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Dear Ronda Rousey, Just Say Yes To Lube!

Dear Ronda Rousey, Just Say Yes To Lube!
credit: getty images/maxim/kara_sutra reviews

If you follow the sex positive community on twitter, you probably saw a thread of angry tweets recently pop up in your feed with the hashtag #tweetyourlube, created by in support of Rachel Kramer BusselsSalon article, where she refuted some terrible sex advice UFC Bantamweight Champion, Ronda Rousey, had to give a male reader.

In the Maxim​ Magazine piece, Ronda Rousey​ was asked, “What should a guy ALWAYS do in bed? What should a guy NEVER do in bed?”, to which she answered…

What should a guy always do? Take his time. In general, a girl takes a minute. He needs to get her ready. You should never need lube in your life. If you need lube, than you’re being lazy…and you’re not taking your time.

While I can appreciate what she’s trying to suggest – that great sex comes when you’re present in the moment, not rushing, and enjoying your partner – her answer was ignorant, disappointing, and very unacceptable.

It’s this kind of uninformed advice that further purports the misguided beliefs that a.) if a person can’t get wet it’s because their partner is doing something wrong and failing them, b.) their partner is responsible for their sexual arousal, and/or c.) lube generally isn’t necessary.

I’m sorry Ronda, but no. Just no. This is just not okay.

Arousal and Desire: Knowing The Difference

According to Ms. Rousey’s answer, all it takes for a person to get wet is time, more time, and a bunch of foreplay.

Unfortunately this isn’t exactly how things work.

What she failed to understand is that there is a difference between the processes of arousal and desire.  Arousal (the cause of lubrication, we’ll get to that below), is an involuntary physiological bodily response to a type of stimulus.  Whereas the desire to have sex is often based a psychological need or want for sexual intimacy. While the two are often deemed as being one in the same, they are two separate experiences.

Furthermore, although arousal and desire often work together, they can also operate independently, for instance; your partner may want to have sex but their body may not respond the way they need/want (i.e. lack of wetness), or in the opposite case, they may not want to have sex but their body could be responding (as is the case with some rape victims who experience orgasm during the attack).

Sure, a lack of foreplay could play a big role in lowered sexual arousal (and subsequent wetness) but there are a variety of other factors that could have an impact as well. Simply suggesting that it comes down to foreplay, time, and more time, is highly ignorant.

But I digress.

You Are Responsible For Your Orgasm, Not Your Partner

come as you are bookSince 2007 I’ve received countless emails from my cis male readers/viewers asking for help when it came to stimulating their cis female partner. In almost every situation the reader felt like he was doing something wrong because his partner couldn’t get wet, wasn’t fully aroused, or couldn’t orgasm no matter how hard he tried.

Unlike Ms. Rouseys advice that he spend more time on stimulation, my first suggestion was often to open the lines of communication; find out what type of touch she preferred, where she liked to be touched, the amount of pressure she needed, and where she was most sensitive to sexual stimulation. Without this information, no amount of help I had to offer would be of any use.

Yes, a person should take their time, but if you’re not doing what your partner likes or needs, it’s pointless. And spending more time doing it certainly isn’t going to help.

Screen Shot 2015-11-06 at 1.21.54 PMIn all honesty, this is the kind of thing that makes me ridiculously angry. Unfortunately societal standards have often dictated that it takes a strong, steadfast, virile man to get a female off. That her orgasm is his responsibility. That she is dependent on him and his skills to ‘get her ready’. That if she doesn’t orgasm it’s his fault because he finished too quickly, or didn’t take his time, or wasn’t focused, or wasn’t a good lover, or didn’t know what he was doing, or didn’t anticipate her needs, or couldn’t read her body language, or was ‘lazy‘, or…

I could go on, but the point I’m trying to make is that if you can’t orgasm or become aroused with your partner it’s your responsibility to learn about your body and communicate what you need.

Don’t get me wrong, I’m not suggesting that speaking about sex, or during sex for that matter, is an easy or comfortable thing to do. With all the shame surrounding the subject, our bodies, and sexuality in general, I know how hard and complicated it can be. But if you don’t take ownership of your pleasure and share your needs, you can’t fault your partner when they do try to please you but miss the mark.

A Bit About Vaginal Lubrication, Or Lack Thereof

Before I go on, I figured this would be the perfect opportunity to give a quick run down on vaginal lubrication. That way we’ll all be completely clear on how what Ms. Rousey is suggesting isn’t exactly the best advice…

Vaginal Lubrication: The Coles Notes

During sexual arousal the ‘female’ body experiences a variety of physical changes, the vulva and clitoris swell, the nipples become erect, muscular tension pulls the uterus upwards causing the vaginal canal to extend (both in length and width – called ‘tenting‘), and the vaginal walls fill with blood in a process called vasocongestion (also how erections occur). This vasocongestion causes increased pressure which, in turn, causes the fluid within the blood serum to be pushed through the tissues of the vaginal wall… thus, the vagina becomes lubricated.

Vaginal fluid has other functions besides making it easier for a penis, finger, or sex toy to enter; it decreases pressure and reduces the amount of friction that occurs (potentially saving the vaginal walls from tearing), limits any pain that may be associated with intercourse (allowing for a more comfortable experience), while also changing the chemical nature of the vagina, causing it to become more alkaline and less acidic (making it more hospitable to sperm).

The amount of lubrication created varies from person to person, may be different one day from the next, and changes based on any number of factors.

On that note, the addition of a good lube, whether because a person needs or wants to, certainly isn’t anything to feel bad or embarrassed about. When everything is said and done, it’s a fantastic way of helping things along, and there’s nothing wrong with that.

Causes of Vaginal Dryness

Contrary to what Ms. Rousey implied, vaginal dryness is not always caused by a partners lack of time spent engaging in foreplay. Instead, there are many other reasons lack of lubrication could be occurring, including but not limited to;

  • menopause/perimenopause (lowered estrogen levels are often experienced during this time which affect lubrication)
  • health issues (diabetes, hypertension, polycystic ovarian syndrome, heart and kidney disorders, among others)
  • skin irritations/allergic reactions (soaps, dyes, laundry detergents and dryer sheets, body washes, perfumes, etc. can have an irritating and drying effect on the skin/genitals which could affect natural lubrication)
  • Summers Eve Douchepregnancy, having recently given birth, breastfeeding (shifts in estrogen/progesterone levels, possible lack of genital sensitivity requiring, tenderness due to childbirth, lowered estrogen during to lactation/breastfeeding can all have a negative impact on vaginal lubrication)
  • douching (disturbs the normal chemical balance of the vagina, often leading to irritation and vaginal dryness)
  • alcohol abuse/alcohol use (alcohol has a dehydrating affect on the body which could lead to vaginal dryness, it also acts as a depressant on the nervous system affecting sexual arousal and orgasm)
  • smoking cigarettes (cigarettes can affect circulation and destroy estrogen which can affect arousal and vaginal lubrication)
As you can clearly see, there are many reasons a person may not become lubricated enough for comfortable intercourse. To imply that it simply comes down to a lack of foreplay, without acknowledging other causes, is an uninformed thing to suggest. To then take it one level further and also state that a person should “never need lube in their life” is just ignorant, rude, and insensitive. Ronda, you can do better.

Dear Ronda Rousey, Just Say Yes To Lube!

prod-naturalsLook, I get it, when a person reaches the point of popularity that Ronda Rousey has, the general public starts thinking that because they are experts on one thing (in her case, fighting), they must be experts on a variety of topics… and when they’re then made into sex symbols by the media, that usually comes with the added bonus that they’re assumed to be highly educated on all things sex. Before long they’re touting sex advice on widely read publications, and praised for it, even when the advice they’re offering could be detrimental to someones health, sense of self, or relationship.

Everything considered, I can’t help but sympathize with the readers who will take her words at face value, apply the suggestions she made, find they’ve had no difference (because she didn’t properly educate them), and feel bad about themselves, their partners, and the sex they’re having. Especially when all it might have taken is a bottle of good lube to help things along.

Like I said in the start of this post, I appreciate what she was trying to do with her answer, but I think she needs to take a step back, get some insight on how the body works and until she’s learned better, leave sex ed to those who know what they’re actually talking about.

Investing a bottle of good lube probably wouldn’t hurt her either. #dontknockittilyouvetriedit

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Sex Ed 102: Implants/Transcervical Sterilization

 

What are Implants / Transcervical Sterilization?

When the word “transcervical” (meaning “through the cervix“) sterilization is used, it’s meant to encompass any method of Permanent Contraception where a health care provider reaches the fallopian tubes through the cervical opening of the uterus to block the tubes, preventing an unintended pregnancy.

In 2002 the U.S. Food and Drug Admisitration (FDA) approved a small metallic implant called Essure as safe form of Permanent Contraception. The implant itself is a small, soft, flexible metal and fiber coil that is placed into the fallopian tubes to prevent pregnancy.

How does a the Essure Implant work?

Once the Essure Implants are in place it works by making scar tissue form over the implant, blocking the fallopian tube and preventing fertilization of the egg by the sperm.

Essure Benefits 2How is a Transcervical Sterilization performed?

The procedure does not require cutting into the body or the use of radio frequency energy to burn the fallopian tubes. Instead, a health care professional inserts the soft, flexible implants through the body’s natural pathways (vagina, cervix, and uterus) and places one into the opening of each of the 2 fallopian tubes. The very tip of the device remains outside the fallopian tube, which provides immediate visual confirmation that it is in place.

What can a patient expect after the procedure?

During the 3 months following the procedure, the patients body forms scar tissue over the inserts to form a natural barrier that prevents sperm from reaching the egg. During this period, the patient must continue using another form of birth control like a condom.

After three months, it’s time to get a confirmation test to verify that the patient is protected from the possibility of an unplanned pregnancy. The test uses a dye and special type of x-ray to ensure both that the inserts are in place and that the fallopian tubes are completely blocked.

What are the advantages?

  • No surgery, burning or anesthesia
  • No hormones
  • No slowing down to recover
  • Can be performed in less than 30 minutes
  • Allows sexual spontaneity and requires no daily attention.
  • It is a permanent form of birth control.
  • There are no changes in sexual desire, menstrual cycle, or ability to breastfeed
  • May be covered by Heath Insurance

What are the disadvantages?

  • May not be reversible.
  • It is meant to be a permanent form of birth control, and some women may regret the decision later.
  • The two most common factors associated with regret are young age and unpredictable life events, such as change in marital status or death of a child.
  • It can be expensive, usually around $2,000 with insurance covering a portion
  • Allergic reaction to the materials
  • Perforation, expulsion, or other unsatisfactory location of the micro-insert
  • Symptoms during or immediately after the procedure may include mild to moderate cramping, nausea/vomiting, dizziness/light-headedness, and bleeding/spotting
  • Not all women will achieve successful placement of both inserts

How effective is the Essure Implant/Transcervical Sterilization?

During clinical trials the Essure procedure was found to be 99.74% effective.

 

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Sex Ed 102: Tubal Ligation

As you all know I’m a big supporter of safe sex!  You know, the kind that leaves you free of worries about an unintended pregnancy or possible transmission of an STD. As such, I hope this page gives you the insight you need to help find a method of protection that’s right for you.

What is a Tubal Ligation?

Tubal Ligation, commonly referred to as “getting your tubes tied,” is a surgical sterilization technique for those who have decided that they do not want more (or any) children.

How does a Tubal Ligation work?

In a tubal ligation, fallopian tubes are cut, burned, or blocked with rings, bands or clips. Once this is done the egg will no longer travel to the uterus from the ovary nor will sperm be able to reach the fallopian tube to fertilize an egg.

tuballigation1How is a Tubal Ligation Performed?

The procedure is an out-patient surgery done in a clinic, doctor’s office, or hospital which can be performed under local or general anesthesia.

There are 3 ways in which a Tubal Ligation may be performed;

As an outpatient procedure, a needle is inserted through the navel and the abdomen is inflated with gas (carbon dioxide or nitrous oxide). Then a laparoscope (a thin tube equipped with a camera lens and light) is inserted into the abdominal cavity to help them see the pelvic organs. Using instruments passed through the abdominal wall, the doctor will seal the fallopian tubes by destroying segments of the tubes or blocking them with plastic rings or clips. If the laparoscope doesn’t contain a channel for passing instruments, the doctor may make a second incision above the pubic bone to insert special grasping forceps. After the procedure has been completed the gas will be withdrawn from the abdomen and the small incision will be sewn up. Patients may be allowed to go home several hours after the procedure or required to spend the night in the hospital depending on the health of the patient and any previously made arrangements.

If having a tubal ligation after vaginal childbirth is a more fitting option, the doctor will likely make a small incision under the navel, providing easy access to the still enlarged uterus and fallopian tubes. The health care provider then cuts and ties the fallopian tubes.

Finally, during a C-section, the health care provider will cut and tie the fallopian tubes after the baby is delivered.

If the procedure was done in combination with childbirth, the tubal ligation isn’t likely to prolong the patients hospital stay.

What can a patient expect after the procedure?

Whether or not the tubal ligation was performed in combination with childbirth, patients usually need to rest for at least a day after the procedure.

Common side effects may include:

  • Abdominal pain or cramping
  • Fatigue
  • Dizziness
  • Gassiness or bloating
  • Shoulder pain
  • Sore throat

It has been advised that patients avoid using aspirin for pain relief, since it may promote bleeding. Bathe 48 hours after the procedure is usually okay, , but avoid straining or rubbing the incision for one week. Carefully dry the incision after bathing making sure that it is clean and there is no discharge which could be a sign of infection. Also avoid strenuous lifting and sex for one week. Patients are advised to resume normal activities gradually as they begin to feel better. More often the health care provider will use stitches that will dissolve and won’t require removal. It’s also important to make an appointment to see your doctor a week after the procedure to make sure the body is healing properly.

What are the advantages?

  • Female sterilization does not involve hormones.
  • It is a permanent form of birth control.
  • There are no changes in sexual desire, menstrual cycle, or ability to breastfeed.
  • The procedure is usually a same-day procedure done in a surgical outpatient clinic.
  • Immediately effective.
  • Allows sexual spontaneity and requires no daily attention.
  • Cost-effective in the long run.

What are the disadvantages?

  • The procedure involves general or regional anesthesia.
  • May not be reversible.
  • It is meant to be a permanent form of birth control, and some women may regret the decision later.
    • The two most common factors associated with regret are young age and unpredictable life events, such as change in marital status or death of a child.
  • It can be expensive, ranging between $1,500 and $6,000
  • Does not offer protection against STD’s, so a secondary method may need to be used.

How effective is Tubal Ligation?

A study taken from the The United States Collaborative Review of Sterilization has shown the cumulative 10-year failure rate with each method of tubal ligation as follows:

  • spring clip method is 3.7%,
  • electrocoagulation is 2.5%,
  • interval partial salpingectomy (partial removal of tubes) is 2%,
  • silicone rubber bands is 2%,
  • postpartum salpingectomy (tubes cut after delivery) is 0.8%.

To learn more about each of the above methods of tubal ligation please speak with your health care provider.

 

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Redefining Virginity


Over the course of the last 2 years I have spent much time debating whether or not to make this video. The reason for the debate was that ones “virginity” and the term itself, are hard to define in today’s society.  As such, I thought that I would instead make a video that opened the doors of communication to help you define for yourself what being a Virgin, and Virginity are.

The word/term “Virgin” as defined by;

The Free Dictionary

1. A person who has not experienced sexual intercourse.
2. A chaste or unmarried woman; a maiden.
3. An unmarried woman who has taken religious vows of chastity.

Random House Dictionary

1. a person who has never had sexual intercourse.
2. an unmarried girl or woman.
3. Ecclesiastical. an unmarried, religious woman, esp. a saint.

Online Etymology Dictionary

c.1200, “unmarried or chaste woman noted for religious piety and having a position of reverence in the Church,” from O.Fr. virgine, from L. virginem (nom. virgo) “maiden, unwedded girl or woman,” also an adj., “fresh, unused,” probably related to virga “young shoot.” For sense evolution, cf. Gk. talis “a marriageable girl,” cognate with L. talea “rod, stick, bar.” Meaning “young woman in a state of inviolate chastity” is recorded from c.1310. Also applied since c.1330 to a chaste man. Meaning “naive or inexperienced person” is attested from 1953. The adj. is recorded from 1560 in the lit. sense; fig. sense of “pure, untainted” is attested from c.1300.

Wikipedia

Virginity refers to the state of a person who has never engaged in sexual intercourse. There are cultural and religious traditions which place special value and significance on this state, especially in the case of unmarried females, associated with notions of personal purity, honor and worth. Like chastity, the concept of virginity has traditionally involved sexual abstinence before marriage, and then to engage in sexual acts only with the marriage partner.

Unlike the term premarital sex, which can refer to more than one occasion of sexual activity and can be judgment neutral, the concept of virginity usually involves moral or religious issues and can have consequences in terms of social status and in interpersonal relationships.

The term originally only referred to sexually inexperienced women, but has evolved to encompass a range of definitions, as found in traditional, modern, and ethical concepts.[1][2][3][4] Heterosexual individuals may or may not consider loss of virginity to occur only through penile-vaginal penetration,[1][3][4] while people of other sexual orientations may include oral sex, anal sex or mutual masturbation in their definitions of losing one’s virginity.[3][5][6] Further, whether a person can lose his or her virginity through rape is also subject to debate, with the belief that virginity can only be lost through consensual sex being prevalent in some studies.[2]

Feel free to comment on what you believe the terms mean, and how they apply to you or society. Please also feel free to throw in any information that I did not mention in regard to the term or words presented and how they may have changed over time.

 

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Q&A w/ Kara Sutra: Is Masturbation Bad?


Hi Kara Sutra

I’m a long time fan of yours and I’ve watched all of your videos. I was hoping you could answer some questions I had about masturbation because I have no clue what to think or if there are health ramifications. Plus I’ve always been told that its bad so I’ve never done it and I want to but I’m scared that it will make me a pervert. Is masturbation bad? Is it normal? Am I going to go to hell? If I do it does it mean that there is something wrong with me?

I hope you can answer my questions.

Thanks.

Answer

Thank you so much for watching and supporting what I do!!

As for the message, in a perfect world masturbation wouldn’t cause feelings of fear, shame, or guilt. It’s a very natural thing that most species do, and almost every person has done, sometimes without even knowing it.  Even as babies and young children one of the first things we do is experience our body. We touch, squeeze, tickle, our hands venture to places that can cause enjoyment we don’t yet understand.

Unfortunately, most of the guilt or shame we feel from this touching comes from early childhood experiences brought on by another persons reaction to what we were doing. And that isn’t fair or healthy.

When children touch their genitals it’s usually not in a sexual way, but instead an attempt to explore out of sheer curiosity and wonder.  Very often they are immediately told to stop, that it’s ‘bad’, ‘dirty’, ‘wrong’, ‘gross’, ‘naughty’, and are shot scornful looks from whomever caught them.  Sometimes their hands are slapped away or they’re punished for it. All of these experiences shape what they think of their bodies, sexuality, and how they feel about themselves.

That being said, I want to let you know that there is nothing wrong with masturbating. There is nothing wrong with exploring your body and figuring out what you like. There is nothing wrong with being comfortable and confident in your sexuality. And there is nothing wrong with giving yourself an orgasm.

Benefits of Masturbation

Contrary to any statements about masturbating being bad for you, there are quite a few positive benefits, including (but not limited to);

  • releasing tension
  • lowering stress levels
  • increasing the ability to have orgasms
  • helping to release endorphins that relieve pain
  • burning calories
  • it’s a natural sleep sedative
  • helping to keep the pelvic floor strong/healthy (potentially preventing urinary incontinence)

In ‘men’ it has be found to improve the immune system’s functioning, build resistance to prostate gland infection, and possibly even reduce the risk of developing prostate cancer. Not to mention the fact that it can help guys increase ejaculatory control and manage rapid or delayed ejaculation (basically put, through masturbation you can teach yourself to last longer).

In ‘women’, it’s great for combating pre-menstrual tension and other physical conditions associated with the menstrual cycle like cramps and backache. It can help prevent cervical infections and relieve urinary tract infections as well as generally help to gain confidence in our sexuality.

Aside from all those wonderful benefits, masturbating is a great way to learn about what you like and dislike when it comes to arousing yourself and achieving an orgasm.

You can fault me for this if you’d like, but you can’t blame your partner for not helping you achieve an orgasm if you don’t even know what it takes to get you there.  No matter your gender, learning about your body and how to bring excitement is your responsibility, so is telling your partner so that they can provide what you require –  the only way to learn is to do it yourself.

How Much Is Too Much?

Regarding the two most asked questions, “how much is too much?” and “whats wrong with me? I don’t know how to stop!

So long as it’s not interfering with your daily activities, i.e. keeping you from hanging out with friends, making you late for work, is the only thing on your mind and the only thing you want to do day in and day out, you don’t really need to worry. The frequency of masturbation isn’t a problem unless it is linked with an obsessive compulsive disorder, where the same activity must be repeated over and over.

As for what’s considered “normal”: ‘normal’ ranges from several times per day, week or month, to never masturbating at all.  Since everyone is different what’s ‘normal’ for you may be very different from what’s ‘normal’ for someone else.

Finally, will you go to hell? That’s a whole other can of worms I’d rather not open. But as someone that doesn’t believe in a ‘punishing God’, I’d say no. If you’re religious, maybe reading the book Conversations With God would give you another perspective on things.

That’s pretty much it, hopefully it helped in some way.

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