How can you be positively sex-positive? There are lots of ways to express it, but Rachel Rabbit White of (among other things) The Frisky has a list of ways to be sure that you’re doing your best to encourage everyone in your life (including yourself) to enjoy sex in whatever ways they want. There are 8, but I wanted to share a few of my favourites:
1. “Having sex is healthy, but so is not having sex.” I try to emphasize this over and over again. There are so many ways to be sensual with yourself… Watching porn and taking your time with it can be a really amazing way of exploring that. I don’t ever want to use language that makes it seem like you need a significant other to have a good time. But also, you don’t even need to be sexual at all if you don’t want to be. Granted, you’re not likely going to be finding my sites if you don’t at least like a little quality solo time, but there is no requirement to do so in life. Sexuality should be live and let live. No one should feel weird for doing what feels right, as long as everyone is consenting!
3. “Slut-shaming also means shaming people who are more “out of the box” with their sexuality than you.” This should go without saying… I try not to speak ill about the lengths that anyone goes to when it comes to sharing or exploring their sexuality. That may seem obvious, since I make porn, but I try not to be negative about the people who make more mainstream porn, even though it’s not my personal route. I may not always agree with the business of big, mainstream porn, but I would never judge the personal choice to appear in it. The more we try to step back from big, overarching snap judgments, the more likely we are to open our minds and understand (or at least accept) what we were initially wary of.
8. “Intimacy is complex.” This is certainly one that I need to check in with myself about. I try to lead by example and talk about communication and show how that has positively impacted my life with Mike, but I also don’t want to assume that it’s this easy for everyone. You, as well as any partners you might have or have had, have different experiences than mine. I’m lucky that so many of you share your lives with me and I get to give my two cents from time to time. All I can do is try to be understanding and see where you’re coming from when your experiences of intimacy are different than mine.
What are some steps or thoughts that have helped you to be more open and non-judgmental about sex and sexuality?
Fresh on the tails of Michael Douglas’ announcement that his throat cancer may have been linked to HPV (caused by enthusiastic and frequent cunnilingus — good for him?) people have been discussing not only the health issues surrounding oral sex, but also how we feel about it, specifically with regards to the man on woman dynamic. A lot of people are talking about how great it is that we’re more accepting of the eroticism of a man giving pleasure to a woman in what we see as a selfless (non-penis-driven) way, but is that paving the way for a culture of men who one-up each other with locker room tales of tongue dexterity? And is that necessarily a bad thing?
The bulk of this Salon article is about how amazing it is that men value giving pleasure as well as receiving it (with the important caveat that STI testing, vaccinations and safer sex practices are always important when you don’t know your/your partner’s status) but Fleshbot‘s own Lux Alptraum chimes in with the very interesting point at the end to switch everything around:
“The pairing of oral skill with manliness makes cunnilingus less about the woman receiving it than about the man performing it” and “the woman’s pleasure more about validating the man’s skill than about the woman herself having a good time.”
This is an interesting concept to me. In a sense, I like the idea that pleasure is pleasure no matter where it comes from, but I think it’s also very important that people develop a nuanced way of identifying what their partners want. Not all women want the same sensation, the same as with men. If there’s ego and machismo attached to giving oral sex, it makes it less likely for people to be open and amenable to instruction and feedback. More over, some people just don’t like (or don’t come from) oral sex. If the giver is so wrapped up in their identity as an oral sex god that they can’t appreciate that the recipient may not want what they’re offering, it’s not a recipe for great communication… And certainly not for great sex.
I’m wondering, as a fellatio enthusiast, is this the same way men feel about women who tout their blowjob expertise? Do they come off as too brash and beyond criticism? Would that be an erotic kind of cockiness that would sustain, or would it wear off quickly as potential disparities in her technique/your desires came to light?
In the best case scenario, people would all appreciate the value of giving pleasure and find arousal in that without falling victim to ego trips and while maintaining a degree of flexibility to try things outside of their patented techniques… But, I wanted to know… What do you think?
Fleshbot brought this (apparently Canadian) film to my attention today. It’s called My Awkward Sexual Adventure and it’s all about a guy learning how to give pleasure to his girlfriend before they get married… It sounds like kind of an implausible situation, but the truth is that we could probably all use a little bootcamp in how to listen and give pleasure.
What it really got me thinking about was mostly based on the isolated sex scenes Fleshbot had spliced together. They were so awkward, but also so real… And fairly uncomfortable when sex stopped because of texting… Don’t do that. The thing is, there’s clearly a lot of talk about realness in porn, but there’s a limit, right? We want to see communication (whether verbal or physical) and fragility, but still see the kind of sex we want to be having.
Where is that line for you in porn? Do you want to see people communicating what they want in bed, even if that means negative feedback? Do you want to see awkward moments or bloopers? Do you want to see people who don’t look too poised or put together? I’d love to know what “real porn” means for you, and how real is just too real.
Sophie passed this along to me after stumbling upon it during a routine term search. I’m glad she did. Stoya is a pretty pale brunette, so I definitely like that about her. She’s also a porn performer who keeps a blog and writes for other people from time to time about porn-related things that touch on her personality. I love it when there are other people in the industry who are into sharing a more in depth look into what they do and how they approach sexuality in general.
She recently wrote a piece for Vice all about my undeniable passion pursuit: blowjobs. But what really made me smile was how much her advice mirrors exactly what I tell people when they ask me how to give a great blowjob, as well as her rejection of the typical (and persistent) requests for specific tips and tricks:
“What’s your number-one tip for giving the best blowjob?”
This question drives me insane. I usually pause to shoot murderous looks at whichever PR person has set up the interview before responding. I have two sound-bite-sized answers: “Don’t chomp down on the dick unless the person it’s attached to has expressed a desire for that sort of thing,” and “Experiment, communicate, and pay attention.”
Sound familiar? I don’t get upset when asked (people legitimately want to know) but I do make sure to be very clear that there’s no one magic secret to giving an amazing blowjob… Anyways, she’s clearly a woman after my own heart. She goes on to talk a lot about the idea of enjoying the sum of a person rather than their individual parts, which I think is very important, especially considering how what someone likes one day can shift the next… Which she very intelligently remarks on as well. It’s ultimately all about communication, both in this article and just in life. And isn’t that a wonderful thing? What’s more encouraging to motivate an open dialogue than the promise of satisfying blowjobs, and sex in general?
In closing, I’m not sure if she drew this, but it came along with the article and it tickled me pink. As a gamer, I can see how it might be handy to have a cheat code for orgasms, but blowjobs aren’t a game… They’re an art.
Since we’re now well on our way into the final stretch before hitting 1000 blog posts, I thought I’d get started on some of the questions from my Q+A post. The first is one that touches on a lot of universal issues, and I thought it’d be a good reminder for everyone about the way to make each other feel good sexually, and really in all ways.
1) Best way to pleasure a woman by oral, how does she like her man to use his mouth and tongue? Does she like direct stimulation to the clitoris or deep probing with his tongue, etc…
2) Do women like their breasts stimulated during sex, how do they like them played with and fondled, how much sensation do they feel from having their nipples tweaked and sucked – and what’s the best way to do it?
Both of these questions are ultimately condensed into one: what makes women feel good? I spend a lot of time talking about ways to make men feel good by nature of my sites, but a lot of people certainly want to know about women too.
My answer, as always, is this: no two women (or men, or anyone) are alike. Some like it rough, some like it gentle. Some love external stimulation, some love internal stimulation. Some have the most sensitive nipples in the world, while others can barely even tell when they’re being tugged… It’s a wild world full of beautifully different bodies out there.
So how do you know? Ask. Ask what they like, ask what they don’t like, ask if what you’re doing is working and, if not, how to modify it so that it will. Try different things and pay attention to signals. Don’t assume that what worked for your last partner is going to work for them. Being creative and open and attentive is one of the most wonderful parts of sex.
Even beyond our differences from person to person, some people differ from day to day. Maybe they’re in the mood for something different than usual, so keep the lines of communication open and that spirit of enthusiasm to discover each other’s bodies again every time.