Category - Sexual Health

Adult Sexual Behaviour

Is the glut of online porn turning us into a bunch of smut-snaffling perverts?

Lisa Byers wanted to know. Having studied sexually addictive Internet use as an undergrad, the Guelph University student is focusing her sociology/anthropology Masters thesis on what the rest of us plain old sexually curious folk are doing online. And, of course, whether there’s any truth to the “Triple A” theory — that the accessibility, affordability and anonymity of the Internet have made becoming a sexual deviant so much easier — that’s been popularized in most psychologically based studies on the subject.

“Most of the studies focus on the problematic use of sexual Internet content,” says Byers, who funded her undergraduate degree by working at a sex toy store in Brandon, Manitoba. “I wanted to move away from the stigmatized, problematic behaviour and just look at what people are doing online in general when it comes to using Sexually Explicit Material on the Internet, or SEMI.”

Byers came up with the term because porn seemed too limiting and negative. SEMI basically includes any online adult behaviour, from sending a dirty joke to sexual chatting, or viewing fist-fucking videos. .

Byers admits that the Internet has changed the way we access porn. Still, her research shows that greater access doesn’t automatically lead to greater consumption.

In fact, while 93.1 per cent of her 459 Internet survey respondents had received email advertising a porn site, only 7.4 per cent said they accessed Internet porn more than three times a week.

Disproving her own original hypothesis, Byers also discovered that people with more years’ experience using computers and the Internet aren’t accessing more porn either.

But it makes sense if you think about it, she says.

“The habits you had with [using or viewing] porn before the Internet are going to be repeated on the Internet, and having more access or more skill or years of experience doesn’t necessarily change that.”

Byers was also surprised to find that, while we still tend to think of non-Internet porn as mostly a guy thing, gender didn’t help predict whether or not someone accessed SEMI. Her theory is that because she conducted the survey via Internet, people feel more comfortable being honest.

“I think a lot more people are using porn than will ever admit in our day-to-day lives,” Byers says. “But because it’s still a stigmatized, closeted behaviour, it doesn’t come up in everyday conversation — especially for women.”

Women are especially more engaged in sexually explicit chatting with 29.2 per cent admitting they had initiated it online. “I think women are more comfortable initiating online because they feel anonymous and safer.” Byers figures more women are into communicating and interaction than are into visual stimuli.

Just more theories, of course. Still, it’s refreshing to have someone looking at online porn from a less alarmist perspective, and avoiding the prevalent fear in our culture that the Internet is increasing sexual addiction, breaking up marriages, and turning us all into creepy perverts.

Byers admits all this happens. “If you’re prone to addictive behaviour, then yes, you could be in trouble, and certain personalities will be susceptible,” says Byers. “There is going to be a percentage of society at that end of the continuum engaging in illegal or extreme behaviour, but I’m interested in what people are doing in general because I think there are more people like that online than there are the sexual predators or law breakers.”

And, sure, Byers says, the Internet has lowered the bar in terms of what’s “acceptable.”

When Byers first started working at the sex shop, for example, anal sex was probably the biggest taboo in the material they carried. Four years later, fisting and other extreme material was becoming more and more the norm and she credits the Internet at least in part for this.

“I think some people are inclined toward always seeking out further and further extremes and the Internet is perfect for that,” says Byers.

Still Byers can’t deny that the anonymity of the Internet does make us all ballsier. “For example, someone who would never tell you a dirty joke in person might [do so] online,” she says.

In fact, 63.5 per cent of her participants admitted they’ve sent a dirty joke or sexually explicit email.

But merely sending a dirty joke doesn’t mean you’ll also be into online images of women fucking horses. It’s more likely the person is just test-driving her inner naughty girl (or raunchy boy). In this way, accessing adult material online can sometimes be a healthy experience.

“Maybe you were too shy to go to the store and rent a dirty movie. This gives you a chance to explore your sexuality in a way you weren’t able to before,” Byers explains.

It certainly doesn’t mean you’ll become a sex addict.

Indeed, for most of us, accessing more and more out there porn is more about human curiousity than actually changing our sexual behaviour. I might hear about fisting and can see it online to satisfy my curiosity, but that doesn’t necessarily make me want to go out and shove my arm up someone’s butt

Curiosity, in fact, was one of the most common reasons the survey respondents gave Byers for using SEMI along with “entertainment,” and “to spice up their life with their partner.”

Funny, most the same reasons most of us consume non-Internet porn.

The biggest problem, says Byers, is that while we’re exposed to more and more extreme material, the gap between what’s out there and what people are comfortable talking about is huge. So the content is given no context and there are few outlets to talk about porn use openly and honestly.

Even Byers had to make things up as she went along because the people on her thesis committee just didn’t have any expertise in this area.

Then again, they were probably just to embarrassed to admit it.

What Is Sexual Addiction

Almost everyone enjoys sex and masturbation. Most people enjoy it a lot. It is a natural phenomenon, right? Yes. But…

Is it possible to have an addiction to what seems so natural and instinctual? Many have made strong comparisons and logical correlations between the similarities of sexual addiction, alcoholism, drug addiction, and other verified addictions. They are the same in some ways and different in others.

First, I think it is important to define an “addiction” before describing a sexual addiction. Addiction in the context of this page will be defined as “a disorder that constitutes a repeated behavior which has caused negative consequences even though the individual has paradoxically made significant effort to quit or reduce the behavior”.

I agree that sounds too much like somebody with a degree in psychology.

Therefore, I think I will forget my educational background for a moment and describe an addiction in more universal terms. An Addiction is like “a problem where you know the solution is to stop doing it so much, but you just can’t stop for some unknown reason”.

I think at this point, it is important to say who is not sexually “addicted”. Frequently people may ask us if they are addicted to masturbation or sex. They will say something like: “I masturbate 3 times a day, am I addicted?” or they will say: “I have had sex with a different girl 35 times in the past month, am I a sex addict?” The answer to questions like this is always “I don’t know”.

Based on the limited amount of information above, it is impossible to say if the individual has an addiction or if they should begin to seek treatment. A young person that masturbates three times a day because they are often sexually aroused and/or has spontaneous erections is probably not an addict. This is especially a major concern among young men and women.

Changes are, their masturbation behavior will level out on its own in the future. Hormonal changes that cause an increase in sexual desire happen periodically throughout a person’s life, but especially so when young.

The same may be true for a recently divorced person who is “seriously looking” to settle down again but has not found the right person. The point being made here is: There are reasons why someone may be having frequent masturbatory or sexual experiences which are not necessarily related to a sexual addiction.

It is also important to mention that addiction is not necessarily related to quantity. Contrary to popular belief, quantity is not the most prominent factor in defining individuals who have addictions. The most prominent factor is what the results are from the addict’s behavior.

For example, take the case of two beer drinkers. Drinker # 1 drinks 12 beers a day. Drinker # 2 only drinks 10 beers per day.

Drinker # 1 was recently informed by his doctor that he has high blood pressure and may have a swollen liver. Drinker # 1 stops drinking. His blood pressure is manageable and his tender liver heals.

Drinker # 2 is told by his doctor that he has high blood pressure and a swollen liver. Drinker # 2 has also been arrested three times for driving while under the influence of alcohol and once for public drunkenness. Drinker # 2 tries to stop drinking when his doctor tells him he must do so for his health. Drinker # 2 continues to drink, continues to get in trouble with the police, and continues his poor health habits.

He may even start to drink more to ease the stress that all his drinking has caused. Drinker # 2 always drank less than # 1 but cannot quit drinking even though he has seriously tried to cut down or quit many times. Both drinkers used (and abused) alcohol, but Drinker # 2 is more likely to have actual alcoholism.

Some parallels can be drawn from the drinkers above when examining the life of someone with a sexual addiction. For example, Individual # 1 masturbates to ejaculation 3 to 4 times per day. Individual # 2 masturbates to ejaculation or has sex once per day (sometimes once every other day). Individual #1 is 18 years old and is quite limited when it comes to hobbies, sports, or school/work/religious/community involvement because of his remote location.

Individual # 2 has access to public transportation, cuts school, and takes days off from his job to go to adult theatres where he spends countless hours of his time engaged in viewing and obtaining erotic material. He spends considerable time thinking erotic thoughts and fondling his penis.

However, he only fully masturbates to ejaculation about once a day. He also is willing to have anonymous sex with any willing partner at any time. His fiancee found his stash of pornography and questioned his commitment to the relationship.

She often inquires where he has been when he is on long pornographic binges. This has affected several of his relationships in the past. Individual # 2 also often worries about the possibility of having contracted a Sexually Transmitted Disease (STD).

A lot of the time, he is is in denial and assumes that he is 100% immune to any disease because he usually wears condoms. Individual # 2 was invited to a one week vacation by his fiancee and her parents.

He did want to go deep down inside, but he knew he would not be able to get free for sex and masturbation while on the vacation so he declined to go. Both individuals used (and over-used) their sexuality, but individual # 2 is more likely to have a sexual addiction.

Male Anatomy Of The Reproductive System

Definitions are documented in a counter-clockwise order (from bladder to sigmoid colon).

Bladder: A sac-like organ composed of musculomembranous fiber. Located in the pelvis, the bladder stores urine until it is excreted. The urine is passed to the bladder through ureters from each kidney in peristaltic (contractile) waves. During excretion, the urethral orifice below the bladder is opened and the urine passes through the urethra.

Though the urge to void the bladder of urine generally occurs when it has about 250 – 300 milliliters (8 – 10 ounces) in it, the average human bladder can hold almost twice this amount.

An average human excretes one to two quarts (or one to two liters) of urine per day, though this is greatly dependent upon the health, diet, and level of activity of the adult. Ingested water usually is excreted within four hours of ingestion. Urine is usually clear or yellow, though this depends upon the diet and health of the individual.

Urine has a distinct, ammonia-like smell which is primarily due to the nitrogenous wastes which make up 5 % of the urine. The chief constituent of these wastes is urea, though ammonia, uric acid, creatinine, and a host of other waste products also are present.

Pubic Bone: Part of the skeletal system undreneath the pubic hair area, above the penis.

Penis: The male sex organ that carries urine and semen from the male body, which is capable of erection by becoming engorged with blood during sexual arousal to make it more firm for penetration in sexual intercourse. The penis supports the urethra as it passes from the seminal vesicles, through the corpora cavernosa, to the meatus (opening) at the glans (head) of the penis.

Corpora Cavernosa: Made of spongy tissue which fill with blood during sexual arousal. As the blood fills these tissues, the penis begins to expand and become firm, and this condition is known as an erection. The erection facilitates the ejaculational transport of the semen to the female’s vagina.

Penis Glans: Enlarged tip, or head, of the penis. In its apex is the vertical meatus, or opening, of the urethra.

Foreskin: A loose fold of skin, or prepuce, which covers the glans of the penis. It is often removed from infants for sanitary and religious reasons. The removal of the foreskin is known as circumcision.

Urethra: A tube-like vessel that serves to transport urine and semen, conveying it from the bladder or testes through the penis.

Urethral Opening: The penis opening, or meatus.

Scrotum: The protective skin pouch which contains the testes (testicles). It is located in the groin, on the outside of the abdominal cavity. This positioning allows the testicles to remain at a temperature slightly below body temperature, a critical condition in the development of viable sperm. After puberty, the hair begins to grow on the scrotum and nearby skin. This pubic hair remains for the rest of the adult life.

Testis: (also known as testicle), The main reproductive organ of the male anatomy. They are responsible for generating the sperm cells (spermatozoa) and passing them into the epididymides for storage until ejaculation. The testes are slightly elongated globes, about 1 inch (2.5 cm) wide by 1 1/2 inches (3.8 cm) long. The testes are located outside of the abdominal cavity in a protective pouch of skin called the scrotum. This positioning allows them to remain slightly below body temperature, which is critical for the development of viable spermatozoa.

Epididymides: (plural for epididymis) Narrow, elongated storage vessels for newly generated sperm. They are located within the scrotum, adjoining each testicle. Sperm remain in the cord-like epididymides until ejaculation, at which time they eject them into the vas deferens.

Vas Deferens: The narrow continuation of the canal of the epididymis, serving to transport the sperm cells from the epididymis, up through a canal toward the bladder, and then to the ejaculatory duct.

Anus: The opening where solid waste is excreted.

Cowper’s Glands: (also known as bulbourethral glands) The two pea-sized lobes connecting to the side of the urethra, responsible for secreting a lubricant into the urethra to facilitate the transport of sperm during ejaculation. This lubricant is frequently referred to as “pre-cum” in English slang.

Prostate Gland: Responsible for secreting a fluid into the urethra during sexual arousal. This alkaline fluid comes before the sperm cells and helps reduce the acidity of vaginal secretions, so that the sperm cells are not destroyed by this acidity. The prostate gland is about 1 1/2 inches in diameter.

Ejaculatory Duct: Short tubule located just above the prostate gland. It is formed by the connection of the vas deferens and the seminal vesicles, and serves to transport sperm through the prostate gland and into the urethra.

Seminal Vesicles: Responsible for secreting a fluid component of semen as the sperm cells pass through the vas deferens. The two vesicles resemble small, bulbous pouches and are located just above the prostate gland.

Rectum: One of the last portions of the large intestine, which extends from the sigmoid colon to join the anal canal. Fecal wastes are stored in the rectum until they are expelled by passing them through the anal canal and out of the anus. The rectum is about five inches long,

Sigmoid Colon (spelled as sigismoid colon above): Connects the end of the descending colon to the rectum. The rectal and sigmoid sections are often referred to as the rectosigmoid.

How Wet Is Too Wet?

As much as I love learning about the topics that I write about, I always find myself getting into trouble for voicing the information in my habitual dry, crude, straight to the point kind of way. So, don’t think this will be any different, because when it comes to vagina’s well I am going to tell you like it is, plus I love trouble ;)

In the last year, I have gotten several emails, one in particular that stated “I had to write about this topic.”  How wet is too wet? The simple answer is “I don’t know!” The truth is that there is no easy way to explain wetness (vaginal lubrication). Our vaginas are like an onion; there are multiple layers each one just as delicate and intricate as the other to make a beautiful yet complicated organ.

You can’t control how wet you get and honestly, I am not always sure what the big concern is, but you can control the health you provide your vagina. A healthy vagina has an acidic pH balance to fight off infections which is provided by bacteria naturally found in our nether regions. Just like saliva cleans and lubricates our mouths, our vaginas work in a similar way, secreting fluids on a regular basis.

All women have discharge, however the amount, the color, and smell vary from woman to woman. Normal discharge may appear clear, cloudy white, and/or yellowish when dry on clothing. Normal discharge can change in appearance and consistency for various reasons including menstrual cycle, hormonal changes, emotional issues, nutrition, medication, and sexual arousal.

Signs that may indicate an infection are: discharge with itching, rash or soreness, persistent increasing discharge, burning on skin during urination, white clumpy discharge (like cottage cheese), and grey/ white or yellow/green discharge with a foul odor. Please seek medical attention or advice, if you have any additional concerns or may be experiencing these symptoms.

During sexual arousal, a woman has an increase in vaginal wetness, especially during the arousal phase. This is due to changes in blood flow and the clitoris dilating, which allows the whole area to become flushed. This increase in wetness has many purposes, one of which is to facilitate penetration and protect the vaginal wall (too little wetness can lead to painful sex).

However, some women I have come to find out are very embarrassed of “how wet” they get. They have asked me if it is a problem and how to fix it. When there is an excessive amount of wetness women fear they will not feel as “tight” or that it feel like they are urinating (female ejaculation). Whatever the reason feeling vulnerable during sex is uncomfortable and sometimes even disheartening.

There is nothing to be embarrassed about, the wetness experienced is just part of your body enjoying the moment, but I understand that this is easier said than done, so here are a few helpful tips:

• This first one is not my favorite, but I have read that you can take an antihistamine. Be mindful to not use one that make you drowsy, but basically this medication dries everything up including your vagina and allergies.

• Place a towel under your body to absorb extra moisture, and you can also have a cloth nearby that you can use for quick clean ups. You can also place a waterproof pad under a towel for additional protection to the bed.

• There are also some creams that can help, but there is not much proof that they work.

• Change your diet to a more vegetarian lifestyle, the cows and your vagina will benefit!

• Finally, there is the Konov Principle, which is bringing a conscious awareness to you vagina and visualizes the optimum and healthy amount of wetness. Like meditation, it needs to be practiced daily to be felt fully.

The best advice I have thought is from me as someone who has been in that situation is that there is only one solution… enjoy the moment and build the sexual goddess that is inside of you.