Wednesday, March 31, 2010

WAY Better Than Those Free Grocery Store Samples

Due to my corporate shillery for Good Vibrations sex toys, they have now made me an official "Product Reviewer."  This is probably not something I will put on my resume, but it does mean they send me lots of stuff for review.  And, as delightful as it would be to have an extra room festooned with various colored dildos and the like, I am willing to share the sex swag wealth with you, gentle reader.

Here's the deal, the first two people to respond will get one of the following products pictured below.  In return, you report back to us what you thought.  (Be truthful, don't be a big corporate kiss-up like me.) Now, Good Vibrations has all kinds of gyrating phallic things with buttons, multi-speeds and alarming-looking prongs, but we're gonna ease into all this.

First up for grabs is:

I Dare You--30 Sealed Seductions card game.  The cards are written by "sexpert" (and yes, it does pain me a little to use that word--thanks for asking) Susie Bright and contain activities for you and your partner to enjoy.  We are presuming that said activities are indeed seductive and not like, "Watch TV all night together while barely acknowledging each other's presence."

Monday, March 29, 2010

Female condom, where art thou?

Ahhhh, remember the female condom?  Yeah, neither do I.  The poor old female condom seems like one of those ideas that got lost in time, like Esperanto or getting Americans to understand the metric system.  I mean, did any of you ever use a female condom?  Or even see one?  (If so, do tell.)

It's not much of a mystery why we aren't all using female condoms on a daily basis.  (Although I personally am wearing one right now.  You know, just in case.)  According to the Wikipedia entry on female condoms (because I am willing to spend minutes on research for you, dear reader), "reported 'rustling' sounds during intercourse turn off some potential users, as does the visibility of the outer ring which remains outside of the vagina."  Yes, the rubbery thing hanging out your nether regions seems like it would be a deal-breaker for most people, especially since the instructions for the contraceptive warn that the device should be hanging out at least an inch.  Yes, hanging out there an inch, flapping in the breeze.  Promotional materials also note that the female condom can be put in early. Perhaps as a way to pre-tease you lover via rustling sounds and the obvious visual.  "Damn girl, is that what I think it is hanging out your pants?"  As if all this weren't enough--and believe me, I think it is--the name given female condoms by the FDA is "vaginal pouches."

The odd coda to all this that Female Health Company (FHC), the maker of female condoms, was just named 8th in the top 100 fastest growing publicly traded small companies by Fortune.  How can this be?    Well, it seems we have been distributing massive amounts to women in developing countries, like a mean big sister handing down clothing rejects.  "Here, these are totally lame.  But you might like them."

And btw, if all this talk of female condoms is making you hot, they're still available here in America from Good Vibrations.

More bad literary sex

A new reader who we shall not identify because he is a notable man about town writes:  "Just to join the fray...I put down Philip Caputo's latest book, 'Crossers,' immediately after reading this, on page 192:  Billy pumped her full of the sweet marmalade of his little limb.' Urf."

I am not quite sure what the exact translation of "urf" is, but it clearly applies here.  If you want to find out what happened to the "little limb" and its magical marmalade-pumping powers, you can order Crossers right this very minute through the little blue link.

And oh, we are loving this bad sex.  Readers, pillage your book shelves and send us more!  I simply must insist.

Friday, March 26, 2010

Bad literary sex...and not bad in a good way

I was once reading a racy romance novel (Yes, I had a romance novel phase. I am properly filled with shame over it so we needn't discuss it further) and just as the characters were going to fall passionately into bed, the author lapsed into a lengthy description of the apartment decor.  I would argue that it's difficult, nay, impossible to be in the throes of passion while simultaneously noting the delightful upholstery pattern on the curtains.  It completely ruined the moment.  And moment-ruining, my friends, is what makes for a bad literary sex scene.

Each year, The Guardian honors the worst of bad literary sex with the Bad Sex in Fiction Award.  The lucky winner in 2009 was Jonathan Littell's The Kindly Ones: A Novel.  A sample line: "I came suddenly, a jolt that emptied my head like a spoon scraping the inside of a soft-boiled egg."  Ugh!  Can we all just agree--right here, right now--that there should be no talk of soft-boiled eggs during sex?  Here are excerpts from some of the other contenders in 2009, if you can stand it.  

One of my favorites is 2008's To Love, Honour and Betray, Till Divorce Us Do Part by Kathy Lette.  (see others from 2008 here.)  Writes Ms. Lette:   "His towel fell away. Sebastian's erect member was so big I mistook it for some sort of monument in the centre of a town. I almost started directing traffic around it."  Thankfully she did stop herself from directing traffic around Sebastian's "erect member" because I can't imagine that going over well even under the best of circumstances.  

Have you ever come across a literary mood-killer?  Well, send it on in.  We love that stuff around here.

Thursday, March 25, 2010

Green in bed

Despite my general distain for corporate America, I don't mind giving a shout-out* to venerable purveyor of sexual education, toys and general female-empowerment, GoodVibrations.

If you click this Good Vibrations link, you will see their welcome page featuring a photo of a nice young woman in a lovely field of wildflowers and the banner "Welcoming...Spring."  But you will probably not notice this.  What you will notice is the large, very yellow Spring silicon vibrator in the foreground of the photo.  "With Click n' Charge Magnetic Technology!" it reads.   I'm not quite sure what Click n' Charge Magnetic Technology is, but Good Vibrations is all into eco-friendly stuff like rechargeable batteries, natural ingredients and even vegan body balm, so it's probably something good.

If you're in the market for a festively yellow spring vibrator (which is actually mini-sized, it just looks all big in the picture), get yourself one right here.  I'm just trying to help you out here.  I think we all know that owning sex toys in passe winter colors is social suicide.

*In the fairness of full disclosure, In Bed gets a cut of your purchase.  In my opinion, that's all the more reason to order one right away.  But maybe that's just me.

Wednesday, March 24, 2010

Would you, could you, in a boat?

Do you talk, really talk, about your sex life with your friends?

As research for my book, I have been asking women this very question--yes, you would be wise to avoid me on the school yard--and have found that it's split about 50/50.  Some women have told me that they know a lot, maybe even too much, about their friends' sex lives.  Others would sooner strip naked at the PTA meeting than discuss anything like that.

Yeah, sex is beautiful and personal and all that, but why are some of us so loathe to talk about it?  I just happen to have a theory/manifesto about that.  See it for yourself right here.

Tuesday, March 23, 2010

Have sex, save money on Depends. It's a win-win thing.

If you are having trouble getting into the mood, picture this...if you dare: the future version of you wearing a big ol' pair of adult diapers.  Yes, adult diapers, while undoubtedly quite convenient, look really really bad under even the finest of jeans.  You can avoid such a fate simply by having some sex now and then.   Having frequent sex helps tighten the muscles of the pelvic floor, according to Newsweek, although they don't mention why they would happen to know this.  Tighter pelvic muscles means less peeing in the pants, and who, really, wants that?  (Yes, I know some of you do.  If so, I would direct you to Google using the search terms "pee" and "fetish."  You might, btw, want to switch your computer to private browsing for that particular search.)

But we digress, the point here is more sex = less peeing in your pants.   Feel like doing it now?  Yeah, I thought so.

Friday, March 19, 2010

True Wife's Tale #1: "Ally" and The Lifestyle

Our first true wife's tale is from "Ally," a 37 year-old woman who found that her secret to a good married sex life was not, say, taking a lively evening class at the community college, but embracing The Lifestyle. "We get to explore a lot of our fantasies," says Ally. "Some people never get to do that and get frustrated. I think that’s why some people end up getting divorced or having affairs. Shoot, if couples do it together, they can both have fun," she says jauntily.

In Bed: The logistics of two couples all having to agree on each other seems daunting. If everyone else seems interested in getting together but you aren’t, do you go ahead with it anyway?

Ally: Have I ever taken one for the team? NO. I’m not going to play with a guy just so Mark can play with a girl he really likes. There are plenty of times we've been approached by another couple and the girl's really hot, but then I look at the guy and I'm like, “Aw, HELL no!”

In Bed: Have you had any bad experiences with the lifestyle?

Ally: There have been times where the guy I'm with is going at it too hard, like too fast or too deep and I didn't say, “It’s hurting.” I told Mark after the fact and he said, “You need to tell the guy to back off.” There always needs to be communication for this to work. For example, I enjoy anal sex, the back door. Mark makes sure that the guy asks if it’s okay first and doesn’t just go for it. It's a courtesy factory.

In Bed: Rule note: Always ask courteously before going for the back door.

Ally: Mark’s well-endowed lengthwise, so he’s got to be careful because it hurts. He needs to ask the girl if she’s okay. Some guys are into butt-slapping, pulling on the hair, things like that. I always make sure Mark’s okay with that. There’s only been one time that he spoke up during the act. The guy was into choking. Mark’s actually done a little of that to me, nothing major, nothing hardcore. It’s supposed to affect a woman’s orgasms. But the guy was doing it quite a bit, to the point where Mark was quite fearful for my life. Mark said, “Hey, seriously, dude back off on that.” The guy was very respectful and stopped. It was one of the things that guy likes to do, but it’s not necessarily what works with all women.

In Bed: How were you introduced to “the lifestyle”?

Ally: Mark and I were talking to our friends about some of our sexual fantasies. We were talking about being with other people and it evolved into, “What if we four got together and tried to play?”

In Bed: How did you bring it up in the first place? Someone has to go out there on a limb...

Ally: There were steps that led up to it. There would be times that we’d be together, drinking a bit and we’d maybe do a little touching and feeling and kissing. It finally led up to the whole thing of clothes coming off and having sex together. But our first time was kind of a disaster. We didn't know how to approach each other and who should do what.

In Bed: Did the friendship stay intact?

Ally: Yes, but it was awkward. Seeing each other after it was like, “Okay, now what do we do? We’ve seen each other naked and had sex.” Nowadays we don’t cross the line with friends. We made it a rule that we don’t play with friends or coworkers--that's a big no-no.

In Bed: Is that a general rule in the lifestyle or your own rule?

Ally: It’s our own rule, but other people have it too. With friends, there can be jealousy--someone hears more noises coming from the other couple, whatever. You don’t want to have that coming into a friendship. And with coworkers, word gets around and you’re looked at kind of weird. If we have any of Mark’s coworkers over to our house, people will be like, “OOOOhhh, they’re going over to Mark and Ally’s!” They assume automatically that because someone’s hanging out with us, something’s going on.

In Bed: Okay, so you had your first awkward encounter, but it was compelling enough to give it another try.

Ally: After we got married, Mark was out of town a lot on business. We decided to give each other an opportunity to explore other things while we were apart. One of our fantasies was to pick up a stranger and have a one-night stand. I got together with a couple of people, but Mark lucked out only once. Poor little guy! (laughs) He’s Mr. Shy. He always tells me, “It’s just so hard for me to go up and say something to some girl at a bar.” But he finally did and was so excited about it, he called me the next day. I thought it was going to be a one-stand stand--a “wham, bam, thank you, ma’am” thing. But when he called, he was still at her house, hanging out and watching NASCAR. It made me totally jealous and upset. I realized that separate play wasn’t for us.

In Bed: So how did you find other people who were into the lifestyle?

Things really opened up for us when Mark got a new job and we moved near San Francisco. We were away from our friends and family and felt more at ease about trying things. We looked into swinger’s clubs. They are usually a house turned into a club. You bring your own alcohol and they have jacuzzis and pool tables. There's a DJ playing music, so you dance and get to know people that way. If you want, you can go in a room and play with your partner and other people watch you. They can join in or not, or you can join in with somebody else. It's all about asking and getting permission. They have strict rules about things. If you don’t follow them, you get kicked out. One organization called Pleasure Zone threw parties in different restaurants. After the restaurant closed, they brought in a DJ and took it over.

(In Bed trying desperately to rid mind of sudden unbidden, and thankfully unspoken, thoughts of restaurant tables, sanitation issues and the breakfast rush.)

Ally: After each time with a couple, we’d discuss it and new rules would come up. This whole thing is a learning process. Every couple has their own rules. We know one couple who doesn’t believe in kissing on the lips. They think it's too personal.

In Bed: Tell me some of your rules.

Ally: Certain sexual positions are only between the two of us. We have to play in the same room. One, because we enjoy watching each other with another person. And two, safety--just to make sure things don’t get out of control.

In Bed: Did you ever have to break up with a couple

Ally: There was a couple that we used to play with, but we had to put an end to it. A couple times, all four of us were in bed naked and their child ran in and jumped in bed with us. I didn’t feel that the child should be exposed that young to stuff like that. We want to be friends, but we won't do anything again.

In Bed: How do you meet couples?

Ally: Lifestyle Lounge has been the best thing that’s happened to us. [note: If you're interested, click here.] You put up a picture and a profile, with what you like and what you’re looking for in a couple. We look for people who love the outdoors. We have a boat, we love to have barbecues and play Wii.

In Bed: Do you ever meet a couple that's just not that into you?

Ally: Yeah, we went to a Halloween party and there was a couple that we started talking to. We got along fine and we thought there was something there. But when we’d run into them in another room, they’d talk a little bit, then walk away. We were like, “Oo-kay.”

In Bed: At least you have someone to commiserate with in your misery. Do either of you find yourselves developing love feelings?

Ally: No, we’ve been able to separate it. It’s sexual play, it’s fantasy. And we always talk afterward about how things felt. I might say something like, “His angles were good" or Mark might tell me the girl was good at sucking him off. It could make me jealous but when he tells me what she did, it actually helps me. I ask, “What did you enjoy? Do you want me to do more of that?” It’s a whole thing that adds to us later on. We end the night by playing with each other so that we reconnect. We use that energy from earlier--that whole sexual energy and excitement of it all and put it between the two of us. It just makes us that much closer. Yeah, a couple may turn us on sexually and we get aroused and have orgasm and so forth, but the emotional part is between the two of us. '

In Bed: What do you think your marriage would be like if you didn’t have this outlet?

Ally: I think we would probably have a lot of issues if I had to stick with one man. Some people are turned on by watching porn or role playing or whatever. We’re turned on by being with other people. Just being around the sounds and the sights and the smells of things is a major turn-on for us.

The lifestyle is not for everybody, although I think it could be. We get to explore a lot of our fantasies. Some people never get to do that and get frustrated. I think that’s why people end up getting divorced or having affairs. Shoot, if couples do it together, they can both have fun.

Thursday, March 18, 2010

So not what I was expecting when you suggested Game Night

Let us pause for a moment and consider this item: Anal Ring Toss. Yes. Anal Ring Toss.

Okay, a). Ring toss is not a particularly entertaining game in the first place, b). Excessive cleaning of said toy would be required and c). And perhaps, most importantly, ring toss in the butt = so not hot.

"Stop moving, damn it! I'm trying to get a 6 pointer!"

What does this say about the state of married sex? I don't know, but it doesn't seem good.

I am plagued by unanswered questions about this Tweety Bird found on a nightshirt at KMart. What's with the jutting out hip? Is Tweety trying to be sexy? If so, is this designed to inflame the passions of a lover? And if your lover is indeed inflamed by the provocative Tweety, isn't that a problem of its own? Your input, please.