Monday, February 22, 2010

Q: Am I too short for doggy style?
A: Heads down, pencils up.


Doggy-Style Height Disparity? Heads down, pencils up. (Cosmo)

Dear Julie,

I love getting fucked from behind, it's my all time fav position. Problem is, I'm 5 feet tall and my current partner is pushing 6 feet. So unless there's something (a bench or bed at perfect height for example) for me to "prop" myself up on, we find it hard to make it happen. We love switching up location as much as possible so we don't always have the right equipment. Any advice???

Kitty

Dear Kitty,

Aren't you lucky that there is a manufacturer making products designed for this type of dilemma: Liberator. The Ramp is designed for just your purpose--and it can be used for other positions to boot. Check out the extensive videos on the website if you need some inspiration. At $145 it's pricey for a pillow, but a good investment for a petite lady who likes it from behind.

If you don't have that much cash to blow on a piece of sex furniture, you may just need to get creative in your locations: find shelves, chairs, high heels, phone books, end tables, desks, counters, and more to get your legs to be as long as your boyfriend's.

Additionally, there are other ways to have sex from behind besides standing up; you can put your head on the floor, on the bed, on the desk, the stairs, whatever happens to be available. Give it a shot. And this one, too. And in case you like a little dose of Disney in your lovin:


The "Magic Mountain" (Cosmo)

You can get the sensation of sex from behind at a variety of angles--remember also that you can sit on top of your man, facing his feet, and whatever he's hitting inside you from behind will get stimulated that way as well.

In case none of these tricks work, here's Cosmo's best advice for attracting hot dudes "like crazy"--maybe you can find someone closer to your own height.

Good luck!

Julie

Tuesday, February 16, 2010

Public Health Is So Hot Right Now:
Helping Men Find the "Right Size" Condom






photo credit


A new study by researchers at the Kinsey Institute has blown the lid off of a big secret: many men find condoms uncomfortable and among those who report a "bad fit," errors are significantly more common. The study has gotten tons of media coverage by people who, as usual, only read the abstract.

The outcomes that were significantly more likely with "ill fit" were:

  • breakage

  • slippage

  • difficulty orgasming (both partners)

  • irratated the penis

  • reduced pleasure (both partners)

  • interference with erection

  • lost erection

  • gave up and removed condom

  • condom dried out during sex

How to fix these problems? The researchers suggest that
"men and their female sex partners may benefit from public health efforts designed to promote the improved fit of condoms." (p. 37)
I couldn't agree more! That has got to be the best job in public health since, well, my job. Where do I apply?

Seriously though, the most interesting thing from this paper was the following quote: "


Although "fit" may be very important to men, the effect of ill-fitting condoms on penile erection and on the experience of penile-vaginal sex has not previously been investigated." (p. 36)
Jesus H ! If I've said it once I've said it a million times: when you do research and design products and programs you must consider the essential question:


What about the fucking?




If your intervention interferes with the sexual pleasure of the people you hope will use it then your intervention/product/program will fail. I'm glad the Kinsey Institute is finally starting to realize that sexual pleasure is significantly related to the likelihood people will change their behavior when, you know, they're having sex.






If you need a bigger condom, go find one. But don't think the Magnum is the only option--it may be huge (and I do love the gold wrapper) but it is thick as a damn paper bag and nobody feels anything through them. Try Crown instead.

You can see the abstract here.

Friday, February 12, 2010

Durex Ad Fail

Ordinarily I love Durex ads, especially the cheeky way they promote condom use for oral sex in the commercial below, something that Europeans do but Americans do not.

But this latest set of ads, as featured on the Sexist, are kind of obnoxious.


Haha, a man's brain is in his penis, and haha, when they're getting a blowjob the rest of their body systems read "FATAL ERROR." I get it. I wont' argue with the fatal error part, but I think it's a stretch to claim that wisdom, intelligence, judgment, and knowledge ever come out of the penis, even during the best of blow jobs.

I know Durex is trying to demonstrate how the fruity flavor of their condoms will overwhelm the senses of the blowjob-giver but wouldn't it be more specific, like "strawberry" or "banana"? I don't often eat a piece of fruit and think..."Mmm....fruit."

Also: "satisfied...contented...happy...pleased"? Really? I think a woman might feel that way after the blowjob is over but during? I doubt it.

This is more like it:

Monday, February 08, 2010

Q: Boyfriend Into Anal; Do I Need Enemas?
A: No





The anal douche from Babeland

Dear Julie,


I'm seeing this guy who is really into anal, which I've really never done before. He's squeamish, though (kind of ironic) and wants me to, basically, give myself frequent enemas. I know that the colon is a pretty delicate ecosystem, and I'm concerned about ending up with IBS or something horrible like that. Is there something I can use that'll get the job done without damaging my intestines? Is it even reasonable for him to ask me to do this more than every couple weeks?Again, thanks so much. I've talked to a bunch of my friends about this and they really don't know what to tell me.

Stephanie

Dear Stephanie,

Is your boyfriend actually into anal or is he just butt-curious? Because most people, once they get over their initial foray or two into backdoor action they realize that anal play is not really that messy and enemas aren't necessary.


Tristan Taormino, the authoritative expert on anal sex for women, says that enemas aren't necessary for relatively clean anal sex. She says "a nice warm and soapy shower or bath and a bowel movement before anal sex gets [you] pretty clean."

A lot of anal sex newbies are nervous about what they might find down there but you can assuage your fears by incorporating anal play into masturbation a few times to give yourself a sense of what your rectum is like on an average day. That will give you some insight into how you feel about having something in your anus and also make you more able to check-in with your body when butt play is on the table with you and your partner. I'd also highly recommend using a butt plug for a while before acutally trying anal sex with your guy's penis--there is a world of difference between, say, one finger and a grown man's cock.

If you decide that you do want to do enemas (or if your boyfriend absolutely insists on it), here's Tristan's advice:
If you're having an enema in preparation for anal sex, you should do it at least 2-3 hours prior to the sex to give your body a chance to reabsorb water and recover. Contrary to my little story about the thirteen enemas, it's not a good idea to have enemas too frequently. They tend to stress out your rectum and too much of this evacuation can really throw your rectum, bowels and gastrointestinal tract off balance.
At first, you probably also want to do an anal douche, not a real enema. An anal douche just rinses out the rectum whereas an enema actually goes up into the colon. Babeland sells a high quality anal douche for just $20 (see picture above). A real enema kit (which has a big rubber bag, tubing, and more) can be purchased at drugstore.com.

Another possibility is that your boyfriend is actually into enemas themselves, which is something you'll definitely want to explore further on Tristan's site. Don't start doing frequent, serious enemas without reading up.

Tristan's book The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women is a must and it has a whole chapter on enemas. I highly recommend buying it along with a good butt plug and some thick lube.

Good luck!

Julie

PS-You can read my classic article, "10 Steps to a Successful Anal Encounter," here.

Thursday, February 04, 2010

Friday Q & A:
To Bareback or Not to Bareback?


The cure for what ails you: the condom pocket boxer.

Dear Ms. Sunday,

I had an interesting week. I met a woman online and went out for drinks with her. We hit it off just fine and had sex into the wee hours. I wasn't prepared for it, condom-wise, mostly because I didn't think it would get that far on a second date. We were ready to go for round two, and she informed me that she did not have another condom. She informed me that she was clean and had an IUD so pregnancy seemed out of range. She told me she had been tested after her last sexual partner and was good to go.

I couldn't let myself have unprotected sex with someone I had just met. It ended up fine because she rummaged around and found a condom. Now, I'm not looking for a pat on the head for being responsible or a wag of the finger for not doing my male duty and having my own protection (I'll be ready next time). I am wondering how do you decide when/if to have unprotected sex with someone?

Also, what about oral sex? I've never been given oral with a condom on, nor have I ever gone down on a woman using a dental dam, yet these 'naked' activities seem to be just as risky. Why does it feel differently in my mind, and should it?

Thanks,

Scott

Dear Scott,

If I had a dollar for every guy who told me "Nah, I didn't use a condom because she was on the pill/ring/IUD/her period/whatever" I would be rich enough to buy them all Valtrex. When I talk to college students about using condoms, I always tell them that the first step to successful condom use is having a fucking condom. And better yet, have two or three, because what if one breaks and, really, who only wants to have sex once?

Since I have approximately 1,500 condoms laying around my apartment I can't imagine what it's like to really only have just one condom--what a terrible thought. If I were you, I would get a few dozen condoms and distribute them to all of your wallets, backpacks, man-purses, tighty-whities, and whatever else you regularly wear that has pockets just in case. When someone is playing with your junk, you're in a state I like to call under the fuckluence and your judgment is severely impaired by your body's desire for sex.

Maybe this woman really did get a negative test recently and is totally clean and if she really does have an IUD, she's at insanely low risk of pregnancy but on a second date, that's a lot of "if"s to be fucking under. Too many ifs, in my opinon, for a second date.

As far as oral sex goes, nobody actually uses condoms or dental dams. We sex educators tell people that they should but I have literally never met anyone who will cop to using either one for going down. Is that risky? You bet--every woman I know who has genital herpes got it from a dude who had cold sores on his mouth. So you're right that there is risk there but, for some reason, in our culture latex does not go in the mouth.

In sum, when negotiating condomless sex with a new partner, there are three things that need to be dealt with: STI risk, pregnancy prevention method, and "what if pregnancy?" STI risk can be assessed with testing and treatment, birth control method is relatively straightforward (but you have to be sure that, if she's in charge of it, that she's using it correctly), and the pregnancy conversation is key--if you are 100% sure you don't want to have a child with this person and she is 100% sure she couldn't have an abortion, you may need to reconsider. Or look forward to 2028.

Love,
GTG

Wednesday, February 03, 2010

Sportsheets WIN:
Sex in the Shower!


Sorry for the boring image of the suction handle but the rest of the photos were totally NSFW.

I've been meaning to check out Sex Is, the new sex mag published by the webstore Eden Fantasys. I got the first issue wrapped up with the latest Bust and finally got around to reading it yesterday. In the web version of the mag is an interview with Tom Stewart, founder of Sportsheets, maker of a wide variety of totally awesome products.

Sportsheets had me at Velvet Harness and I've recommended their Under the Bed Restraints to several people and even purchased them as a wedding gift (Hi J & B!).

After solving the age old problems of "I'm not into rope bondage but I want to restrain my partner" and "I want to strap on but I'm not into leather" the retired Marine and Navy Commander turned his attention to the tremendous obstacle that is sex in the shower. Who hasn't broken a soapdish or been disappointed to learn that, unlike frogs, human hands do not stick to wet surfaces?

I haven't seen the new Sex in the Shower line in person but I'm intrigued. Stewart has a sense of humor about his work, too:


"Have you had sex in the shower?” “How successful have you been at having satisfying sex in the shower?” I can answer these questions for you because the answers are universal – YES and NOT VERY. Yes, because 85% of all people surveyed have had sex in the shower and less than 5% of them rated it successful."


So true. Sportsheets has devised methods to avoid breaking your soapdish or faucet by trying to prop up a leg on it: they've made suction cup handles and foot rests. Genius!

Tuesday, February 02, 2010

Annals of Obvious:
Abstinence Programs Prevent Sex In Teens Too Young to Have Sex Anyway




File this under You've got to be fucking kidding me: This week's hulabaloo about a supposedly effective abstinence program demonstrates, yet again, how loath reporters are to read beyond an article abstract. I can't believe that after the Guttmacher data came out last week about the increase in teen pregnancy during the Bush years that anyone is even still fucking testing abstinence programs.

But I digress. Researchers at Penn and the University of Waterloo (Canada) this week published an article in the Archives of Pediatric and Adolescent Medicine demonstrating the middling effectiveness of a:
"theory-based abstinence-only intervention that would not meet federal criteria for abstinence programs and that is not vulnerable to many criticisms that have been leveled against interventions that meet federal criteria." (pg. 158)

What was so good about it that it wouldn't meet the brain-exploding federal guidelines? It didn't moralize about how sex will make God hate you and did not disparage the use of condoms (or, presumably, talk about how condoms don't protect your heart).

Perpetual fuddy duddy Sarah Brown, president of the National Campaign to Prevent Teen and Unplanned Pregnancy, had this to say:

"This new study is game-changing. For the first time, there is strong evidence that an abstinence-only intervention can help very young teens delay sex."
Memo to Sarah Brown: All teens are "delaying" sex. Until they have it, that is.

The study randomized more than 600 African American 6th and 7th graders into 5 different intervention groups, two of which were "comprehensive" in their approach, one of which focused only on condom use, one which was abstinence-only, and a control group that focused on other, nonsexual health behaviors.

In short, teens who were in the abstinence-only group were the least likely to have initiated sex in the 24 month follow up period. Of the participants in the safer sex only group, 52% had initiated sex at the end; 33% of the abstinence-only had debuted. Forty two percent of those in the "comprehensive" groups initiated sex by the end. (p. 156) A heartening finding, though, is that roughly 75% of those who had had sex across all intervention groups used condoms consistently. So, that's good news. (ibid)

Since the study's design was a randomized, control trial, in theory it meets the "gold standard" of public health research. However, the length of the programs (4 hours on 2 or 3 Saturdays, for a total of 8 or 12 hours) raises questions about their longer term efficacy: the most effective prengancy prevention programs are years long, after school type interventions that really keep their hooks in teens for a long time.

Study participants were young--6th and 7th graders--and all African American, so the population isn't generalizable. Also, while participants were followed for 24 months following the intervention, the majority of teens don't initiate sex until after 9th grade, which would have been the latest participants would have been followed. The study authors say:

"Unlike many risk behaviors (eg, cigarette smoking, drug use), sexual intercourse is an age-graded behavior; the expectation is that people will eventually have sexual intercourse." (p. 153)
Or, as I am wont to say, teen virginity is like the Titanic: it's going down. Considering the inconsistency which teens may have access to sex, I think the best abstinence vs. comprehensive trial is going to incorporate educational interventions followed by guaranteed access to sex which study participants will either accept or abstain from. I'm not sure how else we could really measure the success of these interventions because some people are, you know, circumstantially abstinent and not avoiding sex by choice. Such teens inflate the success rate of abstinence programs by virtue of their social awkwardness, not because of any effectiveness of the program per se.

I also question the ethical nature of research that discusses STIs, particularly HIV, and fails to provide information to participants about how to prevent infection. That seems a clear violation of the ethical obligation of medical researchers to, at a minimum, provide the currently accepted standard treatment to all participants**.

The researchers say:

"The ideal abstinence intervention would incorporate principles of efficatious HIV/STI risk reduction behavioral interventions." (p. 153)

The only "efficatious HIV/STI risk reduction" method that I know of is USING FUCKING CONDOMS. Teaching teenagers about STIs/HIV and failing to teach them about condoms seems like a clear violation of ethics. Just sayin'.






**Remember Tuskeegee? That was another "study" that enrolled only African American participants and declined to offer them any treatment or prevention just to see what would happen in late stage, untreated syphilis. (Results: it eats your brain) At the time, penicillin was known to cure syphilis and was already in use. After the public outcry when the study came to light in 1972, the Tuskeegee Experiment was the impetus for Institutional Review Boards and ethical standards in human subjects research that mandate that the standard treatment be given to everyone.