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10 Ways not to f*ck up a first date

Posted on 24. Jan, 2013 by in Sex & Relationships

10 Ways not to f*ck up a first date

So, you finally got your boxers out of the wad they were stuck in and asked her out on a first date. Depending on how long it took you to ask her, our reactions would be:  “good for you” or “it’s about time”.

But as the phrase implies, the first date is simply the “first” and not nearly the end of it. Asking and getting her to say yes is just the first hurdle of this getting-to-know-you mating call. You have the rest of the evening to make a fool out of yourself or impress her enough to want to go on a second date. And assuming that you also want to go out on a second date, here are the cardinal rules about how not to f*ck up the first one.

Photo from lipstiq.com

1.    No distractions, no looking (at other women), no nothing – it’s all about her

It’s a date, dude. It comes with a short-term guarantee of a maximum three hours of monogamy. THREE hours—just about the same time it takes to watch a movie, check in and out of a motel, the number of hours it takes you to get to Makati from Quezon City. During those three hours, you are obliged to be polite, attentive and adhere to all the first tier tenets of monogamy. So do not text while having dinner, do not go on-line to update your Facebook status, and do not, for the love of god(dess), check out other women.

Violate this short-term monogamy creed and be called a jerk.

2. No touching, no fondling, no sex

Go from jerk to prick in less than three hours is easy.  You just let your prick do the thinking for you. You let your hand wander where it shouldn’t, make too many not-very-innocent-remarks about what you like in between the sheets or even remotely try to bring her home with you.

And you want to know a secret?

If she wants to get rid of you—like she never wants to see the likes of you again after–she will have sex with you on the first date.  You’ll be another notch on her bedpost to tell her friends about. Trust me, she’s not going to be too impressed that you, like all the other men in this world, are so predictable. And for us ladies, that’s worse than be easy to bed.

3. No to being over eager to please and to being a yes man.

Sure, you want to impress her and show her that chivalry isn’t dead. So pull out her chair for her and open the goddamn door. No need to trip over your own feet to make way for her when walking or–the height of being pussy-whipped–carrying her bag. Didn’t you get the memo, dude? Girls are made of sugar and spice and everything nice—NOT glass.

4. No to being a cheapo

The first date is not the time or place to be a smart shopper or diner. Sound like common sense? Uh no. Take for instance, my friend Misha. She was thrilled when a younger guy from the office asked her out. Thoughts of “still having it” bloated her ego, quickly deflated during dinner when the younger guy kept going on and on about how low his salary was. “It made me feel guilty for ordering something on the menu, fearful that I would eat up two weeks of his paycheck,” says Misha.

And to make matters worse, when the bill came, he paid with credit card but only for his share. “He was very apologetic in saying that he had just paid for his credit card, which he had just maxed out. He was worried that his transaction would be declined…and asked me if it would be alright if I paid for my order,” recalls Misha. “Now, I can laugh about it. But back then, I really wanted to slap him and tell him to pick on girls within his own pay grade.”

Needless to say, Misha never picked up the younger dude’s calls or answered his messages….even if it was to give career advice.

5. No to not telling her where you’re taking her on this first date

Lots of men don’t get it, and for purposes of this article, we’re assuming you don’t either. We women don’t dress up for you. We dress up for the other people – most especially the women who will notice every little crinkle or crease in our clothes or on our face and will never forget that we wore last season’s dress to this season’s event. So you have to tell us where we’re going and what we will be doing so we dress appropriately. You’re not going to like us much when we’ve been standing all night in our stiletto-clad feet the whole night for a concert. Hell, we wouldn’t like ourselves very much either.

6. No to TMI

Yes, there is such a thing as too much information—especially on the first date. We don’t want to hear about your definition of love, or how you were potty trained before you even learned how to walk. Keep all of that not-nice-to-know-won’t-make-a-difference-in-our-lives information to yourself. Forget about trying to look like a deep sensitive guy and spilling your guts. Keep us guessing about what you’re really like and we’ll keep you in mind for another date.

7. No to bringing out the EX-Files and the EX-Box.

We really don’t know want to know about your ex on the first date and that goes for all possible variations of the way you want to talk about her. Like, if she was the one who got away or the bitch who didn’t know a good thing when she had one. We have just as many ways of saying, “Asshole, please. You have more issues than Vogue.”

8. No to being arrogant

If you have to brag about your accomplishments, then you’re going to be tagged as insecure and attention deficient, i.e. you didn’t get enough [attention] at home, school and at work—in that order.  Brag about your accomplishments only if you’re discovered the cure for Cancer or found a way to make rocket science E-A-S-Y. Otherwise, you’re going to be tagged as a high-maintenance, needy, insecure boylet who needs to be patted on the head every time he’s able to roll over.  That’s exactly the perfect reason she won’t go out with you on a second date.

9. No to being a slob

Manners and common sense will tell you not to yawn, not to burp or pick your teeth, nose or groin area in public. So don’t the hell do it when you’re on a date—first, second or otherwise. It’s just gross. If whatever it is that has you fidgeting needs to be addressed, head to the bathroom and do it in private—pronto.

10. No to whining

Yes, traffic is a bitch. Yes, your job sucks and your boss is a major pain in the ass. Be a man and suck it up. The only kind of whining that should go with this dining is white or red—wine, that is.

This was also published in UNO Magazine. 

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Fifty Shades of Vampires and Fairytales

Posted on 09. Dec, 2012 by in Sex & Relationships

Fifty Shades of Vampires and Fairytales

I never read fairytales as bedtime stories to my daughter when she was little.

It was not a deliberate decision on my part—at least I don’t think so. I felt I quickly outgrew the princesses and damsels in distress when I found about the other girls like Wonder Woman, She-ra and years before Lara Croft was a twinkle in her developer’s eye, Scarlet in GI Joe. I didn’t know how to express it back then, but there was just something about the women that made me want to be like them. It wasn’t until the era of “girl power” that I could somehow articulate what drew me to these heroines.

I was happy to see my daughter seemed to have a liking for such characters, enjoying movies like “Tangled” and “Brave”.

So you can imagine the tinge of disappointment I felt when over dinner, my 11-year-old daughter told me she wanted to watch Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2 with her friends.

She had already watched the part 1 of the installment series when she was invited by her friend. I reluctantly agreed in the name of tween friendship solidarity.

But now, here she was, asking me for permission to watch with her friends. She actually wanted to spend a portion of her allowance and her time to see Bella and Edward on-screen.

“What?  You want to watch that movie?!” I asked incredulously.

Equally exasperated, she sighed and though I could only see her profile, I knew she was rolling her eyes at me.

“If it was (sic) really a bad movie, then why did it make millions and why do millions of people want to watch it?” she asked.

Smarting from her somewhat rational argument, I sat up straighter and steeled myself, ready to launch a tirade on Bella Swan’s insipid character. I was just about to say something about Bella not having a respectable level of self-esteem and thus, the inability to make decisions in the face of what she perceived to be love, when I stopped myself and clamped my mouth shut.

Being Bella

I couldn’t tell my 11-year-old daughter the real reason I despised the character of Bella Swan was because when I was her age, I was like Bella.

Ddddaaaammmmnnnn.

Even writing that down is difficult. I’m cringing with each letter that I knock off my keyboard.

But it’s true.

I distinctly remember a point in my youth when any sort of validation could only come from a boy, and yet, I would recoil at any sign of male attention, questioning “but why me?”.  I was one big bundle of insecurity and terribly envious of girls whom I thought were prettier, funnier or smarter.  This ambivalence often made me completely ignore all the tell-tale signs of a disastrous relationship just so I could be in one. Just so I didn’t have to be alone.

Besides, who was I to take on the literary critic role over a bad movie when I had just spent the entire long weekend reading and finishing the entire Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy, even though I had been warned and was fully aware that it was a fanfic based on Twilight?

Thanks to the e-books given to me by my friend, not even the dimmed lights of our bus to Baguio could keep me away from the unfolding drama that was the story of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, who is incidentally nicknamed “Ana”. (And with one “n”. Not even Anna Karenina had one “n”).

Seeing black and white, not grey

I got caught up in the mindless banter and giggled when Christian Grey said, “Laters, baby”.  I alternately blushed and bit my lip during the uh, steamy parts. I couldn’t put my tablet down, telling myself it was “research” for my work in sexual health education and even took down notes. (I even ended up writing a blog post devoted to the 6 Safe Sex Lessons I Learned from Fifty Shades of Grey.

But in equal measure, I rolled my eyes and caught myself saying out loud, “Seriously?!?” and “C’mon, no one can have that much kinky f*ckery!”

But mostly, I was just bothered—and not by all the BDSM, which for the most part was consensual–but by the controlling, possessive, emotionally abusive Christian Grey whose only excuse for his behavior was being  ‘in love’ with the naïve, accepting, compliant Anastasia Steele.

While my heart, out of its own accord, occasionally fluttered at the description of the demi-god billionaire, after more than three decades on earth, my cerebral instincts kicked in and I could see past the grandiose shows of affection and all the hot sex to see this highly romanticized relationship for what it really was: emotionally volatile, suffocating and potentially abusive.

The mere thought of a Christian Grey—or any man for that matter–earnestly whispering, “you’re mine, Ana, mine.” made me want to run away rather than turn my knees to jelly.

I knew that Christian Grey, Edward Cullen and men like them were best kept in books as the work of someone else’s imagination.

I could distinguish between black, white and grey.

***

I looked up from my reverie to see my daughter expectedly looking at me, still waiting for an answer.

“Okay, fine. You can watch Twilight.”

“Yes! Thanks, Mommy!”

She engulfed me in a tight hug – surely, the 11-year-old version of a handshake to seal the deal.

I pulled away and said, “But can I ask you one thing? After, can we discuss Bella and Edward and why their relationship is just so wrong, on so many levels?”

She agreed and I hugged her back just as tightly searing a note in my mind to keep her from reading “Fifty Shades of Grey” until she’s 30…at least 30.

 

All allusions to Fifty Shades of Grey used in this article are intentional by the writer. She asks that she not be judged.  It’s not called “mommy porn” for nothing.

 

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[Dash of SAS] Fifty shades of vampires and fairytales

Posted on 19. Nov, 2012 by in Sex & Relationships

by Ana P. Santos

I never read fairytales as bedtime stories to my daughter when she was little.

It was not a deliberate decision on my part — at least I don’t think so. I felt I quickly outgrew the princesses and damsels in distress when I found about the other girls like Wonder Woman, She-ra and years before Lara Croft was a twinkle in her developer’s eye, Scarlet in GI Joe.

I didn’t know how to articulate it back then, but there was just something about the women that made me want to be like them. It wasn’t until the era of “girl power” that I could somehow articulate what drew me to these heroines.

I was happy to see my daughter seemed to have a liking for such characters, enjoying movies like “Tangled” and “Brave.”

So you can imagine the tinge of disappointment I felt when over dinner, my 11-year-old daughter told me she wanted to watch “Twilight Breaking Dawn Part 2.”

She had already watched the part 1 of the installment series when she was invited by her friend, and I reluctantly agreed in the name of tween solidarity.

But now, here she was, asking me for permission to watch with her friends. She actually wanted to spend a portion of her allowance and her time to see Bella and Edward on screen.

“What? You want to watch that movie?!” I asked incredulously.

Equally exasperated, she sighed and though I could only see her profile, I knew she was rolling her eyes at me.

“If it was (sic) really a bad movie, then why did it make millions and why do millions of people want to watch it?” she asked.

Smarting from her somewhat rational argument, I sat up straighter and steeled myself, ready to launch a tirade on Bella Swan’s insipid character. I was just about to say something about not having a respectable level of self-esteem and thus, the inability to make decisions in the face of what she perceived to be love, when I stopped myself and clamped my mouth shut.

Being Bella

I couldn’t tell my 11-year-old daughter the real reason I despised the character of Bella Swan was because when I was her age, I was like Bella.

Ddddaaaammmmnnnn.

Even writing that down is difficult. I’m cringing with each letter that I knock off my keyboard.

But it’s true.

I distinctly remember a point in my youth when any sort of validation could only come from a boy, and yet, I would recoil at any sign of male attention, questioning, “But why me?”

I was one big bundle of insecurity and terribly envious of girls whom I thought were prettier, funnier or smarter. This ambivalence often made me completely ignore all the tell-tale signs of a disastrous relationship just so I could be in one. Just so I didn’t have to be alone.

Besides, who was I to take on the literary critic role over a bad movie when I had just spent the entire long weekend reading and finishing the all 3 books of Fifty Shades of Grey Trilogy, even though I had been warned and was fully aware that it was a fanfic based on Twilight?

Thanks to the e-books given to me by my friend, not even the dimmed lights of our bus to Baguio could keep me away from the unfolding drama that was the story of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, who is incidentally nicknamed “Ana.” (And with one “n.” Not even Anna Karenina had one “n.”)

Seeing black and white, not grey

I got caught up in the mindless banter and giggled when Christian Grey said, “Laters, baby.” I alternately blushed and bit my lip during the uh, steamy parts. I couldn’t put my tablet down, telling myself it was “research” for my work in sexual health education and took down notes. (I even ended up writing a blog post devoted to the 6 Safe Sex Lessons I Learned from Fifty Shades of Grey.)

But in equal measure, I rolled my eyes and caught myself saying out loud, “Seriously?!?” and “C’mon, no one can have that much kinky f*ckery!”

But mostly, I was just bothered — and not by all the BDSM, which for the most part was consensual — but by the controlling, possessive, emotionally abusive Christian Grey whose only excuse for his behavior was being “in love” with the naïve, accepting, compliant Anastasia Steel.

While my heart, out of its own accord, occasionally fluttered at the description of the demi-god billionaire (Ana), after more than 3 decades on earth, my cerebral instincts kicked in and I could see past the grandiose shows of affection and all the hot sex to see this highly romanticized relationship for what it really was: emotionally volatile, suffocating and potentially abusive.

The mere thought of a Christian Grey — or any man for that matter — earnestly whispering, “you’re mine, Ana, mine” made me want to run away, rather than turn my knees to jelly.

I knew that Christian Grey and Edward Cullen and men like them were best kept in books as the work of someone else’s imagination. I could distinguish between black, white and grey.

***

I looked up from my reverie to see my daughter expectedly looking at me, still waiting for an answer.

“Okay, fine. You can watch ‘Twilight.’”

“Yes! Thanks, Mommy!”

She engulfed me in a tight hug — surely, the 11-year-old version of a handshake to seal the deal.

I pulled away and said, “But can I ask you one thing? After, can we discuss Bella and Edward and why their relationship is just so wrong, on so many levels?”

She agreed and I hugged her back just as tightly searing a note in my mind to keep her from reading “Fifty Shades of Grey” until she’s 30…at least 30. - Rappler.com

All allusions to Fifty Shades of Grey used in this article are intentional by the writer. She asks that she not be judged. It’s not called “mommy porn” for nothing.

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Six safe sex lessons from Fifty Shades of Grey

Posted on 14. Nov, 2012 by in Safe (Sensible) Sex, Sex & Relationships

Six safe sex lessons from Fifty Shades of Grey

There’s a lot that has been said about the book, and the steamy scenes that marked the relationship of Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele, but let us add another thing: the safe sex lessons incorporated into the story. In fact, we sexual health educators could learn a thing or two about how to weave in safe sex lessons into erotica, namely:

Photo from ethicaljohnny.com

1. How to put on a condom:

In one of their initial encounters, christian teaches the virginal Anastasia how to put on a condom, telling her, “pitch the top before rolling on. You don’t want any air to get into those suckers.” Condoms were a mandatory and were always put on before any actual penetration took place.

And there was a strict no glove, no love policy. Even if he didn’t like using them, Christian deferred sex without them. “I’d love to fuck you yet again, Anastasia, but I’ve run out of condoms.”

Photo from femineus.blogspot.com

2. The importance of getting tested

One part of the book had Christian and Anastasia discussing in detail getting tested AND the results of their tests. Ok, so it’s not romantic, but it is necessary considering one of rules of safe sex: when you sleep with someone, you sleep with their history. And apparently, Christian was also aware of the perils of his chosen lifestyle and had each of his subs tested before um, getting tied up with them.

 

Photo from ruralwellbeing.org.uk

3. Always have a back up contraceptive method if you don’t want to use condoms

As a relationship progresses, a couple may want to go off condoms, but not without finding an alternative birth control method. When Christian and Anastasia wanted to go off condoms, they decided on going on the Pill as an alternative contraceptive method.

Also noteworthy is that the use of Pills and going off condoms came after the discussion of test results.

erectiledysfunctioncuretips.com

4. Before going on the Pill, consult your doctor, a.k.a don’t self-medicate.

In the story, Christian paid one of the best doctors in Seattle a small fortune to make a house call and prescribe Anastasia a pill. Of course, in real life, all that pomp and pageantry isn’t necessary, but what is important is sitting down with your doctor and discussing the best possible birth control method for you given your age and lifestyle.

Photo from activism.com

5. The role of self-regulation in contraceptive efficiency

There were many scenes in Book 1 when the importance of taking the Pill the same time each day was emphasized. There were also some helpful tips on how to remember to take them. Anastasia had a daily alarm installed on her Blackberry. After her visit to Georgia, she had to manage the time difference and Christian suggested she take her pill thirty minutes earlier each earlier to close the timezone gap.

Photo from sodahead.com

6. Consent and trust

And perhaps the best lesson that could be learned from Fifty Shades of Grey is the importance of consent. Ok, the NDA and lawyer-screened annotation of boundaries and expectations were on the extreme side, but there were many times in the story when Anastasia was told that she was free to go anytime and she would not be forced to do anything she didn’t want to do. BDSM inclinations notwithstanding, knowing and respecting each other’s boundaries, seeking consent and trust are integral to any relationship.

NOTE: This post is limited to the safer sex aspect of a relationship, as depicted by the characters Christian Grey and Anastasia Steele.

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What his penis could be telling you

Posted on 29. Oct, 2012 by in reproductive health, Safe (Sensible) Sex, Sex & Relationships

What his penis could be telling you

Just between us girls, how to deal with it when his stiffy is actually more of a softy

Women have bad hair days, men have drooper days.

Women have days when their hair just won’t behave the way they want it to. Despite their efforts to style it, blow dry it, it remains limp and lifeless.

For men, these are the days when their penis won’t respond the way they want it to. It remains limp and just won’t curl…up.

In either case, it’s a performance issue, and while it may be damaging to a girl’s inner goddess complex to be unable to make Junior respond to her charms, a drooper day maybe a wake up call to listen to what his penis might really be telling you.

1. Not all erections are created equal.

There’s hard, harder and hardest. And in the bedroom, just as in linguistics, the superlative is the best. Urologists use what is known as an Erection Hardness Scale (EHS) which is a four point gauge for erection hardness.

Grade 4 is the hardest and may be compared to a cucumber. Try flicking a cucumber and check for that thumping sound and you’ll see why this hardness takes the cake (and probably eats it, too).

Grade 3 may be compared to an unpeeled banana. It’s hard enough for penetration, but it could be harder. Grade 3 erections are already considered sub-optimal erections, which will already affect the quality of sex.

Some urologists may have this in their clinic for patients (and their patients) to touch and feel the level of erection hardness.

 

Grade 2 erections may be compared to a peeled banana. It still goes up, but penetration is difficult. And a Grade 1 erection is compared to tofu and well, any which way you look at (or cook) tofu, that’s just too soft.

 

Now, why is this important? Because this leads us to another message his flesh flute may be humming…

2.    He could be sick with something else

Older, more mature men no longer have the monopoly on erectile dysfunction. Urologists Dr. Jaime Songco has noted that patients coming into his clinic to seek advice on E.D. are getting younger and younger.

Songco says this may be attributed to lifestyle choices. Stress and unhealthy habits like eating food loaded with cholesterol and smoking contribute to E.D.

“The penis is a vascular organ; it is an organ filled with blood vessels and arteries and highly dependent on blood flow. To achieve an optimal erection, a sudden rush of blood to the penis is needed. Clogged blood vessels and arteries damaged from smoking and cholesterol are sure roadblocks to the sudden rush of blood flow to the penis,” says Songco.

Often E.D. problems are harbinger of other bigger health issues such as cardio vascular disease like hypertension or diabetes.

According to Songco, the Golden Rule when it comes to caring for the family jewels is, “What is bad for the heart, is bad for the penis.”

(Could that have something to do with love, too?)

3.    It’s not just about attaining, it’s also about maintaining an erection that matters

In 2011, Pfizer conducted the Ideal Sex Survey where over 3,000 Asian men and women were asked what they’d like to improve in their sexual relations.

The survey also asked them what constituted an ideal sex experience, and they ranked the following in order of importance:  duration, frequency, orgasm intensity, and elements related to erection.

The survey revealed that it’s the erection! Specifically, it’s the man’s ability to achieve and maintain optimal erectile hardness that respondents consider as the most important factor in a satisfying sexual experience.

4.    It’s not just him, there are many others

The 2011 Ideal Sex Survey also showed that 89% of Filipino men experience what’s known as sub-optimal hardness and say that they are bothered by it. And it’s not just the men—their partners are also affected.  But only half are actually talking to each other about it.

The survey uncovered that men were more satisfied with their sex lives overall and more confident in themselves when they rated themselves as having optimal erectile hardness.

5.    It be hard (to get around to it), but seeking professional medical advice is still best

There are more than a million searches every month on erectile dysfunction—in the Philippines alone. That’s an awful lot of men and women seeking advice on how to deal with E.D.

What’s more worrying is that these searches shouldn’t take the place of a sit down with a doctor. So if he’s more of drooper than a trooper in bed, listen to his penis and what it could be telling you. Hold his hand and encourage him to seek medical advice. Go with him and show your support, if you think it will help. With proper attention and medication, things are bound to go up.

Have questions? Check out www.up4love.com.ph to get more information on erectile dysfunction. Remember though that this is not a substitute for medical advice. Talk to your doctor about erectile dysfunction.

This writer has worked with Pfizer on various initiatives to advance awareness for the treatment of erectile dysfunction.

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The vibrator: A girl’s ‘bed friend’

Posted on 24. Oct, 2012 by in Sex & Relationships

The vibrator: A girl’s ‘bed friend’

by Ana P. Santos

SAN FRANCISCO, CA, USA – From generation to generation, there has probably been no other sex toy that so captured a woman’s ahem, heart, and occupied such a prime space in her bedside table than the vibrator.

The girls from “Sex and the City” knew it (Charlotte York practically made the Rabbit Vibrator a household name and in one episode, Samantha Jones gave an informal review of vibrators that she had personally tried and tested) apparently; our great grandmothers did, too.

A vibrator is a good thing to have in your nightstand, to have on hand as a trusty bed friend.

Feeling the vibe

Women started feeling the need for a good vibe as early as 1899. During this time, vibrator ads were found in needlepoint magazines, much to the shock of Rachel P Maines, a scholar who made the discovery. (She was researching on a different topic).

Maines’ later research led her to discover that the vibrator was invented a full decade earlier than the flat iron, the vacuum cleaner and the electric frying pan.

Is it a coincidence that all these household items were meant to make life just a wee bit easier for women? Or as Maines posits in her study, “The Technology of Orgasms: Hysteria, The Vibrator and Women’s Sexual Satisfaction,” was it indicative of consumer priorities at the time?

Dr Carol Queen, resident sexologist of the Good Vibrations sex shop on Polk Street, San Francisco, thinks it was a little of that, as well as “Just ignorance of women’s sexual health and what they needed to function as healthy people.”

Queen is also curator of the Antique Vibrator Museum inside Good Vibrations. Here, early models of vibrators dating back to the early 19th century are on display.

It would take the world a while to recognize women’s need for sexual satisfaction – even with the availability of vibrators.

For one thing they were not positioned as sex toys, but as a gadget to treat hysteria, which was then known as a medical condition.

While taking a personally guided tour of the museum in the Good Vibrations store along Polk Street in San Francisco, Queen explains, “Early vibrators were used to treat hysteria, which is derived from the Greek word which means ‘womb.’ People thought a woman’s womb was coming detached wandering outside of her body, causing mayhem and affecting her mood.”

“Hysteria was then treated with manual massage of the vulva which could be done by a physician or a mid-wife. It was then cause of hysterical proxisms, I call that an orgasm when it happens to me.”

That hysteria was noted to occur more in single women and widows indicated that the condition was somehow sexually related.

A post in the Antique Vibrator Museum reads: “In the late 19th century, as many as three quarters of the adult female population was considered ‘out of health’ suffering from hysteria, which was one of the most frequently diagnosed diseases in history until the Psychiatric Association removed it from the canon of modern disease paradigms in 1952.”

Vibrating household items

Vibrators of the early days nowhere resembled the vibrators of today.

They were bulky, heavy hand-held devices (not battery operated as we know them today) and looked anything but phallic or sexually enticing. They looked clunky, and quite monstrous, and were not meant for vaginal penetration, but vulva/clitoral massage and stimulation.

That they were made to resemble household items was a matter of design, discretion and manufacturer; early vibrators were made by household appliance makers like Hitachi and Hamilton Beach.

Today, Queen says that the Hitachi Vibrator-Massager, is one of the best sellers in the Good Vibrations shop.

Lifting of sexual camouflage

The 1920s was the period when the sexual camouflage was lifted on vibrators.

“Vibrators were seen in blue films, in porno and that let the cat out of the bag,” says Queen.

It also led to the revolution and evolution of the vibrator in terms of design. Vibrators began to take on an art deco design and feel, became smaller and more portable and convenient to carry around.

Battery-powered vibrators allowed getting a buzz anywhere possible and packaging deviated from medical, clinical boxes to colorful, vibrant ones brandishing pleasure and promising satisfaction at your fingertips. In the Good Vibes Sex Shop, you can find just about any vibrator you want — from phallic contours to discreet cylinders and pocket rockets.

Interestingly enough, Queen also says that the store was able to put together enough vibrators to create a museum exhibit due to donations from store patrons who saw the clunky items in their grandmother’s closet and finally figured out what they really were.

As our great grandmothers might have known — diamonds may be a girl’s best friend, but vibrators are best kept in the bedside….just in case. -Rappler.com

This was also published here

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[Dash of SAS] Sex on display: The Museum of Sex

Posted on 29. Sep, 2012 by in Sex & Relationships

[Dash of SAS] Sex on display: The Museum of Sex

By Ana P. Santos

New York, USA - The sign at the exhibit entrance reads: “Please do not touch, lick or mount any of the exhibits.” It sounds like a wildly presumptuous assumption to make, but here at the Museum of Sex, it serves as both forewarning and welcome.

From the swanky gray building swathed in dripping bubble gum pink paint to its almost floor-to-ceiling windows— everything about the Museum of Sex, or the MoSex for short, is an invitation to enter.

Actually, before getting to the actual exhibit, you’ll have to feel your way through the sea of temptation that is the Museum Gift Shop. Most every sex gadget or pleasure amplifier is here — from condoms, to books, to pasta shaped like breasts and penises to delight your palette.

Photo by Ana Santos

For some good proper sex, you can choose to buy a box of Sir Richard’s Condoms. The letter (yes, a letter!) at the back of the box reads: “Dear Sir or Madam, what you hold in your hand contains the world’s finest condoms…go ahead and try them not necessarily in this store, but in the privacy of your home or in a public place where you will most unlikely get caught. The company promises the discerning buyer that for every condom purchased, it will donate a condom to someone in a developing country. To complete the cycle of propriety and politesse, bedside Sir Richard’s box are hand towels labeled as ‘cum rags.’ In this corner of the museum, you have everything you need to remind you of your bedside manners.”

Photo by Ana Santos

And if there’s something for the nice, there is also something for the naughty like the black sex paddles or flogging sticks inscribed with “ouch,” “slut” or “love.” Each word thoughtfully spelled out in reverse to ensure that they remain perfectly legible when they leave their mark.

Sex Paddles. Photo by Ana Santos

Naughty and nice

Numbing Oral Sex Mints. Photo by Ana Santos

The naughty and the nice will surely appreciate the Numbing Oral Sex Mints to ensure that you don’t gag (that would not be very polite) or swallow, at least involuntarily.

The variety, the abundance of items in this candy store of pleasure, doesn’t tickle your imagination; it seduces your senses with its potion of humor, wit, and playfulness where sex is the very blatant additive.

Numbing Oral Sex Mints. Photo by Ana Santos

The assault on your senses continues when you walk in the first exhibit room where you are greeted by muffled moans. This is actually a film exhibit that chronicles the history of pornography from its simple beginnings in “grind houses” (the etymology of “bump and grind,” perhaps) to its splintering into other genres like “celebrity porn” which once brought shame to Pamela Anderson Lee and Rob Lowe, but later brought fame to Paris Hilton and Kim Kardashian.

TV screens show in a timeline fashion how sex scenes in movies started from subtle and implied because of The Motion Picture Production Code — also known as The Moral Code that was then in place. Later, the Moral Code was replaced with the implementation of the movie grading scale as we know it today, (Example: G, PG, R) which has affected the way that movies are made and produced.

Animal sex and how desire has gone viral

It’s mating season on the next floor where animal statues depicting various states of copulation are found. There are furry pandas in a loving pose and there are embracing monkeys and affectionate dolphins all enjoying the bonding and connection of sex.

A statue of the monkey standing tall and upright is the lone solitary figure in this part of the museum. He is described as a “male bonobo soliciting sex for sugarcane.”

Photo by Ana Santos

The museum ends with a digital display and analysis of how desire has gone viral. Sex, pornography and erotic literature can be viewed, seen and read through every communication touch point from your computer screen to mobile phone.

Our phones have gone from rudimentary communication devices to private sex messaging (also known as “sexting”) centers, cheaper production tools have made “amateur porn” possible and the Internet has offered us an avenue to view it and just about any kind of proclivity just by typing in our chosen key words.

Photo by Ana Santos

As you walk past the last display, you are back to where you started, the museum gift shop. Your entrance tickets are also good for a drink at the museum bar located at the basement. And what better way to end this museum tour than with a cocktail and a wicked saying wrapped inside the dirty fortune cookies sold at the museum gift shop? - Rappler.com

The Museum of Sex is on 233 Fifth Avenue, New York City, NY, USA. It’s online: http://www.museumofsex.com/

This article was also published here.

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Woman on Top and Other Take-Charge Sex Moves

Posted on 16. Aug, 2012 by in Sex & Relationships

Woman on Top and Other Take-Charge Sex Moves

By Ana Santos

So you’ve thought about initiating sex, but you’re just not sure if you should. Here are some tips on taking charge in the bedroom.

Photo via sxc.hu

Want to initiate sex, but not sure how? You might even be downright afraid to try for fear of rejection. There are a number of reasons why women are scared of initiating sex with their partners, but there are more powerful reasons why they should. Being an empowered woman is a good thing, and you have all the right to go for what you want.

Fear is not a legitimate reason to repress yourself and deny your needs. Your partner will also appreciate it when you let out the sexy temptress in you. Susan Sprecher, a professor of Sociology at the Illinois State University, even discovered that sexual satisfaction is greater in relationships in which partners initiate sex equally. And seriously, those are all the reasons you need to start doing it.

Dr. Sprecher’s study also showed that women who are more comfortable and confident in their relationships and in their own skin are the ones who are gutsy enough to initiate sex. So before trying any of these tips, do a quick check up on your relationship and self-esteem.

TIPS FOR BEGINNERS

For the beginners who need to warm up to the idea of initiating sex, these tips look harmless and benign. But don’t underestimate their subtlety. If you do these things, he’ll get the hint that you’re in the mood to get frisky.

1. PLAY REMEMBER WHEN AND STRIKE UP SOME OLD MEMORIES.

We all have that one date or occasion when the sex was just mind-blowing. Relive those moments by using something that will trigger those steamy memories.

“My boyfriend and I had one fantastic weekend in a bed and breakfast,” said Wendy, 26. “We spent one particularly long time on this elaborate chair, if you get what I mean. And for some time, I would just send him that photo on his e-mail with one line, like, ‘Replay?’”

This memory inducer could be anything: a dress you wore that he nearly tore off or a scent that drove him crazy. These things and more will fire up his senses and get him up and running.

(Photo by David J via Flickr Creative Commons)

 

2. LINGER

Send your message through those everyday actions that have become perfunctory, and turn them into red hot signals. Make the most out of that kiss goodbye in the morning before work or that kiss hello when you first see each other. Do more than just peck him on the cheek–throw in the smallest hint of tongue action, or suck on his lower lip (always the lower lip, the upper lip looks more like an accident). When you need to whisper something into his ear, wait a few seconds before pulling away and slowly breathe into it. Better yet, plant a flicker of a kiss on his neck before pulling away entirely.

These small gestures will put his senses in overdrive and get him revved up with excitement.

(Photo by Tela Chhe via Flickr Creative Commons)

3. TALK DIRTY.

Dirty talking is a real turn on for many, but it’s not something that everyone can do. Just remember that when it comes to dirty talk, less is more. It’s also the safer route. Pick your mode of communication. Will it be e-mail or SMS? Stay away from something public like Twitter or Facebook. Keep it short, sweet, and cryptic.

How about sending an e-mail with the subject “Hungry”? And when he asks what you want for dinner, tell him you weren’t talking about your appetite for food.

(Photo by Christine Roth via Flickr Creative Commons)

 

FOR INTERMEDIATE SEDUCERS

You’ve tried initiating sex once, maybe twice, or maybe a handful of times. You’ve enjoyed taking the bull by the horns and riding it, but you’re still self-conscious about taking charge too often. Try these creative mood setters to help him understand that you want it hot, and you want it now.

1. QUIETLY JOIN HIM IN THE SHOWER.

What better way to say “I want some” than to get your man in the shower, where you’re both naked, slippery, and wet. When still in the shower, don’t get right on with the deed. Build up the tension by lathering each other up, paying more attention to certain parts that will get him in the mood. Remember to rinse off before taking the action to another part of the room.

(Photo by Chad Miller via Flickr Creative Commons)

2. WATCH A MOVIE WITH SOME HOT SEX SCENES.

Watch movies with the steamiest sex scenes. Yes, this is much better than watching porn together because it leaves something to the imagination. As they say, when you stimulate the mind, you are actually stimulating the biggest sex organ ever. To get you started, Female Network suggests:

Basic Instinct with Sharon Stone and Michael Douglas,
Original Sin with Antonio Banderas and Angelina Jolie,
Unfaithful with Diane Lane, and
Love and Other Drugs with Anne Hathaway and Jake Gyllenhaal.

(Photo by Grizdave via Flickr Creative Commons)

 

3. PLAY WITH YOUR LINGERIE.

Do something you’ve never done before in your lingerie. Sure, he’s seen you in your bra and panties—wearing even less than that. Spice things up by doing ordinary activities in your bare essentials. Like, after a shower, has he ever seen you slowly rub lotion all over your arms and legs? After undressing from a long day at work, has he ever seen you leisurely walking around in your room wearing just that? Or instead of the usual comfy nightshirt, how about climbing into bed in a sexy sheer teddy? Try all of these options, and find out which one he responds to the most. In fact, exercise your imagination and come up with your own scenarios too!

(Photo by CEBImagery.com via Flickr Creative Commmons)

FOR SASSY SEDUCERS

You and your partner give and take, and that includes taking turns initiating sex. But even experts need to work at staying at the top of their game. These tips might help you do just that.

1. BUY A NEW SEX TOY.

Get a sex toy, and experiment with it. Depending on what you’re into and how far the two of you can push the envelope, this can be anything from a vibrator to flavored lubricant to strip poker or even a sex game app you can download.

(Photo by Frédéric BISSON viaFlickr Creative Commons)

 

2. WAKE HIM UP IN BETWEEN THE SHEETS.

Men usually wake up in the morning with their appendages standing at attention. It’s just how male anatomy works. Make that work to your advantage, and work your magic down there while he’s asleep. Make sure you do so slowly and gently in case he suddenly jerks up in surprise (no pun intended there).

(Photo by Jacob via Flickr Creative Commons)

3. ROLE PLAY

Dress up as the stereotypical porn icon like the French Maid, the Slutty Nurse, or the Kinky Librarian. Dress up like his favorite porn fantasy, or wear a trench coat then reveal your sexy outfit. Sure, it might make you feel silly instead of sexy at first, and the two of you may need to get over the laughing before anyone actually gets laid, but that’s the whole point of sex, isn’t it? It’s supposed to be fun and, yes, sometimes even funny. Sometimes it’s a guffaw rather than a moan that marks the best sex you’ve ever had.

(Photo by opcom via Flickr Creative Commons)

 

This article was also published here.

 

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So you are now Mrs. X?: Hits and Mrs.

Posted on 19. Jun, 2012 by in Sex & Relationships

So you are now Mrs. X?: Hits and Mrs.

Anabelle Ragsag on retaining her maiden name after marriage and the law that allows Filipina women to do the same

As they say, there’s no place like home.

After living away from the Philippines for seven years first as a graduate student and later on, working in different capacities in international organizations, each trip to the Philippines is a cause for sleepless nights filled with anticipation. There is so much to look forward to: getting together with family, friends and indulging in the food that I could not cook myself because the ingredients or its alternatives are not easy to find abroad.

All fun and cozy, it sounds–or not.

When in the Philippines, I also take time out from all the fun to do necessary transactions like updating pension policies, making medical checkups, visits to the bank, among others.  Some of these transactions require me to indicate my marital status.  But since I chose not to change my last name, I inevitably find myself faced with a barrage of questions as to why my maiden name remains to be mine.

Some questions are forthright and clinical, and a short answer would suffice. Some, with the mind of an Inquisitor, fall along the lines of insinuation, “Di ka naman ata kasal kasi pangalan mo pa din”.  [Maybe you’re not really married, that’s why you’re still using your own [maiden] name.]  In the past, I would always get annoyed by this line of questioning, who wouldn’t?

Now, three years, later, my perspective has changed. Perhaps I got older, or I simply got tired of getting annoyed, but now each time a hullabaloo is raised because of the use of my maiden name, I now see it as an opportunity to evangelize–a way to make this practice understood.

All this makes me recall those times when I was still single. I had lots of practice in explaining this choice among my friends–even years before I met my husband, even during years when I was not in a relationship at all.  Arriving at this choice is a mush of different factors; among them an understanding that an identity is something personal, something important to a person’s sense of being, and you can say, dignity.  I realized that love and marriage do not necessarily have to be antagonistic to one’s decision to retain her maiden name. It was helpful too, to be in a community of like-minded academic friends on this matter, knowing that there are others who are doing the same.  My younger sister who has been living a continent away has a world divorced from feminist theorizing (though I know she is a feminist at heart), also retained her maiden name when she got married.  It may have been all theory then, but my sister who married ahead of me, was acting on this decision already.

A friend told me that negotiations, in a marriage, like in a job, happen before you have signed on the dotted line.  During the two years that we are dating, I scoured my husband’s mind and heart about things like marital names, the desire to help parents and family, family role expectations, money-keeping, among others.  By the time that we got married in 2008, I felt that we had properly negotiated the terms of our relationship.  My husband, who comes from a different cultural and national tradition often perceived to be more conservative than others, has rallied behind my choice.

The idea of retaining one’s maiden name may be revolutionary in the Philippines, but in my husband’s home country, it is the norm.  In the other countries where I have lived,  norms are different too. In Germany, for instance, I know of a friend who carried a hyphenated name after marriage but not in the way we know it in the Philippines.  Instead of “maiden name-husband’s name”, it is written as “husband’s name-maiden name”.  In a province in Indonesia, the men only have one name, but get their surnames usually given by the maternal side of the family when they are married.  I heard of an acquaintance in Norway who carried his wife’s surname as his own hyphenated name, so they have the same surnames.  All these examples further strengthened my resolve that retaining one’s maiden name after marriage is but one choice among a universe of choices in the world. It is a choice that I am sticking to.

Even our Civil Code is sympathetic

“If you knew you could keep your name after marriage, you would not change too, right?” was my offhand way of answering the curious, sometimes prying questions that my choice was met with.

Though no lawyer, I start with Article 370 of the New Civil Code of the Philippines, which provides that Filipino women have the option, and not a duty to adopt the surname of her husband.

In other words, married women have the prerogative to choose the state of their surname after marriage. These options include the retention of one’s maiden name.

What sticks to my listener’s mind as well is the reminder that a change in civil status does not necessitate a change in name.  It is a choice, rather than a mandatory. The law protects this principle.

A close friend and I love quoting what Erica Jong wrote:

“Naming oneself is an act of the poet and the revolutionary. To take away one’s name is to remove one’s identity. Immigration officials do this to refugees. Husbands routinely do this to wives.”

I have softened on the use of this quote.

Having lived in different countries abroad from–progressing and progressive, rigid and moderate, closed and open–I have come to realize that the naming process as we know it, is not the same everywhere. And husbands, for that matter, are not the enemies here.  It also does not mean that those who adopt their husband’s surname after marriage have turned their back from the land of brave women.

What we need to remedy is that which we take for granted:  that as a routine, Filipino women, after marriage have to change their identities.

 

Photo from weddingbycolor.com

 

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Emotional Sin: Why infidelity is not just a matter of exchanging bodily fluids

Posted on 14. May, 2012 by in Sex & Relationships

Emotional Sin: Why infidelity is not just a matter of exchanging bodily fluids

This article was re-posted from Illustrado Life.

 

The flirtation of a charged text message or smile, the harmless cup of coffee after work, the feeling of desire and being desired brought by an attraction to the opposite sex.  Ana P. Santos talks to relationship and psychology experts to get the low down on emotional adultery, where betrayal does not necessitate taking off one’s clothes.

“Office husband” is a term Aileen Santos hears quite often. Santos, a certified relationship coach with a master’s degree in Psychology and Counseling hears a lot of her patients talking about their “office husbands.”

“This is the guy in the office that they hang out with, and with working hours being the way they are – long – this is also the guy they spend more time with compared to their real husbands.”

Long office hours, alternating work days due to the proliferation of the BPO industry and more people spending more time at the office just to avoid mind numbing traffic are just some of the factors adding to the emergence of such relationships.

“An office husband need not be an adulterous relationship and sometimes it is not,” said Santos, “but it does have the potential for turning into an emotional affair. Women, by nature, are more prone to emotional affairs than physical ones.”

The line that divides is so fine that it is easy to not even notice crossing it.

“It’s when you start confiding in your office husband more than your real life partner that it starts to become an emotional affair,” Santos cautioned.

By doing so, Santos says you deprive your partner the chance to get to know you, to share in the parts of your life that matter to you and be there for you.

Santos, who says that relationships with the opposite sex are not to be totally avoided, stressed the difference.

“When you tell someone about what happened or you need to bitch about what your boss said or did, that’s just recounting your day. But when you start talking about how this made you feel that’s different. The intimacy and insecurity in letting someone see your vulnerable side is the checkbox that makes it an emotional affair,” said Santos.

“Relationships with other members of the opposite sex enrich us.  Just as any other positive relationships do, but we need to be clear about what relationships are for what.  We need to be clear about boundaries,” she added.

The Office Affair and the Office Lover

When Jona, a 35-year-old sales executive, began moving up the corporate ladder faster than her husband who was her college sweetheart, she became more and more dissatisfied with the relationship.

“It wasn’t just about me making more money. It was also about me being more ambitious than him. I began to see him as someone weak because he didn’t have the same drive. The power that I was feeling in the office, out on the field, was easy to bring home,” Jona explained.

She began finding more and more excuses to work overtime with a colleague from another department. Their perceived similar interests attracted her to him even more.  For the first time in their eight year marriage, Jona began wondering about what it would be like to sleep with another man.

Eventually, a promotion and ambition saved the day for Jona.  “The new role came with more responsibilities and in my desire to do well, I poured myself into the new job. Our problem then became the amount of time I was spending at work compared to being at home.”

That was the problem on the outside. But Jona admitted that the bigger reason was that she didn’t find her husband interesting anymore. “He couldn’t relate to the decisions and the pressure of my position. I couldn’t talk to him anymore,” she said.

“Relationships are dynamic. That’s their very nature. Because the people in it grow and change, too,” said Santos in reaction to Jona’s case.

Santos has seen many patients thinking that happy even after will just happen, which is a wrong notion. “The journey that we all want to be on, the one where we grow old with someone is a product of the small decisions we make every day. When we find ourselves veering off that course, we need to go back and think why we chose our partner in the first place.”

Almost Lover or Too Close for Comfort

For many people, there is a meaningful distinction between emotional infidelity and sexual infidelity.

“The former is about involving feelings, self-disclosure, opening up of the self to the other, becoming close, falling in love. The latter is more about sexual encounter.” said Eric Manalastas, Assistant Professor of Psychology at the University of the Philippines, Diliman.

Manalastas also shared that women often find emotional infidelity highly distressing, compared to sexual infidelity. On the other hand, men seem to be particularly bothered by women’s sexual infidelity.

“The gender difference should not be interpreted to mean there’s an absolute difference between men vs women. Nor does it mean that emotional infidelity will not bother straight men or that sexual infidelity will not worry straight women,” Manalastas explained.

Rica, 40, has been dealing with chronic infidelity and has gotten to know quite a bit about both sides of the coin. In their 12 years of marriage, she has found her husband, Joggie cheating four times.  It was all the more infuriating for Rica when he would deny any physical involvement with the women.

“I would see the text messages calling him “baby”, the messages saying thank you for the lingerie that he bought while we — the two of us – were abroad. Once, I answered his phone without saying hello right away and a female voice came on the line asking: ‘Hon, can you talk?’ What do you call that?” Rica wailed.

With three kids and more than a decade of marriage, she says she doesn’t know what to do or why she continues to give him another chance. She can only conclude that the same thing that keeps her in the marriage is the same thing that angers her about Joggie’s “relationships” with these women.

“He hasn’t had sex with any of these women and I know this for sure because we own and manage our own business. We know each other’s hours and schedules. It’s not even to keep tabs on each other, it’s just as a matter of operating the business,” Rica disclosed.

“I don’t know. To me, it is an affair because of the betrayal and the intense pain I feel with the discovery of each new dalliance. But is it really an affair? They’ve never consummated the relationship. It’s like my heart and my mind are telling me two different things!”

Manalastas, in reaction says that what constitutes an affair is actually dependent on the couple. “If a couple constructs a committed relationship between themselves, and promises to be monogamous, then engaging in behaviors like texting, kissing, spending time with, or even thinking about someone else counts as infidelity not based on one’s own construal of “infidelity” but rather based on the partner’s.”

“In a close relationship, it’s not just the self that gets to call the shots and label things as ‘ok’ or `not ok’.  The partner’s point of view is equally – some would argue, even more important, especially if you want to stay together and be happy.”       

In relationships, as in anything in life, the route to happy ever after is made up of small every day decisions.

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