Category Archives: Coming Out

The Summer Solstice 2012 Q&A Show — Podcast #337 — 06/18/12

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Hey sex fans,

Happy Solstice everyone! Well, actually solstice isn’t until Wednesday, but who’s quibbling. Damn, this year is flying by. It seems like it was only a couple of weeks ago that we were welcoming spring. And, guess what? I just did the math; this is my 6th Summer Solstice podcast. Holy COW!

In honor of this milestone I have a delectable Q&A show in store for you today. We will be hearing a bunch of very interesting questions from the sexually worrisome, each will surely amaze and entertain. And I think we’ll have just enough time to do some SEX SCIENCE too. Stick around, sex fans, this is gonna be great!

  • William is using AndroGel for low “T”. Will it get his dick to grow?
  • Craig was snooping in his wife’s gym bag and found something interesting.
  • Chris and I have a lengthy exchange about his deep-seeded sexual conflicts.
  • Paula asks for my advice about purchasing a prostate massager for her hubby.
  • Gerard has blood in his semen.
  • Jenny asks if all fetuses start out as female. This triggers a SEX SCIENCE tutorial.

Today’s podcast is bought to you by: Dr Dick’s Sex Advice and Dr Dick’s Sex Toy Review.

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

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

Got a question or a comment? Wanna rant or rave? Or maybe you’d just like to talk dirty for a minute or two. Why not get it off your chest! Give Dr Dick a call at (866) 422-5680.

DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

Look for my podcasts on iTunes. You’ll find me in the podcast section, obviously, or just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice. And don’t forget to subscribe. I wouldn’t want you to miss even one episode.

Dazed and Confused

Name: Confused
Gender: Male
Age: 16
Location: NJ
Dr., I’ve been having sex with a friend who is 19 and he expressed that he had feelings for me at a time when I didn’t have feelings for him. We got into an argument and didn’t talk for a few weeks and I noticed that I missed him and now we’re talking sort of, but I feel that now its more physical than anything, on his part. I think I do have feelings for him, but the only time he attempts to talk to me is when he is horny. The biggest issue is that I haven’t come out and I don’t feel it’s the right time for me to, but I think if I did, it would help things between me and him. Could you give me any advice?

Yep, pup, you sound pretty confused all right. But then you can hardly be faulted for your bewilderment, being as young as you are.

But if the truth be known, your youth has very little to do with it. The first thing you oughta know is that people grapple with these weighty concerns all their lives. I don’t know anyone who has all this emotional stuff pinned down. Because just as soon as ya think ya have it all figured out, life throws you a curve ball.

You will find if you haven’t done so already, that there is often a very fine line between love and desire, passion and intimacy and lust and affection. You should also know that sometimes, maybe even most of the time, we are out of sync with the person we are involved with. In the immortal words of Stephen Sondheim — either we are at last on the ground, while they’re in mid air. Or they keep tearing around while we can’t move. Since the beginning of time, most songs, epic love stories and romantic poetry have wrestled with the shifting fortunes of matters of the heart…and the groin.

So if you ever do make sense of all of this in your life, just wait a minute. The whole kit and caboodle will surely collapse like a house of cards around your head. That’s what I’ve found in my life anyhow. I still struggle with all of this and I’m fuckin’ old, don’t cha know.

Actually, I believe that the tension between love and lust is the very thing that gives life its spice. The only thing I’ve been able to discover after all this time is that there isn’t a code to break, just a toboggan ride to be had.

Which bring me to the second comment I want to make. I know that a lot of young people…your age and even younger…are experimenting with sex, and that’s not a bad thing necessarily. I do, however, advise discretion. Keep in mind that most people in our culture freak out when they discover that young people actually have a sex live. To that I would add that you probably know that your 19year old playmate is technically breaking the law by cavorting with you, a minor, right? He could get in a shit-load of trouble for bumping an underage lad like you.

And while there’s just a 3-year difference between you, I’d be willing to guess that your friend is considerably more advanced than you in terms of emotional development. If he isn’t, then there’s something very wrong with him. Just be aware that sometimes a disparity in life experience can be used by the more seasoned partner as a means of manipulating the other. And that’s never a good thing.

In terms of coming out, well that’s best done when you are at ease and comfortable in claiming and owning your sexual identity whatever it might be. Since sexuality is often a very fluid thing, there’s no pressing need to self-identify as one thing or another until ya have enough life experience under your belt to be able to say for sure. And even then you may find that your heart…or your dick will lead you elsewhere. Remember what I said about life throwing you a curve ball just as soon as ya think ya have it all figured out? Well it’s true in this regard too.

Finally, and this is the only absolute I have for you today. If you’re old enough to fuck, you’re old enough to know all about safe sex. And not just know about it, but practice it too. If you’re not using condoms, then you’re just a dumb kid with rocks in his head. And I really want to believe that’s not the case with you. Simply put, HIV and other sexually transmitted infections won’t make an exception for you because of your age. Also, you’ll never come to grips with grown-up emotions and all they entail if you’re just a dumb kid with rocks in his head, if ya catch my drift.

Good luck

Come Out, Come Out Wherever You Are

Just in time for National Coming Out Day, which just so happens to be today, October 11th, we have this from Craig:

Doc,
I’m 19, and I’ve decided that I’m gay. But I don’t know how to tell anyone. I’m afraid that I’ll lose my friends and family. I come from a very religious family, and they’ll never understand. I don’t want to hurt them, but I want to be honest about who I am. Just wondering if you could help me.

Coming out is never easy—or almost never—but having to do so to bigoted people makes things worse. There are many different aspects to the coming out process. It means both owning and valuing who you are, and sharing that information with others. You’ve apparently laid the groundwork by self-identifying as gay. Unfortunately, coming out also means learning to deal with the hostility many people have toward us sexual minorities.

Owning your sexual identity and integrating it into your overall sense of self is the first step in what I believe is a lifelong process. Your sexual preferences are just a small part of who you are. It is indeed an important part, but it’s not necessarily the defining element that some would make it out to be. In this instance, LGBT folks are not all that different from everyone else who is awakening to his/her sexuality. We can take some comfort from the fact that we are not alone. So many other segments of the population are marginalized and discounted because of their race, gender, age, religion, ethnic origin, you name it. Let’s face it, pup, our culture doesn’t do real well with diversity.

And ya know what else? There are a whole lot of us who are marginalized and who are discriminated against, who then turn right around and discriminate against and marginalize others. This just breaks my heart! Hopefully you’ll avoid the temptation to do this yourself.

Being different in our society is a double-edged sword. Obviously, it’s a challenge to the status quo, but it also frees us up to tread a less traveled path. To compensate for the difficulties of being a minority, we get to define ourselves in ways that are unavailable to the dominant culture.

I don’t suppose any of us is ever entirely really free of our own internalized homophobia, any more than other marginalized minorities can rid themselves of their internalized self-doubt. No one can completely escape the prejudices and biases that surround them, but most of us make our way, regardless. That’s why coming out is so important. It empowers us. It increases our self-esteem. Honesty increases personal integrity. And when we stop hiding or denying this important aspect of ourselves, we have greater freedom of self-expression, and we become more available for happy, healthy and honest relationships.

So, how much do you know about LGBT history? Knowing that you belong to a big and vibrant community with a long and illustrious history will enhance your queer identity. You’ll find positive role models in every era of human history, and in every human endeavor—and affirmative role models will help you achieve a positive sense of self. (However, you’re gonna have to do some digging. The dominant culture suppresses queer history, which often leaves those who are just coming out feeling isolated, alone and unsure. Fear of rejection from the dominant culture is greatest for those who don’t know they belong to something bigger and stronger than themselves.)

Knowing your gay history will also give you ammunition to refute those around you who will try to label you as sick or sinful. Loads of LGBT folk have enriched civilization through science, religion, music, politics, art, theater, sports and literature, to name just a few. Long before you and I showed up on the scene they were paving the way for the freedoms and tolerance we currently enjoy in this country.

If you’re not already involved in your local gay community, it’s high time you got hooked up. Practice your coming out skills with other LGBT people. Coming out to those who are most likely to be supportive will make this phase easier. And in doing so, you’ll be creating a natural support system of friends who will be your gay “family.” You will also find helpful resources, including support groups, crisis lines, gay-friendly churches and synagogues, social outlets and political and cultural activities and organizations.

Once you’ve honed your coming out skills with the queer community, you’ll be ready to move on to straight folks. This will probably be a mixed bag. Some won’t give a hoot. Others may have a lot of hoot to give. The best advice I can give you is the same advice I received from my gay elders when I was coming out at about your age: Make your coming out a celebration.

Listen, if you carry your hat in your hand, shuffle your feet and look all dejected when you make your announcement, your audience will have little choice but to receive the information as bad or troubling news. However, if you stand up, look the person in the eye, and tell her or him that you have some wonderful news to share with them, you will be giving them a running start on receiving the information as good news. Besides, a positive presentation will help short-circuit some of the initial shock or confusion they may experience.

Expect that most straight folks—particularly those of a religious bent—will need some time to get used to the idea of you being queer. And as you suggest, it is quite possible that some family members or friends may reject you initially. But it’s not the end of the world, and lots of people, even some religious folks, come around in their own sweet time.

Coming out to others will be a more positive experience if you’re comfortable in your own skin. Hopefully you’re not overly dependent on others for your sense of self—a tall order for someone of your tender age and background. But remember, thousands of people, young and old from every corner of the world, are making their first tentative steps out of the closet right this minute. You are not alone.

How well you do fare may ultimately hinge on controlling, as much as possible, the time and place you come out. If you “out” yourself as opposed to being “outted” by someone else, you’re more likely to succeed. Being able to judge the receptiveness of your audience is also important. The best time for you might not necessarily be the best time for the person you’re about to tell. (F’rinstance, grandpa’s funeral may not be the ideal time to announce to your family that you’re a big fat flamer.)

While some friends and family may have figured you’re queer long before you have, give everyone the time and space he or she needs to work through the news. Be prepared for some negative reactions. (Having some supportive friends available to talk things through afterward, or retreat to, will help.) If you do your best to bring the news in a life affirming way and your audience still rejects you, that’s not your fault; nor does that make them right. You have the right to be who you are. You have the right to be out, proud and open about all the aspects of your life, including your sexuality. Never let people unable to accept that, even if they are family, diminish your self-worth.

Coming out may be difficult, but it’s also very rewarding. Coming out affirms your dignity, as well as underscores the dignity of other queer folk. Finally, never take for granted the freedom and tolerance the dominant culture begrudgingly gives us. It’s only through vigilance and political action that we secure our rightful place in society.

Good luck.

The Root of Our Discomfort

Name: Maya
Gender:
Age: 28
Location: UK
Hi there! I recently found out that my brother in law is gay. I wanted to know what makes people gay? Is it choice, genes, hormones, etc? Please clarify because his condition and opposition to his choice of sexuality has made him depressed and he’s on antidepressants and not very healthy. Please answer.

Back in 2007 Solon.com featured a little piece called: Don’t Ask the Sexperts in their annual sex issue: State of the Sexual Union. Slate asked seven people who earn their livings thinking and writing about sex, what they’ve never been able to figure out about sex or sexuality.

One of the contributors was Dr. Ruth Westheimer. She’s the author of 31 books about sex and relationships. This what she said still remained a mystery to her.

“I’m sure there are many, but one nagging one is what causes homosexuality. I admit, I am curious—but the real importance in getting to the bottom of this question is that the answer would be helpful to the homosexual community. I suspect that the cause is genetic, which would mean all those people who say that gays and lesbians can change to become heterosexual would have to sing another tune. Instead of trying to “fix” a situation that doesn’t require fixing, they would have to learn to accept homosexuals. But I am not a scientist, so I can’t set about finding out the etiology, the cause of homosexuality. All I can do is act as a cheerleader to encourage scientists to come up with the answer.”

I was astounded when I read Dr Ruth’s comment. Here is one of the most popular names in the field of human sexuality saying such a startling thing. It’s not that she misrepresented the state of scientific inquiry into the issue of sexual orientation. What she said is true. We don’t precisely know what “causes” homosexuality, but more importantly…and this is what she leaves out…we haven’t a clue what “causes” any sexual orientation — straight, gay, bi, what have you.

What troubled me so about Dr Ruth’s comment is that, perhaps inadvertently, she perpetuates the myth that homosexuality (as opposed to say heterosexuality) has a cause. And when she uses the word “cause”, she denotes to her audience that there’s a cure. All I want to say is that if there’s a “cause” for homosexuality, there is certainly a “cause” for heterosexuality. If there would ever be a “cure” for homosexuality, there would certainly then be a “cure” for heterosexuality.

Do you see how obvious and pervasive the prejudices of the dominant culture are? I absolutely expected better from old Dr Ruth, don’t cha know. It’s true that she goes on to say that she thinks the “cause” of homosexuality is genetic, therefore us homos can’t change or be “fixed”. She then suggests, if this IS the case, the dominant culture would then simply have to learn how to accept homosexuals for how they are. I went, HUH???

Dr Ruth, darling, do you honestly believe that if, or more properly, when we discover the determining factors of sexual orientation — and I do believe there are more than one — the sexual bigots among us won’t militate to have the deviant orientations “fixed”? All I can say is to think otherwise shows an alarming naivety about human nature.

When Dr Ruth, or anyone else for that matter, separates out one sexual proclivity from all the others and suggests that it has a cause, whatever it might be, the rest of us run for cover and wait for the other shoe to drop. Imagine if instead of sexual orientation we were speaking about racial or ethnic characteristics. What causes black people? What causes Asian eyes to slant? What causes flat noses? What causes nappy hair? What causes short people?

Well you see where I’m going with this, right Maya? Questions like these presuppose that there is a norm — tall white people with round eyes, perky noses and straight hair. And you know what? There are a multitude industries out there poised to prey upon all the short, non-white people with almond eyes flat noses and nappy hair who feel they must conform to any and all arbitrary and culturally induced norms in order to be happy. It’s shocking.

So on to your brother’s case. If sexual orientation is chosen, why would he have embraced a lifestyle that makes him sick and depressed? It simply doesn’t add up. The self-hatred and internalized homophobia that is at the root of your brother’s discomfort is culturally induced, but it is also self-inflicted. We don’t know what “cause” homosexuality, but I can tell you for certain what causes homophobia. And that, my dear, is bigotry.

It’s up to your bother to fight this first within himself and then in the popular culture with every ounce of his strength. Because that’s what all us well adjusted, comfortable in our own skin queers do if we want to live happy healthy integrated lives. None of us is waiting around for someone to tell us what caused us to be the way we are, because we know that whatever “caused” us caused all the other differences and variations that appear in human kind.

And one final tip for you, Maya — despite your good intentions, the more you indulge your brother’s pathologies and commiserate with him, or wonder aloud with him why he is queer then you are part of the problem, as opposed to being part of the solution. I encourage you to challenge him to buck up and get right with himself. Help him throw off the yoke of his shame and guilt, to own and embrace his uniqueness and celebrate his sexuality, which is his norm.

Good luck

A New Year of Q&A — Podcast #252 — 01/03/11

Hey sex fans,

We’re BAACK, and it’s a brand new year! Did ya’ll have a brilliant holiday season? I sure hope so. And while I really enjoyed my brief winter break from podcasting, I’m eager to get back at it, don’t cha know. During these last two weeks of relative down time, I’ve been busy lining up an amazing array of outstanding guests who will make 2011 another banner year of interviews and conversations.

But today we break open the new year with some hot Q&A action. We haven’t had one of these kinds of shows since mid October. So that means my inbox is overflowing. I also have the pleasure of announcing The Dr Dick Review Crew’s Favorite Products of 2010 list.

Today we hear from:

  • Josiah is having a problem coming out, because his family is super religious.
  • Donna is my kind of perv. She’s into BDSM, but she’s also disabled.
  • The Powerchair Pimp is sick and tired of being a virgin.
  • Arthur wants to hook up with older dudes.
  • Stacy may have orgasmic related migraines.

The Dr Dick Review Crew’s Favorite Products of 2010

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

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

Got a question or a comment? Wanna rant or rave? Or maybe you’d just like to talk dirty for a minute or two. Why not get it off your chest! Give Dr Dick a call at (866) 422-5680.

DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

Look for all my podcasts on iTunes. You’ll fine me in the podcast section, obviously, or just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice. And don’t forget to subscribe. I wouldn’t want you to miss even one episode.

Today’s Podcast is bought to you by: DR DICK’S — HOW TO VIDEO LIBRARY.

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