Seven factors that influence sexual consent

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By Valeria Escobar

Through over 150 interviews spanning five years, two Columbia researchers have tried to “pull back the curtain” on the sex lives of Columbia undergraduates. As concerns around sexual assault have become a central part of the undergraduate student experience, during which as many as one in three women and almost one in six men will report being sexually assaulted, the researchers sought to find the factors of college living that enable these acts and the ways in which colleges can best prevent them in the future.

Last week, Jennifer Hirsch, professor of sociomedical sciences at the Mailman School of Public Health, and Shamus Khan, chair of the department of sociology, released the culmination of their work in their book, “Sexual Citizens: A Landmark Study of Sex, Power, and Assault on Campus.” Through their work, Hirsch and Khan argued for a need to reevaluate popular notions about consent to empower students to feel as though they have the right to choose their sexual experiences.

To begin their book launch, Hirsch and Khan participated in a panel at the Forum on Columbia’s Manhattanville campus, where they discussed the scope of their project to an audience of hundreds of students and faculty.

“The thing that complicated consent for us was that people consented to sex that they didn’t want to have and people had sex that they wanted to have without ever consenting to that sex,” Khan said.

“Consent education thinks fundamentally not about the moment of transaction between two people in the presence of the ‘yes’ or the expression or affirmation, but tries to understand bringing that social world into that moment,” he added.

Hirsch and Khan’s publication follows the 2018 findings from the Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation tam, which noted that race, gender, and class play significant roles in shaping students’ experiences with consent. In interviews with Spectator, students noted that these factors contribute to their complicated experience with consent, which the straightforward “yes means yes” model that is taught during the New Student Orientation Program fails to address.

At the panel, Hirsch and Khan highlighted among these factors the “Seven Dimensions of Consent”—““gendered heterosexual scripts,” “sexual citizenship,” “intersectionality,” “men’s fears,” “alcohol,” “peer groups,” and “spatial/temporal factors”—as wrinkles that have yet to be ironed out by the affirmative consent model.

Gendered Heterosexual Scripts:

In heterosexual sexual encounters, the male-identifying partner is traditionally expected to ask for consent, affirming the idea that masculinity is associated with “unceasing sexual desire.” According to their findings, this expectation has reinforced the expectation for men to ask for rather than provide consent, making it difficult for men to recognize their own experiences as nonconsensual.

The book recounts the story of Boutros, a pseudonym for a student, who was leaving a pub crawl in Edinburgh when a woman undressed and groped him, even after he repeatedly asked her to leave him alone. The account of the story became very muddled, the researchers wrote, as he hesitated over his words.

“Come on, a girl can’t really sexually assault a guy,” Boutros told the researchers, noting that he would never “sue her” or seek compensations. “Unless I get grievous bodily harm or come to serious financial detriment.”

Sexual Citizenship:

Personal experiences, including childhood, sexual education, and interactions with family and peers inform one’s right to determine one’s own sexual involvement, according to the researchers. Khan said that sexual citizenship is more than having the “right to say yes or no” due to differing conceptions of social responsibilities; rather, he emphasized, it entails engaging both partners’ personal desires.

Adele Chi, BC ’22, told Spectator in a 2018 interview that she received a comprehensive affirmative consent education at her private high school, which allowed her to feel more confident in making decisions about her personal experiences with sex and consent in college.

“When I walk into [a] frat house, I don’t think, ‘Oh, I am setting myself up automatically to enter into a sexual relationship.’ It is my own free will, and I am my own person. I don’t feel like women should feel like their bodies are entitled to other guys, even if [they] enter into an environment where it welcomes that sexual context to happen,” she said.

Intersectionality:

Factors such as differences in race and ethnicity, physical strength, social status, and age further complicate consent. These differences, which are indicative of social inequalities, contribute to a fear of physical intimacy, according to the researchers, who highlighted the importance of underscoring social inequalities that contribute to sexual assault.

“Sex is not a cognitive behavior, it’s not a health behavior, it’s a social behavior,” Hirsch said. “You can’t understand what people are trying to do when they are having sex without understanding the world [around them].”

Gender and race are both factors that affect people’s ability to contest or request sexual encounters. Additionally, Hirsch noted in the discussion that every single black woman who spoke to the researchers had experienced unwanted sexual contact.

“If you’re thinking of sexual assault prevention, you have to also think about racial justice,” she added.

Men’s Fears:

Men worry that there is a gap between actual consent practices and the legal standard that they were taught. While there is no evidence to suggest that false accusations are common, men still largely fear the possibility of being accused because they are usually responsible for obtaining consent.

The paper emphasizes the fear on the part of students of color, and particularly black men, who have an “intense awareness of racialized risk of sexual assault accusations.” Harvard Law School professor Jeannie Suk Gersen attributes this notion to the impact of “overcriminalization, mass incarceration, and law enforcement bias” that disproportionately penalizes racial minorities.

Alcohol:

During the panel discussion, Khan raised the question of why alcohol and sexual activity are so commonly paired; Hirsch noted that “people get drunk in order to have sex” to avoid the awkwardness that arises from social interactions that limit sexual opportunities. Their work notes that although one can’t give consent while intoxicated, drunk sex is a normalized part of the college experience.

“If you view sex as something that is so shameful or you’re so afraid of that you can’t do it until you get really drunk, we need to ask ourselves why is it the case that we are relating to sex in [through sex],” Khan said.

A number of high-profile cases of college sexual assault have recently involved intoxication, leading the two researchers to examine alcohol as an important component in the discussion of sexual assault prevention.

However, Khan also noted that many incidents of sexual assault occur when people are sober, so looking to alcohol as a major contributor of sexual assault “isn’t going to get us very close” to understanding the complexities of consent.

Peer Groups:

Students’ lives are centralized around peer communities that maintain an identity through group harmony and a collective reputation. As such, peer groups can facilitate sexual interactions that will benefit the standing of the group, the researchers emphasized. However, members of these groups may also downplay instances of assault so as not to cause a disruption in the community’s cohesion.

While the peer group benefits from a student’s decision to engage in a sexual encounter or avoid labeling an incident as “assault,” the student consequently sees their sexual partner only as a means of social leverage rather than as a result of personal desires.

“Part of the idea of sexual citizenship is not just if you have the right to say yes or say no but that you treat the other person that you’re active with like they’re a human being and not a sex toy,” Hirsch said.

Spatial/Temporal Factors:

The urban setting of Columbia causes a divergence from the quintessential New England college campus; space is limited, and the University is not the most prominent feature of its city. Space and time are noted as contributors to “implied” consent throughout their research; in certain “sexually charged” places and at certain times, such as party spaces and bars, sexual activity is an essential component of the experience for students.

Most recently, Columbia researchers at the Society for Applied Anthropology suggested that there are specific times within the calendar year, relationship stage, and span of the sexual interaction when a person establishes expectations for their partner and limits the ability to refuse consent. Students perceive an invitation to a fraternity formal, a long-term relationship, and an encounter organized through a dating app as temporal factors that indicate consent.

Complete Article HERE!

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It’s not just about sex:

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How to talk to young kids about consent, and why it matters

By Amber Leventry

As a parent who is also a survivor of incest, I want nothing more than to protect my children from sexual violence. I constantly wonder what it will take to improve, if not end, rape culture in our society.

Every 73 seconds, an American is sexually assaulted, according to the Rape, Abuse and Incest National Network, or RAINN. According to the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention, nearly 1 in 5 women and 1 in 38 men have experienced completed or attempted rape — forced or coerced vaginal, anal or oral sex. Rape can happen at the hands of known or unknown assailants, including spouses or significant others.

My oldest daughter is 9, and my twins — a boy and a girl — are 6. They are not too young to be educated about sexual health and what healthy relationships look and feel like. We refer to their body parts with the appropriate names; we talk about hygiene, privacy and boundaries. I have taught them about tricky people, and the thing we probably talk more about than anything else is consent.

At the core of its meaning, consent is about permission or an agreement to give and take something. When we use the word “consent,” we often use it in a sexual context because when someone is raped, permission has not been given, and something incredibly personal has been taken.

My goal is to protect my children, but I also have a responsibility to send them into the world with respect for all bodies and an understanding of how consent works and why it is important. The nuances of communicating our wants and then hearing the response or seeing it in a person’s body language during nonsexual situations are lessons we can teach our kids now so that later, when the stakes are higher, they already have the tools to build safe sexual relationships.

I was in the kitchen one evening and could hear my kids trading Pokémon cards. My 9-year-old daughter asked her 6-year-old brother if he would give up one of his cards for one she was offering. He hesitated and told her he wasn’t sure. She tried again. He considered but was reluctant. She tried to negotiate. He said no. She continued to offer him cards he might like, but he clearly didn’t want to trade. She was badgering him. I knew it was making him uncomfortable because he wanted to please her, but he didn’t want to say yes; he was saying no but, in my daughter’s opinion, not enthusiastically enough.

The situation was making me uncomfortable, too, so I stepped in. I praised my son for using his voice to communicate what he didn’t want. I told my daughter that she needed to walk away from the situation. He was telling her and showing her that he didn’t want to trade. I explained that her desires should never be forced onto someone else.

I reminded my daughter of the phrase “You asked, I/she/he/they answered.” This is meant to eliminate nagging when my kids want me to change my mind, and it helps me teach them that they can’t always get what they want. The phrase is a lesson in consent. “You asked for the card, he said no.”

Lexx Brown-James, a licensed marriage and family therapist, certified sex educator and author of “These are My Eyes, This is My Nose, This is My Vulva, These are My Toes,” is also a parent navigating these issues. “When we teach consent to our children — across the gender spectrum — we also have to teach and model respect, [but] respect has changed so much even throughout my own lifetime,” she says. Brown-James grew up in the South and was taught to obey authority without question, but she points out that the definition of respect has changed. It can be a shared goal of treating others how we would want to be treated, no matter the age or power difference, she says.

Brown-James says it is important to empower our children to say yes as well as no, and to make them feel like they will be heard. But kids can’t be in control all of the time, so it’s necessary for adults to model informed consent. Brown-James gives the example of a child going to the dentist. It’s scary, and a child may not want to go, but healthy teeth are important. She suggests giving power to a child’s voice even in those situations. Let them choose the side of the mouth the dentist can look at first. Allow the child to say when they need a break. And be sure you or the dentist check in to see how the child is doing.

Consent also needs to be visible and identified in everyday acts. Asking kids if we can hug them, tickle them or take a bite of their food are great ways to model patterns of asking before taking and then showing them that their voice has power. Notice how none of the situations discussed so far have anything to do with sex? This is important.

I emphasize “no means no” and “stop means stop” with my kids, but it’s not always easy. If something hurts or makes us uncomfortable, telling someone to stop is still confrontational. We may want to keep the peace rather than face another person’s negative reactions. Although I hope my kids will speak up for themselves, I also want them to be able to interpret the other side of the no. If they are ever in a situation where consent is not clear through words, I want my kids to learn how to read body language so they can safely stop an action that is making someone uncomfortable.

Joe Navarro, 25-year FBI veteran and author of “What Every Body is Saying” and “Louder Than Words,” writes that parents should start to teach about body language as soon as their children can understand simple instructions. He emphasizes that all nonverbal communication has meaning and that body language conveys our emotions. Navarro encourages parents to remind children that learning to read body language is a way to make people comfortable.

But what happens when consent is given, but with hesitation? Not all consent is enthusiastic, so Brown-James refers back to teaching kids how to check in. Kids provide plenty of teachable moments for this when they want to do something but are nervous. Brown-James uses an example of her daughter wanting to pet a dog but feeling anxious. She said yes, but her body language did not convey excitement. By using a slow, check-in-as-you-go approach, Brown-James’s daughter got close to the dog, decided where and when she wanted to pet the dog, then finally touched the dog and was ecstatic. With each step, Brown-James asked whether her daughter felt okay.

The work and mindfulness necessary to teach these nuances are worth the initial stumbling points or emotional labor involved. Rape culture will not improve with a one-time talk at puberty. A foundation of empowerment, respect and thoughtfulness for others needs to be put in place early so kids’ intuition can guide them, whether because someone has touched them inappropriately or because they are navigating a new physical relationship as a teen.

Before our kids become teenagers, though, they need the skills to say no for themselves and for others if a situation doesn’t feel right. Deliberate, ongoing and forward-thinking conversations about consent in nonsexual situations will help them navigate higher-stakes sexual decisions when they are older.

Complete Article HERE!

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The Nuanced Push for American Sex Education

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According to the Sexuality and Information Council of the United States, only 38 percent of high schools and 14 percent of middle schools across the country teach all 19 topics identified as critical for sex education by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention.

Despite research demonstrating the health benefits of comprehensive sex education that dates back to the 1980s and even earlier, abstinence-only curricula have historically been the federal go-to, establishing a dichotomy between what the science reveals and what American classrooms have the funds to teach. While federal barriers may complicate the conversation around sex education, many advocates and legislators are working tirelessly to ensure comprehensive sex education. When the need for comprehensive sex education is explained, especially by young people who feel its impact the most, the public tends to listen, even in areas where resistance to sex ed is strong.

In truth, sex education in America is not as controversial as it seems. In fact, public opinion overwhelmingly supports sex education. But while most Americans believe in sex education, Americans do not all agree on the best way to do it. And, as far as experts are concerned, sex education is not practiced across the country the way it should be.

At the federal level, certain initiatives and politicians have tried and failed to regulate sex education. Given the variety of opinions and sensitivities around the once taboo topic of sex, sex-ed legislation works best when approached at the state or local level, as demonstrated in states such as Colorado, Illinois, Texas, and Washington.

By the Numbers

The fight for sex ed gets complicated because sex is complicated. But while sex may be complicated, the American desire for education is not. When America argues over sex ed, the disagreement is never really about the need to educate our children, but rather about the topics of politics, religion, sexuality, and gender that are all inherently linked to sex.

For this reason, as Jennifer Driver, vice president of policy and strategic partnerships at SIECUS told the HPR, successful advocates for sex ed provide a nuanced, gradual, “half-baked approach” to sex education.

Historically, there has been a major gap between public opinion and public policy with regard to sex education. According to a study by NARAL Pro-Choice America, “the public overwhelmingly supports age-appropriate, comprehensive sex education, yet anti-choice policymakers promote restrictive abstinence-only programs that censor information about contraception and STD/HIV prevention strategies.”

“Sex education is incredibly popular,” explained Dr. Sara Flowers, vice president of education at Planned Parenthood, who holds a doctorate in Public Health. “Whether looking at political beliefs, geographics, socioeconomic status, or demographics, we have seen through likely voter surveys that there’s resounding support for sex education across the country. There’s this stereotype that sex ed is controversial, but it really isn’t. There’s resounding support for sex ed.”

And, according to NARAL, a 2012 survey demonstrated that 93 percent of adults and 87 percent of teens deem it important to receive information about both abstinence and contraception. For Americans, it cannot just be one or the other.

A Planned Parenthood study from 2014 also demonstrates that Americans overwhelmingly support sex education, with over 90 percent of parents reporting that it is important to have sex ed in middle and high school. These parents advocated for comprehensive sex ed, saying that sex ed should incoporate topics including birth control, STDs, healthy versus unhealthy relationships, abstinence, and sexual orientation. According to these statistics, abstinence-only sex ed is insufficient.

Abstinence-Only, and a Look at the Resistance

But as mentioned, federal policies have historically favored abstinence-only-until-marriage curricula, and these programs have been popular across the aisle. The federal government has allocated over $2 billion to abstinence-only-until-marriage programs since 1982. In particular, the Clinton administration heavily supported these programs, and even allocated $250 million for them. Although they came to an intermittent pause in 2010, abstinence-only programs have again seen the light of day with the Trump-Pence administration.

Beyond the aforementioned abstinence-only-until-marriage programs, it is critical to note that there has always been and still is a resistance movement to sex education in general. Across time, resistance to sex education has arisen in communities with a tradition of little sex education, and which thus become shocked at the introduction of comprehensive sex ed.

“There’s a very strong-but-small movement against sex and sexuality. That movement is very well-funded and has done a successful job of getting people to have doubts about sexual education and [believe] that if you provide sexuality education, young people are more likely to be sexually active. But that is inaccurate info,” Tamara Kreanin, director of the Population and Reproductive Health Program from the Packard Foundation and former executive director of Women and Population at the United Nations Foundation, told the HPR.

From Kreanin’s experience, when advocating for sex education in school districts where sex education had previously faltered — for example, a community on the border in Texas — “ultimately what had the major impact was the young people from the school themselves speaking out and talking about how important comprehensive sex education is. They talked about their peers getting pregnant and syphilis and HIV, and I think what ended up having the biggest impact was the voice of the students,” she said.

The Role of Third-Party Organizations

There is no denying that it has been difficult to implement comprehensive sex ed in American schools. As a result, third-party organizations and groups such as Planned Parenthood, NARAL, and the Unitarian Church have stepped in to offer comphrensive sex education outside of the classroom while simultaneously advocating for better sex ed within schools.

For example, Planned Parenthood, the largest sex-ed provider in the country, not only delivers its own sex-ed workshops and online information, but also develops relationships with schools to build school specific sex-ed curricula. Other groups that are similarly nonpartisan and geographically wide-reaching, such as the Unitarian Church, have created their own sex-ed curricula. The Unitarian Church’s comprehensive sex-ed cirriculum, Our Whole Lives, is one of the most well-regarded in the country.

These third-party organizations who supplement and foster sex ed in America’s schools have made major headway in the push for comprehensive sexual education.“We recognize sex ed in schools as an incredible opportunity because young people are in schools,” Flowers told the HPR. “But it’s important to understand that sex ed in schools is not the only place where sex education happens neither historically nor currently. It’s always been a partnership in schools and out-of-school spaces where sex education happens.”

Kreanin agreed with Flowers. “It’s important to think of sex education from three different lenses,” she told the HPR. “In schools, out of the school setting, whether that’s an afterschool setting or a safe community, and online. In an ideal world, you have all three,” she said.

Keeping It Close To Home: State Level and Local Policies

While it may be easy to keep after-school and online curricula similar across state lines, it proves much harder to do so in public schools. When it comes to sex ed in schools, individual states, and often even individual districts, have the ability to implement their own curricula — or not incorporate sex ed at all. In recent years, many advocacy groups and state level governments have made concerted pushes to improve their commitment to comprehensive sex-ed curricula in public schools.

“There’s definitely a pathway to legislation for sex ed at the state level,” Driver told the HPR. “We spend a lot of time trying to figure out how to improve the education system and sex ed is a component. In science classes, there’s a foundation you need … The same thing needs to happen with sex ed. There needs to be a focused foundation setting in K-5 that introduces what it means to be a good friend and how to have strong friendships and family relationships.” Driver emphasized that students can move into much stronger conversations about sex ed after, and only after, that foundation is set. Comphrensive sex-ed curriculums are lauded by experts because they incorporate foundation setting and a focus on relationship building before launching into higher-level material.

State legislators are latching on to the push for comprehensive sex ed too. Successful campaigns for state-level comprehensive sex-ed legislation have happened across the country, with notable crusades in Colorado, Illinois, Texas, and Washington. Although Colorado public schools are still not required to teach sex ed, Colorado abides by local control laws. This means that if districts decide to teach sex ed at all, they have the ability to choose their own sex-ed curriculum. Experts praise Colorado’s local efforts and commend a new state law signed by Governor Jared Polis last May, which mandates that if schools are to teach sex ed, they must teach a comprehensive curriculum that includes conversations around consent. The bill also gives $1 million to fund sex-ed grants in schools and districts; these grants will be overseen by a parent representative and a youth reprenstative, as well as someone to represent students of color.

Illinois has followed a very similar path and also now requires that when sex ed is taught, it is comprehensive. This means it must include conversations around healthy relationships and consent. Meanwhile, policymakers in Texas, a state where abstinence-only sex ed has been a prescribed norm for the past 20 years and the fervent anti-sex-ed movement has a strong foothold, have suggested reworking state law to incorporate conversations about contraceptives, healthy relationships, and consent as well. And in Washington, while a proposed mandatory sex-ed bill failed last April, policymakers continue to fight for comprehensive state wide sexual education. The bill’s passage through the state senate demonstrates the progress made by Washington’s sex-ed advocates.

And At The Federal Level …

In addition to advocating for policy at the state level, Driver told the HPR that her organization continues to push for two priority bills at the federal level. One of these bills is the Real Education for Healthy Youth Act, sponsored by Sen. Cory Booker (D-N.J.) and Rep. Barbara Lee (D-Calif.), which “would be the first ever comprehensive sex-ed bill,” Driver said. The other is the Youth Access to Sexual Health Services Act, sponsored by Sen. Mazie Hirono (D-Hawaii) and Rep. Alma Adams (D-N.C.), which would ensure access to services particularly for LGBTQ youth and communities of color.

In prioritizing sex ed at the federal level, Driver said that society must recognize sex ed’s impact on many other social issues: “Sex ed links to overall education. It links to reducing trans- and homophobia and reducing sexual assault. If we were to prioritize and recognize the connection to so many other social issues it would be easier. Our downfall is that people see sex ed and see a 6 to12-week curriculum and then we’re done, but that’s not sex ed. It may be a curriculum and more.”

When discussing sex education in America in 2020, advocates need to make clear that sex education has support across parties and geographic lines, and that sex education is, after all, just education. All in all, sex education is just “responding to an inextricable part of our humanity,” said Driver. “There are real opportunities in this field to think about how we scaffold and integrate sex ed into adulthood. The knowledge and skills of sex ed provide and support relationships with others.”

Complete Article HERE!

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Can You Orgasm Without A Partner?

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Here’s How To Have A Pleasure Party For One

By Griffin Wynne

Though sex can be a multiplayer game, there’s a lot to be said for getting it on with your bad self. Whether you charge up your favorite toy or prefer to get your own hands dirty, knowing how to orgasm without a partner can be a total game-changer.

“Each body is equipped for pleasure all on its own,” Brianne McGuire, host of the Sex Communication podcast, tells Elite Daily. “For those struggling to reach orgasm, the absence of pressure and observation [from partnered sex] often allows for great success.”

As McGuire shares, masturbating, or bringing yourself to orgasm, can allow you to learn about your own erogenous zones and “unique pleasure points” at a pace that’s comfortable and enjoyable for you. When you’re not worrying about being in tune with a partner or trying to arouse someone else, you can turn all your attention to yourself, and really learn about your body.

“[Orgasming without a partner] is a great way to reduce stress, connect with your body, and feel pleasure that’s in your control,” Kayna Cassard, sex therapist and founder of Intuitive Sensuality, tells Elite Daily. “When you know what makes you feel good and orgasm, you can better explore and reach orgasm with your partner.”

While some people may reach orgasm by stimulating their genitals, Lola Jean, sex educator and mental health professional, shares that because everybody is different, orgasms look and feel different for everyone. “There are prostate orgasms, penile orgasms, breath orgasms, skin orgasms, clitoral orgasms, [and] cervical orgasms which can be induced manual or via the vagus nerve,” Jean says.

For Dr. Christopher Ryan Jones, sex and relationships therapist, experimenting with different sensations on different parts of your body is a great way to understand yourself more. “I highly recommend that everyone experiments with different erogenous zones on their body (nipples, genitals, anus, etc. ) using their hands and adult toys,” Dr. Jones tells Elite Daily. “This is a fantastic way to explore and understand your body, which is really important so that you can communicate your likes and dislikes with your partner later on and increase both partners’ satisfaction in the bedroom.”

Jean adds that while it’s possible to orgasm from directly stimulating these locations, it’s also possible to reach the big O from indirect touching. “You can achieve a G-spot orgasm via accessing it through the anal canal. You can have a blended orgasm — prostate and penile, or g-spot and external clitoris. There are so many ways to experience pleasure that we tend to limit ourselves by receding the definition down to one or two things,” Jean says.

Additionally, Cassard shares that some orgasms don’t need physical stimulation at all. “For all kinds of people, there can be the ability to have energetic orgasms or orgasms that typically come through breathwork, meditation, and the right mindset without even touching the genitals,” Cassard says. In addition to breathing and meditating, Jean suggests listening to guided masturbation tracks and imagining different sexual fantasies in our brains or visual stimulation.

All of the experts suggest exploring your own body and seeing what feels right for you. “Getting to know your body through touch is the easiest path to solo orgasm,” McGuire says. “If visuals help get your blood flowing, then pull out some porn or whatever turns you on and begin there. Toys are extremely helpful, and there are many options — try external and internal toys, even a combination of the two, and find what works best for you.”

In addition to finding what toys work for you and incorporating porn or other erotic media, Cassard suggests using different props or stimuli, like a showerhead or a couch cushion. “[You can orgasm by yourself] in a lot of the same ways that you orgasm with a partner,” Cassard says. “Lying down with your back on the bed or couch stimulating the genitals, facing downward ‘humping’ a pillow or rolled-up towel, in the shower with a water-safe toy or with the showerhead directly on the clitoris — [there are ] so many ways!”

Of course, no matter what road to take to the big O, it’s important to listen to your own body. “The most important thing being to listen to your body, be patient, and don’t emulate what you think you’re ‘supposed’ to do,” Jean says. Though orgasming may look a certain way in movies or on TV, Jean shares the importance of learning your own orgasm. Cassard also urges you to keep an open mind as you learn about your body. “Notice the places in your body that feel neutral or pleasant to help you stay out of your head and in the pleasure,” Cassard says. “Explore! Have fun with it!”

While you may enjoy the connection and intimacy from partnered sex (which, BTW, is totally cool), Jean shares that it can still be important to take some time to get it on with yourself, even when you’re seeing someone. “It is often easier and potentially faster to orgasm by one’s self,” Jean says. “You can adjust based on your own feeling without having to communicate that to someone else.” Though you may love nothing more than getting it on with your partner, it’s always OK to want some one-on-one time as well.

From using a toy to touching yourself with yourself, knowing how to make yourself orgasm can be super empowering. Though it may take two to tango, it only takes one to reach the big O.

Complete Article HERE!

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Real Orgasms And Transcendent Pleasure:

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How Women Are Reigniting Desire

By Malaka Gharib

How can more women allow themselves to experience sexual pleasure?

That’s one of the central questions in The Pleasure Gap: American Women and the Unfinished Sexual Revolution, a book published this month by public health researcher and journalist Katherine Rowland.

Rowland explores why American women aren’t happy with their sex lives — and what they can do about it. A landmark study from 1999 found that over 40% of women surveyed experienced sexual dysfunction — the inability to feel satisfied by sex. A contributing factor, noted the researchers, was the lasting psychological effects of sexual trauma.

The Pleasure Gap
American Women & the Unfinished Sexual Revolution
by Katherine Rowland

The Pleasure Gap highlights how desire and the mind are linked for women. “Pleasure is inextricable from our social status, compressed and constrained by financial factors, by safety factors, by objectification,” she says. We need to remove these barriers, she says, to experience sex with the “full freedom, expression, range and truth that we’re endowed with.”

Rowland argues that it is possible for women to take charge and reignite their libidos. She talked to NPR about why fake orgasms are a cause for alarm, how much sex couples should have per week and “sexological bodywork.”

This interview has been edited for length and clarity.

You take issue with some of the research that tries to quantify sexual frequency and the idea that once a week may be the “optimal” amount. So how much sex should we be having?

Our national obsession with sexual frequency and the terrifying specter of dead bedrooms overrides the fundamental importance of sexual quality. There is no volume of sex that’s more or less good.

For whatever reason, researchers have embraced this idea that we should be having sex once a week — that it’s enough to sustain relationships and that it keeps depression, heart disease and obesity at bay.

But none of that research looks at how participants actually feel about that sex — other than feeling good that they can check the box for having done it.

You interviewed more than 120 women for this book. Many in heterosexual, long-term relationships told you that sex was an act of drudgery and that they often did whatever it took to get the job done. This felt sad to me.

I found myself feeling beaten down by the near ubiquity of stories of faking it in that context.

We tend to treat faking it as such a jokey matter. When the media reports on studies that try and capture the percentage of women who fake orgasm during sex, it tends to be from a male perspective saying “ouch” — focusing more on the bruising of men’s feelings that occurs when women are lying to them as opposed to concerns surrounding the fact that women aren’t feeling good.

That women are feigning their pleasure in order to hasten that experience along — I think we need to treat that with real alarm. We need to ask: What’s going on in that women are engaging in spectacle as opposed to actually allowing themselves to feel sensation?

Your book explores how some women have a low desire for sex. How does this happen?

Among the women who I spoke to, the persistent low desire was heavily associated with the idea that sex should revolve around penetration as the main course, with maybe a polite prelude of a foreplay, rather than thinking about sex as a broader universe of intimacy.

It’s the combination of a larger culture that privileges male sexuality over women’s, a culture that doesn’t teach women that pleasure belongs to them. A lack of anatomical self-knowledge. And feelings of sort of persistent danger and women being often censored and censured for expressing their desire.

You push back against the idea that the female orgasm is mysterious and elusive, which is how the media has sometimes described it. What would be a more accurate way to understand the female orgasm?

It’s more like riding a bicycle. You learn how to do it. And what we see is that as women become more versed with what their body can do, orgasm becomes more readily achievable.

The female orgasm tends to get wrapped up in these fuzzy terms like “elusive” and “hazy” and “mysterious” because women aren’t encouraged to explore what actually feels good. But if they were encouraged to self-pleasure and explore in real, sincere ways by themselves and with their partners, I think they would find that there is a world of pleasurable sensation available to them.

In your book, you say that the goal is for women to have a “profound sexual experience.” What do you mean by that?

It can mean a number of things, and I don’t think it necessarily has to be a sexual encounter in terms of our often narrow understanding of sex. The women who I spoke to describe it to me as feelings of transcendence, of approaching sex not just as a way for getting off or feeling good, but as a portal into a deeper state of self-knowledge.

They often use the word “spiritual” — the alignment of self, sensation and possibility. Pleasure so deep it felt like a homecoming, like they had been restored to themselves, to the depths of their potential.

How can women regain control over their sex lives?

The first thing to do would be to stop absorbing [unscientific] outside knowledge. There is such a rash of faulty information out there as a result of our lack of sound science and solid education. We’ve seen this proliferation of experts pandering to the lowest common denominator.

Online, you’ll find doctors who promise that by injecting more blood into the vagina, it will give it a face-lift that will bolster orgasmic potential. Or self-proclaimed “sexperts” who put on female ejaculation retreats. Those kinds of offerings often exist side by side with credentialed and validated interventions.

The second thing is to get to know your body. I think the most powerful intervention that I documented in my book was the realm of sexological bodywork.

What is that?

It’s a somatic approach to sexual healing that can — but does not necessarily — include genital touch. There’s a profound opportunity there for ethical violations, especially because it’s not a regulated practice. But for some of the women who I spoke to, they’ve said that this was the missing link in understanding their bodies.

Sexological bodywork practitioners facilitate your self-knowledge of your body, pleasure, comfort, boundaries, feelings of confidence and being able to articulate “no.” For example, “No, I don’t want you to touch me here” and “I don’t want you to look at me here.” This helps women ask why they feel this way — and get to a point where they can say “yes.”

For women in a relationship with a man, how can male partners do more to help?

Men can — and should — play a central role in helping women fully engage with their desires and sensations.

They can do this by being compassionate and nonjudgmental listeners. By creating an erotic atmosphere in which men and women’s needs command equal importance, and by encouraging interactions that depart from the wearied script of male arousal and release. Just as society tends to overly complicate female sexuality, we oversimplify men’s, and they also benefit from shifting dynamics around.

Any ideas of how to do that?

I spoke with a number of couples, and one shared a story that made a deep impression.

They’re both middle-aged and both are experiential sexuality educators, so in many respects they’re versed in subjects like male privilege and the ways female satisfaction gets short shrift. But all the same, these issues were showing up in their intimate life.

At the woman’s request, they decided to make sex just about her — so that it flowed from her interest and followed the course of her arousal. She told him, she didn’t care how he took care of himself, but she didn’t want to be a part of it.

They came to call these sessions “The Experiment.” To their mutual surprise, it lasted for a whole year. As they recounted this experience, the woman thanked her partner for his generosity, and he immediately and firmly responded, “No, it was my pleasure.” They both felt they had benefited from the woman’s sexual growth and the shared opportunity to expand their erotic vocabulary.

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I’ll Handle This

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Hey sex fans!

It’s Product Review Friday again.

This week we will feature another product from a swell new company, Kiiro, from Amsterdam.  If you missed last week’s edition, which featured our first Kiiro product, you can find it HERE.

I am delighted to welcome back Dr Dick Review Crew members, Hank & Glenn, for this review.  They’ve been away for a long time, but now they’re back and ready to introduce us to The…

TITAN by KIIROO  ——  $149

Hank & Glenn,

Hank: “HEY SEX FREAKS! We’re back…after a nearly two-and-a-half-year absence. And we’re rarin’ to go.”
Glenn: “I am one of the founding members of the Dr Dick Review Crew. I did my first review in October on 2007. Some of the other members burnt out along the way. Then back in 2014, I think it was, Dr Dick decided to close down the reviews only to revive them again in 2018. It’s been kinda spotty since then, but I think our reviews do a great service to those who read this blog.”
Hank: “I joined the Dr Dick Review Crew in August 2008.
Glenn: “A couple of months ago, Dr Dick asked us if we’d be interested in reviewing a brand-new, fancy-schmancy stroker that he scored from a company in Amsterdam. Hank and I have had the pleasure of visiting Amsterdam a couple of times in the past, so, or course, we said yes. Amsterdam is fuckin’ amazing and is one of the great sex capitols of the world.”
Hank: “You can say that again! We had a blast in Amsterdam. So, we were expecting a great product from this horned-up corner of the globe.”
Glenn: “This here is the TITAN by KIIROO, a high-tech male masturbator. It’s jet black cylinder is sleek as shit and looks pretty much like a Bluetooth speaker. It’s a little over 8.5” tall and about 3.5” wide, and weighs about 2 pounds. Its hollow internal sleeve is 7.5” long.”
Hank: “TITAN is a lot more than just a jerk-off gadget. It’s a toy for both individuals and couples. (More about the couple thing in a minute.) Like Glenn said, the overall design is very stylish. But will it live up to its hype? That’s what I want to know.”
Glenn: “I wanted to know that too. But first, we needed to charge the TITAN. A USB charging cord is included in the package. The initial charge took about 5 hours. Ya get about 40 minutes of play from a charge.”
Hank: “While it was charging, we decided to take a closer look at the

TITAN. The plastic shell has ridges on it to aid you in keeping a hold with lubed up fingers. There’s a power button and three glossy areas (control panel) where you place your fingers to adjust speed and vibration. There’s a side panel on the shell that opens to expose the sleeve. It’s kinda cool just to look at. The sleeve has three rods running through it. These rods have nine vibrating bullets (three on each rod) built into them. The sleek control panel on the surface of the unit controls the vibrating bullets offering a variety of sensations. I have no idea what the sleeve is made of, but it ain’t silicone. It’s too squishy to be silicone. It’s more like the SuperSkin of a Fleshlight. That means it’s porous and contains phthalates. Finally, a really flimsy clear plastic lid, like the kind of lid you’d get on a soft drink cup, covers the top.”
Glenn: “I was disappointed with the sleeve. I know from experience how difficult it is to clean and maintain super squishy materials like this. They feel good the first time ya use ‘em, but if extreme care isn’t used in cleaning it and thoroughly drying it, it will breakdown and you’ll have a huge mess on your hands. Yeah, and what’s up with this ridiculous lid? It doesn’t even stay in place.”
Hank: “The TITAN is pretty light weight and it’s surprisingly quiet too. There’s a bunch of other stuff in the box — user manual in a bunch of languages, quick set up guide, charging instructions, a warranty card, and a free trial for an interactive porn site. (The TITAN can sync with this porn site. It can also sync with another toy using a downloadable app for partnered use.) We didn’t use either of these two features, but they are available to anyone who wants them.”
Glenn: “OK, now that the TITAN is all charged up I offer Hank the first go at it. Nowhere on the box, or in user manual, or set up guide tells you that you can only use water-based lube. But, trust me, that’s all you can use with this toy. So Hank lubes up his big old dick and attempts to slide it in to the sleeve. Hank is heavy hung, so this takes some doin’. But once he’s got his chub situated, he begins to fiddle with the control panel.
Hank: “As it turns out, the three “buttons” on the control panel adjust vibration and speed on the three sets of bullet vibes on the rods embedded in the sleeve. This provides loads of different sensations up and down your pecker. I was impressed. You still have to use it like a stroker though. You have to pump up and down your dick. I got into a very satisfying rhythm while I was watching some of my favorite porn. In no time I was ready to unload a three-day supply of spooge.”
Glenn: “Hank has the best orgasms. He roars like a bear. When he was finished, he pulled the TITAN off his boner and set it down upright on our wooden computer desk. Remember how we said at the beginning that the sleeve was hollow? Well we had forgotten about that. When Hank picked up the TITAN to carry it to the bathroom, we discovered to our horror that all his jizz and all the lube he used ran out the hole in the bottom of the blasted thing. What a fuckin’ mess.”
Hank: “My bad! Now I had an extra mess to clean up and I had to do it super-fast so it wouldn’t destroy the desktop. Speaking of clean up, I suppose you can just run some warm water and soap through the inside of the sleeve, rinse, and let it air dry. But I like my toys really clean, so I had to open the side panel and roll the sleeve off the three rods with the bullets. This way I could thoroughly clean the sleeve. I set it aside to air dry. Because the material used to make the sleeve is so porous, just as we thought, once dry it was really tacky. It needed to be powdered before it could be used again. And, in order to use it again, you will have to re thread the sleeve back on to the rods with the vibes. And let me tell you, that is no easy task.”

Glenn: “If I wanted to use the TITAN, I would have had to use a condom. This material, whatever it is, is not designed for sharing. I thought that was too bad. But just for the hell of it, I went to the Kiiro site to see if they sold replacement sleeves. They do. There are two sleeves (They don’t say what the sleeves are made of on there site either.) and they are $39 apiece. Imagine if you had to replace the sleeve every couple months.”
Hank: “By the way, the whole Kiiro site is exclusively heterosexual. They certainly don’t do anything to welcome the gays.”
Glenn: “So there ya have it. A really great tech savvy stroker with loads of features for your (and a partner’s) pleasure. But there are a number of sometimes glaring problematic issues…I’m looking at you sleeve.”

Full Review HERE!

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Number Of Teens Coming Out Doubles, But Suicide Attempts Still Troublingly High

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by John Anderer

As recently as 10 years ago, the idea of coming out and being accepted as homosexual or bisexual felt unthinkable for countless LGBQ teens. Society has seen significant progression in recent years, though, and a new study finds that the number of U.S. teens openly identifying themselves as lesbian, gay, bisexual, or questioning has doubled between 2009 and 2017. Unfortunately, despite progress in this regard, the study also notes that LGBQ teenage suicide attempt rates are still disturbingly high.

In 2009, the LGBQ teenage attempted suicide rate was five times that of their straight peers. In 2017, while the rate did see a slight decline, it was still four times higher than the attempted suicide rate among straight teens.

“Large disparities in suicide attempts persisted even as the percent of students identifying as LGBQ increased. In 2017, more than 20% of LGBQ teens reported attempting suicide in the past year,” says lead study author Dr. Julia Raifman, assistant professor of health law, policy & management at Boston University’s School of Public Health, in a release.

“It’s critical that health and educational institutions have policies and programs in place to protect and improve LGBQ health, such as medical school curricula and high school health curricula that are inclusive of sexual minority health,” Dr. Raifman adds.

Raifman and her team believe that LGBQ rights, or perhaps lack thereof, play a significant role in subsequent teenage suicide attempts. In a separate study conducted in 2017, Raifman found that the legalization of same-sex marriage coincided with a 7% decrease in all high school student suicide attempts. Additionally, numerous previous research projects have noted that anti-LGBQ policies are seriously detrimental to the LGBQ community’s overall mental health.

“Our new paper indicates that an increasing number of teenagers are identifying as LGBQ, and will be affected by anti-LGBQ policies that may elevate these already very high rates of suicide attempts” she says.

Only six U.S. states continuously collected data on sexual orientation among teens between 2009-2017; Rhode Island, Maine, Delaware, Illinois, North Dakota, and Massachusetts. Among those six, only Connecticut, Delaware, Rhode Island, and Illinois kept track of the gender of sexually-active students’ partners, and made a distinction between consensual sexual activity and sexual assault. So, the research team were left with sexual orientation data on 110,243 high school students, and further information on the consensual sexual activity of 25,994 students within that larger group.

Using all that data, researchers determined that the percentage of high school students openly identifying themselves as LGBQ doubled from 7.3% in 2009 to 14.3% in 2017. Breaking those statistics down a bit further, the percentage of openly gay or lesbian students increased from 1.4% to 2.8%, bisexual teens went up from 3.9% to 7.2%, and teens unsure about their sexuality increased from 2.0% to 4.3%. Meanwhile, the number of sexual active high schoolers who reported same-sex sexual activity went up from 7.7% to 13.1%.

In 2009, and again in 2017, roughly 6% of heterosexual high school students reported attempting suicide over the previous year. In comparison, 26.7% of LGBQ teens attempted suicide in 2009, and 20.1% did the same in 2017.

High school can be a tough time for anyone, regardless of their sexual orientation, and the results of this study make it clear that LGBQ teens are in need of additional support and acceptance as they navigate the pitfalls of growing up.

The study is published in Pediatrics.

Complete Article HERE!

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7 questions you always wanted to ask a sex coach

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By Danielle Fox

When we polled our readers earlier this month on what they’ve always wanted to ask a sex coach, they flooded our DM’s with questions, concerns, and complaints about their partners’…techniques.

One thing to note: whatever is going on in the bedroom isn’t a “just you” issue, per se. According to the Cleveland Clinic, 43 percent of women and 31 percent of men experience some type of sexual dysfunction during their lifetimes, including low libido and low confidence. And so many readers submitted the exact same questions and the same deepest darkest secrets. You’re normal. Sex can be weird! Let’s talk about it.

Below, Gigi Engle, SKYN sex and intimacy expert and certified sex coach and author of All The F*cking Mistakes, answered questions submitted by HelloGiggles readers. Don’t see your concern below? Check out the rest of our State of Female Pleasure package for more sexpert advice.

How do I tell my partner that I’ve been faking my orgasms without hurting their feelings?

Your partner may have hurt feelings but the important thing is to assure them that you like everything they’re doing and you were faking orgasms because things felt good but you just felt you weren’t going to get “there.” Offer to show them exactly what feels good for you with gentle guidance.

How do I stop faking orgasms without offending my boyfriend?

Having an open conversation with your partner about this can be challenging. Sex is an emotionally charged thing and many of us lack the vocabulary to communicate our needs. Let your partner know that you want to try some new sex things together. You want to show him new ways to touch you and to have more orgasms. Tell them you love your sex life so he feels good about himself and then offer some guidance. When it comes to faking, if you feel like you’re not going to get there, offer some gentle guidance. Maybe you could use some more oral sex, or a toy during sex. Make those suggestions to him.

How can I be more comfortable in my body during sex?

Masturbate, masturbate, masturbate. When you get in touch with your body and internal energy, you start to feel so much more comfortable in your power. Having control over your own orgasm is empowering and will help you feel good when guiding someone in how to touch you. Body confidence is not something that happens overnight. Look at yourself in the mirror naked and tell your body how much you love it; how it takes care of you, gets you where you need to go, and is strong for you. It does not matter what you look like. You’re beautiful and sexy and powerful.

What can I do to get my partner to explore other fun sexual options? Ex: BDSM.

Make a sex menu. You write down three things you want to try and then have [them] write down three things [they’d] want to try. Then, swap lists and see what you both are interested in. This gives you a pressure-free way to learn about your partners desires and to share your own. Introduce [them] to new things slowly—maybe start out with a new lube or small sex toy. For BDSM specifically, you don’t need to go buy a bunch of expensive gear. Use a tee shirt as a blindfold and a necktie as handcuffs. It’s really not as complicated and scary as some people tend to think!

I can’t orgasm at all! Is there something wrong with me?

There is definitely nothing wrong with you. This is super common! Orgasms are 90 percent mental and 10 percent physical. So, you need to be in a positive headspace. If you believe you cannot come, your brain tells your body you can’t come, and then … you don’t come! The first thing to do is to step outside of this negative feedback loop. Take orgasm off the table for a while and focus on pleasure. Buy some sex toys (SKYN Vibes is my go-to). Take time to masturbate and see what you like. Don’t worry so much about orgasming and eventually orgasms will come.

How to move past (unknown) mental roadblocks that make it hard to orgasm with a partner?

Being present and in the moment can be very challenging when life comes at you. It’s key to remember that sex is important and life is always going to be busy. Breathe into your body and try to be more intentional. Watch some porn to keep you focused or listen to an erotic story while you’re having sexy time. Sometimes we need to ignite all of our senses to stay in the moment. Treat sex like a meditation: It’s a time to focus and breathe and enjoy.

How do you deal with extraordinary clitoral sensitivity?

Try different touch than straight up clitoral rubbing. Touch the labia, the mons, and vaginal opening. Try layering the labia over the clitoris when you use a sex toy on a low vibration setting. Sometimes having a barrier can provide comfort. You can also circle the clitoris rather than putting vibration or a tongue directly on it.
You might also benefit from cognitive behavioral therapy in tandem with working with and OBGYN. There may be an underlying medical issue that should be addressed. Seeking the help of a well-rounded team of professionals who are there to work for you is a grounded way to get the orgasms and sex you deserve.

Complete Article HERE!

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What your sexual fantasies say about your wellbeing

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By Tracey Anne Duncan

Sex is a topic we never stop exploring because of its unparalleled complexity in our lives. It’s the way our genes replicate and also a way that humans bond and also a place for our imaginations to play. That’s a lot of meaning for one activity. Because human sexuality is so multi-layered, a lot of us find ourselves having desires that we find confusing. A friend of mine recently asked how they could tell the difference between sexual fantasies that are “normal,” and fantasies that are cause for concern. I checked in with some experts in the field of sexuality to help.

First of all, there is no “normal.” “Worry about whether or not we are normal is one of the most common difficulties people have with their sexuality — behavior as well as fantasy — and this preoccupation leads to dysfunction on so many levels,” says Carol Queen, a sex educator at Good Vibrations (one of the most famous sex shop brands in the world) and one of the authors of The Sex and Pleasure Book. “Worrying about being normal promotes anxiety and shame.” Queen says that when she does sex education work that, “Am I normal?” is the most common question.

Secondly, as Queen explains, it doesn’t matter if your fantasies are “normal” or not, for two reasons. “One, they are fantasies. They are thoughts that can exist independently of a person’s behavior,” Queen says. “Two, even if a person chooses to act out a fantasy, the important metric is whether they can do so in a safe and consensual way. It’s more important to be able to be yourself than to conform to a vague notion of what normal is.”

Once we set the idea of normalcy aside, we can get to some more important matters. If your fantasies scare you or your partner, you might want to look into them with the help of a therapist. “Sometimes it is possible that repressed sexual trauma manifests itself as a particular kink,” says Angela Watson, a sex therapist and author at Doctor Climax, a sex toy review site. “Your kink should satisfy you as a sexual being, not placate mental anguish within you,” she explains. If you are using a particular kind of sex act or fantasy in order to cope with emotional pain, it doesn’t mean that the fantasy is bad or wrong, but it may mean that you have some emotional work to do that would benefit your emotional state in and outside the bedroom.

So how can you tell the difference between a kink that’s just a kink and a kink that is potentially carrying emotional weight that needs to be dealt with in therapy? Most of the experts I spoke with agreed that your fantasy is probably only problematic if you need the kink to be satisfied in order to get off and the kink itself is not sexual in nature. “If a sexual encounter is only satisfying when certain boxes are ticked that are unrelated to sex, you might have a bigger issue worth exploring,” says Watson. To put this in practical terms, if one of your kinks is humiliation (a very common kink), that’s fine unless you cannot come to orgasm unless your partner berates you for, say, your terrible parallel parking ability.

It should go without saying that no matter what your fantasies are, if you want other folks to participate in them, they should be able to do so with full awareness of what they’re getting into, you need their enthusiastic consent, and they should be legal. “A kink should be able to be enjoyed by two — or more — consenting adults and should not contravene any existing laws,” Watson says. “I mean laws like theft, assault, or murder as opposed to laws meant to control lifestyle choices. If your kink results in fun that doesn’t hurt anybody mentally or physically and isn’t punishable by law, why contain them?” Don’t worry, Dr. Climax, I surely won’t.

Complete Article HERE!

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Good News For People Not Having Regular Sex

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By Jessica Morgan

We all know that sex is good for you. The positive health benefits have been well documented over the years, with plenty of studies suggesting that frequent sex could do wonders for your mental and physical wellbeing. And last week, a new study added to the long list.

Researchers at University College London suggested that women who have sex at least once a week reduce their risk of early menopause. The study, published in the Royal Society Open Science journal, was designed to test the theory that women’s bodies may stop releasing eggs when the body senses that a woman is no longer likely to get pregnant – for example because she is no longer having sex. Researchers, however, only looked at women in their 40s and 50s.

So what does this mean for younger women who are going through a prolonged spell of no sexual activity? According to a 2016 study, millennials are having less sex than any other generation since the 1920s, and data last year showed that those under 25 and currently single are less likely to be sexually active.

There are many reasons why people may abstain from sex, from asexuality to having a low sex drive or simply choosing not to engage in it. For some, not having sex can be important for their mental health.

But as more and more young people turn their backs on the extracurricular activity, one question remains: Can having less sex – or none at all – damage our health?

The short answer is no, says Dr Leila Frodsham, consultant gynaecologist and spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists. “There is widespread evidence of regular sexual activity and health benefits in both sexes, however, there is little clear evidence of harm from not having regular sex,” she told Refinery29. “In fact, people with both mental and physical health issues may find sex is more difficult to enjoy and forming sexual relationships is more difficult.”

Research does show that having regular sex can result in certain health benefits, such as improved immune system function, reduced blood pressure, lower stress levels and less risk of cardiovascular events. The physiological benefits of sex – such as reduced stress – can also be achieved through masturbation.

“There are numerous benefits to having frequent sex – it counts as exercise, and improves your cardiovascular health and reduces your blood pressure. Regular sex can also strengthen your pelvic floor muscles, which could help with bladder control,” says Dr Eleanor Draeger, a specialist in genitourinary medicine and spokesperson for the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV. “Orgasms are associated with a release of endorphins and serotonin and can, therefore, help to relieve pain, including menstrual cramps. And one study showed that masturbation could improve migraines.

“Although both sex and masturbation both have health benefits, not doing so is not necessarily unhealthy. And there are other ways to ensure that you are experiencing the same health benefits as those afforded by regular orgasms.”

Dr Draeger suggests that you can improve your cardiovascular health by doing another form of exercise, such as running or cycling. Other ways to relieve stress and anxiety include having a hot bath and reading a good book.

She added that while regular orgasms can increase vaginal lubrication and blood flow to the vulval area, as well as increasing your libido, “it does not mean that without orgasm you will inevitably experience vaginal dryness.”

Dr Draeger concludes: “It is important to note that it is entirely healthy to want to masturbate, whether you are in a relationship or not, but that does not mean that it is unhealthy if you don’t want to.”

Complete Article HERE!

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The cuckolding fetish

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This is what it really is

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The type of consensual non-monogamy, explained.

“Cuckolding” is one of those sex terms that you’ve probably seen pop up somewhere on the internet (hello, porn sites), but you might never have known what it actually means. As the world becomes more woke to all kinds of monogamy, polyamory, and everything in between, people are becoming more and more open about enjoying cuckolding in the bedroom. So, here’s everything you need to know.

What is cuckolding?

Cuckolding is essentially a form of consensual non-monogamy, where one partner watches their lover having sex with another person. Often, cuckolding involves the observing partner (known as the cuckold) being present in the room while they watch, but they could also observe by being sent messages or photos of what is happening.

How is cuckolding different from polyamory?

Cuckolding differs from other forms of consensual non-monogamy (CNM) as it’s all focused on watching what’s happening. Other kinds of CNM include polyamory, where someone has multiple romantic partners, but cuckolding is usually purely sexual rather than romantic. Another kind of CNM is swinging, where couples swap sexual partners, but when it comes to cuckolding, the person observing usually doesn’t physically participate in any sexual activity.

What is the history of cuckolding?

The word “cuckold” is derived from the cuckoo bird, which lays its eggs in other birds’ nests, meaning that the birds go on to raise chicks that aren’t their own. “Cuckold” was first used in medieval times to describe the husband of an unfaithful wife who, unaware of his wife’s infidelity, would raise children that clearly weren’t his own, like with cuckoo birds.

The modern-day usage of the word “cuckolding” as a fetish differs from its origins, as the cuckold is aware of and is consenting to their partner sleeping with another person.

While the origins of the term describe cuckolding as a husband watching his wife with another man, cuckolding can be done any way you want, whether it’s a female partner watching their male partner with another woman or another man, or whether everybody involved is male or female or of any other gender.

Why do people enjoy cuckolding?

There are various reasons why people might enjoy cuckolding as a fetish or a form of consensual non-monogamy. Some people introduce cuckolding as a way of combatting boredom or repetition in a relationship, and find that sexual variety actually strengthens their relationship with their partner, especially as they’re able to learn more about what their partner enjoys. For others, the jealousy they feel from watching their partner with another person adds an exciting element to their relationship and can add a new dimension to their sex life.

“Cuckolding may trigger sexual jealousy,” says psychosexual and relationship therapist Aoife Drury. “The thought of their [the cuckold’s] partner being with someone else may be quite arousing.”

Aoife adds that another reason cuckolding can be enjoyable is because “it’s about seeing sexual satisfaction or empowerment from your partner and that being a turn on. This actually has a name and is defined as compersion.”

Cuckolding is a great way of strengthening communication in a relationship, as it requires honesty from both partners about what they enjoy, what they don’t and what their boundaries are if they do feel jealous or uncomfortable. Couples who have tried cuckolding often report that it strengthens the bond between them, as they’re able to trust each other and talk openly about their desires.

Cuckolding can also be considered a subset of BDSM. “An aspect of BDSM can be humiliation, and the thought of [the cuckold] feeling or being humiliated could also be exciting. Our brains have the ability to turn something degrading into something powerfully erotic,” says Aoife. Sexologist Dr. Jill McDevitt adds, “the arousal that comes from relinquishing power and being humiliated (which is a form of masochism)” can be part of what makes cuckolding enjoyable.

As well as the cuckold, the partner who is sleeping with somebody else can enjoy cuckolding because it means they get to experience sexual variety with somebody else, and they can show their partner first-hand what they like.

How can you introduce cuckolding into your relationship?

Start by being open with your partner, letting them know that this is something you want to try, and explaining what it is if they’re unsure. The important thing is to make sure that everyone involved is comfortable and consenting to what is happening. Cuckolding requires “tons of communication, discussion of safer sex methods, and consideration of the physical and emotional safety of all involved, including the third party,” says Dr. Jill.

“Cuckolding can very much be part of healthy relationships as long as you are both open, honest and content with it being part of your sex lives,” adds Aoife. “The most important aspect of all sexual activity is consent. It is important when someone has a kink or fetish that they are communicating openly with all parties involved, and everyone is happy.

“If it is something that you would like to start off with, it is vital to understand what may be brought up. Seeing your partner with someone else may be quite upsetting so taking it slow is of utmost importance. Finally I would encourage partners to draw out parameters and rules so that there are clear boundaries; perhaps that’s not having sex with someone you know or for cuckolding not to occur in your home.

“To start off with trying out cuckolding, maybe ask your partner to describe a fantasy about having sex with a different partner. That can be past partners, people you or they fancy or even a celebrity. Sometimes this may be enough for both parties and they have no interest in taking things further.

“If you are both happy and wanted to take the next step, try going to a bar and watching them flirt with someone else. The next step, if that goes well, is your partner having sex with someone else and then recounting the experience to you.”

So, if you’re interested in giving cuckolding (or anything else) a go, follow these steps to telling your partner exactly what you want.

Complete Article HERE!

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Sex Tech

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Hey sex fans!

We haven’t had a Product Review Friday in a very long time. Let’s make up for lost time in a big way today.

This week (and hopefully next) we will feature a product from a swell new company, Kiiro, from Amsterdam.

Back with us today is one of the newest members of the Dr Dick Review Crew, Trevor, who will introduce us to the first of the Kiiro toys.

Kiiroo Onyx 2  —— $219.00

Trevor

Hello again! I’m here to talk about the Kiiroo Onyx 2.

I confess; I’m a wanker. I know that word is often used as a put down, particularly where I come from.  I’m originally from the UK, Manchester to be precise, but have been in the US since I was 13. But I’m proud of my masturbation skills. I’ve been pullin’ my pud since I was just a lad and I’m now 35.

Get this, my da caught me wankin’ away like the little pervert I was when I was just eleven. Embarrassing, huh? Actually, it was OK. I think he was as embarrassed as me. Anyhow, after that he and I have been able to talk quite openly about sex, which, I think, has been good for both of us.

So, I’m proud to say that I’m a connoisseur of playing with myself. I’ve tried numerous strokers and masturbators in my time. I know what works and what don’t work. With that then, let’s take a look at the Onyx 2. There’s lots to see.

I’m going to start with the box. Onyx 2 comes in a very sturdy white cardboard with a picture of the product on the front. The sides and back are plastered with little icons that tout the many different features of the Onyx 2. Little descriptors come in seven languages. All the packaging is recyclable, which is good and environmentally responsible.

Inside the box you will find the Onyx 2, a USB charging cable (This thing is rechargeable.), a little instruction manual in many languages, a warranty/registration card, a Fleshlight SuperSkin insert (Lots more about this to come.), and a free trial for FeelMe. (Porn that can sync with the Onyx 2).

First things first. Ya gotta charge the Onyx 2 for 4-6 hours before use.  There’s an easy to access covered port near the base of the unit. You’ll get about an hour of play on a full charge.

While the unit is charging you can begin to set it up for use. Here’s where things get a little tricky.

The Onyx 2 has a removable cap on the bottom. Lifting the cap is easy. Once the cap is removed you can see the space-aged innards. It’s very cool. Now ya have to carefully pry off a plastic lip so that you can insert the Fleshlight sleeve. This wasn’t as easy as I hoped. The plastic is thin, and I was afraid I was going to break it if I pried too hard. In the end it came off just fine.

Next I opened the sealed packet containing the Fleshlight sleeve. This is where my problems began.

My experience was nothing like this.

I used to own a Fleshlight. I thought it was brilliant at first. But, after a few uses, the SuperSkin insert began to deteriorate. Unlike silicone, SuperSkin is porous, contains phthalates, and is not hypoallergenic. Cleaning it is a headache and even if you’re careful washing and drying it, it won’t last like silicone. And don’t even think about sharing a SuperSkin toy.

When I opened the sealed packet containing the Fleshlight sleeve I was shocked to discover that the insert had melted into itself. Very disappointing! I know what the sleeve was supposed to look like, a condom sized ribbed insert, because I saw pictures of it online. (See the photo above.) Mine didn’t look anything like this picture. Mine was a white blob. I carefully tried to pull the sticky mess apart. (Had it been in its package too long?) SuperSkin is really stretchy, so I was partially successful in pulling it into shape. I say partially because I tore two little holes in it with my effort. Frankly, after this irritating little adventure, I wanted to walk away from this whole exercise.

Why in the world would a company make a $200+ engineering marvel of a toy and have the use of the toy depend on a crummy, yeah, I’m gonna say it, unhealthy insert? What, a silicone insert, one that would be easy to clean, wouldn’t degrade, and be easy to use over and over again, and that would be nonporous, phthalate-free, and hypoallergenic, wasn’t available? Disappointed!!

OK, so I finally get the sleeve stretched out to the best of my ability and slip it into the core of the Onyx 2. Now I had to arrange the base of the sleeve on the top of the unit so that I could replace the plastic lip. This is supposed to keep the sleeve in place while in use. This step is way easier said than done. The SuperSkin is a bit greasy so it was a struggle to get it into just the right position for the plastic lip to hold it and snap back into place.

Once I finally had the Onyx 2 set up I replaced the cap and let it finish charging. I was glad for this hiatus because my libido was tamped down big time after all the struggle to get this fuckin’ thing set up. No toy, especially a very expensive toy should be this troublesome, if ya ask me.

The next day I approached the Onyx 2 again. I had my water-based lube in hand (You can only use water-based lube with SuperSkin.) and I was ready to bust a nut.

Just so you know, you can either just switch on the unit and use it in manually, (You control the speed and sensations using the touch-sensitive strip on the front.) or you can check out some interactive porn using the FeelMe site.

I chose the first option. I wanted to get a feel, so to speak, for what the Onyx 2 could do on its own. I had to use a lot of lube to get started. This got a bit messy, as I knew it would.  I prepared by having some wipes ready to clean my hands throughout. Otherwise using the control panel, or even holding the thing, would have been difficult.

(If you’re going the interactive route, you have to install the FeelMe app from your app store, pair your device with the app, and then navigate your way to an interactive porn site.)

The Onyx 2, once it is set up, is basically a hands-free device. It does all the work for you. It will literally rub one out for you without even thrusting. Cool. It’s pretty lightweight, comparatively speaking, and quiet too.

I watched some of my own go-to porn and had a very satisfying orgasm. So YAY for that!

After my session was over, I removed the plastic lip which was holding the Fleshlight sleeve in place and pulled out the insert. I had every intention to try to clean it for another use, but to my dismay, there was lube all over the inside of the core. I know, I know, it was my fault. I used the Fleshlight SuperSkin sleeve even though I had punctured it when I was trying to stretch it out. What a bummer. Now I had to clean out the core.

This did nothing for my post-orgasm afterglow.

I looked on the Kiiro site for replacement sleeves for the Onyx 2, but couldn’t find any. There were replacement sleeves available for one of their other products, but not for the Onyx 2. So now what’s a person to do?

Because I’m a plucky little wanker, I didn’t let the SuperSkin debacle get me totally down. The next time I tried the Onyx 2 I wore two condoms on my willy and slipped it onto the Onyx 2’s core so I could enjoy the great sensation it had to offer. This worked out OK, but wasn’t optimum. I don’t think I should have to improvise with a product that costs over $200.

I know that the Onyx 2 has other capabilities, like connecting with a partner and her toy, but I didn’t go there. Mainly because my wife would have had to have her own interactive toy. (Actually, she noticed all the problems I was having in setting up and using the Onyx 2, and she didn’t want to add to my frustration.) And, of course, I had no sleeve.

Here are my final thoughts. I think the Onyx 2, is a brilliant concept. It’s relatively quiet and rather lightweight for the great sensations it can deliver. The SuperSkin insert was a disaster.

Full Review HERE!

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What I learned talking to 120 women about their sex lives and desires

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I spoke with widows, newlyweds, monogamists, secret liaison seekers, submissives and polyamorists and found there was no such thing as desire too high or low

By Katherine Rowland

Male desire is a familiar story. We scarcely bat an eyelash at its power or insistence. But women’s desires – the way they can morph, grow or even disappear – elicit fascination, doubt and panic.

In 2014, as experts weighed the moral and medical implications of the first female libido drug, I found myself unsatisfied with the myths of excess and deficit on offer, and set out to understand how women themselves perceive and experience their passions.

Over the course of five years, I talked with 120 women and dozens of sexual health professionals. My reporting took me from coast to coast, and spanned conversations from a 22-year-old convinced she was sexually damaged to a 72-year-old learning how to orgasm. I spoke with widows, newlyweds, committed monogamists, secret liaison seekers, submissives and proud polyamorists.

I also dropped in on psychotherapy sessions, consulted sexologists, went inside the battle to get “female Viagra” FDA approved and profiled practitioners blurring the lines between sex work and physical therapy. In Los Angeles, I sat with a group of determinedly nonplussed sex coaches as they took in a live flogging demonstration, while in New York I stood among a thousand women whipped into a fist-pumping frenzy by a guru who declared the time had come for them to reconnect to their sensuality.

Against the background claims that women are disordered patients who require a pharmaceutical fix, or that they are empowered consumers who should scour the market for their personal brand of bliss, I found that there was no such thing as desire too high or low. Rather, desire contains as many tones as there are people to express it.

Low desire isn’t a symptom

In five years of conversations, I heard frequent variations on a common story. Somewhere in the mix of parenting, partnering and navigating the demands of professional life, women’s desire had dimmed to the barest flicker. In place of lust, they acted out of obligation, generosity or simply to keep the peace.

“What’s wrong with me?” many asked of their medical providers, only to come away with confounding answers. “Your flatlined libido is perfectly normal,” they were told. “But it’s also a medical concern.”

Just what constitutes normal stirs intense debate, in part because female sexuality shoulders an immense weight. It’s where observers have long looked for clues about human nature and for proof of immutable differences between men and women. The chief distinction, we’re told, is that women are less desirous than men.

And yet, low desire is often cast as an affliction that women are encouraged to work at and overcome. Accordingly, some women I talked to consulted therapists to understand why intimacy was tinged with dread. Others tried all manner of chemical interventions, from antidepressants and testosterone supplements to supposedly libido-rousing pills. A number of women accumulated veritable libraries of spice-it-up manuals. No matter the path, I heard time and again how women compelled themselves to just do it, committed to reaching a not necessarily satisfying but quantifiable end.

Low desire is a healthy response to lackluster sex

However, as women further described their malaise, their dwindling desire seemed less the result of faulty biology than evidence of sound judgment. It was a consequence of clumsy partners, perfunctory routines, incomplete education, boredom and the chafe of overfamiliarity.

In short, it was the quality of the sex they were having that left them underwhelmed. As one woman put it: “If it’s not about your pleasure, it makes sense you wouldn’t want it.”

Straight women are struggling the most in their erotic lives

While all women, regardless of sexual orientation, experience dips in drive, the utter depletion of sexual interest might be more common to heterosexual women, because their desires are less clearly defined to begin with.

“I spent most of my life with no sense of what I want,” one straight woman in her late 40s told me. Another, also in her 40s, reflected that she and her husband “did sex the way [she] thought it was supposed to look”. However, she said: “I don’t know how much I was really able to understand and articulate what I wanted.”

For both women, along with dozens of others that I spoke to, dwindling desire was an affront to identity. It exposed the limits of what they had expected of themselves, namely that they should settle down with one man and be emotionally and physically content from there on out. Their experiences mirror what researchers have uncovered about the so-called orgasm gap, which holds that men are disproportionately gratified by sex.

The picture subtly shifts when you look at which women are enjoying themselves. A 2017 survey of more than 50,000 Americans found that lesbians orgasmed 86% of the time during sex, as opposed to 65% of straight women (and 95% of straight men). Investigators speculate that lesbians and queer women enjoy greater satisfaction because of anatomical familiarity, longer sexual duration and not revering penetration as the apex of erotic mingling.

I would further surmise that queer women are often more satisfied because, unlike a lot of straight women, they have fundamentally considered the nature and object of their desires.

There’s nothing funny about faking it

The subject of faking it tends to seed jokey reactions, which frame the issue of female pretending as a slight to the man’s self-esteem. When she fakes it, he is the wounded party: her absent climax becomes his loss.

According to one well-trafficked 2010 report, 80% of heterosexual women fake orgasm during vaginal intercourse about half of the time, and another 25% fake orgasm almost all of the time. (When CBS News reported on this study, the headline opened with “Ouch”; there was no editorializing on shabby male technique – all the focus was on the bruising consequences of women’s inauthentic “moaning and groaning”.)

Faking it was ubiquitous among the women I spoke with. Most viewed it as fairly benign, and I largely did too. That is, until the subject cropped up again and again, and I found myself preoccupied with an odd contradiction: as women act out ecstasy, they devalue their actual sensations.

On the one hand, this performance is an ode to the importance of female pleasure, the expectation held by men and women alike that it should be present. But on the other, it strips women of the physical and psychological experience of pleasure. Spectacle bullies sensation aside.

Women aren’t looking for a magic pill

One might think from the headlines that equal access to pharmacopeia ranks high among women’s sexual health concerns. After all, men have a stocked cabinet of virility-boosting compounds, while women have paltry options. But this was not my takeaway.

While some women opined that it would be nice to ignite desire with a pill, few saw the benefit of boosting appetite if the circumstances surrounding sex remained unchanged. While desire was frequently tinted by a sense of mystery, its retreat was rarely presented in a black box. Almost across the board, women spoke of their sexuality in contextual terms: it changed with time, with different partners and different states of self-knowledge.

In 2018 an article in the Archives of Sexual Behavior surmised “Research has not conclusively demonstrated that biology is among the primary mechanisms involved in inhibiting sexual desire in women.” Rather, the authors said, body image, relationship satisfaction and learned values intervene to shape women’s experiences of lust. Even though FDA-approved drugs like Addyi and Vyleesi are marketed to suggest that desire dips independently of life circumstances, those involved in drug development are certainly aware of these other influences. The strength of their impact on women’s minds and bodies may even be contributing to the challenge of developing effective pharmaceuticals.

In the case of Viagra and its competitors, it’s assumed men want to have sex, but physically cannot, and so a feat of hydraulics allows them to consummate the act. But for women, the problem is more, well, problematic: they might be physically capable, but emotionally disinclined. Insofar as that is the case, we need to attend the reasons behind their reluctance.

Desire comes from liberating the erotic imagination

In the course of my reporting I attended a training session known as SAR, for Sexual Attitude Reassessment. The two-day workshops designed for sexual health professionals are intended to inundate participants with sexual material in order to highlight where they hold biases or discomfort, and they showcase a lot of explicit content.

The session I attended featured media depicting a gay head-shaving fetish, a medical-latex threesome and a wincing scene involving male genitalia, a typewriter and a miniature cactus. It also included frank confessionals from people whose bodies and lifestyles don’t necessarily accord with the culture’s rigidly gendered and ableist stereotypes – such as what it’s like for a trans woman to experience pleasure, or how a little person (the preferred term for adults with dwarfism) self-stimulates when his or her fingers cannot reach the genitals.

The idea, beyond highlighting all the “inscrutable, mystical loveliness” of sex, in the words of one facilitator, is to get participants to seek out what turns them on or disgusts them, or both.

In my recollection, the word “dysfunction” never surfaced in the programming. Rather, sexuality was framed in terms of accessing delight and accepting nonconformity. The subject of low desire was not viewed as a matter of sexual disinterest, but rather a result of how, owing to the greater culture, women hold themselves back, condemn their fantasies, foreclose on what they really want and sell themselves short on the idea that sex and love must look a certain way.

Women push themselves toward physical encounters that they either do not want, or for which they have not allowed desire to adequately develop. I came away with the impression that sexual healing had little to do with tricks or techniques, and almost everything to do with the mind, with sensing an internal flicker of I want that – and feeling empowered to act accordingly.

Complete Article HERE!

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Marijuana and Sex Guide:

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Everything You Always Wanted to Know

The medical use of cannabis has a comprehensive historical record; its aphrodisiac traits are there too.

By Dusan Goljic, Pharm.D.

After a marijuana experience, lighting an old-fashioned cigarette after sex seems slightly outdated. As a matter of fact, when discussing cannabis, you’ll probably want to light it before you engage in sexual activity.

Excited yet? Despite some of us seeming pretty calm, we can still feel a nerve twitch when we hear promises of sexual exhilaration. Well, the tale about marijuana and sex that you’ve just stumbled upon will undoubtedly touch that nerve!

The relationship between pot and sexuality goes a long way and is not as charming as you might think. While some stories portray sensual symbiosis, others may argue that weed can crush your libido like a sledgehammer.

The truth is that marijuana can heat and cool both women and men. So then, is it an aphrodisiac, or a mood breaker?

Keep on reading and you’ll find out the pros and cons of marijuana use in the sweet game of sexuality.

A Short History of Cannabis and Sex

The Ancients Knew About Its Effects

According to research, the positive effects of marijuana on the sexual behavior of women was well known in ancient Mesopotamia; it was used during childbirth and for treating menstrual problems as well. Also, the first records of rectal cannabis preparations can be found in ancient Assyrian manuscripts.

Later, in ancient Egypt, cannabis was mixed with honey and introduced vaginally to relieve cramps. This is also where we find the first written records of the relationship between marijuana and sex drive. In addition, hemp seeds were originally used to influence fertility in men.

Throughout history, cannabis has been used both in gynecology and obstetrics, where the first sexological practices come from.

Both Ayurvedic and Arabian medicines recorded the use of marijuana as an aphrodisiac and for pain relief. It was applied vaginally, rectally, orally, and through fumigation. In China, cannabis was used for menstrual difficulties and postpartum problems. African men used it for erectile dysfunction (ED).

Western medicine also used marijuana for sex-related problems. In the 17th and 18th centuries, physicians mixed pulverized cannabis with other herbs to produce combined drugs. Furthermore, with the medical use of marijuana, sex-related issues were clarified and studied.

In Central Europe, in the 19th century, tinctures with cannabis were widely used for breast swelling, menstrual problems, and childbirth difficulties. Court physicians prepared concoctions for wealthy women which were used as a form of sexual relief during first-night intercourse.

Modern Times Try To Reveal the Mystery

The popularization of marijuana in the 20th century has given birth to its massive, worldwide use. Both medical and recreational testimonials state the potential health benefits and pleasures of having sex while high.

The physiological potency of the plant was scientifically documented and explained. Today, we know that certain chemicals in marijuana plants affect the whole organism in a profound way.

According to Psychology Today, the first modern medical evidence of the sexual impact of marijuana dates from the 1970s. Since then, numerous studies have tried to answer the question: is marijuana a stimulant or not? 

However, most of the research coming from the previous century is inconclusive. The majority of studies that process the topic are self-reported observational studies and are limited due to the subjectiveness of the questioned participants.

In order to asses the topic of marijuana and sex, we have to consider both medical and experiential aspects of the herb.

Marijuana Effects on the Body

It is a well-known fact that the chemicals in marijuana plants have significant physiological actions. Cannabinoids bind to endocannabinoid receptors and interfere with their main function — homeostasis maintenance.

Both THC and CBD affect our whole organism, thus regulating numerous biochemical reactions. Sometimes it results in the pleasure of being “high,” or it can just have a therapeutic purpose. Overuse, on the other hand, is more likely to induce the negative effects of weed.

The connection between weed and sex can be explained by its pharmacological traits.

Blood Flow

By acting on cannabinoid receptors in blood vessels, cannabinoids induce peripheral vasodilatation. This means that more blood flows into different organs, such as the lungs, the glands, or the brain. The mucous membranes on sexual organs get more blood, which stimulates their metabolism and boosts their function.

The drop in blood pressure is followed by an increased heart rate. Meanwhile, your heart is pumping all the oxygen your lungs can get into your body. This stimulates the senses as well as tactile perception.

Basically, while having sex on weed, your body is more attuned to external influences than in regular cases.

The Brain

Cannabinoids act on various brain structures and interfere with hormones and neurotransmitters. Marijuana effects on the brain can both aid sexuality or destimulate it.

Weed increases dopamine and serotonin levels, which introduce the sense of pleasure, or even happiness. Additionally, this causes altered sensory perception, such as touch, smell, and taste.

Marijuana acts on inhibition functions, therefore relieving stress and anxiety. This also causes peripheral muscles to relax, while the dilated blood vessels pump oxygen into them.

Physiologically, indulging in sex while high can be quite relaxing and enjoyable, with lower inhibitions and attuned senses.

Cannabinoids also have anti-inflammatory properties, which are experienced as pain-relief. This is the reason why in some countries in Eastern Europe, people used to take marijuana to facilitate the first-night sexual experience of women.

Hormones

THC affects the brain and glands, which regulate certain functionalities, and significantly influence sexuality.

It has been reported that, in regular users, THC decreases total cortisol levels. This stress hormone is associated with a higher state of alertness and agility. In other words, with the use of cannabis, the sex drive can be inhibited too! Additionally, THC can sometimes elevate cortisol levels in infrequent users, hence inducing a state of anxiety.

THC briefly inhibits the thyroid hormone secretion. In heavy users, this reveals a dose-dependent mechanism. Meaning, the more you smoke weed, the more you are likely to gain weight, experience fatigue, or libido decrease.

Chemicals in marijuana act on sexual hormones differently. Light marijuana use (once a week) is not associated with any consequences. However, as reports state, smoking pot heavily (six times a week) can lower testosterone levels and sperm count in men. In women, it causes vaginal dryness and irregularity in menstrual cycles.

The hormonal connection between marijuana and sex is still not crystal clear. Overall, the available data states that cannabinoids cause hormone levels to fluctuate, which can affect reproduction and sexuality in different ways.

The Effects of Marijuana on Sexuality

In contrast to physiology, sexuality is a more complex part of an individual. It fuses both biological and psychological factors and is expressed through emotions, thoughts, and behaviors towards others. One can be sexually attracted to a person’s looks, emotions, attitudes, or actions.

Although a subjective category, there is data that shows that having sex while high on weed can be an entrancing experience.

Desire

People used to “spice things up” with clothing, alcohol, and adventures. However, with the growing marijuana market, there is a high chance that this “spice” might, in fact, be cannabis.

Sexual appetite, or libido, is both a hormonal and a psychological issue. It is determined by our sexual urge for another person. 

According to a 2017 population-based study, public marijuana use is associated with increased sexual frequency in both men and women. After the assessment of more than 50,000 people, the authors concluded that among the consumers of marijuana, sex drive increased significantly.

Another study confirms that marijuana can increase libido. Researchers state that compared to non-users, weed consumers are twice as likely to have more than two sexual partners a year. Nevertheless, men were also more likely to have difficulties in reaching an orgasm.

Arousal

Sexual excitement is primarily a hormonal factor but can be influenced by psychoneural activity. There is evidence that cannabis can both induce and decrease sexual potency. Additionally, the two sexes express precisely the opposite arousal effects on weed.

Women

As said, marijuana use can increase female libido. When turned on while high, women tend to experience common vaginal dryness. This unfortunate event can present a problem in the initial contact but can be overcome with the right amount of tender foreplay. With the right amount of lubrication, this intense arousal can endure during the entire intercourse.

Men

In men, weed can increase the sex drive. On the other hand, studies show that a significant number of them have trouble maintaining arousal during sex.

In contrast to women, arousal in men is enhanced by the above-mentioned effects of marijuana. In most cases, during intercourse, the overall penile blood flow decreases. These effects remain until the high wears off.

The connection between marijuana and ED has long been an issue. However, the exact mechanism for this is unknown. It is usually associated with declining testosterone levels. Some authors conclude that this is a dose-dependent effect.

The bottom line is that, while stoned, sex can present a challenge for men.

Sensuality

The mystical traits of weed are considered to be the most valuable by most people. This is an effect primarily achieved by the ability of THC to alter the senses.

Studies show that enhanced visual, auditory, and tactile experiences enhance the ongoing sexual act, i.e., orgasm, masturbation, or desire. In surveys, people who enjoy pot and sex describe the high as “transcendent” or “spiritual.”

Intimacy

Although an aphrodisiac for women and a sexual appetite booster for men, marijuana can adversely affect the intimacy in couples.

Intimacy is a deep sense of connection with somebody both on an intellectual and physical level. According to research, the increase of libido and sensuality is associated with the focus on the more hedonistic effects of sexual contact, neglecting the aspects of personal attachment in the process.

Additionally, some cases reported increased intimacy levels in mature couples, which is associated with a sense of relaxation.

Highgasm

Women

A study from 2019, which followed 373 female participants, revealed that those who smoked marijuana prior to intercourse were two times more likely to achieve an orgasm than in a non-consuming group. 

This evidence validly shows that among the participating women, 68.5% had more pleasurable sex while marijuana-high. Among them, 60.6% noticed an increase in sexual desire, and 52.8% reported an increase in satisfying orgasms.

Men

Evidence reports that orgasm in men, though, is experienced quite differently.

Men, who practiced sex and marijuana smoking were four times less likely to achieve a climax than the non-smoking group. Furthermore, pot-smokers were three times more likely to orgasm too quickly, and two times more likely to finish too slowly than the abstinents.

In general, both men and women are more sexually inhibited by marijuana in the long run. Chronic use potentiates the adverse hormonal effects and impacts physiology. But occasionally treating yourself with the sweet cannabis-infused sexual stimuli can rarely go wrong.

How to Dose the Best Pot for Sex

Choosing the best pot out there is certainly important. However, there are side effects of weed that need to be considered.

Both the positive and negative effects of weed are dose-dependant. Sometimes, one puff makes the difference between being stoned and being sexually blissed.

High doses of THC can cause a series of sexually-unwanted events, such as nausea, headache, anxiety, paranoia, or sexual depersonalization.

Some sources advocating the pros of marijuana use and sex advise us to keep lower doses in mind. In order to sexually transcend with pot, we need just the amount that can get our blood, brain, and senses going.

Marijuana and Sex Frequency

The relationship between these two changes with time; you might say that they mature together.

In light users, the achieved effect is mainly an occasional increase in sensuality. However, in heavy users, the long-term effects of weed are more likely to be displayed.

According to a few sources, chronic marijuana use is consistent with behavioral problems in relationships, which include aggressive behavior and mood changes. This leads to sexual and emotional detachment and creates the need for high marijuana doses.

In frequent users, the sexual side effects of weed include low energy and libido. This is associated with the pot’s effect on testosterone and pituitary hormones.

Other adverse effects include low desire, erectile dysfunction, and orgasm irregularities in men. Women tend to have progesterone variations, which is expressed as menstrual problems and could lead to depression.

In predisposed people, heavy marijuana use can onset panic, fears, memory decline, and even psychotic episodes.

Choosing the Right Strain for Sex

Everybody reacts to cannabinoids differently. Nevertheless, there are certain aspects of physiological actions that can be attributed to the potency of the marijuana strain

When choosing the best marijuana for sex, some basic facts need consideration.

Three distinctive variations of cannabis plants used — Cannabis Sativa, Cannabis Indica, and Cannabis Ruderalis. The first two are more common and more popular. 

Sativa produces a “head high,” making you more alert, inspired, and cerebrally driven. Indica has more body-relaxation effects and is used more to soothe pain and ease stress. Nevertheless, hybrids can display more potent, combined effects.

Some strains cater to sex more than others. In general, Sativa-derived ones could be considered as the best strains for male arousal, while women react better to Indica. Still, as sources claim, the reactions are mostly individual.

The perfect combination for sex would imply infrequent use to avoid the chronic impact on testosterone for men, and less estrogen-inhibiting THC products for women.

Sativa Strains for Sex

Asian Fantasy — Famous for its fruity flavor, this strain has energetic, and relaxin properties. Asian Fantasy is considered an arousing weed.

Ultimate Trainwreck — With its cerebral action, it enhances focus, energy, and a sense of happiness. Ultimate Trainwreck has a mild citrusy flavor, and i is one of the best marijuana strains for sex, as it increases arousal in men.

Green Crack — This Sativa strain can unleash your basic instinct. Green Crack is great for libido, potency, and could intensify an orgasm; the best part: you can repeat it again and again.

Potent Hybrids

Sour Dream — Although somewhat hard to find, this hybrid first calms and then arouses. Sour Dream can also potentiate euphoria, and even laughter, so it is the right choice for spicing-up the intimacy.

Purple Princess — It enhances creativity, energy, and euphoria. This strain can give you an exhilarating night in the sack and is considered as one of the best strains for female arousal and orgasm.

Indica Strains for Sex

Hindu Skunk — It relaxes slowly, and prolongs the intercourse, keeping your undivided attention on the partner. Hindu Skunk is a great choice for lazy-day intimacy.

Yumbolt — Mainly preferred by women, it is a calming and easing strain, that can help you orgasm, and sleep afterward.

Chocolate Chunk — It is an easing, soft acting strain, with a sweet and nutty flavor.

Grandaddy Purple — It is a strong Indica strain. It alleviates pain, eases stress, relieves anxiety, and energizes. Grandaddy Purple can be great for sexual desire but without the unnecessary euphoria.

Best Weed Strain for Sex: Sexxpot

According to yours truly, the best of the best would be Sexxpot. This hybrid came to light after years of practice and cultivation. It is a low-THC, high-CBD strain that relaxes the body while introducing desire and sensuality.

It takes the edge off and introduces you to the state of sweet delight. Sexxpot promises full relaxation, long sex-duration, and smooth sleep.

Selecting the Right Product

Deciding on the best weed for sex is essential. However, not all lovers out there enjoy smoking weed. Fortunately, today’s market has a variety of accessories and products for various user needs.

In a weed dispensary, you can find a spread of: 

  • vapes and inhalants that contain cannabis-derived active principles; 
  • oils and tinctures, which contain a concentrated amount of THC, and should be dosed lightly;
  • edibles that are becoming more popular by the minute — mints, brownies, chocolates, cakes, and other culinary delicacies.

Come Valentine’s, a THC-based sugary dish, or a wrapped-up stoner gift could turn the odds in your favor. While at that, it’s rumored that men prefer chocolate, while blueberry cakes could be considered the best edibles for female arousal.

Other Cannabis-Infused Sex Aids

Marijuana can be sexually helpful in more than one way. In other words, you don’t have to smoke it or eat it. The market is abundant with:

  • topical use products, which intensify the scenes peripherally; 
  • marijuana suppositories, which have been out there for years now, and are used primarily for pain relief;
  • weed lube, which is cannabis-based and is used to treat vaginal dryness;
  • marijuana tampons with relaxing and protective properties.

The combination of sex products and cannabis shows promises of desire, arousal, sensuality, intimacy, and potential orgasms.

FAQs

Do you last longer when high?

While it can change the perception of time, marijuana does extend sexual intercourse in both women and men. There is evidence that supports its effects on libido, sensuality, and orgasm.

Cannabis has been scientifically proven to increase female sexual experience. On the other hand, there is evidence that smoking weed could result in erectile dysfunction in men.

Can being high make you not get hard?

Men who often smoke marijuana can sometimes experience erectile dysfunction. In chronic users, marijuana can decrease testosterone levels and affect arousal. 

Hence, smoking weed in moderation is highly advised for men (so as to achieve the most optimal performance).

What’s more, some sources even claim that choosing the right strain could help overpass these issues entirely.

What are the best weed strains for sex?

Various marijuana strains have been praised as powerful sexual aids. The science states that Sativa strains work better in men. Indica strains have less THC and are better suited for women.

Some of the more popular sexual weeds are Sexxpot, Asian Fantasy, Sour Dream, Granddaddy Purple, Hindu Skunk, Green Crack, and more.

Can using cannabis for sex cause infertility?

There is no conclusive evidence that confirms that smoking marijuana can leave you infertile.

However, compulsive pot smoking is associated with low sperm count in men and menstrual irregularities in women.

Conclusion

It is true — marijuana enhances sexuality. However, frequent use can lead to unwanted side effects and can even cause sexual dysfunction.

Anyone can smoke and strip. Nevertheless, if you are about to indulge in a unique sexual adventure, do so wisely. With the proper strain pick and an adequate product selection, you can find yourself in a highly tantric experience. 

Weed can be used as an aphrodisiac, arouser, intimacy enhancer, or as an orgasm intensifier. The intriguing connection between marijuana and sex has long been out there, and for good reason — it works.

Complete Article HERE!

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Everything-to-Know Guide on Voyeurism

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If the thought of watching your S.O. masturbating turns you on, right this way…

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Fetishes come in a lot of different shapes and sizes. (I mean, not literally shapes and sizes, but you know, they range from person to person). Some super common fetishes you’ve definitely already heard of (or maybe even tried out) include bondage, role-playing, impact play, and anal sex, but QQ: Ever heard of voyeurism?

“Voyeurism is getting sexual excitement from watching others when they are naked or engaging in sex acts,” says Jill McDevitt, PhD, CalExotics sexologist. And while the pleasure is most commonly derived from watching others, the fetish could also include hearing others engage in sexual acts, or even being told about other people’s sexual experiences.

So, no, it’s not the creepy, nonconsensual “Peeping Tom” that might come to mind. Voyeurism is a fetish, and actually one of the most common ones, according to the Journal of Sex and Research.

So if you’re curious in the slightest about what voyeurism is, how to do it, why it turns people on, don’t worry: We broke down literally everything you need to know.

What is a voyeur?

A voyeur is someone who experiences pleasure from watching other people partake in sexual acts. Maybe you’ve already decided this is absolutely not your thing, but “one could argue the enjoyment of watching porn is, in part, voyeuristic,” says McDevitt.

After all, most people masturbate when they watch other people have sex on their screen, no? So yeah, it’s fairly common to be, at the least, slightly interested in this sexual fetish.

Why is voyeurism a fetish?

Ask yourself: Why is anything a pleasure? We all experience different turn-ons and turn-offs in the bedroom, so it really depends on what someone likes and engages with. Here are two people, who would consider voyeurism a fetish for them, explaining why they get turned on by watching others engage in sexual acts together or masturbate:

“Personally, I am really into voyeurism because it’s a different way to experience sex. You’re not in the sex, but you’re seeing it, noticing what gives someone pleasure, seeing when someone moans the loudest in what position. It’s exhilarating,” says Michelle*, 25.

“My girlfriend knows I’m watching her which makes it super hot. It’s like her way to show off,” says Michael, 34.

What’s the difference between the good kind of voyeurism and the bad kind of voyeurism?

Put simply, consent. “I use voyeurism as an example of a fetish that can be done in a fun and consensual way, or in a non-consenting and harmful way,” says McDevitt. “‘Voyeuristic disorder’ is actually in the diagnostic manual for psychiatric disorders, in which it is described as a persistent and intense sexual interest in spying on unsuspecting people nude or having sex.”

So in other words, make sure every sexual act you engage in with your partner has been consensually agreed upon and communicated beforehand (this goes for anything in the bedroom, btw). Good voyeurism = consent and communication about what you will be doing with every sexual partner. Bad voyeurism = doing something behind your sexual partner(s)’s back.

How can you incorporate voyeurism into the bedroom in a healthy, consensual way?

Okay, now the fun part: There are so many different ways to spice up your sex life—especially with voyeurism. Here’s what McDevitt recommends:

  • Watch your partner masturbate. This could look like encouraging your partner to lay on the bed and do their thing while you watch from the crack of the door.
  • Watch your partner shower or bathe.
  • Bring in another person to watch your partner have sex with.

So if you’re intrigued, maybe give it a try. But, again, for all the people in the back: Consent is the key, key, key factor here.

Complete Article HERE!

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