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Man kissing woman on ChristmasThe holidays are upon us! No matter what celebrations you’re planning, gift-giving is a must. For many of us, it can be difficult to decide what you want to get for that special someone. Luckily, we have some ideas for how you can curate the best gift based on love language. 

Note: Many people value more than one love language so feel free to mix and match as you are shopping this holiday season. 

Words of Affirmation

Individuals who value words of affirmation love to hear frequent compliments and other forms of positive, supportive commentary from their loved ones. 

Gift Ideas

People who feel most loved from receiving words of affirmation love compliments. Turn this into a gift by making a compliment jar! Simply write down all of your favorite things about the person, or maybe favorite memories or motivational sayings that they can read throughout the year. Alternatively, you can create a scrapbook with all of your favorite memories and moments with your loved one.

If you’re more drawn to music, a carefully curated playlist could be an easy way to show a person who values words of affirmation just how much they mean to you. Remember: a thoughtful note or card is a must-have for individuals who value words of affirmation. Another great way to use words to show your love is audio erotica. Whereas porn is more visually stimulating, audio erotica caters to audio stimulation, using words to describe sexy scenarios. Consider getting your partner a subscription to &Jane, an app with a wide array of authentic audio erotica, so they can get even more pleasure for what they hear.

Gifts

Those who value gifts feel loved when they are able to interact with visual symbols of love. It is important to note that those with this love language are not specifically interested in the monetary value of these gifts—rather, they appreciate the time and care that went into the giving.

Gift Ideas 

If your partner uses gifts to show love, why not show them the gift of pleasure? Toys can make great gifts. Whether it’s the Womanizer, Zumio, or We-Vibe, toys truly are the gift that keeps on giving.

If you’re looking for a non-sexual gift, pay close attention to any subtle hints or mentions your partner has made. Individuals with this love language will really appreciate the effort taken to pay attention and find the perfect gift for them.

If you are overwhelmed with the possibilities and not sure what route to take, think of your partner’s favorite things, or gifts they’ve liked in the past. Maybe they love a certain Etsy shop or type of jewelry. Maybe they’re all about cozy things, like candles or blankets.  In any case, you know your partner best of all—so think carefully about their personality and what would best resonate with them.

Acts of Service

Those who value acts of service as their love language appreciate when their loved one spends time to make their life a little easier. These acts can be anything from a simple household chore to filling the car with gas to babysitting. 

Gift Ideas

Individuals with this love language will appreciate any thoughtful gift, especially if it took time and effort for you to create it. You might consider completing a larger chore or project for them, making them breakfast in bed, or baking their favorite dessert.

Another great option is a coupon book. Compile a list of tasks you will complete for and with your partner. They can be anything from cleaning up around the house, date ideas, and sexual favors (obviously). 

Quality Time   

People who value quality time feel the most appreciated when their loved one prioritizes activities and one-on-one time. Quality time isn’t just time spent hanging out, but rather truly connecting with one another through activities and hobbies without extraneous distractions.

Gift Ideas

Show your partner you care by giving a gift that you can share together. It can be an intricately planned date night at home, a picnic in the park, or a weekend away at a nice hotel or AirbnbIf you want to plan something intricate, try giving a series of dates for the next year. Use envelopes to seal different gift and date ideas to be opened by the month or date written on the outside of the envelope. These can be anything that you think your partner will enjoy like spa gift cards, details for a hike you can do in May, an ice cream date in July, or plans to go ice skating in January.

Another great way to share quality time is by completing our Yes, No, Maybe List–a comprehensive and inspiring list of different sexual experiences. By checking things off this list, you can determine together what are things you like or would like to do together and discuss them.

Physical Touch

Valuing physical touch as a love language means appreciating and feeling affirmed through a physical connection, whether that’s kissing, cuddling, holding hands, or sex. Gifts for a person who values physical touch don’t necessarily need to be physical (though that can be awesome), but also gateways into a physical experience. 

Gift Ideas

A massage (or a coupon book of massages paired with sexual favors) can be a great option for those who value physical touch. Consider also gifting them with Exsens warming oil to create a warm, scented, and intimate experience. Other ways to give the gift of touch is by providing tools for sensual experiences, like a bath bomb, body lotion, or high-power toy, like the Magic Wand

Regardless of one’s love language, the holiday season is a great time to show your loved ones just how much you care and appreciate them. Gift-giving can be stressful, but by tapping into that special someone’s love language of choice, you can find something that truly represents how you feel. Happy holidays!

Ovie Crum is a UCLA graduate originally from the bay area. She joined the Sex with Emily family in June of 2019, loves spending time outdoors, and aspires to one day own a dog of her own.

woman with flower over bodyWhenever you hear the word “mapping,” the thoughts that rush to mind are a little less about sexual empowerment, a little more middle school geography class. But what if we were to tell you that this age-old activity could be the very key to unlocking a whole new world of pleasure? Vulva mapping, to be specific. 

Perhaps it sounds a bit strange at first, but rest assured, it won’t for long! Because with the help of a clear head, specific intent, a dash of patience, and sweet, sensual touch, you too can be on your way to uncovering a new sense of your sexiest self. 

If you know, you know. If you don’t…prepare to be amazed. 

What exactly is Vulva Mapping?

Vulva mapping, in a nutshell, is the hands-on practice of learning the “topography” of female-bodied genitals. Through mindful massage and intentional touch, it’s a way for individuals to get to know their bodies better and, as a result, grow more attuned to and comfortable with their own sexuality. 

Seems pretty great, right? Especially in this day and age! But, pausing to remember that female sexuality isn’t something that’s always been the most…celebrated topic, it begs the question of how all of this actually began.

In the late ‘60s and early ‘70s emerged a feminist organization called the New York Radical Women. Dedicated to opposing the deep-rooted patriarchal system, the group sought ways to overturn the notion of a male-dominated society and give women the power to no longer be oppressed. One of which began with the idea of hosting what they called “feminist consciousness-raising” groups. 

The primary goal of these groups was to collectively shine light on issues of the “women’s experience” and figure out how they can most effectively implement their mission out into the rest of the world. One such method was the vaginal self-examination, where each member grabbed a mirror and flashlight to study their own lady bits in a group setting. 

Instead of hiding in the typical throes of embarrassment or self-consciousness, this activity thrust women into looking at themselves in ways they had likely never done before. In addition to now knowing what was actually down there, they could finally take charge of their female differences, have more confidence in their own skin, and bust through long-held taboos surrounding their sexualities—and furthermore, their place in society. 

So from there, vulva mapping was born! And the good news is it’s something that’s only gotten better with age. 

Benefits of Vulva Mapping

Now that we’ve covered the historical roots, I’m sure you’re curious to know more about the lovely perks it can actually yield. 

Whether it’s a result of our upbringing, peers, social media or trauma, there are so many feelings of embarrassment and/or shame prone to building up within our bodies over the years. In return, those feelings can cause heightened levels of stress, anxiety, self-consciousness and other subconscious pressures that impact how we perceive our sexual selves. 

That said, learning to better understand and feel more confident in our own skin is one of the most effective ways to counteract those negative effects. Hence, vulva mapping enters the picture here as a great tool to help kick-start that journey. 

Seeing what the vulva actually looks like, getting to know how every part individually feels, learning all of the different sensations you’re capable of feeling and realizing what your body likes best—each step of the process can lead to an overall boost in everything from confidence and sexual satisfaction, to one’s trust and sense of connection with others down the line.

Who is it for?

In the wise words of Diane von Furstenberg: “The most important relationship in your life is the relationship you have with yourself.” Which rings especially true for emphasizing who’s the main beneficiary of vulva mapping—you! 

But as with many things in the world of sex, the biggest perks of the practice can absolutely carry over to one’s bond with their partner as well. By knowing what you like and how you like it, being more comfortable with talking about sex and fostering even deeper feelings of mutual closeness and understanding, it’s a no-brainer that this personal growth from vulva mapping can bring major strengths to any relationship.

How To Explore It

For anyone interested in exploring vulva mapping for themselves, it’s time to finally find out exactly how.

First off, keep in mind that intention is everything. Because this is a “mindful” practice, it’s important to immerse yourself in the process, as opposed to treating it like just another task on the to-do list. Setting an intention (which can change along the way) of what you most want to get out of experience can help focus your energy and keep yourself truly present in the moment.

Next up: the tools. Whether you’re being intimate with a partner or by yourself, mood is everything. So set yourself up for success by ensuring your environment is comfortable and relaxing—no matter if it’s your bedroom, bathroom, or hey, even your fluffy couch. Once you have that down, grab a mirror, some lube and perhaps a little companion like the Zumio that can help mix up the stimulation. Zumio happens to be a great option due to its tiny tip and pressure-sensitive intensity. 

Take deep breaths, relax your body, get in a comfortable position and take a good look at what’s down there. If you have trouble staying wet, consider a lube, like pjur lubricants. Lube can also increase sensation, making the exploration all the more fun. If you want to have your partner explore with you, consider a massage leading up to get, as this helps ignite your senses and relax the muscles. Don’t skimp on the massage oil—Exsens makes our favorites. 

We all remember those health class diagrams, but seeing every part of your own vulva puts it into perspective. Distinguish between the mons pubis, the inner and outer labia and different parts of the clitoris, up through the vaginal opening, fourchette, perineum and finally the anus. There’s probably a lot more down there than you ever realized, so now, it’s time to get a feel for it. Literally!

Remember, stay relaxed, don’t hold your breath and, after slathering your fingers with lube or oil, start gently massaging yourself all over. Begin with your breasts, stomach and thighs, then ease your way down to the genital area. Slowly, softly stroke along the entire area, paying attention to all of the different parts. Meanwhile, keep your mirror at bay to watch how each section changes in appearance as you slowly get more aroused. 

Paying close attention to how your body reacts to individual stimulation of each area, you can gauge when you’re ready for more. Whether it’s more intense rubbing with your fingers or using a Zumio to really pinpoint your pleasure zones, continue experimenting with varying degrees of intensity throughout distinct parts of the vulva. If you run across any discomfort or extreme sensitivity, slowly work your way through it, lightly massaging the area and making sure to keep breathing.

While you’re at it, consider exploring other parts of your genitals for a truly well-rounded sexual experience. Kegels, or exercises for your PC muscles, can help strengthen and elongate your orgasms. Yarlap is a tool that actually does your kegels for you, and can be a great way for someone who needs a little reminder to exercise.

In the end, you want your body to feel at ease, embrace the sensual vibes, feel totally empowered and continuously comforted. It might end in orgasm, but that’s certainly not the main goal. By taking a tantalizing tour from top to bottom, the idea is to become hyperaware of what sensations your body is able to experience and unlock the pleasure potential that lies within.

And lastly, remember…

It’s about the journey, not the destination. And even though you’ve probably gotten your fix of cliché quotes by now, it’s an important one to keep in mind because vulva mapping is far from a one-and-done situation.

Think about the world of pleasure as a revolving door of possibility, and with that, practices like vulva mapping as ways to continue growing and learning new things about ourselves. Each time you do it, you’re even more equipped and evolved than the time before, so why not take the plunge to prioritize your pleasure and see where the voyage takes you?

This is the year of self-care, after all, so definitely consider adding vulva mapping to your rotation.

Alex Anderson is an LA-based lifestyle designer proactively raging against the cultural grain. By day she works in television production, and by night enjoys writing, sewing and seeking guidance from the stars. She also finally has an all black kitty named “Cher.” You can follow her alt-lifestyle blog MSFT Living and on Instagram!

woman lying in bed topless, covering her chest, with gift boxes next to her.

It’s our favorite time of year! All of the sex toys are going on sale and we can shop our favorite brands at a steal of a price. Whether you’re shopping for your partner, friend, or simply yourself, these Black Friday sex toy deals are guaranteed to heat up the holidays. 

And don’t worry if you or your loved one is a sex toy newbie. All of the brands on this list offer sex toys and accessories that are perfect for everyone, from novice to sexpert. And besides, what better way to show someone you love them than with the gift of pleasure? Ahead, you’ll find some of the best sex toy deals totally worth scoring.

Promescent

What started as a doctor’s mission to help men who struggled with premature ejaculation, Promescent has evolved into a collection of sexual wellness products designed to enhance every intimate experience. Their flagship product is a clinically proven delay spray for him, which helps men last up to 64% longer. They also have an arousal gel for her that further closes the orgasm gap, and so much more. Promescent is leading the way to more fulfilling sex.

Save 20% on orders of $50 or more with code BF2020.

We-Vibe Toys

We-Vibe, the creators of the entire Couple’s Toy category, now provides some of the industry’s most popular products of the highest quality products. So much more than “toys,” We-Vibe’s research and development keeps pushing the envelope of pleasure and technology.

Save 20% sitewide—no code necessary.

Womanizer 

Three words: Pleasure. Air. Technology. Those incredible pulses of air that indirectly stimulate the clitoris and deliver mind-blowing orgasms—that’s what Womanizer is all about. Emily has even dubbed it the “Orgasm Whisperer.” Every Womanizer product features these patented pulses, making them one of the most unique sex products on the market.

Save 20% sitewide—no code necessary.

pjur lubricants

Direct to you from Germany, pjur lubricants (pronounced “pure”) feature only the highest quality ingredients and are available in formulations for every occasion. Remember: using lube can actually increase the chance of your orgasm, whether you’re using it with sex toys or your partner. If you’re looking to start dipping your toes into the lube pool, consider pjur.

Save 20% sitewide—no code necessary.

Good Vibrations Toys and Accessories 

The origin of Emily’s first vibrator is now the most trusted source for quality pleasure products. Good Vibrations has everything from toys to games to lubes, and it’s all been tested and proven to make sure you’re getting the best. 

Save 20% sitewide—no code necessary.

Magic Wand 

One of the most iconic names in sex toys is now one of the hottest sex toy deals. The Magic Wand has been delivering pleasure since 1968—yep, before we even went to the Moon. Cosmo calls it “the Little Black Dress” of vibrators, Time magazine chose it as one of the century’s most influential gadgets, and New York Time‘s Wirecutter named the Magic Wand Rechargeable as Vibrator of the Year for 2020. In other words, you can’t go wrong.

Save 20% sitewide—no code necessary.

Zumio 

Are you ready for something mind-blowing? Try Zumio. Its precision tip and totally unique motion are built for exploration, with rotation and NOT vibration–a totally unique experience. That’s right, it’s not a vibrator, but it will give you some pretty intense orgasms. And, to ensure you’re getting the most of your experience, they just released a 25-page companion guide called “Mapping Your Pleasure: Zumio’s Guide to Vulva Exploration.” Trust us, this will change your self-discovery practices. 

Save 20% on any model and get the guide for free with your purchase—no code necessary.

P.volve

Give yourself the gift of better sex and a firmer body. P.volve offers on-demand workouts that use “Functional Fitness” to get you in shape, which basically means it’s working your body from the inside out. This not only includes your core but your pelvic floor, as well. And if we know anything about a stronger pelvic floor, it’s that it can lead to better orgasms.

Save 50% off equipment kits and memberships through Sunday with code BF50, then 30% off sitewide the week after with code CW30.

MasterClass

Ready to dive deep into your sexual wellness with Emily? Or maybe you want to learn to cook. Or negotiate. Or play basketball. Whatever you want to learn, you can do it with MasterClass. They have classes on every topic from the world’s leading experts—including Emily. Right now, you can buy one membership and get one free for a friend. Happy holidays!

BOGO Membership 

Yarlap 

Even if you’re a Kegel expert, doing these exercises regularly and effectively can be challenging. Enter Yarlap, a discreet, FDA-cleared device you use at home to strengthen your pelvic floor automatically. Their exclusive AutoKegel technology delivers precision stimulation to your PC muscle. The results? Kegels of steel, no more sneeze-and-pee, and even stronger orgasms.

Save $50 with the code FAMILY

New England Low-T Center

Newsflash: Low Testosterone can affect everything from sexual performance and desire to your ability to stay in shape. But it’s normal and certainly nothing to be embarrassed about. The good news: you can do something about it, and New England Low T Center is here to help you. Their medically-controlled and doctor-prescribed treatments can optimize your testosterone levels and put the spring back in your step.

Save 20% on your first order and add a 10% lifetime discount on all their services with code EMILY

Muse 

Pro Tip: flavored lube will change the way you think about oral sex forever. Not only do Muse flavors taste incredible for the giver, but they also make oral feel amazing for the receiver. Trust us, it’s a win-win.

Save 50% with code MUSEBF50

Je Joue 

Je Joue is the name behind a whole host of “Just Right” sex toys. From their awesome Mimi Clitoral Vibe to their Mio Penis Ring, you will find something that is the perfect fit, power, style, and price for you. And with 30% off, it’s one of those sex toy deals where you can check out with something for nearly everyone on your list. 

Save 30% off any product with code EMILY30

&Jane

Looking for erotica that literally speaks to you? Try &Jane. You can listen to audio erotica created authentically by women storytellers. Follow your favorites every week or even submit your own anonymous sexy stories. It’s 100% inclusive, ethical, and totally hot.

No code necessary

Exsens

Exsens brings you some of the most luscious lubes, lotions, and body care items all the way from France. We’re obsessed with pretty much everything they make, from their Warming Massage Oils to their amazing intimate care collection called Intime. These are products you can feel good about using, as they use only the best ingredients—and yet still come with amazing scents and tastes.

Get a FREE GIFT with any purchase over $50.

What if you could understand your sex drive, desire, moods, and energy levels every day of the year? On today’s show (part one of two) I’m joined by Alisa Vitti, a functional nutritionist and women’s hormone expert whose FLOLiving community, books, and app have helped thousands of women reclaim their cycles and navigate their internal clock and rhythms.

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“On today’s show, I’m sitting down with John Hill of Radio Andy & The Feels on SiriusXM. We’re covering everything from cuffing season to taking a break from sex during quarantine, to the suggestive app: Slutbot! We also cover a variety of anal and oral tips, so you can take a break from the chaos by amping up your game in the bedroom. 
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Halloween’s canceled this year but that doesn’t mean you can’t dress up. Today, I’m talking about lingerie, figuring out what outfits you like, how to talk about it with your partner, and what happens when your plans for a sexy lingerie night go astray. The right outfit can completely transform sex and break up the monotony in long-term relationships. (Spoiler alert: it doesn’t have to be leather or lace!) 
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