My departure from Ottawa is at hand. But first I have to make sure all my sexy essentials are packed and ready to ship out west. Check out the vlog below for a peek at my favourite books, toys and of course my box o’ porn!

 

Photo Credit: James Glover via Compfight cc

Confession:  I haven’t been having much sex lately.

I know that many people experience ebbs and flows of libido. Mine has been in a prolonged period of ebb…long enough that I know there’s some underlying cause. What is it? I’ve been thinking about it. A lot. The Man of Mans and I have talked about it at length. I began writing about it a few times, then back out.  Truth is…I was embaraased. I was afraid to admit that despite all of my professional experience, when it comes to my own sexual issues, I don’t have the answers.

I don’t know anything. I don’t know for certain why I’m less inclined to sex these days. But I’ve cobbled together a working theory that it’s related to some changes go beyond what happens in my bedroom.

Two summers ago, I was hit by the sudden onset of depression. I didn’t understand it. My life with brimming with great things. My marriage and my child. I was playwriting, blogging and working a dream job in sex ed.  I was training for a half-marathon, keeping a full social calendar and enjoying the company of dear friends. There was so much awesome, I barely had time for more than four hours of sleep a night!  It was tiring, but it was worth it!  I was doing it all and I pulling off…until, I wasn’t.  Suddenly, I was breaking down. Neither my body, nor my mind could keep up with the pace I’d set for myself.  I became strangely sad and withdrawn. I was overcome by  fatigue. I didn’t understand what was wrong, but I knew I needed help.

Fast forward to the present. I’m lucky. I’ve been able to access great support through doctors, a therapists and loving community of friends and family. I’ve done a bunch of self-exploration and made few subtle but profound discoveries. I realized the jammed-packed life I was leading was the manifestation of a life-long habit of multitasking and flitting from one activity to another.  I’ve always felt the need to keep my mind super-busy.  Not in the lofty sense of being an avid learner or great thinker, but as protection. I don’t cope well with quiet or stillness. As I kid, I was always buried in books, pretend-play, projects and anything else that would keep my mind occupied. I never wanted to stop, because when I did,  feelings would come.  Feelings I didn’t understand, didn’t like and didn’t know how to deal with. So I learned to avoid them by creating endless distractions.

I still have the same struggle today. When I’m not immersed in an activity, I’m forced to stop, to think and to feel things I don’t like. Stillness is pretty intimidating prospect for me.

When I look at my sexual history, I see those same behaviour patterns at play.  Sex was always best for me when there was a lot going on. Constantly stimulation. Deep, involved fantasy.  A lot of noise. Anything too slow, too quiet or too tender created a prime opportunity for those uncomfortable emotions to break through.  Getting into the deep feels during naked time always left me feeling way too vulnerable to do anything other than cry. And crying was definitely not on my list sexy things.

But thing thing is those uncomfortable emotions are there.  Like every one else on earth, I’ve been hurt and battle-scarred from life. For a long time, distraction was easier than dealing with the pain. It’s still easier. But I’m beginning to realize that just because it’s easy and familiar, that doesn’t mean it’s good for me. I’m older . My frenetic habits are taking a bigger toll both physically and psychologically. This all started when I was a child. Back then I didn’t know what else to do. Now I’m a grown woman and I can deal with my shit.  I can take care of myself.

I’m trying. I try to quiet down and let the pain do its thing. I’m not very good at it. My busy-making impulses are part of who I am. More often than not, I fill my head and my life with stuff that block out the pain. But I do manage the occasional moment of stillness, where I sit and breathe and let those deep-down feelings float up through all my mental floatsam to the surface. It’s unpleasant. I get anxious. Sometimes I cry.  Still, I find I don’t hate it as much as I once did. These past couple of months, I’ve started wanting that quiet confrontation with my pain. It’s yucky but when it’s over, there a peaceful moments and I feel a little happier.

I think these experiences might be affecting my sex drive.  I suspect my desires  around sex are changing. These days I’m less inclined towards the busy, somewhat frantic glut of sensation I used to want. I’m interested something that’s a little calmer, less rooted in fantasy and more connected to the present reality. But at the same time I’m intimidated by that prospect. It’s new, beyond my present comfort zone and my body is holding back a bit. I suspect this is one of those situations, where I need to tread slowly into new sexual territory. “Be gentle” with myself, as my shrink likes to say. I’m trying, but it’s hard not feel like there’s something wrong with me or that I’m failing on some level.

I definitely don’t feel like a sex expert in my own life. This stuff is HARD, yo!

Yesterday evening, I took some time to meditate. It was a rough-shot attempt, but it did sometthing. Feelings were triggered. Tears were shed.  When the crying stopped, I was pleasantly surprised when I realized that I was wanting sex with both my partner and myself. My libido hasn’t left me. It’s just changing. It’s a shit ton of stuff to figure out.  But it’s my job to take care of myself, so I’m willing to patient and give myself the time I need to figure it all out.

How do you define the word ‘sex’?

I use the word in a couple different ways. There’s “sex” the biological category – intersex, female, male, etc. For a long time, I thought of “sex” in this sense as being synonymous with “gender” and would use both words interchangeably. Eventually I learned that “sex” refers to a set of physical traits (hormones, genitalia, chromosomes and more), while gender has to do with a person’s psychological and emotional identity.

Of course, I’m not a super science-y gal, so most of the time when I say “sex”,  I’m referring to the physical act. But what physical act?  “Sex” is a word that open to a lot of interpretation. What I call sex may be very different from your definition of the word. What I call sex today is very different from the definition I had twenty years ago. Back then I would have told you that sex was  penis-in-vagina penetration because it had the potential to result in pregnancy and that everything else was a form of foreplay.

Then I experienced oral sex. Nothing about it felt like a warm up, a precursor or anything but the main event! So, I began to think of sex as not just vaginal penetration, but any partnered activity that was likely to produce an orgasm.

When I began working in sexual health and sex education, I began to understand how varied sexual experience can be. Again, I began to amend my definition of what consitutes “sex”, trying to find a meaning that was a bit broader and didn’t depend on partners or orgasms. Nowadays when I say sex, I mean something along the lines of “an intentional, consensual physical act which produces or enhances sexual pleasure.”

What do you mean when you talk about “sex”? Has its meaning changed for you over time or with certain experience? The comment section is yours!

 

Peeps, I’ve gotta be honest…I’m a little disappointed in you.

I always thought ours was a relationship based on openess, honesty and mutual communication. It is a pleasure to share whatever information I have with all of you, but it’s a two-way street. I rely on y’all to keep me abreast of what’s going on in this sexy world of ours.

Which is why I was a little peeved that until yesterday, no one had told me about this*:


 

How could you have kept this from me? The Hand Jobber Shake Weight is a revolution!

 

 

* Excepting Jes and Jen. They brought me into the loop and made me laugh so hard I almost peed!

 

I’ve had a few questions recently about how to help a partner who’s struggling with body image issues and what to do if those issues affect their desire for sex.

I decided give my fingers a break from typing and do a video response instead. Remember viewers, I’m not a therapist or a counsellor – just a gal with some opinions and a video camera.

I’m also a gal who should tidy her bedroom. Hello, wayward sock in the background!

All right, enough with the disclaimers. Time for the video. Roll it!

 

 

Now that I’ve been in the sex-educatin’ game for a few years, I’ve noticed a few common misunderstandings and myths about what our bodies do when we’re getting it on. I chose the following five, not only because I hear them repeatedly but because I used to believe them myself.  I’m not sure where some of these ideas started, but I’m fairly certain Cosmo had something to do with it.

When in doubt, blame Cosmo.

1. The G-spot is the holy grail of sexual satisfaction with guaranteed orgasms and female ejaculation.

G-spot stimulation can be an intensely pleasurable experience for some people. Others may find it uncomfortable, overstimulating, painful. A lot of G-spots respond differently at different times. And while most G-spots do get juicy when aroused, that porn-style vaginal squirting is a relatively rare occurence.

2. Having regular bum sex – especially with big people or sex toys – will stretch out your sphincters. You’ll wind up in adult diapers.

Contrary to popular belief, anal penetration with larger body parts or toys does not stretch you out. As long as you’re doing what’s safe and comfortable for your body, there’s some evidence to indicate that having regular bum sex is actually beneficial to anal health.

3. Multiple orgasms are better than a single orgasm. Being able to give and/or experience multiple orgasm means you’re better at sex.

First, I have yet to find a definitive explanation of what constitutes a multiple orgasm. Also, trying to force a lots of orgasms when you were perfectly satisfied with one – or even none – is rarely a gratifying experience.

4. My sexual partner masturbates. I must not be satisfying them.

A lot of people find that masturbation and partnered sex feel very different. Even partners with white-hot sex lives have a hankerin’ for some self-satisfaction every now and again.

5. If we have sex when my partner is having their period, they can’t get pregnant.

It’s less likely, but still possible for a person to conceive if they have intercourse having their period. The timing of a person’s menstrual cycle can change without warning. There’s always a chance they may ovulate within a couple days of the previous cycle’s period. If sperm from a recent sexual encounter are still present…welcome to Zygote- town!

 

photo by S.3

On Acting

Once upon a time, I auditioned for a production of Shakespeare in the Park. Candidates were asked to put a new spin on a Shakespearean monologue of their choice, so decided to do Lady Anne dominatrix-style. I got myself a riding crop and some fishnets and a killer corset. I gave the audition everything I had, striding around the room, wielding my crop and showing off my skillz of iambitic pentameter. At one point I gave the crop a vigorous flourish and my corset slipped, flashing the audition panel with both beams.

Needless to say I did not get the part.

On Bedroom Eyes

In my opinion the sexiest thing a man can wear is a pair of glasses.

On Waxing

I try very hard to avoid wearing socks when I go for a brazilian wax, as they cause me undue stress.  Do I take them off or leave them on? Wearing socks but no underpants actually makes me feel *more* naked and vulnerable than being totally bare. But I also worry that if I take them off, the esthetician will wonder why I’m removing more clothes than necessary which could be weird.  Because, you know, THAT’s the part of brazilian waxing that’s awkward.

On “Back Massagers”

The Hitachi Magic Wand is marketed as a back massager but folks the world over know it as The Cadillac of Vibrators and when I worked at Venus Envy, I used my employee discount to buy one.  I remember the day I brought it home. I went to straight to my room, pulled it out of the box and plugged it in, eager to experience the Magic Wand’s good vibrations.

Yeah. Not so much. Like a Cadillac, The Magic Wand was beautiful machine but a bit too much for me to handle.  It felt like a herd of ponies trotting across my clitoris. Definitely not my vibrator.

It is great for working the kinks out of my back, though.

On Torch Songs

I think ELO’s “Evil Woman” is the sexiest song of all time.

On Personal Growth Experiences

The summer I was 22, I spent two weeks in France and Italy. I remember strolling the streets of Paris and eating gelato on the Ponte Vecchio in Florence. I remember getting up close with famous works of art like The Venus D’Milo, Michelangelo’s David, The Birth of Venus and of course, The Mona Lisa. I remember Mediterranean beaches, The Collesium and the view from the Eiffel Tower.

But what I remember most is my breasts and how they more than doubled in size, growing from a 30A to a 34D in just thirteen days! I was a bit worried they’d charged me for excess baggage on the flight home.

On Bringing The House Down

I had my first orgasm from partnered-sex when I was in university. I was living in a house with several friends and as I was coming,  across the hall, my roommates book shelf came loose and fell the the ground with a mighty crash. I was startled by the noise and disoriented by the orgasm, so it took several moments before it occurred to me that the two events were not at all related.

Accident Prone

To date I have managed to: pull a ligament in my knee, gouge my lower back, spike a fever, have an allergic reaction, bash foreheads with my partner and pass out cold, all during sex.

Do you have an adorkable admission? Care to share a sexy blooper or blunder? Is there a special song or type of clothing that gets your mojo going? The comments are open!

 

 

Smartballs.  If you’re like me, the name conjures images of future dystopia ruled by artificially intelligent robot testicles. But you’re probably normal.

Smartballs are actually a nifty little sex toy/sexual aid created by a nifty little company out of Germany called Fun Factory. The folks at Fun Factory are known for designing good quality products with visual appeal at reasonable price points. During my days at Venus Envy we referred them as the “Ikea of sex toys”.  Thanks to my employee discount, I managed to acquire a Fun Factory items. Years later, Smart Balls are still one…well, two of my favourite play things.

Smartballs come in sets of two. Made of high quality silicone, these pretty balls are versatile but unlikely to go all I, Robot on your ass. With a bit of lube (water-based, not oil or silicone!), the balls can be inserted into the vagina and used as part of a Kegel/PC muscle workout. Because Smartballs are bit bigger than similar products, they’re especially good for beginners.

They’re also fun as a sex toy. Encased in each of the outer balls is a smaller solid ball. Once the Smartballs are inserted those little marbles start rolling around, creating vibration and sensation when you move. Many people enjoy the sensation quite a bit during masturbation, oral or anal sex. Others like to wear them out. I hear tell a set of Smartballs makes running the weekly errands an entirely new experience.  Just remember, they don’t have a flared based so don’t put them up your bum!

Smart Balls. Super-hawt, uber-practical and infinitely better than a totalitarian regime run by android genitalia!

 

In honour of Masturbation May, this month’s selection of Quickies will feature tidbits related to one of the greatest forms of pleasure – self pleasure!

This just in, peeps! Yesterday Sonny Nash broke the record for longest time spent masturbating with an endurance wank of 10 hours and minutes!

Nash’s display of masturbatory mastery took place at the San Francisco Masturbate-A-Thon. The yearly event originated in 1999 and is hosted by The Centre for Sex and Culture and sex educator extrodinaire Carol Queen.

Participants raise money for charity through registration fees and by collecting pledge. In addition to endurance, records are awarded for “Most Orgasms (Male/Female)”, “Longest Distance Come to Come” “Ejaculation Distance (Male/Female) and “Target Ejaculation”.

In honour of Masturbation May, this month’s selection of Quickies will feature tidbits related to one of the greatest forms of pleasure – self pleasure!

Need to…erm…bone up on your vibrator history? Check out Good Vibrations’ Antique Vibrator Museum! The museum’s collection features pleasure power tools from as far back as the turn on the twentieth century. You can also learn how ye olde tyme vibes were marketed in days when getting off was beyond unmentionable!