Awakening Sexuality & Activism for Women's Rights

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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


AskTrish: Man Inquires If Menopause Means the End of Sex for Women


woman-nude-breast*NOTE*:  This question was asked of me on a yoga forum.  I have included my original response as well as some extra info here.

Trish,

Is menopause the wilting stage for women?

HELL NO!!!!!

Menopause is a WONDERFUL time for women sexually!  It’s the first time in a woman’s life that she can have true sexual freedom, knowing she can have as much sex as she wants and she can’t get pregnant.  Menopause is FREEING for women!  (Of course, safe sex measures should still be practiced to prevent sexually transmitted diseases.)

If a woman monitors her health, especially her hormones, women can enjoy sex right up till the day they die.  Hell, orgasm would be a great way to die! :-)  Just slip right on over to the Other Side since you’re already there anyway.

We enter the physical body for a reason — to have physical experiences.  One of the most joyous physical experiences is the sexual experience, whether partnered or solo.  As someone of Gaelic (Scotch-Irish) descent, I follow the path of my ancestors — we are spirit beings here to have physical experiences while maintaining our connection to the spiritual side.  So I’m enjoying the ride as much as I can.  :-)

* EXTRA*:  Use of synthetic hormones, i.e., synthetic Hormone Replacement Therapy (HRT), is now associated with increased risks of cancer in women.  Some women prefer using plant-based progesterone, which is a pre-cursor to both estrogen and testosterone.  Testosterone is required for a healthy libido in both men and women.  Too much estrogen is not good for either men or women.

Avoid getting extra estrogen from your food, such as unfermented soy which pervades the American food supply and is very high phytoestrogens.  Unfermented soy products include soy milk, soy baby formula, vegetable oil (soy/soybean), soy yogurt, soy cheese, soy creamer, soy ice cream, tofu — and any product made from tofu, etc.  Fermented soy products can be beneficial (as are all fermented foods), such as tempeh, miso, and tamari (real soy sauce).

Being healthy overall is required for a healthy vagina (or male prostate).  Get adequate amounts of vitamins and minerals from your foods and/or quality supplements, plus healthy saturated fats, Omega-3′s, etc., and stay AWAY from processed foods.  Buy organic, locally-grown food whenever you can.  Eat seasonally-grown foods.  Be able to source all your ingredients.  While on the course of improving your health, if you don’t make it from scratch, don’t eat it.

Being healthy will help minimize the symptoms of PMS and menopause — and YES, men do have hormonal fluctuations each month and later in life when their libido may drop due to declining health or bad dietary habits.  That is, men should be able to get and maintain erections whenever they want, regardless of age.  Erections are a direct result of a man’s health.

One of the side effects of menopause is vaginal dryness, or not making as much natural lubrication as a woman used to.  In fact, women can experience vaginal dryness at any age, especially if she ingests a lot of caffeine or other dehydrating substance, but a lessening in the production of vaginal juices can be common from the age of 40 onward.  Regardless of age, the vagina will let you know when she is lubricated enough for penetration.  Do NOT confuse a woman being aroused for sex with her vagina being ready for sex.  (Yes, men, this takes 15 to 30 minutes of “foreplay”.  Get over it.)

To avoid vaginal dryness and lack of libido, drink plenty of water each day — an ounce of water per pound of body weight.  Eat lots of veggies — I love my Franken-Salad.  Also, eat lean protein and complex carbs.  Whether or not you’re gluen-free, vegetables actually have lots of carbohydrates in them.  Eat healthy saturated fats such as macadamia nuts or other nuts, and get plenty of Omega-3′s from eggs, fish oil, and/or chia seeds.  Cacao (dark chocolate) is also great for boosting libido.

Menopause is NO reason to stop feeling sexy!  Use nutrition to supply your brain and body with peak quantities of the nutrients they need to function, with plenty left over for extracurricular fun-ctions like sex and orgasm.  Moderate exercise, such as walking, yoga, or dancing, is always great for maintaining a steady supply of the body’s happy hormones as well as keeping the muscles toned and ligaments and tendons flexible for interesting sex positions.  Don’t forget — sex is exercise, too!

Needing a little extra help with lubrication or libido is normal at any time in a woman’s (or man’s) life, especially if she’s (he’s) under a lot of stress.  However, there’s no reason to let your sex life go the way of the dinosaurs when a few changes in your nutrition, daily habits, and health can turn it all around.

No sex because of menopause?  Ha!  Sexual freedom, here we cum!

trish

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OpEd: What Is Love?


Copyright 2013 by Trish Causey.

"Lovers Card" from Archeon TarotFor my 222nd post, I’m approaching the topic that confounds writers and mere mortals alike:  LOVE.

Why now?  As I said, this is Post #222, and in numerology this has some significance.  222 reduced is 6, which is the Lovers’ card in the Major Arcana of the Tarot.  What many people do not realize is that the Lovers card is not about true love, but about a union — that might be love, but also could be a friendship, a congenial business partnership, or something nice coming into your present situation.

In the Tarot, the real true love card is the 2 of Cups.  The Cups suit embodies emotion, and the 2 signifies two people coming together in deep, true love.

The problem with love is that most people confuse “in love” with lust (the chemical reaction in the brain to pheromones bouncing off each other’s skin) and rate “real love” according to the size of a status-symbol ring chained to a religious-fabricated commitment that is unrealistic for most human mammals.

Poets have expounded upon the premise of love for millennia, usually with the caveat, “I’ll love you until the heavens fall and the oceans dry up… or a meteor hits the earth and we’re all obliterated from time and space….”  Essentially, the Romantics clocked love’s ability to withstand natural disasters about as well as the Gulf handles Category 5 hurricanes.

In our society, we freely say how much we love our stuff.  “I love my house.”  “I love my car.”  “I love that TV show.” “I love that dress!”  “I love those SHOES!!!”  “I love chocolate.”  “I love my dog.”  “I love my squirrel!”

By the time we get around to saying “I love you,” the concept of love now has a price tag and a sense of status in the physical world that has nothing to do with the emotion itself.

Other languages have certain customs for using their version of the word “love,” usually with other options for expressing affection of friends, possessions, and familial loved ones separate from the word that intends to express true, deep love.  American English kinda sucks.

Our American language is lacking not only because of lexicon and syntax but also because our culture is taught to use “love” as leverage, as a bargaining chip, to get the upper hand, to force our partner into emotional submission and thereby gain superiority within the relationship.  Love becomes a game.  Later, love becomes a contest.  That no one can win.

Then come the ultimatums. “IF YOU LOVED ME, you would __(fill in the blank to complete emotional blackmail)__.”

Blinded by the brainwashing of our materialistic society and the fantasy world of romance novels and films, most people are clueless how to truly love another person in a relate-tionship.  That is, a partnership in which two people actively relate to each other.

Love is energy.  Just like orgasms…..  Love is free…. just like orgasms……….  Love is endless and constantly giving……………. just like orgasms.

Love is not thought.  Love is not construct.  Love is not rational.

Love does not have a schedule.

Love is intangible and immeasurable.  Love is unconditional.

Love is easy.

I’ve read that it takes 2.5 years for “in love” to mature to “love-love.”  Basically, you wait to see if your emotional selves have created a bond now that your lusty pheromones are immune to each other… the way bugs become immune to Raid.

I don’t see any reason for the passion ever to leave a relationship, but for many couples, the passion does fade.  What is it that is left?  Why stay with someone you are not passionately “in love” for “real love-love” with?  Fear of being alone?  Financial collapse if you strike out on your own?

Love is not fear.  Love is not financial security.

Love is never a choice.  You feel love in your heart and soul, or you don’t.  You can’t fake it.

Love does not have an on/off switch.

You can choose to be with a good person or a bad person, but your heart decides for you if you love that person or not.  However, real love is never abusive.  No one who truly loves you would demean you or want to conquer you.

Love is not about being right.  Or winning an argument.

Love is not a skin color or ethnicity.  Love is not conditioned on gender or genitals.  Love is not a demographic.

Love is not a piece of paper signed by a minister.  Love is not a ring.  Love is not “the dress.”

For all the media and marketing hype that surrounds sex and success in our culture, we are, ultimately, love-starved.  We don’t actually know what love is.

Love is connection.  Love is deep.  Love is spiritual.

Love is limitless.  Love is universal.

This is why it is so difficult to explain love, to understand what we do for love when we’re in love-love.  To compare love to a summer’s day or a tree, or a mountain, or the sky, is the best we mortals can do to express the energy that exemplifies “the little death” of a billion stars exploding gloriously into complete expansiveness… all from within our heart.

Love is beautiful.

Love is energy.

The truth is

Love is

All there is.

trish


I’m Free! I’m Finally DIVORCED!!! I’m FREEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!


Trish-is-finally-DIVORCED-600After 15+ years of indentured servitude in the socio-economic contractual farce our culture calls “marriage,” I am very happy to proclaim the words I’ve wanted to yell since I got married…

I AM DIVORCED!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

FINALLY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!

I AM FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!

I got the text message from my lawyer a little while ago that the judge signed off on the papers this morning.

I breathed a sigh of relief that I have been holding in for over 15 years.

I never wanted to be legally married.  EVER.  Seeing my parents crap marriage and knowing I wanted a career in the arts (which meant traveling and nude love scenes), I never ever wanted to be shackled to one man.

When I had my daughter, we decided to get married so he could claim me as a dependent (since I was only a stay-at-home-mother and didn’t actually contribute anything except working 24/7 as a mom).  Once legally married, I could then get medical and dental insurance, which I had not had for a few years.  And there was the added bonus of a bigger tax return as well as cheaper car insurance…. Yes…. Exactly ALL the reasons two people would want to legally bound (and gagged) together.

Standing in front of the justice of the peace, I felt my soul deflate as I had to say vows I never wanted to utter.  Getting legally married was truly a soul-crushing moment for me… that lasted until THIS morning when I was granted my FREEDOM!  YEEHAW!

The divorce process only solidified for me what marriage is all about.  Money.  Money and property.  Anyone who says marriage is NOT about money and property has never been divorced.  Trust me.  Don’t get married in the first place.  Do a Power of Attorney so you can sign off on life-saving medical procedures, but please, I beg everyone, do NOT get married. EVER.  It sucks.  No.  I’m not biased.  This is just the truth.  Seriously.  Marriage is evil.  Stay away!!!

Or do what you want…

Doing the numbers on today’s date — 06-06-2013, they reduce to 9, which is the Hermit (or Shaman) card in the Major Arcana of the Tarot.  (Yes, I do numerology.  Don’t judge me.)  I had thought it would be a number like 21 – The Universe, or something more appropriate like 13 – Death. :-)  However, 9 – The Hermit or Shaman, is interesting.  Even though I’ve been in a state of chrysalis for several years, especially since becoming a single mom 2.5 years ago, now I am truly free to search within and plan the next phase of my life.

Do I still want a relationship?  Of course.  And I can certainly see myself becoming handfasted again.  But legally married?  Never.  The cheaper car insurance wasn’t worth it.

I shall revel in this moment and all subsequent moments of my life for I AM FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!  I am a 40 year-old woman with years of pent up sexual energy who’s ready to pounce.

Now….  if only I could find a straight man with whom to get my Cougar on! :-P

trish

(YAY!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!!  I’M FREEEEEEEEEEEEEEE!!!!!)


OpEd: The Activist’s Guide to Putting Aside Our Differences to Fight for Our Differences


Tree of Life - As Above, So BelowA while back, a friend made the comment that she had seen my Facebook status, and it made her think about that particular issue I’d brought up, saying, “You have so many causes, I can’t keep up.”

Wrong.  I have ONE cause — Human Rights.  All other rights issues stem from this central trunk of the rights and issues’ family tree.  Women’s rights, LGBT, genital integrity, workers’ rights, children’s rights, and more — ALL are branches of the primary concept that roots us in our basic right to self-determination, autonomy, and our humanity.

Today provided a perfect example of how different experiences color our activism.  Usually, this is a good thing, but occasionally, our pain from our own experiences clouds our words, resulting in our message devolving into a war of emotion.  It becomes a contest of “my pain is greater than your pain”  — a competition no one wins.

My morning started with me checking my Facebook and Twitter while I made breakfast as I hurried my daughter to get up, get ready for school, and catch the bus.

I try not to spend all day on Twitter, but tomorrow’s Full Moon seems to have kicked up people’s crazy cycles a day early.

First, on Facebook, I responded to a friend’s comment about his neighbors’ loud sex last night.  As the conversation progressed to sex positions (okay, I brought it up), I mentioned that the reason the original missionary position is the only position ever condoned by the Catholic church was because it provides the least pleasure for the woman.  It puts the man in the superior, stronger, aggressive position while the woman is inferior, at the mercy of the man, and passive and submissive.  Another chick chimed in saying some women “love to be ‘conquered.’”  As a woman who has spent most of my life fighting NOT to be conquered by men, I disagreed, but I did not linger since I had to get some real work done.

I spent a couple hours working my day-job (Thursdays are a day-off for me), and what followed was an entire day on social media in one activist role or another.  And I have preserved some of those exchanges in the photo gallery below. (To view them at full size, click the box on the lower right of your screen.)

The second round of today’s activism started out simple enough — me talking about orgasms, specifically, mine, and how I cry when I orgasm.  I followed that with a comment that men crying during orgasm is perfectly natural.  Twitter being a public forum, a random guy jumped in the convo with a rude comment ridiculing how it would look with a “he man blowing his load and crying.”  This began a series of tweets back and forth as I tried to explain that a man crying during orgasm is perfectly natural.  After all, men are human beings, and human beings have feelings.

Apparently, men are still not allowed to be full human beings in our society.

The third and most exasperating exchange occurred with a man who, it turns out, is also an activist — an intactivist, to be precise.  An intactivist is someone who fights for ending all circumcision — on males and females — because genital mutilation is a human rights violation of a child’s bodily autonomy and is sexual assault on the child.  This guy had tweeted the following comment:

“The sexual urges of women in our society are more important than the pain of a baby boy.”

After a morning of hearing that some women want to be conquered, men who cry are not masculine, and a few other ridiculous notions that are proof positive our society is still sexually repressed and almost entirely mentally unbalanced, I could not sit by and let this tweet go without standing up for women’s right to be sexual and not be shamed for it.  Did I do it the right way?  Could I have handled myself better?  Should I have called him a moron so many times?  Maybe.  Maybe not.

The thought I had toward the end of this Twitter war (that lasted over a couple hours) is that this guy is reacting and projecting because of his own pain with his circumcision.  Just as I possibly was too harsh in earlier altercations today. 

Hearing a woman wants to be conquered made me think back to when I was molested as a kid, my rape when I was 21, and my Steubenville-esque experience.  Talking about the horribly unsatisfactory missionary position brought to mind my own status as one of the 70% of women who has never orgasmed during sex — a statistic for which I still feel shame for myself and anger at my partners for not caring enough about me to ensure I had pleasure, too.  It reignited my distaste for the porn industry that created a caricature of women as hyper-orgasmic nymphomaniac slut-bunnies — as opposed to erotica that presents sex and sexuality in a beautiful, honorable way.

I was reminded yet again of the hundreds of thousands — if not millions — of women who have been raped, tortured, killed outright, and burned at the stake by the Christian church who has feared women’s sexual power since Peter stole the church’s high seat from Mary Magdalene.  As a pagan witch doing research for my stage writings, I spent years reading witch trial transcripts, scouring historical documents of witch hunters, Inquisitors, and missionaries in Europe and in colonial America who were obsessed with exorcising the natural sexuality of women.  This does not include the women who were beaten, raped, and killed for wanting the right to vote, or the right to fight alongside men in the modern military.  Too many thoughts and memories swarmed in my mind.

Hearing that a man can’t cry when he experiences pleasure infuriated me because so much of our patriarchal, imperial, testosterone-driven culture still carries the gender-role prejudices of religion and hierarchical misogyny and misandry that does a disservice to women and men.

Today’s activism was about shame.  And pain.  And how, even when we mean well, speaking up for one issue cannot happen at the expense of demeaning other people who are probably also in pain.  After all, the oppressive culture that says mutilating a child’s genitals is okay is the same repressive culture that says a woman is to blame for her rape because of how she was dressed, or two people cannot love each other because they’re the same gender.

I’ve been a grassroots activist for 27 years, and I’ve seen in-fighting in every single rights group I’ve ever worked with — religious rights, American Indian rights, LGBT rights, women’s rights.  Who’s a real witch?  Who’s a real Indian?  Bisexuals aren’t really discriminated against.  Women don’t need full body autonomy or equal pay.  Conservative Democrats aren’t real Democrats. And it’s all bullshit.

My motto has always been, “Human Rights are non-negotiable.”

I love that there are so many of us, each working in a niche that is important to us.  Yet, that does not mean one corner of activism outweighs another.  We can’t all work for all causes at all times.  We have to split up into different groups to cover all the bases.  Remember that equality does not mean we are the same, but rather, though we may be different, we are of the same value as human beings.  Our human rights family tree is rooted in and celebrates our differences, with roots deep in the soil of our humanity, echoing the ancient axiom, “As above, so below.”

However, if you only care about one group who is hurt or exploited and not another, then you’re not working for rights issues, you’re a special interest asshat who is no better than the elitist oppressors who mock human rights activism while making fortunes off the masses’ suffering.

So I may not know the full extent of pain that another person has experienced, just as they won’t know the full extent of mine.  But we can try to listen better.  We can forgo the pain-game and stick to the work at hand.  Don’t allow the oppressors’ need to stuff us into boxes and categories or divide us into opposing sides hinder our work of coming together and doing the work.

We are better than that. Do the work.  Be the Change.

We Are All Connected.

trish

 

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NEWS: International Women’s Day 2013


Warrior Woman - Warrior QueenWhile I spent part of the day not engaging Twitter trolls who think women’s rights is an imaginary complaint of uppity feminists, I wanted to see what you think about being a woman, or for the men, what you like so much about the woman in your life.

Ladies, what keeps you going in spite of the struggles you face in society, in religion, in the media, the workplace?  What are the best aspects of being a woman?

Guys, what keeps you interested in women (even though we drive you crazy)?  What is it about a woman that ignites a spark in you?

What is it about Woman that inspires you?  Please leave a comment, detailing what you love about being a woman or love about women!

trish


AskTrish: Woman Who Got STD From Cheating Partner Wants to Find Love


nude-couple-embrace-kiss-passionately-3Dear Trish,

I don’t even know why I am writing to you, you just seem to give sound understanding advice.  I am a sexual woman, but have only been with one man my entire life, and a couple years ago he had an affair/cheated.  Not only did he break my heart, but gave me a life long STD (no not HIV), the other. :(  Ever since, I am scared that I’m broken/ damaged goods.  How could any man be able to look past what I have and have a healthy sexual relationship with me without the stigma?  The rejection would kill me inside.

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

I’m so sorry to hear that you were betrayed on several levels.  While a committed relationship is not for me personally, I do take loyalty very seriously and hate having my trust violated.

Since you’ve read my blog, I’m going to be blunt.  I’m not going to guess what “the other” sexually transmitted disease is that you contracted from him.  Is getting a sexually transmitted disease the end of your world?  No.  Is it a pain in the ass?  Has your life changed irrevocably?  Yes.  Will you find love again?  Only if you really want to.

The affair, and I’m assuming the contraction of the STD, was a couple of years ago, but you sound as if you’re still in denial or depression about it.  I would highly suggest you reach out to a support group and talk with a counselor about your options for safe sex and long-term care for yourself to support your immune system and keep you healthy otherwise.  Note, this counselor or therapist serves a different purpose than your doctor that you may see every few months to get prescriptions.  A counselor will be interested in your well-being on a personal level, not just the numbers on your blood panels.

It is understandable if you are still in denial or even anger about the affair, the STD, the “what now?” you have had to deal with.  It can be overwhelming.  You might consider getting Adina Nack’s book that seems to resonate exactly with your worst fear, Damaged Goods?: Women Living With Incurable Sexually Transmitted Diseases.  Dr. Elisabeth Kubler-Ross explained the five stages of grief in her famous books, including On Grief and Grieving: Finding the Meaning of Grief Through the Five Stages of Loss.  You’re not dying — well, we all die of something — but the information on the grief process could help you immensely in healing the past so you can move on in your future, and learn to love your self in the present.  Damaged Goods may have useful tips on safe-sex as well as groups you could contact.

Once you get into a support group or have access to help via a support system, I think you should ask if there is a dating group there as well.  Yes, I said it.  Ask them if there is a group they know about (with people who have your same STD) that you can start to hang out with, mingle with, and just get to know as friends so you don’t feel so alone in this.  After all, you’re not the first person with an STD who has wanted to find love again!  So don’t be afraid to ask them!!  Your fear is that another man won’t accept you because of the STD.  And I’m sensing you would feel a huge dose of gratefulness or indebtedness for him “overlooking” the disease and accepting you regardless.  But if you meet a guy who has the same disease, then that part of the awkwardness is nullified, and now you two can move on to figuring out who picks up the check on the first date. :-)

I’m not trying to sound glib about your situation, but I want you to see that there is hope for you — in body and spirit.  Each of us makes choices about how we live each day of our lives.  I’m glad to see that you want to live and be happy!

Of course, you should be up front and honest with a potential partner — NEVER leave the info about an STD till “after.”  But I feel you have A LOT of healing to do on yourself before you even think about bringing a partner into your life.  If you think a partner will give you acceptance, then if that partner leaves, that acceptance goes out the door with them.  You have to develop acceptance for yourself from within your self, or any sense of self-worth will last only as long as the relationship.  Heal yourself first.

Find a local group, a national hotline, or activist group that helps people with your STD.  Be honest with them.  Their job is to help you see that life isn’t over once you’ve contracted an STD, just as life isn’t over once a person gets a cancer diagnosis.  It’s just a diagnosis.  You are in the driver’s seat as to how your life plays out from that moment onward.  You are in control.  And that can make all the difference in the world for your outlook on the situation, on love, and your life as a whole.

Let me know how it goes.  I can’t wait to hear what happens!!

trish

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AskTrish: Woman Married 15 Years Can Only Orgasm to Porn


nude-woman-artistic-female-formDear Trish,

I’ve been married for almost 15 years.  Before I got married, I used to have orgasms without a problem during intercourse, and I was very active and sexual woman.  Now, AFTER 15 years, we have sex like every three or four months and worse, without orgasms… well, once a year if I’m really lucky.  I only get an orgasm while watching porn and masturbating myself — so, I’m not anorgasmic — but it doesn’t happen while having sex with him.  Even when I’m aroused and really try to have an orgasm mental and physically, it just doesn’t happen.  I talked to him, but it’s not enough.

I LOOOVEEEE sex, I like sex, and even for a while I resigned myself to abstinence.  Well, I suppose that I am the problem, but I cannot find the solution.  I want to enjoy sex, and literally shout out myself for pleasure and orgasm during intercourse but well… here I am asking for help.   Love my husband and I wish I could surrender myself into his arms and enjoy and cry out for pleasure.  Any thoughts?

Anonymous

Dear Anonymous,

Right off the bat, I see at least three major things that need to be addressed, and hear me when I say, YOU are NOT the sole issue that needs help here.  It takes two to tango, and in a relationship, each partner is 100% responsible for participating in their 50% of the partnership.

The word relationship does not mean “suffer in silence,” as you seem to be doing — I know that’s how I felt in my miserable 15-year marriage with orgasmless sex.  (At least you like your guy!)  A relationship is supposed to be two (or more) people actively relating to each other.  I don’t see much relating at all here.  But let’s begin this conversation with you…

You didn’t tell me your age, so for round numbers, let’s say you’re 40 years old and got married at 25.  In your early 20′s then, you were a vibrant, happy, sexual, naturally orgasmic woman.  Fast forward 15 years, you’re experiencing issues with orgasm with a husband who is uninterested in “fixing” a relationship he apparently doesn’t view as being problematic.

From a physical standpoint, the body completely regenerates every cell in the body within about three years.  So you are literally not the same person you were then — your body has completely re-created itself 5 times since then.  Now, at “40,” your hormone levels are different, your blood chemistry is different, and this isn’t even considering if you take prescription medication on a regular basis that can upset your body’s chemical balance, or have unhealthy nutrition habits, too much alcohol or caffeine intake, etc.

My first recommendation to you is to get your bloodwork done and see what your hormone levels are — do you make enough testosterone?  Testosterone is required for women’s sexuality, believe it or not.  When we’re younger, we have plenty of it (without seeming masculine), but as we get older, women’s testosterone levels drop significantly.  This can be made worse if you have been taking products that give you extra estrogen, such as birth control, or eating unfermented soy products like soy milk, soy yogurt, or ingesting too many foods made with soy.  Also get your thyroid levels checked as the thyroid regulates hormone production in the body.

The second area I would address if I were you is the porn.  Don’t get me wrong, I love to watch beautiful, sensual erotica myself, but as with any item we start to “rely” on for orgasm, porn may now be a “crutch” for you.  I gave up vibrators when I could no longer have an orgasm without them — I literally had no feeling in my clit or labia, and I wasn’t even using a vibrator that often.  It took six months to be able to feel any sensation in my clit.  You may have gotten to the point where you’ve unconsciously talked yourself into reaching climax “only” when watching porn, so the orgasm is less about your sexual happiness and connection to your self and more about a psychosomatic reflex — “muscle memory” triggered by watching porn, if you will.

Go porn-less for a few months and get back in touch with your body.  Your body was naturally orgasmic.  Allow the muscles and nerves and your autonomic nervous system to re-learn what came so easily back then — awaken that “muscle” memory!  This will take time and will likely be very frustrating.  I invite you to read through my DailyOJ if you want a friend-in-frustration because I certainly understand.  I would recommend my “Allowing and Receiving post” any time you really feel the pull to give up the bodywork and go back to the porn.  Again, I’m not saying you should never watch erotica again, just take a break for a little while.  Or watch some erotica or scroll through my Tumblr to get the juices flowing, then turn it off when you start masturbating.  Relax into your body, focusing on your body’s wants and needs, not what you think your body “should” want or how it “should” act/react.  Read my post on “Lying Broken in Pieces As I Heal” to see this process from a different perspective.

The third issue here is the infrequency of the sexual relationship with your husband.  I am wondering, “What’s wrong with him that he doesn’t want to make love to a woman just starting her sexual prime?  What’s going on in his work?  His life outside the relationship — with him as a man?  What stresses does he experience with his job, deadlines, co-workers?  Does he have any addictions (food, caffeine, alcohol, other) that could be affecting him?  Does he have health issues that are affecting his emotions, blood circulation, sexual drive, and even his mental/psychological state?  Does he experience erectile dysfunction?  Is he not making enough testosterone at this point in his life?”  Yes, men make less testosterone as they get older as well.

As a man in his 40′s, let’s say, he may have been brought up in the last generation of boys who were taught to solve problems for themselves, don’t ask for help — that’s a sign of “weakness,” men have to have all the answers, be the leaders.  Men are still suffering from the strong-silent-type John Wayne persona they were forced to emulate all the while being fed the Renaissance Man/Prince stereotype who is supposed to sweep a woman off her feet, romance her endlessly, and the relationship bliss and passion just happen all the time by magic — as women have been brainwashed into believing thanks to “princess” animated movies, romance novels, and daytime soaps.

Orgasms can seem easy enough if you find the right sex position.  But the want has to really be there as well as a healthy mind and a healthy body.  It doesn’t sound to me like he wants to bridge the divide here.  Sex 4 times a year is not a true relating-ship, in my opinion, especially since you have tried to talk with him and he has not been receptive to communication.  There are deeper issues going on with him that he may not feel comfortable sharing… yet.

Getting back to you, though, I hope you’re not expecting him to “give” you orgasms or “make” you cum.  You are 100% responsible for your own orgasms during sex — or even solo.  I see you understand that orgasm is a mental process first for a woman.  After all the disappointment you’ve faced with this, your mental outlook may verge on the pessimistic side.  You have work to do, for sure, and you need to work on yourself and your self first.

Okay… I lied… there’s a fourth thing I want you to consider…

In this post on orgasms, I explain there are different types of orgasms: the physical reflex and the energetic response.  You can frig off for hours and never orgasm, much less climax.  Or you can rewire the body to the point where you just think the word “orgasm,” and you’re off into the La-La Land of Bliss.  Get back to your body, and rewire from the parasympathetic nervous system outward.  And remember, I’m working on an orgasm training method that teaches this very thing, so be sure to sign up for my newsletter.

I know, I know… Other peolpe are going to suggest you do all the work here — add the “romance” back in, wear some lingerie, light candles, cook him a nice dinner, give him a massage to loosen him up to get him in the mood.  This is all superficial bullshit.  Your relationship needs true communication re-building, and that begins with honest dialogue, not pretending the problems away.

To begin this journey of healing, begin with yourself.  To heal the relationship, you MUST sit him down, either just the two of you or with a counselor.  You cannot save the sex or the relationship by yourself.

I most heartfully wish you well in this.  And for more in-depth personalized advice, I also do consults via phone or Skype.

Take care,

trish

Links:


OpEd: Hardcore Erotica, Animalistic Sex, and Hair Pulling


couple-touching-clawsA male member of the AW Forum posted a discussion in the Music to Set the Mood area, saying:

“Just thought I would add a category that I like to call ‘Hard Erotica.’  It’s a little more gritty and animalistic… Sometimes a good fuck requires a little hair pulling….”

Seriously? We’re back to the “so easy a cave man could do it” attitude toward sex?

The songs to which this member linked were dance-music, “hardcore erotica” tracks from Basic Instinct and Madonna. As a composer of real music, I find that this sort of computerized drivel personifies what is wrong with popular music (overproduced, over-sampled, monotonous in “beat”), but I’ll leave that aside for now.

Describing an enthusiastic fuck as “animalistic” begins to lead the conversation about sex back toward hardcore porn — removing the humanity from sex and encouraging the monotonous mechanics of impersonal fucking — which is not something I subscribe to and is NOT the purpose of my forum or anything related to ArousedWoman(TM). Sex should be about connection — even casual fucking should have a dose of humanity and connectedness to it.

We all know sex can get really heated and… exuberant… that doesn’t mean the intent is “animalistic,” necessarily. This sort of description is exactly the terminology the church used to shame sex — that it was “base” and only for “lower” animals. Deep, fast, thrusting sex can be thrilling for sure, but that doesn’t mean it is “animalistic.” Sex can also be incredibly tender and beautiful. Sex should be a raising of energy between partners, not just a means of tension relief from erratic muscular contractions. In fact, from a Tantric perspective, the best orgasms happen from “slow sex.” (Yes, I said slow sex — as in, the man enters the vagina, and nobody moves for an hour… Yes, I said an hour.)

For myself, I make it clear to a partner that hair pulling is absolutely NOT OKAY. It’s not only a sign of aggravated assault (to me), but yanking a woman’s head back via hair pulling is dangerous to the cervical spine and the larynx (the tube for breathing and speech).

Men may have a fantasy about hair pulling because of what they’ve seen in “hardcore porn,” but only because they’ve never been on the receiving end of having their head yanked back by their long hair or ponytail. No, it is not the same feeling as when a woman curls her fingers in a man’s short hair (on his head) and pulls his head back (that is bad enough), but to have someone grab hold of your long hair, use it like a handle to jerk your head back is horribly painful — and again, dangerous to the neck and larynx.

Yes, I know, some readers will complain (again) that I’m being all “puritanical” and I’m “not at peace” with myself for expressing my opinion (and I’m not even on my period and all hormonal), but I don’t exist to perpetuate the stereotypes of women or sex. So suck it.

ArousedWoman(TM) is about awakening from the “dirty,” impersonal, shame-filled KoolAid of sexuality as demonized by religion and kinkified by a society still trying to find balance in sexual practices and “roles.” As I say on Twitter: “The human body is beautiful. Sex is beautiful.” Nothing about ArousedWoman(TM) is about hardcore porn, so find another site if that’s all you care about — there are plenty of porn & sex sites that perpetuate the pro-church, misogynistic attitudes toward sexuality. ArousedWoman(TM) is NOT one of those.

One last word on monotonous dance music… If a man can only move his hips in one rhythm, he’s a dud in bed. Give me a man who can fuck the 1812 Overture, and we’ll talk.

trish

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DailyOJ 01-26-13, Part 2: The Fear of Intimacy


Lovers Tango - Aroused-Woman* Read Part 1 *

Today was a great day. So I was a bit surprised by the slight emotional breakdown I just experienced.

It wasn’t caused by my intactivism on Twitter (explaining the horrors of both male circumcision and female genital cutting), or the raucous festivities happening just outside my apartment from the day parade of the local Mardi Gras krewes. I spent some time earlier researching vitamins for healthy skin since I’ve now lost 82 pounds, but my skin is not shrinking as fast as I’d like — apparently, it can take 2 years or more for skin to retract, assuming a woman has good genes, doesn’t have any more children, and bathes in the blood of virgins… (just kidding… not sure about that last part).

I digress…

I think the breakdown may have been triggered by an impromptu conversation in the chat room of the AW Forum on the subject of emotion and sex.

Taking a break from the Twitterverse and looking for something to watch online, I remembered the amazing feelings from this morning, and the generally great feelings I’d had all day. I got a flash — a vision — in my mind’s eye about being with a partner, my Dream Man, as I call him. Not having sex, our clothes were on, in fact. I was just kissing his collarbone. And I suddenly burst into tears.

I had trouble breathing. I could feel the rush of adrenaline’s “fight or flight” rash choice conundrum rushing to the fore. Not prone to panic attacks, I was most concerned with why I was having this freak-out moment. Then I remembered a revelation I’d had when writing my breasts article about having never really known tenderness during sex. During the Twitter intactivism tonight, I had had to explain how friction sex can be painful — how my ex used to complain I got too wet during sex, he couldn’t get friction, so he’d pull out and use the sheet to dry me and him off and come back in to jackhammer away till he ejaculated… The feelings that were now shaking my entire body as I cried and tried to breathe were the realization that I have no idea how to be intimate with a man.

I know about sex, sex spots, erogenous zones, positions, pressure points, hormones, and nerves. I know all about the physical connections, but I have never really made an emotional physical connection to a partner. The fact that emotion scares the hell out of most men doesn’t help the situation.

This past year I’ve been in Yin, and it’s really kicked me in my ass. I made so many realizations about myself last year that I thought (or hoped) I was done. Apparently, the Universe was saving this big whopper for right when I was least prepared to deal with yet another part of me that needs to be worked on.

Sex has never been about me, in my sexual experience. I never understood why people can just spend time kissing (isn’t that boring?) or holding hands (don’t you want me to hold something else?)… I never felt comfortable with just being with a partner. Once the sex got going, then I knew what my role was. Usually, I was the initiator, the aggressor, the one in charge. Men made it clear they were with me because they wanted to know if busty redheads were really as good in bed as they’d heard or seen in porn. They approached me with a certain expectation of what sex with me would be like, and I made sure I exceeded their expectations.

Sex in my marriage was never orgasmic for me, but then I didn’t think my pleasure was important. As a stay-at-home mother, I felt part of my duties was keeping him happy and earning my keep — sex did that while a blow job once a week prevented arguments about the bills. As I grew to detest him and the whole situation, I gained weight on purpose so he wouldn’t want me… just my luck — he liked fat chicks.

Now free, in control of my own life, and repairing my health and my body, I’m left with the remnants of what I’ve put myself through the past 15+ years. I look in the mirror as my body gets smaller, but so many imperfections remain. And so many imperfections dwell inside as well.

With intimacy, there isn’t exactly a projected outcome as there is with sex. The agenda of sex is lots of orgasms that lead to the climactic grande finale orgasm. Intimacy is a goal-less phenomenon, I guess, in which neither partner is in charge or at least, no one’s keeping tally on the orgasm scoreboard. Intimacy is being open emotionally to just being with a person, soft and tender… vulnerable. Without the sex techniques to keep a man enthralled, I really don’t know why a man would want to be with me… or what I have to offer…

This emotional breakdown was another wall coming down, and yet it is another bit of knowledge I will hold myself to when time for entering a relationship. I simply cannot allow myself to go backwards. Being in charge in the sex department is too easy. I need to allow myself to be open and vulnerable… more… yin… and that freaks me out…

Aroused and breaking through,

trish

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Anatomy: Penis Size: Measuring Up to Your Woman’s Sex Toy


Glass Dildo on BreastLet’s dispel any “polite society” myths right now.  Women have sex toys.  We love them.  Straight and bisexual women love penises, too.

While most men know how long they are, a lot of men don’t seem to know how wide they are.  This is a shame since most women prefer width over length.  Many men may not realize that when women shop for sex toys, width is an important consideration.  In fact, many women buy sex toys based more on the width than the length.

A toy that is penis-shaped and 1 1/4″ wide would not be considered by most experienced women shoppers; whereas, a 2″ wide penis-shaped toy might be about as wide as a woman wants to go.  My personal toy preference is between 1-5/8″ and 1-3/4″ wide because it’s easier to handle and doesn’t wear out my wrist.

On a side note, sex toys designed to stimulate the female prostate are oftentimes more narrow and more curved than the usual dildo.  For prostate stimulation, and especially for female ejaculation, wider is not usually better.

When it comes to sex, size really does matter because too long or too wide can hurt the woman.  Better to ask up front what size dildo your woman likes to use and see how you measure up to what she prefers.  This gives you an idea how compatible you two will be physically.  For instance, if her favorite toy is 1.5″ wide and you’re 1.75″ wide, you know ahead of time that extra lube and extended yoni worship may be required before insertion.  (Note: If you’re too shy to ask her about her sex toy, maybe you shouldn’t have sex with her in the first place.)

So how do you measure up to your woman’s favorite sex toy?  Here are some tips on how to measure your penis:

Use a flexible measuring tape, not a ruler.

Measuring Penis Length For length:

Measure from the base to the tip while fully erect.  Measure on the top side of the penis, from the lower abs at the pubic bone.  The vagina is only 3 to 3.5 inches in length, and can expand up to 50% when aroused.  So a penis that is 6″ long will almost bottom out.

Do NOT press in to measure!  The root of the penis inside the man’s body is rather long and can be felt (and held) below the balls at the perineum.  Don’t press in just to add an extra half inch or so to your length measurement.  Last time I checked, the woman’s pubic bone does not magically extend outward into the man’s abs during sex.

Measuring Penis Width GirthFor width:

Measure around the widest part of the fully aroused, fully erect penis to get the circumference.  Where this point is varies.  Some men are wider at the base, while some are wider in the middle, and some near the head.  Measuring the width is especially important for men who are widest in the top third of the shaft and the head, as this is the part of the penis most likely to be inserted into the woman.

If the head is bulbous and noticeably wider than the rest of the penis, measure the circumference of the head as well… just to know.

Now, you get to use that high school algebra you never thought you would ever need.  To get the width (diameter) of a circle (penis shaft), divide the circumference (around measurement) by pi  (3.14).

ArousedWoman.com - Man Uncut Penis Circumference Formula to Measure Penis Width

If the circumference is:

4.5″ = penis is 1.43″ wide
5.0″ = penis is 1.59″ wide
5.5″ = penis is 1.75″ wide
6.0″ = penis is 1.91″ wide
6.5″ = penis is 2.07″ wide
7.0″ = What are you? Caligula’s horse?!

I’m not saying you should steer clear of a potential partner just based on penis size, but to deny the importance of sex in the relationship is Puritanical nonsense.  Many relationships and marriages end because the sex was not pleasurable or the partners were not sexually compatible.

By the way, guys, don’t worry if you are in the long and narrow or the short and wide ranges.  Every vagina is different, so regardless of how you measure up, there is a partner for you — you just have to find her!

trish

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Anatomy: Male Prostate ~ the Male G-Spot


Male Prostate ~ from Wikipedia commons

Male Prostate ~ from Wikipedia commons

The male prostate is a gland about the size of a walnut located in the male anus.

The prostate creates prostatic fluid that mixes with sperm from the testicles to form ejaculate.  Once aroused, the male prostate has a texture like that of a walnut, similar to how the female prostate takes on a ridged feeling when aroused.  Moving your finger back and forth (i.e., wagging your finger, or like a windshield wiper), you should feel the two lobes of the prostate — the gland is bisected by the urethra running through the middle of the prostate, just as the urethra runs through the middle of the prostate in women.

The prostate can be accessed indirectly, from the outside at the “sweet spot” on the perineum, or directly, inside by using a finger or sex toy in the anus.  Experimenting with your prostate does not make a man gay.  In fact, anal play, prostate massage, and prostate milking can be a very delicious part of a heterosexual couple’s lovemaking, especially in the form of slow sex and sacred sex.

In Tantra, the male prostate is considered the male “Sacred Spot,” just as the “G-spot,” aka the Goddess Spot or Sacred Spot in women is located in the female prostate in the vagina.

Also in Tantra, the male prostate is considered to be the emotional center for a man in regard to his genitals.  More than a few men, who have allowed a partner to do prostate milking on them, claim the prostate orgasm is the strongest, most intense, most emotionally moving orgasm they have ever experienced.

Many men who do prostate massage on a regular basis cannot fathom going back to their old orgasms.  Common testimonials for these men also include the prostate orgasm is a “soulgasm,” and opens their hearts to their partners in ways they could never imagine before.

As with any anal play, safety precautions should always be followed to prevent the transference of fecal bacteria from the anal area to other body areas.

Condoms should be used on any sex toy that is inserted, and fitted latex gloves or finger cots can be used on the fingers to avoid having to wash your hands before fingering yourself elsewhere or fingering/touching your partner, as well as to avoid getting bacteria in a cut on the fingers.

Use lots of lubricant and massage the external anal sphincter completely to warm up and stretch the skin before trying to enter the anus.  Silicone lube seems to work best and last the longest, but it is notoriously difficult to clean up afterward.  Also, silicone lube will degrade the latex of condoms, so use only water-based lubricant or natural, unscented massage oil if using latex condoms.

The prostate can be a delicate gland.  Direct stimulation should be slow and gentle at first to see what kind of pressure you like.  If there is any pain, STOP.  If there is any blood in your ejaculate or urine, see your healthcare professional.

PLEASE LEAVE A REPLY with your questions or detailing YOUR experiences (men and women).

trish

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AskTrish: Man With Large Penis Worries About Causing Girlfriend Pain During Sex


Trish – I would like to ask a question in relation to the gentlemen who asked about small penises. I’m a man in my late 20′s and have been sexually active for roughly 10 years.  In those ten years, I have grown to know that I have a rather large penis.  I have lost girlfriends due to the sheer girth and length (8+ inches) as most women find it hard to accommodate me during intercourse. My present girlfriend is smaller in stature and has had a child but we have intercourse roughly once or twice a week due to her not enjoying it most times.  I have tried different positions and a lot of other things and I am just curious as to how you would coach someone to help with this.  I attached a picture just as a reference point.  Thanks!

Sincerely,

N., in Ohio

Dear N.,

Thank you for such a great question!  Whether talking about breasts or penises, our culture is yet again let down by the “bigger is better” brainwashing and phallic fallacies of porn.  The stereotyped preference for a huge penis not only does a disservice to more modest members, but it does not realistically show the physical burden on the woman or the emotional and psychological impact on the man.

The great points I see in your post are 1) you care for your partner beyond just your physical gratification, 2) you seem willing to want to learn some new techniques, and 3) with having sex a couple times per week, you’re doing better than most men!  However, pain during sex can strain the relationship, and while there are techniques you can learn, sometimes a woman feeling pain during sex has nothing to do with you.

Certain positions are better for long penises, while others automatically hurt the woman.  The better positions for a long penis will be missionary, rear entry, and side-behind positions.  Positions that can hurt the woman physically include woman-on-top and even legs-over-the-shoulders, depending on the length of the man.

Girth is an entirely different issue.  For you, N., you better love the vagina because the only way you will be able to have sex that doesn’t hurt your woman is to resolve yourself to LOTS of pre-penetration attention on your woman’s body EVERY time.  And your woman will have homework as well.

Most women want fullness during penetrative sex, but in order to accommodate any penis at all, the vagina must be properly warmed up.  If the vagina and labia are not warmed up, swollen thick with arousal, wet from vaginal fluid or lube, AND the vaginal entrance wide open, then the vagina is not truly ready for sex.

The pre-penetration ritual should ideally begin with her mind, then perhaps evolve to kissing (her mouth), moving southward to copious amounts of breast worship, eventually leading to your fingers stimulating her vulva.  The vagina is comprised of muscles whose job is to stretch for penetration as well as for childbirth.  I’m thinking your issue may not be the inner vagina but the opening and first inch or so.

The opening to the vagina is encircled by the labia as well as the remnants of the hymen.  These hymenal remnants can be like any scar tissue that is less pliable than the rest of the skin.  The hymen also does not have its own source of lubrication so it must be lubricated with vaginal fluid or purchased lube.  Warming up the labia — the lips — outside the vaginal opening is just as important because this skin is attached to the muscles that will need to stretch to accommodate your penis.

A great reason to switch to watching erotica is to learn techniques that warm up the vulva, or as she’s called in Tantra: “yoni.”  Yoni massage is a time-proven technique in Eastern sexual philosophy but is not as widely known in the West.  The vaginal opening can be warmed up with your mouth, tongue, or fingers in a yoni massage.

Not just oral sex, yoni massage is a hands-on Tantric practice of showing respect and devotion to the entire vulva — the labia, the vagina, the mons pubis — respect to the whole woman.  Using lube or massage oil with your warm hands, slowly massaging your woman’s vulva for half an hour will stretch the skin, the opening, and the inner muscles required for comfortable penetration.  In fact, midwives/doulas will have a woman’s partner do yoni massage on her during labor to prevent a tearing of the vaginal opening.  (*Side note: Oil and condoms don’t mix.*)

Just inside the vaginal opening, the clitoris takes on a life of its own.  Not just the little nub visible from the outside, the clit can be up to 6 inches long inside her body, several inches wide, and has 18 distinct parts.  Forming a horseshoe over and around the vaginal opening, the clitoral bulbs are erectile tissue that swell with blood during arousal and grip whatever is inside the vagina as the woman nears climax.  If the vagina was snug before, at this point, the vagina may be uncomfortably tight.  For the woman, she may resist getting fully aroused or getting near climax to avoid discomfort.  For the man, the squeezing of the penis may be so great he might start to lose his erection.

This is where lube plays an important role in sex.  Even if your woman is young, healthy, active, and gets “wet,” use lots of lubricant anyway.  Friction sex hurts at the best of times.  When there is a size discrepancy between partners, lube may be your life-(and relationship)-saver.  Here’s a link to the lube I use and absolutely love.

Your homework:

  • Spend at least half an hour on her breasts and vulva — this might actually need to last an hour!
  • Use your fingers, not just your tongue, to gently stretch the vagina.  If you can insert 2 fingers, open them in a “V” and massage the interior, moving your fingers open and closed.  If you can’t get 2 fingers in, she’s nowhere near ready for penetration.
  • Use lots of lube.  Lots!
  • Give her a few orgasms with your mouth and/or hands first to make sure she’s ready for your penis.
  • Do slow, sensuous sex once you’re inside, not  hard, fast, thrusting friction sex.
  • Don’t try positions that keep her legs together, i.e., her legs over your shoulders or rear entry with her knees together.
  • Also, positions that bring her knees up to her torso shorten the vagina, which may not work well with a long penis.
  • Look at  the book Yoni Massage as well as the DVD Guide to Fingering: How to Touch a Woman.

The woman’s homework:

  • Do solo yoni massage every day to encourage the tissues to stretch.
  • Take a hot bath or shower before sex to warm the skin and muscles in the groin.
  • Drink lots of water to encourage your natural vaginal fluids (and lay off the caffeine).
  • Exercise your PC muscles by pushing outward, not just tensing up and inward.
  • Push out  on the vaginal muscles as the man enters you.
  • Use your fingers or toys that stretch and relax the vaginal muscles.
  • Trying relaxation techniques such as mediation and/or deep belly breathing to soothe your nerves and warm the pelvic girdle.

So what if you do all this and sex still hurts?  If the painful sex has been going on a while, the woman may have developed a slight phobia now that she associates sex and pain.  This can be helped with lots  of talking, yoni massage prior to sex, and adopting a non-attachment philosophy during your time together.  It is also possible the woman may have a vaginal, uterine, or pelvic condition that is contributing to the pain, and she should see her OBGYN for an exam.

You’ll be pleased to note that the vagina stretches (or shrinks) to fit a regular partner.  So trying the yoni massage and slow sex techniques frequently may help your situation in the long run.  Also, I’ve just updated the Store page on the AW site, so look through the books and DVD’s to further your technique quest.

The important thing is that you  do not develop a negative outlook on your body or your partner.  Your heart can’t help whom it falls in love with.  With patience and some effort, your bodies can become as compatible as your affections.

I hope this has helped.  Feel free to let me know if you have more questions, and I look forward to my readers’ replies!

Take care,

trish

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AskTrish: Man with Small Penis Wonders If He Can Fully Satisfy a Woman


Dear trish,

I was born in a Muslim family and had circumcision at an early age, and I think the doctor messed up or something cause I have a really small penis.  The question is — does size actually matter to fully satisfy a woman?  My gal and I have been having sex, enjoying various positions.  She says she is happy and she actually does have an orgasm most times. She also does all she can to pleasure me to the highest during foreplay and even sometimes taking control of the sex.  But, since I’m on the smaller side I want to know does size matter cos my gal hasn’t had any other partners so she doesn’t know the difference.  We are happy together, but this is a matter of curiosity and maybe to help my gal explore something better.

Anonymous, in Mangalore, India

Dear Anonymous,

Penis size is an issue that is debated in the neuroses of men, but not so much for women, in my opinion.  You actually have several issues going on here, but allow me to address circumcision first.

Routine infant male circumcision and any female circumcision is not medically necessary and should be considered sexual assault, especially since the child cannot give informed consent to the procedure.  In males, circumcision can damage the penis head as well as the shaft, not just the foreskin.  So there may be a chance that the length of your penis has been “shortened” due to a botched circumcision that left the skin too tight.  Also, some reports say infant circumcision is responsible for 60% of erectile dysfunction in adult men.  Not to get on my anti-circ soapboax, but there are methods of foreskin restoration that might help loosen the skin of the penis so that your erections might become “fuller.”

You sound young to me, perhaps in your early 20′s, and since your girlfriend has not been with anyone else, I’ll assume she is also in that age range.  The fact that she orgasms at all during penetrative sex means you’re doing something right!  Female orgasm statistics consistently show that 70% of all women have never orgasmed during penetrative sex, with that percentage being lower for women in their 20′s.  The best way to make sure your woman orgasms is to be well-versed in female sexual anatomy.  There’s more to our genitals than just the clit or the G-spot, and so many more kinds of orgasms than just clitoral or vaginal.  (Just as there are more kinds of male orgasm than just penile/ejaculatory.)

Your concern over the size of your penis — when clearly, you’re doing just fine in the bedroom — may be a result of culture and media influence. What porn and media don’t explain is that the average length of the vagina for all women, regardless of height, build, ethnicity, or childbirth, is 3 to 4 inches.  When fully aroused, the vagina can expand in length by 50% and widens at the top, so the maximum length of the vagina is around 6 inches.

As a woman, I can testify that a penis that is too long (9-inches+) can hurt!  So being on the ” short” side (5-inches or less) when fully aroused is not a bad thing.  Remember, the vagina will only be about 6 inches when fully aroused.  You just have to know what positions work best for a smaller penis, such as woman-on-top.  If I had to choose a penis size, I’d go for a fat, thick penis over a long penis any day of the week.  But since penis size isn’t something I consider when choosing a sex partner, I suppose it doesn’t really matter.

Please note, however, that in order for a woman to be truly aroused and ready for sex, she needs at least 20 minutes of “foreplay” so that her own erectile tissues can begin to fill with blood as well.  This 20 to 30 minutes of arousal-play  also allows the woman’s mind to shift from mundane issues to relaxing into a sexual mode.

As for satisfying a woman fully, regardless of penis size, I’m assuming you have fingers, a mouth, a tongue, even a big toe, all of which can be used in the physical side of sexually satisfying a woman.  However, a woman’s most important sexual organ is her mind, that non-physical field that exists in the ether around the physical cranium.  Start with her mind, then engage her body, beginning with her skin, and her breasts (if she likes breast stimulation), and sensual massage.  Allowing the woman to relax into the moment is the most important step to help a woman orgasm.

Since you say she has orgasms “most” of the time, I’m assuming you have an orgasm every  time.  The activist part of me says the sex should not be over unless both  partners have at least one orgasm.  The horny woman part of me wonders why are you even entering her vagina with your penis if you haven’t already eaten her to a few orgasms with your mouth on her genitals?!  Oral sex on the woman is an almost guaranteed orgasm technique — your mouth sucking her clit and labia with a finger or two in the vagina and/or anus drives most women to passionate madness.

***As a shameless plug, I’m in the process of developing my own orgasm training method, so be sure to check back here for updates on when it’s ready.***

Experiment with positions and techniques that you both find interesting and arousing, and just enjoy the discovery of your own bodies and your sexual preferences.  Communication should be the foundation of your relationship anyway.  Keep in mind, that sex is supposed to be enjoyable and fulfilling, not a competition or a race.  Relax, experiment, discover.  If you love the journey, the destination is bound to be wonderful.

trish

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AskTrish: Bisexual Man Comes Out But Girlfriend is Now Jealous


Hey Trish @LibertarianJhon here, I recently came out to my girlfriend about me being bisexual and ever since then she has felt this pang of jealousy. She feels that now she not only has to compete with other women for my attention, but other men as well. I keep telling her I’m interested in only her but my voice seems to be falling on deaf ears. I feel like I’m losing her and I don’t know what to say anymore. Was hoping you could help me help her understand that she’s the only I want.

Jhon

Hey, Jhon!

This is an excellent question! Many people are now acknowledging their sexual identity as bisexual — as opposed to being hetero or gay/lesbian.  Trying to make sense of being attracted to both genders can raise a number of issues for the individual, their partner, and even their friends.

As someone who is also bisexual, I can attest that being open about your bisexuality is not easy.  Straight friends may feel more comfortable that you’re not “gay  gay” but still not understand how you can be attracted to both genders.  Your gay friends may accuse you of not being willing to “commit” to being “actually” gay — as if you’re trying to play both sides: one for society and one for how you really feel.  Ultimately, it does not matter what anyone else thinks about your bisexuality as long as you are  happy and comfortable in your own skin.

Self-identifying as bisexual and acting on your desires can be two different things.  You can be attracted to men and never have a relationship with a man, but still identify as bi.  Or as I once heard bisexuality explained, choosing between being with a man or a woman is like choosing between a redhead or a brunette — it’s just what you want at that moment.  Each person finds what is right for him or her, both in identity and in practice.

As for your girlfriend, she seems very insecure, and from your phrasing, I can only assume she was jealous and insecure before you dropped the bisexual bombshell.  Because I know some of your background already, I know that you are 24 and the two of you are in a long-distance relationship (that is important info, by the way).  Being apart can conjure all sorts of insecurities.  Now her mind is wandering with even more visions of infidelity in her head.  She probably spends most of her time worrying that you’re cheating on her with the entire population, not just the female half, and you probably spend most of your communications with her reassuring her that you’re faithful.  That is a one-sided relationship that is all about what she  wants and making her  happy, meanwhile you are miserable and feel helpless.

The unfortunate truth here is that you have explained who you are, and either she accepts you as you are or she does not.  You have explained how you feel about her, and either she believes you or she does not.  You cannot make her understand something she is unwilling to comprehend, and you cannot make her accept you completely if she will not.  If her reluctance is also based on her religious beliefs, that’s a whole other can of worms — and by the way, you can’t win that battle either.

You cannot change another person.  The person has to be in a place in his or her life to want to change; and the change that does happen occurs from within them.  Are you going to keep your life and happiness on hold for someone who is not in the same place emotionally or intellectually?

I can almost guarantee that if you stay in this relationship with this immature, insecure female, you will either hate her for being so rigid while she dominates and sabotages the relationship, or you will hate yourself for having been honest with yourself and for confiding your true self with her.  Always side with truth.  And if she can’t handle it, your relationship will only get more toxic.  She is not the only woman in the world, and it sounds to me like she needs to grow up, and you need to move on.

trish

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