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Starting Over

Name: LD
Gender: Male
Age: 38
Location: Atlanta
How do you jump back into the game when your partner passed away suddenly? Getting really horny but its still awkward to actually do it.

Good question, LD. You say you’re feeling awkward. Why exactly? Is it because you’re out of practice with the whole dating thing? Are you concerned that people might think you’re jumping the gun, trying to get back into the game before your partner is cold in the grave? People can be pretty heartless about this. Or, is your awkwardness associated with your grief?

Grief has a profound effect on every aspect of our lives. Yet there is hardly any literature on the effects grief has on our sexuality. To my mind, grief is the leading causes of sexual dysfunction for those who have experienced the death of a partner.

Allow me a bit of time here for one of my pet spiels. Healing and helping professionals often misdiagnose grief. I want to make one thing clear, grief is not depression. Treating grief with an antidepressant is counterproductive. It can actually take away the impetus to resolve the grief and get on the rest of one’s life.

Making sure that you have processed your grief may eliminate some of your awkwardness you are currently experiencing. This is something I’m pretty familiar with. A good portion of my private practice is with sick, elder and dying people and their friends and family who survive them. I know the impact a terminal illness and dying process can have on the surviving spouse or partner. We often go into survival mode, shutting down so much of ourselves in an effort to have the strength to cope with this life-altering experience. Of course, trying to kick-start our life afterwards is often a monumental effort. Without the support and guidance of a professional or a group of similarly challenged people, some of us just sink to the lowest common denominator.

I believe in the resilience of the human spirit. I believe that we can honor our dead and continue to live and love. It sounds to me like you have a desire to get on with your life, LD, to fill the void, to make new connections, but you simply don’t know how. Acknowledging that fact is a real good place to begin.

Perhaps you could start by reawakening your sexuality through self-pleasuring. Reconnect with your body and the joy it can bring you. Reestablishing a social life will no doubt follow, slowly at first. But the inevitable tug of the need for human-to-human contact will draw you, if you let it. Remember the best testament to those who have died is to continue to celebrate life itself.

Allow me to draw your attention to my latest book, The Amateur’s Guide To Death And Dying; Enhancing The End Of Life. Actually it’s more of a workbook then a text and while its primarily target are those currently facing their mortality it’s not exclusively for them. Concerned family and friends, healing and helping professionals, lawyers, clergy, teachers, students, and those grieving a death will all benefit from participating in the interactive environment the book provides.

Of special interest to you will be Chapter 6, Don’t Stop. My good friend and colleague, Dr Cheryl Cohen Greene, joins me in presenting this chapter on sex and intimacy concerns. Like I said above, there is a dearth of information about this timely topic for sick, elder and dying people as well as those who are grieving. So I am delighted that my book helps break this deafening silence.

I hope you take the time to write back, LD. I’d very much like to keep tabs on how you are doing.

Good luck

Dribble instead of shoot

Name: Jon
Gender: Male
Age: 65
Location: Surrey, B,C, Canada
Dear Dr Dick, I’m on Avodart because of my high PSA reading, as a result my sperm count is now down to zero. I understand it’s the drug’s side effect, is this reversible? I haven’t totally lost interest in sex and still jerk off from time to time. I realize that I need to make adjustments (e.g. becoming a total bottom) and find other body contact pleasures. I’m an attractive Asian and still get lots of attention in Vancouver’s baths. Another recurring menopausal problem I have are hot flashes when sleeping, how long do I put up with it? Love your website! Is Richard Wagner your real name?
Yours, Jon

Thanks for your kind words, Jon. Yes, Richard Wagner is my real name.

To understand your question about the side effects of Avodart; I need to ask you a question. Are you sure you are talking about sperm count? Avodart is a prostate directed medication for men with a high PSA (Prostate Specific Antigen) reading. It has nothing to do with your testicles, which produce your sperm. And how would you know about your sperm count in the first place?

I think you may be speaking about the diminished amount of spooge (ejaculate) you produce while on the drug. That would make much more sense than a depleted sperm count. Because your prostate is responsible, in large part, for the amount of jizz you produce. And since the drug shrinks your prostate, it’s completely understandable that less cum would be an unfortunate side effect of the drug. Is it reversible? I suppose if you stopped taking the drug your prostate might regain its previous vigor, but I wouldn’t hold my breath if I were you. Your age may have a lot to do with this too, but I’ll get to that in a minute.

You probably are also experiencing erection problems on this drug too, right? Some of that is age related, of course. But one of the more unpleasant side effects of this, or any other medication that targets one’s prostate, is the loss of libido and wood. A nice cockring might be helpful. Have you tried one of those little buggers? They also look real nice in the bathhouse, don’t cha know.

You also ask about another recurring menopausal problem — hot flashes. Allow me to help you with some of your vocabulary. Menopause is a female thing. Andropause is the male equivalent. Like menopause, andropause is a result of a decrease in hormone levels, testosterone and androgen in our case, as we age.

Yeah, hot flashes are sure enough a good sign that one is in the throws of andropause. They often disappear on their own. But some people advocate hormone replacement therapy for us older dudes. This is very controversial, however. Many in the medical industry believe the hormone replacement, particularly testosterone, increases the risk of prostate cancer. Personally, I don’t believe this is true. I am unaware of any studies that actually make that correlation. On the other hand, living with diminished hormone levels clearly has some very unpleasant side effects, like the ones you are experiencing.

In the final analysis, each of us needs to make up his own mind about this, weighing all the pros and cons.

Good luck

Look ma, no hands!

Hey there sex fans!

Welcome to another edition of Product Review Friday!

The Dr Dick Review Crew is at it again. In fact Review Crew members, Glenn & Hank, have been HARD at work reviewing a male masturbation device. And they’re here to tell us what kept them so preoccupied.

RealTouch interactive sex device for men —— $249.99

Glenn & Hank
Glenn: “Have ya ever lusted after a sex toy? Have ya ever wanted something so bad that you were willing to do just about anything to get your grubby little hand on one? Well, that’s how we felt about the RealTouch.”
Hank: “Damn straight! We started seeing ads for this device a few years ago. We begged Dr Dick to get us one to review. He said he contacted the RealTouch people directly for a unit to review, but never heard back from them. We figured we were simply out of luck.”
Glenn: “That is till a few weeks ago when the good doctor called me with the news that he had a RealTouch to review. I almost wet myself over the good news.”
Hank: “Glenn couldn’t keep the good news to himself, so he called me at work. ‘Drop by Dr Dick’s on your way home and pick up our new review product.’ Typical of Glenn, he wouldn’t tell me what was so important. I had to find out for myself.”
Glenn: “I wanted Hank to be as surprised as I was. And sure enough, later that day, he comes bounding through the door like a puppy with this big box under his arm.”
Hank: “Big box is an understatement. It’s huge! Ok, for those of you who have been living under a rock for the last few years and missed all the ads for the RealTouch, we’d better start with what it is. It’s a high tech, multi-media jackoff machine. I kid you not.”
Glenn: “The box is so huge because it has a shit-load of parts. Each part is individually wrapped so that by the time you’ve unwrapped everything you barely have the energy assemble it. And it does require lots of assembly. Besides the ginormous RealTouch unit itself (3.5 lbs mind you), there are cords, power adapter, a ‘USB Mini-Tower’, instruction manual, a DVD, and a small bottle of lube. Holy shit!”
Hank: “When we had everything unwrapped and laid out in front of us, we both looked at each other in amazement. Here’s a tip: you absolutely need to follow the extensive set of instructions provided in the package or you will be totally lost. Don’t even think that you’ll be getting to use the RealTouch right out of the package.”
Glenn: “By this time, I’m seriously beginning to reconsider my lusting after this monstrosity. In addition to having to assemble the thing ya gotta install a software application on your computer. Ya know, I think we forgot to mention that this jerkoff machine only works in response to specially prepared videos. Neither Hank nor I could figure out the software installation instructions. We actually had to call the customer service line for help. We were thinking to ourselves, what kind of person works for the call center for RealTouch? They must get off on fielding calls from frustrated masturbators. It’s also super creepy knowing that RealTouch knows when you are using their product. They know who you are and where you live and they can tell when you’re connected and logged on to their web site. This privacy concern really put me off.”
Hank: “Since the RealTouch works with online videos you absolutely need to register your unit. There are 10 free videos scenes, both gay and straight, that come on the DVD inside the package. But the corker was we couldn’t tell what content the free videos contained; we had to search for the gay themed videos. Of course, if you’re willing to shell out even more money than the $250 you’ve already spent on this appliance, you can purchase or rent lots of other videos. The RealTouch video library is searchable by category or sex act. Just so you know, you can’t use any of your own videos in conjunction with the RealTouch. What a racket!”
Glenn: “But wait there are more headaches to come. Part of the assembly requires you to fill the special lube reservoir in the unit prior to use. And you have to do this each and every you use the blasted thing. Ya see, the lube is automatically dispensed during use. And guess what? You’ll need 3.5 ounces of lube to fill the thing. That’s right; on top of all the other expenses involved with this monstrosity your lube budget will go through the ceiling.”
Hank: “Are we having fun yet? So the parts that come in conduct with your cock, basically two belts with tracker-like treads are made from soft TPE (Thermoplastic Elastomer). When the RealTouch is working properly the belts rotate in an attempt to replicate the feel of the action being displayed on the video. Frankly, after all this setup and frustration I was completely under whelmed by the sensations.”
Glenn: “We had to clear off our entire computer desk just to accommodate this thing and all its wires, cords and power adapter. I watched Hank readied his cock and insert it in the RealTouch. I held my breath. If that thing injured my man’s precious johnson there would be hell to pay.”
Hank: “Glenn is real protective of my cock. The instructions say the RealTouch has a vaginal depth of 9”. I’m hung 9”, and I’d say they are exaggerating things considerably. And despite the fact that it’s as big and bulky, most of the action was concentrated on my dickhead. I couldn’t say it was doing much of anything for the shaft of my cock. And this thing is fuckin’ LOUD!”
Glenn: “And what’s all this about vaginas? What about assholes? I’d be willing to wager that a good portion, if not the majority of guys who buy this behemoth are gay. The manufacturer doesn’t even tip his hat in that direction. The packaging is all straight-oriented too. It’s like they’re totally clueless.”
Hank: “Oh, and the RealTouch heats up too. It’s supposed to heat to body temperature, but I think the one we got was defective, because it overheated. It was actually too hot. While the belts do provide a variety of sensations, there’s nothing special about them. I kept thinking to myself, ‘when are we gonna get to the good parts?’”
Glenn: “I stood aside and watched in amazement. The RealTouch was churning away gobbling Hank’s hog. It was a sight to see. Remember all that lube we added to the reservoir? Well, the unit is supposed to “get wet” like a real vagina by releasing that lube as it churns away. (I wouldn’t know about that!) But before ya know it the RealTouch began to leak lube everywhere. WTF? Who’s gonna clean up this mess? Luckily we didn’t’ get any lube on the keyboard or mouse. But that’s only because Hank had the foresight to bring a big damp towel to his RealTouch session. He had to thoroughly wipe his hands before he touched the laptop. There’s nothing that ruins an erotic moment like worrying about getting things messy.”
Hank: “It’s true. What a disaster! And the clean up? Forgetaboutit! You not only have to disconnect the RealTouch from its power source and the computer, but you have to disassemble the unit itself. A good portion of that lube we put in the reservoir was wasted. I had to take the blasted thing into the shower with me to clean it.”
Glenn: “In the end I decided not to even bother trying it myself. You talk about being disappointed.”
Full Review HERE!

ENJOY

Naturally

Hey sex fans!

Welcome to this our latest edition of Product Review Friday. Today we feature the second of three products that came to us from a marvelous Israeli company, Joya 4U. If you somehow missed the first of our reviews you can find it HERE.

Today we welcome back Dr Dick Review Crew member, Angie. We’ve missed you ma’am! And we’re so glad you’re back with us.

Little Su Natural —— $38.41

Angie

After an all-together too long hiatus from the Dr Dick Review Crew I’m happily back where I belong. Thanks for the warm welcome back, Dr Dick.

I was absent for so long because I had a little medical issue that I needed to attend to. Actually, it was a big medical concern. I was diagnosed with lymphoma over a year ago. One of these days I’d like to do some writing about my cancer diagnosis and treatment and how these things impacted me, my husband and our sex life. But until that day comes, let’s just say it was an adventure. A difficult, confusing and often painful adventure, but an adventure nonetheless.

There is precious little information about sex and sexuality available to cancer survivors. No one seemed to be capable of speaking clearly and unambiguously about how a diagnosis and treatment can impact a person’s intimate life. This conspiracy of silence has got to stop!

See, don’t get me started. Well, actually, this is precisely where I want to start.

The only way I knew how to work my way back to being a sexual being, for myself, and a sexual partner, for my husband, was through masturbation.

My self-loving exercises began slowly and tentatively, but I still made progress. My husband was lovingly supportive, which was a really good thing. I am so blessed.

All this gets me to my review of the Little Su Natural. This delightful insertable is my new friend. And the curious thing is, it’s not a vibrator.

The beautiful packaging refers to Little Su Natural as a dildo, but I think that generic designation does it a disservice. This 100% medical grade silicone insertable is much more versatile than any other dildo I’ve ever used. It’s so flexible; you can use it alone, or with a partner. And you can use it vaginally or anally. It relatively small as insertable go, it’s only about 4.5” long with a diameter of slightly over 1.25”.

I’d like to direct your attention to the user manual that comes with the Little Su Natural. Here you will find detailed written instructions and illustrations depicting various methods of using Little Su Natural. For example, when the thick bulbous end is inserted vaginally it brings the sculptured tail in contact with your clitoris. Rubbing or rocking on a bed or pillow delivers intense pleasure. The Little Su Natural is also ideal for tightening you PC (pubococcygeus) muscle. As part of my post cancer rehabilitation I’ve rededicated myself to doing my kegel exercises, which has revitalized the sensations I feel internally.

The Little Su Natural works just as well in partnered play. I insert it as I would when I am alone, but when I’m with my husband; I straddle his thigh and rock myself to pleasure or he will use his hand to rock it for me. This position gives me more control over the kind of stimulation I want and need. I learned that having control, like this, was particularly important to me when I was first reinvestigating my sexual response after chemo.

I hasten to add that you can only use water-based lube with this silicone toy.

Clean up is a snap! Warm water and mild soap will do for everyday cleaning. If you are looking to share your Little Su Natural, and I think you should, then you must sanitize it. This is easily done by dropping it into a pot of boiling or putting it through a cycle in the dishwasher.

As much as I admired the stylish packaging, the foam insert inside the box, which holds the Little Su Natural, has a bit of an unpleasant odor. I decided to get rid of that and replace it with folded hand towel. That way I can continue to use the box for storage.
Full Review HERE!

ENJOY

Libido Disparity, A Common Problem

Name: Chris
Gender: male
Age: 29
Location:
I’m 29 and I’ve been married for the last 3 years. I was seeing my wife for 5 years prior to being married so I guess it’s been a total of 8 years that we’ve been together. When we first got together everything was great the sex was outstanding ya know 69 all types of positions tons of oral, tons of foreplay and she had an orgasm every time. It seems that just in the last couple of years everything has dwindled away to the point where it’s her on top for a little bit, me on top for a little bit till I finish then we go back to the living room and hang out. Whenever I bring up the subject she gets very uncomfortable and won’t talk about it. And it’s really starting to freak me out in every aspect of our relationship. I love the girl, so I don’t want to go anywhere. I’m wondering if there’s any hope to get things back to the way they used to be that fresh hotness and spontaneity. How can I bring the heat back?

Like I always say, If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard this same complaint from a frustrated and desperate man or woman trapped in an undersexed marriage, I’d have enough money to lay down my keyboard, give up my status as the most fabulous and revered sexpert in the universe and retire to Maui.

Despite the frequency of the grievance, it still breaks my heart to hear the despair. I mean it’s one thing to have the sexual connection between partners drift away by mutual consent. It’s another thing all together to have one partner dissolve the sexual connection unilaterally while leaving the other partner bewildered and disoriented.

And what gives with a partner who refuses to talk about why the sex has taken a nosedive? That is so wrong. I can understand not knowing exactly what to say about things goin’ south, or even how to say what may be on your mind, but to clam up all together, that’s just unfair. Suppose the problem had to do with finances instead of sex. What if one of you decided to start splurging on major purchases without consulting the other? There’d be hell to pay then, huh? There’d be no duckin’ out of the responsibility by clamin’ up in this instance, I’ll bet. But when it comes to sex, somehow the same rules for accountability don’t always apply. Why is that?

Sexuality is both a personal expression and a means of bonding with another. Thus sexual wellbeing in a relationship is way more than just the old in and out. It means taking responsibility for one’s eroticism as an integral part of relationship. Sex is a way of expressing one’s self as well as our love for the other. The confusion, unhappiness and anxiety that results from the breakdown of this fundamental tenet will, as you suggest Chris, spill over into and contaminate other areas of the relationship. But it doesn’t need to happen.

When I encounter this predicament in my counseling practice, I always build in some individual time with each partner even though the couple is there for “couples counseling.” I often get a much better sense of what’s causing the breakdown in these private sessions than I do when the couple and I work together as a threesome. Sometimes it’s easier for the individual to talk to me privately than to be open, honest and forthcoming about his/her feelings with his/her partner sitting right there.

My experience tells me that more often than not, a refusal to discuss sexual concerns has more to do with not knowing how to express oneself without hurting the feelings of the other. Sometimes an individual simply doesn’t know herself why things are different than they once were. Sometimes there are lifestyle issues at play — family concerns, work concerns, lack of sleep, drugs and alcohol consumption, etc. Sometimes there are medical and psychological issues that impact on a person’s libido — weight gain, birth control, other pharmaceutical drugs, diabetes and depression to mention a few.

There’s also something we in the business call: “desire discrepancy disorder,” which is just a fancy-schmancy way of saying one partner has a stronger libido then the other. But often the simplest and most ordinary explanation is that the partnered sex has become stale, rote and boring.

Whatever the cause of the imbalance, it needs to be addressed as a couple. Once the couple has identified the problem the next step is learning how to talk about it in an effective yet non-threatening way. This can be tricky, to say the least. But it is still so much easier than trying to avoid the issue all together.

Ok, so your wife is reluctant to discuss the matter with you, Chris. That just means you’re gonna have to be proactive in bringing this issue to a head. And I’m not suggesting that you browbeat your wife about her unwillingness to talk about the issue. It’s gonna be all about you leading by example. Here’s what I suggest. Set up a time for you and your wife to have a sit-down. This needs to be scheduled in advance so that both of you know it’s coming. There ought be no surprises. This conference should not immediately follow sex, especially disappointing sex. Set aside at least 30 minutes when you guys are fresh and relaxed and then start preparing what you want to say. Take notes if necessary.

When the time comes for the sit down, I encourage you to use “I” statements instead of “you” statements. Begin by laying out how you feel and owing your feelings. “I feel confused. I feel frustrated. I feel that our relationship is in jeopardy.” Stay away from statements like “you make me feel…blah, blah, blah. These kinds of pronouncements will only muddy the waters. Then I suggest that you invite your wife to do the same. If she can’t, or won’t, move on to what steps you will take to get to the bottom of this. Something like, “I don’t want to continue the status quo. I’ve decided that I am going to seek some professional help for this. Maybe there’s something I’m missing. I can’t get to the bottom of this on my own, so maybe a sex therapist will help me understand what’s going on.” Again, invite her to join you in this effort. If she refuses or stalls out, move on to closing the discussion. You might say something like, “thank you for hearing me out on this. I don’t mean to put you on the spot, but I think our relationship is worth the effort to preserve it. And I’m actually gonna do something to make sure that we stay together. My invitation to you to join me in this effort will remain open.” End of discussion!

Of course, if you take this route, you will have to follow through on your commitment. If you don’t you will sabotage the whole damn thing, which will only make matters considerably worse. I encourage you to find a sex-positive therapist to work with. A good resource for this is The American College of Sexologists. Visit the directory page on their website. You will find listings for certified sexologists and sex therapists all over the world. If there is no one near you, contact the person closest to you and ask for a referral. Often my fellow ACS therapists and sexologists are very well connected to the broader sex-positive communities in their area.

You may also wish to consult me, even if you’re not here in Seattle. Check out the Therapy Available link in the header of my site for all the information you’ll need to make an enlightened decision about working with me.

Whatever you do, don’t settle for the path of least resistance. Your leadership might be just the thing your wife is looking for to muster her own strength to face the facts. Either way, the problem you are facing will not go away simply by ignoring it. Disappointments will become resentments and resentments will inevitably lead to acting-out and that will surely fuck things up royally.

Good luck

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