4 Ways To Fight Old School Sex Views

Sex and anger management

I recently came across a YouTube video of a woman discussing gender fluidity and the controversy of a subgroup of people wearing a different bracelet every day to indicate which gender they identify with that day. The intention behind wearing the bracelet was to let the people in their lives know what gender they should refer to that person and she was debating why this was a bad idea.

Now I honestly couldn’t get into the video as I was distracted by the thought that there are so many people out there quick to make comment on why someone does something they don’t agree with or why a certain way is good or bad. Our culture has become so analytical about the way others live their lives which I believe takes away from the daunting and sometimes painful task of looking at ourselves and why we harbour judgements towards others in the first place. I believe that the amount of negative energy we invest into other people-either in the form of blame, anger, shaming, being jealous of or just being cruel towards-could at times be an attempt at offloading the negativity we put onto ourselves.

Difficult sexual lifestyle discussions
Image: Confrontational discussions

I am realistic enough to know that we cannot make our judgements of others disappear. In fact, being judgmental is a trait that once served humans – It was our ability to judge a situation that kept us alive (e.g. Is that lion walking 100 metres away going to run over and kill me?!).  I do however believe if we are to become more loving and compassionate human beings, it’s important to be aware of the judgements we have in regard to how other people choose to express themselves and know how we can ourselves live in integrity without condemning others for their ways.

How to navigate difficult conversations

I completed a Sexual Attitudes Reassessment intensive week for my Sexology degree which was a process of observing and assessing the judgements, opinions and biases we hold towards ourselves and others in a sexological context. Our lecturer told me something so simple yet so profound that changed my approach to all my interactions with others, especially when discussing controversial topics that trigger emotions. He said instead of telling or lecturing, instead of trying hard to make someone see something another way, instead of condemning them for their beliefs and judgements, approach the interaction with a genuine sense of curiosity. Ask them questions about why they feel a certain way about something. Be curious about getting to know the deeper reason behind their opinions.

Sexual attitudes reassessment
Image: Angry confrontation

It seems so easy but to put this into practice takes a great deal of self-awareness and a commitment to avoid emotional reaction. It’s so easy to project your emotions onto someone when they say something that makes us angry, confused or upset because it’s often the only way we know how to behave. To step away from reacting from that place and to dig deep into where they are coming from makes way for greater connection and greater understanding of others in the world. From this place, we practice empathy and compassion for others.

I want to put this into an example so you can understand this more clearly in context. Imagine you are in a conversation with a new friend about legalising gay marriage in Australia and they say something along the lines of “I don’t think they should be allowed. I just don’t understand gays, it’s not natural.” (I have heard this).

Showing empathy and compassion
Image: Practicing empathy and compassion

Depending on your own beliefs and values, reading this alone is likely to trigger an emotional response. It is easy to get angry or upset with that person if you believe in the right to marry for all people regardless of their sexuality and that any sexual preference is acceptable. Yet how you approach this conversation can mean the difference between that person retreating further into their opinion or changing it to a more accepting and less judgmental opinion. With a sense of curiosity, it may involve asking that person why they think that homosexuality is “not natural” or what it is about homosexual people getting married that they don’t like the idea of.

Often people carry outdated ways of thinking throughout their lives from the conditioning of parents, teachers and governments without giving much thought into what is true for them. (Believe it or not, there used to be ads on television warning young people of homosexuals as they were a danger to young children). Just by asking these questions you may be a catalyst for that person expanding their awareness and changing their opinions.

Integrity and courage quote
Image: Integrity quote

There are some points I feel are important to consider when having a conversation with someone whose opinion you do not agree with:

Ask questions

Questions lead to exploration of oneself and just by asking them, you trigger a curiosity and greater self-awareness for that person

See it as an opportunity to grow not a confrontation

A conversation with someone that has a different opinion than you is a perfect chance to practice compassion, open mindedness and acceptance for others. It doesn’t need to turn into a s**tfight!

Be kind. Understand that you are in no way perfect

Uphold your boundaries and avoid conforming to their way of thinking in order to people please yet be sure to maintain an open mind.

Don’t waste energy trying to change people

People are going to live their lives exactly how they desire, all you can do is stay true to yourself and practise love and compassion for others.

Author: Stephanie Curtis, Sexologist

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.

Fear Of The Word: Sex And Censorship

Uncomfortable sex talk

Why does everyone have an opinion on what you should and shouldn’t do when you’re growing a tiny human? Bombarding you with unsolicited advice and horror stories. Constantly reminding you that you’re brutally ill-equipped to deal with the said tiny human. In one of these conversations where one of my mum friends was talking about the gender of my baby, who coincidentally is a boy, told me emphatically that I should not call his penis a penis and that I needed to call it pee pee or his little thingy… but why?

Thinking about the conversation later in the day when I was absentmindedly playing games on my phone, I kind of wondered why I needed to use soft fluffy names for my child’s genitals instead of just calling them what they are?

Is it potentially damaging to my child, knowing what genitals are actually called? Will it turn them into a psychologically damaged young adult? Will it cause them to be more promiscuous as they enter puberty? Or will it simply just be another word in their vocabulary?

The more that I think and read about it, the consensus seems to be that in this age of sexual (and sexual abuse) awareness, a child who knows what their genitals are called and can be more specific and less ashamed about discussing such things, seems to be the best way to go.

Just an observation…

In retrospect, what I have found while working for the Oh! Zone Adult Lifestyle Centre, is that the majority of my customers, some of whom are in their 30’s and 40’s are still not sure what to call their or their partner’s genitals when asked questions about what type of product that they’re interested in. What follows is usually a great game of charades where it seems like I’m participating in a Harry Potter skit where ‘he who must not be named’ is code for a penis.

Look, I grew up in a very conservative middle class household where I didn’t get the ‘birds and the bees’ talk until I was 20 and WAY past needing it. I also went to a Catholic high school where in year 8 or 9, they taught us sexual education by proclaiming that abstinence was the best way to stop diseases or getting pregnant, not to mention, my PDHPE teacher was also my uncle… Funny, I know.

But what I remember most was how awkward my mother was when talking about sex and genitals during our ‘chat’. Now imagine how uncomfortable she got when I told her that my new career path was in the adult product industry. I’m literally laugh crying at the thought.

All those stories…

So, that mum friend that I mentioned earlier regaled her story of how she discovered that her son was now old enough to masturbate. I’m paraphrasing, but the story (after a few wines) went a little like this:

‘OMG! I have to tell you something! It’s soooo embarrassing! I can’t even say it out loud…’

‘Ok what is it?’

‘It’s, oh my gosh I… it’s like the worst thing I’ve ever had to see. It’s so embarrassing’

‘What is it?!’

‘Well, the other night I went in to kiss the boys goodnight. So I opened the door and Mr. 13 was lying in bed with his butt in the air and I could her the sheets rustling. So I turned on the light and I saw him… I saw him playing with his… his, you know, his thing’

‘And? …’

‘I didn’t know what to do, so I grabbed the covers and pulled them off the bed. OMG! He started yelling and I screamed and started crying and ran out of the room slamming the door on my way out!’

‘So… you’re telling me that you caught him wanking?’

‘YES! Oh my god! It was so bad! I didn’t think that we’d have to have THAT talk with him for another few years. I’m scarred for life now!’

‘Did you sit him down and have the talk?’

‘NO! I said to [hubby] that there is no way that I can talk to him about that! He would have to do that. I can’t even look him in the eyes right now and it’s been like, 2 weeks’

I’m no psychologist, but I would think that having your mum not only walk in on you masturbating, but to have her react the way she did, would cause more emotional and psychological damage.

Parent sex talk cartoon
Image: Sex talk cartoon

Why should we project our denial about sexuality and what we are too embarrassed to say out loud on to our children?

And that is my argument. Obviously, there is a need to censor some content or conversations, but overall isn’t it a healthy thing that kids know and understand bodily functions?

What happens if, heaven forbid, your child was inappropriately touched by another person and they needed to explain to you, a medical professional or a law enforcement officer what happened and all they had in their vocabulary was ‘down there’ or ‘that part’? The embarrassment and shame about their genitals that you have taught them is normal now becomes a detriment to their well-being and psychological development.

Like I said, I’m not a medical professional, but in my opinion it is better for kids to be raised with a healthy knowledge of their bodies so that, as adolescents and adults they can make informed decision about their sexuality without shame or embarrassment.

Author: Mia is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

Jennifer works marketing at Adultsmart an online sex toy shop. She has a non-judgemental approach to sex, sex toys and sexuality. Her favorite saying is if it feels good and right and is not illegal then why not!

Traumatic Pain From A Loving Touch

Intimacy problems

It’s not as easy as you thought, opening up isn’t as easy as some make it out to be, and often there will be a moment you realise that. One insignificant moment that will make you pause and realise you can’t let go, worst part is you thought you were fine; you thought you were ready to let someone in again.

Personal space
Image: Personal space

Truth is you’re not. You feel abandoned; but yet you don’t want to be touched by anyone – arm’s length distance is your type of intimacy.

It only takes one small insignificant event to cause your walls to be extra bullet proof. It’s not even something most people would flinch at, but to you it throws up all the warning signs and red flags one could possibly think of.

But unlike the other times, this time you listen to your gut.

Intimacy problems
Image: I don’t like being touched

The mind’s natural instinct that protects a person from experiencing future trauma

Those who have experienced trauma in any form know the extent of cruelty humans are capable of. Your mind is a powerful tool and sometimes it’s a little too powerful because it will try to protect you from future cruelty and assumes all people are dangerous; thus shying you away from emotional intimacy and avoiding vulnerability.

Confronting intimacy issues with your partner

It’s not always easy to tell future partners that you’re not big on touching and affection, mostly they either think it’s a joke or don’t fully understand what you mean. I mean you can always avoid telling them and just constantly make up excuses as to why you won’t stand near them, and won’t let them touch you for too long or often. Eventually you need to be upfront with them and yourself about your intimacy issues, you need to tell them that:

“Hey, it’s kind of a big deal for me”

You need to respect yourself and not be in denial about how physical contact makes you feel.

Molestation
Image: Molestation

It takes all kinds of people to make this wild world go round, and it does not mean you’re weird or not normal. If you’re not big on constant touching, affection, hand holding in public, etc. Society has this stigma that unless we show public displays of affection (PDA) and we constantly want to be all over our loved ones, we do not love them. I completely understand that being told “not to touch” your loved one is hard and pretty confusing, I mean you love that person and if they can’t touch you how is the relationship going to work?

It’s hard to read someone to know if it’s ok to touch or not. It’s a daily struggle for those who are in a relationship with someone who does not like to be touched.

I tried… I tried for so long to be ok with people touching me. From light touching, from just a hug hello or a kiss on the check bye. The usual forms of light touching perceived by society as normal. Which was absolutely insane, not to mention self-destructive and completely un-helpful.

Unfortunately there are so many vary degrees of reasons why people do not like to be touched and that does not mean they do not like affection or do not want to be intimate. Whatever their particular individual story is, it doesn’t matter. It matters that as a decent human being we need to understand that not everyone is the same and likes the same things. As humans we have this amazing and unused talent to communicate with one another, but for some helpful tips these are some ways I can guide you through dating/ being affectionate with someone who does not like to be touched.

Acknowledgment

This is a huge one! Because if someone is brave enough to make themselves vulnerable, listen to them! Respect is a huge part of dealing with issues such as these and even If it isn’t something you can understand or relate to you need to be respectful.

No means no and that doesn’t just apply for sexual consent.

Communication

In this digital age communication has become easier than ever, but for some reason we don’t use it to its fullest ability. There are no hoops of fire to jump through with this one; all you need to do is ask. If you want some TLC or craving affection from your loved one all you need to do is ask! It’s that easy, the worst answer you are going to get is a no, but as the relationship grows you soon will be able to pick up on small quirks, moods, and body language and you won’t have to ask permission as often you will just know.

Respect

There will always ne boundaries and basically the easiest thing you can do is to respect them, take your parent seriously the more respect you give the smaller the walls will get regarding to personal space.

Build trust

Most people in my situation grow with trust, as our partners respect us and understand our boundaries the more we let them in. the time periods vary but the more trust and confidence I have with my partner the more normal our intimate relationship is, and the more soft touch I am able to stand. After some time when I trust someone wholly my anxiety begins to subside and every touch be it a soft touch or intimate touch doesn’t emotionally drain me anymore. It more than often becomes something I enjoy and welcome to its fullest capacity but still within those respective boundaries.

The main thing I cannot stress enough is patience is key!

Normally when I date my rules and boundaries about touching eventually stops applying to my significant other in most situations. But at the end of the day I am still me, I am someone who values and is sensitive to personal space, I know it can be frustrating for others but I have learnt that even though it is not normal for most I need to admit I have trust and space issues and at the end of the day my needs come first. This is a part of being human we all have our little quirks, public displays of affection can be emotionally exhausting doesn’t mean I don’t love you, I just have to realise and be mindful of my limits, at the end of the day if not holding my hand in public means my partner can cuddle up to me on the lounge at home I know which I would sacrifice.

Pick and choose your battles.

Don’t ever give up on yourself, never feel ashamed and never let anyone make you feel ashamed, everyone has boundaries but if your anything like me they are just a little bigger than others.

Morgan x

Author: Morgan is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

Although relatively young Morgan has lived a life filled with experiences that have made her grow as a person. She has completed and is a product and interior designer who is a strong believer in equality between sexes and speaks out against violence. Working in the adult industry has allowed her to grow as a person and come out of her emotional and sexual shell.

Top 6 Exercise Tips For Improved Sexual Health

Sexually healthy woman

It is possible for people to improve their sexual athleticism via training. There are exercises that function to develop a solid core, boost stamina and improve flexibility. This allows you to easily co-ordinate flexion as well extension of the hips and spine with the help of glutes, hip flexors, and abdominals and erector muscles. This is why it is important to learn a few tips to guide you to improved sexual health.

The following are some top tips that can help to give your sex life a significant boost:

Kegels

Kegels is a common exercise that both men and women can perform in order to strengthen the pubococcygeus muscle (popularly known as PC). This muscle acts as a hammock to support pelvic organs such as the rectum, reproductive organs and the bladder. Because the PC muscle is responsible for contraction during orgasm, it can tremendously improve the sexual function in women as well as men. In men, it can result in erections that are stronger and longer-lasting. Kegels are beneficial because of their simplicity and you can do them literally anywhere. The aim should always to focus on the PC muscle rather than the other muscles around it. For women, this can be achieved by inserting a finger in the vagina or by using a Kegel exerciser and trying to contract and release all the muscles that are around it. Starting and stopping urine flow is also a good way of achieving this. However, Kegels should not be performed when urinating after the muscle is identified because it weakens it. Hold the contraction for 5 seconds then release for ten repetitions daily.

Strengthen the core

Strengthening the core involves muscles at the pelvis, abdomen, lower back and middle back. All these muscles are essential with regard to sexual positions. This is because they contribute to thrust. Exercises that can be performed to strengthen the core are crunches; the quadruped is an ideal manoeuvre. You can start out on both the knees and hands, the hands should be aligned beneath the shoulders while the knees should be aligned with the hips. Remember to tighten the abdomen and breathe. Proceed to lift as well as straighten the right leg and arm to make them level with the spine. This functions to work the trunk and abs muscles as you attempt to maintain balance. This position should be held for a while, release then alternate with the left leg and right arm. Working on holding it for much longer.

Cardiovascular exercise

All exercise routines should incorporate an aerobic or cardiovascular activity that is performed at a pace that is both moderate and continuous for 20 minutes at a go. It functions to raise the heart rate for long periods while strengthening the body, inclusive of the lungs and heart. If these organs are conditioned, the more the efficient they become. This will increase your sexual endurance. Some simple forms of cardio are cross-country skiing, bicycling, running or speed-walking. Indoors, you can use a stationary bike or a treadmill.

Yoga

Yoga can improve your flexibility; this will provide you with better balance, energy and strength for sex. The cobbler’s pose also known as the baddha konasana can improve sex life through stretching of the groin and hip muscles. There are many sexual performance boosting yoga positions to try out.

Leg strength

Legs that are powerful and strong form the body’s foundation. All types of sexual positions can greatly benefit from good leg strength. Leg exercises target the calves (lower legs), the hamstrings and the quadriceps. Lunges are good because they target all leg muscle groups. It involves putting 1 foot forward from a standing position and lowering your body until the front knee is at an angle of 90 degrees. The back knee should be parallel to the floor.

Lift weights

Weight-lifting is good because it functions to strengthen the bones and exercises all major muscles in the body. Lifting weights has also been associated with increased levels of testosterone that in turn increases sex drive. This exercise will require you to either visit the gym or buy some workout machines like dumbbells. Form is important for weight lifting or you risk getting hurt, start with light weights and work your way up. Lifting weights goes in tandem with eating healthy food.

Other top tips to exercise for improved sexual health are:

  • Flex your hips.
  • Maximize your gluteus.
  • Build upper body strength

Most of the above tips to exercise for improved sexual health can be provided by sports. However, it is good to remember to rest comfortably using a comfortable mattress.

Sexual woman with muscles
Image: Womens Sexual Strength

Adultsmart welcomes Guest Bloggers to submit 800 word articles with original content about topics relating to sexual lifestyle, health and wellness. If you would like to participate, send an email to rick.xsales@gmail.com with your ideas or an article that you wish to submit. If you publish multiple articles on Adultsmart’s Blog you will become an Adultsmart Expert.

Pregnant From A Drop Of Precum!

Pregnancy testing

I love the moments when you can shock someone and prove him or her wrong when they are so hell bent on being correct themselves. That ha! moment when something has ACTUALLY happened to you that everyone else says can’t or won’t happen!

I fell pregnant from precum. Yes, that elusive substance that trickles out of the penis before the big moment that many women think “pfft… that won’t make me pregnant”. HELLO! It can and although there is not a high chance it can definitely happen!

Precum droplets
Image: Precum

So here are the facts about precum

As one of life’s questions is the battle between yes and no when it comes to the age old question “can you get pregnant from precum?”

Pre-ejaculate and ejaculate are both fluids that exit from a man’s penis, but they are not the same; they both have different functions and differ in their compositions.

The fluid that comes from the prostate and seminal vesicles contains sperm and is called ejaculate which is also known as cum. It is thicker in consistency, high in volume, and usually comes in the colour range of white, grey or yellow.

However, the thinner mucous creation that comes from multiple glands throughout the reproductive system is called precum or pre ejaculate and comes at the first signs of arousal. Its mission if it chooses to accept is to wash away all urine out of the urethra while also providing some added lubrication during sex, but does it contain sperm?

Precum diagram
Image: Precum meme

A study was taken where 27 men were asked to masturbate five times into a cup.

The study revealed that 11 out of the 27 men had sperm present in their pre ejaculate fluid, and the others had none. Basically although it is rare and technically pre ejaculate isn’t meant to contain sperm it can. Doctors think that either some sperm makes its way out during precum or that it picks up some as it moves down the pipeline. What they can be certain about is that there is a lot less sperm present in precum but it’s still not a gamble you should take if you are trying to avoid pregnancy.

So the answer to this question is YES!

Man genitals diagram
Image: Naked man diagram

Practicing safe sex

The riskiest factor is that men have no control over pre ejaculate, unlike its fluidly cousin ejaculate. Unlike an orgasm pre ejaculate can happen without any warning, which means before you have the chance to put on a condom it’s already happened.

If you are trying to avoid falling pregnant the best thing you can do is to wear a high-quality condom the entire time you are having sex, not just at the end when you’re about to cum. This means BEFORE any penis to vagina contact, because unlike another myth sperm does not die when it comes in contact with the air.

Did you know these fun facts about sperm?

Because sperm is so fun I mean check out the little guys, I felt the need to research a little more about these odd secretions.

  • Abnormal sperm is actually completely normal! Who thought that being different was actually the norm, but here in the world of sperm 90% is considered deformed. Two heads, two tails, pin-heads, huge heads, coiled tails etc
  • Often when you feel like you are drowning in cum and there is just way too much to swallow, or you feel like you have been covered head to toe! There is only actually about half a teaspoon, so for all those over dramatic princesses out there it’s not as bad as you think.
  • I have often wonder why men are so competitive but it seems this is a norm from before birth. Only one sperm can win but it seems competition is an understatement with 200 million competitors swimming their little DNA filled hearts out to penetrate your egg!
  • Unlike eggs in a female, sperm never stops! Women are born with all the eggs they will ever get in their lifetime, but sperm keeps going and going and going and going. Men produce sperm all day every day. Mind you as the years go on they start to enter into part-time production and become a bit lazy but yet they keep on producing until their last breath.
  • Unlike other parts of the body sperm are actually tiny, I mean like microscopic tiny! Usually about 50 micrometers from head to tail. Although they are tiny, they sure are mighty and if you laid all the sperm from one ejaculation in a line they would stretch to about 9.6 meters!
  • And finally my last fun fact is that sperm isn’t always the smartest tool in the shed. They definitely know how to whip their tails but when it comes to swimming they don’t always end up where they want. They have a hard time swimming in a straight line, half of them tend to swim in circles or bob around.

The moral of the story is that there are a lot of myths about sperm so read up, and enjoy the journey! You never know what’s true! Be sure to also check out a guide on contraception if you would like more information on practicing safe sex.

Morgan x

Author: Morgan is a consultant from Oh Zone Adult Lifestyle Centres

Although relatively young Morgan has lived a life filled with experiences that have made her grow as a person. She has completed and is a product and interior designer who is a strong believer in equality between sexes and speaks out against violence. Working in the adult industry has allowed her to grow as a person and come out of her emotional and sexual shell.