sex

The Gentleman’s Guide to Post-Hookup Etiquette

A must-read for men. Originally published at GQ.com. illustration by Cecile Dormeau. 

You’ve probably done a lot of research on what to do during sex. Which is to say, you’ve probably watched a lot of porn. But porn doesn’t teach you much about what to do after you’re done hooking up (usually in porn they just do more sex). When a new lady in your life invites you back to her place, there is post-coital etiquette you must follow to show that you are not only a good lover but also a decent human. So read on to learn how to politely dispose of condoms, when to head back to your place, and why you must text the next day—even if it’s just a one-night stand.

When can I go home?

To spend the night or not spend the night post-smashing is a personal decision. As an insomniac, I empathize with people who don’t spend the night after sex. Plus, I have cats. I don’t bring my Ambien with me or leave out food for my cats unless I want to marry you or, like, you flew me to an Airbnb in Paris. Try to make it clear, before you go home together, that you’re not staying over. If she invites you over but you know you want to sleep in your own bed, just say, “I’d love to come back with you, but I have to get up early for work and have trouble sleeping in new places. Do you mind if I don’t spend the night?” If you’re sincere, it shows. After sex, cuddle and bask in the afterglow. Talk. When your heartbeat has returned to resting and you’re both getting sleepy, say something like, “I had a wonderful time with you. I’m going to head back to my place now, but I’ll text you later.” Leave, and actually text her. Add a rose emoji.

What if I want to sleep over?

Ask her if she’s cool with it.

What if she has roommates?

Good for her, she sounds like a hardworking and self-sufficient woman without a trust fund. Her roommates are adults and they know the drill: You’re the boy who just banged their friend. Put on a shirt (yes, even you, you gym rat) on your way to the bathroom. Smile and wave. You can say, “Hi, I’m Pat” (or whatever). But don’t make it weird. Don’t try to be cute or chime in on what’s going on if they have Riverdale on. Just smile and pee (in the bathroom, with your shirt on). PUT THE SEAT DOWN.

What do I do with the condom(s)?

Don’t just yank the condom off and throw it on the ground like a child angry at a tie his mother made him wear to church. Definitely don’t flush it down the toilet, because that could clog her pipes (keep that for the bedroom, heh heh). Tie the condom up so your manly expulsions don’t spill everywhere, and throw it in the trash like an adult.

What if I want to take a shower?

If you’re a Virgo or a Catholic, you might be itching to shower after sex. But don’t bounce off to the shower the second you pull out. That will make your bedfellow feel like a used receptacle instead of a wanton sex goddess. Don’t shower alone at her place, either. It reeks of “I’m going home to my wife.” Why not extend the naked time and shower together? If you’re tuckered out, you don’t have to bone again, just scrub-a-dub-dub and then return to bed so fresh and so clean.

What do I do the next day?

Text her. Yes, even if it was casual. Yes, even if it’s a one-night stand. Why? Because intimacy is not exclusive to “serious” relationships. Casual sex, when done properly, is insanely hot and lustful but still intimate and respectful. You just have to be an adult about it, and understand that the person you’re boning is also an adult with thoughts and feelings. So text her to check in, to simply say you had a nice time, to ask if the hand prints from the spanking are still there, or to ask her out again.

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I Used Weed Lube to Turn My Vagina into an Edible

I wrote this for Merry Jane. Image courtesy of Flickr. 

Pussy is magic. It has the power to give both its owner and those given the privilege of experiencing it extreme pleasure. Weed is also magic and shares with pussy the ability to give those close enough to inhale it pleasure. Having learned that drinking an entire bottle of Foria (450 mg of THC) will get you high for three days, I wondered: Can I turn my vagina into an edible?

The answer is yes. “If someone sprays [Foria] on their vulva and their partner goes down on them, their vulva has now become an edible at 2.5 mg per spray and will absolutely get the oral giver high,” says sex and cannabis educator Ashley Manta, the creator of CannaSexual. People getting high off their genitals is nothing new. Think about the decades of cocaine users who had a partner blow blow up their buttholes (otherwise known as “boofing” or for the revisionist rock historians out there, “pulling a Stevie Nicks”). Everyone is entitled to their own definition of magic. Personally, I find that laying down and getting my pussy eaten as my partner gets stoned makes me feel like a goddess while boofing is something I’m happy to forget about, like the time in my life where I was determined to fuck the dudes in MGMT. Not to mention that cannabis is an immensely safer substance than cocaine, despite the Federal Government’s insistence on labeling cannabis a Schedule I drug and cocaine a Schedule II.

Foria confirms on their website that if you squirt their pleasure spray on your vagina and then have your partner go down on you, they can get stoned. When just rubbed into the vulva, there’s rarely a psychoactive effect. Someone has to eat it. Foria doesn’t just say you can get stoned by going down on a cannabis-laced pussy, they’re active advocates of the practice. “We absolutely encourage couples to play with Foria for oral as a way to for the giver to get high,” says Mathew Gerson, the creator and co-CEO of Foria.

Brittany J. Confer, Foria’s Director of Marketing and PR, adds that when men overly concerned with their own pleasure (a penis can’t get stoned, guys need to put it up their butt for absorption) often ask her what’s in it for them. When faced with such a selfish question, she tells them, “It’s like turning her vagina into an edible. If you go down on her, you’ll be giving yourself a nice little high depending on how much product the two of you use and how long she waits to allow the Foria Pleasure to absorb.”

Everyone was telling me that I could turn my vagina into an edible, but I had to test it out to be certain. Thankfully I’m seeing a guy I’ll call Lupo, who enjoys eating both pussy and weed, and is delightfully concerned with my pleasure. After catching up on Game of Thrones together, he spritzed around three to four sprays––about 10mg worth of weed––around my clit and labia. We made out for about 15 minutes to let the pleasure spray do its thing in my mucous membranes, the time advised to let Foria kick in for sexual enhancement purposes, and then he went down on me. I’ll pull a curtain across the screen and ask anyone under 18 to look away for what happened over the next hour or so. When we concluded our adult activities, I eagerly asked him: “Are you stoned from my pussy?”

“I can’t really tell,” he answered, and then fell asleep.

Even though Lupo did a wonderful job helping with my experiment I was sad. I wanted my vagina to not only give the best orgasms but the best buzz. I asked Manta what could have gone wrong. “It seems likely that your vag absorbed a good bit of it,” Manta says. That’s what I get for being selfish and wanting to get my vagina stoned rather than asking him to lick it off immediately after application. “But also it would take up to two hours to kick in (like an edible), so it may have been that he didn’t feel the effects until later and his tolerance was high enough that it was barely perceptible. That’s my hunch, at least,” she tells me. Aha! So Lupo likely didn’t feel much either because he had a high tolerance, because my pussy had consumed all the THC, or because he fell asleep after about an hour of ingestion, so there wasn’t enough time to see the full effects (or all of the above).

I could have retried the experiment again with Lupo again with adjustments, but unfortunately, my job consists of more than spraying weed on my pussy and then having beautiful men go down on me. I also enjoying eating vaginas myself and pondered how I could go from scientist to test subject by licking Foria off of another vagina. There is a woman I have been intimate with, but she isn’t a cannabis consumer, and while there’s rarely a psychoactive effect from topical use on the vulva alone, some people do experience one. Plus I felt like a creep asking her. So I did the natural next step: I spritzed some on my own vagina, pulled out my yoga mat, and tried to see if I could eat my own pussy. Nope. I knew I needed to be stretching more. So I did the following logical thing: I squirted one 2.5 mg spray of Foria onto each of my nipples.

Now those, I am flexible enough to lick. Immediately after the spray made contact, I licked off approximately 5 mg of cannabis, my preferred edible dosage and the recommended starting size by campaigns aimed to make edibles a safer experience––aka, one that doesn’t last for three whole days.

It worked. After about two hours, I indeed got stoned from licking my nipples. I felt heavenly from combined the power of cannabis and erogenous zones.

If I were a scientist writing an academic paper on my experience, here’s what I would say: My thesis upon conducting this experiment was that I could turn my vagina into an edible by applying Foria pleasure spray. Both a sex and cannabis educator and the makers of Foria supported this thesis. Due to variables such as Lupo’s tolerance and the male’s tendency to fall asleep post-orgasm, my initial experiment did not produce my desired outcome. However, my second solo experiment (masturbation is the key to a happy life) confirmed you can turn your body can into an edible with the application of a cannabis topical such as Foria. My conclusion is that you can not only turn vaginas into edibles, but nipples, butt holes, toes, or whatever gets you off. Go forth and (safely and legally) try it for yourself.

7 Things You Should Know Before Trying Butt Plugs

I wrote a butt plug bible for Allure. Image courtesy of Allure.  

If you’re not familiar with the joys of butt plugs, allow me to introduce you to a versatile toy you can enjoy regardless of gender, orientation, or genitalia. If you have a prostate, butt plugs can stimulate it, and if you have a vagina, a butt plug can create incredibly pleasurable pressure on the back vaginal wall. That’s not to mention that the anus itself is also surrounded by nerve endings. Whatever the reason you’re keen to dive into the world of butt plug play, there are a few things you should know first for a comfortable, safe, and sexy experience.

That’s just the intro. Because this article comes with seven must-have butt plug recommendations and corresponding images, I’m going to make you head over to their website to read it….so, click here

Missionary Position Is the Kinkiest Sex Position

This piece was originally published in Glamour. Photo courtesy of Stocksy. 

I have a controversial statement to make: The kinkiest sex of all happens in missionary position. Hear me out! When films present a female character as a takes-what-she-wants, raunchy femme fatale (think Sharon Stone in Basic Instinct), she’s usually on top during sex. Yes, pinning down your partner while using your hips to ride them can make you feel powerful. It also can allow for some intense clit-to-bod contact, which rules. But is it the hottest? I’m inclined to say nah. For me, despite society’s insistence on dipping missionary in vanilla, it wins the kink (and feel-good) contest.

But first, here’s my theory on why men love it when a girl gets on top: They’re lazy. Being on top is a CrossFit-level workout (or so I imagine—I’ve never tried CrossFit). The structure of the heteronormative missionary position—although the same idea is applied to sex between two people with vaginas when one is wearing a strap-on—requires some serious upper body strength, not to mention nailing the proper speed and rhythm of thrust (no jack-hammering, please). While there are no scientific studies at this time to back up my theory, I’m convinced that when a dude says, “Now you get on top,” it’s usually because his arms are sore, not because it’s the sexiest or kinkiest pose—even if it’s hard to argue with the spectacular boob view that girl-on-top provides.

But it’s hot to be on the bottom! Feeling someone’s body on top of you, thrusting, drenching the both of you in sweat, all the while maintaining eye contact? While doggy-style often gets the credit for being particularly kinky—and hitting it DS is dope for deeper penetration—you can risk some neck injuries turning around to throw some sexy eyes at your partner. When you’re on your back and want to get kinky, you can ask your partner to call you the dirty bedroom name of your choice without hurting yourself! And while being on top means you can control the depth of penetration—great if your partner is on the bigger side—in my experience (all vaginas are different, after all), missionary means more profound penetration than girl-on-top.

What’s more: Missionary is the best for masturbation. It’s a fact that at least three quarters of women need clitoral stimulation rather than vaginal penetration alone to get off during the deed. Many a sex position guide will tell you that when you’re on top, you can rub your clit or add a vibrator. Maybe it’s my poor coordination, but when I’m on top I’m focused on hip thrusting, booty bouncing, and perhaps a set or two of squats. Now I’m supposed to also add a hand or a toy? Too much multitasking. I’ve found that adding clitoral stimulation with my hands or a vibrator (and thus, orgasms) becomes far easier when I’m lying on my back. Kink for me usually means toys, and I’ve found using handcuffs and nipple clamps (they can slide off when you’re bouncing up and down) is far easier and thus more kink-friendly, in missionary.

I’m not done yet! While on the bottom during missionary sex, you can switch it up endlessly. You can lift one leg (or both!) for such intense stimulation you may need a quick breather. You can throw a pillow under your butt. You can wrap your legs like a pretzel around your partner and pull him or her closer to you. Yes, missionary can be a little vanilla. But have you seen the sheer array of toppings available?

And if you’re in the mood for something other than vanilla, missionary is the ultimate transition position. With a simple flip, you can turn over onto your belly for doggy-style, or get on top for cowgirl to give your partner a workout break. If you want to get a little selfish (and you totally should), missionary makes it easy if you want to ask your partner to pull out and go down on you for a bit.

In conclusion, the words missionary position may invoke visions of awkwardly losing your virginity or your parents conceiving you to the smooth sounds of Steely Dan’s Aja. But don’t be fooled by these unfortunate images: Missionary is the kinkiest.

This article is part of Summer of Sex, our 12-week long exploration of how women are having sex in 2017.

 

Shibari Is A Beautiful Form Of Japanese Bondage — & It Demands Respect

This article was originally published in Refinery29. Image courtesy of Refinery29.

For the average person who dabbles in bondage, adding a pair of handcuffs to their sex life is just a fun way to mix things up. For those who practice shibari, a specific type of Japanese rope bondage, it’s not just BDSM — it’s an art form.

Shibari is a Japanese word that literally means “to tie,” says Lord Morpheous, sex educator and author of several books on rope bondage, including Bondage Basics: Naughty Knots and Risque Restraints.

But let’s make one thing clear: If you’re new to bondage, (a.k.a. restraint play), shibari is probably not the best place to start. Simpler forms of bondage, like sex handcuffs or bed restraint kits, are easier to learn and use safely. “An absolute beginner might want to get a wider taste for several bondage styles and techniques before they focus on shibari,” Morpheous says. However, shibari instructors say that, for those who are more advanced in bondage and drawn to the visual delight of shibari rope patterns, there’s nothing better.

Unlike many forms of bondage within BDSM, shibari isn’t usually meant to foster a sense of helplessness and humiliation for the person who’s tied up (which many submissive people desire). “Shibari, conversely, focuses on the art, beauty, and geometry of the tying style over and above these things,” Morpheous says. But shibari practitioners’ emphasis on the craft itself doesn’t mean it can’t be an intensely erotic and spiritual sexual experience. “It fosters a real connection with your partner or partners, even when there is no other contact or erotic content to the play session,” Morpheous says. (But again, there are plenty of easier ways to achieve this connection, like using scarves or belts as basic restraints in a consensual dominant/submissive scenario.)

While it’s okay for anyone interested in shibari to safely explore the practice, it’s important to understand that shibari has a deep and rich cultural history. “I personally think one should study its history and origins, both Eastern and Western, because it’s interesting and helps one understand certain cultural meanings to why things may be done a certain way that doesn’t necessarily apply to our modern sentiments anymore,” says Kissmedeadlydoll, a New York-based rope bondage educator.

Morpheous says the practice originated from a Japanese martial arts tying style called “Hojōjutsu,” which the samurai used as a method of restraining captives. From there, it merged with “kinbaku,” the erotic practice of rope bondage. Jimi Tatu, a shibari and kinbaku educator, says that kinbaku is a prominent term still used in Japan to describe the act of binding things tightly. “In the West, these two terms have been merged into one, so what we refer to as shibari now is basically erotic, artistic rope bondage,” Morpheous says (though he says that “purists hate that”).

Along with learning about about shibari’s history, it’s important that people interested in trying it take the proper safety precautions — someone’s going to get tied up using heavy duty ropes, after all. Not to mention, shibari is often used in suspension situations, in which the person who’s tied up is dangling from the ceiling, so a lot could go wrong. “It is risky and requires attention to the details,” Kissmedeadlydoll says. If you’re interested in learning and practicing shibari, start by reading a book on the practice (Morpheous has written many) or attend an in-person workshop or class. Kissmedeadlydoll also suggests always keeping safety shears nearby, and both she and Morpheous recommend using rope made of a firm vegetable fiber called Jute.

Does this all sound complicated? That’s because it is. So, if you’re champing at the bit to give shibari a try, just make sure to do your homework before inviting someone over for an evening of beautiful, erotic bondage.

Why Aftercare Is The BDSM Practice That Everyone Should Be Doing

You can read out all my articles for Refinery29 here. PHOTOGRAPHED BY ISA WIPFLI.

If you’re unfamiliar with the BDSM scene, you might think it’s all whips, handcuffs, and pleasurable pain, but there’s one important element that BDSM practitioners have built into their sex lives to make sure that everyone involved feels safe and cared for after play time is over: a practice known as aftercare. And whether you’re into BDSM or have more vanilla tastes, aftercare is something everyone should be doing.

In the BDSM world, aftercare refers to the time and attention given to partners after an intense sexual experience. While these encounters (or “scenes,” as they’re called) are pre-negotiated and involve consent and safe words (in case anyone’s uncomfortable in the moment), that doesn’t mean that people can forget about being considerate and communicative after it’s all over. According to Galen Fous, a kink-positive sex therapist and fetish sex educator, aftercare looks different for everyone, since sexual preferences are so vast. But, in its most basic form, aftercare means communicating and taking care of one another after sex to ensure that all parties are 100% comfortable with what went down. That can include everything from tending to any wounds the submissive partner got during the scene, to taking a moment to be still and relish the experience, Fous says.

“Specifically, with regards to BDSM, the ‘sub-drop’ is what we are hoping to cushion [during aftercare],” says Amanda Luterman, a kink-friendly psychotherapist. A “sub-drop” refers to the sadness a submissive partner may feel once endorphins crash and adrenaline floods their body after a powerful scene (though dominant partners can also experience drops, Fous says).

Of course, you don’t have to be hog-tied and whipped to feel sad after sex. One 2015 study found that nearly 46% of the 230 women surveyed felt feelings of tearfulness and anxiety after sex — which is known as “postcoital dysphoria” — at least once in their lives (and around 5% had experienced these feelings a few times in the four weeks leading up to the study). Experts have speculated that this may stem from the hormonal changes people (particularly those with vaginas) experience after orgasm, but many also say that it can come from feeling neglected. The so-called “orgasm gap” suggests that straight women, in particular, may feel that their needs in bed are ignored. And Luterman says that people in general can also feel lousy post-sex if they’re not communicating about what they liked and didn’t like about the experience.

Clearly, taking the time to be affectionate and talk more after sex — a.k.a. aftercare — can make sex better for everyone, not just those who own multiple pairs of handcuffs. So what does that mean for you? It depends on the kind of sex you’re having, and who you’re having it with.

Like we said, there are lots of guidelines for BDSM aftercare, specifically. If you’re having casual sex, aftercare can mean simply letting your guard down and discussing the experience, something that can be scary to do during a one-night stand. It’s definitely dependent on the situation, but Luterman says that you can just express that you had a good time and see if they’re interested in seeing you again (if those are thoughts you’re actually having). “People want to be reminded that they still are worthwhile, even after they’ve been sexually gratifying to the person,” Luterman says. If your experience didn’t go well, it’s important to voice that, too.

And those in long-term relationships are certainly not exempt from aftercare, Luterman says. It’s something couples should continue to do, especially after trying something new (such as anal sex), she says. Did the sex hurt? Do they want to do it again? What did they like and not like about it? You can’t know what your partner is thinking unless you ask them. Plus, it can be easy for long-term partners to feel taken for granted, so making sure to cuddle, stroke each other’s hair, and savor the moment after sex can make even the most routine sex feel special.

One thing we should all keep in mind? It can also be helpful to continue these conversations when everyone’s vertical (and clothed) and any post-orgasm high has faded.

At the end of the day, aftercare is just a fancy term for making sure everyone’s happy once the sex is over. And while communication needs to be happening before and during sex as well, having these discussions afterwards comes with an added bonus: You can learn from the experience so that the sex is even hotter the next time.

3 Easy Ways to Impress Your New Girlfriend’s Friends

Illustration by Cécile Dormeau, originally published in GQ.

It happened. After seeing each other for a few months, your girlfriend has invited you to meet her friends, and you’re apprehensive. They’ve heard all about you (yeah, they know what your dick looks like). You’ve heard all about them: Ashley intimidates you. You’ve already met Molly through other friends and are worried you made a pass three years ago at a holiday party. You like your girlfriend—maybe you even love her. Now you need her friends to like you, too. Here’s how:

Show Up

Once I was dating someone we’ll call Trevor, who didn’t want to meet my friends. I was young and in denial. Of course, it turned out he had another girlfriend in another New York City borough. Before I figured this out, my friends warned me: “We haven’t met Trevor—is this an actual relationship? Are you sure he’s real?” Then one day, when I was taking Trevor to buy a coat (which is a major girlfriend request from someone playing me, by the way, Trevor), we ran into one of my friends on the street. She said out loud in complete disdain, “Oh, my God, you are real. Nice to meet you.” Women are smart. It’s a major red flag if someone doesn’t want to meet your friends. Don’t be like Trevor, who has since been banished from the city. If you’re exclusive and/or have been going out for more than a few months, you have to show up when your girlfriend invites you to meet her friends. And once you’ve shown up (on time), really show up: Make some jokes, ask sincere questions about her friends’ interests, and act affectionate toward your girlfriend. They’ll love you.

Know When to F*ck Off

Avoiding meeting your girlfriend’s friends is suspect, but not knowing when to step back and give her time sans boyfriend is even more annoying. No one likes a significant other who comes to every single happy hour or brunch. Sometimes women can be complicit in dragging their boyfriend everywhere, and if that’s the case, talk to her about it. She needs alone time with her friends. You need alone time with your friends. One of the secrets to a successful relationship is having time with your buddies to bitch about said relationship. Don’t be the clingy boyfriend at all social events wearing an Apple Watch that alerts you whenever your girlfriend tweets (I’ve seen this happen, and the relationship did not work out).

Know That They’re Watching You

Regardless of how amazing you are, your girlfriend is going to talk about you. There are glass-half-full people who can’t stop raving about their perfect relationship, but most of us are cynical assholes who only open our mouths when we want to bitch about something. If she finds out you’ve been texting with your ex, her friends will hear about it. If you come home after taking mushrooms with your friends and start humming “Your Body Is a Wonderland” during a hand job, her friends will hear. A measured appreciation of early-aughts John Mayer is normal. So is getting into a tiff over an ex. However: Acting controlling or overly jealous, or screaming at her, is neither healthy nor normal. If you act like that, she will tell her friends and they will tell her to dump you, regardless of how good your jokes were at brunch. The real secret to winning over your girlfriend’s friends is treating her with respect.