Steps for Introducing ‘Sexual Aids’ in Your Relationship

Steps for Introducing 'Sexual Aids' in Your Relationship

There are a lot of different ways for you and your partner to enhance sexual enjoyment. Some couples prefer to use what is often referred to as a “sexual aid”. Sure, sex toys such as dildos and vibrators probably come to mind, but the term includes a lot more than that. A sexual aid is anything that will either create or increase sexual stimulation or pleasure. This can mean special clothing, lubricants, sex toys, erotica, restraints for bondage, and more. Read on to learn how you can incorporate sexual aids into your sex life.

Choose What You Want
Be sure to take some time to consider what you want to add to the bedroom. Include your partner in the decision-making, especially if you’re going to be using it with them. Keep in mind that it’s OK to choose something that either of you are open to trying, but might not be sure about. You won’t know until you try.

Be Free of Expectations
You’ll only set yourself and your partner up for disappointment if you anticipate that adding something new to your sexual routine will have a certain result. Keep an open mind going into the experience.

Try it Out On Your Own
There are some exceptions, but most sexual aids can be used while you’re masturbating, so you can try them out on your own first. Trying it out yourself may increase your chances of success when you introduce it to your partner.

Experiment
Find out the variety of things you can do with your sexual aid and be creative, using your entire body, if possible. Allow yourself plenty of time to discover a few ways to make use of your new toy or other aid.

Share
Share your knowledge with your partner. If you want to incorporate this new sexual aid into sex, let you partner see how you’ve been using it to pleasure yourself. Invite your partner to explore on their own and then show you what they have learned.

Explore
Now is the time to try it out with your partner. Have fun playing and discovering ways you can use your new sexuall aid during sex. This might involve new activities or positions that you haven’t ever tried, depending on what you’re using.

Communicate
Be sure to express how your prefer that the two of you use your sexual aid and encourage your partner to communicate this, as well. Enjoy!

 

6 Things Only Someone Coping with Infertility Understands

6 Things Only Someone Coping with Infertility Understands

Did you know that one in eight couples have trouble conceiving? That means you’re not alone if you have been having infertility problems. Read on to learn what only someone with infertility issues will understand:

It Can Be Very Expensive

Infertility procedures and medications are very expensive. On average, each attempt for in vitro fertilization (IVF) is $11,000 or more. Only a minority of people have health insurance that helps with those costs.

It’s Normal to be Disappointed Each Month

IVF is the most successful and drastic fertility procedure, but it is not a guarantee at all. The CDC compiles rates of success from nationwide fertility centers into one report each year and the latest one shows that 40 percent of IVF attempts in those under the age of 35 who use their own fresh embryos resulted in a birth. But that outcome becomes as low as 11 percent in 41 and 42 year olds.

Timing is Everything

Just missing a dose of fertility medication or taking them at the wrong time can be a disaster. Timing is everything. If you go against the medication schedule your doctor gave you — in the case of IVF — your eggs may not be ready to be retrieved or you might not have your intrauterine insemination during the time where it would be most successful.

It Can be an Emotional Roller Coaster

Usually women with infertility begin taking medications a few days after the start of their periods…and then they wait. “For the next 4 weeks you get your hopes up, you dream, you wish, you tell yourself, ‘It’s going to happen this month,’ and then when the stick says you’re not pregnant or the doctor tells you your embryo didn’t take, it’s soul-crushing,” says Laura Saltman, a woman who has been going through fertility treatments for three years.

It’s Painful

The medications have significant side effects that cause pain, inside and out. It can feel like the worst PMS experience combined with the amount of pain you typically feel on the first day of your period.

It’s Difficult to Hear Friends’ Pregnancy Announcements

“You want to be truly excited for them, but deep down it makes you hurt more for yourself,” says Monica Higgins, who underwent fertility treatments on and off for three years. Be careful not to judge a friend if she is not as enthusiastic about your pregnancy as you hoped she’d be. Give them some space and then attention if she does become pregnant.

 

5 Myths about Anal Sex

5 Myths about Anal Sex

Are you new to anal sex? Have you been thinking about trying, but find yourself scared due to the unknown? There are a lot of myths about anal sex that are out there and you may feel better seeing some of them debunked. Read on to learn five anal sex myths and the truth behind them.

Myth #1 – It Must be Painful

Anal sex should not be painful as long as you use lubrication, relax, take it slow and do not have hemorrhoids. You have to be gentle — especially in the beginning — because the anus is much tighter than the vagina. Take it slow and warm up. The chances are good that you haven’t followed the above instructions completely if you have experienced some pain in the past or have heard horror stories from friends.

Myth #2 – It Can’t Feel Good Because Women Don’t Have a Prostate

Pleasure during anal sex involves way more than a prostate, says Alyssa Dweck, M.D., assistant clinical professor at the Mount Sinai School of Medicine. “The anus is rich in blood vessels and nerves and thus highly sensitive, making anal play popular and erotic for some women.” Actually, one study published in The Journal of Sexual Medicine showed that 94 percent of women who received anal in their last sexual encounter had an orgasm.

Myth #3 – You Do Not Need a Condom

The chance that there is nearly no chance of pregnancy with anal sex makes it that much more pleasurable for many women. But it does carry a risk of STD transmission, so you need a condom. Also, condoms can not only prevent STD transmission they also reduce friction and make for a more smooth entry. Be sure to change condoms before switching from either vaginal to anal or anal to vaginal sex.

Myth #4 – It Will Literally Be Dirty

While it is possible to get feces particles on his penis or letting loose, it is highly unlikely. “Most waste is sitting in the lower intestine where a finger, sex toy, or penis is not going to reach,” says sex therapist Tammy Nelson, Ph.D. Your rectum only contains small fragments of feces. If you’re worried about getting anything dirty, wash your anus with mild soap and water and/or empty your bowels before having sex. This is another way a condom is useful as well.

Myth #5 – Your Butt Hole Will Stretch Out

Just because you receive anal sex does not mean you’re going to end up with a penis-sized hole. “Tissue is elastic, and the anal sphincter muscles are tightly toned, so unless you are receiving ‘larger than life toys,’ this shouldn’t pose a problem,” explains Dweck. “In fact, please ensure all toys have an easy ‘retrieval’ mechanism, like a string or base. You don’t want to lose toys inside.” It is that tight, which is one reason it feels so great for men to give it.

 

3 Vaginal Skin Disorders, Explained

3 Vaginal Skin Disorders, Explained

Invading microbes may cause vaginal skin disorders. The Mayo Clinic says that vaginal discharge consists of fluids, cells, and bacteria that shed from the vagina. This discharge serves to protect and clean the vagina and can be of different consistencies, such as clear and watery or sticky and white. If you have an unusual discharge with an unfamiliar appearance and odd odor, it can be a sign of an infection, an STD, or cervical cancer. It’s important to have regular appointments with a gynecologist to maintain your vaginal health. Read on to learn more about vaginal skin disorders.

Allergic Contact Dermatitis
Anyone is at risk for allergic contact dermatitis, according to Dr. Summers, Associate Professor, Department of Obstetrics and Gynecology, University of Utah School of Medicine. This is especially true for women. Allergens like latex, a dry climate, fabric softeners, detergents, and fragrant soaps and body lotions may trigger this skin disorder. Symptoms may appear as flaking of the skin and chronic yeast infections.

Erosive Lichen Planus
This is an autoimmune skin disorder that affects the entrance to the vagina and the labia minora. The area experienced pain and looks red and raw. Erosive lichen planus is one of three clinical variants that the vulva is affected by, according to an article that was published by the American Academy of Family Physicians (AAFP). The most common of the three is erosive lichen planus, which is seen as a severe form of the disorder and can cause erosions, leading to erosion that is more extensive and even ulceration.

Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is acquired when particles enter through skin that is minimally traumatized on the vulva. This virus results in genital warts, dysplasia or cancer. People who take immunosuppressant drugs and smokers are at a higher risk for developing HPV. Genital HPV infections are extremely common. In fact, almost all sexually active women and men get it at some point in their lives, but most people who have the virus don’t know it.

 

7 Tips on Having Sex When His Penis Is Larger Than Average

7 Tips on Having Sex When His Penis Is Larger than Average

Penises come in all shapes and sizes, just like many other body parts. Some women may consider an over-sized penis to be exciting, while others are intimidated, wondering how it will fit. Having sex with a penis that is above average (an average erect penis is 5.6 inches) can be painful for some, create stress and anxiety, and possibly cause vaginal tearing, according to certified sex therapist Kat Van Kirk, Ph.D. A vagina can usually accommodate a larger penis, but you have to be more careful. Here are some ways to proceed if your partner is large:

Acknowledge That It’s Big

You don’t have to make it a significant issue because your man might be embarrassed if he’s sensitive about his size, but being honest and upfront is a good idea. Acknowledge that his penis is large, suggest you take it slow, and then proceed.

Make Sure You Set the Pace

It’s not easy to know how your vagina is going to handle the size of his penis, so it’s necessary for you to set the pace. “Until you get used to the sensation and know how your body will respond to his larger penis, take it slow,” advises Van Kirk.

Use Enough Lubrication

The chances are good that you’ll need it, so be willing to have it on hand and apply more as needed. It’s better to use a thicker lube in this situation so that it won’t absorb as quickly.

Try Out Side-by-Side Sex

This can make it possible for you to help control the rhythm in this position and be able to hold his penis, insert it, and have control of it like a sex toy. So, if he’s getting a little too deep, you can increase the amount of length that you’re holding and less will be going into you.

Try Woman on Top

Any move that will allow you to take the lead and have him remain still are ideal, says New York City sex therapist Ian Kerner, Ph.D.

Avoid Doing it Doggy Style

If he has a penis that is long, positions such as doggy style can lead to deeper penetration. This deep penetration can cause his penis to hit your cervix, which may not feel great for you (it does for some women). If you’re into doing it from behind, try the reverse cowgirl position instead, so you still have control of the rhythm.

Have Realistic Expectations

The chances are good that you assume having sex with a large guy will lead to outstanding orgasms, but that’s not necessarily true. “Sometimes men with big penises think that’s all they need to be a gratifying lover, but a big penis doesn’t guarantee more orgasms,” says Kerner.

 

4 Exercises to Improve a Woman’s Sex Life

4 Exercises to Improve a Woman's Sex Life

Did you know that you may be a workout away from an improved sex life? Exercise can of course help you lose weight but also sculpt your body, cause your endorphins to rise, and help you have a better time in the bedroom. Read on to learn about some stretches and exercises you can do to enhance your sex life.

Squats

These are excellent for toning and shaping the buttocks and legs. Doing a lot of pumping below the waist can also increase your ability to become aroused during sex. Squats also prepare and strengthen you for the times you want to be on top. Just stand upright with your feet apart about a shoulder-width’s length. Be sure to keep your heels on the floor and most of your weight in them as you start a bend at the waist first and then bend the knees as if you’re sitting into a chair. Keep your knees right over the ankles to protect your leg muscles and knees from injury. Make sure your shins are as vertical as possible while you’re doing this exercise.

Pelvic Tilt Pulses

This strengthens your lower back and your core, which are both often used during sex. Lie on the floor with your knees bent and your feet hip distance apart. Make sure your hands are flat on the floor, including your fingertips. Pressing through your heels, lift up your pelvis and glutes to make sure your torso is in a straight line. Keep your abs tight as you continue to press through the heels. Squeeze your inner thighs and glutes and pulse the pelvis up and down, slightly, a couple of inches only. Do your pulses (20-25) and slowly lower your spine, vertebra by vertebra until your tailbone has touched the floor. Do about three more sets.

Kegels

This exercise is an easy way to improve the strength of the pelvic floor muscles, which play an important part in orgasm. You can do kegels anywhere and either lying down, sitting, or standing. Pretend that you are trying to stop the flow of urine, hold it for three to five seconds and then repeat. Do kegels throughout the day, or even just five minutes a day.

Upward-Facing Dog

This exercise strengthens a lot of the muscle groups that are required by many sex positions. Yogis have long believed the upward dog to increase blood flow and energy to the pelvic region. Lie on your stomach with your legs apart, hip-distance, and the tops of your feet touching the floor. Move your hands to the sides of your chest and pressing through the hands, lift your torso. Lifting up all the way, roll your shoulders back and down, making sure not to hunch your shoulders into your neck by lengthening through the crown of your head. Breathe regularly for approximately 15 seconds or more.

 

6 Reasons Your Vagina Might Itch

6 Reasons Your Vagina Might Itch

Gynecologists commonly see vaginal itching as a symptom their patients are experiencing. The reason your vagina itches can be a number of things, from your choice of underwear to an STD. So, it’s important to figure out what’s going in. Read on to learn some possible causes for vaginal itching.

Yeast Infection

These are common infections. In fact, three-fourths of women will have one at some point. Extreme itchiness and an odorless white discharge that is thick are well known symptoms of a yeast infection. “We suggest you at least call your doctor to discuss your symptoms rather than going to the drugstore to buy an OTC treatment,” says Julianna Schantz-Dunn, MD, an ob-gyn at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston. “If you randomly self-treat and it’s not a yeast infection, you can make the problem worse,” she says

Irritation

This can be caused by certain products and fabrics. Avoid wearing scented panty liners or wearing any for too long, scented soaps, douching, and using scented feminine powders and sprays. Your vagina also needs to breathe, so wear cotton underwear. Synthetic fabrics can trap moisture against your skin. Gently wash yourself down there with unscented soap, only on the outside.

Trichomoniasis

This is a common STI caused by a parasite called Trichomonas vaginalis. The CDC says that while 3.7 million people–mostly women–are infected, only 30 percent are aware of it because it often causes no symptoms. Be sure to see your doctor right away if you experience burning, itching, a change in discharge, or external white cracking of the skin. Don’t assume it’s a yeast infection.

Bacterial Vaginosis (BV)

This is a vaginal infection that can cause some itching, but it more likely to show up in the form of foul-smelling discharge. Be sure to tell your doctor all of your symptoms, so they can more easily identify your issue.

Herpes

Not everyone who gets herpes gets large lesions that are easy to see, so you won’t necessarily spot it. “You may feel some itching or painful urination, but the symptoms may not be as severe as you’d think,” Dr. Schantz-Dunn says. “I’ve seen people try to treat herpes with a topical yeast medication—and that doesn’t do much.”

Hormones

Your vagina may be changing along with your hormonal changes if you’re post-menopausal. A dip in estrogen can thin the mucosal lining in the vagina. This can be treated with vaginal estrogen cream or tablet, thankfully!