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Between a rock and a hard place

Name: Adam
Gender:
Age: 34
Location: UK
I have been attracted to male children for years. Having been arrested for viewing child porn I realize that I need to pursue a celibate lifestyle. I realize that celibacy is a demanding lifestyle. What advice would you offer me?

You present a particularly touchy issue for our culture, Adam. But before I respond, I’d like to help you with some of your vocabulary. You say you need to pursue a celibate lifestyle. I think you mean to say you need to pursue a sexually abstinent lifestyle. The two concepts — celibacy and sexual abstinence — mean different things. Unfortunately, way too many people use these terms interchangeably. This is not a good thing and only serves to muddy the waters further.

Celibacy has a very specific meaning. Let me whip out my trusty, handy dandy Funk & Wagnalls dictionary. Celibacy: the state of being unmarried. Some people infer, especially those of a strict religious bent, that celibacy also connotes sexual abstinence. Ya see, religious people are of the mind that there is no legitimate sexual expression outside the confines of heterosexual marriage. Legitimate or not, unmarried people have always been and always will be sexual, so making that unfortunate connection between celibacy and abstinence ill advised.

The only thing we ought to be able to say for sure when someone identifies him/herself as celibate is that he/she is not married. To assume a celibate person, even one who has taken a vow of celibacy, is sexually abstinent is quite a dangerous stretch indeed. Need I point out the very unfortunate sex abuse scandals that continues to plague the Roman Catholic Church?

In the same way, if someone identifies him/herself as sexually abstinent, the only thing we ought to be able to say for sure is that he/she is not engaging in any type of sexual expression. It would be false to assume that a sexually abstinent person is not married, because there are a lot of married people who are indeed sexually abstinent.

In your case, Adam, I believe you are telling me that you are both not married (celibate), and because of your particular sexual predilection — young boys — you must also be sexually abstinent. If I’ve got this right…and it is very important that I not misinterpret your words…then I think there are options you may not have considered.

I firmly believe that we learn all our sexual expression. I hasten to add that sexual orientation and sexual expression are not one in the same thing, just like celibacy and abstinence are one and the same thing.

Everything we eroticize, in your case boys, is learned behavior. You learned to eroticize boys at some point in your life; you can now learn to eroticize a more appropriate group of people. This isn’t a particularly easy thing to accomplish, but it’s not impossible either. Again, I am not saying that you can reprogram your orientation, but I am saying that you can learn to redirect your erotic attentions elsewhere.

Anytime any one of us discovers that the object of our desires is someone inappropriate, we need to adjust our eroticism immediately. This is the better part of being a sexually responsible person. In our culture, pedophilia is just one such inappropriate eroticism, but there are many other taboos. A father for his daughter, a mother for her son, a boss for a subordinate, a man for his neighbor’s wife, a teacher for her student, a counselor for his/her client, a congressman for his page…are you getting the picture? I hope so. And the list goes on and on.

I believe learning to readjust your eroticism to a more appropriate outlet is a much better option than trying to live a sexually abstinent lifestyle. The reason I believe this is that having a more appropriate outlet will at least help you channel your pent up sexuality. If you have no outlet, or limit yourself to masturbation, you will most likely intensify your longings and further fixate on the inappropriate object of your current desires.

Like anyone trying to wean him/herself off a bad habit, the task ahead of you Adam, will be challenging. But it will also be enriching and life-affirming. I hasten to add that you ought not try to do this on your own. Work with a sex-positive therapist.

You’re a relatively young man with many years ahead of you. These years can be filled with happy, healthy and appropriate sexual expression. Make it happen.

Good luck

The Well-Pierced Cock

Nowadays, body piercings are all the rage. And, as we all know, some folks can’t stop with just a few—which can lead to some humorous predicaments when being wanded by airport security. While I firmly believe in the right of every man to augment, embellish, or in any other way customize his equipment, it’s a personal decision. If it makes you happy, go for it. If it ain’t for you, just say NO.

Should I Get Pierced?
Here we have Chad; he’s 25 and lives in Alaska.

    My new girlfriend is five years older than me and she is a total freak. She has purple hair, five tattoos and seven piercings, including her labia. She wants me to get my dick pierced. I said I’d think about it, but she says I’m a pussy for putting it off. I know a lot of guys have piercings, but is it safe?

Sounds to me like your freaky-deaky girlfriend is badgering you to get pierced. That’s not good. If I were you, I’d tell her to back off ’til you can make up your own mind. It’s a good thing you’re being so thoughtful about this, because even though a piercing isn’t as permanent as a tattoo, there still are risks involved…more so than getting inked.

Piercings and Safety
As body piercings become more popular, many people try to outdo each other with the unusual. However, the most common piercings have their roots in the traditions of tribal peoples throughout the world. This is particularly true for genital piercings. Many cultures practice erotic piercing to enhance both visual appearance and physical arousal.

The first thing you should know is that body piercing is an art form. It is best practiced by well-trained, highly qualified, seasoned professionals. If you entrust your body to an amateur, you’re probably asking for trouble—so do your homework. As piercing establishments proliferate, some will be better than others. In most jurisdictions, piercers and their salons are required to be registered and licensed. You might want to check your local health department for information and recommendations.

Before you decide to proceed, visit the piercer in his/her shop. Ask questions. Ask them how they sterilize their instruments and jewelry. Autoclaving is the only safe method. Nowadays, all needles should be single-use instruments. They should be opened just prior to the piercing, and then disposed of immediately thereafter. If the shop offers other services, like tattooing, make sure the piercing is done in a separate room (for privacy as well as hygiene).

Most people are initially concerned with the pain involved in getting pierced. Depending on what you’re getting pierced, the level of pain can range from moderate to…well, a lot. And that’s just the beginning. Once the jewelry is in place, there will be at least two to three days when the piercing area is very sensitive to the touch. Because some areas of the body have more blood vessels than others—like your dick, for example—expect some blood loss and a lot of swelling post-piercing. Trust me; getting a boner afterward will be your worst nightmare.

That being said, you’ll be amazed at how resilient the body is. It has a phenomenal ability to heal itself. Of course, the practitioner should provide you with detailed aftercare instructions. These will outline all the procedures and aftercare products you’ll need to attend to yourself while you heal. A word of caution, if your general health is compromised in any way: if you are sick, run-down, overworked, or immune-compromised, your body’s ability to heal will be diminished and the risk of infection will be increased.

As you heal, any pressure on a piercing has the potential to aggravate and inflame the site. You’d best refrain from contact sports, manual labor, or anything else that’ll irritate your new piercing. Most piercings take a minimum of six weeks to heal. Wearing tight clothes, touching the piercing with dirty hands, contact with bodily fluids, rough treatment, and using inappropriate cleaning agents will further diminish your body’s ability to heal and increase the risk of infection. And don’t skimp on the quality of jewelry you choose, either. Cheap-grade jewelry can fuck up the piercing big-time. Look for medical-grade stainless steel, titanium or 18k gold.

Baubles, Bangles and Beads
Given all the pain and risks, you might ask, why do people bother getting pierced at all? Well, that’s pretty easy to answer. Piercing enhances sex by providing a greater degree of stimulation to one’s self and one’s partner.

(Click on the thumbnails below to see a slideshow of popular male genital piercings.)

[nggallery id=104]

The most popular cock piercing is the Dressing Ring, otherwise known as a PA or Prince Albert. This piercing is named after Prince Albert, the husband of Queen Victoria of England. In his day, men’s pants were so tight; a guy’s johnson needed to be held to one side or the other so as not to create an unsightly bulge. To accomplish this some men had their dick pierced so it could be held close to their leg by a hook on the inside of the trousers. The ring enters your urethra and exits immediately behind your dickhead on the underside of your cock. A variation on this piercing is called the Reverse Prince Albert, which enters your urethra and exits on the top of your dickhead.

The PA is the fastest healing genital piercing and is considered the most sexually appealing of cock adornments. This piercing requires less cleaning than most since urine aids in the healing process. However some men, particularly those who sport heavy gauge jewelry, find they have to sit down to pee or they dribble all over themselves. You’ll need to allow at least one week of sexual abstinence post piercing and two to four months for it to heal completely. In the interim, always use a condom.

Other popular male piercings include:
1. The Frenum, which pierces through your frenulum, the waddle of skin on the underside of your shaft just behind your dickhead. This is the second most popular piercing after the Prince Albert. It heals quickly and there’s a minimum of pain and complications. It will also add a great deal of sexual stimulation. There are a couple of variations to this piercing: The Lorum, a piercing at the base of your shaft near your balls; and the Ladder, which is row of several frenum piercings from the base of your shaft to your frenulum.

2. Foreskin piercings, for the uncut guy. It comes down to us from when it was used as a chastity device for slaves. But today it’s all about adornment and sexual enhancement. Your foreskin can be pierced with either single or multiple piercings.

3. The Dydoe piercing is for the cut man. It pierces the ridge of your dickhead. Of course, this is only possible if you have a large enough edge to accommodate the needle and jewelry.

4. The Ampallang is among the least popular piercings, because it is a horizontal piercing right through your dickhead. And its sister piercing, the Apadravya pierces your dickhead, only vertically. You can choose it to be done above, under, or through the urethra. And get this—it’s best done when you have a boner. Ouch, bloody OUCH!

And just to keep you in the know, you can also have your scrotum (Hafada) and/or perineum (Guiche) pierced, too.

And on that note, I sincerely bid you good luck!

Libido Disparity

No other sexual complaint for couples is more pervasive then that of libido disparity. I’ve heard from hundreds of frustrated and desperate women and men trapped in undersexed relationships. It’s one thing to have the sexual connection drift away by mutual consent. It’s quite another to have one partner unilaterally dissolve the sexual connection leaving the other partner bewildered and disoriented.

Often a partner will refuse to talk about why the sex has taken a nosedive. I understand not knowing what to say when things go south, or not knowing how to say what may be on your mind. But to clam up all together, that’s just unfair.

Sexuality is both a personal expression and a means of bonding with another. Sexual wellbeing in a relationship is more than simply getting off. It means taking responsibility for one’s eroticism as an integral part of relationship. The confusion, unhappiness and anxiety that result when there’s a breakdown of this can spill over and contaminate other areas of the relationship.

When I encounter this predicament in my counseling practice, I always build in some individual time with each partner even though the couple is there for “couples counseling.” I often get a much better sense of what’s causing the problem in these private sessions. It’s easier for the individual to talk to me privately than to be open, honest and forthcoming about his/her feelings with his/her partner sitting right there.

Some people don’t know how to express themselves without hurting the feelings of the other. Or an individual may not know why things are different than they once were. Often there are lifestyle issues at play — family concerns, work concerns, lack of sleep, drugs and alcohol consumption, etc. Sometimes medical and psychological issues are impacting on a person’s libido — weight gain, birth control, other pharmaceutical drugs, diabetes and depression to mention a few. But more frequently than not, the explanation is the partnered sex has become stale, rote and boring.

Whatever the cause of the imbalance, it needs to be addressed as a couple. Once the couple has identified the problem the next step is learning how to talk about it in an effective yet non-threatening way. This can be tricky, to say the least. But it is still so much easier than trying to avoid the issue all together.

When the couple is ready to break open this discussion, I encourage them to use “I” statements instead of “you” statements. I ask them to identify how they feel and own their feelings. “I feel confused. I feel frustrated. I feel that our relationship is in jeopardy.” Avoid statements like; “you make me feel…” Active listening is as important as being honest with one’s feelings.

The couple moves on to identify concrete steps they can take together to address the problem. Making a mutually agreed upon plan of action and sticking to it is essential.

Problems do not go away simply by ignoring them. Disappointments will become resentments and resentments will inevitably lead to acting-out and that will surly fuck things up royally.

Good luck

Sex EDGE-U-cation With Blade Bannon — Podcast #280 – 05/23/11


Hey sex fans, welcome back!

The very talented Blade Bannon, erotic photographer, author and prominent kinkster, is back with us this week. This is Part 2 of our conversation about his life and work.

But wait, you didn’t miss Part 1 of his appearance on this show, which appeared here last week at this time, did you? Well not to worry if ya did, because you can find it and all my podcasts in the Podcast Archive right here on my site. All ya gotta do is use the search function in the header; type in Podcast #278 and Voilà! But don’t forget the #sign when you do your search.

Blade and I discuss:

  • His life in BDSM as a spiritual journey;
  • His leather family;
  • His approach to mentoring;
  • Starting out as a leather ”boy”;
  • The Dom and sub mindsets;
  • The recreational and cathartic aspects of BDSM;
  • Daddy/boy role-play.

Blade invites you to visit him on his site HERE!
And be sure to pick up a copy of his book HERE!

(Click on the thumbnails below to see a slideshow of some of Blade’s photography.)

[nggallery id=99]

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.

Making a Marriage Work; A Primer For Sexual Success

I’m preparing a workshop for recently engaged couples. I expect there will be about a dozen couples attending. While most of the participants will be preparing for their first marriage, there will be at least two couples working on their second marriage. My experience tells me that regardless of how many turns one takes on the merry-go-round anxiety about sexual compatibility, particularly for the long haul, abounds.

One of the best resources out there for those considering a sexually exclusive traditional marriage is Esther Perel’s controversial book, Mating in Captivity: Reconciling the Erotic and the Domestic.  Her thesis is that increased emotional intimacy between partners often leads to less sexual passion. I’ve been preaching the same sermon for nearly 30 years. But I assure you; there are ways around this predictable stumbling block.

Here we have Paige, age 22 from Tulsa. OK.

I am engaged to a wonderful guy. I’m excited about my upcoming marriage, but I’m also afraid that it will fail. I know you are going to think we’re freaks, but my fiancé and I have decided to save ourselves for after we are married. Some of our friends even our recently married friends are having trouble with their relationship and with the divorce rate so high, what are the chances that my marriage will work? Do I just have cold feet or am I not ready to get married?

First off, I don’t think you’re a freak for reserving full sexual expression till after you’re married. It wasn’t too long ago when that was the norm. But even people who enter marriage as established sex partners aren’t assured success.

I caution you to jettison any Pollyanna notion you might have about marriage being a breeze, or that all you need is love. These are dangerous fictions. Your recently married friends have problems because there are always problems in a marriage. It’s the nature of relationships. Hopefully, the problems you guys will face won’t be insurmountable, but sure as shootin’ problems will be your constant companions, even big problems. So count on it and prepare yourself accordingly.

You can also be assured that the problems you will encounter, regardless of their nature, will impact on your sex life together. Money concerns, the stresses of a career, kids, in-laws, you name it will all influence how you perceive your spouse. Nothing dampens ardor like financial difficulties or meddlesome relatives.

So Paige, rather than focus on the nature of your sex life as you enter your marriage, may I suggest that you concentrate on the bigger picture. And in order to do that you need to ask; why do most traditional, sexually exclusive marriages flounder? They crumble because they can’t bear up under the strain of the couple’s expectations for each other. Simply stated, they want too much from their spouse. They expect companionship, economic support and family for sure, but they also expect their partner to be their best friend, confidant and passionate lover. That’s a pretty tall order to fill for a single individual. Who wouldn’t have cool feet, or even be frozen in place, faced with those daunting expectations.

A lot of engaged couples overly concern themselves with the sexual viability or their relationship. My sense is that sexual concerns, by themselves, don’t tax a marriage to the point of breaking. You’ll notice that I said, ’sexual concerns, by themselves’. While sex and intimacy issues are indeed real and sometimes overwhelming, it’s the underpinnings of the relationship that bring these sexual issues into stark relief. Let me give you an example.

Say I’ve just spent 60 hours this past week at work; I get snarled in traffic on my commute every single day. I drag my sorry ass home to a loving partner, who may have been looking forward to an amorous night of sex play. But I’m completely fagged out, so to speak. I simply don’t have an interest in the old slap and tickle. It’s not that I don’t love my spouse; I do! I don’t have the energy to even squeeze one off by myself, let alone please and pleasure my partner.

Or say I’ve been caring for a house full of sick, ornery kids all day; and freaking out about our family’s precarious financial situation. I have barely the time and energy to rustle together some grub for the brood, when my loving partner, who may have been looking forward to an amorous night of sex play, arrives back at the homestead with stars in his/her eyes. I’m exhausted; and the idea of a tussle in the sack is the last thing on my mind. It’s not that I don’t love my spouse; on the contrary. I just don’t feel attractive, interesting, or more importantly, randy.

As these examples point out it’s not that the sexual energy has flown the coop. More often than not couples who face the tribulations of life together redirect their energy into resolving more pressing concerns than gearing up for sex. The reason I know this for certain is, if I were to take this stressed out couple away from the humdrum of their day-to-day, and land them on a tropical beach without a care in the world; I know for certain they’d fuck like bunnies.

Another example, say a couple is joined at the hip; you know the ones I’m talking about. Where one or the other partner can hardly take a trip to the loo without their spouse traipsing along. Many couples think this kind of closeness is a sign of their love and fidelity, and it may very well be for them. But I can guarantee this kind of familiarity will also stifle sexual passion. The truth of the matter is erotic fervor is dependent on at least a modicum of mystery. If I know my partner like the back of my hand, I’m less likely to see him/her as a sexual object; in the same sexual way as when we were courting.

This also can be proven. Why is the chick at work, who I have virtually nothing in common with, such a turn on? How is it that my yoga instructor, someone I hardly know and who pays me no attention, make me wet? It’s the mystery or the forbidden that jacks up the sexual tension.

The way I see it is passionate sex is dependent on a good deal of sexual tension. This kind of tension dissipates with time and it takes a great deal of work to keep that tension alive. Most couples don’t invest that kind of energy; even though they may pay lip service to the notion that they want the passion to continue.

Intimacy, on the other hand, is dependent on domestic tranquility, in other words, the elimination of tension in the relationship; regrettably this also includes sexual tension. And since most couples desire intimacy over sex they choose (either consciously or not) the path of domestic tranquility. But the result can be the kind of sexual frustration so many married people report.

I’ve been to a lot of wedding; and I’ve officiated at more than I can count. I’ve helped numerous couples construct their vows. Generally the first thing they want to say to each other is something like: “I promise to be your best friend, your confidant; your constant companion. Sound familiar? I thought it might. What I never hear is: “I promise to always be up for all your hot monkey love.” Not only would that vow be a showstopper; it would be an impossible promise to keep, unless you’re a blow-up doll. Frankly, it’s so much easier being a best friend or confident than the sexual siren that will be the answer to all your erotic dreams after we’re married for a few years.

Sexual exclusivity is at the heart of the romantic ideal. That’s why sexual infidelity is such a bugaboo in our culture. But the truth of the matter is, sustaining a model where marriage is the font from which all fulfillment flows is simply unrealistic. Maybe if we expect sexual exclusivity from our spouse, we ought to manage our other expectations of him/her (best friend, confidant, etc.) more pragmatically.

I am of the mind that since more than 50% of marriages in this country end in divorce; we must look at the relationship model we are laboring under. Maybe the romantic ideal is simply an illusion. I mean we can’t honestly try to explain away the divorce rate by saying all these couples simply married the wrong people. Know what I mean?

The parameters of a healthy, successful marriage will need to expand and contract with the stresses put upon it; it is after all a living entity. The balance between dependence and independence will constantly shift; so will the power dynamic in the relationship. Carve these things in stone and you will be mark a grave, not milestones on a path to growth.

Good luck