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Purely Sensual

Hey sex fans,

I have a swell, and oh so special, Product Review Friday for ya. Today is a twofer, don’t cha know. We’re experiencing a bit of a backlog in our reviews and while generally I post only one review a week, today we have two. One product comes to us from a new company joining our review effort for the first time. The other product comes to us from a good friend and stalwart in the industry. Please join me in welcoming Intimate Organics and welcoming back LELO.

These reviews are brought to you by Dr Dick Review Crew members Brad and Jada.

Intimate Organics Adventure – anal relaxing spray — $17.78

Brad
Hey everyone, I’m here to tell you about Intimate Organics Adventure. It’s an anal relaxing spray. Curiously enough this product is marketed exclusively to women. But ya know what? Men have assholes too. And Intimate Organics Adventure is equally effective on a dude’s bunghole as it is on a chick’s.

When I haven’t bottomed for a while, and I’m talking about either diddling myself with a dildo while I beat off or having my GF peg me, I want to ease into the experience. Gettin bum-fucked is a kick when it is worry free. So anything I can use to take the edge off is a big plus in my book.

Ok, after saying that I just realized that didn’t come out right. I don’t want to suggest that “anything” that takes the edge off is good. The reason I’m correcting myself is that I have tried other anal relaxers. Actually they were anal anesthesizers and that was the problem. Some of the products I tried in the past used benzocaine and it numbed the shit out of my hole. This was way over-kill and it was also dangerous. If I couldn’t feel what was going on down there I couldn’t tell if I was about to injure myself, nor could I be any help to my partner with the strap-on. So no more of that stuff for me!

Intimate Organics Adventure is different. Their herbal-based spray does not numb, because it doesn’t contain any anesthetic elements. Their unique formula contains a certified organic extract blend with the natural potency of clove, goji berry, aloe and lemongrass. It’s great. My GF, Kitty, thinks so too. Once she saw how much I enjoyed my butt she decided to give up her ass too.

I’m certain that the Intimate Organics Adventure was a big part of her decision to try anal. This chick is super fussy about what she puts in and on her bod. The fact that this product is organic really impressed her. The lady-friendly packaging didn’t hurt the effort either.

Intimate Organics Adventure is a spray, I already mentioned that, and it’s the consistency of a light lube. But ya gotta know that this product does not replace the need for a high-quality lube. When it come to anal penetration of any kind, you’re gonna want to use lots more lube than a couple of spritzes of this product. only thing ya got to remember is ya have to wait about 10 minutes after applying the Intimate Organics Adventure before applying the additional lube. This product is also latex and condom friendly.
Full Review HERE!

LELO Flickering Touch Massage Candle —— $29.15

Jada
I’m a sucker for scented candles. I have them all over the house. I once took a class in aromatherapy and I learned a lot about how essential oils, and other aromatic compounds can alter a person’s mind, mood, cognitive function or health.

So when Dr Dick offered me the Flickering Touch Massage Candle to review I knew I was in for a treat. I am very fond of my LELO pleasure objects. I reviewed The SORAYA way back in January and was so impressed that I’ve picked up two others LELO vibes since. One I gave as a gift.  I know, how generous!

The Flickering Touch Massage Candle did not disappoint. It lives up to the LELO name in every way. Lets start with the packaging. It came in a simply elegant black box, with mauve and black accents. And all the packaging is biodegradable. The candle itself comes in a gorgeous black glass container with a designer silver lid. It dresses up anywhere you put it.

I received the Vanilla & Crème De Cacao candle, but there are two other candles in the LELO line — Black Pepper & Pomegranate and Snow Pear & Cedarwood. (Please Mr LELO, send us others to review!)

The candle is made from natural soy wax, shea butter and apricot oil. And because it is a massage candle as well as aromatherapy, when you dab it on your skin, or your lover’s skin, the effect is outstanding. It absorbs nicely, like a fine body oil should. And it leaves your skin delectably smooth and lightly fragranced.

If you are into sensual massages and romantic play the Flickering Touch Massage Candle is just the thing for you. My husband and I went to the San Juan Islands for an amorous weekend get away for our anniversary last month. I made certain that the Flickering Touch Massage Candle would accompany us. My husband liked the scent too. He’s sometimes critical of my aromas, because he claims some are too sweet or feminine. But he liked the Vanilla & Crème De Cacao just fine.
Full Review HERE!

ENJOY!

Overcoming a Fear of Sex: A Step-By-Step Process

All phobias can be overcome with some effort. The same is true for conquering a fear of sex. Here, I walk a young gay man through his trepidation with anal sex. We take simple, easy to accomplish steps to build confidence and dispel his apprehensions.

I’m gay, I’m a virgin, and I think I may be afraid of sex. In all the porn I’ve seen, the bottom guy looks uncomfortable and in pain— why would I want that? I’ve only done anything sexual with one guy, and I was so anxious that I couldn’t even get it up. I liked the guy, he was hot, and I enjoyed all the foreplay type stuff, but I just couldn’t do anything else. Any advice on how to get over this?
Drew

First thing—don’t ever look to porn for your sex education; you’ll surely be misled. Second, that grimace you report seeing on the bottom’s face as he is being penetrated may be a grimace of pleasure, not pain. I think you may be projecting your own discomfort on the guys in the movies.

Let me tell you a little story. Recently I was strolling in the park with my dog. We were each, in our own way, enjoying the sights, sounds and smells of nature in its glory. As we walked along, we encountered a father and son who were deeply involved in what appeared to be the boy’s first lesson in riding a bicycle—sans training wheels. Despite the father’s patient encouragement, the kid couldn’t seem to get the hang of it. He’d start out okay, but just as soon as his dad let go of the bike, it would begin to wobble and the boy would eventually crash. There were plenty of tears, a skinned knee, and the boy’s fear and anxiety were thick enough to cut with a knife.

The boy was convinced that he couldn’t ride on his own. His defeatism became a self-fulfilling prophecy. He finally gave up, sat down on a bench, his bike in a tangle at his feet, and refused his father’s pleading to give it another try. In his mind, the bike was the enemy; another attempt would only hurt and humiliate, and so the lesson ended.

What the kid lacked was self-confidence, a sense of adventure and probably more importantly—balance. I wish I’d had the opportunity to suggest to the boy and his dad that they try another ploy. I wanted to say, “Set the bike aside and work on that balance thing first.” This would surely increase the boy’s confidence, and it wouldn’t cost a blow to his ego or his knee—and it would be fun.

I’d have suggested the dad start by helping the kid walk on curb, balancing himself as he went. Then the dad could increase the challenge to include balancing on one foot, then the other. Once the kid discovered the power within him to accomplish these tasks, the bike could be reintroduced. The father would assist the boy in drawing upon his skill in balancing on the curb to master balancing on his bike.

The same will be true for you, Drew. Sex is nothing to be afraid of. Rather, it is a skill that one learns. Some, obviously, take to it quicker than others, but everyone can learn a happy, healthy sexual repertoire that will build self-esteem and bring great pleasure.

I want you to start exploring and enjoying your bottom on your own. Like the kid in the park, you need to acquaint yourself with the powers that lie within you. He needed to find a sense of balance; you need to find the Big Old Butt Pirate within.

Most all of the discomfort in anal sex is associated with your sphincter muscle trying to resist whatever it is being inserted. When this muscle resists to the point of spasming, things can become very painful. So here’s what I want you to do.

  • Before you start playing with your hole—relax. Take a relaxing shower, a warm bath, and/or try some deep breathing exercises to center yourself.
  • Have a ready supply of a water-based lube handy. Silicone-based lubes are swell for these exercises too. However, this type of lube isn’t recommended for use with a condom.
  • Start with a little self-pleasuring. Stroke your dick with your lubed hand and get into your happy place.
  • Gradually slather some of that lube on to your balls and taint. With legs open, find your hole and play with your rosebud. Gently massage the area around your asshole, but don’t slide your fingers in just yet. Simply get used to the sensations at the opening of your ass.
  • Let your play include the tip of your finger entering your ass.
    If you do this while you’re stroking your cock, you will find that your hole will actually open and invite your finger. That’s the great thing about pleasuring one part of your body while learning to pleasure another.
  • Once you are comfortable with your fingertip inside, try pushing it in further and move it around a little. Try pushing it and pulling it out of your ass. You know, like finger-fucking yourself.
  • Locate your prostate. (It shouldn’t be hard to find if you’re all horned up.) It will feel smooth and hard, like a flat stone. Give it a nice gentle massage. If you’re still stroking your wood, don’t be surprised if this prostate massage gets you to ejaculate. In fact, you will find that your prostate actually enlarges a bit and becomes more firm just as you are about to shoot. As you jizz, you’ll notice that your sphincter muscle will tighten around your finger and pulsate with each squirt.

Continue these self-pleasuring exercises until you’re comfortable inserting a couple fingers in your ass. Then try a small vibrating dildo. In no time at all, you will be ready to jump on your bike and ride…so to speak.

With these exercises behind you—no pun intended—the first time you actually fuck with a partner will be the incredible experience it is meant to be. If you encounter any discomfort, you’ll know what to do: deep breathing to relax and priming your hole with a lubed finger or two.

  • First, attend to your personal hygiene. Make sure you’re clean inside. This will help you avoid an unsightly and embarrassing mishap that might mess up the big event.
  • Remember to take it slow. There’s no rushing pleasure. Remember, you’ll be the one in charge of what goes in your ass, when, and for how long.
  • Warm up with some foreplay, kissing, sucking, licking, rimming, touching and massaging.
  • Have condoms and plenty of lube near at hand.
  • While you’re warming up, start loosening up your ass with your lubed fingers, just as you did in your self-pleasuring exercises.
  • Once you’re comfortable, offer your ass to your partner. Have him replace your fingers with his own. Try some finger-fucking first.
  • After you’re relaxed and loose, lie on your side with your partner behind you. Have him slowly push his cock against your rosebud.
  • Try pushing out like you are trying to take a dump. This will help open up your sphincter for his entry.
  • As he enters you, have him stop so that you can breathe deeply. Give your ass the time it needs to adjust to the new sensations. If there’s pain or discomfort have your partner reverse course and go back to finger fucking before you proceed.
  • Make sure that your partner knows that if you ask him to stop, he will stop. Trust is essential.
  • As he fills you with his dick he will hit your prostate. This will send waves of pleasure through your body and signal your sphincter to open for even more.
  • You may find that you’ll even want to push your ass back to meet and engulf his cock.

By the time this happens you will happily discover that you are riding your bike all by yourself.

Good luck!

Finessing That Ass Fuck — A Tutorial For a Top

This tutorial is for anyone who is considering being a top, regardless of whether the meat injection is 100% prime, or a beef substitute (a strap-on dildo), these words of wisdom are for you.

What Ya Need To Know

Let’s get something clear right from the get-go. And this is for all you sticklers for semantics out there. The word “top” has several sexual connotations. There are of course BDSM tops, but generally they go by the moniker “dom”. And one can accurately say there a “top” in any sexual activity that involves an active and passive partner — such as cocksucking and watersports. But today’s lesson is for the active partner in butt sex. But you knew that already. Because all you had to do is read the title of this article to figure that out, huh?

Some folks just aren’t open to the idea of experimenting with their assholes. They think it’s gonna be painful, or worse, messy.

So first off, prospective tops, you don’t want to try buggering these folks. A good top should know it makes no sense at all to try to force or belittle an unwilling bottom to give up his or her rosebud. This is simply a waste of everyone’s time. Because if you do succeed in getting the unwilling bottom to relent, and the subsequent fucking attempt confirms the bottom’s earlier suspicions that this activity is indeed painful or gross or both, you’ll have won the skirmish, but lost the war. Remember, it takes two to tango.

Secondly. Before a top commences a fuck of any kind, they need to consider whose pleasure is primary in this particular fuck. There is a big difference between fucking for the top’s pleasure, for the bottom’s pleasure, or for mutual pleasure. For instance, if a top is trying to finesse a novice bottom into exploring ass fucking, that top needs to concentrate on the bottom’s pleasure first.

Start by getting the bottom comfortable being touched where the sun don’t shine. Lubricate your hand generously and massage the outside of their hole. Make some lazy little circles with your fingers and drive your bottom wild with desire. When their sphincter starts to quiver, as it surely will, slowly penetrate your bottom’s bottom with a lubricated fingertip. After a few minutes of just hanging out with your finger in there, you can begin to slowly slide your finger in and out. Be sure to take your time. Allow their muscles to adjust to being penetrated. You might want to incorporate a thin vibrating dildo and/or some expert rimming to pave the way for bigger things.

When a top fingers a bottom, they would do well, at this point, to reconsider the width of his dick or her strap-on. Once your bottom can take two fingers comfortably and three fingers with a minimum of discomfort, they’re ready to take a modest-sized cock or dildo. If you’re very well-endowed or you plan to strap on a monster dildo, you’d better adjust this finger-formula based on the width of your fingers and your equipment. And, you know, make sure your partner is aware of the girth of what awaits him or her.

A clean asshole is a fuckable asshole. Hygiene is essential for both tops and bottoms. Bottoms may wish to use a small bulb syringe and plain water to clean out a few hours before the event. And tops, once your cock or dildo has been inside your bottom’s ass, don’t go puttin’ that thang anywhere else until you’ve washed it down with soap and water. Carelessness in the hygiene department will only invite a very serious infection.

Making It Happen

Tops, be sure to use a good personal lube and have your favorite condoms within reach. Getting your bottom into the right position, one that is comfortable for both of you is paramount. There are way too many positions for me cover here, but when choosing a position, consider your preference, the bottom’s preference, your cock and/or dildo size, your body type and the bottom’s body type. You may find that a pillow or two positioned under your bottom’s pelvis will help support and prop up your bottom’s bottom in most positions.

Painful fucking is a sign that something is being done incorrectly. It is not a sign from God that ass fucking is wrong. In most cases, pain is due to a few predictable factors:

  • The bottom is too tense and is tightening up.
  • The top is being impatient and is pushing too hard too soon.
  • There may not be enough lubricant.
  • The cock or strap-on is too big for the bottom’s experience level.

Obviously, both people should be comfortable and feel pleasure from it. However, it’s perfectly fine, on occasion, to concentrate on one person’s pleasure over the pleasure of the other. Just make sure you both agree on whose pleasure is gonna be the focus of any given fuck.

Topping is a skill like any other. Practice will improve your technique. And while practicing, invite and listen to the feedback coming from your bottom.

The Top’s Handy-Dandy Tally Sheet

Ok, let’s review.

  1. Always use a lubricant. Both water-based and silicone- based lubricants are latex-compatible and highly recommended.
  2. Stop immediately if your partner asks you to stop. I’m not suggesting that you stop trying altogether; just don’t push yourself onto your bottom when he or she wants you to stop. Find the source of the problem—lubrication, position, whatever, resolve the problem, and resume the fuck.
  3. Take it slow. There is no need to rush, especially if you’re experimenting with anal sex for the first time.
  4. A bottom’s desire to be fucked will not insure pleasurable cornholing. It’s nice that he or she might want to surrender their ass, but that’s not gonna make it happen on its own.
  5. Always communicate with your bottom. Keep your communication playful and dirty. Tops, be open about what you want and how it’s feeling. “Oh baby, that’s right you’ve got such a tight hole. You want my big meat in your ass? Yes you do! Open up for daddy…or momma…as the case may be.” Get the picture?
  6. Spread the pleasure around. Keep your hands busy on the bottom’s clit or cock, at least initially. If the bottom can make the connection between the pleasure he/she is familiar with (cock or clit) with the new butt related sensations; then the battle has been won.

In Conclusion

Some experienced bottoms can orgasm with ass fucking alone. Women do so through pelvic muscle contractions and G-spot stimulation; men because of pressure applied to their prostate.

Oh, and here’s something you need to know. We all have two sphincter muscles. If you insert a finger about one half-inch into your ass and press your fingertip against the side you’ll find them both. There is less than a quarter-inch between them. The external sphincter is controlled by the central nervous system, which means you can tense and relax this sphincter at will. The internal sphincter is quite different. This muscle is controlled by the autonomic nervous system making it involuntary. This muscle responds to fear and anxiety. It may cause your bottom’s hole to tense up automatically even if he or she is trying to relax.

Tops, remember the rectum is not straight. After the short anal canal that connects the asshole to the rectum, the rectum tilts toward the front of the body, sometimes as much as 90 degrees. That’s way some people are anatomically less suited to ass fucking.

Finally, the best attribute a top can have is his or her sense of humor about the whole friggin’ deal. Fucking ain’t as easy as it looks, at least not at first. But perseverance will carry the day.

Good luck!

Healing Sexual Trauma through Sensate Focus

One of the most difficult things for me to deal with as a therapist is the aftermath of sexual trauma. And I know that the trouble I have with this is only a tiny fraction of the difficulty my client has as he or she faces his/her past. I share with you a correspondence I’ve had with a 36-year-old man from Boston named Trent.

Dr. Dick,
When I was 10 years my parish priest molested me. It went on for over a year. Mostly, I’ve been able to put this behind me. I’ve been married over a year to this really great gal. She’s been very understanding and supportive, and we love each other very much. A couple of weeks ago when we were having sex, my wife started to massage my bottom. This was the first time someone touched me there since I was 10. At first it felt good, but then I remembered how I felt when I was a kid and freaked out. I started to cry. My poor wife was devastated at the thought of triggering this painful memory. I told her it wasn’t her fault, but we haven’t had sex since. I’m worried, but I don’t know what to do.

Working through a sexual trauma, like the one Trent experienced as a kid, is difficult. But it is essential for regaining a healthy sense of the sexual self. I told Trent—and this applies to any anyone else who has had regrettable early sexual experiences in their past—that I strongly suggested that he and his wife engage a sex-positive therapist to help them get back on track.

Many people have dealt with some kind of sexually related trauma in their lives.  However, some trauma is more severe than others. Emotional scar tissue and painful memories may linger, but you can learn to insulate yourself from the disruptive effects of the past in the present. Thanks to the indomitable human spirit, most of us live through our difficulties and go on to develop healthy, integrated sex lives.

Sensate focus is a process that helps individuals move through painful sexual memories and heal the rift between the affected parts of the body and the pleasure they can produce. I thought this technique would be of particular value for Trent because of something he’d said: “At first it felt good, but then I remembered how I felt when I was a kid and freaked out.” This tells me that he was able to enjoy the sensations before the association with the molestation kicked in and ruined everything. Sensate focus offers a way to short-circuit this disruptive connection and rewire it for pleasure instead of pain.

What follows are structured therapeutic touching exercises for couples. They are not a prelude to sex. You need to be clear on that. Your genitals will be involved. There will be pleasure and arousal, for sure. But the object of this process is to desensitize the trigger (in Trent’s case, his butt), then re-sensitize it for pleasure. These exercises take about an hour one day a week over the course of a month. If you embark on this course, make sure that you dedicate that kind of time commitment. Please, don’t short-change yourselves; this is an investment in your sexual health and wellbeing.

You and your partner will take turns being the one touched and the one doing the touching. Both of you will have 30 minutes to touch and 30 minutes to be touched: 15 minutes lying on your front; 15 minutes on your back.

Week 1—Breaking the Ice
Structured touching will be unfamiliar to you at first. I want you to use this first session to connect with each other in a sensual and playful way. I want each of you to explore every inch of your partner’s body from head to toe, first the back of the body then the front. This first week, however, avoid one another’s genitals.

This isn’t massage, where touch is directed toward pleasuring your partner. Sensate focus exercises are about gleaning information. Focus on how it feels to touch different parts of your partner’s body in a non-seductive way. Be aware of the different textures contours and temperatures. Use different pressures—heavy and light; different strokes—long and short. Use fingertips, palms, the back of your hands and forearms.

When you’ve finished the first 30 minutes, swap places. This will work best if the one being touched relinquishes control as much as possible. Keep verbal communication at a minimum. Once the hour is over, thank one another for the experience and get on with the rest of your day. Don’t try to process things right then and there, just sit with the sensations. Or better still; write your feelings in a journal that you might want to share later.

Week 2—Making Things More Interesting
Building on what you learned in the first week; this time, kick it up a notch by expanding the structured touching to include anal and genital areas. These are sexually charged zones, but the touch must remain non-seductive. Begin the exercise with some full-body touching before moving on to the new areas. Again, the emphasis is on obtaining information and awareness of physical sensations.

This is where things got a bit challenging for Trent. When his wife touched his butt, I told him I wanted him to want stay in the moment and focus on who was touching him and why. Trent’s wife was not touching him in a sexual manner; she was gathering information.

Staying in the present helps take the edge off. If anxiety builds, deep breathing can help you to relax. Your partner will probably be very nervous too, so breathing together can be helpful.

A guided touch technique can also be useful. Place one of your hands on top of your partner’s and guide it over your trigger area. Try using more or less pressure as you see fit. Remember your trigger spot is just like every other part of your body. Even though an early trauma has sensitized this area to be off bounds, sensate focus exercises will re-sensitize and reintegrate it with the rest of your body. You’ll have to trust me on this.

Week 3—Mutual Touching
This week, we move on to mutual touching. However, it must remain structured and non-seductive, both in the giving and receiving. Mutual touch will provide a more natural form of physical interaction than the previous weeks. You’ll also be shifting attention from how it feels to touch to being aware of how your partner is receiving your touch. Keep verbal communication to a minimum. Let your body tell your partner how you are enjoying the touch. If you must talk, assign a number code to the touch you are receiving: 5 being, ho-hum, 1 being Yowsa!

Remember, no matter how sexually aroused you become, this is not a prelude to sex. If you need to release your sexual tension, feel free to masturbate afterward. No partnered sex during the exercises. Okay?

Week 4—Bringin’ It Home
This last week of exercises continues the mutual touching, with a focus on overcoming any final reservations you have about your trigger zone and the pleasure you derive from it. More of your partner’s touch should focus on that area. For Trent, I advised that his wife include a nice lotion or personal lube for this investigation. (Touching with a wet hand is different from touching with a dry hand.) While concentrating on his butt with one hand, I suggested she fondle his genitals with the other. By playing with the energy around Trent’s sphincter, his wife was able to redirect it and help him reconnect his ass to the rest of his body.

Try receiving your wire’s touch in different positions. Being proactive will facilitate the healing. While she is touching your trigger area, move your butt toward her to meet the caress. You’ll immediately see how being in control will help you move beyond any remaining anxiety. You are not just being passive recipient anymore; you are actively involved with inviting the pleasure. If there are still reservations, take it slow until they too, melt away.

Once he’d freed up his ass for pleasure, I told Trent be sure to incorporate butt play into his future lovemaking repertoire, but I also reminded him to take as much time as he needed to resolve the issue. There is no quick fix. I assured him, though, with diligence and care, sensate focus would remove the fear and shame of the molestation, and replace it with a sense of wholeness, joy and pleasure.

Good luck

Sex Addiction, or Too Much of a Good Thing?

This last post of 2010 will start with a declaration. One of my famous “Thus Sayeth Dr. Dick” sorta things, if you please.

Ready?

I categorically reject the concept of sexual addiction that has been floating around in the popular culture for the last 20 years or so.

And yes, I know this will rankle a bunch of you, but you’ll just have to get over it. You see, there is no such thing as a sexual addiction. Period!

Nowadays people bandy about the term addiction as if it can be applied to any and all obsessive behaviors. I have an addiction to chocolate; I’m addicted to shopping; I’m addicted to video games; I’m addicted to porn—or, I’m a sex addict. NONSENSE!

That being said, I hasten to add that I do believe there are sexual obsessions and compulsive sexual behaviors, plenty of ’em in fact. However, obsessions and compulsions are not addictions, and addictions, while they may involve irresistible impulses, are not the same thing as compulsions. Get it? Got it? Good!

I want to be absolutely clear about this. An addiction is a very specific condition. It denotes a dual dependency, physical as well as a psychological.

  • A physical dependency occurs when a substance is habitually used to a point where the body becomes reliant on its effects. The substance must be used constantly, because if it is withheld, it will trigger symptoms of withdrawal.
  • Psychological dependency occurs when the substance habitually used creates an emotional reliance on its effects. There is no functioning without it. Its absence produces intense cravings, which if not fed will trigger symptoms of withdrawal.

Check it out. With the help of my handy-dandy dictionary, a good place to start in discussions of this sort, I discovered these three very distinct definitions:

Addiction: The need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal. Broadly: persistent use of a substance known by the user to be harmful. A state of physiological and psychological dependence on a drug.

Compulsive: Driven by an irresistible inner force to do something; i.e., a compulsive liar.

Obsession: A persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling.

See? Different words. Different meanings. Not a particularly complex notion to grasp, right?

And listen, just because a bunch of yahoo afternoon talks show hosts and even a load of my esteemed professional colleagues banter these words about like they were interchangeable doesn’t make it so. In fact, we do ourselves a huge disservice by muddling these very specific concepts into a jumble. My fellow therapists should be the first to recognize this because finding help for an addiction or an intervention for an obsessive/compulsive disorder will be as specific as the problem itself.

One thing is for certain: identifying one of the things, as the other will complicate the problem solving. It’s like going to the doctor with a headache, and when the doc asks where does it hurt, you point to your stomach. It just won’t do.

Hi Dr. Dick,
I recently found out my boyfriend has been cheating on me. He wants me to forgive him, but he keeps on doing the same thing over and over again. He’s like addicted to sex or something. I love him very much, but I feel dirty just by being around him and knowing what he’s doing. It also makes me feel stupid putting up with all of this and at the same time I still love him, please give me some advice. Thank You.
— Darlene

Before we turn our attention to your boyfriend’s behavior, let me make a quick observation about you. You’re a big fat ball of contradictions, huh? How can you say that you love the person that makes you feel dirty and stupid? You’re deceiving yourself about at least one of those feelings. And if I had to guess, I’d say what you’ve got with your man ain’t love—it’s an obsession.

Your boyfriend probably has you figured out by now, and he knows that you will tolerate his misbehavior, which gives him tacit permission to do whatever he feels like doing. From where I sit, you’re the real sap. If you’re really serious about reining in your wayward BF, you’d better come up with a clear, unambiguous message about what you will and will not tolerate. Until you do precisely that, he’ll just think that he can roam wherever he wants and whenever he wants.

If the two of you are supposed to be living in a sexually exclusive relationship, and he’s taking his business elsewhere, then he’s got a problem, too. However, I caution you against thinking that his sexual behaviors are an addiction. Because they’re not.  And thinking they are will not help you find the solution to the problems you folks are having.

There are root causes for his behavior, just like there are root causes for your behavior. To get to the bottom of all of this, each of you will need to invest a good deal of time and energy with a qualified therapist. One can only hope that there’s a big enough bank of goodwill between the two of you to carry the day because overcoming your obsession and his compulsions will demand all of your emotional resources.

Dear Dr. Dick,
I have been in a relationship for five years now and truly love my partner, however I can never seem to get enough sex. I am 30 and he is 29, but I constantly find myself in the chat rooms lookin’ for younger guys to have sex with. It’s more than just a hobby—it’s a habit! I’ve actually lost jobs because he’d be out of town and I’d spend almost every waking hour on the PC with a cocktail looking for sex, not caring about anything else. It’s like I’m addicted to sex. He knows I have played around (I actually have talked him into three-ways a few times), but he has no idea how extreme it’s become. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m not unhappy with him. I just can’t seem to stop wanting sex with younger guys. Any suggestions?
— Brian

It’s interesting that you should tell me about your compulsive sexual behavior in the same breath that you tell me of your love for your partner. As you’ve probably guessed already, there isn’t really much of a connection between the two. Love and sex are two very different things. Sometimes they go together, but not always or even often for that matter.

It appears to me that you’ve really got two problems happening simultaneously: First, your compulsive prowling of the internet for sex (complicated, I might add, by your alcohol consumption). Second, the deception you’re practicing on your partner. Let’s deal with each of these in turn.

Your particular sexual activity, like any compulsive behavior (overeating, excessive shopping, etc.), is more than just a bad habit. It’s a serious psychological dysfunction. Take it from me: breaking this behavior pattern will be nearly impossible without some professional help. If the problem is as serious as you say, then you’d better seek help right away. This sort of thing, if left untreated, will not only destroy your relationship, it will ruin your life. When you seek that professional help, I encourage you to include information about your alcohol consumption. If there is an addiction in all of this, it’s the alcohol, not the sex. And in your case, the addiction may be fueling the compulsion.

Now, regarding your relationship. It’s imperative that you come clean with your partner about your sexual obsessions and compulsions, as well as your probable alcohol addiction. Not only will you feel better about not lying to him anymore, you’re going to need his support in overcoming the difficult obstacles you face. I suggest that you attend to this right away. There’s not a moment to lose.

Good Luck

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