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Monkey on my back

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And now for one of our regular, semi-obligatory Meth-related questions. I get at least a half dozen of these questions a month. And each and every one of them breaks my heart. I know nothing about the fellow writing me; I don’t know where he lives or his age. I don’t suppose it really matters, does it?

I need some help and I hope you can point me in the right direction. I am recently divorced and trying to move on in life but I’m depressed all the time and also using meth a lot. I have tried to have different sexual partners since my divorce and every time I’m with someone new I can get a erection when we are messing around with no problem, but soon as its time for penetration I loose my erection I feel like I’m having anxiety issues and also I’m very nervous, and I’m not impotent so can it be the meth preventing me to keep it up, or do I need medication for my anxiety? How can I overcome this problem?

I’m certain I can point you in the right direction. Thanks for asking. Allow me to speak plainly. Quit the meth! Quitting won’t solve all your problems, but it is the first and most important step. And frankly, if you choose not to quit, all your other efforts to pull your life together are doomed.

MonkeyBackMeth is not a therapy for depression, nor is it gonna help you connect with a new partner. It most assuredly will not help your erection problems; in fact, it is the cause of your erection problems. But I’ll wager you know that already, huh?

You also have an underlying performance anxiety problem that needs to be addressed ASAP.

Find a competent sex therapist to help you. look to the directory of The American College of Sexology for someone near you. Or you can check out my Therapy Available page.

In the meantime, take a look at some of the stuff I’ve written and podcasts where I talk about meth. Use the pull-down CATEGORIES menu in the sidebar, to your right, and scroll down till you fine the SEX & SUBSTANCES category. It’s under that category that you will find the subcategory Crystal Meth.

You’ll also want to take a look at some of the stuff I’ve written and podcasts where I talk about performance anxiety. Again, use the pull-down CATEGORIES menu in the sidebar and scroll down till you fine the SEX THERAPY category. Under that category you will find the subcategory Performance Anxiety.

Here are examples of the stuff you’ll find.

On meth:

Name: Joey
Gender:
Age: 22
Location: Southern Calif
Love doing tina with masturbation and watching really hot porn. Think this is just social fun?

Nope, I don’t Joey. Despite the prevalence of this dastardly drug, there is nothing fun about tina…crystal meth for those unfamiliar with the term “tina”. If you love doing tina for whatever reason, I’d wager you’re hooked on that shit.

Listen, I’m not prude when it comes to using some crystalmakesmesexy.jpgdrugs recreationally. But I think that we’d do well to stick to those drugs that are more natural. The less processing involved (and meth is the worst in that regard) and fewer added chemicals (OMG, the crap they put in crystal) the better, in my humble opinion.

Despite the admitted high ya get, recent research shows that long-term meth use destroys nerve cells in the brain that regulate dopamine, muscle movement, memory, and decision-making. This damage can be wide-spread and permanent.

Your body reacts to crystal meth the same way it reacts to danger. Crystal floods the body with adrenaline — the same hormone that prepares us for emergencies. Adrenaline gives a super-charge of strength and endurance so the body can deal with danger and injury. But artificially triggering this response over and over again will have serious consequences.

When you use crystal, your nervous system shifts into high gear. The brain floods your body with “danger” messages. Your body responds immediately to what it thinks is a threat. It prepares to fight or to run away. Common body responses to perceived danger include:

  • Pupils dilate to let in more light.
  • Hair stands on end (“getting goose bumps”).
  • Blood vessels just under the skin constrict.
  • Body temperature goes up

Regular, long-term crystal use will diminish sores of neurotransmitters. Episodes of paranoia and anxiety become more frequent and longer lasting. Blocked blood vessels within the brain can lead to increased chances of stroke.

Crystal fucks with your dopamine levels. Dopamine delivers a sense of reward and pleasure. It is also associated with body movement. Too little dopamine causes paralysis or a Parkinson’s-like tremors and rigidity. Too much dopamine and a person can become paranoid, hear voices and get twisted thoughts. Sound familiar?

Crystal fucks with your serotonin levels. Serotonin is involved in regulating sleep and sensory perception. It plays a role in moods and regulating body temperature. Serotonin is involved with many emotional disorders like schizophrenia, phobias, super-aggressive states and obsessive-compulsive behavior. Too much serotonin can make it difficult (or impossible) to have an orgasm. And of course there’s the dreaded “crystal dick”…the inability to get it up.

Joey, listen up! You’re way too young with too much of your life ahead of you to self-inflict so much serious irreparable damage on yourself. If this weren’t such a troublesome drug, there wouldn’t be such a virulent anti and reformed tweeker community out there. Want to know the real truth about “tina” check in at: crystalmeth.org. You’ll be glad you did.

On Performance Anxiety:

I get a dozen or so messages a month on this topic. I’ve written about it in numerous postings and spoken about it in several podcasts, but still the email comes.

One of the real bugaboos for anyone, regardless of gender, is living up to our own expectations of sexual performance. So many things can get in the way, literally and figuratively, of fully enjoying ourselves and/or pleasuring our partners.

The arousal stage of our sexual response cycle is particularly vulnerable to a disruption. And when there’s trouble there, there’s no hiding it. A limp dick or a dry pussy can put the kibosh on all festivities that we may have hoped would follow.

However, performance anxiety can strike any of us, regardless of age, and at just about any point in our sexual response cycle. This is a particularly galling when it seems to come out of the blue. And regaining our composure can be more far more difficult than we imagine.

Today we will be focusing on male performance anxiety. I’ll address female performance anxiety at a later date.
Complete Article HERE!

Good luck

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First Q&A Show of 2013 — Podcast #360 — 01/21/13

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Hey sex fans,black tie

Alrighty then! It’s time for our first Q&A show for the New Year. I have a whole bunch of very interesting correspondents vying for their moment in the sunshine, so to speak. Each one is ready to share his or her sex and relationship concerns with us. And I will do my level best to make my responses informative, enriching and maybe even a little entertaining.

  • John is horny as hell and wants to jack off with other guys. I turn him on to Bateworld.
  • Rocky is gettin’ pounded pretty hard, afterward he can’t pee.
  • Holly hasn’t had a date in 48 years. She’s having problems connecting with a good man.
  • Brian is lookin’ to zap his hole.
  • Conner thinks his BF is jerkin off too much.
  • Michael has crystal dick.
  • Lili describes, in great detail, her sex life with her hubby.

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

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

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

DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

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

Today’s Podcast is bought to you by: The Perfect Fit Brand!

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Time after time

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Name: Frasier
Gender:
Age: 63
Location: Southern Calif
I’ve been a widower for 9 years now.  But before she died it was always my fantasy to see her suck another guy’s cock.  Since she’s passed away I’ve had this fantasy of me sucking another guy’s cock.  This never crossed my mind before she died.  Can you help me understand this?

Hmmm, Frasier, let me see if I got this straight.  You’ve been a widower for 9 years.  However, while your wife was still living you had a fantasy of watching her suck another guy’s cock.  Ok, not a particularly odd fetish that.  But I am unclear about one thing.  Did this wife sucking other guy’s cock actually happen, or not?  Not that this is particularly important, just wondering.  So, now 9 years later you say you suddenly have the urge to smoke some pole yourself, even though you’ve never thought of doing this before.  Is this correct?

Ahhh even if I understand you correctly, I don’t get the question.  Wait, maybe there is no bjbw.jpgquestion?  Maybe you’re just curious about why a 63 year old confirmed, dyed in the wool straight heterosexual guy like you suddenly realizes he want to suck himself some cock.  I can see how you might find this little discovery a bit disconcerting, but it’s certainly not unprecedented. I guess you’re being startled out of our sexual complacency, huh?  Not to worry, it may simply be situational.  You are probably worried that this makes you queer, right?  I think we can safely say that your curious new interest means no such thing.

Let’s just say for the sake of argument that you decide to pursue this little jones of yours and you take the opportunity to wrap your lips around some other dude’s johnson.  Ok, then what?  Well, basically nothing.  If you find, after this little adventure, that you don’t much like sucking cock and that you’re really still into pussy.  No harm done.  You experimented a little and you now have more information about yourself then you did before the experimental blowjob.  You may simply discover that you only like having your female partners do the cock sucking while you do the watching.  Like I said, a relatively harmless and unremarkable fetish.

But, what if you decide to pursue this little jones of yours and you actually take the opportunity to wrap your lips around some other guy’s johnson and you really like it.  Well that’s a horse of different color, isn’t it?  Then you’ll have to come to grips with the realization that despite you long history of straight heterosexualism, you might be, at this point in your life, kinda bisexual.  How fun for you!

There is of course another explanation.  Some exclusively straight heterosexual guys suck dick not because it’s a turn on…the dick sucking that is.  They do it to be submissive.  Alrighty, whatever turns one’s crank!

I think we can safely say that for the most part, humans are not sexual automatons.  Given a more permissive and sex-positive culture then our own, we’d all be more fluid in our eroticism and sexual expression. It’s true; you are in unfamiliar waters, sexually speaking.  But it’s just a little adventure, not the end of the world. I hope you give yourself permission to experiment a bit.

Ya know, you could hook up with a male escort or see an erotic masseur for a little taste.  In fact, I’d tell the provider what you just told me.  Let him know you’re looking to experiment a little, but you’re unsure how to begin.  I’ll bet the provider will be very helpful.  Write back sometime, I’d love to know how it goes for you.

Name: Joey
Gender:
Age: 22
Location: Southern Calif
Love doing tina with masturbation and watching really hot porn. Think this is just social fun?

Nope, I don’t Joey.  Despite the prevalence of this dastardly drug, there is nothing fun about tina…crystal meth for those unfamiliar with the term “tina”.  If you love doing tina for whatever reason, I’d wager you’re hooked on that shit.

Listen, I’m not prude when it comes to using some crystalmakesmesexy.jpgdrugs recreationally.  But I think that we’d do well to stick to those drugs that are more natural.  The less processing involved (and meth is the worst in that regard) and fewer added chemicals (OMG, the crap they put in crystal) the better, in my humble opinion.

Despite the admitted high ya get, recent research shows that long-term meth use destroys nerve cells in the brain that regulate dopamine, muscle movement, memory, and decision-making. This damage can be wide-spread and permanent.

Your body reacts to crystal meth the same way it reacts to danger. Crystal floods the body with adrenaline — the same hormone that prepares us for emergencies. Adrenaline gives a super-charge of strength and endurance so the body can deal with danger and injury. But artificially triggering this response over and over again will have serious consequences.

When you use crystal, your nervous system shifts into high gear. The brain floods your body with “danger” messages. Your body responds immediately to what it thinks is a threat. It prepares to fight or to run away. Common body responses to perceived danger include:

  • Pupils dilate to let in more light.
  • Hair stands on end (“getting goose bumps”).
  • Blood vessels just under the skin constrict.
  • Body temperature goes up

Regular, long-term crystal use will diminish sores of neurotransmitters.  Episodes of paranoia and anxiety become more frequent and longer lasting. Blocked blood vessels within the brain can lead to increased chances of stroke.

Crystal fucks with your dopamine levels. Dopamine delivers a sense of reward and pleasure. It is also associated with body movement. Too little dopamine causes paralysis or a Parkinson’s-like tremors and rigidity. Too much dopamine and a person can become paranoid, hear voices and get twisted thoughts. Sound familiar?

Crystal fucks with your serotonin levels.  Serotonin is involved in regulating sleep and sensory perception. It plays a role in moods and regulating body temperature. Serotonin is involved with many emotional disorders like schizophrenia, phobias, super-aggressive states and obsessive-compulsive behavior. Too much serotonin can make it difficult (or impossible) to have an orgasm.  And of course there’s the dreaded “crystal dick”…the inability to get it up.

Joey, listen up!  You’re way too young with too much of your life ahead of you to self-inflict so much serious irreparable damage on yourself.  If this weren’t such a troublesome drug, there wouldn’t be such a virulent anti and reformed tweeker community out there.  Want to know the real truth about “tina” check in at:  crystalmeth.org.  You’ll be glad you did.

Name: Shelly
Gender: Female
Age: 20
Location: Raleigh, NC
My boyfriend and I are 20.  We’ve been together for almost two years and we’re in love.  But we have a problem.  I’m pro-choice and he isn’t.  He says he won’t have sex with me unless I agree to have the kid if I get pregnant. I told him there’s no way I can agree to that.  It’s my choice because it’s my body.  But then he says it’s his choice to stop having sex with me because he disagrees with my views. Where do I go from here? I’m not ready to start a family; we’re not even married.

Ya know, Shelly, if men got pregnant, abortion would be a sacrament.

Where do you go from here?  Simply put?  Hit the road; or better yet, tell him to.  This dude who you say you love and loves you back is actually trying to control you with his dick.  That’s never a good thing.  It would also set a dangerous precedent for the rest of your relationship.  Because if he gets his way on this one; mark my words, he’ll try the same dickhead ploy over and over again.  I realize you don’t have much of a frame of reference about these things, being as young as you are.  But healthy adult relationships don’t come with sexual unplanned_pregnancy.jpgultimatums.  EVER.

There is of course a way to have your cake and eat it too.  You can enjoy a full and rich sex life and avoid unplanned pregnancies all at the same time.  Let me introduce you kids to a little concept we call contraception.

WTF, you’re both 20 years old, you should have a handle on elementary notion already. Where have you been all your life?  Both of you should be well versed in several methods of contraception.  And you both should practice at least one foolproof method.  If you are too immature to put this together, I can assure you you’re way to immature to commence fucking.  Get it?

Here’s the deal.  I’m not a big fan of abortion either, especially when it’s used as the primary means of avoiding a pregnancy.  And since there’s a very safe and easy way to avoid this unfortunate moral dilemma, you guys would be fools not to take advantage of it.  But wait!  What if the BF is opposed to contraception?  It sure sounds to me like he might.  Well then you really are shit out of luck.  No fucking for you till you’re married.  No, till you are absolutely ready to conceive, even if that’s well after you’re married.  Because you know you’re gonna get knocked up the very first time you let him near your pussy.

Mutual masturbation works an alternative to full on fucking.  But probably there’s some prohibition against that in his world too, huh?  So you see why I said at the beginning that your best option is to hit the road, or tell him to.

Good luck ya’ll

Lookin’ for a good time?

Check out Dr Dick’s How To Video Library.

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Running on Empty

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I know things are a bit mixed up this week.  Frequent visitors to Dr Dick’s Sex Advice will know that Wednesdays are traditionally Video Days on the site. But I have to veer off course this week.  I have some questions to respond to and I can’t do my Q&A on Friday this week, as I usually do, because I have a swell Product Review scheduled for Friday.

Do you see how nutty things can get when you have more things to do than days to do them on?  Anyhow, breaking with tradition every now and again is a good thing.

Name: lost angel
Gender: Male
Age: 21
Location: cali
Is the base of the penis behind the balls??? When I get hard my cock points kinda upward is this ok????

The base of your cock is not behind your balls.  That’s what’s called your dick root.  The base of your cock is where your cock meets your pubic bone on the dorsal (top) side of your johnson.

Having your boner point upward is as good as a place for it to point as any; and maybe better than some.

Name: Stephen
Gender: Male
Age: 41
Location: Va
As I have gotten older my sex drive has decreased tremendously. What can I do to turn it around?

Everyone’s libido decreases as he/she ages.  There’s no gettin around that.  However, a healthy lifestyle — good nutrition, maintaining your proper weight, getting an adequate amount of sleep, eliminating stress, modest alcohol and caffeine consumption and regular exercise will keep your sexual response cycle at its peek throughout your life.  Simply put, the healthier you are; the more libido you will enjoy.

That being said, I am increasingly more optimistic about the use of herbal supplements to help us gh.jpgropex.jpgolder folk stay in tip-top sexual condition.  To that end, I’d like to turn you on to three products I am currently testing on myself — Ropex, GH and Onkor Energy.   A full product review of Ropex and GH will appear on this site in time.  But the Onkor Energy review is already available on the Product Reviews page. Look for REVIEW #14.

What I’ve discovered through my product testing and review is that not all herbal supplements are created equal.  But you’ve probably figured this out on your own, huh?  I’ve tried several similar products that were completely ineffectual.  Others had unpleasant side effects.onkormen.jpg

Here’s something everyone should know.  A lot of these “Male Enhancement” and herbal products are produced in China under dubious conditions.  And everyone in the supplement industry will tell you, confidentially of course, that most of these products are adulterated with knock-off pharmaceuticals.  And that’s down right dangerous for us all.

I confidently offer these three products to you, because they work for me.  Just be assured that neither one of these products will not override a pathologically unhealthy lifestyle.  Look to your personal health and wellbeing first.  Supplement that if you must.

Hej from Sweden,
I am Mark and wanting advice regarding douching correctly.  I am 100% bottom but for personal reasons I decided to give up sex for at least 1 year.  NOW I have the horn again and I’m definitely in the mood!  I am wanting to be sure that all is ‘clean’ down there before having my ass played with  …..any advice on proper cleaning.
Great website BTW!
Hugs and blowjobs….
Mark x

Warm water is all you need.  Never use soap.b712.jpg

Some men add lemon juice or vinegar (1-2 Tbs. per quart) of the warm water.  Others dissolve (2 Tbs.) of baking soda in a quart of warm water.

Stay away from commercially produced douches; most contain harmful and irritating chemicals.  And trust me, you don’t want that.  Besides, all those over the counter douches are expensive.  And all that packaging is definitely not eco-friendly.  And we all want to be green perverts, don’t we?

Finally there is always the ever-versatile shower or bath bidet option. You can find one model, the Travel Shur Shot, in My Stockroom.

There are also stainless steel options that hook up to your shower head.

Name: Tommy
Gender: Male
Age: 36
Location: Ontario,CA
HI Dick : I had a problem keeping an erection when under the influence of crystal meth. It’s not that i wasn’t aroused. Is this common when taking speed?

Ahhh HELLO!  Are you so new to the Tina scene that you’ve never heard the term — “Crystal Dick”?   Holy cow!  Time to wake up and smell the coffee, honey.

 

meth_kills9.jpg

All tweakers will inevitably experience erection problems; some will be so serious that the guy will never recover.  Tweakers will often try to compensate for this lack of wood by taking Viagra, or another erection enhancing drug.  This is extremely dangerous because this combination will raise one’s blood pressure to dangerously high levels.  Or one could experience a really long lasting hardon, that could actually permanently damage your rod.

You’ve probably heard the old adage:  Meth Kills, right?  Well, it true.  While it may not be the death of you, per se.  You can be assured that it will kill your sexual response cycle.

Name: jack
Gender: Male
Age: 26
Location: denmark
hey I’m a 26 year old male who has struggled with alcohol abuse for many years as a result my balls have shrunk I don’t know what to do but I’m nervous about having sex and have even thought of taking my life.  I feel humiliated.  Is there something I can do or can I learn to live with this?  Will guys mind?

First off, congratulations on kickin’ the booze habit.  My hat is off to you!  If you can conquer balls6.jpgalcoholism, you’re pretty much set up to handle anything life sends your way; including a case of shrunken nuts.

Don’t despair, my friend, no one’s gonna kick you out of the sack for havin’ marbles in the sack instead of eggs.  Lots of men have smaller than usual testicles and it has nothing to do with alcohol consumption.  It’s just a natural variation on size and shape.

No need to be self-conscious about something as trivial as ball size and lose sight of the fact that you’ve overcome one of the worst scourges known to human kind.  You are a hero!  Never forget that.  And if the only scars you have to show for your valiant battle against demon alcohol is smaller cajones, then you’re luckier than most.

Get out there and learn to enjoy yourself again.  You will soon find that most men will be attracted to you for your personal courage and tenacity.  They won’t give a damn about the size of your balls.

Name: sami
Gender: Male
Age: 25
Location: Pakistan
I have visit many website and read about the erectile dysfunction problems but I want to know some thing about my problem which I have with my penis and I have used too much medicine for this and this problem is with me more than 6 years. I m from Pakistan and here doctors not treat me well or they are not expert in erectile dysfunction.
I’m 25 year old now and single.  The problem is that when ever I think about the sex or see any porn movie or chat with girl on sex topic then the drops like water come outside but its not like water its some juicy type and after this no erection come in my penis. And it cum soon without erection. I have used many medicines but to no avail.  Please tell me about my disease what is this?
And when ever I try to do sex with girl then again this drops come very fast in early and after that no erection and I can cum after one minute using my hands. I have also problem of early ejaculation too. While when i sleep and get up in morning some time my penis is in full erection and full motion but whenever I think about sex these drops come and the erection finish of my penis. So please tell me in details about this disease. Diagnose it and tell me the medicine for this because I want treatment from online doctor not from the Pakistani doctors and also want to take medicine online imported one because in Pakistan also not available good quality and variety medicine. Thanks

Things sound like they are in a pretty sorry state there in Pakistan.  That’s regrettable.

First up, if I understand you correctly, and that is a big “IF”; I’m gonna guess that you don’t need a doctor or medication.  It appears to me that you are dealing with two distinct issues:  1) excessive precum and 2) premature ejaculation.  Ok, let’s handle each one of these in turn.

You’ll find all the postings and podcasts I’ve done on the topic of pre-ejaculate by going to the precum03.jpegCATEGORIES section in the sidebar and searching for the word “precum”. Basically, excessive precum is nothing more than a bothersome issue for most men who experience it.  But it’s not a medical condition.  And there aren’t any medications you can take to relieve the problem.  Think of it as the equivalent of excessive sweating. There’s not a whole lot you can do about that either.  Issues like these tend to clear up on their own as we age.

You’ll find all the postings and podcasts I’ve done on the topic of premature ejaculation by going to the CATEGORIES section in the sidebar and searching for the words “lasting longer”.  Basically, a guy can easily learn to control his ejaculation response with a little effort on his part.  These postings and podcasts contain detailed “how to” instructions on how to achieve this control.  Again, this is not a medical condition.  And there aren’t any medications you can take to relieve the problem.

Name: liza
Gender: Female
Age: 30
Location: tyne and wear
My boyfriend is a transvestite and just recently he has started taking fenugreek seed tablets and red clover blossom tablets do you have any ideas why? I am concerned that michael5.jpgmaybe he is wanting to become a woman full time could this be a possibility? Please help???

I think I’m a pretty wise and insightful guy, but I would never hazard a guess as to what might be going on in the mind of a drag queen…ever!  😉

I suppose the only way you will know for sure what he’s up to is to ask.

What I can say with some certainty is that most TV’s (transvestites) are not TS’s (transexuals), nor are they gender dysphoric.  They just like frilly knickers!

I looked up the herbal supplements you mentioned and I didn’t find anything that would suggest a sex change in the offing.  It’s more likely a case of dyspepsia.

Dear Dr. Dick,
I asked this question on the anonymous form but would prefer and
answer in my email.
I am concerned about my ED that I seem to have developed over the last
year or so. It could be the anti-depressants I am on but I have a
feeling it is Viagra. I have used Viagra for many years even when I
didn’t need it. It was just a guarantee that I could go all night. My
concern is that I have become dependent on it. When I don’t use it I
can get hard but it never last which is frustrating when with a very
hot bttm guy.
Hope to hear from you soon.

Yes, the use of antidepressants will surely impact, in a negative sort of way, one’s (both women and men) sexual response cycle, particularly the arousal stage.  In your case, your ability to get and/or cockbeans.jpgmaintain an boner.

I’ve written and spoken a lot about the use of Viagra and its fellow drugs.  You can find the postings and podcasts by going to the CATEGORY section in the sidebar of my site and search for Erection Enhancing Drugs.

Many men are becoming “hooked” on these drugs.  I would seriously recommend that you not use these meds recreationally.  I, for example, tend to rely on a cockring as opposed to a pharmaceutical.

You might also consider a high quality herbal supplement, like the ones I recommended to Steven up above.

Good luck ya’ll

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Threesome Tips: 6 Things You Should Know Before Having One

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By Sophie Saint Thomas

Yes, “unicorn” is a problematic term for a person who joins a couple for a threesome (they’re a person, not a sex toy or prop). But the title gets one thing right: Like unicorns, enthusiastic guest stars in couples’ sexual adventures are hard to find. (I refuse to accept that unicorns do not exist at all. They’re probably somewhere in Alaska or Iceland, and the narwhals just won’t tell us where.) The person who is eager to show up and fulfill both your and your partner’s sexual fantasies and then disappear without a trace is likely, well, a fantasy. Hot threesomes happen, but they take preparation and communication, and not everyone is ready to successfully venture into the mystical land of group sex. For all those in relationships considering having a threesome, here are six things to know before you dive in.

1. A threesome will not “fix” your relationship.

If your partnered sex life is suffering, you could have an adult conversation about how your needs aren’t being met. You could see a couples therapist. You could carve out a night for absolutely nothing except an oral-sex marathon. (Actually, maybe do that no matter how good your sex life is.) What you shouldn’t do is expect a new sexual experience to magically solve your problems. David Ortmann, a San-Francisco- and Manhattan-based psychotherapist and sex therapist, says couples who turn to threesomes often do so in an effort to put a Band-Aid on unresolved intimacy issues. “If you’re having a threesome because sex is boring, you need to address why the sex is boring before you bring in the third,” Ortmann says. When the third leaves, your intimacy issues will still be there.

2. Your pre-threesome communication with your partners should be exhaustive.

Before you and your partner have a threesome, you should have talked about it so much that you’re tired of talking about it. “The couple needs to be on solid ground sexually and communication-wise. They need to know what they want to happen and why,” Ortmann says.

Do you feel more comfortable sleeping with a mutual acquaintance or creating a couple’s Tinder account to find a third? If you’re an opposite-sex couple looking for a female-bodied third, can the male partner have all kinds of sex with them or, for example, only manual and oral? Does the third get to spend the night? Does the third want to spend the night? Have you discussed what you want out of the group sex, both sexually and emotionally? What’s your exit plan if someone gets uncomfortable and says the safe word? Do you have a safe word? (You should.) Are you tired of reading these questions? Conversations around sex and intimacy can feel tedious, but they’re the foundation of a positive experience.

Unless you, your partner, and your third are on the same page about everyone’s boundaries, expectations, and desires — and you understand things might not go to plan — you’re likely not ready for a threesome. Talk with your partner about what you don’t want to happen, what you’d like to happen, and what you’re expecting to get out of the threesome experience. Then, when you’ve identified a potential third, discuss all of the same with them, too. A threesome should be like a carefully planned trip to a foreign country you’ve never visited: Prepare with an itinerary, but also expect the unexpected.

3. Someone may feel left out at some point — and if you can’t bear the thought of it being you, you may not be ready for a threesome.

Ortmann puts it bluntly when he tells me, “Three people is actually the most problematic of all of the configurations.” Considering the emotional and physical needs of one person during sex (while also expressing your own) is hard enough. Adding an extra person compounds the complications, whereas in “moresomes,” or groups or partners larger than three, it’s often less likely an individual will feel left out at any given time.

Here’s a heads-up for those in \relationships: Be ready to awkwardly sit on the bed questioning what to do while your partner goes down on the third with a hunger you haven’t seen from them for months. Maybe you’ll end up realizing, “Oh! I get to touch some boobs,” but you might also find yourself wondering, “Wait, why is no one’s face in my delicious genitals?”

These moments happen, but one way to make it less likely anyone will feel extraneous is to meet a potential third in a non-sexual setting before inviting them into your bed. Once I convinced my ex-boyfriend to go on a date with me and another woman with the goal of facilitating a threesome. We matched with a woman on Tinder who accepted our invitation for drinks. My ex and this woman vibed, and while I liked her as a person, there was no chemistry between us. I felt like the third wheel on a date with my own partner — a great sign the dynamic in bed wouldn’t have been rewarding for me either.

4. Safer sex precautions are non-negotiable.

Safer sex devices, such as condoms and dental dams, are crucial in a threesome. Your souvenirs of the experience should be hot memories, not STIs or unintended pregnancy. And condoms aren’t just for penises: Any threesome that features sex toys should incorporate them too. Perhaps you and your partner are in a monogamous and fluid-bonded relationship, meaning you’ve decided to exchange bodily fluids and start having unprotected sex, but you’re bringing in a third who is likely sleeping with other people. It’s important to discuss everyone’s safer sex rules before any action takes place.

Your souvenirs of the experience should be hot memories, not STIs or unintended pregnancy

In terms of etiquette, when it comes to threesomes, I feel about condoms the way I feel about appetizers: If you’re hosting the party, you should be the one providing them. Talk as a group about what other items you’d like to have at the ready: Will lube enhance the experience? How about toys? And P.S.: Even if you’re not having penetrative sex, or even oral sex, keep in mind that STIs such as HPV and herpes can be spread by skin-to-skin contact.

5. You could catch feelings.

Once my traveling ex-boyfriend said it was cool if I dated other people while he was out of town with the sneaky hope I would find a third for when he got home. He and I broke up, and the woman I met on Tinder while he was away had hot sex on our own and eventually became best friends. (Hey, he said I could date and I took him at his word.) Going back to communication, it’s important to be crystal clear with your partner about what you’re looking for. If you are both in pursuit of hot sex via a threesome, great. But if one of you is secretly looking for an extra-relationship emotional connection and the other isn’t, things could get messy.

And even if you and your partner are both just looking for hot sex, it’s important to understand all three people in a threesome have emotions that can’t be completely predicted. The third could leave with a desire to see one or both of you again, or your partner could want more and end up hitting up the third on the DL — when you open a sexual door, emotions may creep in too. It might feel awkward to bring this possibility up with your partner in advance, but you’ll be that much more equipped to deal with the eventuality if you do.

6. A threesome will likely change your dynamic with your partner.

Now, this isn’t always a bad thing. If you’ve communicated well and put due diligence into finding a third you’re both comfortable with, you could have a satisfying threesome that inspires more wild sex between the two of you long after you’ve kissed your third goodbye. In my experience, locking eyes with your partner as they penetrate your new friend from behind while said friend goes down on you is about as sexy as Earthling existence gets.

Threesomes can be enticing and exciting, and you and your partner could both really like the experience: You may want to integrate it into your regular sex life or consider even dating a third person. Then again, the sex could suck, you could feel left out, or your partner could develop feelings for the guest star — it’s all possible. If you’re in a healthy relationship based on strong communication and shared desires, you should be able to weather these risks. And if not, you probably have a few things to work on before you’re ready to welcome a guest star to your bed.

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