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Sex Advice With An Edge — Podcast #60 — 04/21/08


Hey sex fans,

I have a whopper of a show for you today. We return to our usual question and answer format this week, because I have a steamy load of stimulating questions — and they’re ALL from men. What’s up with that, ladies? Anyhow, I respond with an equal number of cheeky, charming and oh so enlightening responses! Hey, it’s what I do.

  • We get started with a bit of Dirty Talk for comic relief.
  • Marcos can’t last longer than a couple of minutes!
  • Seth’s GF is way ahead of him! Will he be able to catch up and keep up?
  • Doug’s prostate is gone and he’s bummed out for sure.
  • Bryan wants to cum like they do in the movies!

BE THERE, OR BE SQUARE!

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

Got a question? No time to write? Give dr dick a call at (866) 422-5680. Again, the TOLL FREE voicemail number is (866) 422-5680. DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY !

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

I wanna take a moment to alert you to a new feature here on Dr Dick’s Sex Advice. It’s my PRODUCT REVIEW page. That’s right sex fans, now you can see what hot and what’s not in the world of adult products.

From time to time I will be posting reviews of all kinds of adult related products — sex toys for sure, but also condoms, lubes, fetish gear as well as educational and enrichment videos. DON’T MISS A SINGLE ONE!

Look for the Product Reviews tab at the top of the page.

Today’s Podcast is bought to you by: Dr Dick’s How To Video Library.

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Loose Change

Name: Tia
Gender: Female
Age: 19
I have a problem. I’m still a virgin, but my bf thinks I’m not. It’s really my fault he thinks this, cuz I told him I was all experienced and everything. We’ve been going together for about 8 months already and I really want my first time to be with him, but how am I going to act all experienced when I don’t know what I’m doing.
HELP ME PLEASE!!!

That sure enough is a pickle you got yourself into darlin’. You’ve got some ‘splanin’ to do Lucy!

Funny, because I’m more likely to hear from young women who are not virgins, but who want to know how they can fool a new partner into thinking they are. I guess we can chalk up all this deception and confusion to the powerful associations every culture imposes on virginity…female virginity, that is.

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Like most things sexual there is a huge double standard between the cultural and individual importance of virginity for women as opposed to men. Cultural expectations about virginity are also tied to age as well as gender. For example, our society expects its 16-year-old girls to be virgins. To be otherwise, at that tender age, would be a scandal in most communities. (Jamie Lynn Spears comes immediately to mind.) But a 35 year old woman who is still a virgin is considered an old maid — or worse, a dyke.

Of course, things are more fluid when it comes to boys and men. On the one hand, a 16year old boy who is not a virgin may raise some eyebrows in some communities. But many others in those same communities would praise him for being a stud. On the other hand, a 35 year old man who is still a virgin is the butt of jokes — or worse, a queer. In fact, he’s also more of a disgrace to his gender than an old maid is to hers. Funny how that works, huh?

I hasten to add that there is a lot to argue with in terms of these arbitrary cultural norms, and I encourage ya’ll to argue away. God knows I do! And you don’t have to buy into them either. God knows I don’t! But till things change, these norms are the norms, like it or lump it.

I’d love to know why you felt the need to deceive your BF in the first place? Do the people you hang with, prize sexual experience over sexual innocence for a young woman of 19? And what are the expectations of your group regarding a 19 year old guy? I’ll bet the expectation is that he not be a virgin. Right?

Well you can see why a lot of people, not just you Tia, find this whole thing just too damned complicated. And rather than add to the confusion or the deception, I encourage you to come clean with the BF about your cherry.

Here’s why I think this is the best policy. First, if the BF is sexually experienced, it will be very difficult for you to hide the fact that you’re not. Besides, like you said in your message to me. “I really want my first time to be with him.” Why not just come out and tell him that, sweetheart? No man is gonna turn that down…ever. Simply put, that is the most sexually charged and treasured sentence in any language.

Begin the big talk with your man like this. “Baby, I got something real special to tell you. You know how I’ve been sayin that I’ve been with other guys and everything? Well that was just my way of keeping all the other guys from pestering me for my junk. Baby, the truth is that I haven’t had sex before now. And the best part of this is I’ve decided that I really want my first time to be with you. My cherry belongs to you, baby”

Like I said, Tia, no man is gonna turn that down. The BF will be so flattered you won’t have to pretend to be something you’re not. Clearing the air like this will also allow you to relax when the magic moment finally happens. And relaxation is the key to enjoying yourself. And you should enjoy yourself.

Name: Mikel
Gender: Male
Age: 25
Location: Seattle
My problem is: I have a fixation on cut dicks, so when I’m having sex with uncut people, I can’t enjoy it. I feel it’s dirty!!! Should I ask my partners their “shape” before having sex? Wouldn’t I sound like a whore?

What a curious concern you have. I mean, not the cut/uncut thing…that I understand. Lots of people have a preference for either natural or snipped meat, so I’m cool with that. Sometimes the preference is even culturally induced. Ok, fine! I also know that some guys prefer what they don’t have. Lots of clipped men like uncut cock, and lots of natural men prefer their partners to be cut. Some people make a big to-do about foreskin, as you suggest, because they think it’s unsightly and/or unclean. Personally, I think that’s complete baloney, but hey, to each his own. Right?

cock-buffet.jpgI also know that most people who have a strong cut/uncut preference want to know in advance if their perspective partner’s dick is to their liking. And obviously, the only way to find that out is to ask outright. Ok, so far so good.

What I don’t understand about your question is that you think it might be whorish to be up-front and ask a guy about the condition of his trouser snake. Like, WHY? Either you don’t understand the meaning of the word “whore,” or you’re too self-conscious about taking responsibility for your personal tastes in tonsil ticklers . Either way it makes no sense.

Think about it this way, say you don’t ask and you discover, to your great dismay, that the guy you’re about to bone has some fine lace curtains. And you get all turned off and this screws up the screwing. You feel bad, he feels bad, and you look like a jerk. Wouldn’t it have been better to save yourself and your unlucky partner the embarrassment of shutting down a fuck by taking responsibility for your predilection before cloths come flying off? Heck, I don’t know about you, but I’d prefer to be thought of as a whore than a complete asshole.

Dr Dick has a hard and fast rule when it comes to sex. If you can’t bring yourself to ask for what you want, then you deserve what you get.

Name: William
Gender:
Age: 30
Location: UK
Hi There
I am new to this scene, and I have very little experience in anal sex and I am seeking your help and advice. I am a top but I have a problem keeping my dick hard or staying hard during anal sex. I find it harder to fuck an ass compared to fucking a pussy. Here is the problem: Once I get my dick hard, put on a condom and start fucking, my dick sometimes goes soft on me. Is that normal? How can I keep my dick hard long enough in the ass to enjoy the fuck? Sometimes even when my dick is hard, I find it hard to penetrate an ass. I use lube, so what am I doing wrong? People in gay porn can fuck and fuck like there is no tomorrow. I want to enjoy anal sex too!! Any advice? Please let me know if there is anything I can do to improve in this area?

Boy, you’re in luck, William! Last week I published my long-awaited: Finessing That Ass Fuck — A Tutorial For a Top. Check it out! It’ll answer a lot of the questions you have about butt fucking.

But before you take off to read that, I’d like to address one of the specific issues you raise, about keeping your dick hard while fucking. You are right to point out that fucking an ass (male or female) is different from fucking a pussy. But regardless of what hole you’re invading, a nice hard stiffy issex_toys_dj212901.jpg essential.

Do you know what a cockring is, William? If not, I suggest you acquaint yourself with these amazing low-tech wonders. Here’s what you should do. Turn your attention to the Eden Fantasys banner at the top of this page. Click through that link and go to the Sex Toys for Men section. Look for Erection Help there you will see the link to cockrings. Prepare yourself to be sorely amazed at the variety and functionality of these little devils.

Cock rings can create larger and firmer erections. Since blood flow enters your dick through arteries deep inside your dick, and leaves it through the veins nearer the surface of your schlong; wearing a cock ring can help to sex_toys_gef90178bs.jpgkeep more blood inside your dick shaft. And as all you rocket scientists know, blood flow is what causes erections in the first place. Also some men claim that wearing a cock ring intensifies their orgasm.

I recommend the flexible and/or adjustable cockrings. These are generally made of stretchable rubber or leather. For the more daring there are the metal variety. These may look pretty, but they can be a bitch to put on and to take off. Here’s how ya put a rigid one on.

  1. Pull your ball sack through the ring first.
  2. Follow this by popping each of your balls through the ring one at a time.
  3. Now bend your cock down and pull it through the ring.

As you can see, putting one of these little buggers on before you have a raging hardon is gonna be easier. To take the cock ring off, simply reverse these steps, pushing your flaccid cock back through the ring first, followed by each of your balls and finally your ball sack.

It’s absolutely essential that you not wear an inflexible (metal) ring for longer than a couple hours. Make sure you don’t buy one that is too small either. If your dick is turning an angry red or worse, purple, or it is cold to the touch, you’re in trouble. Take that ring off immediately. If you don’t you will risk serious injury to your precious johnson.

Remember people, play smart with all your toys!

NEXT, ANOTHER SEXUAL ENRICHMENT TUTORIAL

Beginning Sex Play — Tips and Techniques

The most frequent questions I get are from your average dick and jane, (or dick and dick, or jane and jane) who want to spice up their sex life. Inevitably they describe the kind of sex they’re currently having. And almost universally the description makes this grown man cry. Jeez, the boredom. How do they stand it? It’s a wonder any of them are having any sex at all.

What is it with the humdrum, run of the mill, we’ve always done it that way mentality? Are ya’ll afraid that if you add a little something new to your sex chore. from time to time, that the sky will fall? Holy cow!

Today’s tutorial is another attempt to motivate you to get off your butts and make something interesting happen in the sex department. We’ll begin with what was once called foreplay.

First off, I hate the word “foreplay” because it suggests that all these really great sex activities are only a lead up to a single — “more important” activity — fucking. It also implies that ya’ll can dispense with the one in order to hurry up and get to the other. And that, my friends, is always a huge mistake.

do-not-disturb.jpgFrom now on I want us to banish “foreplay” from our vocabulary. Instead let’s start using “Beginning Sex Play”. It says it all. It says it’s at the beginning, but there’s no suggestion that anything in particular must follow.

I’m of the mind that we’d all be better served if we thought of sex play as a continuum of pleasure and pleasuring — with a beginning, middle and an end. If you ask me, our sex play ought mirror our sexual response cycles — arousal, plateau, orgasm and resolution. That way we’re less likely to overburden one particular activity at the expense of all the others. Get it? Got it? Good!

Experienced sex fans agree; the best sexual encounters include an extended period of sensual play at the beginning of most sex play. This brings increased pleasure to both partners, and will make whatever else that might follow more satisfying. Just remember, beginning sex play can be a meal in itself.

Beginning sex play brings spice to the encounter because it gets our motors started. Even all yousex_toys_rd9613.jpg major sex athletes out there who are perpetually primed for sex will benefit from some hearty beginning sex play. It will help cool your jets and make the encounter last longer than a firecracker. And I know that you know what I mean!

In our hectic rush around world, beginning sex play is particularly important. It helps us transition from the daily cares and woes to the realm of sensual pleasures. The workaholics among us need more time to become fully aroused. Their minds are still filled with the junk of the day, and not yet ready to give or receive pleasure. And pleasuring and being pleasured takes a big attitude shift from that of the rest of the day. In fact, if you’re gonna approach sex and pleasuring with the same mindset you have on the job or with the kids, give it up now and be done with it. You’ll only walk away from the encounter disappointed.

sex_toys_ki0001.jpgBeginning sex play primes us for maximum pleasure. Men will have the time we need to come to full erection and women will have the time they need to properly lubricate. By the way, this is called the arousal stage in our sexual response cycle. But you probably know that already, right?

When we stop thinking of beginning sex play as “foreplay” we realize there is no such thing as spending too much time giving and getting pleasure. If beginning sex play evolves into full-on fucking — SWELL. Both partners will be fully aroused and fucking will flow naturally and effortlessly from the pleasure enjoyed at the beginning of sex play.

Beginning sex play can include everything from chocolate and whipped cream to whips and chains. But let’s not get too far ahead of our selves. Let’s start at the beginning of beginning sex play. Most people miss out on the pleasure of undressing with and for their partners. Stripping out of, or being helped out of our daily wear and into something sexysex_toys_ks0092.jpg or nothing at all can be very arousing. It’s also a visual signal that we’re shifting out of our work-a-day world and entering the realm of sensuality. Stripping is an art form, ya know. We could all learn a lesson or two from the folks who do this for a living, but more about this in a later tutorial.

Creating the right sex environment is important too. Make sure the room is warm. Proper lighting and music will surely add to the mood. Scents are also important. More and more people are incorporating erotica into their sex play — reading a sexy story together or enjoying some hot porn will make the encounter memorable.

Most women complain that their partners don’t kiss long enough and rush the kissing to get at their pussy. Guys, what the fuck? You want pussy? Use your mouth to maximum advantage kiss and nibble all over everything. Literally devour your partner with your mouth. Believe me, if you do this right, by the time you get to her pussy she’s gonna want sex_toys_055337396x.jpgto give it up big time.

Beginning sex play is the perfect time for setting the mood for all that might follow. It’s a time for sharing fantasies, role-playing, dirty talk or some full body massage. Always have some nice lotion available then use your hands, forearms, feet and elbows to knead your partner’s muscles and naughty bits.

Certain areas on the body are more hot-wired than others. It’s your job to find each and every one your partner has. As you massage vary your strokes and touch to stimulate your partner. Roll your fingertips across his or her nipples and behind his or her ears as you kiss him and tease her with your tongue.

If you’re doin things right, your partner will be moaning with pleasure. If she or he starts getting impatient it’s time to bring out the restraints. There’s nothing like some hot erotic bondage to punctuate your beginning sex play.

While your darling is subdued and possibly blindfolded, crank things up a notch. Add differentsex_toys_ss34047.jpg
sensations and stimuli, a warm chocolate sauce followed by ice cream. A fur mitt followed by a Loofah. Introduce some sex toys — a vibrator, tit clamps, or an anal stimulator.

Don’t forget to check in with your partner from time to time. Ask for some feedback and direction. Do you like this? Or do you like this better? Never presume to know what your partner likes simply because he or she liked it before, this is a recipe for boredom and the dreaded bed death. If words fail you, SHOW your partner what you want. Then encourage your partner to do the same to you.

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Beginning sex play is not about pressing the right buttons in the right order. It is about understanding what makes your partner tick and supplying and applying those things to their greatest sensual advantage. There are many ways to give your partner extreme pleasure, and it all begins in your brain. Beginning sex play is as much of an art form as it is a necessity.

Finally, the basic premise behind all of this is that a great lover is one that gives pleasure because it is its own reward, not a means to getting something else.

Good luck ya’ll

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Summertime Blues!

Name: Carlos
Gender:
Age: 18
Location: Isle of man
When I wank for hours and hours without cuming while watching porn and then cum after the many hours, my cum becomes watery and transparent. Is this normal?

Long periods of “edging,” like what you’re doing, will often result in some of your spunk being forced backward into your bladder. This is known as a retrograde ejaculation, don’t cha know. Have you noticed that after one of your extended wank sessions your pee is a little cloudy? That’s the rest of your cum, pup. While there’s nothing abnormal about watery, transparent jizz, maybe you need to wank less, find a new hobby and give your wiener a rest.

Name: lynn
Gender:
Age: 18
Location: florida
i am virgin but can you ever be to tight and will my first time hurt really bad and will i ever be able to just go at it!!!!

You’re in luck, darlin’! Check it out: If It’s Not One Thing, It’s Another! You’ll see that I’ve already answered your question.

Name: Alexd.jpg
Gender: Male
Age: 19
Location: canada
how can I cum faster

Faster than what…a speeding bullet? What’s the rush, I wonder?

I suppose if you really wanted to get off in a hurry, you could stick a vibrating dildo in your ass as you stroke. That’ll surely do the trick.

Name: jone
Gender:
Age: 25
Location: bridgenorth
I have just started dating a lovely guy where the sexual attraction is emense! he switches me on like a light and i cant get enough, but when it gets down to it- it lasts averagly five mins. im well aware i may be being fussy but, i love sex! and really want go for ages with him. the other nite i couldnt hide my disapointment- he knew but i wouldnt say. im frustrated but dont want to hurt his feeling, im a nimfo but he has such good qualitys. what do you think i should do?

FUSSY? When your fuck sessions only last five minutes?? You’re no nympho, doll, but you do have the patience of a saint. Listen up, skip trying to spare your guy possible hurt feelings and tell him the truth. You’ll be doing him (and yourself) a big favor. He needs to attend to his short fuse ASAP, and you can help.

Lasting longer is a relatively easy thing for any man — gay, straight, whatever — to accomplish. Have your guy simply follow one or another of the following techniques. He may want to start this process on his own, but then the two of you can work together.

If your guy is like most men, his wank sessions are speedy little affairs. Squeezing off a quick one just to relieve sexual tension is a good thing in some instances. But years of this same behavior will habituate a guy’s body to having a very short fuse, if ya know what I mean. If his body is sensitized to cumin’ quickly like when he’s jerkin’-off just relieve tension, then that’s how it’ll respond later, when he’s with you. No big mystery there.

I suggest that he begin his effort to last longer by fundamentally changing his self-pleasuring activity. Most, if not all, of his masturbation from now on should be dedicated to full body masturbation. The purpose of this kind of masturbation is to play with and move around the sexual energy that builds up as he pulls his pud. The object here is to delay, for as long as he can, having an orgasm.

What the hell is full-body masturbation, you ask? Well it’s pretty simple really. He’s gonna be moving the sexual energy from his stiff cock all over the rest of his body. Since this is a sexual enhancement exercise, and not just a means of getting off, he’s gonna have to dedicate some time to this effort. I instruct the men I see in my private practice to allot 30 minutes a day three times a week for these exercises. If your guy can’t see his way to spend that kind of time to overcome his premature ejaculation concerns, he’s not really all that motivated to change. And if that’s the case, you’ll just need to move on.

squeeze03.jpgHere’s what I want him to do. I want him to touch and pleasure his whole body while he’s stroking his cock. He is to make the pleasure last as long as he can. He may even want to incorporate a vibrating toy into this exercise. As he reaches the point where he feels an ejaculation is near, he is to stop stroking his dick and play with some other part of his body, tits, asshole, feet, etc. When the urge to cum subsides, he can start to stroke again. I want him to do this over and over till he can last the full 30 minutes.

Remember, the object here, I mean besides the joy of touching and pleasuring his whole body, is to retrain his sexual response cycle. If he practices this method conscientiously it will increase his sexual stamina. He will also have learned a swell way to extend your partnered sex play too.

Check it out! When you guys are having sex, I want the two of you to do the same thing as when he’s masturbating. Spread that sexual energy around. Don’t just focus on his dick. Concentrate on building up his sexual tension, playing with that tension and stalling his orgasm. If you’re fucking and he’s getting close to shooting, have him pull out of penetration, turn his attention elsewhere — like your clit — till he regains control, then he can reinsert.

This is known as the “start and stop” method of lasting longer. Only my way of doing it insures that he will know more about his sexual response cycle from his own full body masturbation. His building sexual tension will not take him by surprise. He’ll also know what to do when he feels himself getting close. He’ll stop thrusting, but he won’t have to stop the sex all together. Rather he’ll seamlessly turn his attention to other pleasurable activities before he resumes the actual fuck.

After 30 minutes a day, three times a week for 2-6 weeks of the stop and start method he’ll notice a marked improvement in his sexual stamina. In time he’ll not even need to concentrate on his own sexual response cycle to keep up with you; it will be second nature to him. Kinda like learning to ride a bike.

Let’s review another technique, a couple-friendly method, called the squeezesqueeze1.jpg technique. I’ve introduced many a couple to this approach of prolonging pleasure with great success. The beauty part of this technique is that its success is dependent on good communication between the partners. And nothing serves good sex better than good communication.

Again, since this is a sexual enhancement exercise, and not just a clever new way of getting off, you and your partner will have to dedicate some time to mastering this method. Like the stop and start technique exercise above, allot at least 30 minutes a day three times a week. You can’t commit that kind of time to solving your problems? Okey dokey! Just don’t cum bellyachin’ to me.

Here’s what you’re gonna do. Your guy is going to be the passive recipient while you pleasure him. Like the previous exercise it’s all about gaining control over his sexual response cycle. Start by massaging his dick with a wet hand. Some nice lotion or lube works fine. You’ll want to spread his sexual energy around, not merely concentrating on his cock and balls. He’ll have to keep you posted on how close he is to cumming. When he feels he’s about to shoot, stop stroking his dick and squeeze his cock by wrapping your thumb and index finger around his unit at its base. Apply firm pressure, focusing on the urethra, the tube running along the underside of his johnson. Then let go, and wait for about 30 seconds before you resume. This applied pressure short-circuits the building tension and postpones the ejaculatory response. Simple!

Because it’s essential that you apply pressure a few strokes before he’s about to shoot, he’s gotta talk you through it the first few times. Soon you’ll begin to notice the signs of an impending ejaculation on your own and take the appropriate measures.

Most couples see a dramatic lessening of premature ejaculation in as little as two to six weeks of practice.

Name: DJ
Gender:
Age: 25
Location: TN
Is there life for a gay bottom after anal fissures? There is literally NO helpful advice on the internet for this issue. I had a rough boweldirtyjobs23.jpg movement a few years ago and now everytime I have another or practice in anal sex, it rips right back open and bleeds. This is gay hell!!

You’re clearly not giving your love cave a long enough time to heal before you go back to plunging whatever in there, thus reinjuring yourself. Stop doing that, why don’t cha?

If you think a little down time (even several weeks) from an anal fissure is agony, you don’t know what gay hell is, darlin’. Imagine if you keep this up and you develop an abscess — a very likely scenario — and you need surgery or worse, a colostomy. Then dear boy, you will really know a gay bottom’s hell.

Name: Paul
Gender:
Age: 34
Location: UK
I’ve had several bouts of cock and anal warts which have now cleared but have read my chances of cancer have increased? Is this true??

Ahhh, your genital warts have cleared up? On their own?? I seriously doubt that. And what about this “several bouts” thing? What’s up with that? Either you’re not having this condition properly taken care of, or you are being really reckless about your sexual partners.

If you’re not having a physician attend to your warts, you’re not being treated properly. Sometimes the warts themselves — they look like small, flesh-colored bumps or have a cauliflower-like appearance — will seem to disappear on their own, but they’re not really gone. The virus that causes them remains and without proper medical treatment there will be another outbreak.

The virus that causes genital warts — the human papillomavirus (HPV) — is associated with cervical cancer, for sure. There may also be a link to other types of genital cancers, such as cancer of the penis. But do you really want to fool around with this till you become a statistic?

There are more than 100 different types of HPV, but only a few can cause genital warts. These strains of the virus are highly contagious and spread through sexual contact with an infected person. About two-thirds of people who have sexual contact with someone who has genital warts develop the condition — usually within three months of contact, but in some cases not for years.

One of the most effective treatments is freezing the warts with liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy).

Name: calvin14jamesd5-18-03soft.jpg
Gender:
Age: 18
Location: california
My foreskin is too tight for me to pull it back. Is it a major problem? What can I do?

It’s not a major problem. And you’re in luck, darlin’! Check it out: Too Much of One Thing and Not Enough of Another! You’ll see that I’ve already answered this question.

Good luck ya’ll!

Rape Culture and the Concept of Affirmative Consent

March against rape culture

March against rape culture

Throughout most of our history, rape was a property crime.

Today we do not, in the modern United States at least, think of a woman’s sexuality as a financial asset. But that is a recent phenomenon. For most of our history, rape was not treated the same way as other violent assaults because it wasn’t just a violent assault, it was also a crime against property.

You can see this view–of a woman’s sexuality belonging to her father and later her husband–in laws concerning rape and sexual assault. It was even possible for a father to sue a man who had consensual sex with his daughter because he had lost the value of his daughter. Based on this view, value is lost in terms of her work if she became pregnant and was no longer able to earn wages, or in terms of a future wife for someone else because of this stain on her character. Men could not be held accountable for raping their wives because a wife was a man’s property and consent to sex–at any time of his choosing–was part of the arrangement.

Lest you think that these laws are ancient examples of a culture that no longer bears relation to our current policies on rape, spousal rape was not made illegal in all fifty states until 1993, where it still may carry a less severe sentence than other rape offenses. The tort of seduction was technically on the books in North Carolina in 2003.

This context is important given our current cultural attitudes toward sexual assault. To understand this culture and how it can be amended, we need to look more deeply at the historical understandings of rape and consent.


Force Means No

The framework for defining rape underpins our understanding of who is required to prove consent or non-consent. The Hebrew Scriptures, which established longstanding cultural norms that helped form a basis for what was morally and legally acceptable in early America, make a distinction between a woman who was raped within a city and one who was raped outside of the city limits. The first woman was stoned to death and the second considered blameless (assuming she was a virgin). This distinction is based on the idea that it was the woman’s responsibility to cry out for help and show that she was non-consenting. A woman who was raped in the city obviously had not screamed because if she had someone would have come to her rescue and stopped the rape. The woman outside the city had no one to rescue her so she could not be blamed for being victimized.

This brutal logic, which is completely inconsistent with how we know some victims of rape react to an attack, was continued in the American legal system when our laws on rape were formulated. Rape was defined as a having a male perpetrator and a female victim and involving sexual penetration and a lack of consent. But it was again the woman’s responsibility to prove that she had not consented and the way that this was demonstrated was through her resistance. She was only actually raped if she had attempted to fight off her attacker. Different jurisdictions required different levels of force to show a true lack of consent. For example, fighting off an assailant to your utmost ability or even up to the point where the choice was either to submit to being raped or to being killed. Indeed, the cultural significance of chastity as a virtue that the female was expected to guard was so profound that many female Christian saints are saints at least in part because they chose to die rather than be raped or be a bride to anyone but Christ.

Potential canonization aside, it was consistently the responsibility of the woman alleging that she was the victim of a rape to prove that she had fought off her attacker in order to show that she had not consented. If she could not show that she had sufficiently resisted, she was deemed to not have been raped. Her chastity was someone else’s property, either her father’s or her husband’s/future husband’s, so it was always understood that someone, other than her, had the right to her sexuality. The assailant had assumed that he had the right to use her sexually and was only a rapist if she acted in such a way that a reasonable man would have known that she did not belong to him. Her failure to communicate that fact, that she was the property of some other man, was a sign that she had in fact consented. Therefore the rape was not his moral failing in stealing another man’s property but her moral failing in not protecting that property from being stolen.


Culture Wars

We can see the effects of this ideology in how we treat rape victims today. Although we don’t necessarily require evidence of forceful resistance, it is considered helpful in prosecuting a rape case. Rape shield laws may have eliminated the most egregious examples of slut-shaming victims, but an innocent or even virginal victim is certainly what the prosecution could hope for if they were trying to design their most favorable case. One of the first questions that will be asked of the victim is “did you say no?” In other words “what did YOU do to prevent this from happening to you?” The burden is still often legally and almost always culturally on the victim to show that they did not consent.

There is an alternative approach that has been gaining traction on college campuses and elsewhere known as the concept of “affirmative consent.” Take a look at the video below, which elucidates the differences between the “no versus no” approach compared to affirmative consent, which is often described as “yes means yes.”

In this video, Susan Patton and Rush Limbaugh both represent examples of rape culture. The contrast between the views of Savannah Badlich, the advocate of affirmative consent, and Patton, who is against the idea, could not be starker. To Badlich, consent is an integral part of what makes sex, sex. If there isn’t consent then whatever happened to you, whether most people would have enjoyed it or indeed whether or not you orgasmed, was rape. It is your consent that is the foundation of a healthy sexual experience, not the types of physical actions involved. In contrast, Patton expressed the view that good sex is good sex and consent seems to not play a role in whether it was good sex, or even whether it should be defined as sex at all. The only thing that could indicate if something is an assault versus a sexual encounter is whatever physical evidence exists, because otherwise, the distinction is based only on the assertions of each individual. Again we are back to evidence of force.


What is “Rape Culture”?

Rape culture refers to a culture in which sexuality and violence are linked together and normalized. It perpetuates the idea that male sexuality is based on the use of violence against women to subdue them to take a sexual experience, as well as the idea that female sexuality is the effort to resist or invite male sexuality under certain circumstances. It overgeneralizes gender roles in sexuality, demeans men by promoting their only healthy sexuality as predatory, and also demeans women by considering them objects without any positive sexuality at all.

According to this school of thought, the “no means no” paradigm fits in perfectly with rape culture because it paints men as being predators who are constantly looking for a weak member of the herd to take advantage of sexually, while also teaching women that they need to be better than the rest of the herd at fending off attacks, by clearly saying no, to survive. If they can’t do that, because they were drinking or not wearing proper clothing, then the attack was their fault.


“Yes Means Yes”

Affirmative consent works differently. Instead of assuming that you can touch someone until they prove otherwise, an affirmative consent culture assumes that you may not touch someone until you are invited to do so. This would be a shocking idea to some who assume that gamesmanship and predation are the cornerstones of male sexuality and the perks of power, but it works out better for the majority of men and women, who would prefer and who should demand equality in sex.

This video gives a brief highlight of some of the issues that are brought up when affirmative consent is discussed and the difficulties that can still arise even with affirmative consent as a model.


Evaluating Criticism of Affirmative Consent

The arguments are important so let’s unpack some of the key ones in more detail. The first objection, expressed in both videos, is how exactly do you show consent? Whenever the affirmative consent approach comes up, one of the first arguments is that it is unenforceable because no one is going to stop sexual activity to get written consent, which is the only way to really prove that a person consented. We still end up in a “he said, she said” situation, which is exactly where we are now, or a world where the government is printing out sex contracts.

The idea that affirmative consent will by necessity lead to written contracts for sex is a logical fallacy that opponents to affirmative consent use to make the proposition seem ridiculous. Currently, we require the victim to prove non-consent. Often the victim is asked if they gave a verbal no or if they said they did not want the contact. The victim is never asked: did you put the fact that you didn’t want to be touched in writing and have your assailant read it? The idea that a written explanation of non-consent would be the only way we would take it seriously is absurd, so it would be equally absurd to assume that requiring proof of consent would necessitate written documentation. Advocates for affirmative consent don’t want sex contracts.

In addition, even under our current framework we accept a variety of pieces of evidence from the prosecution to show that the victim did not consent. A clear “no” is obviously the strongest kind of evidence, just as under an affirmative consent framework an enthusiastic verbal “yes” would be the best evidence, but that is just what the best evidence is. That is certainly not the only kind of evidence available. Courts already look at the entire context surrounding the incident to try to determine consent. The process would be virtually the same under an affirmative consent model. The only difference would be that the burden would be on the defendant to show that they believed they had obtained consent based on the context of the encounter instead of placing the burden on the victim to show that, although they didn’t say “no,” they had expressed non-verbally that they were unwilling to participate.

The shift in the burden of proof is sometimes cited as a reason not to adopt an affirmative consent model. Critics argue that this affects the presumption that the accused is innocent until proven guilty. Which is, rightly, a cornerstone of our judicial system. If this model did, in fact, change that presumption then it wouldn’t be an appropriate answer to this problem. But it does not.

Take another crime as an example. A woman’s car is stolen. The police issue a BOLO on the car, find it, and bring the suspect in and sit him down. They ask him “did you have permission to take that car?” and he replies “Yes, officer, she gave me the keys!”

He is still presumed innocent and, as far as this brief hypothetical tells us, hasn’t had his rights violated. It looks as though he is going to get a fair trial at this point. That trial may still devolve into another he said, she said situation. She may allege that she didn’t give him the keys but merely left them on the kitchen table. At that point, it will be up to the jury to decide who they believe, but that would have been the case in any event. He is presenting her giving the keys to him as one of the facts to show his innocence.

If a woman’s car is stolen we don’t question her about how many miles are on the odometer. We don’t ask if she wore a seatbelt the last time she drove it. We don’t care if she had been drinking because her alcohol consumption doesn’t negate the fact that she was a victim of a crime. We certainly wouldn’t force her to prove that she didn’t give the thief the keys. That burden would rightly be on him and we would be able to both place that burden on him and at the same time presume him to be innocent until he failed to meet that burden.

Adopting an affirmative consent model changes how consent is perceived. It is primarily a cultural change in understanding who is responsible for consent. Rather than making the non-initiating party responsible for communicating a lack of consent, affirmative consent requires that the initiating party obtains obvious consent.

That is how affirmative consent works. It wouldn’t require a written contract or even necessarily a verbal assertion. Context would always matter and the cases would still often become two competing stories about what the context meant. And it doesn’t mean that we are assuming that person is guilty before they have the chance to show that they did, in fact, get that consent. It just means that we are placing the burden of proving that consent was obtained on the party claiming that consent had been obtained.


Conclusion

There is no other category of crime where we ask the victim to show that they didn’t want to be the victim of that crime. A man who is stabbed in a bar fight, regardless of whether he was drunk or belligerent, isn’t asked to prove that he didn’t want a knife wound.

We need to change our cultural framework of rape and consent. When we are working under an affirmative consent framework what we are doing is changing the first question. Currently, our first question is for the victim: did you say no? Under an affirmative consent model our first question is for the suspect: did you get a yes?

Complete Article HERE!

Girls Gone Wild: Why Straight Girls Engage In Same-Gender Sexual Experiences

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“Straight girls kissing” has become something of a curious and controversial cultural phenomenon over the last 15 years.

Madonna and Britney Spears famously locked lips in front of millions during the 2003 Video Music Awards, with Scarlett Johansson and Sandra Bullock following suit seven years later at the MTV Movie Awards. In 2008, Katy Perry went platinum singing that she “kissed a girl” and “liked it.” Meanwhile, we’ve seen portrayals of otherwise unlabeled women acting on same-gender desire in a number of popular primetime shows, from “Orphan Black” to “The Good Wife.”

In one sense, this reflects real life. Many young women who identify as straight have had sexual or romantic experiences with other women. Research on sexual fluidity, hooking up and straight girls kissing has mainly focused on women living on college campuses: privileged, affluent, white women.

But studies have found that same-gender sexual experiences between straight women are common across all socioeconomic backgrounds. This means existing studies have been ignoring a lot of women.

As recent surveys have shown, women outside of the privileged spaces of college campuses actually report higher rates of same-gender sex. This happens even though they’re more likely to start families at a younger age. They also have different types of same-gender sexual experiences and views of sexuality, all of which we know less about because they’re often underrepresented in most academic studies of the issue.

As a sociologist who studies gender and sexuality, I wanted to know: How do straight women who don’t match the privileged, affluent and white stereotype we see in the media make sense of their same-gender sexual experiences?

‘Straight girls kissing’ in social science

Some social scientists have followed the media’s fixation on straight girls kissing to further explore theories of female bisexuality.

In her 2008 book, psychologist Lisa Diamond developed the influential model of “sexual fluidity” to explain women’s context-dependent or changing sexual desire. Meanwhile, sociologist Laura Hamilton argued that making out at college parties served as an effective, albeit homophobic, “gender strategy” to simultaneously attract men and shirk lesbians. And historian Leila Rupp, with a group of sociologists, theorized that the college hookup scene operates as an “opportunity structure” for queer women to explore their attractions and affirm their identities.

All of these scholars are quick to recognize that these ideas – and the studies on which they are based – focus mostly on a certain type of person: privileged women living on the progressive campuses of selective universities. In part, it is easier to recruit study participants from classes and student groups, but it leaves us with a picture that reinforces stereotypes.

Around the same time I conducted my study, the National Survey of Family Growth (NSFG) found that women with the lowest levels of educational attainment reported the highest lifetime prevalence of same-gender sex. The New York Times correctly observed that these findings challenged “the popular stereotype of college as a hive of same-sex experimentation.” A 2016 update of the survey did not find a statistically significant pattern that varied by education level, but reiterated the high prevalence among women who didn’t go to college.

Just Below the Surface

In 2008, I started work as a research assistant on the Relationship Dynamics and Social Life (RDSL) study, which surveyed young women weekly for two-and-a-half years to learn about the prevalence, causes and consequences of unintended pregnancy. It was my job to handle participants’ questions, comments and complaints. Most of the inquiries from the participants were about how to complete the surveys or receive the incentive payment.

But a few came from women unsure about how to answer questions on sex and relationships. They wondered: Were they supposed to include their girlfriends?

Many demographic surveys focused on health or risk do not explicitly collect data on sexual orientation or same-gender relationships. But valuable information on these topics often exists just below the surface.

In 2010, I decided to write new RDSL survey questions about sexual identity, behavior and attraction. Nearly one-third of participants gave some type of nonheterosexual response (including women who said they “rejected” labels or that gender was not a determining factor in their attractions). In 2013, I recruited 35 of these women to interview. Because RDSL had a racially and socioeconomically diverse population-based sample, I was able to interview women that many sexualities scholars struggle to access.

What Happens After Motherhood?

Many women I interviewed had become mothers in their teens or early 20’s. All of these moms had hooked up with a woman, had a girlfriend in the past or said they were still attracted to women. Nonetheless, most identified as straight.

They explained that it was more important to be a “good mother” than anything else, and claiming a nonheterosexual identity just wasn’t a priority once kids were in the picture.

senior lesbiansFor example, Jayla (a black mom with a four-year degree from a state school) broke ties with her group of LGBTQ friends after her daughter was born. As she explained, “I think what our relationship didn’t survive was me becoming a mom… I kind of shifted away from them, because I know how I want to raise my daughter.”

Women who married men or settled down in their early 20’s also felt that their previous lesbian or bisexual identities were no longer relevant.

Noel, a white married mom with a General Educational Development certificate, dated girls in high school. Back then, being bisexual was a big part of her identity. Today, she doesn’t use that term. Noel said monogamy made identity labels irrelevant: “I’m with my husband, and I don’t intend on being with anybody else for my future.”

Sexual Friendships Emerge

Being a young mom can foreclose some possibilities to fully embrace an LGBTQ identity. But in other ways it created space to act on same-gender desire. I came to call these intimacies “sexual friendships.”

Chantelle, a black mom with a high school diploma, was struggling to co-parent with her ex-boyfriend. In the midst of her frustrating situation, she had found intimacy and satisfaction in a sexual friendship with a woman. As she put it, “relationships have a different degree and different standards. But with a friendship it’s kind of like everything is an open book.”

Amy, a white woman working on her associate’s degree, has had sex a few times with her best friend. They don’t talk about that, but they have daydreamed together about getting married, contrasting their feelings with their experiences dating men: “I feel like a man will never understand me. I don’t think they could. Or I don’t think that most men would care to. That’s just how I feel from the experiences I’ve had.”

Some of the women I interviewed told me they strategically chose hookups with women because they thought it would be safer – safer for their reputation and a safeguard against sexual assault.

Tara, a white woman attending a regional public university, explained: “I’m a very physical person and it’s not all emotional, but that doesn’t go over well with people, and you get ‘the player,’ ‘whore,’ whatever. But when you do it more with girls, there’s no negative side effects to it.”

Tara also said that men often misinterpret interest for more than it was: “Like if I want to make out with you, it doesn’t mean I want to have sex with you. But in a lot of guys in party scenes, that’s their mentality.” I asked her if this happened to anyone she knew, and she uncomfortably said yes – “Not that they ever called it rape or anything like that.”

Less Exciting, More Real

lesbian pronIntersectional studies like the one I conducted can upend the way we frame the world and categorize people. It’s not binary: Women don’t kiss each other only for either the attention of men or on their way to a proud bisexual or lesbian identity. There is a lot of rich meaning in the middle, not to mention structural constraints.

And what about that popular image equating “straight girls kissing” with “girls gone wild”? It’s more provocative cliché than reality. Many are at home with their kids – the father gone – looking for companionship and connection.

By using large-scale surveys as both a source of puzzles and a tool for recruiting a more diverse group of participants, the picture of “straight girls kissing” gets a little less exciting – but a lot more real.

Complete Article HERE!