The Birds & The Bees (new & improved)

This is a sex-positive blog for the purpose of education, and answering questions anyone has concerning sex, gender, sex education, sexuality, bodies, and anything else in your education and experience, or lack thereof, that has left you wondering.

Anonymous asked: So my boyfriend and I recently tried to have vaginal sex. Tried being the keyword. I've never really had anything up there. I don't use tampons, and I don't finger myself when I masturbate. He can barely fit his head in. We've both been using fingers for the past week or two to try to stretch it out, but whenever a second finger is added, it becomes very painful. Sometimes it's even very painful with one finger. Lubricant isn't the problem... so do you have any stretching solutions?

I highly recommend medical dilators, and maybe even seeing a specialist like I did, as your situation sounds very similar to mine (link to an explanation of the trouble I had with penetration, may be worth reading for your specific situation). There is also a similar question we answered here, but since you are looking for stretching techniques specifically, I’ll go more in-depth.

For at-home stretching and control techniques, you have a few options:

  1. Try laying on your back and focusing on relaxing as much as possible. Use artificial lubrication (water-based and glycerin-free is best) and/or your own natural lubricant if you are comfortable trying stimulating yourself some first or getting yourself aroused to aid the stretching (this is an excellent idea with any stretching technique as the vagina extends and widens to accommodate anything that may penetrate it during sexual activity; you may even consider masturbating to orgasm to relax your self first if this does not make further stimulation uncomfortable or undesirable). Insert one finger into your vagina to a comfortable point (it does not have to be very deep) and press upward toward your stomach gently but so that you feel a distinct pressure and possibly a little stretching or tension within the opening of your vagina. Hold it there and count to 10 slowly. Repeat this at each degree of a clock (as though pressing upward toward the top of your pelvis/your stomach/bladder is 12 o’clock noon). Do this exercise just a few times a week to start and increase the frequency to once a day until you feel comfortable penetrating with two fingers, and then continue the exercise with two fingers. At this point you may also try opening your fingers slightly (without the pressing/clock motions) to create tension and achieve stretching.
  2. For some, muscle relaxation and control can be the main issue with being averse to penetration, or at least having more vaginal muscle control can aid them in relaxing to penetration in addition to stretching techniques. You can improve your strength and control of vaginal muscles by doing “kegel” exercises. This simply consists of clenching the muscles of your pelvic floor (the ones you would use if you were attempting to stop urine flow mid-stream) and holding them like that for 10-30 seconds (increase your time as your stamina grows) in sets of 5 or so. You can start by doing a set of 5 each day, and increase your numbers from there. The key to improving your control with kegels is to get yourself to be able to completely relax your muscles after holding them tense for a period of time. Once you are familiar with the sensation of doing this, you should be able to better focus on getting yourself and your pelvic muscles to relax, which will make penetration much easier.
  3. Lastly, I again recommend medical vaginal dilators. Dilators are essentially a series of smooth plastic dildos that start at incredibly small sizes and gradually increase in thickness from about the size of a pencil to 3 inches. I would order a set with many different small sizes to get you to larger ones. All you have to do is follow the same set up as the stretching exercises—use lubrication, whether it be artificial or your natural lubricant from masturbation/arousal or both, lay on your back, and focus on relaxing—and begin by inserting the smallest sized dilator into your vagina, and either masturbating with it or leaving it in place and just relaxing until you feel comfortable with it. Once you feel no discomfort, you can remove it and move up to the next, larger size. This may take very few sessions, or a regimen of frequent (every day or every-other day at the most frequent) to see results, but I have found it to be highly effective.

All of these methods can be used alone, but there is no harm in trying multiple, and they should only enhance one another and help your likelihood of becoming comfortable with penetration.

However, if these techniques do not work and you continue feeling pain from any penetration, there is a small chance your discomfort/pain could be due to vaginismus, endometriosis, or various other conditions. In this case you should not try to self-diagnose or treat, but see a gynecologist.

There are no such things as “opposite” genders, any more than a strawberry is the “opposite” as a plum.

—Hanne Blank, Straight: The Surprisingly Short History of Heterosexuality (via insidethesnowglobe)

(Source: transschmuck, via hotdogcephalopod)

Anonymous asked: you've talked on this blog before about guys making their foreskins come back by strching out the skin there. i never had my foreskin removed, which is fine, and i dont mind my foreskin, except that there is a lot of it, and because i've tugged at it basically since i started masturbating , there's so much now that i kind of looks weird, and i'm worried it might affect my sensitivity, is there a way to make smaller without circumcision?

The “tugging” method to restore foreskin is usually a lot different than the natural stretching and tugging at a foreskin you likely would do during masturbation, or just regular touching of yourself, or any mild stretching at or playing with your skin. Manual stretching of the skin is intensive and highly consistent to have any noticeable effects, so unless you’ve actively been trying to extend your foreskin, it sounds like you may just have redundant prepuce (also known as redundant foreskin, overhang, or overhanging foreskin).

Redundant prepuce is the slight overhang or extra lip of skin extending beyond the end of the penis once the glans is covered. It is completely normal, and so long as you do not begin experiencing phimosis (hardening of the foreskin or opening of the foreskin preventing retraction or making retraction painful) there is absolutely nothing wrong with having some extra foreskin. If anything, this may increase your sexual sensitivity, as the glans and inside of the foreskin/the ridged band are the areas most packed with sexually sensitive nerve endings.

Here is a link to the foreskin “Coverage Index” notating different levels of coverage/length and detonating each a number should you be interested in placing yourself along a scale or seeing real-life examples of foreskin lengths and redundant prepuce (it should be noted that the first few rankings on the scale and their accompanying images are of those restoring their foreskins, not naturally born with that little coverage). The index includes actual pictures of genitals and is NSFW.

Anonymous asked: You know, right after the semen comes out, the porn I just masturbated to becomes disgusting and boring and everything related to sex too. Just for some minutes, I almost swear to myself to never do that again. Every time after masturbating.

This is very common during the refractory period. The refractory period is the time after orgasm during which it is physically impossible for a male-bodied person to achieve orgasm again, and sustaining physical arousal at all is also unattainable for most. The reason for this is that upon orgasm, prolactin is released into the brain, which represses the dopamine that is necessary for sexual arousal. Most people report feeling very non-sexual and uninterested in sexual thoughts and activity as a result. The refractory period is partly responsible for many male-bodied people desiring sleep after sexual activity. Even many female-bodied people report experiencing milder versions of refractory periods.

santonijones13 asked: So its thr first time my bf went doen on me; everything was going fine. So just as I came my legs involuntarily choked him and I'm super nervous to do it again. Help please?

The best thing you can do is just focus on relaxing. If or when your boyfriend performs cunnilingus on you again, try to take things slower and keep calm—hopefully that will allow you more control over your body during orgasm. And, if possible, tell your boyfriend when you feel close or know you are about to orgasm so that if you can’t control your muscles again, he has time to prepare.

So long as you simply explain why it occurred and do your best to avoid it again, or at least warn him, I’m sure he won’t mind.

unniesexual asked: So, I have started doing what I'm nearly sure is ejaculating. It never happens on a first orgasm and rarely on a second, but almost always after that. The fluid is clear, odorless, and tasteless. But the thing that throws me is (I haven't watched yet) it doesn't feel like it's gushing or squirting like I've seen in porn, just kind of... quickly flowing. It feels like I'm peeing. Is that what it's normally like? And how do I bring that up with a partner?

If you’re accurately describing the fluid and you feel it is coming from your urethra and not your vagina, it definitely sounds like you’re ejaculating!

People often experience the sensations of ejaculation very differently, and not much professional study has been done on female ejaculation, so there isn’t a lot that can be definitively answered about it except for your own personal experience with it. The force of ejaculation can be affected by pressure on the urethra, though—just like in male ejaculation—so if you are relaxed, have an empty bladder, are in a position that doesn’t put weight on your pelvis, you may only feel a “quick flowing” rather than gushing. That’s completely normal.

Be wary of the budding online portrayal of female ejaculation that so frequently pops up in mainstream porn now, though. What is represented on camera is mostly not accurate and over-exagerated by water being thrown into the scene from off-camera, the actors knowing how to put pressure on their bodies in various ways to ejaculate in the most exaggerated way, etc. Mainstream porn is usually not a great resource to learn accurately about real-life sex. Plus, like said before, everyone can experience female ejaculation differently. The best way you can learn about what is “normal” in female ejaculation for you is to pay attention to your own body.

The best way to bring it up with a partner is definitely to them before you do anything sexual together. You don’t want to risk surprising them in case you ejaculate on your first orgasm for a change! We always advocate for having a frank discussion in a non-sexual setting with potential sexual partners before anything happens to talk about what you’re each comfortable with in bed, how far you want to go, if there are any kinks you have, anything you particularly enjoy or want to avoid, etc. With any luck, they’ll likely think it’s hot that you have the ability to ejaculate, and if they are put-off when you tell them, even after a little education on what it is if they’re not familiar, then that’s probably a sign they may not be a great person to invest your time in anyway.

Taking Charge of My Sexual Health With STD Testing and Communication - Sex, Etc.

I’m happy to announce that after working with the editors of SexEtc.org over the past weeks, I have just had my first professional article published! It is a personal dialogue to encourage teens to get tested for STIs regularly and communicate effectively and openly with their sexual partners as a part of STI Awareness Month throughout April.

crushingthebinary:

Shoutout to all the closeted nonbinary people who deal with constant misgendering and gendered language and can’t do anything about it without outing themselves. You’ll get through this.

(via starfleetmagicalgirl)

deiselboi:

bitch-media:

report from the National Transgender Discrimination Survey conducted by the National Gay & Lesbian Task Force and the National Center for Transgender Equality, found that transgender people faced double the rate of unemployment of the general population, with 63 percent of the transgender people surveyed reporting they experienced a serious act of discrimination that majorly affected their ability to sustain themselves. These numbers are even worse for trans people of color, especially trans women of color, the deaths of whom have been deemed a “state of emergency.” 

Trans women have been saddled with the responsibility of taking on trans-exclusionary feminists for far too long—but it’s not their issue to deal with alone. 

Read: It’s Time to End the Long History of Feminism Failing Transgender Women by Tina Vasquez at BitchMedia.org.  Type illustrations by Michelle Leigh

Damn right

(via hotdogcephalopod)

Federal guidelines for abstinence-only-until-marriage programs associate sexual abstinence with all things virtuous and sexual activity with a life doomed to failure. Not only is this untrue, but it serves to inflict greater harm upon those who have survived coerced sexual behavior. Such messages are likely to cause further feelings of hurt, shame, anger, and embarrassment in these already victimized young people.

"In addition to shaming sexual assault victims, positioning abstinence as women’s domain further promotes the notion that it’s women’s morality that’s on the line when it comes to sex - men just can’t help themselves, so their ethics are safe from criticism.

Other young people suffering under these discriminatory teachings are LGBTQ youth, who are outright ignored or ostracized.  Queer sexuality is not discussed at all; in fact, federal guidelines for abstinence-only programs make even mentioning gay sex near-impossible.

In 2006, the United States Dept. of Health and Human Services Administration for Children and Families created new guidelines for organizations applying for grants to support abstinence-only education programs….  Educators were required to define the term “marriage” as only “a legal union between one man and one woman as husband and wife,”…  Since, according to the virginity movement, only married people are “allowed” to have sex, queer students are essentially taught that sexual intimacy is something they can never experience.  For students who may have gay friends and family members, the message is similar:  Their loved ones don’t exist.”

'The Purity Myth' by Jessica Valenti, top quote sourced from No More Money: Reality Behind the Programs

(via misandry-mermaid)

(via hotdogcephalopod)