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Welcome back to Product Review Friday, sex fans. Today we bring you news of a handsome Tantus cockring with a unique design. This product comes to us from our friends and neighbors in beautiful British Columbia, Canada, Trinity Romance.

Here are Dr Dick Review Crew members Glenn & Hank with their thoughts.

C-Sling by Tantus —— $44.99

Glenn & Hank
Glenn: “This perky little thing is the C-Sling by Tantus. As you can see from its design, it is not your ordinary cockring.”
Hank: “I had to do a double take on the package. The packaging calls it a C-Sling. What’s up with that? Were they too timid to call it a cock sling? I don’t get it. I mean, it’s not like you’re not gonna find this thing on a rack at the local Walmart. You’ll only find this in an adult store, so why be so coy? C-Sling doesn’t tell me anything.”
Glenn: “Whoa, someone got up on the wrong side of the bed this morning!”
Hank: “I’m just sayin’, ok?”
Glenn: “Now that we have that rant out of the way, let’s take a peek at the C-Sling. It’s more than just a cockring; its teardrop shape works as a ‘taint’ (perineum) stimulator. This is not the first cockring of this design that I’ve seen. But it is the first one that I’ve seen that is made of 100% silicone. So that’s totally cool in my book.”
Hank: “I’ve been wanting to get a silver one, but they are really pricy. They make for some beautiful cock jewelry tough.”
Glenn: “That’s true enough, but I like the comfort the C-Sling. There is a little give with the silicone, not a whole lot, but there is a little. The metal ones have no give at all. And I think the black is pretty hot too. It also comes in red.”
Hank: “Ya got me there. The C-Sling is handsome, no doubt about it. My complaint is that it apparently comes only in this one size. That sucks, because there is no way this thing would fit on my cock and balls. One size fits all is not a good idea for a cockring, IMHO.”
Glenn: “Mr Big Meat over here has a point. The C-Sling fits me fine, but I have an average endowment. The cool thing about this kind of cockring is that you can wear it several different ways. There’s the usual position pointing down and back towards your asshole for the promised taint massage. If you point the tongue upward you get this freaky look of the tongue nestled in your pubes. Turn the ring around point the tongue tip outward and it hits ya right in the nuts. I love this. When I’m fisting my meat the C-Sling pushes up on my balls for this really great sensation. Also, when I wear it this way, it lifts my balls some so that I look like a have bigger package. Very hot!”
Hank: “A couple of weeks ago we were in Palm Springs and Glenn wore the C-Sling, in that way, under his skimpy Speedos. It really made his package pop. All the guys were staring at him.”
Glenn: “I got a kick out of that. Stole some of Hank’s thunder, thank you very much. Oh, and I use a bit of water-based lube on the rim of the C-Sling for easy placement. The lube also prevents chafing if you’re gonna wear if for a while. There’s an illustration on the package that shows you how to insert your balls first, then your limp dick. Don’t try to put this thing on with a boner.”
Full Review HERE

ENJOY!

Keep It Clean

Hey sex fans!

It’s Product Review Friday and we have some clever items from Empire Labs to tell you about.  This is the second batch of their product reviews. You can see the first batch HERE!

Dr Dick Review Crew members Jada and Jack & Karen are today’s presenters.

Body Spa Vibrating Foam Sponge —— $ 19.95

Jada
How very delightful! That was the first thought that came to mind when I was handed the Body Spa Vibrating Foam Sponge. But, as sometimes happens, the concept doesn’t always live up to the expectation. So I decided to take a “wait and see” attitude before I got too emotionally involved with this product.

The sweet minimalist packaging is truly refreshing. It hits all the right notes. The Body Spa Vibrating Foam Sponge package is clean, tasteful and wouldn’t be out of place in even a high-end spa boutique. Inside the package is a teardrop shaped natural sponge about the size of my hand. It is featherweight, just as you would expect from a natural sponge. And hidden inside is a small but powerful bullet vibe.

I could feel the vibe when I scrunched the sponge and with a little fiddling I found the “on” button. I was running a bath for myself at the time and I caught myself in the mirror smiling a Cheshire Cat grin. Oh yes, I thought, this will do nicely.

The promotional blurb for the Body Spa Vibrating Foam Sponge reads in part: “You never knew getting clean could be so dirty! Leave it in your shower; this discreet sponge completely hides the vibrator inside. No need to “de-toy” before guests show up!” I couldn’t have said it better myself.

Once I was comfortably settled in my steamy and foamy bath I reached for the Body Spa Vibrating Foam Sponge. The vibrations in this thing are surprisingly strong and exceptionally quiet. As I rubbed myself with the soapy sponge the vibration made me tingle. I have other waterproof vibes that I use in my bath from time to time, but none of the others help me clean and exfoliate my skin while they pleasure me. I think I’m in heaven.
Full Review HERE

Tongue Vibe Dual Pack —— $34.95

Jack & Karen
Jack: “We have two different, but very similar vibes to tell you about today. And we’ll do them one at a time, if you don’t mind.”
Karen: “First up we have the Tongue Vibe Dual Pack. The rather garish and oversized plastic packaging contains a smaller, compact-sized plastic flip-top case that contains two Tongue Vibes already loaded with batteries (thank you very much!) and four extra batteries. Extra points for this thoughtful gesture, for sure.”
Jack: “The vibes are phthalate-free, latex-free and hypoallergenic, or so reads the package. However, I have to wonder since the little plastic bullet vibes are encased in a jelly material. But let’s give them the benefit of the doubt. Each vibe also has a finger/cock/tongue strap. Both vibes are ribbed and glow in the dark. How fun is that?”
Karen: “Each Tongue Vibe has two speeds. Neither speed will knock your socks off. And I found trying to adjust the speed control on such a tiny vibe to be a bit disconcerting. I would have much preferred a stronger single speed vibe.”
Jack: “Ya know what these things remind me of? Hearing aids! Everything about the package, vibes and batteries remind me of that. Which just goes to show you how discreet these little things are.”
Karen: “Since there are two vibes in the package, we each got one to play with. Jack got the blue one, because he’s a boy. I got the pink one, because I’m a girl.”
Jack: “I promptly broke mine. I know; I couldn’t believe it either. I think my big clumsy man fingers were too much for the delicate little speed control. Sorry!”
Karen: “I tried putting my vibe on my tongue using the strap like the picture on the package. It wasn’t particularly comfortable and it kept slipping off. Here’s another thing. I couldn’t get over the feeling that I could accidentally swallow the vibe and have it lodge in my throat. That disturbing thought was a real buzz kill. I realize there was little chance of that happening, because of the strap, but still. Also, having Jack’s penis in my mouth and the vibe was way too much.”
Full Review HERE

Finger Vibe Dual-Speed —— $9.95

Jack & Karen
Jack: “Let’s move on to the other vibe.”
Karen: “This is the Finger Vibe Dual-Speed. Happily it comes in a small package — a bubble on a card actually. It is already loaded with batteries. Again, we really appreciate the that thoughtfulness.”
Jack: “It is exactly the same blue vibe that comes with the Tongue Vibe Dual Pack. However, this vibe is encased in a nubbed jelly casing. I have the same reservations about it being phthalate-free as I did with the Tongue Vibe, but I’ll let that go for now. This vibe comes with a little finger strap. The vibe is ribbed and glow in the dark.”
Karen: “Like the Tongue Vibe, the Finger Vibe has two speeds. Neither speed will blow your mind. Adjusting the speed using the tiny control mechanism is a very delicate operation. Please be careful; it can easily break.”
Full Review HERE

ENJOY

Prostate Cancer Awareness Month

Scheduling difficulties prevent me from bringing you the latest installment of The Erotic Mind podcast series today. But with a little luck, that will resolve itself by next week.

Actually, I’m glad I have this positing opportunity, because September, as you may know is Prostate Cancer Awareness Month.  And I have something important to say about that.

Curiously enough, I was contacted by another website recently and asked to contribute to a series they were doing on this very issue. They were looking for a unique take on prostate cancer awareness. I told them I had just the thing; and proceed to outline what I think is an exceptionally important, yet universally overlooked, aspect of prostate health — prostate self-awareness. Alas, the folks who run the website thought the concept of prostate self-exam was too edgy for them. After they declined my offer I thought to myself; man, there is incredible resistance, on virtually every front, for us men to become proactive in this aspect of our health.

Name: Gordon
Gender: male
Age: 67
Location: Florida
I guess I have more of a comment than a question. I’m 67, a widower and have been recently diagnosed with prostate cancer. I never was very adventuresome when it came to sex. In fact, before my wife died two years ago, I never had sex with any other woman. I never gave prostate cancer a thought, never gave my prostate a thought either. Now I’m mad as hell that I didn’t. You see when I started to go to a prostate cancer support group I discovered I could have monitored myself better with a simple self-examination. Why don’t doctors tell us about this? Women are supposed to examine their breasts why don’t men examine their prostate? It’s so easy actually and yet it’s this big secret. Why don’t people talk about this? It makes me so mad because it could have made a big difference in my own life. Do you know about this self-examination Dr Dick? If you do why don’t you tell other people about this? I think it would help a lot if you could get the word out on this. Now that’s all I have to say. Thank you.

No, thank you Gordon. Thank you for sharing your concern with me…with us.

I’ve been a tireless activist of prostate self-exam for decades. Let me explain. My career as a therapist began in San Francisco in 1981. That was precisely the same year a mysterious new disease began showing up among gay men. Back then it was being called gay cancer, but soon it would have another name — HIV/AIDS.

As it turned out, my private practice focused down almost exclusively to working with sick and dying people. Luckily, I discovered that I was well suited for the job and I liked it very much. So much so that in the mid-90’s I founded a nonprofit organization called, PARADIGM; Enhancing Life Near Death. It was an outreach and resource for terminally ill, chronically ill, elder and dying people. This was brilliant cutting-edge work and I learned so much from the people I was working with. One of the things that struck me most was that regardless of the disease — cancer, HIV, MS, you name it, or even aging process for that matter — there was always a woeful lack of information about regaining a sense of sexual-self post diagnosis, or sexual wellbeing for seniors.

I recall one participant in particular, a man much like you, Gordon. He too had prostate cancer and, like you, he was mad as hell with the indifference of the medical industry toward prostate self-exam. One day during a group session, John was railing against doctors and cancer associations for their lack of interest in promoting prostate self-awareness. He pointed to the success of the cultural campaign to encourage women to self-examine their breasts. There is even a modest campaign to promote testicle self-exams. But apparently the medical industry draws the line at prostate self-exams. I guess no one is going to encourage a man to finger his ass, even to save his life.

Another group member, Clare, a senior woman in her 70’s and a breast cancer survivor, helped put things in perspective. She reminded us that breast self-awareness is a relatively new phenomenon. Her mother, aunt, sister and a niece all died of breast cancer before the self-exam campaign began in earnest. Clare went on to say that it was only through the hard work of individuals and grassroots organizations that actively campaigned for breast self-exams that things began to change. Eventually, this movement changed the medical and cultural mindset. Clare said that it was these individuals and grassroots organizations that helped all of us overcome the denial, shame and embarrassment that was associated with women touching themselves, even to save their lives.

This is an indication of just how ingrained the sex-negativity and body-negativity runs in this culture.

I continue to work with sick and dying people here in Seattle. I had a brief gig at a local cancer center where I developed an NIH (National Institute of Health) funded program for women newly diagnosed with ovarian cancer. At the same time, I was also working with a group of women with breast cancer and group of men with prostate cancer. Again every therapeutic intervention I encountered — government funded or foundation funded — was woefully lacking in any clear and unambiguous information about sexual health, wellbeing and intimacy issues post-diagnosis or surgical intervention.

To remedy this, I decided to produce a series of videos for people experiencing life threatening and/or disfiguring illnesses. Videos that would help them address reintegrating sex and intimacy into their lives post diagnosis. One of the first videos was going to be Public Service Announcement showing men how to do a prostate self-exam and what to look for. Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the necessary funding for this groundbreaking work. My grantwriting efforts turned up zilch. I did, however, get a whole lot of, “What a fine idea, Richard. Good luck with that…” brush-off letters though. No foundation would be caught dead funding sexually overt pattern films, even ones with the laudable intent of assisting people with the life-saving information they needed most.

I’m sorry to have been so long-winded in my reply, Gordon. I just wanted you to know that many have preceded you with outrage at the conspiracy of silence regarding prostate self-exam. Let’s face it; our society is so ass-phobic that we’d rather see men die than offer them simple instructions on how to finger their butt, find their prostate and keep tabs on their prostate health.

If we want this to change we all need to speak out…as well as stick a finger in our ass.

Keep up the fight, Gordon! And please, stay in touch.

Good luck

Plan B

Hey sex fans,

Product Review Friday is back again; and today we have a handful of products from our very good friends at SexToy.com.

Dr Dick Review Crew Members — Ken & Denise, Brad and Angie do the honors. So let’s get right to it.

Bsoft Skyblue Rechargeable Massager —— $55.60

Angie
I could hardly wait to get home after Dr Dick handed off the Bsoft Skyblue Rechargeable Massager to me. As he and I talked about the weather, I kept fiddling with the attractive package in my lap. I have to admit, I was completely distracted. Luckily Dr Dick was kind enough to notice and he sent me on my way.

I set the package on the passenger seat as I drove home. I would catch a glimpse of the image of the Bsoft Skyblue on the package and imagine all the fun I would soon be having.

Once home I opened the tasteful package. I discovered an instruction manual, the lovely Bsoft Skybluewith it’s space-aged design and the recharger nestled in a formed plastic holder inside a black carton. As I gingerly removed the vibe from its resting place I inadvertently pressed the power-on button. It immediately sprang to life. Glory be; the Bsoft Skyblue comes already charged. How delightful and thoughtful!

There are two other buttons on the face of the vibe; one marked + and one marked -. These regulate the multifunction and multispeed. The unit itself is about 6” long, made of a hard plastic, which is phthalates free, hypoallergenic and latex free. So far, so good.

A serious problem arose moments after I took the Bsoft Skyblue from its package. You see, there is a small rubbery plug that covers (or is supposed to cover) the recharge port. And this plug absolutely will not stay in place. I don’t know if this is a design flaw on all the units, or if I’m the only unlucky consumer. Either way, it is very distressing.

I always apply at least some lube to whatever toy I am using on or around my vulva. I will not compromise on that. The fact that this dang plug won’t stay in place gave me pause about using the vibe. If I get lube, during use, or water, during cleanup, in the port it will probably won’t recharge.

I gingerly use the vibe by softly placing it on my vulva. I love the sensations. The vibrations are very strong, which I really like. I would have moved the vibe around more than I did if I used lube, but I didn’t. This is a huge drawback.
Full Review HERE

7 Super Stretch Sleeves —— $16.59

Ken & Denise
Denise: “It must be silly season in toyland.”
Ken: “You can say that again!”
Denise: “What we have here is 7 Super Stretch Sleeves. Six of them are 1.75” long and less than an inch in diameter. The seventh one is just short of 3” in length and only slightly larger in diameter.”
Ken: “They are made of a clear jelly material and each one has a slightly different configuration of bumps, points and nodules.”
Denise: “What are these things for, you might ask. Good question. Originally I thought they were to fit around a dildo shaped vibrator, or the like. The package shows that as an option.”
Ken: “But the package also says that one shouldn’t wear it for longer than 20 minutes. This suggests to me that these sleeves are supposed to be worn on a guy’s cock.”
Denise: “Well I guess that’s true if the said ‘guy’ has a teensy tiny unit. I couldn’t slip them over two of my fingers with ease. And I have slender fingers.”
Full Review HERE

Men’s Pleasure Wand —— $23.52

Brad
Ok, I get what they are trying to do here with the Men’s Pleasure Wand. It’s designed as an anal insertion toy. Of course a woman could also use this, because they have assholes. But I digress.

Anyhow, the Men’s Pleasure Wand is supposed to massage my balls, perineum and prostate; all at the same time. And it does…sort of. But I’m gettin a little ahead of myself.

The Men’s Pleasure Wand is waterproof and comes with a multi-speed controller that is attached to the part that is planted in your ass by a wire. It also has a ring on the base of the vibe that makes it easy to insert and remove. It’s also a very modest size in terms of girth. It’s no bigger than my middle finger. So if you’ve ever fingered your hole; and let’s be honest, you know you have. The Men’s Pleasure Wand will easily slip in your butt. Always remember to use a lot of lube with any kind of ass play, ok?

The package tells me nothing about the materials used in making the Men’s Pleasure Wand. That sucks! There is also a distinct off-gas smell to the toy once you open the package. This tells me that the materials used are of an inferior quality. It probably also means it’s not phthalates free, hypoallergenic or latex free. I happened to have my favorite silicone-based lube handy, so I used that. Didn’t seem to ill-effect the vibe in any way.

I really liked how easy the Men’s Pleasure Wand inserts. I really like the controller, which cycles four speeds. The controller makes it easy to change the vibration in the vibe without having to remove — adjust — then reinsert. The vibration is strongest in my ass, although it’s not all that strong even there. As for the other areas; I couldn’t feel  much vibration on my balls or taint. DISAPPOINTED!
Full Review HERE

ENJOY

The Open Relationship Model

Podcasts will resume next Monday, September 6th.

Deviating from the norm. Is it worth it?

Since the launch of the Sex EDGE-U-cation podcast series in early 2009; I’ve been hearing from a lot of people who are considering opening their relationships to include additional partners to augment their primary relationships. People point to the increasing media attention polyamory is garnering as a way of justifying their interest.

It’s true; polyamory is enjoying an efflorescence in popular culture these days. But this mirrors the spike in interest that swinging had a couple of decades ago. This suggests to me that there is a fissure at the foundation of the dominant relationship model of the monogamous heterosexual, reproductive pair. All the sociological underpinnings of why our culture promotes this paradigm aside, I think it is undeniable that there is a level of dissatisfaction on the part of many who initially bought into this model as the only way to live, love and raise small herds of children. But is it?

People may feel trapped in the traditional expression of a committed relationship. But while they may be second-guessing the party line, they are equally wary of throwing open the doors in a haphazard way, and rightfully so.

I’ve been reading a lot about polyamory lately. It seems it’s the topic du jour in all the women’s magazines. Do open relationships really work?
—Cameron

For starters, the viability of an open relationship depends on the maturity level of the people who are considering opening up their sexually exclusive relationship. And how much they’re willing to work at communicating with one another through all the little details that such a decision entails. One thing for sure, I am willing to go on record to say that the devil, in this case, really is in the details.

That being said, there are a few things us sex researchers know for sure. In most cultures, people claim to practice sexual exclusivity, which is commonly referred to as monogamy. Although I think that’s a misnomer. Monogamy literally means having one union, which as we all know tells us nothing about the sexual expression either or both partners are supposedly sharing in.

Lifetime sexual exclusivity (being sexually involved with only one person for one’s entire life) is rare. Serial sexual exclusivity (having a series of exclusive relationships over one’s life) is much more common. And despite knowing that we humans do not mate for life, we continue to presume that sexual exclusivity, or monogamy is the only legitimate form of coupling.

This, unfortunately, leads to our culture’s obsession with cheating—that is, having sex with someone outside of a monogamous relationship. And frankly, what I know about humans, human relationships and human sexuality; I can say for certain that fidelity is not necessarily a genital issue. One can indeed be faithful to someone else and still have the freedom to express him/herself sexually with others. It happens all the time. In these cases, fidelity is to the relationship and the agreements, parameters and boundaries mutually agreed upon by the partners. Which gets me back to my opening comment about the need for communication. Of course, it’s much easier to presume that everyone in a relationship is working under the same rubric, but that kind of presumption is a fool’s paradise.

Another shortcoming of setting up sexual exclusivity or monogamy as the only legitimate type of coupling is that it diminishes all the other types of relationships that flourish, albeit in a more covert way. And here I’m talking about an array of open relationship models—and polyamory. The fact that we’re only now hearing about these non-traditional relationships shouldn’t suggest to you, or anyone, that they don’t exist; or that they aren’t practical alternatives to the traditional monogamous model, or that they aren’t practiced by a lot of people. They do and they are! It just means that most people in non-traditional relationships know not to go public in a society that would denigrate them for their lifestyle choices. That’s how things are here in the good old US of A; and I’ll wager it’s also true for the rest of the world. Am I right, or am I right?

Open relationships and polyamorous relationships work because the people in them adhere to some basic tenets about how to conduct themselves.

First among them is the notion that these alternative relationships must be chosen; they can’t be mandated. If one or another of the persons considering an open or poly relationship is being pressured to go along with the flow, or is fearful that he/she will be alone if he/she doesn’t comply with the will of the other(s). That kind of emotional duress will not work.

Each person in the relationship needs to take responsibility for the choices he/she is making. If you’re not up for the task, or if this kind of arrangement is not compatible with your personality type, don’t attempt to override that. You will only jeopardize the relationship for the other(s) involved. However, if the idea appeals to you, give it your best shot. I can guarantee that it will be a learning experience. Just remember, exploring something and having it carved in stone are two very different things.

Second, communication is key. The more complex the relationship structure, the greater the need for open lines of communication. Know your boundaries and express them clearly. Ask questions; never assume you know something when you don’t.

Third, know yourself! You must be able to deal with your emotions, particularly jealousy, in an up-front, adult way. This is often much easier said than done. If you need to be the center of attention just so you can feel good about yourself, or you have serious territorial issues—this is mine, this is mine, and THIS is mine!—then alternative relationship models are probably not for you.

Know what keeps you even keel in terms of what you need and what you are able to give. There has got to be a healthy tension between these two things. If you’re the kind who gives too much and resents not being rewarded for your gifts, stay away from alternative relationships. Or if you are so needy that you can’t stand it when someone else is enjoying his/her time in the sun; open or poly relationships are decidedly not for you.

You should also know that alternative relationships, of whatever stripe, are, for the most part, on the fringes of what society will accept. And some are outright taboo. This doesn’t mean you will have to slug it out on your own in a vacuum of support. On the contrary, you will, no doubt, find that the people who are living contrary to the expectations of the popular culture are often a whole lot more generous with their support and compassion then those following all the rules.

You will find that your support system will shift from more traditional sources like traditional family, church and community to alternative sources like clubs and social groupings of other like-minded individuals as yourself. A common mistake made by those in non-traditional relationships is to take their problems and issues to their traditional support systems. This rarely works because the traditional support system will inevitably blame the non-traditional relationship setup for the problem. This is not true, of course, but how would those in traditional relationships know otherwise.

I always suggest that those in non-traditional relationships bring their issues to a non-traditional support system. Here you are less likely to encounter judgments about your life choices and more help with overcoming the problems at hand.

In the end, it’s your call. Are the potential rewards as well as challenges associated with an open relationship worth taking more than the voyeuristic peek behind the curtain that the women’s magazines provide you?

Good luck!