6 Sexual Health Experts Answered Reddit’s Burning Questions & We Think Everyone Can Benefit From It

Manya Ailawadi

We often forget that there is direct relation between sex, and well, relationships. This means that the emotional part of a relationship is impacted by physical factors – and vice versa. In ignoring either or both, we miss out on the fact that the other could easily suffer as well. So, it’s important to pay attention, learn, communicate and see what works for the people involved in a relationship. This is your reminder to start opening up about sex, and the other parts of your relationship.

For now, here are some questions answered by sexual health experts and researchers:

1. How often should a person get tested for STD.

“This is going to vary depending on if you are in a monogamous relationship or not. If not, every 3-6 months (some STDs including HIV have an incubation period and will not show up right away on tests after being contracted). If you are, once a year should suffice.”


2. What is happening when a woman squirts?

“Women can have an involuntary expulsion of fluid from their vulva (external part of their vagina). The fluid can also be urine.”


3. What is your opinion on the penis size shaming?

“Let us start off with some important stats EVERY GUY should know:

Most guys self-shame themselves on their size. I spend a lot of time going over the stats and making them realize they are okay. They often use adult film actors as a benchmark for what they should be adult film actors are not the reality or norm.” 


4. Why hasn’t an HPV test for men become a thing?

“You’ve brought up an important point. While there is a vaccine recommended for males and females, the main tests for HPV are for cervical cancer screening in women and testing for oral cancer biopsies. For now there are no FDA approved tests available in clinics to look for HPV infection in the oropharynx, anal or male genital sites. There are some tests being used internationally for research. Thankfully, the HPV vaccine will change the future of HPV related illnesses/cancers for younger generations who get the vaccine.”


5. Is masturbation good for men? Is it scientifically linked to premature ejaculation?

“Listen, I can not decide for you whether masturbation is “good” or “bad” for you. It’s a personal choice. What I can tell you is you should not feel guilty for the choice you make when it comes to masturbation. There is some research linking excessive masturbation to premature ejaculation. Most men don’t spend hours with each period of masturbation. It’s usually a quick thing. But when you get to sex, it will often require more time and patience for you and also for your partner that may require more time to climax themselves.”


6. How can one surpress or otherwise deal with sexual attractions outside an established relationship?

“We are human – this will happen. Suppression isn’t necessarily the answer as when we suppress it shows up in other areas of our lives. Be sure to have the “look but don’t touch” mentality (unless of course the relationship permits this type of exploration- some do some don’t). Recognize that it is ok to find someone attractive to take away the “taboo” energy around the feelings. A thought is just a thought. Let it go. In some cases a conversation with a partner can be helpful and in other cases not so much- What are the boundaries in your relationship? If they are open a conversation can take the “heaviness” off of these feelings and normalize them for you.”


7. Are there non-psychological reasons that a woman would lack sex drive throughout their life?

“There definitely are medical reasons for low sexual drive in women, what doctors call hypoactive sexual desire disorder. Some of these include, low hormonal levels for estrogen or testosterone, long-term conditions like diabetes or heart disease, and arthritis. Other things to think about are exhaustion from overscheduling due to school or work activities. Women can also experience hormonal changes during and after pregnancy or menopause. And of course we want to look at medications that someone has been on to see if that may be playing a role.”


8. What’s the most interesting thing you’ve learned in your relative fields of study?

“I’ve learned that relationships follow a pattern of pursuit and avoidance… both in the emotional realm and the sexual realm each impacting the other. One person is often the “chasor” (wants more sex or more talk or more time together) and the other is the “chasee” (seemingly responding with more and more distance and lack of interest.) We can figure out our cycle and the way the dynamic creates more or less closeness or attunement sexually which means it’s understandable and modifiable. It’s so exciting to realize we can control the the quality of our emotional and sex life by modifying our part in the cycle.”


 A lot to learn, and think about.

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