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Savage Love

I'm gay and a junior in high school, and I've had a boyfriend for a year.

Once he's all the way inside, TUSH, your boyfriend may be tempted to start banging away, porn-star style, but that would be a huge mistake. Your boyfriend should instead stay perfectly still for the first minute or two while you breathe and relax. Kiss your boyfriend and stroke yourself during the brief lull before the fucking starts. Then he starts moving inside you – very slowly. He pulls out an inch or two and slides back in, you keep breathing and stroking, he pulls back an inch or two more and slides in. With each successive thrust, your boyfriend will be able to pull out a little farther, TUSH, and before you know it, he'll be fucking the hell out of you. The whole process (the hole process?) – from patient foreplay to full-on assfucking – takes 30 minutes at least.

P.S. You don't have to use condoms, but you should. Using condoms is a good habit to get into, TUSH, and if you have any concerns about cleanliness, well, a condom is your best friend. There are lots of gay guys out there – including guys as young as you – who got infected with HIV by boyfriends, including first boyfriends, who lied or didn't know or fucked up. So listen to your mother and use condoms, TUSH, along with a water-based lubricant.

I am an intern at the health and wellness center at my university. This is safe-sex-awareness month on campus. We got donations from some sex toy companies. Among the products we received is something marketed as “Desensitizing Anal Wipes” by a company called California Exotic Novelties.

We gave away these samples at our recent expo. After the fair, a student came up to my boss and me. As a young gay man, he expressed concern that desensitizing anal wipes were not safe to use, as masking pain could in fact lead to engaging in activities that you may not otherwise. I am assuming that what he meant here is that if you are experiencing pain during anal sex, you probably shouldn't proceed. I know with anal you need to take things slow, use lots of lube and work your way up to it, but that's about the extent of my knowledge in this area. But I'd like to know what the Dan Savage take is on anal desensitizing wipes. Yay or nay?

A Sensitive Subject

Googling “desensitizing anal wipes” got me this: “… perfect for using before anal sex to reduce friction pains and ease entry.”

Anyone who's too stupid to use lube for anal sex – or anyone who is using lube but somehow doesn't realize that reducing friction and easing entry is what lube is down there to do – probably won't be harmed by a “desensitizing” moist towelette that retails for $3.99. I don't know what the active ingredient is, ASS, but I can't imagine it's a pharmaceutical-grade topical anesthetic. So I doubt that anyone who uses a DAW is going to wind up with an ass so benumbed that he won't realize he's being torn to shreds until after he sees blood and santorum all over his sheets, pillows, walls, floor, boyfriend, ceiling, Xbox 360, cats, etc.

That said, ASS, desensitizing anal wipes play on common fears and misconceptions about anal sex – namely, that anal sex is supposed to hurt. Anal done right isn't painful, of course, even if it takes time, practice and some patience to get used to. Some people do experience discomfort when they first attempt anal, but discomfort isn't pain. It's important for people to understand that if anal sex hurts, they're doing it wrong – not enough lube, not enough foreplay, not enough practice – and they need to stop. Desensitizing wipes send the opposite message.

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