Category: Slideshow

Tonight-July 19-The Erotic Literary Salon-Live-Three Way Opera

Adult Sex-Ed Salon theme for this evening: How has your sexual expression changed as you have gained experience? 

Attendees will get to submit questions anonymously and the audience will share experiences and insights. I will provide suggestions based on studies and what I have learned through my private practice.

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THREE WAY – Opera

I attended a workshop of Masquerade with an attendee of the Salon. He suggested I invite attendees to stage the excerpts we heard from this opera. It would be a featured presentation at the Salon and last approximately 15 minutes.

Audio Demo Arias from the opera:

http://www.aopopera.org/threeway/

Music by Robert Paterson
Libretto by David Cote

ABOUT THE WORK

Three Way is a triptych on the future of love: android lovers, BDSM and the final frontier: multiple partners. Each act maintains a balance of humor and drama, as contemporary characters collide at the intersection of power and desire.

THE COMPANION
(3 singers: soprano, tenor and baritone)
Not so far in the future, Maya (soprano) lives with her android lover, Joe (tenor). This interactive programmed Companion looks and sounds human—only better. Still, Maya wants more complexity from Joe. She has technician Dax (baritone) come by to install new experimental software, with surprising results.

SAFE WORD
(2 singers: mezzo-soprano and baritone)
Mistress Salomé (mezzo-soprano) is a high-priced dominatrix in a private dungeon, and today she has a new client (baritone), a cocky businessman. Even though he’s the one who pays to be humiliated, he’s prickly and aggressive. The “session” goes to places no one expected.

MASQUERADE
(8 singers: 2 sopranos, 2 mezzo-sopranos, tenor, countertenor, baritone, bass-baritone)
A party is taking place at a country mansion. It’s not a dinner gathering or holiday celebration: it’s a masquerade. People from all walks of life come to shed outside selves, put on a mask and push the limits of erotic expression. Tonight four couples will face their deepest taboos.

Sexy, funny and a little bit shocking, Three Way combines complex but tonal music, witty storytelling and high theatrical values.

Duration: 2hrs 45mins (including two intermissions)
Instrumentation: eight-singer cast and chamber ensemble: 2 sopranos, 2 mezzo-sopranos, tenor, countertenor, baritone, bass-baritone, flute, clarinet, oboe, bassoon, 2 violins, viola, cello, bass, percussion, piano (doubling synthesizer), conductor.
PublisherBill Holab Music

“Your Real Sex Stories, Casual Sex, ” Reminder Next Tuesday-July 19-The Erotic Literary Salon-Live

The following post includes various excerpts from article and website about casual sex and a place to share your casual sex stories.

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The Casual Sex Project is a collaborative effort to share our true stories of casual sex experiences or hookups of all kinds: one-night stands, friends-with-benefits, short flings, fuck buddies, booty calls, sex with an ex…as long as it’s sex (however you want to define sex) with someone you are not in a serious dating romantic relationship with, we want to hear it! The good, the bad, and the ugly.

Most research on casual sex is done with college students. As a consequence, we know very little about hookup experiences of non-college students: those who never went to college, those who just finished college, and those who can barely remember their college years. At The Casual Sex Project, everyone is welcome, regardless of age, gender, race/ethnicity, sexual orientation, gender identity, or religious affiliation. The more stories – and the more diverse stories – the better! As long as they are real sex stories.

To share your story, click here. Stories will be posted online as they come in.

The Casual Sex Project is the brainchild of Dr. Zhana, a NYC-based sex researcher, educator, and NYU professor. Among other things, she studies, writes, and teaches about casual sex, and this is one way to learn more about it. For more info about Dr. Zhana, check out her website, sign up for her newsletter, or follow her on TwitterFacebook, or Instagram. You can also watch her live video broadcasts on sex ed, sexual health and sex science on Periscope: @DrZhana.

Read More: http://casualsexproject.com/about/

Share Your Story

Thank you for your interest in sharing you hookup story!

How does it work? You share your story through this contact form, we get an email, screen the content, then we post everything on this site except your name and email address.

What counts as a hookup? Any sexual experience (however you define that) with someone you were not in a romantically committed relationship with. Some examples include one-night stands, fuck buddies, friends-with-benefits, sex with an ex, booty calls, but there are many other ‘types’ of casual sex or hooking up.

Who can share a story? Anyone!

How many hookup stories can I share? As many as you want, but you’ll have to submit a separate form for each story. Only write about one specific experience per form.

How much detail should I provide? To provide some level of consistency across the stories, there is a detailed set of questions about your experience. We encourage you to incorporate in your answer as many of those as possible, because the more you share, the better sense others will have of your experience. But it’s totally up to you: Share as much or as little as you want and feel comfortable.

Please think about protecting your partners’ anonymity as well as your own – don’t use real names of people, companies, small towns, etc.!

Share your story! http://casualsexproject.com/share-your-story/

CASUAL SEX: EVERYONE IS DOING IT

By , 

Zhana Vrangalova had hit a problem. On a blustery day in early spring, sitting in a small coffee shop near the campus of New York University, where she is an adjunct professor of psychology, she was unable to load onto her laptop the Web site that we had met to discuss. This was not a technical malfunction on her end; rather, the site had been blocked. Vrangalova, who is thirty-four, with a dynamic face framed by thick-rimmed glasses, has spent the past decade researching human sexuality, and, in particular, the kinds of sexual encounters that occur outside the norms of committed relationships. The Web site she started in 2014, casualsexproject.com, began as a small endeavor fuelled by personal referrals, but has since grown to approximately five thousand visitors a day, most of whom arrive at the site through organic Internet searches or referrals through articles and social media. To date, there have been some twenty-two hundred submissions, about evenly split between genders, each detailing the kinds of habits that, when spelled out, can occasionally alert Internet security filters. The Web site was designed to open up the discussion of one-night stands and other less-than-traditional sexual behaviors. What makes us engage in casual sex? Do we enjoy it? Does it benefit us in any way—or, perhaps, might it harm us? And who, exactly, is “us,” anyway?

Up to eighty per cent of college students report engaging in sexual acts outside committed relationships—a figure that is usually cast as the result of increasingly lax social mores, a proliferation of alcohol-fuelled parties, and a potentially violent frat culture. Critics see the high rates of casual sex as an “epidemic” of sorts that is taking over society as a whole. Hookup culture, we hear, is demeaning women and wreaking havoc on our ability to establish stable, fulfilling relationships.

These alarms have sounded before. Writing in 1957, the author Nora Johnson raised an eyebrow at promiscuity on college campuses, noting that “sleeping around is a risky business, emotionally, physically, and morally.” Since then, the critiques of casual sexual behavior have only proliferated, even as society has ostensibly become more socially liberal. Last year, the anthropologist Peter Wood went so far as to call the rise of casual sex “an assault on human nature,” arguing in an article in the conservative Weekly Standard that even the most meaningless-seeming sex comes with a problematic power imbalance.

Others have embraced the commonness of casual sex as a sign of social progress. In a widely read Atlantic article from 2012, “Boys on the Side,” Hanna Rosin urged women to avoid serious suitors so that they could focus on their own needs and careers. And yet, despite her apparent belief in the value of casual sex as a tool of exploration and feminist thinking, Rosin, too, seemed to conclude that casual sex cannot be a meaningful end goal. “Ultimately, the desire for a deeper human connection always wins out, for both men and women,” she wrote.

The Casual Sex Project was born of Vrangalova’s frustration with this and other prevalent narratives about casual sex. “One thing that was bothering me is the lack of diversity in discussions of casual sex,” Vrangalova told me in the café. “It’s always portrayed as something college students do. And it’s almost always seen in a negative light, as something that harms women.”

It was not the first time Vrangalova had wanted to broaden a limited conversation. As an undergraduate, in Macedonia, where she studied the psychology of sexuality, she was drawn to challenge cultural taboos, writing a senior thesis on the development of lesbian and gay sexual attitudes. In the late aughts, Vrangalova started her research on casual sex in Cornell’s developmental-psychology program. One study followed a group of six hundred and sixty-six freshmen over the course of a year, to see how engaging in various casual sexual activities affected markers of mental health: namely, depression, anxiety, life satisfaction, and self-esteem. Another looked at more than eight hundred undergraduates to see whether individuals who engaged in casual sex felt more victimized by others, or were more socially isolated. (The results: yes to the first, no to the second.) The studies were intriguing enough that Vrangalova was offered an appointment at N.Y.U., where she remains, to further explore some of the issues surrounding the effects of nontraditional sexual behaviors on the individuals who engage in them.

Over time, Vrangalova came to realize that there was a gap in her knowledge, and, indeed, in the field as a whole. Casual sex has been much explored in psychological literature, but most of the data captured by her research team—and most of the other experimental research she had encountered—had been taken from college students. (This is a common problem in psychological research: students are a convenient population for researchers.) There has been the occasional nationally representative survey, but rigorous data on other subsets of the population is sparse. Even the largest national study of sexual attitudes in the United States, which surveyed a nationally representative sample of close to six thousand men and women between the ages of fourteen and ninety-four, neglected to ask respondents how many of the encounters they engaged in could be deemed “casual.”

From its beginnings, sex research has been limited by a social stigma. The field’s pioneer, Alfred Kinsey, spent decades interviewing people about their sexual behaviors. His books sold, but he was widely criticized for not having an objective perspective: like Freud before him, he believed that repressed sexuality was at the root of much of social behavior, and he often came to judgments that supported that view—even when his conclusions were based on less-than-representative surveys. He, too, used convenient sample groups, such as prisoners, as well as volunteers, who were necessarily comfortable talking about their sexual practices.

In the fifties, William Masters and Virginia Johnson went further, inquiring openly into sexual habits and even observing people in the midst of sexual acts. Their data, too, was questioned: Could the sort of person who volunteers to have sex in a lab tell us anything about the average American? More troubling still, Masters and Johnson sought to “cure” homosexuality, revealing a bias that could easily have colored their findings.

Indeed, one of the things you quickly notice when looking for data on casual sex is that, for numbers on anyone who is not a college student, you must, for the most part, look at studies conducted outside academia. When OkCupid surveyed its user base, it found that between 10.3 and 15.5 per cent of users were looking for casual sex rather than a committed relationship. In the 2014 British Sex Survey, conducted by the Guardian, approximately half of all respondents reported that they had engaged in a one-night stand (fifty-five per cent of men, and forty-three per cent of women), with homosexuals (sixty-six per cent) more likely to do so than heterosexuals (forty-eight per cent). A fifth of people said they’d slept with someone whose name they didn’t know.

With the Casual Sex Project, Vrangalova is trying to build a user base of stories that she hopes will, one day, provide the raw data for academic study. For now, she is listening: letting people come to the site, answer questions, leave replies. Ritch Savin-Williams, who taught Vrangalova at Cornell, told me that he was especially impressed by Vrangalova’s willingness “to challenge traditional concepts and research designs with objective approaches that allow individuals to give honest, thoughtful responses.”

The result is what is perhaps the largest-ever repository of information about casual-sex habits in the world—not that it has many competitors. The people who share stories range from teens to retirees (Vrangalova’s oldest participants are in their seventies), and include city dwellers and suburbanites, graduate-level-educated professionals (about a quarter of the sample) and people who never finished high school (another quarter). The majority of participants aren’t particularly religious, although a little under a third do identify as at least “somewhat” religious. Most are white, though there are also blacks, Latinos, and other racial and ethnic groups. Initially, contributions were about sixty-per-cent female, but now they’re seventy-per-cent male. (This is in line with norms; men are “supposed” to brag more about sexual exploits than women.) Anyone can submit a story, along with personal details that reflect his or her demographics, emotions, personality traits, social attitudes, and behavioral patterns, such as alcohol intake. The setup for data collection is standardized, with drop-down menus and rating scales.

Still, the site is far from clinical. The home page is a colorful mosaic of squares, color-coded according to the category of sexual experience (blue: “one-night stand”; purple: “group sex”; gray: the mysterious-sounding “first of many”; and so on). Pull quotes are highlighted for each category (“Ladies if you haven’t had a hot, young Latino stud you should go get one!”). Many responses seem to boast, provoke, or exaggerate for rhetorical purposes. Reading it, I felt less a part of a research project than a member of a society devoted to titillation.

Vrangalova is the first to admit that the Casual Sex Project is not what you would call an objective, scientific approach to data collection. There is no random assignment, no controls, no experimental conditions; the data is not representative of the general population. The participants are self-selecting, which inevitably colors the results: if you’re taking the time to write, you are more likely to write about positive experiences. You are also more likely to have the sort of personality that comes with wanting to share details of your flings with the public. There is another problem with the Casual Sex Project that is endemic in much social-science research: absent external behavioral validation, how do we know that respondents are reporting the truth, rather than what they want us to hear or think we want them to say?

And yet, for all these flaws, the Casual Sex Project provides a fascinating window into the sexual habits of a particular swath of the population. It may not be enough to draw new conclusions, but it can lend nuance to assumptions, expanding, for instance, ideas about who engages in casual sex or how it makes them feel. As I browsed through the entries after my meeting with Vrangalova, I came upon the words of a man who learned something new about his own sexuality during a casual encounter in his seventies: “before this I always said no one can get me of on a bj alone, I was taught better,” he writes. As a reflection of the age and demographic groups represented, the Casual Sex Project undermines the popular narrative that casual sex is the product of changing mores among the young alone. If that were the case, we would expect there to be a reluctance to engage in casual sex among the older generations, which grew up in the pre-“hookup culture” era. Such reluctance is not evident.

The reminder that people of all ages engage in casual sex might lead us to imagine three possible narratives. First, that perhaps what we see as the rise of a culture of hooking up isn’t actually new. When norms related to dating and free love shifted, in the sixties, they never fully shifted back. Seventy-year-olds are engaging in casual encounters because that attitude is part of their culture, too.

There’s another, nearly opposite explanation: casual sex isn’t the norm now, and wasn’t before. There are simply always individuals, in any generation, who seek sexual satisfaction in nontraditional confines.

And then there’s the third option, the one that is most consistent with the narrative that our culture of casual sex begins with college hookups: that people are casually hooking up for different reasons. Some young people have casual sex because they feel they can’t afford not to, or because they are surrounded by a culture that says they should want to. (Vrangalova’s preliminary analysis of the data on her site suggests that alcohol is much more likely to be involved in the casual-sex experiences of the young than the old.)  And the old—well, the old no longer care what society thinks. For some, this sense of ease might come in their thirties; for others, their forties or fifties; for others, never, or not entirely.

This last theory relates to another of Vrangalova’s findings—one that, she confesses, came as a surprise when she first encountered it. Not all of the casual-sex experiences recorded on the site were positive, even among what is surely a heavily biased sample. Women and younger participants are especially likely to report feelings of shame. (“I was on top of him at one point and he can’t have forced me to so I must have consented . . . I’m not sure,” an eighteen-year-old writes, reporting that the hookup was unsatisfying, and describing feeling “stressed, anxious, guilt and disgust” the day after.) There is an entire thread tagged “no orgasm,” which includes other occasionally disturbing and emotional tales. “My view has gotten a lot more balanced over time,” Vrangalova said. “I come from a very sex-positive perspective, surrounded by people who really benefitted from sexual exploration and experiences, for the most part. By studying it, I’ve learned to see both sides of the coin.”

Part of the negativity, to be sure, does originate in legitimate causes: casual sex increases the risk of pregnancy, disease, and, more often than in a committed relationship, physical coercion. But many negative casual-sex experiences come instead from a sense of social convention. “We’ve seen that both genders felt they were discriminated against because of sex,” Vrangalova told me. Men often feel judged by other men if they don’t have casual sex, and social expectations can detract from the experiences they do have, while women feel judged for engaging in casual experiences, rendering those they pursue less pleasurable.

Perhaps this should come as no surprise: the very fact that Vrangalova and others are seeking explanations for casual-sex behaviors suggests that our society views it as worthy of note—something aberrant, rather than ordinary. No one writes about why people feel the need to drink water or go to the bathroom, why eating dinner with friends is “a thing” or study groups are “on the rise.”

It is that sense of shame, ultimately, that Vrangalova hopes her project may help to address. As one respondent to a survey Vrangalova sent to users put it, “This has helped me feel okay about myself for wanting casual sex, and not feel ashamed or that what I do is wrong.” The psychologist James Pennebaker has found over several decades of work that writing about emotional experiences can act as an effective form of therapy, in a way that talking about those experiences may not. (I’m less convinced that there are benefits for those who use the site as a way to boast about their own experiences.) “Often there’s no outlet for that unless you’re starting your own blog,” Vrangalova points out. “I wanted to offer a space for people to share.”

That may well end up the Casual Sex Project’s real contribution: not to tell us something we didn’t already know, or at least suspect, but to make such nonjudgmental, intimate conversations possible. The dirty little secret of casual sex today is not that we’re having it but that we’re not sharing our experiences of it in the best way.

http://www.newyorker.com/science/maria-konnikova/casual-sex-everyone-is-doing-it

Limp Dick Not Always ED No Need For Penis Enhancers

Dr. Marty Klein’s article on the cause for flaccid penis is a must read for men and the women who enjoy sex with them.

Ten Erection Disappointments That Are NOT “ED”

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Men, women, and couples come to my practice each week talking about “ED”—erectile dysfunction. The term apparently refers to anyone who can’t get an erection when he wants to—once. This, of course, implies that penises should behave like ATMs—ready to do business 24/7, rain or shine.

But that’s not how penises or the human brain are built. Penises actually need a lot of conditions in order to do what their owners, or their owners’ partners, want them to do. Those conditions can involve emotions, environmental issues, or features of the partner. If one of those isn’t quite right, even the healthiest penis will stubbornly stay small and soft and quite calm.

So here are ten common situations in which penis owners—or their partners—often expect or demand an erection, and don’t get one. Such cases are examples of unrealistic expectations, not ED.

* You’ve been drinking a lot
“A lot” might be as little as a couple of drinks. You don’t have to be drunk in order to be compromised by alcohol. You know how drinking slows down your reflexes for driving? It also slows down your erection reflex.

* You’re really tired
Sometimes sex is available exactly when we’re most tired—and worse, we may fear it won’t be available when we’re rested (or a potential partner has had a chance to think things over). Besides, many people leave sex for the last thing at night, when they can no longer do anything productive. When we treat sex so disrespectfully it’s no wonder if our bodies don’t respond.

* You’re afraid sex will lead to pregnancy (or an STI)
Even if you’re telling yourself over and over “it won’t happen,” or you’re repeating to yourself “don’t forget to pull out,” that can be pretty distracting.

* You don’t really want to have sex with this person
Sometimes it’s a long-term partner we’ve lost interest in, but we have sex in order to prevent conflict. Sometimes it’s a casual partner that we’re not that attracted to—but hey, it’s sex, right? Actually, wrong.

* The stuff she’s doing isn’t sexy to you—in fact, it hurts
Long, long fingernails where you don’t want them, too much teeth, thrusting or bouncing on your penis in a way that scares you—these can all chase away an erection. And a look, a phrase, or lingerie that she thinks is sexy but just strikes you wrong can also get in the way. Turns out men are more sensitive than some people give them credit for.

* She’s sloppy drunk
Why you’d want to have sex with a drunk woman is an important question. Among other things, it’s hardly ethical (although I understand that you both might be). But once you’re into it—or trying to be—it usually turns out to be way more trouble than it’s worth. Most penises don’t find it to be a pretty sight.

* She doesn’t want to have sex
Trying to talk someone into it—or roughly pushing them into it—gets some men excited, caveman-style. Most men are simply too human to enjoy it. And no matter how desirable she was before she said “no,” once a woman says “no” it’s hard for most men to keep their self-respect if they keep pushing. And erections usually leave when dignity does.

* You’re in a big hurry
If you’re in a big hurry, you’re either thinking about the thing you need to do next, or you’re worried about being caught (or simply running out of time). Not conducive to erection.

* You’re just not in the mood
Many men have been told that since women control sex, a man doesn’t have the luxury of not being in the mood when sex is available. If you’re not in the mood but proceed anyway, your penis may reveal the truth by refusing to participate.

* You still haven’t gotten over the argument you recently had
That argument hurt, didn’t it? And even if it didn’t, it made you feel separate from your partner, right? Besides, a productive argument actually gives you something to think about afterwards. If you’re thinking about that, that’s good—but it may not leave much of your attention available for sexual interest.
* * *
Why does it matter what we call a situation that may be, variously, aggravating, embarrassing, confusing, or shocking?

For one thing, getting beyond the narrative of ED means the lack of erection may not mean a lack of desire, arousal, or affection. For another, it means that the lack of erection may be quite temporary—as soon as the right conditions are arranged (an hour later, a week later), an erection may be quite available. And finally, it means that erection drugs may not be the right approach to getting the desired erection.

As in so many things sexual, honesty with oneself and communication with one’s partner are frequently the first steps toward improving your sexual experience—in this case, getting more reliable and drama-free erections.

Subscribe to Dr. Marty Klein’s free newsletter for a sex positive approach to many of your intimate questions. http://www.martyklein.com

Press Release – July 19 – The Erotic Literary Salon & Adult Sex-Ed Salon

Philadelphia’s Erotic Literary Salon and the Adult Sex-Ed Salon: Monthly Theme – “How has your sexual expression changed as you have gained experience?”Along with Attendee Readers, Tuesday, July 19.

 sex-positive-therapist

Tuesday, June 28, 2016

FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 

 

PCSalons@gmail.com – contact: Susana Mayer, Ph.D., Salonnière,

PCSalons@gmail.com – reserve a time slot to read at Salon (5 min max)

www.theEroticliterarysalon.com – guidelines for reading.

www.theEroticliterarysalon.com – blog: events, Salon notices, erotica, and guidelines.

 

 

 

The Erotic Literary Salon will be held Tuesday, July 19. The Adult Sex-Ed Salon is a one hour program held prior to the Erotic Literary Salon. This month’s theme will be “How has your sexual expression changed as you have gained experience?” Attendees will have the opportunity to pose their questions anonymously. ‘Walter’ along with Sexologist Susana Mayer, Ph.D. will answer them and attendees interested in sharing their knowledge and experiences will join in the discussion.

 

Approximately fifteen attendees will also entertain with their 5-minute erotica, sex memoirs, rants, short stories and poetry.

 

PHILADELPHIA: The Erotic Literary Salon, unique in the English-speaking world has launched a growing movement mainstreaming erotica. Salons attract a supportive audience of 65 or more individuals. Approximately 15 participate as writers, readers, storytellers, spoken word performers of original works/words of others, the rest just come to listen, enjoy and applaud. Frances, our resident nonagenarian (98 years young) occasionally recites her original erotica.

 

Salons gather the 3rd Tuesday of every month at TIME (The Bohemian Absinthe Lounge), 1315 Sansom Street, Center City, Philadelphia. Doors open at 6:30 p.m., for cocktails, food and conversation. Adult Sex-Ed between 7:00-8:00, readings begin at 8:30. Admission is $12, discounted for students and seniors to $10. Salon attendees must be 21.

 

Creator of this event, Dr. Susana, is Philadelphia’s best-known sexologist. She lends her voice to the Salon by offering relevant information to support the discussions that arise in the Salon and blog.

…surprisingly comfortable….Salon devotees praise her for the space she has created….” 

“I think Susana is doing a very brave thing.” 

Philadelphia Inquirer, February 10, 2010

 

“There are laughter and tears along with the hot rush of blood – to the face. 

Daily News, March 15, 2010

 

“I never knew such a life of honesty could exist. I finally found a home I can be comfortable in…this event changed my life.

First-time attendee and reader 2013