Beware: Closet claustrophobia
You don't have to come out, but it's better out here
Published: October 12, 2011
I am an 18-year-old straight male. I have a hodgepodge of birth defects that affect my genitalia: severe hypospadias (my urethra — my piss slit — is at the base of my penis), micropenis (less than two inches) and anorchia (I was born without testes). I have never been naked around anyone else. I don't really like being naked by myself, to be honest.
Lately, my sex drive has skyrocketed. It is driving me up the wall. Couple this with the fact that women see me as attractive, and I'm not doing well. It's frustrating that sexual situations are presenting themselves to me and there's nothing I can do. I've recently started college, and it's endlessly frustrating to see my friends having relationships and being sexually active. I know that casual sex or flings will never be an option for me, but I am dying over here! —Messed Up Junk
"His story is one that is very familiar to us," says Tiger Howard Devore, vice president of the Hypospadias and Epispadias Association (HEA). "He should know that he is not rare and many with his kind of genital difference have learned how to communicate about their difference to potential intimate partners."
You're right, MUJ: Casual sex or flings — shucking off your clothes and jumping into bed with a girl you've just met — may never be an option for you. But you know what? Drunken college hookups last an hour or two, while the communication skills you're going to have to develop to navigate your sex life will last a lifetime.
You will have a sex life, MUJ, and there is a lot you can do. There are women out there who prefer tongues, toys and touch to vaginal penetration. On the Savage Lovecast, I took a call from a woman who was worried she would never find a partner because, although she enjoys other kinds of sex, she's physically incapable of vaginal intercourse; there's a new dating website for straight men and women "who cannot engage in sexual intercourse" (2date4love.com); and if you fall in love with a woman who enjoys vaginal intercourse, sex shops sell strap-on dildos to men too.
In short, MUJ, you have options. You also have role models.
"One of the most validating and reassuring experiences someone with genital difference can have," says Devore, "is to meet with others who share their birth history and have dealt with the same issues of self-acceptance, shame and isolation, and the challenge of intimate relationships."
HEA hosts an annual conference and it's coming up, MUJ. If you can get your ass to Chicago over the weekend of Oct. 21-23, I strongly encourage you to attend HEA 2011.
"Connecting with others who share his difference is the best way to end his isolation and begin his healing," says Devore. "At the conference, he'll get expert information from doctors and psychologists, and he'll meet men who have grown up just like him and have faced the same fears and overcome them."
HEA offers financial aid to men who otherwise wouldn't be able to attend — an experience that is life changing and, in some cases, life saving — and I've made a donation so more men with hypospadias can attend this year. I'm encouraging my readers to do the same: heainfo.org.
I'm a 26-year-old girl from Austria currently seeing a guy who likes to tie me up and gag me. It is just cuffs and ball gags so far, and I am enjoying it!
Recently he sent this text message: "mummification sounds fun." In his case, "sounds fun" means "I wish to try it." I looked it up online. Holy! I was scared after watching this video of a guy wrapping a woman first in cling film and then in duct tape! Face and everything! It seemed like out of a horror movie! I texted him back: "I realize this could be a lot of fun for you, but I don't think I can do that." He's never mentioned it again.
I feel awful for denying him. I tell myself it's about trusting the other person — yes, we have safe words! — but I just can't shake off the feeling of creepiness! Is there anything I can do to get over being terrified? Was it fair to say, "Not gonna happen"? —Because I Am Scared
"BIAS should know that it was absolutely OK for her to say, 'Not gonna happen,'" says Tynan Fox, kinkster, activist, and blogger (tynanfox.com). Fox, just 27, has been into mummification for more than a decade — he's been on both sides of the duct tape — but says he can appreciate why even some bondage fans aren't into it.
"Many people are claustrophobic," says Fox, "and they can't stomach the idea of being wrapped up, and who can blame them? Mummification is extreme play. But her boyfriend is being completely appropriate — she said she wasn't interested, he hasn't mentioned it again — and they should both be commended for their open and honest communication."
The only way to get over your feelings of terror, if you want to explore this, is to try it while taking things very, very slowly.
"She doesn't have to go directly to the full-out body-and-head-covering Saran Wrap/duct tape combo," says Fox. "Pace yourselves! Begin with Saran Wrap only, just from the shoulders to the ankles. If she freaks, the boyfriend cuts her loose and it's over. If the scene goes well, they can add a little more next time. Eventually, she may find the restriction and sensory deprivation provides a heightened sense of sexual awareness and makes her extremely horny."
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