Trick or Treat: Let’s play a game to test your sexual knowledge!
(Answers can be found at the end of the column)
1. Male bodies can only have one orgasm at a time.
2. Nipples and lips are regularly mentioned as the top erogenous zones, after the genitals.
3. Labia Majora is an Italian opera.
4. A fluffer is a sex toy.
5. You can only get pregnant by having sex in the missionary position.
6. Condoms are made of latex, polyurethane, or the intestinal membrane of a lamb.
7. Sexually transmitted infections (STIs) can be passed between sexual partners even when there are no visible symptoms.
8. The perineum is a sensitive and often overlooked, erogenous spot on female and male bodies.
9. Pinching the reservoir before rolling it down, is one of the steps to correctly using a male condom.
10. Vaginal and clitoral orgasms feel the same.
Happy Halloween, Count Dracula!
Menstruation, the physical act of shedding the uterine lining, typically on a 30 day* cycle. There is no reason to avoid having sex while menstruating except for personal preference.
There are lots of ways to engage with a body that is menstruating and yes, some may make a mess.
If you are having sex on the bed, use old sheets that you don’t share with visiting guests or take time to place a towel down. Even if they leave a stain you can dub them the “period sex sheets” and celebrate every time you bring them out.
If laying down or practicing Kama Sutra positions on the bed sounds boring, try changing the location to the shower or tub. Shower heads that can be adjusted for the type of stream (bonus if they are detachable) are great stimulators. Be aware that sex while standing in a shower can be hazardous and I don’t want anyone to get hurt. Make sure your feet feel securely placed and/or you have something to hold onto. If the shower is going to be a regular sex zone, invest in a non-slip mat.
Another option is to pile into the tub! This can be a quieter, more sensual experience by holding and slowly stroking each other. Go big and light some candles, add some music, and try a slow build of pleasure.
Don’t rule out other types of sex! Anal play or anal sex is a great option if no one wants to deal with the menstrual fluids. The anus has lots of nerve endings and may be one of those spots that craves attention and never gets it. Remember, before inserting anything into the anus, that lube is the most important step and should not be skimped on! Also, if you are inserting anything other than a penis or a dildo in a harness, the toy needs to have a flared base and/or ring to hold onto and for easy removal. Please do not become another emergency room statistic.
If you have never put anything in your anus, please learn more before jumping in head first! You can do serious damage to your body or a partner’s by rushing anal sex.
You’ll want to skip oral sex or use a barrier unless you are really, truly a vampire** because ingesting blood can make you very sick or worse, kill you. And sex when you are undead isn’t all that sexy.
CHALLENGE: Spend time on hot spots that do not include the genitals and see how aroused you can get yourself or partner.
Please use protection for the body and for toys, unless you are absolutely certain of your partner’s infection status. Even knowing your partner’s status, protection – male or female condom, latex gloves, dental dam – may help folks with any squeamishness they may have with the blood.
Protection also helps with clean up afterwards.
For the person menstruating having an orgasm or even the sensations that come from being pleasured can feel really, really great! Oxytocin, released by an orgasm, can trigger uterine contractions helping to ease some of the pain related to menstruation. The body also releases dopamine, the feel-good chemical, which can be better than a full dose of Midol! Other perks to sex during mensturation – more natural lube, swollen vagina/vulva equals heightened sensations, and more hormones can mean an increased libido.
Of course no partner is needed to enjoy a body-relaxing, pain-mitigating orgasm. Any sex toy that vibrates can be used on the vulva and clitoris to achieve masturbation success! Don’t have a sex toy – try your fingers, a stream of water in the bath or shower, or get friendly with your washing machine during the spin cycle.
*It is rarely that predictable and the vast majority of female bodies have varying menstrual cycles.
**Vampires are not real.
Answers to the Trick or Treat quiz:
1: Trick. Male bodies can have multiple orgasms. Harder to achieve than for female bodies. Tantric sex focuses on multiple orgasms and orgasms without ejaculation.
2: Treat. These two are often mentioned in studies, polls, and research as the hottest spots on the body, after genitals.
3: Trick. The labia majora are the outer lips of the vulva.
4: Trick. A fluffer is someone who assists in keeping porn actors aroused during filming.
5: Trick. There is nothing magical about the missionary position.
6: Treat. Male condoms are made of all three materials and female condoms are made of polyurethane. Lamb skin condoms (made of intestinal membrane) only offers protection from pregnancy not STIs.
7: Treat. Many STIs do not have visible symptoms. It is important to get tested regularly.
8: Treat. Don’t forget the perineum! Check out my July 4th column to learn more about giving the perineum some love.
9: Treat. Pinching the tip of the condom removes any air so that there is plenty of room for all the semen and sperm upon ejaculation.
10: Trick. Vaginal and clitoral orgasms are felt in different areas of the body and one can be more intense for some womxn and vice versa.
Erin Brandt (she/her/hers) has been a sexologist for 15 years. When she’s not spreading sexual knowledge, Erin can be found learning from her child, hiking with her partner, cuddling with her pitbull, knitting with her cat, dancing with friends, and searching for the nearest hammock and ocean breeze. Want more? Visit www.positivesexed.com