It’s time to worry about monkeypox

Q: Gay dude here. What the fuck is up with monkeypox? Do I need to be worried?

A: Yes, you do. I tried to raise the alarm about monkeypox on the May 24, 2022, episode of the Savage Lovecast, back when there were 100 cases in 15 countries, all of them among gay and bi men. Now there are more than 5,000 cases all over the world, and almost all of them—more than 99 percent of cases—are among gay and bi men.

“Right now, it’s behaving very much like an STI—and almost all of the cases have been among men who have sex with men,” said Dr. Ina Park, a professor at the University of California San Francisco School of Medicine and medical consultant at the Centers for Disease Control Division of STD Prevention.

Monkeypox, Dr. Park explains, is the milder, gentler cousin to smallpox, and is spread by skin-to-skin contact or through respiratory droplets.

“But anyone who comes into close contact with someone who has monkeypox could catch it,” said Dr. Park. “And unlike other STIs which don’t live for very long outside the body, monkeypox can live for weeks on infected clothing, bedding, and other surfaces—think dildos, slings, fetish gear—and barriers such as condoms worn over the penis or inside the rectum will protect those areas, but they don’t prevent transmission to other exposed parts of the body. If you notice red painful bumps anywhere on you or your partner’s body—especially the genital/anal area—or if you are exposed to monkeypox, get checked out right away. The sooner you get vaccinated, the better. Check out some resources for monkeypox here.” (And follow Dr. Park on Twitter @InaParkMd.)

Q: How soon is too soon to say “I love you” for the first time? 

A: On your first date, right after a stranger from an app shows up at your door, during your first threesome with that hot couple you just met at a bar—too soon. Even if you’re already feeling it, even if you’re crazy enough to think they might be feeling it already too, you should wait at least six months to say it. But you know what? Once you’ve said it—once you’ve said “I love you” for the first time—feel free to backdate that shit. Go ahead and say, “I wanted to say it before the entrée even came on our first date,” or, “I wanted to say it when you showed up looking better than your pics,” or, “I wanted to say it when you both came inside me simultaneously.”

Q: Is it an overreaction for me, a cis woman who lives in Wisconsin and doesn’t want kids, to not want to have sex with my fiancé since the ruling on abortion? I’ve tried to explain to him that it’s a lot to come to terms with.

A: Each of us grieves in our own way, and at our own pace. If you’re not feeling sexy right now because of the Supreme Court’s decision to overturn Roe v. Wade—if the chance of an unplanned pregnancy in Wisconsin, where a law from 1849 banning abortion can now be enforced, dries you up—that’s totally understandable. And if your fiancé is anxious to get back to penetrative sex, well, pegging counts.

Q: A submissive guy reached out to me via my pretty tame Instagram and wants to send me money and wants nothing in return. Should I say no to this?

A: In this economy?

Q: New to weed. Best edible for sex?

A: Ass.

Q: What is it called when a guy jacks off into his own mouth while he’s upside down? Is there a term for that?

A: I don’t think that has a name. Any suggestions, class?

The full version of Savage Love is now exclusively available on Dan’s website Savage.Love.  To continue reading this week’s column, go to savage.love/savagelove.

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