Monthly Archives: February 2017

What Exactly Makes Over the Top

Fifty Shades Darker opens in theaters February 10th, and Christian and Ana’s explosive and boundary-breaking sex scenes will once again rile up audiences all over the world.

Since imitation is the sincerest form of flattery, and we all have to start somewhere, asked four erotic novelists for insight into what makes those sex scenes tick—and how to turn fiction into fact. The five tools you’ll need for amazing sex—according to author Tiffany Reisz? Tension, foreplay, emotion, creativity, and fearlessness. Let’s break them down.

“You can create tension by simply holding back, even when you’re turned on. Whether that means taking a break from manual stimulation and stringing kisses along their neck; or doing a sexy little striptease; or taking off one item of clothing before you go further—you can build up your arousal and add playfulness to your sex life. Basically, tension can be fostered by taking your time.” —Rachel Kramer Bussel, editor of the Best Women’s Erotica of the Year series

“The actual mechanics of sex are fairly simple: Tab A in Slot B (Or, Tab A in Slot A—I love Slot A). So if you want to add spice to your sex, do it with dialogue. I can still remember with crystal clarity something an ex-boyfriend whispered in my ear one night while misbehaving. Words have power. People say things during sex they could never get past their lips during any other type of interaction.” —Tiffany Reisz, international bestselling author of The Original Sinners series

“Instead of simply rushing into sex, say ‘I’m going to [*fill in the blank*].’ You can even up the ante by saying something like, ‘I’m going to lick you in your favorite spot…if you’re good,’ and add tension by keeping the other person on edge, hoping they’re good enough to get rewarded.” —Rachel Kramer Bussel

“When you’re in the bedroom with someone, you’re at your most vulnerable. Even if you’re having wild and crazy swing-from-the-chandelier sex, you’re the most exposed you’ll probably ever be. Multiply and use your emotions to enhance sex. Don’t hide them. If you’re feeling playful, build on that with role play. Feeling aggressive? Tell your partner what you want—or what you want to do to them—in explicit detail. Then do it.”

Talk About Female Who Ejaculates

The first time it happened, my boyfriend Rick and I had been fooling around in the front seat of his late ’80s model Toyota Camry. Imagine hub cabs meant to look like rims, self-applied window tint, and two Midwestern teenagers working enthusiastically to get each other off.

Afterward, we looked down to discover that the seat below me was wet. I mean, really wet. Soaked as if I’d spilled his extra large Mountain Dew.

Since that awkward initiation, being a squirter is something I’ve come to own with pride. But back then, I was mortified. We thought I’d peed myself.

This was pre-Google, in 1996. There was very intentionally no Sex Ed at Bedford High in Bedford, Ohio, and the fact that we all bought into the mythical value of virginity had the unintended effect of encouraging creative experimentation. Oral sex was okay. Getting fingered. Basically anything besides s-e-x. By 16 years old, I would become one of those girls who had had anal sex and still called herself a virgin.

All this experimentation started two years earlier with a boy named Charlie. I’d thought I’d like the taste of an older boy’s mouth, cigarettes and metal and Listerine. The afternoon of our first “date,” Charlie had gotten his tongue pierced. He wasn’t supposed to be making out, but we did it anyway, in his car in the parking lot. It felt sexy and exciting to be liked by someone more “sophisticated,” 16 to my 14. He must really like me, I remember thinking, to be using his new tongue ring before it was properly healed.

For days or weeks or months—I don’t know, time stands still when you’re a teenage girl getting fingered—Charlie would pick me up in the afternoons after work and bring me back to his house. While his grandparents were away, we made out on the couch. I’d get naked and we’d kiss. Sometimes I’d touch him through his clothes. When I did, he felt enormous, engorged and insistent, and I’d become terribly afraid—”dick shy,” the boys my age would say.

Since Charlie was two years older than me, I trusted him. More and more, I became comfortable lying next to him naked. He’d kiss me everywhere, expecting nothing in return. We barely talked, always getting right to business. He touched me, gently at first. I was surprised to learn my body’s responses. It was like he knew just what to do. Slow or fast, he pushed his fingers inside of me, gently, then harder.

One afternoon, as he was doing this, the living room began to spin. The ordinary day crumpled into itself and, in one perfect moment, everything centered on my body. As it was happening, Charlie told me that I was having an orgasm.

Tell Your Doctor If You Do This

Six years ago, whips and chains were anything but mainstream. But thanks to literary juggernaut-turned-film-phenomenon Fifty Shades of Grey, everyone and their grandma knows kink. But what most don’t know is how concealing bedroom behaviors can hurt your health.

A study recently published in the Journal of Sexual Medicine titled “Fifty Shades of Stigma: Exploring the Health Care Experiences of Kink-Oriented Patients” revealed that less than half of BDSM practitioners (that’s bondage/discipline, dominance/submission, and sadism/masochism) confess their kinky lifestyles to their doctors, and most cite fear of judgement as the reason for their secrecy.

The stat suggests a pretty large community (accounting for 11-14% of Americans, according to rough estimates) is failing to get adequate health care because its members are afraid of what doctors may think of their bedroom behavior.

“Other sexual minorities, like those in the LGBT community, have all been found to suffer from health disparities,” says Jess Waldura, MD, medical director of The Alternative Sexualities Health Research Alliance (TASHRA), the team behind the study. “This shows up as poorer health, worse access to culturally competent medical care, and healthcare-related stigma.”

This prompted TASHRA researchers to dig deeper, and they’re currently crunching the data from a larger follow-up survey that explores the reasons why so many kinky people stay closeted. This new study, likely to be published later this year, also delves into the potential consequences that can arise from keeping BDSM behaviors secret.

“A [clinician] might bypass or fail to recognize your needs if they don’t have all the information,” says Carol Queen, sex educator and author of The Sex & Pleasure Book. “Doctors aren’t mind readers, and they’re mostly very poorly trained about kinky sexual practices. Hearing real info from patients will help them put faces to sexual practices and help them better understand what the stakes are.”

For some BDSM practitioners like Sally,* a kinkster from suburban South Carolina, the stakes can feel astronomically high. “I fell while being untied from a suspension bondage scene and hit the edge of a table,” she says. “I broke a rib. I didn’t seek treatment because I was embarrassed to tell them how it happened.” Despite the act being consensual and the injury an accident, she was worried: “I thought they would take my boyfriend in for domestic abuse.”

This kind of fear is overwhelmingly common in the kink community, according to Anna M. Randall, LCSW, MPH, a San Francisco-based sex therapist and TASHRA’s executive director. “About 13 percent of the survey respondents told their doctors their injuries were caused by something other than BDSM,” she says. “People make up stories; some are embarrassed, but most are more worried about being shamed by their doctors or not getting good care.”

“I’ve delayed OB/GYN visits due to bruises,” says Julie*, a submissive from Hanover, Massachusetts. “Having visible marks when going into a medical setting usually means I have to ‘out’ myself and that I won’t receive the care I require.”

While a busted ankle or broken rib may not seem like a major health concern, the injuries that sometimes arise from BDSM can potentially lead to bigger issues if left untreated. According to Randall, bruises, muscle strains, and piercing tears are common medical issues associated with kink, but foregoing medical care for seemingly minor problems isn’t a good idea.