Sex & 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.
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.