post

My Sex Drive’s Back But My BF’s Isn’t

Writer’s note: This column mentions depression and suicidality.

Dear Yana,

When me and my BF first got together about a year and a half ago, we were having the best sex of our lives! Then I decided with the help of my therapist that I needed to be medicated due to suicidal thoughts and anxiety/depression.

The medication helped a lot with my mental illness, but unfortunately it made my sex drive plummet. I was still able and happy to get my man off on a regular basis, but didn’t have much interest in sex for myself (including masturbation) for a long time (6-8 months I think). Once in awhile I would get in the mood, but then I was never able to achieve orgasm.

I’ve since come off of the medication and am healthy and my sex drive has gone back to “normal.” The problem is that my BF got in of the habit of not even attempting to pleasure me. I’ve tried to talk to him about it and when we talk he seems enthusiastic about it, but never follows through with trying when we get in the sack! How can I help him understand the importance of this to me?

— Trying to Get Off More Than Just My Meds

Dear Trying,

It sounds like you’ve taken a quick and victorious journey with and through your mental illness, which is amazing and wonderful. However, it sounds like your boyfriend may have been left in the dust a little bit on your speedy trek to the top of recovery mountain.

A year and a half is not a very long time in the grand scheme of relationships and I wonder if he’s got a little bit of whiplash from where your realities once collided at the intersection of mental health and sex drive.

It’s intense to be someone suffering from depression and suicidality, that is for certain, and there co-exists another reality which is that it’s also tough to be the romantic and sexual partner of someone going through those experiences. You are feeling like your old self — and that’s so great, but it’s possible that he’s still feeling wary that the other shoe might drop…click to continue reading…



Clinical Support Options offers local 24/7 mental health crisis support for Hampshire County at (413) 586-5555 and the National Suicide Prevention Lifeline can be reached 24/7 at (800) 273-8255.

post

Pee or ‘squirt’? Understanding vaginal ejaculation

Hi Yana,

I started masturbating when I was in high school and there would be times where something would feel good, but then I would feel my muscles relax and suddenly my bed would be wet with pee — sometimes a lot of pee. It was like in certain positions I had no control over keeping pee in my body. Sometimes it even happened if I peed before I masturbated! Then it happened in partner sex. I was having sex with someone with a penis, I was on top and suddenly I was peeing all over him. That time I did really have to pee so it made some sense. Much more recently I was having sex and my partner was fingering me, and it felt good and I was wet, but then I was really wet and when I moved there was a large wet spot on the bed. I had peed again!

Is this just a part of the way my body works? Does this happen to others? I’m trying not to be too embarrassed about it, but both times it felt pretty mortifying. I already have a lot of problems feeling comfortable when having sex with others and this worry that I will randomly pee isn’t helping.

— Peeing Problems

Hi PP –

Many people hand over their hard-earned dollars for me to teach them, in my sex educational workshops, how to do what you’re doing which, to me, sounds a lot like vaginal ejaculation — “squirting,” as the mainstream, XXX-rated world might say.

This isn’t to say that you should automatically turn that frown upside down. As with all things sexual and erotic, there are a million different strokes for just as many folks, and if squirting is one person’s holy grail and your total pain in the ass, that’s okay, too. But I wonder if connecting this damp phenomenon to your sexual pleasure rather than your perceived urinary incontinence will provide you with a wee bit of relief. (Couldn’t help myself.)

There’s one dreaded study that just keeps recirculating on my social media timelines “proving” that vaginal ejaculate is “just pee.” This unimpressive study was done on a small sample — seven people. During analysis of the sample ejaculate, researchers found three substances that are also common in urine: urea, creatinine, and uric acid. They then promptly jumped to the conclusion that all female ejaculate is JUST PEE, Y’ALL. Phew! For a minute I was worried that vaginal pleasure could stand apart from reproductive or penis-pleasing purposes. GOOD THING IT’S JUST PEE and we can go back to shaming women for enjoying their sexual bodies…continue reading…

post

Our Sex Is All About Him

Dear Yana,

My boyfriend and I have been together for two years and we’re best friends. Mutual respect exists in almost every way between us. Sometimes, however, the sex feels, well, sexist. First, he enjoys watching porn together, but I really don’t. However, he always tries to initiate porn watching even though I’ve told him I don’t enjoy it. Secondly, I perform far more oral sex than he does. He rarely performs oral or hand sex on me, and when he does, he doesn’t bother to ask me for feedback. I’ve tried to tell him that X feels good and Y doesn’t, but he gets kind of insulted and self conscious, so I don’t do that anymore.

He does what turns him on in bed, and thinks that, because it turns him on, it must turn me on. Though he’s listened to me when I tell him in a nonsexual context what might personally get me going he doesn’t carry this information over into the bedroom. I’ve asked for more oral sex, less porn, less verbal fantasizing about my friends, etc., but still he does the things that get HIM going when we have sex. I don’t feel cared for in this area, in a stereotypically “girl wants more from hetero guy in bed and he says ‘Gotcha babe, now blow me’” kind of way.

Our communication is generally great, but there seems to be a missing link in this one area between what we express to each other and what we do. Help!

— Unpampered Pet

Hi Unpampered!

Popular, traditional sex education is quite sexist — it prioritizes boners and their reproductive pleasure principles and treats the vagina like little more than a baby-making receptacle not worth bothering to learn to please. Call it the heteropatriarchy or pleasure-phobia but either way — women are screwed when it comes to learning how to screw.

This isn’t an excuse for your boyfriend to keep riding the sexist sex ed wave straight to blow-job beach, but it does mean that when in a cishetero relationship, couples need to try a little harder to overcome the many social, gendered blocks to good sexual communication…continue reading…

 

post

The V-Spot: The Fast and the Curious

Hi Yana,

Sometimes, when I’m in the mood to masturbate, I enjoy watching porn. The problem is when I do, it literally takes me no time to orgasm. Yesterday, I was feeling in the mood to enjoy myself. So, I started browsing some videos.

I barely started touching myself and felt the urge to orgasm in a matter of seconds. I stopped and tried to calm myself down, but it was too late. My body responded even without the stimulation

I’m a female in a heterosexual relationship. I don’t experience the crazy quick orgasm when we are intimate. Usually, there is an enjoyable build up to it. When I have this experience solo, it’s when I watch lesbian/solo female videos (which, I’ve always enjoyed).

So this raises a couple of questions:

Do you know why this might happen? Is it something in my brain chemistry due to the visual stimuli, that sets me off so quickly?

Is there a way to “fix” it? Sometimes, I really just want to experience and enjoy my body. Part of me feels like there is something wrong with me when it happens, and the other part of me hates the fact that I can’t enjoy the build up to the big O.

Sometimes I feel like this isn’t a “normal” occurrence. In your experience, have you ever helped or chatted with another female who experienced this?

— Quickie-on-the-Draw

Sex educator Barbara Carrellas can orgasm just from breathing. No touching. No porn. Just her, her breath, and her brain (watch her do it on barbaracarrellas.com). People get off from the feeling of fishnets, from the thought of their sweetie doin’ it with the milkman, from watching manicures smash into globs of silly putty (thanks, internet!). The erotic world is diverse. Weird. Kinky. Boring, even. It’s an amazing conglomerate of getting off how and where we can with whoever pushes our buttons and likes doing it (remember, always keep it consensual!).

The most normal thing about you, Quickie, is your underlying fear that your eroticism isn’t normal. If this fear weren’t so pervasive, I’d be out of a job (and happy for it!). But here we are — constantly worrying that the pre-packaged version of sexuality (hasn’t it expired yet?) should suit us just fine and if not then we’re to blame for being broken, perverted, or unfixable.

You know what kind of porn you like (and yes, it’s normal for folks to watch porn that doesn’t “match up” with their real life). You give yourself permission to watch it and enjoy it! You know how to get off both on your own and with your partner! All great things!

My casual collection of experiential knowledge shows that folks with vaginas orgasm anywhere from 30 seconds to 30 minutes after the start of first visual and/or physical stimuli. An orgasm is essentially mental/physical stimulation build-up leading to pleasurable, automatic pelvic muscle contractions…continue reading…

post

My 2-Minute Orgasm

So, I was masturbating last night and set a timer. It took me under two minutes to orgasm. However, when someone else in involved, it takes forever or doesn’t happen at all. I can count the times it’s happened on two hands.

Every time I masturbate it’s like clockwork, and I wish I could experience that with a partner! I’ve heard from various ladies and witnessed firsthand that orgasming seems easier for them with partners than it is for me. Is this why some women fake orgasms? Is this something I need to see a psychiatrist about or just live with? Or is it some Kinsey situation where my vaginal measurements aren’t conducive to orgasming? Help!

— Clit Out of Luck

 

I’ve said it before and I’ll say it again, probably for the rest of my sex educator career: your vagina is not broken! It’s the metaphorical vaginal “user manual” we’re handed via school sex ed, social stigma, and our peers!

That manual is seriously flawed – it’s stained, ripped, even missing whole chapters. Our current sex education system pretends that our clitoral and/or vaginal orgasm is unimportant or non-existent. Our social system convinces our sexual partners that asking us outright how best to pleasure our clits and vaginas is not the sexy or slick or cool thing to do. Simultaneously, this same system shames us into not speaking up about our own desires or how exactly to do our bodies right.

Yes, these flawed systems are why some women fake orgasms. Yes, these systems have convinced you that you have to see a psychiatrist to “fix” yourself and/or smoosh yourself into an outdated concept of “ideal vaginal measurements,” a la Kinsey.

But you, COOL, are perfect! Your experience of sexual pleasure is perfect. Your two-minute self-curated climax is perfect.

So, if our formal and social sex educational systems are screwing it up so hard, who’s supposed to do the real educating about your orgasms to your partners, COOL?…continue reading…

post

Husband Seeks Female-Friendly Sex Ed

Hi Yana,

My wife is interested in exploring her sexuality a little further — things she might be interested in trying, etc. — but is hoping to do so in a way that is female- and feminist-friendly. Do you have any suggestions for things she can do or read either individually or with me?

— Helpful Husband

Hello HH,

My favorite kind of husband is the one willing to lend a helping hand to his partner’s continued sexual exploration — especially when they’re flexible about their level of involvement!

Googling “sex” willy-nilly on the internet can get sticky to say the least. Before y’all surf the web, hit the books. Come As You Are by our very own local sexpert Emily Nagoski is the first thing to read. This is one of the most comprehensive, shame-reducing and normalizing books about sex I’ve read. Her helpful worksheets direct the reader through some great self-reflection and sexual explorations and can be done solo or with a partner (that’s you, HH!).

Other good readings include Mating in Captivity by my professional idol Esther Perel and O WOW: Discovering Your Ultimate Orgasm by Jenny Block.

Watching feminist porn either solo or with a partner is great sexploration fodder. Feminist porn isn’t that wam-bam-thank-you-whatever-your-name-was mainstream porn you find easily when you Google “porn.” Feminist porn is intentionally made for the non-male gaze, is often directed by women and queer people, features scenes co-created by the performers, and proudly displays real orgasms and consent practices. (Read my past column, Grass Fed Porn for more on feminist porn.)

Tristan Taormino directs great feminist-friendly sex educational porn she calls “expert guides” on topics that include female orgasms, the G-spot, oral sex, threesomes, and rough sex that blend smut and educational lecture for a real pleasurable learning experience.

Also, your truly humble sex columnist teaches a variety of workshops on topics such as the G-spot, kink, anal sex, non-monogamous relationships, and sex toys! You can find my upcoming workshops at yanatallonhicks.com.

Sexual shame can be a heavy shroud to lift for a lot of people — especially women, queer people and other folks who have not been granted the same social permission to talk about and explore their sexuality and experiences of sexual pleasure that straight men have enjoyed…continue reading…

post

Double the Pleasure w/Synced Orgasms

Hi Yana,

I recently attended one of your workshops about the G-spot and it worked! My partner and I went home that night and I squirted. But it’s so strange because when I squirt it doesn’t happen as I climax. It isn’t like a climactic orgasm. It just feels crazy good and then I squirt. We were wondering if we could time it so that I could have the clitoral climax at the same time that I squirt?

— Star Squirting Student

Dear SSS,

Holy Star Student status! Plenty of folks report success with their newly learned sexpertise from my workshops, but OMG-spot, rarely do people go straight home and start squirting all over the place the very same night. As I say in my workshops, I can spend hours giving you information, but it’s up to you to have the bravery to utilize and communicate that information to your IMG_6401partners — so good on you.

I’m so glad you bring this up as in my G-spot workshops, I aim to address many myths barring us from great G-spot explorations and pleasures including:

That it doesn’t exist. (Hi, it does — I don’t just go around teaching workshops about unicorns);

That female ejaculation is pee. (I’m a grown woman, I think I know the difference between peeing my bed and having an orgasm);

And finally, that a G-spot orgasm is the orgasm of all orgasms.

You are living, breathing, squirting proof, SSS, that this simply isn’t true for everyone. While a G-spot orgasm feels more like an internal, pleasurable release, a clitoral orgasm can often feel more surface, intense and, well, climactic.

If we look at where these two pleasurable spots are located and how they’re stimulated, this makes a lot of sense...continue reading…


LIVE WEBINAR: The G-Spot & Vaginal Ejaculation || Thu, Jul 21, 2016 7:30 PM – 9:00 PM Eastern Standard Time {New York} || $15 per seat || 18+ || details & tickets here!

post

Stuck in a Cum-nundrum

Hi Yana,

My partner (cis-male) and I (queer bisexual lady) enjoy getting super hot and bothered with each other, but we’re both frustrated with my seeming inability to orgasm. When we’re fooling around, just warming up, sometimes clitoral stimulation gets so intense that it’s painful, and we have to stop. When we move toward penetrative sex and I start feeling like I’m almost there — whatever “there” is — I start having trouble breathing or just forget to breathe all together and feel like I’m going to pass out … so we have to stop. When I play with myself, I just get bored without him there and have never orgasmed there either … and stop yet again. I love my partner and all things sensual and consensual with him. We’re great at communicating about these things together so we’ve tried going slower, relaxing, having him remind me to breathe, switching positions — everything, but nothing works!

— Stuck in a Cum-nundrum

Dear Stuck,

Sounds like y’all are continuing down a traditional sex path of foreplay (clitoral stimulation), penetration, (hoping for) orgasm — what I call the Sex Schedule. Though the Sex Schedule is touted as the way to have sex, it just doesn’t work for many people — and can get real boring, besides. And if the Sex Schedule isn’t working, let’s re-schedule your sex to be more fluid (har har) and less linear.

The clitoris is packed with 8,000 nerve endings. That’s twice as many that exist in the entire penis. So, immediately treating the clitoris like you’re excitedly attempting to reveal the flavor of a new scratch-and-sniff sticker is overwhelming for most and can, as you’ve stated, feel quite painful.

Don’t start with clitoral stimulation right off the bat. Start with something else that you know you and your partner both enjoy for a strong kick-off. Maybe some making out and then penetrative sex — but only for a little while — before trying some clitoral stimulation. Or maybe he goes down on you, without heavy focus on your clitoris for now, and then penetrative sex, then clitoral stimulation.

The traditional story of the Sex Schedule has us believing that once penetration happens — especially penis-in-vagina penetration — we’re on the non-stop train to O-Town and if you can’t make it to the orgasmic destination then too bad — catch up! Boners are a wonderful part of sex. But just a part. Experiment with fitting them into your sex flow, but don’t set your entire schedule around them…continue reading…

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

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…