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Best Adult Products List For 2013

We interrupt our winter holiday to bring you this special edition of Product Review Friday.

 

On this last Friday of the year, it’s time to announce this year’s Best Products List. We have only four categories this year — Best Product or Toy for Men; Best Product or Toy for Women; Best Product or Toy for couples; and Best Lube or Lotion. Unfortunately, this past year we didn’t get to review any kinky toys, so we had to drop the category: Best Kinky Product or Toy. I hope we make up for this woeful situation in 2014. Come on, kinky toy producers, show us what ya got!

We reviewed some amazing adult products and toys this year in all the remaining four categories. So coming up with the very best in each category was a bit of a challenge. But despite the difficulty we completed our list and here are members of the Dr Dick Review Crew to reveal the winners.

First up is Jada with The Best Product or Toy for WomenG Vibe —— $99.99.

(Curiously enough, Jada had the honor of reviewing the best product or toy for women last year too. You go Jada!)

Jada
I am delighted to be the one to bring you news of a truly remarkable and inventive new vibe. It’s called the G Vibe and it comes from a company called Fun Toys. Well, my friends, no need to beat around the bush; I’m smitten.

G Vibe02The G Vibe looks like no other vibe I’ve ever seen. It looks as though someone took a regular insertable vibe and sliced it down the middle, producing two forked tongues, each of which vibrates. The two tongues are ultra-flexible and the whole vibe is covered in the most deliciously soft and velvety 100% medical grade silicone. And that makes it, as you probably already know, latex-free, nonporous, phthalate-free, and hypoallergenic. It’s the dream material for insertables. The G Vibe comes in several colors, mine is rose.

Embedded in the handle of G Vibe is a hard plastic ring, with a metallic finish. This allows you to slip two fingers (index and middle) into the handle so that your thumb is perfectly positioned on the three-button control panel. When activated the buttons light up. It is super-ergonomic and clearly lovingly designed.

Speaking of the control panel, it’s among the easiest I’ve ever used. The top button is marked with a “+.” This turns on the vibe and accelerates the intensity of the vibrations from mild to wow! The middle button marked with a wavy icon rotates through the six vibrating modes. The lower button is marked with a “-.” This decelerates the intensity of the vibrations and turns the unit off.

The G Vibe is about 9.5” long, with an insertable length of about 6”. The girth of a single tongue is approximately 2.5” and the girth of the two tongues together is about 4.5”

Each of the tongues of the G Vibe has its own motor. And the flexibility of the tongues is what makes it so versatile. Squeeze the two tongues together to insert the shaft of the vibe. Of course, the tongues separate once inserted. The two tongues delivers a sensation of fullness without stretching the entrance of your vagina. This makes for lovely G-spot stimulation. Insert one tongue and maneuver the other tongue to your clit. Or slip the G Vibe over your clit or nipples in a clothespin like fashion. Or use the tongue tips to tickle and tease anywhere on your body or your partner’s body. Let your imagination and your creativity guide you to find all the possible uses and pleasure techniques. Look to the pamphlet that is included in the box for inspiration.
Full Review HERE!

Next up is Brad with The Best Lube or LotionSPUNK Lube Hybrid (8 oz) —— $15.00

Brad
Those of you who follow my reviews know that I’m a personal trainer. About a year ago one of my new clients, a gay dude, says to me, “You look so familiar. I said, “Really?” He says, “Yeah, but I just can’t think of where I may have seen you before.” I think nothing more of it till a few weeks later he says, “I know why you look so familiar.” “You do?” He says, you are the spittin’ image of this guy on the internet who jerks off all the time on camera.” I’m like, “Get otta here!” He says, “No really, you should check it out. The site is called STR8cam and the guy’s name is Jeff.”

I’m thinkin’ ok, this new client of mine doesn’t know I’m straight and he’s comin’ on to me with this stuff. I mean, I don’t care if my clients get the hots for me. I’m flattered. I also use that sexual tension to my benefit. I can always get my gay clients to work harder for me if I flirt with them. Which is not hard to do, because they’re all nice guys. It’s harmless, of course and I know they’re never offended, so it works for everyone.

But I got to tell you my interest in this Jeff guy was too much for me to resist. I had to see for myself if he and I looked anything alike. I went home one afternoon, googled the site and discovered we could be brothers. DAMN! You gotta give this guy credit, because he’s been pullin’ his pud on camera for years. And I’m sure he has this huge gay following. You GO, Jeff.spunklube

Fast-forward to last month when Dr Dick whips out this bottle of SPUNK Lube Hybrid, and asks me if I’d like to give it a spin. I said, “Sure, why the fuck not?” Then he tells me that this stuff come from this guy he knows in the porn industry, named Jeff, who runs this site called STR8cam. What do you know; now there’s two degrees of separation between me and my online look-alike. So I ask the good doctor, “Hey, do you think this Jeff guy and I look alike? The reason I ask is, one of my clients turned me on to his site about a year ago, because he said I looked like him.” Dr Dick said, “Come to think of it, I guess there is a resemblance.” If that don’t beat all!

So here’s to you, Jeff, my bro from a different mother.

SPUNK Lube Hybrid is my new favorite lube. I mean, it stands to reason that someone who beats his meat for a living would know his way around lube, but this stuff is better than good. The first thing you need to know is it looks and feels just like a guy’s nut. A few drops of SPUNK Lube has the same consistency and viscosity of my own load. I tell ya, if you warm SPUNK Lube a bit, like in a bowl of warm water, I defy you to tell the difference between your jizz and SPUNK Lube, it’s that realistic.
Full Review HERE!

Next we hear from Dr Dick Review Crew Members, Denise & Ken who have the Best Product or Toy for couplesThe Moodsign and Card Game —— $39.99

Denise & Ken
Ken: “When Dr Dick asked us to review the Moodsign, I asked him; ‘what the hell is it?’ He said, “well, it’s not a sex toy, per se, but it is a device that is supposed to help a couple communicate about sex. And it comes with a card game that looks like fun. Would you guys like to give it a try?’”moodsign-packaging-front
Denise: “I glanced over at Ken while Dr Dick was telling us this. And I thought Ken’s eyes were going to roll out of his head. He does the eye-rolling thing so often; I don’t think he knows how obvious he’s being. So before Ken could open his mouth again, I chimed in and said, ‘sure, we’d be happy to review it.’ Ken nudged me and flashed that ‘are you serious?’ look at me. I pretended not to notice.”
Ken: “Ok, so maybe I was being a little transparent, but I couldn’t imagine how a gadget which lights up was gonna get me laid more often. And lets be honest, that’s what we’re talkin’ about here, right?”
Denise: “Tactful! But I did see his point. Ken and I both love sex, but our schedules are such that we often miss opportunities to have a little fun because we can’t read one another’s mind. I thought, if the Moodsign did nothing more than help us with that, it would be a winner.”
Ken: “Well, when she puts it like that, I began to understand. Maybe this is a good place to stop and tell you what the Moodsign is. It’s a sleek hard plastic thing that stand, about 5” tall. It has two clear plastic arms, one on each side, that can be raised to make a signal. Additionally, the arms light up, (powered by 3-AAA batteries, not included) and can be cycled through several different colors. Once I got over myself, I began to see how something as simple as this could actually make a huge difference in letting Denise know that I’m up for a little slap and tickle, I was sold.”moodsign-rabbit-style
Denise: “Listen, I already know that Ken is ‘up’ for ‘it’ just about all the time, but now I had a way of signaling to him that I too was ‘up’ for ‘it’ and I could even be really specific about the kind of ‘it’ I might be up for. This was a game changer. Once Ken and I familiarized ourselves with the Moodsign, we decided to map out our own secret code for one another. Since the lighted arms can point down, outward, and up, we decided that this would signify our interest in and availability for some kind of sexual intimacy. If Ken was hot to go, he’d raise his lighted arm all the way up. I could then respond by raising my lighted arm to ‘hot-to-go,’ ‘maybe,’ or ‘not now, but thanks for asking.’”
Ken: “And then we designated a code for the colored lights to correspond to the kind of intimacy we were into — ‘cuddling,’ ‘making-out,’ ‘sensual massage,’ ‘fucking,’ that sort of thing.”
Denise: “I suggested that we reserve one color for non-sexual communication, like when we get into argument. We could signal to one another that we are ready to talk about whatever it was that set us off. The more we used the Moodsign, the more versatile it became. I found it really delightful and amazingly helpful.”
Ken: “You want to know what I like best? I like that Denise and I can pretty much carry on this really dirty conversation with one another right in front of the kids and they remain clueless. I mean, they’ve seen us fiddle around with the Moodsign, but I just told them it had something to do with work and they were fine with that.”
Full Review HERE!

Finally, we have a tie for Best Product or Toy for Men

Jack & Karen bring us — VërSpanken Bumpy — $31.29 and VërSpanken Water Wieners — $24.99

VërSpanken001

Jack & Karen
Karen: “My goodness, it’s been over a year since our last review. Where does the time go? We were busy with a move and then we welcomed a baby boy, our first, into our family. No wonder we’ve been out of the loop for so long.”
Jack: “Well, we’re glad to be back. And we have an amazing product to tell you about. It’s called a VërSpanken. I have the bumpy one, but it also comes in smooth and wavy. I’ll get to that in a minute.”
Karen: “I was kinda hoping we’d get a couple-oriented product as our first toy of the new year, so I was a little disappointed when I discovered the VërSpanken is toy for guys. That’s what I thought until I took a closer look.”
Jack: “It’s true, the VërSpanken is a male masturbation toy, but Karen and I have been using it together and having a ball. I only wish I had this thing that last couple of months of Karen’s pregnancy. I wouldn’t have worn out my hand quite so much.”VER-SPANKEN-WAVY-WITH-FOAMWIENERS-SOLID-PURPLE
Karen: “Since the baby I haven’t been feeling as sexy as I used to. I’m so glad my libido is slowly returning. But I still don’t often feel like getting involved in full-on sex and that’s where the VërSpanken really comes in handy. I don’t have to leave Jack high and dry just because I don’t feel like sex.”
Jack: “Ok, I think it’s high time for us to tell you everything you need to know about the VërSpanken. I know this is gonna sound weird, but my initial impression was that it looked like this big alien pussy.”
Karen: “He was looking at it vertically, but if you turn it sideways and look at it horizontally, it looks like a big alien mouth. It’s actually pretty comical.”
Jack: “Karen’s right! I guess you can tell I had pussy on the brain when I first saw the VërSpanken. That’s what happens when you go without for so long. Anyhow, there’s this black hard plastic housing that is hinged at the base and snaps shut at the top. When you open the black plastic case you see two foam inserts. These inserts come in three fun vibrant colors and three textures. These inserts are made of TPR (Thermo Plastic Rubber).”
Karen: “Here’s how it works. You open the bwater wienerslack plastic housing, lube up the deliciously spongy inserts, put your man’s penis between them and close the housing once again. It looks hilarious, but it drove Jack crazy with pleasure. The inserts make an encompassing sensation. You can move it up and down over the penis or twist it from side to side.”
Jack: “It’s true! It’s totally wacky, but oh so effective. Pumping my dick in and out of the VërSpanken is a kick. It’s so tight and the sensations are fantastic. I’ve used a few masturbation sleeves in the past, but I’ve never felt anything like this. It’s a one-size-fits-all kind a thing, and for once that claim is actually true. No matter the size of your cock, the VërSpanken will work for you.”
Karen: “But that’s not all! Along with the VërSpanken we also got two additional inserts called Water Wieners. Here’s where it really gets fun. The Water Wieners are like water balloons that you can heat or chill before popping them into the black plastic housing. This adds to the sensation play. One evening last week I blindfolded Jack and restrained his hands so he couldn’t touch his penis. I replaced the bumpy foam inserts with the warmed Water Wieners, lubed up the VërSpanken, and slipped it over his erection. I thought he was going to hit the roof.”
Full Review HERE!

Greg brings us — ARMOUR UP —— $19.56

Greg
My friend Trevor invited me to visit him in Palm Springs a few weeks ago. He promised lots of pool parties and sex. As it turned out, the weather was perfect. Upper 70’s and low 80’s, basically sizzlin’ for this pasty Seattleite. Not that extreme hot, like it is in the summer. I had a ball!armour up02

Here’s the thing, I sometimes get a little self-conscious about the size of my package when wearing Speedos. I mean, I’m a grower not a shower. Does that sound shallow? Ok, so maybe I am.

Just before I left, Dr Dick turned me on to a new product from Perfect Fit Brand. It’s called ARMOUR UP. I’ve been hoping to score one of their products since I read the review of their now infamous Fat Boy. They are also the maker of the Cruiser Cockring, which we’ve also reviewed. And I mention that because ARMOUR UP is a cockring too, but it’s like no other cockring I’ve ever used or worn.

ARMOUR UP is a teardrop shaped design. While the shape is nothing new; I have this kick ass stainless steel one that is beautiful, but a bitch to put on and take off. And despite the fact that it look great on my junk, all shiny and shit, its uncomfortable to wear for long periods of time. In fact, I thought the ARMOUR UP one was gonna be the same way. I was so wrong!

armour up04ARMOUR UP is made of an ultra-stretchy and resilient material called PF Blend, which is a combination of silicone and TPR (a thermoplastic elastomer). It is easy-on and easy-off and it is so fuckin’ comfortable, I can wear it for hours at a time. And you know I did under my Speedos.

The teardrop design is unique because not only does it do what every good cockring should do, slightly constrict your cock (and balls) so that blood flows into your dick, but doesn’t flow out as easily, thus making a nice sturdy erection. It also has this tab on the base, with a bump on it, which slings back behind your nuts and lands on your “taint.” That’s your perineum, that patch of skin, full of nerve endings, between your asshole and your balls. So there’s all this extra stimulation goin’ on by just wearing the thing.

While the ARMOUR UP teardrop shape is not new, it takes the design to a completely new level. It’s revolutionary anatomical shape is so unique! Once you have this thing on it actually makes your cock and balls protrude away from your crotch. And its slim design feels so good.

I put on the clear ARMOUR UP ring (it comes in two colors, clear and black) and then slipped into a pair of electric blue Speedos and stood in front of the mirror to check it out. DAMN, I was rockin’ this shit out. The silky feel of the material of the Speedos on my prominent dick head was giving me a nice little stiffy. I fuckin’ loved it. Now I looked like a shower, not just a grower.

I waltzed into kitchen where Trevor was putting some beers into a cooler and he took one look at me and dropped his jaw. “Hun, what you got goin’ on down there?” I just winked and said: “It’s my little secret. Besides, you’re such a size queen!” And he said; “Well at least I’m honest. You know what they say; there are only two kinds of men—size queens and liars.”

I just want you to know that I gave Trevor the black ARMOUR UP as a thank you gift for hosting me for the weekend. You should see what it does for his big black dick. It was kinda obscene!
Full Review HERE!

CONGRATULATIONS TO ALL OUR WINNERS!

Simmer Down

It’s Product Review Friday again! This week I have Part 2, of a two part series, aimed at the men folk in our audience. This week’s product, as well as last week’s product, come to us from the ingenious people over at Bodispa.

But wait, you didn’t miss Part 1, did you? Well not to worry if ya did, because you can find it and all of our reviews in the Dr Dick Sex Toy Reviews Archive. All ya gotta do is use the search function in the header; type in “Giddyup” and PRESTO!

Dr Dick Review Crew member, Jack, of Jack and Karen is here with his review.

PRO-LONG R 15ml —— $24.95

Jack
I outted myself on the job last week. I hope this doesn’t come back and bite me in the ass one of these days.

There are very few people who know that Karen and I do these reviews for Dr Dick. We like the anonymity and we like having a little secret that only a couple of our closest friends know about. But there’s this guy at work, who is about 20 years younger than me, who treats me like his wise older brother. And let’s just say he’s not the sharpest tool in the shed. At any rate he is forever telling me about his sexual conquests. Except that most of the time it’s failure instead of conquest. He is absolutely clueless about women.

Karen thinks he’s adorable, in a young and dumb and full of cum sort of way. So she says, “He looks up to you, why don’t you try and help him out. Think of all the wear and tear you will prevent on all the poor women he dates.” Karen was right. The kid’s not a bad lot, just clueless.

So I start telling him some of the things I’ve learned about women and sex and he’s like all mouth-agape staring at me in wonder. “Dude, how do you know all this shit?” I tell him, “I’m a fuckin’ genius, that’s how I know all this shit.” And this is where I make my fatal mistake. I tell him about the Review Crew. He doesn’t believe me, so I show him the Dr Dick Sex Toy Reviews site and I point out one of our reviews. He says, “Hey, that ain’t you; your name ain’t Jack!” I tell him, “We don’t use our real names, Sherlock!” So he says, “Well I’ll be damned.”Pro-Long R

My coworker’s biggest problem is he doesn’t get laid enough. No surprise there, I suppose. And because of that, he jerks off all the time. This I understand completely because I used to be just like him when I was his age, a wankin’ maniac. Because he beats off all the time, and always does so in a hurry he has trained his body to cum with very little stimulus. This gives him a hair-trigger, if ya know what I mean. When he’s on a date and about to get lucky, he no sooner get his pants off when he blows his load. He has become so self-conscious about this that he’s afraid to even ask a chick out for drinks. This inevitably leads to more desperation and more furious masturbation. A vicious cycle, no?

So I tell Bobby, that’s my coworker’s name, “I have something I want you to try. I think it will help.” And this is where I introduce him to today’s product, PRO-LONG R. It’s a desensitizing spray for men. It’s very effective, fast-acting, and is super easy to apply, discreet too.

PRO-LONG R is formulated for guys like Bobby. I know we all joke about PE (premature ejaculation), but it’s no laughing matter. Poor Bobby is a wreck over it all.

Of course, before I could recommend PRO-LONG R to anyone, I had to try it myself. I was immediately impressed. Here’s what ya do. 5-15 minutes before the action begins, ya pump on a few sprays (3-8) of this stuff on your cockhead and the underside of your unit. Let it sink in and dry and you’re ready to rock on. Seriously, that’s all that’s to it.

PRO-LONG R contains a 7.5% benzocaine solution, the active ingredient. Apparently, benzocain is safer than the alternative, lidocain, which many other desensitizing products use. I did my homework, and sure enough, I found benzocaine in several over the counter remedies from ointments for hemorrhoidal relief, gels for toothache pain and sprays for sunburn relief. Who knew?

The first time I tried PRO-LONG R there was a slight burning sensation. It wasn’t awful or anything; I must have had some kind of abrasion on my cock (pulling my pud too much or too hard?) because the alcohol in the product stung as alcohol does. As soon as the product sank into my skin and dried, the sensation went away. There was no redness or any other kind of irritation, so I guessed we were all good. The second time I used the spray there was no burning sensation at all.

And here’s something you should know; PRO-LONG R is certified by Health Canada.

I’m gonna tell you what I told Bobby. Use a condom when you use PRO-LONG R. There’s two good reasons. First, a condom will further decrease some of the sensations in your dick, which is a good thing when you have PE. And second, on the off chance that some of the PRO-LONG R hasn’t completely sunk into your skin; you don’t want to pass on any residue to your partner. You don’t want their parts—pussy, or ass, or whatever—to be desensitized, just because you need to work on your orgasmic control, right?

So you’re all probably wondering about Bobby, huh? Here’s the thing, PRO-LONG R worked for him too. He’s still a doofus and he has lots to learn when it comes to the ladies, but now he’s feeling better about his control. PRO-LONG R boosted his confidence too. So good on him!
Full Review HERE!

ENJOY!

Giddyup

It’s Product Review Friday again! This week I have Part 1, of a two part series, aimed at the men folk in our audience. This week’s product, as well as next week’s product, come to us from the ingenious people over at Bodispa.  When they sent us two of their massagers for us to review early last summer, we had no idea what kind of interesting things would soon follow. If you haven’t been keeping tract of the reviews, all meand do! Simply use the search function in the header and type in “Bodispa” and PRESTO. All the products we’ve review will appear.

Dr Dick Review Crew member, Carlos, is here with his thoughts and comments on today’s product.

Tigra 24 capsules —— $29.95

Carlos
Wow! Here we are at the end of 2013 and I’m just getting around to positing my first review of the year. Last time I posted, I was lucky enough to review one of last 2012’s Best Products of the Year. I reviewed the Deuce Male Harness.  This time around I think I have another winner.

Those of you who follow my reviews will know that I disclosed last year that I had prostate cancer and that I had a radical prostatectomy, which removed my prostate gland as well as some of the surrounding tissue. This totally devastated my sex life. Not only did my parts no longer work, I couldn’t get an erection to save my life, but I had no libido either. I mean I was never a sexual maniac or anything, but I always enjoyed sex and thought I was pretty good at it. And I gotta tell ya, not having things work like they should, can be very depressing. I used to take all of this for granted. Not any more.

Over the past 18 months, since my surgery, I’ve been working at regaining a sense of my sexual-self. It’s been a slow process. Mostly it involves masturbation. With the help of a penis pump and a cockring, I’m beginning to enjoy an erection again. This is where today’s product, Tigra, comes in. By the way, this product comes to us from the Bodispa people out of Canada.TIGRA small

Tigra is what we here at the Review Crew lovingly call a boner pill. It’s a safe, all natural herbal erection enhancing formula. Look HERE for a list of ingredients.

Perhaps you are like me; I’ve tried other erection enhancers only to be disappointed or concerned that these products are not what they say they are. But one thing Tigra can say about itself, that no other similar product can claim, is that it is certified by Health Canada.

Tigra is more of a supplement than some kind of a Viagra knockoff. It’s the kind of product that builds up in your system and not one that simply provides a jolt from the blue. One of the reasons I don’t take the pharmaceuticals or their knockoffs is I don’t like all the side effects — headache, that flushed feeling, upset stomach, rise in blood pressure, or altered vision.

The suggested dose for Tigra is one or two capsules daily. I found that one is plenty for me. I did experience an improved erection after a few days on Tigra. But more importantly, I seem to have more of an interest in sex since I started using this product. I’m not anywhere near where I once was before my diagnosis and surgery, but I’ve learned, from working with Dr Dick on this, that I need to stay focused on what’s possible for me now because this is my new normal.

The thing I’m most grateful for, now that I have been using Tigra, is I’ve regained some of my lost confidence. I can’t tell you how important that is to me. So I’m thinking, if this product has made such a big impact on my sex life, with all the problems I’ve been having lately, I’m pretty confident that other guys, with just run of the mill erection concerns, will benefit too. Let’s face it; even if we care for ourselves, eat right, and get lots of exercise, the aging process takes its toll. Tigra might be just the lift, no pun intended, that you need to regain your sexual edge.

At the same time, I don’t want anyone to get the wrong impression. Tigra isn’t some kind of miracle potion, nor is it an aphrodisiac, whatever that is. But it does stimulate blood flow to my genitals, gives me an energy boost, it also stimulates my libido, and all that builds my confidence. Frankly, when you have all that goin for ya, ya don’t need a miracle.
Full Review HERE!

ENJOY!

First Time Fears

Name: Stephani
Gender: Female
Age: 19
Location: Texas
Does sex hurt the first time?

I assume you mean fucking — penis/vagina — sex, right? The reason I ask is that there are lots of other sexual behaviors that people can engage in that don’t involve intercourse. I’m gonna give you some credit and trust that you already know this. If you don’t you have a whole bunch of remedial work to do, darlin’.

Fucking, even first time fucking never needs to hurt. One thing for sure, lots of lube is essential — first time and every time.i lost my virginity

But there is so much more you can do to prepare yourself (and your partner) for your first fuck. Begin by knowing your body and your sexual response cycle. Is it safe to assume, even though you are a virgin to full-on fucking, that you are familiar with masturbation? If not, honey, that’s where you should start. If you enjoy pleasuring your body to orgasm, you will likely know the kind of stimulation you need to achieve full arousal. This is precisely the information you will want to pass on to your partner before the first fuck-fest begins as well as throughout the event.

The more you know about your body and the mysteries of your particular sexual response cycle the smoother things will go for you and your partner. Nowadays there is absolutely no need for anyone to come to their first partnered sexual encounter uninformed about sex in general and his or her sexuality in particular.

Most women experience pain during fucking (for the first time or anytime) because of one of three basic reasons: 1) She is inexperienced, 2) Her partner is inexperienced or unversed about mutual pleasuring, 3) She is not fully aroused. Right away you can see how a familiarity with your body in general and your pussy in particular will short-circuit at least two of the three basic reasons right away. And while you can’t account for the sexual prowess of your partner, you will be able to direct him/her on how to touch and make love to you. And that, my dear, takes care of the third basic reason.

One other thing, a lot of women don’t relax during sex…thus discomfort…because they worry about becoming pregnant. If you’re not well acquainted with all methods of contraception and actually practicing at least one of them, you’re not ready to have sex.

And one other thing, sexually transmitted infections ought to be a concern of both you and your partner. Don’t be a fuck-up; if your partner has a penis, he ought always use a condom.

Good luck

Thou Shalt Not

Name: Lynn
Gender: Female
Age: 36
Location: Toronto
I’m a mother of three great kids. My oldest, who is in middle school, went to camp for the first time this past summer. A local church group sponsors the camp every year. When my husband and I asked him about his time away from home, he said rather noncommittally; “It was ok.” He seemed to like it well enough, but you know how uncommunicative kids can be at that stage.
Anyhow, yesterday I was packing away some summer stuff for the winter and discovered a pamphlet in my son’s backpack that he used at camp. It was for an “Abstinence Only” program. It was full of the most dreadful sex-negative fear and shame. It was awful. We are not raising our kids like that; my husband and I were appalled.
Now we’re wondering if this is why our son was so unenthusiastic about his camp experience. Do you think we should quiz him on this?
What gives with this kind of indoctrination anyway? I thought that those “Abstinence Only” programs had been discredited.

So wait; are you sayin’ that you think just because a social engineering strategy, like abstinence-only, has been debunked that it wouldn’t still be employed by certain factions of our culture? Oh hun, I think you oughta rethink that supposition right away, don’t cha know.abstinence_only-1

I mean, come on! There are loads of outdated and discredited philosophies still being promulgated as a means to ensnare the uninformed and gullible. I don’t know about ya’ll up there in Canadaville, but here in Amercanski land we have a whole segment of our population who believes that creationism as a viable explanation for the universe. In fact, one or another of these idiots runs for national office, even for President of these here United States, as a Republican in every election cycle.

So, as you can see, there’s not necessarily a connection between what has been discredited and what is still wildly popular in some segments of our population.

Way back in the spring of 2007, a long-awaited congressionally funded national study concluded that abstinence-only sex education does not keep teenagers from having sex. Nor does it increase the likelihood that, if they do have sex, they will use a condom.

Authorized by Congress in 1997, the study followed 2000 children from elementary and middle school into high school. The children lived in four communities — two urban, two rural. All of the children received the family life services available in their community; in addition, slightly more than half of them also received abstinence-only education.

By the end of the study, when the average child was just shy of 17, half of both groups had remained abstinent. The sexually active teenagers had sex the first time at about age 15. Less than a quarter of them, in both groups, reported using a condom every time they had sex. More than a third of both groups had two or more partners.

So if abstinence-only programs don’t work, at least the way they are supposed to; why do we still have them? Ahhh, good question. We still have them because for a large segment of the population, especially those who are makin’ all them babies, it’s easier to just tell their kids “NO” than to step up to the plate and educate their kids about sex in a wholesome and holistic way.

Bennett editorial cartoonAnother problem is that the word abstinence often means something quite different to kids than it does to adults. That’s one reason why abstinence-only programs do not have strong effects in preventing teenage sexual activity. At least that’s what a University of Washington study found.

The researchers found that interventions that encourage abstinence treat abstinence and sexual activity as opposites. Teenagers, on the other hand, don’t consider them to be mutually exclusive concepts. Like in the congressionally sponsored study, the UW researchers found abstinence-only programs are less likely to work than more comprehensive sex-education programs because they are not speaking the same language as adolescents.

The study also showed that attitudes and intentions about sex were more powerful than attitudes and intentions about being abstinent. No surprise there, I suppose.

Again, I don’t know how things are there in Canada, but down here there is no federal funding for comprehensive sex-education. But there’s a shit-load of funding for abstinence-only programs. Funding mushroomed from $9 million in1997 to $176 million in 2007. Leave it to congress to dump loads of money into a program that doesn’t work. But such is the power of the conservative religious lobby. They are the people who back these programs.

This wouldn’t be such a big issue if it didn’t hold such dire consequences. For example, the United States has the highest teen pregnancy rate among all first-world nations. The rates of sexually transmitted diseases in this country are also astronomical. If we want to keep our young people safe from the negative aspects of casual sex, abstinence-only programs are not the way to go.abstinence

However, more comprehensive programs that include abstinence as one choice are much more likely to have a more productive outcome. Besides, is it ever a good idea to try and motivate people with fear and shame? I don’t think so.

Since abstinence-only programs often only look at the negatives of sex, it doesn’t really empower a young person to take responsibility for his/her behaviors. This is particularly thorny for young women who often bear the brunt the peer pressures to be sexual. And they have way more at stake in terms of pregnancy and sexually transmitted infections (STIs).

When kids aren’t expected to take responsibility for their behaviors, especially in terms of sexuality, it cripples their ability to make good life-affirming choices. Abstinence-only programs disqualify all sexual options, even the relatively innocuous behaviors like mutual masturbation and oral sex. So if all sexual options are equally out of bounds, there’s no way for the average kid to distinguish between harmless and risky behaviors. And this is what leads to the high rate of sexually transmitted infections and unplanned pregnancies.

If we want our kids to grow up with healthy and integrated attitudes about sex, ones that will lead to more loving and fulfilling sexual relationships later in life, we ought teach from a more sex-positive theory.

Back to the other question you raise; the one about quizzing your son about his camp experience. I think that would be great. It would let him know that you care, that you don’t support this fear and shame-based approach to human sexuality and that he doesn’t have to embrace it either.

Good Luck

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