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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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Female Sexual Response Cycle

After posting the “Faking it” and “Help! I can’t orgasm” videos I was bombarded with questions from my female viewers in regard to orgasms, how to have them, the things that happen with your body and what’s “normal”.

Rather then sending out hundreds of separate messages, I thought I would finally make a video on the female sexual response cycle as a resource for knowledge, and hopefully help my viewers have bigger and better O’s, not to mention, teach the them about their bodies.

Since I only had 10 minutes to talk in the video, I thought I would fill in the rest of the information here…

Stage 1: Arousal / Excitement

During this phase you may notice any, some or all of the following

  • nipples going hard
  • becoming lubricated
  • separation and raising of the labia majora
  • increase in heart rate
  • flushing of the face and neck or body
  • heavier breathing
  • tensing of muscles
  • swelling of clitoris and vaginal lips
  • increase in breast size
  • rise in blood pressure
  • raising of the uterus
  • lengthening of the vaginal canal
  • clitoris becomes highly sensitive

Stage 2: Plateau

During this phase previous changes increase as well as,

  • raising of the uterus to a “false” body cavity to protect it from being hit by a thrusting penis
  • opening of the cervix
  • complete vaginal expansion
  • increase of size in vaginal lips
  • vagina balloons to create a “seminal pool”
  • orgasmic platform develops

Stage 3: Orgasm

During this phase the body discharges all of the sexual tension experienced in previous stages

  • contractions begin in the vaginal walls, PC muscles, uterus, and rectum
  • most contractions are at intervals of 0.8 seconds and may vary in number between 3 and 15
  • facial contortions may happen
  • increased respiratory rate
  • increase in blood pressure
  • possible squirting of vaginal fluids
  • orgasmic platform pulsates

Stage 4: Resolution

During this phase the body returns to its previous state of being before any arousal was felt

  • uterus descends from its “false” position
  • cervix dips into the seminal pool to access the semen
  • vagina returns to its normal size
  • clitoris descends to its normal position
  • inner and outer lips return to normal size

I hope this helped you to learn about your body and what happens during the phases that lead to an orgasm, as well as helped you to have better orgasms.

 

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Kegel Exercises for G-Spot Wellness

While there are many intimate accessories designed to make stimulating the g-spot exceptionally easy, I’m a firm believer that having a fit, healthy and strong vagina is still one of the most important factors when it comes to overall sexual enjoyment.

Just like any other muscle in the body, the PC muscles (or pubococcygeus muscles) need regular exercise to maintain their tone, functionality and overall health.

Not only does having strong PC muscles enhance g-spot stimulation, but it can also give you a more desirable grip during intercourse, help to control your bladder, make child birth easier, while also preventing incontinence as you age.

As for the sexual benefits, they’ve been known to help women learn to reach a g-spot orgasm, make their orgasms much more powerful, improve sexual arousal and possibly help make female ejaculation a bit more of a possibility.

*For those of you wondering, the PC Muscles are several layers of hammock-like muscles (found in both men and women) that are attached to the front, back and sides of the pelvic bones and stretch from the pubic bone to the tail bone. Along with other tissues, these muscles work to support the pelvic organs, including the uterus, bladder, small intestine and rectum.

pelvic musclesKegel Exercises for G-Spot Health

Since it may take patience, dedication and time to not only identify your pc muscles, but also learn how to contract and relax them, I thought I’d share some pointers to make practicing slightly easier:

Finding the right muscles: To find your pc muscles I suggest inserting a finger into your vagina and trying to squeeze the surrounding muscles (you should feel your vagina tighten and the pelvic floor move upward). Once you’ve done this successfully, you can relax your muscles and feel the pelvic floor return to the starting position. if that doesn’t work for you trying to stop the flow of urine when you urinate might be a better option. If you succeed, you’ve got the basics.

*Doing Kegel exercises with a full bladder or while emptying your bladder can actually weaken the muscles, as well as lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder — which may increases the risk of a urinary tract infection.

How To Strengthen Your Kegels w/ A Product

Thanks to the creation of different Kegel exercisers like Ben Wa Balls, Vaginal Barbells, Bio-Feedback devices and Duo Balls, strengthening the area has become much easier, and although the shape and size of such products may differ, using them is generally the same idea:

1.)  Relax your body and insert the product. If you find you’re having difficulty try adding a little bit of  lubrication  to help it/them glide in. (You can insert them standing, with one leg up or while laying down. Do what’s comfortable for you)

2.)  Squeeze your PC muscles together to hold the product in place. If you notice that it feel like they’re slipping or  pushing down a little (while inside your vagina) don’t worry it’s normal.

3.)  Hold the product inside for about 10 minutes a day to strengthen your PC muscles. Once you’ve built the muscle up you can increase the length of time they are inserted.

4.)  When you’ve had enough and want it removed you’ve got quite a few options to your disposal including jumping up and down, coughing, bearing down as if you’re having a bowel movement, inserting lubricant to help them slide out or simply inserting one finger and gently trying to roll them out (I’ve done all of the above so I know they work, especially with Ben Wa Balls). Just keep in mind that they won’t get lost inside you, or your vagina.

Great Products for Kegel Exercise

Ben Wa Balls ReviewBen Wa Balls: ($12.99 – $24.99)

If there is one product that seems to have stood the test of time is these lovely little marble shaped metallic 2oz weighted balls. Smooth to the touch and easy to insert, Ben Wa Balls are crafted out of solid non porous and non tarnishing metal, making them body safe, compatible with any lube and very discreet. If silver isn’t your thing they also come in a variety of colors, sizes and weights, as well as body safe ABS plastic, rather than metal.  My suggestion if you go for metal, get some stainless steel kegel balls; they’re far more durable.

To use them simply insert one at a time and use your PC muscle to hold them in place (don’t worry, they won’t get lost in side you – promise!).  While you can wear them during your day to day activities I suggest you be a little careful, at least in the beginning. I know a few people who have had them fall out and roll down a pant leg while in public. (Definitely funny in retrospect or to read in an email, but not so fun in the moment – for the record, it doesn’t happen that often).

*If you’re new to Kegel exercises I suggest you try using something a bit larger to first, as it’ll likely be much easier to hold onto. Once you feel comfortable and ready to move to something a little harder to master give the Ben Wa Balls a try.

Specs: Circumference 2 1/4″, Diameter 3/4″, Weight 2oz (.13lbs)

Final Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Ophoria K-Balls ReviewSilicone Kegal Balls: ($22.99 – $29.99)

From the moment I saw the Ophoria K-balls I loved them!

Not only do they come respectfully and professionally packaged but  they’re velvety smooth to the touch, firm and nicely weighted (not too heavy, nor too light). They’re also waterproof, made of high quality silicone so they’re non porous, hypo allergenic, hygienic, phthalate and latex free.

Rather than using a traditional string, the outer bulbous shells are connected via a thin piece of silicone that allows them to be very flexible and conform to your bodies shape and movements. As I said they are firm and have no squish or give to them, fortunately this isn’t necessarily a downfall as it makes inserting them very, very easy (though I still suggest using a good water based lubricant to help out).

Part of what makes these silicone K-Balls so amazing is the weighted ball contained inside each of the rounded shells; as you move they roll, bounce and ‘shake’ around, creating a whirling sensation inside you. I’d be lying if I said it didn’t feel good…or at least extremely interesting.

Since they come with a silicone cord that measures 3.5″ in length, removing them is a breeze. Just give a little pull and they should easily slide out. As for cleaning you can boil them, use an anti bacterial toy cleaner or wash them with soap and water.

Specs: Length: 7.5″, Insertable Length – 4″ , Width: 1.4″ , Girth – 4.5” around (at largest  part).

UPDATE: Unfortunately the silicone k-balls pictures are no longer being made, however you can find similar ones here.

Final Verdict: 4.5 out of 5 stars

Couture Collection Eclipse 2 ReviewCouture Collection Éclipse II ($24.99 – $34.99)

If you’re someone who likes the ‘full’ sensation larger products usually have to offer I can’t help but suggest going up a slight bit from the K-Balls and trying the Éclipse II instead.

Like the K-Balls they’re made of high quality silicone, waterproof, contain weighted balls on each side, have a long silicone cord for removal, are easy to use, easy to care for and are very well made.

Of course there are a few differences that set them apart. First of all, they’re more like a tear drop than a ball, with an ergonomically shaped slight protrusion that makes them a bit more enjoyable for g-spot stimulation than the K-Balls.

Second, rather than just using silicone they incorporated a ABS plastic (it’s still body safe, don’t worry) to the mix, with the flatter side being ABS and the rounded side being silicone. While this may seem a tad silly I found it made inserting them easier, especially when a little bit of water based lube was applied.

Finally, and I’m not sure how to put this other than to say, they’re floppy. Yep, you heard right – floppy. Because the silicone connector between the two halves is more of thin thread than a firm connection, there is no support to hold them steadily apart. Although this makes them a little more difficult to insert (than the K-Balls), it does give them the ability to move around and conform to your body when inserted. One feature I’m definitely willing to trade for the other.

When it comes to cleaning you can use an anti bacterial toy cleaner or wash them with soap and water. Since they include an ABS plastic I wouldn’t suggest boiling them like the K-Balls.

*Contrary to what the the box and manufacturers website says, they do in fact have a seam.

Specs: Length – 8″, Insertable Length – 4 3/4″, Girth – 4.1″, Width – 1.5″, Removal Cord 3 1/4″, Weight 2.9oz

Final Verdict: 4 out of 5 stars

If none of the above products strike your fancy, keep in mind that there are many more worth checking out.  Unfortunately I don’t have the time to list them all here, however I will be covering each of the below items in future reviews.  If you’d like to check them out now, feel free to click the image below to learn more;

Fun Factory Duo Balls Lelo Luna Beads Epi-no Libra Kegel exerciser

Overall Final Verdict

If learning to strengthen your PC muscles (whether for sexual purposes or health related reasons) is something that you’re interested in, I highly believe that each of the products listed above will work wonders when it comes to getting into the habit of daily Kegel Exercising.

Not only are each of the above products body safe, easy to use, affordable, discreet and well made, but they’re also designed with female pleasure in mind…I’m not sure many typical exercise products can say that!

For those of you that want more info, would like to  purchase the products or are simply curious to see what other Kegel exercise tools are available, I highly suggest you head over to PinkCherry.ca where shopping for intimate accessories is easy, affordable, discreet and your privacy is of utmost importance.

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Having Sex On Your Period

Ever since I started making videos I’ve been consistently asked to cover having sex on your period. For as much as I wanted to, something internally fought me on it; the judgment, possible removal of the video, unnecessary flagging, trolls, wading through and deleting crappy/childish comments, dislikes etc.

With all the discouraged thoughts roaming in my head I put it off.

Truthfully, I just didn’t feel the need to invite any further negative attention, and assumed that a video on such a taboo subject would definitely bring that about.

Having said that, after much personal debate I finally decided that since these videos are for you – designed to educate, liberate, inform, and possibly help you engage in something you might enjoy – I would throw caution to the wind and make the video.

While having sex while on your period is nothing to be embarrassed about, ashamed of, or scared of, I do completely understand that for some of you it may be too “gross” to consider.  If you choose to have sex on your period, or not, that’s a completely personal decision that every person, and couple, has a right to.

If you want to do it, that’s okay.

If you don’t, well that’s okay too.

Just keep in mind that no actual harm can come from having sex on your period, nor can any damage be done. It’s just the body flushing out what’s no longer needed.

For those of you that want more information, here’s some links to sites that should be handy and helpful when it comes to learning about the ovulation cycle and menstruation in general.

Scarleteen, Clitical, Everyday Health, North by Northwestern – Carnal Knowledge

Regarding products mentioned in the video: Softcups, Diva Cup, Female/Internal Condom, and Diaphragm video.
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Beginners Guide: Everything You Need To Know About The Hymen


indexContrary to what most of us grew up believing, the hymen is not a flat piece of skin covering the opening of the vagina only to be torn apart or punctured while having sex for the first time. If that were true, there would be no way for menstrual blood to exit the vagina during a period. For all its fabled mystery, the hymen is a body part like any other.

Having said that, hymens come in many shapes and sizes; some are thick and some are thin, some have tiny punctures while others are one singular hole, some look as if they have a series of tears in them, others look like they’ve been split down the middle, and some aren’t born with one at all. That’s just the beginning. Like all body parts, each hymen is unique to the person that owns it.

 

For those new to sex positive education, interested in learning about their body or the bodies of others, this post should cover everything you need to know about the hymen

What does your hymen look like?

If you’re curious about what your hymen looks like, following these steps should make the process much easier:

What you’ll need: a mirror, preferably one that sits on a stand (if you can get one that magnifies, even better), and a flashlight.

  1. Hymen Examples: Everything You Need To Know About The HymenProp yourself up against something stable while sitting on the floor (a bed, wall, couch – something that wont shift) and spread your legs so that your comfortable and able to lean forward (this will allow you to look in the mirror closer if need be)
  2. Position the mirror between your legs so you have a full view of your genitals
  3. Once comfortable, slowly spread the lips of your vulva (labia majora and minora) with one of your free hands
  4. If you don’t have adequate light, use the flashlight to get a better view. This might be a little tricky if you don’t have a mirror that allows you to have both hands free (try propping the flashing up on something like a couple books – place them in front of you and lay the flashlight on it)

If you find a thin layer of skin with a small hole (or holes) present, your hymen is most likely ‘intact’.  If you notice small traces of broken skin surrounding your vaginal opening, you may have already stretched or broken your hymen.

Regardless of what you find it’s normal, natural, and nothing to be freaked out by.

Different Types Of Hymens: Everything You Need To Know About The Hymen

 Random Hymen Facts

  • The name comes from the ancient Greek for “hymenaeus,” which means “vaginal-flap.” It was also the name for the Greek god of marriage, later also the Greek god of membranes; “Hymenaios.”
  • Due to similar reproductive system development, many mammals, including chimpanzees, elephants, manatees, whales, and horses retain hymens.
  • In the sixteenth and seventeenth centuries, medical researchers used the presence of the hymen, or lack thereof, as founding evidence of physical diseases such as “womb-fury” (hysteria). If not cured, womb-fury would, according to these early doctors, result in death.
  • Although it isn’t very common (about 1 in 200 females), some hymens cover the entire vaginal opening. This is usually detected at an early age, as it causes a constant abdominal pain, and usually requires surgical treatment. This type of hymen is called an “Imperforate hymen”.
  • Contrary to popular belief a person can get pregnant even if the hymen is intact. As such I suggest you remember to use a form of birth control while having sex. *An intact hymen covers the entrance of the vagina, but does not seal it. There is still an opening to let the monthly cycle (period) escape the body, therefore sperm is still able to pass through.
  • When the hymen breaks, which may or may not happen, it can occur during exercise, tampon use, masturbation, or sexual activity.
  • Most of the membrane is already worn away when a person finally has intercourse, and it plays little to no role in the discomfort they may experience.
  • Bleeding the first time a person has sex does not necessarily mean that the hymen ‘broke’. Instead, bleeding could be caused by tense vaginal muscles, a rushed entry, lack of enough lubrication, or abrasions inside the vaginal canal. On that note, if a person doesn’t bleed the first time they have sex it doesn’t necessarily mean that the hymen did not break..
  • Hymens are elastic in nature and vary in their elasticity from one woman to another, which means that the breakage process also differs.
  • The hymen is usually located 1 – 2 cm inside the vaginal opening, not deep inside the vaginal canal.

As we all know knowledge is power, having accurate information about the hymen can help to normalize a persons fears about their body, sexuality, sexual experiences, and help promote greater self-confidence and acceptance.

Hopefully through watching the video your questions will be answered and you’ll gather some valuable insight about the hymen, along with changing your views on the perceptions associated with it.

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