Michael Douglas: Backtracking on oral sex cancer claim

Michael Douglas

Michael Douglas

Yesterday, Michael Douglas claimed that he got throat cancer from contracting HPV via oral sex, causing everyone to go “OH SH!T!” before immediately rushing out to buy dental dams and flavored condoms. (It should be noted that oral sex provides easy transmission for almost every STI, so using oral prophylactics is definitely a good idea.) Since then, Douglas’ PR team decided to backtrack by saying that Douglas never made those claims, and that they were all an illusion. Or something. Yeah, I’m confused too. Clarify this, NY Daily News

Michael Douglas’ public relations team went into damage control mode Monday, insisting the actor never said he contracted throat cancer from oral sex. “He wants to make it very clear he never said that was the particular cause of his particular cancer,” Douglas’ publicist, Allen Burry, told the Daily News. Douglas’ flack was forced to backtrack after his boss, in an eyebrow-raising interview with The Guardian newspaper, blamed his cancer on “a sexually transmitted disease that causes cancer.” “This particular cancer is caused by HPV, which actually comes about from” oral sex, he said. Burry refused to concede Douglas’ words might have caused people to conclude he got cancer from sex. And when pressed whether Douglas tested positive for one of the human papilloma virus strains linked to oral cancer, Burry said, “I don’t think it’s really anybody’s business anymore.”

For the record, regardless of how Douglas got his cancer, you should still probably consider wearing dental dams and flavored condoms. Even if you wear condoms for vaginal and anal sex, if you don’t use them for oral, you’re pretty much leaving yourself wide open to STIs. (Except, oddly enough, HIV. Since there are no mucus membranes in the mouth and stomach acid kills HIV on contact, it’s regarded as low risk, as long as you don’t have an open sore or cut in your mouth. Still, you should use oral protection regardless. And that’s your lesson of the day!)

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Jeremy Feist is an (ahem) entertainer from Toronto, Canada. He writes, acts, and performs on stage, and has been a writer for Popbytes for almost three years now. He lives in Toronto with his boyfriend, his incredibly dumb but cute puppy, and his immortal cat.