Anonymous on August 15, 2011

My boyfriend is a quad. When I give him head, we leave his indwelling catheter that safe?

I’m a healthy 46-year-old woman. My boyfriend is a 47-year-old quad. After being together a year, we’ve found many ways to be sexually intimate with each other...even though he can't have sexual intercourse. One of the things he enjoys is my giving him head. He has an indwelling catheter, which we usually leave in. Can I contract any infections from doing this? I'm concerned because he has frequent bladder infections.

answered by Mitchell Tepper, PhD, MPH on August 15, 2011

Thanks for your great question.

First, I’m glad to know that you and your boyfriend have found ways to give each other sexual pleasure, despite his physical limitations.

To answer your question, the risk of you contracting an infection from your boyfriend is low. The catheter itself, and the fact that your boyfriend gets urinary tract infections (UTIs) from it, doesn’t particularly put you at an increased risk for anything.

That said, you and your boyfriend could be at risk for STDs. It sounds like you’re in a committed, mutually monogamous relationship. However, if one or both of you haven’t been tested for common sexually transmitted diseases (STDs) – including chlamydia, gonorrhea, hepatitis B and C, herpes 1 and 2, HIV and syphilis – I would encourage you to do so.

Once you know each other’s STD status, you’ll have the peace of mind of knowing that you’re either STD-free; or, if one or both of you test positive for an STD, you can get treated and take other precautions to keep each other as safe and healthy as possible (e.g., using condoms).

Note: The catheter does not prevent you from using a condom. Once the penis is erect, you can bend the catheter down along the shaft of the penis and slip a condom over it.

Thanks again for writing, and I hope you and your boyfriend continue to explore and enjoy your sexuality.

Related info:

Mitchell Tepper, PhD, MPH

Dr. Tepper directs sexual health education at An AASECT-certified sexuality educator and counselor, his areas of expertise include sexual dysfunctions, sexuality following disability or illness, pleasure and orgasm, relationships, and military and veteran couples' counseling. Dr. Tepper was educated at the University of Pennsylvania and Yale University.

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