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SEX WISDOM with Ruth Neustifter — Podcast #253 – 01/05/1

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Hey sex fans,

I have an outlandishly wonderful interview program for you today to launch the 2011 edition of this, the SEX WISDOM podcast series. You’ve come to expect prominent movers and shakers in the field of human sexuality as my guests in this series. And that’s because over the last year we’ve had an opportunity to meet outstanding researchers, educators, clinicians, pundits and philosophers; each one making news and reshaping how we look at our sexual selves.

So let’s start off this new year with at bang, shall we? I have the honor of welcoming a woman of distinction in the world of sex education. She is a Couples and Family therapist, a sought after lecturer and workshop leader, an author, and acclaimed educator and if that weren’t enough, she’s the star of her own line of sex positive videos. I am delighted to have with me the dynamo that is Dr. Ruthie.

And get this; to celebrate her appearance on my show, Dr. Ruthie is offering a FREE 1-hour consultation to a lucky listener. The terms for entering this giveaway are included in today’s show, so listen up. But here’s a tip; it involves tweeting about this podcast.

Dr. Ruthie and I discuss:

Dr. Ruthie invites you to visit her on her website HERE!  Look for her on Facebook and Twitter HERE & HERE!

Click on the book art below to pre-order The Nice Girl’s Guide to Talking Dirty.

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 my podcasts on iTunes. You’ll find 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.

Today’s podcast is bought to you by: Funwares.com.

A New Year of Q&A — Podcast #252 — 01/03/11

Hey sex fans,

We’re BAACK, and it’s a brand new year! Did ya’ll have a brilliant holiday season? I sure hope so. And while I really enjoyed my brief winter break from podcasting, I’m eager to get back at it, don’t cha know. During these last two weeks of relative down time, I’ve been busy lining up an amazing array of outstanding guests who will make 2011 another banner year of interviews and conversations.

But today we break open the new year with some hot Q&A action. We haven’t had one of these kinds of shows since mid October. So that means my inbox is overflowing. I also have the pleasure of announcing The Dr Dick Review Crew’s Favorite Products of 2010 list.

Today we hear from:

  • Josiah is having a problem coming out, because his family is super religious.
  • Donna is my kind of perv. She’s into BDSM, but she’s also disabled.
  • The Powerchair Pimp is sick and tired of being a virgin.
  • Arthur wants to hook up with older dudes.
  • Stacy may have orgasmic related migraines.

The Dr Dick Review Crew’s Favorite Products of 2010

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 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.

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

drdickvod.jpg

Sex Addiction, or Too Much of a Good Thing?

This last post of 2010 will start with a declaration. One of my famous “Thus Sayeth Dr. Dick” sorta things, if you please.

Ready?

I categorically reject the concept of sexual addiction that has been floating around in the popular culture for the last 20 years or so.

And yes, I know this will rankle a bunch of you, but you’ll just have to get over it. You see, there is no such thing as a sexual addiction. Period!

Nowadays people bandy about the term addiction as if it can be applied to any and all obsessive behaviors. I have an addiction to chocolate; I’m addicted to shopping; I’m addicted to video games; I’m addicted to porn—or, I’m a sex addict. NONSENSE!

That being said, I hasten to add that I do believe there are sexual obsessions and compulsive sexual behaviors, plenty of ’em in fact. However, obsessions and compulsions are not addictions, and addictions, while they may involve irresistible impulses, are not the same thing as compulsions. Get it? Got it? Good!

I want to be absolutely clear about this. An addiction is a very specific condition. It denotes a dual dependency, physical as well as a psychological.

  • A physical dependency occurs when a substance is habitually used to a point where the body becomes reliant on its effects. The substance must be used constantly, because if it is withheld, it will trigger symptoms of withdrawal.
  • Psychological dependency occurs when the substance habitually used creates an emotional reliance on its effects. There is no functioning without it. Its absence produces intense cravings, which if not fed will trigger symptoms of withdrawal.

Check it out. With the help of my handy-dandy dictionary, a good place to start in discussions of this sort, I discovered these three very distinct definitions:

Addiction: The need for and use of a habit-forming substance (as heroin, nicotine, or alcohol) characterized by well-defined physiological symptoms upon withdrawal. Broadly: persistent use of a substance known by the user to be harmful. A state of physiological and psychological dependence on a drug.

Compulsive: Driven by an irresistible inner force to do something; i.e., a compulsive liar.

Obsession: A persistent disturbing preoccupation with an often unreasonable idea or feeling.

See? Different words. Different meanings. Not a particularly complex notion to grasp, right?

And listen, just because a bunch of yahoo afternoon talks show hosts and even a load of my esteemed professional colleagues banter these words about like they were interchangeable doesn’t make it so. In fact, we do ourselves a huge disservice by muddling these very specific concepts into a jumble. My fellow therapists should be the first to recognize this because finding help for an addiction or an intervention for an obsessive/compulsive disorder will be as specific as the problem itself.

One thing is for certain: identifying one of the things, as the other will complicate the problem solving. It’s like going to the doctor with a headache, and when the doc asks where does it hurt, you point to your stomach. It just won’t do.

Hi Dr. Dick,
I recently found out my boyfriend has been cheating on me. He wants me to forgive him, but he keeps on doing the same thing over and over again. He’s like addicted to sex or something. I love him very much, but I feel dirty just by being around him and knowing what he’s doing. It also makes me feel stupid putting up with all of this and at the same time I still love him, please give me some advice. Thank You.
— Darlene

Before we turn our attention to your boyfriend’s behavior, let me make a quick observation about you. You’re a big fat ball of contradictions, huh? How can you say that you love the person that makes you feel dirty and stupid? You’re deceiving yourself about at least one of those feelings. And if I had to guess, I’d say what you’ve got with your man ain’t love—it’s an obsession.

Your boyfriend probably has you figured out by now, and he knows that you will tolerate his misbehavior, which gives him tacit permission to do whatever he feels like doing. From where I sit, you’re the real sap. If you’re really serious about reining in your wayward BF, you’d better come up with a clear, unambiguous message about what you will and will not tolerate. Until you do precisely that, he’ll just think that he can roam wherever he wants and whenever he wants.

If the two of you are supposed to be living in a sexually exclusive relationship, and he’s taking his business elsewhere, then he’s got a problem, too. However, I caution you against thinking that his sexual behaviors are an addiction. Because they’re not.  And thinking they are will not help you find the solution to the problems you folks are having.

There are root causes for his behavior, just like there are root causes for your behavior. To get to the bottom of all of this, each of you will need to invest a good deal of time and energy with a qualified therapist. One can only hope that there’s a big enough bank of goodwill between the two of you to carry the day because overcoming your obsession and his compulsions will demand all of your emotional resources.

Dear Dr. Dick,
I have been in a relationship for five years now and truly love my partner, however I can never seem to get enough sex. I am 30 and he is 29, but I constantly find myself in the chat rooms lookin’ for younger guys to have sex with. It’s more than just a hobby—it’s a habit! I’ve actually lost jobs because he’d be out of town and I’d spend almost every waking hour on the PC with a cocktail looking for sex, not caring about anything else. It’s like I’m addicted to sex. He knows I have played around (I actually have talked him into three-ways a few times), but he has no idea how extreme it’s become. I don’t know what’s wrong with me. I’m not unhappy with him. I just can’t seem to stop wanting sex with younger guys. Any suggestions?
— Brian

It’s interesting that you should tell me about your compulsive sexual behavior in the same breath that you tell me of your love for your partner. As you’ve probably guessed already, there isn’t really much of a connection between the two. Love and sex are two very different things. Sometimes they go together, but not always or even often for that matter.

It appears to me that you’ve really got two problems happening simultaneously: First, your compulsive prowling of the internet for sex (complicated, I might add, by your alcohol consumption). Second, the deception you’re practicing on your partner. Let’s deal with each of these in turn.

Your particular sexual activity, like any compulsive behavior (overeating, excessive shopping, etc.), is more than just a bad habit. It’s a serious psychological dysfunction. Take it from me: breaking this behavior pattern will be nearly impossible without some professional help. If the problem is as serious as you say, then you’d better seek help right away. This sort of thing, if left untreated, will not only destroy your relationship, it will ruin your life. When you seek that professional help, I encourage you to include information about your alcohol consumption. If there is an addiction in all of this, it’s the alcohol, not the sex. And in your case, the addiction may be fueling the compulsion.

Now, regarding your relationship. It’s imperative that you come clean with your partner about your sexual obsessions and compulsions, as well as your probable alcohol addiction. Not only will you feel better about not lying to him anymore, you’re going to need his support in overcoming the difficult obstacles you face. I suggest that you attend to this right away. There’s not a moment to lose.

Good Luck

Merry Christmas!

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the indomitable human spirit…follow up

I have something extraordinary to share with you.  Here is an email I received in response to Tuesday’s posting:  the indomitable human spirit

Dear Dr. Dick,

About your post today…thank you, thank you, thank you! I appreciate your words and I love that Roman and his girlfriend are having a good time and are willing to explore options.

I am disabled. I had polio as a 13 month old baby in 1955 and use forearm crutches for very short distances and a manual wheelchair for everything else. Basically, my shoulders serve the same function as hips do for others. Due to polio, multiple surgeries and post polio muscular atrophy, I also have some reduced sensation from the hips down and a lack of control with both legs.

I am also a very sensual and sexual person. I love the physical feeling of being touched and kissed, and absolutely relish having orgasms. I love the emotional rush of planning, organizing and getting ready for a sexy time with my guy, and I love the psychological boost of knowing I am desirable.

I have found the world of BDSM to be extremely helpful to me. I have a leather bustier and thong with flames; we have a restraint system under the mattress, a flogger, blindfolds, Hitachi Wand, assorted dildos and other fun toys. While I think people may come from the womb wired for a mindset that jives with BDSM, for someone disabled in the way that I am there are definite perks. The extra levels of touch and physical stimulation in BDSM play help me build toward an orgasm. The building of mood with language throughout the day, calling my guy Master, his comments about spanking my butt after supper, laying out the clothes, choosing the toys from our toy box, lighting the candles for wax play and burning my favorite incense…all work together to get me in the mood, physically and mentally.

BDSM is so much about the focus, the connection and the attention – either using all the senses, or purposely withholding one sense or another, that many people in the BDSM world already make adaptations for personal differences in play and are acutely aware when someone responds more sensually to a quiet whisper rather than a normal tone of voice, or to the sensations of one type of clamp rather than another. In that world, individual differences are considered normal, so my differences seem to make less difference to them. I know of several couples where one or both are disabled and choose to attend BDSM functions…and frequently it is the woman or man in the wheelchair who is the Dom in the relationship.

Vaginal intercourse is difficult for me. I don’t have the muscle tone to provide adequate stimulation for my guy to reach orgasm. The adaptation for that is oral or anal intercourse. I went to my gynecologist for a frank talk about any special concerns about anal intercourse for someone in my physical situation. I also called and talked with the Dom of a BDSM dungeon to ask the same questions. He gave me some great advice and ideas, probably more specific and useful information than the doctor.

I have found the Liberator pillows to be extremely helpful for positioning and, combined with the under the mattress restraint system, there is much less problem with losing control of my legs and accidentally kicking someone. Regular bed pillows and other positioning cushions that I have tried over the years would just scoot out from under me and were usually more frustrating than helpful. With any restraint system attention has to be paid to circulation and the restrained person never left alone, but that is true whether the people involved are disabled or not.

All that being said, a sense of dedication and a sense of humor are absolute necessities! Our attitude is one of discovering how to make things work rather than questioning whether they are possible. And humor simply must be part of the process. At one point I decided satin sheets and a matching sexy gown would be a great surprise to put my guy over the moon. A friend came over and put the satin sheets on the bed for me and when my guy arrived home I was waiting in the silky nightie on those expensive satin sheets. My beloved was quite excited and reached out to gently push me over just a bit so he could join me on the bed. Odd how slick those sheets were. I went sailing across the sheets and off the other side of the bed onto the floor. We laughed until we cried.

Thanks again for helping get the word out that disability does not equate to celibacy.

Hugs,
Donna