Category Archives: SEX

Ashley Madison as a wake-up call for would be and real life cheaters

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By

Anthony G. Payne

By now just about everyone who keeps up with the news has read something about the hacking theft and now publication of the Ashley Madison “Life is short. Have an Affair®” database. If you somehow missed it here is a summary article that appeared today, Thursday, August 20, 2015: Hacker’s Ashley Madison data dump threatens marriages, reputations

In an article that also appeared today titled The Ashley Madison hack will have a mixed result for those involved, the writer shared this:

I had joined out of curiosity and for research purposes when I was Townsville’s premier dating columnist. And it’s safe to say that I am not alone in being a relatively ‘innocent’ Ashley Madison user.

teenage depression - teen woman sitting thinking isolated on white

I somehow suspect that more than a few individuals who joined Ashley Madison did so just to see who’d respond to the (no doubt inflated or totally fake) profile they posted.

In the same article, a computer security expert by the name of Graham Cluley shared this:

“For one thing, being a member of a dating site, even a somewhat seedy one like Ashley Madison, is no evidence that you have cheated on your partner,” he wrote.

“…if your email address is in the Ashley Madison database it means nothing. The owner of that email address may never have even visited the Ashley Madison site.”

It is also noted by Cluley that “It turns out Ashley Madison didn’t require users to verify their email address in order to use the website.”

“Put simply, people could enter any email and have access to the free features of the website.”

With all this said, a computer programmer created a simple search feature anyone can use to see if an email address appears in the Ashley Madison database. It is at https://ashley.cynic.al/

There are, of course, some high profile people who set up one or more Ashley Madison accounts and left a trail that leaves little doubt about who is responsible. One that is in the news is Josh “19 Kids” Duggar whose alleged connection to AM is discussed in this article EXPOSED: Josh Duggar revealed as having ‘paid almost $1,000 for multiple Ashley Madison accounts’ as 37 million would-be love-cheats are named by hackers who stole Ashley Madison accounts

As you might expect, articles now abound which offer advice as to what folks listed in the AM database should do next. Predictably this advice runs the gamut albeit most advise “fessin’ up” and dealing with the fallout head on. Naturally, lawyers, marriage therapists, psychologists and others are likely to see an upswing in couples visits in which one party cheated through Ashley Madison and was exposed after the AM database came to light.

Of course, there really isn’t anything all that shocking in all this. After all, a day hardly passes in which some prominent politician, religious figure, television personality, high ranking military officer or such gets caught up in scandal after an affair comes to light or some other dark sexual pursuit comes to light.

I get human weakness. And the fact that people (perhaps men especially) are predisposed by their nature (evolutionary biology) and upbringing to have wondering eyes. Throw in lots of free time and the ease of reaching others anonymously through the Internet and you wind up with the current situation: Married people flocking to date sites, sex chat sites, cheating sites, porn sites and all the rest.

Of course, people who have considerable influence, power or wealth seem even more vulnerable, if only because they attract those seeking solace or sex or money or what-have-you. Some feel “entitled to cheat” due to their special station in life or the challenges they must deal with.

If you are reading this and happen to be cheating on your significant other be it an emotional, sexual, or cyber affair, and feel shameful, guilty or troubled, then there is hope for you. How so? Ask yourself this: When people do immoral or unethical things and feel no guilt or shame about this, what happens when their dark pursuits are exposed? Typically, rationalizations and arguments surface that place the blame on the victim.

So if you are cheating in some way and feel bad about this, you have a conscience and know you are doing wrong. I now have another question to ask you: Why are you cheating?

Bored? Looking for missing passion? Lonely? Lust-filled and unfulfilled? Emotionally isolated or adrift? Feeling misunderstood by your significant other or ignored by him or her? Getting older and feel you need the attention of another to validate your good looks or worth? Overwhelmed in some way and feel you can’t look to your mate or family for help? Think there are things about yourself that if revealed are so dark or loathsome that only a stranger or new love interest could brush it aside and love or desire you anyway?

Maybe it’s one of these things or many of them or all of them or none of them. Let’s set aside the “why” for now and look at the fruits of cheating: Betrayal, disloyalty, a violation of sacred commitments, and, yes, cruelty. Does bad fruit bear a good crop? You don’t have to be a farmer or horticulturist to answer this question.

In our age of “I’m spiritual and not religious” there is a tendency to replace the 7th Commandment with platitudes that allow and excuse latitude; to forget, ignore, dismiss or downplay the fact that infidelity is sin; to gloss over the fact it offends the Almighty and has both spiritual and real world consequences.

The good news is that if you recognize you are sinning, forgiveness is a simple matter of changing your mind about what you are doing and asking forgiveness (A process called repentance or teshuvah), and then marrying right actions to your beliefs and commitment to do the right thing.

For most of you reading this, admitting your sin and seeking forgiveness is actually the easy part. The real knockdown, drag out part is breaking free of the pull of sinful pleasure and surmounting the temptation to backslide or (to use modern parlance) relapse. Triggers and lures abound and many find themselves so weak and overwhelmed by the almost drug-like pull of pleasurable sin that they can’t hold a straight course.

I get this too. To put it in familiar, Star Trekkian terms, your shuttle craft is caught in a powerful tractor beam and you have burned out your engines trying to break free or in the process of burning them out. Or so it seems.

The good news is that you actually can break free and achieve and maintain a moral course. Now for the nuts and bolts of how to “make this so”.

First, of course, there is the simple act of calling sin, sin and turning your back on it. I assume if you’ve read this far you either have made up your mind to do this or will seriously consider doing so soon.

Now the part that trips up so many people: Bringing conduct into conformity with their wishes, convictions and beliefs. The hard part which actually isn’t IF you do something most folks fear doing: Run to God rather than from him and ask that he do whatever is needed to redeem and change your sexual nature and its expression.

Whoa…say what?!?

Ask yourself this: What is the natural thing for people to do with bad habits and sin? Of course, hide them from man and God. Think about when you were a child and did something wrong and you feared your Mum or Dad would find out. Did you run to them and confess your wrong doing and seek help? No, you most likely hid the cookie crumbs or broken vase or what-have-you and lied. Then you grew up and stopped doing this with respect to a lot (maybe most) of your mistakes, sins and such, at least with respect to trusted others and intimates in your orbit. But when it comes to especially grievous sins did you run to or from God? And if you ran to God, did you do so without any real deep desire that he actually do whatever it takes to, well, straighten you out. Too scary eh, like opening yourself up to a spanking as a child?!?

Now let me show you what really turning something like lust and sexual weakness completely over to God’s keeping consists of (Again, this is the key to moving towards the obedience and holiness God demands if we are to live decent, happy, genuinely fulfilling lives):

In dealing with men who are cheating on their wives or did so and are tempted to do so again, I invariably walk them through admission of their sin and repentance, and then ask them if they are ready to marry actions to their intentions and beliefs. Once they say “yes” to this, I ask them if their sex drive or fantasies or memories or such seem to ruling them and undermining their resolution to do what’s right. For those that signal this or something like it is making mincemeat of their commitment to change, I hand them this challenge (This is a condensed version of what I tell them):

I want you to trust God completely with all you are including your sexuality. Your prayer to him is for resolution and empowerment, not a band aid that fits what you want or think will work. You need help and power to be obedient and do what the Rabbi from Nazareth said to sinners he encountered which is ‘Go and sin no more’. You’ve told me that your sexual needs are not being meet and your sex drive is overwhelming. What you are really saying is ‘God, help me but don’t mess with my sexual needs and drive’. I am telling you now that this is exactly what you must surrender to his keeping. And now comes the test of your desire to be holy as he is holy: are you willing to ask the Lord to diminish or even remove your sexual desires if it takes this for a time to free you to get into him and his Word and become conformed to what he would have you be sexually?

I call this “radical surrender” and for good reason! It isn’t for the faint-of-heart or insincere but I think it within the reach of every person who sees sin in him- or her- self and wants to do a 180 about and live in obedience to (and dependence on) God and his revealed Word (The kind of active faith that produces holiness). And, by the way, it works.

Can this be done without fingering underlying issues and dealing with them? I’ve seen some people do a turnaround that unleashed God’s power in their lives which effected change in them that resolved previously unresolved issues and weaknesses and the like. Others needed to identify their problems and issues, typically in therapy with their significant other, in order to get resolution and set specific goals and objectives for themselves and their relationship.

For those that need some guidance and tools to identify unfulfilled needs and “relationship busting” habits and behaviors and weaknesses, I heartily suggest heading on over to “Marriage Builders®” at http://www.marriagebuilders.com/. This website is filled with tests, article, guidelines and such.

Readers might also want to take this 5 minute online “Attachment Style” test which was developed by university researchers: http://www.web-research-design.net/cgi-bin/crq/crq.pl. Certain attachment styles are detrimental to intimacy with God and significant others and need to be addressed.

In this regard, check out Problems relating well to God & your fellow man? Your attachment style may be a major contributor

In addition, you’ll find many other free online tests covering personality, moral foundations and such here on my personal blog site: https://biotheorist.wordpress.com/2011/11/26/know-yourself-better-free-on-line-tests-empathy-systemizing-attachment-style-moral-foundation-implicit-biases-etc/. “Knowing yourself” better may reveal areas that need healing or shoring up.

And now for some “meat not milk” spiritual help (Evangelical in orientation but nonetheless brimming over with insights gleamed from Biblical truths and principles):

But let me add this caveat: A lot of Christian theology and beliefs (including portions of the books above) draw on the very flawed letters (epistles) of Paul (Saul of Tarsus). It is therefore important that you also acquire the knowledge and insight to identify what is edifying and true from what is not. These two free, online resources will help you mightily in this regard:

http://www.judaismvschristianity.com/

Jesus’ Words Only (Second Edition 2007) (Free online in its entirety) by Douglas J. Del Tondo, Esq.

If you are one of the people listed on the Ashley Madison database and were or are cheating, or cheated or are cheating without the use of any club or service or forum, consider the AM hacking scandal your wake-up call; your invitation to repent, turn your back on infidelity, and do what’s needed to “go and sin no more”.

____________________________________________________________________________________________________

Anthony G. Payne, whose American Indian name is “Summer Cloud”, is a native born Texan and an American Indian (Bureau of Indian Affairs CDIB card holder) and member of the Choctaw Nation of Oklahoma. Despite having grown up in the “reddest parts” of North Texas, Tennessee and Louisiana, he is a political liberal who embraced democratic socialism in the 1980s. He is also a religious and moral conservative but no friend of fundamentalism/creationism or those pet beliefs of evangelical Christians that run contrary to what the Rabbi from Nazareth advocated and lived. Dr. Payne is a married monk in the Knights of Prayer Monastic Order and is in service as a monk to several other religious communities & monastic organizations which are part of the New Monasticism movement. Readers and seekers can readily reach him at nativescienceguy@gmail.com.

© 2015 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved.

►►MY MOST POPULAR BLOG ENTRIES (CATEGORIZED)

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BOOKS WORTH BORROWING, BUYING OR (AHEM) PILFERING

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Sexless relationships: What accounts for this reverse alchemy (Gold to lead)?

no_sex_480_xlargeSexless relationships: What accounts for this reverse alchemy (Gold to lead)?

 

Sexting, Sex Tapes & Sexual Exhibitionism: Why have so many folks thrown caution to the wind?

VIDEO CAMERA - FREE MSCELL PHONE - Free MSTime flies. If you were around to see the debut of the classic comedy “Animal House” 35 years ago you are likely feeling a tad old. But like so many great movies, Animal House managed to both reflect and illuminate certain aspects of our culture. And in light of today’s headlines one is tempted to think some of our political leaders have been running their lives as though they live in the Delta Tau Chi fraternity house.

Who can forget Dean Vernon Wormer’s pointed comment to Faber College freshman & Delta Tau Chi member Kent Dorfman that “Fat, drunk and stupid is no way to go through life, son”.

Given the middle-aged shenanigans of more than a few prominent politicians just in the past few years one can’t help but picture them standing in front of Dean Wormer and hearing:

“Old, horny and reckless is no way to go through life, son”

What gives with all these indiscretions? And let’s not just focus on big name powerhouse figures.  I mean, why are so many people of all ages, sexes and ethnicities posting sexually explicit photos and videos on the Web? I’m no prude by any means, but there is something deeply weird and unsettling about the seeming endless stream of people photographing and videotaping what they do behind closed doors and sharing it with the world.

Most are hardly adult movie star material and yet seem almost proud of their (ahem) shortcomings and imperfections. And while some might say it’s a good thing to strike a blow against the Madison Avenue world of plastic smiles & plastic bodies, I somehow do not think the antidote is for people to toss modesty to the wind and share themselves “warts and all”.  I’m sure some do what they do because they think highly of their “performance” and “mentally inflate” their assets. I suspect many if not most have become the butt of cruel putdowns and heartless jokes by Web browsers. I’m also sure some come to deeply regret their actions especially when confronted by a child, grandchild or other relative concerning something explicit they posted long ago and had hoped would somehow disappear with the passage of time (Apparently nothing posted on the Web ever does).

No doubt some of these self-styled sex performers suffer from body image & performance misperceptions if not delusions, but beyond this I have to wonder what else bedevils them. I’m not saying they all have personality defects or struggle with emotional or mental problems or sex addiction, but even so I am pretty sure at least a segment of them do what they do as an expression of narcissism, an attachment style disorder or mood disorder.

One expert on relationships and how reckless sexual behavior can endanger and even derail them, Rabbi Shmuel “Shmuley” Boteach, wrote this in a 2011 Examiner article concerning the sexual antics of Anthony Weiner and Bill Clinton:

These are all men who live with an unending craving for love and incessant need for attention, forever proving themselves, and therefore despising their very existence which involves an eternal feeling of inadequacy and unworthiness. Men who hate themselves this much and strive eternally for the validation of others harbor a secret wish that, in way or another, the inner torment will cease. That’s why they play Russian Roulette with their lives. Anything to dull the pain.

I think in some instances it boils down to something much simpler: In psychology it is well established that rewards (pleasure) derived from any activity makes people want more. This cycle of reward-reinforcement becomes a vicious, ever entrenched cycle for some folks. As they feed it over time they begin to feel helpless to resist and it becomes so normative they may not feel it is a problem (That is, until they get caught doing something that offends their mate or violates a local ordinance or state or federal law). Some become alienated from themselves and those who love and care about them.

To paraphrase a biblical observation concerning unrepentant sinning, their “conscience becomes seared”.

Oh, Choctaw Doc, you’re just conjecturing and in-a-way judging these people without any real evidence. Judging, no. Concerned about, yes. I could dredge up studies to buttress the mental health aspects of this “let it all hang out” social phenomenon, but prefer instead to share real life examples of what sometimes lies beneath the surface in some instances.

I interact with many licensed mental health professionals who occasionally share specific cases that they have found especially troublesome or unnerving (They do not, of course, mention names or details that might reveal their patient’s identities). Here are but a few:

A woman in her 50s sought help with mood swings and eating binges. As her female psychologist dug into her life story, she was told about more than 3 decades of “sexual abandon”. Specifically, her husband had convinced her to “spice up their sex life” first by filming their bedroom life and posting these clips to various websites and, when the thrill wore off of this, pressured her into having sex with other men while he filmed this (“Cuckold lifestyle”). She felt “dirty”, “nasty”, “used” and was “plagued by endless intrusive mental images of degrading sex”. The funny (pathetic) thing was that her husband sent her to therapy because he felt “she has problems, but I don’t”. Yeah.

A young woman in her 20s sought help with depression and insomnia. One of the things her therapist discovered was that this lady was racked with guilt and shame over explicit photos and videos her boyfriend had posted on a very popular porn site. The boyfriend had long since taken a stage left and found a new victim…eh..girlfriend..and left this young woman to live with the torment “giving in” had spawned in her heart and soul.

Now these are just a few examples of the “real world” consequences of “airing one’s peccadilloes”. Many pastoral counselors, priests and rabbis feel the immediate and downstream spiritual damage is even greater and have plenty of their own horror stories that attest to this.

For those who are involved in the sorts of things I’ve shared in this article and have no shame, guilt or concerns, there is no way to convince you that your chickens may come home to roost down the line. Where there is no insight, there can be no realization anything is wrong or could go wrong.

For those who are or have been caught up in these activities and feel shame and regret and/or are experiencing compulsive-additive behavior, my advice is to get thee to a licensed, competent mental health professional who is experienced in helping people with these issues.

And finally, for those of you who are tempted to “play with fire” or who are already doing so but aren’t sure why and don’t feel you need professional evaluation, at least take a few free on-line psych & personality tests to see if you are depressed or have some other issue or tendency such as:

What is your attachment style?  This interactive survey takes about 5 minutes to complete. The questionnaire is designed to measure your ‘attachment style’–the way you relate to others in the context of intimate relationships. When completed, the site will reveal your attachment style, and provide a brief summary of what is known about your attachment style on the basis of contemporary scientific research.

Attachment in Past and Present Relationships

Depression Screening Test by Ivan Goldberg, MD – -brief 18-question online automated quiz to help you determine if you may need to see a mental health professional for diagnosis
and treatment of depression

Cybersex Addiction Test

Internet Addiction Test

Partners of Internet Addicts Test

Sexual Addiction Screening Test (Women)

Sexual Addiction Screening Test (Men)

And here are some books and articles that I believe will prove helpful:

Alienation: Pervasive and insidious

Problems relating well to God & your fellow man? Your attachment style may be a major contributor

The dog you feed the most will dominate your life

Pornified: How Pornography Is Transforming Our Lives, Our Relationships, and Our Families by Pamela Paul

Pornland: How Porn Has Hijacked Our Sexuality by Dr. Gail Dines

The Broken American Male: And How to Fix Him by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Renewal: A Guide to the Values-Filled Life by Rabbi Shmuley Boteach

Marriage Builders® (Lots of free help on this website)

For those who have a problem or suspect they do, here are a few reputable sources of help:

If you live in southern California one highly regarded clinic that specializes in treating additions of all kinds including sexual is the Alternative Options Counseling Center. Call 562-921-5701 or 714-995-0359 (Outpatient primarily but “partial hospitalization” available for some patients)

Salvation Army (Residential) Rehab Centers (nationwide)

 A simple Google search will likely turn up at least a few qualified therapists and programs in your particular neck-of-the-woods.

 © 2013 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved.

Female sexuality: Just when the waters seemed to have cleared a little

Young Woman with Her Hand on Her Belly and Man Beside Her WritingSigmund Freud once said something to the effect that the one thing that truly eluded him was deciphering female behavior & sexuality (I read all his works by age 12 or so but still wrestle with some aspects of his claims & insights). I must admit that the range of plasticity in women — much culturally & socially influenced if not determined — is daunting (Men, by contrast, often seem like trolley trains on a one-way track). Now comes yet another book that is sure to confound any attempt by anthropologists, psychologists, sociologists and others to solve what Freud could not: http://www.alternet.org/sex-amp-relationships/memoir-female-lust I have come to the tentative conclusion that the best recourse is surrender — as in starting one’s 2nd childhood early and returning to those simplier, less confused days when everything was explained or solved by 30 or 60 minute TV shows & news specials as well as movies & mini-series. Either that or go mad and adopt a “Laugh In” or Timothy Leary spin on reality.

HYPOTHESIS: Seminal fluid compounds absorbed through mucosal tissues help protect against & remediate bone loss

OSTEOPOROSIS IN WOMEN: SEMINAL FLUID COMPOUNDS ABSORBED THROUGH MUCOSAL TISSUES HELP PROTECT AGAINST & REMEDIATE BONE LOSS   (Idea/hypothesis) by Choctaw Doc

Reading Room: Ketogenic Diet, Reducing Calcium in Arteries, Prostate Massage, Stem Cell Programs

LINKS TO LIVESTRONG.COM ARTICLES

CAM (Complimentary & Alternative Medicine)

 “Low Carb Ketogenic Diet” (LiveStrong.com)  

“How to Reduce Calcium in Arteries” (LiveStrong.com)    

CARDIOVASCULAR

 “How to Reduce Calcium in Arteries” (LiveStrong.com)

 DIET

 “Low Carb Ketogenic Diet” (LiveStrong.com)

PREVENTION

 “Low Carb Ketogenic Diet” (LiveStrong.com)  

“How to Reduce Calcium in Arteries” (LiveStrong.com)    

“Prostate Massage Methods” (LiveStrong.com)

 SEXUAL ISSUES

“Prostate Massage Methods” (LiveStrong.com)

 STEM CELL SCIENCE & THERAPY

 “Autologous Stem Cell Programs” (LiveStrong.com)

Problems relating well to God & your fellow man? Your attachment style may be a major contributor

Is an attachment style problem complicating or undermining your life? (Examiner article) by Dr. Anthony G. Payne (Includes a link to an on-line attachment style test you can take)

PAPER: Attachment to God and Parents: Testing the Correspondence vs. Compensation Hypotheses (Journal of Psychology and Christianity, 2005, Vol. 24, No. 1, 21-28)

ABSTRACT: The relationship between early caregiver experiences and attachment to God was explored in the current study. Using the Attachment to God Inventory (AGI) developed by Beck and McDonald, the relationship between parent-child attachment and attachment to God was explored among a college population. In addition, parental spirituality and religious emphases in the home were investigated. Comparisons of the AGI with parent-child attachment measures support a correspondence between working models of parents and God. Respondents that reported coming from homes that were emotionally cold or unspiritual exhibited higher levels of avoidance of intimacy in their relationship to God, a trend consistent with a Dismissing attachment style. Overprotective, rigid, or authoritarian homes were associated with higher levels of both avoidance of intimacy and anxiety over lovability in relationship to God, a trend characterized by the Fearful attachment style.

ALONG THE SAME LINES FROM CNN BLOG: Our Take: Your relationship style determines how you feel toward God

PAPERS: Attachment and Divorce: Family Consequences & much more

Levine, A, & Heller, R. “What Attachment Theory Can Teach about Love and Relationships – The surprising secrets to finding the right partner for a healthy relationship” Scientific American, December 29, 2010

Also check out: Alienation: Pervasive and insidious  (Examiner article) by Choctaw Doc

EXAMINER ARTICLES by Choctaw Doc: CAM, Diet, Prevention, Sex

LINKS TO EXAMINER ARTICLES

CAM (Complimentary & Alternative Medicine)

All that glitters is not gold in “AltMed Land” (Examiner article)

A home remedy for insomnia that appears to work (Examiner article)

DIET

 The key to avoiding many chronic diseases (Examiner article) 

KNOW YOURSELF & OTHERS BETTER

Alienation: Pervasive and insidious  (Examiner article) by Choctaw Doc

Extended Being (Examiner article) by Choctaw Doc

PREVENTION

 The key to avoiding many chronic diseases (Examiner article)

SEXUAL ISSUES

 Sex: We feed but can we tame the bulldog? (Examiner article)

Is an attachment style problem complicating or undermining your life? (Examiner article)

SPIRITUALITY

Did the Almighty send an emissary to the ancient Cahokians?

 

Sex: We feed the bulldog, but can we tame it?

http://www.examiner.com/holistic-health-in-santa-ana/sex-we-feed-the-bulldog-but-can-we-tame-it

Also check out:

Alienation: Pervasive and insidious  (Examiner article) by Choctaw Doc

OSTEOPOROSIS IN WOMEN: SEMINAL FLUID COMPOUNDS ABSORBED THROUGH MUCOSAL TISSUES HELP PROTECT AGAINST & REMEDIATE BONE LOSS   (Idea/hypothesis) by Choctaw Doc

Improving Male Sexual Responsiveness & Performance

When it comes to things that make us feel good or bring us pleasure, we all want to extend or maximize the feeling or experience. It hardly needs to be said that this is especially true when it comes to sexual activities. And as a great many men have discovered, their sexual gratification is magnified many fold when they…

Click this link to access the complete monograph: http://bit.ly/NIjqD1

Also check out: OSTEOPOROSIS IN WOMEN: SEMINAL FLUID COMPOUNDS ABSORBED THROUGH MUCOSAL TISSUES HELP PROTECT AGAINST & REMEDIATE BONE LOSS   (Idea/hypothesis) by Choctaw Doc

Through the CAM looking Glass

The reasons people seek answers to health challenges in the world of CAM (Complementary & Alternative Medicine) or integrative medicine are as varied as people themselves, though in my experience a great many do so owed to real or perceived failures on the part of their mainstream doctors to diagnose or treat or otherwise address their ills (Again, real or perceived). My interaction with patients and “natural medicine” (Is there an unnatural medicine?) practitioners from chiropractors to naturopathic physicians to just about everything else under the “alt med sun” is extensive – stretching from my childhood in the 1960s to the present – and has taught me a great deal firsthand about how disappointment with conventional or mainstream medicine plus hope, wishful thinking, the placebo effect, lack of critical thinking, and sometimes desperation  have sent my folks into the arms of those who offer seemingly definitive diagnoses and/or solutions (Or at least less personally intimidating non-invasive diagnostic methods plus gentler therapies often dispensed or administered with a great deal more TLC than some overworked MDs can understandably muster).

Do these people get positive results? By all means. But as to why, this isn’t always a clear cut case of “I took or did this and it worked”. Many of the diagnostic methods used on these patients have been disproved and utterly discredited, as are some of the treatments prescribed. For more than a few I’ve followed – some for years—their illness is psychosomatic and their improvement the end result of their vested faith in their practitioner and expectancy that his or her therapy will prove efficacious. Others attribute improvement to a non-standard treatment when it was more likely a prior mainstream treatment or just the disease or condition having run its course.

Back when I first began exploring nonstandard medical and paramedical modalities (1960s as a boy of 8 or so) many specific herbal, nutritional and other forms of intervention had not been formally evaluated in well-designed and executed clinical trials. As a result there was the very real possibility some of these would pan out once put to the test. And if some of these gentler remedies could bring about remediation of disease with few if any of the side effects associated with their pharmacological counterparts, their promotion and use seemed a reasonable course of action or recourse for both practitioners and patients. This line of reasoning apparently informed and motivated many to offer them at the retail and professional level and scores of ailing folks to seek them out in health food stores and in the offices of clinicians of various stripes.

The years and subsequent rigorous evaluation has not been kind to many cherished non-standard  diagnostic tests and remedies (Nor to many accepted mainstream techniques and treatments either). What should have happened is that treatments and diagnostic methods that didn’t pan out following rigorous evaluation should have gone the way of the dinosaurs.  But they didn’t.  Why? The reasons are varied but among the recurring ones I have run across down through the years among medical consumers and many integrative practitioners are: (1) A refusal to accept scientific valid consensus findings from multiple studies (Many I’ve confronted with this have said something to the effect that “I know this, but I also know it works no matter what and I won’t set it aside”. True believers whose reasons have more in common with the kind of faith articulated in revival meetings than anything else); (2) A vested interest in the therapy or therapeutic agent that makes it difficult to relinquish it; and (3) A lack of exposure to the methods of science and critical thinking and how to apply them when it comes to evaluating a given therapy, diagnostic method or treating compound, drug, herb or such.

In my own case, I took my childhood interest in the promise of natural medicine and eventually ran with it over time.  Mine was a wide-ranging course whose first stop was another childhood passion, physical anthropology (and especially dietary patterns throughout human evolution). To my way of thinking, the best way to approach diet, human disease and even psychology was through an evolutionary lens, something given increasing credence by subsequent developments and discoveries. Following this I studied and did hands-on work with various mainstays of what is now known as integrative medicine such as homeopathy (German school), orthomolecular nutrition and psychiatry, therapeutic nutrition, botanic medicine or phytotherapy, and much more. Along the way I came up with and shared various ideas with such notables in science such as Stephen Jay Gould (Nonstandard but seemingly promising approaches to the mesothelioma that had him in its grip plus my thoughts on the possible effects of ultra low  levels of iridium during the Cretaceous-Tertiary asteroid impact on bacteria that populated the guts of prehistoric animals, insects and such), Karl Folkers (CoQ10 for treating various avian diseases) and Carl Sagan (Feasibility of going a Cosmos type program focused on human evolution as well as one that focused on medicine including the impact of the CAM movement)……many whose work was quite controversial such as Michael Persinger (Application of his extremely low frequency electromagnetic technology to induce hallucinatory states aimed at pain attenuation or rallying immune response in terminally ill cancer patients)….…and still others who were regarded as being solidly on the fringe such as  Roy Kupsinel, MD (Shared with him information and thoughts on a botanic drug called PADMA 28 which had shown efficacy for Peripheral Artery Disease in 5 randomized double-blind, placebo-controlled trials done in Europe). I was, in short, “all over the map” in the sense I was working with and acting on knowledge, ideas, therapies and forms of therapeutic intervention that spanned the gamut from the realistically possible or promising to tentatively proved on one end, to the far-fetched and virtually impossible on the other. This was not a pattern peculiar to me though, but one that seemingly characterizes if not defines a large segment of the CAM movement (Both practitioners and proponents).

Thankfully though, I listened to the skeptics and critics of many of things I had studied or was otherwise involved with. As a result of their well reasoned writings I decided I needed to master aspects of the scientific method that was not part of my education and hands-on work or which was but which I’d sometimes glossed over in my erstwhile rush to help suffering people. I thus went on to teach myself such things as the principles of medical statistics and clinical studies design and then applied this body of knowledge and methods to help evaluate many of the ideas, therapies and treatments in my repertoire. The outcome was predictable: I found many which failed to hold water and thus had to be ditched, while others garnered evidence that suggested a more circumspect use or dose than proponents had originally declared effective. Among those I tossed was homeopathy (though Jacque Benveniste’s published paper in the Nature in 1988 made me take a second look – until the methodological flaws which invalidated his work became apparent) plus many botanic medicines and individual herbs.

I also tested things for myself using the tools of science; the methods that as Carl Sagan rightly contended reliably “delivers the goods” (Truth in the tentative scientific sense of “successive approximations” as pioneering astronomer Edwin Hubble put it; that is, findings that might be overturned or subject to modification as new evidence turns up). One prime example was EAV testing, the use of what amounts to a computerized galvanometer to diagnose or otherwise detect allergies, organ deficiencies and bodily needs for various nutrients and such.

During the late 1980s I was introduced to EAV (Electroacupuncture according to Voll) or electrodermal testing using a Vegatest device and trained in it as part of my staff duties for a prominent CAM physician (Later this unit was replaced with a computerized Interro device). As a baby boomer I’d grown up watching such venerable sci-fi classics as the Outer Limits, Twilight Zone and Star Trek, and as such had a special fondness for high tech medical, scientific and robotic devices. Anything along this line that might make medical diagnostics as easy and forthright as Dr. Leonard “Bones” McCoy’s medical tricorder was especially appealing to me– which the EAV machine in some ways was purported to be.

To understand what EAV or electrodermal testing is all about you have to first understand the principle behind it. In-a-word, these machines are purported to measure changes in the body’s flow of “energy” along “acupuncture meridians”. According to proponents there are specific points on people’s hands and feet that can be used to gage health in various organs and also test drugs, hormones, nutrients and such to see what will remedy any detected abnormalities. This is how it works: The patient holds a moist gauze covered conductive metal cylinder in one hand which is connected to the device (A tiny electric current is sent through this wire by the machine). A second wire runs from the device to a probe held by the technician or doctor who does the testing. When the probe is touched to specific “acupuncture points” a low voltage circuit is completed and the flow of current is measured by the EAV machine and a reading is displayed that indicates organ status (Healthy or unhealthy and, if unhealthy, to what degree). The operator can supposedly determine what will bring the meridian flow back up or down to normal by testing various substances housed in small vials (These vials are introduced one-by-one or in combinations into receptacles into the machine or a plate that connects probe and/or cylinder to the machine). In addition, allergy testing is can supposedly be done by placing vials of known/suspected allergens in the receptacles or on the plate and watching for responses (A jump in the readings).

Even if the principle behind the machine were true – that meridians exist and can be tapped into in a meaningful way to diagnose – it is obvious that if the skin stays at the same level of moisture the readings can be influenced subtly or grossly by the pressure the operator using when he or she applies the probe. This alone would tend to throw off readings. And in practice I saw this for myself. In fact, I quickly realized that what I was doing with the machine was essentially a variation on psychic parlor cold readings – that is, by combining my own  perceptive reading of body language and asking leading questions I would come up with “findings” that agreed with the patient’s known medical history and expectations. 

This said, what intrigued was the use of the machine to determining drugs, hormones and such that “balanced” a patient’s readings. The readings would supposedly indicate what single or combination of drugs and such would benefit the patient, as well as the dose.  This was something I could actually put to the test in a strictly scientific way.

With the assistance of a research engineer friend of mine named Jim this is what we did:

First we filled glass vials (identical to the others in the EAV testing kit) with arsenic, mercury, cadmium and other toxic substances plus samples of deadly herbs and toxic weeds and labeled each one. I then had my buddy go to a separate room and cover the labels on all the vials in the kit – the original ones plus those we created — with other labels bearing an alphanumeric code which he recorded on paper and locked away. Jim then mixed up all the vials and brought them to me. I proceeded to perform tests on a succession of about 40 people, both healthy and ill over a five (5) day period. The end result? Eighty-three percent tested out as “needing” arsenic, mercury, cadmium, etc. (That is, the EAV device clearly indicated 83% of those tested would especially benefit from pure, toxic doses of various heavy metals, toxic herbs, poisons, etc.)

I shared my findings with the clinic director, of course. The EAV machine found its way to a storage closet not too long afterwards.

In the ensuing years I watched many more CAM diagnostic devices and treatments fail to hold up to testing, both those I carried out as well as more formal and rigorous ones conducted by others. Conversely, some herbal medicines, individual herbs, therapeutic dietary measures and such were shown to be effective for various health conditions in formal clinical studies. This said, a great many of these studies were not so rigorous in design or poorly designed and/or executed. And the number proved effective in well designed and executed randomized controlled trials (RTC) appeared to be quite small. Naturally, until these remedies and such pan out in RTCs their effectiveness remains an open question.

Given the paucity of hard scientific evidence underlying many cherished CAM diagnostic methods and treatments, one is compelled to ask if it is it ethical or wise to run a clinical practice based largely on such unproved testing and/or remedies?  Certainly not if the practitioner admits patients who have foregone undergoing proper diagnostic work-ups and scientifically validated medical care for his or her clinical offerings (Unless the practitioner is qualified to do this sort of testing and treatment and competently does so). But what if the practitioner and his methods or treatments are not substituted for standard medical care by the patient, do no harm and largely inspire hope? It could be argued that even if the CAM practitioner’s fare is medically ineffective or even worthless, the positive aspects such as the placebo effect and corresponding reductions in anxiety or fear make it worthwhile provided the cost is not outrageous. Perhaps so. As for squaring the ethical issues involved, at the very least CAM practitioners should clearly label unproved diagnostic methods and treatments as such and disclose any known hazards or potential side effects, making them de facto experimental.  Many in fact do.

Of course, the fact that unproved treatments are being used at all by CAM practitioners of various stripes and also by legions of people doing dietary and supplement self-experimentation is galling to many mainstream physicians, medical consumer advocates, journalists and others. More than a few of these would tightly regulate these remedies and severely reduce access to them, something the vast majority of Americans appear to oppose. In an ideal world unproved diagnostic methods and disease-specific treatments would be speedily and thoroughly evaluated, and those that indisputably bomb would be swiftly abandoned by CAM practitioners. But testing has often moved at a snail’s pace and even when specific remedies have been repeatedly shown to have no efficacy, many proponent CAM practitioners and medical consumers refuse to relinquish them. Some of this is likely a reflection of human ignorance or stubbornness (as in “it’ll be vindicated somehow”) or both. Some people just flat out prefer to live on the other side of looking glass even when so doing lands them squarely in a land of illusions and delusions. But since illusions and delusions help many folks cope with the vicissitudes of life including illness, these discredited CAM tests and treatments is unlikely to vanish anytime soon – if ever.  

Want to learn more about how many CAM modalities and treatments hold up to scientific scrutiny? How to think critically about CAM as well as other heterodox beliefs and practices?

PIER (American College of Physicians) – Provides information on specific diseases and includes interpretations of the extant evidence

SKEPTICISM – James Randi Educational Foundation

COMMITTEE FOR SKEPTICAL INQUIRY

THE SKEPTIC’S SOCIETY & SKEPTICS MAGAZINE

NATIONAL CENTER FOR SCIENCE FOUNDATION

Snake Oil Science by R. Barker Bausell, Ph.D.

The Demon Haunted World by Carl Sagan, Ph.D.

Any and All Books by James Randi

The Undercover Philosopher by Michael Philips

Skeptical Look at Acupuncture

© 2009 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved.

YOU MAY NOT COPY, REPRODUCE, DISTRIBUTE, PUBLISH, DISPLAY, PERFORM, MODIFY, CREATE DERIVATIVE WORKS, TRANSMIT, OR IN ANY WAY EXPLOIT ANY PART OF THIS DOCUMENT WITHOUT PERMISSION FROM THE AUTHOR (DR. ANTHONY G. PAYNE E-mail: attachi-mailbox@yahoo.com). WITHOUT LIMITING THE GENERALITY OF THE FOREGOING, YOU MAY NOT DISTRIBUTE ANY PART OF THIS DOCUMENT OVER ANY NETWORK, INCLUDING A LOCAL AREA NETWORK, NOR SELL NOR OFFER IT FOR SALE. IN ADDITION, THIS DOCUMENT MAY NOT BE USED TO CONSTRUCT ANY KIND OF DATABASE

Study reveals that masturbation reduces odds of developing prostate cancer

There have been a number of studies that suggest that regular masturbation by men, especially during their youth to perhaps age 50, flushes carcinogens that tend to accumulate in the prostate from the gland and by so doing help prevent initiation of cancer in this gland. One recent one was carried out by the Council of Victoria which revealed that men who masturbate to ejaculation more than five times per week were one-third less likely to develop prostate cancer.

If this correlation is true, it logically follows that the greater the degree of prostate “emptying” the more likely a man is to purge his prostate of cancer-causing compounds and thus the lower his risk of developing carcinoma of the prostate. There are a number of ways to (ahem) pull this off:

(1) Prostate massage: This commercial website appears to provide some really sound advice in this regard. Note that I have no financial or other interest in this website of any firm it links to or promotes.

(2) Masturbate while using the a prostate electrostimulation device. These provide users with what amounts to a gentle though powerful pulsating “electric massage” of the prostate which is highly stimulating and pleasurable. Many men report having more copious ejaculations when they climax while using this type of gadget (Which is the goal when it comes to draining the prostate of fluids that might harbor carcinogenic substances). It is also reputed to jump-start the erection machinery in the male body which leads to firmer, stronger erections.

(3) Use the Aneros prostate massager or something similar during masturbatory sessions .

Also check out: OSTEOPOROSIS IN WOMEN: SEMINAL FLUID COMPOUNDS ABSORBED THROUGH MUCOSAL TISSUES HELP PROTECT AGAINST & REMEDIATE BONE LOSS   (Idea/hypothesis) by Choctaw Doc

Disclaimer: Dr. Payne has no financial or other commercial interest in any device or firm marketing same mentioned in this article. 

The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice or instruction. Readers are advised to consult a licensed health care professional concerning all matters related to their health and well being.

YOU MAY NOT COPY, REPRODUCE, DISTRIBUTE, PUBLISH, DISPLAY, PERFORM, MODIFY, CREATE DERIVATIVE WORKS, TRANSMIT, OR IN ANY WAY EXPLOIT ANY PART OF THIS DOCUMENT. WITHOUT LIMITING THE GENERALITY OF THE FOREGOING, YOU MAY NOT DISTRIBUTE ANY PART OF THIS DOCUMENT OVER ANY NETWORK, INCLUDING A LOCAL AREA NETWORK, NOR SELL NOR OFFER IT FOR SALE. IN ADDITION, THIS DOCUMENT MAY NOT BE USED TO CONSTRUCT ANY KIND OF DATABASE.

© 2011 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved.

Want to be multiorgasmic?

Why are some folks naturally multiorgasmic? Female biologic advantages aside, the key player appears to be prolactin. Various studies have shown that prolactin is released at orgasm and plays a role in post-orgasmic sexual “repose”. Conversely, various other studies have shown that people with low or almost nonexistent prolactin levels can have orgasm after orgasm after orgasm ad infinitum. Is there any way in which to safely lower prolactin levels and thus help facilitate becoming multi-orgasmic? Perhaps so (The drug bromocriptine can accomplish this, but has side effects that may argue against its use in many folks). The medicinal herb Chaste Tree Berry (Castes Agnes-Vitex) has been shown to reduce prolactin levels in human users.  

 http://www.iherb.com/Planetary-Herbals-Full-Spectrum-Vitex-Extract-500-mg-120-Tablets/1611?at=0References

References

 Kruger TH, Haake P, Haverkamp J, Kramer M, Exton MS, Saller B, Leygraf N, Hartmann U, Schedlowski M, ‘Effects of acute prolactin manipulation on sexual drive and function in males,’ J Endocrinol. 2003 Dec;179(3):357-65.

Haake P, Exton MS, Haverkamp J, Kramer M, Leygraf N, Hartmann U, Schedlowski M, Krueger TH, ‘Absence of orgasm-induced prolactin secretion in a healthy multi-orgasmic male subject’, Int J Impot Res. 2002 Apr;14(2):133-5.

Wuttke W, Jarry H, Christoffel V, Spengler B, Seidlova-Wuttke D,’ Chaste tree (Vitex agnus-castus)–pharmacology and clinical indications’, Phytomedicine. 2003 May;10(4):348-57.

Simple Gadgets that have made Erectile Dysfunction Drugs a Thing of the Past for Many Men

It seems these days you can’t turn on a TV, open e-mail or browse the Internet without being hit by ads for all manner of “lotions and potions” to enhance male sexual function and responsiveness or remedy Erectile Dysfunction. On one hand there are the FDA approved drugs like Viagra® and Cialis®, whose active chemical compounds have been proven to work in various clinical studies. These drugs are pricey and not without risk in some users. Then there that the herbal, amino acid and other pills, tablets and capsules which typically have little scientific validation, but which may actually bolster sexual responsiveness in some men. These are less pricey than the approved ED drugs, but typically require users to swallow pills, tablets or capsules on a daily basis. At the very least this can grow tedious. In addition, the mode of action and long term use safety of some of the compounds in these formulas is in many instances unknown.

Fortunately, there is a viable alternative; namely, a handful of ingenious devices or (in technical parlance) “medical appliances” that:  

 -Help remedy erectile dysfunction (Impotence)

-Maximize sexual pleasure and responsiveness

Here are three which have garnered considerable repute among users for helping remedy ED and for making erections harder and orgasms more intense:

 Blakoe Ring

The Blakoe Ring is a deceptively simple piece of technology that has garnered a powerful reputation for helping a great many men counter ED. Invented back in the 1950s by anatomist & physiologist, Dr. Robert Blakoe, the ring in its current incarnation (Mark III Blakoe Ring) is a one-size-fits-all device bearing small alternating copper and zinc plates along the inner ring (The part in contact with the wearers genitals). It purportedly works by increasing blood flow to the male penis via a combination of direct mechanical support plus a small electric charge generated by the zinc-copper plates (Thermocouple effect). The exact mechanism of action is unknown, but it has made its way from questionable novelty to a therapeutic device recognized by medical authorities in both Australia and the EU.

The Mark III Blakoe Ring current sells for $129.99 USD each. An electrolyte cream designed by Dr. Blakoe to complement the ring’s electrodynamic activity is also available for $37.99 (2007).

 The official Blakoe Ring website is: BLAKOE RING HOME PAGE

http://www.blakoe.com/

 Matthews &Wilson Ltd.

Forest Works

Charlbury

Chipping Norton

Oxon OX7 3HH

England

Email enquiries: enquiries@blakoe.com

Telephone: +44 (0)1608 811539

Fax: +44 (0)1608 81183

 Vacuum Pump & Constriction Ring 

 One of oldest, simplest, and generally most cost effective ways to deal with ED is use of a penis pump and constriction ring (“Cock Ring”). The principle is deceptively simple: The male penis is basically a hydraulic system, which is to say erections are the end result of blood being pumped into spongy penile tissue and then being held in place long enough to achieve sexual satisfaction. When the mechanism fails and cannot be readily remedied by standard medical means, a penis pump can turn the tables on the situation.

In-a-word, the partial vacuum created when air is evacuated from the chamber of a penis pump causes blood to rush into the user’s penis and it becomes very turgid. Typically, the user has affixed a constriction band to the base of his penis prior to using the pump. Once the penis is fully engorged, the band keeps the blood from rushing back into the body. The user can now engage in sexual activity including coitus. There is one restriction that applies, however: The band must not be left in place more than 20 minutes, as this can cause damage to the blood vessels and adjoining tissues.

Want to share what has worked for you – or not? E-mail me at biotheoretician@gmail.com

Andthanks!

Also check out: OSTEOPOROSIS IN WOMEN: SEMINAL FLUID COMPOUNDS ABSORBED THROUGH MUCOSAL TISSUES HELP PROTECT AGAINST & REMEDIATE BONE LOSS   (Idea/hypothesis) by Choctaw Doc

Disclaimer: The information contained in this article is provided for informational purposes only and should not be construed as medical advice or instruction. Readers are advised to consult a licensed health care professional concerning all matters related to their health and well being.

 © 2011 by Dr. Anthony G. Payne. All rights reserved.

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