Summer fashions can sometimes send us on an emotional roller coaster. Let’s explore feeling sexy in our skin and rockin’ our bods in everything from swimsuits and sandals to sundresses and shorts. Join Micki for a virtual Pool Party primer that promises sunny days and easy-going vibes ahead! Please feel free to share this invitation with friends! 😀
On Monday, July 9th, I’ll be broadcasting a free, live-streaming, informative class about Body Positivity. Please join me at O.school then. See ya’ there!
What is O.school? A safe, no-harassment, inclusive, positive place to learn about sexual health education from professionals through live, streaming workshops.
Dr. Justin Lehmiller, the creator of the blog site Sex and Psychology, shares some interesting ideas and intriguing facts about the state of adolescent sexual health in America and abroad.
This week in my study abroad course on sex and culture in the Netherlands, we’re focusing on cross-cultural differences in sexual health and sex education. As a starting point, we’re reviewing some statistics that highlight how dramatically different teens’ sexual health outcomes are in the Netherlands relative to the U.S. Check out the infographic below for a quick overview, which shows that teen girls in the Netherlands have much lower rates of pregnancy, birth, and abortion. Below, we’ll discuss why.
Sex education in America sucks. And, not in a good way. Many women, rather than embracing and celebrating their feminine sexuality, are suffering with feelings of shame and disdain because of distressing religious judgment and crappity-crap cultural conditioning. These women are then expected to enter into long-lasting relationships and marriages and react as authentic sensual beings. Shyuh, right! Not only is this an unrealistic assumption, it is a likely recipe for an unhealthy esteem, unhappy relationships, and relentless intimacy discontent. Is it any wonder the divorce rate in America is so abysmally high?
Together we can educate and liberate women from all walks of life. Together we can help our fellow human beings overcome shame and improve and deepen their intimate connections. Let’s do this.
It isn’t always easy to share our intimate desires like our eagerness to share adult pleasure products with our lovers. In this video [created for viewers 18 years old or older], I address the two main concerns women have when considering asking their partner to bring sexual products into their bedroom.
For more information about advanced sexuality and pleasure, or about choosing and using adult pleasure products, you may easily contact Micki here.
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. ♥
The missionary position seems to be the world’s go-to sexual position, so it must have something great goin’ for it, right? Yes, it does. It’s the perfect position for a lot of intimacy by offering the most skin-on-skin contact, long loving embraces, and the lovers can literally see eye-to-eye. That said, variety is also the spice of life. We may enjoy eating ice cream, but eating it day in and day out would eventually get a little boring. So, too, if we want to keep our romantic appetite alight. Adding a little variety to our sex life now and then can keep things from going stale. Sometimes, the missionary position gets a bad rap, especially in kinkier circles. I’m here to tell you that the missionary position, just because it’s common, does not have to be boring. Let’s see if we can maximize this old convention with a few simple moves.
FIRST A NOTE: Different people dub sex positions all sorts of names. And, if you’re brave enough to start googling different sex positions, please be aware that “guy’s” sites, “girl’s” sites, porn sites, sciencey sites, and the Kama Sutra will usually have different names for the same and similar positions. As Shakespeare once said, “What’s in a name? That which we call a rose by any other name would smell as sweet.”
Traditionally, the missionary position is considered the “male-superior position” because technically the man is on top as the giver and the woman, as the receiver, is on the bottom. Why? Because men typically, though not always, tend to have more upper-body strength and can often maintain this position with a close embrace longer. Excuse me, but “male” and “superior” sometimes just rubs me the wrong way. Teehee, rubs me the wrong way. No, but seriously, Folks. If you want to spice up the traditional missionary position, feel free try one or more of the following.
The easiest way to change things up with the missionary is to move your missionary to different sexy spots. Shake off the sheets and try the kitchen table, the sofa, or the stairs. You’re limited only by your imagination and physical abilities. Of course, if you prefer the bed, stay put and add accessories. One of the easiest and cheapest ways to spice things up is to move your bed’s pillows. What! Yes, it’s really that simple. Place a pillow under the small of your back. Push it down a little so that it’s under your butt. You may be surprised by the different sensations that are heightened with such small position changes. Be sure to throw a hand towel over the pillow; otherwise, be prepared to change the pillow cover. Just in case. You could even go all out and purchase a sex pillow (or “sex wedge”) for roughly $75-200 and explore the wonders of lots of different sex adventures. But, I digress…
You can also add pleasure aids — my personal métier. If you need a little extra clitoral stimulation, you may enjoy adding a small vibrator, like bullet, egg, or finger vibes, to really get things moving along. Try adding warming or cooling lubricants into the mix. Or, add a female arousal heightener. Hachacha! If you enjoy the missionary position with your legs lifted off the mattress, floor, or other sexy surface you’re playing on, but you have an achy lower back or experience difficulty holding the jack-knife position very long, you can also add thigh cuffs (not as scary as they sound or look, I promise) to help keep the pressure off of your lower back. Or again, try a sex pillow. Yes, I do adore my sex wedge.
Varying Your Missionary Position
Want him deeper? Lift up your legs and rest your ankles on his shoulders in what is sometimes called the “shoulder holder.” This allows for even deeper penetration and is especially helpful when you really enjoy feeling “fuller” or enjoy having your G-spot or even your cervix massaged, depending on where you are in your menstrual cycle. If this position is uncomfortable (i.e., if your man’s penis is sharply curved to the left or the right when it is erect), you may try shifting your hips to accommodate the curve. If it feels uncomfortable because he feels “too deep,” you might like trying the a modified “butterfly” position, where only one ankle is resting on his shoulder and the crook of the other leg’s knee grasps his waist or simply rests on his leg or the bed/surface.
My personal fave for modifying the traditional missionary is the “pretzel.” To achieve this simple position, just lie on your left side as he straddles your left leg. You’ll then curl your right leg around his waist and voilà. You can also use your right leg as a hook to pull him in closer and deeper, iffin’ you’re of a mind to. If the thought of contorting sounds too much like sex gymnastics, it’s really super simple to start in the missionary position and then have both partners sort of “fall” sideways together so that you’re both lying down, still fully engaged, facing one another. You’ll get pretty much the same result, but then it’s called the “gift-wrapped” position — queue Shakespeare. Keep in mind though, that you’ll both need to be giving and receiving in this lazier [misnomer!] gift-wrapped missionary position.
Of course, it’s really easy to completely reverse the missionary position, putting the woman on top, making the woman the giver and the man the receiver. This should not be mistaken for the “reverse missionary.”¹ The woman-on-top style of missionary (also called the “cowgirl”), actually has several advantages for both partners. Not only does it allow the lovers to maintain eye and lip contact and loving embraces, it also frees up the woman’s range of motion so that she can control the depth of penetration, speed of thrust, and the overall rhythm of the love dance. This can be especially helpful for the woman who needs to control her own orgasm. Plus, it makes room for the man’s hands to caress his lover’s breasts and to stimulate, via hands or vibes, her clitoris. Oh, and gals, trust me on this one, your man truly loves your jiggly bits, so do not be afraid to hop on top.
Questions about spicing up your sex life? Interested in introducing marital aids and accessories to the bedroom? Be sure to contact me for some advanced sexual health and pleasure education. And, above all, enjoy!
¹ The “reverse missionary” is the sexual position wherein the giver is on the bottom and the receiver is on top.
This post was prompted by a friend in the Blogosphere, author Linda Hill, who is offering (“Just Jot It January”) daily writing prompts for fellow bloggers. Today’s word prompt is “movement.”
Are you ever worried that your most secret thoughts and fantasies aren’t normal? Let me tell you a little secret, Girlfriends. Working in an adult toy boutique has taught me more about human sexuality than most of the articles and books I’ve read over the past thirty-odd years on the subject; and if there’s one thing I’ve learned, it is that there is no such thing as “normal” when it comes to libidos. If “normal” libido equals “the average” libido, I still haven’t found one. The variety of desires and expectations are practically limitless. I’ve witnessed a gaggle of giggly school teachers make a beeline for the BDSM wall at work … and not leave empty-handed. I’ve seen a tatted-up biker actually blush at the sight of a realistic vibrator.
If “a normal” libido equals “the average” libido, I still haven’t found one.
Please trust me on this one. I’ve discussed sex with people of all adult life stages, races, religions, genders, orientations, occupations, identities, and proclivities. And while quite a few of the men, women, and couples that I meet are already educated about the products and gizmos they want (thank you, Google), the majority are overwhelmed by all of their choices and earnestly want to be more informed about the specifics of toy options, lubrication options, sexual positions, arousal enhancements, erotic massage, which how-to books are most informative, and on and on the list goes.
I’ve discussed sex with people of all adult life stages, races, religions, genders, orientations, occupations, identities, and proclivities.
When I was only fifteen years old, I was desperately struggling with guilt and anxiety about my own level of sexual awareness. Especially as a girl. Especially as a not-grown-up girl. I was terribly afraid of being labeled as a weirdo, or even worse, as a sex freak. I was even more desperate to know that these labels wouldn’t turn out to be true. That’s a truly terrifying place to be.
Thanks be to God, the first truly informative literature on sexuality that I was able to slyly get my hands on was my own mother’s copy of Nancy Friday’s My Secret Garden: Women’s Sexual Fantasies. It was a compilation filled with the thoughts and fantasies of a vast array of women, both young and old, presented with neither shame nor blame.
When I was only fifteen years old … I was awfully afraid of being labeled as a weirdo, or even worse, as a sex freak. I was even more desperate to know that these labels wouldn’t turn out to be true. That’s a truly terrifying place to be.
The fantasies therein ranged from innocuous Earth Mother scenarios (well, these fantasies were collected in the late sixties and early seventies after all) to stories of seduction with a zoo as its backdrop — which I recall completely threw me for a loop as it conjured in my mind’s eye the dank and curious smells of our local zoo’s claustrophobic snake house. This perplexity notwithstanding, reading about this plethora from regular ol’ Janes given without shame or blame made me realize that my thoughts weren’t any more fanciful or all that different from lots of other women’s sexual thoughts. What a relief! It would not be hyperbolic to declare that this groundbreaking compilation rescued my emotional well-being.
Happily years later, I no longer struggle with guilt or anxiety about my sexual awareness. Well actually, I pretty much no longer struggle with guilt or anxiety about sexual anything. As a natural extrovert inclined to wear my heart on my sleeve, I’ve not taken this journey alone. I’ve consulted with friends, professionals, pastors, and priests whom I’ve admired and trusted. I’ve learned to fully embrace my female sexuality and grown to love my body and the God-given pleasure it brings me and my beloved spice … in all of its wonder and freakishness. Because as they say, knowledge is power.
If sex for you is complicated by feelings of guilt or anxiety, please do not struggle alone. I encourage you to reach out to your most trusted friend and test the waters about sharing your concerns with them. If you’ve no one to confide in, please consider contacting an objective, professional personal confidante or an adult sexuality and pleasure educator such as myself to speak with. All sessions are completely confidential and a Confidentiality Agreement is available upon request.