Wetter Is Better: How to Choose the Right Lube

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Natural lubrication is commonly believed to happen biologically for all women, all the time. In actuality, many women (and men) find that a little extra lube is worth the investment. In short, it heightens sensitivity and increases safety!

Melissa White, CEO of Lucky Bloke, explains the “what” and “why” of the various lubricants available. Don’t miss her helpful video!

This article is meant to help you to navigate the world of personal lubricants: understanding not just what choices exist but why you should use lube.

Here are some main points to take away:

  • Lack of lubrication can lead to uncomfortable, even painful sex.
  • Lubricated condoms are often lubricated unevenly resulting in an unsatisfying experience.
  • Use water-based or silicone lube with latex condoms. Oil-based is not latex condom compatible.
  • The proper lube can make sex safer by lessening the risk of condom breakage.
  • “Pillow packs” are a great option for when you don’t want to carry a whole bottle.
  • Lucky Bloke’s “How to Choose Lube” video is a must-see!

See the original article on the Huffington Post

BY MELISSA WHITE | LuckyBloke.com

Many people believe that a woman is always wet when she’s sexually aroused. While this certainly can be true, there are many reasons (stress, lack of sleep and hormones, to name a few) that may result in an aroused woman experiencing vaginal dryness.

Additional lube can definitely make condoms feel more comfortable, pleasurable and natural. Often, using “lubricated” condoms can be ineffective against vaginal dryness. You see, lubrication is applied to condoms once they are rolled up and just before the condom foil is sealed. This results in condoms that are typically inconsistently lubricated: Wet at the tip, while quite dry along the shaft and base.Thankfully, there is a way to ensure smooth operating: By applying condom-compatible lubricant generously to the outside of the condom, sex with condoms becomes much better (and much safer).

Condom Pro-Tip: A few drops of lube inside the condom will greatly improve his experience as well.

Regardless of the reason (and whether or not you use condoms), lacking personal lubrication during sex can be uncomfortable, distracting and painful. Most women experience times when additional lubrication would greatly improve both comfort and sexual pleasure for her as well as her partner.

This is likely the reason that many couples who use a great, high-quality lube wouldn’t have sex without it. Not all lubes are created equal, of course. So let’s start with the basics:

Water-based lubes are slippery and may need to be reapplied. They are easy to clean up with water. Look for high-quality (body safe) choices that state they are petrochemical-free, glycerin-free and paraben-free.

Silicone-based lubes are slick and can be used in water (hot tubs, showers, lakes, swimming pools). They are less likely to need multiple applications (in comparison to water-based lubes). They generally require soap and water for clean-up. Use them sparingly and avoid getting them on surfaces you don’t want to slip on later.

  • Always use water-based or silicone-based lube with latex condoms.
  • To put it another way, never use an oil-based lube with latex condoms (this includes, baby oil, coconut oil, etc.) or you run the risk of condom breakage!
  • Not only will the slickness of lube enhance your enjoyment, lube can make sex with condoms much safer. (Reducing friction helps to keep the condom intact!)
  • Always add additional lube when using thin condoms.
  • Arousal lubes (generally water-based) can enhance the experience by warming, tingling and adding a little zing.
  • Flavored lubes (also water-based) can add a certain tastiness to the experience. They come in many, many flavors. There are now even organic lubes.
  • Desensitizing lubes (Pjur offers a great desensitizing spray) can support men to last longer. If you (or your partner) are struggling with premature ejaculation and want endurance, they are the way to go.

Did you know that you do not have to buy an entire bottle of lube?

Pillow packs (think travel size or sachet) are perfect for trying a new lube (or two) — convenient and compact for life on the go! Typically, they are about the same size as a condom package, and good for a single use.

condom ad condoms too tight

The CSPH: Sex Advice for Intersex People

From the documentary film Intersexion (2012)

From the documentary film Intersexion (2012)

Intersexuality is not uncommon, it’s just rarely spoken about or represented in everyday media and conversations.

Not many people go public announcing their sexual identity or gender- especially if it’s marginalized. However, according to the Intersex Society of North America, approximately 1 in 1500 births require a “sex differentiation specialist” to be called. Many more are born with subtler forms of sex anatomy variations.

Considering the shame and stigma surrounding bodies that do not neatly conform as male and female, finding intersex-based resources, arts, and communities can be difficult. In this article, The Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health (The CSPH) unearths and recommends some quality gems from within the intersex community.

This article is for both those who identify with intersexuality and anyone who want to learn more. Don’t miss the links to some incredible documentary films!

This article is originally published on The CSPH website as part of their Q&A series.

BY The CSPH | theCSPH.org

Q. Any sex info/advice for intersex people? I can’t find any positive porn, info, or stories about intersex people’s sex lives anywhere on the internet.

A. Note from the author: This response is partly for the person who asked the question, and partly to be informative to those who might be reading it and do not know much about intersex individuals.

Unfortunately it’s not that common for individuals to be “out” as intersex, and what is considered intersex varies widely even between doctors; what one physician would classify as intersex, another would consider a minor variation of biology and may not even mention it to the patient. Each doctor’s approach to treatment of an intersex individual (if required) is subjective as well. This, in turn, impacts the amount of sex advice, writing, and pornography that’s available.

What is intersexuality?

The term intersex refers to the biological condition of having reproductive and/or sexual anatomy that doesn’t fit the usual definitions of male or female. There are many misconceptions  regarding intersex people but intersex anatomy differs from person to person  and can include having in-between male and female genital characteristics (e.g., a scrotum shaped like labia, a noticeably large clitoris, etc.) or having male physical traits externally but female anatomy internally. While intersexuality can be identified at birth, sometimes intersex anatomy is only found at puberty, in adulthood (e.g., during infertility testing), after death (when autopsied), or not at all.

Our bodies’ biological/physical sex does not always define our gender or the societal roles we play (i.e. man/woman/other identity). This is the same for intersex individuals and such a nebulous term may or may not be used to define their gender. Some live their entire lives completely unaware of their intersex anatomy; however, others may be “assigned” a gender at birth, determined by the most prominent gender traits, via reconstructive surgery and/or ongoing medical treatments. Some may transition from one gender to another and use the label transsexual or transgender instead of intersex. Some define themselves based on their intersex anatomy while others have no obvious physical traits of their intersex anatomy and instead identify as male, female, queer, trans, femme, butch, or various other labels.

Sex advice for the intersex person

With so many variations, every intersex person’s biology may impact their sex life in different ways, or not at all. A good start are books or sites that provide great general sex information and also address aspects of your unique sexual anatomy:

Though not all intersex people are trans* or identify that way, there may still be valuable information on trans* sites. Anatomy and the impact it may have on your sex life is often discussed in the trans* community, such as this post from the Self Made Men blog.

If you’re an intersex individual and comfortable talking about it, we encourage you to start posting some advice you wish you’d had at the start of your sexual journey. Honest, sex-positive information for everyone can only become widespread if all communities are heard and not just “talked about” by professionals and “experts.”

Note: if you have a medical condition associated with your intersex diagnosis, the Accord Alliance Advocacy and Support Groups list  can help you find a support group with more specialized information for that condition.

Many of the sites listed encourage new questions, so drop them a line if you can’t find what you’re looking for. If you have a very specific question, don’t hesitate to get in touch with your doctor or find a sex positive practitioner here.

Intersex positive art and writing

Though they don’t focus specifically on sex, there are some amazing writers and artists talking about their intersex life and experiences:

Other recognized “out” intersex individuals include Cheryl Chase (intersex activist), Alec Butler (playwright and filmmaker), Stanisława Walasiewicz (Olympic athlete), Caroline Cossey (model), Eden Atwood (jazz singer), Eva Robin’s (actress), Sarah Gronert (professional tennis player) and many more .

Porn and intersexuality

Finding positive porn about any orientation, gender, race, or body type can be difficult as there is no shortage of bad porn. On top of that, pornography fetishizes deviations from the “norm”; whether it’s hair color, orientation, or anatomical differences. Among the most popular fetishes are adult films that showcase “Trannies, Shemales, and Hermaphrodites.” Those are all terms that should NOT be used to refer to intersex or trans* people as it is a maligned, incomplete, and offensive view of their sexuality. In fact, those films usually feature performers with penises and augmented breasts, some of whom may identify as trans*, rather than biologically intersex individuals. Furthermore, it’s important to note that the aforementioned terms are also incredibly offensive to the trans* community. (Still, here at the CSPH we encourage self-definition and if someone uses those terms to refer to themselves, we support their autonomy.)

A quick search for “intersex porn” brings up very few results, but by looking at sites and studios that support a diverse view of sexuality and gender, we find more options:

Starting with sex and body positive pornography will lower your chances of coming across any triggers and maintain a more respectful view of intersexuality. If you’re still having trouble finding films that suit your erotic tastes, try altering the way you search. Start off with a genre of film (e.g. lesbian, oral sex, BDSM, etc.) and then include terms like “intersex” or “trans” to help you find more options.

Additional resources

Keep an eye out for Intersex Awareness Week events near you!

csphThe CENTER for SEXUAL PLEASURE and HEALTH (The CSPH) is designed to provide adults with a safe, physical space to learn about sexual pleasure, health, and advocacy issues. Led by highly respected founder and director, Megan Andelloux, The CSPH is a sexuality training and education organization that works to reduce sexual shame, fight misinformation, & advance the sexuality field.

Ask Oh Megan & The CSPH: Unsafe Sex Toys

 

48- megan-unsafe-toysConsumers beware. Did you know that the US government does not regulate or test sex toys?

Therefore, toy manufacturers can make products out of whatever material they want. This lack of oversight raises serious public health concern as the wrong toys can introduce infections, bacteria and harmful chemicals into the body.

For now, the erotic toy business is self-regulated. There are manufacturers and adult stores that actively try to change safety standards and raise awareness of body safe products, such as Good Vibrations, Smitten Kitten, Metis Black and many more. But it is important that consumers do their own research and educate themselves before purchasing a sex toy.

In this five minute video by Oh Megan and The Center for Sexual Pleasure & Health, Megan Andelloux answers the question:

What sex toys are not body safe? Here are some key points:

  • In general, toys made of materials that can be sterilized in boiling water or do not absorb bacteria are safe.
  • Unsafe toys can store and introduce infection into your or your partner’s body.
  • Sex toys should never smell. If a toy is scented it generally means the manufacturer is masking the bad smell of off-gases in the material.
  • Steer clear of any material, like Siligel, that can change shape or size.
  • If a toy is translucent or see-through, use it with a condom and throw away after 6 months of use.
  • Toys made of CyberSkin, like FleshLight, are not safe because the material can flake off in the body and expand.
  • Do not put porous material into the body such as toys made with a branded cord, wood or leather.
  • Silicon is recognized as the best body safe toy.

This video was originally published here

BY The CSPH | theCSPH.org

Your sex questions answered by Megan Andelloux, Certified Sex Educator, and founder of the Center for Sexual Pleasure and Health! Megan answers REAL questions that she has been asked by people like you! Megan has been in the sexuality field for 16 years, and has visited over 75 different schools, is a faculty instructor for the Brown School of Medicine, and is the author of the book “Hot and Fast: Spontaneous Quickies for Passionate Orgasms”

Here Megan gives advice on sex toy materials that are not safe for the body.

If you have a question for Megan Andelloux about anything from sex toys, to gender, to fantasies and sexual health and reproduction – Just ask!

megan_andellouxMEGAN ANDELLOUX is a Clinical Sexologist and certified Sexuality Educator, listed on Wikipedia as one of the top sexuality educators in America, her innovative education programs, writing, social media presence, and ambitious speaking schedule has made her one of America’s most recognized and sought-after experts in the growing field of sexual pleasure, health, and politics.
Follow Megan on twitter @HiOhMegan

csphThe CENTER for SEXUAL PLEASURE and HEALTH (The CSPH) is designed to provide adults with a safe, physical space to learn about sexual pleasure, health, and advocacy issues. Led by highly respected founder and director, Megan Andelloux, The CSPH is a sexuality training and education organization that works to reduce sexual shame, fight misinformation, & advance the sexuality field.

The Greatest Misunderstanding About IUDs- Corrected

The IUD (with the less appealing name, Intrauterine Device) is one of the most effective and reversible long-term birth control options. Currently, there are three IUD product options: the Mirena, ParaGard and Skyla. Yet despite how wonderful this device is, many women (and some doctors!) still believe that you must be over a certain age in order for an IUD to work.

Bedsider sets the record straight with quick, accurate IUD must-knows.

Watch and be rest assured. For more IUD myth busting, visit Bedsider’s 5 Myths About IUDs

This video is published with Besider’s permission.

BY BEDSIDER | Bedsider.org

bedsiderBEDSIDER is an online birth control support network for women operated by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy. Bedsider is totally independent (no pharmaceutical or government involvement). Honest and unbiased, Bedsider’s goal is to help women find the method of birth control that’s right for them and learn how to use it consistently and effectively, and that’s it.
Find Bedsider on twitter @Bedsider

Let’s Talk About the Cervix and Pleasure For Once!

Jenelle Notte: The cervix looks similar to the bagel. Photo credit: Denis Wilkinson

Jenelle Notte: “The cervix looks similar to the bagel.” Photo credit: Denis Wilkinson

The cervix seems to have become synonymous with HPV and cancer. Yes, today HPV is the most common STI in the United States. According to the CDC, “HPV is so common that most sexually active men and women will get at least one type of HPV at some point in their lives.” So it is no surprise that there is a lot of information out there about threats to the cervix.

There is more to the cervix than only being laden with medical health problems, yet very few of us know about the cervix outside of reproductive health issues. In fact, there is little discussion of the cervix just as it is with no external forces affecting it.

This realization comes to us from JoEllen, The Redhead Bedhead expert. Departing from the main discourses on cervixes- that is, it’s role in pregnancy, HPV and cancer- JoEllen writes about how the cervix relates to pleasure. We’ve also included at the end a helpful video from Megan Andelloux about how people can avoid their cervix getting bumped or causing pain during sex.

The main points of this piece are:

  • The cervix exists independently of any cautionary medical tales.
  • It functions to channel things like menstrual blood from the uterus and sperm to the egg.
  • The cervix changes in it’s texture and shape, and moves throughout the menstrual cycle. When it’s enlarged it can be easier to bump during sex, which explains why sex can feel different at different times! Interesting!
  • There are certain sexual positions and toys that will reduce the chances of bumping the cervix (unless you like it bumped!). See video at the end for tips!

Read the full article on The Redhead Bedhead.

BY JOELLEN NOTTE | theRedheadBedhead.com

Recently I got curious about my cervix. Why, you ask? Well, I’ve been having a lot of fun sex (hooray for cute boy who makes me smile) and I noticed that a certain position that I enjoy thoroughly was resulting in my cervix getting bumped some times but not others. I realized that I didn’t know much about the cervix and so I decided to do some research which quickly became frustrating when I realized that 99.876% (rough estimate) of the talking that gets done about cervixes involves either getting pregnant or cancer. I wanted to know about my body, just existing- what the heck, maybe even experiencing pleasure- but it seemed that unless it was part of a cautionary article about HPV….or an instructional post about how to get knocked up no one wanted to discuss it.

Today we’re talking cervical facts, what it looks like, feels like and does and even why mine sometimes gets hit in that one position and sometimes doesn’t. So here goes-

What does is look like?

Picture a puffy disc with a depression (a dimple, if you will) at its center. True to form I, in looking for images to illustrate the appearance of the cervix, landed on food:

This is a bialy. Basically a bagel with a dent instead of a hole. It is delicious. It also looks like a cervix.

Read the full article at The Redhead Bedhead.

condom ad condoms too tight

JoEllen-NotteJOELLEN NOTTE is helping to share the gospel of better living through better sex ed (amen!) – serving as both the Education Coordinator & Lead Sex Educator for the Portland Academy of Sex Education and a co-Emissary of Sex Geekdom Portland. Working as an adult retail consultant, she is working to help promote better sex through better adult retail. JoEllen first began fighting sexual mediocrity on her site theRedheadBedhead.com. Follow JoEllen on twitter: @bedheadtweeting

What Makes Someone A Slut?

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Slut. It’s a loaded word. What does it mean? When does someone qualify as a slut? Renowned sex educator, Megan Andelloux, shares how she handles the question in workshops: “What Makes Someone a Slut?”

Don’t miss her tips on steps you can take when you hear someone called a “slut”. Key points:

  • It’s ambiguous. There is no single definition. Different people have different ideas of what “slut” means.
  • Due to differing definitions, any number of situations can lead to a woman being labeled “slut”.
  • Some women are reclaiming the word in an empowering way.
  • Most importantly- call people out when they use the slut word. Ask them what they mean.

BY MEGAN ANDELLOUX | ohMegan.com

megan_andellouxMEGAN ANDELLOUX is a Clinical Sexologist and certified Sexuality Educator, listed on Wikipedia as one of the top sexuality educators in America, her innovative education programs, writing, social media presence, and ambitious speaking schedule has made her one of America’s most recognized and sought-after experts in the growing field of sexual pleasure, health, and politics.
Follow Megan on twitter @HiOhMegan

One Thing About Sperm I Bet You Didn’t Learn in Sex Ed

This video is much more pleasant and accessible than anything I bet your teacher showed you in health class.

Do you remember when you learned how babies were made? Do you remember what information was covered? There are a lot of new and important things we know now that were not available in 1990s textbooks.

Here’s a snappy video from Bedsider delivering a lesser known fact about sperm. Watch this and you’ll be convinced how necessary preventative birth control really is (if you aren’t already!).

BY BEDSIDER | Bedsider.org

Video originally published on Bedsider

bedsiderBEDSIDER is an online birth control support network for women operated by The National Campaign to Prevent Teen & Unplanned Pregnancy. Bedsider is totally independent (no pharmaceutical or government involvement). Honest and unbiased, Bedsider’s goal is to help women find the method of birth control that’s right for them and learn how to use it consistently and effectively, and that’s it.
Find Bedsider on twitter @Bedsider

The CSPH: Will The Nuva Ring Affect How I Have Sex?

oh megan nuva ringThe Nuva Ring is used now by around 1.5 million women worldwide and has been hailed as a wonder contraceptive by many. The birth control makes reversible hormonal contraception simple as the user can insert it for a period of 3 weeks to help prevent pregnancy.

However, the Nuva Ring is not a widely known contraceptive and those interested in learning more or are new to using the product may have some questions.

In this video, sex educator Megan Andelloux addresses some of those questions and tells the viewer:

  • The Nuva Ring fits into the back of the vagina and is held in place by the vaginal muscles.
  • The penis likely won’t feel the Nuva Ring although a finger may.
  • Removing the Nuva Ring for 4 hours still leaves you protected from pregnancy if you don’t want to risk it interfering with sex or you don’t want your partner to know you are wearing it.
  • Silicone lube and toys can be used with the Nuva Ring and will not affect it’s quality.

This video was originally published on the CSPH website.

BY The CSPH | theCSPH.org

Like all forms of contraception it’s important you know the full risks and advantages of using the Nuva Ring and talk with a medical professional about it’s suitability for you.

megan_andellouxMEGAN ANDELLOUX  is a Clinical Sexologist and certified Sexuality Educator, listed on Wikipedia as one of the top sexuality educators in America, her innovative education programs, writing, social media presence, and ambitious speaking schedule has made her one of America’s most recognized and sought-after experts in the growing field of sexual pleasure, health, and politics.
Follow Megan on twitter @HiOhMegan

 

csphThe CENTER for SEXUAL PLEASURE and HEALTH (The CSPH) is designed to provide adults with a safe, physical space to learn about sexual pleasure, health, and advocacy issues. Led by highly respected founder and director, Megan Andelloux, The CSPH is a sexuality training and education organization that works to reduce sexual shame, fight misinformation, & advance the sexuality field.