We are going to say this loud enough for the people in the back to hear: People with disabilities are sexual beings. Disabled people are getting down and dirty as much – or as little – as the rest of the world. Labels, preconceptions and misconceptions do everyone a disservice. LABELS LIKE QUEER CRIPPLE IS EMPOWERING, DISABLED IS EMPOWERING – GIVES ME AGENCY TO HOW I WANT TO BE REFERRED TO/SENSE OF OWNERSHIP People are people, love is love, and why would having a disability preclude getting horny? And doing something about it.
Obviously, the word ‘disability’ covers a huge spectrum and people are definitely not a monolith. And depending on the level of impairment or disability, some sex practices and intercourse positions work well, while others are trickier and need to be adapted. There are a myriad of ways to WORK WITH physical SEXUAL challenges– from using aids like wedges, sliding chairs, or swings, to finding a bed or table that’s at just the right height. Wheelchairs themselves can be a great help too. As with anyone, people need to know their own bodies in order to know how they will react in certain situations. So much of sexual pleasure happens in the brain and there are all kinds of ways to sharpen this, depending on personal turn-ons and turn-offs. Interestingly, some with spinal cord injuries tell of feeling the orgasm they had before their injury, but in another part of their body, such as above their waist. Even if someone can’t get an erection or orgasm in the ‘conventional’ sense, they can still enjoy sex. And you can enjoy it with them. The hottest sex is usually creative anyway.
But while all sexual expression starts with feeling good about ourselves, overcoming the emotional and physical obstacles holding us back and finding partners with whom we can unleash our true selves naked, it can be harder in a world that’s not having those conversations. Society often tries to downplay disabled people’s sexuality. Let’s put that ignorant ABLEISM – THE SYSTEMIC DISCRIMINATION OF DISABLED PEOPLE IN FAVOR OF ABLE-BODIED PEOPLE – to bed. People with disabilities can be sexual, hyper-sexual, asexual, straight, queer, all of the above, enjoy sex, be totally sexy, kinky, not kinky, and have and give orgasms. And, like for the population at large, those things are true of some and not of others. All subjects to explore with somebody before you take off each other’s clothes.
And not sure who needs this to be articulated, but asking disabled people if they are able or equipped to have sex if you are not planning to make love to or with them imminently is just bad manners. File it under “Things we don’t ask anybody”. If you are into someone and can tell they are into you, it’s all part of figuring each other out and that is hot.
Porn sex can be a controversial topic of conversation. Its most vocal critics highlight the mistreatment of film stars on set, as well as the often violent message it sends to young people. It is overwhelmingly an industry by men and for men. One thing is clear: while porn may have benefits from an entertainment point of view, porn sex should not be a source of information for anyone when it comes to sex education.
Despite its controversial nature, straight women are most definitely watching porn and their top search is lesbian porn, according to PornHub data. This information may come as a surprise to some readers, as sex between two women is quite often at the top of a man’s sexual fantasy list. Youtube vlogger Arielle Scarcella sat down with a group of straight women to ask them why they enjoyed watching lesbian porn so much. And the response was pretty conclusive:
“It’s easier for women to imagine themselves receiving pleasure when it’s more focused on the women in it, and there being two of them … and it’s usually more sensual than the ‘in and out and done’ with guys.” (Huffpost article from 2017)
It’s hard to ignore the glaringly obvious stigma surrounding female sexuality. In most parts of the world, girls are taught from an early age that to express any sexual desire is wrong and are shamed into staying silent. Masturbation and self-pleasure are viewed as being “dirty”, as soon as a clitoris is involved. But in reality, sexual fantasies and desires can be varied, regardless of one’s gender! In 2016, the Office of National Statistics in the UK released data on sexual identities across the UK: one clear pattern was that more women identified as bisexual (0.8%) than lesbian (0.7%). And that’s the women brave enough to speak up.
The encouraging takeaway here is the wider scope of porn that is emerging, visibly more diverse and female-centric. From audio erotica created by women (trans-inclusive) and non-binary folk, to feminist porn creators, the desire for a wide range of porn sex that is inclusive and ethical is being heard and satisfied.
Sex toys – conversation starter or killer? While they may not be the first topic of discussion with casual acquaintances (or for some, parents), there is definitely an appetite for sex toys that links to the growing sexual wellness conversation. They’re also being referenced in the mainstream, on TV shows such as Broad City.
Whether you’re completely new to adult toys or already have some to hand in your bedroom drawer, they can be a great tool to make your sex life even better. But there are some myths that may have put you off trying them.
1. Sex toys are just for single people
Total nonsense. There is nothing shameful or sad about using a sex toy, whatever your relationship status. Toys can help to keep the spark alive in long-distance relationships, make group sex more fun, or bring something new to the table for couples. One recent study showed that 65% of American women own at least one type of sex toy, either for fun or to breathe new life into their sexual encounters.
2. Sex toys are just for people with vaginas.
The heterosexual psyche appears to believe that sex toys undermine masculinity. But for heterosexual couples, it’s actually in the man’s interest to incorporate vibrators and the like into their couple sex life: a 2017 study found that just 18% of women orgasmed from vaginal penetration alone, while 37% of women needed additional clitoral stimulation to climax. Also, it’s fun! Time to put aside that male ego. There are also great toys out there for people with penises, like cock rings and masturbation devices.
3. Sex toys can be addictive
Sexologist Nikki Goldstein claims that sex-toy addiction is not actually a thing. As long as you know why you’re bringing toys into the bedroom – or wherever else you like to have sex – there is nothing to worry about. Sure, you may pick a favourite vibrator that you reach for more often but there’s no shame in that.
4. Sex toys can cause harm
They shouldn’t, if used as per the instructions provided. Home-made sex toys are not a good idea but vibrators and such from well-known brands go through testing to ensure their safety. Hygiene is something to think about – cleaning your sex toy(s) after each use and as indicated in the toy’s instructions for use is essential to avoid infection. There is also plenty of expert advice on this topic.
5. Sex toys are a dirty secret.
Not anymore. You may not hear them being spoken about on a daily basis, but sex toys are much more present in popular culture, making a more frequent appearance in the friend Whatsapp chat, and have been cited as one way to improve your levels of sexual wellness.
Is having a threesome at the top of your sexual fantasy list? When Kinsey Institute sex researcher Dr. Justin Lehmiller was researching his book “Tell Me What You Want”, he found that 95% of men and 87% of women in the U.S. had fantasized about a threesome. But for those who had dipped their toes into ménage à trois territory, the experience was sometimes unsatisfactory due to mismanaged expectations.
There’s a whole etiquette around threesomes you see, that often gets overlooked in all of the excitement about the sex romp. Before even finding people to have group sex with, it’s important to understand why you want to do this. Once you’ve established this, here’s what else you need to consider.
Think about consent
Everyone has to be equally willing and excited. Threesomes may not be so fun if one person is going along with their partner’s desire, simply to keep them happy. It is also important that any women involved in group sex are not fetishized or made to feel like they’re only required to fulfil male fantasies.
Communication is key not only in the bedroom but before you get there. Establish what everyone is comfortable doing and not doing. (Now may not be the time to explore an S&M kink if someone doesn’t consent to being tied up.) Discuss whether you’re happy to engage in oral and/or penetrative sex – or not. The bottom line is that everyone should have an equal say.
Practise safe sex
Safety is an important aspect to a successful threesome and this includes contraception. Who will be wearing what type of condom and when? Or will you all get tested beforehand and share your results? Who will be bringing the lube? Nothing should be taboo and there is no need for embarrassment – looking after the health of everyone involved is smart!
Rejection is part of it.
Group sex is not for everyone. Bear this in mind if you’re the one looking for a threesome partner(s) – if you’re using an app, simply keep swiping. On the other hand, if you’re the person being asked and doing the rejecting, remember to be graceful and non-judgemental.
What happens after?
Once the sex is over, spend some time cuddling or talking instead of throwing everyone out of the bed. Would you like to stay in touch with your threesome partners? This will be different to navigate depending on your relationship status but the most important thing is to be open and honest with your group sex partners.
Threesomes can certainly be a fulfilling sexual experience for many! If you’re looking to give them a go, just be conscious of the preparation and consideration involved.
‘Pegging’ is where a woman wears a strap-on and penetrates her male partner – ‘bottoming’ is the receiving end. Even just a few short years ago, it was still taboo, but now it’s talked about often, and practised too!For men who are cis and straight, switching things up in the boudoir can take courage. Bottoming might just be the breath of fresh air you’ve been looking for, and here’s why.
2. Bottoming isn’t solely for gay men.
Before you rush into anything with your partner, you might like to see what you like solo. It’s not about your sexual orientation either, but rather about what makes you squirm and enjoy yourself. You might need to do a little research on how to use a dildo, or try other adult sex toys – like a vibrating egg or butt plug – as an introduction to bottoming.
3. Bust gender myths (kapow!).
When a woman engages in pegging, it flips the gender roles. So when, as a cis, straight man, you experiment with bottoming, you’re redefining sexy. Go on, let her dominate – who knows what you’ll discover.
4. Get a crash course in your own body.
When you try something new, like bottoming, there’s a lot to learn. Don’t worry if the learning curve is a steep one – with practice, you and your partner will find your groove as you figure out what pleasure feels like, together.
5. The more you know about butts, the better!
As you experiment with your own body, you’ll learn more about other people’s bodies (because, you guessed it, we all have butts!). The perk? You’ll likely become a way more generous and giving lover.
6. Make the pleasure last.
Unfortunately, early ejaculation happens more than the common man would like. To reduce your chances of cutting things short, explore other pleasure zones (aka male g-spots) like the anal cavity or prostate, to stretch out your bliss longer (the climax may just blow your mind!).
7. Prostate orgasms are INTENSE.
If you’re a straight cis man and you haven’t had a prostate orgasm before, you’re seriously missing out. It’s the kind of pleasure that makes your toes curl and skin tingle, and why wouldn’t you want to experience that? ‘Nuff said.
8. Sex-ploration = sexual freedom!
Sticking to what you know works and is acceptable when it comes to sex is a fast track to boredom. Shake things up. Reject the ordinary. If you’re curious about anal stimulation, then you owe it to yourself (and your partner) to follow the white rabbit. Have all the orgasms, live your best life!
9. Feel a kinship with your LGBTQ+ family.
Do you ever ask your queer friends about their sex lives? Start a sex positive, inclusive conversation and share your explorations into bottoming and pegging – it might even bring you closer together.
10. Bottoming is good for your prostate (so lube up).
Prostate cancer is a big killer among men of all ages and orientations. Massage can help to lower your risk of the ‘big C’, so whip out the anal lube and get to work.
11. Just do it (no, really, give it a shot).
Here’s a cold hard truth: you won’t know what you like until you try it. Anal sex can be a game changer for straight cis men – so if you want more orgasms and more options in the sack, it might be time to turn over.
Not in the mood? We don’t blame you – one peek at the glistening bodies and hypersexual icons of pop culture and you might be fooled into thinking that everyone’s sexual appetite is insatiable. But what’s happening on the ground is anything but.
Did you know that we all experience sporadic levels of desire and that intimacy is sorely lacking for most people? In fact, one in every three women in the US feel it. Heck, even up to 20% of men, too. So why aren’t we talking about it more?
Having a low libido is common
Phew – yes, that was an audible sigh of relief you heard! There’s still quite a bit of shame around sex, often perpetuated by stigma, but a low libido might happen by choice. Even if you’ve invested in sex toys and personal lubricants, if you’re not ‘feeling it’, you likely won’t enjoy it!
There are a range of things that affect how high your sex drive is that don’t have anything to do with your relationship, sexual orientation or your gender identity.
What causes low libido?
If sex has taken a back seat in your life lately, don’t panic – chances are it won’t last forever. For starters, your lack of drive might be due to:
- Any medications you’re taking.
- Imbalances in your hormones.
- Your level of self-esteems.
- Any shame you might be feeling around your desires.
- Stress and anxiety from your lifestyle.
It could also be the phase of your life – your libido can change as you get older, so if you’re craving less sex, it’s not the end of the world. You might not need to have sex every single day, you could be satisfied with mindblowing sex every now and then. Try to think in terms of quality sex, not quantity.
Want to boost your libido? Try this…
If you’re not satisfied with your sex drive, you don’t have to just accept it. There are things you can do, such as:
- Ask yourself honestly: “am I happy with how much sex I’m having?” That way you can make a plan to address it.
- Ask your partner honestly: “how can we keep the fire burning so sex remains a big part of our relationship?” They may have ideas you haven’t considered.
- Visit your local sex shop; take a scroll through the SKYN® website for tips, tutorials and more; and ask questions. Find out what sex toys might enhance your experience (we’re big fans of personal lubricants).
- Book an appointment with a sex therapist – they can, in an unbiased way, help you get to the core of what’s going on.
- Take a microscope to your life to see what habits are serving you and which ones are draining your energy. Your sleep, diet and movement practices are crucial to your wellbeing and (spoiler alert) they affect your libido. Don’t assume you need hormone therapy – start by making small, incremental changes and see what happens.
- Create positive affirmation about your sex drive that go against what society wants you to believe. It’s not slutty to have a lot of sex. It’s also not prudish to not want to have it as much. Dictate your own destiny – own your sexuality!
It doesn’t matter where you sit on the spectrum of sexuality: be gentle with yourself. And when you’re in the mood to play and step things up a notch, we’ve got you covered. Start by exploring the range of SKYN® condoms, then see where the pleasure leads you!