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Pride Month 2017 Celebration Ideas

1 Jun

June is here, and that means Pride month is in full effect. We’ve put together a few ideas for uniquely prideful things to do this month. Check it out!

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With the weather warming up for real this time, and the Pride spirit abound, it’s definitely a good time to get out, socialize and build community. This can look like going to a speed dating event, happy hour, or brunch, or even creating smaller spaces for connection. Meetup.com can be a good resource for finding folks that may share identities or experiences to connect with.

Speaking of shared identities and experiences, it’s easy to forget to celebrate those that we have less in common with. Knowing that the LGBT or Queer community is not a monolithic group with one set of needs and experiences, it may be worthwhile to respectfully engage with members of communities you may not necessarily be a part of. While we certainly don’t condone co-opting spaces for communities one doesn’t belong to, we do think it’s beneficial to take the time to hear from others.

Attending the Women’s Spoken Word, for example (and just listening, if you don’t identify as a woman) can be a good way to appreciate and support folks.

Or check out the 34th Annual Capital Pride Interfaith Service to experience folks from different faiths coming together.

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But let’s not forget that “things to do” doesn’t always have to be events, venues, and socializing. There is definitely space for celebration for introverts and those who just choose not to go out. Maybe take the time to do some journaling about the significance of the month, your identity, or a even list of things you hope to see in the future when it comes to yourself or the communities you are a part of. Questions to consider may include:

  • What am I proud of, when it comes to my identity?
  • Are there parts of me that I’m not proud of?
  • What would it look like to find pride in all of me?
  • What has/will that journey look like?

Being proud can mean recognizing how far we’ve come and on the same hand how much farther we’ve got to go. Keeping this in mind, June is a good time to support a local LGBT-focused organization. Support can come through monetary donation, volunteering, or speaking out by attending a rally (like the Rally for Transgender Equality on the 9th). Because, let’s face it, we’ve come tremendously far since folks like Marsha P. Johnson and Sylvia Rivera stood up and fought back at Stonewall, but there’s still so much to do in terms of building justice, equality, and the freedom to be proud for everyone.

marsha-and-sylvia   Photo credit: Lauren Soleil-Downer

Ultimately, the month is meant to be both a time to honor and to celebrate. That said, of course we couldn’t forget that a big part of the month’s celebration for a lot of folks includes the Parade and Festival, which take place on the 10th and 11th, respectively here in DC.

As always, be safe and enjoy. Happy Pride!

May is All About Masturbation Month

1 May

May is a great month for so many reasons: flowers are in bloom, semesters are coming to an end for students, we’re talking about mental health, and we’re masturbating with intention. Yes, May is also National Masturbation Month.

May Month Tumblr

But masturbation isn’t something that’s discussed very often in most folks’ lives (or ever).

Actually, in thinking about how rarely I hear masturbation discussed outside of our store, almost all of the very few examples I came up with had to do with popular songs that mention or allude to the act. It makes a lot of sense: music and eroticism are deeply entwined for a lot of folks, and it only makes sense that they often reference each other.

 

So in honor of the month, we’ve put together a playlist dedicated to masturbation and some techniques and ideas for uniquely exciting masturbatory experiences. So grab your earphones if you’d like to follow along and let’s discuss.

 

1. “Sex With Me” by Rihanna

Even when it is talked about openly, masturbation is still usually talked about as something we do when we can’t or don’t have a partner around for whatever reason. But in actually, masturbation can be enjoyed while a partner is away, or right beside you doing the same.

It can be beneficial to sometimes think of masturbation as just as exciting as sex with lover(s). The ultimate goal may be to say to yourself “sex with me so amazing”, and to fully believe it.

 

2. “Feeling Myself” by Nikki Minaj feat. Beyoncé

“Feeling Myself” is the ultimate confidence track and it has a place on our list as a reminder to truly take the opportunity to feel yourself, both physically and emotionally. Physically, this looks like being intentional with touch in order to truly feel your body. But to emotionally feel oneself is often another monster that maybe we haven’t quite been able to approach. Many of us have come to think of sex acts as requiring a certain type of “sexy” which tends to push us towards desiring an unattainable perfection. Ideally, we’d embrace silliness, awkwardness, imperfection, and the entire spectrum of emotions that come up in both partnered and solo sex.

 

Since we’re focusing on masturbation here, I’ll say this: yes, it is totally acceptable to put on a pair of cute underwear and pop your butt in the mirror.

Image result for feeling myself

“Feelin’ myself, back off, cause I’m feelin’ myself, jack off
He be thinking about me when he whacks off, wax on? Wax off”

3. “Open” by Rhye

This song was not just chosen for the singer’s sultry vocals, but for the song’s clear reminder: stay open. It’s easy to fall into a routine of using masturbation as a quick release that isn’t practiced intentionally or pleasurably, sometimes. I think we often forget that it doesn’t always have to be about unzipping jeans and opening legs. It can be exhilarating to open the mind in a new way. Ultimately, how we think about masturbation can affect the entire experience; starting off by thinking “I’ve got to get off but I only have 7 minutes” lends to an entire different experience than “I really just want to take the time to feel my own body”. Limited time, shame, and feelings of not deserving pleasure can all limit the enjoyability of self-love sessions.

 

“Stay open”

 

4. “If” by Janet Jackson

So now that we’ve established the mind as a powerful tool for masturbation sessions, what else can we do with it? For a lot of folks, masturbation is an opportunity to slip into a world of fantasy. We can fantasize about an ideal lover, a room full of lovers, a specific scenario, or literally anything you choose to think up. It’s your brain, your body, and your experience and it’s alright to imagine all the “if”s. Letting the mind wander down the rabbit hole of sexual fantasy can be just that; fantasies may come up only once or maybe every so often. Or it could be in introduction to a personal desire that’s not yet been realized. Either way, Janet reminds us here that it’s alright to fantasize, even if it isn’t realistic or probable.

 

“If I was your girl, oh, the things I’d do to you
I’d make you call out my name, I’d ask who it belongs to
If I was your woman, the things I’d do to you
But I’m not, so I can’t, then I won’t, but if I was your girl”

 

5. “Soft and Wet” by Prince

If you’re familiar with our store, you’ll know how much we love lubricant. Because while mouths and vaginas (but not anuses) typically self-lubricate, it is usually a good idea to add some type of supplemental lubrication. But we tend to think of lube as only necessary for partnered, penetrative sex acts. But this doesn’t have to be the case, as lubricant can make any sensation (stroke/rub/grind/etc.) more pleasant and comfortable, regardless of your genital configuration or whether you’re using your hands, a toy, your bed, or playing with another body. Even if you’re self lubricating, longer sessions often call for some supplemental moisture. So don’t forget to keep the lube close by.

I’ve actually never actually heard of anyone complaining about someone being too wet. Even Prince’s breakout single alludes to the joys of moisture and pleasant sexual friction.

 

Image result for prince for you album cover

6. “Pony” by Ginuwine

When we think about masturbation, a lot of times we think about stroking parts; terms like “jacking/jilling off”, “rubbing one out”,  and “jerking it” all focus on acts that are done to the body manually, or by hand. This classic grinding song reminds us how fun it is to give the hand(s) a break and use the rest of the body for pleasure. Experiment with new textures, vibration, a masturbation sleeve, or even a consensual partner’s body and get those hips and abs moving. Incidentally, you may also get a nice core workout in the process. Sounds good to me.

 

7. “Don’t Sweat the Technique” by Eric B. and Rakim

While this track is the only one on the list that doesn’t directly relate to the topic of self-pleasure, we couldn’t resist including it for it’s very clear titular message: “don’t sweat the technique”. At the end of the day, how we choose to masturbate is totally up to us. Rather than worrying about what “should” feel good or even what normally feels good, take some time this month to experiment with new sensations and experiences.

 

And finally, the list’s bonus tracks. We couldn’t resist including these songs that either mention masturbation directly, or can assist in the mindset for an awesome experience.

 

8. “My Ding a Ling” by Chuck Berry

9. “Oops (Oh  My)” by Tweet feat. Missy Elliott

10. “Stroker Ace” by Lovage

11. “Jack U Off” by Prince

12. “Darling Nikki” by Prince

13. “I Touch Myself” by Divinyls

14. “Captain Stupido” by Thundercat

 

Enjoy a pleasurable Masturbation Month!

Image result for sex yourself jansen Image result for ultimate guide to solo sec block

2016’s Most Popular Sex Toys

2 Jan

Bye, bye 2016 and hello 2017!  And, we’re ready to bask in the newness of 2017. With renewed optimism and excitement we’re welcoming more opportunities for self exploration, education and pleasure. But before we jump both feet into all the pleasurable moments this new year is sure to bring,  let’s take one final glance back. You will find below the top ten of our most popular sex toys from a vibrating c-rings, masturbation sleeve, p-spot, g-spot and clitorial stimulators to strap-on play. So in no particular order…

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Breast Cancer Awareness Month

5 Oct

breast-cancer-awareness-blog

October is Breast Cancer awareness month and we’ve brainstormed a few ways to actively participate. Whether you’ve got breasts or not*, there are ways to be aware of, acknowledge, and learn how to support breast cancer.

*Just a reminder that everyone, regardless of sex, gender, or chromosomal makeup have breast tissue. A little more on that here.

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Six Misconceptions About Menopause

15 Sep

Despite my preoccupation with my own reproduction and hormones and human sexuality in general, I have not given enough thought to menopause and that is a problem. Luckily, September is Menopause Awareness Month. And, in true Sex Educator fashion, we have decided to learn as much as we can about this life transition that impacts so many people and share the knowledge. During my research for this post, I was glad to have many of my misunderstandings about menopause clarified. I’ll try to tackle some of them but first let’s discuss what menopause is.

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Malin James

Erotica. Sex. Culture.

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I live for the HFN/HEA and am decidedly pro-epilogue

Courtesan Press

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