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The Root of Our Discomfort

Name: Maya
Gender:
Age: 28
Location: UK
Hi there! I recently found out that my brother in law is gay. I wanted to know what makes people gay? Is it choice, genes, hormones, etc? Please clarify because his condition and opposition to his choice of sexuality has made him depressed and he’s on antidepressants and not very healthy. Please answer.

Back in 2007 Solon.com featured a little piece called: Don’t Ask the Sexperts in their annual sex issue: State of the Sexual Union. Slate asked seven people who earn their livings thinking and writing about sex, what they’ve never been able to figure out about sex or sexuality.

One of the contributors was Dr. Ruth Westheimer. She’s the author of 31 books about sex and relationships. This what she said still remained a mystery to her.

“I’m sure there are many, but one nagging one is what causes homosexuality. I admit, I am curious—but the real importance in getting to the bottom of this question is that the answer would be helpful to the homosexual community. I suspect that the cause is genetic, which would mean all those people who say that gays and lesbians can change to become heterosexual would have to sing another tune. Instead of trying to “fix” a situation that doesn’t require fixing, they would have to learn to accept homosexuals. But I am not a scientist, so I can’t set about finding out the etiology, the cause of homosexuality. All I can do is act as a cheerleader to encourage scientists to come up with the answer.”

I was astounded when I read Dr Ruth’s comment. Here is one of the most popular names in the field of human sexuality saying such a startling thing. It’s not that she misrepresented the state of scientific inquiry into the issue of sexual orientation. What she said is true. We don’t precisely know what “causes” homosexuality, but more importantly…and this is what she leaves out…we haven’t a clue what “causes” any sexual orientation — straight, gay, bi, what have you.

What troubled me so about Dr Ruth’s comment is that, perhaps inadvertently, she perpetuates the myth that homosexuality (as opposed to say heterosexuality) has a cause. And when she uses the word “cause”, she denotes to her audience that there’s a cure. All I want to say is that if there’s a “cause” for homosexuality, there is certainly a “cause” for heterosexuality. If there would ever be a “cure” for homosexuality, there would certainly then be a “cure” for heterosexuality.

Do you see how obvious and pervasive the prejudices of the dominant culture are? I absolutely expected better from old Dr Ruth, don’t cha know. It’s true that she goes on to say that she thinks the “cause” of homosexuality is genetic, therefore us homos can’t change or be “fixed”. She then suggests, if this IS the case, the dominant culture would then simply have to learn how to accept homosexuals for how they are. I went, HUH???

Dr Ruth, darling, do you honestly believe that if, or more properly, when we discover the determining factors of sexual orientation — and I do believe there are more than one — the sexual bigots among us won’t militate to have the deviant orientations “fixed”? All I can say is to think otherwise shows an alarming naivety about human nature.

When Dr Ruth, or anyone else for that matter, separates out one sexual proclivity from all the others and suggests that it has a cause, whatever it might be, the rest of us run for cover and wait for the other shoe to drop. Imagine if instead of sexual orientation we were speaking about racial or ethnic characteristics. What causes black people? What causes Asian eyes to slant? What causes flat noses? What causes nappy hair? What causes short people?

Well you see where I’m going with this, right Maya? Questions like these presuppose that there is a norm — tall white people with round eyes, perky noses and straight hair. And you know what? There are a multitude industries out there poised to prey upon all the short, non-white people with almond eyes flat noses and nappy hair who feel they must conform to any and all arbitrary and culturally induced norms in order to be happy. It’s shocking.

So on to your brother’s case. If sexual orientation is chosen, why would he have embraced a lifestyle that makes him sick and depressed? It simply doesn’t add up. The self-hatred and internalized homophobia that is at the root of your brother’s discomfort is culturally induced, but it is also self-inflicted. We don’t know what “cause” homosexuality, but I can tell you for certain what causes homophobia. And that, my dear, is bigotry.

It’s up to your bother to fight this first within himself and then in the popular culture with every ounce of his strength. Because that’s what all us well adjusted, comfortable in our own skin queers do if we want to live happy healthy integrated lives. None of us is waiting around for someone to tell us what caused us to be the way we are, because we know that whatever “caused” us caused all the other differences and variations that appear in human kind.

And one final tip for you, Maya — despite your good intentions, the more you indulge your brother’s pathologies and commiserate with him, or wonder aloud with him why he is queer then you are part of the problem, as opposed to being part of the solution. I encourage you to challenge him to buck up and get right with himself. Help him throw off the yoke of his shame and guilt, to own and embrace his uniqueness and celebrate his sexuality, which is his norm.

Good luck

SEX WISDOM With Christopher Ryan — Podcast #257 — 01/19/11

Hey, hey sex fans! Welcome back.

I’m all a flutter, sex fans. I feel like the most popular boy in school just asked me to the prom. So ok, maybe that’s a bit of an exaggeration. It’s more like the most popular boy in school just told me he wants to bugger me senseless. No, wait a minute; this isn’t coming out precisely as I hoped. Let’s just say that I’m thrilled to overflowing to have today’s guest join me for this SEX WISDOM podcast.

As you know, this series is all about talking with people who are changing the way we look at our sexual selves. And no one in this series so far has exceeded the impact of today’s guest on that discourse. I have the honor of welcoming psychologist, Christopher Ryan, coauthor of Sex At Dawn; The Prehistoric Origins of Modern Sexuality.

I confess; this book simply blew me away. And that’s pretty hard to do considering I’m such a jaded old queen. But honestly, I can’t remember being so impacted by anything I’ve read on the topic of human sexuality in like…evah! Sex At Dawn is nothing short of revolutionary. Despite this being a scholarly work, Christopher and his wife, Cacilda Jethá, have gone out of their way to make their presentation completely accessible even to a layman. There is nothing pretentious about it; the book is full of humor and fascinating antidotes. But I can assure you that it will reshape how you look at your own sexuality.

Christopher and I discuss:

  • The book tour and the media’s response;
  • The absence of a prescriptive element in the book;
  • Humans, extremely libidinous apes;
  • Our failure to question the default human sexual premise — long-term and sexually exclusive;
  • Ingrained behavior not the same as human nature;
  • Agriculture not the advance it’s cracked up to be;
  • Prehistory is 95% of the human experience;
  • The remnant hunter and gatherer societies;
  • Classical evolutionary theory is contaminated with Victorian assumptions;
  • The role of sex in hunter and gatherer societies;
  • Historical reports of first contact with indigenous peoples.

Christopher invites you learn more about Sex At Dawn by visiting their site HERE!  Look for him on Facebook HERE! And enjoy his twitter feed HERE!

(For a little icing on this already marvelous cake, enjoy the slideshow below.)

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Today’s podcast is bought to you by: Dr Dick’s Sex Advice and Dr Dick’s Sex Toy Review.

BE THERE OR BE SQUARE!

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

Got a question or a comment? Wanna rant or rave? Or maybe you’d just like to talk dirty for a minute or two. Why not get it off your chest! Give Dr Dick a call at (866) 422-5680.

DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY!

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

Catalyst

Hey sex fans,

We got a handful more than a handful of interesting toys to tell you about today, so let’s get at it.

Our first product comes to us from a manufacturer new to our product review effort. We welcome Xmybox.  Don’t ya just love that name?

Here’s Dr Dick Review Crew member, Christa with the lowdown.

Dew Drop —— $59.95

Christa
Happy New Year, fellow perverts! I’m beginning my 3rd year with the Dr Dick Review Crew, if you can believe that. I remember back in November 2008 when I got my first assignment, I was like blown away with all the free stuff. Then I realized that I was being offered all the products that no one else wanted to review. I imagined Dr Dick saying; “lets give this to that freak Christa, she’ll love it!”

Hey, I don’t mind, I am a freak and proud of it. Besides, I think us freaks have a shit-load more fun then the rest of you. But I digress.

Now that I’m a long-term reviewer, I’m getting more mainstream stuff to review. That’s fine by me too. Take today’s product, for example. There’s nothing freaky or even kinky about the Dew Drop. It’s basically a vibrating egg made of hard plastic. There are a few interesting features beyond the obvious, like it has it’s own handle. They call a “dropper”, that kind of attaches to the egg, by way of a clear plastic cord. This makes the insertion of the vibrating egg into a pussy (mine or yours) pretty easy. A nice personal lube is required; at least it is for me. And since the Dew Drop is hard plastic, you can use whatever kind of lube you want. I used a silicone-based lube.

Once the egg is deposited in said pussy (mine or yours) you remove the “dropper” leaving the clear plastic cord. It’s exactly like a tampon, only completely different.

And get this; the vibrating egg is operated by a remote control, which is very, very cool. Those tiny watch batteries operate both the egg and the controller and they are included in the package, thank you very much!

The vibration is not going to knock your socks off, but there are 6 vibration patterns and 8 speeds. The controller is easy to handle and operate and is effective from up to 10 yards away.

Of course, once my sub, butt-boy BF, Alex saw the Dew Drop he wanted to try it in his ass. He’s this total ass whore, ya know. But I refused. Not that I don’t think his hungry hole couldn’t accommodate the modestly sized egg, on the contrary. It’s that I didn’t trust the clear plastic cord or its connection to the egg to withstand pulling the egg out of his ass. This is regrettable! Because I would have had a load of fun remotely operating the vibration while it was lodged in his ass and we were at the Homo Depot! Maybe the Xmybox folks could work on a model that didn’t have such a flimsy connection.
Full Review HERE!

Now a couple of swell toys from our favorite retailer — Adult Sex Toys .com.

Nexus O —— $73.92

Kevin
I’m starting off the new year with an excellent toy. Allow me to introduce you to the brilliant O from Nexus.

But before I get to the review I have a bone to pick. The package says that the O a male G-spot massager. I have a big problem with that. I assume the Nexus people are trying to educate the public about the male prostate, or P-spot, but likening it to a G-spot, I think, only muddies the waters. To tell you the truth, I don’t much like the term P-spot either. It’s so adolescent.

Listen folks, men have prostates. Your prostate is a highly erogenous zone, if you’ve discovered yours or not. Stimulating your prostate is not only intensely pleasurable, but it’s also beneficial in terms of prostate health. So if a company like Nexus wants to educate the public about this, I suggest that they quit beating around the bush and call a spade a spade. That’s what I’m going to do.

The Nexus O is an extraordinary prostate massager. It has an amazingly simple design, but it delivers a surprising amount of stimulation. Its velvety feel comes from it being fashioned from 100% high-grade silicone. It has three pleasure points (balls) that arouse the two major pleasure points on a guys anatomy; the prostate and the taint (perineum), and area just behind your nuts. And the unique O design keeps the massage in place.

Having the Nexus O stay in place is essential to its effectiveness, because this is supposed to be a hands-free pleasure device. You can wear it while you’re beatin off, while you’re goin down on your partner, or while you’re fuckin you’re partner. It’s that brilliant.

Regular prostate massage considerably increases my ejaculate. I also find that, if I wear the Nexus O for at least a half hour before Gina and I play together, my erection is stronger and lasts longer. I’m not sure why this is, it I can vouch for the effect.

There are no batteries to worry about; in fact, it’s not actually a vibrator. It’s a massager that works its magic while I sit on it, rock back and forth or just walk around. I can clench my sphincter muscles while I have the Nexus O wedged in my ass, I can also work on my kegels. These are indispensable exercises for any guy who is into his ass. The Nexus O is decidedly low-tech, but it works. Instructions for use are on the inside panel of the package insert.
Full Review HERE!

As you will see, Denise takes me to task for an unintended oversight.

Alumina Pace —— $59.71

Denise
I had to have a little talk with Dr Dick a while back. I noticed that all the cool anal toys, like butt plugs, were being reviewed by only the guys in the Review Crew. “What’s up with that,” I asked. “A lot of us ladies like ass play too.” In his defense, Dr Dick said that he’s an equal opportunity ass-pleaser. And if I wanted to pleasure myself where the sun don’t shine, he had just the thing for me.

As luck would have it, my challenge to the boys only rule, which wasn’t really a rule, came at them most opportune time. It scored me this stunning 100% aeronautic grade aluminum plug, the Alumina Pace, by Tantus.

Tantus is famous for their beautiful silicone toys. We’ve reviewed several of them already. And as much as I love silicone, this aluminum plug is everything I could want.

The Alumina Pace is both stylish and functional. It is not a particularly big insertable; it’s about five inches long and the diameter is 1 1/4″ at its widest point. And it’s actually a doubleheader. You can insert either end!

The aeronautic grade aluminum is, of course, phthalate-free and non-porous. The Alumina Pace can be sterilized, which is important if you wish to share it with someone else. Soap and water is all you need for general cleanup, but you can also toss it in the dishwasher, boil it, or wipe it down with a 10% bleach or peroxide solution. It’s that easy.

The heft of the aluminum is also a plus. This distinguishes this plug from say a silicone plug. The extra weight is really nice. The teardrop shape of the one head and the bulbous shape to the other head both make for easy insertion and comfortable wearing. But both ends provide distinctive sensations.

The Alumina Pace can be both warmed and chilled for added sensations. If you’ve never had an insertable that you can enjoy in this fashion, I highly recommend you give it a try.
Full Review HERE!

ENJOY

Seattle Erotic Art Festival, 2011

Big news, sex fans!

The ninth annual Seattle Erotic Art Festival, to be held May 20-22, 2011 at Fremont Studios is now now accepting art submissions.  (Click on the banner below for further information.)

  • The Call for Visual Art is open January 1-31, 2011. The Festival sells more art than any other erotic art festival, has low submission fees, and competitive commission rates. Artists may submit up to five works of erotic art of any medium. Sculptors, multimedia artists and painters are particularly encouraged to apply. The 2011 jury consists of art historian Gene Burt; artist and collector Steve Jensen; sex-positive activist and deputy director of Gay City, Peter Jabin; and the last jurors are in the process of being confirmed.
  • The Call for Short Film/Video is open January 1 – February 28, 2011. No other major erotic art festival has a film component, and this year film will be a main attraction, presented at Fremont Studios in a modern 50-seat movie theater. Filmmakers are encouraged to submit up to three works, each up to 30 minutes in length. The Erotic Short Film Exhibition is curated by Three Dollar Bill Cinema (producer of the Seattle Gay & Lesbian Film Festival and the Seattle Transgender Film Festival). The jury will consist of a Three Dollar Bill Cinema review panel and the Seattle Erotic Art Festival Director.
  • The Call for Installation Art is open January 1 – February 15, 2011. Installation art is extremely popular at the Festival, and artists enjoy significant notoriety as a result of media and audience reviews. Additionally, the Festival is continuing to offer its grant for interactive visual artists; selected artists will be granted up to $750 to create works of art that feature a participatory element and encourage the audience to become part of the art. Installations are selected by a Festival Curatorial Team. There is no fee for installation submissions.
  • The Call for Literary Art is open January 1 – February 15, 2011. This is the third year of the Literary Art Exhibition, featuring work from poets, playwrights and authors from across the country. Selected works are exhibited through live readings and on the printed page. Artists may submit 5 pieces. The jury consists of Lydia Swartz, who generates one of the most extensive spoken word calendars for the Seattle area; Dobbie Reese Norris, who is the originator and host of and contributor to one of the longest running reading series in Seattle: Third Tuesdays Poets and Writers; Eileen Fix, a Tacoma Distinguished Writers selection and founder of the Little Red Studio Poetry Posse; and Victor David Sandiego, prize-winning poet and former editor of the Washington Poets Association.

DON’T MISS THIS OPPORTUNITY TO JOIN ARTISTS FROM ALL OVER THE WORLD FOR THIS WORLD CLASS EVENT!

the indomitable human spirit

Happy Solstice, sex fans!

I know I’m supposed to be on holiday, but I just couldn’t resist sharing with you this correspondence that typifies the season. It is a true celebration of the indomitable human spirit.

Name: Roman
Gender: Male
Age: 22
Location: Kansas
I’m a 22 and I have cerebral palsy. My girlfriend has CP too. You say you have experience working with people with disabilities. Do you know about how CP and how it affects our balance and muscle control? Me and my GF have difficulty having sex. Our bodies don’t move like other people. Most of the time we are in wheelchairs and, while sitting is ok, our stiff legs make conventional sex impossible. We have invented ways to get each other off, but when it comes to intercourse we are stumped. We’ve tried different things, but we can’t get the angle right. We’ve looked for ideas on the internet, but nothing.

Kudos to you Roman, and your plucky girlfriend. You kids sound like you’ve got it gonin’ on, I’m really impressed. You’re right, I have some experience with people with disabilities, particularly around the issue of sexuality. And I am familiar with the affects of cerebral palsy on one’s balance and muscle control. So I think I can help you. However, I want you to help me too. I think you could help me and my audience understand and appreciate your situation a bit better.

Here’s why I think this. It’s not often I hear from such an articulate fellow in your particular circumstance. So I want to ask you a few questions. (Any one else out there in my audience who wants to chime in on this, please do!) In the past, most of the people I’ve encountered who have disabling conditions, like CP have been at the mercy of those who care for them at home or in assisted living facilities. So would it be correct for me to guess that you and your girlfriend are living independently? It sounds that way to me. The reason I say that is, one of the most troubling problems folks, like ya’ll, have is finding private time and space for any intimacies of whatever kind. Families and assisted living facilities are notorious for not giving or respecting a client’s privacy.

If you are in an independent living situation and you have enough privacy to engage in intimacies that can get you off, short of intercourse. How do you do you get one another off? Is this done while you’re in your chairs? If you’re actually getting naked with each other, and I hope you are, do you need assistance from someone to achieve this?

Here’s why I’m asking you this. If you are having a person assist you as far as getting out of your cloths and into the sack with each other, would it be out of the question for either of you to ask this person to help you get into position for fucking? I ask this because on one very special occasion a couple I knew some years ago asked me to assist them in their love making. At first, I didn’t know if I was up to the task. Not because I would be freaked out gimps gettin their groove on — not at all. I was concerned that I wouldn’t know what to do, or how to do it. My friends, the couple, told me not to worry, that they would direct me if I helped them manage their limbs and coordinate their movements. I was honored by their request, so I accepted their invitation.

We were all really nervous, me especially. They asked if I would be comfortable being naked with them. This put me on the spot, for sure. It’s not that I was uncomfortable being naked, that’s rarely an issue. But I was strangely uncomfortable being naked with them. Was it professional pride? Did I feel more secure being clothed, less vulnerable that way? Hell, I don’t know. They explained that they didn’t want this to be some kind of clinical thing where I was being a therapist, albeit an unconventional therapist.

In the end I relented. And after a few minutes of feeling really awkward, we lost our inhibitions and got down to business. Just so you know, my friends were right. Had I kept my cloths on, the experience wouldn’t have been the same. While I tried to be as unobtrusive as possible, I was remarkably able to experience, in a most intimate way, what it must be like to live in a body that doesn’t respond like my body does. I felt like my friends’ bodies were extensions of my body. And they said they felt the same way; that my body was an extension of their bodies. It was a communion like no other.

My friends kept cracking jokes. Every time I’d topple over trying to get the two lovebirds into position they’d say something like: “is that what it’s like having an able body?” BITCHES! No doubt, the humor and giggling help take the edge off for us all. I know it helped me overcome being so self-conscious. I confess I was a bit embarrassed to be the only able body person present.

What struck me most in all of this was the determination of my friends. I’ve never met anyone more dogged and tenacious…and all to get a little nookie. God bless ‘em!

We tried several positions. Luckily, my friends had upped the dose of their muscle relaxant medications so they were a bit more pliable. One position that seemed to work particularly well was having my friends lying on their sides facing each other. I helped the woman swing one of her legs over her guy. I was then able to scoot their pelvises together and guide his dick into her pussy. Then all I needed to do is bounce them a little. It was brilliant, even though it was the hardest I ever worked for a fuck — and it wasn’t even me who was doing the fucking.

We were all completely exhausted by the experience. My friends were enormously grateful and I was blissed out. It took them days to recover, but at least they achieved what they so desperately wanted. Did they ever attempt intercourse again? I don’t know. They may have discovered that fucking, especially if it takes that much concentration and energy may not be worth it. Maybe they realized that full-on fucking is not necessarily for full-on sexual enjoyment. I mean my friend was expert at eating out his girlfriend. All I had to do is help him in into position. And she got off on it big time…oh and so did he…the randy little bugger!

So, Roman, I didn’t mean to go on and on like that. Sorry if I got off topic. I just wanted to tell you that story because I thought it might suggest to you and your girlfriend the idea of having someone help you guys fuck. It’s worth a try, right?

Good luck