Brian McKinney | Chicago Reader

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Re: “Dan Savage on anal sex

SERIOUS HEALTH CONCERN:

Regarding the "desensitizing wipes," I have a comment as a gay, sex-positive MD:

Many "desensitizing wipes" use benzocaine or similar topical chemicals (look for "benz" in the active ingredient name) to very gently "numb" the skin." Benzocaine creams and sprays were used for decades for the first half of the 20th century; then we realized that benzocaine creams were causing a HIGH number of skin and other cancers (squamous cell cancers, not melanoma, but potentially just as deadly). Basically, benzocaine is rather toxic chemical and not safe to use on anyone, which is why we have better numbing chemicals (which are typically prescription only).

The medical community has long stopped benzene creams and extra care is taken when using these chemicals in the lab. Unfortunately, companies still produce this stuff. I was recently in our local adult toy shop and saw some numbing lotions/creams and guess what....they were benzocaine.

This is not a "oh this causes cancer" scare, and I'm not one of those "vaccines gave my child autism" adults. But as a doctor, this is something that is proven toxic and a carcinogen. Personally, i would rather smoke a cigarette than put a carcinogen on my anus. Yeah, it will make my asshole hurt less, but I might lose my asshole to cancer in a few years and then there won't be anymore anal sex to worry about.

Just wanted to let you know.

6 likes, 0 dislikes
Posted by Brian McKinney on 04/18/2012 at 9:46 PM

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