Sex Ed » Advice

Patrick CalifiaSex & relationship advice from Patrick Califia

Patrick is a family therapist, writer, sex radical, and all-round font of erotic wisdom. If you've read his collected advice columns in The Advocate Adviser, or his trenchant personal/political essays in Public Sex, Sex Changes, or Speaking Sex to Power, you'll know that Patrick is well-informed about the vagaries of the human heart, the mysteries of the libido, and how to pursue your desires — whatever they may be — safely, responsibly, and passionately.

Submit questions to Patrick here.

We also have an archive of advice columns from Sasha, whose column "Love Bites" appeared in Canadian weeklies for over 14 years.

Dear Patrick: I like to be tickled! I don’t think this is a very intimidating desire. I’m not asking anybody to hurt me. I just want to be tickled until I lose control and can’t stand it any more. It’s easy to do, or so you would think. But you would not believe the trouble I’ve had persuading a lover to devote a little time to tickle games. Why? Do you understand this? Maybe if you talk a little bit about my fantasy, it will be less intimidating for my girlfriend. I hope to soon be:

Dear Patrick: I am getting married in a month. My fiancée has told me she is a virgin. I have had sex with one other woman, but she was not a virgin. All I know about this is that sex is supposed to be very painful for women the first time around. I don’t want to hurt her at all! Is there anything I can do to make that first time special for her? I love her so much, I don’t want her to associate me with anything painful. I don’t understand why nature would make such a big mistake in the design of the human body. Help!

Dear Patrick: I transitioned about five years ago. Instead of being an unhappy, androgynous girl, I am now a furry bear cub who has had love affairs with both men and women. But when I am alone, I am finding myself fantasizing about and wanting to experiment with lingerie and makeup. Is this simply an expression of the fact that I am never satisfied and always changing, or did I make a mistake when I decided to change the initial on my driver’s license?

Dear Patrick: I have known for a long time that my husband would like to go to a swing club with me. His 30th birthday is coming up, and after giving it a lot of thought, I have decided I want to make this his special birthday surprise. But I have no idea what to expect. Can you give me a clue so I don’t make an idiot out of myself? For example, he is not at all interested in having other men approach him for sex.

Dear Patrick:  My 25-year-old partner has requested a spanking. I was never spanked as a child (the idea is repugnant to me), so I have no idea how to go about spanking an adult. I am not unwilling, just unsure of how to proceed. She says I make her feel very naughty when she wants sex, and getting a little spanking would help her to get in the mood more often. I am all about having more sexy time together!

Dear Patrick: I recently ran into a clip of another guy pumping his cock. It just fascinated me, but I was also worried about damage. How long can you do something like that without hurting your cock? Also, in the case of someone who was born without a natural penis, would pumping be of any help in passing so that person would not have to talk about being transgender?

Dear Patrick: I am in a good relationship with a woman of transgender experience (as she puts it). We have been scrimping and saving for years now to pay for her sex-change surgery. It has taken a lot of research to find a doctor that we feel will give her the complete female genitals she wants—not just a vagina, but also a clitoris and labia.

Dear Patrick: What is the best kind of dildo to buy? I think I need one for practice. But they are expensive. So what is the best one?

Dear Patrick: First, a bit about myself I guess. I'm a 29-year-old, white, heteroflexible
male. I am a university graduate in the sciences, and work in a professional role related to my studies. I live in Ottawa, but find myself a little bit more socially stagnant than most people in my position for a city of this size. I live on my own, don't know many people, and sometimes my life seems like a perpetual cycle of wake up, work, sleep, repeat.

Dear Patrick: I have been in love with a kind-hearted young guy for more than two years. He is smart, beautiful, and so understanding, I feel like I have met my soul mate. To prove I am loyal to him and I take this relationship seriously, I have stopped dating anybody else. I have finished school and am at the point where I can make some decisions about the next phase of my life. I want to move so I can be closer to him and have a real connection. I want to know how to convince him to meet me in person.