Inner Personal Thoughts Of A Sexologist

Studying sexology

What the hell made you want to become a sexologist?! I get asked this regularly and it’s a very difficult question to answer simply. As a young women with hopes and dreams for my future, I could never have imagined that I would choose this path. It has been an interesting and fulfilling journey so far, with numerous factors leading to my choice to become somewhat of a “sexpert”.

A sexologist and sexpert
Image: Sexpert

In my former life before becoming a sexologist, I worked as a mental health nurse. Despite sounding vastly different, there are skills I learnt in this job that I will carry with me in my career as a sexologist, in fact skills that are transferable in every area of my life! I entered the mental health field as a new graduate with big desires to help others. People fascinate me and to offer my compassion and kindness to others in times of need felt like the right thing to do. Being a mental health nurse exposed me to an often isolated and somewhat condemned part of humanity, working with so many people who were in the midst of deep crisis. People who were so distressed they felt killing themselves was the only acceptable option. People who were so detached from their bodies and “reality” that they could not function in our world. People from all walks of life, at the extreme ends of a spectrum that we all fall on in one way or another.

Sexologist who talks about sexual problems
Image: Sexologist’s client

Initially, I felt privileged to be in a position where I could be a healing part of these people’s lives. I knew that so many others could not “handle” being around people in acute states of mental crisis so a part of me (ego probably) was proud of myself for stepping into this work. I would hear it all the time that it takes a certain kind of person to work in the mental health field and after experiencing it I know this to be absolutely true. Working in an environment with people in acute stages of mental illness causes you to be in hypervigilant state as a safety precaution. You are constantly watching over your back, on high alert in order to keep clients, staff and yourself safe from harm. This is not something that can be switched off just by walking out the door at the end of the day. We have this idea to “leave it at work” and forget about it when we go home however work is our life is it not? I found an attempt to separate the two led to more harm than good and realised that I wasn’t living authentically or in integrity working in this job.

My dreams for something different kept getting louder and louder. I realised that caring for others should not come at the expense of our own wellbeing or be driven by desires to help others for a sense of external validation. I believe to truly be in service in this world is to do the things that make us feel alive, following our desires towards what lights us up and gets us excited. For me, that had always been sex. Human sexuality has always fascinated me in so many ways. I have always been curious to understand why sex is such a massive part of our lives and not just used purely for procreation. Why are people sexually attracted to one person over another? Why is there an increase in people buying BDSM, kinks and fetish products? How can we be having more fulfilling sex in our lives? And why is there such shame and stigma around something so pleasurable and beautiful? These questions and a host more constantly had me intrigued so working in a field where I could explore sexuality was completely aligned with my passion and values.

Sexologist fixing sexual relationships
Image: Sexologist couples therapy

As well as my passion for learning about sex, I had found myself to be someone who people felt comfortable talking about their intimate lives with. I recall a moment years ago where a woman I knew shared with me a deeply personal story about her sex life with her husband, something she had never shared with anyone else before. Feeling the trust she felt in me to open up this way, I knew that I had something special to offer others. It warms my heart and makes me feel so grateful to be alive when I can create a space for people to feel confident and comfortable with their sexuality. I feel excited and full of joy knowing that the connection I have with my sexuality invites others to feel beautifully connected to their own. It truly is a gift knowing that I can play a part in creating a much needed sex-positive shift in our society, no matter how big or small that part may be. Sexual health has been a far too neglected area of our lives so to do this work is so important. I am new on my career path but hope that the topics I post about and the people who welcome my support in sessions benefit from what I have to offer. It feels like the beginning of an extremely fulfilling and enlivening career path, stay tuned for what’s to come…

Author: Stephanie Curtis, Sexologist

Ask Dr. Stacy – How Can I Last Longer In Bed?

Dr Stacy Sexologist

Dr. Stacy is a clinical Sexologist and Certified Sex Coach who monthly answers questions posted by our adultsmart community blog readers.  If you have a question relating to sex that you want answered or further information on please do not hesitate to post your question here!  Please be aware that Dr. Stacy is extremely busy and will choose which questions to answer.  As we now receive more than 1.4 million unique views from readers each year some questions may not be answered.

Stephan

I don’t last  more than 2 minutes in bed.  How can I last longer?

 Premature or early ejaculation is when you are either letting it all out 1-2 minutes or less after the start of intercourse or that you ejaculate faster than you would like. What is normal?  How long are you supposed to last? These are commons questions and concerns that many men have.  Studies have shown that most men ejaculate 3-5 minutes after penetration. There are a couple of ways you can work at improving the ability to last longer.  One is the squeeze technique by Masters & Johnson.

When you are erect, squeeze the tip of the penis where the skin joins with the tip of the penis (frenulum). Use your thumb to squeeze the frenulum against your index finger. The squeeze should last about 10-15 seconds but make sure not to squeeze too hard where it becomes painful. For this technique to work, you need to be able to feel that you are approaching the point of no return, the point beyond which you can’t control ejaculation. When you are about to reach that point, you or your partner can squeeze and then start again.

The next technique is the stop-start method.  You can do this one alone if you want to practice without your partner but it is something that is also helpful to do with your partner once you can perfect it on your own.  Once you become stimulated, before you hit the point of no return, stop what you are doing, rest for 30-60 seconds and then start stimulating again but don’t allow yourself to get to that point of inevitability. Repeat this cycle 5-6 times before allowing yourself to ejaculate.  If you are by yourself, you can finish by masturbating or if with a partner you can have penetrative intercourse and allow yourself to finish.  There are a few ways you can masturbate to practice on your own by going from using a dry hand (being gentle), then a wet hand with some sort of lotion or lube and then work your way to intercourse.

These are a couple ideas to help with early ejaculation but you can also look up Kegel exercises online which help strengthen the muscles in the pelvis to be able to control the urge to ejaculate easier. There may be more to your situation if you have a partner that is not helpful, rushing you to finish or is not open sexually so if these ideas don’t work and you need some coaching to look deeper into your situation as to what is going on, please contact me at www.DrStacy.org

Premature ejaculation device competition 2
Image: Prolong Climax Control Training Program Pinterest Competition 2 – Click on image for details

 

Len

Are urethral sounds safe to use?

First thing to know…what exactly is a urethral sound? It is a device made to enter the urethra for medical purposes or for sexual play. They can be hard or soft and usually inserted halfway into the opening of the penis so they can be easily retrieved. Some items, such as catheters, can be put in deeper to penetrate the bladder so depending on what the person is looking for, there is something for both. There are two reasons someone may want to use a urethral sound. One is for physical benefits and one is for the physiological turn on.  The urethra has sensitive nerve endings inside which can be stimulated when the sound is used and if you go deep enough with the sound in the penis you may have the ability to do a prostate massage.

Urethral sounding does come with risks.  If using toys specifically for that purpose and used correctly it can be safe since they are designed specifically for the purpose of sexual play and to not hurt but if using something not made for sounding you risk infection, bleeding and pain.  Get something high quality, use a sterile lube and go slow.  If you don’t have patience you can cause damage so it is important that if you want to try urethral sounding that you take your time and get the right products.

Readers please comment on this segment or contact Dr. Stacy Direct and let her know that her professional advice segment is on that is valued by our adult community.

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Dr. Stacy, My Husband Won’t Speak About Our Intimacy Issues!

Sexless marriage

This month Adultsmart’s clinical sexologist and certified sex coach Dr. Stacy Friedman has answered three questions which were anonymously sent in to askasexologist@gmail.com. Be sure to read them, who knows she may have answered one of yours!

Question

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?

Dr. Stacy Friedmans Answer

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 or 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.

Question

I come from a large immediate and extended family but to my knowledge not one of them is LGBTQIA+ 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?

Coming out as gay
Image: Coming out

Dr. Stacy Friedman’s Answer

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 LGBTQIA+ 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 gage what they think about the LGBTQIA+ 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.