Is Your Partner Masturbating Too Much?

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By Cory Stieg

When you’re in a relationship, you might find yourself telling little white lies every now and then to make your partner happy, like: I really did love the way you made the salmon, or I absolutely love that you knit me this scarf for Christmas. But there are some things that you should not lie about for the sake of your partner’s ego, like how often you masturbate.

First of all, you’re not doomed if your partner masturbates more than you do, and you’re not a monster if you are the one masturbating more. People often assume that when their partner masturbates frequently, it’s a sign that they don’t want to have sex with them — but sex and masturbation are two different activities, says Shannon Chavez, PsyD, a certified clinical sexologist. “One is not a replacement for the other,” she says. That said, if someone isn’t interested in partnered sex and only wants to masturbate, then that could be a sign that there are bigger issues in the relationship, she says.

There are many reasons why people masturbate, one of which is to enhance partnered sex. “[Masturbation] gets you in touch with your body and your sexuality,” Dr. Chavez says. During partnered sex, you might be more self-aware or experience more of a physical response to stimulation if you also masturbate, she says. Masturbation is also an opportunity to bring new techniques into sex, or safely learn about your partner’s preferences and fantasies.

Some people just masturbate because it’s an act of self-care, Dr. Chavez says. “It is as important [and] as healthy eating and exercise,” she says. “It’s a genital workout that also helps with mood and is a sleep aid.” Others masturbate to alleviate stress, or do it out of habit or boredom, says Kristen Lilla, an AASECT certified sex therapist in Nebraska. And some turn to self-pleasure because they have a higher libido than their partner, and don’t want to put pressure on their lower-libido partner, she says. But that’s not a bad thing.

Even though masturbation is a part of overall sexual wellness, it can feel tricky bringing up your routine or frequency to your partner. Sometimes, people perceive their partner masturbating as a threat, personal rejection, or betrayal, Lilla says. “A person may feel entitled to this information, or may even assume their partner does masturbate,” she says. “But upon finding out how frequently, they may react negatively and try to find a way to control the other person’s behavior.”] If you feel comfortable, it’s a good idea to discuss your routine with your partner — including how often you masturbate. Take any judgement — of yourself or your partner — out of the equation and remember that “talking about masturbation can be helpful for your relationship,” Dr. Chavez says. It normalizes self-pleasure, and gets the conversation started about sexual needs and interests, she says. “If you can openly discuss it with a partner, it’s a good sign that you have moved past the stigma and embraced it as part of your overall wellness,” she says. And keep in mind that there’s no data around how much masturbation is too much, she says.

Complete Article HERE!

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Gender Identity in Weimar Germany

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Remembering an early academic effort to define sexual orientation and gender identity as variable natural phenomena, rather than moral matters.

The Eldorado, a popular gay night club in Berlin, 1932

By: Livia Gershon

As the already precarious legal rights of trangender Americans come under renewed threat, it’s worth looking back at the first political movement around gender identity in the modern West. As German Studies scholar Katie Sutton writes, that was activism by people in Weimar Germany who referred to themselves as “transvestites.”

Sutton writes that sex researcher and political activist Magnus Hirschfield invented the term “transvestism” in 1910. “Transvestites” were understood as people whose gender identity and preferred clothing did not align with the sex to which they were assigned at birth. Hirschfield was part of an academic effort to define sexual orientation and gender identity as variable natural phenomena rather than moral matters.

Under German law, cross-dressing could be prosecuted as a public nuisance. But starting in 1908, the government began issuing “transvestite certificates” with the support of Hirschfield and other scientists and psychologists. Holding a “transvestite certificate” allowed people to legally wear clothing that contradicted their assigned biological sex.

After World War I, Sutton writes, continuing urbanization, social liberalism, and the spread of new “scientific” ideas about sexuality in the Weimar Republic helped usher in a movement for gay rights. The nation’s two major gay organizations sponsored subgroups and publications for transvestites. In big cities, they organized lectures, fashion parades and balls, and other social events. For trans people scattered across the country, they published magazine columns and supplements.

Cover of The Lesbians of Berlin by Magnus Hirschfeld

The science of sex that Hirschfield and other German researchers were developing informed transvestite organizing. In the magazine supplements, readers debated “sex-change” operations and discussed the biological underpinnings of their identities. One described blood tests required to apply for an official name change, which supposedly revealed “gender-specific elements of both sexes.”

Like the larger gay rights movement at the time, the public face of transvestite organizing was middle-class and focused on bourgeois values. Fighting back against lurid media stereotypes of cross-dressing criminals, the organizations worked for more visibility of “respectable” trans people. They called on their members to apply for transvestite certificates en masse and to “confess” their identity to their spouses, families, and coworkers. Middle-class male-to-female transvestite organizers policed their peers, rejecting gaudy clothing and celebrating the ability to “pass” as a middle-class lady. (Female-to-male dressing was simpler since masculine clothing was fashionable for cis women in the mid-20s.)

Despite their organizational connections with gay groups, transvestite activists drew a line between gender presentation and sexual orientation. Female-to-male transvestites were often sidelined, partly because they were closely identified with lesbian culture. Many male-to-female representatives featured in the movement’s media took pains to declare themselves heterosexual—by which they meant biologically male people who were attracted to women. (A flip side of this was gay men embracing militaristic masculinity to gain acceptance within the rising Nazi party.)

Despite all their self-policing, the transvestite movement came under attack when the Nazis gained power. The party made Hirschfield’s Institute of Sexology one of its first targets in 1933. Still, the activists’ work helped pave the way for today’s transgender movement.

Complete Article HERE!

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Fake Orgasms, They’re Not That Bad After All

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By Lux Alptraum

A short walk from my home on the Lower East Side of Manhattan lies Katz’s Delicatessen, one of the neighborhood’s biggest tourist attractions. It’s possible you’ve heard of Katz’s because of its famous pastrami sandwiches. But it’s equally likely you know it for reasons completely unrelated to its food: Katz’s is the site of the famous “I’ll have what she’s having” scene from When Harry Met Sally, a moment so iconic the restaurant even has a sign noting where, exactly, Meg Ryan’s famed fake orgasm took place.

It’s strange that a brief scene from an old an old film defines a place that’s been featured in over a dozen movies and TV shows. But the staying power of that scene is due to its unabashed look at a topic that manages to be intriguing, taboo, and incredibly controversial: the faked female orgasm. Whether you think it’s a harmless fib or a major faux pas, there’s no denying that “faking it” is inextricably connected to our ideas about female sexuality.

The typical read on fake orgasms is a simple one: women fake because they’re having bad sex and want to get it over with. In this version of events, women don’t understand their bodies, or are bad at communicating their needs, or end up partnering with someone who doesn’t listen, and the result is unsatisfying sex. Hoping to keep the peace with her partner — or perhaps just get some bad sex over and done with — the woman spares everyone embarrassment by mimicking the signs of sexual pleasure.

Women are crafty manipulators, but it’s ultimately to their disadvantage: sure, they’ve tricked a man into thinking he’s done well, but at the cost of their own sexual fulfillment. It’s this interpretation of faked pleasure that’s led to so many campaigns against faking it. If only women could be more in touch with their physical pleasure, could speak about their needs more, could advocate for their own orgasms, no one would need to fake. Taken to the extreme, this argument means women who fake aren’t merely letting themselves down: they’re actively traitors to the feminist movement and upholding mythical ideas about what women want from sex, and convincing legions of men that their selfish sexual technique is that of a giving, generous lover.

But is it really quite so cut-and-dry? Is the female urge to fake purely about preserving male ego at the expense of a woman’s access to enjoyment — or are there other, more complicated reasons why a woman might feign an orgasm when she isn’t actually feeling it? Is the act of faking an orgasm truly a betrayal of the fight for women’s sexual liberation, or is it, perhaps, a way of claiming control over a sexual situation? Why is the authenticity of anyone’s orgasm worth discussing to begin with? What is an orgasm? What does it feel like? How do you know if you’ve had one? If you have a penis, the answers to these questions are presumably straightforward. An orgasm is the sensation that accompanies ejaculation, and it feels, you know, pretty great. Because male orgasm is associated with ejaculation, few men devote much time to worrying about whether or not they’ve actually had one. The proof is — if you’ll pardon the turn of phrase — in the pudding. If you have vulva, on the other hand, the situation is a bit different.

During the mid-twentieth century, pioneering sexologists William Masters and Virginia Johnson attempted to map out the “typical” female sexual response cycle, dividing it into four distinct stages: excitement, plateau, orgasm, and resolution. Under the model, the female sexual response cycle can be broadly understood as analogous to its male counterpart: penises get erect; vulvae lubricate. Muscles in the genital regions swell and contract, then release in a series of orgasmic pulses; post-orgasm, the body begins to cool down and relax.

There is value in the Masters and Johnson model, and it certainly describes the physical experience of some women (certainly enough so that doctors are still making use of it to diagnose sexual disorders). Yet in the decades since its debut, this linear, four-stage model has come under a great deal of criticism. It makes broad assumptions about the similarities between male and female sexual response. It primarily focused on women who were able to orgasm during penis-in-vagina intercourse, reinforcing the idea that that one particular sex act is central to female sexual pleasure while simultaneously devaluing the nonorgasmic pleasures derived from penis-in-vagina sex. In the decades since, a number of other sex researchers have attempted to map out female sexual response with other models: circular rather than linear models and models that include desire, emotional intimacy, and other nonphysical aspects of sexual pleasure. But even as these models improve on the work of Masters and Johnson, it’s still difficult to create one model of sexual ecstasy that can assuredly guide a woman on the path to orgasm (and guarantee that she’ll know when she’s had one) because of one very simple fact: there’s no one universal sign that serves as an indicator of female sexual ecstasy.

This fact can create a challenge for aspiring female orgasmers, particularly since orgasm isn’t an experience that we’re easily able to describe. “How would you describe what tickling feels like?” asks Charlie Glickman, a Seattle-based sex and relationships coach with two decades of experience in sex education. “How can you describe what chocolate tastes like? We don’t actually have a definition for these things. All we can do is give someone a piece of chocolate, or tickle them, and say, that’s the sensation that I’m talking about.” But orgasms aren’t as readily available, or easily distributed, as bars of chocolate — and if you’re a preorgasmic woman, desperate to figure out how you’ll know when it happens, it’s understandable that you might turn to porn or romance novels in search of some information that might help you better understand what, exactly, the elusive O is, and how you’ll know when (or if) you’ve achieved it.

Here are some of the descriptions of orgasm I’ve heard in my discussions with women: Mia, who learned about orgasm through watching porn, told me she’d been primed to expect a “big ordeal that came with bells and whistles” that served as a “big finish” to the act of sex (though what, exactly, was causing that big ordeal, or “what exactly it felt like, remained pretty mysterious to her). Ruby told me that as an adolescent, she knew orgasm “was supposed to feel like a ‘build up and release’ and that there would be full-body pleasure.” Rebecca, a 27-year-old sex blogger, had heard it was “an explosion that ran through your body,” but was convinced it could only happen during penis-in-vagina intercourse. Amanda Rose, a 23-year-old PhD student who’d been sexually active for a few years before learning about orgasms in her late teens, wrote in her high school journal that she’d heard orgasm was “a tingly feeling all over your body” and “like you really have to pee.”

You could be forgiven if all this orgasm talk makes your head swim, and you could especially be forgiven if it leaves you feeling more confused than ever about the dynamics of sexual climax. If you’re preorgasmic, learning that orgasms are like sneezes, but also fireworks and definitely something you’ll recognize when you experience it, and, most importantly of all, the greatest and best experience ever, isn’t particularly helpful — especially if most of that doesn’t quite turn out to be true. Yes, in spite of all the hype, there are plenty of orgasms that aren’t all that exciting, let alone awe inspiring or life changing. The notion of an underwhelming orgasm goes against everything we think we know about sex, but climaxes that aren’t particularly explosive are much more common than we think.

“We’ve gone from ‘People have sex for procreation’ to ‘People have sex to have orgasm,’” says Erin Basler, MEd, a staff member at Rhode Island’s Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health. Basler notes that she doesn’t really think that either of those sexual motivations has ever been universally true. The long history of birth control makes it abundantly clear that making babies has never really been the primary reason modern humans have pursued sex with one another. But if orgasm isn’t the primary motivation for getting busy, then what, exactly, is?

Basler offers up a number of different reasons why someone might enjoy, or pursue, sex that they’re pretty sure won’t lead to orgasm. There’s the thrill of physical intimacy, the desire to make another person happy, the stress-relieving potential — and, of course, the fact that the nonorgasm parts of sex can feel pretty good too. Fundamentally, we have sex “because touching erogenous zones feels good,” she tells me — and while we’ve been conditioned to see the experience as a task-oriented one, it’s also possible to treat it as an “experimental process” or “a journey that may just loop back around on itself,” Möbius strip style.

Conversations I’ve had with women about their sex lives back up Basler’s assertions. Julia, a 32-year-old based in London who’s more easily able to achieve orgasm through masturbation than sex, noted that “a sexual experience for me is about everything but the orgasm.” What does that include?

The ego boost of watching a partner get turned on by her body, the feeling of skin-to-skin contact, the pleasure of having someone celebrate and admire her vulva. Ruby made a distinction between her “sex drive” and her “orgasm drive,” explaining, “When I have sex, I certainly require pleasure, but I don’t require orgasm. So as long as my partner’s penis is hitting me at a good angle for a good amount of time, I’m happy.” That appreciation for penetration was echoed by Amanda Rose, whose ability to orgasm is directly correlated to where she is in her menstrual cycle. As she told me, “getting rhythmically banged out” can still feel great even when she knows orgasm isn’t likely, or even possible; on nights when she wants to sleep well, but isn’t feeling particularly horny, orgasm-free sex can be a useful way to relieve tension, relax, and get herself to sleep. Barbara, a 22-year-old designer from Venezuela, described the thrill of “you and your partner in a naked tangle of limbs nuzzling and kissing and licking, exploring each other’s bodies and whispering inside jokes and love words, smelling their hair and smacking their butt — orgasms I can have all by myself, but not that.” Other women talked up sex as an opportunity to provide a partner with pleasure.

I would also be remiss if I didn’t mention that faking orgasm is not the sole domain of women. Men can — and do — fake orgasms, albeit not in quite the same numbers as women. A 2010 study appearing in the Journal of Sex Research found that a full 25% of male participants had faked (or, in the lingo of the study, “pretended”) orgasm at some point in their sex lives; though that number is low in comparison to the 50% of women who reported faking it, it’s far greater than the zero percent that most people would assume. When men fake, they tend to rely on the same strategies as women, using moaning and exaggerated body motions to feign a climax. Why do men fake? Largely for the same reasons as women. The above-mentioned study found that pretend orgasms occurred when a genuine orgasm was deemed unlikely, but the faker was ready to be done with sex and wanted to avoid hurting his partner’s feelings. Most of the men I spoke with shared stories of faking that could just as easily have come from women: they were exhausted and ready for it to be over; the sex was subpar, but they still felt pressure to perform; they were hoping to bring an early end to a nonconsensual experience.

So while it’s tempting to write off faking as an easy out at best — or a betrayal of feminists at worst — perhaps we should be a little more generous toward the fakers among us. There’s so much pressure on women to live our best sex lives: to be enthusiastic, adventurous, always up for it, and, of course, easily orgasmic. Yet there’s so little space carved out for women to actually understand what that best sex life looks like for them, personally, as individuals, to buck against the narrative of acceptable sex and pleasure. Sometimes a fake orgasm is just a way of closing the gap between expectation and reality.

Complete Article HERE!

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How to Enjoy Sex Again If You’ve Experienced Sexual Assault

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Up to 94% of sexual assault survivors experience symptoms of post-traumatic stress disorder. 

By Amanda MacMillan

Surviving a sexual assault, no matter what the circumstances were or how long ago it happened, can change the way you experience sex. For some, sexual contact can trigger upsetting memories or physical reactions, or leave them feeling sad or distressed afterward. Others may develop an unhealthy relationship with sex; they may have lots of it, but aren’t able to really enjoy intimacy with a caring partner.

Of course, not everyone who survives sexual assault or harassment struggles with these issues later on, notes Kristen Carpenter, PhD, associate professor of psychiatry and director of women’s behavioral health at Ohio State Wexner Medical Center. “It doesn’t automatically mean that your life is going to be upended in this way,” she says, “some people definitely recover from it and are able to move on.”

But for those women who are struggling, it’s important to know they’re not alone. Research suggests that the prevalence of post-traumatic stress disorder symptoms in sexual assault survivors is as high as 94%, and treatment exists that can help. If you suspect that an assault in your past might be affecting your sex life now, here’s what experts recommend.

Recognize the root of the problem

For some women who have been sexually assaulted, it’s painfully clear to them that their experiences have tainted the way they think about sex now. But it’s also surprisingly common for survivors to suppress or downplay the memories of those experiences, and not realize—or be able to readily admit—why sexual intimacy is something they struggle with now. 

“Women don’t often come in saying, ‘I was sexually assaulted and I need help,’ says Carpenter. “What usually happens is they go to their gynecologist saying, ‘I’m not interested in sex,’ or ‘Sex is painful,’” she says. “It’s only when they come to me, a psychologist, that we get into a deeper conversation and they realize how much an old experience has stayed with them.”

Get professional help

If you’ve realized that a past sexual assault is interfering with your ability to bond with or be physical with a new partner, it’s possible that you have a form of post-traumatic stress disorder (PTSD). Those feelings may not go away on their own, but a licensed mental-health provider should be able to help.

“A lot of women are afraid that if they face those emotions, it will become overwhelming and their pain will never stop,” says Carpenter. “But addressing that trauma head-on is really important, with the caveat that you have to be ready for it—because it can be an incredibly difficult process.”

Different treatments are available to help survivors of trauma, sexual or otherwise. These include cognitive processing therapy, prolonged exposure therapy, eye-motion desensitization and reprocessing, and dialectical behavioral therapy. RAINN (Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network) and Psychology Today both keep a searchable directory of counselors, therapists, and treatment centers around the country who specialize in sexual assault.

Be open with your partner about your experience

How much you want to share with your partner about a previous assault should be totally up to you, says Michelle Riba, MD, professor of psychiatry at the University of Michigan. But she does encourage patients to confide in their significant others if they feel comfortable doing so.

“I talk a lot with my patients about how soon and how much you want to divulge to someone you’re dating,” says Dr. Riba. “This is your medical history and it’s deeply personal, so it’s not necessarily something you want to talk about on your first or second date.”

It can help to anticipate some of the issues that may come up in a sexual relationship, and to talk through—ideally with a therapist—how you will address them, says Dr. Riba. For example, if there’s a certain type of touching or certain language you know might have a visceral reaction to, it can be better to bring up before the situation arises, rather than in the heat of the moment.

Tell your partner about any sexual activity you’re not comfortable with

You should set boundaries with your partner, as well. “It’s very important to empower patients who have had a negative experience,” says Carpenter. “That person should drive the interaction with their partner, and should steer where and how far it goes.”

Of course, says Carpenter, it’s a good idea in any relationship—whether there’s a history of sexual assault or not—for partners to disclose what they are and aren’t comfortable with. “But it could be particularly important to be comfortable setting boundaries about likes, dislikes, and any behaviors that could be a trigger.”

That’s not to say that couples can’t try new things or spice up their sex life when one person has lived through a trauma. In fact, sexual assault survivors can sometimes find it therapeutic to act out sexual fantasies or participate in role-playing, says Ian Kerner, PhD, a New York City­–based sex therapist—and this includes fantasies that involve submission. The key is that both partners remain comfortable with the situation throughout, and that every step is consensual. 

Shift your thinking about sex

This one is easier said than done, but a mental-health professional can help you gradually change the way you think about sex, both consciously and subconsciously. The goal, according to Maltz, is to shift away from a sexual abuse mindset (in which sex is unsafe, exploitative, or obligatory) to a healthy sexual mindset (sex is empowering, nurturing, and, most importantly, a choice), says sex therapist Wendy Maltz, author of The Sexual Healing Journey.

You can help make this shift by avoiding exposure to media that portray sex as sexual abuse, says Maltz. That may include television programs or movies that portray rape; pornography that depicts aggressive or abusive situations; and even news reports about #MeToo accusations. It can also help for you and your partner to use language about sex that’s positive and healthy, rather than terms like “banging” and “nailing” that imply violence.

Put on the brakes, if needed

Sometimes it’s necessary to take some time off from sexual contact with a partner—even if your assault happened years ago but you’re just now coming to grips with its effects. “If people are struggling with intimacy, the first thing to do is really address the psychological symptoms associated with the assault,” says Carpenter. “I’ve found it’s best to leave intimacy until that’s concluded.”

You can use this time to work with a therapist, and—if you currently have a partner—to bond with him or her in other ways. “Once you feel better and some of those symptoms have subsided, then you can start to slowly rebuild your whole self in terms of your sexuality,” says Carpenter.

This may also be a time for experimenting with sensual self-care and masturbation, so you can rediscover the kind of physical contact you really do desire and enjoy. This can help you feel more in control, and more comfortable, incorporating these elements into your next physical relationship.

Complete Article HERE!

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How To Give Someone The Best Damn Oral Sex Of Their Life

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You can never be too fabulous or too good at oral sex.
– Someone, probably.

By GiGi Engle

Fact: Your oral sex skills always have room for improvement. There are far too many people out there who can’t seem to locate a clitoris, let alone bring a woman to orgasm. Thus, we must learn and embrace knowledge.

Nearly every single woman needs clitoral stimulation to experience orgasm, and it just so happens that one of the easiest way to get that stimulation is with oral sex. If you don’t subscribe, now is the time to change that thinking.

It is high time we stopped classifying oral sex and intercourse as two, tiered things and finally embraced all sex as equal and valid, but hey, you don’t have to be an oral activist to improve yours or your partner’s skills.

Here are cunninlingus tips every human being should have on lock. Read, embrace, and send on to your partner immediately. Life is too short for mediocre oral.

Keep it consistent

The number one rule of great oral sex is consistency. What one person likes, another may not. Every single body is different and likes different things. That being said, when you find something that’s working, stick to it.
You can try doing clockwise or counterclockwise circles around the glans clitoris to start. This is a good jumping off point.

If her body is responding positively, keep going. If she isn’t feeling it, try something else. You can move your tongue up and down, side to side, or in a figure eight motion. The clitoris is not the only area you can explore with your tongue, but it has the most nerve endings and is the center of the action.

Straight up pay attention

Pay attention to her moans and movements. If she’s making positive sounds and pushing her hips into your face, you’re on the right track. If she’s pulling away, lying there like a starfish, or saying something painfully obviously like, “Ouch!” do not keep doing whatever it is you’re doing.

The simple ability to pay attention takes average oral sex-givers into the big leagues. Is she telling you to keep going? If she is, keep going. Do not stop making that movement with your tongue. You can tease her a little bit, but if she’s getting into it, listen to her body.

Ask her what she wants

If you are confused and unsure of what she wants, ask her. This is especially helpful with a new partner. A thing that worked with one woman may not work with another. The vulva is as unique as a snowflake and no two are the same.
Does she likes internal stimulation while she receives oral sex? Does she enjoy having her labia licked? Is her vaginal opening particularly sensitive? You will not know unless you ask her. Being able to communicate with your partner is extremely hot. She’ll appreciate that you care enough to find out what brings her pleasure.

Use the clitoral hood

The clitoral hood is the flap that protects the external clitoris, much in the same way foreskin does for an uncircumsized penis. For many women, direct clitoral stimulation can be too intense, especially at the onset of oral sex.

The clitoral hood is your friend! Instead of pulling it up to access the clitoris, stimulate her clitoris over the hood. This will provide just the right amount of pleasure without causing discomfort. Once she’s sufficiently aroused, you can try touching the clit directly. Another trick? Try blowing on her clitoris before making contact with your tongue.

Remember, if you’re not sure if she’s into it, ask.

Try G-spot stimulation

If she enjoys internal stimulation during oral sex, simultaneously stimulate her clitoris and G-spot. The G-spot is less of a “spot” and more of an “area.” It’s the area that surrounds the urethral sponge. When stimulated, you’re accessing the root of the clitoris, the back end that you can’t see externally.

To find the G-spot, insert two fingers into the vaginal canal and hook up towards the belly button, behind the pubic bone region. Make a rocking horse motion with your fingers. You can press around the area, offering pressure-based stimulation, or move your fingers in a grounded, circular motion.

Don’t forget to pay attention. G-spot stimulation isn’t every woman’s cup of tea. Experimenting is great, but be willing to learn and hone your skills with each new partner.

Don’t be afraid of toys

Toys make an excellent addition to oral sex. They are fun, not threatening. Embrace toys. You can use a finger vibrator on her external clitoris while you stimulate her G-spot, place a G-spot wand in her vagina while you lick her clitoris, or try a combination.

Ask her how she likes to use sex toys, if she uses them. If she’d prefer to use it on herself, watch how she maneuvers the toy. Use your tongue to lick up and down the labia and to get the vaginal opening in on the action.
There are so many toys to choose from. You can even use that massive wand vibrator you love so much during oral sex. The possibilities are limitless.

Do not stop until she comes

Almost as important as consistency: Do not give half-baked oral sex. Once you start, do not stop until she has an orgasm. If she’ll let you, hold her hips in place and take her through to a second orgasm.

Encourage her to relax and take her time. So many women are afraid of “taking too long,” making it nearly impossible to come. Tell her how sexy she is an how much you enjoy going down on her. The key is to put her at ease so she can get off.

Stay down there as long as it takes. Patience is sexy.

Complete Article HERE!

Also see: Eating Out at the Y: The Finer Points of Cunnilingus

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Why female pleasure must be at the heart of sex education

‘Our sex education was essentially a lesson in contraception.’

Bring in compulsory sex education classes from the age of four – and end the idea that sex is only about power and pleasure for men

By

I was given a shell-clasped plastic case in pearly pink. Inside were two sanitary towels so small they could have been used as rugs in a doll’s house, and a leaflet about other sorts of period products. I had started my period at least a year before receiving these treasures. The trinket box was wasted on me, and the conversations about my periods came way too late.

I genuinely don’t remember any other sex education at primary school. By the time they started talking to us about it at secondary school, I think in the third year (year 9), most of the girls in my class had had their first sexual encounters. These were mostly at the Bill Clinton level: not full intercourse, but all the other stuff. The teachers were clearly counting on us not having had intercourse (although some of us had) because our sex education was about AIDS (it was the early 90s) and babies. It was essentially a lesson in contraception. I would wager that almost every girl in my class carried a condom in her purse long before she came to this lesson. In fact, we used to keep them as charms to show how grown up we were, accidentally on purpose spilling them out of our bags and pretending to be embarrassed.

We were the generation of the Femidom, which I am certain no one has ever used, but my brother’s best mate’s mum worked at the family planning clinic, so they nicked a big box from her and he would frequently put them in my school bag as a joke. When these fell out, I genuinely was embarrassed. Women’s sexuality was embarrassing, whereas pretending you were a dab hand at rolling on a condom was something to be proud of.

Sex and relationships were never discussed in our contraceptive education. It was all about the dangers of a man climaxing. That is the thing that causes the babies, so that is what we were taught about. We were shown how to handle and dispose of men’s pleasure safely. I went to a girls’ school; I have no idea what boys were taught – most likely the same.

The heavy petting we were all getting up to, bragging about which “base’” we had got to with the lads, was, again, all about doing what the boys wanted. When they were touching us and we were gloating about it, we garnered zero pleasure from such interactions – beyond getting to tell your mates that the fittest one had stuck his hand in your knickers. It was a league table; it wasn’t even about liking people. No one ever told us that it would be great if you liked each other, better if you did it because you actually got off from it. Bless the boys, I think they thought we enjoyed it. No one told them, either.

In almost every case, we were not victims, and the boys were not aggressors, but we were certainly not sexually enlightened young women exploring our sexuality. We were vessels for the boys’ exploration. No one ever said that sex was for us, too.

I hope this has changed a bit in 20 years, but I am not sure it has. I spent a good few years while working at Women’s Aid going to schools and teaching teenagers about the scary side of relationships: rape, coercive control and sexual exploitation. We always couched this in terms of teaching about sex equality and how power imbalances between men and women can lead to dangerous and harmful behaviours and expectations. We would try to teach boys to respect women and women to respect themselves. It was vital work, usually brought about after an incident of sexual violence at a school, but it never explored the ideas of women having equal sexual needs, wants and, ultimately, power.

Still, the average member of the British public thinks men need sex more than women. They need it like we need water, oxygen and food. This is a cultural norm we have all accepted and it seeps into how we live our lives and teach our children. Men don’t need sex any more than women, they just enjoy it more because it has a guaranteed payoff. They won’t die if they don’t have it, just like I won’t die if I don’t eat cake. We have to change this altered reality.

The government has just released its draft guidelines on relationship and sex education after campaigners and politicians have, for decades, called for mandatory relationship education to try to end the epidemic of domestic and sexual abuse. The guidelines are better than they were and cover areas of coercion and consent – finally. However, they still give a green light to schools to teach only very traditional notions of sexuality, relationships and gender norms. They are also squeamish about sex, which seems a bit odd, and totally fail to address the idea of a power imbalance between men and women that leads to coercion and sexual abuse. Worst of all, in my opinion, is the emphasis on teaching “virtues” including “self-control” and resisting sexual pressure, suggesting abstinence and ignoring the fact that many are coerced. This, once again, seems to put pressure on girls to be the controllers of male sexuality, not masters of their own. A bit like when my nan used to say: “Keep your hand on your halfpenny,” as if it was me tantalisingly flashing my vagina at boys and giving in to their demands that would lead to my untimely pregnancy. “Just say no” doesn’t work, so perhaps we need to try teaching young people about why they might want to say “yes”. What does good, healthy and happy sex look like, for example?

Girls masturbate, girls know all about what they like and want. They also know what boys like and want. Boys only know the latter. Girls and boys spend at least the first 10 years of their sex lives focusing exclusively on what boys want. Girls are taught at school that sex is about boys and how they should manage that – from the mess to the risks. Would it hurt to talk to both boys and girls about how sex should be for both parties? Giving girls a bit of hope that shagging won’t just lead to them dripping in breast milk or being a witness in a trial. Could we not change the way that sex is perceived to be about power and pleasure for men by simply talking to young people about why we do it?

I want young people to have compulsory sex education from the age of four. I want us to be braver about talking to kids about the difficult and scary stuff, like abuse and coercion. I want the frightened young woman who feels pressured to know that at school she will be able to find help. I want all of that, but I don’t want young girls growing up thinking that sex is just something that happens to us. I want boys and girls to know that it should be about both people not just agreeing, but also enjoying it.

Boys should want girls to say yes, yes, yes, not just be taught to listen when they say no.

Complete Article HERE!

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University of Minnesota study finds frequent distress over sexual impulses

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Researchers said they were surprised to find only a modest gender split: 7 percent of women reported distress over sexual urges, compared to 10.3 percent of men.

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Distress over controlling sexual urges and impulses is a more common problem than previously thought — for both men and women — and could be interfering with the jobs, relationships and happiness of millions of Americans.

That’s the takeaway from a new University of Minnesota study, which examined responses to a national survey on sexual behavior and found that 8.6 percent of people reported “clinically relevant levels of distress and/or impairment associated with difficulty controlling sexual feelings, urges, and behaviors.”

Previous research estimated that 2 percent to 6 percent of people struggled with control of their sexual impulses, said Janna Dickenson, the lead author and a human sexuality researcher in the U’s School of Medicine. “This is a much higher prevalence than we thought,” she said.

The types of behavior causing distress could vary, Dickenson said, from having more sex than desired, to masturbating during work hours, to habitual sexting or viewing pornography. People who commit sexual assault could be included in this group, but Dickenson said the survey reflects a much broader array of people struggling with everyday problems rather than illegal actions.

Media coverage of sex scandals involving celebrities such as Tiger Woods has raised the possibility that sexually compulsive behavior is becoming more common, the authors noted, but few studies have checked to see whether that’s true.

Distress over sexual urges is a key symptom of compulsive sexual behavior (CSB) disorder, which is newly recognized in the World Health Organization’s latest compendium of medical diagnoses, the ICD-11. Not all people who expressed such feelings in the survey have the disorder, though.

University of Minnesota researchers analyzed responses by 2,325 adults to the 2016 National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior. Considered one of the richest data sets regarding sexual attitudes, the survey is conducted by Indiana University and funded by the parent company of Trojan Condoms.

Within the survey, respondents answered 13 questions on a five-point scale ranging from 1 (never) to 5 (very frequently). Questions included whether respondents’ sexual activities ever caused financial problems, or whether they had created excuses to justify their sexual behaviors. Scores of 35 or higher suggested compulsive problems.

Researchers said they were surprised to find only a modest gender split: 7 percent of women exceeded that score, compared with 10.3 percent of men. This in some ways defies old cultural expectations that men are “irrepressible” and women are “sexual gatekeepers” who keep their impulses in check, the authors wrote.

The study found that distress was most common among people with low incomes and without high school diplomas, but also was more common among the highest-income earners. It also was more common among people who are members of racial minorities or who are gay, but the authors urged caution in interpreting those results. Their scores may reflect the higher level of stress that comes from being marginalized individuals in the first place.

Based on survey responses in a single year, the study couldn’t answer whether sexual distress is a rising problem, or why it is common. It’s possible that compulsive behaviors are exacerbated by the contrast between hypersexualized media messages and the social norms of sexual restraint.

Dickenson said she hopes the study, published in the Journal of the American Medical Association’s online open network, will raise the profile of compulsive sexual behavior as a problem requiring doctors’ attention.

“CSB is clearly an important sexual health concern,” she said, “that needs greater attention.”

Complete Article HERE!

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5 Blindfolded Sex Positions That’ll Heighten Every Sense

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Blindfolds are really an excuse to just sit back and enjoy the ride.

Blindfolds are like the duct tape of sex—they’re multi-purpose. They can help you be super present and lessen your inhibitions while also making everything seem a little edgier. Caveat though: the first time being blindfolded is scary. If you’re the blindfolder, be super gentle, keep talking so your partner has a sense of where you are, and try to keep a reassuring hand resting on them at all times. Have safe words if you’re incorporating any sort of bondage. If you’ve got all that down, go for it!

1 The Beginner’s Brush

Have a first timer lie face down (it feels less vulnerable that way). Toy with their other senses–a scarf trailed up their inner thigh, an ice cube or massage oil candle left to melt in the small of their back, a taste of something on your finger (Chocolate? Wine? You?). The finale? A handy with warmed lube.

2 The Mystery Dance

They won’t be able to see you, but they’ll feel you extra. And if you’re inhibited by an inner critic offering unwanted commentary during sex, a blindfold can stop that shit. It tricks your brain—if you can’t see your partner, they can’t see you–so it’s easier to relax and grind away as you please with no one looking at you.

3 The Rapture

Again, this is also good if you’re feeling a little shy or inhibited–lie back and really enjoy their mouth or a toy on you. (This is especially perfect after a long day. Treat yourself!!!).

4 The Blindfold Bluff

Go a lil BDSM (again, ask first because consent) by sitting their ass in a chair and telling them to do as you say. Brush a boob across their cheek and mouth, let them feel your wetness, lick your way up their thigh. Reward their bravery with the finest oral. If you want to freak them out extra (again, consent times infinity here), leave the room for a moment or two and let them wonder when you’ll be back (and what you’ll do when you are).

5 The Blackout

If you feel like blindfold pros, bust out two of them and try to feel your way into a semi-tricky position (It beats just turning out the lights because you can always peek through your blindfold if you need to). You’re on your back with one leg up over your partner’s shoulder, while they kneel and straddle your leg. Teamwork but also sensory overload.

Complete Article HERE!

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Encourage teens to discuss relationships, experts say

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By Carolyn Crist

Healthcare providers and parents should begin talking to adolescents in middle school about healthy romantic and sexual relationships and mutual respect for others, a doctors’ group urges.

Obstetrician-gynecologists, in particular, should screen their patients routinely for intimate partner violence and sexual coercion and be prepared to discuss it, the Committee on Adolescent Health Care of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises.

“Our aim is to give the healthcare provider a guide on how to approach adolescents and educate them on the importance of relationships that promote their overall wellbeing,” said Dr. Oluyemisi Adeyemi-Fowode of Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, who co-authored the committee’s opinion statement and resource for doctors published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

“We want to recognize the full spectrum of relationships and that not all adolescents are involved in sexual relationships,” she said in an email. “This acknowledges the sexual and non-sexual aspects of relationships.”

Adeyemi-Fowode and her coauthor Dr. Karen Gerancher of Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, suggest creating a nonjudgmental environment for teens to talk and recommend educating staff about unique concerns that adolescents may have as compared to adult patients. Parents and caregivers should be provided with resources, too, they write.

“As individuals, our days include constant interaction with other people,” Adeyemi-Fowode told Reuters Health. “Learning how to effectively communicate is essential to these exchanges, and it is a skill that we begin to develop very early in life.”

In middle school, when self-discovery develops, parents, mentors and healthcare providers can help adolescents build on these communication skills. As they spend more time on social networking sites and other electronic media, teens could use guidance on how to recognize relationships that positively encourage them and relationships that hurt them emotionally or physically.

Primarily, healthcare providers and parents should discuss key aspects of a healthy relationship, including respect, communication and the value of people’s bodies and personal health. Equality, honesty, physical safety, independence and humor are also good qualities in a positive relationship.

As doctors interact with teens, they should also be aware of how social norms, religion and family influence could play a role in their relationships.

Although the primary focus of counseling should help teens define a healthy relationship, it’s important to discuss unhealthy characteristics, too, the authors write. This includes control, disrespect, intimidation, dishonesty, dependence, hostility and abuse. They cite a 2017 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of young women in high school that found about 11 percent had been forced to engage in sexual activities they didn’t want, including kissing, touching and sexual intercourse. About 9 percent said they were physically hurt by someone they were dating.

For obstetrician-gynecologists, the initial reproductive health visit recommended for girls at ages 13-15 could be a good time to begin talking about romantic and sexual health concerns, the authors write. They also offer doctors a list of questions that may be helpful for these conversations, including “How do you feel about relationships in general or about your own sexuality?” and “What qualities are important to someone you would date or go out with?”

Health providers can provide confidentiality for teens but also talk with parents about their kids’ relationships. The committee opinion suggests that doctors encourage parents to model good relationships, discuss sex and sexual risk, and monitor media to reduce exposure to highly sexualized content.

“Without intentionally talking to them about respectful, equitable relationships, we’re leaving them to fend for themselves,” said Dr. Elizabeth Miller, chief of adolescent and young adult medicine at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, who wasn’t involved in the opinion statement.

Miller recommends FuturesWithoutViolence.org, a website that offers resources on dating violence, workplace harassment, domestic violence and childhood trauma. She and colleagues distribute the organization’s “Hanging Out or Hooking Up?” safety card (bit.ly/2PQfxEM), which offers tips to recognize and address adolescent relationship abuse, to patients and parents, Miller said.

“More than 20 years of research shows the impact of abusive relationships on young people’s health,” Miller said in a phone interview. “Unintended pregnancies, sexually-transmitted infections, HIV, depression, anxiety, suicide, disordered eating and substance abuse can stem from this.”

Complete Article HERE!

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Sex Ed before college can prevent student experiences of sexual assault

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Students who receive sexuality education, including refusal skills training, before college matriculation are at lower risk of experiencing sexual assault during college, according to new research published today in PLOS ONE. The latest publication from Columbia University’s Sexual Health Initiative to Foster Transformation (SHIFT) project suggests that sexuality education during high school may have a lasting and protective effect for adolescents.

The research found that students who received about how to say no to sex (refusal skills training) before age 18 were less likely to experience penetrative in . Students who received refusal skills training also received other forms of sexual education, including instruction about methods of birth control and prevention of sexually transmitted diseases. Students who received abstinence-only instruction did not show significantly reduced experiences of campus sexual assault.

“We need to start sexuality education earlier,” said John Santelli, MD, the article’s lead author, a pediatrician and professor of Population and Family Health at Columbia University Mailman School of Public Health. “It’s time for a life-course approach to sexual assault prevention, which means teaching young people—before they get to college—about healthy and unhealthy sexual relationships, how to say no to unwanted sex, and how to say yes to wanted sexual relationships.”

The findings draw on a confidential survey of 1671 students from Columbia University and Barnard College conducted in the spring of 2016 and on in-depth interviews with 151 undergraduate students conducted from September 2015 to January 2017.

The authors found that multiple social and personal factors experienced prior to college were associated with students’ experience of penetrative sexual assault (vaginal, oral, or anal) during college. These factors include unwanted sexual contact before college (for women); adverse child experiences such as physical abuse; ‘hooking up’ in high school; or initiation of sex and alcohol or drug use before age 18.

Ethnographic interviews highlighted the heterogeneity of students’ sex education experiences. Many described sexuality education that was awkward, incomplete, or provided little information about sexual consent or sexual assault.

The research also found that students who were born outside of the United States and students whose mothers had lived only part of their lives or never lived in the U.S. had fewer experiences of penetrative sexual assault in college. Religious participation in did not prevent sexual assault overall, but a higher frequency of religious participation showed a borderline statistically significant protective association.

“The protective impact of refusal skills-based , along with previous research showing that a substantial proportion of students have experienced before entering college, underlines the importance of complementing campus-based prevention efforts with earlier refusal skills training,” said Santelli.

Complete Article HERE!

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How Sexual Assault Can Impact Your Physical Health, Even Years Later

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The body’s natural reaction to dealing with the trauma of sexual assault can have negative effects on a person’s long-term physical health.

Sexual assault can affect a survivor’s health in a number of ways.

by Leah Campbell

When Amber Stanley was 23 years old, a friend’s boyfriend raped her.

They had all been at a party together. She had fallen asleep in one of the spare rooms. When she woke up, he was on top of her.

“There were children asleep in the house, so I was afraid to scream,” she told Healthline. “I didn’t want to scare them or for them to see what was happening if they woke up.”

She told her friend what had happened the next day, and then went to the police. But there, she was essentially revictimized when the police officer with whom she filed her report questioned her story and credibility.

“He flat out told me that if he could prove I was lying, he would press charges against me. My rapist was in the army, a ‘national hero,’ so my word wasn’t good enough and he was never prosecuted,” she said.

Stanley says she’s been in therapy on and off for the last 13 years, trying to deal with what happened to her that night. And she still struggles with anxiety today.

“I don’t like feeling like I’m not in control of things. And I don’t like being around groups of people who are drinking, or alone at night doing things like shopping. I’m highly suspicious of strangers, even more so now that I have three daughters,” she said.

For Stanley, one of the worst nights of her life has turned into a lifelong struggle. And she’s not alone.

The many effects of sexual assault on health

A recent study presented at The North American Menopause Society (NAMS) annual meeting in October revealed that a history of sexual harassment was associated with an increased risk of high blood pressure, high triglycerides, and clinically poorer sleep quality.

For survivors of sexual assault, there was an increase in depressive symptoms, anxiety, and sleep issues consistent with clinical disorders as well.

In other words, experiencing sexual harassment or sexual assault contributed to negative long-term health outcomes for survivors.

Sexual assault survivor advocates also report that survivors may be more resistant to going to the dentist and doctor, as both can require a fair amount of trust and invasiveness. This can contribute to health complications as well.

Out of 300 study participants, 19 percent reported workplace sexual harassment, 22 percent reported a history of sexual assault, and 10 percent reported having experienced both.

In light of the recent #MeToo movement, those numbers are only surprising because of how low they are.

A national study on sexual harassment and assault released by the organization Stop Street Harassment in February 2018 reported that 81 percent of women would experience some form of sexual harassment or sexual assault in their lifetime.

The National Sexual Violence Resource Center also reports that 1 in 5 women will be raped at some point in their lives, 1 in 3 women will experience some form of contact sexual violence, and nearly two-thirds of college students will experience sexual harassment.

This means there are a lot of women potentially susceptible to a host of long-term health complications.

What experts say

Lisa Fontes, PhD, is a researcher, activist, author, and psychotherapist. She told Healthline that sexual assault and sexual harassment are both considered trauma. During trauma, the body releases hormones that help a person cope with the emergency.

“The body releases cortisol to avoid pain and inflammation, and it raises our blood sugar to help us flee from danger. Unfortunately, these physical responses become long-lasting for many survivors of sexual assault and harassment, contributing to poor health,” she said.

She explains sexual harassment is considered a “chronic stressor,” because it’s typically sustained over time. Child abuse and intimate partner sexual abuse also often involve repeated assaults, leading the survivor into a constant state of hyperalertness.

“Even a one-time sexual assault can produce long-term consequences as the survivor copes with intrusive memories that make her feel as if she is enduring parts of the assault again and again,” Fontes added.

Healthline also spoke to Elaine Ducharme, PhD, a board-certified clinical psychologist. She talks about the repeated trauma that occurs even with singular assaults.

“You have the trauma at the time the event happens,” she explained. “Then if it’s reported, there is repeated trauma because you are talking about it and dealing with it again and again throughout the process of pursuing charges.”

But even for those who don’t report or press charges, the trauma can continue.

“For people who have children, we often see a flare-up of trauma when the child reaches the age they were at the time the assault occurred,” Ducharme explained. “And even for women who think they are fine, years down the line they may see a movie with a rape scene and suddenly feel like they want to throw up.”

A recent national survey estimates 81 percent of women will experience some form of sexual harassment or sexual assault in their lifetime.

For many women, the recent #MeToo movement has proven to be empowering and healing. But for some, it’s resulted in having to relive those memories and experience the trauma all over again.

For those women, Ducharme suggests taking a break from media and considering a return to therapy.

“They may need to learn ways to manage the anxiety that can be triggered by some of this, and using mindfulness can be helpful,” she said. “I’m a huge believer in working with my clients to help them settle themselves down and be mindful and in the moment, trying to learn to stay present.”

“I don’t blame the #MeToo movement for the fact that we are hearing more about sexual assault these days,” Fontes added. “I blame the assailants and the years of cover-ups.”

Getting help

When asked what advice she would have for women struggling with the mental and physical health implications of their past experiences with sexual harassment or sexual assault, Fontes said, “There is power and healing in numbers.”

If you’re currently struggling, Fontes suggests the following:

  • See if your local women’s crisis center has a discussion group you could join.
  • Seek psychotherapy.
  • Speak with trusted loved ones about how you’re feeling.

She says those who return to therapy may not need a lot of sessions — just a few to figure out how to cope with the new landscape.

“Sexual abuse is so common. There is no reason any woman has to feel like she is alone, or to suffer alone,” Fontes said.

Organizations like the Rape, Abuse & Incest National Network (RAINN) can also provide resources and support. You can call RAINN’s 24/7 national sexual assault hotline at 800-656-4673 for anonymous, confidential help. You can also chat with them online.

Complete Article HERE!

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What the BDSM community can teach us about consent

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By Olivia Cassano

In heteronormative porn scripts, enthusiastic consent is about as common as a real female orgasm.

However, there’s a fringe of mainstream society that actually knows how to practise affirmative consent, and one from whom the general community could learn a thing or two: BDSM enthusiasts.

As it turns out, kinksters are the ones who have been doing sex right this whole time.

According to a recent survey conducted by the sexual health charity FPA (Family Planning Association), 47% of the 2,000 people surveyed think it’s OK for someone to withdraw consent if they are already naked, and only 13% said they would discuss issues of consent with a partner.

Too often in sexual encounters, consent is considered implicit: it’s rarely asked for, and sex continues until someone – usually the woman – says no.

However, in BDSM scenarios, only a clear, enthusiastic and ongoing ‘yes’ constitutes consent. There’s a big difference between our mainstream ‘no means no’ mentality and BDSM’s ‘yes means yes’ approach.

Speaking to Metro.co.uk, sex educator, queer porn maker and BDSM provider Pandora Blake explains that the absence of a ‘no’ isn’t enough to constitute consent.

‘We’re conditioned from a young age to not say no,’ Pandora tells us. ‘Women are socialised to be people-pleasing, and when you get into the habit of people-pleasing it can make it hard not only to say no but to even be in touch with what we want.’

Because BDSM is an umbrella term that encapsulates a wide spectrum of different activities, Blake explains that you can never assume what your partner will be keen on.

‘Saying “I’m into BDSM” doesn’t mean you’re going to know what the other person actually likes, and you have to talk through it to find out if you have any kinks in common.

‘In mainstream sex people think they know the script, and actually that script doesn’t work for a lot of people, but there’s this assumption that they know what sex is.’

In the BDSM scene, partners explicitly negotiate specific sex acts beforehand, rather than assuming it’s kosher until somebody says no. Because BDSM can be risky and push people’s comfort limits, those who practise it don’t just assume a partner will be okay with a certain act just because they haven’t said ‘no’.

‘Everybody who plays BDSM games has their own ways of keeping themselves safe, and there are different community standards which different people subscribe to,’ says Blake. ‘One of the mantras that people use is Safe, Sane and Consensual, which is the idea that any riskier activities are done in a way that minimises risk and is as safe as possible.

‘Sane refers to people’s abilities to give informed consent, so: are they in a state of mind where they’re able to look after themselves? Are they sober, for example? Are they going through a crisis in their life right now where they’d be inclined to make bad decisions?

‘Another system people use is Risk-Aware Consensual Kink, which makes slightly more space for risky activity, if they consent.’

BDSM is a subculture where consent and negotiation are normalised and accepted. A 2016 study published in the Journal of Sex Research found that compared to vanilla people, the kink community had significantly lower levels of benevolent sexism, rape myth acceptance, and victim blaming.

Another survey published in 2012 by the National Coalition for Sexual Freedom also found that 85% of BDSM practitioners polled agreed with statements such as ‘a person can revoke consent at any time’, ‘consent should be an ongoing discussion in a relationship’, and ‘clear, overt consent must be given before a scene’. Over 93% of respondents endorsed the statement ‘consent is not valid when coerced’.

‘From pre-negotiations to post-mortems – just talking about things before, after and all the way throughout – it really just comes down to communication and making sure that everybody is on the same page,’ explains Blake.

‘Most consent violations happen because people are selfish and don’t have the communication tools to find out what’s going on with the other person, but most of us want to be having sex with people who genuinely want to be having sex with us.

‘There is nothing sexier than getting that information from your partner.’

Pleasure plays a huge part in consent, and heterosexual women are the ones who get the sh*t end of the stick in bed. While 95% of straight men regularly orgasm during sex, only 65% of straight women do. Society discourages us from talking about sex (ahem, prudes), making it harder for women especially to explore what they like in bed.

If we don’t encourage women to speak up about what they want in bed, how will we ever normalise affirmative consent?

‘This idea that consent is a contract is really pernicious,’ Blake says. ‘Consent is revocable and ongoing, and being encouraged to change your mind is necessary for consent. By saying you’ve changed your mind, you’re helping your partner respect your boundaries.’

‘Consent isn’t about just avoiding negative situations, it’s not about getting permission to do something, it’s an active process and collaboration between two people who respect each other to create the best experience for everyone involved.’

The same rules of engagement the BDSM community respects can easily be applied to vanilla encounters. Talking about what you want before, during and after a sexual encounter isn’t just necessary, but can be incredibly sexy too.

Asking and giving consent doesn’t have to be a formal sit down where you lay out all the things you’re ok and not ok with (although, if you want to do it that way, it’s perfectly cool).

In fact, foreplay and dirty talk are perfect ways to practice explicit consent. Asking things like ‘can I do X?’, ‘do you like it when I X?’, ‘I want to do X to you, do you want that?’ not only make the experience that much hotter, but they make sure you’re respecting your partner’s boundaries.

The only reason some people think of consent as a formal request for a sex, something that ruins the mood, is because in heteronormative, vanilla sex scenes, consent is rarely given as explicitly as it should be.

Explicit consent has a number of advantages over the implicit consent practised (or better yet, not practised) in traditional sexual scripts because everyone is required and encouraged to ask for what they want.

Boundaries and acts that are off-limit are clearly discussed, there’s no intimidation or coercion, and there’s no ambiguous silence that can be exploited. Just because you’re not keen on a flogging session, doesn’t mean you can’t learn a thing or two from BDSM.

Complete Article HERE!

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How to Use A Wand Vibrator During Sex

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By GiGi Engle

It’s no secret that a wand vibrator is the cornerstone of any notable sex toy collection. There is a reason why Hitachi wands have been best sellers since their advent in the 70s: They deliver powerful, insanely awesome orgasms.

The wand is the clit-whisperer. No matter who you are or what you like, almost every woman will agree that a wand vibrator is the best thing in the world.

Did you know that the love you have for your wand can be a part of partner sex and not just your favorite masturbation accomplice? Yes, that’s correct. The two things are not mutually exclusive. Here’s how to use your favorite giant sex toy during sex.

Why a wand vibrator during sex?

Bringing sex toys into the bedroom is finally becoming a new normal for many people — as .it should. Nearly every woman requires stimulation of the external clitoris to experience orgasm. Sex toys are a conduit to this necessary sexual touching, and vibrators are designed to help you orgasm. Any partner who is comfortable with themselves will not be intimidated by a sex toy, but rather open to experimentation. After all, who doesn’t want their partner to come?

If you’re in the early stages of your sex toy adventures, you’ll probably want to start with something small and non-threatening. Finger vibrators and pocket rockets are excellent for beginners, but eventually you’ll probably be ready to graduate to something bigger and more powerful. That’s where wang vibrators come in.

Wands are, for the most part, freaking enormous. I’m currently looking at my favorite wand and this sucker is a solid twelve inches long. It’s a subway sandwich-sized sex toy.

We love our wands because of their power-packed charge and long handles. They make masturbation easy. You can hold the handle at chest-height and reach the clitoris without moving a muscle. Convenient! The girthy head gives you all-over clitoral stimulation without having to do much in the way of maneuvering.

For the brave amongst you, these same positive attributes can be utilized during partner play. You may have cornered the wand as your solo-only toy, but its big head and long body make orgasms during intercourse even easier.
If you want to ease your partner into it, start by having them watch you use it on yourself. This can be a huge turn on. Seeing how you make yourself orgasm could be just the push your partner needs to get on board.

The best positions for wand play

Starting out with wand play means finding the right positions that are both comfortable and orgasmic for you. Now is not the time to be getting acrobatic. There will plenty of opportunities for that later down the line. For now, stick to these three basic positions to get placement in order.

Don’t worry if it feels awkward at first. All new sex things are weird in the beginning.

Missionary: Your wand can seriously spice up this go-to position. When you’re in missionary, slip the wand between you and your partner. If they are able to stay propped up on the their arms, it will help make some extra room for the wand. Hold the wand like you would while masturbating on your back.

The reach of the wand’s base helps you access your clitoris without reaching down too far. You’ll have ample opportunity to make out with your partner and focus on the combination of internal and external stimulation. Your partner’s weight will add to the pressure of the wand head on your clitoris for intense, full-body orgasms

Open-Legged Spoon: This is like a regular spoon only, you know, open-legged. Lie on your back and spread your legs, bent at the knee. Have your partner enter you from below, perpendicular to your body. Drape your knees over their side. You can align bodies like you would in a classic spoon for more intimacy

Grab your wand and rest it on the clitoris. This is an ideal lazy-girl sex position. You have total access to your clitoris, while your partner penetrates you. This low-impact position will change how you see your wand forever. Plus, it’s super sexy and dirty looking.

Doggy Style: For those of you who enjoy masturbating on all-fours with a wand, this will be your bread and butter. Lie on your stomach, sticking two or three pillows under your hips. Prop your wand against the pillows so you can lean your vulva against the top. Have your partner enter you with either their penis, fingers or dildo from behind.

A wand is amazing for doggy style because you get to ride it while your partner is riding you. You’re basically the center of a filthy nasty sandwich — something everyone deserves.

Queening: This position is great for everyone, but works especially well for same-sex couples. Lean your back against a throne of pillows like a queen. Grab the wand and hold it against your glans clitoris while your partner uses their tongue on the rest of your vulva. The vaginal opening is full of nerve endings and is amazing for exploration. They can also lick up and down your labia. Want to make it even more intense? Have them place a stainless steel dildo inside your vagina while they lick around the opening. The weight of the toy will pull the entire pelvic floor and internal clitoris downwards, resulting in an orgasm for the books.

If you don’t already have a wand vibrator, stop what you’re doing right now! You need one. Whether you’re planning to use it for partner play, by yourself, or both, it’s a must-have.

While Hitachi has long reigned supreme, it’s never admitted to being a sex toy. To this day it claims to be a neck massager. There are approximately zero people on this planet who have used a Hitachi magic wand as a neck massager, but I digress.

Female-run companies have stepped up and created wands that are proudly marketed as sex toys. Plus, they’re made from high quality materials you can trust. Our favorites are Le Wand and Ollie from Unbound. We like our sex toys like we like everything else: Highly quality, feminist, and orgasmic.

Complete Article HERE!

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Talking sexual health with older patients

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Dr Sue Malta and her research team want to promote more positive social perceptions of older people’s sexuality, in general practice and beyond.

By Amanda Lyons

It is no secret that Australia’s population is ageing.

But that doesn’t mean older Australians are leaving the pleasures of the bedroom behind – and nor should they, argues Dr Sue Malta.

‘Having a healthy sex life when you’re older, even when you do have disability and disease, is actually really good for your health and wellbeing, and also your overall cognition and cognitive function,’ the Melbourne School of Population and Global Health research fellow told newsGP.

‘So there’s lots of reasons for people to remain sexually active in later life, and for GPs to encourage them to be so, if that’s what the older patient wants.’

Our culture contains many deeply embedded stereotypes about older people, and one of the strongest is that they are asexual. But, as shown by Sex, Age & Me, a national study conducted on the sexual and romantic relationships of over 2000 Australians aged 60 and older, this is very far from the case: almost three-quarters (72%) of respondents reported having engaged in a variety of sexual practices in the preceding year, ranging from penetrative intercourse to mutual masturbation.

Despite this kind of eye-opening data, stereotypes about older people’s sexuality – or lack of – persist, even among older people themselves and the health professionals who treat them.

The Sexual Health and Ageing, Perspective and Education (SHAPE) project, for which Dr Malta is a researcher and project coordinator, also revealed these stereotypes could cause significant barriers in discussion of sexual health between GPs and older patients.

‘GPs don’t want to initiate these conversations, they want them to be patient-led,’ Dr Malta said.
‘But older patients won’t talk to GPs because they are embarrassed, and for reasons that go back to an historical lack of sex education when they grew up: the context and eras these patients were born into, they just didn’t talk about sex.

‘So it leads to this Catch-22 situation.’

The SHAPE team wanted to further investigate the reluctance of GPs to raise sexual health issues with older patients, so they conducted semi-structured interviews with 15 GPs and six practice nurses throughout Victoria. The resulting paper, ‘Do you talk to your older patients about sexual health?’ was published in the most recent edition of The Australian journal of general practice (AJGP).

Dr Malta explained that semi-structured interviews allowed the researchers to access richer and more detailed information from their GP respondents.

‘It’s very easy to say ‘“yes, no” in a survey. We don’t really find out people’s underlying or unconscious views and attitudes,’ she said.

Researchers ultimately found many of the GPs feel uncomfortable broaching the subject of sexuality with older patients, and some found it difficult to reconcile sexuality with ageing.

As one GP said, ‘It’s a bit like you don’t really want to know your mum and dad have sex, you know? Because that’s just gross’.

However, as Australia’s ageing population grows, and divorce, online dating and sexually transmissible infections (STIs) become more common among older people, neglecting issues of sexual health can lead to harms.

There’s a whole issue around [the fact that] they’re not practising safer sex, so the STI rates are going up,’ Dr Malta said. ‘It has gone up 50% in five years, but from a low base.

‘But if we continue in this vein, with more and more single older adults coming into the population, this could potentially be more of an issue in the future.’

Furthermore, if GPs and other health professionals are unaware that they should be looking out for sexual health issues in older patients, they may miss important signs.

‘A lot of the symptomology [of STIs] actually mimic diseases of ageing,’ Dr Malta said. ‘So if there is a stereotype of the asexual older person in the GP’s mind, and an [older patient] has a symptom that might or might not be an STI, which side do you think the GP is going to err on? Not the possible STI.’

A vivid anecdote that Dr Malta encountered during her teaching work is a telling illustration of the importance of not making assumptions.

‘One of the registrars at a presentation I gave had a consultation with an older man, a gentleman on a walking frame, who was 90 or so, and presented with what looked like an STI,’ she said.

‘The consultant the registrar was working under said, “No, it wouldn’t be an STI, just look at him, he’s past it. That’s ridiculous.” But the registrar decided she would ask him.

‘So she asked and he said, “Yes, actually, it could be an STI. I went to see a prostitute last week and it was the best thing I’ve done in ages”.

‘So the registrar then had the opportunity to have that discussion about safer sex and give him some treatment.’

Many of the GPs interviewed for Dr Malta’s paper felt they would appreciate interventions designed to help facilitate discussions about sexual health during consultations with older patients.

Dr Malta agrees this would be helpful, but believes it would also be useful to start earlier, with better information about ageing and sexuality provided during general practice (and other medical) training.

‘In training, you learn about ageing, but in the context of disease and dysfunction,’ she said.

‘So the only thing about sex and ageing you might learn is about erectile dysfunction, how beta blockers affect your ability, vaginal dryness, menopause, prolapse. You don’t actually learn about positive sexuality in later life.’

Dr Malta has found that most older patients would like sexual health screening to become a normalised part of routine care in general practice. She also believes it is necessary to make changes in overall health policy to make it more inclusive.

‘There is no sexual health policy targeting older adults,’ she said. ‘They get lumped into general sexual and reproductive health policy, and the only mention that’s made of them is about menopause and the like.

‘There should be a specific sexual health policy for older adults because the issue is more involved than we think.’

Complete Article HERE!

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Encourage teens to discuss relationships, experts say

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BY Carolyn Crist</a

Healthcare providers and parents should begin talking to adolescents in middle school about healthy romantic and sexual relationships and mutual respect for others, a doctors’ group urges.

Obstetrician-gynecologists, in particular, should screen their patients routinely for intimate partner violence and sexual coercion and be prepared to discuss it, the Committee on Adolescent Health Care of the American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists advises.

“Our aim is to give the healthcare provider a guide on how to approach adolescents and educate them on the importance of relationships that promote their overall wellbeing,” said Dr. Oluyemisi Adeyemi-Fowode of Texas Children’s Hospital and Baylor College of Medicine in Houston, Texas, who co-authored the committee’s opinion statement and resource for doctors published in Obstetrics & Gynecology.

“We want to recognize the full spectrum of relationships and that not all adolescents are involved in sexual relationships,” she said in an email. “This acknowledges the sexual and non-sexual aspects of relationships.”

Adeyemi-Fowode and her coauthor Dr. Karen Gerancher of Wake Forest School of Medicine in Winston-Salem, North Carolina, suggest creating a nonjudgmental environment for teens to talk and recommend educating staff about unique concerns that adolescents may have as compared to adult patients. Parents and caregivers should be provided with resources, too, they write.

“As individuals, our days include constant interaction with other people,” Adeyemi-Fowode told Reuters Health. “Learning how to effectively communicate is essential to these exchanges, and it is a skill that we begin to develop very early in life.”

In middle school, when self-discovery develops, parents, mentors and healthcare providers can help adolescents build on these communication skills. As they spend more time on social networking sites and other electronic media, teens could use guidance on how to recognize relationships that positively encourage them and relationships that hurt them emotionally or physically.

Primarily, healthcare providers and parents should discuss key aspects of a healthy relationship, including respect, communication and the value of people’s bodies and personal health. Equality, honesty, physical safety, independence and humor are also good qualities in a positive relationship.

As doctors interact with teens, they should also be aware of how social norms, religion and family influence could play a role in their relationships.

Although the primary focus of counseling should help teens define a healthy relationship, it’s important to discuss unhealthy characteristics, too, the authors write. This includes control, disrespect, intimidation, dishonesty, dependence, hostility and abuse. They cite a 2017 Centers for Disease Control and Prevention study of young women in high school that found about 11 percent had been forced to engage in sexual activities they didn’t want, including kissing, touching and sexual intercourse. About 9 percent said they were physically hurt by someone they were dating.

For obstetrician-gynecologists, the initial reproductive health visit recommended for girls at ages 13-15 could be a good time to begin talking about romantic and sexual health concerns, the authors write. They also offer doctors a list of questions that may be helpful for these conversations, including “How do you feel about relationships in general or about your own sexuality?” and “What qualities are important to someone you would date or go out with?”

Health providers can provide confidentiality for teens but also talk with parents about their kids’ relationships. The committee opinion suggests that doctors encourage parents to model good relationships, discuss sex and sexual risk, and monitor media to reduce exposure to highly sexualized content.

“Without intentionally talking to them about respectful, equitable relationships, we’re leaving them to fend for themselves,” said Dr. Elizabeth Miller, chief of adolescent and young adult medicine at Children’s Hospital of Pittsburgh of UPMC, who wasn’t involved in the opinion statement.

Miller recommends FuturesWithoutViolence.org, a website that offers resources on dating violence, workplace harassment, domestic violence and childhood trauma. She and colleagues distribute the organization’s “Hanging Out or Hooking Up?” safety card (bit.ly/2PQfxEM), which offers tips to recognize and address adolescent relationship abuse, to patients and parents, Miller said.

“More than 20 years of research shows the impact of abusive relationships on young people’s health,” Miller said in a phone interview. “Unintended pregnancies, sexually-transmitted infections, HIV, depression, anxiety, suicide, disordered eating and substance abuse can stem from this.”

Complete Article HERE!

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