Tuesday, October 2, 2018

Vulnerability: the building block of great sex

Prerequisite: Lesson 402 
Course Description: This is a follow up course to the content in Lesson 402. It's a writing intensive course designed to help you dive further into the advanced topics of sexual education and self-exploration. At the end of this course, you'll be able to discuss sex with another human without giggling like a little school-girl. Unless, of course, giggling like a little school-girl is what turns you or your partner on. 

Today, students, is video day! In this class we are going to feature a TED talk from another speaker. Feel free to consider this course a special topics course in upper division sexual awareness. Welcome to...

LESSON 403-
VULNERABILITY: THE BUILDING BLOCK OF GREAT SEX


Let me say that word again. Vulnerability. Don't cringe. It's okay. I know that a lot of us associate the word vulnerable as a negative thing. We assume that people who are vulnerable are easily hurt, damaged, and broken. It could very well be true, but if you are never able to become vulnerable, then you're going to miss out on the awesome things because you have built up a wall to keep anything new from happening. 



That's a no-no. TEAR DOWN that wall! Go watch this video we are featuring from Olive B. Persimmon before reading on... she allowed herself to be vulnerable, and wonderful things happened as a result.

Anything sound familiar to you? Yup. It's time to make a list. Did you do your homework for Lesson 402?  Good!!! (If you didn't, then you can get half credit if you turn it in late.)
Now it's time for some in-class assignments. Think about what Olive said, and decide if you are vulnerable enough to try something new. Just pick one thing for now. 

Nope. Sorry. JUST ONE thing for now.


 Okay, now think about that one thing. Are you willing to try it? Probably. Are you willing to ask for it? Yeah. That's the harder part. When's the right time to ask, how to ask for it, how to prepare to get shot down... it's tough. Communication is tough. Think about picking a time when you can talk in private with your partner about trying this new thing. Figure out how you want it to happen, and what boundaries you want to set (or not set). Also think about how you might respond if they aren't up for it. Is there a compromise you'd like to try? Can you be a good listener and see if maybe they have a counter-suggestion? But all of these things are completely useless to think about if you aren't vulnerable enough to go for it and talk about it. So...
 Sometimes you just gotta be brave and go for it. You may be surprised to see how well your partner reacts once you've opened up the communication-flood-gates. 




HOMEWORK: Go download one of Olive's "Yes-No-Maybe" lists from her site at https://www.olivepersimmon.com/let-s-get-sexy and get to checking off. Bonus points if you and your partner do the list and exchange them with each other! And even if you don't have a partner, what's the harm in having the list around just in case an opportunity comes up?  

Saturday, September 29, 2018

There's an app for that...

Yes students... there's an app for that. 
Even sex. 
They'll make an app for anything these days!!


The more important question is, what app would be useful to YOU?
I'm guessing if you're reading my blog, you might be interested in learning more about how to broaden your sexual horizons. 



Here's your chance to do a little...


RESEARCH 301: Technology Support



So I thought I would share with you some awesome websites and apps that I came across in my latest google researches. Have fun!

AWESOME STUFF:

  • SAA App: https://sexualadviceassociation.co.uk/app/ - "Our SMART app is designed to allow men and women to ask the questions about their sex lives that they didn’t feel comfortable asking before."
  • REAL TALK: https://www.myhealthed.org/ - "Real Talk", a sexual education app that uses real teenagers’ stories to address questions about sex, puberty, gender, relationships and more.
  • MY SEX DOCTOR: This app can help you and your partner boost your carnal knowledge.
  • SEXPOSITIVE:  Based out of the University of Oregon, SexPositive employs a wheel format that lets users move a dial to match one part of the body with another and read about what happens when those parts touch each other (does this sound like a dirty Twister game to anyone else?). It'll give you communication tips as well as STI risks and safer sex recommendations, and it even provides information about making sure an encounter is consensual. The app's website reads:    First, we want folks to examine their motivations for having sex and consider whether they’re ready for sex. Second, for users who are ready for sex, we want them to understand that a “yes” to one sexual act is not a “yes” to every sexual act. Third, we want users to consider a variety of personal boundaries before finding themselves in a high-pressure situation. Finally, we want to model the many ways to express and obtain explicit consent.Now, that's a philosophy we can get on board with. SexPositive is available on the App Store and Google Play and has received over 30,000 downloads.
  • SEXUAL HEALTH GUIDE:  The Irish app "Sexual Health Guide", also available on the App Store and Google Play, provides a glossary of sexual health terms, the latest sexual health news, and information about sexual problems, contraceptives, and relationships
  • BEDSIDER'S BIRTH CONTROL REMINDERS: This is an app for people like me who are busy and always need a reminder to take their birth control
  • EVE: Eve is not your normal period tracker app; it’s actually a lot more.
  • PLANNED PARENTHOOD CHAT/TEXT: While the Planned Parenthood Chat/Text isn’t an app, it is a great digital tool that you can access on your phone. This gives you a chance to chat with someone who can direct you to better resources if they don't have the answer.
  • SAFE: https://www.safeapp.me/ - SAFE is a Safe Sex app that lets you privately show your verified STD status on your phone, check your partners, and get tested for $99 or just a co-pay using your insurance.
  • NEEDTAYKNOW: This is a Sexual Health App based out of Scotland, but I checked it out and it's pretty cool! - http://www.cool2talk.org/health-info-zone/needtayknow-sexual-health-app/
  • JUICEBOX: Check this one out at  https://www.fastcompany.com/3058661/a-new-approach-to-sex-ed-fun for an interesting approach to sex-ed.


DIRTIER APPS...

For something a little more fun and a little less educational, we have some really sexy technology for you:

  • DIRTY SEX GAME FOR COUPLE (17+) Best truth or dare couple game app by Chouic
  • IKAMASUTRA: This app costs $2.99, but looks worth the money. It offers detailed descriptions and illustrations of over 100 pleasure poses.
  • L. CONDOMS: Dude!!! Delivery!!! L. Condoms delivers condoms 24 hours a day within one hour through bike messengers who have no idea what they're delivering
  • PERFECT MOBILE MASSAGER: Or as some of us call it, a rocket in your pocket. (No one calls it that. Just humor me.) "Perfect mobile massager for your beauty and health" on google play - "Try out the buzzy app on different erogenous zones and sexy body areas—but PLEASE be hygienic, since cell phones are breeding grounds for bacteria."
  • MYSTERYVIBE: "MysteryVibe" knows how to use tech to enhance your pleasure. This app is used in conjunction with their Crescendo vibrator that they sell. The app lets users control the Crescendo’s speed and motion from a smartphone, upping the intensity when the time is right or creating custom vibration patterns. It may cost something to buy the vibrator, but if you want something fun you can do with your phone, this sounds like a fun idea!
  • LIONESS: "Lioness: Sexual Health Tracker" Another app that goes with a vibrator... when paired with the Lioness massager, the Lioness app gives you a new way to learn and explore you and your own, unique body by giving you a fresh perspective of your sex life and a way to change your routine.


NOTABLE MENTIONS:
Check out this GREAT video on good clitoral sex positions from health.com: //players.brightcove.net/1125866826/default_default/index.html?videoId=5668783972001

FOUR YOUR INFORMATION:
Just because I found it interesting: Websites such as HealthTap, LiveHealth Online and JustDoc, for example, allow you to video chat with medical specialists from your computer. Companies such as L and Nurk allow you to order contraceptives from your cellphone, without ever going to the doctor for a prescription. And there are a slew of at-home STI testing kits from companies like Biem, MyLAB Box and uBiome that let you swab yourself at home, mail in your samples and receive the results on your phone.
(taken from http://www.chicagotribune.com/lifestyles/health/ct-sexual-health-apps-20180111-story.html)


I hope something in this list ends up being useful for you! Do you have some other apps that you find interesting or really useful and fun? Let me know! Comment below or shoot an email to ravengenevieveauthor@gmail.com

Thursday, September 6, 2018

Look like you just killed a buffalo...

Anyone ever give you advice that sounded like it was making sense, but you had no clue what in the hell they were talking about?



You have to remember that if it sounds a bit crazy, it might just be crazy. You MIGHT be getting advice from someone who actually may not have their facts straight in the first place. Or it might be just a matter of lack of proper knowledge. Or they may not be saying it in a way that is communicating what they really wanted to say.


Let's take for example, this advice from one man to another, who is trying to help his fellow man become more... manly, so to speak. In the more conventional sense of the word. (Go ahead, click play. If you've never seen the movie "Smoke Signals", it's a great one to have in your repertoire.)



LESSON 206: STOICISM 
Let's discuss this word "Stoic", shall we? Have you heard this word before? What kind of images come up when you think of stoic?
Were you aware that stoic is not just a verb, but is also a philosophy? There are actually basic principles of Stoicism that come from a philosophy that goes as far back as 3rd century BC (Socrates times, ya'll).


Not to get into too much detail, it basically emphasizes that it is best to be emotionally resilient, and that some emotions are unhealthy and don't fit in with the natural order of things. It encourages a state of calm and virtue, trying to avoid those 'destructive emotions' that can throw things out of balance. Stoics tend to regard people more by how they behave, rather than by how they speak or think. (Seems to make sense.)

I hate to derail this post too much, since it's not about philosophical belief systems and culture, so if you'd like a quick break-down on what Stoicism's basic principles are, and what you can learn from it, check out this article by Billy Williams. It has some useful ideas that could be applicable to men and women alike (if you so choose to read it that way).
https://www.askmen.com/entertainment/austin/what-stoicism-teaches-us-about-how-to-be-a-man.html



In regards to the word STOIC itself, and perhaps in the way that the video above was referring to, it might help to know where the word came from. It's basic origins come from the Greek word stoikos, or "of the stoa"... stoa being a Portico, or porch... leading to the base of the word stoic. Basically, meaning that your face is a porch.


YES, your face is a porch... a porch made of marble pillars, unchanging... serious... a virtual mystery of what emotion may be residing just under the surface.



Now I know that I've said in previous blogs that women love to laugh. I own that. I still agree that a great sense of humor is amazing. Hell, I'll even advocate that sometimes healthy laughter is totally amazing, even in the midst of sex. Laughter, endorphins, blah blah blah. I won't take back my word on that.

BUT...
But just like everything else in life... booze, chocolate, sex, drugs, rock and roll... everything is best in moderation. (Well, maybe not chocolate.) We all need to find a good balance in life, and that includes finding a mate with a good balance who isn't always the same all the time. Constantly being bombarded with humor will eventually dull the senses to the humor. It's like taking the same antibiotic all the time. Eventually your body gets used to it and it's not as novel anymore. This goes for a lot of personality traits, such as intensity, excitement, hyperactivity, talkativeness, gushiness, grumpiness, anxiousness, and plenty of other adjectives/adverbs. After all, variety is the spice of life, is it not?


So where does being STOIC come in? Well, have you ever seen one of those scenes where a sexy actor in a movie has this moment of seriousness and the camera seems to feature a look on their face and all the women in the theater swoon because it's just so smoldering?




Well, stoic can be kind of like smoldering, only not as intense. And being stoic has historically been a very male characteristic, kind of like having a deep voice or brooding eyebrows.


Um, well, maybe not like that. Think more like, uh....

That works. My point is, no matter what advice anyone gives you, including advice from myself or my blog, you will want to consider using that advice IN MODERATION. We all need to find a good balance, and if you find yourself in a rut with your relationship, or if you find your partner constantly falling into the same mood, look within and see if you have been consistently projecting the same mood as well.


Don't misinterpret this as encouragement to hide your feelings. If something needs to be dealt with, don't build a porch on your face. Or... a wall... whatever. Don't emotion-block. Some feelings were meant to be worn on the sleeve, otherwise you might end up losing the communication skills you've been trying so hard to develop with your partner and lover.


What I'm trying to say here is, changing it up can be a good thing, even if "changing up" means going for a more serious tone from time to time. See how it affects your life and your relationships. Perhaps you might find conversations following a more philosophical route than they used to. Or you might change the dynamic of a lover-relationship slightly and create some "smolder". Or maybe it might cause someone else to suddenly wonder what your thinking, and wondering leads to curiosity, and curiosity leads to... well, usually fun things. As long as it doesn't involve a cat.


Like I said... everything in moderation. Find that balance.



HOMEWORK: Keep a journal for a week, and on each day write what 'mood' you are going to set for the whole day and try to keep that mood throughout the whole day. Try out happy, excited, hyper, sullen, determined, stoic, sentimental, etc. At the end of every day, write down how others reacted to your mood and whether those are reactions that you enjoyed or not. It's a great practice in seeing how contagious our moods and emotions are, and it also helps you learn more about coworkers and friends. You might find that some people actually have more of an attraction to a different type of personality than you expected.

Thursday, July 12, 2018

Vocabulary day: Aftercare

IT'S VOCABULARY DAY!!!


How's your sexual vocabulary? An important part of every education is knowing your vocabulary. Let's start with a really important one...

★·.·´¯`·.·★ ᴀғᴛᴇʀᴄᴀʀᴇ ★·.·´¯`·.·★

AFTERCARE: The time, attention, and physical care given to your partner AFTER an intimate experience (post-orgasm-high). 

I'm referring to that time after intense sexual activity where some people want to just spoon and fall asleep. Spooning is great for some, but might not be for everyone...


Others might be more of the "leave me alone and let me ZZZZZZ" type...




What kind of Aftercare do you like? Are you the "light-it-up" kind?


Or do you prefer "petting"?

Not really what I meant. But okay, I'd be at peace like that. A little rub on the ears...

Or do you like someone to play with your hair? Mila does...






So why am I dedicating a whole blog post to aftercare? Well, I think it's kinda important. Let's try some more words that are good to know: Postcoital Dysphoria




Yeah. Big words. Lots of letters. It's okay, I'll explain it in layman's terms.

Heh heh. She said LAYman. 

STOP IT.
PCD is basically when someone has sadness post-sex. (post-satisfying-sex.) And no, it's not always because that person has PTSD. It happens to people who have not experienced a trauma or abuse as well. Some say it's because of the hormone drop, others say that it is due to lack of communication, and even others say that it can be due to the societal norms ingrained in people (women mostly) as they grow up that tells them that their partner's satisfaction is more important than theirs and they feel let down or disappointed after sex because they didn't get what they wanted (for lack of communication, usually, which isn't necessarily someone's fault but simply a pitfall of relationships with minimal communication).

I'm not referring to the tears you cry when your partner gets to finish and then rolls over to sleep and you feel like you were running a race that never saw the finish line... if you get my drift...
Just keep watching that... yeah, see if you feel satisfied yet.


When I think of aftercare, I associate it with the emotional release brought on by a great massage (not a happy ending). People have often told me that getting a really great massage can sometimes bring on tears.

No... I said a GREAT massage.
There we go... the kind of massage that makes your face go...





Sorry. I digress.



I've read (I can't remember where) that the body's muscles have memory and sometimes a deep massage can release those emotions tied with that memory. Although it's not the same, I think it helps to understand what Postcoital Dysphoria is. I mean, imagine all the muscles used during intimate playtime and what kind of memories all those muscles all over your body have in them?

Additionally, the hormones released during sex can be intense, and the withdrawal of those emotions can sometimes trigger a crash emotionally. Having support during that crash can help keep things from turning 'sad' and reinforce the awesome time you just had together.





AND YES - THIS INCLUDES ONE NIGHT STANDS. I mean, even if you don't plan to see that person again, you don't want to be THAT guy. Don't burn bridges. It helps to have a positive resume. You never know when that person might be a potential reference. ;-)  Just sayin.


So here's your "idea list", just in case you don't have a clue where to start with aftercare. Remember, aftercare is UNIQUE to each individual, just like sexual positions and music and book choices. Everyone has a different list of their favorite things.


Try getting THAT song out of your head.

So COMMUNICATE with your partner and find out what might work best for them AND you. After all, YOUR aftercare is just as important. If you prefer to be left alone and take a nap for your aftercare, then find out if the other person is into that, too. If not, find a compromise and see if they might find it nice for you to grab your favorite blanket and share it with them while you both take a nap. Be creative! I'd love to add to this list! Comment with your own ideas! Maybe I'll update my list.





Aftercare ideas: in no particular order
  • Cuddles
  • Lotion/Aloe on boos boos or sore areas
  • Soothing words
  • Favorite movies (Disney movies? Musicals? Talkies? ...)
  • Warm bath with bubbles
  • Warm shower with soft soapy sponge
  • Hair brushing (insert Homer Simpson drool here)
  • Small snacks
  • Refreshing drink
  • Favorite stuffed animal/pillow
  • Soft cuddly blanket for warmth or cuddling
  • Kisses
  • Gentle words letting them know they are safe
  • Talks
  • Hugs/Spooning
  • Hot cocoa or chocolate milk
  • Help dress your partner
  • Praise, compliments
  • Cold or hot compress for sore muscles
  • Gentle shoulder massage
  • Hold hands
  • Looking them in the eyes
  • Gentle touches to the face, arm, non-sexual places
  • Chocolate
  • Using affectionate nicknames
  • Saying I LOVE YOU (if you really mean it)
  • Forehead kisses
  • Tummy rubs
  • Build a fort (seriously, it's cute as hell and fun to cuddle in a little pillow-sheet fort)
  • Tickle/scratch their back lightly with your nails
  • Storytime - does your partner like books? Do they have one next to the bed? Read it to them
  • Are you an artist? Ask your partner to cuddle with you while you draw them a cute picture
  • Are you a musician? Chill with your partner while you play a little something on your instrument
  • Browse music playlists together on your phone, especially for those who prefer not to talk
WHAT NOT TO DO: i.e. the 'don't be a d*ck' list
  • Acting aloof
  • Pretending it didn't happen
  • Sneaking out
  • Rolling away, turning your back to them right away


EXTRA CREDIT: For those who would love to do some extra credit today... here's a little light reading:
Keep in mind the first article was listed as a resource across multiple (did I say multiple? like, a BUNCH) web blogs and articles. And the plethora of research based articles I could find on PCD was slim to none... thus the reason I highlighted the words in the summaries below. Since this is talked about very little, and studied even less, I think it's safe to assume that it's probably not reported very often either. I doubt that a lot of women would openly discuss this issue. Just my 2 cents.
  • Article link #1) https://doi.org/10.1002/sm2.74 Study from OCT 05 2015, also listed on numerous other links such as https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC4721025/
    Results: Forty‐six percent of respondents reported experiencing PCD symptoms at least once in their lifetime with 5.1% experiencing PCD symptoms a few times within the past 4 weeks. A small but significant inverse correlation was found between lifetime prevalence of PCD and sexual functioning (r = −0.16). While the regression model accounted for 22% of variance in lifetime prevalence of PCD, attachment and differentiation of self variables did not account for significant variance.
    Conclusion: The findings confirm that PCD is under‐recognized and under‐researched. There appears to be no relationship between PCD and intimacy in close relationships. Further research is necessary to understand the subjective experience of PCD and to inform the development of a reliable measure.
  • Article link #2) https://www.tandfonline.com/doi/full/10.1080/19317611.2010.509689?scroll=top&needAccess=true    study from March 01 2010
    ABSTRACT: This study examined the lifetime and 4-week prevalence of postcoital dysphoria (PCD) and its relationship with psychological distress and reports of past sexual abuse. Among 222 female university students, 32.9% reported having ever experienced PCD whereas 10% reported experiencing PCD in the previous 4 weeks. Multiple regression analyses revealed support for the hypothesis that lifetime and 4-week prevalence of PCD would be positively correlated with psychological distress. Lifetime prevalence of PCD, but not 4-week prevalence, was also correlated with reports of childhood sexual abuse. These factors explained only minimal variance in PCD prevalence, prompting further research into this significantly underinvestigated sexual difficulty.

Enjoy your cuddles everyone! Have a great weekend!

Tuesday, June 12, 2018

Chemistry for dummies...

Didn't have a chemistry kit when you were little? No biggie. All the tools you need for good chemistry are at your disposal already, although you might not have realized it. So put on your thinking caps and listen up, cause this is a little different than Chemistry 101. It's...

SEXUAL CHEMISTRY 104

We all know that for some people there's and instant chemical attraction, but what exactly ARE those chemicals? And can we use that knowledge of chemistry for our own use? Why YES! We CAN!

But I know that you didn't come here to get all 'sciency' and stuff. So let's briefly break it down to the key words that you need to know to get you started.
DOPAMINE
ENDORPHINS
That's a start for now. Why do you need to know these words? Cause they make us feel good and give us incentive to keep doing the things that produce these chemicals!!! If you can find a way to produce this stuff for your partner, they'll keep coming back to get those 'feel good' stuffs from you more often! Who doesn't like to be around someone who makes you feel good? It can become addicting even!


So what do you really need to know here? Simply find out what makes that dopamine fly in the person you wanna be with! It's not as complicated as you think... dopamine levels can rise for even the simplest actions, such as smiling. Did you know that simply by smiling you can increase the dopamine in your brain? The internet says so, so it must be true! Go on... try it!


Ever have one of those moments where you see a couple and wonder "what on earth do they see in each other?"
Jessica Rabbit said it best... "He makes me LAUGH."

Think about it... laughter primes the body for friendly interaction with the person causing the laughing!


Did you know that your heart beats faster from laughter? Which then causes increased blood flow and even helps with antibodies, endorphins, and a release of dopamine? Just listen to the good doctors in THIS VIDEO talk about laughter. They know what they're talking about!


Don't forget there are other things that boost dopamine... trying new activities, going on adventures, and even eating certain foods will help you out if your punchline isn't so punchy.



Try some dopamine boosting FOODS like bananas, watermelons, avocados or even some cheese or dairy. Google it... you'll find a good bit of research on foods that will help with dopamine levels, but make sure you read the full article to find out how to get the most out of those foods. They usually need to be paired up with something else to ensure they get the most effect on your brain. (Look for the keyword "brain barrier".) Don't forget to try some fava beans...


Not hangry?


Maybe try a little bit of EXERCISE. Finding a neat activity to do together could be great foreplay, as long as you're not too competitive. You might find a new hobby to add to your weekly routine to boot! Don't worry, it could be as easy as taking a walk in a park, or a little more strenuous like playing racquetball at the local Y. You don't have to be overachievers like this couple:



Don't laugh... I bet these couples had great sex after making this video.
Right after they put ice on all their bruises.

Homework: Find something hysterical to laugh about, and then share it with a friend... or even better, your lover. :-)  See if it changes your evening plans.