Anonymous on September 14, 2011

Am I at risk for herpes after visiting a massage parlor and having a “happy ending”?

About two weeks ago, I went to a massage parlor where I got a massage that finished with a “happy ending” (hand job). The outside of my anus was slightly massaged with a finger and my mouth was on her breast. I also caressed between her legs outside her pants. Now I’m worried about STDs because I noticed a round, scaly dry sore on the inside of my bicep and I’ve been experiencing flu-like symptoms. Also, the tip of my penis is slightly red and the top of my testicles has a red blotch. I’ve already been tested for herpes and am awaiting the results. How at risk am I for herpes? 

answered by Terri Warren, MS, RN, ANP on September 14, 2011

Thanks for sharing your experience. 

First, I commend you for getting tested for herpes. Anyone who is sexually active – which includes vaginal and anal intercourse, oral sex and genital stimulation – should be tested for STDs regularly. Not to mention, if you’re worried about one STD, like herpes, there’s a chance you might also have been exposed to other STDs. So it’s a good idea to get tested across the board for common STDs.

Are you at risk for herpes? There's little risk of acquiring genital herpes in this way...but I’m glad you got tested, just to be on the safe side. Genital herpes is transmitted through skin-to-skin contact, with the finger being a very low risk area. That said, herpes can be transmitted via mouth-to-genitals, genital-to-genital, mouth-to-anus, genitals-to-anus contact. 

The touching of your anus with her finger doesn't present a significant risk, and neither does sucking on her nipple. Since you don't describe any kissing, I think it's unlikely that you were exposed to any bacterial or viral infection from her mouth that might be causing your flu-like symptoms. 

So, what about your other symptoms? Anything you notice that is unusual on your penis or testicles could be from the friction of the massage or lubricants that might have been used. The dry patch on your bicep is most likely unrelated to this incident. 

That said, if your symptoms persist, I encourage to see your regular doctor for a full visual examination. And, in future, I suggest you use protection during any sexual activity where there’s a chance you could be exposed to a sexually transmitted infection. Also keep in mind that, in addition to condoms, another way to reduce your risk of an STD is to be in a mutually monogamous relationship where both partners get STD testing prior to engaging in any sexual activity.

Related Info: 

Terri Warren, MS, RN, ANP

Warren is a Nurse Practitioner and owner of Westover Heights Clinic in Oregon. She is a renown expert and author in the field of genital herpes research, diagnosis and treatment. Warren was educated at Oregon Health and Sciences University and the University of Portland.

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