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Sexual Health

Better Orgasms

 

Real talk: orgasms are the best. In addition to physically feeling amazing, a solid orgasm can help decrease stress, promote relaxation, and overall just leave us in a better mood. Still, like snowflakes, no orgasm is exactly like the other, and there are some magical moments where you feel as though you couldn’t have had a better orgasm.

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Tantric Sex

You’ve likely heard the phrase “tantric sex,” but do you actually know what it means? Derived from the Sanskrit word for “woven together,” tantric sex is a practice with roots dating back over 5,000 years. It’s a practice that has been in existence since literally the beginning of time—the concepts of tantra were created by Hindu people and Buddhists as early as the beginning of the first millennium A.D. 

Tantra sexology is used as a metaphor for weaving together humanity and the divine in order to create a sacred sexual practice that teaches slow, non-orgasmic sexual intercourse. Sexual partners who try tantric sex often end up cultivating a greater sense of pleasure and a way of “dissolving into each other” at the end of their practice—making it a great way to bring couples together. 

Why Should I Give Tantric Sex A Try? 

The work of tantra pays off. Tantric sex experts believe that being intentional with the time you put into your sexual practice will result in a feeling of extreme bliss and enlightenment. The tantric practice promotes self-awareness and intentional action that can enhance your sexual experiences. It can also teach you balance and connection that will help you to build greater intimacy with your partner while cultivating a deeper awareness of your own body.

During sex, we too often lose sight of what we want out of the experience and do not question if we’re really enjoying ourselves or not. But tantra allows us to become fully present in the sexual moment, which can help us to feel new sensations in their entirety. If you struggle to let go of stress from the outside world during sex and concentrate on what is happening at the moment, it may be beneficial to give tantra a try.

How To Perform Tantric Sex

Since tantric sex is not goal-oriented, the trick to having an incredible and authentic tantric experience is to focus on making foreplay enjoyable until the experience ends naturally. The experience usually starts with eye contact and matching each other’s breathing. 

Tantra is all about keeping the energy flowing continuously through your body, so try to release any tension you feel that you may be holding before you begin your practice. Most tantra experts also recommend changing up your environment during your practice and not staying on a bed while performing tantric sex, as this may trigger the sleep button in your brain. 

Try lying down on the floor with your partner instead. Take your time leisurely exploring their body and touching each other. Experiment with a variety of touches—from firm massage to gentle strokes. Most importantly, take time to focus on your breathing. If your mind begins to wander during this practice, simply focus on inhaling and exhaling in time with your partner in order to recenter your mind and body. 

If you still find you can’t last beyond ten minutes, don’t give up, and don’t be too hard on yourself! Tantric sex takes time to master because of our deeply ingrained, Western views of how sex should be. 

The key here is to let go of expectation and focus on the journey rather than an end goal. We have been trained to expect sex to have a beginning, middle, and end. With practice, you can begin to let go of this mindset and stop focusing your energy on an obvious conclusion. This will also allow for you to be able to control your body so that you can further delay climax and experience more intense orgasms—talk about a win-win situation. 

If you’re interested in trying out tantric sex practices with your partner, start an open dialogue and share why you find it interesting. The act of tantric sex is extremely rewarding and a beautiful opportunity to get further in touch with your own sexual nature, bringing you closer to both your partner and yourself. 

Sami Harris is a freelance writer and social media consultant born and raised in Orange County, California. She is currently the written editor for Jawbreaker Zine, has bylines in Pure Nowhere, Clover Letter, Adolescent Content, Uniquely Aligned, Also Cool Mag, Lithium Magazine, Always In A Funk, and Odyssey Online, and work forthcoming in Sumou Mag and Polemical Zine.

As many of you know, I’m obsessed with communication so it only makes sense that we look at word choice when talking about sex. In this epsiode, I meet with Amanda Montell, linguist and author of Wordslut: A Feminist Guide to Taking Back the English Language, to explore the greater meaning, power, and historical importance of the words we chose to use. Plus, we delve into the origins of gendered slang like ‘vajayjay’ and offer positive alternatives to the current words in our sexual dictionary. 
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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.

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

For months now, the most popular blog post on SexWithEmily.com has been “Is it normal (or safe) to eat your own ejaculate?” I’m excited to finally be answering that on today’s podcast. Join me and my callers as we explore the curiosity and appeal around this popular question. 
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Did you grow up with a loud family? So did today’s guest. Adam Ferrara is a comedian, actor and recovering loudmouth. Adam and I talk about how important it was for his marriage to learn to listen. We get into control issues and the work required to undo the damage caused by childhood trauma. 
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Answering your questions about how to have more pleasure is my jam. In this episode, I cover sex without penetration, summer sex tips and mindfulness. I’m joined by my friend and sex educator, Elle Chase. Elle and I get right down to business taking a call from Mike in Arizona who wants to have a threesome (shock!) with his girlfriend, but wants to make sure he sets it up for success. Later, we answer your questions about sex positions for curvier people and what to expect after a hysterectomy. 
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