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SEX WISDOM With Dr Cheryl Cohen Greene — Podcast #326 — 03/28/12


Hello sex fans! Welcome back.

Holy cow, do I have a fantastic show in store for you today. Despite the numerous remarkable guests that have appeared on this the SEX WISDOM series, there’s no one who can lay a hand on today’s guest. I’m so pleased to welcome my good friend, my trusted colleague and my bosom buddy for nearly 20 years, the amazing Dr Cheryl Cohen Greene. I can’t wait for you to meet her, because I know you will love her as much as I do.

Cheryl is a fellow sexologist, however her career path has been significantly different than mine. She is certified surrogate partner, don’t cha know. And she’s been working as such for 38 years. She is renowned in her field, so much so that she and one of her former clients are the subjects of a major motion picture, staring John Hawkes, Helen Hunt and William H. Macy, which comes out later this year. You can be certain that I will press Cheryl for all the juicy details.

Cheryl and I discuss:

  • How we met;
  • Her lengthy career;
  • The shift from sex surrogate to surrogate partner;
  • Her friend and colleague Shai Rotem;
  • Common issues she sees in her practice;
  • Role modeling good relationships;
  • Her former client, poet and journalist, Mark O’Brian;
  • Being at Sundance for the movie premiere;
  • Surrogate as sex worker;
  • The legality of surrogate partner work;
  • Surrogate partner training;
  • How prospective clients find her.

Cheryl invites you to visit her on her site HERE! Find her on Facebook HERE and her noteworthy blog HERE!

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!

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Is she is, or is she ain’t

Name: Ulrich
Gender: male
Age: 22
Location: Hannover, GR
How do I know my girlfriend isn’t faking it? She looks like she’s into it, but sometimes it looks like too much drama.

Too much drama, I love it! I’m gonna assume that you’re talking about what appears to be her throws of pleasure — screaming, moaning and thrashing about, just like in the porno movies. I’m not sure I know why woman fake it, men sure as hell don’t go out of their way put on a show if their heart and dick ain’t in it. But women often do and sometimes even us benighted men think something’s fishy…so to speak.

Maybe the question you are asking, Ulli, might stem from a concern you have about your own skill as a lover. I suppose the most obvious reason a woman fakes an orgasm is to massage the ego of the guy who is putting it to her. I suppose it’s the path of least resistance after all. It’s easier to fake it then be honest with her lover about his sexual prowess. Of course there’s always the possibility that the woman in question is pre-orgasmic — that she’s never had an orgasm so she may think that this is how it’s done. How sad is that?

You know how there’s little mystery about a dude’s pleasure — he gets it up, he gets it on and he gets it off — pretty cut and dried. And there’s often the evidence of his pleasure in the form of a pool of his own jizz. Although I hasten to add that an ejaculation is not the same thing as an orgasm, but it is rare to have an ejaculation that isn’t somewhat pleasurable.

A chick is very different, don’t ‘cha know. Her sexual organs and arousal are mostly internal. So unless she’s a squirter (a g-spot ejaculation that is) there’s only circumstantial evidence that she is being pleasured. I guess that’s why so many women make all that “drama.” It’s to compensate for not having anything as obvious as a hardon and a puddle of spooge. Of course the drama could also be a way of throwing us boys off the scent…so to speak.

However, there are things you can look for that may indicate your partner is enjoying herself. Knowing something about the female sexual response cycle will, no doubt, be very helpful here. If you don’t know your way around this phenomenon, I’d suggest that you have some remedial study to do.

Again, the male sexual response cycle is pretty obvious — he gets wood. For a woman the analogous response is she gets wet. If your lady has a wet pussy, you may be on the right track. Of course lots of women don’t lubricate all that much, so you might not want to rely on this evidence alone. In this instance you might look for the secondary signs of arousal – these are pretty much the same in both women and men. Our pupils may dilate, our skin may flush, our nipples may erect, our breathing may increase to a pant, our heart rate will defiantly increase and our toes might curl. Not all of these will happen every time to every person, but you get the drift, right?

In terms of the big “O” men and women differ in many respects, but there are some commonalities. Both women and men can have “mini orgasms” as well as “major” screamin’ memes. Us men folk tend not to pay too much attention to the little tremors, because we know the big one is coming. Women, on the other hand, have less certainty that the big “O” will show up, so they tend to be more aware of the mini ones. Regardless of the gender a good portion of an orgasm’s physiologic response is the same in all of us. Muscle contractions, specifically the PC (pubococcygeus muscle) in both women and men and vaginal and uterine muscles in women signal orgasm. Everything else— the writhing, the shuddering, the fluttering of the eyes and the moans of delight — is gravy.

If the chick you’re bumping has a wild orgasm every single time, I think she’s faking it. If she cums no matter what you’re doing to her, I think she’s faking it. If she sounds like a cheap porn flick, I think she’s faking it. If she’s still doin’ the “oh yeah baby, you’re the best…make momma scream,” long after you stopped doin whatever you were doin’. I think she’s faking it. If she carrying on, yet looking over at the television or the clock, then I think she’s faking it. If there’s no afterglow after a big “O”, I’ll bet she faking it.

If you think you’re with a faker, you might just want to tell her that she doesn’t need to put on a show for you. On the contrary, you both would be better served with a little honesty. Ask her for some feedback; what’s working, what’s not. Oh, and if you think the chick you’re with is gonna cum as fast as you, you don’t know your way around a pussy.

And here’s another thing you should know; most women don’t come from fucking alone. So if you think you got a magic wand in your pants, you are sadly mistaken. If you’re not using your hands and mouth as well as your willie; she’ll likely fake it.

And finally, if you can’t locate her clit to save your life, you can count on her faking it.

Good luck

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Twosies beats onesies, but nothing beats threes

Name: Therese
Gender: female
Age: 30
Location: Galveston
My husband and I are thinking about maybe trying a threesome. It’s been a big part of our fantasy life together for several years. We enjoy imagining ourselves with other people when we’re making love to each other. We probably would have acted on this before, but we know that having a fantasy is not as risky as trying the actual thing. What are your thoughts?

My thoughts? Well, going on the number of threesomes and group sex questions I’m getting from straight folks lately; I’d have to say that ya’ll are finally discovering what most gay folks have known for a long time — 3-ways and group sex can be way fun and a potent tonic for a flagging partnered sex life.

Threesomes and group sex are not all that tricky, especially when both partners in the primary relationship are up for the experimentation. And you guys sound like you’ve been priming the pump, so to speak, for some time now. Yeah it’s true, these things can blow up in your face, but that risk exists in just about everything we do. And I am of the mind that nothing ventured is nothing gained. But I also suggest you guys come up with a strategy on how to minimize the chances of being disappointed.

I’d begin by dialing down expectations. If 3-way sex has been part of your marital fantasy life for a while, I’d be willing to guess that these fantasy encounters are always fun and always successful, because they are the products of your imagination. If you go into a real 3-way with those kinds of expectations you could be disappointed. Reality doesn’t always live up to fantasy. The actual thing, as you suggest in your message to me, may not be as fantastic. But you’ll never know without trying. I always think it’s better to have low expectations and be pleasantly surprised when they are exceeded, than to be disappointed when high expectations aren’t met.

You guys need to decide on some ground rules well in advance of the possible encounter. Among the things you ought to consider are:

  • What will you look for in the additional partner.
  • Will it be another woman, another man?
  • Does it matter?
  • Who gets to choose the other partner?
  • Do either or both of you get to veto a perspective playmate?
  • Will the choice be spontaneous, or will you leave nothing to chance?
  • Will you interview for the position, or just put yourselves in harms way, so to speak and go with the flow.
  • Where will you look for these prospective partners?
  • Will you search online?
  • Where will the event take place? At your place, or somewhere neutral, like a hotel?
  • In terms of the sex itself, are there things that will be off bounds?

The more you know about all these things, the smoother the encounter will go.

Gay guys have it easier when it comes to 3-ways and group sex. First, they tend to have defined roles, like being primarily a top, or primarily a bottom. They are also gonna be playing with other gay or bi men. Things are not so easy for ostensibly straight folks, because including a third person will mean adding someone of the same sex as one of the partners. So straight folks have to ask themselves what will be the configuration of the play? Will it be just straight sex — all play directed toward someone of the other sex? Or will it include play directed toward someone of the same sex. Lot of straight guys get off on the idea of watching two chicks get it on, but would never contemplate mixing it up with another dude. So you see where you’ll have to be careful in choosing your playmate. If he or she has a different understanding of the group encounter, there will be problems.

That’s why I always suggest that before an encounter actually happens, it would be good for you to tell your perspective partner what your boundaries are. Also you’d be wise to discover what turns on your prospective playmate. Investing in this discovery process will save possible embarrassment later.

Once the 3-way encounter begins, there is an etiquette ya’ll ought to adhere to. First and foremost is don’t leave anyone out. If you sense there’s an inequity in the amount of play one partner is getting as opposed to another, then that’s a recipe for disaster. If someone seems to be losing interest during the sex play, then start paying that person a little more attention. Of course you guys might just set up a 3-way so one of you can watch the other play with someone else. Ya know, kind of cheering on from the sidelines, as it were. While that may not technically be a 3-way as most people understand it, this kind of set up is very common.

If your interest goes beyond a ménage à trois to, lets say a foursome or possibly a group, much of the same considerations as in a 3-way apply. But since you’re gonna be dealing with even more bodies, personalities and sexual proclivities, more caution is advised. And unless you’re a swinger, or can tap into your local swing set, these situations may be hard to find.

Good luck

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Libido Disparity, A Common Problem

Name: Chris
Gender: male
Age: 29
Location:
I’m 29 and I’ve been married for the last 3 years. I was seeing my wife for 5 years prior to being married so I guess it’s been a total of 8 years that we’ve been together. When we first got together everything was great the sex was outstanding ya know 69 all types of positions tons of oral, tons of foreplay and she had an orgasm every time. It seems that just in the last couple of years everything has dwindled away to the point where it’s her on top for a little bit, me on top for a little bit till I finish then we go back to the living room and hang out. Whenever I bring up the subject she gets very uncomfortable and won’t talk about it. And it’s really starting to freak me out in every aspect of our relationship. I love the girl, so I don’t want to go anywhere. I’m wondering if there’s any hope to get things back to the way they used to be that fresh hotness and spontaneity. How can I bring the heat back?

Like I always say, If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard this same complaint from a frustrated and desperate man or woman trapped in an undersexed marriage, I’d have enough money to lay down my keyboard, give up my status as the most fabulous and revered sexpert in the universe and retire to Maui.

Despite the frequency of the grievance, it still breaks my heart to hear the despair. I mean it’s one thing to have the sexual connection between partners drift away by mutual consent. It’s another thing all together to have one partner dissolve the sexual connection unilaterally while leaving the other partner bewildered and disoriented.

And what gives with a partner who refuses to talk about why the sex has taken a nosedive? That is so wrong. I can understand not knowing exactly what to say about things goin’ south, or even how to say what may be on your mind, but to clam up all together, that’s just unfair. Suppose the problem had to do with finances instead of sex. What if one of you decided to start splurging on major purchases without consulting the other? There’d be hell to pay then, huh? There’d be no duckin’ out of the responsibility by clamin’ up in this instance, I’ll bet. But when it comes to sex, somehow the same rules for accountability don’t always apply. Why is that?

Sexuality is both a personal expression and a means of bonding with another. Thus sexual wellbeing in a relationship is way more than just the old in and out. It means taking responsibility for one’s eroticism as an integral part of relationship. Sex is a way of expressing one’s self as well as our love for the other. The confusion, unhappiness and anxiety that results from the breakdown of this fundamental tenet will, as you suggest Chris, spill over into and contaminate other areas of the relationship. But it doesn’t need to happen.

When I encounter this predicament in my counseling practice, I always build in some individual time with each partner even though the couple is there for “couples counseling.” I often get a much better sense of what’s causing the breakdown in these private sessions than I do when the couple and I work together as a threesome. Sometimes it’s easier for the individual to talk to me privately than to be open, honest and forthcoming about his/her feelings with his/her partner sitting right there.

My experience tells me that more often than not, a refusal to discuss sexual concerns has more to do with not knowing how to express oneself without hurting the feelings of the other. Sometimes an individual simply doesn’t know herself why things are different than they once were. Sometimes there are lifestyle issues at play — family concerns, work concerns, lack of sleep, drugs and alcohol consumption, etc. Sometimes there are medical and psychological issues that impact on a person’s libido — weight gain, birth control, other pharmaceutical drugs, diabetes and depression to mention a few.

There’s also something we in the business call: “desire discrepancy disorder,” which is just a fancy-schmancy way of saying one partner has a stronger libido then the other. But often the simplest and most ordinary explanation is that the partnered sex has become stale, rote and boring.

Whatever the cause of the imbalance, it needs to be addressed as a couple. Once the couple has identified the problem the next step is learning how to talk about it in an effective yet non-threatening way. This can be tricky, to say the least. But it is still so much easier than trying to avoid the issue all together.

Ok, so your wife is reluctant to discuss the matter with you, Chris. That just means you’re gonna have to be proactive in bringing this issue to a head. And I’m not suggesting that you browbeat your wife about her unwillingness to talk about the issue. It’s gonna be all about you leading by example. Here’s what I suggest. Set up a time for you and your wife to have a sit-down. This needs to be scheduled in advance so that both of you know it’s coming. There ought be no surprises. This conference should not immediately follow sex, especially disappointing sex. Set aside at least 30 minutes when you guys are fresh and relaxed and then start preparing what you want to say. Take notes if necessary.

When the time comes for the sit down, I encourage you to use “I” statements instead of “you” statements. Begin by laying out how you feel and owing your feelings. “I feel confused. I feel frustrated. I feel that our relationship is in jeopardy.” Stay away from statements like “you make me feel…blah, blah, blah. These kinds of pronouncements will only muddy the waters. Then I suggest that you invite your wife to do the same. If she can’t, or won’t, move on to what steps you will take to get to the bottom of this. Something like, “I don’t want to continue the status quo. I’ve decided that I am going to seek some professional help for this. Maybe there’s something I’m missing. I can’t get to the bottom of this on my own, so maybe a sex therapist will help me understand what’s going on.” Again, invite her to join you in this effort. If she refuses or stalls out, move on to closing the discussion. You might say something like, “thank you for hearing me out on this. I don’t mean to put you on the spot, but I think our relationship is worth the effort to preserve it. And I’m actually gonna do something to make sure that we stay together. My invitation to you to join me in this effort will remain open.” End of discussion!

Of course, if you take this route, you will have to follow through on your commitment. If you don’t you will sabotage the whole damn thing, which will only make matters considerably worse. I encourage you to find a sex-positive therapist to work with. A good resource for this is The American College of Sexologists. Visit the directory page on their website. You will find listings for certified sexologists and sex therapists all over the world. If there is no one near you, contact the person closest to you and ask for a referral. Often my fellow ACS therapists and sexologists are very well connected to the broader sex-positive communities in their area.

You may also wish to consult me, even if you’re not here in Seattle. Check out the Therapy Available link in the header of my site for all the information you’ll need to make an enlightened decision about working with me.

Whatever you do, don’t settle for the path of least resistance. Your leadership might be just the thing your wife is looking for to muster her own strength to face the facts. Either way, the problem you are facing will not go away simply by ignoring it. Disappointments will become resentments and resentments will inevitably lead to acting-out and that will surely fuck things up royally.

Good luck

Quickies

Name: Vic
Gender:
Age: 37
Location: Hollywood
I think I have hemorrhoids can you tell me what to do and what kind of doctor I should see

You think you have hemorrhoids, but you don’t know for sure? Since you don’t include the symptoms you might be having, I really can’t help all that much.

What I can tell you is that hemorrhoids are abnormally swollen veins in your rectum and on your asshole. They’re like varicose veins you might see on a person’s legs only they’re in your butt. When bulging hemorrhoidal veins are irritated, they cause surrounding membranes to swell, burn, and itch. They can become pretty painful, and they can bleed too.

Hemorrhoids are caused by too much pressure in your rectum, forcing blood to stretch and bulge the walls of the veins, sometimes even rupturing them.

Frequent causes include:

  • Constant sitting
  • Straining with bowel movements (either from constipation or diarrhea)
  • Severe coughing
  • Heavy Lifting

What you can do to help:

  • Be sure your hole is clean after each bowel movement. Use a premoistened towelette, like baby wipes or Tucks for a thorough cleanup.
  • Avoid excessive rubbing and scratching.
  • Make sure the soap you use is scent and dye free.
  • Apply an ice pack to reduce swelling and follow this with a warm compress.
  • Take a sitz bath. Fill your bathtub with just enough warm water to cover your ass, add Epsom salts. Soak your sorry bum for about 15 minutes a couple times a day.

There are plenty of over-the-counter hemorrhoid treatments — ointments, creams, and suppositories. Give these a try, but if symptoms continue see a doctor. Any physician, including a general practitioner, will be able to diagnosis a case of hemorrhoids.

Name: Jon
Gender:
Age: 22
Location: LA
How can I make myself ejaculate harder and longer when doing masturbation?

Ever try “Edging”? This is a stop/start technique guaranteed to prolong the time it takes you to reach your climax. Grab your dick and begin to wank like usual. Only when you get near to cumming — stop stroking. After the urge to shoot subsides begin to slowly wank again. Every time you approach climax — stop the stroking. Repeat this whole ‘stop and start’ cycle for as many times as you would like. When ya finally shoot you’ll have a stronger orgasm and you’ll spew more spunk. Do an internet search for edging & masturbation, you’ll find a load of information posted by fellow edgers.

Another cool method is the “Squat ‘N Jerk”. Squat on the floor, and stretch your knees as far apart as possible. Lean against a wall if necessary. Feel the stretch in your feet, calves, thighs, taint and asshole. Begin your yank session. Try to keep your rod perpendicular to the ground as you stroke. Because of the tension in your fee, legs and butt, when you shoot you’ll be sure to get more bang for your buck. A variation on this technique is to squat on a dildo or a butt plug. ENJOY!

Name: Trev
Gender:
Age: 27
Location: Toronto
My boyfriend and I got into a fight last night and he punched me in the face. He lost his job about a month ago and since then he has been using drugs, mostly pot but sometimes speed too. When he gets depressed he gets angry and I have to stay out of his way. I’m worried about him but he won’t get help. He says he’s sorry about last night but it’s different when he is high. What can I do to help?

You could start by taking a long hard look at your own enabling behaviors. I can tell, even from this great distance, that you are a doormat. Remember, behind every abuser is an enabler. Behind every drunk and druggie there is an enabler. The fact that you are more concerned about your abusive BF welfare than your own safety tells me there is more to your unhealthy relationship than what you reveal here.

Many victims of abuse, and you are an abuse victim, Trev, believe the abuse is their fault. Regardless of how twisted your relationship may be, there is never sufficient cause for someone to punch his partner anywhere on his body, least of all in his face. Your BF has at least two major issues to deal with: a) his depression/anger/violence and b) his drug abuse. As you suggest these are related. You are neither well positioned nor well enough informed to assist him with either of his problems. In fact, as I say above, you are part of the problem.

You, on the other hand, have issues of your own that he can’t help you with, because he is part of your problem. Abusers often promise to change their behavior, and those empty promises often keep the victim from identifying the pattern of abuse in the relationship.

Anyone in a relationship that doesn’t have the emotional wherewithal to leave an abusive relationship needs help ASAP. Here’s a resource for you: The Gay Men’s Domestic Violence Project.

Good Luck