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Down, but not out

Name: Roger
Gender: Male
Age: 70s
Location: Saugatuck Michigan
Hi– linked to your very interesting site via Allkink. My question: last year I underwent radiation on my prostate; it was enlarged and had cancer cells. Apparently it did the job, since my PSA is way down and the Dr. says I’ve shrunk, and am healthy otherwise. But since then I am almost totally impotent (don’t get erect when I want to, though sometimes get semi-erect at random times). I can still orgasm, but don’t ejaculate; sometimes a little clear fluid dribbles out afterwards. Curiously, I could still ejaculate during and right after the radiation treatments, but not now. Also in general a noticeable decrease in libido. Needless to say, very annoying.

I’m gay, solo, in my 70s, celibate since mid-1980s when I tested HIV-, and a dedicated bottom. I knew I was at risk, and “safe-sex” just didn’t turn me on. I’ve been using dildos of all sizes for years. Now, insertion has become a little painful (kinda stings, like the first times way back when), but after several tries they go in OK. Those of larger girth or not-very-smooth texture are really difficult, and I’ve pretty much given up on them (though “John Holmes” still works!). There is occasionally a little blood on the dildo afterwards, but bleeding doesn’t persist, and Dr. says I have no hemorrhoid. The radiologist did warn me that the treatment might produce scar tissue in the colon. Is that a possibility?

I hate to think that I ought to give up altogether on my little pleasures, but would welcome you advice/opinion. I haven’t discussed this with my urologist, whom I don’t know very well, but did bring it up with my (female) GP, who didn’t seem overly concerned and merely suggested lots of lube, which was not news to me.PMB110

Wow, Roger, that was a mouthful. I am so delighted that you wrote in. I love hearing from folks in their 60’s 70’s and 80’s who are still enjoying a rich and fulfilling sex life, even if it is by themselves. I am of the mind that self-pleasuring can be some of the most rewarding sex available to a person at any age. And nowadays, with all the amazing sex toys on the market, one can enjoy solitary sexual pleasure like never before.

I’ve written and spoken a lot about prostate issues including the aftermath of cancer treatments. May I suggest that you take a look at the CATEGORY section on the sidebar of my site? There you will find a category labeled “Health Concerns.” There are subcategories for “Anal Fissures,”  and one for “Prostatectomy.”  I realize that you haven’t had a radical prostatectomy, but your situation is very similar to those men who have. If you click on either of those two subcategories you will find loads of useful information in both written and podcasts form.

In the meantime, let me see if I can address some of your questions in a nutshell. You ask about possible scar tissue from radiation therapy. The short answer is; yes, scar tissue is possible, even probable. And as we all know scar tissue is not nearly as pliable as regular tissue. Scar tissue also MR01034has fewer nerve ending than normal tissue. You could be injuring yourself without even knowing it since the sensations in your ass are considerably less then they once were. I’d be willing to guess that this might be the source of the bleeding you report. Maybe you need to retire the really big toys, like the John Holmes, and enjoy something more modest for the time being. Another suggestion is to try an inflatable dildo.  or a smaller insertable that vibrates.  There are several on the market. You can find several in My Stockroom. The advantage to something like the inflatable dildo is that you could insert something relatively narrow  and inflate to a larger size once inside. This would avoid ramming a big dildo in bum from the get go. And a vibrating insertable would add stimulation without the length or girth.E477

As to your erection issues; yeah, I hear ya. Aging alone will take its toll on the hydraulics that give us wood. When you couple that with the trauma of invasive surgery and/or radiation therapy, well it’s no wonder stiffies elude us. I tell the men that I see in my private practice, who are similarly challenged as you, to use a cock ring  to assist in getting the best boner possible under the circumstances. A penis pump works pretty well too, if you want to go the distance.  I have lots more to say about these devices if you care to hear about it.

C923Also, several men I know with erection concerns are taking a cue from the women folk and employing a vibrator in their sex play. There are the insertable kind, as I’ve already mentioned, and there are external ones too. Have you given this option a thought? The extra stimulation a vibrator can produce will increase blood flow and thus a more substantial boner. I have a whole lot more to say about this too if you care to write to me for that information.

In the end, it will be desire that will continue to propel you to further enjoy yourself and the pleasures your body has to offer. I wish you continued lust and many more years of healthy and life-affirming sexuality.

Good luck

Libido Disparity, A Common Problem

Name: Chris
Gender: male
Age: 29
Location:
I’m 29 and I’ve been married for the last 3 years. I was seeing my wife for 5 years prior to being married so I guess it’s been a total of 8 years that we’ve been together. When we first got together everything was great the sex was outstanding ya know 69 all types of positions tons of oral, tons of foreplay and she had an orgasm every time. It seems that just in the last couple of years everything has dwindled away to the point where it’s her on top for a little bit, me on top for a little bit till I finish then we go back to the living room and hang out. Whenever I bring up the subject she gets very uncomfortable and won’t talk about it. And it’s really starting to freak me out in every aspect of our relationship. I love the girl, so I don’t want to go anywhere. I’m wondering if there’s any hope to get things back to the way they used to be that fresh hotness and spontaneity. How can I bring the heat back?

Like I always say, If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard this same complaint from a frustrated and desperate man or woman trapped in an undersexed marriage, I’d have enough money to lay down my keyboard, give up my status as the most fabulous and revered sexpert in the universe and retire to Maui.

Despite the frequency of the grievance, it still breaks my heart to hear the despair. I mean it’s one thing to have the sexual connection between partners drift away by mutual consent. It’s another thing all together to have one partner dissolve the sexual connection unilaterally while leaving the other partner bewildered and disoriented.

And what gives with a partner who refuses to talk about why the sex has taken a nosedive? That is so wrong. I can understand not knowing exactly what to say about things goin’ south, or even how to say what may be on your mind, but to clam up all together, that’s just unfair. Suppose the problem had to do with finances instead of sex. What if one of you decided to start splurging on major purchases without consulting the other? There’d be hell to pay then, huh? There’d be no duckin’ out of the responsibility by clamin’ up in this instance, I’ll bet. But when it comes to sex, somehow the same rules for accountability don’t always apply. Why is that?

Sexuality is both a personal expression and a means of bonding with another. Thus sexual wellbeing in a relationship is way more than just the old in and out. It means taking responsibility for one’s eroticism as an integral part of relationship. Sex is a way of expressing one’s self as well as our love for the other. The confusion, unhappiness and anxiety that results from the breakdown of this fundamental tenet will, as you suggest Chris, spill over into and contaminate other areas of the relationship. But it doesn’t need to happen.

When I encounter this predicament in my counseling practice, I always build in some individual time with each partner even though the couple is there for “couples counseling.” I often get a much better sense of what’s causing the breakdown in these private sessions than I do when the couple and I work together as a threesome. Sometimes it’s easier for the individual to talk to me privately than to be open, honest and forthcoming about his/her feelings with his/her partner sitting right there.

My experience tells me that more often than not, a refusal to discuss sexual concerns has more to do with not knowing how to express oneself without hurting the feelings of the other. Sometimes an individual simply doesn’t know herself why things are different than they once were. Sometimes there are lifestyle issues at play — family concerns, work concerns, lack of sleep, drugs and alcohol consumption, etc. Sometimes there are medical and psychological issues that impact on a person’s libido — weight gain, birth control, other pharmaceutical drugs, diabetes and depression to mention a few.

There’s also something we in the business call: “desire discrepancy disorder,” which is just a fancy-schmancy way of saying one partner has a stronger libido then the other. But often the simplest and most ordinary explanation is that the partnered sex has become stale, rote and boring.

Whatever the cause of the imbalance, it needs to be addressed as a couple. Once the couple has identified the problem the next step is learning how to talk about it in an effective yet non-threatening way. This can be tricky, to say the least. But it is still so much easier than trying to avoid the issue all together.

Ok, so your wife is reluctant to discuss the matter with you, Chris. That just means you’re gonna have to be proactive in bringing this issue to a head. And I’m not suggesting that you browbeat your wife about her unwillingness to talk about the issue. It’s gonna be all about you leading by example. Here’s what I suggest. Set up a time for you and your wife to have a sit-down. This needs to be scheduled in advance so that both of you know it’s coming. There ought be no surprises. This conference should not immediately follow sex, especially disappointing sex. Set aside at least 30 minutes when you guys are fresh and relaxed and then start preparing what you want to say. Take notes if necessary.

When the time comes for the sit down, I encourage you to use “I” statements instead of “you” statements. Begin by laying out how you feel and owing your feelings. “I feel confused. I feel frustrated. I feel that our relationship is in jeopardy.” Stay away from statements like “you make me feel…blah, blah, blah. These kinds of pronouncements will only muddy the waters. Then I suggest that you invite your wife to do the same. If she can’t, or won’t, move on to what steps you will take to get to the bottom of this. Something like, “I don’t want to continue the status quo. I’ve decided that I am going to seek some professional help for this. Maybe there’s something I’m missing. I can’t get to the bottom of this on my own, so maybe a sex therapist will help me understand what’s going on.” Again, invite her to join you in this effort. If she refuses or stalls out, move on to closing the discussion. You might say something like, “thank you for hearing me out on this. I don’t mean to put you on the spot, but I think our relationship is worth the effort to preserve it. And I’m actually gonna do something to make sure that we stay together. My invitation to you to join me in this effort will remain open.” End of discussion!

Of course, if you take this route, you will have to follow through on your commitment. If you don’t you will sabotage the whole damn thing, which will only make matters considerably worse. I encourage you to find a sex-positive therapist to work with. A good resource for this is The American College of Sexologists. Visit the directory page on their website. You will find listings for certified sexologists and sex therapists all over the world. If there is no one near you, contact the person closest to you and ask for a referral. Often my fellow ACS therapists and sexologists are very well connected to the broader sex-positive communities in their area.

You may also wish to consult me, even if you’re not here in Seattle. Check out the Therapy Available link in the header of my site for all the information you’ll need to make an enlightened decision about working with me.

Whatever you do, don’t settle for the path of least resistance. Your leadership might be just the thing your wife is looking for to muster her own strength to face the facts. Either way, the problem you are facing will not go away simply by ignoring it. Disappointments will become resentments and resentments will inevitably lead to acting-out and that will surely fuck things up royally.

Good luck

Plan “B”

Name: Cade
Gender: Male
Age: 23
Location: Alabama
A couple of weeks ago you responded to an Iraq vet who was having trouble in his marriage because he couldn’t get it up due to his PTSD (Post Traumatic Stress Disorder). I want to thank you for discussing that. It was helpful to me too. I’m an Iraq vet. I lost my right leg, to just above the knee and three fingers on my left hand to an IED. I think I’m doing ok with the physical rehabilitation. My prosthesis is state of the art and I’m even learning to run again. I joke that I’m the bionic man. Here’s what’s freaking me out though. I’m getting hit on by some really hot chicks, the kind I never could score with before Iraq. I come to discover they are hot for my leg stump. And I’m gettin all skeezed out by it. I’m passing up getting laid because this is fucking with my head. What gives with this shit?

Dude, you’ve stumbled upon, no pun intended, a silver lining of sorts, of being an amputee. Honestly, I’m not pulling your leg here, your good leg that is. Ok, ok really this is for real, Cade. But I think you already know that, huh?

Let’s begin with a definition. There is a fetish, or a paraphilia, if you prefer, calledamputee.jpg Acrotomophilia, or amputee love. It’s relatively rare, but there is a sizable Internet presence. You need only do a search for “amputee love” to get you started. These folks, often called devotees, are turned on by the limbless among us.

Here’s an interesting phenomenon, with the spike in seriously maimed vets returning from our numerous war zones and the media attention they’re getting these days — thanks the inadequate care some are receiving at our nation’s veteran’s hospitals — this fetish is growing by leaps and bounds.

A couple of weeks ago, I was having a beer with a bunch of gay men. We were discussing the wars in Iraq and Afghanistan and the horrific images we were seeing on tv. Without missing a beat, a couple of the men in the group started talking about the number of totally hot young vets they were seeing on the news. Sure they had missing limbs, but for some in the group that made them even hotter. A couple other guys were goin on and on about how they would get off on servicing some of these returning service men. Instead of the conversation weirding out the whole group, as I thought it might, most of the guys were like getting totally into it.

I was being quizzed about the sexual issues, of course. Does an amputation affect a guy’s ability to get it up? …and things like that. I was totally blown away. Not by their questions, but by the fact that these men, who would otherwise be put off by a guy with a bad haircut; were beginning to fetishize seriously maimed vets. Then I thought to myself, OMG, I am watching the birth of some brand new baby devotees. And that, my friend, is how all fetishes begin.

I realize that you must be facing enormous hurtles, Cade, (again no pun intended) to regain your sense of self after the disfigurement and amputation. It hardly seems fair to throw yet another curve ball your way. But, as we all know, life is supremely unfair. I suspect that you’re already feeling enough like an oddity without some chick — even a sizzilin’ hot one — coming on to you because of what you’ve lost. And that’s why I suggest you withhold judgment about all of this until you have a bit more information about this particular fetish and it’s practitioners.

Many amputees go through life without ever meeting a devotee. Others have intimate experience with these fetishists. One thing for sure, even though a devotee’s interest in you may creep you out; you can be certain that their interest is sincere. They are not like most of the other well-meaning people you’ll meet in your new life as a bionic man. A devotee will not pity or patronize you. Devotees, curiously enough, see you as more whole and desirable than those who have no missing parts. In other words, devotees are hot for you for how you are. This is definitely not a “let’s pity fuck the gimp” sorta thing. I know this can be mind-bending, but I hope you can see the fundamental difference between the two.

Some amputee/devotee relationships are long-term, marriage and children included. Others are more recreational in nature. I suppose that if you have your head screwed on right, you’ll be able to discern what might be best for you, if any of this appeals to you. Actually, in this realm, you’re absolutely no different than all your non-maimed peers. They too are trying to make sense of how love, sex and intimacy fit together.

amputee00.jpgI know some amputees are put off by devotees. They’re indignant that someone would objectify them for their stumps and not accept them as a human being first. Well, ya can hardly argue with that, can ya? But in reality, all of us do our share of objectifying. What about all the guys who flock around the blond with the big rack? You know they only see her tits and not her brain. Is the amputee/devotee thing any different? I think not.

You know how you are doing all this physical therapy to regain your ability to walk and run with your new bionic leg and foot? Well, there’s probably as much emotional and psychological therapy you need to do to adapt yourself to your new maimed-self. Part of this psychological adjustment may be embracing and celebrating the fact that you are now an object of desire for a whole new group of folks.

So ok, your hotness is not the same hotness you may have had pre-Iraq, but it’s hotness none the less. You may not yet appreciate how a person could be sexually attracted to another person simply because of an amputation. Hell, the devotee may not even know why he or she is wired this way, but that don’t make it any less a fact. The confusion that can result from these desires or being the object of these desires can often sabotage a perfectly viable amputee/devotee sexual relationship.

Acrotomophilia, like all fetishes and paraphilias is learned behavior. Some devotees recall early childhood erotically charged encounters with women or men who were amputees. But just as plausible is the fetish began like the story I recounted at the beginning of my response — a group of people fantasizing about sex with a hot vet, who happens to be an amputee. You can see how just a little of that highly charged erotic reinforcement could turn anyone into a devotee. So it’s not so mysterious after all, is it?

I realize you didn’t choose this for yourself. But, for the most part, none of us is really in charge of what we eroticize, or what others eroticize about us. I know I nearly went to pieces the first time someone referred to me as a daddy. It wasn’t till I came to grips with the fact that I was no longer a young man, and that younger men might find me desirable, even at my seriously advanced age, that the whole daddy thing settled in with me.

What you do with all this information, Cade, if anything, is completely up to you. Will you embrace your new bionic gimp hotness and let it take you for a ride? Or will you resist? Either way, at least you’ll be a bit more informed about what gives with this shit.

Name: Tammy
Gender: Female
Age: 36
Location: Springfield IL
My parents were Laurel Canyon hippies of the first order, free love, drugs and all that stuff. I used to be disgusted by all the sex my parents were having with other people. I just couldn’t understand why they didn’t just want to be with one another or divorce and remarry someone else. As soon as I could, I left the west coast for the Midwest. Now all these years later my own marriage is in trouble. My husband unilaterally ended our sex life after the birth of our last child three years ago. I haven’t let myself go. I’m still very attractive and have even improved my body after the babies. But nothing I do brings him back to bed. He said that we have children now, and people with children don’t do that sort of thing!

To spite him for shutting me out, I turned to another man for sex. I just wanted to feel desirable again. I fear my affair will be found out and it will destroy my marriage. Funny thing, my parents with all their multiple sex partners remained happily married for 51 years till my father’s death two years ago. They were honest about their lives; I am not! I feel ashamed, but I am also having the best sex of my life and I won’t give it up.

My husband is a decent man and a good father. How can I continue to live this lie? If I come clean it will likely break up my family and I’ll look like a cheating slut. Is there any other option? I wish I would have been more accepting of my parent’s lifestyle; maybe the karma wouldn’t be so rough now.

Ahhh, bad luck doll! That karma thing can sure enough be a bitch. And it’ll bite you in the ass sure as shootin’.

If I had a nickel for every time I’ve heard this same story from a frustrated and desperate man or woman trapped in a sexless marriage, I’d have enough money to lay down my keyboard, give up my status as the most fabulous and revered sexpert in the universe and retire to Maui.

Unfortunately, by the time I hear from most of these people they have already suffered through years of abstinence, all the while begging and pleading for the sex they want, need and deserve. By the time they write to me it’s often way too late. The die is cast. They’re married with kids and often have a stray affair workin’ on the side. As you suggest, Tammy, it’s a pretty unbearable situation.finfidelity01.jpg

My first thoughts are that by the time things get to the point of sheer desperation, a happy ending is virtually impossible. A lot of people are gonna get hurt regardless of how this resolves it self. If that’s a given, mabe you should be asking yourself; what can be salvaged from the impending wreck?

Tammy, you write something very telling in your message to me. When talking about your parents you say; “They were honest about their lives; I am not!” In the end, if you can reclaim your integrity, regardless if it means the demise of your marriage and family as you currently know it, you will have regained something of inestimable value.

I also want to address your comment: “If I come clean it will likely break up my family and I’ll look like a cheating slut.” Perhaps, but at least you’ll no longer be a lyin’ cheatin’ slut. Come on, how could what others think of you trump what you already think of yourself. You are down on yourself because you expect sex in your marriage. And when that disappeared, you didn’t shut down as a sexual being. Does that alone make you so bad, a slut even?

I wholeheartedly believe that married people deserve a rich and fulfilling sex life, unless there’s mutual agreement for another arrangement. Unilaterally depriving a spouse of a rich and fulfilling sex life is an act of sexual violence. The kind of sexual violence that will cause frustration, anger and desperation. And inevitably lead to infidelity, which in turn destroys the marriage and traumatizes the kids. So Tammy, if kiss008.jpgyou are a cheating slut, what does that make your husband? Neither you or your old man is without blame. So time to buck up, darlin’, and do the right thing. Regardless of how the chips fall.

And one more thing, you say you were disgusted by your parent’s hippy, free love lifestyle — at least they were open an up-front with you about who they were. Consider the trauma your kids will experience when they learn dear old mom was bumping someone other than dear old dad. What kind of example are you setting for them? You see where the honesty thing is a good idea right from the get go, huh?

Ok, so I think there’s a consensus that the truth must be told. I suggest that you generously offer your husband the first right of refusal. He may not deserve it, but that’s the way to go nonetheless. Offer to stay with him and raise your kids together, but not in a sexless marriage. If he can’t bring himself to bone you the way you need it, when you need it, with vigor and passion; then he needs to free you up to find that bone in someone else’s drawers. And if he can’t live the cuckold life he ought at least to be man enough to leave the marriage with as little stink as possible.

Name: Jack (not my real name)
Gender: Male
Age: 40
Location: Boston
I have a bunch of little bumps on my penis near the tip. Each one is kind of lumpy. They don’t really bother me. I’ve had them for a while, but now there seems to be more of them. Should I be concerned?

Yes, jack…not your real name, there is reason to be concerned.

Listen up everyone, whenever there’s a change in the look, feel or sensations in your genital area there is cause to have a medical professional look at the disturbance immediately. If you’re like jack…not his real name, you could have an infection that could be transmitted to your sex partners. It’s one thing to foolishly disregard your own health and wellbeing; it’s quite another thing all together to risk the health and wellbeing of an unsuspecting sex partner.

sexual_health.jpg

Sounds to me, jack…not your real name, that you have genital warts. They’re relatively easy to detect; small lumps that typically have an irregular cauliflower-like surface. Sound familiar? I thought so.

If you’ve been dippin’ your warty wick in some pussy, mouth or asshole, you’ve likely passed on the infection…thank you very much. And if it’s been pussy you’ve been messin’ with the lucky lady (or ladies) may now have warts inside their cunt.

Genital warts are pretty benign, but they’re mighty unsightly. Some people experience irritation and itching around the affected area. Women can get warts on the vulva and perineum but they can also appear on the vagina, cervix, and asshole. Men get warts most often on their dickhead and foreskin, but they may also appear on the shaft of your cock, scrotum, and asshole. And anyone can get them in their mouth.

A carrier of the virus doesn’t even have to have a visible outbreak for the infection to be transmitted. Probably, that’s how you got infected yourself; jack…not your real name.

Genital warts can be a bitch to get rid of, because, like all warts, these little devils have a tendency to reappear. Treatments may include: Liquid nitrogen to freeze small warts or another topical solution to treat warts inside the urethra, anus, mouth and/or the vagina.

Do us all a favor; jack…not your real name, consult your doctor ASAP.

Good luck, ya’ll

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