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This week's Savage Love Letters of the Day: Shouldn't a longtime reader in a sexually-unfulfilling marriage already know that her options are cheating, leaving, or issuing an ultimatum? Can this foreskin be saved or does this reader have to go get the big snip? What could possibly explain her partner's libido tanking roughly a month ago? How can a woman possibly be expected to choose between two huge beautiful dicks? Plus this week's Savage Love and this week's Savage Lovecast.

First up, regarding my advice for VAG...

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A longtime fan! But wanted to offer an urgent caveat to your advice to VAG, who wanted to deliver/send a pair of her worn panties to her boyfriend, who cannot share seclusion with her. True, we know of no evidence of COVID-19 found in vaginal secretions. But I suspect that that’s because NO ONE HAS TESTED VAGINAL SECRETIONS for COVID-19. (If you know differently, where’s the evidence?) I think researchers are so busy with other life-and-death questions around COVID-19 that they haven’t taken the time to ask about sexual transmission. Sexual partners who infect each other usually have been breathing the same air, which is a known vector for transmission. So they haven’t been asking about a secondary method of transmission via sex juices. I think most research money has not been focusing on VAG’s question.

COV9D-19 has been found in feces. In fact, it is the suspected vector of transmission of a previous SARS epidemic in a Hong Kong apartment building with faulty plumbing—a cluster of cases broke out in that building. (It is theorized that the virus became “aerosolized” and thus went from solid/liquid to inhalable... truly gross.) Since COVID-19 in pussy juices hasn’t been ruled out, we don’t know for sure. So basically, if VAG gives her aromatic panties to her BF, who then inhales the scent from them… he COULD theoretically be inhaling some virus particles, if they were present in her body.

Here's what I found at Planned Parenthood's website:

COVID-19 isn’t a sexually transmitted infection. So far there’s no evidence that it’s spread through semen (cum) or vaginal fluids. But you can get COVID-19 if you’re within 6 feet of someone who has it when they cough, sneeze, or breathe out. And COVID-19 is also spread through direct contact with saliva (spit) or mucus. So intimate activities that involve being physically close to someone, or coming into contact with their spit—like kissing—can easily spread COVID-19. COVID-19 may also spread through feces (poop). So it may be possible to get COVID-19 from sexual activities that could expose you to fecal matter, including unprotected oral sex on an anus, or putting a penis or sex toy in your mouth after it’s been in someone’s anus.

It seems crazy—at least to me—that Planned Parenthood would tell us that there's no evidence COVID-19 is present in semen or vaginal fluids but fail to note that no one had actually bothered to check if COVID-19 was present semen or vaginal fluids. (I'm also disappointed to see Planned Parenthood using "cum.") I sent a direct message Dr. Jen Gunter, NYT columnist and author of The Vagina Bible, and... well, they apparently haven't checked.

"I am not aware of any studies with vaginal samples from COVID-19," Dr. Gunter wrote me. "However, the presence of other human coronaviruses in the vagina have been documented, but there is not much research so drawing any conclusions about risk of transmission is not recommended. Also, how to apply this to COVID-19 is unknown."

As for those panties VAG wanted to mail to her partner...

“We think the virus is active on some surfaces for three days," said Dr. Gunter. "So the longer you can go without touching unwashed underwear the better. Ideally at least three days. If fabric is damp that could be longer. There are a lot of unknowns here."

Needless to say, the likelihood of someone transmitting COVID-19 by mailing their panties to a lover—or during sexual contact—isn't the medical communities chief concern right now.

"To get close enough to the vagina [to have sex] you need to breathe the same air within a close confine," said Dr. Gunter, and breathing the same air in close proximity to an infected person is probably the most efficient way to transmit the virus. "And the whole 'can vaginal discharge on underwear I mail to my partner' transmit COVID-19 question can’t really be answered with what we know. Currently we believe that transmission of COVID-19 is by droplet nuclei, so [the biggest risk is] inhaling tiny infectious particles or touching your face (mouth, noses and eyes) when you have those particles on your hands. How handling someone else's underwear—especially if you plan to smell it—factors into the risk of infection is simply not possible to say."

Regarding FIRSTUP...

Did FIRSTUP have her partners' consent to send you the pics and vids? I'm sure you agree folks should only send that kind of pic out with consent, even to advice columnists. Might not be a bad idea to remind folks. Thanks for all your work in public health advocacy, now and over the last 29 years!

Well, this is embarrassing. I'd included a line in my response emphasizing the importance of obtaining someone's consent before sharing their dirty/nude/explicit photos or videos with a third party... and somehow deleted it during the edit. (Yes, I do edit the SLLOTD. Believe it or not.) The issue was quickly raised in the comments and FIRSTUP responded. You can read what she had to say here.

For the record: People have been sending me questions about their most sensitive sexual issues for years and I've never disclosed anyone's real name; people also started sending me photos and short video clips just as soon as technology allowed them to. (It's not as much fun as it sounds: lots of the photos are of sores on genitals that the LW like me to identify.) I wouldn't make a photo public anymore than I would make someone's name and email address public. And as much I'd like to think I'm everyone's honorary girlfriend and confidant, people should only share photos/vids with me after obtaining the explicit permission of all involved. If it's not a photo of you, get permission before sending it to me. (And, I'm sorry, I can't identify the sore on your genitals. Even if I could, I can't email you the meds you might need to treat it. Please see a doctor about sores!)

And...

Who's TSARY now?

In the Savage Love Letter of the Day last Friday the ‘TSARY’ was mentioned twice. What is ‘TSARY’? Thanks!

"TSARY" stands for the "tech-savvy, at-risk youth." It's a small and very elite squad of young people who work to bring you the Savage Lovecast every week.

Regarding MSA's dilemma (swallowing come gives her the shits)...

There may be an easy solution to pass on to your subject—eat something before sex. I have the same problem any time I swallow on an empty stomach, but I never have the problem if I’ve recently eaten.

And...

To MSA: Two things: one, you're not alone! I'm the same way. Two: as you've probably suspected, each guy is different. I had written myself off as a spitter, but my partner talked me into a sample. Now he likes to brag it's yet another way that we're sexually compatible!

Good point: Just because you're allergic to one guy's come doesn't mean you're allergic every guys' come.

What day is it again?

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Happy to help!

Regarding a recent call where IUDs came up...

I'm a cis, straight female OB/GYN in upstate NY and a big fan of your show. I'm calling in response to the caller in Episode 702 who was talking about her IUD keeping her from getting her period. There are two general types of IUD's; one that has hormones and one that does not. The caller likely has the one that has hormones in it, because those are the types of IUD's that can keep you from getting your period. With the non-hormonal IUD, you still get your period in the same cycle pattern as without an IUD (though the bleeding can be a bit heavier). It's a copper IUD, and it's called a ParaGard. It sounds like this would be a great option for that caller!

Okay, we're going to leave it there! I hope everyone has a great—and safe—weekend and we'll see you back here on Monday!


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Listen to my podcast, the Savage Lovecast, at www.savagelovecast.com.

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