Category "Sexual Health"

‘Is your vibrator stopping you from enjoying sex?’

With the news that a supermarket will soon be stocking sex toys, bedroom gadgets have gone completely mainstream. Are we hooked?

Leanne* was 21 when she bought her first vibrator. It is sleek and made from soft-to-the-touch silicone. “It’s stone coloured, with a rose-gold button,” she explains. “It doesn’t look like a dick, it’s very classy.”

Growing-up in a village just outside Birmingham, she’d been single for two years when she took the train into the city centre one Saturday afternoon. “I remember feeling really matter-of-fact about it, as if I was going to have my car MOT-ed,” she laughs. At 21, Leanne had never had an orgasm. “But that was O-day. I was properly determined. I was going to buy the vibrator of my dreams and sort it out.”

She’d lost her virginity at 17 and by 21, had slept with a handful of guys, all of them people she’d been in short relationships with. She’d enjoyed sex, “but it was a different kind of enjoyment,” she explains. “I enjoyed the thrill of meeting someone, of seducing them or of them seducing me. The build-up excited me but I never actually had an orgasm.” It made foreplay uncomfortable and, she sighs, “pointless. I’d just lie there wondering what to do with myself, feeling weird and awkward. I felt like there was all this pressure on me to feel something that I just wasn’t feeling.”

As the years passed, Leanne began to worry about her missing orgasm. “I was disappointed every time I had sex, disappointed in myself rather than the other person. I felt the fact that I wasn’t coming was shameful; I didn’t want to tell anyone because my friends talked about it as if it happened for them every time.”

She finally opened up to her best friend. “The thing is, at the time, I’d never masturbated. My friend was great, she just said ‘of course you haven’t had an orgasm if you’ve never masturbated. You have to teach yourself what you find pleasurable. It’s about recognising a feeling and holding onto it. If you don’t know what that feeling is, then you’re going to struggle.’”

That Saturday, back at home, she unboxed her new vibrator and got work. “It took an hour before I finally felt this overwhelming…thing. Something my body was doing on its own, without me necessarily thinking about it or controlling it.” Big-O contractions were followed by a wave of pleasure, then a feeling of deep calm. “I was like ‘oh! So! I’ve had an orgasm.’ It was a great experience.”

Vibrators have been buzz-buzzing into our hearts since the Victorian era, when they were invented by doctors as a cure for female ‘hysteria.’ At the time it was thought that ‘hysteria’ (essentially, anxiety mixed with a whole host of other, incongruous symptoms like bloating) could be treated with orgasms. It’s a theory that Leanne can identify with: “I definitely felt less anxious thanks to having regular orgasms,” she says.

An illustration showing a woman clinging onto a giant vibrator in a Tarzan-inspired scene

But it was the launch of the Rabbit, in the late 1980s, which helped vibrators go mainstream. “For a long time most toys were fleshy, veiny, pink and obscene,” explains Stuart Nugent, who is the global brand manager for the Swedish designer sex toy brand LELO. “It put a lot of people off buying vibrators.” With its animal-shaped clitoral stimulator, though, the Rabbit seemed somehow friendlier than the toys which had gone before. In 1998 Sex and the City even dedicated an episode to it, signalling its shift from sex toy to cultural icon. 

With sex toys becoming seen as more mainstream, things started to change. “In the noughties, designers began to create more luxurious, design-focused products” Stuart explains. Fast forward to now and the global adult toys market is expected to exceed £22 billion ($29 billion) by 2020 – a growth which Stuart puts down, in part, to the fact that toys are now created to be desirable objects in their own right. He points out that in the past five to 10 years particularly, we’ve become much savvier consumers.

“We are now a lot more design-aware,” he says. “We want products which marry function with a sleek interface. That’s true of all of our gadgets, including the ones we take into our bedrooms.”

This drive for better design has resulted in a huge array of styles and price points. “In a normal vibrator, you’ll have an off-centre weight spinning around an axis. That’s what generates the sensation of a vibration,” explains Stuart. “But companies are now looking at different types of stimulation.” Stuart explains that the Sona, one of their newest products actually sends “inaudible sonic waves directly into the body”. The feeling is meant to be like having a small but bass-heavy speaker rumbling into your vagina. 

Professional sex-toy-tester Venus O’Hara (who owns around 500 vibrators and toys), also points to new toy The Womanizer: “It looks like an ear thermometer; you place it over your clitoris and it stimulates you without touching your clitoris by using air technology – almost like suction, but not too harsh.”

But this technology does not come cheap. You can expect to shell out £120 for each of them. But that’s nothing compared to a £1 million, diamond-covered vibrator – which is thought to be one of the world’s most expensive sex toys. If that sounds like a lot of cash to splash on getting off, then there’s always the ones available at your local supermarket. Yes, you read that right. This week, the supermarket chain Sainsbury’s announced they would be launching a range of affordable sex toys. But even at the more budget-friendly end of the market (the range will cost between £8 and £15), the pieces – in rose gold, blush and silver – look more like dinky sculptures than, to quote Leanne, ‘dicks’.

“I kept my vibe by my bed and used it every day,” says Leanne. “It felt like a really positive step in terms of my sexuality.” Seven years later, she uses the exact same vibe, a few times a week. But while the love is still there, she has started to wonder whether their “relationship” (her word) is impacting her ability to orgasm by other means. “Over the years I’ve realised that I can’t have an orgasm unless it’s using that exact vibrator, laying in the exact same position that I was in the first time. It’s like I’ve never cheated on my vibe.”

Now 28, she lives with her partner of five years. They’re happy and have a fulfilling sex life. “He’s totally fine with the vibe, we include it in foreplay. At first I thought he might feel emasculated, but it’s all good, apart from the fact that I’d love to experience an orgasm in a different way.” Despite much experimentation (“on my front, while having sex, me on top of him, with a range of different toys,”) which proved to be fun but somewhat frustrating, “I always have to revert back to ‘old faithful’ if I want to come.

“It’s almost as if I’ve achieved this milestone, but I haven’t been able to move forward, or experiment. I’m worried that I’ve become ‘hooked’ on that one vibrator.”

An illustration of a vibrator on the pillow next to a woman who looks at it with a glint in her eye

To be clear, according to the experts, this isn’t physically possible (more on this in a sec). But Leanne isn’t the only one to have become concerned about whether anything can compare with the quick-and-clinical power of the vibe. In fact, back in 2016 a condition called ‘Dead Vagina Syndrome,’ – basically a numbness after habitually using vibrators – went viral, despite the fact that it had no medical basis whatsoever. 

Dr Leila Frodsham, a spokesperson for the Royal College of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists, explains: “If you can only orgasm in one position, using one sex toy, or with your hand, and you are perfectly happy, then there’s nothing to worry about. I see a lot of patients, though – men and women – who tell me that they want to experience orgasm in a different ways but can’t. That they feel their sex lives are becoming formulaic because they have to return to that one position and sensation every time.”

Women are able to achieve orgasm through a number of different methods. For many – around 37% according to one American-based study – stimulating the clitoris (a nub of nerve endings, found a centimetre or so in front of the vaginal opening) is necessary to climax, (although others can get there through penetration alone, while a few lucky ones, only need nipple stimulation). “Vibrators work through frequency and amplitude,” explains Dr Frodsham. They rapidly and intensely stimulate the clitoris and surrounding areas, meaning that arousal happens much more quickly than by other (manual or oral) methods. “And there’s no clinical evidence that using one leads to lessened sensitivity or any kind of physical ‘addiction’.”

But, she points out, it’s normal to become used to one sensation. “I see it most often in men with porn addiction,” she says. “They masturbate with their hand, sometimes for hours every day, which means that they find it difficult to climax when they’re having sex with a partner because it feels so different to what they’re used to. For a woman who uses the same vibrator every time, it’s a similar thing, your body becomes used to that one sensation, so new ones take longer to work, if they work at all.”

In these scenarios, she recommends spending six weeks letting your body get acquainted with different sensations. “Dial down the speed of a vibrator, or switch to a different model, which has different kinds of stimulation,” she says. “Reaching climax through a variety of different methods will mean that you’ll start to find it easier generally.” But it can take time. In fact, the first time you try a new type of stimulation might seem like slow going, but it might be worth it, if it means easy orgasms in the long run.

For 27-year-old Safia,* a vibrator hiatus seemed like the only solution after she realised that she was having trouble climaxing without it. “I tried to climax with just my hands but couldn’t get into it,” she explains. “I couldn’t conjure up any scenarios in my mind that would turn me on. Eventually I just got bored. I was single at the time but that experience really freaked me out. I was genuinely scared that using my vibrator every day was ruining my ability to have orgasms with a partner, or by myself.”

She began scouring the internet to see whether vibrator use could lead to lessened sensitivity. “There wasn’t a lot of information available and what was there was often really conflicting. I think a lot of literature which is meant to be positive about female sexuality can ignore the genuine concerns that some women have about being reliant on vibrators.”

Ultimately, she decided to retire her vibe for a month. “It was difficult at first; I’d been using it every day as a way to fall asleep – it just made me feel really relaxed.

“I had this amazing vibrator that cost £120. The first time I used it, it took like seven seconds and then I just lay there, thinking ‘Well, something’s left me.’ Literally, £120 to feel empty.

“During my month off, I actually had to move it away from my bed, otherwise I would have been too tempted to use it each night to help me drift off.”

An illustration of a hypnotised woman with the shape of a vibrator reflected in her eyes

Although it took a week or two, Safia soon got used to masturbating with her hand again. “I realised that I hadn’t been relying on my imagination any more but that masturbating had become purely physical, and that’s why I couldn’t build up to an orgasm like I’d been able to before.”

Venus had a similar experience before she became a sex toy tester. “There was definitely a time when I thought I couldn’t orgasm without one specific model,” she explains. “I tried other vibrators but it had to be this particular one.” She began writing a blog about sex and sex gadgets nine years ago. “Through experimentation and research, I realised that it was my mental techniques that I needed to work on, not just which toy I was using.”

She points out that rushing towards orgasm might, incongruously, mean that you lose touch with your fantasy life. “I think it’s good to allow your mind to wander and be guided by your fantasies — they’ll make the sensations more intense.” She used to masturbate between four and six times a day. “But now I do it just once, for between 45 minutes and an hour. It’s almost like a meditative practice.”

Dr Frodsham agrees that habit and biology are only really half of the story when it comes to sex. “I think the question of why someone can only climax using one particular method is important. And it often comes down to control. Control is a big part of sex and orgasm – a person who feels anxious about what’s going on with their body, or how they look to a partner, is unlikely to relax into sex.”

“We’re now expected to be very in control of our lives,” adds Dr Frodsham. “That doesn’t just switch off when it comes to the bedroom. And it can really stand in the way of someone fully experiencing sex.”

In this respect, vibrators can be a good thing. Basically, a vibe will get you aroused before your mind has a chance to step in and stress out. “Obviously, though, if you’re finding it difficult to climax without one, and would like to, then it’s a case of figuring out ways to get comfortable with losing control and letting your body do what it needs to do,” she adds.

Using a form of psychodynamic therapy, Dr Frodsham helps people to get to a position where orgasms come more easily. She also suggests reading erotic fantasies, such as those in the books by sex writer Nancy Friday and trying various masturbation techniques. Seeking a professional’s advice is something that Leanne has been considering. “I’ve thought about going on a vibe ‘diet’ but I feel like that means no orgasms for… I don’t even know how long. And it doesn’t seem worth it.”

Both Leanne and Safia are still vibrator fans. “Using the vibe has definitely improved my sex life,” says Safia. “But – and maybe this comes down to the fact that I have a new girlfriend – now that I only use it every-so-often, I feel like I’m getting to know myself better. I’m experimenting more and letting my mind wander more. Still, I’ve got no plans to throw it away,” she laughs, then shrugs, “I’m only human.”

*Some names have been changed to anonymise the personalities. 

This article was originally published on 25 October 2018. BBC

10 Top Tips For Cervix Penetration

Deep Sex Penetration And Cervical Orgasms
Deep Sex Penetration And Cervical Orgasms

What is Cervix Penetration

In addition to vaginal stimulation or clitoral stimulation, the cervix is also a pleasure zone that can lead to full blown orgasm. This is achieved with deep penetration through the vagina which will stimulate your cervix.

For those who have never experienced deep penetration before, or might have experienced it unexpectedly, you would be wondering how this can be stimulating or safe. So we have put together the best tips on cervix penetration and stimulation to help you understand and enjoy deep penetration without worry.

Female Squirting: How do you squirt?

Can everyone squirt? or is this a pleasure reward for the sex gods amongst us? In this article we dive into the essentials of female squirting. What it is and how can everyone do it; if everyone can do it.

Sex educators, journalists and bloggers have over the years discussed and attempted to demystify female sexual experiences; attempting to generalise female sexual encounters and provide answers to people with probing questions.

Questions like is female orgasm real quite often make it to the trending sexuality questions on Google. A stuff for legends and desire for amateurs, female squirting like female orgasm is another of the top trending sexuality questions often asked from Google. On the mid of sexual pleasure seekers; often shrouded in mystery lies the age old question: How do you squirt?

Female Squirting: How do you squirt?
Female Squirting: How do you squirt?

Can Every Woman Squirt?

Quite often at some point, ladies and sometimes men ask Google pertaining questions about female sexuality. Amongst them includes “how do you squirt?”, “how do women squirt?”, “is squirting the same as pee?”, “can every woman squirt?”.

These questions mean that people are interested in the matter of female squirting and the high interest has led to sexologists and sociologists examining the topic with keen interest; even sex toys collections aimed at helping a woman achieve squirting status.

What is Squirting? Seriously What exactly is Squirting!!?

So what is squirting? Well in simple words it is the expelling of intra vulva fluids from the g-spot as a result of being super aroused.

Long answer: One has to understand the structure of the vulva, which has a spongy tissue known as the urethral sponge or the g spot, located about 2 to 3 inches inside the vaginal canal on the front facing wall. This spongy tissue is usually found with a come here sign when a finger is inserted into the vagina.

The spongy tissue can become very very aroused like the clitoris, and it fills up with bodily fluids. At a tipping point the urethral sponge will expel these fluids and that is what squirting is all about.

What is Squirting? Seriously What exactly is Squirting!!?
What is Squirting? Seriously What exactly is Squirting!!?

If you are familiar with X rated movies, you might observe that “squirting” involves heavy fluids gushing out of the body sometimes at alarming amounts and in alarming volumes. That like in most movies, are exaggeration of a much less dramatic and often leaky or few drips and dribbles of bodily fluids.

Isn’t Squirting the same as Female Orgasm?

Well that isn’t exactly the case. Female orgasm is a complex contortion of muscles and spasms that involve all the erogenous zones; the squirting which is sometimes wrongly called “squirting orgams” and female orgams are two separate and different experiences, albeit related because they are caused by sexual arousal hitting high peak.

But they don’t often occur at the same time, and in some instance female squirting can occur before an orgasm and sometimes even without an orgams.

Isn't Squirting the same as Female Orgasm?
Isn’t Squirting the same as Female Orgasm?

It is key to point out that some ladies have described squirting to be exactly like an orgasm and others have described it to be similar but not the same. Most ladies do not realise they are squirting at all as it is often a quiet and non dramatic event.

There are recorded cases of women who only squirt during masturbation, but rarely during partner sex, it has been described as a calming release whist orgasm has been described as a high energy eruption. Some women might notice a slight wetness on the bed after sex indicating the eruption of bodily fluids; or squirting.

Quick Question: Is Squirting Pee?

Quick answer: no, squirting fluid is not pee. The fluid make up of squirting is called prostatic fluid which has a different biochemical makeup than the chemical nature of pee.

Long Answer: Whist other researchers have identified, common compounds like urea and creatinine, it is certainly not the same fluids. Urine has a general odor and yellowish coloration, whilst squirting fluids are clear and odorless with a mostly tasteless nature.

Quick Question: Is Squirting Pee?
Quick Question: Is Squirting Pee?

There is no official distinction between pee and squirting fluids, but if you suspect that you pee during sex, then it is recommended to have a chat with your health specialist as peeing during sex can be an early sign of urinary incontinence, which can cause you to pee during sex or when pressure is applied on your vulva. This condition can also be exhibited in women who have given birth and is as a result of a weak or overly tight pelvic floor which can be remedied by pelvic floor exercises.

Can I learn how to squirt and can everyone squirt?

Around 10% of women report squirting over their lifetime, however there is a suspicion among researchers and sex educators that the phenomenon could be in higher numbers, except that it is not noticed amongst many women as it is often a very subtle and undramatic event.

Taking these into consideration; we can observe that in theory the majority of women should be able to squirt, it is not known for sure; for instance in theory not all women with nipples enjoy nipple stimulation or nor all women with ears enjoy having their ears licked, in that light not all women with a vulva will have a high enough stimulation in their g spot to cause the expulsion of squirting fluids.

How to Squirt (Alone or with a Partner)

Squirting, very much like orgasms varies from person to person. But there are general steps one can take to achieve squirting. You have to be aroused and sexually super turned on in order to experience squirting.

1. Getting Wet

Getting wet and ready, aroused and sexually turned on is the way to getting the juices flowing and your g-spot sponges filling with fluids. You cannot get squirting juices flowing until you are turned on and in the mood.

If you feel uncomfortable, then you have to prepare yourself with a bit of self stimulation or sex toys like love eggs, vibrators and dildos. When you are good and all turned on, with proper engorgement of your clitoris and arousal of your g-spot, then you have to stay turned on, this can be achieve with slow stimulation of your nipples, experimenting with butt plugs to stimulate your anal erogenous zones, or using a clitoral rabbit vibrator to stimulate yourself.

2. Find Your G-Spot

With well manicured and clean fingers, or with your partners’s fore finger, reach inside the vagina and locate the spongy soft spot that will be about 2 inches to 3 inches inside the vagina. It is located on the front facing wall of the vagina, and is usually stimulated with the fore finger performing a come here sign inside the vagina.

Once contact is made with the g-spot, you should feel a spongy quarter sized zone that is extra sensitive to touch and stimulate this area with a wiper like motion or soft come here signs. You might have to work on the zone for a longer amount of time as there are varying sensitiveness when it comes to g-spots.

Stimulating the g-spot gives the sensation of pleasure and if you feel like you want to pee, then you have not been aroused enough and have to go back to step one, taking time to ensure that you are turned on enough.

3. Toys Designed For Squirting

Once you have found the g-spot, then it is time to work on more pressure stimulation and firm rubbing with your forefinger and g-spot wand stimulators. These g-spot want sex toys are designed to touch, reach and stimulate the g-spot with little effort, leading to the engorging of the g-spot with fluids, and leading to the build up and release.

4. Mix Things Up: Stimulate your Nipples and Clitoris

Mix things up with stimulation of other areas of your body, including your clitoris, nipples and even experimenting with nipple and clitoris suction toys and stimulators and vibrators.

In short, do what feels good and do it for a long time, experiment and mix things up, a bit of oral sex, sex toys, hand stimulation and vibrators, dildos and as much as you can feel good, until you get a release.

What If You Didn’t Squirt?

So you did not squirt, well not all women do, and remember the here is to explore your body and find your limitations; what you enjoy the most and what you find less enjoying.

Exploring your body allows you to find new kinds of sensations which fel good and are actually a good way of learning how to please yourself or be pleased by your partner.

Learning to squirt might take more than a trial or two, but regardless of if you squirt or not, you will have identified new zones in your body that turn you on and give you sexual release and satisfaction. You are now a master of what your body likes.

Why You Should Be Chilled If You Can’t Squirt

It is fun to explore your body, try new techniques and see how your body responds to these, not all sexual organs are created the same and ultimately, what excites someone will not excite your body.

There is no need compare yourself to how someone else’s body reacts, you can achieve sexual satisfaction and sexual pleasure at your own pace with how your body reacts.

Can One Get The Coronavirus from Having Sexual Intercourse?

Sex is a basic human need, and pandemic or no pandemic, there are times that couples and lovers will decide to get under the sheets. The question is; would you be risking your partner or yourself by having sex during the Coronavirus outbreak?

We have gone through the medical advice and evidence available to narrow down the risks and what you should know if you intend to have sex during the Coronavirus outbreak.

Can one get the Coronavirus from having sexual intercourse?

We have some aspects of all this isolation due to COVID-19 figured out, and yes although it has definitely changed the dating and sex scene, creating more virtual relationships as meeting people face to face has taken a step back.

There has been an increase in the number of FaceTime calls and video calling sex, long chats; amourous or friendly.

But one question still lingers in our minds, what can we do and what can we not do when it comes to sex during the coronavirus. We dug out there and to our unsurprising discovery, the city of New York has blessed us all with a Coronavirus 2019 Sex Guide.

The guide is designed on what we medically and scientifically know about the COVID-19 virus and how it transmits. It has been narrowed down that the virus transmits human to human when there is less than 6 feet of distance between an infected person and a potential new victim.

According to the CDC, when one person sneezes or coughs, their respiratory droplets can travel across a distance of 6 feet and contaminate the mouth or nose of another person.

Should these droplets be contaminated with the virus that causes COVID-19, then the new individual could become infected or when the contaminated droplets land on a surface, this creates a contaminated surface which may find its way to a new victim.

The CDC however has not found any evidence that the COVID-19 virus can be transmitted through sex or sexual bodily fluids.

Although this is not the case with viruses in general as noted by Dr. Nicole Williams, M.D and ob-gyn with the Gynecology Institute of Chicago. “There are hundreds of types of viruses,” she explains. “Although it doesn’t appear that the coronavirus is sexually transmitted, one can easily shed viruses like herpesvirus and HIV through vaginal semen and fluid.”

Thus, there is a chance that the Coronavirus could be transmitted through sexual bodily fluids. And one could become infected by having sex with an infected patient or even just by their proximity to the infected person during sex.

No specific research work has been done however to determine if COVID-19 can be found in the semen or vaginal secretions and fluids. The virus has however been identified in fecal samples and other bodily fluids like sputum and urine.

This means that anal sex and kissing makes it more likely that the virus can be transmitted from an infected patient to a new person.

The city of New York “Sex and COVID-19 guide”; spells out acts like anal sex and kissing as well as rimming (mouth to anus sexual activity), and sharing anal sex toys as high probability in transmitting the infection. Making them more risky than other sexual acts.

The guide also points out that masturbating and individual solo sex acts are the least likely to cause transmission between infected persons. Giving an umph to the self sexual explorations; and sex pleasuring with the likes of fleshlight, masturbators and pleasure lubes.

The next best option is having sex with someone you are already in the lockdown with, having sex with a few close contacts during the lockdown reduces the risk of infection and helps to slow down the spreading of the COVID-19 virus.

It might get boring with you two locked up on the house all alone, so you can spice up the steam session with some luxurious sex toys; solo dildos and couple sex toys.

The guidance recommends not having any close contact with anyone outside of your household during the lockdown, and that rules out hook-up sex.

It is important to observe a healthy lifestyle and as pointed out by Dr. Williams, should one or both partners feel sick at any time, then it’s time to call off the sex and avoid further close contact. Including kissing, sex and other forms of intimacy.

“Any safe sex practices are okay right now as long as you or your partner have no reason to believe they’ve been infected with COVID-19,” she explains. “If either of you has been infected or present any symptoms of being ill at all, don’t have sex for the next few weeks.”

In that case, then one could consider going solo with an ultra-quiet vibrator or a rabbit vibrator for the ladies; allowing their partner to keep safe from cross-infection in the household or perhaps slow down the infection and lower the curve.

There are other guides from reputable organisations such as Planned Parenthood; who have a simple to follow navigating guide for having sex during this COVID-19 outbreak.

That guide; also points out kissing and rimming as the high risk acts; in addition to sucking on a penis or sex toy after it has been in the anal region of a partner; potentially causing infection.

The Planned Parenthood guide also gives further advice on using condoms and dental dams to reduce the risks of infection from oral sex; avoiding contact with potentially infected saliva or fecal matter.

Cleaning sex toys will also reduce the risk of infection or not sharing sex toys at this moment in time will be quite ideal; so grab your own butt plug sextoys or anal sex toys and enjoy them at your convenience and safety.

So from the available guide we know that sex is not completely off the table during the lockdown.

However, one should observe a healthy lifestyle at all times, taking care to wash their hands with soap and water thoroughly or use an alcohol based hand sanitiser where there is no soap and water.

At the worse you can still pleasure yourself and play yourself into ecstasy, so go forth and enjoy the lockdown with your partner in the spirit of the moment. Steam up your room and stay indoors.