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Human Rights + Sexual Rights = Sexual Freedom

On this the first annual National Sexual Freedom Day, sponsored by The Woodhull Freedom Foundation, I’d like to propose something quite radical. I suggest that our sexual freedoms, here in the United States, are intricately linked to universal sexual rights. And I contend that the notion of universal sexual rights is at its core a respect for human rights and human dignity.

In a world wracked by poverty, disease and war; where we threaten our very existence with climate altering pollution, nuclear proliferation and extreme population growth; is there room to talk about human rights that include sexual rights and sexual freedom?

I emphatically answer yes! In fact, I assert that sexual inequality and oppression is at the heart of many of the world’s problems. I contend that trying to address human rights without including the essential component of sexual rights and sexual freedom is ultimately doomed to failure.

An absence of sexual rights and sexual freedom leads to domestic and societal violence; human trafficking; suicide; a rise in Sexually Transmitted Infections (STIs); unplanned pregnancies, abortion, and sexual dysfunction.

You know how we are always being encouraged to Think Globally and Act Locally? Well while we busy ourselves securing and celebrating our sexual rights here in this nation, I think we’d do well to focus some of our attention on how our struggle binds us to the rest of the human community.

I offer three examples of what I’m talking about. I invite you to consider how a myopic sexual rights and sexual freedom agenda, divorced from the overarching issues of human, economic and social rights, can be ineffectual and even counterproductive.

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In 2008 the research community was all aflutter about ‘conclusive’ evidence linking HIV transmission and uncircumcised males. While I’m certainly not ready to take this data on face value, let’s just say, for the sake of discussion, that the link is conclusive. A massive campaign of circumcision was proposed as the best means of HIV prevention. The medical community would descend on epicenters of the disease, scalpels in hand; ready to eliminate the offending foreskins from every male in sight, young and old.

But wait, there’s a problem. Most HIV/AIDS epicenters are in underdeveloped countries. In these places, access to enough clean water to drink or attend to even the most basic personal hygiene, like daily cleaning under one’s foreskin, remains an enormous chronic problem. Without first addressing the problem of unfettered access to clean water and adequate sanitation, which according to The United Nations is a basic human right, further disease prevention efforts are doomed.

I mean, what are the chances that surgical intervention would succeed—one that would involve significant and sophisticated aftercare—if there is not even enough clean water for drinking and bathing?

These well-meaning medical personnel suggest imposing a strategy that not only works against nature—our foreskins do have a purpose after all: a healthy prepuce is a natural deterrent to infection. But this intervention would also violate long-held cultural and societal norms—circumcision is abhorrent to many of these same cultures. Wouldn’t this proposed prevention effort to stem the tide actually make matters worse?

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Indentured sex work is another indicator of how human rights, sexual rights and sexual freedom are intertwined. Until the economic and educational opportunities for women throughout the world improve—which is a basic human right according to The United Nations—women will remain chattel. Families in economically depressed areas of the world will continue to be pressured to sell their daughters (and sons) simply to subsist.

Closing brothels and stigmatizing prostitutes overlooks the more pressing human rights concerns at play here. Sex is a commodity because there is a voracious market. Men from developed nations descend on the populations of less developed nations to satisfy sexual proclivities with partners they are prohibited from enjoying in their own country. Young women (and boys) in developing countries are viewed as exploitable and disposable, because they don’t have the same civil protections afforded their peers in the developed world. And runaway population growth in countries that deprive their women and girls access to education and contraception inevitably creates a never-ending supply of hapless replacements.

Addressing the endemic gender inequality in many societies is key. Equal access to education and economic resources must come before, or at least hand in hand with any serious sexual liberation effort.

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Finally, people in the developed world enjoy a certain level of affluence and economic stability which allows them to indulge in sex recreationally. Thanks to effective birth control methods we can ignore the procreative aspects of sex and replace it with a means of expressing a myriad of other human needs. Not least among these are status, self-esteem and self-expression.

If we’re trying to prove something to ourselves, or others, by the way we conduct our sexual lives, simple prohibitions against certain sex practices won’t work. If I’m convinced that unprotected sex with multiple partners and sharing bodily fluids is edgy, cool fun, without serious consequence, as it’s portrayed in porn; I will be more likely to express myself the same way. This is especially true for young people who are already feeling invincible.

Case in point: there has been a startling uptick in seroconversions among young people, particularly gay men, which indicates that disease prevention efforts, even in the world’s most affluent societies, are simply not up to the task. It’s not that there is a scarcity of resources, quite the contrary. It is more likely that these efforts are not connected to a fundamental understanding of the role sexuality plays in the general population. I believe that sexual expression and sexual pleasure are the overarching issues here. These too are fundamental human rights.

No amount of safer sex proselytizing is going to prevail unless and until we look at why and how we express ourselves sexually. As we unravel this complex jumble of motivations and behaviors, effective prevention strategies will manifest themselves clearly. We must develop a sex-positive message; one that celebrates sexuality, builds self-esteem and counteracts the prevailing media messages of sex with no consequences.

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National Sexual Freedom Day brings into focus the micro-strategies needed to combat a macro problem. But it also shows that we cannot work for and celebrate sexual freedom in a vacuum. It’s imperative that we see how global health and wellbeing is completely dependent on basic human rights, including sexual rights that include gender and reproductive rights, the elimination of sexual exploitation and the freedom of sexual expression.

Sex EDGE-U-cation with Chris Yosef – Podcast #142 – 08/05/09

Hey sex fans,

We’re back with some mighty fine Sex EDGE-U-cation, people!  As you know, Photo 32this podcast series takes a look at the world of fetish sex, kink and alternative sexual lifestyles.  And today’s guest adds his unique voice to the chorus of prominent educators, practitioners and advocates of unconventional sexual expressions and lifestyles that we have heard from so far.

I have the honor of welcoming an extraordinary fellow, Chris Yosef.  He and I will be delving into some of the same things I’ve discussed with others in this series — BDSM, polyamory, porn, spirituality and love — but he speaks from his perspective of a sub in a Dom/sub relationship.  And that’s a first for this series.

You won’t want to miss a minute of this exceptional conversation!

Chris and I discuss:

  • What appears to be a jumble of contradictions in his life.
  • His immersion in Kabbalah.
  • Being a collared boy in a D/s relationship.
  • Safe/Sane/Consensual Power-play.
  • His public advocacy for RACK (Risk Aware Consensual Kink).
  • Being a pro-sub, at least in the movies.

And for an up close and personal view of my guest and his polyamorous family, visit Chris on his blog HERE!

See a slideshow of Chris & friends 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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Sex EDGE-U-cation with Lady Lydia – Podcast #120 – 05/06/09

Hey sex fans,

Today we take an audio field trip.  I have the distinct pleasure of welcoming another sd1Seattle-based personality; the nationally renowned and respected dominatrix and educator, Lady Lydia.  We visit with her in her dungeon, don’t cha know.  Those of you who have been paying attention will know that Lady Lydia is the very first female voice in this series called Sex EDGE-U-cation.   So yeah for that, huh?

In this series we take a look at the world of fetish sex, kink and alternative sexual lifestyles. We investigate topics both familiar and exotic.  And we are chatting with prominent educators, practitioners and advocates of unconventional sexual expressions and lifestyles from all over the world.

And Lady Lydia fits that description to a tee! She was even part of the recently concluded Seattle Erotic Arts Festival, so folks you know she hot!

Lydia and I will be exploring all sorts of interesting topics; not least among them is her 10-year career as a professional BDSM top here in the Emerald City.  This is edgy and thought provoking stuff, sex fans.  You don’t want to miss a moment of this.

Lady Lydia and I discuss:

  • Seattle being a hotbed of perversion.
  • How BDSM and kink permeates her professional and personal life.
  • BDSM — safe and consensual.
  • Her role as the star of her own line of DVDs.
  • Her activities, including her double sessions and private lessons.
  • Therapeutic BDSM.
  • Some of the scenes she gets into.

Be sure to visit Lady Lydia at her website HERE!  (This is not for the faint of heart.)

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

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

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Sex EDGE-U-cation with Max – Podcast #113 – 04/08/09

Hey sex fans,

Today I have the distinct pleasure of welcoming the Seattle-based, yet internationally known and respected, bondage artist, educator and Dom, who goes by the name Max.  We will be exploring all sorts of interesting topics; not least among them is his polyamorous life with max-picSeattle’s finest professional Dominatrix, Mistress Matisse. This is exciting and thought provoking stuff, sex fans.  You don’t want to miss this.

Max is my latest guest in this new series of podcast interviews I’m doing called Sex EDGE-U-cation .  As you know, we’re taking a look at the world of fetish sex, kink and alternative sexual lifestyles. We are touching on topics both familiar and exotic.  We are chatting with prominent educators, practitioners and advocates of unconventional sexual expressions and lifestyles from all over the world.

Max and I discuss:

  • Seattle being a hotbed of perversion.
  • How BDSM, polyamory and kink infuse his life.
  • His role as an educator and activist.
  • His workshops at The Center For Sex Positive Culture and his private lessons.
  • Safety and compatibility issues between top and bottom.
  • Building intimacy through BDSM.
  • Differentiating between BDSM, kink and genital sex.

Be sure to visit Max at his website HERE!

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

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

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Sex EDGE-U-cation with Scott Daddy – Podcast #103 – 02/25/09

Hey sex fans,

Today I have the distinct pleasure of welcoming a friend and colleague, Scott Mallinger, a.k.a.

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Scott Daddy, to those who know and love him.  (So that’s why I call him Sir.)  Just kidding!

Scott is a BDSM journalist, lecturer, leather titleholder and Dom all rolled into that most charming package.  And he has the most wonderful sense of humor, as you will soon discover.  Scott is my second guest in this new series of podcast interviews called Sex EDGE-U-cation.

Through this series we’ll take a look at the world of fetish sex, kink and alternative sexual lifestyles. We’ll touch on topics both familiar and exotic.  And I will be chatting with prominent educators, practitioners and advocates of unconventional sexual expressions and lifestyles from all over the

world.

This new series will continue to appear on Wednesdays.  My regular weekly podcast, which often contains The Erotic Mind interviews, will continue on Mondays.

Scott and I discuss:

  • The meaning of Power Play.
  • Kink — behavior outside the social norm.  But how decides the norm?
  • Cathartic and recreational aspects of BDSM.
  • Working definitions for: Negotiation, Safeword, Scene and Aftercare.

Be sure to visit Scott Daddy at his website:  scottdaddy.com

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

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