STDs Expert Forum
Oral STDs
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The STD Forum is intended only for questions and support pertaining to sexually transmitted diseases other than HIV/AIDS, including chlamydia, gonorrhea, syphilis, human papillomavirus, genital warts, trichomonas, other vaginal infections, nongonoccal urethritis (NGU), cervicitis, molluscum contagiosum, chancroid, and pelvic inflammatory disease (PID). All questions will be answered by H. Hunter Handsfield, M.D. or Edward W Hook, MD.

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Oral STDs

Good Morning,
      I am a 21 year old bi-sexual male, well I thought I was bi-sexual until my first experience with a man. About 10 days ago, I met another male online and we decided to meet at his home. The contact we had was mutual masturbation and he performed oral sex on me for about a minute. I felt uncomfortable with the oral sex, and asked him to stop. Before our sexual encounter, he and I talked about STDs and I asked him if he currently had an STD or in recent past. I mentioned that I was concern about both viral and bacterial STDs. He informed me that he was clean. After are brief encounter, I left due to this individual was leaving for work (he is a respiratory therapist for a hospital and works for a medical flight company).
     Since our encounter, he and I have remained in contact through this online service. I have asked several times about whether he was sure he was free from all STDs. Each time he made it clear that he was. The last time I did ask him, he got very upset and stated that he was clean, and that he has never had an STD. He even asked if I had an STD in his response. I felt bad and apologized.
     My question, is that I have been feeling ashamed for my encounter, and have basically convinced myself that I caught an STD. My main concern is bacterial infections (chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis). I am not sure if I can breathe a sigh of releif or not. Would I have had symptoms by now with either gonorrhea or chlamydia since my encounter was 10 days ago.
239123_tn?1267651214
Welcome to the forum.

In the last paragraph, you put your finger on the main issue here.  Don't confuse shame and guilt over a sexual choice you regret and your apparently conflicted sexuality with STD risk.  They are not the same, and you need to deal separately with each.

You can completely dismiss mutual masturbation as a risk.  STDs are rarely if ever transmitted by hand-genital contact, even if genital secretions or saliva are used as lubricants.  Oral sex also can be considered safe sex.  It isn't totally risk free, but the risk is a lot lower than unprotected vaginal or anal sex; some STDs are virtually never transmitted by oral sex (e.g HIV, chlamydia) and others only rarely (gonorrhea, herpes due to HSV-1, syphilis).  Given the brevity of your oral exposure, your risk is probably even lower than usual.  Finally, although of course it is possible for someone to have an asymptomatic STD, for the most part people who believe they aren't infected are correct.

Finally, most STDs that would be acquired by oral sex would indeed cause symptoms wtihin 10 days, so you're probably home free.  You could visit a doctor or clinic for testing if you need the reassurance, but if I somehow found myself in a situation like yours, I would not be tested and would continue unprotected sex with my wife without worry.

As for the other problem, it sounds like a rather serious one that is significantly impacting your life and happiness.  I suggest counseling.  You could start informally, e.g. through a gay service organization; or just cut to the chase and seek out a psychologist with experience in sexuality.  You wouldn't regret it. I suggest it from compassion, not criticism.

Best wishes-  HHH, MD
6 Comments
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Avatar_m_tn
Well, with encounter, I don't find sexual encounters to be enjoyable with men at all... I was curious about it, but feel this is not for me. I appreciate your quick response. By the way, I am not married, nor in a reltionship.
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239123_tn?1267651214
OK, I misunderstood.  In any case, not enough STD risk to worry about or seek testing.  Just chalk it up to an experimental event, without worry.
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Avatar_m_tn
Dr Handsfield, I was wondering about oral syphilis. Why does syphilis symptoms have such a long window of opportunity (10-90 days)? It has been 16 days since my encounter now without any chancre. If I go the average of 21 days without a symptom, can I breathe a little easier, or should I still have some concerns?
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239123_tn?1267651214
In describing the sexual event, you don't mention oral exposure to your partner -- only that he performed oral on you.  If you also had oral contact with his penis, then there may be a slight risk of syphilis.

Syphilis bacteria grow slowly and it just takes time for the first syphilis symptoms to begin.  Usually a chancre (open sore) starts to develop as soon as 10 days after exposure and almost always by a month. Absence of a lesion at 21 days will be only modestly reassuring.  If you want 100% proof, you'll need a syphilis blood test at 6 weeks.  However, all things considered, the chance you caught syphilis is less than the odds you'll be struck by lightning -- if I were in your situation, I would just ingore it.

That will wind of this thread.  I won't have any further advice.
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Avatar_m_tn
thanks for your time...
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