Monthly Archives: March 2010
When I was 14 or so, I found some porn in my parent’s wardrobe. I watched it religiously whenever I was alone in the house and it provided more orgasms than I care to think about. Until one day when, after some particularly exuberant masturbation, I returned home from football practice to find my dad sat at the dining room table waiting for me, with an unusually fatherly expression on his face.
“John”, he began. “Did you err… did you find a video in my wardrobe?”
“NO”, I spurted loudly, all the blood suddenly rushing to my face so quickly that I thought I was in danger of it bursting out of my young ears and ruining the carpet.
“And you watched it?” he continued, ignoring my lie.
“… …”, I replied confidently.
He then sat me down and we talked about porn, and why he didn’t mind that I had watched it and that it was healthy and normal and that I should probably not leave the porn in the VCR with the blinds closed and spermy tissues lying on the floor and go off to football practice afterwards without tidying up. I blushed hard throughout the whole, loooong conversation. If there was an Olympic medal for blushing, I would have got gold and the other competitors would have just given their medals to me out of sympathy. I learned an important lesson that day. DESTROY THE EVIDENCE.
Destroy it at all costs. Burn the fucking house down to its foundations after you’ve cum and kill any witnesses, if necessary, because nothing was more soul-destroyingly uncomfortable than ‘that’ conversation. It made me realise that my dad masturbated to the same porn that I did. It was like we’d touched our dicks together or something.
I’d lived by that mantra for years afterwards, and I was careful not to get caught. Ever. I used to take mad, paranoid masturbatory precautions and would have all the evidence destroying paraphernalia within arms reach should I need to cover my trucks in a hurry. I would phone my family to make sure they were nowhere near the house. I built dens in the woods. I set up trip wires and hired security guards. I set up a radar perimeter defence with automatically triggered anti-personal mines.
I was good. But recently I got sloppy, complacent. My girlfriend moved into my flat a few weeks ago so the masturbation pretty much stopped immediately, and although I kind of miss it I prefer sex. But I woke up last Sunday really horny, after some awesome sex on Saturday, but my girlfriend was already at work so I was alone. I also knew that I would be too tired to perform that night because I had a martial arts grading, and I would probably have been too tired Monday too. I was potentially looking at three days without an orgasm, and I don’t respond well to that kind of abstinence. After three days without an orgasm, I start to look at things a bit differently. Everything around me becomes strangely penis-compatible. I start to want to have sex with stuff that shouldn’t be had sex with. You remember Pee Wee Herman? He was arrested for having sex with his shoe in a park in America. That’s what I’m like. That could be me. I don’t want that to happen.
So after checking my Facebook, I found myself on YouPorn and my hand gravitated towards my Morning Glory. It only took about 7 seconds, enough time to grab a condom and put it on. Yeah that’s right, I got class.
I chucked the condom in the bin, ate some Weetabix, and went off to get my ass kicked at this martial arts thing without a second thought. Meanwhile, my girlfriend came home and tidied the flat. I imagine she stopped dead when she saw what was sat on top of all the biscuit wrappers and lemonade bottle in the bin when she came to change the bin.
I don’t think I’d even got my key in the door before she asked me about it.
“Hello. I found something in the bin. Did you… err…”, she said immediately.
“NO”, I spurted loudly, all the blood suddenly rushing to my face so quickly that I thought I was in danger of it bursting out of my young ears and ruining the carpet.
I dread to think what she must have thought when she saw it. Given my job and given that sex is a big part of my life, the obvious conclusion was that I had cheated on her in the 20 minutes between her leaving for work and me leaving for martial arts. She kindly explained that she knew it was, you know, self-inflicted and that she was pretty sure I hadn’t cheated on her though, and that made me feel a little bit better. But I was still quite embarrassed. I should have taken the two seconds to stuff the condom into a biscuit wrapper or something. I should have burnt the fucking building down. I had forgotten all my childhood training.
I got the impression she was a little bit pissed off with me for doing it. But that was a few days ago and I’ve had time to think about it since then. Here’s the thing. The other day, I came home and my girlfriend told me that while I’d been at work, the mood had struck her and she had dipped her hand into the toy box under my bed and tried a couple of the less-threatening vibratey things we keep in there. I was overjoyed. I thought it was so sexy.
Here’s my question: why is it ok for women to masturbate when their partner isn’t there, but seems a bit wrong when men masturbate without their partner?
All thoughts and comments welcome.
What do you think of when you hear the phrase “sex toys”? It means different things to different people; for those unfamiliar or totally inexperienced with them, the phrase might have some sordid connotations. For men, they can seem like they belong purely in the female domain, like they’re not for men. For women who have owned them, they can be tools to deliver satisfaction, but they’re rarely talked about.
It’s a shame that sex toys have such a poor reputation, especially when you understand how much good they can do. The problem is that trying to find good information about sex toys can be tricky, and that’s the problem that this article is going to try to address. The approach we’re going to take isn’t an anecdotal one, nor is it a funny one. It’s a realistic, scientific approach, because sometimes the statistics speak for themselves. So let’s get started.
10. 24-27% of men regularly experience premature ejaculation.
Around a quarter of all men regularly experience premature ejaculation during sex. This is a problem that can be solved with a little patience and a little experimentation. Penis rings, desensitising creams the right condoms can all help to delay orgasm. So can masturbation. By using male masturbators, you can actively practice staving off your orgasm until you become very good at it, and you’ll be able to last longer during sex as a result.
9. 48% of women have faked an orgasm AT LEAST once.
Your chances of reaching an orgasm during sex are greatly increased if you incorporate sex toys. It can take women 20 minutes of sexual stimulation to reach orgasm through intercourse, but as little as 4 minutes with the use of a vibrator. You’ll never have to feel guilty for faking it again, and your partner needn’t to be suspicious.
8. 10-12% of men suffer erectile dysfunction.
There are more products on the market than you can possibly imagine to help with erectile dysfunction. There’s Viagra of course, but don’t be tempted to think that’s where it ends. There are several highly effective erection pills, all herbal, and all safe to use regularly. For those with medical conditions preventing erection, there are also phallic imitators and sex toys designed for men, so the pleasure need not stop.
This isn’t a problem, it’s just a cool little fact that we wanted to throw in.
6. Female orgasm increases the chance for conception.
If the female partner climaxes after the male has, there is a far better chance for successful conception. The trouble is, men aren’t always up to the task immediately after their own orgasm. So… sex toys.
5. The average penis length is 6 inches.
That might sound like plenty, but many, many men don’t quite reach that length and feel a little inadequate as a result. Not to mention, many women crave a deeper sensation during sex. Penis extenders, pumps, and length-enhancing penis sleeves can all hope to give the extra reach.
Seven minutes is not long. Sex can sometimes feel rushed, like the orgasm is some sort of destination that needs to be reached as soon as possible. But it shouldn’t be that way; the destination is the least important asset of sex. The journey there should be enjoyed just as much, if not more. In fact, an orgasm isn’t even a necessary component of better sex, and the best way to have better sex is by incorporating some quality sex toys.
Men can achieve orgasm in as little as two minutes after penetration. But it can take women fifteen minutes and upwards. There is a terrible imbalance here; an imbalance that can be rectified with, you guessed it, sex toys. Just because the male partner has climaxed doesn’t mean sex needs to stop; it should continue until both of you are satisfied.
As a result of this body-consciousness, they can be reluctant to be naked with their partner, however much encouragement they are given. These can lead to intimacy issues, and can become a divisive point in a relationship. The use of toys during mutual masturbation has been clinically proven to reduce the anxiety of nakedness, and as a result help to make sex more intimate and more meaningful.
1. More than 80% of women can’t climax through penetration alone.
While certain positions stimulate the clitoris more than others, the truth is that most women won’t climax from penetrative sex alone. It is possible, but very difficult for most of us. Using a small vibrator on the clitoris (or having the male partner wear a vibrating penis ring) during sex makes your orgasm much easier to achieve and much more powerful when it arrives.
When you’ve been in the sex toy industry as long as I have, there’s one thing that stands out more than anything else and it’s the confusion over the different types and categories. It’s easy for people like me, who know the toys inside out, to forget that not everybody has the same level of familiarity that we do so we’d like to set out the basic definitions and we can all use them as a touchstone. A bit like when Dr. Samuel Johnson standardised English spelling by releasing the first dictionary in 1755. Consider this a ‘dicktionary’. That’s a terrible pun, let’s forget it ever happened.
Vibrators Vs Dildos
Anyway, one of the most common confusions is over what constitutes a vibrator and what constitutes a dildo. Here’s the difference: a vibrator can be anything at all, any shape or style or designed for any purpose, as long as it vibrates. A dildo doesn’t necessarily vibrate (but it can), and it’s designed purely for penetration. If it’s not designed for penetration, it’s not a dildo. If it doesn’t vibrate, it’s not a vibrator. See? Pretty straightforward.
There are crossover sex toys though, just to confuse us all a bit. A vibrator that is used for penetration is called a ‘dildo’ by some, particularly in America, but we would classify it as a vibrator first. The vibrator classification trumps everything else. Dildos are generally phallic in nature, whereas a vibrator doesn’t need to be. Some penetrative vibrators are not phallic at all, especially if they’re designed for G-spot stimulation, for example.
As an aside, you might come across the word ‘dong’ from time to time. This just means ‘dildo’, and we try to avoid it as much as possible for two reasons: first, it’s confusing and superfluous and second, it’s just a silly word.
The Sex Toy Glossary
To really get a handle on sex toys, it’s probably easiest if we just outline the most prominent sex toy categories and define them. So, in alphabetical order, here’s the (slightly abbreviated for the sake of readability) Sex Toy Glossary. Brace yourself, there’s some strong stuff ahead…
Anal Beads – Designed to be inserted and then removed slowly at the point of orgasm to intensify the sensation. They’re very effective.
Bullet Vibrators – Usually less than 3 inches in length, these sex toys look like bullets. Hence the name. Keep up. They’re generally used on the clitoris, but because they’re small and powerful they’re very VERY versatile. In fact, it’s probably safe to say that they’re waffley versatile.
Butt Plugs – They can vibrate or not, but they’re designed to be worn during sex and masturbation. In women, they help to tighten the vaginal canal. In men, they help to stimulate the prostate and enhance the orgasm.
Clitoral Vibrators – These are vibrating sex toys that are designed specifically to tease the clitoris. They’re usually small, handheld, powerful and pointed. They’ll fit in your handbag. Everyone’s a winner.
Cock Rings – Extremely simple, very effective. Worn around the shaft or testicles, or both, a cock ring makes the penis swell, helps to prevent orgasm, and makes the wearer more sensitive. If you’re a man and don’t have one, you need one. Fact.
Double Penetration Vibrators – These vibrators have two shafts; one for vaginal penetration and a slightly narrower one for simultaneous anal penetration. Double trouble.
Finger Vibrators – These are little vibrating units that are worn on the finger.
Glass Dildos – Glass deserves its own category because it’s an incredibly pleasurable material. And in case you’re wondering, because everyone always does; there is no chance it will break inside you.
G-Spot Vibrators – With a long, narrow shaft and an upwards curve, these vibrators are designed for one thing and one thing only: to deliver the powerful waves of pleasure directly onto the G-spot. They’re great.
Jelly Vibrators – They’re not made of real jelly, although that would be pretty awesome. They’re made of floppy rubber, so the vibrations travel through them and into your body without much resistance. Great fun, and ticklish as all hell.
Masturbation Sleeves – Designed for men to masturbate with, usually made from silicone or a similar material. They frequently resemble vaginas, but not necessarily.
Penis Extensions – Little sleeves, usually silicone, that are worn over the penis to add a few inches. And because they’re a bit like really thick condoms, they help to prevent premature ejaculation.
Prostate Massagers – These are anal sex toys for men. Some vibrate, some don’t. Either way, they sit in the anal canal and apply gentle pressure to the prostate. This makes your orgasm at least 400,000 times more powerful. At LEAST.
Rabbit Vibrators – Rabbit vibes are vibrators that have a vibrating penetrative shaft and clitoral stimulator near the base. These are wildly popular, and came as close to becoming ‘mainstream’ as sex toys have ever got.
Realistic Dildos – These are extremely realistic phallic imitators. Often they’re moulded from… you know… the real thing, if you catch our drift.
Realistic Vibrators – These are sex toys that vibrate and look like penises. Clue’s in the name, really.
Remote Control Vibrators – Yep, believe it or not, there are dozens and dozens of remote control vibrators out there. Hand the remote to a partner and let them control the power. It’s a giggle.
Sex Dolls – Imitation women, often inflatable. Some of the more expensive ones are spookily realistic.
Strap-On Dildos – There are strap on dildos for amen and for women, in every shape, size, colour and material you can possibly imagine. They’re useful in so many ways that we can’t even list them all.
Strap-On Vibrators – These vibrators are generally sold with harnesses and are often unisex. They are worn so that they can be used hands-free. Which is useful.
Vibrating Love Eggs – These are like normal love eggs (or duo-balls, or whatever else you might call them) but they vibrate. They’re usually connected by wire to a control panel.
Vibrator Kits – These are collections of sex toys, bundled together with loads of accessories. They’re like Batman’s utility belt; they have everything you need, including a bunch of weird stuff that you think you’ll probably never need but suddenly come in useful when you least expect it.
Ok Mr. HighAndMighty Grammar Nazi, I know the title of this post should technically be ‘My Top 10 Songs To Which To Have Sex’, but you can take your prepositional fascism and hang it off your hole. This is my blog and my list, so i can call it whatever i want.
Sorry about that, I just got back from the gym and still have some adrenaline left. Anyways, it’s been a little while since i did a Top 10 and i always like them, so here’s the latest one. It’s my Top 10 Songs to Have Sex to. These are just my favourites and I don’t expect you to agree. In fact I’d love it if you went away and blogged yours, and then stuck a link to it in the comments below.
I’ve tried to avoid Marvin Gaye-style clichés as much as possible and offer a few slightly alternatives. Also, i don’t find songs about sex to be very sexy, so you won’t find any of those here either. Without further ado, let’s see what made the cut…
10. The XX – You Got The Love
This is one of my favourite tracks of all time, and one of my favourites to have sex to. I only discovered The XX recently, and while i find the majority of their music only agreeable, this incredible, understated reworking of You Got The Love blows me away. With a big ol’ set of speakers, this is a fantastic song to do the do to. (I bet you had to read the last part of that sentence twice.)
9. Snow Patrol – Set Fire To The Third Bar
This is the ‘wordiest’ of the songs on this list. I don’t like really wordy songs generally because i don’t like music t9o dictate how i should feel, but i make an exception for this one. It’s awesome, and quite sexy.
8. Massive Attack – Angel
This has got to be on the list. It’s the law.
7. Glideascope – Devushka
This is an interesting little track i picked up years back. There’s something quite urgent about it, quite desperate, and that’s what makes it a good sex song.
6. High Contrast – Twilight’s Last Gleaming
This is a bit more upbeat then the last one, and usually drum ‘n bass and sex don’t mix. But it works. Don’t really know why. But I like it.
5. Future Sound Of London – Papua New Guinea
This track is an education in awesomeness. I loved this song when i first heard it, still love it today, and love lovin’ to it. Can’t believe i just said ‘lovin’.
4. Burial – Archangel
I only downloaded this track yesterday at work and fell in love with it immediately. It was on in the background last night, and made a strangely satisfying soundtrack to sex.
3. James Holden – The Sky Was Pink
Bit of a confession here: the first time i heard this song i was a bit stoned and it made me hallucinate. Since then, i’ve loved having sex to this track and it gives me goosebumps.
2. Sigur Ros – Njosnavelin
I don’t even want to contaminate this gorgeous piece of music by talking about it. So i won’t. Just listen to it and imagine how good it is to have sex to.
1. Murcof – Ulysses Fax
Murcof is a little-known Mexican DJ who makes weird, chic electronic/orchestral music. It’s all a bit pretentious and arty, but so am I and I LOVE this track. With a good set of speakers, this song reverberates around you and bounces off the walls, and it is, in my humble opinion, the best song to have sex to in the history of ever.
Right, you’re up. What’s your top 10? And if you can’t be arsed to pick 10, what’s your favourite sex song?
The fundamental premise of this post is simple: women have too much stuff. I’m going to prove this with one single image and a little bit of background (but if you’re attention span is anything like mine, you’re already bored of reading this and your eyes have already darted down to the image below. If you have, then you can probably already see where this post is going and you don’t need to read any more).
My girlfriend recently moved into my flat. Before she moved in, it was a bit of a bachelor pad with beer cans and empty wine bottles dotted around, and suspiciously crusty socks poorly hidden under the sofa and under the PC desk. Now, everything is clean and smells nice. Including me.
Just by having a girl in the flat, everything is a million times better. My fridge has food in it, instead of the lonely jar of gherkins that had been its only occupant for several months. There are biscuits in the cupboard. My clothes are soft. There are clean sheets on the bed, and they smell nice. When I wake up in the morning, there’s a cup of coffee next to my head. The sofa is warm. The insides of my mugs are no longer stained brown, and from time to time even the bin gets emptied. Everything is organised. I lived alone for two years without a wardrobe, just stuffing my clothes into the airing cupboard and not really giving a shit. But in less than a day of her moving in, all of my clothes were neatly folded, hung up, put away or otherwise systematised.
It’s all very amazing and I love it, but there’s one thing I’ve noticed, and it’s this:
GIRLS HAVE A LOT OF SHIT.
I mean, they have to put on make up before they put on make up. And they have different moisturisers for different body parts. Is the skin itself different? No. It’s skin, wherever it is. So why do they need 24 different moisturisers? My girlfriend is gorgeous and sexy and smells nice naturally. Why does she need so much stuff to help? This picture pretty much sums it up. It’s the shelf in my bathroom. I’ve hopefully added an arrow to point out everything that’s mine on that shelf.
I’m pretty sure that this is the major difference between men and women. It’s not the anatomy; those are just formal differences. The real difference is that women collect stuff like fucking magpies, and men just look at it all in disbelief.
There are only a few words left in the English language that evade history as well as the word ‘dildo’. ‘Mushroom’ and ‘haddock’ are other slippery etymological examples. But the history of the word ‘dildo’ is actually pretty interesting, to me at least because of my background in linguistics. It’s a word that seems out-of-place somehow; it certainly doesn’t sound naturally English and it’s history is a bit of a mystery. There are however some really interesting clues, and that’s what we’re going to look at in this blog post.
The Earliest Literary Use of Dildo
Thomas Nashe was a contemporary of Shakespeare who, in 1593, wrote a poem called “The Choise of Valentines or the Merie Ballad of Nash, his Dildo” dedicated to the Earl of Southampton (my hometown, by the way). The Choise of Valentine’s is an erotic story that relates the visit of a young man, Tomalin, to a brothel to see his girlfriend, Frankie. He pays her ten gold pieces for sex but finds that, as soon as she lifts her skirt, he loses his erection and is unable to perform for her. Eventually, she is able to make him erect again and they have sex, but he climaxes too soon leaving her to satisfy herself with the titular dildo. To be honest, it’s not a very good poem and it’s only noted because it uses the word dildo.
So 1593 has the first written record of this word, but what exactly does that tell us? Amongst other things, it tells us that the word ‘dildo’ must have been in circulation long before Nashe committed it to parchment. He didn’t invent the word, otherwise his audience wouldn’t have understood it; he was speaking to an audience who were already familiar with the word. But how did they know it? How old was it?
There is some speculation about this, and some surprisingly heated debate. One nautical suggestion notes that the oar-fixings on a particular kind of boat, a ‘dory’, are called ‘dildos’, and they’re undeniably phallic in shape. Some have posited that this usage is where we get the present word from, but the first record of this use comes from 1719, long after the initial use of the word ‘dildo’ itself. Therefore, it seems safe to say that the phallic oar mountings on a dory come from the ‘dildo’ as we know it, rather than the other way around.
To look for the ancient predecessor of the word dildo, we might think it would be useful to look at Ancient Greek or Latin, the languages to which we usually look when we study etymology. But no, in this case even these ancient tongues seem to shed no light. The Ancient Greeks tended to refer to these objects with the word ‘olisbos’ or ‘godemiche’, which can’t be the word from which we get ‘dildo’. The Latin word ‘dilatare’, which means ‘to open wide’ (from which we get ‘dilate’) has been put forward as the root of the word dildo, but it seems very unlikely.
Another school of thought notes that the Italian word for delight, ‘diletto’, sounds much like dildo and they posit this as the root for ‘dildo’. Again, it seems like wishful thinking; though the two words are similar it can be reasonably argued that the similarity is purely formal and not really meaningful.
Perhaps the most interesting lead comes from Ancient India, a culture that was very familiar with sexual objects and sexuality on the whole. The 2000 year old Kama Sutra uses the Hindi term ‘darshildo’ for dildo, a term that seems to close to the modern pronunciation to be coincidence.
What are your thoughts? Do you have any better clues? I’d love to hear them!
I cycle to work. It’s about 11 miles each way and the route generally carves its way through the beautiful Hampshire countryside. One stretch of it includes a three mile country lane, with a crumbling railway bridge and wide, fertile fields on either side.
After the railway bridge, a ditch begins that runs for about a quarter of a mile alongside the left-hand side of the road, and it’s home to all manner of wildlife. This ditch became the subject of national news after the murdered body of a friend of mine was left in it almost 10 years ago. I had generally avoided this road for years; first, because it’s a dangerous road and second, because since the murder it’s been a little ominous to me. Sort of tainted. Dark.
But I recently I started riding down it again, because it’s the quickest and most fun way to ride to work. Every day for the last two weeks or so, something amazing has happened on this stretch of road. A bird of prey made that ditch its home, and though I can’t tell exactly what kind of bird it is I can tell you that it’s massive. Really, really huge with big, yellow talons that seem too big to fit on anything that flies.
The first time I saw the bird, it burst out of the ditch right next to me as I was cycling past and surprised and terrified me so much that I veered into the opposite lane, which in turn surprised the driver of the MX-5, who was overtaking me at the time, so much that she nearly stuck her car in the bushes on the other side of the road. The bird flew alongside me for a couple of moments before steering off to the left, over a gate and into the field, before circling back around to return to its ditch.
The same thing happened the next day, but this time I wasn’t as surprised (but still pretty scared). I got a better look at it; it was gorgeous. Dark brown with black specks over its soft feathers, and so powerful. Its eyes were ferocious, and I imagined that they would inspire such paralysing terror into anything that they happened to glance at. Those eyes were the last things that several field mice would have ever seen. It must be an awesome thing to see just before you die.
Over a period of a few days, the bird would burst out of the ditch as I rode passed, and each day it would stay alongside me a little longer, until yesterday when it flew alongside me so close that I could have high-fived it, if I’d had the nerve. It glided right next to me for long seconds, swaying left and then coming closer again. When it fluttered its wings to stay aloft, I felt the breeze on my cheek, and motorists coming the other way stopped their cars to watch, astounded. Then it swopped around and returned to the ditch which had been the final resting place of my friend.
This morning, as I approached the same spot, I noticed that the bushes above the ditch had been trimmed back by one of those tractor-hedge-trimmer machines. I rode slowly past the hole from which the bird usually appears, but it didn’t. And then I saw why. Lying by the side of the ditch was a tangled, torn, shredded pile of flesh and feathers. The bird had been decimated by the hedge cutter.