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17th November

    Jealous of the Polyamorous

From The Observer

Welcome to the world of the polyamorous, where the family is bigger than you might expect. Polyamorists do not limit themselves to one relationship but maintain numerous relationships, straight or gay. A key element is that they are all serious emotional commitments, not just casual sex.

And polyamorists are coming out of the closet across America. Several groups have sprung up. In New York, Polyamorous NYC holds monthly meetings, has an email list of about 800 and holds a Poly Pride day each year in Central Park. A documentary, Three of Hearts: A Postmodern Family, has opened at cinemas in the city, chronicling a 13-year relationship between three people living together in a relationship that produced two children.

Many polyamorous people, who call themselves 'polys', liken their emergence to the struggle by gays and lesbians for equal rights, 'coming out' as poly in a society prejudiced against their lifestyle.

Justen Bennett-MacCubbin, the founder of Polyamorous NYC, who is in two serious gay relationships, says he has had to come out of the closet twice: first as a homosexual at 16 and three years later as polyamorous too. 'I realised I enjoyed being with two people in two relationships. Monogamy has no interest for me at all,' he said.

Polys face deep prejudice, he says. The most common reaction from non-polys is that polys have chosen their lifestyle to have lots of sex with different people.

Nothing could be further from the truth, he says. It is extremely important that people realise it is not just about sexual encounters. What distinguishes the poly community from swingers is that we want to make multiple emotional bonds. Most people in the poly community won't have casual sex.

It does result in complicated sexual and emotional patterns. Some polys are in 'triangles', where each person in a threesome has a relationship with the other. Or they can be in a 'vee', where one is involved with two others who are not involved with each other. Or polys can be in 'primary relationships', such as with a spouse or partner, and have one or more 'secondary' relationships. Through it all the sexes can be mixed, as polys can be straight, gay or bisexual.

But being a poly can be tough. Brigitte Philippides, an artist in Greenwich Village, has a primary relationship with a boyfriend, a serious relationship with a secondary girlfriend and several secondary relationships with other men. To bored husbands or wives who might think being a poly means uncomplicated, carefree sex with multiple partners, Philippides has a stern warning. If you can't manage one relationship healthily, you are not going to be able to manage two. For polys, relationships are like a consuming hobby: they take up a tremendous amount of time, she said.

People divorce often not because of the cheating, but because of the issue of trust being broken. For polys, everything is open and it's all about honesty. All my relationships are working, Philippides said.

Jealousy is the key emotional issue to be overcome. We are taught that jealousy is hardwired into us and people can then justify their jealous rages at their partner's need for others. Polys move beyond that, said Wise.

Certainly some polys have changed the perceptions of those nearest and dearest to them. Wise tells of her in-laws' shocked reaction when she and her husband came out as polys 11 years ago.

There were concerns for their marriage and their children. Now those concerns are gone. They see that our kids have grown up great and that our marriage is great, and that's all they really cared about in the end, she said.

And the secret of success? Communicate, communicate, communicate, Wise enthused. 'It is just honesty and working on being a better person. When we first started we took very slow and deliberate steps towards being poly. And you know what? The world did not implode.'

 

2nd October

    Enjoyable Life Enabled for the Disabled

From The Telegraph

Disabled Danes are being encouraged to make monthly visits to prostitutes and reclaim the cost from the taxpayer, under laws intended to guarantee them equal rights.

In a move that has provoked angry protests but has delighted the country's legalised sex industry, the Danish government has launched an information campaign advising the disabled how best to go about obtaining erotic services.

Stig Langvad, the chairman of the Danish Association for the Disabled, hailed the campaign as a triumph for equality. Sexual frustration can be a major problem for the disabled, and in some cases the last solution is to visit a prostitute. Politicians can debate whether prostitution in general should be allowed, but if it is, why should the disabled be the only ones prevented from having access to it?

Danish law guarantees financial help from the state to ensure the disabled lead as normal a life as possible. They are entitled to reclaim the cost of converting a car, or to claim a subsidy on an expensive hotel room if cheaper ones lack necessary facilities.

Now the regulations are being used to pay for visits to prostitutes after a disabled man - not named for legal reasons - won a legal action forcing officials to pay his expenses for the services of a call girl. Councils across Denmark have been left with no choice but to follow suit.

In Aarhus, the second-largest city, disabled residents have been told that they may visit a brothel or call a male or female prostitute to their home once a month and pass the bill - which can be up to 300 - on to the state.

An advisory booklet produced by the Ministry of Social Affairs aims to inform the disabled of their sexual rights, and encourages their carers to contact providers of erotic services. It could be of great importance that the carer speaks to the prostitute together with the person in their care, to help them express their wishes and make sure there is enough time, it states.

A spokesman for the Ministry of Social Affairs said: We produced the leaflet because many people who care for the disabled were not sure if they were allowed to suggest using prostitutes. But that is not just what the brochure is about.

 

2nd May

    Sizing Up Your Sex Life

From the MSNBC

My clitoris seems too big/small. Is it?
In a study of 200 women, the average total length of the clitoris was about 16 millimeters, about half an inch. The transverse diameter was 3.4 mm. No wonder we men have a hard time finding it.

Do I make enough semen?
What is it with guys and semen? We want more, more, more. Aargh! (Imagine man flexing here). But ask a woman sometime. She’d be just as happy to minimize the mess. According to the World Health Organization, a man is just fine if he makes something over 2 ml of semen (slightly less than one-tenth of an ounce). A normal range is somewhere between 2 ml and 3 ml, a teaspoon or so.

Are my testicles too small?
Do bigger balls make you more of a man? Sort of. Size is related to sperm production and testosterone, but it’s not like most guys are walking around with a couple of Titleists down there. Ouch! One study comparing Japanese and American men showed that Japanese testicles had a normal range of volume greater than 14 milliliters (slightly less than half an ounce), while Americans had a slightly higher range, greater than 17 ml (slightly more than half an ounce). Other studies from around the world show about the same results. You may be interested to know that doctors measure this size with a device called an orchiometer. How about that?

How long should I last?
One interesting study showed that men think they ought to last forever, but women are just as happy to have them last just long enough. Other research suggests the typical “ejaculatory latency” time ranges from over 7 minutes to around 10 minutes. But remember, guys, this has a lot to do with style. You could make it last longer if you just weren’t in such a hurry.

The lesson from all this? There aren’t many spectacular physical specimens or sexual performers out there. The norms, at least as far as research has been able to figure them out, are, well, pretty normal. And even if you fall outside the norm, so what? As long as it works, you’re fine. When Lincoln was asked how long legs should be, he said, “long enough to reach the ground.”

 

28th April

    Disabled by a Uncaring Attitude from the State

From the BBC

Society is failing to address the sexual and emotional needs of disabled people, a survey of readers of a leading disability magazine suggests. More than 1,000 returned questionnaires asking them to be honest about their sex lives to Disability Now magazine. Only half of those who responded said they had had sex in the past year.

Disability Now is calling on politicians, charities, the media and health and social workers to take the issue more seriously. And it says the results demonstrate that society is refusing to address the sexual and emotional needs of disabled people. Three-quarters of those who completed questionnaires thought the law should be changed to legalise prostitution. The survey indicates disabled men are more than twice as likely to use the services of a sex worker than the general male population. And 63% said they would use legalised sexual services if they were available.

Levels of sexual self esteem were shown to be very low, and most people felt that the government should fund specialist counselling services. Disabled actress Julie Fernandez, who helped to launch the survey, says the media should be showing a more rounded picture of the daily lives of disabled people: Until we have more disabled news presenters, broadcasters and musicians telling the stories from our point of view, and until able bodied people experience us as colleagues, they will not know us as normal people.

The report's author, disabled psychologist Simon Parritt, thinks the problem is made far worse by a collective refusal to acknowledge its existence: Many disabled people's lives are less happy, and emotionally and sexually isolated, because we have ignored the issue. But just because there are so few activists fighting for change in this area, it does not excuse those in government or charities failing to take a lead.

Disability Now's acting editor, Sarah Hobson, says the publication will be putting a range of recommendations to government and the voluntary sector to address the matter.

Less than half of those surveyed said that they had received any form of sex education - and many say professionals are indifferent to their needs. Social workers, GPs, consultants and specialists seem to be completely uninterested in disabled people's sexual needs, writes another respondent. The situation in the UK contrasts with the Netherlands where disabled people can avail themselves of a nationwide service run by the Foundation for Alternative Relation Mediation. The foundation employs a small team of female and male sex workers. Although most people pay the full price for the service, some Dutch local authorities make a contribution towards the cost.

 

11th March

    Why Pay?

Sebastian Horsley - a man who's slept with more than 1,000 prostitutes - gives a  candid account of his experience of paying for sex.

From The Observer

I remember the first time I had sex - I still have the receipt. The girl was alive, as far as I could tell, she was warm and she was better than nothing. She cost me 20. I was 16 then and I'm 41 now. I have spent 25 years throwing my money and heart at tarts. I have slept with every nationality in every position in every country. From high-class call girls at 1,000 a pop to the meat-rack girls of Soho at 15, I have probably slept with more than 1,000 prostitutes, at a cost of 100,000.

I am a connoisseur of prostitution: I can take its bouquet, taste it, roll it around my mouth, give you the vintage. I have used brothels, saunas, private homes from the internet and ordered girls to my flat prompt as pizza. While we are on the subject, I have also run a brothel. And I have been a male escort. I wish I was more ashamed. But I'm not. I love prostitutes and everything about them. And I care about them so much I don't want them to be made legal.

In English brothels you shuffle into a seedy room so dim you can only meet the girl by Braille. But in New York last year I sat on a four-poster bed while 10 girls paraded in front of me one by one, like bowls of sushi on a carousel. 'Hi,' they would say, 'I'm Tiffany', 'I'm Harmony', 'I'm Michelle', and I would rise and kiss them. It was so touching, so sweet, so kind. There should always, no matter what, be politeness. It is the way the outside world should work, selfishly but honestly.

The great thing about sex with whores is the excitement and variety. If you say you're enjoying sex with the same person after a couple of years you're either a liar or on something. Of all the sexual perversions, monogamy is the most unnatural. Most of our affairs run the usual course. Fever. Boredom. Trapped. This explains much of the friction in our lives - love being the delusion that one woman differs from another. But with brothels there is always the exhilaration of not knowing what you're going to get.

The problem with normal sex is that it leads to kissing and pretty soon you've got to talk to them. Once you know someone well the last thing you want to do is screw them. I like to give, never to receive; to have the power of the host, not the obligation of the guest. I can stop writing this and within two minutes I can be chained, in the arms of a whore. I know I am going to score and I know they don't really want me. And within 10 minutes I am back writing. What I hate are meaningless and heartless one-night stands where you tell all sorts of lies to get into bed with a woman you don't care for.

The worst things in life are free. Value seems to need a price tag. How can we respect a woman who doesn't value herself? When I was young I used to think it wasn't who you wanted to have sex with that was important, but who you were comfortable with socially and spiritually. Now I know that's rubbish. It's who you want to have sex with that's important. In the past I have deceived the women I have been with. You lie to two people in your life; your partner and the police. Everyone else gets the truth.

Part of me used to enjoy the deception. There was something about the poverty of desire with one's girlfriend. Sex without betrayal I found meaningless. Without cruelty there was no banquet. Having a secret life is exhilarating. I also have problems with unpaid-for sex. I am repulsed by the animality of the body, by its dirt and decay. The horror for me is the fact that the sublime, the beautiful and the divine are inextricable from basic animal functions. For some reason money mitigates this. Because it is anonymous.

What I hate with women generally is the intimacy, the invasion of my innermost space, the slow strangulation of my art. The writer chained for life to the routine of a wage slave and the ritual of copulation. When I love somebody, I feel sort of trapped. Three years ago I was saved. I found a girl whom I could fall in love with ... and sleep with prostitutes with. She sends me to brothels to sleep with women for her. I buy her girls for her birthday and we go to whorehouses together. I am free forever from the damp, dark prison of eternal love.

A prostitute exists outside the establishment. She is either rejected by it or in opposition to it, or both. It takes courage to cross this line. She deserves our respect, not our punishment. And certainly not our pity or prayers.

Of course, the general feeling in this country is that the man is somehow exploiting the woman, but I don't believe this. In fact, the prostitute and the client, like the addict and the dealer, is the most successfully exploitative relationship of all. And the most pure. It is free of ulterior motives. There is no squalid power game. The man is not taking and the woman is not giving. The whore fuck is the purest fuck of all.

Why does a sleazy bastard like me like whores so much? Why pay for it? The problem is that the modern woman is a prostitute who doesn't deliver the goods. Teasers are never pleasers; they greedily accept presents to seal a contract and then break it. At least the whore pays the flesh that's haggled for. The big difference between sex for money and sex for free is that sex for money usually costs a lot less.

But it is more than this. What I want is the sensation of sex without the boredom of its conveyance. Brothels make possible contacts of astounding physical intimacy without the intervention of personality. I love the artificial paradise; the anonymity; using money, the most impersonal instrument of intimacy to buy the most personal act of intimacy. Lust over love, sensation over security, and to fall into a woman's arms without falling into her hands.

Having an instinctive sympathy for those condemned by conventional society, I wanted to cross the line myself. To pay for sex is to strip away the veneer of artifice and civilisation and connect with the true animal nature of man. Some men proudly proclaim that they have never paid for it. Are they saying that money is more sacred than sex?

But one of the main reasons I enjoy prostitutes is because I enjoy breaking the law - another reason I don't want brothels made legal. There is a charm about the forbidden that makes it desirable. When I have dinner every evening in Soho I always think: isn't scampi delicious - what a pity it isn't illegal. I'm sure I am not alone in this. Even Adam himself did not want the apple for the apple's sake; he wanted it only because it was forbidden.

As for the girls, the argument is that making it legal will somehow make it safer, but Soho has one of the lowest crime rates in the country. Anyway, crime and risk are part of the texture of life. Indeed, Freud tells us: 'Life loses interest when the highest stake in the game of living, life itself, may not be risked.' Risk is what separates the good part of life from the tedium.

I decided to ask my Claudia, my favourite prostitute. I first spotted her in the street in Knightsbridge 10 years ago and was so taken by her haunted beauty that I decided to follow her. There was an air of great quality about Claudia. The faces of English girls look as if there is not enough materials to go round. They have thin lips and papery eyelids, box jawbones, prominent Adam's apples and withered hearts. Claudia looks Mediterranean - her lips are full and curly, her nostrils flared, her eyes black and as big as saucers.

She walked and I stalked all the way to Soho and down Brewer Street. No. No way. She couldn't be! She turned, and walked into a brothel. I couldn't believe it. I could fuck Raquel Welch for 25.

When I ask if she wants prostitution legalised, she reacts violently: 'No way! I tried to take a regular job a few months ago. After tax and national insurance I was left with practically nothing. So I came back here. On a good day here I can take 500. I don't have a pimp, so after paying the overheads and the maid I've got more than enough.' There you are. Income tax has made more liars out of the British people than prostitution.

I know a little bit about the business side. Some years ago I became a madam and a male escort. I turned one of the rooms in my flat in Shepherd Market into a knocking shop and joined an escort agency. I went into prostitution looking for love, not money. That said, I always took cash. The women wanted company, someone willing to please at the midnight hour, and straight sex. It was nerve-wracking wondering if I was going to be able to get it up or get on, but at least I had a valid reason for liking my lovers - they paid me. I didn't care if someone called me a whore and a pimp.

So you see, I have always been a prostitute by sympathy. As for the rest of society, prostitution is the mirror of man, and man has never been in danger of becoming bogged down in beauty. So why don't we leave it alone? Or learn to love it, like me? Sex is one of the most wholesome, spiritual and natural things money can buy. And like all games, it becomes more interesting when played for money. And even more so when it is illegal.

Hookers and drunks instinctively understand that common sense is the enemy of romance. Will the bureaucrats and politicians please leave us some unreality. I know what you are thinking. That it's all very well for people like me to idealise whores and thieves; to think that the street is somehow noble and picturesque; I have never had to live there. But so what? One day I will. Until such time, I have to pay for it. How else would someone young, rich and handsome get sex in this city? Yes, yes, I know. Prostitution is obscene, debasing and disgraceful. The point is, so am I.

 

10th March

    Diabetes Can Affect Sexual Health

From Red Nova

Q.: What in the disease of Diabetes make your sex life change and what is lacking in your system that makes you unable to perform sexually like you use to. Thanks. Just curious.

A.: You are asking a question which is very broad and, I think, will correspondingly be of interest to a broad range of people. It is not clear whether you are asking about yourself as opposed to another person or what gender they are.

It is also not clear whether you are asking about a person with type 1 or type 2 diabetes. I will try to provide some broad principles and you and others may write back to me with more specific questions.

There are many levels on which having diabetes can affect one's sex life.

The disease can affect the individual's perception of themselves or how they are perceived by other people. Acutely, blood sugar control can affect the individual's perception of their safety, their interest in sex and their ability to perform. Over the long term, complications of diabetes can affect tissues and organs involved in sexual performance and interactions.

The most obvious of these is that erectile function in men depends on the proper function of nerves and blood vessels in order to achieve an erection. However, sexual relations depend on a complicated sequence of events in the nervous system and the brain in both men and women and those are subject to damage by effects of diabetes to cause nerve damage.

The level of blood sugar control can affect the regulation of the menstrual cycle and, in that way, affect both a woman's interest in sex or libido and also fertility. In fact, in those women who may become pregnant, it is important to know that blood sugar control early after conception can make a huge difference in the likelihood of malformations in the baby. It is therefore important to plan for conception or birth control, in order to minimize the worry about having an affected child.

Type 1 diabetes rarely can be associated with disorders in the ovaries in women or testes in men. More commonly, there can be a condition called polycystic ovary syndrome in women who either have or are at risk for type 2 diabetes, which can affect both female hormone production, fertility, and interest in sex.

In summary, there are multiple ways in which diabetes can interact with interest in sex or sexual performance whether we are talking about women or men, of whatever age and type of diabetes.

I'm not sure I've answered your specific question, but please feel free to write back with more details.

Today's answer is from Robert M. Cohen, M.D., Associate Professor, Division of Endocrinology and Metabolism, Department of Internal Medicine, College of Medicine, University of Cincinnati.

NetWellness, a collaboration of the University of Cincinnati, Ohio State University and Case Western Reserve University, is a consumer health information Web site. You can ask your questions through the site, www.netwellness.org.

 

7th March

    The Dangers of Moralising & Abstinence

An interesting site that is set up primarily to argue that a proscriptive attitude to sex is likely to cause more harm than good. The example of course, is the disproportionate prevalence of child related crime amongst the clergy. Surely those setting out on the clerical path at least start out with better than average intentions yet many get screwed up by the religious restrictions on a normal sex life.

Perhaps this shows that for the good of the entire community, we should allow as much sexual entertainment as possible to ensure that maximum number of people can achieve the sexual release which is so fundamental to life.

From www.Deception.com.au

Established by the Eros Association in 2004. This site aims to help its members defend their business against constant attacks by Christian groups. The site details the hundreds of church clergy who have been perpetrators of sex crime

However, when you look at all the child sex cases reported in the media, it’s striking to note that not one single offender comes from the adult sex industry!

A lot has changed since Eros published ‘Moral Hypocrisy’ in 2000, a booklet detailing the child sex offences of more than 450 church clergy in Australian and overseas.

Churches are finally now starting to apologise to victims, providing compensation and removing child sex offenders from their religious posts when complaints are made, instead of just moving them to other parishes, as they did in the past. The Anglican Church has even decided to adopt a national register of church workers accused, but never charged, with sex offences.

It’s probably also worth mentioning that the Catholic Church in the US recently did their own internal audit into child sex crimes committed by their priests, finding more than 4,400 priests (that’s 4 per cent of all US priests) were involved in crimes against more than 11,000 victims! Perhaps Australian churches need to undertake similar audits so the real number of offences can finally be quantified and, hopefully, dealt with appropriately.



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