What to do when your sex life is not what you want it to be

I recently met a young woman who had a problem.  She was interested in sex, had had sex, but hadn’t enjoyed it much.  She wanted my help to try to “light the fire” so to speak, get more experience, gain confidence in her body and skills.

All of these things are excellent goals and generally they are things that I can help a person with – and have over the years.

What I have learned though is that these issues are rarely just a matter of inexperience.  They stem from our lives as a whole and as such there is no quick fix, but a road to self discovery that may be more or less long for each of us.  And especially in the case of sex – it’s not the destination that really matters, it’s the journey.

So here are some things that I think are worth exploring if your sex life is not what you want it to be…

  • What are your actual issues?
  • Anti-depressants and hormonal imbalance and their impact on libido and sex
  • Maybe you’re just not into sex?
  • Body image/self image
  • Masturbation and self pleasure
  • Inexperience and how to overcome it – being scared because you are inexperienced
  • The people you are “attracted” to versus the person you need
  • or – Romance and relationships versus good sex (they rarely go hand in hand and you shouldn’t try to force one on the other)
  • Work/life balance and where to find a partner
  • Whatever body you have – there is someone out there that loves what you are

What are the actual issues?

It’s a truism that we “don’t know what we don’t know” – it’s especially true when we have issues around our sex.  This is where I think that talking to a professional is the best place to start.  I am not a therapist, so while I understand human nature and am good at engaging with people to help them explore their sexuality, I cannot diagnose and treat emotional and physical issues.  I leave that to the professionals.

So if you have a low libido, anxiety, difficulty making connections with potential partners etc, then I highly recommend that you talk to a therapist.  Here in Australia at least, you can get ten free sessions with a therapist – just ask your GP for a “mental health plan” and tell them which therapist you would like to see and they will do the rest.  You have nothing to lose by doing this and possibly much to gain.

Low libido might be caused by stress (very common), a hormone imbalance, or something else that you and I have no idea about.  Spending time with a sex worker won’t fix these things and may even make the situation worse if the thing that you have paid good money for that you expect to help, doesn’t.  Better to fix the problem at its source and have a strong base to build upon!

Anti-depressants and hormonal imbalance and their impact on libido and sex

I won’t talk about the effectiveness of anti-depressants for their proscribed purpose – but I know from the many people I have met who take anti-depressants that they often have serious effects on womens’ libidos and even worse – ability to orgasm.

We know that orgasm isn’t the most important part of sex, or even necessary – but to someone who was previously able to and enjoys having an orgasm, losing that ability can be very, very hard and seriously effect their sex life and their relationships.

Please don’t stop taking your anti-depressants.  Instead, as per the previous section above – perhaps (working with your health professional) look for ways to fix the underlying issues that cause the need for the medication.  It’s not possible for everyone to go off anti-depressant medication, but with life changes it may be possible and thus lead you to a more functional sexuality and happier sex life.

Like anti-depressants, our hormonal balance can also play a large part in how we feel about sex. For men, our testosterone inevitably drops as we get older and this can dampen our libido. Women suffer similar (and more complicated) issues. If your libido changes, or isn’t what you would like it to be then talking to a doctor to have your hormone levels checked is a sensible step to take.

Maybe you’re just not into sex?

I have no personal experience of people who identify as asexual, but I believe that it is possible for a person to have no interest in sex at all.

If you are asking the question of yourself “why don’t I want to have sex?” and worrying that there is something wrong with you because you truly don’t want to have sex, then perhaps you legitimately are asexual.  If you think that this might be you but aren’t sure, talk to a therapist with experience in this area.  They will help you differentiate between a low libido and true asexuality.

Body image/self image

We are all our own harshest critic when it comes to appearance.  And that can be paralysing when we are thinking about or trying to have sex.  I have lost count of the number of women I have helped in this regard in my career.  This kind of insecurity can be crippling – and it is totally unnecessary.

Here’s the truth – your appearance matters far more to you than it does to your partner.  Because they are not looking at the superficial exterior – they see you as a whole person and are attracted to that, not to how you present on any particular day. 

Some people are superficial though and will be critical of other people for their appearance.  But that’s ok – they have just told you that they are probable not the kind of person that you want in your life.

However you are is ok.  It’s one of the truly insightful things that the sex work community has demonstrated to me: it doesn’t matter who you are, what you are, what shape, or age you are – there is someone out there who is attracted to you.  I see it semi-regularly in sex worker spaces, people saying that until they did sex work they had no idea of their own attractiveness and worth.  Having been a sex worker – even if they still struggle with their self image – they know that not only are there people out there to whom they are attractive – but that those people will even pay to spend time with them.

Masturbation and self pleasure

We live in a world that is constantly telling us that pleasure has to come from outside of ourselves.  That we can’t be whole and satisfied just being ourselves.  This is practically the cornerstone of capitalism and one of the most insidious aspects of social media.

It’s a lie.  It’s a toxic lie that ruins lives and can ruin sex. 

Masturbation is an integral part of understanding ourselves, our bodies, and our sexuality.  We should all masturbate. 

It is ok to do it.  It is ok to do it a lot – just so long as it doesn’t interfere with other aspects of your life. 

It’s ok to use toys.  It’s ok to not use toys.  It’s ok to do it with and to someone else if you both want that. 

At the end of the day masturbation is just another tool in our sexual toolbox and we should indulge in it just like any other aspect of our sexuality.

Inexperience and how to overcome it – being scared because you are inexperienced

This is probably the easiest issue to resolve – if you are unsure about sex because your are inexperienced – or have no experience – then (regardless of your gender) hire a sex worker!

We won’t judge you. We will be patient with you. We will tell you whatever you want to know and show you how to do the things that you may not know how to do – like giving oral sex.

Many people imagine that sex is just something that they should be good at / able to do naturally – and then feel anxiety because they don’t know what they should do with a partner. Sex is like any other skill. You aren’t born with this knowledge. It’s something that you have to learn and really you can only learn properly by doing it – although there is lots of good information available online (like http://omgyes.com ). It shouldn’t need to be said, but it’s always worth repeating that porn is not sex. No-one has sex like porn stars in their day to day life (not even porn stars). Porn is

We are discreet. We will not tell anyone. We won’t laugh at your inexperience. We are the ultimate (sexy) safe space.

The people you are “attracted” to versus the person you need or – Romance and relationships versus good sex

From the moment we wake up to the moment we fall asleep we are all more or less unconsciously making assumptions about the world around us.  That’s useful for navigating the physical world, but it can be a problem when we are looking for relationships and/or sex.

It can be a problem because we unconsciously approach the task assuming the we have to do it within the social frameworks (assumptions) that we live within.

Just by visiting this website and reading this article you are transgressing an excepted societal norm – that you can only look for and have sex in a committed relationship or marriage.

Even talking about buying sex is virtually taboo in Australian society – despite this country being one of the most permissive legal sex work cultures in the entire world.

I would wager that for you, seeking out sex work services was an actual decision (reached through serious thought and due to some exceptional circumstance) that had to be made, as opposed to something that you just felt like doing.

This is an example of how the unwritten rules of our society affect how we perceive relationships and sex – just the idea of seeing a sex worker is transgressive and we need to give ourselves permission to do it.

The problem that flows from this is as follows: if we should only have sex with someone we are in a relationship with, then one person is going to have to provide for all of our emotional, physical, and sexual needs – possibly for the rest of our lives.

For most of us that is an entirely unreasonable thing to ask of another person, or to be asked of us.  So we end up making poor choices.  We have relationships with people who are sexually exciting to us, but toxic partners.  Or we have relationships with people who are excellent partners, but we have no sexual chemistry with, or some mix or variation on this.

Making sex contingent on commitment is a huge problem.  There is no reason – other than social norms – for it to be that way and for most of us we simply accept that the assumption that society imposes on us is the right way to act.

I believe that most people would be much happier in their lives if they could let sex and relationships be two separate things that may sometimes cross and intertwine but never dictate to each other.

Work/life balance and where to find a partner

It’s an eternal question: where can I find a partner?

Here’s the best answer I have: the best way to find a partner is not to go looking for one. Instead build the best life for yourself that you can – meaning work less, save energy for yourself, exercise, doing creative things, indulge in hobbies.

If you do those things, then you get two benefits – one: you will inevitable meet like-minded people who may make a good partner when you are doing them and two: when you do you will be a happier, healthier person who is more able to participate in a relationship.

Conclusion:

Frustratingly there are no quick fixes when it comes to sex. Our sexuality is a project as complicated and requiring as much of our attention and dedication as any other aspect of our lives, like career, and relationships. However – if you are prepared to challenge your assumptions and put in the effort, then you can almost certainly get what you want.

John.

Sex toy safety

Since we are all in various states of lockdown and sex toys are extremely popular right now, I thought it worth making a quick post about sex toy safety.

I saw this Twitter thread earlier and it’s worth sharing…

What’s the main takeaways?

  • The sex toy industry is unregulated – with all of the horrible implications that has for product safety
  • You get what you pay for! If it’s cheap (with the possible exception of glass, stainless steel, and things on obvious heavy discount) then the toy is probably made from something that you don’t want to put in or on sensitive parts of your body.

Masturbation is good (I have a couple of articles in the works touching on this) and we should all do it. Toys are a fun way to expand that pleasure – but it’s really important to use safe toys!

John.

Doxy play

So. I came into possession of a Doxy vibrator recently (not permanently sadly, but for now it’s mine!).  I’m not a big fan of using sex toys on myself usually, but the reputation of the Doxy as a really powerful vibrator got me curious.  

Would it feel good for me as a man?  What would it feel like full stop?

So while the morning light lasted I thought I’d make a little film for you…

John.

The virtual John Oh…

Here in New South Wales, Australia we may be out of lockdown (for now), but I realise that many of you out there are still unable to travel to see me. I also know that lockdown can be really hard on people, especially if you have a need in your life for intimacy that isn’t being filled.

As a result, I have had a number of requests recently for online service including email chat, texting, and Zoom/Skype sessions. I am very happy to do these and will tailor any combination to your needs. So you can start off with some email or perhaps exchanging texts, move on to a sexy phone call, or when you are ready for it a video chat…

To pay for this service I am offering hourly credits at $200/hr for any combination of services. So you buy an hour or two of credit (contact me for payment options) and then we can use it for virtual play in any way that you choose.

I also want to say that these session don’t have to be erotic unless you want them to be. I have done sexy shower time fun and also just having a chat and “being there” to listen. It’s entirely up to you and based on whatever it is that you need right now that this crazy world can’t give you in person.

John.

Help for couples with no sex experience – guidance and instruction about massage, touch, tantra, mutual oral, virginity, and more

Not everyone who gets married has the sexual confidence and experience that they might like to have. It’s quite common for younger couples especially. Perhaps you come from a conservative culture and background, perhaps you just never had the chance to learn. It doesn’t matter how it happened – and it doesn’t mean you have to live with not knowing.

For many years now I have offered lessons to single women to help teach them about their body and help them explore their sexuality. I have also occasionally seen couples with similar needs, but I haven’t really written about this before and I thought that I should.

So here’s the bottom line – if you are a couple and one or both of you are inexperienced with sex (or even never had sex at all) then I can help you with practical instruction. I’m not a therapist who will just talk to you about what to do. As a straight male sex worker for women, I can provide practical experience in any area that you want to explore and gain confidence in. I can guide you and your partner through all of the things that you want to learn. I can demonstrate techniques (like how to give great oral sex to each other) showing both of you what works and how to learn about what each other likes. I can answer any questions that you have but don’t know who and how to ask.

My courses generally start with the simplest thing of all: touch. It can be literally just touching your partner’s body, it can be massage – which is a great way to explore and arouse your partner, it can be more sophisticated and sensual like intimate touch. I can show you all of these things and you can practice them with me and get feedback about how you are doing and improve your skills.

An extension of touch is oral sex. It’s an excellent way for a man to help his female partner to reach orgasm if she has trouble doing so through other means. I am very skilled in this area and can teach a man all of the techniques that he needs to be able to satisfy his partner. Conversely, I can show a woman how to touch her partner’s penis and teach her the techniques that make for great oral sex for him.

Are you a couple, newly married, and want to learn how to give each other erotic massage? I can help you with that. I can teach you how to give a massage that starts out relaxing and enjoyable, then builds up to sensual, creating lots of sexual tension and getting you both ready for some great sex…

Some couples are even in the position where one or both of them are virgins – have never experienced penetrative sex. I have met a couple from India in this situation in the past. This can be very stressful for both of you, but it’s a situation that I have been in many times and I can show you how to have sex for the first time without it being painful and help you to learn to make it great.

Techniques like tantra are especially good for couples to allow them to connect deeply and to make the sex that you have last as long as you want and to make it very satisfying. I can show you these things too.

Once you have the basics worked out, you might want to learn and experience more. If that’s the case, then I can help with that too. Advanced positions for sex, games like spanking, blindfolds, light BDSM. Anything that you can think of, I can help with practical guidance and instruction.

There is so much to explore for new couples and couples new to sex and I can be your guide. Safe. Knowledgeable. Discreet.

You can drop me a text, or email, or call me any time to discuss with no obligation and no risk.

John.

Minister Stuart Robert! The NDIS should fund sex services

You may be aware that an Australian woman living with multiple sclerosis challenged our National Disability Insurance Scheme and won when they rejected her request for the NDIS to fund a therapist to provide her with regular sexual release.

You can read about the case here:

https://www.google.com/amp/amp.abc.net.au/article/11298838

This is a huge step forward in the recognition of sex as a natural and fundamental part of the human condition and that people with disabilities deserve it too.

Sadly though that is where the politician stepped in (from the article).

“Minister for the NDIS, Stuart Robert, said that ruling was out of line with community expectations.

‘The National Disability Insurance Agency (NDIA) intends to appeal the recent decision,’ he said.

‘The current position continues to be that the NDIS does not cover sexual services, sexual therapy or sex workers in a participant’s NDIS plan.'”

First – can I just say that it is nice to see a politician (particularly a conservative one) using the term “sex worker”. It’s rare and appreciated.

Sadly though Stuart Robert then fails to be a leader and reverts to nebulous conservative morality to justify appealing against the decision.

He claims that the NDIS funding sexual service for people who cannot experience sex because of their disability is not in line with “community expectations”.

There is a lot to unpack here.

The first is the idea that “the community” has a right to tell people what they can and can’t do in the bedroom. I think that we have, through things like the decriminalisation of homosexuality and indeed sex work here in NSW (and the Australian Capital Territory, and New Zealand), established that “the community” has no right to tell consenting adults what they can and can’t do to each other.

The second is that a minister of our government is hide bound to follow “community expectations”. This is absurd. Ministers make unpopular decisions regularly, they do so – they will tell you – for the good of the nation, to protect minorities, the environment etc.

So Stuart Robert claiming that he is duty bound to challenge the ruling because “the community” wouldn’t like people with disabilities being able to enjoy basic sexual release is nothing more than abdicating his responsibility as a minister and failing to be a true leader. Stuart Robert – if you are listening: man up and do your job.

Also – has Robert Stuart actually asked “the community” what we want? I’m fairly sure this question has never been polled anywhere, that being the case it’s even worse than abdication. He’s just deflecting and using the presumed moral authority (of “the community) to avoid having to take a stance that his party and his (presumably conservative) electorate might not like (read: he’s afraid he won’t get re-elected if he lets people with disabilities have an occasional shag).

As a straight male sex worker (escort) for women, I have been working with women with disabilities for almost my entire career. I know absolutely how important having intimate touch and the ability to enjoy and experience their sexuality is.

But personal experience shouldn’t even be necessary. Do we – does Stuart Robert – have no ability to empathise? Has he ever stopped to imagine never having someone touch him again in a sexual way? How about never being touched and being unable to even touch himself?

This is the reality of life for many of my clients with disabilities. And it’s not their fault. It’s just what they live with because life dealt them a shitty hand.

We happily fund or subsidise (through the NDIS) education, physical therapy, medication, accommodation, travel, and more for people who we as a society recognise are unable or disadvantaged to get those things for themselves because of their disability.

The only way that we can justify not funding sexual services as part of an NDIS plan is if we believe that sex isn’t an integral part of the human experience. I know that I personally need sex in my life to be a happy and fulfilled person. If I don’t have it, then it seriously impacts on my quality of life.

This is a message that I hear from my clients – able bodied or otherwise – regularly.

So why would “the community” have a problem with the NDIS allowing people with disabilities to occasionally enjoy what most of us take for granted?

John.

The sex bots are coming (again)

It seems every year or two we see one of these articles: “THE SEX ROBOTS ARE COMING!” shout the headlines. Read the article though and it’s usually about one or two people working in the industry of robotics, or robotic research talking up the technology or spruking their products.  See here:

http://www.smh.com.au/lifestyle/life/how-sex-robots-could-revolutionise-bedtime-20160609-gpfy6b.html

The story is changing though, gradually. As per this article (complete with smiling women smooching very plastic looking sci-fi robots) there are interesting and disturbing nuggets of information. for instance…

“Companion devices such as the Pepper robot are increasingly being used to provide company to elderly people, particularly in Asian countries such as Japan”

and…

“Prof Sharkey said there was evidence that companion devices were also being use by parents to keep their children company. Research from California indicated young children had emotionally bonded with the machines”

Now, it’s a vast leap to go from companion devices for the elderly to a robot who rocks your world in bed, but if you grow up as a child with ever more sophisticated companion devices (robots), then perhaps you will grow up to be an adult who is more comfortable with machines and machine sex than dealing with the messy, complicated, often painful world of sex with other humans. It could well happen. In fact I expect that it likely will happen.

But all of this – in my opinion – misses the point. Click bait headlines aside, it makes me ask the question: “what do we want from sex?” and ultimately “what does it mean to be human?”

I am regularly contacted by women who have difficulty in reaching orgasm, or difficulty being “in the moment” and enjoying sex. Our consumer society responds to that by saying that the solution is a new vibrator, or a more powerful vibrator, or an AI vibrator! And that may actually work for some time. Powerful stimulation that simply CANNOT be ignored may get you there for a while. But it’s really only a band-aid, over-riding the basic problem, and potentially causing more of it’s own (as your body decreases clitoral sensitivity in response to the very strong stimulation).

So my response is that if we can’t be “in the moment” for sex, if we can’t reach orgasm easily, then the answer lies not outside of us, but in our heads. We need to go back to basics – work out what is causing the problem in the first place: too busy and stressed with work? Unhappy in our relationship? Tired and stressed by family and commitments?

We need to either change our lives to reduce of remove the cause, or we need to learn how to be at peace anyway. A combination of both is, in my opinion, ideal.

So where does that leave sex robots? Honestly I’m not sure. Until such time as robots are intellectually and emotionally equivalent to humans, I can’t see how a robot can ever be a substitute for the sexual arousal that comes from the close physical and mental stimulation of another person. But if we reach that stage, then what really is the difference besides a synthetic body?

So basically we come full circle. If you want a healthy, satisfying sex life (with a human or a robot) then you are probably going to have to sort out your own head first. A task that I am always happy to help people with in the pursuit of better sex.

John.

Data mining and learning new tricks

Mastercard have been mining the data and come to a disturbing conclusion: people are buying memorable experiences, rather than goods in the post GFC world.

By Leandro Neumann Ciuffo from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil - Mina da passagemUploaded by Markos90, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19967318

By Leandro Neumann Ciuffo from Rio de Janeiro, Brazil – Mina da passagemUploaded by Markos90, CC BY 2.0, https://commons.wikimedia.org/w/index.php?curid=19967318

Aside: whenever someone talks about corporations data mining, it makes me think of this – thank you Scott Adams!

Anyway, that’s great if you are in the “memorable experience” business like me, but I guess that it sucks if you sell things for a living, or are part of the supply chain for making and selling things. As a one time industrial designer, I am feeling just a little bit smug about my career change!

It does however make me just a little bit hopeful for humanity to hear this news from Mastercard. Checking off “See the Eiffel Tower” on one’s bucket list may not lead to enlightenment exactly, but it’s definitely better than just buying more “things” to fill up the cupboards with.

At the end of the day, it is experiences that make our lives rich and open our eyes to possibilities that we would not otherwise have considered. This is especially true of our sexuality. Even my society spend a lot of time and effort trying to prevent people from having and enjoying sex. But, I know absolutely that it’s never too late to learn. Be it mathematics, cooking, music, or sex. We all have the ability to make ourselves better. It just takes the right moment and the right teacher. And as adults, we have a lifetime of experience and maturity behind us to make good use of the things we learn.

If you have never had an orgasm. Or you have difficulty reaching orgasm reliably. If you want to broaden your understanding of sex and what it can be. Or perhaps explore your kinky side. Then drop me an email, or a text and tell me what you would like to learn. It would be my pleasure to be your teacher.

John.

All about sex – a writing project

In my recent post about sex education I suggested that it was time for me to write something on the topic.

In the last few weeks I have started on this project and am delighted to say that it is progressing well.  My intention is to publish parts of the book here as they are completed, or at least knocked into a reasonable shape.  I expect that it will be an ongoing project that evolves over time as I get feedback and more experience with the process and subject.

So.  Stay tuned.

John.

It’s time that we had REAL sex education

Following on from my recent post about beauty in our society I want to write something about sex education. It’s a topic that I have cared about since my ok, but rudimentary sex education in high school. I was prompted today by this article in the local paper. From the article:

So it is not uncommon then for a female student to graduate high school having never received any formal education on topics such as natural lubrication, the clitoris, female masturbation or the female orgasm, even though the male equivalent of these topics were first broached way back in primary school.

The inherent asymmetry this creates then stigmatises female pleasure, while reinforcing a phallocentric model of sex. Thus male pleasure is centrally coded into the experience and attributed hyper significance, while the female orgasm is treated as taboo, embarrassing, irrelevant or even non-existent.

Worse still, by erasing female needs and prioritising male needs as paramount, the current model of sex education normalises male entitlement and perpetuates female voicelessness. At a fundamental level, this reinforces the same gender stereotypes and patterns which give rise to sexual violence and intimate partner violence.

For Manon and Lyndsay, this all points to a need for urgent reform, starting with more consultation with young women.

I couldn’t agree more about the need for reform. Also for the participation of young people (girls and boys). And that when we neglect to make sex education broad and inclusive of both genders (and a range of ages!), we help to entrench stereotypes that marginalise women and their right to self knowledge and sexual pleasure.

It is a regular occurrence for me that I meet women who have little connection with their bodies and their sexuality, who have difficulty achieving orgasm, and generally have a hard time enjoying sex. It happens so often that I specifically offer “therapeutic” services to try to assist women and give them a better sex life. It is enjoyable and rewarding work for me, but in an ideal world it would not be necessary.

To this end I have often thought about (collaboratively) writing a set of ebooks for young (and not so young) people about all aspects of sexuality. Not just the biology of reproduction like I was taught at school, but about relationships (straight, gay, bi, open, closed, and poly), kissing, masturbation, oral sex, contraception, consent, peer pressure, penetrative sex, breaking up, emotions, porn, and anything else that people wanted to hear about.

Importantly I think that this sort of material shouldn’t be “one size fits all”, but revised or expanded for gender, orientation, and age. Young people need access to this information, but even us adults need it too some times.

And we now live in an age where (thanks to the magic of computers, smartphones, tablets, and the Internet) we have the ideal means of distribution and totally private viewing for this sort of material. In short the time has never been better to solve this problem.

Having said that, I guess it’s time to put my money where my mouth is and write something. So, a question for my readers: as a young person (or as an adult), what aspect of sexuality would you have liked most to be able to pick up a short e-book and read about?

In hindsight, as a teenage male, I would have benefited most from a book about masturbation for boys/men. I suffered for many, many years with premature ejaculation (ironic I know, given what I do now!) and I can absolutely attribute that to having no idea about how I should have been learning to masturbate – with a view to having a healthy sex life once I had a partner to share sex with. Just a few basic tips would have made my sex life (and that of my first three partners) much more enjoyable.

So, please let me know what you think. I am very interested to hear your thoughts.

John.