Over on the Looker 02 review, someone asked if I could address the risk of contracting a urinary track infection from the device. Of course, I cannot. I’ve only just started wearing it, after all, and most of my medical knowledge comes from watching St. Elsewhere when I was a kid (it was on after The Cosby Show and Family Ties – maybe the best night on TV ever…but I digress).
This UTI thing follows conversations about devices like the Looker 02 all around the internet. I guess that’s to be expected and I admit leaving something up your dick for a while must statistically increase your risk of getting an infection to some degree. But, since all we have is anecdotal information in the first place, I have to say the only people I’ve read talking about this eventuality are those who haven’t worn the device. Those who have (including a commenter here on my blog who wore a similar Steelworxx device for two months solid) haven’t, as far as I saw when looking into it, reported problems. All I do know is I urinate about eight times a day, presumably flushing the tube of contaminates each time. Some even leaks around the tube which seems to help keep it lubricated and probably cleans it a bit. But in the end, I just don’t know.
What we’re really talking about here is a risk/reward calculation.
If you downhill ski, you’re running a risk of ending up like Sonny Bono. If you swim in the ocean, you’re running the risk of ending up like Chrissie (or of just drowning). If you ride a motorcycle, you run the risk of becoming an organ donor. In our society, we indulge in risky behavior all the time and, while the behavior may or may not be acknowledged to be risky, it’s generally accepted as OK (and even cool in the case of the motorcycles). It’s only when we get to sex that the giant RISKY hammer comes down hard. Yes, you can contract all kinds of diseases from sex (some easily dealt with, some chronic or deadly without treatment) and you can create new life and all the super unsexy responsibilities that come with it, but you can also experience intense pleasure from sex. Sexual contact is one of the great gifts of humanity. Diversity of sexual expresion is one of the things that defines us as human beings (and the freedom to express our sexuality is one of the things that defines a great society).
I’m not saying everyone should feel free to have unprotected sex of all kinds with whoever they want all the time. I’m saying there’s a risk/reward scenario at work in every sexual situation. Should you let that guy you just met fuck you bareback on the first date? No, that’s stupid. You could get HIV or pregnant or something (depending on your gender combinations – I’m trying not to presume). Should you give him a blowjob? Well, you could get a desease that way, but the chances are low. Would you rather give him a blowjob through a condom? Ew. You decide. Should you have sex on a picnic table? You could get arrested, you know. Should you let that top put a ball gag in your mouth? You could choke on your own vomit and die. Etc, etc. Similarly, should you practice long-term orgasm denial? I, for example, haven’t come since July and won’t until January (hopefully). Some research says that might be bad for my health, but other research says it’s nothing to worry about. Personally, I’ve decided to risk the consequences for the reward.
Same goes for the Looker 02. I might end up with a UTI or I might not. If I do, it’s an easy thing to get rid of (though it sounds like a bummer of a thing to have). I’m OK with that.
To me, the excessive bias against “risky” sexual behavior in our culture has more to do with a built-in prejudice against anything that’s not male-female monogamous/married missionary-style sex than an actual evaluation of any given activity’s chances of doing you harm. Each degree of movement away from that basic starting point ratchets up the risk sirens and we’re taught that risk in sex IS NOT WORTH IT. Do nothing risky! Play it safe! It’s not worth the consequences!
Well, I say it is. Sometimes. Sex is worth the risks.
Note that this post is not directed at the commenter who asked the original question. I didn’t perceive any kind of judgemental bullshit from them. Their comment was just the catalyst that eventually led me to write this.