One Man’s Perspective on Consent

This article is amazing! This man tells a good truth that “women love sex even more than men, but they only love sex under the right conditions. Much like a garden won’t grow without the right soil, water and care, women won’t express themselves sexually unless they feel safe, and we as men have the brilliant opportunity to create that, and when we don’t we’re simply shooting ourselves in the foot.”

Read the article here: http://www.filmsforaction.org/articles/i-promise-its-not-lame-to-ask-a-woman-for-permission/

Dating Site/App Reviews

Quick note: this post is targeted toward women.

POF

Plenty of Fish is actually pretty decent. It has a lot of filtering options and advanced search criteria. There seems to be a good representation of age, ethnicity, and locations. I’ve noticed there’s a larger percentage of working class (vs. white collar) people on there, probably because it’s a free site. I have had some unpleasant encounters but I’ve also met some quality people from there. I’ve noticed not many men actually put effort into writing a decent profile. All the same it’s definitely worth trying.

OKcupid

I love that you can instantly see the percentage you match with someone, which is generated by answering questions they provide. It helps to see how compatible you could be with someone before you even message them. The downside is that if you view someone’s profile, they get notified about it, so men tend to be pushier about getting a response. There seems to be a higher than normal amount of couples looking for a third to join them, and people in openly polyamorous relationships. I hate that about 90% of the messages I receive are from men in Africa and the Middle East, despite my profile saying locals only (I guess people on OKcupid don’t read). I’ve only met one person from that site and it was okay; not great but not terrible.

Happn

I had this app installed on my phone for about two days and then deleted it. My only match was with a horribly misogynistic guy who was super rude. It kind of turned me off the whole thing.

Whisper

I was shocked to discover that even the most innocent post will result in dozens, if not hundreds, of replies. Most of these come in the form of hormonal teenagers looking to get laid – and they are very aggressive about it. One respondent told me he’s hooked up with 15 different girls through Whisper, which completely blew my mind. It’s not meant to be a dating app but apparently it’s used that way. As an experiment, I whispered one word: sex. It had a photo of bright red lips. Within 1 minute, I had 6 private messages. By 5 minutes, I had 12. At the 10 minute mark I was up to 16.

Reddit

Although not traditionally used for dating, the r4r subreddit is where people post personal ads looking for anything from pen pals to casual hookups. I’ve posted a couple of times and have had some luck with responses. I’ve discovered that the best policy is to keep it short, preferably in list form, and blunt. Most men seem to have a “can’t hurt to try” mentality when they don’t fit my criteria which I find highly irritating – don’t respond if you’re not what I’m looking for!!! But once you wade through all those junk messages, there’s usually at least one or two gems worth getting to know.

Tinder

I think I may have had half a dozen conversations out of my hundreds of matches. Tinder seems to be more of a self-esteem booster than anything else and most people on there only want a quick hookup. The good thing is you don’t have to feel guilty about rejecting someone since only those you like can message you. The down side is people tend to be flaky and unresponsive, or they lose interest quickly and the conversation dwindles.

Re-Post: Zen and the Art of Online Dating

Like many people in my generation, I met my husband through online dating. However, unlike many of my friends, I preferred online dating to meeting dates in person. The men I met online were carefully selected and vetted, unlike the ones I met in bars or at parties. I felt like I worked out the […]

via Love Notes: Zen and the Art of Online Dating — the syntax of things

Levels of Sexual Intensity

A friend recently asked me some complex questions about sex that required me to think about sexual activities in a different way. He asked me about the end goal of certain activities and what steps one might take to get there.

For instance, what is total domination? How do you start? What steps happen in between the beginning and the end?

Continue reading “Levels of Sexual Intensity”

The Female Orgasm

For the most part, men have a much easier time achieving orgasm. This is largely because their sex organs are on the outside and are easily accessed. Of course, there are some men who have a difficult time reaching climax, for various reasons, but in my experience most men have an easier time of it than women.

I’ve previously discussed the fundamentals of menstruation and the anatomy of the vulva, but to truly delve into orgasms, more anatomy info is needed. I’ll try to make it as simple as possible.

anatomy_of_the_clitoris1

As you can see, what most people call “The Clit” is just the small nub that is visible in the vulva, while a vast majority of this organ is actually internal.

The clitoris is a lot like a penis – when a woman is aroused, the clitoris fills with blood and becomes engorged. This makes it much more sensitive. At the same time, the vagina expands and lubricates to prepare for penetration and eventual fertilization. It’s a lot of internal shifting that happens.

What this means is that anyone who knows how to stimulate the clitoris, not just The Clit, will have an easier time getting a woman to orgasm.

As I wrote in a post about blowjobs, I will reiterate here: the best oral sex is about starting slowly and building the pace. Chasing an orgasm feels the best when you treat it like a symphony, a crescendo of intensity that builds to a grand finale. Or on a smaller scale, think of it like “Bohemian Rhapsody” by Queen – it starts slow and simple, gradually adds elements, and shifts to other things before a truly explosive ending. That’s how a good orgasm happens.

So, on to technique. That’s the biggest hurdle. I can talk all day about stimulation and arousal but if you don’t know how to do it, this conversation is pointless.

There are two basic methods: fingers and tongue. I will refer to the following image for reference:

fo1

Fingers

Although The Clit is undoubtedly the focal point of the vulva, you don’t have to directly stimulate it. Try rubbing the areas to the left and right of it (illustrated in green), which is where the clitoris lies hidden beneath skin. This is outside of the labia minora, or inner lips. Rub in upward/downward motions, using about the same amount of pressure you would if rubbing your eye.

Another hot spot is the clitoral hood, which is a fleshy protective casing that covers The Clit (illustrated in blue). Some women are too sensitive to have The Clit directly stimulated, but rubbing the hood MAY provide enough of a barrier to make it enjoyable. Start very very gently and gradually increase the pressure as she gets closer to orgasm. Generally a circular motion works well for this spot.

Check in with her frequently by asking if she likes what you’re doing. You can say, “Does that feel good? Do you want it harder? Is that spot sensitive?” and so forth. If she pushes her pelvis against your fingers, trying to increase the pressure, then you can press a little harder.

Tongue

The same spots apply whether using fingers or tongue, but tonguing technique is a little different. Start out by licking/kissing other parts – inner thighs, lower abdomen, etc. – and gradually make your way to The Clit. The build-up of anticipation will have her squirming with desire. Sometimes I like to blow air on The Clit before making contact. But no matter what you do, the ultimate goal is to stimulate the clitoris/The Clit to orgasm.

Many men make the mistake of thinking women want their vaginal opening stimulated with tongue, as if mimicking penile penetration. While some do enjoy this, from my experience the arousal gained from that action is more psychological than physical. A penis feels great, fingers are awesome, but a tongue is too short and soft to be really pleasurable. Focus your tongue on The Clit and leave the vagina for your fingers.

Actual technique with the tongue varies. Here are some suggestions that have proven popular:

  • Spell out the alphabet slowly, one letter at a time, with your tongue sweeping over The Clit
  • Sweep your tongue in circular motions and change direction every so often
  • Pull the clitoral hood into your mouth and suck on it and/or tongue it rapidly like a snake
  • Lick the entire vulva, from anus to The Clit, in one long, slow motion, then focus rapid motions on The Clit
  • As you tongue The Clit, insert fingers into the vagina and either mimick the movement a penis would make, going in and out, or rub the g-spot

General Tips

The best advice I can give is to try everything at least once with each new partner. Every woman is different, and not all women know what they like, particularly if they are inexperienced. ALWAYS START GENTLE, then build up from there. And remember that The Clit has twice as many nerve endings in a pea-sized area than the entire male penis.

Finally, here are some general observations that can take oral sex from mediocre to mindblowing:

  • Read her body language. Moaning, groaning, squirming, shaking, gripping onto things (sheets, your head, etc) are all good signs!
  • She may move around a lot when she’s getting close to orgasm – holding her in place takes physical strength, but it may be necessary, and can actually be arousing for her to be pinned down
  • When she’s getting close to orgasm, DO NOT LOSE CONTACT WITH THE CLIT. An orgasm requires two things: heat and pressure. If you take your tongue off The Clit you lose both, which sets her progress back a few steps and prolongs the process
  • Oral sex is a time commitment. Some can finish quickly, but some take a long time. Be ready to stick it out for the long haul. It will be worth it in the end!
  • If she says she’s climaxed and The Clit isn’t too sensitive to touch, then she probably didn’t actually orgasm

Personal Sexperience & Life Lessons

My first time wasn’t very glamorous. I was 15 years old and had been dating my boyfriend (we’ll call him Justin) for about a month. He was the first one to ever get past first base – in fact we rocketed from first base to third without much preamble. I liked him, I trusted him, but I didn’t love him. We had fun and we cared about each other, but I didn’t love him.

One day we were getting hot and heavy and our clothes ended up strewn all over the floor. He was hard, I was wet, and we were grinding against each other. Then somehow it just ended up inside me (I should mention here that I accidentally broke my hymen when I was 8 due to a gymnastics mishap). We both looked at each other, wide-eyed and unsure, before lust overcame us both and we just went with it.

I didn’t particularly enjoy it – I was caught up in how weird the sensation felt. Once Justin was spent inside me (we didn’t use a condom), we kind of lay there together not speaking. It wasn’t awkward or uncomfortable, we just had no idea what to say. We hadn’t discussed sex, nor had we planned for anything to happen. It was accidental sex.

I’d had opportunities before but they never seemed like ideal situations. I wasn’t someone who expected roses and candles for my first time, but I trusted my instincts. I wasn’t mad, sad, or upset in any way that my first time wasn’t special. I felt different afterward. It took me a good two days to really process what had happened, and get used to the idea of no longer being a virgin.

Now, with 20 years of hindsight, I have much more perspective on things.

I don’t regret dating Justin, nor do I regret that we were intimate. I do wish I had waited to have actual sex, because 6 months later I could have shared that gift with my first real love. Justin and I will always have that connection of being each other’s first. Although we remained friends on and off for another ten years, we are no longer in contact; I can’t help but wish I’d given that gift to someone special. It is an incredibly personal thing to give someone your virginity.

I’m also incredibly grateful that the lack of condom didn’t lead to pregnancy. I was VERY lucky in that regard.

Some people say giving yourself at any time is special, whether it’s the first or not. Some hold sex as a sacred thing to be shared only when truly in love. I’ve even met someone who couldn’t physically be with someone unless there were strong feelings between them. I personally don’t subscribe to that philosophy.

The best sex you can have is with someone you love, that much I won’t debate. Being able to fully trust someone and let go in a supportive environment makes everything that much more potent. Sex is at its finest when you know your partner is genuinely interested in pleasing you.

But you can still have a lot of fun without an emotional connection. It won’t be the same level of deep satisfaction – it may get you off, but it won’t fulfill you to the core. And sometimes that’s okay! I think having mediocre or less satisfying sex is good, in a way, because it helps us to appreciate the good stuff even more by comparison. And being able to fulfill your particularly lewd/kinky fantasies is immensely pleasurable. Most of us have a sexual bucketlist, and not all items can be fulfilled while in a relationship. Experimenting is great, expanding your horizons can be fun, and experience helps us fine tune our technique as we learn from others. Sex is awesome.

In the 20 years since Justin, I have had a full spectrum of amazing and horrifying experiences. I have learned a lot and tried many things, pushed my limits and pursued challenges. And I have gained a lot of perspective about sex, relationships, and everything in between.

Here is a list of conclusions I’ve drawn from my experiences:

  • Unless you know with absolute certainty that your relationship is monogamous without cheating, always use a condom. ALWAYS. STIs are common and very annoying. Most of them are easily treated but they’re a huge hassle. It’s a good idea to keep condoms with you at all times in case you need one.
  • NO MEANS NO. Never let someone talk you into something that makes you uncomfortable. If they try, get up and walk away. There are plenty of other people who will be respectful of your limits.
  • The best lovers are those who want to please you more than they want to be pleased. Someone who genuinely enjoys giving pleasure, and even gets off on doing it, is usually great at what they do. ALWAYS reciprocate the attention they give you.
  • Sex is only good when there’s communication. Don’t be afraid to say if something hurts, or if they’re doing it wrong. Talk about your needs, desires, and hot spots. Everyone is different and most people want to learn how to please you. If they’re unreceptive, walk away.
  • Similarly, let your partner know when they’re doing well. Moans and groans go a long way.
  • TRUST YOUR INSTINCTS. If a situation/person/activity makes you hesitate, then get out of it. Your subconscious brain can pick up on subtle cues that the conscious brain often ignores or minimizes. Your gut always knows best.
  • NEVER openly criticize someone’s body. You’re lucky you get to see it at all. If you think there’s something to be concerned about for health reasons, be tactful and respectful in mentioning it.
  • Try not to compare different partners. Everyone is unique and no two experiences, even with the same person, will be exactly alike. Comparisons don’t serve any purpose except to make us critical and judgemental.
  • Penis size matters a lot less than most people think. I’d rather be with a man who’s smaller but talented than with some hung idiot.
  • As long as they’re legal, safe, and consensual, explore your fetishes! Don’t feel guilty for having them – no one has to know but you and the person you play with.
  • The number of partners someone has had does not reflect who they are or their level of skill. Someone can have 100 partners under their belt and still be a terrible lover. Also, just because someone has had lots of partners, it doesn’t mean they don’t have standards. Numbers don’t really mean a whole lot in the bigger picture.
  • The brain is the largest erogenous zone. Example: I find a hearty philosophical debate more of a turn-on than dick pics. Stimulate the mind, then stimulate the body.
  • There are many different types of sex. Each has an appropriate time and place.
  • NEVER CHEAT ON YOUR PARTNER. They will always find out one way or another. The satisfaction you get from a night of passion isn’t worth the heartache you cause someone you care about. If you’re tempted to stray, sit down and figure out why that is. Cheating is often reflective of a deeper issue in the relationship, which isn’t necessarily about sex.
  • It’s a fact that you will be rejected far more than you will succeed; learn to shake it off.

Porn vs Reality

Pornography is one of the most controversial issues when it comes to sex. Many feel the ease of access is too great, especially for younger folk, while others believe in freedom of expression.

I personally think porn is awesome, but like everything has its appropriate time and place. My biggest pet peeve lies with the myths it generates/perpetuates about sex and sexuality; those with less experience might internalize the values expressed in porn and translate them to real life. This is a dangerous mindset. Porn is for fantasy! While it may teach you the basic mechanics of sex, there is a lot to be critical about.

Penis size

The average male penis is 5.2 inches long when erect, according to a recent study by King’s College London. Between 4 inches and 6.3 inches covers 90% of men, according to Men’s Health. Yet most professional porn is performed by men with very above average size and girth.

Yes, ladies and gents, there are guys with big penises. They do exist. But they are the exception to the rule. Don’t expect every potential partner to be huge, and don’t dismiss a man for being average!

Body Size

Professional female porn stars are often petite and athletic with flat stomachs, perky breasts, and perfectly rounded bums. While these women do exist in reality, most women are not like this. We have cellulite, stretch marks, scars, problem areas in terms of fat storage, moles, and body hair. According to the CDC, the average woman weighs 166 lbs; that is well above many professional porn stars. 70% of women are overweight or obese. I’ll just leave it at that.

Similarly, most male porn stars are often muscled, tall, and relatively hairless. This is simply not a reasonable representation of a majority of men. Again, this type of man does exist, but he is the exception to the rule. While men don’t accumulate fat reserves quite the same way that women do, and typically in different places, there is still a lot of variety out there.

Watching athletic people with flawless skin have sex serves as a great basis for fantasy, but the reality is often very different. Don’t expect your partner to look like a porn star, because that is not a realistic demand. Every body is unique and beautiful in its own way! An overweight woman can still be great in bed, and a muscular man can still have a small penis. Try to look beyond the shell to the person underneath.

Female orgasms

Here’s something to consider: most women cannot orgasm from vaginal penetration only! Yet you see this happening all the time in porn. My theory is that men want to think their penis is so impressive and big that that’s all a woman needs to climax. Sorry guys, it doesn’t work that way. While a bigger penis feels great, penetration alone does not usually stimulate the clitoris (which has 8000 nerve endings on one little button). In fact, 90% of vaginal nerve endings lie in the first 1/3 of the vagina.

Some women find it extremely difficult to orgasm. Some women rarely orgasm. Some women don’t know what an orgasm feels like because they’ve never had one. It is much more complex for women than it is for most men.

I think I might write an entire post on female orgasms. There’s so much more to say on that topic. Suffice to say, most women in porn are faking it. Keep in mind, they are paid to fake it well.

Consent

Most women don’t invite the TV repairman inside while wearing sheer lingerie. Nor do most women like being touched by strangers on a bus, or inappropriate contact from their doctor. If a stranger walked up to me in a bar and kissed me, he would likely earn a knee to the groin for his trouble. Real life is NOT reflective of scenarios in porn.

In reality, you need clear, informed consent. Consent is necessary. Consent is sexy. If a stranger in a bar asked if he could kiss me, I’d be inclined to give it some serious thought rather than kicking his balls.

Furthermore, acceptance of non-consent is also crucial. Let me put it this way: would a heterosexual man enjoy attention from a pushy, boundary-ignoring homosexual man? Probably not. It’s the same way women feel about attention from men – NO MEANS NO. End of story. If a woman says no, you need to accept that and walk away. Trying to convince her is unacceptable behaviour.

Vaginas and labia

I hear this all the time – “Her lips are so loose, she must get fucked a lot.”

That’s not how it works. Long labia, aka “loose skin,” is not caused by sex. It is genetic and unaffected by external factors. See this post about vaginas to learn more.

Timing

Most porn is designed with a male audience in mind, so it reflects what men want to see. Often porn focuses very heavily on male pleasure – extended scenes with blowjobs and penetration with very little attention paid to the woman’s needs. This is in stark contrast to reality where women usually need a lot more attention than men to achieve orgasm. As a man, if you are focusing on what you want rather than pleasing your partner, you’re doing it wrong.

Furthermore, the amount of time spent on any activity may not reflect real life either. The reality is that giving a blowjob can hurt the jaw after a while, and vaginal penetration causes chafing when done for extended periods of time. One round of sex usually doesn’t take hours. A study published by Dr. Brendan Zietsch indicates that of 500 couples studied, sex lasted anywhere from 33 seconds to 44 minutes, not including foreplay, with an average of 5.4 minutes. That is significantly shorter than most porn films, which is absolutely okay.

FAQ: The Vagina

The vagina. Pussy. Twat. Cunt. Kitty. Snatch. Box. Fuckhole. Flower. Bearded clam.

It’s an enigma wrapped in a paradox underneath a blanket of questions. So I went on Whisper and said I would answer any questions about the vagina. Here are the most commonly asked questions and my respective answers:

What’s the difference between squirt and cum?

This requires some basic anatomy to properly address. First, women’s genitals have three main holes. YES! THREE! There’s the anus, the vagina, and the urethra. The urethral opening is usually very small and unnoticeable, and it located between the clitoris and the vaginal opening.

Second, this question is tougher to answer because of the language. Some men think squirting is cumming, others think cum is the thicker fluid that comes out during sex. I tend to go with the latter – squirting is separate from cum.

Cum is the thicker, almost gooey whitish stuff that comes with sex. The vagina produces this both as a lubricant for penetration and as a catalyst to help sperm survive the trip to the uterus. The consistency will vary depending on the woman’s menstrual cycle; the fluid tends to be thickest just before ovulation, and thinnest before and after bleeding. The amount a woman produces will vary depending on the individual.

There is a great deal of debate about what squirt is, and where it comes from. The only thing known with absolute certainty is that it’s released from the urethral region, NOT the vagina, and is a very thin liquid. All squirt has at least a trace of urine in it. The most common belief is that Skene’s glands are what create and store this liquid, and when these glands are stimulated they abruptly push the liquid out through tiny exits near the urethra.

0216whnp_otcdyspareunia-figure

So… to summarize…

Vaginal cum = thicker, sometimes white, comes from vagina

Squirt = thinner, mostly clear, comes from urethral region

What is bottoming out? Why does it happen?

This occurs when a penis is longer than the vagina; during sex, the penis pushes on the cervix, often painfully.

Each woman has a different size and shape to their vagina – just like a finger print or snowflake, no two vaginas are exactly alike. Some can take longer penises than others. Much like a penis, a vagina actually enlarges and expands when it’s aroused, making it able to encompass more of the penis. According to WebMD and Maxim, an aroused vagina averages at 4.5 inches in depth. Keep in mind that number is an AVERAGE; some will be deeper, some shallower.

But there is also the cervix to consider. The cervix acts as a barrier between the vagina and the uterus, and is somewhat elastic. It can stretch to a certain point before becoming painful. As a woman who has been told by multiple doctors I have a deep vagina, I can take about 8 inches before it gets uncomfortable.

Does larger labia mean she’s had more sex than others?

NO!!!

Like vaginas, finger prints, and snowflakes, each women’s labia is unique and dictated by genetics. Larger labia does not mean she’s “loose,” nor will having many sexual partners loosen the skin of the labia. This is a complete myth.

Can women squeeze the vagina to make it tighter?

Yes. The pelvic floor muscles are a large group that connects the vagina, anus, and bladder. Like any other muscles, they can benefit from strengthening exercises to help with incontinence or to make sex more pleasurable. Here is a guide from the Mayo Clinic about doing Kegel Exercises.

What are the most sensitive spots?

There isn’t one universal answer for this, because each woman is unique. The vulva as a whole is more sensitive than most other body parts, though there are a few areas that should be focused on. The clit and the g-spot are two absolutely crucial must-stimulate areas – she’s probably going to have a bad time if you don’t at least give the clit some attention. Some women have sensitive labia, others don’t. Some find touching the g-spot painful, while others need a lot of pressure.

A good rule is to start gentle and gradually increase pressure with increased arousal, and lubricate everything you touch down there! Don’t be afraid to ask for feedback as you go along: “Is this okay? Does this feel good? Do you want it harder? How do you like it?”

Why do vaginas smell?

Random fact: the vagina is actually a smorgasbord of bacteria. It’s a delicate balance of helpful bacteria, like the kind found in pro-biotic yogurt, and dangerous intrusive bacteria. Natural lubrication from the vagina helps keep it clean and flush out the bad bacteria. This fluid has a naturally mild odour/taste that is unique to each woman and may change a little throughout her monthly cycle.

Sometimes the bad bacteria can take over and cause infections, which can cause a whole host of unpleasant symptoms, including a strong, foul smell. These infections can be easily addressed by a doctor with either antibiotics or yeast treatment, depending on the problem.

If your partner’s vagina is unpleasant smelling or tasting, gently bring it up to her and suggest she see her doctor. This is tricky because most of us are very self-conscious about our lady bits, thanks to porn and popular culture, so be tactful, respectful and supportive.