Health magazine expert Dr. Roshini Raj answers all of your most embarrassing bedroom questions.
January 28, 2013
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Can my husband's hand warts spread to my genitals?
There’s a small risk, but it’s highly unlikely. Hand and genital warts are caused by different strains of the human papillomavirus, or HPV. (Most strains are harmless.) On rare occasions, though, the strain of HPV that causes warts on hands can indeed cause warts elsewhere. To be extra-safe, have your husband wear thin latex gloves during any sex play until his warts are gone. (He should treat them with over-the-counter salicylic-acid medication; if they persist, he should see a dermatologist.) Even after that, make sure you don’t have any cuts, nicks, or open sores down there—these can spread HPV even when all warts are gone. The HPV vaccine is no help in this case: It protects against separate strains of HPV and is not recommended for women over age 26.
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Do women really have longer orgasms than men?
Yep! Consider it a trade-off for the fact that we usually take longer than men to get aroused. The average male orgasm lasts six seconds, and the average female orgasm lasts 20.
Of course, the length and intensity of an orgasm can vary from person to personand from day to day. Either way, enjoy it while it lasts!
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Can you tell how big a guy's penis is from his foot (or finger, or nose) size?
No. Though many a woman has looked from her date's feet to his groin, there's absolutely no predicting the size of his package, according to a study published in the British Journal of Urology International. In fact, you can't tell his size by looking at any body part except that part. Aren't you glad we cleared that one up?
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Can I pass my urinary tract infection (UTI) to my guy during sex?
In terms of run-of-the-mill urinary tract infections (UTIs) caused by bacteria, no; they’re not contagious. Those UTIs cannot be spread person-to-person, so no need to worry about passing yours on. That means you can’t get one from him, either. You generally catch a UTI from yourself, when the bacteria in your rectum and anus get into your vagina and travel up into your urinary tract, setting up shop.
But sex may make your UTI worse, so lay off the bedroom action until you’ve been on an antibiotic for 24 hours.
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Is semen fattening?
Not at all. The average ejaculate is about the size of a teaspoon. It contains sperm, sugars, and proteinsand only about 7 calories. You'll burn all those calories (and more) just rolling in the hay.
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Can I get HIV from oral sex?
Yes. Although the risk is less than with anal or vaginal sex, there have been cases of transmission through oral sex. Infected blood from the mouth can enter your body through the lining of the vagina. You can also get HIV by performing oral sex because semen or pre-seminal fluid (the little bit of juice on the penis tip) contains the virus.
Your risk goes up if you have any sores or cuts in your mouth or vagina (which you may have without even realizing it) and if he ejaculates in your mouth. So it's best to use condoms or dental dams or make sure your partner gets tested before you engage in this kind of intimate behavior.
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Can women get 'blue balls' too?
Sort of. For both men and women, blood flow to the genital area increases during sexual
arousal. This can cause a feeling of heaviness or pressure, which goes by the unsexy term pelvic vasocongestion. It’s usually relieved by orgasm, but if a woman doesn’t come, she might feel mild discomfort. It is usually short-lived and not a big deal… or at least not as big of a deal as some guys make it out to be!
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I have orgasms all the time (at the gym, sitting at my desk). Am I a freak?
Lucky girl! Many women have trouble having orgasms at all, and here you are having them all the timelife isn’t fair!
But seriously, spontaneous orgasms (those without direct genital stimulation) are not uncommon. Some women get them by thinking erotic thoughts. Others have them while doing things that indirectly stimulate the genital area, like riding a bike, tightening pelvic muscles (like when holding in pee), sneezing, etc. Some antidepressants can cause this happy side effect, though the effect usually wears off a few weeks after starting the meds.
Don't want to peak in public? If your climaxes are a result of friction (like during a workout), double up on your underwear or wear a pad to desensitize the area.
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