post

Honestly, I Could Do Without the Squirt

Hello Yana,

I’ve been dating my boyfriend for almost a year. We’re in our 20s, and he’s a few years older than me. There have been times when we’re intimate when he doesn’t provide me with oral sex. He’s never close to ejaculating while inside me. He only does so after I give him a blow job, and it’s not a lot of semen.

Also, he puts his fingers inside me and does this thing to make me “orgasm,” which causes me to expel liquid. I’m not crazy about it and I don’t consider it an orgasm, since I know what one feels like.

I don’t know how to tell him that I can do without it. I don’t want to make him feel bad about himself nor make it seem that I haven’t enjoyed the sex — because I have, just not the ending part. I don’t know how to ask him about providing oral sex. We don’t live too close to each other and the opportunity to do it is usually two-three times a month.

— Not Gushing  About Gushing

Dear Not Gushing,

We take preferences personally. Especially when it comes to sex. Someone says “Not right now,” and we hear “You’re unattractive.” Someone says “I’m not into that kink,” and we hear “You’re a freak.” Someone says “A little to the left,” and we hear “You’re bad at sex.”

When you say “You know, babe, I could do without this liquid finale” will your boyfriend hear, “I hate having sex with you”? When you say “You know what would be super hot? Having you go down on me before we bang,” will your boyfriend hear “I’ve never liked sex with you?”

Society tells us to keep quiet about sexual pleasure. This leaves us with a lot of blanks to fill in for ourselves. Blanks produce anxiety. So we fill them in; often with self-doubt, paranoia, and assumptions.

What will happen if you vocalize to your partner: “I love having sex with you. But this ending part? Not so much. Can we try something else? Like maybe you could go down on me?” Your boyfriend could take it personally. Or maybe he’ll be relieved to know what you do want. Maybe he feels insecure about his oral sex abilities. Maybe he’s just doing this because he’s reading your physical reaction as confirmation of your enjoyment.

How is he supposed to know unless you verbalize otherwise? How are you to know unless you ask?…continue reading…

post

How Do I Tell My Partners I’ve Got Herpes?

Hi Yana,

I’m 21 years young, genderqueer, very sexual, and polyamorous! I have a penis; I also have genital herpes. Is there a best time to tell a partner?

If I have symptoms or have had them recently it’s not much of a conundrum because there’s no choice to be made [besides abstaining]. If I’m totally symptom-free for a period of time, I’ve been told having P-in-V [penis in vagina] while wearing a condom puts the risk of transmission at less than 1 percent. I tell partners this and let them decide what to do. There have been times when I’ve felt I dropped this too early and it was a mood-killer, but I’ve also dropped it when we’re already naked and it felt like maybe the partner could be too deeply aroused to make a well-thought-out decision. Your thoughts?

— On a  No-Transmission Mission

Dear ONTM,

Kill “The Mood” dead! This idea that there’s a sexual mood that must be protected at all costs gets in the way of sexual realness. Fear of killing The Mood is cited as the reason why people don’t want to practice consent; why people don’t want to speak up when they’re feeling uncomfortable; and why many avoid safer-sex talks. We’ve been spoon-fed The Mood myth by movies, music, and media — and we’ve swallowed it down along with our humanness, authenticity, and safer-sex practices!

Once The Mood is kissed goodbye, we’ve got a lot more freedom to negotiate your sexual interactions with genital herpes. Herpes is an incurable STI/STD that is spread via contact between the contagious area — mouth or genitals — or broken skin of someone with the virus and someone’s mucous membrane tissue — mouth/genitals. Herpes is always present and transferrable even if the person with the virus isn’t showing any signs of an outbreak. Most people with herpes don’t show symptoms and/or don’t know they have the virus.

It sounds like you already know that herpes is most contagious during an active outbreak. But let’s go over the three main ways to prevent spreading genital herpes anyway:

1.) During an outbreak, don’t have vaginal, anal, or oral sex — even with a condom/barrier. Wait until seven days after sores heals.

2.) Risk of transmission can be greatly reduced by taking prescription anti-herpes medication.

3.) Use condoms/dental dams/gloves between outbreaks to reduce the risk of transmission.

I couldn’t find a source citing the 1 percent factoid you mention, but condoms can cut the risk of transmitting herpes in half. Eight out of 10 people have oral herpes and 4 out of 10 have genital herpes. Herpes is common, incurable, manageable, and, most importantly, part of many people’s sex lives…continue reading…

post

Is There Life After the ‘Magic Wand’?

Hi Yana,

My wife loves her [Hitachi] Magic Wand I got her. I’d like something else to use together. I have been looking at the [NJoy] Pure Wand or [a vibrator] by JimmyJane.

From some of the reviews I’ve read about the Pure Wand, it seems like this could possibly be a very wet adventure. Do you find this to be true in most cases? She has vaginally ejaculated on her own a few times with the Magic Wand, but we have yet to replicate this together. Any tips on using the Pure Wand? I’d love to be able to give her the wildest orgasm she’s had!

— Best Husband Ever

Dear BHE,

Lately I’ve been asking myself: Is there life after the rechargeable, wireless (formerly branded as Hitachi) Magic Wand?

I’ve spent my entire sex educator career avoiding absolutes. I’ll never call anything the best or the worst sex toy, sex position, or sex tip. Sex, sexuality, pleasure, and the human sexual experience are all way too fluid, varied, and unique to be setting ourselves up like that. I talk about things in some/many/most frames: some people vaginally ejaculate, many people get yeast infections from using lube with glycerin in it, most clitoral orgasms are achieved via direct, consistent stimulation rather than via vaginally penetrative sex.

For the majority of my sex-having life I’ve been a walking example of this some/many/most rule; I never liked using vibrators on my own clitoris. I write about vibrators constantly, have taken countless for test-drives, but I just never liked using them in my personal sex life.

And then came the rechargeable, wireless Magic Wand. And then came I. A bunch.

For people like myself and your girlfriend it’s hard to diversify when this latest, improved, multi-speed, pulsation-pattern-packed version of the classic Magic Wand (MW) is just sitting at your bedside, blinking its little green charged light like “Use me. Use me. Use me.”…continue reading…

post

Seeking Seduction Instruction

Hi Yana,

My boyfriend and I have been together for a year. Up until a couple of months ago, I was extremely satisfied with our sex life. He wanted me all the time and would initiate sex at least one to three times daily.

Recently, we moved in together and it seems the spark has faded. We’re having sex less and I find myself left unwanted and horny. I know I can initiate sex myself, but I’m shy and don’t know what to do!

I talked to him about it and he said that he was initiating so much it made him feel less wanted and that I should “own it when I want sex.” A completely flaccid penis is intimidating to me because I fear feeling rejected if I can’t get him hard.

I know hard-ons aren’t always going to happen and that often it’s due to other factors, but I would still appreciate some tips on how to seduce my man and let him know I want sex.

— Seeking Seduction Instruction

Why Hello Seeking  Seduction,

If distance makes the heart grow fonder, living separately can also make our hard-ons grow harder; moving in together can change the landscapes of our sexual routines.

When you move in with your mate you get to see their beautiful face last thing at night and first thing in the morning. But you also become extra dialed into other things — like how many times a day (and for how long) they go to the bathroom. Living together is an intimate situation to say the least.

This adjustment period is normal. A year together and moving in: Really, this ebb is right on schedule. So how do we get that flow going?

First — stop fearing the flaccid! You can’t expect your partner’s penis to always be at full attention in your presence — even if that’s the kind of attention you deserve. It just isn’t how the cards fall, biologically and practically.

Just as women have been shamed into thinking that the wetness of their vaginas is an accurate measure of how attracted they are to their partners, the strength of a man’s boner has been used as a yardstick of sexual excitement.

Boners come (hehe) and go sometimes spontaneously, sometimes due to sexual arousal, and sometimes they just can’t get up (literally) to speed with a man’s mental state.

If you’re waiting to see a bulge in your babe’s jeans before you make any moves at all, you might be waiting around a lot more than either of you would like to…continue reading…

post

Mashable.com: What I learned about sexual pleasure from tapping virtual vulvas

This morning at my breakfast table I learned how to pleasure another woman with my boyfriend.

Sex education site OMGYes is starting conversations about female pleasure, via some experimental new methods.

In a recent chat with currently controversial feminist icon Gloria Steinem, actress and women’s rights activist Emma Watson endorsed OMGYes, encouraging fans to “definitely check it out…It’s worth it” (“it” being the site’s $29 subscription fee).

IMAGE: OMGYES

The interactive site, backed by several research studies about the pleasure preferences of over 1,000 women, features video interviews with real women talking about their real experiences of sexual pleasure. Most notably, touchscreen video lessons of sexual stimulation techniques allow users to tap and caress a variety of virtual vulvas on-screen.

 

But what is a site like OMGYes actually teaching us about female sexual pleasure? Most notably, when we’re invited to learn about sexual pleasure via a futuristic touchscreen, are we framing sexual pleasure as something to talk about or just another thing to type about from the isolating safety of our handheld devices? Though Emma Watson got gutsy to publicly praise OMGYes as a concept, her language was still vague, peppered in the age-old euphemism for sex — “it” — and still left female sexual pleasure in the background of the site itself. Are we really ready to use OMGYes as its creators intended or is this just another piece of a human sexuality, untranslated from the web to real life?

How it’s packaged

OMGYes certainly makes strides in breaking the silence, by packaging female sexual pleasure in new, educational ways. But its one-sided sexual stimulation experience (created by viewing and virtually touching these women through a screen) runs the risk of continuing to promote female sexual pleasure as something to be achieved rather than cooperated, intuited rather than asked about, and perfected rather than made genuine. This could reinforce the disconnect between pleasure and communication that mainstream porn has already vastly propagated.

 

IMAGE: OMGYES

At times this is even presented in similar packaging to porn: The women featured on the site conform to many classic beauty standards, and their pre-recorded moans of pleasure are soft, dainty and (notably) never audibly climactic, an intentional decision on the creator’s part. OMGYes co-creator Lydia Daniller says, “We’re actually working to counteract the orgasm as goal-oriented view of sex through the entire site, and through the simulations in particular. We wanted to emphasize pleasure for pleasure’s own sake and not pleasure to reach an ‘end goal.’”

Nonetheless, when my boyfriend and I took OMGYes for a spin on his iPad one morning, we couldn’t help but direct our eyes to the prize. We chose to learn about one woman on the site who was teaching us the technique “layering,” via video. We listened to how exactly she likes to experience this kind of touch and why. She cautioned us against moving too quickly or venturing away from her clitoris too far or for too long, which rang realistic. After watching her video and reading the site’s blurb about “layering” we ventured to the virtual vulva, taking turns to practice the moves we were just taught.

The virtual video was good at responding quickly and accurately when we disobeyed our new sex partner’s instruction. After a few minutes, in place of her climax, the video just ended. That’s when my boyfriend exclaimed, “Hey! We won! This is like a video game.”…continue reading on Mashable.com…