Arts, Activism, Awakening in Mind, Body, & Spirit

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NEWS: ArousedWoman Magazine PRE-SALE Premiere Issue or All 6 Issues


ArousedWoman MagazineComing soon!  ArousedWoman Magazine will hit the cyber-newsstands in August 2014.

You can pre-order and get yours reserved for $9.99.  Or get a subscription for all 6 bimonthly issues for just $49.99.

In order to be truly happy, you have to be happy (and healthy) on several levels.   The best way to accomplish this is with solid information so you can make informed decisions about your life, your body, your rights, and your peace of mind in this crazy, hectic world.

AW Magazine will be a digital publication, readable on any computer or mobile device.  The premiere August/September issue will be released in August 2014.

An extension of AW Blog and AW Radio, AW Mag is an in-depth look at various topics for women (and men!), including sex, health, fitness, nutrition, feminism/activism, original erotica, guest writers, spirituality, reviews, and more!

The August/September 2014 issue will feature articles and interviews on the topics:

  • Body image
  • California women’s Reiki healing center
  • Radiant pleasure
  • Finding our way back from patriarchy
  • Goddess-based spirituality
  • The new Atheism
  • Classical Tantra
  • Activist film festivals
  • Revolutionary Feminism
  • Painting female nudes
  • Healing yourself through meditation
  • Knowing your vagina
  • Massage & the importance of touch
  • Breast Health
  • Protecting your clit
  • Orgasm tips
  • New AskTrish letters
  • Sexual health
  • Overall nutrition
  • Recipes
  • Original erotica
  • Guest articles
  • OpEd pieces
  • Reviews
  • AND MORE!

Every issue will have new articles, new guests, new important health coverage, and new original erotica!

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And please SPREAD THE WORD by sharing the link to this blog post.  Thank you!

trish

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OpEd: Oh, to Belly Dance Naked at Burning Man….


woman-belly-dancing-toplessI have long had an interest in Burning Man, the bohemian, heathen, socialist event that happens in Nevada every year.  According to the website, Burning Man is an art event at which participants “dedicate themselves to the spirit of community, art, self-expression, and self-reliance.  They depart one week later, leaving no trace.”

As more and more people are awakening to the evils of crony capitalism and oppressive patriarchy, events that promote such blatant rebellion in the face of the prudish establishment are becoming more accepted and, hopefully, more common.

I used to do all sorts of ethnic dancing, and I particularly loved belly dancing.   It’s been a while, but I’m feeling the pull to get back into my shimmies and camel walks.

There is a powerful connection to the earth and goddess energy and being Woman that happens during belly dancing, Flamenco, or plain ol’ make-it-up-as-you-go-along free expression.  I was raised in ballet, which I still adore, but ballet is the opposite of everything that is free and lithe and curvy about belly dancing.

By the way, belly dancing isn’t just for thin women.  Women who are curvy have an advantage in belly dancing in that your extra jiggles cause extra jingles of your coin-hip belt.  Yes, it’s called BELLY dancing for a reason!

Recently, I’ve been looking into what all attending Burning Man would entail, and I don’t know that I can afford it this year, but I am definitely putting it on the books for next year.  A friend of mine in New York told me about something that happened in the temple last year that was a beautiful, amazing testament to what happens when people come together in unity.  He said after that, he will never miss another Burning Man.  The entire experience was just too incredible for words.

So, now I MUST experience Burning Man.  I NEED to experience this art event that is an example for all of society on how people can come together in love and harmony and respect the earth in the process.  And to have the freedom from neo-Puritanical laws that shame the human body — particularly women’s bodies and women’s nipples, to be able to dance naked amongst like-minded bohemian heathens is too tempting to resist, to paraphrase Oscar Wilde.

I encourage every woman to loosen up and try belly dancing as a way to connect to the sensual divine within you.  This isn’t about being perfect.  There is no judgment allowed!  And who knows, maybe next year, I’ll be amongst the living goddesses celebrating the beauty of the human body and the human spirit at the one and only Burning Man!

trish

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OpEd: Sex and Pain


Woman with Real Breasts Looking Off into DistanceIf you judged the average person’s sex habits by what you see online, you’d think everyone is into pain, BDSM, and hog-tying their sex partners into elaborate rope configurations.  A while back, I was “roped” into a brief Twitter war with a guy who was trying to justify putting duct tape over a woman’s mouth during sex.  You can well imagine I went Irish war queen on his ass.

Personally, I don’t understand why anyone would want to associate pleasure with pain, even though I’ve heard some pretty wild concepts.  And I’m not talking about the fur-lined handcuffs, blindfolds, and feathers — although I’d never do the handcuffs or the blindfold.  Even without a fetish being involved, women put up with painful sex for a variety of reasons, and we don’t have to.  Ever.

One reason I did not go the official “sex educator” route was because I would not have been allowed to speak my mind on the sex habits I personally find to be dangerous or just plain stupid.  (Yes, I know…. two consenting adults, blah, blah, blah….)  Since the rise of 50 Shades of Grey, it has become politically incorrect to say anything critical about BDSM or bondage or a woman not being a doormat for an abusive man.  And plain ol’ sex is considered “vanilla” sex, not exciting or amazing, just vanilla.  However, I feel the need to speak out for those of us who like our sex to be solely pleasurable between partners who are on an equal basis, not one person in control nor one person made to be a slave or subservient caricature.

From my own holistic, Tantric perspective, I would never enter a sexual experience with any attitude other than love, equality, and respect.

And yet, pain is apparently all over modern sex.  Personally, I believe the association of sex and pain is due to this patriarchal society that is based on hierarchy and competition at any cost.  The need for control or recognizing we are being controlled is incorporated into every aspect of our lives, our work, our economic status, our cultural/class status; and then hierarchy and the need for control or to relinquish all control crosses over into sex.

Pain is pain, not pleasure.  Women should not put up with painful sex, but often times, we do so as not to hurt the man’s feelings.  We endure all sorts of emotional pain throughout our lives, but sex should be 110% pleasure.  Women, you do not have to tolerate painful, unfulfilling sex.  Ever.

Sex should never hurt.  Except for some slight pain when the hymen is broken, sex should never be painful.  Even for an experienced woman, penetration can be painful if she is not lubricated enough.  Whether it’s your first time with a man or the hundredth, sex may need to be slow to take him in.  Just because you’ve been with him before doesn’t mean your body is automatically ready to be penetrated.  Being penetrated too quickly or without enough lube can be very, VERY painful.

Remember that the vulva needs to be massaged and stretched as part of the preparation for sex.  Another reason for spending time arousing the woman is that the vagina is only 3 to 3.5 inches long, but she expands up to 50% during arousal.  So if the man wants to get 5+ inches of his penis inside instead of just 3 inches, fully arousing a woman is time well spent.

The difference in penis size to vagina size can make for thrilling orgasms or a painful experience.  If the man has a large penis, extra time may need to be taken to avoid hurting the woman.  How much time?  This depends on the woman.  In this way, yes, the woman is always in control of the sex.  That’s just the way it goes, guys.

Once aroused, the woman’s erectile tissue will be fully infused with blood (just as the man’s erectile tissue fills with blood), and for the woman, when the man slowly slides inside the vagina, it is exquisite pressure and a sense of being absolutely full, as if he’s touched her soul.  Again, any man not willing to patiently await a woman’s full arousal doesn’t deserve to be anywhere near a vagina.

Encouraging pain to feel pleasure is just stupid — or even dangerous if your partner wants to try something like erotic axphxiation (choking to make orgasm “stronger”).  If you actually know the “how” of orgasm, you’d know that oxygen feeds orgasm intensity and duration, so cutting off your oxygen supply is actually not a good idea.  And about 1,000 people die per year from erotic axphyxiation.

Pain in the vagina, anus, or even in the pelvic floor or legs could be a sign of something very wrong.  If you experience pain or numbness in the legs during or after sex, this may be not only a neurological issue but also a respiratory issue.  Getting enough oxygen into your lungs, and ergo your body, is crucial for proper function of the body and especially for orgasm.  During sex, focus breathing down into your pelvic floor.  As you inhale, bring the air all the way down toward your genitals.  This will ensure that you are belly breathing and not breathing only in the upper chest.  Upper chest breathing doesn’t allow the body to get rid of as much carbon dioxide, so the body is not being fully oxygenated.  This can contribute to the tingling or numbness in the legs.  Also, being sedentary in your daily life or job can affect the nerves and bloodflow in the legs.

Moving around to the backside, anal sex should NEVER hurt.  Ever.  Whether fingers, a toy, or a penis, anal sex should only ever be pleasurable.  Men, please know, that male prostate stimulation is very healthy for you, and any anal stimulation should always be pleasurable.

With the possible exception of breaking the hymen, no part of sex should ever hurt.  Ever.  Never.

Yes, I know that fetishes like spanking and rope-tying have hit the mainstream, but it is still a power-play of control and inflicting pain on someone you supposedly care about.  Just because you interpret both pain and pleasure in the same area of the brain doesn’t mean you need to inflict pain to experience pleasure.  In fact, if you are, then you only experience sex on a physical level, and orgasm is a response of the subtle body, not just a “release” of the physical anatomy.

The rise of pain as a means of pleasure is more patriarchal bullshit that women are supposed to adopt as “normal” sex play.  Women are throttled by the neck, their breasts are slapped, their vulvas punched with a partner’s fist, and it makes me ill.  What’s worse is that young people see the images, gifs, videos, etc., online and think that abusive sex is normal, and it is not.

Once you understand the mechanism and response of orgasm, you will know that pain should never be anywhere near sex.  Any desire for pain during sex is a sign of other psychological and/or emotional issues that need to be resolved outside the bedroom.  I know this is not a popular sentiment, and that’s okay.  I want to be a voice for all those women (and men) who instinctively do not want pain-fetishized sex but feel pressured into accepting it because of this society that regularly features victimized women and abusive men as part of the mainstream culture.

Having lived in a patriarchal world and been affected by its brutality more times than I care to acknowledge, I will never allow an abusive person into my sex life.  Ever.

trish

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AskTrish: Woman Asks If Uncomfortable Feeling When Boyfriend Touches Clit is Normal


Woman's Hand on YoniHi, trish,

I was wondering, what is it supposed to feel like when somebody touches your clit?  I have heard it’s supposed to bring a good feeling but not in my case.  When my boyfriend touches my clit, I get a really intense kinda uncomfortable feeling.   It doesn’t feel bad or hurt but it definitely doesn’t feel good either.  And it’s not something I look forward to.   My bf always wants to touch it but even if I let him, I stop him after a couple secs cuz it feels intense and uncomfortable.  Is this normal?

Anon

Hey, Anon!

So much to address here!

Let me assure you that pain or discomfort is never “normal” for any kind of sex ever.  No kind of sex (vaginal or anal) or touch or penetration should EVER be painful.  EVER.  (Okay, that wasn’t exactly your question, but I just want to reiterate that for the readers.)  What is “normal” touch sensation for you will be different for someone else, so my “normal” will be different from yours.  My “normal” now that I’m extremely in touch with my body will be very different from the “normal” that is “normal” for a female just starting to explore her body.  So without knowing your age (18+), your sexual experience, any previous trauma, how you touch yourself, and how he specifically touches you, there’s no way I can guess what would be “normal” for you.  But I can say that not-quite-pain, not-quite-pleasure feeling is common at first.  So let’s look at this bit by bit.

Vulva - Erect Clit ExposedThe external clitoris is literally the tip of the iceberg!  Most of the clitoris is inside the body, with several inches of innervated erectile tissue that expands and zings with sensation during arousal.  Those inches of erectile tissue that men have hanging outside their body, a.k.a. the penis, is synonymous with the inches of erectile tissue women have; ours is just inside us.

The tip of the clit, that little nub we can see, is technically called the glans, just like the tip of the penis is called the glans.  The tip of the clit is usually protected by the clitoral hood, which is synonymous with the penile foreskin.  With around 8,000 nerve endings, the clitoral glans is VERY sensitive to touch.  In fact, if you can see the tip, the clit is actually in the non-erect state; but that doesn’t mean she’s not enjoying herself — she probably is!  Nearing climax, the clit will seem to “disappear” into the fleshy folds of the vulva; but she’s not retreating from touch, she’s actually getting a full erection on!  This is usually when “vigorous” touch can be exquisite.

DailyOJ 01-20-12: The Clit Discussed Further

Female Anatomy: Clitoris Frontal ViewThe clitoral body can be stimulated externally by (gently) pressing on the mons pubis area or internally via various fingering and stroking techniques inside the vagina.  (Reminder:  the female prostate is on the anterior wall of the vagina and is a different anatomical structure.)  When a woman is nearing climax, there is often a “vice grip” clench at the opening of the vagina; these are the clitoris’ vestibular bulbs near the entrance.  The clit is actually quite extensive and complex, comprised of 18 distinct parts.  Your clit is MUCH MORE than just the nub on the outside!

But let’s remember, those are 8,000 plugged-in nerve endings.  Touching them before they are ready to receive pleasure input can feel awkward or even painful.  Since you sound like a young adult, I’m going to assume your boyfriend is the overly eager type who just wants to start pawing at your body (perhaps because that’s what he’s seen in porn, or he may be new to all this as well).  This is NEVER okay.  The man NEVER touches you anywhere unless YOU are ready to be touched.  You’ll know when your clit is begging to be touched, and if he doesn’t touch you properly or is clumsy, you have the right to tell him how to touch you.  It sounds like you are willing to stand up for yourself, and that is great!  You have complete autonomy over your body.

Here’s were I have to interject yet another consequence of circumcision.  If your man is circumcised, he may be accustomed to needing “rough” stimulation due to keratinization (callousing of skin) on his penis glans.  If your man is not circumcised, explain to him that touching your clit with little or no prior arousal is like someone yanking his foreskin back and going straight for the underside of his penis glans.  This can be very uncomfortable for the intact man!  No one likes too much sensation too soon, which is what it sounds like you’re experiencing from your boyfriend.

Nude Couple Embracing Passionately in PeachKeep in mind, there is a reason the female needs to be fully aroused before going for the clit or the vagina.  From a Tantra perspective, the woman and the man have positive and negative poles, like on a magnet.  For the woman, the positive pole is the heart chakra, home to her heart and her breasts, with the negative pole being the genitals.  For the man, the positive pole is his root/sex chakra, home to his penis and testicles, with the negative pole being his heart chakra.  Biologically, the woman needs 15 to 30 minutes of dedicated arousal, or as I like to call it — puja (worship :-) ) to prepare the vagina for sex.  The same way a singer has to warm up before performing, think of this time as necessary preparation — fun, delicious preparation for continued, evolving, expanding, rapturous ecstasy.   Therefore, this time allows the woman’s body, especially the genitals, to become ready to receive touch and penetration and pleasure.  It’s no coincidence that focus on the woman’s heart chakra would be key.  Not only does it stimulate the woman emotionally, but a woman’s nipples are wired directly to her clit.  Breast puja = a turned on, horny clit.  Any man who doesn’t want to commit 15 minutes of breast/sensual touch puja isn’t worth your time.

This 15 minute warm-up doesn’t have to be solely focused on the breasts.  Any sensual touch and massage will awaken the subtle body.  This includes kissing, nibbling, caressing, talking, laughing.  Once the woman is ready for more direct touch, the woman can allow the man to begin with touch and kisses on the insides of her thighs, the outer labia, the mons pubis — basically, loving all the way around the clit until you are ready for more.  As you become more experienced and more familiar with your body’s responses, you may not need this much time.  In fact, when you are able to stay in an aroused state — recognize that orgasm is an energy field you can slip into any time you want, you may not need much prep touching at all.  Just thinking of your man will send your spine arching back into orgasm and your clit throbbing for touch!  (In time, you’ll learn how to control this response when you’re in public, like shopping at the grocery story or the library. :-D )

Keep in mind, physical climax is different from energy orgasms.  Men often confuse ejaculation (climax) with orgasm.  These are two separate functions: ejaculation is a physical reflex of the sympathetic nervous system, while orgasm is a response via the parasympathetic nervous system.  Since men need less time to get aroused and ready for penetration, they tend to focus on the end, rather than enjoying the journey.  (Another horrible legacy of standard porn, too.)  Just like for the woman, this arousal time is also a time of breathing and relaxing for the man.  When your mind and/or body is stressed, pleasure can be elusive.  Take your time to get warmed up and totally invested in your body’s journey to pleasure.  There is plenty of time to get hot and heavy — once you’re BOTH aroused to the point of a crazed fuck-for-all.

Note:  This initial phase of arousal is usually called “foreplay”, a term I despise since it places the importance of the sexual experience on “sex” which is usually defined by the penetration, i.e., when the penis enters the vagina.  This devalues the woman and the woman’s biological needs of arousal in order to accept a penis (or toy) without pain.  So I do not use the term foreplay.  Puja is my personal preference.  Puja, the idea of honoring the person and their body, also puts respect back into the sensual, sexual experience, in my opinion.

You should know, Anon, that it takes time to get to know your clit and the rest of your sexual anatomy.  And you should spend a lot of time with her — just you and her.  This way you get to know how she likes to be touched, without the pressure of a panting, horny Lothario rushing you and making you feel uncomfortable or not “normal”.  Masturbation is a beautiful way to honor yourself (self-puja) and learn about yourself and your body.  Through masturbation, she won’t feel so foreign to you, and you will begin to integrate her into your body and your overall sexual being-ness.

After you are more familiar with your body, show your boyfriend how you like to be touched.  Masturbate in front of him, but he can’t help you — he needs to watch and learn.  (He can help later on.)  More often than not, a lighter, gentler touch is needed at first.  In fact, once your body is awakened, you might even have labia-gasms and sheet-gasms.  Hard touch is usually ONLY desired at the absolute height of passion and usually NEVER at the beginning of a love-making session.  When your clit is really ready, you’ll know because you’ll start looking for things to hump.  If you start eyeing the arm of the sofa with lust, that’s usually a good sign your clit needs some determined lovin’.

Recap of what we covered:

1 – Learn your clit’s likes and dislikes via masturbation; then when you’re ready, it’s show-and-tell time to teach your man.

2 – Female and male sexual anatomy are synonymous, for the most part.  Some things are similar to both the woman and the man, so teaching the man about the woman’s anatomy will help him understand how your body responds.

3 – Prior arousal is required for pleasure.  As you become more experienced, you may not need as much prep-time, but for now, insist on at least 15 minutes of sensual touch on other parts of your body to get your clit primed for touch.

4 – To learn various touch techniques for the clit, look through some of the videos and info here where the clit rules and men are glad to offer puja to a woman’s body (or willingly lie back and let the woman drive the orgasm train).

Feel free to leave a comment, especially if you want to offer more info so we can be more specific.

Thanks so much for trusting me with your clit. :-)

trish


RADIO: Porn vs. Erotica Sex – CALL-IN Show


Lovers Tango - ArousedWoman.comHow do you define porn? What is erotica to you? Both are protected by the First Amendment, but for me, each has a different vibe — and no, I don’t mean sex toys!

Listen to my radio broadcast at BlogTalkRadio.com/Aroused on this very topic of “Porn vs. Erotica Sex,” then come back here and leave a comment below!

The p0rn of the 1970’s and 1980’s made caricatures out of the women as hyperorgasmic nyphomaniacs with the men serving no purpose other than just being an erection that jackhammered vaginas.

So what do you think of porn’s ….

  • fake breasts
  • skewed body image
  • fake orgasms
  • disrespect of women and women’s real sexuality
  • disrespect of men’s sexuality
  • men ejaculating on a woman’s face
  • female ejaculation falsely represented by urination
  • several men gang-banging one woman
  • cheezy music and bad lighting…

Women have since taken the lead in writing, directing, and producing sex on film. This, plus the rise of amateur vids distributed via the internet, has changed how people want to see their sex.

As I say all the time on Twitter:  The human body is beautiful.  Sex is beautiful.  Orgasm is natural.  Reject dogma (and bad p0rn) that shames you into thinking otherwise. :-)

trish

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