Shine ALOUD UK - Issue 6 - The Men's Issue

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FREE

WHAT IS A

REAL MAN?

5healthy NO GAME ingredients

Brothers with

of a

relationship

THE

DADDY COOL

PROJECT

July–November 2014

Porn vs Reality The

Benefits of SPOKEN WORD



Debate

TO TELL OR NOT TO TELL…

We asked our Shine ALOUD readers whether it’s OK to talk about an EX to a new partner. Here’s what they had to say…

YES It’s absolutely fine to talk about your EX to a new

partner. Your EX is in the past; your new partner is your present and possible future. Therefore you telling them about your past relationship(s) shouldn’t make them jealous. They should be mature enough to accept and respect that you’ve been with someone else before them. By talking about your EX, especially if they ask, you’re letting them into your past. Understandably, it’s not easy discussing a past relationship, especially if it ended on a sour note, therefore they should appreciate that you trust enough to tell them about it. Obviously you wouldn’t spend a whole night reminiscing, but sharing a bit of background with your current partner is not a big deal, so you shouldn’t make it one. It’s up to you how much you choose to disclose, but use your initiative to decide how much, is TOO much!

NO Bringing up old an old flame is a definite NO NO!

Leave the past in the past! Your EX, is an EX for a reason. Everyone gets jealous, some more than others and I’m speaking from my own EXperiences. Unfortunately, on more than one occasion, I’ve told my new partner about my EX and they’ve used it against me in an argument later on down the line. So as a note to self, I tend to keep my EX(s) on a need to know basis, and in my opinion, my current partner just doesn’t need to know. What happened before them is not their concern, I’m with them now and that’s all that should matter. I’m not interested in their past relationships, so quite frankly mine are none their business either. Shine ALOUD believe it’s up to you what you decide to tell or not to tell your new partner. You should never feel pressurised to do anything you’re not comfortable with. A healthy relationship consists of trust and respect and if your partner doesn’t show you these qualities then you shouldn’t be with them.

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Issue 6 | July–November 2014 Hi ALL! Thanks for picking up the 2nd physical copy of Shine ALOUD magazine. We know you were all eager for the launch Issue 6, our ‘Real Men’ issue – the one you’re currently holding! You’re definitely in for a treat this season, as we have some entertaining, educational and most importantly empowering content in store for you all! This issue will be shining a light on the initiatives dedicated to raising aspirations and empowering young men within the realms of sex, relationships and youth and culture, as well as highlighting some of the challenges that men may encounter sexually and emotionally – that aren’t talked about enough.

months, in comparison to the magazine. The sole purpose of our work is to creating a generation of sexually empowered young people and what better way to achieve this than running educational workshops? We hope you can continued to support us, on and offline to achieve this goal! As this issue is themed around ‘Real Men’, we aim to uncover what it means to be a real man. Are you a real man if you have 10 or more girls? Are you a real man if you have the most money? Or is it dealing with all the challenges of life and love, but still taking responsibility for your actions? Who knows? You decide…

In February, we managed to distribute 5,000 copies of Issue 5, our ‘Wonderful Women’s’ issue, in over 20 locations in and around East London. This includes the East London sexual health clinics, Brook sexual health clinics, East London Jobcentre’s, youth hostels, colleges, theatres, shopping centres and libraries. You can now return to these same locations and more to pick up a future copy. Log on to our website for more details. It’s been a busy four months for us, distributing the last issue, applying for funding, launching and delivering a crowd funding campaign as well as going through a company restructure. We are aiming to focus more on our workshop delivery over the coming

We really hope you enjoy reading this issue, just as much as we’ve enjoyed creating it! Thanks for following us on the Shine ALOUD journey – we hope you stay with us! Ree xx Shine ALOUD Founder and Managing Director

ShineALOUD@live.co.uk follow us @ShineALOUD like us Facebook/ShineALOUDUK www.shineALOUD.co.uk


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DEBATE

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INFORMATION

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To Tell or Not to Tell Our Key Words

7 FEATURE 5 Ingredients of a Healthy Relationship 8 FEATURE Does the Man Make the Man? 10 FEATURE Linking 12

FEATURE

Brothers With No Game

18 FEATURE Sex Addiction: The Naked Truth

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FOUNDER AND MANAGING DIRECTOR: Rianna Raymond-Williams

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SERVICE

CONTENT EDITOR: Verity Nelson

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FEATURE

DESIGN & LAYOUT: Lesley Mitchell Book Design

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HEALTH

The Daddy Cool Project My Absent Father Erectile Dysfunction

26 HEALTH Premature Ejaculation 27

COMIC

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FEATURE

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FEATURE

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FEATURE

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FEATURE

No Condoms Spoken Truths Porn vs Reality Be Proud and Be You! Who is the Man?

CONTRIBUTORS: Shine NHS, Jack Fletcher, Nick Batley, Asher Oliver, Joshua Ford, Emma Harper, Ernest Attoh, Jaja Soze, Leon Mayne, Nego True, Ukonu Obasi. Some images in this issue have been sourced from Devianart.com, we would like to take the time to thank some of the brilliant graphic designers and photographers who have allowed us to use their work in this issue. Additional images: graphicstock.com, rgbstock.com

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Information

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Our KEY WORDS In this issue there are a few words that you’ll see more than once, so we thought it would be useful to give you some sharp and snappy definitions. We know most of you will know what a majority of these words mean, but just in case you don’t here they are…

also refer to other relationships where you may have been associated with someone. For example an Ex-best friend, Ex-team mate or an Ex-band member.

GAME –No an Xbox or PS4, but in terms of relationships this is the charm or an appeal a male or female has to attract a partner. For example a guy with good game, can approach a female, gain her interests and get her number it’s not an easy task.

ADDICTION This is a strong desire to repeatedly do, take or use something harmful. Often someone who becomes an addict loses control of their behaviour, despite the consequences of their actions. There are various types of addiction some of which include gambling, sex, drugs or alcohol.

ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION More commonly known as impotence or ‘staying hard’, this is when a male is unable to get and sustain a proper erection during sex. Although this is more common amongst men aged 40 plus, it is something all men at any age in their lifetime can experience.

AROUSAL In a sexual context, arousal refers to being sexually stimulated physically or mentally in preparation for sexual activity, but not always penetrative sex. For example, sexual arousal of a male will lead to an erection and the sexual arousal of a female will lead to hardened nipples and vaginal lubrication.

PORNOGRAPHY Commonly known as ‘porn’ or ‘porno’, this refers to the dramatized display of sex for the purpose of sexual arousal. This can take place online, in video, films, in pictures, in magazines, on billboards, over the phone, on chat lines or on dating sites. Porn is fictional and made for the purpose of entertaining, so don’t believe everything you see or hear.

COMPROMISE This is when two or more people come to a conclusion that meets the needs and takes into consideration the wishes of all parties involved. For example, if your friend wanted to go to dinner, but you wanted to go cinema you may compromise to watch a film and then go to dinner afterwards.

RESPECT To consider the feelings and thoughts of others even if you don’t agree. For example you may respect someone’s opinion by allowing them to speak, you can show respect for someone’s property by not damaging or defacing it.

EJACULATION Commonly referred to as ‘bussing’ or ‘cumming’, this is when a white fluid is released from the vagina or penis during sexual climax. For males this is known as semen and for women this is known as discharge both semen and discharge are white or clear fluids.

SEXUALITY This can refer to a person’s sexual orientation or preference. But it can also refer to understanding the feelings linked and displayed by sexuality, such as seductiveness, sensuality, sexiness and desirability.

EX This refers to an old partner that you are no longer with. The term ‘EX’ is not restricted to intimate or sexual relationships, as it can

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ingredients of a

relationshıp Respecting each other Mutual respect is an essential component of a healthy relationship. It is important to let your partner know that their thoughts, feelings and wishes are valued. There will be differences and that’s normal, but respecting and appreciating the differences you share are vital to healthy relationship.

Being supportive A healthy

Respecting each other’s privacy Snooping through texts or Facebook messages suggests you don’t trust your partner and their right to secrecy is not important to you. Just because you’re in a relationship it doesn’t mean you have to share everything and always be together! Everyone is entitled to their own space.

Compromising Relationships

relationship is about build­ ing each other up, not breaking each other down. Offer reassurance, praise and constructive criticism, when due, but also let your partner know when you need their support.

rely on compromises. You and your partner may not always agree on certain things, and that’s fine. It’s important to negotiate rationally and compromise with your partner. It’s best to talk to each other and come to a fair conclusion that meets both your needs.

Communication If something is bothering you, you have the right to speak up about it. A healthy relationship is built on communication. Your partner isn’t psychic and shouldn’t be expected to automatically know how you feel. Assert yourself and your feelings. It’s best to get things out in the open, instead of keeping them bubbling inside.

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Does the

man make the

MAN? By Joshua Ford

For the past few weeks, I’ve been contemplating what it is that makes a man a REAL MAN. I’ve watched countless films and scoured the internet trying to arrive at reasonable conclusion, and still haven’t been able to come up an answer.


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It’s not – as many might think – about what car a man drives or how much he makes, but more how he looks after the people most important to him. For several decades, women have questioned a man’s manhood, using it against him when he doesn’t perform as expected in any aspect of life be it; work, relationships, or personal. The same goes for a man’s close friends, who will also question his manhood if he doesn’t act how they expect him to relationship wise. The irony is that as a man, his pals will tell him one thing; his other half will tell him another and society will tell him even more about how he should and shouldn’t act as a REAL MAN.

It’s not – as many might think – about what car a man drives or how much he makes, but more how he looks after the people most important to him. He may drive a topof-the-range car and earn in excess of £50k a year, but if he’s not taking care of his children and his mother is struggling – his credentials as a man crumble in my eyes. A man is: independent, a leader, strong, respectful, masculine, responsible, ambitious, driven, a bread-winner, devoted to his family, and most of all a role model. Now I have no right to tell anyone whether or not they are a REAL MAN, but in his heart of hearts he will know.

In my opinion, what makes a man a real man is how he stands by what he believes to be his definition of a REAL MAN – with some added extras. A real man should always respect and honour his mother and any other female in his life: sister, daughter, girlfriend, fiancée, wife and grandmother no matter what.

I guess throughout this piece, I’ve answered the question about what makes a man a REAL MAN – his actions and attitude. A man should not be embarrassed to show his partner how much they mean to him or by other people telling him how he should act, especially when those views may conflict with his own.

The great author C.S. Lewis says “When I became a man I put away childish things, including the fear of childishness and the desire to be very grown up.” A man cannot hope to be a man, if he still insists on running around with his boys – the fear of growing up has men behaving like children – fighting, refusing to take accountability for their actions, and generally not taking life seriously.

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A man should not be happy to sit around and do nothing, he should be happy about providing for his family. Most of all, a man is a man in his own right but behind every great man – is a great woman. Honour the women in your lives guys!

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Romance is not dead. It will never be. However, in recent years there’s been a growth in the amount of young people who are enter into relationships purely based on sex. Shine ALOUD examine the act that is linking. By Ernest Attoh & Verity Nelson

Why?

as EastEnders and Hollyoaks, there are constant casual sexual relationships.

The more sexually knowledgeable we become, the more we want to explore the unknown realms of sex. It’s no longer about sexual education in class or even watching porn. Some crave the act and that is where things get a little hazy. If you’ve been in a relationship that wasn’t stimulating enough, then it could push you to find out what makes a particular person sexually different from your ex.

Celebrities have perfected the ability to make long-lasting careers from videos detailing their sexual encounters. Model and socialite Kim Kardashian and rapper Ray J’s infamous sex tape went viral, turning the virtually unknown Kim Kardashian into who she is today: a successful woman with her own TV reality show. But no-one looks at them in the same way again.

Having a link or sex buddy is now seen as a type of relationship. Reasons for wanting or entering into such a relationship include: wanting to increase sexual experience, sleeping with someone new after an unstimulating relationship or wanting to have casual sex with no strings.

The reality Whether having or being a sex buddy, there’s an unspoken agreement that the relationship has no strings – sometimes there’s not even much of a friendship. The relationship does not need to involve the stress or cost of dating. Getting together outside of your linking time may even be a chore. Casual sex need only take thirty minutes to an hour of your time.

Media portrayals Casual sex relationships are a norm in books, on television and in movies. In soaps such

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Dealing with it all

Currently, it seems easier to link someone and gain intimacy through a casual relationship, for example through social networking sites. The ability to message someone you like privately speeds up the process. Chatting to a stranger without needing to know who they are before you having sex, may make some believe that romance is dead. There’s no reason to woo, court or get to know the other person. Their sexual goals, fantasies and interests just have to match yours and if they do, score.

The thrill of casual sex can be too much for some. It can be like drugs or alcohol to an addict. If that person gets a buzz out of casual, no strings, no names, no conversation sex then they may need that casual sex to survive which trips dangerously into sex addiction. Like with drugs or alcohol, there’s always a chance that casual sex may affect your health. As the liver suffers from alcoholism, or the heart fails from too much junk food, the body can start to become affected by too much unsafe sexual activity.

Risks Entering a sexual relationship means that there is no guarantee of stability. Sometimes, in the middle of a casual relationship, you may suddenly stop linking for no real reason, you genuinely may never hear from the person again. Your link may wish to link someone else or they may simply become bored of you, or vice versa.

If a person becomes reliant on the person they are having casual sex with, this can also cause issues. Linking or having sex with a particular person for a progressive amount of time can, in some circumstances, cause you and your partner to develop deeper feelings. For example getting accustomed to the person, feeling a special attraction, enjoying their company or even wanting to switch titles from ‘link’ to ‘girlfriend’ or ‘boyfriend’. When this happens, the only thing to do is to talk with that person and re-evaluate what this is meant to be and what it is becoming. You never know; they might want more too.

An even bigger risk is knowing whether your partner is free from any sexually transmitted infections, (STIs). Finding out the sexual history of the person you are in a casual relationship with, is far more difficult than if you are in a committed relationship. There is nowhere that states that you must share everything about yourself with your link, and similarly they’re not obliged to share anything with you either.

We’ve probably all had a link or if not, seen someone you’re attracted to and envisioned them being a link. It’s wise to remember that if you are linking, yes it can be fun and thrilling but make sure you and your partner are safe, and that you are both sure that you want the same things.

Questioning their history could jeopardise your sexual relationship. Your link might not want to reveal information and might feel that questions makes it more than simply sex. But it it is without question that it’s better to be safe than sorry, so think of yourself when entering a relationship which can hold so much and so little.

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Nobody wants the fun to turn into tears, broken hearts and bunny boiling….

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7 UM April/ 2014


For many young men, relationships and dating are not easy territory. Some men have charm – or game as we well know it – and some men just don’t. The style, the job, the body, the brains, the dance moves, the money, everything comes as a package, and failing to have one of the credentials listed above could very much make or break the ability to go any further with a female or potential partner as Brothers With No Game explicitly illustrates. Shine ALOUD spoke to Leon Mayne, creator of BWNG, the multi-award-winning web series which has attracted over 800,000 viewers and is broadcasted on London Live. We find why BWNG started, Leon’s take on modern day relationships, his aims and his vision for the future.

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The Beginning

It’s been received really well; people appreciate the concept, stories, script and characters. We’ve had over 750,000 views of the show on our Youtube, with people watching from all around the world and we’ve recently picked up many more fans here in the UK since it’s been shown on TV.”

“Brothers With No Game is essentially the trials and tribulations of 20-somethingyear-old men dealing with relationships, dating, friendship and work,” says Leon. “We started off as a blog in 2010. It came about through our friendship group constantly having comedic thoughts and analyses about life. Someone suggested we write a blog and we did just that.

Motivation “The motivation to write the series came through our blog, our career choice and genuine enthusiasm. One of the group members is a budding writer, so it was a good opportunity to do some fun work and collaborate with up-and-coming actors. We had a really gung-ho approach to things which got us to where we are now and I think that was another major part of the series being born.”

Fast-forward to a year-and-a-half later and we were approached by a producer to make our content visual. We decided on doing a web series, it was a perfect opportunity to take advantage of what we felt was a great avenue for content. We wanted to expand our brand, to give an honest account of situations that regular guys go through, whilst keeping it light-hearted with comedy.

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Left and below: The cast of Brothers With No Game

Society definitely does [provide a forum for young people to openly discuss sexuality], the problem comes from whether it’s a constructive forum. “The series has made a big impact with regard to fans, peers and the industry. From a fan’s perspective, it has been a great journey. We’ve been able to take our fans from our blog onto YouTube where more fans have found us. We’ve expanded to the point where we’ve received financial backing from our fans. Recently one donated money to us because they were proud of our movement. It was a humbling experience.“

bit surreal. Another thing we carry with pride, which has become more prominent with Lenny Henry’s recent campaigns, is that we are providing a platform for actors, producers, directors and other creatives of colour. Though I do think BAME representation on TV is not as bad as is being portrayed, it’s still refreshing in a sense to see it more online and TV with more relatable themes.”

“From an independent filmmaker’s perspective we have gained a lot of friends, support and respect from peers who are making their own paths and look to us for inspiration, which we still find a

When asked about the themes illustrated in BWNG Leon explains that there are a variety of situations that illustrate the pressure and beauty of love, money, music, family, friends and more.

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Themes and content

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and we either act or react which can be positive or negative.” “I think there’s also the pressure of marriage in some cases, as men in longterm relationships are hit left, right and centre with questions about proposal, when they are currently comfortable in their position. As much as marriage is the next step, a man or woman has to be ready mentally – and Lord knows financially – to do the deed.” “It’s important to portray these themes mainly because they do happen to regular people and if we are able to tell these stories in a real and comedic way, the audience can relate and possibly have more sympathy and understanding of situations that people may go through. It may even give them strength to make a difference.”

Modern day relationships “I don’t think there’s too much difference in the roles of a man and a woman in a modern day relationship as there was a generation back. Individually things are much better, with women having more rights, independence and say as opposed to 50 years ago. As a couple, things are more or less the same.”

“Junior’s financial constraints are a good example. Many of us have been in a situation where our funds are low and it’s hard to maintain a relationship when you can’t maintain yourself. Marcus’ constant lying to women about his status/position at work showcases the insecurities men have about themselves, and that their self-worth is often measured by material goods. Dorian’s situation with Lisa, visits the theme of friends becoming lovers and head over heart.”

“Women’s roles in modern day relationships are still centred around nurturing, supporting, being a friend to and a lover of their partner. Men’s roles in relationships are still centred around, protection, providing and supporting their partner. Both men and women expect this from each other; we are still idealists that will never change, no matter how many memes and Twitter quotes are out there suggesting otherwise,” he laughs.

“I think men – as well as women – are for the majority, expected to have certain qualities to be deemed ‘men’ in a relationship. As much as each person is an individual, there is a universal checklist that must be ticked off, whether it relates to personality, attributes, material goods or physical appearance. When we don’t tick all of these boxes, I guess there is a certain pressure from our side to deliver

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Leon highlights films and series such as First, RoomieLoverFriends, The Couple, Unveiling Maeva, Dear Jesus and Venus vs Mars” as some of the titles which have helped to raise relationship awareness among young people. “Online media has definitely made interaction constant and creative but

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Online media has definitely made interaction constant and creative but less genuine.

less genuine. I think it’s easy to entertain conversation but difficult to convey or understand realness because you’re communicating behind 140 characters, emoticons and banter. Face to Face, or even over the phone is still the best form of genuine interaction and online media has unfortunately eradicated that to the point where we rely on it to validate life experience.”

to discuss relationships and sex amongst young people. There are plenty of ways to do so, it’s just about how strongly you feel about it and taking the right steps to make it happen.”

Openly discussing sexuality When asked whether or not society provides a forum for young people to openly discuss sexuality, Leon says, “Society definitely does, the problem comes from whether it’s a constructive forum. I think rules and boundaries have almost been destroyed by the presence of social media and with not much measure as to how to monitor these platforms, you have the type of people who take advantage of it in a childish way more than those that possibly want to have a more mature conversation about it.”

Next Steps “We are really humbled yet excited for what’s to come”, Leon speaks of his experience of being showcased in a number of publications and online platforms in addition to being supported and contacted by Hollywood actors, musicians, TV personalities and directors.

“Blogs and Online Forums seem to be very apt at building communities of people who like to discuss certain topics. When we posted blogs, however comedic or real they were, our comment section was filled with people with scenarios, thoughts and feelings on the specified topics.”

“Right now we are working on new content for our YouTube channel. We are launching BWNGTV via our YouTube which will be a hub to different types of content from sketches to short form series to roundtables to documentaries. It’s a platform for ourselves and other creatives to showcase content and is set to launch this summer.”

“From a visual perspective, online and TV could provide platforms for discussion, whether it be a talk show, debate show, Vlog, roundtable discussion or even a simple Q&A session via a live YouTube feed.”

“We are also working on events, merchandise and an e-book this year, plus new shows for London Live. It’s busy but exciting times.” “Oh and yes, Season 3 of Brothers With No Game is in the pipeline.”

“With the power of brands, collaborations can be made on actual events (weekly, fortnightly, annually, monthly, quarterly)

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www.brotherswithnogame.com

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The Naked Truth By Richard Etienne

It starts with a look. It always starts with a look. She’s standing adjacent to me. The vibration caused by the moving train ever so slightly creates the familiar bodily motion of this well-endowed woman to emulate that of a woman, any woman, bouncing up and down on my lap as she rhythmically evokes screams of pleasure. The sudden sway of the carriage causes this woman to tightly grip onto the pole in the same way I picture her gripping my tense shoulders in ecstasy as the pigment in her fingers are flushed with a bright paleness. I asses the curves on her body. I sit and marvel at the way her jeans hug her frame. I have no interest in her name, where she is going and if indeed she is even attracted to me. The moment she alights the train she no longer exists and my attention is stolen by the train conductor’s monotone drawl…

My name is Roger and I am a sex addict. It is an illness that has often been on the wrong end of negative press and labelled the cause of a failed relationship. Some even go as far to refute it as an illness altogether. In 2010, a BBC article claimed that 6% or more of the population experience it, 80% of whom are male.

there is a legion of men and women suffering in silence because of its taboo. This is not an illness solely associated with famous people either. Ordinary people like you and me can be diagnosed with the addition and that’s what makes this an important matter to discuss.

Remember R&B singer Eric Benet? Probably not. He was the former husband of Hollywood actress Halle Berry, who in 2003, claimed his inability to control his sex addiction was the cause for his infidelity and eventual split from the X-Men star. Football star Ryan Giggs is said to have agreed to undergo sex addiction therapy. When golfer Tiger Woods was exposed as having multiple affairs, he went straight to therapy, spending 45 days as an in-patient.

What is sex addiction and what are the triggers and symptoms? Sex addiction is a compulsive sexual behaviour which, as a term, first emerged in the mid-1970s when various members of the group Alcoholics Anonymous (AA) sought to apply the healing process of the 12-Steps toward recovery. The reason for this was because they identified a similar powerlessness and uncontrollable desire as the type experienced with alcoholism. Sex addiction has been described by many different terms: hypersexuality, erotomania, nymphomania, satyriasis,

Despite the widespread denial of its existence, sex addiction is very real and

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The inability to maintain a steady relationship due to a lack of sexual control outside of the partnership is often the most hurtful by-product of sex addiction. and more recently compulsive sexual behaviour. While there is no official diagnosis for sex addiction, clinicians and researchers have attempted to define the disorder using identifiable behaviour patterns. These include:

Some work has been done to bring sex addiction to the focal point of the general public through films such as Shame, Don Juan and 2014’s Thanks For Sharing, but much more needs to be done to encourage those who suspect they or a loved one is an addict to seek professional help. Sex addiction is not yet a recognised illness by the NHS, but this should not deter people from seeking help because there are programs available to the general public via their GP.

● Having regular sex with multiple partners ● Being preoccupied with or persistently craving sex ● Failed attempts to limit sexual activity ● Thinking of sex to the detriment of other activities such as work, school or family ● Spending considerable time in activities related to sex, such as using apps to search for partners or spending hours online visiting pornographic Web sites. ● Continually engaging in the sexual behaviour despite negative consequences, such as broken relationships or potential health risks. ● Feeling irritable when unable to engage in the desired behaviour.

I believe a widespread acceptance of the disease and its associated shame, along with understanding the affect it can have on the addicts’ general well-being and loved ones will go a long way to helping suffers like me form a sincere commitment to healthy change. If you or anyone you know is affected by sex addiction and would like to seek help, please get in touch with a GP who will refer you to a therapist.

The inability to maintain a steady relationship due to a lack of sexual control outside of the partnership is often the most hurtful by-product of sex addiction. Contrary to popular belief, this is not an illness that should be seen as ‘cool’ or ‘lucky’ to have because the pain and shame it leaves behind for the person trying so hard to fight the sexual urge is unbearable. It leaves you feeling lonely, constantly unfulfilled and devoid of emotion.

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Glossary Infidelity - the action or state of being unfaithful to a spouse or other sexual partner. 12 Steps - A twelve-step program is a set of guiding principles outlining a course of action for recovery from addiction or other behavioural problems. Taboo - prohibited or restricted by social custom.

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The

Project

‘You don’t have to be a father to support fatherhood’ is the slogan for the London based non-profit social enterprise The Daddy Cool Project. The enterprise aims to highlight positive male role models and fathers by running workshops and events in the local community. Shine ALOUD spoke with Emma Harper, the owner and managing director to find out where it all started, what Daddy Cool has accomplished thus far and the company’s future plans. public are always happy to see us run our community events as there’s not as many things run by dads in local communities.”

“Our project makes being a dad look, well...cool. Because it is”, says Emma. “The project was only supposed to be a website with positive images of fathers. But it quickly escalated into workshops, events and interviews with people like UK athlete Dwain Chambers.”

“It all started in early 2010. I was working in a supermarket part-time as a university student where I noticed a lot of young men doing loads of overtime to support their children. But I also saw so much negative media about young males: young males not supporting their family, not having jobs and committing crime, which was all very opposite to what I saw.”

“People benefit from taking part in our projects and activities knowing that there is positive recognition for those who are stepping up to their fatherly responsibilities. Especially with the amount of negative stereotype in the media – the general

“Growing up, I also saw young men and women who had very little guidance from positive male role models in their local community. With this in mind I used the skills from my Event Management and Marketing studies and decided to do something about it. From there, The Daddy Cool Project was born.” “There’s nothing quite like The Daddy Cool Project out there, especially in the UK. As our slogan says ‘You don’t have to be a father to support fatherhood’. Although our target audience is young males aged 16-35, we are open to all ages, races and genders as we are all affected by fatherhood.”

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“Our biggest success is probably being registered as a social enterprise late last year. This will open up new avenues and opportunities for the project to work with a wider range of organisations in the future.”

“All members who help run the project have volunteered their valuable time to deliver each activity. That in itself, shows that people do care about fatherhood just as much as we do. From September 2014 we are also re-launching our outreach workshops, going into schools, colleges and organisations talking about issues surrounding fatherhood and what can be done to overcome them.”

“We are taking part in a national government initiative called ‘Our Big Gig’ and are running one of 150 music events across the country. The event will be held on Saturday 12th July 2014 in London at The O2 Think Big Hub, Hoxton Square. This is a one-off music event to highlight the importance of fathers though music.”

If you would like to volunteer with The Daddy Cool Project or run a session at your school, college or organisation, email info@daddycoolproject.org.uk or visit www.daddycoolproject.org.uk

“We have Femi Santiago from The Voice UK headlining. The event will be a great opportunity to come and meet the team, enjoy good music and even showcase your talent in our open-mic section. All info and tickets can be found on our website.” “When it comes to our workshops and outreach programme, we discuss serious issues in an informal, yet structured environment. Nobody wants to be in a tense formal environment with people they cannot relate to. So it’s more like talking to cousins or friends to overcome an issue or for advice. There are small groups across the country for fathers but there’s nothing as engaging and goodlooking as our project! We really do bring ‘cool’ to fatherhood!” “We discuss any and every topic surrounding relationships and fatherhood. It could be from relationship issues with your own dad or with the mother of your child. It could be how to get into a routine once the baby arrives or even discuss the latest FIFA game on PlayStation or Xbox. We cover a range of discussions to form a social support network where people feel comfortable to come and talk about issues that matter to them.”

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Above: Participants having a great time at the Daddy Cool Project

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My Absent Father By Rianna Raymond-Williams

It’s not something I talk about often. Nor is it something that many people know about my life. Not because I’m ashamed, but more so because it’s never really affected my life. When you have a mother as amazing as mine, you almost forget why you need a father. No disrespect, but how can you miss something you’ve never had? How can you love someone you’ve never known? After looking at pictures and hearing stories about them you begin to feel as though you have a connection, but in reality, they’re just another stranger. Apart from knowing your name and hopefully your birthday, they have slim knowledge of your likes, dislikes, hobbies, interest, goals and future aspirations despite the fact you share similar physical features, heritage and DNA. Who is this person? My absent father… I knew who he was and where he was. According to Mum, Dad left England to live in America when I was a baby. I learnt that wherever he was, he wasn’t coming back so I just stopped asking. I never noticed anything different about our family; I had a mother, brother, sister, aunties, uncles, cousins and grandparents, not to mention my extended family including my godparents, mum’s work colleagues and school friends whose children I also grew up with and whom became my family.

attempt to get in contact or take us for the weekend like my other friends dads did. Mum was our mum and our dad. She was and continues to be our superhero! Working at night and then coming home in the morning to get us ready for school. Rushing to parent’s evenings and school plays after long days at work. Waking up early to cook for us, so we’d have food to eat whilst she was at work during the day. Taking us to karate and music lessons after school and during the holidays. There’s nothing she didn’t do, but she did all the things he should have done, all the things a father should do.

I knew what a Dad was, but I also knew that I never had one. Well I did, but he just didn’t live with us nor did he make an

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Parenthood

someone special to be a dad’. Being a dad is not just about having children, but having responsibility and accountability towards them. No relationship is perfect, but even if it’s not, it doesn’t mean that a father, or mother should forfeit their duties as parents.

A report of family breakdown published in 2013 revealed there are over 1 million children who grow up without a father in the UK. The reports also stated that single parent households have been rising steadily over the past 40 years so there’s no surprise that the figure will rise significant in 2014 and the years to come. It also went on to highlight pockets of the UK as “men desserts” to illustrate the high percentage of fatherlessness in certain areas across the country, in addition to linking the absences of fathers to high levels of teenage criminality, pregnancy and societal disadvantages.

I am living proof that coming from a single parent home is not as bad as the media make it out to be. I have an amazing family, an amazing close circle of friends and each day my life gets so much better. In life we all have problems, but whether you decide to let them make you or break you is totally up to you!

Each child is entitled to the security and love that should ultimately come from both parents, but the reality is unforeseen circumstances do not always permit this to happen. For example either parents may die, abandon their family, become incarcerated or become a drug addict, which ultimately leaves one parent to look after the child or children.

Dedicated to my world. My everything. My Mother. Miss Sonia Patricia Raymond!

Single parent’s household exist and have continued to since the creation of my life and years before me. Although it is not ideal, it can and has been done. Being a single parent or coming from a single parent home is not something to be ashamed of, it should be celebrated and respected as it shows the strength, commitment and resilience a person or parent has to provide for the family despite, the hardships they may have faced in a relationship. There are men and women in the UK and indeed across the world who do whatever it takes to provide for their family. They say ‘anyone can be a father, but it takes

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Rianna with her mother

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ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION It could h

app en

t o

. you So you’re with your partner and things begin to get a little steamy – sexually. You’re touching and kissing, caressing and gyrating. Things seem to be going VERY well. As your partner starts to undress, you do too. You’re both excited, but none of you are prepared for what’s about to happen. The clothes are off. The mood is right. There’s just one problem… YOU CAN’T GET IT UP! By Jack Fletcher

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Erectile Dysfunction, ED, also referred to as impotence, is the inability to sustain an erection during sexual intercourse. It is a phenomenon often related to older men with prostate problems, so as a young man, you just don’t believe it will happen to you.

ERECTILE DYSFUNCTION stress anxiety depression heart disease smoking

The truth is, ED can affect anyone, and certainly at any age. Unfortunately, there’s an assumption that men who can’t maintain an erection aren’t ‘real men’, but the reality is impotency has nothing to do with masculinity. Just as having an erection at an inappropriate time, because of a passing thought or just that time of day, it can be an awkward experience.

obesity

alcohol abuse high cholesterol high blood pressure neurological diseases vascular disease

lack of excercise

diabetes

Fear not! If you’ve experienced all the desire in the world to have sex, but ‘couldn’t get it up’, you’re not alone. ED can have a range of mental and physical causes. Alcohol and drugs are the most common factors. So if you drink regularly and excessively, you’ll probably experience ED.

not working now for some reason’, just to make your partner aware of what’s going on. Stay calm and give as much information as you feel is necessary. Even adding ‘it’s not that I don’t want to’ can be very helpful. Although penetrative sex may be your goal, it can also give you the opportunity to try oral or playful sex in the meantime. Being honest and open about what is going on is key and will help you stay calm.

If not, great! That makes you a minority, so the rest of us would appreciate your empathy. Depression, a bad day, feeling sexually unsatisfied, some medical drugs, tiredness, stress and even feeling unwell are all possible causes. Medical conditions, such as nerves or pelvic injuries can also cause ED, so it’s always best to see a doctor if you experience ED more than once.

But what about your partner? Whether male or female, if you are with a man that is unable to get an erection you need to be understanding and accept there are many reasons that arousal is not present. Laughing, being awkward or acting confused is NOT going to help anyone.

So what do you do if it happens to you? Well, the first step is to acknowledge that it’s common and normal. The good news is that it is often something that is momentary and taking a break can help an erection to occur later.

The reality is Erectile Dysfunction can happen to any male, regardless of age, religion or ethnicity. By effectively communicating with your partner and remaining calm if it does occur, you will have a better chance of the blood rushing to the appropriate head.

If it does happen, it is important to communicate with you partner. Say something along the lines of ‘sorry but it’s

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relationship problems

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to m e “ T hi s has never happ e ned

“It wa

re” o f be

“It’s not you… it’s me”

s

o v er in s

e c onds... Literally”

Let’s face it, admitting to your friends, let alone your partner, that you ‘buss bare quickly’ is a tad embarrassing. But the reality is that one in three men have this problem. If you haven’t guessed it already we are referring to premature ejaculation, a common sexual problem. Premature ejaculation, (PE) is when a male ejaculates – ‘cums’ – too quickly during sexual intercourse. Just like erectile dysfunction, PE is not restricted to men over 40. It can affect any sexually active male, at any time and at age. There have been countless films, dramas, sitcoms and comics that all pain vivid pictures of men experiencing PE unexpectedly, an unfortunately as a result they have been teased and ridiculed by men and women alike.

less control in addition to wanting to last longer.

According to the International Society for Sexual Medicine a premature ejaculator is defined as a male who ejaculates ‘prior to or within about one minute’ of penetration. However, in reality it is up to the individual and his partner to decide whether or not they are happy with the time it takes for him to ejaculate. Men who have experienced PE have reported the feeling of having

It is important that PE is respected and understood by males as well as females. Although it may be challenging and awkward it is something that can be treated and overcome through the use of medicine, therapy or counselling.

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Researchers believe certain men are more prone to PE because of their biological make-up, for example, having an unusually sensitive penis, however, the causes of PE are still highly complex, varied and still relatively combined. Stress, anxiety, relationship problems, and depression can all trigger PE, in addition to medicines and medical conditions.

Whatever it is or isn’t, PE is normal and it doesn’t make you any less of man if you experience it.

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Spoken Truths “I’m not surprised when people don’t understand me. I wasn’t taught how to express my feelings. And because I can’t put how I feel into words, I use my fists to communicate.” These are the words of a 20 year old male from Essex, East London. Yet his words represent a large proportion of men all over the world. Jaja Soze

For many men, dealing with emotions aren’t easy. From a young age, men are taught to be strong, confident, bold and courageous, which leaves little room for sensitivity. Unlike women, societal expectations have taught men to suppress their feelings to avoid being seen as weak or vulnerable. But just like women, men experience a range of emotions which are often confusing and sometimes contradictory.

Jaja Soze “Spoken word and poetry provides me with a platform to be totally expressive and play with words on a whole different level.” Says Jaja, the South London poet, musician and activist. “My work revolves around street life, revolution and social issues; I base everything I do on building up my community and its people, and that reflects my personal experiences.”

Men have been placed in a box for too long, where they have been forbidden to externally express and react, which unfortunately leads to the idea that men do not have emotions. Of course they do! Shine ALOUD spoke to Jaja Soze and Nego True, two of the UK renowned male spoken word artists to find out how poetry has provided them with a lifeline as well as why they feel more males should use poetry and spoken word to express themselves.

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Jaja wasn’t always a poet. In the past he was heavily involved in drug trafficking and bank robberies, which resulted in him being sentenced to prison on two occasions. Fast-forward to 2014, he has been ranked at number 20 in the iTunes international Hip Hop Charts, appeared on Sky News, MTV, the BBC for his poetic works and now runs workshops and events in his local community to give youth a platform to express themselves.

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[Poetry] gives the poet a platform to educate and be educated whilst sending a very deep and meaningful message that you can’t always do through music.

so far, it’s sometimes up to the individual – male – to understand that society does not have their best interest at heart.” “Expression can’t be held down by anyone but ourselves. I have been expressing myself since I was a kid, society can only slow down the process but I just keep pushing and keep expressing. I plan to continue uplifting and inspiring my community and people via creative art.”

Jaja Soze

Nego True

“Being an artist has just been natural to me, a gift that I’m grateful for. I encourage others by presenting poetry through art and creative aspects. I add drama into my pieces and because lots of the younger men are very animated and physical, this works very well. Jaja highlights Black Empire, Just Like Me and Mama as his top three spoken word pieces, “they’re all very deep, yet creative and out the box”.

“Personally I‘ve never been a fan of being too open. I came from a background built on silence and action. So spoken word provides me with an outlet,” says Nego, the East London Poet. He sees spoken word poetry as a positive form of expression that allows him to say and express everything he usually wouldn’t in real life.

“Poetry goes alongside reading and writing, it gives the poet a platform to educate and be educated whilst sending a very deep and meaningful message that you can’t always do through music.” “I wouldn’t say I’ve learnt from being a poet, but instead I would say it’s contributed to my journey in a great way, and continues to do so. I’m inspired by life and its journey, and I’m not scared to talk about anything, everything and anything goes in my world.” Jaja feels that restrictions aren’t just placed on males, but black males specifically when it comes to expressing emotions. He says “restrictions can only go

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Nego True

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Spoken word has taught me not to categorise people straight away, that the most uptight people could be the ones going through the most. Nego True

“It may sound silly but it’s changed everything for me. I was always the quiet one in primary school. My poetry provides me with the opportunity to be different person, someone that my friends don’t usually recognise. What I do gives me the ability to speak. The ability to be open. It’s something I’d definitely encourage a lot of young men to do; we don’t usually have a way to express our thoughts and emotions.”

I’d ever written something from someone else’s point of view, everything before that was 100% my life and The Break up Poem says everything I was thinking.”

Unfortunately, there is an idea that emotions such as anger are more acceptable for men to express, in comparison to softer emotions of love or pain. According to Ashley Fern, “Women tend to have many more intimate relationships in their lives than do men. Females confide with their friends about issues in relationships far more than men do, for the fear of being judged or looking like a ‘girl’”. Of course, this is not the case for all men, but for a lot of them it is. Women are generally more expressive than men, which allows them to build these intimate relationships with other people. Since men have a somewhat difficult time expressing themselves, they tend not to interact with others on such an emotional level.

“I’m inspired by life. Something so simple could change your day in the blink of an eye and that keeps me on my toes. People motivate me, I remember when I first wrote a piece and had many people telling me they could relate, to think that something that I thought only applied to me could be so relatable to so many people kept me going.”

“My work is based on what I see and experience, it tends to get watered down the more known I get, I’m not a fan of the world knowing exactly how I feel. Poetry is power, the power to be able to say ‘Hi, I’m here’”.

“Spoken word has taught me not to categorise people straight away, that the most uptight people could be the ones going through the most. Poetry’s taught me more about people than it has anything else. I plan to keep writing and keep throwing out surprises, maybe a solo show and a book here and there.” Nego True on stage

Nego highlights Memories, Daddy Are You Proud of Me and The Break Up Poem as his top three spoken word pieces. He explains, “I wrote Memories the evening my friend was convicted and I split with my ex and the memories of writing it have a lot of sentimental value to me. Daddy Are You Proud of Me was the first time

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vs reality By Verity Nelson

Never before has porn been so accessible. Within seconds of innocently typing words such as boob, babe or blow into Google, your page becomes flooded with images of men and women in their birthday suits doing the dirty. Men usually appear naked, heavily endowed, with toned abs and arms covered in baby oil from head to toe. Women, on the other hand, are dressed in raunchy lingerie, two sizes too small, with a full face of make-up, 10 inch heels and positioned erotically with their legs or mouths wide opened. Is this what sex is really like? Is this real?

For many young people who look at porn and think it’s real, it really isn’t! If you don’t believe me, search the internet and see the many forums and blogs of disappointed people asking why their sexual experience wasn’t as amazing as the porno they watched last week.

Influences When a young man watches porn, he begins to believe that he should have a sizeable penis and that whichever girl he does indeed have sex with, should be shaved, have large breasts and preferably keep high heel shoes on the entire time. He’ll believe that he has to last as long as the men in the porno (which can last the same amount of time as a feature film) and if he doesn’t, he is not a real man. Similarly, in the case of a young woman who has never had sex before; she may look at porn and think one of two things: that her first time will be passionate, rough and hopefully will last long enough to encompass at least two or more positions, including oral sex. Alternatively she may feel she’ll never be able to match up to the women in videos sexually and therefore she must shave her genitalia to appear sexier, make sure her body is ‘porno’ perfect with sizeable breasts (often fake), excessive make up, long hair and a thin frame.

Verity Nelson speaks to Shine ALOUD about porn and all its fictional features. Why porn isn’t real, why porn does not reflect real sex and why it often blurs the lines between fantasy and reality.

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Realities In porn, everything is good. Sex look positively fantastic. It’s never a bad experience. It never hurts. It’s never unsatisfactory. It never lasts just ten seconds. There are no broken hearts, your partner never gets up and leaves and there are no condoms, so that must mean there are no STIs. Clearly this is all wrong! Porn does not explain the realities – or cons – of sex. Porn is a multi-billion pound industry made to entertain, so just as the box office premiers are made to excite and engage an audience through exaggerated storylines and characters, porn does the same, just with sex. Of course, sex can be a wonderful experience for couples that is filled with love, comfort and a cementing of their partnership but it is not always so. In reality, a man can have such harrowing experiences as premature ejaculation or erectile dysfunction – making him fearful of sex. A woman might not be able to get wet enough to ease the pain of the man entering her. And for a person who is a sex addict, they may never be fully satisfied. Sex can be extremely complicated and these issues can make it tough to enjoy.

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Viewing porn is a personal choice, something that you should not be forced or bullied into doing.

It has more expensive sets and even has a hipster side to it. Websites like Tumblr dedicate blogs to various porn stars, where they can talk to fans, giving an opportunity for viewers to talk to the women and men whose anatomy they know better than their own. And if you want to find Brazilian girls vomiting in each other’s mouths whilst eating each other’s faeces, it’s on the internet. Or if want to see a woman humping a horse or a man pleasuring himself with a glass jar, it can be found. There is something for every single mood and fantasy.

The reality of real life sex is that there won’t be a hot lady living next door who knocks asking for a cup of sugar in her Victoria’s Secret lingerie or there won’t be a sweaty fireman who shows up at your door, after you’ve broken up with your boyfriend, to hump your feelings better. In reality, when you’re sad, you’re sad and if you’re in a long distance relationship, your partner won’t be there at all.

Porn and the law Pornography is a very powerful tool and although it influences how we act and behave in a relationship or sexually, watching and viewing porn is a personal choice, something that you should not be forced or bullied into doing.

Availability Porn is not a new concept but it is not what it once was. Compared to the likes of Stoya and James Deen, the pornography that pre-dates 2000 was nothing short of prehistoric. Everything was tacky. The makeup, the sets and the script. A mere thin veil was used to separate shots of two people at it like rabbits. Make no mistake; “Oh, I didn’t know you were going to be here!” was a genuine line in porn films.

Videos should be restricted to the age guidance certificate. Encouraging someone under 16 to look at pornography is sexual abuse. Porn is illegal if it is ‘judged to have a tendency to deprave and corrupt the intended audience’. Possessing or downloading child pornography is a serious criminal offence. Most newsagents will not sell top shelf magazines to the under 18s.

Since porn is so readily available and less regulated it has become so much more than just blurry videos where a men and women have vigorous sex in a car speeding down a highway. There are so many different types of porn available. For example, girl on girl, anal, blowjob, squirting, Asian, Latino, Ebony, BBW (big beautiful women), masturbation, double penetration, lesbian, gay, amateur, MILF, threesome, the list goes on.

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In reality, sex is something that has a lot more confusion than conclusion. The outcome of your sex life will only depend on how you view sex. For some, porn is still considered as disgusting, abhorrent and perverted, yet in reality there is a whole generation of young people who are deeply immersed in pornography as a means of learning about sex.

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Be proud and be By Nick Batley

Being bisexual is often described as fashionable, as a ‘phase’. But what does it actually mean? Well, according to the Bisexual Index, you can ask yourself the following simple question: Thinking about the people you’ve been attracted to, so far in your life, were they all of the same gender?

just grow out of; that I was secretly only doing it for attention – an accusation particularly aimed at women who identify as bisexual; that maybe I was actually gay, and I was just denying it to myself – an accusation regularly aimed at men who identify as bisexual. It took me a long time to recognise that my feelings were genuine and legitimate, and I have several friends who have experienced ridicule and abuse, for the simple crime of being attracted to more than one gender.

If your answer to that is ‘no’, then it’s absolutely fine to refer to yourself, and identify, as bisexual. This doesn’t mean you have to, of course. You could identify as any number of things, because, as the sex educator Laci Green says, “We define labels, labels do not define us.”

Several celebrities in the public eye identify as bisexual, including Angelina Jolie, Azealia Banks, and Lady Gaga, but that hasn’t stopped several in the press claiming they’re just doing it for attention.

If you wanted to, you could identify yourself as bi-curious, heteroflexible, pansexual, even straight or gay. What is important is that you find a label that you’re comfortable with.

People often perceive bisexuals as duplicitous, untrustworthy, and unable to make up their minds. The perception of promiscuity – whatever that actually means – prevents people from expressing their sexuality, when there should never be any shame in doing so.

But isn’t it just a fad? Isn’t it fashionable to be called bisexual these days? Well, perhaps, but that doesn’t make the identity of the people any less valid, and describing it as nothing more than a fashion statement can often be damaging.

As a society, we are growing more accepting of people who identify as gay or lesbian, but damaging stereotypes about bisexuals still persist, and this needs to end, because part of true sexual health is to be able to express one’s sexuality without fear, shame, or judgement.

I discovered I was bisexual when I was 19, but I didn’t allow myself to come to that conclusion before – despite quite clear evidence – because I had thought, and been taught, it was something I would

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SHINE ALOUD ISSUE 7 WILL BE OUT IN NOVEMBER 2014 40,000 readers 6 issues in 3 years Funded by Lloyds Banking Group, The Alec Dickinson Trust, O2 Think Big and Starbucks Supported by over 20 youth and sexual health groups, enterprises, trusts and charities Issues 1–4 were themed by seasons: Summer, Winter, Autumn and Spring. Issues 5 and 6 were themed by gender: Wonderful Women and Real Men.

What should the theme of our next issue be?

FREE

Can you help us to create it? WHAT IS A

We’re always looking for creative minds to join our team, please get in touch if you are bloggers, videographers, graphic designer, photography, if you would like to gain skills in media or youth work or you just want to contribute an idea.

REAL MAN?

5healthy NO GAME ingredients

Brothers with

of a

relationship

THE

DADD DADDY COOL

PROJECT

July–November 2014

Porn vs Reality The

Benefits of SPOKEN WORD

Please email your thoughts to shinealoud@live.co.uk



Who is the man… these days? By Okonu Obasi

Once upon a time, the rules were clearer, a man was heterosexual, the main breadwinner in the home and head of the household. Today a man can vary or change his sexuality, might not be the ‘assumed’ head of the home and may not be the main breadwinner.

I am a man, I know that because I have a penis in between my legs and that is the proof of my manhood, or is it? Today it’s not as clear cut – pun intended. In the modern world, what it means to be a man and the traditional role for men, has changed so much that it is not quite clear where a man stands.

New roles and characteristics makes it complicated for the traditional man to navigate through life when defining and understand what it is to be a man. Having established some of the complexity of the male gender role, let us go back to the main question, who is a man? Or indeed, what makes a man a real man these days? Let us consider some scenarios:

The man as heterosexual Previously a young man only had to worry about how to gain and maintain the respect of his fellow heterosexual male friends and impress the girl of his affection. Today, the subject of his affections may not be a girl, nor might the people he wants to impress and gain respect from, be heterosexual. Because of this change in dynamics, what may have won the affections of a girl or have been considered as acceptable forms of respect building has changed. At the same time, he may also have to deal with a change of the rules if he becomes the subject of someone else’s affection – who might not be heterosexual.


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young men are still trying to deal with the complexities of the changing male role Not that this is a good or bad thing, but it means that the young man of today has more things he must adjust his mind and behaviour to. This adjustment can lead to confusion, which can lead to mistakes, which can result in inappropriate behaviour.

cry!” From birth, pressures are placed on young boys and men to think, act and behave in a way that highlights them as strong, aggressive, courageous, rough, emotionless and fearless. But the reality is all men feel pain and love just as much as women do.

The man as the breadwinner

In today’s society men are at arms with themselves and the rest of the world to show how they feel. Showing too much can highlight them as weak and submissive, but not showing enough makes men insensitive. How can they possibly find their place?

In previous generations, young boys grew up watching their fathers go to work, and come home to provide for the family. It was the accepted norm and this was the role of the man. In most cases, this was done out of necessity and forced men to face up to what they understood to be their paternal responsibilities. Failure to carry out these responsibilities came with the stigma. In some cases this deterred men from walking away from their partners and children.

So who is the man? In today’s modern world, and a lot of men, especially young men, are still trying to deal with the complexities of the changing male role.

Today, women can and have become breadwinners in their own right. Women can and continue to work, study, cook, clean and raise children without the help of men. In single parent homes the social security funds usually go to the woman.

It is essential for a young man of today to find his place and accept who he is. The important thing for every man to understand, is that no matter the changes in the world, the basic principles of a decent society have remained the same: respect and tolerance for the views and wishes of others, acceptance of people’s individual differences and being none judgemental and simply to treat others with the same dignity and respect that we would expect to be treated themselves.

This takes away some of the feeling of responsibly that the man had as breadwinner, and with this feeling of less responsibility, it becomes easier for some men to leave their family without worrying that they will not be able to cope.

That is what it means to be a man. That is what it means to be a human being. That is something each man has to answer for himself.

The man as masculine A majority, if not all men, have grown up around comments such as “real men don’t

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