The guy who puts semen on his friends’ toothbrushes is committing sexual assault. No one should be forced or tricked into coming in contact with another’s semen. Once, in college, while perusing a campus online discussion forum, I came across a posting from a woman who said her male friend had revealed to her that he planned to sneak into a women’s restroom on campus and put his semen on the toilet paper in all the stalls. She wanted to know what to do about it. Replies were varied, but the general sentiment seemed to be that his plan was gross and disrespectful, but not dangerous because sperm and possible STDs wouldn’t stay alive long enough to impregnate or infect anyone. To me, that is beside the point. His plan was to commit sexual assault on numerous women by finding a way to get his semen on their genitals without their consent or knowledge. Most people on the forum advised her to talk the perv out of it, but no one said call the police if he goes through with it. The photo in your legal pad and the pubes on the toilet seat are not as bad because those people didn’t physically impose their bodily fluids on anyone, but it’s still wrong to force others to deal with their sexual items just for the fun of it. A fetish or kink must be limited to actions that don’t involve nonconsenting or unknowing participants. —Pervs Should Respect Others’ Rights
I just wanted to comment on your reaction to Puzzled By Pubes, the gay guy whose straight friend leaves a single pube on the toilet seat every time he visits … for years on end.
I have a fairly bizarre sense of humor, and was inspired by this! I think a far simpler, but equally likely, possibility is that the shedding visitor is just having an innocent giggle.
As a kid we had a family friend who would always use the toilet adjacent the dining room while everyone was eating (an unfortunate layout in that San Francisco apartment, but it was in a great school district!). He must have prepared a pitcher of water in advance for his obscure little prank, because he would take these impossibly long and audible pisses — so long, in fact, that conversation at the dinner table would cease and everyone would silently marvel at the profundity of his passing water. He would emerge, nonchalant as you like, and return to dinner. No one ever questioned it — not the best dinner topic for mature adults — but I thought it was a fucking riot, and I’ve used it in my repertoire of stupid tricks ever since. While I won’t use this particular one, I can relate. And I reckon there is nothing sexual about the guy’s leftover pubes. —Just Joking In The John
I was subjected recently to a much worse case of hairrorism than Puzzled By Pubes. I opened a letter about two weeks ago. The envelope had a return address (which I didn’t recognize), but no name. Inside was a single folded-up piece of notebook paper with "Fuck You" written across it. When I unfolded the piece of paper, a nice little ball of short, black hairs fell out — onto my pillow, by the way, since I was opening the letter over my bed by some awful chance. Inside the paper it said, "Yeah, that’s taint hair!"
I have no idea who would want to do this to me. Even more disturbing is the fact that this guy (one can only assume it’s a guy, since girls, as I understand it, don’t have taints) included a return address. Does he want me to send him some of my own taint clippings? I am disgusted and appalled (although my friends mostly thought it was hilarious). Anyway, I think you should take a strong stand in your column against hairrorism. It’s time for this disgusting practice to end.
A note to your readers: The taint is that remarkable little area between a man’s anus and his scrotum. —Tainted
I am shocked at the ignorance you displayed in your answer to Puzzled by Pubes, the man whose friend had deposited a pubic hair on the toilet seat during every visit for five straight years. In some cultures this is a sign of great respect, a blessing of sorts! Leaving a single pubic hair says, symbolically, "I take that which protects the most intimate, life-giving part of me and leave a piece with you today." In my culture leaving a public hair on the north rim of the seat is a prayer for continued protection over the house. The south rim indicates a blessing of fertility and health for offspring. Leaving a hair on the east or west side is a wish for continued fortune from dawn to dusk. So, far from being a perv, PBP’s friend could be honoring his host. —Cultural Sensitivity Guy
I’m a great fan of your column, and just wanted to add a note to the advice you gave to Puzzled By Pubes. PBP should know that it’s also possible that his friend is less a perv than a particular kind of maniac — a trichotillomaniac, specifically. The National Mental Health Association defines trichotillomania as "an impulse-control disorder, along the lines of pyromania, kleptomania and pathologic gambling." And the symptoms include: "pleasure, gratification or relief when pulling out one’s hair."
Trichotillomaniacs compulsively and chronically pull out their own hair, and though generally head-hair pullers are most noted, some may pull hair from other parts of the body, including pubes, body hair or facial hair. Also, the disorder can include doing odd things with hair that’s been pulled, including biting or eating the hair or depositing hairs in a regular place. As a person who has trichotillomania and pulls facial hairs from my chin and eyebrows, sometimes I’ll put the hair(s) on the same place on my sink every time, making myself a little collection there. And what better place to indulge a compulsive behavior than a bathroom? It’s private, well lighted, with access to a mirror, and some reason to be in there for a minute or two. I’ve placed hairs on friends’ sinks in the same place I place them at home. There’s no hostility or sexual feelings at all toward the friend involved; their bathroom is just a convenient place for me to indulge my weird need. So PBP’s friend may not have something sexually perverse going on, just maniacal.