March 26, 2012

Safety First: Enjoying Sex Toys Well {featured contributor}

By Carly Morson

Safety First: enjoying sex toys in a way that feels good to you, and that you can feel good about.

Once you have taken the positively wellness-enhancing decision to own an adult toy, it is important to remember that the proper use of sex toys is essential for your health and safety. Please do consider these insights to help you confidently enjoy a pleasure-filled experience.

Material matters, and the safest materials are those that are completely non-porous, such as glass, silicon and metal, largely because they are the easiest to sterilize. Put these toys into the dishwasher, boil them on the stove for several minutes, or wipe down with a bleach solution (10% at minimum). Always remember to clean your toys after each use!

March 19, 2012

Talk with Your Kids about Masturbation

Perhaps you don't feel comfortable with the idea of your child masturbating or self-pleasuring, let alone talking to her about it, but not only can masturbation help your child develop a healthy and positive relationship with her own body, it can support her in avoiding unwanted, negative sexual encounters.

Self-pleasuring is a natural and healthy part of a child's development and begins in early childhood. For toddlers, self-pleasuring is a common and natural method of soothing themselves when they are tired. Most children develop a sense of privacy and sexual modesty within the first years of elementary school, but will gladly masturbate in public full view before that unless encouraged not to do so earlier. Encouraging privacy is fine, but shaming the child for touching herself is not. Any sex educator can tell you that. But how about teaching your child the nuts and bolts of masturbating to help her improve her masturbation techniques?

Knowing what to say "no" to begins with knowing what to say "yes" to. Recognizing and avoiding sexual behavior and activity that feel unwanted and negative, begins with knowing what feels right and good to you. Sex educator Dr. Laura Berman, the author of several books, including Talking To Your Kids About Sex: Turning "The Talk" Into A Conversation For Life, encourages parents to equip children with adequate information and equipment to allow them to masturbate well. (Dr. Berman, who now hosts her own sex advice program at the Oprah Winfrey Network, spoke regularly at the Oprah Winfrey Show when it aired, including on how to talk to kids about masturbation; see for instance this video from an Oprah episode where Dr. Berman gives advice to a mom concerned with her four-year-old masturbating: hint, it's normal). Writes Dr. Berman about teaching teenage girls about masturbation:

March 12, 2012

Gush: Good Releasing's Guide to Female Ejaculation {featured film}

(This post was originally published at Good Vibrations Magazine.)

Gush: The Official Guide to the G-Spot & Female Ejaculation is part of Good Releasing's Pleasure-Ed Series that also includes a guide to cunnilingus and another to fellatio. All feature Good Vibrations staff sexologist Dr. Carol Queen, the Co-Founder of the Center for Sex and Culture. What I would describe as educational porn, each film integrates sex scenes with the sex information.

To answer all the questions and myths that surround the G-spot and female ejaculation, Gush is set up as a radio show in which Dr. Queen answers callers' questions. Dr. Queen offers advice and suggestions for techniques, positions, exercises, and more. She explains where the G-spot is and how first to find it; the differences between different orgasms (clitoral, G-spot, and blended); what sex toys to use and how; and what female ejaculate is and where it comes from. Interspersed are five sex numbers illustrating what we learn from Dr. Queen's answers to the callers' questions. Ranging from girl-girl sex to girl-boy sex and solo sex, they all incorporate lots of sex toys.

March 6, 2012

Turn Me On, Dammit! Horny Teenage Girls {featured film}

(This review was originally posted at Good Vibrations Online Magazine.)

In the US, girls are supposed to be sexy, but not sexual. In Norway, girls are expected to be both sexy and sexual — the problem is when they're horny (kåt). A "horny girl" is still very much taboo; obscene, too much. Even in so-called gender democratic and sexually liberated Norway.

The American Pie movies immortalized horny boys on film; Turn Me On, Dammit! (original title is Få meg på, for faen!) finally does the same for a horny girl who wants sex, but in a much more true, real way. This quirky, offbeat Norwegian sex comedy, which won the award for Best Screenplay at Tribeca Film Festival (2011) as well as Best Debut Film at Rome Film Festival, and which has been widely praised by among others The Huffington Post, Variety,, and Salon, is about a 15-year-old girl, Alma (performed by 17-year-old Helene Bergsholm), who is insatiably horny all the time. Consumed by her out-of-control hormones, her fantasies range from romantic dreams of Artur, the boy she yearns for, to smutty scenarios about practically everybody she lays her eyes on.

March 5, 2012

Sex, Alcohol, Drugs, and Writing: The Chronology of Water {featured book}

Essay about the cover
How do you talk about a book that is capable of describing something because of how it breaks down and escapes the rules of language? The “incest narrative” has become a “cliché,” states Lidia Yuknavitch. It sounds “so horrible to say but talk to an editor or agent or publisher and you will hear rhetoric about the incest narrative and how to sell it or what will prohibit your book form selling. As if that matters.”

Instead of presenting us with another incest narrative, complete with a history of excessive drug and alcohol use, and a lot of hard, numbing, mind-blowing, cleansing sex, Yuknavitch shatters narrative and goes poetic about it in her prize awarded memoir, The Chronology of Water. You literally can go through this book and "chart the moments" of emotional and sexual intensity "by watching where the language -- to quote Dickinson -- goes strange." A bleeding stream of words, images, sensations, pouring out the body memories of a father who raged, a mother who failed them, a sister whose colon was irrevocably messed up. The epic sex and partying, the drunken marriages, a stillborn child. She explains:
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