Tag Archives: sexuality

Sqweel: a new type of sex toy!

When was the last time you saw an ad for a sex toy? For a lot of people it would be never. While you may have thought this was an ad for Civ 5 it’s for a different type of sex toy.

Most sex toys are usually things which vibrate or used to be penetrated or to penetrate someone with, this one is different and I have to say I do like the product design and how it comes apart for cleaning.

Lovehoney has been around from 2002 and has done well to make buying toys over the internet a none sleazy enjoyable experience and they do listen to feedback about the products they sell and they provide a community space for people to talk about sex, sex toys and to share experiences which many would not talk about to friends face to face.

In 2007 they launched the recycling program for vibrators (which I mentioned in the post ecogasm) and now the Sqweel. I wonder what will be next.

Today is Bisexual Visibility Day.

What is Bisexual visibility day?
Well it’s a day to talk about and celebrate being Bisexual.

Bisexual erasure is something which happens a fair bit, it is the presumption that if a person who is Bi is in a relationship with someone of the same gender that they are now gay or if they are in a relationship with someone of the opposite gender that they are now straight.

The gender of the other person doesn’t change their sexuality they are still bisexual. They are still the person they were before.

There are a lot of negative assumptions about people who are bisexual and there is a lot of biphobia in society in both the ‘gay’ and ‘straight’ communities. The only way to try and reduce this is to talk about it and that won’t happen unless people are visible.

Celebrate Bisexuality day or Bisexual Visibility Day has been running for the last 11 years and has been spreading steadily.

There are groups and supports for those who are coming out as bi or who just want some support from others who understand.

Outhouse hosts a belong to group for teens to young adults and the Bi Irish group.

While a lot of people understand and accept people who are gay there are those who still don’t accept or understand that someone can be bisexual and that they are not greedy, or confused or afraid to come all the way out, or that they can not be in a monogamous relationship or that bisexuals are not likely to cheat more then anyone else.

Sexuality is not a binary, it’s not just homosexual or heterosexual there is a space in between, not everyone is one or the other some of us are attracted to people of either gender rather then just one.

“The Dark Side of Birth Control:” 50 years of the contraceptive pill.

Found this article yesterday, it is nice for this to be spoken about.
I think too many drs just hand out the pill and expect women to read and understand the leaflet with it (which has tiny print and is in medical gobbledygook) with out explaining how hormonal contraception works or what the side effects might be.

Seem it takes women talking to other women to find out what the side effects are and so that we think we are not going mad.

www.alternet.org/sex/146041/the_dark_side_of_birth_control%3A_the_pill_still_has_many_adverse_affects_glossed_over_by_big_pharma

The Dark Side of Birth Control: The Pill Still Has Many Adverse Affects Glossed Over By Big Pharma
On the 50th anniversary of the pill, we need to appreciate this remarkable innovation while also being honest about its limitations.
March 17, 2010 |

As we get ready, in 2010, to celebrate the 50th anniversary of hormonal contraception in the United States, women have every right to stand up and cheer for a birth control option that has revolutionized how effective a contraceptive can be. “The Pill” and its descendants have indeed provided women with a unique tool that has changed the terms in which women control their social and professional choices.

Amidst all the applause, though, let us not oversimplify the history of a drug that has often coupled danger with opportunity, and indeed reinforced some serious inequities even as it promised to enhance women’s rights. Today, 50 years later, ovulation suppression through hormonal drugs still harbors many adverse effects, which range from mood swings and diminished libido, to fatalities from blood clots. The innovation itself emerged at the cost of experimentation on poor women, and came, in part, out of a desire to control the fertility of poor populations.

The pill was able to be born because of deep social and economic injustices, not solely as a response to them. The pill trials were conducted on poor women in Puerto Rico, in part because they had fewer legal protections against some of the dangers of new drug trials. Male doctors scoffed when female doctor Edris Rice-Wray suggested that the side effects of the new pill might be too numerous to be generally tolerable and carried on with hardly a pause when more than one woman in the trial died mysteriously. It turned out that Rice-Wray was right about the risks of the pill but wrong about women’s willingness to endure them.

It might be easy to see the approval acceptance of hormonal contraception as a pure female victory, and indeed it happened in part because women deeply hungered for reliable birth control. It is also true that it was moved forward not only to satisfy this need, but because of deep anxieties among the powerful that a booming population in the developing world would lead to the spread of communism, and that a similar growth in poor (and non-white) populations within the United States would cause domestic instability. Even as the pill offered the promise of liberation to affluent women it provided a powerful and easily abused tool for controlling the fertility of poor and disempowered women. Margaret Sanger realized this, and readily voiced deeply racist and classist sentiments in service of her otherwise valiant agenda.

Within just a few years of the approval of Enovid, the first pill, it became clear that women were experiencing serious adverse health effects. Barbara Seaman, a young journalist for Brides and Ladies Home Journal magazines realized how common truly frightening health problems were when she began receiving letters from readers. Experiences ranged from the aggravating —weight gain, mood swings, sexual problems—to the life threatening—blood clots and other potentially fatal problems including cancers. Seaman’s ground-breaking 1969 book, The Doctors’ Case Against the Pill, chronicled the suffering of real women on the pill and documented the multiple health risks tying the silence and lack of information about them to drug company greed, unequal power between doctors and patients, and sexism in American life.

It was a tough message for many women to hear, and certainly one that defied (and continues to defy) a narrative that argues simply that access to reliable birth control gives women power. But for those who were willing to take up the difficult implications of Seaman’s work, an important feminist model emerged. When members of DC Women’s Liberation disrupted hearings on the pill spearheaded by Senator Gaylord Nelson it was to protest the manipulative way the pill was being marketed to women, not to praise the product. Women were demanding something truly radical: the right to insist not just on access to contraception, but to demand that the products be safe. Today, while many valid questions about the pill’s safety and side effects remain, the hormone dose has been reduced ten times, and patient package inserts have been added to warn patients of the risks. This is due to the tireless efforts of the women’s health movement.

Women have certainly seen their lives and opportunities transformed in the past fifty years. While the pill is one powerful player in this remarkable story, this revolution has occurred largely through the persistent efforts of women (in multiple contexts and conditions) on their own behalves. The pill did not create second wave feminism. And likewise, it did not create all the changes that that remarkable movement oversaw. Those things happened because courageous women were willing to sacrifice and fight over time for them. In recent years, the reproductive justice movement, powerfully led in many cases by feminists of color, has made the point that single-mindedly striving for the right to birth control and abortion ignores the complex power systems that too often dictate the terms in which women make decisions about their health in general and their reproductive and sexual health in particular.

Laura Eldridge is a women’s health writer and activist. Her upcoming book In Our Control: The Complete Guide to Contraceptive Choices for Women (Seven Stories Press; June 2010) will be the most comprehensive book on birth control since the 1970s.

YKINMKBYKIO

On twitter yesterday I ended up in a werid sex squick off with Sinead Cochrane and I was nice and took the time to consider what I should send her after her tweeting about Flesh Gordon.
(Yes Flesh, yes it’s a porn movie and an old on but not a good one unles you love the cheese)
After sleeping on it I decided to be nice, not knowing where her squick level is and just send her a link to Katherines Gear’s Fetish Map.

It is a pretty comprehensive piece of work there are a few things I thik are missing but it is impressive. Iwould love to have this as a poster or better yet as a set of table mats.

Her response was delightful. “@sineadcochrane: WTF. Toy boats?! “

I am nt going to embed the map but have only linked to it above as it may be a bit of a pandora’s box for a few people and car crashingly intresting.

But that is part of the joy of the internet, that people with diverse intrestes and diverse sexualities can find out that they are far from alone and dicuss thier kinks and fetishes with people who understand and so they learn that they are not as much of a freak as they had feared.

As the saying goes YKINMKBYKIO, “Your Kink Is Not My Kink But Your Kink Is Ok” and to miss quote Avenue Q I do believe that everyone is a little but kinky, in thier own way.

10 things you didn’t know about orgasm

Far, far to good not to share.

10 things you didn’t know about orgasm by Mary Roach.
Well worth downloading but I have included the transcript below.

TED stands for Technology, Entertainment, Design. It started out (in 1984) as a conference bringing together people from those three worlds. Since then its scope has become ever broader.

The annual conference now brings together the world’s most fascinating thinkers and doers, who are challenged to give the talk of their lives (in 18 minutes).

Alright. I’m going to show you a couple of images from a very diverting paper in The Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine. I’m going to go way out on a limb and say that it is the most diverting paper ever published in The Journal of Ultrasound in Medicine. The title is “Observations of In-Utero Masturbation.” (Laughter) Okay. Now on the left you can see the hand. Thats the big arrow. And the penis on the right. The hand hovering. And over here we have, in the words of radiologist Israel Meisner, “The hand grasping the penis in a fashion resembling masturbation movements.” Bear in mind this was an ultrasound. So it would have been moving images.

Orgasm is a reflex of the autonomic nervous system. Now this is the part of the nervous system that deals with the things that we don’t consciously control. Like digestion, heart rate, sexual arousal. And the orgasm reflex can be triggered by a surprisingly broad range of input. Genital stimulation. Duh. But also Kinsey interviewed a woman who could be brought to orgasm by having someone stroke her eyebrow. People with spinal cord injuries, like parapeligias, quadraplegias, will often develop a very very sensitive area right above the level of their injury. Wherever that is. There is such a thing as a knee orgasm, in the literature.

I think the most curious one that I came across was a case report of a woman who had an orgasm every time she brushed her teeth. (Laughter) This was something in the complex sensory-motor action of brushing her teeth was triggering orgasm. And she went to a neurologist who was fascinated. He checked to see if it was something in the toothpaste. But no, it happened with any brand. They stimulated her gums with a toothpick, to see if that was doing it. No. It was the whole, you know, motion. And the amazing thing to me is that now you would think this woman would like have excellent oral hygiene. (Laughter) Sadly she — this is what it said in the journal paper — “She believed that she was possessed by demons and switched to mouthwash for her oral care.” It’s so sad.

(Laughter)

I interviewed, when I was working on the book, I interviewed a woman who can think herself to orgasm. She was part of a study at Rutgers University. You gotta love that. Rutgers. So I interviewed her in Oakland, in a sushi restaurant. And I said, “So, could you do it right here?” And she said, “Yeah, but I’d rather finish my meal if you don’t mind.” (Laughter) But afterwards she was kind enough to demonstrate on a bench outside. It was remarkable. It took about one minute. And I said to her, “Are you just doing this all the time?” (Laughter) She said, “No. Honestly when I get home I’m usually too tired.” (Laughter) She said that the last time she had done it was on the Disneyland tram.

(Laughter)

The headquarters for orgasm, along the spinal nerve, is something called the sacral nerve route. Which is back here. And if you trigger, if you stimulate with an electrode, the precise spot, you will trigger an orgasm. And it is a fact that you can trigger spinal reflexes in dead people. A certain kind of dead person, a beating-heart cadaver. Now this is somebody who is braindead, legally dead, definitely checked out, but is being kept alive on a respirator, so that their organs will be oxygenated for transplantation. Now in one of these braindead people, if you trigger the right spot you will see something every now and then. There is a reflex called the Lazarus reflex. And this is — I’ll demonstrate as best I can, not being dead. It’s like this. You trigger the spot. The dead guy, or gal, goes … like that. Very unsettling for people working in pathology labs.

(Laughter)

Now if you can trigger the Lazarus reflex in a dead person, why not the orgasm reflex? I asked this question to a brain death expert, Stephanie Mann, who was foolish enough to return my emails. (Laughter) I said, “So, could you concievably trigger an orgasm in a dead person?” She said, “Yes, if the sacral nerve is being oxygenated. You conceivably could.” Obviously it wouldn’t be as much fun for the person. But it would be an orgasm — (Laughter) nonetheless. I actually suggested to — there is a researcher at the university of Alabama who does orgasm research. I said to her, “You should do an experiment. You know? You can get cadavers if you work at a university.” I said, “You should actually do this.” She said, “You get the human subjects reviewboard approval for this one.”

(Laughter)

According to 1930s marriage manual author, Theodore Van de Velde, a slight seminal odor can be detected on the breath of a woman within about an hour after sexual intercourse. Theodore Van de Velde was something of a semen connoisseur. (Laughter) This is a guy writing a book, “Ideal Marriage,” you know. Very heavy hetero guy. But he wrote in this book, “Ideal Marriage,” he said that he could differentiate between the semen of a young man, which he said had a fresh, exhilarating smell, and the semen of mature men, whose semen smelled quote, “Remarkably like that of the flowers of the Spanish chestnut. Sometimes quite freshly floral, and then again sometimes extremely pungent.”

(Laughter)

Okay. 1999, in the state of Israel, a man began hiccuping. And this was one of those cases that went on and on. He tried everything his friends suggested. Nothing seemed to help. Days went by. At a certain point, the man, still hiccuping, had sex with his wife. And lo and behold, the hiccups went away. He told his doctor, who published a case report in a Canadian medical journal under the title, “Sexual Intercourse as a Potential Treatment for Intractable Hiccups.” I love this article because at a certain point they suggested that unattached hiccupers could try masturbation. (Laughter) I love that because there is like a whole demographic. Unattached hiccupers. (Laughter) Married. Single. Unattached hiccuper.

In the 1900s, early 1900s gynecologists, a lot of gynecologists believed that when a woman has an orgasm the contractions serve to suck the semen up through the cervix and sort of deliver it really quickly to the egg. Thereby upping the odds of conception. It was called the “upsuck” theory. (Laughter) If you go all the way back to Hippocrates, physicians believed that orgasm in women was not just helpful for conception, but necessary. Doctors back then were routinely telling men the importance of pleasuring their wives. Marriage manual author and semen sniffer Theodore Van de Velde — (Laughter) has a line in his book. I loved this guy. I got a lot of mileage out of Theodore Van de Velde. He had this line in his book, that supposedly comes from the Habsburg Monarchy. Where there was an empress Maria Theresa, who was having trouble conceiving. And apparently the royal court physician said to her, “I am of the opinion that the vulva of your most sacred majesty be titillated for some time prior to intercourse.” (Laughter) It’s apparently, I don’t know, on the record somewhere.

Masters and Johnson: now we’re moving forward to the 1950s. Masters and Johnson were upsuck skeptics. Which is also really fun to say. They didn’t buy it. And they decided, being Masters and Johnson, that they would get to the bottom of it. They brought women into the lab. I think it was five women. And outfitted them with cervical caps containing artificial semen. And in the artificial semen was a radio-opaque substance, such that it would show up on an X-ray. This is the 1950s. Anyway these women sat in front of an X-ray device. And they masturbated. And Masters and Johnson looked to see if the semen was being sucked up. Did not find any evidence of upsuck. You may be wondering, “How do you make artificial semen?” (Laughter) I have an answer for you. I have two answers. You can use flour and water, or cornstarch and water. I actually found three separate recipes in the literature. (Laughter) My favorite being the one that says — you know, they have the ingredients listed, and then in a recipe it will say, for example, “Yield: two dozen cupcakes.” This one said, “Yield: one ejaculate.”

(Laughter)

There’s another way that orgasm might boost fertility. This one involves men. Sperm that sit around in the body for a week or more start to develop abnormalities that make them less effective at head banging their way into the egg. British sexologist Roy Levin has speculated that this is perhaps why men evolved to be such enthusiastic and frequent masturbators. He said, “If I keep tossing myself off I get fresh sperm being made.” Which I thought was an interesting idea, theory. So now you have an evolutionary excuse.

(Laughter)

Okay.

(Laughter)

Alrighty. There is considerable evidence for upsuck in the animal kingdom. Pigs, for instance. In Denmark, the Danish National Committee for Pig Production found out that if you sexually stimulate a sow while you artificially inseminate her, you will see a six-percent increase in the farrowing rate, which is the number of piglets produced. So they came up with this plan. This five-point stimulation plan for the sows. And they had the farmers — there is posters they put in the barn, and they have a DVD. And I got a copy of this DVD. (Laughter) This is my unveiling. Because I am going to show you a clip.

(Laughter)

So uh, okay. Now here we go in to the — la la la, off to work. It all looks very innocent. He’s going to be doing things with his hands that the boar would use his snout, lacking hands. Okay. (Laughter) This is it. The boar has a very odd courtship repertoire. (Laughter) This is to mimic the weight of the boar. (Laughter) You should know, the clitoris of the pig, inside the vagina. So this may be sort of titillating for her. Here we go. (Laughter) And the happy result. (Applause) I love this video. There is a point in this video, towards the beginning where they zoom in for a close up of his hand with his wedding ring, as if to say, “It’s okay, it’s just his job. He really does like women.”

(Laughter)

Okay. Now I said — when I was in Denmark, my host was named Anne Marie. And I said, “So why don’t you just stimulate the clitoris of the pig? Why don’t you have the farmers do that? That’s not one of your five steps.” She said — I have to read you what she said, because I love it. She said, “It was a big hurdle just to get farmers to touch underneath the vulva. So we thought let’s not mention the clitoris right now.” (Laughter) Shy but ambitious pig farmers, however, can purchase a — this is true — a sow vibrator, that hangs on the sperm feeder tube to vibrate. Because, as I mentioned, the clitoris is inside the vagina. So possibly, you know, a little more arousing than it looks. And I also said to her, “Now these sows. I mean, you may have noticed there, The sow doesn’t look to be in the throes of ecstasy.” And she said, “You can’t make that conclusion.” Because animals don’t register pain or pleasure on their faces, in the same way that we do. They tend to — pigs, for example, are more like dogs. They use the upper half of the face. The ears are very expressive. So you’re not really sure what’s going on with the pig.

Primates, on the other hand, we use our mouths more. This is the ejaculation face of the stump-tailed macaque. (Laughter) And, interestingly, this has been observed in female macaques. But only when mounting another female.

(Laughter)

Masters and Johnson, in the 1950s, they decided, okay, we’re going to figure out the entire human sexual response cycle. From arousal, all the way through orgasm, in men and women. Everything that happens in the human body. Okay, with women, a lot of this is happening inside. This did not stop Masters and Johnson. They developed an artificial coition machine. This is basically a penis camera on a motor. There is a phallus, clear acrylic phallus, with a camera and a light source, attached to a motor that is kind of going like this. And the woman would have sex with it. That is what they would do. Pretty amazing. Sadly, this device has been dismantled. This just kills me. Not because I wanted to use it. I wanted to see it.

(Laughter)

One fine day Alfred Kinsey decided to calculate the average distance traveled by ejaculated semen. This was not idle curiosity. Doctor Kinsey had heard — and there was a theory kind of going around at the time, this being the 1940s, that the force with which semen is thrown against the cervix was a factor in fertility. Kinsey thought it was bunk. So he got to work. He got together in his lab 300 men, a measuring tape, and a movie camera. (Laughter) And in fact he found that in three quarters of the men the stuff just kind of slopped out. It wasn’t spurted or thrown or ejected under great force. However, the record holder landed just shy of the eight foot mark. Which is impressive. (Laughter) (Applause) Yes. Exactly. (Laughter) Sadly, he’s anonymous. His name is not mentioned.

In his write up, in his write up of this experiment in his book, Kinsey wrote, “Two sheets were laid down to protect the oriental carpets.” (Laughter) Which is my second favorite line in the entire ouevre of Alfred Kinsey. My favorite being, “Cheese crumbs spread before a pair of copulating rats will distract the female, but not the male.”

(Laughter)

Thank you very much.

(Applause)

Thanks!

I found this to be delightful and full of facts and giggles.