Tag: Genitals

Penis Size

Dear Subscribers,

The following letter came to me via my website. It reflects such a common issue that I’m sure it will resonate with many of you. Here’s your chance to ‘listen in’ and examine a sexual issue. Feel free to send me your own questions. Even if your letter doesn’t make the Hot Topics column, you will get a personal response.

Please Note: All identifying information in this, and all other, articles has been modified to preserve confidentiality. You can always count on this.

Question:

Dear Dr. Ren,

I am totally embarrassed by this question.

My wife and I have been married for 10 years. We are both relatively fit and able-bodied. The marriage is great and we have 2 wonderful children; it’s just that most of the time we only have time for quickies (dodging the kids) and I would rather use my penis. I can really only pleasure her orally or with different types of devices because my penis very small fully erect. The width of it, along with the length just isn’t enough, I guess, to me more personally than my wife. Although there is no problem with my erections, my wife gets no pleasure when I’m inserted. It would be great if I could finish the job with just my penis.

We have tried many different positions and have bought many books showing other sexual methods. I have never tried any product I see advertised. Is there really anything out there that enhances the penis?

Answer:

Let me begin by assuring you that anything over about two inches in penis length is wasted as far as vaginas go. You see, women don’t have nerve endings except in the outer third of the vagina (it’s why we aren’t aware of tampons). The pleasurable sensations we experience from deep penetration are from pressure on the cervix, which can be accomplished quite well with fingers and dildos. I suspect your wife’s lack of pleasure is far more psychological than physical…we are sold such a bill of goods (women as well as men) regarding the ‘bigger is better’ myth.

You are correct that girth is more important than length. And your comment “to me more personally than my wife” reveals much insight, too. If she is dissatisfied, experiment with positions, toys, different touching techniques, etc, and above all, keep talking and listening. And try to believe her when she tells you she wouldn’t trade you in for anything in the world. As to wanting to “finish the job with just my penis”, you may be looking at an ego issue rather than a sexual issue…and that’s a good thing because you can control that. Please believe me when I tell you women are far more satisfied with a caring, attentive lover with a small dick than an insensitive lout with a big one.

I see from your letter that you are comfortable using toys (and, I presume, your hands). I suggest you continue to intersperse intercourse (which, again I’m presuming, YOU enjoy) with oral sex, penetration with dildos for that full feeling your wife likes, and digital manipulation.

As to your question about whether there is actually anything that will extend penis length, yes, there is, but they are imperfect. Check with your local sex store, or contact Good Vibrations. They carry a condom-like sheath that has an extension included, providing extra length. It might be just what you are looking for.

As for creams, lotions, etc…it’s all snake oil. There are penile extension surgeries, but they are very high risk and many men rue the day their egos convinced them to agree to them. There is also a technique (much less dangerous) in which the suspensory ligaments are severed so the penis hangs lower from the body, giving the effect of being longer. Problem? The suspensory ligaments anchor the organ…cut them, and you have no control of the penis, so you must hold it in place during sex or you keep missing your target while thrusting. What a bother.

The fact that you usually have time only for quickies is certainly as much of your problem as the size of your penis. My bet is that if you and your wife set aside time each week for nothing other than creating a safe and comfortable environment in which sex and intimacy can happen, you will both be far more satisfied. I do understand how ‘quickies’ become the norm in a busy household, but your letter cues me that this may well not be affording you what you are seeking. Have a look at my article ‘Mate Dates’, and call the babysitter.

I hope this helps. If you are enjoying a good marriage after ten years, you’re doing something right! Apparently, you and your wife are communicating and problem solving together. The enjoyment of sex is much more between our ears than between our legs. Still, I hear your anguish and hope that these suggestions will bring you some welcome relief from concern.

If you need more information, just ask.

Labioplasty

It seems recently that every radio talk show host calling has the same question. Ditto each magazine reporter. Everyone wants to talk about labioplasty: surgically trimming the labia to look like a porn star’s.

I’ve been around long enough to remember attending women’s health conferences in the early 70s where we considered ourselves brave and liberated for looking at our own cervixes with mirrors and flashlights. I once lay head to head with another woman as a parade of onlookers circled us, each bending to peer into our specula-stretched vaginas. One matron straightened, alarmed, and alerted me, “My dear, you have blood up there!” I responded that I had my period. Her face worked for a moment as she processed this information. Then she smiled. “Oh, yes,” she nodded, “of course that’s where it comes from,” and she moved down the line. We knew so little of ourselves then that we prized each new piece of knowledge and power.

Fast forward three decades. Now periods are optional and the thrill of ownership of our genitals is eclipsed by the anxiety of comparing them to the perfect digitally retouched porno pussy. Sigh.

Labia are like faces. All have the same basic parts yet each is distinct. Labia are filled with sensitive nerve endings that deliver the most exquisite sensations when swollen and treated nicely. Beneath the skin of the labia lie the crura or legs of the clitoris (the hard round button tucked under the clitoral hood is but a fraction of the organ). Since the labia are rarely symmetrical, each responds a bit differently to touch, providing more and varied sensations as we climb towards orgasm. Many women use knowledge of these anatomical differences during masturbation. As we get closer to orgasm, we may pull on that slightly larger left labia to increase traction on the clitoral hood, for instance. The wise lover will pay attention to these details and explore his/her lover’s geography to learn the many available exciting pleasure paths.

Labioplasty has nothing to do with pleasure. Zero, zip, nada, zilch. Trimming your pussy lips to be tiny, tight, and symmetrical is entirely about meeting some theoretical perception of what the ‘perfect’ woman’s labia is ‘supposed’ to look like. This month. Considering we can’t see our own vulva without a mirror and a flashlight, genital plastic surgery certainly isn’t about our own visual satisfaction. Is it solely in response to what we believe are the wishes of our male partners? But if you ask most men to describe the ugliest pussy they ever saw, they’ll quickly respond, “It was beautiful!”

So why are women submitting to this surgery? We’ve already bought that our breasts are too small, our bottoms not appropriately peachy, our thighs too cottage cheesy, and our stomachs too slack. Our icon models are anorexic waifs while our real life population gets fatter and fatter. Perfection seems ever more unattainable.

Each of us owns our own body and has every right to do with it whatever we want. No question. It troubles me greatly, though, that so much emphasis is placed on appearance with barely a reference to function or pleasure.

Before we consider removing the tissues that cause us to call out God’s name, let’s think hard about what we are doing and why. If you feel that your relationship would be improved by having slimmer labia, examine your relationship! Invest in a copy of Joani Blank’s book, Femalia, and celebrate the beauty and diversity of the women’s vulvas photographed in those pages. If you want to change the appearance of your netherlips, get a piercing or shave your pubic hair, but please, think twice before surgically altering your tender bits. Remember: fashion changes, but pleasure is forever.

Masturbation and Sexual Health

A well known piece of advice from urologists for men with recurring or chronic prostatitis and/or who might be at increased risk of developing prostate cancer is to have more ejaculations by masturbating.

From the New Scientist Print Edition (16 July 03):

“It will make you go blind. It will make your palms grow hairy. Such myths about masturbation are largely a thing of the past. But the latest research has even better news for young men: frequent self-pleasuring could protect against the most common kind of cancer.

A team in Australia led by Graham Giles of The Cancer Council Victoria in Melbourne asked 1079 men with prostate cancer to fill in a questionnaire detailing their sexual habits, and compared their responses with those of 1259 healthy men of the same age. The team concludes that the more men ejaculate between the ages of 20 and 50, the less likely they are to develop prostate cancer….”

Masturbation is perhaps the singular sexual activity in which almost all of us participate and about which almost none of us speak. It wears a shroud of shame and silence. Many believe it is an infantile activity, to be replaced with the more ‘mature’ intercourse as soon as adulthood is reached. Masturbation guru Dr Betty Dodson has this to say about masturbation:

“Sex will change throughout your life. After hot, romantic sex, there will be the sweetness of early married sex, the mystical quality of procreative sex, and the comfort—or boredom—of long-term monogamous sex. Most of you will get divorced and have another phase of hot romantic sex, and run the cycle again. Those of you who are lesbian or gay will follow a similar pattern. A few of you might go on to explore sex in depth, getting beyond conventional sex roles and labels, and experiencing bisexual threesomes and group sex. But take note! The most consistent sex will be your love affair with yourself. Masturbation will get you through childhood, puberty, romance, marriage, and divorce, and it will see you through old age.”

How fortuitous that the Giles study now reinforces the value of masturbation. Regardless of our societal attitudes, we must now admit that regular self-pleasuring ensures good prostate health. We’ve known since the 1940s, when Dr. Alfred Kegel developed pubococcygeal (PC) muscle exercises to counteract incontinence in middle-aged women, that PC muscle strength also enhances women’s orgasmic response. In other words, masturbation is good for all humans, at all stages of life. Research now confirms that our genitor-urinary health depends upon it.

Perhaps we shrink from embracing masturbation because we believe we are not entitled to sexual pleasure unless someone else gives it to us, thus relieving us of personal responsibility. This excuse explains not using safer sex techniques, poor judgment in our sexual behaviour, and a host of interpersonal miscommunications. Many unnecessarily forego the gratification of vibrators and other sex toys to protect their partners’ egos. Such unnecessary inhibitions!

Masturbation is natural, normal, and (now we know) healthy. Almost all of us do it. We need, as responsible sexually-aware people, to stifle our shyness and talk with our partners about this most basic and universal of sexual behaviours. Urinary continence, prostate health, and lifelong pleasure…it really should be an easy sell, don’t you think?

National Masturbation Day

– Originally published on DrKoop.com

May 7th is National Masturbation Day. Though it’s true that we aren’t granted the Monday off work to observe this holiday, it behooves us to consider the topic and how we relate to it.

What part does masturbation play in our lives? We know that almost all men masturbate, and do so from adolescence onward. Dr. Alfred Kinsey, in his groundbreaking research of the fifties, found that sixty-two percent of females masturbated as well, although not as frequently as their male peers. When Shere Hite polled over eighteen hundred women in 1976 for The Hite Report, she found that 82% reported masturbating. As Victorian prohibitions fade into history, we may well find that women’s rates of self-pleasuring reach those of males’.

How do we feel about masturbation? We vary as much in our reactions to the topic of masturbation as we do about anything else sexual, complicated by the added layer of learned shame and secrecy. Unless prohibited, we masturbate throughout our life span. For some, masturbation is a natural part of living, not considered more than any other aspect of body care. For others, it is surrounded with great concern and guilt. For still others, it is celebrated joyously.

Are we comfortable discussing it? And with whom? Few of us would initiate a discussion about masturbation. Even if we do not associate self-pleasuring with guilt or shame, most of us consider it private. Perhaps we speak about it with our lovers, but we rarely address the subject otherwise, except perhaps in jest.

Why would we set aside a day to contemplate and celebrate masturbation anyway? The past few decades have seen a progressive acceptance of sexuality. Though not without controversy, sexual information is now more available than ever. When we break the code of silence around masturbation, we learn that it has no detrimental physical effects, helps to keep our genito-urinary tracts healthy into old age, and teaches us to become and remain responsive sexual partners. Indeed, a number of sexual problems affecting interpersonal relations are resolved with the aid of masturbatory exercises.

The comfort, exhilaration, and release experienced during masturbation affords us a way to feel good about ourselves without relying on another person. It provides us a sense of independence and choice. Also, as we learn our body’s unique response pattern, we can better transmit that information to intimate partners. Surely these are reasons to celebrate!

How best can we celebrate this holiday? National Masturbation Day offers us an opportunity to speak with others about the subject, especially with our children. We can give them accurate information about this secret and taboo topic, letting them know that most (but not all) people touch themselves for pleasure, relieving them of confusion, shame, and embarrassment. We can share with them our personal, family, and cultural beliefs about the activity, and encourage dialogue about this, or any other, sexual issue. We thus make ourselves allies, and if we want our children to make good decisions and enjoy happy lives, this alliance will protect and enhance us all.

This day devoted to pleasure can also encourage us to examine our own personal sexual responses and patterns. Perhaps this is an opportunity to make a date with ourselves, to explore how our bodies and preferences have changed, to indulge in new or favorite fantasies, to pamper ourselves, to luxuriate in delight.

After all, pleasure seems a lovely reason to celebrate.

No Girls Allowed? The Ins and Outs of Female Ejaculation

– Originally published on WebOfCare.com

Men and boys have long enjoyed ejaculation as their exclusive domain. Popularly considered a bastion of male sexual expression (indeed, a benchmark of masculine sexual fulfillment, the visual exclamation point for ”successful” coupling, and an expression of fraternal competitiveness a la the circle jerk), ejaculation has been the symbolic differentiation between those of us who are done to, and those of us who do.

But now women are telling stories of their own ejaculatory experiences. In fact, they’re positively crowing about it, and rightly so. For years we have been complicit in denying our ability to experience the many forms of orgasm available to us. We have a long history of being told we needn’t worry our pretty little heads about things like sex. We’d be told what we needed to know.

And ‘told’ we were! The Victorians pronounced that women were innately uninterested in sex, an unfortunate legacy that still influences our attitudes and behaviours. Freud upended that theory, but proclaimed the clitoral orgasm ‘immature’. The sexual revolution of the Sixties won us permission to have more sex, but not necessarily better sex. In the last decade or so, there has been much learned about female orgasm, including ejaculation. Is this a sexual entitlement about which women are just now talking, or is it another hurdle in the sexual Olympics? Now must we grade our sexual performance with wet answers to the weighty question, “Was it good for you?” Can’t we just relax and have a good time? Must we be always striving to do it right? And who’s right, anyway?

Or…

Have those few women who fiercely claimed their full sexuality, regardless of whether or not they were messy and wet, discovered a sexual secret that could benefit scores of us? Many women, research suggests, sometimes feel the urge to urinate just as they are reaching orgasm, and instantly react by clamping down the PC muscles and forcing the liquid back into the bladder (the female counterpart of men’s retrograde ejaculation). This accomplished, they continue the experience of orgasm, with little loss of sensation. Sex completed, they rush to the bathroom to empty their very full bladders.

But those of us who do not hold back, who lean into the feeling and push against the delicious pressure, know the ecstasy of forcing that sexy fluid out into the world, of holding back nothing, of being big, and expansive, hot and wet, demanding to be noticed, insisting on being heard. These orgasms shriek independence and pleasure and carnal knowledge. Our husbands and boyfriends have long understood the focal significance of ejaculation. Now we learn that some of us have that power, too…heady stuff, this.

We’ve actually known about the G spot, named for Ernst Grafenberg, a German gynecologist and sex researcher, since the 1940s, but this information was largely ignored. In the early 1980s, another team of sexologists, Alice Kahn Lada, Beverly Whipple, and John D. Perry, published The G Spot, explaining the anatomy and physiology of the G Spot and how it produces fluid during orgasm in some women. We know that the size of the paraurethral glands (the G spot) varies greatly among individuals, as does the tone of the pubococcygeal (PC) muscle. It is when women with sufficiently large glands and well-toned PC muscles become highly aroused that the phenomenon of female ejaculation can be expected.

And it is for these women that this information is so welcome. As we have been reclaiming our sexual privileges, many of us have come to anticipate that rush of fluid that marks particularly powerful orgasms. Now that we understand that we are not ‘misbehaving’ (how quick we are to accept such censure), we are free to embrace the thrill of our bodies’ completion of this particular orgasmic script. Make no mistake about it: this orgasm is different from the others we experience. It is not like the fast hot vibrator-induced quickies that mark the beginning (or end) of our days, nor like the long, hardwon climaxes when cunnilingus is done just right and long enough (“Ohmigod, whatever you do, don’t change anything now”), nor like the slow, delicious, sensuous climbing of a long evening with nothing to do but our lover. We each own an individual sexual script, and female ejaculation is just one more treat to add to the wondrous menu of sexual delights available.

This is all relatively new information. It is only in recent years that women have been talking about ejaculation, and indeed it is from within the lesbian community, where sensitive fingers have probed and encouraged unbridled sexual release, that the ‘secret’ has been shared among women. Dr. Perry still lectures about the phenomenon, as does Beverly Whipple, and Dr. Gary Schubach has recently produced research that proves we are not ‘peeing’ on our partners, but releasing a clear, odorless, and colourless liquid saturated with the chemicals of arousal and strikingly similar in makeup to males’ prostatic fluid. It has shared sources, in that some of it is released from the paraurethral glands, some from the bladder (in a chemically altered form of urine), and some from the Bartholin’s and Skeene’s glands that routinely produce vaginal lubrication. Doctors Schubach and Perry have each done independent research determining that the fluid is not urine, and there are still unsolved questions about just what it actually is. A hormone called aldosterone is produced when we are flushed with endorphins, as happens during sexual arousal. This hormone sets in motion a series of chemical changes in the body, one of which is a significant increase in fluid saturating the genital area, a sensation known as ‘vasocongestion’. Simply put, some of us fill up and spill over (a tip of the hat to singer/songwriter Chris Williamson). And it feels divine!

Others don’t experience this, and there need be no pressure to meet some other-imposed standard. The point is to enjoy our sexual diversity and abilities in whichever forms they appear. If we’re having fun having sex, we’re doing it right. Not all women have the anatomical structure necessary to produce a substantial amount of liquid, and they by no means suffer. But how does a girl know if she can ejaculate? How is this accomplished, anyway?

It’s actually fairly simple. The hopeful ejaculator lies on her back, her lover sitting between her legs (let’s make the lover male so we can differentiate the players). Proceed to do whatever turns you on. During your lovemaking, ask your partner to put one or two fingers into your vagina and stroke and rub the upper surface, which will be slick and wet and may swell with your arousal. It will feel good. Tell him how to touch you and direct him to just the right places. Experiment with different pressures and rhythms. When you discover something that feels delightful, ask him to continue the action. Can he feel that spot swelling even more? It might feel like a bunch of miniature grapes, or a bag of tiny marbles. Can you feel yourself wanting to push into his fingers? Do so. That familiar feeling of impending orgasm may well follow this phase. Go with it. Let yourself feel as good as you can. Hold nothing back. Push into it. Allow yourself to explode into the feeling. If it feels like you are beginning to pee, push past it, for this feeling precedes the release of the fluid. Continue to ride the sensations, and you may very well feel the warm and powerful gush of liquid pushing against your lover’s hand. Surrender to these urges, these sensations. Allow your body to behave in whatever way it wants. You may very well experience your first ejaculation. If not, you will still have had a memorable sexual experience.

Some women report that ejaculation happens easily during fisting. Perhaps the extra containment and the determined stroking aid in the process. In any case, if you enjoy being fisted, do not be surprised if this triggers an ejaculation. And don’t forget to be prepared. There can be a lot of liquid, from a teaspoon or two up to almost a litre, giving new meaning to ‘sleeping in the wet spot’. Flannel-backed sheeting sold in baby supply stores can save your mattress and keep everyone more comfortable. Of course, it means more laundry, but this is a small price to pay for such extravagant sexual excitement.

It really doesn’t matter if you ejaculate or if you don’t. Sex is supposed to be fun. It’s important that we enjoy our bodies and the delight they can bring us. If that includes ejaculation, celebrate it. We no longer must fear the embarrassment or shame that we will pee on our lovers (some body fluids are good and others not? How silly!) Ejaculators can now proudly come out of yet another sexual closet and rejoice in this unique and yet so universal experience.

No, it’s not just for boys anymore!

Lesbian Fisting: Intensity and Intimacy

When a group of women friends get together over a meal, the conversation often turns to matters of sex. When those friends represent various numbers on the Kinsey scale (zero being entirely heterosexual and six referring to completely homosexual), those conversations take on a depth and complexity—and sometimes hilarity—not found in textbooks on female sexuality.

I was fortunate to be privy to one such exchange not long ago. We weren’t far into our discussion before I realized I was immersed in valuable information for my readers. I began to take mental notes.

When the topic of vaginal fisting arose, the lesbians at the table nodded knowingly while most of the straight women scratched their heads. We women, all with the same physiological anatomy, realized some fundamental differences in how we experience lovemaking. I found it all fascinating, as did they.

The heterosexual women wondered why the lesbian women were interested in fisting. They spent their energy trying to get their partners to focus on their clitoris and to pay perhaps less attention to their vagina. It seemed to them that sex was forever concentrated on something being put inside them and, though they enjoyed that aspect of their sexuality, more penetration felt, well, redundant.

They threw the question back to the lesbians.

The lesbians’ experience of lovemaking was quite different. The clitoris is queen between women, who understand and appreciate that the sole purpose of that glorious organ is to produce pleasure. Much time is spent tending to the clitoris. By the time penetration comes onstage, arousal is high and lubrication copious. Endorphins, the bonding chemicals, are surging. Both women are seeking and experiencing intimacy.

When the bottom, the receptive woman, opens her body to her lover’s fingers, she does so devoid of the stereotypical power imbalance inherent in male/female dynamics. No one needs to jostle for power as they are equal everywhere except in this delicious act of penetrator and receiver. The opening up is simultaneously erotic and boundary-breaking. The act of penetrating personal and powerful. What could be more intimate than holding your hand inside your lover’s body? Or containing your lover’s hand inside your own?

Fisting takes practice. It requires relaxation, muscle control and great trust in your partner. It is very intense, which is another part of its attraction. Sex that includes fisting is memorable sex, notable sex. It is the kind of sex that forms a bond between women, tells a story between them that they never forget.

One woman said she “finally felt close enough”. Another described fisting as “the epitome of intimacy”. Yet another defined it as “the quintessence of lovemaking”.

At this point some of the straight women shared that they, too, enjoyed fisting, and also enjoyed quite egalitarian relationships with their male lovers. Some of the women-identified women added that they weren’t into fisting at all.

We simply don’t fit into neat little boxes when it comes to sex. We are as individual as fingerprints. Still, we can learn from the stories we hear when we put our feet under our friends’ kitchen tables and share our experiences about what turns us on.

Intimate and intense. Has a lot going for it.

Lesbian Fisting: Intensity and Intimacy

When a group of women friends get together over a meal, the conversation often turns to matters of sex. When those friends represent various numbers on the Kinsey scale (zero being entirely heterosexual and six referring to completely homosexual), those conversations take on a depth and complexity—and sometimes hilarity—not found in textbooks on female sexuality.

I was fortunate to be privy to one such exchange not long ago. We weren’t far into our discussion before I realized I was immersed in valuable information for my readers. I began to take mental notes.

When the topic of vaginal fisting arose, the lesbians at the table nodded knowingly while most of the straight women scratched their heads. We women, all with the same physiological anatomy, realized some fundamental differences in how we experience lovemaking. I found it all fascinating, as did they.

The heterosexual women wondered why the lesbian women were interested in fisting. They spent their energy trying to get their partners to focus on their clitoris and to pay perhaps less attention to their vagina. It seemed to them that sex was forever concentrated on something being put inside them and, though they enjoyed that aspect of their sexuality, more penetration felt, well, redundant.

They threw the question back to the lesbians.

The lesbians’ experience of lovemaking was quite different. The clitoris is queen between women, who understand and appreciate that the sole purpose of that glorious organ is to produce pleasure. Much time is spent tending to the clitoris. By the time penetration comes onstage, arousal is high and lubrication copious. Endorphins, the bonding chemicals, are surging. Both women are seeking and experiencing intimacy.

When the bottom, the receptive woman, opens her body to her lover’s fingers, she does so devoid of the stereotypical power imbalance inherent in male/female dynamics. No one needs to jostle for power as they are equal everywhere except in this delicious act of penetrator and receiver. The opening up is simultaneously erotic and boundary-breaking. The act of penetrating personal and powerful. What could be more intimate than holding your hand inside your lover’s body? Or containing your lover’s hand inside your own?

Fisting takes practice. It requires relaxation, muscle control and great trust in your partner. It is very intense, which is another part of its attraction. Sex that includes fisting is memorable sex, notable sex. It is the kind of sex that forms a bond between women, tells a story between them that they never forget.

One woman said she “finally felt close enough”. Another described fisting as “the epitome of intimacy”. Yet another defined it as “the quintessence of lovemaking”.

At this point some of the straight women shared that they, too, enjoyed fisting, and also enjoyed quite egalitarian relationships with their male lovers. Some of the women-identified women added that they weren’t into fisting at all.

We simply don’t fit into neat little boxes when it comes to sex. We are as individual as fingerprints. Still, we can learn from the stories we hear when we put our feet under our friends’ kitchen tables and share our experiences about what turns us on.

Intimate and intense. Has a lot going for it.

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