How to Do It, Slate’s sex advice column, now has its very own podcast featuring Stoya and Rich. Twice a week, they’ll tackle all-new questions together, no matter how out there. The second episode and transcript each week are available exclusively to Slate Plus members. Sign up for Slate Plus for just $1 for your first month.
Dear How to Do It,
I apologize in advance. This may make you wince.
Yesterday, I hooked up for the first time with a new friend who I’ve hung out with a couple of times after months of chatting online. I had a great evening, and I’m really looking forward to seeing her again. The only problem: She got a little clumsy while giving me a blow job and bit my penis quite hard.
The skin didn’t break, but I’m currently writing this email from an ER waiting room because the area she bit is now swollen and dark red. My question is, how do I break it to her tactfully that her blow sent me to the hospital? I’m not angry or upset. I understand that accidents happen. Heck! It’s not even the first sex-related injury I’ve had. I just want her to know what happened without her feeling awful about it.
Stoya: All right. I have given sexual partners gonorrhea. I have left multiple weird, bruise-like abrasion situations with my vagina.
Rich: Where are the bruises and abrasions? Like, on the penis?
Stoya: Yeah, on the penis, like on the shaft. I think it’s something to do with like the condom involvement and maybe they need lube on the inside.
Stoya: I’ve definitely nipped people with my teeth. I actually have like a lot of experience being told that I’ve injured or infected people. All of these people were pretty sexually experienced and knew me to some degree. I assume that they tailored their message to meet my specific needs, but everyone used a sense of humor.
Rich: That always works.
Stoya: You don’t want to use sense of humor when you’re informing another person you’ve given them an STI. You want to be serious about it. But when the person you’ve given the STI to— that person told me that they had a new nickname for me. And it was “the clap fairy.” It’s Tinkerbell’s saucy cousin.
I would suggest maybe like, “Hello, human, here’s the list of all of the sex injuries that I have experienced. The last one is you. I’m looking forward to seeing you again.” That makes it clear that, hey, this isn’t a big deal. You are one item on a list.
Rich: I don’t know. I have to tell you, if someone bit my dick and sent me to the ER, I would be at least a little bit apprehensive of seeing them again, just in terms of like risk avoidance, harm reduction. I don’t want you biting my dick. I know it happens. I’ve certainly like—it’s always weird when you’re giving a blow job and you feel like you’re doing a good job. And then all of a sudden, your teeth become involved in a way that you feel it and you’re like, “Well, if I felt it, then he felt it.”
Obviously those things happen. I have a hard time imagining a situation in which the penis is bit quite hard. I mean, I guess maybe you get out of control or he’s doing something else to her and she’s kind of losing her ability to…
Stoya: I don’t 69.
Rich: You don’t 69 for this very reason.
Rich: It’s bad in terms of getting at what needs to be got at for women.
Stoya: Yeah. When you can’t really get a good angle on any of the fun parts, using your elbows to support yourself…anyway.
Rich: I feel like humor is the right thing. I have a hard time putting myself in this guy’s position, because I don’t think I would share the information, and I think I would just take that as, OK, not the dick sucker for me.
Stoya: I mean, I have a pretty delicate body in certain ways, and I have experienced a number of sex injuries. I can absolutely put myself in his shoes. With a partner who has a penis, they move the wrong way a little too deep and it hurts, and that’s the end of sex for like an hour or for that night. But unless they’re weird about it, that’s never been the end of the sexual relationship for me.
Rich: Fair enough. I guess from a practical perspective, I wonder how useful this information could be. If there is something with the technique that needs to be flagged so that she’s not biting people and sending them to the ER again, I get it. But if it’s a freak accident in the moment that just could have happened, it’s kind of like, OK, now you’re getting into the realm of, what are the practical implications of it? Maybe just making her feel bad about it and your dick’s already bruised. You know?
Stoya: I think it’s really important to establish whether this is like an all-the-time thing and he needs to take receiving oral sex off the table, or if this is a freak accident. He doesn’t have the data to know that. I think he needs to talk about it to get that data to then decide whether it’s safe to proceed.
Rich: I think the idea of approaching this with humor, because it is a bitten dick and that’s kind of funny—as long as the dick doesn’t come off or require a major surgery, that’s a comedy bit. Approaching with humor does make sense. It’s really a matter of what you actually want to gain by that conversation I think that should guide the way forward.