Saturday, September 23, 2006

Sexiquette: 10-10-50 Revisited

After conversations last night about the validity and applicability of the original 10-10-50 rule, I have decided to provide some additional clarification on the rule.
10: The first 10 is the number of minutes necessary for sex. So if you are, say, a teenage guy and you're wondering how long you should really try to hold out when having sex with a girl, focus on making the 10 minutes you've got in you really solid. Some people (particularly drunks) can last forever, but, believe me, it gets boring. And yes, I have a clock on my bedside table. And yes, I look at it. I defy all you guys who really believe you last longer to look at the clock. 10 minutes is actually a really long time.
10: The second 10 does not apply to oral sex for girls. Sorry, girls and guys. I know your neck starts to hurt and whatnot. But if you're warming your girl up, you've got to put in the time. Girls, the same 30 minutes max rule should apply to you too. If your partner's neck is broken, you'll regret it.

Wednesday, September 20, 2006

I need to get into more messes like this one...

See today's Onion: "I Fucked My Way Into This Mess, And I'll Fuck My Way Out."

Tuesday, September 12, 2006

Carcinogenic sex toys?

Phthalates are an established carcinogenic class of chemicals that are added to a stunning array of products. They are routinely added to plastics to make them softer, and you can detect their presence by a sweet or vanilla-esque smell on dolls and toys, including sex toys.
The cheaper toys on the market are often hard plastic vibrators or dildos that have a softer plastic coating on the outside: this soft plastic coating, called "jelly" by retailers, contains phthalates.
Phthalates are included in a list of substances “reasonably anticipated to be a human carcinogen,” but the jury is still out on whether (or how much) exposure to these chemicals causes cancer, and you can bet that NIH isn't going to investigate how much, um, "exposure" you get by inserting one of these jelly toys into your hole(s). If you've graduated past your high school vibrator, go for something silicone. It's nonporous (which means it doesn't absorb bacteria), sturdy, and lasts forever. Plus you can get lots of pretty colors. An important note, however, is *not* to use silicone-based lubes with silicone toys, because they'll make them blow up. Or something bad.

Here are some silicone favorites:

Monday, September 11, 2006

Go-To Girl's Rules of Sexual Etiquette, part 1: 10-10-50

Those of you that were lucky enough to have been at the FGC-AYF-YF Fishbowl this summer already know about 10-10-50, but those of you who don't, allow me to elucidate. I'm a student, and I think in rules and theories. So, I have some theories. Ten-Ten-Fifty is a theory of how a sexual encounter should happen between two hypothetical people. Here's how it goes:

10: the number of minutes, from entry to exit, that sex* should take. Unless there's something remarkable going on (as in, alcohol-fueled anorgasmia, attempts at tantra, etc.) this is actually a pretty generous amount of time. Studies show that on average, men can go for about 5 minutes before coming. And I have heard from certain guys (who will remain nameless, but whose initials are S.D.), claims that "10 minutes isn't long enough" and whatever. Friends, guys, ladies, take a look at the bedside clock before you start doing it. I guarantee you that 10 minutes is plenty of time. And anything beyond 20 minutes is absolutely out of the question. We are all busy people.

10: the number of minutes a blowjob recipient can expect to get. There are exceptions to this rule, too, and they are as follows: if someone really likes giving blowjobs, they'll probably give you more than 10. Or if the blowjob is taking the place of sex then 10 minutes might be insufficient. But as far as blowjob-as-foreplay is concerned, anything longer than 10 minutes could cause serious neck strain and, c'mon, this isn't porno. *Ethical note: under the blowjob-as-substitute circumstance, it is unethical to stop giving the blowjob before orgasm and it is also unethical, guys, for the blowjob to continue longer than 30 minutes (at the risk of causing serious neck injury) if you know you are unable to come. This is particularly true if you are drunk. So keep it to 10 minutes. That bedside clock can again come in handy.

50: the maximum percentage of tongue that should be inserted into someone's mouth when kissing. There are no exceptions to this rule.

Go forth and fuck appropriately.

*this means penis to orifice; the rules of gay/lesbian/queer sex will be addressed in a different installment.

Saturday, September 09, 2006

Best "Off Label" Use of NuvaRing Ever!

I'd like to thank Gavin, my F/friend and reader, for sharing the following fucking great idea.

"You say "nobody's partner has, um, felt it up in there" - by which I assume you mean that no man has reported to you, directly or via his partner (or, I suppose, via the grapevine), having felt the NuvaRing inside his partner during intercourse. I have.

It's not unpleasant, and can even be a little stimulating. This is, of course, easily avoided, in a playful move that turns NuvaRing into c**kring. Either partner can easily (and gently, guys!) reach "up in there", catch the ring with a finger, and (assuming the man in question is not monstrously huge - it's a slightly stretchy ring, and several inches in diameter) drop it over the top of a nearby penis. That can be as stimulating as you want it to be, or not. The guy is not likely to forget to return the ring, which is designed to be left out for some small number of hours per day. Hours. If you're sleeping with a man who might just leave without returning the ring, you need to a) go back to condoms, b) ditch the loser, and c) get tested for STDs and pregnancy."

Way to go, Gavin.

Friday, September 08, 2006

OTC Woes: Emergency Contraception on the Cheap

I've long been trying to make clear to people that one doesn't need Preven or Plan B for morning after contraception. I'm pasting below a table from Planned Parenthood's website that shows dosages of regular birth control pills to be used for emergency contraception purposes. It is my opinion that routine use of the MAP is going to end up being really, really bad for a woman's health, so don't do this regularly. But if you find yourself in a bind and have a pack of pills (or a friend's pack of pills, or whatever) here's how you can solve your problem. And then see my response to 'WTF' below. (PS-If you take Yasmin or another pill that isn't listed, just take a bunch of pills, like 5 and 5. But don't tell anyone I told you that. Oh, and you can't sue me.)

Pill Brand Manufacturer 1st Dose 2nd Dose (12 hrs later)

Progestin-only Pills
Plan B® Barr 1 white pill 1 white pil or 2 white pills in one dose
Ovrette® Wyeth-Ayerst 20 yellow pills 20 yellow pills
or 40 yellow pills in one dose

Combination Hormone Pills
Alesse® Wyeth-Ayerst 5 pink pills 5 pink pills
Aviane® Duramed 5 orange pills 5 orange pills
Cryselle® Barr 4 white pills 4 white pills
Enpresse® Barr 4 orange pills 4 orange pills
Lessina® Barr 5 pink pills 5 pink pills
Levlen® Berlex 4 light orange pills 4 light orange pills
Levlite® Berlex 5 pink pills 5 pink pills
Levora® Watson 4 white pills 4 white pills
Lo/Ovral® Wyeth-Ayerst 4 white pills 4 white pills
LowOgestrel® Watson 4 white pills 4 white pills
LuteraTM Watson 5 white pills 5 white pills
Nordette® Wyeth-Ayerst 4 light orange pills 4 light orange pills
Ogestrel® Watson 2 white pills 2 white pills
Ovral® Wyeth-Ayerst 2 white pills 2 white pills
Portia® Barr 4 pink pills 4 pink pills
Seasonale® Barr 4 pink pills 4 pink pills
Seasonique® Barr 4 light blue-green pills 4 light blue-green pills
Tri-Levlen® Berlex 4 yellow pills 4 yellow pills
Triphasil® Wyeth-Ayerst 4 yellow pills 4 yellow pills
Trivora® Watson 4 pink pills 4 pink pills

With a regular 28-pill birth control pack, use any of the first 21 pills for emergency contraception. Don't use the last seven pills in a 28-day pack. They are only reminder pills that contain no hormones. With Enpresse, use only the orange ones. With Triphasil or Tri-Levlen, use only the yellow ones. With Trivora, use only the pink ones.

Thursday, September 07, 2006

Advice: I hate condoms! (Who doesn't?)

Hey Go-To Girl:
My partner and I have just started to have sex without condoms, but I'm not on birth control. I'm
wondering what my options are, because I'd like to continue not using condoms, but am also under the impression that unless I want a baby that using nothing is about the dumbest thing EVER (any thoughts on that are appreciated, too, because for some reason he's not as worried about me getting pregnant...and I'm definitely open to the possibility that I just don't know too much about this).
Anyway, I'm really NOT wanting to use highly hormonal birthcontrol, and a midwife friend of mine mentioned a few weeks ago about a kind that is mild but effective, and that you insert/replace once a month.
Does that sound familiar?
Whatchu got for me gal?
Wants Total Freedom

Dear WTF,
You're right: using nothing is the dumbest thing ever. I won't address my feelings about your partner who seems unconcerned about you accidentally winding up pregnant (but where I come from, we have a word for a guy like that...) but here's the lowdown on condoms and nonhormonal methods.
a) Have you been vigilantly tracking your menstrual cycle for the past year and found that you have a predictable, regular cycle?
If the answer is "no," don't pretend that you understand the Rhythm Method and can decline to use condoms at certain times of the month. While the chances of getting pregnant during certain phases of the cycle are remote, finding out you're pregnant is a bad way to retrospectively predict when you ovulate.
b) Have you and the guy had the STD conversation?
If the answer is "no," you should be using condoms even if you're sure you can't get pregnant.
c) I hate condoms, too. A lot. That's why I got a ParaGard IUD.
The upside: It's nonhormonal and more effective than sterilization (seriously). It lasts 10 years (seriously). None of that weight gain/depression/moodiness/lack of libido/generally hating everything that you get with the Pill. It's the most popular contraceptive method both worldwide and among women OB/GYNs.
The downside: Cramps are worse, and my period lasts a bit longer. If you have bad cramps now, getting an IUD will make them worse, perhaps even debilitating. But if you don't (I had no cramps before my IUD) then it won't be that bad.
d) The once-a-month method your friend mentioned is the NuvaRing, which is a ring that you insert into the vagina each month. It releases a lower dose of hormones inside the body, so the side effects are supposed to be milder than with other hormonal methods. From people I know who have used it, they report high levels of satisfaction and nobody's partner has, um, felt it up in there. But if you're anti-hormones over all (as I am) then it's a no-go.

If you've used hormonal methods before, any side effects you experienced are likely to return. Some MDs are hesitant to give IUDs to women who haven't had children, but I've done the research and, trust me, if you're STD free you can get one.
If you have any STDs, you shouldn't get an IUD, because having an IUD and an STD can blow up your risk of pelvic inflammatory disease, which can cause infertility and death. But the IUD by itself DOES NOT cause PID or infertility. Nurse Midwives are also able to insert IUDs as long as they've been trained to do so and I prefer them for Gyn care in general.

To sum up: buy a box of condoms, and use them until you get your shit together. My favorite are Kimono MicroThin.


For more:

It's up!

Ladies and Gentlemen, my article on Glamour and condoms is up. It's the lead feature. Suffice it to say, even though I wrote this article 2 years ago, it's still timely. Glamour continues to publish anti-condom articles (as does Marie Claire), but my subsequent monitoring of women's magazine condom coverage has shown that, of all of the magazines, Cosmopolitan does a fantastic job. Each year they recycle the same article that describes, in detail, how to use condoms perfectly, how to make sex with condoms more fun, and how to stay protected. Even though the tone of the magazine makes me want to beat myself over the head with it, as far as truth and balance are concerned, Cosmo wins.

Read my article:

Monogamophobia? Here's the cure

So everyone should read Tristan Taormino's biweekly column, "Pucker Up," in the Village Voice. But this week is especially interesting. (,taormino,74336,24.html) Apparently there's a website,, that's a dating site exclusively for married people. I'm not married, but I have strong feelings about this that go in both directions.
On the "Pro" side, I think that if married people want to have sex with someone besides their partner, they oughta just do it. Monogamy can be totally boring, and can be wholly independent from a successful marriage/relationship.
On the "Con" side, most married people who have sex outside of marriage do so without their partner's knowledge, which makes it cheating.
On the "Ew" side, I've never met a swinger or a poly person who I didn't find totally creepy. What we need are some good open marriage, swinging, polyamorous role models.
While I'm generally in favor of honesty and full-disclosure, the libido-dampening effects of honesty and full-disclosure are well-documented. If what makes cheating hot is that it's cheating, why tell? So, I'm conflicted about this. I'm not a cheater, but, like I said, I'm not married.

For more: (Tristan's site)

Wednesday, September 06, 2006

Tell Someone! "Don't bother with the HPV vaccine"

HPV is incredibly common, sometimes it causes warts, sometimes it causes cancer, but mostly it causes nothing and goes away on its own. (see

Chances are, unless you're a virgin, you've already been exposed to HPV. The big deal about the vaccine is that it does prevent the persistent infection of the body with the particular type of HPV that causes cervical cancer, which, they think, will actually prevent cancer. So that's why you've seen the commercials that say "A vaccine! For a virus! That causes Cancer!"

But here's the thing: the vaccine costs about $350, it does nothing to stop an already present HPV infection, and the vast majority of cervical cancer in this country is caught early by annual Pap smears. The places in the world where cervical cancer is a prevalent killer among women are resource-poor countries, and it's anybody's guess how they will be able to afford to spend $350 on a vaccine. And speaking of resource-poor, the following groups within the United States have the highest diagnostic rate of cervical cancer: "Black women in the South, women living along the Texas-Mexico border, white women in Appalachia, American Indians in the Northern Plains, Vietnamese-American women and Alaska Natives are among the U.S. women who are most likely to die of cervical cancer." ( These are populations who also have disproportionately bad access to health care services (to say nothing of specialized women's health services like Paps).

So, here's what you need to know: approximately 4,000 women in the U.S. die of cervical cancer each year, and the majority of untreatable cases are found in women who have not had a Pap in at least 5 years. Almost all cases caught by annual Paps are highly treatable. And the vaccine probably won't help you if you've already had sex. And it only prevents one of the several strains of HPV that can cause cancer. So perhaps this vaccine will be added to the litany of shots given to little kids, but it will probably not cause a steep decline in cervical cancer. And it costs $350. Just get a Pap.

For More: (Merck's website for the vaccine)

Reggie and the Full Effect Fall Tour!!

Words cannot describe how excited I am to inform you that I will October 30th and 31st, Irving Plaza, New York City, Julie Sunday, front and center. James, I said it once and I'll say it again: you look better in Skittles. If you don't know Reggie, go, right now, to You won't be sorry.

Introductory remarks

Hello, Friends. I'm caving to peer pressure and starting a blog and a MySpace page. My Simplicity Place is all aflutter, but I feel the need to provide some unified place where friends and associates can come to a) ask sexual health questions; b) ask theological questions, particularly of the Quaker variety; c) ask questions about destination weddings and honeymoon planning (really, I'm an expert); and d) find out what I'm reading (and writing), and what I think you should be reading.

Here are a few things to get you started:

American Sexuality magazine,
--I will have an article up about how Glamour magazine inaccurately portrays condom efficacy and the relationship between their condom coverage and the large amount of birth control pill advertising in the mag. But AmSex is good all around.

Sex Herald,
--I write for them too. Here's an article I wrote on sex toy safety:

Here's my interview with anal sex expert Tristan Taormino:

Go Ask Alice!,
--I used to write for this website but in spite of my absence it continues to be the best sexual health Q & A site out there.

Brides Magazine,
--Yes, I wrote for Brides.