Thursday, December 29, 2016

Books by readers, "I'm horny lol" and whatever the hell else is in my mail today

Note: Sign not necessarily accurate
Oh girl, I get some good reader mail--real good--some so good, I'll never, ever tell you about it.

But among the sexy, flattering, funny and/or smart things, there's always something like this, fresh from today's in-box: "I'm horny. lol."

Yes, obviously "I'm horny. lol" is stupid and pointless and spectacularly ineffectual, but I hated it extra because:
1.  It's just plain selfish (they are horny but don't ask about my own situation).
2.  Use of the word "horny" (ick)
3.  They completely dissipate whatever "heat" they may have generated in the first two words with "lol."

Still. Reader, I married him. JK. Still too soon to tell.

Your Dick Is Fine--You Don't Need to Send Me A Picture Of It
Meanwhile over on Twitter, some dude wanted to send me his dick pic. Since this was a step above the usual unasked for surprise dick pic, I kindly directed him to Critique My Dick Pic. Yet he kept coming back, begging and begging me to look at it, claiming he was from a repressive society and was desperately worried if it looked okay or not. Finally, as no reasonable person would do, I told him to send me the damn dick pic and I'd tell him it was fine. He did, I did. But then, as you might have predicted, he kept writing, wanting me to rank it from one to ten. It was then I finally blocked him, about 15 messages later that you would have, and he will never know that I actually thought his dick was pretty hot, a solid 8 or so, even though I'd only give his personality a 2.

British Audio Porn
In happier news, reader Anonymous wrote me about 8 million years ago about British Filth. "It's a guy who records audio porn with an awesome British accent that is A-mazing.  It's first-person--put on your headphones and he's talking to you," A writes. I test listened to  "Jerk Off With Me" in which the Brit (who sounds like a pervier version of the Headspace meditation guy) instructs the male listerner to wank off along with him. It was indeed super hot and I was semi-wishing I had a dick too, then remembered, Oh yeah, I do.

Books by Readers
While I remain busy never writing my book, these friends of IBWMW have no such psychological barriers and are pounding them out.   

The Goddess Guide to Sex, Love & Life by Caitlin Grace. I completely adore Caitlin Grace because she's a bawdy chick with a cool accent. Her book is about being your bad-ass sexual self and just owning the fuck out of it--even if, especially if, you're an older chick. In one section about "creating sacred sanctuary," she writes about ridding your bedroom of family photos, unread books and such.  "None of that shit belongs in there," she writes, the unwarranted cussing making it that much better.

Inviting Desire by Walker J. Thornton is 30 day plan for midlife women to enhance their sex lives.  Thornton offers earnest practical advice and literary inspiration via Diane Ackerman, Pablo Neruda and D.H. Lawrence.

Of Sound Mind and Someone Else's Body by William Quincy Belle. A man and woman switch bodies and figure out stuff like walking in heels and whether they're gonna kiss. (Extra credit question for future IBWMW Ministers of Overachievement: Would you fuck someone who was residing in your body?) 

****
And finally, the most popular thing I've written lately was a Cosmo piece on sex positions with a dude with a micropenis. It's had about 38K shares so far, 99.9% of them guys tagging their friends on Facebook: "This might help you with that problem you were telling me about." Bam!

At the same time the article came out, an actual baby started following me on Twitter. However, I suspect it's unrelated.

Anyway, I'll try to write you something good to make up for it all because I miss your ass. A lot.

xoxo
jill

Tuesday, December 27, 2016

Reader Mail--Japanese Edition! "This is art, dude!"

The sadness of unfavorable penis-to-bowtie size ratio.
I'm been on a bit of an extended Japanese jag, so let's finish this tangent off with some reader mail, shall we?

--Christina sent an email with the subject line--but of course--"Sooo...this made me think of you."

"I abhor parades," she wrote. "But this? Definitely a must see. Japan's Annual Penis Festival Is As Phallic As You'd Expect."

Yes, April 6 was Kanamara Matsuri, the "Festival of the Steel Phallus," which features phallic-centric activities such as the wearing of penis hats and the sucking of penis lollipops. (April 7, I think, marks the "The Day Penis Lollipops Are 50% Off.")

The celebration, the continuation of an ancient tradition, is a jolly street festival with penis seesaws, much crossdressing and giant penises being hoisted down the street. The woman hoisting that giant penis down there (below) doesn't look especially jolly about her role in the day, but in truth, I'm not certain what the appropriate expression is, really, for heavy penis hauling. I assume she is pondering the series of life choices that led to this exact moment in her life. But perhaps I am projecting.

Woman questioning life choices.
The penis, by contrast, looks quite happy, despite its lack of accompanying body. Everyone likes to be acknowledged, I guess. Or perhaps it's the penis' still unrealized hope that this will be the year they finally run into the Hime-no-miya Masuri, or Grand Vagina Festival.

--Next, this from Trista, who through international efforts, solved the mystery of what the talking onahole is saying:

"Hi! My friend [ed: let's call him Anonymous] is partway through a JET career in Okinawa. Though raised in the US, his father and extended family hail from that southern archepelago of Japan. Anonymous-san is currently engaged teaching the wonders of English to middle school Japanese students, the bravest of whom might possess their very own 'onahole'.

Anyway, I sent him your posting, and this was his response. :) I was hoping he'd send it in, but apparently he's shy:


What the Onahole is saying is (roughly): "Read the attached warning!"
 

The other stuff is just notes on various features of the product. e.g., the grey bubble on the top right reads: "THIS IS ART, DUDE! The start of the sinewy shaft is a perfect reproduction!" (I'm taking license with the translation. Direct translation sounds weird as hell.)

He also notes that the "ona" is for onanism (see also: How Wanking It Created The Universe and Other Theories on Masturbation). Thank you, Trista and Anonymous-san! It's oddly pleasing to me to think of dear, shy Anonynous-san way over there in Japan poring over tiny Onahole kanji so we all may Learn.

--And finally James alerted us to the existence of the Furu Furi Ona Shaker, which is an Onahole cleaner, somewhat like a cocktail shaker but with really awesome graphics on the outside. Look!

I like that guy there at the bottom with the big ol' afro shaking his Onahole clean. He does a nice job on Glee too.

Shown here forcing Sue Sylvester to behold his freshly cleansed Onahole.
But mostly I love the cheery expression on the little white shaker character. Like there's nothing he likes more the sight of someone's ravaged splooge-filled Onahole headed his way.

My series of life choices? A-OK!
Ads for the shaker feature a somewhat confusing series of diagrams which seem to be instructions on cleaning one's well-fucked and now languid, post-coital Onahole, like this:
Step #4
...and this....?

....Huh?

...but could just as easily be instructions on making the world's ickiest knickknack.

"World's Greatest Lover"

xoxo
jill

(source for photo of sad clown man)

Monday, December 19, 2016

DIY Edible Underwear

These were called Candypants. Shiny.
"New business idea," writes Janet in response to Taste Like Your Worst Nightmare. "Gourmet edible undies for foodies -- stuff like Meyer lemon tart that you sprinkle powdered sugar on after said panty wearer has them on. Molten lava cake that comes with whip cream lube. Then there's the savory edition so you could actually skip dinner and go straight to the sex--sushi flavored panties in assorted fancy rolls, beef wellington, and for the vegetarian, quinoa with chick peas and kale. I think there's a big opportunity here:)"

Yeah... Maybe.... 'Cept it's kinda been done. As my genius friend Bill put it on Facebook yesterday, "Yes, yes. This is every goddamn day of my life," linking to The Onion's Best, Most Original Idea Man Has 114, 000 Search Results.

Which brings us to this instructional (sewing pattern? recipe?) for DIY Beef Jerky Underwear.
Yep.

The recipe contains hot sauce and liquid smoke, which seems problematic, but I suppose if you're come to terms with the other accompanying comfort issues inherent with crotch/dried meat contact, you're probably good.

Isn't this wasteful? asked one earnest commenter.

"Where is the waste?" answered another. "They are edible. No doubt the plan is to eat them off your partner. [D]epend[ing on] the size they would be good for more than one fun time activity, pretty much guaranteeing they will be consumed to the last bit."

So, yeah, problem solved. You gnaw away at it until it all gets too sexy and arousing and the meat underwear must --must, please now!--be savagely and hastily removed. Then, next time you're feeling randy, drag those raggedy-ass, half-eaten jerky pants out of the pantry and don them suggestively. Maybe run around a bit or do a few squats, to further arouse your partner as well as soften them up for easier chewing.

My favorite comment was from one Wazzupdoc. "Let's bump this up a notch. Jump in the hot-tub to soften things up a bit and chew away! Secondary benefit? Soup!"

xoxox
jill

ps.  In Bed With Married Women is currently the #1 highest-rated and #3 best-selling erotica blog on Kindle. Clearly Amazon has a pretty loose definition/strange concept of erotica, but I'll take it. Though I do feel a bit sorry for anyone buying it expecting some sexytime reading and instead discovering a big ol' picture of meat underwear.


(photo source)

Monday, December 5, 2016

7 Reasons Why Breakups Suck So Damn Bad

Hey there, gorgeous. This ran in Alternet and Salon, but I thought you might like it delivered here to your virtual doorstep. I learned a ton of interesting stuff on this one, mainly that I have the emotional maturity/coping skills of a traumatized baby lab monkey.
*****

There are plenty of good reasons why the death of a relationship is so unbearable. There's shame, failure, guilt, anger/incredulousness at the other person's inability to see how incredible you are and sadness over that very same thing, plus the personal rejection of your Very Being.

The Czechs have a lovely word for it: litost. "Litost is a state of torment created by the sudden sight of one's own misery," writes Milan Kundera in The Book of Laughter and Forgetting.

But this torment is more than just the nature of breakups, the need to experience darkness to appreciate the light, blah blah blah. Breakups also activate all kinds of neurochemical, physical and psychological fuckery that makes the whole business even more painful. Stupid biology.
To wit:
--Breakups turn you into a jonesing addict.
If the beginning of a love affair is a kind of chemical-fueled madness, so is the ending, but in reverse. In one of the crueler aspects of neurochemistry, just when you're hitting the personal low of a breakup is also when dopamine—the reward chemical that made you feel so damn good in the beginning-- decides to flee the scene, making you desperate for another hit. Dopamine acts in the same way as any drug of abuse, according to Helen Fisher in Why We Love: The Nature and Chemistry of Romantic Love: “If the beloved breaks off the relationship, the lover shows all the common signs of withdrawal, including depression, crying spells, anxiety,insomnia, loss of appetite (or binge eating), irritability, and chronic loneliness. Like all addicts, the lover then goes to unhealthy, humiliating, even physically dangerous lengths to procure their narcotic.” (Note: Having tried the “unhealthy, humiliating” Plan of Action, I can advise with some authority that it's not gonna go well for you.)

--Breakups actually hurt, physically.
In one study researchers had subjects “who recently experienced an unwanted breakup view a photograph of their ex-partner as they think about being rejected.” This was pretty cruel and probably not worth the 50 bucks or whatever the subjects got, but we learned that psychic trauma activates the same parts of the brain that process physical pain. Meaning, your brain experiences emotional pain as it would if you spilled hot coffee on yourself. Or, more accurately, kept spilling coffee on yourself every time you heard that one song on the radio, went on Instagram, etc...

--Breakups are depressing, officially.
In a study of poor sods who'd been rejected by a partner within the past 8 weeks, 40% experienced clinically measurable depression, with 12% of those having moderate to severe depression. All breakups involve an amount of grief (and indeed, in another of those “think about how much your break up sucked while we look at your brain with an MRI” studies, the parts of the brain associated with grief lit up.) but sometimes the grief becomes “complicated grief.” Complicated grief is an unwieldy beast of grief lasting 6 months or more (or, way too much virtual hot coffee spilling), featuring unpleasantries like over-rumination and mooning, bad dreams, and the excessive playing of Elliot Smith songs.

--Your stupid brain can actually start to get off on your suffering.
Anyone who has looked in the mirror to examine their tragic selves mid-cry knows there is a certain joy in one's own deep suffering. But sometimes that sort of self-schadenfreude can become addictive in itself. In some people, enduring grief triggers the reward center in their brains, making them seek the dark feelings so they can get a little happy chemical hit.

--You lose your sense of self.
Without the identity created within the relationship (i.e.“We like paddleboarding”), some emerge bleary-eyed from a breakup with a hazy sense of who they are. The sort of psychic rootlessness is compounded by the loss of the sense of having a secure base within the relationship and with that partner. “Wherever that person is, that's your emotional home,” writes Emily Nagoski, Ph.D. in Come As You Are. Without that, you're kind of homeless, emotionally.

--It's even worse for people with “anxious attachment styles.”
Only half of people in U.S. have a “secure attachment style,” that is, they have relationships easily and trust others like normal healthy people, while the rest of us flounder about, either clinging too much (attachment anxious) or preemptively cutting and running (attachment avoidant). Those with attachment anxious styles show “greater preoccupation with the lost partner, greater perseveration over the loss, more extreme physical and emotional distress, exaggerated attempts to reestablish the relationship, partner-related sexual motivation, angry and vengeful behavior, interference with exploratory activities, dysfunctional coping strategies, and disordered resolution.” Meanwhile, for the attachment avoidant—you know who you are—there was little such emotional fallout. Bastards.

--Breakups kick in our survival biology.
Attachment is a survival mechanism. A baby needs secure attachment or it will die. “When (our relationships) are threatened, we do whatever it takes to hold on to them, because there are no higher stakes than our connection with our attachment objects,” writes Nagoski, citing Harry Harlow's “monster mother” studies. Harlow bonded infant monkeys with mechanical “mothers,” then rigged the mothers to shake the babies, spike them or jet cold air on them to force them away. The babies responded to this rather shabby treatment by running right back into the arms of those unpredictably cruel, rejecting mothers. Not only that, they became desperate to fix the relationship and tried to win back the mother by flirting with her, grooming and stroking her. That is, behavior some among us may recognize quite well.

So yeah, it's bad. With the combination of biological, chemical and emotional havoc a breakup causes, it's a wonder any of us ever get over it. But we do. If you can just accept you're going to be fucked for a while--and not in the way you'd like—the appeal of spending car rides furtively weeping to Joni Mitchell's “All I Want” will eventually fade and you will indeed get over it. At some point. You might have to listen to a whole lot of “All I Want.”

In the meantime, take solace in the words of Nietzche and Louis CK, two dudes not exactly known for being consoling. “Ultimately, it is the desire, not the desired, that we love,” wrote Nietzche. That is, that passion is still in you regardless of who its recipient is. And hell, the next person might be even better at appreciating it. And said Louis CK, in a typically genius statement that could apply to any relationship: “No good marriage has ever ended in divorce. It's really that simple.”

In other words, you're probably better off without 'em. Sorta. 

xoxo
jill

Tuesday, November 29, 2016

Diagnosis: A Case of Femaleness

I look GOOD. Damn good.
In the past few days, I've hit a perfect storm of media consumption that has spun me into a feminist spiral. So if you're not into wild-eyed ranting, please avert your eyes.

It all started with a friggin' Campfire girl meeting. A high school girl showed a short film she'd made on body image, then in a halting, nervous voice told about her struggles with an eating disorder. By the end, every mother there was in tears. In tears! Because we totally got it. We all had our thing--too fat, too thin, hair too weird, butt too little, butt too big, etc...--that made us so horribly not right.

The next night, I watched a Netflix doc called "Orgasm Inc." It was about how in the past few years, pharmaceutical companies, along with willing shills in the medical community, have popularized the "disease" of Female Sexual Dysfunction (FSD). (Not to be confused with FTD, which provides human females with unattractive flower arrangements).

"I think there is dissatisfaction and perhaps disinterest among a lot of women, but that doesn't mean they have a disease," said Dr. Sandra Leiblum, professor of psychiatry at Robert Wood Johnson Medical School in "Myth of female impotence 'created'" in the BBC News.

Word.

I'm not arguing that some women don't have sexual problems that could be improved medically, but a lot of the FDS "symptoms" are just the way women are. Yes, women can take a long time to come, yes, women can take awhile to get aroused (note: FTD flowers will not speed arousal time), and, yes, women get pissed at their mates which, yeah, fucking does affect desire.

In this study of FDS among women in Lower Egypt:  Marital disharmony, 'hate' and unfavourable socio-economic circumstances were the most common aggravating factors (28.1%) for sexual dysfunction among the participants, followed by pregnancy-related events.

I'm not a doctor, but as far as I know, there is not a pill for curing "unfavourable socio-economic circumstances" and the like. (Although if there were, I would so fucking take it.)

One middle-aged women in Orgasm, Inc., ("middle-aged" = older than me) volunteered to be a guinea pig in some freaky-ass experimental procedure in which electrodes were inserted into her back. Into her back, as in under her skin. Did I mention that this was a totally untested procedure by, for all she knew, a completely iffy doctor?

The implants did nothing for her besides causing her to kick her left leg at random times. (This new trick, while novel and exciting, did not help her sex life.) The creepy invasive procedure did nothing to cure her "problem" which was--oh, dear god--inability to come during intercourseNot inability to have an orgasm. Not inability to come if someone paid a whit of attention to her clit. No, this woman, raised on the notion that women's sexuality is just like men's--stick in it, pull it out, repeat til orgasm--believed that if she couldn't come from penetration alone, she was "ill."

I so wish she could have read an article like this from RH Reality Check which took special care to state in the very biggest and boldest of fonts:

The majority of women -- according to most studies, at least 70% -- do not and will not reach orgasm through vaginal intercourse or vagina-only stimulation (like "fingering" that's only about vaginal insertion) only.

So yeah, a little testosterone might help you out a bit (I said might--even this isn't certain), but seems to me the best way to alleviate FSD would be to spend a little time on arousal, make sure the female parts that feel pleasure are actually the parts that get stimulated (did I really just have to fucking write that sentence?)...plus a bunch of boring stuff like providing favorable economic conditions for the ladies and whatnot.

What is that? You have more sexual problems, you say? You've suddenly realized that your vag is not completely normal as you'd thought for years and years, but, in fact, hideously ugly and in need of surgical intervention. Don't worry, my ugly little freak, Vaginal Rejuvenation (i.e. plastic surgery for your vag) will fix any and all labia deemed unsightly.

What's sightly and what is not? Well, the highly lucrative Genital Mutilation Vaginal Rejuvenation centers that have popped up in the last few years (Hey....isn't that about the same time you started becoming displeased with your own vag? *shrugs* Weird.) have to find some way to keep the ladies coming in so currently they've determined that "too long" labia are "out." If you go ahead and get them shortened, I sure hope that long labia don't come into vogue because then you'll be bumming, huh?! (See also: The Sneetches by Dr. Seuss).

Check out these before and after Gential Muti Vaginal Rejuvenation photos from one place "helping" women.


Seriously!!!??? Not only did this chick not realize that she had a perfectly fine vag (I think it's a good one, actually, don't you?) but she actually thought it was so heinous that it required surgery--surgery!--to "correct". (Expensive surgery too. When I googled "vaginal rejuvenation" for you, the sponsored link offered a raffle for $1000 off. If they're offering $1000 off, you know that $%$# ain't cheap. Although I have to admit that the concept of a vag. rejuvenation raffle is sort of appealing in its utter wrongness. Coming soon...penile bleaching cake walk.)

Okay.

I would hope that we women would all come to our fucking senses and just...stop it. Realize how totally fine we are and get on with more important things (see above: taking time with and enjoying arousal). At the very least, I can think of about 6 million better ways to spend our time and money than getting friggin' surgery.

However, as it looks now, I think that the only things that's changing is that more men are buying into this crap too with their pec implants, ED drugs, and the like.

My big wish is that one day someone will be lying on an operating table, legs open wide as they watch a surgeon walking toward them eyeing their groin and wielding some sharp pointy thing and the patient ("patient" = "regular person misled by fucked up societal norms") will think, "What the fucking hell am I doing?!?"

And, O, they shall Rise Up and Spread their Enlightenment among the people, who shall toss aside their sense of shame and unworthiness, and be free to rush forth into the forest where they shall fuck freely and joyfully under the dense green canopy of the trees. (Note: future scenario includes ecological renewal, elimination of STDs, and men and women with true knowledge of each other's sexualities. Void where prohibited by law.)

xoxo
jill

P.S. Meanwhile, just yesterday, I paid $45 for a tube of cream that promises to even out skin tone. One of the ingredients "might cause mercury poisoning."

Fuck.

(photo source)

Tuesday, November 15, 2016

The Death of Passion and What the Hell to Do About It, According to People Who Think About Such Things

They have not worked on their Love Maps
Note: this article ran first on AlterNet then on Salon. Only the (third) best for you, my friend!

 *****

There are only two tragedies in life: one is not getting what one wants, the other is getting it,” said Oscar Wilde.

Passion is a tricky, elusive thing. Once captured, it flounders. But why does it wither when domesticated? Why do sexy intense beginnings so often lead to boring, sexless or otherwise meh middles and ending? Why aren't we having sex with our dear, highly-available partner, like, all the time?

Our senses crave novelty. Any change alerts them, and they send a signal into the brain. If there's no change, no novelty, they doze and register little or nothing. A constant state—even of excitement—in time becomes tedious, fades in the background because our senses have evolved to report only changes,” writes Diane Ackerman in A Natural History of the Senses.*

Or, says my friend Matthew, who thinks deeply on such things: “Once you're with someone, they become your family. And you don't want to have sex with people in your family.” Which is true enough, especially that last bit.

But these Big Thinkers in the field say you can re-find passion, though they offer differing--sometimes wildly so—theories on how to do it. With the right philosophical constructs guiding your behavior, perhaps you'll soon be happily fucking your beloved family member again. Though you'll probably want to phrase that differently in your head.

Corporate lawyer turned writer and speaker on sex, relationships and porn. Co-hosts Your Brain on Porn website with husband Gary Wilson.
The Big Idea: 'Karezza” sex can help hack your neurochemicals, which thanks to the cruel cruel Coolidge Effect, make you feel less satisfied with your partner over time. Even if, actually especially if, they are really great at pleasing you.
The Fix: The neurochemicals that make us so giddy with the first flush of love only last two years, tops. After that, the buzz wears off and couples get habituated (the nicer, more sciencey term for bored). Instead of trying to jack things up with new positions or sexy clown costumes which can further numb response to pleasure, slow things down with karezza sex, a form of affectionate, sensual sex that generally doesn't result in orgasm. This sex, according to Robinson, strengthens lovers' bonds and results in more frequent and satisfying sex. “It's like learning to diet by eating smarter, rather than struggling to eat less,” writes Robinson. “As my husband says, 'My limbic brain stays enchanted because I don't attempt to fertilize you.'” (Her husband, it will not surprise you to learn, is a science professor.)
Test drive: Practice a “bonding behavior” like gazing into each other's eyes for several minutes or lying with your head on your partner's chest and listening to their heartbeat or synchronized breathing.

American Orthodox rabbi, author and TV host.
The Big Idea: Women are deep and endless sources of sexuality. Exploring that eroticism leads to richer, more profound sexual/spiritual connection.
The Fix: A woman's sexuality is “much deeper and longer lasting than a man's. In the face of such intensity, most husbands fear they can't measure up,” writes Boteach in The Kosher Sutra: 8 Sacred Secrets for Reigniting Desire and Restoring Passion for Life. But for the husband who's brave enough to jump in there and explore, there are sublime pleasures to be uncovered. “There is a part of us, a passionate part that is raw, instinctive, animal, visceral, and not attuned to social norms. It's incredibly erotic to witness this side of a person become revealed. A man who can arouse a woman to this level of abandonment witnesses something incredible,” writes Boteach, in perhaps the hottest collection of sentences you'll ever read by a rabbi. This deep sensuality flows into the rest of life, giving everything an “erotic pulse.”
To get to that place, Boteach recommends “Kosher Tantric” sex, including delayed orgasm to prolong sex, making it into “a worship of the divine spark in each other.” He's also against going to the bathroom in front of each other—ruins the mystery.
Test drive: Try the Jewish custom of abstaining from sex for two weeks when the woman starts her period. “Every month, there must be two weeks devoted to physical love, and two weeks devoted to intellectual communication and emotional intimacy," Boteach writes in Kosher Sex: A Recipe for Passion and Intimacy. It may sound a bit old school and rigid, but the forbiddenness fostered by abstinence can build lust, plus the on/off plan happens to correspond nicely with most women's monthly swings of desire.
Writer, speaker, couples and family therapist.
The Big Idea: We need safety and security in a relationship, yet we also need adventure and excitement. The problem is that satisfying either of these needs sort of negates the other. The trick is riding the wave between security and excitement, figuring out ways to introduce novelty, risk and mystery into the familiar and comfortable.
The Fix: The erotic thrives on power plays, thwarted desire, threats of rivals and other non-safe and lovey ideas. Tap into these rich sources of desire by questioning your ideas about what's “acceptable” to you—for a lot of people their greatest sources of excitement and pleasure have to do with childhood hurts. Being willing to poke around in these dark areas of your erotic brain is a potent natural fuel for pleasure.
Test drive: Embrace the “shadow of the third.” In every relationship, there are other players, whether actual infidelities, flirtations or agreed upon partners. Accepting this and working with it--whether by actually introducing others into your marital sex, negotiating monogamy or just feeling the arousal of a threat (perceived or real) of a romantic rival—beats complacency back and helps you see your mate as the desirable creature that they are.

Husband and wife psychologists who run the Gottman Institute and the Relationship Research Institute.
The Big Idea: Married people do best when they behave like good friends and handle conflicts in gentle positive ways.
The Fix: The Gottmans are known their Love Labs in which they observed couples and found that future divorcees tended to handle conflict via what the Gottmans call “The 4 Horseman of the Apocalypse”: stonewalling, contempt, defensiveness and withdrawal. So don't do those.
Good behaviors, which lack a catchy 4 Horseman-like name: Respond positively to your partner's “bids” (bids are requests for emotional connections via a question, quick hug and such). Create a love map--a mental list of your partner's preferences, dreams, and sexual proclivities. Create rituals for initiating and refusing sex to minimize miscommunication and feelings of rejection. The resulting atmosphere of kindness and communication is conducive to “personal sex” that's focused on intimacy instead of intercourse.
Test Drive: “Plan time for activities like hot baths, back rubs, touching, holding and simply making each other feel good physically and emotionally. If sex happens, that's fine. But if it doesn't, you'll still have met your expectation of enjoying time together,” advise the Gottmans.
 
Psychologist, sex therapist and director of the Marriage and Family Health Institute.
The Big Idea: Passion (as well as a healthy relationship) depends on “differentiation,” that is, each partner cultivating a strong sense of self, despite their partner's (very normal) efforts to thwart that growth.
The Fix: When partners work on becoming differentiated, it creates tension and gridlock. This coupled, with what Schnarch delightfully calls “normal marital sadism,” can lead to marital breakdown, but it's actually an opportunity. Gridlock and tension create a dynamic environment for growth and helps passion thrive. Anxiety is also good. Instead of working on anxiety reduction, couples should work on ways to tolerate anxiety via self-soothing. “Anxiety is often part of the best sex we ever have. It's part of growing sexually. Anxiety makes us pay attention to what's going on,” writes Schnarch.
During sex, couples should focus on the connection, working on truly feeling their partner as they touch them. Also good is “hugging til relaxed” which is pretty much what it sounds like.
Test drive: Try for “eyes-open orgasm.” Looking deep into each other's eyes adds intimacy and meaning to sex. The more you do it, the longer you can do it and the deeper the connection.

Let me know if any of this works for you.
xoxo
jill

*This, however, does not explain why there are so many strip clubs called Deja Vu. "That? Again?"

Thursday, November 10, 2016

Postpartum

Meanwhile, in a parallel universe
So depressing was my image of the post-election day Fuck Chair yesterday that several people were compelled to write to me asking if I was okay.  Which yes, and I am beyond grateful that so many people would be on the lookout (you never know!).  And of course, at the same time, I am also not okay with what the fuck happened on election day.

Yesterday my mother called us and on speaker phone gave my girls an incredibly moving speech about not listening to the messages they were hearing and to know that they still had value, dammit.  This is something you don't generally have to tell people. Anyway, at the end we were all weeping.

Then my 15 year old daughter went and made a Sim of Tr*mp wetting his own pants while over-Tweeting. My friend said we shoulda done the one where he was in a pool then taken away the ladder, but this felt like a cleaner, though immature, schadenfreude.



Oh. Yeah.

Today I am in the anger phrase which I expressed by writing a disturbingly long comment to some dude on Facebook I barely know. I recognize that that was not a good use of my time.

In other news that now sounds jarringly hollow and not nearly as fun as it did when it heard it last week, I was #8 on Kinkly's Top 100 Sex Blogging Superheroes of 2016. I adore the site and turn to it for surreptitious midnight web searches on "How do you do X?" or "Wtf is Y?" But what wrecked me* the most with how they so got what I'm trying to do here:  "This blog is funny - like, hilarious - but it's also thoughtful in a way that leaves you feeling a little better about yourself after you read it. We like that.

And, yes, I do hope I leave you feeling a little better about yourself sometimes, or at least that I've reminded you to do all necessary peeing before embarking on a Tweet storm.

xoxo
jill

* I am highly motivated by extrinsic rewards.  Not good, but hey, it's not smoking crack so I'm not gonna worry about it too much.

Wednesday, November 9, 2016

November 9, 2106

If you need me, I'll be sitting here for a while. 

xoxox
jill

Tuesday, November 8, 2016

12 Things I Learned On My Sex Toy Factory Tour!

Butt plugs patiently awaiting their destiny
“It's kind of like Wonka's Chocolate Factory, but for sex toys :-),” emailed Erica Braverman, Communications and PR Manager for Doc Johnson, inviting me to tour their North Hollywood factory.

The 215,000 square ft sex toy factory, the largest in North America, once housed a novelty company until Ron Braverman, Erica's father, bought the business in 1976 and ditched everything but the sex toys. “A few of our initial product offerings included our 8” Classic Dong, Motion Lotion, and our Classic Butt Plug in three sizes,” says Erica. In a market where it's now not (that) weird to use the word “classic” when describing a butt plug, Doc Johnson is thriving, cranking out 2,500 different products, 75% of them made in America.

When I got to the factory, instead of being greeted by a chocolate river—which, for the record, would have been nice--there were gigantic cans of mystery substances labeled enigmatically, like “black jelly base, fresh breeze scent.” And, to my delight, the factory floor truly was Wonka-esque. Everywhere I looked, there were brightly colored sex toys being molded, shaped, and otherwise being handled in a way that would constitute sexual harassment were they real body parts.

After popping my eyes back into my head, I managed to learn a few things about sex toys and the industry as a whole. Namely:

--People put some big-ass stuff up their holes.
There were butt plugs half the size of traffic cones, dildos the size of a grown man's forearm, and if that wasn't gonna do the trick, dildos shaped like actual arms. There were not just a few of these supersizers to service a niche market of people with especially receptive orifices, there were a lot. Stacks everywhere.

--Flavored lubes are no longer just that one cloying strawberry flavor.
There is an insanely huge array of lubes, gels and body icings to make your partner's private parts taste less like private parts and more like marshmallow fluff, red licorice or red velvet cake. A cinnamon bun spray I tried was surprisingly good. (For a more literal interpretation of “cinnamon bun,” there's a hot cinnamon anal lube, perhaps so you can freshen your breath while licking someone's ass. #Multitasking.) Inexplicably, ye olde strawberry is still the top seller. I imagine that they're shipping most of these back to 1975, but I didn't ask.

--The person molding your next strap-on is most likely a kindly-looking Latino woman in her 40s or 50s.
Doc's line workers move diligently and efficiently, weaving pubes onto disembodied vulvas or hot ironing genitalia to get it just so. As they brusquely power sand various body parts—a sight which is extremely difficult not to anthromorphize--most wear the kind of expression of someone who could be just as easily be slapping labels on cans of peas. Long inured to the sight of a big pile of unpainted dildos awaiting their attention, their demeanor is somewhere between “Sigh, these realistic veins aren't gonna paint themselves” and a serenity akin to companionable silence of a longtime sewing circle, but with pubic hair.

--Sex cosmetics are a thing and it's a huge market.
Sex cosmetics promise all kinds of magical-sounding benefits and include everything from sprays that plump lips, prevent dry mouth and numb the throat for optimal oral sex to lubes that warm, cool and/or enhance sensitivity. There's a Sta-Erect cream, a prolonging spray and all manner of arousal gels including a new “liquid vibrator” that somehow starts vibrating after application which, if you must know, I'm too afraid to try. There's also fake cum (several types!) as well as faux pee.

--What, exactly, is the taste of faux pee?
If it's from a Piss Off cock, that would be “tropical.”

--There is a real artist behind what you're putting in your behind.
Doc's sculptor/artist's is Anjani Siddhartha, an earthy, sexy woman of indeterminate age who is currently working on a toy that looks like a finial for a curtain rod. Like that bad recurring 1993 SNL skit where the shopkeeper saw everything through the lens of “you can put your weed in it,” Siddhartha looks at everything—yes, including your finials—to see could be made fuckable. Surprisingly often, the answer is yes.

--Fake vaginas, like real ones, are full of mystery.
My three takeaways.
--Fake vaginas have no curb appeal. All the good stuff is near the entry point and inside, so the outside is just kind of a flesh colored rubbery rectangle. Thus, packaging on fake Vs is hugely important.
--There is no preference in labia shape or size. Any woman still worried about her own equipment can stop this very second.
--Porn stars regularly come in to have molds taken of their body parts. For the female porn stars molds, the labia is an accurate, spot-on re-creation, but the inside is generic, that is, pussy approximate.

--Sex toy exec really read those online user product reviews.
Even the weird ones like this Amazon review for the Belladonna's Magic Hand, black which reads “...easy to clean and don't smell too bad.”

--The Next Big Thing is anal.
"Toys for heterosexual man are a huge emerging market,” says Erica. “Straight men are discovering they have a prostate, which basically like the female g-spot.” To facilitate these tentative explorers, Doc has several beginner anal training kits, with sets of butt plugs, a vibrator and lube, so you can “kind of work your way up,” says Erica. She likens their popularity to the appeal of well-stocked makeup kits. You might not use all those eye shadows (or...butt plugs) but it's fun to have the array of options.

--Branding has made it to the sex toy industry.
Before sex toys went mainstream, you got what you got, style-wise—generally that style statement was a combo of utilitarian and sleazy. Now it's kinda gauche to stick just any old thing between your legs. High-end stuff that's more artsy/less body part-looking is big, like the Tryst Multi-Erogenous Zone Vibrator. Branding at Doc's includes the upscale, GQ-ish OptiMALE line, a line with Kink.com full of black leather and fucking machines, and WonderLand, with toys packaged like a whimsical fairy tale book. If a Tim Burton character needed to take the edge off, they would for sure reach for a WonderLand toy.

--At Doc Johnson, there is no official job of Product Tester.
Sorry.

--Not all factory tours end with some sort of poetic comeuppance, ala Wonka tours.
That is, I was not overfucked by an onslaught of dildos for my sin of Lust. Still unsure if that's good or bad. 

xoxo
jill, home now with a huge bag of swag.

This article originally appeared on AlterNet as "11 Amazing Things I Learned at Touring a Sex Toy Factory." Meaning, yes, you got a bonus bit of knowledge.

Tuesday, October 25, 2016

The Importance of Comparison Shopping When Buying A Wearable Vagina

These appear to be the $499 pair
I am here today to address the person who bought the Wearable Panty Latex Vagina for Transvestites and Crossdressers* through the Amazon link there in the right margin.

It's not that you bought a wearable vagina. That's all good with me. Transitioning is no picnic and even if you're just mucking about with toy genitalia, well, we all know about Buck, my big ol' fake penis. If I needed a vagina, or even just a spare, I'd totally buy one. I would buy the fuck out of one. No problem.

What I want to talk to you about is the need to comparison shop. I know I'm sort of cheap but if I were laying down $79.99, plus $8.99 shipping--well, 90 bucks is a lot of money and a wearable vagina is a pretty important purchase. I say do a little research first.

I mean, at least look at the photo:



I haven't actually tried this pair on, but c'mon, you can tell by looking that these things don't breathe. It's made of latex, for fuck's sake.

However, if I had tried this pair on, my pair might end up being the exact ones you get when you order yours. You see, the company that makes them seems pretty lenient with their return policy:

Under no circumstance can any of these items be returned or exchanged because of health considerations and laws! However, "with our permission", an "unused" garment may be returned for an exchange, if it is in its original packaging.

I'm not a germaphobe, really at all, but I am very uncomfortable with the cheeky quotation marks there. "Unused"?

Still, some people love latex, and you may not care whether or not your vag is "unused," but there's still the problematic design and I'm not talking about that too-high waist that makes them look like the very worst pair of granny panties ever.

You gots to read the reviews, my friend. Like this one:  "Crotch connection too narrow and doesn't cover testicles." Balls hanging out ruin the illusion at best and, at worst, make you look like you should seek immediate medical attention.

62.5% of reviewers gave this vagina a 1-star review, complaining of the cheap material and foam butt "padded by that home insulation spray glue stuff," says a review titled "terrible." I don't like those odds.

But the deal-breaker for me would have this review called "Sad Pussy": "It was made of cheap rubber loose at crotch ripped the rubber at crotch when moved cannot wear anymore never buy it again."

I'm not sure if it's the fear of the cheap material suddenly having a pinata-like explosion of crotch rip/inopportune wiener exposure or the fact that they're "loose at the crotch" making them the Period Panties of latex vaginas.

I started looking around for another vaginal option for you (IBWMW--at your service!) but got frightened away by the cost of this $499 little number. ($30 shipping for something the same size as the other vag?--that's how they get ya!)



They look okay, I guess, but I don't see the reason for the extra $300 + price increase. I assume the crotch pixelation is on the photo only and not on the undies themselves. Also, I guess listing the panty's color as "hair" is just a typo. I remain open to the possibility that this really is one hell of a pair of hair-colored pussy panties. If anyone tries a pair, do let me know if they're worth it.

In any event, here are some things to consider.

1. Look at the weather. "I recommend using baby powder before putting it on, and if it's hot and humid it will tend to start to become a little uncomfortable for long time wear," writes a wise reviewer.
2. Look at your skin tone. Are you black? Heed the words of this review: "My black friends all want some too but when they try my pair on it just looks comical! I can't take our sexy time seriously with the bi-tone skin colors in my face."  This is an excellent point.
3. Look at your belly. These only come in small and medium. If you have any kind of extra flab, you risk a vagina panty muffin top which takes a certain panache to pull off.

Anyway, dear reader, I am grateful that you bought it through IBWMW and I hope that the pair you get won't pop open, make your balls hang out, or be anything but "unused." Don't forget to suck in your stomach and put on a fuck of a lot of baby powder if it's hot.

Thank you again for your purchase.

xoxo
jill

*Update 10/24/16: Alas, sad pussy is no longer available. 

(photo via the lovely Lady Cheeky)

Thursday, September 29, 2016

Why I Watch Gay Porn

[note:  I wrote this post in 2011 and it's what converted me to gay porn. Wonder if I agree with anything I wrote?* Also check out my new AlterNet article on my Doc Johnson sex toy factory tour!]

Dear reader Anonymous was slogging through the dangerous back waters of the blog and stumbled across What Is Feminist Porn Anyway?, a post in which I was all hepped up on an artsy porn film, Matinee** because the actors not only seemed to be enjoying sex, but also each other. Wrote Anonymous:
What you qualify here as feminist porn seems to describe quite closely a gay male art/porn film I just saw a preview of. I just think that the thing with most straight porn is that it eroticizes a socially-established power imbalance, ie, I'm a male, I'm gonna stick it into you and you better "ohyeahfuckyeah" enjoy it. Here's the excerpt if the possibility of seeing two guys fucking doesn't turn you off.
I dutifully looked at the link Anon sent, but for the life of me, couldn't find the film. I did however see a frighteningly elongated male nipple, which kind of scared me..

However, I aim to please, so I went to another porn site and watched some gay (male) porn. The first film had two Spanish young men, frolicking about in a big white bed like two little puppies. They were smiling and completely adorable, like those two dudes in Y Tu Mama Tambien, and though they were speaking in Spanish, it was easy to get the idea. I mean, I think we can all figure out what "pene" means.  (hint: not the tubular pasta, though you are on track with the tubular idea.) The film was fun and actually kind of sweet, as porn goes.

The second film was good, too. The plot (the short version): two football players sneak away to the locker room and get it on. The plot (the long version): well....actually that's pretty much the whole story. There were all the usual sexual gymnastics, close-up shots of thrusting genitals, lengthy pene sucking scene, etc... but somehow it was just better than the usual "I'm gonna stick it into you and you better 'ohyeahfuckyeah' enjoy it" mainstream straight porn.

I tried to figure out why, and came up with this list. (Yes, I realize there's nothing like quantifying art in list form to drain it of all its magic, but I think it's interesting/possibly instructive to see how changing just a few tiny details could make porn way more accessible to women, or at least this woman.)

So what made it better was:

1.  The receiver of the pene sucking took a moment, looked down at his sucker, and said, "I've been thinking about this for a long time." "Mmmmm, me too," murmured sucker. BAM! Two lines, and you've got yourself some backstory, and you've indicated that suckee likes sucker at least kinda, and vice versa. I know it's beyond girly of me, but I want the participants to like each other. This is why, if I were a gay man (not to be confused with "If I Were a Rich Man," from Fiddler on the Roof), I would not frequent glory holes.

(Glory holes = holes in the wall of a public place, like a restroom, through which anonymous people--not necessary our dear Anonymous above--insert their genitals, hoping the person in the other stall services them sexually. Unless the person in the other stall is me, in which case I'd shout, "Gah!?!" possibly tossing one of those disposable seat liners over the organ, for sanitary purposes. And I would not want to be confronted with anonymous genitals, I need to know whose genitals they are, why there were there, ad nauseum. I'd peek through the hole and ruin the whole damn thing, possibly putting an eye out in the process.

2.  The lovers would occasionally glance nervously toward the locker room door, making sure no one was coming in. And presto, Suspense! Stakes raised! Forbidden love!

3.  At one point, the two characters looked at each other eagerly and hungrily like, "I am so going to ravish you, you delicious creature." This brief moment established that the characters wanted to be there, were enjoying themselves and had some degree of respect for each other.

I know all of this sounds horribly tedious and un-pornlike. I mean, *yawn*...respect, liking each other, a story...who cares? Get on with the boning! But those things are what make it sexy to me. Or at least something recognizable as human sexual interaction.

The whole "I'm gonna stick it into you and you better 'ohyeahfuckyeah' enjoy it" thing (which, btw, is a GENIUS description, Anonymous) is not recognizable as sex to me. I mean, yeah, they're doing it and all, but it's just so...mean, and dead-eyed and passionless. The men seem like they hate the women and the women, well, who the fuck are these women?

Margaret Cho says that growing up she searched for Asian women in the media to identify with and only came up with the "Here's your ancient Chinese secret" lady from Calgon ads. That sucks, but at least that Calgon lady seemed kind of smart and knew a thing or two about laundry. The chicks in porn, who, presumably, I as a women am supposed to identify with, are...well, some sort of sub-genre of women who are completely foreign to me. Who do you know who gets lured into a car and within 25 seconds is showing her boobs and fingering herself, while giggling inanely? Who wishes to have some hairless blank-eyed frat dude ordering them to suck his dick faster, like some sort of bulging-eyed piston?

And who actually thinks that...

Ugh, listen to me, is it getting too Feminist in here? I'd better open a window and let some air in.

I guess what I'm trying to say is, if mainstream porn wants to be a touch more appealing to women (meaning, me) it wouldn't hurt to add some humanity, a smidgen of sensuality, and ditch completely the portrayal of women as dim-witted, creepy, "ohyeahfuckyeah"-ing, fully poseable sex toys. I really don't think the porn maker's give a rat's ass, but I'm putting it out there nonetheless.

Whatever the case, I'm done ranting for today. Maybe.

Tell me what you're into these days.

xoxox
jill

*Sure.
** When I proofread this, I realized I had misspelled the name of the art porn film "Matinee" as "Manatee," which would indeed be a new take on porn.

photo source 

Tuesday, September 20, 2016

Bad Sexting, Nudie Pics and the Cloud

The photo that got me temporarily banned from Facebook
A few years ago, I was Facebook chatting with a friend about a torrid affair she was having with a possibly cruel and inscrutable hot guy. It was up to us, you see, to analyze the minutiae of his behavior in order to reach some sort of Great Insight into the Male/Female Condition. Or something. We were thus far not there.

"He sent me a picture," she typed in what I like to imagine was a scandalized whisper, but was probably more likely her plain old typin' face. "Want to see it?"

But of course.

And it was just... AWFUL. It was some creepy guy--oh my god, so so creepy!-- just standing in his stupid underwear in a tiny depressing space that was clearly his bathroom. He looked, to be honest, like his picture should be accompanied by the words "a part-time children's clown by profession, he has been accused in the series of particularly gruesome deaths." He looked like a full-body mug shot. (An idea I will not be suggesting to the nation's police departments.) It was so...sordid. And not in a good way.

Surely this dude isn't the only person who beamed his depressing visage out into the cloud. No, there have to be more, way more.

I mean, photography is an art. One perfected by few. The kind of shot we're used to seeing in magazines or billboards has been through many talented hands and Photoshop sessions before it is deemed fit for our consumption. Most people we see naked in pictures are professionals, as are their body parts. You're not just seeing any old wiener, that's top of the line wiener, sister, top of the line.

Can you imagine the virtual Smithsonian of Awkward Family Photos-esque nudie pics out floating around in the cloud? Because there must be, like, a fucking cornucopia of lumpy body parts, unlovely people cowering naked in their poorly decorated homes with camera to crotch, and cooter shots that look more ham sandwich than object of lust.

That's not even counting all the back alleyways of sexuality--millions of people, each with their own personal Special Fetish. The Star Trek costumes, anal festooning, the household objects inserted into various orifices. "Here's me naked with *hushed voice quavering with passion*...the Red Balloon--squeeeeeee!"

And that's just photos. There are also the words accompanying them. Billions and billions of poorly-written missives, full of misspelled words, excessive use of the ;) emoticon and just....trite sentiments. I saw a transcript of some of Tiger Wood's illicit sexting and it was just so, well, see for yourself.

Jaimee: I drove out for the night to surprise a friend with a present for there birthday.
Tiger: what kind of present your naked body

And that's Tiger friggin' Woods--he should be getting the highest quality sexting, full of lustful scenarios, vibrant images and insanely hot language.

Since I am a writer, I would be, like, the worst person ever to sext to. I would nerdishly look upon the text as a piece of literature. It would have to not only be blisteringly hot, but grammatically correct with well-placed flourishes of humor and intelligence. The Tiger Woods thing above, with its non-interesting plot line and misuses of "there" and "your," well, it's just not good enough. There ought to be rules about this shit.

Oh wait, there are. Let's see, here's tip #10 in the article 10 Sexting Tips.

Use exclamation points! Exclamatory phrases are more intense expressions. For example, "You make me feel so good." and "You make me feel so good!!" Do you see how the first sentence is simple compared to the second one? Exclamation points should be used to express extreme emotion. 

I'm not quite sure which is worse--sending bad sexts or actually consulting internet articles to improve your sexting. (Although I'm pretty down with tip #8, despite the redundant phrasing at the end of the sentence: "Tell her things you are imagining. Sexting what you are imagining creates a mutual image for both of you.")

Whatever. All this stuff, the blurry dick shots, the talk of "pussie," the photographic evidence of our most vulnerable and freaky selves is out there in the cloud for-fucking-EVER. On Facebook, for example, you can not only NOT delete sent emails after you realize they are ill-advised and cringey (I know this For A Fact, I am sorry to report) but Mark Zuckerberg, like, saves them (see above: for-fucking-EVER). I don't know why he does it. Maybe to bring out on slow days at his mansion as entertainment for his billionaire friends ("Look at the cooter on this one! WTF, are those feathers?"). Maybe to use to blackmail us all in the future at our own personal Worst Possible Time (Worst Possible Time, as determined by a complicated Google algorithm). Who knows?

Whichever the case, when our descendants, the computer overlords, send their archeologist pods to dig up the dregs of our society, they will have a hell of a lot to think about.

(image source)

Thursday, September 1, 2016

My Day at the Orgasmic Meditation Class

Results may vary
I was lying on the floor, naked below the waist with my knees apart, next to a stranger with two fingers full of lube. The stranger was planning to stroke my clitoris for 15 minutes, no more, no less. I was in a room full of other women, similarly splayed open like Thanksgiving turkeys next to their lubed-up, fully-dressed partners

Strangely, this was not my most uncomfortable moment last weekend at the One Taste's How to OM class in Los Angeles. 

That would be earlier in the day when our teachers Maya and Eli bounded into the room as Bon Jovi was cranked. They were dancing, doing that thing were you point to the ceiling, signifying that the song, indeed, rocks. We were to stand up and do the same thing, including the pointing part. I was mortified. Not only am I petrified of public dancing and forced group merriment (“I can't heeeear you...!”) but... Bon Jovi. I stood stiffly, not able to bring myself to point, not even just a little. It was a really long song.

So to sum up my personal boundaries thus far, Bon Jovi = no, clit stroking by stranger= totally onboard. You might see the situation differently.

Sometimes a lifetime of societal conditioning can fall away in a matter of hours. It happened to me that day at the OM class. And not in a I-drank-the-Kool-Aid way, but in the kind of way where your ideas are flipped but at the same time enhanced, it blows your fucking mind and you emerge better for it.

OMing, or Orgasmic Meditation, is a practice taught at OneTaste, a company founded by Nicole Daedone, author of Slow Sex: The Art and Craft of the Female Orgasm. OM is a practice in which clarity, mindfulness, and general in-touchedness with the universe is reached through extremely focused touch. Specifically, the touch of a partner's hand slowly and rhythmically stroking a woman's clitoris in a particular way. Sessions last 15 minutes and the goal is not orgasm, but rather heightened sexual awareness. And, as it turns out, having someone lavish attention on this particular body part for 15 minutes is extremely effective at heightening sexual awareness.  OM practitioners supposedly develop a heightened sensuality that extends into the rest of their lives, and can experience intense, deeper, fuckier fucks.

That sounded pretty good. I was in.

The class was filled with a balance of men and women, most from late 20 to 40s, I'd guess. The practice was all about experiencing sensation, whatever it turned out to be, explained preternaturally upbeat instructors Maya and Eli. Instead of the goal-oriented, orgasm-chasing sexual experience that we generally go for, we were to focus on the ride, letting things go wherever they were going to go. It was about surrender to the experience. According to the OneTaste philosophy, making focused contact with the incredibly nerve-rich clitoris can generate all kinds of electric sexual energy that can take both parties to amazing places. Additionally, the female gets to feel safe, accepted and non-pressured enough to dive into the depths of wherever her desire's gonna take her. The male gets to explore and enjoy the more (traditionally) “feminine” sexuality of goalless sensuality, plus, quite frankly, he can learn his way around a woman's genitalia.

There are rules. The practice is to be distinct from sex. Practitioners set up a “nest,” with pillows, a soft cushion and towels. The stroking can't go on longer than 15 minutes, even if one or more parties are begging for more. There is to be no exchanging of favors, i.e. “I stroked you, now you finish me off.” An OM is not something a man does to a woman, but something they do together. Gloves are worn. Lube is a must. Orgasm is not defined as the few seconds of contractions that we generally think of as orgasm, but rather the entire experience, starting with the first feelings of desire. The contraction part we generally refer to as an orgasm is called climax and may or may not happen.

By mid-morning we were ready to see a live demonstration. A table was wheeled out and a woman named Rachelle hopped up, lifted her dress and spread her legs. As Marcus, a serious looking computer guy-type with large black framed glasses, put his fingers to her pussy (that's what they call it there-- pussy.), my classmates craned their bodies to see. I looked at Rachelle's completely hairless nether regions and regretted my morning grooming decision to go with a landing strip.

In some sort of weirdly personal hierarchy of discomfort, I didn't mind that there was a half-naked woman groaning evocatively as Marcus (apparently quite masterfully!) stroked her through what seemed to be three climaxes. My problem again was with the whole group participation aspect. As a class, we were to participate by calling out the physical--not emotional--sensations we were having as we watched the OM. “I feel a heat in my face,” someone called out. “I feel a heaviness in my arm,” said another. “I feel wetness in my pussy,” several women said. “I feel completely icked out by the rest of you,” I would have said, especially as someone notified us of how their anus was responding, but I wasn't sure how to describe it as a "physical sensation."

At this point, we were sent to lunch after which we would try the practice ourselves. Because we all knew this and most of us had not come with a partner, there was a strange pick-up bar vibe to the day. Instead of just talking with your seatmate, you'd be assessing them, wondering if they should be the one who'd be touching you. For me, there was also a tremendous anxiety. What if it was like that one 7th grade dance in Atlanta, Georgia, 1977, where all my friends got asked to dance and I didn't? Would I have to get one of the teachers have to OM with me? Would I just sit in my chair trying to act like it was ok while everyone got down to business?

It was all too much for me and when I got back from lunch, instead of mingling, I studied the commerce tables the OneTasters had set up. There were lots of higher level classes, semi-Scientology-style, that people could sign up for. One was a week-long intensive with Daedone. It was $36,000. Holy fuck. There was also a t-shirt that said “Powered by Pussy.” Even among this group, I couldn't imagine that being a big seller.

Finally I went up to Eli, hoping he might let me OM with a teacher. I was wishing that it could it be Marcus, because that dude really looked like he knew what he was doing. He looked like a master playing a rare instrument as he strummed Rachelle. But to my horror, when Eli nixed my idea about OMing with a teacher, I burst into tears.

“Just go ask that guy,” he said pointing to some guy, after comforting my sorry-ass unresolved-issues self. So I asked him. Oddly, the idea of doing so intimate with a complete stranger was way more okay than I thought it would be. When you OM with someone, it doesn't mean you are dating or that you will see them again or that you are even attracted to them. It just exists in this “container” as they call it and is nothing beyond the OM itself. Eli described a woman he had OMed with in Colorado. She was a super-butch, biker-chick lesbian, not someone he was attracted to at all or vice versa, but the electricity they generated together was, well, electric. “It's insane--I go blind from it!” he enthused.  I found this idea to be incredibly freeing.

Thus I found myself pantless and splayed open next to the lubed-up Peter*. I knew his name was Peter because his name tag said so. I found it somewhat amusing that we were like this and wearing name tags, but I didn't say anything.

Peter was to make a C shape with his left hand, lifting the hood of my clitoris with his thumb while stroking the upper left hand quadrant with his index finger. His right-hand thumb was to rest on my introitus, the opening to the vagina. (You can watch a how-to video at the OneTaste web site.) As we got down to it, Peter wasn't actually that close to where he was supposed to be, but instructors came around the room and guided his hand to the proper spots. I felt happy that, if nothing else, Peter was getting an education in finding a woman's clit.

As he rubbed, I could feel myself begin to throb and contract. It wasn't a orgasmic, I mean, climax-reaching kind of thing, but more an aliveness. It felt like maybe Peter's finger wasn't moving over my body, but rather that I was moving his finger. “Behold the glory of the pussy!” I thought to myself, thinking that Peter was—possibly for the first time—seeing the subtlety and great beauty of a woman's body when it is alive, open and free. I felt a bit beneficent about it, if you must know. Like I was schooling him on something really Big and Important.

However about midpoint, I started feeling a shooting pain in my left butt cheek. Sciatica. Crap! I shifted my legs and re-shifted, but every way still hurt. I finished out the session experiencing the sensation of “Ow.”

When it's all over, you're supposed to give each other a “frame,” that is, describe one moment of physical sensation that you had experienced. I was expecting to Peter to say something about how he had been schooled on pussy power but he said, “I didn't think anything was happening for you until the end part when you started moving your legs around.”

So. Yeah.

However, we both experienced something big, I think. It turned out it wasn't the same thing the other had felt, but maybe that doesn't even really matter. It seemed like Peter and I had ended up with a connection, of sorts, and I felt kindly toward him afterward. After, when he was told he had to pay $15 for the lube a OneTaste teacher had handed him, I felt kind of bad I didn't have any cash to pitch in.

In the end, I'm glad I went. It's heartening that there are so many people who want to connect on a deeper level sexually and were willing to explore. And, oddly, I feel empowered that I let a stranger stroke me and that it meant nothing beyond that.

As I drove through the hideous LA evening traffic on the way home, instead of blaring the radio and getting angry as is my usual way, I sat in silence, feeling chill and enjoying the quiet. And I didn't feel like crying anyone.

xoxo
jill

*Not his real name. Which was Ben.

An edited version of this first appeared on Alternet and Salon. I like this one a little better, but maybe I'm like a home seller with the purple walls who refuses to paint over them for the Open House. 

Photo: Rudolf Koppitz
Related Posts Plugin for WordPress, Blogger...