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CHASTE

By Dan Savage · March 30th, 2005 · Savage Love
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I'm a late-20s straight man in a BDSM relationship with a dominant woman. She enjoys depriving me of orgasms for long periods of time, and she likes to keep me in a male chastity belt. It's a rather high-tech, custom-fitted thing made of stainless steel and lined in silicone. It makes it impossible for me to masturbate or even get an erection. While it has taken some time to adjust to wearing it full-time, I can now go about my daily business quite well with it on. Judging by the Internet, there is quite a burgeoning fetish subculture for male chastity belts. My only concern is the long-term medical effects. My penis unsuccessfully tries to get erect dozens of times per day, only to strain against an unyielding steel tube. I worry that months (years?) of this might damage my penis or make it difficult to get an erection when I finally do have the chance. Unfortunately, I can't seem to find a professional medical opinion on the Internet. I'm too embarrassed to ask my own doctor. Can you consult one of your guest medical experts on this matter?

-- Cold Hard Armor Squashes the Erections

"The only thing I can think of that might be a problem for CHASTE is the development of Peyronie's disease," says Christian P. Pavlovich M.D., assistant professor of urology and director of urologic oncology at Johns Hopkins Bayview Medical Center in Baltimore. "As you know, Peyronie's disease is a curvature of the penis of unknown etiology that is associated with a plaque of scar tissue at the tunica albuginea of the corpora cavernosa of the penis."

Well of course, Dr. Pavlovich, who doesn't know that? Why just the other day I shared a private little joke with my boyfriend about his tunica albuginea. "Oh hush," he said, "now bring that corpora cavernosa over here." (Maybe you had to be there.) But just in case you don't have the faintest idea what the doc is talking about, I'll translate: Peyronie's is a buildup of scar tissue in your dick that can cause it to curve to one side, making erections painful and, in some cases, impossible.

Docs aren't sure what causes Peyronie's disease, but a leading theory is trauma to a semi-erect penis. "It would not be unreasonable to assume that repeated erections that are kept 'down' by an 'unyielding steel tube' might lead to the sorts of insults to the penis that could predispose one to Peyronie's," Dr. Pavlovich says. "Thus it is possible that CHASTE is putting himself at increased risk for this condition."

Peyronie's is not a condition for which any sane man wants to increase his risk.

There's no effective treatment for it. Radiation therapy can decrease the amount of scar tissue but, alas, it damages other tissues; surgery to cut out the scar tissue can lead to impotence.

Dr. Pavlovich was quick to add that no studies have been done on the short- or long-term effects of locking your cock up in an unyielding steel tube, which explains why you found so little about it on the Web. Nevertheless, he felt you and the girlfriend/Mistress should proceed with caution. "At the very least," he says, "CHASTE should let his penis 'breathe' once in a while."

Recently my girlfriend's lesbian aunt, call her Harpo, confessed that she attempted to jerk off her father, my girlfriend's grandfather. The man had a stroke and can't talk, he can only grunt and move his hands a bit. He is not mobile, needs help dressing himself, etc. Apparently Harpo was bathing her father and the geezer's dick sprang to life, and for whatever reason she started jerking him off. He managed to convince her that he did not want that kind of attention.

My partner is distressed; it is after all her grandpa we're talking about here. Of all the weird sexual behaviors you've come across, have you ever heard of anything as disgusting? Is Harpo simply a kind soul who sought to administer the ultimate pleasure to an old man? Did she respond in an inappropriate way?

-- Avid Reader

Before we wrestle with your questions, AR, I have to dispute the way in which you characterize a post-stroke handjob administered by a middle-aged lesbian daughter. That's a lot of things -- sick and wrong chief among them -- but it is not "the ultimate pleasure." Coming back in the next life as one of Andy Roddick's sweat-soaked T-shirts is the ultimate pleasure.

Moving on: I don't believe that Harpo responded in an appropriate way. Just as George W. Bush feels we should "err on the side of life" -- at least where Terri Schiavo is concerned -- I've always felt it's best to err on the side of avoiding incestuous handjobs. If Harpo felt her father was truly desperate for release, she should have hired a professional to come in and do the job -- but only after getting his consent. If the man can grunt and move his hands, he can answer yes/no questions like, "Would you like me to hire an escort to come in and give you a handjob, Dad?"

My husband of three years is really pressuring me to swing. He's always trying to get me to agree to join a local swingers' club. I made it clear to him before we got married that I would not swing. He made it clear to me that it was his greatest fantasy. I guess he thought I would magically change my mind. Dan, why can't he love me enough to be satisfied with only me? I don't want to have sex with anyone else. I just can't imagine sex without love! Do wedding vows mean nothing? Am I crazy like my husband insists? He won't see a therapist, and I need help!

-- Monogamous One

You're both crazy, MO. Your husband told you before you married that swinging is his ultimate fantasy; you told your husband before you married that you won't swing. But you married each other anyway and now -- surprise! -- you're at each other's throats over this swinging issue. Neither of you saw that one coming?

You both went into this marriage hoping the other would change, and you were both wrong. It's for situations like yours that divorce lawyers coined the term "irreconcilable differences."

Just read your advice to the hapless 15-year-old who wanted to know how to "get girls." As a happily married, 34-year-old father of two, I remember back when I was that 15-year-old kid. How I wish I had had your good guidance back then! I discovered on my own (through much trial and error) what works at making connections. It's everything you passed on to the kid.

-- Happily Married Dad

Thanks for sharing, HMD.

Last week you gave good advice to a 15-year-old boy who wanted to know how to get girls. How about some advice for us 15-year-old girls? Surely you must know something about getting a guy. ; )

-- Girls Also Longing

The first bit of advice I have for you, GAL, is this: Don't abuse semicolons and close parentheses like that. It's extremely unattractive. God did not give us those useful punctuation marks so that teenage girls could fashion them into winking smiley faces. Is that understood? Good.

As for advice on getting a guy, I would like to invite my adult female readers to share their insights. Ladies: What do you know now that you wish you knew when you were 15? I will print the best three responses in an upcoming column.

 
 
 
 

 

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