Sleepovers

On Being Sex-Positive

my-meme (1)

One of the great things happening at the moment, thanks to the internet, and awesome people, is the idea of “being sex positive”. This doesn’t mean that you like sex, because come one, everyone likes to have sex. But rather, the idea that talking about sex, in an open and educational manner is something we should all be doing more of. So, I decided to put together a bunch of great people who educate, discuss, and encourage a healthier attitude towards “sex dialogue”.

Sexual education needs to understand that it isn’t enough to just educate people about STD’s but also about how to have sex, and more importantly how to have good sex. But given the vastness that is the internet, and porn being a rather lacking authority on the subject, I put together a bunch of people and sources that are doing a great job at being sex educators, while doing so in a positive and fun manner.

I know I talk a whole lot about sex ed, and I did a post ages ago about why sex-ed and learning more is so important,  but sometimes it really is hard to sift through the bad advice, and find the good stuff. So I tried to put together a list of it!

 

My first recommendation is Laci Green (her youtube channel)

You can find her more practical advice channel here

The next thing I’m going to have you check out is Sex Nerd Sandra, on the Nerdist.com





This amazing podcast is also REALLY funny and REALLY informative. It embodies pretty much every aspect of sex you can think of: technique, safe-sex, tips, fetishes, S&M, relationship advice, open communication, toys and much more. Not to mention the cast are hilarious to listen to.

She also has a youtube channel, you should definitely look into as well.

And a blog: http://sexnerdsandra.com/

This particular episode features Christopher Ryan, Author of Sex at Dawn and is really worth taking an hour to listen to.


 

Here are some great sites and blogs that are out there:

Em & Lo- They just give great advice.

NSFW Sunday- A weekly collection of random sex related information.

Jamie Waxman- Beyond The Bedroom- She is just awesome, check her out.

Jaiya

Sexis Social- Sex, sex toys and other bedroom conundrums.

Sex Rules with Maria Falzone

 

Literature:

She Comes First,  Sex at DawnMating in Captivity, Big Big Love, & Penis Power: The Ultimate Guide to Male Sexual Health.

(more…)

Rule #45- Meeting The Apartment

???????????????????????????????

There comes a time in every relationship when you meet your significant other’s significant other- their flat.

Now don’t get me wrong, this requires very little to no effort on your part (well, maybe stash a toothbrush in your purse/coat pocket just to be on the safe side).

For such occasions I have a little prayer. I prey that his apartment doesn’t look like a crack den, that my date had the common decency to tidy up the place, and hide his porn. That there is a role of toilet paper in the bathroom (you know what some men are like when they’ve been living alone for too long). I hope that there are clean sheets on the bed (and for that matter, that he has a bed, and not some mattress on the floor).

Honestly, the list goes on, but the bottom line is this. I judge. We all judge, and it is really hard to get a second chance at a first impression.

Just like we expect one another to make a little effort to clean up for a first date, we expect the person we are seeing to make their flat presentable when we see it for the first time.

But it goes both ways.

Don’t be THE PERSON who’s place looks like it’s come alive out of an episode of hoarders.

Rules for Apartment-Scaping:

1. First of all, read this brilliant blog-post, it will teach you how to make your home date-friendly within ten minutes.

2. Follow rule #1 and clean up! You don’t have to light scented candles and strategically place quantum mechanics & philosophy books to impress your date.

But you SHOULD make sure the place is clean and tidy.

This will make a good first impression.

3. We all have jobs/studies/time consuming hobbies/friends/pets, and other responsibilities.

No one expects you to keep your place spotless and immaculate at all times, you don’t live in an Ikea catalog! But basic hygiene isn’t too much to ask for (lets face it, no one is going to want to have sex with you for the first time if your bed-sheets are covered in suspicious stains…)

You know, deal with the mold in the shower, change the sheets, wash your towels, & for heavens sake, clean the toilet and kitchen!

4. The real problem with having too much stuff, and having it all over the place, is that it makes someone new feel like there is no room for them.

Remember all those photos with your ex in Bali? The ones you’ve been meaning to take down for months? Maybe this is a great opportunity to do it.

Just like we try and unclutter ourselves emotionally before a new relationship, uncluttering our house is equally as important!

Make room for your someone new.

Rule #44- Syncing Up

???????????????????????????????

First of all I would like to apologize for my somewhat long absence. I decided to take an impromptu holiday in Switzerland, Germany & France. I know, it’s a rough life I lead.

In between giant pretzels covered in cheese, cheap beer, and hot chocolate, my mind started wandering back to the lovely man I had left at home. We still aren’t at that stage of taking whirlwind holidays in Europe together.

But I still had to make sure to set aside some time to send him reassuring emails that I hadn’t allowed the temptation of French pastries to go to my head and cause me to forget about him.

The trip was amazing, but I don’t get much time off, and I used up all of it getting slightly buzzed on cheese. Which was a bit of a shame, because it meant that we didn’t get to spend almost any of it together when I got back.

I rationalized that although this was a shame, it wasn’t really my fault because I had bought the ticket before we had started dating.

That said, we are now at that stage where we have to start taking into account the other’s schedule when planning our week, which can get a little sticky, because we are both horrifically busy ALL the time.

So, here are some (hopefully) useful tips in schedule syncing:

1. Set aside some time over the weekend and discuss your upcoming week! 

Naturally, there are always things that will change midweek, but taking the time to go over your schedules is a good way to show you care about what’s going on in each other’s lives.

It also has the added benefit of insuring that you find the time to see each other over the week.

2. Which leads me to; make sure to MAKE TIME to see each other. 

If per chance you are dating someone who refuses to do this. Who only wants to ‘play things by ear’ (even if it means not seeing you at all “because things didn’t work out”), it’s about time you decide if this is someone who really has room in their life for you (or more importantly, if you have room in your life for someone who is selfish with their time). 

3. Even if you have a crazy busy insane week try and find a way to stay involved.

Even if you don’t have the time to go out, show up for a sleep over. Sometimes having a nice cuddle before falling asleep helps alleviate a little of the day’s stress. Also, try and ad some conversation into your night-time routine.

Whether it’s just to stay updated because you are genuinely interested in this other human being you are dating. Or whether it’s because knowing there is someone to listen to what a horrible day you had is why you even bother with dating in the first place.

4. Never EVER make big plans (like weekends away, holiday plans and so on) without talking about them. Not cool. 

Also, if possible, try phrasing things this way: “hey darl’n, so the guys all really want to go away on a spa retreat this weekend, I’m thinking of joining them.” As apposed to just announcing that you’re going.

You aren’t asking for permission, you are showing that you are taking their plans into consideration as well as yours (and not only because you need a ride to the airport).

5. If you have to cancel plans last minute (this really boils my blood when people do it), first of all, don’t. 

But if you really have to: A. make sure that you have a good reason. B. Make sure this isn’t something you do often (or expect a relationship termination letter heading your way). C. apologize profusely for it! 

When you cancel remember that you are also screwing up someone else’s plans! There are two of you in this relationship.

I’m the last person that will tell you that being in a relationship means you have to do EVERYTHING together. In fact, I’m quite for having your own lives and interests. But you should take the time to be interested in the person you’re dating. That means talking to them before booking a long weekend away with the girls. And making a conscious effort to set aside time during the week to see them.

Rule #42- The Complexity of a Definition

IMG_3645

Relationships used to be really easy to define (like two hundred years ago), you were either married or having sex out of wedlock. The number of relationship grey areas were rather minimal.

Today, we are spoiled for choice about pretty much everything. It’s the age of possibility, and with that we have many more decisions to make. The flip-side of this, being that we have more freedom to make the wrong choices as well. So to counter the possibility of god forbid making a mistake, we like to ‘keep our options open.’

This leads to even more hours, month, and even years of deliberations, mulling things over, being confused, deciding, then changing our minds, and still not being sure that we found the right person to spend the rest of our lives with.

Relationships just aren’t black and white anymore, they can be monogamous  polygamous, open, or closed. We have fun buddies, snuggle buddies, and every once in a while when we’ve had too many drinks buddies. Not to mention those friends we call just for sex, or the ones we call but don’t want to have sex with.

The possibilities are endless!

Which in some ways is wonderful, but sometimes it can be rather exhausting,  and we can never quite be certain when we should push for “defining the relationship!?”

1. For starters, never be too pushy! You might feel that you can marry this person, but that doesn’t mean they feel the same way (they may not be ‘there’ yet). Give them the space and time to catch up. Just because it takes them a little longer to feel the way you do, doesn’t make their investment in the relationship any less valid. 

If you get all passive aggressive about it, and keep bringing it up at every opportunity (thus freaking them out), you are more likely to get a ‘I’m not ready for this kind of commitment’ talk, rather than the assurance you really needed.

I once dated someone who kept calling me his girlfriend after we had been going out for like a week. Needless to say we didn’t make it past the second.

That said, if you’ve been dating for months, and you don’t feel you’re on the same page, it might be time to talk about whether or not you both want the same things.

2. I’m just gonna go ahead and say this (if you have been following my blog for long enough, this is probably going to make your eyes bleed from the repetition). Just talk about it! It doesn’t have to be a big deal, you don’t have to make a whole thing of it. Just casually bring it up, slip it into the conversation; tell him/her about ‘your mutual friend Clara from work’ who keeps asking if you two are dating, and you’re now sure how to answer.

Anyway you choose to go about it, just ask! An uncomfortable conversation is way better than hours/days of obsessing about it in your head.

But, do yourself a huge favor, have this conversation with a pinch of common sense (okey, maybe more like a handful of it). If you’ve gone on two dates you’re probably not a couple quite yet. Don’t push him/her into a corner and stress them out about defining things too quickly, because you may just end up loosing them altogether. 

Rule #40- The Sleep Barometer

via c. kennedy garrett

I’ve been developing this working theory for the last few years that a good night’s sleep is a great indicator of whether or not you’re happy in your relationship.

The way I see it, sleep is the ultimate form of vulnerability (I mean come on, you’re practically unconscious). It’s much easier for me to jump into bed with someone new, than fall asleep with them in it.

It takes me ages of knowing someone to feel comfortable enough to drift off into sweet slumber next to them. Otherwise I just find myself lying there, staring at the ceiling and counting the minutes till dawn.

So I sat down and tried to find some creative solutions to help myself get some shut-eye:

1. First of all, just because you had sex doesn’t mean you have to sleep over/have them sleep over. 

It’s all right to go home after.

But if you do leave, bear in mind that you need to do it elegantly. No lame excuses, people! Just be honest, “I have work in the morning, and it’s hard for me to fall asleep.”

2. If you do want to spend the night, try to make yourself feel comfortable. Sleep in your cozy pajamas, and not in that satin négligée you bought (because it may look sexy as hell, but it makes you sweat like you’re on fire).

Because I read before bed (at home, at least), my new trick is to wind down with an audio book. Basically, do whatever works for you to find your zen, and relax.

3. You DON’T HAVE to sleep on top of each other!

(I’m a big fan of snuggling, but not all the time).

4. After dating someone for a while, if I still spend the whole night tossing and turning, it usually means that there is something wrong. Not feeling safe and comfortable enough to relax properlyusually indicates to me a lot more than merely I’m going to have trouble concentrating at work in the morning.

This generally means that it might be about time to have one of those awkward conversations…

On the other hand, when you do you fall asleep in seconds with a grin on your face, and only wake up to playfully nudge your snoring boyfriend (and maybe snog him a little), you know things are going well.

Rule #35- Sexual Premises

via Lies Thru a Lens, Lost in Thought

I’m really going to try hard and keep a balanced point of view throughout what I am about to discuss; but I am a woman, and therefore a little bias.

I used to think about sex in a very liberal open minded sort of way. Otherwise known as “who cares if you finish as long as you had fun and intimately connected with your significant other”.

I feel like most women (or at least many women) see sex this way. It’s more of a bonding exercise (no pun intended), and not necessarily meant for their own satisfaction. 

Meaning, that sex is fun, finishing during sex is even more fun, but it isn’t a ‘must’ every time. 

And we accept this.

Why is this a BAD premise when approaching sex?

1. Unless you are trying to get pregnant, you are probably having sex for your own/mutual pleasure. Sex has a point, it’s called an orgasm! (It’s that fun toe-curling part at the end, or halfway through, and then again if you’re lucky).

Now, you may not feel like you’ve been selling yourself short when you don’t have one, but you are! Orgasms are wonderful things! 

And allowing yourself to miss out on a surge of chemicals that do wonders for your well being is you, missing out! 

2. Every time you have one of these you tend to want more of them (you know the drill).

When you don’t orgasm you are less likely to want to have heaps of sex (because it’s less gratifying). You may even get bitter and resentful about this over time (and possibly even a little bored with the proceedings). 

(obviously not a good thing for the relationship). 

3. You might not necessarily think that not always finishing even bothers you.

In my opinion, this is the worst harm. It wouldn’t even occur to you to have sex and for your partner not to finish. Yet, we find hundreds of ways to reinitialize to ourselves why when we get the short end of the stick, it’s alright. 

Now, thank god, attitudes towards sex are forever evolving; both culturally, and with age. I don’t think that on the whole woman don’t feel it’s their right to derive pleasure from sex. But we do have quite a bit of a way yet to go when it comes to our day-to-day sexual routine and bedroom expectations.

So who’s at fault, and what do we do about it?

Blaming generations of male indoctrination really isn’t the answer here. At the end of the day it comes down to our inability to communicate our needs to our sexual partners. I don’t think for a second that the person you are sleeping with doesn’t want you to crack the window with enthusiasm.

The problem starts with our demands in the bedroom, and not being able to make them known (physically or verbally). TELL THEM WHAT YOU WANT/ENJOY/NEED/LIKE! (And if you don’t know what it is you want, it’s about time you start figuring it out). 

Tell them that you finishing isn’t optional , its part of the exercise! 

 I hope my pseudo rant wasn’t too one-sided, but come on ladies, sex is just as important in a relationship as long talks, staring into each other’s eyes, and romantic getaways. 

(And besides, it is also a great deal of fun).

Rule #32- Boundaries

via Paula Rey

I was walking to work a few days ago, listening to my audio-book and thoroughly engaged in my own little world, when a guy started chatting to me. I wasn’t in a very good mood, and didn’t want to prolong the conversation (it was really awkward, and he was acting very strangely). I politely apologized for having to rush off to a meeting, bid him a good day, and walked off towards my building.

I was just opening the door, when I noticed him out of the corner of my eye, dashing after me. He bounded up, red in the face, and very angry that I had walked off. Confused and a little upset, I tried to explain that I was late for a meeting and really did have to leave (but this just made him even crosser).

At this point, he was ranting on about something. I just stood, rooted to the spot, too shocked to react. After a few (very long minutes) of verbal abuse on his part, I opened the door, walked through it, and ran up the flight of stairs. When he realized what I did, he followed suit. Resulting in me hiding in the ladies’ room for half an hour (only agreeing to come out after a friend of mine, who had walked into the bathroom, went out and scouted the landing to make sure the coast was clear).

(Yes, I had to be rescued from the girls’ bathroom!)

Anyway, I’m fairly sure this lovely man didn’t even realize he had crossed the line, my line. (Yes, people tend to come in all shades of oblivious). 

We all have boundaries, physical and emotional; lines that we don’t like other people to cross!

For some reason, I was convinced I had posted on the topic a while back, but turns out I haven’t, so that’s what we will be talking about today!

Rules For How Not to Step Out of Bounds:

1. RESPECT each other’s boundaries! If your prince charming (trapped as a beast) asks you not to go into the west wing, then you stay out of the west wing!

We all have our own little things that bug us when it comes to personal space. Some people need more of it, and others less. But at the end of the day, the whole thing is a very subjective matter. Sometimes we just need to accept the oddities of our respective partners.

2. Boundaries slowly come down (both the physical and emotional ones); that is just the natural way of things in a relationship. DO NOT FORCE THEM! You shouldn’t corner someone into doing something they are not ready to do, or share something they are not ready to tell you (that just builds resentment and contempt).

I know the wait can be frustrating, but your relationship will be stronger for it. Just make sure they know you are there for them when they are ready to open up.

3. Make sure you make it clear where YOU draw the line. The other person probably doesn’t even know they crossed it! (Don’t expect people to guess these things, because they probably won’t, which will only upset you).

We don’t all have the same issues, some of us (like me) are more touchy about stuff, and it is really really easy to make me feel uncomfortable. And I do try to make an effort to make it known to other people what bothers me. (For example, I hate inviting people over, it’s my personal space and it takes me forever to agree to share it).

4. No, means NO, always!

Rule #24- T.M.I, Thank You Very Much!

739px-Smoking_Beauty_Just_Woke_Up

via AlMare

We all have, what a wise woman (and her screen play writer) once referred to as: our S.S.B-Secret Single Behavior; things we would only dare do behind a locked door, alone. (gosh, how would I ever write if I couldn’t quote Sex and the City?!).

Naturally, in a relationship, we either have to give up on some of our little vices, or learn  how to hide them better.

As close as we are to the other person, there are some things we just don’t want them to know! 

Personally, I like to sit around in bed in my undies, binge eat crisps, and watch old episodes of coupling. Not that my behaviour is particularly outrageous/disgusting (albeit, some people might argue that there is nothing worse than crumbs in bed), it’s just something I only like doing solo.

So, at what point  is it ok to start letting our guard down, and what things are just never a good idea to share? 

Rule for NOT Over Sharing: 

1. Everyone has their little gross habits, things that are only considered horrid if done in front of someone else. What I’m saying is, that some things don’t need to be shared; it’s perfectly fine that your boyfriend doesn’t know everything about you. This in no way means that you don’t have a healthy, open partnership; it just means that you have boundaries.

Boundaries are important! They allow us to maintain our own personal space within the relationship.

 2. Different people have different lines they will/won’t cross before their silver wedding anniversary. He may find it perfectly normal to wax his chest in front of you; if this is something you don’t wanna see, ask him nicely not to do it when you’re around ( and don’t make him feel like a leper for it!).

3. The walls will come down slowly, that’s just the way it works; there is no need to rush, or force the inevitable.

Whether it’s leaving the toilet door open when you pee, or telling your boyfriend about that time you got really bad food poisoning in Bolivia, you should be in a place where sharing these things feels comfortable (for the both of you).

Rule #23- The Gossip

Village_Scene

via surysaha

In a world where gossip is practically social currency, it has become gradually harder to keep those intimate relationship tidbits to ourselves; it’s expected of us to share almost every little detail of our love lives.

Men, dating, sex, there really isn’t much we don’t talk about; it’s fun, bonding and a great deal more entertaining than the daily news (well most of the time).

And naturally, is always followed by the obligatory: “no honey, of course I didn’t tell the girls about that new odd thing we tried…” 

Now don’t get me wrong, I am one of the biggest gossips you will ever meet, but when does recalling all of our private affairs become harmful to them?

Rules for Moderated Girl-Talk:

1. Talk about you dating/sex life with your friends, but don’t forget there are only two of you in the relationship.

It’s great to get an outside perspective, but that isn’t always the case. Don’t forget that your friends aren’t dating your boyfriend; so it’s important to take any advice they give with a grain of salt.

2. If your partner asks you not to repeat something, keep it to yourself! (Same goes for your friends; if they ask you not to talk about an issue with your boyfriend, respect that!).

 3.At the end of the day, there is always the fail proof technique of asking yourself: would I want HIS friends to know that? If the answer is no, keep quiet about that worrying rash he found last night.

4. When you build a relationship with someone, you also build your own little world together. Part of that, is having little secrets and inside jokes, that are private, and sharing everything with your friends (in my opinion), takes a little away from the fun.

Rule #22- Sexpectations

800px-Jesse_&_Macy

via Flickr: Jesse & Macy, TIFFANY DAWN NICHOLSON (TDNphoto)

Last Friday afternoon, my lady friends and I went out for coffee in the big city. It was nice and sunny out as we sipped our hot beverages and chatted; when inevitably, the conversation turned very quickly to sex.

My friend has just started dating a new gentleman; they are deep into the mutual sleep-over faze and overall, very happy together.  But (come on, you knew there would be a ‘but’), they each have a very different idea of what qualifies as a satisfactory sex life.

Now, as much as we would all love for our sex lives to stay in that wonderful ‘new relationship, kinky sex, lingerie and foot-cuffs’ period, routine always tends to sneak it.

Whether it has been a long day at work, the car broke down, or a report is due in the morning; no matter what the reason, we have all been here:

Our sexpectations just aren’t aliened.   

I’ve decided to split the rules up according to gender (but feel free to read both).

Rules for The Gentleman:

1. Now as much as you would like every evening to end like this:

The reality is a little different.

Your lady might have had a rough day and not be that into it. This does not mean that she is not into you! Try getting her into the mood instead of sulking/begging/getting cross; offer her a foot rub/massage/glass of wine.

2. If you don’t end up having sex DO NOT make her feel bad about it. Otherwise, she will end up resenting you for it (because she will feel obligated to have sex with you), this will result in less sex in the future (and no one wants that!).

3. If you really find yourself in a rut, where you are not getting up to anything at all (you are going to hate this), you need to talk about it; discuss your mutual bedroom expectations.

4. And you know what, if you are not going to get any action, take care of it for yourself! Not as much fun, but will save you both a great deal of frustration.

Rules for The Ladies:

1. If he is too tired or stressed, don’t make a big deal out of it!!! I’m not sure how much I can emphasize this point. It isn’t you!  It’s probably his boss! If you start making a scene out of it, it will just make you both feel awkward about the sex.

(Now, while this isn’t always the case, the chances you will be in the mood and he won’t are less likely; but just because that is the case, it doesn’t mean something is wrong).

2. Be sneaky! Wind him up! Put on something skimpy and walk around the house in it, offer him a back rub (or anything else that works for him).

3. Don’t feel pressured to have sex! Sex should be fun and bonding, not a chore! That said, not having any at all is not healthy for your relationship (and if that’s what’s going on, this is a big issue you need to discuss).

Men need sex to feel loved, and woman need to feel loved to have sex; this is a proven fact, and an important one at that.

4. If he isn’t in the mood, that doesn’t mean you should suffer! Get something that vibrates or take care of it manually!

People! Sex should be something enjoyable and mutually pleasurable, don’t turn it into the big awkward elephant in the room!