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Imagine this hypothetical scenario: Guy meets Girl. Guy cooks dinner for Girl on second date and make-out session erupts on living room couch. Guy takes Girl kayaking on third date and make-out session breaks out after romantic picnic. Guy and Girl meet for a drink as she prepares to leave for a weeklong vacation. Girl promises to call Guy upon return. Time of promised return comes and goes. Guy leaves Girl several phone messages. No response.

Guy likes Girl and feels there is potential. Should Guy continue to pursue Girl? --I'm the Guy

Imagine this hypothetical scenario: Girl meets Guy, Girl goes out on a few dates with Guy. Unfortunately, Girl isn't romantically attracted to Guy. Still, Guy is nice, so Girl keeps seeing Guy. Girl even makes out with Guy a couple of times, hoping that romantic feelings for Guy will kick in once she's tasted his spit. Girl goes away, thinks things over, and admits to herself that she will never be romantically attracted to Guy. When Girl returns, she sends the universal signal for "not interested" by not returning Guy's calls. Guy sends pathetic letter to advice columnist. Advice columnist orders Guy to take the friggin' hint already.

That's the obvious scenario, ITG, and obvious scenarios are usually the correct ones. Oh, there's a slim chance this girl never came back from her vacation, having been eaten alive by a shark off the coast of Florida. Or perhaps she was in the tub the first time you called and in her rush to answer the phone slipped and fell, broke both her legs, and is now slowly starving to death on the floor of her bathroom while her phone rings and rings. These scenarios are possible, I guess, but "not interested" seems more likely than "eaten by sharks" or "starving to death on her bathroom floor," dontcha think?

You say in your recent column that the only way to truly avoid STDs is to not have sex. Well, a friend of mine contracted genital herpes (at the time, she was a virgin) from a guy who went down on her while he had a herpes breakout in his mouth. --Catherine

Everybody, all together: Oral sex is sex, Catherine. Girls who let a guy go down on them aren't virgins. Your "virgin" friend was just as sexually active as any crusty ol' dyke, and all sexually active people put themselves at some risk of contracting STDs, hymen or no hymen. It's the price of admission.

Giving or receiving, there are a number of STDs that can be contracted through oral sex--up to and including HIV/AIDS. While the risk of contracting HIV while performing oral sex is very low (and it's almost impossible to contract HIV from someone who's performing oral sex on you), the relative rarity of oral HIV transmission comes as cold comfort to people who were infected that way.

That said, I'm sorry your friend has herpes, and I hope she's told her doc about it. There are some very effective treatments for herpes these days, and she should seek 'em out.

I have recently started working in an office building that is filled with straight men. Now that I am surrounded by straight men, I have noticed an interesting phenomenon, and there's something I have to ask: Dan, what's up with all the grunting, groaning, and loud exhalation when straight men piss?

Every time I use the toilet in this joint there is some straight guy making all kinds of noise taking a piss. What gives? I never notice this at my happy little homo gym. Are these guys all ravaged with gonorrhea? Do they have prostates the size of grapefruits? What causes straight men pain when they piss? --Gonna Get Me Some Earplugs

The noisy pissers you work with, GGMSE, are not in pain. In fact, there's nothing wrong with them at all--no, there's something wrong with you.

You see, for straight boys, bathrooms at school or work are extensions of the boys-only tree houses they frequented as children. Young boys in tree houses--and then in locker rooms or on camping trips--tend to feel awkward about their bodily functions, a feeling they compensate for by boldly burping, insisting that farts are funny, and making a production number out of a piss. Then the boys grow up, and while most stop farting in public (in case there are women around they might wanna fuck), they go right on making a piss a production when they're alone with the guys.

As boys, GGMSE, most gay men were excluded from tree houses. Consequently we missed out on some things. I don't know about you, GGMSE, but personally I'm glad I was at home memorizing the score of Cats and not trapped in some filthy tree house learning how to light farts or gulp air and belch at will.

What to do? If you're not out to your coworkers, play along or risk a swirly. If you are out, then mockery is called for. When a straight male coworker comes in and starts "ah, yeah"-ing his way through a piss, join in: "Ah, yeah. Feels goooooooood. Oh, yeah, urinal. Take my hot piss, all of it, ooohhh, yyyeeeaaahhh." That should shut 'em up.

With all the mail you receive from people sharing these most intimate details of their sex lives, you must have heard some really entertaining masturbation horror stories. I'm not talking about a little embarrassment, Dan, but lasting trauma. This reader would like to see you dedicate a couple of columns to masturbation horror stories.

Here's my contribution: One time my best friend, in need of lubrication, grabbed the first gelatinous product he could find in his bedroom: a bottle of water-bed fluid. It wasn't until after his orgasm that he glanced at the contents listed on the bottle. He ran to the sink and washed off, but the damage was done. Water-bed fluid contains a great deal of acid, and soon my friend's dick blistered and peeled--think bad day at the beach--which caused him much suffering during basketball practice.

Surely you've heard worse than this, Dan. Can you comfort my friend with some evidence that he's not alone? --Probably a Former Best Friend

It's been a long time since we had a contest here at Savage Love--too long. OK, kids, send your masturbation horror stories to masturbationhorrorstory@savagelove.net. A specially selected panel of masturbation experts (I'm thinking seven or eight 15-year-old boys) will sift through the stories and pick the best, and I'll devote a couple of columns to them. The author of the best will win a gift basket filled with masturbation lotions, implements, and inspiring smut from some of my favorite woman-owned, sex-positive sex shops. (Please note: Stories about mom walking in are a dime a dozen, so don't waste my time. No one wants to hear it--unless your mom walked in on you masturbating over the corpse of your beauty-queen little sister.)

Next week: The predictable shit storm materializes. Responses to my column about San Francisco's dumbest HIV-prevention educator.

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