10 tips to keep your penis healthy

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WHEN it comes to talking about matters down below, it can be a pretty sensitive topic.

Most of us prefer to keep discussions about our privates, well, private.

Keeping your penis healthy is important – here are some essential tips

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But keeping your todger in good working order is important – especially as you get older.

Research shows that looking after your member can reduce your risk of erectile dysfunction and prostate cancer.

It’ll also help you enjoy a long and happy sex life well into the future.

Not sure where to start?

Here, male sexual health expert Kerri Middleton, from Bathmate, reveals her top tips to keep your penis healthy…

1. Workout

You’ll be pleased to know that the number one tip is to use the tool you’ve been gifted with.

A study by Harvard University found that blokes who ejaculate more frequently — upwards of 21 times per month — have a 33 per cent lower risk of developing prostate cancer.

Men who have sex at least once a week are less likely to suffer erectile dysfunction than those who roll in the hay less often.

A Finnish study has shown that the more you use it, the better your erections will be.

And don’t worry if you’re going through a dry patch – masturbation counts, too.

But it’s not just your penis that you need to work out to keep performing at your best – it’s your entire body.

Plenty of evidence links a sedentary lifestyle with erectile dysfunction, so if you want to improve staying power be sure to enjoy plenty of aerobic exercise.

Running and swimming are the best for penile health.

2. Let go of stress

Leave your stress at work and minimise stressful situations in your home life to keep your member strong.

Excess adrenaline is released into the bloodstream when you’re in a state of worry, causing your blood vessels — including the ones in your penis — to contract.

There are plenty of methods you can use to ease tension and unwind, from meditation to laughter or pumping iron, all of which can help with performance.

3. Cut down on booze

One way many people choose to relieve stress after a hard day’s work is hitting the bottle.

However, if you want to enjoy a healthy sex life long into the future, alcohol can seriously scupper your desire.

Binge and heavy drinking causes nerve and liver damage and can affect the careful balance of male sex hormones.

Even in the short term, alcohol curbs sensitivity and decreases reaction time, leaving you less able to perform.

4. Ditch cigarettes

It’s no secret that cigarettes harm your blood vessels and have a negative impact on your heart health.

Remember that your heart is the ultimate titan, pumping blood throughout your body — including your penis.

Nicotine also makes your blood vessels contract and can stifle blood flow down below.

5. Drink plenty of water

Water keeps everything flowing, especially the plasma and blood cells that make your member stand to attention.

If you’re dehydrated, the blood simply doesn’t flow as well as it should.

So, if you’re worried, up your daily intake of straight H2O to the recommended amount of eight glasses per day.

6. DON’T skip coffee

It’s a little-known fact that coffee consumption and healthy erections are linked.

Drinking coffee is said to speed up the metabolism and get the heart rate going in a healthy way, contributing to blood flow and a healthy member.

Caffeine also causes the arteries in your penis to relax, promoting blood flow to the nether regions.

A study found that drinking two to three cups a day has a particularly positive effect on blokes who are carrying a few extra pounds.

Keeping your penis in good health shouldn’t be a strain.

All of the components required to lead a healthy lifestyle contribute to blood flow, sperm count and testosterone levels and help fight disease.

Get into a mindset where looking after yourself is a priority, and the rest will follow.

7. Get a good night’s sleep

It’s all too easy in our busy society to allow sleep to fall by the wayside.

Between working, playing, relaxing and chatting, there’s barely enough hours in the day.

Still, rest is one of the most vital components of a healthy lifestyle.

Not getting enough sleep is connected to several health issues that contribute to downstairs disappointment such as high blood pressure, diabetes and obesity.

8. Eat well

We all know how important diet is to our overall health, but not many men realise how vital it is to eat the right diet for your penis.

The fuel you put in your body won’t only help erections – it also improves sperm count, sex drive and even affects your risk of prostate cancer.

The foods to avoid:

  • Anything deep-fried
  • Processed meats like bacon
  • Soy
  • Fizzy drinks
  • Sugar
  • Refined carbohydrates like white bread and breakfast cereals

The best foods to eat include tomatoes, salmon, olive oil and oysters.

Another type of food associated with male sexual health is anything spicy.

A French study has found that men who consume more spicy foods have higher testosterone levels than those who shy away from them.

Serrano peppers increase testosterone levels by reducing the amount the kidneys flush out while capsaicin releases chemicals that increase your heart rate, mimic arousal and kickstart your libido.

9. Check cholesterol levels

Not being able to get it up becomes more of an issue the older you get — but it doesn’t have to.

The reason age is tied into loss of erectile function is because as we age, we tend to put less effort into leading a healthy lifestyle.

High cholesterol narrows the blood vessels, which is the leading cause of erectile dysfunction.

Keeping fit, eating healthily and avoiding cigarettes and alcohol are the ideal ways to lower cholesterol.

Complete Article HERE!

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The awkward intimacy of video dates, when they’re in your bedroom but you can’t touch

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By Lisa Bonos

Priscilla McGregor-Kerr is about to have a first date while dressed in pajamas. On a Thursday night, the 25-year-old Londoner dabs a bit of concealer under her eyes, fills in her eyebrows and runs a mascara brush through her lashes. She’ll put on just a bit of makeup, not a full face, she decides, because her date knows she’s “not going or coming from anywhere.”

She strives for a quarantine look that says: I’m trying, but not too hard. She adjusts her bedside lamp so that there’s a nice glow and pours herself a glass of gin-infused rosé.

When her date arrives, he’s drinking the same brand of wine. They spend three hours talking about their personality types (she’s an extrovert, he’s an introvert), playing a drinking game and sharing their love of the U.S. version of “The Office.” It goes so well they decide to meet again the following week, in the same place, where they can’t touch or inadvertently spread the coronavirus: FaceTime.

Before the pandemic, online dating sites and apps were pushing for video meetups, but the medium hadn’t taken off. Now, out of necessity, video apps are becoming the hot spots for first dates, forcing daters to reinvent norms and endure an entirely new form of awkwardness and miscommunication. Is their WiFi really that spotty, or are they just not that into you?

The virtual first date keeps people distant, but it also can enable more intimacy. You can talk until your battery dies or someone falls asleep. You can see if your date keeps their room messy or makes their bed. It’s also a good match for this moment of economic uncertainty: It’s cheap and easy. You don’t need to impress your date by snagging a reservation to the trendiest restaurant in town. You don’t even need to be in the same town. You need only half an outfit.

Dating from a distance also removes the question, “Am I going home with this person?,” notes sexuality and relationship educator Logan Levkoff. “I’m hoping that this really is an opportunity for people to think [beyond] the superficial qualities we think are so important.”

Dating apps are trying to help the FaceTime-reluctant get comfortable with virtual meetups. When Hinge users open the app, a pop-up notes that 70 percent of members are “down for a digital date.” Plenty of Fish lets daters broadcast themselves to a bunch of prospects and then break off into one-on-one video chats. Match has a Dating While Distancing hotline that offers free advice. And since any new relationship would likely be “long-distance” regardless of where people are based, Tinder is making its premium Passport feature free, so users can swipe through singles anywhere in the world.

Dating from home is even being packaged as entertainment. Fans of the Netflix hit reality show “Love Is Blind” have started their own low-budget spinoffs, trying to match more Camerons with Laurens by pairing up singles and broadcasting snippets of their phone dates on social media. “Love Is Quarantine,” created by two Brooklyn roommates, is in its second go-round, which features senior daters. “DC Is Blind,” a Washington version, launched on Wednesday.

A video chat allows two people to pay attention to one another without the usual distractions at a bar or restaurant: a television blaring overhead, or a bartender who’s cuter than your date. But you’ll need some privacy. A 21-year-old man in Florida learned this the embarrassing way when his mom walked in on his R-rated Skype date Tuesday night. His digital dating tip: Put on headphones and make sure you’re in a room with a door that locks.

Even a virtual date requires some planning. Matchmaker Tammy Shaklee suggests cleaning up the corner where you’re going to Zoom or FaceTime and choosing a backdrop that represents your personality. It’s a bit like creating a good dating profile. A writer might sit in front of his bookshelf, or a musician might set up with her record collection right behind her.

Whatever you do, don’t show up in sweats, which makes you look lazy, Shaklee says. And resist the urge to Skype from bed, which feels like a hookup situation. Drink out of a nice glass, not the chipped mug from your university, Shaklee suggests. Add a spritz of perfume or cologne, even though your date can’t smell you. “You’re hosting your future partner in your space,” Shaklee says. “Light a candle, have a fragrance. If you feel it, they will be able to sense it.”

When McGregor-Kerr tweeted about how her date had sent her 15 British pounds (about $18) to buy a bottle of wine for their virtual meetup (socially distant chivalry!), 15,000 people retweeted it. For their next meetup, McGregor-Kerr says they might send each other UberEats.

But for some daters, the idea of hosting a near-stranger in their home is not pleasant — even if it’s virtual.

“I don’t live by myself. I don’t want them to see my roommates or even my room,” says Isis Parada, a 25-year-old woman in the Washington area. “It strips a level of privacy down.”

She might be okay doing a Zoom call with a fake background (you can swap in any image from your camera roll). But for now, Parada is telling her dating-app matches that they can meet up after social distancing is over.

The pandemic and its attending isolation are obvious conversation starters for a video chat, notes Logan Ury, a dating coach in San Francisco, but daters should be careful about falling back on what’s easy. She suggests transitioning from covid-19 talk into more personal topics, such as: “What are you passionate about? What’s your relationship like with your family?” That’ll also help your date feel different from your work Zoom call.

A 26-year-old woman in Washington, who spoke on the condition of anonymity for professional privacy reasons, went on two good video dates recently but wondered: Do we have anything in common, or is it just the quarantine? After a six-feet-apart second-date walk with one of those men, she determined they didn’t share much more than being two young people craving connection while cooped up in their apartments. She texted later to say she didn’t think they were a match.

Ury likens this phenomenon to traveling abroad, meeting someone from your home country — and falling for them immediately. That connection might feel strong, until you realize it was based more on circumstances than a genuine bond.

Even when a spark seems real, it’s hard to know how these budding relationships could possibly grow. Lull Mengesha, a 36-year-old man in Oakland, Calif., says he’s been getting more Tinder matches than usual, perhaps because people are stuck inside with little to do but swipe. He had a FaceTime date, which went well, but the next day she texted to say, “I think we may be in different headspaces.”

The woman was looking for a relationship, but California is a shelter-in-place state, and Mengesha doesn’t know how that would work logistically.

“Maybe before corona, I’d be looking for a relationship, but we have to understand that a lot of things are changing,” he says. “I don’t know what’s happening, and this is the time you want to attach the responsibility of another person?”

So Mengesha is looking for digital companionship only. Still, that text stung a bit. Getting rejected, he says, “hits double when it happens in the apocalypse.”

For some couples, a video screen is not enough. In February, Tracy Smith, a 40-year-old woman in Oklahoma, met a Bumble match she really liked. Once social distancing set in, they watched “Portlandia” and “Modern Love” at the same time from their separate apartments while texting each other. Eventually, Smith invited him over to her place, where she got out her tape measure and jokingly asked that he hold one end as she gave him a tour.

A few nights later, he arrived at her door again. No tape measure.

“I felt like I had to take a risk and let him into my personal space during isolation in order to see if this could work,” Smith says.

He walked over and kissed her.

Complete Article HERE!

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Kink Is More Popular Than You Think

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Your kink might be more common than you think.

“It’s incredible to see how people open up to me,” says Stavroula Toska. She loves the look of relief on their faces when they realize they can talk to her and she won’t judge them. About their fetishes.

Toska’s a writer, director and actor who began working as a dominatrix while researching her 2018 TV series Switch. She’s trained couples and individuals, letting them talk about their fantasies and try what was on their minds. Couples who wanted the same things but didn’t know where to start or how to get past their own inhibitions could turn to her for guidance, learning how to submit when they wanted to and call the shots when they wanted to.

That kind of help might be made to order for a larger proportion of the population than you think. According to a study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine

The 2017 survey drew data from more than 8,000 Belgians asked about their level of interest in hitting or being hit with a whip, sexual uses of hot candle wax, controlling their partner’s breathing and playacting rape, among other things. Though only 7.6 percent said they considered themselves to be “BDSM practitioners,” 12.5 percent said they performed such activities on a regular basis, 46.8 percent had engaged in BDSM at some point and an additional 22 percent had fantasized about it. To put it another way: Fewer than 1 in 3 people aren’t into this.

“Many of the things that we’ve long considered to be paraphilic are actually pretty common sexual interests,” says Dr. Justin Lehmiller, author of Tell Me What You Want: The Science of Sexual Desire and How It Can Help You Improve Your Sex Life. One reason such activities have been classified as rare or strange, he theorizes, is that psychologists and psychiatrists just thought they sounded unusual. “Once we started to really systematically explore them, we found that a lot of these are quite common,” he says.  

Paraphilic sexual interests are defined as unusual or anomalous and include not just sadism and masochism but voyeurism and fetishes. While kink has been increasingly normalizedFifty Shades of Grey, of course, but also more recent cultural artifacts like Netflix’s 2019 show Bonding — it’s only been seven years since the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual used by American doctors reclassified BDSM behavior as no longer a mental illness requiring treatment. For example, according to Gabbard’s Treatments of Psychiatric Disorders, Fifth Edition, if a sadist were aroused by fantasies or acts involving nonconsensual behaviors, clinicians were advised to prescribe antiandrogens — drugs that block the hormones that regulate the development of sex. Now, those into sexual sadism and masochism can still be considered as requiring treatment, but only if the practice causes distress to the person or others around them.

But engaging in kink can actually have a positive effect on health. A 2013 evaluation of psychological characteristics of people practicing BDSM found that they were less neurotic, more open and extroverted and less rejection-sensitive than the general population.

Still, the culture by and large remains underground in the form of secret societies, invite-only parties and online chats. Perhaps that secrecy just makes it more titillating, though. Mainstream guides like Time Out have even featured recommendations of best sex dungeons in some cities.

For first timers, though, that may not be the best option. Toska advises those who are interested in exploring their kinky side to find another consenting adult who will understand what it is they’re looking for and who agrees to explore responsibly. For those in a relationship, she says, it’s a good idea to speak with their partner about maintaining an open mind. “I’d also inform them that they are not alone,” she says. “There are thousands, possibly millions, of people around the world who share the same interest.”

Complete Article HERE!

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Goal-Oriented Sex Could Be Ruining Your Intimate Life

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By Vanessa Powell

While many women understand that overall pleasure, exploration, intimacy, and play should all be at center stage in a sexual experience, and not simply an orgasm (although, let’s be clear, it is still an important component), the latter often eclipses all else — which is why and how things can often go south. In fact, sex experts agree that goal-oriented sex can actually take the fun out of it for women altogether.

Thanks to social movements like The Cliteracy Project, an art series with the mission of educating a largely “il-cliterate” culture, women are more open to talking about their sexual experiences, preferences, and struggles than ever before. One of the major focal points of female sexuality to emerge in recent years involves the very real orgasm gap between men and women and the root of its existence. According to a 2016 study from the Archives of Sexual Behavior that looked at more than 52,500 adults in the U.S. — including those who are lesbian, gay, and bisexual — 95 percent of heterosexual men reported they usually or always orgasmed during sex, compared to just 65 percent of heterosexual women.

So, why are people creating a goal around something that should just have to do with mutual pleasure? Well, much of it can be traced back to a more archaic view of male and female sexuality — and orgasms in general. “Because the male orgasm is crucial to procreate, our society has built this idea that the male orgasm is crucial for sex; that sex begins with a hard penis and ends with a flaccid penis. Since women don’t have to orgasm to create life, it took a different level of societal importance,” says Shan Boodram, certified intimacy educator to The Zoe Report. “With that said, the majority of sex today has nothing to do with the desire to procreate. In fact, the orgasm numbers for women skyrocket in same-sex partnerships compared to heterosexual relationships. When you are with a same-sex partner, there is nothing to prove — it’s just about what feels good, and that is when naturally more orgasms and more pleasure occurs.”

Moral of the story here? Sex should be about being in the moment, true intimacy, and enjoying one another. It’s not a race to the finish line. “If you look at sex like, how good can I feel for as long as I want to feel it and for as long as my partner wants to feel it, great,” says Boodram. “And if an orgasm is the final result, even better. But if it’s just that you got more play time and felt great and relaxed, it’s still a successful sexual experience.”

Why Goal-Oriented Sex Is Sabotaging Your Intimate Life

Ashley Manta, sex and relationship coach and creator of lifestyle brand CannaSexual, seconds this notion. “Goal-oriented sex often robs the participants of the pleasure and joy of the experience,” says Manta. “Often the pressure to be demonstrative while receiving pleasure and to reach an arbitrary goal, in this case the orgasm… keeps them fixated on a point in the future.” Like anything in life, if you take yourself out of the present moment, it becomes difficult to enjoy.

Again, to be clear, orgasms are absolutely important and should be enjoyed by all, however, according to Sensual Embodiment Coach and Priestess of Passion, Ani Ferlise, “our attachment to the orgasm is ignoring all the amazing, healing, and nourishing pleasurable experiences in our bodies! We as a society are addicted to this very specific kind of pleasure based off of a male-bodied orgasm — a buildup of sensation, then a release. It’s the false promises that movies and porn portray. It’s two minutes of extreme penetration and there are fireworks… probably not going to happen.”

When one can detach themselves from the notion that climaxing makes the overall sexual experience a success, one can then truly become sexually free. Redefining what the orgasm is for you can actually help you relax more easily into one.

How To Be More Mindful With Your Sex Life

Ferlise holds Sex Magic coaching programs and workshops to help women cultivate their sacred sexual energy which, in turn, become a microcosm to nurturing passion, vibrancy, and connection in their overall life. One thing prevalent in her teachings is mindfulness, which is about remaining present in the moment and being aware of one’s bodily sensations. Intimacy starts with eye contact and can trickle into a conversation, a physical touch, or an energy exchange, even before any clothes are taken off. Allowing yourself to be vulnerable and to feel the desire, lust, and emotions as they come can help redefine the orgasm.

“Letting yourself sink into all the subtle sensations of pleasure, really leaning into it and feeling it in your body, and taking the same stock in that, can help you come back into your body and turn up the pleasure all over,” Ferlise says. When one is hyper focused on outside factors, they can train themselves to disassociate during sex, pushing their minds away from sensation, which ultimately decreases the amount one is able to feel.

Top Sex Tips For Ultimate Pleasure

Teach Your Partner What You Like

Manta tells her clients to “relax and breathe… and focus on what brings you the most pleasure, instead of what you think is going to get you off. Mimic the things you do when you’re masturbating and show your partner how you enjoy being touched.” Exploring self-pleasure is a great place to start in knowing what you like and dislike. Intimacy is uniquely personal — everyone’s body and interests are different, and we should communicate that to our partner or partners.

Get Out Of Your Head

One major complaint Ferlise says many women have during sex is that they think too much about how they look, how their partner feels, and how they are performing. “Adding all the body shame, the fear of being seen, and the fear of vulnerability, the fear of being broken because you think you can’t orgasm, the shame of not performing right — that so many women experience — it leads to a disconnect in your body and can cause you to check out during sex,” Ferlise says. Evidently, your partner will be much more turned on and notice the level of intimacy if you can truly unwind by letting go of these inhibitions.

Accessorize Your Sex Life

Adding tools into the mix can help build confidence in the bedroom. If you don’t feel completely comfortable being naked, try wearing sexy lingerie you feel great in. If you find yourself worried about lubrication and all that comes with it, try enlisting lube or organic coconut oil on your vulva to help ease your mind.

Get Moving

Movement is a helpful tool to be more present. “Move your body sensually in whatever way feels good,” says Ferlise. “Start to breathe into yourself deeply and focus your mind on your [vagina] and allow yourself to make some noise. As you exhale, you can moan and release sound. Your throat and your jaw are directly related to your pelvic bowl, and if they are tight and closed, so is your pelvic bowl.”

How To Embrace The Sex Life That Works For You

Women have an incredibly powerful sexual energy with great orgasmic potential. But this expands far beyond society’s picture of the “Big O.” Not only has culture suppressed the conversation and education around sex but it has put the female orgasm into a tiny box when it deserves so much more than a toe curl and high-pitched moan.

Everyone has the right to feel comfortable and unapologetic in their sexuality, whether that be via BDSM or missionary style twice a week. Closing the pleasure gap starts with experiencing and experimenting what works for you and letting go of the goal-oriented mindset. Don’t negate the importance of orgasms, but rather shift your mind to focus on how to achieve more overall pleasure. You deserve to feel safe and free in your body, as you are, at its highest potential.

Below are some products that help enhance sexual pleasure and health for people with vulvas. A happier healthier sex life should be on the top of everyone’s to-do list.

Complete Article HERE!

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Can you have sex during the coronavirus pandemic?

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We explain the risks and how to stay safe

Online searches related to the rules around sexual intercourse during Covid-19 are rising – so here’s what you need to know

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The Prime Minister has been very clear, there are now only four acceptable reasons for leaving the house: shopping for basic necessities, taking one form of exercise per day, medical needs, or travelling to work if you’re a key worker. “A booty call with that guy you dated for three months last year” is very much not on the list. Nor is “a nightly visit to the nearby flat of the girlfriend you’re not ready to cohabitate with yet”. And don’t even think about going on a date, unless it’s virtual.

For some, it’s the element of this lockdown business which is proving the hardest to accept. In fact there are almost as many Google searches at the moment for “can I have sex during coronavirus” as there are for advice on the lockdown.

It might seem callous to be concerned for your sex life in the midst of a pandemic. But if isolation has taught us anything so far, it’s that it is entirely possible to be in a constant state of panic for your loved ones’ safety, while simultaneously feeling furious about the loss of more frivolous things like the freedom to go on a date.

If you’re not already living with your other half, the chances are you are staring down the barrel of a sexless few months (unless you’re planning on forging a new and exciting relationship with your housemate, in which case good luck to you). As for those already shacked up with someone, well, at least you can have some fun while in lockdown.

Or can you? If that Google search traffic is anything to go by, there seems to be some not inconsiderable confusion about whether or not you should be having sex during coronavirus, especially if one of you has symptoms.

To date, the government has disseminated no official guidelines about sex – but it has broached the subject of relationships more broadly. Yesterday, Dr Jenny Harries said in a Downing Street press conference that now is a good time for fledgling couples to “test” a relationship by moving in together (a risky game indeed). Government advice also stipulates that any contact with people not living in the same household should be conducted while keeping at least two metres apart, and that includes “non-cohabiting partners”, who could pass on the deadly virus if they continued to visit each other.

If you can maintain a sex life at two metres distance, then good luck to you. Maybe we’ll be buying your book when this is over.

In the meantime, here’s everything you need to know about how coronavirus is going to affect your sex life.

Can you have sex during the coronavirus outbreak?

In general, a couple living together can have sex if they both feel healthy, are not in an at-risk group, and have not come into contact with anyone with symptoms.

If you are in a group at high risk of becoming seriously unwell, the advice is different. If you live with your partner, have been self-isolating for two weeks or more, and neither of you are exhibiting symptoms or have come into contact with anyone who is, then go for it. But only under these conditions.

Professor Claudia Estcourt, an expert from the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, says: “It is safe for people in a household which has been self-isolating for over 14 days to have sex. But remember that every time someone goes out of their household that person has the potential to acquire the virus. You will need to keep resetting the 14 day clock if one of you is in contact with someone with coronavirus or develops symptoms.”

If you are considering meeting up with someone to have sex, don’t. It’s against the stipulations of the lockdown. As Prof. Estcourt says: “To comply with the government advice to prevent transmission, it’s really important that the only people you have sex with are those who live within your household. You should not be having sex if so doing means you have to breach government guidance not to mix households.”

Can you have sex if one of you has coronavirus or has come into contact with someone who has?

If you or your partner is exhibiting symptoms, then the chances are sex is going to be the last thing on your mind. A fever and dry cough aren’t exactly aphrodisiacs.

If you, someone you live with, or someone you’ve had sex with recently has had symptoms of Covid-19 then you should self-isolate for 14 days to prevent further transmissions. This means no physical contact, which obviously includes sex.  

Prof. Estcourt says: “We know that Covid-19 is transmitted most easily between household contacts. Transmission is via droplet spread and surfaces which have been contaminated.

“The chances are that if you’re in the same household you are probably way more likely to acquire Covid-19 through usual household activities than through sex, because day-to-day contact is happening all the time.

“However, it would be fair to assume mouth kissing confers a high risk of transmission. And if someone is self-isolating because they are either exhibiting symptoms or have potentially been exposed to the virus, then they shouldn’t be having sex during the isolation period at all.”

Is Covid-19 sexually transmissible?

The virus is primarily spread through respiratory droplets. So while there is no evidence that it can be transmitted through genital secretions, it could be spread through saliva, so if either you or your partner are exhibiting symptoms or have come into contact with someone who is, then don’t have sex.

Dr Carlos E. Rodríguez-Díaz, associate professor of prevention and community health at George Washington University, told The Telegraph: “There is no evidence that Covid-19 can be transmitted via sexual intercourse; either vaginal or anal.

“However, kissing is a very common practice during sex, and the virus can be transmitted via saliva. Therefore, the virus can be transmitted by kissing.”

How can I have sex while self-isolating alone?

The short answer is no. The government has put us on lockdown to stop the spread of this deadly virus. And clearly that takes precedence over your sex life.

But all is not lost – the internet affords us plenty of ways to satisfy our needs from a safe distance. The dating app Hinge is encouraging users to enjoy its video chat mode, where you can have a virtual date rather than meeting in person. Make a connection and start exploring the possibilities of virtual sex. Sexting, erotic video calls and voice notes – a brave new world of virtual pleasure awaits.

And remember: keep your sex toys as clean as your hands and surfaces, using soap and water. Whether or not you choose to sing two rounds of happy birthday while you do so is entirely up to you.

Complete Article HERE!

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“Who designed these uniforms—Tom of Finland?”

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The real story behind these viral photos of Spanish soldiers

Photo of the Spanish legion went viral on social media.

Deployed to cities at high risk of coronavirus, photos of the Spanish Legion provoked lust, loathing and comments about homoeroticism when they went viral on social media. Yet the history of the Legion makes these responses no contradiction at all

by Catherine Baker

They are musclebound and tanned, with sage-green shirts open to the chest, bulges below their black leather belts, and chinstraps curiously slung along their chiselled jaws.

They are the elite troops of the Spanish Legion, and on an internet desperate to be distracted from pandemic lockdown, they are English-language Twitter’s latest thirst trap.

After the Spanish military was deployed to cities at high coronavirus risk, New York writer Jill Filipovic tweeted “Spain, hi, can you deploy some of that in our direction?” above photos of parading legionnaires. Thousands of Twitter users joined her in desire, some informed her of the Legion’s fascist origins, and others remarked on how homoerotic their uniforms seemed.

Yet the history of the Legion makes those three things no contradiction at all.

When the Spanish officer José Millán-Astray proposed his army should found a French-style Foreign Legion in 1919, Spain’s colonial ambitions in Morocco were growing, and the right longed to restore the country’s imperial glory through victorious desert war.

Millán-Astray, a veteran of colonial wars in the Philippines and Morocco’s Rif mountains, created the Legion’s immersive and brutal traditions to separate men from their past lives and unify them in brotherhood and death.

Inspired by the French example and what he understood of Japanese samurais’ bushidō code, Millán-Astray wrote up a “Legionary Creed” of tireless duty, bodily hardness, unconditional friendship, and combat to the deadly end.

Many of these themes were common across fascist movements and the militaries they influenced, but others were distinct to the Legion. Legionnaires swore to become “bridegrooms of Death” (from the title of a popular song about a Legionnaire’s sacrifice in the Rif), renouncing familial and romantic bonds and sublimating them into loyalty to each other and the Legion’s flag.

The open shirt which drew so many social media comments after Filipovic posted her photo was introduced by Major Adolfo Vara del Rey, and rejected the ordinary army’s nineteenth-century ceremonial dress to symbolise their readiness for open war in muggy desert air. The sage-green colour, meanwhile, was Spanish forces’ first adaptation to standards of camouflage.

Millán-Astray’s language of sacrifice and reconquest fuelled Spanish fascism well before the Spanish Civil War. Francisco Franco, commander from 1923 to 1926, harnessed his charisma to make the Legionnaires the shock troops of a coup by anti-Republican generals in July 1936. An airlift of Legionnaires gave the Nationalist side enough manpower to take Sevilla, and the Legionnaires who captured Badajoz on 14 August 1936 executed up to 4,000 Republican prisoners and civilians in the city streets, dragging hundreds into the bull ring where they were shot to death in a circle of machine guns.

In democratic Spain, the Legion became a mechanised infantry formation which now makes up a large part of Spain’s rapid reaction capabilities, and continued to garrison the enclave cities of Ceuta and Melilla, the first sites of today’s fortified EU border regime. It has admitted women since 1999.

As well as participating in the annual Spanish National Day parade from which Filipovic’s photos likely come, it also joins the Málaga Holy Week procession to carry an effigy of its patron, the crucified Christ of the Good Death and All Souls.

Twitter’s armchair anthropologists are not the only ones to have analysed the troops. Two anthropologists who observed the Málaga processions in 2010–12 argued that their ritual plays out “a specific form of martial masculinity” which makes death for one’s compatriots “not only … acceptable but even desirable”—but which had started to become embarrassing as the region’s economy turned towards managing EU agricultural investment.

Besides being objects of heterosexual desire, the Legion’s stylised appearance also speaks to a queer male gaze, as author and critic Huw Lemmey remarked in 2017 when these images last surged through Twitter.

Today’s tight-shirted Legionnaires, exempted from the army’s strict rules on beards and tattoos, do indeed resemble queer fantasy figures in uniforms which might seem tailored more for catwalks than parade-grounds when seen from outside Spain. As multiple Twitter users joked this time, “Who designed these uniforms—Tom of Finland?,” referencing the artist whose erotic illustrations of soldiers, bikers and policemen with larger-than-life bare chests and bulging groins have gone down in queer history.

The tension between fascism’s homoerotic ideals of the male martial body and many queer men’s desires to embody and possess that same ideal pulses through art, literature and fashion—but in Spain, it has further overtones dating back to the founding of the Legion itself.

Carlos Arévalo’s 1941 film Harka, set during the Rif campaign, helped cement the Legion’s myth in early Francoist Spain. For a film contributing to the public culture of a clerical fascist regime that imprisoned thousands of gay and bisexual men, its lingering shots of a captain and his lieutenant bonding under desert stars come dangerously close in some film scholars’ eyes to condoning same-gender desire.

Behind the myth of the “bridegrooms of Death,” Susan Martin-Márquez has argued, the Legionnaires’ famed physical intimacy with each other spilled into their off-duty music and dance, where cross-dressing entertainment was not rare. Franco’s command memoir lauded his campaign to stop Legionnaires and Moroccans fraternising in cafés, where male sex workers may well have been found.

No wonder, therefore, that today’s Legion uniforms seem crafted to be exaggerated spectacles of desire: militarism, fascism and homoeroticism were bound together when the Legion was founded as tightly as the Legion’s sage-green shirts encircle troops’ biceps today—whether everyone on Twitter realises it or not.

Complete Article HERE!

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She Bop’s Experts Talk Gender, Sexuality, and Being a Sex Shop for Every Body

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by Blair Stenvick

When Tuck Malloy transitioned into their nonbinary/transmasculine identity, they wanted to use their position as a sales lead and in-house educator at She Bop to help other people experiencing their own gender transitions and explorations.

“There were a lot of things I wanted more insight and community around,” says Malloy, “particularly in relation to the fact that a lot of those [gender-related] realizations for me came from sexual or sensual experiences.”

 

In addition to being a sex toy shop, She Bop also offers classes and workshops on a regular basis. So Malloy crafted a class called “Exploring Gender Identity” that centered on “exploring those questions of gender through our sensual experiences.” They built the class around two questions: “How can we heal in our bodies if bodies that are not cisgender are often places of trauma for people?” And: “How can we move towards our affirmations of gender, rather than just moving away, like ‘That’s not my gender’?”

Malloy’s class is one example of how She Bop lives up to its tagline of being “A sex toy boutique for every body.” While gender and sexuality are two different things, gender identity can play a big role in how one relates to their sexuality, and vice versa—and for people who are trans or fall outside the gender binary, navigating a sex toy shop can be alienating. Gretchen Leigh, She Bop’s education coordinator, says sex toys are often designed and marketed with cisgender people in mind, but She Bop’s staff practices “a lot of creative thinking about how our products can be used.”

Tuck Malloy (left) and Gretchen Leigh (right)

“We really try to stay away from saying, ‘This is a g-spot vibrator, and no one else with any other body parts can use it,’” Leigh adds. “We’re always thinking, ‘Who might be excluded by this packaging and this language? How can I create more room for you for the joyful exploration of your body?’”

In addition to practicing generally inclusive practices—like using gender-neutral pronouns for new customers by default and incorporating customer feedback about language and class topics—She Bop also caters directly to trans and nonbinary people by stocking a gender expression section of its store. The section includes chest binders and packers that create a bulge in the crotch area. Transmasculine people commonly use both these items, but they can be difficult to find in a brick-and-mortar shop.

“I think we’re the only place in town where you can actually try on a binder before you buy it,” Malloy says. “That is a really huge loss, particularly because binders can have a big impact on someone’s physiology.”

Like most sex toy shops, She Bop places an 18-and-older age limit on customers during regular hours. But they allow parents with underage kids to make after-hours appointments for binder fittings. Often, kids who experience gender dysphoria but don’t have access to safe binders will bind their chests in unsafe ways, using ACE bandages and other constrictive materials.

“So many kids come in and have been binding in really unhealthy ways,” Malloy says. “We’re able to offer a safe opportunity for them to try it on. It’s very sweet and very rewarding, and very adorable.”

Youth binder fittings are also an opportunity for She Bop’s staff to educate parents who are confused about gender identity and pronoun use. “We’ll get emails from parents like, ‘My kid wants a binder and I don’t know what’s up with that, but can you help?’” Leigh says. The staff will then point those parents toward books and other resources for parents of kids who are transitioning.

While the gender expression section might be separate from the sex toys, Malloy and Leigh make the point that all the products at She Bop can fulfill multiple overlapping purposes: To help someone feel empowered in their identity and give someone the tools they need to feel sexually confident.

“For a lot of people coming in here for the first time and putting a binder on—whatever their gender is—it can make them feel so good and sexy and empowered,” Malloy says. “Gender is a huge part of people’s sexual lives, and it’s a really important part of a healthy sex life—having a good relationship to one’s gender.”

Complete Article HERE!

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Here’s Why Most Women Are Unhappy With Their Sex Lives

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Sex is good for longevity… right? If one of your resolutions for this year was to improve your sex life, we’d understand. While there are benefits that have been linked to healthy sex life, not everyone seems to be reaping these benefits – and not without a lack of trying.

In fact, a new Australian study has suggested that many women are quite dissatisfied with their bedroom activity (previous research has suggested that women may only orgasm 50% of the time during intercourse when compared to men’s 90% ). According to the researchers of this particular study, half of young Australian women experience sexually-related personal distress. In fact, one in five women has at least one female sexual dysfunction (FSD).

The study on sexual satisfaction

Funded by the Grollo Ruzzene Foundation, a study by the Women’s Health Research Program at Monash University recruited 6986 women aged 18-39 years, living in Victoria, New South Wales, and Queensland.

For the study, the women were each asked to complete a questionnaire that assessed their sexual wellbeing in terms of desire, arousal, responsiveness, orgasm, and self-image. The women also shared whether they had sexually-associated personal distress, and also provided extensive demographic information.

The results

The results, published in the journal Fertility and Sterility, revealed that 50.2% of young Australian women experienced some form of sexually-related personal distress.

Of these women, nearly 29.6% didn’t actually have a ‘dysfunction’, per se. Instead, their distress was often a result of feelings of guilt, embarrassment, stress, or general unhappiness with regard to their sex lives.

On the other hand, 20.6% had at least one female sexual dysfunction (FSD). The most common FSD was a low sexual self-image, which caused distress for 11% of the women. Common factors associated with low sexual self-image included being overweight or obese, living with a partner, and breastfeeding.

Additionally, arousal dysfunction, desire dysfunction, and orgasm dysfunction and responsiveness dysfunction affected 9%, 8%, 7.9% and 3.4% of the study cohort respectively.

Also, the study also revealed that 20% of the surveyed women were taking psychotropic medication (such as antidepressants). This appeared to have the most widespread impact on women’s sexual function. It should be noted that the use of the combined oral contraceptive pill was not associated with any sexual dysfunction.

Lastly, women who routinely monitored their appearance, and who determined their level of physical self-worth on said appearance, reported being less sexually assertive. They also revealed that they were more self-conscious during sex. Additionally, they also experienced lower sexual satisfaction.

Addressing dissatisfaction during sex

According to senior author and Professor of Women’s Health at Monash University, Susan Davis, if left untreated, sexually-related personal distress and FSD may impact relationships. They may even affect their overall quality of life. That said, there may be a few ways to address the concerns raised by the survey findings. Granted, serious sexual disorders may require intervention from a sex therapist, but there may be other ways to address some of the issues highlighted in the findings.

Low self-image

If you’re battling with low sexual self-esteem, there are a few ways to which you can improve it. These include;

  • Build inner confidence outside the bedroom. Try limiting the amount of time you spend on social media. You should also try regularly affirming yourself.
  • Try self-pleasure. This can allow you to better tap into your sexuality, and better confirm what you like – and don’t like.
  • Don’t shy away from communicating with your partner, and feel free to share your desires, fears as well as suggestions.
  • That said, the aforementioned tips may also help to address the other issues affecting a woman’s satisfaction with her sex life, particularly the feelings of guilt, embarrassment, stress, or general unhappiness.

In fact, if you’re looking to improve your sex life, there are other ways to do so. These include taking up yoga, eating certain foods to boost your libidos and even adapting your favorite positions.

Once again, you should consult a sex therapist if you believe that you are battling a sexual disorder.

Complete Article HERE!

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Sex in space:

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Could technology meet astronauts’ intimate needs?

As plans for space exploration expand, how will sex and desire be addressed in these larger, longer missions?

by Simon Dubé and Dave Anctil

The 2018 movie A.I. Rising explores how machines could fulfill desires and support humans during space travel. Lo and behold, it might contain the solution to problems related to space exploration.

Astronauts, despite their rigorous training, remain humans with needs. For and colonization to succeed, we need to overcome taboos, consider and desires and provide concrete, realistic solutions based on science rather than conventional morality.

Can humans thrive for prolonged periods of time in small groups and in closed, isolated environments? Can humans contend with limited possibilities of relationships, intimacy and sexuality?

Sex tech might have the answer.

As researchers exploring human-machine erotic interactions, we are interested in their implications and potential applications for human well-being—even beyond our home planet.

Sex in space

Space exploration and colonization is one of humanity’s greatest endeavors, but it comes with challenges. One of them is to make the space journey human compatible, that is, physically and psychologically viable. Given that intimacy and sexuality are basic needs, they become central issues for human- compatibility.

How will humans have sex in space? Can we propagate the species beyond Earth? What will intimate relationships look like aboard spaceships and settlements?

As of now, NASA and other space agencies have denied that any sexual activity has ever occurred during a space mission. Either sex in space hasn’t happened, or no one is talking about it. Nonetheless, imminent prolonged human missions to the moon and Mars raise concerns regarding the future of intimacy and sexuality in space.

One important concern is that space exploration and colonization will limit people’s opportunities for relationships, intimacy and sexuality for long periods of time. In the very near future, human missions will only include small crews and settlements. Fewer people mean fewer opportunities for intimacy —making it difficult to find partners to connect with and potentially increasing tension between crew members.

 

For instance, it might be difficult to find partners that fit our personality, preferences and sexual orientation. And when a relationship ends, people are stuck on a ship with an ex-partner—possibly impairing a crew’s mood and the teamwork necessary to survive in dangerous environments.

Human needs

While some people might be able to withstand a policy of total abstinence, it might be detrimental to the physical and mental health of others —especially as larger groups venture into space. Yet NASA seems afraid of tackling issues of intimacy and sexuality in space. In 2008, Bill Jeffs, spokesperson for NASA’s Johnson Space Center in Houston, said: “We don’t study sexuality in space, and we don’t have any studies ongoing with that. If that’s your specific topic, there’s nothing to discuss.”

Given what we know about human sexuality, this position seems irresponsible. It prevents research from examining basic questions about sexual health and well-being in space. For instance, how do we deal with hygiene and the messiness of human sex in zero-gravity? How will we maintain a crew’s psychological well-being if people must endure long periods lacking in erotic stimulation and affection? Is imposed abstinence a reasonable solution, based on empirical evidence?

Sex tech and ‘erobots’

One solution could be to make erotic technologies available to crews and settlers in space.

This could include sex toys—any object used for sexual enhancement or stimulation—which could be used for sexual pleasure and gratification. But sex toys do not address the social dimensions of human erotic needs. This is where erobots come in.

The term erobots characterizes all virtual, embodied and augmented artificial erotic agents and the technologies that produce them. Examples include sex robots, erotic chatbots and virtual or augmented partners. Erobotics is the emerging transdisciplinary research studying human-erobots interactions and related phenomena.

Unlike previous technologies, erobots offer the opportunity of intimate relations with artificial agents tailored to the needs of their users. Erobotic technologies polarize public and academic discourses: some denounce them as promoting harmful norms, while others defend their potential benefits and health, education and research applications.

Erobots represent a practical solution to tackle the inhuman conditions of space exploration and colonization. Moreover, erobotics could enable us to approach questions of intimacy and sexuality in space from scientific, relational and technological perspectives.

Erobots could provide companionship and sexual pleasure to crew members and settlers. Beyond the capabilities of sex toys, erobots can incorporate social dimensions into erotic experiences. They could help with loneliness and the inevitable anxieties borne out of solitude. They could act as surrogate romantic partners, provide sexual outlets and reduce risks associated with human sex.

Addressing human desire, intimacy and reproduction will increase in importance as we move towards space colonization.

Erobots could also provide intimacy and emotional support. And finally, erobots’ sensors and interactive capabilities could help monitor astronauts’ physiological and psychological health —acting as a complement to daily medical exams.

Erobots can take many forms and be made of light material. They can manifest through virtual or augmented reality and be combined with sex toys to provide interactive and immersive erotic experiences. The same technology could also be employed to enact erotic experiences with loved ones back on Earth.

Moving into space

To harness erotic technology’s potential for human space missions, we must build collaborations between academia, governmental space programs and the private sector.

Erobotics can contribute to space research programs. As a field grounded in sexuality and technology positive frameworks, it recognizes the importance of intimacy and sexuality in human life and promotes the development of technology geared towards health and well-being.

And ultimately, we must shed our taboos regarding technology and as we journey to the final frontier.

Complete Article HERE!

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Everything you need to know about pet play

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Grab your collar and leash, pup.

By Ana Valens

Puppies, kitties, and ponies: What do these things all have in common? If you’re a kinkster, then you probably know the answer. That’s right, they’re all part of pet play.

In the BDSM world, pet play is incredibly popular across sexualities, genders, and kink preferences. Many pet players are newcomers to Domination and submission (D/s), and role-playing as a kitty or puppy gives them a safe, accessible outlet to start exploring their fetishes. Others are part of the leather community and adore pet play in all of its odds and ends, from leashes and collars to masks, cages, and grooming their precious pets. Additionally, pet play’s accessibility makes it an incredibly popular kink in the online BDSM world, particularly with YouTubers who run kink channels.

If you’re interested in pet play or just want to know a little bit more about its appeal, here’s everything you need to know.

What is pet play?

Pet play is a kink in which one or more participants role-play as a pet animal. Technically, pet play falls into a larger kink umbrella called “animal play,” which may include “imitating the sounds of animals, crawling about on all fours, being hand-fed or petted, or wearing a collar,” as Kinkly writes. Within pet play, the animal role-player’s persona can take on many different forms, from your traditional domesticated cat to wild creatures and even mythical pets.

Amp Somers, the co-host of the kinky YouTube channel Watts the Safeword, told me that he discovered pet play eight years ago and has since created numerous videos on the kink. For him, pet play is deeply personal and lets him bond with his play partners beyond your traditional boyfriend-boyfriend relationship. This is in part because communication, trust, and connection are all huge parts of play for him. When a partner cannot communicate because they are a pet, he said, pet play “requires being able to communicate in other ways, body language, looks, sounds and so on,” which leads to a much deeper, more intimate connection during play. At the same time, though, pet play is explorative and fun, and you don’t need to be a kink expert to try it.

“It’s playful and kinky and doesn’t take itself too seriously,” Somers said. “As far as BDSM/kinks go, it’s not as aggressive as some of the more impactful kinks can be and provides a playful entry level for new kinksters.”

Like Somers, I have a personal connection to pet play. While I’m not necessarily a puppy play aficionado, I love doing puppy play with my partners who are into the kink. In day-to-day life, I’m somewhat restless and high-strung, as well as easily excitable. Just like a puppy, I’m eager to play, explore, experiment, and be rewarded for obedience. This comes out as a puppy, too.

With one play partner, I’ll cuddle up next to her, call her “owner,” and act like an excitable dog-girl. With another friend who is both a sadist and a dominatrix, I’ll get down on my knees and drink out of a water bowl for her while on a leash, or bark on command in exchange for head pats, usually with a few slaps thrown in for good measure. Other times, the roles will reverse, and I’ll serve as “owner” for an adorable kitty or puppy that needs plenty of love, cuddles, and “release,” if you catch my drift.

Suffice to say, pet play isn’t purely a sexual kink for me; nor is it for a play partner I’m close with, Lilith. Lilith told me about her pet play kink several years ago, and we worked together to help her explore it. Since then, pet play has rubbed off on me, and it’s become a core part of our relationship. When we’re alone, I’ll hold her and pet her as if she’s a cat. She’ll cuddle up next to me and mew, whimper, or make little cooing sounds. It’s adorable, and the effect it has on Lilith makes it a real treat.

“I actually don’t engage with the kink in a very sexual manner most of the time,” Lilith said. “I am mostly doing it when cuddling, before or after sex. I don’t look at being a cat girl as sexual, I just look at it as a way to shrink. Almost like I’m assuming a character.”

While Lilith showed an interest in pet play from a young age, it wasn’t until her teen years that the kink started to come out in her sex life. During her sexual awakening, she would make pet sounds with partners during sex and ask them to “hold [her] in a way that made [her] feel cared for.” There certainly is a sexual and erotic element to Lilith’s pet play kink, but the kink usually isn’t a sexual experience for her. There’s a wide-ranging spectrum for kinksters’ relationships with pet play; it can be as sexual or nonsexual as play partners allow.

“I like being a small, cat girl-like being. I almost always assume the role when I’m bottoming,” Lillith explained. “I’m a switch, and when I top I almost never do any of the pet stuff. When engaging with the kink outside of sex, I am definitely still enjoy being ‘small’ and letting my partner care for me.”

Complete Article HERE!

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Spicing things up in the bedroom during social distancing

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By Almara Abgarian

It’s going to be a quiet Friday night. The coronavirus lockdown has officially begun, pubs, restaurants, gyms and other public spaces have to close up shop for the forseeable future.

So, what can you spend the rest of the weekend doing?

You already know what we’re going to say, but let’s say it anyway: having sex.

If you’re self-isolating with someone else, this is prime opportunity to jump each other’s bones and give yourselves a nice hit of dopamine and endorphins (the ‘happy hormones’) at the same time.

But the lockdown could, unfortunately, go on for quite a while.

So, to keep your sex life from becoming stale, we ask sex experts to share their top tips for how to keep things spicy in the bedroom.

Think outside the box (bedroom)

‘Don’t restrict yourself to the bed, be creative in your space,’ says Asa Baav, sex expert and founder of Tailor Matched.

‘Think up against the wall, up against a mirror, the shower, kitchen tops and for those of you who want to be more risqué, use your balcony [with caution] or up against the window.’

Just, you know, not outside.

Mutual masturbation

Interestingly, mutual masturbation has been predicted to be one of the big sexual trends to define the next generation (and apparently, soon to beat out penetrative sex).

Asa says: ‘Masturbating with a partner helps you learn about each other’s bodies and a great way to show them exactly how they like to be stroked.’

An added bonus to mutual masturbation is that you’re effectively teasing each other, which could add to the eventual climax.

Want to take it up a notch? Masturbate in turns, and watch each other as you do.

Don’t have sex

Let us, or rather, Lelo’s sex expert Kate Moyles, explain.

‘Take the time to explore a different area of self-development, for example sex and sexuality,’ she tell us.

‘The common misunderstanding is that changing your sex life all has to happen in the bedroom or with a partner.

‘But exploring new podcasts, Ted Talks, books, online courses and workbooks can really help you to expand your thinking and open up your perspective and learning when it comes to sex.’

Indulge in sensory play

Asa says: ‘Use hot and cold play, think ice cubes and wax candles and massage oil.

‘Play with the sensation of soft and rough textures to entice your senses.’

If you didn’t happen to pick up any oils or sensory lubes during the stockpiling shop, don’t worry.

Firstly, sex toy sites still deliver – but more importantly, you can find items in your home. Think feathers (from a pillow, perhaps), the aforementioned ice cubes or just run your tongue up and down your partner’s body.

You can also blindfold them to heighten other senses and venture into BDSM, if you fancy it (spanking).

‘Indulge in a bit of light bondage (tying your partner’s hands or legs),’ says Duchess Iphie, a relationship, sex and intimacy coach, and the founder of Duchess Secrets.

‘This is about power and as long as there is consent and a safe word, you can have fun letting your partner have full control of your arousal, desires and orgasms.’

Get the toys out

Do you have a vibrator at home? Get it out during sex and crank up the heat.

‘If you have toys with apps that you can choose vibrations – get your partner to be in a separate room and try different vibrations and intensities from “afar”- give them the control,’ says Dominnique Karetsos, founder of The Intimology Institute, the school for sexual wellness.

‘Like the game Marco Polo – only you know you’re closer by the sound of moans of ecstasy.’

Try a new sex position

Duchess also shares some new positions for couples try, such as:

  • The sea turtle: One person curls their legs up and the other enters from a kneeling position (penis or strap-on required). Use a pillow to raise the recipient’s lower back, so their partner can stroke their body at the same time.
  • The upside-down cake: It’s super-easy. Just find a stable surface, like a table, where one person lies down flat on their back on something that supports their weight, while the other person, er, thrusts.
  • The ease-in: Lay on your back comfortably while the other person eases in backwards. Couples can enjoy varying the angle of penetration to stimulate different sensations, or throw in a toy for some extra vibrations.

Give your partner an intimate massage

Now that you have more time on your hands, why not use them? (The hands, that is).

Think beyond genitals to other erogenous zones such as ear lobes, the small of the back, the inner wrist, the armpits and behind the knee. Run your fingers down your partner’s body and see which touches, and which areas, make their body react.

‘Massage of feet, scratch their back and don’t forget to stroke the whole body as a way of finding each other’s erogenous zones,’ says Asa.

Don’t have any massage oil? Try olive oil – it’s great for the skin (but beware, it might stain your sheets).

Embrace the dirty talk

If you’ve always dreamed of someone putting you across their lap and spanking you, trying a new sexual position or engaging in some role play, maybe the first step would be to talk to your partner about your fantasies.

Asa says: ‘A helpful way to start a conversation about your turn-ons, fantasies, and boundaries, is making a “yes/no/maybe” list with your partner for the night event, what do feel like today?

‘Write down any sexual acts that come to mind, and then both you and your partner take turns marking each as a yes, no, or maybe.

‘This can be a sexy and fun way to get to know each other better and explore things you may not have considered before.’

Single? Keep your eye out for our sexy guide to self-isolating solo.

Complete Article HERE!

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It’s Time to Rediscover the Lost Art of Phone Sex

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The case for revisiting an old, but not obsolete, form of long-distance sex

Contrary to popular belief, video didn’t kill the phone sex star.

By Kayla Kibbe

These are deeply unhorny times.

While a slim window of romanticized pre-quarantine panic may have briefly ignited a period of chaotic sexual energy last week, which ultimately just left some of us in quarantine with UTIs, the subsequent dread, isolation and terror that have followed haven’t exactly been a turn on.

Nevertheless, humans have been fucking since the dawn of mankind and have since managed to screw through many a global crisis. Whether out of boredom, desperation for social contact or the ultimately irrepressible powers of human horniness, perhaps the only thing safe to assume in these uncertain times is that people will go on fucking.

In such a crisis where social distancing and self-isolation are the name of the survival game, however, a behavior as physically intimate as sexual intercourse presents some obvious challenges. While many couples who aren’t lucky enough to be quarantined inside together with nothing to do but each other have turned to modern innovations like FaceTime and Skype sex in order to keep their sex lives afloat, might I suggest another alternative?

Folks, if ever there was a time to rediscover the lost art of phone sex, it’s now.

In an era of sexting, video sex and bluetooth-enabled sex toys that allow long distance partners to digitally get each other off from across the globe, phone sex may seem like a dated relic of a bygone era of sexuality. But while phone sex may be an earlier predecessor to today’s forms of technology-enabled long distance sex, it’s not an obsolete model. A longstanding art form that still possesses unique features its more modern successors can’t replicate, phone sex is the vinyl of remote sex, not the cassette tape.

In fact, a large part of the appeal of phone sex can actually be found in its classic, old-school aesthetic. Just as corset lingerie with a garter belt and stockings calls back to old-fashioned styles in women’s clothing, phone sex recalls an older era (albeit a more recent one than that of corsets and garter belts) of technology and sexuality. There is an inherent sexiness in escapism, and even subtle callbacks to an earlier time can function as a kind of roleplay that has a way of imbuing the old-fashioned and obsolete with a suddenly sexy novelty.

Beyond the sexy old-school vibes, however, phone sex actually has some benefits unmatched by its video or text-based successors. As Jess O’Reilly, PhD., host of the @SexWithDrJess Podcast, tells InsideHook, phone sex eliminates the potentially overstimulating effects of video sex, allowing partners to focus solely on auditory arousal.

“Audio-only sex leaves more to the imagination, and many people are primarily aroused by sounds — from the sound of a lover’s voice to the sound of movement and rustling in the sheets,” she explains. “Sometimes talking on the phone will encourage you to open up in new ways, as you won’t be distracted by your partner’s body language or facial expressions.”

While it’s easy for auditory sensation to become eclipsed by other forms of stimulation during in-person or video sex, phone sex highlights the value of auditory pleasure, something O’Reilly and co-author Marla Renee Stewart explore in their forthcoming book, The Ultimate Guide to Seduction & Foreplay.

“Research suggests that the sound of a lover’s voice can be a turn-on resulting in increased electrical activity in the skin,” O’Reilly and Stewart write in the new book. “Our voices may even indicate fertility due to hormonal fluctuations that effect blood flow and water retention in the vocal chords.”

In other words, if you’re not already talking in bed, it’s definitely something to consider, and phone sex is a great place to start.

As O’Reilly tells InsideHook, phone sex can be less intimidating for beginners who are shy about being vocal in bed. Meanwhile, the distance of phone sex can also make people more comfortable opening up about their desires and fantasies.

“Some people find that they’re willing to explore fantasies over the phone that they won’t disclose in person, as there is less pressure to act on them due to the limits of a phone call,” she explains. “The distance of phone sex can attenuate feelings of undue pressure.”

And while the phone-shy may be more willing to turn to sexting, it can be difficult to focus on a sexting session, and even more difficult to maintain your partners’ full attention — which I say as someone who has casually replied to sexts at work, on the subway, while watching Netflix, eating cereal out of the box with my bare hands like an animal, etc. etc.

Speaking of hands, sexting doesn’t leave them as readily available to do the kinds of things that typically accompany phone sex — although, as O’Reilly notes, they don’t necessarily have to. “You might decide to touch yourselves while you’re on the call or you might simply get one another riled up and then hang up so that you have two hands to finish yourselves off,” she says, adding that the most important thing is not to “get hung up on one type of sex, as phone sex can take many forms.”

These diverse forms, O’Reilly suggests, may include a spontaneous phone call that turns horny, a scheduled one with specific rules that you change from session to session, bathtime phone sex, phone sex that turns into video sex, phone sex that includes exchanging sexy pictures, etc. etc.

Mix it up! For those of us in self-quarantine without our partners/fuckbuddies/roomates we definitely shouldn’t hook up with but might anyway, we may have many a sexless day ahead. Fortunately, we do have a wide range of remote-sex-enabled technology at our fingertips, and at least phone sex will never give you a UTI.

Complete Article HERE!

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What’s Typical About Youth Sexuality

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What’s Not, How To Know The Difference

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When it comes to child development we have tons of information about how kids’ social, emotional, physical, spiritual and intellectual abilities grow and change over time. However, there is one aspect of child development that is nearly always overlooked — sexuality.

We are sexual from birth, and our sexuality develops and changes over time just like all the other parts of being human. Due to lack of information and education among folks who work with kids, developmentally typical behaviors are often mistaken for signs of sexual abuse. In this increasingly sexualized world it’s time to add childhood sexuality to the list and understand what’s typical, what’s not and when to get a child help.

Sexuality is a part of every human regardless of age, and while we are fully aware of the physical changes associated with sexual development, social and emotional development occurs as well. Typical and common behaviors, “sex play,” should be spontaneous, mutual and good-humored and are considered a healthy part of psychological, social and sexual development.

When puberty makes the scene children’s sexual behaviors and experimentation intensify and become more adultlike in nature. Once they are in adolescence kids generally engage in even more behaviors we would consider to be adult sexuality — making out, touching each other for pleasure, sex, exploring sexual orientations and gender, etc.

From birth until puberty children perceive healthy sexual behaviors as games; these behaviors are called “sex play.” When kids are involved in sex play it is usually spontaneous, mutual, good-humored. They are good friends with a close play relationship — besties, siblings or cousins who are similar in age and development.

Most sexual behaviors involve the following elements: curiosity about bodies, touching another’s privates, games like playing doctor or spin the bottle, gender identification, self-pleasure and/or masturbation. Behaviors that are cause for concern include: imitating adults sexually, sex play using force, threats, dominance, violence, aggression and/or compulsiveness. Any behaviors that are clearly adultlike (sexualized) or cause high adult concern should be thoroughly investigated.

Our first instinct is to think that a child has been sexually abused when they exhibit sexualized behavior. It’s important to assess the entire situation before deciding that sexual abuse has occurred. Often the child has been exposed to pornography or engaged in this sort of play with another child and they are acting it out.

COMMON BEHAVIORS

When you know what to expect in terms of sexual behavior in children it is much easier to determine if a child needs help. It is very important that you stop the play, casually chat with the kids about their behavior to determine whether further help is needed and remind them of the body-boundary rules.

These common behaviors by age group are adapted from “Preventing Sexual Abuse” by S.K. Wurtele and C.L. Miller-Perrin.

Preschool age (0 to 5):

Common: Sexual language relating to differences in body parts, bathroom talk, pregnancy and birth. Self-pleasure at home and in public. Showing and looking at private body parts.

Uncommon: Discussion of specific sexual acts or explicit sexual language. Adultlike sexual contact with other children.

School-age (6 to 12): This group may include both prepubescent children and children who have already entered puberty, which is when hormonal changes are likely to trigger an increase in sexual awareness and interest.

Prepubescent children (6 to 12):

Common: Questions about relationships and sexual behavior, menstruation and pregnancy. Experimentation with same-age children, often during games, kissing, touching, exhibitionism and role-playing. Masturbation in private.

Uncommon: Adultlike sexual interactions, discussing specific sexual acts, masturbating in public.

After puberty begins (9 to 12):

Common: Increased curiosity about sexual materials and information, questions about relationships and sexual behavior, using sexual words and discussing sexual acts, particularly with peers. Increased experimenting including open-mouthed kissing, body-rubbing, fondling. Exploration and curiosity about gender identity and sexual orientation. Masturbating in private.

Uncommon: Repeated adultlike sexual behavior, including oral/genital contact and intercourse; masturbating in public.

Adolescence (13 to 16):

Common: Questions about decision making, social relationships and sexual customs; masturbation in private; experimenting between adolescents of the same age, including open-mouthed kissing, fondling and body rubbing, oral/genital contact. Confirmation and exploration of gender identity and sexual orientation. Voyeuristic behaviors are common in this age group. Intercourse occurs among approximately one-third of children in this age group.

Uncommon: Masturbating in public. Sexual interest directed toward much younger children.

Because adolescents engage in more adultlike sexual behaviors, assessment can be challenging. If the behavior is explicit, repeated and causes adult concern the child needs help.

When we know how to identify healthy sexual behaviors in children it makes it much easier to determine if a child or teen needs help rather than assuming all sexual behaviors are problematic. Incorporating information about social and emotional sexual development is key to supporting the whole child and ensuring they are healthy and safe.

Complete Article HERE!

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Why social distancing is making me horny

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By Tracey Anne Duncan

I am social distancing. That means no bars, no clubs, no yoga classes, and three feet of distance outdoors. Most importantly, to me, it means that I have no place to flirt and no outlets for my sexual impulses. Sure, COVID is changing the way we date, but it’s not changing biology. Being self quarantined is not, in fact, straining my libido in the slightest. For me, the combination of isolation and anxiety is making me hornier than ever. I talked to my favorite sex therapist to find out why.

“Physiologically speaking, our bodies do a lot of things without our awareness,” says Dulcinea Pitagora, a New York City-based psychologist and sex researcher. “The brain wants oxytocin. This is always true, but when we are feeling vulnerable, we are more susceptible to what our body is craving. For some people that craving is expressed as horniness.”

Part of what’s happening, then, is that my body and brain are hungry for the feel good chemicals that are released during physical contact, and I am more aware of this hunger, or horniness, because I am feeling vulnerable and also because I am alone and am, generally, less distracted by external things and more focused on my internal experience.

Something else that may play into pandemic thirst is the cultural sense that maybe we shouldn’t be feeling sexy right now. Some people have the attitude that the world is on fire, how could anyone possibly want to have sex, but it’s exactly that attitude that makes some people feel horny. “Sexuality is natural and normal,” Pitagora says. “The more we try to push it down, the more it intensifies. When we see sex as a way of acting out, it doesn’t necessarily make us want it less.”

The sense that maybe we shouldn’t want sex right now combined with feelings of vulnerability is a great cocktail for creating horniness. “That’s not true for everyone,” Pitagora notes. But it might feel more intense for people who strongly identify with being sexual (it me). “When you add that identity component, that makes the experience feel more urgent because it feels like your identity is at stake,” Pitagora explains.

The sense of urgency that accompanies horniness, like so many other kinds of panic we are experiencing right now, is not that helpful. It’s also not reality-based. “Some part of our brains thinks that we’re never going to have sex again,” Pitagora tells me. “We need to slow our brains down and remember that this is temporary.” Having a horny sense of urgency may feel exciting, but Pitagora tells me it can be dangerous if we don’t second guess our impulses. “We can be very good at rationalizing risky behavior when we’re horny,” Pitagora says, and adds, “If you are a person that likes and cares about sex, you are probably going to have sex again.” Praise Beetlejuice.

So what should thirsty folks stuck home alone do? Porn and masturbation are not really cutting it. “I think it’s important to remind people that it’s okay to be horny and masturbate,” Pitagora says. “There are people out there who feel like they shouldn’t feel sexual at all right now.”

I don’t know who needs to hear this, but repressing your healthy sexual urges is not going to help us beat coronavirus. Please masturbate. Try video sex. It may not work for everyone, but if it doesn’t make you feel icky, Pitagora says, it might help.

Complete Article HERE!

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An expert guide to love and sex during a pandemic

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We are all in long-distance relationships now.

How to catch feelings, but not coronavirus.

By Sara Kiley Watson

Self-quarantine as a single person or a person who lives far from their significant other can be pretty lonely, especially while other folks spend their work-from-home hours snuggled up with the person they love.

Still, it can be unnerving to be so close to someone who might’ve bumped into COVID-19 in the outside world. Considering it takes at least five days for the virus’s symptoms to show up, it’s tough to know if your spooning partner is infected, or if you could be putting them at risk.

Before give up on love or start wearing a hazmat suit whenever you crawl in bed, it’s good to know the basics about love in a time of coronavirus. We asked sexual health expert Carlos Rodriguez-Diaz of George Washington University for advice on how to keep your relationship alive in the middle of an epidemic.

Is COVID-19 sexually transmitted?

Nope, or at least it hasn’t proven to be during the virus’s reproductive stage, says Rodriguez-Diaz. But you can definitely carry it through another way of expressing intimacy that goes right along with having any sort of sex: kissing.

We already know that the coronavirus can be passed between people by coughing. That’s why it’s so important to cover your mouth and wipe down surfaces that might come into contact with saliva. But when it comes to kissing, there’s no avoiding spit, which means if you’re making out with an infected person, you’re putting yourself at risk.

Not to mention, COVID-19 can be spread via the fecal-oral route, so depending on what tickles your sexual fancy, you might want to be extra, extra careful.

What about snuggling?

If you spend each night cuddling your significant other, lucky you. If your partner lives with you or spends a lot of time with you, the reality is that you probably share a similar risk of catching COVID-19, Rodriguez-Diaz says. After all, no matter what you do all day, you both come home and interact closely, whether that’s making dinner together or just chilling on the same couch.

Social distancing calls for staying around six feet away from people. But just because there’s an outbreak doesn’t mean you need to walk around with a pole protecting you from your favorite person.

“It’s not the time to stop cuddling,” Rodriguez-Diaz says. Right now, people are stressed and anxious, and those feelings might only get worse if you close yourself off to interaction with your significant other. Just be conscious that you’re both being hygienic. Wash your hands regularly and keep your living space (and any sex toys) clean.

If your partner gets sick, you should stay home, too. Staying in to care for them will also protect the people you’d interact with outside your home.

What should I do if I’m in a long-distance relationship?

Though flights to most any state and country are cheap as heck right now, you shouldn’t hop on a plane and surprise your partner. Traveling implies bumping into and interacting with loads of other people, Rodriguez-Diaz says, and a lot of time that could be in close quarters.

For the safety of your loved ones, all the people around you, and yourself, you should seriously consider staying put. This is especially true if you or your significant other are older or immunocompromised. As much as it sucks to stay alone all day, it is way worse to unknowingly bring the epidemic with you to another corner of the world.

As all you long-distance-relationship folks already know, in-person sex isn’t the only way to get intimate with your partner. Sexting or video-chatting are practices that are still erotic, Rodriguez-Diaz says, but don’t involve touching at all. Nowadays, there are literally ways to send your partner a mold of your own genitals, so if anything, quarantine is an excuse to get creative.

“I would advise people who are in long-distance relationships to use technology to their advantage,” Rodriguez-Diaz says. “Soon after we have a better understanding of the virus and the epidemic is under control, take a trip together somewhere else.”

Should I stop trying to meet new people?

This one is for all you single powerhouses: you don’t necessarily have to delete all of your dating apps right away. However, it’s wise to take a moment and skip the dinner and movie plans while COVID-19 testing in the US is still a mystery.

“It’s not the ideal conditions to meet new people, or go to public spaces,” Rodriguez-Diaz says.

This doesn’t mean you should meet all your internet crushes in secluded locations (please, don’t do that for obvious reasons). But it also doesn’t mean you need to shut yourself off from the world of dating just because you’re avoiding leaving the home.

When it comes to casual dating, you could always take a page out of the long-distance-relationship book. Whether it’s someone you’ve recently met, or have been dating casually and lives a few neighborhoods away, now could be the time to test out sexting or other not-so-touchy-feely ways of getting to know a possible partner.

“With the proper safety measures in place, that can be very good for relationships,” Rodriguez-Diaz says. “Perhaps this experience is giving us the opportunity to experience other things.”

Complete Article ↪HERE↩!

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