Apr 072014
 

On the beachI suspect that, at some point, everyone has to look at how sex defines their life. How do I identify as a sexual (or non-sexual) person? Where does sex stand in my hierarchy of values? What is sex anyway?

Harold and I went away for the weekend and we discussed many of these concepts because I’ve been struggling with thyroid problems again. My sexuality as I have known it is on hiatus. I wrote a post about thyroid function and sexuality a while ago. When I reread that list of possible symptoms for hypothyroidism, I realize that I have been experiencing every single one. If I look back I can recognize a very gradual decline of my thyroid function over the past 3-6 months, with the last month being extremely difficult.

We needed some time away by ourselves. My extreme fatigue and lack of desire make it hard for us to just flow together sexually the way that we are used to doing. I’m missing that sensation of immediate lust that feels like sap rising in tree or riding a carnival ride – a thrill of warmth that starts in my cunt and moves up to my heart. Intellectually, I am still very interested in making love, I just don’t feel it. It takes more time for me to get my mind, body, and emotions aligned so sex flows. 

When sex stops being easy for me, I am forced to examine all of my assumptions about who I am as a person and in a relationship. Harold and I spent a lot of time talking, as I tearfully wondered if I would ever really want to have sex again (which is kind of silly because we then went on to have lots of sex, but I needed to examine my fears). We sat on the beach and I poured out my heart, asking him if he would still love me and want me if we never had sex again. How would we connect? And slowly, I remembered all of the ways that we love each other. We make love in many ways that I would not consider “sex” and while I adore our sexual connection, it was a relief to realize that I will not lose him if I cannot recover my lust.

Leave your hat onTo be clear, the only person pressuring me to be sexual is me. I get really frustrated that this isn’t something I can think my way through. I get scared that I might never feel that thrill and transcendence through sex again. Much of this weekend was spent processing a loss I don’t even believe is permanent. But sex is strong like that.

Sometimes just knowing that a “no” is okay, lets me say yes. Knowing that I didn’t have to perform sexually in any particular way freed me to simply be present in the moment. I knew that Harold would meet me no matter what I brought to our lovemaking. This is an amazing gift and it’s what keeps us together.

For any couple that’s having troubles connecting sexually, I have this advice: get naked, get in bed together, and talk. It’s okay to touch and snuggle. Look into each other’s eyes. It works for me every time. Being naked is vulnerable, and skin to skin contact makes me feel closer as oxytocin is released through this basic intimacy. As our bodies, minds, and emotions sync up internally and with each other, we naturally flow into lovemaking.

We made love in a tiny little loft, warming our bodies after sitting on the cold beach. We kissed slowly, then more urgently, opening to each other. Hands explored flesh, squeezing and caressing. I lay on top of him, feeling him harden against me. We took turns going down on each other, then switched to 69 because we had to have everything all at once. I wanted to take him with my strap-on, but we got caught up in the moment. I had to feel him inside me, just for a minute…

Sex still isn’t easy for me right now. I normally orgasm in about a minute and am capable of multiple orgasms, but we have to really work for me to cum right now. It feels great to be riding that edge for so long, but sometimes I just want to get there already! The fact that the batteries were failing on my vibrator didn’t help. I worried that Harold would get bored or tired, but he was perfectly willing to do whatever for as long as I was enjoying it.

Fields of springThe next morning, I took a shower while Harold worked on his laptop. I ended up masturbating, wanting to see how my body responded to my own touch. It took a lot of fantasizing, but I was eventually able to get myself off. Immediately, I started wishing that Harold was there (never mind that we were in a tiny cabin and he could hear everything), and feeling resentful that he didn’t care to be sexual with me (never mind that I had told him to go ahead and work and I hadn’t invited him to shower).  I had to laugh at myself for being so passive-agressive, then went and seduced him into fucking me right there in the kitchen. He didn’t mind at all.

I’m glad that we had time for me to examine the recent changes in my sexuality. We had awesome sex, but I am most grateful to spend time together doing relaxed things – talking, shopping, walking on the beach, drinking lambic out of the bottle like teenagers, looking at flowers, watching a movie, napping, and sharing meals. It’s the first time we’ve gone away and I brought my crocheting rather than, say, a trample table.

I don’t feel kinky. I don’t feel like much of a Top. I don’t feel particularly sexy. In fact, I feel sick a lot of the time. I am not up for wild rodeo sex, but that doesn’t mean that I am not sexual. I still want to kiss, to be close, to share dreams. If I think about it, I still want to orgasm. I want to connect with my partners. Everything is an effort right now, but sex is worth the effort.

Flip offIf I never feel that hot lust again, it will be like losing a limb. For now, I am content redefining my sexuality to make wherever I am the perfect place to be. It’s a relief to know that I don’t have to be crazy kinky to be loved. I happen to like pushing my sexual limits most of the time, but that isn’t the whole of my identity. I can define sex any way I like.

Mar 012014
 
Vixen Creations Ride On and Colossus

Colossus (top) and Ride On (bottom)

I’m going to start this review of penis prostheses by saying that I think that once a guy stops worrying about his erection and when he is going to come, sex is a much more enjoyable experience for both of us.

Don’t get me wrong, I really like fucking. A hard man is good to find and all that, but I prefer to focus on pleasure rather than penetration. I didn’t even realize how much more pleasure there is to explore until I started having sex with Harold. He was 58 at the time. As is normal for men his age, his cock doesn’t always work the way he wants it to, yet we have so much fun together.

Harold and I are very adventurous sexually. I suspect that Harold has always been a considerate and playful lover, but I appreciate that he is interested in taking his time and exploring every possibility with me. Ironically, we started wondering what it would be like if he could have more erections. What if he could stay harder longer? What if he could fuck again right after coming? These questions led us to investigate some fascinating products…

Vixen Creations makes two PPA (Prosthetic Penis Attachment)/Extenders – Ride On and Colossus – that seem to be miles ahead of the competition. I contacted them and they happily sent us one of each to review. I asked for two different colors so we could compare. We have Ride On in Vanilla and Colossus in Caramel (the third option is chocolate), but neither shade is close to Harold’s skin color.

Trying to get into Ride On

Scrotum should go through first

These are made of soft silicone. Vixen is famous for their VixSkin, a proprietary realistic feeling skin-like material. These PPAs are supposedly a bit softer than their standard formula. They feel and look more realistic than any dildoes I’ve ever owned. Sadly, my cunt did not react well to this silicone. I am pretty delicate and fucking with these the first time made my vagina burn. After that we used condoms and that worked fine. This material does pick up lint and things fairly easily, but washes up with warm water and mild soap.

I think a sense of humor is mandatory for PPAs. Even when it works well, there is still something kind of ridiculous about a prosthetic penis. For us, the laughter started when we eagerly attempted to put the device on. Of course we hadn’t bothered to read the instructions. How hard can it be? You stick the penis in the tube part and pull the balls through the hole. Right.

Here’s the quick guide from Vixen’s website:

  • Roll the sleeve one third of the way down.
  • Apply lubricant to the inside of the Ride On and your penis.
  • Squeeze out the air.
  • Place your penis into the opening and gradually release the pressure.
  • Unroll the Ride On to the base.
  • Pull the scrotum through the hole.
  • Pull to one side and push through one testicle.
  • Repeat with the other.
  • Have fun!
Vixen Creations Ride On

What an impressive hard on!

Even following these instructions, it was not easy to secure the extenders. You are supposed to be able to use Ride On with or without an erection, simply create a vacuum around your penis and push your balls through the hole at the base. Harold and I are used to handling his balls, but this was a chore – not exactly spontaneous, but funny as hell trying to capture each testicle and send it through the hole. We had better luck tying off the base of his scrotum, but I don’t really recommend this method. I think there is a learning curve and it gets easier each time, so definitely practice a bunch before you find yourself in a “fuck me now” moment.

Ride On was a great fit for Harold (when not fully hard) at 4″ x 1″. It added some interesting length for me with outer dimensions of 6.25″ x 1.75″. I think it makes Harold look like a porn star. Colossus, however, never really fit well. The first time we tried it was right after he had orgasmed, so he wasn’t at all hard and couldn’t create any vacuum to keep his penis inside. It kept buckling when he tried to fuck me. We were almost hysterical with laughter. I finally asked for one of his socks, stuffed it inside, and we were able to proceed.

When I asked Joel to try out these PPAs, his experience was opposite Harold’s. With an erection, Joel was unable to fit in Ride On, no matter what he tried. Joel’s scrotum is not dangly or very stretchy, so he found the application of the device painful, however, Colossus fit his cock well with inner dimensions of 5.5″ x 1.375″. The outside is 6.75″ x 2.25″, which doesn’t seem that large, but looks and feels impressive.

Vixen Creations Colossus

Stuffing a sock inside Colossus

Lube is a necessity with these extenders. Lots of lube inside seems to improve fit as well as pleasure. Our experience was that the PPA served kind of as a masturbation sleeve. More lube outside made fucking more comfortable for me as well, but nothing replaces fabulous foreplay. (I like to be begging to be fucked before anything goes inside my cunt.) One note: I would recommend warming the PPA before use if at all possible. Otherwise it feels very cold and weird!

I prefer Ride On to Colossus in terms of my comfort, but both are amazing in concept. I love that these PPAs allow sex to happen in all of the ways I might want it to. For example, getting fucked in the ass is not possible without a firm hard-on. I’m a person who likes options. At first the $124 – $130 price tag seemed a little steep, but then I realized that we are currently paying $30 a pill for Viagra, so it seems like a good investment, as well as being more flexible and reliable.

I make love to feel connected to my partner. Vixen Creation’s PPAs do not feel like the real thing, but they can help me to feel more connected. If nothing else, we have the shared experience of laughing over introducing something called Colossus to my privates.

These are my thoughts, but it seems wrong to review what is a product designed to fit over penises without getting some opinions from people who have penises…

Harold says, “I’ve always thought this kind of product would be cool, because it would give me the option to keep fucking right after coming if that was what my partner wanted. Also, now that I’ve gotten older and don’t always get a good erection (or sometimes even any erection at all), it could make penetrative sex possible if that was something we wanted.

“The funny thing is, although Ride-on works pretty well just as I thought it might, it seems much less interesting than I’d anticipated. We love to fuck, but having a prosthesis involved clarified for me again something I’ve known for a long time, namely that what you do is really not nearly as important as what you feel emotionally. It was fun to try out the Ride-on and Collossus, but using them had little relationship to what we experience when we’re normally fucking.”

Vixen Ride On in action

Ride On in action

Joel says, “I don’t suffer from a small cock and generally don’t have a problem with erectile dysfunction so the stunt cock is not normally something that I would be interested in.  That said, when my sexy wife showed me a giant hollow cock and asked for my help with an experiment how could I possibly say no.

“There is something amazing about wielding a giant cock that never gets soft.  Seeing and feeling that massive appendage swinging between my legs was certainly a rush.

“I needed lots of lubrication to slide my cock into the hollow inside, even partially flaccid, and the strap that went around my testicles was a bit snug for my tastes, but the overall experience was certainly worth it.”

Bottom line: Make love with everything you’ve got, and then if you still want to improve your ability to penetrate, buy a Ride On or a Colossus.

Grade: B+

Feb 092014
 

AnxietySometimes I feel disconnected in my own body – alien, alone, a bit numb. As much as I long to feel pleasure, it’s elusive. My mind spirals around with worry and I can’t calm down. If I do get in a situation where I might orgasm, it takes longer to get my brain aligned with my body. I feel like a failure. I’m sure that my partner is frustrated with my slow responses. Even if I am self-aware enough to know that my anxieties are running away with me, I still (on some level) wish that my partner would just make it better.

Anxiety has been taking a turn running my life. It happens every so often, for reasons that are not clear to me. I am not anxious about anything in particular. In fact, I feel fine except that I am paralyzed by non-specific fear and worry. It’s just one of the many annoying aspects of PTSD. My relationships are harder to maintain. Some days I need to take Valium just to make love, something I want and look forward to. Actually, in the past week I’ve needed Valium just to talk with friends.

Being anxious is odd. It’s in my body, not my emotions. This isn’t the kind of stuff that that wakes me at night, unable to sleep because I’m worried about the kids’ education or paying the bills. This is fight or flight level primal reactions to stimulus that is no longer present. When I am standing in the shower with my heart pounding in my throat, my vision blurred, my breathing fast, my chest tight, rocked by dizziness, and my thoughts slowed – then I must remind myself that these were logical reactions years ago, but not now. It doesn’t help much.

What years of therapy has helped with is my ability to retain a logical adult part of myself to help deal with the here and now. I like to think that most people I interact with have no idea how hard these patches can be for me, but I can’t fool the people I am closest to. It is pretty much impossible to get intimate if your body thinks you are under attack. So, medications can help. Just working through the panic attack until I feel back in control can work. And recently, Harold decided to join me, startling me right out of that space.

The most effective technique for me to be able to still have sex, even through anxiety, involves a mixture of things. If I feel something coming up when I want to be intimate with someone, I let my adult voice step in and let the scared child part know that they are seen and heard, but that this is adult time. I agree to look at the anxiety after I’m done. I take something like Valium if it seems necessary, but mostly I don’t like to take drugs. Most importantly, I establish a connection with my partner. Not only am I not alone with my anxiety, I am loved and cherished. I deserve to feel good and to be happy. This is mine and it can’t be taken away.

Some of you will not understand what a victory this is, but sadly, many of you will.

I love sex, it’s a blessing, but I work hard to keep clear the pathways to intimacy and bliss. Pleasure is everyone’s birthright. Everyone has an innate right to feel pleasure in their bodies. It can’t be stolen. I’ve spent a very long time feeling tainted and broken somewhere underneath, but I’m done. Anxiety? You’re on notice. It’s over.

Jan 042014
 

Anger and intimacyThis morning he woke me with a cup of coffee and some snuggles. I happily wiggled around in the blankets, rubbing against him, kissing, and feeling sleepily sexy. His hands found my skin under the covers. I wanted more of that. I shifted, throwing the comforter back below my ass. I was offering him my butt, expecting that he would squeeze and caress the flesh there. Instead, he pulled the blankets back up around my chin and patted me like a child.

I was hurt. I felt sad that he didn’t want me. Then I felt angry – cuz why didn’t he want me when he started this cuddle session?!? Did I miss some of his cues? It is hard to feel rejected when you are giving yourself to someone you love.

This pattern has been playing out in my sex life way too often lately. I’ve known that fear is the opposite of love, but seeing that anger is the opposite of lust is a new realization. How many marriages fail because of anger and resentment? Oh, I know that some people use anger instead of lust, it’s very passionate, and hate sex has it’s place, but I find it impossible to feel my desire when I am angry.

I am often angry lately. I desperately need more time to myself. I feel all touched out, giving so much of myself to the family for the holidays, and the children being home on vacation. I love these things, but I need some space to be me. I have managed to have amazing wonderful sex in the past few weeks. I want to acknowledge all of the good things in my life, yet I am angry. I sometimes walk around in a dark cloud, hating everyone.

My therapist says that anger is a sign that something needs to change. When I start to feel angry, I ask myself what I would like to change. This is tricky because I am mostly experiencing anger over things that happened long ago that I’ve just recently been able to access. What do I do with ancient anger when it comes up now, when I’m getting intimate with a partner who hasn’t done anything wrong?

I think what I most want is to be able to express anger without retribution. I’m hoping for a better outcome. I want a chance to be in a sexual situation, get angry (about whatever), be heard and reassured, let it all go, and move on. I need to build that kind of trust.

It’s not working that way most of the time. Unfortunately, yet predictably, my partner tends to get angry back. He doesn’t understand why I can’t see him. He feels hurt because he believes he’s done something wrong, even if I tell him it’s not him that I’m angry at. He’s confused because things seem to be going just fine until I blow up.

It’s driving me crazy to have the same basic fight over and over, but I haven’t stopped sharing my feelings with him. We keep trying to pull the anger apart and use it to be closer to each other. We have strong communication skills to draw from, even if I am not skillful in this area. I have faith that we will figure it out.

This morning when I explained to him how sad I was that he didn’t want my ass, I could see him start to respond in the usual fashion – hurt and confusion, expressed through self-defense, beginning to give way to anger. Then he stopped. I don’t know what was going through his mind. He was loving and gentle, but didn’t say anything. I lay on top of him and slowly started to feel incredibly turned on by our bodies touching. I wiggled and his cock got hard against my crotch. We made love. It was awesome and reassuring.

I got the outcome I was hoping for. I was heard and reassured, even though my anger is often very triggering for him. I think it worked for him too because he did get hard and that usually only happens if he is feeling open and trusting.

Anger is really tricky. A lot of my power is caught up in anger. I want to be able to express anger in a way that releases the yucky feelings and is empowering. I hate feeling stuck. I don’t want to walk around hating everyone. And I certainly don’t want anger to get in the way of feeling desire.

I want to use anger to create change, especially in ways that develop more intimacy. I’m so scared of being rejected for my anger, but it’s a part of me and it matters. He says he wants all of me, so I’ll keep sharing everything. Fuck anger.

Nov 082013
 

PolyamoryMy polyamory has taken the form of a multi-parent family for the past six years. We’ve made it through some rough stuff as a unit, but the other night we had a serious medical emergency that made me realize how good we are together. In the day-to-day it’s easy for me to see our challenges as a poly family, but it took a crisis to make it clear that the sacrifices we make to be together have a clear pay-off.

Polyamory can look lots of different ways, as every relationship is different. Our family consists of two legally married couples: me and Joel, and Harold and Melanie. Harold and I also consider ourselves married. Our ceremony was performed by Melanie and Joel, and witnessed by around 70 of our friends and relatives. The four of us came together as a family when we decided to have a child together. Over time, we have come to all parent the five children I gave birth to. The oldest is now launched in out in the world, largely thanks to Melanie’s support of her.

A few nights ago something happened that made me scared of losing everything.  The night started well. Harold and I fell asleep talking about how he is starting to show his age physically. I am fascinated to see the body I know better than my own begin to transform. I want to reassure him that I desire spending time with him in his body, no matter what kind of condition that body is in. We were also discussing estate planning and our fears that the other one will die first. I fell asleep with my head on his chest. We were feeling blessed in our intimacy.

Four hours later, Harold got up and went into the bathroom, suddenly feeling intensely dizzy and nauseous. I knew immediately that something was not right. A few minutes later he was lying on the floor, unable to move, sweating so profusely that a puddle formed in his belly button. His breathing was so labored that each rapid exhale ended in a moan. I called 911 and tried to get Melanie. Although I was unable to get her (her phone’s ringer was off), it still felt reassuring knowing that she was right around the corner.

I mobilized the older children to help guide the first-responders upstairs. Thankfully, I managed to keep any of the children from seeing Harold when he was so ill. No need to worry them more. It wasn’t until I had two ambulances full of paramedics in the house that I realized how ill suited we are for this sort of thing. With the crystal clarity of crisis management I saw how long it’s been since I cleaned the master bathroom and how Christopher Lowell lied and you really need more than 18 inches of walking space. Also, with two long flights of stairs, a gurney is not an option.

All this came to me in a place of total calm. I answered questions. I put my hand on Harold’s feet (the only part of him I could reach) to reassure him that I was there. He was still responding to questions, but he felt far away. I ran logistics in my head. I tried to call Melanie again. I asked questions about his status. I ignored my fear. I reassured the children and explained what was happening.

The medics moved Harold down to the bottom stairs, carrying him on a piece of canvas with handles. I’m not sure how. I watched them pass by me, Harold’s head and arm bouncing over the side. He was pale and didn’t know I was there. A sliver of fear made its icy way through my calm.

I left the children in capable hands of my teen, stopping to snuggle the little one for a moment. She slept through many men tromping through the room with all kinds of equipment. For a split second I wondered if she would ever see her daddy again. Forcing those thoughts away, I went down to the ambulance. Harold had passed the heart evaluation, which was a huge relief. A paramedic joked with me, skillfully relieving a bit of my tension. I went into the ambulance to let Harold know that I would go get Melanie and we would meet them at the hospital. He showed no signs of hearing me.

Once in the car, I called Joel. He was out of town, two hours away. I knew that he would drive to my side in a heartbeat, but right then all I needed was his strength and understanding. I shed a few tears in the safety of the dark, feeling his voice like a hug. He loves Harold too.

I went and woke up Melanie. It felt very surreal to have to explain to her. Harold and I have done many adventurous sexual things where I was afraid I would have to call 911 (and Melanie) and explain what happened: the coffee enema, the needle through his balls, ejaculating blood, and possible drowning by golden shower – to name a few. This was like my worst nightmares coming true, but I hadn’t even done anything this time! I didn’t express this to Melanie, but her presence was very reassuring. I had an ally, someone who had as much to lose as I did.

The whole drive to the emergency room, in the dark stormy rain, I felt exceptionally close to Harold. I talked out loud to him, telling him that we would be there soon, that he wasn’t alone, that he needed to stay on this plane. I could feel him as though he was in the car with me. I was both glad for his presence and alarmed that he wasn’t more with his body. I worried that he might die before I got there. Then I got lost on the way to the hospital.

Again, Melanie was very sweet and helped me get my bearings. As it was, we arrived just after Harold did. We swept into the reception area, empty except for a woman behind the desk. We announced our desire to see Harold. The woman brightened, “Is one of you his wife?” Melanie and I both paused and looked at each other. We’ve never rehearsed this situation. “I’m his wife and Evoë is another family member,” Melanie said smoothly. This meant that Melanie got to sign all of the paperwork and hand over the insurance card. I have one in my wallet too. We had to wait while they got Harold settled into a room. I was ready to kick down doors to get to him.

After a couple of minutes (that felt more like an eternity), they led us to his side. We naturally flanked him, petting him and speaking to him. It was hard to see him with his skin ashen, covered with tubes and wires. He opened his eyes a little and saw us both there. “I am so lucky,” he murmured. I bent down to his ear so he could hear me, “You are lucky. I know that it isn’t comfortable in your body right now, but you need to come back. Your body needs you. We need you.”

His system was in shock. They treated him for possible inner ear disturbances, dehydration, and hypothermia. At first the nurse seemed concerned, but after a while he started breathing better and his body temperature rose. Melanie and I comforted each other and talked to Harold about each step the medical staff wanted to take. The doctor was great. Actually, everyone we saw treated us with respect, even after Melanie explained that we were both Harold’s partners. We each had important information to contribute about Harold’s medical history.

At some point Melanie quietly apologized for calling me Harold’s partner because she didn’t thnk they would understand him having two wives. Partner is my preferred relationship designation because I’m not wild about being anyone’s wife, but I was deeply touched at her thoughtfulness. I know that she considers my connection to Harold to be as intimate and as valid as her own. This is such a gift to me. In that moment of crisis, her recognition made me feel seen and supported. I know that she will never try to shut me out of Harold’s life, even when she has a right to legally.

Harold bounced back remarkably swiftly. He went from unable to move to getting up to walk to the bathroom in about 90 minutes. I left to get our children off to school, leaning on Joel some more over the phone as I drove home. Harold and Melanie were home 45 minutes after I was. We still don’t really know what happened. He suspects it was some sort of poisoning. He says it’s the worst he’s ever felt in his life. He spent the day sleeping mostly and woke up this morning like always and went to work.

I am so thankful. I’m grateful that this is likely an anomaly. Now that the emergency is over, life has lost that keen edge and the surreal quality, my fears are bubbling up. I’m processing like crazy. What has distilled for me, is how much I value our family system. While I am incredibly good at handling a crisis, I don’t have to do it by myself any more. These bonds that we’ve formed, our shared values and commitments, how much we care about each other, how we’ve chosen to share our lives – this is real.

With the standard monogamous family, it tends to be more clear what will happen if someone is seriously ill or dies. For us, it’s not so obvious. Melanie and I have worked together to support a relationship where we share a husband and children, but would we take care of each other without those ties? I feel like we’ve somehow transformed from a chain of couples to a fierce cluster. We’ve got each other’s backs. These are people I trust down to the ground.

How we live seems normal for us. We’ve chosen a relationship model that is often very challenging. We invest a lot of time in communication with each other. Even so, at times each of us feels that our needs are not being met. We have our ups and downs, but we have thoughtfully and deliberately formed our lives together. We are polyamorous on purpose. We are an intentional family.

Sep 232013
 

EvoëI have a confession to make: I don’t know very much about condoms. I always have a few in case I need them, but I’m in fluid bonded relationships and the need for condoms doesn’t come up very often. I’m even more at a loss when trying to buy condoms. I know I need latex-free because I’m sensitive and my experience is that the lube on condoms can be irritating. That’s it. Does size matter? Evidently, since some condoms are too small for Joel. Everyone is different, so how do you know what to buy?

Several months ago I was contacted by an awesome new company, Lucky Bloke, offering to let me try out a couple of their sampler packs. I can’t tell you enough how impressed I am. Lucky Bloke is amazing. They have a  global condom review system so you can read about other people’s experience with each product. The CEO is a woman, and every interaction I’ve had with Lucky Bloke has been extremely helpful and positive. They really went out of their way to try to send me just the right condoms and lubes.

I’m pretty picky about my lubes. I’m a delicate flower and most lubes really irritate me. Lucky Bloke sent me 12 lube samples (exciting!) and of those, 9 were good options for me. I think this is astonishing. I can’t believe that there is a company dedicated to providing high quality lubricant sample packs. I love little packets of lube. It’s like a birthday  – sex and presents! Sometimes you need to know that your lube is sterile (like for sounding) so little packets are perfect. You can’t go wrong with portable and fun – unless you need buckets of lube. Lucky Bloke has their lube sampler on sale now, in either 6 or 12 packet packs. If you are looking for the best lube for you, I recommend the larger selection so you can try out a bunch of products. One of them is sure to suit.

As I mentioned before, I don’t use condoms very often. It took us months to work through the samples Lucky Bloke sent me. This was good, because I actually had to rethink some of the ways I have sex to see where condom use would be good – like putting a condom over my strap-on dildo in order to make clean up after pegging super simple. Female condoms are another learning experience. That’s right, condoms are not just for blokes!

condomNo matter who you are, if you are looking for the quality condoms from around the world, check this company out. As far as I can tell, the customer service is phenomenal, they have a 100% satisfaction guarantee, and they will help you figure out your size. Shipping is very reasonable, no matter where you live. Plus they donate 10% of their proceeds to charities and causes their customers select. And there is so much valuable information on their website!

Generally I like to outline the positives and negatives for a review like this, but I pretty much only have good things to say about Lucky Bloke. I might complain that they need a search function on their website and I wish that they sold my favorite lube so I could buy from them, but overall I am so happy that they found me!

Bottom line: Could you be improving your pleasure with a better condom?

Grade: A

May 242013
 


Evoë
The doctor called to tell me that my sexually transmitted disease screening results were in. Although her tone was rushed and annoyed, she drew out the suspense as though this were the elimination finale of a dance competition. Numb with anxiety, I played along, making polite noises to cover my fears that my life was about to change forever. After making it clear that she resented me rejecting a consultation and simply opting for lab tests, she let me know the outcome.

HSV1 (“oral herpes”)…negative.
HSV2 (“genital herpes”)…negative.
Chlamydia…negative.
Gonorrhea…negative.
Syphyllis…negative.
HIV…negative…but… I drew in my breath wondering about that “but.” WTF? She explained that the lab had taken it upon themselves to perform some super special HIV test, that she would never have asked for, and the results wouldn’t be in for a couple of more weeks. But basically, I tested negative for the things we asked for. The doctor implied that I had wasted her time with my anxiety and that testing for STD’s is not necessary for someone as “low risk” as I am.

This is not my regular practitioner. The ARNP that I normally see has been out of the office for a week. I miss her. If I had been able to talk to my GP about my concerns, I think all would have been well. She knows me and my poly family. She has always treated me with respect and care for my triggers around health care and sexuality. She once took 90 minutes to personally walk me through a pelvic exam. I should have waited for her to be back, but I needed to know as soon as possible, so instead I got this condescending and ignorant doctor.

It took several conversations with the nurse to get my desires across to the triage nurse. I explained my risk factors and expressed my level of anxiety. I declined to come in because I would have to bring 3 young children with me and I knew that it wouldn’t reassure me the way that lab tests would. What was there to look at anyway? I was asymptomatic by all accounts. They probably thought they could just talk me down.

Instead, I think I came close to making the nurse cry. I know that I was shaking, furious that anyone would have the audacity to claim that they knew more about my emotional state, my sexuality, or my body than I do. I hung up and the doctor called, making nice and insisting that of course the lab was always an option if I really wouldn’t do the right thing.

I understand that medical professionals don’t want to order unnecessary tests, but I can’t understand why my request to get tested was such a power struggle. I’m also not sure why I’m seen as low risk for STD/STI. I have unprotected sex with partners who in turn have sex with other people. In reality, I probably am fairly safe. I am usually comfortable with my level of risk, but from time to time I need to know where I stand. This current round of anxiety was based in part to reacting to one of my partners starting a new sexual relationship, as well as knowing that I have had some exposure to STD/STI recently. Also, I hadn’t been tested in 2 and a half years. I needed to know.

I’m curious what my medical clinic’s STD risk factors are. No one ever asked me. I imagine that as a 40 year old married woman with 5 kids, it’s assumed that I don’t have sex. I would guess that I am safer in my polyamorous lifestyle than women whose husbands have secret affairs. I have a lot of trust in my partners and we communicate about these things.

I feel really lucky about that list of negatives, but I know that it can change at any time. My health is important to me. I’m going to keep taking reasonable precautions, not only for me, but everyone in my sexual circle. At the same time, I don’t want to let anxiety over STD/STI cripple my sex life. Sex is sometimes too messy for a compulsive hand washer. My partners wear gloves when they put their fingers inside me. I know that there is comfortable balance between safer sex and pursuit of pleasure.

In the future, I think I’ll just go to a STD testing clinic rather than relying on a general practitioner. I don’t want to have to defend my lifestyle or my right to get tested. What about you? How long since your last STD/STI testing?

May 172013
 

Sexually transmitted diseaseI’m freaking out. I was awake at 4:00 a.m. this morning, obsessing about whether or not I might have a sexually transmitted disease. I’ve never had a STD before – probably through blind luck, although I’ve tried to be careful and use safer sex practices. I’m generally pretty comfortable with my level of caution versus erotic fulfillment, but this morning my anxiety has been through the roof.

I probably have some reason to be concerned. I have had some recent exposure through a couple of different vectors. The likelihood is small, but my ability to perform risk assessment is nil at the moment. When I start to worry, it’s a runaway train – my brain picks up speed until my entire being is consumed, careening out of control. I am a mess of what-ifs. The trust I have in my partners and our system means little in this state of fear. I feel paralyzed.

With any other health concern, I would approach it head on with medical care, information, and treatment. If, in fact, I do have an STD, I will deal with it this way as well as with full disclosure to current and future partners. However, in my fear befuddled state of mind, I’m having troubles calling the doctor’s office. A little bit of the hesitation is not wanting to have to explain, a bit misplaced shame about having a STD. Since no amount of internet research is going to tell me if I have anything or not, I’m going to have to deal.

Why does adding sex to anything make it terribly difficult? I totally lose it whenever I think something might be wrong with my cunt. I think that it’s related to being a survivor of sexual abuse. I don’t tolerate non-sexual pain or discomfort very well. I’ve worked hard for years to feel like I own my body and my sexuality. I don’t need some STD to go messing everything up. I think it’s also that transmission of a STD is often a breach of trust in a relationship.

I have often seen people disclose STDs in a very positive way. Until the early hours of this morning I wouldn’t have said that I believed that STDs were at all shameful, but when I suddenly applied the concept to myself, I ached with shame. I felt dirty and contaminated. I worried that no one would ever love me again. I winced at the necessity of hiding my sexuality, never dating again.

It’s not the first time I’ve had this freak-out, but I hope it’s the last. I’m trying to take the positives out of this situation. I’m feeling the seriousness of potential STD exposure. While I could cope with anything I had to, I really like my life. Sex should be about pleasure, not fear. Time to re-evaluate safer-sex practices with my partners and their partners. Time again to get tested for everything. I can handle this.

(Update)

May 112013
 

To love oneself is the beginning of a lifelong romance.” -Oscar Wilde

Self loveWith Mother’s Day coming up, my family has been asking what they can do to celebrate me. Honestly, I feel honored, loved, and cared for pretty much every day. I know that I hold a special place in my family. I’m not one to turn down breakfast in bed or some hand drawn cards, but what I really need is some quality time by myself.

My children are my top priority. After that, I take time each week to have a date with each of my partners. Everyone works together to take care of the house and I have my own work. I do have some time for myself built into the system, but it often gets filled up with doctor’s appointments, shopping, cleaning, or meetings. Sadly, when I get time to myself in the evening, I usually fall asleep.

I do masturbate regularly. It means a lot to me to be able to give pleasure to myself at any time. I’ve realized though, that I am not giving myself the kind of attention that I would give to a partner. Quick and easy orgasms in the shower or at bedtime have immense value, but what if I were to actually make love to myself with deliberate intention?

So, for all of the moms out there – actually, EVERYONE – I offer a suggestion: schedule a date with yourself. Nourishing your own sacred sexuality is a gift that stays with you forever and not only benefits you, but everyone you love.

Here are some tips to get you started:

  1. Find time and space to be alone. It’s important to give yourself several hours. If you can’t manage to be alone at home, or if being at home is too distracting, consider other creative solutions – renting a hot tub room, finding a totally private spot in nature, getting a hotel room for the night, or borrowing a friend’s home. Make sure that your children are in capable hands and that someone else will be responsible for anything that comes up.
  2. Set the stage. Creating a special mood can enhance your experience. Putting clean sheets on the bed or lighting some candles sets this experience aside as something special. Play music that feels sexy to you. Get anything you might need (like drinking water, vibrator, or massage oil) readily available. Go naked, or wear something that feels sexy.
  3. Relax. If you are anything like me, this might take a while. Turn off your phone. Step away from the computer. Do something that will help you let go of the daily stresses, whether that’s taking a walk, having a glass of wine, or sinking into a bubble bath. Focus on deep, even breaths, releasing tension with each exhale. Think about the things that make you happy.
  4. Fantasize. Start letting out those private thoughts that get you turned on. Is there a movie star who makes you swoon? Some sex act too kinky to admit to your partner, but it gets your juices going? Bring it out! For this date with yourself, anything is possible.
  5. Experience sensation. Wake up your skin. Start at your toes and work your way up, barely brushing over your erogenous zones. I like to keep my underwear on for this stage because the indirect stimulation to my genitals drives me wild. Use fingernails, feathers, massage oil, a wartenberg wheel, or whatever feel good and exciting to you. Pay attention to your whole body.
  6. Build the energy. Slowly pay more attention to the areas that increase your arousal, like nipples, pubic area, and asshole – circling away and returning over and over. Listen to your body and your emotions. You want to prolong your pleasure as long as you can stand it.
  7. Go for orgasm. This is a perfect time to introduce lube, a vibrator, a dildo, or whatever gets you off. You still want to draw out your pleasure, but now you can give yourself permission to focus on those areas that will lead to orgasm. Hold love for yourself in your heart and let it infuse your whole being. If you can stand the tension, bring yourself right to the edge of orgasm and back away again. When everything feels right, let the orgasm spill over.
  8. Release. Just let go. You can send any residual stress out of your body on each wave of pleasure. If it feels good, try to prolong your orgasm or pause for a moment and start over at building to a new release.
  9. Take care of yourself. You can give yourself aftercare. Give yourself plenty of time to bask in the good feelings. Let love for yourself seep into your skin. This is when I feel closest to the divine. You could go back to gentle sensations or drift into a few minutes of lucid dreaming. Drink water or eat a snack if you need to feel more grounded. Or jump up and run around naked. Whatever it is that makes you feel in love with yourself, do it now.

I don’t always orgasm when I make love to myself and that’s okay. When I’m by myself, I don’t have the stress of a partner who really wants to make me come. My only objectives are to love myself and experience pleasure. It’s a perfect time to explore the things that turn me on and develop a stronger understanding of my body.

As a mom, it’s sometimes hard to feel like I own myself, my time, my body. I don’t often get a chance to make love to myself, but when I do, I feel better all over. I challenge you all, but especially the moms on this Mother’s Day, to give yourself this gift!

Mar 202013
 

Evoe's backHis hand was in my cunt. I was guiding the vibrator on my clit. His other hand strayed to my nipples. This is the easiest way to make me come. We had just done extensive 69, letting the energy cycle and build as we explored each other with hands and mouths. We fucked doggie-style, his balls slapping my clit as he used my hips to thrust himself deeper inside me. It’s one of my favorite positions, but I wasn’t quite ready to orgasm when his release hit. So he flipped me over and went for my g-spot.

Like I said, the g-spot/vibrator/nipple stim combo is a sure way to get me off. It’s also how I squirt or how we go about fisting. It’s often the way we cap off sex, even if I do come during foreplay and/or intercourse. I’m usually good for 2 or 3 more orgasms. I like it a lot – but sometimes I’m not emotionally ready to come.

I enjoy sex the most when I am fully present in my body and my emotions are in sync. Masturbation can sometimes feel very empty to me when it’s just a release in my body and not an emotional release. Sex with partners is almost always a fully integrated experience. I like the physical orgasm, but getting everything lined up feels amazing. Sometimes I can’t even orgasm if not all of me is in alignment.

So even after fabulous mutual oral sex and some fantastic penetrative fucking, some part of me was still holding back. My body was responsive, turned on – my mind hadn’t yet caught up. I’ve been dealing with a lot of anxiety lately. I just needed more time.

His fingers inside me were excruciating in their skill. I felt hyper-sensitive. I kept the vibration on my clitoris indirect because it was so intense. My nipples responded to his touch in ways that made me suck in my breath. I tried hard to ride the crest of pleasure peaking in my body, but the horse left the gate without a rider. I came without really wanting to.

That felt kind of bad. I had been trying to orgasm. I wanted release. I ended up feeling like it happened to me rather than for me. Coming like that made me feel like I wasn’t in control of what my body was doing. I can understand why some people are turned on by forced orgasms, but I don’t think it would be my kink. I enjoy the slow build of sensation that drives me forward until I fill up, spill over, and start again. I like that coming makes me feel clean and renewed and closer to my partner.

I decided to ignore that orgasm that was so unsettling and have the orgasm I wanted. It was as though that first orgasm cleared my body of all of the restless stimulation. I felt more grounded, more able to follow the growing arousal. When I came a second time, I was ready. My orgasm and emotions twined together, spilling out in gasps of pleasure and tears.

Evoe's frontWe talked through my experience after everything had settled down. Being able to have these discussions makes me feel seen and validated. I want my partners to know what is going on with me, especially while we are making love. Having energetic (energy aware) sex is very important to me, so communication is vital because my partners are more likely to feel my emotional state during moments of intense connection, like sex. I am less likely to get what I want if I can’t talk about it.

This is what it comes down to for me: Communication is good. Orgasms are good. Coming before you are ready is unsettling, but coming with your whole self is the best thing ever!