What's that coming down the chimney? - Dr. Dick

What's that coming down the chimney?

To my loyal readers,

It wouldn't be right to wish you happy holidays without imparting some safe sex advice. So before Santa slides down your chimney, take a minute and review my top ten holiday tips:

1) WRAP THE PACKAGES:
• Good things come in wrapped packages, so keep condoms close. When you give away your package, you might even tie it off with a pretty little bow.
• Whether you have one partner or four, use a new condom for every sex act. Make condoms part of foreplay, and be a smooth operator by learning to put one on with your mouth.

2) GREASE UP YOUR SLED:
• Just avoid oil-based lubes like Vaseline, cooking oil, and lip balm. Use water-based or silicone-based lube to reduce friction that can damage tissue of the anus, penis, vagina, and rectum.
• Put some sensual lube inside the condom before you pinch the tip and roll it down. If you're having marathon crystal sex, don't be afraid to pause and add more. Even Santa needs to stop from time-to-time to grease-up his sled.

3) CHECK YOUR CHIMNEY:
• A buildup in your chimney can make it more difficult for Santa to arrive. Test every 3 months for HIV, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis. If you test positive for an STD, connect with your medical provider right away for treatment. Find a testing provider here: http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/communicable/hiv/resources/testing.aspx#test

4) PREPARE TO RECEIVE:
• Gracefully accepting gifts is just as important as gracefully giving them. Insertive "female" condoms, also known in NEON as "booty bags," "back packs," and "bottom bags" are a great alternative to traditional male condoms. Here's why:
• You can put one in your butt hours or minutes in advance. Since crystal can make it hard to remember to use a condom, you'll already be covered when it's time to play.
• No boner required! This means less pressure and more fun all around for you and your partners.
• You get to be in charge of your health. It's no secret that it can be difficult to talk to a partner about protection. Saying "I'm going to put a condom in," can help start an important conversation.
• Booty Bags provide extra protection against HIV and other STDs. Since the outer ring and the end of the condom bag stay outside the anus and lie against the surrounding area, you get extra coverage from fluids and sores.

5) STOKE THE FIRE:
• Rather than diving right in to the winter wonderland, fuel your passions with a steamy pre-hookup discussion. What are your likes and dislikes when it comes to sex? What will you use for protection? When was the last time you got tested?

6) ENJOY THE MISTLETOE:
• Stand, sit, or lie under the mistletoe after your holiday romp. Show your partner some holiday love rather than falling asleep right away.

7) PrEPPERMINT:
• Been hearing buzz about a little something called PrEP? Guys who are HIV-negative who are at high-risk for getting HIV can take PrEP. It involves taking a pill once a day, every day, to help reduce your chances of getting infected with HIV. The pill contains HIV medicines that prevent HIV from making copies of itself when it gets in the body. Studies show that PrEP can reduce your chances of getting infected with HIV, however, taking PrEP does not guarantee that you won't get HIV.
• PrEP isn't meant to replace rubbers. Since PrEP doesn't protect against other STDs, condoms and regular STD tests are important. Guys on PrEP also need regular screenings for HIV, and blood tests to monitor kidney and liver function.
• Talk to your doctor or medical provider if you're interested in starting PrEP. For a list of PrEP providers in King County, please visit
http://www.kingcounty.gov/healthservices/health/communicable/hiv/prevention/prep.aspx

8) PEPPERMINT:
• PEP: PEP can also lower your risk of getting HIV. PEP is a 28-day regimen of HIV medication that can be taken after a possible exposure to HIV. If you feel you might have been exposed to HIV, go to your doc or to the Harborview Emergency Room within 24 hours of the possible exposure. Treatment is more effective when started right away, and won't be prescribed to you after 72 hours.

9) REMEMBER YOUR HOLIDAY GLOVES:
• Fisting? Use elbow-length gloves and lots of water-based lube. Then, remember to wash your hands thoroughly with soap and water after your escapade.

10) TINKER TOYS:
• Sharing may not be caring in certain situations. Although it's not very likely, it is possible to spread STDs through sex toys. Put a condom on a sex toy if you're sharing or don't know if it's sparkly-clean.
• Some guys tell me they clean their toys with hand sanitizer, but, Purell simply won't remove all of the bacteria and germs. Carefully clean sex toys according to the manufacturer's instructions.

On behalf of NEON, I wish you the happiest and warmest of holiday seasons.

-Dr. Dick


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