Archive for Blogs – Page 2

What Can Pop Teach You About Hooking up With Friends?

Turning friends and acquaintances into lovers can be a tricky path.  After all, there’s a line between appreciation and objectification.  There’s also line between making your interest clear and making someone else uncomfortable.  And most certainly there’s a line between flirty and creepy.

It’s not always easy to walk those lines, sometimes it’s not even easy to see them – but I think part of being an person who both gets lots of sex and is an awesome person is learning how to do just that. So check it:  me and some sexy songs have tips for  helping you find, and walk those lines!

One:  Check your boundaries
If you want me baby here I am
Get Off; Prince

get pff clip

I’m willing to admit bias, but I think Get Off is sex on a stick.

Do you know this Prince song?  Not only is it ridiculously sexy, it’s got some great advice when it comes to hooking up with friends and acquaintances.  Seriously, listen to this lyrical content:

How can I put this in a way so as not to offend or unnerve?

Starting the conversation is by far the most delicate part.  You want to let someone know you’re interested, but if you aren’t certain the other party is interested in you, how do you find that out without completely blowing up the relationship that already is?

You ask casually where the boundaries are.  I like to say things like: Do we have the kind of relationship that could include extra friendly benefits? – which is an indirect way of asking if that person is interested in being a friend with benefits.  Or, Would you like it if our friendship included sexy benefits?  Or even, Do we have the kind of relationship where I can occasionally send you random dirty e-mails on a Tuesday afternoon?

Relatively direct but not outrageously explicit asks let the object of your desire know exactly where you stand while providing an easy way for them to opt in or out.

 

Two: Respect What’s Being Said

I hate these blurred lines
Blurred Lines; covered by Caela Bailey and Dalisha Phillips

Blurred lines?

Who needs Robin Thicke when Mod Carousel is around?

I hate these blurred lines too – because they have no place here.  If the answer you get is no, you need to respect that – immediately, as a full sentence.  No doesn’t have to come with an explanation, nor provide a reason for their lack of interest.  Acknowledge the answer you’ve been given and show it some respect.

Respecting the answer you get is absolutely key to keeping whatever relationship you do have with the person you desire intact.    That means not only hearing any negative answer you get, but also not asking constantly just to see if things have changed.  I have friends who state the FWB ask can happen once every 5 years.  I’d probably say 3 myself – but we should definitely be talking multiple year periods.  Believe me; you don’t forget being propositioned; no matter how respectfully it’s been done.  If something happens and the object of your desire now desires you the onus is on them to approach you.

 

Three: Question what’s not being said

Think with your heart
read between the lines
Between the Lines; Bonobo feat. Bajka

The absence of no is not a yes; neither is maybe.  If the answer you got wasn’t a clear yes; you need to figure that out before you go any further.  Stating boundaries, “rejecting” someone, or disappointing people can be hard for people.  Do them a favour – and the current connection you’d prefer not to jeopardize – get clear.  It’s okay to tell people you need active consent before you make a move; or help someone enforce their boundaries by letting them clearly know it’s okay to say no (Nervous giggle eh?  Shall I take that as a no?  Because it’s a completely acceptable answer).  While it’s true that this might not get you lots of sex in the short term, it will help your awesome person cred which directly relates to you getting lots of sex in the long game – here’s why:

 

Four: Find like-minded people

fast love

If I had that clicker I would not be looking so tormented George.

I do believe that we are practicing the same religion
Fast Love; George Michael

People talk – and when they’re looking for hook ups they turn to their friends.  If you’ve proven yourself to be an awesome person who is respectful of consent, and dtf – you’re going to get recommendations.  And the people who seek out recommendations for casual connections?  They hang out with people who also look for recommendations for casual connections – it’s a web that builds and builds upon itself, and as long as you stay awesome, you stay in it.

 

 

You might also enjoy:

On Ending Relationships With the Respect They Deserve

The video  below inspired me so much this morning that I feel compelled to share it.  It’s a recording of an unwedding ceremony for a couple who realized their time together in that style of relationship wasn’t serving them anymore and that it was to part with their marriage.

The video below is set to start right right before Nathan asks to be released from his word, so that he can believe in his word again.  If it doesn’t cue up nicely, it starts at 14:34.  Trust me, you want to see this. What a powerful ask – what an empowering ask.

I think what they’ve done is brave, and fitting (and I only know half of the couple) – and so very powerful.  It’s also got me thinking: how many promises do we make when we are young (physically, emotionally and mentally) or with an immature mind?  And in no way do I mean immature as an insult; but simply not developed yet.  Even as adults we can find ourselves in situations where our mind is child-like because we’re experiencing something new.

The child-like mind is a wondrous things; it has an amazing ability to accept and believe and hold fast. But it isn’t always a critical mind; those skills don’t come until our mind matures by learning. And sometimes as we mature and question and grow in ourselves we also find that we grow out.  Out of  beliefs, out of relationships, outof patterns and habits.  Sometimes even out of our old selves.  Nathan makes such a good point; when our old selves made promises our new selves are expected to keep, we trap ourselves into a no-win situation.  Either by forcing us to keep things that no longer work for us, or making us think we can’t trust our word.  It’s not that we can’t keep our word – it’s simply that that word no longer reflects where we’re at in life.  And that’s okay – forever is a long time to stay the same.

How beautiful that these two are giving the end of their marriage at least as much love and respect as they started it with.  That they were able to recognize what no longer served them and make new choices before they felt trapped and resentment towards their partner crept in.

How courageous of them to share this in the way they have – to publicly show that there are as many ways to have (and end) partnerships as there are people out there. I’m inspired; and I hope you are too.

Why You Shouldn’t Stay Just for the Sex Part 2: It’s Not About the Sex.

Miss Part 1?  Check that out here.

Ever tell that half truth?  When your friends ask you what on earth you’re still doing in that toxic relationship, and you tell them you know – but the sex is so good?  But honestly you know it’s not really about the sex?

Staying for sex seems to get this strange bypass in society – like good sex is so hard to come by that it totally makes sense that you would stay involved with someone who was obsessive, or dishonest, or emotionally manipulative  – really you can fill in your own blank here.  So sometimes we use that as an excuse, even when the real answer is something else.

Why we stay in relationships that are bad for us is a huge complex topic that I can’t address completely in a single article; so I’m going to cover two reasons below and hope that this will encourage you to spend time thinking about what further reasons you may have.

Meet Your Martyr Complex

Martyrdom shows up in two ways: white knighting and the suffering saint – and surprise, gender doesn’t matter.   We get the idea in our head that we can save and reform the bad boy; or find that little lost girl and keep them safe from themselves.  Think of the stories of Rapunzel for white knights, and Beauty and the Beast for the suffering saint.  We confusing saving someone with loving them – and often because at the root of things we tell ourselves if we can fix someone, if we can tame the monster, or show them enough something that we’ll win their loyalty, and also their love.

But fixing someone doesn’t win you loyalty for-ever-and-ever-amen – and neither does being someone’s whipping post.  Further to that, loyalty is not the same thing as love.

It’s also true that you cannot fix someone – only people can fix themselves.  You can support someone in the process, but you cannot do the work for them.  It’s a hard question to answer (hard, not difficult), but I’m going to ask it all the same; why are you trying to fix someone else instead of working on yourself?

 

Fear of Being Alone

In a society that’s set up to teach dependency words like single, solo, and alone can be really scary.  People can react in such strong ways I sometimes I wonder what people picture in their heads when they hear those words.  Do they picture being locked in a dark apartment in dirty clothes eating TV dinners?  Being overrun with cats?  Crying themselves to sleep in some comically oversized bed?  Take a moment to think about your single picture – is it positive or negative?  When you’re being honest with yourself, how realistic is it?

We’ve talked before about living from a place of scarcity and the way that fear can keep us trapped, and this is something that plays directly into a fear of being alone.  It’s not the momentary aloneness that is the root of this fear; but the fear that we might stay alone.  Maybe we’re afraid we’ll stay alone because no one will find us desirable.  Maybe we’re afraid we’ll stay alone because that means no one is coming to rescue us.  Maybe we’re afraid we’ll stay alone because we believe there isn’t enough love in the world out there for everyone to have some.  Maybe it’s something else…  but these ideas; they trap us.  They lock us into settling out of fear, out of a belief in scarcity, out of a belief that there isn’t enough – but believe me when I say there is enough.  Sometimes it just takes a while to find it.

I’m going to leave with you two more questions.  How much are you willing to put up with in the name of not-alone?  And where is your line of enough? If you don’t know the answer to those questions, make finding that answer a priority.  When we don’t know our boundaries, it’s impossible to keep them strong and enforced.

 farm picedit

 

 

You might also enjoy:

Why You Shouldn’t Stay Just for the Sex Part 1: It’s About the Sex.

I know, I know – but the sex is so good right?  Like; soooooo good.  Like; soooooooo guuu—buddy; I get it.  But there’s more to a relationship than getting laid, especially when everything outside of the sex is creating havoc in your world.

Can we take a minute while I tell you some true things?

Good sex is not actually hard to come by.  Finding good people to have awesome sex with can be a completely different story; but as for the deed itself?  I promise you, there is more out there.  If you’re thinking ending this relationship means the end of a rocking sex life, we need to talk about scarcity mindset.  Scarcity mindset is the belief that there isn’t enough of something to go around, and it traps us into situations and patterns that aren’t helpful (and sometimes even downright harmful) by flooding us with fear.  If you’ve got a voice in your head telling you this is all there is; the best you can do, all the good people are “taken”, or that you’ll never find another awesome lover again, make getting that voice under control priority number one.

Now, let’s figure out what makes that sex so good shall we?  Because once you know that – you can replicate it!

 

They know about buttons I never knew I had

Fantastic – because now you do know about them.  Figure out the moves that are driving you wild so that when you’re having exploratory sex (you know, that fun, get to know you sex?) with a new partner you can give them a short cut to your pleasure by sharing what you know about your body.  But do yourself a favour and don’t start your sharing with my ex used to….  Try something like I really like when…. Or It feels so good when…. Or There’s something about touching my ___________ in this light way that drives me crazy; but it’s hard to describe; wanna help me find it? Feel free to insert an eyebrow waggle after that last one!

 

But I’ve got this ….quirk…..

You and just about everyone else.  No really.  People are giving themselves permission to explore sex and sexuality in ways that they never have before and learning all sorts of things about how they like to get down – so chances are you are not alone.  Into BDSM?  Got a specific fetish?  Dig on tantra or other sacred sexualities?  All about multiples (take that as you will!) – or something else entirely?  You are not alone.  Use things like google, facebook, meetup.com and fetlife.com to connect with other people who are into the same thing.  Finding people who share your sexual appetites doesn’t guarantee you a perfect fit relationship-as-a-whole; but it’s a good place to start.

You are not alone.

 

It’s just so passionate

I ask you; what has stopped you from connecting to your passion in the past?

Did you not trust lovers with your vulnerability – too hung up on what your face might be doing; or that your honest sounds of pleasure would be somehow unwelcome?  Share you insecurities with your next lover before you hop in the sack.  Share with them the things that box you in your head so they can help get you out and into your body. Also, start adding sounds when you exhale; a sigh here, and ugh there.  Get used to making and hearing your natural sounds.  If you need to, ask permission from your lover to make sounds; or better yet, go stand in front of a mirror and give yourself permission to make sounds.

Did you simply not know how to work your body to find pleasure worthy of being passionate about?  Go spend some time learning; read a book, take a class, work with a coach or counsellor (there are hands on and hands off options out there).  Carve out time in your schedule and make a date to get in touch with your body and its pleasure.  Spend some time getting passionate with yourself.  Give yourself permission to be passionate with yourself.

Did you give your lovers permission to be passionate?  Just as you have barriers keeping you from connecting with your most passionate self, so do other people.  Letting your lover know you appreciate and desire that passionate side of themselves can help give them the permission they need to be as passionate as they want.

Good sex is good sex; great sex is great sex – but it’s not magic; it’s a skill that you can bring with you to your new lovers and new relationships.  You don’t need to stay with a toxic person just because the sex is good.

Ready for Part Two?

You may also enjoy:

5 Ways to be Happier Single

Despite the rise in singleness as a culture (think more people living alone, waiting to get married, not getting remarried, etc), old norms die hard, and the message of single = bad is still out there.  If we buy into the messages sold, couplehood can become less about sharing a relationship with someone you care about and more about a sense of security, codependency, or even about maintaining our concept of self-worth.

We share this with over 7 billion people - and yet still so much focus on being "alone"

We share this with over 7 billion people – and yet still so much focus on being “alone”

Being single can be a blessing or a curse – and I’m not here to tell you that you should be embracing any relationship state in life, but if you’re new to the solo state; or find yourself (unwillingly) inhabiting this zone longer than you planed, here are some tips to help make your stay a lot more comfortable.

  1. Stop hanging out with only couples. Not everyone minds experiencing the world solo; but always being the extra body can intensify the feelings off lonesomeness.   Start mixing it up a bit, hang out with groups, mixed of singles and couples (or poly-cules).
  2. Do that thing you always wanted to do. There’s no need to let being single stop you from doing something you love. Love cooking and lamenting that cooking for one is a pain? Check out blogs that focus on crafting delicious meals for one. Wishing you could travel? There are travel websites dedicated to solo travellers of every variety, from tips for traveling as a single to finding group tours. Got an activity that requires a partner – like rock climbing or acroyoga? Check meetup.com for local people looking for activity partners.
  3. Indulge in some pleasure. Just as sex isn’t about a race to orgasm, masturbation doesn’t have to a quicky before you fall asleep for the night. Your sex life is as much of a priority when you’re solo as when you’re in a relationship, so make the investment and take some time to treat yourself. Maybe that means a sexy outfit, maybe that means quality toys (which are not just for people with vulvas), maybe that simply means taking time to actually have a solo pleasuring session instead of just cranking one out to clear the pipes
  4. Get involved; not just busy. Busy is a time filler that doesn’t necessarily do anything but keep you moving. Find and fill your time with things that give you more than a full schedule. Audit a class, or download some podcasts for a language you always wanted to learn. Take up photography, painting, crafting, or something else that can help get your creative juices moving. Volunteer, in your local nursing home, in your local public school, at your local humane society; positions are always open.
  5. Limit time spent with anti- singles. Some people refuse to believe that being single is an okay place to be in life, whether it’s about them or about someone else. It’s one thing to acknowledge we all have lonely days, but hanging out with people who are unwilling believe life can be good without a mate is only going to drag you down too.

Bonus tip: Check out this video by Tanya Davis:  How to Be Alone – and keep this article bookmarked for tough days.

 

Happy National Orgasm Day!

Or is that International Orgasm Day?  If it isn’t a global thing yet, it should be.

I flip back and forth between just how big a fan of orgasms (yanno, as a concept) I am.  I get frustrated with their treatment of the be all and end all of sex for so many reasons.  Because pleasure is good in and of itself.  Because so many people hold this measurement of what an orgasms should be and are dealing with feelings frustration, disappointment, failure and shame.  Because depending on your partner to provide you with an orgasm is a lot of pressure!  Because I can’t always have an orgasm as easily as I want – or sometimes even at all.

But …. That’s not really the nicest thing to bring up on what pretty much amounts to Orgasm’s big celebration day.  So instead I’ve complied some of my thoughts on orgasms into handy soundbites!

  • Exercising your pelvic floor muscles is one of the best things you can do for easier and more intense orgasms…. As long as you can remember to use them during sex.
  •  Physiologically, orgasms are all one thing – but what I dig most about them is the diversity.  Sometimes it’s crazy and intense, sometimes it’s warm and mellow.  Sometimes having an orgasm means wanting more orgasm; sometimes it means I realize I don’t actually want to have an orgasm right now, other times still one is just right.
  • While I can’t say I’ve never faked an orgasm, I can say I now have a rule against it.  I realized faking orgasms didn’t help me have more enjoyable sex and it set me up to have to keep being dishonest with my partner.  Over the years I’ve learned how to instruct my partner on how to help pleasure me – or I take matters into my own hands.
  • I think pleasure focused masturbation (as opposed to orgasm focused masturbation) is the single most useful tool for getting to know how you orgasm.  Giving yourself freedom to explore what you find pleasure rather than simply trying to “get off” as quickly as possible can teach you a lot about how your body does and help you find new paths to orgasm.
  • Real orgasms make for great porn. If you haven’t seen any orgasm porn, one of my favourite tumblr’s for orgasm porn is o-faces (definitely X-rated.  Expect to see straight, queer and gay sex, kink and vanilla activities, cis and trans and bodies of all colours and sizes), or the Hysterical Literature series, which you’ll want earphones for if you don’t want everyone around you hearing people orgasm.

Oh – and I made you this picture.

 

skelly

Now, I unknowingly celebrated the day earlier but since I like to do things with consciousness, I’ll probably be celebrating again later.

So, how are you celebrating?

 

Sex After Babies

I’ve always thought it to be a cruel irony….  The very thing that was started by sex ends up putting a damper, if not a full stop, on people’s sex lives.  I’m taking about babies.  Certainly life with children is different than life before children, but having some new additions to the family does not mean the end of your sex life for the next 3 years.  Here are some tips to help get you back in the saddle (or on the counter, in the shower or even in the bed) after your little cherub arrives.

  1.  State your boundaries.  If you’re not feeling up to certain types of sexual acts, or having areas of your body touched tell your partner up front.  Clearly stating your boundaries before things get intimate can help you feel more relaxed when initiating or reciprocating your partner’s advances because you can trust that you won’t have to put the brakes at some point.
  2. Image by Just Taken PicsExplore sex beyond penetration.  Make outs and massages are nice too – but how about oral sex, mutual masturbation, frottage, or putting on a show for your partner? And I’m not just talking about one way here; blow jobs are not the consolation prize for giving the vagina time to heal.
  3. Use good lube.  If you’ve been using drugstore brand lube you’re missing out on a world of options. There are organic, hypoallergenic options (Sliquid H20 is great if you want to go this route), thicker gel-like lubes (I really dig Slippery Stuff, but ‘splurge’ for the larger size with the pump handle) or if you find water based lubes aren’t cutting it try one with a silicone base.  Just be careful not to use silicone lube with any silicone toys though!  Not sure what you want in a lube?  Try a sampler pack!
  4. Don’t leave it to the end of the day.  If you leaving connecting with your partner to the end of a long day you risk running out of energy to make that connection.  Spending time sleeping beside someone is not the same as spending time connecting.  Make a point of stealing time when you can; maybe that means sending flirty text while the baby is napping, or arranging a baby swap with another parent so you can spend an hour getting physical with your partner.
  5.  Remember that your life as parents doesn’t mean sacrificing your life as sexual beings.  Sexuality is with us our whole lives; not just until we pop out offspring.  Maintaining a sex life that makes you and your lover happy will have a positive effect on your whole household and could even be the start of sex positive parenting!

Building Critical Thinking and Sexual Literacy: On “Sex Positive” Spaces

How can you tell if an event or group that advertises itself as sex positive actually is?

Sex positivity is kinda the new hotness in a number of “forward thinking” circles. Maybe it’s sexual revolution round 3 (or 8? 35? 2?), or maybe this is how people want to pat themselves on the back this week – whatever. Point remains, it seems every event that has ties to sex/sexuality is using this term to advertise themselves as a safe space. Bar nights, conferences, facebook groups, festivals, you name it, they’ll call themselves sex positive.

And just like all popular things, some of them are genuine, some a riding a trend for personal benefit, and some …. well some make me wonder what definition of sex positive they’re working with.

So how can you tell which is which?

 Step One: Get clear on what Sex Positivty means to you

Not everyone is using the same definition of sex positive; so hit the web and find as many readings on sex positivity as you want (or can handle) and start educating yourself. Because there is no concise standard definition the more diversity the better, in my opinion. Here are some places to start that’s I’ve found useful, and I really encourage you to read through the links:

 Commonly misunderstood, sex-positivity is not a movement rooted in liberating what’s between the legs. Rather, it is a framework for expanding consciousness, promoting tolerance, and rebuilding human respect. It’s a tool for reimagining our bodies, pleasures, and desires as healthy, normal, and diverse. It’s an instrument for reclaiming our power, challenging shame-infesting ideologies, redefining our relationships, and fortifying our sisterhood. The Sex Positive Black Woman by Arielle Loren

 

Responsible sex-positivity requires a thorough examination of sexual ethics. It’s just that whether something seems “freaky” or hedonistic or something you wouldn’t enjoy yourself should play no part in those ethics.What I mean when I say I’m Sex-Positive by Cliff Pervocracy

 

It’s the cultural philosophy that understands sexuality as a potentially positive force in one’s life, and it can, of course, be contrasted with sex-negativity, which sees sex as problematic, disruptive, dangerous. – Dr. Carol Queen

 

Sex Positive Saturdays with the Center for Sexual Health and Pleasure. Each Saturday a staff members shares their definition of Sex Positivity.

Now get thinking! Did any of those definitions above give you a gut agree or disagree reaction? The ones you disagree with – what would you change about them? What baggage or bias could you be bringing to the gut ‘no’ reaction you just had?

For me, sex positive events, organizations and people look a lot like this:

  • are inherently feminist (the pro-sex, pro-porn, intersectional kind, anti-oppressive, strives to be an ally to marginalized communities kind)
  • recognize that there is a lot of unfun stuff that comes with sexuality and doesn’t shy away from talking about it/dealing with it.
  • act with transparency and value open dialogues when complaints or problems arise
  • value all consensual forms of sexual expression including choosing not to engage in any or any particular type of sexual activity.
  • It’s not momentary thing…but really an ideological view of being in the world.

What does your list look like?

Step Two: Look at the org/event/people; find patterns of behaviour

Take your list of values and think about the organization, event, or people in question. Do their actions align with what you consider to be sex positive? If you aren’t sure, ask people who attend, or ask the event to provide you some people to talk to.

Missteps and mistakes will happen, which is why I encourage you to look for patterns of behaviour. Also, how do they respond to making a mistake? Do they acknowledge the problem and work to fix it, do they sweep it aside, or worse – do they turn on the whistle-blower? How a group/event/person behaves when something goes wrong offers good insight into their true nature. Is survivor support something they espouse only when there aren’t survivors around to support? Are they anti-racism only when it doesn’t interfere with their theme night?

Remember that this will not be a static process, but those who claim the title sex positive need to prove it regularly with the actions they take, which means you’ll need to keep a continued eye on how they do.

 Step Three: Make your choices based on what sits well with you.

As I’ve already mentioned, sex positivity is somewhat of a subjective term so the thoughts that matter most here are yours. You need to feel safe in this space; you need to know that these people have your back – or if they don’t, you need to know that so you can take the necessary precautions so that you can be safe in these spaces. That includes deciding not to attend events or support certain people in the projects they are involved in.

Feel free to get creative here: I have a rule for a local “sex positive” dance party (I use quotes because, after a year of attending their events, I consider them pro-sex, but their actions don’t match my understanding of sex positivity) – make outs galore, but no sex with anyone who isn’t already someone I’ve had sex with. Why? Because it’s a bar night where both physical interactions and drinking are heavily encouraged. While I’m a fan of both those things, I know that alcohol and consent do not mix well, plus I know how much I’ve had to drink (and that I enjoy tipsy bar hook ups), however I don’t know how much my partner has had to drink, nor can I be sure of their ability to consent. If they’re already a lover then I have a precedent of consent to sex – but new partners? Nope. I can’t live up to my own standards of sex positivity any other way.

So – loads to chew on in here… I hope you’ll share with me some of your views on sex positivity in the comments; I’m genuinely interested in seeing how people describe what it means to be sex positive!

Extra Credit Reading:

 I think that some places ….strive towards being more sex positive, but until complaints are treated publicly with the respect they deserve, and men are objectified as women are objectified, and images of POC, fat, and genderqueer people are on the walls of accessible kinky venues… well, then we’re still striving towards sex positivity. We’re not there yet. Perverts and Privilege in San Francisco by Miss Kitty Stryker

So, What’s This all About?

Consider this the super speed ‘about’ section 😉