Welcome to my Ask Andy page! This is your opportunity ask me the burning questions that are on your mind – and they can be about anything you want advice on!

Worried Boyfriend, 27, from Johannesburg, asks:

Hi Andy, can guys also use your advice column? My girlfriend went on holiday and after she returned we had sex and my penis is full of red welts and has a few small sores. She says its nothing to worry about. She’s been very secretive and spending alot of time messaging someone she met on holiday – should I be concerned?

Dear Worried Boyfriend,

Of course you guys can use my advice column! It’s here for anyone and everyone. :)

Let’s start with the changes in her behaviour. It’s difficult to say whether you should be concerned because I don’t know what your relationship is like. For example, I trust my boyfriend implicitly and simply know that he’d be open and honest with me, and I know it’s not like him to hide what he’s doing or to be secretive – so, I’d personally be very concerned if he suddenly became secretive and started messaging someone he had met on holiday. However, because I trust him, I’d be open and I would simply ask him if I’m just being oversensitive, or if I need to worry.  Perhaps speak to your girlfriend and tell her your concerns – you can even point out that you might be over-reacting, but you just want to be sure that everything is OK and you can ask her if there’s anything she needs to tell you. You never know, it may all be a total misunderstanding and she may even suggest that you meet her new friend.

A relationship should be built on trust – but if your gut is telling you something is not quite right, then I’d advise you to always trust your gut. If she doesn’t get overly defensive, and is open enough to tell you who she is messaging, then that is a sign of trust and openness. Communication is key in all relationships, and without it, things simply don’t work. You can misread entire situations. Just speak to her. Remember as well, though, that she may be offended by you asking because she may hope that you trust her enough not to cheat on you, or to be dishonest.

Now, with regards to your symptoms, having welts and sores on your penis is definitely abnormal, and it certainly is something that you should worry about. Although it sounds typical of an STI (Sexually Transmitted Illness), I can’t say for sure without physically seeing it and I am therefore not able to diagnose you. Also, don’t panic! Not all rashes and sores on your genitals mean you have an STI, either. However, what you’ve described definitely needs to be assessed by your local GP sooner rather than later, diagnosed and treated. If it does turn out to be an STI, then your girlfriend will need to get treated, too. Make sure you always use condoms, and respect yourself enough to build solid relationships grounded in trust.

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