Category Archives: Personal Health & Hygiene

Vape Lord: Does Juuling affect my erection?

Dear Sexpert,

Recently, my girlfriend and I have noticed that I’ve had trouble ‘performing’ in the bedroom, even if I haven’t been drinking. I thought these problems only happened to older people, but I heard that Juuling can cause problems with erections. Is this true?

Sincerely, Vape Lord

Dear Vape Lord,

Thank you for reaching out! Difficulty getting aroused and/or maintaining an erection can be a frustrating and embarrassing problem for many people, so there is nothing to be ashamed of. Luckily, for young people, this is often a fixable problem, too!

An erection occurs when hormone stimuli trigger blood flow into the spongy tissue of the penis. Thus, anything that interferes with these hormones or the blood flow can cause problems getting or maintaining an erection, otherwise known as erectile dysfunction, or ED. In young people, ED can be related to a variety of environmental causes, such as an unhealthy diet, medications, lack of sleep and exercise, and stress. It can also be due to the effects from chemicals or substances, as you note, including alcohol or other drugs.

Vaping – especially using a Juul device or ‘Juuling’ – is becoming increasingly popular because it is thought to be healthier than traditional cigarettes and often comes in a variety of flavors. However, vaping involves the ingestion of an aerosol that frequently contains nicotine and other chemicals and can be highly addictive. Most people do not believe that Juuls or other e-cigarettes contain nicotine, but in fact, a single Juul pod has the equivalent of twenty cigarettes’ worth of nicotine.

Nicotine alone has been shown to reduce sexual arousal in men and long-term studies reveal that the intensity of cigarette usage is correlated with greater degree of erectile dysfunction. Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, meaning that it causes blood vessels to narrow and blood flow to be reduced. Since increased blood flow to the penis is what causes an erection, decreased blood flow creates more difficulty getting or maintaining them.  As long as nothing else has changed in your lifestyle and your stress levels have remained constant, it is possible that excessive nicotine consumption could be causing your ED.

This vasoconstriction can even cause permanent blood-vessel damage with prolonged, heavy use. As scary as ‘permanent damage’ sounds, there is good news! After smoking cessation, ED status improves quickly and significantly, especially in young people. Luckily, if your problem is nicotine-related, it will likely clear up if your nicotine consumption is curbed. If your ED persists, seeing a medical professional might be in order to discuss possible hormonal or lifestyle-related concerns. McCosh Health Center has Sexual Health and Wellness (SHAW) providers who would be able to help you get a diagnosis and treatment.

If you are a regular e-cigarette-user and have had problems with erections, it is definitely worth curbing your use to see if that nicotine consumption could be the root of your ED – it could be a simple and easy solution with the bonus of other health benefits, too.

– The Sexpert

Information regarding nicotine and erectile dysfunction provided by CNBC, Livestrong, National Institutes of Health, and BJU International peer-reviewed journal.



Missing Out on the Big O: Why do I ejaculate without having an orgasm?

Dear Sexpert,

I am a sexually active homosexual male and I have never had an orgasm although I have ejaculated many times. My boyfriend has an orgasm almost every time we have sex, but I never do. He thinks it might be because I am stressed from taking six classes this semester and have trouble winding down. Is there something wrong with me?


Continue reading Missing Out on the Big O: Why do I ejaculate without having an orgasm?

Hot and Bothered: Can I be allergic to semen?

Dear Sexpert,

I have had several sexual partners since I became sexually active in high school. I had never experienced discomfort during sex, but recently I noticed that when I have sex with my current boyfriend, wherever my skin comes into contact with his semen, it turns red and becomes irritated. After intercourse, my vagina is red and puffy too, not just my skin. We can’t use condoms because I have a severe latex allergy, but I am on birth control, so we aren’t worried about unplanned pregnancy. Could I be allergic to his semen too?


Continue reading Hot and Bothered: Can I be allergic to semen?

Thrifty Diva: Should I start using menstrual cups?

Dear Sexpert,

I have been looking for feminine hygiene products that are more eco-friendly, and saw a bunch of posts online about using something called the Diva Cup to decrease my carbon footprint. Can you tell me how it works? Is it safe and cheap to use, and is it all that much better for the environment?

–Thrifty Diva

Continue reading Thrifty Diva: Should I start using menstrual cups?

Paranoid about Prevention: When should I start getting screenings?

Dear Sexpert,

test tube and medical clipboard I was hoping you could provide some clarity regarding reproductive health. Princeton is far from my hometown, so I don’t know how often I’ll be able to visit my gynecologist anymore… and I know I’m getting to the age where I should be getting things like pap smears and other screenings  regularly. Can I get these at Princeton? And can you explain what should be on my radar?

–Paranoid about Prevention

Continue reading Paranoid about Prevention: When should I start getting screenings?

Au Naturel: What’s the safest way to remove pubic hair?

Dear Sexpert,

Two trimmed bushes in potsI normally let my pubic hair grow naturally and give it a trim every now and then. But lately, I’ve been thinking about getting it all removed. When I talked to my friends about it, we couldn’t decide on the best hair removal process. Is it better to wax or shave down there? Are there any drawbacks to removing the hair?

— Au Naturel

Continue reading Au Naturel: What’s the safest way to remove pubic hair?

Feelin’ Myself: How do I give myself a breast exam?

Dear Sexpert,

Growing up, I learned that each month I should do a breast self-exam to check for lumps or signs of breast cancer. I wasrecently talking to a friend who said self-exams are controversial, but they didn’t remember why. Can you help me out? If I don’t do self-exams, how else can I protect myself from breast cancer?

— Feelin’ Myself

Continue reading Feelin’ Myself: How do I give myself a breast exam?

Low Libido: Should I try the women’s Viagra?

Dear Sexpert,

I’m currently dating someone I really like… but there’s one little problem. I feel like I have a really low libido. I don’t feel like I want or enjoy sex at all, and I’m afraid it’s not normal. People have told me that I just need to relax, but I feel like something is wrong with my body. I heard that there’s a women’s Viagra on the market now. Would something like that help me? I’m desperate!

–Low Libido 

Continue reading Low Libido: Should I try the women’s Viagra?