May 252011
 

As many of you know, May happens to be National Masturbation Month! I thought I’d write another piece on Masturbation in honor of such an important month.

Now, I know that for many people, masturbation is a private thing. When we were younger, we were taught to “do it” privately, as quickly and as quietly as possible, so that our parents/siblings/partners/etc didn’t walk in on us. This is why many people have been trained to orgasm as quietly as possible (regardless as to whether they are a louder or quieter orgasm-er or pleasure receiver), and it’s why many penis owners haven’t been able to figure out how to separate orgasm from ejaculation, making it harder for them (pun intended) to have multiple orgasms. Society tells us to be ashamed of “having” to masturbate when partnered, and we use very shaming language around masturbation in general.

Good news folks — I’m here to tell you that it is not so! Not only is masturbation a fabulous and fun activity to do on your own (whether or not you have a partner or two or three), but it’s a great activity to do WITH your partner. What am I talking about?

*You can both (or all) lie in bed masturbating together! It’s 100% safer sex, you’re still experiencing sexual pleasure at the same time, and you both (or all) know that you’re getting the exact kind of stimulation that you want.

*You can show off to your partner the type of stimulation you like, so they get a better idea of the type of touch, vibration and or/stimulation that you like! Next time (or post pleasure), switch it up, so you get to learn more about them

*You can masturbate when your partner is sore, tired, sleepy, frustrated, studying, etc. They can touch you, either passively or actively, so you still have some sort of connection together, even if you can take the time or energy at that given moment to have interactive sexual activity between the two of you.

*If you’re in a long distance relationship, masturbating over the phone or via skype can absolutely help keep some of the loving and/or sexual feelings going, even if you can’t do the things you’d like to do to each other.

There are lots of other reasons and ways to masturbate and involve your partner(s) at the same time. Whether you’re ringing southern bells, crossing the mason-dixon line, clicking the five finger mouse, saying hi to Rosie Palm and her five friends, choking the bishop, or some other such things, masturbation can be fun solo, with a partner, or in a group, and should be celebrated for the exciting exploration and revelation of sexuality that it is!

-Shanna

May 162011
 

For many, the concept of setting boundaries can be incredibly scary. It’s as if boundaries is now a bad word, as if self care, and knowing your limits is now off limits. In some cases, it is considered bland and boring if you set boundaries — the attitude is that you should be open to and accepting of everything a sex partner or relationship partner might throw at you. In other cases, there are folks (not that dissimilar from me) who want to be the care taker, the fixer, the perfect partner, and are worried that establishing boundaries takes away from that.

But here’s the thing; boundaries and healthy, and to be honest, they are needed. It is pretty tough (although not completely impossible) to have a healthy relationship (sexual, romantic, familial, etc) of any sort with out setting at least a few boundaries. They don’t have to be huge boundaries, or a long laundry list of them, but they do need to be there.

Sometimes, it takes getting out of a relationship to know what boundaries need to look like in the future. I have dated alcoholics and drug abusers in the past — it wasn’t until I was out of those relationships that I realized how much time, energy and resources I had spent. Driving out at 2am to pick them up from the bars, filling out police reports for them because they were too high to talk to the officer, letting them stay with me because they blew their rent money on their addictions. It wasn’t until I was out of those relationships that I set a boundary to not allow myself in those type of caustic, one-sided relationships.

Sometimes, it takes getting into a healthy relationship to know what some of your non-negotiables are. It wasn’t until I got into my current relationship that I was able to figure out what my boundaries were around my disabilities. I had a lightbulb moment one night, as my partner brought me painkillers and ice packs, that I would never again allow a partner or family member to make me feel bad about having disabilities, because there were people out there who didn’t.

Sometimes, it is experimenting. Looking at poly and consensually non-monogamous relationships, those boundaries are often fluid and changing. Looking at kink relationships, those boundaries are also evolving frequently. Sometimes it takes experiencing something with a partner to realize that it is a hard limit. I know people who have to see their partners at least 3 times a week, while I know others who have a boundary of seeing each partner no more than once per week, or else they get suffocated.

Regardless of what your boundaries are, or whether they are physical, emotional, mental, kink, relationship style or otherwise, it is important to take and moment and think to yourself about what your boundaries for your ideal relationships might be. Perhaps it is telling a family member that you cannot lend them any more money. Perhaps it is telling your partner(s) that you need one night a week for yourself, to do your own thing. Perhaps it is something completely different. Regardless, setting boundaries is a completely healthy part of relationships, and not something to be ashamed of.

-Shanna

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

Oct 302010
 

Welcome to e[lust] – Your source for sexual intelligence and inspirations of lust from the smartest & sexiest bloggers! Whether you’re looking for hot steamy smut, thought-provoking opinions or expert information, you’re going to find it here. Want to be included in e[lust] #22? Start with the rules, check out the schedule and subscribe to the RSS feed for updates!

Important e[lust] update: e[lust] will be going on hiatus for the holidays. The editions for November and December would both occur around the holidays and I know I’ll be short on both submissions and judges as well as personal time. e[lust] #22 will return in January, with ample advance warning, so please make sure you’re subscribed for updates!

~ Featured Post (Lilly’s Pick) ~

D/s Without the D/s?This is one of those situations in a real time D/s relationship where much of the “fun” aspects of the D/s needs to be stuffed in the closet for a bit. And for us, it’s not a great time to be either a masochist or a sadist. We can deal with that.

~ e[lust] Editress ~

Yes, Jelly Sex Toys Can be DangerousEven if a jelly rubber toy says “phthalate-free”, it still can contain toxic chemicals that can cause skin reactions in some people. These toys are still non-porous and can harbor dirt and bacteria because they cannot be sanitized.

~ This Week’s Top Three Posts ~

Unfortunately, this edition has no Top Three picks as I didn’t have enough volunteer judges. If you’d like to volunteer to help, visit this page to find out more info and ensure that the Top Three picks continue.

See also: Pleasurists #101 and #100 for all your sex toy review needs.

All blogs that have a submission in this edition must re-post this digest from tip-to-toe on their blogs within 7 days. Re-posting the photo is optional and the use of the “read more…” tag is allowable after this point. Thank you, and enjoy!

Sex News, Interviews, Politics & Humor

All Painted Up…

A Modest Proposal: Should Ginger & Cooper Fuck?

Happy Sexual Freedom Day

How Do You Explain

Life in spanking after 30: part 2

Erotic Writing

blindfold

Fantasy: Movie Night

Feeling Helpless

Gabrielle, Guest Star

Happy Anniversary…

History Lesson

I Still Don’t Know How You Taste

Monday Morning 2am

Metallic Seduction

Need

New Erotic Story For The Holidays – Tinsel Temptation

Putting the car into park

The Ordeal (Part Four)

The Sweetest Violation

The Young Mom

The Moment

The Soccer Mom

Timeless in a Window’s Light

Kink & Fetish

A space to hate and rage and be angry (photo story)

Beyond the Bedroom

Does liking Helmut Newton equal a fetish?

Happy Halloween: Light Me Up

I am all pins and needles

Kink and Fibromyalgia

Ownership and Monogamy

Punishing the servants

Pi

Switching It Up

The Cage

The Sacred Swinger Holiday: Halloween!

the most amazing night with HIM

The Pedicure

The Right Question

Wax on, wax off!

Thoughts & Advice on Sex & Relationships

All Roads Lead to Acceptance… I hope!

Crisis Averted

Dear boyfriend, I love you. And your cock.

Having Great Goddamned Expectations

If You Google it, I will Answer #9

I Don’t Know If I’ve Ever Been Really Loved By a Hand That’s Touched Me

How to Massage Man’s G-spot

My Coming Out Story

National Coming Out Day

Recovering From Anorexia

Role Reversal

Sadie’s Condom PSA

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

Aug 042010
 

The other night, I was at my partner’s softball game. I go every week. Do I particularly like softball? No. Do I particularly like my partner? Yes. Ergo, I go, and I cheer for the team, and I support her as much as I can. I am the only partner of someone on the team who comes regularly; in fact, I’m often the only one sitting in the bleachers, for either side.

While there, my partner and I interact like people in a relationship do. Sometimes we kiss and hug a lot, sometimes we don’t. I cheer for her, and make salacious suggestions about what I’d like to do to her wiggling butt when she’s batting. We’re not super into public displays of affection, but we certainly are not one hundred percent chaste in public either. We always refer to each other as partner, we come and go together, we hold hands, and we’ve even mentioned our upcoming wedding in front of the team.

The other day, while at a game, a fellow player needed a pen, and the coach turned to him and said “LP’s roommate has a pen you can use.”

He called me her roommate. He called me the roommate of the person who is not only the person I live with, but the person I love, the person I have sex with, the person who is the reason I moved to Arizona, the person who waited in the lobby throughout my surgery to visit me when I woke up after the anethesia, the person who has driven me to the ER, the person who is the CO-parent of our cats, and so much more.

We don’t often realize how much language, even if not used maliciously, can hurt. By him refusing to validate our relationship, and referencing us as roommate, he told us we weren’t as good as straight people, that our relationship wasn’t enough, that it didn’t count.

People ask me often why pronouns matter, why it’s important to ask people how they identify, if it really is that big of a deal.

It is, because when someone says something that completey invalidates your identity, it just really hurts to the core. Yes, it does matter whether they prefer he, she, zie or something else. Yes, it is important to ask someone if they identify as gay, lesbian, bisexual, queer, questioning, heteroflexible or something else. Yes, it is really that big of a deal.

Language has power.

-Shanna

Jul 292010
 

For any of you interested in gender, sexuality, social/new media, identity, society, sociology, kink, LGBTQ, non-monogamy, diversity, education, sex ed, counseling, therapy, etc…read this!

I’d like to let you know a little about Momentum Conference 2011 — a conference discussing sexuality, feminism, new media and much more. Created by Tied Up Events and the community at large, and sponsored by Fascinations, it’s taking place in Washington, DC, April 1-3 2011 and should be absolutely wonderful!

Interested? Read below and check out MomentumCon.com for more information, to apply to present, and much more! I’ve already submitted my application, and I know others have too; it’s going to be an AMAZING conference!

-Shanna

The phenomenal growth of online communication has given rise to an amazing amount of sharing, learning and experimenting with different expressions of sexuality, relationships and feminism. MOMENTUM provides a safe place to listen, discuss and learn about the ways the web has impacted our sexuality without the fear of reprisal or shaming. It is a space for acceptance and appreciation of diversity, including for those in the LGBTQ, sex-work, BDSM and non-monogamous communities.

During MOMENTUM we will discuss ways to bridge the baffling dichotomies our culture creates around sexuality. While on one hand we have unprecedented sexual freedom, on the other we continue to police sexuality with a frightening vigor. Abortion laws, restrictions on gay marriage, abstinence programs, medicalization of sex, fear of pornography and prosecutions for teenage sexting are examples of one side of the spectrum. The discomfort that strives to make us keep our sexuality hidden conflicts with the use of sex — especially the female body — to sell everything from food to cars to “performance enhancing” products.

Each participant will leave the conference with new perspectives, new connections, and a plan to carry the MOMENTUM forward into 2011 and beyond.