Bedroom Insider

A blog about relationships, intimacy and sex toys.


Thursday, December 13, 2018

Why Sex Hurts

Couple lying in bed under sheets
Painful sex, also known as dyspareunia, is unfortunately common especially when you consider how simple some of the solutions can be. If you experience pain or discomfort when you have sex, it might be due to one of the reasons below.

You're Not Using Lube


Although some people view lube as something that you shouldn't need because a person should be turned on enough to self-lubricate, this is actually the wrong way to look at it. A person's natural lubrication varies such as with their menstrual cycle, and some vaginas never lubricate that much. Plus, medicine (anti-histamines, birth control, SSRI used to treat anxiety or depression, and insomnia medication can all contribute to vaginal dryness), and certain health conditions can interfere with your body's ability to self-lubricate.

When it comes to anal sex, you should always use lube because the anus isn't able to self-lubricate.

Almost everyone will benefit from using lube. Even if it sex doesn't necessarily hurt, lube can make it more comfortable and allow you to have sex for longer. Don't just think that using lube helps the receiving partner, either. Trying to penetrate an orifice that isn't properly lubricated can be quite uncomfortable, too!

You're Not Turned On


Although this plays into the previous point because being more turned on equals more self-lubrication, there's more at work here. Aside from lubrication, being properly aroused leads to ballooning of the vagina, which makes more room for penetration by a partner's penis, fingers, or even a toy.

The solution to this one is simple, fortunately. Spend more time on core activities such as making out, manual stimulation, oral sex, or whatever it is that gets you really turned on. That way, you'll be ready for penetration.

There's Cervical Contact


While a few women do like when a toy or their partner's penis comes in contact with their cervix – the body part that separates your vagina from your uterus – this isn't the case for most people. Try positions that change the angle of penetration or prevent deep penetration from happening.

Remember that making contact with your cervix The position and texture of your cervix changes during your cycle. Around ovulation (approximately two weeks before your period if you have a 28-day cycle), your cervix will be higher and softer, potentially making it more difficult to touch during sex and reducing pain if you do. However, during and after your period, your cervix will typically be low and hard, and this may lead to more pain during sex.

You Have an STI 


Pain during sex could be a symptom of a sexually transmitted infection such as herpes, which causes sores. Those sores are incredibly infectious, so you should avoid being sexually active during any outbreaks. If you've noticed sores due to painful sex, it's time to talk to your doctor about treatment options.

Of course, herpes isn't the only STI that can make sex painful for you. Gonorrhea, herpes, genital warts, chlamydia, syphilis, and trichomoniasis can all put the kibosh on a good time.

...Or Another Infection


Sometimes another infection could be the culprit causing all your painful sex. It might not necessarily be transmitted sexually; although, sex could be a reason why you experience infections so frequently. Urination tract infections, bacterial infections – also known as bacterial vaginosis – and even yeast infections can become quite uncomfortable. Fortunately, you can resolve these infections fairly easily with either a trip to your doctor's office or your local pharmacy department.

There's an Underlying Medical Issue


A visit from your doctor can help determine if one of the following medical issues/conditions are why it hurts to have sex.


  • Vaginismus: Involuntary contractions of the vagina that make penetration painful or even impossible. Mindfulness practices and the use of dilators can help with this condition.
  • Paraphimosis: Happens when the foreskin is trapped behind the head of the penis so that it cannot be pulled forward.
  • Phimosis: Is foreskin too tight to move.
  • Psoriasis: A skin condition that produces red, scaly patches.
  • Menopause: Causes changing hormones that can lead to vaginal dryness as well as atrophying of vaginal tissues due to a drop of hormones. Estrogen supplements can treat the symptoms of menopause.
  • Prostatitis: An inflamed prostate.
  • Vulvodynia: A condition marked by unexplained pain in and around a vulva.
  • Imperforate or Microperforate Hymen: A normal hymen only partially covers the vagina opening and stretches to accommodate tampons, toys, or penises. An imperforate hymen completely blocks the vaginal opening, making sex or using tampons impossible. A microperforate hymen allows room for a small opening but not one big enough for comfortable penetration.

Other conditions can cause deep pelvic pain. Cervical fibroids, endometriosis, and pelvic inflammatory disease are several such conditions.

You're Allergic to Condoms or Lube


It's possible to be allergic to condoms, specifically the latex from which they are made. Burning and other discomfort during sex might be a sign that you have a latex allergy. You can opt for polyurethane or polyisoprene condoms instead of latex, however.

Lube allergies and sensitivities also exist. It could be due to an ingredient in the lube such as glycerin. Or you might be reacting to a heating or cooling lube. It's always a good idea to test lube on your inner thigh before using it during sex just in case. Some lubes and sensitizing creams contain l'arginine, which can irritate herpes and possibly make sex painful.

Other Reasons Sex Hurts



  • The angle is wrong, so your partner's penis feels more pokey than pleasurable. Or your penis is being bent at an angle that's pressing on the suspensory ligament. Beware that this ligament can fracture! A simple change of sex position can fix this – and it's fun to boot!
  • You're being too rough. Even if you're using lube, rough sex can be painful. Some people even like this pain. Keep in mind that rough sex or sex without lube can cause microtears, especially in the vagina or anus, and this can make you more susceptible to infections and STIs.


Although sex is occasionally painful, especially for women, there's no reason why it should cause you discomfort some or even all of the time. Whether you take a bit of time to find the perfect lube or condoms for you or to add more foreplay or you talk to your doctor, you can have more comfortable sex and discover how pleasurable sex can be!

By: Adriana Ravenlust
Follow on Twitter @adriana_r


Monday, December 3, 2018

How to Give a Sex Toy As a Gift

Woman choosing sex handcuffs and mask

Birthdays, bachelor parties, divorces. What do these events have in common? They're all occurrences where it might be appropriate to give someone a sex toy. However, vibrators, dildos, and other sexy extras are not always the right choice for a gift. Here's what you need to know if you're considering giving a sex toy to someone.

Know Your Recipient


If your potential receiver is quite closed off about sex or even publicly prudish, then a sex toy is a bad idea – even as a gag. Furthermore, if you don't know your intended receiver well enough to know where they stand on the subject of sex toys, then you don't know them well enough to buy them a sex toy!

For this reason, buying a sex toy for your significant other doesn't usually present an issue. And you might also feel comfortable purchasing a sex toy or accessory for a good friend or even a sibling. Regardless of your level of closeness, if you're unsure how well this present will go over, you can hint at the gift and pay close attention to their reaction.

Buying a sex toy is such a personal endeavor. Do you prefer clitoral, nipple, vaginal, anus, penile, or some other type of stimulation? What about vibrations: should they be buzzy or deep? Is a rechargeable vibrator better or one that uses batteries more convenient? Do you prefer a plug-in wand that has Earth-shaking vibrations?

I say this not to dissuade you from buying someone a sex toy as a gift but to remind you to think of the recipient whose preference may differ from yours. You might prefer external stimulation or a dildo as thick as your arm, but not everyone does.

Finally, don't buy a present for your significant other that's actually a gift for you. While it might be fun to try something new in the bedroom, it's kinder to give them a gift that will enhance their own pleasure specifically.

Mind the Audience


If you give the bride-to-be a vibrator at her bridal shower, you might wind up offending her grandmother or future mother-in-law. The same gift might go over much better at a bachelor party. On the other hand, a friend who might be perfectly fine receiving a sex toy as a gift in private but might feel embarrassed to open such a present in the presence of others.

Don't Skimp


You can find sex toys available in a wide range of prices. While you might be tempted to buy something on the cheaper end, this could be a mistake especially if you're looking at rock-bottom prices on Amazon. The toy might be more likely to break or have its motor die at an inopportune moment. Furthermore, it could be made of a material that's no body-safe and could cause a reaction or even an infection (it's best to stick to plastic, glass, silicone, metal, or wood, all of which are body-safe).

The Internet is a great place to find reviews on toys if you're unsure. You can also check out sex toy reviewer's blogs to see what toys they like – and what they don't like.

Think Versatile


When you're shopping for someone whose preferences are well-known, you might opt for a particular toy such as a butt plug. However, if you're not sure or if your recipient is unfamiliar with sex toys, you might be better off buying something that can be more versatile.

For example, some G-spot toys can also be used for anal play. And many insertable vibrators can just as easily be used to stimulate the clitoris or nipples. If you buy something too specific and the person you're shopping for realizes they don't like that sort of stimulation, then they may simply have a sex toy that collects dust. But if you give them something that can be used in a variety of ways, it's easier for them to find a use for the toy.

Remember the Warranty


Some sex toys come with warranties, which is a nice option when you're buying for a friend. If something should happen to the toy, your friend may be able to get a replacement. Brands that offer a warranty include:

Lelo
Bodywand
Blush
We-Vibe
Screaming O
CalExotics
BS Atelier
B-vibe
Evolved

Not every product may include a warranty, so make sure to investigate before you make your purchase.

Other manufacturers may offer warranties as well.

When In Doubt, Consider a Gift Card


While a gift card doesn't necessarily scream “personal,” it does come with a few perks. First, your recipient can buy whatever they want and at their own pace. If it's a card to an online retailer, they can shop from the privacy of their own home; otherwise, they can get their hands on the toy in store to see if they really like the size, shape, texture, and material. If they plan to use the toy with someone, say a spouse, the pair can shop together and find something that meets their needs as a couple. They might also find this activity quite sexy.

Don't Expect a Full Report


Just because you're close enough to someone to buy them a sex toy that will be accepted gratefully and used happily doesn't mean you should expect a detailed report about its use. It might simply not be the right toy for your recipient, or they may realize they're not comfortable using toys. While you might inquire whether they've enjoyed their gift, you definitely shouldn't press, and you should accept whatever answer they give you.

Of course, if this wasn't the toy for them and they're looking for advice to buy something a little more fitting, you can always offer our opinion!

The more you know about your intended recipient, the better the odds that you can buy them a sex toy that will be both appreciated and effective. A little research can prevent strain on your relationship and avoid embarrassing your friend.

By: Adriana Ravenlust
Follow on Twitter @adriana_r

Wednesday, November 28, 2018

Why Millennials Have Less Sex Than Older Generations

Intimate games in bed, passionate lovers

The millennial is full of articles about how hookup culture has taken the world by storm and young people are engaging in more casual sex and less likely to get married than generations that came before. If you believed all these posts, you'd think that people born between 1980 and 2000 are the most sex-up fiends ever. Yet, research finds that millennials are actually having less sex than other generations. How can this be?

Why Don't Millennials Have More Sex?


You might come up with a few of your own theories about why millennials are having less sex than their parents. Perhaps you think that it's because they have to work two jobs just to keep a roof over their head or spend more time watching porn and having solo sex than engaging with partners. Both of those things may very well be true, but researchers have investigated those factors, and the findings might surprise you. First, they've looked into hours worked and found that people who work more don't necessarily have less sex than other people. In fact, they may be having more sex. Secondly, at least one study has found that people who watch porn are actually having more sex, not less!

So if it's not porn or long workdays, why aren't millennials hopping in the sack more, especially if those two theories actually suggest that an increase in porn and sex should be linked to? There is one trend among millennials that could explain why they're having less sex than their older counterparts: marriage.

Millennials are getting married less frequently than their parents and grandparents, and they're waiting longer to do it. Studies in the past have shown that married people have more sex than single people, so this could be a significant factor in millennials' low rate of getting it on. A steady partner provides more opportunity to have sex.

Another not-so-surprising factor? Medication, specifically that intended to treat mental health issues. SSRIs, which are typically taken as a treatment for depression, have a well-known side effect: lowering libido. And millennials are prescribed medication for depression more than any other generation. So while they're working to be happy and healthy, their sex drives might be taking a hit.

The Internet has also been blamed for millennials having less sex than other generations, despite apps like Tinder and Grindr that fuel so-called “hookup culture.” While these apps may make it easier for people who are looking for sex to find it, the sheer number of devices at our sides at any given time provide plenty of distraction. Where millennials are watching TV, playing video games, or scrolling through endless Facebook feeds, Baby Boomers had little access to such entertainment and distraction. They didn't have a TV in every room of the house so that they could binge hours of TV on end. Sex it was.

This suggestion could be supported by data. One 2017 survey published in Archives of Sexual Behavior looked at how often Americans of any age were having sex. Compared to the 1990s, the 2010s were less sexually active. Researchers specifically found that people were having sex nine fewer times per year. While this might not seem like much, it adds up over the years. Remember that we're talking averages here, which means while some people may not be having less sex than they were twenty years ago, some people are having significantly less sex!

Some people might find this news alarming, especially if they feel like they're already having less sex than they want. Does this mean that people won't be having sex at all in another twenty years? While we're certainly hesitant to make such bold claims, there is are lessons to be learned after looking at these numbers.

How to Keep Your Sex Life Active


If you want to avoid being another statistic, here are a few things you can do.


  • Choose a partner who is sexually compatible. If you both prioritize sex as a significant element of your relationship and enjoy the same sexual activities, there's a greater chance that you'll remain sexually active – and satisfied!
  • Make sex a priority. Recognize that it won't “just happen.” Sometimes there needs to be effort. Plan date nights and examine your schedule to determine when sex works best. For some people, the sex-before-bed routine means they never have sex because they're always too tired. A quickie at lunch or roll in the hay before morning might be the better option to ensure you have sex.
  • Minimize distractions in the bedroom. This means leaving your phone and tablet on the kitchen counter, not putting a TV in your bedroom, or at least scheduling device-free time so that you can connect with your partner. Even if it doesn't lead to sex, this time is beneficial for your relationship.
  • Learn about your desire and what triggers it. Create an atmosphere full of those triggers so you'll want to have sex and not just find yourself wishing you had more sex but never being in the mood.
  • Talk to your partner about sex – outside the bedroom. Get into the habit of discussing what worked, what didn't work, and what you'd like to try together. Be game to make the fantasies of your partner(s) come true, as much as you can at least. 
  • Explore sexually. New activities, locations, and even partners can be quite arousing because of the novelty. Try new sex toys, bondage, talking dirty in bed, or sending sexy texts while one or both of you are at work. Avoiding routine means you're excited for all the sex you'll be having instead of putting it off. 
  • Take care of your health. Eat well, exercises, and get enough sleep. Good health, in general, is conducive for a better sex life. Pay attention to sexual side effects of any medication you might take. Keep up with pelvic and prostate exams. And if you do notice any changes, talk to your doctor immediately. Do not be afraid to talk to your doctor about any sexual concerns. She has heard them all – and more. 

The fact that millennials are having less sex than previous generations might sound alarming, but it's just a sign that things are changing. Remember that plenty of people are having lots of sex, and you can be one of those people as long as you make sex a priority.

By: Adriana Ravenlust
Follow on Twitter @adriana_r

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.

Wednesday, September 26, 2018

Everything You Need to Know About STI Testing

Lesbian couple at romantic date

The idea of STI testing can seem daunting. The possibility of bad news looms over your head. But getting tested for sexually transmitted infections (STIs, also known as STDs) is a way to be proactive about your sexual health and to potentially prevent more significant health concerns down the road. The more you know about STI screening, the more prepared you are to make smart choices, so we've gathered information to make you smarter about STI testing.

You Should Get Screened When


  •  You have symptoms of STIs
  • You have a new partner, and you haven't been tested in the last 3 to 6 months
  • A sexual partner revealed they have an STI
  • You had unprotected sex

You Should Get Tested Even If You Have No Symptoms


You might think that because you feel okay and have no outward symptoms that you are STI-free or that you cannot transmit an infection to another person. But this isn't necessarily the case. Some infections, including certain strains of HPV, chlamydia, herpes, and gonorrhea, have no symptoms. And you can still transmit them to a partner.

Just because you have no symptoms doesn't mean there's no reason to worry. Remember that HPV can be asymptomatic? But some HPV can lead to genital and anal cancers even if you don't have any warts on your body.

Friday, September 21, 2018

Are Luxury Toys Really Worth The Price?

Le Wand Petite Rechargeable Wand Massager
Once upon a time, you would be hard-pressed to find a worthy sex toy that costs less than $50, and if you did, it might be made cheaply or from materials that were not body-safe. Fortunately, this is no longer the case. While the first silicone and stainless steel toys were made only by luxury companies (and had the price tag to go with the brand name), you can find well-built toys made from quality materials if you're not specifically interested in a toy from the company that did it first.

Occasionally, you might notice that less-expensive toys lack the attention to detail that luxury toy makers provide (some storage bags to wax seals to gorgeous packaging to included extras). If you're willing to sacrifice an internal motor or don't need a sex toy that will last a lifetime, you may find that more cost-effective toys do you just fine. A lost or broken toy is less of a worry because you can buy a new one without breaking the bank.

You can find wonderful alternatives to luxury sex toys at a fraction of the price. Often, if you wait a few months after a company releases a toy with new technology, you can find something similar at a reduced cost. This happened with the clitoral suction device Womanizer and the more affordable Satisfyer. But sometimes you just can't find an alternative, so there's no less expensive option.

Friday, September 14, 2018

The Brightest Stars in Sex Tech

Cowgirl Premium Riding Sex Machine

The Cowgirl Premium Riding Sex Machine 

It's been a while since we talked about the innovations in sex toys, so let's take a look at the newest developments in sex tech. While many of these creative toys and accessories are available, you'll have to wait for a few of them to hit the shelves. Still, that doesn't mean you can't plan for how they'll fit into your sex life!

Clitoral Suction 

Clitoral suction toys aren't exactly new. They've actually been around for a couple years, starting first with models by the company Womanizer. Satisfyer followed up with similar toys, and big-name sex toy company Lelo now makes their own version called Sona. Several other brands have their own toys that are obviously inspired by this trend. Regardless of the brand, these toys all use pulsated air to create a sensation that's different from other sex toys on the market.

If you're looking to try one of these suction toys, Satisfyer models tend to cost a little less. However, quality is a bit lower, too.

You'll notice that there are many models available, which can make choosing the right toy confusing. The size of the nozzle can affect pleasure, and Womanizer sells a few models with interchangeable nozzles to account for this. Womanizer, Satisfyer and Cloud 9 all make dual-stimulators with internal vibration and external suction.

While many people enjoy suction, it's not everyone's cup of tea. So keep your expectations realistic.

Smart Kegel Toys


Smart Kegel toys have actually been around for a couple of years, too, with the best-known being Minna's kGoal. However, there are now more options than ever, including the Gballs by Fun Toys and the similar Lovelife Krush by OhMiBod. A newer kid on the block is the Lovense Lush, which curves around your pubic bone as you wear it.

Despite differences in shape and mechanism for sensing the contractions of your PC muscles, these smart toys all have one thing in common: they rely on an app to guide you through your pelvic floor exercises, to sense when you're contracting (and how hard), and to track your progress so that you can reach your fitness goals.

UV Sanitation for Your Sex Toy


You probably know that you can sterilize your nonporous sex toys with bleach, by boiling or using the sanitize setting in your dishwasher. But what if you're in a hurry or if you want to sterilize a vibrator that cannot be submerged? Say 'Hello' to sex toy sanitizers.

Among the first was Dorr, but Uvee has entered the market with a bang!

Uvee comes in three sizes, and the largest is big enough to fit even a Hitachi Magic Wand and is designed that you can charge your toys while the UV light sanitizes them! The medium and large Uvee both have three USB ports inside the devices as well as a hole for toys that must be plugged into an outlet. The smaller Uvee has only one port and no A/C accommodation, but it's more cost-effective and requires less room.

This system will set you back a little bit initially, but you'll save a lot of time and energy – not to mention worry – not having to worry about the cleanliness of your sex toys in the future. Plus, Uvee acts as a storage container, is travel-friendly and neatly tucks cords away when not in use, so you'll never have to deal with tangled cords again!

JimmyJane also offers a device that sanitizes your set toys, and it's conveniently disguised as a “mood light.” This way, you can keep it on your nightstand or dressed with no one the wiser as to its true use or what is hidden inside.

Toy and Lube Warmers


If you're the type of person whose body shuts right down whenever it comes into contact with a cold glass dildo or a chilly dollop of lube, this might be your year! You can now find pouches that hold your sex toys and warm them at the same time. Warm Intimate Toy Warmer makes a surprisingly chic envelope to tuck away your favorite toy before you're ready for it.

There are at least two companies offering warming lube dispensers, too! One is Pulse, which makes a smaller dispenser that looks like it comes straight from the future of a Sci-fi flick and warms lube from a cartridge before dispensing it into your hand. Touch is another company that makes a similar lube warmer and dispenser; although, the design is a bit larger.

Fucking Machines


Finally, the last item on our list isn't an entirely new type of sex tech. Rather, it's a re-imagining of existing tech. You might have seen traditional Sybians, also known as fucking machines. They were bulky and decidedly unsexy. JimmyJane has decided to enter the market of fucking machines with an updated appears.

The Cowgirl is still a machine that you mount to enjoy penetration, but it now has a sleek black veneer made from vegan leather. It's also compatible with apps on your smartphone, and the shaft both vibrates and rotates as you're riding it.

Another update to the fucking machine category comes in the way of Cloud 9's F-Machine Gigolo Mini with Wireless Remote. You can adjust the position of this machine, which is compatible with any Vac-U-Lock dildo.

Of course, any good idea in the world of sex toys will be copied and expanded upon, which is a good  thing for consumers who love to try new things and get off in new ways!

By: Adriana Ravenlust
Follow on Twitter @adriana_r

Tuesday, September 4, 2018

Affordable Sex Toys for Back to School Blues

Sexy blonde student posing on bed with laptop

Fall is in the air, and so is the smell of books, dorms, and student debt. Time to return to all-nighters in the library and a massively increased caffeine consumption. Perhaps these five sex toys will at least make study breaks a little more fun. Perfect for college students, these toys are quiet, so neighbors won’t hear them through paper-thin dorm walls, easy to hide from nosey roommates (although we’re fans of combating sexual shame and talking openly about pleasure), and all under $20, so you can afford them even after buying yourself your weekly ramen. If this sounds like you, fear not, friend. I’m right there with you.

Cici Silicone Dildo

A dildo is a staple of any sex toy collection, and the Cici dildo by Blush Novelties works wonderfully for solo masturbation or, because of its flared base, in a harness for strap-on play. Curved for G-spot or prostate stimulation and average sized at 1.5” wide, the Cici works for a whole bunch of bodies, able to venture into vaginas and butts alike!

INYA Spade Butt Plug 

The best thing about butts is that everyone has one. Buttplugs can add a little extra excitement to any sort of sexual play. If you’ve got a penis (or strap-on), wear it while penetrating someone, or if you’ve got a vagina, wear it while being penetrated! Plugs can make using vibrators or strokers more exciting, and can enhance orgasms no matter what gender you are. These plugs come in small and medium and are made of silicone with a T-base for both comfort and safety.

Tenga Egg 

Thinking of trying a stroker? A Tenga Egg is a great place to start. These tiny masturbators will only last a few uses, but the tiny egg-shaped case is perfect for tucking away in a sock drawer to avoid the eyes of any roommate. A simple sleeve of squishiness, these strokers add a little extra texture and sensation to what your hand can do, and allow you to control the exact pressure on your peen.

Silky Rope Kit 

If you and bae are thinking of getting a little kinky, rope is a great place to start. This soft rope can be used as handcuffs, ankle cuffs or to string someone up in a hogtie. Trust me, those standard-issue bunk beds they give you make the perfect anchor for tying your playpal to the bed in all manner of ways. Just don’t forget the pre-kink conversation, safeword, and safety scissors.

Safer Sex Materials

Of course, this list (and your hookup) wouldn’t be complete without condoms! Keep a variety on hand to practice safer sex. They don’t have to boring, either! Although basic condoms both with lube and without are great, some condoms are studded for extra stimulation, flavored for oral pleasure, or glow in the dark for giggles! Looking for a little oral action on a vulva or anus? Try strawberry flavored dental dams: wide pieces of latex that act as a barrier between your mouth and their vulva or anus to prevent the transmission of STIs like herpes.

Sex toys don’t have to break the bank to be body safe (and super fun). Whether you’re canoodling at midday or midnight, by yourself or with a pal, with a long term boo or a one-night stand, trying a new toy is always exciting. Now, I know you’re reading this to procrastinate doing homework, so get back to it. Have a great semester!

By: Sammi
Follow on Twitter @Squeaky_Springs

Thursday, August 30, 2018

What You Can Learn From How Lesbians Have Sex


Whether you're a straight woman who is fed up with the script you've been fed about sex, a man who wants to provide more pleasure for his female partners, or even a gay man, you can likely benefit from these findings of lesbian sexual behavior.

Sex Survey Says


According to one survey, women who have sex with women are more likely to define a wider variety of activities as “having sex.” While most only two activities (giving or receiving anal sex) “counted” as sex to everyone in the study, the majority of lesbians or bisexual women defined ten activities as definitely having sex. The list includes using a double-ended dildo, 69-ing, other uses of dildos, genital rubbing, oral sex, and mutual masturbation, among other sexual activities. This certainly answers the silly question “How do lesbians have sex?”!

A second survey of 822 lesbians uncovered the fact that women who have sex with women are having significantly less sex. However, this isn't necessarily cause for alarm. Instead, lesbians have fewer but longer sex sessions. While most couples spend 15-30 minutes engaged in sex, lesbians reported trysts that lasted a median of between 30 and 45 minutes. Furthermore, 20% of lesbian couples also reported having sexual encounters that lasted over an hour! Very few straight couples have sex that lasts an hour, let alone longer than 60 minutes!

Yet another survey reports that lesbian women are likely to have an orgasm with a familiar partner 74.7% of the time while their straight counterparts are only having an orgasm 61.6% of the time. You can look at this another way: women more consistently give other women orgasms than men do.

What You Can Learn From How Lesbians Have Sex


Now, you might think that this is all very interesting. But how does it relate to you? Perhaps you're a straight woman or man. You might be a man who only sleeps with men. Does the way lesbians define sex have anything to do with you?

Yes!

The first thing you can learn from the way lesbians have sex is obvious. Define more activities as having sex. This might mean that you incorporate more fingering or oral sex into your routine. These activities can directly lead to orgasms for women who, the majority of whom require direct clitoral stimulation to orgasm. In fact, you might focus on activities that do not guarantee an orgasm for the male partner.

It might feel weird if you're a man who isn't trying to have an orgasm during sex. It may be a little awkward if you are your partner aren't sure when sex is over (whenever you want – unless you want to grab a snack from the kitchen and get back to it!). But looking at sex from a different angle cab also be rewarding.

When you broaden your definition of what counts as sex, you won't skip something because it's “just foreplay” or a “bonus.” You'll prioritize a wider range of activities in addition to penetrative sex, which means that you're less likely to fall back on the same recipe for sex. If you're in a rut, why not switch things up? Perhaps you don't go for penetration at all at one point. Maybe you try phone sex for the very first time!


The second thing that other people can learn from lesbians is to focus on quality over quantity. Lesbians are not having sex more frequently than others, but this doesn't seem to impair their satisfaction levels! If you define the end of sex as a man's orgasm, the other partner might be left out in the cold. However, if you slow things down (and continue with other activities even if one partner has already had an orgasm), female partners as well as men who require more stimulation to orgasm are going to have a greater chance at achieving the big O.

Remember that women tend to be better at getting their female partners off than men. While some of it might be due to a more intimate understanding of female erogenous zones, couldn't a lot of it simply come down to spending more time focusing on their partner's pleasure and spending more time on sex in general? Plus, lesbian couples don't zero in on activities that would provide a male partner with an orgasm – IE vaginal penetration and thrusting.

Of course, orgasm isn't necessarily the goal of sex. By slowing things down, you spend more time connecting with your partner, giving and receiving pleasure, and enjoying yourself in a way that makes sex meaningful even if you don't have an orgasm! Instead of jumping right to penetration, you might add a sensual massage or a steamy makeout session. Literally slow down your breathing and movements. Savor the moment – and your partner. That sounds like advice any person can use.

The goal of this information isn't to tell you exactly how to have sex or for you to mimic anyone else. Instead, you should look for ways that you can break out of your sexual routine and redefine the sex you have so that you and your partner are more sexually satisfied.

By: Adriana Ravenlust
Follow on Twitter @adriana_r

Wednesday, August 29, 2018

Everything You Never Knew About the Clitoris

Woman lying in bed and playing with herself

Think you know everything there is about the clitoris? Think again! No matter how good a lover you are or how experienced you are at masturbating, you might be surprised by these little-known facts about the most powerful button on the human body.

It's More Than Meets the Eye


When you think about the clitoris, you might think only about the visible part: the glans, which is surrounded by the clitoral hood (foreskin or prepuce). You can push back the hood to see more of the glans, but it's small either way. The important part here is that the glans is just a small part of the much larger clitoral structure. Perhaps you've seen a model, complete with the glans up top but growing down and out to form the rest of the structure. It looks something like a fleur-de-lis if you squint, but what exactly are those other parts?

The pair of “legs” stemming from the bottom of the clitoral glans is an upside down “V” shape, the legs or crura of the clitoris. The crura attach to the pubic arch and connect  to the corpus cavernosum, which are  made of spongey, erectile tissue that can fill with blood and expand during arousal and stimulation. The penis also has a pair of corpus cavernosum, so you can see how alike the clitoris and penis are.

Below the corpus cavernosum lie the vestibular bulbs that sit closely on either side of the vaginal opening. During arousal, the bulbs fill with blood, causing the vagina to expand.

Anatomy lecture aside, the inner portion of the clitoral structure is just as significant as the external portion? Why? The internal clitoris can also be stimulated through the vagina. The different sensitive spots inside the vagina merely provide access to the inner part of the clitoris, and the most notable of these is the G-spot. In a sense, vaginal/G-spot orgasms are simply inner clitoral orgasms!

The Clitoris Is Sensitive – Really Sensitive


The clitoris and penis both have many nerve endings, but the clitoris has around twice as many with between 6,000 and 8,000 usually. This explains why stimulating the clitoris can feel so damned good – and sometimes too intense. If you find that you or your partner cannot handle stimulation, try a lighter hand.

Make sure the clitoral foreskin isn't pushed back and stimulate through it, instead of directly against the glans. You can also rub or use your sex toy to the side or below your clitoris for indirection stimulation. You can also try stimulating your clitoris through your labia or underwear, or place a towel between yourself and your toy or hand if you're especially sensitive.

And It Can Become More Sensitive


Thrill seekers might be excited to learn this about the clitoris: at least one study has found that stimulation with a vibrator can cause the clitoris to grow even more nerve endings! Now that's super cool!

Some Are Lefties and Some Are Righties


If you've ever taken the time to chat about masturbation styles with your partner or friends, you've probably realized that most people masturbate with one hand, just like writing! It's often their dominant hand, but this isn't always the case.

The clitoris can also be “handed,” too! Many women find that their clits prefer stimulation either from the left or right side. It might associate with which hand they use for stimulation, but some prefer to cross over when flicking the bean, so their clitoris is actually the opposite from their dominant hand.

The Clit's Only Role Is Pleasure


Yup, you read that right: the clitoris is responsible for pleasure and nothing else. It doesn't aid reproduction or bodily function like other organs. The clitoris is just there to make sure you have a good time, which sounds pretty good to us!

Clitoral Distance Affects Orgasm Frequency


There's typically a reason why so few women consistently orgasm from vaginal intercourse: their clitoris is too far away from their vaginal openings to be stimulated from the thrusting of sex! Because so many women require clitoral stimulation to get off (not to mention the ones who simply prefer it that way), the distance between the clitoris and vagina plays a large role in whether or not a woman will climax during PIV sex without direct manual stimulation (of course, we always recommend being direct if it will equate to a better time in bed).

In fact, Princess Marie Bonaparte educated about this. She called it the rule of thumb because, as she described, if the length between the clitoris and vagina was longer than the distance from the tip of your thumb to the first knuckled (approximately 1 inch), it was unlikely that orgasm would occur during sex.

Of course, we now know how vital the clitoris is to a woman's pleasure so you can try a bullet vibrator or even a wand during sex (or masturbation). Another tool to consider is the pillow. A woman can grind against a strategically-placed pillow, and some sex pillows even have slots for your favorite toy so you can get clitoral stimulation even during positions where you're not facing your partner.

Couples can also practice positions that are specifically intended to bring pleasure to the woman. The Coital Alignment Technique is one, and Thigh Tide is another (the woman straddles her man like in Reverse Cowgirl, but he bends one knee with his foot flat on the bed beneath them, allowing her to grind against it). Another tip? When in Cowgirl, the man can split his fingers between the middle and ring finger to make a “V” (or “Spock hand”) and slide the V around the base of his penis so that his partner can grind against his penis when she's on top.

The power if the clitoris is matched only by its mystery. Although, what we do know is amazing as is. While science continues to investigate this sexual gem, we hope that you do the same with your own clitoris (or one belonging to a partner) at home. 

By: Adriana Ravenlust
Follow on Twitter @adriana_r

Friday, August 24, 2018

Shop for Sex Toys in Person


Shopping online is literally the best thing since sliced bread. There’s a greater variety of items, less people to bother you, it can be done from bed and in basically any state of dress or undress that suits your fancy in the moment. That’s before we even get to the magical creation known as a coupon code! Even with all it’s amazing benefits, there are some things that’re still better shopped for in person – chief among them: sex toys.

For a person who has made a career out of writing online sex toy reviews, that may seem like a counter-intuitive idea. That’s a fair assumption, but it’s all my sex toy review experience that makes me certain you’re better off shopping for sex toys in store versus online only. Sex toys are unique in their uses and return policies, the incredible variety of our personal preferences, and, most importantly, sex toy stores are just fun!

For all online shopping’s major benefits to most items, sex toys are an almost entirely unique category. If you’re a foodie, you’ll probably have a favorite style of knife or cooking technique. With sex toys, though, even someone without any knowledge about the category or even a very low sex drive will arrive with things they like or don’t.

Tuesday, August 21, 2018

Sex Toys Have Been Around Longer Than You Think

Anal plug with a fluffy pink tail.

Although the very first sex toys may not look the ultra-realistic dildo or the fantastic, purple rabbit vibrator that spring to mind when you think of these items, people have been crafting pleasure items for thousands of years. Join us as we take a look at the history of sex toys.

30,000 Years of Dildos


30,000 years ago, the residents of what is now Germany were crafting surprisingly-sleek dildos made out of polished siltstone. An 8-inch model of this sex toy was first unearthed in 2005, then went forgotten for several years before becoming part of a museum exhibit on sexology. This is a well-deserved place for the oldest-ever sex toy known to man.

Researchers have also found dildos made from ivory, bone, limestone and teak. The Chinese often cast dildos from metals such as bronze (and the Chinese were among the first to use cock rings – made from goat eyelashes!). A dildo made from chalk has even been discovered in modern-day England. Researchers place the age at approximately 4,500 years old!

It's not just the toys that have been uncovered, either! Depictions of dildos exist in Japanese and Greek art, to name just a couple cultures that were enamored with their dildos.

Greek men were even known to give their wives dildos, known as olisbos when they went off to war in an attempt to prevent illness due to lack of sex. The Greeks also created a softer alternative to stone dildos out of dough. Ancient Greek playwright Aristophanes described a plot by women to lure men away from war by withholding sex and using their dildos until the men established peace in a play known as Lysistrata. It seems the role of dildos in ancient Greece was varied.

Italians experimented with leather and wood for their “dilettos” during the 15th century. The designs may have been primitive, but they worked!

In the 1500s, dildos made their appearance in the United Kingdom, where citizens could enjoy the pleasure they provided.

Around 1850, inventors would begin to use rubber as the base for their dildos. It would take another 120 years for dildos made of body-safe silicone to be created. Even then, they were designed with a handle for people who had disabilities like creator G.I. Duncan had.

More recently, strap-on dildos were devised as a way for impotent men to engage in sex with their wives. In the 1960s, strap-ons weren't yet part of the LGBTQ narrative, and the inventor certainly didn't envision how roles could be reversed when women used strap-on dildos to penetrate their male partners anally.

Thursday, May 24, 2018

5 Reasons Why You Can't Cum During Sex

Young brunette with a sexy figure lies resting in bed
Everyone deserves to have an orgasm – or perhaps more than one! – during sex if that's what they want.  The way we teach and think about sex isn't always adequate for making this happen, however. There is any number of reasons you can't come during sex, however, and you should consider whether any of the following things are affecting you.

You're Anxious


A bout of nerves can work against anyone's orgasm and sexual response in general. Most people experience anxiety as a negative when it comes to sex; although, there are a few people who find it arousing.

Perhaps it's your first time (in general or with a new partner), you think your partner is way out of your league, you're struggling with body image, or you simply need a little more time to be comfortable in the situation. Your nerves are a wreck. Having an orgasm? Won't be easy. It might be difficult enough to become wet or maintain an erection.

Some of these fixes are easier than others. A glass of wine helps some people. Maybe you need to cuddle, make out or exchange massages to melt the nerves away. For issues such as body image and self-esteem, it will take more time and perhaps the help of a professional to work through.

When you recognize that anxiety is working against you, however, you've got a hell of a lot better odds at beating it!


You Skimped on the Foreplay


It's unfortunate that so many people think of sex only as bodily penetration (lesbians seem to be alone in defining more activities as having sex). Fingering, oral sex, and dry humping can all help you warm up for penetration, which can make orgasm even easier. Oral sex is especially effective when it comes to getting women off.

So don't rush to the finish line – if penetration is even part of your sexual repertoire. Take things slowly. Start with some sultry texts before you're even in the same room as your lover. By the time you get face-to-face, you'll want to rip one another's clothing off. The heightened anticipation is only a boon for orgasm!

You're Not Focusing on Clitoral Stimulation


This one's more for women who struggle to orgasm, but anyone who has sex with a woman (or transman) can benefit from reading it. Research finds that most women need clitoral stimulation to achieve orgasm. So sex without clitoral stimulation just isn't going to cut it. The same is true for ignoring the clit during masturbation.

Fortunately, the answer is simple! Rub your clitoris or invite your partner to do the same during intercourse. Grab your favorite vibrator if you prefer. Get into a position that more easily allows clit stim between your bodies (the Clitoral Alignment Technique positions your clit closer to your partner's mons pubis for more intense clitoral stimulation and Thigh Master is like Reverse Cowgirl, but your partner bends his knee, so you can grind against his thigh while you ride him), or position a pillow that you can grind against during sex.

Here's a sex trick you might not have heard of: when you're on top, have your partner place two fingers on either side of the base of his penis similar to the Spock sign. His knuckles will provide friction when you ride him!

Combining penetration with clitoral sensation is a great way to get off during sex.

You're Performing and Not Feeling


It's a wonderful thing to know that your partner is attracted to you and that the way you look, sound and feel is contributing to their pleasure and orgasm. But if you're stuck on that performance, you might not be having an orgasm. You might become self-conscious for one.

Furthermore, you might be distracted from your own pleasure. Sometimes, you need to take the helm and do whatever it is that you need to have an orgasm. Sometimes you may have to concentrate before that orgasm comes to fruition. If all your attention is on performing, you might not actually be in the moment and feeling.

It's good to think of your partner's desires, but don't forget about your own, that is, assuming you know them.

You've Never Masturbated


It's much easier to orgasm during sex if you've ever had an orgasm before. And one of the easiest ways for you to do this, especially for women, is if you've discovered how to orgasm during solo time. There's less pressure when you're on your own, and you can bring the knowledge you uncover into partner play and have more confidence that you'll be able to orgasm when you do.

Some people view masturbation as a substitution for sex, but they're different activities. You can enjoy masturbating even if you're in a relationship or regularly having sex.


You're Trying Too Hard


It might seem counter-intuitive, but trying to have an orgasm during sex might be the very reason that you cannot. This is especially true for women who have yet to have an orgasm. Sometimes the best thing you can do is to simply enjoy the sensations (and even distracted yourself a bit from the idea of orgasm) and enjoy what feels good, even if it doesn't lead to orgasm. If it does, great! If not, you still have a good time, and your sexual encounter isn't worth any less.

Discovering the reason you aren't having an orgasm is the first step to solving the problem, but don't forget to enjoy yourself even if you don't always come during sex!

By: Adriana Ravenlust
Follow on Twitter @adriana_r