Thursday, September 10, 2015

"My husband and I want to start playing with anal toys, but what kind should we get?!"

I recently got a message from a client who wanted to start exploring anal play, but didn't know what she would like. Here's some suggestions of what's available and what products might be the right fit for your tush!

If you are new to anal play, one of the best types of toys you can try is an anal plug. It is available in a range of sizes, materials and shapes. If your goal is to insert something into the anus for the first time and experience the sensation of having something in your bum, then you may want to opt for something smaller and graduate to a larger plug once you know you like the feeling, or your goals change.

I really like the glass plug from Pipedreams Icicles collection. It’s only about 2 inches long and will slide in easily with a little lubrication. This plug could easily be worn during foreplay and intercourse and will add an extra sensation of fullness as well as excitement for you and your lover. Just the thought of knowing that something is in your tush is an erotic suggestion to fuel hot and sexy playdates.

The icicles 46 is shaped for his pleasure. The slight bulbous tip is curved to stimulate the prostate gland and provide him with intense sensations and pressure. The smooth glass glides in easily with a little lubrication, and you can rotate the shaft to find his favorite spot. His prostate is located inside the anus and up toward his penis. He can lie on his back while you stroke his penis and rub his testicles. Or you can ride him reverse cowgirl and play with his prostate while you take care of your own pleasure.

If your desire is to create an anal journey of pleasure and exploration, anal beads are a perfect addition to your bedroom toybox. Beads are not a simple insert and leave in type of toy. Your lover will delicately communicate and insert each bead as your body accepts them. Then you can either leave them in during intercourse, and slide them out as you climax, or your lover can insert and withdraw randomly while they also play with your clitoris or add finger or penis penetration into the receiver’s vagina, or if the receiver is male, orally pleasure and manually stroke the shaft of the penis. The sensation of delicious surprise as each bead slides in or out is an intense and pleasurable experience in an intimate area of your body.

Want to penetrate your partners booty, but don’t have a penis? No problem! You can strap on a dildo and experience the dominance and dynamic of giving someone else pleasure. Even though you don’t “feel” the actual sensation that they would, the visual of seeing yourself disappear inside your lover, and hearing the sounds of them moaning is a highly erotic way to experience of pleasure of giving. Have your lover “accept” you and take you in, while your hands are free to touch, massage, spank, or squeeze your lovers body. You can move slow, and lightly caress and squeeze them, kissing them deeply while they face you. Or try having them bent over on all fours, and enjoy the assertive touch of spanking them while you penetrate them deep and hard. Make sure you communicate the types of touch, play, and penetration they like, so you both can enjoy consensual and pleasurable intercourse.

Or maybe you like the idea of penetrating, but don’t want to actually strap one on? There are several probes and vibrators designed to be inserted into the anus. I recommend hard plastic, glass, wood, metal, and silicone materials for safe and comfortable anal play. The size and shape of the probe or vibrator depends on the person receiving it. Ask them what appeals to them. Show them a few different styles and ask what they would prefer. Will this be used to prepare their anus for penile penetration later? If so, they might want a few different types of toys to slowly bring their muscles to a relaxed and stretched state before you penetrate them with your own man parts. Anal plugs tend to taper to a thinner girth at the base. While this is great for the feeling of fullness during play, it may not stretch the actual sphincter enough to accommodate your penis when the time comes. Adding a second toy that maintains it’s girth at the base might allow your lover’s muscles to stretch more to accept your average-to-large member.

And let’s not forget the lube! The anal canal does not self-lubricate for penetration. Always include a lubricant that provides some slip and slide for the receivers comfort and pleasure. I recently had the opportunity to try Uberlube…. and will be keeping it on my nightstand from now on. I am a fan of silicone lubes in general for anal play as they stay slick longer, don’t tend to get sticky, and provide enough lubrication for penetration to feel sexy. Uberlube kept it’s viscosity during play, and then was easily washed off, or just rubbed in afterward. I didn’t have to keep applying lube, or adding spit to make it stay slick, which was a huge plus. I could just focus on the pleasure at hand… and fingers…

A few tips from Kenneth Play and Charlie Glickman were to also have towels, wipes for easy clean up, and latex or polyurethane gloves and condoms handy. Anal play does lend itself to bacterial exposure so take steps to keep the playtime clean and safe. Wearing gloves on hands and putting condoms on toys or penises keeps playtime continuous. You won’t have to jump up and wash off when you’re ready to move onto other things! And most importantly, COMMUNICATE!! Anal play can be a scary or uncomfortable prospect, but can also create intense pleasure and intimacy in your relationships. So discuss what each of your fantasies and desires are, as well as boundaries as you explore, and you’ll discover new erotic sensations together.

If you need more tips on types of anal play and techniques for how to please your lover during anal play, listen to the entire episodes of my Anal August shows on Play With Me on Playboy Radio!

Wednesday, June 3, 2015

Spring Clean your Toy Box! Are your sex toys safe?

I did an article back in 2009 entitled "What's in your Toy?" Six years later, we have even more options, creating even more questions about whether or not your battery operated boyfriend is not just good to you, but good for you. So I've updated the list of sex toys materials to include more information about how to choose your toy, as well as the sexy types of things you can put on, and in your body. From hard plastic to polished wood, I'll give you the reasons you might want to toss your old standby, or pick up something new this season.

Most of the original vibrators were made from hard plastic. Hard plastic vibes have been on the scene for a long time, are lubricant friendly, transfer vibrations well, are non-porous and can be cleaned and sanitized easily. What does this mean for you? It can be used with either water-based, or silicone lubes, will give you enough vibration to get you off, and are made from materials that are safe, i.e.: does not contain the controversial phthalates we have heard so much about.

Care and Feeding of your Hard Plastic Toys: Hard plastic can be cleaned with soap and water, toy cleaner, and sanitized with a solution of rubbing alcohol and water. Because they are non-porous, they can be stored virtually anywhere. But why not keep them clean and ready for your next moment of inspiration?! Be careful not to get the battery compartment wet! And always remove your batteries to prolong the life of the battery and avoid corrosion.

Later, softer materials for toys were introduced. Jelly toys come from a porous rubber material with chemical phthalates added. While their have been no conclusive studies on phthalates in sex toys, the use of these materials in our children's toys has been banned. These toys generally have a strong smell when you open the package, and can feel sticky or tacky. Conscientious retailers are proud to no longer carry jelly toys. Eco-friendly and health conscious consumers are avoiding purchasing products that are toxic. But does that mean you need to toss your favorite BOB? Nope, you can use a condom on your jelly toy if you are concerned about exposure to phthalates.

Care and Feeding of your Jelly Toys: Only water-based lubricant is recommend for jelly toys. Clean your jelly toys with mild soap and water, or toy cleaner, and store in a cool, dry place, rather than an airtight container. Be careful not to get the battery compartment wet! And always remove your batteries to prolong the life of the battery and avoid corrosion.

Jelly toys will leach onto other things, so make sure you store them wrapper in a paper towel, or toy bag that is breathable so your jelly toys don't melt and breakdown.

Silicone was introduced to sex toys in the 1980's, and is widely used and popular today. While it is one of the most popular materials for toys, not all silicone is created equal. When choosing a silicone toy, stick to food or medical grade silicone for the safest in silicone toys. Medical grade silicone is hypoallergenic, hygienic, boilable, bleachable, and even dishwasher safe. Some resources suggest that silicone lubricants may not be used on silicone toys, but they can as long as the toy and the lubricant are both of a high quality. How can you tell? I recommend doing a patch test. Rub some on the base of the shaft of the toy, as far away from where you'll want to insert it, just in case. Apply a small amount and check back later for any changes to the surface area.

Care and Feeding of your Silicone Toys: Silicone toys, like hard plastic, can be cleaned with soap and water, toy cleaner, and sanitized with a solution of rubbing alcohol and water. Because they are non-porous, they can be stored virtually anywhere. Be careful not to get the battery compartment wet! And always remove your batteries to prolong the life of the battery and avoid corrosion.

Elastomer is a compound that does not contain phthalates. It starts out soft and has products added to make it harder (unlike PVC that has chemicals added to make it softer). There are no solvents or latex in Elastomer. But to look at it, how can one tell the difference? Look for toys labeled as TPE or TPR. While the type of plastic is a healthier option, it is not a completely non-porous material.

Care and Feeding of your Elastomer Toys: Silicone toys, like hard plastic, can be cleaned with soap and water, toy cleaner, but cannot be disinfected. Be careful not to get the battery compartment wet! And always remove your batteries to prolong the life of the battery and avoid corrosion.

Latex and Rubber: Latex is made from rubber. These toys wear out faster, and can be harmful to people with latex allergies. This material is very porous; therefore, toys made of latex should not be shared unless used with condoms. While mild soap and water, or toy cleaner can be used to clean latex toys, but using condoms makes it easy and fast! While many health and safety conscious retailers are no longer carrying these types of products, you don't have to give up your favorite toy. If you are concerned about the potential toxicity, using a condom can reduce the exposure. Safe sex works with toys as well as people.

Care and Feeding of your Latex and Rubber Toys: Latex and Rubber cannot be sanitized. Clean with soap and water or toy cleaner. Because they are porous, be sure to store in a breathable wrap or bag to keep it clean in between uses. Be careful not to get the battery compartment wet! And always remove your batteries to prolong the life of the battery and avoid corrosion.

Glass is gaining popularity, and is one of MY personal favorite materials for toys. While some women consider this firm material scary, we have grown up with it. We use it in our kitchens on a daily basis, and know it's safety and durability. Glass is non-porous making it anti-bacterial. It also requires little lubrication, making it ideal for all kinds of intimate play. Even though it is difficult to break, be sure to inspect glass toys before each use.

The care and feeding of your glass sex toys… You can clean glass with soap and water, a solution of rubbing alcohol and water, sanitize with a solution of water and bleach, boil in water, or clean in the dishwasher! They are completely non-porous and will not harbor bacteria. You can store them virtually anywhere and some pieces are so beautiful, they beg to be displayed.

Got Wood? Wood initially made me do a double-take. Then I investigated further. NobEssence™ hand-selects their woods, carves, and meticulously polishes all of their sculptures using the highest American standards of craftsmanship. Their silky-smooth, state-of-the-art, bio-compatible Lubrosity prevent problems such as splintering and splitting. This coating is a completely Phthalate free, odorless and colorless finish which forms an impermeable barrier to chemicals and bacteria. Lubrosity meet USP Class IV and VI Medical Standards. Sculptures attentively encapsulated in Lubrosity coatings are odorless, may be soaked in water, and remain in body-contact for hours at a time - no waxes to melt away, no salad bowl oils to leach out or maintain, and no toxic petroleum distillates. Sculptures are odorless, may be soaked in water, and can remain in body-contact for hours at a time... ummmm, if you wanted to leave it in and watch a movie...?

The care and feeding of your handcrafted wood toys… You can clean wood with mild soap and water, a solution of rubbing alcohol and water. They are completely non-porous and will not harbor bacteria. You can store them virtually anywhere and like glass, some pieces are so beautiful, they look lovely left out for display.

Metal toys! Another one of my favorite materials for penetration. Metal is cool to the touch, and heats up with body contact. It is HEAVY... and gives the receiver a feeling of presence. It is also non-porous, easy to clean, and won't harbor bacteria. Njoy products are designed with solo or partner play in mind, and are perfect for G-spot and prostate exploration. Great for vaginal or anal penetration, or vaginal TO anal, but make sure you clean your toys when going from anal to vaginal play. My favorite design is the Pure Wand. Ideal for giving pressure to the G-spot or prostate while comfortable stimulating the clitoris for her manually or orally. And a lovely way to provide anal or perineal stimulation for him while you're on top, or reaching around.

The care and feeding of your metal toys… You can clean metal with mild soap and water or a solution of rubbing alcohol and water. They are completely non-porous and will not harbor bacteria. You can store them virtually anywhere but most manufacturers provide beautiful boxes or cases to store them between uses.

Pipedream products launched the Metalworx collection, which has made the purchase of metal toys more available to the general population.

The bottom line is: whatever you use on or in your body, be sure to choose, clean and store them carefully. Your toys will give you many moments of pleasure, so play responsibly!

**How to store your new BOB?Wrapper in a clean paper towel and tucked in a drawer is fine. You can also hide it in clean sock or toy bag. Make sure they are not touching other toys and are not too warm. Taking the batteries out in between uses will prolong the life of the batteries and avoid corrosion.

To listen to the full show Ep. 21 on Play With Me On Playboy Radio, click here

Thursday, May 14, 2015

A History of Striptease and Pole Dancing, and How to Pull off a Sexy Striptease for your Lover!

It's been a long road from the early traveling carnival and circus show Burlesque to modern day pole fitness, but one thing remains... the allure of the female form as she moves with grace and exudes sensuality.

Men have been entertained by this type of dance for hundreds of years. Even though the term "stripping" wasn't recorded until 1932, the reasons for the terminology could be directly attributed to Gypsy Rose Lee, the American Burlesque performer of the early 20th century, the French performer Josephine Baker in the 1920's and 30's, and Mata Hari's act at the Moulin Rouge back in 1905. But even those "early pioneers" who popularized the form of entertainment weren't the grandmothers of striptease. Accounts of striptease in other cultures describe ancient civilizations using music and the removal of clothing for the purpose of celebration and entertainment. In Northern Africa and Egypt a performer called Kucheck Hanem disrobed in a performance called the "Erotic Dance of the Bee" where she gets naked while looking for the bee trapped within her clothes. In ancient Rome during the tradition of Floralia, people danced naked for a 6-day long celebration of spring. And there is even a biblical reference in the New Testament where Salome performs the dance of the seven veils (later "coined" by Oscar Wilde in his play) for King Herod, who some believe is actually an interpretation of an ancient Sumerian Myth of the descent of the goddess Inanna, who had to remove an article of clothing at each of the seven gates of hell.

So obviously this is nothing new, but in our more current word association, we think of strip clubs and pole dancers. Pole dancing has been popularized for the past hundred years, back when the pole holding up the tent was used for circus shows. Those pole eventually were moved from tents to bars, and then combined with Burlesque. The earliest recorded pole dance was a performance by Belle Jangles at Mugwump Strip Club in Oregon in 1968. And I would venture to guess that venues like the Playboy Club, as well as the birth of men's magazines which made the female form more visually accessible had a hand in making strip bars and topless clubs a viable business. Several decades later we continue to generally associate modern striptease and pole dancing with topless and nude bars, but we now also see the gravity defying images of scantily clad female pole athletes who exude sex appeal with their strength and physical ability. We know that men enjoy the visual delight of a woman deliberately removing her clothes. But do you have to be a competition level acrobatic pole athlete to pull off a sexy striptease? Absolutely not!

In fact, you don't need a pole at all!!

There are really only a few things you need to know before you decide to "bust-a-move..."

1. Don't take yourself too seriously. Your partner obviously thinks you're sexy. There's something, and quite possibly a lot of things, that they love about you, your naked body, and how your bodies come together. Use your knowledge of your lover to create the perfect dance. Highlight their favorite areas. Maybe they love your breasts, your legs, your butt, your feet?! Tease them with those places on your body.

2. Don't wear something that is difficult to take off. Pants may "go on one leg at a time," but they can be a disaster to take off while you're trying to be sexy and dance... dresses and skirts are best so you can play with them bu pulling them up, or sliding them off.

3. Don't be drunk. Yeah, you might need some liquid courage to help fight those feelings of shyness or insecurity. But you might not filter those high school dance moves that haven't come out since 1990... A sloppy stripper scenario could be fun for some role playing, but if you really want to surprise them with a sexy striptease, let them really see you, awkward moves and all. They will love knowing that even though you're not a professional, you're taking them time to do this for them.

4. Do take the time to prepare. Pick a song that you like to move to. Even though they won't remember what song was playing, you'll be having fun and them watching you have fun is part of what makes it sexy! Set the mood! Dim the lights, or put red bulbs in your lamps to create the desired effect. Shower, primp and prep your body for what comes after the dance.

5. Do learn some moves. Let's face it, if striptease were easy, we'd all be doing it. There are signature moves that give you the look of the pro's. There are ways to move your body that accentuate your best assets. And conversely there are things we do with our bodies that simply, just don't work.... Learn from a professional. Take a class. Even an hour of instruction will give you tons of tips that you have in your pocket and ready to go at the drop of a hat! Invest in yourself.

Striptease boosts your self-esteem, gets you in touch with your body, and all that juicy energy translates into your romantic life. It's a win win for everyone ;)

To hear my interview with Celeste Ayers, owner of Polarity Fitness, listen to Ep. 30 on Play With Me on Playboy Radio!

Monday, March 30, 2015

Is Porn good for you?

Apparently, I am potentially addicted to porn. Mind you, I don't think I've actually watched a real porn movie in over 5 years...if not more... But by answering a few simple questions in a quiz on, I was labeled as, “bordering on being problematic.”

The mere fact that my healthy sex drive would cause me to answer yes to any of these questions shouldn't be a basis for determining whether or not I have a porn addiction. What it does say about our society in general, is that the overall consensus is, PORN IS BAD.

There is so much negative energy surrounding the word "Porn." People are incredibly offended by it, and many people won't admit to actually watching porn, when clearly the statistical data proves that we all do. Yep, men and women... both watch porn.

According to an article by The Huffington Post, 70% of men watch porn (some other sites rate that percentage much higher) along with 30% of women. In fact, 30% of data that is transferred across the internet is PORN. An article from cites that “people are viewing porn, more than Facebook, Twitter, and Hulu combined…” and we know how much y’all like Facebook. Their claims are pretty staggering… “At any second of the day worldwide, nearly 30 million unique visitors are viewing porn.” And yet we still deny we watch it… hmmm. “In 2001, there were around 70,000 adult websites. Today, just 13 years later, they are more than 4.2 million pornographic websites in the U.S. alone. It does not take a math major to figure out that increase is tremendous. Either people are lying about watching porn or people are lying about watching porn.”

So, why are we so afraid to admit that we watch and even “like” porn? We know that visual stimulation produces fantastic results. We know that men are more visually stimulated sexually. Many men say that they use porn as a way to kick-start the session, but usually finish thinking about a personal experience. Sex therapists have recommended porn with a vibrator as a great way to ensure she climaxes, as most women don’t achieve orgasm through straight up intercourse.

I posed the question on my social media, and interviewed people while attending Adultcon at the Los Angeles Convention Center. Here are a few sound bites from people who were more than happy to speak on the subject….

While people at the porn convention were open and communicative, my social media accounts proved how much of a negative stigma is still attached to the word. Women commented in response to my question: “What do you think of when you view porn?” But most men stayed far away from the topic. Men who would normally “like” or comment wouldn’t touch it with a ten foot pole. They did however feel comfortable private messaging me or texting me their thoughts, but didn’t want to have their personal social media accounts show the “activity” that would confirm that they actually watch porn. One man messaged me by saying, “my wife would be horrified if I posted this, but I watch porn and think, ‘I want to do that with my wife.’” This sentiment is beautiful and heart-breaking. This man who, adores his wife, is inspired to find ways to give her pleasure and bring them together as a couple, is shamed by her lack of interest and most likely a negative outlook on sex with her own husband, as well as porn.

**Is porn bad? If this man didn’t have porn, where would he release the sexual energy that his wife won’t share with him? Have an affair perhaps…

If you made it all the way through the soundbites I posted above, you would’ve heard one woman’s opinion that watching porn is considered adultery to her and her husband. They feel that seeing images of other people creates feelings of lust and visual imagery that might be hard to suppress during their love-making. They want to be as “pure of heart” as they possibly can for each other. While she didn’t express an opposition to the existence of porn, she was strongly against porn in their relationship. Religion was the reason cited for their mutual decision to avoid porn, and I respect her choice to maintain her commitment to her faith and her relationship.

If religion is your reason for not supporting porn, this blog might not rub you the right way…. pun intended. How you should feel about porn, gay marriage, anal sex, BDSM lifestyles, and any other “un-natural” sex acts, may have already been decided. While I am lucky to have several religious friends who view sex as a healthy, adventurous, loving way to celebrate their relationships in all kinds of playful ways, I know there are more religious readers who are less open-minded about the topic. To those readers, I hope you continue reading….

It seems like porn is unavoidable these days. You can easily search a term that accidentally gives you pages of porn related materials and websites with an innocent and random word. But is all this access to porn, and the actual content itself good for us?

According to Dr. Judith Reisman, PII or Pornographically Induced Impotence is a growing epidemic. She shares opinions of several doctors and professors who attest that porn can be extremely damaging to libido and emasculating, “castrating men of all ages and races.” They also admit that the percentage of men who suffer from PII is unknown…. She is also, if you didn’t know, one of the prominent anti-Kinsey Institute protestors, who feels that his work has sexually sabotaged our society. I wasn’t able to find links from her article to scientific data supporting these opinions, but they are compelling nonetheless. If you fear that porn might cause you to become impotent, you may also want to worry that masturbation will cause you to go blind. Generally, limiting your exposure to these images will restore your body’s natural response to erotic stimulus. These “cases” of PII ares extreme examples of over-exposure to porn and porn addiction. Most of you, dear readers, will not fall into this category.

Next let’s discuss dopamine… the pleasure reward we receive in the brain. Porn doesn’t just give you warm fuzzy feelings in the genitals. It gives us a dopamine rush, which is why some people can become addicted to porn. Just as we can become addicted to our social media, porn provides endless hours of distractions and new visual experiences to keep the dopamine flowing. Some therapists recommend taking a break from your porn (and/or your social media) occasionally to reset the baseline for your dopamine tolerance. There are several studies being done on the long term effects of these constant dopamine dings. So far I haven’t seen any conclusive studies on long term effects, but the social media and smart phone age is still relatively new. it could take decades for us to actually see any type of biological evolution in correlation to the increase in dopamine for the average human.

Is porn bad for relationships? Couples who watch porn together say they experience a boost in their sex life. They like to “spice up” their intimate relations by adding visual stimulation, or use porn as an instructional video to try new things. Some woman express fears that their partners will be less attracted to them because they are masturbating to images of other women’s bodies. But they might be surprised to hear that men are more inclined to watch the female actresses facial expressions rather than her actual body. They are more turned on by the idea that this woman is enjoying her sexual encounter. It could be argued that social media is bad for relationships. In some of the same surveys that claim that “watching internet porn” ruined 58% of marriages, it also cites that 40% blame extra-marital relationships that began online. Does the internet or porn itself break up the marriage? Or do feelings of unhappiness, dissatisfaction, and lack of intimacy create the need for people to meet those needs in other places? Is McDonald’s responsible for making people fat? Or do we all have the capacity to make our own decisions about what we do with our bodies, and take responsibility for how our actions may affect our relationships? Yes, addiction is real… addiction to porn, alcohol, drugs, and a plethora of other things can negatively impact one’s life. They may withdraw from society, prioritize their addiction over family, work, and life itself. ADDICTION is bad, porn….?

There are surveys being done on how viewing porn effects our expectations about sexual partners, and whether or not it discourages interest and commitment to romantic relationships. Again, I haven’t found any links to actual scientific data. What they generally say is that people who watch porn are more likely to have intercourse at an earlier age, have multiple sex partners, be open to the idea of casual sex, have less interest in romantic partnering, and may experience dissatisfaction in long term monogamous relationships. In all my recreational research on sex, and how people have sex, I would say that all of those things apply to a person who isn’t overly exposed to pornography as well. People want sex, they want to feel desired, they want to be naked and copulate with other sexually attractive mates, they want love, they crave affection and attention, and they even want to get married and have kids. I assure you, the business of marriage is in full force. USA Today predicts that there will be 2.208 million weddings in 2015.

So then, is watching other people have sex bad for you? I believe that it's healthy. In other cultures listening to someone have sex, or possibly even seeing others have sex is a natural part of everyday life. Families live in small dwellings. Parents share rooms and sometimes even beds with their offspring. People live in small villages and communities where the hiding of their sex acts isn’t necessary or even plausible to be hidden. Does this make them sexual deviants? I think having a healthy attitude toward sex and sexuality is of tremendous importance. Whether you choose or even promote celibacy, we shouldn't be opposed to the idea of sexual awareness, open communication about sex, and overall sex positivity.

Embracing sex, in all forms, is the best form of sex education. Porn shows people having sex. It doesn’t show people necessarily being intimate, but it also doesn’t hide or romanticize the reality of the act of sex. It doesn’t make excuses for itself, it doesn’t limit the way people orgasm, it represents all types of sexual activity, and all types of sexual stimulus. Porn brings people together by validating desires. Desires that could be considered deviant, or abnormal. By allowing people to experience those desires in a way that is not harming other people, purely experienced by choice (one must click to view, and can opt-out by a simple click at any time), and produced legally with consensual adults (we are not talking about illegal porn in this post), there is fulfillment. Porn can also inspire creativity and teach people how to make love better. Couples can watch porn together and ask each other to do things they see portrayed in the videos. They may even be exposed to things they don't realize they like. Everything from the way a porn actor is kissed, touched, licked, and yes, fucked, can be a new experience for the viewer to discover pleasure within their own relationships. The point and the benefit is that they are communicating their sexual needs and desires.

Is porn good for you? You'll have to decide that on your own or together, but I say that if you aren't bordering addiction and withdrawing from society, a spoonful of porn a day might just keep the divorce away.

To listen to the full episode, "Is PORN good for you?" On Playboy Radio, click here

Tuesday, February 17, 2015

50 Shades Movie Review: from a married, sexually adventurous, mom of a teenage daughter.

There has been a lot of controversy online about the Fifty Shades of Grey movie. People who feel passionately that it is setting a bad example for our young girls about what a relationship should look like, and what normal sex should be.

I went into the theatre with an open mind to watch the scenes and listen to the dialogue between Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele to see if I felt that it was the abusive, controlling, torturous, sexist relationship that was being described in social media debates.

I will preface my review of the film by saying, I am a woman who enjoys sex and all aspects of sex play. While I’ve dabbled in the world of BDSM, I have not experienced a DOM-SUB relationship personally. I have never been sexually abused. I have read all the books. I have now seen the film. I am a mother to a teenage daughter. The opinions to come, if at all biased, are reflective of who I am. Take them as you will.

Here’s what I never saw:

1. Christian Grey abusing, torturing, or otherwise harming Anastasia Steele.

2. Anything other than consensual sex and intimacy between two adults.

3. A controlling relationship. While Christian Grey “requests” total control in their relationship, Ana never actually gives it.

What I did see:

1. Highly erotic scenes of fantasy play (ie: restraints, light whippings and floggings) and lots of nudity.

2. A woman being pleasured sexually by a man who adored her.

3. A relationship in conflict. Two people trying to negotiate the balancing act of their needs and boundaries.

For those who are saying that it portrays women in a submissive and anti-feminist light:

While Ana’s character is asked to be his “submissive,” She maintains her life outside of the designated play hours. She is asked to “agree” to make herself available to him in whatever way he sexually desires in exchange for her pleasure, and the ability to be in a relationship with him. She is never asked to cook, clean, or otherwise play a traditionally female role in his life. As part of the contract she is required to be exclusive to him sexually, and to be on the pill. She is not expected to give up her free will, but rather, to know that there will be consequences to her actions should she decide to "break the rules."

In a “normal” relationship, women are generally expected to cook and clean, raise children, and work, oh, and have sex exclusively with him, for his pleasure.

For those who say that she is abused, tortured, isolated and humiliated:

Let’s take these one at a time…

From Wikipedia, the definition of abuse

Ana is “spanked” for punishment after Christian warns her “If you roll your eyes at me again, I will take you over my knee.” She of course, rolls her eyes later in the scene, and he lays her over his lap, pulls up her dress and asks her if she understands why he is doing this. After his initial spank, he asks her if she likes it, and then again, if she would like more. Doesn’t sound like “abuse” to me.

Ana is later brought into the Red Room (aka, his play room), where he introduces her to the experience of being teased and whipped with a riding crop while being restrained and blindfolded. Again, he asks her “Does it hurt.” He straps her spread eagle to his four poster bed with ropes and blindfolds her, then continues with some sensory play with feathers and a flogger. At no point in the film does it depict her in any pain until she asks him. “Show me” what the worst punishment would be.

This is the only scene people will or could have an issue with in my opinion. She is whipped on the ass with a leather belt 6 times. He explains exactly what will happen. He tells her she will count the whippings with him. She is NOT restrained or blindfolded. She is shown to appear to be in pain and is crying. However, where the tears are actually being derived from, is left to the viewer.

In the scene leading up to this “punishment,” she is arguing with him. Why he is like this? Why does he have a need to dole out punishments for her at all? And then of course, how severe would the worst punishment be? It is implied that he is an emotionally broken man, that he was abused as a child, and so needs to be abusive in a controlled environment to appease his demons. Her tears could be from the pain of the actual belt lashings, or they could be from her sadness that this man whom she is falling in love with was abused as a child. She could be crying because she is scared of what loving a man like him leaves her vulnerable to. Or she should could be crying because she herself feels unloved by her mother who fails to show up for her college graduation.

Tortured: Um, let’s see… she was given intense pleasure repeatedly… I’ll take some of that torture.

Isolated: Christina Grey introduces her to his family, meets Ana’s mother, is publicly photographed with her, spends time at her apartment as well as his, and refers to her as his girlfriend when the need to introduce her arises. Doesn’t sound very isolated to me.

Humiliated: He holds her hair back while she pukes, never once scolding her for making her own choices, but simply acknowledges that it wasn’t smart. He buys her new clothes to wear because she has vomited all over hers. Buys her a new computer because hers is broken. Takes her for a ride in his helicopter, and an adrenaline fueled ride in a glider. Makes sure she is well nourished. Tells her to never be ashamed of her body, that she has a beautiful body. Bathes her. Spends the night in bed sleeping with her, even though he said he doesn’t “do that.”

I could not find a single instance in the film where Ana is ever made to feel humiliated. It could be argued that she is scolded for not letting him know that she was traveling to see her mother out-of-state, and that he didn’t want her drinking her third Cosmo while she was out with her mom. But at that point in the film, they had already made agreements, expectations were in place, and again, “humiliated?” Embarrassed, perhaps.

For those who ask, “What are we teaching our daughters?”

I will say this. Movies suck as examples of what actual loving relationships look like. Our daughters are exposed to many lofty ideals of what passion, love, romance, and long-term relationships can be. Hollywood generally shows the fantasy fairy-tale as something to strive for… which can lead to serious disappointment. It was refreshing to see a man who knew himself, communicated his needs with authentic clarity, and gave her the ability to opt out. He never offered romance, but he was willing to give her everything else if she agreed. He would fuck her hard, respect, nuture, and care for her. Not a bad proposition if you ask me. I would be thrilled if my daughter encountered a gentleman like this man when she is an adult. A man who was intelligent, present, compassionate, attentive, respectful, and oh yes, wanted nothing more than to spend hours playing with her body and giving her pleasure.

For those who say that this contract was controlling and sexist…

What is Marriage? A legal and binding contract between two people “til death do they part.” And what details are discussed and outlined in this contract? Not much. I would much rather negotiate the terms of my relationship, my sexual pleasure, my physical and emotional health and well-being, than leave it chance based on whimsical lifelong decisions due to “feelings” of love and passion. You can call it cynical, or un-romantic, but you can’t deny the power of honest and open communication.

I’m sure people of the BDSM community will have a field day with this film. It’s very vanilla. It’s ONE fictional account of a POSSIBLE relationship between a Dominant and a Submissive. It barely grazes the surface of what types of sensations could be experienced between two consensual adults with creative minds and willing bodies. I do feel like it may introduce people who may have never considered fantasy play to a few fun scenarios in the bedroom. I hope it will create conversations between couples who want to spice things up, and that men and women will explore what they actually need and desire in their relationships.


What I loved... the actors had real, beautiful bodies, and seemed to play together well on screen. I loved that they both had full bush, which was shown briefly and equally for both actors.

What I hated... that again a girl is conflicted by the potential of "love," that she is incapable of having sex without love. And that Christian Grey has to be a billionaire, perpetuating the ideal that men are there to provide. Oh and... there wasn't enough sex.

But then again, it is just a movie...