The smell of trouble 

Q: I get off on dirty panties. Since there are so many porn stars and escorts and sexy women online selling their panties, I’m sorely tempted to buy myself some. Can I get STDs from sniffing a stranger’s panties?—Hanky Stanky

A: First, the bad news: “Depending on how recently the panties were worn,” said Robert Harkins, an unflappable spokesperson for Planned Parenthood, “there is a danger of contracting an STD. If the woman who was wearing the panties had an actively seeping herpes sore, for example, and the panties were rubbed around the face and mouth, there is some danger of contracting oral herpes. With chlamydia or gonorrhea, if the panties came into contact with the mucus tissue of the eyes and the panties were fresh enough, there is a chance of transmission.” Now, the good news: Most of the bugs that cause STDs don’t live long outside the body. The key to safe sniffing of some porn star’s panties is to getting ’em out of the sealed plastic bag they were shipped in and letting them air out for a few days before you press them to your face. They won’t stink quite as much as the day they arrived, but her scent will last longer than any STDs she might have.

Q: I’m a hetero guy who wears thong underwear. I don’t volunteer this information, but in those weird group situations when people ask, I tell the truth. So what is this “real men don’t wear thongs” attitude people have? —Smooth-Butted Boy

A: I get some gross letters here at Savage Love — poo lovers, dog fuckers, Bush voters — but your letter, SBB, is far and away the most disgusting letter I have ever received. While I’m prepared to sign off on women in thong underwear and while I recognize that male strippers and gay porn stars must wear thongs to work, I refuse to sign off on straight men in thong underwear. Why? Because there’s no such thing as a straight guy in a thong. Yes, a straight guy can suck some dick once or twice in his life and still be straight, but any guy who wears a thong — even once, even on a dare — is a faggot through and through.

Q: I’m writing because I need your help. My girlfriend and I broke up three months ago. Since then I cannot stop thinking of her. I’ve written letters and tried phoning. She hates me and now thinks I’m stalking her. I am going out of my mind. Please give me advice to get her back, because I went to therapy to forget her, to no avail. —Hopeless In Brooklyn

A: You had my sympathy — kinda, sorta — until you wrote, “Please give me advice to get her back.” Sorry, HIB, you’re not gonna get her back: She’s through with you, so get over it. By continuing to pester her after she’s told you to fuck off, you’re not only letting her know she did the right thing by dumping your sorry ass, you’re breaking the law. Writing and phoning an ex who has asked you to stop is stalking — and stalking is a crime. In the movies, stalkers often get the girls, but in real life stalkers get arrested. Knock it off.

Q: I am a straight teen boy who’s addicted to masturbating. I’ve been told of conflicting reports that it is either good or bad for you. One of my friends even found a Web site which said that a kitten would be killed if you masturbated. I don’t believe that, but what is the truth about male masturbation? Is masturbating twice a day bad? —DNY

A: If you’re only masturbating twice a day, DNY, then you’re showing remarkable restraint for a young man your age. It’s almost impossible to masturbate too much (and, anyway, there are a whole lot of unwanted kittens in this world). One potential pitfall of youthful masturbation, however, is habituating yourself to a particular kind of stimulation. If you masturbate in the exact same way every time — or if you hold your cock in a death grip every time — you may find it difficult to climax from other, more subtle sensations. So don’t grip yourself too firmly and don’t masturbate by humping the same scratchy bit of your mattress over and over again. Make an effort to vary your style and you’ll make an easier transition from your own right hand to the less intense, more subtle and infinitely more pleasurable sensations provided in your true love’s twat, throat and tush.

Q: Yes, I am a straight American boy who likes to drink beer, fuck women, eat pussy and watch girl-on-girl porn. But if guys like girl-on-girl action so much, why don’t women watch men having sex in porn more often? It seems that it doesn’t turn them on at all like the converse turns on men. Do you know? —Curious About Turn-Ons

A: I tried to give gay male sex a rest this week — really I did — but too many of my straight male readers are obsessed. Anyway, I’ve heard from lots of women who enjoy watching gay male porn — including many lesbians, bizarrely enough. The women who dig gay porn say the guys are better looking and the action is hotter. Of course, women watching guy-on-guy porn will never be a cultural phenomenon on the level of straight men watching girl-on-girl porn because women don’t consume as much porn as men do. “Men are more turned on by visuals” is a cliché because it’s true; men are more turned on by visuals. Still, even if women consumed porn at the same rates men do, boy-on-boy porn would never be as popular with straight women as girl-on-girl is with straight men. Here’s why: Straight people who watch gay or lesbian porn project their own ideas about sex onto the action. In straight life, as in straight porn, it’s all about penetration. A straight guy can watch a pair of lesbians getting it on and think, “something is missing.” What’s missing, of course, is cock — his cock. For while there are holes to penetrate, there’s nothing with which to penetrate them. So the straight guy can watch the girls, lust after them, and imagine himself walking in and completing the picture. When a straight woman looks at gay male porn, on the other hand, there are holes, there are cocks and nothing much is missing. A woman can bring a third mouth into the action, a third butthole, even her vagina. But the addition of her body doesn’t make penetration possible, thereby completing the picture, since two guys can penetrate each other just fine without a woman around. Finally, yes, yes, I know: Lesbians can and do penetrate each other with all manner of things, from strap-ons to forearms to Dodge Durangos. But we’re talking about “lesbian” porn, not real lesbians.

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