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Easy Cum, Easy Go

Hey sex fans,

Listen up!

I’m adding this new feature to my Q&A columns.  Whenever possible, I will include in my response a link to a movie in my HOW TO VIDEO LIBRARY (see the VOD tab at the top of the page?) that will further educate or enrich the person who is asking the question.

Think of it as at HOMEWORK or further study on the topic at hand.  I hope all of you will benefit from this terrific instructional and enriching resource.  (Click on the images below for viewing information.)

Name: Spencer
Gender:
Age: 37
Location: Ottawa
I am very interested in learning more about prostate massage and milking techniques.  Are you familiar with these things?  Thank you.

I am very familiar with both prostate massage and the fetish commonly known as milking.

But let’s begin with prostate massage, because it is something every guy can practice and enjoy.  I a53342_xlfrecommend all us men folk be prostate aware.  You know I’m a big advocate of frequent prostate self-exam, right?  And I figure while you’re down there rootin’ around in your butt-hole checking for abnormalities, hey spend a little more time and give yourself a nice massage why don’t ‘cha?  Fingers work just fine for this, but an insertable vibrator is…well…out of this world.  Prostate massage is a wonderful way to expand your self-pleasuring repertoire, especially for all you guys out there who only know how to yank on their dick for joy.  And ladies, prostate massage is a great way to play with your male partners.  Perhaps if you signal to your guy that a little butt play can be fun, more straight guys will be less ass-phobic and the world will be a much better place, don’t cha know.

You can feel your prostate gland by inserting a finger a couple of inches or so into your bum.  If you are the least bit aroused your prostate will feel like a smooth rounded flat lump about the size of a large almond. Just in back of and up from your prostate is a smaller triangular wedge shaped nodule that is the bottom portion of your somewhat larger seminal vesicles.  This, by the way, is where most of your jizz is produced and stored. Underneath the seminal vesicles are the ampullae, which are tiny reservoirs for your sperm that will mix with all the other fluids produced by the vesicles and your prostate when you cum.

a73296_xlfAs you become aroused, ejaculatory fluid and sperm accumulate in these glands backing up behind valves in the ejaculatory ducts. When the fluid pressure reaches a high enough threshold, the valves open and the urethral bulb fills, triggering the muscular contractions of your ejaculation.  This empties the glands and you’ve just shot your wad.

Naturally, if one abstains from ejaculating for a while and prolongs his arousal stage, say like through edging, more fluids will build up, making for a larger load and a more explosive orgasm.

So with that little anatomy lesson behind us, so to speak, we can get back to prostate massage.  Simply insert your well-lubricated middle finger or middle finger and index finger into your butt hole and apply a little pressure.  Slowly massage your prostate.  Doesn’t that feel yummy?  Some men can cum by prostate massage alone.  Hell, you may find that you don’t even need a stiff dick to enjoy an orgasm and/or an ejaculation.

a83370_xlfNow to kink things up a bit we introduce the fetish called milking.  This is mostly a partnered — dom/sub, bondage/discipline — sort of deal.  But a guy can certainly do it on his own if he’d like.  Basically, the object here is to drain and collect the spunk produced.  How it’s collected?  Well that’s is up for grabs.  Ya see there are a zillion variations on the milking theme.  Some practitioners deny the donor the pleasure of an orgasm while collecting his jizz.  Ice packs are placed on a guy’s cock and balls before milking begins.  The spooge will flow through prostate massage and masturbation, but there won’t be much feeling for the donor.

Another interesting twist on milking is to completely restrain and blindfold the donor.  This may include a little (or a lot) of cock and ball torture (CBT) during the milking sessions.  There are even milking machines available, not unlike the contraptions that milk a mother’s breast, for the medical fetishists among us.

There are sadists who revel in denying the donor any sexual release except for his milking sessions.  This is where a male chastity belt will come in mighty handy.  A guy will still need to a71598_xlfhave his balls drained, so to speak, every few weeks in order to avoid him losing his joy juice in a wet dream or when he takes a piss. But with regular prostate milkings, a dude can be deprived of orgasmic release for a long time with no harmful effects.

Those going for volume rather than frequency practice what is known as cum control, which takes edging to a whole new level.   Their objective is to go as long as possible without triggering an orgasm or a wet dream.  Since the pressure of fluid buildup increases with each arousal, the urgency to have an ejaculation also increases.  To deny himself the release is, for some, exquisitely painful.

If you’re still looking for more information on all of this, search them interweb tubes for key words like:  Semen Worship / Orgasm Control / Cum Control / Milking / Edging / Chastity and Cock and Ball Torture.

Name: Shelly
Gender:
Age: 21
Location: Atlanta
How come men are seen as ‘studs’ and women as ‘sluts’ for doing the same things.

Basically darling, that’s because our culture is pretty fucked up — sexually, and in so many other was too.

Despite the progress we’ve made over the last 50 years to liberate ourselves from suffocating 5Blit2oaSplgn264lJN97XCpo1_400sex-role stereotyping and culturally induced gender expectations, we are nowhere near being free and clear of all that crap.

Changing societal attitudes about sex begins with each one of us carving out our own healthy place to celebrate our sexuality.  Carving out that place means we don’t tolerate this or any other kind of double standard bullshit from those around us.  It’s tough standing against the tide of sexual bigotry, but it will make you strong and proud.  Banding together with other like-minded people for support and encouragement is also important.

The biggest danger, of course, is that young, sexually progressive women will, in time, cave to the pressure to conform.  They will begin to internalize the madonna/whore dichotomy that has plagued all of us for millennia and pass it on to yet another generation of vulnerable women.  The risk is always there; so vigilance is the only response.

And all you guys out there who think that this double standard is the way things oughta be.  Think again!  You are not a stud if you cheapen your sexual partners by degrading them; you’re just an asshole.

Name: Brianna
Gender:
Age: 30
Location: San Diego
I’ve been so disturbed about the increasing number of recalled Chinese made products lately — dog food, toothpaste, children’s toys and the like — that I was horrified to discover that most of my sex toys are made in China.  I suppose this is a dumb time to ask, but how safe are sex toys?

That is a real good question, Brianna.  Ya know there was a time when I thought that the greatest hazard to the ardent sex toy consumer was simply all the poorly designed and cheaply a2458_xlfmanufactured crap that floods the marketplace.  But in light of the alarming news of recent months about the safety risks of many products coming from China, I think there is room for concern about the safety of Chinese made sex toys.

I hasten to add that not all Chinese imports are dangerous.  Nor are all products grown or manufactured in the US safe.  But there is a long history of unscrupulous Western companies exploiting the Chinese labor force.  This greed and abuse leads to a dangerous mix that often has dire consequences.

Obviously there is no government regulatory agency out there with a mandate to protect us from unsafe or unhealthful sex toys.  Of course, one can make the case that even when there is a government regulatory agency with a mandate to protect us, and our pets, from unsafe, tainted or unhealthy food, drugs and other consumables they’re not doing a particularly good job.

The sex toy industry does an equally piss-poor job of regulating itself.  No surprise there, I suppose.  Profit motives seem to trump all other considerations.  And since there is virtually no scientific data on sex toy safety the responsibility for keeping ourselves safe falls to us, the consumer.  It’s up to us to positively impact the market.  We can begin by taking some responsibility for what we consume.  We can go GREEN with our sex toys, so to speak.  We could patronize only the retailers that provide fair and balanced product reviews.  We could refrain from buying on impulse or being swayed by slick smutty packaging.  We could avoid excess packaging that only winds up in a landfill.

We could avoid doing business with sex toy retailers who continue to peddle products with by unsubstantiated claims.  Herbal supplements that promise to grow a guy’s dick bigger or enhance his sexual performance.  Or those patches, pills and lubricating oils that are supposed to boost a chick’s desire.  It’s not like there aren’t good products out there, it’s just that we have to do our research before we buy.  Check out some of the great Product Review Sites too — Dr Dick’s Sex Toy Reviews, Jane’s Guide or Hey Epiphora.

a122441_xlfWe could protect ourselves by insisting our toys be manufactured by people who have access to sex information, education and contraception for themselves.  If our purchases support repressive governments who abuse their people we are complicit in the repression.  Imagine our dildos, vibrators and fetish gear being manufactured by people who will never be able to enjoy a happy, healthy integrated sex life because of gender inequity or poverty.  That sucks, huh?

We can also protect ourselves by patronizing responsible and ethical sex toy retailers.  These include my very own Dr Dick’s Stockroom, Good Vibrations, Babeland and Eden Fantasys.  These retailers have excellent customer service departments and well as educational components to outreach.  They’re also terrific resources for all your sex toy related questions.

There have been a lot of unsubstantiated claims made of late that there is a potential danger in all sex toys.  Some insist that most sex toys contain cancer-causing ingredients. While I won’t go that far, there are some things to be concerned about.  For example, many soft rubber toys are made using phthalates, which have been linked to environmental and human health issues. Phthalates (pronounced “thall-eights”) are a chemical compound used to soften hard plastics into soft rubbery and jelly-like toys. I also recommend that you avoid toys with artificial scent and dyes.  They’ve been known to trigger allergic reactions in some people.

I believe that if you buy quality you are more likely to get quality.  Consider hypoallergenic materials, such as silicone, wood, glass and aluminum.  They are more expensive, but worth it.   Then again, you could always use a condom on any insertable, or less expensive toy of questionable material.  The problem with this is, condoms are not biodegradable and they’re expensive.  By the time you factor in the cost of condoms for every toy use, you’ll actually be spending more per diddle than if you bought quality from the get-go.

Remember the more information you have, the wiser a consumer you will be.

Good luck ya’ll

fitzsimmons_AZdailystar

No Song Unsung, No Wine Untasted

Hey sex fans,

Listen up!

I’m adding a new feature to my Q&A columns.  Whenever possible, I will include in my response a link to a movie in my HOW TO VIDEO LIBRARY (see the VOD tab at the top of the page) that will further educate or enrich the person who is asking the question.

Think of it as at HOMEWORK or further study on the topic at hand.  I hope all of you will benefit from this terrific instructional and enriching resource.


Name: Bob
Gender:
Age: 48
Location: Long Island, N.Y.
Almost 20 yrs. ago I had a transexual encounter. It was different but wonderful. Now I find myself wanting to explore this experience again. I’m now married with kids and I know it’s cheating but it won’t leave my thoughts. I don’t know what to think. I love being with a woman but this hunger won’t go away and I ‘m not entirely sure if I want it to. I don’t know if this means I’m gay, bi, or what. Please, please, if you’ve any advice your help and thoughts would be greatly appreciated. Thank you.

Hey Bob, the question of weather this craving makes you are gay, bi or what is the least of your issues, darlin’.  You got this jones about chicks with dicks and it won’t go away because you don’t want it to go away.  It’s a hunger that you feed by starving it. And I’m gonna go way out on a limb here and guess that you will, in pretty short order, go out and get you some of this exotic monkey love, just like before you were married.  And I also predict that you will make it a habit, risks to your comfortable life and cheating on you wife not withstanding.

Here’s the thing about sexual obsessions of any stripe.  The more you starve them the more the hunger consumes you.  So rather than treat the desire head on, perhaps you need to address the underlying issues that give rise to it.  I’d be willing to speculate that your life has become so predictable, mundane and lethargic that you long to be startled a114542_xlfawake from this slumber.  You entertain these juicy revelries as a way of keeping yourself from completely succumbing to the boredom.  Am I right, Bob?  I think I am.

You see, the real issue here is not your cravings for a walk on the wild side; it’s the boredom at your core.  Desperate men do desperate things.  And bored men do foolish things.  So I suppose you need to ask yourself, to what lengths are you willing to go to satisfy this craving?  And once you answer that, the more important question remains to be answered.  How many times will you have to satisfy your craving to balance out the monotony in the rest of your life?

You see, how this has virtually nothing to do with your sexual orientation, gay, bi or whatever; it has to do with your lifestyle.

Perhaps, indulging your sexual fantasy in the relatively harmless form of some video consumption might assuage your obsession.  It sure beats skippin’ out on your wife and family to satisfy your jones.

Name: Fran
Gender:  Female
Age: 33
Location: South Africa
I have a new lover, 10 years my junior.  We meet at a play party about three weeks ago.  He is very adventuresome and totally submissive.  He told me he wants me to shave him from head to toe and he wants me to do this while he is restrained and gagged.  I’m confident about my bondage skills, but I’ve never saved anyone.  Do you have any tips?

Some gals have all the luck!  You gots yourself a submissive pup; good for you!  Just think, this shaving scene could be a real Samson and Delilah kinda set up, and hopefully one of biblical proportions.  HOT!

The overall body shave can be a bit tricky, especially for those sensitive areas of the body not used to being shaved.  You can pretty much count on some nicks and cuts and there will be a fair amount of post-shave skin irritation too.  It’s just par for the course.  Ya’ll can minimize a lot of this by attending to some fundamentals before the event begins.

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Most us men have discovered that shaving our face later in the day, or better…at night makes shaving easier.  The same is true for fetish shaving.  Nighttime is the best time!  Work in a clean, well-lit place.  The darkened dungeon is good choice for after-shave play, but you’ll need lots of light for the shave itself. You also need ready access to lots of clean hot water.  So why not strap the boy to the bathroom sink, shower head, or better yet the kitchen table.

If the pup resembles the missing link, you’ll want to start the whole business by trimming his body hair as close to the skin as possible before you employ the razor. I suggest using a high quality barber shears for this.

Choose your razors carefully. Unless you are a real connoisseur and know how to wield a straight razor, stick with safety razors.  Since you’re gonna be doing his whole body, be sure to stock up on a shit-load of the quality plastic disposable kind.  You will find that the blades dull really fast when they are shaving course body hair.  Dull razors, as everyone knows, will nick and scrape more than a sharp razor.  You’ll want to minimize the number of times you pull the razor across any given patch of skin so as to minimize razor burn.

Cover the area you are about to shave with a hot, wet towel. It’ll soften the hair and makes it easier to remove.  Use lots of shaving gel.  Gel is better than shaving cream for sensitive skin.  Always shave with the growth of the hair, not against.  Be sure to have a styptic pencil or gel handy to stop bleeding when you nick the little monkey.  And depending on how fastidious you are; keep a pair tweezers handy for yanking out the stray hairs you and your razor miss.  This will give your sub something to remember!

No matter how careful you are, there will always be microscopic nicks and cuts afterwards. Left untreated, this can leave the skin open to a nasty infection. To prevent this, apply a liberal amount of an astringent, like which hazel.  Hydrogen peroxide is and excellent and inexpensive alternative.

Ya know those nasty little red bumps that are caused by ingrown hairs?  You can cut down on these little buggers by buffing the freshly shaved area with a cosmetic buff pad.  Finally, a liberal application of a moisturizer is recommended to cut down on the itching that will inevitably follow.  If the sub has never done this before, he will soon find out that he will be plagued by itching as his hair starts to grow in.  Too bad for him, huh?

As you can see, this is gonna be a whole lot of work for you.  And there’s gonna be a lot of clean up too.  Lucky for you, you’ll have a freshly shaved sub to do all the work while you relax kick your feet up and eat your bonbons.

This might be helpful too — check out my review of The Ultimate Personal Shaver Kit HERE!

Here are some video suggestions to accompany my thoughts.

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Name: Susie
Gender:
Age: 25
Location: Indianapolis
My husband and I are beginning to experiment with some light bondage and discipline.  We’d like to know more about this and how to play safely.  Unfortunately, because of his job we are stuck here in Indianapolis for another whole year.  We have yet to find even one other person around here who shares our kink.  So we don’t have anyone to ask about this.

Ahhh, the joys of the heartland.  I’d be willing to guess there are other kinky pervs, like you guys, right there in Indian-apollis, but they don’t know how to find you anymore than you guys know how to find them.  Kinda sad, huh?  Well probably ya’ll are gonna need to turn to them internet tubes for the help you’re looking for.  Kink and BDSM sites abound.  Almost all of them have great “how to” and “helpful tips” sections geared to the budding kinkster.  Several of these sites also feature profiles, chat rooms and bulletin boards for like-minded folks to connect and play.

For something really special, check out my newest podcast series — Sex EDGE-U-cation.  I’m chatting with prominent educators, practitioners and advocates of unconventional sexual expressions and lifestyles from all over the world.

But since you are here, darlin’, I do have some preliminary thoughts to share.  First, every scene should be negotiated before play begins.  Never bypass this important step even if the two of you only play with one another.  Ya see, what you don’t want to have happen is to break the mood mid-scene to ask a question or seek direction.  All that should be taken care of before you start the play.  Get use to working out all the logistics a head of time.  These important negotiation sessions will also force you to communicate with each other and give you a ready vocabulary for talking with other prospective partners should the opportunity ever arise.

Negotiating a BDSM scene is not a “I’ll do this for you if you do that for me” sort of deal, like in vanilla sex.  Rather it’s an honest discussion about you and your partner’s wants, needs, expectations and limits for the scene. Regardless if you are the dominant top or a submissive bottom, you must be equal partners when negotiating each scene.

If you do this sort of play a lot, the negotiations may become perfunctory.  But like I said, a114592_xlf1they ought never be skipped.  The nature of these negotiations is to set parameters, ascertain boundaries and establish limits — for example the intensity and duration of the scene. You may find that you need to set a time limit for your play, or discuss the type of restraints and means of discipline to be used.  Debriefing (also known as Aftercare), once the scene is ended, is also a real good idea.  You’ll, of course, need to establish safewords for your play.  And if you don’t know what those are; you’d best stick to vanilla.

The more experience you have, the more likely you will develop a shorthand for negotiating your play.  However, the less experienced you are, the more important it will be to spell out absolutely everything.  Your negotiations ought to be a frank and open discussion, no holds bared as it were.  Remember, you are not in the scene yet.  So no one, dom or sub, has more input than the other.  Speak and question one another freely.

The first question the dom needs to ask of the sub is “What are your limits?” Be specific, direct and pointed when you ask about one’s limits. The novice sub may not know his or her limits, so the dom will have to proceed with the utmost caution.  This is where the safeword will most likely come into play.

The sub ought to have unqualified trust in the dom; without this the scene isn’t play, it’s abuse. Remember, there is never room for coercion in the negotiations.  Save the guilt tripping, shame-inducement and intimidation for the scene itself.

Here’s some at homework for you and your husband.  Check out The Surrender Of O.  This is just one of the exceptionally fine enrichment videos in my How To Video Library.

Name: juan
Gender: Male
Age: 32
Location:
When me and my wife have sex I like to cum in her ass. Is that bad for her?

If her’s is the only ass you cum in, there’s no problem.

However, if you’re dippin’ you wick in other bung-holes, or have multiple partners of any sort, exchanging bodily fluids is not recommended.

Good luck ya’ll

Video Library

DR DICK’S HOW TO VIDEO LIBRARY!

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Hey there sex fans!

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Listen up, buckaroos; with just a little prompting from you, this amazing library of videos are just gonna cum gushin’ outta your computer like nobody’s business.

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Remember that your pay-for-view minutes allow you to watch whatever content you want for whatever length of time you choose. NIFTY, huh?

So Ya Wanna Be A World-Class Cocksucker

…OR HOW TO GIVE THE PERFECT BLOW JOB

What’s up with the current lamentable state of cock sucking these days? Why, I can remember a time when the humble hummer was king. Now, sadly the basic blowjob is a lost art.

Dr. Dick is forever getting letters from all over, from both men and women, asking for his sage advice. Dear Dr. Dick, Help! I don’t now what it is, I can’t seem to get the hang of fellatio. FELLATIO? Are you serious? Keep referring to cock sucking like that and we’re gonna take away your adult card. And then there are the letters frombj-1.jpg disappointed aficionados of excellent head. Dear Dr. Dick, Help! My boyfriend sucks dick like a girl. He’s afraid to get down and dirty on my big old dick. Yeah, ain’t it a shame? Ya know, there are those who believe an expert cocksucker is born not make. Either you can suck the chrome off a trailer hitch or ya can’t. However, Dr. Dick believes anyone can become an adequate or even a superior cocksucker with a little will power and some ingenuity.

Let’s start with the basics. There’s no one best way to make oral love to a boner. No two cocksuckers do it exactly the same way, but all have one thing in common and that’s the desire to satisfy. Technique and position take a back seat to simply craving a 9167735.jpgcock in your mouth. We’re not talkin’ rocket science, girlfriend, it’s just a pecker and a mouth doin’ what comes natural. So if cock sucking is more work than fun, just give it up. Life is too short for a bad blowjob.

Begin by taking a good look at the object of your desire. A big stiff woody is a wonder to behold. And even those little willies can be cute as hell. Visually explore the whole enchilada. Feel it’s shape, its thickness and texture. Use your tongue to trace a line from his dick head down the underside of his shaft to his balls. If you’re lucky enough to be gobbling an uncut dick, draw back his foreskin and slop your tongue all around his corona. As you do, watch your man’s eyes roll back in his head in ecstasy.0213.jpg

Let his cock slide inside your mouth. Let your lips slide over the head and down the shaft a little, but, for god’s sake, watch out for your teeth! Slide your mouth down farther and open wider. Feel the stretch in your jaws. When his dick gets close to your throat, you may begin to gag. This is a normal reflex that you will, in time, be able to control. Ask for some feedback on your efforts. Just don’t talk with your mouth full.

There are lots of other things you can do with your mouth. Lick his dick, suck on it and flick your tongue rapidly across the top of his dick. Or you can simply move your mouth up and down his joystick. Dive into his crotch, lick his inner thighs, lower belly, and slobber all over his nuts. Keep your mouth wet, a thick wad of saliva will add to the pleasure and eliminate irritation. Don’t be afraid to be sloppy. Increase your speed or slow it down. Incorporate a little manual stimulation if ya’d like. Fondle and bj01.jpgcup his balls in your hand.

As your man approaches orgasm he will become more excited and may start some pelvic thrusting. If he does and you start to gag, use your hand to guide his dick in and out of your mouth. Remember that you’re the one in charge here. Encircle your lips firmly around his cock and over your teeth. Keep the other parts of your mouth as relaxed as possible (actual “sucking” is unnecessary at this point). Keeping a regular rhythm is nice, but don’t let it get boring. If you vary your position and your stroke you won’t get fatigued.

Remember practice makes perfect. Above all take the time you need to learn what works best for you.

The Vulnerable Group Sex Ed Completely Ignores & Why That’s So Dangerous

By Hallie Levine

When Katie, 36, was identified as having an intellectual disability as a young child after scoring below 70 on an IQ test, her parents were told that she would never learn to read and would spend her days in a sheltered workshop. Today she is a single mum to an 8-year-old son, drives a car, and works at a local restaurant as a waitress. She blasted through society’s expectations of her — including the expectation that she would never have sex.

sex-edKatie never had a formal sexual education: What she learned came straight from her legal guardian, Pam, who explained to her the importance of safe sex and waiting until she was ready. “I waited until I was 19, which is a lot later than some of my friends,” Katie says. Still, like many women with disabilities, she admits to being pressured into sex her first time, something she regrets. “I don’t think I was ready,” she says. “It actually was with someone who wasn’t my boyfriend. He was cute, and he wanted to have sex, so I said I wanted it, but at the last minute I changed my mind and it happened anyway. I just felt really stupid and uncomfortable afterwards.” She never told her boyfriend what happened.

Katie’s experience is certainly not unique: In the general population, one out of six women has survived a rape or attempted rape, according to statistics from RAINN. But for women with intellectual disabilities (ID), it’s even more sobering: About 25% of females with ID referred for birth control had a history of sexual violence, while other research suggests that almost half of people with ID will experience at least 10 sexually abusive incidents in their lifetime, according to The Arc, an advocacy organisation for people with intellectual disabilities.

When it comes to their sex lives, research shows many women with intellectual disability don’t associate sex with pleasure, and tend to play a passive role, more directed to “pleasuring the penis of their sex partner” than their own enjoyment, according to a 2015 study published in the Journal of Sex Research. They’re more likely to experience feelings of depression and guilt after sex. They’re at a greater risk for early sexual activity and early pregnancy. They’re also more likely to get an STD: 26% of cognitively impaired female high schoolers report having one, compared to 10% of their typical peers, according to a study published in the Journal of Adolescent Health.

Katie, for example, contracted herpes in her early 20s, from having sex with another man (she says none of her partners have had an intellectual disability). “I was hurt and itching down there, so I went to the doctor, who told me I had this bad disease,” she recalls. She was so upset she confronted her partner: “I went to his office crying, but he denied everything,” she remembers.

Given all of this, you’d think public schools — which are in charge of educating kids with intellectual disability — would be making sure it’s part of every child’s curriculum. But paradoxically, kids with ID are often excluded from sexual education classes, including STD and pregnancy prevention. “People with intellectual disabilities don’t get sexual education,” says Julie Ann Petty, a safety and sexual violence educator at the University of Arkansas. Petty, who has cerebral palsy herself, has worked extensively with adults who have intellectual disabilities (while not all people living with cerebral palsy have intellectual disabilities, they face many of the same barriers to sexual education). “This [lack of education] is due to the central norms we still have when thinking about people with ID: They need to be protected; they are not sexual beings; they don’t need any sex-related information. Disability rights advocates have worked hard over the last 20-some years to get rid of those stereotypes, but they are still out there.

“I work with adults with disabilities all the time, and the attitudes of the caretakers and staff around them are, ‘Oh, our people do not do that stuff. Our people do not think about sex,’” Petty says. “It’s tragic, and really sets this vulnerable population up for abuse: if they don’t have knowledge about their private body parts, for example, how are they going to know if someone is doing something inappropriate?”

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Historically, individuals with intellectual disabilities were marginalised, shunted off to institutions, and forcibly sterilised. That all began to change in the 1950s and 1960s, with the push by parents and civil rights advocates to keep kids with ID at home and mainstream them into regular education environments. But while significant progress has been made over the last half century in terms of increased educational and employment opportunities, when it comes to sex ed, disability rights advocates say we’re still far, far behind.

“What I find is shocking is I’ll go in to teach a workshop on human sexuality to a group of teenagers or young adults with cognitive disabilities, and I find that their knowledge is no different than what [young people with ID would have known] back in the 1970s,” says Katherine McLaughlin, who has worked as a sexuality educator and trainer for Planned Parenthood of Northern New England for over 20 years and is the co-author of the curriculum guide “Sexuality Education for Adults with Developmental Disabilities.” “They tell me they were taken out of their mainstream health classes in junior high and high school during the sexual education part, because their teachers don’t think they need it. I’ve worked with adults in their 50s who have no idea how babies are made. It’s mind blowing.”

“There’s this belief that they don’t need it, or that they won’t understand it, or it will actually make them more likely to be sexually active or act inappropriately,” adds Pam Malin, VAWA Project Coordinator, Disability Rights Wisconsin. “But research shows that actually the opposite is true.”

Indeed, as the mother of a young girl with Down syndrome, I’m personally struck by how asexualised people with intellectual disabilities still are. Case in point: When fashion model Madeline Stuart — who has Down syndrome — posted pictures of herself online in a bikini, the Internet exploded with commentary, some positive, some negative. “I think it is time people realised that people with Down syndrome can be sexy and beautiful and should be celebrated,” Madeline’s mother, Roseanne, told ABC News. Yet somehow, it’s still scandalous.

Ironically, sometimes the biggest barrier comes from parents of people with ID — which hits close to home for me. “A lot of parents still treat their kids’ sexuality as taboo,” says Malin. She recalls one situation where a mom in one of her parent support groups got attacked by other parents: “She was very open about masturbation with her adolescent son, and actually left a pail on his doorknob so he could masturbate in a sock and then put it in the pail — she’d wash it with no questions asked. I applauded it: I thought it was an excellent way to give her son some freedom and choice around his sexuality. But it made the other parents incredibly uncomfortable.”

Sometimes, parents are simply not comfortable talking about sexuality, because they don’t know how to start the conversation, adds Malin. Several studies have also found that both staff and family generally encourage friendship, not sexual relationships. “It’s a lot of denial: The parents don’t want to admit that their children are maturing emotionally and developing adult feelings,” says Malin. An Australian study published in the journal Sexuality & Disability found that couples with intellectual disability were simply never left alone, and thus never allowed to engage in sexual behaviour.

I’m doing my best — but despite all my good intentions, it’s certainly not been easy. This fall, I sat down to tell my three small children about the birds and the bees. My two boys — in second grade and kindergarten — got into the conversation right away, and as we began talking I realised it wasn’t a surprise to them; at a young age, they’d already picked up some of the basic facts from playmates. But my daughter, my eldest, was a whole different story. Jo Jo is in third grade and has Down syndrome, so she’s delayed, both with language and cognition. And because of her ID, and all the risk that goes along with it, she was the kid I was most worried about. So it was disheartening to see her complete lack of interest in the conversation, wandering off to her iPad or turning on the radio. Every time I would try to coax her back to our little group, she would shout, “No!”

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Lisa Shevin, whose 30-year-old daughter, Chani, has Down syndrome, says she’s never had a heart-to-heart with her daughter about sexuality. “The problem is, Chani’s not very verbal, so I’m never quite sure what she grasps,” says Shevin, who lives in Oak Park, a suburb of Detroit. While Chani has a “beau” at work, another young man who also has an intellectual disability, “They’re never, ever left alone, so they never have an opportunity to follow through on anything,” says Shevin. “I feel so frustrated as her mother, because I want to talk to her about sex ed, but I just don’t know how. I’ve never gotten any guidance from anyone. But just because my daughter is cognitively impaired, it doesn’t mean she doesn’t have the same hormones as any other woman her age. You can’t just sweep it under the rug and assume she doesn’t understand.”

In one interesting twist, sex educators say they tend to see more women with intellectual disability than men being sexually aggressive. “I worked with a young woman in her late 20s who would develop crushes on attractive male staff members at her group home,” recalls Malin. “She would try to flirt, and the guys would play it off as ‘hah hah funny,’ but eventually she called police and accused one of them of rape.” While the police investigated and eventually dropped charges, Malin was brought in to work with her: “We had a long conversation about where this had come from, and she kept talking about Beau and Hope from ‘Days of Our Lives’,” Malin recalls. “It turned out she had gotten so assertive with one of the male staff that he’d very adamantly said no to her, but her understanding of rape boiled down to gleaning bits from soap operas, and she thought that if a man in any situation acted forcefully with a woman then it was sexual assault.”

While most cases don’t escalate to this point, sometimes people with intellectual disability can exhibit behavior that causes problems: Chani, for example, was kicked out of sleep-away camp a few years ago after staff complained that she was hugging too many of her male counsellors. “She’d develop little crushes on them, and she never tried anything further than putting her arms around them and wanting to hang out with them all the time, but it made staff uncomfortable,” Shevin recalls. Chani’s since found a new camp where counsellors take her behaviour in stride: “They’ve found a way to work with it, so if she doesn’t want to do an activity, they’ll convince her by telling her afterwards she can spend time with Noah, one of the male counsellors she has a crush on,” says Shevin. (At the end of the summer, Noah gave Chani a tiara, which remains one of her prize possessions.)

So what can be done? Sadly, even if someone with ID is able to get into a sexual education program, the existing options tend to severely miss the mark: A 2015 study published in the Journal for Sex Research analysed 20 articles on sexual education programs aimed at this group and found most fell far short, mainly because people who unable to generalise what they learned in the program to an outside setting. “This is a major problem for individuals who are cognitively challenged: They have difficulty applying a skill or knowledge they get in one setting to somewhere else,” explains McLaughlin. “But just like everywhere else, most get it eventually — it just takes a lot of time, repetition, and patience.”

In the meantime, for parents like me, McLaughlin has a few tips. “Take advantage of teachable moments,” she says. “If a family member is pregnant, talk about it with them. If you’re watching a TV show together and there’s sexual content, don’t just sweep it under the rug — try to break down the issues with them.” It’s also important to be as concrete as possible: “Since people with ID have trouble generalising, use anatomically correct dolls or photographs whenever possible, especially when describing body parts,” she says.

Some local disability organisations also offer workshops for both teenagers and adults with intellectual disabilities. And the Special Olympics offers protective behaviours training for volunteers. But at this point there’s a dearth of legislation and organisations that are fighting for better sexual education, which means parents like myself have to take the initiative when it comes to educating our kids about their burgeoning sexuality.

It’s a responsibility I’m taking to heart in my own life. Now, every night when I bathe my daughter, we make a game of identifying body parts, some of which are private, and I explain to her that no one touches those areas except for mommy or a doctor. Recently, she’s started humping objects at home like the arm of the sofa, and I’ve begun explaining to her that if she wants to do something like that, it needs to be in the privacy of her own room. It’s taken a lot of repeating and reinforcing, but she seems to be getting the message. I have no doubt that — like every other skill she’s mastered, such as reading or writing her name or potty training — it will take time, but she’ll get there.

As for Katie, with age and experience, she’s become more comfortable with her sexuality. “It took me a while, but I’m confident in myself,” she says. “I am one hundred percent okay saying no to someone — if I’m pressured, there’s no way in the world now I’ll do anything with anybody. But that means when it does happen, it feels right.”

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