Links & Hijinks: Blowjobs, Dopamine, & Carmen Miranda

• Girl on the Net wrote about rediscovering the real joy of sex after stressing yourself out thinking that sex “should” be joyful. I love pieces like this which acknowledge the sometimes unglamorous realities of sex, which many people feel broken for experiencing.

• Here’s some men talking about their sex toys. There’s lots to like about this article, but I particularly lost my shit over this line: “Men can orgasm at the drop of a hat, generally speaking (at least if it’s a particularly sexy hat — I’m thinking a Carmen Miranda fruit hat, that big wide-brimmed one Beyonce wears in the Formation video, one of those ones that has a beer can on either side).”

• Is mocking a man’s small dick on par with the body-shaming experienced by women? To me, the answer is “obviously yes,” but this article is still worth a read, if just for the absurd story therein about two Instagram models whose post-breakup drama played out online in the form of passive-aggressive dick snipes.

• “I can’t stop thinking about penetration” is one of the best opening sentences I’ve read in a while. Here, the Establishment’s Katie Tandy writes beautifully about penis envy and power dynamics.

• The great Alana Hope Levinson’s thoughts on “the cuckboi” made me shriek with laughter. “The cuckboi understands that there’s no ethical consumption under capitalism, unless you’re eating pussy.” TOO GOOD.

• On the loquacious raving and “intrusive thinking” that happens when you have a new crush: “When the object of your desire isn’t around, and therefore you lack that dopamine rush in your brain, you might feel like you’re in withdrawal. So, you may try to achieve small dopamine rushes from talking about your crush to your friends.” Gawd, I am so guilty of this. Sorry, friends.

• My bestie wrote about why they love blowjobs*sigh* Why am I not blowing anyone right now?! (Well… this post was prewritten and queued up in advance, so I guess it’s possible I am blowing someone right now, as you read this. Who can say?)

• Bex also wrote about sex ed, sex-positivity, and meeting people where they’re at. I love this. I’ve only been working in sex toy retail for two months but I already feel like I’ve learned so much about these concepts from working on the “front lines.”

• This piece on anxiety and productivity is haunting and important. Read this if the current state of the world makes you anxious and so do thoughts of resisting, standing up for what matters, making change.

Trans kink porn is important! God, this article reeeeeally made me want to watch The Training of Poe…

• Depression may actually have a positive evolutionary purpose. Certainly puts things in perspective! “This framing of depression as a space for reflection is empowering, and lends a degree of agency to the person being pressed down,” Drake Baer writes. “Like anxiety, depression might be trying to tell you something.”

• A “boyfriend dick” is the kind of dick you could see yourself settling down with. I must say, though, I prefer the more gender-inclusive phrase “good dick,” which really says it all! (Incase it wasn’t obvious: the concept of a “good dick” is very subjective. Please don’t worry about whether your dick is good or not. If you keep it clean and use it respectfully, there are lots of people who would consider it a “good dick,” I promise.)

• What happens when best friends control each other’s vibrators?! (I think me and Bex should try this sometime.)

• Maybe we need to reject body-positivity and embrace body-neutrality. I love this idea! “Neutrality is the freedom to go about your day without such a strong focus on your body,” says one of the people quoted in this article.

• JoEllen wrote some spot-on guidelines for having good, ethical casual sex.

• This piece about Trump and BDSM argues that consent education, and the communication skills one can learn through practicing kink, are more critical than ever in our current political climate. Interesting stuff.

• I loved this short piece about pain, mindfulness, and transcendence. It spins a whole world out of a few moments of intense (consensual) pain, which is indeed what those experiences feel like to me sometimes.

Sharing the Sexy #26

Photographs of fucking machines!

• Vaguely relevant things I fell in love with on Etsy this week: super cute reusable menstrual pads and feminist-themed knitwear.

5 bad things men learn from porn.

• A review of an electro-sex urethral probe. Not for the faint of heart, but certainly interesting!

• This photographer is putting together a body-positive book about vulvas and needs your donations to make it happen.

• Here are 30 eye-opening examples of cisgender privilege.

This study found that 30% of men are threatened by vibrators. (The article acts like that’s not a lot, but frankly, it’s way more than it should be.)

• The man with the smallest penis in Brooklyn talks about media influence, body confidence, and why he entered a small penis contest.

• Have you ever had an orgasm while exercising?

5 Sex Questions I’m Tired of Answering

I self-identify as a sex educator. That term is used in reference to powerhouses like Violet Blue and Dan Savage, so I’m not sure if there are actual technical qualifications that would prevent me from calling myself that… but barring those possible technicalities, yes, I would consider myself a sex educator.

I write for sex publications. I trawl sex forums on the daily. I give my friends (and sometimes my mom) sex advice when they ask for it. And of course, I write a blog about this shiz.

Most of the time, I love what I do. It fills me up with passion and enthusiasm like nothing else I’ve ever encountered.

But there are some questions which get tiresome, because they get asked all the fucking time in any space where people talk about sex. Here are a few.

“I can’t come from penetration!” or “My girlfriend can’t come from intercourse! What’s up with that?!”

Dude. Let’s set the record straight. The clitoris, not the vagina, is the centre of sexual pleasure for the majority of women. It’s the clitoris which is analogous to to the penis, and it’s the clitoris which must be stimulated in order for at least 70% of women to reach orgasm.

I don’t care what your porn flicks have taught you. Porn is great, but it is not a substitute for sex ed. Especially since it has succeeded in convincing millions of men that they’re only “good in bed” if their cock alone makes their woman writhe all over the place in orgasmic ecstasy.

There are plenty of women who can and do reach orgasm from penetration alone, but they are still technically the minority. When you have a new female sexual partner, it’s safe to assume that she wants or even needs clitoral stimulation to be a part of her sexual experience.

It’s not even that hard to do! Warm her up properly with a good amount of clit-focused foreplay. While you’re inside her, rub her clit, or have her do it. Or incorporate a vibrator. Or have an additional lover lick her pussy while you fuck her. Whatever it takes, man – just make it happen!

“Is my penis too small?”

For some women, yes. For all women, no.

Size queens exist – I have met a couple of them (one of whom, I might add, was a gay man) – but they are definitely not the majority.

From all the hundreds of conversations I’ve had about sex with people from all around the world, I’ve come to believe that this “bigger = better” mindset is largely a myth. Most women do not actually want to be impaled by a nine-incher. Some might think that’s what they want, but their sense of size is skewed or they just don’t know what it feels like to have something that big inside of them. Some women know exactly how big a nine-inch cock is and they know that they prefer it, but again, those women are in the minority.

From my thoroughly informal and anecdotal research, it seems like most women prefer a cock in the six-to-seven-inches range. Some, like me, are smaller, and so five to six inches is better. Some gals are even tinier than me and might feel most comfortable with something around four inches.

And then, of course, there are women who fetishize micropenises. Or those who have vaginismus and can barely fit a finger inside them, let alone an average-sized dick.

Point being… Whatever size your member is, there is a significant portion of the female population (or male, if you prefer) who would cite that size as their ideal. So if someone mocks your cock, take it with a grain of salt; she’s not saying “Your dick is the wrong size,” she’s saying, “Your dick is the wrong size for me.” Plus, she’s mean and should go fuck herself.

“Do girls like _____?” or “How do men feel about _____?”

I don’t care what it is. Fisting. Deep-throating. Being shit on during sex. Having their hair pulled. Whatever it is, the answer to a question phrased this way is always “it depends on the person.”

I realize that it can be very satisfying to simplify things in your head like this – “a woman on the internet says she likes giving blowjobs, so all women must like to give them, even if they won’t admit it!” – but that’s just not the way people work. We’re all different and we all like different things in bed.

What does this mean, in practical terms? It means that the techniques which worked on your ex probably won’t work on your new lover. It means that the “guides” you read on the internet might have zero effect whatsoever on your partner’s satisfaction, even if you follow them to a tee. It means that you have to do that tricky thing you’ve been trying to avoid by asking a question like this: talk to your partner.

That’s the answer to pretty much any sex question, actually. Ask your partner. Because they are the only one who knows the actual answer to your question. You’re not wondering whether women or men like a certain thing; you’re wondering whether the specific person you have in mind is a fan of that thing. And the only way to find out is to ask them.

“Will using a sex toy make me unable to enjoy real sex anymore?”

Vibrators cause desensitization for some people, but it’s only ever temporary. If it lasts more than a few weeks at the most, it’s likely that something else is going on and you should ask your doctor about it.

But for most of us, no, vibrations will not fuck with our natural ability to feel sex as it’s meant to be felt. If you find you’re feeling less sensitive after using your vibe, just lay off it for a few days or a week, and your sensitivity will come back. This is why I typically avoid using my vibrator for at least 24 hours before I’ll be seeing my boyfriend – I want to be able to feel the minute details of everything he does to me.

As for dildos… The vagina’s shape does not go through permanent changes in size due to objects that are put inside of it, except in some extreme cases (like pushing out a baby). I can’t think of a single dildo that would make a woman “looser.”

Sometimes those muscles start to loosen up on their own, because of inactivity. If that happens, it can be reversed by starting a regimen of Kegel exercises. These are great because they tighten you up while also improving your orgasms.

There is a mental aspect to using huge dildos, which is that a woman may start to prefer larger objects if she has a good time with them. However, I urge you to remember that a sex toy is not a replacement for a human partner. If someone would honestly choose an inanimate object over a person, odds are good that they were not ready for a relationship to begin with. So don’t sweat it.

“My vagina is burning!” or “There’s a red bump on my penis!”

…or pretty much any other genital-related health problem you can think of.

Please, please, don’t post this on the internet. Get up and go to the doctor. Now.

We may be interested in chatting about sex, but that does not make us qualified medical professionals. I know it sucks to have to ask your doctor about an awkward issue like genital pustules or what have you, but you gotta do it.

What sex questions are you tired of?

Sharing the Sexy #12

• Here’s an article on sex with trans men. A trans guy friend of mine says, “When in doubt about a part of a trans person’s body, ask what it is and what you should call it.”

• Sexxit had a great thread this week that asked the question, if most women need clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm, why are so many men surprised by this? A lot of very interesting responses ensued.

• The “female Viagra” will be a nasal spray, apparently.

• Tantus has some new butt plugs out and they look terrific.

• This woman has an orgasm every time she eats an olive. What the fuck?!

A dude with a scat fetish (i.e. poop) did an Ask Me Anything on Reddit. Aaaand this is why I love/hate the internet.

• Steve Pavlina, whose eclectic and informative blog covers everything from entrepreneurship to spirituality to polyamory, wrote about how to invite cuddling without inviting sex.

• This week I watched Strange Sex’s feature on the man with the world’s biggest penis and I am kind of shocked that he’s just some nebbish white dude.

Sharing the Sexy #9

• A study was done to determine average penis size by country.

• Would you buy alcohol that gets poured over a model’s naked tits as part of the production process?

• Looks like Tokyo is opening a bar devoted to female masturbation. You can buy vibrators over the counter and discuss your solo sex life with fellow bar-goers. Would you go?

• I had never heard of figging before this week, but it’s such an interesting BDSM practice!

• This month, the more boob videos you view, the more money PornHub will donate to breast cancer research!