10 Pleasurable Sex Bucket List Ideas For 2018

Happy couple of a sex bucket list

A new job, more money, a healthier diet and a fitter body. I cringe a little inside when I hear of people with only these ambitions for the New Year. Sure, it is all well and good to have goals to achieve and I, like many others, sure could be eating more kale and goji berries! My cringing however comes from the fact that I see countless people getting so caught up with superficial aspirations, completely missing the things in life that truly make us feel real joy and pleasure.

Sex bucket list for 2018
Image: New years sex bucket list

With this in mind, I propose several intentions that will feature on my 2018 bucket list which I believe are worthy of my utmost dedication. As I said, it is great to have realistic goals regarding work, diet and money etc. but be sure to add a few of these to your list to really expand the authentic happiness and love in your life.

Continue to develop a more loving relationship with myself

I believe this one will remain on my list for the remainder of my life because I always feel there are so many areas in my life where I can be more accepting and compassionate to myself. I desire to support, respect and love myself as I go through all the experiences that this coming year has in store for me.

Spend more time with friends and loved ones

At the end of the day, love and connection are the most important things in my life so making time to nurture my relationships with friends and family is high on my list. With this I also welcome in new connections with amazing people.

Couple holding hands
Image: Loving relationships

Continue to grow and explore new ways of relating with my partner

I am grateful to be in an amazing relationship with my favourite person in the world and nurturing this is a high priority that requires a conscious commitment and dedication. I will continue to love, respect, honour and support my man as we enter into this new year together.

Do more Kegel exercises

We exercise our legs, glutes, arms and abs however when it comes to our vaginas, they are far too often neglected. This can lead to a whole host of health issues down the track including incontinence and vaginal prolapse. To avoid these, I intend to commit to regular Kegel exercises. As well as better health outcomes, regular Kegel exercises can result in more intense and pleasurable orgasms. For this alone, it seems insane not to do them!!

Be more creative

Sexual energy is a powerful creative energy with which we can use to manifest whatever we desire in our lives. In 2018, I intend to channel my sexual energy into manifesting things that bring happiness, whether that be in the work I create as a Sexologist or time and money to go travelling.

Naked woman covering her breasts
Image: Naked woman

Self-pleasure more consciously

Instead of using self-pleasuring as an unconscious release, stress reliever or boredom filler, I desire to take the time for myself to have a more mindful and sensual self-pleasuring practice. This requires a commitment to take time for myself often, which for self-pleasuring shouldn’t be too much of a struggle for me to do!

Wear my Dom hat

As well as an amazing outlet to live out fantasies and desires, sex is a powerful way to push edges. What we play out sexually also has a ripple effect to the rest of our lives and for this reason I would like to explore my dominant side. Being submissive is an easeful place for me to be in many areas of my life yet I know that there is so much pleasure to be felt in a more dominant role. Despite it terrifying me at times, I commit to stepping into my dominant self more often and seeing what changes in my life as a result… stay tuned!

Woman dressed in Domintrix gear
Image: Dominatrix

Try new things

Sexual exploration is an enormous playground with amazing things to try. Human beings have come up with such unique ways of expressing their sexuality, I am sure the list would be guaranteed to last you a lifetime! I desire to keep on stepping outside my comfort zone in 2018, hopefully to experience greater excitement, pleasure and joy through sexual experimentation.

Tie and be tied more often

My partner and I met because of our interest in Shibari, with rope bondage being one of my favourite things to do with him. Life can get hectic at times and these kinds of things get pushed to the side so for 2018, I desire to commit to more rope tying play with him (Instead of weekly “Date Night” it will be “Shibari Night”-Genius!!)

Buy a sex swing

Need I say more? Curiosity has me wondering how good hoisting up a sex swing on my back deck could be and quite simply, I cannot think of a reason why this shouldn’t be on my list…can you?!

Couple using a sex swing
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Author: Stephanie Curtis- BA Nursing

Meet the newest member to our team of experts. Stephanie Curtis is a sexologist with a huge capacity to care. Involved in spirituality and tantra her articles are professional, articulate and interesting. Enjoy Steph’s writings at the adultsmart sexual wellness and health blog.

Orgasmic Childbirth, Is It Really Possible?

Orgasming during childbirth

When you think of child birth, chances are the words “orgasmic”, “pleasurable” and “blissful” do not come to mind. Hollywood has done a spectacular job of conditioning people to believe that childbirth is a crazy and traumatic experience for all women. Just think of what you have seen in the movies and television shows – The sweaty, screaming woman lashing out at her partner, hesitant and in pain wishing that the experience would just be over with… the woman being rushed into an emergency ward, thrown into a wheelchair by an anxious nurse and taken to a room where her legs are pried open with stirrups as she brings a child into the world accompanied with agonizing screams. If this has been your only exposure to child birth, you may be quite sceptical when I tell you that some women’s experiences of giving birth have been extremely pleasurable.

Woman hugging partner during childbirh
Image: Woman Hugging Partner

Debra Pascali-Bonaro the founder of the Orgasmic Birth movement and creator of the documentary describes Orgasmic Birth as the following:

“Orgasmic Birth can be the blissful waves in between contractions. One can enter this altered state and ride the waves of sensation, expanding into the pleasure and increasing sexual energy and the hormones consuming one’s being. Riding the wave creates a peaceful, total body sensation that lingers as energy is exchanged between you, your baby and your partner. Birthing in love is a state of filling your entire body and being with oxytocin, the love hormone, and surrendering to the power within.”

It sounds a little bit esoteric reading the description however after watching some interviews and doing some research, I discovered that a pleasurable birth is a very realistic and achievable experience for many women based on science. Orgasmic birth does not necessarily mean having an orgasm whilst giving birth (although this is a possibility for some women). The idea behind an orgasmic birth is to surrender to the body’s natural ability to give birth blissfully.

Newborn baby with mother
Image: Woman Kissing Baby

Western Society’s Views On Childbirth

For some time in western society, child birth has been viewed as a stressful medical emergency requiring specialised intervention from surgeons. I completely understand the need for medical intervention in certain situations where the mother or child are at risk of complications and I am incredibly grateful to live in a time where mother and infant mortality is preventable in the majority of cases. I do however see that many woman have been convinced that all instances of child birth are to be medicalised with this certainly not being the case. Women’s bodies are made to give birth, heck they’ve been doing it since the beginning of human existence!!

The Feelings Of Shame With Orgasmic Childbirth

Upon reading comments on many of the orgasmic videos I viewed, what struck me most was the divide between people’s opinions of this experience. Shame around sexual energy when giving birth was rampant, with some people mentioning paedophilia and how wrong it was to give birth whilst having an orgasm. I understand that a pleasurable birth goes against what many people have been taught is “normal” however isn’t sexual energy what conceives a child to begin with? Would it not be a beautiful experience for a child to be born into this world from a mother who is in joy and pleasure rather than pain and agony? There is nothing wrong or perverted about a woman in pleasure during childbirth. The idea that woman have no other option but to suffer throughout childbirth is false and out-dated. Experiencing pleasure is the birthright of every person on this planet so if pleasure during childbirth is a possibility, I believe all women must be made aware.

Newborn baby who had a water birth
Image: Water Birth

The Documented Experiences Of Orgasmic Childbirth

Although a rarely documented experience in peer-reviewed medical literature, there have been numerous reports of pleasurable experiences with birthing children. Orgasmic birth has occurred unexpectedly with some women, others have done months of preparation to get their body & mind in the space to have this experience. From what I have read and what I have come to know about women, trusting one’s intuition and bodily wisdom is the gateway to an ecstatic birth. Instead of been confined to a hospital bed lying on one’s back, some women need to allow their bodies to take over and guide them during childbirth – this could mean being in a range of different positions, making sounds, breathing and moving the body intuitively. Human beings are mammals and like all species of animals, we have an innate knowing of what needs to be done to birth a child. Coming back to trusting our body requires dedication and commitment however the repercussions of this during birth can be phenomenal.

The Orgasmic Birth Movement

What resonates most about the Orgasmic Birth movement for me is that the founders advocate for woman having a right to choose how they give birth rather than needing to follow the western status quo of childbirth needing to occur in a hospital bed. They do not judge women who choose to have caesarean’s or medicated births, they are simply opening people’s minds to the potential of other ways. It is important that women have this awareness and are encouraged to make an empowered decision based on their specific circumstances rather than being left to believe that there is only one way of having a child. After childbirth, you can use Kegel Exercisers to strengthen your pelvic floor muscles.

Author: Stephanie Curtis- BA Nursing

Meet the newest member to our team of experts. Stephanie Curtis is a sexologist with a huge capacity to care. Involved in spirituality and tantra her articles are professional, articulate and interesting. Enjoy Steph’s writings at the adultsmart sexual wellness and health blog.

Are You Struggling With Sex And Shame? Let’s Chat

The sex talk

Working in an adult store, I am grateful to have met people from all walks of life. From 18 year olds to 80 year olds, I have engaged in conversations with people who have a range of beliefs and values in regards to sexuality and sexual expression. Some people are really open to discussing all things sex related with me, others cannot even make eye contact with me the entire time they are in the store. I see many people who feel embarrassed simply by being in the store and despite my own comfortability with sex, I empathise with them because it hasn’t always been this way for me.

My Insights Of Sex And Shame Working In An Adult Store

Shame around sex is widespread in our society, with many misperceptions of what kind of people would visit an adult store. The most loathed question I get asked when people know I work in an adult store is “Do you get lots of weirdoes coming in?” It is funny that this is often asked by people who are coming into the store themselves! Often, I feel like asking “Does the fact that you’re in here make you a weirdo?” but I refrain as I do not wish to offend others. I see this question as a perfect opportunity to educate people and destigmatise the sex industry. A study completed by asexual expert Anthony F Bogaert in 2004 estimated that approximately 1% of the world’s population is asexual (i.e. has no desire for sex). This means that 99% of human beings in the world are in one way or another, sexual beings. I understand that many people have ideas about what kind of people would buy sex toys but the truth of the matter is, the desire for sex is not reserved for a small group of “weirdoes”- almost everyone likes sex and exploring its possibilities using sex toys is enjoyable for countless people!

How Crucial The Need To Normalise Sex Is

Working in this environment is not just about selling sex toys like many people would think. My role involves getting people to feel comfortable discussing a very intimate area of their lives so that I can help them in the most effective way possible. This can be challenging at times, especially when people are so engrained with the belief that sex is dirty or wrong. Having people open up to me about sex requires me to feel extremely comfortable with my own sexuality otherwise it is an awkward conversation for all involved. I feel that this is where some parents go wrong when talking to their kids about sex. They wonder why their children or teenagers cringe when they bring up the topic when they themselves are cringing inside when talking about it to them. Talking about sex to anyone in a personal or professional context requires a great level of comfort in your own sexuality.

Couple kissing in bed
Image: Couple Kissing

As well as customers coming in buying sex toys and sexual health products to assist them to have a pleasurable experience, I have many people coming into the Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres who have been referred by doctors and specialists. Penis pumps and cock rings are often recommended to men post-prostate surgery, menopausal women who have issues lubricating naturally frequently require personal lubricant when having sex and women with weak pelvic floor muscles benefit from using Kegel exercisers which we sell in store (In my opinion, every single woman should be using them-just saying!!). This group of people can be the most terrified, with many of them never imagining the possibility of entering an adult store until their doctor recommended them to. I really love that I have an opportunity to demystify adult stores for them and often see them coming back curious to expand this new-found world.

Gender of staff is something I have found interesting to notice customer’s reactions to. I get many women coming into an Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centre telling me how relieved they are that there is a woman behind the counter. On the flip side, I have had some men express their discomfort talking to me about sex because of fear of saying something inappropriate because I am a woman. We are often taught to only discuss sex amongst people of the same gender which I believe is limiting the potential of amazing conversations with others. My male friends offer me a unique perspective of sex that comes from the fact that they are men and for that I am so grateful to be able to talk to them about it. All the men and women who work in the Oh Zone Adult Lifetsyle Centres are super friendly, non-judgemental and more than willing to assist anyone of any gender, age or sexual orientation in finding products that suit their unique needs. It can be a really confidence boosting experience talking frankly about sex with someone of the opposite gender when we have been discouraged from doing so in the past hence why I encourage you to push your comfort zone and try it one day.

Sex toy shopping and shame
Image: Shame And Sex

At times, I feel sad and disheartened that in this day and age sex is still a somewhat shameful aspect of the human experience. However, with so many beautiful, healing, pleasurable and exciting possibilities existing in our sex lives, I relish the fact that I get to work in an area that encourages freedom, acceptance and openness with our sexuality. For me, nothing compares to the feeling of seeing people light up when given the opportunity to be transparent about such an intimate part of their lives.

Author: Stephanie Curtis- BA Nursing

Meet the newest member to our team of experts. Stephanie Curtis is a sexologist with a huge capacity to care. Involved in spirituality and tantra her articles are professional, articulate and interesting. Enjoy Steph’s writings at the adultsmart sexual wellness and health blog.

Top 4 Lubricant Recommendations For Women In 2017

Woman who needs personal lubricant

As a woman, I understand that it can be a bit of a challenge finding the perfect personal lubricant. There exists so many brands on the market that it is an overwhelming endeavour if you have no idea what exactly you are searching for. The pH balance of a woman’s vagina is very fragile, with caution around what goes in and near there necessary to maintain a healthy balance. For women, especially those that are prone to vaginal infections and thrush, I recommend investing in a good quality lubricant free of nasty ingredients. Your body will thank you for it! I have compiled a list of my favourite personal lubricants that I recommend for women, perfect for a range of needs.

Intimate Earth Hydra & Defense

It is not a coincidence that I have included Intimate Earth Glide first off – This brand is my absolute favourite! Intimate Earth products are made in the USA and include organic ingredients. Both Hydra and Defense are vegan, glycerine and paraben free.

Hydra is a natural plant cellulose with minimal smell and a really nice glide to it. This is a great product for a woman looking for a simple lubricant that can be used for vaginal and anal sex with sex toys.

Defense includes tea tree oil, giving it a stronger fragrance which I personally love. Tea tree oil has natural antibacterial qualities which gives this lubricant a protective quality. The Carrageenan Sea Kelp and Guava Bark Anti-Bacterial extract found in this lubricant is said to be used for anti-yeast infection and HPV protection. Without reading peer-reviewed research, I am reluctant to validate these claims however it is an amazing lubricant for many other reasons including the smooth texture.

I find these lubricants do not go sticky or tacky like many other water based lubricants however the only down side would be that frequent reapplication is necessary.

Personal lubricant for women
Image: Intimate Earth Hydra and Defense

JO For Her Agape Water Based Personal Lubricant

Coming in at a very close second place, JO For Her Agape Water Based Personal Lubricant is an incredible product that never lasts long in the Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres due to its popularity. JO Agape is Glycerin, Glycol and Paraben free making it a great option for most women. The formula is on the slightly thin side with a super silky glide. I have found this lubricant to be very long lasting compared to many other water based products on the market. A big thumbs up from me!

Water based lubricant
Image: Joe Agape

Pjur Woman & Nude

I know that it is a bit of a generalisation but the people of Germany sure know how to make great sex toys and lifestyle products! Pjur is one of the most well know personal lubricant brands, with the Pjur Original Silicone Based Lubricant one of the best sellers in the Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres. Pjur Woman is a tweaked version of the Pjur Original silicone lubricant, with the slightly gentler formula perfect for many women. Silicone lubricant is great for sex and massage however can only be used with glass or steel sex toys. Unlike water based lubricants, your skin does not absorb silicone lubricant therefore it needs to be washed off with soap and water and can stain sheets so be mindful when using it. A study also showed that some women have a higher chance of having a negative reaction to silicone lubricant compared with water-based so be mindful of this when trying it. Silicone lubricant is great but does not suit every woman.

Pjur Woman Nude is a water based lubricant that I have reviewed previously and have only good things to say about. Free of parabens and glycerine, Nude is a perfect accompaniment to your sex drawer. It can be used with most sex toys too. A little bit goes a long way with this fantastic lubricant.

Lube for women
Image: Pjur Woman And Nude

Wildfire Black All Over Pleasure Oil

Wildfire All Over Pleasure Oils are my favourite multi-purpose massage oils, made in Australia from 100% natural ingredients. The Black bottle take precedence on my bedside drawer, with this oil great to use as lubricant, massage, bath and body oil. The Black contains fragrant essential oils such as Ylang Ylang, Patchouli and Bergamot along with natural aphrodisiacs like Maca and Horny Goat Weed. It is important that if you are using latex condoms, anything oil based will disintegrate the material making them almost useless. Just with silicone lubricant, oil is only to be used with glass or steel toys. Keep this in mind if using Wildfire Oil as lubricant and be mindful that oil will stain the sheets! A hot tip for you – Mix the Wildfire Pleasure Oil with some warm coconut oil to make it go further when using it for massage.

Every woman’s body is unique and will react differently to each of these products. I suggest trying on a small patch of skin first to ascertain if you have any reactions. If during or after use of these products you experience any unusual symptoms, please cease using them. It is definitely not worth pushing through if your body has a negative reaction to any product. Oh and don’t worry gentleman, despite these products being recommended for women, they are perfectly safe for men too!

Wildfire Pleasure Oil Black Photo
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Author: Stephanie Curtis- BA Nursing

Meet the newest member to our team of experts. Stephanie Curtis is a sexologist with a huge capacity to care. Involved in spirituality and tantra her articles are professional, articulate and interesting. Enjoy Steph’s writings at the adultsmart sexual wellness and health blog.

I Gave Up Clitoral Orgasms For 21 Days!

Woman engaging in solo masturbation

The clitoris is an amazing body part, its sole purpose for existing intended to make women feel good and provide them pleasure. I have spoken to many women and for the most part, compared with vaginal or cervical orgasms, clitoral orgasms are the most commonly experienced. For many women orgasms are easily attainable with vibrator stimulation or manual stimulation which are some of the main ways women reach a peak clitoral orgasm.

Diagram of the clitoris
Image: The Clitoris

If you are a woman and have experienced a clitoral orgasm, you may question why anyone would want to give them up. For numerous reasons, which I will attempt to explain, I decided to give myself a break from clitoral induced orgasms for three weeks. Sounds a little crazy however I received many benefits from this exploration that have changed the way I look at self-pleasuring and sex. Here is an insight into my experience:

A couple of weeks leading into the decision to avoid clitoral orgasms for 21 days, I had noticed some changes in the way I was self-pleasuring and having sex with my partner. Now for many people I am sure these changes would not have been anything too concerning however my area of personal growth centres around my sexuality and sexual energy so for the most part, I have a clear awareness in regards to changes in myself sexually.

Sex was beginning to become goal oriented, with an orgasm the main focus during my love making sessions with my man. This seemed to be some old patterns and ways of being that were resurfacing which I was finding frustrating. I found myself not being completely present and embodied during my experiences being intimate with him, which ultimately took away from the connection we share. It is also an interesting thing to know that whilst I was focused on an orgasm, which at the time seemed like the ultimate in pleasure, I was actually missing out on a copious amount of pleasure. Seeking takes us out of our bodies and into our minds which is where we spend way too much time to begin with. In my orgasm reaching state, I knew that I was denying myself from feeling a great amount of pleasure which is naturally occurring when I am present in my body and with my partner.

The existence of sex addiction is a highly debatable notion, with some individuals claiming addiction to sex is not viable. From my personal perspective and from the research I have read, you can absolutely be addicted to sex-in fact you can be addicted to anything! Addiction is the continuous completion of a certain behaviour which comes from a compulsion rather than a conscious decision. The reasons behind this can be vast, with avoidance of certain emotions and fear of the unknown being some triggers for addictive behaviours. Leading up to my 21-day clitoral-orgasm free period, I had been having experiences with self-pleasuring where having clitoral orgasms was done in an addictive manner. I was using them as a way of escaping certain emotions, with a mindlessness and lack of consciousness followed by guilt and shame some of my personal indicators that the way I was self-pleasuring was becoming unhealthy. It was becoming an escape rather than a beautiful self-loving experience hence why I decided to go a time without them.

My experience was very interesting, with some pretty low points in the first few days. I felt a fogginess and lack of clarity up until about day 5, with low libido and irritability some of the accompanying side effects to my lack of orgasms. Going without clitoral orgasms meant that I was not having any orgasms as I had become extremely dependant on clitoral stimulation to achieve climax. This brought about feelings of frustration and annoyance. I would get bored quite early on during sex with my partner when I remembered that sex was off the cards, with a 20-minute session the most I could handle the first few days. I couldn’t even bring myself to masturbate for the first week as I didn’t trust myself enough to not go to my clitoris to reach orgasm.

Couples engaging in tantric sex
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The doom and gloom did not stay for long, and as the days went on, I started to notice a growing sensitivity when having sex with my partner. I was feeling more pleasure in my vagina from penetration alone, with the lack of clitoral stimulation meaning I could focus more on those sensations rather than being distracted by the more intense feelings from the clitoris. This meant I was able to experience vaginal orgasms for the first time in a long time which were extremely pleasurable and definitely worth the wait! Taking away clitoral orgasms also meant that without a goal to get somewhere, I could fully relax into the experience with my man without being distracted by the “end result” of what we were doing. We could connect on a deeper level from a place of just enjoying being close with each other for the hell of it. No expectations, no goal, no having to get somewhere-just pure pleasure, love and fun.

Don’t get me wrong, there was certainly times when I was frustrated that I could not have a peak orgasm. This 21 days however reminded me that sex and self-pleasuring is not some task to complete, it is not something to check off our to do list. Sex and self-pleasuring is a beautiful opportunity to drop in and enjoy feeling close to ourselves or another person. I don’t know if I will go to the full extent of taking away clitoral orgasms for 21-days again but I do know that I am committed to maintaining an awareness of how I am self-pleasuring and having sex so that I can keep expanding into depths of greater pleasure, connection and joy with myself and my partner.  To make things even more interesting, did you know that there are 6 different types of female orgasms?

Le clitoris – Animated Documentary (2016) by Lori Malépart-Traversy:

Author: Stephanie Curtis- BA Nursing

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Meet the newest member to our team of experts. Stephanie Curtis is a sexologist with a huge capacity to care. Involved in spirituality and tantra her articles are professional, articulate and interesting. Enjoy Steph’s writings at the adultsmart sexual wellness and health blog.