Tip-Top Shape

By Robert Bolan, MD; Patrick Fratellone, MD, RH & Jallen Rix, Ed.D, ACS

What are the tests and general checkups a thirtysomething guy should be getting nowadays? Is a yearly physical really needed or is it just important to drop in for some blood tests every now and then?

Benjamin in Sonoma, CA

A thirtysomething should review his medical history, undergo a physical and have laboratory data evaluated every year. Any disease could be discovered at the initial history and/or physical, so your history is important and should be detailed and completely honest. The history should include not only basic complaints but also your social, sexual, substance abuse and family histories, in addition to medications and over-the-counter drug use and any herbs, vitamins and other supplements you might be taking. A detailed history of any STDs is also very important. The laboratory data should include all chemistry levels (sodium, potassium, magnesium, et al), a complete blood count, urinalysis and a lipid panel (cholesterol, triglycerides, bad and good cholesterol). Most Americans are deficient in iodine and vitamin D, so a vitamin D25 test is needed as well as a thyroid panel, which would be affected by low iodine. You should also be detailed about your dietary and exercise habits so that your physician can make the best possible evaluations and recommendations. So stop thinking about getting bloods once in a while and get a history and physical this and every year. And, of course, please ask for an HIV test, if you don’t know your status! —PF

 

Measuring Up

Can you answer the age- old question that haunts us all: What’s a normal penis size? I’ve always felt very self-conscious about my size being on the smaller side and would love to feel more comfortable about it. 

“Size Queen” via instinctmagazine.com

The studies I’ve looked at have the American male population’s average erect penis length falling between 5.3 and 5.9 inches. So basically there are just as many smaller than this length as there are longer. And for what it’s worth, there’s evidence that the smaller the unit, the larger it grows proportionally when erect. In other words, smaller sizes tend to be “growers” while larger sizes tend to be “showers.” Unfortunately, simply knowing the national average probably won’t satisfy your desire to feel more comfortable about your size. I know a lot of guys who are obsessed with their penis being too big. Our “grass is greener” mentality seems to take its toll on all of us and we can’t win for losing. Love your cock, because it deserves to feel great, and forget normal. Neither science nor voodoo has figured out how to actually change the size of a penis— flaccid or erect. So why put yourself through the competitive torture of not “measuring up” when you have absolutely no choice in the matter? Let it go. Play gleefully with the toy you have, and your trouser snake will loyally return the love all the days of your life! —JR

 

Oral Hygiene

I’ve just recently started dating/having sex with a guy who is HIV positive, and I am HIV- negative. I really like him and can see a great relationship forming. We seem to be communicating very well, and I would very much like to stay negative. I am strictly a top, and we have been very safe using condoms for anal and oral sex. We have both discussed that oral sex with a condom is not as much of a pleasurable experience for either of us. Rubber just tastes like rubber, and those flavored lubes have been pretty gross as well. Anal sex for us will always be WITH a condom. I have read that the risk is lower for HIV infection from oral sex but that there is still a risk. I’d like to have hotter oral sex, maybe without a condom...but not convinced it’s worth any possible risk. Any tips or suggestions on how we can improve this situation? 

Jordan in Orlando, FL

First, I’m glad you’re practicing safer sex and taking the precautions we recommend to protect yourself from HIV. It is true that the risk of contracting HIV from oral sex is much lower than the risk from anal sex. However, unprotected oral sex is not risk-free. Here’s what the Centers for Disease Control says: “Numerous studies have demonstrated that oral sex can result in the transmission of HIV and other STDs. Abstaining from oral, anal and vaginal sex altogether or having sex only with a mutually monogamous uninfected partner are the only ways that individuals can be completely protected from the sexual transmission of HIV. However, by using condoms or other barriers between the mouth and genitals, individuals can reduce their risk of contracting HIV or another STD through oral sex.” If you do decide to have oral sex without using condoms, here are some things you should know: The risk is much higher for the person performing oral sex. It is not very likely that you would contract HIV from your partner performing oral sex on you. However, it is possible, especially if there is blood in his mouth (i.e., from an open sore or bloody gums). If you do perform oral sex on your partner, avoiding contact with semen will reduce your risk. —RB