Ask A Sexologist – Dr. Stacy!

Ask Advice

As always we are honored that Dr. Stacy, Clinical Sexologist has kindly contributed her professional services for our adultsmart blog readers.  Below she has answered questions from Christian from Bankstown Sydney and Ruth from Richmond New South Wales.

Read more of Dr Stacy’s advice!

Ruth:

My relationship with my husband has gone cold.  There is little intimacy and our bedroom is all but dead.  Our kids are now older and our discussions regularly turn into arguments.  I have seen a counselor but when I suggested he see one or we see one together he says we don’t need too.  How do I get him to see that things are not that good and we need help?

 

I am sorry to hear things are not so good on the home front and it’s unfortunate that you don’t seem to have a partner that understands the urgency of the situation.  I try to tell people that if you have a partner asking for help or to get help, it is usually a dire situation that can go downhill fast if not taken care of. If your partner isn’t willing to do anything for the marriage and you have expressed concern and desire to seek help, there isn’t much you can do other than work on personal growth and start weighing your options of what you want for your future, to stay and do nothing or go.  I would ask him why he doesn’t feel that you need to see a counselor, what scares him about going, what does he think is going to happen if  you go as well as what could be the worst and best scenario if he did decide to go.  If he still says he doesn’t want to go then try to have a conversation with him and ask him if he is happy with the way the relationship is and if he says no, see what his suggestions are to work on things.  Maybe if he sees you are open to listening to him, he will make some suggestions that could be helpful.

What about getting away together for a weekend where it is just the two of you and you have an opportunity to connect and talk?  Are you having any intimacy?  Sex?  If not, ask him if he wants to improve that, see if he thinks that could be better.  If so, you need to try to work on things together to make it happen.  There are many people that don’t believe in therapy or counseling and for some people it doesn’t work because many times they have waited too long and there is no turning back. Sometimes it makes a huge impact and saves a marriage but also, people may be afraid that by going to therapy they may eventually have to make a decision on their future and it is scary so people would rather just ignore and not go.  Find out what his fears are and then find out what his future goals are and if he wants you to be a part of it, he needs to tend to your fears and goals to make the marriage work.

 

Working Relationships
Romantic Getaway

 

Christian:

I come from a large immediate and extended family but to my knowledge not one of them is LGBTQ nor do any of them hang out or have friends that are gay or queer.  I am 21 and know in myself that I am homosexual but have not come out.  It is like a big, dirty secret that hangs over my head as I feel that my family will not accept me if I do come out.  A couple of times I have gone out by myself to some gay bar I know about but as soon as anyone approached me I felt revulsion about the whole gay thing and rushed home. It is overwhelming and sometimes I feel incredibly sad and frustrated. What should I do?

 

It is a completely normal to feel confusion, frustration and potential revulsion because it is something that is still taboo in society and can make you question who you are and what you believe.  Since you aren’t accepting of yourself, you see the disgust that others may see in your own eyes but that isn’t reality.  Loving someone for who they are is a beautiful thing once accepting that within yourself. In order to be comfortable coming out to others you need to first be comfortable in yourself and the understanding that you are perfect the way you are and that there is nothing wrong with being gay.  You are attracted to whom you are attracted to and that is nothing that you can change.

 

What makes you think they wouldn’t be accepting of you?  Do they not believe in the LGBT population? Have they said things offensive? Are you close to at least one of your parents that you can have a talk with? What about another trusted adult or maybe a therapist near you that can help? I do Skype calls for people that aren’t local and I would be happy to help you get the confidence you need to be who you are, as that is one of my specialties so let me know if you want to make an appointment.  In the meantime, surround yourself with others that are gay, support groups, maybe a local place that has resources.  That way you aren’t in an environment where it may be more “sexual” such as a club so you can get to the point of acceptance and self love and then be able to move forward.  You need to have support and you shouldn’t have to lie to get it so maybe slowly breach the subject to your family by bringing up someone else in the media to gauge what they think about the LGBT population and go from there.  I am here of you wanted to make an appointment for extra support.  You shouldn’t have to go through this alone.

Gay Issues
Gay Loneliness

Dr Stacy can be contacted by the following methods

Sex Coaching

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Dr Stacy Facebook

Would you like free professional advice from a Clinical Sexologist & Certified Sex Coach? Dr. Stacy Friedman may answer your question for FREE in a featured article on Adultsmart’s Blog! If you would like to send in a question please email askasexologist@gmail.com.

Love Is Fear!

Loving Fear

This week I had a huge wake up call in my life, I learnt a very valuable secret about love and relationships.

FEAR, fear is something in a relationship that had previously taken on a whole different meaning, fear should not mean you are fearful of your partner.

Fear is actually a very useful feeling within a relationship if you pay attention closely to the reasons why you are a fearful. It is an emotion that will surface within any relationship and it is a crucial feeling, but it doesn’t always have to end badly.

It is so incredibly normal to feel fear within a relationship, as it is normal to feel scared, insecure, doubtful, and not completely in-touch with your partner. Unlike previous experiences I don’t feel scared of my partner I feel scared that the relationship won’t work out, I am not insecure because my partner makes me feel that way, I feel insecure that I am not good enough for him and I am not doubtful of my partner I am feeling doubtful that I really can love this person to the best of my ability.

Nothing is actually wrong, but yet I feel challenges that are different to previous feelings I’ve had. Marianne Williamson explains in “a return to love” that relationships equate to earning a PhD in love. She says

“When we’re not in a relationship, the ego makes it seem as though all the pain would go away if we were. If the relationship lasts, however, it will actually bring much of our existential pain to the surface. That’s part of its purpose. It will demand all of our skills at compassion, acceptance, release, forgiveness, and selflessness.”

And I couldn’t agree anymore, most people assume love means no more pain, no more troubles, no more arguments, and no more fears, but truth is love brings out all these feelings plus more! Doubt, rejection, jealously, anger, frustration and confusion all those emotions show us how much we are invested into the relationship and if it is worth all these emotions.

We only ever hear about the good things in relationships, and we do not learn about the all the other emotions, and when these emotions do surface we become confused and stumped and we begin to doubt our feelings of love. We all know relationships take work, but we also are told that love will always conquer, truth is we are told relationships shouldn’t be hard, but they are. They make you question every sense of your being, they make you question if the person with you is right for you, if you can handle all their quirks, all their bad habits, all their good habits, if its love or hate.

We need to look at the fears we have and invest into the reasons why we have those fears, true love isn’t just a fairy-tale with only happy endings, true love will make you feel the whole spectrum of emotions the good and the bad, the pinicle of romantic love is the aspirations we all have in life to one day experience.

The part I struggled with is that I had only ever been in abusive relationships and that has skewed my interpretation of love and hate, of struggles and of fear. What I have learnt is to never believe that there is something wrong with your relationship just because it seems to be challenging at times. The greatest challenges you face will be within your greatest love relationship, this is the relationship you will question yourself the most, question your partner the most and truly have an internal argument back and forth with yourself about if this is what it really feels like.

Loving One Another
Love What Matters

Love will never be easy. Relationships should be amazing, deeply loving and you should feel truly connected with your special person, but remember there will be hard times, there will be boring times, there will be mediocre times, and there are times where your fear will get the best of you.

Ill let you in on some feelings I have that I have never experienced before in this capacity. As of recent I have been questioning myself, questioning myself as to if I am truly good enough, if I deserve this kind of love, or if all the fears I am feeling are latching onto the doubt and insecurities I have from previous relationships.

Previously my gut told me that if my partner didn’t message me he was not interested anymore, previously I was correct. The difference now is that when my partner doesn’t message me he is busy at work or driving or is asleep. Previously when I felt insecure about myself it was because my partner had made me feel that way with his actions and his comments. Now when I feel insecure about myself it is because I am struggling to believe I deserve this amazing person in my life and I want to be the best I can be for him and for me.

Fear stops you momentarily from being the authentic and vulnerable self that you are, fear tries to trick me into being someone who I am not. The old me would believe these fears and allow it to ruin a good relationship by over thinking a situation, but the me now can stand back and asses the reasons why I feel these fears. Fear is simply the amount of love I have for that person, less walls means more vulnerabilities which means I am more my authentic self then I have ever been before. Anxiety makes you feel that these fears are bad and damaging but love means these fears are you are your true authentic self completely open, completely vulnerable, but also so full of love.

Love over fear, both are such powerful emotions if I remember this every time doubt fills my head, the more I will be my true self and the more love will flourish in my relationship.

Love is finding the compassions, forgiveness, truths, and the peace that will stop our greatest fears from surfacing. What we have to understand is that the greatest relationship is where our grestest fears will come to the surface the most, it will challenge every part of you but it will also make you and your relationship stronger.

Relationships take our courage and commitment and make us work for it, fear will make us understand true love in its most profound sense. I wish it was at this point that I could tell you how best to stay calm when fear arises and how best to tackle the situations of fear when they arise. Truth is I can’t, truth is only you can accept and understand when fear comes into your relationship and be able to step back and asses why.

When you completely put your heart, love and fear into someone, the more clarity you will begin to have and begin to appreciate.

Love is your most authentic self, and only our greatest love will get to experience our most authentic self.

 

Love Morgan

Although relatively young Morgan has lived a life filled with experiences that have made her grow as a person. She has completed and is a product and interior designer who is a strong believer in equality between sexes and speaks out against violence. Working in the adult industry has allowed her to grow as a person and come out of her emotional and sexual shell.

Get Rid Of Those BAD Vibes!

lesbian sex toys

Over the past 2 and a half years I’ve been working in the Oh Zone stores I have learned a lot about the different types of adult products that are available to us.   I can’t even tell you how many there were that I never even knew existed and how much there still is for me to learn. If you haven’t read any of my reviews before and know nothing about me, I am a 24-year-old lesbian who owns a lot of sex toys and a lot of them being strap-on related products. So, today I am going to be telling you all about my experiences with strap-ons, which ones I recommend and which ones I think shouldn’t even be allowed to be on the market.

Double ender strap on sex toy

We all need to start somewhere I guess and the above image is where it all began for me. My first girlfriend took me to the Gold Coast for my 20th birthday, we decided on the plane that we would go straight to condom kingdom and pick out our first strapon together. I can’t quite remember our thought process and how we ended up with the grossest double ended strapon in the shop but this is what we ended up wasting our money on. I remember us getting to the hotel, opening the box and taking out this jelly looking double-ended penis with stretchy straps.

Within 5 minutes of observing it, the girlfriend made me run across the road to the closest convenience store to purchase some condoms to throw over the top of it because she didn’t trust the material. She already owned a few vibrators and I had 0 experience so I trusted that she knew what she was doing and I let her take control of the night. She then told me to put it on so we could give it a go and here came the next problem of the night…. The damn straps wouldn’t fit me!! In the end, it ended up being super uncomfortable for the both of us, the straps didn’t fit me at all and were flimsy for her so there was no support and the dildos didn’t feel that good for either of us so we gave up.

A few months had passed, we were going to give the ugly purple thing another go but when I pulled it out of the drawer that we had hidden it in I noticed the toy was no longer purple.. it was brown… and straight into the bin, it went.

That was the only toy I had used before working in an adult shop and honestly it made me never want to use one again. If I hadn’t started working here I don’t think I would have tried again. This is the reason I’ll usually warn first-time toy users, if you want to buy a cheap toy because you want to see if you’ll like it first, DON’T because then you will most likely hate it! You are so much better off spending that little bit of extra money on a toy that you are more likely going to enjoy and that you won’t have to replace after a few months. Research! Read reviews and look into brands before deciding on buying a toy instead of buying cheap rubbish that turns into poo after a few months… Trust me!

I personally have a checklist of 5 things that need to be ticked off before I purchase a toy.

  1. High-grade silicone, glass or steel.
  2. 100% Waterproof
  3. Rechargeable
  4. Warranty
  5. Quiet

 

Strap On Sex Toys For Girls

I will be completely honest though, I personally hate all types of double ended strapons because they have all failed in different ways for me. Within the first few months of working here, I decided to give the Fun Factory strapless strapon a chance. It ticked all the boxes but it still just wasn’t right for me. It was uncomfortable, every time I used it I ended up with a bacterial infection because of the crossing of bacteria between me and my partner and I couldn’t hold it in for the life of me, it would fall out at least 5+ times during play because my pelvic floor wasn’t strong enough.

Now like they say, you need to get through a storm to get to a rainbow.

I now only purchase straps and dildos separately because usually when they come together either the straps suck or the dildo isn’t good quality. When I want me and my partner to both have internal stimulation I will wear my We-Vibe Sync and then I will put my straps and dildo on.

Sex Harnesses For Lesbians

I have owned the Fun Factory sex toy harness for about 2 years now and they have been the straps that get the most use. I bought the rodeo underwear harness because it was everything I wanted and more in a harness (looks wise) but as a harness it was terrible, there is absolutely no dildo support. Now they are just the most expensive pair of underwear I own.

When I wear my Fun Factory straps I also wear a pair of male underwear underneath because that’s what makes me feel comfortable. I totally recommend you do the same if you are into the more masculine harnesses. They are machine washable which makes it easy to keep them clean all the time and they are adjustable around the legs and waist so even if I eat a few too many McNuggets that week they still fit!!

Recommended hardness brands (masculine & feminine) 

  • Fun Factory Harness
  • Liberator Harnesses
  • Calexotics Harnesses
  • Sportsheets Harnesses

Recommended dildo brands 

  • Fun Factory
  • BS Atelier
  • Tantus
  • Evolved

So many customers tell me that they throw away their dildos after breaking up with different partners. Look, I definitely understand it if it’s an emotional thing but if it’s a hygiene thing then please don’t if it was an expensive dildo!

High-grade silicone can be boiled to sanitize.

So just boil away those bad vibes and put your dildos back in their hiding spot! 😃❤ from Elliana

Elliana has been working in the Oh Zone stores for the past 2 and a half years now. During this time she has discovered a lot about herself through the different adult products that she has experimented with. Elliana likes to write reviews on the good quality products that she has either purchased for herself or has her eyes on in the stores and she isn’t afraid to tell you if she thinks a toy or a companies ethics are rubbish. She also openly came out as a lesbian at the age of 14 and loves to talk about all the great LGBTQIA events that she has been to in Sydney.

Liberated: The New Sexual Revolution!

Liberated Sex Revolution

I came across a post on Facebook last week detailing a woman’s reactions after watching the newly released Netflix documentary

“Liberated: The New Sexual Revolution.”

I was intrigued to see for myself what all the fuss was about and was blown away by what was shown. If you are in denial of the need for better sex education for young people then I highly recommend you watch this one! (Warning: This article contains spoiler alerts)

 

This documentary shows the experiences of American college aged men and women as they go away for spring break, with their feelings and behaviours when it comes to their sexuality explored. Spring break in the U.S is a coming of age ritual for many young men & women, with the holiday symbolising freedom from the responsibilities of college.

 

One Nighters
Hook-Up Sex

The first interviews we see are from a group of young men partaking in spring break celebrations. What I found tragic with these men were the beliefs they have around women & sex. Having sex with multiple young women was a way of these men finding validation from their peers, with the

“notch on the belt”

attitude extremely prevalent. Men were seen as “better men” according to how many women they slept with. Emotion and love was completely absent in the sexual interactions and even the mention of it was laughed at. One experience showed a man meeting a young women walking past his hotel room. Within a few minutes they were alone in his room having sex. He did not remember her name straight after the experience and had no intention of meeting her again. What was noticeable in these men was that they didn’t even know that there was a different way of being with women. Having these kinds of experiences was scarily the norm.

 

When the interviewer dug a little deeper speaking with some of these men in smaller groups, what we saw were confused young guys who felt enormous amounts of pressure to have sex despite their desires to do so. Men spoke of the shame of being a virgin when all their friends had lost their virginity & how they were teased because of it. Having sex was seen as a necessary part of being a man, with this sometimes leading to some regretful and unpleasant experiences for all involved.

 

Moving on to the women on spring break, we initially saw a very different perspective than with the men. The young women interviewed at appeared at first intelligent, articulate and very aware of the toxic culture they had grown up in. They realised that they had to go against some very strong messages that tell them to be a certain way in order to avoid falling into the trap of the social “norms.” It then moves on to a different scene on a spring break beach party, where we saw young women buying into the idea of emotionless and empty sexual encounters. There was a very prevalent attitude that many women were abiding to and that was one of sexuality being the only part of themselves that made them worthy. Appearing sexy was the most important thing in these young women’s lives and for them to feel of any value in the world, they needed men to validate this in them.

 

As the documentary continued, scene after scene of objectification & disrespectful mistreatment of women followed. We saw women’s breasts and genitals being groped by strangers as they walked past and heard accounts from countless women saying that this was to be expected as they went about spring break-in fact it happened in countless other environments for these women throughout their lives.

 

I would be lying if I said that the behaviour I witnessed completely surprised me because I grew up in the “hookup culture” and some of these behaviours were eerily familiar (Though it certainly has gotten worst from what I saw). What really shocked & devastated me was the huge extent of these behaviours and how normal detached sexual encounters, sexual abuse, rape and severe mistreatment of young women is for so many young people. A young women was raped whilst unconscious by 3 young men and there were hundreds of people standing around not doing a thing about it!!

 

This documentary highlighted the toxicity that occurs when young people are not taught about healthy sexuality and relationships. Pornography is one of the main ways that young people learn about sex and without an awareness of the context of this imagery, can lead to the normalization of harmful sexual behaviors. Although this documentary was filmed in the U.S, I believe it speaks loudly to what is going on in Australia too. Many things need to be done differently worldwide if we’re to see any lasting changes to the ways young men and women relate with one another.

 

Love From Stephanie – Oh Zone Consultant

Meet the newest member to our team of experts. Stephanie Curtis is a sexologist with a huge capacity to care. Involved in spirituality and tantra her articles are professional, articulate and interesting. Enjoy Steph’s writings at the adultsmart sexual wellness and health blog.

Open Letter From A Narcissist!

Break Up Letter

I recently read an open letter from the point of view of a narcissist; I suppose I wish it was for me, from you. It was then I realized it was time to let go of the pain of the past, so here it is – my final letter to you.

So, I am never really sure how to start things like this, I want to ask you how you are but I also don’t really care. I suppose that I hope you’re happy, at least happy enough not to treat your new girlfriend the way in which you treated me.

Firstly, I am sorry that I chose to let you into my life, I am sorry I was blinded by your good looks and charisma. I am sorry I then let good men give up on chasing me while you took me on an emotional rollercoaster. I am sorry for the year I spent fighting with you and I am sorry I chose to forgive you repeatedly because of my good nature. I am sorry you took advantage of that good nature and felt the need to abuse that kindness. I am sorry that I will never be that kind hearted girl ever again, I am sorry my next partner will never get to experience that kind of unbridled love – I am sorry that I will always know that’s because of you.

I am sorry I took your rejection of me as a challenge for you to be loved. However, for what it’s worth you were loved. I am sorry I wasn’t enough for me to loved in return. I am sorry I mistook the idea of ‘love’ as the reason that I carried the burden of our relationship. I am sorry that I allowed you to think that your goals, interests, family and your wants always trumped my own. I am sorry I stopped working on myself because you felt like you needed both of us to work on you. I am sorry that even after all of this, you still needed more and I couldn’t give you that.

I am sorry I made you my everything and I am sorry I didn’t get that in return. I am sorry you felt so scared to lose me that you made me regularly prove this to you. I am sorry that you felt so alone that you needed to be validated by other women when I couldn’t meet your impossible standards. I am sorry I allowed you to cheat on me, not by giving my permission but by giving my forgiveness. I am sorry that even when I found out that somehow when I felt like I needed to care for you.

I am sorry that I chose you over my friends when they repeatedly told me to leave you. I am sorry that I did stay with you because even back then I knew it wasn’t going to work between us but it caused me immense pain to think about living without you. I am sorry that I spent weeks in bed wondering if you were in bed nursing a broken heart too. I am sorry I allowed my heart to be broken by you, even after you said you would never hurt me. I am sorry I confused love with pain and was unable to respect myself enough to walk away.

I am sorry that you gave me a huge life lesson and I am sorry you have probably not thought about me again. I am sorry I found you injured on the battlefield of love, I am sorry I couldn’t fix all your wounds. And I am sorry that you’re out there causing pain for someone else. I am sorry that she’ll read this letter and feel all these pains I felt. 

Angry Ex
Letter To Ex

I am sorry I finally realized that I was too good for you and you knew that, I am sorry you tried to keep me down because you were terrified that I was going to realize that and leave you. I am sorry it took me so long to leave. I am sorry that you felt I was so difficult to love that it almost caused you pain to say the words. I am sorry I believed it was true for so long and I am sorry that I do love myself and was finally able to walk away from someone like you.

 

Written by a Consultant Oh Zone Stores

Although relatively young Morgan has lived a life filled with experiences that have made her grow as a person. She has completed and is a product and interior designer who is a strong believer in equality between sexes and speaks out against violence. Working in the adult industry has allowed her to grow as a person and come out of her emotional and sexual shell.