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Author Topic: Sperm travel through clothes?
clipboard101
Neophyte
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Hi. I know that Internet can be your best friend (or worst enemy) when it comes to information. Anyway, I am getting confused on this matter.

According to your website, as well as sexetc.org, sperm cannot travel through clothing, unless it's a very thin--like lace. On the other hand, there are a dozen of forums and other websites saying otherwise.

I know that sperm is a very small thing, but how come it can't travel through clothes?

[ 01-02-2011, 01:08 AM: Message edited by: clipboard101 ]

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September
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Sperm may be very tiny, but what they don't have is little legs to walk on. So all they can do is swim. And when the fluid they swim in dries up, they have nowhere to go. And since fabric tends to soak up liquid, clothing leaves sperm stranded.

And that's why sperm can't travel through clothes. [Smile]

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Johanna
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clipboard101
Neophyte
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...hence dry sex, with clothes on, does not create pregnancy risk.

I get it. Thank you very much! [Smile]

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clipboard101
Neophyte
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Hi! Can I ask a follow-up question on this? Isn't it that clothes have tiny holes in them? Wouldn't that allow sperm (or semen) to pass through?
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Karybu
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Most fabric does have very tiny holes, but fabric absorbs semen, which sperm need to move. So, semen doesn't just pass through, it gets soaked up and sperm can't get anywhere.

Does that help?

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"Another world is not only possible, she is on her way. On a quiet day, I can hear her breathing." -Arundhati Roy

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KittenGoddess
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The tiny tiny tiny spaces between the fibers of normal fabrics are way too small to allow sperm to safely pass through, especially since the fibers themselves are soaking up/drying up the fluid that the sperm need to survive. If we were talking about something like a single layer of lace or fishnet that has holes large enough to be visible to the eye, that would be when you might be concerned.

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Sarah Liz

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clipboard101
Neophyte
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Yep! At least these clear up some thoughts in mind.

Thanks so much Joey, Karybu, and Sarah! [Smile] Keep it up, Scarleteen!

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clipboard101
Neophyte
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Hi. Sorry for posting again. I guess I just need some kind of reassurance or something.

Anyway, here's the situation. Around late November, my girlfriend and I had a dry sex: she was wearing jeans and her cotton panties, while I in boxer briefs and jeans (though we unbuttoned and unzipped our jeans). There was only a certain time when I allowed her to touch my penis, and that was the only time that my penis was outside my boxers.

Anyway, we make out and so and then after a while I noticed I had precum. We then decided to zip and button our jeans, then proceeded with manual sex with clothes on and then even eventually ejaculated with my clothes on.

1. Do you see any pregnancy risks here?
2. My gf said she had her period last december, around the expected time of her period (~35 days after her last period, but a day earlier than expected (should be 35th day, but she had it at 34th). Is that an indication of not being pregnant? or is it an indication of implantation bleeding?
3. Her period should have arrived 3 days ago, it has not come yet.

Any advice? What should I do?

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Heather
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I do not see any pregnancy risks here.

Implantation bleeding does NOT happen more often than it does. If you girlfriend had bleeding right around the time she expected her period (a difference of a day or even a few is pretty typical with periods), and it looked and felt like her period, that's probably exactly what it was.

I don't think you two have to worry about pregnancy at all here if what you described is all that went down. With this period now, again, a period being a couple days later than expected isn't atypical.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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CoatRack
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In addition to what Heather said, here are a couple articles that you might want to read:

Pregnancy Scared?

M.I.A or, Dude, Where's My Period?

And here is a post that is actually stickied at the top of this forum about implantation bleeding:

http://www.scarleteen.com/forum/ultimatebb.php?/ubb/get_topic/f/27/t/023303.html
About Implantation Bleeding

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Hey folks, my name is Andrew and I was a mod here for awhile a couple years ago. I'll be here for a couple weeks while Heather is out and the site is even more short-staffed than usual

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clipboard101
Neophyte
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Thank you very much Heather! And sorry for posting this kind of question despite all the related posts pointing out to the same thing. I think I just need someone to talk to regarding this issue, seeking some kind of reassurance.

I have really wanted to talk this to an adult, but it's really difficult to discuss these kinds of things here in my country, especially that our culture is very (uhm, how should I put it...) conservative on this kinds of things.

I guess I need to take things slow for a bit, especially regarding sexual activities.

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Heather
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I understand.

While you have me on the line, do you want to talk about anything else?

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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clipboard101
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I've read the articles posted by Andy (Thanks Andy, BTW!) but I don't know really how to take this worrying off of my mind.
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Heather
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Do you think it might help to talk a little bit more about how pregnancy actually happens, in regard to understanding better that your sperm are actually really delicate critters, not superheroes who can bust through clothing and make babies? [Smile]

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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clipboard101
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I think that would help, yes. [Smile]

Well what I know is that so long as the semen is deposited in or near the vagina, that presents a risk of pregnancy.

---
Sorry if I sound naive or something. The sex education here is really poor (actually we don't have one in the first place!)

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Heather
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You got it.

But what you might not know is that sperm really need semen to create a pregnancy. It's how they move to and through the cervix, and it also balances out the pH of the vagina, which really isn't so workable for sperm cells.

As well, while a lot of folks say it only takes one sperm cell to create a pregnancy, that's not actually true. Only one (usually) fertilizes the egg, but it takes a few hundred "helper" sperm to get that one through the egg sac.

So, you can maybe see better why a non-risk like yours is a non-risk?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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clipboard101
Neophyte
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So aside from sperm cells not passing thorough clothes, it would take a globful of semen to create a pregnancy risk. Am I getting it right?
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Heather
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Sperm cells aren't going anywhere without semen, really. And yep: for a pregnancy to happen, semen would have to make it through those layers of clothing, which I think you know, it really can't. It's not like water or urine, it's a thicker fluid, so soaking through things with it to the degree where it could go right through? Not at all likely, and when we're talking about more than one very thin layer, pretty near impossible.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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clipboard101
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I think it's clearer now. [Smile]

I think my fear comes from the idea that if water can seep through clothing, then sperm cells and some of the ejaculatory fluid can pass through, given that they're both microscopic.

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Heather
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The sperm cells would still need a way to move, though. Water can do that way more easily because it's a thinner fluid than semen.

You could do an experiment if you wanted, like putting a couple layers of fabric down on a table. Pour a tablespoon of water in one spot, then put a tablespoon of something like a thin hair gel or rice syrup on the other. That should give you a pretty good idea of the difference.

You also have to bear in mind that to create a pregnancy, those sperm cells have got to be intact. They're very fragile and delicate. That's why they don't tend to be much good with any kind of indirect transfer.

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Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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clipboard101
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But isn't it that there are times when semen has water-like consistency? Would that affect this whole thing?
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Heather
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I would not say so at all, no. Semen is far more viscous than water, even when on the thinner side.

And again, this is not JUST about not usually getting through layers of fluid. It's getting through -- into the vagina no less, something sperm would have to have homing devices to do if they had to go through clothing -- with intact sperm cells and having the right balance of everything chemically. Fabric bungles that up.

If it helps, I worked in an abortion clinic for two years. I know others who have worked in OB/GYN for decades. I don't know anyone who ever had a pregnant woman come in who even claimed to have become pregnant through layers of clothing. It might also help to recognize that we're in the biz here of helping people prevent pregnancy when that's not what they want. It wouldn't benefit us even in the slightest to tell any of you that pregnancy could not happen when it could, and we already tend to err on the side of caution.

You really, really, really do not have to worry about this. If you find you can't stop, it may be you're actually feeling upset or worried about something else, like having any kind of sex sooner than feels right, or having any kind of sex discovered by family, etc. So, if this all still didn't help, I'd take some time to check in with yourself, okay?

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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clipboard101
Neophyte
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Actually Heather this is pretty much all of the things running in my mind. I feel much better now.

Thank you soooo much for helping me through this! Really appreciated everything. [Smile]

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Heather
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Glad to help you out. [Smile]

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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clipboard101
Neophyte
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Hi. Sorry for posting again in this thread. I just remembered that before I saw the precum on my boxers at some point I fingered her, again on top of her panties. This does not change the risk assessment, right? No pregnancy risk?
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Heather
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Nope.

--------------------
Heather Corinna, Executive Director & Founder, Scarleteen
About Me Get our book!
Never doubt that a small group of thoughtful, committed citizens can change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has. - Margaret Mead

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Rob328
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Hello, I have a similar problem, I ejaculated inside my pants while dry humping. I just wanted to know how did everything turned out for Clipboard101, everything turned out ok?? Also, we were having intimate contact and I noticed that my underwear had a wet spot from precum, if I touched it and then waited it to dry, and then touched my girl's vagina through her clothes, is there any risk of pregnancy?
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Rob328
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(More info from my previous post), I have never even seen my girl naked, we have never taken our clothes of, everything has always been through our clothes. I'm scared of doing that right now, I really can' handle a baby at this time, what has me more worried is the fact that she seems so calmed and I just keep reading other sites where they say there is a slight chance, and other sites like www.sexualhealth.com where they say it is impossible. Also, this happened around January 6th, and she had her period on January 14th, then she had her period again in February 14th but she mentioned that she had les cramps than other periods. But now she was supposed to have her period in march 11 and it hasn't come yet, she is now having her exams (she's studying medicine), could stress from the exams be holding her period? Can I rule out a pregnancy with this two periods? HELP please! :'(
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Rob328
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(note: we are both virgins, there has never been any penetration, not even rubbing our genitals together directly, always with clothes on)
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