When to Use Gender Neutral Pronouns

Gender Neutral

So a couple of weeks ago I decided that I was going to start getting out of the house more and start making an effort to meet new people and make new friends. When I was 18 I went out a lot in the city and the cross so I decided it was time to try another part of Sydney. I followed the rainbow road and ended up in Newtown of course. For all my fellow homosexuals birdcage on a Wednesday at sly fox and Girlthing on the first Friday of every month at the emperial hotel are fantastic places to go to meet all the LGBTQ souls in the village.

Now, the point of my article today. I’ve been meeting a lot of girls who have asked me to use the pronouns they/them when referring to them. I’ll be completely honest I had no idea what they were talking about when they asked me that, so I kindly asked them to explain. The person I spoke to told me they identify as both a male and female so instead of using he/she they preferred they/them. But, that was only one persons personal preference, there are people who don’t like gender labels, people who don’t identify as either sex, someone who identify them self as the opposite sex but doesn’t want to transition.. The list goes on but I think you all get the gist of it. If not though I found this awesome table on the internet that will definitely help!

If you still feel like at the end of this article you still don’t understand it all 100% I recommend popping into the google search bar they/them pronouns or Gender Neutral Pronouns and you’ll find a lot of information about it and even some stories from people who identify as they/them, it really helped me out so I’m sure it’ll do the same for you.

 

Gender Expression Terms
Graph: Gender Neutral Pronouns

 

At first I found it really hard to get used to saying the Gender Neutral Pronoun like they/them as a singular person because usually when we say it we are referring to a group of people and I feel like that is why it’s going to be hard for people to understand it, it’s breaking the “norm” and a lot of people will never see past that and that’s completely fine as well. Unfortunately though they will be offending the person they’re speaking to if they prefer gender neutral pronouns. Sometimes I must admit I do forget but I apologise and explain that I’m still getting used to it. It’s going to be even harder for someone who doesn’t use English as their first language, but as long as we can get this information out to people and they try to understand it then I feel like we are taking a step forward.

Now, I’ve found that a lot of people have added to their social media bios they/them so if you know the person then you should probably already know the nouns/pronouns they prefer.

But, there are a few ways to go about this if you don’t know the person you are speaking to. For example you could ask them “what pronouns do you prefer?” or if you’re too embarrassed to ask then to just use they/them, I feel like we should always use the pronouns and attempt to change the norm so that way when people ask why we are using them then we can go on to explain and hope that they will try to do the same and teach the next person they speak to.

I’m not sure if everyone is going to feel the same as me, but I’m going to start using they/them whenever I speak to anyone I meet in my personal life and work life. We serve a lot of different people every day and I’m sure there are plenty of people who have walked in that have preferred to be referred to as they/them but didn’t want to embarrass us so kept it quiet. I know there have been plenty of times when I’ve been out or even at work and someone has said he or “hey dude” and I’ve stayed quiet to save the embarrassment of that person, even if it did offend me and I’m sure there are plenty of people who have been through the same and can agree it’s not the greatest feeling.

I hope you have all enjoyed this read and if you had never heard about this before I hope this helped you understand Gender Neutral Pronouns a little bit.

 

About the Author: Elliana a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centre

What are Sexual Dysfunction Disorders?

Sexual function is often an important part of a relationship. This kind of physical intimacy brings couples closer together with passion and desire and allows for a particular bond that non-sexual partners can’t attain. When sexual dysfunction occurs within a relationship, it can dampen the passion and intimacy and ultimately put a strain on the relationship. For the most part sexual dysfunctions are not impossible to overcome, and even dysfunctions which are seemingly debilitating, does not mean that sexual intimacy needs to stop. A lot of people feel that all sexual activity involves penetrative sex and this is not the case. As such, and for the purpose of this article – we are not limiting the definition of sexual activity to penetrative sexual activity but including within that definition the ideas of sexual intimacy as the stimulation of the genitals, being naked together etc. This article will explore sexual dysfunction, types of sexual dysfunctions and how to overcome them to keep the passion alive in a relationship.

What is a Sexual Dysfunction?

Sexual activity occurs as a part of the body’s sexual response cycle and this is driven by desire, arousal and passion. This cycle involves three phases; excitement, plateau, orgasm. The body will undergo changes through each stage of the sexual response cycle indicating arousal and the first stage can include such physiological responses such as the hardening of nipples, increased blood flow to the genitals, increased heart rate and breathing, self-lubrication etc. The second phase will see the the responses to stage one increase and this will lead to stage three which is sexual climax which entails muscle contractions, ejaculation, sex flush etc. Sexual dysfunction is an issue which affects any of the above stages during sexual activity. Despite having a fairly common prevalence in society (40% of women and 32% of men) – sexual dysfunction is rarely spoken about, and as such it is subjected to grandiose claims by malicious companies offering all sorts of potions and cures which promises all sorts of sexual satisfactions without a guarantee in delivering those. This leaves many people struggling to reignite the passion in their relationships. So how do we move towards bringing back passion and intimacy and ultimately sexual satisfaction?

Couple Relaxing Together
Photo: Sexual Dysfunction Disorders – Sad Man

Types of Sexual Dysfunction

We can begin to answer that question by exploring the different types of sexual dysfunction and how it affects both men and women. Sexual dysfunction is traditionally separated into four categories.

  1. Desire Disorder: Defined as a lack of interest or a distinct lack of sexual desire, often referred to as a low libido. There are often significant issues surrounding the idea of a desire disorder and it is often overly medicated. The stigma is that male libido is thought of as being much higher than women and it is often thought to be ‘cured’ with potions and pills such as Viagra. The recent push for a female Viagra is also problematic as it will complicate the idea of a desire disorder. People will naturally have highs and lows in terms of their passion and desire levels and this can correlate with age, mental health, physical health, diet, stress and a whole range of issues. Often low libido is medicated without exploring potentially underlying factors within an individual or a couple. Generally, a medical diagnosis will indicate lower than ‘normal’ levels of estrogen in women, and testosterone in men. Not to be confused with Asexuality.
  2. Arousal Disorders: Defined as a body’s lack of response or an inability to become excited or aroused during sexual activity. This is not to be confused with the inability to obtain an erection for men, although this condition used to be classified as an arousal disorder, impotence is now considered to be an erectile dysfunction and not an arousal disorder. Men suffering from arousal disorder may still be able to gain and maintain an erection (or partial, or none) but the primary factor to an arousal disorder in a male is that they will often receive little to no pleasure in a sexual activity. For females, an arousal disorder can often not become sufficiently lubricated, or no natural lubrication will be released at all.
  3. Orgasm Disorders: Defined as a significant delay to orgasm, or an inability to orgasm at all. A delayed orgasm, especially in a male, may not necessarily be attributed to an orgasm disorder, but it is generally diagnosed when an orgasm is not obtained, or that it is obtained far beyond normal time expectations. The issue with this is the idea of what is normal. For females, it is generally likened to anorgasmia, or having an ability to gain an orgasm only when certain conditions are met. A variety of factors can create orgasm disorders and these could be illnesses, medications, repeated drug use, or physical factors.
  4. Pain Disorders: Defined as experiencing pain during sexual activity. This category is primarily restricted to women, though men can experience pain during sex if they suffer from a form of priapism, or engage in risky sexual activity which tears the membranes of the penis. In women, the majority of pain related disorders are as a result of insufficient lubrication. The result is that excess friction can tear and disrupt the delicate walls of the vagina and bring forth pain. Anxiety as a result of trauma, bad sexual experience or some other event causing anxiety. Pain may also be caused by a the condition vaginismus – which is a disorder in which the muscles of the vagina will sporadically spasm involuntarily during sexual activity.

We are familiar with the idea that sexual functioning and the passion within a relationship changes over time and that’s not to say sex and passion no longer exist, just that it has manifested into something that differs from the beginning of a relationship. These disorders may exist from the beginning of sexual experimentation, or they may develop after a significant event, or they may develop naturally over the course of time. The reasons for these changes have been well documented and can include relationship quality, a persons age, time together, mental well-being, health and a variety of other factors as well. Unfortunately, when it comes to thinking about and discussing sexual dysfunction, the majority of people will generally throw it in one of two categories – erectile dysfunction for men, and low libido for women, effectively rendering other forms of dysfunction silent. This is problematic, it places undue pressure on men and women in terms of their sexual function – it is more problematic in women as there appears to be a distinct lack of ‘treatment’ options. Since the causes for female dysfunction are poorly understood the treatments suggesting a cure aren’t necessarily effective in their one size fits all approach. Indeed a recent study by Ph.D candidate Annika Gunst, which was published in Psychological Medicine Journal, examined the relationship between relationship status and female sexual desire. The report concluded through studying over 2,000 Finnish women that passion and sex drive was influenced by the length of a relationship. Whilst this study has indicated one potential issue, when it comes to sexual function it is largely misunderstood and a highly stigmatised hot topic. In our next article we will look at ways of overcoming sexual dysfunction and bringing back the passion into the bedroom.

Thoughts about Sex Dolls

Sex Dolls on Bed

There are certainly lots of fascinating items for sale in our sex stores, and I have what I call my bucket list. It’s a list of the things around the store that make me wonder “Wow, do people really buy that? Or “what the hell is that even for?’ well I didn’t have to work here for very long to find out that people do buy absolutely everything we sell. As for what everything was for, thankfully Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centre staff are brimming with knowledge about everything sex related and have turned out to be a much better resource.

I have a peculiar soft spot for the sex dolls, they are one of the only things in the store I have not sold for its designed purpose. (At least not knowingly) I have only sold them as gag gifts. For to me they are synonymous with what I thought of as a sex toy when I was young. I bought one myself actually a few years ago and attempted to fashion a shower curtain out of it.

Surely guys aren’t blowing up these plastic things and fucking them! What about the seam for god sake? It would be like sticking your dick in an inside out freezer bag!

Sex Dolls are not what the used to be though, technology has made them extremely life like. The more life like they become though, the more I am freaked out by them. The same can’t be said for everyone though. There is a large community of mainly men out there getting way more from their dolls than sex. These guys are forming genuine emotional attachments to their dolls and sharing their lives with them, to most this would be even weirder than the fact that they fuck them.

Some of the most realistic Sex Dolls nowadays can cost thousands and thousands of dollars they come with custom built orifices.  The Sex Dolls have removable vaginas, eyes that can be manipulated and interchangeable, magnetised faces. They have bodies covered in high tech silicone and can have metal movable skeletons that can be positioned at whim. Gone are the days when all the wannabe doll screwers had to choose was basically a beach ball with a face, and every time they penetrated the thing it popped! They are already making robotic ones that can talk back and companies are utilizing all the AI technology they have at their real life fingertips.

 

Blow Up Porn Sex Doll
Sex Toy: Bonnie Rotten Collection Fantasy Fuck Doll

 

The ultimate aim is to get the Sex Dolls to talk back and interact, but having read the websites for the dolls and delved into the forums. The product is clearly marketed to and used by men who want a partner that never answers back. They extol the virtues of sharing your life with someone who listens to you unconditionally when you talk about your bad day. A doll that never looks like she has let herself go, a perfectly giving and understanding, non-judgmental girlfriend. The men are sold the dolls as having hearts aren’t cold like real women, although their bodies are, that is unless you purchase warming devices, (yes they can have heating systems).  You could argue that they are just like a super-almost-human version of a fleshlight and funnily enough the inventor of the Flesh light, Steve Shubin, was after a patent a few years back to make a lubricating vagina.

The Sex Dolls are mainly used by males, but not exclusively. You can purchase realistic sex dolls for only a few thousand bucks! According to “Real Doll” (the Ferrari of doll makers), they are mostly bought by gay guys. It is well worth checking out what the dolls look like. I even joined the doll club on the Real Doll site so that I could have a proper snoop around and see what makes these ‘Idollotras’ tick (I think I made that word up). Jolly interesting it was too.

Japanese people love Sex Dolls, this didn’t surprise me, and neither did the fact that they have Doll brothels, with doll prostitutes, One Japanese man even made a sex doll that doubles as a drinking fountain. I thought that was quite cool.

I have watched a couple of great documentaries about Sex Dolls. One involved a married couple in the UK who own hundreds of dolls, they live in a little suburban house and the dolls are all arranged doing normal stuff, just having dinner with them and watching TV. The couple say they don’t ever have sex with the dolls.  Frankly, just hanging out with them, is probably even more disturbing than fucking them.  We all know the British and Japanese are well known for their kinks, but it isn’t either of these countries that are major purchasers of these dolls. The Philippines come in at number one closely followed by…..Australia! Yes!  Sydney and Melbourne beat any city in the world including any in America. These dolls are out there amongst us right now stealing our men!

You may not see them though because it is actually illegal to fondle Sex Dolls in public. A guy in the US was arrested in a shop car park for making out with one.  Some of these dolls are criminals too. Their cunning owners strap them into car seats next to them so they can sneak into the carpool lanes. They are not all on the wrong side of the law though, some are out there protecting their owners from being burgled when on holiday by staying home and guarding the house.

In 2011 one Australian couple were saved from drowning when they clung onto their blow up Sex Doll and Australian officials amusingly issued a statement that sex dolls “are not recognised flotation devices.”

The Sex Doll documentaries out there on this subject are fascinating and well worth a look, there is also the movie with Ryan Gosling, Lars and the Real girl. The advances in technology I mentioned, both with robotics and Artificial intelligence mean that these dolls are going to get more and more realistic. ‘Westworld’ may not be just a science fiction series on Netflix in 100 years’ time. It might be actual science. The creators at Real Doll are already creating dolls that talk back to you.

 

About the Author: Emily is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

 

Review: Fun Factory B Balls

Fun Factory B Balls Men Anal Toys

Fun Factory is easily the most eye catching brand in the store the colourful and quirky designs aren’t easily overlooked but one of their incredible products often is! The Fun Factory B Balls are such an understated product especially since they are extremely unique. It’s obvious that Fun Factory have drawn inspiration from the classic weighted Kegel balls or their own smart balls. The weighted balls sit inside hollow ABS plastic spheres as the wearer moves the balls provide a vibrational like feedback.

The Fun Factory B Balls are quite like the popular bouncer in butt plug form. They come in two sizes the Uno and Duo. So there is a size for every anal enthusiast from beginner to experienced! Fun Factory B Balls are a hybrid of anal beads, jiggle balls and butt plugs! Their design is spectacular as there are limited designs like the Uno available and I’m yet to find any product featuring two orbs like the duo! Uno and Duo Both feature a tapered tip for easy insertion and a semi flexible neck to make wear more comfortable.

The weighted internal balls are encased in hard plastic spheres which are permanently fixed in Fun Factory’s signature silicone. The silicone casing gives the toy a bit of texture around the weighted ball areas but this is the downfall of an otherwise fantastic sex toy as it does make clean up a bit tedious as special care will need to be taken in the grooves where the ABS plastic is exposed.

The T bar base which is predominant on all of Fun Factory’s anal plugs also featured on the Fun Factory B Balls. The base fits securely and easily between the cheeks providing complete discretion and enough comfort for all day wear. Both the Uno and duo are safe to wear all day but the Uno’s smaller stature makes for a great all day plug especially if you are just starting out in anal play and feel the length and size of the Duo may be a bit cumbersome for long term wear.

Fun Factory Smartball UNO Kegel Balls
Sex Toy: Fun Factory Smartball UNO

 

Fun Factory Uno is a small single orbed version of the Fun Factory B Balls, its small stature makes it more plug like and perfect to use as an anal Kegel work out! The pubococcygeus or pelvic floor stretches out like a hammock from pubic bone to the tailbone supporting the pelvic organs such as the bladder and rectum. The benefits for women are widely publicised but as for men’s pelvic floor health and exercises there is not as much information available. A healthier pelvic floor for men aids in achieving a more erect penis due to the improved blood flow. Erections are bettered and therefore they will be longer lasting, firmer, and they help to indirectly make the penis bigger! Regular pelvic floor exercises can help men gain better control over their orgasms and therefore they have an enhanced sexual stamina. The pelvic floor helps to support and control the bladder so practising Kegel exercises can alleviate urinary incontinence. Those that suffer from an inflammation of the prostate (prostatitis) will have relief from the symptoms when the practice Kegel exercises.

  1. Warm up! Lube up the B Ball and insert it. You can use a premium silicone based lube like SuperSlyde!
  2. Count to five and contract the muscles in your anus around the base and lift! avoid using your butt, thighs or stomach muscles
  3. Hold and count to five! And finally relax those muscles!
  4. Repeat 10 times and when you feel yourself getting stronger you can step it up to 20 reps!
  5. Doing 10-20 reps 3-4 times a day you should see results!

Now men can get all the enjoyment of Kegel balls that women do when exercising their pelvic floor muscles!

Duo has two stacked balls the first one being minimally smaller than the second one for easy insertion and maximum stimulation. They are much longer and boast that they will give you an undeniable sense of pleasure and especially fullness during use. Being much longer than the Uno, the Duo is a better length for prostate stimulation with the right hip wiggles a hands free orgasm can be achieved.

Uno and Duo can both be worn during sexual intercourse or masturbation sessions but you can up the the stakes by pressing your favourite wand on the base to provide an extremely intense sensation.  Whether it be Uno or Duo these plugs are perfect when providing some extra internal vibrations during a spanking session. The Fun Factory B Balls are great for solo or coupled play!

 

About the Author: Amy is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

 

Review: NU Sensuelle Pleasure Panty

Vibrating Pleasure Panties

The Pleasure Panty from the NU Sensuelle range made by adult sex toy manufacturer Novel Creations has just been released. The Novel Creations NU Sensuelle range are one of our favourite brands in the store! Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres currently have a several cute underwear vibrators on our shelves but Nu Sensuelle Pleasure Panty is gorgeous, functional and beautifully presented. The Nu Sensuelle Pleasure Panty are my new favourite!

The Nu Sensuelle Pleasure Panty knickers are black and lacey. Speaking of the knickers, I think they are great and will suit most people. Although lacey, they don’t have tons of frills and flounces, they’re just made of nice black lace and the sides tie up and are made of plain black satiny ribbon so they will fit a large range of sizes. You can’t go far wrong with black on most people so I think that’s a good colour choice. The crotch piece has a soft cotton pocket to put the bullet in which will feel more comfortable against the delicate genital area than lace alone would.

The colour’s of the remote and bullet comes in two colours including pink and purple. Now about the vibrations of the bullet. This is a typical Sensuelle sex toy and that always means power, quality, comfort and waterproofiness (Okay, I made that word up). It has 15 functions which seem like a good solid number! 10 modes is a great number of functions but feels pretty normal now seeing as most products have 7-10 modes. Whereas 20 seems like overkill to me. 15 is the perfect number, not to many to choose from and you will most likely find a whole bunch of modes that you will love! Compared to the We-Vibe Tango that only has 8 modes and is the only competing bullet that is similar to the NU Sensuelle Bullet.

Nu Sensuelle Vibrating Pleasure Panties
Sex Toy: Nu Sensuelle Pleasure Panty in Purple

Nu Sensuelle Pleasure Panty bullet is made out of high grade body safe silicone and is rechargeable. Inside the box you will find a charging cord for each of the bullet and the remote. The bullet and remote are both easy to use. Before use, we recommend to give both the bullet and remote a good long charge so you will not have any interruptions during play time. The recharging function means that it is also quieter then most other sex toys, especially the ones that use batteries.

On the bottom of the bullet is the power on and off button. Before starting the vibrations with the remote, you’ll need to press the power button for a long second or two. The power button will light up blue when it is turned on. Next press the + button on the remote and the bullet will begin vibrating. A small blue light will come on the remote when you press any of the controlling buttons so if the light doesn’t come on then the remote probably needs more charging time. Subsequently presses of the + button will increase the power and the middle button (which has wavy lines on it) will change the function to other vibration patterns. Pressing the – button will decrease the intensity and a long press of the – button at any time will turn the vibrations off. To turn the whole toy off at the end of play however, also press the power button on the actual bullet again until the light turns off.

This Nu Sensuelle Pleasure Panty is basically all the cool things about Sensuelle’s regular rechargeable remote bullet but just with the added bonus of having a functional panties. They did make an upgrade,  the remote is nicer, feels nicer, looks nicer, is rechargeable and easier to use. Buying the bullet on it’s own is only a fraction less, but if you buy the Nu Sensuelle Pleasure Panty you will get the remote and knickers to which will be a lot of fun especially if you enjoy your clitoris being stimulated by different methods! It doesn’t cost heaps more so it does make a better choice to buy really. You can still use the bullet separately so it makes sense to get the panty viberator option rather than just the plain version. The versatility is a big plus in the Nu Sensuelle Pleasure Panty and I think Novel Creations have another winner here!

This video shows a different Sensuelle Bullet to the one provided in the Nu Sensuelle Pleasure Panty.

About the Author: Jade a sales consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

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