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Trouble In River City!

Name: Bill
Gender: Male
Age: 32
Location: Seattle
I recently discovered that my GF has been cheating on me. She wants me to forgive her but it’s been really hard. Just dealing with the fact that it happened is overwhelming. It feels like I could never forgive her. I don’t know if there’s a solution or not. I know I still love her but the truth is I feel dirty being around her. It also makes me feel stupid for putting up with this and letting it happen in the first place. I feel like a total sap. I’d love any advise you could give me.

Before we turn to chastising your vixen girlfriend for her behavior, let me make a quick observation about you, Paul. You sure are a ball of contradictions, aren’t you, darlin’? How can you say that you love a person who makes you feel dirty and stupid? Simply put, you are deceiving yourself about one or the other of these emotions. And pardon me, but there’s no way that what you describe here can be love. An obsession, heart sick, wounded pride, sour grapes…absolutely. Love? Ahhh, not so much! So stop saying that you love this woman, Paul, it’s just adding to the confusion.

16386555_p.jpgHere’s a tip for us all. Let’s each of us promise, right here and now, to save the “L” word for those feelings that are a little less desperate and debilitating. Ok? Because if we don’t reserve the “L” word for feelings that are uplifting and life-affirming then we will bandy about, like Paul here, that over-used term it to describe any and all our fixations. If what we are experiencing tears us down instead of building us up, then it ain’t love no how. Period!

Ok Paul, I ’m gonna try not read too much into your brief message, but there appears to be some important information here that we should consider. When you say your girlfriend…”has been cheating,” that suggests to me that her indiscretion may have been ongoing. Because you could have said…”she cheated on me.” Which would imply a one-time thing.

And what an interesting word choice “cheat” is in this context. This makes fidelity sound like some kind of sport. I don’t think fidelity is sport, nor do I think it is always a genital issue either. Lots of couples are faithful to one another even though they have open relationships and/or multiple sex partners. But I digress.

Since you can’t supply me with more of the gory details, Paul, I’m gonna go with the first option. I’m gonna assume you’re telling me that the chick’s been doin’ you wrong and it’s not a simple…”whoops, I don’t know what came over me. One minute I was like all normal, and the next there I was with my dress over my head and some guy, other than you honey, was pluggin’ away at me like there was no tomorrow”…sorta thing. Ok?

Since I don’t know how deep or exclusive this relationship with your girlfriend is or was supposed to be, I can hardly advise you on what you ought to do next. I can, however, point out that a secret ongoing affair suggests the trouble with your relationship runs pretty deep. Maybe your girlfriend has you pegged as a sap, and she knows that you will tolerate her indiscretions. Which in turn, gives her permission to do carry on in whatever manner she might like. Maybe she doesn’t think that your relationship with her is all that substantial in the first place. Who knows!

If you’re not a total sap, and you’re serious about reigning in your wayward GF, you’d better come up with a clear, unambiguous message about what you will and will not tolerate in the future. Until you do that there’s no point in even imagining there might be a future.

If, on the other hand, the two of you did agree to live in an exclusive relationship, and she’s still taking her business elsewhere, then I suggest the bond between you is pretty busted. Is there something salvageable here? Your guess is as good as mine. What is perfectly clear is that both you and your girlfriend need to step back and take a sober look at yourselves. There is a reason for her behavior, just like there’s a reason 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, most likely with a professional therapist, and hope that the bank of goodwill between you is enough to carry the day.

However, if I had to guess from the tone in your message, I’d say there was precious little goodwill left. If so, why not be a man about it. Just call it quits and move on.

Good Luck

Name: Barbara
Gender: Female
Age: 48
Location: Santa Cruz, CA
I’ve been with my current lover for 5 years and I dearly love him. A couple of years ago he had hemorrhoid surgery and was in the hospital for a month. When he got home he refused to have sex with me but once a month of so. After two years his sexual interest is less and less. We have a wonderful time together, except for the sex. He’s a great guy and I know he loves me. We talk about it, but he tells me that he doesn’t need sex and he wants a platonic relationship. He’s not open to therapy. If he doesn’t want to be physical, I don’t want to force it but I’m masturbating all alone and I’m very frustrated. I don’t what to leave him, but I can’t stand the status quo.

This is a classic lament, Barbara. So many couples struggle with much the same thing. Love, intimacy and sex — three very different things — yet we are socialized into thinking that they should always come to us as a package deal. And anything that doesn’t is less than optimum and often downright bad or sinful. What a tiny little box we’re all supposed to fit in.

I believe there is a fundamental difference between love, sex and intimacy, but so many people confuse or conflate these very different needs to their detriment. Some go so far as to destroy an otherwise good and vibrant relationship just because it doesn’t conform to what we perceive as the norm…ya know the big package deal I just mentioned.

16689940_p.jpgI don’t know how we got it into our head that the only legitimate or wholesome sex is the sex that happens in a loving relationship, or that if there is no sex in a loving relationship, then that relationship is somehow defective. That’s simply not the case.

The way I see it, passionate sex is dependent on a good deal of sexual tension. Ya know, like the grips of hot monkey love that happens at the beginning of a relationship. In time this sexual tension dissipates. I might add that it takes a great deal of work to keep that kind of tension alive. Most couples don’t invest that kind of energy, even though they may pay lip service to the desire for it.

Intimacy, on the other hand, is dependent on domestic tranquility, in other words, the elimination of tension in the relationship, including sexual tension. And since most couples desire intimacy over sex they choose (either consciously or not) the domestic tranquility option. But the result is the kind of sexual frustration you report.

Those who wish to have both sex and intimacy need to be creative in solving both issues. Not just imagining that loving someone is enough to make it happen.

That being said, Barbara, if your partner refuses to join you in any effort to find a solution to the problems that plague your relationship, he is telling you your concerns are unimportant to him. My counsel is always the same under these circumstances. If your sexual needs are as pressing as you say they are, then confront him in no uncertain terms. No beating around the bush, darlin’, it’s ultimatum time. Tell your partner that dragging his feet, or obstructing all together your efforts to solve your relationship problems signals to you that the relationship, at least as it is currently configured, is in desperate trouble.

As I’ve suggested earlier, you can tell him that there are several ways of keeping the relationship going without expecting he fulfill all of your sex and/or intimacy needs. But living without sex in your life is a deal breaker. He needs to know that you are serious about the crisis that exists. Of course, if you do this you will have to follow through on the ultimatum. To do otherwise would tell him that you don’t believe your concerns are all that important either.

If you ask me, life is too short to be living with all that sexual frustration. Don’t tolerate the frustration make it work for you. Your sexual frustration could be the very thing that motivates you to create better your situation for yourself and possibly your old man too.

Good Luck

Name: Dave
Gender: male
Age: 40
Location: Wisconsin
I have a boyfriend that I love very much. We have been together for over 6 years and we care for one another very much. The problem is that we never have sex. The last time was probably two years ago and that time he just took care of me and that was it. I haven’t seen him climax in years. I asked him if there’s a problem with me and he says no. I know he still has a sex drive because I’ve caught him masturbating once. When I bring up the subject he says he knows we need to work on it but that’s as far as it goes. I know he’s not cheating, but I can’t say the same about myself. Should I feel guilty for seeking sex outside our relationship without his permission? In the past I’ve felt horrible about this, but my frustration is overriding my guilt. But it still bothers me because I am not being the moral person I was raised to be. I’ve asked him about opening our relationship, but he doesn’t like that idea either. What am I supposed to do?

fist.jpgSad to say there’s not much a couple can do to either beef up a sex drive or cool one down, when there’s no will on the part of one or the other partners to do so. And I would say that if you guys have been living successfully like this for four years, there’s little chance of turning this around. Besides, why would you want to fix something that’s not really broken?

If, as you say, you are feeling guilty about going outside your relationship to find the sexual satisfaction you need and want, then it is time for you to have a chat with your lover. The tension you are experiencing between your sexual desires and your moral compass is a real good thing. It ought not be denied. But like I always say, these are often very difficult negotiations to hammer out. However, not to try to make these accommodations is, I believe, a form of sexual abuse.

Finally, regardless on how you approach the subject, there’s no need to sink to the lowest common denominator, bubby. Could it be the sex you have with your partner is just boring? And you’re misinterpreting his boredom as disinterest? You say he masturbates. What’s in his mind (or on the computer) when he does? Would you even know? Ever thought of asking? Maybe he’s just too self-conscious to come right out with it and ask for what he wants from you. Is there any way you could entice him back to bed with a little spice? Would he respond to some porn, or toys, or even a three-way?

Maybe it’s just as well there’s no sex in your relationship, you seem to be getting along very well otherwise. But only a frank and open discussion with your man is gonna shed the necessary light on this situation.

See Dave, you have lots of options. It’s time to be creative, like the fabulous homo you are.

Good Luck darling!

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Sex Advice With An Edge — Podcast #36 — 10/22/07

Hey sex fans,

I have a really swell show for you today. We have a load of very interesting questions from sexually worrisome. And I respond with an equal number of lively, affable and oh so informative responses! Hey, it’s what I do.

  • Martin’s BF has a hungry hole!
  • Carol thinks fake is just as good as real.
  • Carey’s fiancée would rather not!
  • Bryan is gay and John straight…both have body issues!
  • Quentin wants to know what a glory hole is.
  • Tony thinks he’s sick in the head. I don’t agree.

BE THERE, OR BE SQUARE!

Check out The Lick-A-Dee-Split Connection. That’s dr dick’s toll free podcast voicemail. Don’t worry people; no one will personally answer the phone. Your message goes directly to voicemail.

Got a question? No time to write? Give dr dick a call at (866) 422-5680. Again, the TOLL FREE voicemail number is (866) 422-5680. DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY !

Look for my podcasts on iTunes. You’ll fine me in the health section under the subheading — Sexuality. Or just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice With An Edge. And don’t forget to subscribe. I don’t want you to miss even one episode.

Say, would you like to become a sponsor for one or more of my weekly sex advice podcasts? As you know, I plug a product or service at the beginning and end of each show. Each podcast has its own posting on my site along with the name of the podcast sponsor and a banner for the product or service.

The beauty part about this unique opportunity is that once a sponsor’s ad is included in a particular podcast that sponsor is embedded there forever.

Your sponsorship also underscores your social conscience. Your marketing dollars will not only got to promote your product, but you will be doing so while helping to disseminate badly needed sex education and sexual enrichment messages. Simply put, ya just can’t get a better bang for your advertising buck!

For further information, contact me at: dr_dick@drdicksexadvice.com

Today’s podcast is once again bought to you by: DR DICK’S HOW TO VIDEO LIBRARY.

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Heart to Heart

Name: Anne
Gender: female
Age: 28
Location:
My question is kind of embarrassing, but here goes. I gave birth to a nine pound beautiful baby four weeks ago. I am happy to report that both mother and baby are doing fine. That is except for the fact that my vagina is still stretched out of shape. My question is can I hope to have it return to its previous shape? Also, I’ve heard that new mothers should wait for six weeks after a birth before having sex again. The problem is that my husband is really horny and he doesn’t want to wait. So I’m wondering will it hurt if I start sooner? Another thing, does breast-feeding interfere with my sex drive? I don’t feel really sexy these days. Sorry for so many questions in a row.

In the immoral words of Prissy in Gone With the Wind, “I know nutthin’ about birthin’ babies, Miss Scarlett.”

Congratulations on the birth of your child, Anne. Wow, nine pounds, huh? Pretty hefty. I’ll bet he’s adorable. Everyone here at drdicksexadcice.com is betting that your child is a boy? Us boys tend to give our mommas a hard time right from the get go. At least that’s what my own dear sainted mither used to say.

people-mother_and_baby-cd01-010.jpgI’m also gonna make another assumption, this is your first child, right? Well, the size of the baby as well as the number of children the woman has carried certainly does effect the elasticity of her vagina. No rocket science there, I suppose. Birthin’ babies is pretty traumatic to your pelvic musculature. These muscles lose tone with each successive delivery. But never fear darlin’, there are muscle-toning exercises known as kegels that will help you tighten things up in jiffy.

Excuse me for a moment, Anne, I think I’m losing the males in my audience. Here’s a tip for all you guys out there who are reading this and rolling your eyes and getting ready to turn the page because you think this is some kinda Oprah — vagina moment. Listen up you monkeys; kegel exercises aren’t just for the ladies. Us men folk have pelvic muscles too. So pay attention, you’re gonna want to know about kegels too.

Sorry about that Anne. See what I mean about boys and givin’ folks, not only their mommas, problems? Anyhow, if you’re not already doing kegels, I strongly recommend that you start right away.

What are kegels, you ask? They’re muscle contraction and relaxation exercises designed help restore tone to the muscles that surround the opening of the urethra (see guys, we have one of those), vagina (ok, we don’t have one of those), and anus (we sure as hell have one of those). Since this includes the muscle that you use to stop and start the flow of urine, you can check if you’ve identified the right muscle by testing your kegel technique while peeing — if you can stop the flow of urine when tightening, then you know that you’re contracting the correct muscle group. BTW, the main muscle is call the pubococcygeus muscle, or PC muscle for short.

Let’s try this for starters. Imagine that you’re trying to stop yourself from farting or trying to hold your pee. Notice the feeling of squeezing and lifting — it’s a sensation of your pelvic muscles tightening and drawing up. Try it now, while you’re reading this. That’s the beauty part of kegels; you can do them anywhere, anytime. If you’re finding it difficult to isolate the muscle group, insert a couple fingers into your vagina before doing a kegel. If you feel pressure around your finger while you are tensing your PC muscle, then you’re on the right track.

However, if you’re tightening your abs, squeezing your legs together, clenching your butt, or holding your breath then you’re not exercising the right muscle group. The object here is to isolate your pelvic floor muscles. Those are the ones you wanna be working.

I want everyone, not just you Anne, to work on both muscle strength and tone. Start with five strong prolonged squeezes (5 seconds apiece). Hold then Relax. Then do a series of 10 rapid contractions in a row. Doing three sets of these two types of kegels twice a day for a week is your goal.

Let’s go over that one more time. Start with five strong prolonged squeezes (5 seconds apiece). Hold then Relax. Then do a series of 10 rapid contractions in a row. Doing three sets of these two types of kegels twice a day for a week is your goal.

When you’ve accomplished this you’re ready to increase the set to eight or ten prolonged squeezes and 20 rapid contractions in a set twice a day for a week. The advanced kegeler is able to vary the type and duration of his/her PC squeezing; slow prolonged clenches to quick flutters.

newbornlls07.jpgOn to the other issues you raise. Your uterus and cervix underwent significant changes as you were delivering your baby, and they need time to heal. So if your husband is being a bigger baby than the new-born…see what I mean about boys drivin their mommas and everyone crazy…by pressuring you for nookie, make a deal with him. Hand jobs and blow jobs only for the first six weeks after delivery. I’m sure you can sympathize with the big galoot. He’s probably freakin’ nutty from lack of nookie. How long has it been since he had some of your fine pussy?

Finally, breastfeeding may indeed interfere with your libido, but more likely it’s just the sheer exhaustion of this postpartum period. Nursing your baby every couple of hours, especially during the middle of the night…I mean, how long can that go on before you start looking for the Uzi.

And probably the idea of your husband grabbing at your boobs while they’re still real sore from junior chompin’ away at them probably doesn’t incite great waves of horniness either. Rest assured, this lack of interest in sex won’t last forever. Before you know it, you’ll be feeling all pretty and randy once again. And soon you will once again be inviting and welcoming your hubby’s advances.

Good Luck!

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 own 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 help 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.

06214123854_275-prostate-cancer.jpgI’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.

Not 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 even the 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.

I recall one participant in particular, a man much like you, Gordon. He too had prostate 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.

150_prostate_cancer.jpgAnother group member, Clare, 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.

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

Unfortunately, I couldn’t find the funding I needed to continue Paradigm, so after only a couple of years of these groundbreaking programs I had to close up shop. This precipitated a rather sudden move to Seattle in 1999. I guess I was having a major mid-life crisis myself.

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.

04011106.jpgTo 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 was militant to the end about the pressing need for prostate awareness among men.

Once again the stumbling block I encountered was funding. My grantwriting 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

Awfully Nice To Have a Penis

Sex Advice With An Edge — Podcast #35 — 10/15/07

Hey sex fans,

I have a really swell show for you today. We have an extra large load of interesting questions from all over the place. And I respond with an equal number of sparkling, jovial and oh so informative responses! Hey, it’s what I do.

  • Dan is bi with a secret life on the side.
  • Gary, Dorian, Kent, Michelle and Wade get a quickie.
  • William thinks like a 6, but acts like a 0!
  • Shane, Jen, Holly, Nadine and Joe each get a little piece of my mind.
  • Adam is a pedophile who’s looking for some help managing his life.

BE THERE, OR BE SQUARE!

Check out The Lick-A-Dee-Split Connection. That’s dr dick’s toll free podcast voicemail. Don’t worry people; no one will personally answer the phone. Your message goes directly to voicemail.

Got a question? No time to write? Give dr dick a call at (866) 422-5680. Again, the TOLL FREE voicemail number is (866) 422-5680. DON’T BE SHY, LET IT FLY !

Look for my podcasts on iTunes. You’ll fine me in the health section under the subheading — Sexuality. Or just search for Dr Dick Sex Advice With An Edge. And don’t forget to subscribe. I don’t want you to miss even one episode.

Say, would you like to become a sponsor for one or more of my weekly sex advice podcasts? As you know, I plug a product or service at the beginning and end of each show. Each podcast has its own posting on my site along with the name of the podcast sponsor and a banner for the product or service.

The beauty part about this unique opportunity is that once a sponsor’s ad is included in a particular podcast that sponsor is embedded there forever.

Your sponsorship also underscores your social conscience. Your marketing dollars will not only got to promote your product, but you will be doing so while helping to disseminate badly needed sex education and sexual enrichment messages. Simply put, ya just can’t get a better bang for your advertising buck!

For further information, contact me at: dr_dick@drdicksexadvice.com

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

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