STDs Expert Forum
mutual masturbation sti
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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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mutual masturbation sti

12 days ago i met stranger online. we mutually masturbated eachother, nothing more. during this he was masturbating himself and mine. we were touching eachothers urethra, head of the penis, and eachothers testicles. we did not *** touching eachother but there was defiantly precum.  

i always assumed mutual masturbation was a safe sex activity with no risk involved and was the only reason i decided to do it. i thought virus' didnt live outside of the body.

two days ago i started feeling a tendernes in my groin along with sharp pains in my penis in the urethra under the skin, along with sharp pains in the base and middle of my penis under the skin as well. the sharp pain comes once in awhile when imjust sitting watching tv or even sleeping enough for me to notice.and the base of my penis feels extremly warm at times, not burning but i can feel it being hotter then my body.

so now i am fearful i picked up some kind of std. i look at one website and it says yes risk and i see another one that says no.then i looked at planned parenthood and they say you can pick up a sti, sexually transmitted infection from this kind of activity.

i guess im wondering what is the truth about this kind of activity. could i have picked up a std or sti and what kinds are passed through this activity of skin to skin contact? is it all just theoretical risk or does this in fact happen to people, or are people just not doing mutual masterbation (masturbation) exclusivly and thats why nobody knows for sure. i thought i read you cannot get hiv like this, i hope thats true, but what about other stds or sti's?

im a wreck and to complicate things i have a girlfriend i love and cheated on and am scared to pass something on to after already having unprotected sex due to my belief of no risk. not knowing is the worst. what could i get/rule out to have a general idea.

how long would i have to wait for a accurate std test to really ease my mind?

Welcome to the Forum.   We get many questions about mutual masturbation and the likelihood of STD transmission occurring because of it.  The facts are as follows:
1.  It is typical for persons engaged in mutual masturbation to get their partners' genital secretions on themselves.
2.  If a partner is infected (most people are not), there is a theoretical risk that infected material could be transferred to a partner to transmit common STDs such as gonorrhea or chlamydial infection.  Remember as well that even most sexual exposures to infected partner do not lead to infection.  
3.  Despite the theoretical risk, this does not occur with any meaningful frequency.  Dr. Handsfield and I have focused on our careers on STDs (including HIV) and STD research for a combination of over 70 years, caring for thousands of persons (and answering thousands of question on this web site) and neither of us has EVER seen STD transmission occur in this way- never!
4.  There are many biological reasons that STD transmission is unlikely to occur during mutual masturbation.  These include that the organisms die outside the human body, that despite getting partners' genital secretions on one another these secretions are nor effectively place in the urethra to cause infections, and that the numbers of organisms transferred from person to person on hands or through touching is only a small fraction of the organisms present in genital secretions.

This, my assessment is that you are most unlikely to have been infected with any STD from the encounter you describe.  Further, there are no STDs which cause pains that come and go.  From what you describe, there is no visible abnormality- just pain.  Is this correct?  If so, while I cannot explain to you what the cause of the pain is, I can assure you that it is not due to an STD acquired through the encounter you describe above.  EWH
thank you Dr. Hook for answering my questions and concerns, with so much contradicting information from different sources out there i found myself 100 times more scared then when i started. im sure you heard this question a million times but taking the time to answer it as if it was the first meant the world to me. the worst part is just not knowing, at least if it was two things i could have gotten and nothing else at least i would know. but reading what you wrote let me exhale for the first time in three days, which honestly felt like three weeks.

yes that was correct that there was nothing visible just pain in the urethra that would happen throughout the day once every five or ten minutes and sometimes once every half a hour or hour. nothing extremely painful or continuous but i would feel a sharp pain inside the penis. along with tenderness of the testicles and a slight pain in one testicle. and a itch on the base on the bottom of the penis shaft. i hope that does not change the diagnosis. the only thing that would be visible is a red little pimple sized dot on my leg above my knee.

its just hard to say sometimes because i just caught the cold in the household, also i never really examined my body or itches or tenderness in the groin i may have had before this where i might have not thought twice about it before i am examining it as if it was under a microscope now. with the guilt and stress and now smoking a pack of cigarettes a day. and all this happening at once. not stretching before playing sports.

i hope it could be attributed to something else but when i felt the pain and tenderness it just really scared me. i hope it does not change the diagnosis like i said but if it does its better knowing i guess.

but either way thank you so much for your help. it is more appreciated then you would ever know.

actually i did have one question along with this. and please believe me Dr. Hook, i hold you medical advice in the highest regards and have the utmost confidence in yourself and Dr. Handsfield careers but assuming the diagnosis does not change from the pain and what i told you, how long would i have to wait for a accurate std test. i will now be able not to worry about this and not have it on the forefront of my mind but i would never have it in the back of my mind again with a std test.

thank you again.

thanks for the additional information.  It does not however change my belief that this is most unlikely to be an STD of any sort.  You could test for the most common STDs at this time and anticipate accurate results.  I suspect they will be negative.  

In reading your additional information, one other though occcurred to me. Sometimes persons who have problems such as kidney stones can have what is called referred pain to the testicles.  This would not explain your rash but it is a possiblity worth checking out.

I hope this additional response helps.  Please do not worry about STD however- you sound like your anxiety is eating you alive and is certainly making any symptoms that you have worse.  EWH
hello dr. hook. thanks for your advice with this and the kidney stones i will defiantly have that checked out.

you were defiantly right that the anxiety was eating me alive. i have relieved it by telling my girlfriend what happened. but as we kept talking she brought up to me stds and hiv. and talking about bacterial virus' by touching.

hiv is something i assumed doesnt happen this way, is that in fact correct that im sure not to have it even if the other person had it by this sort of contact?

i know what you said about the stds, but after not being stressed i thought i felt a little kind of sensation on my penis after urinating. it was nothing severe but im not sure if its because i have been stressed recently with everything, along with what looks to be a light red irritation on my urethra. do you think this would be cause for concern?

and i guess the last thing i was wondering its 17 days since this and i made a appointment to get tested anyway just to be sure, but dont get me wrong i appreciate all your help and i know what you said i would just feel better if i had a test confirmation, but if it is indeed something related to this i have been feeling can i assume that because i have been feeling it, it would show up on a test? and i read about ngu, is that the same test window as gonerhea? and besides syphilis gonerhea and chlamydia is there any bacterial or transmitted infections i should ask about other then these three?

thanks dr hook your a good man.

No There is no risk for HIV from the exposure you described.

I suspect that the sensation you have experienced is more a reflection of the focus of your attention on your genitals in search for symptoms than anythng of consequence.

If you had gonorrhea, chlamydia or non-chalmydial NGU, tests at this time would be positive.  

Take care. EWH

hi dr. hook. im sorry to bother you especially after you have been so helpful to me. i went for a std test yesterday and person started talking to me about hiv and getting tested for it. hiv is something i wasnt worried about as you said it was a no risk situation of mutual masturbation even with presemen being involved.

she was saying that it was a low risk activity. i asked her what she meant by low risk and said it was less then unprotected vaginal, anal, and oral sex. but that is all the information she gave me about it. then giving me a finger prick rapid test which came out negative at 21 days after the incident. then said i would have to come back at 3months, then at 6months to be sure of the result.

me and my girlfriend were talking about everything and i told her what happened for the test. and she started asking me about hiv and i was embarrassed all i could say was it was a low risk activity. she asked me what that meant, and again all i could say was i did not know. all i know is the same generic thing i was told in highschool. i was hoping i could get some information so my only answer isnt i dont know when hiv and mutual masturbation is the subject.

the last thing i was trying to educate myself on test. i see many different ones but without healthcare my only options are the finger prick rapid test and the oral rapid test. first she said three months to come get tested and then i asked if then i can be sure of the result then she said no six months. is this because of the kind of test im getting for the rapid? at three months might i be able to feel fairly confident of the result? but then in the testing windows i see that 4-6 weeks is the most likely detection. it has me confused.

im thankful to be in a low risk category but when talking about these kind of things its like saying you may have cancer but we cant tell you anything more for three to six months. she forgave me and might work things out i hope, she is a great girl and has a great kid and would never want to endanger them so i just had these questions. from the bottom of my heart i appreciate it and thank you.


The person you spoke with was being overly conservative.  No one has ever been shown to get HIV from mutual masturbation - not ever!  Further testing related to the encounter you describe is a waste of time.  Unfortunately, people who give this sort of overly conservative advice fail to appreciate the harm and pain they cause in terms of worry and anxiety.  Please do not worry. EWH
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University of Washington
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