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Ask Dr. K

I'm a male and I go to female massage parlors for a sensual massage. Their hands are in contact with my anus and penis. Can I catch an STD from this type of activity? I try to make sure the towel-table is clean and that their hands are clean, but I can't be sure. The only thing I've noticed is that my penis gets red or is a little sensitive and dry at times, but I think it's just from all the activity or a sensitivity to the lotion/oil.

Sensual touching does not spread traditional sexually transmitted diseases. Rarely human papilloma virus (HPV, the cause of warts and genital cancers) can be spread from genital-hand-genital contact.

Redness and sensitivity after masturbation or a "hand job" can be normal. Irritation may be from friction or from the use of different lotions and can be uncomfortable. Someone might wish to bring in his or her own personal lubricants without chemicals—either water or silicone based. Check out a prior question for more information about lube: You can also ask the masseuse to reapply lubricant more frequently—too much friction may make the skin raw and red.

To your health,
Dr. K

Last modified on Wednesday, November 18, 2009.
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