[Question #7567] risks from massages and lap dances

3 months ago
Thank you for your time and consideration of my questions.
Recently, I have started to consider potential exposures, most of which occurred many years ago.  From reviewing the questions on your forum, I believe these exposures are no risk or low risk for STD's (including HIV and syphilis).

1) In the late 1990's I had 5 massages at massage parlors that ended with hand jobs ("happy endings") WITHOUT using a condom.  There was NO intercourse, oral sex, fingering, etc.
2) From 2000 to 2003 I had several more massages with hand jobs, BUT during this time period I always PUT ON A CONDOM for the hand jobs to be extra safe. Again, there was NO intercourse, oral sex, fingering, etc, with any of these massages.
3) From 2003 to 2019, I have gone to massage parlors for several massages, but during this time frame I have ONLY received massages WITHOUT any hand jobs/masturbation. I have declined (if offered) anything offered other than the massage.
4) Over these years I have also had lap dances at strip clubs.  Strictly lap dances, with NO oral sex, hand jobs, intercourse, fingering, kissing, etc.  I was always fully clothed for all of the lap dances (jeans, pants or shorts, with boxers).  The lap dances had typical grinding with dancers wearing a thong or G string.
5) There was absolutely NO intercourse, oral sex, direct genital to genital contact, fingering, kissing, etc., during any of the massages or lap dances. All were with females. 

For the past 17 years the only sexual intercourse or oral sex I have had was with my wife.

Were these activities  safe?
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
3 months ago
Welcome. Thanks for your confidence in our services, and for reading other discussions with questions similar to your own.

All these activities were entirely safe with regard to HIV and other STDs. In theory, there could be risk for some STDs if a condom failed during oral sex, but surely you would have noticed; and even then, the risk is zero (or very close to zero) for HIV, and every low for others infections. Hand-genital contact is risk free -- you really need not wear a condom for hand-genital contact. The lap dances all were risk free:  no infection can be transmitted through clothing.

So from a scientific perspective (i.e. medical or risk standpoint), I do not recommend testing. That said, as you may have seen in other threads, often testing is a good idea even when there has been no obvious risk:  many persons anxious enough to come to the forum are more reassured by negative testing than by professional opinion. no matter how expert. So if you remain nervous, you could arrange blood tests for HIV and syphilis. In absence of urethral/penile symptoms, I see no need for any others -- but some men in your situation also like to have a urine test for gonorrhea and chlamydia. (Personally, if I were somehow in your situation, I would not seek testing of any kind.)

I hope this reply is helpful. Let me know if anything isn't clear.

3 months ago
Dr. Handsfied, Thank you very much for your answers and advice.  Sorry to bother you with a few more questions.
Just to clarify, there were only 2 condom protected oral sex events (and condoms remained intact), both over 17 years ago.  Any intercourse, oral sex, mutual masturbation, kissing, etc, since I have been married over the past 15+ years has only been with my wife.
1)You mentioned, "some men in your situation also like to have a urine test for gonorrhea &chlamydia".  To what "situation" are you referring, massages or lap dances?  I have not had any urethral/penile symptoms.
2)During the lap dances I was always clothed (pants or shorts and boxers). On a few occasions the dancer started to simulate oral sex OVER my pants (no direct contact with penis) but I would quickly stop this activity so it was brief.  On a few other occasions the dancer briefly touched my penis under my pants but I would stop this quickly as well.  I have only had typical lap dances, with vigorous grinding, but I was always clothed and the dancer was always wearing a thong (i.e. not nude). Still no risk?
3)Is there any chance of penetration during grinding with clothes on?  I assume there is potential for contact between the labia but with clothes on does this count as penetration in terms of risk?
4) For the past 15 years (since getting married) the several massages I have received at primarily Asian massage establishments have ONLY INCLUDED MASSAGE. I stopped getting "happy endings" with hand jobs since getting married.  Most of these establishments only offered massage or at most hand jobs, that I know of.  At a few of the places there may have been potential for more sexual activity but I have always declined.  During the massages the masseuse sometimes had brief contact with my scrotum or anus (without penetration) while massaging my upper thighs or buttocks, and sometimes sat on my back or legs during the massage.  Any change in risk?  Does a regular, non-sexual body massage from a masseuse who may also offer other sexual services (which I have always declined) carry any risk?

Thank you again for your time and efforts.  
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
3 months ago
1) By "your situation", I meant the overall story you related in your question:  your massage events, sexaul exposures, level of risk, etc.
2) This re-asks the same question as above, in different words. Of course my opinion hasn't changed.
3) This isn't a medical question. Personally, I find it hard to envision penile penetration into a partner's vagina occurring through clothing; or that you wouldn't notice if it had happened. But I can't judge what actually happened:  you were there and I wasn't. 
4) None of these expanded details make any difference in my assessment. Even if some of these masseuses had any number of STDs, none would be transmitted by the contacts you have described.
3 months ago
Thank you very much.

Just a few more quick questions:
1) I had a negative RPR screen in 2002 and 2016.  Is a RPR still a good screening test to pick up infections over a decade old?  Should I have a VDRL or some other screen done?

2) Can a recent COVID vaccine or influenza vaccine lead to false positive RPR?

3) Your have made some version of the following statement many times on historic posts several years ago, which is straight and to the point : "If you do not have unprotected vaginal or anal sex (or rarely oral sex), and do not share drug injection equipment with other people, you will NEVER get HIV.  There are no exceptions; if these things don't happen, there is NO risk".  Does this statement generally still apply? 
Does clothing count as "protection" during lap dances?

Lastly, Thank you very much for your time and advice.  I am sorry for my rather lengthy questions, and history that I provided.  I appreciate the service that you, Dr. Hook, and Ms. Warren provide.  Best Wishes.
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
H. Hunter Handsfield, MD
3 months ago
1) Negative RPR proves active syphilis is absent; and if done within 1-2 years of exposure, proves the person never was infected. 

2) No medications or vaccines or medical conditions have any known effect on RPR reliability.

3) That statement applies, but not "generally". It was directed to a particular questioner and that person's specific concerns and potential. There are other ways that HIV can be transmitted, of course -- such as babies infected during childbirth, health care personnel receive sharp instrument injury while managing HIV infected patients. But these are exceedingly rare and probably don't apply to you. As I said above, "The lap dances all were risk free:  no infection can be transmitted through clothing."

That concludes this thread. I hope the discussion has been helpful.