Hey Everybody! Rose Caraway here.
I have recently finished reading the book titled, “The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure” written by Charlie Glickman, PhD and Aislinn Emirzian. When I first got this book, which was included in a bushel of other books from Cleis Press, I thought I would read it…. later. For me, the “How To” books just aren’t nearly as fun to read as the fictions, and I definitely read for fun. So, I put it off, and put it off, until one day I looked over at the shelf next to my desk and thought, ‘you know, I may as well dive in now and get it out of the way’. I would give Charlie and Aislinn my undivided attention, write a review and then move on to a more “juicy” read from my generous friends at Cleis. But as soon I began reading I was immediately fascinated.
Let me just tell you now, there is so much more to this book than identifying, locating and enjoying the prostate. Not only has this book convinced me to visit, “Good Vibrations” and peruse their shelves, but it also offers up some really interesting pointers with regards to communication that have me chomping at the bit to share with you.
In the Foreword written by, Carol Queen, PhD there is a sentence I would like to quote here…
“Sex education as a whole, in fact, doesn’t serve to promote or explore pleasure; people have to figure that part out on their own, and many don’t have time, ready access to information, or even the understanding that sex could feel better to them than it does right now.”
I remember my Sex Ed lessons… and, yeah… nope. No pleasure talk happened there, lol! I sat on the edge of my bed with one of my parents, who was just as red-faced and uncomfortable as me, trying to understand their cryptic anatomy descriptions and their “how to’s” of sex.
I don’t claim to be a leading world expert when it comes to sex, I will leave that to Charlie and Aislinn. I am willing to pass-on my opinion though. Maybe it is more of an earnest plea for people to open their minds and their bodies to allow themselves an opportunity for something wonderful.
Consensual and Non-Judgmental Sex.
Whatever your sexual identity I say, “Let’s enjoy consensual sex for what it is.” There are so many things in life that can make us happy, that fulfill us; friendship, marriage, children, love, work, exercise… cookies. But none of these have the same instant gratification that sex does. And when we hurt others with a knee-jerk “label” and degrade sexuality or sexual preferences, I believe that it hurts us in the long run. We miss out.
Fear. We know it well. I agree with Steven Pressfield that we hang on to fear until it becomes so crippling that we freeze up. I have also recently finished reading “The War of Art”, written by Steven Pressfield and here is one of my favorite quotes from that book-
I mention this quote because, you know that moment when you are getting ready for bed after a day that seemed entirely too short or too long, after having run around with your head chopped off, trying to exist, and you have that feeling? That sudden, stunning jolt or maybe it’s just a whispered inkling of who you really are? Then you try and rationalize the choices you’ve made thus far in your life to make yourself feel better, and then somehow find sleep, only to wake up and do the same unfulfilling work the next day? Some folks are blessed with this happening earlier than others. I think we have this same kind of experience or identity crisis with our sexual selves. It is my belief, just like Steven Pressfield, that we aren’t born “tabula rasa” (a blank slate). We are born as “who we are”, but we must live and experience so that we might make choices that help us discover who our self is. And then allow ourselves to be that person. Unfortunately, that journey can be cloudy, murky even. For many it is an all-out battle before they are finally able to realize how unimportant other people’s ridiculous judgments are, to admit to themselves that they have let other’s fears identify them for long enough.
Sexual Taboo. Good or bad? Well, I suppose that can best be decided when we begin with “the law”. Some things are against the law, some aren’t. And we’ve learned to depend on these boundaries to keep us safe from harm. So what about things that aren’t “illegal”? How many conversations have you been involved in where you were forced to clamp your mouth shut because the topic was about, “sex-freaks”? You know, the kind of people that openly like sex and openly explore its vast lands for new ways to openly enjoy it, without shame?
Folks that wrinkle their noses, throw their hands up into the air disgusted by the mere suggestion of sexual exploration, are afraid. (Maybe even jealous.) I mean, why so vehemently resist experiencing prostate pleasure? Are they afraid of their own desires? I think so. For shame if they let ever that cat out of the bag. “But isn’t that supposed to be what gay guys do?” No, my sweet, sweet darling, it isn’t. And here is the beautiful thing. Charlie Glickman, Aislinn Emirzian, Carol Queen and a whole slew of doctors and other ordinary people like myself (that aren’t doing it just to be on the cool kids wagon ride), give you permission to be free. We have your back! Let us gently ease your fear of being “labeled” away. You are free to explore. You don’t have to shout your explorations from the roof top, unless you want to of course.
Your sexual life is exactly that, yours!
I suppose it doesn’t take too much imagination to appreciate the “back door” squeamishness. But that’s just fear-driven resistance. I mean, there are a plethora of things that can be done to alleviate this fear.
Fear. That’s the “shit” that holds more people back from enjoyment/success than anything else out there. And it is a legitimate feeling. We all feel it in some fashion or another. Getting over the fear of allowing ourselves to be put in another’s care, of letting our guard down so that someone else can show us a good time. It comes easier for some than others, I know. But imagine the possibilities that could be added to our ‘bedroom’ repertoire if we just breathe for a second, acknowledge that we are sexual beings, curious about something new and willing to simply talk about it.
“-many don’t have the time, ready access to information, or even the understanding that sex could feel better to them than it does right now.”
“The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure” is a great book. I love its language especially; clinical when necessary, a dash of tongue-in-cheek humor, and then its casual/relatable the rest of the time. Thank goodness, really, it has been quite refreshing to finally be treated like a real, live adult by a “how to” book, instead of a “dummy”. And it isn’t just the language that has me smiling, it is that the reader starts with FAQ’s AND THEN, the authors answer those questions right away! How cool is that? I was pleased that I didn’t have to wait until the end to get answers.
Most, not all of the questions I can honestly say I knew were coming. Will it hurt? Won’t it be messy? What are the health risks/benefits? But there was one question in particular that had me – perplexed. I thought the question was perhaps a joke. It wasn’t. People actually wondered. It is the question that would never exist if people weren’t so afraid. If people just communicated. The question? “Won’t it make me gay?” What?! Hasn’t that myth already been debunked?
I am not trying to be funny or crude or coarse here. I actually took a moment to consider how there could possibly be anyone on this planet who would believe that participating in anal play would make them homosexual. I get the whole, thinking that the action of it might make a man feel like he’s being emasculated, but there is no sticky-noted hymen in the ass that reads, “Enter into gay-hood here”.
A little less crudely, the answer is, no. Just like Carol Queen writes in the Forward of this book, “proper education is lacking”. There’s also a huge lack of folks taking the time to listen to facts, instead of fitting into the crowd by buying into social hierarchies. Which creates the lack of having readily available information, which develops into folks not having the capacity for understanding because they are so twisted up with fear.
♥♥♥ COMMUNICATE ♥♥♥
When I finished Chapter Seven of, “The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure” I felt compelled to stop for a second. It really spoke to me. The chapter is titled: “Find It: Locating The Gland”. Charlie Glickman and Aislinn Emirzian have done a hell of a lot more than just show us where the prostate is in this chapter. They have hit on something so– what is more than crucial? Critical? Important? Essential? Something worth your time to pay attention to. When trying anything new, outside our regular, comfortable sexual boundaries, communicating with our partners is key.
Without talking to their readers like children or worse, idiots, and without bogging us down with boring-ass, unpronounceable medical terminology and ‘rough’ statistics, the authors of this book have done a wonderful job in telling us how to communicate with our partner in the quest for prostate pleasure. The tone of the entire book is easy, no pressure communication.
Now keep in mind this book is geared toward locating, identifying and giving/getting pleasure to/from the prostate. But, I believe that the final sub-sections within Chapter Seven can be applied to all forms of sex play in general, and it is my opinion that they could even be put into safe-sex pamphlets all by themselves and then distributed just like free condoms are. I can’t quote the entire chapter here for you, you’re gonna have to buy the book yourself, but I will list the sub-sections to give you an idea of what the authors go into detail about.
- Communication Before, During, After (sex)
- Get started on the right foot
- Talk about concerns
- Give positive feedback
- Ask your partner to describe the action (that they are performing)
- Tell your partner if it hurts
- Give direction
- Enjoy the afterglow
- Talk him through it (for my purposes I will add, ‘her’ to this bullet)
- Ask for permission (consensual!!! Sex!!!)
- This, or that? (technique)
- Listen to his concerns (or hers)
- Let him call the shots (or her)
- Don’t push
- Tread carefully
I understand that we won’t know what we like until we have tried it. But when I learned about sex, I wasn’t given ANY of this information. This is why I had to stop reading the other night at oh, about 3am. It’s this “Lack of information” that is so worrisome. It worries me so much that there are couples, not just teenagers but adult couples out there that still don’t know how to communicate for the purposes of having good, consensual sex! Oh, they know this piece goes into that piece, but they can’t get passed their fear. Chapter Seven of, “The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure” is so much more than about finding the prostate! I do hope you are curious enough to at least buy this book and decide for yourself if it’s worth exploring further. (Then maybe you will stop by, “Good Vibrations” too. Take your girl to see the Vibrator Museum and then, maybe together you can look for a toy for yourself. Who knows? Charlie and Aislinn might be there to help direct your search.)
Charlie Glickman and Aislinn Emirzian start with common questions and many less common ones, then they get into the anatomy basics, and then they have some really great examples and suggestions on how to communicate with our partners. Remember, nobody knows you or your body better than you. Teach/learn consent. Treat your body like a temple. Take care of it, respect it and communicate so that your partner(s) can too.
Allow yourself to be who you are and enjoy!