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Mellow With Age

Name: Bob
Gender: Male
Age: 54
Location: Laguna Beach
As an older man, I’ve started having performance problems. Unfortunately there’s no decrease in my libido. I think some of my problem is psychological. I’m also HIV+. And I find myself worrying about transmission even with condoms. But some of the problem is physical. I do wear a cockring and that helps I guess. Is there anything else I can do to increase my performance to match my libido?

Thanks for your comment and question. Your concern is a familiar one. Men regularly present this problem in my private practice and I also have a personal familiarity with the issue in my own life.

Diminished performance, at least in terms of a perpetually stiff dick, is a natural occurrence as we age. There was a time when I thought this was a major problem. I don’t think like that now. These days I’m helping my older clients (and myself) appreciate the full range of sensuality that is the unique purview of us more seasoned lovers. I’ve always felt that as gay men we are too genitally focused, especially when it comes at the expense of all the other pleasure zones our bodies have been gifted with.Kedori - Eileen Gray Bibendum Armchair

The rushed, hormonally driven sex of my youth has matured into a slower, more relaxed and sensual sexuality that I am thoroughly enjoying. This has been one of the very best gifts of the aging process. It’s even having an effect on my younger partners and they are appreciative.

So I no longer equate performance with a stiff dick. For those times when I absolutely need a rock-hard hardon a cock ring does just fine. I’m aware that I may need more time to achieve this kind of erection, but I’m not just twiddling my thumbs while I’m waiting, if ya know what I mean. I am no longer frustrated by this natural phenomenon, because I no longer have unrealistic expectations.

I realize that many men are using with an erection-enhancing medication such as Viagra, but I suggest that this be reserved for those who are truly experiencing erection dysfunction.

I’m also concerned with the alarming rise of younger men, men in their 20’s and 30’s who are using Viagra or another similar drugs recreationally. This is very troubling. If your young body is having difficulty producing an erection, then you need medical attention ASAP, or maybe you just need some sleep. However, if you’re abusing Viagra just so you can have an erection that lasts for hours that’s a real bad idea for several reasons. Not least of which is your body will habituate itself to that stuff and you will find that, in time, you won’t be able to get it up at all without ever increasing doses of Viagra.

viagra cartoonThis is gonna 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 number of otherwise innocuous health and beauty products. Their body will stop making the natural substances that these over the counter products are intended to assist. It’s counterproductive and it’s ill advised. If this is a problem with relatively harmless over the counter products, you know you are playing with fire when you’re abusing powerful prescription meds.

Whoops, sorry Bob, I went off topic there for a minute. It’s just that every opportunity I get to put out a message that will dissuade someone from hurting one’s self, I just launch into it.

So back to you. It is clear from what you tell me, your performance problems do, as you suggest, also have a psychological component to it. You have a fear that, despite being responsible in your sex play and even though you play safe, you could accidentally pass on HIV.

It’s true; one’s brain can indeed override almost every function of our body. For example, we draw each and every breath we take without even thinking about it. However, if a situation dictates our brain can and does override that essential pulmonary function and we can hold our breath. The same is true with our sexual response cycle. Sometimes we can become sexually aroused without really thinking about it. However, if for one reason or another our brain assisted by our conscience interferes with or even shuts down the sexual arousal, that’s pretty much, all she wrote.

Your scruples about the possibility that you could accidentally pass along HIV are interfering with your sexual response cycle. No cockring or an erection-enhancing medication is going to change that darlin’!

In other words, the problem is not in your cock, the problem is in your head. This is something you’re gonna have to wrestle with and finally resolve. This tension between your head and your dick is actually a good thing. Your body is providing you an opportunity to align your moral values with your sexual performance. How will this resolve itself? I couldn’t say. But I know for sure resolution is possible.

I do suggest, however, that you not try to do this in a vacuum. Reach out to a HIV support group or a sex-positive therapist for the help you need in making peace between your head and your cock.

Good luck

Awakenings

And now for something completely different. I’d like to welcome my friend and colleague, Vivian Slaughter, who has some interesting things to say about becoming the brilliant young sexologist she is today.

Becoming a feminist was a big deal for me; in high school I was very anti-feminist, I was the Cool Girl, I didn’t like doing my hair and felt giddy when people told me I “wasn’t like other girls” (the today me would have snapped back: “What’s wrong with other girls? Who are these mythic other girls you speak of?”) I would smile cruelly at people when they used the term, laugh a wide-open mouthed, high-pitched laugh. “No,” I’d correct them. “I don’t hate men!” Then, I’d usually follow with something like, “I’m not a feminist, but I believe (in something that literally fits the definition of being a feminist).”

Vivian SlaughterWhen I packed up and moved further South for college I found myself drawn to a sexual health education group that presented interactive workshops on sexual assault, dating violence and enthusiastic consent. This was a sex positivity group. This was a feminist group. It was a hard transition, and my first term with my new colleagues left a bitter taste in my mouth. What was happening to me? I’d come home from our meetings and rant to my roommate. “Ugh, it’s like…I agree with everything they say but do we have to call ourselves feminists? No one is going to take us seriously!”

I hate to say that I had an epiphany – because besides sounding cliché, it also mitigates the months of mental anguish and cultural upheaval I went through – but one night while I was walking home from a workshop late at night someone who had sat in the audience approached me.

“Uh, hey,” he said, running up behind and motioning with his arm that he wanted me to stop. “Can I tell you something?” I nodded, looking around to see if any of my group mates were around, I was used to being approached after workshops and asked disgusting, personal questions. Back up from my mates would have helped me feel safe. “I’m not a bad person,” the guy continued, “but I’ve done a lot of bad things. But I never knew they were bad. I didn’t know there was anything wrong with everything that I was doing, the way I acted. Thank you for coming tonight. Thank you for making me realize that I was wrong, and that I was behaving like a turd, and that feminist isn’t a dirty word.”

Me! He thought I was a feminist? I wanted to correct him – “I’m not a feminist, but I could see how you think that! I just believe that men and women should be treated equally, and that we have in place long standing and deeply rooted infrastructure that puts women at a systematic disadvantage – but! Whoa? Feminist?”

I realized then that I was a feminist, that I had been duped into believing falsehoods about the word, the movement, the people who identified as such. I realized in the dark, smiling up at this stranger whose name I never knew but who had credited me with changing his mind, that I was a feminist and it felt good and I was going to help people realize they were too. We changed each other’s mind.sex-positive-feminism

Almost immediately after that night I started working at an adult store. I was a sex positive feminist! I annoyed all my co-workers by asking all our guests their preferred personal pronouns; I put cards up on our counter with the information for a local crisis line; a local doctor who specialized in working with survivors of sexual assault. Couples would shyly slink into my shop and I would joyously greet them, stretch my arms to embrace them, help them pick out a pair of pink handcuffs, a soft whip made of braided silk, crotchless panties. “I love helping people love sex!” I would think to myself, naively thinking that all the world’s problems would be solved if only we used the word sex more openly.

Then one day a woman came into my shop, her face red from tears and her bangs matted to her temple from sweat. “What can I help you with?” I inquired.

“I don’t like having sex,” she began, her words coming out in short gasps. “I don’t like having sex,” she repeated, looking at everything around her, taking it all in. “My boyfriend says there’s something wrong with me because I hate it and can’t orgasm, and that you need to fix me.” She fixated on me, her eyes angry but her bottom lip trembling. “Can you fix me, please?”

I didn’t know what to do, didn’t even know how to begin. Telling her that sex was natural and fun wasn’t what she needed to hear, because I knew that’s what she had always been told. “What do you mean you don’t like sex?” so many people had gasped at her. “You must be prude. You must not have been fucked properly. You must be weird. You must not know what you’re talking about.” I found myself getting angry imaging all the horrible things this woman had been told, I found myself angry because I thought I was open minded and didn’t know what to do.

sex+positive“There is nothing wrong with you,” I spat out, sounding angrier than I wished. “Please, I’m so sorry… there is nothing wrong with you, but there is something wrong with your boyfriend. You don’t deserve what he dished out, you don’t have to like anything you don’t want to like. I’m so sorry.”

A few days later a pimply faced young man approached me in the shop, pointed to a book on the shelf. “Will that tell me where the clit is? I don’t know where it is, I’m afraid my girlfriend will laugh at me if I ask her where it is, but how should I know? Like, what, I’m supposed to know everything about fucking?”

“I hate giving blow jobs,” an older man confided in me, a stack of DVDs in his hand and an empty shopping basket sitting at his feet. “I hate having to swallow, but if I spit they all think I’m being a baby. Can you give me something that makes it bearable? I don’t know, that would numb my throat or make it taste okay? Just something to make it less awful.”

Learning what it meant to be sex positive was even harder than learning to embrace the word feminist.

I had been lead to believe it meant just liking sex, liking sex a lot, and not being shamed of it. Sex positivity was a young, pretty face flashing small, white teeth and nodding enthusiastically at whatever you suggested: “Sure!”

I learned while crying with a stranger telling me she hated sex, sitting on the floor explaining to a red faced 18 year old what a vagina looked like, and holding a man’s hand in front of a movie that featured Jesse Jane in her first girl on girl scene that sex positivity meant more than liking sex; it meant not liking sex, it meant having boundaries, being able to say “no,” not being coerced into trying things (“You have to try it just once, come on!”), being respected. Sex positivity meant having a kink. Trying a new kink. Saying no to a kink. Saying yes! Saying no – don’t stop, our safe word is barnacle! Saying no.

I realized that as an educator I had failed.sex positivity

I began asking around at workshops; asking my co-workers, classmates, hallmates, wondering earnestly what “sex positivity” meant to them. Some were confused: “Uhh, being positive… about sex?” Others were excited to share with me what sex positivity meant for them, how it fit into their lives. I found everyone’s answers – so varied and all across the board – interesting, but in the end what stuck with me the most were the people who were “sex positivity” critical. “What does it mean?” one person sneered to me. “It means people feel better about sexualizing my body; it means people call me a slut when I’m at the bars and they look at me like I should be empowered by it.”

When I left school, I knew I wanted to stay in the field of sexual health education, but I didn’t know what that meant for me. Continue working on crisis lines? Go back to school? Explore a degree more centralized to education? Throughout my last term I pensively reflected on my four years and wondered what I should do next.

I remembered vividly all the people I helped in my shop, all the questions asked during workshops. I realized I wanted to continue reaching out to people on a personal basis and learn more from them. Feminism, sex positivity, kink positivity and LGBTQIA+ rights have been trending topics in the last few years, and I’m interested in exploring the aftermath of what some are calling our new sex positive culture.

And so it is: I come home from work and in the few hours before I leave the house again to pick up my partner (we both go to work at noon, he gets home close to 13 hours later, so it’s safe to say that we have both become the human equivalent of an owl) I sit at my desk and I write. I write about the experiences I’ve had over the last few years, the stories shared with me and how they’ve helped me grow. I conduct interviews, via phone or e-mail, with a wide array of personalities, all with the intention of sharing the unique perspectives passed on to me.

We all have our mark left on us from the culture we grew up in. What I want to know is: what impact has this life had on you? I reach out to you all and ask that you share your story with me, the story of what feminism and sex positivity (or: sex negativity) means to you, the impact it has had on your life and the mark it has left.

I would appreciate hearing from you. We all have stories to share, and my favorite thing to do is listen. Below is a link to my website, which explains more about my background in education, my goals in reaching out to community members, as well as outside links to my personal blog.

vivslaughter14.wix.com/sexpositivity

Take care,
Vivian

My Oh My

Q&A with an international flare!

Name: Devin
Gender: Male
Age: 25
Location: India
My foreskin cannot be drawn back the dick head, is it normal? Does it in anyway hinder the growth in length of the penis?

Nope, your tight foreskin will not hamper the growth, in the length, of your cock. In fact, darlin’, by age 25 you have all the dick you’re gonna have. You’re well past puberty, Devin, so there’s no more dick-growin’ in your future. I can assure you of that.foreskin

As to the tight foreskin issue, I am of the mind that uncut men need to pay particular attention to cleaning their cock. If you’re not careful to completely retract your foreskin over your dickhead when you shower or bathe; you will have a problem with smegma buildup (that’s that cheesy lookin’ stuff under your hood) and its accompanying odor.

Poor hygiene can also contribute to other, more serious concerns, like phimosis. The popular wisdom about cleaning under your foreskin is that soap is unnecessary. A full rinsing with warm water should be sufficient. If soap is desired, one ought use a very mild, hypoallergenic soap for this delicate area. Ether way, fully retracting your foreskin is essential. I’d also encourage you to retract your foreskin fully when you take a leak. That way you won’t have that unpleasant pissy smell about you.

If you need information on how to stretch your foreskin, use the search function at the top of the sidebar to your right. Type in the key words: “stretching my foreskin,” and Presto! You’ll be presented with all my posting and podcasts in which I address this important issue.

Good luck

Name: Louise
Gender: Female
Age: 18
Location: Bristol, UK
Why do guys get such a thrill by “cumming” on their partner? Several times I’ve ended up with sperm on my stomach, boobs, or face because a guy decided that would be fun to do and pulled out at the last second. Is that meant to degrade me?

Louise, let’s talk turkey. Or gravy, as it were. Boys are like any other haired beast instinctively programmed to smear their bodily fluids all up and down their territory.

moneyshotYa see, us boys think all the world is as enamored with our spunk as we are. And so we think we’re doing everyone a big favor by spreading our baby batter all around. We’re particularly fond of getting as much of our joy-juice on our partners as humanly possible; and the messier we are doin’ it the better. We’ll tell you that we do this because we love you and we just whipped up this tasty little batch of seed just for you. But of course, that’s simply bullshit.

What we’re really doing is marking you as part of our territory, just like I said above. Did you ever notice how pleased with himself a male dog is when he’s blissfully lifting his leg to pee on everything in sight? I’d be willing to bet you’ll see a similar shit-eatin’ grin on your BF face as he merrily pops a nut on your tits.

The upside of this is that our little nut concoction is heavily laden with protein, so you’ll not find a better skin emolument. Just make sure he doesn’t get any of his spooge in your eyes, cuz that shit burns!

Good luck

Sonic Boom

Hey sex fans!

It’s Product Review Friday! And this week we welcome yet another new manufacturer to our review effort, Revel Body.  They’ve come up with an interesting new product that they think you’ll like.

So I invited Dr Dick Review Crew members, Kevin & Gina, to take a closer look and they’re here to share their thoughts with us.

Revel Body Sonic Vibrator —— $129.00

Kevin & Gina
Gina: “Hello again! Kevin and I were just discussing how much we enjoy reviewing new and innovative products. There is just so much sameness everywhere you look these days; it’s so depressing. So much of what we see in the adult products marketplace is cookie cutter and thus kind of boring.”Revel Body002
Kevin: “We’ve become less and less interested in doing reviews of products that look like and perform like stuff we’ve already reviewed.”
Gina: “We were just saying to each other how much we prefer to review products that, one can immediately see, have been designed and manufactured by creative people thinking outside the box. In fact, we would choose to review those products, even if those products didn’t quite hit the mark, than something less creative and innovative.”
Kevin: “Yep! I have so much more respect for people who try something different and unique, even if it fails; than I do for people cranking out more of the same.”
Gina: “And this brings us to today’s product, the Body Sonic Vibrator by Revel. This is no ordinary vibrator, no! It’s sonic, and that’s a game changer. Your run of the mill vibrator uses a rotary motor, but the Revel Body Sonic Vibrator employs a revolutionary magnet-driven pulsing action that is nothing like the sensations delivered by a traditional rotary motor. Everything about this marvel is interesting. It’s orb shape fits comfortably in the palm of your hand. Its ergonomic controls are easy to operate. And it’s remarkably quiet. Despite its diminutive size, the vibrations are not transferred to your hand because there is only one moving part. The pulsing nub attachment on the end of the piston delivers pinpoint stimulation where and when you want it.”
Kevin: “The Body Sonic Vibrator is 100% waterproof. That’s the real submersible kinda waterproof, not that ridiculous splash proof kinda “waterproof.” It’s also rechargeable, which makes this a mighty GREEN machine.”
Gina: “The Body Sonic Vibrator is designed for external stimulation. The unique spherical shape, 8.25″ around, offers two means of stimulation—the protruding pink pad on the front side of it, and the concave indentation on the other side.”Revel Body003
Kevin: “Gina already mentioned that the Body Sonic Vibrator is magnet driven. That’s revolutionary, but it’s not without its concerns. The removable piston, the only moving part, is a very powerful magnet; it’ll attract anything nearby that’s metal. The hole through the vibe is also magnetized. This is potentially an issue for some people and other electronics. So much so that the Body Sonic Vibrator comes with a warning that it NOT be used or handled by persons wearing implanted or wearable electronic medical devices like pacemakers. And keep the magnets away from electronic storage devices including laptops, cell phones, and credit cards.”
Gina: “This is super important to remember when recharging the unit. It comes with a USB/plug recharger cord. So have a care if you are recharging near your computer. I decided to error on the side of caution and not risk damage to any of my electronics so I plugged the recharger into the wall, not my computer.”
Kevin: “The Body Sonic Vibrator comes with three unique attachments — Rose, Ever, and Fawn. (Two other attachments—Cona and Niko—can be purchased on the Revel site.) To remove the attachment, put your finger in the hole on the back of the toy and press on the piston. There will be resistance because of the aforementioned magnets, but it will pop free easy enough. Switch out your attachment; bring the piston close to the opening of the vibe and after a bit of resistance it will snap in place. It’s so cool.”
Gina: “Speaking of the piston motion, you have to be careful when using the Body Sonic Vibrator around body hair—pubes, chest hair, beards, hair on your head. I mention this because Kevin was using it on his temples to help with a headache and some of hair got pulled by the piston action.”Fawn
Kevin: “The Body Sonic Vibrator is covered in velvety, latex-free, nonporous, phthalate-free, and hypoallergenic silicone. And all the pink attachments are made of silicone too. Of course this means that you can only use a water-based lube with this vibe. Because it is waterproof and made of silicone it’s 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.”
Gina: “The Body Sonic Vibrator charges on its magnetic charging base, which features the USB cord and wall adapter that I already mentioned. Be sure that the contact area on both the unit and its base is dry before charging. I charge ours after every use.”
Kevin: “The Body Sonic Vibrator has a 3-button controller—power button, and a (+) and (-) button. The controls are easy to use with just one finger. There’s a. The memory-setting feature allows you to start at the same intensity as when it was last used. This is great because it eliminates the need to cycle through all the settings to find your favorite. I really like the one button on/off feature and it’s travel friendly too.”Ever
Gina: “There are 10 “vibration” levels. I put the word vibration in quotes because the sensations the Body Sonic Vibrator are different than my traditional vibrators. On the lower settings the piston moves in and out more slowly producing a wonderful tapping sensation. You can even see the piston moving in and out. But on the higher settings the piston moves so fast that you can’s see the motion. These settings produce a buzzing sensation as opposed to the tapping sensation. I much prefer the lower settings to the higher settings. In fact, levels 6 thru 10 seemed pretty much the same to me. I also prefer the Fawn attachment to the other two.”
Kevin: “I agree with Gina, the slower settings provide more stimulation and I prefer that. Gina already mentioned me using the Body Sonic Vibrator on my head. I’m prone to migraine headaches and the tapping sensation on my forehead between my eyes and at my temples is fantastic. The best therapy for my headaches is a hot bath and the sensations the Body Sonic Vibrator provides.”
Gina: “Here’s something really innovative; you can reverse the piston so that the attachment is protruding from the indented side of the unit. The thing is, I actually prefer this configuration to the other. Like Kevin, I use the Body Sonic Vibrator most often in the bath.”
Kevin: “The vibe works best when very light pressure is applied. A heavy touch dulls the sensations.”Revel Body001
Gina: “A few words about the packaging…the Body Sonic Vibrator comes in an handsome yet understated box. There’s a slipcover over the box that features an image of the unit and some basic product information. The top of the box lifts off to reveal the vibe cradled in a plastic tray. The charging base and instructions are in a pocket under the tray. It’s a very nice presentation.”
Kevin: “Gina and I liked just about everything about the Body Sonic Vibrator. I was sold on the innovative design, it being rechargeable, and waterproof.”
Gina: “I was less impressed with the higher frequency settings than I though I’d be, but the lower frequency settings are perfectly fine for me.”
Full Review HERE!

ENJOY!

Pesky Pronouns

Name: Lynn
Gender: Female
Age: 19
Location: Eugene, OR
I have a friend who is driving me (us) crazy. She is my age and we’ve been best friends since grade school. Last year I came out to her as a lesbian and she was very supportive and loving. This year it’s her turn. She cut her hair really short and now only wears men’s clothes. Thing is, she’s not gay, or lesbian. In fact, she doesn’t have a boyfriend or a girlfriend. As far as I know she’s still a virgin. She told me that she’s gender queer. I was like, OK cool. Then she changed her name and wanted all her friends to call her by her new gender-neutral name. I was like, OK cool. Now she wants us to use gender-neutral pronouns—they, their, and them when referring to “her.” This just sounds dumb. I want to be loving and supportive of her, like she was for me, but I don’t understand what’s going on. It’s like this whole thing is an act, like she is trying to see how much attention she can get. A lot of our friends have just given up on her, but I don’t want to do that. At the same time it’s like she’s mocking our trans friends who have real gender concerns. Am I being a dick for not wanting to go along with this?

Curious word choice there, young lesbian Lynn. Are you being a dick? Hell, I don’t know. What I can say for certain is, if we were being totally politically correct, we wouldn’t use euphemisms for our genitals in a derogatory way, right? Luckily, I’m not the least bit PC as you will discover from my comments below.gender-fuck

The question you raise in your email is a thorny one and I’m not sure I know how to respond. Gender is the new hot button issue and it is rapidly becoming the litmus test for PC crowd. As you suggest, it sometimes looks as though some folks are just trying to get attention or see how much the traffic will bear.

I’m going to be pretty self-referential in my response because I feel like I’ve been here before. Let me explain.

When I was about your age and into my early 20’s the modern gay lib movement here in the US was just finding its footing. Stonewall had just happened and those of us on the sexual fringe were tying to come up with a new vocabulary with which to talk about ourselves. No one I knew liked the term homosexual for obvious reasons. Some of us, myself included, preferred the term, homophile. The difference being one was about loving, the other was about sex. That term didn’t catch on, but “gay” sure did. I was fine with that, even though it wasn’t my first choice. As I began to take a closer look at my sexual orientation and identity, I became a bit more radical; gay just didn’t cut it anymore. I began to embrace the term “queer.”

look!When I was a boy, the term queer, often directed at me because I wasn’t like the other boys, was hate-filled and hurtful. It stung and I was ashamed. By my mid 20’s, however, I was no longer ashamed. In fact, I was full of a new found fervor that was connected to my new found identity as a sexual outlaw. I know for certain that my radicalness was a little off-putting to some people, even people who wanted to love and support me.

After I passed through my militancy stage, I continued to use the term queer to describe myself as a way of showing the world that I had reclaimed and detoxified the word that once brought me shame. It became my own personal badge of honor.  Maybe you’ve had a similar ark in your coming out, Lynn.

The curious thing is I’ve lived long enough to see the term I fought so hard to reclaim morph yet again. Nowadays, when someone self-identifies as queer, more often than not, it has to do with gender; it no longer has a strong sexual connotation. I feel a little bummed about this because one of my favorite words has been coopted by another group of people.  But that’s the nature of language, right?Gender-Outlaws6

Over the decades since I first began to struggle with who I was and how I would talk about myself to others, I’ve seen numerous fracturing of the solidarity we sexual outlaws might have had. There was a virulent strain of lesbian separatism that cropped up in the mid 70’s. But most of that has dissipated since. And there was the radicalism that came with HIV/AIDS, which turned quiet, unassuming, cocktail sipping homos into fearless street fighters. That too has played itself out. In fact, now that marriage equality is all the rage, some of us old queers are asking if it’s still possible to be a sexual outlaw by just being gay. I fear not. Apparently, gender benders are the new sexual outlaws. OK, my time has past; I get it. I have no hard feelings, but I do have a wistfulness for days gone by.

It’s also been my experience that some of us, and I include my younger self in this category, have an uncanny ability to alienate loads of people with our politics. That can be a good thing, but radicalism can, and often does, alienate those who would naturally be our allies as well as some of those who struggle next to us. There’s nothing more devastating to a popular movement than having a bunch of edgier-than-thou folks setting themselves up as the thought police. When this happens, as it always does, it suggests to me that we are more interested in making a point than making a connection. This is a particularly acute problem for the newly liberated crowd, often found on college campuses. They are flush with indignation as they discover that life is not fair. They tend to use the scattergun approach when doling out their fury regardless if those around them are deserved of their wrath or not.

fuck genderThe current incarnation of the gender liberation movement suffers from a lot of the excesses that other liberation movements have experienced before it—intolerance and dogmatism among them. The thing is, gender-fuck has a long history and an honored place in sexual politics. However, in the past, this has mostly expressed itself in street theater. Nowadays, there is precious little humor among the new gender warriors, and very few of these zealots can laugh at themselves. That tells me we’re all in for a very rough ride ahead.

I know how important a shift in vocabulary is to making the dominant culture see its oppression, but the pronoun thing is just awkward. For one thing, there’s no agreement on what pronouns to use for those who are rallying for gender neutrality. Some people militate for they, their, and them. Others want the even more extreme “ze,” pronounced as the letter zee. And “hir,” pronounced here. As in, “Ze went to the store and bought hirself an ice cream cone.” Well, if you wanna do that to the language go right ahead, but I refuse!

Besides, are we just supposed to use these twisted pronouns when the gender warrior is in our company, or are we to alter our vocabulary even when they aren’t around? Try using they, their, and them when referring to someone who isn’t present. Confusion will reign.gender neutral pronouns

Lynn, I don’t know your friend so I can hardly make a call on whether your friend is being authentic, disingenuous, or histrionic. But I don’t think you should beat yourself up if you draw the line at a pronoun shift. If your friend takes offense, as well your friend might, you could always compromise and use no pronouns ever in relation to your friend. Simply use your friend’s chosen name each time a pronoun might serve you better. In time, this will surely get exhausting for both you and your friend. But maybe this exercise will help your friend see that you are not the enemy and maybe your friend will then cut you a little slack.

Good luck

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