A Straight Dope Classic from Cecil's Storehouse of Human Knowledge

Can Zovirax be put to kinky uses?

April 7, 1995

Dear Cecil:

After a passionate lovemaking session with a girlfriend of mine (I'm bi), she asked if I knew what Zovirax was. When I said "Huh?" she showed me a swinger's magazine with the following ad: "Attractive m/w/c, late 20s, seeks other very attractive, new to swinging couples/females familiar with Zovirax for special times, once everyone is comfortable. … Only sincere people who use Zovirax or know what it is for (don't get scared, get informed) need reply with photos showing face and SASE. Proof of AIDS test required [etc.]" What is this Zovirax they are talking about? A drug? A sex toy? A man thing or a woman thing? Hetero or homosexual exclusive? Does it need batteries?

Cecil replies:

This one threw me for a sec, too. Zovirax is the trade name for the drug acyclovir, which comes in both oral and ointment forms, so at first I thought we were talking about a baroque alternative to Redi-Whip. Then I remembered that Zovirax was the only effective treatment for genital herpes. Clearly we're the victims of a couple with (one hopes) a better command of body English than the written kind. They want somebody who (1) is a swinger, and (2) uses Zovirax, not somebody who uses Zovirax to swing. However, if you answer the ad and it turns out I'm wrong, promise you'll send me a video.

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