Hey, Faggot:

I read in a book of sex facts that a male will ejaculate approximately 18 quarts of semen during his lifetime. How much of this do you think ends up in Kleenex? –RM

Hey, RM:

It depends on two things: how much of a man’s semen is ejaculated while masturbating as opposed to during sex (when semen is likelier to wind up in an orifice, in a condom, or on the sheets), and how many men use tissues, specifically Kleenex-brand tissues–a Kimberly-Clark product–when wiping up after masturbating.

Some very rough, rounded numbers: The average American male has sex once a week and masturbates three times a week; there are two to five milliliters of spunk in the average ejaculation; and there are 105 million men in the United States over the age of 12, prime ejaculatory years. We polled 16 male subjects over the age of 18 here at Savage Labs, and of the 16, 8 reported using tissues to wipe up after masturbating, followed by towels (4 persons), T-shirts (3), and “my girlfriend’s hair” (1). And, finally, Kleenex-brand tissues account for 50 percent of the facial-tissue market.

Here’s what we can pull from these numbers: If a man produces a lifetime ejaculatory output of 18 quarts, three-fourths of which is produced while masturbating, that equals 13.5 quarts on a guy’s stomach over the course of his life. If a guy’s a tissue user, there’s a fifty percent chance he’s using Kleenex-brand tissues. So the answer to your question, how much of an individual male’s 18 quarts winds up in Kleenex, is just that: 13.5 quarts, provided he’s using Kleenex tissues. This is, of course, a high estimate, as even men who prefer tissues don’t always have access to them, and sometimes must resort to other things, such as socks, towels, the New Republic, girlfriend’s hair, etc.

The grand totals are more interesting: One man masturbating three times a week produces 546 milliliters of ejaculate in a year (3 x 52 x 3.5 ml = 546 ml), or a little more than half a quart. Which, on its own, may not sound like much, but multiply that 546 ml by 105,000,000 men, and we’re talking about a tsunami of spunk crashing across the country: 57,330,000,000 milliliters, or nearly 61 million quarts! If half the men in this country, like our sample, prefer tissues, and half of those men use Kleenex, that means 15,250,000 quarts of ejaculate wind up on Kleenex-brand tissues per annum!

Hey, Faggot:

I am a sophomore at the University of Wisconsin-Madison, and I am taking a course this semester on persuasive speaking. The course requires us to spend the semester preparing and ultimately delivering a persuasive speech. I plan to persuade students on campus that physical and emotional abuse in relationships is a serious problem.

I am trying to get some information on this subject. I was wondering if you could send me any info or stats that you think might be useful in this assignment. I need lots of info, and I would really appreciate your help. Obviously, I’ll give you credit in my report, and this will help advertise your column. I think it is a noble cause and I hope you can help contribute to it. Thanks for your help. –David Bernstein

Hey, Dave:

So you plan on “persuading” your fellow students that “physical and emotional abuse in relationships is a serious problem.” Wow, guy, don’t set the bar too high. Do you think you’ll be able to win ’em over? I mean, who isn’t pro physical and emotional violence these days? Gee, you must really enjoy a challenge. What’s next? Persuading your fellow students that the sky is blue and the grass is green?

Dave, Dave, Dave–if I were teaching that class and you walked in and announced you’d chosen domestic violence as your topic, I would flunk your ass on the spot. Why? Because picking that topic is as good as not doing the assignment at all: no one is proviolence, you moron. Not even people abusing their partners believe that abuse isn’t a “serious problem.” Even O fucking J fucking Simpson will tell you physical and emotional abuse is a serious problem–and in his case, an expensive one. The student body at Madison is at least as enlightened about this subject as OJ, so who exactly are you “persuading”?!

Hey, Faggot:

I’m a 35-year-old nurse who seduced a friend and depended on him during a family crisis. Since recovering my wits, I’ve terminated the friendship and refused his reasonable efforts to be on good terms with me. I last communicated with him in 1991 when he sent me a birthday card and I reported him to the police as a stalking suspect.

My estranged friend has been diagnosed with terminal cancer. Considering the circumstances–and based on your conversations with terminal AIDS patients–what do you think about me sending him a letter of apology and reconciliation? –Man’s Worst Friend

Hey, MWF:

A letter from you probably won’t kill him, but why on earth would you want to contact him now? It can’t be because you honestly feel bad about what a flaming jerk you were, because you needn’t have waited until he was dying to contact him if that were the case. No, the only reason is because you feel guilty and you want to salve your own conscience before he kicks. Your motives are as selfish and self-serving now as they were when you used him, abused him, and turned him in. You don’t deserve absolution. If he feels a need to contact you from his deathbed, he will. Otherwise, leave him at peace, and stew in your own guilt.

Hey, Faggot:

You told Mr. Nosey his buddy was unusual in his ability to suck himself off. Speaking from personal experience, I’m inclined to think it’s not as rare as all that. While I am in good shape, I am only slightly more flexible than most and my erect cock is not quite six inches. A lot of guys I’ve observed stretching out at the gym are more limber than me and probably have longer dicks. Yet I am able to get my lips around the head of my penis, and I enjoy getting off like that once or twice a week.

If I can do it, other guys can–and do. I recall reading in Kinsey that 3 percent of men admitted to fellating themselves. The actual figure today must be much higher, because we are in better shape, and more open to the idea of self-fellatio than the guilt-ridden self-polluters of Kinsey’s time.

Here’s my technique in case you want to give it a go: I lie on my back with a couple of pillows under my neck, and throw my legs over my head. It’s important that the pillows are under your neck, and not your head, and it helps to brace your feet against the wall. The more you do it, the easier it gets. –Because I Can

PS: I’m straight–and I’ve never told or shown any of my girlfriends that I can do this. I prefer their blow jobs.

Send questions to Savage Love, Chicago Reader, 11 E. Illinois, Chicago 60611.

© Dan Savage