[Valid Atom 1.0] Love & Indulgence Blog: 2014

Sunday, 21 December 2014

Coming Out Kinky to Your Doctor, in Black and Blue

I loved this article by Heather Boerner who talks about how as more people embrace their inner kinkster, doctors need to know the details to provide quality health care. This… can be complicated.

Recently, Claire Conrad, 36, found herself trussed up in stirrups—and not in a fun way. Conrad was at the ob-gyn to check to see if, as the Maryland resident likes to put it, “My cervix is trying to kill me.”
She’d had an abnormal pap smear, and was getting a colposcopy to make sure it wasn’t cancer. In the process, Conrad, who asked that her real name not be used, was coming out to her ob-gyn as kinky. It was plain as the purple and black caning marks on her legs.

Conrad, you see, is in an open marriage and enjoys a little submission and a little pain with her sex.
When her doctor blurted out, “Oh! You are bruised,” Conrad figured it could have been worse. Still, she left the appointment with the clear sense that the staff would be gossiping about her after she’d gone. If she ever had a caning session that broke the skin and became infected, she said she’d think twice about going back to her doctor.

“That’s a tough one,” she said. “If I had been injured, I don’t think I would be comfortable with talking to my doctor about it. Even if I did, I don’t know if I would be honest about what happened.”

Conrad’s not alone. Preliminary research finds that fewer than half of all kinksters are out to their healthcare providers about their kinks—and that’s in the San Francisco Bay Area, a notoriously kink-friendly place. Among those that are out, almost everyone anticipated being stigmatized, prompting them to hide aspects of their behavior that could impact their health. And while the medical field has gotten better about understanding sexual minorities, there’s still a distance to go before kinksters like Conrad feel comfortable in medical offices around the country.

“Up until now, it’s been a don’t-ask-don’t-tell kind of situation,” said Dr. Jess Waldura, lead investigator of The Alternative Sexualities Health Research Alliance (TASHRA), which plans to conduct a nationwide survey in 2015. “We need to destigmatize kink so providers can think straight when we’re confronted by it.”

The New Don’t-Ask-Don’t Tell
In the past year, Dr. Mike Lesniak has noticed a trend: His urgent care clinic in rural Pennsylvania was the go-to place for kinksters to get their wounds treated. He figured that was because the clinic wasn’t set up to document injuries in a way that would be admissible in court. And because he wasn’t their primary care doctor, they wouldn’t have to worry about looking him in the eye next time they needed to have a sinus infection checked out.
The experience left Lesniak in a quandary. He wanted to make sure the wounds were consensual. And he’d want to make sure that, if they were, they were being made safely.
“Sometimes, they’d say, ‘Everything’s OK,’ and you could tell it was. Other times, the response would be, ‘Everything’s OK,’ but you would get the vibe that there’s no way that everything is OK,” he said. “I try to delve into what they are doing so that I can assure myself that they are acting safely. And if not, then I can help them adjust some things to be safer.”

Kinksters’ reticence makes sense. Before 2013, people interested in bondage and discipline or sado-masochism (BDSM)—that is, getting an erotic thrill from being tied up or tying someone else up, or hurting someone or being hurt by someone—were treated in the Diagnostic and Statistical Manual (DSM), the bible of psychiatric care, as a mental disorder that could then be used in court to remove children from kinkster parents, among other things. Today, the DSM defines BDSM as a kink that only becomes a disorder if it’s causing distress or dysfunction.

The problem, said Dr. Charles Moser, a San Francisco-based internal medicine physician and perhaps the leading researcher on kink in healthcare, is that it’s up to a doctor to determine if a kink is causing distress. If the doctor is biased, he may still classify it as a disorder that can lead to legal repercussions.

Shame-Free Care
It’s a shame because, though because the majority of the 120 self-identified Bay Area kinksters Waldura recruited for the initial study said it’s important to be open with one’s providers about one’s kink, fewer than half actually were. And many said they had physical and mental health needs associated with their kinks.

Those needs varied depending on where respondents were in the kink universe. You’d expect submissives and masochists to sustain more injuries than dominants and sadists—but neither tend to bring their concerns to physicians, said Moser.

Moser had made a practice of treating the kinky. Sometimes this means talking about hepatitis A and B vaccines and risk for hepatitis C infection with someone participating in blood play, or talking about how to reduce risk of infection if someone is playing with needles. More often, thought, it’s high blood pressure, diabetes and other typical health needs that go unaddressed when kinksters delay care to avoid provider bias.

“I always say that people have more accidents on the way to and from the play party than at the party,” said Moser, author of Healthcare Without Shame.

Avoiding care can lead to the same kind of health disparities experienced by anyone who delays care: unchecked diabetes, for instance, or undiagnosed high blood pressure, which put people at higher risk for major health problems like kidney failure or heart attack.

And while other research indicates that kinksters may be more mentally healthy than their vanilla counterparts, the TASHRA participants said they experienced fears around talking to therapists about their kinks.

Keely Kolmes, a San Francisco-based psychologist, mostly sees people who don’t come to talk about their kinks. But their kinks do come up. For instance, when a couple is having trouble, the tension and hostility can bleed into BDSM scenes. Or, power dynamics from sexual scenes can bleed through to non-kink interactions when that’s not what the couple wants. Sometimes novices to the scene have abusive experiences with new play partners and want help working through the trauma so they can engage in their kink in a healthy way. Longtime kinksters can need help working through feelings of inadequacy when a bottom leaves an encounter unsatisfied, either sexually or emotionally.

Sometimes she sees clients who are ambivalent about their kink identities. She treats them the way she would treat someone who’s coming out as gay, helping them accept themselves and their sexuality as a normal, healthy part of their lives and connects them to community support.

Not everyone is so understanding. In a study Kolmes did as part of her doctoral dissertation, she found that some kinksters had therapists who hammered on the idea that BDSM was a sign of childhood trauma. Some of these therapists required them to give up their kink to continue in therapy.
Kolmes hopes the TASHRA research will start more discussions among providers.

“I’m a strong believer that the world is not broken up into kinky people and not-kinky people,” she said. “Like many aspects of sexuality, I view kink behaviors and fantasies on a continuum. I’d love to see research on people whose sexual behavior varies based on partners. People who don’t think they’re kinky fall in love with people who want to be spanked or want to role-play. Our sexual behavior shifts so much. Things become erotic that weren’t before because it’s exciting to our partners and it becomes exciting to us.”

Opening Up
One could hardly get more out than Eric Paul Leue. Leue, the reigning Mr. LA Leather and director of sexual health and policy for San Francisco-based BDSM, bondage and fetish site, Kink.com, has shared his pup name and his role in the leather community with his parents.
When he goes to the doctor, he sees another leatherman—former International Mr. Leather, Dr. Tony Mills.
“If I need a cardiologist, for example, I would reach out to people in the community,” he said, “because who knows what my doctor is doing outside the office? I want to trust her or him, and know that I am understood, not judged, not side-eyed.”

Leue’s not alone. The Kink-Aware Professionals Directory lists doctors, therapists, chiropractors, dentists, and others who affirm kink identities. Still, Leue knows it’s easier for him. He splits his time between LA and San Francisco.
Openness might be a function of sexuality and gender, as well. When Waldura put out the call for kinksters to participate in research via social networks, she noticed that it was shared mostly by straight people using pseudonyms on the kink website FetLife and openly, under real names by leather men like Leue on Facebook.

Some of this, she suspects, is because gay men have been emboldened by their sexual outsider status. But some of it could be providers’ judgment of women’s sexuality in general.

For instance, one woman she interviewed for the study was kinky, obese and had multiple partners. It wasn’t her kink that tripped up her doctors. “Her providers couldn’t believe she was having sex at all because she was fat,” said Waldura. “A lot of women I talked to were highly sexually active. For some providers, that’s the problem.”

Conrad can relate. Though she’s been married for a decade, Conrad’s marriage has gone through periods of being open and periods of being closed. Right now, it’s open and she’s been enjoying multiple partners for the last year. So, when she asked for a pap and sexually transmitted infection screening, her nurse was confused. When she outed herself as having multiple partners, her nurse’s reaction was, in Conrad’s words, “judge.”

Ironically, Conrad, who is getting a degree in public health, has worked with the two other doctors in her ob-gyn’s practice. On the one hand, she was anxious about her colleagues knowing about her kink. On the other, as a public health expert, she regretted that discomfort meant they’d missed a chance to provide better healthcare.

“It would have been a perfect opportunity to have a conversation,” she said. “Kink needs to be normalized. If someone says, ‘I practice x, y, or z,’ or ‘These are rope burns,’ it needs to be a conversation about what the realistic risks are that people are facing, physically and emotionally. These are all opening the door for a conversation that could help negate any negative impact.”


The 3 Sexiest Words a Man can Say to a Woman

Now I know your all thinking its

"I love you"...Nope

"You look beautiful"...Nope

"I'm really sorry"...Nope

"Lets go shopping"...Nope

"Lets go away"...Nope

"Please Marry Me"...Nope

Its simply....



When a man says this he is in his true masculine energy form. He is protector and makes her feel loved and cherished.

As with even the last one "Please marry me" what the point being married to someone who doesn't make you feel like you are his 'queen!'

Ladies...It doesn't get any better then that.

If your looking to get him a great gift this year check out the new and exclusive Lelo Pino. Complete with cufflinks this box of treats has something for everyone.

Lelo Pino


Wednesday, 29 October 2014

10 Ways Sleeping without Clothes can Benefit You

1 Decreases Cortisol

Allowing your body to cool at night lowers cortisol levels. Cortisol can cause serious problems ranging from disrupted sleep cycles to serious weight gain.

2 Comfortable in Your Own Skin

We spend a lot of time trying to hide our imperfections. We dress our bodies in the "right" clothes to make us feel more secure about our bodies however, sleeping naked will make you fully aware of your body and therefore, you'll feel more comfortable with it.

3 Growth Hormones for a Healthier Body

Growth hormones are released when you sleep naked. This helps to: promote bone density, lowers your risks of diabetes and heart disease, repairs tissue, builds muscle, promotes a healthier body weight and stimulates the growth of internal organs as well as a healthier immune system.

4 Colder Temps = Youthful Life

Keeping the temperature around 70 degrees while sleeping helps the anti-aging hormones and melatonin to do their job. Sleeping naked will keep you slightly cooler and it could have a positive effect on your life overall.

5 Happier Together

If you sleep naked with your partner, that skin-on-skin contact will release some oxytocin. Oxytocin makes you happier, reduces social anxieties and helps with overall satisfaction.

6 Better Loving

In addition to being happier after this kind of sleep, you'll also be in the mood a lot more. The release of oxytocin will not only increases your sex drive but it could offer up better orgasms!

7 Healthier Lady Business

Ladies, yeast infections are a pretty real risk. Sleeping in constricting clothes increases yeast as it thrives in warmer, moist conditions but by giving some air, your lady parts will stay cool and dry.

8 Increases Reproductive Chances For Men

Gentlemen, sleeping in cooler conditions is good for your reproductive parts too. Keeping your testes cool will keep your sperm healthy and functioning better.

9 Less Laundry

This is a humorous reason to consider sleeping in the nude, but it's a pretty good point. You'll have one less set of clothes to wash each time once PJs are taken out of your regular equation.

10 Summer Sleep

Summertime can be unbearable, especially if you don't have a quality air conditioner. This can result in worse sleep because it's just too dang hot! Sleeping naked should help solve that, afterall, it's the one time of the day where you can be nude and no one can stop you.

Your first Time: A Sexual guide for Boys

This is an important topic and guide for young men. Unbeknown to parents, your sons first sexual contact is via porn. There are two issues here in that case:
1. This gives a skewed perception to young men that this is what not only turns women on but that this is HOW you have sex (as young men don't understand porn is all about the camera angles and fake orgasms by women) and
2. Excessive porn viewing combined with masturbation causes ED (erectile dysfunction) which is becoming an silent epidemic today.

So please share this article written by Jamie Utt.  If your unsure of how to broach the subject and educate your young son just forward him the article and educate him today before he grows up!

Let’s face it: Most sexuality education is terrible.
If you’ve received a formal sex education, it likely went a little like this:
Sex is a special covenant between a man and a woman. Here’s a little information about the biology of sexual intercourse between a man and a woman. And here are a bunch of horrifying pictures of STI’s that will scare you into remaining abstinent until marriage.”
And we think that it’s time we change that.
Sex ed has to change.
Because if we don’t do a better job of teaching healthy sexuality, we leave it up to pornography, television, music, and movies to do our job – and none of those are accurate, comprehensive sources of sexuality education.
It’s time we teach our young people about more than just biology, STI’s, and abstinence.
It’s time we teach about how to have amazing, fulfilling, consensual, and healthy sex.
Cynthia Kane already wrote a fantastic guide for having great sex on the first time, but since some of the most effective sexual education is split up by gender, the brilliant Melissa A. Fabello and I are here with a two-part article to amplify Cynthia’s message.
And since I identify as a man, I will start things off by talking to the boys and men out there.
That said, let me be clear that I am a cisgender man, and as such, many of these lessons come from a cisgender perspective and should be treated as limited in that way.
So what are some steps to take before diving into sex for the first time? What are some important facts to know? And why are they important?
Let’s take a look.

1. Get to Know Your Body

Amazing sex starts with you knowing a bit about your body and what you want and need from your partner. So before you head into the bedroom with another person, you need to spend some time by yourself.
Yup. I’m telling you to masturbate.
But I don’t mean the “jerk off quickly in the bathroom before someone catches me” kind of masturbation.
I mean taking your time, exploring your whole body, figuring out what does (and doesn’t!) feel good.
How do you like to be touched, where do you like to be touched, and in what ways do you like to be touched?
More and more, young women are being told to familiarize themselves with their bodies (which they should!), but young men aren’t being told the same thing.
The idea that a man would take the time to light some candles, draw a bath, and explore his body for maximum masturbatory pleasure is considered laughable. Let’s change that!
Too often, we just treat male pleasure and orgasm as being easy. Having fulfilling sex, though, means having a much more comprehensive knowledge about your own pleasure.
Did you know that one of the most powerful orgasms a man can have has virtually nothing to do with his penis?
It’s called a prostate orgasm, and most men never experience this tremendous joy because of the taboo around anal play being “gay” and thus “terrible and disgusting and eww.”
Whether it’s a prostate orgasm or neck kissing, you won’t know what works best for you, though, if you never take the time to explore.

2. Interrogate Your Media Consumption and Expectations

Long before anyone tried to talk to me about sex, bodies, or relationships, I learned about those things from porn.
I was introduced to pornography at a very young age, and before that, I got plenty of confusing and misleading messages from TV or movies.
Now, both men and women get taught misinformation (which can sometimes be damaging) from media in general and porn specifically, but dudes, it’s time we unpack some of what we’re taught.
First, you don’t have to be in charge.
Rarely in any media do we see women who are taking the lead in sex. Nowhere is this more evident than in porn, where women are almost never seen taking charge – except in fetish porn where women are explicitly dominant.
Instead, sex should be a conversation (more on that later) where both people are communicating and asserting their needs and desires.
Second, your partner may not want your semen all over them.
There are some people who are totally down with facials (or semen anywhere for that matter) and find them hot, but porn makes it seem like every person wants your ejaculate all over them at all times. And it’s not true.
In fact, a lot of people find things like facials to be degrading expressions of dominance and control.
Thus, before you go shooting your spunk, you may want to chat with your partner about things like condom use (see below) and where that sticky stuff is (and isn’t) welcome.
Third, no one is owed anything in sex.
One of the most powerful media messages that men receive is that we are owed pleasure and gratification and access to others’ bodies.
If all we knew of sex came from porn or mainstream media, we’d assume that men must orgasm for sex to be sex and that all bodies exist for the sole purpose of pleasing men.
Not only is that selfish (and boring), but it’s downright misogynistic.
Instead, think of your pleasure as wrapped up in the consent and pleasure of your partner!
Sex will be more fun and fulfilling that way.
Finally, sex is about more than orgasms and penetration.
If there’s any clear message from media, it’s that sex is about the dude putting his penis in any given orifice, and when he reaches orgasm, sex is over.
On the contrary, though, sex is about connecting with another human being on a number of levels, and if you’re only focused on either getting or giving an orgasm, you’re going to miss out on big parts of that connection.
Be present. Realize that sometimes the best pleasure comes before or after orgasm and that there are countless ways to experience sexual pleasure.
Want some more information about pornography and media literacy? Check out these awesome resources:

3. Protection and Prevention of STI’s

Now, I know that I started this piece by criticizing the fear-based education that focuses on STI’s.
But that doesn’t mean that some attention to STI’s isn’t important. They are a reality. At best, they are an uncomfortable inconvenience, and at worst, they are deadly.
As men, something you’re probably used to hearing about are condoms, but they are only a small part of the prevention and protection picture.
Long before ever putting on a condom, prevention begins in talking with your partner about your health status.
One great way to do that is to say, “Hey, I would love to get tested before we are sexually active. Would you like to go get tested together?”
Getting tested does not mean that you’re dirty or that you have reason to believe you have an STI!
Quite the opposite.
It’s preventative medicine.
Just like you get a physical once a year or a dental checkup, getting STI tested is important if you’ve been sexually active.
From there, it’s important to think about protection.
You’ve probably heard, “Use a condom.”
But you’ve probably never heard, “Make sure to measure your penis so you find the best fit!”
Fit is vital to ensure pleasure and safety, so make sure you know which size to buy. Also, remember that there are about a million types of condoms. So experiment a little!
Know, though, that using a condom when having intercourse is not the only type of protection that you should be using.
Very few people use protection during oral sex, but there is a risk of STI contraction from oral. So make sure you pick up some flavored condoms and dental dams (not sure what a dental dam is? Look here!).
Finally, if you’re having straight intercourse, it’s important to talk about pregnancy prevention.
If your partner wants to use birth control, consider splitting the cost (since it’s possible for birth control to get expensive), and make sure that you’re consistent.

4. Sexual Communication Is Key

More than any other factor, good sex comes from one thing: communication.
And that’s a problem for men because we’re socialized to believe that we’re bad at communication and that “talking” through things that are important to us is feminine.
But if you want amazing sex, you need to start talking with your partner. And that conversation likely needs to start before you’ve even touched one another.
Ideally, your first time is happening in the context of a healthy, communicative relationship. So sit down with your partner and talk about what you both want from your sexual relationship.
Are you on the same page with “taking the next step” sexually, whatever that step may be?
Perhaps you should both fill out a “Yes, No, Maybe Chart” and discuss your responses with each other.
I promise it will only be awkward if you decide ahead of time that it’s going to be awkward.
On the contrary, if you take the time to talk through things before taking the next step, your sex will be much more amazing for the both of you.
But don’t think the communication should end there.

5. Expectations for the Big Moment

I don’t know about you, but when I was thinking about my first time having sex, one thing I wasn’t thinking a lot about was how I would communicate with my partner.
But the single most important aspect of sex is also one of the least talked about: consent.
When many of us hear the term, we think of some stiff, cardboard interaction with another person: “May I put my hand on your arm now, please?” “Yes you may!” “Now may I lean closer?” Yes you may!”
But I am here to tell you: active, enthusiastic consent has the power to be the single sexiest part of your sexual experiences if you do it right.
To do that, first you need to get rid of the idea that consent is a one-time, blanket permission or that silence or non-affirmation is consent. Thinking of consent this way is not only a huge turnoff, but it is downright dangerous, and it’s time that we, as dudes, change this perception.
Instead, think of consent as a constant conversation in words, expressions, games, sensuality, looks, bodies. Need some ideas on what that means? Check out “Want the Best Sex of Your Life? Just Ask!
Plain and simple: Sex that is built upon the constant communication of enthusiastic consent is guaranteed to be the most incredible sex that two (or more!) human beings are capable of having.
Aside from a better knowledge of consent, here are a few other things I wish I had been told about the deed before the first time I had sex:
It’s okay to ask for things that you want/need! In fact, unless your partner is a mind reader, if you are going to have amazing sex, you need to! But you also have to be willing to listen when your partner does the same.
If you reach orgasm really quickly, don’t worry! That doesn’t mean that sex has to be over! Explore some other ways to give and receive pleasure. There is no prescribed time in which you’re supposed to ejaculate.
Having a hard time orgasming? That’s also okay! Talk to your partner about what each of you need to feel more pleasure next time, and take some time exploring each other’s bodies! Oh, and “blue balls” is very rare, and it should not be used as an excuse to pressure someone into giving you an orgasm. “I really want to cum” and “I am experiencing a rare medical condition characterized by sharp, acute pain in my testicles” are not the same thing.
Great sex comes from listening. If something feels amazing and they arch toward you, remember that. If something’s not doing it for them, maybe they won’t tell you for fear of embarrassing you or themselves, but their body likely will. Then you can ask! “I noticed you started breathing REALLY heavily when I did such-and-such. Should I do more of that?” or “I noticed you weren’t really into blah-blah-blah. Was I reading you right?”

Men Need to Talk to Men and Boys

It’s time that men start having more accountable conversations with men and boys about healthy, positive sexuality.
It is our responsibility to raise a generation of men who are committed to ending sexual violence, and a great place for us to start is by building the healthiest sexual relationships that we can.
So if you have suggestions about what else men and boys need to hear to have amazing first time sex, share them in the comment.
Are you a dad or a big brother or a mentor? Give this article to the young men in your life and chat with them about it!

Thursday, 23 October 2014

Open Relationships Reduce Jealousy? 12 Surprising Facts About Non-Monogamy

For those who know me well they know that I have talked about how for me personally, I don't see a monogamous relationship working anymore as I see myself and my life, sex, relationships and what I want in my future in a different perspective. Now I know for many they gasp at the thought of a non-monogamous relationship and are disgusted by it or quite simply don't understand it all.

So this is an article I found by Zhana Vrangalova that I hope will answer some of those head scratching questions for you on why so many people and couples have jumped the fence.

For one thing, swingers report more exciting and satisfying lives than the general population.

Consensually non-monogamous (CNM) relationships, where committed partners mutually agree not to be sexually and/or romantically exclusive to one another, are slowly gaining visibility in the media. Yet, a few anecdotes aside, they are still shrouded in stereotype and mystery. Here are 12 things that recent research reveals about these relationships and the people involved in them. (Some of this research is so brand new that it hasn’t yet been published, only presented at professional conferences, so you’re getting a sneak preview.)

People in CNM relationships may be more prevalent than gay people. Up to 2% of U.S. women identify as lesbian, and up to 4% of men identify as gay. We don’t have nationally representative data on CNM, but in large online samples, 4-5% of respondents say they’re currently in a CNM relationship. Broken down by sexual orientation among Vermont couples, a CNM agreement was had by 3.5% hetero couples, 5% lesbian couples, and up to 50% gay male couples. Yes, gay men are waaay more likely to practice CNM than everyone else.

Up to 40% of men and up to 25% of women might consider CNM. That is how many of 600 participants in a monogamous relationship said they would switch to nonmonogamy if they lived in a world where everyone had open relationships. These data are yet to be published, but some already published research suggests similar openness among many people to try CNM if their partner suggested or OK’d it.

Desire for (non)monogamy exists on a continuum. In his bestseller Sex at Dawn, Chris Ryan argued that humans as a species are nonmonogamous. However, new data from Lisa Dawn Hamilton’s lab suggests it may be more accurate to think of the tendency toward (non)monogamy as a personality characteristic that ranges on a spectrum from very low to very high (just like, say, extraversion and introversion). In other words, some people are completely monogamous, others are completely nonmonogamous, and many more are somewhere in between.

Stigma against CNM is strong, robust, and incredibly pervasive. CNM and the people engaged in it are considered worse than monogamists on virtually every personal or relationship characteristic you could think of, including sexual health, commitment, trust, romance, kindness, loneliness, jealousy, generosity, life satisfaction, education, and success, to name a few. In a psychological phenomenon called the “halo effect,” this negativity extends to traits and behaviors that have nothing to do with relationships. People think that non-monogamists are worse at paying taxes, dog walking, taking multivitamins, or teeth flossing.

This stigma is so pervasive, that even people who are themselves in a CNM relationship think that CNM is inferior to monogamy on almost all of the above characteristics. This is kind of like internalized homophobia experienced by gay people –living in world that strongly stigmatizes your sexual orientation or lifestyle, you can’t help but internalize those prejudices.

Not all CNM types are perceived as equally bad. Swingers (who typically have purely casual sex with others, together with their partners, often in group sex situations) are perceived as dirtier, less moral, less responsible, and less mature than polyamorists (who typically have multiple, long-term sexual and romantic relationships). Those in open relationships (who typically have casual sex with others, but one-on-one, separately from their main partners) were perceived somewhere in between.

When having sex with other people, CNM folks are more responsible regarding health than supposedly monogamous people who are cheating. CNM people are less likely to drink or do drugs beforehand, and more likely to use condoms for vaginal and anal sex, discuss prior partner and STI testing history, cover or sterilize sex toys, and, of course, tell their primary partner about it. What’s more, when they do use condoms, CNM people are more likely than cheaters to use them properly, like check for damage or pinch the tip before putting on the condom, and less likely to make mistakes, like put it on the wrong way then just flip it over, or put it on after intercourse started.

As a result, CNM people do not report more sexually transmitted infections than monogamous folks. As I reported in a recent Playboy article, unpublished data presented at by Justin Lehmiller suggests that people in CNM relationships report virtually identical rates of STIs as those in monogamous relationships – about 20%.

Swingers report more exciting and satisfying lives—sexually and otherwise—than the general population. In the general U.S. population, 32% say they are “very happy” with their lives and 46% think their life is exciting; by comparison, in a large sample of over 1,000 swingers, these numbers were 59% and 76%, respectively. Moreover, 25% of women and 9% of men in the general U.S. population have not had a single orgasm in the past year. Compare that to another large sample of over 1,200 swingers, where less than 5% of women and 1% of men reported never reaching orgasm during swinging (and they may still reach orgasm when not swinging).

People in CNM relationships experience less jealousy than those in monogamous relationships. This is certainly true of gay couples. New, yet-to-be-published data from Terri Conley’s lab suggest it is also true of hetero couples, with polyamorists being particularly low on jealousy. This shouldn’t be surprising really – people who would consider a nonexclusive arrangement are probably pretty non-jealous to begin with.

Finally, CNM couples usually report similar (and sometimes higher) relationship quality than monogamous couples, including things like relationship satisfaction, intimacy, trust, commitment, or communication between those in monogamous versus CNM relationships. Together with some of Conley’s new research, it looks like this may depend on the type of CNM, with polyamorists showing greater relationship quality than monogamists, those in open relationships showing lower quality, and swingers showing no differences either way.

Perhaps more critically, it may be the lying and hiding that’s linked to worse relationships. In two studies of gay couples, those who were really monogamous and those in CNM relationships had similar relationship quality; it was the cheaters that showed lower relationship quality than both non-cheating groups.

There is so much more to be learned about CNM and the people involved in it, but science is finally starting to ask these questions.


10 Tips to be the Woman a man Desires

1. Remember that you’re 100 percent responsible for your own happiness.

2. Don’t be dependent or independent but be interdependent.

3. Be fun.

4. Be a friend.

5. Show your appreciation, do it often. That includes in bed. Know what I mean?

6. Let him off the hook, especially after you’ve made him aware of his infraction and he has apologized.

7. Live in the present moment.

8. Even when you’re upset at him, take responsibility for your actions and feelings.

9. More often than not, choose happiness over being right.

10. Cultivate a Lightness of Being.


The iPhone-controlled sex toy you can turn on from anywhere

Written by Jennifer Wright

Running errands doesn’t have to be boring — just ask Amanda Chatel. The 36-year-old writer recently went out to pick up her laundry, visit Duane Reade and grab a drink at a local bar — all while wearing a new vibrator called the We-Vibe 4 Plus. Because it can be controlled remotely by an app, her husband — back at their apartment — turned it on and off as she went about her errands.

“[It] reminded me of my first Brazilian wax. I was overly aware of that part of my body, and felt like I was walking sex. But the difference was that I clearly remember strutting after my first Brazilian, and We-Vibe doesn’t allow for such a swing of my hips,” recalls Chatel. “I felt too much swing would result in it falling out of place, down my pant leg and onto the ground. Then I wouldn’t feel like walking sex anymore, but instead a horrified woman staring at her vibrator on the sidewalk.”

Sex toys are not just for singles — or the bedroom — anymore. The We-Vibe 4 is not the first of its kind — other vibrators, like Oh-MiBod, can be remotely controlled by app as well.

But it claims to be the first hands-free device out there — it can easily fit under clothing — so now, anyone can get those good vibrations going, even when they’re not in the same room as their partner.

To access it, both partners download the free We-Vibe 4 Plus app from the iTunes App Store and register the vibrator. When your partner asks to connect, you can send him or her a link that enables them to control the device. He or she can choose from various vibrations, such as “peak” or “bounce.” The U-shaped toy is just three inches long and costs $210.

Although Chatel and her husband bought one only a few weeks ago, the East Village resident says the We-Vibe 4 Plus has already added a certain buzz to her everyday tasks.

“First [we] tried it together in the apartment with the remote control,” she says. “Then, we added the app to the mix and started experimenting with how far away I could go.”

“It’s especially great in long-distance relationships,” says We-Vibe’s global passion ambassador Tristan Weedmark. “If you’re in New York and your partner is in Taiwan, it can boost intimacy.”

Relationship expert Andrea Syrtash agrees. “Dirty talk, video chats and photos can turn on a couple who are trying to stay connected from a distance,” she says. “But the We-Vibe adds another — very physical — dimension.”

Using the app can also allow your significant other to take control — and experience the thrill of doing something naughty in public — without risking being too obvious.

“As we saw with the appetite for ‘Fifty Shades of Grey,’ people are interested in trying new things,” Weedmark says. “Couples [can] bring foreplay into their dinner dates. The female will wear the We-Vibe [at a restaurant], and her partner will control it on the app.”

But if you dare to adopt this approach, choose your timing carefully. “Don’t turn the app on and off when one of you is in a business meeting or a public place where it may be a little uncomfortable — or unprofessional,” cautions Syrtash.

Indeed. “When picking up my laundry, it was turned on and it was slightly audible,” Chatel recalls. “I passed it off as my phone, because I felt I had to say something.”

And, she adds, “Snug undies help.”

Online Dating Over 50: The Rules of The Game

High50's Monica Porter, who dated "dangerously" for a year, shares nine top tips to help protect yourself, including: don't believe anything, be careful who you get into bed with and split the check.

If you're looking for romance through online dating, make skepticism your starting point, says Monica.

The world of online dating should be regarded as a vast pick-up joint. I know because I immersed myself in it for a year (in my late fifties), and believe me, whether I was encountering horny young men or equally horny (if less crude) older men, the ultimate aim was sex.

That doesn't mean you can't find a serious relationship, even real love, online. After all, a lot of today's married couples met on a dating site. But if that is what you are after, you must be extra wary of (pardon the expression) who you "get into bed with."

As a mature adult you'll need to employ all the healthy skepticism you've built up over the decades, because it's easy on the internet for a person to be economical with the truth, or to tell outright lies about who they are and what they're after.

Rule #1 of dating over 50: Don't believe anyone.

So, lesson number one: believe in nothing until it happens, and no one until you know them.

Emotionally, you need to construct a wall around yourself which nobody can penetrate until you believe it to be safe. People will plunder your emotions without compunction if you let them. It is up to you keep them locked up, like jewels.

Some women, in particular, leave themselves emotionally vulnerable by investing too much hope in a particular potential mate, or after physical intimacy with someone.

If you meet someone you fancy, by all means enjoy good, fun sex. But - hard-nosed as it sounds, and I can't pretend it's always easy - take the emotion out of it or you will be hurt over and over again.

If and when a deeper relationship comes along, don't worry, emotion will come flooding back.

Then there is the scamming side of online dating. Most people have heard the woeful tales of vulnerable, lonely women preyed on by men who promise them love before persuading them to stump up big bucks for a bogus medical bill or some other phony hard-luck scenario.

But it works both ways. There are also the glamorous young foreign women (often revealed to be prostitutes) who expertly manipulate an older man's vanity as an easy way into his wallet, or perhaps to gain British nationality.

Rule #2: Don't part with money.

Lesson number two: if it all sounds too wonderful to be true, that's because it's a lie. Whatever you do, don't open your wallet to a stranger, especially the ones whispering sweet nothings into your computer.

And those aren't the only online dating scams.

One middle-aged Indian gent I dined with during my dating escapades told me about the "gorgeous young blonde" of vaguely Eastern European origin who seductively chatted him up online before conning him into returning her call on an expensive "sexual services" number.

He was too embarrassed to hang up and by the time he ended it, half an hour later, he'd added $70 to his phone bill.

The poor mug had never asked himself why a sexy pouting 25-year-old would throw herself at a fifty-something divorcee.

Rule #3: Beware of profile photos.
Mind you, he hadn't been entirely honest himself. His online photo showed a younger, better looking man than the ropey, dentally challenged individual sitting opposite me in the restaurant.

It is common for dating site users to edit themselves in some way. Some purport to be single, while having a hapless spouse at home. These are usually the candidates without a profile photo. Never respond to contact from the 'faceless'.

Rule #4: Don't use sites for older people.
There are thousands of dating sites. It can be overwhelming, and tricky to choose the right one. My first few weeks online were spent in trial and error. To begin with I used a dating site designed for principally for seniors, but I would advise against this.

Think about it. It attracts the sort of people who only feel safe among their own age group. Don't cut yourself off from the young and their culture, as they help to keep you young too.

Bigger, mainstream, all-generations sites tend to be less staid and a bit more funky. Match.com and eHarmony are among the most popular, and allow you to cast a wide net.

You will meet both people who want a proper relationship and those merely in search of fun and games. Other users, irritatingly, don't seem to know what they want; they just like being in the playground.

Remember that like any other business, dating sites want your money, and they have been known to employ tricks to encourage you to sign up, such as using fake profiles of potential partners who "want to contact you".

Rule #5: Try dating apps.
OK, it's not really a rule, but another option is the dating app for your smartphone, which matches you with people in your geographical area, if you have both registered a mutual attraction. I spent a wild week or two on Tinder, meeting younger men. What good fun.

But Tinder isn't for everybody. If you are over 50 and looking for something a bit more, um, traditional, there is a new app for you, called Stitch. It's being trialled at the moment in the US and Australia.

As with Tinder, only people who like the look and sound of each other will be able to make contact. But the site is meant to be as much about finding someone for friendship and companionship, as for romance and rumpy pumpy.

Despite its frequent frustrations and disappointments, I loved my adventurous year of internet dating. I met a staggering array of people, had some good times, and learnt a lot - about myself and others.

My 'dangerous dating' was brought to an abrupt end due to an unexpected turn of events and in any case I was beginning to feel it had run its natural course. And since the book was published, I have been contacted by many men asking to meet me - so I don't feel tempted to do any more internet dating.

However, online dating is a world of opportunity, courtesy of our wondrous modern technology. Delve in. And good luck.

Four more tips for online dating

• Try a few different sites, subscribing for the minimum period on each (usually a month) until you find the right one.

• Don't provide intimate details about yourself until you feel comfortable with the person you are dealing with.

• Never give money to anyone for anything. If you are a woman, at most offer to split the cost of drinks or a meal.

• Be friendly but on your guard. Enter a dating site as you would walk through a slightly sketchy part of town: looking over your shoulder and holding on to your valuables.

Know the kind of a flirt you are dealing with

Written by Reeza Noorani

It's official now and there's research to prove it too -men and women can be divided into categories based on the way they flirt! Sure, people do have flirt detectors, but if you come across one, here's how you can tell what kind of a person you're up against. And while there is no `one size fits all' to flirting, there is no harm in knowing what you're dealing with...

An approach that is common to most guys who aren't that out going, this guy will not flirt outside of a traditional environment.
Almost a conservative, he will be cautious and polite when flirting.
These are not people who will artfully crack you up in the supermarket queue, or randomly initi ate a conversation that takes interesting turns.

They would instead choose to make meaning ful conversation. Actress Ragini Khanna says that such men interest her. "I hate empty talk. For me, conversation and intel lect are right up there.

Also, I can always say if someone is being sincere or not. It's refreshing to meet someone genuine like that."

Women who are tradi tional flirts will almost always expect men to make the first move, and will take a more passive yet assertive role, in flirt ing. Also, if a woman who is a traditional flirt knows you from before, you have a better chance of bagging a date, since she would prefer to sit back and wait to be wooed.

Traditional flirting could lead to a serious and meaningful relationship if you're ready for it.

This kind of a guy would want to be introduced to you rather than go out and make first contact. It's mostly the case when introverts try to flirt. The downside of this is that the woman might not always realise that the guy is flirting with her. Says Ragini, "There are so many times when I don't even know the guy is flirting with me.My friends tell me later that they felt he was!" However, Anubhav, who often speaks with women in the course of his work as a breakup counsellor, says these kind of flirts would play a waiting game and rely on strong emotional connections, rather than risk making a move, which might get boring if the woman is not too interested. For instance, the girl you just met might not be interested in knowing about how exactly your last relationship failed or what your gym routine is. Women on the other hand, develop a more intimate connection if they take this approach.So, if there's lots of personal information being disclosed by a woman, you know that she's the sincere kind and that she's interested.

A healthy relationship could come out of it, only if you both started on the right note and didn't meet on a dating site.

You know the guy who lures you into a conversation so easily that it is often tough to remember just how you got into it, but know that you're having a really good time? Dating expert Ankit Anubhav says these kind of flirts usually have a good success rate. However, women shouldn't look at anything long-term with them. "These guys are more honest in their approach, since their casualness doesn't hide their intent at all."

Expect a short-term relationship, fun date nights and a lot of casual conversation. But long-term prospects might be tricky .

As the name suggests, there is a lot of physical intimacy with this kind of guy It's a lot of non-verbal communication where .the guy touches your knee of your hand lightly to make a point. While there is a fine line between being physical while flirting, the ones who are good at it can develop a great intimacy , and the ones who aren't so subtle, could easily put a woman off. Women too, are great with physical flirting. So, if you catch her making eye contact more than a couple of times, it's mostly on. Also, gestures like a tilting of the head or laughing when the joke's not funny , are signs that she's physically flirting.

There is often great intimacy in such relationships, even though they might not last.

The Very Best Online Erotica … For Free!

You over the Fifty Shades of Grey yet or just thought it was a bad read?

Well it did hit the spot for its target market, smack bang in the loins!
However some us want either better written literature or more steamy. So here is a list of erotica that is easily accessible for you today and its free found by Kristen Droesch.

Kara’s Porn for Women: No girl-on-girl pics here. One of the few sites targeted to heterosexual women, it has a small collection of stories, primarily involving consensual, one-on-one intercourse and oral sex.

Libida: is all about promoting healthy sexuality, and has a special section devoted just to free erotica. Sweet!

 Erotic Pages of Romance: In the mood for something saucy, romantic and historical? This is the site for you.

After Dark Online : Described as the "source for COOL sexy romance and HOT erotic stories", this is another great place for tales guaranteed to give you a good tingle.

The Erotic Woman: This is the perfect spot for both men and women. Yay for inclusivity!

Nifty: This site caters to lesbians, bisexuals, transgendered people, and even gay men. This ad-free, not-for-profit site doesn't collect your personal information or use "cookies," so browse away discreetly at their wide array of saucy tales. You can even browse by author!

Alt.Sex.Stories Text Repository: From "Damsels in Distress" to "Erotic Mind Control", anything goes at one of the oldest and largest collections of sex stories on the web. It's ad-free, so you won't get 45 browser windows full of porn popping up, but it's also un-moderated, which means anyone can post anything they want. WARNING: Because content is un-moderated and uncensored, some of it is extremely subversive. The faint of heart should browse elsewhere.

Caffieri: This site specializes in "erotic super shorts", perfect for a quick read.

Literotica: Stories on Literotica must be accepted for publication (ie, no self-uploading), and, in addition to 'How to' articles for authors, they have volunteer editors who will read and edit a story before it's submitted. This means the quality of material is (largely) better, and while the design isn't exactly cutting edge, it's easy to navigate.

Best Free Sex Stories: This site has a large collection of stories with a range themes and an intuitive interface, so you can quickly click on what you're looking for, whether it's erotic poetry or anal sex stories.

Contraception myths: The withdrawal method, the 'morning after' pill and period sex

Written by Natika H Halil
A story recently hit the headlines of a woman in Colombia using a potato as a method of contraception - which went badly wrong. According to Colombia Reports, she began to feel abdominal pain as roots were growing on the potato after two weeks, and doctors had to remove the object. She reportedly said her mother had advised her to try the contraception method.

At sexual health charity FPA we’ve never come across anyone using vegetables as contraception, but whether this story actually happened or not, we do know that people of all ages are relying on myths and misinformation to prevent pregnancy instead of finding a contraceptive method to suit them.

We take a look at some commons myths, and why it's so important to understand the facts:

MYTH: If your partner withdraws before he ejaculates you won’t get pregnant

There’s been a lot in the news recently about the so-called withdrawal method. But having a partner pull out before he comes is NOT a method of contraception and leaves women at risk of pregnancy. This is because it’s still possible for a sexually excited man to release fluid from his penis even without having an orgasm. This is known as pre-ejaculation fluid or pre-cum and, as it has sperm in it, it can lead to pregnancy.

MYTH: The only contraception choices are condoms or the pill

Although these two methods are still the most well know there are actually 15 methods of contraception available in the UK, all free through the NHS. Sadly, there are still only two choices for men (the male condom and sterilisation), although research into both the male pill and male contraceptive injection is ongoing. Women have a choice of 13 methods, including four methods of long-acting reversible contraception (LARC) which they don’t need to remember to take or use every day or every time they have sex.

MYTH: You can’t get pregnant if you do it standing up

We still hear this one a lot. Sperm are very strong swimmers and gravity alone is not going to stop them reaching and trying to fertilise an egg! If you don’t use contraception then it’s possible for a woman to get pregnant whatever position you were having sex in.

MYTH: You can’t get pregnant if you have sex during your period

Many women think that they’re only fertile for a few days each month, and so they believe they can’t get pregnant during their period and throughout most of their menstrual cycle. There are two factors that make this a myth. Firstly, many women have irregular menstrual cycles so it can be very hard to know for sure ovulation (when an egg is released) has taken place. Secondly, sperm can actually live in the body for up to 7 days so they can be hanging around ready and waiting to fertilise an egg.

MYTH: You can’t get pregnant if it’s the first time you have sex

This persistent myth is still out there and leading to unplanned pregnancies. If egg meets sperm then it’s possible to get pregnant, whether it’s the first, tenth or thousandth time you’ve had sex.

MYTH: Two condoms are safer than one

Although you might think that an extra layer will offer you extra protection, this isn’t true, and using two condoms actually increases the risk of them splitting or breaking. A male condom used correctly is 98% effective at preventing pregnancy and a female condoms used correctly is 95% effective.

MYTH: You can’t get pregnant if you go to the loo or douche straight after sex

Going to the loo or douching (washing the inner and outer female genitals) won’t help to prevent a pregnancy. Again, this is down to sperm being fantastic swimmers. By the time a woman has got to the loo, or started to have a wash, the sperm are already well on their way and this isn’t going to stop them.

MYTH: It’s OK to re-use a condom if you haven’t got a new one

This isn’t safe – condoms (both male and female) are designed to be used once only, so don’t attempt to wash them out and use them again.