Psst Here’s a Secret- We Deserve To Get Off As Much As We Want

Yeah, I get it. You’re busy and sex might not be a priority over doing the dishes, getting lunches together, paying the bills, and the hundreds of other tasks that make up your mile-long to-do list. But here’s the thing: If every time you’re graced with an hour to two to yourself and you choose to spend it watching TV, you might be comfortable. However, what benefits are you really getting out of that time?

woman making a hush gesture

I know, time enjoyed isn’t time wasted or however the saying goes, but if you’re trying to turn your mind off, having sex is a great way to do so. Also, you’ll be connecting with your partner, something that’s all the more important when intimacy seems to be falling by the wayside.

So why aren’t more parents choosing to spend their free time between the sheets? Other than a hectic schedule, there’s a little hangup that not many people are talking about: For many parents, especially ones that are constantly busy and on the go, it can be downright difficult to let go during sex and even more difficult to reach orgasm. As a result, some people find it almost a hassle to try. As Psychologytoday.com points out, many are stuck in the mindset that it’s simply “easier” to focus on your partner finishing, rather than both of you.

Now, say it with me: “I deserve to get off too.” Alright so maybe don’t say it out loud if you’re in a crowded room or something but you get the picture.

Lucky for you, the world is full of people who have either experienced the same problem or invented things to help others avoid them. Not only can a toy put a little spark back into your bedroom life, but it can make orgasming much, much easier for those that have had previous difficulties.

If you’re thinking “Ew sex toys?”‚ÄîNo. Shhh…shhh…just no. Relinquish the ideas you got about sex from watching The Waltons and let me hold your hand through the wonderful world of intense orgasms, a more satisfying sex life, and a rejuvenated intimacy with your partner.

According to Adameve.com, there are specially created a toys that are perfect for parents in that they’re both discreet and quiet. Not that any toys these days sound like revving up a leaf blower or anything, but you certainly won’t have to worry about waking anyone up (as long as you can contain yourself!).

An article from Brown.edu points out how much having a toy to help you orgasm will take the pressure off not only your partner, but you as well. A lot of people tend to feel inadequate if they cannot make their partner orgasm during sex. A toy allows you both to relax and relieves you both of a little of the responsibility.

For those who don’t have a lot of experience with toys, I usually recommend starting off with something such as the Waterproof Finger Vibrator. The powerful toy will stimulate your clitoris during sex, and its small design allows for uninhibited pleasure that won’t impose on your partner’s experience. Worn by you or your partner, the added clitoral stimulation during vaginal sex is sure to help you reach orgasm faster. And with the waterproof design, you can catch a quicky late at night before bed or even during a morning shower together.

We may have been blessed with a lot of different erogenous zones, but unfortunately our partners, they have to pick and choose which ones to focus on at any given time during sex. Depending on your position, they can’t support themselves, support your body, caress your breasts, tease your nipples, slap your butt, stimulate your clit, pull your hair, and whatever else you might be into all at once. Unless you’re dating an octopus, you’ve probably already had to let them know which areas rank as your favorites. However, if you’re looking for a little more a full body experience during intimacy, using a product such as mini nipple suckers will allow your parnter to focus on other areas of your body while this handy little toy does its thing. And of course, they’re tiny, silent, and discreet, so the only thing you have to focus on is the fun.

There is also something to be said for the classic go-to vibrator. All of the toys you can use when you’re partner isn’t available, but a vibrator allows for penetration as well as external stimulation. As Womensday.com points out, it’s also been proven that the increased frequency of orgasms can make them easier to achieve, because your body is “trained” more and has an ingrained memory to reach that point. Doing some solo exploration can be just as beneficial to your sex life with your partner as it is pleasurable for you.

Being open to new things can do wonders for your mind, body, and soul. Give one of these toys a try next time you’re looking to spice things up. You might miss the premier of your latest show, but I’m willing to bet that after using one of these, you won’t mind in the slightest.

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Condom slips and fits.

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Lucky Bloke | Ultimate TEXTURED Condom Sampler – 12 Medium/Standard sized ribbed & studded condoms; brands include Kimono, Beyond Seven, ONE, Billy Boy, Lifestyles, Durex, and TROJAN.

So, here’s a story only a sex educator will tell you. One night, I came back to a lover’s house after going out. It’s kinda late and we are drinking tea at his kitchen table, giggling and whispering as to not disturb his housemate, who we are pretty sure has company. Eventually, the bedroom door opens and they come into the kitchen flushed and glowy. It’s all breathless hello’s and goodbye’s then he walks her out to her car. He comes back into the kitchen with not exactly the expression you’d expect to see on the face of someone who probably just got laid. The man looked like he needed to talk something out.

Me being me, I ask, “Sooooooo, how are you?”

“Great, bad, I dunno,” he shakes his head like he really can’t decide.

My lover and I exchange looks and raised eyebrows. “Was it bad?”

“No, she’s great… really great…super hot. It’s just that… the condom fell off.”

Cue the dramatic music.

“Duuuuuuuude,”

“I know.”

“Laaaaaame,”

“I know… But we’ve both been recently tested, so that’s all good. She might be ovulating. And I’ll need to tell my other partners that this happened.”

“So Plan B is in your future?”

“Yeah, we’re gonna talk about that in the morning.”

Such a lovely person, this guy. I was relieved to here all the other bases were covered. Now time to do some impromptu sex ed.

“What kind of condom were you using and was it the right size?”

And then he proceeds to tell me he was using a condom with a bad reputation and then he didn’t really think condoms came in different sizes: “Don’t they just say that on the box to make men feel like they have bigger ones then they actually do? It’s just a gimmick, right?”

You know how super heroes have capes? Well, I have a purse. I open it up and start pulling out condoms and slapping them down on the table. I was in the midst of reviewing Lucky Bloke’s Textured Condom Sampler and it was time to share the wealth and the knowledge. We had already used all the TROJANS in the pack because that is the brand my lover prefers. However, we weren’t really into the warming/cooling sensations the ones in this sampler have. Not a deal breaker, just not our thing. But there were still several kinds to choose from.

“Airial, you’re so rad.”

“I try.” Though, really, who can ever get tired of hearing that particular compliment? I tell him that condoms do come in different sizes and he might need to buy not only a different brand with different shapes but also different sized condom.

Trying out new condoms is a lot of fun. And my lover said the cutest thing: “Yeah, when it comes to condoms, I’m not really interested in ‘classic fit’ you know? It’s 2013, I want cutting-edge, space-age technology condoms!”

His housemate agreed, “Yes, condoms made by rocket scientists!”

So the three of us are at the kitchen table sorting through the condom sampler. We split them between us and promised to report back later. Our favorites?

1. ONE | Tantric Pleasures

We really liked these texture designs. And using a condom called ‘Titan’ kinda made us feel space aged. The shape was a good fit for him; snug on the base, but plenty of headroom.  

2. Billy Boy | Beaded

Hella beads. H-E-L-L-A.

A condom sampler is a great way to go when you want to explore and see what’s out there. I’ve already mentioned the importance of a proper fitting condom. Lucky Bloke is a fantastic site because they will help you find the right fitting condom for you and condoms come to you! You can get condoms that are smaller than standard, larger than standard, ones with more headroom, ones that are pleasure shaped, or like the ones we sampled, textured. Plus if you spend $20, there is free shipping worldwide!!!

 

 

National Masturbation Month

Why do we even have a National Masturbation Month in the US?

The Pleasure Coach just posted a great history on Facebook:

The celebration of May as National Masturbation Month began in 1995 in San Francisco as a response to the forced resignation of then U.S. Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders.

 

After a speech at the United Nations World AIDS Day in 1994, an audience member asked Elders about masturbation’s potential for discouraging early sexual activity. She answered,“I think it is something that is part of human sexuality and a part of something that perhaps should be taught.”

 

That was the end of Elders’ career as America’s first black Surgeon General, but the spark for National Masturbation Month. Offended by Elders’ ouster, the ever progressive, pro-sex staff of San Francisco’s sex toy and education company Good Vibrations decided to find a way to keep the focus on Elders’ unjust firing, and to bring talk about masturbation into the mainstream in just the way Elders had envisioned.

You can read more here and get involved in the conversation about masturbation at the event page here!

I am SO excited. Like so so so excited about the amazing events going on for this month of masturbation celebration!

But mostly I’m beside myself with pride over Shilo McCabe’s solo photo exhibition of the “I Masturbate…” collection. “I masturbate…” is a radically inclusive photography project created in celebration of National Masturbation Month, consisting of sex-positive photos of people masturbating and sharing personal stories that complete the phrase “I masturbate…”

Come to the opening reception! Friday, May 3rd, 7-10pm at the Center for Sex & Culture, 1349 Mission Street, San Francisco or get more info at the facebook event page!

 

 

Guest Post by the amazing Julie Barr

This post is written by another sex-positive parent, Julie Barr. Julie is a 42-yr-old mom of two sons, ages 13 and 8 years old. This post was originally published on the Good Vibrations magazine site and is cross posted with Julie’s permission. 

Last week I wrote about raising sex positive kids and touched on my dreams of providing space for my kids to explore their sexuality in a safe environment where they don’t have to fear getting in trouble with their parents or the cops or the neighbor down the street who might “catch” them. This sparked all kinds of conversation in my community about how we, as parents, can provide that space without setting off any taboo radars, without being arrested for child molestation/voyeurism or abuse, and without grossing out our teens with our obnoxious thoughts and questions about their sexual feelings and ideas.

My thoughts turned to when I was young and I asked about sex. My mom gave me the message that sex was something you do when you are married. From an early age, I was convinced that I would have sex by the time I was 17 yrs old. This left me as a young teen with a dilemma about whether I could talk to my mother about sex or not. I decided that because my parents had a rigid idea of what was “okay”, I was not able to tell them if and when I chose a different path. For most of my teenage years, I fumbled, sometimes literally, through exploring my sexuality without the guidance of any adult, relying on the advice of others my age. I learned many lessons in the most difficult ways possible.

Many of my first experiences with sex were wild, exciting and what I thought was fun, while simultaneously being cramped, dirty and shameful. I was often drunk, having met my lovers at drunken teen parties or even at adult bars. I had no idea what I was doing except following the lead of the guy I was with or my friends; none of them suggested I have a “safe sex” talk or that I could say “no” or even ask for what I wanted from these men. I spent years trying to find love and affection by offering my body to men. I had my first orgasm at 20 yrs old after almost 5 years of being sexually active. And I didn’t learn what my own desires and needs were until I was well into my 20’s.

Now when I imagine the “perfect parent” who could have been helpful to me, I envision someone who was willing to hear what I was experiencing or thinking without judging me for my actions or thoughts. I would have wanted guidance around how to get what I wanted without losing my sense of self in the process. Most of all, when I made dumb decisions and really fucked up, I yearned for someone to help me pick up the pieces, clean up the mistakes and support me to get back to feeling whole again.

When I turned 21, after years of making innumerable poor decisions about my sexuality, I told my mother some of the major mistakes I made. It was very important at the time for her to understand the serious impact her rigid message about sex had on my life. I wanted her to understand my lack of ability to make informed decisions about sex throughout my teen years. My mother could not tell me what decisions she might have made if I had shared my struggles with her back when I was young, but she was very sad that I had not trusted her enough to share this with her. There are two pieces that I learned were crucial and lacking in this process: information and practice.

In our modern world, with our advanced technology, young folk may or may not need information from their parents about sex. There is a lot of decent information today on the internet and in some school programs; well informed teachers give kids a broad understanding of their bodies and others and how they can interact with each other sexually. I want to be available for my kids for whatever questions they have after receiving this information. Clearly, they may choose not to ask me those questions, but I frequently make sure that they know I am there, willing to talk and will not put them down in the process.

One reader left a comment on my blog last week about a book called “The Guide to Getting It On” by Paul Joannides. She suggested that as a child, she found it helpful when her father left this book lying around, giving her the chance to pick it up and read it at her leisure. She later told me that she might have actually asked her father for information about sex and this was his response. Education through books seems a great resource for kids who are self motivated and need to do things at their own pace.

I have found with my kids that subjects come up in the car, at the dinner table or in particular, after 5th grade when “sex ed” classes start at school and we are able to actively start conversations about how the class is going. Because I am eager to discuss these ideas with my kids, I often jump at the chance to talk about the subject. Sometimes this is good, and sometimes it is too much for the kids.

I want my kids to know that whatever questions they have about sex, they do not need to feel as if they might be ridiculed or demeaned for asking questions or having a thought in the first place. My youngest son recently made a statement in the car about not wanting to look “gay” because he liked a boy. We spent some time discussing this idea and not necessarily whether it was bad to be “gay” or even “not gay” but rather that it was not nice to use “gay” as an insult about other people. I made sure that my boys know that they can be attracted to whomever they want and they will not be judged. My 7 year old, with eye rolling irritation replies, “I KNOW, Mom.”

What seems more difficult to discern is a clear path to how to allow the kids a space to “practice”. When do we ever see young kids encouraged to have sex and enjoy themselves? We are bombarded by the media with sex and the use of sex to sell products is rampant, but the message gets lost in translation. We are not necessarily saying, “Hey kids, sex is a lot of hard work and emotionally difficult, but a lot of fun in the process.” Sex IS hot, sex IS awesome, but sex is not EVERYTHING. And it takes practice.

But where do we expect them to get that practice? Another friend of mine is an incredible planner of epic and super sexy events for adults. Although I loved the conversation about how he could make this also work for teens, I tend to operate on a smaller scale. Again, I can envision my kids having a space at my house to “practice”. However, I can also imagine that I could run into some difficult conversations with my kids’ friends’ parents. I can imagine that how I communicate with them about the space will be very important. I believe in direct, honest communication in most areas of my life. This seems like a crucial place to continue that trend.

I would tell other parents my beliefs about sex, my beliefs about how we should talk to our kids about sex, my beliefs about how if we take the mystery and riskiness out of sex, perhaps our kids might not even rush to do it so soon, and might be more conscious about how they relate to sex. I would tell other parents that if they do NOT want their kids to have sex with my kids who are aware of safe sex practices; if they do NOT want their kids to have sex with my kids who are taught to be respectful of boundaries and respect a “no”; if they do NOT want their kids to have sex with my kids who are learning how to ask for what they want; if they do NOT want their kids to have sex with my kids who are learning how to recognize their feelings and speak up for themselves when they feel uncomfortable; and if they do NOT want their kids to have sex in a safe, comfortable environment without the stress of being caught or arrested, then they should NOT let their kids come over to my house. Otherwise, send them over and their kids might get the same message my kids get: be safe, be respectful, ask for what you want, notice what you are feeling, relax and have fun!

 

juliebarJulie Barr, MA, MFT, has been licensed in California since 2002 and has worked for the last 21 years with children, families, adults and couples to create richer, more rewarding relationships and help individuals and families process and heal from serious trauma and mental health issues. More recently, Julie has begun to lead workshops and facilitate community events to increase a sense of shared responsibility for caring for others in a healthy and loving manner.

I Review “The Ultimate Guide to Prostate Pleasure” by Aislinn Emirzian and Charlie Glickman, PhD

Read the full review here: http://www.sfbg.com/2013/01/30/starting-slow-and-ramping

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My favorite quote?

Leaving the “get it up, get it in, get it off” mentality behind and moving into a receptive role can result in a new feeling of vulnerability. But men can expand the scope of what sex means to them by exploring the worldof prostate play. According to Glickman, letting go of ass-based insecurity can open up a whole new world of sexual pleasure.

For more information on the book, check out http://www.prostatepleasureguide.net/

 

Valentine’s Day Give Away! Enter to win a Lovehoney Prize Pack!

Check it out parents, how much do I love you?

Recently I was asked to contribute some sexpert advice for Lovehoney.com on how to heat up your Valentine’s Day. This is what I said:

“Parents, especially single parents, do not under estimate the erotic potential of a good sexting session. You can spell out your desires in quick text blasts letting your partner know what devious deeds are on your mind without curious ears listening in. It’s easy to get caught up in Valentine’s Day ‘must haves’ but really, all you need is your phone and willing partner. Start the naughty messages (maybe even a sexy pic) up at work, keep the back and forth going during your commute and then bring it all home. Don’t worry about being a romance novelist, just be honest.” – The Sex-Positive Parent, Airial Clark MA

Not bad, huh? You should check out the whole list, lots of great advice from well respected sexperts.

It got me to thinking, though. It would be great if parents shared their sexy success strategies with each other here. SO as an incentive to get y’all talking to each other, I’ve partnered with Lovehoney.com to sweeten the deal!

What advice, based on your experience as a sex-positive parent, can you share? Tell us a brief story in the comments and enter to win this Sexier Life Starter Pack!

The package includes:

Lovehoney 10 Speed Dream Bullet Vibrator- Powerful and discreet, the 10 Speed Dream Bullet hits every sweet spot with pinpoint accuracy. Perfect to pop in your handbag or to use in conjunction with other toys.

Lovehoney Extreme Double Stroker- A super-versatile male sex toy for solo or shared pleasure. The reversible Lovehoney Extreme Double Stroker boasts raised ridges on one side, a narrow canal and tight treads on the other to stroke, tease and stimulate.

Tracey Cox Supersex Silicone Love Ring- Vibrating cock rings allow you to add extra stimulation to your sex life. Perfectly designed for shared fulfillment  slip this silicone love ring on your partner and combine pinpointed vibrations with penetrative sex.

Durex Play Feel- Lubricant can be used on yourself, your partner or with your favorite sex toy to ensure things stay smooth and sensual. This special long-lasting water-based lubricant is gentle on your skin and once you’ve tried lube, you’ll wonder how you lived without it.

Lovehoney Fresh Toy Cleaner 120ml- This spray-on sex toy cleaner ensures your favorite sex toys are clean, hygienic and safe to use. time and time again.

Exciting!!!

A winner will be chosen with random.org on February 14, Valentine’s Day  (Available to US and UK residents only.)

Get to sharing!!!
Lovehoney

What is High-Quality Sexuality Education?

Here is how I define high-quality sex education:

1. Enthusiastic consent is the primary focus of all sexual activity
2. All partners are seen as equally deserving of pleasure
3. Negotiations are based in non-violent communication
4. Dismantles unrealistic expectations of sexual performance
5. Acknowledges a spectrum of sexual preferences and sexual appetites
6. Provides examples of safer-sex based pleasuring practices

You can read more in my article for Plaid for Women!

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I’ll be at CatalystCon East on a panel of sex-positive parents!

How (and why) to Be a Sex Positive Parent

On the panel: Lanae St. JohnAirial ClarkLidia Anain BjorkquistAlyssa Royse

Twitter Hashtag: #cconparent Saturday March 16, 2013 4:15pm- 5:20pm

http://catalystcon.com/

Kids these days! They’re exposed to sex and sexuality in ways that we never were. Sexting, Youtube, online porn, advertising, even kids TV shows are sexualized in ways that children may not understand. And let’s not forget the politics of both our government and school-yards across the country. All of these factors and more make the challenge of raising children who feel safe in their own sexuality, and grow into adults who are empowered in their sexuality, a daunting task. This panel of experts on sex-positive parenting will provide a functional framework to identify sexual messages that children face, and how-to tactics to talk to kids about  sex and sexuality. Sharing funny anecdotes and academic knowledge, these savvy sex-positive parents have been there, done that, and will help you do it too.

For more information on Catalyst Con click here!

Stuff your own Stocking

It’s always nice to buy presents for your loved ones. It’s also really nice to buy something for yourself.

Here’s your sex-positive parent assignment: buy yourself a sex toy. Something that only you know you would like. If you’ve got a store nearby, stop in and say I’m here to indulge myself. If you’re far away from a store- or just not comfortable going to a sex shop- there are a lot of online options.

Also, did you know Walgreens carries ‘personal massagers?’ not kidding. Grab your winter vitamins, laundry detergent and a vibrator! There’s a review of the new Trojan vibrator over at True Pleasures if you’d like more information on exactly what is available over the counter.

Really, it’s ok to stuff your own stocking this year.

Book Review: Hot & Heavy- Fierce Fat Girls on Life, Love & Fashion edited by Virgie Tovar

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So, I’m crying. I know that’s not how you’re supposed to begin a book review. But I know Virgie Tovar, and she respects the real like no other scholar/activist I’ve ever met. I’m crying with the realization that the words these women have written have never been read before. Have never been bound in book form to be passed from one person to another. Yes, there have been blogs and articles and videos and podcasts… maybe.

I like to say that I still believe in the alchemy of writing; the power of the writing process to transform the mundane into the extraordinary. Writing can turn confusion into wisdom and pain into perspective. This book contains so much wisdom and perspective I can’t hardly stand it. It’s like you ever take a bite of something really yummy, and it makes you angry? Or you ever get some of the super good booty and almost get mad about it? Yeah. Well, I said I was crying.

I know several of the contributors to this book and their stories are told in the same tone as if we were sharing a mirror in the ladies room. Real. Maybe like she’s letting you in on the conspiracy to free fat women from self hatred. Don’t get it twisted, these women know exactly what they’re doing by sharing the honest tale of their lived experience.

The tears didn’t really start until I got to Shawna Peters’ “Journeying into a Fat, Fleshy Vulva,” Goddamn! Why has this never been written before?  Because we’ve been waiting for her to write it, of course. But first she had to experience it. She describes the catalyst to her journey- a moment of honesty by a sex educator. Plain unadorned truth set Shawna on a whole different path than what society had planned for her. And the tears welled in my eyes as I realized she is now doing for countless women what that one singular encounter did for her. And then hot thick tears overflowed my lids when I realized I was holding in my hand an entire collection of catalysts. Each story has the potential to change the path you are right now on.

This book is a chain reaction waiting to happen. I dare you to read it and not be transformed. You can buy Hot & Heavy here!