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Education, Relationships

Tumblr, Facebook, PayPal and the big bad ban on Sex.

I’ve been writing as a sex and body positive educator on Polkadotsi for five years now. It’s been an interesting experience finding space to share ideas, content, and spread the idea that bodies are neutral, sex is positive, and talk about all of the things that we should have been taught as children.

It seems however, that there’s a section of humanity that is hell bent on not only repressing the predatory side of human sexuality, but all of it.

That movement is seems to be gaining steam and it’s quite terrifying.

I was reading Hey Epiphora’s great piece When Will We Stop Fearing Sex, and I got to thinking. We need to do something, and our industry is smart, empowered, and incredible enough to do so.

Tumblr and the big bad sex ban

The recent Tumblr decision to remove all  adult content from their site (despite having safe search filters available, despite having really good reporting and response mechanisms in place, and despite their community reacting vocally and negatively to the decision) is the latest in a slate of oppressing, silencing, and shutting down sex related content on social media sites.

Tumblr’s decision seems to be a commercial decision after the app stores pulled their app for implications in child pornography.

But the consequences of silencing and removing adult content are a public health issue. How can we possibly have great conversations about human sexuality, if the places we explore our desires, our proclivities, and what makes us tick are consistently being removed?

How can we have positive conversations about our bodies and their quirks when we are told that anything related to sex is a negative, or shameful thing.

Tumblr’s position on adult content came with the statement “We’ve given serious thought to who we want to be to our community moving forward”

Who is that exactly?

While I understand that there are most definitely individuals who live asexual and non-sexual lifestyles – and that is obviously totally okay; the vast majority of human adults are sexual creatures.

Facebook and Sexual Solicitation, including, wait for it “Sexual Preference”

Arguably there ARE spaces on the internet where sexual content is acceptable and common; however the creeping scope of silencing normal human sexual behaviour on social media sites is distressing.

Take Facebook’s new community guidelines, that state that sexual preference is unacceptable content.

The broad and  vague nature of Facebook’s new community standards give space for basically anything to be deemed sexual and therefore unacceptable by their rules, but where does this leave activists in the LGBTQIA community?

How do we have conversations with the broader, general public about their sexual health and the issues around human sexuality.

Sex isn’t just pornography and titillation, it’s a huge part of public health and as such the suppression of information, and the censoring of issues pertaining to vulnerable communities is utterly unacceptable.

And is this a war on sex? Or is it a war on the LGBTIQIA community and women??

Financial service providers like Square and PayPal are denying and shutting down accounts of female and queer entrepreneurs working in the sex industry including sex workers, film makers, erotic writers, and performers, citing excuses from credit card companies and banks not approving on NSFW content, to violations of terms of service.

But the buck doesn’t seem to stop with anyone, and business owners don’t seem to have a place to repeal the shutdowns, bans, and seizing of funds.

What is behind the push to suppress sexual conversation?

I question if this is due to political or religious pressure.

In my opinion conservative voices are losing their space in the political sphere, as the world is slowly electing more liberal and left leaning political leaders, so when lobbyists cannot lobby politicians, they need to hit businesses where it hurts them; their bottom lines.

Pressure to comply or face financial loss is a big deal. And while it’s disappointing, frustrating, and frankly, terrifying it’s almost expected.

So here’s my hopeful conclusion

The sex industry is a blooming, growth industry. 

Which obviously comes with both positives and negatives – as the industry grows, great conversations grow with it, and while I’ve been working at Polkadotsi, I’ve had the wonderful pleasure of reading and speaking with some of those incredible people having those conversations.

If we keep pushing foward and making sex work, sex creativity, and human sexuality a mainstream thing – I firmly believe it diminishes the spaces where crime and exploitation can occur. Knowledge is power, and knowledgeable consumers are empowered to make better choices.

It’s up to those of us working in this industry to create those spaces, have those conversations, and shine light on the wonderful things our colleagues are doing.

We can and do change the social standards around sex and sexuality, and we NEED to keep pushing forward.

How can you help?

  • Share the work of the amazing people in our industry.
  • Buy from our affiliate links.
  • Support us and subscribe to us.
  • Pay for your darned porn!

 

 

 

Education, Relationships

I Lost My Virginity to Rape

I lost my virginity** to non-consensual sex. It’s taken nearly 15 years to  call it rape.

It was summer, I was a teenager and I thought I was in love. He was charming, sweet, as sexually inexperienced as I was – and looking back; equally stupid. We had dated for a few hormone driven wonderful months and had at length teasingly discussed sex.

He had delightful, charming, disarming brown eyes and was forever telling me to be more self assured.

One February afternoon in the summer holidays we were making out and things were getting intense. As we fooled around and explored each other he rolled on top of me. At that point, I said no.

I told him I wasn’t ready. I was three months shy of my 16th birthday, and I actually wanted to wait until the age of consent. We had spoken about this at length, in several conversations, and he had verbally supported and encouraged my wishes.

He rolled off and we went back to making out, for a little bit. The next thing I knew, he was on top of me and penetrating me. I remember it hurting, and I remember wriggling away, putting a quick end to our steamy interlude.

He didn’t hold me down.

He didn’t mean to hurt me.

But he did rape me.

When Rape Isn’t Violent It’s Still Rape

After the fact he recognised what he did was wrong. He wrote a long and detailed letter explaining that he should have listened to me, that he should have respected me, and that he should have stopped when I said stop.

And he should have.

He wrote a long and detailed letter explaining that he should have listened to me, that he should have respected me, and that he should have stopped when I said stop.

And he should have.

As with most teenage romances, we broke up shortly after and both went on to see other people. I stashed the letter in a box with other letters from him, and hid it in the back of my wardrobe.

Slut Shaming and Naughty Boys

My mother “stumbled across” the letter (read, hunted it out and found it when she was rifling through my private things!) and proceeded to tell me that if I was going to have sex I shouldn’t lead boys along, that boys were driven by hormones and that essentially it was my fault that I was raped.

Because I wasn’t hurt, because I wasn’t beaten, or left bleeding and injured, it couldn’t possibly be rape – and I must have been a wiling participant in the entire sex act.

But I was hurt. A boy I put my trust in with my most intimate experiences exploited them and I learned as a naïve 15 year old that boys have all the power in a relationship.

I’ve spent the better part of 20 years taking that power back.

I’ve spent the better part of 20 years taking that power back.

From Bad to Worse

My next relationship re-enforced those learnings, and I was violently held down, my arms wrenched behind me, breath restricted and raped by my “boyfriend”.

Again, he was charming, and verbally respected my boundaries. He said all the right things. He was charming to my parents and friends.

Several times throughout our “relationship” I turned him down for sex, and he ignored my no’s and went ahead and fucked me anyway. On some occasions, I lay, passively waiting for him to do his thing. On others, I was forcibly engaged in the act.

Several times throughout our “relationship” I turned him down for sex, and he ignored my no’s and went ahead and fucked me anyway. On some occasions, I lay, passively waiting for him to do his thing. On others, I was forcibly engaged in the act.

Even today, nearly 20 years later I can’t talk about it without feeling scared,  triggered, and sick to the stomach.

He moved on with his life, unaffected by his actions, not accountable for them – and I’ve had to live with the trauma and damage for each day since.

Just because rape doesn’t leave a woman (or man) injured visibly does not make it less damaging. Rape is rape, and rape is wrong.

Rape Apologists and Social Pressure

One of my abusers was a naïve 16 year old boy, who had self entitlement issues, and meant no real harm in his actions. He was remorseful, and deeply apologetic – but he raped me, and society essentially permitted him to do it.

I sought help from my school psychologist, and police officer, and my situation was largely dismissed.

According to them, he was just a naughty boy who was overcome by his teenage hormones.

To which I say fuck that shit.

The only type of sex that is OK is enthusiastically consensual sex. *

The type of sex where both partners are enthusiastically into it and participating actively.

If you’re not sure – it isn’t enthusiastic.

 

*I wrote this article when I was beginning my career as a sex educator. My position on consent is a little more pragmatic and inclusive these days – largely to recognise that some sexual situations aren’t necessarily viewed as enthusiastically consensual (as in the case of sex work, or consensual-non-consent) but still require consent, respect, and safety.

Consent can be withdrawn, boundaries re-negotiated, and must always be respected, and purchasing the services of a sex worker does not give you the right their body. 

**I genuinely do not believe that virginity is anything of value, and I don’t believe you can lose it/misplace it/ or that it’s any indicator of my worth as a woman.

 

when sex isn't rainbows and unicorns
Education, Relationships, Sex Ed

When Sex Isn’t Rainbows and Unicorns.

Most of us have been sold a lie. Movies, romantic books, and even the social expectations of love and relationships mislead us greatly.

Boy meets girl, girl and boy fall in love, lots of orgasms, happily ever after, right?!

Apart from being particularly hetero-normative (sorry) and simplistic, it’s a pretty common story for what a lot of us are told is the love, sex, relationship model.

A generation of slut shaming, kink shaming, and the repression of healthy sexual education has left us ashamed, afraid, and unable to accept the darker side of our sexual proclivities and desires. Much less realise that love and sex are two different concepts that don’t necessarily co-exist in the same bedroom.

It’s left us unable to communicate our needs, and accept that sex is a normal part of human behaviour and our desires and pleasures come in a mixed bag.

And that mixed bag can look like hookups, relationships, casual dating, poly-amorous adventures, and any number or variations of the above.

So why is this romantic view so bad?

The challenge with a repressed and idealistic  view of sex and love is that so many of our desires and fantasies extend far beyond procuring marriage and producing offspring. Thank you very much, Jane Austen.

We humans are pleasure seeking creatures, and the denial and repression of our basal instincts can lead to shame, pain, and fear.

So let’s take a look at some of those Cinderella stories we got told, bust them wide open, and move forward to accept, and celebrate sex for what it is. Perfectly normal, occasionally mundane, and hopefully lots and lots of fun.

Busting some good sex bad sex myths

Sex and Love Go Hand in Hand

When I first started dating as a teen, I “saved” myself for a boy I fell in love with.  I was pretty devastated when that six month relationship came to an ugly and nasty close.  I’d had so closely related sex with my feelings of love and companionship, and while I’m not suggesting for a second that teens can’t experience love – I was really naive and had no idea how to make a longer term relationship work.

If I’d had the perspective of experiencing sex and relationships in the moment, and let myself be completely in the present, I probably would have had healthier expectations about how my partners behaved, felt, and responded to me.

As an adult in a poly relationship now, love and sex can still be pretty tightly coupled, but I also recognise you can have fantastic, amazing, earth shattering sex without love being involved.

If you think of sex and love as a Venn Diagram, you can see how sex and love are pretty loosely coupled. You can have sex without love. You can have love without sex, you can have sex and love.

There is no hard and fast rule on how how sex and love are coupled, and how that forms a relationship. All are valid definitions.

You can have sex and love that last for the term of the sexual encounter – you can have loving sexual relationships that last a lifetime. You can have loveless sexual relationships that last a lifetime. And sexless loving relationships that endure as well.

In terms of HAVING great sex, choosing to respect yourself and making choices that fill your needs, and respect your partner’s needs seems to be a healthy reasonable approach.

You don’t have to love your partners, and sex isn’t a transaction for love.

You don’t have to love your partners, and sex isn’t a transaction for love.

Sex should be sensual, soft, and kind. Kinks are bad mmkay?

As a young adult, I discovered that the bedroom can be a really interesting place to work out “stuff” It started with experimentation with a particularly enthusiastic partner who loved rougher sex, and was very, very into when I struggled and pushed back.

As someone who’d been raped, and someone who’d had really negative experiences with sex up until that point, it was really bizarre realising that I LIKED being restrained. I ENJOYED the hurt so good, painful experiences that consenting non-consent brought for me, and I really got off with rough sex.

It messed with my head. But it turns out that it’s pretty normal, and there are LOADS of people who engage in kinky sex.

Do you get off by getting hurt? Love that hurts so bad it’s good feeling?

Desire the feeling of power and control as you inflict pain on your partner?

Leather rings your bell and floats your boat?

Something else? Don’t worry. Your desires are pretty normal. The great thing about the internet these days, compared to what our parents had available to them is that if there’s a kink, there’s a forum/ sub-reddit/or facebook support group for it.

You and your kinks probably aren’t alone in the big wide world, and there are probably others out there who get off on the same interesting stuff you do.

Spend the time educating yourself on safe ways to indulge your desires – and always practise safe, sane, consensual sex.

Sex is always pleasurable…

Ahhhhhh if only sex WAS always pleasurable. The thing about human relationships no matter how long or short, they’re often fraught with imperfection.

And there is such a thing as unpleasurable sex.

That doesn’t mean that the relationship is bad, or that either or the people within it have failed in any way – it just is what it is sometimes.

Unpleasurable sex becomes more of an issue when the partners involved don’t talk about it, for reasons of shame, fear, embarrassment, not wanting to hurt the other person’s feelings or just not being aware of what they want or need.

Don’t fake orgasms. No-one benefits from that!

Don’t fake orgasms. No-one benefits from that!

I’m a huge advocate of knowing your own body, it’s turn ons, it’s turn offs and what gets you off REALLY well. And practising being able to communicate your desires, and show your partner how to get you off.

If you don’t communicate, nothing ever changes, and resentment, failed expectations, and anger can fester under the surface. Communicating your desires and feelings without your partner feeling inadequate can be a tricky territory – speak kindly, focus on the positives, and use “I” statements.  For example “I feel” “I love” etc.

Talk about it in the moment, address it as a debrief, and keep talking. You’ve got everything to gain here.

Good sex results in orgasm

Orgasms are amazing! I love orgasms, and I think we should all be having more orgasms! But sex doesn’t have to culminate in orgasm for it to be incredible.

Heck sex doesn’t even have to involved intercourse – but more on that in a second.

Great sex is about connection and pleasure with your partner (s) (or yourself) slow burning, sensual, loving touch, or rough, limit, pushing masochism don’t always peak with the big O.

That doesn’t mean it’s bad sex.
If you’re both fulfilled, feeling good, and happy with the outcome, that’s totally okay.

Communicate with your partner and find the things that are important to you.

A sexless relationship is a poor quality relationship

Relationships go in ebbs and flows. That early burning, euphoric, sex on tap part of any new relationship eventually runs it’s course, and it can be anything from 3 months to three years depending on you and your partner.

The trouble is that people expect that to be THE relationship.

Oh if only…

After the euphoria, there’s work. There are domestic duties, there are bills, there are illnesses, there are daggy underpants, and sweat pants that you would never parade around in a lover you’re trying to woo.

But there’s also intimacy, connection, friendship, and solidarity that builds as the bright flash subsides. Relationships take work, and sometimes sex is on the back burner.

As life happens, sex drives peak and flow. Children, stress, work, and medications can all impact on our sex drives-  and every individual is different.

Avoiding resentment with communication and really understanding what each other’s needs are is key to helping keep things moving on.

Of course there are other relationship models that you can consider like polyamory  and consensual non-monogamy

But intimacy is a myriad thing, and it doesn’t necessarily come from sex alone.

Cuddles, time spent together, touch, massage, and other acts of intimacy are valid and normal ways to keep connection with your partner.

Here’s to normal sex

Hopefully you’ll see what I did there, in that I think most sex is pretty normal. Obviously we want more of the good stuff and less of the bad.

By accepting reality and facing the fact that sex can be terribly mundane, delightfully pleasurable AND painful if we like it like that we can move past the myths and fables told to us in the movies.

Let’s talk about sex, let’s talk about the good and the bad, (I’m not singing I swear) and let’s talk about how we want it, how we don’t.

This is how we grow, this is how we feel better about our desires, and kinks, and the things that get us off.

Pregnancy Sex
Education, Fertility, Pregnancy & Birth, Sex Ed, Your Body

We Need To Talk About Sex During Pregnancy

Sex in the first trimester Is It Safe?

As a sexologist I’m very often asked about the safety of having sex during pregnancy – well here’s the good news – doing the nasty when you’ve got a bun in the oven is not only hot, it’s perfectly safe.  If you feel well and sexy – it’s a jolly good idea to have a roll in the hay.

Penetrative sex and orgasm during the first trimester are not linked to miscarriage or vaginal infections. Indeed, in a low risk, uncomplicated pregnancy getting juicy will actually reduce the risk of miscarriage and premature birth, by decreasing stress and enhancing emotional well being.

Often you and your partner(s) will worry that the baby will be harmed whilst you bump and grind – but don’t worry your unborn babe is well cushioned by the amniotic sac and the strong uterine muscles.  A penis (even one of porn star proportions – you lucky lady you!) or toy  will not penetrate deep enough to get past the muscles of the cervix, which is sealed up with a thick, mucous plug to keep out any nasties.

Changes to Your Mojo

However, it is important to be aware that during pregnancy there may be wide variations in you and your partner(s) sexual arousal, desire and response. For some pregnant women desire and intimacy may be affected in the first trimester by body image concerns, nausea, fatigue, urgency to urinate, anxiety and hormonal fluctuations.  For others these hormonal changes and lack of concerns about contraception can make them randier than a jack rabbit in a barrel full of jellied eels.

Follen Swanny and Tender Tits

There can be physiological changes that occur during pregnancy that may have you begging for more or closing the bedroom door. For instance, during pregnancy sex can cause genital engorgement (the classic Two Ronnies’ follen swanny), where you may experience heightened sensations that have you screaming YES!YES!YES! at the slightest touch of your sensitive clitoris or screaming NO!NO!NO! if anyone so much as breaths on it.  Not only can your clitoris become more sensitive, but so can your  breasts and nipples – and you partner(s) may tread a fine (and dangerous) line between  pleasure and pain.

Horny Hormones

Bonding, sexual pleasure and orgasm will also release hormones (prostaglandins and oxytocins) that can cause abdominal tightenings or hardenings of the uterus, which although perfectly normal can be a cause of concern for some. However, this is a perfectly normal response and these hormones can be both good for you and your baby – you’ll all be feeling the luuurvve.

Communicate, Communicate and Communicate

However, it’s very important  to listen to your body  – communicate and be open and honest with your partner(s) at this time. It may be that you control penetration and depth/vigour of thrusting or try new positions that are more comfortable, such as lying sideways, being positioned on the edge of the bed with your partner between your legs, spooning, sitting on their lap or being on top. Non-penetrative sex or ‘outercourse‘ may be more suitable or pleasurable at this time (foreplay, oral sex and masturbation). And don’t forget there are so many other ways to be intimate – ‘togetherness’ and mutual reassurance can be maintained through time spent together, cuddling, massage, a relaxing bath or shower, a shared walk, meal or movie night together.

You partner(s) va-va voom may also not be firing up for them during pregnancy if they are fearful of hurting you or the baby, worried about your health or that of the unborn’s, apprehensive about parenthood and its financial burdens or even self-conscious about getting down and dirty in the presence of the bump.  It’s just as important at this time for them to communicate their needs, desires and wants about intimacy.

Bans on Bonking

Obviously, there are times when doing the two-backed beast may not be recommended. Here are a few:

  • If your partner(s) has an active genital herpes lesion
  • If you have a low lying placenta or the placenta is partially/fully covering the cervix (placenta previa)
  • If you have a cervical dysfunction , weakness or it is opening prematurely
  • If you have a history of premature/pre-term labour
  • If you are experiencing unexplained vaginal bleeding
  • If you are experiencing moderate/ severe abdominal cramping
  • If you have a history of miscarriage and having sex would cause you distress or worry
  • If you are carrying multiple babies and have been advised against sex by your caregiver
  • If your waters (amniotic fluid) are leaking or have broken

 

Safer Sex – And Some Thoughts on Anal and Oral

Even when pregnant there are times when condoms/dental dams should still be used:

  • If your partner(s) have an STI (especially herpes)
  • If you are not in a mutually monogamous relationship
  • If you have a new partner and do not know their STI status
  • If you have a vaginal infection (e.g. thrush)Care should also be taken when engaging in oral sex in that there should be no blowing in the vagina during pregnancy (but seriously who does that?! – no judgement, but you may want to perfect your techniques).

There should also be an awareness of the attending risks that come with anal sex – just like at any other time a penis/toy/fingers should not be placed into the anus and then into the vagina as this may cause a vaginal infection. Also during pregnancy some women are prone to developing haemorrhoids, which can be painful, bleed or rupture during anal penetration- so you may want to abstain from engaging in ‘up the bum’ fun during this time.

 

 

Image credit: Mitrofan

Featured, Fertility, Pregnancy & Birth, Relationships

Enjoying Your Sexuality While Breastfeeding

Your relationship with your breasts while breastfeeding is likely to have radically changed; previously there just for your entertainment and to make your clothes fit. Well, now they are working girls with a new agenda.

A breastfeeding mother may experience all or some of the following: leaking, pain, feeling over exposed and touched out, have an overflowing bra before a feed and look like a day old balloon after, but most of all, a new found reverence and appreciation for your breasts.

You are feeding and bonding with your child using your breasts; creating a closeness that is not easily matched in any other human interaction.

We should probably talk about your boobs

In the early days, your breasts may be a no-go zone during sex. They also may like to join in with a little spraying action once the oxytocin starts flowing. As a fan of ejaculate play, I thought that it was great to be on the other side of the equation.

Plus, its hilarious. The most important thing to know is it’s normal. Feeling sexual about your breasts while breastfeeding may be difficult for some mothers. I have found that treating my breasts like my vulva has helped; instead of being part of the foreplay, a no touchy policy until I am really tuned on has reintroduced me to the pleasures of boob play.

They always know!

Why is it that your breastfed cherub can be deep into the land of slumber and normally sleep through the neighbour’s leaf blower, but the slightest nookie noise and they are wide awake? Is it some kind of inbuilt sibling prevention system? I am sorry, I don’t have a solution for this one, just commiserations.

Sneaking Around Like a Horny Teenager?

So you may be having sex with a sock in your mouth, but that doesn’t mean you have to also be in the back of the car, unless a role play of a time with less responsibilities is helping you get in the mood. Often a couple will lose their shared sleeping/sex space to their frequently waking boobie monster on a permanent or part-time basis.

If possible, making a space that the kids can’t go, that is reasonably tidy and has your sex tools close at hand, can make getting your jiggy on that a bit easier during a typically sex-starved time.

My Grandma’s sewing machine inside the play pen brings to mind a possible solution. You really haven’t lived until you have opened your bleary eyes to your toddler painting the wall with your lube left out from the night before.

Coping with a Lower Sex Drive

Lower sex drive during breastfeeding is a biological reality for many women and one of the reasons it’s so important for couples to have a great sex life with themselves. Partner assisted masturbation is a wonderful option while your sex drive is on holiday. If your sex drive is still low after a year or two of breastfeeding, it may be worthwhile checking out the other factors that contribute to a low libido with a health professional.

Estrogen Wherefore Art Thou?

Breastfeeding suppresses estrogen production, which can result in vaginal dryness and irregular ovulation, even if you are regularly menstruating. While most women can deal with this with liberal use of a good lubricant and diligent foreplay, for some breastfeeding mothers low-estrogen can have a more serious impact.

Experiencing pain, bleeding after sex, tightness and irritation may be an indication of vaginal atrophy. Atrophic vaginitis, is the thinning, drying, and tightening of the vulva caused by low-estrogen and reduced blood flow to the vulva (read: not enough sex).

It can become a vicious cycle of painful sex leading to less sex which results in further atrophy. Many health professionals will not consider this diagnosis for women decades away from menopause despite it being a common condition for breastfeeding women.

It is important to be persistent with your provider if they keep fobbing you off with “use more lube” when you have already tried the entire selection at your local sex shop and you still have an unhappy vagina. This is a treatable condition with topical estrogen and more sex. That’s right, more orgasms is just what the doctor ordered.

Education, Featured, Sex Toys 101

9 Reasons You Should Totally Embrace Using Sex Toys

Shhhh, don’t tell anyone… I love my vibrators!

Oh, who am I kidding, I just posted this on Polkadotsi – everyone knows that I have a love affair with all that buzzes! But it would seem that there is still a lot of stigma and shame associated with getting your wank on.

So in the interests of enabling all of you to go and flick the bean, here are 9 reasons that you should totally embrace using sex toys!

1 – They help you discover your body

Getting to know what you like and don’t like empowers you to have better sex. Have you found your g-spot? Discovered how to squirt? Discovered your U spot? No? have a little play!

2 – They can reach places that your wee fingers just can’t

Let’s be honest, unless you have super long arms, or incredibly long fingers, there are hard to reach places that your vibe can hit. Mmmmmmm

3 – They can help you relax

Orgasms = endorphins = Ommmmmm

Maybe not the same as mediation… but orgasmic meditation? Now you’re talking!

4  – They can improve your mood

If you’re in a bit of a slump, a big O can release endorphins that pick you right up!

5  – They can help you improve your orgasm!

Learning to isolate those muscles that help you cum can train you into stronger, better orgasms! Yes please!

6 – They can provide mild pain relief

Period pain? A bit of an headache? Buzzing your way to bliss town can relieve your pain.

7  – You don’t need a partner

Take control of your sexual pleasure with your battery operated pleasure friend! Vibrators are brilliant in that you don’t need anyone else to indulge in sex for one!

8  – You can totally do it with a partner!

You can totally take that party in your pants to the next level with your partner by introducing toys to your boudoir repertoire.

9  – They feel freaking amazing!

I don’t have to expand on this one do I?

What are you waiting for! Go get your buzz on!

 

Photo credit: buecax

Education, Featured, Safer Sex

LELO’s Top 10 Tips for Sex Toy Safety

The good folks from Lelo know a lot about sex toys, and I have had the pleasure of chatting with their some of their team members. One of the things I love about Lelo is how dedicated they are to producing, promoting and encouraging healthy sex toys.

So it is my pleasure to share the following tips, as well as Lelo’s giveaway for World Sexual Health Day!

What Can You Do?   LELO go to extraordinary lengths to make sure that nothing gets in the way of your pleasure, but there are many things you can do to preserve your own sexual health when browsing products across the industry.

  1. Look for certifications, avoid fakes

The pleasure product industry, like every industry, has its fraudsters who copy popular products, produce them cheaply and cut all the corners to make a profit. You can steer clear of these products by checking certification and buying from reputable retailers. Check the box also for the phrase ‘novelty use only’ – it’s basically the same as saying ‘we are not accountable for the safety of this product’.

  1. Never, ever settle for second best

When it comes to issues of intimacy, pleasure and health, you shouldn’t compromise. Don’t buy a cheap pleasure product because it looks like an affordable version of a more trustworthy brand. It’s just not worth the risk.

  1. Keep your toys clean

Love your pleasure products and they’ll love you back. Treat them well, and they’ll treat you well. Wash them before using them, store them properly, check the materials for breaks, and use anti-bacterial wipes.

  1. Sharing is caring, but…

If you’re sharing toys in the heat of the moment, it’s best to cover them with a condom and replace it each time. It’s just good sense, really.

  1. Avoid the jellies!

A little knowledge goes a long way when it comes to using pleasure products. For example, the ‘jelly rubber’ many sex toys have been made of is a material that’s been treated with one of any number of plastic softeners, or ‘phthalates’. Phthalates are potentially harmful, even carcinogenic. It’s that kind of information that will help you make the right buying decision and keep you safe.

  1. Choose silicone…

Silicone is a remarkable material, resistant to bacteria and widely used by the most reputable brands in the pleasure product industry. Smooth, comfortable for use and easy to clean, it’s generally a sign the manufacturer is doing things right. Just avoid the sticky kind of silicone, which can attract dust.

  1. … and pay attention to glass and metals

While these products are excellent for cleaning, make sure any glass products of high-quality and perfectly smooth, while be sure to avoid any metals that may cause allergic reactions.

  1. Read Reviews

Go online and check out what people are saying about the pleasure products you’re interested in. There’s a massive online community of sex toy bloggers and reviewers who can be trusted to give you all the information you could need.

  1. Website Checks

Make sure you check out the website of the brand who produces your sex toys. If they haven’t invested in a website, perhaps they won’t invest in safety either.

  1. Nose-Testing purely for pleasure

And not to forget the pleasure aspect, if you are browsing for products in your local store, try looking like a professional and raising gently to your nose like a wine connoisseur. If the vibrations are strong enough to make you want to sneeze, it’s likely to bring full satisfaction when used elsewhere.

 

For more information and to see how you can get involved, check out the World Sexual Health Day website here.

LELO’S TWITTER EVENT Put Thursday the 4th of September in your social media calendars and join us for LELO Twitter Trivia for a whole day! We’re going to post questions about LELO and World Sexual Health Day –it’s a competition and winners will receive one of the following prizes: Mona 2, Ida or LUNA BEADS. The questions will be tweeted at 10 am EST (US & Canada), 3pm EST (US & Canada) and 8pm EST (US & Canada). Get on Twitter and Check out @Lelo_Official for all of the details!

The lucky winners, one for each product, are going to be announced on Twitter on Friday, the 5th of September at 10 am EST (US & Canada). Just make sure you send us a Direct Message with all your name, address and phone number and your favorite color for your LELO prize.

 

Sex Ed

Sex Outdoors: How To (Without Getting Caught)

Loads of people get a real rush from getting freaky in the great outdoors. The threat of being caught heightens the thrill for some, while others simply like the freedom of a quickie under the stars.

The Beach

It’s a huge cliché, but for some reason many of us have this enduring fantasy about sex on the beach. There’s sun or moonlight and the crashing of waves – but there are also other beachgoers and sand in rather unwelcome places. If you’re intent on ticking this one off your list, find a secluded spot – preferably outside of holiday peak season – and take a large blanket with you. Staying partially clothed, or keeping your swimmers on, can be a saving grace if anyone happens to stroll down the sand towards you. Nothing to see here! Just two lovebirds enjoying the ambience.

The Park

Taking in a neighborhood stroll and suddenly have the urge to ravage your lover? A quick nip into a public park or playground is a popular option for many, and can provide some fun opportunities for play. Sit on a swing so your lover can use the motion for added thrust, or hang on to those monkey bars as you wrap your legs around his waist. Take turns keeping lookout, and choose small parks in safe, quiet streets to evade prying eyes.

Da Club

Okay, not technically outdoors, but still very public. If the thumping bass of the music and dancefloor grinding is too enticing for you to ignore, it is possible to get it on in a crowded club without getting caught. Hundreds of thousands of lovers can probably testify to that. But it’s not quite as simple as adjusting your twerk. Disabled bathrooms are a popular option due to the privacy they can provide, although occupying a dedicated stall for seven minutes in heaven is probably not going to go unnoticed – or win you any favors if you emerge to find someone waiting to use it. If the club has booths, these are probably your best bet. Oral sex can sometimes be discreetly achieved using the cover of a table, or position yourself so you’re sitting in your lover’s lap and keep your movements subtle. You could just be cuddling.

Three Golden Rules, Wherever You Do It

Stay classy. This might seem impossible if you plan on having your butt hanging out in public, but retaining some decorum – and respect for others – is important. Don’t set out to have sex in front of unsuspecting passersby.

Don’t get so caught up in the moment you prompt anyone to come check out the action, or worse, call the police. Even if you are able to achieve an earth-shattering orgasm in an outdoor space, be a good, non-scary human and do your best to keep the vocals to a minimum.

High-fives on using condoms but be sure to take your evidence with you, or throw it in the trash. No one wants to stumble across the proof of your erotic encounter the following day.

What’s the craziest place you’ve had sex outdoors or in public?

Sex Toys 101, Your Body

Sex Toy Smarts: Water-Based Versus Silicone Lube

Think anything slippery will do the trick when it comes to your sex toys? Whatever you have on hand might be good enough in the short term, but you can actually shorten the life of your favorite pleasure piece if you fail to use the right lubricant with it. Not only that, but using the wrong lube can actually cause the wrong kind of friction, which can lead to soreness. Boo! Prolong the life of your toys and make using them a whole lot more enjoyable. Here’s how to choose the right lube for your bedtime buddy.

Water

Water-based lubricants are generally the safest to use with the majority of sex toys, so if you’re not sure what exactly your toy is made of, stick with water-based in the meantime. If you’re not sure what your toys are made of, be sure to check out our post What Are Your Sex Toys Really Made Of? Some cheaper materials can actually contain toxins you’ll want to keep well away from your cooch, so do your research now. If you can’t figure out what your current toys are made of, it might be a good excuse time to invest in some quality replacements. 

But back to water-based lube. While this type of lubricant glides well and is usually easy to clean up, it does have a tendency to dry out, or be absorbed into the skin, more quickly than other varieties, meaning you may have to reapply it.

Silicone

Silicone lubricants are popular because they offer advantages above water-based lubes. First, they tend to be thicker and longer lasting, so you usually only need to apply them once per sexy session. Second, they’re not soluble in water, so if you like to take your toys with you into the shower or bath, you’ll need a lubricant that isn’t going to be washed away.

On the downside, the fact that silicon lubricants are thicker and longer-lasting means you’ll need to be far more careful about cleaning your toys after use to ensure every last bit of used lube is washed off.

Though inexperienced sex toy shoppers may be forgiven for assuming silicone lube is the best option for silicone toys, the opposite is actually true. Silicone lubricants should never be used with silicone or cyberskin toys, since they can actually break down the surface of your toy – making it a breeding ground for bacteria.

Remember; only ever use a dedicated sexual lubricant with your sex toys, or with your partner. Using anything else you might find in your kitchen or bathroom cabinets can damage your toy – and worse – prove harmful to you.

 

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Sex Ed

Masturbation Technique: Vibrating Fingers

If you’re new to vibrators finger vibrators are cute, non-threatening, and oh-so-easy-to-use. They’re also inexpensive compared to their bigger, penetrative, counterparts!

Finger vibes are designed to be used on your clit and labia. They’re a really fun way to explore what feels good on the outside.

Don’t get caught up with only your clit. Be sure to tease, tickle and explore your labia. The sensations are far more subtle, but very pleasurable. Experiment and discover what feels great for you!

Here are a few options to consider, from the hi-tech to the cute and buzzy!

Jimmy Jane Hello Touch

Say Hello to your partner in a whole new sexy way. Touch and sizzle with the Hello Touch by Jimmyjane, a brand spanking new wearable couples vibrator.

Simply pop the Hello Touch onto your fingertips and then engage in foreplay such as clitoral stimulation, G-Spot stimulation, prostate stimulation – or just explore your partners body and see where you get a reaction!

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Tenga Vi Bo Ring Orb

VI-BO Ring Orb has a small vibrating ball with a silicone covering. It has a generous loop of silicone that can be placed around the shaft of a penis or finger without pinching.

The ball is removable and exchangeable with other VI-BO products.

tenga picobong

Key by Jopen Pyxis Finger Massager

With its clever shape and ambidextrous design, the Pyxis finger massager is ideal for both solo and partner play.

Great for warming up pre-sex, but even better to continue during intercourse and you are nearly guaranteed to make the most difficult woman climax!

Use Pyxis for solo masturbation, or in the shower with its waterproof body.

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We’ve featured the range at MiMi Deluxe.com  – chosen for their visual appeal, functionality, and tried and tested quality.

Polkadotsi hasn’t been paid to publish this post! We just love the gorgeousness.

 

Photo credit:  piotr_marcinski