How much piss can one consume without getting sick?
I usually float medical questions over to Dr. Barak Gaster, Savage Love’s long-suffering resident medical expert. But after braving a torrent of piss questions over the years, Dr. Gaster has developed something of a piss-question phobia. So, SC, I tossed your question to Dr. W. H., an ER physician at a big city hospital like the ones on teevee! Dr. W. H. has seen people “guzzling every nasty-ass secretion known” and wasn’t fazed by your question. (He also says that he’s seen people use Doritos bags as condoms, but we’ll save that for another column.)
“Piss is actually quite safe to drink,” says Dr. W. H., “assuming the person making the piss has healthy kidneys and isn’t dripping with the clap.” But isn’t piss a waste product, packed with stuff your body wants to be rid of? How could it be safe? “The production of urine begins with an ultrafiltration of the blood by the nephrons in the kidney, which contain superteeny openings that let only the smallest molecules through. This means that bacteria and viruses are rarely seen [in urine]—HIV and hepatitis viruses are pretty much a nonissue as long as the kidneys are in good working order.”
But quite safe doesn’t mean totally safe.
“All bets are off if you’re drinking the piss of someone who’s got horrendous kidneys,” Dr. W. H. adds. “But people with severe, chronic kidney disease may not overlap too much with the piss-party set. The biggest danger would be drinking urine from someone with an infection that’s living downstream from the kidneys, such as gonorrhea, chlamydia, or some type of bladder infection.”
Presuming you’re drinking a healthy person’s piss, how much is too much? “There have been cases of people dying because they drank gallons and gallons of water incredibly quickly and diluted their electrolytes to the point of cardiac arrest,” says Dr. W. H. “However, that’s sort of a risk that’s inherent in any liquid and not really unique to urine.” And it’s highly unlikely that any one person could produce more piss than you could handle, SC.
Another thing for piss-guzzlers to consider: “Certain small molecules are concentrated in the urine,” says Dr. W. H. “Such as [trace amounts of] drugs, recreational and otherwise.” I’ve heard from clean-and-sober piss drinkers who lost their jobs after testing positive for drugs their sex partners were taking, SC, so if you have a job that requires regular drug testing, or if you’re Britney Spears, you might want to date straight-edge piss tops exclusively.
“If you know your partner and you’re both healthy,” Dr. W. H. concludes, “guzzle all the piss you want. If you’re hooking up with strangers, and you’re not sure what’s coming out of his dick or her twat, then you’re asking for it.”—Dan
I have a friend who likes to have the blood flow to his brain restricted. He and I messed around, and he asked me to choke him. I wasn’t cutting off his airflow, just applying pressure to his jugular and carotid. This kink scares me. I want to make sure I know exactly what’s going on here. We’re not using ligatures of any kind, just my hands. I don’t want to hurt him; he’s one of my best friends, putting aside how awkward it would be to explain to his family, my family, and his wife how I accidentally killed him.
Am I overreacting? Is there a safer way to restrict the blood flow to someone’s brain?
—Gave Him One Sexy Throttling
“No! She is not overreacting,” says Dr. Barak Gaster, who has yet to develop a phobia of strangulation-related questions. (In time, in time.) “There is no ‘safer’ way to cut off blood supply to the brain. Even short periods of reduced blood flow to the brain cause permanent brain-cell death causing permanent mental retardation and death.” As for your being careful “only” to restrict blood flow and not airflow, GHOST, Dr. Gaster warns that “cutting off blood vessels with your hand is even more dangerous than cutting off breathing, since the oxygen flow to the brain falls much faster.”
How dangerous is this kink? “Insanely dangerous.” How insanely dangerous? “Do not do this. Living for years with an ‘anoxic’ brain injury is a horrifying existence. Many would rate this a fate worse than death. She is potentially dooming her partner to life as a brain-damaged imbecile,” says Dr. Gaster—and, hey, those GOP presidential debates are crowded enough already, GHOST. Knock it off.—Dan
Speaking of dangerous kinks: Tons of readers sent me a link to the story on the Smoking Gun about a Baptist minister who died in June of “accidental mechanical asphyxia.” I appreciate the thought, dear readers, but rest assured that I Google “Baptist minister” and “accidental mechanical asphyxia” at least once a day. I’m anal that way.
Anyway, the Rev. Gary Aldridge was found hog-tied, wearing two wet suits, a face mask, diving gloves, rubberized underwear, and a rubber hood. Authorities have concluded that no foul play was involved and that the 51-year-old pastor of Montgomery’s Thorington Road Baptist Church was alone the night he died. “While the Montgomery Advertiser, which first obtained the autopsy records, reported on Aldridge’s two wet suits,” says the Smoking Gun, “the family newspaper chose not to mention what police discovered inside the minister’s rubber briefs.”
That would be a big, black dildo, of course (we’re talking about Alabama here, after all), but the dildo wasn’t so much inside the pastor’s rubberized undies as stuffed up the pastor’s ass.
Thorington Road Baptist Church has asked that people “refrain from speculation” about Rev. Aldridge’s demise. I can resist speculating—the autopsy leaves very little to speculate about, anyway—but I can’t resist pointing out that Rev. Aldridge would be alive today if he had indulged his passion for wet suits, rubber hoods, rubberized underwear, bondage, etc., on the streets of San Francisco, Calif., during the recent Folsom Street Fair and not home alone in Montgomery, Ala.
The Folsom Street Fair is an annual pansexual leather/fetish/BDSM street festival, and this year’s poster featured a parody of The Last Supper, an iconic image that’s been parodied hundreds of times to absolutely no protest. But professionally outraged Catholic hatemonger Bill Donohue dropped a carefully orchestrated load in his generously proportioned trousers when he saw Folsom’s poster, and all the right-wing sex-haters quickly piled on. There was a great deal of screaming and yelling not just about the poster but also about the “shameless” perverts cavorting on the streets of San Francisco during Folsom.
I’m sure a few wet-suit fetishists were at Folsom this year, as they are every year, along with guys in gas masks and people in rubberized shorts. And there’s always plenty of hog-tying goin’ on at Folsom. And guess what? All the pervs at Folsom survived; so far as I’m aware there has never been a death at Folsom. So it would seem that the “shameless” perverts on the streets of San Francisco—men and women who can indulge their kinks with lovers, buddies, and friends and, yes, on the streets of San Francisco in front of God and everybody—are less of a danger to themselves and others than the shameful perverts in Montgomery.
The moral of this sad story: When it comes to potentially dangerous kinks, you’re better off—you’re safer—being shameless. Into wet suits and bondage and gas masks? Great. Find a buddy and go shamelessly nuts. Because the shameless don’t just get to enjoy their kinks, they also get to survive them.—Dan Savage
Dan Savage’s most recent book, The Commitment: Love, Sex, Marriage, and My Family, is on sale now. Send your Savage Love questions to firstname.lastname@example.org. A new Savage Love podcast is available for download every Tuesday at thestranger.com/savage.