|Doing this? You're on your own.|
Dr. Andrea is a total bad-ass--an osteopath at the Center for Sustainable Medicine, with specialties in women's/sexual health, nutrition and Ayurveda--and I can still scarcely believe this, she's still willing to take our questions.*
HPV is in the news as causing throat cancer in Hollywood stars. Is it a danger to a, say, 57-year-old het? And if they can immunize kids against it, can they immunize adults? Oh, and if they can, why aren’t they offering it? Cost? Liability? We’re already doomed?
Dr. Andrea: Throat cancer is a danger to anyone who's ever had oral sex, including having had a penis in his or her mouth (especially one without a condom on it.). The reason HPV (the kind that, say, likes living on penises) loves the back of the throat, is that there are tonsils there ( = lots of folds and crevices to hide in) and the back of the tongue also has lots of bumps and stuff stuck to it (bad breath bacteria, adenoid/tonsil-like blobs, etc. yum. :/ ) that make for a lovely spot for HVP to stick.
As for immunizing adults- sort of. The vaccine seems to work well for females up to age 25 and males up to age 21. The thing is, once you've been exposed to the viruses, the vaccine we have doesn't seem to do much so it's recommended to be given before the first sexual encounter for best prevention. I wouldn't say we're doomed exactly, but prevention does seem to be our best (only?) weapon at the moment. That and decreasing risk by having fewer number of partners (the risk tends to go up the more you've had), not also having HIV, and using protection (although condoms aren't 100% especially if the skin that has the virus in it is outside the condom). The good news is, despite throat malignancies in general being pretty terrible, spread seems to be slightly rarer with HPV types, and treatment seems to be working as well as it can be expected to, with the usual gnarly side effects, but still not as bad as possible. Sorry for a not Mary-Sunshine answer, but you did ask about throat cancer. :/ [see also: this NYT article]
We are exploring open arrangements. What STIs are men at risk for when performing oral sex on women? (I'm as open to precautions as anyone, but sorry, dental dams are like I'm having oral sex with a love doll. And that I can do at home, alone. I mean, if I did that kind of stuff. )
The simple answer is: all of them. I guess I'm not being very Mary-Sunshine on this one either. The reality is that beyond monogamy, things get statistically way more risky. I would suggest choosing partners and weighing risks of this idea carefully, discussing it again with your main partner at regular intervals to make sure you're both ok with it, and have full testing done on everyone before you are physically intimate with each new partner. And of course, do a thorough visual inspection of each partner before intercourse. [IBWMW note: I am immaturely picturing one of those miner's caps with a halogen light for said visual inspection.] Complicated, yes, but this is the world we're in- it's not just HIV, HSV, gonorrhea and chlamydia, but even bugs like syphilis are making a huge world tour comeback. Be safe out there!
My husband and I are interested in trying anal sex, but our attempts so far have been much too painful even with copious amounts of lubricant. Fingers are fine, and a tapered dildo smaller than my husband's penis, but any attempts with his penis are excruciating. I've not found any advice that was specific enough to help, just generalities about 'relaxing.' Any ideas?
Honestly, for some people, anal sex is not pleasurable.
Aside from general cleaning preparation and lubricant, generally that suffices if it is going to be a pleasure-inducing activity. That said, this next part isn't directed at you necessarily, but in general, the psychological aspects of anal sex can be more pronounced than with vaginal sex (especially for women, in my experience with patients), which can be related to, yes, 'relaxing,' but also deeper sorts of things like vulnerability in general, and letting go completely of control and security to trusting the other partner. My suspicion in this case is that this is a size issue, but looking at your motivations and desire to do it in the first place (when it's excruciatingly painful) might be helpful too- there are many many things to try other than anal sex if it's not doing it for you.