Tag Archives: Review

The Verge Vibrating Ring by We-Vibe

The Verge Vibrating Ring, Slate —— $88.70

Trevor
Hello again! Just in case you didn’t read my first review, my name is Trevor. I’m 32 years old. I’m originally from the UK, Manchester to be precise, but have been in the US since I was 13. I live with my da. My mom passed away three years ago. I am dating this great gal. Shelia is her name. We’ve been together for just over a year.

My new toy is the Verge Vibrating Ring by We-Vibe. It’s an amazing new cockring.

If you are unfamiliar with what a cockring (penis ring) is or what it is used for, let me turn your attention to a swell tutorial that Dr Dick put together called, Cockring Crash Course.

The Verge Vibrating Ring is worn around your cock and balls. The ring feature adds a bit of blood flow restriction for fuller, longer lasting erections. The vibration feature, which hits you smack-dab on your perineum, produces mind-blowing orgasms.

You can use the Verge Vibrating Ring alone, like when you’re having a little wank, or with a partner, like when you’re having a little shag. Either way, it’s brilliant!

Sometimes I need a wee bit more stimulation to get off than what I can produce with my hand. For example, I’ve recently discovered all the pleasures that come from stimulating my prostate while I wank. For the longest time my butthole was off limits because I thought that was too gay for a straight bloke like me. I know how stupid that way of thinking is now, but for the longest time I just wouldn’t allow myself the permission to even investigate the other pleasure zones on my body.

My girl, Shelia, helped me over come that. One day we were having sex and she had this little lipstick vibe with her. http://www.drdicksextoyreviews.com/2014/05/09/we-vibe-tango/ She started to use it on her clit while I was inside her. At first, I was pretty upset by this. I thought I wasn’t doing my job pleasuring her enough with my cock. I even started to get soft. I was just about to pull out when Shelia, guessing what was going on with me, took the little vibe and placed it on that patch of skin between my balls and butthole, my perineum. I immediately jumped to attention. I had never felt anything like that before. But I was also scared. It was getting way too close to my hole for comfort.

I was torn between the intense pleasure and the fear of the gay thing. What a dolt!

Shelia later told me about all the nerve endings in my pelvis can be the source of great pleasure and that some guys are orgasmic by just stimulating their prostate. To tell the truth, I wasn’t all that sure what or where my prostate was. All I knew was that if it was inside my butt; I wasn’t going there. But I figured stimulating my perineum was OK because it was not technically IN my butt.

To make a long story short, I was using a vibrator on my perineum one day when I, all of a sudden, let the vibe wander to my hole. The sensations were AMAZING! It was only a little while later that I threw caution to the wind and tentatively started to insert the vibe in my butthole. Within minutes I discovered my prostate, which is as sensitive and pleasure producing as my cock if not more so. And guess what? I didn’t turn gay!

Crazy story, right? I’ll bet there are a lotta guys out there who think the way that I used to. Hopefully, reading this will straighten them out…no pun intended.

OK, so I mentioned that if you wear the Verge Vibrating Ring with the pointy part down you get perineum stimulation, right? Well get this, if you wear the Verge with the pointy part up, like when you’re having sex with your partner, the Verge Vibrating Ring delivers the vibration to your partner’s clit.

The Verge Vibrating Ring delivers vibrations that are deep and rumbly, not the little buzzy kind that you get from some vibes. It’s also amazingly quiet.

And while we’re talking about the vibrations, you should know that there are 10 vibration modes built into the Verge Vibrating Ring. But that’s just the beginning. There’s a smartphone app that you get through the We-Vibe website. http://we-vibe.com/app With the app you can connect and control a bunch of We Vibe products, not just the Verge. So when Shelia and I both have our We Vibe vibrator we can share control of each other’s pleasure at the same time. It’s totally wild.

The Verge Vibrating Ring is covered in velvety, latex-free, nonporous, phthalate-free, and hypoallergenic, body-safe silicone. And because it is fully waterproof and made of silicone it’s a breeze to clean. I toss it into the skink with mild soap and warm water, rub it down a bit, and then let it air dry. Or you can just wipe it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution.

The Verge Vibrating Ring is rechargeable via a USB connected port. It takes about 90 minutes to fully charge and a full charge will last for up to two hours of play.

If you’re going to be using lube on or around the Verge Vibrating Ring, be sure to use only water-based lube. A silicone based lube would mar the beautiful finish of the toy.

I love everything about the Verge Vibrating Ring. I love that it is made of body-safe silicone and that it’s 100% waterproof. I love that the vibrations are massive but it’s still really quiet. I love that it is rechargeable. And I love that Shelia and I can play with our toys and each other even if we’re not actually together.

The only thing I’m not sure about is the one-size-fits-all thing. I mean, I’m happy with the fit and all, but if some guy was bigger down there than me…or smaller, that could be a problem.

ENJOY!

F12 Vibrator Fuchsia by OVO Lifestyle Toys

F12 Vibrator Fuchsia —— $52.69

Joy & Dixie
Joy: “We’re BACK!”
Dixie: “And we’re back as married ladies. In the near three years that has passed since our last reviews, we got hitched. Joy got down on one knee, no easy task for her, and proposed. After I said, yes, I had to help her to her feet.”
Joy: “So, OK, I’m a romantic at heart, I’m just not built for all the more traditional romantic gestures.”
Dixie: “To tell the truth, not much really changed in our lives after the wedding, but we scored some kick-ass wedding gifts. Joy got some power tools, of course, and I got a load of stuff for the kitchen. We even got a couple of sex toys. All our dyke friends know how much we loves our sex toys.”
Joy: “And ya know what’s better than sex toys? Getting sex toys for free in exchange for doing reviews here on Dr Dick Sex Advice and Dr Dick Sex Toy Reviews.”
Dixie: “Which brings us to why we are here today. We’re here to tell you about the F12 Vibrator Fuchsia from OVO Lifestyle Toys. Here it is in all its handsomeness.”
Joy: “Or, here SHE is in all her beauty.”
Dixie: “You say tomato, I say tomahto.”
Joy: “I want to start our introduction with the packaging, if that’s alright with you. F12 Vibrator Fuchsia comes in a nice gift package. But my first thought was…are you kidding me with the name? Fuchsia if fine; it is, after all, the color of the thing. But F12?? You gotta be kidding me. Someone is falling down in the creative department, if you ask me.”
Dixie: “I second that. But, you’re right the box is nice.”
Joy: “The packaging consists of a white embossed slip-sleeve featuring a full-sized image of F12 Vibrator Fuchsia. The outer sleeve tells you just about everything you need to know about the vibe inside. It has four programs, three speeds, a contoured texture, it’s waterproof, it’s battery operated, and it comes with a 15-year warranty. Under the slip-sleeve is the pearl grey box that claps shut with magnets. Inside that there’s a black and clear plastic clamshell insert sorta deal that holds the vibe in place. It’s attractive without being ostentatious. There’s also a OVO product catalog and ‘quick start guide’ included.”
Dixie: The F12 Vibrator Fuchsia vibe is covered in a luscious, high-quality, latex-free, nonporous, phthalate-free, and hypoallergenic silicone. Silicone is our material of choice for insertables. But don’t forget you must always use a water-based lube with a silicone toy like the F12. A silicone-based lube would mar the finish. The F12 comes in just this one color, as far as I know, but it has some nice gold detailing.”

Joy: “Like I just said the F12 has four vibrating programs and three speeds. The vibrations are the buzzy kind not the rumbling kind. The two-button control panel is easy to handle and operate. There’s an on/off button under the silicone skin. The “+ and -” button accelerates the speed through its five settings. And it is remarkably quiet.”
Dixie: “The F12 is about nine inches long. The insertable portion is about six inches long. It’s a pretty traditional shape for an insertable, but the contours are nice.”
Joy: “I can’t help but thinking how retro the F12 is. I mean it’s battery operated for god’s sake. I can’t even remember the last toy we reviewed that was battery operated.”
Dixie: “But it’s waterproof, so there’s that. And come to think of it, there are probably lots of women, particularly older women, who may not have the capacity or the know-how to use a USB recharger.”
Joy: “I hear ya. That is actually a really good point. And the fact that F12 is waterproof makes it perfect for bath time. And who doesn’t like to get off in the bath?”
Dixie: “Because it is made of silicone and its fully waterproof it’s so easy to clean. Mild soap and warm water does just fine for everyday cleaning. But you can also wipe it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution to sanitize for sharing. And it should be shared!”
Joy: “The packaging states that the F12 is ‘curved for added g-spot pleasure’. I know that g-spot pleasuring is a real buzz word (you should pardon the pun) in vibes these days, but I’m gonna challenge OVO on this claim. I think there’s not nearly enough curve to the F12 to make it an effective g-spot vibe.”
Dixie: “I totally agree with Joy. At the same time, one size or one shape does not fit all! Each of our bodies is different; what will work for me, won’t work for Joy and visa versa. There are so many variables — insertable length, curve of the shaft, and on and on.”
Joy: “Exactly! I have another quarrel with the promotional materials of F12. The claim the F12 is ‘earth-shatteringly powerful’. I beg to differ! While the F12 has many nice features; take it from me, it is most assuredly not ‘earth-shatteringly powerful’. The F12 doesn’t really have enough oomph to get me off. But then again, I am not the intended audience for the F12. I’m thinking the F12 is geared toward a woman, or a couple new to sex toys.”
Dixie: “And I can’t recommend the F12 for butt play either. There isn’t a flared base on it to make it safe for anal play. So all you guys and gals out there experimenting with anal sex, you’ll have to look elsewhere for a pleasure product.”
Joy: “Let’s recap, shall we? F12 is body-safe, healthy, waterproof, moderately powerful, and super quiet.”
Dixie: “When we were working on this review we searched the net for info about the F12. One of the things we discovered is that there is a wide price range for this product. We saw it for as little as $35 and as expensive as $50. I don’t know what accounts for that disparity, but I encourage you to shop around if you plan to buy.”
Joy: “Stay tuned for other reviews of OVO Lifestyle Toys. They sent us a number of products and the reviews will appear here in the weeks to come.”

ENJOY!

Crescendo by Mystery Vibe

Crescendo —— $179.00

Kevin & Gina
Gina: “Well, this feels pretty familiar, but a little odd too. I can’t believe we are back on the Dr Dick Review Crew. How did that happen? I thought we swore off these reviews years ago.”
Kevin: “To quote Michael Corleone: ‘Just when I thought I was out; they keep pulling me back in.’ But you have to admit, we did miss this mess a little bit, didn’t we?”
Gina: “I guess so. No, that’s not true. I really missed it. I didn’t miss reviewing the same old stuff over and over again. That was boring as shit! But I think we both missed reviewing products that, one could immediately see, have been designed and manufactured by creative people thinking outside the box. In fact, we both said that we would rather review those products, even if those products didn’t quite hit the mark, than review something less creative and innovative.”
Kevin: “So true! I have so much more respect for people who try something different and unique, even if it fails; than I do for people cranking out more of the same old same old.”
Gina: “So when Dr Dick asked us if we would ever consider coming back to the Review Crew he was smart enough to wave something irresistible in front of us.
Kevin: “To paraphrase Michael Corleone: ‘He made us an offer we couldn’t refuse.’”
Gina: “So here we are back in the bosom of the Review Crew after a nearly three year absence so we can bring you something really remarkable. Check out Crescendo from Mystery Vibe. They say it’s the world’s first body-adapting vibrator. I guess we’ll just have to see about that.

Kevin: “To quote Michael Corleone again: ‘I respect those that tell me the truth, no matter how hard that is.’”
Gina: “Is that all you’re gonna do today? I mean I love your Al Pacino, but this is just too nutty.”
Kevin: “To quote Michael Corleone: ‘Never let anyone know what you are thinking.’ OK, OK, I think I got that out of my system for now. Before Gina tells you about the vibe itself I want to comment on the packaging. Crescendo come in a sleek, sophisticated, and elegant gift box. Gold embossed black slipcover covers a beautiful textured box, also in black and gold. Inside the box you will find a black quilted storage bag secured with a tasteful black embossed ribbon, a USB cord, the charging stand or dock, and the striking Crescendo itself. All the packaging is recyclable. If first impressions are important, this packaging certainly got our attention.”

Gina: “As stylish as the packaging is, that’s only the beginning. Here are some of the highlights of the Crescendo itself. First, it’s 9 inches in length and has a maximum diameter of 1.75 inches. Second, it’s bendable; there are three joints that enable you to shape it so that you can use it in different ways. Both women and men will be able to enjoy this vibe alone or with a partner. There are an astonishing number of vibration patterns programmed into the toy when you first take it out of the package, 12 to be precise. There are also 16 power levels for each pattern. You can increase/decrease one step at a time or use the jump function to leap to the highest or lowest settings instantly. Crescendo saves the last pattern you were using so that when you resume your pleasuring it’s right where you left it. And get this, it has six different motors; can you believe that? Four motors in the middle of the toy and two higher intensity motors at either end of the toy.”
Kevin: “I want to say a bit more about Crescendo’s bendability because this is what makes it so damned innovative. It can be easily shaped and positioned into several shapes making it ideal for a whole range of pleasuring. When Gina is using it as an insertable, she curves the tip towards the front wall of her vagina to get amazing g-spot sensations. She can also fold it into a U-shape so that she can get both internal and external pleasure. It’s even wearable. We use it in an S-shape for mind-blowing oral sex. When it’s my turn, I bend it around my dick. I can use it as a stroker or as a cradle. Don’t forget your balls and taint (perineum). You can sit on it with the tip curled up to pleasure your butthole, which is totally awesome. The only thing you can’t do is use the Crescendo as an anal dildo. It doesn’t have a secure flared base that would prevent the toy from slipping up your ass. Oh, and don’t try to bend it side-to-side either.”

Gina: “Charging the Crescendo is so easy. You simply place it onto the USB charging stand or dock. However, you need to place it just right (luckily, directions are included in the package). Once you’ve found the sweet spot the light on the vibe will start to blink indicating it’s charging. A full charge takes about an about 1 hour. When Crescendo is ready to go the blinking stops and the light remains solid. We got about two hours of non-stop play at full intensity on a single charge. All the buttons are lighted too for your convenience.”
Kevin: “The Crescendo is covered is covered in a velvety, latex-free, nonporous, phthalate-free, and hypoallergenic silicone. And because it is waterproof and made of silicone it’s a breeze to clean. Submerge it into the skink with mild soap and warm water and scrub it down a bit. Then let it air dry. Or you can just wipe it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution to sanitize it for sharing. And because Crescendo is also 100% waterproof, it’s the ideal toy for bath or shower.”

Gina: “Make sure you use only a water-based lubricant with Crescendo. I suppose some of the newer silicone-hybrid lubes might work too, but I would be careful and do a test patch first. You wouldn’t want to mar the beautiful silicone skin. Oh, and get this: there is a one year warranty from the date of purchase, as long as you have register your toy on Mystery Vibe website.”
Kevin: “Besides all of this good stuff there’s even an app for Crescendo. This will surely make all of our techie friends squeal with delight. I mean this is the height of high-tech sex toys. Go to your app store, download the Crescendo app, and follow the prompts. We discovered that the app wanted to update Crescendo’s firmware first. Once that was done we had access to dozens of pre-programed vibration patterns and we can customize our own patterns too.”
Gina: “I want to make another comment about Crescendo’s shape-shifting capacity. Bend it to suit your need or position and it stays in shape during play, even with vigorous activity.”

Kevin: “I found the buttons a little difficult to manage, my fingers are just too big. The buttons can also get pretty slippery when Crescendo is all lubed up, so there’s that.”
Gina: “Here’s something interesting. I was showing the Crescendo to an older friend of mine because I know how much she likes her vibrators. She is nearly sixty-nine, but very spry. I only mention her age because I think Crescendo might be a little too technically advanced for seniors. So, as I was going on and on about how great Crescendo is; showing her how it bends, even showing her the app, she got a dismayed look on her face and said, ‘It’s very beautiful and I can see why you like it so much, but it’s just way too complicated for me.”
Kevin: “I hope our toys don’t get so technically advanced that we leave older folks behind. That would be a real shame.”
Gina: “I also want to comment on the vibrations. Despite the zillions of patterns and speeds, the vibrations are more of the buzzy type rather than the deep rumble type that some women crave. I know each person has her own preferences along this line and no one vibe will be perfect for every one, so I thought I would mention that for those who might have a preference. ”

Kevin: “Gina and I liked just about everything about Crescendo. I was sold on the innovative design, it being rechargeable, and waterproof.”
Gina: “We began our review by saying how much we enjoy reviewing new and innovative products. Crescendo fits that bill to a tee. And we both recommend it to you, particularly if you, like us, appreciate unique pleasuring devices that are not phallic shaped, and designed and developed by very creative people. Hey, let’s reward these clever people because their impact on the industry will be great.”

ENJOY!

Pulse III Duo

Dr Dick Sex Toy Reviews Is BACK!

Pulse III Duo —— $149.00

Trevor
[H]ey all! I’m Trevor. I’m 32 years old. I’m originally from the UK, Manchester to be precise, but have been in the US since I was 13. I live with my da. My mom passed away three years ago. I am involved with this great gal. Shelia is her name. We’ve been together for just over a year.

I absolutely LOVE sex! I’ve been interested in sex for as long as I can remember. Get this, my da caught me wankin’ away like the little pervert I was when I was just eleven. Embarrassing, huh? Actually it was OK. I think he was as embarrassed as me. Anyhow, after that we’ve been able to talk about sex, which, I think, has been good for both of us. Especially now since my mom’s gone. But I’m getting ahead of myself.

Right now, I want to introduce you to the Pulse III Duo. It’s the world’s first Guybrator. It says so right on the classy super-shiny outer box. And this lovely comes from the good people at Hot Octopuss out of London…the one in England. GO Great Britain!!

Inside the box you’ll find a drawstring storage pouch, which has the Hot Octopuss logo on it, a magnetic/USB charging lead and an instruction manual. Then there’s a formed cardboard insert that holds the Pulse III Duo and a round remote control. All the packaging is recyclable. That’s the first item on the Dr Dick Review Crew’ checklist for a GREEN product.

Now let’s take a quick look at the Pulse III Duo itself. It’s basically a palm-sized hammock for your dick. It has these two flexible wings that surround your cock and you can use it with either a limp dick or a stiffy. It’s covered in this beautiful 100% silicone skin and it’s also 100% waterproof. By the way, the Pulse III Duo is the second generation Pulse. There’s also a Pulse II and a Pulse III Solo.

There are buttons on either side of the Pulse III Duo, one for power and vibrating patterns on the left side, and two (+/-) buttons to control intensity on the right side. The Pulse III Duo’s remote activates and controls the independent external vibrator for clitoral stimulation when you use it as a couple. So it’s actually two vibrators in one.

After giving the Pulse III Duo a charge for four hours using the magnetic USB charger, it was ready to go. I used it alone first. I started with my limp dick. I placed it in the hammock with my frenulum, the underside of my cockhead, on the sweet spot of the guybrator, and switched it on. The pulsing piston-like osculation action got me rock hard in moments. This thing is fantastic! I cycled through the 6 stimulation modes and adjusted the intensity with each mode. I couldn’t believe the sensations. I nearly blew my wad in the first few minutes.

Just when I thought I had experienced the full range of sensations I happened upon the “Turbo” button. You just press and hold the (+) button for a moment and it will take your vibrations straight to warp speed. DAMN!! This took me over the top in a matter of a couple minutes. Now, just so you know, I wasn’t actually stroking myself; I was just holding the Pulse III Duo on my dick.

The next time out I decided to add some lube. As with all silicone toys, use only water based lube. A silicone based lube would mar the beautiful finish of the toy. This time I gripped the Pulse III Duo around my dick, folding the wings slightly to embrace my cock. It felt so good I almost forgot to add the vibration. I edged my self for about 20 minutes this way. No mean task, because the pleasure was so intense I had to release my cock several times just to avoid cumming too soon.

The third solo use was in the shower. I love to wank in the shower. And because the Pulse III Duo is waterproof it’s the ideal shower or bath buddy.

I can see where the Pulse III Duo would make a great tool for some guy trying to gain control over his ejaculation response. If you cum too quickly and you want to lean how to last longer, this toy could help train you to do that.

After nearly exhausting myself with solo play I decided to put the Pulse III Duo away till I had the opportunity to show it to and play with it with my gal, Shelia. Luckily, Shelia loves sex toys, particularly the ones that vibrate. In fact, she is the one that originally turned me on to sex toys.

One evening we got a little buzz on with some killer Chardonnay. I whipped out the Pulse III Duo and handed it to her. I didn’t tell her anything about it; I wanted to see if she could figure it out. She handled it a bit and said, “this is a guy’s toy, right?” “Well, it sure can be.” I responded. I told her about my solo play and how I nearly knocked myself out with the powerful orgasms I had with it.

She thought that was all fine and good, but said, “I thought you said this was a toy for couples.” “It IS!!” I responded. That’s when I handed her the remote and showed her how she could adjust the completely independent vibrations on the bottom of Pulse III Duo to stimulate herself while my cock was being stimulated in the hammock.

In no time we were out of our clothes and messin’ around. I put the Pulse III Duo around my dick and positioned the base of the thing on Shelia’s pussy. We were kissing passionately, she was using the remote to cycle through the vibrations, and, within minutes, we both came. Breathless, Sheila simply said, “Wow!”

This is the most fun we’ve had without actually fucking.

One thing to note; the Pulse III Duo is kinda loud, at least comparatively speaking. Shelia and I didn’t care, but you might.

If, for some reason you and your partner, guy or gal, don’t feel up to the old in and out of penetrative sex, this is the toy for you.

As I already mentioned, the Pulse III Duo is covered in velvety, latex-free, nonporous, phthalate-free, and hypoallergenic silicone. And because it is waterproof and made of silicone it’s a breeze to clean. Toss it into the skink with mild soap and warm water, scrub it down a bit, and let it air dry. Or you can just wipe it down with a lint-free towel moistened with peroxide, rubbing alcohol or a 10% bleach solution to sanitize for sharing.”

I mentioned my da at the beginning of this review, right? He’s in his mid 60’s and has been having some problems with blood pressure. He confided in me some months ago that his blood pressure meds are robbing him of his erections. I felt so bad for him because I can get a boner at the drop of a hat. Once I saw what the Pulse III Duo could do with my flaccid dick I offered to share it with him.

I said, “Look what I got.” “What the hell is that?” He responded. I explained how the thing worked the best I could then showed him the Hot Octopuss website and some of the Pulse III Duo videos on YouTube. I said, “Ya know, you don’t even have to be hard to get enough pleasure to cum.”

I said, “I’m gonna just leave this here. Take it for a spin if ya like.”

He did and absolutely loved it. He went out the very next day and bought one for himself.

Speaking of which, you can purchase the Pulse III Duo through the Hot Octopuss website, or just about any high-end adult products store online will carry it too.

Now I know why the Pulse III Duo has won so many awards. It’s not only a great toy it therapeutic too. And the fact that I can enjoy it by myself or with a partner is the icing on the cake.

The Pulse III Duo gets my highest recommendation.

REVIEW — Time on Two Crosses: The Collected Writings of Bayard Rustin

In celebration of black history month.

The proof that one believes is in action. — Bayard Rustin

The proof that one believes is in action. — Bayard Rustin

The best way to destroy a culture is to deny, suppress, or appropriate that people’s history. A culture without its art, without its myths, without its heroes will soon wither and die. For millennia indigenous peoples all over the world have suffered this kind of cultural rape at the hands of more powerful invaders. In America, slavery and segregation did its worst for African culture. And, in a rather different way, homophobia robbed LGBT people of their sense of self.

Do you know who Bayard Rustin is? I’m gonna guess not. That’s no surprise really, because his life exemplifies the impact that both segregation and homophobia has had on our culture. Despite being pivotal to in the struggle for civil and sexual rights for well over 50 years, he is all but forgotten now. His memory has been whitewashed, if not totally wiped out, and our culture is the poorer because of it. But thanks to Time On Two Crosses this American patriot is reinstated to his rightful place in the American pantheon.

Time On Two Crosses showcases the extraordinary career of this black, gay civil rights pioneer. The book combines classic texts ranging in topic from Gandhi’s impact on African Americans, white supremacists in congress, the antiwar movement, and the assassination of Malcolm X, with never-before published selections on the call for gay rights, Louis Farrakhan, affirmative action, AIDS, and women’s rights.Time on Two Crosses

Bayard Rustin was a key civil rights strategist and humanitarian whose staunch advocacy of nonviolent resistance shaped the course of social protests from the 1950’s through the close of the twentieth century. And he was also openly gay at a time when that simply didn’t happen, especially among people of color.

Perhaps because of his unique position at the crux of the struggle for civil rights and sexual rights, Rustin insisted on the interconnectedness of all human rights and justice movements. He focuses not only on overturning racism and prejudice but also the systemic causes of injustice and disparity in the US and around the world. And his message on many issues is as relevant today as it was in his lifetime. He writes of himself:

“I am Bayard Rustin, Chairman of the Randolph Institute and Chairman of the Executive Committee of the Leadership Conference on Civil Rights, which is composed of over 150 national groups dedicated to human rights for all. As one who has been active in the struggle to extend democracy to all Americans for over fifty years I am opposed to any attempt to amend the recently enacted law banning discrimination on the basis of sexual orientation.

I have been arrested twenty-four times in the struggle for civil and human rights. My first arrest was in 1928 merely for distributing leaflets on behalf of Al Smith’s candidacy for President in a climate of anti-Catholic hysteria. Since that time I have fought against religious intolerance, political harassment, and racism both here and abroad. I have fought against untouchability in India, against tribalism in Africa, and have sought to ensure that refugees coming to our shores are not subject to the same types of bigotry and intolerance from which they fled. As a member of the U.S. Holocaust Memorial Council I have fought anti-Semitism not only in the United States but around the world.”

But Rustin’s sexual openness and his controversial political positions came at a great personal cost. He wound up behind bars for practicing his nonviolent Quaker faith (from 1944 to 1946 in a Pennsylvania prison for conscientiously objecting to serving in World War II) and for practicing homosexuality (60 days in a California jail for “sex perversion” in 1953). And his many achievements — like pioneering one of the first Freedom Rides, refusing to give up his seat on a segregated bus in 1942, more than a dozen years before Rosa Parks did, and helping found the Southern Christian Leadership Coalition to support the efforts of a then young, largely unknown minister named Martin Luther King Jr. — often were tainted under the threat of exposure for his unpopular behavior and criminal convictions.

Bayard Rustin introduced Martin Luther King, Jr. to the precepts of nonviolence during the Montgomery Bus Boycott, thereby launching the birth of the Civil Rights Movement in 1955. When that movement needed a man who could get things done, even his detractors acknowledged he was the best organizer in the country. He was the man who was able to turn out 200,000 people on the Capitol Mall in an orderly fashion when no one else had ever done such a thing. He singlehandedly created the blueprint for the modern American mass political rally. The 1963 March on Washington was the pinnacle of his notoriety.

cover of LIFEFew African Americans engaged in as broad a protest agenda as did Rustin; fewer still enjoyed his breadth of influence in virtually every political sector, working with world leaders like Kwame Nkrumah, President Lyndon Johnson, and Golda Meir. Yet, for all his influence and all his tireless efforts, Rustin remained an outsider in black civil rights circles because they refused to accept his homosexuality, which remained a point of contention among black church leaders, a controversy that sometimes even embroiled Dr. King himself.

The very people who he was fighting for shunned him. He was indeed the proverbial prophet “not without honor, but in his own country, and among his own kin, and in his own house”. (Mark 6:4)

For example, in 1960, Rustin and MLK were preparing to lead a protest of African Americans outside the Democratic National Convention. This would have deeply embarrassed the leading elected black politician of the day, Rep. Adam Clayton Powell. Powell threatened to spread a rumor that Rustin was having a sexual relationship with King. King canceled the protest, and Rustin resigned from the Southern Christian Leadership Conference, an organization he helped found. Bayard Rustin felt that his homosexuality, which he never tried to hide, put him in a unique position, a minority within a minority, as it were.

That year was not the first time Rustin was forced to negotiate how much sex could be a part of his life. After his 1953 arrest, in which he’d been picked up with two men in the back seat of a car in Pasadena, California, he wrote, “Sex must be sublimated if I am to live in this world longer.”

Though marginalized by the Civil Rights movement he helped found he was not embittered by the experience. Yet, when one lives in a society in which they’re constantly being told that they’re less than or that they’re not as good as, because of being black, or a Jew, or gay, or anything else deemed less than, a certain amount of the negation is bound to get internalized. That can’t be helped.

Despite it all, Rustin remained upbeat. In 1986, just a year before he died, Rustin gave a speech at the University of Pennsylvania in which he exhorted gay people to “recognize that we cannot fight for the rights of gays unless we are ready to fight for a new mood in the United States, unless we are ready to fight for a radicalization of this society.”

Veering into the economics of poverty, Rustin said, “You will not feed people à la the philosophy of the Reagan administration. Imagine a society that takes lunches from school children. Do you really think it’s possible for gays to get civil rights in that kind of society?”

His thoughtful writing ennobles us all. Rustin never fails to come down on the proper side of a moral or ethical question, no matter whom it may offend or support. He was willing to stand up for people — even though they had mistreated him — if it was a matter of principle.

Rustin’s legacy doesn’t live in the past, but in the present and future of America. His work linking sexual, racial, and economic rights was not only forward-thinking in 1963, but it is also forward-thinking today.

“We need, in every community, a group of angelic troublemakers,” Rustin said in one of his most famous quotes.

Time On Two Crosses is the first comprehensive collection of Bayard Rustin’s writings ever published, comprising forty-eight essays, speeches, and interviews, many of which were never widely available. From the birth of nonviolent direct action to the rise of Black Power, Rustin’s writings function as a road map for the meandering course of the black protest movement over the past century.

As a gay man, I found Bayard Rustin’s writing fascinating and uplifting. They give an unvarnished look into the civil rights movement through the ‘50s and ‘60s, and also a view into the heart and mind of one of the most remarkable men of our time. The book also includes twenty-five photos from the Rustin estate and a foreword by Barack Obama, and an afterword by Barney Frank.

Bayard Rustin is a true hero for the ages. And Time On Two Crosses is a marvelous and edifying read.

Review: An Intimate Life: Sex, Love and My Journey as a Surrogate Partner

Hey sex fans!

I have another swell sex-positive book to tell you about today. Anyone who frequents this site will already be familiar with my dear friend and esteemed colleague, Cheryl Cohen Greene. If ya don’t believe me type her name into the search function in the sidebar to your right and PRESTO!

Not only will you find the fabulous two-part SEX WISDOM podcast we did together, (Part 1 is HERE! And Part 1 is HERE!) you will find a posting about the movie The Sessions. You’ve seen it right? It’s the award-winning film staring John Hawkes, Helen Hunt, and William H. Macy. It’s the story of a man in an iron lung who wishes to lose his virginity. He contacts a professional surrogate partner with the help of his therapist and priest. Ms. Hunt plays Cheryl, the surrogate partner in the movie

Cheryl also contributed a chapter on sex and intimacy concerns for sick, elder and dying people for my book, The Amateur’s Guide To Death And Dying.

With all that as a preface, I now offer you Cheryl’s own story: An Intimate Life: Sex, Love, and My Journey as a Surrogate Partner. The first thing I want to say is this book is it’s not a clinical or technical tome. It is an easily accessible memoir. And that, to my mind, is what makes it so fascinating.

She writes in the Introduction:An Intimate Life

I started this work in 1973, and my journey to it spans our society’s sexual revolution and my own. I grew up in the ‘40s and ‘50s, a time when sex education was—to put it mildly— lacking. As I educated myself, I found that most of what I had been taught about sex was distorted or wrong. The lessons came from the playground, the church, and the media. My parents could barely talk about sex, much less inform me about it.

What follows is a candid and often funny look into the personal and professional life of a woman on the cutting edge of our culture’s movement toward sexual wellbeing.

Cheryl comes out of her conservative Catholic upbringing and her often tortured family dynamics with what one would expect—her own sexual awakenings as well as the conspiracy of ignorance and repression that wanted to stifle it. This is a common story, the story of so many of us.

Starting when I was around ten, I masturbated and brought myself to orgasm nearly every night. … If my nights began with anxiety, my days began with guilt. I became convinced that every earache, every toothache, every injury was God punishing me. … I couldn’t escape his gaze or his wrath. Sometimes I imagined my guardian angel looked away in disgust as I touched myself and rocked back and forth in my bed.

The miracle here is that this troubled tween would blossom into the remarkable sexologist she is today.

rsz_1greenecherylSome of the chapters in her book describe one or another of her hands on therapeutic encounters as a surrogate partner, but equally important and compelling are the chapters that describe Cheryl’s own sexual struggles as she moved to adulthood and beyond. Cheryl’s acceptance of her own sexuality enables her to build a career out of helping others do the very same thing.

Everyone has a right to satisfying, loving sex, and, in my experience, that most often flows from strong communication, self-respect, and a willingness to explore.

Despite the frank discussion of sexual topics within the book, there is no prurience or sensationalism. For the most part, Cheryl’s clients are regular people, mostly men, who have pretty ordinary problems—erection and/or ejaculation concerns, dating difficulties, as well as self-esteem, guilt and shame issues. Cheryl helps each of her clients with the efficiency and confidence of the world-class sex educator she is. Most of her interaction involves her supplying her clients with some much-needed information, dispelling myths, and giving them permission to experiment. As she says;

I continue to be amazed at how solid education delivered without judgment can eradicate much of the guilt and shame that turns life in the bedroom into a struggle instead of a pleasure.

Her most famous client, Mark O’Brien, the 36-six-year-old man who had spent most of his life in an iron lung after contracting polio at age 6, was the author of How I Became a Human Being: A Disabled Man’s Quest for Independence, in which he writes about his experience with Cheryl. This, of course, was adapted into a film, The Sessions, which I mentioned above. For her part, Cheryl delivers a most poignant remembrance of Mark early in her book.

I explained Sensual Touch to Mark. Although he was paralyzed, he still had sensation all over his body, so he would feel my hands moving up and down. … I encouraged him to try and recognize four common reactions: feeling neutral, feeling nurtured, feeling sensual and feeling sexual.

An Intimate Life chronicles Cheryl’s life-long interest in human sexuality. Her life and sometimes-turbulent loves are on display, but in the most considerate fashion. She teaches by example. She’s even able to speak with great compassion of her time living with and through cancer.

As I inch toward seventy, I appreciate more and more how much I have to be grateful for and how fortunate I’ve been. I was lucky to find a wonderful career and to be surrounded by so many smart, adventurous, caring people. My personal sexual revolution auspiciously paralleled our culture’s, and in many ways was made possible by it. I am eternally grateful to the pioneers, rebels, and dreamers who made our society a little safer for women who embrace their sexuality.

There is so much I loved about this book, but mostly it’s the humanity I found in abundance. Cheryl’sdr.-cheryl-cohen-greene enlightened soul shines brightly from every page. Her no nonsense approach to all things sexual is an inspiration. And her perseverance to bring surrogate partner therapy into the mainstream is laudable.

…what separates surrogates from prostitutes is significant. When people have difficulties grasping [that], I turn to my beloved and late friend Steven Brown’s cooking analogy that I’ve so often relied on to help me through that question: Seeing a prostitute is like going to a restaurant. Seeing a surrogate is like going to culinary school.

Finally, An Intimate Life is the culmination of Cheryl’s life as a sex educator, her surrogate partner therapy practice being just part of that mission. I highly recommend you read this book. You will, I assure you, come away from it as I have, a better person—enriched, informed, as well as entertained.

Cheryl, thank you for being in my life and being such an abiding inspiration. Thank you too for this marvelous book; now you can be in the lives of so many others who need you so that you can inspire them along their way.

Be sure to visit Cheryl on her site HERE!