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336 posts categorized "sex"

September 12, 2008

Sex, Religion and Superstition

I tend to believe that if you have to pay for enlightenment, then you're being sold lemons to begin with. Enlightenment doesn't usually come with a price tag. Insights are gained each day, through ordinary experiences. You don't have to pay a specific fee for it, which is why this recent Sydney case of sexual assault linked with religion or superstition had me going, and it had me going because the two perverted men belong to the Greek and Coptic Orthodox churches. The elder, or the mastermind behind sexual, Tony Golossian is of Coptic Orthodox faith, and his younger 'protégée' is Arthur Psichogios, of Greek Orthodox faith.

These two men have been charged with 220 sex offences and, in what will have the churches reeling, have used their faiths (Orthodox Christianity is one and the same, originates from one source) to sexually assault two women who believed they were cursed, who then consulted these two men to have curses 'lifted' - the men are not part of the clergy, they're not priests. Now, I realize that sexual assault is bad. I know that it isn't a woman's fault when she is plunged in a situation with horrible men, but for the life of me, I can't understand how women within certain cultures still believe 'curses' or the village folklores and superstitions, but they do. I know of many Greek people who still believe in the evil eye, and some of them are younger than I am.

One of the men's victims thought she (and her family) was cursed by a member of the Greek community who practiced black magic, and by some weird stroke of fate, she was referred to these sexual predators who practiced 'prayer' and 'sex'. But this isn't only about the sex, it's also about money. The woman apparently paid these two men for each prayer service, the amount nearing seventy thousand dollars over a few years. The Fairfield acting police commander said that he's never seen anything so bizarre before, and I guess he hasn't. Sometimes you have to be within a culture to see the bizarre beliefs some people have. I had a male relative who believed that he could get his former girlfriend to return to him via a magic spell. My foster mother would visit a minimum of five clairvoyants a year and at one point, she thought the house was cursed, so she paid this Egyptian 'shaman-like' dude to lift the curse, and she still didn't see his predatory ways: he asked her out on a date shortly after (trying to get into her pants) and kept on at her, and she didn't go out with him because she didn't find him attractive, but he kept on calling the house, just so he could 'keep in touch,' and tried talking to us (then teenage) girls, and we'd hang up the phone. It's bizarre and callous, and most of the time the motivation is centred on greed and sexual cravings.

The question that has me is why people still believe in superstition? Is it because traditional faith doesn't satisfy them? I know that it's considered taboo (in the Eastern Orthodox faith) to believe in superstition. It's still considered heretical, and I guess in these cases, the churches make a valid point (where things like black magic and curses are concerned), because these areas are filled with greedy bastards and predators that take advantage of people. When you enter a church, and I'm not talking about the bullshit evangelical TV shows that request funds, you're not forced to donate money. It's up to the individual. You don't see Catholic or Orthodox priests on television, like Peter Popoff, selling bullshit 'mana' bread or asking for money. But these two men, like telephone psychics, saw an opportunity to make money and obtain 'free' sex (free for them, because they didn't have to invest anything – financial, emotional or otherwise- in the encounter).

But to think that there are people living in the dark ages within one community is not a surprise, not for me anyway. I've known people in my culture to consult astrologers, clairvoyants, visit their Aunt 'Agatha' for coffee readings or go on and on about the Evil Eye – in the 21st Century. Sometimes you can take the Greek out of the village, but you can't take the village out of the Greek, and it may seem cruel for me to say that, but it's true in many circumstances (I know of people who have paid women to cast spells to get their 'lovers' to return) and it seems like the Eastern Orthodox Church has done little to resolve the issues surrounding superstition. I guess religion does little full stop. Even within countries with other Christian denominations, you still see the prevalence of 'new age' charlatans. In the United States, psychics have more media attention or given more respect. People like John Edward are viewed as spiritual authorities, and there never is any scientific proof to validate the John Edwards' of this world. That's the thing. They play their game well and people are still suckered, and the psychics become millionaires, selling one bullshit book after another, playing on our vulnerability, pain (from losing loved ones), and really, these people should be given a kick in the ass. John Edward may try to look intellectual with his new spectacles, but he doesn't fool me.

Meanwhile, I'm trying to come to terms with the fact that one of these perverted men lives in my suburb. Too many freaks, not enough circuses - or islands (to put them on). But even so, to think that there are woman who believe in superstitious bullshit, that inadvertently opens the door to assault or negative experiences, is beyond my comprehension - in this day and age? Isn't 'black magic' something that belongs in the Middle Ages or horror fiction novels?

Most people who believe they are 'magicians' or people who can 'shape' thought are deluded in some way or form. They feel like they need to have control over things because they feel like they don't have any control in anything else. The best example of magic/superstition leading to insanity is Aleister Crowley, who thought he could conjure the devil and was so deluded, he gave himself the nickname 'The Beast'. He was addicted to narcotics, had delusions of  (metaphysical) grandeur and thought himself an esoteric guru who held the key to all meaning, and if he did, he'd be immortal wouldn't he? But he's pushing up daisies like everyone else.

September 03, 2008

Sex is more than the physical

Is sex all that it is cracked up to be? That's the first question that entered my head after reading the latest headlines. It's quite obvious that abstinence education isn't slowing –not the teenage pregnancy rate, but the rate of teenagers having sex, possibly before they're ready. Are they doing it for the sake of doing it, doing it for love or doing it to fit in or maybe doing it as an escape, no one will ever know, but if current sexually explicit trends and abstinence programs aren't reducing sexual activity among teenagers, then what?

Also, is teenage pregnancy a huge deal? If a government established programs that enable teenagers to cope as young parents, programs that enable them to continue their educations or work options (via apprenticeships or traineeships), how bad could teenage pregnancy be?

Society is strange. The binaries are obvious; a girl is pregnant and she is stigmatized for having sex (to be pregnant – pregnancy as an obvious confirmation of her sexual activity) and viewing pregnancy as an 'undesirable' condition tends to blur the other factor within the biological equation – the fetus or baby. I've seen teenagers (accompanied by parents) at abortion clinics and the teenagers don't look happy to be there, they're terrified. And fine, there is a choice or girls/women have a choice, but let's face it, it's more like an executive decision. Individuals vary; abortion isn't necessarily a decision that curbs future 'mistakes'. There are women out there that view abortion as an easy solution, some women have multiple abortions, and sure that is their choice, but the spotlight is on abortion, not the reasons multiple abortions occur. I've had one abortion, and I wouldn't class it as a happy experience. More like a soul drain. I remember the day vividly, and I remember the post op period; I said to myself that if I had to make that choice again, I'd rather not have sex, which is why the view of 'abortions' being fine and dandy (because most feminists view them as straight medical procedures, like having a vaccination) pisses me off a lot. Let's not forget that many of the most militant feminists, or the most 'loud', tend to be childless so they wouldn't have a clue about abortion (as an experience) or parenthood.

What if abstinence was revamped?

Continue reading "Sex is more than the physical" »

September 01, 2008

Bored After 200 Orgasms Per Day

Sometimes, having too much of anything can lead to boredom. Orgasms included. The below quote came via The Daily Telegraph and News of the World. The articles discuss Sarah Carmen, a woman who is bored simply because the most ordinary thing can bring her to orgasm and having sex with people hasn't provided a panacea for her medical condition:

"Sometimes I have so much sex to try to calm myself down I get bored of it. And men I sleep with don't seem to make as much effort because I climax so easily."

Sarah's condition makes Meg Ryan's diner orgasm (When Harry Met Sally) look like a casual burp. The SSRI link is scary when I think about it because I'm now wondering what will happen when I stop the Zoloft at some point. I've been thinking about ending my relationship with the shrink for a few weeks now, and I'm researching the best way to cease SSRI's - not that I mind the Zoloft, but I can't be arsed returning to the shrink, and forking out cash for a useless appointment, just to receive a script and the last thing I'd need in my life was PSAS as a possible repercussion or side effect; how the hell would I explain that to my son? If Sarah experiences orgasms at the sound of hairdryers, how would I fare? Will a casual play on the Nintendo Wii result in a spontaneous orgasm? I can't imagine how Sarah's 200 orgasms a day provide peace of mind as they'd interfere with work, and just about every other task. If she reacts to loud noises, imagine what her days would be like when she walks on a busy city street. Imagine what would happen near a construction site?

PSAS (Persistent Sexual Arousal Syndrome) or Persistent Genital Arousal Disorder can be the bane of any one's existence. It may render orgasm monotonous, if experienced 200 or so times a day. I had no idea this condition existed until recently. According to the original article in News of the World, Sarah developed PSAS after being prescribed anti-depressants at the age of 19. Instead of the condition making her life a nightmare (bars and other loud venues tend to bring on the occasional orgasm), Sarah has taken it in her stride, but imagine if this was you? How would you negotiate work? I can imagine how my own workplace would react to the revelation; it kind of makes 'equal opportunity' legislation all the more interesting.

What is PSAS?
Apparently it is unrelated to any feelings or emotions of sexual desire, and relates more to a spontaneous arousal. It was first documented in 2001, and is unrelated to hypersexuality (the PC term for nymphomania) and even though orgasm may provide minor relief, the symptoms are known to return within hours. The causes vary, and the cessation of SSRI's has been linked to the condition. Non SSRI causes include sensory nerve irregularity or pelvic venous-arterial deformities.

If you're interested in reading more about it, you can purchase the PDF copy of the paper via this link here.

August 29, 2008

Girls Gone 'Wild' or Girls Gone Stupid?

If I found my son in a similar predicament as the ‘lingerie’ teens at the Hooker's Ball in the Northern Territory, I’d turf him out of the club by the ear, he’d be grounded for a year, and I’d confiscate (read: toss out his ‘gadgets’ and luxuries) his junk. Then in the definite rebellious discourse of ‘you cannot ground me mum!’ I would come back with the ultimate rebuttal: get a job to pay for all your clubbing expenses. I’m a wog; I don't have the Anglo politically correct thing happening at all. I react this way because there is that minor segment (Genetically passed on? Cultural?) that goes off every now and then, a bit like a short circuit. It's not a matter of teenagers being 'seen' and not heard, or to be locked away until they're adults, but more a case of teenagers developing some manners, decorum and self-respect.

Is it too convenient to blame the Paris Hilton’s of this world and the nightclubs? Some girls do look over the age of 18, which is the legal age for alcohol consumption in Australia. If it was me, I’d be blaming myself as a parent, but I can see how convenient it would be to blame everything else, to distance oneself from the core matter: how do two girls actually manage to leave a house scantily clad in freaking lingerie? That was my first thought, and girls aren’t the only ones that are displaying bad behavior; there is a percentage of teenage males that are the same. It’s like they’re trying to negotiate a sexual Formula One race with training wheels.

I’m sorry, but I don’t buy the ‘these girls are innocent children’ excuse. Deep down, I view that type of behavior as tarty, cheap, and what have you, that will undoubtedly upset the militant feminists that may (or may not) think that these poor little tarts were brainwashed by aliens (the males the entire patriarchy), but it’s a worrying trend. In one of my previous posts, discussing an underage girl using Adultfriendfinder, to sleep with an older man, whom she later reported to the police, I pointed out the Lolita aspect that unfolds online, but it doesn’t have to unfold online.

Continue reading "Girls Gone 'Wild' or Girls Gone Stupid?" »

August 27, 2008

My Skeptical Moments...

There are some aspects of sexual research that make me think or take me into avenues that I don’t really want to visit but end up visiting. Call it the skepto-meter, call it doubt, but if everything was a neat parcel, tied with a frilly bow, then life would be peachy wouldn’t it?

A recent contribution to the Journal of Sexual Medicine, from researchers at the University of New South Wales, states that sadomasochism may increase happiness, or that is how the Sydney Morning Herald has titled it, and something about the title just doesn’t sit well with me, and of course I’m only relating my personal view. I’m not an authority with a gallery of diplomas, but does it really take a diploma in sexual health to see that there is something missing? Maybe my doubts relate to the fact that I’ve studied at the university, that I, along with many survey participants (for 5% credit) thought we’d score easy marks if we filled out surveys at the psych faculty; that option is there for psych and psych elective students. But the underlying reason behind my doubt is the way the article is written, and how one side is presented, followed by a few generalizations, which is what surveys do. Do the results pad the theory or do researchers pad the theory out based on the research population, and if the research sample is answering anonymous surveys, then that leaves the door open to confabulation. I guess what I’m saying is that self-reporting isn’t the most accurate form of research as it allows people to utilize their imaginations or tap into poetic license.

The two problematic areas of self reporting:
Unreliable responses: exaggerations
Biased sample selection: where the participants only present one view or perspective.

One of the few ways to validate survey research is to use comparisons, and how does one really use comparisons with sadomasochism? If you were doing a survey on personal use of library cards or library habits, you’d compare with books borrowed. But even so, where would we be without survey research? It does, one level, provide social insight about preferences, outlook and experience.

That being said, sadomasochism is tricky to evaluate because the extremes do differ and mainstream newspapers don’t really shed any additional light and are probably prohibited from providing more detail due to legal restrictions, but there are many question marks about the SMH article. It doesn’t really describe the types of sadomasochism. It doesn’t really discuss the sample population surveyed: were they BDSM practitioners, or the fluffy handcuff variety of folk that don’t incorporate sadomasochism into their daily life, in the 24/7 sense.

One quote from the article put a (sarcastic) smile on my face:

"In fact, men who take part may be happier, with results showing they score significantly lower on a scale of psychological distress than other men."

It doesn't discuss if the men are dominants or submissives, and if they're dominant, then I can see why they'd be happy. Wouldn't they be happy if they had a slave they micromanaged, that catered to their every whim? Even on the web, one comes across a wide variety of sadomasochism, and some of it can be disturbing for some people. I'm not a squeamish person, however I can't really stomach vaginal/pudendal beatings (yes, beatings until the pudenda and vagina are bruised), and find it misogynistic, that's just me, but this survey doesn't seem to explore those extreme aspects. What I do find a concern, about these sorts of surveys, is the possibility of them being interpreted in various ways. Every person has their own limits or standards, so if they're confronted with a sexual suggestion in a new relationship, they may be put on the spot or offend the other person, like I did once, when I told a potential date (years ago) that there was Buckley's chance of him putting a dog collar and leash (no kidding) on me 'for outings' to bars and/or clubs. His revelation came out of the blue and despite all the sexual openness of these times, I couldn't bring myself to accept it and it made me realize one thing about myself - that I don't like the idea of being possessed by any one. Not in that way. I feel suffocated, oppressed and cornered. But that's just me, probably the conclusion of my own personal life experiences and history.

August 21, 2008

Sometimes You Need to Roll Up Your Sleeves & Get Stuck Into Sex

It may be weird to compare sex to regular domestic chores, but a few years in a relationship can transform sex into a chore. Add children and more financial commitments to the mix, and sex is likely to come last (pun intended). This is discussed at length in many periodicals. It's always, 'what do I do to perk up my sex life?' or 'now that the kids are here, I'm too tired to have sex,' it's an ongoing saga but does it have to be a saga?

Is sex similar to a sink full of dishes (as a representation of a rut), and is it simply a matter of rolling up the sleeves and getting stuck into it?

Even though I'm single, and rather sexless at the moment, I believe it is about rolling up the sleeves and attacking the issue head on (pun intended). We often use the term, 'use it or lose it' for intellectual stimulation, and the same thing applies to sex. It isn't enough to simply masturbate when you're in a relationship. Masturbation is only going to do so much, particularly if the people do it at separate times, away from each other.

The book hit, “Just Do It – How One Couple Turned Off The TV and Turned On Their Sex Lives For 101 Days (No Excuses!),” details the strategies one couple used to add sizzle to their swizzle:

The story starts in September 2005. At the time, Doug and Annie were living in Denver, Colo., and Doug, a features writer for the Denver Post, told his wife about an unofficial club of people who had gone 100 days without sex.

That’s when Annie suggested they try the opposite.

“At first, I sort of thought, ‘That’s funny, ha ha,’” said Doug, 43, in a phone interview. “But, I know Annie pretty well and she loves a challenge. We talked about it more that night and the next morning, and I knew she was serious.”

It wasn’t like Doug and Annie weren’t having any sex at all.

On the average, they were having sex about once a week, “usually on Saturday nights,” said Doug, who still works at the Post."

This book is being optioned by 20th Century Fox. It's common sense advice without heavy-duty introspection on the why and how sexual ruts occur.They just do and the best advice is often the most simple (common sense) advice.

August 10, 2008

Cosmo Institute's How to Please a Man, or Just Play With His Balls

This video is satirical, worth a few laughs:

'Cosmopolitan' Institute Completes Decades-Long Study On How To Please Your Man

July 31, 2008

One Step Closer to Robot Sex

A new robot has been developed in the UK, one that will possibly accelerate the development of responsive robots. The implications for sex dolls like Realdolls?

Read more here.

July 30, 2008

The Birds and the Bees Aren't the Be All & End All

There are days when I am relieved I am not the parent of a teenage girl. I don't mean that in a negative way, but after spending decades sorting through much popular literature and using incredible amounts of time taking supposed advisory articles seriously, to find that most are written by writers to earn money (which is a natural thing), I fail to see how certain approaches to sex education are educational and I've often thought that girls are being 'trained' or conditioned to perform tasks a certain way.

Some books are like the domestic advice book of yester-decade. Instead of teaching girls to cook soufflés, they provide a general list of tips to satisfy – you guessed it – men. In other words, a level of heterocentricity exists. A book titled, "Deal with It!: A Whole New Approach to your Body, Brain and Life as a gURL," accidentally made it on a school reading list for students in grades six to eight, and was subsequently removed after the error came to light. The book title was accidentally pasted on the list. One parent was mortified after noticing that the book included advice on how to please a man, how to use sex toys and how to have multiple partners. This sort of 'sex advice' or education (in books) does raise more questions. Is it appropriate for students in grades six to eight? Not only this, but sex education tends to focus on the physical: how to please, which bit goes in where, how to masturbate. Now I'm not anti-masturbation, but I know –from personal experience – that it's a personal thing. You can read all the advice in the world, and it will not work until you find your own momentum, and I don't think that advising young teenagers to use sex toys from the start is the way to go. They don't learn about their body's natural reactions from using a mechanism that accelerates the sexual response. The reality is the opposite: the sexual response (without toys and third party 'software'), for women, isn't a five-minute thing.

Continue reading "The Birds and the Bees Aren't the Be All & End All" »

July 26, 2008

Viagra & Women: The Sequel

0626viagra Getting through the initial hurdle of SSRI's takes patience and self-reassurance. Sure the orgasm frequency may be reduced, but is it a crisis? If you're like me (Chances are if you're stressed, experience work-related upheaval and enter a modern-day existential crisis, you're likely to be on something), on any one of the following - Paxil, Zoloft, Prozac and Celexa – then you're aware of the interruptions these drugs can have on your libido. It may depend on dosage, but chances are you orgasmic capacity isn't affected. In short, you're able to climax but your routine may change, in addition to this, you may be affected by any one of the following: vaginal dryness, altered orgasms (or orgasms that are different to the pre-drug orgasms you're accustomed to), delayed orgasm, diminished sex drive (which, for me, means that I'm not so preoccupied with sex and not getting sex, among other things), and so on. The side effects vary from one individual to the next so when the word 'dysfunction' is used liberally it can only induce panic but is it true dysfunction?

Dysfunction, or the inability to function (take your pick), is a killer word that is used liberally within our modern and technologically deft society. Let's face it; today's society is about function. Every product is sold on functional capabilities. You can't even buy a mobile phone these days without having to read through a mini-Bible about the functions. Do I really use bluetooth to answer phone calls? No I don't, but hey, it's there. Do I really need a camera on my phone when I have a better camera at home? Nope, but it's there. Sex is sold on a daily basis, and yes, it's associated with functional humans or humans that are presumed functional but can any one really claim to be 100% functional and if one is 100% functional then as a function of what variable?

New research is pointing toward Viagra reversing the effects of SSRI libido lag. What a good way to sell more Viagra-like drugs? What a wonderful way to add more side effects to your life. Viagra, and Viagra-like drugs have side effects that sit in the cardiac side of the fence, and while Viagra shows promise to reverse SSRI libido lag, people still have to be screened before they are prescribed Viagra. Cardiac problems rule out Viagra. What then? But this research isn't about men, it's about women and the research is aimed at producing clinical results that will make Viagra viable for women. The study, no surprises here, was funded by Pfizer and published a few days ago in the AMA Journal.

This new study is small, with 98 female subjects, and it will probably lead to a Viagra for women, as the current format is optimized for men, having a lesser impact on women, however previous Viagra studies on women failed, simply because the drug blocked an enzyme associated with the inhibition of blood flow. Although the drug increased engorgement in the vagina area, it didn't enhance sexual desire. Pfizer ended these trials a few years ago, and years later, or around about now, doctors claimed that the initial studies weren't selective.

"The latest study was confined to women with arousal problems. They all had been diagnosed with major depression and were taking a specific class of antidepressants called selective serotonin re-uptake inhibitors, or SSRIs. Their depression was in remission when the study began.

The women, all of whom were premenopausal, were divided into two groups. One group was assigned to take Viagra one to two hours before sexual activity for eight weeks. The other women received the same instructions but were given a placebo.

At the end of the study, 72% of women taking Viagra, and 27% of those taking the placebo, reported improvement. The side effects were those typically associated with Viagra, including headaches and flushing. The women who responded best tended to have higher levels of testosterone, a phenomenon also observed in men taking Viagra."
- Reuters

Goldstein, who consults for Pfizer and other drug companies, said testosterone levels may be the key. A recent study in Italy found that Viagra helped female diabetics with normal testosterone levels."

Thus, it seems that a higher testosterone level will make Viagra for women more beneficial. What does this mean for women who have a low testosterone level, who are on SSRI's and experience libido lag? Are they also given testosterone to jack up the effect of Viagra? I don't know, but the way of the modern world is a concern, and not for depression. SSRI's are also prescribed for anxiety. Would people have more sex or be in the mood if they had low anxiety and stress levels? How does one eradicate toxic stress levels? Pills do help, but do they help in the long run when other compromises need to be made, such as getting accustomed to libido-lag or delayed orgasms?

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