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SEX WISDOM With Madison Young — Podcast #236 — 10/06/10

Hey sex fans,

Damn, my life is pretty freakin amazing! Somehow fate gifted me with this gig of chatting with some of the most interesting people in the world. I mean it; this SEX WISDOM series is attracting some of the most prominent movers and shakers in the field of human sexuality. We are meeting researchers, educators, clinicians, pundits and philosophers; each one is making news and reshaping how we look at our sexual selves.

And today’s guest is no exception. She totally blows me away. Performer, director, author, artist and gallerist, the stunning Madison Young is here with us. I know; I can hardly believe it myself. She is phenomenal. To be in the presence of someone so young, so articulate and so wide open is truly refreshing. I wonder if she has any sense of how astonishing she really is. She claims to be the girl next door. And that would be true if we all lived next door to enlightenment. Hold on to your hats, my friends, you’re in for quite a ride.

Madison and I discuss:

  • Monk of TwistedMonk.com;
  • Her XXX membership website;
  • Starring in porn, directing porn and being a performance artist;
  • Working with all the big porn companies;
  • The travail of “fast food” porn;
  • The challenge of directing herself in her movies;
  • Rough queer sex;
  • Where art and sex intertwine;
  • Where she grew up;
  • Being a kinky feminist.

For more of Madison visit her on her membership website HERE! And be sure to check out her feminist art gallery site HERE!

(Click on the thumbnails; get information about these movies that Madison directed.)


BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

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

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

DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

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

Today’s podcast is bought to you by: Dr Dick’s Stockroom.

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An All Q&A Show — Podcast #198 — 04/12/10

Hey sex fans,

We’re back from Spring Break all bright eyed and bushy tailed. This week and next I’ll be catching up on all the questions that have been piling up since our last Q&A session back in February. And there’s a shit-load of ‘em don’t cha know.

  • Cassandra wants to overcome the fascination of wanting anal sex. WHAT?
  • Angel doesn’t know enough about HPV.
  • Ned uses his cock as a tic-tac dispenser. GET OTTA HERE!
  • that chick wants to know if a big dick will mess up her insides.
  • Robert is looking for generic Viagra.
  • sanju from India wants to know if butt sex will get her pregnant.
  • Sexdout is too pooped to pop!
  • RICKY gets a facial.
  • Manson was born with hypospadias. He also wants a bigger dick.

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

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

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

DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

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

I wanna take a moment to remind you to check out another great website in the Dr Dick family of sites. It’s my new PRODUCT REVIEW site — drdicksextoyreviews.com

That’s right, sex fans, now it’s so easy to see what hot and what’s not in the world of adult products. I review of all kinds of adult related goodies — sex toys for sure, but also condoms, lubes, herbal products, fetish gear as well as educational and enrichment videos. DON’T MISS A SINGLE ONE!

Look for the drdicksextoyreviews.com. You’ll be so glad you did.

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

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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

Lookin’ for a good time?

Check out Dr Dick’s How To Video Library.

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Take A Deep Breath

Name: Jake
Gender:
Age: 18
Location: London
I have never had sex mostly because I have never managed to approach the person. I am bisexual and am desperate to have sex with a guy or girl. What are the best ways to approach someone for sex?

Can’t manage to approach a person for sex?  Are you just really shy, or are you a total geek?  Either way, my friend, you gotta get over yourself if you ever hope to get laid.  And here’s a tip:  perspective partners can smell desperation, like the kind you speak of, a mile away.  And they will avoid you like the plague.

Ok, so you’re just 18 without a lot of experience in the ways of the world.  teen_sexuality.jpgHere’s what I tell everyone who asks me this question, regardless of age, gender or sexual orientation.  When it comes to asking for sex; the direct approach works best.  Just so long as you’re not a dick about it.  If you haven’t already discovered this, baggin a bird will probably take a bit more finesse than pokin’ on a bloke.  And coming on to a mate demands a different approach than hittin’ up a stranger for a shag.

If there’s a bit of charm about you, your task will be considerably easier than if you are a crude Neanderthal who just wants to notch his belt.  If you’re not sure what your selling points are, ask a friend for his or her feedback.  If he or she tells you nice things bout yourself, you might be in luck.  If he or she tells you that you’re a charmless creep, you’ll have your work cut out for you.

Regardless what group you fall into — the “maybe fuckable”, or the “not fucking ever”, you can always improve your image and hone your unique style.  Look to how you present yourself; make sure you are groomed, clean and odor-free.  Dress to impress.  Stay clear of fancy or fussy, but do make it look like you gave your cloths a thought before you dressed yourself.  Make yourself interesting; have a point of view, but share it sparingly.  Develop a sense of humor about yourself.  If you can’t be clever or witty, then keep your mouth shut for the most part.

boys_kissing05.jpgThe internet is a great place to test the waters.  Dating and hook-up sites abound.  Put up a profile…with a photo or two.  Here’s a tip, save the dick pics for the queer sites.  Women don’t want to see your pathetic willie, at least not right away.  And like I said above, there’s nothing more unattractive to most women, or men, than a desperate fuck.  Asking for what you want is good, pleading to be taken out of pity is not!

Few women are as casual about sex as are most men.  So if a woman tells you no, she just may be shy, or not ready, or not sure.  If a guy tell you no, it’s not the end of the world.  He’s probably not into your type.  Since there are so many fish in the sea, if you’re not immediately successful, move on.  Sometimes getting laid is a situational thing.  Being in the right place at the right time is helpful.

Chicks are gonna be concerned about the whole pregnancy thing. This is much more serious concern for a woman then for a dude. If you’re not well versed on all methods of contraception and willing to practice at least one, you’re not ready to have sex. Sexually transmitted infections ought to be a concern for you both.  Don’t be a fuck-up; always use a condom regardless of your partner’s gender.

condoms001.jpg

If you’re dick is hard, it’s not the right time to talk about sex with a woman, but it might be the best time to hit up a dude.  Women don’t necessarily like the lean and hungry look.  Men tend to groove on it.

There are lots of different ways to have sex, so what might be appealing to one person may not be to another.  Hand jobs and/or blow jobs are often more easy to cum by than full-on fucking with both birds and blokes.

In the end, there no standard way to ask for sex, but if you treat a prospective partner, regardless of gender, with respect, honesty, and patience, you can be sure whatever words you use will be more effective than if you’re an uncouth lout.

Name: Nita
Gender: female
Age: 40
Location: South Africa
I recently had abdominal surgery to remove a cancer.  I’m recovering pretty well, and the prognosis for my future is also pretty good.  But I am noticing two problems. The surgery left a really big scar.  It’s still not fully healed yet, but I can tell it’s always going to be ugly.  And my belly is really misshapen now. I felt pretty okay about my body before hand, but this scar really makes me look really unattractive.  Also, my sex drive has completely gone away. I used to be a pretty sexual person, but now nothing excites me. Would you say this is normal?

How long ago was your surgery, I wonder?  It’s got to be pretty recent, if you say the incision is still healing.

Darlin’, may I suggest that you’ve been through quite a trauma — a cancer diagnosis, recent surgery and all.  This would throw anyone for a loop.  I’d be willing to guess you’ve not had the proper time to process all of this.  It comes as no surprise to me that your libido has gone south.  I wouldn’t expect otherwise.

If you’re still healing on the outside, you know for sure your insides have a much longer way to go.  You’re probably still feeling some discomfort, right?  That’s enough to put the kibosh on sexual interest right there.  You’re body is consumed with the job of healing itself.  It probably hasn’t any energy to spare for sex.  And why have a libido if ya can’t be sexual, right?   So you see, your body is actually protecting itself and concentrating on the task at hand.sensual_massage110.JPG

Maybe at this point in your recovery a little pampering would be better for you than a pursuit of sexual pleasure.  Long luxurious baths will help soothe the tension, as well as giving your easy access to your fine pussy.  Even folks with no discernable libido find touching themselves enjoyable. And just to keep your head in the game, even though you’re sitting on the sidelines, you could read some erotica or watch some sexy smut.

Some modest exercise like walking or swimming can perk up the libido too.  Treat yourself to an erotic massage.  Let a pro get his or her hands on you and make you glow.  This may also help bring back some of the sensitivity to areas effected by the surgery.  One things for sure, doing something is better than doing nothing but sitting there wondering what’s up.

An invasive and disfiguring surgery will always have a profound effect on one’s body image, which goes without saying.  Feeling unattractive because of a scar? No doubt about it, it’s a bummer.  But here you are writing to me about it, instead of napping six-feet under.  So I guess the scar is not the worst thing that could have happened, right?  As you probably know, I’m hearing from a number of my country’s war vets returning home with shattered bodies and lives.  My advice to them is what I offer you now.  Move through the scar’s impact…with a therapist if need be.  And find within yourself the other things that make you beautiful, attractive, alluring and desirable. Who knows, you might luck out and find a scar fetishist out there who will worship you for what you find loathsome.

mastectomy_scars.jpgEmbracing and then moving past your scaring will open you to find the myriad pleasures your body can still provide you and others.  So while your body works on healing itself, your mind can do likewise.  No need to have two scars, on one your belly and another one on your psyche.  In the end you may find that flaunting your scar, like some women do with their mastectomy scars, will liberate you from feeling unattractive.  After all, that scare and misshapen abdomen are your red badges of courage, honey.  Not only do they make you distinct, but also they testify to you being a survivor.

Name: David
Gender: Male
Age: 27
Location: New York, NY
This is a rather disgusting question. I am a gay male who prefers to be the bottom. The trouble is that even if I perform an enema right before sex, I still seem to get some excrement onto my partner’s penis during sex. It just seems that the feeling of the motion back and forth inside of me causes a sensation that makes something come out. The odor is, at times, unpleasant and I, of course, am mortified. I wonder if this is a common problem and if there is anything else I can do to PREVENT this from happening?? Could it perhaps be my diet? Do I need to drink more water?

YIKES!  You sound like a real attractive guy, David.  Just kidding!

If you are douching properly before the butt fucking there shouldn’t be much seepage if any.  Maybe you’re not taking care of business correctly.  Or maybe you need to douche twice.  Or maybe you’re being fucked too hard.  I know that a vigorous fucking will introduce more air into the bottom’s rectum expanding it and making for that “OMG, I gotta take a dump” feeling.butt_fuck5.jpg

I understand you being mortified; a smelly dirty fuck is no fun for anyone.  That being said, you have to realize your bowels are working properly, so it’s not their fault.  Just remember, there will inevitably be some unpleasant side effects when rootin’ around in someone’s hole, regardless how fastidious the bottom is about his hygiene.

I’m not sure I see the connection between diet and hydration and messy fucking, but hell, I’d try just about anything to keep from embarrassing myself when my toes are pointed to jesus!

Name: Ken
Gender:
Age: 42
Location: Seattle
I recently went to get a massage with a “happy ending” As soon as the girl started to fondle me I came and I did not even have an erection yet.  I never have this problem with my wife or past girlfriends. Why did this happen? It sure cost a lot of money for about five minutes with this “lady”. Thanks

Well, let’s see…either this “masseuse” (and I use that term very loosely) was amazingly talented, or you were just real nervous about doing this naughty thing with someone other than your wife.

Hmmm, I bet it was the later.

Here’s a tip, always get the massage first…before the happy ending.  If the first thing that happens is the happy ending, then you got gypped, darlin’!

Name: Marion
Gender: female
Age: 32
Location: NYC
I’m 34 and single.  After 15 years of unsuccessful dating, searching for the right guy to marry and raise a family with, I decided to go it alone.  I’m 2 months pregnant through artificial insemination.  You’ll love this; the donor is my best gay pal.  I am absolutely delighted and cherish the thought of finally being a mother.  While a lot of the guys I’ve been dating aren’t father material, they are great sex and I don’t want to continue to enjoy their company.  I gather that it’s safe to have sex during pregnancy.  But is there anything I should avoid?  Are there specific sexual positions that better suit a mommy-to-be like me?

Hey, congratulations on the bun in the oven, darlin’.  And how true about some men being great in the sack, but not desirable husband and/or father material.  I know several gay men who have helped out a long-suffering straight and lesbian friends with the whole breeding thing.  Us “mos” are so selfless in that regard.  ;-)

It’s difficult to find accurate and unambiguous information about sex preg_sex01jpg.jpgduring pregnancy that doesn’t have a decidedly sex-negative bias to it.  For the most part, our culture promotes the message that sex is primarily for procreation.  Why then would any responsible mother to be continue to have sex if she’s already knocked up?  You can see where a lot of the misconceptions, misinformation and scare tactics come from, huh?

So let’s see if we can shed some light on this for ya.  As a pregnancy advances, the fertilized egg grows into an embryo and then into a fetus. The fetus is encased in and protected by the amniotic cavity.  This provides the fetus nourishment and protects it from infections.  A thick layer of mucus seals the cervix further isolating the fetus in the mother’s uterus.

If you’re having a normal pregnancy, as do most women, then there is no reason to alter your sex life during your pregnancy.  Since this is your first, you’ll not know this, but a woman who has a history of premature birth may be advised by her physician to abstain from partnered sex during the last three months of pregnancy.  In the same way, a woman with a history of miscarriage will probably be advised to avoid partnered sex in the first trimester.  Only women with high-risk pregnancies might be advised to avoid sex for the full term of the pregnancy.

Nature provides all protection the fetus needs in its mother’s uterus. So you don’t need to worry about semen or vaginal fluids coming into contact with the baby.  And the mucus seal on your cervix does not allow a penis to come in direct contact with the fetus either.  Which dispels several misconceptions right there, don’t cha know.

In terms of pregnancy related sex, I suspect that your libido will probably play a more determining role in your availability for sex than you capacity to have sex.  Your libido will no doubt fluctuate during your pregnancy, which may have a lot to do with hormonal fluctuations.  Increased blood circulation in your pelvic region will heighten sensations, but you may find your body feels too heavy to fully enjoy sex.

Most men will love your bigger tits and fuller hips, but sometimes an overriding concern to avoid any exertion on the uterus or in the vagina makes partnered sex too cumbersome.

Sex during pregnancy, like sex after menopause, is free of worry about contraception, which makes sex more enjoyable for some.  While others are too busy anticipating the new addition to be much interested in sex at all.

In terms of sexual positions, you’re gonna be the best judge of that.  No preg_sex08.jpgposition is automatically ruled out, but as your pregnancy progresses you’ll find some positions, like the missionary position, will be uncomfortable. One of the best positions might be the woman on top position. Sometimes known as the Cowgirl position.  This position takes all of the pressure off of the woman’s abdomen, and also allows her to control the speed and the depth of thrusting.

And if you are a fan of anal sex; that will continue to be a terrific option throughout your pregnancy, particularly doggie style.  Some pregnant women claim that butt fucking actually helps soothe their pregnancy induced hemorrhoids.  In your final weeks mutual masturbation may be the easiest option as well as the most satisfying sexual outlet.

Good Luck ya’ll

“Abstinence Only” …think again!

Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee not only opposes a woman’s right to choose, nixes comprehensive sex education in favor of “Abstinence Only”, but now we discover that she cut funding for teen moms.

“Alaska Gov. Sarah Palin, the Republican vice-presidential nominee who revealed Monday that her 17-year-old daughter is pregnant, earlier this year used her line-item veto to slash funding for a state program benefiting teen mothers in need of a place to live.”  —Washington Post

What if other parents don’t buy this shit.  What if they think preparing their kids for the eventual responsibilities of adulthood, which includes sexuality, is not a bad thing.

Sarah Palin’s unwed daughter will no doubt receive all the benefits a well-positioned family can provide.  Not so the daughters of everyone else.

What pisses me off the most is the double standard.  For everyone else’s kids — no choice, no clear unambitious information about human sexuality in school…and if you get in trouble, because you don’t have a choice or you are uninformed…no help from your government.

I don’t generally do this, but the timing couldn’t be better on this.  Monday’s podcast, #78, included my response to a message I recieved from a mother of three in Toronto.  The timely nature of Lynn’s question compels me to print it in full here.

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Name: Lynn
Gender: Female
Age: 36
Location: Toronto
I’m a mother of three great kids.  My oldest, who is in middle school, went to camp for the first time this summer. A local church group sponsors the camp every year.  When my husband and I asked him about his time away from home, he said rather noncommittally; “It was ok.”  He seemed to like it well enough, but you know how uncommunicative kids can be at that stage.
Anyhow, yesterday I was going through some laundry from his camp outing and discovered a pamphlet in the pocket of his pants.  It was for an “Abstinence Only” program.  It was full of the most sex-negative fear and shame.  It was awful.  We are not raising our kids like that; my husband and I were appalled.
Now we’re wondering if this is why our son was so unenthusiastic about his camp experience.  Do you think we should quiz him on this?
What gives with this kind of indoctrination anyway?  I thought that those “Abstinence Only” programs had been discredited.

So wait, wait, wait; are you thinking that just because a social engineering strategy, like abstinence-only, has been debunked that it wouldn’t still be employed by certain factions of our culture?  Oh hun, I think you oughta rethink that supposition right away, don’t cha know.

I mean, come on!  There are loads of outdated and discredited philosophies being promulgated in an effort to ensnare the  uninformed and gullible.  I don’t know about ya’ll there in Canadaville, but here in Amercanski land we have a whole segment of our population who believes in creationism as a viable explanation for the universe.  In fact, one was just nominated to be Vice President for the Republican party.  D’oh!

So, as you can see, there is no necessary connection between what has been discredited and what is still wildly popular in some segments of the population.

Back in the spring of 2007, a long-awaited congressionally funded national study concluded that abstinence-only sex education does not keep teenagers from having sex. Nor does it increase or decrease the likelihood that if they do have sex, they will use a condom.  (Attention:  Governor Palin!)

Authorized by Congress in 1997, the study followed 2000 children from elementary and middle school into high school. The children lived in four communities — two urban, two rural. All of the children received the family life services available in their community; in addition, slightly more than half of them also received abstinence-only education.

By the end of the study, when the average child was just shy of 17, half of both groups had remained abstinent. The sexually active teenagers had sex the first time at about age 15. Less than a quarter of them, in both groups, reported using a condom every time they had sex. More than a third of both groups had two or more partners.

So if abstinence-only programs don’t work, at least the way they are supposed to; why do we still have them?  Ahhh, good question.  We still have them because for a large segment of the population, especially those who are makin all these babies, it’s easier to just say “NO” than to step up to the plate and educate their kids about sex in a wholesome and holistic way.

Another problem is that the word abstinence often means something quite different to kids than it does to adults. That’s one reason why abstinence-only programs do not have strong effects in preventing teenage sexual activity.  At least that’s what a recent University of Washington study found.

The researchers found that interventions that encourage abstinence treat abstinence and sexual activity as opposites.  Teenagers, on the other hand, don’t consider them to be mutually exclusive concepts. Like in the congressionally sponsored study, the UW researchers found abstinence-only programs are less likely to work than more comprehensive sex-education programs because they are not speaking the same language as adolescents.

The study showed that attitudes and intentions about sex were more powerful than attitudes and intentions about being abstinent.  No surprise there, I suppose.

Again, I don’t know how things are there in Canada, but down here there is no federal funding for comprehensive sex-education.  But there’s a shit-load of funding for abstinence-only programs.  Funding has mushroomed from $9 million in1997 to $176 million in 2007.  Leave it to the current administration to dump loads of money into a program that doesn’t work.  But such is the power of the conservative religious lobby.  They are the people who back these programs.

This wouldn’t be such a big issue if it didn’t hold such dire consequences. For example, the United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate among all first-world nations.  The rates of sexually transmitted diseases in this country are also astronomical.  If we want to keep our young people safe from the negative aspects of casual sex, abstinence-only programs are not the way to go.

However, more comprehensive programs that include abstinence as one choice are much more likely to have a more productive outcome.  Besides, is it ever a good idea to try and motivate behaviors out of fear and shame?  I don’t think so.

Since abstinence-only programs often only look at the negatives of sex, it doesn’t really empower a young person to take responsibility for his/her behaviors.  This is particularly thorny for young women who often bear the brunt the peer pressures to be sexual.  And they have way more at stake in terms of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

When kids aren’t expected to take responsibility for their behaviors, especially in terms of sexuality, it cripples their ability to make good life-affirming choices.  Abstinence-only programs disqualify all sexual options, even the relatively innocuous behaviors like mutual masturbation and oral sex.  So if all sexual options are equally out of bounds, there’s no way for the average kid to distinguish between harmless and risky behaviors.  And this is what leads to the high rate of sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies.

If we want our kids to grow up with healthy and integrated attitudes about sex, ones that will lead to loving and fulfilling sexual relationship later in life, we ought teach from a more sex-positive theory.

Back to the other question you raise; the one about quizzing your son about his camp experience.  I think that would be great.  It would let him know that you care, that you don’t support this fear and shame-based approach to human sexuality and that he doesn’t have to embrace it either.

Good Luck

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