Date Night-Best Lubes For Anal Play, Cannabis SEX & More!

Join Devi and Jerome for another Date Night. This time they are live in studio, together! Jerome brought the wine and Devi is bringing the lube!

Find out about:

What are the best lubes for anal play?
Does spit really make good lube?
How are your meds affecting your sex life?
Best sex toys for anal play?
Is sex better with Cannabis?
And how to ask a lover for MORE!
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Jerome Stuart Nichols, a 27 year old sex educator, sex coach and internet personality based in Ypsilanti, MI, resident sexpert and creator of

He started LTASEX as a blog called Let’s Talk About Sex in 2010 as a way of helping people improve their lives through their sexuality.

Contact Jerome Stuart Nicols
Company Name: LTASEX
Email Address:
Personal Site: – @notJeromeStuart
Personal Coaching:
Telephone: 248-778-7074
Freelance Writer/Photographer: Between the Lines
Managing Editor: Real Food Real Kitchens

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By Devi Ward

A Woman’s Guide To Online Dating For Men.

As a straight woman in the online dating world, I have discovered that men can be creepy. I’m sure there’s a men’s rights activist out there right now clutching his fedora and angrily shouting, “Not all men, m’lady!” So I am going to address that right now: Yeah, duh. No shit. In fact, I’ve actually dated some of the men who haven’t approached me online in a moronic manner. Only later did I find out how moronic they were.

My inbox is flooded daily with strangers asking me questions like, “Can I suck a cucumber out of your butt?” and “Biggest dick you’ve sucked?” Every message reads like something a right-wing political cartoonist would have Bill Clinton say in the late 90s. I started to chronicle these messages on my Instagram account, because laughing about it helped me deal with the pain, which is the only way to solve any of my problems. That’s basically why I became a stand-up comedian.


Before I knew it, I gained a small following. People were interested in my grotesque dating life, but then I started getting messages from angry men saying the messages were my fault—I must have somehow been leading them on, tricking them into sending me such messages. Sorry, but my dating profiles are genuine—except for the part where I say I worship Satan.

Guys, I’m actually on your side. Kind of. I want you to have successful dating lives. Kind of. I think the real issue here is that you are being misguided, probably by horrible pick-up artist message boards and your horny friends. Instead of asking other men how to approach women online, how about you get some advice from an actual woman?

If All You Want Is a Hook-Up, Make That Clear (But Not in a Porny Way)

This goes for Tinder, especially. Tinder has confused the crap out of people. Is it a hook-up app, or is it something more? What’s the end game? Not enough people do this, but I think you really should say what you’re looking for. Just some sex? OK, that’s fine. A relationship? That’s fine, too. At this point, I wouldn’t be offended if, after having some conversation, a man revealed to me that all he wants is to have sex. I would most likely decline, but I wouldn’t think he’s a bad person. There’s a difference between talking to someone and them eventually saying, “I’m going to be honest with you, I only want a casual hook-up” versus being greeted with “Let me fuk that asshole.” Come on, at least spell fuck right.

And whatever weird porn fantasy you’re trying to live out, stop.

Also, stop telling us you can make us come. You probably can’t.

Oh and for the love of god, stop telling us that normally you’re shy or that usually you are not so forward. Not only do we know this is bullshit, but it does not make us feel good to be the exception to your usually, and normally.

The way I read this: Normally, I don the facade of a decent human being who doesn’t approach women in such a vile manner. However, one look at your profile and I thought, “She looks desperate enough to engage in intercourse with me right now.” In this guy’s defense, one of my pictures is of me crying while eating a burrito.

Don’t Call Us “Cutie,” “Sexy,” or “Babe”

Calling a woman you don’t know “sexy” or “cutie” is not as flattering as you might think. You become the catcalling construction worker of the internet. Then there’s “babe.” Babe bothers me on many levels. First off, it’s the name of a pig from a popular children’s film. That pig, while he was alive, made more money than I will ever make in my lifetime. It’s also very close to sounding like “baby,” which is the title of a Justin Bieber song. Justin Bieber is currently someone who makes more money than I will ever make in my lifetime. More importantly, an early definition of babe is literally, “an inexperienced or naive person.” This, if you didn’t know, is demeaning. So, even if I somehow manage to make more money than swine, or a fictional pig named Babe, this word would still make me cringe.

The only exception is if I’m dating Ted Logan from Bill & Ted’s Excellent Adventure. He can call me whatever he wants.

Don’t Tell a Horrible Joke

Yes, humor is attractive. However, copy-and-pasting a joke from some men’s humor website is not you showcasing how funny you are. On multiple occasions I have gotten this couch gag, which unfortunately has nothing to do with The Simpsons:

This joke is funny because not only does he not want to use a condom during sex with a stranger (which greatly heightens his risk of getting and spreading sexually transmitted infections), but he also wants to keep his sperm inside the woman he is having unprotected sex with so she could very likely get pregnant. It’s a classic bit, actually. The real issue here is, Chaplin did it better.

Then there’s this dead baby joke. Fortunately, I have only received this once:

This guy is not only a pedophile, but a cannibal to boot! That’s like finding a lawyer who went to med school.

Stop Sending This Message

This is a popular one guys are mass-sending. I have a strong feeling that whichever PUA site started this one was definitely trolling. Saying you’re not a creep almost instantly makes you a creep, especially if you later use the words “squirt” and “uncalibrated.”

Don’t Be an Asshole If We Don’t Respond

Sometimes on Tinder, it’s a match and that’s as far as it goes. I have endless matches who I’ve never spoken to and have never spoken to me. Some matches will send me a message, and get angry if I don’t respond. For a few, it only took them a couple of hours to yell profanities at me. Don’t take it personally, and don’t make yourself look worse by flipping out on a total stranger.

Don’t Send Dick Pics

Tinder thought it would be a good idea to have a Snapchat-esque feature called “Moments.” The concept is that you take a picture and that picture goes out to all the people that you matched with. Those people see the picture, and swipe left if they don’t like it, right if they do. Most “Moments” are selfies, or pictures of dogs, or meals, or erect penises.

Like Snapchat, there is also the option to write messages on your pictures or draw something. Thanks to Tinder, I have seen more than one dick overflowing with heart-shaped sperm.

Straight men: You need to stop thinking that your penis is attractive. Do you know how many lunch breaks you’ve ruined? Just face the facts. The sight of your veiny, erect penis does nothing for us. We will never see your penis and get wet. That’s why foreplay exists.

If you do want to send a horny pic, show us other parts of your body. I can see myself enjoying visuals of a nice man-butt, or a hairy chest. Better yet, a picture of you fully clothed, buying me whiskey.

Don’t Try to Make Us Sing a Journey Song

This is self-explanatory.

Don’t Ask Too Many Questions or Make Your Message Too Long

All this does is make the potential responder feel like they just got a homework assignment. When the questions are too specific or personal, it also comes off as odd. Do you want to go on a date or steal my credit card information? Starting with a simple “hello” might be boring, but going paragraphs further than that is just as boring—especially if you’re just talking about your day. It’s reminiscent of having to hear my mom talk about the pillows she bought on sale. I don’t want anyone I could potentially have sex with to remind me of my mom.

Now you know some of the things you shouldn’t do. What should you do? Be nice, genuine, avoid graphic sex talk, and save the dick pics for at least the fourth date. Also, never forget that online dating will always be dismal. At the end of the day nothing will change this crushing fact. Perhaps with this guide, it will help relieve just a little bit of the misery.

By Alison Stevenson for Vice

New Study Shows Which Country Has The Biggest Penises In The World .

Well here is what we have all secretly been waiting for – a global ranking of Wang sizes. BodyRock is based in Canada, so I guess we will just have to continue to take pride in our Hockey prowess. Out of the 80 countries they researched, the average penis size is 5.5 inches. South America is the most well hung continent at 6.36 inches. While North Korea, at 3.8 inches, takes home the booby prize.

Americans didn’t even reach the global average and find themselves in 61st place out of 80. No wonder our women are so attracted to foreign men. Just pray your lady never hooks up with a guy from the Democratic Republic of the Congo or it’s ballgame over.

Before we get to the map and list of the average erect penis sizes for 80 countries worldwide, here are some notable findings:

-The proper way to measure is from tip of the penis to the very bottom of the pubic bone.
-The global average is 5.5 inches.
-The most well hung country in our study is the Democratic Republic of the Congo (aka Congo), with an average of 7.1 inches.
-On average, South America is the most well hung continent (6.36 inches).
-North Korea has the smallest dick size on average (3.8 inches).
-Only 3 percent of men worldwide are over 8 inches. Only 6 percent of men actually need extra large condoms.
-Of the 80 countries included, the U.S. ranks #61 in average erect penis size.



BY BODYROCK of for Body Rock

I Had A Sex Slave, And It Was Awesome.

Back in December, I relayed the romantic tale of my first sex slave. My feelings on having a submissive partner were unclear: I didn’t like the whipping and spanking, but I did love being worshiped and having my dishes cleaned for me. After my sex slave and I broke up, I wasn’t sure if it was really possible to be a part of this community if I didn’t want to call men “small-dicked shitheads” and beat them up for not following my orders. I tried dating on Fetlife, but after getting too many messages from gentleman begging me to penetrate them with a dildo or be the star of my very own gang bang, I decided to delete my account. I was closing to giving up until a friend of mine suggested I use OkCupid.

I already had an OkCupid profile—one that hadn’t introduced me to any sex slaves—so I created a second one, using a faceless photo of me posing in front of a mirror that someone had just puked on as my profile picture. I wrote explicitly in my bio that I was looking for a sub who was into the same things I was: praise, worship, cock ownership, and servitude. I made it clear that I wasn’t interested in humiliation or physical violence.

To my genuine surprise, my inbox was flooded within hours. I was getting messages from all kinds of guys. Most disregarded the majority of my profile, and thought I was just looking for sex, which they graciously offered to engage in with me. A few needles did manage to pop out of the oversexed haystack, however. Most of them were guys who claimed to have always been curious about this sort of thing, but never before acted on it.

I amassed about ten phone numbers—something I hadn’t done through the site in over a year. Of course, in the world of online dating, ten phone numbers does not equate to ten real-life dates. Once you exchange numbers, a few days of awkward texting follows. A vague plan to hang out next week-ish is made, and then either they bail or you do. I am ashamed to admit that I have canceled dates last minute, because I simply did not feel like showering or was more invested in Netflix (often both, to be honest).

Eventually, I went on two dates. One guy, Jason, told me he had 11 siblings, and I told him his parents were stupid. We never spoke again. Another guy, Zach, was nice, but there was no real spark.

Of course, spark or not, I was still drunk enough to invite him back to my place and sit on his face. You know, for the hell of it. But after a few minutes, he started having a full-on panic attack. I told him to put his head down between his knees, then brought him a cup of water. Once he calmed down, he apologized profusely, then went home. I spent the rest of the night staring at my vagina, wondering what past trauma it could have reminded him of. Getting lost in a cave? Birth? Eating a spoiled roast beef sandwich? After this incident with Zach, I basically did with my second OkCupid profile what I had done with my first: I gave up hope.

Then, when I checked my inbox two weeks later, I got a message from Andrew.

Andrew was a grad student living in northern California, who at the time of our tryst was visiting his hometown of Los Angeles for a few weeks. He sent me a long message, letting me know that he would love to be at my disposal for as long as he was in town. We met that same night.

He looked like almost every guy I’ve ever had sex with: tall, lanky, dorky. Some cardigan bullshit.

I was into it. He bought me a drink, and right away we got into the specifics. We had to set up guidelines for what each of us wanted, as well as what we would and would not do. It was the most peculiar conversation I’ve had within the initial ten minutes of a first date, but I’m starting to think this should be standard first-date rules, kink-minded or not. I basically reiterated all that was in my profile, and he reiterated that he was only in town for a few weeks. He then added that he had a domme up north who owns him. In fact, he had to ask her for approval to meet with me. She was supposedly fine with it because I did not want to physically harm him. That’s “their thing.”

For those three weeks, Andrew came to my place almost every day to do whatever I wanted.

He cooked for me, and after serving me my meals, he would clean everything up. I often had a list of chores for him to do, such as folding my laundry and getting my groceries for me. He’d drive me anywhere I needed to go and usually waited for me in his parked car until it was time to take me home. We tried letting him bathe me the first few days (his request), but he didn’t scrub my scalp hard enough and used far too much soap. So instead, I’d make him massage me and apply lotion to my body post-shower.

He often requested permission to masturbate after doing so. I’d say yes and just go about my business while he jerked off on my bed. Every time, I could feel him watching me, but I never acknowledged him. I simply continued brushing my hair, or picking out an outfit to wear. It turned him on knowing that I couldn’t care less about his pleasure. He would ask my permission to come, and when it was permitted, he’d have to say “thank you” out loud several times until he was completely finished. I’d make him lie still and wait for me to be done with what I was doing before he could wipe his man-junk off of his stomach and chest.

Only once did we have penetrative sex.

Other than that, our system involved me sitting on his face while he jerked himself off. When he slept over, he would sleep on the floor (again, his request). I slept in my bed and would wake up to him cooking me breakfast. When we were apart, he texted me things such as: “Good morning goddess. I woke up thinking of you. Hoping you’ll allow me to serve you today,” and “Very horny right now thinking of you. Thinking about being on all fours and licking your ass.”

I felt a level of comfort with Andrew I had never felt with anyone before.

I never felt self-conscious around him, or scared to say or do something wrong. He had devoted himself to me for those three weeks in a way no man ever has, and I liked it. As much as he was turned on by serving me, I was turned on by being served. Nothing felt forced. It was my first time being in a romantic partnership where I truly felt like I could be myself.

On our first date, Andrew asked me why I was so against violence and humiliation. I answered at the time that it just didn’t feel right, but I didn’t know why. Now I know why: I don’t desire a submissive man in my life who fetishizes serving a woman because he feels it’s “wrong.” Andrew was able to worship and praise me without needing that element, and I see now that what we had was extremely rare. Our dom/sub dynamic played out on a psychological level more so than a physical one. I don’t know if I can repeat what I had with Andrew with another man, but I sure as hell know now that I want to try.

By Alison Stevenson for Vice

What It’s Like To Be Cockblocked By Your Own Vagina.

All photos courtesy of the author

My high school boyfriend David* and I tried absolutely everything. Lube, red wine, scented candles, pot, Portishead’s Glory Box on repeat, breathing exercises, clitoral stimulation, vicodin, staring into each other’s eyes and repeating, “I love you, it’s OK.” None of it worked. I had a healthy teenage libido, meaning I was horny pretty much 24/7, but my body reacted to penetration like that of a decrepit elderly woman. I would be wet and excited and ready to have sex, but then my lil slip ‘n’ slide would close for the day, unannounced and without remorse.

Besides the defeating nature of not being able to perform coitus, the physical pain and labor was equally grueling. Trying to have sex felt like hot acid being funneled inside of my canal and emotionally manifesting into complete loneliness. It left me feeling isolated, inadequate, and, for lack of a better word, fucked.

I soon learned why it would always be hard to have sex: I had vaginismus, a psychosomatic disorder where the pelvic floor muscles involuntarily tighten when attempting penetration. Symptoms of both vaginismus and erectile dysfunction have been recorded for centuries. Men have been taking a pill to pop their peens for years, but the only two options available for vaginismus are therapy and dilators, both of which are subjective treatments with no given timeline for when penetration will be possible. Telling someone you have this affliction isn’t exactly the best icebreaker on a first date, and its venereal-disease-esque name doesn’t help matters.

The idea of any foreign object inside of me caused involuntarily spasms. I tried my first tampon when I was 15 and it took 45 minutes, two friends, and a hysterical panic attack until my friend Erica managed to pull it out of me on her bathroom floor.

“It was barely inside of her anyway and she was on the floor screaming!” Erica laughed as she retold the story to our friends and strangers for years to come. Although the story always invited unwelcome strangers to interrogate my vagina, she was the one who pulled a giant piece of bloody cotton out from inside of me. In a “balancing the universe” type of way, I guess we were even.

The author and her high school boyfriend at Disneyland

Although the disorder isn’t well documented, it’s actually one of the most common sexual dysfunctions among women. Doctors estimate that approximately 2 in 1000 women will experience vaginismus, but since most women are embarrassed of their built-in chastity belt, they’re afraid to ask for help. Some women actually never experience penetrative sex because of their feelings of sexual incompetence. For a few years I thought I would be one of them.

I’ve repressed most of my failed attempts, but one of the most prominent memories I can’t seem to bury occurred on the eve of my 18th birthday. David and I checked into a Disneyland hotel, and although we tried for two years prior, I hoped, like a backward Cinderella story, when the clock stroke 12 my impenetrable pumpkin would turn into a golden rimmed, open carriage. That hour and a half consisted of ten different positions, two panic attacks, and an icepack for my little storm trooper, but nothing changed. The following morning I was given an “It’s My Birthday!” pin, which inspired countless impromptu Happy Birthday songs from Disney characters.

I didn’t care about sex. I couldn’t care about sex. Virginity wasn’t anything sacred to me; instead, it was my biggest burden.

I had warning signs throughout my life before I realized my inability to “do it.” For instance, I never fingered myself. I still don’t. It always hurt whenever I attempted but I shrugged it off as something I “just wasn’t into.” However, I was sexually satisfied with myself in other ways. When I was eight I accidentally discovered the pleasures of rubbin’ and tuggin’ my blanket. The premiere of Zenon: Girl of the 21st Century was on the Disney Channel and I experienced my own definition of a supernova girl. I was so ecstatic about my new discovery that I called all of my friends and taught them my new trick. Yes, I was “that girl” at your daughter’s fourth grade sleepover party, and to the concerned mothers of Sherman Oaks, California, I’m sorry.

The only information I had on vaginismus in my time of need came from my therapist, WebMD, Wikipedia, Yahoo Answers, and, weirdly enough, my mother. Vaginismus is not genetic, but my mom had also experienced it. The affliction was so under-researched that her doctors, dumbfounded and ill-equipped, thought it would be best to sedate her with a general anesthetic and have a surrogate penis penetrate her. When she told me the story my vagina cringed like a raisin, not only because I had just listened to my mother describe being “penetrated,” but because it made me consider that I too might one day have to ask my gyno to drug me up and get me laid. But my mother came of age in Australia in the 80s—things were different back then.

“But how did you get over it?” I would constantly ask my mother, hoping for a different answer. Maybe something involving concrete steps and not a disembodied dick.

“I don’t know… I just did.”

Similar to my mom, I’m not certain how I overcame it. David and I broke up, our teen love unconsummated. I was 18 and expected to live my life without sex; without understanding what it means to “connect” and without having my own children. Unless I scouted boys with purity rings I considered myself undateable and in a sense, unlovable. However, it took one shitty comment from one shitty boyfriend to help me break down my vaginal walls of defeat and tame the beast.

Sean was my supervisor at work. He was 22 with a Bright Eyes tattoo and a promiscuous history. I was 18 with a Pavement ringtone and an empty black book. He knew about my condition, but most men I told assumed I was lying or took it as the ultimate conquest. At this point, I didn’t care about sex. I couldn’t care about sex. Virginity wasn’t anything sacred to me; instead, it was my biggest burden.

Although he repeatedly told me he didn’t care that we couldn’t have sex when we first started dating, he grew more frustrated as time passed. “We’re not in high school behind the bleachers,” he said with scorn after I offered him a pathetic handjob. He rolled over. I cried. David was a young boy when we dated and always remained understanding and patient, but Sean was older, experienced, and resentful.

The next day was Passover. Probably one of the least sexually arousing holidays, but after my Seder with my family, Sean nonchalantly asked if I wanted to “do it.” I pulled up my long skirt and kept my shirt on, thinking I could make a run for it after another failed attempt, but it happened. It actually happened. It was the most anticlimactic but life-affirming experience I’ve had to date. It was never how I envisioned it: 7 PM with my family in the next room and “Bulls on Parade” (his choice) playing loudly after eating boiled eggs and horseradish, but it was everything to me. It wasn’t about him, or the time, or the fact that I lost my virginity while listening to Rage Against the Machine. It wasn’t anything else other than I finally felt sexually adequate—not for anyone else, but for myself.

I still have difficulty depending on the situation, but most of the time it works. Even in the throes of the act itself, sex can be painful and uncomfortable no matter how much lube and foreplay is involved. Although my mom emotionally supported me throughout the years, there are only so many times a teenage daughter can cry to her mother about not being able to fuck. If vaginismus were something discussed publicly without the fear of shame or judgment, I would have felt less like an anomaly of a woman and a burden of a girlfriend. I would have felt safer and more secure in my disability. No woman, at any age, should fear her vagina.

By Jamie Manelis for Vice

Talking About What You Want In Bed Makes Sex More, Not Less, Pleasurable.

When people started talking about an piece on consent this week, I cringed—not just because I was offended by the author’s poetically alarmist screed against using the word “rape” in situations where consent does not clearly exist, but because if I had read this piece five years ago, I likely would have agreed with much of it wholeheartedly.

Like the author, I have had enjoyable and desired sex in situations that look very much like the situations in which other people have been raped. The first time I encountered a definition of rape like the one included in the California “yes means yes” law the author disparages, I was wildly uncomfortable with it. That language reads:

Lack of protest or resistance does not mean consent, nor does silence mean consent. Affirmative consent must be ongoing throughout a sexual activity and can be revoked at any time. The existence of a dating relationship between the persons involved, or the fact of past sexual relations between them should never … be assumed to be an indicator of consent.

I was especially uncomfortable with the idea that it might be applied to sex I’d had in the past, or sex I wanted to have in the future. What was wrong with “no means no”? I had no idea that in broadcasting my discomfort, I was stigmatizing and alienating rape survivors who didn’t play the part of a “model” rape victim, and encouraging others to do the same. Further, by downplaying the importance of speaking up at the time of a sexual encounter, I was dismissing my own needs and desires and preventing myself and my partner from being open and honest during sex.

I grew up in a household that talked about sex in very frank terms, when it came to procreation. The concept of pleasure during sex was referred to vaguely, when it was mentioned at all, and always came with a heavy helping of “not until you’re married and want kids.” As a result, everything I learned about the pleasure of sex came from clandestinely read romance novels and the worst of what the late-’90s Internet had to offer on free “erotica” websites. The heroines of these stories were pure, virginal. She never wanted to do the sex, but the manly man hero wore her down, bit by bit—or bowled her over all at once—by making her “feel things she’s never felt before.” The hero, of course, has such a wealth of sexual experience that he somehow knows exactly how to make every single woman he has sex with orgasm without her ever saying a single word.

I devoured these stories as a horny teenager. Periodically, my stash of books would be discovered and discarded. I’d get a lecture about how I shouldn’t be reading that trash because it would “ruin me for real sex,” and I’d pick a new spot for my stash and start over. Though I strongly disagreed with her at the time (and still disagree with her as to the specifics), I admit my mom had a point: The sex I encountered in the romance novels and erotica I read ranged from spectacularly unrealistic to outright terrifying. The heroines of these stories had little to no agency, and no control over whether or not they had sex, much less what kind of sex they had. And since I had no other context, I had no idea I was constructing my framework for what pleasure in sex should look like from rape fantasies.

Fast forward to college, and me having a lot of mediocre-to-bad sex because it turned out that no, none of these awkward teens actually could read my mind and make me “feel things I’ve never felt before.” I assumed that if I got the best I could at Doing Sex to other people, eventually I’d encounter someone who could give me the kind of mind-reading-and-blowing sexual experience I’d been waiting my whole life for. This didn’t happen. Instead, I settled into a relationship with and then a marriage to someone I enjoyed Doing Sex To, presuming that the energy and enthusiasm I brought to our sex life would eventually translate into the transcendental experience I longed for. That didn’t happen either.

It took us a while to figure out what was wrong. The sex we had was physically satisfying, but still left us frustrated. Separately, we read books and advice columns, trying to find that one tip, that one trick that would finally give us the kind of sexual connection we felt was lacking. Eventually, we realized: even though we were talking about everything else in our lives, we weren’t really talking about sex—before, during, or after—and our sex life was suffering because of it.

Confronting this fact was hard. Really, really hard. I had to fight through years of expectations that someone else would show me what I found pleasurable to the realization that I needed to figure my desires out for myself, and then communicate them, in order for them to be met. And, sure, that felt like a letdown—who doesn’t want to be overwhelmed by pleasure without making any effort to communicate what they find pleasurable? But this letdown was inevitable. I had based my expectations of myself and my partners during sex on a fantasy that, frankly, was more than a little selfish, when I translated it into reality. Even the most experienced partner couldn’t fulfill my desires if I never told them what those desires were, especially not if I didn’t know what they were myself.

But this realization was only the beginning; the real work started when my husband and I actually started talking about my thoughts. I was surprised to hear that Sam had been having a lot of parallel thoughts. He was aware of our mutual frustration, but didn’t know how to address it. He had grown up in a heavily religious household, and had learned about pleasure in sex primarily from heavily scripted porn, which left him feeling like either of us speaking up about sex (especially during sex) was going “off-script.” But not talking about sex wasn’t working for him any better than it was for me. “I felt like I was failing at sex, I wasn’t able to achieve the right state of mind, I didn’t know the right techniques, I wasn’t being creative enough,” he told me. He wanted to get better at pleasing me, and was frustrated and ashamed that he couldn’t seem to do it on his own.

That Sam was feeling this way, and that these feelings made him even less inclined to talk openly about his desires and frustrations, shouldn’t have surprised me. I had been stuck in the same boat before I crawled my way out of my comfort zone and actually started saying things about what I did and didn’t like about sex to the person I was having sex with (out loud, during sex, when he’d have a chance to appropriately respond to them). But it was a surprise, as my feelings were a surprise to him, because we had both been trying separately to solve a problem that was both of ours to solve together. We had to change tactics.

We decided to take a radical step, and start over from the ground up, with a tool designed for partners who haven’t yet started having sex: Scarleteen’s “Yes, No, Maybe So” survey. Going through this list together was more than a little embarrassing. Not only did we realize how much of this stuff Sam and I had avoided discussing in the many years we had been together—I also found that I had wrongly assumed that Sam was as comfortable with certain things as I was, and vice versa. It’s not exactly pleasant to find out that you’ve been unknowingly making sexytimes less sexy for someone you care about deeply, or even worse, hurting them.

But the survey didn’t only serve as a prompt for painful realizations; it also gave us a vocabulary and talking points we didn’t realize we were lacking to give voice to the things we did like, find sexy, and want to do to each other. I’d be lying if I said it wasn’t hard to stay on task—there were a lot of non sequiturs of both the sexy and mundane varieties. It took a lot of hard work to be open and honest about what we found pleasurable, what we didn’t find pleasurable, and how to share these things with each other in ways that make us feel safe, loved, and sexy. It takes a lot of work to continue this dialogue, because the impulse to just have sex (and not talk about it) is strong.

On top of myriad societal influences that tell us talking about sex is “dirty” or shameful in some way, giving voice to desires makes us extremely vulnerable. Once someone knows what you desire, they can choose to use that knowledge to hurt you; if you never tell them, they never have that opportunity.

But if you never tell them your desires, they also never have the opportunity to fulfill your desires. Having your every desire met in an experience that transcends all necessity for language is a nice fantasy, but it’s just that: a fantasy. In real life, a lot has to be communicated beforehand. You might think all this hard work would take the spice out of sex, but you’d be wrong. I can’t think of anything with a sexier payoff than spending time discussing the logistics of mutual pleasure.

After all, having done that hard work, we can relax into a safe, sexy space we’ve created, where we feel comfortable saying, “Hey, can we try this?” “Hey, this isn’t working,” and “Ohhh, please keep doing that,” and be secure in the knowledge that everyone involved is having a fun, sexy time.

By Anna Rubin for RH

Meet the Woman Making Aphrodisiac Weed.

One night last year, Karyn Wagner, founder of Paradigm Medical Marijuana, smoked a joint before having sex with her partner — a fairly unremarkable move in terms of foreplay, but this time the results were something special. “After I smoked this one,” she remembers, “I said, You know, honey, that was perfect. Save it for next time.” Her partner dutifully labeled the bag “Sexpot.” And inspiration struck.

Sexxpot, derived from a low-THC strain called Mr. Nice, has been grown, packaged, and branded (with an extra x) by Wagner’s company as an “aphrodisiac weed” — the first to specifically target women.

Aphrodisiac weed is hardly a new concept: See the Cut’s previous exploration of weed as “natural Viagra.” Marijuana “enhances the enjoyment of sex,” as Carl Sagan explained in one essay. “On the one hand it gives an exquisite sensitivity, but on the other hand it postpones orgasm: in part by distracting me with the profusion of images passing before my eyes. The actual duration of orgasm seems to lengthen greatly, but this may be the usual experience of time expansion which comes with cannabis smoking.” Long before Sexxpot, people were seeking out specific strains for the purposes of arousal (here are 11, provided by weed-review site Leafly).

Berkeley-based cannabis consultant and nurse practioner Eloise Theisen regularly treats both men and women — but especially women in their 50s and 60s — who want to use weed to help with sexual issues or enhancement. “It’s still taboo for women, though; men ask more,” explains Theisen, who is also on the board of the American Cannabis Nurses Association. Aside from the THC-laced lubricant Foria, Theisen struggles to find products geared specifically toward women and their libidos, and she says she sees promise in Sexxpot. She’s heard from several patients and women within cannabis organizations like Women Grow (and from the participants of Bay Area “pot Tupperware” parties) that the strain is a “game changer.”

Sexxpot, Wagner explains, has lower than usual levels of THC: about 14 percent, while smokers tend to prefer 18 to 20 percent for a high. She says that’s a benefit, because the product will put you in a “sensual” headspace and affect the body’s sensations without getting the smoker too high to actually do the deed.

“Women just need less THC in general,” Theisen says. “And high levels of THC can promote anti-estrogen activity, though science is still very limited … My guess is that Sexxpot, with the lower THC, regulates the body’s endocannabinoid system (the group of brain receptors that are involved with processes like pain, sensation, mood, and mediating effects of cannabis) and helps bring back the balance of hormones, but without sacrificing the therapeutic properties.”

Stephen D’Angelo, cannabis activist and co-founder of Harborside Health Center (the “largest pot shop on the planet”), is somewhat skeptical about Sexxpot’s science. He explains that there are hundreds of different terpenes — an organic compound that contributes to both the variety of smells and psychoactive properties in different types of weed — and we haven’t yet isolated the effects of each one. But whatever Sexxpot’s scientific rigor, he says its marketing is astute: His experience at Harborside confirms that both men and women seek weed to specifically enhance arousal. (He points to Foria’s popularity as an example of a product targeting women successfully.) “Cannabis is good for everybody’s sex life,” D’Angelo says.

So Sexxpot isn’t the only strain out there that can improve your sex life. And it seems not to be as effective for men, who reportedly tend to prefer higher levels of THC in general: Wagner herself says that her male employees have had lackluster experiences with Sexxpot when smoking it themselves (though they had no complaints about its effect on their female partners). But a consistently available strain of women-friendly weed is an appealing addition to the male-centric market of cannabis products, and while the science of weed sex is generally limited, Sexxpot’s fans are enthusiastic.

Wagner describes one frequent buyer who said the strain helped her overcome her mental blocks around sex: “She reported that it relaxed her enough that she wasn’t thinking about that anymore. She wasn’t hyperaware or hyper-anything.” Wagner paused before recounting more of the women’s rave review. “Actually, she gave me maybe too much detail.”

By Allison P. Davis for

This Video About Sex Ed Has Been Viewed Almost 4 Million Times. Here’s Why..

Is there a right age to teach children about love and sex? Some Dutch schools think kids as young as kindergarteners need to learn about the components of relationships — and it may not be such a bad idea. Across the Netherlands, primary schools are engaging in “Spring Fever,” a week in which teachers focus on comprehensive sex education that includes lessons on love and intimacy. The sessions start for students as early as age four and build all the way up to age 11.

According to PBS Newshour, the program is designed to get children thinking about what feels good and what doesn’t when it comes to intimacy and forming relationships. Additionally, there are lessons that focus on body awareness, sexual reproduction and sexual abuse. And research supports this early approach: According to a study from Georgetown University, starting sex-ed in primary schools may help reduce unplanned pregnancies and the risk of sexually transmitted diseases.

Spring Fever also takes a holistic approach to sex as its defined by love and romantic relationships. In a session with the kindergarteners, which is captured in the video above, the children talk about what people do when they’re in love. Their responses are simple and honest, which may be why the video has racked up some 4 million views on PBS’ Facebook page.

Each question posed in every lesson is considered with the same weight, whether it be about intimacy or dating. In a separate talk with 11-year-old students, featured below, their teacher asks them to describe what it really means to be in love.

“You find someone nicer than just regular nice,” one girl says in a video of the session.

“You get so lost in your thoughts about the person that you don’t hear what anyone else says,” one boy chimes in.

They even talk about dating in the modern world and what it means to break up with someone. Their advice? To say it “personally, not via a message or something,” another girl said.

Now that’s a lesson we could all stand to learn.

By Lindsay Holmes Huffington

Blood, Sugar, Sex, Tragic: Why Teens Can’t Get Enough Of Supernatural Romance Novels.

“He was wolf and passion as much as he was man. She let out a groan as he covered her body with his, burying his face in her neck, and pressing his lower body between her legs. He so wished he wasn’t wearing jeans, wished he could be inside her. Yet could he really do that to her? She was so pure, and he wasn’t. Still it didn’t seem to matter, Brother Wolf wanted to be with her.”

The passage above is from Alyssa Brandon’s The Hard Mate, a romance novel chronicling the relationship between a 16-year-old werewolf and a 200-hundred-year-old pack alpha with baggage. It’s been read more than 22 million times on the online publishing platform WattPad and is currently making teenyboppers weak in the knees on, a site that exclusively publishes romance novels for teenagers. Right now on SwoonReads, The Hard Mate boasts a nine out of ten score for having what the site’s subscribers call “heat,” which is kidspeak for steamy romantic scenes.

SwoonReads has more than 27,000 subscribers, who gobble up books like The Hard Mate, which are uploaded in manuscript form by their authors. In addition to heat, the subscribers can rate these books on Swoon Index’s in categories like tears, laughs, and thrills. Once the community is hooked on a manuscript, Macmillan Publishing, the site’s owner, can choose to publish the manuscript. Since the site is courting teenage readers, the characters are typically between 14 and 19 years old. There’s also a section for new adults, between the ages of 19 and 23, who are still eligible for love according to SwoonReads’ Submission Guidelines. I, at 24, am SOL.

Being 24 meant I was also one of the oldest non-chaperones at the Swoon Reads Party this year’s BookCon, the publishing-slash-pop culture convention in New York City’s mammoth Javits Center. By 10 AM on a Sunday—a little early to be thinking about romance, especially with a werewolf—groups of girls with caffeinated parents in tow were lined up and ready to answer trivia questions about books and meet their favorite authors.

One such fan was 15-year-old Caroline, who ticked off her favorite romance writers, books, and characters on her fingers as if she were writing her grocery list, but said she couldn’t find the time to finish To Kill A Mockingbird, which she had been assigned to read for class. Caroline is a publishing executive’s living proof that the vampire-werewolf-human romance trope is still dominating the all-powerful teen realm. A longtime fantasy reader, Caroline switched over to romance once the plots started featuring versions of her beloved supernatural characters.

Even when there are werewolves involved, Caroline is a classic romantic: “If I’m reading romance, I want them to get together in the end,” she said. For her part, she’s currently single and not planning on stealing any moves from her favorite characters. “The books don’t change how I act towards guys,” she said, eyeing her nearby mother. Mom, Caroline’s ride from Philadelphia, seemed clearly relieved.

Caroline’s mom, who read John Green’s The Fault in Our Stars at Caroline’s insistence, has bought so many romance books for her daughter that she could describe exactly what the “Teen Fiction” shelf looks like in Barnes & Noble. She declined to participate in the mini bookclub Caroline has going with a friend’s mom, but is enough of a good sport to make the drive to BookCon.

“This is a generation that wants to be involved and included in the [publishing] process.” —Jean Feiwel

SwoonReads launched in September 2013 as the pet project of Jean Feiwel, the children’s publisher behind popular series like The Babysitter’s Club and Goosebumps. According to Nicole Banholzer, a representative of Macmillan Children’s Publishing Group, the site is now growing by 35 percent month over month. Still, Feiwel insists the decision to focus on romance was less a cash grab than a sanguine outlook for the future of YA fiction. “I felt that given the preponderance of dystopic grim fiction, I really wanted to something to end up OK,” said Feiwel. “I was tired of the drumbeat of negativity. I was interested in something else.”

SwoonReads is built to take the temperature of how much potential enthusiasm will translate into book sales once a novel is published. When Feiwel noticed that one of the most popular novels on the USA Today’s best-seller list was self-published, she began to conceive of a new way to acquire the type of talent that wouldn’t find their way past Macmillan’s “No Unsolicited Submissions” policy. “There are fans out there so avid to read that they will read something that isn’t even published yet,” she told me.

A quick browse through SwoonReads’ Latest Activity section shows that the authors are just as avid as the fans, often responding in gratitude to comments on their own critiqued manuscripts. The genius of SwoonReads is that it allows authors to build a fandom for themselves. “This is a generation that wants to be involved and included in the process,” said Feiwel.

She also noted that many Swoon community members are aspiring writers, a fact which lends itself to the kind of editorial commenting encouraged on the site. Its blog, with posts like ” How to Write a Good Synopsis for Your Manuscript,” also provides guidance for authors who likely aren’t getting those insider tips from an agent.

Sandy Hall (left) and Temple West (right). Photo by Christine Barcellona

Sandy Hall and Temple West, two authors who have published novels through Swoon, said that interaction with the fans is one of the best parts of the experience. Their recent eight-city tour included a blogger party, and they admit to recognizing most of the faces and handles of their frequent commenters. “When I was a kid, you didn’t interact with authors,” said Hall. “But now that there’s Twitter, and Tumblr, and Instagram, we get so much more interaction with fans and we get to see so much more of what they’re thinking. It’s made everything much more fun.”

At the heart of YA, there’s always a universal story. Whether it’s paranormal or not, it’s often about feeling left out and not knowing your place in the world.” —Sandy Hall

SwoonReads has chosen 14 novels for publication so far, many of which the party attendees seem to have already read. The first was Hall’s novel, A Little Something Different, published in August 2014. By following a perfect couple and their will-they-or-won’t-they, it maintains the urgency of the werewolves in The Hard Mate but ditches the pulsing heat. Swoon is publishing Hall’s second book, Signs Points to Yes, in October 2015.

Other novels include Katie Van Ark’s The Boy Next Door, about figure skating partners with a mutual crush, and Cindy Astey’s Love, Lies, and Spies, set in the 19th Century and described as an homage to Jane Austen. Jenn P. Nguygen’s The Way to Game The Walk of Shame, a title that’s more progressive than it sounds, is themed around the bullying and sex-shaming that have become major issues in the high school zeitgeist.

Part of what makes these novels so popular among teens is not just the sexual undertones, but the relatable themes. In The Hard Mate, which has not as of yet been chosen for publication, Alyssa Brandon touches on teen-specific issues left and right: “Being drugged and raped at a fraternity party and being forced by magic to love someone, father a child, and then killing both the wolf you loved and your unborn child were very different,” Hall told me, recounting the novel’s plot. “At the heart of YA, there’s always a universal story. Whether it’s paranormal, dystopian, or not, it’s often about feeling left out and not knowing your place in the world.”

These novels tend to be more Wuthering Heights than 50 Shades of Grey when it comes to depictions of actual sex. (As the submission guidelines state, “We are open to some sex and heat if is right and necessary for the story. However, we will not be acquiring any erotica.”) And of the 14 novels chosen for publication, each of them has a heterosexual love story at its core—although Swoon accepts all romance plots regardless of gender, as long as they are “intense.”

Feiwel was quick to point out that the readers like romance no matter what the coating is. “We go through genre changes. It’s dystopic or it’s supernatural or historic or whatever it is. But at the core it’s the romance. Literary agents were telling me, ‘You can’t do anything with vampires because that’s been done.’ But the readers are still reading vampires. Despite what trends in culture or entertainment, in book publishing, the fans are avid and will read what they like regardless of what you’re saying is selling. The categories are broad.”

With the joint objectives of fandom, optimism, and business in mind, SwoonReads recently published Velvet, the first book in a trilogy by Temple West. The description: “Caitlin has seen too much death. Adrian cannot die. Sparks will fly in this steamy vampire romance!” For West, who grew up hooked on the paranormal and tried her hand at novel writing six years ago as a freshman in college, the novel’s publication is an exciting surprise. For Feiwel, the main character’s immortality is potential for an everlasting series.

Back at BookCon, it was easy to see why the SwoonReads model is succeeding. Cat and Kelly, a pair of 20- and 21-year-old friends who are so close that they look and talk like sisters, told me their theories on why the younger generation prefers fantastical romance to flesh and blood lovers: For youngsters who came of age downing Harry Potter novels, it’s a short jump to imagine the characters getting it on. Plus, as Cat Pointed out, “everyone is the same” in the real world. It’s much sexier to imagine a futuristic world where you could fall in love with a robot.

Neither has had much romantic experience in real life, but these books make it clear that a meaningful relationship “could happen one day.” And when you’re a teen, what’s more compelling than that?

By Leah Prinzivalli for Vice


Men Can Have Multiple Orgasms: The Little-Known Technique That Could Revolutionize Your Sexual Experience.

“Men and women are physiologically a lot more similar than people realize,” argues sex educator Jack Johnston

As a society we carry a lot of entrenched ideas about sex. Perhaps one of the most deeply ingrained assumptions is that women can have multiple orgasms, and that men can’t. But is that really true?

In 1986, sex therapists William Hartman and Marilyn Fithian put together the book, Any Man Can. They describe that by withholding ejaculation, men can experience “a number of sexual peaks.”

“The multi-orgasmic men we have studied have chosen to develop that capacity (stopping ejaculation using learned techniques)… The behavior itself (interrupting orgasm via such techniques) appears to be at least four thousand years old,” they wrote,

More than a decade later, sex educator Jack Johnston came out with a training program to help men work towards this experience. Johnston told me over the phone that he’s made it his life’s work to dispel the myth that only women are capable of experiencing multiple orgasms.

“Men and women are physiologically a lot more similar than people realize.Vive la différence, of course, but in terms of the neurological capacity for experiencing the orgasmic impulses, we’re wired in quite a similar manner.”

He added, “I try to help reacquaint people with the idea that orgasm is an energetic event, and that for men, it’s not automatically linked to ejaculation. They’re two separate events. Two separate reflexes.”

In contrast to other “experts,” Johnston avoids conventional “squeeze techniques” that encourage men to stop just short of “the point of no return.” These techniques typically require that men clench pelvic floor muscles, slow their breathing and allow the urge to ejaculate to pass.

As Johnston explained, “That’s not really a whole lot of fun for anybody. You’re constantly monitoring, it’s like ‘Am I there yet? Maybe I can go a little further. Oh shucks, I went too far.’”

“My working hypothesis was that there’s got to be a better way than that. I don’t think our creator was sadistic in that way.”

Johnston’s program is known as The Key Sound Multiple Orgasm (KSMO) training. The “Key Sound” refers to a particular sound one can make while engaging in some light stimulation during solo (or partnered) practice sessions, separate from the act of intercourse. He insists the vibrations brought on by the sound can help “unlock” the key to multiple orgasms.

One satisfied client writes, “As the sensations became stronger, my vocal expressions became deeper and louder. I continued until I was so overwhelmed by this feeling I literally could not move anymore – pleasantly paralyzed by orgasm with no urge to ejaculate.”

But while most men believe penile stimulation to be the primary means by which to experience orgasm, Johnston recommends guys bypass the penis and head for the perineum (the area between the scrotum and anus) during their solo sessions.

Johnston’s refers to the perineal area as the “the male G-spot.” Part of his training revolves around “helping men locate that area of their body, and then, as part of the ‘Multiple Orgasm Trigger,’ practice to gently massage [the perineal] area just enough to get a little tingle, or a little rush.” Johnston calls these sensations “Echo Effects.”

“How does one increase arousal to orgasmic intensity without using lots and lots of stimulation? For men in particular, more and more stimulation tends to trigger the ejaculation reflex. So the idea is, in a sense, how do you learn to sneak up on the orgasm?

“Very often, orgasm is centered right in the genital area, whereas the method that I teach tends to occur throughout ones body. One experiences arousal throughout one’s body. Neurologically, it’s all connected throughout the body, so the idea is to become aware of that. To become aware that when someone becomes aroused it’s not just in the genital area, those waves of energy start flowing throughout one’s entire body.”

On the official forum, one of Johnston’s clients reports, “As I am doing my sessions, I am really getting new sensations each time. Presently, I am feeling my prostate pumping (for lack of a better word) and this is causing me to get a slight erection. When my prostate pumps, it is sending pre-cum and I am beginning to leak a little. I have to stay relaxed because I feel that I could cross over and ejaculate. This pumping of my prostate are mini orgasms (I assume) and they feel great. My entire body is hot, shaking, and feeling really amazing. I can do this for about an hour and maybe a little longer.”

Another writes, “Tonight, after doing my 20 minutes and then sort of absent mindedly continuing, I do believe I had my first full body, non-ejaculatory orgasm. It just sort of came on as I was massaging the base of my penis, from out of nowhere–NOT like it came from within my body. It felt like a heat throughout my body, and a sort of giddiness, almost like the light, first rush of MDMA (er…or so I’ve read…).

“And the crazy thing was, instead of feeling like the orgasm was in me, it felt like I was in the orgasm–like it was surrounding and suffusing my whole body like a field of energy. Pretty wild.”

Johnston recommends that his clients practice the technique for 20 minutes every other day. He notes that ejaculation should be avoided on days devoted to practice.

He explained that in contrast to the “traditional” male ejaculatory orgasm, multiple orgasms typically arrive in “waves.” And since they aren’t linked to ejaculation, one’s energy doesn’t dissipate as it does when one ejaculates. He added that after having mastered the technique, most men come to prefer these kind of orgasms.

He continued, “It lasts so much longer. The after glow lasts so much longer too. It’s the kind of energy that can infuse your whole being.” He also notes that, after having completed the training, many men report experiencing more intense ejaculatory orgasms as well.

But mastering the physical technique is only half the battle. As Johnston explained, a good part of his training revolves around teaching men to expand their understanding of sexual pleasure, and open themselves up to the different means by which it can be attained.

He tells me, “There are a lot of people who think that it’s important for intellectual integrity to be really, really skeptical. I think it’s appropriate to have some skepticism, but it’s also really essential not to just be attached to being a skeptic. In the face of evidence to the contrary, one needs to have the intellectual integrity to consider it.”

“Once we learn the facts about our physiology, and what’s really possible. That’s a whole new world.”

Some people have years of sexual experience under their belt. Some don’t. But no matter where you land on the path of sexual self-exploration, it’s never too late to rewrite certain standards, and never too soon to start experimenting with different points of pleasure, no matter how obscure they may seem.


This article originally appeared on AlterNet.