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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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Gimme That Grass-Fed Porn

My wife and I have previously been pretty conservative when it comes to sex and not super-adventurous. Recently we realized our marriage would be better served by us servicing each other. The journey has been great and fun and messy and awkward … but mostly great.

We are against people being used, abused or manipulated without their consent, so for a long time that kept us from pornography, which we felt is not always the nicest business to actors and actresses.

We’ve come across a lot of research that shows women who watch porn, or couples who watch porn together, have some amazing benefits to the relationship: greater sexual satisfaction, more happiness, feelings of togetherness — all the things we all want. But what are some good porn companies and films? By good, I mean the organic, grass-fed, free-range beef of porn?

Well, you nailed it. Here in the Valley, we like our groceries in hemp tote bags, our kale served with (gluten-free) soil, and our porn organically orgasmic.

The good news is this kind of porn is both possible, readily available, and hot.

In the past, I’ve written a lot about what I call “feminist porn.” Whether or not you’re into that particular F-word, feminist porn has a lot to offer women, couples, queer folk, and anyone else looking for a pornographic viewing experience different than the drugged-up wham-bam that pops up after a basic “porn” Google search.

Yes, traditional porn isn’t always the nicest to its performers. Yes, several studies show great benefits to individuals’ and couples’ sexual self esteem, closeness and satisfaction via enjoying porn. And yes, you can stand against manipulation, abuse and non-consent and still get off to porn! Continue reading…

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5 Hours to a Blissful Partnership

Now that marriage equality has been won (!!), lesbian and queer couples are poised to pay attention to marital therapy’s age-old research which, was previously relegated to the straight realm, but can be easily adapted along the gender and sexuality spectrums, to all married/committed couple’s benefit.

The first therapeutic theory worth adapting? The Magic 5 Hours. Renowned marriage researcher Dr. John Gottman spent countless hours observing what makes (heterosexual) married couples thrive. Or, more importantly, what separates the soon-to-be-divorced from the happily-ever-after. One of these key differences? Just 5 measly hours per week (which can be effectively perfected by doting LGBTQ partners, too!), all devoted to your partner in these particular ways:

Partings: Give your partner a warm farewell before parting for your workdays. This means eyes-up, phones-down, people. This doesn’t mean through the bathroom door, via text message, or with a fleeting glance up from your laptop, kids, or dogs.

Time it takes: 2 minutes. x 5 workdays = 10 minutes/week

Greetings: Have a debriefing conversation when you reunite after your workdays. This conversation should include each partner taking turns actively listening to each other unwind about their day without offering solutions or conflict.

Unsure where to start? Use the Rose/Thorn structure: what was the biggest highlight of your day? (Your Rose). What was the biggest lowlight (Your Thorn). One couple I know also adds in a humorous “Tiny Win” such as “I found $20 on the ground”, “I finally got that splinter out of my foot”, or “Everywhere I went today had gender-neutral bathrooms!”.

Time it takes: 20 minutes. x 5 work days = 1 hour 40 minutes/week

Continue reading…

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My Married Sex Life, For Better or Worse

I’ve been with my husband for many years, and our sex life has never been ideal. We never seem to be on the same page. We definitely have different styles and preferences. Things he enjoys, I do not, and vice versa. For example, I enjoy giving him a blow job, but he will take it over and start thrusting or grabbing my head. He gets frustrated and will say I’m so hard to get off, but it’s almost an insult to his masculinity when I offer suggestions. Our marriage is great, but I would like the best sex of my life to be with the man I married. How do we make our sex life work for both of us if we don’t have the same sexual interests?

Our atrocious sex education paired with our cultural knack for social stigmatization has made us really bad at talking about sex. When women ask for what they want sexually, they’re labeled “sluts” or “high maintenance” or “selfish.” Women aren’t taught to vocalize their desires nor are they educated about their orgasms. Women are taught to be sexually passive and submissive and that when in doubt, they should “just take it.” Meaning, they should just take the orgasms they can get, take the affection they’re offered, and accept their sex lives for what they are at face value.

Men, on the other hand, are socialized to know — or at least pretend to know — everything about sex, be in charge of sexual encounters, and be intrinsically able to satisfy their partners. When men don’t do this, they are seen as being “weak” or “not a real man.” If women are taught to “just take it,” men are taught to “just fake it,” blindly stumbling through every sexual situation without stopping to ask for directions…continue reading…