Posts Tagged ‘vagina’

Where do you like your hair?

For at least the last 6 years, I hadn’t really strayed from a somewhat rigorous grooming campaign against the pubes.  As far as I knew, all of my friends were doing the same thing: obsessively shaving down to completely bare.  If you were at the pool and you saw someone’s pubic hair, it was just about the end of the world.  You could hear the collective “Ewww” from a mile away.

On the anti-bare side, you’ll often hear, “It looks prepubescent.  It’s just not natural.  It’s a societal pressure that stems from pornography.”  On the pro-bare side, “It looks better this way.  I started shaving (or waxing) so now I can’t stop.  I just like it.”  From both sides, you’ll hear people for whom this isn’t so much a matter of personal preference as it is a matter of their partner(s) preference(s), their adult entertainer job requirements, or just the idea that it’s how things should look.

Full disclosure: This discussion does stem from a semi-recent decision to let the gardens grow freely, so to speak.  It was partly laziness, and partly partner preference.  For the first week, it was awful.  Now that it’s been a month or so, I’m actually kind of finding that I like it.  I’ll admit, it doesn’t go quite as well with my pretty delicate panty collection (in my opinion, a bare canvas lets the underwear do the talking), but it’s kind of fun being fluffy.

I’m legitimately curious, do you feel like there’s a taboo about women in their 20s having pubic hair?  If you’re dating or in an open relationship, does it seem like it’s expected of you to shave?  If you were totally unconcerned with maintaining for someone else’s sake, what would you do with your hair?

On the topic of hair, what about your legs, underarms, “mustache”, or arm hair?  Do you actually like the look or feel of bare skin, or do you feel like you should?  Personally, I don’t care whether or not I’m shaved, but I’ll freely admit that I care about people not judging me for it.  Nobody’s perfect.

 

Slippery When Wet

Darlings,

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

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 Based 

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.

Hybrid Lubricants

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.  

Flavored

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?

If You’re Tested and You Know It, Clap Your Hands

Hi pretties.

Two sex-related posts in a row?  Have I gone mad?  Probably.  But I’m still gonna do it.  Mwahaha.

Did you know, before I have sex with any new partner, I ask them if they’ve recently been tested?  You probably didn’t know that, unless we’re friends or we’ve had sex, but yeah, it’s true!

I’ve actually been tested after every partner and before every new partner.  Because my school provides free (!!) testing, it’s super easy for me to get discreet test results.  My parents don’t see them, and they call me personally on my cell and don’t leave voicemails about my vagina being all nice ‘n healthy.  If you have such services at your college or university, what are you waiting for?  You get swabbed or pee in a cup or have an eensy bit of blood drawn and shebang – back to banging!

If you don’t have access to a uni health center, you can definitely check out Planned Parenthood.  If you have health insurance, see what’s covered under your plan.  There may also be a free clinic in your area that will test for free or cheap.  There are dozens of ways and places to get tested, and it can all be done very privately.

Why am I such a stickler?  I love all ‘em reproductive organs all up in my body!  I love my brain, too!  But syphilis!  Gonorrhea!  Crabs!  HPV!  I don’t love those!  

“But Sarah, it’s so awkward to be like, ‘Hey, I really want you in me but first, can we please talk about the health of your penis?’”  Why, yes, dear reader, it can be.  (An interjection: yes, condoms do protect against STDs.  But because it’s not a 100% guarantee (some skin is still exposed, after all), I still bring it up.  Every time.)  I like to start by saying, “I’m kind of a stickler about my health, so I promise you, this isn’t personal.  I would really like for us both to get tested, unless you’ve recently been tested and you know you’re clean.”  My honest opinion?  Anyone who can’t react positively to something like that is not someone I want to be sleeping with!  I’ve honestly had that sentiment work with several past partners, and they were all very kind about it.

To be completely honest, I have an IUD, so if I’m in a committed monogamous relationship, I don’t insist on condoms.  When I was on the pill, I still did, but of course that’s up to you and your partner(s) and your gyno.  I’m definitely not here to give out medical advice!  But, when sleeping with a new partner, it’s definitely no glove, no love over here.

I’m not going to try to scare you with statistics.  I have a love/hate relationship with statistics anyway.  But, if you respect your body, yourself, and your partner, you should get tested.  It’s not shameful – it’s healthy.  It doesn’t mean you’re a tramp (and remember, we don’t slutshame here) – it means you’re informed.

Good luck.  Go get ‘em, tiger.

Safe & sexy,

Sarah

What’s the Buzz? Part 4: The Rabbit

Hi pretties,

Please, please tell me that at least some of you have seen the Sex and the City episode with the Rabit?  Dual-actions are, hands down, my favorite kind of vibrator to talk about because they vary so widely but do so much.  I love me some multitasking tools (sporks, anyone?) and a rabbit style dual-action vibrator is no exception!

But why a dual-action?  Dual-action vibrators provide sensation everywhere it counts.  There are actually plenty of nerves within the first 2 inches of the vagina.  Many dual-action toys hit your G-spot, provide sensation for the opening of the vagina, and also deliver the clitoris.  They come in all shapes and sizes, so if you’ve ever been intimidated by bigger toys, or unimpressed by smaller ones, fear not: there is a dual-action out there for you!

& Fifi : If you’ve read the other installments of my What’s the Buzz series (1, 2, or 3), you know that I love the Je Joue line.  Fifi is no exception.  Like Mimi and Uma, Fifi is completely waterproof, made of 100% pure medical grade silicone, and she is rechargeable, meaning you don’t have to mess with batteries when all you want to do is have a good time!  What really impresses me about Fifi, though, is that the rabbit ear clitoral attachments are actually individually motorized, making them very powerful.  Fifi is the priciest of the dual-action vibes I’ll be linking, at $139, but I still heartily recommend her for anyone looking for a power, silicone, rechargeable toy.  You will not be left with weak vibrations when you play with Fifi!

& Butterfly Kiss : The toy company that I used to work for sold a product remarkably similar to the Butterfly Kiss, but at roughly 3x the cost – even at that price, it was a huge seller, because this design is amazing for beginners.  I would confidently recommend this toy to any friend looking for a first time vibrator, especially someone who doesn’t want or need a lot of length or girth, but wants to try a g-spot toy with added clitoral stimulation.  Butterfly Kiss is even waterproof, which is quite a bargain at $17.

& My First Rabbit VibeThis Rabbit-style vibrator has the looks of a classic.  It does not rotate to reach the g-spot, but its rows of beads rotate to provide a lot of stimulation to the first 2-3 inches of the vagina.  The rabbit ear clitoral stimulators are classics for a reason - they work!  In my opinion, one of the best things about these kinds of toys is that because the toy is a bit squishy (made of TPR silicone), you can press and hold the rabbit in place so that it works perfectly with your anatomy.  At $39, this is an amazingly budget-friendly classic rabbit vibrator, though it is considered to be a louder toy.

& The Rabbit Habit : This is the rabbit originally featured on Sex and the City, with all the bells and whistles!  The shaft rotates to hit your g-spot, the rotating beads are right in place to reach the most sensitive part of the vagina, and the rabbit ears are powerful.  Unlike the one in the video I linked above, this rabbit is free of remote controls.  This is a louder vibrator, but it really packs a punch when it comes to power.  If you live alone, don’t hesitate!  At $90, this is a bit of an investment, but it’s a popular option for a very good reason.

Do any of my readers have experience with a rabbit style dual-action toy?  Any recommendations that I didn’t list?  I would love to hear from you!

Safe & sexy,

Sarah

What’s the Buzz? Part 3

At long last, I’m here to talk about G-spot Vibrators!  (If you missed parts 1 or 2, you can check them out here and here, respectively.  We talked about vibrator material basics and clitoral vibrators.)

The G-spot is less widely understood than the clitoris, so let’s start with a little basic information.  Lady friend, meet your G-spot.  Usually, the G-spot is located about 2 inches inside the vagina on your belly-button side.  It’s a patch of nerve endings that, when stimulated, produce what’s often described as a different kind of orgasm.  FYI: At first, it will probably feel like you have to pee.  You don’t.  You’re on the right track.

So how can you stimulate your G-spot?  Some women like dildos for the simple fact that they can be easier to control, and not every woman feels like she needs vibration on that area.  I like firmer vibrators because if you don’t feel like you want or need the vibration some days, you can use them like you would a dildo.  It’s really up to you.  At some point, I will do a post on dildos – don’t worry!

That having been said, you really do have a range of options when it comes to G-spot vibrators:

1) Size.  Do you want something big or small?  What do YOU consider big or small?  Think about girth as well as length.

2) Material.  Do you want something firm or something more jelly-like (thermoplastic rubber, phthalate-free, is great)?

3) Strength of vibration, patterns, bells & whistles.  Do you need something with one setting, 3, or 5 plus patterns?  Do you like patterns, or do you find they just get in the way?  Do you need to be able to have your fun without your roommates knowing what you’re up to?  

Don’t worry – I’ve already considered these for you!

If you’re looking for something small and jelly-like, the Pleasurizer ($22) vibe from Babeland.  As a former associate with a toy selling company that ran in-home parties, I’m actually very familiar with this toy personally and can confidently tell you that it’s a great first time vibe!  The nubbies at the base are meant for clitoral stimulation, but as not every woman is built the same, I’m more comfortable recommending this as a G-spot vibe than a dual-action.  The bulbous head is perfect for hitting your G-spot, though, and the jelly texture and small size won’t feel overwhelming.  Plus, it’s not a loud toy – this is definitely one I would feel safe recommending for those in an apartment situation.

Women with a little bit more toy experience, or those who prefer a more realistic feel, might like the Boss Naked ($67).  It’s actually Babeland’s own unique toy, and while it is closer to realistic than most G-spot toys I’ve seen, it’s definitely on the tasteful end of realism!  Better yet, the reviews claim rumbly vibrations and a reasonable level of quiet for a stronger toy.  Because it’s a silicone toy, it’s harder than the Pleasurizer above, but still has enough give to it to be comfortable inside of the vagina.  Because Boss Naked is a firmer toy, I would even go so far as to say that you could comfortably use it as a clitoral vibrator if you found the vibrations in the tip strong enough.  

If you were curious about Mimi from the last WTB? installment, you should definitely check out her big sister Uma ($109).  I was actually seriously tempted by Uma last time I made a toy investment, and I’m still dying to add her to my collection.  As another silicone toy, Uma is firmer than the Pleasurizer, and judging by Mimi’s texture, it may actually be firmer than Boss Naked is described to be.  While firm, Uma is not strictly made for girls with girth requirements – at 1.5″ at the widest point across, this is not an intimidating toy.  I have heard that Uma is not the quietest toy on the market, but with a motor similar to Mimi’s, I can assure you that behind closed doors and walls that are at least not plywood-thin, you should be fine and discreet.  Like Mimi, Uma has five speeds and five pulsation patterns, which means plenty of variety and many options for you to discover exactly what works for you.

As with all toys, I definitely recommend a water-based lubricant.  There are so many on the market that it shouldn’t be hard for you to find one you like – you can even start with basic KY water-based liquid from the drug store if you don’t want to order online.  Just make sure not to use any silicone lubricants on your toys!

Once you’ve narrowed down your choices and have an idea of the kind of toy you want, consider where you make your purchase.  I’ve linked to Babeland during each installment of this series so far because all of their toys are body safe and they have excellent sex education articles.  I feel that Babeland is committed to safe and smart sexuality, so I endorse them.  I’m an affiliate, which means that if you buy through the links I provide, I get a commission.  I’m not here to sell you things, though – I would never recommend something I wouldn’t personally consider, or that I wouldn’t recommend to a close friend.  I believe in making your life better through safely exploring your sexuality, and I think Babeland is a legitimately good source for intimate products.  Browse Babeland’s selection of G-spot vibrators or, if you prefer, head to your local retailer to check them out yourself.  Consider size, material, and vibration strength when making your choice.  

Soon, you can expect to see the final installment of What’s the Buzz? – dual-action vibrators!  Including the famous Rabbit.  

Do any of you have favorite G-spot toys that you recommend?  Did you find any of my toy recommendations helpful?  I would love to hear from you!

Safe & sexy,

Sarah