Category Archives: Prostate

Tricks Of The Trade — Part 4

Today I conclude this four part series that I started back in October. (You can Find the first three parts of this series HERE and HERE and HERE!

As you may recall, a friend of mine, who is writing a book about male sexuality for women, asked me if I could be her go-to-guy for a bunch of questions she had about pleasuring a man which she wants to include in her book. I think it is only fair that you, my loyal audience, should get this information before anyone else does.

SEX TOYS

Have you ever suggested to your clients that they use sex toys for men either solo or during (hetero) partner play?

Absolutely! And yes, for both solo play and for play with a partner.she didn't come

Sometimes it’s difficult getting straight men to warm up to the idea of incorporating toys in partnered play. They can also be resistant to toys for solo play. Some straight men think toys are gay, or only for women. Some haven’t a large enough sexual repertoire to even imagine how toys could assist them or be fun. So generally I have my work cut out for me in this regard.

What are some benefits of using sex toys for men?

First off, they increase one’s sexual repertoire. They increase body awareness. Take prostate massage, for example. It’s fun, it’s healthful, and it’s enriching. The guy becomes less cock-centric and less ass-phobic.

And another toy I often recommend is a cockring. Check out my tutorial: Cockring Crash Course HERE!  This is a low-tech aid for keeping it up and keeping it hard.

What are some of your favorite sex toys for men and why?

Orbit BodyFit Vibrating Stimulator blackGosh, there are so many. Probably my favorite manufacturer of sex toys for men these days is Perfect Fit Brand. Every one of their products that we’ve reviewed over the years is a winner. Want to know more about them? Perfect! Visit Dr Dick’s Sex Toy Reviews, use the search function in the sidebar, type in “Perfect Fit Brand” and PRESTO!

Then there are the granddaddies of sex toys for men, the Fleshlight and FleshJack.   Guys can actually learn how to last longer using one of these. And you know how I keep talkin’ about the mutual joys and the important information shared when a couple masturbates together, right? Well, this is the ideal masturbation toy for him.

The Aneros products are designed and developed by folks who are as serious about prostate health as they are about prostate pleasure. Listen, I’m all in favor of toys that have no other purpose than to dispense a good dose of the jollies. But if a fella can pleasure himself AND do himself some good health-wise…all at the same time; well that just about beats the pants off diddlin’ just for fun.

Check out the Zini Donut for couple play.  It’s shaped like a doughnut or bagel if you prefer. It’s about the same size too. It’s very unassuming when you see it sitting in its box, in fact you’d never guess at its versatility by just looking at it. A closer look reveals that it’s actually an amazing C-shaped vibe and both ends of the thing vibrate with independent motors, but they vibrate in unison.

What’s the correlation between sticking a massager up your butt and prostate health? What good does this do?

Why is massaging any part of the body beneficial? It increases blood flow, relaxes, stimulates, reduces stress, (in the case of prostate massage, it reduces the discomfort associated with prostatitis). prostate_massage_copy.jpgMassage also aids in healthy function of one’s prostate and associated glands, in the same way general massage assists other parts of one’s body in range of motion and overall limberness.

You’ve probably heard of the tee-shirt study that showed women have an attraction to men based on scent/pheromones/immune system variance. However I’m wondering if you can think of any studies where men were shown as being attracted to women on a similar basis.

I’ve read in a couple spots that men may not be influenced by pheromones/DNA variance because their goal is to spread their seed far and wide and hope for a good crop, whereas women need to be more selective since they will be carrying and ultimately caring for the offspring. This is all biologically speaking of course. I’m not sure if I buy that…do you?

I can’t point to any studies that show pheromones play an equally important part in male to female attraction and bonding. It is a very interesting question though. There’s got to be some studies out there on the effect of a woman’s perfume on men, wouldn’t you think? I mean, imagine if there is no connection at all; the multi-billion dollar perfume industry would be a joke.

I think that male pack animals are, for the most part, only interested in the scent of estrus. Since only dominant males get to breed, they don’t concern themselves with individual females, except in as much as they are part of his harem. Males who pair-bond for life may have other interests. But in that situation it is generally the female who does the choosing of a mate, not the male.

Intimate Workout

Hello sex fans,

And now for something completely different… It’s Product Review Friday all right, but we’ve seen nothing like this before. Today I, Dr Dick, will do the honors and tell you about a unique product for men. It’s a brand new product that will, I believe, change your life for the better. And in the process we welcome another new manufacturer to our review effort, Adult Fitness Concepts.

The Private Gym —— Basic $59.99  Advanced $99.99

Dr Dick
There are a handful of things that I have been very passionate about throughout my long career as a sexologist. Each of my passions revolve around two simple principles: the importance of knowing and owning who we are as sexual beings and an knowing about how our body works. These are the basic building blocks of sexual health and wellbeing.

Sexual wellbeing means a whole lot more than simply being able to perform. It also means taking responsibility for one’s eroticism as an integral part of one’s personality and involvement with others. But being unfamiliar with the basics of how our body works will surely short-circuit even our ability to perform.

My aim has always been to provide information, guidance, and resources that will help people approach their unique sexuality in a realistic and responsible manner. That’s what Dr Dick’s Sex Advice and Dr Dick’s Sex Toy Reviews are all about. So when a representative of Adult Fitness Concepts contacted me via email to tell me about their new product (actually, it’s more of a program than a product), the first FDA registered Kegel exercise program for men, my interest was piqued. I was told that the Private Gym was created after 3 years in development with several leading urologists, physiotherapists, and sexual health experts.

I have been an avid proponent of pelvic floor musculature toning for both women and men for my entire career in sexology. I write and speak about this topic so often that sometimes I feel like a broken record. Don’t believe me? Look for yourself. Use the search function in the sidebar of either of my sites, Dr Dick’s Sex Advice and Dr Dick’s Sex Toy Reviews, type in pelvic muscles, and BANG!home_hero_image

Women tend to know more about Kegel exercises, the exercises that tone and strengthen one’s pelvic floor musculature because doctors encourage them to do their Kegels during pregnancy. But here’s a tip for all you guys out there who are reading this and rolling your eyes and getting ready to turn the page because you think this is some kinda Oprah — vagina moment. Listen up you monkeys; kegel exercises aren’t just for the ladies. Us men folk have pelvic muscles too. So pay attention, you’re gonna want to know about Kegels too.

What are Kegels, you may be asking. They’re muscle contraction and relaxation exercises designed help restore, tone, and strengthen the muscles that surround the opening of the urethra (see guys, we have one of those), vagina (ok, we don’t have one of those, but we do have a penis and we get erections), and anus (we sure as hell have one of those). Since this includes the muscle that you use to stop and start the flow of urine, you can check if you’ve identified the right muscle by testing your kegel technique while peeing — if you can stop the flow of urine when tightening, then you know that you’re contracting the correct muscle group. BTW, the main muscle is call the pubococcygeus muscle, or PC muscle for short.

There are several “toys” on the market that are designed to help women tighten and tone their pelvic floor muscles, Ben Wa balls, and all their modern incarnations, for example.  Now, thanks to the Private Gym us men folk have our own exercise program. A program that promises stronger, more rigid erections, a reduction in premature ejaculation, heightened orgasms, improvement in urinary control all while supporting prostate health.

I know what you’re thinking, if I can do Kegels on my own, why do I need a program? Good question. The best answer I can come up with is it will help you stray on track and achieve your goals. I mean, isn’t that the reason we go to a gym? Surely we can workout on our own, but the support and encouragement we get from being part of and involved in a program makes the effort more rewarding. It’s all about psychology, right?

PG-TrainingKitOnly-PromoThe Private Gym is the first interactive, follow-along exercise program that helps men strengthen the muscles that support and control our cock. As men approach age 30, the muscles that support erectile function begin to weaken. By age 40, more than 50% of men experience some form of erectile dysfunction and this number increases to more then 66% as men approach 60 years of age. And for all you bottoms out there, you know how important it is to keep anal muscles in tip-top, pardon the pun, shape.

There are two parts to the Private Gym program — 1) the Basic Training Program (available on DVD or through digital download) and 2) the Complete Training Program, which involves resistance training.

As we all know, resistance training is key to building strong muscles. Imagine doing bicep curls or a bench press without weights. The Private Gym Complete Training Program resistance equipment is basically a weighted high-quality, latex-free, nonporous, phthalate-free, and hypoallergenic silicone cuff for your dick. How amazing is that? You slip this puppy around your stiffy and do your Kegels. The cuff is also waterproof, so it cleans us easily with mild soap and warm water.

Just like all weight training, muscle contractions increase blood flow and increased blood flow to your johnson will…wait for it…produce harder, larger, and longer-lasting erections. Your pelvic musculature is also responsible for the strength of your ejaculation. Do you dribble instead of shoot? Well, my friend, you have some important exercisin’ to do.

While the Private Gym is a practical tool for any guy at any age, I have a few extra words for those men—friends, clients, and correspondents—who are living with and through prostate cancer. I get how difficult things can be after an invasive and life altering surgery. I also know that, for the most part, oncologists are not inclined to walk each of their patients through the emotional and physical minefield that is life after these often devastating medical interventions. But that doesn’t mean you have to sink to the lowest common denominator and shut down as a sexual being.

I believe that the Private Gym Basic Training Program can be helpful in regaining a sense of your sexual self after surgery and radiation. I’m currently working with two clients and we are using the Basic Training Program to rehabilitate their traumatized pelvic musculature. While it is too early to tell what kind of success rate we will have, I can say for certain that the effort involved in this program, as well as both of them knowing that someone really cares about their sexual performance issues, is making a huge psychological difference in terms of outlook and confidence. And that is huge!

My own experience with the program has been very positive. I’m 65 years old and I’ve been dealing with prostate issues, bladder control issues, and erection issues for some time now. I’ve also been doing Kegel exercises for decades, so I conclude that I am as functional as I am because of my efforts to keep my pelvic musculature toned and strong. The Private Gym is helping me be more conscientious about my workouts. And that is a real good thing.
Full Review HERE!

ENJOY!

Tricks Of The Trade — Part 1

A friend of mine, who is writing a book about male sexuality for women, asked me if I could be her go-to-guy for a bunch of questions she had about pleasuring a man which she wants to include in her book. I think it is only fair that you, my loyal audience, should get this information before anyone else does.

What would, in your esteemed opinion, be your five hot tips for giving a great hand job?

First, there are 10, not 5. Hand jobs are too important for just 5.

Most men love a good old-fashioned hand job. Here’s the deal with a lot of us folks who own a dick. We first become acquainted with the pleasure our cock can offer through handling ourselves. And when it comes right down to it, there is rarely a mouth, pussy or ass that can compete with the variety of stroke and firmness of grip that a hand can provide. Simply stated, the humble hand job is the ideal way to pleasure your man. Just remember, even though jerkin off your guy isn’t particularly exotic, as far as sex acts go, it never has to be boring for you or him.busy masturbating

1) I am of the mind that a brilliant wank begins with a first class lube. Many guys swear by silicone-based lubes for this purpose, but a hand job connoisseur will probably have his very own favorite. Start off with just enough lube to make things slick, you don’t want to over do it. Get a feel for his johnson and what you have to work with. Skillfully draw back the skin of his rod toward the root of his dick till it is taut. This is much easier to do on uncut men, but even most cut men will have some skin left for move.

2) Tell your dude how much you like his meat. A hand job is a perfect time to marvel at the work of art before you. Feel free to uooh and ahhh a lot. Your man will get off on you admiring his unit. For, as we all know, a hard man is good to find. Can you wrap your fingers around the base of his unit and get a good grip there? If not, you’ll want to consider a cockring for this purpose. if you use a cockring, you’ll free up both your hands for what’s to come.

3) Now that you got yourself a really nice boner goin’, get between his legs. Take his cock between the palms of your hands, interlock your fingers and guide your hands up and down his shaft. Your thumbs should be on the underside of his dick, so that on each stroke up and down, you hit his frenulum with the pads of your thumb. Now with his cock still between your palms, rub your hands together, like if you were warming them. This will provide a great new sensation for your guy.

cock,schlong, dong4) Hold his cock in one hand and with the well-lubed palm of your other hand, slowly move it in nice lazy circles all over his dickhead. This is a particularly delicate procedure, especially if your man is uncut. His dickhead will be super sensitive, now that he is fully aroused. And don’t forget, if you are using a cockring, his pecker will be even more engorged than usual, making it hypersensitive. Be sure to ask for feedback on this move. If he finds this too uncomfortable, move on to something more pleasurable. Here’s a tip: us men being who we are will, no doubt, already be giving you directions on what to do and how to do it down there. So all you have to do is follow his lead. Remember, he knows his way around his joint better than anyone.

5) Don’t forget to service his nuts. Since a guy’s jewels are less sensitive to touch than his dickhead, you can manhandle them a lot more. Squeeze and tug and even gently slap those babies to your heart’s delight. While you are doing that, and with his dick flat against his belly, shimmy the heel of your hand up and down the underside of his cock. You see how you are incorporating different sensations and movements all at the same time? Keep this up and your man will be putty in your hands, no pun intended.

6) Interlace your fingers and make a tight passageway through the palms of your hands. Pump up and down his shaft this way. As you get to the top of his cock close the passageway even tighter. Then make him squeeze his way in as you slide back down to the bottom. Then with one hand rapidly following the other in only a downward stroke, make like a perpetual penetration tunnel. This will make his eyes roll back in his head in ecstasy.titty fuck01

(This might be a good time to incorporate other parts of your body besides your hands. Most men get off on a titty –fuck. Cozy his cock between your boobs and have him hump away. You can also use your feet in the same fashion. Lots of guys can really get off fuckin’ a chick’s (or dude’s) feet.)

7) Now, back to the hand job. Rhythmically stroke only his rod. Watch as his dickhead swells and turns red or even purple. Once it’s bright red, use your fingertips on the tip of his dick like you are turning a doorknob, first to the right, then to the left. Lightly at first, but slowly increase the pressure till he begs you to stop. Now you got him right where you want him.

8) Here’s where things can get really interesting. When he’s least expecting it, move one of your hands down past his nuts and taint. You know what a taint is, don’t cha? That’s the patch of skin between his balls and his asshole. It got its name from taint ass and taint balls, ya get it? Anyhow, once past his taint you’ll find his rosebud. With a well-lubed finger massage his pucker. If this is virgin territory for your man, he’s in for the thrill of his life. Continue to stroke both his cock and asshole. Don’t be afraid to try and push your fingertip past his sphincter. If he lets you inside, you will have access to his prostate. But even if he doesn’t, massaging the outside of his hole will bring him very close to an explosive conclusion.

9) If you’re ready to finish him off, so to speak, pick up the pace of your stroke. He will be breathing heavily now and he’ll look down over his chest at the miracle happening between his legs. Tell him to throw his legs in the air and spread them as far apart as possible. This will add considerably to the muscle tension that you’ve already built up. And a thunderous orgasm is all about muscle tension.

Now bring this puppy home. Lick his balls, finger his hole and beat his meat. Insist that he keeps his feet in he air and his legs splayed. Momentarily, he will begin to quake with building mini-orgasms. He will no doubt try to buck himself to conclusion, but don’t let him. For the moment you’re in charge down here, not him. Tease him one last time as he nears ejaculation. When he’s almost there, suddenly stop what you’re doing. This will, of course, drive him crazy. And don’t resume your stroking till he begs for it.

It will probably only take a few more strokes before he gives up the spunk. Keep your face, or at least your eyes, out of the way, because when he finally blows it will be explosive. If you’ve toyed with him for any length of time, you will have built up quite a load and it will shoot in spurts till he is empty.

10) His cock will be hypersensitive after he cums, so be gentle.

 

ANAL PLEASURE AND THE PROSTATE

1. “Male G-Spot” clarification — we’ve heard the prostate referred to as the “male G-spot,” but we’ve also heard the frenulum given the same name. Which is it? Or is this term not appropriate for either one?cake & sodomy

Male G-Spot more appropriately denotes the prostate, definitely not the frenulum. However, let’s be grown up about this and skip the unnecessary comparison between the G-Spot and anything in the male anatomy. Because that’s like saying a clit is a female penis. If we must use shorthand for the prostate, try P-Spot.

2. How should a woman go about finding and petting the prostate?

  • First, trim your fingernails and file them smooth. And before you start playing with a man’s hole have him relax.
  • Take a relaxing shower, a warm bath, and/or try some deep breathing exercises will help him do that.
    Have a ready supply of a water-based lube handy. Silicone-based lubes are swell for these exercises too. However, this type of lube isn’t recommended for use with a condom.
  • Start with a nice hand job. Stroke his dick with your lubed hand to get him into his happy place.
  • Gradually slather some of that lube on to his balls and taint. While his legs are open find his hole and play with his rosebud. Gently massage the area around his asshole, but don’t side your fingers in just yet. Simply let him get used to the feelings of playing at the opening of your ass.
  • Let your play include the tip of your finger entering your ass.
    If you do this while you’re stroking his cock, you will find that his hole will actually open and invite your finger. That’s the great thing about pleasuring one part of your body while learning to pleasure another.
  • Once he’s comfortable with your fingertip inside, try pushing it in further and move it around a little. Try pushing it and pulling it out of his ass. Ya know, like finger-fucking your man.
  • About an inch or so inside your man’s ass, move your finger in an upward motion along the wall of his rectum. You’ll discover a round bulb of tissue the size of a walnut — this is his prostate.
  • It shouldn’t be hard to find, particularly if your man is all horned up. It will feel smooth and hard, like a flat stone.
  • Give that puppy a nice gentle massage with your fingertip. If you’re still stroking his wood, don’t be surprised if this prostate massage gets him off. In fact, you will find that his prostate actually enlarges a bit and becomes more firm just as he is about to shoot.
  • As he cums you will also notice that his sphincter muscle will tighten around your finger and pulsate with each squirt.

3. What’s the best position to put the guy in to do this?

body as art5821Your man should be on his back, while you face him between his open legs. This gives you access to cock, balls and asshole.

4. Should a girl be worried about hurting her lover while playing with his prostate?

If you go slow and are gentle, there’s nothing to be concerned with. Don’t forget to ask for feedback. And if you want to know what he is feeling, finger your hole first.

5. In your experience as a sex therapist, do you find that straight men are wary of letting their female partners explore anal play?

Oh yeah, big time! Straight guy have it in their head that ass play is gay. I always respond that would be true if only the gays had prostates.

6. If so, how would you advise a woman to address or overcome any homophobic paranoia her partner might have in regards to anal play?

This is a very delicate issue. The best a woman can do is invite him to experience the new sensations. Anything more than that can backfire. If she is too insistent, or tries to shame him into it, the guy’s fears will quickly become a phobia.

7. In your experience, is male vulnerability a factor in anal play, and if so, is there anything a woman should do or say to psychologically care for her lover?

Oh yeah! Like I said above, ass play is often associated with gay sex. The best thing a woman can do is watch some hot butt sex porn with her man, where the dude is on the receiving end of things. These are called pegging vids. Then there are How To Videos like TRISTAN TAORMINO’S EXPERT GUIDE TO ANAL PLEASURE FOR MEN.  Check out Dr Dick’s How To Video Library for loads more titles.

Look for PART 2 of this series on Friday, October 10th.

Spark Plugs

Hey sex fans!

Look, a new edition of Product Review Friday is comin’ your way. Our summer vacation is over and we’re all back to work.  This week we welcome a new manufacturer to our review effort, Zini. You will be hearing a lot more from this Chinese company in the weeks to come because they sent us a whole bunch of their toys. But today, to kick off this barrage of new products, we bring you a couple male-oriented toys from their extensive line. Unfortunately, I can’t yet find these toys here in the good old US of A, but they are available all over Europe, the UK and Australia. Let hope they find a US distributor real soon.

Let’s check in with Dr Dick Review Crew member, Greg, to see what he has for us.

Zini Janus Anti Shock and Lamp

Greg
I have a couple of anal insertion toys that are gonna rock your world. These toys are generally marketed to men, but women have butts too. And I know at least three women, friends of mine, who get off on anal toys. They tell me that they get great G-spot stimulation through anal stimulation. OK then! It sure works great on my prostate, or as some folks like to call it, my P-spot. Whatever kind of “spot” you have you will get off on one of these puppies.anti shock

I have two of the three available sizes—the small, Anti Shock, and the large, Lamp. I can’t honestly say I like the names they’ve chosen for their toys. The small, Anti Shock, is for beginners. Personally, I would never even allude to the word “shock” if I were making an anal toy, especially for men and especially for beginners. But that’s just me. And “Lamp?” Where are they going with that? I mean, if it lit up, FINE! But, as they say, “a rose by any other name,” right?

So I’m pretty confident that anyone the least bit familiar with anal toys will look at the Anti Shock, and Lamp and go, “Hey, they look just like the Aneros products!”  Yeah, there are similarities, for sure; they all go in your butthole, for instance. And since I have used both kinds of these insertables, I feel I am in a position to say that I prefer the Zini brand. Here’s why I say that.

Both product lines are of a similar size. Both have a lot of the same features—shapes, grippable handles for easy insertion and extraction, and a taint (perineum) massager (that’s the little ball shaped thing opposite the handle. Now for the differences. The Zini line has a substructure of hard plastic, like the Aneros line, but the insertable part is covered with velvety silicone. This is huge for me. I love silicone. It’s versatile; it’s latex-free, nonporous, phthalate-free, and hypoallergenic too. The Zini line is also a better design, in my opinion. The way the shaft is affixed to the handle makes for better internal and external stimulation.

LampThe gradual increase in girth between the three sizes makes finding the ideal fit for everyone—rank amateur to seasoned pro—easy as pie. The Anti Shock: total length: 4.25 inches, insertable length: 3.25 inches, circumference: 2.75 inches and the Lamp: total length: 4.25 inches, insertable length: 3.75 inches, circumference: 3.75 inches.

Beyond the pleasure there are loads of health benefits associated prostate massage. If you don’t believe me, ask Dr Dick.

While the Anti Shock, and Lamp are not traditional butt plugs, they work on the same principle. You can wear the Anti Shock, and Lamp, for hours at a time; they’re that comfortable. And because your anal sphincter clamps down on the stem of the shaft, where it attaches to the handle, it’s not gonna slip out of your hole, nor will it slip all the way in. Only thing; you can’t sit down comfortably with either of these insertables in your bum. Don’t worry, there’s lots more you can do with either of these guys.  I like laying on my back with one or another of these massagers in my butt. I like rocking my pelvis or doing some crunches while I pull my pud. There’s so much more stimulation that way than when I’m just jerking off without anal stimulation. And I get way more intense orgasms too. It stands to reason, huh? Your prostate is where most of your ejaculate comes from. And massaging your prostate will increase your ejaculate too.

The tapered tip on both of these insertables make inserting so easy, even for a novice butt pirate. To tell the truth, not even the girthiest part of the Lamp is all that scary. I also like the Zini line’s ball-like perineum massager. Beats the hell out of the Aneros tab massager.

Use only a water-based lube with both of these toys. A silicone-based lube will mar the beautiful silicone finish on the Anti Shock, and Lamp.

Because it is waterproof and made of silicone it’s easy to clean. Mild soap and warm water does just fine for everyday cleaning. But you can also wipe it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution to sanitize for sharing. Hell, you can even pop these puppies in the top rack of the dishwasher for further sanitation.

The packaging is pretty basic; a clear plastic shell with a cardboard insert behind the toy. However, the back of the insert lists all of the features of the toy as well as measurements for the three different available sizes.
Full Review HERE!

ENJOY!

Finger Your Hole For Your Health

Name: Gordon
Gender: male
Age: 67
Location: Florida
I guess I have more of a comment than a question. I’m 67, a widower and have been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. I never was very adventuresome when it came to sex. In fact before my wife died two years ago I never had sex with any other woman. I never gave prostate cancer a thought, never gave my prostate a thought either. Now I’m mad as hell that I didn’t. You see when I started to go to a prostate cancer support group I discovered I could have monitored myself better with a simple self-examination. Why don’t doctors tell us about this? Women are supposed to examine their breasts why don’t men examine their prostate? It’s so easy actually and yet it’s this big secret. Why don’t people talk about this? It makes me so mad because it could have made a big difference in my own life. Do you know about this self-examination Dr Dick? If you do why don’t you tell other people about this? I think it would help a lot if you could get the word out on this. Now that’s all I have to say. Thank you.

No, thank you Gordon. Thank you for sharing your concern with me…with us.

I’ve been an active proponent of prostate self-exam for many years. Let me explain. My career as a therapist began in San Francisco in 1981. As you may recall, that was precisely the same year a mysterious new disease began showing up among gay men. Back then it was being called gay cancer, but soon it would have another name — HIV/AIDS.

give prostate cancer the fingerNot surprisingly, my private practice focused down almost exclusively to working with sick and dying people. Luckily, I discovered that I was well suited for the job and I liked it very much. So much so that in the mid-90’s I founded a nonprofit organization called, PARADIGM, Enhancing Life Near Death. It was an outreach and resource for terminally ill, chronically ill, elder and dying people. This was brilliant cutting-edge work and I learned so much from the people I was working with. One of the things that struck me most was that regardless of the disease — cancer, HIV, MS, you name it, or aging process for that matter — there was always a woeful lack of information about regaining a sense of sexual-self post diagnosis, or sexual wellbeing for seniors in general.

This was such an important topic for me that I decided to include a chapter on sex and intimacy concerns for sick, elder, and dying people in my book, The Amateur’s Guide To Death And Dying.  I am proud to say that it is one of the only resources of its kind available in print.

I recall one PARADIGM group in particular, there was a man much, like you, Gordon, who had fingering his assprostate cancer. And, like you, he was mad as hell with the indifference of the medical industry toward prostate self-exam. One day during a group session, John was railing against his doctors and cancer associations for their lack of interest in promoting prostate self-awareness. He pointed to the success of the cultural campaign to get women to do breast self-exams. Like you, Gordon, he couldn’t understand why there wasn’t a similar campaign for men.

Another group member, Marie, a senior woman in her 70’s and a breast cancer survivor, helped put things in perspective. She reminded us that breast self-awareness in our culture is a relatively new phenomenon. Her mother, aunt, sister, and a niece all died of breast cancer before the self-exam campaign began in earnest. Clare went on to say that it was only through the hard work of individuals and grassroots organizations that actively campaigned for breast self-exams that things began to change. Eventually, this movement changed the cultural mindset. Clare said that it was these individuals and grassroots organizations that helped all of us — medical industry, the cancer lobby and women in general — overcome the denial, shame and embarrassment that was associated with women touching themselves, even to save their lives.

prostate examThis is an indication of just how ingrained the sex-negativity and body-negativity runs in this culture.

I continued to work with sick and dying people here in Seattle. I had a brief gig at a local cancer center where I developed an NIH (National Institute of Health) funded program for women newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer. I was also working with a group of women with breast cancer and another group of men with prostate cancer. Again I realized that just about every therapeutic intervention I encountered — government funded or foundation funded — was woefully lacking in any clear and unambiguous information about sexual health and wellbeing and intimacy issues.

To remedy this, I began planning a video series for people experiencing life threatening and/or disfiguring illnesses. Videos that would help them address reintegrating sex and intimacy post diagnosis. One of the first videos was going to be Public Service Announcement showing men how to do a prostate self-exam. By the way, this particular film was to be dedicated to my friend John, the guy I mentioned earlier. He died shortly after the PARADIGM group he was in ended. But he died self-aware. He was militant to the end about the pressing need for prostate awareness among men.

Once again the stumbling block I encountered was funding. My grant writing efforts turned up nothing. I did get a whole lot of, “what a fine idea, Richard. Good luck with that…” brush-off letters though. No foundation would be caught dead funding sexually overt pattern films, even ones with the laudable intent of assisting people with the very information they needed most.

I’m sorry to have been so long-winded in my reply, Gordon. I just wanted you to know that many have preceded you with outrage at the conspiracy of silence regarding prostate self-exam. Let’s face it; our society is so ass-phobic that we’d rather see men die than offer them simple instructions how to finger their butt, find their prostate and keep tabs on their prostate health.

If we want this to change we all need to speak out…as well as stick a finger in our ass.

Keep up the fight, Gordon! And please, stay in touch.

Good luck

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