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A Fall From Grace

Hey sex fans!

This is a first for us, The Dr Dick Review Crew. We are compelled to post these follow up comments for the once lauded Lussuria Rechargeable Vibrator by Vida.

Kevin and Gina, the couple that gave the Lussuria such a glowing review and insisted that it be among our top products of 2010  contacted me in mid January to say that their unit was malfunctioning. (See their original review HERE.)

Kevin and Gina went on to explain that, on three separate occasions, the Lussuria vibe turned itself on. They recounted the story of hearing this really weird sound; a sound unfamiliar to both of them. Their dog, Laddie, was also going nuts. Finally, they tracked down the sound only to discover the Lussuria had turned itself on inside their bedside drawer. It was making a very odd sound indeed; vibrating against the wood of the closed drawer.

Kevin and Gina had a laugh and thought nothing more of it. That is until it till it happened again and then again. The final time happened in the middle of the night and it scared the bejesus out of them both as well as their dog. They got so pissed off, this last time, that they wrapped the defective toy in a towel and hide it in the dark recesses of their garage. They basically just let the vibe depleted its charge.

The following week they brought the lifeless vibe to me and ask me if I could get them a replacement.

I immediately put out an SOS email to my contact at Topco Sales, the giant multinational corporation that owns the Vida brand. I waited a whole week for a response, but none came. The following week I called my contact at Topco Sales. I asked her if she got my email. She said she did. She said she was sorry to hear we were having problems and invited me to send back the toy for a replacement. I said, “fine!” She said she’d send me instructions on how to return the unit along with prepaid shipping. That never happened.

So, on top of having a very expensive, yet defective toy on our hands, {which we can only assume carries a fatal design flaw} we also get stiffed by the inattentive and dismissive Topco Sales people. That sucks, and not in a good way.

As a result, we’ve removed the Lussuria from our Best Products of 2010 list and added this warning to the original review. We advise our loyal followers to avoid the Lussuria like the plague. A truly monumental fall from grace!

The Dr Dick Review Crew and I can only conclude that this is what comes from a toy company that grow so huge that even a slew of bad press doesn’t effect them; a cautionary tale for all toy manufactures. And that, my friends, is a crying shame.

Oceans of Lotions

Hey sex fans!

It’s Product Review Friday again and we’re comin’ at ya with two brilliant GREEN products. And they come to us directly from the manufacturers too. We are proud to welcome Seven Oaks Farms of California  and NuruSlide from Japan.

Let’s begin with Dr Dick Review Crew Members Gina & Kevin.

Nuru Gel Original from Nuru Slide—— $21.99

Gina & Kevin
Gina: “We’ve done dozens of reviews as members of the Dr Dick Review Crew, but today we have a first.”
Kevin: “We’ve never reviewed a massage product before, that is until today. We are delighted to bring you news of a fantastic product, Nuru Gel.”
Gina: “I proudly acknowledged that I am, what Kevin calls, a massage slut. There is nothing more satisfying than body-to-body contact. Of all the things I enjoy in life, and there are many, I crave massage and bodywork the most.”
Kevin: “It’s true! But she is leaving something out. Not only does she love to receive massage, but she also enjoys giving massage. And I, I’m happy to report, am the lucky recipient of most of her hands-on loving. She’s got the touch of an angel.”
Gina: “Isn’t he sweet? Don’t get me wrong, I love sex and I’ve also discovered, thanks to Kevin, that I can be a raunchy bitch when I want to be. But there is nothing more nurturing and loving than massage; both giving and receiving.”
Kevin: “That’s why when we were offered Nuru Gel to review I knew we were both in for a real treat!”
Gina: “The thing is, we didn’t exactly know how big a treat it was going to be. Let me explain. Unlike any other massage cream, lotion or oil I’ve used; Nuru Gel works best when we’re both wet. This is a totally new concept for me so we started our massage night in the bath together.”
Kevin: “This is the added bonus of a Nuru Gel massage. We got to lounge in the bath, play a bit with some of our waterproof toys to get the evening started.”
Gina: “Instruction on the Nuru Gel website suggest that the massage happen on an air mattress or vinyl sheets. This is so both people, or if there was a massage group, everyone would be slippy and sliddy. This is the nature of a Nuru massage. Look it up online if you don’t believe me. Actually, we wound up using a rubber sheet that we sometimes use for our kink play under a regular cotton sheet. We didn’t what to lay down directly on the rubber.”
Kevin: “You will be mixing the Nuru Gel with some warm water to reach the desired consistency. The whole event is gonna get a little messy, and I mean that in the best possible way. So have a few couple towels within easy reach. We also rolled up a towel placed across the top of our mattress where the one receiving the massage could lay his head.”
Gina: “Once we left the bath we dried off a bit and then Kevin laid face-down on our mattress. I poured the Nuru Gel/water solution, one handful at a time, over the back of his body. I then applied a couple of handfuls of the solution over the front of my body and laid down on top of him. Nuru Gel is so slick we had a ball rubbing all over each other. It’s both therapeutic and sensual all at the same time. I absolutely loved it. We wouldn’t be able to do this with any other product I know of, so the Nuru Gel was a real treat.“
Full Review HERE!

Now here’s Review Crew Member, Angie.

Aloe Cadabra with Vitamin E & Natural Aloe —— $9.95

Angie
In my time on the Dr Dick Review Crew I’ve developed into quite a connoisseur of personal lubricants. I’ve tried more products in the last couple of years than most women try in a lifetime. I’ve discovered a precious few products I like and way more that I didn’t care for. I decided some time ago that I would never use a conventional, chemically filled lubricant ever again. I just figure that life is too short and my body is too precious to contaminate it with needless chemicals. In other words, I’ve gone GREEN!

That’s way I was overjoyed to receive this 2.5oz container of Aloe Cadabra to review. It is a plant-based personal lubricant made from 95% organic aloe vera. The clever play on words, that is the product’s name, tickled me no end. And, as their name suggests, Aloe Cadabra is pretty magical.

Aloe Cadabra is lusciously silky and totally free of glycerine, parabens, alcohol, hormones or any other foreign chemical substances. I have the Vitamin E enriched formula, but there is also a Tahitian Vanilla and French Lavender formula. I intend to try all three.

I am post-menopausal so I have a real problem with vaginal dryness. But rather than suffer with this condition I have the utmost confidence using Aloe Cadabra. It is the closest thing to the natural lubricant my body used to make in abundance. I have several other health and beauty products that are mainly aloe vera gel. At first I was concerned that Aloe Cadabra would be too dense or might dry out or get sticky during use. But it wasn’t and it did not. Its silken consistency is neither too thick nor is it watery. It is the ideal personal lubricant for all my pleasurable moments, the ones I enjoy by myself as well as the ones I enjoy with my husband.

Speaking of which, my husband loves Aloe Cadabra too. He likes it because it’s never greasy and it’s perfect to use with even our finest silicone toys. And when he gets some in his mouth (my man is a passionate oral pleaser) Aloe Cadabra doesn’t taste bad. It is also condom friendly. My husband and I don’t have to worry about that, but I know many people in our audience need to know that.
Full Review HERE!

ENJOY

SEX WISDOM With Christopher Ryan — Podcast #257 — 01/19/11

Hey, hey sex fans! Welcome back.

I’m all a flutter, sex fans. I feel like the most popular boy in school just asked me to the prom. So ok, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. It’s more like the most popular boy in school just told me he wants to bugger me senseless. No, wait a minute; this isn’t coming out precisely as I hoped. Let’s just say that I’m thrilled to overflowing to have today’s guest join me for this SEX WISDOM podcast.

As you know, this series is all about talking with people who are changing the way we look at our sexual selves. And no one in this series so far has exceeded the impact of today’s guest on that discourse. I have the honor of welcoming psychologist, Christopher Ryan, coauthor of Sex At Dawn; The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality.

I confess; this book simply blew me away. And that’s pretty hard to do considering I’m such a jaded old queen. But honestly, I can’t remember being so impacted by anything I’ve read on the topic of human sexuality in like…evah! Sex At Dawn is nothing short of revolutionary. Despite this being a scholarly work, Christopher and his wife, Cacilda Jethá, have gone out of their way to make their presentation completely accessible even to a layman. There is nothing pretentious about it; the book is full of humor and fascinating antidotes. But I can assure you that it will reshape how you look at your own sexuality.

Christopher and I discuss:

  • The book tour and the media’s response;
  • The absence of a prescriptive element in the book;
  • Humans, extremely libidinous apes;
  • Our failure to question the default human sexual premise — long-term and sexually exclusive;
  • Ingrained behavior not the same as human nature;
  • Agriculture not the advance it’s cracked up to be;
  • Prehistory is 95% of the human experience;
  • The remnant hunter and gatherer societies;
  • Classical evolutionary theory is contaminated with Victorian assumptions;
  • The role of sex in hunter and gatherer societies;
  • Historical reports of first contact with indigenous peoples.

Christopher invites you learn more about Sex At Dawn by visiting their site HERE!  Look for him on Facebook HERE! And enjoy his twitter feed HERE!

(For a little icing on this already marvelous cake, enjoy the slideshow below.)

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Today’s podcast is bought to you by: Dr Dick’s Sex Advice and Dr Dick’s Sex Toy Review.

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

Human Rights + Sexual Rights = Sexual Freedom

On this the first annual National Sexual Freedom Day, sponsored by The Woodhull Freedom Foundation, I’d like to propose something quite radical. I suggest that our sexual freedoms, here in the United States, are intricately linked to universal sexual rights. And I contend that the notion of universal sexual rights is at its core a respect for human rights and human dignity.

In a world wracked by poverty, disease and war; where we threaten our very existence with climate altering pollution, nuclear proliferation and extreme population growth; is there room to talk about human rights that include sexual rights and sexual freedom?

I emphatically answer yes! In fact, I assert that sexual inequality and oppression is at the heart of many of the world’s problems. I contend that trying to address human rights without including the essential component of sexual rights and sexual freedom is ultimately doomed to failure.

An absence of sexual rights and sexual freedom leads to domestic and societal violence; human trafficking; suicide; a rise in Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs); unplanned pregnancies, abortion, and sexual dysfunction.

You know how we are always being encouraged to Think Globally and Act Locally? Well while we busy ourselves securing and celebrating our sexual rights here in this nation, I think we’d do well to focus some of our attention on how our struggle binds us to the rest of the human community.

I offer three examples of what I’m talking about. I invite you to consider how a myopic sexual rights and sexual freedom agenda, divorced from the overarching issues of human, economic and social rights, can be ineffectual and even counterproductive.

***

In 2008 the research community was all aflutter about ‘conclusive’ evidence linking HIV transmission and uncircumcised males. While I’m certainly not ready to take this data on face value, let’s just say, for the sake of discussion, that the link is conclusive. A massive campaign of circumcision was proposed as the best means of HIV prevention. The medical community would descend on epicenters of the disease, scalpels in hand; ready to eliminate the offending foreskins from every male in sight, young and old.

But wait, there’s a problem. Most HIV/AIDS epicenters are in underdeveloped countries. In these places, access to enough clean water to drink or attend to even the most basic personal hygiene, like daily cleaning under one’s foreskin, remains an enormous chronic problem. Without first addressing the problem of unfettered access to clean water and adequate sanitation, which according to The United Nations is a basic human right, further disease prevention efforts are doomed.

I mean, what are the chances that surgical intervention would succeed—one that would involve significant and sophisticated aftercare—if there is not even enough clean water for drinking and bathing?

These well-meaning medical personnel suggest imposing a strategy that not only works against nature—our foreskins do have a purpose after all: a healthy prepuce is a natural deterrent to infection. But this intervention would also violate long-held cultural and societal norms—circumcision is abhorrent to many of these same cultures. Wouldn’t this proposed prevention effort to stem the tide actually make matters worse?

***

Indentured sex work is another indicator of how human rights, sexual rights and sexual freedom are intertwined. Until the economic and educational opportunities for women throughout the world improve—which is a basic human right according to The United Nations—women will remain chattel. Families in economically depressed areas of the world will continue to be pressured to sell their daughters (and sons) simply to subsist.

Closing brothels and stigmatizing prostitutes overlooks the more pressing human rights concerns at play here. Sex is a commodity because there is a voracious market. Men from developed nations descend on the populations of less developed nations to satisfy sexual proclivities with partners they are prohibited from enjoying in their own country. Young women (and boys) in developing countries are viewed as exploitable and disposable, because they don’t have the same civil protections afforded their peers in the developed world. And runaway population growth in countries that deprive their women and girls access to education and contraception inevitably creates a never-ending supply of hapless replacements.

Addressing the endemic gender inequality in many societies is key. Equal access to education and economic resources must come before, or at least hand in hand with any serious sexual liberation effort.

***

Finally, people in the developed world enjoy a certain level of affluence and economic stability which allows them to indulge in sex recreationally. Thanks to effective birth control methods we can ignore the procreative aspects of sex and replace it with a means of expressing a myriad of other human needs. Not least among these are status, self-esteem and self-expression.

If we’re trying to prove something to ourselves, or others, by the way we conduct our sexual lives, simple prohibitions against certain sex practices won’t work. If I’m convinced that unprotected sex with multiple partners and sharing bodily fluids is edgy, cool fun, without serious consequence, as it’s portrayed in porn; I will be more likely to express myself the same way. This is especially true for young people who are already feeling invincible.

Case in point: there has been a startling uptick in seroconversions among young people, particularly gay men, which indicates that disease prevention efforts, even in the world’s most affluent societies, are simply not up to the task. It’s not that there is a scarcity of resources, quite the contrary. It is more likely that these efforts are not connected to a fundamental understanding of the role sexuality plays in the general population. I believe that sexual expression and sexual pleasure are the overarching issues here. These too are fundamental human rights.

No amount of safer sex proselytizing is going to prevail unless and until we look at why and how we express ourselves sexually. As we unravel this complex jumble of motivations and behaviors, effective prevention strategies will manifest themselves clearly. We must develop a sex-positive message; one that celebrates sexuality, builds self-esteem and counteracts the prevailing media messages of sex with no consequences.

***

National Sexual Freedom Day brings into focus the micro-strategies needed to combat a macro problem. But it also shows that we cannot work for and celebrate sexual freedom in a vacuum. It’s imperative that we see how global health and wellbeing is completely dependent on basic human rights, including sexual rights that include gender and reproductive rights, the elimination of sexual exploitation and the freedom of sexual expression.

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Scheduling difficulties prevent me from bringing you the latest installment of The Erotic Mind podcast series today. But with a little luck, that will resolve itself by next week.

Actually, I’m glad I have this positing opportunity, because September, as you may know is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.  And I have something important to say about that.

Curiously enough, I was contacted by another website recently and asked to contribute to a series they were doing on this very issue. They were looking for a unique take on prostate cancer awareness. I told them I had just the thing; and proceed to outline what I think is an exceptionally important, yet universally overlooked, aspect of prostate health — prostate self-awareness. Alas, the folks who run the website thought the concept of prostate self-exam was too edgy for them. After they declined my offer I thought to myself; man, there is incredible resistance, on virtually every front, for us men to become proactive in this aspect of our health.

Name: Gordon
Gender: male
Age: 67
Location: Florida
I guess I have more of a comment than a question. I’m 67, a widower and have been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. I never was very adventuresome when it came to sex. In fact, before my wife died two years ago, I never had sex with any other woman. I never gave prostate cancer a thought, never gave my prostate a thought either. Now I’m mad as hell that I didn’t. You see when I started to go to a prostate cancer support group I discovered I could have monitored myself better with a simple self-examination. Why don’t doctors tell us about this? Women are supposed to examine their breasts why don’t men examine their prostate? It’s so easy actually and yet it’s this big secret. Why don’t people talk about this? It makes me so mad because it could have made a big difference in my own life. Do you know about this self-examination Dr Dick? If you do why don’t you tell other people about this? I think it would help a lot if you could get the word out on this. Now that’s all I have to say. Thank you.

No, thank you Gordon. Thank you for sharing your concern with me…with us.

I’ve been a tireless activist of prostate self-exam for decades. Let me explain. My career as a therapist began in San Francisco in 1981. That was precisely the same year a mysterious new disease began showing up among gay men. Back then it was being called gay cancer, but soon it would have another name — HIV/AIDS.

As it turned out, my private practice focused down almost exclusively to working with sick and dying people. Luckily, I discovered that I was well suited for the job and I liked it very much. So much so that in the mid-90’s I founded a nonprofit organization called, PARADIGM; Enhancing Life Near Death. It was an outreach and resource for terminally ill, chronically ill, elder and dying people. This was brilliant cutting-edge work and I learned so much from the people I was working with. One of the things that struck me most was that regardless of the disease — cancer, HIV, MS, you name it, or even aging process for that matter — there was always a woeful lack of information about regaining a sense of sexual-self post diagnosis, or sexual wellbeing for seniors.

I recall one participant in particular, a man much like you, Gordon. He too had prostate cancer and, like you, he was mad as hell with the indifference of the medical industry toward prostate self-exam. One day during a group session, John was railing against doctors and cancer associations for their lack of interest in promoting prostate self-awareness. He pointed to the success of the cultural campaign to encourage women to self-examine their breasts. There is even a modest campaign to promote testicle self-exams. But apparently the medical industry draws the line at prostate self-exams. I guess no one is going to encourage a man to finger his ass, even to save his life.

Another group member, Clare, a senior woman in her 70’s and a breast cancer survivor, helped put things in perspective. She reminded us that breast self-awareness is a relatively new phenomenon. Her mother, aunt, sister and a niece all died of breast cancer before the self-exam campaign began in earnest. Clare went on to say that it was only through the hard work of individuals and grassroots organizations that actively campaigned for breast self-exams that things began to change. Eventually, this movement changed the medical and cultural mindset. Clare said that it was these individuals and grassroots organizations that helped all of us overcome the denial, shame and embarrassment that was associated with women touching themselves, even to save their lives.

This is an indication of just how ingrained the sex-negativity and body-negativity runs in this culture.

I continue to work with sick and dying people here in Seattle. I had a brief gig at a local cancer center where I developed an NIH (National Institute of Health) funded program for women newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer. At the same time, I was also working with a group of women with breast cancer and group of men with prostate cancer. Again every therapeutic intervention I encountered — government funded or foundation funded — was woefully lacking in any clear and unambiguous information about sexual health, wellbeing and intimacy issues post-diagnosis or surgical intervention.

To remedy this, I decided to produce a series of videos for people experiencing life threatening and/or disfiguring illnesses. Videos that would help them address reintegrating sex and intimacy into their lives post diagnosis. One of the first videos was going to be Public Service Announcement showing men how to do a prostate self-exam and what to look for. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the necessary funding for this groundbreaking work. My grantwriting efforts turned up zilch. I did, however, get a whole lot of, “What a fine idea, Richard. Good luck with that…” brush-off letters though. No foundation would be caught dead funding sexually overt pattern films, even ones with the laudable intent of assisting people with the life-saving information they needed most.

I’m sorry to have been so long-winded in my reply, Gordon. I just wanted you to know that many have preceded you with outrage at the conspiracy of silence regarding prostate self-exam. Let’s face it; our society is so ass-phobic that we’d rather see men die than offer them simple instructions on how to finger their butt, find their prostate and keep tabs on their prostate health.

If we want this to change we all need to speak out…as well as stick a finger in our ass.

Keep up the fight, Gordon! And please, stay in touch.

Good luck

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