Apr 222013
 

This is a post by one of my Spring 2013 interns, Natalie. Find more posts from her and other current and former interns under the Intern Corner section.Shanna

College students–and high school students at that–hold a longstanding trend of hookups. Formerly more generally referred to as one night stands, hookups vary from having a main squeeze to friends with benefits to one night stands. At my school at least, the contradictory element of hookups lies in a belief many students hold: that hookup culture dominates and everyone participates, while the truth indicates it’s fewer students then everyone seems to think. Whatever the numbers, a survey done earlier in the year showed that during hookups, females on my college campus orgasmed during hookups only a fraction of the frequency time their male counterparts did (not implying only straight people here, just that men orgasmed in hookups regardless of the gender of the person they were hooking up with, and women didn’t, also regardless of their partner’s gender).
The myth of the vaginal orgasm has long pervaded us, and people are starting to see that. Few and far between seem to be able to satisfy woman identified folk, and it can be difficult to have a satisfying hookup without satisfying sex–which just leads to awkwardness and tension on both sides of the spectrum. I mean, this is why Shanna wrote her book on cunnilingus, after all! So what can we do to promote the female orgasm and better our hookups in general?

Communicate!
Yeah, this one gets thrown at you over and over. But that’s cause it’s important. Even just “that feels good” or “what are you into?” can open the door to way better sex than you’d have in the first place.

Experiment.
Experiment with various safe, sane, and consensual sexy acts. You might find a position or toy you’ve never tried before, and it might become your new favorite way to play.

Masturbate!
Know your body so you can show others how to make you feel great. This may include looking at your genitals: how can you know what you might like if you don’t even know what you look like “down there?”

Talk to your friends about sex.
In a nice, non-objectifying way. By asking others what they do to talk about having safe sex in the context of a hookup you can learn how to protect yourself and help others at the same time. Plus, these chats generally lead to hilarious stories.

I also recommend reading Pat Califia’s “42 Things You Can Do to Make the Future Safer For Sex” in his book, Public Sex. A comprehensive list of acts that will open your own views on sexuality, from pleasure to politic, each act will make you think–at the very least. I’ll list a couple for you here:

*Study sex.
*Find a new fantasy.
*Make art about how sex feels.
*Teach somebody how to come with a rubber barrier.
*Vote.
*Write a love letter to an unloveable part of your body.
*Hand out clean needles and free condoms. If you can’t do this, give money to the people who are doing it for you.

Dec 252010
 

I personally am an Agnostic Jew (Jewish Humanist), and my partner is a self-identified recovering Catholic. That said, we light the Menorah each year for eight nights of Channukah, and we’ve gotten in the tradition of decorating our “Holiday Shrubbery” (thanks Monty Python). Red, black, silver and white of course!

Holiday shrubbery

So what ever it is you celebrate (d), or even if you celebrate nothing at all, I’d like to wish you Happy Non-Denominational Winter Holiday Season of Joy, Love and Giving, and hope that you and your family (birth and/or chosen) are safe and well, that everyone is warm and has something good to eat, and that all of your relationships embody good communication.

Happy Holidays!

-Shanna

Aug 162010
 

We spend so much time talking about communication, and how important it is. I can’t even count how many times I’ve said “communication is key” to classes I’m teaching, or couples that I’m counseling. And it’s true; without good communication, it’s hard for any relationship (whether long term or short term, sexual or platonic, etc) to flourish. And we do talk about communication all the time; how it can be non-verbal, different ways to communicate, HOW to do it, etc.

However, we give a lot of lip service to what communication is, so why not talk a little bit about what it isn’t. We have all (myself included) been guilty of many of these at some point in our lives.

Communication isn’t giving someone the silent treatment.

Communication isn’t saying “if they loved me, they’d _____.”

Communication isn’t assuming that they know what you want.

Communication isn’t playing hard to get.

Communication isn’t being passive aggressive.

Communication isn’t dropping hints, and then being frustrated when they aren’t picked up.

Communication isn’t using YOU statements.

Communication isn’t just going along because you don’t want to bring it up.

Communication isn’t changing who you are to be with someone.

Communication isn’t just shutting up to avoid arguing.

Communication isn’t talking behind someone’s back.

Communication isn’t playing games with someone.

So stop for a minute and think. What else ISN’T communication that we tend to try anyways? Which of these have you done lately, and how can you change that act into more healthy communication?

-Shanna