Traditionally, the month of May marks the return of springtime in the Northern Hemisphere. The first day of May, also known as May Day, is still celebrated in many parts of the globe. The ancient Celts called May Day “Beltane”—the day halfway between spring and summer as the time of fecundity and growth.
Because of its pagan origins, over the centuries, the May Day celebrations were actually banned. But they kept reappearing and, over time, the spring dances and festivals associated with it became more accepted. The revelries were adopted by other cultures with less sexual tones so that now, even religious persons anticipate the month for various reasons.
May as International Masturbation Month
The first National Masturbation Day was observed May 14, 1995, after a sex-positive retailer declared the day in honor of Surgeon General Joycelyn Elders, who suggested that masturbation be added as part of the sex education curriculum in the United States. If only our young people were so fortunate! Anyhooo…. The prominent day was soon adopted by other Western countries and is now so popular a concept that May is celebrated as International Masturbation Month.
Fact vs Fiction about Masturbation
For the record, masturbation is totally natural— and yes, it is normalto masturbate, whether you’re sexually active in a relationship or not. There are tons of myths meant to scare you into thinking masturbation is wrong or bad. They’re actually scare-tactics left over from a bygone era. If you haven’t seen my video which dispels common masturbation myths, you may watch it here.
If you’re uncomfortable with the idea of masturbation, especially for religious reasons, you may find some helpful information here. If you’re unsure about finding your pleasure zones for masturbation, be sure to check out my article on Searching for Your Buried Pleasurehere. Not only is masturbation completely natural, masturbation even has these potential health benefits:
releases sexual tension
relieves muscle tension
relieves menstrual cramps
reduces stress and anxiety
helps you sleep better
improves your self-esteem and body image
helps treat various sexual problems
strengthens the muscle tone in your pelvic floor (which supports your bladder, uterus, and anal area)
Masturbation, whether solo or with your partner (mutual masturbation), can also significantly improve your love life. It allows you to both be vulnerable with one another in a loving way, which always improves communication with a trusted loved one. Learning your pleasure points and those of your lover is also a terrific way to communicate intimately with your lover and help you both bring more pleasure to one another during lovemaking.
You Have a Right to Enjoy Your Body and Your Sexuality
Our bodies and our sexuality are both God-given gifts. May is a time to celebrate both fertility and growth; as you can imagine, this time of year is great for getting in touch with your body (literally), your sexuality, and your lover! If you’re having trouble in any of these areas, now may be the perfect time to reach out and schedule a session with me.
Question: “I understand that the clitoris has as many, or possibly even more, nerve endings than the glans of the penis. Since the glans of the clitoris is smaller than the glans of the penis these nerve endings are closer together thus making the clitoris very sensitive. So why is it that so many women seem to need vibrator stimulation in order to climax while men climax quite easily with just manual stimulation?” O.G.
Answer: Some women are actually overstimulated by clitoral vibrations. Each woman’s body is so very different. Some need only a bit of manual stimulation and some need a lot, and some require vibes. Some don’t like direct clitoral stimulation at all. Also, because the external clitoris is “hidden” under a fold of skin (the hood), it does not usually receive enough stimulation during coitus — whereas the penis is literally CENTRAL to the sex act for men.
Some researchers have found that orgasms tend to have “use it or lose it” patterns. Since male masturbation is more culturally acceptable, young men begin masturbating at an earlier age. Some women never do. These research findings lean towards “proof” that it’s actually more common for men to climax “more readily” than women in general.
Also, arousal and orgasms actually happen in the brain. And, it’s been scientifically proven time and again that women’s arousal response (in general) is a slower burn — HOWEVER, the average time for direct stimulation for men to climax is four minutes — almost exactly the same average time for women [who are already in a state of arousal] to climax with clitoral stimulation. Food for thought?
Another reason may be religious repression. Women grow up with the adage that “good girls” don’t have sex until marriage — and even then, they are expected to just do it for their husband’s pleasure or for the sake of the marriage. This type of shame-filled message is not conducive to a healthy outlook on sexuality, especially one that calls for enjoyment, for women and can actually be quite harmful. How’s a gal to climax with all that garbage in her head?
If you haven’t been to an adult toy store in a while, you may be surprised at how much the industry has grown. Seeing all the options can be overwhelming! Whether or not you are new to the wonderful world of adult pleasure products, you may learn something new when you check out my video about choosing vibrators. In this video [created for viewers 18 years old or older], I discuss different styles, sizes, materials, and uses to consider when choosing sexual products to add to your grown-up toy chest.
For more information about advanced sexuality and pleasure, or about choosing and using adult pleasure products, you may easily contact Micki here.
Having sex with your partner within the same four walls all the time can get a bit bland, regardless of how much you enjoy one another. Adding even a little variety can make a big difference by taking simple satisfaction to a thrilling indulgence of amorous adventure with your lover. Here are a few tips to broaden your sexy scope.
SPICIN’ IT UP IN THE BEDROOM
Staying in for the evening doesn’t mean you and your partner have to eat take-out dinners while lounging in PJs in front of the boob tube. Unless, that’s what really floats your boat. If it isn’t, here are some ideas to get your more creative juices flowing.
Read Some Erotica Together. Read any good romantic (or racy) books lately? Share your favorite, most liberating parts — you know, the ones that are already dog-eared in that bedside paperback — with your lover. Under the pretense of “just for fun” you can open a dialogue about things you’d like to try with your sweetheart under the sheets. Does your fave novel happen to be a period piece? It may even lead to a little …
Role Play. Ever wondered what it would be like to be rescued by a gallant knight in shining armor or escape into the arms of a hot and handsome fire chief? There’s no time like tonight to find out. Of course, you don’t have to dress up for a performance in the Globe Theatre just to play dress up. A few simple props are likely to be hidden in the crap-catcher drawer of your kitchen or study. Grab that wooden ruler and discipline your naughty student, Headmistress. Even a potato peeler lends itself to KP duty in the ship’s galley for bad behavior, Sailor. Of course, all you really need is a pair of boxers to go toe-toe with a professional boxer. That’s really what boxer-briefs are for after all, right?
Strike a Pose. Speaking of role playing… how about being a professional model undressing for the sexy studmuffin behind the camera? Invite your partner to pull out their iPhone and snap a few racy pics to perk them up when they’re feeling down. Or, turn the camera on your partner and take a few to keep for yourself to browse during the wearisome wait in car line after school or on your lengthy commute home from the office. The shoot can be as innocent or as daring as the two of you agree on, providing privacy is not an issue.
Clean up Together… in the Nude. If it has to be done, it might as well lead to a little loving, no? Nude housework keeps both sets of your clothes from getting dirty and saves time on doing laundry. It will also give you and your partner something exciting to look at while you’re dusting or doing dishes. Be sure to pay extra special attention to tidying up the jiggly bits when y’all are done. You may want to save the bedroom for last.
Share Playtime with Toys. Y’know, the grown up kind that get your engine revved up and the sort that go buzz in the night. If you haven’t visited a toy store for grown ups in the past ten or fifteen years, or ever, I promise you it’s no longer the secret walk of shame your grandpa took back in the day. Gone are the dark, seedy, sticky back alley XXX sex shops of yesteryear. Since women have been moving to the forefront of the adult novelties industry, the assortment and varieties of pleasure products, as well as the venues they’re sold in, have changed — much for the better, mind you. There are so many options to choose from for both men and women now, it’s a good idea to do a little research or speak with someone knowledgeable to know what to shop for beforehand.
Get Silly. Laughter, it is said, is great for your overall well-being as well as your sexy time together. Tonight, before lights out, why not try a little lighthearted play — or even friendly competition and see who wins? You might try to communicate with each other completely in Pig Latin (ememberray atthay?) and see who can do it the longest. Share the raciest, sexiest jokes you know. Watch a favorite romantic comedy together. Or, have a playful pillow fight to get the adrenaline rushing.
Get Saucy. Licking a luscious line of chocolate sauce off and up your honey’s thighs or slurping a shot of tequila from between her breasts is really hot. Just be sure to use your better judgement and a light hand. Stick to the fleshier parts of your lover’s bod, because cleanin’ Cool Whip out of your hair isn’t quite as exciting as it sounds. Still, bringing refreshments into the bedroom can make for some good, if not completely clean, fun! How many ways can you seductively peel a banana? It’s worth a try, Girlfriend! And don’t worry, if your midnight snack acts as foreplay to sexy time in the tub, it’s okay to get a lil’ messy. Sheets, blankets, and whatnot are all safely washable.
Move Out of Your Comfort Zone. If there are any sexy ideas that you and your lover have considered playing with in the past, take action now and try them out. Consider yourselves dared. You don’t have to bring out the whips and the gimp, but head towards more daring action. Whether the two of you have teased about watching porn together¹ and acting it out or tryin’ a little bondage mixed with power play; as long as you’re both consenting and have a mutually agreed on safe word² in place, push those boundaries, you sexy couple you. Go for it!
Share a Sexy Wish List Sometimes it can be difficult to actually give voice to your more secret sensual desires, even when you’re decidedly good at communicating your, shall we say, less sexy wants and needs with your mate. Grocery lists come to mind and they’re pretty yawn-worthy. So, why not share a sexy wish list, one in which both partners list, or check off, the spicier things they’d like to try? You can find one online and print out two copies, one for each partner. Fill them out separately before you come back together to compare notes. If the thought of laying bare all of your racy thoughts is too nerve-wracking, you may want to try the interactive sex questionnaire at Mojo Upgrade. It only reveals the fantasies that both partners would agree on. I haven’t tried this one, but a fellow sex educator I greatly admire, Kait Scalisi recommends it.
By no means, is this spicy advice exhaustive, but hopefully, it encourages you and yours to examine your more erotic natures. Be sure to continue reading about enjoying a little sensual refreshment outside the bedroom with Ways to Spice up Your Sex Life, Pt. 2… coming soon.
¹ This lass isn’t super keen on the adult entertainment industry as a whole. For every beauty or beau performer it liberates and indulges, it spits out hundreds of lost unhappy souls in its wake. Thankfully, taboos are falling, more women are gaining positions of power, and folks are becoming more educated, thus providing more ethical options for adult entertainment. Also, porn is noteducation. Porn is notrealistic. Personally, I prefer reading erotica and educational books for lively ideas. You can watch my video on the subject here.
² A safe word is a word that you and your partner can say at any time to stop an undesired action.
Engaging in sexual fantasy to heighten our sexual desires is a good thing. But, I know, there are some readers who would disagree with me for a variety of reasons, and this is why this article will be a tad lengthy, hence in more than one part. As a practicing Christian, I know from experience that this topic is a hotbed of controversy for my fellow brothers and sisters in Christ, so I’d like to address their concerns first. And then, we can get to the fun stuff of fantasy.
Fantasies come from our imagination and imagination is a God-given gift. It is part and parcel of who we are as human beings. Fantasies by definition are imaginary, make-believe, about scenarios that are, if not completely impossible, at least improbable. Fantasies are, in and of themselves, morally neutral. What becomes of our fantasies is up to us. We are not always responsible for our thoughts. We are, however, responsible for our actions. That said, are we in Mister Roger’s “Neighborhood of Make-Believe” or are we on Mr. Rourke’s Fantasy Island?
Christians and Fantasizing
YES! We Christians are allowed to fantasize and I’m happy to tell you why. There is no edict in Sacred Scripture that forbids desire or fantasy. Did you get that? It’s important. There is no edict in Sacred Scripture that forbids desire or fantasy. No, not one.
The scripture that you’ve likely had drummed into your head since you were pre-pubescent to shame you away from healthy sexual desire and fantasy is Matthew 5:27. “You have heard that it was said, ‘You shall not commit adultery.’ But I say to you that every man who looks at a woman lustfully has already committed adultery with her in his heart.” Often, pastors and priests use this verse to warn against adultery — and rightly so. Infidelity is bad whether you’re a Christian or not. But, some people interpret this verse as meaning Christians aren’t allowed to even think sexually about someone they are attracted to. Yikes. All too often Church teachings are interpreted to equate sexual thoughts with actual sexual sin. And this idea, my friends, is wrong and incredibly harmful to the mental health of too many Christian men and women.
The problem with that translation of Matthew 5:27 is that the word translated as “lust” in this passage is the same word used for “covet” in The Ten Commandments. “[Y]ou will not covet your neighbor’s wife” (Exodus 20:17). Coveting is so serious a sin because it is wanting something that already lawfully belongs to someone else. It is not wanting something like what another has; it is wanting the exact thing. Imagine reading the tenth commandment as “Do not lust after your neighbor’s house; nor lust after his wife, nor his servant or maid, nor lust after his ox, nor his donkey.” Should we really equate the word “covet” for “think about sexually” here? No.¹ There is a difference between natural sexual desire and coveting (wanting to possess what belongs to another as your own).
I could discuss poor theology and really crappy translations all day, but one only need contemplate the fact that there are literally tens of thousands of different denominations all under the same Christian umbrella to know that poor theology and really crappy translations exist. Besides that, it’s not my intent to prove how wonky centuries’ old translations of Hebrew, Greek, and Aramaic are. My intention is to tell you, quite truthfully, that Christ Himself never condemned being “horny” — through arousal, desires, fantasies, or otherwise. In fact, even a cursory glance at First Corinthians, chapter seven, proves that Saint Paul assumes we’re going to be sexually aroused and desire others. Of course we are! It’s how God designed us. As sexual beings. And while we’re discussing chapter seven, it’s interesting to note that Saint Paul admits in verse 25 that “Now concerning virgins: I have no commandment from the Lord.” Mull that one over for a minute or ten.
Christians and Masturbation
I bring up masturbation here is because it is usually accompanied by desirous thoughts or fantasies. Masturbation, or stimulation of one’s own genitals for sexual pleasure often, though certainly not always, to the point of climax, is a perfectly normal and natural act. However, another tradition that is taught, but not once mentioned in Sacred Scripture is that of masturbation as sin. Early church fathers used the story of Onan in Genesis 38 to preach against believers using coitus interruptus [the “withdrawal method” of birth control] in particular, and masturbation in general. According to the church, every sperm possible — because the church had no control over what happened with nocturnal emissions of sperm — was to be implanted into the wife’s womb. Keeping in mind that the mission of the early church was to encourage its members to “go forth and multiply,” it makes sense that they thought this was a really great scripture to use to scare the hell out of people from wanting to limit their family size via contraception.
So, the early church preached against what it called the “Sin of Onan” — and many Western churches still do, although they do not all agree on exactly what that sin is. The Catholic Church still preaches today against onanism which is, in the strictest sense, contraception, as well as against masturbation to climax. When Protestant denominations started branching out, they too continued preaching against the “Sin of Onan” as against contraception and masturbation. It wasn’t until Protestant denominations determined that contraception was no longer sinful (circa 1930), that they dropped the contraceptive concept of onanism to be an edict against masturbation alone. Because sperm was no longer sacred, masturbation as a “selfish act of lust” became the focus of the sin; but as you will see, these views are slowly but finally changing, too.
Careful reading of the story in Genesis 38 shows that the God killed Onan because he refused to follow Mosaic law for levirate marriage and give his dead, older brother’s wife an heir because he was selfish and wanted to be the firstborn heir to Judah’s fortune. In verse 9, Onan withdrew his penis from (his sister-in-law) Tamra’s vagina before ejaculation and the “spilling [of] his seed lest he give his brother an heir” occurred. In verse 10, “the thing which he did displeased the Lord” and his subsequent punishment for sinning (i.e., God slew him) was not because he chose masturbation, nor was it likely for employing the withdrawal method; his sin was more likely in disobedience to his father’s command, for not following Mosaic law, or it was due to his inordinate and unlawful greed.²
As I’ve noted, some Western churches, especially those of Evangelical origin, still preach against masturbation; but due to the abundance of scientific and medical evidence that masturbation is a medically healthy and psychologically normal act, more churches are electing to forgo the topic of masturbation altogether. Dr. James Dobson, founder of “Focus on the Family,” has even gone on record contending, “The Bible says nothing about masturbation, so we don’t really know what God thinks about it. My opinion is that He doesn’t make a big issue of it… So I would encourage you not to struggle with guilt.”³ Wow and yay! I hope this helps those of you who are struggling with shame concerning masturbation to understand that you are not alone in your struggle. Sexual self-exploration is healthy and normal and is notimmoral. You are okay.
² Read Genesis 38 in its entirety for a better understanding of the context of the story.
³ Dobson, James C. (2000). Preparing for Adolescence: Growth Guide. Delight, AR: Gospel Light.
*Compulsivemasturbation, like other compulsive behaviors, can be signs of an emotional problem, which may need to be addressed by a mental health specialist. There is no shame in seeking help from a professional. ♥
“Remember that thing you did that one time that I really liked?”
Not long ago, I witnessed a woman say to her husband, “Remember that thing you did that one time that I really liked?”He just threw up his hands and laughed, “Are you kidding?” The vagueness of her question left the poor guy completely flummoxed. And, rightfully so. It’s unreasonable to think that another person automatically knows what turns us on or off … especially when we consider the fact that most of us couldn’t list everything that would curl our toes (or potentially turn or stomachs) until we actually experience it for ourselves.
Do you know what brings your body pleasure, your erogenous zones? How do you communicate to your partner what brings you pleasure during intimate moments? Are you the sort of person that patiently allows your lover to fumble through trial and error while you silently pray for the best? Or, do you know exactly what melts your butter and are happy to share?
Physical touch is very important when it comes to arousal and it’s an excellent idea to know what kind of touch, and where that kind of touch, brings your body the most pleasure. The practice of mapping your body is a wonderful way to connect with your body and to discover the different sensations you experience and how they make you feel on a deeper level. Some areas may be ticklish. Other areas may really arouse you. Touch in some areas may be painful and some that are typically neutral may even be uncomfortable or diminish your pleasure all together depending on the circumstances. For example, my reaction is very different when my spice playfully bites my neck during coreplay than it is if he bites my neck while I’m browsing through Facebook. True story.
…when a person zeroes in completely on orgasm as the goal, they can miss a lot of pleasure points…
If you’re already comfortable with masturbation, you may think you already know everything you need to know; but, when a person zeroes in completely on orgasm as the goal, they can miss a lot of pleasure points that may ultimately bring new and exciting delights to their repertoire. Regardless of what society tells us, Sexuality ≠ Orgasm. Sexuality and erotic pleasure are about a myriad of feelings, sensations, and emotions. The “Big O” is not always a big deal. Rushing towards climax may produce a release of sexual tension, but it does not always produce a full and pleasurable connection — be it with ourselves or with someone we love.
As I often tell people, “Learning never ends.” Movements, touches, and techniques that have pleased you in the past, may no longer please you today. As our bodies and life experiences change, so do our erogenous zones. Mapping your own erogenous zones can sometimes be a healing experience with touch, it can also help you formulate boundaries or “forbidden zones.” But you needn’t go it alone.
Keep in mind that as you’re exploring each other’s bodies and experimenting with different types of touches, you are critiquing technique, not each other.
If you are uncomfortable with solo masturbation, mutual mapping can also be an incredible bonding experience for you and your lover. Keep in mind that as you’re exploring each other’s bodies and experimenting with different types of touches, you are critiquing technique, not each other. You may find it helpful to agree on non-verbal cues or signals to use before you begin. One person may be comfortable being specifically vocal, but another person may be uncomfortable directing their partner verbally, especially if using the names of some specific body parts (like saying “my nipples” or “my testicles”) makes them uncomfortable. Some couples may prefer to use sounds and silence to convey the pleasure they are or are not receiving, others may want to use hand gestures (like a “thumbs up” or “thumbs down”) whenever a specific touch triggers a specific response, be it pleasant or not. However you decide to communicate, make sure the information is clear and mutual.
3 Important Tips for Finding Your Buried Pleasure
Wear something comfortable. Comfort is key when hunting for your buried pleasure. Wearing your birthday suit tends to work best for many people, but it’s perfectly okay if you are more comfortable with a light robe or undergarments. Some people even prefer to pleasure hunt in a nice warm bath surrounded by aromatic candles. Others prefer to luxuriate in their “sex spot” of choice (wherever they are most likely to begin a love making session).
Give yourself at least an hour for exploration. You want to stroll leisurely along your path, taking time to stop and consider the different sensations you experience along the way. Make a mental note with every stroke, paying as much detail to the signals your body is giving as is comfortable for you. If time allows, you may move from light touches to firmer ones, slow strokes to faster ones, etc..
Leave your baggage behind. Before you begin, take stock and make sure you are in a relaxed, comfortable state of mind. If you had a crap day with the kids or just had harsh words with your boss, it’s unlikely you’ll be finding anything close to your bliss this go ’round. It’s okay to reschedule your search, just as long as you aren’t simply finding excuses to forgo the exercise.