Saturday, December 19, 2015

Coming and Going

True Fact: The Japanese refer to ejaculation as "going" and not "coming," which makes more sense when you think about it. Good for the Japanese.

Today we delve a little into the BDSM lifestyle and we talk about coming...or not coming.

When I was with vanilla men, I heard about "blue balls" all the time, the idea that a man can actually experience pain if he gets aroused and doesn't get to come. I've polled men I've been with and it's true that it can be uncomfortable, but that sensation goes away. Moral: if you don't feel comfortable finishing your partner, for any reason, you don't have to. He's a big boy - he can finish himself. But I digress.

With my vanilla male partners, I'd always finish them off. We'd have fun but things were over pretty much whenever they finished. Then it was cuddle time or nap time or movie time or video game time (yes, G played video games after sex) or whatever time. What X had to explain to me is that as a sub, sometimes there's an exquisite torture in not coming that he enjoys. This was completely counter to everything I'd been taught. Wasn't my worth valued by how great his ejaculation was? Wasn't I only a good partner if I satisfied my man?

What X had to explain to me is that, as a sub, he likes surrendering control. That includes control of his orgasm. It's up to me as a dom to let him come or not, totally depending on my mood. There are some advantages to not letting him finish:
1. It's easier. You're just done when you say you're done.
2. He's more likely to get aroused later, if you want to play more (this can be hours after or days after)
3. It's a way of establishing long term control. Get him riled up, satisfy yourself, then don't let him orgasm again and again. It's a torture, but X likes that.

Let's say you've decided to not give him an orgasm. You want him to wait. How do you stop him from just finishing himself?
-Tie him up
-Male chastity devices.

What are male chastity devices, you say? Essentially, they're penis cages. They can be made out of metal or plastic. Typically, a man inserts his penis into one when he's flaccid and it constricts his growth, making it painful for him to get an erection. This doesn't stop him from actually getting the erection, but it causes pressure and acts as a discomfort - a mini torture device. If you want to see examples of male chastity devices, look here (NSFW).

All chastity devices lock with a key. In order to not lose your key, you can do a couple different things. You can keep it in a special box. The dom can wear it around her neck. You can put it in a safe. Just so long as it's in a safe, easily accessible, easily memorable place, you can pretty much keep it anywhere. 

How do X and I use his cage? In a couple different ways. If he's feeling frisky and I'm not around, he'll often put it on so he can get the feeling of being constricted and being tied up without me being there. It keeps him aroused and in the mood for when I do come around.

His cage also helps him feel frisky for extended periods of time - hours to even days. Cages are designed to be worn for long periods of time - including days and nights. Men can urinate in cages. Cages are waterproof. With some cages, there can be some rubbing that can get uncomfortable, but you're not going to know which cages will rub until you (a) read a bunch of reviews or (b) try one (everyone is shaped differently and each cage will fit a little differently).

When X travels to Seattle for work, he and I like to keep it fun and flirty while he's away. It's a way for us to stay connected and in sync while he's across the country. Usually, he brings his cage with him and locks up when he gets to the hotel. He brings with a tiny travel safe, locks the key inside, and emails me the combination (he does this in a way so that he himself doesn't know what the combination is. Only I do). And like that, he's my long distance slave for as long as I want him trapped. Sometimes I let him out after a day. Sometimes I keep him locked up until he has to get on a plane to come home (we have an agreement that I will always let him out for the flights because his cage is metal and I don't want him to have a hard time getting through security). He loves the suspense of not knowing when he'll get to come and knowing he is still under my control even though he's far away.

And in case you were wondering, you can't see the cage under his clothes. He looks totally normal. It's just our little secret.

Cages can be kind of expensive for good ones (X's was custom sized and made in Germany - I don't have a link, sorry), so talk to your partner before investing in one. Try just tying him up and making him calm down, not letting him orgasm, and see if he likes it or if he gets cranky at you.

Note: If you're going to try this on your partner, talk to him and tell him what you're doing. Say something like "We're going to fool around now and you're going to satisfy me, but I'm not going to let you come because I'm in control. You're just my slave." Give him a warning that it's coming. Don't just say "And, we're done! Thanks, that was fun. 'Family Guy'?" Consider letting him beg (if he's not gagged). You might find the begging really hot and cave in. Or it may make you feel more empowered and you'll hold out. It's up to you and your partner to find something that works. But try not letting him orgasm. He may really like it.

Other Note: there are such things as female chastity devices as well, usually called belts. They're not recommended for long term usage because you can't poop while wearing one. An example is here (NSFW). They also tend to be a little bulky and show under women's clingy clothes.

Wednesday, December 16, 2015

Article: Sex and Fertility

A few months ago, the Kinsey Institute released an article talking about how having more sex in general, including during non-fertile times, can increase fertility in women. Basically, it has to do with a woman's body recognizing sperm as a "friendly" foreign agent and not attacking it with antibodies. Check it out!

Sunday, December 13, 2015

Article: Obsessed with Sex

Offbeat Home wrote an article about whether or not poly and sex-positive people (like yours truly) are obsessed with sex. It's a cute, short read. Check it out!

Thursday, December 10, 2015

Sex Furniture

X has been expressing wishes to get a spanking bench with a mechanical spanking tool. What this is is a padded bench he can kneel on with a built in restraint for his wrists. Essentially, he could set the tool to spank him for a period of time and lock in his own wrists (or I could do it for him) so he's trapped and subject to the abuse until the time is up.

If you want to get sex furniture, there are a lot of factors to consider.
  1. Where will you put it? Sex furniture takes up space. Some of it breaks down for easy storage, but not most of it. You need a secure and warm room with blinds to keep your slave in so you can use it in peace. If you live on your own, like X and I do, a tiny guest bedroom may be the ticket. If you live with a family, you may have to use a walk-in closet or the basement.
  2. How will you explain it? The best solution is to have sex furniture you can break down and put away or furniture with its own room behind a door you can close. Otherwise, your friends and family will see it and wonder what the heck it is. Either they will figure it out for themselves or they will ask. There's only so many things that look like exercise equipment, so be prepared for that. 
  3. How much use will you get out of it? True, X is excited by the idea of being locked up and unable to escape the spanking, but how often is he actually going to be in the mood for that? People want different things at different times and you want furniture that can be used in multiple ways, ideally.
  4. Is it cost-effective? Sure, a spanking bench with a mechanical spanking tool sounds like it could be fun, but is it less fun if I tie him up myself and beat him? Is it more fun to have me involved? 
Sex furniture can be a lot of fun, but it can also be very expensive. Before investing in a piece of furniture that you will have to set up, hide, and move, make sure it's something you will really love for years to come. 

Monday, December 7, 2015

Many or One

Today's post is about polyamory. I have a very conflicted view on it and a very conflicted past, so this will be a long and mixed post.

To start off, what is polyamory? Polyamory, or "poly" is being romantically involved with more than one person with the consent of all parties involved. Note the part about consent. If your wife and you agree you can date other people, it's poly. If you decide to see other people without telling your wife, it's cheating. If you and your wife decide to see other people, but you don't tell the third person about your marriage, that is also cheating. Poly relationships involve the consent of all parties involved. Being poly is sometimes referred to as being "open" or being "in an open relationship" but there are qualifiers on that. Typically, being open means you're free to date other people. You can also be in a closed poly relationship, which means seeing more than one person, but only people agreed on by all parties.

Poly relationships are complicated. They can be just as loyal and rewarding as a mono relationship. But they are complicated.

If you're looking for a well written primer on polyamory, I highly recommend reading The Ethical Slut: A Practical Guide to Polyamory, Open Relationships, & Other Adventures by Dossie Easton and Janet W. Hardy. It's a very honest and practical guide that talks about what makes poly relationships succeed or fail and how you can work with them, either in your own love life or in the lives of your friends.

When I was in college, I fell head over heels in love with a man named G. G was in the process of discovering that he wanted to be poly. First he asked permission to make out with other people, which I agreed to. Now, G and I had a spot on his neck that I would cuddle into. He referred to it as "my spot." He'd come home, see I'd had a a bad day, and ask if I wanted to go to my spot and I'd get a cuddle. It was intimate. One day, after asking if he could have make outs with other people, we were at a small party and he showed interest in a girl. I told him it was okay if he wanted to make out with her. He started getting cozy with her and then told her she could cuddle into his neck in a special spot. I was furious, not that he wanted to make out with this girl, but that he was inviting her into something special belonging to us. He didn't see the problem.

Later in the relationship, things got really bad. We'd have sex, and then he'd start crying because I wasn't the person he wanted to be having sex with. You can imagine what that does to a person. He kept telling me I was amazing and that he wanted to be with me, but he was miserable that he wasn't also with other people. This is a relationship that was unhealthy, not because he wanted to be poly, but because he wasn't taking care of the needs of his primary partner, me.

When you're in a poly relationship, you are just as responsible for the needs of your partner(s) as if you were in a mono relationship. Some people will have easier needs than others, but it is your job to understand all of their needs and to satisfy them. If you can't satisfy all your partners, you need to re-evaluate what you're doing.

Flash forward past G to my next boyfriend, R. We considered ourselves monogamous. We only wanted to be with each  other. But before we went to a party, we'd discuss if we wanted to be on "party rules" or "couples rules." "Party rules" meant we could make out with other people, hands over clothes and on the top half only, and that we'd go home together. "Couples rules" meant we acted like a completely monogamous couple, being intimate and making out with just each other. If one of us wanted party rules and the other wanted couples rules, we did couples rules. We considered ourselves a mono couple, but that's poly behavior. And it worked really well for us.

Why did it work so well?
A. It was based on clear and defined rules. We knew how far we could take a make-out. We knew when it was permissible and when it wasn't okay.
B. We respected each other's feelings. If one of us wasn't feeling like party rules, we didn't do it.
C. We made each other a priority.

In order to be in a poly relationship, it's necessary to understand that there is usually a hierarchy. There's a primary couple, a secondary, partner, sometimes a tertiary partner, and so forth. You have to be happy with your role in the hierarchy. When I was about 28, an engaged couple (male-female) I knew very well came to me and asked me if I'd be interested in becoming their third. I was attracted to both of them, physically and mentally. They were good friends and I liked making out in general, so it sounded promising. But they said that they would always be primaries to each other and that everything could change once they got married. Instantly, I wasn't interested. I like attention. I like feeling special. I didn't want to be anyone's secondary. So I know for me to be happy in a poly relationship, I need to be a primary.

Some other people would be happy with a casual relationship. For example, X's last relationship before me was a long distance relationship with S. Now, remember that X is a sub. S was not only not a dom, she was a virgin and not interested in going the leather-and-lace route. But they were still attracted to each other in all the right ways and still wanted to date. So S gave X permission to mess around with a woman local to him, E. He and E had lots of fun, but it was purely physical. He called S when he wanted to talk about his day and to be mushy. When he was feeling kinky, he called E. It gave X an outlet for his sexual behavior while still keeping the integrity of his relationship with S. It worked for them.

But H, you ask, how can you have a trusting relationship if you're having sex with more than one person? Sex isn't important - intimacy is. Sex CAN be an incredibly intimate act, but it doesn't HAVE TO BE. Remember the example of when G wanted to make out with other girls and showed one girl my spot: it wasn't the physical boundaries that bothered me, but the violation of the intimacy. Different couples will define intimacy in different ways. It's up to you to define it and to hold true to it.

For me, where I am now in my life, I could see  making out with other people at a party because making out is fun. I could see going back on "party rules" with X. But I would never want to take someone home. I wouldn't want to make out with someone in the bed I share with my husband and I wouldn't want to have sex with them. That's not because X is the perfect lover or anything, but because I save that intimacy for him and I don't want to share that intimacy with anyone else.

G hurt me very deeply as he experimented with polyamory. He was my first lover and as I was trying to explore what it meant to have sex with someone and to have a truly sexual relationship, he wasn't satisfied with what I could give him. I gave him everything I had and it wasn't enough for him. Realistically, we should have broken up a lot sooner than we did, but we held on for too long because, in our own way, we really did love each other. It took a long time for me to realize that nothing I could have done would have saved that relationship and to believe that I could be enough to satisfy someone.

If you get the urge to mess around with other people, before you act, you need to do some soul-searching. What are you looking for? Physical pleasure? Intimacy? Romance? Excitement?

If you're looking for physical pleasure, you could try to go elsewhere, or you could try to spice up your current relationship. Try toys or role play. Try tying him up. If he isn't satisfying you, give him ideas and instructions on how to. One of the best things I did for a relationship back in college was to take a sex book on how to pleasure women and I annotated it with post-it notes, including "I love when you do this" and "I'd like you to try this" and "Never do this." I gave it to my boyfriend as a Valentine's Day Present. He loved it - a customized guide book to your woman's sexual pleasure! Don't we all need that? He studied that thing and did a much better job satisfying me. It was amazing.

If you're looking for intimacy, that can come in many different flavors. Maybe you have trust issues and you need to work on opening up to more people. Try having serious conversations with close friends. Sometimes you just want to cuddle or to hold hands. My best friend, S, and I cuddle and hold hands all the time. I have absolutely no wish to get sexual with her, but we both enjoy physical contact and we're very close, so we snuggle on the couch and we hold hands. When I spend the night, we even share a bed, holding each other like sisters. X is absolutely fine with it because he knows there's no sexual attraction there - it's just how we express our emotional connection in a physical way. Our culture tends to put physical contact in a black-and-white view: if you're touching, it must be sexual. But that's not the case. Think of how a mother touches a child - they hold hands, they kiss on the cheek, they embrace, and it's all familial. Likewise, there may be ways to incorporate more touch into your life to bring more intimacy without getting sexual. The last time I went to a haunted forest, I took my female friend's hand and didn't let go the entire time. I relied on her for comfort while freaks wielded chainsaws around us. That's trust and intimacy, but not sexual.

If you're worried about how someone may take your physical expression of connection, ask permission. If you're sitting at a coffee house table, talking, and things get personal, just ask "May I take your hand?" Your friend will appreciate that you respected their boundaries and will be more likely to acquiesce.

Looking for romance? That's a tricky area. Everyone gets in a rut from time to time with their partner. It's tempting to go somewhere else to get the new-ness and initial burst of energy and romance that comes with a new relationship. I've been with X for 4.5 years and I can honestly say that, while it takes work, the romance I get from him is more satisfying than what I can get from a new relationship. Start by stating your needs in specific terms. Don't just say "I need you to be more romantic with me." Try "I'd like flowers this week." Not everyone is instinctively romantic. Many people need to be coached and trained before they get romantic. Make an effort yourself - write a cheesy poem or call a radio station and dedicate a song to them. Cook dinner for the two of you and get his favorite ice cream for dessert. Try a brand new restaurant with a candlelit dinner. Also try to appreciate the romance in the little things. X is out of town right now and has been for three days. He hasn't sent me flowers or chocolates, but he's made an effort to be online every night this week so we can talk to each other. That's also romance. Look for the little things.

Looking for excitement? There are a couple different things you can do. First, you can try to spice up your relationship by trying new things together. Take a cooking class. Take a dance class. Take an art class. Go to a wine tasting. Go to a live show. Have a picnic. Try biking. Go to a water park. Take a vacation. Do whatever thing is fun for the two of you. You can also do things for yourself that you find exciting. For me, it's going out dancing. I go out blues dancing once a week. Blues dancing is a very intimate, sexy style of couples dancing, but everyone on the dance floor keeps it completely professional. For the three minutes we're dancing, we're close and foxy, but when the dance is over, we thank each other and go our separate ways. I get the thrill of new and exciting people without jeopardizing my relationship with X. Sometimes I get a little riled up from the dancing. I contain myself, come home, and take it out on my husband. Everyone wins.

Some people say that being poly is not a choice, but the way you were born, like being gay. I somewhat agree. I think that at different points in our lives and in our relationships, we have different needs. When I was with G, even though I agreed to let him make out with other people, that did not fill his needs. He needed more. When I was with R, we wanted to make out with other people sometimes, but not all the time. That filled our needs. Now that I'm married to X, I get my thrills from dancing and I get my intimacy from my husband. He fills my needs. As I have grown and matured, my needs have changed. I think that everyone else's do, too. Maybe my needs will change as I get older and I'll want another partner, maybe I'll be happy with X  until the day I die. The best thing I can do is to be in tune with my needs and feelings and to be honest with X about them so that we can have a satisfying relationship.

Friday, December 4, 2015

Home Alone

As previously mentioned, X often travels to Seattle, across the country, for work. This leaves me home alone for anywhere from 1-2 weeks at a time. It is very easy to get into a rut of going to work, coming home, watching TV all night long, and just being lonely, horny, and miserable. If your lover isn't available for long periods of time, here are some ways to make the time go by faster.

1. Clean. Cleaning is cathartic. It's a great use of energy, it's incredibly satisfying when it's done, and your lover will love coming home to a clean house. Fold some laundry. Scrub the bathroom floor. Sort your clothes and donate the ones you don't wear anymore.
2. Focus on your hobbies. I'm an avid knitter and when X is gone, I dive into my projects. I'll come home and knit for hours with no distractions and it's great. I also practice my singing without being embarrassed that someone will hear me hitting the wrong notes or singing the same three lines over and over until I get it.
3. Pick up a new activity. I started taking yoga classes twice a week while he's away. It's a great use of my time, it gets me focused on me, and it also gets me out and around other people. I also started playing with adult coloring books, which is soothing and takes up a lot of time to finish a single picture, so it's good on a couple levels.
4. Get physical. Go for a walk. Go play on a swing set. Try a bike ride. Get an exercise DVD from the library and work out in the privacy of your own home. Getting some exercise in gives your body endorphins, so you'll feel good about yourself afterwards. It's hard to be lonely when you feel good.
5. Call a loved one. My Nana can always tell when X is out of town, because I call her more often, but she's always glad to hear from me.
6. Schedule get-togethers with friends. For me, it's knitting nights. I schedule four or five friends to come over and we all knit and eat cookies and talk about yarn. It's something X wouldn't be interested in at all, that I absolutely love, perfect for when he's out of town.
7. Look at it as "me time." Are there shows you like that your partner doesn't? Watch them as much as you like while he's gone. Are there foods you like that he doesn't eat? Make all of them while he's away. Indulge yourself. Really pleasure yourself. If that means getting the breakfast cereal you like that he always eats the last bowl of, you buy a whole box and you eat the stuffing out of it. If that means menage a moi time, turn the lights down, light some candles, and let your hands and toys talk to you.
8. Schedule time (if possible) to connect with your away partner. It is very hard for X to call me when he's in Seattle because there's a three hour time difference and he's working 10 hour days. He's exhausted and by the time he finally gets home, it's time for me to go to bed. The same thing for online chatting - he's just not around or available. But what we can do is email. We'll email each other five or six times a day and that helps us feel connected while we're apart.
9. Treat yourself to something. When X goes out of town, I get pedicures. Does he care if my toes are painted or not? Not in the slightest. But it makes me feel special and pretty when he's not around to make me feel that way, so I treat myself. Maybe you go get a cup of coffee at Starbucks. Maybe you hit up Amazon and buy a new book. Maybe you get a car wash. Do something special to keep your spirits up.

And if nothing else, there's always blogging. :) He gets home tomorrow.

Wednesday, December 2, 2015

Hello Number One!

So according to the Blogger Data, I get basically one page view every other day. Considering I've done absolutely nothing to publicize this blog, I shouldn't expect anything different. But I do consistently get one page view, which I take to mean that I have one devoted reader who comes back to this blog and checks it out every day or so.

So to my one devoted reader: thanks for reading! Thanks for being a part of this! I can't wait to write more for you!

Tuesday, December 1, 2015

The Libido and You

Clearly, I like to talk about sex. I also like having sex. I like having sex in many forms and in many styles. That being said, I don't actually get it that often.

X is a very busy man. He commutes an hour one way every day, so he's out of the house by 8am. He works at least an 8 hour day, if not more. He commutes an hour home and gets home at the earliest by 6:30pm, usually 7pm or later. Sometimes he goes running. We have dinner. By the time we've digested and we could even be ready for sex, it's at least 8pm and he's tired. And these are the days when he doesn't have choir meetings (X is on the board for his semi-professional choir. It keeps him very busy for at least two nights a week.). When he has a choir meeting, he leaves the house at 8am and doesn't get home until at least 10pm and all he wants to do is crash. He's tired. He dedicates his heart and soul to his job and to his choir and he gets a lot of work done and helps a lot of people. It's admirable.

Then at least one night a week I have my own choir (we're musical people), so that's one more night out.

But H, you say, what about the weekend? Weekends aren't bad, but they're usually full of chores, yard work, social engagements, more choir stuff (his or mine), and then just trying to relax from the long week we just finished.

It has been three weeks since I had sex last. And I'm a newly wed. Plus, we're going on vacation next week to see my family and you can bet neither of us will be comfortable having sex under my father's roof. And the week after that, X is going to Seattle again. So it is going to be at least five weeks until I get laid again. I love my husband until death do us part, but this bites.

My energy level and libido would let us fit something in probably twice a week. But poor X is just so tired all the time that he just doesn't want to. And when he doesn't want to, no strip tease or kisses will change his mind. He flat out doesn't want to. There is a stereotype out there that men are always aching for sex and that women are always turning them down. This is a flat-out lie. Women can have more active libidos just as often as men can. We can want sex whenever and however often we feel like it.

So how do we handle this?

1. Figure out what you want out of sex. Sex is a complicated thing and people want it for many different reasons. If you want the intimacy, ask for a long kiss or snuggle. If you want the orgasm, masturbate. If you want the endorphins, exercise.
2. Make time for sex. X and I are at the point where we have to schedule it. Is it romantic? Kind of. In a sense, it's not, because it's planned. In a sense it is, because it means we're making each other a priority.

For me, as much as everyone loves a good orgasm, what I want the most out of sex is connection to X and intimacy. So I ask for long kisses that don't go anywhere. When I do this, I'm specific. I say "Give me a three second kiss." and he does and it's great. When we sit on the couch next to each other, I throw a leg over his lap. He may be playing video games, we may be watching "The Big Bang Theory," but it's physical connection.

Some people want sex because they like feeling sexy. You can manage that yourself in a couple ways:
1. Directly ask your partner to tell you he thinks you're sexy. He can do that even if he's not "in the mood" and he can do it on cue, when I really need it.
2. Wear things that make you feel sexy. Fitted sweaters. Matching underwear. Skinny jeans. Lacy socks. Heels. Boots. Mary Janes. Hair up with a pencil. Hair down and curled. Whatever it is that makes you feel sexy, wear it and be happy that you are sexy in your own eyes.
3. Work on your confidence. Confidence is sexy. I feel like a sexy person because that's how I view myself. I think of it as a part of who I am. Yes, I still have days when I feel like a cow in blue jeans, but most days I feel like a curvy goddess, despite seeing my physical flaws. It's taken me years to get to this point and it's an amazing place to be in. I can walk down the street in sneakers and just feel sexy because I'm walking down the street. That's confidence in my body.

Having mismatched libidos gives you a chance to really examine your relationship. Some relationships are based on sex. If you're not both having it at a rate that makes you both happy, tensions emerge and things can get rocky. But some relationships are built on other bonds - compatibility of personality, intellectual matches, love of the same hobbies. If you're not getting something - in this case, sex - out of the relationship, it's a good idea to stop and evaluate what you ARE getting out of the relationship and to appreciate those things. X may not sleep with me whenever I want him to, but he makes me laugh. He challenges me intellectually, he plays games with me, he spends time with me, he treats me well. He's not just my lover, but my companion and my friend. I married him knowing that our libidos weren't matched and I still want to spend the rest of my life with him knowing that.

When you're faced with mismatched libidos, some people will try to get off with other partners. This can either be through an open relationship, a polyamorous relationship, or cheating. The difference is that open and poly relationships are expressions of trust and understanding between all parties involved, while cheating is a violation of expectations and trust. If you do not want to leave your partner, but you absolutely need to have more sex than what you're having, talk to your partner. You may come up with a compromise, like scheduling more sex. You may decide together to have an open relationship. Whatever you decide, so long as it is done with trust, honesty, and open communication, and so long as it works for both partners, it is okay. It is never okay to cheat. If your partner thinks you are being faithful and you cheat, even if you just HAD to get some, you have a problem and you need to talk it out.

(There will be future posts about my very biased view on open and poly relationships.)

Note: IT IS NEVER OKAY TO PRESSURE YOUR PARTNER INTO HAVING SEX. You can try to get your partner in the mood to fool around through music, romance, lingerie, or whatever else turns the two of you on, but if your partner is not interested, that's it. Cool off. Do something else. Watch a show. But IT IS NEVER OKAY TO PRESSURE YOUR PARTNER INTO HAVING SEX. Nor is it ever okay to get mad at your partner for not wanting sex. People work on different schedules. People get tired or have anxiety. And that's okay.

-It is absolutely okay to do some things - kissing, petting, etc. - and then want to stop.
-It is completely okay to start having sex and then to change your mind and decide you don't want to finish.
-It is totally okay to feel too lazy to have sex and just want to masturbate.
-It is always okay to ask for sex so long as you can handle a "No."

Friday, November 27, 2015

The Porn Drive

Watching adult films can be pretty hot. Men only get turns on by certain things. Women will get turned on even by seeing animals mating. It's true. It's subconscious, but it's true. Chances are, if the woman in the relationship doesn't have any porn, the man does. Why not share it with each other? Sharing adult videos can give you ideas of what your partner is into and give you ideas of how to satisfy him.

X had an old computer that he kept by the side of the bed for morning news. He didn't use it for anything else and he never moved it because it had terrible battery life and needed to be plugged in. This is a computer in our bedroom, so there's no risk of house guests "popping on to check their email." So why not put it to better use?

That computer is now the Porn Drive. Yes, X still uses it for his morning news. But he's also uploaded and consolidated all his porn so it's now in this collected computer. Any time we need inspiration, we can just roll over, turn it on, browse, and play. No hiding DVDs from friends, no running from the downstairs computer to the bedroom when we're feeling frisky, we just hit "on" and watch. Easy peasy!

If you have a computer that no one but you uses, why not make it a Porn Drive? It's a great use for old laptops that still technically work, but aren't good for much else. You could also use a dedicated tablet for it. Imagine giving a tablet to your lover that's pre-loaded with all the porn you want to share with her? That would be awesome.

Tuesday, November 24, 2015


So far, I've been posting about pretty much whatever's been on my mind. But I'd love to hear from you, the audience! What questions do you have for me? I don't consider myself a sexual expert, but I do consider myself (a) open and (b) experimental. Feel free to ask me either about something I've already blogged about or about a new topic. If I know about it, I'll post. If I don't, I'll experiment and learn so I can report back to you.

What would you like to read about?

Thursday, November 19, 2015

Where Does He Get Those Wonderful Toys?

Toys! They're not just for the holidays! They're also for sex!

Toys can be great additions to your sex life, be it enhancing your "menage a moi" time or be it enhancing couples time. The most common toys are dildos and vibrators.

Dildos are insertables designed to stimulate the vagina and/or g-spot. They come in realistic shapes or in just plain smooth shapes. Some come with attachments to stimulate the clitoris at the same time. Some also vibrate. Some rotate. There are as many different kinds of dildos as there are colors in the rainbow. If you're trying a dildo for the first time, get something in the mid-to-smaller range, say 5" or 8". They come upwards of 12" or more and that can get a little...large. Doable, but really freaking large.

Vibrators are typically shaped like small eggs or ovals. They are sometimes attached to a remote, sometimes they're cordless. But they provide just that - vibration. They're great for pretty much anything. You can insert them anywhere or you can use them on the outside. They're great.

So how do you know what's right for you?

My first suggestion is to get up the courage to go to a sex shop. Look up local adult toy stores on Yelp and on Google to get good reviews before going. Any decent toy shop will take toys out of the packaging for you so you can feel them in your hands to feel how firm they are, how much they vibrate, etc. This matters because some of them can be pretty expensive. They're worth the investment if they're well made and if it's a good brand, but you want to know what you're getting out of it.

Too nervous to go to a sex shop by yourself? Grab a friend or a lover and take him with! You can giggle about the silly novelty stuff (fuzzy sex dice? Really?), make mental notes, and then if you're still shy, you can come back another time to make the purchase.

Going with a lover can be a really nice foreplay or a great present for an occasion. Why get you flowers when he can get you a vibrator? Go together, find something nice, let him pay for it and say "Happy Valentine's Day" and then go home and rock out together. It's an amazing date night.

The only problem with brick-and-mortar sex shops is that, like bookstores, their supply is limited to what they can stock and sell. If you want something more specialty or something they just don't have, there is always, always, the internet.

Googling "dildo" or "vibrator" or "sex toys" will get you tons of hits, but two of the best vanilla shops are Babeland and Good Vibrations. They're incredibly sex positive (clearly), they have great selection, and they have lots of customer reviews, which is really helpful when you're shopping online for something. There's even Amazon. (Seriously, what CAN'T you get on Amazon?) For sub-dom toys and furniture, I recommend BDSM Gear. All of their products are very well-made and to the point.

Whenever X travels for work, we usually find a time to get online together via chat (after work hours) and we start  sending each other links of new sex toys we want to try. It keeps us in the mood even though we're three time zones apart and it gives us ideas of what the other person is interested in trying.

So why get toys at all? I mean, what's wrong with what God gave you? Short answer: nothing is wrong with the tools you were given, but maybe you want some variety. I love the way X's penis feels, but my dildo feels different and sometimes I want that different sensation instead, just like sometimes you want Rocky Road ice cream instead of Phish Food ice cream. Some things will provide sensations you just can't get any other way - a good vibrator can be used for all kinds of amazing techniques. If your partner tries to use his hands or mouth to vibrate that much, he will get tired really quickly, while the only limit on the vibrator is the batteries. Toys can also be great for when you're on your period - just use a toy instead of a penis and clean it off in the sink afterwards. Easy peasy.

And don't forget, nothing is stopping you from using more than one stimulator in a session. You could start with a vibrator, then use a dildo, then have coitus, then do oral, all in one session. Just a thought. Have fun!

Tuesday, November 17, 2015

Say cheese!

At some point in any sexual relationship, one or both partners get the urge to document their playtime, either with a video camera or a regular camera. Here are some thoughts on the matter.

First of all, thanks to the power of honest mistakes and the internet, photos and footage will most likely get out. If you take it on your phone, you can bet someone sometime will start leafing through your footage and discover it. If you use a real video camera, how will you keep that footage safe? If you use a film camera, how will you develop those photos? Some retailers will actually confiscate sexual images; I've had that happen to me. Where will you keep them so that they are safe? If you're using a digital camera, you need to either use a dedicated camera for that purpose (a camera that stays with your toybox) or get the images off the camera and onto a computer, stat. You don't want to forget about them and start a slideshow of your vacation for your loved ones.

Secondly, there is the issue of trust and being a good person. Your girlfriend may seem like the sweetest person right now, but you have no idea how she will act if you two break up. She may decide to show the photos to her friends. She may post the video to the internet. I've dated amazing, wonderful, trustworthy people who turned batshit crazy when the relationship went bad. Is it worth risking that?

Also, don't forget that it is incredibly easy in this day and age to make copies of things. Let's say you break up with said girlfriend and she "gives you back all the photos." Do you know for sure that she didn't make copies? That she didn't scan them to her computer? Think about it. 

Of course, there are some people who actually WANT footage and film to get on the internet. If that's you, great! But just remember two things:
1. Once it goes on the internet, it can never truly be destroyed. There is always sharing, there's always file backups, there's always linking, there's always downloading. The minute you upload it, you have no idea where it will go or what will happen to it. And that means to you.
2. Employers and family members google you. Use a really unusual alias and either don't show your face or your birthmarks or wear a mask. That goes for tattoos and jewelry as well. You may think that the footage doesn't show your foot tattoo, but you may be wrong and your new boss may have just discovered your bondage fetish. Sometimes even your hair, if it's distinctive, can be enough to give you away. And again, as stated in #1, those photos you took during a crazy time in college may come back to haunt you decades later. Be smart. What's worse is if you have a common look. Let's say you rock a light brown bobbed hair cut. You like it. You've been wearing it since high school. You only let one boyfriend take photos of you and he swears he never released them. But your boss is googling around and sees images of someone with your hairstyle in sexual positions. Do you really want to take the chance that said boyfriend kept his word? Be smart.

Years ago, I fooled around with a man who used a wheelchair. We never filmed anything, but we did get to third base. A couple years after that, he decided to make footage of himself and a different brunette messing around and submitted it to a Sexy Gimp Website. He linked it in his blog. A mutual friend of ours, who was also an ex-boyfriend of mine, found it and saw blurry footage of the man and a brunette having sexy time. He immediately contacted me and warned me that there may be sexual images of me out there on the internet. I can't tell you how important it was to be able to securely say "That's not me."

What I have discovered is that whenever I get the urge to film or photo me and X, the best thing I can do is to set up some mirrors in our room. I can watch our playtime as it's happening and get excited by watching the two of us. Is it permanent and something I can look at later? No. But it fills the exhibitionist need and lets me analyze my technique. Plus, it's sexy. And it's totally safe, which is also sexy. You only need one or two full length mirrors to have a lot of fun. Try it out.

Monday, November 16, 2015

Happy Three Months!

This blog has been going for three months! In the scope of other blogs I read, that's basically nothing, but in the scope of what I thought I was capable of, it's pretty awesome. Yay three months!

Typically, around the three month mark is where I fall in love with someone. Now, I have X in my life, we're married, and I've been in love with him for over four years (and still going strong). And that's amazing.

I encourage you to take the time today to tell someone you love them. A lover, a parent, a good friend, a pet, even a tree. Say "I love you" and give them a big hug. It's good for you.

Thursday, November 12, 2015

It's Biology - Deal With It.

Menstruation. The Period. Ragging. Aunt Flo. The Crimson Wave. Shark Week. The Red Mask of Death. (I haven't actually heard that one, but I'm going with it.) If it's something you're ashamed of, embarrassed by, grossed out by, or just don't know much about, this post is for you.

First of all, Shark Week is totally natural. How does it work? Seriously, not everyone knows this, and we should, considering 51% of the world has dealt with it or will deal with it at some point or other. So let's discuss it. Basically, every woman has a uterus. Roughly every 4-6 weeks, the uterus builds up a special lining in preparation for a fertilized egg. If an egg is fertilized, it will nestle in the lining and a pregnancy will develop. If there is no fertilized egg, the lining will pass out of the woman's body. That's her period.

This is a totally natural and essential process. If you value any woman who has ever had kids (including your mother), then you must appreciate the period.

A few facts about periods:
1. Girls can first get their periods as early as around age 11, basically at the onset of puberty. They last into menopause, which is somewhere in the 50s.
2. Periods can last anywhere from a couple days to a full week.
3. The blood can be different colors, either very light or very dark, but all some version of red.
4. There will be heavy days and there will be light days.
5. There is an urban legend that you can't get pregnant during your period because you're shedding your lining. THIS IS NOT TRUE. Yes, at some point during your period, you're shedding your egg, but you have no way of knowing at what point during the period you're losing it, so it is possible to have started your period, have unprotected sex, and to get pregnant even though you're on your period. If that's what you want, mazel tov. If not, don't risk it.

Now, since this blog is primarily about sex, how does your sexual life get impacted by your period?

That's entirely up to you and your partner. I've had some partners who were totally fine with Shark Week from the get-go. I've had other partners who were seriously grossed out and had to be trained to think otherwise. But trained they were.

First of all, if you're going to do any messing around at all, invest in some dark towels. They don't have to be black - ours are a deep purple and they're very pretty. But one of the easiest things you can do to keep things tidy is to lay down a towel before you start messing around. It can even be a tip to your partner that you're feeling frisky.

What can you do while on your period? Anything you want. X and I tend to avoid oral (it tastes very salty), but manual and coitus are totally on the table. It's basically natural lube and makes everything slicker. Who doesn't like lube?

But let's say your partner is still grossed out, but you want to have some fun. You have a couple options:
1. Make it all about your partner and drive him up the wall.
2. Use toys on yourself.

Note that the toys can be totally hot. You can use a dildo on yourself while your lover kisses you and plays with your breasts. You can control the speed and depth of the toy and enjoy it as long as you want until you finish or get bored. You're still playing with your partner, but you're also keeping things very clean. After, you just clean off a toy (which you should be doing after each encounter anyway). 

Now, I mentioned training your partner. How do you do that? Find a time when you're on your period and your partner is aroused. Get things going and have some foreplay fun, then put down a towel. If your partner asks what it's for, say something like "In case things get a little messy." Everyone can appreciate that. If that tips your partner off, great. If not, before any real vaginal contact happens, you need to tell your partner you're ragging. This isn't because it's gross, but because it may royally freak your partner out to retract a finger or a penis to find it covered in blood.

So you tell your partner you're on your period, and your partner balks. Here's where the training comes in. Have him touch your labia and your clitoris. Teach him the fun things you can do without actual penetration. Remind him that it still feels good to you and that you don't feel any different to his touch. Once he's comfortable with that, encourage him to penetrate you. Verbalize how good everything feels. Once your partner realizes that you're still the same wonderful, horny partner, he should have no problem continuing.

One thing that can also help is to come up with a code phrase to mean "I am menstruating." I don't actually know anyone who likes the word "menstruating." Seriously, do you like it? It's so clinical. What X and I say is that it's Messy Time. We'll start kissing and I'll tell him "Get the towel - I'm messy." He gets the towel and we keep going. It's as simple as that. That being said, I kind of like the phrase "Shark Week" and that may come into rotation as well. I know a woman who would go off her birth control on a Tuesday (so she'd start her period shortly thereafter). She just referred to her period as "Tuesday" all week. It can be anything you want, so long as it's clear between you and your partner.

Let's say you do stain something. This is not the end of the world. If you can, just throw it in the wash right away on a cold/cold cycle. If you use hot water, it will cook the blood into the material and you'll never get it out. So only cold water. If you don't have easy access to laundering facilities, soak the stain in cold water with a little dish soap rubbed directly into the stain. Problem solved.

Finally, if your period is unpredictable at all, I encourage you to invest in red and black undies. They can be cute, they can be sexy, and any staining just blends right in. I have about eight pairs of black undies, all with fun embellishments (lace panels, zebra print border, etc.) that I wear because they make me feel pretty, but I can save for messy days and they save me a world of trouble.

Your period is a part of you. Any long-term partner needs to be comfortable with it. Take him with you next time you need feminine supplies. Better yet, send him to the store to get them while you stay home with ice cream (just make sure to show him the box you like to be absolutely sure you're getting the kind you want. No one likes getting the wrong feminine supplies.)

Speaking of feminine supplies, let's talk about them. Pads and tampons. More "taboo" words. So let's talk about them! Some women use one, some women use the other, some women use both.

Pads come in different widths, thicknesses, and lengths, depending on what you need. Some of them are just liners while others are full blown thick. Some come with wings that wrap around your panties to hold them into place. It totally depends on what you want them for. Some women rely solely on pads, for whatever reason. My best friend has a thick hymen and basically can't use tampons without a lot of pain, so she only uses pads. One advantage of pads is that it's easy to tell exactly how full they are and when you need to change them - you just look.

Tampons are even more varied than pads and are a little more complicated. First, using them. There is a technique to it, if you've never tried. WikiHow has an awesome article, complete with pictures, that clarifies this. You can find it here. For the record, the first time I used tampons, I didn't have this article or even my mother's guidance. I pulled out the directions from the box and read them. Old school.

Tampons come in different shapes and styles. Some have flushable applicators, some are plastic and need to be thrown away. My favorite tampons ever are the Playtex Sport. They come in different strengths for lighter or heavier days (as do most brands). But what I like most about them is that instead of the tampon just being a solid tube of cotton, it flowers out as you apply it to better fit. It's extremely comfortable, even if I'm being active (dancing, yoga, walking, running, etc).

I always wear liners, even if I'm wearing a tampon and here's why: experience can tell you when you need to change a tampon, but if your flow isn't regular, you don't have a really good way of knowing when it's time to change a tampon. Enter the liner. I just wait until I see stains on the liner and then I change them both. It's simple and it keeps my undies clean.

That's it! But to return to my original point: society tells us that our periods should be secret, that we should hide whenever we have them and restrict ourselves from doing the activities we love. Some cultures even consider a woman ragging - and anyone who touches her - unclean. This is total bullshit. It's one of the most natural processes there are. Having a regular period means you have a healthy reproductive system - who doesn't want that? (Note: if you don't have a period for three months or more, consult an OB/GYN. You may be pregnant or you may be having problems with your plumbing. Either way, get medical help to sort things out.) Periods can be gross, yes. They're certainly messy. But they're not the end of the world and they certainly don't have to mean the end of your sex life.

EDIT: One last tip to the ladies: Keep track of when you're on your cycle so you know what to expect. What I do is I draw a tiny circle in my planner for a light flow day and a dark circle for a heavy flow day. Doing this for a few months will let you better anticipate your cycle and how to manage it. Bye!

Tuesday, November 10, 2015

Let's Play Dress Up!

There is a stereotype that all men are driven wild by lingerie. They love red, pink, and black, satin and lace. They love little school girl outfits and tiny Santa skirts during the holidays. Not all men are like this. Some are, yes, and some aren't. Outfits and lingerie can be a great way to set the tone of a session or to add a little bit of spice. If you're doing any role playing, it can definitely help. It also doesn't have to be a huge investment. Playing the stern school marm? Put your hair in a bun with a pencil and bring a ruler. That's what, three bucks for the pencil and the ruler? Playing the cheerleader? Get some knee-high socks and wear a crop top (which you can make with a white tee shirt and a pair of scissors). You may choose to go all out in your outfits, and that's fine, but if you're broke or lazy, you can also just suggest it. You and your partner are already using your imagination when creating a scenario. You can extend that imagination a little further into the outfits, too.

But what about standard lingerie? My boyfriend before X loved it. I'd get satin babydolls for him and he just went wild. X doesn't give a hoot about slips and lace. Like, at all. Does nothing for him. He likes me naked. But if I'm going to dress up, he likes black, fishnet, and leather. (classic sub). So I have a box of neglected lingerie. If I meet him naked in bed, he likes that the best. When you're learning what a partner wants, feel free to just ask what they like! If your partner is shy or not very creative, give him options. Say "Would you rather see me in a black corset or a red teddy?" "Which do you like better, satin or leather?" Help guide him to a place of dress-up. Just make sure that whatever you propose for your partner's options is something you're actually willing to wear. For example, I will never wear a school girl outfit because I was a Catholic school girl for ten years and I just don't get it. I mean, if X pleaded, I'd consider it, but I don't find it sexy in the slightest. (Fortunately, neither does he.)

But there's another side to this, a side which deserves recognition. When we put on outfits of any kind, we change our behavior in subtle ways. That's part of why Halloween is so popular - we like to dress up and put on personas. It's also why we have different dress codes for work and church versus casual clothes. We act more professional when we're wearing more professional clothes. It's true. A study was once done in which three groups of people took an intelligence test. These groups of people were alike in all ways except that one group wore jeans and tee shirts, one group wore artists' smocks, and one group wore doctors' lab coats. The "doctors" scored way higher on the intelligence test. We act differently depending on what we're wearing.

The fact is that while X doesn't find lace and satin sexy, I DO. And my opinion matters, too. It helps me get in the mood when I dress up a little bit for him. Sometimes that just means wearing matching lacy undies under my jeans and sweaters; when I take off the sweater, I know I look good and that matters to me. So if there's something you want to wear because it makes you feel sexy, be it a catsuit, knee high boots, or a plumber's overalls, it's okay to wear it to satisfy your own needs. Pay attention to your needs. We all want to satisfy our partners, but we also need to make ourselves satisfied, and that starts with getting in the right mood. That starts with feeling sexy. And that can mean sexy clothes.

Also, talk to your partner about what "casual" (not lingerie or role play outfits) clothes your partner likes. X likes me in casual dresses, but he also just loves jeans and tee shirts (seriously, how lucky am I?) That being said, he also appreciates a knee-high leather boot. I'm not willing to wear a corset on a day-to-day basis, but I am willing to change up my footwear for him, so just for him, I just got a new pair of pleather boots. We're going out for dinner on Friday and I fully intend to wear them for him. They hint that I'm a sexual person to my lover without screaming to the world "WE HAVE INTERCOURSE."

You can also find out what scents or hairstyles your partner likes. This can backfire though. For example, X loves bangs, the kind that cut straight across the forehead. Think Mia from Pulp Fiction. I have curly hair; there is no way my hair would ever do that. So I just have to accept that I can never pull off that look for him. (Fortunately, he also loves brunettes and I have very dark brown hair, so I win on that front.)

Just don't forget in all your exploring the world of dress-up that it's also important to do and wear what makes you feel sexy. Your ideas matter too. I have a tattoo on my foot and I feel incredibly sexy when I show it. Does anyone really pay that much attention to my feet? Probably not. But I notice it and that's enough for me. Find hairstyles or scents that make you feel sexy. Paint your nails bright red. Or black. Or whatever color you like. Try your hair in different styles - even parting it on the other side can make a difference. Play! Have fun! Experiment! Most of all, be you. Remember, that's who your partner finds sexy above all else: you. So be you.

Tuesday, November 3, 2015

Baby Got Back(door)

Anal play. Let's talk about it. In the end, it's no more gross than sex (which is actually pretty gross, but is still awesome).

Basically, there are two ways to pleasure an anus: insertables or mouth. Insertables can be fingers, penises, toys, vibrators, beads, or anything else you decide to stick up there. Mouth is just that: kissing, licking, nibbling, or nuzzling. I have never actually used my mouth on someone's anus because I find that gross, even if the person just showered, I still have a hard time getting over the stigma. Plus, I wonder how awkward it is trying to get my face between two butt cheeks. If anyone out there has experience with this, please weigh in on the effect, techniques, pros and cons, etc.

But I have used insertables, both on myself and on a partner, so we're going to talk about that. Yes, I've had butt sex. And I have to say, it's different than vaginal sex, but it is still pleasurable. I like it when I'm feeling a bit rougher just because you can go to town with very little "damage" done. It is easier, granted, with someone who has a skinnier penis. Length isn't really a component, but girth definitely is. Just something to think about.

Positions that work well for anal sex are doggy-style (naturally), but also woman-on-top. As a matter of fact, woman-on-top may be better for your first time because you can control the speed and depth involved and be a little more in control of what is going on.

As for using insertables on a partner, I've tried using fingers on a couple different partners. And it's hot. There's something incredibly sexy about penetrating a partner and feeling the motions of your body echoing in theirs. It's also intimate as well - you're literally going inside someone, so respect that power.

Technique for fingers:
1. Start with just one finger and insert it slowly. When X and I first start anal play, I can only get my finger in to about the first knuckle. And that's okay! You cannot rush anal unless you want to traumatize your partner. Eventually, I can get my whole finger in, but it takes moving a little, resting so he can get used to the sensation, and then moving a little more. Take your time.
2. Movement is a good sensation. Try wiggling your finger and pulsing deeper. In and out motion doesn't work as well because the muscles react very fast and you're basically snapping them back into place every time you retract and forcing them apart again every time you go deeper. It's better just to find a good location and stay that deep until you're done.
3. Once your partner is used to one finger, you can remove it and try again with two. I haven't done more than two, but even two seems to be pushing it with my partners.
4. When you're withdrawing, GO SLOWLY. Again, when you withdraw, the muscles snap back into place. Do that too quickly and it will hurt your partner.

Grossed out, but intrigued by anal sex? Condoms are your friend! Even if you're fluid-bonded to your partner, it may be a good idea; even if you're fooling around in the shower, there may be a little bit of debris left on the insertable after use. You could clean the insertable off right away with soap and water, or you could just use a condom on the insertable and throw it away afterwards. X and I use expired condoms for my fingers. What else are we going to use them for? If you're planning to alternate between vaginal and anal sex, remember: you can go from vaginal to anal, but never the other way around. If you're planning to go from anal to vaginal, you need to clean the insertable or get a fresh condom. Just like cleaning yourself after using the toilet, front to back is safe, but never back to front.

If you want to try anal play, but you're not quite sure how to get into it, first broach the idea with your partner while both of you are of sound mind....then actually try it out (once you have sober permission) when you're a bit drunk. Why? (A) Because your inhibitions are a little lowered and it's easier to try something new. (B) Because alcohol relaxes your muscles and will make it easier to get something in. Another good idea is to try it during a co-shower - it's much easier to clean up after (yay soap and water!).

If you're not sure if you want your partner to try anal play on you, definitely play with yourself first to get an idea. First get yourself warmed up with general masturbation to get yourself in the mood. Then once you're feeling frisky, try it out. Try reaching from both between your legs and behind yourself to see what works best for you. Try it lying on your front and on your back. Remember motion is pleasurable, so wiggle your fingers and give it a shot.

There are cremes out there that will relax or numb anal muscles for you. If you want to try them, remember, apply it to the anus and give it a few minutes to sink in. After that, feel free to go to town with insertables, but don't ever use your mouth after you've used one of these cremes or you could end up with numb lips or tongue. Plus, they usually taste gross.

Have fun!

(Side note: when I was in college, I took a class called Human Sexuality. One of our assignments was to read a book on sexuality, any part of it, and write a review. At the time, I'd never done anything with anal, but I was intrigued by it, so I read a book on anal play. The intro lauded the anus, glorified the anus as a neglected sex organ. It ended the intro by proudly exclaiming "Love your anus!" It's hokey, but it's true. We love the cock and it both ejaculates and urinates. The anus defecates, but just like the penis, it can also be a playtime place. Love your anus!)

Sunday, October 25, 2015

Long Distance - How to Make it Work

Part of X's very successful career is travel - he's gone for two weeks, then home for two weeks, then away for two weeks, and repeat. We've been doing this for about seven months now. I won't lie - it's hard. I mean, it's nice to watch all the shows I like to watch that he doesn't and to eat all the food I want that he doesn't like. But I miss my lover in the emotional and the physical ways. When you love someone, they infiltrate your life, like a scent. They follow you wherever you go and you miss it when they're gone.

So how do you keep the romance alive while your partner is gone?

1. Schedule time to talk. For us, this is a little tricky because he travels to the west coast, a three hour time difference for us. By the time he gets home from work, it's time for me to go to bed. But on the weekends, we connect and we chat over gchat for hours. Tell each other about the little things - where you went to eat last night, what book you're reading, what you're watching on TV and what you think of it. And don't be afraid to get a little sexy. I'm not saying you  have to get into phone/chat sex (not everyone is into that). But remind your partner of something he did that was really hot just to remind him that you're thinking of him in that way.

2. Do online shopping together. Through the power of the internet, you can be looking at the same things at the same time. It's magic! So look around for toys or outfits you think your partner would like and email them to him. Say "I was thinking I could order this for when you get back. What do you think?" He'll love that you're thinking of him that way and will definitely want to give helpful input.

3. Email each other on the schedule that works for you. For some people, this is a few times a day. For some people, it's once every few days. But even a quick "I did your laundry and I was thinking of you. Hope you're having a good day." will make your partner smile.

Finally, for those of you who are working with a long-distance loved one, here are a few things to do to pass the time better:

1. Be selfish. While X is gone, I binge watch shows he hates. I order the pizza he doesn't like. I stay up later than he likes and I sleep in later than he can. I indulge in Me Time because I can. If you  think of ways to treat yourself, it isn't as bad.

2. Schedule time to see people. You have friends. Go out and see them. Ask them to come over. If you have friends who aren't in common with your love one's, so much the better. For example, this week, I'm having a big knitting night, where friends are coming over for dinner and knitting together. It's the kind of thing X would get out of the way of. But he's not here. So girls night abounds!

3. Schedule activities. It is far too easy to let inertia take control of you and to sit at home, watching TV, all night, every night, while your loved one is gone. Find activities. Go out to dinner with friends. Go to a movie. Go play on a playground. Go visit the library and read in public. Go to Starbucks and people watch. Find a club of people who like the same things you do and try it out. For me, I'm committing to going to the gym for a couple hours twice a week. It'll keep me active and working towards my health goals while keeping me distracted from my loneliness. It's a win-win!

4. Do something to surprise him when he gets back. For me, that's cleaning. Our house is a pit. But he loves to come home to a clean room. Note I said a clean "room" and not a clean "house." Cleaning a whole house is daunting, but even cleaning just one room can make a huge difference. If you don't live with your loved one, there are still things you can do. Make him cookies. Knit him a hat. Buy him a new movie. And then you can tease him with an "I have a surprise for you" that he can look forward to the whole time he's gone.
And remember, it's okay to be sad that your loved one is away from you. You love him. It makes sense that you miss him. But at least for X, he's away trying to do a job. He doesn't need me pining over him constantly and distracting him from the job he's trying to do. I tell him I miss him in an email once a day or so, then I get on with my life. If I feel the need to dither on, I talk to a friend or a journal. But keep the crazy off of your partner. Remember, it's hard for him too. Make it a little easier by staying upbeat and positive for him so he knows what a joy he's coming back to.

Tuesday, October 20, 2015

Review: Leather Strappings with D Rings

Recently X and I added Leather Strappings with D Rings to our toybox. We've only used them once so far, but here's what we think: they're great. We got two 2 foot, two 4 foot, and two 7 foot, all in 1.5 inch width. When we used them, we had X lie on his front with his hands at his sides. I used the 7 footers to go around his biceps and wrist/hip area, then the 4 footers to go around his knees and his ankles.

They're really easy to use. Basically if you can use a D ring belt, you can use these straps. If you don't know how to use a D ring belt, watch this SFW tutorial. You do have to pull them really tight because they'll loosen up just a little bit (but not too much) as your sub struggles. It's basically impossible to pull them TOO tight, so go wild.

X enjoyed the restraint for about a half an hour while I scratched his back and paddled him. Once I/we got bored with it, it was a simple process to get him out of it. They coil up for ease of storage and ease of retrieval.

I wouldn't call them a staple just yet, but if you're not experienced with ropes, I'd say they're definitely good tools to add to your toybox. Insta-bondage. Love it.

Wednesday, October 7, 2015

Menage a moi, anyone?

Menage a moi is my oh-so-fancy term for masturbation (menage a trois, but single...okay, I think it's funny and I matter). MAM is an important part of any partnership. I hear you - you ask me, why do we need masturbation if I have a partner? Here are some good reasons to include MAM in your sex life, partner or no.

In no particular order:
1. Your partner will not always be available or in the mood. MAM means you can satisfy your own needs and keep yourself happy.
2. You can learn what you like so you can teach your partner how to do it. Nothing is hotter than an informed partner and you can't trust your partner to know exactly what you want and need unless you teach him.
3. It can be a way to warm yourself up. If your partner is interested and you're not in the mood, one way to get in the mood is to start pushing your favorite buttons.
4. It's a safe way to experiment with techniques and toys before asking your partner to try them. If you want to try, say, being spanked, but you're not sure if you'd like it, try giving yourself a little swat and see how you like it. It's a lot better to try it yourself and have the chance to see what you think before your partner goes full hog on your ass.

And a few tips for getting the most out of it:
1. Give yourself time to play. There's a time and a place for just getting an orgasm as fast as possible, but there's also a time and a place for really enjoying your self-pleasure. Don't be afraid to take a good long time to play around and see what you like.
2. Try different positions. Lie on your front and see how that feels. Try kneeling on all fours. Try it on your back. See what you like.
3. Don't get frustrated if you don't get there. Sometimes you're just not in the mood no matter what you do - and that's okay! Learn what you can from the experience and move on with your day.
4. Don't just go for the junk. Try stroking your butt, your neck, your chest. Play with your nipples. You have two hands and it's okay to use them in different places.
5. Don't be afraid to get into it. Make noises. Get loud. Move your hips. Thrust. Really enjoy yourself. It's your time - get into it!

Furthermore, your partner may find it hot to watch you or to listen to you in MAM. What we like to do is to get X tied up, blindfolded, and gagged, and then I go to town on myself. It's absolute torture for him. He gets all riled up and super excited listening to me and feeling the vibrations of my movement next to him, but he can't do anything. He loves it. I keep going until I get bored and then I go work on him. It works for us.

Note for the ladies out there: the clitoris and the G-spot are very real things that can rock your world. If you're not familiar with them, look up where they are on the internet (or comment and I'll look it up for you) and enjoy!

If you've ever been interested in anal, but haven't tried it yet, MAM is the perfect time to try it out. There will be a long post on anal later, but if you do want to try it, use your finger and just see what happens. If you're worried about it being "gross" you can either (a) use a condom or (b) try it in the shower or bath.

Have fun!

Sunday, October 4, 2015

New Toy!

X and I were talking and we decided to add a new set of tools to our toybox. We bought these straps. Essentially, they're leather straps with D rings on the ends. We bought them in three separate lengths with 1.5 inch width.

What will we use them for? Lots of things! But the big thing we want to start doing is to start hogtying X. I'm terrible with rope, so this seemed like the easiest way to get him bound up. We'll us them for ankles, knees, thighs, wrists, elbows, possibly biceps, and then a strap to link the whole thing together. I'll report back and let you know how they work with my first review!

Thursday, October 1, 2015

Wednesday, September 30, 2015

So You're Tied what?

When X and I first started having playtime, oh so many moons ago, one mistake I made was assuming he needed to be "entertained" all the time. I'd tie him up, like he wanted, but then I'd keep myself crazy busy continuing to stimulate him. I'd run out of ideas, I'd get frustrated, and I'd end the scenario before either of us was really satisfied.

But guess what? If your lover likes being tied up, this is a stimulation in and of itself! I've played with the timing of it and I've learned that I can tie X up and leave him completely alone - not even be in the room - for 15-20 minutes. What do I do during that time? Anything I want. Finish watching a show. Read some erotica or watch some porn to get myself more in the mood. Masturbate so I'm finished and can better focus on him. Call my mom. Anything you want.

If you want to try tying your lover up and leaving him alone, there's a couple things to keep in mind.
1. If you're using new restraints or a new restraint system, it's better to stay in the room just to make sure your lover isn't uncomfortable or in pain. You want to tease him, not torture him.
2. X likes the idea of being tied up and left alone, but in practice, he likes to be able to call for me if he needs me. To that end, I never gag him when I plan to leave him alone. I tie him up and blindfold him, but I leave his mouth free and I stay in the next room just to make sure I can hear him.
3. You can do a lot with "check ins." Say you're trying this for the first time. Tie your lover up and leave him alone for 3-5 minutes. Come back in and talk to him and touch him. Make sure he's still riled up (he will be). Then leave again for 5-7 minutes. Repeat. You can keep someone going for easily a half hour this way and it's not boring at all. It keeps his interest piqued with minimal effort on your part.

This can also work really well if he's interested and you're not. So your lover wants to play. Fine. Tie him up and do something to get yourself in the mood. Read or watch something sexy. Touch yourself. Touch your lover. But he's a captive audience and will be good and ready for you when you are.

Tuesday, September 29, 2015

Using all the Tools

One problem I had with tying X up originally was that once he's bound, he pretty much can't pleasure me. I can make love to him, but his hands and his mouth are caught up, which limits a lot of what he can do. In addition, we're bound to pretty much one position. All of that can get a bit...dull. Sex needs to be about give and take and we need to make sure we vanillas get some of what we want as well.

Solution: untie him! Hear me out. I talked this through with X and have tried it and it works great. Start with basic make outs. Then tie him up in whatever fashion suits you. Play with him, tease him, and bring him as close to orgasm as possible without going over. Then  unbind him and let the kindled passion assist the two of you in coitus/manual/oral/whatever you demand of your sub. Once you've gotten enough, retie him and finish him off in whatever fashion works for you.

Doing things this way not only makes sure you're both satisfied, but it also gives you a chance to play with more toys in a single session, keeping the interest going. Give it a shot!

Tuesday, September 22, 2015

Article: How the Addams Family Does BDSM Right

Offbeat Home has done another great article, this time on looking at BDSM in one of our favorite couples, Morticia and Gomez Addams. Check it out!

Monday, September 21, 2015

And we're back!

Hello dear readers! I'm back from my amazing honeymoon with my amazing husband. I could go on and on about how awesome Hawaii was and how incredible X is, but you really don't need to hear all that.

Today's topic is based on a conversation X and I had. Some people want to achieve orgasm as their goal. They want it fast, they want it now and then they want to go on with their day. (I dated a guy in college who insisted on playing video games after sex. That was weird.) That's stereotypically the "male" way of looking at things. Then you have the stereotypically "female" way of looking at things, where we want foreplay and lots of interactions before coming.

X, it turns out, is more the latter. Sure, he likes orgasming - who doesn't? - but it's more about the journey there and the tease and suspense before the release than anything else. We've been together for four years and this was the first time he'd really opened up about this. But that's amazing information to have! So in our next encounters, I played with bringing him close to coming and then stopping and just leaving him hanging. It was cruel. He loved it. Eventually, I finished him off, but I took my sweet time. He said it was incredible.

Example: we kissed for a little bit. Then we put his mask on him, complete with gag. He lay his head down in my lap and I just watched TV for a bit while letting my hands roam all over him as I felt like it. Sometimes it was just playing with his chest hair. Sometimes it was more. But that situation - having his mask on and being in a subordinate position, thrilled him. It wasn't that much work and was easy for a vanilla person to do. 

So, in your never-ending pursuit of good sexual communication with your partner, I challenge you to ask him how much foreplay he wants. Does he want to just get to the good part or does he enjoy the build-up? Does she want to be teased or does that get her out of the mood? And if your partner's not sure what he wants, experiment with both and get feedback! It's an excuse for more playtime and who can object to that?

Tuesday, September 8, 2015

Honeymoon! BRB

Well good readers, I'm writing this advance, which means I'm coming to you...from the past! It's time travel! Freaky! By now, X and I are on our honeymoon, having an amazing time on a tropical island. Posts will resume with lots of new ideas, tips, and reviews on Monday, September 21st.

In the meantime, read the archives, post a few comments, and I'll be seeing you soon!

Saturday, September 5, 2015

Article: BDSM DIY

Offbeat Home did an article focusing on how to use basic household furniture and items as BDSM tools. Check it out!

Thursday, September 3, 2015

Honeymoon Packing

X and I are getting married on Saturday and couldn't be happier. We've planned an amazing two week honeymoon somewhere tropical. We plan to spend time relaxing on the beach, watching the sunset, reading, and having a lot of sex. Because, come on, honeymoon.

So what does a vanilla/chocolate couple pack for a two week romantic getaway? 

-4 leather cuffs and collar
-Mask with gag (leather, gag is removable)
-Spandex mask (no gag)
-locks/keys (to be used with pretty much everything else)
-Sleeves (a set of soft leather sleeves that attach over the back by a leather strap. His arms go in the sleeves, then they get buckled across his front, straight jacket style, leaving him very comfortable and very constricted at once)
-Riding crop, paddle, flogger (not to be used in every encounter, but an excellent spice to a scenario)
-Padded bit gag (a standard gag that buckles around the back of the head, with a soft leather bit, like a horse, for him to bite)
-Condoms, lube (gotta haves)
-Nipple clamps (we use clothes pins. If you have good recommendations for something else, let me know!)

We won't use everything in every sitting, but that combination of easy to pack materials will give us more than enough variety to keep us entertained for two weeks. 

What do you bring on your romantic getaways?

Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Saturday, August 29, 2015

Are You Out?

Sex and sexuality is a huge part of our culture that we don't really talk about, which is a shame. I think we should be talking. Let's take sex-ed for example. My parents gave me the anatomy lesson from Day One, but they didn't talk about techniques, needs, orgasms, prevention, toys, etc. It was basically "this is how a penis and a vagina work together." I went to an all-girls Catholic school for high school; the most sex ed we got was "don't do it." I learned how to use a condom from a knowledgeable boyfriend. I didn't discover the clitoris until I was 19. These are things we should learn at a much earlier age so we can make the choice for ourselves as to how much to incorporate them into our lives.

When you add BDSM into a sex life, it adds a new level of complexity. People tend to have stereotypes and judgements - good or bad - preconceived. I never tell anyone that X is a sub. That's between him and me. Our parents don't know. Our siblings don't know. Our closest friends have a bare-bones idea, but we don't discuss toys or scenarios with them. We're private people and we keep that part of our lives to ourselves. I wouldn't be opposed to talking about my experiences with a girlfriend, but I'd coach it in terms of a "past boyfriend" and not a "current fiance." X never talks about his past engagements unless I directly ask him, and even then he's reticent. A gentlemen never kisses and tells, something like that.

So, are you out? Do you talk to your friends and family about your choice? Is it just something for the bedroom or is it a full lifestyle choice?What, if anything, do you teach your children?

Thursday, August 27, 2015

Masks: A Staple

Masks are up there with cuffs: they're pretty much part of the ABCs for bondage. Masks come in all different types. Some have mouth coverings, some have open mouths. Some have removable blind folds, some have padded blindfolds, some have attached blindfolds. Some are made of leather, some made of rubber, some made of latex.

We have two masks and we use one in almost every scenario. The first is a spandex mask. It's stretchy, it's easy to pull over his head. The eyes are covered with a padded area, making it basically impossible for him to see out, but the mouth and nose are just covered in spandex, so he can breathe. I like it because (a) it's very easy-on, easy-off and (b) it allows me access to his mouth. This lets me kiss him when I feel like it. I just roll up the mask and then roll it back down. It also allows him to make semi-articulate noises, which is important if we're trying something new and I need feedback as we go along.

The other mask we use is more of a hard core device, but X likes it better. It's leather. It has a removable blindfold that secures with snaps. It has a removable gag. It secures to the back of the head with several straps that can be buckled at different tightnesses to keep it snug. X likes it better because he really likes the gag. One issue I have with it is that because it's firm leather, it's difficult to get situated on his head. What often happens is that I tell him to put it on and then I secure the gag, thus showing who's boss but still letting him get it on so it's easier on me.

If you're not sure if you want to try a mask, try blindfolding your partner first and see if he likes that. You can use thick ribbon, knee-high socks, or a large stocking hat (although that could get hot). You could also just throw a shirt over his head. The important thing is that his eyes are covered; how you get there is up to you.

I mentioned gags, but there will be a separate post on them. There's a trick to them.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Cuffs: A Staple

My first set of cuffs was made of soft fabric, like fuzzy felt. It secured with velcro. It had a long length of grossgrain ribbon sewn onto it for securing to bedposts. I thought I was terribly sexy.

The first - and only - time I used the fabric cuffs on X, he strained so hard against them that he broke the ribbon from the cuff. I could have sewn it back on, but why? He'd probably just break it again. So he introduced me to leather cuffs.

Leather cuffs are good for a couple of reasons:
1. Try breaking them. I dare you.
2. Your sub will appreciate the strength of the cuff around his wrists/ankles.
3. Leather cuffs come with rings for attaching to ropes or to each other (best done with locks)

A good set of cuffs is an investment in your sexual future. They're easy-on, easy-off bondage material. You can strap them to the bedposts using ropes. You can cuff them to each other (think handcuffs) using locks. You may be wondering, why not just use handcuffs? They're certainly easy to get access to in any adult book store.

Problems with handcuffs:
1. They tend to dig in and hurt when you strain against them. Even the fuzzy ones.
2. The locks are cheap and either breakable or have release clips on them, which would allow your sub to get out on his own. And we don't want that.
3. They are always linked to each other, allowing for one basic shape. A pair of cuffs allows you to tie down your sub in all kinds of different ways.
4. Straining too hard leaves marks. You don't want to have to tell your sub to simmer down, so why set yourself up for that? 

If you're looking for an intro kit, I recommend the Under The Bed Restraint System by Extreme Restraints (NSFW). It comes with cuffs for both ankles and wrists and has tethers long enough to go under your mattress - a perfect set up in case you don't have a good headboard and footboard to tie someone to.

If you're interested in trying something a little more expensive, but a worthwhile investment, I recommend the Strict Leather Premium Fur Lined Locking Restraints by Extreme Restraints (NSFW). They're the right width and diameter to hold pretty much anyone, the leather is incredibly strong, and the fur is incredibly comfortable. Everyone wins. Strain as much as you want, they won't break or leave marks. 

Wearing cuffs can be a delightful start to foreplay. Leave your lover a note that says "put these on" and the cuffs for when he gets home from work. If you're a vanilla person who wants vanilla play, sometimes just wearing cuffs can give your spicier lover a little thrill, making him happier to play your way.

In short, cuffs belong in anyone's toy box. Get a set for yours.  

Monday, August 24, 2015

Article: Finding a Dominant/Submissive Play Partner

Offbeat Home did a great article called "Finding a Dominant/Submissive Partner" which talks about how to integrate BDSM into your sex life. Check it out!

Sunday, August 23, 2015

Nipple Clamps and You

Some people love nipple clamps. Some people do not. If you want to try using them with your partner, you need to first establish if he has sensitive nipples. You can do this by playing with his nipples in a vanilla setting first. Try brushing them with your finger, nibbling on them, or sucking on them. Note your partner's reaction. Some people will love it, like X does. Some people, like me, will think you're wasting your time. But give it a shot and see what your partner thinks.

If your partner likes the brushing and the nibbling, you can then experiment with pressure - pinch a nipple and see what reaction you get. You should also try twisting. If your partner likes both of these things, you're probably ready to try nipple clamps.

Note: Start easy on the pressure! You don't want to shock your partner. Go gradually harder, noting reactions as you go. For some people, there is such a thing as "too much." For others, you can't go hard enough. Feel free to ask your partner if it's good.

If you're ready to try nipple clamps, but you don't know what to try, the best thing I can recommend is to pick up some clothes pins from the super market. You can get them pretty much anywhere. The only downside is they come in something like a 20 pack and you only need two. If you can figure out a use for those 18 extra clothes pins, let me know. According to X, the clothes pins are gentle. They also have a broad tip, which is useful for securing the nipple and for providing even pressure.

There is a technique to using nipple clamps. Here it is:
Pinch the nipple with one hand and pull it away from the body slightly. With your clamp, come from underneath the pinch and attach it to the nipple. You want to get as much of the nipple in the clamp as possible and this is the best way I've found to do it.

When releasing the nipple, pinch it from underneath the clamp and hold that pinch as you take off the clamp. Keep the pinch for a few seconds before gradually releasing it. This prevents the blood from rushing back too fast, which can be jarring and even a little painful.

That's it! Give it a shot!

I don't actually have any products to recommend, other than the clothes pins. While X technically has a set of "official" nipple clamps, he doesn't like them very much and I've never used them. But if you're going shopping, look for something with a strong spring and a wide tip.

Wednesday, August 19, 2015

Do You?

Time to talk about consent. This will be a short post because it's a pretty straightforward concept. Basically both (or more) partners in a scenario must be willing. This willingness needs to be established before playtime starts. It doesn't have to be a written contract. It can be an informal conversation. But you need to actually have that conversation.

If your partner isn't willing and you do it anyway, that's abuse and you need help.

This conversation is especially important if your partner is going to be play-resisting in any way. We all agree that No means No. But what happens when No means Keep Going and Australia means Stop? You have to have these conversations and to establish with your partner what your boundaries are.

Let's say you think your partner will be willing, but you want to surprise him. Spontaneity has its place. Unscripted play sessions can be fun. But the best advice I can give for someone who wants to be spontaneous is establish a safe word or "resistance protocol" (what means No?) and leave your partner ungagged so he has the freedom to protect himself.

What I've found is that conversations about what we'd like to try together can often become foreplay. You want to be detailed so you can make sure your partner is comfortable with the ideas. So you talk about it. You start exchanging ideas. You kiss. And bam, assuming you have a free afternoon, you have fresh ideas and a willing partner. Problem solved.

Get consent for anything you want to try.
Establish what No means.
Your partner always has the right to refuse, even if it's halfway into a scenario.

Have fun!

How To Get What You Want...Nicely

This is a somewhat broader topic, but it applies just as much to BDSM as it does to life. Let's say you want to try something. Maybe it's sky diving. Maybe it's anal play. Maybe it's a massage class. Maybe it's a flogger. Regardless of what it is, you want to try something new. How do you get that to happen?

1. Use I Statements instead of You Statements.
This is something that gets beaten to death in therapy, but they have a good point. I Statements are statements that start with an I - I feel, I wish, I want. They put responsibility on the speaker. They talk about the speaker's needs and desires. By focusing on the speaker rather than on the target, you keep it from being confrontational or about the target. Even if you want something out of the target, you can phrase it in an I Statement.
-I feel sexy when you tie me up.
-I wish you would try these handcuffs next time.
-I want you to spank me.

You Statements are, by nature, confrontational. They put the responsibility and the onus on the target. They put the target "on the spot" and force them to react.
-You should tie me up.
-You should use these handcuffs.
-You should spank me.
They put the target in an awkward place. No one wants that.

2. Be clear about what you want. When you say you want your partner to dominate you, do you mean just tie you up? Do you want to be humiliated? What about role play? Do you want your partner to continue even if you resist (safe words!) or do you want No to always mean No? Be specific!

3. Listen to your partner! Let's say you want to be tied up. The conversation could go something like this:
You: I'd like it if you tied me up next time.
Them: I don't know if I'm comfortable with that.
It's not an uncommon response. But your lover's comfort is incredibly important, so you have to respect her position. Ask follow-up questions: "What about it makes you uncomfortable?" or "Have you tried it before?" And then, listen! Communication and sex are both about give and take.

If you don't know what you want, research! There's erotica. There's porno movies. There's pictures. There's blogs and forums. Start looking around and see what appeals to you. Thanks to the internet, you can be as anonymous as you want, so don't be shy! Start looking for what appeals to you. Approach it from both a scientific and an emotional standpoint - notice your reactions and ask yourself why you're reacting that way. If you're shocked by something you see, is it because you've never seen it before or because it bothers you? If you're interested in something, what about it appeals to you? Is it the fact that the target is getting paddled or the fact that the dom is dressed as a school mistress? Try to come up with specific things you want to try.

Some people have a hard time talking about sex. This is for a number of reasons - social taboo, religious upbringing, naturally shy, etc. It could be the first time you're talking about it with a partner or it could be trying to shake things up in an established pattern. If you're having a hard time talking about it, there are two things I'd recommend:
1. Write it down. This lets you really think about what you want to say and how you want to say it. You can ask your lover to read it without you and get back to you so she has time to process and respond as well.
2. Show an example. Let's say you found a porn video that really appeals to you - why not share it with your lover? Remember to use I Statements - rather than "You should watch this and try it," try "I liked this video and I thought we could try it together."

These communication tips are great for other areas of your life too, not just your sex life. Fighting with your siblings? Same rules apply. Talking to your boss about a raise? Same rules. If you're interested in learning more about how to assertively communicate with someone, the absolute best resource I can recommend is The Assertiveness Workbook: How to Express Your Ideas and Stand Up for Yourself at Work and in Relationships by Randy J. Paterson. Long title, but amazing book about communication. It'll change the way you talk to people about everything and anything.