May 242013
 
0017.4

Sinnamon Love and Orpheus Black from Rough Sex 2


Last month, I gave a talk as part of an evening called
The Truth Behind Fifty Shades of Grey at University of Maryland in College Park. There was a lively audience discussion, and we gave students the opportunity to ask questions anonymously. I asked several of my colleagues to chime in and answer a few of those questions.

Can BDSM be addictive?

I asked my colleague Dr. Hernando Chaves to respond to this one. He says:

I’m not in favor of the addiction term being used with any sexual expression for a number of reasons. It can promote the use of pejorative sex negative terminology, the creation and/or reinforcement of negative sexual identity, alleviate responsibility of choices and actions, and the inability of professionals to agree on an accurate definition of sexual addiction or testing measures as well as limited, controversial data and evidence supporting sexual addiction makes this a difficult concept to support. With so much uncertainty, it’s more harmful than helpful to attribute addiction to unique sexual expression.

That being said, I understand some people use their sexual expression in a manner that is out of control, compulsive, or as a way to cope with difficulties and unresolved issues in their lives. For most, sexual expression is an enhancer to pleasure and happiness. For some, their sexual expression is linked to pain and suffering, but not the good kind of pain and suffering that many in the BDSM community understand can be central to arousal, pleasure, and enjoyment. The untrained outside observer may see pain and suffering, even label it as abusive, and deem these sexual behaviors as problematic, symptomatic, and related to a disorder. They may miss the importance of consent and may not be able to differentiate the intent as coming from a place of empowerment, intimacy, satisfaction, or mutual pleasure.

Can BDSM, like food, gambling, Facebook, and video games, be misused to where it can become a problem? I would argue that BDSM cannot be addictive, but anything can become problematic if misused. It’s possible that a person can become reliant on what BDSM may bring to them; the dopamine, adrenaline, and endorphin rush, the attention from partners and peers, the way it makes them feel and the impact on their self-esteem and self-worth, and the avoidance of stressors or problems. But can this be addictive? Who decides if this is addiction, mental health professionals or doctors?

I believe it’s more important to focus on what the impact may be on the individual and the subjective distress they identify that is problematic rather than focusing on the behaviors a person engages in or how often. Each person is different and so is their response and reactions to play. So when someone comes along and says that BDSM play is addictive, ask them to accurately define kink addiction, ask for empirical evidence to support their perspective, and be skeptical.

Hernando Chaves, M.F.T., D.H.S., Licensed CA Marriage and Family Therapist, Doctor of Human Sexuality, and Human Sexuality Professor. Follow Dr. Chaves on Twitter @Hernando_Chaves

May 242013
 
Mark Davis, Chayse Evans & Adrianna Nicole from Rough Sex 2

Mark Davis, Chayse Evans & Adrianna Nicole from Rough Sex 2


Last month, I gave a talk as part of an evening called
The Truth Behind Fifty Shades of Grey at University of Maryland in College Park. There was a lively audience discussion, and we gave students the opportunity to ask questions anonymously. Here are those questions with my responses. Note: I asked several of my colleagues to chime in and answer a few of the questions. Because several of them inspired longer answers, I will post those separately under Ask Tristan.

What is caning?

I’m going to quote an expert, Lolita Wolf, from her chapter, “Making an Impact: Spanking, Caning, and Flogging” in The Ultimate Guide to Kink:

Caning was traditional for severe punishment in the Victorian era and in the British school system, so canes can be the center of some great role play opportunities. Because of their perceived severity, canes have developed a reputation as the “scariest” of all BDSM impact toys, but a caning can be light and sensuous or heavy and painful—it’s all about how you wield the cane… Traditional canes are made of rattan, not bamboo or wood, and should be able to bend significantly.

Are there any races/ethnicities/religious groups that are members of the BDSM community?

People of all races and ethnicities practice BSDM, although some people of color have critiqued kink communities for being overwhelmingly white. Mollena Williams writes eloquently and teaches about the challenges of being a person of color in the BDSM community. There are some organizations and groups that cater specifically to kinky people of color including Poly Patao Productions and BlackBEAT.

Does the BDSM community have a higher percentage of LGBT people than mainstream sex?

People who practice BDSM comes from all walks of life and represent a diverse sampling in terms of gender, race, ethnicity, class, age, ability, and sexual orientation. LGBT people have varied sex lives, just as heterosexuals do; some are kinky, some aren’t, and some fall in between.

Do BDSM people date and marry, or just hook up?

BDSM folks are like everyone else in with regards to their sexual, romantic, and emotional relationships: they hook up, they date, they marry, they divorce, they have kids. In my research for my book Opening Up: A Guide to Creating and Sustaining Open Relationships, I found that there was a lot if overlap between BDSM communities and non-monogamous communities, so I think it might be that a higher percentage of BDSM people practice some form of consensual, ethical non-monogamy than the general population.

Has BDSM been shown to lower divorce rates?

There is limited research about BDSM and the people who practice it. There is no data that I know of that correlates BDSM with lower divorce rates. What I can tell you from personal experience is that many kinky folks have open, expansive views on sex, pleasure, relationships, and love plus above-average communication skills, and those elements can all contribute to the success of a marriage or relationship.

In the book Fifty Shades of Grey, when Christian and Anastasia communicate on a daily basis, Christian is always in charge. Do BDSM couples talk like that normally?

It depends. Some people adopt the roles of dominant and submissive during a scene (a scene is when people practice BDSM), but once the scene is done, they interact without those roles. Others may stay in role for a weekend. In those cases, when they are in role, the dominant takes charge and dictates how things go. Some people have dominant/submissive relationships where the power dynamic is always (or almost always) present. In all cases, as part of the negotiation process, dominants and submissives may agree to certain rules or protocols which dictate behavior. One such protocol could be that the dominant is in charge of what the submissive wears or the dominant decides what they eat for dinner. Another protocol could be that the submissive has to ask permission before speaking or always use an honorific when speaking to the dominant, like Sir. Protocols vary wildly, are particular to the people involved, and make sense to them; they are meant to represent and reinforce the power dynamic.

Is there a book or books that are more accurate to the BDSM community than Fifty Shades of Grey?

The Ultimate Guide to Kink: BDSM, Role Play and The Erotic Edge, 50 Shades of Kink: An Introduction to BDSM, SM 101: A Realistic Introduction, Playing Well With Others: Your Field Guide to Discovering, Exploring, and Navigating The Kink, Leather and BDSM Communities, The New Topping Book, The New Bottoming Book, Screw the Roses, Send Me The Thorns, as well as books by Jack Rinella, Lee Harrington, and Midori.

How do you find kink friendly professionals like doctors or therapists?

There are two great resources I recommend: Kink Aware Professionals and The Open List.

Is rape performed by BDSM people?

The word “performed” threw me a little because my interpretation of that word could lead me down two very different roads. On the one hand, are you asking, “Do BDSM people act out consensual rape fantasies?” The answer is yes, and a stellar resource all about those kinds of fantasies is Mollena Williams who wrote the chapter “Digging in the Dirt: The Lure of Taboo Role Play” in in The Ultimate Guide to Kink. But the other interpretation is, “Do BDSM people commit rape?” Unfortunately, the answer to that question is also yes. While the vast majority of folks who practice BDSM consider consent the cornerstone of their kink, that doesn’t mean that every kinky person is immune from sexual coercion, trauma, abuse, and violence. These things are still far too common in our society. For an excellent discussion about consent, sexual assault, and BDSM, I recommend Thomas’ series of posts on the blog Yes Means Yes.

Can BDSM be addictive?

This question inspires a longer response, so it has its own post here by therapist Dr. Hernando Chaves.

Can it be hard to enjoy “vanilla” sex once you’ve escalated [to BDSM]? I’ve heard porn indulgence can desensitize people until they keep needing to escalate–is this the case with BDSM?

For this one, I asked my friend BDSM educator Felice Shays, and here is her response.

May 222013
 

My girlfriend and I have just begun talking about engaging in anal sex. Both of us are curious but have concerns. We are concerned about safety. We are worried about her ass being torn inside in some way. Can that happen?

–Curious But Concerned

The anus, anal canal and rectum are incredibly sensitive and are made up of very delicate tissue, so your concern is absolutely warranted. As long as you go very slowly, do lots of warm up, and use plenty of lube, it should feel comfortable and pleasurable for your girlfriend. If she feels any pain, you need to slow down or stop altogether. If you are patient and careful, you should not cause any tearing. However, because the area is so delicate, sometimes, you may cause a tiny tear without even knowing it. For example, afterwards, when she goes to the bathroom, there may be a little bit of blood on the tissue signaling a slight cut. She may not feel any pain or discomfort at all. If that does happen, don’t be alarmed. The body should heal itself and all should be back to normal within twenty-four hours.

May 152013
 

My lover and I would like to experience pleasurable anal intercourse. The only previous experience I had was a painful 5 seconds, 10 years ago, when my ex-girlfriend and I hadn’t the least notion of what we were doing. Since then I’ve read several reputable sources on the subject including your book and the work of Dr. Jack Morin, and I seem to recall some advice regarding facilitation of penetration. I remember reading a recommendation somewhere that the person receiving the penis or dildo, lie on a certain side of their body in order to more easily allow for the natural curve in the sigmoid colon, where it’s attached to the rectum. Was this simply my imagination playing tricks on me? Am I getting this confused with stuff I read right before I had my first digital rectal exam and a colonoscopy? Or is there in fact a “correct” side to be lying on?

–Side Seeker

On the instructions that come with a store bought enema, one recommendation for a comfortable position (sometimes called the “Simms Position”) to give yourself an enema is to lie on your left side and bend your right leg toward your chest. This position allows easy access to the anus, keeps the weight off your abdomen, and allows the enema solution to flow easily into the colon. Likewise, often when you are given an enema from a health care professional, they may put you in that position. But I’ve never heard of a sex educator recommend that someone lie on a certain side for anal penetration.

When it comes to anal penetration with a penis or dildo, your concern is about the rectum, not the colon. The rectum is slightly curved — which is why careful penetration is important so you don’t bump into the rectal wall — but its curves are not like the more drastic curve between the rectum and the sigmoid colon. You can receive and enjoy anal penetration is many different positions, including missionary, on top, spooning, doggie style, standing, bent over something… you get the picture.

I looked in Jack Morin’s book, Anal Pleasure and Health, and the only thing he says that relates to your question is: “Any position which places your legs at right angles to the upper body . . . will straighten the rectum a bit.” Again, this comment is in reference to a discussion about the curves of the rectum, not the sigmoid colon.

Apr 252013
 

Ask Tristan logo
How can gender identity affect a sexual experience or a sexual relationship (even mentally)? How can we avoid gender identity becoming a point of contestation? We are both doms.
If you are trans* or your gender identity is complex, non-normative, fluid, genderqueer, or your body doesn’t entirely reflect your gender expression, it can absolutely affect your sexual experiences and relationships. As you begin to figure out your gender identity (knowing of course that it’s still not fixed and can change), share as much of that information as you can with your partner. This includes your relationship to your body, your preferred words for your body parts, how you want to be touched, and your sexual boundaries. Communicate with your partner about words that feel authentic and sexy in relation to your body and certain sex acts—words like dick, cock, cunt, pussy, as well as “fucking” or “making love”—can be loaded for people, no matter what their gender identity is, so ask your partner what words they use in regards to their own body and then respect those choices. It’s also helpful to stick to gender-neutral adjectives instead of nouns (hard, tight, wet, open, etc.). Your gender identity should not be a “point of contestation” between the two of you. The more comfortable you are with your gender identity, and the more you can talk about it with your partner, the more likely they are to understand it. Gender identity with regard to sexuality and sexual dynamics can vary for everyone, not just trans* and genderqueer people. For example, a straight man may want to be dominated and treated like a bad girl by his female partner, a lesbian may like to imagine she’s a straight man who’s seducing another man for the first time. We often get turned on by gender and sexual dynamics that don’t match our everyday gender on the street. Even when people aren’t explicitly roleplaying, there’s a certain energy dynamic that goes into the act itself that connects to our gender identity. Make a list of what gender identities you connect to in the bedroom (and which ones you don’t), share it with your partner, then have them do the same thing and find where you overlap and connect.
Recommended: Take Me There: Trans and Genderqueer Erotica, PoMoSexuals: Challenging Assumptions About Gender and Sexuality and Gender Outlaws: The Next Generation

Apr 252013
 

photo(2)
I gave my Sexploration lecture at Bucknell University on Tuesday April 23, and there was a huge crowd. I often do anonymous questions at college events where students write their questions on notecards and everyone has to write something, even if it’s “no question.” The anonymity gives folks the freedom to ask their most pressing questions. I only had time to answer about 60% of the questions, so I’m answering the rest here. I’ve combined some questions that are on the same topic.

Is it weird that I want sex all the time even though I’m a virgin?
No. It’s common to have sexual desires regardless of your sexual experience. Remember what I said about the problematic concept of virginity? I encourage you to define sex as broadly as you want and not buy into the cultural construction of virginity.
Recommended: The Purity Myth: How America’s Obsession with Virginity Is Hurting Young Women

How often do most people masturbate?
It varies wildly from person to person, and how often just one person masturbates can vary depending on their energy level, desire, stress, opportunity, etc. There are some interesting stats you can check out. In general, I don’t think masturbation is ever a bad thing. Everyone should have a sexual relationship with themselves, and it’s a great way to figure out what you like.

I masturbate so much it’s turned into a chore; any tips for spicing it up?
Masturbation shouldn’t be a chore! But people can get into a repetitive rut. Don’t think of it merely as a quick way to get off, think of it as a date with yourself. Try changing positions, experimenting with new stimulation techniques, adding lube and a toy to the mix.

How long does it take to give a guy a blow job?
There is no set amount of time that it takes anyone to do anything sexual. If you’re giving the blow job, take charge of the situation and do it for as long as it feels good, for as long as you want to. If you get tired or overwhelmed, switch to using your hand or doing something else.
Recommended: The Expert Guide to Oral Sex 2: Fellatio

How long should a guy last during a blow job?
I hate to repeat myself, but: there is no set amount of time. Depending on the guy, the stimulation of oral sex could bring him to orgasm slowly, quickly, or not at all. Blow jobs do it for some people and not for others.

How nutritious is semen and how can I convince my girlfriend to swallow?
Semen has little to no nutritional value because you don’t ingest all that much of it. You don’t want to convince anyone to do anything they don’t want to do. You can share your desire with her and tell her why it turns you on, but ultimately, it’s her choice to swallow or not, and you’ve got to respect it. Also, swallowing semen is a riskier practice in terms of safer sex than not swallowing, and I am a fan of condoms for blow jobs.

How do you improve oral sex?
Since you didn’t specify, I’m going to make some statements that apply to all kinds of oral sex (cunnilingus, fellatio, and analingus), then give you some particulars. Enthusiasm, focus, tenacity, and paying attention to your partner’s body language are all good qualities to have when giving oral sex. Use your fingers and hands along with your mouth. For cunnilingus, experiment with different techniques using your lips, mouth, and tongue, and ask your partner to tell you what she likes (if she doesn’t know, explore and ask her to alert you when you’ve stumbled on something great). For fellatio, concentrate on the head and the sensitive frenulum on its underside (remember our anatomy lesson); experiment by applying different amounts of pressure with your mouth along the head and shaft. For analingus, use your tongue and lips to get into the folds of the sensitive anus.
Recommended: The Expert Guide to Oral Sex 1: Cunnilingus, The Expert Guide to Oral Sex 2: Fellatio, and The Expert Guide to Advanced Fellatio

I don’t think I enjoy sex at all. The picture of the vagina (in your presentation) made me squirm, and I have one. What can I do to be comfortable and enjoy the experience when my partner wants to have it?
First, this is a question I can’t answer with a pithy one minute (or three sentence) response. It was a line drawing, but an explicit one, of a vulva, and we are not used to looking at those images on the big screen or in public, so it can make some people uncomfortable for a number of reasons. But you said you don’t enjoy sex at all. Could you be asexual? If you have sexual desire, then it’s a matter of getting comfortable with your body and with sex. Do you masturbate? It all begins there, so I’d start with establishing a sexual relationship with yourself before you address sex with a partner.
Recommended: Sex for One: The Joy of Selfloving

What is the best way to have sex in a long distance relationship?
I assume you mean when you and your partner are apart? Use technology to keep you connected. Dirty text messages, naughty instant messages, steamy emails, and Skype with mutual masturbation. I caution you against sending naked or sex pictures to each other, however, since we’ve seen all the trouble that can cause.

Got any good positions?
Each position has its pros and cons, and experimentation is key. If you like Missionary, try Flying Missionary where the person on their back puts their feet on their partner’s chest. If you like Cowgirl, try Froggie where the person on top balances on their feet. If you like Doggie Style, try Tailgate, where the receiver lies on their stomach and the penetrator then lies directly on top of them.

Do you have tips for using a toy to stimulate the G-spot?
Pick a curved toy like Pure Wand, and always aim the curve toward the front of the person’s body. Many G-spots respond to deliberate, firm pressure rather than gentle stroking, so don’t be afraid to apply pressure—just make sure your partner is aroused and ready before you do.
Recommended: The Secrets of Great G-Spot Orgasms and Female Ejaculation and The Big Book of Sex Toys

Does size matter?
The easy answer is no. People are way too wrapped up in penis size, when most folks want a compassionate, responsive lover more than a particular size. But I don’t want to deny that everyone has different tastes and turn ons, and some people do like penetration with big stuff. But that’s why God created dildos.

How do I get a vibrator and which kind do I get?
If possible, visit a sex-positive store like The Smitten Kitten, Good Vibrations, or Babeland. When you shop in person at stores like these, the toys are out of their packages, so you can see and feel them, feel the vibration, hear how quiet or loud they are, plus you benefit from the advice of experienced sex educators who work there. If that’s not possible, try one of their websites; they all have detailed product information and customer reviews.
Recommended: The Big Book of Sex Toys

I’m a girl. Do I need to shave my pubic hair before I have sex?
Your pubic hair is your business! It’s a matter of personal taste, just like how you cut and style your other hair. Some people let it grow, others trim it back, and others wax or shave some or all of it off.

As a female, how do you know if you’ve had an orgasm?
I want to say, “Oh you’ll know!” but I want to be more specific. Some of the physiological responses include: a feeling of release; muscle contractions of the uterus, vagina, and sphincter muscles; other muscle contractions and muscle tension throughout the body; involuntary muscle responses that cause you to make strange faces; and cramping of hands and feet. Talking to your peers about what their orgasms feel like is a great way to open up a conversation and hear from real people about their experiences.
Recommended: The Expert Guide to Female Orgasms and The Ultimate Guide to Orgasm for Women: How to Become Orgasmic for a Lifetime

How long does it take a woman to climax?
There is no set amount of time, and I hesitate to even say there is an average amount of time. Women often put pressure on themselves about this (I hear all the time “It takes me a really long time,” or “It takes too long”). Concentrate on what’s going on and how it feels, and don’t think about the clock and how you measure up to it.

Do you have any suggestions for mixing things up during sex?
Lube. Sex toys. Role play. Analingus. New positions. Porn. Do anything except intercourse. Mutual masturbation.
Recommended: What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety

Do you poop when you have anal sex? How do you have “clean” anal sex?
When you have a bowel movement, feces stored in the colon pass through the rectum, down into the anal canal, and out the anus. The colon is the storage area, and the rectum and anal canal are pathways. If you have good bowel habits and plenty of fiber in your diet, then there should be very little fecal matter in the rectum and anal canal. When you play with fingers, a toy, or a penis, you’re not going beyond the rectum. Go to the bathroom before anal play. In addition, take a warm, soapy shower or bath before anal sex to make sure your genitals are clean. You can even slide a soapy finger into your anus. Always use the most mild soap you can—either a castile or pure glycerine. A trip to the bathroom and a shower will go a long way toward you having relatively clean anal penetration. I say “relatively clean” because I want you to be realistic. There are no guarantees in life, and some amount of fecal matter may be present in someone’s rectum. If you want to go the extra step to make sure you’re totally cleaned out, you can give yourself an enema beforehand.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women

How safe is anal sex and how do I avoid anal fissures?
I always recommend that people use safer sex barriers if they are not currently tested and in a sexually monogamous relationship. You can transmit most sexually-transmitted infections (including gonorrhea, chlamydia, syphilis, HPV, genital warts, herpes, and HIV) through unprotected anal sex, especially penis/ass intercourse. In addition, as I said in my presentation, the ass is made of delicate, sensitive tissue which is susceptible to small tears or anal fissures. The best way to protect against them: use gloves to make your fingers butt-friendly, use plenty of lube, focus on warm up and don’t rush penetration, and, as the receiver, listen to your body.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women

Is it inappropriate to go up to someone and say, “Wanna fuck? Right here, right now?” (I’m female.)
I like people being direct about what they want. I appreciate shameless assertion of your desires. So I don’t think it’s inappropriate to speak your desires in the right context with potential lovers. But, that said, there are repercussions for women who speak openly about their sexual desire, so you’ve got to take those into account, knowing that reactions to your honesty will be mixed (see next question).

How can I, as a woman, express wanting to have sex without looking like a slut?
Just do it. Own it. Don’t let anyone shame you for your sexual desires, experience, or consensual behavior. And don’t shame other women for theirs. Don’t buy into our society’s double standards that applaud men for their sexual prowess and punish women for the very same behavior. (Easier said than done, I know.)
Recommended: He’s a Stud, She’s a Slut, and 49 Other Double Standards Every Woman Should Know and What You Really Really Want: The Smart Girl’s Shame-Free Guide to Sex and Safety

How do we as a society combat false sex information like the “What Not To Do Guide to BDSM,” aka Fifty Shades of Grey?
You’re right, Fifty Shades of Grey is not an instruction manual, it’s a romance novel with some kink thrown in. But lots of people have read it and it’s opened up conversations about kinky sex, which is ultimately a good thing for society. If a friend mentions reading it or being inspired by it, be ready to let them know that it’s not a how-to and have recommendations for other resources that give solid information about BDSM.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Kink and SM 101: A Realistic Introduction

I am really into bondage. How do I bring it up to a casual hookup without being scary and intense?
It’s all in the way you present it. Be direct and put it out there (“I want to tie you up” or “It would turn me on if you tied me up”) and make it clear that it’s a suggestion that your partner is welcome to embrace or turn down. If they agree, be prepared to give them information about safety before you start and always use a safeword.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Kink and Midori’s Expert Guide to Sensual Bondage

How does a girl approach the idea of being a dominant with a guy?
Talk about roleplaying fantasies and see what kinds of scenarios you each come up with. Suggest some scenes where you play a dominant role and see what he says. Context is everything.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Kink

Why do I have rape fantasies? It feels problematic.
Our fantasies often do not reflect our politics. Rape fantasies can be about exploring submission, masochism, surrender, objectification, control, and a slew of other dynamics. Although “rape” is the hot-button word in this question, the operative word here is fantasy. It’s a fantasy where you create the script, imagine the details, call the shots, and know how it ends—which is an entirely different thing than actual rape.
Recommended: Toybag Guide to Playing With Taboo and Mollena Williams’ two chapters in The Ultimate Guide to Kink

Any advice for a woman who wants to peg her man? Techniques, a particular toy, a particular position?
Pegging is strap-on anal sex where the woman is the giver and the man the receiver, and it can open up a whole new world of erotic exploration for couples. Great anal sex is all about the warm up. You’ve got to take your time, relish each sensation, and tease your partner into a frenzy before any serious penetration begins. As for toys, I love the Mistress dildo by Vixen Creations and any harness made by Aslan Leather.
Recommended: The Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women and The Expert Guide to Pegging

What are your thoughts on tantra, sexual ecstasy and spirituality?
That’s a big question on a big topic. More and more people are getting interested in sacred sexuality, the intersection of sex and spirituality, sex magic, and Tantric sex. I want to refer you to two of the best, most accessible books on the subject: Urban Tantra: Sacred Sex for the Twenty-First Century and Tantra for Erotic Empowerment: The Key to Enriching Your Sexual Life.

How do you feel about porn, which often portrays false or fantastical situations? How realistic is porn? Is it misleading?
Well, it depends on the porn! Much of mainstream pornography portrays a fantasy and a performance, so there’s a lot of athletic positions, high energy and high libido, heightened reactions to stimulation, and earth shaking orgasms (both real and performed). You don’t often get to see honest communication, awkward moves, enough warm up before intercourse, a focus on other kinds of sex besides intercourse, partners being shy or quiet, stopping and starting, and much more. I like to portray more realistic sexual scenes in my films, where people verbally negotiate, ask for what they want, use lube and sex toys, focus on activities that turn them on rather than a “script” of how sex should unfold, get into positions that feel good for them, and allow enough arousal time and stimulation to allow female performers to have real orgasms. There are lots of feminists who make porn, and you may want to check out their films as well as films featuring real couples including Make Love Not Porn.
Recommended: The Feminist Porn Book

How can gender identity affect a sexual experience or a sexual relationship (even mentally)? How can we avoid gender identity becoming a point of contestation? We are both doms.
This question requires a longer answer, so I gave it its own Ask Tristan post.

 

 

 

 

Apr 242013
 

I want to have an enema before anal sex to make sure that I am nice and clean. I have read your advice in past columns about using the Fleet enema. Why is it necessary to empty the chemicals out of a Fleet enema and replace it with water?

–Curious About Cleaning

All store bought enemas (including Fleet and other brands) contain a laxative. Laxatives (which can also be taken in pill form) soften the stool and stimulate bowel movements, and people use them to help alleviate constipation. Most folks who want to engage in anal play have an enema to ensure that their rectum is cleaned out; they are not using it to clear a blockage. Using a laxative when you aren’t constipated will induce a very runny bowel movement, disrupt your system, and may even irritate the rectum.

When I recommend using a Fleet enema, I’m telling you to buy it for the disposable bottle with insertable tip, not for what’s inside. You rinse out the bottle, fill it with plain warm water, and use it as a douche for your butt. The water stimulates a bowel movement (in a much gentler way than a laxative) and rinses the anal canal and lower rectum. You can also buy a rubber bulb syringe for the same purpose, which is more expensive (it’s not disposable). Bulb syringes are made of thicker, more durable rubber and can be rinsed out and used again.

Apr 182013
 

I want to create a scene for my submissive that combines anal sex and immobilizing bondage. She loves to get fucked when she is confined and can’t really move, and I adore seeing her in a compromising, vulnerable position. What can I say? It makes my dick really hard. My slave girl is pretty flexible, an experienced bondage (and anal) bottom, and she’s always game for lots of new things. I am hoping you can offer some suggestions for good positions as well as any safety concerns I should be aware of.

–Want A Helpless Bondage Bottom

Oooh, you two sound fun! Let’s talk bondage first. I’m not a rope bondage expert, so I’m going to recommend an easy kind of bondage using large, long leather bondage belts that you can find at Stockroom. Have your bottom stand and face you with her arms at her sides. Wrap a belt around her upper arms and torso (above her breasts), securing the buckle on one side of her arm. Do the same thing with a second belt around her stomach and arms between her elbow and wrist. Use a third belt around her waist and just above her wrists. Belt #4 goes just above her knees with a fifth belt around her calves. Move her slowly and put your slave face down on the bed (or the floor, if you’re feeling more sadistic). Secure the final bind: a belt around her ankles (you could also use ankle cuffs clipped together for her ankles). Now you have her in tight confinement and also a great position for anal sex. In fact, this is my favorite position and I re-named it in my book The Anal Sex Position Guide. It’s called “tailgate”: she lies face down on her stomach, and you straddle her and enter her ass. You could stay upright, and pull on the belts, using them as handles. Or you can lay on top of her. The combination of your weight on her and the bondage belts will make her feel truly immobilized.

If you’re interested in doing this with rope bondage, two great resources to see many different ties described and illustrated are famed educator Midori’s book The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage and Jay Wiseman’s Erotic Bondage Handbook. I like Jay Wiseman’s “Split Lark’s Head,” for an arm/chest harness and on the bottom for mid-thighs and down, try his knee-to-knee and ankle-to-ankle bondage.

Mar 272013
 

There has been a lot of talk about HPV recently with the release of the new vaccine. But most of what I read for women concerns HPV in the vagina and PAP smears. As a girl who’s way more into anal sex than vaginal sex, what do I need to know about HPV? Can a person get HPV in their ass, is there a test for it, and how is it treated?

–Concerned Anal Citizen

There are more than one hundred types of the human papillomavirus (HPV), and more than forty different strains can be sexually transmitted and affect these areas: the vulva, vagina, cervix, penis, scrotum, anus, and rectum. HPV is a virus most closely associated with genital warts, although not all forms of HPV cause warts. Some of the strains of HPV are low risk and resolve themselves without treatment. High-risk types of HPV can cause abnormal cell growth and cervical cancer. According to Planned Parenthood,

At any time about 20 million people in the U.S. have [genital HVP infections]. Between 10 and 15 million have high-risk types that are associated with cervical cancer. HPV is so common that about three out of four people have HPV at some point in their lives.

The most common way to spread HPV is through vaginal and anal intercourse, but it can also be spread through rubbing, fingering, oral sex, or sharing sex toys. Condoms protect against HPV, but HPV may be present in the skin not covered by a condom, which is why gloves and dental dams should also be used.

Yes, you can get HPV in your ass. If it is a kind of HPV that manifests as genital warts, they can appear in as little as three weeks or as long as six months after infection. The warts begin as small pink bumps that look like cauliflower florets in or around the anus and rectum; they tend to spread rapidly, forming clumps of bumps that may be itchy. The bumps could be painful if they are irritated. Their incubation period is usually one to six months, but they can grow more rapidly if you are pregnant or have a compromised immune system. Remember, in many cases, someone with HPV may have no visible symptoms at all; in these cases, a physician will be able to see them during a rectal exam with an anoscope. Genital warts can go away on their own; or, they can be removed from the skin by applying chemicals to them (usually acids), burning them with an electric needle (electrocautery), freezing them with liquid nitrogen (cryotherapy) or with laser treatment. Even after visible warts are removed, HPV remains in your body, and the warts can recur.

The strains of HPV that can cause precancerous lesions on the cervix can be detected through a pelvic exam and PAP test. If you have HPV in your ass, it’s less common to have treatable precancerous lesions present since there is no cervix or cervix-like place for them to develop, though it’s still possible to have pre-cancerous cells which precede rectal cancer. To test for the presence of HPV in the ass when there are no warts, a physician takes a swab of the rectum and sends it for laboratory analysis (similar to a vaginal PAP test). If you regularly engage in unprotected anal penetration and think you have been exposed to HPV, you can request a rectal exam and an anal papilloma screening (also known as an anal PAP test). If the PAP results come back abnormal, then you should have an HPV test which tests the cells for the HPV virus. If the HPV virus is detected, you can have a colposcopy where they take a biopsy and can look closer at the cells. You can spread HPV from your ass to your vagina and vice versa, so if it has been discovered in one place, it’s advisable to get the other place checked. People diagnosed with HPV should have regular exams to monitor recurrences and prevent complications.

In 2006, a vaccine for girls and women was released that can prevent four strains of HPV: two of the strains account for 90% of cases of genital warts and two account for 70% of cervical cancer cases. The vaccine, currently marketed under the name Gardasil is recommended by the FDA for girls and women aged 9-26. However, women over 26 who have never been exposed to one or more of the strains of HPV can also benefit from the vaccine. Researchers still know much less about HPV infection in boys and men, including its long term effects, risk of cancer, early detection, and potential treatments, although several drug companies are (including Merck, makers of Gardasil) are conducting clinical trials on the vaccination of boys and men.

Feb 282013
 

My girlfriend loves anal pleasure, but she just cannot handle it. When I finger her asshole, and or touch her pussy at all, she says “it’s too much pleasure to handle.” She has to stop me because she says it feels too good, and that she can’t take it. Because of this, we have never gotten past the two finger mark. But she wants to have my cock in her ass, and of course so do I! How can I get my girlfriend to relax? We think we have tried everything short of drugs, which we don’t want to try. How can I get my girlfriend to give in to the pleasure and loosen up? We both really want to get my cock into her ass without hurting her!

–Help Me Help Her

A woman’s vulva, clitoris, and ass are extremely sensitive and sometimes, if the clitoris in particular is not fully engorged, it can feel overwhelming to have it stimulated. However, it’s rare that women complain that touching or fingering is too pleasurable. It sounds to me like there may be some emotional/psychological issues at work in your girlfriend’s assertion that stimulation feels too good. Perhaps she has some reservations about anal play that are causing her reaction; many people think it’s dirty, unnatural, and taboo, for example.

Your description also makes it sounds as if your girlfriend is tense in general about sex. (Of course drugs are not the answer, so don’t even go there!) I think she needs to explore her feelings about her body, sex, and pleasure and get to the bottom of what may be making her feel tense, overwhelmed, or overstimulated. Be supportive of this process and don’t put pressure on her to figure it out quickly so you can get your dick in her ass. I suspect that once she gets in touch with her inner feelings about these issues, your communication and sex life on the whole will improve, and then you can start to explore anal play together when you’re both in a better frame of mind.