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I find applying stinging nettles to my body highly pleasurable. I've tried the Web for more information, but either I get herbalist pages or, when searching the words "nettles" and "fetish" together, I get directed to S-M-type pages. I don't really go for that. Can you direct me somewhere where I can get advice? Are there any long-term dangers in exposing my "delicate areas" to the little green temptresses?

--Seriously Twisted Into Nettle Games

First, the reason you find the "stinging nettles" kink primarily on S-M Web sites, STING, is because stinging nettles hurt like motherfuck.

Second, Tracy Mehlin at the Center for Urban Horticulture at the University of Washington was kind enough not to slam the phone down when I read her your question, perhaps because she once knew a guy on a farm who occasionally lashed himself with stinging nettles. "I didn't ask him to go into details about why he did it," said Tracy, "but there are some people who enjoy the effect." An hour later Tracy faxed me some additional info about that effect, which doesn't sound very enjoyable to me: The leaves and stems of stinging nettle are covered with tiny hollow hairs. When a person comes in contact with the plant, the tips of the hairs break off, stick in the person's skin, and then, like a lot of little hypodermic needles, pump in a venom that makes the skin itch, swell, tingle, and burn for hours.

As it turns out, STING, you're not the first person to expose his "delicate areas" to stinging nettles. The Romans thrashed men "below the navel," according to Rodale's Encyclopedia of Herbs, to improve virility. (Did Roman women object to being fucked by guys whose dicks were covered with tiny hairs full of venom? Alas, the men who wrote the history books didn't record their opinions.) And while occasional contact with stinging nettles--even below the navel--won't do you any lasting harm, "massive or repeated contact" with stinging nettles isn't advisable. So like all good vices--booze, boys, bacon--stinging nettles should be enjoyed in moderation.

I am a 20-year-old male who has a fetish that other people just don't understand. I've had it since I was three or four. It turns me on when I hear or smell women's farts. I am not looking to have sexual intercourse with anyone until I am married, I'm just looking to snuggle up to a woman's rear end while she passes gas. The problem is that I don't know how to talk to women about my fetish so that they will consent to it and not come to see me as a disgusting monster.

--Farts Are Rare Treats

PS: For those who think this is disgusting, think about this: isn't regular, oral, or anal sex disgusting too? Huh? You can catch STDs from them, as opposed to my fetish, which is perfectly harmless. Wake up, people!

Thanks, FART, you've really opened my eyes. All this time I've been enjoying regular, oral, and anal sex, risking STDs and broken hearts and God knows what else, when I could've been snugglin' butts and huffin' farts. What was I thinking?

Sorry, kiddo, people do understand your fetish. They just think it's gross. And while it sucks to be burdened with a fetish that most people find disgusting--it's not like you chose it, right?--you're not going to win any converts insisting that "regular" sex is somehow more disgusting than snugglin' butts and huffin' farts.

So how do you get some? That's a toughie. Most women are going to view your kink as disgusting no matter how you talk to them about it. What's more, the type of women who save themselves for marriage may be up for kissing, cuddling, and heavy petting, but I can't imagine many will be down with ripping off a few while you snuggle their butts. The kind of bighearted, game-for-anything women who might be willing to indulge you will probably make some sexual demands of their own--demands you won't be able to meet, since you're saving disgusting regular, oral, and anal sex for your wedding night. So until you meet the woman you plan to marry, FART, you'll probably have to hire someone to fart for you. When you do meet the woman you intend to marry, hopefully she'll love you so much she'll be willing to put out--poot out?--when you tell her you're a fart huffer.

I occasionally visit a professional dominant. That isn't the problem. The problem is, I've got an abrasion on my penis. Sometimes I get a little masturbation happy and I end up with a little sore on the shaft. Here's the actual question: Do I tell Ms. Domme about the sore on my dick up front? "Hey, before you ask, that's not an STD, it's just an abrasion from too much jerking off." Or do I only explain if she asks? There's no chance that she'd catch anything even if I did have an STD. I'm only paying her to tie me up and step on me. But she has tied up my penis and balls on previous visits. Your advice?

--My Open Sore Troubles

The Golden Rule applies to interactions with sex workers, MOST, just as it applies to interactions with other sorts of people. If Ms. Domme had a sore on her genitals you would, I suspect, prefer to be told before you handled them. So even if you're not having intercourse with Ms. Domme, point out the sore, tell her how you got it, and offer to wear a condom at your next session. She may not require you to wear a condom, MOST, but the call really should be hers.

Hey, everybody: We have a winner. Savage Love readers, by a wide margin, want Senator Rick Santorum's name to stand for . . . that frothy mixture of lube and fecal matter that is sometimes the by-product of anal sex! It was a landslide for that frothy mixture; farting in the face of someone who's rimming you came in a distant second. So congratulations to WUTSAP, who submitted the winning nomination, and a big thank-you to the thousands who voted.

But now that the votes are counted and a winner has been declared and the cheering has stopped, I see a problem. While everyone who has anal sex confronts a little santorum now and again, no one likes to think about santorum, much less discuss it. A polite buttfucker says nothing about santorum to the embarrassed buttfuckee, and vice versa. They just get up and clean up. Since people don't discuss santorum even with people they've covered with santorum, getting the word into general use is going to be tricky. I'm willing to do my part, however: Please send me your santorum-related questions and/or santorum-related memories, and I'll do a column or two. This will help not only to get the word out and into general use, but also to break the silence about santorum.

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