Wednesday, August 20, 2014

Are Lesbians Orgasmic Goddesses?


By13%! To sum it up, the researchers asked a group of people how they identified (Straight, Gay, Lesbian, Bisexual) and then about their frequency of orgasm and compared them. Here were the scores for the percentage of time that orgasm is reached with sex for each group:

GAYS: 84.7%

My thoughts on this:

1. Men obviously have no problem getting theirs. But we knew that already. I mean, sex is usually sort of (horribly inaccurately) defined as the baseball game in which a home run is intercourse and "completion" usually occurs when the guy gets off. It's not exactly shocking that men are likely to come in a scenario that is unofficially defined by them coming.

2. Just looking at the difference between lesbian and straight women, if we are to presume that lesbians are having sex with other lesbians and that straight women are having sex with straight men, the average orgasms for straight sex are 73.2% and the average for lesbian sex is 74.7%… not too far apart. Men just take up more of the orgasm potential? Why are the straight women of the world not speaking up a little more? While much speculation can be done on this, I'm quite certain that I have the correct answer (not really):
Boner-centric sex hits the hot button for female care-takey impulses. When is it time to have sex? When his cock is hard and ready! The focus really doesn't have anything to do with when a woman's sexual response is really rocking. Nope. Just take care of that hard on, thank you very much. (Heck, most people couldn't even really tell you how to know if a woman is ready for sex anyway… but that's what happens when your sex ed is just to learn that women have a hole and make babies and we have to say NO! and keep our purity.) So, while we've got great timing on knowing when men are ready to have sex, we have crappy timing on knowing the same for women… Thank God for lesbians!! A whole group of women who don't have to give a flying crap about when a man is ready for sex and instead, just learn how to tune into female bodies. Let the research begin!! 
This whole care-takey thing is something I have to spend a lot of time talking about with my sexual dysfunction gals. Straight girls, I think you need to be a little more selfish in the sack. Bring up that orgasm ratio a bit, will you? Have questions? Ask you nearest lesbian. Don't know any lesbians, or your nearest lesbian is in the other 25.3%? Ask me! I'll help you figure it out. 
3. It would be nice if research like this started being more inclusive of gender as well as orientation. The categories here were clearly men and women. What about our transgender folks? I'd personally love to see where they fall in the numbers. There is so much we all have to teach each other.

4. What the hell is up with bisexual women? Not only do they have fewer orgasms but according to the CDC, they have a 61% chance of violence and rape as well, which is significantly lower for both straight women and lesbian women. This concerns me for this group. Could there be evidence that maybe violence and rape (28% occurs between ages of 11 and 17) affect how one identifies? There needs to be so much research into understanding this. I mean, hell, the numbers should make any bisexual women just decide to pick a side and reap the benefits of lower abuse and higher orgasms… but obviously it's not that simple. We need to keep learning how we can help our sisters out.

Thanks for reading! Peace and Pelvic Love to you. xoxoViv

Thursday, May 22, 2014

Nine Essential Tricks for Touching Yourself

I've been seeing more lists about why women should masturbate more often and all of the medical benefits of orgasm. There is a great deal of convincing that seems to be needed to let ladies know that it's okay to touch their own vulvas. I would know, I've written a blog on that exact topic! Here are my reasons of why we need to touch ourselves more often.

To move things to the next step, I present you with...

(maybe not anything but a good amount)

1. The Quickie
This is a general one to be used for purposes such as: getting to sleep, alleviating a headache, getting in a better mood, a quick treat for getting "the list" done, or just a need to hit your reset button. It's all about finding your fastest combination of buttons to push in order to come.

2. The Slow Down
The slow, sensuous, dramatic event where you do things like light candles, take a bubble bath, have that glass of wine, get out your favorite lotions and oils, or just to celebrate that you actually have clean sheets on this day.
The purpose of this one is to intentionally allow yourself all the time in the world to really get every part of your anatomy on board and exceptionally happy. Incorporate teasing… don't move to the next step until your body begs for it. Romance the hell out of yourself.

3. The Sleeper
This version of the quickie needs to be low effort and low maintenance. The goal is to be able to be lying down and very comfortable while you get off so that you can allow the post orgasmic bliss to carry you off to sleep with minimal distractions. If you always clean up your sex toys immediately after using them or don't want your kiddo to find your vibrator under your pillow or something, this is best done with no toys. A bit of coconut oil and a few old reliable hand tricks should take you all the way. Finding your fine tuning with the size of the circles, speed, pressure, and any other tricks you like to get you there in a hurry are key, but remember to keep it as low effort as possible.

4. The Fancy Production
This is the opposite of number 3. This is the version that you use as sassy foreplay with a partner. Orgasm is not necessarily the goal here, it's more about providing a fun visual while also stealthily educating about the type of touch that works for you. So, make sure you demonstrate accurately for pleasure purposes, but don't be afraid to throw it a bit of a performance and perhaps the more vocal version of your self pleasure… you know… just for some novel theatrics.

5. The Assist
This is the stealthy, one hand (or just a couple finger tips) little addition you can give yourself so that your partner can really put their creative work somewhere else on your body but you can still keep your clit active. This is different than The Fancy Production because you're not the star of this one… your partner is. You're just being their "right hand".

6. The Wake Up!
You know when you're studying or doing paperwork at home and you just can't keep focused on it? The Wake Up needs to be not only quick, but with a plan for a fast transition afterward. That way you can use it to get back your focus but stay active enough to avoid the sleepy bliss and dive back into what you need to focus on. Sitting up, or standing is best here… just avoid the lying down all together for best results on this one.

7. The Explorer
Something to break free of your normal routine is always good. There's such a long list of ways that women can orgasm (check out Sheri Winston's Women's Anatomy of Arousal if you want more on that). This is where you can intentionally break free of routine and expectation of how your body responds. Try new toys, or the same toys differently. Alter, change, revisit… Use breathing techniques in different ways… just play. This one is all about the journey, let go of orgasm as a goal and see where it takes you.

8. The Just For ME
This is my favorite. Sometimes you just need to check in with yourself. Feel your heartbeat, hear your breath. Allow your fingers to feel your skin. Allow your skin to feel your touch. Check out my earlier blog, Lovely Ways to Touch and Be Touched. In this kind of pleasure, just allow your heart, mind, and soul to just travel to the places they need to visit. Reconnect with who you are underneath the layers of everyday business and free of the roles you play throughout the week. Just be.

9. The Narration
Being able to do your thing with narration requires you being able to name what it is that you're doing. Learn your anatomy and give it words. Learn how to say it in a sexy way. This can be most helpful for long distance relationships, phone sex, helping to gently suggest what you need to a partner, or even doing some hot foreplay with a big story. Yum.

If you have any additions to the list, I'd love to hear them!
As always, thanks for reading Vivian's Way. You can follow me on Google+ or on Facebook!

Saturday, May 10, 2014

How A Sex Nerd Talks To Her Kiddos About Sex

Though using the words "penis" and "vagina" instead of "winkie" and "privates" is a good start, I can't help but think that we can do better. On a daily basis, I get to be newly reminded by how little understanding people have about their own bodies. It's hard to bring up the next generation knowledgeable about sex, pleasure, and their own anatomy when the ones teaching it really don't understand. Check out these attempts of adults to label reproductive anatomy if you need any proof!

I have tried to make the "sex talk" a conversation that started when my boys started noticing that they have penises (I have only boys). My oldest, at six years old, could probably tell you more about how babies are made than a lot of teenagers. I talked to teenage girl once who honestly asked me after looking at the plastic pelvis model, "So, exactly how many holes do I have down there?". Seriously. That's not happening on my watch.

In this ongoing, and often comical, conversation with my boys, I've learned some basic rules for talking to little kids about pleasure, function and reproduction.

Here's what I've learned about how to have these talks:

1. When they have a question about sex/reproduction, I try to start the discussion by asking what made them ask the question. Then I can better figure out what type of answer is needed.

2. Keep things as honest but simple as possible (mostly… see below).

3. No shaming or suggesting guilt associated with sexuality.

4. Suggest "private time" instead of "don't do that".

5. When they're little and you see them playing with themselves, mention it, and acknowledge that they do it because it feels good. Give them words for understanding that function of their body.

6. I teach about the similar little girl parts as I teach them about their very own parts.

7. I make sure I introduce the variabilities so that they already start to have an understanding that being gay and being transgender is normal for some kids and adults. I'm hoping that lays a pretty natural foundation for compassion without having that barrier of misunderstanding that comes from ignorance.

8. I have persistent and curious kids who don't often let a vague answer slide by. If questions go past what I want to share with them at this point in their lives, I go for the super nerdy, anatomical, scientific version of the explanation until their eyes cross and they stop asking questions.

9. I always talk about consent with them and how they have the right to their own bodies. Even little things like when they're upset and I want to hug them, I try to ask them first to make sure my hug is welcome (sometimes it's not). My hope is that they'll understand that just because I want to hug them doesn't mean that it's necessarily what they want, and that it's okay and their feelings are to be respected.

Here's the basic content that I cover with them: 

While it may seem to some a little crazy to teach a 3 year old about a clitoris (especially when there are still women out there who don't know where to find their own), I think it's kind of critical for understanding about sex and relationships as adults. It's just setting good foundational understanding for their own bodies and understanding that there's a parallel process going on for little girls. Girls don't lack the ability to have the pleasure of playing with themselves because they don't have a penis, they just have different bits that feel equally good.

For example, being progressive and teaching "Boys have a penis and girls have a vagina" with the proper anatomical terms is great. However, those parts are not really functionally analogous for little kids. What is a penis to a boy? It pees. It feels good to play with. It has a curious way of getting bigger and smaller. None of those things are what a vagina does. Girls don't pee out of their vagina and the little feel-good-wiggles and rubbing that little girls do are not vaginal, they're clitoral.

My approach is to teach functional similarities. Boys and girls both store urine in bladders and pee out of urethras. A boy's urethra happens to be in his penis and that's why he can pee standing. A girl's urethra is in her vulva but it is in front of her vagina and that's why little girls squat or sit to pee.

Testicles and ovaries make a nice teaching pair, of course. Ovaries are the factories where mommy's egg are made. Testicles are the factories where daddy's sperm are made. Here's a really cool video to show fertilization. You can even keep it on mute and explain it yourself with video game sounds and name the sperm pirate names. The kiddos get the idea.

The penis has the big function of "feeling good when it's played with" and that's actually like what a little girl's clitoris and vulva do. Similar functions in similar locations. No big deal. They even all get bigger when they are played with!

Babies grow in the mommy's uterus to make her tummy big and then come out of her vagina. They easily understand that babies grow in mommy's tummy because they've seen pregnant women or pictures of mommy when she was pregnant with them. Actually using the words "uterus" and "placenta" can be a way to make "mommy's tummy" a thing that they can actually see on an anatomy chart and start to understand how it works. When looking at a diagram like the one below, it's fairly self-explanatory that the vagina is the exit for the baby.

Both boys and girls have anuses, that's an easy similarity. And poop is always funny with little boys. So are farts. This is an easy one and often gets them off topic if you're looking for an exit from the conversation.

The trickier part, perhaps, is the part you have to figure out for yourself. Understanding your own personal philosophies about sexuality and what you wish to teach about the relationship part of it is a more personal choice for parents. It's kind of important that we all do our work to know what is true for us (not just passing forward the hang-ups we were given) and start thinking about how we can convey our own message. 

The anatomy and function is the easy part. That part doesn't really change no matter how we feel about it!

When kids start asking more questions about the specifics than what you're prepared to answer (like my oldest trying really hard to get me to explain the entire method in which the sperm gets from daddy to mommy within a few months after baby brother was born), I go for a few different options.

1. If possible, I go for more information than necessary and make it super scientific and boring. For example: "Mommy, can I see what a vagina looks like?". I say, SURE!! And show them this picture:

It's accurate, honest, and entirely boring and usually ends questioning in our household.

2. Go with an answer that just flat out admits, "Yes. You are right. There's more to the story, but you have to be at least ____ years old to learn that part. Stay tuned!" We did that at age 4. then he asked again at 6 and could tell me the whole process with only that one tiny detail left out and really wanted to know how it happened. We pulled up the anatomical pictures (like the one above) of the female pelvis and one of the male pelvis and I let him figure out from what he knows of his own body and what he's learned of the fertilization process and he figured it out without much prompting. Then he realized that it meant that two grown ups had to have their pants off in close proximity to each other and started cracking up. "That's so weird!!!". Yup. It is. Only adults do such weird things, son. You don't have to worry about it for a very long time.

3. I find a way to segway into talking about the amazingness of another body system, like digestion… which creates poop… and poop is always a crowd pleaser in our house.

In summary...
Educate yourself so you'll be prepared for the questions kids ask. Remember, this isn't dirty stuff. If you can talk about how blood flows through the body or how air goes in and out of our lungs, you can talk about how mammals' reproductive systems work. If they ask questions that are pretty detailed, ask them how they came up with that question to see where they are coming from to better steer what type of an answer is needed in the situation. It's so good for them to get the right info from you before they get the wrong info somewhere else.

More resources for talking to your kids about sex:  For every question you could image your kid asking about sex/gender/relationships/periods/anything. It's a great resource to give your teen kiddo. This has some good suggestions and little videos with some stats on why it's important to be able to talk to your kids about sex. For more information on talking to primary school kids about sex and what to address and when. I have not read any of these books, but if this is something you are looking for, there are some nice suggestions of some books to check out for little kids. 

Monday, March 24, 2014

How To Avoid Train Wreck Sex

In my yoga class the instructors often say, "You're supposed to fall out of poses. If you're not, then you're not progressing and learning".

Maybe sex is the same sometimes. You go for it, but for whatever reason… it just isn't working this time.

I think that when this happens, we need to be brave… be bold… and just call it.

To illustrate, check out this couple:

She had pain with sex.

He tried really hard to be really sensitive to this and would put in a ton of effort in trying to bring her comfortable pleasure. 

She saw his effort and would try to act like it was working because he was trying so hard.

He knew she was faking it but didn't want to hurt her feelings my admitting she was a bad actress.

She would have to fake a way out of it because she knew he was having back problems and looked like he was in pain from trying so hard.

He knew she was faking the orgasm but was so dang glad that they could be done because his back was killing him. 

This. Is. Insane.

Let's simplify things a bit. SEX SHOULD FEEL GOOD. If the intent is to share an intimate connection and pleasurable experience… be authentic in your honoring of that goal. There's no specific act that needs to define it. If what you're doing isn't working, call it off. Stop. Laugh about it. Try something else. Maybe schedule a rain date or change what you're doing… but for the love of all things that are good, don't go on in misery!!

The thing that sucks about trying to muscle through with sex like this is that it leaves a really bad memory of sex. Our brains don't easily forget that stuff. It might set up anticipation for a lousy experience in the future. If there was pain associated with it, then it can create an anticipation of pain that can work against you. The muscles in the pelvis kind of have a mind of their own and when they expect something is going to hurt, they brace themselves which can actually make the pain worse and make the cycle of pain worse. It is counterproductive for getting all of your sexual juices flowing if you are anticipating a bad experience. Trying to go for it (meaning, largely, penetrative sex) anyway despite lack of arousal is surefire way to have crappy sex.

Keep in mind also, that if you are trying something adventurous and new, sometimes fantasies can be better than the experience and sometimes the first time can just be hung up in nerves, confusion, or just lack of skill. No big deal. All new things, even in sex, can take time to learn and perfect. Sometimes skill levels have to improve before the brain can shut off and allow the body to enjoy the experience. 

Here's what I offer to all of you who are reading this. Give yourself permission to admit to yourself and your partner when sex just isn't working great and stop the cycle. Do something else or just wait for another attempt. No blame, no accusations. Keep pleasure as your goal and go from there. There's no set script of what should happen. If you change the normal course to avoid the train wreck, you might find yourself on the right track.

Thursday, March 6, 2014

No Game? Just BE Game.

Have you ever worried that you just really suck at dating or relationships? Have you worried that perhaps your odds of hanging onto someone that you're really into are fairly dismal due to your complete lack of skill?

Fear not. I think it just takes a little change in perspective.

"Game" and skill in dating seem to usually run along the lines of being the "cool kid"… the one people want to be around, that times jokes well, that knows just what to say, that keeps a bit of mystery and draws people in. It's kind of general skill, in a way. Having game is something that would benefit you if you are a public speaker or doing something where you need to make strangers of all types like you really fast.

And the opposite of that is, perhaps, being a nerd. It's sitting at the table at which no one except other nerds want to sit. It's being really into something to the point that you don't really always get that those around you might not share your passion and therefore not enjoy your company as much. It is certainly a lack of ability for engaging small talk because big ideas from the last TED talk you watched are just way more interesting than the weather.

But the thing with dating, and finding that person with whom you really want to sit at the same table, is that the specificity of nerdiness might actually work to your advantage. Nerds generally aren't afraid to really be passionate about something. There's nothing to prove, no "cool" show to put on. If they find something fascinating and awesome, they're going to tell you all about it with such a delightful passion that you just might want to run the hell away if you do not share their same level of enthusiasm.

BUT when Nerd A and Nerd B realize that they can be openly, authentically, wonderfully nerdy about the same thing and fully indulge that passion… holy crap. That's good stuff. Cool people never get to know how good that stuff that can be.

I'm also a firm believer that if you really want to have a slammin' sex life, that authentic connection with your partner is really key. If we hold out for that someone with whom we can unapologetically be ourself, there's no shortage of fun to be had. Not to mention, the role play options for folks who aren't concerned with cool are really awesomely entertaining…Dirty Doctor, Hans and Leia, Cunnilingus Researcher, Shy Tutor, Yoga Instructor, Grocery Bagger, Astronaut Finding Hot Alien, Old Timey Gas Pumper… SO MANY FUN OPTIONS (not available to those who are too cool).

There's so much to be said for being sexually "game" (Science proves Dan Savage's GGG - Good, Giving, Game model). What a freaking gift to be able to indulge someone in everything they want… especially when you can really let yourself get over hangups and enjoy the hell out of every minute you experience. New stuff can be really fun, and being game for it can be such a helpful quality in a relationship to avoid letting your sex life fizzle.

So, Nerds, go forth and prosper. Don't sweat your lack of mojo. Be game. Game for fun! Game for passion! Game for living fully! And come on… who doesn't want game like that??

 Check out this TED talk on online dating and making sure you set your bar high. 

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Tuesday, January 28, 2014

Scary But Awesome: My First Radio Interview

Sometimes it is necessary to take chances and do some things that share the shit out of us. You know, those things that you keep "putting off until you're really ready".

Well, I went for it with one of these opportunities and did a radio interview with Sensuality Coach, Rebekah Beneteau. The 60 minute conversation was recorded in one sitting without any editing… sort of horrifying, right??… but I also was trying to walk that beautiful line between clinical sex, and sensual sex which can be really tricky and many try to keep their feet planted firmly on one side or the other. Non-clinical, juicy sex is so much more fun to talk about, but I can easily get hung up in the interesting but nerdy, dry stuff like the cranial nerves that make cervical orgasm possible in women who have had spinal cord injuries (and other women too). It feels sometimes like sewing up a quilt of fabrics that really should look beautiful together and then when presented to someone, flinching at the fear of the response "seriously? Are you crazy? You're going about this all wrong!". Ahh.. the sweet, gut wrenching feeling of vulnerability.

Is it crazy to talk about the physiology of pee, poo, sex, and neurology while then discussing relationships, pleasure and self-imposed hang ups about various sex acts? Maybe I sort of pulled it off… hell, listen and you be the judge! I'd love to hear your comments!

Link to my radio interview with Pleasure Evolution!

You can follow me to see what inspires me and links from my favorite authors, therapists, educators, and sexologists on my Vivian's Way Facebook Page

Wednesday, December 25, 2013

Baby, It's Cold Outside… Let's Heat Things Up!

The lens through which we see the world can really limit our creative capacity.We have habits and comfort zones. Our brains are wired for patterns. Sexually speaking, while there is a finite limit to how many different types of sex we can actually have, there are so many more available options of what we can bring to each sexual encounter. And as anyone who has experienced that energy shifting, consciously or not, can tell you, that's where the magic happens.

Since it's Christmas season, I'd like to use one of my favorite Christmas songs as a beautiful example of this: Baby, It's Cold Outside*

This song is typically done as a cat and mouse type song, right? We go through it thinking "Oh how cute this little game… she's playing hard to get and he's unapologetically going after her"…

Some lyrics to help:
Woman: I really can't stay
Man: Baby, it's cold outside
Woman: I've got to go away
Man: But baby it's cold outside
Woman: This evening has been
Man: Been hopin' that you'd drop in
Woman: so very nice

Okay, so for fun, let's switch it up a bit. Instead of picturing the man trying to lure the "good girl" (which is where some people go crazy hating this song) to stay longer, picture this instead:

A man is tied to a bed, bound (nicely but so that he can't easily get out) at his wrists and ankles. The woman who tied him there is having a lovely time teasing like she's going to leave him in that condition and is "completely oblivious" to this causing a problem for him. In the meanwhile, he's trying to entice her to stay to keep him from being left in a precarious predicament. 

So, listen to it again… with that in mind, here's another verse:

Woman: Why don't you see?
Man: How can you do this thing to me?
Woman: There's bound to be talk tomorrow
Man: Think about life long sorrow
Woman: At least there will be plenty implied
Man: If you caught pneumonia and died
Woman: I really can't stay
Man: Get over that hold out
Oh, but it's cold outside

Sometimes just a change is perspective can really create some fun energy shifts. In both of these scenarios, this is fun, playful and with consent… it's just fun to change the rolls, even without changing the lyrics.

These roles, or boxes, that we put all of these characteristics and experiences into… they can really limit our experience of sex and keep us stagnant, in some ways. So, perhaps, we mix that up a bit. Play with some different energies. Take on some different roles with one another…

Applying it to the bedroom, you can keep the same way of having sex, but change the energies in which you both approach it. 
Who's more aggressive? 
Who initiates? 
Who's more more relaxed? 
Who's silly and playful? 

And the bigger question: 
Can you break outside the norm enough to change those energies?

Because after all, when it is cold outside, 
bed is a lovely place to be. 

And of course, to throw even more fun into it… my favorite version of this song was actually done on Glee which has two guys singing it… yet they stick with the pretty obvious cat and mouse style. 

*And yes, I am aware that feminist blogs and lists have listed this as a "rape culture" song… but see above. Changing the lens here…

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