Honeymoon Cystitis

urinary tract infection

Cystitis is a Urinary Tract Infection (UTI) that can last for a few days, with the most common symptoms including the constant urge to urinate and a burning sensation when peeing. There are numerous causes for Cystitis, including falling estrogen levels during menopause, using a birth control diaphragm, and even from changing tampons (if susceptible to UTIs, perhaps look at changing from tampons to menstrual cups).

However Honeymoon Cystitis is caused by sexual intercourse and almost only ever in women. This is for two reasons, firstly that a woman’s urethra is much shorter than a mans, and secondly because of the close proximity of the vaginal opening and anus to the urethral entrance.

Honeymoon Cystitis is typically caused when the bacteria E. Coli is spread to the urethral opening either from the anus or the vagina, from there it moves up into the bladder where the trouble starts. Despite originating from penetrative sex, Honeymoon Cystisis is not a STI. As such, and while safe sex is always recommended, condoms do not prevent Honeymoon Cystisis, and some studies even indicate a higher chance of getting a UTI with the use of condoms (perhaps try a non-latex condom if you have reactions to your current choice of protection).

Symptoms

Some of the typical symptoms of Honeymoon Cystitis are:

  • A strong and persistent desire to pass urine
  • A sensation of burning while passing urine
  • Passing a small quantity of urine frequently
  • Hematuria (presence of blood in your urine)
  • Foamy urine, sometimes with a strong smell
  • Low-grade fever
  • Feeling discomfort in the pelvis or lower abdominal region

While the spread of the E. Coli bacteria is the cause of this UTI, there are two completely different ideas as to what makes someone more susceptible. Some say it is the first time of penetrative sex after a long spell of abstinence. The other end of the spectrum says that it can happen after intensive or frequent penetrative sex.

Prevention

However both sides of this agree on ways to prevent Honeymoon Cystitis:

  • Urinate immediately after intercourse to ensure you eject any bacteria that could have entered the urethra
  • Drink plenty of water every day
  • Always wipe front to back to avoid bacterial spread
  • Using a good water based lubricant, even if there are no issues with vaginal dryness, will help provide a good glide and prevent micro tears, especially around the vulva and vaginal opening.

Treatment

It is recommended to see your GP should you experience any of those above symptoms, as some of these also overlap with symptoms of a few Sexually Transmitted Infections that only a blood test will be able to reveal. If it is Honeymoon Cystitis, your GP will probably suggest the following:

  • Prescribe a short course of antibiotics
  • Maintain fluids
  • Avoid alcohol
  • Avoid more penetrative sex
  • Cranberries (as in the actual fruit) may help with an active ingredient that prevents bacteria from sticking to the bladder wall. However, cranberry juice or capsules may not be potent enough for this to happen. In fact, despite popular belief, cranberry juice adds hippuric acid to urine, and Vitamin C in the form of ascorbic acid, and actually feeds the bacteria that cause UTIs.

 

On a final note, while you can indeed have penetrative sex while suffering Honeymoon Cystitis, as it isn’t an infection that can be passed on to the other partner, you will feel extra discomfort and even exacerbate the problem even further.

 

101 Menstrual Sex For Men!

Menstruation 101

From puberty until menopause, the menstrual cycle is a fact of life for every woman. However, the monthly visit from Aunt Flo needn’t put a dampener on your sex life. In a nutshell, all aspects of a fantastic sexual encounter can be enjoyed all month long.

 

Education

Men typically don’t really understand menstruation, and while their high school sexual education probably had a lot to do with that, there’s also a huge stigma surrounding the menstrual cycle. However this is slowly changing, as the male dominated world begins to listen to others (we’re looking at you Scotland, ready to offer free tampons and pads to women of all ages, we salute you!)

Talk to your partner about having sex while on your period. Let them know that you don’t think it needs to interrupt your sex life, and that while bleeding once a month may seem completely odd to a man, it is in fact a natural, and essential, part of life. Demystify it for them. In saying that, if either one of you are uneasy with sexual encounters during that time, the usual rules of consent apply, and no pressure should be applied.

 

Preparation

As with any sexual activity, menstrual sex should be clean and hygienic. Take a shower first, both of you, and really, you could even start things off together in the shower. If showering together, maybe give her a minute or so before or after you join to look after her intimates.

Lay a towel down on your bed. It’s far easier to clean than having to change the sheets. Strongly suggest against white towels here.

 

Intimacy

Above any of the below options the easiest, and possibly nicest, is simply to be intimate together. Kisses, cuddling, hand grips of wanton lust, even dry humping through clothes, are all amazing choices to kick things off with, or even be the all and everything. Sex doesn’t necessitate penetration, nor should it be the end all and be all of sexual activity.

 

Handiwork

Hands can touch, tickle and stroke every inch of a body. Gentle strokes along a back, a heavy hand gripping hips, not to forget breasts and their wondrous punctuation, nipples. And of course, the clitoris. Educate yourself by checking out the biology of a woman’s sexual organs, and you’ll find that the clitoris (the external part) is miles from her vaginal opening. Keep your focus here, she’ll probably prefer it anyway.

 

Oral Sex

Cunnilingus is always on the table. Even at ‘that time of the month’. As mentioned above, the clitoris is a perfectly safe distance from any possible flow. You could even relish her labia majora, her outer lips, or should you both feel comfortable enough, even her inner lips, the labia minora.

Listen to her directions, if you can hear through her thighs pressed against your ears. Devour her, savour her, let her know you’re man enough to handle a little potential blood. Worship all that a woman is and let her know how amazing and gorgeous she is to you, with nothing but your tongue.

 

Penetrative Sex

A period most definitely doesn’t mean that penetrative sex is off the table. It just takes a little preparation. Both of you shower beforehand, lay down a towel, and enjoy the extra lubrication nature has provided this week.

If the bleeding really is a concern for either of you, there are heaps of ways around this. The most common one is to keep sex within the constrains of a shower. Shower sex is great as the clean up is far easier, regardless of the time of month, and that rushing water is such an aphrodesiac.

However if having sex in the shower, make sure you use silicone based lube, as it’s far more resistant to washing away. Look to fantastic brands like Super Slyde or Pjur Original.  Somehow, despite all that water, shower sex can really dry a vagina out, so lube is always a great idea.

To avoid being one of the nearly quarter million Americans admitted to emergency every year from falling in the shower, maybe invest in some Sex In The Shower suction cup handles and footrests. Nothing will kill the mood quicker than a concussion. Trust me.

If you much prefer to lay down in your bed for sex, as mentioned above, a non white towel will be your best friend. On top of this, you could look at wearing a sponge. Working women live by them so they can work all month long, and given the texture of a sponge, most people would never suspect that one is being worn.

Condoms should always be used to prevent the spread of STIs, especially since a menstruating woman is more susceptible to STIs, but if the man is wearing one simply to not get blood on his penis, it offers no protection from the blood that absolutely will gather on his scrotum.

It should also be noted that period sex should not be used as contraception. Sperm can live for up to five days inside of the uterus, and should you have light periods or have intercourse towards the end of your cycle, it is still possible to fall pregnant.

 

Solo Play

As mentioned above, the clitoris and labia are all fair game during menstruation. Using an insertable sex toy also follows along previous guides. If looking for self love in the shower, look no further than a completely waterproof and submersible toy like the Fun Factory Stronic G. Although if you’re going to use a good quality silicone lube, look towards a 100% silicone toy by Evolved or Adam & Eve, as their toys are silicone lube friendly.

In the bedroom, you can always roll a condom over your favourite insertable toy to ease cleaning. Although using an antibacterial toy cleaner will do the trick just as well, something you should be using before and after every toy use regardless of the timing.

 

Menstruation need not be the killer of a sex life. Be safe, be hygenic, and with a little preparation, you can enjoy a healthy sex life all month long.

Ask Oz – I Can’t Orgasm!

relationship advice

Oz answers your sexual health and relationship questions.

 

Hi Oz, I’ve been with my boyfriend for seven years, since we were sixteen. He was my first and only, but I’m struggling to orgasm during sex. I do have a contraceptive implant, which my boyfriend wants me to get rid of, does that affect things? The little cheap bullet I have is no longer doing it for me either. It’s also been tricky to hold it in place during missionary. Then not long after I bring out the bullet, my boyfriend comes and it’s all over. What do you suggest I try? – DD

 

Hi DD, thanks for your email.

There’s a lot here for me to answer, but I’ll see if I can get through all this. First of all, I’m getting the feeling you two only ever do missionary position, and having gotten together quite young, and perhaps are each others only so far, this is the most common position. However, it certainly isn’t the best, especially for women.

The Cowgirl position could be of great help for you, as you get to control the pace and depth of penetration. In this position, you both get to still maintain eye contact, while also enjoying seeing each other’s bodies. This position will also make it significantly easier to apply a toy to your clit, which I’m assuming is what gets you off, since your bullet used to do that.

In missionary, with your bodies together, it sounds like the vibrations of your bullet are exciting your boyfriend and getting him to come sooner. Perhaps a toy like a Womanizer might be better suited to you, as it is a clit ‘sucking’ toy that doesn’t actually vibrate, this may hopefully level the playing field by being possibly the best external toy for a woman, and not adding extra stimulation to your boyfriend.

Alternatively, there are a few things your partner can do to slow down. Using a desentizing delay gel or spray would be the most obvious way to go. Trying something like Over Time by Wicked would be my suggestion. Once he has rubbed this white cream onto his penis, after a few minutes the cream will turn translucent, which means that firstly it has absorbed into his skin and desensitized him, but it also means that the cream won’t be transferred onto you.

It’s also good to understand that sex most definitely isn’t defined by penetration. Foreplay is a fantastic way to raise excitement, and typically an easier way for women to orgasm than during penetrative sex.

Edit: DD emailed me back in regards to this part of my reply and explained that she has previously orgasmed before intercourse, but then doesn’t feel like having penetrative sex.

All very normal, however I’d like to once again ask you to challenge your ideas of sex. Your initial email clearly puts forward that as soon as your boyfriend comes, that’s the end of the line. What if I told you that what is good for the gander is also good for the goose? Inequality is rampant in the bedroom, and if you orgasm during foreplay and don’t want to continue, that is fine. After all, that is entirely what your email was about, that only one partner has been reaching orgasm.

But you don’t have to just listen to my advice. I think esteemed sexologist Chantelle Otten summed it up perfectly in this other article: “Sex is an expansive term. If you want to learn how to have sex, you need to ditch the rule that sex is about penetration or orgasm. Successful sex is about variation, pleasure and sensation. People have sex in different ways depending on their capabilities and goals. I.e. Sex for heterosexual couples is different than same-sex couples. Sex for people with physical disabilities is different for those who don’t have a disability. But it is still sex! Take expectations and dated education, put them in the bin, and make your own rules about having fun and achieving intimacy.”

 

How Do We Remain Sexually Active When Apart?

vr relationships

Hi Oz, My girlfriend has recently had to move to Sydney for work while I have to stay out west for uni. Do you have any suggestions for what can help keep us sexually active together, even when we’re so far apart? We do see each other every week or two, but we both enjoy sex a lot more than that. – WH

 

Hi WH,

Thanks for your email. You, my friend, are in luck. The world of adult entertainment, be it porn or toys, has always been at the forefront of technology. Remember when Blu-Ray first came out, at the same time so did HD-DVD? Don’t remember HD-DVD, that’s because it dissappeared when the porn industry decided to exclusively use Blu-Ray. The same happened decades earlier when VHS and Beta video both hit the market.

At the moment, there are a range of different brands out there offering very interactive toys for people in situations like yours. Probably the best out there has been developed by Kiiroo. They have a range of devices for him and her available, all available to interect on the free Feel Connect app.

For her, there’s the Pearl 2, Fuse and Cliona. The Pearl 2 is a strong solid regular vibe, the Fuse is the rabbit version. The Cliona is an external toy only. For him, the Onyx 2 delivers possibly the most realistic blowjob-like sensations out on the market, while adding a Fleshlight Launch to your regular Fleshlight will turn it into an interactive thrusting toy that takes you closer to penetrative sex, with needing to stroke as you go and save you a lot of cardio.

In saying that, the Kiiroo range, including the Fleshlight variatations, can be quite pricey. We-Vibe is one of the leading sex tech brands out there, and all about adding a new level of fun to couples both near and far. Utilizing their free We-Connect app, one is about to take control of their partner’s device, from anywhere in the world.

The We-Vibe Sync is easily the most popular couples toy, and with its ergonomic u-shaped design, it provides both internal and external stimulation for her. It’s great for teasing her on date night as well as for an extra buzz during penetrative sex, but I feel it wouldn’t be the right toy in your circumstance. Perhaps she’d rather the Nova, a bulbous g-spot rabbit vibe that will really get her over the edge. For you, the Verge is a vibrating cock ring that while designed to vibe on your perenenium, is quite versatile and you can turn it around with playing together to stimulate her clit, or use it as a way to supercharge your finger action. The Vector is a nice rumbly prostate toy you may enjoy, or the We-Vibe Ditto is a vibrating anal plug that’s fun for either of you to use.

The above mentioned toys are all about interaction, taking an active role in exactly how your partner gets off. Their apps both feature in-app video connections, but if you’d rather take matters into your own hands (so to speak), there are plenty of regular free apps out there to connect with video chat functionality.

You can always check out the best couples sex toys of 2020 to get further ideas too.

To maximise this visual aspect of play together, for you I’d suggest a Fleshlight Ice. It’s similar to a regular Fleshlight, but the sheath is clear, so she can see all the goodness going on within.

For her, and for the majority of women, it’s all about clit play. Some fantastic, rechargeable bullets are out there, notably We-Vibe’s own Tango, Femme Funn’s ultra bullet, or The Queen from Evolved, a rumble toy with a flared base to allow for some insertion play too.

Lastly, if you really want the sensation of being together, and want to go old-school and lo-fi, why not make a mold of each other? Clone-A-Willy provides everything you need to make a dildo exactly from your own penis, just as the Clone-A-Pussy will provide you with a familiar feeling pocket pussy.

Good luck, and have fun!

 

Oz answers your sexual health and relationship questions..  He is a consultant at the Oh Zone adult stores.

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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