This week I want to encourage readers to think and talk about sex outside of sexual partners, if only so the first time you ask yourself “What do I like in the bedroom?” is not literally in the bedroom.
Given the testimony of Christine Blasey Ford during the hearings for Supreme Court justice nominee Brett Kavanaugh this week, I have had trouble feeling sex positive. I know many others have found this disturbing news distracting and re-traumatizing. I don’t feel like it’s appropriate or genuine this week to talk about how to have satisfying sex. This week, I’d like to discuss self-protection and self-care.
In lieu of addressing a question this week, I wanted to give a rundown on lube safety. Understanding different types of lube and their functions will help so you don’t end up wasting money or breaking condoms.
The first time anyone was going to see me naked, I was paralyzed with this decision. I was new to both feminism and porn so I couldn’t decide where my allegiance lay, how much to shave or how to feel about any of it. Am I compromising my beliefs? Will it give me pornstar confidence? But most importantly at the time: is a drug store razor going to do the trick? I shaved it and got as close to an instantaneous yeast infection as a person can get.
Contemporary conversations about birth control, inside and outside of Mount Holyoke, frequently sanitize or ignore its deeply racist history. It’s important to not just think of birth control as an abstract human right, but also as a contextualized practice which continues to be held in the forgotten history of people of color in this country. In order to advocate for access — here’s looking at you, other white democrats! — we blindly celebrate without consideration for the bodies of the past.
Q: “The sex I’ve been having with my boyfriend is bad, but I really love him and he’s very self-conscious. He’s not selfish just bumbling and awkward in the bedroom. I want to be honest about what I want but I’ve been faking it convincingly for so long I’m worried he will catch on to my lie and feel betrayed. What should I do?”
Q: I’m queer and poly and I think the concept of marriage is problematic, but I can’t help but fantasize about wedding dresses and “eternal love.” How do I deal with these feelings? How do I talk to my partners about it?
As someone who works with my brain all day, it can be really scary when my body hurts and I can’t figure out why. “Why can’t I control this? Why is my body falling apart?” I think in a panic at 3 a.m., after googling ‘clitoris pain’ again but this time adding ‘sharp’ and ‘random.’ Luckily, I am blessed with funny, frank and non-judgmental friends. They sit with me while I read forums and tell me about their most unfortunate UTI’s. Moments like these remind me to feel unashamed that I can’t control the most vulnerable parts of my body.
I think I’m into bondage, but I don’t really know where to start exploring my potential kink. My partner is supportive but we don’t know where to start. The thought of handcuffs just makes me nervous giggle! Help!
They are an alternative method to dealing with your period, cost about $30, and can be reused for 10 years, which saves a lot on waste and the cost of buying disposable pads and tampons every month. Menstrual cups are silicone cups with a small — usually textured — tail that aids in removal. To insert it, you fold the cup into a C shape by flattening it and folding it in half, and slip it into your vagina. I cover mine in lube to ease this process, but I don’t think that’s a common practice. Once it’s in there it’ll pop back to it’s original shape. You want it up against your cervix, so push it up and back towards your spine, and run your finger around the rim to make sure it’s in the right place and has formed a seal. It’s that seal that will prevent leaking. To remove it, grab the tail to pull it down far enough for you to grip the base. Squeeze it to break the seal, and carefully pull it out. Empty the contents into a toilet, sink, or my personal favorite—in the shower. Rinse it out, and pop it back in.
There are so many great options! A good first step is to go into a sex toy shop and touch things. There is an amazing shop in Northampton called Oh My Sensuality Shop that is full of friendly, helpful staff. Pay attention to what your body likes and wants, and maybe try a few different toys. A good sex toy will probably be pricy, but I promise it’s worth it.