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Advice, Features

Ask a Sexologist: Measurements, low libido, and paying for sex

Our resident sexologist Richelle Menzies answers more of your deepest sex questions.

Size matters

What is the right way of measuring a crooked penis?

I assume I won’t obtain a correct measurement if my penis is naturally bent downwards or to the side and I measure it with a straight hard ruler.

My penis is crooked to the side (to the right, to be more specific).

Would I be measuring wrong if I used a flexible measuring tape following along the curve of my penis, instead of a straight hard ruler on top of it?

– Measuring Up

Dear Measuring Up,

Firstly, I am curious as to why you want to measure your penis. For many people, it is not about the size but what you do with it.

But for practicalities, yes, a measuring tape would give you a pretty accurate measurement. Measure it both flaccid and erect.

If this information is for a dating or hookup app, then list both measurements and explain the curvature as the reason for any inconsistencies.

If this is to work out what size condoms are best for you, then also measure the girth/circumference to get the right fit.

Poly unsaturated

My partner and I are in a basically sexless relationship. We used to have a very active sex life, but for many years, his reaction to frequent stress has been non-existent libido. 

He tells me it’s not me. I understand, but I still find myself feeling very rejected and unattractive over it.

We are polyamorous, so I could in theory have sex elsewhere, but being trans, I find dating and hooking up very difficult. Even paying for sex has had poor results.

I often feel rather alienated and like I’ve become unfuckable since transitioning. What should I do?

– Dry Spell

Dear Dry Spell,

This is a difficult situation and I understand why you feel this way.

Firstly, stress can definitely impact libido, as can many other things like medication, health issues, and ageing.

Are you intimate in other ways? One way that helps with feelings of rejection is to maintain other types of intimacy.

Sex does not always have to entail penetration. There are many ways to be sexual and intimate, even if there is lower libido or arousal.

Secondly, being poly opens the door to the possibility of getting sex elsewhere. Sometimes this is the answer and sometimes it isn’t – some people want that connection with the person they love.

And yes, being trans can add a complex layer to dating and hookups. People usually don’t want to be fetishised or in unsafe situations.

Talk to your partner, express without blame how you feel, and see if you can explore other ways to be intimate – looking at touch for pleasure, not just physical release.

You may find that even without a libido there are ways that are mutually satisfying.

Also see if they are open to seeing a sexologist about this. There are ways to increase libido and get a mutually satisfying sex life back.

Stimulating the economy

I’d like to know how one goes about finding a sex worker to hire who you think is right for you, telling them what you want, what to expect, and so on.

I’m less concerned about the practical part (I assume ‘google sex workers’ would be the answer) and more with what to expect and how to make a good choice for me.

It’s probably a complicating factor that I’m an autistic and disabled woman. How should I proceed?

– Looking for Loving

Dear Looking for Loving,

You are certainly not alone in being unsure about how to access a sex worker.

Every state has different laws about sex work, so it’s a good idea to find out what they are in your state. You can also contact your local sex worker organisation – Scarlet Alliance is the national peak body and can provide you with information.

Touching Base is an organisation that trains sex workers to work with people with a disability. You can contact them or ask your local sex worker organisation if they know if any sex workers who have done that training. They can also help you with your questions about access, expectations, and finding the right match.

But before this, one of the first things to do is to work out exactly what you want – activities you enjoy and the ones you don’t.

Sometimes it can be good to do a traffic lights activity: on a sheet of paper, have three columns (green, yellow, and red). Green is for the things you like, red is for the ones you don’t want to do, and yellow is for the ones you are curious about or might want to try.

This will be useful in your discussions with the sex worker you choose. Sex workers are used to having these discussions, so they will ask you questions to find out information, and this will help you be prepared with your answers.

Remember this is a business, a transaction, and you are paying for a service. So, like other services, you can interview the person, ask questions, and work out whether they are the right person for you. You can do this over the phone or even on Zoom before you make an appointment.

Send your anonymous questions about sex, gender, and relationships to Ask a Sexologist.

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