Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Interviews with Strangers--Kimberly

A couple of months ago, I posted an interview with a man named Josh, who was in a polyamorous relationship with a married couple. I’ve decided to do an interview with someone from the other side. Here we have Kimberly, a married woman who is also in a couple of other relationships and whose husband dates others as well.
Just to recap some terms here for anyone who may not know--
Polyamory--”A polyamorous person is someone who has or is open to having more than one romantic relationship at a time, with the knowledge and consent of all their partners. A polyamorous relationship is a romantic relationship where the people in the relationship agree that it’s okay for everyone to be open to or have other romantic partners. Polyamory is the idea or practice of being polyamorous or having polyamorous relationships.”

Pansexual--A pansexual is a person who is attracted to people of any gender. They aren’t confined to a specific ‘gay’ ‘straight’ or ‘bisexual’ orientation, they are just simply attracted to anyone. A very well-known example of a pansexual is the character of Deadpool. The character frequently makes sexual comments that are not confined to one orientation. The Guardian did an interesting article on it, which you can read here.
Interviews with Strangers--Kimberly
I’m Kimberly.  I'm a 5'2, 130lb brunette cis woman, age 28. I'm pansexual and in a polyamorous marriage, with a serious boyfriend and 2 casual girlfriends.
(To be clear, my marriage is a heterosexual one.)
How long have you been married?
I've been married for 2 years.
How many relationships were you in before your marriage?
Oh man...gotta think back on that one.
Six major relationships before I met my husband.
Were you poly before him? How did you two meet?
Before my husband, I would consider myself poly in the fact that I had participated in poly relationships before, but it's worth noting that all of my major relationships were strictly monogamous, aside from my first one in which I was dating a man and had a casual girlfriend at the same time. I met my husband on Okcupid! :)
How long have you two been together/married?
We have been together almost 5 years, and married for 2 years :).
Do you want to have kids in the future?
Initially we were open to the idea, and I think we still are to some extent, but we are NOT interested at all at the current time. We have also considered not having kids at all. I'd say we are kid-agnostic right now.
Hahah I love that term. Does your family know about your polyamorous relationship?
My brothers know and are extremely supportive. One of my brothers has actually recently been approached to join a triad relationship, so they are also open to the idea of polyamory in their own relationships. My parents do not know, and I am not sure if I will ever tell them. They are extremely conservative and traditional, and I worry that they would not understand. I'd LOVE for them to know, and to support me, however. Maybe one day I will feel comfortable sharing with them. I guess another facet to my hangup over telling my parents is the fact that I am not out to them as pansexual, either, and that's an essential part of my polyamory.
Has your marriage always been open?
Yes - to an extent. In the beginning, we were only open to members of the same gender as we are both pansexual. It has more recently become open to all genders.
What is one of your most memorable sexual experiences?
Oh man, I have SO MANY. How do I pick just one? I'll give you my top one-- when I had a five-some with my friends on their wedding night in the Honeymoon suite.
Wow, that sounds like an awesome experience!! But how do you deal with jealousy in your marriage? Do you and your husband know each other's partners?
We treat jealousy as a non-productive fight or flight response to the fear of abandonment. When you can look at it as counterproductive to a happy relationship, while still acknowledging that larger societal expectations and sanctions tend to encourage that kind of behavior, it helps us to re-frame and deal with the jealousy in a more positive light. There are two major ways we combat jealousy. The first of those is the concept of compersion - which is the intentional (initially--after awhile it becomes natural) feeling of "I'm happy because you are happy" when your partner has a good date, or gets giddy about another partner. If you're able to demonstrate that you are ALSO happy and excited because your partner is happy and excited, it brings you much closer together because it encourages more free sharing of feelings between you. The second way is to always, always be reassuring and telling your partner how much you love and value them in your life. Having multiple partners does not mean you are replacing each other, you are simply adding more color to your collective romantic lives. Kind of like you have multiple friends who you keep in your life because they all are special in their own way. You don't just have one friend that you expect to fulfill every need you might have.
We know each other's partners, and that's the way we want it. Being able to humanize each other's partners, and even become friends with them, makes the whole process a lot easier. It's more difficult to see someone as a threat when you acknowledge they're a living, breathing, and likely cool human being.
That's so awesome. What would happen if you didn't like his partner, or vice versa?
We try not to exercise "veto power" which is when one of us would say that "you are not allowed to date this person." But, we resolve to be entirely honest if we have misgivings about other partners. It's a case by case basis.
Has that ever happened?
It has not yet happened 🙂
Nice! Is polyamory something you two plan to practice forever? Or do you think there will come a time when you want to become monogamous?
For now we plan to practice it indefinitely. But of course if one of us were to want to close up, it would have to happen. Open relationships take 2 consenting people. What I always say is, "It takes two people to open a relationship, and one to close it." It would definitely take a lot of discussion, especially if the partner NOT suggesting closing up had some other serious partners.
Any other things people tend to ask you about?
People tend to ask what rules we have.
And that's a hot topic in open relationships.
We are anarchists in that way. We believe that rules, at their core, are unrealistic ways for you to "protect" yourself. Instead of making rules, we believe it is better to come to agreements. Rules are made to be broken, so we try not to have any. The only "rule" per se is about safe sex, since that affects everyone.
Making a rule is about exerting power, and that doesn't sit right with us.
How about your situation with your boyfriend and your husband's girlfriend? Do they plan to remain polyamorous or do you think that eventually, they will leave to have their own monogamous situation?
My husband's girlfriend is also married and seeing multiple other partners. They have been poly for quite some time, so I don't see that changing in the foreseeable future. My boyfriend is a different story. He wants to be with me long term.
How long have you and your boyfriend been together now?
We have been an official "out" couple for about four months 🙂
Why was it so long until you were officially out?
Honestly, my husband was shy about people knowing. He didn't know how to handle it if people would ask about it. But we recently started listening to the Multiamory podcast and it gave us TONS of confidence and tools so we decided to say fuck it and be out!
That's awesome!! How did people take it?
So, my boyfriend is integrated in our lives, he came with my husband and I to my best friends birthday, he has met my brothers, and sometimes I have a cuddle train between both of them (husband and boyfriend) on the couch as we watch movies :). People have been overwhelmingly supportive!
Is it weird at all? Especially for the guys?
It's way too awesome! It's not weird, it may be for the boys a little bit but they are really sweet to each other. One day, my husband walked in on me on top of the boyfriend, and he just laughed and went and got the boyfriend a beer.
Are they open to threesomes?
My husband would be, but my boyfriend is too straight, hahah. It would be a dream come true.  It's such a fantasy. The two hottest dudes in your life.
How do you all handle love?  For instance,  are you in love with your boyfriend? Are you and your husband okay with expressing love to more than just each other or how does that work?
That's also fair game. We have a lot of love to give. Being in love with multiple people doesn't diminish those feelings for any partner. If anything it makes me want to express more love for each of them as a result. It's hard to explain. But yes, I'd say I'm in love with my boyfriend :).

Have you ever been in a polyamorous relationship, or do you have any interest in it? Tell me about it in the comments!!

Tuesday, December 6, 2016

Holiday Gift Guide--X-Rated-NSFW

Special thanks to the guy I was talking to on a website who gave me the idea for this post. I hope you enjoy it! :) Thanks again!!!

*****This is the same post that was posted back in December of 2012. As it is my most popular post, especially around the holidays, I updated some things and am copying it to the front of my blog. Enjoy!!*****

So, it's that time again, to spend all our hard-earned money on things we don't need and will probably not use much. That's not how it should be! Looking to give the gift that keeps on giving? How about some sex toys? People tend to think that if they're in a relationship, they have no need for things you can use independently, like vibrators and such. But it's healthy to have solo time, even in a relationship, and sex toys are a great way to spice up your relationship. Especially if you've never bought anything before, you might be wondering where to start. I'm going to list some of the year's popular sex toys, with links on where to get them. These are great gifts for yourself, a partner, or a friend (depending on how close you are). And if you are in a relationship, it's probably a gift for the both of you! Why not spend your money on something like that? Have fun!

Under Amazon Best Sellers, they have a section of sex toys! There are 100 pages, so I'm just going to choose a few from the first couple.

LELO Luna Beads for Kegel exercises. Amazon has them listed for $42.99 with free shipping. But can you put a price on a stronger orgasm? Kegel exercises strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which can give you more intense orgasms, as well as better control of your body. And what guy (or girl!) doesn't want their ladies to have better orgasms?! She may have you to thank for them!!

Hitachi Magic Wand Massager! This handy 'lil thing is quite the superstar in a number of amateur porn clips. It has a rating of 4 stars from 1,500 people on Amazon. It will bring you to a body-jerking orgasm that will have you crying out 'Thank you!' to the one who gave it to you. You can actually find similar 'wand massagers' at drug stores around the country, and maybe find it cheaper than the $46.40 price listed on Amazon--prime eligible. But, if you read the reviews, the money might be worth it.

Trinity Deluxe Rabbit Vibrator is awesome, but really, any kind of vibrator will do. I chose this one because it has a lot of cool functions to it. Not only is it a penetrable vibrator, but it also has rotating massaging beads near the base, and vibrating 'rabbit ears' for clitoral stimulation. That's like three gifts in one! And it's really not that expensive at $25.28, and prime eligible!! If you Amazon search/google 'rabbit vibrators,' you can find cheap ones all over!

Fleshlight! Popular funny man Kevin Smith promotes this company up and down, which is how I first heard about it. This pink lady right here will take over as your man's new woman. Why should girls get all the fun? Lots of reviews praise it's 'realistic' feeling and it's tightness. It has a cap you can loosen or tighten, depending on how you like it. It's a nice break from your hand. The 'Classic Pink Lady' Fleshlight is only $48.95 right now, on sale from $64.95 on the Fleshlight website!!

Super Head Honcho Masturbator! I found this one on Adam&Eve, with reviews all over proclaiming it 'The Sex Toy of the Year!' by Sue Johanson, from her show Talk Sex.  You can't ignore that! Apparently, it feels just like a real blowjob, and the material even makes your penis appear large. Your guy will love you for this! And on Adam&Eve, it's only $29.95! There is also a vibrating super head honcho for $34.95!!

G-Gasm Delight G-Spot Vibrator--one more for the men. Come on guys, let's get over the taboo of 'butt' toys and move on to the awesome feelings you could be having from your own g-spot! Stimulate your prostate with the 1.5'' bulbed head, or use it on your partner to stimulate theirs, or their clits or female g-spot. And it's a vibrator, so turn on any of the low to high settings to make it even more pleasurable. This toy is one to share, and for $14.96 (on sale from $19.95), you can't really even afford not to.

Now, with any toy you get, you're going to want some kind of lubricant. Lube always makes everything better. Always. Personally, I always go with water-based. They are safe for toys and condoms (silicone-based lubes can deteriorate some materials, wearing down your toys or causing your condoms to break). So, stop hacking up your spit and grab some of these great selections...

Astroglide Lubricants. Astroglide is, in my own opinion, the best lube out there, especially the natural kind. It is water-based and doesn't have any hormones, flavors, scents, alcohol, glycerin and paraben (the last few which typically cause discomfort or can negatively affect sensitive skin). What could be better? It's silky and not sticky, making clean-up a lot easier. You can typically find it in any drugstore, for around $10. Also, free samples from the Astroglide site! :)

ONEcondoms Oasis Silk. Oasis Silk is the newest personal lubricant from ONE. It is a hybrid lube that offers the advantages of both silicone and water based lubes. It is compatible with silicone toys, as well as latex AND polyisoprene condoms. It is hormone, oil, paraben, gluten, DEA, PEG, dye and fragrance free. Try out either the 2 oz. travel size for $6.95 or the 8 oz. pump bottle for $18.95. Right now, it is only available for purchase in the U.S.

Comfortably Numb Deep Throat Spray. This stuff is a great tool for the guy that loves blow jobs and the woman with a bad gag reflex. It has a numbing agent (I can't find ingredients, but it's probably lidocaine) in it, so when you spray it into the back of your throat, it numbs it so your gag reflex isn't as strong. You likely will be able to take him in further than you could before. And it tastes like spearmint! It's also $7.95, so, not bad.

Nipple Nibblers! This stuff is fun. It's a tasty moisturizer for your nipples (or really anywhere, but they come in tiny little jars, so nipples are easiest). Not only will it keep your nips from chafing, they will be tingly & taste delicious during foreplay time (which will occur before any sexual activity. You hear me, boys?). The jar is small enough that you can carry it around with you and be totally inconspicuous. It's $7.95 for a 2 oz. jar from Adam&Eve, but smaller jars are typically found in adult video stores all around!

 Like A Virgin Tightening Cream. BE CAREFUL with this one. This is something a woman should preferably get for her partner to enjoy, rather than the other way around. You don't want to send the wrong message. A little spot of this in the vaginal canal will make you feel tighter for up to 24 hours, and it will make your guy feel bigger in exchange. At $19 for .5 oz from Pure Romance, it's fairly expensive, but since you use such a little bit at a time, it should last you awhile.

Make Me Cum. This clit sensitizer 'increases sensitivity for stronger orgasms.' It is $9.95 for a .5 oz. jar. You only need to apply a very small amount of this cream to your clitoral area about 10-15 mins. before sex to increase the sensitivity to the area. Try it out!! 

And since 50 Shades of Grey opened the door to all kinds of people trying out BDSM type things...

Sexy Slave Kit--For all you housewives who read about Christian Grey and think you want to be more kinky, start out here. With a blindfold, feather tickler, wrist and ankle restraints, you can comfortably experiment all you want. And for $26.95, it's not a bad endeavor.

First Time Fetish Nipple Teasers Interested in the more painful side of BDSM? How about some nipple clamps? Push the fine line between pain & pleasure with these beginner 2 1/4 in. rubber-tipped clamps with a 12'' metal chain. The chain and clamps are made of nickel-free iron. Only $19.95.

A&E's Scarlet Satisfying Sting Crop. If you are interested in these kinds of things, any crop from any sex shop or porn store will do. This one is currently on sale on Adam&Eve for $22.46, normally $29.95. Also, feel free to try whips and canes as well, if you like the pain.

Fantasy Door Swing. If you like being restrained and having passionate, hot sex against a wall, this is the toy for you. It's portable, doesn't require any drilling, and can hold up to 300 pounds. Throw it over the door and go at it! It's only $49.95!!!

Sportsheets Doggie Strap. I have loved the idea of this since the first time I saw one at a boutique. What a great idea! Guys always want that specific angle, and giving them the reins allows them to get at it, giving you the best g-spot angle. It's padded, so it is more comfortable on your stomach, and it even has a spot to stick a vibrator in, so your clitoris can be stimulated at the same time. This product is awesome, and it's only $21.95. This is probably on the top of my list of best gifts of everything I've seen this year.

Afterglow Natural Massage Oil Candle. An all-natural candle that heats up the massaging wax in its porcelain holder to the perfect temperature, allowing you to be able to pour it on your lover's skin and then massage it into them? Sounds perfect! Hot wax play and intimate massages in one. The smell will turn you on, and so will all the touching. It comes in two different scents--pink orchard and fresh cucumber. It burns as a candle for 32 hours. You can find these awesome massage candles anywhere, but on Adam&Eve, you can find this 4.5 oz. one for $29.95.

Liberator Furniture. Honestly, anything from Liberator's website is going to be a great gift. They have wedges that can double as inconspicuous seats in your home outside of the bedroom. They have normal wedges/ramps and other more curvy one, helping you to get into the perfect position to help you reach that amazing O, while feeling great to your partner. Some of them even have spots where you can stick a vibrator in and use it solo! They even have lounges, benches and foam beds! They can get pretty pricey, but they're totally awesome. Check them out. This particular wedge in the picture is the Liberator Flip-Ramp, and it is normally $170, currently on sale for $159. Like I said, expensive, but these can be used in and out of the bedroom, and they are made to please--and to last ;).

New Comers Strap-On and Dildo Set. Need some penetration in your lives? Try this strap-on. The harness can fit up to 60 in. waists, and the purple dildo is 4 in. long and .75 in. wide. The harness can hold other dildos up to 1.25'' in diameter and is machine-washable. It even includes a free lube sample!! At $39.95, it is a best seller on Adam&Eve.

Smoothie 18'' Double Dong. Spice up your scissoring with this jelly-like dildo! This light purple 18 in. long, 1.5 in. wide flexible toy is compatible with water-based lube. Use soap or other toy cleaners to keep clean after each use. It is double-ended for twice the fun. This is also a best seller on Adam&Eve, for $19.95.

Anti-bacterial Toy Cleanser. For $5.95, a 4 oz. bottle of cleanser will keep your toys clean and sanitary. It is on Amazon, and unfortunately it isn't prime eligible, but it does have free shipping.

New one here--check out anything from ONEcondoms!! There are packs of condoms and lubes and bundles. Check out the glow-in-the-dark condoms for an extra fun gift ;).

As always, lingerie is always great. Make sure you get the right size, or know the return/exchange policies if you can't for some reason get a size, or if it doesn't end up fitting.

Now, it should go without saying that playing it safe is necessary! Make sure to stock up on condoms (latex, polyisoprene, lambskin, anything that works for you), or other protections (birth control pills, dental dams, contraceptive sponges, contraceptive films, spermicides, regular STI testings, etc.). Make sure toys are cleaned properly and fully after every use, and double check before each use.

Remember, these are only a few products that I chose to put in here. There are TONS of toys, accessories, clothes, lubes, oils, lotions, creams, furniture, etc. that you can experiment with.
From the HuffingtonPost Canada--"With global sales of 'pleasure goods' rising towards 400 million, according to a study entitled "Women, Sex and Shopping," they're quickly catching up to mobile phone sales."
Wow! People buy and use these things more than you might think. It's time to make it more acceptable to talk about and buy for each other. In 2001 (which, keep in mind, was 15 years ago), the Canadian CBC Marketplace estimated that about $500 million of sales in North America are from sex toys and other related sexual products. Awesome!

Check out some of the links, search around on the websites and see if you can find something you like. It's the gift for one or two (or more!) that keeps on giving, especially if you use them right ;). A lot of websites have some great sales going on right now.

If you have a toy that you really like, tell us about it in the comments, what it is, why you like it, how you use it, etc.

Thanks everyone. Make sure to make time to sneak off for some one-on-one action while staying with relatives this month, or at least have someone watch the kids for awhile! Make it a goal to perfect the art of quickies. Merry Christmas, Happy Hannukah, and Happy Holidays!

Wednesday, November 30, 2016

ONE Condoms

 Hey all! This post is long overdue. Receiving a bunch of sex-related products and struggling with ovarian cysts doesn't mix well. Luckily, things are all cleared up for me, and my products can finally be put to some good use!! Sometime over the summer, ONEcondoms sent me a bunch of products!! I had briefly heard of them before that, but to my knowledge, had never used any of their products. That has definitely changed!

If you read my blog, you know that I am a HUGE advocate of safe sex. Condoms were (and continue to be) an amazing invention. Seriously, how cool is it that there is a thing that we can use in the heat of the moment that can very nearly completely prevent pregnancy from happening? I think it is pretty awesome.

When I was younger, my issues with vulvodynia led me to believe I had a sensitivity to latex condoms. Luckily, now that my symptoms are mostly gone, I realize that is not true! Since finding that out, I decided to branch out and try all kinds of condoms and lube to try the great things that are on the market today. I was always a big promoter of Astroglide, and I still love them!  They are very active in the community and seem to really care about their product and the sexual education of the public. Their resident sexology, Dr. Jess, even did an AMA on Reddit today!! (You can read that here.)

Anyways. This post is about ONE. They are a condom company based out of Boston, Mass. On their website, their 'about' section says--

ONE is committed to helping everyone have better, healthier relationships. Making safer sex products is only one part of our mission. Helping build a community in which we share knowledge, passion and ideas is our manifesto.

So, you know, this company is right up my alley. They have an education tab with links to their blog that has pieces like my own--teaching people about safe sex! You can make an account on their website under 'Momentum.' Your account lists 'challenges,' and with each challenge, you accumulate points, which you can then use towards money off future purchases!! They also have a selfie program called #ONEselfie. You can take a picture of yourself with your favorite condom wrapper design, you with your partner or friends, or of you doing something to promote safe sex in your community. Winners receive condoms as prizes. They ALSO have a mailing list,  FacebookTwitterInstagram, and Pinterest.

They have this amazing new thing called myONE Perfect Fit. (For anyone wondering, ONE acquired the former brand TheyFit.)  No more worrying about being too 'big' or 'small' for traditional condoms--myONE has 56 different size condoms. With that many choices, you should almost positively find one that fits you perfectly (hence the name). According to reviews on their website, over 90% of men rate these new perfect fit condoms very highly. Since there are so many sizes, most will not be in stores, and will be easier to purchase online. They have a sizing chart available.

One thing you can do on as part of the Momentum team is create designs for their condom wrappers. They are known for their fun wrappers. They hold tons of contests, asking people to design new wrappers with different themes. Anyone who knows me knows that I love puns, and so I really love and appreciate the puns they occasionally have on the wrappers. Here are some of my favorite designs--

I have not yet tried all of the condoms I received. They have 11 different styles and over 200 different wrappers! They also have a couple of lubricants, and I know they just released Oasis Silk, which I am excited to try since it is water-based. Apparently, a portion of all their sales goes towards HIV outreach programs!! That being said, I have tried a few of their things and I'm going to let you know what I thought!!

**Quick Disclaimer: REMINDER--DO NOT use oil-based lubricants with latex condoms! The oils can compromise the latex, which can cause the condoms to break more easily. Also, silicone lubes can break down the rubber of silicone toys. Some people (such as myself) can be easily irritated by lubes that contain silicone, oils, fragrances, glycerin, etc. Be aware of the ingredients in your lubes!! If one doesn't work for you, try something else. I highly recommend water-based lubes.**

My haul!!

ONE Super Sensitive (lubricated)--This condom was great!! It seemed tighter than other condoms, and I barely felt it during sex. It held up really well. Although, when my boyfriend tied it up before tossing it out, it broke in half, which he says has never happened before. So, I'm not sure if he just pulled on it harder than usual, or if it is more susceptible to tearing. Just kind of a reminder to take it easy when handling them.

ONE Vanish (lubricated)--This one is my favorite one. It is a 'hyperthin condom.' It is similar to the sensitive condoms in that you can barely feel it. Seriously, this thing is thin and comfortable. It fits great and really, you don't notice it much during the act. We used it together with the Oasis lubricant. Great stuff.

ONE Glow-in-the-Dark (lubricated)--I'm going to be honest with you here. We haven't actually used one of these during sex. I want to, but I always forget I have them. I am amazed by them, and I did check one out for fun. I held it up to the light for 30 seconds like the wrapper says to do, and then I pulled it out. My boyfriend let me put it on him for a few seconds, and I giggled like a schoolgirl. Penises weren't meant to glow in the dark, so they look pretty hilarious when they do. It stays glowing against the skin. I feel like it wouldn't keep its glow for an entire sex experience, but it is still worth it for the hilarity of it. It is definitely a way to open up a dialogue and make for some silly conversational sex.

ONE Flavor Wave Flavored Condoms (lubricated)--I'm not a big flavored-condom fan. I really don't like the taste or the texture of condoms during oral, and I feel like no matter what the flavor, all I can taste is latex. They all leave a weirdish film that feels like you are wearing chapstick. **I should add--I am in a serious, long-term relationship. We have been tested for STDs. If you are not in a long-term relationship or with someone who has not been tested/if you have not been tested, you really should train yourself to like condoms for oral.**
That being said, the Mint Chocolate flavor was my favorite. It kind of reminded me of mint chocolate ice-cream, which I love. Strangely, I didn't love the Fresh Mint flavor. It was really just a weak flavor, it had just a hint of mint to it. It pretty much tasted like a normal condom with maybe a first taste of mint. I would not buy the Chocolate Strawberry or the Island Punch. The flavors were too fake and strong for me. You may like them! But fake fruit flavors have never been my favorite.

I also have a couple of their condom tins, which I love. They are so nice and convenient. I typically have a condom stashed in every pocket of every purse, and they always get ripped or lost. These little tins are super sturdy and keep me from accidentally dropping a condom in public every time I pull out my wallet.  They can fit just about six condoms in them. Heads up--they do get a little difficult to open if you have lube on your fingers!!

We got kind of wrapped up with the Super Sensitive and, especially, the Vanish condoms. We still have several to try--Pleasure Dome, Pleasure Plus (rated Men's Fitness 'first place' condom!), 576 Sensations, Zero Thin, and Move Lubricant. I'm excited to try them!! I will update this when I try each one.
I really love these condoms. It is exciting to have so many different styles to choose from, and I like seeing the designs on the wrapper. One thing about sex that I find important is the ability to find humor in it. What better way to do that than with puns on wrappers and glow in the dark penises?! Not only does ONE promote this kind of communicative sex with partners, they want to educate society and offer their products and knowledge to consumers. They really are a company that I appreciate and one I will gladly continue trying and promoting. If you have any questions or comments about their products, email me or contact them! They are quick and efficient with their customer service.

Right now, we are using protection. We want babies--ONE day. :)

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Why do you want to be a sex therapist?

Hey all!!

I've decided to do an update for you. I hope you all enjoyed my interview with Josh. It was super entertaining and informative for me. Personally, I am monogamous, but I find the idea of non-monogamy fascinating. I do have another interview to post soon with a woman in a similar situation. She is married, yet both her and her husband have a couple of significant others outside of the marriage!! Her stories are pretty crazy, so make sure you stop by to check that out.

Now, a lot of you haven't read this blog from the beginning and therefore may not know some stuff about me. I get asked a lot why I want to go into this field. The answer is because I suffered for several years to get answers and information about my own body, and I wish that things like that could be much more obtainable.

I got my period when I was 11. I didn't know anything about it and I was too afraid to talk to my mom. I cried myself to sleep and thought something was wrong with me. Throughout the years, I suffered immensely every month. I frequently missed school and had cramps so bad I nearly threw up. I was unable to get out of bed for the first couple of days. Unfortunately, my period also lasted between 7-10 days, and I typically had PMS symptoms for about a week beforehand, meaning my period lasted nearly half a month. I was miserable. At 13, my doctor placed me on birth control to try and make it all more manageable.

For the first few years, I tried a few different birth control pills. Every pill is different for every person. One of them turned me into the angriest person alive. I snapped on everyone for everything, until one day I went into a rage and threw the remainder of the pills in the garbage.

Generalized Vulvodynia--spontaneous, constant pain, mainly in these areas.
Between the ages of 17 and 18, gynecology exams became painful. Sex was not what my friends described it as--pleasurable, fun, exciting. They thought I was crazy when I said it was the most painful thing I'd ever experienced. Then I started having pain throughout my daily life. It got to the point where even sitting down or walking with tight jeans on hurt. I was unbearably itchy. I had an overactive bladder similar to that of a pregnant woman. I saw a couple of doctors who tested me for STDs. Finally, an amazing gyno diagnosed me with Generalized Vulvodynia. She said it wasn't very well known yet, and that a lot of doctors had never even heard of it.  It is characterized by chronic vulvar pain that occurs for no real reason. While there can be periods of relief, there are also periods of extreme pain that can be exacerbated by pressure--such as wearing tight pants. When you feel pleasure 'down there,' it is due to nerve endings. I have an overabundance of nerve endings, causing the sensations to feel painful. I was so happy that I was finally getting some answers.

I was also diagnosed with Pelvic Floor Dysfunction. Basically, my pelvic floor would tighten and contract instead of relax when I needed it to. I found out it was another reason I was having so much pain and why I felt I needed to urinate so much. When you pee, your body relaxes to let out the stream. Mine was tightening, which meant that my bladder was not emptying fully. I began to do physical therapy to try and fix this. Physical therapy for PFD entails biofeedback therapy--they insert sensors inside of you and have you do kegel exercises, to test the strength of the pelvic floor. I had to measure my urine for weeks to see if my bladder was starting to empty more. My therapist would end the sessions with a deep tissue massage of the area, to loosen up muscles. None of this felt good. In fact, it was extremely uncomfortable and slightly painful. It was embarrassing. I had an amazing physical therapist who was extremely knowledgeable, and I'm thankful for all that she taught me.

My full treatment plan then was as follows--a prescription for Lidocaine (to put on a cotton ball and then insert into the vaginal canal at night, to numb the area), anti-itch cream, biofeedback physical therapy once a week, vaginal dilators (to teach the area to relax and open up), deep tissue massages of the thighs (to loosen up muscles in the area), and getting off birth control.

There are many factors that can lead to a person developing vulvodynia. My doctors came to the conclusion that the hormones in birth control were what caused my issues. I was taken off birth control at the age of 19, after having been on it a little over five years.

I lost my insurance a little after I turned 18. The next year or so after that, I ended up in hospitals frequently, with some of the worst pain and itching of my life. None of my previous treatments were working. I was also no longer able to afford my old doctors or therapy, and my trusted gyno moved out of state. I felt alone and judged again. Every time I went to the ER, I was given a STD test. They didn't believe my pain was real. So many doctors questioned the legitimacy of my symptoms. I fell into a super deep depression and barely got out of bed. I failed out of school and skipped from job to job. My anxiety also worsened during this time, which affected tons of my personal relationships.

Eventually, I found the NVA--the National Vulvodynia Association--and that I wasn't alone. I found Planned Parenthood, and was finally able to afford check ups and get medication that helped me. After about six years of being unable to afford my own insurance, I am insured again, and getting regular checkups and tests. I am happy to report that I am now mostly pain-free.

I was one of the lucky ones. I had read about surgery to replace the skin in the vaginal canal, and I had my mind set on needing it. Suddenly, my symptoms started to diminish. I don't know why, and I'm not healed fully, but I was thrilled. To this day, I still have flare ups. I have pain days and I have days where there's no pain at all! But I will never forget what I went through, and it kills me to think about other girls out there who have no one to turn to, who feel alone and depressed and in pain.

That is why I do this. That is why I started this blog and why I am going to school. I want to help people, because I know what it is like to hurt, physically and emotionally. I know what it is like to be afraid of and confused by your own body. I hear the questions people my own age ask each other about sex, pregnancy, periods, etc. and I want them to be informed--BEFORE they reach adulthood. As a society, we are not doing our children any favors by hiding information about their bodies. In fact, we may even be hurting some of them. There are fully grown, independent adults out there right now who don't know where some of their own body parts are.

In combination with my vulvodynia issues, I've also struggled with ovarian cysts. Due to more frequent cysts, my doctor and I have made the decision to put me back on birth control as a trial run. We want to see if it helps. I'm hoping it will clear up my horrendous PMS (I tend to fall into a deeeep depression where my whole body and head throb in pain in for a week before my period), as well as helping with my cysts. It may end up helping me, but I also run the risk of it bringing my old symptoms back. Only time will tell what it will do.

This, like most of my blog posts, ended up much longer than I planned it to be. So many of you have asked why I do this, and here is my full detailed answer to you. As always, I am here to answer any questions you may have. If you think you may be struggling with a disorder such as Vulvodynia, PLEASE speak to your doctor. Don't be afraid to get help for yourself.

National Vulvodynia Association
Information on Pelvic Floor Dysfunction
Planned Parenthood
Birth Control Options

Thursday, October 6, 2016

Interviews with Strangers--Josh

Growing up, I was a jealous person. This didn't change when I started dating. I compared myself to a lot of other girls, and my jealousy increased with every negative thought. Monogamy came natural to me, as a result. I never even questioned having more than one partner. I knew that those kinds of relationships did exist, but honestly, I thought they were very few and far between--the kinds of relationships used in television and cinema to create a good, dramatic story line. But as I've gotten older, I've found that a lot of people consider themselves to have a fairly ambiguous relationship status. A lot of people aren't committed to one person. A lot of dating sites and apps like Tinder and Grinder make it easy to date around. 'Playing the field' is pretty common for people in their late teens and early twenties. We date around until we find 'the one.' But what if you don't want just one? What if you could continue having new and exciting experiences with a plethora of people, while also feeling safe and committed? 

The site More Than Two describes polyamory in a great way:
"The word polyamory is based on the Greek and Latin for “many loves” (literally, poly many + amor love). A polyamorous person is someone who has or is open to having more than one romantic relationship at a time, with the knowledge and consent of all their partners. A polyamorous relationship is a romantic relationship where the people in the relationship agree that it’s okay for everyone to be open to or have other romantic partners."

I had a fun time chatting with two different people about their poly-amorous relationships. The first is Josh, a male who is in a relationship with a married couple (heterosexual marriage), but also has a girlfriend (who is married to someone else!). The second is Kimberly, a female who is in a heterosexual marriage but has a boyfriend and two girlfriends. A lot of people do not like the idea of polyamory, and it makes sense. Our culture centers around monogamous relationships. Most of us are taught monogamous ideas from a young age. There are tv shows like 'The Bachelor' and 'The Bachelorette' that highlight people looking for 'The One.' One big aversion to it is the idea of sex. I think we can all agree that our culture as a whole is fairly uptight when it comes to sex (at least in the United States). Being seen as open and experimental in regards to sex tends to bring forth negative feelings. A girl who is very into sex is considered 'slutty' and a guy is a 'player.' But polyamory is about a lot more than sex. It is about having more than one committed partner with which you can share a satisfying relationship. Despite your own feelings about being non-monogamous, check out my interviews with Josh & Kimberly, and see if it changes your perspective even a little bit.

Alright, tell us about yourself.
"My name's Josh. I'm a 30-year-old tall, skinny redhead. I'm bisexual and polyamorous."

How many long-term committed relationships would you say you've been in?
"I have been in four relationships that I thought of as long-term and committed, including my current one."

How old were you when you lost your virginity?
"I was 15. I guess I'd say it was pretty average. She was a few years older than me and knew what she was doing, was patient with my curiosity and inexperience.

How many sexual partners have you had?
"At last count, I was somewhere in the high teens."

Can you tell me about your current relationship?
"Right now I live with my girlfriend E and her husband, N. N and I also have a mutual girlfriend, K, who has a husband of her own. E is definitely my primary partner and the person I describe as "my girlfriend" to acquaintances and co-workers who may not know the whole situation."

How long have you been with E & N?
"I met E and N at a sci-fi convention in the summer of 2013. They were friends of some friends of mine, and we hung out a bit together at the convention. A week or so after, E expressed an interest in some casual fucking. From there, things escalated, and by the spring of 2014, I had moved in with E and N."

Was this your first polyamorous situation?
"Yes it was, and it came as a pretty big surprise to me. All of my previous relationships had been monogamous, and while I had always had some interest in sex outside of those relationships, that was usually with either threesomes or sex with men (I'm bi but have only dated women) in mind."

How about for E & N, had they ever had a third before you?
"Yes, by a little bit. In the spring of 2013, N and K started dating, so they were pretty new to all this, but had enough of the basics down to introduce me."

Does it all work pretty smoothly? Do any issues ever arise?
"For the most part, it works pretty smoothly. It helps that we're a well-established group at this point. While we will occasionally play with other people, mostly it's E, N, K, and me. There have definitely been some issues with one partner or another feeling neglected when others are off on a date together."

How do you handle those issues? Do you talk it out as a group?
"Not usually. If there's one way in which we differ from "ideal" poly groups that I've read about, it's that we leave some things unsaid, or resolve things in pairs rather than as a whole group. Most of our whole-group communication focuses on scheduling dates and outings, and the usual friendly chatter.

In addition to dating these people, they're my best friends and the center of my social life."

How did your family react when they found out about your relationship(s)?
"Different family members reacted differently. Some don't know. I have an aunt and uncle in particular, as well as some cousins and my sisters, who know the whole story and are very supportive. My parents know, and while they had some reservations, they're doing better with it. Part of that one is my fault; I did a HORRIBLE job of telling them because I was so nervous about it. I just dropped it on them at the end of a visit as they were about to leave. Much of my extended family doesn't know."

Tell me about some of your fetishes and/or kinks.
"I've always been open and experimental. When it comes to kinks and fetishes, it is in some ways better to talk about what I won't do. I've got four hard "no" things, and have to give credit to Dan Savage for this list: Poop, dead things, children, and animals. 
I prefer to be submissive in bed, though that is not exclusive. I'm a big fan of anal play, both giving and receiving. I like pain, restraints, and being ordered around. I kind of shocked myself recently by discovering that I'm into sounding, too.

Are all of your partners kinky as well?
"They're all at least a little bit kinky, but I usually find myself wanting more kink than my partners, more often than my partners."

Any particularly memorable experiences or stories?
"Interviewer's choice. I'll flesh out one of these three:
A) The first time that K fisted me.
B) The time I cleaned a friend's house with a butt plug in, then she hung me from the ceiling and flogged me.
C) The time I participated in a triple-teaming of K with her husband and N. 

I like the ceiling one, sounds pretty exciting.
"Okay. This was with someone named S. She is E's very best friend, and pretty darned kinky. As E and I got to know each other, I also got to know S, and all of us were in favor of S and I playing around. The time in question, there was this really nice confluence of events: Her living room was being renovated, and had been gutted down to the studs. She was also going to be hosting a party that coming weekend, and needed to do the usual amount of house cleaning PLUS party prep PLUS clearing away renovation debris. I was curious about impact play, and that was very much her thing at the time. She had access to several different kinds of floggers and crops and things. She bragged about the beating she had recently taken from a baseball bat (thuddy as fuck was how she described it). SHE, meanwhile, was curious about my submissive side, especially the service part of it. She wanted to know (and I wanted to know, frankly) how much I could be turned on by service in a less-sexual context. So we decided to get together for some pre-weekend house cleaning and experimentation. Step one when we got together was just to dump out all our toys and see what we had. She admired my butt plugs, I admired her whips and floggers. Eventually, she handed me my biggest butt plug and a mop, and told me to put it in and mop the kitchen, naked (except for the plug). She didn't make me do the WHOLE thing myself; there was too much to get done, and we both wanted to move on to more fun things. The cleaning was very sexual, but also very not. I had a job to do, and I focused on doing it. The plug in my ass was fun, especially when I twisted at funny angles as I worked, but the best part was the head space I was in. I was very focused on everything I was doing, BECAUSE she had told me to do it. I am usually one to anticipate and think ahead and imagine, but in that moment, my entire world was whatever she told me to do. It felt safe and warm and clear and focused. When I was done mopping, she bent me over, teased me with the plug, put in a different one, and gave me another job to do.  Three or four jobs and toys later, the house was clean. She put some leather cuffs around my wrists, grabbed my dick, and led me to the gutted living room. she got me to the middle of the room, and pointed up to a heavy metal bolt driven through one of the ceiling joists. She told me to reach up and hook my cuffs to the bolt, which I could do--barely. I'm tall, but it's a high ceiling. Once she got me there, she spent about an hour on me, seeing what implements made me jump a certain way, what left certain marks, things like that. At one point she took out some hair sticks (I'm sure there's another name for those. About the size and shape of chopsticks, used to put up long hair), and had lots of fun scraping, scratching, stabbing and tickling me. When she was done with me, she told me to let myself down, and I remember being overcome by a need to cuddle, of all things. We cuddled, and talked about what we'd done and liked and not liked, and then we actually called it a night. Neither of us came or even did much of anything with our genitals. It was incredibly satisfying, and unlike any other sexy time I've had.

Do you think that being in a polyamorous relationship is a lasting thing for you, or do you think that you might eventually want a monogamous situation?
"I was about to say that I don't have expectations either way-that I could be happy in any kind of relationship-but I don't think that's true. I feel like polyamory is the way to go for me. Unless my basic attitude towards sex and people changes, I feel like this just feels more natural and comfortable. I don't feel like I have the visceral reactions of jealousy and possessiveness that a lot of people have. I know that bi people spend a lot of time explaining that they're not actually greedy, that they can actually make up their minds, but I don't feel any particular need to. People are beautiful and wonderful and I want to connect with them."

Have you ever discussed having children with any of your partners?
"We have a little bit. E is on the fence, leaning no, and also has some biological issues that would make it tough. K is a flat no, with any of her partners. I think I would like to have a child someday, but I don't know that I'm in a place to have one now. I also think that polyamory is not necessarily bad for kids, and is probably awesome for them if it's done well."

What would you say to anyone questioning the idea of polyamory, or to people who think it is unnatural?
"Question away. Questioning is good. I DO NOT advocate this lifestyle for everyone. I emphasize that it is entirely consensual for all parties involved, and communication is key. At the very basic, people gotta know who's doing what with whom, when, and what the protocol is for new people. And for fuck's sake, get tested. We all do once a year, and share results wit each other. If one of us is clean, we probably all are. 

To those who say it's not natural, I've got to disagree. Nature is full of some weird mating patterns, even if you just look at primates. I'll agree that it's counter to Western tradition (though incorrect) to lump it in with the radical Mormon sect kind of polygamy."

So, there ya go, folks. Not only are Josh's partners his sexual partners, but they are also his life partners, loving companions, and best friends. I want to put some emphasis on his last answers--polyamory is CONSENSUAL--between all members. Communication is necessary and should happen constantly. All members of a polyamorous relationship should be tested regularly, and most, if not all, practice safe sex. If you are interested in pursuing a polyamorous relationship, look into it a bit first. Read stories about other relationships, talk to people who have experience. A lot of communities even have groups that meet up occasionally to talk about non-monogamy, so go check them out. I hope you liked this interview. It was a lot of fun learning this stuff about Josh. Check back to read my interview with polyamorous Kimberly next!!