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Your Kinks Aren’t Nearly As Weird As You Think

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A survey shows many supposedly paraphilic desires are anything but abnormal

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your kinks

The world of psychiatry considers a desire for spanking or whipping abnormal, despite “Fifty Shades” of evidence to the contrary. Now, a new study provides proof beyond the publishing phenomenon that these masochistic yearnings, along with several other taboo fantasies, are actually fairly normal.

In fact, researchers have found that nearly half of surveyed adults have an interest in at least one of a handful of desires that have been officially labeled as “anomalous.”

The latest edition of the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual of Mental Disorders, which is often referred to as psychiatry’s bible, categorizes sexual interests as either “normophilic” or “paraphilic.” So, basically, “normal” or “abnormal” (which doesn’t seem like a totally healthy approach to sexuality, but that’s an issue for another day). The listed aberrations are voyeurism, exhibitionism, frotteurism, masochism, sadism, pedophilia, fetishism and transvestism.

The study, published in The Journal of Sex Research, was based on a survey that asked 1,040 Canadian adults about their interest in these eight “non-normophilic” acts. Researchers from the University of Quebec at Trois-Rivieres and Philippe Pinel Institute of Montreal found that 45.6 percent reported having a desire for one of the paraphilic behaviors, while 33.9 percent had actually engaged in one of the behaviors.

Voyeurism was the most popular, with 46.3 percent expressing a desire for it and 34.5 percent having experience with it. Next up, fetishism, which the study defined as sexual arousal by an “inanimate non-sexual object,” with 44.5 percent fantasizing about it and just over a quarter effectively saying “been there, done that.”

Coupled exhibitionism and frotteurism, which the paper defined as sexual arousal from “touching or by rubbing yourself against a stranger,” came in close behind. (Note: the definition of frotteurism given to the survey respondents, unlike typical definitions of the term, didn’t necessarily imply a lack of consent.) Finally there was masochism, with 23.8 percent reporting desires and 19.2 percent saying they had tried it.

All of these numbers are big enough to place these desires outside of what is considered statistically rare or unusual, according to the researchers. However, sadism, transvestism, solo exhibitionism (i.e. showing your genitals to a stranger, as opposed to having sex with a partner where someone could see you) and, thankfully, sex with children were found to be unusual or rare. If these results are to be trusted, several desires that the DSM defines as paraphilic, or abnormal, are actually within the statistical range of what’s normal.

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Back to the DSM, that incredibly influential tome that defines mental illness. Let us not forget, this is the same DSM that for more than two decades defined homosexuality as pathological. In fact, it was only three years ago that homosexuality was completely taken out of the manual. Suffice it to say, it’s a document that is informed by science but still subject to changing social mores, and the paraphilias are no exception.

In order for a diagnosis of paraphilic disorder to be made, the DSM requires that these desires have to either be intense, persistent and distressing to the individual or criminal and acted upon (as in the case of a pedophile who abuses a child or a frotteur who assaults people on the subway). Even without distress or illegal acts, though, a person can still be considered to have a paraphilia—but not a diagnosable mental disorder—if their interests are recurrent and as intense or more so than supposedly “normal” desires. But even if you’re less interested in pain play than, say, missionary-position sex, you’re still considered to have “anomalous” desires.

That means that regardless of whether you have an unwanted and deeply distressing kink or are a proud member of a thriving, consensual BDSM community, you’re still technically given the “freak” stamp by the DSM. Which is something many kinky people wear with pride—and that’s wonderful!—but it doesn’t seem all that accurate. Sorry if that ruins it for you.

Complete Article HERE!

5 Surprising Uses for Condoms in and out of the Bedroom

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Condoms are an amazingly effective (and sometimes, downright sexy) addition to pleasure that make for safer sex, but that’s not all they’re good for; just check out the other fun and practical uses we’ve found for them in and out of the bedroom!

5-Surprising-Alternate-Uses-for-Condoms

1. Make Sure Sharing is Really Caring

When you’ve found your perfect pleasure product (or products) it’s natural that you’ll want to share your enthusiasm for them during partnered sex. However, intimate products should be cleaned thoroughly between uses by different people (and unless you’re having sex in the shower that is not too convenient). Simple solution? Much like using a fresh condom between partners in a threesome, you can cover your favorite internal erogenous zone massager with a condom to share pleasure, rather than bacteria.

2. There and Back (and Back Again)

Covering your sex toys with a condom isn’t just for sharing with new people; it’s also the safest way to use a toy that is for anal play in other ways. (Keep in mind that any toy used anally should be designed with a flared base, but rabbit-style toys have a natural ‘stopper’ by virtue of their design.)

A condom can also act as a handy barrier method to stop the spread of bacteria during anal stimulation if you’re going to be switching from analingus to cunnilingus.

3. Ice Ice (Post) Baby

While there are plenty of products that help your muscles strengthen before and after childbirth, condoms prove to be a post-birth necessity in quite surprising way: pain relief.

Fill a condom with water, tie the end off as you would a balloon, and then let it lie flat in the freezer until it’s a slushy consistency. You can pop it inside another condom to prevent leaks and crush up any ice for a wearable ice pack.

Of course, if you’re a fan of temperature play you can also use a condom to create a fully frozen DIY sex toy. Simply take a cardboard paper towel roll (cut length-wise and then re-taped closed to create your ideal diameter) and put a condom in the middle. Tape the open end of the condom around the outside of the paper towel roll and fill with water, then place the upright tube in the freezer. After it has frozen solid, remove the roll and tie off the end as you would a balloon.

Now, it is important to run this toy under warm water before using; this removes any frost from the outside and will created a thin layer of water within the condom, which will stop it from freezing to your skin if used internally. (It doesn’t need to be used internally; it can be an addition to foreplay during partnered sex!)

4. C’mon Baby Light My Fire

On the opposite end of the temperature spectrum, condoms can be also be used to help you light a fire. No, not a metaphorical fire; a condom can be used to help start a literal fire, as demonstrated in the video below.

5. All-Weather Protection

Condoms have another handy, non-sexual use as barrier protection. Because they are designed to keep liquid in, they are very useful for keeping liquid out; thus they make a great cover for bandaging while you shower.

As well, it can serve as a cell phone cover if you’re hiking or camping in adverse weather conditions (though we’d suggest using a non-lubricated one!)

Complete Article HERE!

Touch Isolation: How Homophobia Has Robbed All Men Of Touch

Homophobic prohibitions against male touch are hurting straight men as well.

Touch Isolation

By Mark Green

“Boys imitate what they see. If what they see is emotional distance, guardedness, and coldness between men they will grow up to imitate that behavior…What do boys learn when they do not see men with close friendships, where there are no visible models of intimacy in a man’s life beyond his spouse?” -Kindlon and Thompson, Raising Cain
(With thanks to BRETT & KATE MCKAY)

Recently I wrote an article titled The Lack of Gentle Platonic Touch in Men’s Lives is a Killer in which I asked people to consider the following:

American men, in an attempt to avoid any possible hint of committing unwanted sexual touch, are foregoing gentle platonic touch in their lives. I’ll call it touch isolation. Homophobic social stigmas, the  long-standing challenges of rampant sexual abuse, and a society steeped in a generations old puritanical mistrust of physical pleasure have created an isolating trap in which American men can go for days or weeks at a time without touching another human being. The implications of touch isolation for men’s health and happiness are huge.

Gentle platonic touch is central to the early development of infants. It continues to play an important role throughout men and women’s lives in terms of our development, health and emotional well being, right into old age. When I talk about gentle platonic touch, I’m not talking about a pat on the back, or a handshake, but instead contact that is lasting and meant to provide connection and comfort. Think, leaning on someone for a few minutes, holding hands, rubbing their back or sitting close together not out of necessity but out of choice.

Yet, culturally, gentle platonic touch is the one thing we suppress culturally in men and it starts when they are very young boys.

Touch Isolation2While babies and toddlers are held, cuddled, and encouraged to practice gentle touch during their first years of their lives, that contact often drops off for boys when they cease to be toddlers. Boys are encouraged to “shake it off” and “be tough” when they are hurt. Along with the introduction of this “get tough” narrative, boys find that their options for gentle platonic touch simply fade away. Mothers and fathers often back off from holding or cuddling their young boys. Boys who seek physical holding as comfort when hurt are stigmatized as cry babies.

By the time they are approaching puberty, many boys have learned to touch only in aggressive ways through rough housing or team sports. And if they do seek gentle touch in their lives, it is expected to take place in the exclusive and highly sexualized context of dating. This puts massive amounts of pressure on young girls; young girls who are unlikely to be able to shoulder such a burden. Because of the lack of alternative outlets for touch, the touch depravation faced by young boys who are unable to find a girlfriend is overwhelming. And what about boys who are gay? In a nutshell, we leave children in their early teens to undo a lifetime of touch aversion and physical isolation. The emotional impact of coming of age in our touch-averse, homophobic culture is terribly damaging. It’s no wonder our young people face a epidemic of sexual abuse, unwanted pregnancy, rape, drug and alcohol abuse.

In America in particular, if a young man attempts gentle platonic contact with another young man, he faces a very real risk of homophobic backlash either by that person or by those who witness the contact. This is, in part, because we frame all contact by men as being intentionally sexual until proven otherwise. Couple this with the homophobia that runs rampant in our culture, and you get a recipe for increased touch isolation that damages the lives of the vast majority of men.

And if you think men have always been hands-off with each other, have a look at an amazing collection of historic photos compiled by Brett and Kate McKay for an article they titled: Bosom Buddies: A Photo History of Male Affection. It’s a remarkable look at male camaraderie as expressed though physical touch in photos dating back to the earliest days of photography.

The McKays note in their article the following observation:

But at the turn of the 20th century, … Thinking of men as either “homosexual” or “heterosexual” became common. And this new category of identity was at the same time pathologized — decried by psychiatrists as a mental illness, by ministers as a perversion, and by politicians as something to be legislated against. As this new conception of homosexuality as a stigmatized and onerous identifier took root in American culture, men began to be much more careful to not send messages to other men, and to women, that they were gay. And this is the reason why, it is theorized, men have become less comfortable with showing affection towards each other over the last century.

Spend some time looking at these remarkable images.  You’ll get a visceral sense of what has been lost to men.

These days, put ten people in the room when two men touch a moment too long, and someone will make a mean joke, express distaste, or even pick a fight. And its just as likely to be a woman as to be a man who enforces the homophobic/touch averse stigma. The enforcement of touch prohibition between men can be as subtle as a raised eyebrow or as punitive as a fist fight and you never know where it will come from or how quickly it will escalate.

And yet, we know that touch between men or women is proven to be a source of comfort, connection and self-esteem. But while women are allowed much more public contact, men are not. Because how we allow men to perform masculinity is actually very restrictive. Charlie Glickman writes quite eloquently about this in his article, Escape the “Act Like a Man” Box. Read it. It’s a real eye opener.

“As much as gay men have faced the brunt of homophobic violence, straight men have been banished to a desert of physical isolation by these same homophobic fanatics who police lesbians and gays in our society.”

Male touch isolation is one of many powerful reasons why I support gay marriage initiatives. The sooner being gay is completely normalized, the sooner homophobic prohibitions against touch will be taken off straight men. As much as gay men have faced the brunt of homophobic violence, straight men have been banished to a desert of physical isolation by these same homophobic fanatics who police lesbians and gays in our society. The result has been a generation of American men who do not hug each other, do not hold hands and can not sit close together without the homophobic litmus test kicking in.

The lack of touch in men’s lives results in a higher likelihood of depression, alcoholism, mental and physical illness. Put simply, touch isolation is making men’s lives less healthy and more lonely.

Recently, when visiting my 87 year-old father for a few days, I made a point to touch him more. To make contact. To express my affection, not just by flying a thousand miles for a visit but to touch the man once I got there. It may seem simple, but choosing to do so is not always a simple thing. It can raise a lifetime of internal voices, many of which speak of loss and missed opportunities. But I hugged him. I put my arm around him as we shared a cigar and cocktails. I touched him whenever I walked past his chair. Each evening, we would watch a movie. As part of that nightly ritual, I would sit in the floor, take off his shoes and socks and rub his bare feet for while. It is something I will remember when he is gone. Something I did right. Something that said to him, I love you. Spoken on the same deep touch levels by which he connected with me when I was a toddler sitting next to him, his strong arm around me as I watched the late show fifty years ago.

This touch thing is so crucial. I kiss and hug my son constantly. He sits with me and on me. I make a point of connecting with him physically whenever I greet him. The physical connection I have with him has been transformative in my life teaching me about my value as a human being and a father.

We need to empower men to touch. We need to fix our sexually repressed/obsessed American culture and put an end to distorted and hateful parts of our culture that allow homophobic people to police all men everywhere down to the very tips of our fingertips.

It’s too late in my life for the impact of these stigmas to be fully undone, but I have great hope for my son. When we collectively normalize gay life and relationships, my son, whatever his sexual orientation turns out to be, will be free to express platonic affection for others, be they men or women, in any way he sees fit. The rabid homophobes who have preached hate in America for far too long will finally be silenced, and men will be free to reach out and touch each other without fear of being labeled as somehow less of a man.

It’s a dream for a better America I can already see coming true.

Complete Article HERE!

The Secret To Good Sex In A Long-Term Relationship

Pro-tip: Act like your relationship is a Skinemax movie

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The Secret To Good Sex In A Long-Term Relationship

It turns out candles, lingerie, and jazzy tunes are more than romantic cliches—they might actually kinda work. At least, that’s according to a new study of long-term heterosexual relationships finding that sexually satisfied couples regularly engage in these and other forms of foreplay and mood-setting.

Sexually successful couples’ lives don’t look exactly like gauzy, soft-focus films, though: They were also more likely to have experimented with sexual variety—from anal stimulation to acting out sexual fantasies to using a sex toy together. And they had sex and orgasms more frequently.

“It was encouraging to learn that more than one-third of couples kept passion alive, even after a decade or two together,” said Janet Lever, a study co-author. “That won’t happen on auto pilot; these couples made a conscious effort to ward off routinization of sex.”

The study, published in The Journal of Sex Research, surveyed more than 38,747 heterosexual men and women in the United States who had been with their partner for at least three years. Researchers had participants rate their sexual satisfaction currently and in the first six months of the relationship. The majority, 83 percent, said they were sexually satisfied at the start. Ah, but passion does often wane: Just over half, 55 percent, said they were presently satisfied with their sex lives, while the rest either felt neutral or dissatisfied.

Satisfied couples were far more likely to have experimented with sexual variety. For example, among dissatisfied men and women, 33 and 45 percent respectively said they or their partner had worn sexy lingerie or underwear in the past month. But among their satisfied counterparts those numbers rose dramatically to 67 and 71 percent. Consider the percentage that reported recently trying a new sexual position: 22 and 25 percent of unhappy men and women, compared to 59 and 63 percent of their sexually stoked counterparts.

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The aforementioned cheesy, mood-setting measures also saw higher, although much less dramatic, numbers among the sexually satisfied: 23 and 20 percent of contented folks reported lighting a candle or dimming the lights during their last sexual encounter, compared to 11 and 9 percent among the dissatisfied. (You heard it here first: Candles can’t compete with anal play.)

Fulfilled couples also, as David Frederick, lead author of the study, put it, “practiced effective sexual communication.” It’s true: satisfied folks were far more likely to report praising their partners in bed or their partner asking for something they wanted in bed. But it’s also somewhat startling just how little sex talk there was, even among the happy couples. Satisfied or not, more people tried out sexy lingerie and undies in the last year than asked their partners in the past month for feedback on how something felt during sex. In fact, more men across the board reported experimenting with anal stimulation than having a partner who “asked for something they wanted in bed.”

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It’s important to note that the study didn’t establish causation, so we can’t say that lingerie or candles directly lead to sexual satisfaction—maybe the sexually satisfied are simply more open to exploration! Or maybe those who are open to exploration are more sexually satisfied. Frederick points out that the two groups respond very differently when it comes to tips found in articles just like this one. ”Almost half of satisfied and dissatisfied couples read sexual self-help books and magazine articles,” said Frederick, “but what set sexually satisfied couples apart was that they actually tried some of the ideas.” No pressure.

Complete Article HERE!

How Many Americans Actually Engage In BDSM Play

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How Many Americans Actually Engage In BDSM Play

BDSM is the acronym for “bondage, discipline, submission, masochism,” and it’s a practice that’s ancient. According to research by sex toy retailers, Adam & Eve, there’s evidence of BDSM sex practices in ancient Greek art, and the Kama Sutra, which was written in 300 A.D., publicized erotic spanking as a way to add a little something extra to people’s sex lives. Although, as for how many actually did will remain a mystery, I like to believe it was a lot.

I think we can all agree that BDSM has been pulled out of the darkness and is now out in the open. People aren’t just talking about it with mind far more open minds than they did in the past, but they’re also practicing BDSM in their own sex lives. According to OkCupid’s 2015 Hangover report, 58 percent of users have a desire to participate in bondage. But how many actually do?

While to what extent people are exploring the realms of BDSM varies from couple to couple, even some of the “vanilla” sex people have probably picked up a blindfold and at least considered integrating it into their sex lives. You can never go wrong by experimenting with other corners of your sexuality and uncovering new ways to enjoy yourself.

Because BDSM is finally getting its day in the sun, Adam & Eve researched not just the history behind it, but just how many Americans are practicing it and who these Americans are. Here are 10 facts about BDSM according to that research.

1. The Art Of The Dominatrix Goes Way Back

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According to the research, as far back as the 18th century, there were brothels all over Europe that specialized in providing the service of dominating men through the use of vigorous “punishment.” Submissive men knew exactly what they were getting when they went to these brothels, and it included being restrained, whipped, and whatever other forms of punishment the dominatrix deemed necessary.

2. BDSM Participants Are More Open Than ‘Vanilla’ Participants

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The study found that those who engage in BDSM sex are more extroverted and open to new things. These are basically the people who like to jump out of planes or jet off to New Zealand at the last minute, because why the hell not? They’re also more sexually adventurous, not that that should be a major surprise.

3. Those Who Practice BDSM Are Mentally Healthier

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While this isn’t to suggest that those who prefer “vanilla” sex are somehow not healthy in the head, the research did find that those who practice BDSM are less stressed and more secure in their relationships, which, let’s be honest, are pretty big selling points. They’re also more conscientious and aware of those around them, and less likely to be concerned about the opinions of others.

4. BDSM Requires A Particular Set Of Skills

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If you didn’t read that in Liam Neeson’s voice a la the movie Taken, it’s OK. Seriously though, it does require a set of skills that “vanilla” sex does not. For example, trust and communication are paramount in BDSM. One also needs to be accepting of both themselves and their partner, especially if they’re to really enjoy the experience.

5. The Majority Of People Communicate Their Desires With Their Partner5

According to the result of the study, 71 percent of people tell their partner what they want in bed. Such good news! How are you supposed to get the most out of sex, if you don’t? For the 29 percent who don’t, they’re just doing themselves, more than anyone, an extreme disservice. Communication is key for great sex, people! (I know I’ve written that sentence 500 times probably in the last year alone.)

6. Over 50 Percent Of People Share Their Sexual Fantasies With Their Partner

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Although ideally this should be closer to 100 percent, I guess we should be happy that at least 56 percent of people share their fantasies with their partners. Depending on what those fantasies are, it might feel like a difficult thing to do, but remember EVERYONE has sexual fantasies. It’s normal, it’s healthy, and if you want to give them a whirl, you can’t expect your partner to read your mind.

7. Most People Actually Haven’t Engaged In BDSM

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When Adam & Eve asked the respondents who had played with blindfolds, paddles, or restraints in the bedroom, a whopping 73 percent said no. Although this doesn’t mean these people are experimenting with BDSM in other ways, these accessories always lead to a good time, when consensual of course.

8. Not Enough People Are Using Safe Words

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For those who do practice BDSM, only 17 percent use a safe word. WHAT? Safe words are really important! A safe word lets your partner know that you need them to slow down or stop. Depending on whatever game you’re playing “stop” might not cut it, so consider a safe word. Please!

9. More Women Than Men Love To Be Bitten

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Ah, yes, the animalistic act of erotic biting… fun, isn’t it? According to Adam & Eve, although most people do enjoy being bitten, women, at 55 percent, enjoy it more than men, at 50 percent.

10. Less Than 10 Percent Of Women Like to Dominate

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Complete Article HERE!

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