in the future about your boundaries.

Legality also factors into the risk of this experience. From your question, it sounds like you may still have been near the McDonald’s and in public when this occurred. In many states, including New Jersey, public sex acts are considered misdemeanors, and depending on the state and manner of the offense, they can count as sex crimes. It’s legally risky to have any kind of sexual encounter, including exposing one’s genitals, in public (N.J.R.S. 2C:14-4). As well, if you were drinking beer in public, this violates restrictions on public consumption of alcohol, and also underage drinking laws if you or any of your friends are under 21. If you were in a car at the time, it is also illegal to have an open container in a motor vehicle, and it is dangerous (and depending on age and level of impairment, possibly illegal) for anyone to drive after consuming alcohol. Finally, keep in mind that consent requires full competence; people who have been drinking to the point of incapacitation cannot consent.

Finally, it’s important for you to think about what exactly about your encounter you liked, and whether you want to repeat it. It sounds like you may have liked the way your encounter made you feel (paid attention to) more than you liked the encounter itself. If this is the case, consider whether you were actually happy and comfortable with what you did, or whether you were only comfortable with it because it had an emotional pay off. Doing things you’re not comfortable with sexually for an emotional payoff may leave you feeling cheated if you do the act and don’t get the reward. Don’t be afraid to consider other things that may make you feel the same way, like planning an event for your friends or finding another outlet for social exploration.

There is no sexual activity that is ultimately “good” or “bad”, but each has varying risks associated with it. In the case you described, there are many possible risks: contracting an STI, engaging in illegal acts, and/or of having your consent or boundaries violated. However, all of these can be prevented or addressed with some forethought. Consider the questions posed in this article, and if you still want to talk to someone about your sexual health, your feelings surrounding sex, or your thoughts on your emotional and physical needs, you can make an appointment with a counselor at Counseling & Psychological Services (CPS). McCosh Health Center also has STI testing, or can refer you to an outside testing facility for any of your friends that may not be students.

Best wishes,

The Sexpert

Information for this article provided by UK’s National Health Service and NJ State Legislature.

Sex Toys in Relationships

Dear Sexpert,

I have been dating my girlfriend for about 3 months now. Recently, I’ve noticed that after we have sex, and I’ve seemingly fallen “asleep,” she sometimes reaches in her backpack for her vibrator. The mechanic hum isn’t what keeps me up, but the embarrassment from the fact that sex with me isn’t enough for her. I really care about her, but I don’t know how to confront her about this. What do you think I should do?

Sincerely,

Lackluster Lover

Dear Lover,

Take a breath – this situation sounds challenging but not necessarily something to take personally. Good news, with some open channels of communication with your girlfriend, you will likely find a mutually pleasurable sex life together!

First off, it is important to note that people (more often women-identified individuals) sometimes have more difficulty reaching orgasm (with or without a partner) for any number of reasons. One reason is that traditional depictions of female pleasure often show orgasm resulting from penetrative sex and happening in tandem with a partner’s orgasm — creating that as the model for “how it should work”. Feeling stressed, being distracted/having trouble focusing, not being aroused enough, not yet knowing what feels good, experiencing physical discomfort, etc. can all impact whether or not someone experiences an orgasm.

Your girlfriend’s desire to pleasure herself after sex could indicate a need for trying something different together. If your girlfriend is comfortable masturbating in the same bed as you, then she will likely be comfortable enough to have a conversation about it. Although she’s waiting until after you’re asleep, she’s clearly not trying that hard to hide it from you. You two haven’t been together for that long, so it’s possible that she is apprehensive about bringing this to your attention, or is worried that you will take it personally. But, like I said, it’s important to establish honest and clear ways to communicate about it.

So how do you go about starting the conversation? Well one thing is for certain, don’t wait until she pulls out her vibrator and confront her in a “gotcha!” moment. Instead, bring it up to her over a meal, when you’re just hanging out in your room, or in some other relatively private and comfortable space. Mention that you have noticed her doing this recently, and, if you’re comfortable, express your openness to trying out new things together. Vibrators and other sex toys don’t always have to be used for masturbation; maybe you can try your hand at wielding the mechanical hum. In fact, many sex toys can be used with a partner — some (e.g., vibrating rings) are even made for use during penetrative sex to enhance pleasure of both partners, but be sure to wash your toys thoroughly with soapy water after use, especially if you plan on sharing them between yourselves. You can also use a new condom on toys (e.g., dildo) for each use. Also, if you two often skip straight to penetrative sex, then you might benefit from some additional foreplay to “get things going”. Try oral sex or a sensual massage. Some couples find mutual masturbation (masturbating, individually, near one another) arousing and can also help your partner better understand what works for you.

Anyways, I wish you the best of luck, Lover. These sorts of things can be uncomfortable to initiate at first, but it is likely that, after bringing it up in a mature manner, your sex life (and relationship) will only benefit from the conversations that follow!

Yours,

The Sexpert

Browser: How much porn is too much porn?

Dear Sexpert;

Over the past year, I have been watching porn more and more. How much porn is too much porn and how do I know if I have a problem?

Browser

Hi Browser;

Thank you for your question! Over the years, as we have become more connected to the internet, our access to porn has grown and understandably, time spent watching porn has also increased. According to a 2017 study conducted by PornHub.com, its website receives 75 million unique daily visitors and has over one million hours of uploaded content. Increasingly, consumers are using their mobile phones to access such content, compared to magazines or computers. It is suffice to say that watching porn is not a rare occurrence but watching porn may become a problem if it begins to interfere with your everyday tasks.

You may want to start by asking yourself why your consumption of porn has increased. The answer to this question could indicate whether your use is situational (e.g., increased access, providing material for self-pleasure, getting ideas for acts with your partner(s), watching with partner(s) as foreplay, etc.), or potentially concerning.

Politics of porn aside, some research has indicated that watching porn has benefits. It has been shown to improve mental health by reducing stress. When you are stressed, your brain releases cortisol that blocks the ability to think clearly. According to a 2013 study conducted by Carnegie Mellon University, men who watched porn cut their cortisol levels by half and performed better on a math test. Porn can also bolster relationships by opening your minds to new sexual possibilities. On the flip side, porn can contribute to unrealistic expectations about our bodies (see recent question on penis size) and pleasure, and some depict demeaning or even violent acts that would be problematic if enacted in real life, without a partner’s consent. If you communicate effectively and mutually with your partner regarding your boundaries and expectations, porn can complement an intimate relationship.

It’s important to take these reported benefits with a grain of salt, though. The impacts will range from person to person. While porn may be beneficial to one relationship it may also be harmful to another. Although porn can reduce stress for one individual, it may cause another person to withdraw socially and adversely affect their mental or physical state. Signs that your porn consumption may be too much could include skipping class or other responsibilities to watch porn or missing social functions because you are watching porn. If your porn consumption is adversely affecting your relationship(s), such as making it difficult to be aroused in person or creating tension with your partner(s), or more generally impacting your life in ways you do not want, it may be time to speak to a professional. Talking with a counselor at CPS about your goals — whether it be around reducing your porn consumption and finding ways to use porn to benefit you–is a great place to start the conversation in a safe, nonjudgmental environment. Appointments with CPS counselors are confidential and free, and can be made online through your MyUHS portal.

In summary, how much porn is too much porn? The amount of porn consumed that constitutes too much porn varies from person to person but if your consumption of porn is affecting your everyday tasks or is adversely affecting your relationships, it might be time to speak to a professional. If your porn consumption is not adversely affecting your everyday life, stream away! Remember that the University’s networks allow you to stream, download, and torrent material freely, including porn.  However, downloading or torrenting any kind of copyrighted material without authorization or permission from the rights-holder is a violation of U. S. copyright law, and of the University’s own acceptable use policy.

Best Wishes,

The Sexpert

Sources

https://www.pornhub.com/insights/10-years

https://www.apa.org/monitor/2014/04/pornography.aspx

https://journals.lww.com/psychosomaticmedicine/fulltext/2013/05000/The_Effect_of_a_Primary_Sexual_Reward_Manipulation.10.aspx

https://itpolicy.princeton.edu

Handy: Is it bad if I masturbate every day?

Dear Sexpert,

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I masturbate every single day. I used to think this was completely normal, but after talking to my friends, it seems that I do it a lot more than others. I feel really embarrassed now. Is it dangerous to 

masturbate this frequently? Is there something terribly wrong with me? Please help!

-Handy

 

Dear Handy,

Rest assured, masturbation – the sexual stimulation of one’s own genitals— is a completely healthy and normal sexual activity. Unfortunately, society tends to treat the topic as a social taboo, making it unacceptable to discuss. Because of this, people often experience feelings of shame or embarrassment when their masturbation is brought to a public light.

Just as people have different food or movie preferences, people also have different preferences for how often they masturbate. Just because your friends report masturbating less frequently than you do does not mean that there is anything inherently wrong with your activities. Both men and women can find masturbation pleasurable, and it is a great way to explore and learn about your own body. Understanding your body’s likes and dislikes will improve all your sexual experiences – by yourself and with others.

Since masturbation is a solo act, there are no risks of becoming pregnant or contracting STIs. However, if you are using toys or objects while masturbating, be sure to clean them properly (wash with a gentle anti-bacterial soap and warm water) before and after use. And never transfer your sex toys from anus to vagina or penis without thoroughly cleaning them first. If you have an active infection (HPV (genital warts) or herpes lesions on the genitals) you may want to avoid touching lesions until they’ve healed.  If you do come into contact with any sores, wash your hands thoroughly. However, if you have a wart on your hand, you don’t need to worry about passing it to your genitals; genital warts are generally caused by different strains of HPV than warts on other parts of your body.

There do exist some prevalent notions that masturbating too frequently can affect things such as fertility, sexual ability and general health. Fortunately, these are all myths. However, just like any activity, it is possible to masturbate to excess. If you find yourself masturbating to the point where it’s interfering with the rest of your life – skipping classes to masturbate, for example – then you may be masturbating too much. In the event that this is the case, there are confidential counselors available in the McCosh Health Center with whom you can discuss your concerns.

I hope this overview of masturbation was helpful in quelling your fears. In short, masturbation is a healthy and safe way to enjoy sexual pleasure. Unless it’s interfering with your daily life, keep doing what feels good!

-Sexpert

Information retrieved from Go Ask Alice