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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!

Come As You Are

Name: Valeri
Gender: Female
Age: 38
Location: Dubuque IA
Dr Dick: I just went through a very painful divorce. My husband of 18 years up and decided that he wanted to start over…in a new job, in a new state with a new girlfriend, someone 12 years his junior. I must be completely blind, because I didn’t see any of this coming. Sure we had our problems, what marriage doesn’t? I want to move on too, but I feel so stuck. I feel like this big loser. The few tentative forays into dating have been horrible. Every guy I meet is this lying sack of shit. Sorry, does that sound too bitter? HELP!

Damn girl, that’s fucked…big time! It’s hell when relationships go belly-up, and I don’t care if they are business relationships or relationships of the heart. If there’s an established bond of trust that is broken it’s gonna smart. And when the bond is broken unilaterally, it’s even worse. But what can you expect when you’re dealing with humans.

Surviving a break-up is not unlike surviving a death. In fact, the demise of a relationship is very much a death in every sense of the word. I believe that any relationship worth talking about has a life of its own; you see, it’s greater then the sum of its parts. I gotta tell ya, I see a lot of this in my private practice. A couple drags in their relationship and it’s immediately apparent that it’s on life support. They’ve actively throttled the relationship to within an inch of its life, and they want me to fix it. Most of the time the option to “fix” has long passed. All we can hope to do, at this point, is preside over the death of the thing, providing its passing with as much dignity as possible. But to tell the truth, when a relationship is in such grave condition, and there is very little good will left between the partners, sadly there’s not gonna be a lot of dignity when the thing finally expires. It breaks my heart, but what are ya gonna do?

Many years ago a therapist working with sick and dying people wrote a book called, On Death and Dying. In it the author, Elizabeth Kubler-Ross, identified five stages of dying — 1. Denial: The initial stage: “It can’t be happening.” 2. Anger: “Why ME? This is so unfair!” 3. Bargaining: “Just let me live to see my son graduate.” 4. Depression: “I’m so sad, why bother with anything?” 5. Acceptance: “It’s going to be OK.”

I find it helpful to use these same identifiable stages to talk about the end of a relationship, particularly a relationship that ends unilaterally. If you don’t mind I’d like to walk through these stages with you so that you can see how applicable they are to someone in your situation.

Grieving the death of a loved one, or a relationship, involves the whole of us — our physical, emotional and social selves. We have to relearn, or cognitively adjust to, our new self without the loved one or relationship. Moving through the end of things is hard to work. And to survive it; we need be patient with ourselves. You, on the other hand, seem to be having a particular problem with this since you say you feel like a loser. That kind of mindset is not going be particularly helpful. So, if you can please jettison that kind of thinking. Or at least try to have a bit more compassion for yourself. Maybe you could shelf that self-deprecation for a while, until you get your bearings once again.

A person is faced with a fact that is too painful to accept and so she rejects it instead, insisting that it can’t possibly be true despite overwhelming evidence. This is Stage 1 — Denial! “Honey, I’m moving out. I’m getting a new job in a new state. Oh, and I have this new, much younger girlfriend too.” “This can’t be happening! Sure we’ve had our troubles, I’ll grant you that. But so does every relationship.” Denying the reality of the unpleasant fact may actually serve a purpose. It’s a coping mechanism for dealing with something overwhelming and too shocking to take in at once.

We have a gut-wrenching emotional response to the injustice, humiliation, and betrayal. This is Stage 2 — Anger. Depending on the kind of person we are, we may actively express our anger by lashing out verbally or physically. Or we may passively express our anger — turning it inward becoming silent, sulking or passive-aggressive. We may even consider harming our self as a way of punishing the other.

We try to fix what’s wrong. This is Stage 3 — Bargaining. “We can make this work! I’ll change, I promise! I know I can make you happy. Stay for the sake of the kids. What will the neighbors say? This will kill your mother! What does she have that I don’t have? You’ll never be able to show your face in this town again.” Hmmm, does any of this sound familiar, Valeri?

All our efforts to reverse the inevitable course of things leave us emotionally drained and exhausted. This is Stage 4 — Depression. Why bother with anything — family, friends, work, personal appearances, whatever — life as we knew it is over. We can’t seem to project ourselves beyond the ending of things. In the bleakness we often begin to self-medicate. A little too much food, booze, drugs? As if depression is not punishing enough, we often pile it on. I’ve heard some many people say; “hurting myself is the only thing that makes me feel I’m still alive.”

Slowly we begin to regroup. Maybe it’s through sheer willpower, or the interventions of friends and family, or maybe it’s just time itself. But we stop resisting and move toward acquiescence. This is Stage 5 — Acceptance. We stop resisting what we cannot change. Even if the end was un-chosen, undesired and inescapable, we can still willingly choose to accept it.

I hasten to add that these stages are guidelines. They are not presented in the order that they always happen. Nor is one stage predicated on the other. How long a person is in one stage or another is situational. However, I do hope this was helpful. What is certain is you will experience a wide range of feelings and emotions.

Some suggest the therapy of keeping yourself busy as a means of healing and moving on. This may sound elemental, but it’s not as easy as it seems. Most of us tend to wallow in our misery. We are way too indulgent with sitting on the pitty-pot. While you definitely need time to recover from the divorce, this period of heartache will have an end. And ends of things always led to beginnings of other things.

You now have certain freedoms that you may not have had while you were married. Once the initial period of grieving is over, it is important to jump back into life. Become more involved in your social group. Going out might seem unappealing at first, but it’s better than staying home and feeling sorry for yourself. If you’re only dating assholes, I’ll bet you’re fishing in the wrong holes, so to speak. The internet makes it so much easier to connect with quality people of ever stripe. Use this tool wisely. May I suggest that you start by connecting with people with similar interests as you, rather than posting a profile and photos on a dating site.

Of course, it is necessary to have some time with yourself to realize that you can survive and even be happy without your dick of a husband. The secret to successful grieving is that you need to feel the pain in order to get through it. Therefore, using drugs (prescription or recreational) and alcohol to numb yourself only make things worse.

You might consider working with a therapist to help you understand why your relationship ended. With a little luck you’ll learn how to avoid blaming yourself for the demise. No one is without fault, and your husband definitely has more than his share. But blaming him for everything will do you no good. You are neither totally to blame, nor are you the helpless victim. Lingering at either extreme will rob you of your self-esteem.

At first, being single might seem weird or even unappealing. But being single has its perks. Being single allows you to focus on you and take better care of yourself. And what better way to do that then by reconnecting with your sexual-self. Masturbation is gonna be your best friend during this transition period. Lavish time and pleasure on yourself. You’re worth it! Indulge yourself; instead of chocolate, get yourself a supped up vibrator and kick that thing into first gear, maybe even second! By spending more private sexual time with yourself, you’ll reconnect with who you are and what you want. This will make it easier for you to later choose a partner who can and will satisfy your needs.

Good luck

More of Sophia Sky – Podcast #227 – 08/18/10

Hey sex fans,

My friend, the exceptional educator, Sophia Sky, returns today with more of her excellent SEX WISDOM. I love talking to Sophia; she is so accessible and down to earth.  Yet her knowledge and perceptions on a wide range of topics are so insightful you can tell that they are the result of a life thoughtfully lived.

But wait, you didn’t miss Part 1 of our conversation that appeared here last week at this time, did you? Well don’t worry if ya did, because you can find it and all my podcasts in the Podcast Archive, right here on my site. Look for the site’s search function in the sidebar to your right, type in Podcast #225 and Voilà! But don’t forget the #sign when you do your search.

Sophia and I discuss:

  • Processing pain — other applications;
  • Her connection with erotic art —
  • …Modeling;
  • …Performing;
  • The Little Red Studio;
  • The Seattle Erotic Art Festival;
  • Erotic art and porn;
  • Female oriented pornography;
  • Kink, BDSM, mind games and power play;
  • Preorgasmia and masturbation;
  • Her sexual heroes.

Sophia invites you into her world HERE!  Look for her on Twitter, Facebook, and FetLife too.

I’m taking a brief hiatus from podcasting while I work on the remodel of my websites. The next podcast will appear Monday, September 6th.

See another slideshow of Sophia at work and play.

Click on the thumbnails below.

[nggallery id=83]

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.

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

drdicksstockroom.jpg

Sex Wisdom with Sophia Sky – Podcast #225 – 08/11/10


Hey sex fans,

Holy cow! I’ve apparently fallen into a pot jam; gorgeous and talented Seattle women surround me! Monday I posted the first part of my conversation with the artistic knockout, Jesse Belle-Jones.  Today the equally stunning and gifted Sophia Sky joins me for some of her topnotch SEX WISDOM. This podcast series, as you recall, brings us conversations with movers and shakers in the field of human sexuality — researchers, educators, clinicians, pundits and philosophers — all who are making news and reshaping how we look at our sexual selves. And Sophia fits that bill beautifully.

Teaching, bodies, BDSM, art and performing are among Sophia’s passions. And she selflessly offers us her insights and acumen in the most charming and disarming manner. You’re gonna love this my friends!

Sophia and I discuss:

  • Being a pervicacious, strong and playful switch;
  • Becoming Sophia Sky;
  • The history of her anatomy classes;
  • Massage therapy;
  • Anatomy 101 for kinksters;
  • Head Games — Anatomy for Edge Play with the Head and Neck;
  • Genital Anatomy for Pleasure & Fun
  • Using the Senses in BDSM Play;
  • Processing Pain as a Team.

Sophia invites you to visit her in her den of iniquity HERE!

See a slideshow of Sophia at work and play.

Click on the thumbnails below.

[nggallery id=82]

 

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.

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

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