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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

Backdoor Basics – Tutorial for a Bottom

The Last Of My Winter Workshops!

(Let’s pretend it’s not happening two weeks into spring.)

When: 04/03/14 — 7PM to 9PM
Where: Foundation For Sex Positive Culture — 1608 15th Ave W. Seattle, WA 98119 — The Annex
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!

***Space is Limited So Get Your Tickets NOW!***
This workshop is open to all regardless of gender, orientation, or relationship status.

Learn the ins and outs of anal pleasure in this tutorial primarily directed toward the bottom. But don’t be butt_fuck5.jpgsurprised to discover lots of tips for the novice top too. Anal play is a source of curiosity for many, but it’s often surrounded by fear that it’s gonna be painful, or worse-messy. This class will address those issues and put them to rest.

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

  • Anal anatomy
  • Preparation and hygiene
  • Lubes, toys, and condom use
  • Beginner booty play
  • All-important warm-up techniques
  • Anal sex myths and misconceptions
  • And so much more!

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Remember, everyone has a butt; why not learn how to relax and enjoy yours!

There will be lots of adult product to giveaway too.

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Mastering Masturbation – The finer points of Jacking and Jilling Off

A Special Workshop with Yours Truly!

When: 03/27/14 — 7PM to 9PM
Where: Foundation For Sex Positive Culture — 1608 15th Ave W.  Seattle, WA 98119  —  The Annex
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!

***Space is Limited So Get Your Tickets NOW!***
This workshop is open to all regardless of gender, orientation, or relationship status.

They say everyone does “it,” but there’s way more to masturbation than a quick wank or furtive diddle. masturbating womanSelf-pleasuring is the most basic building block of a healthy and vibrant sex life. Most of us learn to masturbate when we are young. Most of us learn to masturbate just to relieve sexual tension. But, oh boy howdy, if that’s all you’re doing you’re totally missing out.

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

  • Finding all your hot-spots
  • Full body masturbation
  • Lubes, toys, and solo sex
  • Mutual masturbation; the key to great partnered sex at any age
  • Edging and lasting longer
  • Mutual masturbation; the key to great partnered sex at any age
  • Myths and misconceptions
  • And so much more!

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Remember, everyone does “it”; lets relax and enjoy it!

There will be lots of adult product to giveaway too.

foundation-for-sex-positive-culture

Sobriety & Sex

Name: Gregg
Gender: Male
Age: 40
Location: Seattle
Since getting sober now almost 8 years ago I am very tense about sex and I feel as though I have lost my mojo. I am unable to relax and be intimate with a man and I am thinking I need an intimacy coach or sex coach, or something. Perhaps someone with tantra training who can help me find a comfort level with my body again and being touched and touching another.

Hey, thanks for your interesting question. Sadly, yours is not an uncommon concern. In fact, I just finished an 8-week group for men in recovery who were dealing with similar intimacy issues. A lot of the work we did together was helping one another reestablish a sense of trust.

legs & bootsSo many of us gay men start out our sexual lives with alcohol and/or drugs to help us overcome our inhibitions as well as a means of dulling some of the anti-gay messaging that comes to us from the world around us. Sometimes, the substances take hold of us and instead of we being in control the substances are in control. There was one guy in the group I just mentioned who is in his 5o’s, and he confessed to the group that before he got clean and sober, a couple years ago, he had never had sex sober. And he had been sexually active since his early twenties.

Substance abuse can rob us of more than just our dignity. It often effects our sexual response cycle in ways that diminish our ability to enjoy our sexuality. Men often report erection problems and women report arousal phase problems when they come off booze and or drugs. This, as you suggest, impacts on our comfort level in all intimate situations. If our parts aren’t working like we would want them to, we’d rather avoid intimate contact rather than be embarrassed. So, in other words, when we rid ourselves of the substances that once enabled us, we often need to relearn how to be ourselves, particularly in intimate situations.

Learning to trust others enough to open ourselves to others, even with our “brokenness,” is the key to regaining our sense of sexual self. We need to learn how to overcome our shame, which often gets in the way of reaching out to others. And if some of our shame is unresolved internalized homophobia, well then, we really have some work to do.tit bite

I think you’ve hit upon the perfect solution to your pressing problem. Working with a sex coach or intimacy coach is definitely one way to go. For those challenged, as you are, verbal therapy is great. But there is no substitute for actual hands-on therapy.

I know several people who have been helped by a surrogate partner or a sexual healer. I applaud you for thinking so creatively. Of course, finding the right person to work with will be a challenge. And I should mention that other helping professionals, even some sexologists, do not always look upon these kinds of interventions as legitimate. That’s a pity, but what are ya gonna do.

As you know, there are loads of sex workers out there. Unfortunately, very few have the training needed to provide surrogate partner therapy, or understand the delicate issues that a trained sexual healer must deal with. I hope you find what you are looking for.

If you need someone to discuss this with further, give me a shout. You’ll find my contact information on either the ABOUT page or the THERAPY AVAILABLE page in the header above.

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.

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