Sex Advice: Kitchen Aids

Question: I would love to explore my kinky side, but can’t fork out lots of money for rope and paddles. Any ideas of what I can use around the house instead?

Answer: Thanks to my friend Jaeleen over at Bondassage, I’ve started to think of the whole house as a one-stop shop loaded with erotic accessories.

The kitchen is a fabulous place for kinky goodness and you can likely use things you already have, as long as you use your kitchen for more than take out. A fork can make for a great pointy or skin-raking device. A silicone spatula, or any spatula really, can be used for spanking. You can also try a wooden spoon. If you’ve got an apron you can use that to carry your implements around (naked underneath of course), or use it to tie someone up. Or use a men’s tie for bondage. A whisk can also make for interesting sensation play.

A clean Feather Duster can be fun for soft sensations, and an electric toothbrush (the inexpensive, disposable kind) works well on nipples and other erogenous areas.  A sleep mask is great for removing sight from the equation, and there’s a whole lot more you can feel when you can’t see.

This list is small, and just a start, but I’m sure you can figure out other objects that will work now too. Be creative, clean your implements and enjoy the experimentation.

More on Masturbation

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Since this month is national masturbation awareness month, I’m foregoing a video review to bring you two great bits of masturbation material. But before I begin, my dear friend and fabulous sex educator Cory Silverberg, sends out a weekly newsletter, and this week, he begins by saying something worth repeating, or more accurately, copying verbatim, since the message is one I need to remember as well. He writes:

“It’s a common and understandable mistake that the word “sex-positive” somehow should me being positive about sex. But sex isn’t a discrete experience that one can evaluate as positive or negative. Even when we’re talking about something that appears concrete, like a physical sexual encounter between two or more people, there’s no simple way of naming or knowing what each person experiences, or what the encounter itself produces. So we need to ask. We need to stop thinking that we know what sexuality feels like or is like for other people. We need to remember that when we say things like “sex is beautiful” or “masturbation is great” these seem like cruel or ignorant lies to many people for whom the opposite has only ever been true. It seems like strange advice from someone who makes a living talking and writing about sex, but if you really want to help, if you really want to learn, what you need to do is listen to others.”

That being well said, check out Cory’s, “The Rights and Privileges of Masturbation” about analyzing your masturbatory practices and then being able to celebrate masturbation your own way. And then, go check out the Sex Positive Photo Project (there’s that “sex-positive” word again), where photographer Shilo McCabe continues to capture the faces and masturbatory practices of the diverse group of human beings who identify as part of her sex positive community in San Francisco. It’s a beautiful site dedicated to the feel-good reasons why sex-positive SF’ers masturbate. The photos are diverse, capturing fun, honesty and even hints of shame, and while I truly enjoy the appreciation and exploration of self-love, the truth is, I can’t quite shake what Cory said above.

As a sex educator, I seek to teach about pleasure, and I often forget about those in pain. Those who can’t touch themselves for some psychological, moral, physical reasons and who suffer everytime they hear things like “masturbation feels good,” and “it’s good for you.” It doesn’t mean I don’t think masturbation has amazing results it does, but it means I have to look at how I discuss masturbation for everyone. The last thing I want to do is make someone feel wrong for how they feel about touching themselves, even if touching yourself feels right to me.

Sex Advice: Contraception

Question: I’m 26, female, and looking for contraceptive choices. What’s your favorite?

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Answer: It’s difficult to play favorites when it comes to contraception because everybody’s bodies, and family histories, dictate that we follow different means and ends.  If you don’t know the person, or aren’t in a committed relationship, barriers are always a good bet, and if you’re looking for something more than over-the-counter, consult a trained medical professional.

I was recently told about this fantastic, hip site for laying out your contraceptive choices (thanks Roger). At Bedsider.org you can find answers to questions you didn’t even know you had (well, maybe). From behaviors to barriers (I’d stay away from diaphragms as the lube you’re supposed to line them with should contain a sperm-killing agent to be most effective) to hormonal methods and IUD’s, you can learn the basics on birth control and even more! more! more!

Plus, there are personal stories to go with each method, you can find out where to obtain birth control (including the morning after pill) and even set up a reminder for taking your pills or when making a health appointment. The best advice I can give is practice safe sex by finding out what the safest method of contraception and protection is for you, in your relationship. It’ll take some trial perhaps, but here’s wishing you little, or no, error.

Sex Review: On Being Single

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Photo Credit: Yannick Bindert

As I walked through the valley of the shadow of Los Angeles, flip camera in hand, I decided to think my thoughts out loud and record them as this week’s sex review. While being single isn’t a product, there are a lot of services out there to help people not be single anymore (think online dating sites, matchmakers, life coaches, therapists). The truth is, some people prefer being single, and some don’t. So, as a professional sex educator, I decided to post a personal review of how I feel (right now) about being single.

Watch my video: On Being Single

Sure there’s a pro and con list for being single, and being partnered, but I know that I get more done, feel more accomplished, and inspired when I’m part of a team. I once worked with a radio host, we’ll call him Lionel, who said there was no we in Lionel (there isn’t, only an I) and maybe after an aborted partnership that ended  later in life, or after children, I understand (more) the single life and why it’s a preference. I once dated a guy who said my biggest drawback was that I “needed” love. Who doesn’t need love?  If you think about the best art, work, stories, songs, even those where one person gets all the credit, the truth is, they never did it alone. Nobody does their best work alone, or is inspired to do their best work, alone.

There is research to back up the idea that happily married people live longer and stay healthier. I know the same can’t be said for the unhappily married, but I’d rather be single than be in the wrong, long relationship, but to quote Sebastian the crab from the Little Mermaid, “the seaweed is always greener in somebody else’s lake.”

If you want to read even more, check out For Better: The Science of a Good Marriage.

Hot Sex on Tuesday: Masturbation of the mutual kind

It’s national masturbation month and while this is my first post about masturbation in May, it’s definitely not my first post about masturbation material. Still, today’s post (and consequent photo from my soon to be released book Hot Sex: Over 200 Things You Can Try Tonight!) is a friendly reminder to masturbate, and if you can, make it a mutual thang.

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Illustration: Benjamin Wachenje

According to Wikipedia, the definition of masturbation can actually involve touching other people (and I’ve heard the sentence, “I masturbated him to orgasm”) however, when I think of masturbation, I’m generally referring to self-stimulation. Self-stimulation, self-love, jacking or jilling off, whatever term you use when you reference wanking or diddling the body parts under where? under there!, doesn’t mean you have to be alone when you do it.

What I’m getting at, using a certain nursery rhyme, is, when Jack and Jill rolled down the hill they may not have just fetched a pail of water. Maybe Jack and Jill (sometime after breaking his crown and Jill tumbling down), jacked and jilled off! Perhaps, to relieve the pain of rolling down a hill, or because pain turned to pleasure, Jack and Jill touched themselves, on the same hill! at the same time! without touching each other. Whether for sexual or soothing purposes, it doesn’t matter why they did it, but what if they did it? Oh, the things the two of them could have learned about each other’s bodies.

I’ve said this next statement a bit, but it bears repeating. Mutual masturbation is the best touching and teaching tool we’ve got when it comes to showing our partner the chutes and ladders to our sexual pleasure and orgasmic potential. And while at least 78% of men and 60% of women under the age of 50 admitted to masturbating in the last year, according to 2010′s National Survey of Sexual Health and Behavior, approximately 41% of men and 38% of women engaged in mutual or “partnered” masturbation (the percentages tend to drop drastically in the 50+ age groups for partnered masturbation and in the 70+ age group for men and 60+ age group for women for self-pleasure without a partner’s gaze). It’s time to bring those mutual masturbation numbers up.

There are ways to touch during mutual masturbation, as long as the hand stimulating the erogenous areas belongs to the person whose body is being touched. Or you can sit close together (see above picture) and touch, but not sexy touch. Eye gazing and masturbating from across the room works too. Whatever way you decide, don’t rule out solo sex as a way to get closer to your partner. After all, if you can’t love yourself, how well can you really love anybody else?

Sex Advice: Uterine Orgasms

Question: What are uterine orgasms and how can I have one?

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Me. Not having a uterine orgasm, I’m just playing in the moonbounce. Photo: B. Yetzer

Answer: I recently got thinking about the subject of uterine orgasms myself, after attending the informational and horribly insensitive closing plenary given by one Dr. Irwin Goldstein at last week’s AASECT conference in San Diego.

Uterine orgasms. While it’s good to set goals for yourself, I don’t know how to say “if you do it like this, you’ll feel it like that.” (Okay, I know how to say it, I just did, but I don’t know how to “make” you do it).  A uterine orgasm happens when the uterus is massaged, which is a result of hard pounding, also known as a combination of rapid thrusting and deep insertion. It doesn’t involve the muscular contractions of the pelvic floor, but does seem to involve stimulation of the fornices, which are the deepest spaces of the vagina, around the entrance to the cervix (I’ve attached a handy diagram from wikipedia to show where these fornices are).

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The two little lines, where words come out (on the diagram, not in your body), those are the anterior and posterior fornices (fornix if singular).

Some experts say uterine orgasms can involve the G-spot too. Others discuss the vagus nerve, a nerve that can be stimulated at the cervix, even though the vagus nerve starts in the brain. In fact, women who’ve had complete spinal cord injury may still experience orgasm through the vagus nerve, sending orgasmic messages directly from the uterus and cervix, all the way up to the brain (ah, the brain, the most powerful sex organ). When a uterine orgasm occurs, it is said to be felt deep and possibly only one-time, a.k.a. one contraction. It’s also said to be highly emotional and may result in an emotional outburst as well.

My friend and colleague SexNerdSandra says, “my understanding is that the uterus pulses into itself, and rocks forward and back during deeply-stimulated orgasm.” As my brain isn’t wrapped around science or bacon (Not sure why I wrote bacon, but I wanted too), you can find more on uterine orgasms, but not a heck-of-a-lot-more, on the Wikipedia page.

Note: wikipedia writes that uterine orgasms are “short-lived” at up to 30 seconds each. While it’s been studied that the average female orgasm lasts between 48 and 80 seconds (Equation – female orgasms are generally 6 to 10 contractions at .8 seconds apart) my orgasms never seem to last that long. Or maybe they feel so good, I forget to count?

If you want to read a personal post about a woman and her orgasms, uterine and otherwise, check out this post at Honest to Betsy, a blog I stumbled upon when looking for more answers to the uterine orgasm question. And if you have your own uterine orgasms and want to share how they feel, or how you have them, by all means, leave a comment!

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This was a question from a friend in verbal form. I’ve decided to re-ask it in a non-verbal way.

Question: Where can people outside of major urban areas learn about naked bodies without it having to be about sex?

Answer: While I can think of looking in places like biology books or photo-art books, Playboy (but then I realized it is, for most, about sex), Our Bodies, Ourselves and other educational material of that caliber, the truth is, the question is a good one. Of course the number one place for naked bodies, sexual or non, would be the internet, but not everyone has the internet access that I do, and even then, when you search for non sexual nudes, there are a lot of non-nude pictures that show up. What are the reasons that nudity is still a fairly taboo topic and often directly linked to sex?

I’ve been thinking hard and long about this (of course I could always think harder and longer). At resorts where naked people are hanging about, being naked in clusters, you can find them doing regular activities as well as having sex in the pool or on beach chairs. Perhaps the sex part is because I happen to head to the naked resorts during what is affectionately dubbed swinging month (not because I’m a swinger, I’m not, but because I teach through a group where a lot of people are) and so I’m pretty sure I see more of the naked people having sex part than I would if I were just at a nude resort that catered towards families and other happy, naked people (Hedonism is an adults only resort). But your average nudist who likes to run around with their balls and breasts flopping, getting tan, playing cards, firing up the BBQ, not all of these people want to have sex with other naked people that aren’t the person they’ve been bonded to through some form of commitment ceremony. Some of them just like to be nude and enjoy the sun, air, breeze on their bodies. Yet, somehow, perhaps because sex education is where we’re taught about naked bodies, or perhaps because there is something about the human form that makes humans want to hump, it’s difficult to separate nudity from sex.

Of course, if it’s all about genital anatomy, Goofy Foot is your go to guide, and so is Scarleteen, but even there naked parts are referred to as sexual anatomy, meaning there’s still sex in the name. I get it, it is sexual anatomy, but still it’s difficult to comprehend, for some people who were taught that nudity = sex, that nudity doesn’t always equal sex.

There’s a National Geographic special on this topic. I haven’t seen it…yet.

Custom Sex Toys

Question: I’m looking for the perfect sex toy, but I have found anything made in the way I want. Do companies do custom orders?

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Answer: Absolutely, and it depends what you’re looking for. For doing it yourself, you can always clone-a-willy (and some of their kits come with vibration). However if you want it made for you, I’ve recently stumbled across Made to Pleasure (thx Regina Lynn), a site devoted to selling you a host of custom-made, quality sensual instruments in sexy materials. They are pricey (in pounds) and ship out of England, but they can be finished in acrylic, gold or silver. If you’ve got the itch for a custom fit, play around in their made to measure boutique and see what you can create.

If glass is what you’re looking for, while he doesn’t specialize in custom orders, if you contacted the man behind Simply Blown, you may be able to have it your way…for a price. He is a glass blower by trade, so it’s not out of the realm of possibility.

For sex machines, check out Ken’s Twisted Mind. If you dream it, the man says he can build it. I also found a site that does inexpensive custom made toys, but I can’t recommend them highly at all since the material they use is low quality. However, to be fair, and since you asked TSX-Toys with it’s disturbing array of products including a three-penis head anal toy and an unidentifiable vibrating pink mess known as the autorerotica, does make custom products allowing you to choose the color, design and even add your own label. They do say they’re phthalate free, which is nice, but I’m not sure I wouldn’t use a condom over these products.

Happy humping and hunting!

Vaginal Orgasm Alert

Question: I’m a 33-year-old woman who has never had an orgasm during intercourse. Is there something wrong with me? Am I missing out?

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Answer: Hell no, or maybe so. Truthfully, most women (almost 70% of us) don’t orgasm from vaginal penetration alone. And those who do, I believe, have a physical anatomy that makes it easier for them to orgasm by stimulating the clitoral network without actually touching the clitoris. That being said, a recent ridiculous study on why women orgasm during penetration, says it’s the size, or more accurately the length, of his penis that makes a big difference.

I call bullsh-t on that one, because most women would say thick is better than long, but that’s neither the tip or the point here. The point being – nothing is wrong with you, and you’re only missing out because you think you’re missing out. If you’re happy with the orgasms you’ve been having, delight in the squeals of pleasure you can produce. As someone who mainly (TMI alert) orgasms with the aid of clitoral stimulation, preferably in a circular motion, but who has also orgasmed without said aid, I don’t feel like those penetrative orgasms are the ones I want to write home about, if indeed I chose to write home about my orgasms. That’s just me. I’ve been there, done that, and I can say the clitoris is the real deal.

If you want to try orgasms during penetration, try grinding instead of pumping. There are more nerve endings towards the entrance of the vagina than near the cervix, and more sensation produces more sensation.

In the interim, don’t worry about where you’re orgasms originate and (Velveeta alert) celebrate yourself and your orgasms.

The Book of Facts of Life XXX

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This week’s sex product review is an ebook, so I decided there wouldn’t be much to show on video, since, well, it’s an ebook. A Porn Valley Odyssey: Making “The Facts of Life XXX is more about words than pictures (when the movie comes out it will be more about pictures than words) and they are well-written and funny words. Interesting words. Informational words. I loved Gram Ponante‘s (full disclosure: I also love Gram Ponante) in-depth recounting of his experience directing “Facts of Life XXX” in this Porn Valley Odyssey. And what an odyssey it was. From casting a sex worker called Coffee Brown to a Jo with a British/Aussie accent, it ain’t the Facts of Life I was raised on. Or is it?

“Unlike the source material, unlike the source material “Facts of Life XXX” would end with the girl-on-girl Natalie/Tootie bang that audiences have craved for nearly 30 years, rather than the whimper that was Cloris Leachman.”

I learned a lot about porn valley in this 64 page book. Read the original script for the Facts of Life XXX (the one with mention of Cousin Geri, aka Geri Jewell). Mr. Ponante (aka Marty Barrett) reminds us that when making porn, it’s not the sex that’s difficult (although dealing with the smells can be), it’s no shows, poor acting, chlamydia, drugs and crossing the line.

And, I had no idea that:

  • Larry Flynt makes his employees pay for parking.
  • The People v. Harold Freeman saved porn’s ass(ets).
  • Fellation was a word I wasn’t using.* *even if it’s a made up word

The book is short enough to read quickly, funny enough to read again and insightful enough to get this man a literary agent. Buy the book for yourself, and as the kids say these days, LYFAO.

© Copyright Jamye Waxman M.Ed.