Campus Health publishes a weekly column in the Arizona Daily Wildcat called SexTalk: Answers to Your Questions about Sex and Relationships. Currently, the column runs on Mondays. SexTalk is written by Lee Ann Hamilton, M.A., C.H.E.S. and David Salafsky, M.P.H., health educators at the University of Arizona Campus Health Service.
Visit the SexTalk website to submit questions and to download a PDF of past SexTalk columns.
SexTalk Alcohol and Erections
A. often think of alcohol as an aphrodisiac, a sure method of arousing desire in ourselves or a partner. The truth is that alcohol is It depends on how much alcohol we’re talking about. People neither an aphrodisiac nor stimulant for sex. Having a drink or two will relax you, but getting way too relaxed may result in things not working the way you want them to. Remember that sex takes coordination even when sober, so getting intoxicated can negatively impact performance. Both males and females report an intoxicated partner is a turn-off, so you may not get anywhere – romantically speaking – if you’ve overdone it. And if you black out, you won’t even remember what happened (100,000 students between 18-24 report having been too intoxicated to know if they have consented to having sex.
SexTalk Already Know Everything
Given your encyclopedic knowledge of sex, do you happen to be a faithful reader of this column? If so, you already know about STIs, the Pill, premature ejaculation, menstruation, discussing sex with your partner, Gardasil, the life of sperm, where to get tested, sexual health stats on UA students and the fact that the Campus Health Pharmacy sells 100 condoms for $12.99. You may have even discovered that every SexTalk written since 2001 is archived online at www.health.arizona.edu.
SexTalk Anal Sex
Intercourse, whether through vaginal or anal penetration, is just one form of sexual intimacy. The options, as you suggest, need not be limited to these alone. Whether gay, straight, lesbian, or bisexual, many couples enjoy kissing, massage, foreplay, fantasy, frottage (the French word for body rubbing),
mutual masturbation, or talking as other ways to enjoy one another and arouse the senses. While lower risk than anal sex, oral stimulation can be another satisfying option, but keep in mind that “going down” can still lead to sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) like herpes, gonorrhea, and chlamydia.
SexTalk Benefits and Side Effects of the Pill
Among women who use oral contraceptives (OCs) correctly and consistently (not missing any pills and following instructions perfectly) only about 3 in 1000 (0.3%) are expected to become pregnant within the first year of use. The failure rates among “typical” users in the real world (read: not perfect) are estimated to be 8 in 100 becoming pregnant (8%). Clearly, there is a big difference between perfect use and typical use.
There are many highly effective brands of OCs with varying combinations of drugs in them (progestin-only versus combined pills, and monophasic versus multiphasic pills). The side effects are largely dependent on the type of OC prescribed. It is best to consult a medical provider for specific drug and brand comparisons.
SexTalk Building A Healthy Relationship
Building a healthy relationship is probably one of life’s biggest challenges, but the rewards are both defining and enduring. Clearly, there is no one way to make a relationship work, but they do share some common elements. We’ve all heard that trust and communication are essential, but the real key is finding everyday ways to establish and reinforce these connections with your partner. Think about how you convey your appreciation for each other in small acts – you may be surprised by how much they say.
SexTalk Can Semen Penetrate Clothing?
The chance of pregnancy from the situation you describe is highly unlikely – but not impossible. To put this in perspective, let’s first describe the ideal situation for getting pregnant. Conception is best achieved when the penis is positioned inside the vagina during ejaculation, and when the woman is at the most fertile stage of her menstrual cycle (the days shortly before, during, or shortly after ovulation).
While finger sex has a very low risk of pregnancy, you can make sexual exploration much safer for your girlfriend by washing your hands after asturbating. Use soap and water or generous amounts of hand sanitizer. This will also help reduce the chance of spreading a sexually transmitted infection between partners.