Category Archives: Self-esteem

The Root of Our Discomfort

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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

Joining The Resistance

Name: Green Guy
Gender: Male
Age: 44
Location: Lowell, MA
Dr. Dick I am an African American gay man who was reared in a very psychologically abusive and conservative southern environment. I am very inexperienced with relationships, dating and sex. In fact, I have been celibate for the last five years, trying to figure out how I got so psychologically fucked up and what to do about it. I was in therapy for quite a while, but I still have many issues to deal with, including trusting men. I would like to be in a healthy relationship, but I don’t even know where to start. I feel that my personal life has been a total disaster. I want to change things around, but I feel utterly lost. Although I am professionally successful, I have serious issues with my body. I am somewhat overweight, but have recently joined a gym to get in shape. I just feel totally hideous, and depressed (I am on medication), and don’t believe any guy would ever be interested in me. Please help!!

Holy Cow, darlin’, you sure do know how to let it all hang out, huh? Did you notice how may superlatives you used: “very abusive, many issues, total disaster, serious issues, totally hideous” to mention a few. It’s clear to me, and probably any other human that comes near you, that you are soooo not ready for a relationship. In fact, if you are as icky and psychologically fucked up as you say, if you can’t trust anyone, if you’re a dating klutz, if you are totally hideous and misshapen, then why not just let it go and spare any other person the torture of being involved with you? You’re right, what guy in his right mind would be interested in the likes of you?

Ok, you see what I’m doing here? I’m joining the resistance. You want to pile it on yourself, swell. I’ll join you. I’ll pile on too and together we’ll heap on the insults and contempt until you can’t stand it any more, until you reach your tolerance for self abuse (and not the good kind). And from what I can gather, that’s gonna take some piling on. Of course, you could quit this self-abuse at any time. Seems to me 44 years of negative and undercutting behavior is plenty…even for you.

None of us is without our issues, my friend, least of all me. But to navigate social situations, even casual ones, one needs to be able to judge what the traffic can bear. If you come on like gangbusters, like you did in your message to me, you’re finished even before you begin.

Whatever therapy you did in the past, it either didn’t work or it didn’t have any lasting effects. Find a therapist that will challenge you not stroke you. Find someone that will jump on your shit, someone who will care enough about you to disallow you from hurting yourself with such cruel remarks about yourself.

When I have a client like you in my private practice I always lay down the law. For every self-critical thing you say about yourself, you must say something nice about yourself. That shuts the client up in a hurry. Once he or she is quiet enough to listen we start pulling apart the tangle of their self-hatred.

You were abused as a kid. Sadly, so are lots of kids. But that’s in the past. I’m sure you have scars, but who doesn’t have scar tissue. You don’t know how to interact with others socially, that a skill that can be learned. You’re fat and out of shape? You’re going to the gym to address that. You’re depressed even on antidepressants? Well, no wonder you’re sick of yourself. And that has got to stop, NOW.

Before you consider asking anyone else to love you — with all your flaws — you’re gonna have to learn to love yourself — with all your flaws. If you can’t do that, then don’t expect anyone else to do it before you do. Get off your pity pot and get to work. You say you are successful in your professional life. (Frankly I don’t see how that’s possible given the litany of your liabilities.) But for the sake of argument, let’s say you are telling the truth. How did you come to be a successful professional without at least some redeeming qualities? That is unless you are a professional executioner, or a professional hit man, or a politician.

You see you can’t have it both ways. If you have skill enough to make yourself a success in your professional life, then you have skill enough to make yourself a success in your private life. With the help of this new therapist you’re gonna get — the one who is not going to let you get away with your shit — you’re gonna learn how to marshal and channel the aptitudes you have that make you successful in one area of your life, to make you a success the other areas of your life.

Good luck

Name: Jose
Gender: Male
Age: 20
Location: Norwalk, CT
how can i approuch a good stripper to get into sex? even tho they just strip some do more off work. How do I know they are willing to do it?

I’m gonna go way out on a limb here and guess that English is not your first language, right Jose? I think I understand what you are asking. Let’s just hope the women you approach will also understand you’re meaning.

So OK, you know this fine stripper and you want to have sex with her, right? Swell! First thing you oughta know is that not all strippers are hookers. Some simply strip because they make really good money. They don’t sell sex, mostly because they don’t have to. The strippers that do offer sexual favors for a fee, don’t do so where they strip. It’s bad for business and, I hasten to point out, it’s against the law— except if you’re in Nevada — and you’re not.

There are two real good ways to go about this hunt for stripper sex. First, you could ask the vixen out on a real date. Personally I think this is the best way of going about gettin laid by any woman. If the woman, stripper or whatever, is available for a date, and you’re not a totally creepy putz, she might take you up on the offer. Just remember, many strippers already have a boyfriend, and he wouldn’t look kindly on you trying to hustle his filly, if you catch my drift.

Also, some stripping establishments prohibit their employees from fucking with the customers. If that’s the policy at the joint you frequent, let it go. Don’t pester the woman for something that will jeopardize her job. However, if she does accept the date, and all goes well, and you charm the pants off her, literally, you just might get a little slap and tickle. I just hope we’re clear on the concept that if any woman, especially a sex worker, accepts a dinner invitation it is not the same thing as saying she’ll fuck you, right? GOOD!

The second option is to ask the stripper if she does escort work on the side. Again, some stripping establishments prohibit their strippers from fraternizing with customers in any way, shape or form, especially fucking them. You ought also know that if the woman in question is indeed an escort as well as a stripper, your “date” with her is gonna cost ya. These women are professionals; so you’d do well to treat them with the respect you’d offer any other professional woman.

Never, under any circumstance, offer to pay a stripper…or any woman for that matter…for sex. That would be pandering prostitution, and that’s against the law. If the woman in question is an escort, she will be exchanging her time, the pleasure of her company and her expertise for money; not sex for money. Get it? If she’s smart she won’t give you a second chance to get this right. So if you fuck up asking her the first time you may be out of luck forever.

My advice to you is, figure out ahead of time which way you want to go on this — a real date or escort hook up. Then approach her like a gentleman. If she’s not interested, respect her decision to decline your offer with grace and dignity.

Good luck

YOUNG and OLD

Hey sex fans,

More Q&A today with the bonus links to my HOW TO VIDEO LIBRARY (see the VOD tab at the top of the page?) that will further educate or enrich the person who is asking the question.

Think of it as at HOMEWORK or further study on the topic at hand.  I hope all of you will benefit from this terrific instructional and enriching resource.  (Click on the images below for viewing information.)

Name: Ramish
Gender:  Male
Age: 19
Location: UK
I’m nervous about having sex?  I have been masturbating since I was 11, but I can’t work up the courage to try it with anyone else.  I don’t even know if I’m gay or straight.  How do I get over being so nervous?

Holy cow, that is nervous.  I suggest that you begin by taking stock of yourself — physically, emotionally and sexually.  I’m gonna ask you some questions and you can take all the time you need to ponder your answers.  Here’s a tip, write these down; and if you have difficulty answering any of them ask a buddy for his or her input.

What’s your best physical asset?  Do you think of yourself as attractive in a sexual sort of a122116_xlfway?  If not, what could you do to spruce things up a little?  Listen, the more comfortable you are in your own skin, the more confident you’ll be in connecting with other for sex and relationships.  If you know yourself well enough to know your best assets, you’ll be able to put your best stuff forward, right?

What do you find sexually attractive about others — both women and men?  Chances are that if you haven’t already discovered if you are straight or gay, you might be bi.

When you masturbate, what goes through your head?  What are your sexual fantasies?  Do you fantasize about sexual situations with others?  Anything in particular?  Anyone in particular?

When you say you are nervous about sex; does that have to do with possible rejection?  Or is it more to do with performance — ya know, not knowing what to do once the situation arises, so to speak?  Is there anyone you feel safe enough with, a pal perhaps, you could talk this through with?  If you feel emotionally safe, or safe from potential shame and humiliation with this person, it might be easier to open up him or her.  Just remember, everyone’s been were you are at one point in his or her life.

Are you comfortable with being nude, at least by yourself?  Lots of people aren’t.  Are you able to admire yourself in the mirror without comparing yourself to the unrealistic expectations about the human body that comes to us from the popular culture? If you are not comfortable with being naked, think about the reasons why you’re not.  Again, if it’s body image issues, maybe you need to get in better shape, or just let go of your idealized notions about physical attractiveness.

a93626_xlfDo you know about contraception and sexually transmitted infections? If you don’t, you’re not ready to have sex with anyone else.  Do your homework.  Know what you need to ask a prospective partner in terms of contraception and STIs before an encounter.

OK, so you’re familiar with pleasuring yourself.  That’s a good start.  Would you know how to pleasure a partner?  If you’re not sure, I suggest that you do some research.  There are all kinds of instructional videos out there.  In fact, you’ll find just about everything you are looking for at DR DICK’S HOW TO VIDEO LIBRARY.

One thing to remember, the best sex is a mutually satisfying experience. You and your potential partners are different people, with different desires, interests, personality and fantasies. Despite everything you might learn from an instructional video, there is no substitute for asking your partner what he/she likes. You’ll need to be able to respond in kind too.  Being able to communicate your needs and desires is absolutely essential for a happy, fun-filled fuck.

Are you a good kisser?  Do you know how to touch someone else without it being an invitation to sex?  Do you know how to be affectionate, to be close and playful with someone simply for joy of it?  I always suggest to my young clients that they learn how to give a good back rub or foot massage.  Nonseductive touching is as important as knowing how to touch someone sexually.  It’s also how some of the best sex play begins.

Are you making yourself available for a sexual connection?  Nowadays the opportunities for connecting with others for companionship and/or sex abound.  You don’t have to be aggressive in your pursuit, but it ain’t gonna fall in your lap either.

What would it take for you to feel comfortable initiating sex?  This is, of course, the follow-up step to putting yourself out there.  I realize this can be a bit intimidating, but you’re gonna have to push through this, pup. Think about why initiating sex or accepting an invitation to be sexual is difficult for you.

Are you able to be a good friend?  The best sex is more than bumping parts.  It’s a full human-to-human connection.  If you know how to be a good friend, you’re more than half way there to being a good lover.  There are all kinds of sexual expression — romantic to the passionate even spiritual. Sex can be a cuddly and romantic, or it can be hot monkey love.a122404_xlf It can be tender as well as intense.  You ought to have the ability direct the flow, or at least go with it.

Do you have an adventuresome side to you?  Do you like a challenge?  Are you comfortable experimenting with one thing or another?  If you are, you will find these are all valuable assets in making sex happen for you.  There are still a whole lot of sex-negative messages out there in our society.  You’ll need to be strong enough to stand against these repressive currents and pursue your heart’s desire.

In the end, a good sex life takes effort.  It takes knowledge, practice and relationship skills.  A degree of personal openness and a sense of fun and adventure are also very helpful. Learning more about yourself and what makes you tick, will give you an advantage when the time is ready for you to partner up for sex.

Name: Walter
Gender:  Male
Age: 67
Location: Padre Island
I’m a recent widower, I haven’t dated in over 40 years.  I’m still very interested in sex, but things don’t work like they used to down there.  I had a comfortable life with my wife and performance was never an issue. Now that I’m on my own now, I’m afraid I will disappoint, if you know what I mean.

Yeah, I think I do know what you mean.  Getting back into the swing of things after so many years on the shelf a daunting task.  If you layer on sexual performance issues…well the task becomes even harder, no pun intended.

a74931_xlfI know I don’t have to tell you this, but our bodies change as we age.  Our sexual response cycle changes too.  You are familiar with the four stages of the sexual response cycle, right?  In case you are not, they are — arousal, plateau, orgasm and resolution.  Despite the changes that aging brings, there’s no good reason why you shouldn’t be able to enjoy a happy, healthy sex life.  Of course, having a healthy mind-set about sex will also help.

A rich and full sex life, possibly even like the one you shared with your recently departed wife, will involve some patience and understanding and possibly some reprogramming of old ways of looking at sex.  For example, performance issues are only a problem if you are expecting something of your body that it cannot deliver.  And if you date within your age group, you’ll find that all your peers will be just as familiar as you with dwindling physical capacities.

So ok, it’s gonna take considerably longer to get a hardon at your age — that’s a given.  This just means you need to take your time, increase and focus the stimulation and while your cock is taking its sweet time to point skyward, enjoy all the sensual pleasures coming your way in the meantime.  That last part is really difficult for us aging men folk.  Sometimes we concentrate so fiercely on gettin our dick hard that we miss all the great pleasuring stuff that is happening all around us.

Once you get your boner goin, I suggest that you add a little stiffy insurance.  Wear a cockring. If you don’t know what that is, check out my Sex Toy Review Site. Use the search function; type in “cockring” and presto!  You’ll find all kinds of information on these helpful little buggers.

I know a number of older men, particularly those with high blood pressure, who are unable to take erection-enhancing meds like Viagra, who are turning to penis pumps to get their wood started.  Not sure what a penis pump is or does.  Well, time to do more online research at my Sex Toy Review Site.  Again, use the search function; type in “penis pump” and presto!  Loads of information about these helpful tools will appear.

I’m hoping that when you say that you and your wife “had a comfortable life” together, where performance was never an issue that you’re telling me that your sex life wasn’t all about getting it up and getting it off.  Sexual pleasure can come through all kinds of sex play — touching, talking, and being physically close, oral sex as well as full on fucking.  I’d be willing to guess that your future partners will appreciate you being a fully sensual lover, not just a sexual performer.

Remember the proverbial cum shot is not the same thing as an orgasm. Lots of seasoned older men are able to be orgasmic without a full erection or an ejaculation.  You may even find that you are capable of several very satisfying mini orgasms instead of the one BIG-O of years past.  I encourage you not to fall into the trap of equating sexual functioning with manliness; that’s a dead end.

a113017_xlfThis challenging new phase in your life, daunting as it might be, can also be an exciting adventure of self-discovery.  You basically have permission to re-imagine and redefine what type of sexual expression suits you best at this stage in your life.  One good way of testing the waters, so to speak is to start with self-pleasuring.  This is the perfect opportunity to experiment with sexual performance enhancing toys like a cockring, vibrator or a penis pump.  If you haven’t done so already, why not discover the pleasures of your ass.  Happily, you don’t need an erection to enjoy some good old-fashioned butt play; your prostate will do all the work.

You may discover you have new or yet unexplored interests in other sexual expressions like role-playing, kink, or maybe even same-sex partners.  Just because your earlier life may have been pretty straight and vanilla, doesn’t mean it has to stay that way.  The more you know about your body and what turns you on, the more information you’ll be able to share with your partners.

Unabashedly sharing your newfound sexual experiences and interests with others will be the basis for your future partnered sexual expression. Know that other women and men of your age group are also rediscovering and reawakening their sexuality.  What a great joy it would be to explore the territory together.

I invite you to rekindle your natural curiosity about the wide range of human sexual expression. Take it slow. Learn to communicate effectively: share what makes you feel good with your partners and be sure to ask them what turns them on.  Don’t take yourself too seriously, and keep it playful.  And most of all, keep an open mind about all of this, will ya?

Good luck ya’ll

DDSTR

Beauty isn’t even skin deep!

Sex Advice With An Edge — Podcast #09 — 04/09/07

Hey sex fans,

I have a great show for you today and it has a very international flair. We have correspondents from all over the globe…and LA! —

  • Hiroshi, from Japan, is no fan of lace curtains.
  • Fay, from LA, is a silly twit with zero social skills.
  • Karol, from Poland, wants to find a nice gal who will bugger him senseless with a strap-on!
  • Joanne, from Toronto, can’t be naked no how. Even the BF can’t see the goods.
  • William, from the UK, is a fledgling butt pirate.

And finally, a Sexual Enrichment Moment

  • Finessing That Ass Fuck — A Tutorial For a Top

BE THERE, OR BE SQUARE!

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!

Dr Dick is now on iTunes.  You’ll fine me in the podcast section under the heading — Health, subheading — Sexuality. Or 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.

Today’s podcast is bought to you by: Dr Dick’s How To Video Library.

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