Safe Sexual Experimentation
Sexual Experimentation. Sexual Exploration
There may be sexual practices you are curious about or have always wanted to try, but are scared to mention to your partner. Yet the sexually naive boy or girl that you first met may now be just as ready as you are for some sexual experimentation. You may also need to appreciate that, just because you or your partner are steady and reliable in everyday life, you don’t have to be that way in the bedroom too. Indeed, the predictability which might be valued in other areas of the relationship can be a distinct sexual turn-off. Why not give yourselves permission to introduce a little fun and surprise as well?
Location, location, location
For instance, sexual experiences don’t always have to happen in the bedroom, or they could begin in another place. Taking a bath or shower together can be a good prelude to sex, and many couples enjoy smooching or more on a rug in front of the fire or on the sofa in front of the TV. Outdoors is exciting and different so long as you have privacy. You may find that making love in a different bedroom can also free you to behave differently too.
Some sexual experiments may have to wait until you have the house to yourselves. Like a lie-in when the children are small, there may be logistical reasons why you can’t be as adventurous as you would like. Rather than blaming one another, make it part of your fantasy and something to look forward to.
Oral sex may be a regular part of your lovemaking, an occasional variation or something you prefer to avoid; each preference is entirely valid and normal. However, sometimes oral sex is disliked for hygiene reasons or because one of you feels self-conscious. If so, keep oral sex brief rather than making sustained efforts where you both need to concentrate. Allowing oral sex to contribute to your orgasm rather than cause it takes pressure off both of you. When there is pressure, managing to climax can be as much of a performance as giving oral sex and it is bound to be much less enjoyable if either of you feel stressed by the experience.
Some women who like having their genitals touched don’t like having them looked at. Since oral sex brings your partner’s face into contact with your vulva, you may therefore find it hard to relax. However, if your partner loves looking at your vulva, as well as kissing, sucking and nuzzling down there, the pleasure they can potentially give you is likely to please them too. Raising your bottom on a cushion or pillow and spreading your legs wide, perhaps with knees bent, will make you easier to touch, lick and kiss. Or you could lie right at the edge of the bed with your partner kneeling on the floor in front of you. Start gently and build speed and pressure gradually, whether you are making love to a man or woman.
Many men enjoy receiving teasing, licking and kissing around the head of the penis, which is its most sensitive area. Withdraw the foreskin very carefully. If you choose to put the penis in your mouth, move your mouth back and forth, focusing on the top third of the penis, using your hands to stimulate the shaft. Deeper penetration may happen in porn films but is quite difficult in real life. If you’re a man enjoying oral sex, be careful about thrusting, especially if you are above your partner, as you can hurt them and make them gag.
If you are squeamish about oral sex but want to try it, do consider using a condom and/or dental dams (a square of latex or silicone) and do this anyway if there is any risk of infection. Make sure you are clean too and don’t kiss your partner’s mouth if your face is covered with their secretions. They might like it, but the chances are that they won’t. Do also warn your partner before you ejaculate. They should have a choice as to whether they want to receive the ejaculate in their mouth and they should absolutely not be coerced to swallow. Some people love to swallow or to have you ejaculate over their body. But never assume this is okay.
Do cover your teeth with your lips. Gentle nuzzling may be fine but biting probably isn’t; licking, sucking and kissing different parts of the vulva or penis are much more acceptable. Your partner should be able to guide and help you as they may like more or less pressure, gentleness or enthusiasm depending on their arousal. You may enjoy licking chocolate or cream off one another; you can buy foods especially designed for this or improvise. Beware of using foods with spices or chilli; I heard of a most unfortunate experience with guacamole!
If you’re missing out on sex, you’re probably also missing out on a whole lot of fun. When you’re sexual together is probably the time that you and your partner feel able to indulge in a little relaxed silliness and there is no reason why sex toys shouldn’t be a part of that. Having said this, many people see their sex toys as a vital and very serious part of their lovemaking. Either way, you can browse sex toys in shops, by mail order or online. If you haven’t looked recently, you will find a vast array of goodies for singles, couples, men and women and for gay and straight sex. These include, for instance:
Beginner’s kits for anal sex (containing items such as a butt plug, lubricant and anal toys)
Butt plugs (for additional sexual stimulation or to help prepare for anal sex)
Condoms and dental dams
Lingerie and dressing-up outfits
Love balls (placed inside the vagina, they exercise the pelvic floor while stimulating the G spot)
Prostate massagers (anal vibrators which stimulate the male G spot)
Vibrating double strap-ons for women
Vibrators and dildos
Sex shops have always been associated with outfits for dressing up and bondage and they might provide a kick-start for role-play games. For instance, in a role play you have licence to be someone you are not. If you always wanted to be in burlesque, this is your chance. If you rather fancy yourself as a dominatrix, go for it. Naughty nurse, pilot, farmhand – you name it, there is almost certainly a costume – as long as you are a woman, that is. Sexy costumes for men are more difficult to find, though you can find outfits (fireman, doctor, soldier). However, be creative and invent some arousing scenarios and characters. It can be fun to see who turns up.
Discuss the general ground rules before you begin so that you have some idea of the ‘story’ or a plan for the session. Introducing the odd surprise is fine so long as it doesn’t involve anything painful or distasteful to your partner. As always, they have a right to refuse. You especially need to be in full agreement if there are any bondage or domination elements to the role play. Agreeing a signal and/or word which tells the other to stop is essential, for instance.
BDSM (which often stands for ‘bondage, dominance, submission and masochism’, though similar variations exist) has become much more popular among straight couples due to the recent bestselling novels involving kink and dominance. Kink in various forms was already a popular gay sexual practice, though by no means universally so. As a result of all the recent interest, there is no shortage of handcuffs, whips, chastity belts, masks and other implements to facilitate the procedure, some of which are made of rubber or leather for those with a preference or fetish.
Many of the articles are also available covered in fake fur and are clearly not intended to hurt. Because some items could hurt you, though, you need to be absolutely clear whether or not you want to be involved and should not allow yourself to be coerced into participating if you are at all unsure. Asking you to do something because it would prove your trust is an abuse of trust in itself. However, if you both enjoy BDSM or are curious about it, this could be a mind-blowing experiment. Do thoroughly discuss what is and is not okay and have a clear phrase or signal which tells the other to stop.
Any of the role-play activities, whether they involve kink or not, may go better if you also learn to fantasise on your own. Though fantasy is an important part of sexual functioning, couples sometimes feel it is wrong to fantasise. For instance, you may believe that your fantasies should reflect your life with your partner. Because you may be thinking about someone else, and/or the fantasies may involve activities that you wouldn’t really want to do in real life, you may feel your fantasising is a form of betrayal to your partner. Or you may think your fantasy is just wrong, especially if any form of violence is involved, such as spanking. However, the whole point of fantasy is that it is not real. The idea that thinking something means you want it to happen is nonsense. The mind has very cleverly given us the ability to fantasise so that we don’t need to act out every single thought we have. Our most outrageous thoughts can safely remain secret.
In fantasy, not only can you have a different sexual partner but you can be different too. You can put yourself in situations that you would never want to experience in real life or that would be very difficult to arrange anyway. You can imagine yourself to be ultra-powerful, subjugated, more attractive, younger, older, gay, straight, a different gender, anything you like. Fantasy allows you to play with different aspects of your personality and indulge another personality altogether. If you like the idea of 17 masked blondes stimulating your nipples with a teaspoon, develop the story. Nobody ever needs to know.
There is no need to share fantasy with your partner. There may be times that you want to, especially if erotic storytelling or role play is a part of your sexual repertoire, but it is also good to keep at least some of your fantasies to yourself. Telling them can dilute them, particularly when they are very unrealistic and your partner asks questions from a position of realism.
Fantasising while making love
Just because you don’t share your fantasies doesn’t mean that your fantasising has to be reserved for masturbation, however. No end of people fantasise while having sex with their partner, though they may be reluctant to admit it.
If you are one of the people who insist they are no good at fantasising, it is possible that you are not allowing yourself to let go and dream. To see whether you do have the capacity to fantasise, ask yourself the following questions.
Do you take pleasure in remembering generally? If so, how hard would it be to remember a sexual encounter and add to it a little?
Do you ever go over events or imagine future events in your head? This is fantasy! Unfortunately, sometimes people pay more attention to these imagined encounters than the real events – but it shows you can fantasise. Have you fantasised in the past? If you were good at making up stories or games as a child, you can still do that now.
Do you feel comfortable with the idea of fantasy or is it something you would deliberately avoid? You may have been told that fantasy is wrong, but, generally, anything which helps a couple to feel closer and more bonded can only be considered useful and be encouraged.
If you have difficulty in accepting fantasy, start with one that you don’t find too challenging, perhaps based on a pleasant memory of sex with your partner. You might like to begin it with a non-sexual story which establishes the setting. If you feel casual sex is wrong, you may be happier if you create a wedding-night scene or imagine lots of romance. Or you may find it easier to become aroused imagining much more dirty, raunchy sex than you normally engage in. Some people feel more comfortable if their partner stays out of the fantasies – just go with whatever feels right.
What feels right is worth thinking about. For instance, do you feel embarrassed in the fantasy? Is this part of the fun or is it inhibiting? If you are behaving in ways that are completely different to real-life sex, does this feel liberating?
In many ways, the ability to fantasise frees you to have good sex with your partner. It is part of the process of taking responsibility for your own sexual expression and orgasm and helps to create your sexual self. If you and your partner were just the same, sex could become very dull. The more aware you are of your own sexual pleasure, and allowing yourself to express it, the more sexually interesting you are likely to become.
Fantasizing does not take you away from your partner; it makes you more available to them. Even if you fantasise about someone else when you are with them, when you open your eyes you are together, sharing a magical moment, warm in each other’s embrace. What could be wrong about that?
Female hot spots
Deep in the vagina, where it starts to curve upwards, is an area on the anterior (upper) wall behind the cervix which is extremely sensitive to stimulation. This is known as the A spot. Massage of this area can produce immediate copious vaginal lubrication. Continued stimulation may result in intense multiple orgasms, accompanied by powerful uterine contractions. The area probably isn’t possible to stimulate with the penis, although this could be why some women particularly enjoy deep penetration. It can, however, be stimulated at the same time as the G spot. This is an area two or three inches inside the vagina on the anterior wall which becomes swollen when you are aroused. You or your partner may be able to feel a slightly spongy area, about the size of a 10-pence piece. Side to side stimulation with a couple of fingers of this or the general area can cause great pleasure in some women. It follows that a great deal of foreplay will enhance the effect of stimulating this area and it has been argued that the G spot could contribute to orgasm through intercourse.
A small area of labia on either side of the urethral opening, the U-spot, may also respond well to prolonged touch, as clitoral tissue which extends on either side of the urethra may become enlarged and responsive as arousal progresses. Indeed, it is thought that swollen clitoral tissue in all these areas is responsible for the pleasure they can produce. However, each woman’s anatomy is very different. In some women, there may be less internal clitoral tissue or it may be buried more deeply and they consequently find these areas unresponsive or harder to arouse.
Some women also report finding touch in these places irritating or painful, while others claim they produce wild and different orgasmic experiences. In addition, stimulation of the U and G spots may result in female ejaculation, the production of small or large amounts of clear fluid, from a few drops to about a tablespoonful, similar in constituency to the fluid produced by the male prostate gland. Skene’s glands, situated in the U-spot area of arousal are thought to produce this fluid which is sometimes distressingly confused with urine. Though it may be released via the urethra, it is definitely not urine.
Some women can go immediately from one orgasm to the next with continued clitoral stimulation but many also need a change in pace or pressure or a short pause before being ready to begin again. Sometimes continuing clitoral touch can be uncomfortable so you need to experiment to discover what works for you. If you have had a slow build-up to your orgasm, or already had more than one, the clitoris and erogenous spots will have become swollen and extremely sensitive. Proceeding quickly to intercourse at this time may produce more orgasms through less direct clitoral stimulation and/or stimulation of the G spot. Again, you may need to experiment with the best positions to achieve this. Sometimes pelvic-floor or Kegel exercises (see here and here) at this point, with or without a penis inside you, can also produce a series of further orgasms.
Inserting an entire hand into the vagina or rectum is known as fisting, though the hand is not usually inserted in the shape of a fist. The fingers and hand are kept straight, with the thumb tucked in for insertion and then they are gently moved around once the hand is inside. Fingers can be used to massage the interior or the hand can be made into a fist shape and moved back and forth.
Some people very much enjoy the feeling of being filled up that this produces. It can also be used for stimulation of the prostate, A and G spots or cervix if you are very gentle. It is important to keep nails short, remove jewelry, wear latex gloves and use plenty of lube. As with all forms of penetration, it is not advisable to attempt this until arousal is well under way.
Licking and kissing of the anal and perineal area is known as rimming. The many nerve endings around and just inside the anus can be extremely sensitive and responsive to oral touch. It can be done as a prelude to anal intercourse or alone, but may require a little planning as you will both want the area to be clean. Some people like to use an enema or mild laxative the day before to help reduce the risk of encountering faces.
Safe sexual practice insists you use a dental dam to prevent infection. This is a square of latex or silicone used to cover the anus. Like condoms, dental dams come in a range of colors and flavors (strawberry, chocolate, mint, for instance) and can usually be bought in variety packs offering considerable choice. Alternatively, you can improvise with cling film, but this is unlikely to be as reliable. Don’t turn over or reuse a dental dam and don’t lick or kiss the vagina or mouth afterwards either – at least not until you have washed your face and cleaned your teeth.
Many men and women, gay and straight, enjoy some form of anal penetration, whether it be with fingers, a hand, tongue, penis or sex toy. It is advisable to begin anal exploration with just a finger or tongue and avoid proceeding to anything bigger until you are used to the sensations this produces. Many people like to build up to deeper penetration over several sessions. If you are afraid or the touch hurts, the anal sphincter will clamp shut, making further exploration difficult. You may feel you want to poo at first, but this should pass as you relax and further exploration becomes possible. An internal sphincter creates a further barrier, but this will usually open with gentle massage.
Keep touch to the outside anal region rather than venturing inside if there is constipation, haemorrhoids (piles) or any cuts in the area. Even when there is no anal penetration, cuts or scratches should also be covered to prevent infection.
Don’t allow/attempt penetration with sex toys or a penis until you are well aroused. Caressing the buttocks while stimulating the penis or clitoris can be very relaxing and this can continue as insertion is attempted. Penetration should be very gentle indeed, using plenty of water-based lube and, needless to say, a condom – whether you are using a penis or toy. Latex gloves and dental dams should be used as protection when touching the anal area with the fingers or mouth respectively. Penetration may be facilitated if the person being penetrated pushes slightly outwards, as though passing wind. It can also help to wear a butt plug for a few hours beforehand to relax and open the area. Resting the penis inside the rectum before thrusting begins allows the area to relax and become used to the feeling of entry.
Thrusting should be gentle, especially to begin with. Experimenting is essential to find what works for you both. A side-by-side ‘spoons’ position may be more comfortable than doggy-style rear entry for anal sex with a woman, as penetration is more shallow and there is access to the breasts and clitoris to facilitate stimulation. Some women like to lower themselves on to the penis facing away from the body (that is, facing the partner’s feet) while many men manage face-to-face entry with the legs raised, perhaps over the penetrator’s shoulders, which facilitates access to the penis.
Anal vibrators, balls, butt plugs and prostate stimulators can all be enjoyed by gay or straight men, so straight guys don’t need to miss out. Indeed, there is an argument for insisting that anyone penetrating agrees to some form of anal sex beforehand so that they have an idea of what it is like.
Confidence will improve the more anal sex goes well, so do make the effort to prepare properly and agree to stop the moment either of you wants to. Never ever put anything that has been in or near the anus or rectum into or near a mouth or vagina. Even if you have used a condom, wash body parts and sex toys thoroughly before they are in any way used again.
Essentially, frottage or ‘dry humping’ is about rubbing body parts together to produce arousal and orgasm. This can be done naked or clothed and may be arousing for both partners or only one. Clothed frottage may be something you remember from your youth, part of a dance or goodnight kiss. Purposefully indulging in clothed sex can become part of role play, be used during menstruation or when a quick encounter is required.
Frottage has a bit of a bad name, thanks to the idea that opportunistic frottage is practised in crowds by odd people. However, it can also be highly erotic and pleasurable. Genital frottage involves genitals rubbing together – penis to vagina, penis to penis, penis to anus, vagina to vagina or vagina to anus. Safe-sex precautions/contraception may thus be required, but naked frottage can involve any part of the body. Between the thighs, armpits and between the breasts are popular variations.
Quicky sex is a fun occasional variation which is not just for when you don’t have much time. Quicky sex, naked, clothed and semi-clothed, seems to crop up a great deal in role play as it appears to be practically the only kind of sex enjoyed in Hollywood movies – frequently taking place in lifts and on kitchen tables, followed by demure reappearance in a roomful of people. Again, quicky sex may happen spontaneously, but if you hanker after quicky sex it may be helpful to let your partner know in advance. Nobody likes to feel used.