If you’ve read my post on being sex-positive, you know that I don’t have any qualms with sexuality. I’ve also mentioned a couple of times on my blog that I don’t tolerate slut-shaming, and if you follow me on Twitter, you’ll see lots of Tweets and re-Tweets on the topic. It’s something I feel very strongly about.
The word slut is very problematic. It’s been used against us, as women and as girls. We were probably taught growing up that it’s a catch-all insult, because no one wants to be a slut. You didn’t even have to have a reason to call someone a slut, or to be called a slut yourself; but if the rumor spread, it stuck.
Lately, I’ve been wondering what people actually think a slut is. Does a slut sleep around? Does she talk about sex? Does she have sex without romance, or without expectation of feelings? Can you dress like a slut? If you’re called a slut and someone comes to your defense to say that you’re not, because you’re monogamous or because you’re responsible, what does that say?
I’ve been seeing this posting around the internet recently. It says, “Too many girls want attention, not enough want respect.” Excuse me? I was unaware that you were so apt to read my mind, to decode my intentions, and to police my behavior. How does a person claim to know what another wants? This is a very thinly veiled, very dangerous form of slut-shaming.
I actually asked one of the people who posted it – a 22 year old guy – what he thought it meant. The basic idea of his answer (I will not post it verbatim because I do not have permission to do so) was that it’s easy to tell when a girl wants attention, because she acts and dresses like it. Happily, another woman of similar feminist leanings stepped in, and together we tried to have a legitimate discourse on the idea of attentions vs respect. (This of course ended with me being blocked, because I’m rabid, obviously.)
Quite frankly, if I am unable to earn or keep your respect based on my intellect, my diction, my drive, or my respect for you, I have no interest in your respect. If my job, my blog, my toy collection, my short shorts, or my tattoo are going to damn me in your eyes, then your respect is not worth earning. The idea that we have to chase the respect of people who have already decided against us is a powerful idea that keeps us running on this hamster wheel of patriarchy.
Maybe I am a slut. I like sex, and I like talking about sex so that I can learn more (about sex). I have my own reasons for the choices I make, and they usually have nothing to do with outside attention or respect. In fact, the respect that I’m so concerned about maintaining is my own. If I can’t look myself in the eye every morning and every night, then I’ve failed. If I called someone a slut, if I tried to place another woman into a simplified box so that I could categorize her and break her down, I would not be able to respect myself.
So you can call me a slut. You can also call me a feminist, a free thinker, and a woman with more to worry about than what anyone thinks about her choices.
Everyone at Adam & Eve knows that I have some kind of weird obsession with finding The Perfect Lubricant. I mean, really. Is there anything more integral to good sex than the perfect keep-it-going-juice? I think not. Besides, you know, a sex partner or a good toy. So the running joke is that if anyone has lube questions, they can be directed to me. Flavored, warming, cooling, natural, organic, vegan, silicone, hybrid, water, liquid, gel… Is your head spinning yet? Let’s break it down…
Water based lubricants are probably the most common lubricants on the market. They include KY Liquid (which is superior to KY Jelly, which is frankly kind of disgusting and medical), Astroglide, and specialty names such as JO H2O, Intimate Organics, and Sliquid. A lot of women lean towards water based lubes because they’re familiar, and hey, water is kind of important to us as a species. There are a couple things to watch out for in your water based lubricants, though:
Glycerine – It’s still argued whether glycerine can really lead to yeast infections, as not all glycerin is created equal. Cheaper, less quality glycerins are more likely to cause an infection. Glycerine is also what makes some lubricants taste sweet, and because it is a sugar derivative, it can feed yeast. Bottom line: I would caution you to stay away unless you have a vagina of steel.
Parabens – Parabens are widely used in cosmetics, foodstuffs, and pharmaceuticals as preservatives, and have been declared unsafe by the FDA in certain amounts. Because they’re deemed unsafe in quantities larger than what we find in cosmetics, lubricants, and even food, many people choose to avoid them altogether. Women who are sensitive, prone to yeast infections, or are concerned about the safety of these chemicals should avoid lubricants containing parabens.
Fortunately, many lubricants are now being marketed as Glycerin and Paraben Free, such as Sliquid Organics, Intimate Organics, and JO for Women. Babeland’s BabeLube is also glycerin and paraben free, and they even make a natural organic version. All of the lubricants mentioned in this paragraph are also Vegan, apart from JO for Women (as far as I know).
My favorite? Intimate Organics Defense (Adam & Eve Pittsburgh, represent!), which contains carrageenan, an algae extract. Defense actually helps protect the natural pH and microflora levels in the vagina, effectively preventing yeast infections. The carrageenan actually keeps the lubricant slick and thick, great for vaginal intercourse or use with toys. It doesn’t get sticky or tacky during handjobs, either, which you know is a rarity if you’ve ever tried pleasing your man with a water based lubricant. Bonus: Carrageenan has been shown in some studies to help prevent the spread of HPV.
Silicone lubricants are the marathoners of sex lubes. They might even outlast you, unless you’re Sting and you’re into tantric sex or something. Seriously. The most common ingredient in silicone lubricants is Dimethicone, which can be made from sand. Which, honestly, freaks me out because imagine sand in your vagina. No, actually, don’t. Just keep reading.
Silicone lubricants do not dissolve in water and do not sink quickly into your skin, which is what gives them their staying power. Instead of being absorbed by the vagina tissue like water based lubricants are, they stay slick laying on top of the tissue. So what are the drawbacks? They’re not natural or organic products, and if you are concerned about the safety of dimethicone (Canada is, the US isn’t), you might wish to stay away. Also, you cannot use silicone lubricant with silicone toys, or you will risk ruining your toy. You can, however, use silicone lubricants with condoms.
But why choose silicone lubricant? If you have a very sensitive vagina and even Sliquid Organics causes you pH grief, a simple, quality silicone lubricant could be just what you need. Pink is very popular among women with sensitivities, and Babeland makes a high quality silicone lubricant of their own that is supposed to be very similar. Some people love silicone lubricant for anal sex and anal play, too, though it is harder to find a thicker formulation which is usually favored for backdoor entry.
Hybrids are a mix of silicone and water based lubricants, which sounds silly and a bit pointless, but they can actually be quite nice. I like them for the fact that they’re long lasting, but easy to clean up. Dare I say they’re the Hannah Montana of lubricants: the best of both worlds. Oh yeah, I went there. Things you don’t want to picture. Sorry.
Despite my parting ways with Pure Romance, if you attend a party any time in the near future, I do recommend their Pure Silk lubricant. It’s a hybrid, but it’s somehow safe to use with toys. I’ve never used any other hybrid lubricant, but JO makes one that I wouldn’t hesitate to try out. Warning: most hybrids cannot be used with silicone toys. Do not ruin your investment pieces.
Yum! There are many, many types and brands of flavored lubricants, from the cheapo jelly-like tubes to the warming, saccharin-sweet “massage liquids” to higher-end, more body friendly options. What you really need to know is that what’s suitable for the penis isn’t always suitable for the vagina. A friend of mine swears by warming, flavored massage liquid for blowjobs. Would I ever suggest using that for oral sex on a woman? Nope. It’s simply too sweet, and the sweeter a lubricant is, the more sugary and potentially yeast-causing it is.
My personal favorite flavored lubricant is JO H2O (again, holla to Adam & Eve Pittsburgh!), which is available in several tasty but not too sweet flavors, and is made with top quality glycerine to keep it safe for vaginal use for most women. I have the cherry flavor, while most others seem to prefer pomegranate or strawberry. If you’re looking for a certifiably vegan option, check out Intimate Organics, which also warm to the touch.
Things That are Not Good Lubricants and/or Will Make Your Vagina Very Sad
Spit – Stays wet for, what, five seconds? Unless you’re using it to refresh some water based lube (yep, it works!), spit is not a lubricant.
Oil based lubricants – Great for handies, awful for vaginal sex. At best, you’ll have an oily vagina and stained sheets. At worst, you’ll have bacterial vaginosis and/or a urinary tract infection. If it’s creamy, don’t put it in you. The worst culprit of this is Whipped, from Pure Romance. That stuff is satan in a squeeze tube, and a large part of why I quit the biz.
Soap or shower gel – Sex in the shower is great. Soap in your vagina is not great. No fingering with soap, no vaginal intercourse with soap. Soap has a completely different pH than your vagina. Don’t make your vagina sad.
Whew! What’s your favorite – or least favorite – lubricant? Do you have a new one on your must try list now?
Long week! And it’s Wednesday! But my new job has been super exciting, and with one of the most crucial members of the team on vacation, it’s been busy for all of us. Honestly, I didn’t find it difficult at all to get used to talking to strangers about intimate products. I guess I don’t really have much of a filter for that kind of thing… The strangest thing to get used to? Not everyone wants to talk about the products as much as I do! It’s a little sad when I don’t get to tell them the great things about ben-wa balls and Liberators, but some people just like to shop alone.
Thank you all for being there for me during this transition. I’ve really never worked this much at a job that I actually love before, and while it’s far less draining than working at a big box retailer was (many moons ago), at the end of the day it’s still been eight hours on the floor.
Speaking of thanks, here are some of the lovely ladies that keep me going! Their posts always put a smile on my face, or a sticky thought in my mind. (That sounds kinda gross, but I meant that they sometimes pose questions or ideas that need time to sort out in your brain. Not, like, anything disgusting.)
Kasia has been around here since pretty much the very beginning, and she’s one of my favorite ladies. She blogs over at Koju Bofu, all about her travels and her daily experiences. She’s definitely earned an International Playgirl status!
Corinne of Frock & Roll is a new friend that I’m head over heels for! I think she’s one of the only bloggers I know who hadn’t embraced the smart phone trend until very recently. But we got her! She’s on the dark side now!
Carmen always makes me laugh like crazy. She blogs at Cheeky Cheeky and I have a blogcrush on her. I’m also one of her May sponsors, and she’s such a pleasure to work with that if I have to stop sponsoring her at some point, I’ll probably shed a tear.
Chantilly is a fantastic singer/songwriter/blogger based in New York. She’s an amazing lady who really works hard to live out her dream, and her blog is so honest and unpretentious.
Em of Lick My Cupcakes is an Australian baller and hilarious lady blogger of awesomeness. She keeps me entertained on the Twitter machine and her latest blog post cracks me up.
Thank you ALL!
So apparently retail is a danger to your health and well-being. Not like, shopping, but working in retail. But actually, it’s probably just my weak-ass immune system, which essential works about 70% of the time. If there’s something going around, I will come down with it. My throat hurts like the dickens.
Luckily for you, this means I’ve had plenty of time to sit in bed looking for Sunday links! Hoorah!
& Throwback: This guest post by Kyla Roma on My Girl Thursday was one of the first posts I read about starting a blog and how to do it your way.
& As you probably know, I love all things Instagram. I’m an Instawhore. Ergo, I was completely giddy when Gala posted Ten Ways to Make Your Instagram Photos Pop, because Gala ‘grams with the best of ‘em.
& I’m always freaking out over being “an adult” – mind you, I have a Hello Kitty toaster and received an Easter basket this year – and the blog Adulting makes it so much easier. If you feel underprepared to be an adult, go. There are tons of tips on everyday things life throws at you that you will need to take care of because mum & dad are no longer responsible for you.
& Stela always posts amazing tutorials on her blog Stelabird; one of my favorites is this zippered mini pouch. Also, she’s a small business owner, so she automatically gets +500 cool points.
& Have you been following Sarah’s 6 Weeks to a Better Blog series? I’m addicted!
I think the rest of today will be spent cleaning and shopping at H&M. I’m in major need of some new summer dresses and skirts, and I’ve noticed that my old clothes just don’t fit my body like they used to. Instead of cramming myself into them and feeling awkward and guilty, I think I’m going to try shopping for my new hips instead. (I gained about 7lb this year, and it all settled on the hips, boobs, and butt… I’m counting myself lucky!) Anyone else in need of a seasonal wardrobe update?