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February 2014

Education, Featured

The Freebie is Ridic, But I’m Still Going to List 5 (Unlikely) Celebs I’d Bone

The Manbeast and I are heading away on a seven-week adventure across the USA at the end of the month, and given that basically #AllTheCelebrities live in America, the subject of the freebie has, of course, come up once or twice. Usually raised by me, when we’ve been sitting watching the latest rom-com or action flick on tele, and the male lead sweeps into the shot with his hair tousled and his pecks straining against his too-thin teeshirt…

What were we talking about? Oh, yes. The Freebie. Or The List, depending on how you and your significant other play the game. Popularized by that episode of Friends, The One with Frank Jr, when the gang all make lists of celebrities they’d bone, The Freebie is generally considered to be a list of celebrities or high-profile – and usually unattainable – people one can sleep with without it being considered infidelity.

The Ridiculousness of The Freebie

The whole concept of The Freebie is ridic, obviously. The chances of you bumping into one of, or the, person/s on your list are slim to none to start with, let alone the odds that person will actually reciprocate your desire to shag them. I’m not saying it won’t happen for some of you, but for the vast majority of us, we’ll have two shows (as my husband so eloquently likes to say): no show, and a shit show.

The other thing about The Freebie is that the whole concept actually dehumanizes celebrities, reducing them to objects of desire and possession. The only thing that makes banging someone on your List any different to cheating on your partner with some random on the street is their celebrity status. Which kind of indicates one of the key reasons for wanting to bang them in the first place is to get bragging rights and have a great story to tell the day after.

It’s weird, right? And kind of not very cool.

That Being Said…

For most people The Freebie is about fun and fantasy, rather than actual follow through. And while I’m sure the likes of Brad Pitt and Channing Tatum and Zac Efron get a lot of hits on Freebie/Lists across the globe, I think we should spare a thought for some of the other actors and artists and musicians who perhaps aren’t propositioned as frequently as their Alpha counterparts.

Perhaps Surprising Celebrities I’d Bone Given Half a Chance

1. Vincent D’Onofrio

Pull that judgey-face all you like, but VDO goes straight to the top of my list, no questions asked. During a time when I was particularly obsessed with Law & Order: Criminal Intent reruns, hubby actually started referring to him as my boyfriend. Vince may be getting a long in the tooth nowadays, but I’d still fangirl in the street if I saw him.

2. Seth Rogan

Yes, he may have one of the most grating laughs in cinematic history, and yes he may sometimes be a little round around the middle. But then, so I am. I’m not sure what it is about Seth Rogan I find sexy, but if you watch that scene in Take This Waltz where he’s standing in the kitchen cooking for Michelle Williams in his underwear, you might be able to figure it out and tell me.

3. David Bowie

Maybe not David Bowie 2013, but certainly David Bowie circa the time he was filming The Labyrinth and rocking those incredibly tight tights. When my BFF and I were living together, we’d come home from a night on the tiles and snuggle up on the beanbag with popcorn and watch this at 4am and giggle and make phwoar sounds. My love for him still lingers.

4/5. Nicholas Cage and Steve Buscemi

You’ve heard the saying ‘mama likes herself a little strange’? Well, I guess that’s kind of applicable here, and these guys come in equal for fourth and fifth place, offering just the right amount of odd, slightly-creepy-hot. I dig it.

Who’s on your list? Bonus points for those who think outside the square!

 

 

Photo credit © V&P Photo Studio – Fotolia.com

Your Body

Love Your Vulva

March is Vulval Health Awareness Month, so this week we’re urging all of you gorgeous readers to get a little touchy-feely with yourselves, familiarize yourself with, and appreciate, your vulva, and check it for any changes that could be a symptom of vulva health issues.

What’s a Vulva?

First, let’s get clear on what a vulva actually is with a basic anatomy lesson. Your vulva is your external genital organs, including your:

  • labia majora and minora, or a your inner and outer lips
  • mons pubis, or public mound, the fatty tissue over the pubic bone
  • clitoris
  • vestibular bulbs, which are underneath the labia majora and attached to the internal clitoris
  • vulva vestibule, or the part of the vulva between the labia minora and the urethral and vaginal openings
  • vaginal opening
  • urethral opening

Wikimedia has a small collection of anatomical images that are available to publish on blogs etc – but if you’re curious, here’s a photograph of a vulva close up, with labels so you can familiarise yourself with it!

Why You Should Love Your Vulva

The vulva acts as a double-door gateway to the inner vagina and uterus, and provides protection by the opening and closing of your lips. As well as protective functions, the vulva also functions for pleasure when stimulated. Yay vulva!

Celebrate how awesome your vulva is right now and check out our previous posts on Cliteracy and Porno Pussy, and declare that ain’t no-one gonna tell you your labia aren’t amazing. You should also check out this post on Vestibular Bulbs: How to Find and Stroke Them for Maximum Pleasure for further recommended reading. You’re welcome.

Vulva Health

Like any part of the body, the vulva is susceptible to certain health and wellness issues, which is why it’s so important to get to know your vulva, and check in to see how it’s doing on a regular basis.

Because the skin and tissues of the vulva are very delicate, the area is susceptible to irritation and inflammation, as well as more serious health problems such as infection and cancer. Common issues affecting the vulva include:

  • Dermatitis and other skin conditions
  • STIs such as genital herpes and warts
  • Thrush and bacterial vaginosis (which can affect vulval health)
  • Vulval cancer

 

How To Check Your Vulva

Ideally, you should do a self-exam of your vulva once each month. It’s simple:

  1. Check your mons pubis for any moles, spots, bumps or rashes by touch and by sight
  2. Stand, squat or sit over a mirror so you can clearly see your vulva
  3. Check your clitoris for any growths, bumps, or discoloration
  4. Check your labia majora, feeling for any lumps, and looking for any moles, rashes or growths
  5. Repeat your visual and touch check on your labia minora

Vulval cancer accounts for around three percent of all gynecological cancers, with the most common site for vulval cancer being located in the labia majora. Because the vulva has lots of blood and lymphatic vessels, vulval cancer cells can easily spread to nearby body parts such as the bladder, vagina and anus.

Be aware of symptoms such as unusual lumps or bumps, itching, burning, raw skin, discomfort, unusual discharge and bleeding, and always be sure to see your doctor if you experience any discomfort or notice any irregularities in how your vulva looks or feels.

How to Protect Your Vulva

You’re vulva is pretty amazing, so you need to take good care of it.

  • Wear cotton underwear or go undie free
  • Avoid too-tight underwear and trousers
  • Change out of wet gym gear and togs quickly
  • Avoid irritants such as harsh soaps, or ridiculous products like these
  • Use safe lubricants to avoid irritation during sex
  • Use condoms to help prevent the transmission of STIs (although be aware that condoms will still not protect you from warts and herpes)

While you’re down there, or rather once you’re finished, be sure to check our recent post Do You Have a Sexually Transmitted Infection for more information about genital health.

Photo Credit: © Forgiss – Fotolia.com

Featured, Your Body

Three Bad Habits to Kick for Better Sex

Are your bad habits negatively affecting your sex life? Good sex doesn’t just boil down to technique, a good partner, confidence and a dash of the sexy background music of your choice. The sex we have can be impacted, for better or worse, by how we feel, what we’re putting into our bodies, and a whole host of other more insidious factors. The good thing is, great sex is yours for the taking – and you can start by kicking these three habits to the curb.

Smoking

It’s 2013, which means we’ve long known the significant negative effects smoking can have on our health. Regardless, many men and women still partake – but perhaps we’d all stub out the ciggies for good if we knew smoking could wreck havoc with our sex lives.

A bunch of studies have linked smoking with make impotence, but there’s little research on the effects of smoking on women’s sexual health. Since men and women are basically built the same, apart from a few obvious differences, many experts suggest it stands to reason that the same negative impact on male sexual health can affect women as well.

Nicotine is a vasoconstrictor, meaning it tightens blood vessels, restricts blood flow, and has been shown to cause permanent damage to arteries. This is the key reason smoking impacts the ability of a man to get hard.

For women, the labia, clitoris and vagina all swell during sexual arousal to enhance sensation and pleasure. It’s pretty reasonable to assume that, since nicotine can restrict blood flow and cause erectile dysfunction in men, it’s likely that blood flow is restricted in women as well, which may have a negative effect on sensation during sexy time.

Overindulgence in Alcohol

Before you roll your eyes and skip to the next post, hear me out. I’m not suggesting we all need to refrain from alcohol altogether, but the negative impact of overindulgence in terms of sexual performance and enjoyment is scientifically proven. Like, it’s a science fact, girls.

Alcohol reduces sexual sensitivity in both women and men, and can increase the likelihood of being disappointed when you’re trying to get freaky after a few. It’s pretty common knowledge that alcohol can cause erection difficulties in men (those boners are fickle things) but did you know that excessive alcohol consumption in women can lead to reduced lubrication, difficulties reaching orgasm, or even less intense orgasms?

Alcohol dehydrates the body, which impacts sexual performance, but is also a central nervous system depressant, which means it can inhibit respiration, circulation and the sensitivity of nerve endings – all of which are important for sexual arousal and orgasm.

Being a Stress Head

Stress is an emotional state, but it can also be a bad habit many of us fall into a cycle of perpetuating. Stress itself sucks, but the fact that it has been proven to negatively affect our sex lives sucks even more.

Stress takes a toll on your physical, emotional and mental health, so it’s really only common sense that being a stress head is going to ruin all the fun you should be having in the sack. Stress can sap our energy levels, and no one wants to get frisky when they’re feeling sluggish. Cortisol is one of the hormones produced when we’re stressed, which can suppress sex hormones and negatively impact our libidos if elevated levels of this chemical are produced for a prolonger period of time.

Worse still, the hormones produced when we’re stressed can impact our metabolism, which can lead to weight gain, which can lead to negative body image, which can also lead to less satisfying sex. Boo hiss.

Want better sex? Ditch the fags, drink in moderation, and quit stressing. The good news? Sex is a natural stress reliever, so the more sex and orgasms you have, the less stressed you’ll feel. Go figure. Well done, Mother Nature.

 

Photo credit © Joshua Resnick – Fotolia.com

Body Positive Activism

There’s No Expiration Date on Sexy

Though the statement there’s no expiration date on sexy should go without saying (because duh), it’s one that does continue to raise eyebrows out in Medialand, given that it subverts dominant ideals about sex and beauty being intrinsically linked with youth.

Let’s Subvert ‘Sexy’ Stereotypes

Our culture has been telling us “youth equals beauty” since ages ago, and has played out the stereotype that women, in particular, lose their sex appeal (or their sexuality altogether) once they get to a ‘certain’ age.

The ideology doesn’t match reality, and as any woman who has been around the block a few times will tell you, sex doesn’t stop at 50/60/70/80/whatever. So-called experts are suddenly in agreement, declaring that people over 50 have the best sex lives and uncovering the amazing truth that, shock/horror, women over 50 enjoy as much sex as those in their 20s.

C’mon media, give us a break already.

Sexual desire ebbs and flows throughout our entire lives, based on numerous factors, like whether we’re stressed out, how we’re feeling about our bodies, the place we’re in emotionally, how we’re feeling about our partner/s, etcetera, and has little to do with how many candles were burning on our last birthday cake.

The Truth About Age and Sex

Sexy is ageless. And, hallelujah, an increasing number of brands are starting to recognize this fact, using gorgeous over-60 models in a number of high-profile, and subsequently much-celebrated, advertising campaigns.

  • At 82, and known as the world’s oldest working model, Carmen Dell’Orefice landed the cover of YOU magazine looking fierce and fabulous.
  • At 66, Sarah Wiley’s career is just taking off, having just starred in one of Stella magazine’s beauty shoots.
  • And most famously, American Apparel recently featured 62-year-old lingerie model Jacky O’Shaughnessy in a campaign, which they posted via Instagram.

Yes, the cynic in me wants to roll my eyes and acknowledge that perhaps this is just a well-considered publicity stunt. But the idealist in me wants to high-five the people behind these campaigns, no matter what their motives, for waking the world up to the fact that women can be – and bloody well are – beautiful and desirable and, yes, desirous at any age.

Body Positive Activism, Featured

Think Sexism Doesn’t Exist?

There’s a line in one of my favorite Lily Allen songs, Hard Out Here, that pretty accurately sums up the state of gender equality and sexism in 2014.

We’ve never had it so good, uh-huh, we’re out of the woods
And if you can’t detect the sarcasm, you’ve misunderstood.

Essentially, my girl Lily is saying, sure, we’ve come a long way from the days when women weren’t allowed to vote, but when you consider the rampant objectification of women that continues to exist in the music industry alone, it’s obvious that sexism is still alive and kicking.

Not convinced? Here are three of the most memorable examples of very obvious sexism I’ve encountered – from men and women.

That time with my teacher

One time, when I was around 11 or 12, my female teacher scolded me for being loud and unladylike. The class was at an outing and it was very exciting, and I must have gotten overly boisterous because I remember very distinctly my teacher saying to me;

“People don’t like big, brash girls.”

Uh, what? I think I immediately shut up, embarrassed, and did my best to play it small for the rest of the day. Literally and figuratively. And those words, spoken off-the-cuff, stuck with me for the next couple of decades.

The thing is, I really admired and respected this teacher. She was fantastic, aside from this comment that kept me scratching my head for years to come. I know she wouldn’t have hesitated to tell boys in the class to quiet down… but I doubt she would have told them in a way that reinforced stereotypical gender roles.

That time with my ex

I’m not sure why this is such an issue of contention, but there seems to be a lot of opinion about the C-word… particularly relating to whether it’s a swear ladies should let pass their perfectly pouty pink lips.

“Um… girls shouldn’t say cunt.”

This was the reply I got from a high-school-ex-turned-Facebook-friend recently when we were catching up online, and I dropped the C-bomb. This from a man who is a confirmed regular user of the word himself.  “Seriously?” I’d replied. “Sexist much?” I was indigent. After all, I actually have a cunt – so shouldn’t that mean I have far more right to use that word than he does?

Some people have a problem with C-U-Next-Tuesday being used in conversation, and that’s fine. I can understand why some find it offensive, given the derogatory way it has been used historically. But I can also see the point of view of some women who see using it as taking it back and taking ownership of it, so it can no longer be used against them.

That time with my boss

There was a time early in my career that the shit really hit the fan at work, and a very strange them against us environment seemed to pit a group of employees against management. It was awful. There was mediation. The guy who started all the fuss got kicked out on his ass, but the strange tension still remained.

The small team of us targeted included four women and one man. And despite how traumatic the experience was looking back on it, the one thing that still really sticks out in my mind was a comment made by one male senior staff member to the male employee in our team, who promptly relayed it to the rest of us.

“They’re just a bunch of gossiping, trouble-making girls.”

I very much doubt the word gossiping would have been used had we all been male. I’m not even sure the term ‘trouble-maker’ would have been used. If we had been a group of men, we would likely have been labeled ‘disgruntled’. And our issues with management, which were experienced by all of the staff who replaced us as we eventually left, may, arguably, have been taken more seriously.

Instead, we were seen as petty. We were viewed as ‘girls’ rather than grown-ass women integral to the team, and the questions we raised were brushed aside.

Here’s What I Think

Sure, we’ve come a long way. There’s no doubt about it when we consider the progress we’ve made over the past few decades. But I do believe ingrained gender stereotypes – about women and men – are still prevalent, and often dominant the ways we think about and treat other people. Sexism today may be more insidious than obvious, but that doesn’t mean society is giving all of us an even playing field. For now, anyway.

What are your thoughts? Does sexism still exist in 2014? 

Education, Featured

Let’s Talk About Sex Ladies

So often when chatting with other women we can get drawn into talking about our work, our children or how we look. While it is pleasant to talk about the outer elements of our lives most of us need the intimacy that comes from discussing our inner worlds as well. So how can we get out of the shallows and get down and dirty with emotional intimacy? Talk about sex off course!

One of my dearest friendships started out with my friend asking me sex questions minutes after we had met. After I recovered from my shock at myself giving such intimate details to an almost complete stranger, we quickly became good friends. If we hadn’t first talked about how our vulva’s looked and what type of porn we liked would we have been able to share our deepest fears about catastrophic climate change and struggles with depression?

Sexuality is such an important part of our being but as a society we pretend to ignore it most of the time, unless someone is trying to sell something to us. It can bring a feeling of wholeness to share your entire self to a friend. Because secrecy and shame surrounds the topic of sex it can be challenging but also a huge relief to be vulnerable and to let out some of our darkest secrets. I have always been pleasantly surprised to find my darkest secrets are often shared and not really all that dark. Or at the very least will give my friends a giggle.

The tendency to slip into a competitive discussion is such a huge barrier to intimacy between friends. The beauty of talking about sex is, that it is a mostly non-competitive discussion. It costs very little money, anyone can do it, there is no one right way to do it and it is generally good fun. When we stop competing we can deepen our trust in each other and really have the conversations that matter.

Do you feel it’s not true friendship until you have shared information on your sex lives? How do you develop trust and intimacy in your friendships?

 

Image credit: © Anton Gvozdikov – Fotolia.com

Featured, Menstrual Cups, Product Reviews

LadyCup: Reusable Menstrual Cup

OK, I suppose I should preface this article with a disclaimer (or confession…) that I’ve never owned or used a menstrual cup before. So this was my first ‘go’ as it were. That’s right – menstrual cup virgin. I’ve heard all about them, read up on them, had their merits expounded upon by my eco-friendly, chemically conscious, yoni-loving and menstrual celebrating friends, but never quite taken the plunge. So the time was ripe, menstrual cups and I were officially about to get hitched.

So first things first, got to go and buy myself one of those little suckers. So off to the chemists I go and after a fruitless wander around the aisles thought I’d better ask for some help. My request to the woman at the counter was greeted with bemusement, bordering on disgust and repulsion. “A what? A menstrual cup? She looked decidedly uncomfortable. I might as well have asked her for a silver chalice that I was going to collect my sacred drops in and drink in some bizarre, black magic ritual. Fearing that I was about to be ousted by an angry mob of villagers I made a hasty retreat.  The health food store was also without said sanitary ware, so I returned home empty handed. Best go on the tinternet then and find some there I thought merrily to myself, trying desperately to feel I wasn’t being too out there. It’s not kinky? Is it? Pfftt…now why would I worry about my internet searches? So I threw caution to the wind and let fly.

“A what? A menstrual cup? She looked decidedly uncomfortable. I might as well have asked her for a silver chalice that I was going to collect my sacred drops in and drink in some bizarre, black magic ritual

Jesus, mother of God!!? You want how much?? I wasn’t planning on spending between $55 and $65, so off to Ebay I go ( I know, I know, needs to be the real deal, how do you know it’s going to be sanitary? Is it TGA or FDA approved?…). So anyways I find myself the most gorgeous cup. The LadyCup (made in the EU under Swiss management. And anything that’s Swiss must be kosher hey?) Yep, also totally swayed by the adorable drawstring bag with cherries on and the ‘Limited Edition’ ‘Wild Cherry’ red of the cup itself. Me, shallow? Nahhhh. That’s the totally cool thing about these thingy-ma-jigs, menstrual cups come in an astonishing array of capacities, colours, materials, pliability, shapes, textures and sizes.

Ok…the size thing.  I’d noticed that some menstrual cup brands refer to cups being suitable for light flow or medium/heavy flow. However, the LadyCup is either S(mall) or L(arge), with the S(mall) being “suitable for a women who has not given birth to a child” (since I checked we don’t give birth to too much else, other than placentas, but hey ho) or “women up to the age of 25”. So what’s with that? Yes, I’m a woman who is most definitely over 25 years old, yes I’ve given birth vaginally (to a child last time I checked), but do I really want the L(arge) size?? Shudder…fuck I realised, I have come to that stage in my life where I’m to be measured by the girth of my loins…the ‘Does she have a fanny like a bucket?’ stage.  Or maybe I’m reading too much into that very large L…Not withstanding it was all a little too much to bear.

So I girded my loins and praised sweet Jesus that I hadn’t had to go to some store and have the store assistant bellow across the counter at me and to her boss in the adjacent aisle, “Do we have a menstrual cup for this lady here? What size was it dear? Oh yes, that’s right, the mahoosive, you’ll-never-touch-the-sides, its-like-throwing-a-sausage-down-an-alleyway-mate vagina size, the L(arge). Gulp. I clicked on and ordered the L(arge). So maybe a word to the manufacturers/marketers/whoever of LadyCup on the sizing – never, I repeat , never refer to anything that’s going up a va-jayjay as ‘Large’ (unless it’s an impressive dildo). LadyCup have a little rethink about your sizing categories. And no, before you do it, don’t relabel the L(arge) as ‘mature’ or something of that ilk. Right? Right.

So casting aside my little sensitivities, let’s get on with this review huh? The LadyCup comes in two sizes, in an array of colours (transparent, lavender, wild cherry, summer plum, sweet strawberry, turquoise, green, yellow, blue, pink, orange and lilac) and is made of medical silicone. This material is smooth and hygienic and I didn’t notice any harsh chemical smells or residues either, which I thought there might be with it being such a bright colour.

After washing my dirty mitts I sterilised the new cup by boiling it a while, which is kind of weird watching a pan of water with a menstrual cup bobbing away in there. But hygiene’s important right.

It’s super squishy too, so I could easily fold it into a kind of tampon shape for easy insertion and it popped into place beautifully around my cervix. Probably a little too easily for my liking, I was kind of expecting a re-run of my first tampon experience as an adolescent (shudders just a little bit). But I suppose with many menstrual flows under your belt you are going to be a little more adept at putting these things in huh? It went in even smoother when I did as suggested and wet it a little, but I don’t feel you’d necessarily need to go the whole hog and get the lube they also sell.

I found that YouTubing ‘How to Insert a Menstrual Cup’ was helpful too. This is the one I looked at:

I was pleasantly surprised how comfortable it was, I though t it might feel heavy or suction-y, but I actually couldn’t notice it all. Then it came to that part I was a little nervous about, getting the thing out. It states in the literature that you can safely leave the cup in for 12 hours of protection, but being a vigilant three hourly tampon changer, this just didn’t sit too comfy with me. This was where the instructions on the box hadn’t been too helpful (and could possibly do with a little editing LadyCup). It read “When removing LadyCup for the first time, it is and after the pressure is relieved, pull important to remain calm and maintain the inner relaxation of your body”. I guessed the general jist was to chill out and break the suction. So I did that and, hey presto, out it come. I did the first ‘getting it out’ in the shower, as I worried that I would send showers of menses all up the wall like some horrifying horror flick. But I didn’t and it was OK!! Hooray.  Loved seeing that little pool of ecologically collected menses and was pleasantly surprised that there was no offensive smell. Just smelt kind of like breast milk (which is weird, but cool at the same time).

I worried that I would send showers of menses all up the wall like some horrifying horror flick. But I didn’t and it was OK!! Hooray.

Were there any drawbacks in my LadyCup menstrual adventure? Only the one. There were a few leaks on the first couple of days when flow was a little heavier, but I’m going to give the LadyCup another go, give her the benefit of the doubt as it was my first trial run too. She’s now snugly in her little cherry print bed, happily boiled in her sterilised best, waiting for our next sorjourn.  And yes, I am referring to her with a pronoun, we are intimate after all.

Featured, Fertility, Pregnancy & Birth, Safer Sex

Happy Condom Awareness Month

February is National Condom Month in the USA. The awareness initiative originally started on campus at the University of California, but has grown into a national month-long event, focusing on educating teens, young adults – and even mature adults – about the risks associated with unprotected sex, and the benefits of using condoms.

When used correctly, condoms are considered 98% effective at preventing pregnancy, and are the only contraceptive method that provides STI protection. They’re also inexpensive, easy to access, and highly effective, so we wanted to dedicate this post to everyone’s best foil-packaged little friend.

rubber, johnny, jimmy hat, scumbag, raincoat, French letter, ferret sock, spunk sack, gent tent, gym sock, batter catcher, cock cloak, ham sock, rubber ghost, hoodie

Condom Facts

Condoms have been around for thousands of years. In fact, the earliest known depiction of a man using a condom is a 12-thousand year old cave wall painting in France.

Condoms have come a long way. In the early 1800s they were made from vulcanized rubber, were designed to be washed a reused, and had to be fitted by a doctor. Today they come in a range of brands, sizes, textures and colors.

Latex condoms form an impermeable barrier to sperm and STI pathogens.

Condoms provide different levels of risk reduction for different STIs, but condoms are the most effective means of preventing STIs spread through bodily fluids, such as chlamydia, gonorrhea and HIV.

Condoms can reduce the risk of contracting STIs spread via skin-to-skin contact, such as herpes, but only if the sores are covered by the condom.

Condom use has been shown to reduce the risk of HPV (human papillomavirus) related health issues such as genital warts, cervical dysplasia and cervical cancer.

In 2003, the Guilin Latex Company made the world’s largest condom – 260 feet tall and 330 feet around.

Condom Dos

  • Keep your condoms in a cool, dry place to prevent them from deteriorating
  • Check the expiration date on your condoms before you use them. Expired condoms can become dry, which can cause them to split or break more easily.
  • Open your condom packets carefully, and never use your teeth to rip open the foil, as this can tear the condom.
  • Use water-based lubricants with condoms, since oil-based lubes can cause latex condoms to break.

Want to read about female condoms? Check out The Female Condom: A Review for info and tips on use.

Education, Featured, Relationships, Safer Sex, Sex Ed

The Forbidden Fruit: The Allure Of Unhealthy Sex

Why is the potent mix of pleasure and pain that can be found in illicit sex so hot? The break up sex. Sex with the train wreck, brilliant, broody, artist types. The addictive sex with the person you are in love with but who won’t commit to you. Or the full-blown affair with the married man.

Mother Nature is a bit of a trickster when it comes to sexual desire, love and relationships. She uses desire to drive us to make babies, preferably with a diversity of partners for maximum genetic diversity, but at the same time wants strongly bonded couples to both contribute to the task of raising a child. She wants to have her cake and eat it too. Desire is rooted in novelty, mystery, danger and spontaneity. While love needs dependability, openness, and responsibility to grow and build a strong relationship.

That your nurturing and sex appeal will banish his demons and turn him into the kind of man you would want to introduce to your parents. Because you were there during the hard times your bond will be unbreakable, forged in the fires of adversity.

Perhaps you’re not looking for a relationship, why not go ahead and enjoy the illicit sex? Well here’s the bit where Mother Nature has the last laugh; sharing orgasms with someone gives our brain a strong oxytocin rush. Oxytocin is the bonding hormone, leading to icky lovey dovey feelings for our sex partners, even for those completely unsuited to a loving stable relationship.

Maybe you know the warning signs and you can fish your heart out of a situation and put your panties back on before you’re in too deep. But many of us fall into the, ‘Rescuer Fantasy’. We have been sold the idea by society that women need to ‘tame’ a man. It’s almost a point of pride, who hasn’t heard the clichéd line of; ‘Oh he used to party and date half the town, but when he met me that all turned around’. It is far too easy to succumb to the seductive idea that you may be the most amazing women he has ever met.

That your nurturing and sex appeal will banish his demons and turn him into the kind of man you would want to introduce to your parents. Because you were there during the hard times your bond will be unbreakable, forged in the fires of adversity. Of course the reality is you are probably only bonding yourself and that any changes in him are superficial because they have not come from within him.

So sooner or later you will get hurt, but by now your ‘rescuee’ is on to a good thing and you are likely to receive the, ‘I will never agains’. These big declarations are far too easy to believe because of your oxytocin addiction. A wave of forgiveness, hope and love may come over you with the last of the anger dissipating with the hot make-up-sex orgasms. But since the impulse for change is external not internal the cycle is likely to start all over again.

Its time women saved our nurturing, forgiveness and heartache for our babies (metaphorical or actual). And stop wasting it on full grown adults who should be responsible for themselves. By understanding how desire works we can have hot sex using the desire drivers of novelty, surprise, distance and manageable risk (think rollercoaster rides rather than unprotected sex) with people that respect our boundaries and emotional needs.

I am breaking up with the hurts-so-good sex and saying hello to clear boundaries, hello honesty, and hello oh-so-good sex. Imagine a world full of women who were doing the same, think of all the things we would be achieving with that extra energy, happiness and pleasure.

 

Photo credit: © mallivan – Fotolia.com

Education

5 Erotic Museums to Add to Your Travel Itinerary

Planning a vacation abroad? Skip one of the usual tourist traps or outlet malls in favor of some stimulating education at one of the increasingly popular museums of sex and erotica found around the globe.

Here are five of the most popular, open 7 days for the pleasure of the adventurous, the curious, and the kinky.

Museum of Sex

233 Fifth Avenue, New York City

The Museum of Sex has been a Manhattan institution since its grand opening in 2002, with a vision to advocate “open discourse surrounding sex and sexuality as well as striving to present to the public the best in current scholarship unhindered by self-censorship”.

Featuring a permanent collection of more than 15,000 artifacts, including works of art, photography, clothing and costumes, technological inventions and historical items, as well as research and multimedia libraries, the museum is home to one of the world’s leading collections of sexually-related objects.

The Mission of the Museum of Sex is to preserve and present the history, evolution and cultural significance of human sexuality.

The museum is open 7 days, excluding Thanksgiving and Christmas. Admission for adults 18+ is $17.50 + tax.

Sex Machines Museum

Melantrichova 18, Prague

Spread over three floors, and home to more than 200 objects of desire, Sex Machines Museum in Prague offers visitors an exploratory experience, viewing an array of mechanical erotic appliances, art, cinema and clothing.

Offering a permanent collection, sex machines gallery, store and erotic cinema, the museum is open daily and the cost of admission is Czk 250 for adults 18+.

Sexmuseum Amsterdam

Damrak 18, Amsterdam

Sexmuseum Amsterdam is the world’s original sex museum (of course!), offering an extensive collection of erotic paintings and photographs, objects, and attractions.

Having opened its doors in 1985 with a small collection of 19th century erotic objects, the museum’s collection has grown steadily, and is now viewed by an estimated 500,000 visitors every year.

Sexmuseum Amsterdam is open daily. The price of admission is 4 for people aged 16+.

Museum of Eroticism

72 Boulevard de Clichy, Paris

Paris’ Museum of Eroticism was founded in 1997, and is now home to seven floors of erotic art and artifacts, ranging from ancient religious art to contemporary art with erotic themes. An entire floor is devoted to the legal brothels of the 19th and 20th centuries, while other floors feature a range of permanent and temporary exhibitions.

The Museum of Eroticism is open daily, and admission is 8€ when purchased in advance online.

Erotic Heritage Museum

3275 Industrial Road, Las Vegas

Famously founded in 2008 by a preacher and a pornographer in an effort to preserve erotic artifacts, fine art and film, the Erotic Heritage Museum in Las Vegas is home to more than 17,000 square feet of permanent and featured exhibits designed to preserve wonders of the erotic imagination.

The Erotic Heritage Museum is open 7 days, and price of admission is $15 for adults aged 18+.

Do you have an erotic museum or gallery to recommend? Share it below in the comments!