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If You're Allergic To Peanuts, Is It Safe To Rim A Partner Who Eats Peanut Butter?

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We're bringing you this Q&A from BUST's Sex section, featuring advice from sexologist Dr. Carol Queen.

This is a real question. If you’re very allergic to a food like peanuts, and your partner eats that food, is it safe to rim them? Should I have an EpiPen on hand? – Nuts for Anal

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If you are really allergic, such that microscopic amounts can trigger dangerous symptoms, then yes, I’d keep that EpiPen right next to the lube. Harm reduction principles suggest that if your partner cleans out their butt with a rectal rinse—sort of an enema lite—it will help, but it might not help enough. True allergies are pretty rare (food sensitivities much less so), but for those who have them, symptoms can range from discomfort to death, and I don’t want to contribute to the bad rap rimming has in some circles by getting you killed.

It might be worth breaking down the differences between food allergies and sensitivities, as well as between related reactions to latex and other contact problems like wool and such. Lots of people say they’re allergic to things like gluten, condoms, and various medications when they’re in fact sensitive or intolerant to them; these responses are not life-threatening, though they can make you miserable while the symptoms cycle through your body and make your stomach churn, your nose run, or hives break out on your wrists. But if you’re literally allergic, severe reactions can include anaphylactic shock: your blood pressure drops rapidly, your airways may narrow, and without that dose of epinephrine in your EpiPen, you could be toast. It can take multiple exposures to an allergen to get to that point, or it can happen the first time you encounter it. Sensitivities can escalate in severity, but just make you feel sick instead of being truly life threatening.

Meanwhile, your boo needs to take into account that they might inadvertently send you into anaphylactic shock with their ass and adjust their diet accordingly. If they can’t quit the crunchy peanut butter, rim them through a barrier. Adding a little lube to the other side will improve the oral barrier experience, and you’ll stay in good health to rim again another day.

Carol Queen's latest book (written with Shar Rednour) is The Sex & Pleasure Book: Good Vibrations Guide to Great Sex for Everyone.

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This article originally appeared in the June/July 2018 print edition of BUST Magazine. Subscribe today!

top photo: PiccoloNamek/Wikimedia Commons

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