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How to enjoy sex even when your mental ill-health is working against you


Anxiety and low self-esteem can seriously impact your sex life


Ever had one of those days when your brain seems to be dead set on working against you?

You’re planning a nice bit of sexy time – whether with a partner or simply some solo fun – but your head’s just not in it.

However much you might want to get jiggy with it, your brain is skipping around elsewhere and you just can’t concentrate, let alone roll around in orgasmic delight.

So what causes your head to seemingly separate from your body at just the moment you want to be able to focus on fun times?

All too often it boils down to lack of confidence in yourself and what you’re doing.

If you have problems with self esteem, it can trickle into all areas of your life – and that includes the bedroom.

The saying ‘first you have to love yourself’ is bit of a cliche – but like most cliches, it’s actually true. Many things can sap your confidence, both mental and physical.

For my friend Amy, the problem is a lack of confidence caused by physical issues.

The problem has grown over the years, to the stage where it’s such a big issue that she’s unsure how to even start working through it.

‘I was born with cerebral palsy and I also have ME and fibromyalgia,’ Amy says.

‘I’ve gone from being moderately active and social to spending most of my time at home and sleeping a lot.

‘I was never particularly confident with guys because I have always been overweight.

‘I’ve had four sexual partners so far, three men and a woman. All were basically one night stands that were pretty unsatisfactory for me (and probably them too).

‘I’ve not had sex in years now and have never really dated anyone.

‘I’m pretty fed up of that to be honest but I feel quite isolated socially and wary of anyone who might take an interest because I feel so unattractive.’

You need to learn to love yourself

My personal suggestion in any situation like this always boils down to that same cliche – you have to learn to love yourself first.

Mirrors, masturbation and practice is the key.

Look at yourself so that you’re used to what your own body looks like and learn what really turns you on.

If you practice this alone then you’ll have all the more confidence when it comes to getting down to it with someone else in the room.

Amy’s story is just one of many I hear all the time from people whose sex lives have become unsatisfactory through no fault of their own.

I spoke to relationship and sexuality counsellor Jennifer Deacon and asked for her general advice on separating sex from anxiety.

‘When you’re anxious it’s often hard to feel turned on – or even have any desire at all.

‘That in turn can feed the anxiety more, particularly if you’re in a relationship where you might feel you’re letting your partner down, bringing up a whole heap more anxiety.

‘As with any anxiety the first thing is to try and find that tricky balance between reflecting on what’s going on with your thoughts and over-analysing.

‘What’s stopping you – is it the thought of being naked with someone else? The physical acrobatics that you might feel you ought to be performing?

‘Or is your sexual desire being suppressed because of meds that you’re taking?

‘Try to reflect on what’s going on, and then work through the ‘what ifs’ and ‘shoulds’ that often make up a huge part of anxious thoughts.

‘If you have a partner, try to communicate with them what you need – for example if you’re missing intimacy but are scared of initiating hugs or cuddles because you’re not sure you want full sex, then try to find a way to talk about this with them.

‘If your anxiety has roots in a trauma that you’ve experienced then communication becomes even more important – both communicating with yourself as to what you need and want, and communicating with your partner so that they can support you.

‘Lack of libido can be a common side effect from medication so if you notice that your sexual desire has waned since you started a new medication or changed your dose, consider discussing this with your GP or specialist.’

Many prescription drugs do indeed have side effects that affect the libido – and doctors aren’t always up front about explaining the risks.

Okay, so ‘losing interest in sex’ might be a long way down the list of worrying potential side effects, but given that antidepressants often cause this issue, I’m always amazed that it isn’t discussed more.

Sex is a healthy part of life and if you still want it but struggle to get any joy out of it, that’s going to affect your happiness levels.

After literally decades of living with chronic anxiety, I’ve been through endless different drugs in the hope of finding one that will help without ruining the rest of my life.

The problem is that drugs affect everyone differently – what works brilliantly for one person can potentially have drastically negative effects on another.

The first antidepressant I was given was Prozac.

Back then it was the big name in drug therapy and widely considered to be suitable for everyone.

And yes, it helped my depression – but it also completely removed my ability to orgasm.

I still wanted to – my sex drive itself wasn’t affected in any way – but I simply couldn’t ‘get there’.

I still regale people about ‘that time I gave myself RSI through too much w*nking’ – it’s a funny story now, but at the time it was utterly true and completely miserable.

I went back to the doctor and had my meds changed.

At the last count, I think I’ve tried about thirteen different anxiety meds and I still haven’t found one that I can cope with.

Ironically, if I was happy to lose my libido then several of them would have been perfect – but why should we be expected to go without one of the most enjoyable life experiences?

Personally, that makes me just as miserable as being anxious or depressed, so it invalidates the positives anyway.

Currently I’m med-free – and not very happy about it – but at least I still have my sex life.

For some people, finding the right medication without it affecting their libido will be easy.

But everyone has to find their own balance – some might prefer to take the meds and sacrifice their physical enjoyment.

But it’s okay to want both.

Complete Article HERE!


Doctors Are Failing Their Gay Patients


by Liz Posner

You’re supposed to be able to tell your doctor anything. But how are patients supposed to know what to tell their doctors if the doctors don’t ask the necessary questions in the first place? When it comes to sexual health screening, many doctors either missed the class in medical school that was supposed to teach them to ask patients about sexual health questions, or their lack of attention to sexual health is a conscious choice. Bespoke Surgical recently conducted a study of 1,000 Americans of various ages and sexual identities to hear what they’ve been asked by their doctor on the topic. The results suggest few doctors are asking questions about sexual health at all, and that LGBTQ patients, in particular, are being neglected.

The survey asked participants what kinds of questions their primary care physician focused on when they brought up sexual health during physical exams. The results varied based on the sexual orientation of the patient, as the graph below shows.

There are some outliers here that should be noted, but first, take a second to note how low these numbers are overall. Over half of heterosexual respondents said they were never asked about basic sexual health questions like HPV and STD exposure—a number that’s surprising, especially since 79 million Americans have HPV, a condition that can lead to cancer in both men and women. In general, it seems like doctors aren’t asking patients the right questions about sexual health.

But consider the shocking numbers revealed in the chart above. Of the physicians who saw homosexual patients last year, only 13 percent asked their patients if they had received the PrEP HIV prevention drug. Nearly half of all gay and lesbian respondents said their doctor had not asked them about HPV/Gardasil, anal pap smears, PreP/Truvada, or prior STD exposure. Only 40 percent of patients gay, straight and bi said they were asked if they used any kind of protection during sex.

When they do ask the right questions, the survey suggests doctors are asking them of the wrong people. In all but one of the above sexual health categories, bisexual patients were more likely to be asked about sexual health conditions. This could be because, as the Advocate explains, there’s a myth that bisexual people are more promiscuous than other people. The survey authors affirm this: “the ‘B’ in LGBTQ+ is often misrepresented in a variety of settings, including sexual promiscuity.”

Undoubtedly, doctors aren’t asking their patients a full range of questions because they aren’t able to spend enough time with them in the first place. People of all sexual orientations have experienced the rotating door model of doctor visits. Some primary care doctors say they treat 19 patients a day. With a full roster of 2,500 patients total, the Annals of Family Medicine says each doctor would have to “spend 21.7 hours per day to provide all recommended acute, chronic and preventive care” for that many patients. A 2016 study found that most doctor’s office visits only last 13-16 minutes. Professor Bruce Y. Lee at Johns Hopkins calls the average crammed doctor’s visit “archaic” in an article for Forbes, and says, “there is little time to actually listen or talk to patients and maybe not enough time to carefully examine them.”

The LGBTQ population seems to be catching on to the fact that primary care physicians may not know the right questions to ask their patients. That would explain why gay, lesbian and bisexual respondents were 20-30 percent more likely than straight respondents to rate having a doctor with the same sexual identity as them as “very important.” LGBTQ people are especially vulnerable to discrimination and may face barriers to health care that heterosexual people don’t. Some technology, like the entrepreneurs who launched an app to connect LGBTQ patients to gay-friendly doctors, is helping to make this easier. But it’s a quick fix to a much more systemic problem, considering so many primary care physicians don’t ask about sexual health problems at all.

Complete Article HERE!


12 Things All Men Should Know About Their Balls


We don’t want to bust your balls, but how much do you really know about your testicles? Guys talk about them, brag about them, and let clichés about them flow from their lips without a second thought. So take a few moments to think about your down under friends with 12 ball busting facts about your testicles.

What’s in a name?

“Testicles” and “balls” are not exactly the same thing. When men refer to their balls, they are actually talking about three things: the testicles, the scrotum (the skin sac that protects the testicles), and tiny tubes called epididymides that are attached to the testis and which store and transport sperm. Your testicles are your big T (testosterone) producers, so you want to make sure they are healthy and happy at all times!

Location, location, location.

Real estate agents know the value of location, and your testicles aren’t much different. That is, your left ball and your right ball are not exactly next to each other; one hangs a little bit lower than the other (or one is higher than the other, your preference). Each ball is approximately 2 inches by 1 inch, although typically the right testicle is slightly bigger than the left one. However, even though you might think the bigger testicle should hang lower, that’s not the way nature works. Go figure.

Bigger is not necessarily better.

According to a study conducted at Emory University, men who have smaller testes are more likely to be nurturing dads than are their peers who have bigger balls. The authors evaluated 70 American men, including Caucasians, African-Americans, and Asians, who had a child aged one to two years old. Analysis of brain function while the men looked at children and questionnaire responses resulted in the conclusion that “the biology of human males reflects a trade-off between mating effort and parenting effort, as indexed by testicular size and nurturing-related brain function, respectively.”

Two’s company, three’s a crowd.

An extremely rare condition called polyorchidism is defined as the presence of three—or more—testicles. Only about 200 cases of polyorchidism, more or less, have been reported in the literature, so it’s not a condition that should keep you up at night with worry. However, if you have a unexplained mass in your scrotum, it’s something your doctor may want to rule out.

Pain in the balls.

If you experience painful, swollen, and/or inflamed testicles for no apparent reason (e.g., no one has kicked you down under), it may be time to see your doctor. Trauma to the testicles, such as from a sports injury, usually results in temporary pain. In other cases, however, such as testicular torsion (twisted testicle, which is a medical emergency), epididymitis (inflammation of the epididymis, often caused by a sexually transmitted disease such as gonorrhea), inguinal hernia, testicular tumor, or orchitis (inflammation of the testicle from bacteria or viruses), a doctor should be consulted. Sometimes it’s more than just a pain in the balls!

Bumpy balls.

One thing you can say about a man’s balls—they aren’t attractive. All those little bumps and lumps sure don’t make them pleasing to the eye, but are they dangerous as well? In most cases, no. However, an enlarged vein called a varicocele can have a negative impact on fertility and be painful. Tiny fluid-filled bumps called epididymal cysts are unsightly but harmless. Only 4 percent of the unusual lumps on the balls end up being cancer. If you have a lump or bump that doesn’t seem quite right or that has appeared suddenly or changed in size or shape, be sure to have your doctor check it out.

Cool balls, man.

Your body temperature may hover around 98.6 degrees, but your balls run about 1 to 3 degrees cooler. Why? It seems to be nature’s way to keep sperm “on ice” so to speak. A cooler temperature keeps sperm in a resting state until they are ready to move on and result in pregnancy or just a vacation away from home. On the other side of the cooler, when men experience a fever or sit in a sauna for a length of time, their sperm counts are temporarily reduced. Cool is where it’s at.

Balls rise to the occasion.

Just before a man ejaculates, his testicles rise up close to his body and make contact at the moment of truth. More specifically, in most men the right testicle begins the journey upwards before the left one. Since the right ball is usually already closer to the body (see “Location, location, location”), it has less of a journey to make.

Pampering balls.

If you want your balls to be all they can be, then pamper them. That means no smoking (lowers sperm count), limit alcohol use (lowers T and sperm count), dress them comfortably (no overly tight underwear, pants, or bathing suits—except on limited special occasions!), wash them daily and gently, and protect them from trauma, especially in sports. On this latter point, wear a protective cup during contact sports and get the right saddle for your bicycle.

Balls have muscles.

Well, not exactly, but there are several types of muscles in the area that are responsible for keeping your balls in motion. For example, the cremasteric muscle works like an elevator, causing your scrotum and testicles to rise and lower (see “Balls rise to the occasion”). Another muscle called cartos causes the testicles to move within the scrotum. This muscle tissue is also the one that can be blamed for the wrinkly appearance of your balls. The good news: you don’t need to work these muscles in the gym!

Ball check.

Once a month, all men should check their balls. Not just a perfunctory pat, but a thorough examination to be sure there are no hard lumps or any bumps that have changed in size or shape. Why? Testicular cancer is not near the top of the disease list, but it does affect about 1 in every 270 men. When caught early, it usually can be cured. The best time to perform this ritual is when showering. If something doesn’t feel right, see your doctor.

Ball busting.

During sexual arousal, a man’s balls can increase in size by 50 percent or more. Of course, most men are too busy thinking about something else while the blood is rushing to their testicles, but their partners may notice the change. This ball busting event is temporary, and the testicles return to normal size once the excitement is over. However, if a man’s balls don’t return to normal size or become enlarged at other times, it’s time for a visit to your doctor.

Complete Article HERE!


A Beginner’s Pleasure Kit For Men


Hey sex fans!

It’s Product Review Friday once again. Today we bring you a kit of pleasure products for men produced by NS Novelties. These products come to us from ManShop.

Back with us today is one of the newest members of the Dr Dick Review Crew, Trevor, who will show us around.

Renegade Men’s Pleasure Kit #1 —— $29.95

Hello again! I’m here to talk about the Renegade Men’s Pleasure Kit #1. It’s just one of the pleasure kits NS Novelties makes.

Before I get to the contents of the box, a quick word about the packaging. It’s handsome in a manly sort of way. The front of the black cardboard box features embossed images of the three toys in the kit. They identify the toys as a Silicone Triad Ring, (read: glorified cockring) Silicone Plug Small, (read: butt plug) and finally, a TPR Stroker (read: wanker sleeve). The back of the box features a see-through cutout of the toys along with an illustration of how to use the Triad Ring. I’m glad they did that because I was completely stumped as to what to do with the thing when I first saw it.

Inside the box there is a clear plastic clamshell sort of deal that houses the three toys.

So now that we know what the box contains let’s look at each toy in turn. I’m going to start with the Triad Ring. Like I said I was totally miffed by what I held in my hand. It looks like a figure 8 with an extra loop. Each of the three rings are a slightly different diameter. Once I saw the illustration on the box I figured it out. You can stack them or spread them out. The largest of the loops is used like a traditional cockring. It is made of silicone, so that’s good. It’s also stretchy so that I can easily get it around my cock and balls. (BTW, if you don’t know what a cockring is or why you would want to wear one; check out Dr Dick’s tutorial: Cockring Crash Course.)

Once I had the largest of the rings in place I attempted to stuff my balls through the middle ring. This wasn’t at all easy. You see, the smaller the rings get the less give they have for stretching. I don’t want to brag but I have big balls and it was a struggle getting it on. I finally had to resort to using some water-based lube to assist me with this. Finally, I had to fit my cock through the smallest ring. This was a bit easier, but the lube helped too. Once I had the blasted thing in place I had to take a breather. Here’s a tip: if you plan to use the Triad Ring for sex with a partner, be sure you put it on way before you initiate sex with your partner. It would be a total buzz kill trying to wrangle this thing into place while your partner is patiently waiting. Also, if ya try to put this on when you already have a boner, you’ll lose the stiffy well before you get into place. Maybe that’s a good thing.

Personally I found the Triad Ring overkill. I love wearing a cockring and it is very helpful keeping an erection, but the Triad Ring wasn’t very comfortable and it didn’t do anything extra to enhance my erection.

Next we have the Silicone Plug Small. Again, it’s made of silicone, which is very good. If you don’t know this already, you can only use water-based lube with this silicone toy. And if you are a novice butt pirate, be sure to use a lot of lube, both on the toy and in you hole before you attempt insertion.

I’m kinda new to anal pleasuring so I appreciated that the Silicone Plug was of the small variety. It’s not too much larger than a stout finger. (BTW, if you are unsure of what a butt plug is or why you would want to use one; check out Dr Dick’s tutorial: Butt Plug Crash Course.)

I liked the Silicone Plug a lot. I mostly use it when I’m alone. I can wear this thing for hours without irritation. It gives me intense prostate stimulation and I can even bust a nut without much stroking and just from the prostate stimulation alone. Very cool!


Now that I got the hang of this but plug thing, I’m gonna try a slightly larger one. I may even start to wear it when I’m having a shag with my GF, Shelia. That should give her something to talk about.

Finally, we have the TPR Stroker. I had to look up TPR. TPR = Thermo Plasticized Rubber. I found that TPR is commonly used in adult toys due to cost effectiveness, and ease of manufacturing. These materials can range from soft and flexible to firm and stiff. The good news is these elastomers do NOT have phthalates in them. And they are safe for those with a latex allergies. The bad news is the products containing TPR, while compatible with water and silicone based lubricants, are not compatible with oils, like massage oil. They are also not non-porous, so they can’t be sterilized, like silicone can, so there’s no sharing this toy with anyone else. These products should not be stored touching other plastic items, as they may interact poorly and melt. ☹

The TPR Stroker, curiously enough, has a set of finger rings on the side so you can have a secure grip while you stroke it up and down your cock. I thought that was funny because it seems pretty superfluous to me. It only has an insertable length of just less than 5”. My cock is 7” and pretty thick, so this was not designed with me in mind. The hole you stick your dick into is pretty small too and I couldn’t insert my willie without a big glob of lube. I used water-based lube. The inside of the stroker is ribbed for my pleasure.

I’ve used a number of strokers in the past; this is my least favorite, mostly because it wasn’t the right size for me. You might like it better than I do.

After using it a couple of times and washing it thoroughly in warm water and mild soap I noticed that the TPR began to get tacky. That was a bummer because I didn’t want to touch it after that. BTW, air-drying it is the only thing you can do. Don’t try to dry it with a cloth.

The other two toys, the Silicone Plug and Triad Ring, are made of silicone and they are really easy to clean. Toss them into the skink with mild soap and warm water, scrub them down a bit, and let it air dry. Or you can just wipe it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution to sanitize for sharing.

In the end, I thought this kit was a mixed bag. I liked the butt plug, the Triad Ring was just OK, and the TPR Stroker was a bust. On the plus side, the price is right for the kit. You can get it for under $30.

Full Review HERE!


Fun Where The Sun Don’t Shine!


Hey sex fans!

It’s our first Product Review Friday of the new year. So HURRAY for that!

This week we have another wonderful product from our good friends over at We-Vibe. As you probably know, they have been part of this review effort since 2008 when we reviewed our first product of their line. Since then we’ve happily reviewed several of their others.

To keep track of all our reviews of the amazing products coming from We-Vibe, use the search function in the sidebar of, type in We-Vibe, and PRESTO!

Back by popular demand, here are Dr Dick Review Crew members, Jack & Karen, to show and tell.

We-Vibe Ditto Vibrating Butt Plug —— $75.42

Jack & Karen
Karen: “Back by popular demand? Well, that one way of looking at it.”
Jack: “We begged and begged, is more like it.”
Karen: “We were so happy to be invited back to the Review Crew after so many years in the wilderness. And to come back just in time to review a marvelous We-Vibe product; well we were over the moon.”
Jack: “Hey, why not tease our audience with some of the particulars before passing judgment?”
Karen: “Sorry! It’s just that I love this little thing; I couldn’t help myself. Let me catch my breath and begin with the packaging, which I love. Whoops, I did it again.”
Jack: “OK, time out for you. I’ll do the packaging. Like all We-Vibe products the packaging is first rate, stylish, but understated. A nice petite cardboard box featuring an image of the Ditto opens to reveal your Ditto and it’s remote. A USB charger cable, a small packet of lube, instructions and a storage bag are nestled under the toy.”
Karen: “Oh My God! I said when I first saw it. It’s a butt plug!”
Jack: “My wife is so freakin’ clever!”
Karen: “This would be my first foray into the world of anal pleasuring and I was a wee bit nervous.”
Jack: “But she persevered!”
Karen: “You’re so funny. Listen, I don’t want to get ahead of myself again. So I’ll slow down. You already know that the Ditto is rechargeable, since Jack mentioned the USB charger cable. Well, it’s super easy to charge and charging it for 90 minutes will give you 2 hours of playtime. The Ditto is made from smooth, seam-free velvety, latex-free, nonporous, phthalate-free, and hypoallergenic silicone with a matt finish. It’s totally waterproof too. And since this is gonna go where the sun don’t shine, so to speak, the water based lube sample packet will come in very handy. You’ll want to stock up on water-based lube if you don’t have a cupboard full, like we do, because every time you use the Ditto you’ll want to use some. Remember, your butthole isn’t like your vagina; there is no natural lubrication down there.”
Jack: “The Ditto is quite petite. It has an insertable length of approximately 3 inches and a circumference of just over 3.5 inches making it, in my opinion the perfect plug for someone who in interested in investigating anal play. While it was too petite for me, it was perfect for Karen. The Ditto is remote controlled and there’s an app for it too. We downloaded the We-Vibe Connect app from our app store. We then turned on the bluetooth function on our phone, pressed the power button on the Ditto, which is found on the base of the toy, and PRESTO. Once the app finds the Ditto it will buzz to life. The app is fantastic because you can see battery levels, choose patterns and speeds and you can even make your own patterns. The Ditto comes preset with 10 modes so, even if you don’t have a smart phone, you can still enjoy the delightful sensation the Ditto offers right out of the box.”

Karen: “Don’t forget about the remote! The remote is the bomb. It’s what makes the Ditto so much fun to use by one’s self or with a partner. It is a small battery powered remote and lets you move back and forth between vibration modes and allows the user to adjust the intensity of the vibrations. Another thing, most butt plugs on the market have a round or anchor shape base, but the Ditto has this unique L-shaped base. I think the L-shape makes the Ditto more comfortable to use and more secure once it’s in place.”
Jack: “I know Karen has already mentioned this, but it bears repeating. If you’re new to anal play, please use a generous amount of lube. Be sure to lube up both your ass and the Ditto before inserting it. And GO slow. So many people try anal play for the first time, do something wrong, like going too fast, or not using enough lube, and they hate the experience. Thus ruling out all future bum fun and pleasure because they weren’t careful. Don’t let that happen to you. I promise you; do things right and you will be in heaven as soon as the vibrations start.”
Karen: “Yep, that’s what happened to me the first time out with the Ditto. After a few sessions of solo play, I was ready to partner up with Jack. Jack wore a much larger plug and I had my Ditto. It was grand. Jack said he could feel vibrations from the Ditto through my vagina. What fun!
Jack: “Because the Ditto is waterproof and made of silicone it’s super 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. But get this; we wanted to see how well this thing was made so we dropped it into a pot of boiling water for a couple of minutes to actually sterilize it. It stood up that like a pro. Then we ran it trough the dishwasher and that didn’t phase it either. This thing is made to last.”

Karen: “Remember, you can only use a water-based lube with a beautiful silicone toy like this. A silicone-based lube would mar the finish, and you certainly don’t want that.”
Jack: “The Ditto delivers deep, powerful, and rumbly vibrations. They are amazingly strong for such a small toy. I was actually quite surprised.”
Karen: “The sweet little drawstring storage pouch that is included in the package makes the Ditto perfect for travel. I am so stoked about the innovative design, its power, and how quiet it is. It gets my highest recommendation.”

Full Review HERE!