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New Mom Needs to Get Some

Recently I listened to Dan Savage talk on the podcast “The Longest Shortest Time” about sex and parenting. The question of how to keep a sex life alive and also co-sleep with your baby came up. He basically said, “Just don’t co-sleep.” Super unhelpful. So, I’m looking to my number one sex columnist for help!

Here’s the Q: I’m a newish mom of a nine-month-old baby. My partner and I have decided to continue to co-sleep with our daughter until we’re ready for a transition. How can we keep our sex life alive when our bedroom is now a family zone? What advice do you have for new parents during the first year of parenthood? I feel like I’m finally getting my sex drive back and despite having a baby in my bed I’d like to get it on.

I’ve never had a baby myself and don’t know much about them. My boyfriend and I co-sleep with our dog and our cat. They are quick to give us our privacy when we want to get busy. Therefore, I don’t have many opinions about whether you should or shouldn’t co-sleep with your baby. But I certainly don’t think you need to structure your parenting styles around the ease of your sex life.

Co-sleeping with baby certainly isn’t the only obstacle sex has ever needed to overcome; stressful jobs, long distance relationships, and physical injuries all disrupt the sex lives we’re used to having with our mates. But the best sex lives are adaptable, adventurous, and creative. And the sex you and your partner now need to explore is just more of those things.

Here are my suggestions on what to do when you need a new routine…continue reading…

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Help! I Think My Orgasms Are Broken!

I’ve had a sexual concern for the longest time: I have trouble feeling orgasm during sex and masturbation. At first I thought it might be my partner not knowing my spots too well, but I realized I’ve never had any ejaculations by myself either. I’m worried that my body isn’t sensitive enough to feel orgasm and that’s why I can’t be sexually satisfied.

My summer beach book has been Come as You Are, the brilliant New York Times best seller about female sexuality and sexual response by Smith College wellness education director, PhD, and smart sex educator Emily Nagoski. As someone who writes and reads and teaches about sex for a living, I’m all “Oh, another sex book? Whatevs,” but Nagoski’s book has re-inspired me about the hows and whats of female orgasm.

Nagoski highlights the crushing pressure of the female-pleasure-phobic world we live in and how it comes to hinder our coming. I don’t want to give away too much because you (and everyone who either owns or touches a clitoris) should read it, but I want to draw attention to the book’s exploration of the context in which women come.

Thinking about sexy, orgasmic context might bring to mind mood music, candles, a hot partner, maybe a favorite vibrator. This might make a dent, but more importantly, women need to consider their mental context (stressed about work? parenting children?), physical context (PMSing? managing chronic pain?), environmental context (worried about waking the neighbors? the baby?), relational context (is this partner trustworthy? is consent actively practiced?) and then, THEN there’s the social context, which pushes down on women in big in small ways, labeling some women as “sluts” if they enjoy sex, “frigid” if they don’t, and, in your case, BBB, “broken” if their sexual response doesn’t match that of their partners.

The sexual response of male bodies and brains has been more widely studied mostly because their orgasms make the babies and their sexuality is socially sanctioned. Because of this, female sexual response is compared to male sexual response; if our orgasms don’t follow the same path as their orgasms, we must be broken…continue reading…

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My GF Won’t Let Me Butter Her Toast

In your recent columns you’ve mentioned the need for sex partners to have a supply of artificial lubrication at the ready. With regard to female sex partners, artificial lubrication isn’t always needed. My first girlfriend was a gushing fountain of natural juiciness the moment we puckered up. My present girlfriend, well, we could do foreplay for a month of Sundays — not that I mind — and she would remain bone dry. So, it depends on the person.

My question is, how can I convince my girlfriend to use an artificial lubricant? She remains adamantly opposed whenever I bring up the subject.

It’s true: I constantly preach that “wetter is better.” I recommend lube for everything: vaginal sex, definitely anal sex, to use with toys (no silicone lube with silicone toys), partnered sex, solo sex — hell, even on a squeaky door hinge. Maybe someone doesn’t need lube if, (as you describe so, erm, vividly) she’s a “gushing fountain of natural juiciness.” But you also don’t need ketchup with fries, frosting with cupcakes, or chocolate syrup on your ice cream sundae. But why wouldn’t you want it?

Well, unlike frosting, women’s vaginas — and how they do or do not naturally self-lubricate — comes with a lot of baggage, and so the “need” for lube is viewed as a weakness. And because of this social self-buttering ideal, many women feel “holier than thou” for not slathering the ol’ Land-o-Lakes on their English muffins. Like they’ve achieved something grand by eating dry toast for breakfast every morning even though the jam is right there. Sound like your girlfriend?

She’s not alone. Lube-avoiders have endless excuses: I’m too young to be dry. It’ll make the condom slip off. It’s not natural. But I’m totally attracted to my partner…continue reading…

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Your College Sexual Orientation

Welcome back students!

As you organize your hipster-ironic Lisa Frank folders, and passively aggressively stake your dormroom territory, I’ve got just one more checklist for you to check off before you start checking out all your new, hot campusmates.

First lesson of the semester: being good at The Sex involves much more than practicing some Buzzfeed brand of Kama Sutra. College-aged students boast the highest rate of new STI/STD transmissions and are plagued by horrifying statistics when it comes to non-consensual sex and assault. Become a catalyst for change and follow this checklist to becoming an ethical sex partner.

∎ No shame in your game.

No one is a “slut” because she enjoys sex. No one is a loser because he chooses not to have sex. No one deserves your gossip trash because they’ve chosen non-monogamy or have come out with a different sexuality or gender identity than you’re used to. Don’t stir drama. Share about your awesome sexual adventures with the consent of your partners to do so and in a respectful manner.

∎ Get to know your sexual self and set and respect your boundaries. College is also a great place to find books and classes and workshops about sex! Explore what it is you want to explore, what you don’t want to explore, and what you’re curious about via self-education and masturbation. Then clearly set and communicate these boundaries and desires to your partners…continue reading…