Goodbye Bad Sex…

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How To Rewrite Your Sexual Story

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Now, the team behind the raved-about podcast, led by Lisa Williams and Anniki Sommerville, are putting their considerable expertise down on paper with their debut book, More Orgasms Please: Why Female Pleasure Matters. In the book, the collective, who firmly believe that sex, relationships and body confidence are feminist issues that can no longer be ignored, take on everything from feminist porn to body image and the menopause.

Like the podcast that inspired it, More Orgasms Please is like a great conversation with friends: at once punchy and playful, normalising and educational. Featuring insight from doctors, bloggers, politicians, therapists and celebrities, it’s an eye-opening read that puts women’s pleasure firmly on the map at a time when it couldn’t be more crucial.

In the extract below, Anniki recounts a bad sexual experience she had as a teenager, which left her feeling anxious about her future sex life. If, like so many of us, you too have had a less-than-brilliant encounter between the sheets, you’ll want to read on for The Hotbed Collective’s straight-talking advice…

ANNIKI: It’s the late Eighties. I’m fifteen. I’ve been out at a nightclub with a bunch of friends. We’ve drunk Grolsch, and been chatted up by some students from St Martin’s School of Art. They are channelling the Levi’s 501 ads and wear white T-shirts and baggy jeans.

One of them asks if I want to go back to his room. My best friend Hannah accompanies me. He lives in a hall of residence in Battersea. To cut a long story short, the boy and I snog while Hannah sleeps in the same bed. This is not unusual as beds are often at a premium and we’ve become used to sharing this way. Without warning the boy clambers on top of me and starts thrusting. Hannah mumbles, ‘Can you please stop?’ but the boy continues. Eventually after three minutes he groans. I am still wearing my thick Wolford tights. They must be at least 200 denier.

‘You are completely gross,’ Hannah says waking up. ‘I’m getting out of here.’

I don’t want to stay without her so we leave. On the early-morning bus up the King’s Road, I look down at my tights. There is a white sticky substance. ‘I can’t believe you had sex in the bed next to me,’ Hannah says.

The conversation ended right there. Had I had sex? Was that it? The problem was I lacked the necessary vocabulary to explain what had happened. My sex ed lessons hadn’t included a session on ‘dry humping’. ‘Could I be pregnant?’ I wondered. There were rumours that sperm was so powerful that it could survive outside your body and crawl up your leg if it was determined enough. I never talked about this experience with anyone – not even my best mate.

I also felt ashamed but wasn’t quite sure why. There was no one I could talk to about it. I spent many hours fretting that my future sex life would be one where I always had sex through a pair of tights because I didn’t know any better.

‘Bad sex’ experiences such as the one Anniki describes above unfortunately are the norm for many young women embarking on those first few formative sexual experiences. Without a meaningful, realistic idea of what to expect or useful education about how sex is supposed to be pleasurable, then it’s a miracle that we ever end up enjoying it at all

If you don’t know your own anatomy, what a clitoris is, or the difference between foreplay and penetration, then having sex through a pair of tights can be the unfortunate outcome. Sex education lays the groundwork. It also encourages us to talk about our experiences so we don’t think we’re abnormal. It gives us the information we need to make the right choices (and these will hopefully lead to more orgasms and less worry, anxiety and ignorance).

Bad sex probably shares a few common traits (for us anyway).

FIRSTLY: no orgasm. Of course, you can have nice sex without an orgasm but if you are physically capable of an orgasm, it’s a bit like eating rhubarb crumble without custard. Or not having a bun with your burger. Or going out with trainers and no socks so your feet get blisters (come up with your own analogy here). You can fake an orgasm (and sometimes it’s just simply the easiest thing to do: if it’s someone you haven’t had sex with much yet and you like them but you haven’t finished this book yet and are therefore still mid-journey to becoming a fully qualified sex goddess who can ask for what she likes) but this isn’t a sustainable way forward and the sooner you can put things right, the better.

SECONDLY: bad sex often hurts. This may be because you’re not lubricated enough and your sexual partner has no clue or has forgotten about foreplay, or because they’ve watched too much porn, and think frantic, crazy, Jack Russell-style action is what turns you on (maybe it does, in which case: thumbs up).

THIRDLY: bad sex sometimes entails something happening which is so humiliating that your face burns whenever you think about it, even when it’s twenty-odd years later.

We know from our own conversations and from feedback from The Hotbed that plenty of bad sex is happening each and every day. Here are some quickfire stories about bad encounters, shared with us by our listeners:

The time I tried to give a blow job but thought you had to blow instead of suck…

The time toilet paper was still stuck to my bum and I was really into a guy and he discovered it there…

I had to pee really bad and ended up weeing all over our sleeping bag…

My entire first relationship involved sex which was OK but which never made me have an orgasm…

His mum rang him while we were at it, and he answered and had a full conversation with her before carrying on again…

In Not That Kind of Girl Lena Dunham describes a bad experience of cunnilingus, ‘I felt like I was being chewed on by a child that wasn’t mine.’

Author and columnist Caitlin Moran refers to bad sex as ‘the straight-up awful hump – a tale you will tell for the rest of time’. She tells a story of going back to a famous comedian’s house in the Nineties: ‘As we began the “opening monologue” on the sofa, he reached around for the remote control – and put on his own TV show

Perhaps you too have your own bad sex story to tell. Often the accounts of these experiences share certain commonalities: we’re disempowered, passive, naïve and insecure. We do something stupid and embarrassing and we don’t have the guts to ride it out.

Our partner is too rough, not rough enough, too fast, too slow, rude, arrogant, or picks his toenails afterwards.

Samantha from Sex and the City famously declared, ‘Fuck me badly once, shame on you. Fuck me badly twice, shame on me.’ You will have noticed that we’re not blaming our sexual partners exclusively for our bad sex. Of course, they should get clued up: read about some techniques; buy lube; ask you what you like and dislike; and know that women don’t tend to get turned on by having their head forced down into the crotch area. But while they should be able to read your body language, they can’t be expected to read your mind.

Bad sex can happen when expectations are running very high. It can happen when you’re fifteen and it can happen when you’re eighty-five. Unless women take responsibility for their own pleasure and get educated about what pleases them, and have the confidence to tell or show their partners, bad sex can last an entire lifetime

Here’s our Hotbed advice:

REMEMBER IT’S NEVER TOO LATE TO REWRITE YOUR SEXUAL STORY. Just as we can change jobs and have multiple identities, so we can change the course of our sexual history. Have a frank look at your own sex life – look at the overarching narrative from teen to now. What percentage has been bad? Are there any patterns in terms of things you’ve put up with but would rather not anymore? How can you build on the stuff you love?

THINK ABOUT THE BEST SEX YOU’VE HAD AND WHAT SHAPED THOSE EXPERIENCES. Was it a specific technique? A mood? Location? It might not be possible to recreate a summer in Spain when you were twenty-two, but there will be certain ingredients that you can integrate into your sex life now…

GET OVER THE IDEA THAT SEX IS BEST WHEN YOU’RE YOUNG. The reality is often quite the opposite. The Public Health England survey that we referred to earlier found that forty-two per cent of women aged between twenty-five and thirty-four complained of ‘a lack of sexual enjoyment’, but in the fifty-five to sixty-four age group this percentage falls to twenty-eight per cent. Bad sex can be edifying in that it teaches you what you don’t want from a sexual encounter, meaning you can learn and improve as you grow older (despite the media’s failure to portray any woman past thirty as fuckable).

TAP INTO FANTASY. When we’re younger we have rich fantasy lives. Usually these take the shape of imagining sex with pop stars and actors. How can fantasy help now? How can you tap into that teen mindset where sex lived in your imagination?

OF COURSE IT MAY BE EASIER TO FAKE IT TILL YOU MAKE IT, ESPECIALLY DURING NEW ENCOUNTERS, BUT THERE’S NO REASON WHY YOU CAN’T HAVE GREAT SEX WHILE DATING HOT STRANGERS. Showing someone where and how you liked to be touched, bringing along a tube of lube, and saying ‘softer’, ‘this is amazing,’ or ‘ooh, that hurts a bit’, are all completely acceptable from the first bonk, and could spare you both some embarrassment and wasted time.

OWN YOUR BAD SEX STORIES. Talk about them. You’ll soon discover that they’re pretty much universal. A bad sex story shared is a bad sex story out in the open and you can have a good old hoot about it and relieve yourself of any shame. We’re talking about the sex-through-tights stories here, of course. If they’re about anything abusive or damaging in any shape or form then seek help from a counsellor or therapist. The experience of abuse can’t be brushed under the carpet and will oftentimes leave heavy imprints in your memory, but with proper support and therapy they don’t have to be a barrier to improving your sex life either.

Bad sex may be a rite of passage but as we’ve explained, it can also continue from our teens into our twenties, thirties and beyond. There may no longer be Wolford tights involved, but there will certainly be times when your partner can’t perform, or you lose interest, or the baby cries, or you’re too tired, or the quality of sex is just not there for you.

In order to stop the rot and make sure that it’s not happening all the time, look out for unhelpful patterns that emerge. Do you always tend to prioritise your partner’s pleasure more than your own? Do you feel grateful if your partner makes your orgasm a priority but then worry afterwards that you were being too demanding and pushy? Do you cringe when you tell your partner about what turns you on?

It’s also worth remembering that famous Nora Ephron quote about how you can turn embarrassing stories around so you become the heroine: ‘When you slip on a banana peel, people laugh at you. But when you tell people you slipped on a banana peel, it’s your laugh.’ That’s how Anniki feels about the whole tights story anyway. She’s ‘owning’ that bad boy.

Complete Article HERE!

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‘I wanted to explore my own pleasure’

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– How I rebooted my sex life

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At 35, I realised I had no idea what I really wanted in bed – or how to ask for it. So I went on a sex odyssey, one orgasm at a time

My story, like all the greats, starts with a disappointing wank. I was on one of the big free porn sites and I saw something that disturbed me.

Now, I was used to porn; I had been using/watching/waiting for it to buffer for years. It was just what you did, if you were feeling aroused and alone, wasn’t it? But on this night, I found myself thinking about a young woman in a thumbnail picture, hoping she was all right. I turned my computer off and thought about my niece, 13 at the time, perhaps soon to be exploring her sexuality and ending up visiting a site like this. It made me sad. This was the sex we were giving our young women and men, and there didn’t seem to be much alternative. What have we done to sex? I thought.

But then I considered myself. I was hardly raising sex to some divine art form, sat there alone with my laptop in bed. In my 35 years, I felt I’d never really got to grips with sex. I had probably only skimmed the top of how amazing it could be. It occurred to me that sex was something that was done to me. I was willing, keen even, but an actor in it, rather than a writer or director of the show. My friend has a saying: if you always do what you’ve always done, you’ll always get what you’ve always got. I didn’t want to get what I’d always got when it came to sex. But then again, what did I want?

I’d never actually asked myself this before, so I wrote a list. The first thing that came to mind was slow sex. I felt that for a long time sex had been caught up in speedy routines, me often being moved around like an Ikea sofa. I wanted to break sex down to put it back together again, learn how and where I liked to be touched, and similarly how to touch a man. I was a bit terrified of the penis, not really sure what I was supposed to do with it. And I wanted to really explore my own pleasure. I read somewhere that women are capable of 14 different types of orgasm. If this was true, I’d been seriously underperforming. Also, I finally admitted to myself that I didn’t just want to have sex with men.

I set off on my sexual odyssey. It wasn’t as glamorous as it sounds: I was off on a mission, but I didn’t know how to go about it, or have anyone to practise on. One night, I asked a friend if he might like to do some tantric sex with me. It wasn’t my most articulate moment, and I was wearing a cagoule and a woolly hat. To my surprise, he said yes. I bought us both a copy of the Complete Idiot’s Guide to Tantric Sex. A few days later he came over and we had a go, but I needed a lot of alcohol for courage and found it hard to give a handjob while holding a book. I struggled with taking the lead and, after a few more attempts, he “dumped” me.

It was all a bit depressing. I was able to make some pretty exciting stuff happen in my working life, yet when it came to men I was insecure, drunk and frequently hysterical. I looked back on my sexual experiences to date and realised I was incapable of asking for what I wanted in bed (and not so great out of it, to be fair). I also finally admitted just how much I hated, truly hated, my body, the very vessel I wanted to give me pleasure.

It dawned on me that I had been raised to be pretty and passive. Female sexuality had always been presented to me by men. From Page 3 to the majority of porn, it was hard to find an image of female sexuality that didn’t have a man behind it making money, or hadn’t originated from that place. No wonder I was in a bit of a mess sexually.

I continued on my odyssey, learning from each calamity. There were more disastrous handjobs, one where I accidentally laughed as a man ejaculated, and another where the recipient was so blown away by my erotic touch that he started talking about the fuel consumption of his Transit van. Over time though, and with practice, I relaxed and grew in confidence, finally getting to grips (as it were) with the male member and other things on my list. I experienced incredibly slow sex with a lover – really, imagine everything in quivery, breathy slow motion, with me nearly orgasming when he touched my knee. The effect was profound: I cried afterwards and the words “I didn’t think I deserved to be touched like that” echoed in my head.

My masturbatory habits completely changed. Gone was the quickie to internet porn; instead I spent time tuning into how and where my body wanted to be touched. Sometimes a tender touch on my yoni (the tantric term for the vulva and vagina) could move me to tears, bringing back memories of times when, either with lovers or medical professionals, this area was not so cared for. The more this healing happened, the more my capacity for pleasure increased, something that frequently blew my mind. One particularly powerful orgasm felt as though I spent minutes spinning through space and time. Ripples of this orgasm were still ricocheting through my body two days later. I have given that one the name, “the orgasm that could create world peace”.

I went to my first sex festival and loved it. Well, I was pretty terrified at first and may have locked myself in my car on the first night, but once I made it out of there I met other like-minded people and had some beautiful experiences, including with other women who, like me, were feeling that they weren’t quite as straight as they had thought.

I got much better at the important stuff; stating my boundaries and mastering how to initiate and ask for what I desired. I finally trusted my ability to say “no”, and it was liberating. I think because I was stronger in this way, I was able to try things that might have terrified me before, such as sex parties.

Perhaps the richest gift my sexual adventure gave me was empowerment. I learned that my sexuality is just that: mine. I think before, in my passivity, I had been waiting for someone else to unlock it or give me what I thought I needed. Previously I’d just taken it for granted that I was the problem. My body was wrong, I was wrong. So caught up in my shame and failings, I hadn’t stepped back to see that society’s teachings around sex were pretty rotten. With my new sense of freedom and power I stood up to the Sun over Page 3, starting a petition that grew into a national campaign and was (after two-and-a-half years) ultimately successful. The insecure woman I was before my sexual capering would never have had the confidence to stand up publicly on an issue like that.

I would say it altered every aspect of my life for the better. After years of struggling in relationships, I met someone. He understood and supported my adventures. I then fell pregnant and had a baby. That, as you can imagine, shifted everything. I had to start anew, getting to know my body and sexuality all over again.

I thoroughly recommend taking yourself off on a little sexual odyssey. For women, I would say there is almost an imperative to do so if we can. Our sexuality has been suppressed and controlled for so long, it becomes radical to reclaim it on our own terms. Just shine a little light on this area of your life and ask yourself what it is you would like to experience. And do take time to touch yourself with tenderness. We are so hard on our bodies, we push and berate them, yet we rarely give them loving touch they deserve. And it only gets better; I heard recently that a woman has the greatest capacity for sexual pleasure at 70 years old. Bring it on.

Complete Article HERE!

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Just Learning About The Orgasm Gap Improves Women’s Sex Lives

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By Kelly Gonsalves

You’re probably familiar with the concept of the orgasm gap, which refers to the gendered orgasm disparity between straight men and women. A whopping 95 percent of straight men orgasm almost every time they have sex, compared to just 65 percent of straight women. This isn’t the case in non-straight sexual encounters by the way (89 percent of gay men and 86 percent of lesbians get off basically every time they have sex), and 94 percent of women typically climax while masturbating. So clearly this isn’t a biology problem.

A lot of the orgasm inequality between straight men and women can be explained by a combination of (1) lack of knowledge of female pleasure, namely how the clitoris works and why it’s vital to female orgasms, and (2) the male-oriented sexual scripts most heterosexual sexual encounters follow, in which P-in-V penetration is considered the main sex act, men’s pleasure and orgasms are considered mandatory parts of sex (the sex ends when the guy gets off), and women’s pleasure and orgasms are considered optional or incidental.

Researchers wanted to know if knowledge of the orgasm gap and the unequal gender scripts contributing to it could improve women’s sexual experiences. So they surveyed women before and after taking a Psychology of Human Sexuality course that specifically discussed the orgasm gap and inclusive, sex-positive sexual practices. To compare, they also surveyed women before and after taking a Human Sexuality and Culture class (which discussed sex from an anthropological point of view but didn’t mention the orgasm gap or the gendered social dynamics of particular sexual encounters) and a Psychology of Personality class (which didn’t discuss sex at all).

Their findings? Of the 271 women they surveyed in total, those who’d taken the class that talked about the orgasm gap saw a clear improvement in their sexual functioning. Not only did they have more and better orgasms, but they felt more entitled to sexual pleasure during sex and communicated more with their partner during sex. They were more able to advocate for their own pleasure in bed, more confident about how their genitals looked, and less distracted by performance anxiety or anxiety about how they looked during sex.

Those are some serious benefits from just a little more knowledge about sex!

Published in the journal Sex Education, these findings demonstrate that educating ourselves about how our bodies work, what gender dynamics might be in play during sexual encounters, and the importance of being confident communicating your needs in bed can make an actual difference in a woman’s ability to orgasm with ease during sex. Past research has similarly found taking classes about sex improves people’s body image, willingness to try new things in bed, health precautions during sex, and even sexual pleasure.

And by the way, sex education isn’t just for kids and college students. There are tons of excellent sex classes for adults available online and in person with professional sex educators, sex therapists, and other experts. Here are a few to consider and places to look for more:

Complete Article HERE!

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The orgasm gap…

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Women climax a third less than their male partners, but why?

Women have a third fewer orgasms compared to their male partners.

By Francesca Specter

We often hear about gender inequalities in the workplace or in the domestic sphere, but less about one that happens between the sheets.

Yet, if you are a woman in a heterosexual relationship, it’s likely there’s an orgasm gap at play, with your male partner “coming first” in more ways than one.

In a large-scale study, 95% of heterosexual men in relationships said they usually or always climax during sex, compared to just 65% of women.

Interestingly, this is not the case for women in same sex relationships, with 86% of lesbian women claiming they regularly orgasm.

Based on these results, it would appear most women are at least capable of having regular orgasms – so why aren’t they having them?

Many women do not orgasm from intercourse alone

A lack of understanding around clitoral stimulation is partly responsible for the widespread “orgasm gap” in heterosexual relationships, according to Amanda Major, sex therapist and head of clinical practice at relationships charity Relate.

“As a society, we have a tendency to place too much emphasis on penetrative sex – a lot of women need clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm and find it difficult to achieve through vaginal intercourse alone,” she explains.

A lack of foreplay

Not just a cliche, couples skipping foreplay before sex is a key reason for the orgasm gap. In fact, in a survey conducted by Illicitencounters.com, 74% of women said men’s biggest mistake in bed was forgoing foreplay for the so-called main event.

“Biologically speaking, women often take longer than men to become aroused, which is why foreplay is so important,” Major explains.

Pain during sex

For many women, intercourse might be associated with pain rather than a mind-blowing orgasm, with three quarters saying they have experienced pain or discomfort during sex, according to research from Durex.

Worryingly, only one in five would actively stop sex as a result. Instead, it looks like women are prioritising their partner (and their partner’s orgasm) over their own pleasure, with one in 10 saying they have faked an orgasm as a result, and a further 15% saying the experience made them rush their partner to climax.

Women aren’t asking for what they want

“Some women find it difficult to ask for what they want or place too much focus on their partner’s pleasure, explains Major.

She recommends women to get to know their body and what works for them through masturbation or sensual exploration, and then showing their partner what they like.

Sarah Berry, a sex and relationship therapist, agrees that orgasms are a two-way street.

“It isn’t just up to a partner to “give” someone an orgasm, is the partner up for working with partner to help them orgasm?, she says.

“Maybe the non orgasming person could show them how they like to be touched.”

The idea sex stops when a man orgasms

Sex doesn’t have to finish when the man “finishes”, says Berry – yet so many men and women alike believe this should be the case.

“Heterosexuals have been somehow conditioned to stop sexual activity when the male comes.

“It’s how we’re used to watching sex play out most of the depictions of sex we see – everything from blockbuster movies to porn.”

How to close the orgasm gap

So, now we know some of the reasons why women aren’t orgasming, but what can we do about it?

Annabelle Knight, sex and relationship expert at Lovehoney, provides her top tips.

  • Use sex toys: “Adding toys such as vibrating rings to play could greatly enhance her chances of orgasming as well as him.”
  • Kegel exercises: “Focus on clenching your pubococcygeus (PC) muscle by using a kegel exerciser – this is a great way to extend your orgasms. By undertaking kegel exercises every day you will create a more powerful sensation during arousal, a tighter vaginal canal and bigger, better, longer orgasms for all.”
  • More foreplay: “For many people, foreplay is real sex, so don’t cut it short. The pleasure is in the journey, after all.”
  • Keep it fresh: “Try hot wax play. Invest in a massage candle, use it to set the mood and when the wax has cooled pour it on your partner. The temperature change will awaken your nerve endings making them more responsive to your touch.”

Complete Article HERE!

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How Couples Can Deal With Mismatched Sex Drives

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By Kelly Gonsalves

One of the most common problems faced by long-term couples is desire discrepancy—one partner wants more sex than the other. It’s a frustrating place to be for both parties: One person doesn’t feel sexually satisfied or desirable in their relationship, the other feels pressured to have sex they don’t really want, and both usually feel guilty for putting their partner in this position.

One excellent way couples can deal with the issue is to see a sex therapist, who can work with them in building a new, mutually satisfying intimate life together. How does sex therapy work? A new paper published in the Journal of Sex & Marital Therapy gives us a pretty good picture, describing one treatment approach for desire discrepancy developed by certified sex therapist and clinical psychologist Barry McCarthy, Ph.D.

Here are the most important steps for dealing with mismatched sex drives, according to McCarthy. Don’t worry—you can get through this.

1. Team up.

One of the most important steps of dealing with desire discrepancy is to stop viewing each other as representatives of opposing sides.

“In the first session, the task of the therapist is to confront the self-defeating power struggle over intercourse frequency and replace it with a new dialogue about the roles and meanings of couple sexuality,” write McCarthy and Tamara Oppliger, M.A., co-author of the study and clinical psychology Ph.D. student at American University, in a draft of the paper shared with mbg. “No one wins a power struggle; the fight is over who is the ‘bad spouse’ or ‘bad sex partner.'”

Stop trying to make one person out to be the enemy. You’re a couple—you’re on the same side of the table, looking over a shared problem that’s hurting your relationship. Come together to make an agreement that this is a journey you’re going to undertake together.

And by the way, your goals for this journey should be clear—and it should not be about making sure you have sex a certain number of times a month. Sexuality is about much more than how often you do it. “The goal of couple sex therapy for desire discrepancy is to reestablish sexuality as a positive 15 to 20% role in their relationship,” the authors write. “It is not to compensate for the past, to declare a ‘winner,’ or to reach a goal for intercourse frequency.”

In other words, your goal is simply to make intimacy a positive force in your relationship, something that feels good to both people.

2. No pressuring another person to have sex, ever.

“Sexual coercion or intimidation is unacceptable,” McCarthy and Oppliger write. That kind of behavior can be terrifying for the person getting intimidating and can lead to someone saying yes to sex they don’t want. Any sex that’s only agreed to because of pressure is going to feel more like a violation than anything else. There’s no faster way to kill desire and make sex feel toxic.

3. Prioritize desire, not intercourse or orgasms.

When a relationship involves a man and a woman, couples often fall into the trap of using intercourse (i.e., putting a penis in a vagina) as the definition of sex. They believe sex is only sex when intercourse happens, and how often you have intercourse becomes a pass-fail measure of your sex life. One of McCarthy’s key points: “When it is intercourse or nothing, nothing almost always wins.”

No matter what genders you and your partner are, stop trying to use any one act like intercourse or penetration as the only marker of whether you’ve had sex—and while you’re at it, forget about having orgasms too. All these things can be great parts of a healthy and satisfying sex life, but they’re by no means the most important or crucial parts. All kinds of touch can be pleasurable and connective.

If not intercourse or orgasms, what exactly should you be striving for in your intimate life? “Desire is the most important dimension,” McCarthy and Oppliger write. Desire is the key to sexual energy and excitement, and it’s often what we’re truly seeking when we pursue sexual gratification. “Satisfaction means feeling good about yourself as a sexual person and energized as a sexual couple.”

4. Not all sex needs to be earth-shattering for both parties.

“The best sex is mutual and synchronous,” the authors write. “Yet, the majority of sexual encounters are asynchronous (better for one partner than the other). Asynchronous sexuality is normal and healthy as long as it’s not at the expense of the partner or relationship.”

For example, sometimes one partner might just go down on the other so she can have a good orgasm, and then the two cuddle as they fall asleep. Both people don’t need to get off every time, as long as the pleasure balances out and is satisfying for both parties over time.

5. Start with touch.

Not sure where to start? After assessment, one of McCarthy’s first suggestions is for couples to begin with getting reacquainted with touching each other again. Those touches don’t need to be a whole sexual act—they can be as simple as holding each other in bed or rubbing each other’s backs. “The focus is using touch as a way to confront avoidance and build a bridge to sexual desire,” he and Oppliger write.

In other words, the more you get comfortable with touching each other and sharing skin-on-skin contact, the more your desire will eventually build up. (Past research shows desire is indeed buildable, with having a spark of erotic energy one day leading to more of it the following day, even if you didn’t have actual sex.)

Complete Article HERE!

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You Can Teach Yourself How To Orgasm

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— Here’s How

By Erika W. Smith

In one of my favorite scenes in the Netflix series Sex Education, Aimee goes to Otis for advice because her new boyfriend has what she thinks is a weird kink. “Steve says his ‘thing’ is girls properly enjoying sex,” she says with an eye-roll. After Otis asks her a few questions, Aimee shares that she’s never had an orgasm and she’s never masturbated. Otis, as Aimee puts it, “prescribes a wank.” Cue a montage of Aimee masturbating in various positions all around her bedroom. The next time she’s with her boyfriend, she has very specific instructions: “I want you to rub my clit with your left thumb. Start slow, but get faster, but not too fast. When I start to shake, blow on my ear and get ready for fireworks.”

While it might be a touch exaggerated, there’s a lot of truth in this scene. Never or infrequently orgasming is common, particularly for women, about 10-15% of whom have difficulty orgasming (though it can happen with people of any gender). And if you’ve never had an orgasm — or if you orgasm infrequently — and you want to, the best way to have one is to spend some quality time masturbating

Let me stress that part again: if you’ve never (or rarely) orgasmed and you want to, you should start with masturbation. Because you don’t have to orgasm. Sex or masturbation can still be plenty of fun without an orgasm. Part of the Mayo Clinic’s definition of anorgasmia (the medical term for consistent difficulty reaching orgasm) is that the lack of orgasm distresses you or interferes with your relationship. If you’re not orgasming and you’re totally fine with that, then don’t feel like you need to have an orgasm. While pressure to orgasm, body image, and shame around sex can contribute to anorgasmia, there are a variety of other possible causes, including medications such as SSRIs, illnesses such as Parkinson’s disease, and gynecological surgeries.

Okay: if you do want to learn how to orgasm, the first step is to stop focusing on trying to have an orgasm. Though this might seem contradictory at first, taking away the pressure to perform can be a big help. “Commit to practicing some mindful masturbation on your own, and just figuring it out,” Emily Morse, Doctor of Human Sexuality and host of the Sirius XM radio show and podcast Sex With Emily, tells Refinery29. Instead of trying to have an orgasm immediately, commit to getting to know your body over a period of several months.

“Common reasons why people, particularly women, have difficulty orgasming is because we’re in our head, and we’re focused on orgasming,” Dr. Morse says. “If you go in with the goal of ‘I’m just going to try to see where I can find pleasure in my body,’ knowing that you, on your own, can figure it out can be empowering. You’re much likely to get there once you just say, ‘I’m exploring.’”

While you’re doing this exploring, commit to experimentation. “Make sure you’re warmed up, you’re turned on, you’re exploring other erogenous zones, and you’re really taking the time,” Dr. Morse says. Spend some time in front of a full-body mirror while masturbating; try different breathing patterns; try using sex toys; try different positions. Touch different parts of your body, and use different types of touch. If you have a clitoris, Sex With Emily has an episode called “The Clit Notes” that covers all the different ways you can touch your clit. Dr. Morse also suggests spending some time “seducing yourself” — clean your room, light some candles, put on some music, try out different fantasies</a

“Our brain is the largest sex organ, no matter who you are,” Dr. Morse explains. “My advice would be to do the exploring, cultivate a really rich fantasy life, and figure out what your erotic themes are. What really turns you on? What are your fantasies? What do you need to feel the most pleasure? And then just experiment with that. Let go of what everyone else is doing, and do your own work to find out how you’re going to get there.”

After you’re comfortable orgasming on your own, then you can take what you’ve learned and tell your partner what you like. “It’s called self-love for a reason, right?” Dr. Morse asks. “No one else is responsible for our orgasms and our pleasure but us. And then once we learn that, we can communicate that to anyone else who’s interested in coming along for the ride.

Complete Article HERE!

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Marijuana enhances sex for women and doubles likelihood of orgasm

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By Chrissy Sexton

A new study led by the Saint Louis University School of Medicine has found that marijuana can greatly improve sexual experiences for women. Based on information from hundreds of women, the researchers found that using marijuana prior to sex doubled the likelihood that they would have an orgasm.

It has been commonly reported that marijuana increases sexual arousal and results in higher satisfaction during sex. While the science underlying these sexual benefits is not yet clear, experts theorize that they may result from heightened senses and reduced stress.

“It has been postulated that it leads to improvement in sexual function simply by lowering stress and anxiety,” wrote the study authors. “It may slow the temporal perception of time and prolong the feelings of pleasurable sensations. It may lower sexual inhibitions and increase confidence and a willingness to experiment.”

“Marijuana is also known to heighten sensations such as touch, smell, sight, taste, and hearing.”

To investigate the link between marijuana and sexual satisfaction, the researchers developed a Sexual Health Survey that addressed topics such as sex drive and lubrication. “To limit bias, the authors embedded the questions about marijuana deeper into the questionnaire,” wrote the researchers.

The investigation was focused on the survey responses of 373 women who were both marijuana users and non-users. Of the 47 percent of participants who were marijuana users, 34 percent reported using it before sex.

The study revealed notable differences in the sexual experiences of the women based on whether or not they used marijuana beforehand.

 

“Most women reported increases in sex drive, improvement in orgasm, decrease in pain, but no change in lubrication.” Overall, women who smoked pot were 2.13 times more likely to report having “satisfactory orgasms.”

“Marijuana appears to improve satisfaction with orgasm. Women who used marijuana before sex and those who used more frequently were more than twice as likely to report satisfactory orgasms as those who did not use marijuana before sex or used infrequently,” wrote the study authors.

“Our study is consistent with past studies of the effects of marijuana on sexual behavior in women.”

The research is published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Complete Article HERE!

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How To Admit You’ve Been Faking Orgasms

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By Aimée Grant Cumberbatch

Faux moans, simulated sheet grabs, exaggerated eye rolls. Fake orgasms are unlikely to be anyone’s first choice, but it’s not difficult to see how you might find yourself in a situation where it feels unavoidable.

It’s tempting to attribute the problem to a lack of skills among women’s partners, particularly if those partners happen to be members of the patriarchy. And that does come into it — the orgasm gap between men and women is real.

However, it isn’t the whole story, as although faking occurs most frequently among straight women (with 68% of those surveyed by Zava Med admitting to it), it’s also common in same-sex pairings too, with 59% of lesbians saying they’ve done it.

It’s not always clear if a woman is really having an orgasm, as Meg Ryan demonstrated in When Harry Met Sally.

Lack of enjoyment is one obvious reason. One woman I spoke to, Sarah*, told me: “Whenever I’ve faked an orgasm it’s mostly because I wasn’t really enjoying the sex, and wanted it to get over quickly.”

A lack of understanding around female sexual pleasure can be the cause of unenjoyable sex. It’s something Tierra, another woman who opened up to me, says has made her fake it in the past. “In my particular case, I would like to call it ‘unaware of my own body’. Most visuals of sex are of men and men only reaching climax. [I would say] most men having sex don’t know how to make a woman reach orgasm. So until she understands and feels orgasm, she doesn’t know [any] better.”

Sex and relationship therapist Krystal Woodbridge echoes the idea that certain portrayals of pleasure can make it harder for women to have a fulfilling sex life. “It could well be that [people] just have a lot of assumptions about sex that are probably a bit faulty, that come from the culture around sex in society and what the media portrays about it.

Although you might think faking is more likely to happen with a new partner or in a casual relationship, studies show it’s actually most common in long-term relationships, although less so in marriage.

This suggests that emotional factors could be at play, which is something Sarah experienced. “I didn’t stop [unfulfilling sex] midway either because I cared for the partner and felt affectionate towards [them],” she says. “If I was with a partner I didn’t really care about, I wouldn’t bother faking it.”
If you find yourself faking and start to fear the impact it’s having on you or your relationship, then it could well be time to talk. For those concerned about their partner’s reaction, Woodbridge advises being mindful about how you broach the issue.

“I think it’s important for [people] to ask themselves if it’s potentially damaging [to the relationship] to say to their partner that they have been faking orgasms,” she says. “If they make it about themselves instead, without sounding like a bombshell or as if they are blaming their partner, they perhaps wouldn’t need to overtly say they have been faking at all.”

She explains: “You can give guidance without [saying] ‘I’ve been faking it all this time’ or ‘What you’re doing is not working’. So you’re basically saying ‘I’ve got this issue that I’ve noticed more and more recently and I’m finding it more difficult to have an orgasm, so I wondered what we could do to work on that’.”

Woodbridge believes the problem can arise regardless of how skilled a partner is, so it’s crucial to feel able to discuss your individual preferences. However, faking can be caused by a lack of understanding of what those preferences actually are.

For this reason, it can be helpful to take some time alone to explore what you find pleasurable, so that you feel more relaxed during sexual encounters and better able to guide your partner on what works for you. Woodbridge explains: “An orgasm starts in the mind, so how [someone] becomes aroused in the first place is to do with their own ability to understand their pleasure.”

“We’re [all] aroused in different ways, it could be looking at erotic pictures or literature or it could be listening to certain music,” she suggests. “Then you can start thinking about physical sensations. So what actually feels nice. And then once you’ve worked that out you might feel you can then share that with your partner.”

It’s also important to ask yourself some questions about the cause of your faking. If you’re finding it difficult to unpick, or feel it’s the result of internalised sexual shame or past/present trauma, you might want to seek help from a qualified therapist. The College of Sexual and Relationship Therapists (COSRT) website has a directory where you can find accredited psychosexual therapists in your area.

Woodbridge states: “It depends on how long they’ve had the problem and whether it’s been with every partner or just a current partner, whether they can have an orgasm on their own but not with a partner, [and] how they feel about their own body. When they went through puberty were they able to enjoy exploring their body or was that frowned upon

An understanding of sexual pleasure outside of penetration, particularly for straight couples, can also be helpful, as only around 18% of women achieve orgasm through intercourse alone. Changing the focus and making sex less goal (orgasm)-oriented and more about a general sense of pleasure could help take the pressure off. “Even people who can achieve orgasm don’t always have an orgasm when they have sex and they don’t always want to,” Woodbridge adds.

For Olney, being able to discuss faking it with a partner has been a useful indicator of the health of the relationship. She says: “[In] my last two relationships I was aware enough of what I needed to discuss, what I would like, even if they were unaware of what my needs were. But the fact that the very last partner was not into making sure it was a mutually rewarding experience [meant] I just moved on.”

“Things don’t change when conversations are not being had. The discussion helped my partners help me orgasm, or the lack of discussion allowed me to realise [it was time] to move on.”

Woodbridge also notes that if your partner has a problem with you struggling to orgasm or not wanting to, that’s on them, not you. “If you genuinely are happy whether you have one or not then your partner shouldn’t be particularly worried about it. If they are, that is probably to do with their own pride.”

While the desire to fake can be a sign that there are deeper problems in the relationship, talking about it can provide an opportunity for greater intimacy and a more fulfilling sex life. In fact, 31% of women surveyed by Zava said their partners “decided to try harder” after they admitted they had been faking orgasms.

However this approach isn’t always successful, as Rashawn discovered: “I’d never had an orgasm before and I felt inadequate, like something was wrong with me. I told him I had never had one so he made it his mission to make me. He tried and tried and since I wanted to please him, I faked it.”

And while Woodbridge says that a partner can help, she advises that establishing a more fulfilling sex life involves owning your pleasure first.

“[That way] you’re taking responsibility for your own orgasm and you’re taking responsibility for your own pleasure and your own experience,” she says. “You have to start with yourself. You can bring your partner into it, but you have to start with yourself.”

Complete Article HERE!

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The Uncomplicated Truth About Women Sexuality

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Is women’s sexuality more complicated than men’s? Well, not really, no, says author Sarah Barmak.

In this frank, eye-opening talk, she shows how a flawed understanding of the female body has shaped this discussion for centuries. She debunks some age-old myths (you’re welcome) and offers a richer definition of pleasure that gets closer to the simple truth about women’s sexuality.

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The Psychological Benefits of Sex Toys

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By

There is no doubt that sex is great. However, it can use something to make it more passionate and wild from time to time. The best thing to achieve that is to find the right “hardware” for your games and let it all play out really really well.

Besides making sex better, sex toys can bring many different benefits to the table, or into the bed, however you like it (this is a judgment-free zone). But among all the physical benefits, there are some psychological ones, too.

Eliminating shyness

Some people are shy about their sexual lives or talking about sex in general. What is more, at the very mention of sex toys even they can get all giggly and blood rushes to their cheeks like they are teens again. However, what not many of us know is that if you get over it and talk about sex toys, you can actually feel more confident to talk about sex.

Sex toys are not a taboo anymore and everyone uses them; either with their partners or by themselves. So, if you are able to talk about them in any way, be sure you will be more free to talk about sex with your partner, for example. You will eliminate that shyness, guilt or embarrassment you might be feeling, and your sex life will get better and more satisfactory in no time.

“Cure” for sexual dysfunction

There are both men and women who can have sexual dysfunction, and sex toys are something that can aid in that. For example, there are women who suffer from anorgasmia, which means they can hardly reach orgasms while having sex. That is why vibrators and relaxing sex toys, are recommended. As far as men are concerned, a helping hand of sex toys can make them climax without having to get an erection. There is no harm in trying kinky toys like Hustler Hollywood has, for example, and giving it a shot.

Plus, if you manage to finally get that orgasm, there is no doubt that your confidence will rise. Another positive thing is that they will take the pressure off of you because you won’t be overthinking what you’re doing in bed. You just need to relax and let the toys do their thing. And, at the end, you will feel confident about your relationship, things will get back on track sex-wise and you will relieve stress!

Great sex equals a great relationship

You might have that spark with your partner, but things are bound to get boring sometimes. That is why you need to communicate. Surprisingly or not, sex toys will lead to better communication with your partner. Even a simple visit to the sex shop with your partner will make you communicate better. You do need to be open about what you want, like and dislike, so it is a great way to get to know each other better.

Furthermore, you will learn how to “navigate” your partner better. Without the toys, you might feel shy about telling him “a bit to the left” or her “to use less teeth”, but with sex toys, things can change. If you’re using vibrators you will be more relaxed and open about where he or she needs to go in order to hit the spot. Plus, some toys can reach places no man or woman has ever touched.

According to Bustle, you can say that sex toys can improve your honesty and communication because they will spark the conversation and make your relationship even better.

They just make you feel good

The mental benefits of using sex toys are almost the same as the benefits of sex. But double the dosage! Sex boosts your confidence, but with the use of sex toys, you are even more confident because you managed to go pass that stigma and taboo.

Sex leads to increased intimacy, love and trust in a relationship, but with the toys, you two can get even closer. This is because your aforementioned communication is better, you made that special bond when buying sex toys and you learned new things about each other and your bodies. Plus, a lot of oxytocin is released after each passionate, sweaty and successful round in the bed, which only leads to stronger relationships and more respect towards each other.

After all this, we can say for sure that sex toys are beneficial. Forget about all that kink-shaming and go a little wild. Your relationship can use a little something new and fun, and your partner will be happy about it, too! Not to forget about that confidence boost and more happiness in your lives. So, take your partner’s hand, find the toys you both like and go on an adventure of kinky fantasies and plenty of fun.

Complete Article HERE!

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Orgasmic dysfunction:

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Everything you need to know

By Jenna Fletcher

Orgasmic dysfunction is when a person has trouble reaching an orgasm despite sexual arousal and stimulation.

In this article, learn about the causes and symptoms of orgasmic dysfunction and how to treat it.

What is orgasmic dysfunction?

Orgasmic dysfunction is the medical term for difficulty reaching an orgasm despite sexual arousal and stimulation.

Orgasms are the intensely pleasurable feelings of release and involuntary pelvic floor contractions that occur at the height of sexual arousal. Orgasmic dysfunction is also known as anorgasmia.

There are several different types of orgasmic dysfunction, including:

  • Primary orgasmic dysfunction, when a person has never had an orgasm.
  • Secondary orgasmic dysfunction, when a person has had an orgasm but then has difficulty experiencing one.
  • General orgasmic dysfunction, when a person cannot reach orgasm in any situation despite adequate arousal and stimulation.
  • Situational orgasmic dysfunction, when a person cannot orgasm in certain situations or with certain kinds of stimulation. This type of orgasmic dysfunction is the most common.

Orgasmic dysfunction can affect both males and females but is more common in females. Researchers estimate that female orgasmic disorder, which is recurrent orgasmic dysfunction, may affect between 11 to 41 percent of women.

The North American Menopause Society report that 5 percent of all women have difficulty achieving orgasm.

Research from 2018 found that 18.4 percent of women could reach an orgasm through intercourse alone. However, the same study indicated another 36.6 percent of women needed clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm during intercourse.

Orgasmic dysfunction can affect the quality of people’s relationships, as well as a person’s self-esteem and mental health.

Symptoms

Orgasmic dysfunction is when someone has difficulty or the inability to reach an orgasm. For some people, reaching a climax can take longer than normal or be unsatisfying.

The way an orgasm feels or how long it takes to have an orgasm can vary widely. When someone has orgasmic dysfunction, climax can take a long time to reach, be unsatisfying, or be unattainable.

Causes

Scientists are not sure what causes orgasmic dysfunction, but believe the following factors may contribute to the problem:

 
  • relationship issues
  • certain medical conditions, such as diabetes
  • a history of gynecological surgeries
  • some medications, including antidepressants
  • a history of sexual abuse
  • religious and cultural beliefs about sex and sexuality
  • depression
  • anxiety
  • stress
  • low self-esteem

Also, women over 45 years of age are more likely to have trouble orgasming than women under this age. This may be due to menopause-related hormonal shifts and vaginal changes.

Once someone experiences difficulty reaching an orgasm, they may experience increased stress in sexual situations. Stress and anxiety during sex can make it even more difficult to reach an orgasm.

Diagnosis

Before diagnosing orgasmic dysfunction, a doctor will likely ask about a person’s symptoms and how long they have existed.

The doctor will also note any factors that could contribute to orgasmic dysfunction, such as underlying health conditions or the medications a person is taking.

A doctor may do a physical examination as well. In some cases, they may refer a person to a sexual medicine specialist or a gynecologist.

Treatment

Treatment for orgasmic dysfunction varies, depending on the underlying cause. A doctor may recommend treating any other conditions or adjusting any medications that may contribute to sexual health problems.

In many cases, a doctor may recommend a person who has orgasmic dysfunction try sex therapy or couples counseling.

A certified sex therapist can offer psychotherapy that focuses on concerns related to sexual function, feelings, or dysfunctions. Sex therapy can be done on an individual basis or with a partner.

Couples counseling focuses on relationship issues that may be affecting an individual’s sexual function and their ability to orgasm.

In some cases, a doctor or therapist may suggest a person try other forms of sexual stimulation to reach orgasm, such as masturbation or increased clitoral stimulation during intercourse. For others, they may recommend over-the-counter oils and warming lotions.

Hormone therapy may be effective for some females, particularly if the inability to orgasm coincided with the start of menopause.

In these cases, a doctor may suggest the woman tries an estrogen cream, patch, or pill. The estrogen may alleviate some menopause symptoms and improve sexual response.

Summary

Orgasmic dysfunction is the medical name for the inability to reach orgasm. Some people may experience orgasmic dysfunction when it takes too long to reach orgasm or when their orgasm does not feel satisfying.

Many factors can contribute to orgasmic dysfunction. To remedy orgasmic dysfunction, a person can speak to a doctor, a certified sex therapist, and other medical professionals to find the cause.

People can take steps to treat orgasmic dysfunction and improve their sexual health once they know the cause.

Complete Article HERE!

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The Biggest Wellness Trend This Year?

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Female Pleasure!

By OLIVIA CASSANO

You wouldn’t typically consider vibrators or lube as part of your beauty regime, but soon you might. Sexual pleasure products have been infiltrating the wellness and beauty scenes recently and are slowly becoming daily care necessities, much like a good under-eye cream or body oil.

Although demand for sex products is universal, historically very few brands have spoken honestly and respectfully to women about their sex lives. Nowadays, as society challenges taboos around sex and female-led sextech companies strive to provide retail experiences that aren’t shameful or seedy, sexual pleasure is going mainstream – so much so that products like sex toys, condoms and lube are no longer exclusive to sex shops or the pharmacy’s “family planning” aisle.

According to a recent study by the market research firm Technavio, the sexual wellness industry is growing exponentially and will be worth $32 billion in 2019 – it’s true what they say, sex sells – and the 2018 Global Wellness Summit Report states that “sexual pleasure brands are strongly aligning themselves with wellness, and sex is fast shedding its taboo status.” Products that were once sold in basement sex shops and spoken about in hushed tones have become this generation’s go-to form of self-care, and sexual pleasure is 2019’s wellness cause célèbre.

Lucie Greene, worldwide director of trend forecasting agency JWT Innovation, believes sexual pleasure will be this year’s biggest wellness trend. “We’re seeing a move away from sexual fulfilment and health as an overly eroticised tone [and] sex is being positioned as part of a 360 make-up of being a healthy person,” she tells Refinery29. “We’ve seen a marked rise in this and raised awareness that sexual fulfilment is something to focus on and optimise. What’s interesting is that the idea of sexual pleasure, rather than be dependent on your partner, is being internalised as part of self-care. It’s also being linked to skin health, appearance, and general glow and vitality – as a beauty proposition.”

That sex (solo or partnered) is good for your wellbeing isn’t exactly a revelation, and brands are finally tapping into that by marketing sexual health products like toys, lube and condoms as everyday body care, bridging the gap between sex and wellness. Cult Beauty, the beauty junkie’s online mecca, sells aphrodisiac supplements, Boots has started stocking So Divine vibrators, and body care brand Nécessaire, launched less than two months ago by Into The Gloss cofounder Nick Axelrod and former Estee Lauder executive Randi Christiansen, offers lube as one of the three products in its range.

By bringing sexual wellness into the mainstream, brands are destigmatising sex goods by marketing them as any other wellness product. “The other interesting thing is the design of many of these brands. The new language around sex is sophisticated, straight-up and pithy. There’s a tasteful level of humour and empathy,” adds Greene. Brands like Nécessaire are catering to the millennial zeitgeist and overcoming the taboos and misconceptions with Insta-friendly aesthetics, offering products you’d proudly display on your nightstand next to a Le Labo fragrance or a Drunk Elephant serum. Take Lelo, the Swedish sex toy company created by three designers whose popular products are crafted with the same Scandinavian sophistication that we’ve come to expect from our homeware.

“More and more women are aware how their sexual health is linked to their overall mental and physical wellbeing,” says Jacqueline Husin from Smile Makers, whose vibrators are sold only in mainstream health and beauty retailers. “Noticing this, retailers, from drugstore chains to department stores, have launched new sexual wellness categories to cater to the woman who cares about all aspects of her health, from inner to outer beauty.”

By positioning sexual pleasure in the beauty and wellness sphere, brands are promoting the idea that body care goes beyond scrubs and lotions, and aligning themselves with a more modern and sex-positive understanding of sexual pleasure. Sceptics might argue that making sex goods “trendy” is nothing more than a marketing ploy, but the bottom line is that sexual pleasure is being normalised.

“It’s great to see more mainstream retailers promoting sexual products, moving away from the narrative of sex-related items being seedy and only available in sex shops or online,” says Ruby Stevenson, sex educator at Brook, the young people’s sexual health charity. “It’s hard to tell how attitudes could change, but it’ll improve accessibility to products that should be normalised.”

“We’re taught to be aware of our physical and mental wellbeing far more than the sexual side of our identity, so it’s nice to see this being celebrated in varying ways,” adds Stevenson, who believes that making sexual pleasure more mainstream would also open up the conversation around sexual violence and consent. “In the aftermath of the #MeToo movement I think it’s important to shine a light on pleasure-focused consent. Culturally, there’s so much fear around the word ‘consent’ when in reality it’s an essential part of all sexual pleasure.”

Stevenson rightly points out that while making sex toys more available isn’t enough to eradicate sexual violence (we need to reform laws to ensure just legal systems, more support for survivors, and informative education from an early age), it’s a good place to start. “I make sure to shout about positive pleasure-related messages as well as addressing sexual violence. It’s so important to make people aware that consent is not a constraint on your pleasure, but an integral part of it. I’m excited for how these conversations will evolve in 2019!”

Female sexual pleasure has been neglected for way too long, so the more sex products enter the wellness scene, the closer we’ll get to erasing the stigma and taboos around sexual pleasure.

Complete Article HERE!

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There’s A Big Problem With Female Orgasms

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By Rosie McCall

When it comes to the female orgasm, there may be more than women’s sexual pleasure at stake. For some partners, anyway. According to a study in The Journal of Sex Research, a man’s sense of masculinity is enhanced when he is able to make his partner orgasm. This was found to be particularly true amongst men who are less secure in their manhood. 

The study, published last year, investigated the responses of 810 heterosexual men aged 18 or older to an Imagined Orgasm Exercise. They were asked to imagine having sex with a woman they found attractive and then tell researchers how various different scenarios made them feel. 

“Men state that women’s orgasm is one of the most sexually satisfying experiences that men can have,” study authors, Sara B. Chadwick and Sari van Anders, both of the University of Michigan, told PsyPost.

“We were interested in exploring this further using experimental means, and assessing how men’s feelings about women’s orgasm contribute to their own sense of sexual satisfaction.”

In news that will shock no one, the men reported feeling more masculine when they had helped their female partner achieve orgasm – a case for why the fake orgasm is so prevalent. But, perhaps more surprisingly, a woman’s orgasm history (that is, whether she orgasmed or not with previous partners) had no significant effect on their replies. Neither did a man’s attitude towards gender equality inside the relationship. Instead, what did have an effect, was how comfortable or stressed the man felt about gender roles. That could be, for example, whether or not he might feel threatened by a successful female co-worker. 

The study authors argue that these results might imply, at least from the male point of view, that the female orgasm is less about the woman’s pleasure and more about boosting the male ego.

“This suggests that current narratives about women’s orgasm may actually reflect a repackaging of women’s sexuality in service in men, similar to how women’s sexuality has been historically situated,” they add

It might be worth noting, that the average age of the men surveyed was 25. Men of this age are more likely to be single and may be more anxious to show off their sexual prowess than older men in steady relationships, which might skew the results somewhat.

What’s more, the study only looked at men’s responses to sex with women, not vice versa or people of either gender having same-sex encounters. With no control or comparison, it is hard to say with absolute certainty that this issue applies to heterosexual relationships – or to relationships generally. It also does not confirm the role-reversal of whether or not a woman’s feminity is undermined if she does not make a male partner orgasm. 

However, it the results are supported by a 2014 study that found that an inability to make a female partner orgasm can make men depressed. It also highlights the “orgasm gap” – not only can women expect to earn less, but they can expect less satisfaction in the bedroom. Sixty-five percent of heterosexual women say they regularly orgasm during sex compared to 95 percent of heterosexual men.

So, what do the researchers think we should take away from this research?

“Does that mean we shouldn’t care about women’s orgasms? Of course not!” they said. “But they shouldn’t be seen as another notch on the bedpost, so to speak. Women’s orgasms should be experienced – when they are wanted – as a wonderful part of sexuality, not as something men give to women as an example of their prowess.”

Complete Article HERE!

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The Orgasm Gap Definitely Still Exists, New Evidence Shows

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By CARLY CASSELLA

Most people have heard of the gender pay gap, but there’s another form of gender inequity that doesn’t get nearly as much attention.

Not only are women getting short-changed in the workforce, studies suggest they are also getting the short end of the stick in the bedroom.

Even today, in an age where many women have more sexual freedom than ever before, evidence shows men are nearly two times more likely to orgasm during sex than women.

This discrepancy in sexual pleasure is known as the orgasm gap, and a new study now suggests the gulf persists beyond one-night stands and lasts into marriage.

The research focussed on 1,683 newlywed heterosexual couples, and each partner was asked how often they had orgasms and how often they thought their significant other had orgasms.

The participants were also asked about how satisfied they were with their sex life and their relationship.

The findings reveal that the orgasm gap is still very much alive in modern society, even in committed and loving relationships. While 87 percent of husbands said they consistently experienced orgasm during sexual activity, only 49 percent of wives could say the same.

Some of this could be due to anatomical differences, which make it easier for men to climax. Regardless of the cause – whether cultural, or physical, or some mix of both – closing the orgasm gap is in the interests of both men and women.

Another part of the study found that a person’s sexual satisfaction, no matter their gender, was linked closely to how often they thought their partner was orgasming.

“It turns out that her report of how often she has orgasm is important for her satisfaction and his report of how often he thinks she has orgasm is important for his satisfaction,” Nathan Leonhardt, who researches human sexuality at the University of Toronto in Canada, explained to Psypost.

“In other words, her orgasm experience seems to be important for both husbands and wives.”

So if most husbands say they want their wives to have a good time in bed, why aren’t they picking up their game?

Well, it might not be entirely their fault. Part of the problem could be that men are largely oblivious that there is a problem. In the recent survey, 43 percent of husbands misperceived how often their wives were experiencing orgasm.

According to the researchers, though, women only misconstrued their partner’s sexual pleasure 14 percent of the time.

The authors suggest these incorrect perceptions are just a symptom of another problem, which is that many couples are uncomfortable with sexuality, causing a lack of communication in the bedroom.

But these are just speculations, and more research needs to be done on why men are misinterpreting the sexual satisfaction of their wives, as multiple different factors have been put forward.

For instance, it could be that women are faking orgasms so their husbands feel more satisfied with the experience. Or, maybe it’s that men don’t know what it looks like for women to orgasm, perhaps because they have seen too many inaccurate portrayals in porn.

Whatever the cause, it never hurts to have a chat. If couples are looking to boost their sex life, the study suggests that staying attentive to a partner’s needs and honestly talking through any problems is a must.

“When counselling couples, clinicians should give particular attention to the wife’s orgasm experiences, to potentially help both husbands and wives have higher sexual satisfaction,” the authors conclude.

Over the next few years, the researchers are going to continue following these newlyweds to see how relationship dynamics change over the course of a marriage.

This study was published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Complete Article HERE!

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