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Tales from the Tail — The Open-ish Relationship

Client’s Tale

Do you fucking believe that I contracted HPV and then developed anal warts? And the worst part about it? It was through my open-ish relationship. How do I define open-ish? Well, it means that I explore outside of my primary relationship, even though my husband doesn’t. Unfortunately, my partner is one of those guys who never talks about anything and every time you hint at or bring up any sexual desires outside of our relationship — boom — the conversation is over. So I took it upon myself to enforce a “don’t ask, don’t tell” policy. Sure, you can be critical on me. I know it’s easy hiding behind your phone or computer screen. But I would ask that you take a look at your own life and then come talk to me because none of us is perfect. This is my tale — or shall I say tail — of outside ass.

I am proud to say I’m a full on bottom, baby. I need cock in my ass and, recently, I must have been emitting pheromones or something, ’cause every boy, man, and elder wanted a piece of my cake. But I have boundaries. Really, I do. And regardless of who wants to tap this, I only have a few regulars who I truly trust to open my hole.

The word “trust” means shit, though, at this moment because I have phoned each and every one of them to discuss my current anal situation, trying to find the root of my HPV diagnosis. Everyone has been super supportive, although I am at a crossroads in my primary relationship. I started placing creams externally — two to three times a week — to help with the outside anal warts and underwent a procedure the other week in an operating theater in Midtown NYC to rid the internal anal warts. Real pleasure, let me tell you. One of my beaus picked me up and escorted me back home, strategically when my husband was away for business. I know, I know. It’s a fucked up situation and I am elbow deep in it (no pun intended). While the procedure itself was a breeze, going to the bathroom is a rather bloody situation (though perfectly normal post-op) and my tushy looks like one of those red baboon’s asses thanks to the creams. It’s a hot mess — literally. Oh yeah, and I’m still living a lie, which doesn’t help.

My fuck buddies all got tested and, low and behold, a vers friend of mine has internal anal warts, too. He’s also getting treated to make sure our pow-wow group is as clean as a whistle. And here I am hiding from my husband. Not good, I know. I got a lot of shit to work out. But what would you do in this situation? Fess up and know your primary relationship will be over or keep it all under wraps until everything smooths over? There’s no easy answer. I got myself into this mess, so there’s no one else to blame except myself. I heard Dr. Goldstein once say, the only successful relationships are the ones with the most open and direct lines of communication. I guess I should have listened to him…

My Discussion

Relationships are tough, especially when couples don’t see eye to eye in the bedroom. Whenever I hear of a disconnect between partner’s sexual needs and practices, it usually don’t end well. The desire — whether that’s simply a flirtatious conversation, or trading suggestive photos, mutual masturbation, or full on anal sex, people will always be curious and it begs the question: is monogamy natural? Is it how our brains (and dicks and asses) are wired? Where we all get into trouble (myself included) is the myriad assumptions that one partner makes about the other partner. That’s the tipping point into risk and if I knew all the answers, believe me, I would tell you.

I find that most couples choose the “don’t ask, don’t tell” open-ish arrangement in an attempt to prevent jealousy or their partner feeling demoralized. They say ignorance is bliss, right? But the reality is that this doesn’t help the situation. So why do we do it? Selfishness? Probably. You want to have your cake and be able to eat it, too. So we honestly believe that we’re protecting our partners — that it’s in their best interest — but this approach is flawed.

I always say that the cock (or ass) always wins. So we make ourselves believe that whatever arrangement we set up will work. However, lies and deceit will only go so far. Just look at today’s tale. Exposure outside their primary relationship caused new HPV subtypes to be contracted and then anal warts to develop. While it’s easily treatable, both through lotions and surgery, that’s besides the point. Your decisions are not only affecting your primary partner, but also your extramarital partners.

I see tons of us in similar situations and prevention and communication are the two key things here. First, get the HPV vaccine. The 26 year old age cut-off is bullshit, specifically when it comes to us gay men. Secondly, showering post-sex is more beneficial than you think, as this lowers the risk of contracting the HPV virus. And last, but definitely not least, is making sure you adhere to regular check-ups and evaluations — not just for you, but for everyone involved. This evaluation includes both a detailed sexual history, as well as testing both in and out of the ass and every other orifice used. If your doctor isn’t familiar, come prepared to suggest a full screening that includes oral swabs, blood and urine check, and rectal swabs, as well as evaluation with an anoscope both inside and outside the ass. There’s no need to second guess when your doctor can actively evaluate and see first hand if anything is abnormal.

I approach every situation without judgement or shame. It’d be foolish to say no one loves a fuck buddy (or two) or a FWB. But if you are in this sort of relationship, it’s so critical to know that most of your partners are getting cock and ass from many others — not just you. And, yes, things are bound to happen (I’m talking about STDs, boys), but if everyone involved is on the appropriate screening protocols, the negative ramifications could be mitigated or at least curtailed. Friends with benefits shouldn’t leave you with long-lasting complications.

Coming back to today’s tale, thankfully, this client’s primary relationship has shifted over the years to be more non-sexual. So we were able to resolve all his anal issues and he did not have to disclose what happened to his primary partner. Right or wrong, it’s not for you or me to decide. I, as a medical professional, provided the medical guidance he asked for, and will support my client’s decisions.

On a closing note, because of the advent of PrEP and our newfound sexual revolution, condom usage is down. Without protection, STD risk goes up, including Chlamydia, Syphilis, and HPV. I am a huge proponent of prophylactic doxycycline 200mg tabs (one pill within 72 hours of a high risk exposure) because many warts occur more often because of a recent STD infection.

Everyone has their own journey and it’s important to have these conversations in order to mitigate risk. The more you know, the more you’re able to protect yourself and the community at large. But the only one who truly needs to be honest is you. We are all at fault in how we approach our own sexual practices. Life is too short to not fully divulge everything that cums with it. I wish it was easier, but I will continue narrating what I know is commonplace in all communities.

Don’t forget to stay in touch on Instagram: me and Bespoke Surgical.

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An elite practice purpose-built for today’s male and focused on sexual wellness. Founded by Dr. Evan Goldstein.

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Dr. Evan Goldstein

Dr. Evan Goldstein

NYC Gay Surgeon discussing ASS: A\rt, S\cience, and S\ex www.bespokesurgical.com/

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