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HPV, WTF?

Here’s an exchange I had with a fellow named Angel. He writes:

I have a friend that has HPV. We spoke about being together but I’m nervous about this because I don’t know enough about HPV. Like how safe would I be if we were to mess around and or have sex? I wait to here back from you. Thank you for your time.

Here’s what I know, Angel…

  • HPV (human papillomavirus) is a common virus that infects the skin and mucous membranes.
  • There are about 100 types of HPV. Approximately 30 of those are spread through genital contact (typically fucking). Around 12 of these types are called “low-risk” types of HPV, which can cause genital warts.
  • In addition, there are approximately 15 “high-risk” types of HPV that can cause cervical cancer.
  • It is estimated that 80 percent of all women – and 50 percent of men and women combined – will get one or more types of “genital” HPV at some point in their lives.

As you can see, this is a very widespread virus. However, it’s relatively easy to protect yourself. Use a condom. You were gonna do that anyway, right?stis-1

And, as you probably know, there is a human papillomavirus vaccine is used to prevent infection by HPV strains 16 and 18, which causes most cancers of the cervix, as well as some cancers of the vulva, vagina and penis. Infection with HPV strain 16 also causes most anal cancers and some throat cancers.

This vaccine, given to young men and women ages 9 through 26, prevents pre-cancerous changes that may become cancer. HPV vaccination is currently recommended by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention for all boys and girls ages 11 or 12, and for men and women ages 13 through 26 who have not already received the vaccine or have not completed booster shots.

Depending on the specific vaccine used, it may also prevent genital warts caused by other strains of HPV. This vaccine will not cure an HPV infection that is already present, and does not prevent other sexually transmitted diseases.

condom_STI_titlesThe HPV vaccine is given as a series of three injections into the muscle in the upper arm or thigh. The first shot may be given any time beginning at 9 years of age. The second dose is given 2 months after the first shot, and the third dose is given 6 months after the first shot. The protective effects of the vaccine last for approximately 5 years. Whether or not a booster is needed after five years is not yet known.

Angel writes back with:

Yes ok then sorry I just figured it’s easier to be safe and just not go there. We are really good friends and don’t want to wreck that by worrying about what I may, or may not catch. He doesn’t want me to use condoms for oral sex.

I don’t suppose you happen to know what kind of HPV this person has, do you? That makes a big difference, ya know.

Many people are unclear on the risks associated with oral sex and HPV. It can be passed during oral sex, but it is rare. To reduce the risk of infection during unprotected oral sex, limit exposure to sexual fluids and ensure that no cuts or lesions are present in your mouth or on your partner’s genitals. But, in the end, your safest bet is use a condom. If he doesn’t want you to use a condom, tell him to such his own dick.

Good luck

Stretching out of the sexual doldrums

Name: Gwen
Gender:
Age: 57
Location: Philly
My husband and I have been married for 33 years. Our relationship is hell when it comes to sex. My husband is overweight, and he’s stressed out about his elderly parents. Sex is non-existent. He never was the instigator in our relationship. And he is the kind of guy who thinks having sex on the couch as opposed to the bedroom is adventuresome. He has become so boring. I don’t believe the man feels sex should be that important at our ages. (I’m 57 and he’s 62) I, on the other hand, am more sexually aroused and creative than ever now that I am more mature and the kids are out of the house. Menopause and all the sex on the internet helps too. 😉 Is there anything I can do to make my man return to being a healthy sexual being once again? Thank you, Gwen

No, thank you, Gwen. Your complaint is a familiar one. In fact it’s so familiar I regularly offer therapy groups for couples in long-term relationships. Like you and your old man, these couples have, for one reason or another, hit a wall when it comes to their sex lives.senior intimacy

I take a very unique approach to these groups by inviting both straight and gay couples to the same group. At first I got a lot of resistance. Most couples, both gay and straight, think there is nothing to be learned from a couple unlike them. They can’t imagine why I would want to integrate the group in such a manner. I think most of my couples feel more comfortable being in a segregated group — straight folks with straight folks, gay folks with gay folks.

But that is of course the reason I integrate the groups. I don’t want them to feel all comfy and cozy, I wanted them to work and learn and stretch themselves out of their sexual doldrums. At first, I had to ask all my couples to suspend judgment about an integrated group until they had an opportunity to participate in one. Now I don’t encounter so much resistance. Word’s gotten out that this is a really creative solution to an otherwise tricky problem. And that old married couples, regardless if they are gay, lesbian or straight have very similar problems. And they can and do learn from one another.

To your specific issue, Gwen, I’m sad to say there’s not much you can do to beef up your sex life if there’s no interest on the part of your husband to do so. I mean, you can lead the horse to the cooch, but you can’t make him lick, if ya know what I mean.

Fat man holding a measurement tape against white background

Fat man holding a measurement tape against white background

You confide that you husband is overweight and stressed; this is not a happy combination when it comes to his sexual response cycle. In fact, your husband sounds like a heart attack waiting to happen. Perhaps if your challenged him about his general health — encourage weight loss and stress reduction, you might find that this would also reignite his sex drive. It’s worth a try.

And thank you for mentioning menopause. So many women find the changes that take place in midlife confusing and disorientating. It’s so good to hear from a woman who is eager to explore and enjoy her sexuality post-menopause.

Men also go through changes, in midlife. There’s even a name for it — andropause — the male menopause as it were. It’s clear that as we age, both women and men need more time and stimulation in which to get aroused. The slower, more sensuous foreplay that often results is a welcome change for most women and even some men.

Increased focus on sensuality, intimacy, and communication can help a sexual relationship remain rewarding even well into our senior years. I think you already know this, Gwen, but many women in my audience don’t.sensual touch

If your husband is avoiding intercourse, there still many ways of expressing your love and staying connected:

  • Hugging, cuddling, kissing
  • reading erotica aloud together
  • Touching, stroking, massage, sensual baths
  • Masturbation and oral sex

However, if your husband is more wedded to food and stress than he is to you, and if he continues to refuse to join you in finding an appropriate outlet for your sexual frustration, then it’s up to you to make this happen on your own. 57 is way too young to say goodbye to your sex life.

May I suggest joining a women’s group. Not a therapy group, but more of a support group or activities group. Getting out of the house, involving yourself with other self-actualized mature women, may uncover the secret solutions other women have put in place to find sexual satisfaction when they are without a partner or have a partner who’s no longer interested in a sex life with them. I think you will be surprised by how creative your sisters can be. Make it happen, Gwen. Don’t sink to the lowest common denominator of living a sexless life.

Good luck

Review: An Intimate Life: Sex, Love and My Journey as a Surrogate Partner

Hey sex fans!

I have another swell sex-positive book to tell you about today. Anyone who frequents this site will already be familiar with my dear friend and esteemed colleague, Cheryl Cohen Greene. If ya don’t believe me type her name into the search function in the sidebar to your right and PRESTO!

Not only will you find the fabulous two-part SEX WISDOM podcast we did together, (Part 1 is HERE! And Part 1 is HERE!) you will find a posting about the movie The Sessions. You’ve seen it right? It’s the award-winning film staring John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, and William H. Macy. It’s the story of a man in an iron lung who wishes to lose his virginity.  He contacts a professional surrogate partner with the help of his therapist and priest. Ms. Hunt plays Cheryl, the surrogate partner in the movie

Cheryl also contributed a chapter on sex and intimacy concerns for sick, elder and dying people for my book, The Amateur’s Guide To Death And Dying.

With all that as a preface, I now offer you Cheryl’s own story: An Intimate Life: Sex, Love, and My Journey as a Surrogate Partner. The first thing I want to say is this book is it’s not a clinical or technical tome. It is an easily accessible memoir. And that, to my mind, is what makes it so fascinating.

She writes in the Introduction:An Intimate Life

I started this work in 1973, and my journey to it spans our society’s sexual revolution and my own. I grew up in the ‘40s and ‘50s, a time when sex education was—to put it mildly— lacking. As I educated myself, I found that most of what I had been taught about sex was distorted or wrong. The lessons came from the playground, the church, and the media. My parents could barely talk about sex, much less inform me about it.

What follows is a candid and often funny look into the personal and professional life of a woman on the cutting edge of our culture’s movement toward sexual wellbeing.

Cheryl comes out of her conservative Catholic upbringing and her often tortured family dynamics with what one would expect—her own sexual awakenings as well as the conspiracy of ignorance and repression that wanted to stifle it. This is a common story, the story of so many of us.

Starting when I was around ten, I masturbated and brought myself to orgasm nearly every night. … If my nights began with anxiety, my days began with guilt. I became convinced that every earache, every toothache, every injury was God punishing me. … I couldn’t escape his gaze or his wrath. Sometimes I imagined my guardian angel looked away in disgust as I touched myself and rocked back and forth in my bed.

The miracle here is that this troubled tween would blossom into the remarkable sexologist she is today.

rsz_1greenecherylSome of the chapters in her book describe one or another of her hands on therapeutic encounters as a surrogate partner, but equally important and compelling are the chapters that describe Cheryl’s own sexual struggles as she moved to adulthood and beyond. Cheryl’s acceptance of her own sexuality enables her to build a career out of helping others do the very same thing.

Everyone has a right to satisfying, loving sex, and, in my experience, that most often flows from strong communication, self-respect, and a willingness to explore.

Despite the frank discussion of sexual topics within the book, there is no prurience or sensationalism. For the most part, Cheryl’s clients are regular people, mostly men, who have pretty ordinary problems—erection and/or ejaculation concerns, dating difficulties, as well as self-esteem, guilt and shame issues. Cheryl helps each of her clients with the efficiency and confidence of the world-class sex educator she is. Most of her interaction involves her supplying her clients with some much-needed information, dispelling myths, and giving them permission to experiment. As she says;

I continue to be amazed at how solid education delivered without judgment can eradicate much of the guilt and shame that turns life in the bedroom into a struggle instead of a pleasure.

Her most famous client, Mark O’Brien, the 36-six-year-old man who had spent most of his life in an iron lung after contracting polio at age 6, was the author of How I Became a Human Being: A Disabled Man’s Quest for Independence, in which he writes about his experience with Cheryl. This, of course, was adapted into a film, The Sessions, which I mentioned above. For her part, Cheryl delivers a most poignant remembrance of Mark early in her book.

I explained Sensual Touch to Mark. Although he was paralyzed, he still had sensation all over his body, so he would feel my hands moving up and down. … I encouraged him to try and recognize four common reactions: feeling neutral, feeling nurtured, feeling sensual and feeling sexual.

An Intimate Life chronicles Cheryl’s life-long interest in human sexuality. Her life and sometimes-turbulent loves are on display, but in the most considerate fashion. She teaches by example. She’s even able to speak with great compassion of her time living with and through cancer.

As I inch toward seventy, I appreciate more and more how much I have to be grateful for and how fortunate I’ve been. I was lucky to find a wonderful career and to be surrounded by so many smart, adventurous, caring people. My personal sexual revolution auspiciously paralleled our culture’s, and in many ways was made possible by it. I am eternally grateful to the pioneers, rebels, and dreamers who made our society a little safer for women who embrace their sexuality.

There is so much I loved about this book, but mostly it’s the humanity I found in abundance. Cheryl’sdr.-cheryl-cohen-greene enlightened soul shines brightly from every page. Her no nonsense approach to all things sexual is an inspiration. And her perseverance to bring surrogate partner therapy into the mainstream is laudable.

…what separates surrogates from prostitutes is significant. When people have difficulties grasping [that], I turn to my beloved and late friend Steven Brown’s cooking analogy that I’ve so often relied on to help me through that question: Seeing a prostitute is like going to a restaurant. Seeing a surrogate is like going to culinary school.

Finally, An Intimate Life is the culmination of Cheryl’s life as a sex educator, her surrogate partner therapy practice being just part of that mission. I highly recommend you read this book. You will, I assure you, come away from it as I have, a better person—enriched, informed, as well as entertained.

Cheryl, thank you for being in my life and being such an abiding inspiration. Thank you too for this marvelous book; now you can be in the lives of so many others who need you so that you can inspire them along their way.

Be sure to visit Cheryl on her site HERE!

The Suppressing Gag Reflex — A Tutorial

Arguably, the humble blowjob is the most common partnered sexual activity for men — straight, bi or gay.

It’s pretty obvious why the gays like to suck cock. But nowadays loads of straight women have taken to smokin’ some pole too. Let’s face it; it’s a great way to give pleasure. Regardless of whether it’s part of foreplay, after play, or the main event — like relieving the Commander in Chief in the oval office after a long day of commandering and chiefing, don’t cha know.

funny_sign_fail_14

Certain skills are essential for mind-blowing oral sex. The preeminent skill, of course, is mastering the gag reflex. But close behind that is keeping your partner’s spooge off your blue dress.

Did you know that the gag response is least active in the morning? That’s right, my pretties, you’re gonna have to know things like this if you aspire to getting a gold medal in cock sucking. Besides, tidbits like this also make for the most charming dinner party trivia.

Today we’re gonna look at three important aspects of understanding and suppressing that nasty gag reflex when chowin’ down on some love muscle.

1) ANATOMY

So let’s take a semi-serious look at the gag response and why we have it. Millions of years of evolution have Epiglottisprovided us the anatomical function we call the gag reflex to protect our throat. And as all you rocket scientists know an obstruction in your throat — in either your larynx, which connects to your lungs or the pharynx, which connects to your stomach could be deadly. And since us humans breathe more often than we swallow, the larynx is always open. We all have a piece of cartilage known as the epiglottis at the back of our throat that responds to swallowing. This is not to be confused with the uvula, which is that little thingy that hangs down from the back of your mouth.

Isn’t this fascinating? Aren’t you delighted you stopped by today? Hold on, there’s more!

The passageway to the stomach is fairly narrow, although you’d never guess that from the way some folks wolf down their food. The gag reflex protects us from getting something stuck in there. If the object being swallowed — a big old cock or a piece of cold pizza — can’t easily pass the opening of the pharynx, the epiglottis flaps triggering the gag response. This forces the foreign object — big old cock or cold pizza — out. This is a lifesaving reflex because it protects us from literally biting off more than he can swallow. And since there’s not gonna be a whole lot of biting off and chewing when we blow some dude, the gag reflex can be pretty pronounced.

bjbw.jpgThe object of this tutorial is to help us subdue this lifesaving reflex when needed. The first thing we should know is when suckin’ cock, the dick in question can’t get stuck in our pharynx because, happily it’s attached to the dude we’re blowin’. It can, therefore, be removed without the coughing and choking associated with the garden variety of gagging.

Let’s review, shall we? Your tongue, your salivary glands, your hard palate, your soft palate, your uvula, your epiglottis, your tonsils, and your pharynx are all parts of the sensory experience for you as well as your partner with his dick in your mouth. When you deep throat his johnson, your uvula and the epiglottis tickle his dickhead. I guess that’s why us mens like getting’ head so much.

Like anything worth doing, mastering the gag reflex takes practice. The most important thing to remember is that we cannot simultaneously inhale and swallow. Also the epiglottis is very flexible, while the pharynx is relatively rigid.

Let’s do some math. The depth of our mouth — from the lips to the curve in the pharynx just in the back of the throat is three of four to inches. The pharynx runs another five and half inches or so before the esophagus begins, which continues another eight or nine inches. That makes for total passageway available for swallowing cock between seventeen and nineteen inches long. How’s that for adaptability? Your throat is not just for sword-swallowing any more! As long as your partner’s prick is neither too wide nor too stiff to make the turn in the pharynx, an average cocksucker can completely swallow just about anyone for a short period of time while holding his or her breath.

2) POSITION

deepthroat-humor-pictureProbably you’ve already guessed that positioning the cock your sucking at just the right angle down your throat is crucial. Check it out. Take a deep breath; insert two fingers as far as possible into your mouth. Your fingers will bend easily downward. While you’re rootin’ around inside there, you’ll immediately have a sense of internal capacity of your oral cavity. Carefully placing a couple fingers at the back of your mouth shouldn’t cause you to gag, but moving them around might. This will underscore the importance of having the willie you’re about to swallow go in the right direction.

So let’s say you’re on your knees, with the intended cock right in front of you. If it’s rock-hard and/or curved upward, as some of those darling things are, that dick is gonna go pounding against your tonsils, making you gag, sure as shootin’. The dude’s cock has to go in and then down your throat, not up and against the roof of your mouth. Got it? Jamming his member against your hard palate will also be pretty unpleasant for the owner of the said cock. This could easily give his dickhead a real owie!

This brings us to the ever-popular sixty-nine position. It’s so popular because it points the dude’s rod toward the base of your tongue, thereby successfully navigating of the curve in your throat.

3) BREATHING

bananaA proper breathing technique is as important as position to happy deep throating. The aquatic minded among us already have the key. Swimmers know that synchronizing one’s breathing with the motion one is making with his or her arms and legs makes for less effort and more stamina. The same is true for the person gulping a big one…or even a small one for that matter. You’ll want to inhale while doing down on his cock, exhale quickly while coming up, then inhale again going back down. The deeper you inhale on the down stroke, the longer you’ll be able to hold your breath. And PRESTO! The longer you’re able to hold your breath the deeper your partner’s baloney pony will disappear down your gullet. So you see, it’s exactly like swimming, only completely different.

For the non-athletes in my audience there is another way to learn to control the gag reflex. Simply practice holding your breath and swallowing at the same time.

We could all learn a lot from the little piggie cocksucker among us. They’re in this whole blowjob thing for the long haul, and they know that pacing one’s self is crucial. They know how important it is to pull off the cock from time to time, at least far enough to take in some air before going down on it again. If you try this you could make some yummy sounds while you pull off his cock. Or you could take it out of your mouth and look at it admiringly. He’ll be impressed that you like his rigid piece of art, and only you’ll know that what you’re actually doing is simply catching your breath.

You should know that deep throating a pleasure prong is gonna make a lot of saliva. This is a double-edged deep_throat_640_03sword. Great for keeping things lubed up, but problematic if that abundant saliva falls into the larynx and makes you cough and choke. If your saliva becomes a problem rather than an asset try relaxing for a bit with his cock in the forward of your mouth so that your larynx will open for breathing. This shallow sucking is a delightful counterpoint to deep throat sucking. You can also practice relaxing and stretching the muscles that regulate swallowing by opening your mouth wide, like in a yawn.

Whichever technique or combination of techniques works for you, remember to breathe. Accumulation of mucous will sometimes mean you have to take a break to spit. If you try to continue without spitting, it will just make your uncomfortable. And who need that?

Also when you deep throat your nose will run and your eyes will water. So if you’re wearing a lot of makeup when you’re blowin’ your guy, you’ll look like a raccoon with a clown face by the time you’re through. Some guys really like this. It suggests to them that they have a really big dick to have wreaked so much havoc.

blowjob-funny-humor-illustration-lol-quote-Favim.com-39125You’ll probably want to keep at least one of your hands on his pole while you’re sucking it. This will give you more control, especially when he starts pelvic thrusting.

It is a good idea to keep a hand on his balls too, as they are usually a good indicator of how close your man is to cuming. As he gets closer to shooting, the skin on his scrotum tightens and pulls his balls towards his body to warm them up. You can let this happen on its own, or help out by stimulating his jewels with your hand, tongue, or mouth.

Finally, common mistake most women and some men make while blowin their guy is using only their mouth to repeatedly bob up and down his weener. This is neither pretty or particularly helpful! Some folks continue doing this until they get a sore jaw or neck. A good deep-throatin’ blowjob should not be too repetitive. The wise cocksucker will keep her/his hands busy throughout. She’ll include stroking his dick, exploring balls, thighs and asshole. By mixing things up, he’ll allow his mouth and throat muscles to relax. This will improve one’s performance and will subdue one’s gag reflex.

Good Lick…I mean Luck…ya’ll.

Selfish So ‘n So

Name: Andrew
Gender: Male
Age: 34
Location: Texas
I’m selfish. I don’t feel like having sex with anyone, not even my boyfriend. I can masturbate all I want and get off just fine but I prefer to do it alone. My boyfriend is frustrated and wants me to go to therapy, but I’m extremely uncomfortable with the idea. I’ve had selfish times like this before, but this one has been the longest (almost 2 years). Usually they’d last a few months at most and seem to have happened independent of whether I’m doing great or depressed. I’m also fairly certain that this isn’t to do with my current relationship. The reason is that past selfish times have happened whether or not I’ve been seeing someone. When I get this way, even guys who are perfectly my type (like my boyfriend) can try all they want to get into my pants (literally and figuratively) and will not be successful. When I’m like this I notice that I barely think about sex unless a dirty picture, movie or text is in front of me, and I’m only trying to get away when a hot guy is trying to get in my pants. I’m usually good at finding out what’s going on in my head, then solving an issue but this one has me stumped.

So you’re tellin’ me you’ve been withholding sex from your long-suffering BF for nearly 2 years? That’s not being selfish, my friend; that’s torture. Your refusal to see a therapist about this, because you are “extremely uncomfortable with the idea,” also tells me that your issues are deep seeded and you’d rather keep these things hidden and stifle your relationship then get them out in the open and resolved.

love music

I’m sorry, Andrew, but I have virtually no patience for folks like you. If you were single and you wanted to live your life like this; that would be fine. But you’ve involved your sexually messed up self with another human who has needs that are just as important as yours. And that, sir, ain’t right.

I have one real simple premise that I live by. And it is, each of us has a right to a happy, healthy, integrated sex life. If there is something that is getting in the way of achieving that, whatever it might be, it is a problem that needs to be addressed immediately.

As far as relationships go, I am of the mind that we ought, first and foremost, work to honor our commitments of mutual support. Are there ways that these two moral principles — a right to a healthy sex life and one’s relationship commitments — can coexist when one’s relationship excludes the possibility of happy sexual expression? Yes, I believe there are. And many couples achieve that balance, because they have an overriding love and concern for one anther.

Now the facts — not all loving relationship, including many marriages, have a sexual component. Many, for one reason or another, simply don’t. In fact, most long-term relationships are not sexual in nature. However, a partner in loving relationship who is unable to provide sexual satisfaction to his/her partner should give that partner permission to find sexual fulfillment outside the relationship. I hasten to add that these are often very difficult negotiations to hammer out. But to do less than try to make these accommodations is, I believe, a form of sexual abuse.

If your partner is trying to negotiate a satisfactory solution to your problem and you are opposed to even discussing the issue or seeking the professional help you desperately need you will destroy a perfectly good and viable relationship. And that is unconscionable in my book.

I am not suggesting that you deny your sexual issues just to appease or pacify your partner. Nor do I condone simply letting your selfishness become the path of the least resistance. These options will only create a divide between you and your partner that will not be able to be bridged.

If you ever hope to escape the corner you’ve painted yourself into, you’ll have to buck up and be honest with your partner and commit to getting the help you need.

Good Luck