Wicked Wednesday – 319 – Let Your Partner Say No

I’m guessing that some of you read the title of this post and immediately though, “Well duh, Livvy”, but I’m not just talking about giving or removing the idea of enthusiastic consent here, although that’s obviously important as well, even in relationships where there is also implied consent. There is something more to be said for letting your partner say no within a sexual situation (or any situation really.)

Having agency within one’s life, sexual or otherwise is incredibly important and, I feel, incredibly freeing. You’re not obligated to go along with the crowd and it lets you do what you need or want to do both in and out of bed. This is something that I think many people think about too much because going with the flow has always been encouraged, especially, it seems for girls and women. We’re expected to say yes to all kinds of things, even when we want to say no. But back to saying no in a sexual context without specifically removing consent.

Here’s an example of what I mean. Let’s say that my partner wants to try bringing food into the bedroom to play with, but on their own they decide that I wouldn’t like it and therefore they don’t bring the idea up at all because they have essentially already made the choice for me (i.e. assumed I’d say no.) BUT, if my partner comes to me outside of a sexual context and says hey, maybe we should get some edible chocolate and some whipped cream to play with in bed. Suddenly I have agency again and I can decide if it is something I want to do or not. For the record, it would be a no; I’ve heard that the edible chocolate stuff is really gross and I don’t want to be sticky from whipped cream. By not making a choice for me, my partner has given me a choice to say yes or no to that particular act. Notice that I’m not saying no to sex as a whole or to other things, but just to the idea of food in bed. It can be your yum, but it certainly isn’t mine.

The example above is pretty clear and concrete and defines what I mean relatively precisely. And it can be about anything between you and your partner, whether its related to your sex life or not. It’s simply another good way to share your lives together and to communicate in ways that give you both the power to say yes or no to any given thing at any given time. There’s no pressure or expectation that something has to be done, especially when we focus back on sex, and instead it creates an open dialog that might given you more or different or better ideas of things to suggest to your partner.

So, yes it is a form of consent to let your partner say no to something just like any other type of consent that is out there, but in this case it can give them the freedom or permission that they need to say no in other parts of their lives as well because they may feel empowered knowing that they can say no to you, so they can say no to others. Never assume that you’re idea is too kinky or weird or vanilla or whatever and that your partner won’t like it. Just ask them!

 

Advertisements

Wicked Wednesday – 318 – Recreate

 

So lately I’ve been struggling really badly with my bipolar disorder. I’m incredibly depressed and haven’t been able to handle much in the way of running my life. And I’ve spent all weekend wondering what to write about for Wicked Wednesday or even if I was going to be able to write a post. Much angst ensued. Even now these words are hard to write.

What could I recreate? A retelling of some famous tale? A memory brought back to life? And then I knew. I realized exactly the thing that I need to recreate. And it has nothing to do with sex or erotica and everything to do with me. I feel like (and have felt like) that I lose parts of myself to my bipolar disorder. It just takes things away from me like a parent disciplining a child, but I don’t always get them back as a reward for good behavior. If I did, my life would likely be much simpler.

But the thing that I need to recreate, somehow, is that spark that I used to have for writing and blogging and doing things with my life, no matter what they are. I’ve become so desensitized, so numb to everything but the depression that I’ve let that gift slip away from me. And right now, I have no idea how to get it back. I take my medications and I go to therapy, but when you’ve been subconsciously downplaying things to your therapist that doesn’t help much. I had an “Aha!” moment regarding that subconscious behavior just the other day. I’m sure my next therapy appointment should be fun. But back to finding a spark of…creativity, life, energy, I don’t know what to call it. Maybe all of those things.

How do I do this? I don’t think I can force it and I don’t want to force it. OK, I do, but that’s because I hate who I’ve become and want instant change, but I’m pretty sure that’s not how this all works. It is going to be a long road I think and a journey that only I can make. Where do I start? How do I begin? I don’t even have those answers. So until I can find them or figure them out am I doomed to wander lost, trapped inside my head? I don’t think so. I think I can try to actively move forward even with the depression and anxiety weighing me down. It just won’t be fast or easy to do.

So, I guess, this week folks, instead of some steamy erotica or sexy fun, I’m baring a part of myself open to be recreated somehow. If anyone has any sage advice or suggestions I’ll certainly take them into consideration and see how they might help me out, help me be me again, and find my way back into something resembling light even if it is dim.

 

 

Sex Beyond Penile Vaginal Intercourse

Sex is typically supposed to be an inherently pleasurable act for two or more parties. Everyone involved should feel comfortable and able to express their feelings and desires. For many straight couples though sex seems to begin and end at the traditional definition of penis in vagina (PIV) sex. Sure maybe some couples are adventuresome and enjoy anal sex, but in many ways it isn’t too different from PIV and that makes it somewhat familiar, while being just a little different and naughty at the same time. And there may be just as many non-straight couples or groups who are stuck in a sex rut of their own. The question here, is how to escape that rut?

One way to do is to look at sex as something more than just intercourse (whatever your definition of that is) and to engage your brain on a more sexual level. Now I know some of you may already do this and get where I’m coming from, but for those of you wondering what does my brain have to do with sex, let me tell you something you might not know. The brain is the largest erogenous zone that we have. It can process sex in visual, auditory, tactile, or even olfactory or tasty ways. Maybe your lover always wears a certain perfume and it trips your buttons (for me its the smell or taste of my favorite lube, coconut oil), the sound of sheets rustling, a naughty picture sent to your cellphone (The Ultimate Sex Toy?) or any number of other things that might grab your attention. Use that as fuel for the fire so to speak. Utilize your imagination to come up with new, creative things to try and run with it.

At that point you’re starting to move away from the idea that sex is strictly “this thing, this way” and exploring territory that may be unfamiliar to you. Maybe technology becomes a larger feature in your sex life (beyond watching porn that is hopefully ethically sourced and paid for rather than by using tube sites, but that’s a different matter) and you discover wearable, remote controllable or Bluetooth capable sex toys. Maybe you sext more. Whatever you’re doing you’re engaging at a different level than “just the basics.”

Your avenues to sexual pleasure and satisfaction are increasing with each new thing that you learn beyond PIV intercourse. Have you ever tried using a dildo on your partner or watching them while they masturbate for you? Have you ever tried fisting? Or flogging? Or even some new weird position that your partner saw in Cosmopolitan or online or whatever? What can you do to make your sex life exciting and fresh? What can you do that isn’t PIV sex that everyone enjoys?

Or maybe you enjoy your sex life just the way it is. That’s fine too. But if you don’t, if you are unhappy with the status quo don’t ever be afraid to approach your sexual partners and say something. Communication is vital to good sex and again there we go with engaging the brain. Maybe part of your communication involves sharing fantasies together and picturing where they could lead if you let them. Maybe you struggle to physically talk about sex. Write it down! Draw a picture! Do what you need to do to move into a new aspect of your sex life that engages your brain more consistently and increases your pleasure. Just whatever you do and however you do it, be safe, sane, consensual, and communicative.

Are Cellphones the Ultimate Sex Toy?

Almost everyone owns one. We’ve gone from the big, blocky monstrosities to sleek computers that we carry in our pocket or purse. We use them for all kinds of mundane things from actual phone calls to getting directions, and, of course, watching porn. But watching porn isn’t quite what I’m getting at here, although porn in and of itself can be sexy.

But how can we use phones as sex toys? I mean sure most of them vibrate, but I’m pretty sure that’s not exactly what that function was designed for. However, with cellphones comes instant communication and constant access. And that’s a great thing in many ways if you want to keep in touch with people all the time or if you have a busy schedule, but again that’s not sexy.

You know what is sexy though? Getting to work and shooting your partner a suggestive text message. Getting one back in reply. Spending the day trading sexts and maybe even photos if your job allows you that kind of privacy. It lets you build up the anticipation, the desire for one another over a period of hours, which can be incredibly important to someone with a responsive desire mindset and also, incredibly sexy. So in some ways, a cellphone makes an excellent sex toy, if you’re focused on the mental aspect of things and want to create desire in yourself and your partner But there can be some concerns with turning this little device full of data into a virtual sex toy, by putting it to work as a way to communicate your sexuality and sexual needs.

Speaking of communication, how is this digital form of it important in the great scheme of things? And how does it change our interactions with people? Again we are back to that instant accessibility. If you have consent you can sext anyone, anytime. You can have good “old-fashioned” phone sex. You can make a booty call. And this all happens because someone invented a portable telephone and then refined the idea until we have modern cellphones. But the downside the always being accessible is that you’re always accessible. People expect to be able to reach you regardless of the time of day or what you’re doing. It can be exhausting to be that “on” all the time. But it definitely changes how we act with and react to different people. Sometimes a dick pic is a welcome thing and it is fun to trade photos, but if the wrong person sends you that same picture you’d be offended or grossed out or both. And speaking of naughty pictures that maybe you don’t want Grandma to see at a family dinner (don’t leave your phone unattended folks) privacy can become a big concern.

So how private is that communication that you’re sharing? Sure, it is meant to be a for your eyes only kind of thing for you and your partner, but what many people don’t realize is that phones can be hacked and data mined just like your email or Facebook account can be. Unless you have zero apps on your phone, it probably knows far more about you than you realize. There are ways to mitigate this particular issue if you are truly worried about privacy. One of them is, of course, to not engage in the behaviors, but what fun is that? To my knowledge, one of the best private messaging applications out there for sensitive communications is called Signal. Signal is designed specifically to encrypt data end to end, does not store data on its servers, and can delete messages and leave no trace that they were ever there. Much more secure than say, Snapchat for example. Of course, if you’re the type that likes to save and re-read messages or look at photos then Signal won’t do, but if you want your privates to stay private, that’s an option.

So what do you think? Is a cellphone the ultimate modern sex toy where you can arouse a partner with just a few words sent from one screen to another? Or a suggestively naughty picture to their Snapchat? Have you used your cellphone to sext, share photos, or otherwise engage in sexual activity? If you haven’t done it, would you want to? There is a myriad of questions to be asked all ranging from the sexual nature of the communication, how the communication itself affects us, and how we can keep these communications private. The final take away that I hope my readers get from this piece is that using technology to spice up your sex life can be fun and exciting, but should be done in a way that protects both parties while still allowing them the freedom to explore themselves and their sexuality with their partners.

Intimacy and a More Fulfilling Relationship

Casual intimacy in my relationship is not an uncommon thing. We share little touches, inside jokes, and looks that only we can read, among many other little gestures. We cuddle just for the sake of cuddling. We kiss gently for no reason other than to share a kiss. We cook together in a tiny kitchen that is barely big enough for two. Basically, our intimacy is part of our every day life.

This creates a strong feeling of closeness and togetherness that is, in my opinion, often better than any sex we could have. Don’t get me wrong, I’m not knocking the sex, it’s great, but it is the little things that are the glue that keeps us together.

And the effect that those little intimacies has means that when I am craving touch and perhaps my partner hasn’t thought about it I can say to them, “Hey, come cuddle with me.” Sometimes it leads to more and sometimes it doesn’t. And it is OK either way it happens to go. But it makes us better and stronger. It is also a great help because we suffer from mismatched libidos and sometimes I want something more than they do or they aren’t up for sex at all. We compromise and find other ways to satisfy that intimacy, even if it means my partner getting me off or holding onto me while I get myself off.

And now we’re getting into more than just causal intimacy I suppose, but when you’ve been together for a period of time doesn’t everything become kind of casual? Sex isn’t always perfect. You might laugh mid-orgasm and break the mood a little. Things might go sideways somehow; you never know what might happen when you engage in sex. Perhaps you haven’t shaved you legs in a few days, but your partner isn’t going to care all that much because they love you and care for you and want to share an intimate experience with you.

Ultimately, everything from tiny kisses to murmured “I love yous” is going to bring a couple closer together in some way. It’s part of sharing and building a life together, part of caring for another person. The effects of intimacy on a relationship cannot be overstated as anything other than a good thing.

Conversely, what about the lack of that intimacy in a relationship? I’ve been on both sides of the coin, you see, and the sheer lack of touch and affection left me starved for it. Even now I crave it sometimes simply because I need it, other times because it feels like an approval of me and who I am and that I am lovable. Lacking intimacy in a personal relationship breed resentment and fear and eventually it can lead to a complete and total breakdown of the relationship itself.

When this happens you can try couples counseling or trying reintroducing intimacy slowly back into your lives, but it must be done carefully so as to not upset the delicate balance you and your partner are trying to achieve, which is a happy medium that you can both live with, particularly if one partner isn’t terribly affectionate to begin with. Sadly, it isn’t always possibly to do so and the relationship fails through no one’s fault, but merely a lack of emotional and physical intimacy.

Because this emotional and physical intimacy is so important to keeping a happy and thriving relationship alive, it must be worked on and nurtured and almost become second nature to you and to your partner. Always take a moment to give them that kiss or hug, make sure they know that they are a priority in your life and your relationship will be all the richer for it.

Sex Robots; a Possible New Trend

Ladies and Gentlemen, if you think there’s no such thing as sex bots you are sadly mistaken. They are quite expensive, but are slowly growing in popularity in various parts of the world. Some are even programmable to respond to certain stimuli or to have a base “personality” that can affect how they respond to that stimuli. To me, it is all a little strange because I’d much rather have sex with a living breathing person, but that’s just me. Sex robots could also be used as an educational tool to provide better and more comprehensive sexual education to children and adults alike.

There are plenty of legal and ethical questions surrounding sex dolls though, one of the biggest seeming to be the idea that pedophiles could get child size bots that allows them to act out their fantasy without hurting anyone. I offer a counterpoint to this that perhaps it could make them more likely to chase after a child they desire because they are now confident enough to do so with some “experience” under their belt so to speak. I worry the same thing about rapists or other sexual deviants. But maybe I’m wrong. I hope I’m wrong.

Another point to bring up is that of social isolation. Would people become so obsessed with their bots that interacting with the real world would no longer matter. Would the dating scene be demolished by the advent of such a thing? What about birth rates? Again it all boils down to what becomes the legal and ethical thing to do in these cases.

Maybe in fifty years people will find it perfectly normal to have a sex robot of any kind. But how will that affect things like marriage and population growth? Could it be that they will both decline as people create their perfect robot partner? Or perhaps people will marry after all and have threesomes with a robot. All of these things are, of course, hypothetical outcomes, as people may end up rejecting the idea of sex with robots as entirely repugnant.

But where does the law end and the ethical debate begin. There are people out there who would question the legality, mortally, and ethics of having a bot simply for sex. It might seem to be too much for one generation where they had to learn the technology as they went, but perfect for the next generation who grew up with the technology already in place around them. That doesn’t make it legal or right to have sex with a robot necessarily, especially as our knowledge of artificial intelligence grows and the possibility of bots becoming more aware (right out of some science fiction right there), but some AIs have already learned to communicate with one another in their own language so who is to say that these bots couldn’t be just as smart.

This could be out future and what that future means for humanity is yet to be determined. I have hope for future generations, though, that they will not isolate themselves in a world of robots and artificial intelligence, but use these things as an addition to regular everyday life while they continue to maintain a human social experience as well. If you’d like further information you can check out the article linked below.

http://dailycaller.com/2017/07/17/sex-robots-are-here-and-could-change-society-forever/?utm_campaign=thedcmainpage&utm_source=Facebook&utm_medium=Social

The Behavior and Belief of Young Women and Their Sexual Pleasure

This article is based off of a Ted Talk given by Peggy Orenstein regarding how young women see themselves and their sexual experiences and pleasure. The link can be found here.

Understanding consent is a vital part of growing up and dealing with the amount of sexual assault and rape culture in today’s society, particularly on college campuses. Young people must understand the ground rules of consent. This requires open honest discussion about what “yes.” means and what happens afterwards. There is a feeling of entitlement to engage in sexual behavior, but not a feeling of the idea that women could enjoy it.

Many young women describe their earliest sexual encounter as not responsible or enjoyable and often not even reciprocal. One young woman didn’t realize that her smart, strong image didn’t include sex. These young people are engaging in other behaviors like oral sex, instead of traditional penis in vagina sex, because often girls will provide the oral sex in order to avoid a situation that they don’t want to be in or as a form of protection. Young men or boys seldom reciprocate, but will expect a blowjob in lieu of sex.

Because there has always been a shadow cast over the female genitalia where they were made to feel dirty or unclean this creates a feeling of shame that is almost an indoctrination of the evils of female genitals. At the same time they are taught that their genitals are sacred. Studies show that this can lead to many young women removing most or all of their pubic hair, because they feel cleaner, or because they feel it can be humiliating because young guys might be (or are likely to be compared to older men) grossed out and would talk poorly about them. As this trend of shaving has risen is has the trend of labiaplasty in teenage girls. This is not a medically indicated procedure as a rule and can include side effects such as scarring, numbness, and diminished sexual sensation. It can also be problematic simply because it isn’t a part of a young girls sexual knowledge in many cases because, as you’re read more below, young women simply aren’t taught about the anatomy of their genitalia.

A psychologist at the University of Michigan posited the idea of intimate justice has political and personal effects on both partners. This theory raises issues about inequality, health, and violence among other thing. So who is entitled to engage and enjoy a sexual experience? The speaker kept coming back to the idea that the earliest sexual experiences they have aren’t things to “get over.” Women will use their sexual experiences to say that if their male partner is satisfied then so are they. Young men judged good sex on their own orgasms.

If sexual encounters are defined by young women with the words depressing, humiliating or degrading, and in almost 30% of sexual encounters women report pain during it, what does that say about the education for young women and men when it comes to sex ed? We can and should be doing better to provide education for these young people so they can go into their future and be able to make informed decisions, regarding consent, sexual activity, and help them define the parameters of that sexual encounter in a way that allows both partners to receive pleasure from the act. This is something that is important for a person’s entire life, not just as randy college students finding out who they are from a sexual standpoint.

Wanting your partner to be happy is not a bad thing or feel close to them, but there are many other ways to experience sexual pleasure or to enrich a relationship such as intimate touch or simple cuddling. An orgasm isn’t the only measure of happiness and the absence of pain should not be the bar for your own sexual happiness as a woman. Instead she should be able to have a pain free consenting encounter that gives her and her partner pleasure, that may or may not include orgasm.

“Parents of female children go right from navel to knees” and often skip explaining their genitals to them. It again, goes back to being ashamed of the female sex. And when sex education comes into play, boys are told about erections and ejaculation, where girls aren’t taught about how their sex organs work, but instead about periods and unplanned pregnancy; the idea of the vulva or clitoris is never mentioned. I know when I was a child that was the stereotype that I was taught. And it created something of a “psychological clitoraldectemy.” Not knowing how one’s sexual organs function is a problem and it can mean that many girls and young women don’t begin to learn their bodies or masturbate in a healthy way. This is a problem in their adult life, when these young women realize they have no idea what they want from sex or how they get pleasure from sex. I feel like this is part of why many young women say that hey are satisfied if their (typically male) partner reaches orgasm

In same sex encounters there is no orgasm gap and that is a liberating feeling that lets them work out their own scenarios of intercourse that don’t necessarily fall inside the norm. This gives gay girls a wholly different perspective on their sexuality and not having sexual intercourse for the reason of shedding their virginity. Some of them define their loss of virginity by achieving their first partnered orgasm.

Thinking of sex as something organic and not rushing towards a goal means that thing like intimacy, sensual touch, a pool of experiences of desire and touch and arousal. Sex must be talked about and normalized into everyday life in order to make those things OK. A study from a both a Dutch and American university had wildly varying results because the Dutch students were taught from an early age about sex and pleasure. American parents framed such conversations as risky or dangerous behavior. The Dutch children were taught more about consent and responsibility and enjoying themselves. The conclusion drawn here is simply that being more open and forthcoming about sex and sexuality with your children is going to lead to (gasp) them being more responsible and get more enjoyment out of sex. It needs to become far less of a taboo topic.

Hopefully, eventually a young girl can see her sexuality and revel in her sensuality instead of being afraid of the risks of sex, such as disease or violence, not to mention unwanted pregnancy. These girls have a voice and should be demanding that intimate justice for their own lives. Making the entire country more aware or sex positive could lead to better protections for assault victims and a happier, healthier sexual culture where young women or men aren’t afraid to come forth about what they need or want regarding their sexuality.