So, I’m dating this new girl and she’s really great, but as the cold weather approaches I’ve noticed she’s developed a cold sore. She’s taking care of it, but one of my friends told me that cold sores are face herpes. Could I get herpes on my junk from the herpes on her face?
— Not So Hot For Cold
Dear Not So Hot,
Herpes Simplex Virus (HSV-1) is usually the culprit behind the majority of cold sores. It is rare for someone to have HSV-2 (the dreaded genital-kind of herpes) on his or her face.
Cold sores are highly contagious. You will not have any symptoms after you initially become infected and — unless your girlfriend also has herpes on her vagina — you’re probably safe. To put it simply, HSV-1 generally occurs above the waist, while HSV-2 generally occurs below the waist.
There is a potential to get either virus in either area through oral-genital contact. Luckily, cold sores do not carry the same stigma as genital herpes, and cold sores remain inactive the majority of the time. The virus can be activated by fatigue, injury, or in some cases, during a woman’s period, but the frequency of cold sores may differ case to case.
If you’re really worried about it, put on a condom during oral sex to protect yourself, and consider having an uncomfortable, yet necessary, conversation with your girlfriend.
I go to the gym on campus a lot and was wondering if there are any exercises I can try that will improve my sex life?
— Let’s Get Physical
For starters, a good cardiovascular routine will do wonders in building energy and improving stamina. Stretching and strength training are great ways to improve flexibility to get into and maintain all the new positions you’re going to be able to try.
You don’t have to go to the gym everyday to get the best results, either. Men and women alike need to familiarize themselves with the Kegel squeeze (strength training for your pubococcygeus muscles).
If you are unsure where those muscles are located, try to stop mid-urination next time you’re in the washroom. Pubococcygeus muscles are the ones you’re flexing to stop urinating. Side note: do not make a habit of doing Kegal squeezes too often during urination; you could give yourself an infection.
Strengthening those muscles not only maintains your pelvic floor, but it has been said that it can increase the sensation of orgasm, and that is a win for everyone.