Tag Archives: sexuality

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

Why don’t men have good sex toys?

Over the past few decades, women’s sex toys have gone from seedy to chic, swapping the aisles of porn shops for those of Walgreens and Target. But when it comes to products intended to stimulate the penis, there hasn’t been much change. One of the most popular masturbation products for men,the Fleshlight, has remained largely the same since its inception in 1998 — and even that product isn’t much different from the anatomically inspired masturbation sleeves that have been sold to men for decades.

WHILE WOMEN’S SEX TOYS HAVE GONE FROM SEEDY TO CHIC, MEN’S… HAVEN’TThere are lots of different theories about why women’s products dominate the sex toy market. Some suggest that it’s a question of demand: men just don’t want or need masturbatory assistance in the same way that women do. Others have noted that the kind of products that are sold to men tend to be too graphic to make a play for the mainstream market — the aforementioned Fleshlight, with its vulval exterior and porn-star-laden packaging, isn’t really the best fit for Walmart.

But what if those explanations don’t get it right? What if the real thing that’s holding penis-focused toys back is our cultural attitude toward male masturbation?

Paradoxically, male self-pleasure is simultaneously more accepted and more shameful than its female counterpart. While it’s broadly assumed that men — especially young men and ones who are single — will more readily find a way to give themselves a hand, it’s not viewed as the kind of sexual education that female masturbation is. Women are encouraged to masturbate to learn what they like and experience more fulfilling sex with a partner; men are presumed to masturbate as a replacement for sex.

In addition, when men do masturbate, it’s not really considered something to celebrate. Masturbation is a fallback for the lonely and unloved, a sign that you’re too undesirable to get a living, breathing human to have sex with you. It’s not about getting to know your body, it’s a shameful strategy for achieving the goal of orgasm; and for many, that means that it’s best when through with as quickly as possible.

“MOST MEN LEARN TO MASTURBATE AS QUICKLY AND AS QUIETLY AS POSSIBLE”

“Most men learn to masturbate as quickly and quietly as possible, or [while] watching porn,” says sex coach Charlie Glickman, the former education program manager for sex toy retail Good Vibrations. “The idea is grab it tight as you can, jerk your hands back and forth as fast as you can… when that becomes our habit [we miss out on] all of the other pleasure that can come from sexuality.”

Statistics from PornHub uphold this view: the average user visit is under 10 minutes — and that includes all the time spent finding a good clip and locating the best moment. Is it any surprise that our attitude of “Get it done quick, and do your best to pretend you’re with a real person” has led to a class of pleasure products that no one is bragging about?

That’s why CT Schenk created Blewit !. A 12-year veteran of the sex toy industry, Schenk is intimately familiar with the shame that surrounds male self-pleasure, and wanted to create a product that would combat the shame around male masturbation. Though other manufacturers — Tenga, Lelo, and FunFactory, to name a few — have also begun to offer a classier alternative to Fleshlight-like products; Schenk’s one of the few to explicitly make the connection between shame around masturbation, the quality of men’s sex toys, and the effect this all has on male sexual health.

blrewit-male-sex-toy02

A view of Blewit!’s sex toy. (Blewit!)

At first glance, Blewit! appears pretty similar to most other penis-focused toys on the market. It has a hard outer shell; a soft, textured inner sleeve; and, well, you can probably figure out how it’s used. But there are some design features that differentiate it from its competitors — it’s sleek and easy to grip, clean-up is a breeze, and the opening doesn’t mimic any part of the human body. Its marketing, though, is what really sets it apart.

Schenk isn’t trying to sell an erotic fantasy: there are no pictures of beautiful porn performers on the packaging or website, no attempts to liken the product to being inside anyone’s body. What he offers instead is the idea of Blewit! as “pleasure training,” a device designed to help men learn more about their bodies — while also helping to combat common sexual problems. If this sounds familiar, it’s because that’s how women’s sex toys went mainstream.

Schenk believes that shame around masturbation — and the rapid-fire masturbatory habits it inspires — contributes to issues like premature ejaculation, erectile dysfunction, and the inability to climax with a partner. In addition to the product itself, Schenk’s worked with sex therapists and educators to develop a series of education materials that promote “mindful masturbation,” a slower, more thoughtful self-pleasure process that encourages the body to appreciate subtler stimulation.

Blewit! hasn’t broken into big-box stores yet, and it may not cross into the mainstream for a while. If it — or any other male masturbation products — do manage to make it there, it’ll likely be thanks in part to Schenk’s work to recontextualize male self-pleasure as a healthy part of the human sexual experience.

It took decades for female masturbation to go from completely undiscussed to a celebrated aspect of healthy sexuality. Male masturbation has different challenges: shedding myths, misconceptions, and a whole host of bad habits as it makes its way to the mainstream. But if the mainstreaming of women’s sex toys has taught us anything, it’s that the rewards of overcoming those obstacles are more than worth it.

 

By Lux Alptraum

6 Sex Toys That Work Great for Women … and Are Not Shaped Like a You-Know-What

I’ve always side-eyed phallic sex toys, and aesthetics is definitely one of the reasons why. Personally, I don’t want a toy that enters the Uncanny Dick Valley. (Veins! Bulges! Out-of-scale frenulums!) That being said, I also don’t want something that looks like it belongs on a Pikmin.

My bigger qualm, though, is functionality. A very informal survey of my friends reveals that most women don’t orgasm vaginally and use toys that are built for penetration mostly externally. I can’t say I’m surprised, though, since I kind of thought that dildos were like seat belts, medicine, and guitars

—created without much thought to how anyone other than a man would use them.

For that matter, just because I’m doing something sexual doesn’t mean I need a dick-analogue involved. It’s like insisting all vegetarians MUST want fake meat. Sometimes it’s just not necessary, and I’m good, thanks.

Nevertheless, it seems like dick-shaped vibrators and dildos are the default, unless you do some digging. Which I did, because I’m a giver.

 

$119 and Babeland

It kinda looks like a knockoff beautyblender, right? The cool thing about all Minna products, (including the Ola, which I own), is that the vibration settings are totally tactile. The harder you squeeze the toy, the harder it vibrates. Super-easy, and more intuitive than D-pads (Why do they need so many arrows? I’m not putting cheat codes into it) on a lot of toys that I always end up snapping my nails off trying to use.

Oh! Also! It’s completely waterproof and way more fun in the bath than a rubber dick. Duck. Whatever.

Njoy Pure Wand

I know this thing looks terrifying, and it kind of is, but if stainless steel isn’t already involved in your sex life, it should be. You can use every type of lube with it, it holds temperature FOREVER, and it’s non-porous, so it’s really easy to clean.

Before I bought this, I definitely thought insertable sextoys were total bunk made by men who had no idea how women have sex and couldn’t see beyond their own anatomy. I don’t normally like being proven wrong, but it’s not so bad when being proven wrong = g-spot orgasms.

Pro-tip, though: don’t drop it. It dented my floor.

Njoy Pure Wand, $108 at Babeland, and Jimmyjane Form 2, $149 at Jimmyjane

Jimmyjane Form 2

OK, imagine you had the best Rabbit vibrator in the entire world, but instead of relying on the vibration transferred from the motor in the shaft, there were individual motors in each of the ears. Now ditch the entire shaft part and the creepy bunny face, and you have the Form 2.

I had a product crush on this thing for the longest time, and for a solid three months I would pop into Babeland, mess around with it, put it back, and walk out. There was a Jimmyjane sale where they’d throw in an extra vibrator (a good one, not a little finger vibe) with your order, so I finally pulled the trigger.

IT’S SO WORTH IT. It’s like masturbating with surround sound.

Hitachi Magic Wand

The "Gee Whiz Combo" is 118 at Babeland

This is often described as the “Cadillac of vibrators,” but frankly, it’s more of a KitchenAid. While the wand itself is so high-powered that I probably can’t be within five feet of it and while it will get you off in the same amount of time it takes to plug it in, the sheer variety of attachments for this thing is mind-boggling.

A flutter tip? You got it. A nuzzle tip?Sure. Not to mention the standard rabbits, g-spot attachments, and, if you’re feeling generous, some guy-centric prostate and sleeve attachments.

Womanizer Delight

 

$189 at Babeland

Most of these sex toys haven’t exactly been discreet, but you could maybe leave the Womanizer out in your shower and convince your cleaning lady it was for reducing crow’s feet or shrinking your pores or something. Maybe. I have no idea if that works from personal experience at all.

This isn’t exclusively a vibrator, and, to my knowledge, it’s pretty unique as far as sex toys go in that it uses suction. If feels as close as you can get to real-deal oral sex.

Lovelife Wanderlust

$95 at Adam & Eve

Do you want to get off and also feel like you’re in Sailor Moon? Same.

The Wanderlust is a great, non-tacky option for bachelorette parties or that one friend who’s too afraid to buy their own toys. I’m normally against cutesy sex toys, but this one is an exception because it’s… minimal? Whimsical? If ModCloth sold sex toys, they’d definitely stock this one.

By Caitlin

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

Wearable sex toys: Technology takes a step ahead in erotica

While sex toys have been available since long, it’s only recently that many of these erotic toys have been advancing with a faster pace. With older sex toys being passive, newer ones are more advanced and have electronics built into each of them. These are now wirelessly connected and operated using smartphones and the internet to help individuals and couples experience a better sex life. Take for example the electronic lingerie made by Durex, which allows your partner to fondle you over the internet using a smarpthone. These types of sex toys are targeted towards couples that stay away from each other and work in different cities. To bring back the spark in their sex lives, many companies are taking advantage of technology.

This time is it a different type of erotic wearables. A new line of sex toys are here that allows you to explore the future of sexual arousal. The wearable sex toys are from Wisp, which focuses more on the pleasures of stimulation and less on the physical aspect. Wisp devices are meant to be worn and placed on sensitive zones for sexual arousal and stimulation. These devices incorporate miniature motors and vibrators which simulate a gentle touch or air-blowing on the skin to mimic a lover’s touch or breath. Using this technology, men and women can take advantage of these wearables to intensify their sexual experiences.

The project was completed in 6 months. Each wearable incorporates motors and soft, furry material and can be adjusted to different intensities. Multiple tiny motors work together to create sensations similar to sexual stimulation of the skin.

Wisp presently has two products—Whisper and Air. While Whisper is a flexible pad that mimics a lovers breath, it also has a few heating elements for additional sensations. Air is a necklace that uses various elements, including perfumer, audio simulation and an air-blowing mechanism.

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