Ten Questions and Answers About BDSM and STDs

1. What is a sexually transmitted disease or STD?

Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD) is the politically correct term for what used to be called “veneral disease (VD)”. These are diseases that are transmitted through or as the result of sexual activity (not just sexual intercourse).

There are no BDSM specific sexually transmitted diseases but like any other sexual activity BDSM activity CAN spread STDs.

Heterosexuals are a lot less STD aware than the homosexual world is, but they should be just as educated on the subject. As a result, the current risk groups for any STD are heterosexual women.

There are many different sexually transmitted diseases and certainly not all are directly related to the genital organs.

General information is freely and widely available from doctors, hospitals, first aid centers, pharmacies and of course on the Internet.

2. How does one get STD infected?

Some sexually transmitted diseases are viruses, others are caused by bacteria, some by plain and simple dirt. As a result, there are different ways, in which people can get STD infected. An important form of STD infection is the contact between bodily fluids (most importantly blood, sperm, vaginal fluids and mother milk). This is especially true the most lethal ones in the Western world: such as Hepatitis (around in different varieties) and HIV (Aids). As a result, contact with bodily fluids should be avoided by anyone who has more than one partner (even if that is only incidental) and partners who have not been solely together for MANY years (not months). Incubation time (the “lead” time before the actual infection shows itself), in the case of HIV for example may be as much as five to seven years.

Another well known cause of STD infection is lack of hygiene. In the BDSM world especially quite a lot of personal hygiene is neglected. Toys that have been on the floor or in a toy bag should not be used unless cleaned and – when brought into contact with the genital area – protected. One should wear latex gloves during penetration, especially when in a (more) public environment.

3. What do I do when I (think I) am STD infected?

There is only one answer: visit your doctor as soon as possible. Bear in mind that your doctor is not there to judge you, but to cure you. And yes, doctors have seen it all before and many times. If you feel troubled by having to go to your doctor, turn to a first aid center or a specific STD center if there is one in your area.

Every STD spreads like wildfire! They are among the most contagous diseases. In most cases if you are infected, you do not only have a responsibility to yourself, but also to your partner(s) and to an extent to you entire environment.

4. Can an STD be cured?

Some can, and some cannot. There are no cures yet for HIV, hepatitis C and various forms of herpes, for example. HIV and hepatitis C are potentially lethal. So is syphylus, but there is a good cure for this disease.

5. Does an STD only effect me?

Every STD will effect you but most will also effect your partner and maybe others (such as unborn children) if not properly taken care of. Sometimes an STD can be the cause of dead babies or incurable medical problems. Some will not really effect the bearer, but will badly effect the partner and – for example – cause infertility (in males especially).

6. How do I protect myself against STD infection?

Your first line of defense is strict personal hygiene. Wear latex gloves and use condoms, also on penetrating toys, such as dildos and vibrators. Regularly clean equipment and – for example – wash bondage ropes.

The second important line of defense is to educate yourself. Again, know what the risks are and avoid them.

7. Does an STD spread quicker, because of BDSM activity?

The BDSM community is very open. It is not unusual to temporarily exchange partners, people switch partners frequently and such things as BDSM parties open an easy risk for infection. Besides, BDSM activity implies much more physical contact than most other forms of sexual behavior and there is the frequent use of toys and equipment. So, there indeed are more opportunities for infection, compared to a standard vanilla relationship. As a result – although no real research has been done in this area – there should be a higher risk of spreading an STD.

8. What BDSM activities are likely to spread an STD?

All forms of penetration, genital or by means of toys, fingers, fists or the mouth are activities that can transmit an STD. In terms of BDSM there are also other activities. Whipping may occasionally cause small superficial skin wounds and any breakage of the skin is a serious crack in the bodies main line of defense against diseases, including many STDs. Bondage ropes, used in the genital area, are a well known vehicle for sexually transmitted diseases and so are internal toys (vibrators, dildos, Ben Wah balls, vibrating eggs, etcetera). Nipple clamps may also cause small skin wounds. In general, BDSM activity is much more physically intens and physically demanding than most other forms of sexual activity. As a result, you should be more careful.

9. Why do governmental and health organisation hardly ever mention BDSM-acitivity in their STD information?

Most forms of what is generally known as “alternative sexuality” (such as BDSM) are overlooked by governmental and health organisations, when it comes to information and education about STD risks. The reason for this is largely in the fact that such organisations simply will not believe there are that many practitioners and that such organisations have no clue about BDSM. “Alternative sexuality” in the entire education of health care professionals usually takes up as much space (and attention) as ONE PAGE IN ONE BOOK! That is, if alternative sexuality is being mentioned at all!

10. How can I help to inform people about STD risks?

If you happen to be active in a local BDSM community, or for example have a personal website about BDSM, try and devote some time and space to sexually transmitted diseases occasionally. For example, next to workshops about flogging, bondage or needle play, a workshop about STD prevention will be very helpful. But, since this is not a popular subject you may also want to settle for having leaflets available, writing something in your magazine or newsletter if you have one and putting information on websites.

The Ins and Outs of STD’s

STD’S are a problem that many of today’s youth are faced with. They are a real threat to our society. STD’s consist of any disease that is acquired primarily through sexual contact. They are infectious diseases that spread from person-to-person through contact with infected bodily fluids. In this, you will be exposed to two of the more common threats in the world of STD’s. (However, there are several more.)

Chlamydia is one of the most common sexually transmitted diseases (STD’S) of our time caused by a bacterium know as Chlamydia trachomatis, which if left untreated for long can damage the reproductive organs. Symptoms may often times go unnoticed because they are usually mild or none at all. Un-reparable damages can be caused silently before the condition is even noticed, such as infertility. It’s very important to get a yearly physical and get tested to ensure your health. Most of the time there are never any symptoms at all in men.

Here is an interesting and very frightening statistic for everyone: between the years of 1987 and 2004 reported cases of chlamydia jumped from 50.8 to 319.6 cases per 100,000 population!

Some methods fore treatment for chlamydia include:

o Azithromycin

o Doxycycline

o Erythromycin ethylsuccinate

o Ofloxacin

*Chlamydia is one of the most easily treated STD’S. These medications, when taken correctly will eliminate the disease 99.9% of the time. (These medications must be prescribed by your practicing physician.) See a doctor if you have questions.

A current threat to the youth of today is another STD by the name of hepatitis. Hepatitis is a rather more serious one however. Hepititis is inflammation of the liver that is caused by a virus. The result in contracting this one can almost certainly lead to death in many cases! There are five different types of viral hepatitis. They include but are not limited to: hepatitis A, B, & C. Also know as HAV, HAB, & HAC. These are merely the most common forms of the disease. However, the only one of these that is an STD is hepititus B. All others have alternate forms of infecting.

HBV

HBV can survive outside the body at least 7 days and still be capable of transmitting infection.

The symptoms for all three types of viral hepatitis are much the same. Symptoms are much more predominant in adults than in infected children. If symptoms do occur, they usually include:

o Yellowing of the skin and eyes (jaundice)

o Tiredness

o nausea

o dark urine

o clay-colored bowel movements

o loss of appetite

o abdominal discomfort

Some of the treatment medication that can be used to treat this disease include:

o Acyclovir (Zovirax)

o Famciclovir (Famvir)

o Valacyclovir (Valtrex)

*These statements are merely facts that have been gathered. They are in no way a substitute to seeing a physician. If you have any doubts, see a doctor immediately. If you have been promiscuous in the past and have not been tested within the last 6 months, it is strongly suggested to do so.

What Are the Symptoms, Diagnostic Methods and Treatment Options for STDs?

Sexually transmitted diseases

Sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) or sexually transmitted infections (STIs) or venereal diseases (VD) occur due to transfer of infectious organism during a sexual contact. STDs occur due to harmful bacteria, parasites, yeast, and viruses. Sometimes, STDs occur due to spreading of the organisms from a mother to infant during childbirth or during breast-feeding by the use of unsterilized drug needles, and during blood transfusions.

Some specific types of STDs are:

Bacteria-related STDs

  • Chlamydia (Chlamydia trachomatis)
  • Gonorrhea (Neisseria gonorrhea)
  • Syphilis (Treponema pallidum)
  • Chancroid (Haemophilus ducreyi)

Viruses-related STDs

  • Crabs, also known as pubic lice
  • Hepatitis B and D, and infrequently, A*, C*, E* (hepatitis viruses, types A-E)
  • Genital herpes (herpes simplex virus)
  • Genital warts (human papillomavirus virus [HPV])
  • HIV/AIDS (human immunodeficiency virus [HIV virus])
  • Molluscum contagiosum* (poxvirus)

Protozoan-related STDs

  • Trichomoniasis (Trichomonas vaginalis)

Parasites-related STDs

  • Pubic lice or crabs (Pediculosis pubis)

Fungi-related STDs

  • Yeast infections (Candida albicans)

Genital areas are generally moist and warm and are ideal environments for the growth of yeasts, viruses, and bacteria etc.

Symptoms of Sexually Transmitted Diseases (STDs)

  • Painful ulcers on the genitals
  • Rashes, fever, headache and cough, achy joints
  • Recurring outbreaks of blister-like sores on the genitals
  • Fatigue, night sweats, chills
  • Sore throats, swollen lymph nodes
  • Weight loss
  • Diarrhea
  • Strong vaginal odor
  • Vaginal itching or irritation and painful urination
  • Serious complications of AIDS including unusual infections or cancers, weight loss, intellectual deterioration (dementia), and death

During transmission, the chances of disease transfer depend on the donor carrying the infection and on the carrier. For example, in case of herpes, HSV 2 transmission probability is:

  • Herpes male to non herpes female = 10%
  • Herpes female to non herpes male = 4%.

Some STDs, such as genital herpes and HIV, that cause AIDS cannot be cured but can only be controlled with medication.

For the treatment of STDs,

  • antibiotics are more commonly preferred in case of bacterial infection
  • for viruses, antiviral medications or anti-retroviral therapy is given

Diagnosis methods

  • Blood tests: Blood tests help to confirm the diagnosis of HIV and AIDS or sometimes the later stage of syphilis.
  • Urine samples: Sometimes, STDs can be confirmed with a urine sample.
  • Fluid samples: In case of active genital sores, fluid and samples from the sores are collected to be tested to diagnose the type of infection. In some cases, laboratory tests of samples from a genital sore or discharge are used to diagnose some STIs (sexually transmitted infections).
  • Pregnant women are screened to avoid the infection transfer to the baby

Treatment and prevention for STDs

  • Antibiotics: Antibiotics can cure many sexually transmitted bacterial and parasitic infections, including gonorrhea, syphilis, chlamydia and trichomoniasis. But, there is always a possibility that the infection might reoccur.
  • Antiviral drugs: Antiviral drugs reduce the risk of infection, but there is still a possibility that the infection can occur again. Antiviral drugs can keep HIV infection in check for many years, but the virus persists and can still be transmitted, though the risk is lower.
  • As early a treatment is given, the more effective it is.
  • Healthcare professionals refer to safer sex to reduce the risk of STDs, such as the use of condoms during a sexual activity. But safer sex methods cannot always provide complete protection from an STI.
  • Avoid contact during transfer of and exposure to bodily fluids, such as blood transfusions and other blood products, sharing injection needles, sharing tattoo needles, etc.
  • Abstinence is avoiding or stopping from any sexual act with an affected person and is the most effective way to avoid an STI.
  • Monogamy to one uninfected partner: A long-term, monogamous relationship with one person lowers the risk of contracting an STI.

STD’s, Cardiomyopathy and Wilt Chamberlain

He was the greatest basketball player and possibly the greatest athlete who ever lived. The 63-year-old Wilt Chamberlain was reported to have died of a heart attack, but that tells you nothing. You are supposed to ask why the world’s greatest athlete would die of a heart attack?

He was born in 1936, in Philadelphia. He was 6-11 when he entered Philadelphia’s Overbrook High School, led them to three public school championships and two all-city titles, Chamberlain became one of the most recruited players ever with more than 200 colleges interested, scored more than 100 points in a single National Basketball Association game and averaged more than 30 points a game throughout his professional career. However, when he was in high school, he was the best high school quarter miler in the United States and ran under 48 second. He also high jumped over 6 feet, five inches and was the best shot putter in Pennsylvania. He remained active after his NBA career and was considered an outstanding volleyball player. He also ran in the Honolulu marathon and competed in a 50-mile race in Canada.

Long after his career ended, Chamberlain made news by claiming in an autobiography that he had had sex with 20,000 women. Let’s see how good you are in diagnosing disease. Chamberlain’s health first became an issue in the 1960s, when a former coach told the news media that the star player might have had a heart attack before the 1964 season. But Chamberlain denied it. In 1992, when Chamberlain gathered with former teammates for a halftime ceremony marking the anniversary of their 1971-72 NBA championship, he had to leave early because he was having trouble breathing. He was admitted to a hospital and found to have an irregular heart beat. He was released from the hospital after three days wearing a heart monitoring device.

During his last years, he was diagnosed as having cardiomyopathy which means that his heart was too weak to pump blood through his body and he lost 50 pounds in the months prior to his death. There are three causes of a weak heart muscle. Lack of nutrients, blocked arteries, and infection.

You can suffer from a nutritional deficiency such as beriberi caused by lack of the vitamin thiamine or pellagra caused by lack of the vitamin niacin. This is almost impossible today in North America. The second possible cause of a failing heart is blocked arteries caused by arteriosclerosis and he did not have a very high cholesterol and he did not have arteriosclerosis. The third possibility is an infection in his heart caused by such bacteria as chlamydia and mycoplasma.

The fact that he lost 50 pounds and was unable to go anywhere in the last months of his life point to a diagnosis of cardiomyopathy, that’s heart muscle damage, caused by infection with chlamydia or mycoplasma, from making love to considerably less than the 20,000 women that he claimed. That comes to 500 women per year, or 10 different women per week for 40 years, which would make the world’s greatest athlete, the most prolific lover of all time. Cardiomyopathy is often caused by chlamydia.

Chamberlain’s body was cremated, so we will never know for sure how he died.