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Prescription for a Porn-Positive World

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One of the enduring hot-button issues in our culture (and every other culture) is sexually explicit material. Everyone has an opinion on what we, as a society, ought to allow—and what should be prohibited.

Everyone has an opinion, but not all opinions are formed through sound reasoning. More often than not, our opinions are visceral responses to things that frighten us, or that we don’t understand. And if we don’t like it, don’t understand it, or it puts us off, why, that’s reason enough to have it banned!

It’s no surprise that people on both ends of the political spectrum can comfortably join forces in a pogrom against porn. It’s the great boogieman, after all: the corruptor of youth; that which erodes family values and degrades human sexual expression. What’s not to hate about porn?

I suppose if all that were true, there wouldn’t be a multi-billion dollar industry cranking out everything from soft-core erotica to extreme hardcore. But there is, and it reflects the simple principle of supply and demand. If so many people honestly believe that sexually explicit material is bad for us and our society, why the huge demand?

Case in point—19-year-old Alex from Indianapolis writes:

Hey Dick,
I noticed from your bio that you are a pornographer. How do you justify that? Isn’t pornography basically an insult to human sexuality? How do you square that with being a sex therapist and believing, as you say, that you affirm the fundamental goodness of sexuality in human life, both as a personal need and as an interpersonal bond?”

Wow, Alex! You actually took the time to read my bio? I’m impressed! You bring up a very interesting point, albeit with a bit of a jab. You’re right; I have been a pornographer. If that’s the only word you can come up with to describe what I did at Daddy Oohhh! Productions. I like to think that the adult material I produce is not in conflict with my basic, overall philosophy about human sexuality. (By the way, thank you for quoting it as accurately as you did.)

Admittedly, porn is a thorny issue in our sex-negative culture. Lots of people are hostile to the notion that there could actually be something uplifting and life-affirming about the depiction, in any medium, of sexual behaviors. Lots of people believe that even nudity, let alone full-blown sex, is bad and that it corrupts the consumer, especially if the consumer is a youth. I don’t happen to share that perception. But this is such a touchy subject for most that it’s very difficult to have a civil discourse about the place pornography has in our (or any other) culture. Since we find it so difficult to talk about sexual issues in the public forum, it’s no surprise that pornography—i.e., the public exposure of sexual things—continues to be the big, bad boogieman for even otherwise enlightened people.

I hasten to add that, for the most part, the adult entertainment industry richly deserves the dubious reputation it has. There is an enormous amount of content in the marketplace that degrades, dehumanizes and exploits. And I’m not just talking about the stuff that doesn’t suit my tastes. Because there’s a lot of good stuff out there that doesn’t particularly appeal to me.

Therefore, I caution you in your youthful zeal not to reject everything that depicts sexual behavior as worthless just because a good portion of it is indeed shameful junk. That would be like discarding all religion because a good portion of its practitioners degrade, dehumanize and shame those who don’t share their belief system.

You apparently also think there is an inherent contradiction between being a sex therapist and a pornographer. I don’t agree. For nearly 30 years, I’ve been involved in all sorts of cutting-edge sex education and sexual enrichment projects. So why not attempt to bring a fresh, healthier perspective to adult entertainment? Sounds like the perfect role for a sexologist to me.

Humans have been depicting sexual behavior, in one fashion or another, since we were able to scratch images on the walls of our caves. Some of these depictions are intended to titillate, others to educate, even others to edify, but all are expressions of the passions of the person who scratched, painted, wrote or committed to film (or videotape) the images they did. I think that if you were really interested in getting to know my thoughts about pornography, you’d do well to check out some of my work. And let’s not forget that in more sex-positive societies than our own, sexual practices were and are integral parts of worshiping the deity.

Porn, like most forms of human expression, has both gold and dross. And just maybe, we need the crap in order to appreciate the treasures. Also, today’s porn may be tomorrow’s art. Ask Henry Miller or Anaïs Nin. A lot of stuff that hangs in the Louvre museum today was, upon its creation, considered scandalous and pornographic as well. Happily, we, along with our perceptions, evolve.

The definition of what is ‘pornographic’ changes with the times. Community standards also play a part. A lingerie catalog that showed women in bras and panties might be “pornographic” in one place, but no big deal in another.

I argue that there is a purpose to sexual depictions, pornographic or not. Otherwise, why would these depictions be so pervasive and appear in every culture? And it’s not just because it’s art. Most pornography is decidedly not art. So if it’s not art per se, what is it? Most pornography is simply designed to arouse sexual desire. And that, generally speaking, is a really good thing. It’s precisely this pursuit that probably brought you, young Alex, to me in the first place. Am I correct?

Sexual desire can stimulate an array of thoughts and behaviors from tender, intimate and passionate to raw, fierce and cruel. The mood of the consumer also plays a part. If your libido is raging, you might find a certain depiction stimulating, while the same depiction can cause disgust when your hormones are more in check. Porn tends to imitate what people fantasize about, rather than what actually happens in the lives of most of us. As a result, nearly everything is exaggerated in pornography: body parts, sexual situations, as well as sexual responses. Everything is staged and a lot is faked. Exaggeration is a time-honored way of calling attention to something that is otherwise pretty commonplace…you know, like sex.

In the end, Alex, you will have to decide for yourself what merits pornography might have in our culture. I suggest, however, that you approach porn with a slightly more dispassionate eye than you are currently using. You may find that it has something to teach you about yourself, your culture and the history of humankind.

Good luck!

Meat Substitutes

Hey sex fans!

And now for something completely different! It’s Product Review Friday and instead of reviewing a sex toy sent to us from a manufacturer or retailer we’re gonna make our own sex toy. That’s right; thanks to our friends at Empire Labs we’re gonna make some vibrating dildos.

Dr Dick Review Crew members Glenn & Hank and Ken & Denise will show you around the two kits we got.

Clone-A-Willy Kit Original —— $39.95

Glenn & Hank
Glenn: “What’s more fun than buying yourself a sex toy? Making your own, that’s what.”
Hank: “Glenn nearly wet himself when he caught sight of the Clone-A-Willy Kit. He can’t help it; he fancies himself a regular Martha Stewart. I swear this man can make a silk purse out of a sow’s ear.”
Glenn: “Awww, see how you are? Isn’t he sweet? It’s true though, I got an instant hardon thinking about cloning Hank’s willie.”
Hank: “At first I thought, damn, my hog ain’t gonna fit in that tube. But it did and the rest is history.”
Glenn: “Hold on there, big fella! We didn’t even tell them what happened.”
Hank: “Yeah, sorry, I got a little ahead of myself.”
Glenn: “If you don’t mind me quoting from the Empire Labs promotional materials. The Clone-A-Willy’s medically tested molding gel process captures incredible, life-like detail, making this the most personalized vibrating sex toy you will ever own. Each kit contains everything you need to create an exact replica of any penis in the comfort of your own home.”
Hank: “There are several things you ought to know from the get-go. First, you must follow the directions exactly as presented. Second, it’s essential that you have everything near-to-hand before you start to mix any of the ingredients. Third, if it’s your cock that’s getting molded, you will have to maintain an erection under some stressful conditions; like ‘hurry up and wait!’”
Glenn: “All very good points! I will add that the process can get a little messy. If you’re anal retentive like me you will want to use disposable plastic containers to do your mixing. And be sure to cover your countertop and floor with some plastic sheeting. I used some leftover plastic painting tarp that I draped over the counter and on to the floor.”
Hank: “While Glenn was busy in the kitchen I put on some porn and stretched out on the couch. I slipped on a snug cock ring and started to pull my pud using a little water-based lube. I wanted to make sure that I was at full-mast for my big close-up.”
Glenn: “Once I had everything set up I called for Hank to join me. He had this sheepish look on his face, but he also had a raging hardon. I think he was afraid that he would lose his wood before the mold was set. I assured him we’d work fast. Well actually, that’s precisely what you have to do…work fast. We trimmed the plastic tube to the right size. I mixed the molding powder in water and filled the tube. Hank plunged in his dick and we held it there till the mold set.”
Hank: “The anticipation was the worst part. But it’s over almost as fast as it began. I think it only took a minute for the mold to set. I pealed off the excess molding material, twisted the plastic tube a bit and out popped my cock; no worse for the wear.”
Full Review HERE

Clone-A-Willy Kit Glow in the Dark —— $44.95

Ken & Denise
Ken: “We didn’t exactly know what we were getting into with this Clone-A-Willy Kit. It promises a lifelike replica of my dick that would Glow in the Dark. I was game, at least initially.”
Denise: “Yeah, we thought it would be a fun little project full of laughs. Well that’s how it started out anyway.”
Ken: “Since I was the one being ‘molded’, the pressure was on me to maintain an erection under less than erotic circumstances. I tell you, it’s not as easy as it sounds. I have a renewed appreciation for all the male porn stars out there, who seem to have a perpetual bone.”
Denise: “I don’t suppose I helped the situation all that much, because I became increasingly anxious about following the directions for preparing the molding goop. You actually have to have the water you mix with the powder at the precise temperature. And I read a lot of comments online posted by couples who screwed up the process and I sort of lost my nerve.”
Ken: “I suggested that we put the kit away till we were in a better mindset and I wasn’t worried about my boner.”
Denise: “We checked in with Dr Dick about our apprehensions and he told us to approach it alike a game, not a project. That helped some, because Ken and I were beginning to freak out about messing things up.”
Ken: “Dr Dick also suggested that I wear a cockring to help with maintaining my stiffy. Don’t know why I didn’t think of that. I also decided I’d slip in a little butt plug, because that always gets me going.”
Denise: “I decided to have a glass of wine…ok, it was a big glass of wine. And that helped too; it really took the edge off.”
Ken: “Denise was too busy organizing everything and mixing stuff to help me with my wood. Generally all she has to do is go down on me and I’m as hard as a rock.”
Denise: “Actually he did fine on his own. He’s such a trooper. All I can say is that I’m happy it wasn’t me that had to get turned on under these conditions.”
Ken: “Once the molding goop is ready it all has to be done very quickly. Luckily, I was ready. I sunk my junk into the goop and prayed that I’d hold the erection for the minute or so it takes for the mold to set up. A minute never lasted so long. We like totally recommend that you have something on the floor and the countertop to prevent spill messes.”
Full Review HERE

ENJOY

The Erotic Mind of John Woods & Cass King – Podcast #213 – 06/21/10

Hey sex fans,

HAPPY SOLSTICE EVERYONE! Damn, this year is flying by. It seems like it was only a couple of weeks ago that we were welcoming spring. Sheesh!

So remember how I promised you a knock-you-out line up of guests for our special Pride month shows? Well then, I got something for you today that’ll sure enough make you sit up and take note. In fact, we’re off on another audio field trip, one that will take us to the Theater Off Jackson, here in Seattle. We’re gonna visit with John Woods & Cass King, the exceptional talent behind the wildly popular and deliciously sexy vaudevillians known as The Wet Spots.

John & Cass are in town to produce their first full-fledged musical stage production called SHINE: A Burlesque Musical, which will run from JULY 8th through the 18th. They’ve invited us to drop by to visit with them between rehearsals. And I don’t mind telling you that I’m more than a little stage struck. I mean give me the roar of the greasepaint and the smell of the crowd and I’m a happy guy.

Besides the sparkling conversation, which brings a whole new dimension to The Erotic Mind podcast series, our guests will share with us one of their brand new songs, written expressly for the show. Get ready to be bowled over!

John & Cass and I discuss:

  • Vulgarity, filth and perversion? Maybe not so much!
  • The Wet Spots — a husband and wife team from the golden age of comedy.
  • How they got their act together.
  • The universal appeal of sex humor.
  • Their queer following.
  • The intensity of living and working together and their polly marriage.
  • Producing SHINE: A Burlesque Musical.
  • Their new songs for the show.
  • The creative process.
  • A musical about show business — a very old tradition.

John & Cass invite you to visit the SHINE: A Burlesque Musical website HERE! Or the Wet Spots website HERE! They’re on Facebook too, HERE and HERE!

 

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.

 

The Erotic Mind of Rob Clarke — Podcast #190 — 03/08/10

Hey sex fans,

Today we continue The Erotic Mind series. Only instead of a literary artist, like the last couple of weeks, we have an immensely talented visual artist joining us. I have the pleasure of introducing you to Rob Clarke.

As you know, for nearly two years now I’ve been chatting with noted erotic artists, both visual and literary, from all over the freakin world. I started this podcast series as a means to uncovering something of the creative process involved in this specialized art form. And I’m thrilled that many common threads are beginning to appear in these conversations. For example, Rob approaches his work in much the same way as many of his illustrator peers that we’ve met in this series, but his perspective and the fruits of his erotic mind are uniquely his own.

Rob and I discuss:

  • Dogboy Scoot, the embodiment of the male animal.
  • His personal life and how he got his start as an artist.
  • 1986, the year his erotic images begin to show up.
  • Being an artist and an illustrator.
  • Moving into animation.
  • Emerging trends in erotic comics.
  • Belonging to a community of fellow artists.
  • The erotic in art; the art in the erotic.

Be sure to check out Rob and his delicious artwork, especially his newest creation — Dogboy Scoot, on his site HERE. And don’t forget to join his yahoo group.

Click on the thumbnail images below to see a slideshow of some of Rob’s work.

[nggallery id=61]

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

 

Well then…

Name: Stanford
Gender: male
Age: 25
Location: Green Bay
I was wondering if you have any suggestions for a homemade dildo?

Do you actually want to craft a dildo yourself? Or is this more a question about what might be readily available to safely bugger yourself with?

If you want to make one yourself, there are several “Make-your-own-dildo” kits out there. You can find them online. They supply you with everything you need to make a latex dildo cast of your own dong. And from that the dildo is made. How fun! But wait, what if you are princess tiny-meat? Cloning your you own willie will satisfy no one, no how. Unless you know someone with a more ample endowment that will lend you his hog for the mold, this is probably not the way for you to go.

A trip to the supermarket might be your next best bet. People have been stuffing fruits and vegetables in every possible orifice for as long as there have been fruits and vegetables…and orifices to stuff. Bananas, zucchini, corn cobs, cucumbers, and well the list goes on and on. One word of caution, make sure that whatever you’re poppin’ in your pooper is long enough that you can keep hold of it while you are workin’ your magic. You definitely don’t want it to let whatever slip past your sphincter and lodge itself inside your rectum. There’s nothing more embarrassing than a trip to the emergency room to have someone fish whatever you got in there out of you bum.

If you’re the least bit competent as a woodworker you could fashion something pleasurable from a hardwood, like maple or oak. The do-it-yourself craftsman will be able to make the exact size he needs and wants. He’ll take pride in sanding, buffing and curing his creation with olive oil before use.

No woodturning tools? Not to worry. A trip to the local Homo Depot may be the answer. Look for wooden dowels. They come in many widths and lengths. Since doweling is often made of a softer wood, the dildo craftsman will be able to round off the top of the dowel using a rasp with relative ease. But because the wood is soft, he’ll have to seal his creation in a smooth varathane or polyurethane finish. Never, ever insert uncured or unfinished wood. Besides the danger of splinters, untreated wood is very porous and you’ll never get the damned thing clean after the first use.

Another word of caution; some people are allergic to various materials or polishes. So test all materials first.

Here’s a dildo-making project just about anyone can do. Make your own beanie baby dildo. You will need several latex condoms, water based lube and whole dried beans or peas. Take a condom fill it with the dried beans and/or peas and tie off the end. Coat the condom with lube and slip it into another condom and tie that one off too. If you want to be super-safe, add a third condom. The beauty part of using dried peas or beans is that, should the condoms break while you’re pleasuring yourself and you lose some of the contents in your love cave, you’ll be able to eliminate them with ease with your next bowel movement. And there’s nothing toxic in dried beans!

But what if you want something more stiff? Building a dildo out of modeling clay might be the answer. You can find this material at your local crafts store. You can be very creative with the shape and size. You’ll also be able to flare the end of the thing so there won’t be a worry of it getting past your sphincter. Before the clay dries, consider pressing dried beans into the shaft for some added texture. Once your new phallus is completely dry you can finish it with a polyurethane seal. However, I encourage you to use a condom over your newly created cock substitute. Even with a sealed dildo like this one.

Name: Heidi & Werner
Gender: couple
Age: 32 & 34
Location: Arizona
My husband and I have been married for 12 years, we love each other very much. About five years into our marriage, while on a retreat for couples, we discovered we are both bisexual. As a consequence we gave each other permission to explore our same-sex interests. For the most part this has worked out really well. At this point in our marriage, however, we’d like to move beyond the casual semi-furtive affairs we’ve been having and embrace polyamory. Problem is we don’t know any other people who are living in successful polyamorous relationships. Is polyamory a viable option even for a few lucky souls?

Congratulations on living a successful marriage, especially since you guys are taking such a non-traditional approach. That can’t be easy. I wish there was a way the two you could bottle whatever it is that you apparently have in spades that allows you to make such an honest assessment of yourselves and your marriage. You must be remarkable people. I’m so glad that you took the time to write.

As a matter of fact, I know a bunch of very successful, long-lasting polyamorous relationships. Most are comprised of people already on the sexual fringe — queer folk, currant and former swingers and kinksters. However, they all tend to keep the dimensions of their relationships relatively private. It takes a lot of psychic energy to live polyamorously, exponentially more than in a traditional marriage. This tends to leave less psychic energy for flying in the face of the popular culture. Of course the down side of this is there are, as you suggest, few good public role models for polyamory.

Connecting with other like-minded people is less of a challenge these days than in years past thanks to the marvels of the internets, don’t cha know. And being bisexuals, as you are, my make things even easier. I suppose you know this already, but for those in my audience who don’t, polyamory is not the same thing as swinging. Swinging is more about recreational or sport sex; partners having consensual casual sex with others, either other couples or individuals. Swinging is also generally a heterosexual phenomenon. Female bisexual behavior is allowed and even encouraged. The same cannot be said about male bisexual behavior. This seems like an unfortunate double standard to me, but in this respect swinging reflects traditional sexual mores.

Polyamory, on the other hand, connotes more of an emotional bond, a relationship that exceeds pure sport fucking. But not surprisingly many polyamorous relationships evolve from more casual swinger connections. So let’s not knock that.

If you both are seriously into polyamory you’ll have an easier time of it too. The downfall of many budding polyamorists has to do with the reservations one or another in the couple may have about the lifestyle. The one with reservations may play along for a while thinking that this new venture will grow on him/her, but it doesn’t. Some folks are monogamous and it’s breed in the bone. Others are non-monogamous, equally breed in the bone. Trying to convert one or the other to an alternative way of thinking is simply not gonna happen.

The big bugaboo in any type of relationship will be jealousy. You guys seem to have avoided that poison, and again congratulations. The couples retreat you mentioned my have provided you the communication tools you needed to open yourselves to one another in an honest and forthright way. These communication skills will be particularly useful in forming polyamorous relationships too. Whatever the configuration of your future relationships, all parties must allow for and invite an honest and open exchange about passions, desires and needs. And from time to time each individual in the polyamorous relationship will prioritize these things differently. Expect lots of diversity. For more about this see my friend, polyamorous proDOM, Mistress Matisse’s column HERE!

There’s no “one way” to be polyamorous. Some people express their polyamory by having one primary partnership with one or more satellite relationships. They prefer monogamy with one partner but have an open relationship with others. Some polyamorists live in triads or loosely structured groups. Some people express their polyamory by having all partners and lovers as part of an extended family— raising kids together and taking care of elders together. Strong polyamorous relationships carried a number of my closest friends through the worst of the AIDS crisis in the mid 80’s. While you guys seem pretty clear on what you want for yourselves, you may want to be on the lookout for potential partners with incompatible passions needs and desires.

As we all know, a big part of effective communication in a relationship is exploring and expressing feelings. Another part, one that is often overlooked, is the art of negotiation. How do partners and lovers negotiate for what they need and want? “I want to try something new with someone new.” “My lover and I need some private time.” Mature people are flexible, but they also have healthy boundaries. Giving your partner the freedom to share him/herself intimately with others as he/she desires is easier when it is based on the guidelines that you and your partner agree to first. Of course these will need to be readjusted from time to time as new situations evolve.

A secret to successful polyamory is working to maintain a strong primary partnership, in your case, with each other. The more comfortable and secure you guys are with one another, the easier it will be for you to free one another up for others. When the primary relationship is healthy and safe, the polyamorous relationship will add to the support structure, not diminishes it.

Interestingly enough, not all polyamorous relationships are sexual in nature. For example, one person in the group relationship may have a sexual connection with another, while that person enjoys a platonic relationship with that someone else.

One thing for certain, you guys will have to decide what sort of people will be positive additions to your lives. And that will entail a good deal of trial and error. Like my daddy always used to say, “ya gotta walk through a lot of manure before you find the pony.” Remember not everyone who aspires to polyamory is capable of it, nor is everyone one who is capable of being polyamorous suited to be with everyone else who is.

For more about this timely topic I refer you to the two podcasts I did with the insanely marvelous Cunning Minx of PolyWeekly. Look for them HERE and HERE!

Good luck ya’ll

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