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Prescription for a Porn-Positive World

One of the enduring hot-button issues in our culture (and every other culture) is sexually explicit material. Everyone has an opinion on what we, as a society, ought to allow—and what should be prohibited.

Everyone has an opinion, but not all opinions are formed through sound reasoning. More often than not, our opinions are visceral responses to things that frighten us, or that we don’t understand. And if we don’t like it, don’t understand it, or it puts us off, why, that’s reason enough to have it banned!

It’s no surprise that people on both ends of the political spectrum can comfortably join forces in a pogrom against porn. It’s the great boogieman, after all: the corruptor of youth; that which erodes family values and degrades human sexual expression. What’s not to hate about porn?

I suppose if all that were true, there wouldn’t be a multi-billion dollar industry cranking out everything from soft-core erotica to extreme hardcore. But there is, and it reflects the simple principle of supply and demand. If so many people honestly believe that sexually explicit material is bad for us and our society, why the huge demand?

Case in point—19-year-old Alex from Indianapolis writes:

Hey Dick,
I noticed from your bio that you are a pornographer. How do you justify that? Isn’t pornography basically an insult to human sexuality? How do you square that with being a sex therapist and believing, as you say, that you affirm the fundamental goodness of sexuality in human life, both as a personal need and as an interpersonal bond?”

Wow, Alex! You actually took the time to read my bio? I’m impressed! You bring up a very interesting point, albeit with a bit of a jab. You’re right; I have been a pornographer. If that’s the only word you can come up with to describe what I did at Daddy Oohhh! Productions. I like to think that the adult material I produce is not in conflict with my basic, overall philosophy about human sexuality. (By the way, thank you for quoting it as accurately as you did.)

Admittedly, porn is a thorny issue in our sex-negative culture. Lots of people are hostile to the notion that there could actually be something uplifting and life-affirming about the depiction, in any medium, of sexual behaviors. Lots of people believe that even nudity, let alone full-blown sex, is bad and that it corrupts the consumer, especially if the consumer is a youth. I don’t happen to share that perception. But this is such a touchy subject for most that it’s very difficult to have a civil discourse about the place pornography has in our (or any other) culture. Since we find it so difficult to talk about sexual issues in the public forum, it’s no surprise that pornography—i.e., the public exposure of sexual things—continues to be the big, bad boogieman for even otherwise enlightened people.

I hasten to add that, for the most part, the adult entertainment industry richly deserves the dubious reputation it has. There is an enormous amount of content in the marketplace that degrades, dehumanizes and exploits. And I’m not just talking about the stuff that doesn’t suit my tastes. Because there’s a lot of good stuff out there that doesn’t particularly appeal to me.

Therefore, I caution you in your youthful zeal not to reject everything that depicts sexual behavior as worthless just because a good portion of it is indeed shameful junk. That would be like discarding all religion because a good portion of its practitioners degrade, dehumanize and shame those who don’t share their belief system.

You apparently also think there is an inherent contradiction between being a sex therapist and a pornographer. I don’t agree. For nearly 30 years, I’ve been involved in all sorts of cutting-edge sex education and sexual enrichment projects. So why not attempt to bring a fresh, healthier perspective to adult entertainment? Sounds like the perfect role for a sexologist to me.

Humans have been depicting sexual behavior, in one fashion or another, since we were able to scratch images on the walls of our caves. Some of these depictions are intended to titillate, others to educate, even others to edify, but all are expressions of the passions of the person who scratched, painted, wrote or committed to film (or videotape) the images they did. I think that if you were really interested in getting to know my thoughts about pornography, you’d do well to check out some of my work. And let’s not forget that in more sex-positive societies than our own, sexual practices were and are integral parts of worshiping the deity.

Porn, like most forms of human expression, has both gold and dross. And just maybe, we need the crap in order to appreciate the treasures. Also, today’s porn may be tomorrow’s art. Ask Henry Miller or Anaïs Nin. A lot of stuff that hangs in the Louvre museum today was, upon its creation, considered scandalous and pornographic as well. Happily, we, along with our perceptions, evolve.

The definition of what is ‘pornographic’ changes with the times. Community standards also play a part. A lingerie catalog that showed women in bras and panties might be “pornographic” in one place, but no big deal in another.

I argue that there is a purpose to sexual depictions, pornographic or not. Otherwise, why would these depictions be so pervasive and appear in every culture? And it’s not just because it’s art. Most pornography is decidedly not art. So if it’s not art per se, what is it? Most pornography is simply designed to arouse sexual desire. And that, generally speaking, is a really good thing. It’s precisely this pursuit that probably brought you, young Alex, to me in the first place. Am I correct?

Sexual desire can stimulate an array of thoughts and behaviors from tender, intimate and passionate to raw, fierce and cruel. The mood of the consumer also plays a part. If your libido is raging, you might find a certain depiction stimulating, while the same depiction can cause disgust when your hormones are more in check. Porn tends to imitate what people fantasize about, rather than what actually happens in the lives of most of us. As a result, nearly everything is exaggerated in pornography: body parts, sexual situations, as well as sexual responses. Everything is staged and a lot is faked. Exaggeration is a time-honored way of calling attention to something that is otherwise pretty commonplace…you know, like sex.

In the end, Alex, you will have to decide for yourself what merits pornography might have in our culture. I suggest, however, that you approach porn with a slightly more dispassionate eye than you are currently using. You may find that it has something to teach you about yourself, your culture and the history of humankind.

Good luck!

More of Sophia Sky – Podcast #227 – 08/18/10

Hey sex fans,

My friend, the exceptional educator, Sophia Sky, returns today with more of her excellent SEX WISDOM. I love talking to Sophia; she is so accessible and down to earth.  Yet her knowledge and perceptions on a wide range of topics are so insightful you can tell that they are the result of a life thoughtfully lived.

But wait, you didn’t miss Part 1 of our conversation that appeared here last week at this time, did you? Well don’t worry if ya did, because you can find it and all my podcasts in the Podcast Archive, right here on my site. Look for the site’s search function in the sidebar to your right, type in Podcast #225 and Voilà! But don’t forget the #sign when you do your search.

Sophia and I discuss:

  • Processing pain — other applications;
  • Her connection with erotic art —
  • …Modeling;
  • …Performing;
  • The Little Red Studio;
  • The Seattle Erotic Art Festival;
  • Erotic art and porn;
  • Female oriented pornography;
  • Kink, BDSM, mind games and power play;
  • Preorgasmia and masturbation;
  • Her sexual heroes.

Sophia invites you into her world HERE!  Look for her on Twitter, Facebook, and FetLife too.

I’m taking a brief hiatus from podcasting while I work on the remodel of my websites. The next podcast will appear Monday, September 6th.

See another slideshow of Sophia at work and play.

Click on the thumbnails below.

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

Today’s podcast is bought to you by: : Dr Dick’s Stockroom.

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Who’s up next?

Name: Sofia
Gender:
Age: 54
Location: Arizona
You are sick Dr DICK! I believe that porn is a sign of weakness in men and women. They cannot control their need and put their personal relationship in harm. Its degrading towards women and it gives off the wrong message to men about women. Porn is very harmful in peoples daily lives. Relationships come to an end because of men’s porn addiction. Men have lost families, wives, girlfriends etc. because of porn. Men find themselves defending it so much that they end up losing the people in their lives who do not agree with it (wives, GF, BF, etc.) What does porn leave them? Nothing! Lonely nights with no one by their side and a PC full of nasty images. Porn leaves men lonely and pathetic. Men are destroying their lives to make a porn filmmaker more wealthy. What a great exchange.

So nice of you to drop by, Sofia, and thank you for being so solicitous about my health. Yes, I was sick, I had a little cold there for a couple of days, but I’m much better now.

Oh wait, you’re saying I’m sick because I don’t share your repressive opinion about pornography. I get it; you’re another moral crusader who needs to denigrate those who don’t share your beliefs. What is up with that?

Ya know the thing is, darlin’, I actually share many of your concerns — a lot of porn is harmful and exploitative. It also can be very disruptive to people’s lives and can cause serious damage to otherwise healthy relationships. I mean how difficult was it for you to come up with that critique? Taking pot shots at porn in this sex-negative culture is like shooting fish in a barrel. Get over yourself, girlfriend.

And ya know what else, ma’am, all the things you accuse porn of — being harmful and exploitative, disruptive, damaging to otherwise healthy relationships — you could say about the worst aspects of organized religion, the fast food industry, our government, the credit card industry, the pharmaceutical industry, the medical industry, the war machine and it’s horrific profiteers, like Halliburton. And what about BP and the damage it is wreaking families, an entire way of life and on a whole ecosystem in the Golf of Mexico? The list goes on and on.

Hell, everything humans touch has the potential for becoming harmful and exploitative; it’s the nature of the beast. Even your own tirade is harmful to and disruptive to those of us who are trying to make a difference in the adult entertainment industry. Trust me, you would have made a better case if you said you wanted to help change the status quo in porn, not just point out its inherent flaws.

And what’s all this; “Porn leaves men lonely and pathetic”? Are you suggesting that you are the alternative? Perhaps, if you weren’t so bitchy and condescending your men wouldn’t turn to porn. Your abrasive personality and moral rectitude would drive the pope to porn.

Oh, and have a nice day! NEXT!

Name: Suzanne
Gender:
Age: 25
Location: Auckland
Should a woman fake an orgasm to keep her partner happy?

Brilliant idea, Susanne! Rather than help your ineffectual lover overcome his inadequacy with the truth and a little tutorial on how to make you cum — lie to monkey about his sexual prowess.

I see nothing wrong with that! Other than when you’re done fuckin’ him, or he’s done fuckin’ you, the next unlucky woman he happens upon will have twice the work. She’ll not only have to tell him the truth — that he sucks as a lover — but she’ll also have to contend with his inflated ego. Thanks to you and the deception you practice, he’ll be convinced that he’s a fabulous lover when, of course, he’s a Neanderthal.

What could be wrong with that, Susanne? D’oh!

Name: Emily
Gender:
Age: 28
Location: Texas
How much should I tell my new partner about my sex life with my exes?

How about just enough to get his dick hard?

Hell, I don’t know! Some guys get off on hearing all the gory details of the sexual exploits of their partners, albeit, it’s a relatively small number of guys. Just keep in mind that most men prefer the bliss that is ignorance.

If you’ve been around the block a time…or six, maybe you best keep that to yourself till you find out how much the new guy can stomach.

Good Luck

Name: Phillip
Gender:
Age: 31
Location: Austin, Texas
Dr. D, I’ve never had a problem with my sex life up until now. My wife and I have been very happy with our physical relationship. But, about 8 months ago, in a very vivid nightmare, I dreamed we were making love and when I came, the ejaculate was blood. I came blood. Everything in the dream stood still as I watched, almost like a third person, as my life flowed out of me. I woke in a sweat, and we’ve not made love since. We’ve talked about the dream, tried to be intimate, but I’m simply not able to enjoy the contact anymore. This is someone about whom I care deeply and with whom I am deeply in love. Considering professional help but would like your take.

Interesting! Yet another case of how one’s psyche can override one’s eroticism.

This is nothing to be toyed with, Phillip. Like an earthquake, this vivid dream has jarred you out of your happy, healthy sex life with your wife. And like anyone who has survived an earthquake, or a similar natural disaster, you need to put your life back together again as quickly as possible. I encourage you to seek a sex-positive therapist to help you break the spell of this nightmare.

The longer you let this thing hang out there the more perverse it will become.

Good Luck

Name: Lorenzo
Gender:
Age: 33
Location: Italy
I can only get off by squeezing my cock with my thighs. I have done this for as long as I’ve masturbated. I only found out years later that you should use your hand. But this does not work for me. Is this normal or common?

Lorenzo, what you report is neither normal nor common. But do you really care about “normal” and “common” if this technique works for you? And what the fuck is normal anyhow — statistical normalcy? I think we can forget that being the arbiter of things sexual.

Apparently your masturbation technique isn’t any less effective than those who employ a more “common” practice — like using one’s hand.

Basically, there aren’t a whole lot of “shoulds” when it comes to the style one employs to squeeze one off — and in your case, I mean that literally. If squeezing your cock with your thighs works for you — SWELL, knock yourself out!

Since you don’t report that this method of getting off is getting in the way of your partnered sex, I think you should leave well enough alone and enjoy your uniqueness.

Good Luck

Name: Sam
Gender:
Age: 22
Location: London, UK
Dear Dr. Dick, I am a young gay guy, and when I masturbate I am able to achieve orgasm and ejaculate; but when I am with another guy I do not cum. Don’t get me wrong, I have a great time during sex, but my partner doesn’t get me off. This is not a person-specific thing — this has been happening to me since I was 16.
Call it “delayed ejaculation”, if you will; but it’s more like “non-existent ejaculation”! The weird thing is, I don’t mind myself; the foreplay and sex is totally hot and I’m as happy as a clam with that as it is. But my partners have always been frustrated and disappointed, as if ejaculation is the official mark of success to show the culmination of a great fuck. So they keep trying until they get tired, which I guess is inevitable.
Is this something I should be worried about if I’m otherwise okay with sex? Or should my partner be less concerned about the orgasm and just realize that it doesn’t bother me. Many thanks and kudos for such an informative site.

Hey Sam, thanks for your kind words about the site, they’re much appreciated.

As to the issue you present, it’s not particularly uncommon. Many people are unable to, or choose not to, get off in partnered sex. And there are several very common reasons why. Without going into detail about that, let me just ask one thing. Are you able to masturbate yourself to orgasm when you are with a partner, like you can do when you are alone? If so, maybe you could incorporate that into your sex play your partner.

It’s true what you say about some people thinking a sexual encounter is only “successful” if both partners shoot. That’s nonsense, as both you and I well know. There’s no necessary connection between an ejaculation and sexual satisfaction, just like there’s no necessary connection between an ejaculation and an orgasm. If you cave to that way of thinking you won’t help your misguided partners and you will be adding a good deal of performance anxiety to your sex encounters. And nobody wants that! Stick to your guns, Sam!

Good Luck

The Erotic Mind of David Cantero — Podcast #183 — 02/01/10

Hey sex fans,

You know how I keep tellin’ ya that The Erotic Mind podcast series is all about conversations with noted erotic artists of every stripe from all over the world, right? And how our discussions are geared to uncovering something of the creative process involved in this specialized art form, right? Well then, today we take an audio field trip to Europe; Luxembourg, to be exact. So we can chat with the amazing Spanish born erotic visual artist and illustrator, David Cantero.

Sometimes when we travel abroad like this there can be a bit of a language barrier between me and the artist I’m interviewing. David is such a good sport; despite the fact that his English is not as good as his French or Spanish, he still agreed to talk to us. But with just one proviso, that he could invite two of his English-speaking friends, Sean and Julian, to join him while we chatted. So today’s podcast has a bit of a party atmosphere. David’s friends lend a hand with translation when necessary. And we all have a marvelously good time.

David and I discuss:

  • His muses, Sean and Julian.
  • His multi-national background.
  • His “day job” at The Picture Factory.
  • Publishing his own comics in Spain.
  • How he got his start as an erotic artist.
  • What inspires his erotic images.
  • Current trends in erotic comics.
  • Defining what is art and what is erotic.
  • The difference between erotic art and pornography.
  • His other work, which includes syfy, horror and children’s books.

You absolutely must visit David on his website and get an eye full of his delicious artwork. Look for it HERE!

Click on the thumbnail images below to see a slideshow of some of David’s work.

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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? Perhaps you have a comment. Wanna rant or rave? Or maybe you just wanna 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 fine 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.

I wanna take a moment to remind you to check out another great website in the Dr Dick family of sites. It’s my new PRODUCT REVIEW site — drdicksextoyreviews.com

That’s right, sex fans, now it’s so easy to see what hot and what’s not in the world of adult products. I review of all kinds of adult related goodies — sex toys for sure, but also condoms, lubes, herbal products, fetish gear as well as educational and enrichment videos. DON’T MISS A SINGLE ONE!

Look for the drdicksextoyreviews.com. You’ll be so glad you did.

Today’s Podcast is bought to you by: DR DICK’S — HOW TO VIDEO LIBRARY.

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Sean-Z Returns — Podcast #147 — 08/24/09

Hey sex fans,

We’re back with the oh so charming visual artist, Sean-Z.  This is Part 2 of our enlightening conversation.  Did you somehow miss Part 1?  Not to worry!  Use the Me1.09search function on the sidebar, type in Podcast #145 and Presto!  But don’t forget to include the #sign when you do the search.

Sean shares his thoughts on numerous topics surrounding his erotic creations as part of The Erotic Mind podcast series.  As you know, I’ve been chatting with noted erotic artists, both visual and literary, from all over the place in an effort to try to uncover something of the creative process involved in this specialized art form.  And Sean does not disappoint.  Besides being terribly thought provoking, he is also amazingly funny.  Brains, talent and a sense of humor; oh baby, oh baby, you make me so hot!

Sean and I discuss:

  • Distinction, if any, between erotica and pornography.
  • What distinguishes his erotic work from his mainstream work.
  • Buying one’s PR before trying to sell it to another.
  • What compels him to create.
  • His prominent bisexual characters.
  • His chosen media — words and images.
  • What he looks for in the erotic art of others.
  • His inspirations and his sexual heroes.
  • What the future holds for him and his work.
  • His advice for the novice artist/illustrator.

Be sure to check out Sean and his delicious artwork, especially his comic — MYTH, on his site: HERE.

See a slideshow of some of Sean’s work.  Click on the thumbnails below.

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

Today’s podcast is bought to you by:  DR DICK’S  — HOW TO VIDEO LIBRARY.

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