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“Why does my BF’s semen burn when it gets in my eyes?”

Dear Dr. Paul,

Why does my BF’s semen burn when it gets in my eyes?


Dear Iris,

In a word: Spermine. Spermine is a chemical that’s in semen. It is made by the prostate gland. It’s what gives semen its characteristic bleachy smell.

The material safety data sheet for commercially produced spermine says:

Danger! Corrosive. Causes eye and skin burns. May cause severe respiratory-tract irritation with possible burns. May cause severe digestive-tract irritation with possible burns. May cause central- nervous-system effects. May cause cardiac disturbances. Causes eye burns. May cause chemical conjunctivitis and corneal damage. Causes skin burns.

While the concentration of spermine in semen isn’t nearly as high as when you purchase the raw chemical, it’s high enough to make your eyes sting. Also, semen can be a bit alkaline, which could cause irritation. There may be other things in semen that cause eyeballs to burn, but the main culprit is most likely spermine.

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A woman in front of her computer with her pants down. Her computer is surrounded by a pile of dirt.

When women watch porn

Plenty of women watch porn, but not as often as men. Also, the porn images that women masturbate to can be different from those that men prefer.

Researchers are finding that women tend to prefer porn GIFs instead of videos. GIFs are brief animations that last only a few seconds and keep repeating. The GIFs are just as explicit as the porn men watch, but because they are so brief, there is less chance they contain material that women find offensive.

It’s also possible that women prefer to watch Tumblr porn, which is often made of stills or GIFs that couples make of their own sex lives.

Regardless of their sexual orientation, a lot of women who watch porn enjoy gay male porn as opposed to mainstream straight porn. They can enjoy watching the sex without having to identify with porn actresses, who they can tell are often faking it, or are mostly there for the pleasure of men.

Image by Dany Peschl from his Disturbation Project.

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Close up of a woman's chest while she is pulling up her shirt. One breast appears to be larger than the other.

A Woman’s Breasts Are Usually Not the Same Size

More than 90% of women have breasts that are different from each other in size, shape, or position on their chest. It’s usually the left breast that’s larger, and in almost 25% of women, the larger breast is at least one cup size bigger than the other. This can make bra shopping an even bigger challenge.

Over the course of a woman’s lifetime, her breast size will change up to six or seven times.

Also, a woman’s hormones influence almost every aspect of her breasts. This is why it’s perfectly normal for women’s breasts to change in consistency and sensitivity from week to week during each menstrual cycle.

The photo above is by Lee Meier from Portland Oregon. If you need a professional photographer for a wedding, portrait, Z-card, or for a special occasion or event, contact Lee at Mono Graphics Studios.

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Nice Carpet: The newest NICE! post

The NICE! page began with a single image that I couldn’t help but put a “nice” label on. It has since become the most popular page on the site, although I believe the new SPORTS page will soon eclipse it.

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A couple in bed, woman has blanket over her face, with her partner looking at her, not knowing what's going on.

Feeling sad after sex, even when it felt good and you love your partner?

There may be times when you feel sad or depressed after having sex, and it wasn’t because the sex was bad or you don’t like your partner. This can be confusing.

If you are experiencing sadness after having satisfying sex, here’s a helpful article in Good Housekeeping, of all places. It’s by Hannah Smothers: Is It Normal to Feel Sad After Sex? It doesn’t mean you’re broken, and it doesn’t mean you should break up.

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Closeup of a woman's fingers reaching inside her underwear

The strangest things women say they have masturbated with

Once a woman gets to be in her twenties, she usually has access to vibrators and dildos if that’s what she would like to use for masturbation. But before then, the variety of objects that women use to get themselves off with is truly impressive.

Recently, one of the askReddit questions was “Women, what’s the strangest thing you’ve masturbated with?” There have been more than 4,000 responses. Here are some of them:

~I used to have a bed with a ball on the post (the post was only about about 2 feet high and the ball on the post was quite small) and I remember using that.

~One of those tubes of M&M minis before I was old enough to buy a real sex toy. It worked well. I think they still sell these.

~A toy Gandalf. Technically it wasn’t really masturbation I just wanted to see if he would fit. When I first put him down there he wasn’t sure which hole to go in.

~A blanket pulled tight up between my legs that I humped at til I came. It was awesome.

~A pillow. I’m 22 and it still gives me a better orgasm than any of my actual toys.

~An electric toothbrush.

~One time when I was 14 I straddled a huge Scooby-Doo I won at Kings Island and road him to Kingdom Cum. I only got to do it once though because I busted him open. I was cleaning up that weird foam filler for weeks.

~I found a finished roll of one of those sticky lint removers, and the handle was pretty phallic shaped. To keep it even smoother and easier to use I took a rubber glove and put one of the fingers over the handle and just tied the rest around the non usable portion. It worked pretty well when I was 16 until I finally got the courage to just go buy a real dildo.

~A prismacolor marker in powder blue that I dipped in wax several times to increase the width. I then wrapped it in saran wrap and went to town…

~N64 controller with a Rumble Pak. I just walked Mario into a corner and rumbled away. (This was 15 years ago.)

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Sex, Asperger’s and Autism

Here is an extensive list of books, articles and website on sex, Asperger’s and autism. I have tried to divide these resources into two parts: Part 1. For parents, teachers, therapists, teens and preteens, and Part 2. For adults with autism and their partners who may or may not have autism.

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A man giving a woman oral sex.

It’s okay for women to give blowjobs, but not for men to do this?

A recent study of young adults from the UK found that both men and women consider performing oral sex on a woman to be a “far bigger deal” than performing oral sex on a man.

“Many young men referred to vulvas negatively — as ‘dirty,’ ‘disgusting,’ ‘nasty,’ ‘droopy,’ ‘messy,’ ‘saggy,’ ‘stinking,'” the study’s authors write. As one 18-year-old man who participated in the study reported, “[If] a guy does it to a girl… boy, is his life over, because everyone knows about it.”

Women said they were aware of the male views, and that this made them less likely to enjoy receiving oral sex.

From Refinery 29 by Hayley MacMillen.

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  • Thumbnail for our video on The Clitoris

You’ll Love Our Videos!

“I just watched this video and loved it! It’s wonderful!  Super comprehensive and engaging. This is so needed.” —Heather McPherson M.A., LPC-S, LMFT, Southwest Sexual Health Alliance

“Awesome! Great info, and I love the editing.” —Dr. Jill McDevitt, www.TheSexologist.org

“This is one of the best videos I have reviewed in years on the role of the clitoris in sex.” —Dr. Michael Perelman, Clinical Professor of Psychiatry, Reproductive Medicine, and Urology at the NY Weill Medical College of Cornell University, former President of The Society for Sex Therapy and Research and a Fellow of the Sexual Medicine Society of North America.

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From an expert on hymens

I just received the following comment from an expert on the hymen whose study I had quoted in a post I did for the Psychology Today Blogs titled The New York Times Is Wrong about Hymens—But They Are Not Alone:

Dear Paul,

I found your article on hymens to be refreshingly accurate. I am a Pediatrician whose specialty for the past 28 years has been the medical evaluation of suspected child sexual abuse. The article you quoted about adolescent girls with and without a history of consensual intercourse is mine.

There are actually 2 myths about the hymen; one dangerous and one protective for women:

The first and oldest myth is that the hymen always breaks the first time a woman has vaginal intercourse, and will bleed. The second is that athletics or tampons can break the hymen. These are not supported by any evidence whatsoever.

The hymen is stretchy!!! That is why most women don’t bleed after their first time.

There are 3 possible explanations for why tears to the hymen are rarely seen, even in young girls after they have told someone about sexual abuse. The first possibility is that no abuse actually occurred. The second is that there was abuse, but it did not cause any injury to the hymen. The third is that there was injury, but it healed completely by the time the child was examined, to the point where no visible injury could be identified. I end up explaining the myth of the hymen when testifying in cases where the child’s description of the abuse is crystal clear, but the examination shows no sign of injury.

As far as the definition of virginity, there many. What I tell my patients, even those adolescent girls who I’ve examined after a sexual assault (and may actually have signs that the hymen was torn) is that a person is a virgin until they have consensual, awake and aware sex with a person they are in love with.

Joyce Adams, MD

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Close-up image of a woman from the navel to her thighs, holding up a sign in front of her crotch that says "Wet!" while showing a thumbs up sign with her other hand.

How wet do women get when they are not aroused?

A gynecologist who consults for my book says you wouldn’t believe how many women think their vaginas should be dry when they are not feeling sexually aroused.

Here’s the reality: it’s not unusual for there to be enough discharge from a woman’s vagina to dry on her underwear or to soak through it. This is not related to sexual arousal. It’s what vaginas do, and it’s happening all of the time. Secretions are the body’s way of doing maintence on a woman’s uterus and vagina.

According to the University of Illinois, “Normal discharge may appear clear, cloudy white, and/or yellowish when dry on clothing. It may also contain white flecks and at times may be thin and stringy.” This can vary depending on where a woman is during her menstrual cycle, with changes in her diet, emotional stressors, taking medications including the pill, and pregnancy.

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