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The Erotic Mind of M. Christian — Podcast #231 — 09/20/10

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Hey sex fans,

Holy Cow, we’re on the cusp of another change in the seasons. Where does the time go? Happy Autumnal Equinox, northern hemisphere folks! And happy Vernal Equinox, southern hemisphere folks!

I don’t know about you but I’ve like totally jonesin’ for another fix of The Erotic Mind
podcast series. It’s seems like it’s been ages since the episode. We had such an exciting summer of shows that took us pretty far a field from where the series started. We visited with an artist who creates her erotica with the spoke word; one that creates his erotica with photography and rope; and another artist who creates her erotica with her own body through burlesque.

But today we return to home base and visit with an artist who creates his erotica with the written word. I have the pleasure of introducing you to the enormously talented author and editor, M. Christian. He is probably the most prolific author we’ve met to date. And besides his big fat uncut writing talent, he is also a sheer joy to chat with.

As a special treat, M. Christian will share a mouth-watering selection of the fruit of his Erotic Mind. You do not want miss this, people!

M. Christian and I discuss:

  • A shout out to our mutual friend Jeremy Edwards;
  • Being a ridiculously prolific writer and editor, a literary streetwalker with a heart of gold;
  • Contributing to lots of interesting anthologies;
  • His first story published in 1993;
  • Writing or editing, his preference and why;
  • His writing voice being different from his speaking voice;
  • Playing with his identity;
  • Who is M. Christian.

As a special treat,M. Christian will share a mouth-watering selection of the fruit of his Erotic Mind. You do not want miss this, people!

For all things M. Christian, be sure to visit his site HERE!  More fun can be had HERE and HERE!

(click on the thumbnails to get more information about these volumes)

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

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

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

DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

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

Today’s Podcast is bought to you by: DR DICK’S — HOW TO VIDEO LIBRARY.

drdickvod.jpg

Keep It Clean

Hey sex fans!

It’s Product Review Friday and we have some clever items from Empire Labs to tell you about.  This is the second batch of their product reviews. You can see the first batch HERE!

Dr Dick Review Crew members Jada and Jack & Karen are today’s presenters.

Body Spa Vibrating Foam Sponge —— $ 19.95

Jada
How very delightful! That was the first thought that came to mind when I was handed the Body Spa Vibrating Foam Sponge. But, as sometimes happens, the concept doesn’t always live up to the expectation. So I decided to take a “wait and see” attitude before I got too emotionally involved with this product.

The sweet minimalist packaging is truly refreshing. It hits all the right notes. The Body Spa Vibrating Foam Sponge package is clean, tasteful and wouldn’t be out of place in even a high-end spa boutique. Inside the package is a teardrop shaped natural sponge about the size of my hand. It is featherweight, just as you would expect from a natural sponge. And hidden inside is a small but powerful bullet vibe.

I could feel the vibe when I scrunched the sponge and with a little fiddling I found the “on” button. I was running a bath for myself at the time and I caught myself in the mirror smiling a Cheshire Cat grin. Oh yes, I thought, this will do nicely.

The promotional blurb for the Body Spa Vibrating Foam Sponge reads in part: “You never knew getting clean could be so dirty! Leave it in your shower; this discreet sponge completely hides the vibrator inside. No need to “de-toy” before guests show up!” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Once I was comfortably settled in my steamy and foamy bath I reached for the Body Spa Vibrating Foam Sponge. The vibrations in this thing are surprisingly strong and exceptionally quiet. As I rubbed myself with the soapy sponge the vibration made me tingle. I have other waterproof vibes that I use in my bath from time to time, but none of the others help me clean and exfoliate my skin while they pleasure me. I think I’m in heaven.
Full Review HERE

Tongue Vibe Dual Pack —— $34.95

Jack & Karen
Jack: “We have two different, but very similar vibes to tell you about today. And we’ll do them one at a time, if you don’t mind.”
Karen: “First up we have the Tongue Vibe Dual Pack. The rather garish and oversized plastic packaging contains a smaller, compact-sized plastic flip-top case that contains two Tongue Vibes already loaded with batteries (thank you very much!) and four extra batteries. Extra points for this thoughtful gesture, for sure.”
Jack: “The vibes are phthalate-free, latex-free and hypoallergenic, or so reads the package. However, I have to wonder since the little plastic bullet vibes are encased in a jelly material. But let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. Each vibe also has a finger/cock/tongue strap. Both vibes are ribbed and glow in the dark. How fun is that?”
Karen: “Each Tongue Vibe has two speeds. Neither speed will knock your socks off. And I found trying to adjust the speed control on such a tiny vibe to be a bit disconcerting. I would have much preferred a stronger single speed vibe.”
Jack: “Ya know what these things remind me of? Hearing aids! Everything about the package, vibes and batteries remind me of that. Which just goes to show you how discreet these little things are.”
Karen: “Since there are two vibes in the package, we each got one to play with. Jack got the blue one, because he’s a boy. I got the pink one, because I’m a girl.”
Jack: “I promptly broke mine. I know; I couldn’t believe it either. I think my big clumsy man fingers were too much for the delicate little speed control. Sorry!”
Karen: “I tried putting my vibe on my tongue using the strap like the picture on the package. It wasn’t particularly comfortable and it kept slipping off. Here’s another thing. I couldn’t get over the feeling that I could accidentally swallow the vibe and have it lodge in my throat. That disturbing thought was a real buzz kill. I realize there was little chance of that happening, because of the strap, but still. Also, having Jack’s penis in my mouth and the vibe was way too much.”
Full Review HERE

Finger Vibe Dual-Speed —— $9.95

Jack & Karen
Jack: “Let’s move on to the other vibe.”
Karen: “This is the Finger Vibe Dual-Speed. Happily it comes in a small package — a bubble on a card actually. It is already loaded with batteries. Again, we really appreciate the that thoughtfulness.”
Jack: “It is exactly the same blue vibe that comes with the Tongue Vibe Dual Pack. However, this vibe is encased in a nubbed jelly casing. I have the same reservations about it being phthalate-free as I did with the Tongue Vibe, but I’ll let that go for now. This vibe comes with a little finger strap. The vibe is ribbed and glow in the dark.”
Karen: “Like the Tongue Vibe, the Finger Vibe has two speeds. Neither speed will blow your mind. Adjusting the speed using the tiny control mechanism is a very delicate operation. Please be careful; it can easily break.”
Full Review HERE

ENJOY

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

Manhandled

Hey sex fans,

We’re back, and we’re sliding into Labor Day weekend, after a couple weeks off, with a couple of swell reviews. Today’s edition of Product Review Friday will be comin at ya in just a second. But first I want to make sure that you’ve all noticed the totally new look of my REVIEW site. It has a brand-spankin-new magazine format that mirrors this, my ADVICE site.

All the functions of the old site — search-ability, your favorite reviewers, the Categories section and Tags are still there, just like on this site. But now you can quickly scan a thumbnail image and a blurb for each review without having to scroll through the whole damn review. There is also a Headline review and a handful of featured reviews. Pretty gal-darn sweet, huh?

Today’s products come to us courtesy of our good friends at Adult Sex Toys .comDr Dick Review Crew members include — Jack & Karen and Greg.

Anal Invader With Cock Cage —— $15.35

Jack & Karen
Jack: “Probably ya’ll know I’m still pretty new at the whole butt sex, right? I’ve been experimenting with several toys and I am discovering that I really like butt plugs.”
Karen: “I got a very nice strap-on that I get to use on this man’s tush every now and again. And I have to tell you, it is a fuckin turn on.”
Jack: “It’s true; she gets off on being the top. I mean, who could blame her? So when I’m in the mood to get pegged, I warm myself up with one of my plugs and it’s pretty much smooth sailing from there.”
Karen: “He can wear a plug for hours prior to my ass-ault.”
Jack: “The newest addition to my growing collection is the Anal Invader With Cock Cage. It’s made of black latex. (If you have a latex allergy, this toy is definitely not for you.) It’s 4.5″ long with an insertable length of just over 3″. A super-sized bullet vibe slips into the base and it is powered by one AA battery. (Battery not included.) A dial on the base of the vibe controls the vibration intensity. This dial setup is only ok; it isn’t the ideal controller for a butt plug.”
Karen: “Tell them about the cock cage part.”
Jack: “Oh yeah! Honestly, I couldn’t get into this…both literally and figuratively. It seemed to me to be a completely unnecessary addition to the butt plug. Besides, it’s one of those, ‘one size fits all’ set ups and it was both awkward and uncomfortable. In the end, I wound up cutting the cage doohickey off and just using the plug.”
Karen: “You also said that with the cage attached, the plug pointed the wrong way in your bum, right?”
Jack: “That’s right! The plug is supposed to hit my prostate, but with the cage attached, the head of the plug pointed away from my P-spot. But the gradually increasing sized bumps on the plug are great for warming yourself up for the full insertion. And once you have it fully inserted it stays in place nicely, as any good butt plug should. I love walking around with a plug in my ass. It makes me super hard.”
Full Review HERE

Naughty Boy Blue —— $68.41

Greg
I have the pleasure of introducing you to a fantastic toy, the Naughty Boy. Made by the same people who gave us the Rude Boy. Look for Dr Dick’s review of that puppy HERE!

The Naughty Boy is officially my new favorite ass play toy. Mine is blue, but it also comes in black. It has a very masculine design; it provides a very nice prostate massage as well as perineum massage. The one-speed bullet vibe in the base is powered by a couple of those small round watch batteries (the first set comes with the toy). They do a pretty good job delivering the sensations I am looking for in an anal toy. It has a very modest insertable length of just over 4″ with a slender diameter that starts out not bigger that your middle finger. This flairs slightly to a bulge of just over an inch. It’s great for an ass play beginner. But it also works for me, and I’m no novice to anal insertions, I can tell you.

The things I like most about the Naughty Boy is that it is made of 100% silicone and it is waterproof. Both of these features are really important to me. I don’t like sticking anything in my ass that is not of the highest quality. So silicone is the material for choice for me. It is soft and pliable, phthalates free, hypo-allergenic and latex free. And since this is a toy that goes where the sun don’t shine, it is essential that I have the ability to clean and sanitize it. I’m able to do this with soap and hot water, and then wiping it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution.

Be sure to use a lot of lube for anal insertions of any kind. And in this case, only water-based lube will do. A silicone-based lube will degrade this beautiful silicone toy; and you don’t want that.
Full Review HERE

ENJOY!

The Open Relationship Model

Podcasts will resume next Monday, September 6th.

Deviating from the norm. Is it worth it?

Since the launch of the Sex EDGE-U-cation podcast series in early 2009; I’ve been hearing from a lot of people who are considering opening their relationships to include additional partners to augment their primary relationships. People point to the increasing media attention polyamory is garnering as a way of justifying their interest.

It’s true; polyamory is enjoying an efflorescence in popular culture these days. But this mirrors the spike in interest that swinging had a couple of decades ago. This suggests to me that there is a fissure at the foundation of the dominant relationship model of the monogamous heterosexual, reproductive pair. All the sociological underpinnings of why our culture promotes this paradigm aside, I think it is undeniable that there is a level of dissatisfaction on the part of many who initially bought into this model as the only way to live, love and raise small herds of children. But is it?

People may feel trapped in the traditional expression of a committed relationship. But while they may be second-guessing the party line, they are equally wary of throwing open the doors in a haphazard way, and rightfully so.

I’ve been reading a lot about polyamory lately. It seems it’s the topic du jour in all the women’s magazines. Do open relationships really work?
—Cameron

For starters, the viability of an open relationship depends on the maturity level of the people who are considering opening up their sexually exclusive relationship. And how much they’re willing to work at communicating with one another through all the little details that such a decision entails. One thing for sure, I am willing to go on record to say that the devil, in this case, really is in the details.

That being said, there are a few things us sex researchers know for sure. In most cultures, people claim to practice sexual exclusivity, which is commonly referred to as monogamy. Although I think that’s a misnomer. Monogamy literally means having one union, which as we all know tells us nothing about the sexual expression either or both partners are supposedly sharing in.

Lifetime sexual exclusivity (being sexually involved with only one person for one’s entire life) is rare. Serial sexual exclusivity (having a series of exclusive relationships over one’s life) is much more common. And despite knowing that we humans do not mate for life, we continue to presume that sexual exclusivity, or monogamy is the only legitimate form of coupling.

This, unfortunately, leads to our culture’s obsession with cheating—that is, having sex with someone outside of a monogamous relationship. And frankly, what I know about humans, human relationships and human sexuality; I can say for certain that fidelity is not necessarily a genital issue. One can indeed be faithful to someone else and still have the freedom to express him/herself sexually with others. It happens all the time. In these cases, fidelity is to the relationship and the agreements, parameters and boundaries mutually agreed upon by the partners. Which gets me back to my opening comment about the need for communication. Of course, it’s much easier to presume that everyone in a relationship is working under the same rubric, but that kind of presumption is a fool’s paradise.

Another shortcoming of setting up sexual exclusivity or monogamy as the only legitimate type of coupling is that it diminishes all the other types of relationships that flourish, albeit in a more covert way. And here I’m talking about an array of open relationship models—and polyamory. The fact that we’re only now hearing about these non-traditional relationships shouldn’t suggest to you, or anyone, that they don’t exist; or that they aren’t practical alternatives to the traditional monogamous model, or that they aren’t practiced by a lot of people. They do and they are! It just means that most people in non-traditional relationships know not to go public in a society that would denigrate them for their lifestyle choices. That’s how things are here in the good old US of A; and I’ll wager it’s also true for the rest of the world. Am I right, or am I right?

Open relationships and polyamorous relationships work because the people in them adhere to some basic tenets about how to conduct themselves.

First among them is the notion that these alternative relationships must be chosen; they can’t be mandated. If one or another of the persons considering an open or poly relationship is being pressured to go along with the flow, or is fearful that he/she will be alone if he/she doesn’t comply with the will of the other(s). That kind of emotional duress will not work.

Each person in the relationship needs to take responsibility for the choices he/she is making. If you’re not up for the task, or if this kind of arrangement is not compatible with your personality type, don’t attempt to override that. You will only jeopardize the relationship for the other(s) involved. However, if the idea appeals to you, give it your best shot. I can guarantee that it will be a learning experience. Just remember, exploring something and having it carved in stone are two very different things.

Second, communication is key. The more complex the relationship structure, the greater the need for open lines of communication. Know your boundaries and express them clearly. Ask questions; never assume you know something when you don’t.

Third, know yourself! You must be able to deal with your emotions, particularly jealousy, in an up-front, adult way. This is often much easier said than done. If you need to be the center of attention just so you can feel good about yourself, or you have serious territorial issues—this is mine, this is mine, and THIS is mine!—then alternative relationship models are probably not for you.

Know what keeps you even keel in terms of what you need and what you are able to give. There has got to be a healthy tension between these two things. If you’re the kind who gives too much and resents not being rewarded for your gifts, stay away from alternative relationships. Or if you are so needy that you can’t stand it when someone else is enjoying his/her time in the sun; open or poly relationships are decidedly not for you.

You should also know that alternative relationships, of whatever stripe, are, for the most part, on the fringes of what society will accept. And some are outright taboo. This doesn’t mean you will have to slug it out on your own in a vacuum of support. On the contrary, you will, no doubt, find that the people who are living contrary to the expectations of the popular culture are often a whole lot more generous with their support and compassion then those following all the rules.

You will find that your support system will shift from more traditional sources like traditional family, church and community to alternative sources like clubs and social groupings of other like-minded individuals as yourself. A common mistake made by those in non-traditional relationships is to take their problems and issues to their traditional support systems. This rarely works because the traditional support system will inevitably blame the non-traditional relationship setup for the problem. This is not true, of course, but how would those in traditional relationships know otherwise.

I always suggest that those in non-traditional relationships bring their issues to a non-traditional support system. Here you are less likely to encounter judgments about your life choices and more help with overcoming the problems at hand.

In the end, it’s your call. Are the potential rewards as well as challenges associated with an open relationship worth taking more than the voyeuristic peek behind the curtain that the women’s magazines provide you?

Good luck!