A male birth control pill. What could possible go wrong? (or am I just too cynical?)

I saw an article today about the impending human clinical trials of a “male contraceptive pill” (https://www.sciencedaily.com/releases/2021/03/210303161645.htm). Apparently trials of the compound triptonide in mice have been successful and show that it interferes with assembly of sperm rendering them unable to swim.

Triptonide is non-hormonal (use of hormones being one of the big causes of side effects of the pill for women), has no apparent side effects, and is reversible.

It takes up to six weeks to become effective and about the same time for fertility to return when treatment stops.

That’s all great. Having more contraceptive choices and solutions is a good thing.

But we have finally reached the moment that has been long discussed – can men be trusted to use a form of contraceptive that requires regular effort when they don’t directly carry the cost of not doing so?

I had a vasectomy when I decided that I didn’t want to have children. It was a simple procedure and because it is 100% effective, women can trust it as a form of contraception. I have always been sceptical though of a “male pill” and I expect that many women would be too.

So it begs the question of what exactly is a male contraceptive pill good for?

It may be glib to say this, but it does put an end to the “men’s rights activists” (MRAs) wailing about how women trap men by deliberately getting pregnant. Well boys, now you don’t have to worry about being “tricked”, just pop this pill every day and your “freedom” is ensured. Somehow I doubt that’s going to stop their howling.

Anyway, the fact that this was the first thing that came to mind for me is, I think, telling. So where else might it be useful? The obvious application is in relationships where a woman experiences side effects from female contraceptives – which is quite common.

But that brings us back to trust again.

If the relationship is committed and long term then perhaps this might be acceptable for the woman. But to my mind, putting your fertility in the hands of another person when they don’t have to live with the consequences – even in a committed relationship – is a very big ask. I’m sure that many people could and would do it, but would a large percentage of the population? I have my doubts.

Which means that unlike other contraceptives, the market for this product may end up being very, very small (and I don’t expect that MRAs would actually use it, since contraception isn’t the point, they just enjoy being whiney and having something to blame women for).

However, I’m always in favour of knowledge for the sake of knowledge and who knows how this technology may one day be put to use and who it might benefit.

I’m interested to know what women think about this idea though, so please feel free to drop a comment below.

John

We need to talk about labiaplasty – again

Way back in 2012 I wrote this:

https://john-oh-escort.com/2012/04/02/more-women-opt-for-genital-plastic-surgury/

Back then I lived in a hopeful place where sex work (both by and for women) was becoming increasingly accepted and I felt that as a society we were making real progress around issues of body image, sexuality, and acceptance.

Now it’s 2022, much of the western world is busy trying to go back to the 50’s socially and here we are again…

https://www.news.com.au/lifestyle/beauty/cosmetic-surgery/jessica-was-just-18-when-her-designer-vagina-surgery-was-botched/news-story/bad2451f4dfcea94735c80f6c8ac4fba

I’m less naive today than I was ten years ago when when I hoped that my words and efforts might have a wide impact on the issue of body image and unnecessary labiaplasty, but I think that it is still worth speaking about this subject.

To cut to the chase – my message last time was:

“Ladies, whatever shape your genital are, there are men who adore them. Please don’t go cutting them off.” – unless it’s for medical reasons.

My message this time is much the same.

If you are feeling embarrassed, or ashamed, or unhappy with the size, shape, or colour of your labia (or any part of your body) but they don’t cause physical discomfort or other medical problems, then you don’t need to get cosmetic surgery for it – you need to get help to change how you perceive your body.

Because – lacking a physical medical problem – that’s what it’s about – perception, not reality.

From the article about botched genital surgery:

“Since I began puberty at around 12 or 13 I started developing longer labia minora, and when I started comparing my vagina to those I saw in porn, I started feeling really self-conscious and like I wasn’t normal,” she says.

“I never told a soul that I had larger labia because I was honestly so embarrassed and upset by it growing up. I didn’t let my boyfriends or anything growing up look at it or touch it and I refrained from actually having sex until I was 18 in my first serious relationship.

“I have never once had anyone tell me that it was ugly or bad throughout all my relationships and sexual encounters, but in the back of my mind I always thought they would be thinking about how ugly and awful it was.”

As in my previous post on this subject I think that what this woman is experiencing is “body dysmorphic disorder” or BDD – “a mental disorder characterized by the obsessive idea that some aspect of one’s own body part or appearance is severely flawed and therefore warrants exceptional measures to hide or fix it” (from Wikipedia – https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Body_dysmorphic_disorder).

I’m not a doctor or mental health professional so my advice is – talk to one. Ideally one who understands and has experience with BDD.

In the past I have specifically suggested seeking out positive validation to combat these sorts of issues, but the woman quoted above had those positive validations and it didn’t fix the problem for her. So while I still think that positive validation of body image is useful and important, I think that it is necessary to see a health professional who understands BDD and can help get to the root cause of the mental distress and change that.

The other thing to note here is that even young teenage women are comparing how their bodies looks to the bodies of women that they see in porn. Which brings us to how we might prevent these problems from developing in the first place. Education.

There is no way to put the Internet/porn genie back in its bottle – just as printed porn couldn’t be regulated away. Young people will continue to see it. So the only realistic option available is to educate young people about their bodies (and porn) and what is “normal” so that when they do look at porn they are able to make better judgements about themselves and what they are seeing.

I’m not holding my breath for this sort of frank and in depth education to happen – but we have enough evidence just from this article that it is necessary.

John

Merry Christmas and a happy New Year

I want to say thank you and wish everyone well as this year draws to a close.

To all of you who have booked with me this year – thank you. As ever it has been a fun year, despite the troubles we’ve all been enduring. Thank you for your patience with booking dates when things have been uncertain and as always your generous support.

I am looking forward to the new year, meeting new people and seeing those I already I know again.

Stay safe. Be kind. Enjoy life to the full.

John

We’re back baby!

So NSW is back in business and the easing of covid restrictions means that sex workers like me are allowed to work again.

It feels good to be back!

In the interest of everyone staying healthy and safe, these are the rules for seeing me:

  1. Get vaccinated! I am fully vaccinated (since June 4th) and will be getting a booster when I am entitled in early December. I won’t be seeing anyone who isn’t vaccinated – unless they have a health restriction that prevents them for receiving the vaccine. I’m sorry if this is a problem, but I have to put my health and everyone else who I see first
  2. When I’m out in public I will wear a mask (except in a restaurant where that’s not practical)
  3. I will continue to get tested for covid regularly. I encourage anyone who is coming to see me to do the same. If you are immunocompromised or vulnerable in some other way, please let me know and I can provide a recent negative covid test result before we meet
  4. If you are visiting me, please wear a mask in my building. It’s a rule of the building and everyone has to follow it

And that’s it. I hope that we can all work together to protect everyone’s health.

John

Feminism and sex

I seem to be saying this a lot recently – it’s a symptom of being in lockdown and having limited external input these days – but I read something online that I felt the need to comment on.

Can I be submissive in the bedroom and still be a feminist?
If I exert control during sex, I don’t enjoy it. I prefer to lie back – but how do I square this with my beliefs?

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/aug/19/can-i-be-submissive-in-the-bedroom-and-still-be-a-feminist

When I read the headline and then the article it made no sense to me.

“Can you be a woman and a feminist and still enjoy being submissive during sex (with a man)”

The short answer is “Yes”.

The longer answer is “Yes of course you can. What turns you on has literally nothing to do with politics and social justice. Your personal sexual arousal is yours and yours alone”.

The real answer is “Why is this even a question?”.

I have over my years as a sex worker spent a lot of time listening to mostly women talking about feminism and what it means to them.  Here’s what I have taken away from all of that:

Feminism is about fighting for equality for all people.  It is not about “female dominance”.

Female dominance would be some kind of “matriarchy” – the opposite of the “patriarchy” that feminism fights.  It is perhaps telling that so many people see others fighting for equality and assume (perhaps in bad faith) that what those people really want is dominance rather than equality.

So this is why the question seems to me to be a total non-sequitur.  Nothing in feminism (the fight for gender equality) says that a woman, man, or any other gender identity can’t engage in what they enjoy in bed.  The only way you could come to that conclusion is through a terribly misguided reading of feminism.

How can fighting to live in a society where no-one is treated differently because of their gender lead you to think that you can’t engage in a power exchange with your partner in your personal sex life?  The two have literally nothing to do with each other – except if one person is deciding what is appropriate and what is not based on some assumption about gender roles in sexual relationships.

The irony here is that many powerful people regularly seek balance in their lives by expressing a submissive side of their personality through BSDM and other means.

We need to be more sophisticated in how we think about feminism and what it means to us and our personal relationships.  With questions like this we are allowing ourselves to be drawn down to the level of the people who oppose equality – be it based on gender, race, ethnicity etc. 

The people who oppose equality want to appear as the victim so that they have clear lines to object along – it’s literally impossible to call equality unfair, so they have to recast the demand for equality into a desire to oppress – the very thing that they themselves do to others.

So yes – you can be submissive, or dominant, or a switch, or none of the above in bed regardless of any other beliefs you may hold. It’s sex. Please just enjoy it.

John.

Getting enough sex

The Guardian runs a regular column called “Sexual Healing” and while I rarely find anything more than safe platitudes in the columnist’s replies to readers’ problems, I do think that the topics are often important and deserve a better response than “Partners have to teach each other how they like to be pleasured”. I think we worked that out back in the sixties, possibly the seventies… We know that and it has precisely nothing to do with the woman in question’s dilemma.

In this particular article the reader raises a very difficult topic

I left my husband because the sex was boring and nonexistent. I’ve since met another guy and while our sex life was great for a while, when we moved in together it all but disappeared.

https://www.theguardian.com/lifeandstyle/2021/jul/14/i-left-my-husband-because-the-sex-was-boring-now-im-having-the-same-problem-with-my-new-partner

This is a problem that I as a straight male escort for women I hear all the time – and I know that female sex workers hear it from male clients too.

This is a universal problem for human beings – mismatched libidos.

So lets start with some fundamentals:

  • You may naturally have a low libido, or a high libido – neither is “right” or “wrong”
  • Your libido will change during your life. It is effected by hormones, stress, sleep, work schedule, age, and more
  • Attraction between people changes over time and with that the sexual relationship almost certainly will change as well

Here’s the most important one:

  • Societal norms including marriage, monogamy, the “nuclear family”, education, and career are almost always prioritised over our sexuality and as a result we rarely have happy, fulfilling sex lives

So that’s the groundwork laid. So lets go back to the reader’s problem:

  • She has a high libido
  • Her husband wasn’t interested
  • She left her husband to get the sex that she wanted
  • She found a guy and was having great sex with him
  • She moved in with him and the sex died
  • She found out that he looks at porn
  • She is back to square one in an almost sexless relationship

I’m pretty sure that you can see that the columnist saying “Partners have to teach each other how they like to be pleasured…” does nothing to untangle this woman’s mess. They were having good sex, so I’m pretty sure that they both knew what each other wanted.

So here’s how I would reply to her:

It appears from your description that you aren’t hungry for variety and novelty in your sex life (as some people are), but that you would happily have lots of sex with one partner.

The problem isn’t your partner’s libido – at least it’s not fair to blame that – the problem is monogamy and the expectation that one person can give you all of the sex that you need (and to be clear this applies equally if the genders are reversed).

Many people automatically assume that sex means relationship means marriage means happily ever after. It’s a lie. A lie that makes most of us more or less unhappy in our long term relationships (just look at divorce rates if you reflexively disagree with that statement).

The hard reality is that long term relationships almost always change the way that we see our partner (and ourselves), how we feel about them, and the way in which we are attracted to them. The changes may be positive or negative or something else altogether. But we will change – and that includes how we feel about our partner and ourselves sexually. So expecting the fire and intensity and frequency of “new relationship sex” to endure beyond the “new relationship” is not reasonable and may well wreck the good things that do endure or grow with a partner.

One of the primary reasons for married women coming to see me is that they are generally happy in their relationship with their partner, but they just can’t get the sex that they want. So rather than blowing up their lives (and their partner and often children’s lives) “just” for sex, they find a different way to fill that need. For some women that means coming to see me – but that’s not what I’m advocating for here, it’s just one solution among several.

I’m advocating for changing the way you look at sex and long term relationships. Requiring a long term partner in a monogamous relationship to fill all of your sexual needs is usually going to end up with you wanting more than they can give – based on what you have said. The only difference between one partner and another will be by how much you feel you are missing out on.

Then that frustration spill over and poisons the rest of the relationship and… well you have lived the experience of where that leads.

The solution is: accept that if you want to be in a long term committed relationship that, because you have a high libido, you won’t get all of the sex you need from that one person so you are going to have to work out an arrangement with them that lets you get it with someone (or more) outside the relationship.

Of course this means that you have to extend your partner the same privilege. In that lies the opportunity to perhaps do it together – which might be its own kind of fun. I have known a number of clients who went down this path, initially seeing me to fill a personal need for sex, but eventually negotiating with a partner to explore their sexuality together with other people. Other clients have negotiated with their partners to play separately. Some simply choose to see me every month or two.

The point is that if you have a high libido you need to look for solutions beyond expecting one person to give you everything that you need sexually to be happy. It’s not easy. It’s not convenient. And it will require significant effort to make it work – and you won’t be able to make it work with some partners. But if you can then you might just discover an entirely new life that is rewarding in more ways than just giving you the sex that you need.

John.

More than just sex…

I would like to share a message with you that I received from a client (with her permission).  I have seen her several times over eighteen months or so and helped her to explore her sexuality.  But there was more going on there than either of us realised…

“Hi John

I wasn’t sure weather you’d like to hear this or not.  So I went on a date on Wed night, like first proper date.

I had the confidence to it & I was able to hold a conversation over dinner (maybe a few nerves), it felt normal to do. I never thought I’d ever have the confidence to do any of that and I would like to think having seen you a number of times has given me that confidence boost to be able to do it.

Sometimes Have wondered if seeing you has been a good idea but last night proved that, yes it has definitely been worth it (wouldn’t have guessed talking so much would be so much help). So thank you! so much for it.”

(Side note here: this person lives outside of Sydney and isn’t subject to the lockdown here, in case anyone is wondering why they were out of a date given the covid situation)

This was a delightful surprise to receive – because while I like my work and I love that so many of my clients choose to see me regularly, I also enjoy seeing them grow as people and become more confident. And eventually move on to new things and relationships.

I love that sometimes I am able to be a part of that growth.

John.

More about pregnancy, sex, and seeing a sex worker

After I posted a few weeks ago about women who are pregnant and wanting to see a sex worker I had a conversation on the topic with a woman who is a midwife. Since she is a medical professional I thought I would share some of her thoughts about sex while pregnant – with the warning of course that you must talk to your doctor or midwife about these issues and not rely solely on anything I write here. While this information may be relevant generally, it may not be right for you, so please take the time to discuss it further with the professionals you trust. Hopefully it can act as a starting point for an informative conversation.

So the main point that was made to me was that I made it sound like having “sex while pregnant is inherently risky for everyone whereas there are really only a couple of specific conditions where we recommend not having sex”. I may have made it sound more risky with my disclaimer, but I do so because I want to be quite clear that I’m not giving medical advice and not qualified to do so.

So there you have it – what you need to be doing specifically is determine if you have any specific condition that might make sex a risk to your pregnancy.

Some more directly practical things I was told to be aware of included: breasts and nipples can be extra tender. This can actually be a good thing for enjoying sex as it can equate, for some women, to greater sensitivity and pleasure.

Breasts can leak colostrum. Certainly something to be aware of, it might give your partner a surprise if they/you like having your nipples sucked!

Orgasm can cause painless tightening of the uterus. I have read in the past that this is one of the bodies ways of helping to recover from pregnancy and childbirth.

Importantly – the cervix can be more vascular, so inadvertent touching of it – say through deep penetrative sex – can occasionally cause superficial bleeding. This is a very good thing to know as I expect that unexpected bleeding could be concerning.

Another problem with deep penetration, especially later in pregnancy, is that it can become uncomfortable. So if that’s something you and your partner like then expectations may need to be adjusted for a while!

Lastly – and this I was not aware of at all – is that when a pregnancy is very advanced, laying on your back for extended periods can cause a drop in blood pressure due to weight of the uterus pressing on the major blood vessels. So laying on your side for sex is a good alternative to missionary position later in a pregnancy.

For my part I want to add this – whatever your situation is and needs are, if you want to see me then I am very happy to discuss them and work with you to give you a safe and enjoyable experience.

John.

Vaccination – a public service announcement

Yesterday I was among the lucky few in Australia to get my first vaccination for covid-19.

I am entitled to vaccination in the 1B group as I work with women with disabilities.

My second shot is in a few weeks time and I am really looking forward to being fully vaccinated against covid.

Here in Australia I think that hesitancy to get the vaccine is relatively low, which is great. Our problem is quite the opposite – a poorly planned and managed roll-out and limited supply of shots is the bigger issue.

However, if you are worried about having the vaccination, here’s my request – if you can get vaccinated, please do it. Not for me, but for yourself and for the people around you. There has been lots of media coverage of the risk of blood clots from one of the vaccines that have been developed. But what nobody seems to be doing is putting those (very small) risks in their proper context – that is to set it against the horrible consequences of covid-19.

So – as Seth Myers says – “Stay safe, wear a mask, get vaccinated, we love you!”

Update 4th of June: I am fully vaccinated as of today!

John.