All Articles Tagged "sex"

Unconditional Love? Common Relationship Realities

May 28th, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Do relationship titles matter?

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When it comes to relationships, how realistic are your expectations? Are you a believer in perfect unions or do you keep it real with yourself? Your answer might determine how you conduct yourself when it comes to your love life. Yes it’s great to have moral standards and convictions, but ultimately there are certain realities you definitely need to consider.

Here are a few.

Should Lying To Get Sex Be Considered Rape?

May 27th, 2015 - By Charing Ball
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If you are like most single folks out here in these dating streets, the thought has probably crossed your mind that at least one of your exes deserved to be locked away in a jail cell for lying and breaking your hearts. If you are a New Jersey resident, the good news is that soon you might have an opportunity to do just that.

According to Jenice Armstrong columnist for the Philadelphia Daily News, New Jersey law Assemblyman Troy Singleton has sponsored a bill which would make “sexual assault by fraud” a punishable offense. In short, the bill hopes to expand the definition of sexual assault in that state to include “an act of sexual penetration to which a person has given consent because the actor has misrepresented the purpose of the act or has represented he is someone he is not.”

As reported by Armstrong, the inspiration behind the bill is Mischele Lewis, a 37-year-old “suburban-mom-turned-activist” who found out that the man she was dating lied about not only not having children – he has a 10 year old daughter – but also not having a home – he lived in his parent’s basement.

As Lewis told Armstrong in an interview:

“I think it’s important because trying to deceive anyone for the purpose of sexual gratification is just wrong…Every person has the right to knowing consent. And before they consent to be intimate with anybody, they should absolutely know 100 percent who it is that they are being intimate with.”

According to the Daily News report, Lewis met her soulmate online in 2013 as Liam Allen, a supposed secret agent for the British Government. She later found out that his actual name is William Allen Jordan and he is a registered sex offender who was convicted of indecent assault of a minor and once served time in the U.K. for bigamy. In addition to conning Lewis out of her panties, he also conned her out of $5,000 over the course of their courtship.

I’m not going to judge Lewis too harshly, as most of us have fallen for the romantic okey-doke before.  Okay, most of us probably haven’t been conned into believing that our beau was 007, but many of us can readily recount being lied to by a partner who said they were unattached and maybe even childless, when the opposite was true. Hell, it is the entire first season plot of Being Mary Jane.

And as crazy the law is, there is precedence. Tennessee, Alabama and Michigan all have rape by deception laws on the books. And in 2009, the state of California introduced its own rape by fraud law after a man named Julio Morales was arrested and tried for sneaking into a woman’s bedroom at night, pretending he was her boyfriend and proceeding to sex with her. In addition to facing charges for sexually assaulting a sleeping woman, Morales was also convicted for rape by fraud for impersonating the woman’s boyfriend. The conviction was based on an old California law from 1872 that criminalize such deception. However, the appellate courts dismissed the rape by fraud charge, because the law only applied to married women. In 2013, A California assemblyman introduced two bills to expand the existing rape by fraud law so that it included non-married couples and after passing through both the state house and senate with little dissention, the law was signed into law by Governor Jerry Brown.

Personally, I’m on the fence with these particular laws. I definitely feel like there should be some sort of legal recourse when folks engage in fraudulent or deceptive behavior in intimate relationships, be they consensual or otherwise. There are people who lie about their HIV/AIDS statuses and end up costing someone, or ones, their lives. Surely that kind of treachery deserves some time in prison? Plus, we lock people up for stealing inanimate objects all the time, so why shouldn’t our own bodies deserve the same sort of protection?

But where do we draw the line? What if a guy tells me that he has a big penis and then I find out he is packing nothing bigger than a Vienna sausage. Could I then go to the police station and file charges against him for rape by fraud? Laugh, but the courts are clogged now with this sort of malicious prosecution. If you ask me, these laws are painfully open to interpretation. And that is what kind of scares me.

 

Get Your Groove Back: How To Have More Sex & Enjoy It

May 22nd, 2015 - By Tanvier Peart
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Sex isn’t everything there is to a relationship, but is very important. Having an amazing physical connection with your love can turn a bad day into a better one.

Y’all know folks get cranky when they don’t get any.

If you or your partner have been struggling in this area, the time has come to get it on. Here are some ways you can have more sex…and enjoy it too.

How To Have A Normal Sexual Life With A Cloacal Malformation

May 22nd, 2015 - By TaMara Griffin
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Source: Shutterstock

Over the past few days, websites have been buzzing with a story about a pregnant woman who reportedly got pregnant by having anal sex. Before we go any further, let’s be clear in most cases a woman cannot get pregnant through anal sex; however this particular woman has an extraordinarily rare situation. Her pregnancy was the result of a condition known as cloacal malformation.

So what exactly is cloacal malformation?

Cloacal malformations encompass a wide array of complicated defects that occur during development of the female fetus during pregnancy. Cloacal malformations occur when failure of the urogenital septum to separate the cloacal membrane results in the urethra, vagina, rectum and anus opening into a single common channel instead of three separate openings: urethra, vagina, and anus.  Additionally, the clitoris looks like a penis, causing gender confusion. Cloacal-related malformations and/or abnormalities can also result in multiple vaginas, a malformed anus, and other defects of the ureters and kidneys. The literature reports that the incidence rate of cloacal malformations is approximately 1 per 20,000-25,000 live births

Cloacal malformations are discovered typically at the time of birth. Upon physical examination of the newborn, the physician discovers a single opening in the perineal area. The newborn may also have abdominal swelling. After the physician has made the physical diagnosis of cloaca, the full extent of the malformation is typically determined with a complete medical examination and advanced imaging. Patients may undergo many radiologic examinations such as X-rays, ultrasounds and MRI. Failure to identify a cloaca as being present in a newborn and repair immediately may result in serve complications.

Treatment of a cloacal malformation

Cloacal malformations require surgical repair, but the procedure depends on the type and extent of the abnormality. The goal for treatment of a female born with cloaca is to achieve bowel control, urinary control, and sexual function, which includes menstruation, intercourse, and possibly pregnancy. Repairing a cloacal malformation requires a collaborative effort by an experienced multidisciplinary team of surgeons. Special focus is given to separating the rectum, vagina and urethra while still maintaining urinary control, bowel functioning, and preserving sexual and reproductive capacity. While the initial goal is to stabilize the child and relieve blockages in the urinary and intestinal tract, the long range goals are directed at restoring anatomy and function. Great variation exists in anatomy and corrective efforts must be individualized.

Although a cloacal malformation may repair at birth, it is essential that adolescents with a cloacal malformation transition to specialist teams with appropriate expertise as they become adults to monitor any issues.

Sexual functioning in adult females with a cloacal malformation

Gynecological outcomes include menstruation, sexual function and fertility. The aim of reconstructive surgery should be to achieve sexual function, which includes those things. Although reconstructive surgery is used to correct the cloacal malformation, and for the most part the genitalia looks relatively natural, sexual challenges still may present. Sexual functioning can be affected by both physical and psychological factors including:

  • vaginal stenosis
  • scar tissue after the vaginal repair
  • other co-existing medical conditions like renal failure
  • bowel management
  • incontinence
  • fertility challenges
  • premature birth
  • vaginismus
  • dyspareunia
  • reduced sexual sensitivity and sexual satisfaction
  • body image issues
  • lack of self-esteem
  • lack of relationship satisfaction
  • depression
  • other mental health conditions

Once the cloacal malformation is surgically corrected and the patient is working collaboratively with a team of expert clinicians, an enjoyable sex life is possible. If vaginal and/or anal intercourse is unbearable as a result of the condition, working with a sexologist or sex therapist can help women explore alternative techniques and tools to enhance sexual pleasure. Additionally, it is extremely important that a female with a cloacal malformation establishes open, honest and consistent communication with sexual partner(s) regarding her condition. This open line of communication can help minimize anxiety and discomfort as well as increase support, intimacy and sexual pleasure.

Unfortunately, the cause of this condition is unknown and the lack of available long-term follow-up data for women with a cloacal malformation presents challenges within the medical community. Nevertheless, in order to optimize health outcomes, it is essential that adult women remain under the care of specialized multidisciplinary teams, including a gynecologist, urologist, internal medicine physician, sexologist or sex therapist that are familiar with the management of cloacal-related malformations and/or abnormalities.

 

 

11162189_10152909148383315_4765678910343590883_nDr. TaMara loves nothing more than talking about sex! At the age of 13, she told her mother she wanted to be a Sex Therapist! Her passion is deeply rooted in spreading messages about healthy sexuality. Dr. TaMara is a certified clinical sexologist, sex therapist, best selling author and powerful motivational speaker with more than 20 years of experience speaking, writing and teaching about sexuality. She travels the country helping individuals embrace and honor their sexuality. Dr. TaMara has published numerous books and articles. She is the owner of L.I.F.E. by Dr. TaMara- Live Inspired Feel Empowered LLC-LIFE. Dr. TaMara is also the Editor-in-Chief of Our Sexuality! Magazine. Our Sexuality! is the premiere magazine for women’s sexuality and sexual health. Dr. TaMara is a “Thought Leader” for the Association of Black Sexologist and Clinicians. She is also a member of the American College of Sexologists International. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook at LIFE by Dr. TaMara or Instagram, or her Live Inspired Feel Empowered (L.I.F.E.) blog www.drtamaragriffin.com. Join Dr. TaMara movement of Healthy Sexuality #HowDareINot #ISaveLives www.howdareinot.com

“I Was Tired Of Feeling Like A Closed-Off, Sexually Frigid Woman”: Ev’Yan Whitney On Being A Sex Doula

May 21st, 2015 - By Deja Jones
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Sex Positions For Big Men

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I came across an article on Sex, Love, Liberation entitled, “Why I’m Tired of Spiritual Sex.” It started with its founder and sex doula, Ev’Yan Whitney, boldly stating, “I’m over the flowery euphemisms, over the soft language and woo woo words, over relying on analogies that place importance on the sacred.”

I was taken aback at the fact that there was someone else in this world who believed women are capable of being sexual savages with remarkably high sex drives and remain in control. Completely identifying with her stance on the way female sexuality is coddled and sheltered, I caught up with her for a chat on her career as a sexuality doula and movement to redefine sexuality.

What Is A Sexuality Doula?

A good friend of mine actually came up with the term because I was lamenting to her about how I didn’t want to call myself a “sex coach” at the time. A lot of people are familiar with what a birthing doula is—someone who provides physical, emotional and spiritual support before, during and after birth. And a sexuality doula encompasses the work that I do, which is supporting and facilitating women emotionally, spiritually and physically toward sexual liberation and into their erotic power.

Why It’s Not The Same As A Sex Therapist

One simple difference is training. Therapists go through extensive amounts of education. I am self-taught and pull from my own experiences of 6+ years of doing and studying this work. My work is very intuitive, very body-based. I like to go with the flow of my clients and fine tune my work with them because everyone is so different. I don’t have a lesson plan necessarily. I believe in divine improv. My work feels really spiritual much of the time.

With my work, I’m not trying to fix anyone. I’m trying to be a beacon of light for your sexual healing. I ask the hard questions to get you to deeply explore the innermost places of who you are. I hold space. I partake in rituals. I give support and resources. And I never claim to be an expert.

Her Sexual Awakening

I had always been inching slowly toward sexual liberation. But when I started Sex, Love, Liberation, I was at a place where I was really committed to expressing and blossoming into the erotic woman I wanted to be. So Sex, Love, Liberation was the first serious step I took toward lasting erotic empowerment.

How Her Journey Began 

So many things! I was tired of living in a sexless marriage. I was tired of feeling like a closed-off, sexually frigid woman. And I was reading a lot of books and articles at the time to kind of “diagnose” my problem, which was having an unexplainably low libido. I had lived underneath the dark, heavy energy of shame around sex for so long and one day I decided I had had enough.

I began to get curious about female sexuality. But what really interested me was the idea that I could create my own definitions of what a healthy sex life and expression of sexuality looked like, that I didn’t need to keep living in a cycle of shame, that I could find sexual liberation on my own. And so I began to explore what that looked like for me while chronicling my journey.

You Have To Know Thyself Before You Can Help Anyone Else

At the time, it was vital that I did this inner work on myself. My relationship was becoming more and more strained as a result of my indifference to sex, and I was beginning to hate myself for not being able to do what seemed to be a natural, non-dramatic thing.

These days, it’s even more vital, but for different reasons. I’ve moved past a lot of my sexual shame, and my sex life is very healthy and beautiful. But now, I’m being called to help other women in the same way I helped myself, and I am being asked to step up as a facilitator in that way. So, it’s vital to the sexual awakenings of others that I continue on this path. And through helping them, I learn more about myself.

The Good, The Bad, And The Ugly Of Being A Sex Doula

Well, doing this work has certainly affected my life more so in a positive way than negative. I’m having more sex, not because I’ve taken a magic pill, but because I’ve finally found freedom to express myself as a sexual woman. I’m not weighed down by shame, and I’m free to explore my sexuality in the safety of boundaries I’ve constructed. Another positive thing: I’ve managed to make this a “thing”; this is what I do for a living, it’s what puts bread on the table and pays my bills. I never thought I could actually do something that I loved while also getting paid nicely for it. It’s amazing and such a blessing.

I’d say the only negative thing that’s come from my work is some of the backlash I’ve received from my family. They’re not 100% in agreement with what I do or what I write about. I think they feel that I’m airing my own dirty laundry or being perverse. So, it’s definitely caused a rift between us. It’s unfortunate, but I’ve learned to tune out the naysayers, even if they come from blood. I’ve got to do what I’ve got to do, and I was chosen to do this work for a reason.

On Being Sexually Free, But Legally Bound

I think a lot of us feel that when you get married, all the fun is over and you don’t have to grow anymore; that you can just kind of coast along and not worry too much about rocking the boat. This is what I thought. I thought that marriage was all about stability, predictability. But I didn’t want any of that. I mean, yes, security and predictability has its place, but I also wanted space to grow, to explore, to come into myself.

I got married really young, had just turned 20, so the idea of settling down and into a particular mode of thinking couldn’t have worked for me. I was still coming into myself—we both were. We wanted the ability to grow together, to support each other’s self-discoveries. My sexual-liberation journey prompted that. It’s hard to stay stagnant when you’re trying to liberate yourself. My marriage has, surprisingly, been an incredible facet of my sexual liberation because I picked a great guy who wants to see me flourish and be the best woman I can be. And through my inner explorations, I’ve always given him permission to seek too and find himself—not just sexually, either.

How She Has Helped Other Women 

I get the sense that I’ve helped women better understand their anatomy. I’ve helped women heal from sexual traumas. I’ve helped women create new ways of seeing and expressing themselves as erotic women. Mainly, I help women find solace in their own desires and curiosities when it comes to sex. I do this through writing about my own personal experiences, and I try my best not to be preachy or to put myself in a place of being an expert. I want people to come to their own conclusions. I want people to discover themselves on their own terms, and I often feel like my writings help get them through that door.

I’ve been offered a few opportunities to work with men, but honestly, I feel I’d do them a disservice. I only know how to teach and facilitate from my perspective, from a woman’s perspective. And while I know men need sexual liberation just as much as women, I choose not to go beyond my scope.

But there’s another side to that, because I truly believe that when you liberate a woman, you liberate a man. So, I suppose you could say that indirectly I work with men just through the women who are seeking sexual liberation from me.

On The Positive Feedback And Also Confusion About What She Does

Hands down, the response about what I do is generally positive. Mostly, people hear what I do and they say, “Oh, thank God. We need this work so badly.” I also get a lot of giggles when I hand out my business cards. People are still really shy about sex, they can’t even see the word without blushing. I forget that a lot of the time, because I’m so entrenched in this work that the topic of sex has become pretty normalized for me.

Advice For Those Feeling Sexually Repressed 

I would tell them to begin to peel back the layers of what it is that makes them struggle. What’s underneath there? What needs to be brought to light? What beautiful things could come from sexual self-discovery? Go in the direction of your curiosity and desires. You’ll find lost pieces of yourself there.

How To Create A Positive Representation Of Female Sexuality In Our Community

One way would be to stand in our sexual power as women, to not cower away from our desires and impulses–men sure as hell don’t. We need to teach our daughters that their sexualities are sacred, not to be shamed. We need to teach our daughters that their bodies are beautiful, and they do amazing things. We need to find peace in our own sexualities by healing sexual shame. Men can do their own work by expanding their minds to what a sexually liberated woman is and what she looks like. Our minds immediately go to promiscuity, and the perverse and sometimes sexual liberation can be those things. But mostly, being a sexually liberated woman means having sexual sovereignty and a sense of self-awareness and acceptance of ourselves. This is a lofty topic, and I could go on and on, but I think that’s a start.

Her Advice For Other Women

I know for me, when I was in the throes of self-loathing about not being horny enough, I was practicing a lot of really mean and destructive self-talk. I was very harshly judging myself and my progress, and looking at others’ sexuality as the “right” way. What I should’ve done was be more accepting and forgiving of myself, because acceptance and forgiveness prompt healing. So, that’s a good place to start—going easy on yourself.

Check out Ev’Yan Whitney’s site, Sex, Love, Liberation and follow her on Twitter @ev_yan.

The Health Benefits Of Self-Touch

May 15th, 2015 - By TaMara Griffin
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For many people, masturbation or self-pleasure is a taboo topic. There are many harmful myths that exist about masturbation that may cause people to feel uncomfortable. And society, as well as the media, does a great job of contributing to the taboo, stigma, and negative messages that surround conversations about sexuality. Advertisers teach us that our bodies are dirty and disgusting. Constantly being inundated with such messages, beliefs, attitudes and feelings like these contribute to the unhealthy behaviors that put women at risk for HIV and other sexually transmitted infections. It also puts us at risk of victimization, abuse, body image issues, unhealthy relationships, mental health challenges and so much more.

In some cultures and religions, masturbation is considered sinful. This can lead to guilt or shame about engaging in the act. Negative messages and feelings about masturbation can threaten our health and well-being. People who receive negative messages about masturbation when they are young often carry feelings of shame surrounding sexuality into adulthood, which can ultimately affect the way we interact in relationships and experience sexual pleasure.

In order to fully experience and appreciate your sexuality, you have to move past the shame and peel back the negative and unhealthy layers of intergenerational patterns that surround it. While masturbation was once thought of as a perversion and a sign of a mental problem, masturbation is now regarded as a natural, healthy sexual activity that is pleasurable and safe. According to various studies, masturbation is a very common behavior, even among people who have a sex partner. According to one national survey, 95 percent of males and 89 percent of females reported that they have masturbated, and here are some reasons why.

The clitoris connection

Women have been equipped with their own special pleasure spot. Did you know this spot is the only organ in the human body with the sole function of providing pleasure? With more than 8,000 nerve endings, it’s no wonder women can achieve multiple mind-blowing orgasms. According to some researchers, stimulation of this organ accounts for 50 to 75 percent of most orgasms. In fact, most women usually experience their first clitoral orgasm through masturbation. When you know what you need to bring yourself pleasure and to orgasm, you strengthen your connection to your body, in addition to experiencing many other health benefits through masturbation.

You learn more about your body

In order to experience pleasure, you have to be intimately acquainted with your body. Understanding your sexual response cycle and how your body changes during each cycle is the hallmark of sexual pleasure. Masturbation is a great way to learn all about your body, your sexual response, and sexual triggers. Learning about what feels good to you can increase your chance of experiencing sexual pleasure with partners because it enables you to communicate what works for you with them.

It creates an intimate bond

Some partners use mutual masturbation to discover techniques for a more satisfying sexual and intimate relationship. Through mutual masturbation, you learn about body mapping. This method helps you figure out what spots, various strokes and techniques you should use to please your partner and vice versa. Also, mutual masturbation is a safer way to explore sexual activity with another person because it lowers your risk for unintended pregnancies, HIV, and other sexually transmitted infections.

It increases confidence

There is a correlation between sexuality and confidence. Knowing how your body works, and what you’re capable of helps to increase your confidence. The more confident you are, the more likely you are to make better decisions, create stronger boundaries and facilitate healthier relationships. When you can bring yourself physical pleasure, you don’t need someone else to validate you. This, unsurprisingly, leads to higher confidence and an increased level of self-care that transcends beyond the bedroom.

Added health benefits

  • creates a sense of well-being
  • enhances sexual experiences with a partner
  • increases the ability to have orgasms
  • improves a relationship and sexual satisfaction
  • improves sleep
  • increases self-esteem and improves body image
  • provides sexual pleasure for people without partners
  • provides treatment for some sexual dysfunctions
  • reduces stress
  • relieves sexual tension
  • relieves menstrual cramps
  • strengthens muscle tone in the pelvic and anal areas
  • serves as a useful learning tool

Pleasuring oneself is one of the most powerful sexual experiences. The freedom to give yourself the permission to explore your body, the time and space to feel pleasure, and to know that you are worth giving and receiving pleasure are some of the most powerful steps to becoming sexually empowered and liberated! And in the words of RuPaul, “If you can’t love yourself how the hell you gonna love somebody else?”

At the end of the day, only you can decide what is healthy and right for you. If you feel ashamed or guilty about masturbating, consider talking with a sex therapist, educator, counselor, and/or clergy member to explore your beliefs and attitudes regarding sexuality.

For more personal insight on masturbation, check out Deja Jones’ piece here.

 

IMG_2541Dr. TaMara loves nothing more than talking about sex! At the age of 13, she told her mother she wanted to be a Sex Therapist! Her passion is deeply rooted in spreading messages about healthy sexuality. Dr. TaMara is a certified clinical sexologist, sex therapist, best selling author and powerful motivational speaker with more than 20 years of experience speaking, writing and teaching about sexuality. She travels the country helping individuals embrace and honor their sexuality. Dr. TaMara has published numerous books and articles. She is the owner of L.I.F.E. by Dr. TaMara- Live Inspired Feel Empowered LLC-LIFE. Dr. TaMara is also the Editor-in-Chief of Our Sexuality! Magazine. Our Sexuality! is the premiere magazine for women’s sexuality and sexual health. Dr. TaMara is a “Thought Leader” for the Association of Black Sexologist and Clinicians. She is also a member of the American College of Sexologists International. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook at LIFE by Dr. TaMara or Instagram, or her Live Inspired Feel Empowered (L.I.F.E.) blog www.drtamaragriffin.com. Join Dr. TaMara movement of Healthy Sexuality #HowDareINot #ISaveLives www.howdareinot.com

Don’t Be Afraid To Touch: Why Everyone Needs To Lighten Up When It Comes To Female Masturbation

May 15th, 2015 - By Deja Jones
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Source: Shutterstock

Among other national holidays celebrated this month, May has been named National Masturbation Month. As I sit and think about female masturbation and the openness of female sexuality, in general, I realize that it is still a very taboo subject when it doesn’t involve pornography or male pleasure as an end result. Why is that? Why is it still deemed unusual for women to pleasure themselves and speak freely about it? Masturbation is treated as almost a “rite of passage” for boys transitioning into their prepubescent stages, as it’s expected for them to begin touching themselves at a young age. But we are subconsciously promoting shame among girls for doing it. Even after the sexual revolution of the ’60s and ’70s, and in a supposedly post-feminist era, the idea of women and masturbation together remains a little too complex for some.

The idea that women can enjoy sex on their own has yet to gain cultural acceptance in some places. It’s as if time froze in the ’50s and many social conservatives still see it as unethical, or freaky. Pop culture often depicts women touching themselves as overwhelmingly pornographic as if it’s only something women branded as sexually liberated can partake in as opposed to every girl. It’s like the idea of having a bowel movement. We all do it, and it’s a natural bodily function, but some hold on to the idea that women don’t do it. There are some women who won’t even talk about it in the presence of men or women alike.

A study on sexuality conducted at Ohio State University surveyed women and found that they were more likely to admit they masturbated if they were guaranteed confidentiality. However, their male counterparts spoke openly of pleasuring themselves and even overshared at times.

I recently had a conversation with one of my male friends on the subject of masturbation. He gave me a detailed description from start to finish on how he sets the mood, as well as the rhythm he uses, and it was literally the most natural and amusing conversation I’ve ever had on a sexual subject.

But when I brought up the subject with a few girlfriends, I got hit with the “I know we’re friends and all but…” responses.

So why can’t a normal girl like me just touch myself on a Saturday night while watching a Netflix movie because I feel like it? Why can’t I initiate healthy conversations of self-exploration in a group chat with my girls without getting shut down or being hit with “OMG” from them? It makes me wonder, does female desire make us uncomfortable? Are women not allowed to be horny just because, and without purpose? Why aren’t some women even comfortable talking about it with other women without clutching their pearls?

In light of Masturbation Month, it’s time to remove the stigma from the act. If you ever find yourself tempted to touch down there, here are some things to consider: Female masturbation has several health benefits, from preventing cervical infections by relieving the urinary tract, to strengthening the pelvic floor and balancing hormones. Aside from these amazing health benefits, getting in tune with yourself also has several psychological and emotional benefits. The most obvious being that it’s a mood booster. And many times we have sexual encounters with men that flop because we expect them to know all of our buttons and what gets us off, but we don’t even know how to do that for ourselves. By exploring our bodies, we learn the rhythm and the things that we like. Having open discussions about masturbating allows us to articulate to our partners what we like; it’s a confidence booster because it’s showing others that we are in control of what pleasures us. Sharing these feelings and experiences with friends also allows us to learn and teach each other how to change our perception of female sexuality and masturbation. So if you find yourself in the middle of the day having the urge to love on yourself just because, do it and enjoy it. Take your time, savor it, listen to your body and know that there is nothing dirty about it…unless, of course, that’s the vibe you’re going for.

For more on the health benefits of masturbation, check out this article.

The Hygienics Of Period Sex

May 8th, 2015 - By TaMara Griffin
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Period Sex

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So you’re “calling a code red” and “closing up shop for maintenance” because “mother nature’s” calling about her “monthly evacuation.” Simply put: you’re on your period and you’re not feeling so frisky when “Aunt Flo’s” in town, right? Well you are not alone! Just the mere mention of the words sex and period in the same sentence, and I don’t mean the punctuation mark, can make you feel totally grossed out and cringing in disgust.

It’s common for many women to avoid having sex while on their period. Just the thought of the blood, tampons, maxi pad and fluctuation of hormones can totally ruined the mood. However, for some women, having sex while on their period is a natural part of life that comes with many benefits. Believe it or not, it’s actually a turn-on for many women because estrogen and testosterone start to rise by the third day of the menstrual cycle. Because of this spike in hormones, many women experience a heightened sense of arousal and feel an insatiable desire to be more sexual and sensual during this time.

The Benefits 

Having sex during your period can potentially alleviate some of the discomfort of the menstrual cycle. The hormones and endorphins that the body releases during sex, such as oxytocin, help to relieve mild pain, depression and irritability associated with premenstrual syndrome (PMS). Having sex also increases blood flow which has the potential to minimize headaches and relieve those dreadful cramps. If you’re a little on the dry side, menstrual blood actually helps to keep the vagina lubricated which will help to reduce uncomfortable vaginal dryness, ripping and tearing during intercourse. Additionally, with each and every orgasm, the muscle contractions helps to expel the blood flow and uterine lining much quicker; thus making your period much shorter. Many women also enjoy sex more when they are on there period because of increased feelings of fullness in the pelvic and genitals. This feeling of fullness increases sensitivity and helps with arousal.

With all those benefits to having sex while on your period, why would someone choose not to partake in the pleasures of the period? Well before you decide to get on your “surf board” and take a “ride the crimson wave,” there are a few things to take into consideration:

Sexually Transmitted Infection Risks

Practicing safer sex is even more essential during your period. Your risks of sexually transmitted diseases and infections are higher than normal during this time because the cervix expands more than usual to allow blood to flow through. This expansion creates a direct pathway for bacteria and viruses to travel deep inside the uterus and the pelvic cavity, placing a woman at an increased risk for sexually transmitted infections. Also, the vagina has lower acidity at this time, which puts the woman at a greater risk of a yeast or bacterial infection, which also helps to aid in the transmission of STIs, hepatitis and other blood borne diseases. So, on your period or not, safer sex is always the best bet.

But it doesn’t feel sexy!

Due to all the hormonal changes, cramping and bloating, you may not feel sexy or like being intimate during the “time of the month.” You may feel unattractive or maybe your partner isn’t comfortable with having sex during this time. This is totally a natural feeling. In order to move beyond this feeling, consider taking a hot and steamy shower with your Beloved. Not only will this help to relax you and spice things, up but it was also help to reduce any anxieties and concerns about cleanliness. Lots of foreplay will also help to take your mind off of your period and onto your Beloved.

Sex can be messy period, but especially so during this time. If you’re concerned, here are a few ways to minimize the mess:

  • If you’re worried about ruining your sheets having sex on towel will help take those worries away. You could also turn up your kink meter and consider investing in a pair of rubber sheets.
  • Having a warm, wet, washcloth or wet wipes nearby to freshen up and quickly clean up afterwards can help to reduce the mess.
  • Your sex positions can also reduce spillage. Having sex in the missionary position will limit blood flow. Conversely, try to avoid having sex with the female on top because there is the possibility of more leakage due to gravity.
  • Having sex toward the end of your period, when your flow is lighter will reduce the likelihood of coming in contact with a lot of blood.
  • Wearing a digraph, soft menstrual cup or a female condom can help reduce the amount of blood that might come out during intercourse. While these devices may not completely block menstrual flow, they can help absorb some of the blood and/or keep it off of your partner.
  • If the mess really bothers you, then try having sex in the shower. Since water can dry out the natural lubrication of the vagina, it might be a good idea to also use a silicone-based lubricant.

If you still think, “It’s just nasty!”

Men ejaculate. Women have vaginal fluid and periods. A period is nothing to be afraid of; t is a totally natural, healthy biological process. Menstrual blood, like other bodily fluids, is natural. However, menstrual blood, unlike those other bodily fluids, has been stigmatized and is considered taboo by society. Historically, female bodies and feminine hygiene have been ostracized and made to feel dirty, and messages put out by the media and feminine hygiene companies help to perpetuate this stereotype. In addition, some cultures and religions believe that a woman is unclean during her period. The decision to have sex on while on your period comes down to a personal choice that is based on your comfort level, beliefs and values regarding sexuality and your partner’s willingness to indulge.

I don’t have to worry about getting pregnant right?

Wrong! There is a chance that you can get pregnant while your on your period. Although very rare, the likelihood is still not zero. Although every woman’s menstrual cycle is different, in general women are usually most fertile about 14 days before the onset of their next menstrual period. This is called ovulation. You are likely to get pregnant if you have intercourse a few days before you ovulate, the day you ovulate, and a day or two after you ovulate. But if you are not on a hormonal birth control method like the pill and are having unprotected sex during this time, there is a possibility of getting pregnant.

Period sex doesn’t only mean intercourse, you’ve got options!

So, you and your Beloved have both moved beyond any hesitations about having sex while on your period and you’re ready to take things to the next level. Instead of intercourse, allow your partner to earn their “Red Wings” through oral stimulation of the clitoris. To prevent your partner from coming in contact with any fluid that may be coming out of the vagina during this time, be sure to use a dental dam. If you don’t have a dental dam, you can use a sheet of plastic wrap or cut a male condom in half and roll it out flat. Remember, oral sex carries the same risk as vaginal and anal sex, so make sure that you always practice safer sex.

Choosing to have sex during “that time of month” is a personal choice that both you and your Beloved have to be comfortable with. Be informed and understand all the intended and unintended consequences of period sex. Make sure you have a conversation with your partner prior to engaging. Don’t surprise your partner in the heat of the moment; don’t be misleading about what’s going on with your vagina. Always be upfront and let them in on the decision prior to any sex play. Communication is the key to any sexual experience. As long as your partner is comfortable and you are practicing safer sex, there’s no reason you can’t enjoy sexual intimacy at all times, even during your menstrual cycle.

11162189_10152909148383315_4765678910343590883_nDr. TaMara loves nothing more than talking about sex! At the age of 13, she told her mother she wanted to be a Sex Therapist! Her passion is deeply rooted in spreading messages about healthy sexuality. Dr. TaMara is a clinical sexologist, sex therapist, best selling author and motivational speaker with more than 20 years of experience speaking, writing and teaching about sexuality. She travels the country helping individuals embrace and honor their sexuality. Dr. TaMara has published numerous books and articles. She is the owner of L.I.F.E. by Dr. TaMara Griffin Live Inspired Feel Empowered LLC-LIFE. Dr. TaMara is also the Editor-in-Chief of Our Sexuality! Magazine. Our Sexuality! is the premiere magazine for women’s sexuality and sexual health. Follow her on Twitter, Facebook at LIFE by Dr. TaMara or Instagram, or her Live Inspired Feel Empowered (L.I.F.E.) blog www.drtamaragriffin.com. Join and support #HowDareINot #ISaveLives Movement visit www.howdareinot.org

Join The #HowDareINot #ISaveLives Movement

May 1st, 2015 - By TaMara Griffin
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IMG_0827 (1)In response to several of the articles that I’ve written, I feel the need to be more assertive in addressing the lack of healthy, holistic and comprehensive sexuality education. I have been charged with standing in the gap, I have accepted the call, and I need your help! I am starting a #HowDareINot and #ISaveLives Movement to increase education around sexuality and I need you to help me by sharing my videos, articles, social media posts, and e-newsletter. We need to get people on board with this movement because way too many of our youth, and even adults and seniors, are dying because of the lack of education, information and skills related to sexual activity! You can start making a difference today by: 1) sharing this article, 2) sharing the logo (posted below) on all your social media sites, 3) sharing the story behind the movement, and 4) taking a picture with the logo! Every time you share something, please include the hashtags #HowDareINot and #ISaveLives.

The story behind the #HowDareINot #ISaveLives campaign logo

This logo has meaning; it’s a metaphor for healthy sexuality! I chose bricks because bricks are strong and sturdy, they can weather the storm, they are an essential part of any foundation because without a foundation, a building will crumble. Our sexuality is our foundation. It is an essential part of who we are. It impacts every area of our lives. Our sexuality sustains us. Without a healthy understanding of our sexuality, we crumble. The deteriorating brick exposing the dark and decaying wall represents the breakdown or degradation of our sexuality, the lack of knowledge and comprehensive sexuality education that runs rampant among us, and our failure to talk about sexuality and dying from our unhealthy sexual decisions. When we fail to talk about sexuality and/or educate ourselves and others, we put ourselves at risk because we do not understand the dimensions and spectrum of sexuality, we do not understand the direct and indirect consequences of sexuality, nor do we fully understand how to make choices to protect ourselves. The white shadowing that radiates from the HowDareINot website link represents the knowledge, skills and tools that I share with you about healthy sexuality that will help to: 1) empower you to move from the darkness to light, 2) rebuild your crumbling foundation, and 3) help save your L.I.F.E!

Show your support

Our goal is to get 1,000,000 people showing their support by proudly displaying the logo or hashtag! Visit www.howdareinot.com to download your #HowDareINot #ISaveLives sign. Take a photo of yourself holding the sign and email to me at tamara@drtamaragriffin.com and I will share it on the L.I.F.E. by Dr. TaMara website and blog. You can also post pics of yourself with the sign on your Facebook, Twitter or Instagram page and tag me in it. Finally, you can also show your support by making a donation to the campaign movement. Monies will go toward providing healthy sexuality programs and services (donations are tax deductible). Please visit our GoFundMe Page.

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15 Ways Sex In A Long-Term Relationship Is Actually Great

April 30th, 2015 - By Meg Butler
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Image Source: Shutterstock

Image Source: Shutterstock

Is sex as a single lady really more fun? Even though sex in a long-term relationship gets a bad rap, it definitely has its perks!