Ways to Spice up Your Sex Life, Pt. 2

Having sex with your partner within the same four walls all the time can get a bit bland, regardless of how much you enjoy one another. Adding even a little variety can make a big difference by taking simple satisfaction to a thrilling indulgence of amorous adventure with your lover. Part 1 suggested ideas to use in the bedroom. Here are a few tips to broaden your sexy scope away from home.

GETTIN’ SPICY OUT OF THE BEDROOM

Taking your love to a different locale may be just the thing needed to take you and your partner to the next level of lust. Keep in mind that the more public your public displays of affection are, the more careful and thoughtful you must be. When going really public, I recommend revisiting your earlier adolescent days of sexual exploration by engaging in good ol’ fashioned make-out sessions. In other words, keep safely on this side of second base. I do not advocate public penetrative sex and/or nudity for a very good reason. Having intercourse in front of unsuspecting strangers, even accidentally, is very likely illegal in your community. It’s true that the heartiest of exhibitionists quickly go limp at the thought of ending their date with what may well be an expensive call to their lawyer.

It’s all about location, location, location.

Get Steamy. You may have already lamentably discovered that sex in the shower can be much sexier in your fantasies than in real life. Ain’t nothin’ less sexy than slipping on the soap and bonking your partner in the … head. However, provided you take a few elementary precautions, you can take your sexy time from soggy to salacious. I suggest checking out the Sex in the Shower line of products for enjoying safer sex while gettin’ steamy with your sweetie. This is not a paid endorsement, I just really like the brand. Yeah.

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Click the pic for great positioning products.

Get Out! You don’t have to take a full-on camping trip to Yellowstone for this wonder to work; no, simply moving your love-making outdorn (as we say in The South) is sufficient for spicing things up. Just pitch a tent –ahem- in your own backyard and let your imagination and libido do the rest. If you actually have a tent, a clandestine afternoon delight may be thrilling; just be sure to consider the nosier neighbors’ line of sight, not to mention local laws. Personally, I don’t do camping, but the spice and I have happily christened both the front and backyards ’round midnight. There’s much to be said for undressing under the stars. Oh yeah.

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Sky rockets in flight.

Go for a Drive. There’s bound to be a local Lover’s Lane in your neck of the woods. If you don’t know where it is, just ask a teenager. Seriously. They’ve staked out the best places for a little back seat lovin’ and can surely point you and your fellow traveler in the right direction. Be patient and wait until after dark, but still put up the sun shade for added privacy. You don’t want your babysitter stumbling across your sexy sesh and snap-chatting the evidence of your escapade complete with caption: #RelationshipGoals to the entire world.

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Take your true love for a ride.

Eat Out. A dimly lit restaurant with a reputation for romantic dining is the perfect place to broaden your palate as well as your foreplay techniques. Again, I don’t recommend a full-on love making session at (or under) the table, but a little furtive fondling and finger lovin’ is sure to whet the appetite and rev y’all up for dessert. Of course, taking your tryst to a crowded and popular restaurant may ensure fellow diners won’t hear any moans that escape your lover’s lips while your hands explore — and if they do, they’ll likely assume you’re enjoying the food. Wherever you decide to eat out, just be sure to tip well … I promise that your server knows exactly what you two are up to, so a little discretionary funding ensures, well, discretion. I feel compelled to add that I strongly discourage trying sex in a stall. Even if you opt for the men’s room, where you’re more likely to receive an “Atta’ boy!” than a visit from the manager, it’s one of those fantasies that is way sexier, and less odorous, in your head.

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Delicious and daring.

Go for a Swim. Skinny dipping in a secluded lake or in even your own back yard gives the term water aerobics a whole new meaning. Don’t have a pool? Volunteer to house sit for friends who do. If you live in an area with nude beaches, and are feeling extra adventurous, go for it.

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Come on in, the water’s fine.

A-List Your Evening. Spend the night out like the rich and famous — say, like famous Hollywood stars, popular celebrities, or a prominent power couple would. You may even want to toss in a little role-play for fun. Yes, a little planning and a lot of saving will be required for this grand adventure, but I speak from experience and promise it’s totally worth it. After dressing up like the stunning stars that your are, rent a limo or call for a fancy Uber or Lyft to pick up you and your sweetheart and deliver y’all (and your overnight bags) to the most luxurious hotel around that the two of you’ve wanted to staycation at. Choosing one that has fine dining and/or a swanky nightclub attached is a definite plus! Check with the concierge about getting reservations for two in the most private corner of the restaurant possible (remember, you’re hiding from the paparazzi) and maybe even a “pass” for visiting the nightclub for a tango or two before retiring to your room for the rest of your erotic evening. Remember to have strawberries and champagne delivered and waiting bedside. Now, enjoy!

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This is how we do it … at least for one night.

 

If you enjoy reading tips and how tos, please sign up to follow this blog and you’ll receive notifications of new postings. For more information on spicing up your relationship, simply contact me. I look forward to hearing from you!

Ways to Spice up Your Sex Life, Pt. 1

Having sex with your partner within the same four walls all the time can get a bit bland, regardless of how much you enjoy one another. Adding even a little variety can make a big difference by taking simple satisfaction to a thrilling indulgence of amorous adventure with your lover. Here are a few tips to broaden your sexy scope.

SPICIN’ IT UP IN THE BEDROOM

Staying in for the evening doesn’t mean you and your partner have to eat take-out dinners while lounging in PJs in front of the boob tube. Unless, that’s what really floats your boat. If it isn’t, here are some ideas to get your more creative juices flowing.

Read Some Erotica Together. Read any good romantic (or racy) books lately? Share your favorite, most liberating parts — you know, the ones that are already dog-eared in that bedside paperback — with your lover. Under the pretense of “just for fun” you can open a dialogue about things you’d like to try with your sweetheart under the sheets. Does your fave novel happen to be a period piece? It may even lead to a little …

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Once upon a midnight dreary…

Role Play. Ever wondered what it would be like to be rescued by a gallant knight in shining armor or escape into the arms of a hot and handsome fire chief? There’s no time like tonight to find out. Of course, you don’t have to dress up for a performance in the Globe Theatre just to play dress up. A few simple props are likely to be hidden in the crap-catcher drawer of your kitchen or study. Grab that wooden ruler and discipline your naughty student, Headmistress. Even a potato peeler lends itself to KP duty in the ship’s galley for bad behavior, Sailor. Of course, all you really need is a pair of boxers to go toe-toe with a professional boxer. That’s really what boxer-briefs are for after all, right?

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How many rounds will you go tonight?

Strike a Pose. Speaking of role playing… how about being a professional model undressing for the sexy studmuffin behind the camera? Invite your partner to pull out their iPhone and snap a few racy pics to perk them up when they’re feeling down. Or, turn the camera on your partner and take a few to keep for yourself to browse during the wearisome wait in car line after school or on your lengthy commute home from the office. The shoot can be as innocent or as daring as the two of you agree on, providing privacy is not an issue.

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Let him keep a little evidence of your love.

Clean up Together… in the Nude. If it has to be done, it might as well lead to a little loving, no? Nude housework keeps both sets of your clothes from getting dirty and saves time on doing laundry. It will also give you and your partner something exciting to look at while you’re dusting or doing dishes. Be sure to pay extra special attention to tidying up the jiggly bits when y’all are done. You may want to save the bedroom for last.

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Soap suds are the only things you can wear.

Share Playtime with Toys. Y’know, the grown up kind that get your engine revved up and the sort that go buzz in the night. If you haven’t visited a toy store for grown ups in the past ten or fifteen years, or ever, I promise you it’s no longer the secret walk of shame your grandpa took back in the day. Gone are the dark, seedy, sticky back alley XXX sex shops of yesteryear. Since women have been moving to the forefront of the adult novelties industry, the assortment and varieties of pleasure products, as well as the venues they’re sold in, have changed — much for the better, mind you. There are so many options to choose from for both men and women now, it’s a good idea to do a little research or speak with someone knowledgeable to know what to shop for beforehand.

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Shopping together for toys fosters intimacy.

Get Silly. Laughter, it is said, is great for your overall well-being as well as your sexy time together. Tonight, before lights out, why not try a little lighthearted play — or even friendly competition and see who wins? You might try to communicate with each other completely in Pig Latin (ememberray atthay?) and see who can do it the longest. Share the raciest, sexiest jokes you know. Watch a favorite romantic comedy together. Or, have a playful pillow fight to get the adrenaline rushing.

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Winner takes all.

Get Saucy. Licking a luscious line of chocolate sauce off and up your honey’s thighs or slurping a shot of tequila from between her breasts is really hot. Just be sure to use your better judgement and a light hand. Stick to the fleshier parts of your lover’s bod, because cleanin’ Cool Whip out of your hair isn’t quite as exciting as it sounds. Still, bringing refreshments into the bedroom can make for some good, if not completely clean, fun! How many ways can you seductively peel a banana? It’s worth a try, Girlfriend! And don’t worry, if your midnight snack acts as foreplay to sexy time in the tub, it’s okay to get a lil’ messy. Sheets, blankets, and whatnot are all safely washable.

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Keep clean-up in mind.

Move Out of Your Comfort Zone. If there are any sexy ideas that you and your lover have considered playing with in the past, take action now and try them out. Consider yourselves dared. You don’t have to bring out the whips and the gimp, but head towards more daring action. Whether the two of you have teased about watching porn together¹ and acting it out or tryin’ a little bondage mixed with power play; as long as you’re both consenting and have a mutually agreed on safe word² in place, push those boundaries, you sexy couple you. Go for it! 

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Spare the rod, spoil the sub.

Share a Sexy Wish List Sometimes it can be difficult to actually give voice to your more secret sensual desires, even when you’re decidedly good at communicating your, shall we say, less sexy wants and needs with your mate. Grocery lists come to mind and they’re pretty yawn-worthy. So, why not share a sexy wish list, one in which both partners list, or check off, the spicier things they’d like to try? You can find one online and print out two copies, one for each partner. Fill them out separately before you come back together to compare notes. If the thought of laying bare all of your racy thoughts is too nerve-wracking, you may want to try the interactive sex questionnaire at Mojo Upgrade. It only reveals the fantasies that both partners would agree on. I haven’t tried this one, but a fellow sex educator I greatly admire, Kait Scalisi recommends it.

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What’s on your sexy wish list?

By no means, is this spicy advice exhaustive, but hopefully, it encourages you and yours to examine your more erotic natures. Be sure to continue reading about enjoying a little sensual refreshment outside the bedroom with Ways to Spice up Your Sex Life, Pt. 2… coming soon.


¹ This lass isn’t super keen on the adult entertainment industry as a whole. For every beauty or beau performer it liberates and indulges, it spits out hundreds of lost unhappy souls in its wake. Thankfully, taboos are falling, more women are gaining positions of power, and folks are becoming more educated, thus providing more ethical options for adult entertainment. Also, porn is not education. Porn is not realistic. Personally, I prefer reading erotica and educational books for lively ideas. You can watch my video on the subject here.

² A safe word is a word that you and your partner can say at any time to stop an undesired action.

Fantasize Your Way to More Fulfilling Sex, Part 2

What was the subject of your last sexual fantasy? I ask because I know that you’ve had one if you’re normal.

Okay yes, “normal” is a really relative term. What I mean to convey is this: If you’re a typical human being like the majority of us functioning folks walking the planet, you’ve likely engaged in a healthy sexual fantasy or two or one hundred just like the rest of us common folks. And, that’s okay. You’re not alone. You’re in good company, and you’re doing just fine.

Normal and Healthy

You don’t need to be ashamed. Believe it or not, even our wildest, most outlandish fantasies¹ are likely common. The most significant reason most people are afraid to share their innermost private thoughts is that they fear being judged as abnormal or weird. This sort of anxiety is not conducive to fulfilling sexual interludes, so I encourage you to read on.

Engaging in intimate fantasies in order to heighten our sexual desires is very common; only, no one wants to admit to it, not even to their closest friends. Large and numerous research studies have concluded that roughly nine out of ten people engage in sexual fantasies while “daydreaming,” masturbating, and/or during sexual encounters. And when they’re frank, professionals admit they think that the “tenth” person is simply too afraid to admit to it for one reason or another because studies have found that incidences of sexual fantasies are practically universal. Almost the entire agglomeration of research about sexual fantasies is only collected because researchers guarantee complete anonymity for its subjects. Thank God for anonymity! The findings of all of this research can be very comforting to the people who find it. Knowing that when you’re fantasizing you’re engaging in common, usual behavior can help ease misplaced feelings of shame. But how many people are brave enough to search out the findings?

Topics of Fantasy

Specific fantasy differences are most often based on gender, sexual orientation, cultural conditioning, and age. However in general, the most common fantasies (for most genders and orientations) are: reliving a past exciting sexual experience (with or without their current partner), imagining sex with a current partner, and imagining sex with a different partner. The next most common fantasies involve giving or receiving oral sex, sex in a more desirable location, and relinquishing of or gaining of sexual power².  The specific subjects of our sexual fantasies are extraordinarily varied. That said, the majority of erotic themes can be tidily placed under less than a handful of labels: exploratory, intimate, impersonal, and dominance/submission and sadomasochism.

Exploratory themes are just that; they explore people or places or things never before engaged in by the person fantasizing. They may include threesomes, foursomes or moresomes. More often than not, exploratory fantasies involve situations that the person would not actually want to act on in real life.

Intimate themes involve known partners, whether past or present lovers or someone they know socially but have never been with sexually. Fantasizing about a known person other than your spouse or partner does not necessarily indicate that, given the opportunity, you would actually take it.

Impersonal themes center around sex with strangers. Most report this as relating to imagined interludes with famous people, anonymous people, group sex or orgies and voyeuristic fantasies of watching or being watched while having sex, masturbating, etc.

D/s S&M themes involve scenarios of power exchange (dominance or submission) and/or sadomasochism (giving or receiving pain for pleasure). Includes ravishment fantasies for both men and women.² The most frequently cited hypothesis for why women indulge in ravishment fantasies is that the fantasy avoids socially induced guilt—the woman does not have to admit responsibility for her sexual desires and behavior. As for men, they report indulging in ravishment fantasies as receivers as a way to escape the burdens of having to often “be in control” in daily life, and as givers as a form of exhibiting sexual prowess and power.

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Why We Should Fantasize

You’ve likely heard it said that our brain is our most important sex organ. And, it is! Aside from our skin, it is our second largest sex organ, too. So why not use it to it’s full advantage to pique our more provocative nature?

Fantasizing Outside of Coupled Sex

The advantages to using sexual fantasy apart from during sexual interludes have proven numerous:

  • Facilitate Erotic Intellegence
  • Boost self-esteem
  • Boost sex-esteem
  • Can reduce stress/anxiety
  • Augment self-exploration
  • Improve mood
  • Preserve pleasant memories
  • Allow us to safely engage in activities we are curious about and/or wouldn’t normally engage in
  • Provide outlet for healthy escape (granted it doesn’t become compulsive)
  • Allows us to consider/compare possible erotic scenarious
  • Can prepare our minds and bodies for pending sexual interludes
  • Is always readily available

And, of course, allowing your erotic and intimate fantasies to influence your sex life with your partner can be a very powerful aphrodisiac that can make the sex outside of your imagination more fulfilling and satisfying.

Fantasizing During Sex

You may have also heard it said that while women are like slow cookers in the bedroom, men are like microwaves. You’re likely nodding your head as you read, but let me throw you a curve ball. Men are not faster to climax than women. Wait, what? You read that correctly. When women masturbate, it takes them, on average, the same amount of time to orgasm as it takes men to have an orgasm during intercourse. There are numerous reasons, then, for the disparity of orgasms between men and women during penetrative sex; and while outlining them all would take another article or two altogether, I’m here to hopefully help you bridge that arousal gap via, you guess it, fantasy.

Studies have shown that women’s fantasies are extremely rich and incredibly strong. There doesn’t seem to be a consensus about whether or not this is because women tend to have more detailed and elaborate fantasies; however, according to Professor Beverly Whipple, some women are capable of having an orgasm from their fantasies alone — that is, without touching themselves. Delicious.

So, what is the benefit of fantasizing during sex? Women live inside their heads. If your grocery list or to-do list tends to pop into your head when you’re having intercourse, it can be helpful to think about a proven stimulating fantasy in your mind to get your mind back on the love making at hand. Of course, being fully engaged in the actual love making is even better! But, thinking about the dirty dishes in the kitchen sink is not conducive to arousal! Placing yourself are your lover on a beautiful tropical island beach inside your head may improve your libido.

I strongly recommend that when you do choose to play around with fantasy, you get in the habit of always making your fantasy lover your real time lover…

Sharing Our Fantasies

The sharing of your fantasies is a delicate topic, one that can have both arousing benefits and lousy drawbacks. Which ones should we share? The ones we’ve explored or evaluated enough to know that we’d actually like to bring them from our fantasy world into our real world with our partner. Obviously, some fantasies are better left unshared, especially if that fantasy involves an ex-lover. Do not share those fantasies with your partner. The effects on your relationship could be devastating. In fact, I strongly recommend that when you do choose to play around with fantasy, you get in the habit of always making your fantasy lover your real time lover because there are proven benefits to fantasizing about our real life partners in and out of the bedroom.

According to three recent studies, fantasizing about your spouse or significant other actually changes your relationship perception and may even alter your behavior — influencing you to be kinder to your lover. These types of fantasies can even strengthen your relationship by strengthening your commitment and bond with them.

Sharing your fantasies with your lover can be incredibly arousing for you; just make sure you are prepared to discover that your lover may not be so keen on certain ideas. If they aren’t, that’s okay. Here is your opening to discussing other fantastic things the two of you would like to explore together. Enjoy!

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¹ For the purpose of clarity, I discuss actual erotic fantasy that is being actively imagined and not unbidden thoughts of a sexual nature that bubble to the surface. for example, when you see an attractive person.

² Because the majority of my readership is female, and because the word “rape” carries extreme emotional weight and can be a trigger for many women, I prefer to use the word “ravishment” which, while having the same literal meaning, can more readily denote power, dominance, or coercion without threat of physical or emotional violence or abuse. It is extremely important to note that women who engage in ravishment fantasies do not want to be criminally violated or harmed, as evidenced by the fact that these women are ravished by the person that they desire and are very rarely physically or emotionally injured in the fantasy. It is also important to note that the women creating these fantasies are by definition consenting and are in complete control of the scenario [of who, what, when, where, why, and the duration] which is not the case for criminal, injurious sex. Non-consensual sex is a crime.

 


Links to articles used in researching this topic:

What men and women fantasize about has more in common than you think by Jessica Orwig and Mike Nudelman/ Business Insider article based on research by Christian C. Joyal et al. found here in an article published by The Journal of Sexual Medicine.

Sexual Fantasies: What are Their Hidden Meanings? by Daniel Goleman

9 Reasons Sex Fantasies Are Good For You by  Wendy Maltz, Suzie Boss

The Power of Fantasy in Relationships by Elizabeth Berstein

Sexual Fantasies: A Way of Having Sex with Everyone by Fredric Neuman M.D.

Having Fantasies About Someone You’re Not Married To? The Pros and Cons of Sexual Fantasies in Relationships by Sheri Stritof

Sex Fantasies are Good for your Relationship, But Only if You’re Fantasizing About Your Partner by Kristine Fellizar

For books used in researching fantasy, see Resources.

Fantasize Your Way to More Fulfilling Sex, Part 1

Engaging in sexual fantasy to heighten our sexual desires is a good thing. But, I know, there are some readers who would disagree with me for a variety of reasons, and this is why this article will be a tad lengthy, hence in more than one part. As a practicing Christian, I know from experience that this topic is a hotbed of controversy for my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, so I’d like to address their concerns first. And then, we can get to the fun stuff of fantasy.

Fantasies come from our imagination and imagination is a God-given gift. It is part and parcel of who we are as human beings. Fantasies by definition are imaginary, make-believe, about scenarios that are, if not completely impossible, at least improbable. Fantasies are, in and of themselves, morally neutral. What becomes of our fantasies is up to us. We are not always responsible for our thoughts. We are, however, responsible for our actions. That said, are we in Mister Roger’s “Neighborhood of Make-Believe” or are we on Mr. Rourke’s Fantasy Island?

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Things didn’t always go as planned on Fantasy Island.

Christians and Fantasizing

YES! We Christians are allowed to fantasize and I’m happy to tell you why. There is no edict in Sacred Scripture that forbids desire or fantasy. Did you get that? It’s important. There is no edict in Sacred Scripture that forbids desire or fantasy. No, not one.

The scripture that you’ve likely had drummed into your head since you were pre-pubescent to shame you away from healthy sexual desire and fantasy is Matthew 5:27. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that every man who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Often, pastors and priests use this verse to warn against adultery — and rightly so. Infidelity is bad whether you’re a Christian or not. But, some people interpret this verse as meaning Christians aren’t allowed to even think sexually about someone they are attracted to. Yikes. All too often Church teachings are interpreted to equate sexual thoughts with actual sexual sin. And this idea, my friends, is wrong and incredibly harmful to the mental health of too many Christian men and women.

The problem with that translation of Matthew 5:27 is that the word translated as “lust” in this passage is the same word used for “covet” in The Ten Commandments. “[Y]ou will not covet your neighbor’s wife” (Exodus 20:17). Coveting is so serious a sin because it is wanting something that already lawfully belongs to someone else. It is not wanting something like what another has; it is wanting the exact thing. Imagine reading the tenth commandment as “Do not lust after your neighbor’s house; nor lust after his wife, nor his servant or maid, nor lust after his ox, nor his donkey.”  Should we really equate the word “covet” for “think about sexually” here? No.¹ There is a difference between natural sexual desire and coveting (wanting to possess what belongs to another as your own).

I could discuss poor theology and really crappy translations all day, but one only need contemplate the fact that there are literally tens of thousands of different denominations all under the same Christian umbrella to know that poor theology and really crappy translations exist. Besides that, it’s not my intent to prove how wonky centuries’ old translations of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic are. My intention is to tell you, quite truthfully, that Christ Himself never condemned being “horny” — through arousal, desires, fantasies, or otherwise. In fact, even a cursory glance at First Corinthians, chapter seven, proves that Saint Paul assumes we’re going to be sexually aroused and desire others. Of course we are! It’s how God designed us. As sexual beings. And while we’re discussing chapter seven, it’s interesting to note that Saint Paul admits in verse 25 that “Now concerning virgins: I have no commandment from the Lord.” Mull that one over for a minute or ten.

Christians and Masturbation

I bring up masturbation here is because it is usually accompanied by desirous thoughts or fantasies. Masturbation, or stimulation of one’s own genitals for sexual pleasure often, though certainly not always, to the point of climax, is a perfectly normal and natural act. However, another tradition that is taught, but not once mentioned in Sacred Scripture is that of masturbation as sin.  Early church fathers used the story of Onan in Genesis 38 to preach against believers using coitus interruptus [the “withdrawal method” of birth control] in particular, and masturbation in general. According to the church, every sperm possible — because the church had no control over what happened with nocturnal emissions of sperm — was to be implanted into the wife’s womb. Keeping in mind that the mission of the early church was to encourage its members to “go forth and multiply,” it makes sense that they thought this was a really great scripture to use to scare the hell out of people from wanting to limit their family size via contraception.

So, the early church preached against what it called the “Sin of Onan” — and many Western churches still do, although they do not all agree on exactly what that sin is. The Catholic Church still preaches today against onanism which is, in the strictest sense, contraception, as well as against masturbation to climax. When Protestant denominations started branching out, they too continued preaching against the “Sin of Onan” as against contraception and masturbation. It wasn’t until Protestant denominations determined that contraception was no longer sinful (circa 1930), that they dropped the contraceptive concept of onanism to be an edict against masturbation alone. Because sperm was no longer sacred, masturbation as a “selfish act of lust” became the focus of the sin; but as you will see, these views are slowly but finally changing, too.

Careful reading of the story in Genesis 38 shows that God killed Onan because he refused to follow Mosaic law for levirate marriage and give his dead, older brother’s wife an heir because he was selfish and wanted to be the firstborn heir to Judah’s fortune. In verse 9, Onan withdrew his penis from (his sister-in-law) Tamra’s vagina before ejaculation and the “spilling [of] his seed lest he give his brother an heir” occurred. In verse 10, “the thing which he did displeased the Lord” and his subsequent punishment for sinning (i.e., God slew him) was not because he chose masturbation, nor was it likely for employing the withdrawal method; his sin was more likely in disobedience to his father’s command, for not following Mosaic law, or it was due to his inordinate and unlawful greed.²

As I’ve noted, some Western churches, especially those of Evangelical origin, still preach against masturbation; but due to the abundance of scientific and medical evidence that masturbation is a medically healthy and psychologically normal act, more churches are electing to forgo the topic of masturbation altogether. Dr. James Dobson, founder of “Focus on the Family,” has even gone on record contending, “The Bible says nothing about masturbation, so we don’t really know what God thinks about it. My opinion is that He doesn’t make a big issue of it… So I would encourage you not to struggle with guilt.”³ Wow and yay! I hope this helps those of you who are struggling with shame concerning masturbation to understand that you are not alone in your struggle. Sexual self-exploration is healthy and normal and is not immoral. You are okay.

Continued


 

¹ For further in-depth reading, please see theologian Jason Staple’s finely detailed article “Whoever Looks at a Woman With Lust”: Misinterpreted Bible Passages #1

² Read Genesis 38 in its entirety for a better understanding of the context of the story.

³ Dobson, James C. (2000). Preparing for Adolescence: Growth Guide. Delight, AR: Gospel Light.

* Compulsive masturbation, like other compulsive behaviors, can be signs of an emotional problem, which may need to be addressed by a mental health specialist. There is no shame in seeking help from a professional. 

Missionary to the Max

The missionary position seems to be the world’s go-to sexual position, so it must have something great goin’ for it, right? Yes, it does. It’s the perfect position for a lot of intimacy by offering the most skin-on-skin contact, long loving embraces, and the lovers can literally see eye-to-eye. That said, variety is also the spice of life. We may enjoy eating ice cream, but eating it day in and day out would eventually get a little boring. So, too, if we want to keep our romantic appetite alight. Adding a little variety to our sex life now and then can keep things from going stale. Sometimes, the missionary position gets a bad rap, especially in kinkier circles. I’m here to tell you that the missionary position, just because it’s common, does not have to be boring. Let’s see if we can maximize this old convention with a few simple moves.

FIRST A NOTE: Different people dub sex positions all sorts of names. And, if you’re brave enough to start googling different sex positions, please be aware that “guy’s” sites, “girl’s” sites, porn sites, sciencey sites, and the Kama Sutra will usually have different names for the same and similar positions. As Shakespeare once said, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”

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A fairly traditional missionary position.

Traditionally, the missionary position is considered the “male-superior position” because technically the man is on top as the giver and the woman, as the receiver, is on the bottom. Why? Because men typically, though not always, tend to have more upper-body strength and can often maintain this position with a close embrace longer. Excuse me, but “male” and “superior” sometimes just rubs me the wrong way. Teehee, rubs me the wrong way. No, but seriously, Folks. If you want to spice up the traditional missionary position, feel free try one or more of the following.

Adding Accessories

The easiest way to change things up with the missionary is to move your missionary to different sexy spots. Shake off the sheets and try the kitchen table, the sofa, or the stairs. You’re limited only by your imagination and physical abilities. Of course, if you prefer the bed, stay put and add accessories. One of the easiest and cheapest ways to spice things up is to move your bed’s pillows. What! Yes, it’s really that simple. Place a pillow under the small of your back. Push it down a little so that it’s under your butt. You may be surprised by the different sensations that are heightened with such small position changes. Be sure to throw a hand towel over the pillow; otherwise, be prepared to change the pillow cover. Just in case. You could even go all out and purchase a sex pillow (or “sex wedge”) for roughly $75-200 and explore the wonders of lots of different sex adventures. But, I digress…

You can also add pleasure aids — my personal métier. If you need a little extra clitoral stimulation, you may enjoy adding a small vibrator, like bullet, egg, or finger vibes, to really get things moving along. Try adding warming or cooling lubricants into the mix. Or, add a female arousal heightener. Hachacha! If you enjoy the missionary position with your legs lifted off the mattress, floor, or other sexy surface you’re playing on, but you have an achy lower back or experience difficulty holding the jack-knife position very long, you can also add thigh cuffs (not as scary as they sound or look, I promise) to help keep the pressure off of your lower back. Or again, try a sex pillow. Yes, I do adore my sex wedge.

Varying Your Missionary Position

Want him deeper? Lift up your legs and rest your ankles on his shoulders in what is sometimes called the “shoulder holder.” This allows for even deeper penetration and is especially helpful when you really enjoy feeling “fuller” or enjoy having your G-spot or even your cervix massaged, depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle. If this position is uncomfortable (i.e., if your man’s penis is sharply curved to the left or the right when it is erect), you may try shifting your hips to accommodate the curve.  If it feels uncomfortable because he feels “too deep,” you might like trying the a modified “butterfly” position, where only one ankle is resting on his shoulder and the crook of the other leg’s knee grasps his waist or simply rests on his leg or the bed/surface.

My personal fave for modifying the traditional missionary is the “pretzel.” To achieve this simple position, just lie on your left side as he straddles your left leg. You’ll then curl your right leg around his waist and voilà. You can also use your right leg as a hook to pull him in closer and deeper, iffin’ you’re of a mind to. If the thought of contorting sounds too much like sex gymnastics, it’s really super simple to start in the missionary position and then have both partners sort of “fall” sideways together so that you’re both lying down, still fully engaged, facing one another. You’ll get pretty much the same result, but then it’s called the “gift-wrapped” position — queue Shakespeare. Keep in mind though, that you’ll both need to be giving and receiving in this lazier [misnomer!] gift-wrapped missionary position.

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Taking the reigns. The Female Superior style of Missionary Sex.

Of course, it’s really easy to completely reverse the missionary position, putting the woman on top, making the woman the giver and the man the receiver. This should not be mistaken for the “reverse missionary.”¹ The woman-on-top style of missionary (also called the “cowgirl”), actually has several advantages for both partners. Not only does it allow the lovers to maintain eye and lip contact and loving embraces, it also frees up the woman’s range of motion so that she can control the depth of penetration, speed of thrust, and the overall rhythm of the love dance. This can be especially helpful for the woman who needs to control her own orgasm. Plus, it makes room for the man’s hands to caress his lover’s breasts and to stimulate, via hands or vibes, her clitoris.  Oh, and gals, trust me on this one, your man truly loves your jiggly bits, so do not be afraid to hop on top.

Questions about spicing up your sex life? Interested in introducing marital aids and accessories to the bedroom? Be sure to contact me for some advanced sexual health and pleasure education. And, above all, enjoy!

 


¹ The “reverse missionary” is the sexual position wherein the giver is on the bottom and the receiver is on top.

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This post was prompted by a friend in the Blogosphere, author Linda Hill, who is offering (“Just Jot It January”) daily writing prompts for fellow bloggers. Today’s word prompt is “movement.”

To Forgo the “O”

Sex without orgasm? You’re jokin’, right?

Recently, I had a returning female customer come into our boutique and giddily thank me for advising her and her husband to try preventing orgasm. I remembered the woman by sight because she and her spouse had struck me as a particularly handsome older couple who were deeply in love; but frankly, I didn’t remember giving them that specific advice. “Oh yeah,” she said, “at first my husband thought you were trying to be a smartass!” Then I remembered. He’d been having a difficult time maintaining an erection, and they’d come in to our establishment to see about purchasing pleasure aids he might use to focus on giving her orgasms when he wasn’t feeling up to the task.

At the time, I’d just finished re-reading  Viktor Frankl’s classic account of surviving as a prisoner in various Nazi concentration camps entitled Man’s Search for Meaning¹. Towards the end of his autobiographical account, Frankl, a neuro-psychiatrist by profession, posits his theory of logotherapy and explains some of his techniques for working with various mental illnesses. One of the techniques he suggests involves “tricking” the brain into a sort of reverse psychology. Since I am not a mental health professional, I cannot subscribe or even explain how it works; nonetheless, I suggested this couple might try something of the sort.

I asked if they’d ever tried pleasure mapping [I’m a huge fan of the practice] and suggested that they “map” their erogenous zones together. “But,” I said, “neither of you are allowed to climax.” Her husband scoffed, “Sex without an orgasm? Where am I? You’re jokin’, right?” I explained that I thought his condition (erectile dysfunction) was perhaps exacerbated by the anxiety he was experiencing by trying so hard to make his wife orgasm via penetration. Of course, they had a lot of other options that they could explore, for example cunnilingus, arousal enhancers, adult toys, etc., that could bring both of them pleasure. I admitted that I’d be happy to sell them the latest and most expensive toys in our store; but I was curious to know whether or not they would benefit from just leisurely exploring one another’s bodies. Sometimes, when orgasm is seen as the end-all, be-all of sex, so many other pleasurable opportunities are missed.

When the woman came back to tell me how happy she had been with their pleasure mapping experiment, she said it was practically a miracle. “If it hadn’t been so passionate, it would have been funny. In fact, ____ and I laughed about it later, but he couldn’t keep from getting aroused!” I admitted that I couldn’t take credit and told her about an example from Frankl’s book wherein Frankl worked with a man who had been overwhelmed his entire life with a terrible stutter. The man was to speak publicly at a conference and sought the doctor’s help. Frankl suggested that during his speech, the man force himself to stutter throughout. The result was that the man actually couldn’t stutter.

I knew that it sounded too good to be true, but the woman assured me that she didn’t care about the “how” of it happening; she was just thrilled that she and her husband had been able to reconnect intimately and she promised she would be sharing the wonders of pleasure mapping with all of her friends.

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For more on Pleasure Mapping, see my post on Searching for Your Buried Pleasure.

¹Man’s Search for Meaning  by Viktor Frankl, 1946. [find a quick link in Resources]

Bedtime as “We” Time

If your partner’s in bed, you should be, too.

Okay, I’ll admit it. This is an adage that has taken years for me to begrudgingly accept. My spice is a morning person and I’m the proverbial night owl. For years my spice has practically begged me to come to bed when he does. But, I argue, once the kidlens are all tucked in for the night, it’s my best time to “get things done.” Can I get an Amen from the moms out there? I felt that his demand — and, yes, it felt like a demand — was unreasonable. Why should I force myself to sleep just because he does? I even resented his request — because that is what it really was, a request — because I felt like he was being childish. What? You can’t go to bed on your own, you big baby? Ugh!  That line of thinking just made matters worse because it caused resentment on both our parts. He felt slighted because he felt as if finishing up my Netflix binge was more important to me than spending time with him. And I felt resentful because I felt as though he was infringing on “my time.”

Research has shown time and time again that most relationships end because of loss of intimacy and connection.  Going to bed together can actually bring a sense of connection to both partners. Throw a little cuddling into the bedtime routine and both can actually reduce their stress levels. Researcher Jeffrey Larson found that “couples whose wake and sleep patterns were mismatched (e.g., an evening person married to a morning person) reported significantly less marital adjustment, more marital conflict, less time spent in serious conversation, less time spent in shared activities and less frequent sexual intercourse than matched couples.” In other words, healthy relationships need shared bed time.

Of course, today’s hectic schedules mixed with today’s late night techno hobbies make for a challenging bedtime routine. If you and your partner find it difficult to hit the hay together every night, it’s a good idea to try doing it a few nights every week. Since my spice is an early to bed kinda guy, I set an alarm on my phone at least three nights a week to check in with him about his bed time … and make a point to join him. And I’m here to tell you, it’s done wonders for our intimacy.

Instead of thinking of my late nights as “my time” that my husband was intruding on, I changed my perspective. Our shared bedtime becomes our shared “we” time. It’s been shown that when we take time to cuddle up with our lovers and have a quick chat before lights out, we tend to be more affectionate towards one another when the lights are on. In the privacy of our own bed, we tend to talk more about the little things that happened throughout our day, share our thoughts about the kids, share small accomplishments about our work. I’ve been frankly surprised to find out that it’s during these little chats that I often feel closest to him. I learn so much more about his otherwise hidden intimate thoughts and feelings during a quick cuddle sesh than I would glean without them. I believe it’s because we feel safer, more connected, when we’re quietly holding each other. Being naked (or practically naked) helps, too, because we feel more vulnerable, yet safer, together.

I encourage you and your spice to try to schedule a few nights of shared bedtime. I’d love to know how it works out for y’all, too!

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Resources:

“If Your Partner’s in Bed, You Should Be, Too,” Erin Leyba for Psychology Today

MORNING AND NIGHT COUPLES: THE EFFECT OF WAKE AND SLEEP PATTERNS ON MARITAL ADJUSTMENT

 

What Is an Intimate Adult Sexual Relationship?

Is there a gap between what you were taught in Sex Ed at school and what you’ve experienced in real life?

Let’s face it, we don’t know what we don’t know. If you were asked to create a delicious four-course meal from scratch that would be enticing, balanced, and healthy for your dinner guest, where would you begin? Personally, I would begin by freaking out. If you’re a skilled chef, this assignment would be easy, right? But for someone like myself, who was never even offered Home Economics in school, I would be at a total loss.

I don’t even know what’s served in a four-course meal. I know appetizer, entrée, and dessert. I thought appetizers were the first course. I’m missing an entire course. And as for “balancing” a meal — what exactly is a balanced meal — does that mean I have to offer vegetables; and if I do, do they have to be green to count? If they do have to be green, I’d also like to know whether or not a box of frozen peas would be considered as cooking “from scratch” because I think it does, as long as I add some spices or something to them. I guess green peas could be enticing if I added enough butter and cheese, but then that might subtract from the healthy part of the equation. And speaking of healthy, a healthy dessert just sounds like an oxymoron to me.

So, if our culture, our churches, our families, and our friends all think that we should eventually be in an intimate adult sexual relationship … where the hell are we expected to learn how to do it?

If current data on the divorce rates is any indication, adult relationships have been miserably failing for the better part of the past thirty years or so. What the hell happened? It’s obvious that adults have been entering marriages without being properly taught the skills of effective communication, a deeper understanding of interpersonal expectations, healthy emotional boundaries, and how to be committed to their intimate lives. So, if our culture, our churches (synagogues, temples, or other homes of spirituality), our families, and our friends all think that we should eventually participate in an intimate adult sexual relationship — being successful at it, notwithstanding — where the hell are we expected to learn how to do it?

Colleges are talking a lot about everything sexual being consensual nowadays, but they’re not teaching young people how to build sexual and emotional intimacy. I wonder if the type of  “education” we are offering is a result of, or a precursor to, our new and often damaging “hook-up” culture. Because a lot of young folks are proficient at releasing sexual tension, but they woefully lack what it takes to participate in mature, emotionally healthy, sexual partnerships that develop and deepen over time. I’ve heard this is called “sharing parts, not hearts.”

For those of us who desire lasting relationships over brief encounters, answers deeper than “it’s complicated” are necessary. So, let’s break it down. Intimate Adult Sexual Relationship:

  • intimate:  arising from a close personal connection or familiar experience
  • adult: grown up; mature
  • sexual: of, relating to, or for sex
  • relationship: the way in which two people are connected

Having a mature, close personal connection with a sexual partner seems easy enough, right?

According to Elizabeth Entenman, “Being in a relationship means you’re in a relationship with your entire partner; you can’t pick and choose which parts you do and don’t like. Along with the good comes the bad, and being a partner means embracing all of someone.”¹ Okay I’ll admit, that does sound complicated, but not impossible.

So, maybe not everyone wants to be in a lasting intimate adult sexual relationship. But, for those who do, it’s important to acknowledge that fostering deep emotional intimacy is crucial to building a healthy, solid sexual relationship. If you are interested in learning more, I’d love to hear from you.

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What Being in a Relationship Really Means,” by Elizabeth Entenman for The datemix via zoosk, September 3, 2017

Sexual Humility vs. Humiliation and Sexual Shame

Both “humility” and “humiliation” come from the Latin root word humilis meaning lowly. Humility (humilitās) is to “lower” yourself in light of others; whereas, to humiliate (humiliare) is to “make lower” someone else. The definitions may seem confusingly close, but there is a very important difference between the two — one is a virtue; the other is a vice.¹

Humility as a modest view of oneself should make people feel good about themselves. A person who is humble is praiseworthy. Humility is a virtue that we express from our inner being as opposed to the vice of vainglory (arrogance/pride²). I find it interesting that the most humble people I’m acquainted with are also some of the most intelligent and confident people I know. Conversely, the most arrogant people I’ve had the displeasure of encountering are often the most insecure. I don’t think that this is a coincidence either. It is possible to be fully aware of and fully embrace one’s self worth without being pride-full.

Tywin+Lannister

Humiliation stems from feelings of the shame of being judged. Shame by definition is a painful feeling. What is the point of using shame as a weapon — whether against ourselves or our fellow humans?

Sexual humility, I would argue, offers a very wide berth to love and healthy sexual intimacy.  Two sexual partners who practice humility by definition would each place the needs, desires, and joys of their partner above their own; thus, opening the door to a mutually honest, vulnerable, and loving relationship. As Brené Brown points out in The Gifts of Imperfection, “We cultivate love when we allow our most vulnerable and powerful selves to be deeply seen and known, and when we honor the spiritual connection that grows from that offering with trust, respect, kindness and affection.”³ A person who is confident has no need to humiliate another person, especially not their own partner.

Sexual humiliation on the other hand, serves only self. People with a deep-seated need to humiliate their partners in order to feel better about themselves will not be found in healthy, loving relationships. Healthy sexual relationships require a great deal of open communication. People who are prone to shaming (read: emotionally abusing) their partners through humiliation are not inclined to encourage open, loving communication. In fact, they are more likely to be Narcissists who gas-light their partners. In addition, humiliating someone who is not a partner about or because of their sexuality is equally cruel and abusive.

Sexual Shame is a byproduct of humiliation. Here in the United States entire generations have been shattered by sexual shame. While some people are quick to blame religion for this dispiriting phenomenon, it is important to keep in mind that the taboo of sexuality can be secular in nature.

No one is born with shame. Cultural sexual shame is first and foremost passed down to us through our parents. Later our under-educated peers take over by dictating the norms for what is considered acceptable sex — often the same peers who don’t know the difference between a vulva and a vagina. We then get Hollywood’s take on sexuality, completely outside the moral confines of any religion, where only stunningly attractive people are lustfully engaging in 180 second sex which always results in mutual orgasms, right? Oh, and don’t forget the Internet. Of course, when you consider the fact that online body shaming is practically a cultural pastime, that’s one helluva scary thought.

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¹ For the purposes of this post, humiliation refers exclusively to the non-consensual act of humiliation.

² I make a distinction between healthy pride, as in being conscious of one’s own dignity and self-worth and self regard (satisfaction), and unhealthy pride, as in having an inordinately excessive opinion of one’s importance (narcissist).

³ Brené Brown, The Gifts of Imperfection: Let Go of Who You Think You’re Supposed to Be and Embrace Who You Are

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This post was prompted by a friend in the Blogosphere, author Linda Hill, who is offering (“Just Jot It January”) daily writing prompts for fellow bloggers. Today’s word, “Humiliate,” originated with Jim Adams, whose own entry entitled Stitches caught my eye and inspired me to write this post.

Searching for Your Buried Pleasure

“Remember that thing you did that one time that I really liked?” 

Not long ago, I witnessed a woman say to her husband, “Remember that thing you did that one time that I really liked?” He just threw up his hands and laughed, “Are you kidding?” The vagueness of her question left the poor guy completely flummoxed. And, rightfully so. It’s unreasonable to think that another person automatically knows what turns us on or off … especially when we consider the fact that most of us couldn’t list everything that would curl our toes (or potentially turn or stomachs) until we actually experience it for ourselves.

Do you know what brings your body pleasure, your erogenous zones? How do you communicate to your partner what brings you pleasure during intimate moments? Are you the sort of person that patiently allows your lover to fumble through trial and error while you silently pray for the best? Or, do you know exactly what melts your butter and are happy to share?

dreamstime_m_5314097

Physical touch is very important when it comes to arousal and it’s an excellent idea to know what kind of touch, and where that kind of touch, brings your body the most pleasure. The practice of mapping your body is a wonderful way to connect with your body and to discover the different sensations you experience and how they make you feel on a deeper level. Some areas may be ticklish. Other areas may really arouse you. Touch in some areas may be painful and some that are typically neutral may even be uncomfortable or diminish your pleasure all together depending on the circumstances. For example, my reaction is very different when my spice playfully bites my neck during coreplay than it is if he bites my neck while I’m browsing through Facebook. True story.

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…when a person zeroes in completely on orgasm as the goal, they can miss a lot of pleasure points…

If you’re already comfortable with masturbation, you may think you already know everything you need to know; but, when a person zeroes in completely on orgasm as the goal, they can miss a lot of pleasure points that may ultimately bring new and exciting delights to their repertoire. Regardless of what society tells us, Sexuality ≠ Orgasm. Sexuality and erotic pleasure are about a myriad of feelings, sensations, and emotions. The “Big O” is not always a big deal. Rushing towards climax may produce a release of sexual tension, but it does not always produce a full and pleasurable connection — be it with ourselves or with someone we love.

As I often tell people, “Learning never ends.” Movements, touches, and techniques that have pleased you in the past, may no longer please you today. As our bodies and life experiences change, so do our erogenous zones. Mapping your own erogenous zones can sometimes be a healing experience with touch, it can also help you formulate boundaries or “forbidden zones.”  But you needn’t go it alone.

 Keep in mind that as you’re exploring each other’s bodies and experimenting with different types of touches, you are critiquing technique, not each other.

If you are uncomfortable with solo masturbation, mutual mapping can also be an incredible bonding experience for you and your lover. Keep in mind that as you’re exploring each other’s bodies and experimenting with different types of touches, you are critiquing technique, not each other. You may find it helpful to agree on non-verbal cues or signals to use before you begin. One person may be comfortable being specifically vocal, but another person may be uncomfortable directing their partner verbally, especially if using the names of some specific body parts  (like saying “my nipples” or “my testicles”) makes them uncomfortable. Some couples may prefer to use sounds and silence to convey the pleasure they are or are not receiving, others may want to use hand gestures (like a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”) whenever a specific touch triggers a specific response, be it pleasant or not. However you decide to communicate, make sure the information is clear and mutual.

 

Ylanite Koppens via pexels

3 Important Tips for Finding Your Buried Pleasure

  • Wear something comfortable. Comfort is key when hunting for your buried pleasure. Wearing your birthday suit tends to work best for many people, but it’s perfectly okay if you are more comfortable with a light robe or undergarments. Some people even prefer to pleasure hunt in a nice warm bath surrounded by aromatic candles. Others prefer to luxuriate in their “sex spot” of choice (wherever they are most likely to begin a love making session).
  • Give yourself at least an hour for exploration. You want to stroll leisurely along your path, taking time to stop and consider the different sensations you experience along the way. Make a mental note with every stroke, paying as much detail to the signals your body is giving as is comfortable for you. If time allows, you may move from light touches to firmer ones, slow strokes to faster ones, etc..
  • Leave your baggage behind. Before you begin, take stock and make sure you are in a relaxed, comfortable state of mind. If you had a crap day with the kids or just had harsh words with your boss, it’s unlikely you’ll be finding anything close to your bliss this go ’round. It’s okay to reschedule your search, just as long as you aren’t simply finding excuses to forgo the exercise.

For more information or to schedule a complimentary sex education session, feel free to contact me.