Stuff your lover’s stocking this year with these 5 sexy accessories!
Sex toys make fantastic gifts for yourself or your partner. Whether you were naughty or nice this year you deserve amazing sex this season!
For many of us, it takes a lot of guts to waltz into a grocery or drugstore to buy condoms. Perhaps you stroll down the aisle pretending to look at toilet paper while you nervously glance around to see if the coast is clear. You don’t want to linger too long for the fear or running into someone or being judged, but gosh the print on those condoms boxes is so small! And c’mon how many different condoms choices does a person really need? Maybe it isn’t the actual picking up the condoms that is uncomfortable but that look the clerk gives you in the check out lane. Either way the drugstore condoms dash is not for the faint of heart or the person who might need those extra few minutes checking out different brands. But not to fear my uneasy shoppers! Here at Conscious Contraceptives we are about to get meta by starting the Conscious Contraceptives – Contraceptive Highlight!
It would only seem appropriate to start with the basics – Trojan Enz Non-Lubricated condoms.
These condoms are made of latex and are the “classic” condoms. They are not lubricated which for some is great because it means the condoms may stay in place prevented the slip of some experience with lubricated condoms. This is a perk for some because having a condom that doesn’t slip around can allow for folks to be more focused on the experience rather than worried about the condoms. At the same time many people say condoms without lubricant can be challenging because lubricant can make wearing a condoms feel more realistic in regards to moisture. I would suggest this condoms as a starting place if you are new to using barrier methods to get a feel for your preference. This is also a great condoms to use if you do not like the bells and whistles of many condoms on the market and just need reliable protection.
Story 1: Breaking like a band ade the news to mom
How I came out to my mom:
Me: Mom, I have been meaning to sit down with you and tell you something
Mom: Oh god, what is it?
Me: I’m gay.
Mom: Oh, well you still need to give me grandchildren, and I love you.
Story 2: Making a Splash at Disneyland
In seventh grade I couldn’t hold it in anymore, I needed to tell someone I was gay. I knew I couldn’t tell my parents yet, and my friends were even harder because I knew some of them would reject me. So I waited until one day when I was at Disneyland with my best friend, when we were on one of the rides, right before a big drop I shouted it. I think my best friend looked more startled than the group of people on the ride. My friend was really nice and said it was ok, and said we could start checking out guys together. We are still best friends ten years later.
Story 3: Anonymous Support
I practiced coming out on the internet. Growing up in the 90s meant access to a whole world where interactions happened with a computer screen. I found people in chat rooms I could talk to about being gay and how to talk to my parents. I was so thankful I had the practice and the support of these people I had never met, because when I finally did tell my parents, they were not thrilled to say the least.
Story 4: SMS Luv 4 Son
When I came to college I joined a queer fraternity. Like most greek orgs I needed money to join, so I texted my mom and let her know I was joined a fraternity, when she asked what the org was I sent her a link to the page, knowing what her next question would be. She texted me a few hours later saying : R U gay? I replied with: Yes. She replied: Ok, love you.
Story 5: Personal Exploration
I came out as bi to a lot of my friends in my senior year in high school. It seemed right because at the time, even though I knew deep down that I was a lesbian, it thought it would be easier to start in something that would allow me to explore both men and women.
Story 6: Which Label Is Right For Me?
I would love to feel comfortable coming out as one thing, but I can never seem to identify with any one of the letters in the LGBT alphabet soup. I don’t term bisexual doesn’t feel right for me, neither does gay or straight. I recently found the term pansexual and queer as being all inclusive which I like because it includes trans people, so I might stick with that, but it is difficult.
Story 6: Grandma Forced Me To Come Out
My coming out story was horrific. One day I was watching gay porn when my grandmother walked in on me. I couldn’t close the window fast enough so she totally saw it. I was so embarrassed I couldn’t even confront her. Even worse, later that night my mom confronted me about it so I broke down confessed and then told her I was gay. Unfortunately my grandmother still won’t talk to me, but my mom is seeming to come around.
While there is certainly no problem finding sex in the media, there seems to be very little information about the realities of queer sex. What each person knows about sex is embedded in social cues from society which can be argued as being highly influenced by the media. I have trouble naming a movie or television show that doesn’t engage in some form of heterosexual discourse about what those relationships and sex look like. When I try to think about what messages are sent out through the media about queer sex it is difficult because the very little information out there is noted as a misrepresentation. When I reached out to ConCon queer readers, here are the top five complaints about queer sex in the media.
- “What the **** is up with lesbian porn?? Between the fake nails, orgasms, and technique, the porn industry has it all wrong.”
- “I hate that to be represented in media means being a stereotype of the queer community.”
- “I never realized the amount of preparation that goes into anal sex, porn makes it seem so seamless, where’s the lube, communication, or just a little bit of awkwardness?
- “The biggest struggle is the lack of information out there about sex and relationships. I can find thousands of sex and relationship tips for hetero couples, but maybe five for gay people.”
- “I wish I didn’t have to rely on porn to figure out how to have sex, that messed with my sex life for years!”
I sat down this week with a lovely gay couple to talk about what sex is like in a committed relationship. The whole topic came up a few weeks ago when I was collecting stories and experiences at a social gathering about resources for queer sex. These two gentlemen said they did not have a single internet resource for how to engage in sex with a man in a sex-positive way. At first I thought there is no way that can be true, there has to be blogs with easy to find and accurate sex information for gay men, but when I searched I found relatively few sources. The worst part was the information that I was finding was often stereotyped and stigmatized sex information. Thus bringing me to chat with Marcus and Jake a gay couple living in the Bay Area.
Before these two love-birds found each other over a year ago they had each had their share of flings and sexual encounters, but found it difficult as recently out gay individuals to move past the “hook-up” culture that often found on many University campuses.
Jake: “I had finally made it to the point where I felt confident and comfortable about my sexual orientation, so of course I wanted to begin utilizing that confidence to seek new experiences! While I was equipped with confidence in who I was, I was suddenly realizing I had very little information about how operate sexually.”
I think this type of questioning of your own sexual skills and knowledge is a totally common experience across sexual orientation and gender identity, but the difference here was access. What types of information about sex as a gay male was available? You could pick up any number of magazines or hit hundreds of blogs that give sex advice, sex tips, and social cues for how heterosexuals are supposed to perform their sexuality.
Marcus: “My experience was very similar to Jake’s, but instead of seeking a lot of information, I just immersed myself in the vibrant queer culture around me. I wasn’t sure if the “hook-up” culture I found among the queer community was the perpetuation of stereotypes or the typical college experience, but either way I ended up having a lot of my first experiences without really knowing what I wanted or how to really communicate.”
It was after these two began dating that they began experiencing sex differently. Both men talked about the power of communication and the great pleasure they have found from each other that they didn’t know could come from sex. Here were some of the highlights.
Jake: “Having sex with a continuos partner allowed me to really grow sexually by learning what I liked and being comfortable enough (after a while) to tell my partner what felt good and what did not.”
Marcus: “The biggest thing for me, as a bottom, was feeling comfortable enough to talk about the issue of fecal matter during anal sex. It is a totally taboo topic that is really hard to bring up on a one-night-stand even though it is relevant.”
Together both men seemed to agree that the benefits of having the same sexual partner over time allowed for them both to grow their communication skills and let down their boundaries around anxieties and frustrations with not orgasming along with lessening the pain of anal sex. They also said that if communication could be more open surrounding the taboos of anal sex and more information was readily available to gay men, then they might have been able to be more sex-positive from the start of their sexual exploration.
Q: Does anal sex hurt?
A: For many folks anal sex can be painful. The good news is that there are many tips for a virtually pain free experience. Check out “5 Steps For Ensuring Safe, Successful Anal Play” for a detailed guide. In general, staying relaxed, using a boat load of lubricant and communication with your partner is key!!
Q: Do lesbians have to use protection?
A: It is the responsibility of each sexually active person to determine what risks they are willing to take on. Lesbian sex also presents risks for STI contraction. It is important to get tested in between partners and utilize contraceptives as needed.
Q: How do you decide who is the top and bottom?
A: Topping and Bottoming are frequent terms used in the BDSM community as well as in reference to gay male sex. For gay male sex, the top would be the person giving anal sex while to bottom would be receiving. For some gay men, they have a personal preference, while others switch. Deciding this can be spontaneous for what feels good, or can be a conversation.
Q: Does anal sex cause loss of control of bowel movements?
A: Utilizing anal toys and engaging in anal sex usually does not result in losing control over bowel movements. If this happening to you, I recommend speaking with your health care provider.
Q: What is lesbian sex?
A: There are many common misconceptions about what lesbian sex is. Many people in the lesbian community feel that pornography and popular media does not give an accurate representation of lesbian sex. Lesbian sex can consist of oral sex, fingering, dry humping, penetration with a strap-on, mutual masturbation among many other things.
Q: I am a gay male and I don’t like anal sex…HELP!
A: While gay sex is usually equated with anal sex, this doesn’t mean that every gay male engages in anal sex. Oral sex, hand jobs, dry humping, and mutual masturbation are all things to engage in with a partner.
Q: I am allergic to latex?
A: Not to fear! Polyurethane and polyisoprene condoms are fantastic alternatives. Check out these condoms here: http://www.concon.org/category/condoms/non-latex-natural.html!
Q: If I have cold sores can I give my partner genital herpes?
A: The short answer to this is yes. There are two types of Herpes simplex virus or HSV, HSV1 is normally associated with oral cold sores while HSV2 is more commonly known as genital herpes. These two herpes viruses are interchangeable meaning if you have HSV1 you can give HSV2 to someone through oral sex. It is important to be aware of HSV risks and transmission. Dental dams and condoms are barrier methods for protection against HSV.
Q: Do all lesbians use strap-ons?
A: No. Strap-on sex uses some form of harness and dildo. This type of sex is not for everyone, simply because not everyone likes penetration. For some folks penetration can be triggering, political, or simply not what they like.
Q: Do all lesbians scissor?
A: Again, there are many common misconceptions about what lesbian sex is based on the media. Scissoring is a form of rubbing genitals together that some folks really enjoy while others do not.
Q: Are gay men more promiscuous?
A: The queer community gets a bad wrap for being hyper sexual, promiscuous, and unsafe. These are stigmas.
- Cumming order for queers: “Queer sex has the power to be highly imaginative and erotic. It is nice because we set our own standards for what sex is. This is also a challenge because the representations of queer sex in pornography and general media has it oh so wrong. A lot of straight couples talk I know talk about having goals of orgasming together at the same time, and while that is possible in some ways for queer couples it is just not at all the focus of my sex. For my girlfriend and I a lot of excitement comes from this back and forth play which feels like constant pleasure even if I am not always the one being stimulated. Go with the flow and make pleasure the goal not just orgasming at the same exact time.”
- Just because we have the same genitalia doesn’t mean we like the same stuff: When I talk to friends that ask questions about what queer sex is to me, they usually make the assumption that because my partner and I both have vaginas that it must be so much easier to please each other because we must like the same type of sex. While this has kind of applied to some past sexual flings, my current girlfriend and I could not be more opposite when it comes to what we prefer. Communicate with your lover to determine how they like to be touched, or explore that together, but remember different strokes for different folks!”
- Let’s talk about butt sex: One of the biggest frustrations I had when I began having gay sex was the lack of information about how to talk about poop. When I look back at that sentence it looks so funny, but seriously I had so much anxiety about how to talk to guys about the possibility of seeing fecal matter during anal sex. I had always skipped the conversation and resorted to horrible health practices as a bottom to ensure a fecal free experience. It wasn’t until I started dating my current boyfriend that I finally had the conversation about what to realistically expect from anal sex. ConCon writer Sage has promised me more blog time to talk about this topic at a later time, but to hold you over until then…Communication with your partner is highly important when initiating anal sex because you should have a set fecal matter plan!!
- “Anal sex should just come with a bottle of lube.”
- Personalizing the experience: “I think this applies to the majority of sex, not just queer or gay sex, but making the experience personal by learning what your sexual partner likes and opening up about what feels good for you is what it is all about. I love knowing the different small unique things that have turned on my partners.”
It’s a great day to be a dental dam maker. A what maker?
Much maligned and often ignored, the dental dam is the ugly stepchild of STD prevention: a sheet of latex that’s used during oral sex to prevent the spread of diseases, including HPV.
But while Douglas grossed out the entire Internet on Monday, he may have done a great service for the lowly dental dam and the companies that toil in obscurity to bring them to market. Some kids these days haven’t even heard of the prophylactic.
As many of us continue to celebrate Pride throughout the month of June, I wanted to write to remind us all where Pride comes from. This upcoming June 28th, marks the 44th anniversary of the Stonewall riots which occurred in the state of New York in 1969. It was this poignant event in history that granted the LGBT movement something to be proud of. The Stonewall riots was one of the first documented times in United States history that members of the queer community rallied to gain their civil rights. Just 44 years ago, it was illegal to be “outwardly” homosexual in the state of New York, as well as many others. Presently, gay marriage is accepted in eleven states plus the District of Columbia in the U.S. While progress has definitely been made, the month of June is designed to raise awareness to all of the work that has been accomplished and all that still has yet to come!
There are so many reasons to be proud. Be proud for the activists and strength of those that ignited the movement at the Stonewall Inn. Be proud for those who have continued the battle for civil rights and acceptance of the queer community for the past 44 years. And lastly, be proud of those who presently represent that community in every day life as parents, educators, advocates, and so much more.
While the legality and civil rights of the queer community are constantly in flux, there are resources for the expression and acceptance of that community, and Conscious Contraceptives is one of them. Although going out to your local Pride parade is a fabulous way to support the LGBT movement, acquiring the tools (and toys) to express your sexuality in the way that feels right for you is one of the best things you can do to promote a healthy sexual-identity. So get down with your queer self and support the community this June and I guarantee Pride will ensue.
During Pride month, we invite you to enjoy the following perks while shopping ConCon.org:
- FREE shipping on all orders under $39 when you use the promotional code “PRIDE2013″ during checkout
- Healthy discounts of 15% or more on all condoms & contraceptives, lubricants, gay toys, penis rings, lubricants, as well as our very own staff-selected ConCon Kits!
For further information on the Stonewall riots visit these links:
Enter here to WIN free Condoms & Lube!!!
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