Q: I'm sorry about sending this letter to you via snail mail. I don't want to send an e-mail because I'd rather not have a record of this living forever on some server somewhere.
About six months ago, after watching my girlfriend insert a tampon, I asked if I could do it for her next time. She thought it was an odd request but agreed. After "helping" a few times, the conversation turned to what it felt like to wear one. Her response was, "Want to try one yourself?"
With her help — and a little lube — soon there was a string hanging out of my butt. This has now become a regular feature of our sex life. And if this is not strange enough, I have now started doing this when I masturbate alone. I actually went out and got my own box of tampons — Tampax Pearl Plastic Regular are the best (they're the easiest to insert) — which I keep hidden.
I have a few questions:
1) Why do I get such a euphoric feeling when I pull the tampon out when I'm coming? Does it have something to do with my prostate?
2) Am I doing any damage to myself?
3) Just how deviant is this practice?
4) Do you think I could sell the idea to Tampax as a whole new market segment? —The Ass Man's Peculiar Anal Xccentricity
A: OK, Tampax.
1) The tampon in your ass swells as it absorbs lube and rectal mucus and whatever else, TAMPAX, and stimulates — yes indeed — your prostate as it swells. Yanking the tampon out when you're coming further stimulates your prostate at the exact moment it's being zapped by orgasmic contractions — contractions that involve your anal sphincter, which you're also stimulating as you yank. A butt plug would provide you with the exact same sensations — well, the exact same physical sensations. Part of the tampon-related thrill for you, I suspect, is the gender-transgression aspect of this. You're not just penetrating yourself, TAMPAX, you're penetrating yourself with an absorbent feminine talisman. Not all men who enjoy anal penetration are interested in being symbolically feminized — ahem — but clearly you are, TAMPAX.
2) My hunch: As long as you're using lube and not leaving 'em in for days at a time, you should be fine. And a medical expert I consulted — who wished to remain anonymous (he didn't want his name linked forever to anal tampon play on some server somewhere, either) — backed me up. "This would pose zero risk," says my medical expert. "Medically, there's nothing else to say about it."
3) When it comes to human sexuality, TAMPAX, deviation from imaginary and tyrannical "norms" is the norm.
4) Seeing as condom manufacturers still refuse to market their products for anal sex — or directly to gay men — the odds that Tampax will move aggressively into the straight-dudes-with-strings-hanging-out-of-their-butts market seems pretty slim.
Q: I had a conversation over lunch with a gay friend who is into BDSM as a dominant. He told me he's "coaching" a novice dom, a young straight fellow who doesn't have much experience but who is into very heavy bondage and "some stuff that is potentially dangerous." My friend warned him away from the dangerous stuff and is coaching him on safer and saner pursuits. The interesting thing, however, is that, whatever they do, they must both be fully clothed at all times. The reason? The young fellow is LDS, i.e., Mormon. For most people, BDSM is inescapably tied up (no pun intended) with sexuality, but leave it to a Mormon to attempt to de-eroticize erotic bondage!
Pornography, on the other hand (also no pun intended), is a serious plague destroying the moral fiber of this country. But not to worry: Deseret Book, the Mormon Church's publishing arm, has developed the "Clean & Safe Media Pledge." You're supposed to download it, print it out, sign it and put it near your computer. Then you don't have to worry about porn ever again! —Latter Day Taint
A: There's a lot of cross-orientation play in the BDSM scene these days, LDT, which has become less sexually segregated with every passing year. Skills are skills: An inexperienced straight bondage top can learn a lot from a gay bondage expert. The experience may be less erotic, or less intense, than being tied up by someone you're physically and emotionally attracted to, of course, but it is still erotic — street clothes and/or magic underpants notwithstanding.
As for the Mormon Church's "Clean & Safe Media Pledge," LDT, that seems to work about as well as those purity pledges taken by countless unwed teen moms. Utah has the highest per capita online-porn consumption rates in the country.
Q: I recently had a delightful evening out on the town with a friend of mine. Things got a little out of hand and both of us drank a small amount of a female bartender's urine. I would say it was about one ounce each. We were pretty drunk, and I'm not quite sure what led up to it. I think I was trying to prove something. I think we were trying to show how "badass" we were. It sounds really goddamn stupid when I type it out. The urine was clear and it had little taste, but now I am concerned about the health risks. What sort of diseases could I contract? I just really don't want to get hepatitis or something. —Worried About Server's Piss
A: You can scratch "drink a random bartender's piss" off your bucket list, WASP, but everyone else out there reading has to add it to theirs.
Drinking urine presents no risk of HIV infection and little to no risk for just about everything save cooties. Hepatitis is blood-borne, and if there wasn't any blood in your bartender's urine — and if you didn't have any cuts or open sores in your mouth — then you probably don't have anything to worry about.
But you know what? You're going to worry regardless, WASP, until you know for sure that you didn't catch anything. So go see a doctor and get your bad ass tested.
Q: Your maple-syrup fetishist from last week — the guy who had to smell maple syrup to get off — should find someone who is working on her milk supply or really likes fenugreek.
While I was trying to nurse my son, I took fenugreek — an herb that helps with milk production — and, by God, I smelled like a Waffle House in all the important places. Sadly, my husband did not share ORGASM's kink and was actually a little bit alarmed at my eau-de-pancakes aroma. —Intriguingly Hot Odorous Pussy
A: Thanks for the tip, IHOP. And you weren't the only reader with a tip for someone whose letter ran in last week's column.
Seeking Slave Food's mistress wanted to deny him the pleasures of food, and he was looking for a "slop" that was "highly nutritious but as bland-tasting as possible." I urged him to patronize vegan restaurants where he lives — much to the consternation of the vegans. (Apparently, vegans are prejudiced against BDSMers and don't want to dine with them — who knew?) But readers suggested that SSF try Nutraloaf, "a food served in United States prisons to inmates who have demonstrated significant behavioral issues," according to its Wiki page. And my readers had lots of suggestions for the man who wanted to find straight porn for his iPhone: mobileboner.com, pornhub.com, tube8.com, thehun.com, americansfortruth.com, and spankwire.com.
Savage Love: It's about people helping people ... smell like maple syrup, avoid vegan restaurants, and porn out their iPhones.Find Dan Savage's weekly podcast every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage. Send letters to firstname.lastname@example.org