Tag Archives: Sex

What Is Sex? Or, How Do I Know If I’ve Lost My Virginity?

I was speaking with a woman who wanted me to do a blog post on adult virgins (which I plan to do) when I was struck by something that she was saying. She was in her early twenties and considered herself a virgin yet when I asked her about her sexual history I learned that she regularly engaged in sexual activity like oral sex and mutual masturbation, she just hasn’t been vaginally or anally penetrated. This seems to be the distinction, for many, between virginity and lack there of. Penetration = sex. I feel it is my duty to proclaim that penetration ≠ sex…well, ok it does but it’s not the only thing that equals sex.

 So here it is, the age old argument against defining sex as vaginal penetration. Lesbians and gay men. Now I hear your argument already, “Lesbians use strap-ons and gay men penetrate each other anally,” but here’s the thing, not all lesbians use strap-ons and anal sex isn’t as common amongst gay men as pop culture and pornography would have you believe. Many homosexuals have had non-penetrative sex their whole lives and you can trust me that most would not consider themselves virgins. Sex is what happens when two horny people consent to help each other feel pleasure in an erotic way. Ever notice how it’s called oral SEX. Now I’ll concede that the line get’s blurry when the people aren’t in the same room; are phone sex and cyber sex the kinds of sex that constitutes a loss of virginity?

 If the question is “Did I just have sex?” I think that the answer must also come in the form of a question. “Do you think you just had sex?” if the answer is “Yes!” then you, my friend, just had sex! When two women are bringing each other to climax using their hands and mouths they most definitely think that they are having sex, and they’d be right. Sex is just one of those terrible things like art that is kind of subjective. Some people believe that anything can be art and in a similar way if you believe that you’re having sex that’s the only way to really know if you’re having sex. No one else can tell you.

So I get that this woman I was speaking to doesn’t think that she’s had sex yet but she also seems to be putting an inordinate amount of weight on one particular sexual act to the point of almost negating all her previous sexual experience. I don’t think that we should raise vaginal intercourse up on some pedestal of sexuality as the key sex act to which all other sex acts are lesser. It’s just one kind of sexual activity that can make up sex, and in fact, it’s one of the more high risk things you can do with a sexual partner. This doesn’t even cover the fact that considering vaginal intercourse to be the only real kind of sex is a highly discriminatory and heteronormative viewpoint and leaves people who do not engage in this kind of sex on the fringe. I for one believe that the sex act which we consider to be the primary and most important one should be masturbation. I think that would go a long way towards demystifying sex.

Tagged , , ,

6 Ways In Which The Clitoris And The Penis Are Pretty Much The Same Thing

The penis and the clitoris are two sides to the same coin. When in the womb, biology flips that coin and we usually grow male physical characteristics or female physical characteristics. Before puberty the only one of these physical differences that makes itself known is the genitals. But the genitals aren’t as different as they may appear. The penis and the clitoris are formed out of the same material in the womb and perform much of the same functions outside of the womb. The major differences between the two are the fact that the penis is bigger and lives mostly outside the body, where as the much smaller clitoris extends most of it’s shaft within the body. The penis also contains the opening of the urethra from which urine is expelled.

The evidence of the similarities between the two goes much further than that however:

1. The clitoris and the penis are the primary erogenous zones for women and men respectively, that is, they are the sources of the most erotic focus and sensation. The clitoris is the only organ in the human body with the sole function of pleasure.

2. Women and men are both born with foreskin. The clitoral hood, or the skin that rests over the clitoris is made from the same stuff as the oft removed male foreskin.

3. Women get erections. The corpora cavernosa, or the part that fills with blood and causes the penis to enlarge, does the same in the clitoris causing it to swell, usually during sexual arousal, but like men, it can sometimes just happen.

4. Just like men, women get nocturnal erections and sometimes even morning wood. Throughout the night women’s clitorises become erect and are often erect upon first waking (morning hood?).

5. Clitorises also lose their erection after orgasm although it may take a fair bit more time than it would for men.

6.  Some women suffer from a kind priapism, or persistant erection, called clitorism in which the clitoris becomes repeatedly erect causing extreme discomfort and pain, as can happen to men.

Like penises, clitorises (clitori?) come in all shapes and sizes and like penises they are exceptionally sensitive. They don’t really look the same from the outside but as with most things to do with sex/gender, the similarities outweigh the differences.

Tagged , , , ,

Sex Is The Way We Play, A Rant

Is sex the most important thing in the world? No, obviously not, but it is really, really important. Now, as the writer of the sex blog, of course I’d say that. Sure, sure, sex is sooo important, gimme a break. But I mean it, even though it’s not the most important thing for humans, it’s way up there.

Ok, so here’s what’s more important than sex: strong, healthy, loving relationships. That is the most important thing in the world, period. But I’m not here to talk about why relationships are so integral being human, I’m here to talk about why sex is.

Sex is how adults play, which is the word we use for, “things we do for fun.” Remember fun? Fun is that thing that, when you were a ki,d you knew without question was the most important thing in the world. Relationships are what keep us alive, fun is what we live for. Now, I can already hear some readers saying, “Well he’s a millennial, of course he thinks fun is what we should live for, such narcissism.” Yeah, well, if that’s you right now then go away and stop bumming the rest of us out (or keep reading, whatever).

Play is super important, as much today as ever. We work many, many long hours as Western adults and are encouraged to funnel any and all creativity into our work. Fantasy and roleplaying are looked down upon as juvenile and have been relegated to the last bastion of play for adults, sex. Now all my Settlers of Catan players out there are getting their panties in a knot and I acknowledge that games in all forms are having a renaissance, and this is fantastic news. Right now, however, sex is still the primary form of play for adults and if sex isn’t going well for you then there’s a good likelihood that the amount of fun in your life is low. There is so much pressure for sex to be always fun and fulfilling and abundant, because it’s our primary playful release, that when sex isn’t so fun or fulfilling or is lacking in your life then life can start to seem pretty shitty.

There is a whole argument to be made about how we need to de-stigmatize the use of imagination and play as a thing for adults to engage in. Adults are actively discouraged from the kinds of playing that they were encouraged to do as children. This is the reason I think sex is so important, humans need to have fun. This is something that I emphatically believe. If sex is how adults have fun then great, but if so, we need to make it ok for adults to really have fun. This is why I think that getting rid of the stigma that surrounds kinks and fetishes and all the myriad ways in which people express themselves is so important. In a world with so much stress we need to be able to relieve ourselves of it as best we can and feeling shamed or guilty about the way we choose to play is going to greatly impede that catharsis.

Being open to the way in which people choose to play is your obligation as a human being. As long as no one is hurting anyone else or themselves, we need to support everyone in their quest to have as much free, self expressed fun as they possibly can. I want to live in a world where there is no sexual stigma and no stigma around fun and play. I want to live in a world where people are encouraged to express themselves in a healthy and positive way, to counterbalance the demands and stresses that this futuristic 21st century life places on all of us.

I take sex seriously because I take play seriously. I seriously think that play is fucking important and I think that fucking is how most people play. The reason why I do this blog is so that people will learn more about sex and how other people enjoy it, and how to enjoy it more safely, but most of all it’s so that, through exposure, people will start to become accepting of sexuality on all levels, not as something to be private and secretive about but to be proud and accepting about. The queer community has always had it right (obviously), we need to take pride in our sexuality and encourage everyone to do the same because who’ll want to fight when we’re having this much fun. Ever been to a pride parade? I’ve never seen a better celebration of fun and play in my life.

Rant over.

Tagged , , , ,

Condoms Don’t Make Sex Feel Any Worse, Science Told Me So

I’ve heard a lot of guys claim that they don’t wear condoms regularly because it makes sex feel worse. They don’t experience as much pleasure during sex when they wear a condom compared to when they don’t. Wel, science has officially called bullshit! A study published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine found that “sexual arousal, ease of erection, overall pleasure and orgasm weren’t much different” between people who wore condoms and who didn’t. So take your lame excuses elsewhere gents.

I have both worn condoms and had unprotected sex and in both cases it was most definitely sex. I became aroused, thrashed around a bit and then came to orgasm. If I was older than 21, my partner probably also climaxed and we went about getting back to whatever it was we were doing. In none of these cases, protected or not, did I experience any more or less pleasure as a result of wearing a condom. And the same seems to be true with pretty much everyone surveyed in this study.

Now there is one issue with this particular study…it was funded by Trojan. Yes, the condom company, Trojan. Yikes! But the head researcher (and one of my favorite sex writers) Debby Herbenick has said that the condom company didn’t influence their findings at all, some of which were not actually in favor of condom use. It turns out that men who didn’t also use lubricant in conjunction with condoms had significantly lower rates of arousal than men who didn’t wear condoms. This was especially the case for men who didn’t use lubricant on their penis before applying the condom.

So the “condoms don’t feel good” crowd were right, sort of. They were right that it didn’t feel good, but it was only because they were doing it wrong. Put some lube on your penis, put your penis in a condom, put some lube on the condom, stop complaining. I’m sorry, but “It doesn’t feel as good” is the shittiest excuse to expose you and your partner to all the risks of unprotected sex. And now we know that it’s not even a valid one.

Read more about the study here

Tagged , , , ,

My Two Cents About Consent

I often finish my blog posts with a sentence or two to the effect of, “you should try your best to communicate openly and honestly with your partners about sex, it’s more important than anything else I’ve talked about above.” This is my general attitude and belief. Talking with your partners about sex both before, during and after is the key to having the most fun, fulfilling and safe possible sex. That is my opinion and will likely remain so.

I don’t talk about sexual assault or rape very much, if at all. I think that there have been quite enough cisgendered, straight identified, white men (of which I am one) talking about rape in 2012. Many of them have made complete asses of themselves in public and have been berated forcefully on the internet and other media outlets.

What I do want to talk about, which ties into sexual assault, is consent. A number of people who get charged with rape make the argument that “consent is such a tricky issue.” The idea behind this is that it’s next to impossible to know wether or not you have received consent. This my friends is bullshit. But the problem is as much to do with these rapey douchebags as it is to do with our current attitudes towards sex. We are so afraid to talk about sex in most circumstances. We are so scared to speak openly and bluntly with our partners about our needs, desires, preferences, dislikes, kinks, etc. Now, this is not the case for everyone obviously, some people have amazingly open communication with their partners about their sexuality, but those people, from what I can tell are a rarity.

Good sexual communication is not the norm in North America (where I live). So, what does this have to do with anything? It has to do with consent. Ask yourself honestly: When was the last time I asked, or was asked, explicitly for consent? I’m talking, “Would you like to have sex with me right now?” I’m serious. How many people have asked that question with a straight face? I’m going to guess very few. It seems to most like such an awkward and uncomfortable question. It seems so unsexy, right?

Now process that for a second. Our sexual culture is one that thinks that asking for explicit consent to have sex is unsexy. It’s built in to the structure of how we view sex. Sex is still, in many ways a taboo. If something is sexual it is labeled Not Safe For Work. Sex is against the rules, it’s icky, it’s embarrassing and it’s not something you talk about straightforwardly. There are more sexual euphemisms than any other kind I can think of. So fine, use euphemism then! “Hey, wanna bone?” But still that can come off as too upfront. Let’s face it, in the current sexual climate, asking for direct consent in a sexy way is a challenge, but not getting consent can lead to much bigger issues. Perhaps we can sacrifice a little sexiness for some good communication.

I’m not convinced that I have a point but if I do it’s probably this: We don’t need to make explicit consent a sexy thing, we just need to make it a thing that we do. The pendulum needs to swing such that, even in long term relationships, we are asking for consent every time. And it can be sexy if you make it sexy. Maybe I’m just a square, but to me nothing could be better than starting off your sexual encounter with some communication. Encouraging open dialogue in sexual relationships isn’t just about trying to help people have the most fulfilled sex lives possible (though that is part of it), it’s also about opening up the societal conversation about sex, period. I am over sex being a topic that is Not Safe For Work. I am over sex being a topic that we don’t feel comfortable talking about in certain situations, because the more we accept that sex is not something that we talk about, the more harm that lack of conversation and communication has the potential to inflict. Rant over.

Tagged , ,

Dan Savage: Nobody’s Normal

…especially not the normal folks

Tagged , ,

Myth Bustin: Sex Doesn’t Make You Go Into Labor

It has long been though that having sex in the later stages of pregnancy can induce labor. It is believed by some that orgasm can stimulate contractions and that a the hormone prostaglandin which is present in semen can induce labor. Doctors actually use prostaglandin in artificially induced labor so it’s understandable why this belief has persisted but a new study in Malasia has found no evidence to support this theory.

Women who have sex towards the end of their pregnancy are no more likely to induce labor than women who didn’t have any sex. Turns out that sex during pregnancy is just a fun thing to do and not much more than that. Oh well, last time I checked, “because it’s fun” was a pretty good reason for having sex.

Tagged , ,

Science: Cuddling Hardly Ever Leads To Sex, Bummer Dudes

According to a survey of 500 men and women in relationships only about 1 in 6 cuddle sessions, or seshes as the kids are calling them (no one’s calling them that), end up in sex. The average sesh is about 47 minutes long and what’s worse is that it’s more likely to stimulate conversation than copulation. Cuddling stimulates feelings of intimacy and relaxation amongst the couples surveyed which to me are both pretty sexy. But what do I know, right Science? Personally, I’m a huge fan of the post-sex cuddle. It’s the best of both worlds. But yeah, dudes, if you think that cuddling is going to automatically grant you access to your partners nethers, think again. In fact, if you cuddle with your partner, you might end up talking to them. Heaven forbid!

Via Limelife

Tagged , , , ,