Category Archives: STI

How Do You Create an Aftercare Plan?

Aftercare is a frequently mentioned idea in kink/BDSM classes and touted as “important” for safe, sane, and consensual play. Most of the time, class instructors will say to “make an aftercare plan” and mention things like blankets, snuggles and food.

However, figuring out what aftercare plan works for you is rarely discussed! Further, many instructors fail to mention any type of aftercare for D-types. So, how do you figure out what aftercare you and your partner(s) need? How can you tell if your needs change? This post has your answers!

Myths About Aftercare

Like many topics which everyone seems to mention but few really talk about, there are myths about aftercare.

Myth 1: Aftercare is needed after every scene.

Reality: People differ widely in their aftercare needs. While some people will always want some form of aftercare, others will only want it sporadically.

Myth 2: Aftercare is just for submissives.

Reality: Aftercare is for everybody! Regardless of the side of the slash you occupy during a scene, you may want aftercare at the end. The focus too often is on submissive’s only. Make sure to check with dominants and switches to see what they need at the end of a play session.

Myth 3: Rejecting aftercare is a sign of strength.

Reality: Asking for the aftercare you need is a sign of strength. You do not get any extra gold stars for rejecting aftercare. In fact, claiming you do not need/want aftercare when you do is a sign of weakness. Ask for what you need and want. It is important to help build trust and healthy relationship skills.

Myth 4: Aftercare always involves cuddling.

Reality: Everyone has unique aftercare needs. While some people enjoy and need snuggling and cuddling after a scene, other people may want a shower, quiet time, food, or an episode of Drag Race.

Myth 5: Aftercare is the same if the scene is good or bad.

Reality: You may need different types of aftercare for a scene that goes well or one that goes poorly. Make sure to talk about trigger responses and what you need if you become very upset during a scene.

Figuring Out an Aftercare PlanGood Scene

If you do not have aftercare plans in place, you will want to figure out one before you engage in a scene. There is no “one-size fits all” plan. Here are questions to ask yourself to help you build an aftercare plan.

When you are finished with sex (kinky or otherwise), what do want or crave?

Do you enjoy cuddling?

After sex or play, are you hungry?

Do you need reassurance after a scene? Do you want praise?

Do you have physical needs which should be addressed after a scene? This may include, food, hydration, bathing/clean up, pain killers, ice packs, and more!

Does the type of play you engage in change the type of attention you need?

Once you have answered the above questions, you will have a rough outline of what your aftercare needs may entail.

Getting to the Specifics

Aftercare needs may vary based on your partner, the type of play you engage in, the time of the month, and how stressed you currently are. Here are some specifics to consider:

Type of Play

Impact and Bondage

  • Are there physical needs to attend too like bruising, bleeding, skin abrasions, rope burns?
  • Are there muscle concerns like strain, overuse, or pulled muscles?

Humiliation, Forced Feminization, Mind-fucking, Etc.

Emotion-based play may require people to need to re-center and reaffirm they are okay.

  • Do you need your partner to praise you?
  • Do you need your partner to tell you that you are still okay with them?
  • Do you need to reaffirm your identity after the scene?
  • What do you need to re-ground in yourself?

Piss, Blood, and Other Body Fluids

  • Are their cleanliness issues to deal with immediately after play?
  • Are there first aid issues (especially with blood play)?

Group Scenes

  • Do you need a way to re-connect with your primary partner post-scene?
  • Do you need group-based aftercare?

Age Play

  • Do you want a teddy bear, soft blanket, or other comfort item?
  • Do you like more child-based foods (juice boxes, animal crackers) to eat?

Physcial Conerns

  • Everyone should pee after any scene involving the genitals. This helps prevent UTIs.
  • Pre-emptive pain killers. After a scene, you may feel quite elevated and unaware of physical strain. If you have been flogging or tying up someone, you probably have exerted quite a bit of muscle effort. If you have been a bottom for impact play, bondage, or other physically intensive play, you probably have some physical strain too! Wearing high heels all night? Your feet will most likely ache. Taking an aspirin, acetaminophen (e.g., Tylenol), or NSAID (e.g., Aleve, Advil) pre-emptively can be a great idea (as long as it is safe for you to take these).
  • Aspercreme, Biofreeze, and other topicals. These pain-killing topical creams can be really helpful for achy muscles. I strongly recommend them for tops who engage in impact and rope.
  • Socks: This may seem odd, but your circulation can change during a scene. As blood flow to the genitals or area of stimulation increases, blood flow to the extremities can decrease. Warm socks are a great way to keep your toes from freezing after a scene. Also, if you have Raynaud’s Syndrome (associated with many autoimmune conditions) it is really important to keep your feet warm post-scene.

Food and Drink

Kink play (and sex in general) can be physically tiring. This was never more clear than when I was backstage at a porn studio and saw the bank of energy gels, nuts, and energy bars stocked for the performers! Make sure you have access to water to drink for any type of play. I take a large water bottle to play spaces to make sure I have it available and ready for me asap.

As for food, you may want to keep an energy bar, nuts, or candy bar in your play bag for a quick energy boost. You may want to make a post-scene meal part of the aftercare. Grabbing a bite to eat on your way home (or at home) and decompressing with your partner(s) can be an enjoyable option for aftercare.

Planning and Building an Aftercare Kit

Once you know what you and your partner(s) want for aftercare, start to put together a bit of a kit. This may include blankets, stuffed animals, warm socks, energy bars, a first aid kit, and other items you regularly use. Add a good water bottle to keep something to drink nearby. Toss in a $20 so that you have cash to grab a burger or other food after a play party just in case you forget your wallet or ATM card.

Evolution

Over time, you will get to know your post-play needs better. You can refine your aftercare plan as you learn.

Additionally, as you play, your needs may evolve. Just because something worked as aftercare in your 20s does not mean it will work in your 30s or 60s. As your needs evolve, talk to your partner(s) to update the plan.

Figuring Out an Aftercare Plan- Bad Scenes

The longer you play, the more likely you or a partner will have a scene go poorly. This may be due to a physical mishap or stepping on an emotional trigger. Having a good aftercare plan means also talking about what to do if something goes wrong.

You or Your Partner Get Emotionally Triggered

While most of us know some of our emotional triggers, we all have ones we are blissfully unaware of until someone trips over them! In planning for aftercare, you should plan for what happens when things go poorly.

How do you normally respond when you become very emotionally upset?

Think about your emotional response history to when things go badly. Do you become angry? Cry? Yell? Go silent?

You need to be clear with your partners about what the signs are when you are in a bad emotional spot. If you go silent during a scene, is that a sign you are deep in sub space or is it more likely you are very angry? How can your partner tell? You should discuss this with them.

Panic Attacks

Some people have panic attacks. These can be terrifying. Many folks will feel like they are dying (with a heart attack or the like) or like they must flee. If you get panic attacks, be specific about what that looks like and what you need to become grounded.

Trama Triggers

The word “trigger” is vastly overused. Triggers, when we talk about psychology, are tied to traumas. Something will happen that sends a person back to the state of the original trauma and they have a difficult time separating what is currently going on with what has happened in the past.

Triggers are often tied to the stimulus of the original trauma. For example, I was raped while modern country western was playing on the sound system. Today, the combination of sex and country western will cause me to panic. Therefore, I ask partners not to play country during scenes.

When you are talking about your triggers, be as specific as possible so that a partner can make sure to avoid these “landmine” areas.

Sometimes triggers are unknown to us. Something will happen in a scene and we will be pulled out of our sexy headspace. Often we will feel angry or like “something is very off.” If you experience these emotions, let your partner know something is wrong. Even if you don’t have the language at the time to say exactly what is wrong, redirecting or stopping a scene when a trigger is hit is important.

Stumbling over someone’s trigger (or having you trigger tripped) can be scary and painful. This does not have to have long-term negative impacts on your sex life with a partner. If you plan for the worst and the aftercare plan is followed when someone goes wrong, you and your partner(s) can heal and move on with a healthy relationship. This is why having a plan for a bad scene is as important as a good one!

#kink #aftercare #sex #BDSM #relationships #impactplay #impact #bondage #rope #triggers #emotions #planning #care #psychology #food #hygiene

7 Tips for Hosting an Orgy

As more of us get vaccinated and back out there, so many of y’all are posting about having a slutty summer. Yay! I strongly encourage this.

If you want to truly go hard of the “Hot Girl Summer” or whatever you call it, host an orgy/sex night. I have your tips right here.

First, who would do this? Lots of people! While orgies are usually punchlines for comics or relegated to “key party” representation in films, they can be much more than that. With many of us in consensually nonmonogamous/open relationships or just plain single and mingling, hosting an orgy night can be fun, sexy, and even a bonding opportunity for you and your partner(s).

Done Right” is the Key

Do not throw a regular party and hope people will start having sex. Do not throw an orgy and fail to tell invited guests that is what you are doing. To make a group sex night work, everyone needs to be aware and on-board with the plan. Finally, getting a group of your sluttiest buds together is not enough to make a group sex night happen. Here are seven things to do to help you throw a great group sex party!

I. Get Your Partner(s) on Board

If you and your partner(s) are in an open/nonmonogamous relationship, this does not guarantee they are ready and happy to have a group sex party. You need to make sure everyone understands what is going to happen, discuss rules and boundaries, and enthusiastically consent to the night.

Ask yourself the following questions:

  • Have I explicitly discussed hosting a group sex party with all my partners?
  • Have I discussed what is okay to do with them at the party?
  • Have we discussed what is okay to do with other people at the party?
  • Do we agree to the rules around safer sex, sex acts, and who we end up spending the night with?
  • Am I okay watching my partner(s) have sex or kink play with other people?
  • Am I and all my partners enthusiastic about the party?

This is the type of activity all people you are in a relationship should be enthusiastically consenting too. While some activities (e.g., humiliation play, forced feminization) can be approached willingly and with some reticence and still work out well, group sex is something you need to be enthusiastic about. If a partner seems to have doubts or concerns, this is a clear sign you need to put your plans on hold.

II. Be Honest with All Guests

Do not try and lure/dupe someone into coming to a group sex party. Everyone should be keenly aware of what the intentions of the night are. You also need to be honest about safety issues. Be sure to be honest about:

  • STI tests and what proof of status is required.
  • COVID testing and immunization status and proof required.
  • Consent of party-goers.

Depending on the people you invite and your tolerance for risk, you will need to decide if people must to show proof of recent STI testing, COVID testing, and COVID immunizations. Some groups will be okay if people just say they have these tests/vaccines, some groups will want proof. Make sure everyone coming has the same understanding of what is required to participate.

Additionally, you need to make sure your guests are explicitly consenting to the night. I strongly suggest a verbal confirmation that they want to participate when they accept the invite.

III. Consent is Key

Any time you host a group sex event, you run the risk of someone being assaulted. Make sure your guests understand the rules of consent used by all party-goers. If you are using the stoplight system (green= okay, yellow= slow down, tentative, red= stop) or an alternative system, make sure guests understand what words/actions require they stop hitting on/making out with/having sex with other people. If the party is small enough you can keep an eye out for what is happening, reiterating these rules as people arrive might be enough. If people are using various rooms, there are not monitors, or other ways people can be in private with another person, posting signs with consent rules should be done.

IV. Have a Plan is Consent is Violated

Hope for the best but plan for the worst. If someone has their consent violated, whether this be via sexual assault or not respecting a boundary around kink play, have a plan for dealing with it BEFORE it happens.

The plan should include gradations for violations. For example, you should have a plan for how to handle a guest who won’t stop hitting on someone who is not interested. You should have a plan for someone who gets intoxicated and too handsy. You should have a plan for making sure party-goers are okay throughout the night and when to intervene if something looks or feels amiss.

If the worst happens, call an ambulance for health issues or police for legal issues. If someone is in medical distress or has been sexually assaulted, the party should immediately stop. The guest who was assaulted needs to be immediately attended too. This means providing the necessary medical care or calling an ambulance. If they need the police to report a crime, you as the host need to offer to go with them and take care of them as they want you too.

Most of the time these plans will not need to be used. In a decade of hosting parties, I have yet to need to put a consent violation plan into action. However, I have always had one just in case.

V. Have a Safer Sex Supplies

Even if most of your guests won’t be using safer sex supplies, have a bunch around and easy to access. Your supplies should contain:

  • Latex condoms
  • Non-latex condoms (for people with allergies)
  • Latex and non-latex dental dams
  • Nitrile gloves
  • Water-based lube
  • Silicone Lube
  • Plan-B

All of the above items are available at most drug stores, Target and Wal-Mart. Make sure latex items are separate from non-latex and both are labeled. Allergies are real and serious!

VI. Have a Kinky First Aid Kit

If you are having any kinky play, a kinky first aid kit is a great idea. Its a great idea in general! You never know when a guest will need a band-aid, tweezers, or Neosporin. These are great for kink accidents AND kitchen mishaps.

If you don’t have a kinky first aid kit, I offer a list of items which should be included here.

VII. Make Your Home Conducive to Group Sex

It is hard to feel sexy if the environment is not right! Making out in bad lighting or with a lot of distracting noise is difficult or impossible for people. To make your space (house, apartment, hotel room) conducive for group sex, make sure these issues are addressed.

Lighting

Lighting should be good enough to allow people to navigate the space safely. It should be dim enough to encourage coupling. Bright, overhead lighting is not sexy. Try accent lamps to light your space. If these are still too bright, try a lower wattage bulb (40 watts or the equivalent tends to be a good choice). If you can’t change the bulb, non-flammable scarves and material can be draped over the shades to add a filter to the lighting.

Candles can also be great lighting. Make sure they are in stable, hard-to-tip holders and are out of the way. Make sure they are away from drapes, bedspreads, and other material which may catch on fire.

Sounds

A television is very distracting in many cases. Even if you have a great porn video on, a television may be distracting to folks. If you want to play a porn video, make sure there are also spaces where the video won’t bother people. If you are in a single hotel room, muting the sound while the video plays is also an option.

Music at an appropriate volume is a great idea. Make sure your guests can hear each other without having to yell over the music. If you have guests who are hard of hearing, make sure the music is at a level to accommodate their needs.

If you opt for a music streaming service PAY FOR THE COMMERCIAL FREE OPTION! One of the biggest boner killers is having a commercial for a drug come on during your make-out session!

Food and Drink

You will want to have some refreshments for guests. Water is a must. Plain, non-flavored water. People get dehydrated with sex and kink play. Make sure you have water for them!

If you opt to provide alcohol, you are adding an element which can increase the chance of consent violation or dangerous play. Invite people who don’t get so drunk they can’t perform or don’t want to reason with you. If a guest seems to be too inebriated to play safely, offer a place for them to sober up or call a car to take them home. Safety and consent take precedence over someone’s drunken good time.

Have a variety of food options. People get hungry after sex. This is why the “make me a sandwich” jokes hit. Because so many people have food sensitivities, you should have a couple of options. Make sure there is one gluten-free, vegan option. This means most of your guests will be able to eat at least one dish. Bitchin’ Sauce dips with gluten free crackers are a great option here!

Make both your food and water easy to access. If you are planning on playing, you really don’t want to be interrupted to answer the question, “Where would I find water?”

Bottom Line

Group sex parties can be a ton of fun! People chat, connect, and then have a great kinky sex night. If all goes well, people will talk about it fondly for years. Making sure you have the things in place to make the night safe, sane, and consensual for everyone is key!

Stay kinky!

#orgy #groupsex #kink #bdsm #STI #COVID #safersex #condoms #gloves #saftersexitems #firstaidkit #boundaries #sexualassault #rape #communication #tipsandtools

What Do Kinky Girls Keep in Their Bedside Table?

We all know that drawer- the on in the bedside table which houses all the most used, go-to devices and more! I keep all my most essential and frequently used items close at hand. What are they and what might you want to add?

Kinky Girl Must-Haves

Nail File: I am nothing if not practical. I regularly file my nails. If I notice a jagged edge, a quick file and I’m good to go. No worries about scratching my partner in a not-so-nice way during those intimate moments.

Lip Balm: Lip balm is critical for keeping the lips soft and supple. My go-to is EOS.

Personal Lubricant Selection: You can never have enough lube! I keep both Uberlube’s waterbased lubricant for vaginal sex and any time I use a condom. I keep Swiss Navy’s silicone-based lube for anal play.

Safer Sex Items: I keep a selection of condoms quickly available if I have someone other than my primary partner over for sex. I generally have Magnum’s and Kimono Microthin Condoms around. Remember to cover your toys when you share them for extra protection!

I also keep nitrile gloves around. These are useful for safer sex, anal play if you are worried about hangnails or open wounds (I garden a lot, so these things are issues), and to make fisting easier.

LoveHoney Deluxe Vibrating Wand This is my favorite vibrating wand I own (and I own 12).

Clit Vibrator There are times when I need added attention to my clit, so I keep a clit vibrator charged and ready to go. It is also my go-to toy for masturbation.

Butt Plug I love anal play! Most times anal play is planned well in advance and I select the different plugs I want for the type of night I plan to have. However, a smaller plug in the drawer offers a quick way to get things going when I want a little bum stimulation in the middle of spontaneous sex. My go-to is the nJoy medium steel butt plug.

Clothes Pins I have long been a fan of clothespins for a variety of kinky play! I keep a bunch of the old fashion wood ones in my drawer.

Nipple Clamps My weighted tweezer nipple clamps are my long-running favorite for nipple play.

Phone Charger Back-up I routinely have issues of cords breaking, shorting or other issues, so I keep a back-up cord in my side drawer.

#sextoys #vibrators #wands #lovehoney #safersex #condoms #nippleclamps #spontaneoussex #safersexsupplies #condoms #nitrilegloves #pervertibles #buttplug #nJoy #nJoyplug #MagnumCondoms #Kimonocondoms #uberlube #swissnavy #siliconelube #personallubricant #waterbasedlube

Do This BEFORE a Partner Cheats

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Finding out your partner has cheated on you is often devastating. Regardless of your relationship style (monogamous, non-monogamous, polyam), partners can cheat. Any time a person violates the pre-agreed upon boundaries of a relationship, that is cheating.

As a society, we talk about cheating in salacious ways. Its office or church gossip. It’s watching Cheaters, or daytime talk shows. It is seen as a terminal point for a relationships. When famous folks cheat, we rarely understand why their partner would stay with them.

We don’t talk about the realities of being cheated on/cheating and what it looks like during a relationship. So, dear reader, I’m about to get deep into dealing with cheating in a relationship and options for how to handle it.

Who Cheats?

Reliable statistics on cheating behavior are hard to create. Survey methodology relies on self-reporting. This means people must decide whether or not to disclose on a survey or to a researcher if they have cheated. Obviously, even in anonymous surveys, some people who do cheat will not admit to it. Second, unless the survey or researcher specifies what they mean about cheating, people may not disclose even if the behavior would have counted as cheating within the relationship (the classic “We were on a break” dispute in Friends highlights how two people in a relationship can see behavior differently).

Additional difficulties figuring out who cheats comes with the heteronormativity of fidelity studies. Most of these studies are conducted on married or previously married heterosexual couples. Obviously, this leaves a fair number of us out of the studied population.

Taking the above into consideration, most surveys put the figures around 13 percent of women and 20 percent of men admit to cheating in a relationship at some point. For people under 30, women tend to report cheating more than men. The trend reverses once people get into their 30s.

Talking About Cheating in Relationships

Many couples do not address the issue of cheating until someone has strayed outside the boundaries of a relationship. This means that the first conversations about cheating, fidelity, and other tangential issues only get addressed after boundaries have been transgressed. Trying to deal with the pain of being cheated on/found out and negotiating about these topics makes the conversations fraught and very painful.

Talking about cheating and fidelity prior to it happening can have several benefits for your relationship(s). First, you and your partner(s) have the opportunity to reach a common understanding about what you mean by fidelity, relationship, ethical non-monogamy and more. Second, you have time to do some deep thinking about how you want to react if you find out your partner is cheating. Third, this early work sets the stage for remaining true to the person you want to be in a relationship.

What Questions Should I Ask Before Someone Cheats?

First, you and your partner(s) should actively decide the boundaries of the relationship.

  • What are your expectations around monogamy?
  • If you are non-monogamous, what are the boundaries around bringing in a new person to the relationship?
  • What are your expectations around safer sex with your partner and between your partner and other people?
  • At what point in a developing friendship is your partner expected to disclose that the relationship may become intimate?
  • Is your definition of cheating limited to sexual intercourse or do other intimate behaviors count as cheating for you?

Having open and honest discussions about these topics sets you and your partner up for clear expectations of behavior. When someone violates these boundaries, it is not done accidentally or because you never talked about them and just expected your partner to have the same expectations as you do. This makes is easier to decide how to react if your partner cheats.

Even if you are submissive and have negotiated power exchange when it comes to your Dominant choosing other partners, you should have some boundaries and a way to check in with your partner about their behavior. I know plenty of submissives who have an agreement that their partner may choose to sleep with whomever they want, without restrictions. However, there are times the submissive may have an issue with the choice of partners (e.g., the individual has toxic traits, the individual is disagreeable, the individual loves causing drama for the dominant). Establishing a protocol for checking in with your dominant to express your concerns is important for maintaining the health of your relationship.

What Kind of Person Do I Want to be in This Relationship?

Developing a clear idea of who you want to be in the relationship will help you stay true to your authentic self during conflicts.

  • Do I want to support my partner’s happiness, even if that means accepting another partner in his life?
  • What do I expect in terms of my partner’s actions when it comes to protecting my physical and mental health?
  • How much am I responsible for my own happiness versus what my partner provides?
  • What do I think fighting fair looks like? How do I make sure I fight fair?
  • How do I want to respond when my boundaries are violated?
  • If I find out my partner is cheating on me, is that worth ending our relationship for without question? Are there times I could forgive cheating? What are my boundaries around this?

What Do I Expect from My Partner if They are Caught Cheating?

  • Do I expect my partner to be apologetic about cheating?
  • Do I expect my partner to tell me the truth when confronted about cheating?
  • What level of disclosure about the relationship(s) they engaged in do I expect?
  • Do I expect them to tell me about the sexual details?
  • Do I expect them to get tested for STIs prior to having sex with them again?
  • Do I expect them to leave our home?

Buffering a Relationship from Cheating

There is at least a ten percent chance your partner will cheat on you during your relationship. Having the questions above answered prior to that happening can provide you a buffer against the pain and trauma which often accompanies finding out a partner has been unfaithful.

Keeping true to your authentic self and who you want to be in a relationship will allow you to remain grounded. Even if the relationship ends, if your partner is less than gracious and kind, you can remain impeccable with yourself. You will be able to leave knowing you did what you could and did not violate your values in the process.

Having clear boundaries and expectations set prior to any cheating occurring will allow you to clearly state what boundaries and relationship rules were violated. Neither you nor your partner can claim it was, “simply a misunderstanding.” This ends much of the fighting couples experience when the pre-work has not been done.

Finally, if you make the decision that sexual intercourse with another person is not enough to end a relationship, you will already have a roadmap back to the relationship you want. Being able to clearly state, “I need you to get tested for STIs before we sleep together again,” or “I need you to see a therapist to address the issues you have leading you to cheat,” based on your earlier decisions and your desire to remain true to your needs and authentic self allows you to be firm and kind at the same time.

For tips on fighting fair, check out my piece, “Above the Belt: 7 Tips for Fighting Fair” on Wellcelium.

#cheating #infidelity #loss #relationships #boundaries #tips #recoveringfromcheating #desire #lying #divorce #recovery #STIs #nonmonogamy #love

Sex Toy Buying Guide

Sex toys are prolific! They range from the cheap to the ridiculously expensive. From reputable brands to knock-offs to independent producers. They are made of so many materials it is hard to catalogue. They are different sizes, shapes, powers, remote controlled, bluetooth options and more! So, how do you know what toys are body safe, going to work, worth their price, and more?

Make Sure They Are Body Safe

Sex toys are made of all sorts of materials. Some are safe to insert into various orifices’, some are not. Some are safe to share with partners, some should be dedicated to one person. Here is a quick guide to materials.

Phthalates

Phthalates are chemicals known to cause cancer. Because sex toys are used on areas which are both delicate and prone to tears, toys with phthalates are dangerous. While they are used less these days in sex toys, make sure your toy is listed as phthalate free. If you have questions, contact their manufacturer.

Jelly Toys

Jelly toys are abundant, especially with low-cost and novelty manufacturers. Jelly toys are porous and can harbor bacteria and dirt. They can never be fully cleaned. Avoid them.

Silicone

Many toys today are made from silicone and many more are said to be made from silicone. Body-safe medical grade silicone is safe for internal use and can be sterilized. Lots of less reputable vendors will say some are made out of silicone when they are mixed with other products as well.

Silicone is a nonreactive, nonporous material which can be fully sterilized. This means toys made of silicone are GREAT for sharing because you can sterilize them. It also means a properly sterilized toy will not transmit STIs and reduces the chances of yeast infections or irritation.

Silicone ranges from silky soft to relatively firm. Depending on if your toy is just covered in silicone or the entire thing is made of silicone, the level of firmness may differ. Toy companies often state the toy is silicone when only the outer cover is silicone. Look at the toy’s description. If it has internal working parts, the internal parts are not silicone BUT the outside may be.

If a toy says it is silicone AND is from a reputable dealer (Blush novelties, WeVibe, nJoy, etc.) their sites tend to be accurate. Knock-off sites and Amazon retailers will often call a toy “silicone” when the silicone has been mixed with other chemicals. If you toy feels like it has a slick residue or “moist” when you take it out of the package, chances are it is not pure silicone.

The flame test. When a toy like a dildo or butt plug claims to be pure silicone it should hold up to being heated. If you use a kitchen blow torch (the kind used for crème brulees) and heat your toy for 10 to 15 seconds, it should not run or melt. This is not 100% effective in detecting additives, but it is a pretty good check.

Do Not Use Silicone Lube with Silicone Toys.

Hard Plastic

Many toys contain various types of hard plastic. Hard plastics are nonporous and can be cleaned and sterilized. It is cheaper than silicone, although not as durable. It is a good option for starter toys.

Glass

Glass toys are amazing! They are both beautiful and a great choice for nonporous toys. They can be fully sterilized. They hold both heat and cold well for temperature play. They are also really pretty.

Glass is very firm. This means they won’t bend or give when inserted. These toys are great when a firm hand is desired.

Glass toys are solid. They won’t shatter when dropped. However, they may chip if they hit a hard surface (making them unusable for the most part).

Metal

Metal toys are also a great choice. They are nonporous and can be fully sterilized. They are firm and hold heat and cold like glass toys do. The nature of metal means that most metal toys will be cool to the touch at room temperature. You may wish to warm them up a bit before playing.

Metal toys tend to be heavy since most are made of solid metal. This can be very enjoyable for some people! However, when trying your first metal butt plug, I suggest you go smaller than your silicone choices simply because holding a pound of metal in your bum is a much more intense sensation than the few ounces a silicone toy of similar size. Metal toys often list their weight, which is a good guide!

Crystals

Various crystals (rose quartz, jade, obsidian, etc.) are made into sex toys. While they may be pretty to look at, these toys are porous. This means they can never be fully cleaned. When dirt, yeast or bacteria get into these tiny pours, they multiply making the toy unhealthy. Because of the nature of the pours, soap and water cannot get in there to kill the bacteria. These are not a great option for sex toys.

Sizing

Sex toys come in a range of sizes, from tiny to huge. Finding the right toy means finding out what works with your body.

For dildoes and butt plugs, experimentation works! Start on the smaller size for the toys. If they feel too small, go up a bit. Because silicone toys can be expensive, starting with a hard plastic toy to check for sizing and moving up is a good option.

If you are sticking something in your butt, remember that the base should be significantly bigger than the widest insertable part. Your bum can get greedy when turned on and try and suck up the toy!

Anal training kits are a great first choice for butt plugs. They generally come with three or four plugs beginning at the size of a finger and getting bigger. These kits allow you to start small and work up over time.

Ergonomics

If you have limited use of your hands or wrists or have arthritis, you may want to chose toys which are designed to work with your limitations. Some toys are specifically designed to work with the natural movement of hands and wrists, often coming with curved handles or rotating joints.

Going to your local high-end sex toy store will give you a chance to handle the samples of the toys. Finding handle sizes which are comfortable, whether larger or smaller than standards, it will help for longer term use.

Remote control toys are also a great option for people with limited hand and wrist motions. If you can insert or position the toy and then run it with a remote control, you may find extended use more comfortable.

Reviews

There are thousands of toy reviewers online (including me)! We all have our own take on sex toys. Read several reviewers and find ones who like the same type of toys you do. Many of us talk about sensations, sizing and use. Once you find a trusted source or two, see what they are saying about the toys you are interested in trying.

I recommend the following reviewers:

and of course ME!

Where to Buy

Buy directly from the manufacture’s site. Folks like Lelo, WeVibe, nJoy, and LoveHoney have easy-to-use online sites. When ordering from the manufacturer you know you are getting their toy and not a knock off.

Frequenting independent and small producers is also a great way to get unique and fun toys! I especially like FunkitToys and Bad Dragon.

If you are looking for cheaper ways to try out toys, check out Squeaky Clean Toys. This is a site where people sell used sex toys which have been fully sterilized. Many of the higher end toys like Lelo, WeVibe, and LoveHoney are available for discount prices. If you are unsure about how much you want a toy, give them a try here.

#sextoys #buyingsextoys #sextoyguide #reviews #siliconetoys #bodysafe #howtobuysextoys #vibrators #dildoes #buttplugs #analtoys #clittoys

So You Want to Try a Threesome…

One of my favorite old BritComs is Coupling (sort of the British Friends). In one of the episodes the highly sexed Patrick announces that he is going to dump his girlfriend of the moment because she is too naive. She ruled out a threesome at the first mention of one! Patrick insists that threesomes don’t really happen, they are just a fantasy that a woman must prolong up until the point she has a baby.

So, okay, looking beyond the misogynism and stereotypes here, the show does highlight the common fantasy of threesomes and the belief of many people that these are not a thing most people ever get to experience. For many people, threesomes are relegated to the fantasy world of porn or Cinamax and HBO. But wait! They are real and it is possible to have a non-awkward threeway encounter where everyone has fun! (stay with me)

Fantasy vs. Reality

The fantasy threesome as portrayed in most media occurs without much negotiation or thought. Often the third party is a surprise for one of the members of an established couple. After a few initial moments of hesitation, the three people fall into a night of ecstasy. That is not how a good/non-awkward threesome happens.

You need to communicate with your primary partner (the first partner you discuss the threesome with for our purposes) about your needs and desires. If you and your primary partner are actual romantic partners (dating, married, long term relationship) this is especially important. For those of us coming from a monogamous culture, not experienced with polyamory or non-monogamy, we often hold unexpressed expectations around sex which are challenged by a threesome.

If you are in a relationship where you do not discuss sex and sexual needs often, this can be a difficult conversation to have. However, you have to have it in order to have a good threeway.

Don’t expect the first person you think about to join you and your partner to be “the one.” They may be very interested. They may only have expressed interest in one of you. They may not know you think about them in a sexual manner. Avoid objectifying the person you and your primary are fantasizing about in the run up to asking this person. Do not get so involved with your fantasy about this third person you forget they are a person with needs and feelings too!

Set Expectations

Before you approach a third party to join you, work with your primary partner to set expectations and any boundaries you might need. These will vary with every coupling and can change for a couple over time. Are you okay with your partner having oral sex with another person? What about penetrative sex? Will all three of you engage in sexual activities? What about initiating the play? What methods of safer sex will you use, if any?

There are a ton of questions to ask and think about prior to setting up your date. I have included a list of possible questions to talk about at the end of this post.

Also, if this is your first threesome with someone, the sex might not be fantastic. Some people have great chemistry in bed early on in a relationship. Some people need time to warm up. You know your own style. You may know or may not know the style of your other two partners. Think about what happens is the sparks don’t fly. Or if the sparks fly between the other parties but not you. How will you deal with that.

The Third Person

Once you and your primary partner have chosen a third person you will want to engage with, approach that person. You may want to have one of you go out on a date with the third party and bring up the subject. You may know the third person well enough to set it up over text of a phone call. You may be searching for the third party online or looking at hiring a professional.

Make your intentions clear. Hinting around the topic in vague and uncertain terms can lead to mixed signals. At some point you are going to have to say, “Would you like to sleep with me and so-and-so in a threesome” or something to that effect. If you never come out and clearly state your intentions eventually you (and possibly your partner) will simply come off a creepy.

Make sure you indicate if this is just a one-time thing, if you are looking to make an emotional connection as well, if you want an on-going relationship of some kind with the third party, or if you simply got a great referral for a pro and need to set up a night.

The third person is a real person with real feelings. Too often folks looking to explore polyamory as a couple will look for their “unicorn” and the obsession of getting their perfect bisexual woman becomes the nasty habit of unicorn hunting. The problems with unicorn hunting are many and I have said much more in this post.

The Night

So you have found your perfect third person! You have set a time and location. Cool beans. Now you need to get ready.

Depending on the situation and location, you will need to consider some or all of the following:

  1. Do you need to get STI tests prior to the hook-up? If so, you will need to do that at least four days prior to the date.
  2. If you are hosting, do you have clean sheets and towels? Nobody wants your first sexy night together to be shared on sheets filled with cat hair.
  3. Shower, shit and shave. Basically, make sure you take car-e of basic grooming and prep.
  4. Got condoms (or other safer sex stuff)? Make sure you have the necessary safer sex items. This can be condoms, dental dams, lube, safety scissors, gloves, fire exstinguisher and whatever else you will be using.
  5. Water. We all need to hydrate. It is good to have water and possibly other stuff to drink on hand.

Reduce the Awkwardness

Threesomes can feel awkward the first time. Hiring a professional is a great way to make this easier since a pro is used to guiding folks through these big moments. If, however, you are hooking up with a friend, a potential new partner for your burgeoning polyam tribe, or some hottie you have been chatting up on Tindr things may be a bit rocky at first.

Think of hosting a threesome like hosting a dinner party. A little music, a few candles, some good lighting, maybe a light snack will all ease the tension Most people like to chat a bit at first so allow for some conversation.

When you feel the moment is ripe, the person who agreed to initial the threesome should step up and do their job! This generally is something like starting to kiss one person and inviting the other to join you both. If you are in a D/s or other power dynamic, this may be the D-type directing the submissive to start kissing or making out with the third party. This can start with cuddling on a couch with the three of you and allowing hands to start wandering while you all watch the Great British Baking Show (shout out to all of my readers with Paul Hollywood fantasies! I see you!).

Allow the session to progress at its own pace. Do not try and jump immediately to penatrative sex or oral sex. If you know your primary partner generally needs a bit of a warm up, allow for foreplay. Ask your third party for feedback (“does this feel good?”, “Do you want me to play with your breasts more?”, “Your moans are hella sexy! You like that don’t you.”)

Plan for the Worst

Hopefully, and most likely, your night will be wonderful and everyone will leave happy. However, this is not always the case. As with most sexual encounters you should have a plan in place if things go sideways.

If, for any reason, any member of the threesome wants to stop, STOP. This is non-negotiable. If anyone indicates they need what is happening to end immediately, you have to honor that. Period. No room for debate. If you pressure the person to continue or continue after someone has indicated they need to stop it is rape.

Do not count on everyone reaching a climax. The orgasms of the three of you are not the point of the evening. Yes, orgasms are great! However great sex and great threesomes does not require any orgasms happen. If one or more of you are not reaching climax and don’t want to continue the activities, that is perfectly acceptable.

Talk to your partners beforehand how you want to handle bodily fluid contact. You may all be comfortable with barebacking (not using any barrier protection methods). You may decide that one or two or all three of the people have to use some sort of barrier protection. If this is the case, have a plan for what happens if someone who is supposed to use barriers does not. Condoms break and slip off. People toss dental dams to the side. In the heat of the moment someone may decide not to use a barrier. Have a solution in mind for if this happens. (This is why STI tests BEFORE the night are pretty important.)

Afterglow and More…

After all the fun is over, one or two of you will go on your own way. If you have hired a pro, a thank you and a good tip are a great way to end the night! If you are hooking up with a relative stranger on Tindr, some kind words and clarity if you will be in contact with them again is appropriate. If it is a friend or someone in your social circle, plans for the next coffee date or a “See you at the Bon Jovi Cover Band concert” will work. And maybe pay for their Uber.

You and your primary should debrief after the night is over. It may be that night. It may be over breakfast the next morning or sometime in the next week. Talk about what you liked, what you didn’t like and how you feel. Be honest. If you enjoyed the sex but don’t want to repeat the experience, say that. If you are disappointed say that. If you discovered you have a new boundary or are upset about something, be honest with your partner. If you now want to start hosting threesomes every weekend, say that!

Communication after the threesome is as important as it is before one.

Personal Note

I have been a part of a lot of threesomes, foursomes, and more-somes. A few have been hot and wonderfully fun! Most result in average sex and I could take or leave them. A few have ended up poorly. Communication before and after the event is critical.

Over time, I learned what I enjoy and what I don’t enjoy in a 3+ encounter. Communicating that to my partners has helped improve the quality and enjoyment of threesome (or more-somes). They are fun to try and can open up new sexual frontiers (or let you know you are cool not doing one again).

Hope you have a ton of fun at your first menage a trios!

Questions To Think About:

  1. What are your general expectations with a threesome?
  2. Ideally, how would you like to see this to play out?
  3. What type of partner do you see bringing into the threesome? Someone you know? A Stranger? A Pro?
  4. Do you want a longer term connection with the third party?
  5. What types of activities do you want to include? Oral sex? Penetrative sex? Voyeurism? Exhibitionism? Any kinky play or fetish play?
  6. What types of safer sex is important to you? Do you want/need STI tests? Do you need to go buy barriers, gloves, lube, safety scissors, first aid stuff?
  7. What happens if there is a break in a barrier or failure to use one?
  8. How do you feel about your partner climaxing with the third party?
  9. Are there things which are off limits? Use of pet names? Sharing robes/sleepware? Sexual activities? Drinking? Drug use?
  10. Do you want to have dinner or drinks before the event? Where will this happen?
  11. Who is responsible for talking to the third party about what you want in the threeway?
  12. Who will initiate foreplay or sex during the encounter?
  13. Practical considerations: finding a baby sitter, clearing the house, changing the sheets (basically a chore list)
  14. Check in with how each of you are feeling about the threesome after talking through these questions.

#threesome #menageatrois #groupsex #polyamory #safersex #sextips #hookups #prostitute #condoms #kink #bdsm #tips

It Burns When I Pee!!!

Let’s talk STIs. Sexually Transmitted Infections. I know, totally not sexy. I get it. You only want certain types of dripping going on down there. But… we need to talk.

The middle class may be on life support, civility may be a relic of the past, the gender binary is fading out of existence, but the one thing thriving in the US is STIs. Chlamydia and Gonorrhea are at epidemic proportions. Herpes and HPV are so common there are entire dating cites dedicated to people with these diseases. HIV/AIDS has infected nearly 80 MILLION people worldwide. So,  STIs are something we all need to talk about.

The Myth of “Clean” or D/D Free

If you have been on most dating sites in the last decade, people post they are “clean” or D/D Free (meaning they do are not infected with any STI and do not use drugs). Le sigh. Alas, there is nothing but one’s need to be a good person preventing someone from advertising they are D/D on a dating site. Even when your soon-to-be sexual partner shows up with results from a clinic staying they have no STIs, there is no guarantee that they are really infection free.

If the person tested negative for the screens run at the local clinic and then had unprotected sex with someone else between the date of the test and the time you hook up they may have contracted something. If they were exposed to HIV within the three months prior to a test the results may not be accurate. Finally, very few clinics test for every possible STI. Most test for HIV/AIDS, chlamydia, gonorrhea, and syphilis.   A PAP smear will test a woman for HPV. Beyond that, most other STIs are not tested for at a regular screen.

So, unless you have been in a relationship where you and the other person are practicing safer sex for at least 3 months and not sleeping with anyone else, then get screened for the whole array of STIs, you don’t really know for sure that the person you are sleeping with is D/D free.

I Don’t Sleep with People Who Get STIs

Oh really? Are you sleeping with someone who has slept with other people in the last few years? They you are sleeping with someone who might get an STI. There is no profile for a person who is “not the STI type.” The kids at a high school in West Texas which focused on an “abstinence only” sex ed curriculum and had a bunch of “good” white middle-class teens had a massive chlamydia outbreak in 2015. Women of color are at higher risk for HIV than their white sisters. White women have astronomical rates of HPV and chlamydia. Lesbians pass around herpes faster than they pass around vegan “meatball” recipes.

Stop Saying Clean!!!!

Saying you are “clean” implies people with an STI are “dirty.” It is shaming for folks with STIs. Many STIs are treatable. Some you get for life and have to manage. Shaming someone with an STI is actually a way to make it more likely you will be exposed to one. If folks are ashamed to say, “Hey! You might want to know…” when you ask about STIs, then they are more likely to lie to you. If we work on making it acceptable to disclose health status without shame, we increase our community safety.

What’s a Girl to Do???

There are a few simple things everyone should think about to protect themselves.

  1. Wrap it up. Yes, condoms sucks. They smell, they take a second away from the moment, you have to to get them before you boink. No, they are not 100 percent effective in preventing all STIs or pregnancy. Condoms are a hell of a lot safer than not using them. Get over your “ick” factor and put one of those suckers on a dick or dildo or anal plug or beads before you stick them in somewhere. Why a dildo? Because you can’t be sure the thing was fully sterilized. Or, it might have been manufactured in a factory that also manufactures peanuts, so allergies….
  2. Get Tested Regularly. Take your ass into the clinic or doc and get tested. Do this every six months if you have multiple partners or switch it up. Most medium and large cities have free clinics which will do a screen for the major STIs. You can also ask your primary care doc to do this if you don’t find them to be a narcissistic shit-for-brains human (I might have an issue with the medical profession…). You need to know so you can keep healthy. Its well worth the time.
  3. Talk. Don’t assume anything. Ask. And then ask again. If they claim they are D/D free, ask when they were tested. Ask where they were tested. Ask if they have had sex since their last test. Look, we are not always honest about stuff. But if they say they were tested but can’t remember when or where, well then the test results are probably not up to date.
  4. Truvia (PReP). For those of us who like to slut it up a bit, PReP is a good thing to chat with your doc about. It is a daily pill that prevents you from becoming HIV positive if you are exposed to HIV. There are some side effects and if you have high blood pressure or a few other conditions, you will have to get those under control before taking it. BUT… we now have a daily pill that can significantly helps prevent HIV.
  5. Boil Your Junk. Not your junk you grew yourself. Your toys. Silicone and glass dildos, plugs, and such can be plunged into a stockpot of boiling water and sterilized (make sure there is no electrical parts that will be hurt by water). This is better than the dish washer or washing by hand. So, time to do a jacked up version of stone soup.
  6. Get Dedicated. Well, at least a few types of toys. Some stuff doesn’t sterilize well. Bamboo and ratan canes, fabric-based toys, needles, and similar things can’t be sterilized. If you have multiple partners, don’t be sharing the love bug. Dedicate your toy you can’t sterilize to one partner only.

But, I Can’t Afford to be Safe…

Not any more!!! Thanks to Jon Benorden in Sacramento, you can find your free jimmy caps and testing sites anywhere in the U.S. He created an app, CondomFinderThis is a free app for Droid and iPhones. You plug in your zip code and you get a list of every place near you giving away free safer sex supplies. It also gives you information about places to get tested for free and up-to-date STI information. Thanks Jon!!!!

I love all you kinky perverts. I love that you like to do nasty stuff. I want you to keep doing it for years to come without the itching, burning or life-ending infections that can come with being careless about safer sex. So, go get tested, grab a handful of free rubbers, and go to town on each other!!!