BURST YOUR BUBBLE (BUTT)
I’m a healthy 57-year-old man, and I’ve lost my butt. I mean, it’s just gone flat. It used to be decent—not perky, but decent. How can I get a butt that I will be proud to show off in the showers or at the nude beach?
“Sad And Flat” via Internet
Time can definitely take its toll on some of our best assets. To turn back the clock and build shapelier glutes, incorporate lunges and squats into every workout—or every day. You don’t even need weights; use your own body weight. At the gym, instead of sitting down to rest between sets, get off your rump and knock out 20 squats or 20 lunges. On days when you don’t go to the gym, do four sets of squats and lunges for 25 reps. By following these suggestions, you’ll be completing at least 100 squats and 100 lunges daily, and before you know it you’ll be able to bounce a quarter off those cheeks. —MD
SEXY SILVER LINING
I’ve been HIV positive for about a year. At first, I fell into a mild depression, isolated myself, stopped socializing or working out. I stopped living. Then I said, “Get over it! This is your life now.” My CD4 and viral load tests are good, but while withdrawn I packed on 40 pounds. I want to hit the gym again but worry that my sweat will infect others.
Paul in Rowland Heights, CA
Congratulations on moving through the feelings that you’re “damaged goods” because you’re infected. You’re not. Research says about half of newly infected people go through depression that lifts as they learn to cope with the virus. Exercise is a great stress reducer and takes the edge off the blues. Hitting the gym and knocking off pounds reinforces that you’re doing yourself a favor. And sweat left on gym equipment will not infect others. The following bodily fluids are not infectious: saliva, tears, sweat, feces and urine. HIV spreads through unprotected sexual contact, direct blood contact (like sharing injection drug needles or a healthcare worker’s exposure), and although now rare, through transfusions with infected blood. During anal sex, HIV may infect mucous membranes in the top’s penis and/or the bottom’s rectum or enter through cuts and sores caused during intercourse. These cuts or sores are often unnoticed, another reason unprotected anal sex is a high-risk practice. With oral sex, mouths without open sores are not good hosts for HIV. That means the risk of transmission through our throat, gums or oral membranes is lower than through anal membranes. Nevertheless, there are documented cases of orally transmitted HIV, so don’t assume infection cannot occur. Keep the upbeat outlook. Learn about safer sex. After all those sweaty visits to the gym, you’ll need your condoms and lube! —FP
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We just moved to Sin City—well, its outskirts, but every weekend we go to the Strip to find some trouble and have some fun! My friends are fans of the spa ritual, and there are so many to choose from here. My question for you is: Are full-body massages and facial peels just for pleasure, or do they have real health benefits as well?
Trent in Las Vegas, NV
A full-body massage done by a certified healthcare practitioner offers a systematized approach, and the best massages are a combination of science and art. Medically, a massage improves circulation, which increases blood flow and brings fresh oxygen to the body tissues. It also can help eliminate toxins, speed up the healing process and even enhance recovery from a variety of diseases. There is no real health benefit to chemical peels, however, aside from some minimal rejuvenation. But your chemical peel is popular and one of the oldest known cosmetic procedures in the world, dating back to ancient Egypt. It enhances and smooths the texture of your skin, and we all want smoother, more beautiful skin. Peels are popular because there is instant gratification: What gay man doesn’t want the instant results of younger-looking skin and overall beauty? A chemical peel can cost anywhere from $400 to 1,000, though some low-level peels are around $150 (and done with a combination of alpha hydroxy acids (AHA), but be careful: If performed incorrectly, your face can become reddened, swollen, and some scabbing and crusting may even occur. Infection and scarring is also possible. And remember, the first thing “Mr. Right” or “Mr. Tonight” will see when passing you on the Strip is your face! —PF