You’ve just received the happy news that you’re expecting and you’re feeling more connected to your partner than ever. Although those nine months of pregnancy can be a challenging time, that doesn’t mean you need to sacrifice time between the sheets. Read on to discover the difficulties you might face during each trimester and how you can overcome them to experience some of the best sex of your life.
Takeaway: Foreskin is pretty fascinating stuff.
First, I'd like to congratulate the gay couples in Alabama that were actually able to get married on February 9, 2015, and weren't denied a marriage license. Not long ago, I was editing an article and it dawned on me just how wild sex laws have gone. I am a very sex-positive person. No, that doesn't make me a sex fiend. It just makes me someone who thinks that there's nothing wrong with sex between two consenting adults. What they want to do behind closed doors is definitely not my business ... and it shouldn't be the business of the government, either. (For more on the meaning on sex positivity, check out 3 Steps to Sex Positivity). For those who complain that the government has no business getting involved in certain aspects of life, the bedroom is no exception. Nothing is less sexy than getting a whiff of Eau de Big Brother. Here we'll take a look at some of the most outrageously outdated sex laws out there. Whether they're enforced (or enforceable) or not, you won't believe these laws are still on the books.
The subject of keeping desire fresh in a long-term relationship has always been a fascination of mine. It’s a mixture of seeing my parents sleep in their room - door open - for as long as I can remember and also going through some bad relationships of my own (one guy said he didn’t do kissing). And, of course, there are all the movies, books, magazines and countless people telling you that passion fades after a while and there is nothing you, me or Mork can do about it.
I picked up Esther Perel's book "Mating in Captivity" mainly because the title was catchy, but also because the premise of her book is fascinating. In her book, Perel manages to put her finger on identifying the cause(s) of waning desire in a long-term relationship. What we believe to be the reason for better sex - intimacy - turns out to also be the culprit that diminishes our desire. So ladies, it turns out that the more intimacy we have, the more certainty we have. And with all that yummy safety comes the need to cuddle more than to ravage. Drat!
You should also check out Perel's TED talk, The Secret to Desire in Long-Term Relationships.
Despite the proliferation of Internet porn, phone sex continues to be a multimillion dollar industry. And having been a phone sex operator for more than eight years, I can tell you from experience that phone sex can be a fun, sexy, lucrative gig. But I also learned that it can be frustrating, shocking, confounding, exasperating and unexpectedly hilarious. Here are 16 things you'd probably never suspect about phone sex.
Can porn really enhance married life? The predominant stereotypes regarding pornographyrevolve around men who can't get enough of it, and women who can't stand it. Traditional thinking dictates that porn-loving men should be hiding in dark corners, terribly ashamed of whatever weakness causes them to want to look at pictures of naked ladies. Women, on the other hand, should never touch porn themselves (no, romance novels aren't porn, they're romantic) and should feel degraded by the very idea of appearing in some. They should also be totally jealous if their own love interest admits to looking at porn because it means he prefers porn to real women.
A couple of weeks ago, someone tweeted at me to ask for advice on getting their partner "to be more into sex." It turned out that said partner was dealing with depression and had lost all sexual interest. I tried to explain to this man that he really couldn’t do much to make his partner want sex at the moment, that it sounded like the depression was causing the loss of libido. So, I told him that treating the depression would be the best route to treating the libido issue. I got the distinct impression this answer was not satisfactory and was left with a tweet about how a romantic bath would be set up. I felt a knot form in my stomach. I could tell he didn’t quite understand what I was saying - and I wasn’t going to get through to him in less than 140 characters.
Anyone who has ever been in a supermarket checkout line has seen them, the magazine headlines:
12 Tips for Better Orgasms!
10 Steps to a Bigger Orgasms!!
7 Tricks for Louder Orgasms!!!
Bigger Better Louder Orgasms if You Do These 29 Easy Things!!!!
One widely acknowledged challenge of long-term relationships is keeping the sexual spark alive. There are so many things that get in the way: careers, routines, health problems, kids and even just lack of interest. Over time, what used to be several times a week becomes maybe once or twice a week, then a few times a month until sometimes, couples aren't getting down to it at all. Ever.
And that, for one partner or the other, can be a deal-killer.
The truth is that we aren't horny teenagers forever. Many long-term partners struggle with a loss of desire or sexual drive at some point in their relationship. And that’s normal. Unfortunately, many also break up because they aren’t able to openly discuss this issue and find a solution together.
Sex is a game for two. That means if you aren't getting any, both you and your partner have to get involved in the solution. Here are some tips on what to do if the sex in you relationship dries up.
"I went into the operating room a celebrity and came out anonymous," Grey told The Daily Mirror in 2012.
So why am I going on about the surgically altered appearance of a 1980s actress? Well, because noses aren’t the only thing many women are altering these days, all for the purpose of fitting a supposed ideal. You know what I’m talking about: Your vagina (or vulva, for you nerds). Well, not yours specifically perhaps. I’m sure it’s perfectly lovely. But even if it is, you probably think it’s a little too uneven, or too fat, or the wrong color ... or something. There’s surgery for that. If you’re really dissatisfied with what you’re packing below the belt, maybe you’ll opt for it. Or maybe you’ll do what the rest of us do and go on hating what you assume is your ugly vagina.
But here's the thing: It isn’t ugly. It just looks that way.
Different Isn't UglyIn order to assume that you’re ugly, there has to be a standard to compare yourself against, right? If you check out the websites for cosmetic surgeries like labiaplasty, the "down-there" ideal for women looks something like what Barbie’s got going on under that ruffled miniskirt: All tucked up neat and tidy. And completely smooth and whiskerless, of course, like one of those weird hairless cats. If that’s what you’ve got in your panties, more power to you, but there’s something to be said for diversity, especially since the vagina is such an amazingly diverse structure.
In fact, I’d be willing to bet that no two vaginas are alike. It's a little hard to prove it in the locker room, but there's an amazing art exhibit (The Great Wall of Vagina!) by U.K. artist Jamie McCartney. He’s created plaster casts of more than 400 real-life vaginas and displayed them all, side by side, in 10 panels. What you’ll notice right away is how astoundingly different each vagina is from the one next to it; one is a simple cleft, another an orchid. In some, the labia hang down, or the inner labia open out like butterfly wings, or fold gracefully to one side.
"For many women their genital appearance is a source of anxiety and I was in a unique position to do something about that," McCartney said.
<img data-cke-saved-src="http://www.kinkly.com/images/uploads/5b4fbbe7890944b0a94025c9f5ab1923.jpg?%20title=" src="http://www.kinkly.com/images/uploads/5b4fbbe7890944b0a94025c9f5ab1923.jpg?%20title=" great="" wall="" of="" vagina="" by="" jamie="" mccartney"="" style="max-width: 100%; height: auto; vertical-align: middle; border: 0px; ">
Panel No.1 of 10 from the Great Wall of Vagina by Jamie McCartney.
So many vaginas, and they’re all curious, captivating, unique and unexpectedly interesting. But ugly? Not a chance.
It's Just a Vagina, PeopleOf course, the reason that many women struggle to love their vaginas isn’t just about how they look. All those various flaps and folds are probably just something we fixate on because we really have some other, bigger problems with what’s going on down there.
Perhaps you’ve been told that that part of your body is "private," or even "dirty." At the very least, it's generally unmentionable in "polite conversation." Your vagina, just like your hands or mouth or heart, is just a part of your body, one that, like any other, we all need to learn to accept, and even love. But boy does it get a bad rap.
Case in point: A Michigan mother recently made news for trying to get the unedited version of"The Diary of a Young Girl" by Anne Frank banned from schools for being too "pornographic." Here’s one of the offending passages:
"Until I was eleven or twelve, I didn’t realize there was a second set of labia on the inside, since you couldn’t see them. What’s even funnier is that I thought urine came out of the clitoris … When you’re standing up, all you see from the front is hair. Between your legs there are two soft, cushiony things, also covered with hair, which press together when you’re standing, so you can’t see what’s inside. They separate when you sit down and they’re very red and quite fleshy on the inside. In the upper part, between the outer labia, there’s a fold of skin that, on second thought, looks like a kind of blister. That’s the clitoris."
It’s pretty easy to forgive Anne Frank’s father, Otto, for removing that and other personal sections from her diary when he published it after she perished in a concentration camp in 1945. It's a little harder to identify with the mother from Michigan, who said the passage "disturbed" her 12-year-old daughter. Apparently, the rest of the story wasn't disturbing at all.
The problem is, if we can’t even discuss our vaginas in an anatomical way, looking at them, liking them and, heaven forbid, playing with them, probably isn't going to go too well. (And playing is a big part of sexual health. Read more in 5 Reasons Why Masturbation Is the Greatest.)
It’s Totally NormalYour vagina looks great. Its shape is just fine. Its smell and taste is totally and utterly normal. And don’t go looking to Google for confirmation on this, ya’ll. It’s filled with waxed, airbrushed and surgically altered bits that (while perfectly lovely), just don’t represent what most ladies have tucked into their skirts and pants. If your labia hang low, that’s cool. If your inner labia hang below the outer ones, you’re beautiful (the same goes for if they don’t!). And no matter what color, shape, size or configuration your parts are arranged in, unless they're causing you pain rather than pleasure, you can rest assured that you’re perfectly normal. ("The Big Coloring Book of Vaginas" calls the vagina "a fingerprint." It's also a great way to spend a rainy afternoon.)
When you think about it, your vagina is kinda like a face for your undercarriage. Now, I know that a whole lot of people get plastic surgery on their faces. And maybe they emerge from the operating room as more beautiful versions of themselves. Maybe. But when you think about, there are two ways to look at your so-called "flaws": You could see them as something that’ll turn some people off your looks ... or you could see them as something that will turn some other people on.
Plus, when it comes to the vagina's many curves and colors, we all seem to be a bit biased. After all, there are a whole lot of things in the world that look just like a vagina - like seashells (see above), and flowers, and trees, and geology and everything on this site - and we call many of those things beautiful without a second thought. But a vagina is ugly? Maybe we just don't always recognize what we've got going for us.
Plus, just as people might be attracted to you for your delicate lips or prominent chin or a good, strong Jennifer-Grey kinda nose, they might just be gaga for what you’ve got going on below the waist too. Not because you "fixed" it, but because the way it is totally suits you. So, if your vagina isn’t a tiny, tucked in, nondescript little slit, that’s totally fine. It isn’t ugly. It just looks that way. Take my word for it. Because sometimes it's hard to recognize something beautiful, even when it's as plain as the nose on your face. (Read more about labiaplasty and other surgery in Can Plastic Surgery Lead to Better Sex?)