Being sick enough to require antibiotics is bad enough, but then just as you’re feeling better there’s more bad news: antibiotics mess with your birth control. Using an “alternate method of birth control” while you’re on antibiotics generally means abstinence, oral sex, or condoms. Abstinence for 10 days is lame. Oral sex is awesome, but can leave you longing for more after a few days. And condoms are… well… sigh.

Lots of people use condoms all the time, and maybe they’re used to it. If you’re slutting around with tons of people it makes sense to use condoms. But as a married couple condoms just feel wrong — not morally of course, but physically. It’s almost like you’re not even having sex. As I wrote in Yes, You Should Swallow the sharing of bodily fluids is incredibly intimate, and the condom is there to prevent exactly that. It’s like wearing rubber gloves to hold hands!

rubber gloves

But is the worry about accidental pregnancy while on antibiotics overblown? Basically, there’s little evidence that any antibiotics other than rifampicin can reduce the effectiveness of birth control pills. Rifampicin is generally prescribed for bacterial infections like tuberculosis and leprosy, so it isn’t very common. Nevertheless, the “better safe than sorry” mentality makes everyone paranoid.

A complex study published in May, 2011 involved about 18,000 women and 1330 episodes of contraceptive failure. Researchers looked at the data on women both during months of contraceptive success (i.e., not getting pregnant) versus contraceptive failure to see if taking antibiotics made any difference. The bottom line: contraceptive failures did occur, but it was no more likely to occur if a woman was taking oral antibiotics.

Now, it’s impossible with science to prove a negative. Even the best, largest studies can’t say with 100% certainty that a super-rare event can’t occur. It could be that in very rare cases, antibiotics could somehow affect the way oral contraceptives work. So if you want to be super-safe, using two contraceptives is never a mistake. But as far as could be determined by this large epidemiologic study, women on contraceptives (excluding rifampin) were no more likely to experience a contraceptive failure than women not taking antibiotics.

If you was to be “extra safe” go ahead and use an alternate method of birth control, but is isn’t necessary. As long as you take your birth control pills every single day as directed and avoid known drug interactions you almost certainly won’t get pregnant due to antibiotics.

 

Husbands: if you want you wife to be more enthusiastic about sex then it’s important to maintain proper hygiene. Most of the tips in this post are common sense male upkeep, but it never hurts to review the basics. Some of the items are matters of taste — yours or you wife’s. That doesn’t mean that you have to do whatever your wife says, but at least have the discussion with her and be intentional; don’t pick something she finds repulsive.

Wives: feel free to send this post to your husbands if they need some help.

(For other posts with advice for husbands, check out Basic Male FashionDo You Even Lift?, and Would You Put Your OWN Mouth There?)

Hands. Wash your hands frequently. It’s good for your health, and it feels better for whomever you touch. Wash your hands when you get home, after you change a diaper, after you play with your pet, after you use the bathroom, after you pick your nose, before you cook, before you eat, and before sex.

Shower. It’s not rocket science: take a shower every day, preferably before bed or whenever you’re most likely to have sex. I don’t wash my hair every day, but I do rinse it out. I find that maintaining some of the natural oils in my hair makes it feel and smell better, but this is a matter of taste.

Wash your feet, don’t just let shower water run over them and assume they’ll magically get clean.

Shave. Sexy Corte likes the feel of my face when it’s smooth, but likes the look when I have a short beard or stubble, so I change it up sometimes. It’s fine if you want to wear facial hair, but it needs to be maintained. Beards that accentuate the jawline make your face look strong, so shave your neck if you wear a beard. Here’s Hugh Jackman pulling it off.

hugh jackman

Also be a man and use a real razor, not an electric shaver or a disposable. I just bought a Edwin Jagger Kelvin razor that’s pretty sweet — you can find lots of options on Amazon for around $30. It doesn’t matter what you get, anything will be better than what you’re using.

Shave with the hair rather than against it, and touch up any strays that aren’t cut the first time.

Eye brows. You don’t need to go to a salon to get waxed, but get some control over your brows. Do you think it’s unmanly to discipline your eye brows? You can look like a unibrowed cave troll if you want to, but you’re leaving money on the table. Once you have a real razor instead of an electric shaver you can use it to at least shave around your eye brows and keep them in their intended place. Once you’re ready for advanced mode, get some tweezers and pluck the hairs that are out of bounds. It isn’t hard, and it will add some crisp lines around your eyes, so you don’t look like a big hairy smudge.

Nose. If you have hair sticking out of your nose you need to do something about it. You can pluck it, but ouch. In this case, an electric trimmer is your best option. Get one that looks like a tiny comb instead of the kind that looks like a tube. You’ll know what I mean when you start looking.

Blow your nose or clean it out in the shower. Don’t pick it in public or sniff constantly if you aren’t deathly ill.

Ears. Same as nose hair: eliminate. Wash around and inside your ears. Use an ear cleaning kit to remove the wax buildup. You’ll hear better, too. Scrub around the backs of your ears.

Face. Wash your face with face soap that removes the oil and dirt from your pores. Scrub it a little with a washcloth to remove the dead skin. Use acne cream if you need to. If your face gets oily during the day, take some time to wipe it off.

Teeth. Brush them at least twice a day, and don’t forget to brush your tongue! An anti-bacterial mouthwash will also improve your breath for a little while and may improve general mouth health. Floss before bed. Floss? Apparently daily flossing can add years to your life by reducing inflammation in your gums. It sounds crazy, but flossing is good for lots of other reasons.

Arm pits. Use antiperspirant deodorant.

Nails. Clip and file your nails instead of biting them. Your wife’s lady bits will thank you. Keep your toenails short so you don’t scratch your wife’s legs up when you’re spooning.

Clothes. Wash your clothes regularly. Don’t weak stuff that stinks. Even if you “just wore it around the house” yesterday, it’s not clean anymore.

Sheets. Wash your sheets at least once a week. Just because you shower before bed doesn’t mean you never need to wash your sheets, trust me.

Moisturize. Especially important in dry weather, not just for soft skin but to prevent cracking. Keep some lotion outside the shower and slap some on when you get out. Don’t buy anything expensive — a very thin rub of Vaseline will do nicely, and it’s dirt cheap.

Sneezing and coughing. Don’t sneeze or cough into your hand, use your elbow. It’s a lot more sanitary.

sneeze

Penis. Pretty important to keep him clean if you want your wife’s face to spend any time with him. Make sure to give him a good washing when you’re in the shower, pulling back the skin if necessary. I also rinse and dry him off after I pee to avoid unpleasant smell or taste in spontaneous situations. It wouldn’t hurt to let your wife know you’re keeping him clean, in case she has any concerns or suggestions.

Balls. Shave the whole area. You and your wife will be pleased. Even if you don’t take my advice to shave, you’ve got to discipline your pubic hair and trim it back. You’ll smell better, stay cleaner, and your penis will look larger.

Butt. Wash your butt crack when you shower. Get in there and scrub it clean. Again, it won’t magically get clean just because water runs down your body.

Get a bidet attachment for your toilet like the Luxe Bidet Neo 120 so you can clean your butt every time you poop. They’re easy to install and cost less than $50. You’ll love it, and your wife can use it to clean herself too, front and back. If you got poop in your hair you wouldn’t just wipe it off with a piece of paper and call it good, would you?

bidet

 

Got any great male hygiene tips to share? Leave a comment!

Alright husbands, let’s talk about basic fitness. Did you let yourself blimp up after you got married? Shame on you! Or, like me, have you always struggled to be a little more fit? I’m blessed that Sexy Corte and I love to run, and we’ve managed to keep in the habit of running several times a week together (even pushing a ton of kids in strollers). Running or some some form of aerobic exercise is great, and I highly recommend it; it’s even better if you can do it with your spouse and kids. Aerobic exercise is great for everyone, so go do it.

(For other posts with advice for husbands, check out Husbandly Hygiene and Basic Male Fashion.)

However, in this post I want to talk about lifting weights. Women can lift and enjoy the benefits of stronger bones and muscles, but weight-bearing exercise is essential for men’s health. I’m by no means an expert on lifting, but I can share with you some basics: and basics are the key. All the new-fangled stuff is basically junk: P90X, CrossFit, “core strengthening”, “boot camps”, etc. It’s not that these are bad, but they over-complicate things. You don’t need an expensive gym membership either.

What do you need?

  1. Starting Strength, by Mark Rippetoe
  2. Barbells, dumbbells, weight bench, weight plates. Used sets can often be found cheaply on Craigslist. Put them in any open 50 square feet of your house.
  3. 20 minutes per day, a few times per week. You won’t get ripped with this minimal schedule, but you’ll get a lot stronger.

ripped-for-her-pleasure

I recommend the book, but you can get the high-level ideas from here. You can easily use the internet to find articles by Mark Rippetoe and diagrams that illustrate how to properly perform the lifts he prescribes. (So you have some homework.)

Like I said up top, aerobic exercise is great, but men need to big and strong. If you follow some of this simple advice it won’t take long for your wife to notice and admire your muscles. You don’t need to be Adonis, you just want to improve yourself. If you aren’t lifting at all now you’ll see rapid strength gain when you start, which is great for your confidence. Of course your progress will plateau and improvement will get harder over time (like anything), but there’s a ton of low-hanging fruit that even a lazy man can grasp.

What does lifting have to do with sex? If you can’t figure out how size, strength, endurance, confidence, energy, and appearance will improve your sex life then I don’t think I can help you.