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It’s called “Oh, ohh, ohhh! Female Pleasure, Desire and Orgasms” and it’s just one of the workshops sex educator Megan Andelloux offers and now her sassy presentation are causing a stir in Connecticut.
Anthony Cannella, a Central Connecticut State University associate professor who criticized Megan’s presentation at the unversity said: “I think it’s a lot of pandering and unnecessary titillation. I don’t think kids need any more encouragement than they already have. It’s sort of irresponsible in my view. It’s really disingenuous to say that it’s mainly education.”
Megan Andelloux is a nationally Certified Sexuality Educator (CSE) through The American Association of Sexuality Educators, Counselors and Therapists, an HIV educator and a Board Certified Sexologist through The American College of Sexologists. For more on Megan, visit www.ohmegan.com.
Much of the information presented about sex is not mind blowing. In fact, some of it may cause you to think, “Of course I know that!” But here’s the deal, there is a difference between knowing it and practicing it. So if you are struggling in the talking sex department, take these ideas out for a test drive instead of leaving them parked in the garage.
Create a Sexier You
*Define and identify what sexy means to you. What makes someone sexy? Is it the way they walk? How they smile? The way they talk? Go beyond the body parts and think about what attitudes create sexiness.
*Walk around naked as much as possible (and appropriate). It gets you more comfortable with your body.
*Strive to appreciate your genitals. People who feel better about their genitals report having more satisfying sex.
*Do your Kegel exercises. It gets blood flowing, creates stronger orgasms and makes you pay attention to your genitals.
*Masturbate. Privately (although you can do it together too). Masturbation teaches you what you like, what fantasies get you off and where you like to be touched.
*Talk about sex, your feelings, and your desires. Talking about sex and your feelings can help you feel more confident about playtime, discussing what you like or what you might like to try out.
*Stop saying “I Should” unless you really want to. “Should-ing” just leads to guilt and stress, which actually reduces the libido.
Kicking Up Desire
*Understand desire is different from libido or your sex drive.
*Masturbate (privately). Contrary to popular belief, masturbating actually increases sexual desire.
*Do Your Kegels. They are good for you. Stronger orgasms. Enough said.
*Exercise. Exercise gets the blood flowing, makes the body healthier and increases sexual desire.
*Get help with the household chores. It’s true, people who have partners that help out around the house report having more sex because they are less stressed.
*Use your cycle to your advantage. Chart it out. Certain times of the month can increase sexual libido. If you know ahead of time when your sex drive might kick into high gear, you could plan a fun surprise to heighten the experience!
*Think about sexy things throughout the day. Your brain is the most important sex organ there is. Work it out.
* Get rid of the term foreplay. Foreplay is part of sex; it’s not just something you do to get to sex.
*Hold hands, connect and touch your partner outside of playtime romps. Become sensual. Enjoy your partner’s body. Enjoy your body.
*KISS Your partner hello and goodbye. Really kiss them. Linger in your partner’s lips. Enjoy the sensations you sought when you were first dating. Kissing helps you reconnect with your partner, but if often gets taking for granted the longer a relationship lasts.
*It’s more than technique. Maybe you’ve read every book there is to being the best lover, but if your head isn’t into it, your body is going to have a hard time getting aroused. Good sex is about connecting, experiencing and feeling. Good sex is about playing, laughing, being fully present, feeling your emotions, connecting and experiencing the sensations that arise.
Kicking up sexual desire can be tough work, but the good thing about it is most of the recommended tips are free. So the next time, you’re bored or strapped for cash, you can work on your libido! Learning more about yourself, experience new dimensions and play, it’s all part of the course to having a healthy sexual persona.
Find more sex ed articles on sex advice by visiting FunLove.com.
Sex is stressful. I applaud women who have mastered the art of one-handed bra removal, that certain seductive take-me-now gaze, and who have never once faltered while tearing open a condom wrapper in the heat of the moment. For the rest of us, the girls who don’t really know what to say and the girls who wonder “am I really doing this right?” it’s almost enough to make us swear off sex all together, almost.
Sex provides a laundry-list of anxieties: is my birth control working; is the third date too soon; thong or boy-short? Even having sex with yourself is nerve-wracking between wondering if time would be better spent finishing your term paper and making sure your roommate actually went to her 4:30 class. Then there are the toys—so many different kinds of toys that any sex shop or web-store is bound to make you feel like you’re stuck somewhere in the Wizard of Oz and just cannot find your way back home. Well, tap your fabulous, sequined stilettos together and consider this your yellow brick road. Here’s Her Campus’s guide to sex toys.
With so many options to choose from, it’s easy to become overwhelmed, especially if you are new to the world of sex toys like Chelsea*, a Hofstra University Sophomore. After discussing it with her boyfriend, she decided to take the plunge.
“We decided to go to Spencer’s Gifts and see what kind of sex toys they had there. When I walked to the back of the store where they keep the sex toys, I was suddenly overwhelmed. There we so many to choose from,” she said. “I was a tad confused on which one I should choose, considering I wasn’t even sure if I was ready to embark on the sex toy journey. At the same time I was kind of intrigued by the whole thing, they really had everything for any kind of pleasure you wanted to experience.”
If you’re like Chelsea and don’t know where to start, here are three of the most popular toys according to a Her Campus survey of college women:
Vibrator A vibrator is a toy designed to stimulate your precious lady parts by vibrating against them, either internally or externally. They come in many different styles, from small, discreet bullet shaped toys to larger phallic models, which are sometimes referred to as dildos, though not all dildos vibrate. They also come in other varieties, like vibrating underwear, for an extra saucy dinner-date.
Strap On A strap on is harness designed to hold a dildo or vibrating dildo in order to facilitate penetration. It can be used by any sex or gender, just like vibrators or anal plugs, which is why it’s super popular.
Anal Plug Anal plugs are sex toys designed to fit snugly into your sexy bottom. Some women say they help them orgasm, for others, it’s just a turn-on.
Erasing your doubts.
Did you know 57% of college aged guys and girls surveyed in an exclusive Her Campus poll said that they’ve used sex toys? Out of those who haven’t, 80% said that they know someone who has. That adds up to most of us, yet walking into a sex shop can still make anyone bashful. This is why lots of us have the tendency to blindly pick out a toy like it’s a used vinyl record in the discount bin, and run. Just like when you’re record shopping, cool album art and a snappy band name don’t mean the songs are any good.
Whether you’re a virgin who’s never seen a sex toy, already have an enormous collection hidden in your underwear drawer, or someone who’d consider their sex life pretty vanilla (hey, vanilla is a good flavor too!), it’s still important to know what you want. There are three crucial elements to any sex toy purchase: use, look, and material. If you’ve considered these three things, then that’s half the battle.
“I have to say,” says Chelsea, “I never thought I would be using sex toys with myself, or with my significant other, but I am for sure a fan now. Ever since that one day, I have gone back and bought several more toys to test out.”
Like Chelsea, once you’ve broken free from the shackles of shyness, and can proudly proclaim that you do in fact want to buy a sex toy (or at least shop for one online in the confines of your bedroom), you must ask yourself one simple question: what exactly do I want to do with this thing?
“You want to think about if you want to be using it as an external toy or an internal toy,” says Megan Andelloux, certified Sexologist and Sexuality Educator. “Vibration tends to work best externally, even though some people like to use it internally.”
If you want a toy specifically for internal use, you need to decide which kind of stimulation you want—G-Spot or anal stimulation.
The G-Spot, located on the inside of the front vaginal wall, is a mystery to many women, so it’s no wonder that 40% of readers surveyed prefer toys for external stimulation. Let it be a mystery no more; purchasing a toy with a curvature will help you reach that sweet spot that’s easy to miss with your hands.
If you’re looking for anal stimulation, you have to be a little more careful.
“If [the toy is] used for anal it has to have a flange,” she says.
A flange is the flared ending on toys designed to be used anally which prevents them from getting lost inside of you.
In the same way that rock hard abs and deep blue eyes made you fall for that Campus Cutie, the right looks can lead you to the perfect sex toy.
“It’s important to keep in mind what turns you on, what type of stimulation you want, what looks appealing to you,” says Andelloux. “Does it look like something you want to play with? Some people really like abstract art-type sex toys, whereas other people feel more comfortable with animal themes like The Rabbit.”
So what turns you on? Do you like neon colors or prefer things to be a bit more anatomically correct? 28% of readers said they like their toys to be fun and colorful, while a whopping 48% agreed that toys should be discreet.
If you’re looking for something ultra-cute to impress your beaux, Andelloux recommends the Pyrex Mint Plug by Crystal Delights. “[It’s] bling for your butt. How could someone not want to play with a sparkly butt?”
For someone who’s a bit more demure she also recommends the Fingo by Screaming-O, a small bullet type vibrator used for external stimulation. “It’s small so it doesn’t scare people,” she says. “It’s fabulous to use during oral sex and it’s less than $20.”
A sex toy is like your favorite t-shirt. You want it to look good on you and be versatile, but most of all, you want it to be comfortable. This is why material matters. Would you settle for a cheap poly-blend when you could have 100% cotton? Of course not.
“You want to think about the type of materials,” says Andelloux, “hard and firm will carry more vibration, or do you want it to be soft and feel more lifelike?”
It’s also imperative to make sure that the material is safe. Plastic toys or toys that contain jelly may contain Phalates, which are linked to cancer, reproductive failure, and intersex conditions, and can leak out of poorly made toys.
“If the sex toy salesman recommends you use a condom over [the toy], that’s a sign it has Phalates,” Andelloux explains.
If your toy might have Phalates, it’s best to use a condom or skip it all together. There are plenty of other options that are effective, inexpensive, and safe.
Do what feels right.
With sex toys, it’s important to remember that it’s all about what makes you feel good. While most of our minds default to the small, discreet vibrator we saw in that infamous episode of “Sex and the City” when we think about it, that doesn’t mean it’s the only option. There are many different kinds of sex toys for every woman’s unique needs. Your best friend might love to use a strap-on or fool around with anal-beads, but you might like things slightly more traditional.
When surveyed, an overwhelming number of Her Campus readers admitted to strictly using vibrators, and one even divulged us in her secret—she uses an electric tooth brush, but if that’s too vanilla for your tastes, there are some options that are a little more risqué. Not all toys are created for the bedroom—some allow us to get our freak on when we are walking to class or dancing in the club.
Club Vibe by OhMiBod is a small vibrator that slips into a special pair of panties. “You wear it to a club,” Andelloux says, “and it vibrates to the base of the music the DJ is playing.”
Luna Ball, a small plastic ball designed to tone Kegel muscles, is another sex toy that you can wear out like your favorite pair of blue jeans.
“You can wear them around campus all day long, and they provide a fun party in your pants while toning your Kegel muscles to give you stronger orgasms,” says Adelloux, “They are not designed to give you orgasms, but they are designed to make you feel fun like you have a special secret inside.”
Whether you are looking for something discreet, loud, for the bedroom, or for the world outside, sex toys can add an element of surprise to spice up your relationship, or provide the excitement of a steamy hook-up when you’re flying solo. Once you pick out a sex toy that fits your needs, there is only one more rule—have fun.
As the chatter and giggles erupted throughout the auditorium, speaker Megan Andelloux banged on the table with a translucent green dildo with ridges of shimmering gold to call for silence.
Abby P. Sun ’13, co-president of Radcliffe Union of Students, the campus feminist group that sponsored the sixth annual Female Orgasm Seminar, helped hand out 1500 free condoms and cupcakes decorated with candied breasts and vulvas to the nearly 700 audience members.
“It’s a fun and communal event,” she said, trying to usher entryway groups, teammates, and groups of friends—spilling into aisles and standing in the back of Science Center C—into seats. “Hopefully it will get some conversations started, too.”
Andelloux, a sex educator and sexologist, launched into her discussion about what an orgasm is, how to have one, female anatomy, and safety.
“Sex is not just about having that climax; it’s about the whole experience,” she reminded her audience, noting that goal-focused sex can end up less pleasurable than just having fun. But that didn’t stop her from talking about how to reach that goal.
“Direct clitoral stimulation is how orgasms happen,” she said. “Trying to have an orgasm without clitoral stimulation for most women is like men trying to have one without touching their penis.”
In addition to talking about tips, techniques, and toys to make sex fun, she highlighted the importance of being comfortable in one’s body, noting that rather than feel self-conscious about their bodies, all people should embrace their uniqueness. She emphasized this with a clip from the film “Viva La Vulva,” which celebrated how varied female genitalia can be. She also showed a scene of g-spot stimulation to demystify female ejaculation, also known as squirting. The entire seminar was punctuated with laughter, questions, gasps, and audience participation.
After the presentation, RUS raffled off a variety of sex toys including an assortment of dildos, a rubber ducky vibrator, a vibrating butt plug, and a Hello Kitty massager. Audience members exploded with cries of “yes,” “oh my god,” and “I’m so happy,” as well as nonverbal expressions of delight, when their numbers were called.
“This is what winning looks like!” said audience member Ian H. Clark ’12, who won a butt plug shaped like Marge Simpson’s coiffure. His friend Anneika M. Verghese ’12, who also won a prize, noted, “I didn’t know vibrators came in this shape.”
The two were not only surprised by their prizes, but by the focus of the seminar as well.
“I did not expect to watch porn,” said Verghese. “It was uncomfortable, but interesting, especially because the focus was less on sex and more on different kinds of stimulation.”
Clark agreed that Andelloux’s discussion, and especially her focus on individual differences, was informative and fun.
“It was surprising that there was so much emphasis on how people are different and how to enjoy what people have to offer,” he said.
Brandishing the purple butt plug he won, Clark joked to his friends, “who wants to go home and practice?”
Sexologist Megan Andelloux with plush vulva puppet.
Voice Vixen here, reporting on the Female Orgasm Seminar which took place this past Friday night. Content warning, the following does acknowledge the existence of sex and is textually NSFW.
6:45 So this thing hasn’t started yet and already Science Center C is a writing mass of hot bodies, packed front to back with Harvard Students who apparently want to know the ins and outs of the female orgasm. There is a table up front arrayed with various sex toys ranging from purple to pink to… pinker. I’ve picked up a raffle ticket, wish me luck!
6:46: A group of guys sitting behind me can’t seem to say the word clitoris without whispering. One of them says he hopes to hear about some “serious technique.”I suppress judgement, it seems clear that boys of Harvard could really use the help.
6:55 It IS SO LOUD IN HERE. It’s almost like every person in the room is having a really intelligibly vocal orgasm. Rabble rabble rabble!
A capture of Lingford’s stop motion animation.
6:00 Ruth Lingford (VES Professor, Department Head) has started talking about her videos interviewing people to describe their orgasms. Her film is a minimalist stop motion animation with voiceover’s of said descriptions. It is notably replete with phrases like “chocolate mousse”, “volcanic”, “like icing”, “I thought of broccoli”. All this food talk really makes me want a cupcake. Everyone laughs at a software update popup, but the video is otherwise really interesting and captivatingly animated.
7:05 I begin to tally the number of times people say “orgasm.”
7:08 I don’t know whether to be encouraged by the number of people in the room or really, really saddened by the balls-to-the-wall, people-standing-in-the-aisles attendance.
7:16 To describe the scene, on the table in the front is a VAST array of sex toys, apparently $1000 worth of swag. Apparently the Voice’s good blogging sista, Lena Chen of Sex and The Ivy, graciously supplied the sex toys to be given away. We love you Lena!
Note: The men here are definitely, the loudest, brashest people in the audience. Voice Vixen does not like. The sex educator/sexologist however, is extremely cool and sexy. Just sayin’. High waisted skirt, white blouse, librarian glasses. A Harvard gal might steal this look.
7:21 Surprisingly, the “orgasm” iteration count is only at 8 – I think we can do better than this.
7:22 So cute/gross, everyone in the audience just said ‘Pap Smears’ altogether, like a three-year old says “Good Morning Mr. Rogers!”
FML Celebrity Sighting! Gov20 Italian guy.
7:23: Highlight of the event: women referred to as “vaginal owners”, because not everyone who has a vagina identifies as female. Thank you! This is a vast improvement upon the utterly heteronormative seminars of yesteryear.
The sexologist lays it down for us, figuratively. Some great quotes:
“Everyone has an asshole, everyone has a mouth. Those are the great equalizers.”
In reference to always using lube for anal sex: “My job is to make sure you don’t rip your butthole.”
“This is one of my vulva puppets.”
“For the love of god masturbation is good for you.”
“There are no absolutes in human sexuality.”
HOLY CRAP COOL FACT: Greatest number of orgasms had by a woman in a sexual study: 134 in one hour. Everyone feels inadequate.
7:30 There is way too much hooting and hollering from the men in here. You dogs you.
MORE TECHNIQUE/HELPFUL FACTS:
The average female orgasm takes: 10-20 min
Imbibing anything over an ounce of alcohol decreases the ability to orgasm, but less than an ounce makes one a little more receptive.
Working out helps you have better orgasms, as it improves the circulatory system.
Direct clitoral stimulation is needed for most vaginal owners to get off. “Trying to orgasm without clitoral stimulation is like a man trying to orgasm without touching his penis.”
Orgasm isn’t the goal, there’s other fun stuff (aka goal-focused sex, a no-no).
Super Helpful Relaxation Tip: try to make the jaw muscles slack.
Politics do not belong in the bedroom.
7:47 “Orgasm” count now way up to 49.
7:57 We’re about to watch a clip from “Viva La Vulva.” Oh, yes, you really should have come to this. So. many. vulvas. Everyone is rapt with attention though; half the guys in the room have their hands near their mouth or their chins. A woman with really, really strong PC muscles is displaying herself COMPLETELY. I can’t help but wonder how many Harvard boys have even seen this before, let alone projected 6 feet tall in a on a screen. Vaginal show and tell.
The sexologist mentioned genital shaving and every girl groaned.
8:12 We’ve moved onto the clitoris!
Tip: If you “split the clitoris into four quadrants” the upper left is the most sensitive. Who knew?
Fact: You cannot stretch out the vagina lips.
Facts: If someone is physically responding to sex their outer lips will open up. the The clitoris is actually 4-6 inches long, the exposed part being just a tiny tip of it. Is it sad that this comes as incredible information to everyone in the audience?
8:22 We’re onto vibrators and toys:
Fact: vibrators were created for the medical community, as a treatment for hysteria.
Fact: You can’t “break” your vagina by using your vibrator too much.
Butt lessons: make sure your anal toy has a flange (a wide part at the base of the toy that prevents it from being sucked up into your body). The image that accompanies this advice is horrifying.
8:41: final “orgasm” word count at 67.
Final Thoughts: While Voice Vixen did not snag a cupcake, she assumes they could only have been magnificent. In any case the talk was incredibly informative. It’s amazing how mis/uneducated individuals can be about their own bodies. Voice Vixen came away cringingly refreshed as did many of the others in attendance. If anything can be surmised from the incredibly participatory, enraptured, and VOCAL student responses, it’s that the event was an incredible success. Alas, we did not win a sex toy (there was a Hello Kitty vibrator… NOOOO!) but we definitely give kudos to The Radcliffe Union of Students for their work putting this together. Look forward to it next year, and get there EARLY because there wasn’t an empty seat in the house! Harvard kids might be sexually frustrated, but sh*t if they aren’t willing to educate themselves. The main advice of the night: Relax, be safe , learn more, read more, masturbate more, and remember to relax that jaw!
Among the straight women I know, most have said, at some point, “God, I wish I were a lesbian — it would be so much easier.”
This usually follows a bad row with a boyfriend or hubby.
But there’s an obvious glitch preventing many women from making this fantasy a reality: Straight chicks don’t dig other chicks.
But every now and again, that thin fence categorizing us as straight, gay or bisexual gets jumped.
Angelina Jolie has dabbled with both sexes, as has Madonna and Anne Heche. Actress Megan Fox recently revealed she once loved a female stripper, and Lindsay Lohan’s love life is heating up headlines over rumours she’s dating DJ Samantha Ronson.
Is this a case of “You’re not anybody until you’ve swung both ways?”
Maybe so, says Megan Andelloux, sex educator at the Miko Learning and Resource Centre in Rhode Island.
“(With Megan Fox) my gut instinct was OK, she was named Hollywood’s hottest star, then you bring in the stripper — the ultimate sex fantasy — and it’s in Maxim magazine … It’s not like she revealed this for women in Curve or Out,” says Andelloux of the gay-focused lifestyle magazines.
While some female stars may hope to boost their ratings by driving forward male lesbian fantasies, other media messages are also playing a factor.
With everything from the TV drama The L Word and the prominence of lesbian sex scenes in porn, to mainstream movies such as Woody Allen’s new film Cristina Barcelona capitalizing on the theme, girl-on-girl action is popping up everywhere.
“It’s still pornified,” says Andelloux, “provided they’re attractive. You don’t hear much about Rosie O’Donnell and, as much as we love Ellen, she likely receives so much attention because Portia de Rossi is so beautiful.”
In recent months I’ve heard of numerous gals flying the straight-nest coop in favour of same-sex relationships.
After divorcing her husband, one middle-aged woman embarked on a year-long romance with a woman.
Then I was updated on a former acquaintance — a 30-something woman who wed her university boyfriend and had two children — who has since moved in with a female partner.
For many, the choice has nothing to do with being bored or fed up with men. Their desire stretches beyond the “one time in college” cliche or faux lesbian dance-floor kisses.
“Women are talking about being emotionally attracted to other women now, instead of just doing it to get men’s eyes,” says Andelloux. “They’re doing it more for themselves, and society is making it more acceptable.”
Growing up in a religious household, one woman says while she had attraction to other females as a girl, she’d never even heard of lesbianism as a way of explaining her desire.
Married at 17 to her high school sweetheart and two children later, she quickly found herself grappling with her sexuality.
One day, a light bulb clicked on.
The family had moved into a new home and a lesbian couple lived next door.
“It was my birthday, and I got really drunk, and asked my neighbour to kiss me,” the 34-year-old recalls.
“Something clicked in my mind — I thought ‘This is not going away,’ so I made a decision to do something about it.”
She and her ex now share custody of their kids, and she’s been dating an “amazing” woman for the past nine months.
“It’s harder for my kids than it is for me. They were worried about being made fun of. But when my girlfriend and I are with them, we’re very low-key.”
As for her sex life, it has never been hotter.
“The first time I was with a woman, I thought afterward, ‘Oh, this is what it’s suppose to be like,’” she says.
“I actually left the bed satisfied, and that rarely happened with men.”
- Painter Frida Kahlo was married to artist Diego Rivera and known to have sexual affairs with both men and women.
- Writer Gertrude Stein shared her life with Alice B. Toklas.
- 1920s actress Marlene Dietrich is said to have had an affair with writer Mercedes de Acosta.