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The Role and Value of the Friend with Benefits for Gay Men

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By Ken Howard, LCSW

vintage tenderness

Recently, some clients in my psychotherapy practice, which for 22 years has focused on the mental health and well-being of adult gay men, have been discussing the role and value of a “fuck buddy” in their lives.  While all sexual topics (even in our “modern” age) seem to come fraught with controversy these days (and we’ll see what y’all have to say about this one), the topic of the “fuck buddy” (sometimes, but not always, used interchangeably with “friend with benefits”), is especially controversial, with one camp saying it’s a great idea and others being appalled at the concept.

Always one to listen and learn from the thoughts, philosophies, and feelings of my clients, I heard some interesting things from one particular client recently, who gave me permission to share his arguments publicly (though the details are changed for confidentiality reasons).

“Cody” is a Southern Boy in his early 30’s who has been in a relationship for 6 years and lives in North Carolina (we work via Skype, and it’s really a life-coaching relationship, since I’m only licensed in California to practice psychotherapy).  His partner, “Matt”, also early 30’s, got accepted and now attends a very prestigious law school program in New England, the chance of a lifetime.  Cody co-runs a small business which is rapidly growing into a larger one, and moving with Matt to his new city would have been a very difficult proposition; he did not want to leave a very good job, especially not temporarily when Matt could end up in a law firm anywhere in the country.  Cody and Matt plan to get married immediately after Matt’s law school graduation, and they’ve already planned much of what they want in their wedding.

Cody can afford to visit Matt at regular intervals throughout the year, and they communicate (even “sexy talk”) via Skype almost nightly.  But their relationship still feels the sting of “long distance”, leaving both guys frequently horny and lonely.

To solve this, they agreed to have an open relationship, and some of the terms and ground rules of handling that were worked out in joint sessions with me on Skype (as I always recommend gay couples do; it’s too complex and full of pitfalls to handle it all without support).  I’ve coached both Matt and Cody separately as well, as each has had a need for support for very specific occupational and personal goals.  One of what I call the “external resources” that this situation needed, as both guys agreed, is that each wanted a “fuck buddy” who would stand in for their partner at certain times (mostly sexual, but for some social companionship locally, too).  Matt is still looking for his, but he’s meeting new guys at school and in his college city, especially via Grindr, Scruff, and Meetup.com groups.  The first guy he met didn’t work out well for Cody, but he found a second one that he likes.

Cody is a smart guy and spoke clearly about how his fuck buddy, “Chris”, has been ideal.  They get along and have fun, including sex, but Chris has recently gotten out of a 3-year relationship and is not looking for anything serious – the perfect candidate for Cody.vintage311.jpg

What Cody related about Chris includes some in the following list, and others I’ve added based on other conversations with clients and personal friends.  Here are some of the special advantages about the role and value of a fuck buddy:

  1.  It is not an avoidance of relationships – Contrary to some critics, having a fuck buddy is not the indulgence of some intimacy-avoidant, emotionally-stunted, horn-dog selfish clod.  It is a different type of sexual and emotional relationship, perhaps based more on fondness than on love, or perhaps a “love” that is more fraternal.
  2.  It can be the combination of sexuality and camaraderie without the components of long-term romance and domesticity – For some people, such as those with long-distance partners, having a fuck buddy means having some in-person companionship for local outings and recreation, and even sexual expression, but without the commitment and domestic component of a partner/spouse relationship.  It’s “relationship lite”.
  3.  Can be a coping strategy for long-distance relationships – Long-distance relationships can be a result of work projects (even overseas), which I see in my practice in Los Angeles for people away on TV or film set locations, or the result of school/training programs, health care treatment, caring for a distant relative’s health or settling their estate, or military deployment.  Open negotiation of the ground rules during the absence is better than unilaterally violating a monogamy agreement without discussion, or abstaining and resenting the physical/emotional harm that can come with deprivation.
  4.  Can be a bridge between class or cultural issues that really might get in the way of a primary relationship – For some fuck buddies, there can be issues of class or culture that might make having a long-term relationship untenable or very difficult (think Sybil and Tom on “Downton Abbey”).
  5.  Is a collaborative way to get needs met that have inherent limitations; is an exchange of favors – So many human interactions involve a negotiated exchange of favors based on mutual needs, and each fuck buddy relationship has unique parameters that make it work.
  6.  Is not for everyone, but it CAN BE for some people; it’s ok to embrace it as much as it is to reject it soundly – Sexual self-empowerment means saying yes when you want to say yes, and no when you want to say no.  If you want to say yes to a fuck buddy relationship with another consenting adult, as an autonomous adult with control and dominion over your own body, you get to make that choice (although if you have a primary partner, this must be a very frank discussion in order to avoid a ton of hurt, resentment, misunderstanding, abandonment, and even rage). love music
  7.  Supports a global benevolent idea of brotherhood – As a child of the 60’s, I grew up with “make love, not war”.  The Dalai Lama recently said something about if every child grew up meditating for 20 minutes a day, war could be eliminated in a generation.  With so many – countless – examples of how men kill each other in gang violence, war, violent crime, and so on, in such adversarial relationships, having a fuck buddy can be an example of benevolence, non-violence, and camaraderie in the Brotherhood of Man.  This is all part of the solution, not the problem.
  8.  It’s practice later on for a “real” commitment, in incremental gain/baby steps – I still maintain that I prepared for my long-term relationship with my husband (who is wonderful, by the way; I never miss a chance to say that) by previously living alone with my cat for a number of years after college first.  After years of living with roommates or alone, having a pet really was dress rehearsal for attending to, caring for, and sharing with a human adult partner (now spouse) in a domestic setting.  Having a fuck buddy might not be a “deep” commitment in romance and domesticity, but it can be a way of exploring relating to another person that is somewhere between being single and being partnered.  For some people, these incremental steps help build their confidence to tolerate a commitment and equip them for a long-term relationship with mutual responsibility.
  9.  Self-empowering sexually, trying different things without feeling “embarrassed” with a partner; exploring one’s own body and likes/dislikes of sensation – While communicating with a primary partner is essential to a good sex life, having a fuck buddy can be an opportunity to explore your sexual interests and fantasies in a lower-stakes situation.  Some people who are shy about telling their partner their sexual fantasies, especially the kinkier ones, might be more uninhibited with a lower-stakes fuck buddy.  It really “shouldn’t” work that way, but it does, and we have to deal in reality.  By being free to explore in a certain “sexual laboratory” situation, you can identify your likes and dislikes and not have to switch to “who’s-cooking-dinner” mode right after.
  10.  Can bridge differences in sexual orientations – While I don’t really respect closeted men as much as those brave gay men who have the courage to come out regardless of the circumstances (living in the Bible Belt, for example), having a fuck buddy can be a way for a man who is “straight” publicly or bisexual to get the “other half” of his sexual and even social needs met.  This is particularly controversial, but all gay men have some idea about this.  Many men can be ambivalent or conflicted about how they identify sexually.  Some might feel a pressure to conform to heterosexual norms, others might quite selfishly want to ride the coat-tails of heterosexual privilege and have their, uh, “cake”, too (albeit at the risk of exploiting or using the gay buddy, but this is better if it’s an honest discussion of what the deal is).  The fuck buddy relationship can also help a conflicted guy move closer down the spectrum to living as an “out” gay man, but in a gentle and gradual process that feels right for him. Bert&Ernie
  11.  Can help other specific situations – The fuck buddy relationship can be a resource for a gay man in early recovery from crystal meth, who is used to the “party-and-play” (PNP) scene, to practice having sober sex with a no-judgment, experimental, low-stakes, fail-safe atmosphere.  I have worked with many guys in my practice who need this kind of opportunity, because learning to have sober sex again is really a skill in recovery that you (usually) can’t get in a CMA meeting!  The fuck buddy relationship can also help someone with a disability or injury to be sexual again in their own way, even if they don’t have a primary relationship yet.  This can a certain “rehabilitation” that a licensed Physical Therapist certainly can’t provide.  This can be for guys who have been injured in a vehicle, sports, or industrial accident, or as a combat veteran who uses prosthetics.
  12.  Can allow for specific sexual interests (BDSM, fetishes) to be fulfilled  — There are times when everything else in a relationship is great – the emotional, the sexual, and the domestic – but certain sexual interests go unfulfilled.  Having a fuck buddy who provides a certain “outsourced” activity, such as BDSM or other kink play, can be a way for that partner to be fulfilled without burdening his partner to do something he really doesn’t like.  I’ve seen that in my practice several times, and it can be a “win-win” solution to the dilemma; everybody’s happy.
  13.  Can be a way to manage sexual incompatibilities – The fuck buddy relationship can also “outsource” situations where the couple gets along fine in most ways, but perhaps a strict top is partnered to a versatile bottom.  For the versatile bottom to be able to top once in a while might require a fuck buddy who is happy to oblige.  This can also be the case when a partner is fulfilled in every way in the relationship except perhaps wanting to fulfill his “size queen” interests.  Outsourcing this to a well-endowed fuck buddy occasionally can fulfil the desire and then get back to regular domestic/sexual life.  This prevents frustrations from building and can resolve tension or even unspoken resentments in a relationship.
  14.  Last, Cody says that having experiences with outside buddies, rather than undermining his relationship with Matt, actually strengthens it because he “sees what’s out there” and learns to appreciate the relief when he’s finally back to see Matt because “everyone else is just not Matt”.  When they are together again after an absence, it’s all the sweeter to revisit the familiarity and intimacy they have built for years, and they never take each other for granted.

There are disadvantages, too, of cavorting with fuck buddies which have been discussed elsewhere.  Sexual conservatives (which can include plenty of therapists, even gay ones) would deplore the very concept of the fuck buddy as “deviating” too far from socially-expected relationship norms, particularly heterocentric ones.  But like most controversial topics, listening to both sides of a debate can entice you to clarify your feelings on the subject.  You have a right to your own feelings, even if they differ from your peers.  Only you have dominion over your own body and what is, and is not, done with it/to it.  Sexual self-empowerment means taking all these questions about sex and relationships, and deciding what works – and what doesn’t – specifically for you, based on your values and your own rather hard-wired preferences and proclivities.

Complete Article HERE!

10 Topics Gay Guys Never Discuss With Their Parents

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When you’re gay, it’s hard to talk to your parents about certain things. No matter how accepting or open-minded they may be, gay relationships, gay culture, and the mechanics of gay sex will stay a mystery to them — unless, of course, one of your parents is gay — or both.

Anyone who has been out of the closet for any amount of time knows that “gay” is more than a label to define your sexuality. It is a core part of your identity, and words like “queer,” “bi,” and “LGBTQ” constitute a significant part of your life — your people, your language, and your interests, both politically and socially. These words define a culture that our straight parents will never fully know. They may watch softened depictions of it on Modern Family, but they have never sung drunk karaoke at your favorite gay watering hole or queened out to Britney. They’ve never danced in a sea of sweaty men till 6 a.m. and they have no idea what Nasty Pig is.

Much of our culture can be hard to explain. Poppers and anal plugs will probably never warrant a conversation with mom, but other conversations — about PrEP and nonmonogamy, for example — can lead to greater understandings. Here’s a list of all those things gay men don’t talk about with their parents, with a small smattering of advice on how to do so!

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1. Douching

The thought of you having sex with another man crossed your parents’ minds from the moment they found out you were gay. Though they would never admit it, they still wonder about it from time to time. The image flashes when they’re trying to go to sleep, when they’re taking the dog out for a walk. Like many straight people, they may be clueless as to how it all works and may mistakenly believe it to be a very messy business. But douching — the process of cleaning out the anal cavity before sex — is one of those off-limits topics, one I would never bring with to them.

One way to hint at it without having to say anything is to have your parents over to your place for a night where there is, regrettably, only one shower. You must conveniently forget to unscrew the metal douching hose from its attachment at the side of your shower head. I’m not saying you should picture your mother naked, but envision her standing in your shower, looking through your assortment of overpriced sugar scrubs, charcoal-infused body bars, and organic, woodsy-smelling shampoos, and frowning over that dangling hose with the phallic-shaped metal attachment at the end. Then, hopefully, it will click, and she’ll deduce that your sex is not quite as messy as she thought.

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2. Poppers

When I’m talking to guys on Scruff whose profiles read “No PnP,” I usually ask, “Do you use poppers?” Most frequently, the answer is, “Sure. Love poppers.”

Poppers, while still a drug, are so mild that many gay men do not consider them in the same “sex drug” category that Tina (crystal meth) and G fall into. They’ve become staples of gay sex, gay culture, and gay history. We’ve been using them since the ’70s for their particular power of relaxing the anal sphincter for a few minutes, just long enough to get sex revved up. But if you try to explain the process of inhaling alkyl nitrites — video head cleaner — to your parents, they will likely conjure the imagine of junkies snorting glue in the school supplies aisle.

As with many items on this list, you could make the reasonable argument that poppers — like most facets of gay sex — never need to be brought up to your parents, since your sex life is not any of their business. But if they ever wonder why you have a few small amber bottles of some chemical that smells like nail polish in the freezer, poppers may inadvertently become a discussion topic in the kitchen.

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3. Fisting

Even if you don’t do it, you know someone who does. Fisting has long lost its shock value in gay circles, and has crossed over from dark sex dungeons into the arena of mainstream gay life. Many guys who aren’t regularly seen in leather harnesses now enjoy fisting. But imagine explaining to Dad how some guys take hands (and more) up the anus — especially when the idea of taking an erect penis up there is already outside the realm of his imagination. Many people, gay and straight, do not believe — or have not accepted — that fisting, when done safely and correctly, does not create long-term damage and can be an incredibly passionate and enjoyable sexual experience.

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4. Drag

Even though words like “slay” and “werq” have broken into the straight lexicon — primarily thanks to RuPaul’s Drag Race — the art and culture of drag is still a queer creation and belongs to us. Straight people are welcome to enjoy drag shows at their local gay bar, so long as they tip, but theirs is not a history of disenfranchisement and oppression, abuse and homelessness, poverty and sex work — a queer history in which drag emerged as an act of self-empowerment.

Drag can be hard to explain to your parents. It was hard to explain to mine. My parents assumed that all gay men dress up in women’s clothes and sing diva power ballads, so the concept of drag was indistinguishable from the rest of gay life to them. They could not appreciate drag’s cultural importance because it’s not their culture, and they did not understand its complicated history with the transgender movement because they do not understand, and refuse to understand, the concept of transgender identity.

To them, as well as to many others, drag artists and trans people are the same thing — a deeply incorrect assumption that has led to something of a modern cultural rift between trans activists and the drag world. The two camps have an overlapped history, since many trans folks first discovered their true identities through drag. In the ’60s, ’70s, and ’80s, when the concept of “transgender” was not as developed as it is today, many transgender people could only express themselves through drag art. As our cultural understandings both of drag and transgender identity have evolved, the two have split, and the burden has fallen on many transgender folks and trans activists to highlight and explain the significant difference between the two. Many people, my parents included, consider a trans woman to be “a man in a dress” — essentially a drag performer — and the phrase has become a terribly offensive slur against transgender women.

Take your parents to a drag show. Give them bills to tip the queens. (This assumes that your parents, unlike mine, are wiling to set foot in a gay bar.) Let them see drag in all its ferocity and kitschy wonder, then afterward, walking home, highlight the fact that what they saw was performance art, a toss-up between cabaret and camp. Explain to them that even if a transgender person does drag, the drag is the performance, but their trans identity is not. Regardless of what someone does onstage, transgender identity is a person’s authentic identity. “While drag is done for an audience, coming out as transgender is done solely for oneself,” a trans friend once told me. “And it is just as healthy and important to do as any coming-out, any form of self-acceptance that your mental health depends on.”

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5. Bears, Otters, and Pups, Oh My!

The labels will be the bane and the delight of your gay life. Gay men have long established the bizarre practice of defining and stereotyping ourselves into labels based on body type and sex practices. In the gay lexicon, burly, hairy men over a certain age are “bears.” Young bears are “cubs.” Skinnier, scruffier guys are “otters.” Young, lean, hairless guys are “twinks.” Guys into puppy play (a kink scene that was listed on my list of 30 kinky terms every gay man should know) who enjoy the “pup” role are “pups,” both in and out of the scene. Guys who prefer condomless sex are “pigs.” Tall, skinny gay guys are “giraffes” (a lesser-known label).

How did we come up with these? Regardless of where they came from, and in spite of their much-debated value, the labels are likely here to stay. While they are common parts of our speak, your parents would probably be confused to learn that you think bears are sexy or that your boyfriend is a puppy.

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6. Nonmonogamy

Nonmonogamy works out for gay men. In fact, this writer believes that nonmonogamous pairings, open and semi-open relationships, and relationships with relaxed sexual parameters are ideal for us — much more so than the monogamous alternative. The concept of nonmonogamy may seem foreign to our parents. Having a frank conversation about the parameters of your particular gay relationship with your parents may be awkward, but it can lead to something good. Explaining the distinction between sex and love may not leave everyone in agreement, especially if your parents are religious, conservative, or both. But at the very least, it will be an illuminating window into your life.

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7. HIV

Gay men are still disproportionately affected by HIV compared to our straight counterparts. While no one needs to come out as HIV-positive, least of all to their parents, many poz gay men choose to do so at some point, for various reasons. Coming out to my parents about my status was hard; I did it the same morning an op-ed I wrote about coming out as poz was published in The Advocate last December.

Many of our parents remember the early days of the AIDS epidemic, so the news can be hard for them. They may mistakenly believe that the outlook for an HIV-positive person in 2016 is the same as it was 30 years ago. Most well-informed gay men, particularly those who live in urban areas, are up to speed on modern HIV care and know that with antiretroviral treatment, HIV has become a livable chronic illness that is more preventable today than ever before. Our parents aren’t accustomed to seeing testing trucks outside of gay clubs or HIV pamphlets disseminated in chic gayborhoods, so they will probably need some information to alleviate the initial fear. Give them resources and time.

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8. PrEP

There may never be a need to talk about your once-daily Truvada pill to your parents, but if they see the medicine bottle by the sink one day when the family is sharing a beach condo, you need to have answers ready.

PrEP is the once-a-day pill regimen for HIV-negative people that has proven extremely effective at preventing HIV transmission. Statistically, it’s more reliable than regular condom use. Upon initial explanation, your parents will likely respond the way many have responded to PrEP and see it as an excuse to have raucous unprotected sex. Even if you are having raucous condomless sex, you will have to explain to them that you are still protected from HIV.

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9. Top/Bottom

Just as your parents have been envisioning your sex from the moment they first learned you were gay, they have been wondering “what you do.” When/if they meet your boyfriend, they will wonder “what he does.” They won’t say it aloud, but they wonder, late at night, after the dinner dishes have been put away, whether you’re the top or the bottom. (I always find it remarkable how straight people assume every gay man is one or the other — versatile guys don’t exist in straight visions of gay sex.)

Like douching, this is one I will never talk about to my parents, no matter how chummy we get.

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10. Kink

My parents know I am gay. They know I am having sex. They know I date and have sex with other men. But they do not know and will not be told how much I love having used underwear stuffed in my mouth and my wrists tied together with duct tape. The only time I ever came close to explaining my kink practices was at the beach a few years ago when I realized there were still red caning lines on my butt and legs. I lay in the tanning bed to darken the skin around the marks and opted for a pair of baggier, less flattering board shorts.

While kink is not restricted to gay men, we have certainly been longtime practitioners of the rougher arts. Like drag, leather was originally our thing and has by and large remained so. Kink and fetish play are things that gay men of all stripes can at least be familiar with, and have probably dabbled in at one time or another. But it is one area of gay life that our parents may have a hard time distinguishing from rape and abuse, perversion and degeneracy. Explaining it can be tough.

Its accouterments can be hard to hide — all those ass toys and leather gear require storage, and that sling in the bedroom cannot reasonably be disguised as a place to hang laundry. Have a regimen prepared for surprise visits and dinners, and if you enjoy getting backlashes or caning down your legs, try not to do so before a family beach trip.

Complete Article HERE!

Monkey on my back

And now for one of our regular, semi-obligatory Meth-related questions. I get at least a half dozen of these questions a month. And each and every one of them breaks my heart. I know nothing about the fellow writing me; I don’t know where he lives or his age. I don’t suppose it really matters, does it?

I need some help and I hope you can point me in the right direction. I am recently divorced and trying to move on in life but I’m depressed all the time and also using meth a lot. I have tried to have different sexual partners since my divorce and every time I’m with someone new I can get a erection when we are messing around with no problem, but soon as its time for penetration I loose my erection I feel like I’m having anxiety issues and also I’m very nervous, and I’m not impotent so can it be the meth preventing me to keep it up, or do I need medication for my anxiety? How can I overcome this problem?

I’m certain I can point you in the right direction. Thanks for asking. Allow me to speak plainly. Quit the meth! Quitting won’t solve all your problems, but it is the first and most important step. And frankly, if you choose not to quit, all your other efforts to pull your life together are doomed.

MonkeyBackMeth is not a therapy for depression, nor is it gonna help you connect with a new partner. It most assuredly will not help your erection problems; in fact, it is the cause of your erection problems. But I’ll wager you know that already, huh?

You also have an underlying performance anxiety problem that needs to be addressed ASAP.

Find a competent sex therapist to help you. look to the directory of The American College of Sexology for someone near you. Or you can check out my Therapy Available page.

In the meantime, take a look at some of the stuff I’ve written and podcasts where I talk about meth. Use the pull-down CATEGORIES menu in the sidebar, to your right, and scroll down till you fine the SEX & SUBSTANCES category. It’s under that category that you will find the subcategory Crystal Meth.

You’ll also want to take a look at some of the stuff I’ve written and podcasts where I talk about performance anxiety. Again, use the pull-down CATEGORIES menu in the sidebar and scroll down till you fine the SEX THERAPY category. Under that category you will find the subcategory Performance Anxiety.

Here are examples of the stuff you’ll find.

On meth:

Name: Joey
Gender:
Age: 22
Location: Southern Calif
Love doing tina with masturbation and watching really hot porn. Think this is just social fun?

Nope, I don’t Joey. Despite the prevalence of this dastardly drug, there is nothing fun about tina…crystal meth for those unfamiliar with the term “tina”. If you love doing tina for whatever reason, I’d wager you’re hooked on that shit.

Listen, I’m not prude when it comes to using some crystalmakesmesexy.jpgdrugs recreationally. But I think that we’d do well to stick to those drugs that are more natural. The less processing involved (and meth is the worst in that regard) and fewer added chemicals (OMG, the crap they put in crystal) the better, in my humble opinion.

Despite the admitted high ya get, recent research shows that long-term meth use destroys nerve cells in the brain that regulate dopamine, muscle movement, memory, and decision-making. This damage can be wide-spread and permanent.

Your body reacts to crystal meth the same way it reacts to danger. Crystal floods the body with adrenaline — the same hormone that prepares us for emergencies. Adrenaline gives a super-charge of strength and endurance so the body can deal with danger and injury. But artificially triggering this response over and over again will have serious consequences.

When you use crystal, your nervous system shifts into high gear. The brain floods your body with “danger” messages. Your body responds immediately to what it thinks is a threat. It prepares to fight or to run away. Common body responses to perceived danger include:

  • Pupils dilate to let in more light.
  • Hair stands on end (“getting goose bumps”).
  • Blood vessels just under the skin constrict.
  • Body temperature goes up

Regular, long-term crystal use will diminish sores of neurotransmitters. Episodes of paranoia and anxiety become more frequent and longer lasting. Blocked blood vessels within the brain can lead to increased chances of stroke.

Crystal fucks with your dopamine levels. Dopamine delivers a sense of reward and pleasure. It is also associated with body movement. Too little dopamine causes paralysis or a Parkinson’s-like tremors and rigidity. Too much dopamine and a person can become paranoid, hear voices and get twisted thoughts. Sound familiar?

Crystal fucks with your serotonin levels. Serotonin is involved in regulating sleep and sensory perception. It plays a role in moods and regulating body temperature. Serotonin is involved with many emotional disorders like schizophrenia, phobias, super-aggressive states and obsessive-compulsive behavior. Too much serotonin can make it difficult (or impossible) to have an orgasm. And of course there’s the dreaded “crystal dick”…the inability to get it up.

Joey, listen up! You’re way too young with too much of your life ahead of you to self-inflict so much serious irreparable damage on yourself. If this weren’t such a troublesome drug, there wouldn’t be such a virulent anti and reformed tweeker community out there. Want to know the real truth about “tina” check in at: crystalmeth.org. You’ll be glad you did.

On Performance Anxiety:

I get a dozen or so messages a month on this topic. I’ve written about it in numerous postings and spoken about it in several podcasts, but still the email comes.

One of the real bugaboos for anyone, regardless of gender, is living up to our own expectations of sexual performance. So many things can get in the way, literally and figuratively, of fully enjoying ourselves and/or pleasuring our partners.

The arousal stage of our sexual response cycle is particularly vulnerable to a disruption. And when there’s trouble there, there’s no hiding it. A limp dick or a dry pussy can put the kibosh on all festivities that we may have hoped would follow.

However, performance anxiety can strike any of us, regardless of age, and at just about any point in our sexual response cycle. This is a particularly galling when it seems to come out of the blue. And regaining our composure can be more far more difficult than we imagine.

Today we will be focusing on male performance anxiety. I’ll address female performance anxiety at a later date.
Complete Article HERE!

Good luck

IN THE MOOD

Hey Sex Fans!

We came dangerously close to having a fantastic Sex EDGE-U-cation podcast for ya today.  Unfortunately, my scheduled guest had technical difficulties and we had to put off the interview till next week.  Such is life!

In lieu of a podcast, we have some swell Q&A.

Name: Brian
Gender:
Age: 40
Location: Canada
After a guy ejaculates can he have another ejaculation? Like after I cum if I put on a cock ring will it stay hard enough to continue with intercourse and achieve another orgasm? I basically want to cum twice in a row.

Yep, that’s doable.  All depends on your particular refractory period and how turned on you are.  Let’s take a quick look at the male sexual response cycle again, just so we understand what we’re talkin’ about.  Ok?

The sexual response cycle refers to the sequence of physiological changes that occur as we become sexually aroused and move through to afterglow. The sexual response cycle has four phases: excitement, plateau, orgasm and resolution. Both women and men experience these phases of course, although the timing usually is very different for each gender.  In addition, the intensity of the response and the time spent in each phase will vary from person to person and from situation to situation. That’s why I say cuming twice in a row is doable.  But is it gonna happen for you?  I guess we’ll just have to wait and see, huh?

Ok, Phase 1: Excitement (or the boner stage)

  1. Muscle tension increases.
  2. Heart rate quickens and breathing accelerates.
  3. Our skin may become flushed particularly on our chest and back).
  4. Our nipples may become erect.
  5. Blood flow to the genitals increases, thus the boner.
  6. Our balls swell, our sack tightens, and we may drip precum.  Mmmm, precum!

Phase 2: Plateau (or the strokin’ or pumpin’ stage)

  1. Everything in phase 1 intensifies.
  2. Our balls may pull up into body cavity.
  3. Our breathing, heart rate and blood pressure increase.
  4. Our toes curl, face contorts and hands clench.

Phase 3: Orgasm (or the “yabba dabba doo” stage)

  1. Involuntary muscle contractions begin.
  2. Blood pressure, heart rate and breathing excelerate.
  3. There’s a rapid intake of oxygen.
  4. Muscles in the feet spasm.
  5. There is a sudden, forceful release of sexual tension.
  6. Rhythmic contractions of the muscles at the base of our cock result in the ejaculation of spunk.
  7. A “sex flush” may appear all over our body.

Phase 4: Resolution (or the “I need a nappy” stage)

  1. During this phase, the body slowly returns to its normal level of functioning, and the parts of your body that swelled and engorged return to their previous size and color.
  2. This phase is marked by a general sense of well-being, enhanced intimacy and, often, fatigue.
  3. Most women are capable of a rapid return to the orgasm phase with further sexual stimulation and may experience multiple orgasms.

Men, on the other hand need recovery time after orgasm, this period is called the refractory period.  This doesn’t have to be the end of sex.  Like you suggest, a cockring may prevent your dick from going soft.  But don’t count on an immediate second ejaculation, even if your dick stays hard. Don’t forget, the duration of the refractory period varies and is situational.  It will also increase as we age.

Name: Ivan
Gender: Male
Age: 33
Location: Spain
I am considering the social usage of Viagra or Cialis to improve sexual performance. Which of the two would you recommend for recreational usage?

I don’t recommend recreational use of prescription drugs, particularly these vascular dilators.  And certainly not when used in conjunction with other non-prescription drugs.  Maybe you ought consider a low-tech solution like a cockring instead.

I hasten to add that I’m not averse to using some drugs recreationally.  But I think that we’d do well to stick to those that are more natural.  The less processing involved and fewer added chemicals the better, in my humble opinion.

Did you know that health officials in the UK and here in the US are investigating reports of blindness among men using Viagra and Cialis?  Why risk that if ya don’t have to.

I’m really concerned with the alarming rise in recreational use of these drugs by younger men, men in their 20’s and 30’s.  And like I said, this is even more troubling when they combine these drugs with ecstasy, cocaine, or crystal meth.  If your young body is having difficulty producing an erection at this tender age, then you need medical attention ASAP.

Besides the risk of blindness, there are several other reasons why you ought not abuse Viagra or a similar drug just so you can have wood that lasts for hours.  Your body will habituate itself to the substance and, in time, you won’t be able to get it up at all without ever increasing doses of these drugs.  This will surely fuck up your cardiovascular system big time.  In fact, you may very well be inducing the very sexual dysfunction the drug is supposed to help.

Consider the person who overuses eye drops or lip balm or any other otherwise innocuous over the counter health and beauty products.  Their bodies stop making the natural substances that these products are intended to assist.  It’s counterproductive and it’s ill advised.  And if this is a problem with relatively harmless over the counter products, you know you are playing with fire when you abuse powerful prescription meds.

Name: Yuri
Gender: male
Age: 20
Location: Russia
I want to make love kisses on my girlfriend’s vagina.  But I never did this.  What can I do?

Love kisses on her vagina, huh? You Russians are so romantique!

I think you are talkin about some good old fashioned cunnilingus, right?  Or as we say here in the US or A — eatin’ out at the Y, munchin’ carpet, muff divin’, pussy lappin’ and what have you.

If your girlfriend is as unfamiliar with gettin’ love kisses on her vagina as you are at givin’ them, you might want to give her a head’s up on what you plan to do.  Ya see some of our women folk are none too keen on the idea.  They have it in their head that their pussy is icky and not for oral consumption.  This is very unfortunate, but it is what it is.  If you think you’re gonna get a lot of resistance from your lady friend, you might start kissing her on the face and neck, then to the tops of her tits, her nipples, and her belly.  This will give her an idea where you’re headin’.  If you’re doin’ this right, hopefully she’ll be so busy enjoying herself she’ll not protest your trip south.

Proceed slowly. Make sure you’re you’re both comfortable. If you’re lying down, you best be on your stomach between her legs so that your string of kisses is as effortless as possible. Have a pillow ready to shove under her hips to raise her a bit if she’s willing to proceed.  If, by the time you get to her pussy, she doesn’t try to stop you, you’re home free.  Basically she is giving you tacit permission to proceed.  Of course you could check in with her and ask if you can continue.  But sometimes, in delicate situations like this, you may be better off keeping the conversation to a minimum.  She might be fine with it if she doesn’t actually have to agree to it.  Women are like that sometimes.

Try scooting her butt to the side of the bed while you kneel on the floor between her legs. This will give you all the access you’ll need.  And hey, don’t go divin’ right in there, for heaven’s sakes.  Take a moment to two to admire the beautiful spectacle before you.  Lordy, lordy ain’t that a sight for sore eyes.

Gently nuzzle, kiss, and lick her inner thighs and the area around her vulva.  With a little luck your gal-pal will be so aroused she’ll begin to guide your head into her snatch.  Lick her outer lips. Run your tongue up and down them. Nibble them gently with your lips. Next, work your tongue in between the outer lips to caress her smaller, thinner inner lips.  Circle her vaginal opening and perhaps dart your tongue inside her cunt.

I hope you know your way around a woman’s genitals, because If you don’t you’ll be bumbling around down there to no great effect.  And, while you may get an “A” for effort, you might very well wreck the moment by being too aggressive on her more sensitive parts.  Her clit is her magic button.  If you don’t know a clit from a hole in your head, do some research before you head south.

Approach her clit very slowly and gently.  Some women enjoy a tongue lashing directly on her clit. Others find direct contact too intense, even uncomfortable. Now is a good time to check in with her.  Ask for direction on how she wants you to proceed.  She may prefer you to circle her clit with your tongue, avoiding direct contact.

If your gal is unfamiliar with this kind of pleasure, she may not  kow to direct you.  If that’s the case, you’re gonna have to ask direct questions like:  Do you want it lighter? Or would you like more pressure? More of this?  Not so much of that?  Soon you will be able to tell on your own by observing her pelvic movements and listening to her moan if you’re doing a good job.  Sometimes the best communication is non-verbal.

While you’re down there, why not employ a couple fingers to spread things apart?  Add a little massage.  Use the tip of your tongue, then the flat of your tongue, then your lips as you move around her vulva.  All three feel a little different and each provide subtly different sensations.  Some chicks love pussy raspberries, you know…

Come up for air from time to time.  Look into here eyes, caress and massage her boobs.  Try slipping a finger or two into her mouth so she can suck them while you’re licking her. Or move into a 69 position and enjoy a little blowjob with you’re eating her out.

You may want to incorporate some ass play too.  Insert a lubed finger into her butt hole.  Just make sure that whatever goes in her ass doesn’t then come in contact with her cunt.  You definitely don’t want to introduce bacteria that can cause a urinary infection.

Good luck ya’ll

Time after time

Name: Frasier
Gender:
Age: 63
Location: Southern Calif
I’ve been a widower for 9 years now.  But before she died it was always my fantasy to see her suck another guy’s cock.  Since she’s passed away I’ve had this fantasy of me sucking another guy’s cock.  This never crossed my mind before she died.  Can you help me understand this?

Hmmm, Frasier, let me see if I got this straight.  You’ve been a widower for 9 years.  However, while your wife was still living you had a fantasy of watching her suck another guy’s cock.  Ok, not a particularly odd fetish that.  But I am unclear about one thing.  Did this wife sucking other guy’s cock actually happen, or not?  Not that this is particularly important, just wondering.  So, now 9 years later you say you suddenly have the urge to smoke some pole yourself, even though you’ve never thought of doing this before.  Is this correct?

Ahhh even if I understand you correctly, I don’t get the question.  Wait, maybe there is no bjbw.jpgquestion?  Maybe you’re just curious about why a 63 year old confirmed, dyed in the wool straight heterosexual guy like you suddenly realizes he want to suck himself some cock.  I can see how you might find this little discovery a bit disconcerting, but it’s certainly not unprecedented. I guess you’re being startled out of our sexual complacency, huh?  Not to worry, it may simply be situational.  You are probably worried that this makes you queer, right?  I think we can safely say that your curious new interest means no such thing.

Let’s just say for the sake of argument that you decide to pursue this little jones of yours and you take the opportunity to wrap your lips around some other dude’s johnson.  Ok, then what?  Well, basically nothing.  If you find, after this little adventure, that you don’t much like sucking cock and that you’re really still into pussy.  No harm done.  You experimented a little and you now have more information about yourself then you did before the experimental blowjob.  You may simply discover that you only like having your female partners do the cock sucking while you do the watching.  Like I said, a relatively harmless and unremarkable fetish.

But, what if you decide to pursue this little jones of yours and you actually take the opportunity to wrap your lips around some other guy’s johnson and you really like it.  Well that’s a horse of different color, isn’t it?  Then you’ll have to come to grips with the realization that despite you long history of straight heterosexualism, you might be, at this point in your life, kinda bisexual.  How fun for you!

There is of course another explanation.  Some exclusively straight heterosexual guys suck dick not because it’s a turn on…the dick sucking that is.  They do it to be submissive.  Alrighty, whatever turns one’s crank!

I think we can safely say that for the most part, humans are not sexual automatons.  Given a more permissive and sex-positive culture then our own, we’d all be more fluid in our eroticism and sexual expression. It’s true; you are in unfamiliar waters, sexually speaking.  But it’s just a little adventure, not the end of the world. I hope you give yourself permission to experiment a bit.

Ya know, you could hook up with a male escort or see an erotic masseur for a little taste.  In fact, I’d tell the provider what you just told me.  Let him know you’re looking to experiment a little, but you’re unsure how to begin.  I’ll bet the provider will be very helpful.  Write back sometime, I’d love to know how it goes for you.

Name: Joey
Gender:
Age: 22
Location: Southern Calif
Love doing tina with masturbation and watching really hot porn. Think this is just social fun?

Nope, I don’t Joey.  Despite the prevalence of this dastardly drug, there is nothing fun about tina…crystal meth for those unfamiliar with the term “tina”.  If you love doing tina for whatever reason, I’d wager you’re hooked on that shit.

Listen, I’m not prude when it comes to using some crystalmakesmesexy.jpgdrugs recreationally.  But I think that we’d do well to stick to those drugs that are more natural.  The less processing involved (and meth is the worst in that regard) and fewer added chemicals (OMG, the crap they put in crystal) the better, in my humble opinion.

Despite the admitted high ya get, recent research shows that long-term meth use destroys nerve cells in the brain that regulate dopamine, muscle movement, memory, and decision-making. This damage can be wide-spread and permanent.

Your body reacts to crystal meth the same way it reacts to danger. Crystal floods the body with adrenaline — the same hormone that prepares us for emergencies. Adrenaline gives a super-charge of strength and endurance so the body can deal with danger and injury. But artificially triggering this response over and over again will have serious consequences.

When you use crystal, your nervous system shifts into high gear. The brain floods your body with “danger” messages. Your body responds immediately to what it thinks is a threat. It prepares to fight or to run away. Common body responses to perceived danger include:

  • Pupils dilate to let in more light.
  • Hair stands on end (“getting goose bumps”).
  • Blood vessels just under the skin constrict.
  • Body temperature goes up

Regular, long-term crystal use will diminish sores of neurotransmitters.  Episodes of paranoia and anxiety become more frequent and longer lasting. Blocked blood vessels within the brain can lead to increased chances of stroke.

Crystal fucks with your dopamine levels. Dopamine delivers a sense of reward and pleasure. It is also associated with body movement. Too little dopamine causes paralysis or a Parkinson’s-like tremors and rigidity. Too much dopamine and a person can become paranoid, hear voices and get twisted thoughts. Sound familiar?

Crystal fucks with your serotonin levels.  Serotonin is involved in regulating sleep and sensory perception. It plays a role in moods and regulating body temperature. Serotonin is involved with many emotional disorders like schizophrenia, phobias, super-aggressive states and obsessive-compulsive behavior. Too much serotonin can make it difficult (or impossible) to have an orgasm.  And of course there’s the dreaded “crystal dick”…the inability to get it up.

Joey, listen up!  You’re way too young with too much of your life ahead of you to self-inflict so much serious irreparable damage on yourself.  If this weren’t such a troublesome drug, there wouldn’t be such a virulent anti and reformed tweeker community out there.  Want to know the real truth about “tina” check in at:  crystalmeth.org.  You’ll be glad you did.

Name: Shelly
Gender: Female
Age: 20
Location: Raleigh, NC
My boyfriend and I are 20.  We’ve been together for almost two years and we’re in love.  But we have a problem.  I’m pro-choice and he isn’t.  He says he won’t have sex with me unless I agree to have the kid if I get pregnant. I told him there’s no way I can agree to that.  It’s my choice because it’s my body.  But then he says it’s his choice to stop having sex with me because he disagrees with my views. Where do I go from here? I’m not ready to start a family; we’re not even married.

Ya know, Shelly, if men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.

Where do you go from here?  Simply put?  Hit the road; or better yet, tell him to.  This dude who you say you love and loves you back is actually trying to control you with his dick.  That’s never a good thing.  It would also set a dangerous precedent for the rest of your relationship.  Because if he gets his way on this one; mark my words, he’ll try the same dickhead ploy over and over again.  I realize you don’t have much of a frame of reference about these things, being as young as you are.  But healthy adult relationships don’t come with sexual unplanned_pregnancy.jpgultimatums.  EVER.

There is of course a way to have your cake and eat it too.  You can enjoy a full and rich sex life and avoid unplanned pregnancies all at the same time.  Let me introduce you kids to a little concept we call contraception.

WTF, you’re both 20 years old, you should have a handle on elementary notion already. Where have you been all your life?  Both of you should be well versed in several methods of contraception.  And you both should practice at least one foolproof method.  If you are too immature to put this together, I can assure you you’re way to immature to commence fucking.  Get it?

Here’s the deal.  I’m not a big fan of abortion either, especially when it’s used as the primary means of avoiding a pregnancy.  And since there’s a very safe and easy way to avoid this unfortunate moral dilemma, you guys would be fools not to take advantage of it.  But wait!  What if the BF is opposed to contraception?  It sure sounds to me like he might.  Well then you really are shit out of luck.  No fucking for you till you’re married.  No, till you are absolutely ready to conceive, even if that’s well after you’re married.  Because you know you’re gonna get knocked up the very first time you let him near your pussy.

Mutual masturbation works an alternative to full on fucking.  But probably there’s some prohibition against that in his world too, huh?  So you see why I said at the beginning that your best option is to hit the road, or tell him to.

Good luck ya’ll

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