Bedroom Insider

A blog about relationships, intimacy and sex toys.


Friday, November 16, 2018

Where Can I Learn More About Sex?

Physically Fit Man Using Laptop at home

If you’re scrolling through this blog here at Cirilla's, you might be interested in learning more about sex. Perhaps you’re curious about a certain sex act or kink or relationship style. Maybe you want to learn more about what sex toys are especially good or what constitutes sex toy safety. However, all this information can sometimes be difficult to find. Any sex-related words searched through google may come up with pornographic material, and while perhaps that may be exactly what you’re looking for, it also might not be. Fear not, for there are so many resources out there to gather wonderful, detailed, accurate information about sexuality. Here are just a few to help you continue your own sex education journey.

Websites

Possibly the easiest way to educate yourself, websites are one of my favorite forms of resource, and the world wide web certainly has a whole lot of sites out there. Although Scarleteen may be targeted to teenagers, it has buckets of information perfect for folks of any age. Bedsider has an interactive birth control method comparison tool that is perfect for figuring out what form of contraceptive might be perfect for you. Of course, Planned Parenthood is always an amazing resources for curiosity about sex, relationships, and sexual health care.

Blogs

In today’s modern day and age, blogs are becoming an increasingly popular resource for information on sex, kink, sex toys, and personal stories. I’m going to slip a shameless self-promotion in here for my own blog, Squeaky Bedsprings, but also check out the ever-popular sex toy critics Hey Epiphora, Dangerous Lilly, and The Big Gay Review, sex and disability focused Chronic Sex, or sexy storyteller Girl On The Net.

Books

There are so many wonderful sex education books for adults available about everything from oral sex tips to navigating open relationships to detailed rope bondage instructions. Books like Girl Sex 101 by Allison Moon and Come as You Are by Emily Nagoski can instruct you in the magic of female pleasure, while The Ethical Slut by Dossie Easton and Janet Hardy is a great intro to non-monogamy.

Podcasts

If reading isn’t your thing, podcasts are a great way to learn while doing something as mundane as driving to work. Laugh along to The Dildorks, a pun-saturated podcast on “sex, dating, and masturbating”, discover a host of sex topics with American Sex Podcast, or learn about why people are into that with Why Are People Into That?! . Interested in polyamory? Try Polyweekly!

Youtube 

Youtube is great if you’re a visual sort of person. Most sex-ed youtube videos are short (between five and ten minutes) snippets of easily digestible knowledge on specific topics. Sexplanations has hundreds of videos on so many topics and approaches them in a positive, judgment-free way, and purple-haired Erika Lynae has a whole channel for her sex toy reviews. Hannah Witton has a channel about general sex topics, and regularly collaborates with other youtubers.

Workshops

For an in-person, potentially interactive experience, try attending a workshop! Some sex shops offer classes through the stores themselves. These are classes hosted by the store and taught by a sex educator, usually for a low price of $5-20. Some are hands-on. I’ve heard of blowjob workshops where an individual gets a sanitized, unused dildo to practice on while the educator gives instructions. Workshops also give you the chance to ask an educator your questions, so think about what you want to know before you go.

Private coaching 

Of course, showing up in public to a sex workshop may not be everyone’s cup of tea. For shy folks, or those who may need a little more help, many sex educators offer private coaching via skype where you can ask your questions and gain knowledge tailored just for you. These resources can be great for those overcoming sexual shame or anxiety.

No matter your preference for educational medium, sex education shouldn’t stop at your gym teacher’s horrendously awkward screening of a woman giving birth. Check out some of these resources and gain some new sexy knowledge. Happy learning!

By: Sammi
Follow on Twitter @Squeaky_Springs

Wednesday, November 14, 2018

No-Shave November: Prostate Health Awareness

Prostate Cancer Awareness, Man hand holding light Blue Ribbon with mustache for supporting people living and illness. Men Healthcare and World cancer day concept


Look around you during the month of November and you may see some men with mustaches that most certainly weren’t there before. “No-Shave November” or “Movember” as the month is affectionately called is dedicated to raising awareness for men’s health issues, especially prostate and testicular cancers, mental health, and suicide. These topics are often taboo for men to talk about, and the organizations behind the campaigns work hard to fund research and promote awareness of these often undiscussed issues, oftentimes in the form of encouraging men to grow out their mustaches to spark conversation.

Most men have a prostate, so one of these men’s health issues is prostate health. The prostate is a small walnut-sized gland nestled between the bladder, the rectum, and the internal base of the penis. It is responsible for making prostatic fluid, which, upon ejaculation, mixes with sperm to provide the cells with food and an ideal environment.

The prostate continues to grow as men age, and in many men this can cause problems. With a larger prostate pressing on the urethra (the tube that channels urine out of the body) or bladder, urination becomes more frequent and more difficult. Nearly all men over 50 experience this, and it can also cause difficulties in getting and maintaining an erection. If you or someone you love is experiencing these issues, talk to or encourage them to talk to their doctor.

Although enlarged prostates and infections are more benign prostate issues, prostate cancer is the main concern. Prostate cancer is the most common form of cancer among men, and 1 in 41 die from the disease. It is recommended, then, for anyone with a prostate to start talking to their doctor about screenings after the age of 50, and 45 if there is a family history of prostate cancer. The most common screening is a blood test for prostate-specific antigen, or PSA, a protein produced by the prostate. A high PSA may indicate presence of an enlarged prostate or cancer, and can then be followed by further tests.

The good news is that besides getting regularly screened and paying attention (and possibly eating a tablespoon of ground flaxseeds per day), there’s another much more fun way to care for a prostate, and that’s through prostate massage. Although medical research has yet to confirm it, anecdotal evidence shows that regular prostate massage may improve prostate health, prevent and help heal infection, and possibly even prevent cancer.

To massage a prostate, lube up a finger or toy and insert it into the rectum. Use a toy with a curve to more effectively target the prostate, or curve your finger towards the navel and feel around for a walnut-shaped bump that can be felt through the wall of the rectum. Use a back and forth or up and down motion, move in circles, and experiment with what feels good. Some popular toys are even designed to be used hands-free for solo play. Your efforts may cause fluid (pre-ejaculate) to drain out of the body through the urethra, which doctors think may help cleanse the prostate.

The purpose of No-Shave-November is to get people talking about men’s health issues, so maybe it’s time to do just that. That doesn’t have to mean bringing up the benefits of prostate massage at the Thanksgiving dinner table (that might be awkward!), but it could mean asking your partner if he’s talked to his doctor about a PSA test, or if his family has any history of cancer. Perhaps you could even join the crowd of folks embracing No-shave November and grow out your very own mustache!

By: Sammi
Follow on Twitter @Squeaky_Springs

Thursday, November 8, 2018

Creative Ideas for Storing Your Sex Toy Collection

Set of sexy underwear for woman and passionate night

While you can purchase a variety of storage options intended specifically for sex toys, these tend to be more costly and don't scale well as your collection grows. Many of these items disguise your toys – tissue box covers with hidden compartments and pillows with hollow centers – if that's your main concern and you only own a few toys. But as you branch out and add new items to your collection, you might need to get creative with sex toy storage. We've got a few ideas to help you calm that clutter!

Of course, if you're a purveyor of sex toys and want everyone to know, you might just place all your vibrators and dildos in a decorative wine rack on your dresser or nightstand. That's not as practical as some people require, however.

Over-the-door storage solutions might be intended for shoes or even toiletries, but they also work well for many vibrators and dildos, not to mention lube! Just hook it on your bedroom or even closet door, and you're good to go. You can store your charging cables with the toy in the clear pockets, which makes it easy for you to grab any toy that you wish to play with. Plus, toys aren't stored touching one another, so there's no worry about any interactions.

Continuing with the over-the-door theme, there are hooks that can just as easily hold a flogger as they can a towel. But if you have multiple BDSM implements, you might need more space than even a multi-hook provides. Consider a tie or skirt hanger that will allow you to hang your items straight, so the only thing that will be kinky is you and not the tails of your toys. Or you can use a key holder for a few items. For the serious connoisseur of impact play toys and other goodies, a peg board like you would see in a workshop is a versatile tool.

Need something more discreet? There are plenty of other shoe organizers to choose from. Or you can consider a jewelry dresser with shallow drawers that are perfect for your sexy accouterments. Another option is to re-purpose a buffet table from the dining room to use to keep all your sex toys organized. Got an old wardrobe or entertainment center? Don't toss it out! There may be life in it just yet – as sex toy storage!

If your bed is high enough, consider an under-the-bed tote. These are short but long to accommodate a variety of goodies, including sex toys. Wheels make them easier to pull out and put back in black with no one the wiser.

When you find your nightstand overflowing with toys, consider plastic drawer carts. They're cost-effective and come with option wheels, which makes moving them easy, and many of them stack should you need taller options. Narrow carts don't require a lot of room, either. Some even come with integrated trays on that that would conveniently hold your accessories and lube.

Speaking of all things small and easily lost (we're talking about cables, batteries (you should remove them in between uses to prevent them from leaking and ruining your toys), adapters, and more), you can buy tackle or tool boxes that won't break the bank to store all the odds and ends. Bonus: they come with handles (and sometimes wheels) built in! Otherwise, you can grab some drawer dividers (think the ones for silverware or socks) to keep everything in its place.

That leads us to travel. Storage options are all well and good, but sometimes you need to take your sex toys to your lover's house or a play party. What do you do then? Don't fret because we have ideas for even the most awkwardly-shaped toys.

A duffel bag or similarly small piece of luggage often does the trick, and you probably own one. Professional cosmetic cases roll just like luggage and have various compartments to keep items in place. Liberator makes chic toy bags, however, if you're more concerned with form. Although laptop bags aren't as handy for traveling with sex toys because they lack straps and compartments to keep everything in place, they are an option, as are briefcases. In fact, many sex toy storage cases resemble briefcases, and some lock!

What about floggers, canes, and even larger massagers? Try a roll-up brush holder intended for artists for your shorter items or a poster storage tube with shoulder strap for the longer pieces.

If you're in the mood for a DIY project, consider something like a recessed medicine cabinet only much taller. You might have seen similar storage for accessories such as shoes and scarves or even spices. It'll work just as nice to hold your whips, and you can pick a mirror or decorative door that suits your tastes. Another DIY idea? A window seat that holds all your naughty gear while still being functional.

Your toy collection will determine the type of storage you need, and your space might limit the solutions you can try. Keep an eye out the next time you're at a furniture store or in the home goods department. You might be surprised at what you can use to store – or hide – your sex toys as long as you're willing to get creative about it.

By: Adriana Ravenlust
Follow on Twitter @adriana_r

Friday, November 2, 2018

What to Do About A Mismatch in Libido

Low stamina and sexual drive

Last month we talked about what's normal when it comes to having sex. We looked at the numbers for Americans and broke it down by sex, relationship status, age/generation, and more. You can look at that post if you want to learn more about the statistics. We think it's more important for people to be happy than be normal. But people often ask this question and not without reason.

It may also matter more why so many people to know what is “normal” than what they want to know is normal. It should come as no surprise that many people are concerned over how often they have sex. If you fall into this group, rest assured that what is normal in the realm of human sexuality covers a wide range. It's highly unlikely that you're abnormal; although, you may be atypical.

But people often ask this question because they're concerned about a libido mismatch in their relationships. You might feel one of two things.

1. You wish you had more sex.


If you fall into this group of people, you don't have as much sex as you'd like. It could be that you're single and would have more consistent sex in a relationship. Perhaps you just need to put yourself out there and meet new people so you can have sex more frequently.

And if you're in a relationship? You might want sex more often than your partner does (excluding issues such as long distance). He or she may even accuse you of being obsessed with sex. But you can just as easily feel sexually frustrated if you have a “normal” sex drive compared to your partner's extremely-low sex drive as you would if you had a hyperactive sex drive and your partner experiences a more average drive for sex.

One thing is clear: pushing or nagging your partner to have more sex isn't going to help. It will likely cause your partner to retreat more while resentment builds in yourself.

But what if you're on the other side?

Wednesday, October 24, 2018

What Is “Sex”?

Cozy couple lying in bed under the sheets

When you think of the word “sex”, you might immediately think of putting a penis in a vagina (PIV sex). That’s how it was explained to us in our horrible cringe-worthy sex ed classes taught by our middle school gym teacher and that’s what we see most widely talked about. However, when you really think about it, sex is so much more than just inserting part A into part B.

Think about it. Is that all anyone does when they have sex? Probably not. After all, the possibilities for sexy activities are pretty much endless. Sure, you’ve got other penis-centered stuff like hand jobs or blowjobs, but what about all the other things? There’s cunnilingus and fingering and making out and butt stuff and kink and so many different kinds of sex toys just to name a few.

While we’re talking about different types of sex acts, why do we refer to activities that pleasure penises as “sex”, and activities that pleasure vulvas as “foreplay”? People who have vulvas usually require clitoris stimulation in order to reach orgasm, yet so many types of clit-focused sex, including cunnilingus and the use of vibrators, is reduced to foreplay: the seemingly second place activities leading up to the “main event” of PIV. Looking at it in this way, defining all sex as inserting part A into part B leaves out so much of vulva pleasure. It falls right into our weird culture that values women’s pleasure less than it values the pleasure of men.

And what about couples that don’t even HAVE a penis? Lesbian women have sex, and their sex is just as much sex as heterosexual couples’ sex (say that five times fast). This applies equally to people who may avoid penetrative sex for other reasons. This could be because of trauma, gender dysphoria (when someone feels uncomfortable with their body because of societal norms that say men have penises and women have vaginas), or simply personal taste. Defining sex as all the activities instead of just penis-in-vagina penetration means we get to include more identities and preferences in the conversation.

But even if we did take a look at a couple comprised of a man with a penis and woman with a vagina, there are so many reasons why these two people may not choose penetration. For example, what if he has difficulties getting or keeping an erection? What if she has vaginismus, a condition where the vagina’s muscles clamp down and refuse penetration? What if they feel too nervous about the possibility of pregnancy? What if they don’t have protection available? Broadening what “sex” means allows people who don’t fit the mold of “normal” (read: PIV) sex to feel more normal and valid.

Finally, expanding the definition of sex also means expanding the definition of safer sex. Everyone knows about condoms, but what about a dental dam (a piece of latex meant to be draped over the anus or vulva to prevent the spread of skin contact based STIs)? Or gloves? Or lube, which, by lubricating sensitive tissues, prevents microtears that could be sites for STI transmission? Safer sex is so much more than just condoms, and everyone’s sex deserves to be safer regardless of what activities are being performed.

Sex can be whatever you want it to be. It’s so much more than just putting one body part into another. It’s even more than body part combinations in general. Sex is about emotions, pleasure, exploration, safety, vulnerability, and so much more, and those feelings have no body parts. Summing the vast expanses of what sex means to people to one single act is erasing so many ways of expressing these emotions. So, let’s call sex what it is, people consensually giving themselves sexual pleasure, and leave out the specifics of their actions. We’re all just finding our own personal sources of pleasure, and isn’t that the point of sex after all?

By: Sammi
Follow on Twitter @Squeaky_Springs

Thursday, October 18, 2018

Is Porn An Acceptable Form of Sex Ed?

Perfect, sexy body, belly and breast of young woman wearing seductive lingerie. Beautiful hot female in underwear posing in sensual way

In 2012, studies indicated that just 10% of young adults first learned about sex through porn. By 2018, that number has risen to 60%. With so many young people are discovering sex in porn, you have to wonder just what they're learning and whether it might be harmful.

Why Porn Is Bad Sex Education


There are many arguments against porn as sex education. Let's start with the way that actors look: large breasts, butts and penises prevail. Toned bodies and white skin are predominant. If you look closely enough, you'll see just how symmetrical everyone is. What we see in porn is definitely not a mirror of our own bedrooms and the world at large.

If you look just a little deeper, you can see a distinct lack of discussion about consent and safer sex. Sometimes a scene jumps, and you see a condom, but you won't see actors switching condoms after 30 minutes use like you're supposed to or even pinching the air out of the tip of the condom when first putting it on. Who needs lube when you have spit? Like anything that might increase a woman's comfort or pleasure in porn, it's an afterthought. Women fake orgasms, and both men and women phone in their performances with fake, loud moans and direct eye contact with the camera.

Porn can also condone unsafe sex habits or introduce people to activities such as anal sex or BDSM that can cause injury when done wrong. Although, porn does not shoulder the blame alone. Popular book and movie series Fifty Shades of Grey has inspired people to try they hands at BDSM without proper education, and injuries from sex toys and activities sored.

The list of problems with using porn as sex education goes on and on, much like the sex, which doesn't address the reality of erectile dysfunction or refractory period. After many position and activity changes, it's finally orgasm time. If you thought at least the man's orgasm was real, think again. Many times, the “money” shot is simply a mixture of components. Yogurt and hair conditioner are both common culprits.

In the end, we shouldn't be surprised. Porn is about looking – and sounding – good for the audience, typically a male audience. It's not about actual pleasure or the sometimes awkward realities of sex with another human being. It doesn't teach us how to explore our bodies safely, and watching porn is often done in private, a shameful secret. Is that what we want to educate people about sex – that it's something to hide and feel anguished about?

Sex educators the world over argue that porn doesn't make good sex and, and you may already agree with the sentiment, but many people do rely on porn to teach them about sex. Even some medical students counted porn among sex education according to one survey published in the July 2018 edition of The Journal of Sexual Medicine. Why is this?

It could be that porn has become ubiquitous. You can easily search for porn on the Internet and even inadvertently run across porn while searching for an otherwise innocuous term. Social media is also full of images and videos, even when the terms of service specifically prohibit sharing content that depicts sex. Porn is everywhere and, well, sex education isn't.

When Sex Education Fails


Depending on where you live, the people who are responsible for sex education might be providing you with false information. In the United States, only 13 states require that sex education must be medically accurate. Some policies may forbid teachers from teaching about the positives of sex, instead relying on scare tactics to dissuade teenagers from having sex. While it might sound reasonable that focusing on the of STI transmission or pregnancy might reduce how many teens have sex, those states that focus on abstinence-only education actually have higher rates of teen pregnancy.

These classes don't discuss negotiating sex, how to ensure you receive pleasure, providing and respecting consent, the healthiness of masturbation, or how exploration can improve your sex life. Just nine states require education about LGBTQ+ identities. That's only two more than actively discourage non-mainstream sexual and gender identities. Even if kids don't wind up as teenage parents, it's unlikely they'll be having quality sex or have a healthy self-esteem about sex.

And that's if they get any education at all. Three U.S. States require parental permission for students to even learn about sex, and 37 states allow parents to remove their kids from classes that teach about sex.

Kids know it, too. Many are quick to give a failing grade to the sex education – if any – they had. And it's not just the younger crowd. Ask any group of people whether they had satisfactory sex education when they were younger (if you're brave enough), and the lack of response paints a grim picture. For all the technology in the world, we still haven't developed a way to teach comprehensive sex education.

When sex education is lacking but porn abundant, it's no wonder that people are seeking answers on screen. They've got questions that have been ha answered adequately or perhaps accurately. No one is teaching them how to filter the images on screen and to examine them critically.

It's no wonder that men think they have to thrust like jackhammers and having erections that last for an hour or that women find themselves trying to look like porn stars and pretending to have orgasms even though no one has thought to stimulate the clitoris. Thanks to porn, some people believe that sex should always be hardcore or acrobatic. And some studies indicate that greater use of porn correlates to more risky sexual behavior.

Don't misunderstand Porn isn't without its value: as erotic entertainment, not education. It can arouse and inspire, but if people continue to seek porn as sex education, they're unlikely to have the best sex possible.

And it's not like there aren't any examples of satisfying, comprehensive sex education. In the Netherlands, for example, diversity, communication, pleasure, and health are taught to students as part of a pragmatic sex education program that even allows students to ask all their own questions about sex.

If we can give students the knowledge they actually want – and need – about sex, they won't have to resort to porn to get answers. They'll not only have a roadmap to follow for the rest of their lives, but they'll be better prepared to discuss sex education with their own children when the time comes.

By: Adriana Ravenlust
Follow on Twitter @adriana_r

Wednesday, October 10, 2018

How Often Do People Normally Have Sex, Pt 1 - Sex Statistics

 Attractive couple sharing intimate moments in bedroom

Here's a question that sex educators often get: How often do people normally have sex? Of course, they might hear other variations, but the inquiry is always about frequency and normalcy. It's pretty common to wonder how often other people have sex, especially when you cannot see into their bedrooms.

Sex Survey Says..


The National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior is among the largest sexual studies ever performed. In 2010, researchers from the University of Indiana polled 5,865 adults about their sexual behavior. This gives us some great insight into how often people have sex.

Let's start with women. These numbers apply to married women specifically.


  • Women between 18-24 are the most likely to have sex 2-3 times per week (35.3%), followed next by women who have sex four or more times weekly (23.5).
  • This shifts for women in their mid to late-twenties: 47.7% have sex a few times to month per weekly.
  • Over half of women in their thirties (50.2%) have sex several times per month.
  • That number slips for women in their forties (46.6%) but still remains the most common sexual frequency.
  • Over one-third (36.2%) of women in their fifties have sex more than once per month. At this point, women are about equally as likely to not have sex in the last year (22%) as there are to have sex a few times per year (23.7%).
  • By the time her sixties roll around, a woman is about equally as likely to have sex a few times per month (25.9%) as she is to not have had sex in the past year (37.9%). 
  • Over half of all women in their 70s (53.5%) haven't had sex in the past year while a quarter have sex just a few times a year.

How does this look for men who are married?

There is no age group in which more men report having sex four or more times per week than other frequencies. Younger married men have sex more frequently than their female counterparts, and fewer men report having no sex in the past year for every age group below 70. However, the group sizes between men and women usually differ only by a few percentage points, and the largest groups are the same between men and women.

Another study finds that 18 through 29-year-olds have sex an average 112 times per year. This drops to 86 for the thirties crowd, and 69 times annually for folks in their forties.

You might also be surprised to learn that millennials are having sex less than any generation over the past sixty years. One study looked at Gen Yers born in the 90s and found that they had less sex in their twenties than previous generations. The trend continues for those people who are currently in high school. They're not having as much sex, and they aren't as into dating, either.

Another study found that American adults have less sex overall than they once did. Specifically, comparing rates from 2000 to 2004 and 2010 to 2014 revealed a drop in sex by nine times per year, and it was almost doubled for married couples!

This might look bad for people who are married. After all, married people were having more sex than singles just a few years ago according to the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior.

Frequency doesn't just differ between the sexes and age groups. Straight couples are more likely to have frequent sex than same-sex couples, especially lesbians who are most likely to say they never, hardly ever or occasionally have sex more than twice per week.

Just in case you were wondering, couples report being happiest when they crawl between the sheets once every week.