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What do you think about sex work?

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Ravishly invited me to contribute to an online conversation they are sponsoring on sex work.  They allowed me 500 words.

The Conversation is in the lower right-hand corner of their site.

ravishly

The question posed:

 

Is female sex work empowering or enslaving?

Current and former sex workers, a clinical sexologist (me), a lawyer, an author-activist and a community advocate debate the sex work industry.

My contribution is titled:  Sex Work Is!

I invite you to take a look at all the contributions and add your thoughts.

Finger Your Hole For Your Health

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

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

I’ve been an active proponent of prostate self-exam for many years. Let me explain. My career as a therapist began in San Francisco in 1981. As you may recall, that was precisely the same year a mysterious new disease began showing up among gay men. Back then it was being called gay cancer, but soon it would have another name — HIV/AIDS.

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

This was such an important topic for me that I decided to include a chapter on sex and intimacy concerns for sick, elder, and dying people in my book, The Amateur’s Guide To Death And Dying.  I am proud to say that it is one of the only resources of its kind available in print.

I recall one PARADIGM group in particular, there was a man much, like you, Gordon, who had fingering his assprostate cancer. And, like you, he was mad as hell with the indifference of the medical industry toward prostate self-exam. One day during a group session, John was railing against his doctors and cancer associations for their lack of interest in promoting prostate self-awareness. He pointed to the success of the cultural campaign to get women to do breast self-exams. Like you, Gordon, he couldn’t understand why there wasn’t a similar campaign for men.

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

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

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

To remedy this, I began planning a video series for people experiencing life threatening and/or disfiguring illnesses. Videos that would help them address reintegrating sex and intimacy post diagnosis. One of the first videos was going to be Public Service Announcement showing men how to do a prostate self-exam. By the way, this particular film was to be dedicated to my friend John, the guy I mentioned earlier. He died shortly after the PARADIGM group he was in ended. But he died self-aware. He was militant to the end about the pressing need for prostate awareness among men.

Once again the stumbling block I encountered was funding. My grant writing efforts turned up nothing. I did get a whole lot of, “what a fine idea, Richard. Good luck with that…” brush-off letters though. No foundation would be caught dead funding sexually overt pattern films, even ones with the laudable intent of assisting people with the very information they needed most.

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

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

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

Good luck

Foreplay – Making a Meal of Appetizers

Special Valentine’s Day Workshop with Yours Truly!

When:   02/14/14 — 7PM to 9PM
Where:   Foundation For Sex Positive Culture — 1608 15th Ave W. Bldg B, Seattle, WA 98119
Who:   Anyone 18+ with ID
Cost at the Door:   $25       Advance prices:   $20 for Individuals, $35 for Couples and $50 for Triads.

Purchase your tickets HERE!

***Limited to 30 attendees.***
This workshop is open to all regardless of gender, orientation, or relationship status.

Tired of the same old in and out? Is penetrative sex boring you to tears, or worse leaving you unfulfilled? Well, I have just the thing for you. Let’s whip up a menu of spicy, tantalizing, and oh so satisfying hors d’oeuvres that will revitalize your diet and expand your sexual repertoire.you've been bad

We’ll cover a wide variety of topics, including:

  • Oral skills
  • The art of aural seduction
  • Sensual massage
  • Sensory play
  • Ritualizing your connection
  • Mutual masturbation; the key to great partnered sex at any age
  • Exploring kinks and fetishes
  • Toys
  • And so much more!

Remember, creativity and exploration is the spice of life!

There will be lots of adult product to giveaway too.

foundation-for-sex-positive-culture




A little bit of this and a little bit of that

Name: Curt
Gender: Male
Age: 18
Location: Spokane
Ok, so I’m always self-conscious when I see a big cock. I wish I had a bigger one. I’m a virgin and don’t get girls or guys because I think they will judge me. See I have a 6″ cock and I think that’s small for my age. Should I get a pump or something? I don’t know what to do.

I know what you should do! And it’s not going out and getting yourself a pump either. Here’s what you do. Instead of obsessing about the size of your unit, invest your time, energy and any cash you might be hording away to waste on a penis enlargement scheme in something that will make you a more interesting person. Because that, my friend, is what’s gonna get you laid.big-cock20

Here’s the lowdown — throughout history, men have obsessed about the size of their cocks. And when there’s magnitude of attention paid to something so trivial, you can be sure there’s gonna be an entire industry poised to bilk the shit out of the willie worrisome, like you Curt. Hey, where do you suppose the term “snake oil” originated? Sheesh!

All of this unfortunate big-dick envy creates a never-ending parade of con artists tryin’ to sell a remedy, of one sort or another, to cure guys, just like you, of their “shame.” But, take it from Dr. Dick, the dick doctor; it’s all bullshit. And some of the bullshit is really scary and dangerous bullshit.

For every little peanut out there, (and if you are reporting your size accurately, you’re on the higher end of average) there is some kooky diet, ridiculous cream, bogus massage technique or worthless breathing exercise that is supposed to transform one’s mini-meat into the giant economy size. And let’s not forget the weights you can hang on your thang. Vacuum devices to pump up your thang. And of course the twenty-first century solution — cosmetic surgery — to put a happy face on your thang. The results are dubious if there are any results at all. And each has negative side effects, some of which are more revolting and/or dangerous than others.

Here’s the last word on this — don’t waste your money on any of this crap. Or better yet, send me the money, and I’ll put it to good use. Here’s the very best advice I can offer a guy who is unhappy with the size of his schlong…learn to love what ya got. Learn to use what ya got. And leave what ya got the hell alone.

Good luck

Name: JC
Gender: Male
Age: 40 something
Location: Seattle
Richard,
Here’s my question. You probably have already answered this a couple of times, but here goes anyway. How important is sex in a relationship between gay men? Do you think it’s ok to stay with someone even thought the sex is not good, or if it’s only good for one of the partners?

You’re right, I hear this question all the time, not just from gay men, but from all sorts of people.

sexless-relationshipsThe short answer to your query is; yes, lots of gay men (and folks of any other stripe too) stay together in healthy, loving, long-term relationships, even though the relationship (or marriage) is sexless. Most people in these relationships choose domestic tranquility over sexual tension. And sometimes the partners in these types of relationships give one another permission to pursue the sexual gratification they need and want outside the primary relationship.

That being said, there is certainly a large percentage of gay men (folks of any other stripe too) who could not, nor would they want to stay in a sexless, or one-sided relationship. And so the alternative, or satellite relationship, arrangement would not appeal to them.

To your final point about staying in a relationship when the sex is good for only one of the partners, well that’s a more troublesome. This suggests to me that the dissatisfied partner is frustrated and disappointed and that’s never a good foundation on which to build a relationship. My experience has been that when someone is living in one of these one-sided relationships the frustration will inevitably build to a point when all hell breaks loose. The ensuing explosion, more often than not, destroys the relationship.

I’ve worked with several such couples in the past. Some develop strategies for fixing the sexual problems that have come between them. These couples choose to work on building mutual sexual satisfaction into the relationship. And that can happen lots of different ways. Others couples decide that mutuality can never be achieved and so they choose to amicably end the relationship and move on.

Which kind of person are you? What kind of relationship do you have? I can scarcely say, given the limited information you share with me. I see you write from Seattle. If you want to talk about this sometime, make an appointment for a consultation. I’m sure I can make room for you. And anyone else in a similar predicament, regardless of where you live, my services are available to you too through Skype or by phone. Check out the Therapy Available tab in the header. It’s under the About Dr Dick tab.

Good luck

Book Review: The Gospel of Kink

by: Sophia Sky

The Gospel of Kink is the newest book by Richard Wagner, Ph.D., ACS, a Clinical Sexologist in private practice here in Seattle, providing Sex Therapy and Relationship Counseling for over 30 years. Richard is often known for his thought provoking podcasts via his website, Dr. Dick’s Sex Advice. Ever since he told us here at the Foundation that he was working on this book, we have been eagerly awaiting this new treatise.Gospel of Kink

And we weren’t disappointed! In the forward, he spends some time explaining his choice of word for the title, eloquently explaining the root meaning of “gospel” is “good news”, thereby priming us with the idea that our personal truths are our gospel.

The book is written as a “workshop in a book” which is similar to a workbook where you go through various self-awareness exercises intended to encourage self discovery. What is different about The Gospel of Kink is the group of fictional participants that go through these exercises with you. This is approach allows you to make personal connections with the participants, just you do with characters in a book. You have the same chances to empathize, be irritated and gain understanding through their process of self discovery.

foundation for sex positive cultureThese exercises are simple and common, with the added twists that are necessary to make them fully relevant to those in kinky, lifestyle or alt sex relationships. I am very impressed by the ways that Dr. Dick subtly offers “extra credit” assignments via his characters taking initiative to expand the exercises or seeking out addition exercises on their own. I found myself think “Ooo! I should do that, too!” as opposed to feeling resistant about “more work” or guilty that I didn’t do all the exercises.

The Foundation is very proud to invite you to meet Dr. Dick and his panel of alt sex experts this Saturday. You will have a chance to buy his book and get it signed by all the contributors after a short workshop, based on this new book. Since this is a book release party we will have red velvet cake and refreshments to celebrate.

The workshop at 3pm is $10, and the book signing starting at 4:30pm is free. For those in need, there is a discount code that can be used for online purchases. Just type in E8F3Y in the promo code field at check out.

Full Review HERE!

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