Thursday, May 15, 2014

5 Tips for Putting Sexual Topics on the Table

Our culture has created a wealth of taboo subjects and masturbation is merely one of them.  Whether wanting to discuss living out a fantasy together, trying a new sex position, experimenting with anal sex, or asking about getting tested for STDs, how does one broach the topic without sounding like you are unhappy with the present state of your relationship or without fearing rejection of your ideas?

In our last article “The Only Consent I Need Is My Own…”, we mention open communication and we say this often--open, honest communication drives intimacy.  While it should be easy to discuss sex with your partner, it isn’t always so simple. Even couples who have been together a long time can find it difficult to bring up new topics since people’s needs change over time.

How do you bring up that saucy subject? Here are some tips to remember before you start the discussion:

1.Have a Goal: First be clear on your own goals for the topic and how you feel. Do some self-reflection to understand what it is you really want, need, or desire and know where you might want to end up before you begin.  Stay focused on the topic.  Don’t allow other issues to creep into the conversation.

2.Find the Right Place and Time: Try to wait until you are at home or somewhere private.  If necessary, make a date or appointment to talk about it. Talking about sex in a public place may make your partner feel uncomfortable. It is better to do it somewhere that you can make eye contact and give it your full attention.  In the car while driving is not a good time or place for this. Don’t start the conversation if it’s time for the kids to take a bath, or your partner just stepped into the house from a long day at work. Stress and exhaustion could lead you down a negative result when all you wanted was a clear, frank discussion about your wants and needs.

3.Use Neutral Language: Don’t use any confrontational language or finger pointing.  Be sure any topic you bring up is in the nature of exploration and state up front that you are trying to make your wants, needs, and desires heard and that you will feel better in your relationship if you are allowed the opportunity.

4.Explain What You Want (and/or Don’t Want).  Be specific.  If you aren’t exactly sure what you want, now would be a good time to go through a yes, no, maybe list.  What is that?  Your new best friend.  Check out one of our favorites from blogger SmartHotFun Becca.  Ask your partner to fill out the chart as well.  It is a quick way to determine what your playing field really is. Everyone is different in terms of what turns them on and what turns them off. The better you become at communicating these things to each other, the easier it is for them to help you fulfill them.  Remember to respect what is a turn off to them.

5.Above All – Listen.  Once the conversation is started, it is important that you listen with respect and wait before responding.  Often miscommunications arise when one thinks they understand and jump in to explain and that makes people get defensive.  Wait. Listen. Relax. And if you have chosen the right time, refrained from defensive or accusatory language, the discussion should go better.

Conversation starters:

What would you think if I wanted to _____?

How often do you think about sex?

How would you feel if you found me watching porn without you? Turned on? Upset?

Tell me about a sexual fantasy you haven’t told me about before.

What was has been our hottest sexual experience together?

What is the most erotic thing two people can do together?

I feel like our sex life could be more exciting if we could try _________.  How do you feel about that?

Lori S. Choi, Blogger for Wet Personal Lubricants 
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Masturbation, The Only Consent I Need Is My Own

In case you didn’t know, May is Masturbation Month and in honor of this most excellent celebration, we decided to run a contest to find the best euphemisms for one of our favorite pastimes. This led me down a path of self-discovery.

I love masturbation as a pastime.  It’s free, it’s safe and it’s the one thing in your life where you have total say over when you want it, where you want it, how you want it, and how long you want to do it.

Yes, it qualifies as a pastime, as many sex toy reviewers will attest.  They spend whole days trying out all sorts of vibrators and accessories and write lengthy blogs raving about their favorites.  Epiphora just blogged recently that she has back-up toys for her back-up toys.

Wikipedia defines masturbation as the sexual stimulation of one's own genitals.  That could mean that you are stimulating yourself by yourself or you could be stimulating yourself while being intimate with someone else.  There is an art to stimulating yourself and many people become highly skilled at it.  Your partner can learn a lot about you from watching you master your craft.  For the majority of women, clitoral stimulation is necessary to achieve orgasm.  For some, it is physically impossible to climax with just penetration and the famed G-spot is not always easy to stimulate so many women “take it into their own hands” during intercourse to get the stimulation they need. 

Pleasuring oneself by oneself used to be considered the height of taboo and in some cultures this is still a serious no-no but that doesn’t seem to stop so many people from enjoying themselves…literally.  When I decided to write on this topic, I Googled it to get a deeper understanding of where we are on the subject.   It was interesting to see that religious sites opining a variety of thoughts on masturbation popped up frequently.  Many with healthier views than I would have imagined.  There were also a slew of sites advocating the practice for health and pleasure.  Mainstream publications such as Cosmopolitan, People, Glamour, Redbook, Women’s Health Magazine, and Men’s Health Magazine routinely discuss the topic in positive ways, yet, there remains a strong puritanical stance against the idea of masturbation and these publications are often criticized for their content.  With all of this information at our fingertips, why do we still giggle like sixth graders at the phrase Jerkin’ the Gherkin?

We find the need to create euphemisms and expressions for masturbation in order to even mention this strongly tabooed subject.  These euphemisms have been finding their way into pop culture for decades. Take The Sex Pistols’ ‘Friggin’ in the Riggin’ for example, the song’s title is a nod to a sailor’s self-delight and it includes another slang phrase commonly used in the U.K., ‘Wanking in the Planking’.  Those raucous young lads were edgy.  Euphemisms like these are still in use today because the topic still makes us generally uncomfortable.  This is why we came up with the Masturbation May contest.  We hope to help reduce the stigma associated with masturbation.

Why the taboo?  For one, religious thought has historically been that masturbation goes against God’s plan for procreation. That any spilled seed is wasted when the act of masturbation is performed. (It was thought that even vaginal secretions contained the seeds of life.)  And it was also commonly thought that masturbation was highly addictive.  Therefore, if masturbation was not ‘nipped in the bud’ so to speak, then it could create all sorts of problems.  If the masses were too busy pleasuring themselves then they couldn’t become highly-functioning citizens contributing to the greater good.  Or, it was thought that if you are too busy masturbating, then having sex for procreation may never happen. And we all know how ‘under-populated’ the world is. Right?

Let’s face it, if it feels good, then, why not?  The stigma of masturbation seems to be inching its way towards greater acceptance in this culture.  But, while a majority of men have no problems with it, it is still considered a tough subject for some. Maybe they got caught in the act at a young age which resulted in fear and anxiety.  But, while it is practically expected of most men, it is still considered a tough subject for some women.  Some prefer to do it only in private, some with their partners, but make no mistake, women do it.

Discussing and encouraging self-pleasure can be daunting for some, while other couples are completely open and honest about their masturbation habits.  As always, communication is the key for any healthy sexual relationship.  Your partner may have different needs than you do in this arena and it is healthy to talk about it. Masturbating is an important part of life and there are many benefits. When couples have been together for a long time, it can manage the libido differences between partners. A heterosexual married man may partake in masturbation in order to get sexual release when his partner is unable to--due to recent childbirth, for example. For a new mother, masturbation is often the first type of sex she has after childbirth because of the fear or readiness of having penetrating sex too soon upon delivery.

For those not in a relationship or those who prefer to stay celibate, it is a natural expression of self-love and a healthy outlet for fantasies. Orgasms have been shown to reduce stress, decrease depression and certainly help avoid STIs. For men, orgasms may even prevent prostate cancer! All single people out there should be reaping the benefits of orgasms!

OK, in case you still want to giggle like a sixth grader…some of the phrases submitted to our Masturbation May contest included:  Spank the monkey, Hit the clit, I’m off to give the kitty some overdue attention, I’m going downstairs to stroke my ego, Buff the banana and Burp the worm. And make no mistake, this is not a purely American thing. Many other countries have their own euphemisms.  The French say “Tirer la pipe” which translates to pull the pipe, Mexican’s say, “Me fui a mi casa con Manuela”, I went home with Manuela (my hand), and I love the German “Fünf gegen einen”, five against one.  Suffice it to say, they all mean the same thing… “I’m off to…Polish the Pearl or Master my Domain.”
Feel free to Google 'Masturbation' for yourself and start your own self-discovery.  Let’s see if we can get the topic trending and really give it the attention it deserves.  

Carry on…and #LubeYourTube.

Try award-winning Wet wOw Clitoral Arousal Gel. Intimate stimulation like touching or rubbing enhances the effectiveness of Wet® wOw™ and with regular use, women have been known to scream “OMG WOW”.

Lori S. Choi, Blogger for Wet Personal Lubricants

Thursday, May 1, 2014

Let's Play Name "Spank the Monkey" -- In Honor of May Being Masturbation Month

Give us your favorite expression for the act of masturbation! And you could win, more lube than you can imagine! Good Luck!

When you Tweet, use the #LubeYourTube and give us the name or phrase that best describes it for you...the winner will be announced in June!

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