Wednesday, October 25, 2006

Dr. Sex column #7 10-25-06

QUESTION: What's the most frequent question you get asked?

ANSWER: That's an easy one. When I take a client's sex history, the most frequent question people ask at the conclusion is "Am I normal?".

The word normal without context is meaningless. To better understand it, examine sexual activities from various criteria; statistically (by numbers alone), phylogenetically (its appearance within other species), legally, socially and morally, .

So, let's begin examining a few things people do sexually. The primary sexual behaviour is masturbation, or self-stimulation for pleasure. Male fetuses have erections in utero. Girl babies lubricate soon after birth.

The first stage of a child's sexual development is from birth to approximately 6 years of age. The physical body is primary; and sexual interests, curiosity, arousal and behavior are spontaneously expressed unless or until the child is taught to repress or inhibit her/his pleasure orientation. Socialization is a process of creating inhibition.

is normal from most of the criteria I cited. It is statistically normal, appears in many different species, is not illegal, is not socially forbidden, but is still considered morally reprehensible and abnormal by some people. The preponderant attitude, though, is that masturbation is normal. The same can be said for pre-marital, non-marital and oral-genital sex.

Go ahead, try it on your own. Consider some activities using the five criteria above. What about same-sex behaviour, heterosexual intercourse, sexual exclusivity (It's not the same as monogamy.), anal stimulation, rape, prostitution, cross-dressing?
I'll give you a hint, don't put too much emphasis on statistics alone.

Another criterion you might consider is how various sexual activities have been viewed throughout history. Social acceptability changes. There have even been changes in moral acceptance of sexuality through the ages.

Legality also changes, and varies in different places and at different times. Here in Canada there is a new debate over the age of consent. Our current government would like to increase the age of consent from 14 to 16. I'd like to point out that the age of consent in the Vatican is 12.

So, are you normal? You decide. Also decide on how important normality is in your life.
Can you march to the beat of your own drum?

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Sunday, October 15, 2006

Dr. Sex Column #6 10-11-06

QUESTION: How can I sort through all the sexual information on the internet?

ANSWER: What kind of sexual stuff are you seeking? Nuts and bolts about human plumbing and reproduction? Statistics? Skill in sexual techniques? Do you just want to read some well-written material? Do you want to read some poorly written stuff?

I have some favorite websites for all of the above. I'll occasionally include some of the places I like. One is
. Take a look-see for something different. This one is not about nut and bolts. Not all sexual information is cold and dry, or about who puts what where and wiggles.

Do you want sexually explicit material? (I think you can research this one on your own.) I'll tell you, though, that with the proliferation online of this material, we do know that behaviours we formerly thought of as extremely rare are now known to be more common. An actor simply cannot fake that s/he likes a sexual activity just for the pay involved. The camera doesn't lie. When you see extreme sexuality online, you can be reasonably assured that person does that behaviour in their private, off-camera lives, too.

Thus, I ask my audience the question... Does the internet tempt people to try sexual behaviours, or have people been doing them all along but feeling alone in doing so?

When looking to the internet for accurate, sexual information, remember that we live in the real world where few resources are totally value free and nonjudgmental. It's often difficult to pick up an author's point of view, and when s/he is wandering from fact into personal values that may conflict with fact. Values often cloud facts. Even scientific studies may be interpreted in ways that are distorted by value systems. I think it is clear what my perspectives are, and you should read them accordingly.

Just as you evaluate your medical needs and seek second opinions, I encourage you to question the sexual information you are given as fact with other resources, especially when they don't "feel" right to you. You will always have to distill information and utilize it as it fits with your life needs and value system. And, most of all, if it's a turn-off don't do it.

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Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Dr. Sex Column #5 09-06-06

QUESTION: Are you saying that there is not such thing as sexual addiction?

ANSWER: I ended the column before last with that suggestion. Let's put this one to rest. Sexual addiction is a specious diagnosis! No if, ands, or buts about it.

Dr. Charles Moser says, "Addiction is a physiological dependence. When alcoholics stop drinking, they get the sweats, their heart rates goes up, their reflexes increase, etc....Heroin addicts have their own withdrawal syndrome, but again it involves physiological changes (I do not mean to imply that there are not psychological changes as well.). If 'sex addicts' are denied sex, they may have all sorts of psychological problems, but they do not go into a physiological withdrawal."

Addiction has to do with physiological dependence and withdrawal symptoms.

For a longer and more detailed answer, please read Dr. Marty Klein's excellent article, "The Myth of Sex Addiction" at: I can't say it any better than that. He speaks my voice.

I think Dr. Klein's summary says it all... "Virtually no one in the field of sexology believes in the concept of 'sex addiction.' All clinicians and thoughtful people should reject any model suggesting that men and women must spend their lives 1) fearing sexuality's destructive power; 2) being powerless about sexuality; 3) lacking the tools to relax and let sex take over when appropriate. In these terrible anti-sex times, one of our most important tasks is to reaffirm that sex, though complex, is precious, not dangerous."

Let's stop putting the word "addiction" to every personal choice that doesn't work out.

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Monday, August 28, 2006

Dr. Sex - Column #4 08/23/06

Question: What are the effects of using Vaseline® as a sexual lubricant?

Answer: Vaseline® or any petroleum based products such as mineral oil, baby oil, some hand lotions or massage oils should NEVER be used as a sexual lubricant as they are not water-soluble, so they cannot be easily washed from body orifices, and any residue left behind may potentially be a site where bacteria could breed and cause infection. Petroleum based products will also cause latex condoms to disintegrate. Not a good idea.

For a lubricant you want something wet and slick. Try one or more of the various lubricants that have specifically been designed for sex such as Astroglide®, Intime'®, or any other water-soluble product. Most pharmacies, lingerie shops or sex toy stores have a selection of them.

My personal favorite is J-Lube®, a powder you mix with water, and which may be acquired from Nasco Farm & Ranch in Canada by phoning 1-800-668-0600. It is a veterinary lubricant and costs much less than any sex lubricant on sale in stores. No, you won't bark or lift your leg on a fire hydrant after using it. Their catalog is fascinating and has lots of products for the sexually explorative person. Ask for one.

By the way, there is no such thing as using too much lubrication. As women age, lubrication lessens. Dryness can cause irritation and painful sex.

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Dr. Sex - Column #3 08-09-06

QUESTION: How can I cure my abnormally high sex drive?

ANSWER: I'm not sure I know what an "abnormally high" sex drive is.
Whose sex drive are you measuring it against? There is a wide range to what healthy, normal humans do, sexually.

Some healthy, normal folks simply have no interest in sex, some like sexual activity more than once a day. Some people just like it more than others. They enjoy it as a hobby, one that they may be able to share with a partner.

Is touching sexual? Is kissing sexual? Is talking about sex being sexual? Variables such as age, health, living arrangements and contentment with relationships may also have an affect on sex drive.

When you talk about "cure," you make sex drive sound like a disease, which it is not, hence there can be no cure. If you are concerned about your sex drive, or that of your partners, don't feel pressured to abide by what other people do. You know what is right for you and what is uncomfortable. Let that information guide you in your decision-making, communication, and judgment.

If your sexual choices are interfering with other parts of your life, then seek appropriate counseling, but please don't buy the specious addiction model when it comes to sexuality. It just doesn't fit. I'll discuss more about this topic in the next column.

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Dr. Sex - Column #2 08/02/06

Question: What turns on a woman so much she will do anything I want?

Answer: That's an answer many men and women want to know. Actually, it's a professional secret that only we sexologists know. I won't tell you the whole story, but I will give you a few clues.

To be sure that I'm leading you on the right path, I called a woman I know, and I posed your question to her. Her instant response was "trust." She said that trust, which comes from honesty, creates a feeling of safety that allows her to explore sexual behaviours which are new to her. And, she said that she prefers a sexually experienced, skillful partner who is knowledgeable of a woman's body, her sexual feelings and responses, and behaves as an equal; a partner who knows how to touch, has open-eye sex and good personal hygiene (clean body and clothes).

How's that for a start? I don't want to give you all the secrets at once. With this beginning, you should be able to figure out some more of the rest on your own.

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Dr. Sex - Column #1 The Express 7-19-06

Today begins a trial run of Dr. Sex. I want to encourage you to enquire or comment about sex and relationships, and I'll try to respond briefly with nonjudgmental information, and hopefully effect an occasional smile or laugh. I'll resist morality debates and adversary. Tact and diplomacy are not usually my traditional long suits, but I'll try to be careful of people's sensitivities. I'll also give appropriate references.

I've often said that aside from procreation, sex is like chocolate. Some people just like it more than others. It's adult sandbox play. We want our youth to have accurate sexual information so they will be able to make appropriate sexual choices when they are ready to do so. Each of us defines readiness differently, and we must respect that.

I want people to have sexual interactions that are safe, sane and consensual, but I acknowledge that two out of three ain't bad, and one will do in a pinch. Smile.

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