Jun 212014


This year’s Guelph Sexuality Conference was absolutely amazing, friends!  If you have never attended, you really must make a point of visiting the lovely University of Guelph for this event next year.  Check out #UoGSexConf and follow @UofGSexConf on Twitter and FaceBook to see many of the highlights and get a taste of the excellent workshops that went down.  And I’ll be sure to let y’all know when we open up for presentation proposals, but you can also find out at both of those accounts.

This was the first conference at which I ever presented (2004 & 2006), and I could have never guessed that one day I would be on the planning committee.  This year not only did I help plan the event, but I also served as the conference’s first (as far as we know) Active Listener.  I was available throughout the event to help folks process, listen, note any concerns, and other similar duties.  It was an honour and privilege to be able to have such important conversations with attendees throughout the event!

But before all of that, I helped wrap up the opening plenary panel with a personal story and reflections on coming out as being poly.  While this hasn’t exactly been a secret within certain social circles of mine, I wasn’t just reflecting on being non-monogamous.  I was coming out on the professional level right then and there, with friends, coworkers, and my boss in the audience.  Plus I also included my gender and sex queer identities.   The many levels of coming out never stop for some of us, eh?

The entire panel was excellent and it was thrilling to be among such amazing speakers and professionals.  Thankfully, it was taped and will be placed on the Guelph Sexuality Conference website once it’s edited and uploaded.  Until then, here is my transcript.


In 2005 I married my partner of 4 years in Vermont, one of only 2 or 3 places in the USSat the time where queer people could get married.  We were unwilling to get married anywhere with heteronormist marriage laws; this was important to us.  I had proposed to him 4 months earlier, and we had our homemade ceremony by a big rock in the woods with a justice of the peace, and our parents and step-parents.  We used a poem from Virginia Satir for our vows, and I thought you might enjoy it if I read it to you:

How I want to meet you

I want to love you without clutching,
Appreciate you without judging,
Join you without invading,
Invite you without demanding,
Leave you without guilt,
Criticize you without blaming,
And help you without insulting.

If I can have
the same from you,
then we can truly meet and
enrich each other.

That relationship remains the best commitment I ever made. 

The second best happened 7 years later. At the end of 2012 I realized a lifelong dream by moving here, to Canada, to work for the University of Guelph and teach student-therapists learning Couple and Family Therapy.  The transition has been both beautiful and challenging, and over time the beautiful parts have become the majority.  My friends, family, and coworkers knew such a transition would be hard at times, and often asked how I was doing.  The one thing I didn’t feel I could confide was what it was like to grieve leaving behind every intimate partner save my spouse.  Few people are ready to hear a very happily married person talk about how much they miss their lovers.  

When I do mention it outside of certain circles, I’ve learned to do my best to make it comfortable for others.  I keep it short of details; it’s too real if I mention their names much less how much I miss her no-nonsense way of flirting or how he was able to connect more deeply with me when he finally fell in love …with someone else.  I rarely say exactly when we saw each other, or if we ever will again.  That also makes it too real.  And I definitely don’t talk about how deeper emotional and physical intimacy with others has made both my spouse, who I call my primary, and I much happier, healthier, more whole people in our relationship with each other.  It’s not that it becomes too real then, it’s that the listener begins to look at me with pity in their eyes.  Clearly my 9 years of marriage, which is 13 years if you count dating, is a sham and I just can’t admit it yet.  There is either monogamy or there is cheating and breaking up, according to that world view. 

 I’ve been told by folks who assume we are monogamous that I have the kind of marriage that some of my friends dream about, and for us it takes a community to raise a relationship.

Last year I slipped up during a grant writing meeting, and instead of saying “my partner” I said “my primary.”  I tried to play it cool for the rest of the meeting, as though I had not just breached the carefully maintained division between my work life and a very select social circle within my personal life. But I was scared for weeks.  What will people think knowing that someone who teaches and researchers in a field dedicated to romantic dyads feels closest to the main love of her life when they’re sharing what they are learning from being in additional relationships?  Did I just lose their respect, professionally and personally?  I didn’t dare ask them.  I just waited and enjoyed the sweet surprise of nothing changing.  And so I allowed the word to slip two or three more times just to see what would happen.  To my relief I have found myself in the very privileged position of still being ok…for now…a far as I can tell.  

And when someone asked if anyone knew of a member of a poly relationship that was established and going strong, I volunteered for this panel.

I guess I will know if this was a good risk to take one soon enough as my boss is in this audience today. I hope my bet pays off that it’s better to say it here and now than to worry about what would happen if I didn’t.

Families take a multitude of shapes and forms.  When it comes to intimacy, both emotional and physical, there are far more options than monogamy and cheating.  For us, my primary and I, we do not expect to be each other’s everything.  Sometimes in some ways, we aren’t even each other’s favorite thing.  And that allows us to relax and rejoice in the ways in which we are perfect together, without fretting so much about the ways in which we are fantastic yet very different.  

What would respectful affirmation look like? An end to the million everyday ways in which 2 is considered better than 1 or 3, 4, 5, or more. No more forms with spots for only 2 partners of certain genders, no more doctors who assume that married people shouldn’t need STI testing. There would be more room to see more than two people holding hands, perhaps with babies in the middle.  There would be permission to love and love and love and be healthy and full of joy with so much love that it spills out of each relationship and fills the others with excitement and laughter and wholeness.

 There would be permission to find and create what really makes a person their healthiest and happiest, instead of complying to what is supposed to work for everyone.  In that desire to cherish our authentic selves within a supportive and kind environment, I suspect we all have a great deal in common in this room.  I don’t want you to be poly any more than I want you to be monogamous or single.  I just want you to be able to be happy being you, while I am happy being me, and while we are happy for each other.

But I also encourage us to consider the value of being unhappy about falling on our faces, the importance of trying something that doesn’t work, things that hurt when they work, and how we can support each other in that.  

Let me be clear in saying that I cannot possibly represent or speak for all of the many ways in which relationships can be open. I’m only speaking for me, and a little for my primary, with their permission.  It saddens me greatly when I overhear conversations about how only monogamy can work, because a poly relationship (or one part of a poly relationship) ended in a breakup.  By this definition of success, we would have no relationship options or even singlehood as an option. But thank goodness relationships end!  Think of the first person you ever dated – was that person the best relationship decision you ever made?  Mine, for the record, is now a catholic priest, so I’m probably safe in saying that they wanted to go in a different direction than I did.  

I started this talk by saying the safe things: I’ve been with my primary for a long time and I love love.  But what if our relationship ended?   Did that mean we made a mistake?  That I was a fool?  What if one of us left the other for one of our other partners? Did we ask for heartbreak? 

Most break-ups are tough, but as one of my girlfriends used to say: there are only 3 options. You break up, you’re together forever, or somebody ceases to be.  Thank goodness for the first option!  If my relationship with my sweetie ended it would hurt very much, but I suspect I would eventually see that as part of my journey as a poly person.  I hope others would feel the same about my path.

And what of jealousy and pain? Is it ok to hurt like that in a relationship, in a way that  is related to a partner?  Again, I can only speak for myself.  Yes, we both feel pain around facing jealousy, fears, doubts, and more.  I would be worried if we didn’t.  But I learned over time that there is a difference between hurt and harm.  I gave up my fantasies of being someone’s everything, of having some kind of assumed ownership of their body and of someone owning my rights to mine.  I shrugged off my romanticized notion that only one person can make me truly happy, and that I must figure out how to do the same for them in every possible way.  I learned that I can build a stable home without giving up the connection I seek with more than one. I learned that a relationship can be based on, and defined by, things more complex than sexual exclusivity. I learned that jealousy is often a sign of a place in my life where I can grow, learn to communicate better, or discover what I need to be my best me.  I learned how important is to keep figuring out what I need to function and feel best, how to communicate that, and how to nurture it in a multitude of ways without necessarily holding one person accountable for giving it to me.

For me, monogamy is too closed, too tight, too restrictive, too presumptive.  For others, being open is too frightening, too risky, too loose, too devil-may-care, too hedonistic.  There is room for both those views and many more.  But neither of us is proving our way wrong if we break up with somebody, or stay single, or hurt in healthy ways.  Sometimes growing is hard. Neither open relationships nor closed are easy.

But there is an especially political, activist aspect to being open, whether I like it or not.  It is an undeniably powerful statement in our culture when a fat, nerdy, gender and sex queer, married person is having a lot of great sex with a lot of great people and decides mention it into a microphone.  Hello!  While that edginess  is sometimes exciting, I look forward to a day when just being me isn’t such a political act.  And if I feel exhausted by the political nature of being me, with all of my privileges, then there is a huge amount of work for all of us to do before we even get around to how tired I am.

Perhaps a helpful step is questioning what we have learned about what is normal and healthy, and what we have learned about our roles in determining and enforcing that.  In a recent conversation with Charlie Glickman, he brought up a great point that I would like to share with his permission. As helping, healing, and health professionals we use our informed intuition as one of our most valuable tools.  However, it can be difficult to tell the difference between something that set off that informed intuition and something that has triggered a bias, especially around delicate topics such as bodies, sex, relationships, and gender.  How can we make better distinctions between our biases and  intuition, and how might that change us both personally and professionally?

Thank you.


As a follow-up, many friends, co-workers, acquaintances, and people I was just meeting came up to thank me for my vulnerability during my talk.

And my boss gave me a hug.



Oct 302012

This week I received an excellent question from a university student that I would like to answer on the blog.  All of their identifying information has been removed/changed, which means that some of the wording in their question has also been removed/changed.  If you have any further resources or information about this question, I encourage you to share it in the comments section.

“…My interests are in the field of sexuality and I would like to discuss BDSM in relation to intimate partner violence from the perspective that BDSM is NOT the same thing as abuse. I am just curious if you have noticed in any of your research that women who have been sexually victimized are drawn to BDSM or may use it as an agency to help ‘deal’ with their sexual history – or if you think there is a relationship there at all.”

Thank you for your excellent and extremely important question.  I’m glad you’ve asked it, and I’m grateful that you’ve given me the opportunity to answer it.  This is a very common question to which folks often bring strong opinions, many of which may be based in fear and misunderstanding around both the topics of (1) violence and (2) BDSM.

It’s important to ask an expert’s background when it comes to loaded topics like these, so you can judge for yourself how to receive their answer.  If you’re not interested in this info then skip on down to the next paragraph, please.  In a very tiny nutshell: I have studied both of these areas for years and have publications and presentations in both (I can provide a CV to anyone who is sincerely interested).  In fact, this upcoming February I will be presenting at the Family Therapy World Congress about the topic of kinky and open relationships to an audience of mental health professionals.  My Ph.D. is in Family Development with a doctoral certificate in Family Therapy (and another in Qualitative Research).  On top of that, I have worked with (as clients, as well as alongside of), researched with, and socialized with a large number of intimate partner violence and sexual violence survivors as well as a large number of kinky folks, many of which enjoy BDSM.  I’ve been spending time with both types of folks (and folks who identify as both), professionally and socially, since at least the mid/late 1990s.  So… that’s a quick summary of my background in these areas for you to make of as you like.

Now let’s dive in by sharing some definitions and facts that address your question:

Sexual violence includes more acts than sexual assault and battering; it’s not actually about hitting at all: I define “violence” using Maturana’s concept of acts of imposing one person’s will over another’s.  (See the footnotes of this paper http://www.familytherapy.org/documents/LoveDares.PDF for citation of this concept back to Maturana)  This is a very broad definition and does not require physical force to commit violence, though it can certainly be included.  Using this definition, all kinds of violence, including sexual violence, are extremely common.  Sexual violence is based around at least one person deciding to inflict their will on another who does not want it, using means that have sexual connotations.  This can include hitting and other physical acts, but it can also include things like verbal violence, financial violence, social violence, political violence, and more.  That’s because it’s not about a single act that equals violence, it’s about one person (or more) inflicting themselves on  another sexually in any of the many, many ways that can happen.

Sexual violence against women is extremely common at every age and in every culture on which I’ve seen reliable data:  While it may be more common in some cultures, or if certain other risk factors (usually related to the perpetrator/s) are present, it is not an exaggeration to say that it happens to the majority of women at least once during the lifespan.  By some definitions and research, it can truthfully be said that sexual violence happens to all or nearly all women and can be expected to happen repeatedly.  You have asked specifically about women in this question, but I will add that it is also common against men and gender-queer people, although we have even worse data about exact numbers for them than we do for women.  Most of our big studies have major limitations, and focus only on one aspect of sexual violence: sexual battering.  Even this is very common (cited US data).  Sexual violence is so common that some feminist academics and writers refer to it bitingly as a terrible rite of passage for women in Western cultures (also in other cultures, but that is beyond my area of expertise so I’ll leave that to others who can better address it).   This means that every community and every population is full of sexual violence survivors, sad to say.  In other words, the fact that a community has a lot of sexual violence survivors could mean more about our world than about that specific group of people.

BDSM (kinky erotic acts that may include bondage, taking/giving directives, and negotiated activities involving pain) is not the same thing as violence, in that all participants actively seek and desire to be involved in the scenario and/or relationship/s.  BDSM can look very scary from the outside, and unrealistic media images of BDSM have helped to encourage a mistaken idea of what it BDSM can look like.  A healthy, caring BDSM relationship, scenario, or hook-up is composed of things like open communication, mutual desire to have fun/sexy feelings about the activities/relationship, mutual happiness and excitement, and certainly mutual respect for each other’s well-being and satisfaction.  Sometimes the people involved in BDSM will act out scenarios in which they pretend to have no respect for each other, but that scenario is still based on careful communication between people who both/all really want to be there doing exactly that stuff in that moment with each other.  In the case of sexual violence, at least one person does not want to be there doing that right then with the other person/people involved, or they feel they have no free choice about it, or they feel that not being there could result in something even worse.  There is a big difference there!

– For folks who have never been in or witnessed this kind of healthy BDSM interaction, it can be hard to imagine such a thing based on the wild/violent assumptions and stereotypes of BDSM that are out there.  Nonfiction books by beloved BDSM experts and community members, like Playing Well With Others, can help you to learn more about healthy, happy BDSM. So can the trio of excellent sites by Kali: PassionateU, KinkAcademy, and 50 Shades of Romance. Educating yourself like this will help clear up confusion and inaccurate stereotypes.  In case you aren’t ready to read a whole book yet, here is quick example of a common act of communication found in BDSM interactions/relationships: negotiation.  I wish it were more common in non-BDSM sexy times, too!  It’s a special conversation in which all parties explore, ask, and share what they want to happen and then work together to see if they all want to have sexy times together and (if so) how to proceed.  When I teach some of my workshops (like “Sexy Spanking for Foreplay”) I offer this list of questions to use when negotiating a scene.  (A “scene” is a kinky interaction, by the way.)

  • Are you feeling toppish or bottomish for this scene?
    • What does a toppish/bottomish person do/act like/feel/say?
  • What would make this scene hot for you?
  • What could happen before and after the scene to make this hot for you?
  • What needs to be avoided – anything, any words, and any places at all?
    • Where can I touch you on your body?  Where should I not touch you, or only touch you in certain ways?
    • Show me all of the fussy parts of your body, emotionally and physically.  Introduce me and tell me what they need.
    • How will I know if we’re wandering into troubling places, emotionally or physically?  How will I tell you if I feel that happening?
  • How can I best take care of you afterward?  How can you best take care of yourself?  How can you best take care of me?  How can I best take care of myself?
  • In what ways is it ok to talk/share/post about this scene later?

I learned about questions like these from people like Midori, Lee Harrington, Molina, Princess Kali, and Tristan Taormino, all of which are fantastic BDSM and sex-positive resources.  You will notice that some of my questions sound similar to those recommended by these great folks – that’s because I learned from them!

-It may be hard to imagine healthy BDSM if you do not find any of the interactions of activities associated with BDSM to be desirable.  That’s ok!  I don’t understand why some people love to eat pickles, and the idea of eating them is quite distressing to me.  Sometimes when I see someone really get into eating pickles it makes me feel a bit sick and I can’t stand to watch or listen because it grosses me out.  Especially spicy pickles!  At the same time, I respect that some folks honestly do enjoy pickle-eating, they have pickles they like and don’t like, and they have times when they want pickles and times when they don’t.  Even spicy pickles.  BDSM is the same – you don’t have to understand it or want it to stand by the rights of others to enjoy it in ways that are healthy and happy for them, even if it would not be good for you.  Although I do not like pickles at all, I am happy that pickle-eating makes some of my friends (and even my mom!) happy.  If someone tried to ban pickles, I would help defend others’ right to eat the pickles they want when they want to eat them, because I recognize that their love of pickles can readily co-exist with my dislike of pickles.

-Violence can happen in all types of relationships and interactions, including both BDSM and non-BDSM relationships.  That does not make either type innately violent.  It just means that violence can happen in any unhealthy relationship or interaction.  I have written about violence in the BDSM community and how that community might consider stepping up to better address it, and I have also written about intimate forms of violence in the general public (one example of my research).  We must all work together in all of our main communities and sub-communities to nurture relationships and interactions based on respect, trust, and care instead of unconsensual, unnegotiated aggressions of power and control.

– Sexuality, in its many forms, can be a wonderfully healing thing for many people.  For some people, a soft kiss from a caring other provides relaxation and there is nothing wrong with that.  For some people, a nice round of masturbation helps to ease stress and feel good about one’s body and there is nothing wrong with that.  For some people, hot sex (whatever is hot to them) provides relief from chronic pain and/or a sense of bonding with their partner/s, and there is nothing wrong with that.  Heck, for some people, soft and sensual sex with special loved ones helps them heal from trauma and there is surely nothing wrong with that.  And for some folks, certain kink acts done in certain ways (all variables depend on the folks involved, same as any other example here, of course) can also provide opportunities for healing and processing of trauma.  There is also nothing wrong with that.  Thankfully we live in a world full of diverse people with diverse tastes, and all of us are always changing so long as we are open to the idea (and sometimes if we aren’t).  It would be very boring if this were not the case.

Putting all of these points together yields my answer to your question:

Folks who have survived sexual violence are one distinct group.  Folks who enjoy  some form of BDSM are a different distinct group.  Being in one does not cause being in the other.  However, folks can also be a member of both groups.  It is possible that someone may be drawn to BDSM because they feel in their gut that it might help them process or heal from a past trauma, and that’s ok.  It doesn’t mean the trauma made them like BDSM, it means they are proactively seeking creative and potentially enjoyable ways of healing and growing and they have identified BDSM as something that may work for them.  If a BDSM interaction or relationship goes wrong and becomes abusive, it’s not because it was BDSM.  It’s because it was abusive.  The same rule goes for any type of relationship.

Thanks for your great question.  I hope that my answer helps you have great conversations and exploration around this topic!  If you feel like it, I’d love to hear your thoughts, and I also welcome thoughts from anyone else reading this post.

Dr. Ruthie

Aug 102009

I do hope you enjoy my first video review, complete with catchy intro music!

  • FemBlossom by Emotional Bliss

    FemBlossom by Emotional Bliss

    Toy: The FemBlossom

  • Type: premium battery powered vibrator, heating (rechargable)
  • Manufacturer: Emotional Bliss
  • Material:  hard plastic, with antibacterial silver ions in the plastic
  • Cost: $99.95
  • SMT rating: 1 – 3 (depending on settings), with accompanying heat

The Femblossom comes from Emotional Bliss, a wonderful company with a unique approach to designing toys that stand apart.  They produce especially great products for women just learning to explore their own bodies with toys or who have not been satisfied with other products on the market.  The FemBlossom is no exception, and proves to be a fantastic outty vibe!

My Femblossom was sent to me for review and arrived well packaged, including an AC adapter, two small bottles of lubricant (water and silicone based), and a wonderful instruction manual.  The manual goes over the functions of the toy, including all 9 settings at 3 different levels of power annnnd it also heats!  I should mention that it is made with a silver ion technology in the plastic that gives it anti-bacterial properties when wiped down with water.

The Femblossom is designed as an outty toy, for use on the vulva including the clitoris, but not for insertion.  As you can see from the video, it’s curved to match the body and lay at the outside of the vulva, or directly stimulate the clit by pressing the curved section against the vulva or using the tip of the vibe.  It has subtle texture, not enough to overwhelm but enough to notice.  As you turn up the vibrations, you also turn up the heat.  The power button is located within easy finger’s reach, and you can scroll through the 9 settings using the + and – buttons.  It gets very powerful and very warm, but can also have a mild thrum with lower heat for those who prefer a softer touch, or who like to warm up gently.

Like its inny-outty sister, the Womolia, this is an excellent premium toy with dynamic uses.  Most toys with a powerful motor are good for getting off but not warming up, this one has a range that goes from sweetly seductive to very intense.  The heat function can be both relaxing and stimulating, and proves to be highly enjoyable.

For those who prefer an outty-only vibrator that does not look anything like a phallus, this is a phenominal choice!  It’s easy to use with partners, and to accompany penetration, solo or partnered. The buttons are easy to press and do not require a great deal of finger strength or dexterity and the toy is light and easy to hold. The battery even holds a charge for a long time!  Like the Womolia, I can’t find anything wrong with this toy, and am very happy to give it my whole hearted recommendation as a fantastic toy for beginners and experienced toy lovers!

Check out all of the toys that have been Play Tested here on ExploringIntimacy.com.

Bookmark and Share
Enjoy reading ExploringIntimacy?
Get every post in your inbox by joining our email list or RSS feed.

Jun 082009

Reviews will now be called “Play Testing,” thanks to the suggestion of my LDS friend B.  B and the rest our gaming group took a break from one of our board & card game parties (you know you’re secretly jealous) to inspect a couple of review vibes.  Let me tell you, gamers and sex toys are a winning combination!  The video of us checking out the NaughtiNano will be up soon.

Feminine & Mighty - The Glitz G-Spot

Feminine & Mighty - The Glitz G-Spot

  • Toy: Glitz G-Spot (in pink)
  • Type: 3 speed vibrator, waterproof
  • Manufacturer: PipeDream
  • Material:  unlisted, but does specify that it is free of phthalates (yay!)
  • Cost: about $20
  • SMT rating: 1-2, depending on setting

I’m happy to announce that Lustique.com has invited me to join their review team, and so you’ll be seeing a fresh write up of one of their toys every month.  This month they sent over a lovely, glittery pink Glitz G-Spot 3 speed vibe to review.  Believe me, it was a pleasure to help them out! The Glitz G-Spot is a feminine and mighty little toy, with easy controls.  It would make an excellent purchase for women (or couples that include at least 1 female partner) seeking an affordable, quiet, dynamic little toy.  I would be likely to recommend it to for a first-time vibe purchase, too.  Read all of the details after the jump!

Continue reading »

Jun 042009

I recently witnessed a discussion in which the participants were debating whether men or women were better at going down on men. It was no surprise to me that most of the gay and bisexual men (who composed the group) felt that men did a better job. They should know, they’re likely to have been on both sides of it.

As I read the responses, one thing became more and more clear. It wasn’t that the men on the giving side knew any special tricks, or have better stamina, or even looked better doing it. In fact, several participants noted that women tend to look better while giving blow jobs. No, it wasn’t any of the those things.  The kicker was the sense of confidence and  gusto that their male partners have for giving blow jobs.   As the conversation continued, I couldn’t help but wonder how this opportunity to hear from men with special insight would impact my thoughts on the ways in which various genders approach giving oral sex to men.  

As I said, I was not surprised to hear that men in this group preferred oral sex from other men even if they were equally or more attracted to women.   I guess I had always assumed that this would be the case, for a variety of reasons. Perhaps the most often cited reason would be that one man knows best what another man likes, but I don’t think that’s necessarily the case. After all, sexy fun times are about a whole lot more than each partner’s skills.   As my thoughts continued to wander I wondered about other possible reasons.

 Look at it this way: lusty gay and bisexual men might be more likely to spend their evenings fantasizing about the opportunity to really enjoy giving a blow job. Women, on the other hand, may be more likely to spend their evenings (at the bar, at home, etc.)  surrounded by the expectation of it, or by men who are eager to badger her into it.  Yes, yes, there are 1 million exceptions to this, but might it be fair to make this generalization?

In situations like these, who is going to be more eager? I certainly think that eagerness is key to good oral sex, and that seemed to be the case for many of the people in the conversation.

 We can start with those broad social generalizations and the add experiences that individuals might have. How about a few, or perhaps many, intimate interludes where some guy didn’t keep up his end of the bargain after she pleasured him? After a few times like that, enthusiasm cannot help but… go down.

Now we face a vicious cycle: some guys get less eager to get oral sex when their partner doesn’t want to be there doing it, and could easily end up less eager to return the pleasure to their partners, or to later partners, as a result. This is certainly the same for women too, as we encounter a heck of a lot of men who are not eager to munch our muffins. Emotional baggage makes for declining quality, regardless of gender.  These scenarios seem disproportionately more common for women to endure. At the same time, it’s clearly affecting the partners of these women.

I’ll also add that women, as a gender, seem to worry more about performance and appearance when giving oral sex (and most other activities)  and that certainly will reduce eagerness. Several of the statements from other people in the discussion touched on that. Guys certainly get anxiety about sexual performance too, but it doesn’t seem like they worry about it as much while giving blow jobs.

 Excuses, excuses, right? So the ladies buck up and shove all the excuses in the corner and try really hard to do a great job that they can be proud of and that their gents will love. But then we have what everyone in the conversation kept saying: she is trying instead of wanting.

 In the end, in our culture it’s a taboo treat for a man to give a blow job to another man, and it is status quo from a woman to man.  Nothing can really change that for the time being.

 Perhaps a more concise way to say all of this would be:


He thinks: I love giving head, and he will love getting it from me.

She thinks: He loves getting head, and I will give him the kind of head he loves getting from me.


 All of this pondering was good and fun, but I wanted it to take me somewhere useful. It wasn’t long until I began to think about my clients and friends who share their more intimate thoughts about sexuality with me.   One big question kept looming in my mind.

 What would the differences be between the kind of blow job she knows he really wants, and the kind of blow job she would most enjoy giving?

Just imagine it.  No stress, uncertainty, performance anxiety, boredom, bitterness, discomfort or any of a million other un-sexy feelings.  This time, it’s different because she is there to enjoy herself however she during oral sex, along with whatever else they do. And what might his body say to hers in response?  Considering sex as body language, the messages she sends him and herself would be entirely different.  Just imagine what her body might tell his (and how).

I want to be here, this is what I enjoy, this is what turns me on about touching you, I am greedy with your body, I want to want, I deserve pleasure from both of us, I want every way we touch each other to drive me wild,  I love making these sensations on my lips and tongue… 

Bookmark and Share
Enjoy reading ExploringIntimacy?
Get every post in your inbox by joining our email list or RSS feed.

May 142009

Tongue Teaser Vibe - Looks Promising, Doesn't Perform.

Tongue Teaser Vibe - Looks Promising, Doesn't Perform.

Toy: Tongue Teaser Vibe, disposable oral/tongue vibrator

Price: $5-$15

Can be purchased at most sex stores, especially those that sell cheaper products.

The Tongue Teaser Vibe consists of a pink, rubbery tongue with a disposable vibe inside and an attached rubber loop meant to fit over the tongue.  I envisioned a wealth of uses for this little gem of a concept; from a playful enhancement for fully mobile couples to a useful tool for mobility altered lovers seeking to capitalize on a willing tongue when manual vibrators are not an option.   What a fun surprise to sneak up on one’s partner for a intimate, buzzing licking!  The sales lady promised it was as good as it looked, especially the flickering tip of the rubber tongue.  I was so sold on the idea that I bought two different brands, this one and one other without the pseudo-tongue encasing the vibe.  Hopefully the other one will be better…. When I saw this in it’s lovely little box I ran right over.  It seemed to promise so much fun, and for a mere $10!  I wanted it to work, I really did.  Frustratingly, it was a complete and total waste of time, money, and effort.

Read the full details after the jump:

Continue reading »