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Sexual Self-Care Woman in Bathroom

At this point, it’s pretty obvious that “self-care” has become one of the hottest buzzwords on the internet. (Particularly during a time when we’re all hunkering down and don’t have much else to do besides facemasks and Netflix binges). That said, in the myriad activities that fall under the self-care umbrella, sexual self-care practices are too often thrown to the wayside. 

Furthermore, what even *is* sexual self-care? No, it’s not v-steaming (jury is still out on that one), nor is it given your penis a face mask. (Is that even a thing?) Sexual self-care is understanding your sexual needs and desires and making an effort to understand and check in on your sexual preferences. It also includes doing things to proactively nurture and sustain your sexual health. Below are some of our top tips for maximizing and prioritizing sexual self-care. 

Establish a routine. 

Whether you’re trying to sustain a meditation practice or a workout regime, routines have been proven to help folks stay on track with their goals. And so it makes sense to incorporate a ritual (even a small one) in order to prioritize your sexual self-care. This could look like setting aside 15 minutes every day for a sensual shower or masturbation session. Maybe you take a look in the mirror and practice positive affirmations to help you navigate through insecurities. 

In any case, making time each and every day to practice sexual self-care can leave you feeling empowered and pleasured. 

Notice and work through sexual shame. 

If you have shame surrounding sex, you are NOT alone. Many of us were shamed for something we did as a child or came from a fear-based sex education program. Shame can also occur at any moment in our life—like if a partner told you that you were “loose” or laughed at your penis. 

Part of sexual self-care involves working through shame and rekindling a sense of confidence. Finding confidence looks different for everyone, but we suggest making a list of the things that make you feel GOOD and PROUD in your body. If your shame stems from a specific or repeated issue, therapy can also be a wonderful option. 

There’s also no shame in looking for help from products or tools. A lot of our penis-owning audience report on feeling inadequate because they climax early, or can’t stay hard. (If this is you, you’re not alone.) Products like Promescent delay spray can be a wonderful asset in helping you last longer in bed and have a better, more pleasurable experience with your partner, ultimately fostering connection and confidence. If you’re a vulva-owner and having trouble reaching orgasm, you might consider adding a small vibrator to the bedroom. There’s absolutely nothing wrong with using a toy during partnered sex, and you might actually find that it brings you and your partner closer together!

Do your kegels. 

Consider the kegel like a yoga class for your genitals—seriously. When you practice kegels, your pelvic floor muscles become stronger and you become more mindful about your sexual pleasure. This is important because over time, or due to circumstances like pregnancy, childbirth, or weight gain, the pelvic floor can weaken, leading to discomfort or even urinary incontinence. 

Enter the kegel. Kegels are great in that they help improve blood circulation to the pelvic floor, increase arousal, and strengthen your orgasms. (We like that.) And contrary to popular belief, kegels are not just for women and vulva-owners! Men can do them too. For all genders, start by making sure your bladder is empty, then sit or lie down. Tighten the pelvic floor muscles, then hold tight and county for 3 to 5 seconds. Relax the muscles and count for another 3 to 5 seconds. Repeat 10 times, three times a day! 

If you REALLY want to amp up your kegel game, we highly recommend calling in some reinforcements, specifically Yarlap. It’s an award-winning kegel exercise device that basically does the workout for you and ensures you’re doing it correctly. And when you’re committed to your kegels, you’re committed to your sexual health.

Think proactively about your health.

We’d be remiss not to include the health portion of sexual health here. Whether we’re talking about testing for or avoiding STIs, proper hygiene, or general safer sex practices, an ounce of prevention always beats a pound of cure. This starts with being prepared and proactive. 

Communicate your health-conscious decisions with your partners (always without shame or blame) and make sure you’re both on the same page. Don’t ever be afraid to ask someone about STIs or utilize condoms, but avoid using words like clean or dirty as they contribute to certain stigmas associated with STIs. 

If you’re a vulva-owner, you’re also susceptible to things like yeast infections, BV, and UTIs. In addition to peeing after sex and wearing clean underwear, you might consider adding a supplement like Uqora to your post-sex routine. It’s a drink mix that was developed by a chronic UTI sufferer as a proactive and healthy way to flush the urinary tract after sex, exercise, or anytime you need extra support.

Trust us, when you’re confident you’re doing what you can to stay healthy, you’ll be able to enjoy sex without stress, which is definitely a form of self-care.

Get regular check-ups and talk to the professionals. 

While we’re on the topic of protecting yourself sexually, be sure to get your parts checked out! Regular check-ups with medical professionals are a crucial aspect of maintaining sexual health and therefore a great way to practice proper sexual self-care. If you don’t vibe with your doctor, or you don’t feel like you’re getting the info you need, find a new one. Your time is valuable and should not be wasted on doctors who won’t give you the love and attention you deserve. 

When our penis-owning or male-identifying friends are experiencing sexual deficiencies, a trip to the doctor may be what’s needed—but not wanted. Thankfully there are male-focused telemedicine services like New England Low-T Center that specialize in testosterone optimization and vitamin therapies, all of which are handled virtually. Whether it’s fatigue, low libido, or sexual performance concerns, they can help you sort it out without stepping foot in an exam room.

Prioritize pleasure. 

One of the best ways to practice sexual self-care? More masturbation. And if you’re thinking, but I already have a great masturbation routine, consider mixing it up! Trying a new method means learning about your body and your desires, which is a great way of caring for your sexuality.

There are SO many great toys we could recommend, but if you don’t own a Magic Wand, get on that. It’s a toy that belongs atop everyone’s nightstand, and is great for both solo and partnered play. This is the Cadillac of vibrators. The cream of the crop. Your clitoris (or your lover’s) won’t know what hit ‘em. 

At the end of the day, the most important thing you can do to practice sexual self-care is make time for you and your sexual self. Recognize that sex is an important part of our lives and that you deserve to feel seen, understood, and educated when it comes to your sexuality. Now go get some “you” time.

— 

Amanda Kohr is the Content Coordinator at Sex With Emily. Find her via Instagram at @cozycarvan.

butt sex blog sex with emily

Regardless of how “adventurous” you consider yourself in the bedroom, butt sex can feel tricky to even the most experienced. But to anyone who thinks it’s doggy style or bust, it’s time to think again, my friends! 

Anal August is coming to a close, and it’s our goal to spend the month paying tribute to the world of backdoor play. As social stigmas surrounding it have begun to melt further away, there’s no denying it’s something a lot of people are growing more curious to try. However, if you aren’t yet an ace when it comes to anal, it’s important to know there are a ton of different ways to do it – positions, most definitely included. 

So how do you figure out which one will make and not break the experience? Well, it often depends on your experience level. But no matter how well versed in the art of butt play you may or may not be, we totally have your back with this master list of favorite anal sex-friendly positions.

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dos and donts of anal blog sex with emilyHappy Anal August everyone! As the days again begin to get shorter, it can feel like time for change! Whether that’s going back to school, getting a new haircut, or diving into something new sexually. For a lot of people, that something sexually new can be a first-time entry into the backdoor. 

So after you have thoroughly washed your backdoor and prepared yourself mentally, let’s get to the fun stuff and break down the dos and don’ts of anal!

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two vaginas blog sex with emilyIt’s the last day of Pride month, and you know what that means: glitter, rainbows, and (if you’re lucky) some queer sex. But, just because we’re all feeling proud doesn’t mean that we’re all…experienced.

Starting out in the world of queer sex can at best feel intimidating and at worst feel like a big gay mountain we’d rather not start climbing. We learn a lot about heterosexual sex, through…pretty much everything, sex between two people with vaginas can often feel like a huge question mark.

There’s a lot of misinformation floating around, so today I want to set the record straight and give you some pointers for non-straight sex with two vaginas. 

 

Check In With Your Partner

Ah yes, the good ol’ gay check in. What could be more queer than processing your feelings around sex before you even have it? Being able to talk openly with the person you’re having sex with isn’t just important for your emotional health, it’s important for your physical health and downright necessary for good sex!

Because it’s not immediately apparent as to how two “innies” fit together, being able to talk about what you like and don’t like is even more important in this situation. Maybe you like vibrators, maybe you can’t come unless you have clitoral and vaginal stimulation, or maybe you would rather be a giver than a receiver.

Either way, checking in and talking about sex before you have it is super important for queer sex. Not to mention that it’s extra important to talk about your STD status when two vaginas are in the mix. Vaginal condoms can be awkward, but there are other ways to stay safe including dental dams, using condoms on sex toys, changing condoms to avoid mixing vaginal fluids and using latex gloves. It might be awkward, it might be uncomfortable, but you have to make sure you’re safe along the way.

Also: you’ll notice that I keep saying “two vaginas” instead of two women. This is because your partner might not identify as a woman, or even like to call their genitals a vagina! And that’s okay! Check in to see what their preferred pronouns are and what words they like to use during sex to describe their genitals. Communication is always the best way to ensure comfort in your new expedition and will make your dirty talk even better.

 

Figure out what you like!

You’ve got the same hardware, so why not practice on yourself first? Before you start in on your partner’s vagina, focus on your own first. Figuring out what you like and how you like to pleasure yourself will teach you a lot about pleasing another vagina. So take some time alone and have a solo masturbation session or two to figure out what you like before you start having queer sex. Being able to describe what you like will help your partner pleasure you, and give you a lot of information as to how to operate the machinery, keeping in mind that we all like different things. Also: it’s fun!

 

Start Slow, With Your Hands

Okay, now that you’ve figured out what you like and how to talk about it, let me take a second to focus your attention on your hands. These are now some of your main tools for sex!

Make sure your hands are clean, nails trimmed and latex gloves ready to go because these bad boys are going to be your first line of action. When you and your partner are ready to touch one another, make sure you start gently, and use lots of lube. Everyone has a different sensitivity level, so no matter how confident you are with a vibrator or dildo, unless you’ve discussed something differently, I suggest you start with your hands.

Take some time to explore their whole vaginal area with your hands, and communicate a lot. Do they like it when you stroke them here? Or there? Do they like fast? Or slow? More lube? Or Less? Do they only want you to touch their clit? Or do they want a finger in their vagina? If so, how many? Start slow, work your way up, and stay in communication the whole time.

Also pro tip: if you do insert your fingers into their vagina, try to find angles where you can keep your wrist straight and instead thrust with your whole arm. You can even hold your wrist with your other hand if that helps. Believe me, it will make your new sex toy last A LOT longer and your wrist will thank you later.

 

Don’t focus on the big O

No one started playing basketball and immediately was amazing at throwing three point shots. When you first start having queer sex, it can be messy, take a long time, and be downright awkward.

But this my friends is about the journey, not the destination. Just because you didn’t give your partner an orgasm in the first 20 minutes, doesn’t make you a failure. In fact, the less you focus on orgasms, and instead put your attention on pleasure, the more likely you are to get good at queer sex. And because vaginas can experience multiple orgasms, when you do get there, it’ll be worth the wait. We’re in this for the long haul, for the experience, not for that cumulative cum shot. So stop worrying about their orgasm and start worrying about whether or not they enjoy it. You and your partner will have a lot more fun that way. I promise.

 

Explore from there!

If you want to employ a toy to help you explore the pleasure your vulva has to offer, try the Zumio! It’s a totally unique toy that uses rotation and movement to pinpoint the pleasure on your clit and surrounding areas. It’s like using a compass to find your orgasmic north star!

All these same tips apply to new introduction into your sex-repertoire: oral, vibrators, sex toys, strap ons, etc. Start slow. Communicate a lot. Check in constantly. Work your way up over time. You don’t want anyone to get hurt and ruin the whole experience. I promise you, you’ll work your way up to that crazy sex scene you’ve got in your head eventually. 

 

 


Tessa Skara is a writer and comedian. She is bravely bicoastal. She loves all things queer, including, but not limited to sex. Follow her on Instagram @tessafuckinskara.

 

Muse Blog Sex with emilyCovid-19 is changing the world as we know it. One industry that is seeing a big boon in sales due in part to the stay-at-home orders and a growing need for self-pleasure is the sex toy industry.

With masturbation being the one truly safest sex you can have during quarantine, finding and purchasing a new toy has become something of a new pastime. The privacy factor of being able to order online has also fed into the rush to purchase a new sex toy during lockdown. Yet, as the LA Times reports, “sex-toy sales are up, stigma is down.”

Meanwhile, one sex toy maker, Muse, has switched over its manufacturing from lube to hand sanitizer. 

 

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4/20 blog sex with emilyIn case you don’t know, let me inform you of a very VERY special holiday this season. I’m not talking about Easter, or Passover, or National Burrito Day. (Yes, this is real. It’s on April 2nd, and, yes, I’m disappointed in you for not celebrating.) In fact, the highest of all holidays is today: 4/20!

That’s right, that special day is finally here. And whether you’re a 420 fanatic or a total teetotaler, I’m here to recommend you expand your intake of asparagus. CBD is a type of weed that lends itself perfectly to our favorite activity here at SWE: Sex. 

So here’s some facts and recommendations on how to ring in the green new year in a fun, flirty and not completely paranoid way.

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