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27 Nov 2002

ask the doctors: persistent erections, smelly precum and more

In this installment, In the Pink responds to questions about the term - MSM, smelly precum, persistent erections and one reader's burning sensation when urinating.

Are you too embarrassed to ask your doctor about the unusual bump on your privates or if a certain activity your boyfriend has been bugging you to try is safe? You can now send your questions to (a href= http://www.fridae.asia/inthepink target=_blank>In the Pink, a Singapore-based non-profit network of health-care professionals offering medical, health and lifestyle advice for men who have sex with men (MSM).

MSM and 'in the pink'
What does MSM and 'in the pink' mean?

Dearie, where have you been all these years? "MSM" is the all-encompassing term for 'men who have sex with men". Now, the minute someone hears of men having sex with men, he immediately dreams up a picture of a fairy or gay or 'sister'. This is the typical stereotype that people tend to have. Not every man who has sex with men is a gay or thinks of himself as a gay. Getting confused? Don't fret. Let Aunt Pinky guide you through.

Men may have sex with men for various reasons and in various situations (not to forget in various positions too). There are some men who are 'compelled' to have sex with men only as they are restricted by circumstances to be in the company of the same sex only, for example, men who are imprisoned, men in the military setting or men who are in a purely all-male school. These men may actually like women but because they happen to feel 'horny', they just make it out with any man that happen to be available. They do not perceive themselves as being homosexuals and if given the choice, would likely have sex with females instead.

Then there are men who have sex with men because of financial reasons. These men are in need of money for various reasons and usually, it is easier to get clients who are gay and male rather than female clients, so they simply close an eye and pretend you are 'Miss Universe' while they are servicing you. These men are also often heterosexuals and would prefer to have sex with females.

Then there are men who are forced by their cultures and social norms to get married and fulfil certain obligations. These men may have to do it with their wives, but after some time, they revert back to their original inclination of having sex with men more. You can call them bisexuals but in essence, they are homosexuals who have to pretend they are straight. Then there are men who have sex with men but choose to call themselves heterosexuals because they are still in a closet and refuse to identify themselves as gays.
Finally, we have the group that are men who enjoys only sex with men and will simply puke if they have to imagine themselves doing it to a woman!!! Got it?

As to 'in the pink', pink (noun) means: "The highest or best degree."

- As defined by The American heritage Dictionary of the English Language. (Fourth edition. Published by Houghton Mifflin Company.)

Hence, 'in the pink' of health; it is our way to express 'in the best of health'.

Pink also happens to be a gay colour that has been accepted universally.

Aunty Pinky

Persistent erection
Why does my boyfriend always have an erection? What does the term White Liver mean?

'Priaprism' is the medical term for a persistent erection (> 4hours). It may be the result of excessive libido (sex drive) especially in younger males, or arise from use of medications used to treat erectile dysfunction e.g. sildenefil (Viagra). Occasionally priaprism may be the result of a blood condition and will need medical evaluation.

Persistent erections can be painful and interfere with normal activities. The danger is if let for too long it may cause problems with fibrosis or gangrene of the head of the penis.

I have not heard of White Liver before!

Smelly precum
My boyfriend dick's has an awful smell. I tired washing his dick during shower but discovered that it's his precum that smells. Is there a way to get rid of the smell? Thanks.

Dear Smelly,
All dicks have a smell (depending on what time of the day you partake of it) and all cum and precum is known to have a certain aroma about it. I wonder if this smell from the precum you are talking about is the normal alkaline smell of virility or is there a more pungent fishy odour like in the market where there may be a raw smell coupled with that of decay?

If I presume you are smelling right and indeed there is a unusual smell about your boyfriend's precum, then there is a possibility that he may be having a subclinical infection either in the urinary tract or in the male reproductive system. It is not unheard of for the prostate gland of the male, which contributes a fair amount of seminal fluid to the precum, to be infected and thus producing abnormal smell due to either bacterial proliferation or increased white blood cells production. Likewise, an undetected asymptomatic infection of the urethra could also contribute its collection of white blood cells and microorganisms during the passage of the precum from the engorged instrument to the eagerly awaiting oral receptacle.

It is important that if your boyfriend's problem persists, to consult a doctor for a check-up to ascertain if he is indeed having any subclinical infection.

Yours truly
Aunt Tasty
Burning sensation when urinating
Recently, I've been feeling a little uncomfortable when urinating; it isn't a burning sensation but just feels a little warmish towards the tip. What could it be? Also what are the symptoms of urinary tract infection or syphilis? I also do get a little sore feeling just inside my anus. I do engage in anal sex but with a regular partner, in both roles. Thanks.

Urinary tract infection usually manifest as painful urination with or without fever, together with an increased in the frequency of you visiting the restroom, your symptom could be normal or secondary to urethritis (infection of urethra). You would need to see your doctor to have your genital discharge or urine examined if the symptom persists.

Syphilis may manifest in many ways depending on the stage. Initially there will be a painless ulcer on the genitals. Because it is painless, it is often overlooked with no medical consult. If untreated, it will proceed to the secondary stage, where the patient will present with a skin rash, oral ulcers, hair loss and fever. If still untreated, syphilis can cause serious damage to the brain and heart in the distant future.

With regards to the anal soreness; this is most likely post-traumatic (e.g. anal mucosal tears); that is after anal sex. However if the soreness persists, such soreness may be due to sexually transmitted diseases like herpes simplex infection etc. Consult a doctor that you can confide in if this symptom persists.

Note: Selected questions and answers will be posted on Fridae.com without the senders' names and email addresses. In The Pink may respond to your questions individually on a case-by-case basis. All answers are provided by qualified medical doctors from In the Pink, a Singapore-based non-profit network of health-care professionals offering medical, health and lifestyle advice for men who have sex with men (MSM). The advice provided here is for educational purposes only and does not serve as a replacement to care provided by a health care professional.

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