When our first romp in bed introduced me to the world of dirty talk, my brain refused to process it. This, I thought, is why adult films are always better on mute. I decided my best move was to ignore him. I was unaccustomed to between-the-sheets dialogue—or monologues for that matter. He may as well have been speaking in tongues. It was too hard trying to figure out what he meant by the things coming out of his mouth; things you only heard in porn movies; things you heard uttered by your drunk college roommate when she dragged home her night's conquest and you had to lie there, pillow over your head, pretending to be asleep, all the while judging, silently judging: "Ew! Who says that stuff?" The funny thing is, it now excites me as well. While talking dirty can be a great way to share our fantasies, sometimes, his idea of sexy is definitely not mine, and I wish there were things he could take back. What sounds hot in the moment can turn cringe-worthy in retrospect.
"The jury is still out as to whether or not kids are good for marriages, period," says Kimberly Ford, mother of three, who writes about erotic dancing, Brazilian waxing, vibrators, communication, Private Time and how these all contribute to having a healthy sex life after having kids, in her book Hump: True Tales of Sex After Kids. "At the end of a long day of chatting with moms at the park or going to a play group or going to Gymboree, or whatever my day had been full of—and lots and lots of conversation, very important conversation about how to get the baby to sleep through the night, or how to get your body back—I just feel like I need to be an adult," says Ford. "Frankly, sex is a very efficient way to feel like that."
Dr. Hilda Hutcherson loves sex toys, believes the world is much too pornophobic, and thinks more women should give anal sex a try. In other words, she's the gynecologist every guy wants his girlfriend to meet. Women who don't enjoy anal sex, she says, are probably doing it wrong. Intrigued, I scheduled an 8am consultation with the doctor to get the goods on joining the backdoor betty club.
Imagine your significant other: boyfriend, girlfriend, spouse, favorite goat. Now, picture not being able to have sex—not because you're uninterested in sex, not because you're separated by oceans and continents, connected only by steamy emails. Instead, sex feels like a dull, rusty steak knife being twisted and jabbed where no dull, rusty steak knife belongs. Doctors can't seem to diagnose it, much less treat it. Bleak, isn't it? When I was 24, sex just hurt, for no discernible reason. Eight long months later, I learned I had a condition known as vulvodynia, a medical term which roughly translates to "no sex for you, missy."... Painful sex wasn't what made the headlines in popular media. I didn't know it existed. My doctors didn't know it existed. Yet, statistics show that as many as one woman in six might suffer from vulvodynia in her lifetime, often thanks to unknown causes.
The 1970s are over, but some things seem to be making a comeback: lava lamps, wallpaper, Donna Summer's concert tour and ... swingers. The fascination with "the lifestyle" (as swingers fondly call it) is seeping into suburban, upper-middle class social scenes. Whether you are a woman swept up in thinking about the swingers phenomenon or curious to explore it, the big question on your mind must be this: Why do married women do it? How can they actually step into this world? Determined to unravel the mystery, I got myself an invitation to a swingers club: a strange, sexual, and minimally sleezy bar unlike any other. For one night, I was told I would have access to the entire club and get introduced to women who could answer my overriding questions...
I am a closet exhibitionist. The vast majority of my masturbation fantasies involve me having sex with one or several partners, while one or several other people look on. Planes, trains, automobiles, construction sites, fishing boat—any public venue works in my dirty mind's eye. But sexual fantasies, I've learned, aren't the same as sexual desires. I needed to find out if living out my most deeply held sexual fantasy would be all it was cracked up to be in my head. My partner is squeamish about public sex in the "real world," but he did agree to take me to a sex club where we could get it on in a room full of other couples doing the same. Neither of us was a stranger to the idea of sexual adventure, but this particular kink was new to us both, so it was a shared initiation.
Chances are you've heard the story: An unmarked door leads to a dimly-lit massage parlor where women with strong hands and tolerant smiles await a train of libidinous male patrons. The "happy ending" tale is all too common, a mixture of truth and urban legend that captivates male imaginations even in an age of casual sex and unlimited Internet porn. But until recently, the female version of "happy endings" has remained doggedly taboo. While one woman's violation may be the next woman's fantasy, here is the bottom line: We like massages and we like orgasms, so why shouldn't the two sometimes, er, come hand in hand?
Kissing is by far the most sensual, sexual and exciting thing you can do with another person. In a way, a kiss is even more intimate than sex. When you're completely engaged with another person's face – your lips, bodies, and minds connecting –you have the potential to create a moment that's way more intense than a few mere thrusts of the hips. But even the sassiest among us sometimes feel insecure when it comes to our tongue tango skills. We asked a very opinionated group of men to tell us what they want to see, feel and taste during a make-out session... and how they don't want to be kissed! What they say may surprise you but one thing's for sure– it will make you a better kisser!
Last month during an intimate girls' night in, I publicly posed the question that many overweight women wonder but never say aloud: "Is someone only going to marry me to get US citizenship?" I don't mean to knock cross-cultural love, but the fear I'd always had confronted me a few days before. A woman I knew, a good-looking gal with a great job and also about a hundred excess pounds, just got engaged to a weird-looking guy who I don't think speaks English. And, apparently, my fears are pretty commonplace among bigger gals.
Writing about sex has always been an honorable tradition. Just like good sex, good sex writing is in the details, the images, the scenario, the melding of reality and fantasy. We read erotica for inspiration, sometimes to lose ourselves, though we often find parts of ourselves within the story. Good sex writing paints a picture; it shows as well as tells, and it connects your mind to your body. Sounds good right, the life of an erotica writer? Can't you see me in my sexy lingerie, sitting at my laptop, popping bonbons from a heart shaped dish into my mouth, porno playing as I sample sex toys for research? Unfortunately the reality is very, very different.
A video camera in the bedroom: naughty way to spice up your sex life—or therapeutic tool to reveal deeper truths about your relationship? Both, says Michael Alvear, a gay Atlanta-based sexpert who spent three seasons with The Sex Inspectors, a British television show in which he and his co-host analyzed video footage of long-term couples. Their goal? To help the twosomes get their passion back, both in and out of the sack. Since it aired in 2004, the show has appeared on HBO and has been duplicated in about a dozen countries. I had a chat with Alvear to get the real take on what happens both on-screen and behind the scenes when the film is rolling—and to find out what you can learn by inviting an all-seeing camera into your bedroom.
You can touch a stripper in Toronto. You can fondle her thighs, squeeze her boobs, kiss the nape of her neck as she arches her back in pretend ecstasy. Unlike the American clubs where you'll get beaten by a bouncer and tossed in the alley if you lay a finger on her, you can do almost anything you want in Toronto. Why do men want lap dances? In my case, I was curious. I was out of town in a city with lax rules and willing to try something I’d never done before...
I kept going, and my stomach dropped as I realized that "massage" was simply Internet parlance for sex. All the time we’d been together, when he’d refused to use condoms—until I finally went on the Pill—he'd been hiring, or trying to hire, hookers. I could tell at least one of his attempts had been successful; a woman emailed back to say that he'd left a piece of jewelry behind with her. Another response, from an escort site which I promptly visited, made the imagery all too real.
According to Dr. Teela Sanders, a writer and lecturer at the University of Leeds, and the author of Paying For Pleasure: Men Who Buy Sex, 30% of men (in England, anyway) will buy sex at some point in his life. . . and we're not talking porn. She delves into the who (anyone), where (all over), and why (lots of reasons) that married men do this. Bill Clinton and Eliot Spitzer are prime examples of guys seeking something outside of their marriage who have no interest in divorce. Dr. Sanders also discusses why women are expected to "stand by your man."
Pepper Schwartz, a seasoned lover, psychologist and author, writes about the things she wish she knew about sex at 30. How much do body image, fantasy, oral sex and sex toys factor into a healthy sex life? Read on to find out. Plus, the revealing connection between foreplay, orgasms and faking it.