Hey, Faggot:

I have given a lot of blow jobs in my day, but recently a very strange thing happened. I was with a new fellow, and the morning after delighting him orally, I had really appalling diarrhea.

I figured it must have been something else I ate the night before. So I went on with my life, and we had oral sex three more times that day, and the next morning, I was intestinally distressed again. Monday rolled around, he went back home, my belly returned to normal. Then I went to visit him three weeks later and the same thing happened!

So what’s up? I have given blow jobs to other men both before and after this particular gent, and I’ve never experienced anything like this. Is it an allergic reaction? A hex put on me by his girlfriend? (I know, I know: infidelity is wrong and dangerous, but she hasn’t fucked him in over a year and we’re both HIV-free and it just seemed like the thing to do, you know?) The only thing I have been able to come up with is that he, being an adventurous vegetarian, eats a lot of curries and stuff my tender tummy can’t handle. But would curry pollute his spunk?

–Blown Away

Hey, BA:

It’s highly unlikely that your reaction had anything to do with curry. According to Dr. Barak Gaster, “the components of curry that might cause an intestinal reaction in some people are unlikely to be transmitted to sperm–it’s unlikely that any food allergen would be transmitted in this manner.”

So if it wasn’t a reaction to your cheatin’ boy’s eating habits, what caused your intestinal distress? “One of the causes of human infertility is antibody production by women in reaction to a particular partner’s sperm, and in some cases, by men in reaction to their own sperm. And there are women who produce antibodies to all sperm. This raises the possibility that people can also be allergic to a particular individual’s sperm. From what she’s describing, it sounds possible that she is having a food allergy to his semen.” In other words, you’re specifically allergic to his come, not to any spices that he ingested.

So, what to do? “Food-type allergies are very subjective and hard to sort out. The only reliable way to identify a food allergy is to keep a food diary, recording food intake and symptoms. Look for consistent correlations. If repeated exposures seem to cause repeated symptoms, there isn’t much to do beyond avoidance.” If this guy’s spunk is making you sick, don’t swallow it.

Hey, Faggot:

A while ago I came all over my boyfriend’s bare chest. To my horror, as we were showering, I noticed he had a red rash where my come had splashed on his skin. The welts didn’t go away for about a day. What could have caused this? I don’t remember eating anything out of the ordinary. Is my boyfriend allergic to me?


Hey, I:

“A rash which forms in an area that has been exposed to semen is likely to be either an allergic or an irritant reaction to semen, also unlikely to be affected by food,” said Dr. Gaster. “If the welts appear for less than three hours from contact, it’s more likely to be an irritant issue, such as acidity. If they appear more than 12 hours, there is a higher chance that it is a specific allergic reaction.” I’m assuming this isn’t the first time you’ve come on your boyfriend’s chest–how come the welts never appeared before? “Contact allergies can take several exposures to sensitize.”

Dr. Gaster wanted to leave us with these thoughts: “The immune system and allergic reactions are among the most complicated and least understood areas in all medicine. It is known that both men and women can develop autoimmune reactions to sperm, and both can be a cause of infertility. If a person is allergic to a particular partner’s sperm, experiencing a rash or diarrhea after exposure would make sense.”

Hey, Faggot:

My new lover does not want my come “staining” her sheets, her clothes (sometimes she’s partially dressed during the act), her mattress, the rug, whatever. She’s not anal retentive and can be quite the animal when it comes to getting down, but she insists that we put a large beach towel underneath us or in any other strategic area where my come might land. So, what’s the poop? Does come stain? Can it ruin a mattress, a rug, her skirt? I want to respect her needs, but no woman has ever made such a demand before.

–Curious About Come Stains

Hey, CACS:

I took your concerns to Michael S. Peru, proprietor of Seattle’s only gay-owned dry cleaner and therefore a recognized authority on the subject of come stains: “The pH of the individual in question is the issue. Come is a bodily secretion, and everyone’s pH–acidity–is different. Some people’s secretions stain more quickly than others. Typically, if you clean the garment within a week, there shouldn’t be any problem, unless it’s some pretty potent stuff.

“Bodily secretions are water based. You can make bodily secretion stains easier to remove by diluting them, by soaking the garment or the stain. But this usually isn’t necessary.” What if your girlfriend is too shy to take a come-stained garment to the dry cleaner? “‘Albumin’ is the technical dry-cleaning term for bodily secretion. She should simply indicate to the dry cleaner that this garment is albumin stained if she’s too shy to say ‘My boyfriend shot on this.'”

But tell your girlfriend not to be shy. “A dry cleaner,” Michael says, “is like a doctor–you can tell us anything.” Is a doctor anything like a dry cleaner? “I don’t think so,” said Dr. Gaster. “There are a lot of professions that are like being a doctor, but dry cleaning isn’t one that comes to my mind.”

Hey, Faggot:

Come (sperm) is spelled c-u-m.


Hey, SB:

Of all the words given a second, sexual meaning through slang usage, why does this one require an alternate spelling? We don’t “suk dik,” eat “pussee,” sit on “kocks,” get “blohjahbs,” or nuzzle “juggs,” do we? “Cum” is an adolescent, Hustler magazine affectation that I simply cannot endorse.

And the fact that the word is both noun and verb further complicates the matter. As a noun, it’s always cum: “Look, there’s some cum lying there.” “Oh, I have cum in my eye.” Not so when used as a verb: “Cum on me, baby.” “He came on me.” If in the present tense, the slang verb for ejaculate requires an alternate spelling, why not in its past tense? Why don’t we say, “She cam/caam/camme/caim/c@me when I ate her out”? Because it’s a stoopid thing to do, that’s why.

And what if you need to use both the noun and verb forms in one sentence? Writing “He came in my mouth, so I swallowed his cum” is stylistically inconsistent, don’t you think? Looks sloppy. How much simpler it is to use the standard four-letter spelling and allow the word to have, as so many words do, more than one meaning.

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