Category Archives: Hymen

Are you getting any closer? A pocket-sized primer on female sexuality

By Clarissa Fortin

Stay curious between the sheets, friends.

Closer: Notes from the Orgasmic Frontier of Female Sexuality
by Sarah Barmak
(Coach House Books, 2016; $14.95)

If it weren’t for Sarah Barmak’s Closer: Notes from the Orgasmic Frontier of Female Sexuality I might have gone for years of my life without ever finding out what my clitoris actually looks like.

“Illustrations of it resemble a swan with an arched neck,” Barmak writes. “When I saw an closerillustration of the clitoris’s true shape for the first time I felt like a blind man finally seeing a whole elephant when all he’s ever known was the tip of it’s trunk.” I realized while reading those sentences that no one in my Catholic high school health class ever bothered to show me such an image and I’d never thought to seek one out.

I consider myself a feminist and a sexually liberated woman. Yet, there are still surprising gaps in my understanding of my own body. And that’s why a book like Barmak’s is important. Closer tackles its subject with eloquence, intelligence and humour.

The book is split into five essays that tackle the “fear of pleasure,” the history of female sexuality, the science and psychology of the orgasm, the “female sexual underground” and the politics of acknowledging female desire.

While each essay has its own strengths, I think the most effective chapter is “A History of Forgetting.” This section aligns the historical “discovery” and “loss” of the clitoris with the individual experience of a woman named Vanessa — an actual interview subject.

We first meet Vanessa on the table at the doctor’s office filming herself masturbating in order to prove to the doctor that she can indeed ejaculate. We learn that Vanessa has been having a series of problems — pain after sex, recurring yeast infections and so on — that no doctors can figure out.

From here Barmak momentarily leaves Vanessa’s story behind and turns her attention to the clitoris itself, noting that “the mapping of the human genome was completed in 2003, years before we got around to doing an ultrasound on the ordinary human clit.”

While the tendency is to see history as ever moving forward and progressing, Barmak counters that “women’s sexuality began by being celebrated, then was feared as too potent, before being downplayed and denied in the scientific era.”

The Christian church, the scientific revolution and various other factors resulted in a demonization and rejection of female bodies. It’s a generalized historical account to be sure, but Barmak does point readers in the direction of Naomi Wolf’s Vagina, a much more comprehensive book on the subject.

What makes this essay so powerful is the way it revisits and concludes with Vanessa and her struggle. Her story held up against the larger history of the clitoris itself demonstrates all too well an overall contempt for and neglect of the female genitalia.

Along with research and anecdotes, Barmak amasses a diverse collection of interviews with doctors, researchers and sex educators. I was excited to learn many factoids that I will surely whip out at dinner parties in the future — for instance, vaginal self stimulation actually blocks pain in women, and even women who are paralysed can sometimes still feel sexual pleasure because of nerves which bypass the spinal cord and communicate directly with the brain!

Barmak combines this research and traditional journalistic writing with first-person narration, bringing her own experience into the story. This means attending seminars and workshops, watching a demonstration of a female orgasm at Burning Man, and getting a vaginal massage.

Barmak is open about her own skepticism and trepidation during these investigations. “I like to consider myself open to new things,” she writes. “Yet, the idea of a strange lady’s gloved fingers all up in my jade palace falls somewhat outside my personal boundaries.” She goes through with it and the personal account makes for a richer narrative overall.

A note about the term “woman”: Barmak uses it throughout the book to generally refer to the cisgendered female experience. If I have any strong critique of the book it is that by celebrating the distinctly female anatomy, the book sometimes verges on unintentionally emphasizing a gender binary. This is something Barmak herself seems aware of. She notes on pg. 21 that “the word woman can refer equally to cisgender, intersex, genderqueer and transgender women all representing varied shades of experience.” While it’s good that the acknowledgement is there, I think a declaration like this belongs even earlier on as a note for readers to keep in mind before the book even begins.

That said, Barmak does make an effort to include the experiences of typically marginalized women such as trans women and women of colour in her narrative. “Being white affords privileges even in non-mainstream spaces of revolt such as sexuality,” she notes.

The topic is something “that requires far more depth and attention than this little book can offer,” Barmak says and while this seems like a partial cop-out for having only a few pages devoted to women of colour and trans women specifically, Barmak makes a valid point. Issues regarding sexuality faced by marginalized women warrant entire books altogether, preferably penned by a writer who has lived those experiences.

Nevertheless, I think this book would have been more complete with a sixth section devoted specifically to these issues.

At its core this book is compassionately optimistic, celebrating the innate complexity of sexual pleasure itself and arguing in favor of orgasms for all, something I can definitely get behind.

Sex educator and vlogger Lindsay Doe has a motto she repeats at the end of each of her videos: “stay curious.” Closer isn’t the definitive book about female sexuality and it doesn’t claim to be. But it made me curious about my own body, and even more curious about the wonderfully vast array of experiences we humans have between the sheets.

I recommend it to my friends of all genders, my boyfriend, my sisters, and especially the woman who started it all, my mother.

Complete Article HERE!

Hard to Heart

Name: Julian
Gender: male
Age: 32
Location: mexico city
What does CBT mean?

Geez, CBT could mean all sorts of things, depending on the context. It could stand for Cognitive Behavioral Therapy, something the good doctor knows a great deal about. It could also stand for Computer Based Training, but why in the world would you be asking dr dick about that? Let me see what else…CBT also stands for “Cock and Ball Torture”.

Yeah, that’s it! That’s what you want to know about, huh Julian — you little pervert. Good forcbt.jpg you!

As a matter of fact, there are all manner of torture techniques for your cock and balls — Slapping, Squeezing, Pinching, Bondage, even the use of weights. Tickling can be a form of torture too. A dude’s package can withstand a great deal of torment. But dolling out professional grade torture is not for the amateur. The dominant (as opposed to the submissive) really needs to know what he or she is doing. Carelessness can lead to severe injury.

In some cases, “torture” is really mostly “play”. One’s cock and balls are simply tugged on or stretched out, maybe with some weights. There’s cock and ball bondage too — the family jewels trussed up like a thanksgiving turkey. And that’s just the beginning. Imagine what you could do with your mother’s old clothespins. See, now you’re putting two and two together!

Oh, and the “T” word doesn’t necessarily stand for torture. It can represent a full range of play — from tickling and teasing to torment and torture.

If you’re interested in investigating the pain/pleasure of cock and ball torture for your self, Julian, here’s a safe way to start. Begin by experimenting with different sensations. Look around the house for things you can brush or rub against your cock and balls. Start with something soft like a silk scarf. Progressively work your way to something with a rough texture, like a scrub brush. You will also notice that the sensations are different when your dick is soft, as opposed to when it’s hard.

Try a hollowed-out, cylindrical loofa sponge. Get it good and wet, and slip it over your hardon and try jerkin’ off with it. Rubber bands can be applied to your cock and balls. Not only for the constriction sensation, which is delightful in itself. But you can also snap those puppies for some delicious pain.

Lots of pervs like cock and ball spanking. You could try your hand at this, so to speak. Or you could employ a kitchen wooden spoon or spatula. They work nicely too. Prickly things like a fork can be used to scrape or drag over your cock and balls. Poke them lightly if you like. Be careful though; you do not want to break the skin and draw blood.

wirecocktrap.jpgCock and ball bondage can be a delight. Nylon rope is a good choice for this, but nothing beats 100% cotton clothesline. If you want something a bit more abrasive, try a little something in hemp.

Again, safe play is happy play. Wrap the rope around your cock, and around each of your balls separately. Use the rope to stretch your sac. A little discomfort is desirable, but just don’t over do it. Remember the sensations will become more intense as your dick engorges with blood. Keep this kind of play to less than 10 minutes at a time. Watch for signs of distress — your dick will veer to the color purple and your balls will feel cool to the touch. When that happens, it’s time to loosen the restraints and move on to something else for a while.

If you really get into this you can find loads of more professional torture implements at My Stockroom. Look for the tab at the top of the page. There’s a whole department in my online store devoted to cock and ball toys. You might want to start with a cock and ball harness. Doesn’t that sound like fun?

CBT is great for livening up and extending a ho-hum jerk off session too. And here’s a tip: once you know what you like and how you like it; you can turn on your partner to the practices. Speaking of partners, the novice perv might want to surrender his privates to a professional Dom for some training. A well-versed mistress or master will be able to take you places you’ve only dreamed about. A pro Dom is also a great resource for the do-it-yourself kinda guy. Before you launch into uncharted waters, seek the advice of someone who has made the study of pain/pleasure his or her life’s work. And don’t expect to get this information for free.

Cock and ball play can be loads of fun — alone or with others. Just remember the mantra — safe play is happy play. Experimenting is fine, but if you get in over your head and you don’t know what the fuck you are doing — STOP. Go back to something more suitable to your skill set.

Name: mariana
Gender: Female
Age: 18
Location: washington
i lost my virginity yesterday and i did not bleed why is this?

Are congratulations in order, Mariana? Was your first time enjoyable? Are you happy you’re no longer a virgin? It’s so amazing to me that you didn’t mention any thing about your first fuck other than that fact that you didn’t bleed. I guess, for some young women, that all that really matters.

As you may know, a hymen is a mucous membrane that is part of the vulva, the external part ofhymen_morphologie.jpg your genitals. It’s located outside the vagina, which is the internal part of your genitals. Not all women have a noticeable hymen. You may or may not have had one to begin with. However most women do. Simply put, having a hymen and/or having it rupture during one’s first fuck is not a reliable indicator of virginity.

Many girls and teens tear or otherwise dilate their hymen while participating in sports like cycling, horseback riding and gymnastics. A young woman can tear her hymen inserting a tampon, or while masturbating. And it’s possible that the girl may not even know she’s done this. Often there is little or no blood or pain when it happens. The tissues of the vulva are generally very thin and delicate prior to puberty. Like I said, the presence or absence of a hymen and/or bleeding in no way indicates whether or not you are a virgin.

Some hymens are elastic enough to permit a cock to enter without tearing, or they tear only partially, and there is NO bleeding at all. As I hope you know, when you are adequately aroused, you lubricate and your vagina becomes more flexible. It will stretch without discomfort for most women. It’s even possible for a woman to have sex for years without ‘tearing’ her hymen. And, like I said, some women never have much of a hymen to begin with.

Name: Mike
Gender: Male
Age: 20
Hi, my name is mike I’m 20 and I’m a bisexual. And I have an 8 and half inch uncircumcised cock. And I believe my stepmom has been spying on me. Now do I take the opportunity to have sex with her, or do I let it go. She’s extremely beautiful, very thick with a nice hairy pussy and big titties. I’ve seen her spying on me numerous times. What should I do? Should I drill her or should I not? Let me know.

AS IF, Mike! Nice try though.

I have a good deal of experience working with real issues of intra-family sex, so when your message arrived I knew it was sheer fantasy.

There is so much about your story that is completely unbelievable. First, you start out with way too much information about yourself — your bisexuality and your eight and a half inches of uncut cock. What the fuck does that have to do with anything? Unless, of course, you’re flashing your boy boner to your unsuspecting stepmother. But then if you’re flashing her, she can’t be spying on you. More likely, she is revolted by your impudence and has yet to confront you about it.

33518098_240×240_front_color-ashgrey.jpgSecond, you don’t give enough information about how the supposed spying occurs. Someone with a real story to tell would have reversed these things. He would have gone into detail about the incident or incidents involving his stepmother and he wouldn’t have volunteered the size and shape of his johnson.

The next mistake you make is the detailed description you volunteer of your super-hot MILF of a step mom — beautiful, thick, hairy pussy, big titties. How would you know she has a hairy pussy unless you’re spying on her? BUSTED!

And say, what’s a 20 year old doing still living at his father’s house anyway? Are you some kind of deadbeat slacker?

Should you drill your stepmother? Indeed, what could possibly go wrong with a bone-head son fucking his father’s wife? In your dreams, Mike. In your dreams!

Even though Mike here is full of shit, there may be others in my audience who are really struggling with issues of intra-family sex. So I’d like to take this opportunity to discuss this very thorny issue a bit. Incest, particularly the heterosexual kind, or the adult to child type, is considered taboo and a serious crime in nearly every culture, both past and present. There’s plenty of good reason for this, not least of which is issue of inbreeding. But the genetic concerns aside, the most devastating thing about incest is the secrecy. No one violates this universal taboo in the open. The secrecy and the inevitable shame and guilt will, sure as shootin’, destroy a family dynamic.

Even when the intra-family sex is not technically incest — sex between blood relatives — like Mike’s fantasy with his fantasy step mom — the secrecy, the violation of the inherent family bond of trust and the inescapable guilt and shame will destroy the relationship between the perpetrators as well as destroy the family.

If you find yourself in a seductive situation with family member, don’t give in to theincesttee02.jpg temptation. Even a seemingly harmless encounter between consenting adults will inevitably have dire consequences for all concerned.

Finally, because the incest taboo is so strong and so universal it also creates the perfect environment for equally powerful fantasy development. Take Mike as an example. This lad’s fertile imagination, coupled with an overactive libido and too much time on his hands, has created the quintessential jack-off material for horny adolescent. He imagines himself man enough to fish in the same waters as his old man. Titillating whimsy for sure and definitely lots of boy juice will be spilt into wadded up Kleenex. But that’s precisely where it needs to say — as a cherished albeit forbidden fantasy.

  • Finally, we have a follow-up question from a fellow with a ball problem. This guy wrote me to tell me he thinks he might have an abnormality in his nut sack. I wrote back to him: “I applaud you taking note of your balls in an inquisitive sort of way. Good for you! But you should also have at least a rudimentary understanding of your testicular anatomy. So that when you do your self-exam, you can have some sense about what it is you are examining.” To that purpose, I offered a medical diagram for him to look at. Despite my promptings to take his huevos to a doctor for a look see, he decided to write to me once again. D’oh!

Name: anoras
Age: 47
Location: Northridge CA
Thank you so much for your previous reply and for the diagram. Yes, I’ve seen it before but really didn’t look at it precisely — Ooops. So let’s see, the thing that goes into the testicles and that gangs up to the top of the testicle, that must be what I am referring to. Feeling my balls now I realize that it is at the top and not the bottom. Can I conclude that maybe I did feel it at that time on the top and thought it at the bottom, and/or that at that time maybe I my testicle turned around for some reason? Next, at the area where it is globulous, if pressure is placed on it, would it have a pain feeling rather than applying pressure anywhere else on the testicle? That is the question I’m asking, whether there are any areas on the testicle that you would naturally feel lumps and/or pain with any pressure. The next question would be if there are ways that the testicles can be turned around and when they do can they be readjusted. Thanks in advance for your understanding and great responses.

testicleantomy.jpgSheesh, darling, take your nuts to a freakin’ doctor already, why don’t cha?

Since I’m not there, while you root around in your groin, I can’t see what you’re referring to. And even if I were there watching you poke and prod and I could feel what you feel, I wouldn’t hazard a guess about what’s going on with you. I am not a physician!

You ask again about lumps. Here’s a rule of thumb for us all: If you got lumps of any sort see a doctor. You ask again about pressure and pain. Since I have no way of knowing what kind of pressure you are applying, all I can say is, if you’re applying lots of pressure, it’s probably gonna hurt. If your applying only light pressure and it hurts, I’d guess there’s a problem — see your doctor.

And no, I’ve never heard of inverted testicles — see your doctor!

Ok, audience, what have we learned in today’s lesson? If any of us has a concern about what we think might be an abnormality in our naughty parts…or any other part for that matter, don’t write me…more than once…go see the doctor. Get it? Got it? GOOD.

Good luck ya’ll

Sex Advice With An Edge — Podcast #15 — 05/28/07

Hey sex fans,

I have a great show for you today. Provocative questions from the sexually worrisome and an equal number of amusing, entertaining and informative responses! Hey, it’s what I do.

  • Mike is a mother-fucker…or he he thinks he could be.
  • Carol’s coozie is finger-lickin’ good!
  • Anonymous is a world-class wimp.
  • Mariana got nailed but did not bleed.
  • Jake’s tied up and his GF is taking liberties with the family jewels.


Check out The Lick-A-Dee-Split Connection. That’s dr dick’s toll free podcast voicemail. Don’t worry people; no one will personally answer the phone. Your message goes directly to voicemail.

Got a question? No time to write? Give dr dick a call at (866) 422-5680. Again, the TOLL FREE voicemail number is (866) 422-5680. DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY !

Look for my podcasts on iTunes. You’ll fine me in the health section under the subheading — Sexuality. Or just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice With An Edge. And don’t forget to subscribe. I don’t want you to miss even one episode.

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