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Q: Could I possibly be allergic to sperm?

A: While it is possible to be allergic to sperm, it is extremely rare. What is much more common is an allergy to latex. Latex is commonly used to make condoms and other barriers, such as dental dams. You can purchase latex free condoms at most drug stores, and you can get them for free at one of Oregon State University’s Safer Sex Spot locations. Just look for the yellow packet with the words “Natural Latex Free.” Try using latex free condoms first to see if this solves the issue, and if it persists, visit your healthcare provider or Student Health Services to discuss more options. 

Q: Are sex toys a good thing?

A: The choice to use sex toys or not is an individual one. Some people enjoy using them solo or with a partner, and some people prefer not to use them. Whatever you choose, is completely normal and healthy. There is absolutely nothing wrong with the use of sex toys, and in fact, the use and popularity of them has risen dramatically in recent years, especially among younger populations. 

If you are going to use sex toys, there are a few things to remember:

1) Always clean your sex toys in between use, or before using them on a second area of the body, or another person. 

2) Especially when sharing sex toys, or using them on an additional area of the body, it is important to use barriers. Removing and applying new barriers in between each activity can help make clean up easier as well. 

3) When using lube with sex toys, make sure to never use silicone based lube on silicone toys. The silicone in the lube will bond to the silicone in the toy, and create a porous surface, which can harbour bacteria and can no longer be made sterile. 

Q: I’m a female-identifying individual, and I cannot climax during penetration. Is there something wrong with me?

A: No. There is absolutely nothing wrong with you. The majority of folks with vaginas will not climax from penetration alone. This is a common misconception, that is greatly reinforced by media and the porn industry. While some individuals can climax with penetration alone, many folks need to also have clitoral stimulation in order to climax. A recent study in the Journal of Sex and Marital Therapy reported that of 1000 women polled, only 18 percent  said that penetration was enough for them to reach climax, while 9 percent reported never climaxing through sex, and 73 percent reported needing clitoral stimulation to climax during sex. Talk with your partner about what you need to have a pleasurable experience. Communication is key to a happy and satisfying sexual relationship. Try using positions that will stimulate the clitoris or positions where you or your partner can manually stimulate the clitoris. It might take a little while to find out what works for you, so don’t stress, and be open to trying out new or different things. 

To submit your questions to be answered by the Sexual Health Team, click here.

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