Happy 2014! It’s amazing how you think you have a lot of free time on your hands, and then all of a sudden you are utterly swamped with work. My blog has sadly had to take a back seat to my clients, an upcoming exam in Istanbul, a conference in the USA and other work commitments, but I’ll be trying my best to post as often as I can in 2014, from wherever in the world I may be working at the time.
I wanted to start the year off with a post relating to the November 2013 show I did on Yfm for PG Hour – an hour in which we chat all things sex and relationships. This was one of my favourite shows, as we got to cover so many topics that so many people often ask me. If you think back to your school days, you’ll probably remember being taught basic sexual education, such as anatomy and sexual health. But no one is ever taught about pleasure, about orgasms, about different types of sex – and this is the kind of stuff that would actually be worth knowing so we don’t feel like we’re stumbling around in the dark! So here are some of the questions we chatted about on air:
1. How do men and women differ when it comes to having an orgasm? Is it generally easier for men than it is for women?
If I got a penny for every time I had to explain this, I would be a wealthy woman. Men and women are very different when it comes to climaxing, and it all comes down to the physical versus the emotional. In order for a man to orgasm, he generally needs to see and feel (visual and stimulation). Most men will reach orgasm with adequate stimulation. Women, on the other hand, need to think and feel (emotion and stimulation). Women generally need to feel safe, intimately connected and emotionally in touch with their partners to enjoy sex. Furthermore, women need to use their minds to fantasise about something arousing. Fantasy is one of the most important and healthy aspects of sexuality, and never let anyone tell you that you cannot fantasise about what turns you on. The most common female fantasy is forceful sex; other women like to think of being with another man or woman (or more than one at a time). Whatever turns you on, fantasising about it during sex will make the experience that much more enjoyable. Your thoughts and emotions, coupled with the sensations of friction on your clitoris or fully in your vagina will help bring you to climax. Ultimately, an orgasm for men is pretty much a direct physiological response to stimulation, and therefore one could say that it is easier for men to reach orgasm; yet for women it is a learned experience that takes time to master, but once practiced, is becomes easier and easier.
2. Can women have sex when they are on their periods?
This answer has two sides: Yes, you can have sex on your period and there is no harm in doing so. Orgasm can actually help relieve period pains and headaches. I will however also say no, as many women are not comfortable to have sex during their periods (often due to their menstrual symptoms such as cramps, headaches, tender breasts and bloating). Never let someone force you into having sex if you don’t want to.
3. Is lubrication that important? Do I need to stock up on some stuff to make sex better?
Those who know me, know that my number one piece of advice is always use lube. When it comes to sex, wetter is better – both for manual and oral stimulation, and penetrative sex. Guys need lubrication when they masturbate, and generally anything that offers them sufficient glide, if you will, is ok to use. A lot of men may choose to use Vaseline or body creams. However, when it comes to the ladies, please don’t use these sorts of ‘lubricants’, or any oil-based lubricants either. The reason for this is that it can cause infections by altering the pH levels in a woman’s vagina. For oral sex, simply use saliva or a flavoured lubricant. For penetrative sex, use a water- or silicone-based lubricant. Silicone-based lubricants will feel more natural and last longer. Not everyone needs lubricant during sex, as most women will produce enough natural lubrication when aroused. However, there are certain times of the month, or certain stressors, which can decrease the amount of lubricant women produce, and so having a little lube on hand (excuse the pun) will never hurt
4. Why is clitoral stimulation so important for women?
The clitoris is considered the “holy grail” of sexual pleasure for women. This tiny body part has 8000 nerve endings to its name, and is the only part of the human body (sorry boys) that’s only purpose is sexual pleasure. 75% of women require some form of clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm. If you’re not quite sure where the clitoris is, have a look at this diagram:
The clitoris is right above the labia minora (small lips). Underneath it, within the small lips, is the urethra (where we urinate from), and finally underneath that is the vagina. Positions such as her on top or the coital alignment technique (click here for sex positions), will prove far more satisfying for her than doggy-style – although manually stimulating her clitoris with a hand or mini-vibe in this position will feel good.
5. Can women really ejaculate? And isn’t it urine?
This is one of the questions that men will most often ask me. Yes, it is possible for women to ejaculate (also known as squirting), but no, not all women will do so or can ejaculate. Some women naturally release ejaculate when they climax, other women can teach themselves how to, and some women just don’t. You shouldn’t take it as a negative thing if you aren’t able to, as when it comes to sex every single person is completely different in their response and behaviour.
Is female ejaculate urine? No. The easiest way to understand this is to think of men: a man’s urethra (the opening on the tip of his penis) functions to release both urine and semen. When a man is aroused (has an erection) and is getting ready to climax, his urethra actually shuts off so the semen can be ejaculated and no urine will be released. Clever huh? Well it’s the same in women. A woman’s urethra functions to release urine, but during sexual arousal and orgasm, the urethra shuts off so that we don’t pass urine during sex. The fluid that is released is often a murky, and can vary in amount. Most men suggest that if a woman can squirt, it is an added turn on for them. Apparently the record distance that a woman ejaculated was 2m!
6. Why can’t he go for a second round during sex? I haven’t even reached orgasm yet and he’s fallen asleep.
Ladies ask me this all the time, especially regarding the “I’m not satisfied” part. Men need 3-5 minutes (average) from the point of penetration to reach orgasm. Women, on the other hand, need 13-20 minutes, and that’s on top of the 20 minutes foreplay most women need to become sufficiently aroused. Men and women are wired very differently in sexual response. Make sure that your partner is spending sufficient time pleasuring you and that you’re having fun together before penetration happens, so that you can be at the same level. A lot of men will try to hold out until their partner has climaxed before they let go, but also keep in mind that pressuring her to have an orgasm will often make it far more difficult for her to. Pressure and sex – worst possible combination! Luckily for women though, we do not have a refractory (recovery) period after sex like men do. After a man climaxes, he generally needs some ‘down time’ before he can get another erection and have sex again. When he’s in his 20s this could be 10 minutes, but when he’s in his 70s it could be hours to days. If he has climaxed and she still isn’t satisfied, allow him some post-orgasmic bliss before asking him to make sure you get yours too.
7. What makes for great sex?
Sadly this is rather obvious – communication, being at ease and confidence. When I say communication, I don’t mean having a full-on conversation while you’re getting it on; I simply mean being open with your partner about what you like and don’t like (in a sensitive way). If you know that you don’t like having your ears nibbled and licked, tell your partner gently and show them something else that is arousing, perhaps having your neck kissed. Being at ease is important for great sex! Asking every minute if what you’re doing is ok is unlikely to be a turn on for anyone, and obviously if your partner is pressuring you into doing something or you feel tense, stressed or uneasy about anything you’re not going to feel this way. Just go with the flow and enjoy the experience. But ultimately, have confidence in yourself as a sexual partner and confidence in your partner’s ability to learn, explore and pleasure you.