James Connor can answer all your questions on gay relationships, sex, health and love. James founded his own highly successful gay website and film label called FreshSX. The opinions he gives in Ask James are based on his experiences as a gay man who enjoys all aspects of love and sex. He's not a qualified doctor, trained counsellor or therapist but his advice is like that of a close friend.

The Ask James Archive has loads of questions and answers featured in previous editions of the column.

Ask James

This Week - Cockrings, Dumping affairs and Sauna visits

Danny rings in with this: Hi. Can you answer a question for me. I like to wear a cockring and sometimes have it on during day whilst at work. It turns me on to think my colleagues don't know I am wearing it. Is there any harm if I was to keep it on all day?

James says: Hi Danny, the important thing to realise about cockrings is that they restrict the normal flow of blood in your dick and this is not always good.

Using a cockring during sex can be very beneficial, especially for guys who have problems maintaining an erection. Even with casual use you have to be careful with them. The best advice is to use cockrings which can be removed easily. Metal cockrings should only really be considered if you are sure you know how to use them properly. If you have one that is too tight then you will not be able to remove it until your dick gets soft again and some people have even needed to go to hospital to have them removed!

Overuse of cockrings can cause damage to your genitals and so they should never be left on for an extended period of time, especially not overnight. If you have an erection for more than a few hours you can actually cause blood coagulation in the penis, also termed priapism, and that makes it hard to lose the erection. It is impossible for new blood to enter the penis and as a result this is not only very painful but can also cause permanent damage to the erectile tissue because of the lack of oxygen getting to the cells.

The best advice would be to enjoy using your cockring for short periods but to use it with care and certainly NOT wear it all day.

Joe needs to break it off: Hi. I need help. How do I dump a guy I've been having an affair with. I have been with my boyfriend for 4 years, and this other guy 8 months, and really I think I should go with one or the other. I hate the situation I have put myself in, so what's the best way of ending this. I am not sure I am brave enough just to call him and say "your dumped!" and anyway, when I have done it before he just agrees we should end it, takes his clothes off and seduces me. Like a fool I carry on. Help!

James replies: Hi Joe, I hate to say it but you really have got what you deserve in this situation! We had a question a while ago from a guy who was having an affair with a man who had a partner and was asking what he should do and I mentioned that normally it is the guy who does not have the long term partner who gets hurt in these situations.

It does seem that the guy you are having the affair with is quite cool although he does seem to know how to play you at your own game, which of course you fully deserve! At the end of the day you need to be far more fair to your partner than you are being at the moment. How would he feel if he found out you have been cheating on him for the past 8 months?

You don't need to say to the other guy you are having the affair with 'you're dumped' as that would show a total lack of respect. You should however explain to him that you can only see one person at a time, and for now that is your boyfriend. If he tries to seduce you then have the dignity and the strength to say no and live with the decision you have made. Stop playing the fool and take control of your life. Show some respect for others and for yourself at the same time!

John wants to know: My friend wants to take me to a sauna. I'm young (19) and a little unsure. What goes on there? I understand there's a steamy room, and a pool - but what actually happens on the sex side? Am I safe? Will people try to take advantage of me, or what? Is it the place to go really, or should we stay away? I quite like the idea of seeing some other horny guys, but I am unsure.

James answers: Hi John, the first time you go to a gay sauna it can be a little daunting so it is good to know what goes on there and to get rid of any fears you may have.

The most important thing is that just because you are in a place where men have sex it doesn't mean that anyone can take advantage of you. Most guys in saunas do not come after you if you don't show any interest and even if they do then just walk away or say no thanks! Remember it is always your choice, and even if you do go with a guy never do anything that you are not happy about, or do things that you prefer not to do.

There are lots of guides to gay saunas available, the best of which is the Spartacus Sauna Guide. It tells you where they are, reviews all the facilities, and gives you a general insight into what goes on. You can get a copy of the Spartacus guide online.

As for being safe, again this is your choice! Saunas always provide condoms so make sure the first thing you do when you get there is take some just in case. Sex without a condom is not safe and so always get yourself prepared and then you won't have to worry so much. Protect yourself first and then you can enjoy yourself and stay healthy!

Saunas do usually have steam rooms, saunas, pools, and also rooms where you can go with another guy for sex. In the main areas guys won't usually come up to you much and if they like you will just look your way and see if you react. Many saunas also often have dark rooms where of course it is much darker and these rooms tend to be more of a free for all! Don't go there straight away, unless you are feeling very confident.

I wouldn't have thought that you need to avoid gay saunas - just make sure you know what you want. Decide your limits, and what you want out of the experience and if someone approaches you who you don't like just walk away! Play safe and have fun!


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