Category Archives: Society

9 Ways To Have A LOT More Orgasms As You Age

Is your sexual response lagging lately? You’re not alone. “The truth is we produce less estrogen and testosterone as we age,” says Pepper Schwartz, Ph.D., Professor of Sociology at the University of Washington and author of 50 Great Myths of Human Sexuality. The result is not just a slow-down in the frequency of sex, but lower satisfaction. “You have to be more attentive to orgasm than you used to be to achieve it,” she says.

But that’s no reason to give up. “Sex doesn’t have an expiration date,” Dr. Schwartz says. If you want to have more orgasms, here’s what the experts recommend:

1. Cut back on drinking and smoking

“Smoking and drinking are the worst offenders,” says Dr. Schwartz. “They narrow the blood veins and arteries and make it harder to get blood into the genital area.” Stopping or cutting back can enhance orgasm and even revive your sex life.

2. Exercise

Regular workouts can also improve sluggish blood flow, says Joan Price  In fact a University of California at San Diego study showed middle-aged men who started exercising for an hour three to four times a week reported more frequent sexual activity and orgasms. And researchers at the University of Texas at Austin found that when women cycled vigorously for 20 minutes, they boosted blood flow to genital tissue 169 percent. The take-home: “Exercise before sex,” Price advises.

3. Put it on your to-do list

“The more orgasms you have, the easier it will be to have them,” says Price, who advises putting them on the calendar. Schedule two orgasms a week at a minimum, either with a partner or by yourself. “If you get into a regular habit of having orgasms, whether you are in the mood or not, the more you will want them and the more easily they will be to achieve,” she says.

4. Experiment with a vibrator

“The older we get, the more we require extra stimulation in order to get to the same place,” says Laurie Betito, Ph.D., a psychologist specializing in sexuality and author of The Sex Bible for People Over 50. “And women need more direct stimulation to the clitoris.” Vibrators and other sex toys designed to enhance sensation are available from companies like Good Vibrations or even Amazon.

5. Postpone dinner

Romantic dinners aren’t a good idea if you’re thinking about having sex. “They actually make orgasm more difficult because all of your blood flow is directed at the digestive tract instead of the genitals,” Price says. So take a bedroom detour before dining out—or get your meal delivered.

6. Talk about it

As your body ages, your sexual needs also change. “If your partner uses the same techniques that used to get you going, you may not get what you need,” Dr. Betito says. The same goes for your partner. Try to keep the lines of communication open as you notice shifts in your desire and response.

7. Avoid painful sex

Declining estrogen levels can lead to vaginal dryness and irritation—ouch! “Pain takes away the ability to relax in order to experience orgasm,” Dr. Betito says. Talk to your doctor about a prescription estrogen product—vaginal creams or tablets—and stock up on over-the-counter lubricants and moisturizers.

8. Address serious concerns

Rates of erectile dysfunction increase with age, which can wreak havoc on your love life. Lifestyle changes, such as exercising, quitting smoking, and following the Mediterranean diet—rich in fish, nuts, vegetables, and olive oil—can often help. But if problems are severe, ask your physician about other options, from pills to injections.

9. Go solo

Health and relationship changes don’t have to prevent you from experiencing pleasure. Says Price, “Sexuality is something we can celebrate and enjoy, whether or not we have a partner.”

By Beth Howard

Temperature Play Tips For Cool Summer Sex

You’ve seen this onscreen sex trope before: A man (it’s always a man) slowly drags an ice cube over a woman’s naked body, giving the camera an excuse to linger on said naked body. (Think of 9½ Weeks, Do the Right Thing, or any number of copycats.) This move is an example of temperature play, a set of techniques used in both BDSM and vanilla encounters to provoke a sensual response through the application of high or low temperatures.

“When people think of temperature play, they usually focus on warmth — melting the wax of a natural massage candle and drizzling onto the body for a heated-up massage or using your own body heat to melt massage bars into an oil can be quite lovely during the cold winter months,” says Coyote Days, product and purchasing manager at sex toy retailer Good Vibrations. “But during the hot summer months, we prefer to look at ways people can cool down while getting hot with their partner.”

And, as many a sex scene has demonstrated, you already have a temperature play product in your freezer.

“Ice is a simple and sensual way to incorporate temperature and sensations into your sex life,” Days says. “Holding an ice cube with your fingers or between your lips offers intimacy with an edge. Not only does the ice chill the part of the body it’s touching — nipples, inner thighs, buttocks, stomach, and more — but the ice water it creates can also be a fun.”

To add temperature play to oral sex specifically, Claire Cavanah, Babeland co-founder and co-author of Moregasm: Babeland’s Guide to Mind-Blowing Sex,  recommends that you “put an ice cube in your mouth before touching your partner and have a cup of hot tea by the side of the bed — alternate between the two sensations.”

But temperature play options don’t end with ice. Click through for more techniques that will cool you down as they turn you on.

 

By Hayley MacMillen

How sex toys really helped me navigate my sexuality after coming out

I realized I was queer when I was in college.

I’d always had extremely close female friendships, but it took me a while to admit that the “girl crushes” I’d had weren’t girl crushes at all — they were legitimate, romantic, sexual crushes.

Figuring out your sexuality is one thing. Figuring out your sex life when you aren’t straight is just as hard, if not harder. In the U.S., we’re considered lucky if we have sex education classes that go beyond abstinence, but LGBT-specific sex education is basically non-existent. According to Guttmacher Institute, only 13 states require discussion of sexual orientation in sex ed, with nine being inclusive discussion of sexual orientation and four requiring that it be negative information.

Long story short? You have to really seek out accurate portrayals of not just healthy sexuality, but healthy queer sexuality, on your own. Learning how to have queer sex isn’t something that just lands in your lap.

 

As a result, my coming out was also a lesson in broadening my understanding of my sexuality as a whole. I had to ask myself new questions. For years as a straight girl, I’d assumed I’d do the PIV-sex thing and be done with it. But now, as a queer girl, I had to ask myself what I wanted my sex life to look like. What did I want it to entail?

At first, I tried out the usual suspects, reading about how girls had sex and looking up sex tips and advice online, but much of it catered to straight people, especially straight men. I wasn’t seeing much that centered on my own pleasure or that offered up actual advice. I mean, try looking up “lesbian sex.” I will pretty much guarantee that you’re going to land on porn.

I decided to kick other people’s thoughts and ideas about my sex life aside and make my own decisions. It was up to me to navigate my own sexuality. Sex toys ended up playing a major part in that.

According to the Autostraddle Sex Survey, over 50 percent of queer women use strap-ons, dildos and vibrators when they have sex. Because we’re breaking the norms of sex from the get-go, it sort of feels like you may as well just go for it and figure out how to have the best sex ever. Still, though, I was nervous.

 

As a queer woman still learning how sex between women was “supposed to” work, I felt a little hesitant and nervous about sex with other women to begin with. Adding sex toys felt risky, like it would make me gain or lose “queer points” if I chose a toy that made me seem like a straight girl.

There’s a lot of judgment surrounding bi women to begin with, so I was always worrying about having other women shame me for my decisions and decide I was just a straight girl experimenting instead of a real, live bi girl. With people assuming lesbians are “less gay” because they like strap-ons, or questioning how “real lesbians” have sex (as opposed to all those “fake ones” that seem to exist…?), there’s very real pressure to have queer sex the right way, even though you’re never told what that right way is.

So it felt revolutionary the first time I sat down with a regular hookup and said, “Have you ever tried out sex toys?” She looked at me for a moment before smiling and saying that she had a few times, and then we were able to get to know each other on a new level. We were opening up and being vulnerable and having a conversation that more people need to have — an open, honest and judgment-free conversation about how we wanted to have sex.

When you’re shopping for, talking about and even using sex toys, you’re entering into a space where rules — the suffocating ones that make us question ourselves before we express a need to our partners — don’t apply. Consent becomes real, instead of theoretical. Pleasure becomes real instead of theoretical. You have to spell it out and say, “This is what I like,” and “This is what I don’t like.” And I think that, queer or not, we’re all bound to have better sex when we’re not holding back, not in the sex shop — and not in bed.

 

By Rachel Charlene Lewis

Sexing it app: The erotic video games that explore sexuality

My fingers move in slow circles, gently at first. Chunky pink and red pixels flush under my touch. The music builds.

I’ve never done this on a bus before. As I stroke the screen of my phone I’m hyper aware of the people to my left and the woman behind me.

I get a rhythm going, learning what makes the ambient sounds swell and soar – and avoiding the rushed, rough strokes that bring everything to a halt. The beat kicks in, the colours pulse. I’m masturbating my phone.

La Petite Mort is a game made by Andrea Hasselager and Patrick Jarnfelt, the pair behind two-person Danish studio Lovable Hat Cult. Last month Apple banned the game from its app store. “We were told the game contained excessively objectionable and crude content,” says Jarnfelt. “But what’s crude? It’s just abstract pixels. Just the idea of touching a sexual organ was a problem.”

 Jarnfelt and Hasselager are at the centre of a growing community of developers who are making games that explore issues around sex and sexuality. They help run the annual Lyst conference, where developers meet to discuss and show off games such as Breakup – a Vr experience in which you endlessly repeat the last few moments of a relationship – and Pocket Jockey – in which players make other players’ phones vibrate.

The third Lyst event took place in Hamar, Norway, last weekend. “The community is growing, we’re getting more and more participants,” says Hasselager. “Love, romance and sex are some of the most natural human emotions but they are portrayed so badly in games,” she says.

Pixelated porn

La Petite Mort is not the pair’s first game about sex. In 2008 the pair were co-creators of Dark Room Sex Game, i

n which two players swing Wii remotes back and forth in an escalating rhythm to reach a musical climax. “You had to look each in the eye and communicate through body language,” says Jarnfelt.

The idea for La Petite Mort came to Jarnfelt when he was playing around with cellular automata– abstract models that can simulate complex systems, such as living things, just by following a simple set of rules. Jarnfelt got his automata to respond to touch – and immediately saw the erotic potential.

To make the game’s graphics Jarnfelt and Hasselager filmed the genitals of actual women, then pixelated the footage to such a degree that it is almost unrecognisable. “We’ve had people play through the game without realising what they were touching,” says Hasselager.

People play the game quite differently. When Jarnfelt tested it with a group of male friends, they all looked over the player’s shoulder. They were checking out each other’s technique, he says. “It became almost competitive.”

Others prefer to go off and sit by themselves. “The images are in your head,” says Hasselager. “But this is why it can become embarrassing to watch somebody else.”

Risky business

New York-based developer Robert Yang has also explored intimacy – and the awkwardness that often goes with it – in dozens of games. Yang makes games about gay men that are often tongue in cheek and funny, but they address serious issues.

Where mainstream games include sex at all, it is often presented as part of the game’s story as a reward or a goal for the player. But Yang presents intimacy as a process in itself, one that is inherently risky. “What if you tell someone you love them, and they reject you? Or what if you want to have sex, but you’re terrible at it?”

“When we think of sex as a process laden with tension, rather than a conclusion, it suddenly opens up a lot of emotional language in games,” he says.

Screenshot from a game called "Hurt Me Plenty" - a man in his underwear is kneeling down, facing away from the camera
Games can help teach us about consideration and consent

Hurt Me Plenty/Robert Yang

Yang explores important themes that few others do, says writer and game designer Cara Ellison, “but he’s paid a huge price for it.”

Like Jarnfelt and Hasselager, Yang has had his games banned from certain online distribution services. He cannot sell his work through Steam, the largest online games store and he is not allowed to use the payment processing service PayPal.

Such companies have a relatively conservative policy about what they deem pornographic.There is a line that defines what forms of sexual content companies permit developers to include in games, but it’s blurry, he says. “And they can shift the line without warning. Even asking for donations puts me in danger of getting banned from PayPal.”

Grown-up games

We have a problem with prudishness when it comes to games, says Ellison. Sexual content is more common in films and on TV than ever and books like Fifty Shades of Grey are mainstream bestsellers, yet attitudes about sexual content in games have not caught up.

Many people still think games are for kids, says Jarnfelt. “It’s an antiquated view, but it has stuck in people’s minds and the rules have formed around it.”

Ellison feels similarly. She also thinks many people are still uneasy about games because of their interactive element. “People are slightly suspicious of that still, they think it’s much more influential to play a sex scene than merely watch one.”

But that’s ridiculous, she says. There is more to interactivity than pressing buttons to move hips, she says. In Yang’s game Hurt Me Plenty, for example, a player is locked out if they violate their partner’s trust. “It’s perfect for understanding exactly how important consideration of another body is,” says Ellison.

“There are lots of games coming out pushing the boundaries,” says Jarnfelt. “They’re not getting widely released but they’re getting made and that’s the first step.”

Games are obsessed with violence because players find it entertaining. But we also like sex, says Yang. “I suspect that sex is the only other cultural force in the universe that is sufficiently weird, scary, funny and sad to dethrone violence as the default interactive experience.”

Hasslager has a similar view. “It would not be obvious for me to make a game about war because I’ve never been in a war,” she says.

 

By Douglas Heaven

5 Ways To Improve Orgasm After Having Your Baby

It’s no secret that having a baby does a number on your sex life. Your body parts are all slightly askew, and it sometimes takes a while to get to know how to make things happen again. If you’re a new mom, exhaustion plus issues with body image can make you apprehensive about jumping back into the sack. And, if you have tried it, and things weren’t as hot and heavy as they had been just a few short months ago, you may be looking for ways to improve orgasm after having your baby.

Dr. Renee Horowitz, a practicing OB-GYN and the Director of Center for Sexual Wellness in Farmington Hills, MI, told Fox News that studies have shown an almost universal decrease in sexual desire among women after they have a baby that generally lasts six to eight weeks. Desire is directly related to reaching orgasm.

Regardless of whether they delivered vaginally or by C-section, most couples also have a decrease in the frequency of their love making for about a year after the baby is born. Horowitz suggests that the reason is hormonal, often having to do with the rising prolactin levels during breastfeeding, and the accompanying decrease in dopamine levels.

If you’re a new mom hoping to improve your sex life and have better orgasms after baby, the good news is that there are a few things that can help.

1. Practice Your Kegels

The pubococcygeal muscle is a sling of striated muscles that holds the genitals in place and is the muscle that begins the orgasm in women, according to Columbia University. This is also the muscle that helps you stop peeing midstream and keeps you from leaking. When you have a baby, this muscle gets stretched out and loses elasticity. Dr. Arnold Kegel’s exercises, consisting of squeezing and relaxing this muscle can help a new mom strengthen the muscle and improve her orgasms.

2. Use Lube

Some new moms experience issues with vaginal dryness that can make intercourse uncomfortable and orgasm difficult to reach. Lisa Pastore, an epidemiologist at the University of Virginia’s obstetrics and gynecology department tells Psychology Today that women should use lube if they need it and never feel guilty about it.

3. Have More Foreplay

Sometimes, the best orgasms come after a lot of foreplay. Foreplay can counteract inadequate lubrication, according to Sex Info by University of California, Santa Barbara and can make you more aroused psychologically and physiologically.

4. Drop Off Baby With Grandma

According to Everyday Family, your brain depends on the amygdala, the part that controls your fear, anxiety, thoughts, and feelings, in order to have a pleasurable sexual experience. In order to focusing during sex and to achieve an orgasm, your amygdala must shut off.

This is hard to do when you are tired and worried about the baby waking in the middle of your lovemaking. Letting Grandma or Auntie babysit for a few hours one day can alleviate some of that stress. It will also allow you and your partner some private time to get to know your post-baby body and your new likes and dislikes and maybe even make the quickies during baby’s nap time more satisfying.

5. Be Open To Alternative Options

Sexologist Dr. Logan Levkoff told Everyday Family that many women are unable to achieve an orgasm through penetration alone. If you are open to other forms of clitoral stimulation such as oral sex and the use of toys, you can improve the probability of better orgasms after baby.

 

By Yvette Manes

Sounds of erotica: This orgasm library tells you what female pleasure really sounds like!

“Vamos, vamos. Ohhhh siii…” the woman moans, as the first visual emerges:

“70% of Spanish people believe that this is the sound of a female orgasm.”

The text gives way to an adult film star in the act. It is her voice we hear — or so it seems before dubbing actress Balbina del Rosario appears, intoning the words and moans in a recording studio as the film plays in the background.
This is the digital advertisement for Orgasm Sound Library, an initiative by Barcelona-based Bijoux Indiscrets calling on women to donate that most intimate of possessions: their orgasms.

“We needed to catch people’s attention over female pleasure, and thought of inviting them to discover what it really sounds like without conforming to porn or Hollywood film theatrics,” says Marta Aguiar, CEO and co-founder of the erotic products brand. “There are over 250 uploads now, and it doesn’t stop.”

Named after Denis Diderot’s 18th century erotic novel Les Bijoux Indiscrets (The Indiscreet Jewels), the 10-year-old company — of, by and for women — undertook the Fiction versus Reality in Sex study in 2015. Their findings: 60 per cent of women moan simply to excite partners during sex, 30 per cent believe orgasms should be mechanical (versus 42 per cent of men), and 43.2 per cent fake it to end unsatisfactory intercourse.

Fiction versus Reality in Sex took shape after Bijoux Indiscrets launched Twenty One, the diamond-shaped vibrator. “At the end of 2014, we realised there was still a lot of confusion around female pleasure. That was the seed of the study,” says Aguiar.

Orgasm Sound Library may be a supplementary project, but it’s also the show-stealer. More than 100 women made themselves heard in the first week of its launch last month, their orgasms being listened to 110,000 times in five days. #OrgasmosReales (#RealOrgasms) trended on Spain Twitter and across the Atlantic, Conan O’Brien featured it on his TBS talk show Conan.

But this female orgasm repository is more than an audio library. A median between research, awareness and performance art, the Orgasm Sound Library website (orgasmsoundlibrary.com) is also home to beautiful data art that unfolds as you play an audio file. Each spiral, cloud or line — in its varied hues — is unique to an orgasm, blipping and growing with the slightest modulation in pitch and frequency. One can filter through the library by most views, most popular, most shared, orgasm duration, or even use specific search terms. Regardless of what you listen to, no two graphics are identical, ringing the gong on an important point: each orgasm is distinctive.

“Since we wanted to visually show the uniqueness of each orgasm, we worked extensively on a data art algorithm to create a unique image per sound. The results are beautiful,” shares Aguiar. “Moans and sound in general, when real, are great communication tools during sex, and communication is key. But when sounds are performed instead of felt, they make less sense.”

The library’s personal treatment also extends to the anonymous uploads. Women can tag and name their orgasms any way they wish, resulting in a cornucopia of appellation delights: The Weekender’, ‘Stairway to Heaven’, ‘Midnight Train’, ‘The Five Point Exploding Heart Technique’, ‘My Finger, My Love So True’ and more across 20 pages. One also observed that the most common tags include #alone, #toy and #clitoris.

Orgasm Sound Library isn’t the first online audio-visual homage to real orgasms. Thirteen-year-old Beautiful Agony is a project where uploaders share videos of themselves climaxing, with a sole focus on their expressions (“Beautiful Agony began as a multimedia experiment, to test a hypothesis that eroticism in human imagery rests not in naked flesh and sexual illustration, but engagement with the face,” says the website). But with its focus on the plurality of the female orgasm and data art as a metaphor for said diversity, Orgasm Sound Library rubbishes the notion that ear-splitting moans equal great orgasms. Your orgasm can sound like anything from a creaky door and expletive-ridden gibberish to a faint sigh or guttural grunt and still be sexy.

Although Marta Aguiar and co-founder Elsa Viegas are yet to analyse geographical data on Orgasm Sound Library, Aguiar admits she’s curious to see if there are notable audial variances by country.

“Women who enjoy their own pleasure are still slut-shamed and that is the biggest brake to real pleasure. It’s not possible to have fun when you are scared of what people may think or say about you,” she concludes, underlining the macro aim of this project.

Come as you are, ladies. And make yourselves heard.

 

By Roshni Nair

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Couples who are fair about housework have more sex

There is a view among some social scientists that couples who share more housework have less sex. The idea is that sharing chores so challenges gender norms that couples can no longer turn each other on. Sex suffers.
Fortunately, new research offers a different narrative.
According to a new paper to be published in the Journal of Marriage and Family, couples who share more housework have more sex.
“Nationally, internationally there’s a decline in sexual frequency,” said Sharon Sassler, a professor at Cornell University and a co-author of the paper. “The only ones [couples] that are having more sex are in egalitarian marriages. The sexual scripts have changed.”

The authors, led by Daniel Carlson at the University of Utah, compared data from a 2006 marital satisfaction survey with older data from 1992-1994, which found that couples with more traditional set-ups—with women doing the bulk of the housework—have more sex.
The new survey showed things are changing: couples who reported sharing housework equally had sex 6.8 times per month, on average, or about once more per month than those where the woman does more “routine housework,” defined as: preparing and cooking meals, washing dishes, cleaning around the house, shopping for groceries, and doing laundry.
This is fantastic news for those of us who aspire to partnerships in which we share things like raising kids and cleaning toilets (hello 2016!). Having sex once more per month may seem measly, but something is better than nothing and it’s certainly an improvement on the view that sharing housework harms your sex life.
Of course, it’s not all sun and roses. Women still do a disturbingly high percentage of the work in the house. According to the 2006 survey, about 63% reported that the female partner did the majority of the routine housework, compared to over 80% of respondents from the older one:
Even in households where the female partner earns more than the male, is more educated, or works more hours per week, men do less routine housework than their partners.
Annoying. And backed up by Pew research survey here.

Of course there are things other than housework which affect a couples sex life, like kids and the quality of the relationship.
But housework plays a big role (ask any married couple) and the authors tried to figure out how significant that role was, and how it is changing. A lot, it tuns out: egalitarian couples had the lowest sexual frequency and satisfaction in the early 1990s. Today, they have the most sex, though not much higher than conventional couples. They are the only group whose frequency is growing.
Sassler says the popular storyline, captured in a 2014 New York Times magazine cover story, is that contemporary couples are stressed out and miserable. “It’s weird and exaggerated,” she said, adding:
There’s been a lagged response to women’s transition into the workforce. Initially it was stressful. It affected relationships. We’ve had a few decades to educate each other about the stresses we went through, and we are coming out okay.
There is a basic logic at work here. Couples who have more egalitarian relationships are happier, and happier couples tend to have more sex. Fairness matters, be it housework, child care, and just about everything else.
The study had some not-so-great findings too. Couples in which the man does the bulk of the housework have significantly less sex than those in conventional or more egalitarian pairings (the study did not look at same-sex couples). And while sexual satisfaction varied little between conventional and egalitarian couples; counter-conventional couples, those in which he does the bulk of the housework, were more dissatisfied with their sex lives compared to those in other arrangements.
Clearly something weird is going on that men cannot wash a lot of dishes without everyone’s libidos taking a hit (Sassler says the sample was small, and that some men might not be home by choice, but because they are unemployed).
One thing that has not changed: Men in both surveys were more likely than women to say that routine housework was shared equally; women said it was more likely that they were doing the majority of the work. Some things never change.

 

By Jenny Anderson