Organizing a MFF or MFM threesome

By Maxxters

One of the most common questions we get in /r/sex is from couples who would love to experience a threesome but are really struggling with how to find their 3rd person (aka “unicorn”).  Many threesomes do just happen with no planning, where you have a friend over or are at a party and people just go for it. However, these situations are more likely to end in awkwardness, regret on someone’s part or a lost friendship or break up. That’s not to say they all end this way at all… they can also be really great, positive experiences for everyone involved. But if you want it to have a higher chance of being a great experience, communication really is essential. Everyone involved needs to feel comfortable with expressing their boundaries, desires, and concerns.  It’s quite common for couples to go out searching for their unicorn and totally disregard that person’s experience, in terms of what the ‘outsider’ would like to happen. Everyone involved needs to agree to the terms in order for it to be a satisfying and awesome experience for all!

Let’s return to the original question- how can you actually organize a threesome? There are a few ways that tend to be the most common and successful:

  • Online websites. You can post a profile as a couple on certain free websites like adultfriendfinder, okcupid or plentyoffish.  They are legitimate, but it can be tough. They tend to be more superficial so if you aren’t a young, attractive couple, you’ve got a slim chance of finding anyone interested. Fetlife.com is another option, where people are more open-minded to different ages, body types, kinks, etc, but again, it can be hard to get noticed. You tend to have to send out a lot of emails and put in time and effort. Just be careful about what information you divulge and pictures you share, especially if you want to remain anonymous. Always trust your gut and make sure you see them on webcam to verify their pictures and meet up in a public place.

 

  • Sex clubs are a great way to experience group sex. They differ widely in terms of the clientele they target, but by and large they’re very accepting, sex-positive places for couples to go to. It’s more likely that you’ll go with your partner and just end up being sexual with one another with other people in the room (watching, being watched, having sex separately from you, etc.). People are generally super friendly and talkative, but it can take a few tries before you get the feel of the place and learn how to approach others for mutual play. You’re less likely to have a threesome there too. It’s much more common for just the women to play together or to have more of a foursome than just find that one extra person to join you and your partner.

 

  • Bars/clubs. These tend to be better if you’re pretty confident and, well, brave. It can be tough to get a feel for who would be comfortable with being approached for this. The best way to go about finding a third in a bar/club is for the woman to approach them. If you’re looking for another woman to join you, they’ll feel less threatened if they’re approached by another woman. Whether the woman of the couple wants to go the direct route and tell the unicorn right away that you’re looking for a threesome or if she wants to just flirt with the girl and compliment her on how attractive she is and maybe even make out with her before putting the offer on the table is up to you and your comfort levels. If it’s a man you’re looking to join you, again, it tends to be easier for the woman to approach him and flirt with him and seeing that there’s interest before giving the details of what you’re looking for. No doubt men can be the ones to approach instead if that’s what you and your partner prefer though. Just a little less successful generally speaking.

 

  • Approaching a friend you’re both attracted to. It’s important to do this in the right situation. During a chilled out dinner together or maybe more of a party atmosphere tends to have good results, especially if you already know they’re sexually open minded/adventurous. Make sure that you don’t pressure them in any way. Just let them know that you and your partner are looking to have a threesome and find them really attractive and wanted to know if they’d be interested. If you make it awkward, it will be awkward. So be confident and nonchalant about it. If they turn you down make sure you’re totally cool with it and tell them that it’s not a problem at all and that there was no harm in asking. If you find that it’s getting awkward, directly address it and find a way to lighten the mood.

 

These four options tend to be your best bets. All I can say is make sure you don’t rush into this. Take your time to really discuss this with your partner and make sure you’re both truly ready to add in another person without this being a threat to your relationship. Read this article for more information on whether or not you’re ready to open things up together.

The Need to Compare

By Maxxters

Almost any time I have a discussion about sexuality that’s focused on one gender, someone inevitably starts making comparisons to another gender and the issues they face. It’s like there’s this competition to see who has it harder when it comes to sex and sexuality. It also always ends up being a heteronormative comparison, with the focus on straight cis men or women. But putting that aside for now, I’m just wondering why there’s this need to continually compare men and women sexually and debate who has a tougher time in life with this. Is it really that hard to understand that everyone has struggles to overcome and that it’s not for anyone else to dictate or decide which problem is worse? Let’s examine the ever-popular issue of orgasm.

Yes, women overall have more difficulty with achieving orgasm. Do I think it would be as big a problem as it is now if society were more sex-positive and educated as a whole? Absolutely not. First off, more women would actually understand their bodies and the female sexual response. More would feel comfortable masturbating and trying different sexual techniques and acts. People would know that it’s normal for many women to not be able to achieve orgasm until their 20s or so. People would know that for many women, their orgasms are very small and hardly even noticeable. The whole notion of “oh, you’ll definitely know it when you orgasm” would be dismissed. But even more than that, people would know enough to stop using orgasm as the primary marker for whether or not the sex was good enough. There would be more understanding and even acceptance of women who have difficulty reaching orgasm and people would know to focus on pleasure during the entire sexual experience instead of this one event.

But men! What about the men! There’s no doubt that they have it rough as well. There’s a huge amount of pressure on men to last a long time. It seems like we hear non-stop jokes about it everywhere we look. There’s hardly anything worse than being a 1-minute man, right? Heaven forbid that we celebrate the fact that he’s experiencing so much pleasure that he can’t hold it in any longer. Yet isn’t that exactly what we do when someone is able to get a woman off that fast? And then there’s the flip side of men who last too long. Men who have a difficult time reaching orgasm. Well, then it’s their partner’s fault, right? Their partner must not be attractive enough, good enough sexually, or doing something else wrong, because all men are supposed to be able to cum from partnered sexual play…. right? So again, we’re back at the statement about if only society was more sex-positive and it was standard for people to understand the diversity that exists in sexual response.

So now the debate heightens.  Women can achieve multiple orgasm! Correct… some women can. But many men can as well! Ah, but women’s orgasms are so much better than men’s… they last longer and they’re more intense. Sure, for some women, that is the case. But again, for many of us, they’re super short-lived and very weak. And men also have the ability to experience those full body orgasms that involve wave after wave of pleasure coursing throughout their bodies.  Ah, and then this leads to the topic of anal stimulation. For many men, the only way to get these “great” orgasms is for them to stimulate their prostate. Yet there’s still a substantial taboo in society about how it’s only gay men who enjoy anal stimulation. How it’s a gay act to stimulate one’s own ass, or even to have a woman do it to a man. This is the logic of the society many of us live in. Depressing, to say the least.

More and more topics can branch off from this discussion… women get to squirt! (squirting is NOT an orgasm, people) Sex toys can enhance male orgasm but they’re often looked down on! Straight women have to deal with sex ending just because the man reached orgasm! Straight men have to deal with an average of 20-30 minutes of providing stimulation to their female partners to get them to cum! Most women can’t cum from purely vaginal sex! Men are more likely to have long refractory periods! Need I go on? I’m hoping that by now you’ve come to see the point I’m trying to make here. We all have a shitty deal with regards to how orgasm is viewed and treated. Numerous issues exist for everyone, regardless of gender (and we didn’t even get into sexual orientation and identity here). This isn’t a competition. There’s no need to compare or see who has it more rough.  This is the time to realize that all these “problems” are actually manageable and can all be overcome. Maybe the event itself can’t be changed… maybe the woman will always have “shitty” orgasms by society’s standards, maybe the man will never learn how to last as long as he wants. However, we do have the ability to shift our focus and the way we treat orgasm. We have the ability to work with our partner(s) and discuss the issues and try new ways of dealing with them. Whether it means taking the time to learn what acts provide pleasure instead of worrying about if it will result in orgasm, or remembering that partnered sexual play doesn’t always have to even involve the genitals. It’s about re-conceptualizing our ideas around sex and the sexual scripts many of us blindly follow and creating our own. Everyone’s personal situation is unique, which means that every new partner you have will be different. Discussion around sex, especially expectations and desires really needs to be a part of every intimate relationship and should be a standard, simple thing that is done with no judgement or fear.

Opening up an Intimate Relationship

By Maxxters

It seems like the “in” thing to do nowadays is to start bringing other people into the bedroom, whether it’s finding another single person to join you and your partner, looking for another couple to join in on the fun, going to a sex/swingers club, or even organizing a full-on gang-bang for you and/or your partner. Now in no way at all am I saying that any of this would be a bad thing to do. It can actually be a really fantastic thing for your relationship when done in the right way. The problem is that far too many couples go into this without properly preparing for it. Whether you’ve been in some form of an open relationship before or not, it is not something to take lightly.

According to Dr. Peggy Kleinplatz, Canadian clinical professor, psychologist and sexologist, it takes couples an average of 6 months of sex therapy to unpack all the issues involved in bringing other people into the bedroom. And of the couples that see her for help with this, only 1/3 actually go through with opening up the relationship after working through all the issues. If anything, this makes it quite evident to see just how complex threesomes, foursomes, etc. can be within the context of a serious relationship. In no way is this something you should just jump into simply because the opportunity presented itself. You need to spend a lot of time talking to your partner about what you would and would not be comfortable with, establishing rules and boundaries, discussing different scenarios that may arise and how you would each handle them, and things of that nature.

The toughest thing can sometimes be just bringing up the fact that you are interested in playing out this fantasy in the first place. It can be a hard thing for a partner to hear, as it tends to bring up insecurities within the relationship. Your partner may worry that it means they’re not good enough for you (and may never be), or that you’re not attracted to them anymore, or that you’ll always need other people in the bedroom to enjoy your sex life with them. So it’s really important to have this conversation in a calm, non-sexual environment where you have time to talk about why you’re interested in trying this and why you think it could be a good thing for the relationship. They may need time to just digest the information and this is a conversation that you’ll probably have to return to a number of times. If they state that in no way will they ever want to do this, then you need to respect this sexual boundary and drop it. Don’t joke about it, don’t bring it up in conversation (in or out of the bedroom)… just leave it be. You know how they feel and then it’s up to you to decide whether or not it’s a deal breaker. It doesn’t matter if they’ve had a threesome before or anything like that. Their past is their past and you need to respect that situations and desires change over time. Don’t take this personally.  Also, if you have a hard time bringing up the topic in the first place, then you may want to question just how ready you truly are for making this fantasy a reality. If you just need help with ways of bringing it up, then read through this article and this one.

If your partner is receptive to the idea, then you need to have multiple conversations on what aspects about it turn each of you on, and what aspects turn you off. A common concern is that you or the people you play with may develop feelings for one another.  You need to discuss this. As mentioned above, establish what would and would not be allowed and set clear boundaries. Also discuss the fact that it’s possible you or your partner may want to change those boundaries when actually living out the fantasy and talk about if/how that could be done. It’s extremely important to talk about how you both have the right to stop to things at any time, whether it’s a week before the meet-up, the day of, minutes before, or even right when you’re in the middle of playing with the other person/people. Everyone involved needs to be comfortable with doing that if the need arose.

I would also highly recommend spending a number of sexual sessions just role-playing multi-partnered play. Dirty talk with your partner about what each of you would be doing to the other person/people and what they would be doing to each of you. Get really comfortable with the mental imagery of it all while actually being sexual with your partner. Keep note of any negative feelings that arise and be sure to discuss it afterwards. Don’t leave a single concern unaddressed. You may also want to go to a sex/swingers club where you can choose to only be sexual with one another but get used to having other people around you watching you (and you watching them) and seeing if it’s an experience you enjoy or not. You can also choose to do light swapping there as well… all depends on what you’re both comfortable with and what you decide on. It can be a really great transition to private group interactions.

If you take the time to do this, especially with the help of a sex therapist, you have a really good chance of this not only being something really fun and exciting, but it can bring you so much closer to your partner. It’s a tough thing to explain or understand if you haven’t experienced it before, but opening up your relationship when both of you are truly ready for it can create a bond and trust between you that nothing else comes even close to. It can enhance not only your current sex life, but your overall relationship as well, and bring out intimacy you never knew could even exist.

Sex venues for gay men: A research study summary

By Maxxters

As a woman, sex venues specifically designed for gay men have always fascinated me. I found a journal article on sex-on-premise venues that are specifically for gay men and found it absolutely fascinating. It’s by Juliet Richters (2007) and is titled “Through a hole in the wall: Setting and interaction in sex-on-premises venues”.  The study included (but was not limited to) interviewing 30 Australian participants, with their ages ranging from 21 to 52 years old. All but 1 bisexual identified as gay. Before anything else though, it’s important for me to note that in no way are these places restricted to gay men. Men of all sexual orientations frequent them and most places are trans-friendly as well. Here is a summary of the information found in the article:

The different types of venues:

Sex venues for gay men may include backrooms (behind adult shops), gay bars/dance clubs, private sex clubs, saunas, bath houses, and men’s health clubs. Venues that are clearly gay tend to be baths (saunas) and sex clubs and are usually located right in the heart of the gay district. Sex clubs will usually have a rainbow flag/poster or a “gay-owned” sign. Saunas typically have a bland and discreet exterior that people outside of the community wouldn’t recognize as being a sexual space.

Backrooms tend to be attached to sex shops, where the entrance is a discreet door at the back of the store. An employee will ask the man about how familiar he is with these establishments before charging the entrance fee (which differs based on location). These shops may be located right in the gay district but are also scattered throughout suburban areas. This tends to be a venue where it’s not necessarily assumed that you’re gay if you participate.

 

Physical Features

All venues are different, but there are some generalizations that can be made about certain types of establishments. All have some form of a discreet entrance, where patrons are screened and pay the entrance fee. Many places have locker/change rooms. In wet venues (e.g., saunas, bathhouses), the men strip down and just wear a towel (if anything). In dry venues (e.g., sex clubs, back rooms), they’ll either stay clothed or change into their fetish gear. Sex clubs and saunas tend to have non-sexual spaces where cruising may occur, but that’s generally all that will be going on sexually. These may be coffee rooms, corridors, a tv room, or a games room. Other than minimal backrooms, most venues will have toilets and some will have showers.

The sexual spaces tend to be the cubicles (some with glory holes) and the orgy rooms or darkrooms. However, sex may still occur in other places like the bathrooms or corridors. Most places will have high steps or platforms, which can be really convenient for oral sex. Male dominance behaviour tends to occur here, where the person with power and expecting to receive oral (and possibly be the insertive partner for anal sex) will be standing on the platform and men who want to give oral will be walking around on ground level, looking for a prospective partner.

Glory holes tend to be present between toilet stalls and often between cubicles. Sometimes they’re simply used to watch the sexual play that’s occurring, but other times, the man will thrust his penis through so he can receive oral from the person in the next room/stall. Sometimes these holes were purposely built, and other times the patrons ‘created’ them themselves. Many non-gay-identifying men like the anonymity of glory holes, as well as the fact that it removes the idea that he’s enjoying another man’s body. This is simply a genital and sensual service that is being done for or by him. He can pretend that the person sucking him off is of any gender he wants and he doesn’t have to look down and see the reality that it is another man that has given him an orgasm. There’s also the aspect that attraction doesn’t come into play, other than the appearance of the penis itself. So men who are not confident with their bodies can simply present their penis without having to worry about being judged for any other aspect of their body.  Many men also find it easier to reach orgasm from receiving oral when done through a glory hole, due to the loss of self-monitoring. They find it easier to lose themselves in the pleasure they’re experiencing and block out visual cues about whether or not the other person is enjoying themselves and not having to worry about experiencing any form of intimacy.

 

Wet vs Dry venues

Wet refers to places like saunas and bath houses, where dry venues refer to things like sex clubs and backrooms.  Many men in the study preferred wet venues due to it being a more sensual experience overall. There is usually a hot tub, pool, steam room and dry sauna. Some men will visit the sauna just to have access to these facilities and don’t care if they have sex or not. The men here are also naked or semi-naked. Many love the voyeuristic aspect of just getting to sit back and watch other men (in sexual and non-sexual situations). Many of the men who preferred saunas had the view that dry venues were dirty places. There is a bit of a social class distinction between the “better” gay saunas and the more working-class backrooms. Saunas are more expensive, have comfortable private cubicles (furnished with mats or vinyl mattresses) and are generally cleaner than dry venues.  Some also found that negotiating safe sex was easier in a wet venue, since the lighting was better and you have the opportunity to discuss this before going off to a private cubicle. Many viewed saunas as being more conducive for anal sex as well, due to the availability of washing facilities and the cubicles being more comfortable.

For those who preferred dry venues, many preferred sex with their clothes on. They felt their bodies weren’t attractive enough to be successful if only wearing a towel or walking around naked. Additionally, some simply preferred the appearance of men that were at least partially dressed or who were walking around in masculine fetish gear (think leather chaps!). However, the dominant reason for the men in this study who preferred dry venues was the certainty of getting sex. A lot of this had to do with the availability of sexual contact in darkrooms. Most of these venues have corridors that the men cruise up and down around and check each other out before going to have sex in a dark corner. It is important to note that condoms and lube are always available but not always used. The sex in dry venues tends to be a bit less comfortable and is done standing up.

 

Darkrooms

As the name indicates, these rooms are not directly lit. There may be dimly lit by the glowing exit sign or condom dispenser box, but some are pitch-black (forcing the men to find their way around solely by “feel”). Many men choose to use to sexual venues purely for the darkrooms. It eliminates the huge pressure to be attractive/look a certain way and men are judged on different traits. As one participant stated, “The only reason that people will sort of get off with you is because they like the feel of you or that you kiss well or you’ve got a nice dick.” However, it’s this same notion that gives a negative stigma to men who frequent darkrooms, due to it meaning that you’re having sex with people who you would never usually want to engage sexually with.

The sex here is different from the other rooms. One participant states that “it’s sex that is not negotiated, because everybody is silently sticking their cock into a mouth, or an arse, that is spontaneous, where people are sustaining ejaculations, and coming inside of people’s arses, coming inside of people’s mouths, you know, no form of negotiation or safe practices at all.”. There’s no dialogue, judgment, or “face”. This means there’s no looking for visible signs or whether or not a man has HIV/AIDS. Men of all HIV statuses frequent darkrooms, and it’s common for absolutely no protection to be used.

Reasons for using these sex-on-site venues

Having places like these makes it safer for gay men to have casual sexual encounters. In most Westernized countries, these venues are legal.  Having sex in public spaces, such as parks and bathrooms is not only illegal, but it means the men having encounters here have to constantly monitor the surroundings to make sure no one will catch them. In their interviews, many of the participants mentioned the avoidance of danger as a reason to rely on these venues. Many had experiences of verbal and/or physical assault when caught being sexual in public.

Many participants also simply saw these venues as a fun night out. They found it easier to pick up other men in venues, due to the sheer number of available partners, but also venues that had darkrooms, since there was less pressure in the appearance-based act of cruising. Additionally, the venues made it easier to engage in a range of sexual acts (oral, anal, group sex, etc), they could remain anonymous there, and it eliminated the risk of taking someone home.

 

 

 

 

My personal views: What needs to change

By Maxxters

I would hazard to guess that I’m in the minority here, but I still feel the need to write this down in hopes that other people will at least try to see my point of view. I simply cannot stand how society as a whole views sex/sexuality. Here are some topics I’ve come across recently that have made me fume:

Pressures placed on Men

As tough as it can be to be a woman at times, I’m so glad I don’t have the pressures on me that most men experience. Penis size is such an issue in our society, with non-stop messages in the media making it sound like bigger is always better. We shame men for not having foot-long schlongs and make really hurtful comments and jokes about small penises. And then there’s the issue that men have to be able to get hard on command. What an insult if they aren’t hard the second the pants come off! Society also tends to play up the need to last long during sex. Heaven forbid that a man ejaculates before the hour is up. But oh my god, if he doesn’t orgasm at all? Then that’s even worse! Plus, he has to know exactly how to pleasure his partner without any communication/help from his partner and he has to provide them with orgasm after orgasm (because that’s the man’s job, not the person he’s pleasing, right?). All this is beyond ridiculous to me. I don’t understand why society doesn’t promote communication above all of this nonsense.

Slut Shaming

It terrifies me to see just how prevalent this remains. You would think that in this day and age we would have moved way past the shaming of women who wear certain types of clothes, have a lot of sex, or enjoy talking about sex. And what scares me even more is to see that women themselves may even be the most to blame for this. Many women can be absolutely scathing when it comes to judging and talking about other women. With women who are attracted to men, many can be incredibly competitive with one another, especially when it comes to gaining the attention of men. One of the most common tactics is to insult the woman they’re threatened by (whether it’s about how she’s dressed, the way she acts, etc) and make her seem less desirable. When a woman is feeling insecure and is upset that another woman looks better than her, it’s amazing how common it is for her to use the other woman’s sexuality as a weapon against her. This seriously needs to stop.

That’s not to say men are innocent here though. The things they say can be shocking as well, especially when it comes to actually having sex with someone they’ve labelled a “slut”. What does that make these men? How can women engage in an act with a man and the man ends up referring to her as a slut? Where was he in all of this? It’s time to realize that we’re all sexual beings in one way or another and we have the right to choose how to conduct ourselves. Whether or not it’s the way you personally choose to behave doesn’t matter. Why not just accept that everyone is different and stop being so threatened by that?

The Beauty Ideal

For women it’s the beautiful face, round and perky breasts, a tiny waist with a flat stomach, hips that are perfectly curved, a firm, round ass, thighs that don’t touch, and a hairless, pink vulva with barely any inner labia. For men it’s a sexy face, broad, sculpted shoulders, perfectly carved pecs and abs, a v-shaped back, a solid, firm bum, muscular legs, and a thick, long penis. And that’s all that could possibly be attractive, right? It terrifies me to know just how many people actually believe that. They truly feel that because they don’t look this way, it means that there’s no way anyone will ever really want to be sexual with them, let alone have a meaningful relationship with them. Body insecurities and issues with self-confidence and self-esteem are on the rise in all genders. It’s so important to know that everyone is attracted to different things and in no way should you feel bad about yourself because you don’t fit a certain (unrealistic) standard of beauty. Stop relying on others to determine your self-worth and also realize that you’re more than just a body. If you want more help with this, you may want to read through this resource.

Porn

It’s totally fine for you to not be interested in watching porn. But it’s completely unfair for you to forbid your partner from watching it. Yes, if they’re choosing porn over being sexual with you, then there’s an issue that you both need to work through together. But to think that porn is cheating? Sorry, but in no way will I ever buy that. People of all genders and orientations use porn… this is not something that only men enjoy. It allows you to become and remain aroused, reach orgasm much easier and faster and even experience stronger orgasms when you masturbate. It can introduce you to new things you would like to try, and as long as you know the differences between porn and reality, then you’re fine. It is also important to note that many people watch types of porn that they would never actually want to try in real life. It’s the voyeuristic aspect of watching something that’s different from what they experience in reality that turns most people on. It’s not necessarily them wishing they were the ones who were in the porn and wanting it to be their own reality.

If you’re threatened by porn, it quite often means that there is something that you yourself are insecure about. It’s important to work on that instead of looking at porn as the actual problem. It’s also amazing just how many people are anti-porn but have never actually viewed it themselves. In no way can you judge something like this without ever actually watching it. There’s a huge diversity when it comes to porn, with so many different types/genres. “Porn” can be so many different things. It’s not fair to judge it based one type or with your own ideas of what it is without actually having watched it.

The use of sex toys and anal play

While it’s very slowly starting to become more socially acceptable, it’s amazing how taboo it still is for men, especially straight men, to use sex toys (tenga products, fleshlights and other masturbation sleeves, cobra libres, anal toys, etc). There’s still this belief that men are very easy to please sexually and therefore shouldn’t have to use toys when they masturbate (or even engage in partnered sexual play). And since these toys are much more accepted in the gay community, many straight men who use them are made fun of and even their female sexual partners question their sexual orientation. There’s a huge double-standard in that it’s considered to be totally normal for women to own at least one vibrator, yet there is something wrong with a man who also chooses to use sex toys.

This doesn’t just refer to the use of anal toys. This goes for strictly penile-play as well. But on that topic, it’s shocking how many people believe that if a male enjoys receiving anal stimulation then he must be gay, or at least bi. Many straight men have huge amounts of anxiety about it and/or many of their female partners become concerned about whether or not these men are actually straight. It’s preposterous! Here’s the thing: men have prostates. It turns out that it feels really really good for these prostates to be stimulated and it just so happens that the best way to stimulate a prostate is to go in through the ass. Period. This is purely a matter of anatomy, nothing else. How on earth can a man using his own hands on his body or a woman stimulating a man be a gay act? Gay acts tend to be done when a member of one gender is sexual with a member of the same gender. So if you see two men having anal sex, then yes, there’s a good chance they aren’t totally straight. But if you see a straight man playing with his own ass or his female partner doing it, no, this does not make him gay. You may also want to keep in mind that many gay couples don’t engage in any anal play whatsoever. Pretty sure you never thought that means they must be straight. This goes both ways.

Lastly, many people are threatened by sex toys. As we saw in this article, people have worries about the toy being better than them and their partner just wanting to use the toy instead. The vast majority of people like having sex with other people. Sure, there are some minor exceptions, but most people are not going to choose an inanimate object over their sexual partner. Going out and buying a new toy is not going to transform your partner into someone who doesn’t want to be intimate with you anymore. For most, we like how people feel (being touched by them and getting to touch them), we like interacting with people, we like different types of stimulation and sexual acts, we like cuddling, we like giving our partners pleasure, etc. A toy cannot do this. If you are threatened by your partner’s use of sex toys, take a step back and try to examine why that is. What are you insecure or concerned about here? What are you worried about happening? How realistic is that? And as we always say; talk to your partner about your concerns. But in no way are you free to prohibit them from using toys.

Strip Clubs

I understand that not everyone is comfortable with these venues or even think they should exist. I’m all for the strip clubs that are higher end, where the strippers actually want to be working there and are treated with respect. But what I don’t understand are couples who get mad when one partner wants to go with their friends to the club. In no way does it mean they aren’t happy with you as your sexual partner. In no way does it mean they’re not attracted to you. In no way does it mean they intend to try to go out and fuck a stripper. It’s simply them having fun with friends, going for some adult entertainment. Please note: I am not talking about actually interacting with the strippers. This situation is purely about paying the cover charge and paying for any drinks you have and that is it.

If you’re the type to get incredibly jealous or get in big fights with your partner(s) if they want to do things like go to a strip club in the above scenario, then take the time to examine why you’re feeling this way. Whether it’s you being unhappy with the way you look, you feeling like your partner must not really want you, or whatever other issue you’re worried about, then try to deal directly with that. Use these opportunities to learn more about yourself and explore what exactly it is that you’re afraid of happening. Talk it through with your partner and while I’m not saying this needs to end with them actually going to the club, try to understand the issue from one another’s perspectives and see if any compromises can be reached. It’s a great opportunity to work on conflict resolution with your partner!

Lastly, it never ceases to amaze me how women typically behave in strip clubs with male performers. The non-stop screaming, the comments yelled out, and the way they physically interact with the strippers…. if men behaved that way with female strippers, they would get thrown out of the club! There’s the idea out there that women are constantly being sexually objectified and that men don’t have to endure being treated like that. Yes, I understand that male strippers are in a different situation, where they’re in a role where they are viewed as sex-objects, but that doesn’t mean you can treat them in a way you wouldn’t dream of treating a female stripper.

Misconceptions around the female sexual response

There are so many misunderstandings around women and how they work. Things like where the hymen is located and how it “breaks” and that sex is supposed to be painful during a woman’s first time. Sorry, but that’s bullshit. It can not only not be painful at all, but it can be incredibly pleasurable. If you’re looking for more information, this is a great resource. Another misconception is how many believe that the ultimate orgasm for women is squirting. Yes, many women orgasm at the same time that they squirt. But many don’t. Many can’t even tell they’re squirting until they look down and see it. There’s nothing wrong with you or your partner if that’s the way you experience female ejaculation. Many women are also made to feel completely dysfunctional because they can’t reach orgasm from vaginal intercourse alone. The majority of women need some form of clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm. There is nothing wrong with a woman who can orgasm from things like masturbation, fingering, and/or oral, but not penetrative sex. And most need a solid amount of time to reach orgasm with a partner.

Another thing that’s rarely discussed is how common it is for younger women to experience absolutely no sexual pleasure, especially when engaging in vaginal intercourse. It’s so important to remember just how much the sexual response changes as you get older. Most women find they go through a huge change in just how sensitive they are to stimulation by their 30s or so. If you’re struggling with finding partnered sexual play enjoyable, work with your partner to figure out what does feel really good. A great resource for this can be found here.

Moral of the Story

Other than needing a little rant, I guess I just wanted to write this down as a reminder to all of us to keep challenging our beliefs/ideas that we have around sex and sexuality. When we’re worried about something, take that step back and re-assess the situation and let it be a chance to learn more about yourself and why you react the way you do. Openly talk about your concerns with your partner in a non-aggressive way that doesn’t attack them or put the blame on them. Treat everyone with respect but also stand up for yourself and your beliefs. Don’t let anyone make you feel bad for the fact that you are a sexual being.

 

 

Porn vs Reality

By Maxxters

Porn is great. I fucking LOVE porn. It helps me orgasm easily when I’m on my own, it’s a fun thing to add in when being sexual with other people, and it gives me new ideas for positions or activities to try. But there’s no doubt that porn has its downsides. Yes, some people can get addicted to it, but I’m not going to cover that aspect of it. However, if you’re finding that your porn viewing is negatively affecting your life, then it’s time to get help. What I’m focusing on here is how porn often differs from reality. This isn’t all that big an issue for those of us who are sexually experienced and educated. But for the teens that grow up watching this stuff and never actually learn that this isn’t the way that sex usually is in real life, it can be a pretty huge issue. It can lead to them feeling dysfunctional, not being a good sexual partner, worrying that there are things wrong with their body or that their partner isn’t any good at sex. It can also create way too high expectations overall.  So here are my thoughts on the differences between porn and reality.

The most obvious observation is that women in porn are incredibly sensitive to sexual stimulation. Just one touch sends them into moans, screams, body spasms and orgasm. Unfortunately, this isn’t how most women respond in real life. The average time it takes for a woman to reach orgasm with a partner is 20-30 minutes. This usually requires a variety of different fingering, oral and/or penetrative techniques. Only around 30% of women can orgasm from penetration alone. The vast majority need some form of clitoral stimulation in order to climax. Many women really struggle to be able to orgasm, especially with their partner, and oftentimes their orgasms aren’t all that ‘big’. The best thing you can do is to try not to make orgasm the goal of sex. Instead, make it your mission to figure out all the spots on one another’s bodies that can make you go wild. Play around with lots of different techniques, positions and sexual acts that you’re comfortable with. Never do anything you don’t want to do but push the boundaries that you’re comfortable with pushing. There’s also the issue that many women aren’t that vocal or active in bed as most porn stars. If you want your partner to be more vocal and take a more active role, then talk to them about it!

Another obvious feature is the way that porn stars look. Men are usually big and muscular with very large penises. The average penis size is about 5 to 5.5 inches long. Men comparing their penis size to the ones they see in porn only increases their chances of feeling insecure and self-conscious about their size. This can lead to sexual dysfunction and a dissatisfied sex life. Most women in porn are very thin, with big boobs and small inner labia. This not only creates a lot of insecurity and body confidence issues in women, but it also gives men who are interested in women unrealistic expectations. Humans come in a variety of shapes and sizes and all have their own unique beauty. So yes, most people need to be attracted to the person they’re being sexual with, but make sure you have realistic expectations and never ever make anyone feel bad or insecure about the way they look. One good thing about porn is the huge amount of variety out there. So try looking at different genres to get better ideas about what people tend to look like when they’re naked.

Porn stars engage in a huge variety of sexual acts. Many people in real life aren’t quite as sexually adventurous and aren’t okay with trying certain things. The pressure on women to have anal sex is steadily increasing. While it can be incredibly enjoyable, some women simply do not want to try it, have had bad experiences with it in the past or just don’t enjoy it at all. No one should ever be pressured into doing something they don’t want to do. So respect your partner’s boundaries and try to find compromises or other acts that you’re both happy to engage in. Another really popular thing in porn is BDSM. However, many people don’t realize just how complicated this type of play can be and how much there is to learn, especially with regards to safety before trying it. If it’s something that interests you, take the time to educate yourself about proper techniques and safety precautions before giving it a go.

Condoms are rarely used in porn. In real life, you need to glove up unless you’ve both been recently tested (and have clean bills of health), are monogamous (or at least are being extra cautious with outside partners) and are on at least some form/method of birth control (unless you’re looking to have kids). If not, you’re putting you and your partner at risk.

Porn doesn’t show the “behind the scenes” stuff. There’s a lot of awkwardness/silliness that can happen during sex. Rarely do you see them grab some lube for when the girl isn’t getting wet enough on her own. You also don’t see just how much lube is needed to have enjoyable anal sex. It’s unbelievably common for men to have issues with getting/staying hard, but rarely, if ever, will you see that in porn. Same with rapid ejaculation or even not being able to reach orgasm at all. Especially in heterosexual relationships, many women are given the impression that it should be easy for men to reach orgasm and can get really upset if it doesn’t happen. It’s really important to understand the sexual response of the people you’re sexual with! You also never see porn stars having to deal with what happens to the semen after the guy has cum. Whether he ejaculates in the vagina or ass or onto their partner’s body, it needs to be cleaned up somehow! You’ll never see them grabbing the baby wipes or towels, or running to the bathroom to avoid making a mess. Different noises and movements happen, uncontrollable facial expressions occur, the penis slips out of the vagina or ass, and other unintentional things will happen. It’s all just a part of sex.

Sex is all about having fun, feeling great, and not taking things too seriously. Communicate with your partner about your expectations and help one another out so that you can make sex as fantastic as possible. You just need to keep everything in perspective and have a good idea of the differences between porn and reality.

 

Child Sexual Behaviour Issues

Children with Sexual Behaviour Problems
By Maxxters

I thought I’d share some information I learned from a brilliant woman who works as a social worker, dealing with children who exhibit problematic sexual behaviour. Most of the talk was based on kids that were 12 and under. Behaviours discussed included exposing themselves or forcing others to expose themselves, touching other people’s genitals with force, engaging in compulsive masturbation, and even sexually abusing others were covered. This is all in the context where these behaviours continue to happen after the child has been told to stop. These are issues that are socially unacceptable and children can be charged for these offenses once they become of age (12 here in Canada).
Girls are just as likely to have sexual behaviour issues as boys (with some studies actually showing a higher incidence in girls). With most cases, the actual causes of these behaviours are not clear at all. The one pattern involved in the vast number of cases is that of chronic neglect. The parents are never around and when they are, there is very little communication. Most of that communication is negative. About 40% of issues stem from experiencing sexual abuse. Social and developmental factors are also prevalent.
It has also been found that children who view porn this young are at a much higher risk of exhibiting deviant sexual behaviour. It’s usually an older sibling that has exposed the child to it. It causes their sexual development to be way off and it becomes even more crucial for them to learn about sexuality in a healthy way.
There is also a really common theme of anxiety. Children who have high social anxiety and do not know how to cope with their peers will often turn to sexual behaviours as a coping mechanism. Many will chronically masturbate. While masturbation is fine in the privacy of your own home, these kids can’t continue to do it at school or out in public. However, telling them to “stop doing it” leaves them with no way to deal with their anxiety. Once you take away a certain behaviour or situation, you need to replace it with another.
It’s really important to note that there is actually no direct link between child sexual behaviour problems and adolescent or adult sexual offending. The vast majority of kids just grow out of it. If they’re not treated, then the deviant sexual behaviour morphs into other forms of deviant behaviour (using drugs, stealing, vandalizing, etc). Those that are treated have a high success rate. Not only do they stop with the inappropriate sexual behaviour, but they don’t move on to offend in other ways. The majority of teens and adults who are sexual offenders never had sex-related problems as kids. Only a minority of children with these issues actually grow up to be sex offenders.
In order to overcome their sexual issues, children need support. They need to have their parents/guardians involved in their life, as well as other people in their life who care about them (friends, other family, teachers, etc.). They need to learn how to communicate effectively, develop empathy for the people that they are affecting with their actions, and become accountable for their actions (ie. it doesn’t “just happen”). Another crucial need is that of comprehensive sexual health education. You can’t just teach someone to stop engaging in certain behaviours. You need to teach them all about their behaviours in the full scope of the issue. Everything from gender issues (talking about how we determine if someone’s a boy or a girl and then challenging those views), to learning and becoming comfortable with using the proper names for sexual body parts, how old they think someone needs to be before they start dating and what “dating” at that age should consist of, what happens during puberty, how to communicate properly about sexual issues, and so on and so forth.  When you teach a child that sexuality is a part of who we are as humans and the ways in which we can embrace our sexuality in healthy ways, you are giving them lifelong tools that they desperately need. Saying things like “until you’re a teenager, the only person you can safely touch is yourself. You do this in your own bedroom or bathroom at home, alone, with the door closed. When you’re done, you wash your hands. The only time you need to tell someone about it is if something hurts or if something’s wrong. This is your special time alone and a treat just for you.” makes it a very straightforward, understandable process, with clear boundaries. Keep in mind, this is what you say when the child has been dealing with inappropriate sexual behaviour, not if they’ve only masturbated once or twice. These are the kids that either want to continue to bring up discussions on their masturbation habits, want to see others masturbate or who do it in public.
Parents need to learn how to give their children positive attention instead of only paying attention to the negative things their child does. They need to teach their kids healthy sexual boundaries, including things like personal space. Parents need to learn how to be comfortable with sexuality themselves and how to properly teach their children about sexual behaviours and health. They need to teach their kids how to identify their feelings and how to deal with them in a safe, productive way.

More Ideas for Oral

If you’ve already mastered our other tips for oral, then here are some new ideas to try! And as always, please remember that everyone is different. These are recommendations of things to try; it’s not a guarantee they’ll work on your specific partner. Make sure you communicate with your partner about what does and does not work as well as what they are and aren’t comfortable with trying.

Seminar run by Good for Her (www.goodforher.com)

Added information by Maxxters

 Oral Sex is…

  • NOT foreplay (it is considered to be “sex” by many, and it doesn’t always have to lead to vaginal or anal sex)
  • Something we can’t (usually) do to ourselves so it’s a great gift to a partner
  • Great both ways but not necessarily at the same time. While some people love it, for others 69 isn’t the greatest position since you can’t fully enjoy the stimulation being done to you while you’re being distracted by what you’re doing to your partner
  • Even better with lubricant
  • Not just for your mouth- add more! (hands, toys, etc.)

Safer Sex

  • Giving blow jobs is risky for chlamydia, herpes, gonorrhea, syphilis and HPV/throat cancer
  • Muff diving is risky for chlamydia and HPV/throat cancer. Higher for gonorrhea, herpes and syphilis.
  • Herpes is risky for both the giver and receiver of any gender
  • Do not brush your teeth and/or floss for a couple hours prior to giving oral sex (it makes infection more likely due to cuts/micro-tears)
  • Use a flavoured condom or dental dam for safer oral sex

Equal Opportunity Techniques (use on any gender)

  • Humming/moaning (your partner can feel the vibrations)
  • Blowing- hot or cold
  • Ice cream cone licks (long, slow, smooth strokes)
  • Lust Oil and other products can help make it taste better

Keys to Muff Diving

  • SLOW DOWN. If you think you’re going slow, go even slower – no need to try to mimic a vibrator
  • Find what works and stick with it
  • Patience. Enjoy the ride!
  • Enjoy yourself and make sure that your partner knows it. Tell them: “There is NO rush. I LOVE how you taste. I could stay here ALL day” (it will allow the receiver to relax and not get worried about the fact that you’ve been down there for 20 minutes). Remember… the average female-bodied individual takes 20-30 minutes of stimulation to reach orgasm.

Tips on Pleasuring Clits/Vulvas

  • DON’T stop or change things (once you find the right spot)
  • DON’T go directly to the clitoris
  • 2 steps forward, 1 step back in the transition from kissing to oral (eg. Lips to neck to breasts, back to neck to breasts to inner thighs then back to breasts to inner thighs to labia, etc)
  • Add your hands and other toys
  • Get comfortable so you can spend a longer time doing it

Techniques on Clits and Vulvas

  • Pull apart the labia and blow around the vulva
  • Lick between the labia
  • Squeeze and Tease (squeeze the outer labia together at the very top and gently pull up and down as your tongue stays on the clitoral hood without you moving your head/mouth)
  • Roll your tongue inwards and place it over the clit (push in and out)
  • Dip your tongue into and around the vaginal opening
  • Take 10 seconds to lick from the bottom of the inner labia all the way up to the clit. Another 10 to go back down the other side.
  • Do excruciatingly slow figure 8s, down around the vagina, and up and around the clit.
  • G-spotting: Use 2 fingers (NOT 1) to do the “come hither”/pulling motion inside her
  • Slow and gentle movements on the clitoris. From there, get the receiver to tell you when/if to speed up and/or use more pressure

While you’re at it…

  • Use toys (especially on the g-spot while you work the clit)
  • Remember the other erogenous zones! Anus, butt, boobs, neck, inner thighs, pubic mound, etc
  • If they’re on their period and you’re not comfortable with the blood, use a sex sponge! You’ll never even know they’re on their period (and you can also have sex with them in)

Positions for Muff Diving

  • The receiver takes a seat (on the edge of the bed or in a chair) and you kneel down in front of them
  • You both lie on your sides facing each other and you slide down to eat them out
  • The receiver lies on their back with a pillow under their bum. Hold their knees into their chest. This puts your neck at an angle so that it won’t get sore.
  • 69 position but the receiver isn’t pleasuring you at the same time (on your sides or one of you on top)
  • Face sitting (the receiver straddles your mouth while you’re lying down)

Keys to Giving Great Blow Jobs

  • ENTHUSIASM!!!!
  • Enthusiasm
  • Enthusiasm
  • Make eye contact
  • Lube!!! Especially if you’re using your hands a lot. Most people can’t get it wet enough with just their saliva
  • Use more than your mouth- use your hands, a masturbation sleeve or even those cheap Mardi Gras beaded necklaces (wrap them around your hand and stroke him with them or wrap them around his penis and move them up and down the shaft to add more friction/texture)

While you’re at it…

    • Play with their nipples
    • Pleasure their perineum, anus or prostate

Remember their other erogenous zones

Techniques for Blow Jobs

  • Make sure you’re always hitting the frenulum (with your tongue and/or hand)
  • Lick/swirl your tongue in circles around the glans (with it out of your mouth or when it’s in your mouth)
  • Move your head in the motion that a dolphin swims in
  • Pivot/turn your head side to side in motion with your hand while it’s gently twisting down and up on the shaft
  • The Harmonica: put your mouth on one side of his shaft and your hand on the other and move side to side on it (good if you don’t want to swallow- when the receiver cums, the ejaculate is nowhere near going in your mouth)
  • Testicles: cradle and move them like meditation balls or suck on them like candy (talk to your partner first… some hate ball play of any kind)
  • Use a vibrator against your cheeks so he can get that added stimulation

Positions for Giving Head

  • The receiver sits down and you kneel in front of them (put a cushion under your knees)
  • The receiver stands up and you kneel in front of them
  • On your back with your head hanging over the edge of the bed while the receiver stands up in front of you (great for deepthroating)
  • The receiver on their back, you between their legs
  • Modified 69: instead of straddling the receiver, both your knees are over to one side. You can be facing their face or their feet (also good for deepthroating)

Ask Mistress Maxxters: Shaving

Ask Mistress Maxxters: Shaving
Maxxters
Hi Maxxters, not sure if you can help me with this one or if it’s too off-topic. My girlfriend likes me to be shaved. I also prefer it since I think it makes me look bigger and better. The problem? I always get ingrown hairs! No matter what I try, I can’t get a shave where I don’t get razor burn and all that. Also, the hair grows about halfway down my shaft and that’s where it tends to be the worst. Any help?

Hey there. Of course I can (try to) help and it definitely still applies to the topic of sexuality! It’s also an incredibly common “problem” and something that all genders experience. If you want to stick with shaving, that’s fine. But know that there are other options as well (waxing/sugaring, epilators, depilatories, or even laser). In terms of shaving, you need to start with a good blade. The longer you go without changing the blade of the razor you use, the worse the shave (and worse the razor burn/ingrown hairs). So get a good quality razor and blades that go with it. Use warm water in the shower/bath and let your skin soak in it for a while. Use something like a loofah to exfoliate the skin. Some people like to apply baby oil to the skin before the shaving cream as it can help to soften the hair and skin. Shaving cream can also help to soften them, making for a smoother shave.

Now that you’re ready to actually start shaving, go slow. Pull the skin tight, so there’s a smooth, firm surface to work on. Shave with the grain first. You want to use as few strokes as possible, so keep a firm hand. Once you’re done shaving with the grain and have as close a shave as possible, go over the area one time against the grain. This will give you the closest shave possible. Once you’re done and out of the shower, blot the area dry and apply some rubbing alcohol (to close the pores and kill bacteria). Deodorant can work well for preventing razor burn/ingrown hairs, so have a stick that you only use on your pubic area. Some people prefer spraying witch hazel or applying tea tree oil instead. There are also products you can buy that are specifically designed to help prevent ingrown hairs. Do what works best for you.When it comes to the hair on your shaft, you may actually want to pluck those. They tend to be more prone to razor burn and many men find it a pain to shave their shaft. Plucking actually doesn’t take as much time as you’d think and it’s not actually all that painful (especially after a few times).

One last thing to note: while sometimes a pain, shaving every single day is a huge help for preventing ingrown hairs, bumps/rashes, and redness. It also tends to give you by far the smoothest shave possible.

Hope that helps!

-Maxxters

Maxxters is a 30 year old female and a former high school teacher. She taught Science and Sex Ed to 12-18 year olds. She’s currently working on her Master’s degree in Human Sexuality. She is also a fitness instructor and personal trainer, working with those who suffer from eating disorders and body image issues. Send her your questions at: 

maxxters@sexpertslounge.com

Erotic Plasticity: How Female Sexuality may be shaped by Social Factors

Erotic Plasticity: How Female Sexuality may be shaped by Social Factors

By Maxxters

I read Roy Baumeister’s “Gender differences in erotic plasticity: the female sex drive as socially flexible and responsive” (2000) article just over a year ago. It has stuck with me ever since. Roy did a tremendous amount of research; reading through every relevant journal article from 1996 and back down to the very first volume of both the Journal of Sex Research and Archives of Sexual Behaviour. Additionally, he used the national Health and Social Life Survey and other sources suggested by his colleagues. What he came up with was a summary of a massive amount of data; all to support his theory about erotic plasticity. Basically, he believes that women are significantly more apt to change their sexual behaviour throughout their lives than men.  He has three main hypotheses: 1) individual women will display more variation than individual men in sexual behaviour throughout their lifespan; 2) female sexuality responds more to socio-cultural variables than male sexuality; and 3) women have less consistency between their sexual attitudes and their sexual behaviours than men. His article does include evidence against his theory, but he demonstrates why those arguments are flawed.

My ideas on this continue to change as I learn more and more about the topic. I want to give you the chance to read through the main points of the article and to form your own ideas on it. The most important thing to remember here is that he is discussing the majority of people. We know there are outliers at either end of the spectrum. But every finding here, and the theory Roy discusses, is based on how most men and women behave.

We know that biological factors, socio-cultural scripts, individual experiences, and a range of other factors (known and unknown) shape human sexuality. The main point Roy tries to make is that cultural and social factors influence female sexuality substantially more than male sexuality. He believes that female sexual behaviours and drives are better able to adapt with changing circumstances. He labels this as having high erotic plasticity. This includes changing the types of partners you have and the sexual activities you engage in, what acts you enjoy (which might be different from what you actually engage in), and your overall desire for sex. Most men, on the other hand, have low erotic plasticity. This does not include changing physical factors (like overall health and hormonal balances), as that can affect all genders equally. But once a man’s sexual tastes emerge, they’re much less likely to change than a woman’s. It’s important to note that in a follow-up article, Roy discusses how there’s evidence that men go through a phase of erotic plasticity during childhood.

Possible reasons for plasticity

  • it may be an evolutionary response to bonding with men, who are physically and socially more powerful. They can impose their desires on women, so women can protect themselves by being more plastic.
  • Most societies limit sexual activity by having women be the gatekeepers of sex. They’re the ones who are taught to refuse sexual advances. Yet if females refused all sexual advances from males, our species would die out. So women are negative to most sexual partners but will sometimes switch to positive. That switch requires at least some plasticity.
  • While politically unpopular, it’s theoretically plausible that women have lower sex drives than men. A weaker motivation for sex can be a lot easier to redirect and change. So it is easier to persuade women to accept different forms of satisfaction.

How erotic plasticity might be instilled

  • There are theories that many sexuality-based traits are carried on the X chromosome. The two X chromosomes that females have could carry different “prescriptions” for behaviour and it would then be up to the environment to establish which one is expressed.
  • Testosterone has a greater effect than any other hormones on sexual behaviour. Since men have much more testosterone, their behaviour may be controlled biologically. Environmental factors will not affect them as much as they affect women.
  • Men are better at being aware of their inner bodily states. Studies in labs and hospitals show they’re better at estimating their blood pressure, heartbeat, temperature, stomach contractions, and other factors better than women. Women rely more on social and situational cues, but men rely on physiological cues to judge their emotional and arousal responses.
  • Males have evolved to be driven stronger by genetic factors. There are theories that the Y chromosome might be a popular target of mutations. Evolution would target men for trying out new mutations due to the greater reproductive variance. So genetic factors may drive male behaviour more than females.

Evidence of Female Plasticity

Intraindividual Variability:  if women do have more erotic plasticity, then they will have more variation across each of their sexual histories than men.

  • Kinsey and his fellow researchers found that some women had significant swings in their degree of sexual activity over their lifetime. Hardly any men showed the same. Women would go through periods where they had lots of sex, then no sexual activity whatsoever for a period of time, and then return to a phase of high sexual frequency. When men were experiencing periods of low partnered sexual play, they tended to still keep their orgasm rate constant through masturbation and other activities.
  • Another study examined elderly individuals. Old men who masturbated were engaging in a pattern of masturbation that had been present in young adulthood. However, women who were masturbating in old age hadn’t done so in their 20s, and women who had masturbated in their 20’s had discontinued the activity later in life.
  • In a 20-year long study on married individuals, researchers asked about current sexual frequency and actual preferences for frequency. The wives continually felt like the frequency of sex was almost exactly the amount that they actually wanted. However, the husbands had significant gaps between what they wanted and what they were able to have. Roy stipulates that women are better able to change their expectations so that they correspond to what they’re getting.
  • Studies have shown that women change their sexual standards of being more permissive as they gain dating experience. Dating experience does not affect men in this way.
  • Multiple studies have demonstrated that lesbians are more likely to have had heterosexual sex than gay males. One study found that 80% of gay women but only 54% of gay men had previously had heterosexual intercourse. Additionally, 72% of lesbians and only 45% of gay men had experienced a meaningful heterosexual relationship.
  • The ratio of self-identified bisexuals to exclusively homosexuals is higher for women (.50) than men (.32). Bisexuality requires greater plasticity than homosexuality.
  • In a study of older adults, women who had never felt any attraction at all towards women prior to the age of 30 had begun having sex with women as well as men (in the context of swinging). Men did not.
  • Another study on unmarried individuals who participated in group sex found that 60% of women but only 12% of men engaged in homosexual activity.
  • A study on swingers found that wives had oral sex with each other 75% of the time but husbands had oral sex with each other less than 1% of the time.
  • When married couples meet up for mate swapping, the women begin having sex with each other, usually from the encouragement of the men who like to watch this. The reverse pattern is almost unheard of (ie. straight men engaging in homosexual acts in group settings, especially if done in order to entertain their wives).

Socio-cultural Factors: If women are more socio-culturally flexible, they will vary more than men from one culture to another

  • One study on 186 cultures found greater cross-cultural variation occurred among females than males on all measures of sexual behaviour.
  • Women who move to the US who are from other cultures significantly change several of their sexual behaviours and attitudes, but men do not.
  • Sex ed affects women’s age of first intercourse more than men. One study examined the proportions of people who were still virgins on their 21st birthday. Only 18% of women who had not had sex ed were still virgins, yet 43% who had received sex ed were still virgins. Yet for men, it only varied from 19% to 25%.
  • The NHSLS showed that sexual health education produced only about a 1/3 increase in the likelihood of men engaging in anal sex, yet it more than doubled the women’s likelihood. Additionally, more education was associated with less sexual dysfunction in women, but there was no significant effect for men.  On both giving and receiving oral sex, education level predicted bigger differences in women’s than men’s sexual behaviour.
  • Another study on university students enrolled in a human sexuality course found that women changed their attitudes towards greater sexual permissiveness. These changes did not occur for men.
  • Church attendance and religious belief have a stronger (negative) effect on female than male sexuality. One study found that church attendance strongly predicted not masturbating in elderly women (19% of attenders masturbated, versus 83% of non-attenders). No significant effect was found among men. Female sexuality is better able than male sexuality to conform to highly non-permissive standards in a religious context
  • Peer group approval is linked stronger in female sexual behaviour than male. In one study, 55% of the non-virgin females had peer groups who encouraged sexual activity, yet only 3% of the virgin women were associated with these groups (a 52% difference). For men the percentages were 88% versus 50% (a 38% difference).
  • In a 2-year study, women who were virgins at the start who had a non-virgin best (female) friend were six-times more likely to lose their virginity by the end of the 2 year period than virgins who had a virgin female best friend. No such effect was found in males
  • Parental and family environment has a stronger effect on daughters than on sons. For example, living with a single parent increased the likelihood of early loss of virginity for girls but not boys. Additionally, sex ed from parents predicts less sex and less promiscuity in young women but not in young men.
  • In one study, self-identified homosexuals were interviewed and it was found that 31% of the lesbians but only 18% of gay men described their sexual orientation as having been a matter of conscious, deliberate choice.
  • Another study found that lesbians felt they had more control than gay men over their sexual orientation. Additionally, lesbians were more likely to believe they could renounce their gay orientation and were less likely to view their orientation as being something beyond their personal control.
  • Studies have found that heritability of sexual orientation is significant in men but not in women. There is greater overall evidence for a genetic contribution towards male homosexuality than there is for females.

Attitude-behaviour consistency: If they have higher erotic plasticity, women will show lower attitude-behaviour consistency as compared to men, with regard to sex

  • One study examined 3 separate cultures (which ones were not detailed in the article) and found that 2/3 of women whose values were against premarital sex had engaged in premarital sex, whereas only 1/3 of men had this discrepancy.
  • Greater inconsistency exists among women in reporting favourable attitudes towards condoms and consistently using them than found among men. Women report a higher intention in using them, as well as being more afraid of STIs, but actual condom use was the same for both genders. Additionally, condoms tend to be viewed as detracting more from male than female pleasure, so theoretically, it should have been the men who were more willing to go against their pro-condom attitudes.
  • In a survey about participating in sex without desiring it, 82% of women reported having experienced this, compared to 60% of men. When examining the women who were over 25, 97% had engaged in sex when they hadn’t desired it.
  • A similar study examined participants who were in committed relationships. Half of the women, but only a quarter of men had engaged in unwanted sexual activity at least once during the last 2 weeks.
  • In studies examining sexual orientation, less than half of the women who liked the idea of same-gender sex had engaged in sex with a woman in the last year. However, 85% of men feeling this way about men had had sex with a man in the last year.
  • Another study found that 22% of lesbians had discrepancies between their homosexual feelings/desires and their homosexual behaviour, yet only 3% of gay men displayed this discrepancy. Additionally, lesbians were more likely to have tried to “go straight”, yet they also had fewer regrets than the men about their homosexuality and were less likely to wish for a “magic pill” to turn them straight.
  • Women are more likely than men to have submissive and masochistic fantasies, yet they are less likely to have actually taken part in these activities.

 

The primary question discussed in the article was whether or not the female drive for sex is more fluid and malleable than the male’s (in a socio-cultural and situational context).  The evidence outlined above demonstrates that the average woman is much more likely to change her sexual patterns over time than the average male. Socio-cultural factors (eg. education, religion, peers, etc) have stronger effects on women and there is less consistency between female’s sexual attitudes and behaviours as compared to men. Roy states that this inconsistency is most likely due to sex depending on many specific contexts, circumstances and meanings. So, for women, broad attitudes are poor predictors of behaviour.  He concludes that the balance between nature and culture is different for men and women when it comes to sexuality. Men’s sexuality is centered around physical factors, but for women, it’s the social and cultural factors that are central to their sexuality, with biological factors playing a relatively small role.

One of the main implications of this theory is that it demonstrates that sexual self-knowledge should be easier for men than women. The average male will form his sexual identity by puberty and it will remain constant, whereas women’s are constantly changing throughout their lives. Additionally, sexual decision-making is likely to be a lot more complicated for women. Social context and situation can significantly affect a woman’s desire for sexual activity, what acts she wants to engage in, who she wants to engage in them with, etc.  Men, in comparison, remain quite constant in their desires, unless biological factors come into play.