Tuesday, October 21, 2008

Healthy Solo-sex

"Can you tell me how to masturbate longer than 10 minutes that includes using a dildo?"

Here are eight ideas to prolong things -- in a good way, that is.

Be the turtle
Jacking off is not a race to see who can finish first, although that can be fun, too. Often, a j/o session is a fill-in behavior to boredom, or simply a spontaneous reaction to feeling horny. Think about when you can "schedule" the time and you'll find your j/o sessions will get more intense and powerful.

Not all dildos are created equal
If you are planning on using a dildo, make sure you have a size realistic for you. Anal play requires a lot of lubrication and time to loosen up, so before you grab the dildo modeled after your favorite well-endowed porn star, you might want to think about starting with something smaller. Dildo novices! This means don't just push in the largest thing you can find. Make sure you follow good dildo care by using a condom (condoms can help keep the dildo clean, make them last longer as well as help with clean up).

You might also want to consider trying a butt plug instead. Given the solo process, your hands might be busy with other things, making it difficult to keep the dildo in your body.

Go for the fantasy
Think about your favorite sexual fantasy. Perhaps writing your fantasy out can help expand the fantasy. Identify who, what, when, where, paying attention to the surroundings, smells, sounds, circumstances and details. By identifying your fantasies, you can integrate them into your solo-sex sessions

Really get to know your body
Part of making a solo j/o session fun is the process of discovering which parts of your body are most arousing. Since there are a number of known erogenous parts of your body, go exploring and pay attention to those that are most erogenous for you. Some guys find their nipples arousing. Others find their legs, balls, or neck arousing. Don't forget the anus and the area between the balls and anus. Play, rub, and otherwise stimulate these areas. Move to massaging and playing with the various parts of your body.

Give him a hand
When you stimulate your penis, pay attention to the various ways you can hold your penis. Different grips lead to different experiences. Discover what you like the most, and try other ways, as opposed to simply doing it the same way every time.

Edged out
The typical guy has a time of increasing arousal, a period of time of erection, and then a point where no matter how hard he tries, he can't stop the orgasm. Edge play is the process of approaching this point and then backing down again.

Two's company
One sign of a healthy relationship is the ability to talk about sex, including fantasy and masturbation. Mutual masturbation, dildo play and many of the ideas above can easily be integrated into your relationship. Talk with your partner about what he likes and incorporate them as well. Healthy sexual relationships can include solo masturbation, mutual masturbation and multiple forms of play.

Review and repeat
This is perhaps a task that is great to practice and repeat. Use different positions, body parts, hand holds or other things, such as fabric, or types of lubricants. Try different fantasies and scenarios. In other words, keep changing things up to keep things lively.

Sunday, October 19, 2008

Helping your Providers Talk about Sex

I'm nearly finished with a workshop presentation for Tuesday that is a training for Chemical Dependency at the annual MARRCH conference in St. Paul Minnesota (www.marrch.org). The workshop highlights the importance of talking about sex, and the need to take a sex history as part of the recovery process. In the workshop I focus on helping the professionals improve their ability and comfort level when they talk about sex. This highlights the probability that as a client who is working on your sexual history, you might be MORE comfortable than the professional. As such, you might have to teach him or her. While this may seem a bit unfair, the overall goal is to improve your health. It is important to talk about your sexual health concerns even if the professional is uncomfortable. It is there job to take care of you, not your job to take care of them.

Think about the last time you visited your doctor, spiritual adviser, dentist, therapist? Where you comfortable talking about sexual health concerns? If not, why? Are there issues you need to address, or is it an issue for your professional. How might you help him or her improve his or her skills?

Monday, October 13, 2008

The Importance of Community

Having people in your life to support you in the process of improving your sexual health is important. It is recommended that you have 3-5 people with whom you are transparent. In the process of defining your personal definition of sexual health, it is this group who serves as a counter balance to an individual's desire to do anything you want. Remember that sexual compulsivity has both an internal and external accountability. Developing your support network is a way to increase external accountability.

Four strategies for starting the process of developing a support network include.

1) Start off small. Say "I'm now in therapy. I need someone to support me, but I'm not ready to go into full detail right now."

2) Examine who in your life is already supportive. Expand what you might say to the person that increases your self-disclosure. You might say that I'm working with a therapist in the area of human sexuality.

3) Identify a big name "star" who has "come out" regarding sexual addiction and compulsivity. (David Duchovny is one of the recent stars who disclosed his personal struggles.) This can help you introduce the topic.

4) Without naming the issue, share some of the negative thoughts or feelings that set you up to act out. Share "I'm really stuck on how negative my thoughts are" or, "I struggle with a lot of shame."

These are simple strategies to start the process of disclosure in your recovery process.

Tuesday, October 7, 2008

Homonegativity, Heterosexism, Homophobia.

Sometimes individuals with a same-sex orientation encounter struggles that make it difficult to accept one’s sexual orientation. Three major barriers are homonegativity, heterosexism, and homophobia. They are related. The biggest example of a barrier is homonegativity. Recent research (Rosser, 2008) highlights how internalized negative thoughts about one’s self may be the largest contributor to feelings of depression. This depression is also theorized as contributing to suicide thoughts and feelings, other feelings of depression, and increased unsafe sexual behaviors. Another major barrier to a same sex identity is heterosexism which is the bias that heterosexuality is superior to all other sexual orientations. An extreme example of heterosexism is the presence of hate crimes. One historical well known example is Matthew Shepard who was attacked and brutally beaten for having a same-sex orientation. He eventually died from the attack. Such attacks hinder many individuals’ self-discovery process usually though their experience of fear and withdrawal leading to increased isolation. Other examples of barriers to a healthy sexual identity include structural barriers such as legal consequences (loss of custody of children), negative stereotypes, internalized shame, family rejection and a sense of fear. Homophobia is another recognized as the irrational fear of homosexuality. This fear leads to avoidance of homosexuality, including the possibility of interacting with healthy gay role models.