Q: We’ve seen a lot of recent studies showing that people’s attitudes are changing more and more towards being open to same sex couples and sexuality. In general, do you think this makes it easier for people who might be bisexual or intrigued by exploring sex with the same gender to act on those feelings/curiosity?
Society has moved on from that sensational kiss between Madonna and Britney and now we have robust research that educates people about the death of the binary model and the truth about the fluidity of sexual orientation and gender variance. So indeed it is not just cool to hook up with a same-sex person but people accept this as their right and following an inclination that exists. There is much more permission giving due to this research. In fact, the latest research shows that women have no set sexual orientation and we all have the ability to be bisexual or sexually fluid. As this research trickles into the mainstream, women feel way comfortable not sneaking around but playing around with their own curiosities and breaking out the mono heteronormative box.
Q: If you’re a first timer, and have only had straight relationships before, what are some safe places to meet other people who might be interested in a same sex hookup? Should you go on gay apps? Is it a good idea to be open with people about your lack of experience?
There may still be reticence and fear of stigmatization of being labeled “lesbian/gay/bisexual “ so I think women are cautiously playing in spontaneous situations. In my practice, I hear women talk about hooking up with a friend for the first time, or within a heterosexual environment where couples spontaneously play together.. then the women carry on flirting online and even agree to meet offline for more sexual play alone together. If you want to directly hook up with a woman, like any hookup, going on to a dating app like Tinder will give you instant connection. I always suggest safety if agreeing to meet offline .. check each other out before doing anything you may regret.. as open as we are intellectual, we have homophobic attitudes that can harm women #Orlando
Indeed disclose newness and curiosity about being sexually naïve with women … unless you want to practice with a strap-on dildo beforehand and be the one who takes control J.
Q: Would you advise that people do or do not consider hooking up with same sex friends, if that’s an option? If so, how would you suggest that you go about talking to a friend about whether they’d be interested/open to this? Could it risk your friendship?
Like any crush, people are aware there is attraction going on. So seldom do words need to be used. Consent is primary in any sexual situation so its necessary to flirt when you’re sober so consent can happen .. don’t do a drunken hook up because it’s awkward and you may have regretted the next day. Talking about feelings and negotiating sexual play is always my number one go to position .. however, I know this is the most tricky part of hooking up as it may seem fake and funny. And of course, it changes the friendship as any sexual activity will change the dynamic between two people.
Q: If someone who has previously identified as straight does wind up sleeping with someone of the same sex, and is not sure what that means about their sexuality—I.e. Are they gay? Bi? Etc—how important do you think it is for them to figure out where they stand on the sexuality spectrum? I think this is something that hinders a lot of people from acting on their curiosity—fear that they are somehow falling into a new category they never identified with. But is it okay not to label yourself as anything or even tell anyone while you’re exploring?
Definitely ok not to label yourself as anything as this brings along self stigmatization and self doubt and even shame . Having said this , people like to feel a sense of belonging and like to self identify with a group of people as we all need community. I like that women accept that they have fluid sexual orientation and that when hooking up they are drawn to a person and not a gender. And accept that this hook up with a woman may last forever or for that night so labels are redundant. There are so many variations possible today – for example , she may self identify as heterosexual, engage in relationships with men and occasionally have hook up sex with women. Or as gay and have occasional sex with men.
Q: What about the date/sex itself: Any tips for how straight/inexperienced people can navigate it, if it’s with someone more experienced? Should you let them know that you’re nervous or inexperienced? If, in bed, you’re with a woman for the first time, you might not know exactly how things go. Should you ask them to take the lead?
We are taught that gay sex is different to heterosexual sex. It’s a destructive myth as it assumes that all heterosexual women know exactly what to do in bed with a man. They don’t . Hence the same can be said about two women together. Sexual ignorance exists among most everyone as comprehensive sexuality education is sorely missing from school systems. In other words few people are taught how to really talk about their sexual needs and negotiate with a partner so they get the kind of sex that satisfies them. It is no different with two women. They both need to talk , share their curiosity about body parts and spend a lot of time exploring and talking.. before bringing out any intimidating sex toys. Logically when any two people first hook up , no matter what their prior sexual experiences are, they are new to each other – irrespective of gender – and so these two new bodies need to talk and share needs.
Q: Can you share the most common ways that people use each of the following toys in bed with a partner, as well as some lesser-known, more unusual ways of playing with them that people might not know about? The more specific, the better!!
- Nipple clamps
- Anal beads
- Anal plug
- Vibrating rings
- Clitoral massagers
I’ve been selling sex toys for 25 years. And have seen people move from secrecy and silence and shame into open cool and trendy attitude towards sex toys. Back in the day men would come into my store and want to buy something for their women, mostly to make women desire sex. I refused to sell them anything without a partner ‘s consent to use a toy. And anyway there was nothing that would create a desire for a woman… other than a wholesome sexual relationship with herself first! Nowadays women and groups of women shop in my store and online. Women buy toys as they are without partners or because they have no comfortable way to tell a partner that they are not becoming orgasmic with the kind of sex they are having .. which is usually thrusting only.
All the above toys must be introduced with initial caution … too often women are judged as slutty or too horny when introducing a sex toy. Partners feel threatened that they will be replaced or that they are not good enough lovers. I recommend women try out each toy alone before bringing it into partner bed. Gain confidence in using your toy.. some of them are pretty complex to work out J
Clitoral massagers are a must as distressingly men don’t spend enough time on clitoral play and women remain silent about their clitoral needs. Use it while being thrust, use it afterward when you’re swollen and he’s fallen asleep. Let him/her see you using it so it becomes a couple activity.
I recommend couples begin with a vibrating ring as it equalizes the sex toy experience for them as a couple and it feels less threatening. Of course, it may not be direct enough stimulation on her clitoral area but its fun and she gets teased .. and opens a door to a conversation for both of them to have about her sexual needs.
Anal toys are popular with women- even though they have no prostate and no nerves to directly cause orgasm within the anus, its mentally a huge turn on. Get used to anal play gently ..begin with a good clean out before any anal play, allow rimming and then ano-digital stimulation. Be sure to use latex gloves or condoms on fingers and good anal lube which has ingredients that assist with comfort and good glide.
Handcuffs, nipple clamps begin to touch a little on the kink side of sex. Mentally it can be very arousing to discuss the scene you will set up and get the necessary consent. Its fabulous fantasy play and gaining more and more popularity due to the overexposure and normalization of this in the media.Use all sex toys with consent, never share them and wash them with warm soapy water.
Q: Of the above toys, which one is targeted more toward women’s pleasure? Which ones are targeted more towards men? (If applicable.)
Men get excited when they see women excited. Its women’s responsibility to find what arouses them and confidently be sexually vulnerable. Sex toys predictably bring women to orgasm so go ahead and use them! And if a man is uncomfortable with this, and feels he must be the only source of pleasure to his woman, I recommend a healthy review of the control and power issues in the relationship.
Q: What do you think are the more approachable/commonly used sex toys, and why? Which ones do you think people shy away from or aren’t immediately as open to trying, and why?
Vibrators and vibrating rings are the go to’s as they are acceptable. I like women to have a variety of vibes .. sizes, shapes, stimulators.. to match their mood and to have a variety of sensations. At times she feels like a big dildo that she can thrust at her own tempo and at times she wants to wear a butt plug to work all day. Be done with the myth that if you use a vibe you’ll never have a partner orgasm, or that you will destroy your clitoris. To date, the best sex toy remains the Hitachi … learn to use it for multiple experiences from teasing to quickies.
Q: Do you think that a healthy sex life should include (or at least include trying once) sex toys? Do you find that people wind up enjoying/embracing them after they’ve tried them?
I think insisting that women /couples use sex toys creates a different pathology: that people who choose not to use them feel inadequate or lesser lovers. I like that people stretch their sexual boundaries to uncomfortable which then becomes a wonderful feeling of personal success and unknown pleasures.. or known dislikes. The best sex toy to try is lube.. seriously.. it is so underestimated. There are a variety of clitoral stimulators and enhancers, plus anal comfort lubes plus moisturizers for internal comfort. If you just do this, you’re having a silkier, smoother sexual experience.
Q: How do you think people’s attitudes about sex toys have changed in recent years, in light of 50 Shades of Gray, etc?
It went from zero to handcuffs .. now its settled into a permission giving space for women and couples to use toys for fun and not just for orgasms.
Q: I’m deeply convinced my partner needs therapy because of some things s/he went through and the issues s/he has been dealing with ever since, but she always deflects or fails to follow up. How do I help him/her get the help she needs?
You’re sitting on a minefield – one step wrong and you could blow your relationship up. We are all so defensive and protective of our “stuff” “/baggage”. We hold it close to our hearts and the brave part of us shares it with a significant other, once the relationship feels safe. Think about it- when first meeting someone, you present the lovely sexy healthy parts of yourself to catch the person’s attention. After a time it is hard to hide the other parts of oneself and over time disclosures are revealed either through behavior or weird things or people popping up on her/his devices. Mental health is becoming cool. A few months ago Harry gave it his royal nod and allowed a few more celebs to talk about their mental health issues. But it still holds a tremendous stigma. Hence the need for you to be strategic in your good intentions. And I applaud your good intentions. Men specifically are poor at health-seeking behavior.They need partners to nudge them into health care. However, listen to your partner. He/she is letting you know they are deliberately avoiding dealing professionally with his/her stuff. Your partner will want to run a mile if you nag about getting therapy. She/he will feel unheard and then unsafe with you. People who have stuff mostly need to feel safe. So the way for you to show care is to be kind and compassionate. Then take care of your own challenges you may feel living with someone who has baggage and resists therapy. And when her /his stuff impacts negatively on you, then you have every right to request couple therapy.
Q: I’m single, dating and happen to love giving men head. But I get nervous about doing it too casually with someone I don’t know well, since it’s almost more intimate than sex. How can I protect myself from STIs and in general with new partners? Is giving head with condoms something people actually do, or do you have any other suggestions for safety during oral sex?
I must admit the first thought that popped into my head as I read your question, was:”I wonder if this oral sex is reciprocated?” Perhaps because I’m a feminist and a sexual rights activist who defends women’s rights, I feel strongly about sexual reciprocity. Now, this does not mean in the literal sense, as in I’m going down on you because I love it which means you have to go down on me. I totally accept that people have the right to choose the sexual activities they want to enjoy with another person, in the here and now. Many men do not enjoy oral sex on women. Fact. And that’s ok. Just like many women do not enjoy going down on men /women. What I mean by reciprocity is that a reciprocal offer of sexual pleasuring of you is offered. Porn, media, patriarchy places men’s penises center stage – and with this comes an expectation that women will interact with this penis, either with her mouth, hand, vagina or anus. Women’s pleasure is too often shown as a secondary or by-product of the main penis event. And hey, I may be wrong with you-you may just be a woman who loves going down on men – and that is enough turn on for you. However, if you are wanting some reciprocal sexual attention, I urge you to find your voice and request your thing.
Oral sex for you is intimate, and once intimacy feelings are there, there is a feeling of safety and trust. Which makes you are less likely to ask for a condom over his dick. Roll the condom on as you go down on him. Non-negotiable. Because oral sex is your thing, you are at higher risk for STI/HIV/AIDS- the more partners one has, the higher the risk of infection. A condom offers way better protection than no condom. If a man is infected with a virus, such as HSV or HPV, you won’t see much as they are asymptomatic.Watch out for mouth ulcers.
Bottom line: use a condom every time you go down on a man and remember to get tested regularly.
Q: I think I’ve had an orgasm, but I’m not positive — how can I tell for sure whether it just felt really good, or it was an actual orgasm?
A female orgasm is tough. It does not happening reflexively, as in I see or hear or feel something arousing, feeling horny and if I continue with this stimulation and arousal, Ill have an orgasm. This is the story of men.One and one equals two of them. Women need to put in the work, time and courage to guide a partner to getting them to orgasm. It takes anything from 20-30 minutes to build up enough arousal to have an explosion.. which may be quiet or really noisy.
Women sigh with relief after experiencing their own orgasm with masturbation and positively explode with joy when they are able to achieve an orgasm with a partner. It’s not about luck. On third of women only sometimes have orgasms, one third always have an orgasm and one third never have an orgasm.
Becoming orgasmic is physiologically and psychologically challenging. Hence the need for inspiration to actually stay the distance it requires, find the focus and concentration and let go until the earth moves.You are most definitely not the only woman who is unsure whether or not you are actually orgasmic.Signs of orgasm are pretty standard even though each orgasmic experience is different for each woman, every time. As you build up to orgasm your breathing intensifies, light perspiration occurs on your face and upper chest, your feet begin to turn inwards and finally, you feel strong contractions inside your vagina and pelvic floor and even your upper thighs. Afterwards, you feel extreme relaxation, sleepiness.. and even ready for more and more.
The primary inhibitor of female orgasm is ignorance. Your orgasms will most likely occur with clitoral stimulation. Yes, perhaps you’ll have an orgasm of sorts with vaginal penetration. But your clitoral area, which is the entire vulva, is where orgasms are most likely to happen. So in summary:
- Know your genital anatomy
- Masturbate, without a toy, until you can overcome the little voices in your head that say “good girls should not be having this much pleasure”, “ it takes too long” “I’m a slut”
- Once you feel confident about your body, and how to become orgasmic alone, find your voice to invite a partner to stay the distance with you until you have an orgasm.
- Know your arousal cues. you need a lot of arousals to become orgasmic so bring in your own unique fantasies or kinds of sexaul activity that arouse you. Otherwise, you are flogging a dead horse.
- Be selfish, turn out all distractions and be fully alert and present in your body.
Q: What do you think are some of the most popular venues for outdoor sex? What are some places you think people don’t think of as viable outdoor sex locations, but should?
Women grow up with many restrictions on their sexuality. Mostly it is considered to be a private activity that needs to be done in a bedroom, curtains drawn and preferably with a beloved. No wonder so many women have sexual desire problems ..boring, right ?! Imagine the psychological thrill of liberating yourself from that rule and indulging in a curiosity fuelled fantasy.. one in which spontaneity rules and orgasm is not the goal.. rather sheer pleasure, excitement, and fun is the goal. Go outdoors and play! Women fantasize about this guilty pleasure, the idea of exhibiting their bodies, displaying themselves as sexual beings to a lover or to a possible innocent passerby. Outdoor sexual play pushes buttons that women need to become aroused and feel lusted: surprise, unpredictability, a step out of their responsible sexuality, empowered at their own willingness to display and be displayed.
The first step to great outdoor sexual play is to redefine the word “sex”.. make it expanded to include all forms of sexual play, not just penetration. In this way, you’re getting the psychological thrill and physiological arousal of outdoor sex no matter what activities you do.
In my therapy room, I hear women tell of thrilling outdoor sex at weddings, restaurants, clubs, behind a rock at the beach, Jacuzzis.
Q: Any practical tips for how to pull of outdoor sex—safety, preventing yourselves from getting caught, dealing with the discomfort of grass or pine needles or whatever other outdoor stuff is going on?
The thrill of outdoor sex is that it is unplanned and out of regular routine sex. So pack a “summer sex bag” and take it with you on all outings… just in case the moment grabs you. Include condoms, lubricant, a towel, wet wipes, suntan lotion, sunglasses and a hat so you are unrecognizable and prevent sunburn, fresh underwear. Most important get consent from a partner- Being an exhibitionist can be somewhat risky behavior.
Q: Any good times you suggest people try outdoor sex? (maybe on vacation, or keep a blanket in the car and try to make it happen spontaneously during good weather)
Don’t try.. then it becomes a chore. Always be prepared for safer sex fun. Because its summer, opportunities for spontaneous hook ups increase so you definitely want to keep your “summer sex bag” close by.
Q: Outdoor sex: Better during day or night?
You want to experience both the rays of the sun plus the moonlight on your body. There is a freedom for women to exposing their bodies to the outdoors since there is such a strong prohibition against this behavior. Women self consciously hides behind darkness .. if you’re one of those women, be bold.. daytime outdoor sexual play may just free you up from the bother of worrying about how you look and allow you to fully engage with the moment of fun and the thrill of being caught.
Q: How can women (and men, but women are probably more subject to this) prevent themselves from getting caught up in concern about the logistics of the situation (her comfort, getting caught) so that she can actually enjoy the sex? (I had great outdoor sex one time on the side of a mountain but the only bad thing was that I kept trying to see whether cars on the road could see us through the trees…)
Women are prone to distraction. Her physiological sexual responses are easily disrupted by anything .. from the sun in her eyes, the moon shining too brightly, a noise, the idea of someone approaching or hearing her. So it may be difficult to focus enough to become orgasmic. Hence my comment that outdoor sexual play is not the place you go to for orgasms.. they may be a delightful byproduct of the huge build-up of arousal. So if you want enjoyable sex, change the expectation of what this means: it could simply be the mental thrill, the feeling of defiance and freedom and intimacy it brings as it breaks societal rules. Women need between 20-30 minutes to become orgasmic. Chances of orgasm increase if there is a lot of arousals before you get outdoors.. sexting, sexual touching and playing and teasing and talking so by the time you get outdoors you are ready to pop!
Q: Any other thoughts, suggestions, or precautions women and couples should consider while having outdoor sex?
Unless you’re a nudist or a serious exhibitionist, an outdoor sexual play is not about orgasm or creating an attachment to a significant person. It’s about two people living a forbidden fantasy of turning the personal into the political, taking a very private act into the open. The psychological thrill is deeply arousing as both people straddle between excitement and anxiety at being caught.
Be aware that you don’t get caught for public indecency – so know the law in your state before you step outdoors