Re-Post: Eroticization of Violence

For those who missed that wonderful birds and bees talk or slept through high school biology class – let’s begin with the basics. Sexual intercourse is the bedrock of human existence. With the exception of artificial insemination, egg and sperm unite through copulation. Intercourse can serve procreational purposes, recreational purposes, or both. This means that […]

via The Eroticization of Violence and a New Sexual Ethic — Zone of Non-being

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.

Menstruation 101 for Men

Guys, let’s face it: unless you’re gay, celibate, or asexual, your life will most likely be influenced by menstruation at some point. Society treats menstruation as some taboo subject that should not be discussed, but this is utter bullshit. Every guy (except those mentioned above) should have a basic understanding of this natural process women are forced to endure each month.

So, here goes nothing!

Menstruation is the series of bodily changes women undergo each month as part of fertility. The purpose of menstruation is to have babies. If a woman does not get pregnant in a cycle, she will start it all over again. This whole process is regulated by various hormones which increase and decrease throughout the month to facilitate these changes.

Each cycle lasts between 21 and 35 days, averaging at 28 days. A woman’s “period,” or menstrual flow (AKA when they bleed from the vagina), starts on day one and typically lasts between three and seven days. Days 14-17 are when she ovulates and can get pregnant. Assuming a cycle of 28 days, she will start PMS anywhere from day 21 to day 25 and it will last until day 2 of the next cycle.

*Side note: PMS stands for Pre-Menstrual Syndrome and occurs BEFORE bleeding begins.

I bet that sounds confusing. Here’s a graphic:

menses

The droplets are, of course, when bleeding occurs. As you can see, a rapid drop in both estrogen and progesterone results in PMS (symbolized by the radioactive symbol).

The first column illustrates the four phases of the cycle: menstrual, follicular, ovulation, and luteal. The colourful lines show the changes in hormones.

Here is a very basic anatomical chart of the female reproductive system so you can follow along:

female-reproductive-system

Here’s the short short version of what happens:

Days 6-13: follicular phase

During this time, rising estrogen tells the uterus to start thickening its lining with nutrient-dense blood in order to feed a baby. The ovaries prepare an egg, to be fertilized by sperm from a male.

Day 14: Ovulation

When estrogen is high enough, it triggers the follicle stimulating hormone (FSH) to spike, which causes the egg to travel down the fallopian tube to the uterus. When it isn’t met with any sperm, estrogen begins to rapidly decline.

Days 15-28: luteal phase

Progesterone and estrogen increase in order to support a fertilized egg, but when they realize it wasn’t fertilized both hormones drop at the same time. This causes PMS symptoms.

Days 1-5: Menstrual Phase

When progesterone and estrogen are low enough, the uterus is told to shed all the extra blood it saved up during the follicular phase, which is flushed out through the vagina. The uterus muscles contract to push out this material, causing occasionally severe cramping.

A Brief Disclaimer…

It is important to note that this is a general description of what takes place and so makes a few assumptions: 1) That a woman operates on a regular 28 day cycle; 2) That there are no other factors which may influence her cycle, such as cancer or hormonal imbalance; 3) She is not taking birth control pills or other hormone supplements. Not all women ovulate on day 14, and not all women have regular cycles. This is roughly what should happen if everything is working normally.

Bros Give Advice for First Timers

I asked a bunch of men, friends and otherwise, to share with me the most important piece of information they wish they had known before having sex for the first time. Here’s what they said:

-The vaginal opening is a lot closer to the anus than you think. Most guys think it’s right up front, like their dicks, but that isn’t the case

-Your expectations probably won’t be met the first time – it’s rarely “magical”

-Try to be in a relationship because it’s easier to say if you’re uncomfortable with something

-If you don’t stimulate her before deep penetration, you’re going to have a bad time

-Foreplay and making out makes sex feel better and last longer – don’t just “stick it in”

-Even if your first time is with someone you’re close to (mine was with a gf at the time) the fact that no one knows what they’re doing just makes it an awkward experience. You can visualize and plan it all you want but there’s no way to imagine that

-Foreplay can matter for the guys too, and girls CAN climax so much that it becomes painful

-It’s never perfect – don’t put pressure on yourself, just have fun and enjoy the ride

-The definition of sex is broader than just penetration, so don’t put so much pressure on that one act

-Try to communicate more with your partners from the start, take everything slow, ask them what they like and be open to criticism

-Take the time to make it meaningful and don’t rush

-Don’t rush it. Make sure you’re ready. It’s OK not to be “in love” but just make sure it’s really what you want

-It really does matter who it’s with and not just something to get over and done with

-Girls are sometimes more worried about themselves than what they think of the guy

-I wish I’d known how to get a girl to have sex with me

-Wear a condom

 

Online Dating Tips

Online dating has become so popular these days, just about everyone has tried it at some point or other. It has pros and cons, bad stories and good, and each experience is different for everyone.

Many of these sites are what I call a “woman’s market” because most conversations are initiated by men trying to catch the attention of women. As a woman, I can sit back and wait for my inbox to get flooded with messages from all types of men. Having been active on several different sites, I can tell you there are a few things that will either inspire me to reply or convince me I should ignore someone. Here are some tips for men who are inexperienced with online dating, in no particular order.

  • DO have a clear face photo – I won’t reply if I don’t know who I’m talking to
  • DO be clear about what you’re looking for (relationship, casual sex, friendship, etc)
  • DO be honest about your intentions! If you don’t think she’s a good fit after exchanging a few messages, then say so
  • DO use proper grammar/spelling/punctuation because it makes a good impression
  • DO send personalized messages showing you’ve read her profile and share some similar interests
  • DO say something about yourself more compelling than “I like to travel and spend time with friends”
  • DO compliment her and be specific – I’m personally very tired of reading, “nice eyes”
  • DO say what you mean, and mean what you say
  • DON’T insult or berate her if she rejects you – it’s completely her choice and you have to respect that
  • DON’T get into politics or religion right away
  • DON’T message her with “hey” or “what’s up” and expect her to reply
  • DON’T start a conversation with sexual advances, even if that’s your end game
  • DON’T lie about anything!
  • DON’T expect many replies – women are constantly bombarded by messages and often don’t write back if they’re not interestedA Male Perspective

    The above points are all absolutely vital when it comes to online dating – but there are a few more to bear in mind as a man seeking a woman on an online dating site.

    First of all, remember that quality trumps quantity when it comes to messages.  It is better to write one thoughtful, well-considered message a day than to write 100 messages saying, “Hey there.”  Of course, the ability to write a quality message depends largely on the woman’s profile.  Some women will eschew filling out an “about me” section of a profile.  One of the most annoying things a man can encounter when looking at a woman’s profile is that, instead of listing her interests or saying something unique about herself, she tells you to “just ask.”  As if she will be responding to any stupid question any man happens to lob at her.  If you’re a handsome hunk who relies on looks alone to attract women, perhaps you can get away with this.  But if you’re not an Adonis, it’s better to search for profiles that provide actual information about the woman you’re contacting, her likes and dislikes, etc.  With the “just ask” format, you have no common point for starting a conversation.  On the other hand, a profile that makes it clear that a woman likes hockey, for example, will give you a good reference point and an ice-breaker.  If you’re into hockey yourself, you can answer her with questions about favourite teams, playoff odds, etc.  Take the time to find profiles that have obviously had effort put into them.  Personalize your response as best you can.  Remember:  you need to stand out from the other hundred messages any woman is likely to receive on a daily basis.  Don’t be afraid to try different approaches for different women.  The best profiles out there are ones that give you a very clear idea of who the woman is and what she’s looking for, as well as offering clues to her personality.  Say, for example, the woman says she’s interested in poetry – in that case, if you feel up to it, you could try to formulate your response as a poem.  If her profile is witty, try to be witty in your response.  However, remember that you should not try to be something you’re not in order to impress a particular woman.  If she loves sports and you don’t, don’t pretend.  Honesty is greatly appreciated in responses, and a little bit of honesty can go a long way.

    If you can, you should adopt an attitude of never expecting a reply to any given message.  Take the time to artfully craft your response, but don’t feel that you’re entitled to an answer because you took the time.  “Expect the worst, then you can only be pleasantly surprised” – this age old adage holds true in the era of online dating.  Don’t get discouraged if you don’t receive a reply – every woman is different, and while one might ignore an artfully crafted response, the next might respond to one.  Try to show what is unique about you in your response.  Every time you craft an artful reply, you become more skilled at doing so – thus, even unanswered messages are not a waste of time.  If a woman doesn’t respond, do not berate her with additional messages.  Don’t put all your eggs in one basket.  The art of attracting women’s attention through individualized messages takes time to perfect, and one can’t expect to succeed without failing a few times.  Keep your chin up – remember, it’s possible that one of these women could be the “one” for you, and if you see the potential in her profile, but don’t message because you feel discouraged, you will never know what you might have missed out on.

    Lastly, but by no means least – you MUST be respectful of women.  Misogyny is dying a slow, well-deserved death.  Do not think with your penis – lying to get laid is a dirty, dirty trick, and in the end, the truth will come out.  As mentioned above, be honest about your intentions.  The worst that can happen is that you will be refused.  But lying for sex only reinforces the idea that men are generally horndog scumbags.  Don’t be part of the problem – be part of the solution, by showing respect, treating women as you would like to be treated, and not trying to set yourself above them.