Monthly Archives:

March 2014

Education, Relationships, Your Body

How To Treat Your Woman Like A Goddess And Rekindle The Spark

You still find your partner hot, you still love him and you’re able to have good sex but you miss the great sex you had at the start of the relationship. If you are finding your sex drive going south don’t despair there are some straightforward things your man can do to get you interested again. So I’ve written the top four out-of-the-bedroom moves that will get you into the bedroom. Print it out and stick it in the toilet for him.

Men I know we can be a bit mystifying. You attempt the same moves that worked at the beginning of the relationship and the only reaction you get is complaints of headaches. Don’t worry she isn’t getting a brain tumor you just need to do a little foundation work on her subconscious. At the beginning of a relationship the novelty and excitement does most of seduction for you. Also as time goes on responsibilities can accumulate. House, children and jobs consume our energy and time, it can be hard to find some reserves to fuel her engine. But it doesn’t have to be difficult or time consuming to re-ignite the spark, here are some of the best ways to kick start her sex drive.

Do the dishes

Women are often putting their own self-care at the bottom of a long list of other priorities. Women need to feel good about their body and their achievements. To do this she needs time for herself to maintain her self-worth. Trying to engage in sexual contact when her own sense of self has disappeared can feel like a further demand on her rather than a chance for pleasure. Sometimes she will need you, the man in her life to help her find the time to achieve her self-care needs. You may be able to go ‘Right I am feeling too pressured I need to go to soccer practice today to let out some steam’ and have no hesitation in dropping all other priorities. A woman will often feel obliged to meet others needs first to be able to do the same. Its times like these that you need to step up and say, ‘Go do something for you, I can take care of it’.

 More hugs. Less showers.

She needs time to smell you especially when you’re happy, relaxed and aroused. The more time she spends in your arms close to your neck and arm pits the more relaxed, horny and fertile she will be. The pheromones in your sweat will help regulate her cycle and can make her more fertile. She can smell when you’re aroused and attracted to her on an unconscious level and the more she breathes that in the less stressed and the more responsive she will be to you.

Tell her she is beautiful.

You probably used to do this a lot. You think she knows that you think she’s hot and you don’t need to keep saying it. After all that is why you keep asking her to have sex with you right? Wrong, she physically needs you to say it. She needs you to be looking deep in her eyes and to know that she is the most beautiful women in the world to you. Sex is risky business for women do it with the wrong guy at the wrong time and she is stuck with raising a child by herself with resulting economic and emotional hardship. On an instinctual, biological level she needs to feel that you are more attracted to her than anyone else and you aren’t about to run off with the next women you see. Logically knowing that you find her hot doesn’t cut it with the subconscious, you need to let her know regularly.

Be Mysterious

One of the best ways to give her a thrill is to sweep her of her feet with a mystery date or even better holiday. Organise the childcare, the transport and the activities to boot her out of nurturing mode and into her sex goddess mode. Keep the details a secret, perhaps a little blindfold action to increase the anticipation and only let her know what she needs to wear.

Bright Desires

Photo credit:  curaphotography

Education, Featured

Sex Camp (Part 2): Stripped To The Bone

 Recognizing The Need To Heal

Now in my first article about sex camp I realize that I might have sold you the ‘fluffy version’ of this delightful little camp. But what I should also let you know is that in any exploration there are going to be some obstacles and personal hurdles to tackle. That’s right – just like a beautiful vulva which is so soft and inviting, everyone knows that these suckers often come with teeth.

Just as no relationship is all beauty and light, during any examination of self and sexuality we may need to prod our soft underbellies and reveal some very messy wounds. Kinda like psychic bedsores – now ain’t that sexy? And these sores are never going to heal until we clean them out, give them a good old dose of stinging, cleansing iodine and let the slow re-knitting of bones and skin progress or even begin. So now that I’ve sprinkled that tasty little simile in like so much fairy dust, let the saga continue…

Healing Those Old Wounds

Personal events had occurred – I’ll not go into too much boring details – but a friend was behaving…well, I’ll go all 1930’s on ya to describe it perfectly…an irrepressible cad.

Obviously I’d placed them on far too high of a pedestal and they were simply not living up to my stratospheric expectations of the sort of fabulous human being  I like to think that I fill my life with, but hey ho.  And as a result, rather than metaphorically flicking my hair and stomping off to enjoy adventures anew,  I began to run through all the old scripts in my head and heart  that we all may have – I’m not enough, I’m unlovable, I’m second best, what’s wrong with me? …blah, blah, blardy blah. I wept big, fat, childish tears and raged.

But then I did do something brave. I smiled – validated my beautiful, hurt inner child and gave her a big smackeroo of a kiss and a lollipop – straightened myself out, reminded myself that I’m beautiful, sassy and sexy and dove head first into the workshops. Time, my dear, to do some processing.

Tigress Tamed

Yes, of course I still carried the pain – my throat was constricted like a tightly strung bow from so many unspoken words, my heart and stomach felt physical pain – but I just needed to take a very deep breath, let out that juddering sigh and get to the root of these triggers and scripts. I needed to reconnect to my sacred feminine essence and release long-held tension.

To feel once more like I was a sexy Goddess of Love. So off I went to ‘Prioritize my Pleasure’ with some Tigress Yoga™ (just for the ladies…grrrrrrr). The gentle, restorative movements and visualizations brought calm and balance once more to my soul. And by the end of that session with the Goddess Kali Foster I was literally purring from head to luxuriant toe.  Meowww.

Just as no relationship is all beauty and light, during any examination of self and sexuality we may need to prod our soft underbellies and reveal some very messy wounds. Kinda like psychic bedsores – now ain’t that sexy?

 Stir The Pot And Transform

Then to stir that pot a little more I followed the yoga session with a Mini AUM Meditation facilitated by Philip Wright and Taranga. In the AUM meditation you learn more about your emotions, release stress and tension and reclaim the joy of being alive. In a safe environment you are guided through a spectrum of human emotional experiences and responses (anger, forgiveness, love, stamina, life energy, chaos, dance, sadness, laughter, sensuality, chanting, silence, respect and sharing).  These are all explored using vocal expression, movement, role play and interaction with others.

It’s exhilarating, exhausting, raw and unfolding.  I felt myself being stripped to my primordial bone and becoming fully conscious of my scripts, their meaning and origins and the reactions that they bring into my life.  I realised that the friend had their story – and I have mine. Deeply and intuitively I came to acknowledge that I can only be in control of my own responses to the actions of others, not change or shift anything in them or their behaviours. The processing and rewriting of my old scripts had begun. My child-Goddess emerged…from beneath the wounds. Yes, a little shaken and very new, but here and ready to grow. Now time to move on.

Photo Credit:

Body Positive Activism, Education

Highlighting the Facts this Sexual Assault Awareness Month

April is Sexual Assault Awareness Month, and the SAAM campaign is all about raising awareness about sexual violence, and promoting tool and ideas to encourage healthy sexuality.

Violence against women, particularly intimate partner violence and sexual violence against women, continue to be major public health issues, and the World Health Organization (WHO) reported as recently as October 2013 that 34 percent of women worldwide have experienced either intimate partner violence or non-partner sexual violence in their lifetime.

That number, of course, only takes into account assaults that are actually reported. RAINN estimates that out of every 100 rapes (in the USA alone), only 40 will be reported to police. A 2007 report (Without Consent) estimates that as many as 75 and 95 percent of sexual assaults are never reported.

Sadly, sexual assault is vastly under-reported worldwide. And continuing social attitudes and stigma towards sexual assault, and even legislation, make the reporting of rape and sexual assault extremely difficult for victims.

Global Barriers

In some jurisdictions, anything other than male-female sexual assault is not counted in statistics (yes, women can assault men, men can assault men, and women can assault women)

The attitudes of police in some countries often discourages victims from reporting rape and sexual assault. A study in Turkey found that 66% of police officers interviewed agreed that the physical appearance and behaviors of women tempt men to rape.

In many countries, rape is rarely reported due to the extreme social stigma cast on victims, the fear of being disowned by their families, and even the very real threat of honor killings.

In countries where premarital sex and/or adultery are illegal, victims of sexual assault can themselves face prosecution.

Marital sexual assault and rape are not considered illegal in some countries.

Local Issues

This year in Australia, as at March 30th 2015, 25 women have lost their lives to intimate partner violence, or domestic violence.

Sexual assault, sexual violence and rape are not just acts perpetrated overseas. According to Centres Against Sexual Assault, 1 in 5 women and 1 in 20 men have experienced sexual violence since the age of 15, and 1 in 3 girls and 1 in 6 boys are sexually assaulted before the age of 16.

The Australian Centre for the Study of Sexual Assault estimates that only 1 in 6 Australian women who are attacked report it to authorities. In a 2013 interview with The Age, Head of the Centre Against Sexual Assault’s south-eastern branch, Carolyn Worth, said:

“Some people don’t report because they don’t think they’ll be taken seriously… Others are embarrassed or blame themselves.”

Nationwide research has pointed to a key number of reasons women don’t report sexual assault to police in Australia, including:

  • Lack of faith in police and the justice system
  • Fear they won’t be believed
  • Fear of coping with medical and legal procedures
  • Fear of reprisals
  • They don’t want friends and family to know
  • Humiliation and shame
  • Prevalent social attitudes that blame the victim for sexual assault

Encouraging Change

One of the keys to addressing and ending sexual assault is to acknowledge its existence. To raise awareness of the fact that it continues to affect people worldwide – including our very own communities. It can be tempting with any social issue to consider it to be other to ourselves, and removed from our own contexts, but this simply isn’t the case. Sexual assault, sexual violence, rape and intimate partner violence can occur within any community, and its perpetrators don’t discriminate against ethnicity, age, or socioeconomic standing.

Creating open discussions, raising awareness and focusing on education are the only ways that we can stop the cycle. This week, and for the month of April, we’ll be posting a range of articles and resources dealing with sexual assault and violence.

For more information on help and support within Australia, please see our recent post Sexual Assault Resources Australia.

If you are in immediate danger of sexual assault or feel threatened or unsafe, please call emergency services on 000.

Sex Ed

Role-Play Cheat Sheet

Curious about introducing a little role-play to spice up your sex life? No, I’m not talking the kind of online role-play that involves wizards and dragons and dungeons and warcraft… unless that’s your thing #NotJudging. What I’m talking about is playing out a little fantasy with your lover. Doing something out of the ordinary to get out of that sexual rut. Taking on a whole other identity to break free of the shackles of the self and commit unspeakably saucy acts…

Why Role Play Can Rock

It certainly isn’t for everyone, but many people find role-play to be an exciting and enjoyable part of their sexual experiences. A recent online survey found that role-play can:

  • Help lovers shed their inhibitions
  • Help individuals uncover undiscovered desires and fantasies
  • Relieve sexual boredom and reinvigorate sexual encounters for long-term partners
  • Increase intimacy, trust and communication, as lovers share their fantasies

Who Do You Want To Be Tonight?

Sure, you can be the naughty nurse and the patient or doctor, the cop and the criminal, the teacher and the student or the French maid and the butler… but do those roles really speak to you?

The key to good role-play is to choose something that really spins your wheels. Something you’ve found yourself fantasizing about when you’ve let your mind wander. Or something your partner has suggested that intrigues you, and that you’d feel comfortable exploring.

While one of the common role-play scenarios might appeal to you, particularly for a first adventure, don’t be afraid to think outside of the box.

Saucy and Subversive Role-Play Ideas

Many role-play scenarios about are power and control, but if that’s not your thing you can play by your own rules. You can be the one in control, or you can choose to submit. Or you can choose a scenario where both players are on an even footing. The key is to be comfortable enough to discuss your idea with your lover, and to respect their ideas and boundaries, and choose a play theme you’re both excited about.

You could be Giggles the Clown and The Circus Master. Possibly not one for those of you with a fear of clowns, but if that big red nose and oversized shoes do it for you, why not?

You could be Dr Frankenstein and The Monster. Like the freakishly-strong silent type? Take playing Doctor to a new level of kink with a white coat and some face paint.

You could be The Artist and The Muse. Grab a canvas and some paints, or use your naked bodies as your canvas. Maybe invest in a drop sheet – things will get messy.

You could be The Witch and The Wizard. If a certain magical-themed book series captivated your imagination, why not cast a spell on your lover?

You’re limited only by your imagination. Have a scintillating role-play scenario idea? Share it with us via the comments!

Body Positive Activism

Amy Poehler is My Feminist Spirit Animal

Amy Poehler does womanhood and feminism like a boss, okay? If I saw her on the street, I’d likely her hug for an uncomfortably long time while stroking her golden hair and professing my deep admiration for her (Amy, if you’re reading this, you’ve been warned).

She has often shared her thoughts on feminism and sexual equality and what it means to be a woman and how we should be raising our girls (basically #AllTheImportantThings), and the internet has been floored by her insight. Repeatedly. Because she’s eloquent as fuck. But also, she’s charming and funny and disarming – and she’s not afraid to call bullshit on other female celebrities’ renouncements of feminism.

Not only that, but she went and co-founded Smart Girls at the Party – an online resource combining blogs and vlogs aimed at girls and young women.

I could try and paraphrase and reflect on Amy’s teachings through my own context, but it really wouldn’t measure up. Plus, I want you to experience the wonder of her words, completely unadulterated, for yourself. I’ve skulked about the web to bring you some of my favourites. I hope you love them – and share them! – as much as I have.

On honesty…

Girls, if a boy says something that isn’t funny, you don’t have to laugh.

Via Jezebel.

On celebrities distancing themselves from the term ‘feminist’…

But then they go on to explain what they support and live by—it’s feminism exactly. I think some big actors and musicians feel like they have to speak to their audience and that word is confusing to their audience. But I don’t get it. That’s like someone being like, “I don’t really believe in cars, but I drive one every day and I love that it gets me places and makes life so much easier and faster and I don’t know what I would do without it.”

Via Elle magazine.

On love…

Being in love is the worst. It’s also the best, but it’s so hard and scary to open your heart to someone … when you tell somebody you love them or when you realize you’re in love, what it means is you’re giving yourself over a little bit, you’re being vulnerable. But the point is vulnerability is the key to happiness. Vulnerable people are powerful people … celebrate the idea that you’re in love and that you love the idea of being in love.

Via Love: Ask Amy.

On being a feminist, and how that informs her work…

Yes, I consider myself a feminist, and it informs my work only in that it’s just who I am, in the same way that I’m a woman, or I’m 5’2″ or whatever. I was lucky that I came through a system that had many people who did much more hard work and road clearing before I got there.

Via TimeOut New York.

On embracing your inner boss…

I just love bossy women. I could be around them all day. To me, bossy is not a pejorative term at all. It means somebody’s passionate and engaged and ambitious and doesn’t mind leading.

Via Huffington Post.

On the over-sexualisation of acts like The Pussycat Dolls

“Once it comes into the adult realm it’s like, ‘Great, go for it, do your own thing … Sit on cakes. Do whatever the fuck you want.’ It’s just that I get worried for young girls sometimes; I want them to feel that they can be sassy and full and weird and geeky and smart and independent, and not so withered and shrivelled … More than it being the Pussycat Dolls thing? It’s just distracting from what is real power.”

Via Bust.

On giving a damn…

Girls have to fight against a lot of the same stuff we did growing up…peer pressure, exploitation, etc. But what worries me the most is this trend that caring about something isn’t cool. That it’s better to comment on something than to commit to it. That it’s so much cooler to be unmotivated and indifferent. Our culture can get so snarky and ironic sometimes and we kind of wanted Smart Girls to celebrate the opposite of that.

Via Huffington Post.

On self-assurance…

Figure out what you can do today and go to bed knowing that you’ve done everything you can – it’s going to be okay.

Via Smart Girls at the Party.

Who’s your feminist spirit animal?

Education, Featured, News

“There was this one time at sex camp…”

Sexual Healing

Celebrating Sexuality (formerly known as Sex Camp) is a unique weekend experience where you can completely immerse yourself in workshops, activities and performances focused on sex and sexuality. Created and born into being by the visionary, Vanessa Florence, this is one of my favourite places to be. In this divine space you can encumber yourself of all life’s shackles – fear of judgement, fear of exposure or vulnerability. Sex Camp is no recalcitrant lover. She will gentle woe you, unfold up and bring out all your juicy, sexy, luscious goodness. By the end of your time there you will be glowing with sexual vim and shining light. Sigh.

 Open To Everyone

Situated in the lush, verdant hills of Victoria, Australia Celebrating Sexuality offers a safe, conscious space to celebrate and participate in the full spectrum of sexuality – from the sacred to the profane – YUM!! And everyone (over 18 years) is welcome to come – be you spiritual Tantric loving, eco-warrior or polyamourous, leather-wearing kinkster with a penchant for sensual rope work. The fluid spectrum of sexual mores, preferences and gender-orientations are all represented and celebrated here.

Safe Boundaries and Joyful Consent

But before you gleefully pack up your rucksack – be aware. Celebrating Sexuality is not about fucking in tents (although I’m sure there are plenty of shenanigans that are going on behind the tent flaps) – instead it’s fucking in-tense. You’re not there to just pick up and get your rocks off (although that’s OK too, if all participating persons wilfully and joyfully consent and you’re not humping with abandon in front of all and sundry on the grassed areas) – this is your time and space to discuss, explore and experience you and your sexuality. That’s right –  this place is all about you….

 Helping Hands

And in order to be able to do such amazing exploration safely the Celebrating Sexuality crew have developed an air-tight, iron-clad container (hmmm sounds kinda kinky) to allow for comfortable, healthy and safe expression. All attendees must be within camp within a certain time and the gates are shut until its conclusion: no late-comers, no stragglers, and no exceptions. An opening ceremony is performed that reinforces the importance of confidentiality, consent, privacy (no photos, no random FB updating about so and so) and participant autonomy and choice. All participation in workshops is optional and there are emotional support persons (ESP’s), fully qualified counsellors, who are within arms’ reach in every workspace to debrief with.  That’s right – this place is positively vibing with good intention and clear ethics.

 Oh..and did I say the food is awesome too.

 Curious Creatures and Exuberant Experiential Exploration

 So Friday kicked off with a choice of ‘Connections Playshop’, ‘Tantra for the Rest of Us’ and a Cuddle Party. Oooohhhhh so much choice. I chose the ‘Tantra for the Rest of Us’, feeling the need to learn some perky little sex games that encourage communication, fun and interaction. And yes we were all fully dressed. The workshop was presented by the deliciously kinky, dynamic duo- Captain Awesome and his rambunctious co-presenter, Purple ( https://www.facebook.com/TwoKinkyKids).

Captain Awesome positively reeks of juicy naughtiness and sex positivity. As his bio reads, he is,

 “A kinky, tantric, polyamorous slut. Also a sex educator and professional facilitator.”

Cool – educated, but with a slutty, wayward side – I like it. Purple is exuberant, literally over-spilling with glee and cleavage – like an ogle-worthy saucy seaside postcard babe. Together Captain Awesome and Purple comprise Curious Creatures (a.k.a Two Kinky Kids) and run performances, playgroups, sessions and workshops in Melbourne, Australia.

The games we learn during the session were simple, erotic and oh so much fun as we explored communicating our needs and wishes to a partner. We spent time connecting to our bodies and each other, breathing, examining and exploring our needs within the moment. Whether it was a shoulder that needed a massage or a hip that needed a squeeze or the yearning for a gentle hair tug – all were welcomed and addressed.

As for Saturday…well that was a whole different journey!! Find out more in my next Sex Camp instalment 😉

Photo Credit:

Body Positive Activism

Everyone’s Confused About Beyonce’s Stance on Feminism

Beyonce is far from polarising – in fact, up until recently, you’d be pretty hard-pressed to find anything overwhelmingly negative written about it in mainstream media. All in all, the world pretty much loves her. She’s celebrated for her own unique brand of fierce female empowerment, and revered for her business smarts. The web seems fascinated by her ability to juggle a hugely successful career with motherhood and being half of one of Hollywood’s supposedly highest-earning power couples. And yet…

There is one point of contention on the web regarding Bey right now, and is has everything to do with feminism. Her stance on it. Her, at times, contradictory comments about it. The controversial lyrics in one of her latest hits. And whether it’s even possible for the woman married to Jay-Z – a rapper famous for celebrating a ‘bitch’ not being one of his 99 Problems through the majesty of song – to consider herself a feminist.

They said What?

If you’re not yet familiar with the recent debate, it all pretty much stemmed from a line in Beyonce’s Drunk in Love single, where Jay-Z (who often features on her tracks) likens himself to Ike Turner (Tina Turner’s notoriously abuse ex-husband) and sings the line, “eat the cake, Anna Mae” (in reference to a scene from Turner’s biopic What’s Love Got to Do with It).

Understandably, critics were uncomfortable with the line, and questioned its tastefulness. But it really wasn’t until Beyonce herself was seen to sing the words along with her husband at the 56th Grammy Awards that people really took offense. Because it’s okay for a man to make light of domestic violence, but not a woman? No matter how repugnant the line is, isn’t that a double standard in itself?

This, Following a Feminist Essay?

But that’s what not the only thing that has us scratching our heads. See, not long before the Grammys performance, Bey wrote a decidedly feminist essay for The Shriver Report titled Gender Equality Is a Myth!. In it, she wrote:

We need to stop buying into the myth about gender equality. It isn’t a reality yet. Today, women make up half of the U.S. workforce, but the average working woman earns only 77 percent of what the average working man makes. But unless women and men both say this is unacceptable, things will not change. Men have to demand that their wives, daughters, mothers, and sisters earn more—commensurate with their qualifications and not their gender. Equality will be achieved when men and women are granted equal pay and equal respect.

Her words seemed to solidify her position as a feminist icon for many of the critics who’d read her latest, secret self-launched and self-titled album as a beacon of female empowerment. Then, many commentators declared that she’d shot herself in the foot, and that the whole feminist tone of the album was little more than a marketing stunt.

Why It Sucks So Bad

During a time when we desperately need more strong and successful female role models – particularly those who are actually willing to go on the record and draw attention to the continuing gender inequality that exists – the whole situation kinda blows. And when you read the literature online about the whole fiasco, you get the feeling there’s a whole lot of broken-hearted and confused people out there just waiting for Beyonce to make a statement and clear the whole thing up. Which she’s yet to do.

Had the line been incorporated into a song of an artist, male or female, of whom we had lower expectations the same outrage may not have applied. It wouldn’t have been ignored (at least, I hope it wouldn’t have) but I do think the brand built around Beyonce – a brand that is very much about female power and strong, unapologetic sexuality – is so at odds with what those lyrics represent that people have been far more hurt by them than had, say, Miley or Robin Thicke sung them. This isn’t right either, since we should be holding all artists to the same standards, and questioning every instance of media that reinforces harmful gender stereotypes. But it is food for thought.

Thoughts?

What I want to know is, what do you all think about the debate? Did you, or do you still, think of Bey as a modern-day feminist icon? Did Drunk in Love change your mind? Do you feel like Beyonce’s brand of feminism was more marketing stunt than genuine declaration? Is the media machine overreacting? Are they using the debate as a tool to drive traffic, thanks to Bey’s bankable pull?

I’m really curious to hear everyone’s thoughts on this, so be sure to comment. There are no right or wrong answers. The more we’re all willing to discuss the issues, openly and without judgment, the more we have opportunities to decide what our own positions are, and encourage positive change.

News

Protecting Yourself Against Revenge Porn

Revenge porn is a genre of online pornography where nude and/or explicit photos are posted on the web without the consent of the subject. Most revenge porn is posted by ex-lovers, although there are instances of strangers being responsible for the uploading of these types of images as well. Naturally, the consequences for victims can be astronomical, causing embarrassment and emotional and psychological harm.

The good news is, the threat of revenge porn is beginning to be taken very seriously by authorities. Earlier this year revenge porn peddler Hunter Moore, along with his accomplice Charles Evens, was indicted on 15 counts in the USA, including conspiracy, unauthorized access to a protected computer to obtain information and aggravated identity theft. Moore was the operator of a site that posted nude photos of people – many of whom have said they did not consent to having their images appear online. It is claimed that Moore paid Evans to hack into the email accounts of victims and steal nude images to post on his website.

While the rise of mobile photography has made it easier – and seemingly harmless – to send the odd erotic image to a lover or partner, doing so does come with risks. I’m not saying everyone should refrain from sending nude images of themselves to trusted lovers (because we were doing that far before the invention of digital photography). After all, the focus should be on holding revenge porn peddlers and posters accountable rather than blaming victims.

That being said, there are some strategies you can keep in mind when it comes to protecting yourself.

Revenge Porn Protection in 5 Simple Steps

Spread the word: revenge porn is not okay

Talk to your friends, brothers, sisters, children and partners about the negative impact revenge porn can have on its subjects. People will be less likely to support these websites if they think about the consequences for victims.

Utilize password protection

If there’s a password protect feature on your computer and photo applications, ensure it’s turned on, and make sure your passwords can’t be easily guessed.

Delete old emails

If you’ve sent racy photos via email, delete, delete, delete. Purge those emails, and be sure to get rid of them permanently by deleting them within your email trash folder as well.

Keep your software and antivirus up to date

While it can be hard to block the savviest hackers, keeping all of your software and antivirus protection up to date will help to prevent anyone gaining illegal access to your images. Beware of illegal downloading and streaming websites. If they prompt you to download applications, they could be trying to access your computer remotely.

Watch your webcam, and purchase webcam protection software or a cover sticker

If your webcam camera is blinking or lighting up when you’re not using it, it could be a sign that someone is trying to activate your camera remotely. An investment in some webcam protection software or a webcam cover sticker can be an affordable piece of insurance.

Your Body

Bare or Bush?

According to the all-seeing and all-knowing internet, an increasing number of Gen Y Women are lifting the ban on the bush and opting to sport an au naturel muff, as opposed to the basically-bare pubic hair trend that has been firmly entrenched for the past decade.

Women’s magazines and websites have been declaring since late last year, often in big shouty caps, that THE BUSH IS BACK. So yeah. You officially have permission to ditch the hot wax and let your lady garden (worst. saying. ever.) go wild because it’s so on trend right now.

Whatever, internets. Go home, you’re drunk. STFU and just focus on Hey Girl memes and LOL cats, okay?

Your Pussy, Your Preference

In case I haven’t quite expressed my augh-I’m-totes-eye-rolling-right-now well enough, let me be clear on my thoughts. Your body, your choice babes. You really don’t need permission from the arbitrary trend forecasters of this world to decide what kind of ‘do’ you sport under your squirrel covers (I’m sorry, that term is so cringe-inducingly bad it’s hilarious).

Your vulva and how you choose to style the hair it sprouts is your business, and how you feel about your body shouldn’t be dictated by what The Media or The Internet or Society is currently calling the flavor of the month.  

Go With What Feels Good For You

If you prefer having a fuzzy foo foo, just roll with it. You’ll save yourself valuable time and money you could be investing in other activities by not cultivating a personal relationship with Rochelle down at the over-priced salon. If you prefer the feeling, sensation and look of being all-but hairless, don’t think for a second you’re going to have to suffer through an itchy regrowth phase just to have your twinkie fit the current ideal. If you like to mix it up, wax when you wanna, and don’t when you don’t. Simple.

The only voice you should really be listening to when it comes to the state of your snatch or the coifed-ness of your cunny is your own.  Your friends don’t care, your kids don’t care, your dog doesn’t care. Your partner, if they’re honest, probably has a preference (it’s only natural – don’t you have a preference when it comes to how they maintain their hair or beard or moustache or body hair or ball fuzz?), but if they’re a keeper they’re going to be far more interested in you feeling happy and confident and sexy than aesthetics or the odd unruly stray.

Safety First, Always

The only thing I will ask of you, please, is to be kind to yourself and be safe if you do opt for any form of hair removal. As a woman who once, in her teens, gave herself severe chemical burns from an unspeakably nasty depilatory cream accident, I can attest to the emotional and physical pain that can come from public hair catastrophe. Seriously. I had to call the free health hotline in a panic and was walking like John Wayne for at least two days afterwards. Definitely not cute.

Hey, while you’re down there! Be sure to give yourself regular vulval health checks. Your health is far more important that ensuring your landing strip isn’t crooked.

Sex Ed

Stop Having Bad Sex

The sure-fire road to great sex is self-acceptance and an unwavering determination to be who you are, completely and unapologetically. If you want to feel like a sexual dynamo, do what you love, and don’t be afraid to ask for what you want. Be who you are and give yourself over to the pure pleasure that comes from indulging in what turns you on. And avoid these three good-sex-killers like the plague.

Don’t Censor Yourself

Unless you live in a vacuum, there are going to be countless times you’ll find someone trying to censor you, simply because your thoughts and feelings are different to theirs. Your parents, your friends, the media, your boss, society – they’re all going to, at some time or another, offer unsolicited advice and opinions, and even try and tell you you’re wrong because you don’t fit their ideal of normal or right. There are times you may have to have to like it or lump it – particularly at work – but this definitely should not apply to your sex life.

If you have a particular sexual yearning or desire, but your partner shuts you down – or worse, shames you – for it, it may be time to get a new partner. Sometimes our fantasies don’t align with those of our lovers, and that’s okay. But you should feel free to discuss your desires without fear of being judged.

Don’t Settle for the Status Quo

If you’re feeling ho-hum about your sex life, it could be because you’re bored. Sexual boredom can have a hugely negative impact on our happiness, and our relationships, but just because you’re bored now doesn’t mean you have to stay that way.

If you’re in a relationship, open up the lines of communication with your partner, and look to discuss new sexual adventures and options that you might both enjoy. If you’re single, mix things up for yourself with a new toy or two, or keep your mind open to new possibilities if you’re engaging in casual encounters (just keep it safe).

Say No

While some self-professed experts have emerged from the woodwork of late, claiming that women in particular should be looking to say “yes” to sex more often, (even when they don’t feel like it – the theory being that once they get into the swing of things they’ll soon enjoy it #WTF) I’m a firm believer in only having sex when you want to, and not being afraid to turn your lover down if you’re really just not that into it.

Think about it. Is the sex really going to be spectacular if your foreplay is tinged with feelings of guilt or resentment? Ick. Saying no isn’t going to kill anyone, and you can experience real intimacy with a partner through forms of non-sexual touch. Who knows – that no-pressure, no-expectation intimacy may even end up resulting in sex, so communicate your needs with your partner and be sure to respect theirs in return.

What’s your key to great sex?