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Posts Tagged ‘Sex Ed’

consentToday, I attended a Consent Workshop by The Consent Crew. There were some interesting discussions amongst the attendees and organizers about some great topics.  I want to reiterate some of the points that I feel are most relevant based on my experiences over the past two decades.

IT’S OK TO SAY NO

How many of you are guilty of trying to giggle your way out of an uncomfortable situation just to be polite?  And how many of you have compromised your own boundaries just to wake up the next morning filled with regret?  Western cultural values have taught us to be excessively polite, but that shouldn’t be at the cost of your own personal boundaries.  If somebody is doing something that makes you uncomfortable, you have the right to say no.  And, although you don’t have to justify your reason for saying no, saying it in a way that is polite and respectful will go a long way towards diffusing what could become a confrontational situation over hurt feelings.  Here are some of my favourite ways to say no:

  • No thank you (smile on face).
  • Thanks for offering but not at this time.
  • I’m not into that, but thanks anyway.
  • You seem like a great person but I’m not interested. Thanks anyway.

 

IT’S OK TO HEAR NO

When you hear no, you may feel hurt, rejected and generally bad.  Why?  Because our culture has taught us that “no” is a bad word when in reality, “no” is just somebody’s way of expressing their own personal boundaries.  Usually, the no you are hearing has very little to do with you and everything to do with the person saying it.  Perhaps they are there for a different reason than you.  Maybe the timing is just off.  Or, it could be as simple as they like blonds, and you’re a brunette.  Whatever the reason, remind yourself…“getting a no is no big deal”.   Here are some of my favorite ways to respond gracefully to “no”:

  • I’m not hearing a clear yes so I’ll take that as a no.
  • No problem.
  • Thanks for letting me know. I appreciating knowing your boundary.
  • Thanks anyway.

 

GET CONSENT

Obvious right?  Easier said than done.  Consent is complicated.  Often, expectations surrounding consent are firmly rooted in cultural values, gender values, family values, or even the environment we are in at the time.  At Club Eden, the expectations are framed by the use of signage, marketing, and agreements.  This is a great foundation for consent.  But even with all of this, there is still room for interpretation based on an individual’s unique perspective formed over the course of a lifetime.  This is why it is also important to say no when you feel like your personal boundaries are being compromised.  In my experience, most people want to do the right thing and DON’T want to maliciously or deliberately compromise your boundaries.  They just don’t realize they are doing it.   Here is one of my favorite personal stories to reflect how cultural expectations can create a misalignment between boundaries:

While working in an office environment, one of the long term vendors and friends of the owner approached me saying “it’s nice to finally meet you”.  He then stepped in and gave me a hug and then a kiss on my left and right cheek.   My background is British and back then, I was a bit of a cold fish.  His background is South American and to not step in with a light hug and kiss on the cheeks would be considered an insult.  He didn’t get my consent but conversely, because of his cultural values, he didn’t think he had to.   This illustrates a great example of how easily consent boundaries can be accidentally crossed.

When at Eden, remember these four points to help you navigate consent:

  1. Play within the rules of the framework provided (signs, agreements, marketing messages).
  2. Politely say no when your boundaries are being crossed;
  3. Politely hear/accept no when somebody tells you.
  4. If your no is not being heard, then it’s ok to find the organizer or one of the staff to help you diffuse the situation.

When attending other sex positive events remember to familiarize yourself with their unique framework.

I hope this article helps you find your voice for consent.  Play safe, have fun and respect your own boundaries and the boundaries of others.

Eve, Founder of Club Eden and Co-author of Sex Get Over It

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Ignorance is Bliss?

I have a friend who is single. She just happens to have genital herpes which can make dating a tad more complicated. Last week, she met a match on a well known dating website. After making an online connection, but before heading out on her first date, she very politely let him know that she is herpes positive so that he could make an informed decision before things got too out of hand.

I would like to hope that most would take the opportunity to get educated, or simply bow out gracefully. But this particular “Jack” exploded and called her every name in the book from slut to whore to everything in between. When I heard about his simple minded response, I was disgusted.

It’s no wonder that so many people are ashamed to talk about and deal with this issue. It’s no wonder that so many choose to simply ignore their situation and continue to contribute to the spread of herpes. It’s a wonder that my friend doesn’t just keep her mouth shut and take her chances in the future.

My friend should be commended! She is incredibly brave and is blazing the trail in open sexual communication. Herpes is one of many STIs out there and people need to talk about the facts in order to stop the spread of this disease and others like it.

Facts about Herpes
• At least one in four Americans will contract an STD at some point in their lives.
• One in five Americans has genital herpes (at least 80% are not aware they have it)
• Many people who have genital herpes are unaware that they have the virus because they have no symptoms, mild symptoms, or mistake the symptoms for other conditions such as jock itch, yeast infections, razor burn or allergic reactions to detergents.
• Genital herpes can be transmitted during vaginal, anal or oral sex even if the infected person has no open sores or any other symptoms of infection.
• Condom use reduces the risk of getting genital herpes and other STIs. However, when using a condom, remember that the exposed areas of skin are still unprotected. To prevent spread of the virus during oral sex use a condom on the penis and a condom cut lengthwise or a dental dam over the female genital area

I don’t know why I continue to be surprised at how ignorant and judgmental people can be when it comes to sexuality and sexual health. Stop judging and get educated. When it comes to sex, ignorance is only bliss until that morning you wake up with open sores on your naughty bits.

And for those of you living with STDs, there is still hope of finding your match. Check out positive singles – The best, largest, completely anonymous and most trusted personals network for STD singles and friends in the world. (More than blog worthy)

You’re not alone!

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If you and your partner have decided to take the plunge and invite other play partners into your fantasy realm, you absolutely MUST read my “8 simple rules to enjoy safer sex in an open relationship…”

Rule #1 – Don’t floss your teeth.

Don’t tell your dentist I said this, but please don’t floss your teeth within 24 hours of playing with a new partner.  If you’re going to be engaging in oral sex (which most of you likely will), flossing the teeth opens up the gums and provides a direct line to the bloodstream which can put you at risk for some of the nastiest STIs including HIV.

Rule #2 – Learn how to put on a condom.

If you’ve been in a monogamous relationship for a while and haven’t had to put on a condom, you may actually be out of practice. It’s important that you put the condom on the right way to minimize the risk of the condom breaking and to ensure that it’s not overlooked in the heat of the moment.  And ladies, don’t just leave this up to the guy.  You’re equally responsible for recognizing potential hazards to avoid putting yourself at risk.    Click here to learn the right way to put on a condom.

Rule #3 – Get tested every year.

Once you’ve chosen to be non-monogamous, do the responsible thing…get tested for STIs annually to be aware of your personal sexual health and that of your partner.  Some STIs have no visible symptoms, but many can be cured on early detection or at least managed to mitigate the risk of serious infection or transmission to your primary partner.  www.STDresource.com has a clinic finder that lists STD clinics in BC.

Rule #4 – Wear gloves – they’re smooth as silk.

For many, the use of gloves during sex may be reminiscent of your last trip to the doctor, but despite their unattractive appearance, they actually come with some easily overlooked, very sexy benefits.  Not only do they protect your sex partners from tears, fissures and rashes caused by hang nails and calluses, they actually feel better than the naked hand.   Add a couple of drops of lube and they will feel smooth as silk when you run them along ALL the naughty bits…perfect for hand jobs and penetration.  Oh, and don’t forget, putting on a fresh glove is so much faster than running to the bathroom to do a wash-up when you’re in the middle of that sexy threesome and want to pleasure more than one partner at the same time.   And that brings me to my next rule – don’t double dip!

Rule #5 – Don’t double-dip.

And I’m not talkin’ about a lottery ticket here.  When you’re in the middle of that sexy threesome, foursome or moresome, most get the condoms right when it comes to penile penetration, but regretfully, they forget about the other body parts…particularly hands.  Hands are on him, hands are on her, hands are in her and then before you know it, they’re in a different her along with the body fluids of her #1…ack!  Guys, please wash your hands vigorously with antibacterial soap before double dipping.  Or better yet, see rule #4.  And gals, if you don’t know where your play partners hands have been, ask politely, or have him wear a glove…trust me…you’ll be in ecstasy (safely) and won’t even notice the glove.

Rule # 6 – Trust your senses.

Look – Before playing look for any open sores, blisters or rashes around the genital area, anal area or mouth.  These can be possible signs of STIs and are not worth the risk.

Smell – if it smells funky, it probably is…and even if it’s not an STI…why would you want to take the chance.

In either of these situations, find a way to politely remove yourself from the situation.  If you’re too shy to say something or ask, then it’s still safer to find a polite excuse than to just “grin and bare it”. My favorite..”Sorry, I have to hit the ladies room…darn bladder always gets me at the most inopportune time”!

Rule #7 – I’ll be damned!

Dental dams aren’t just reserved for the dentist anymore.  There’s another type of dental dam on the block that’s perfect for safe oral sex.  A dental dam is a small protective sheet that’s made from the same material as condoms.  It’s lightweight, easy to use and comes in different colors, flavours and scents just like condoms.

As always, when trying a new safety “toy” for the first time, practice on your primary partner first and become a sexpert to avoid any of those awkward moments with arms length play partners.   Simply place the dam over her naughty bits to maximize your protection during oral sex.  Add a little bit of lube to the under side and voila…you’ll have her screaming in ecstasy in no time.  And if you want to increase her pleasure and have more control, have her hold the dam in position leaving your hands free to wander.

Rule #8 – Tell your partner EVERYTHING!

The biggest risk to your personal health, safety and well being will be when your partner finds out that you’ve been hiding something from them.  “Relationship” is the most important word in “open relationship”.  It’s about experiencing this together so be sure to tell the one you love everything.

Now have fun…and play SAFE!

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At the risk of ruffling some feathers, I felt it was time to do a follow up article to “Top 10 sexual mistakes made by men”. However, this time we focus on the most common sexual blunders and faux pas made by women. Remember that it takes two to tango.  Communication, trust and sexual variety between partners are always the best ways to avert animosities in the bedroom.

The following is a Top 10 list of things for women to avoid when it comes to sex:

Click here to read entire article from original source.

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Then don’t miss “A weekend with Midori” presented by Sagacity in Victoria, the weekend of July 24 & 25, 2009.  Midori is an educator and columnist on adventurous sexuality, she’s also the author of “The Seductive Art of Japanese Bondage”, “Master Han’s Daughter” and “Wild Side Sex: The Book of Kink”. Midori travels the world presenting to universities, education events, organizations and media.

I’ve never had the pleasure of meeting Midori, but I am familiar with her work, and her reputation speaks for itself.

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After giving a blow job, my mouth can get sore inside from rubbing on my teeth, is there any type of inner mouth protection…lol, or do i just do it more carefully so that my lips don’t ever close over my teeth?
Thanks for your insight!

Curious

Dear Curious:

Well, wearing a mouth guard might work, but it’ doesn’t strike me as particularly sexy.

Try changing your position to create a better angle.  For example, having your partner sit down on a chair in front of you while you are on your knees in front of him gives you the greatest amount of control when giving head.  This may allow you to open your mouth more so your lips don’t curl around your teeth.    In addition, keep in mind that the greatest amount of pleasure and sensation is around the head of the penis so unless you’re practiced in deep thoating, you don’t really need need to run your lips or teeth down the shaft of the penis.  Keep your mouth, lips and tongue focused on the head and use your hand to massage the shaft.

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Hello, I have recently learned that I can squirt, and I’m wondering what are the things that women love most about  it? (because it didn’t happen while I was orgasming) I’m still not sure if I like it yet…am I missing something?

Curious

Dear Curious:
Squirting is different for everyone.  Some RAVE about it and describe it in legendary terms…the Holy Grail of sex so to speak.  While others can take it or leave it.  Those that love it describe it as more of a deep, full body orgasm vs a clitoral orgasm which is generally more like an intense short burst.  Those that can take it or leave it can do without the extra laundry that comes with the clean up.

Honestly, don’t worry about what other women love about it.  Just focus on whether it feels good for you.  Just be sure to try it a few times as you might find it gets better as you become more comfortable with it.  Over time, you may even learn to control it which can actually be kind of fun – and who says great sex can’t come with a few laughs along the way.

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