TMI Tuesday: analyze your sex life

TMI Tuesday blog

Analysis, my favorite!

1. What are your sexual strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths: open-minded, interested in exploring and experimenting; able to accept pleasure; vocally expressive; sensitive to emotion, mood, sensation; reliably orgasmic (though not with PIV sex); fit and flexible; my partner tells me I give good blowjobs

Weaknesses: under certain circumstances, I’m skittish and cautious; the sensitivity can also be a hindrance

2. As a couple, what are your sexual strengths and weaknesses?

Strengths: the relationship is excellent overall; we’re invested in each other’s pleasure, happiness and well-being; deep trust; excellent communication; broadly complementary kinks

Weaknesses: we’re discovering a few mismatches, for instance he’s quite a bit more cautious than I am, which is challenging when I’d like him to top or dominate me

3. How do you make intimacy a priority in a relationship? Emotional intimacy comes very easily to me, so there is no “making” involved. Or is “intimacy” code for sex etc? My relationship with my partner is the first in which physical intimacy was ever a priority. Our lives aren’t too busy, so it’s not really a scheduling issue. We both want sex/play fairly frequently, so we look for opportunities to set aside blocks of time, usually later on the same day that we’ve been discussing it.

4. How has your sex life changed in the last five years? I didn’t like sex before. Then I had my epiphany about a year and a half ago, and now I quite enjoy it though I’m still working on a few issues. We went from sex a few times a year to almost that much in a week. Documenting the way my sex life has changed since then is this blog’s raison d’être.

5. Has blogging helped your sex life? How? Yes, absolutely. I’m introspective by nature but writing things down with a view towards making a blog post out of it encourages me to analyze myself to the point that I actually figure things out. This is an important process that allows me to untangle current difficulties arising from my (former) sexual shame. Taking self-portraits encourages me to look for beauty instead of flaws, and the positive feedback that I’ve gotten reinforces a healthier self-image. And I’ve met a special someone who I wouldn’t have met otherwise.

Bonus: Has loneliness or emotional hunger ever caused you to “fall in love”? No. I’ve felt myself starting to become attached to someone I was attracted to (and the notion of emotional hunger may apply), but I became aware that my feeling was based in part on the image of that person that I had constructed in my mind. I put the brakes on so I could be sure that my feeling was based on my experience of the person instead of my imagination.


How to play TMI Tuesday: Go to the TMI Tuesday blog and copy the questions. Paste them to your blog and answer them there (with a link to TMI Tuesday Blog). Then go back to the TMI Tuesday blog post and provide a link to your post in the comments.

erotic styles

Or, “How to Turn Me On: A Duffer’s Guide”.

I recently read Jaiya’s Cuffed, Tied, and Satisfied, which I found interesting overall, despite the fact that there were a few areas that seemed to me to be a little weak.

One interesting (but underdeveloped) topic was patterns of erotic needs and wants that vary from person to person. She calls this “erotic wiring” but I don’t care for that term; the suggestion of soulless mechanism or programming is at odds with the deliciously organic nature of sex. So I’m going to refer to her concept as “erotic styles” instead.

She identifies four styles, which she calls sexual, sensual, energetic (another term I dislike), and kinky. Although I found her descriptions a little sparse, I think I learned something about myself, and that’s all to the good.

[The blocks of text below are my own synopses, while the bullet points are direct quotes from the book.]

Sexual

For a sexual person, the focus is on intercourse. You have a medium to high libido and get off on erotic visuals and films (i.e. porn, presumably). Sex is both a need and a source of relaxation; orgasm is the focus, fucking is the way to get there. You may not feel much need for creativity in bed because you’re easily warmed up and easy to please.

According to Jaiya, a sexual person needs:

  • visual or other sexual stimulation
  • a willing body — either their own or their lover’s
  • standard, direct techniques

Easy peasy!

Sensual

A sensual person focuses on environment. Both physical space and head space need to be orderly. The things that work are typically romantic: food and drink, relaxation and massage, music and dancing, candles and perfume. Mood-killers include stress, clutter, and incomplete to-do lists. You prefer cuddling, kissing and foreplay over intercourse.

A sensual person needs:

  • clarity of mind — no chaos
  • cleanliness
  • toggle activities (like massage) that help you switch from daily life to sexual life
  • stimulation of the senses (candles, oils, music, etc.)
  • clear beginnings and endings — ritual
  • lack of stress

Energetic (aka Sensitive)

This refers to being sensitive to energy — I prefer the term “sensitive”. For a sensitive person, the key is (not surprisingly) their sensitivity. Anticipation is half the fun. Picking up on your partner’s mood allows you to take great pleasure in their pleasure, but also sets you off if they’re in a bad mood. Great heights of pleasure are possible, including an aptitude for multiple orgasms or full-body orgasms — if properly warmed up. Direct touch is too much, and traditional turn-on techniques probably don’t work. You feel intensely and are often misunderstood.

For sex to be satisfying, a sensitive person needs:

  • attention and absolute presence
  • indirect, full-body stimulation
  • anticipation
  • light energetic touch
  • eye contact/emotional connection

Kinky

A kinky person focuses on sexual play that is “outside the box”, whatever that means for you. You tend to be creative and have a rich fantasy life. A partner’s acceptance is a need, and good communication is very helpful. Fear, shame and judgment cause problems. Interests may include power exchange, bondage, role play, sensation play, training.

A kinky person needs:

  • psychological turn-ons
  • playing with taboo sexual practices (BDSM)
  • creativity/fantasy in sexual play
  • acceptance

The sexual, sensual and sensitive types seem to fall on a spectrum with directness of approach or technique at one end and indirectness at the other. Kinky seems to be a separate category typified by difference or novelty — in other words, off the beaten path.

So where do I fit in all this?

I’m clearly not a sexual type. I’m not easily warmed up. Don’t go for my groin, or even my breast, thinking that will turn me on: if I’m touched sexually too soon, I get right pissed off. The standard direct techniques do not work for me. I’m quite selective about what images or stories I find hot, and my response to the good stuff tends to be mild.

I prefer cuddling, kissing and foreplay over intercourse. Stress and clutter throw me off. I can find music particularly moving. As for food, drink, and the rest of it, they’re pleasant but they’re not going to light my fire. You can skip the rose petals. So I’m somewhat sensual.

I’m very sensitive. I’d say “yes” or “hell yes” to all of this. For me, sex is deeply emotional so I’m unable and unwilling to be sexual with someone who I don’t have a good emotional connection with. If I sensed that my partner was phoning it in, I’d be inclined to pull the plug — there’s just no point.

Another big issue for me is getting — and staying — warmed up. I have to be in a decent mood, he has to be in a decent mood, the pacing has to be good. I find it very satisfying just being aroused, perhaps because it’s still something of a novelty. If I’m not warmed up, there’s absolutely no point for me to try to get off either by myself or with a partner; it’s like having a stuffed up nose and eating a fancy meal despite the fact that everything tastes like cardboard. Deeply unsatisfying, emotionally and physically.

Great heights of pleasure? Yeah, I’d say so. Before my epiphany, the orgasms I had felt nice, or maybe quite nice. Now the low end is around “mmm, that’s gooood”. I fairly often get to “oh, oh, oh” and “oh fuck”. Tears afterward are not uncommon. I sometimes shout during, and I’ve had a couple of literal screaming orgasms. But for all that, I don’t actually orgasm easily. It’s definitely a skill that I/we have been working on. There’s a spot on the nape of my neck where, when touched delicately, makes me shudder orgasmically but it will never make me actually orgasm.

(I’m curious about how well the sensitive type maps onto the definition of the highly sensitive person. Both Wolf and I are HSPs, but he identifies most closely with the sexual type and I don’t at all.)

I’m also kinky. I’m a creative person, and I appreciate creativity, including in sex. I don’t have a rich fantasy life, perhaps because I had suppressed almost all sexual thoughts for so long due to sexual shame. I know I’m interested in some of the more common BDSM activities, especially spanking, power exchange, and bondage. (Hmm, just typing those words is arousing.)

Jaiya defines kinky as being outside of the box, but doesn’t distinguish between novelty and taboo. Transgression is a specific kink; for many people (myself included) whether an activity is taboo does not figure into their enjoyment of it. But I do enjoy combining certain psychological and physical sensations with sex in a way that happens not to be mainstream.

So, sensitive and kinky. That makes things… interesting.

TMI Tuesday: love, lust and sex

TMI Tuesday blog

1. Why do you fall in love? This seems like an odd question to me. The sample size is small, but from what I can tell, if someone is a good match (intellect, wit, compassion, compatibility on the big issues, similar interests) then I’ll like them a lot and want to have them in my life. I’d think that would ripen into love on its own.

2. What makes you fall in lust? Physical attraction, backed up with an emotional and intellectual connection.

3. If you are in a monogamous sexual relationship and your significant other has sex outside of your relationship, will you forgive them? If this is a hypothetical question about how I feel about being cheated on in general, then I would find it difficult to forgive. Honesty and trust are tremendously important, and cheating shakes the relationship to its foundation.

If it’s a question about my current relationship, my answer is slightly different. I’m in a sexual relationship that is mostly monogamous and we’ve had conversations about ethical non-monogamy. He’s simply not interested in having sex outside our relationship. If that ever changed, we’d discuss it first and reach some kind of agreement. Under those circumstances, there would be nothing to forgive.

4. What do you idolize? I don’t think I idolize anything. I’m much to temperate for that.

5. Where are your erogenous zones? My brain. Otherwise, the nape of my neck. I’ve also discovered recently that my nipples are more responsive than I’d thought, as long as I’m warmed up first. I like to be touched all over, and with the right intention behind the touch, anywhere can be erogenous.

Bonus: What is the strangest or most unique thing you’ve tied someone up with or been tied up with? Why were you tied up? We’ve used a scarf, a strip of suede, and we now have some actual rope (yawn), so nothing particularly unusual.


How to play TMI Tuesday: Go to the TMI Tuesday blog and copy the questions. Paste them to your blog and answer them there (with a link to TMI Tuesday Blog). Then go back to the TMI Tuesday blog post and provide a link to your post in the comments.

reunion fuck

[TMI warning: menstrual blood.]

As my trip to the UK approached and I was thinking about packing and logistics, I had the novel experience of sex being a significant part of my travel plans. Stock up on preferred brand of condoms. Should I bring any toys? Yes, but which ones, and how shall I pack them? I know I’ll need a nap when we get back to the room, so how many hours will intervene between arrival and first fuck? But as the day got nearer, it became apparent that I’d be travelling during my period. So then we planned not to have sex the day I arrived.

At the end of that very long day — flight, reunion, coach trip, settling in, and lengthy nap — I had a lazy, steamy bath. Once I’d had a thorough soak, he came in to visit, sitting on the edge of the tub. While I reclined sleepily in the hot water, he lifted my left arm up and gently bathed me; he repeated this with all my limbs, and my front. Then I rolled over luxuriantly so he could wash my back. When I was right way up again, he slowly rubbed and explored my folds. He then left me to my bath, and I finished up soon after.

As he was pouring his bath, he told me to be ready — naked and in bed — when he was done. So I was.

He came in, I was slick and ready, and he was soon reaming me vigorously from behind. At some point, the slickness became a slippery wetness and it eventually occurred to me that the menstrual flow, which had stopped for a while, had probably started again. Not a big deal — we had a towel down.

When we finished, he said somewhat hesitantly, “It looks like I’ve done you a great violence.” It was dark. He didn’t really want me to see him and he was even a little concerned about me looking at myself. So I looked down. Of course I looked. There was blood all over my vulva and the tops of my inner thighs, with a drip on each leg running down toward my knees. There were bloody finger prints around both hips and on my lower back. (The only thing missing was a big, red, possessive handprint on my flank.) He was no tidier; he later reported that his cock and the front of his pelvis were uniformly red. He went to wash up and I stayed put, on hands and knees, because I didn’t want to sit and drip on anything.

I started out feeling entirely ambivalent. My main concern with period sex is mess and discomfort from cramps. I’m not squeamish about it, nor is it a fetish. I wasn’t feeling upset or particularly self-conscious. Surprisingly, there was no mess anywhere but on us. I was processing.

That delicate emotional balance was tipped by the first vaginal fart.

When he fucks me from behind, it tends to fill me full of air, and I must have been inflated like a goddamned balloon. I giggled, which immediately created a feedback loop: fart, giggle, fart, etc. Within moments I was howling — until I couldn’t breathe any more. I was still giggling (and farting) when he came back from washing up.

My turn: I filled the bath and left the water rusty, and I still giggled now and then. In the meantime, he checked the walls for blood spatter.

Tenderness, lust, comedy, gore. It’s got everything.

Dark Ages 12: Achilles

Most of the rest of that summer was spent in a large city that I’d never visited before, across the country from my hometown. During the week, I lived in a dorm and took a full-time language class. My friends were mostly girls, for a change. Evenings were spent on campus or sometimes downtown. On the weekend, I stayed with relatives in the suburbs.

One Friday morning after class, my friends and I returned to the dorm while two guys (one with long blond hair, one with shorter dark hair) were at the front desk looking into renting rooms for the night. We started chatting: they were hitchhiking and living on a shoestring budget, so even though the rooms were inexpensive, they were very hesitant to part with their cash and were considering sleeping in a park. By this time I’d decided that the blond one was cute and there was some potential here. I sensed the subtext behind their plea for assistance, as well as the way my friends were responding, so said with some confidence that I was sure we could find them some crash space for one night.

It promised to be an excellent day. On Fridays, we only had class in the morning; the optional activity that afternoon was horseback riding and I’d signed up; and my favorite indie band was playing at a bar downtown that night. And then these two guys turned up. At some point, it became apparent that the dark-haired guy, Achilles, was more interested in me than his blond friend was. Fine by me: I found Achilles slightly less cute but he seemed smarter, and I wasn’t feeling overly fussy.

I was the only one of my group who had signed up for the afternoon outing, so I arranged to meet them all downtown, outside the bar. Shortly after I arrived, Achilles and I walked a couple blocks to a fast-food joint to get a large 7-Up to be doctored with vodka, and possibly also some food. On the way there, a prostitute in a short skirt and impossibly high heels called out to Achilles, but she apologized when she realized that he was with me. The sun hadn’t set yet.

The gig was a blast, but it had been a very long day: after a couple hours of horseback riding followed by a couple hours of dancing, I was done, and Achilles and I were the first to head back. Back at the dorm, things progressed as you might expect, and eventually I was confronted with the issue of whether I was going to sleep with him or not. I hadn’t expected to, but in the heat of the moment it seemed like a reasonably good idea. The problem was that neither of us had any condoms and getting some would have been pretty much impossible at that hour. So when he suggested that he’d put it in “just a little”, I agreed. As always, I was very tight (or rather, tense) and was going to need at least a couple minutes to relax. And while I tried to relax, my brain re-engaged and I remembered that putting it in, even “a little”, in the absence of a condom or any other birth control was A Very Stupid Idea, and I called a halt. (He was probably really regretting not having any condoms at that point.) He bedded down on the floor for the night. We spent a bit of the next day together and he saw me off when I got on the bus to go to my relatives’.

A few days later, I found out that one of guys in my class was from the same small city as Achilles and knew him, or knew of him. Achilles was apparently very popular at home (funny how it’s hard to gauge popularity without an entourage to give context), which gave my self-image a boost, but I was also a little concerned he might treat the encounter as a conquest. Not that it mattered much — we never saw each other again.

the “on” switch

I used to wish that I had an “on” switch.

Playing around pretty much required perfect celestial alignment. It wouldn’t happen unless I was in a decent mood overall, I was actively thinking about playing, it was the weekend (probably morning), I wasn’t having my period, we hadn’t lazed about in bed so long that my back was bugging me, etc.

On those rare occasions when I was in the mood, I didn’t feel like I could actually just tell my partner that I wanted to play. Well, it was more complicated than that. I was torn: part of me wanted to play and the other part vociferously denied it, like stepping on the gas and the brake at the same time. Part of me wanted to speak up and the other part thought that was impossible. Not speaking always won. The result was that play pretty much depended on my partner reading my mind.

If I wanted to play and he didn’t successfully intuit that from my very vague hints, I’d get irritated. If I wasn’t thinking about playing and he tentatively tried to start something, I might or might not get irritated, depending on a host of other factors. If he successfully started something and then went too slow, I’d get very irritated. It was a fucking minefield. He probably did well against the odds, but in absolute terms it wasn’t all that successful. Big surprise.

I wished for an “on” switch because I thought it would have made everything so much simpler: decide to play, flip the switch. Done.

But the problem wasn’t the lack of a switch, or the presence of a switch that was always set to “off”, because the flow was being interrupted earlier than that. It was more like a power outage.

So the power is on now. (Read about how that happened here.) Or to change metaphors, the pilot light is on and with it, the heat. I often find myself at a low simmer but sometimes up to a boil. All this without the need for a switch.

My partner has been away for about three weeks now, and I find that I’m very easily distracted when I should be doing other things. (I could tell him to stop sending me hot emails, and I could stop sending him hot emails, and stop all the other little things we do, but that seems a little drastic.)

And now I’m almost — almost — wishing for an “off” switch.

radiation and personal questions

I had a CT scan today for an issue that’s bothersome enough to try to figure out, but not the sort of thing where I expect the results to freak me out. So I was relaxed going in and just interested in the whole experience.

Superficially, the machine resembles an MRI — you lie on a narrow table and get rolled into the center of a large beige donut. It’s not magnetic though, so you don’t have to be careful about metal being sucked violently into the machine, just metal that might get in the way of the image being produced. The issue under investigation is in the area of my sinuses, so I took my earrings out ahead of time, and I took my nose ring out just before my turn. I was glad not to have to remove anything below the neck: it’s doable but it’s a bit of a hassle and I’m lazy that way.

I was given the form that is given to women of childbearing age when confronted with X-ray radiation. It asked whether I have my period (yes), when my last period started (6 days ago), whether I practice birth control (yes), and whether I had been sexually active since my last period (after dismissing the possibility that they might care about ‘self-care’, I answered a most sullen no). There were boxes to check, so I couldn’t even write “NO!” in a petulant way.

He’s been away now for a fortnight and I’ll be going to see him in 7 weeks, give or take. And climbing the walls in the interim, no doubt.

odd timing, odd day

I was feeling very randy, despite having a collection of very good reasons not to.

The day before, my partner and I had driven to a nearby city so I could attend a job interview. This was during my period, which always wrings me out. I had gotten up earlier than I would have liked, and the drive was about 2½ hours one way. Ordinarily I would have dozed while he drove (as I almost always do), but it seemed unwise or at least undisciplined to snooze on the way to be judged on my suitability to be an employee. I’d started to fret mildly during the drive, so I’m not sure that I could have gotten any rest anyway. On arrival, we stopped for a quick lunch and then I went to my interview. One of the interviewers had asked me almost two hours’ worth of questions, during which time the other had written copious notes and nodded occasionally, which I’d taken as a good sign. Afterwards, my throat had been sore and I was more wrecked than I’d realized. We had immediately gotten back in the car for the return trip, the day had turned sunny and bright and squint-inducing, and I was happy to doze most of the way back. That evening had been a write-off.

As I woke up the next morning, I was already feeling a bit warm, as often happens now, and was in a mood to play. I started out by licking and sucking him until he was gloriously hard and wanted a fuck.

Previously, my habit had been not to have sex during my period — but, to be fair, my habit had been not to have sex at most other times too. These days, we’re in uncharted territory. My cramps aren’t eased by masturbation, and they made the idea of sex seem not fun. But what if I wasn’t actively crampy? I was about to find out.

I arranged the pillow and the bedroom towel, and we had the fuck we both wanted.

It was still fairly early in the morning and there was lots of stuff I wanted to get done that day. I went about my routine as best I could, but as the day wore on I found I didn’t really get anything done: I forgot what I wanted to do, my brain felt scrambled, and my emotions were off. From time to time, I found myself taking a little gasp as a small pocket of desire bubbled up from somewhere and made itself known.

Did I waste the day by reading hot stories, or was I reading hot stories because the day was already a waste? Was I upset because I didn’t get anything done, or did I not get anything done because I was already upset? I didn’t know what to do with myself and I felt overwhelmed with all the things I hadn’t done and couldn’t remember anyway. I think I was still over-tired, as well as wrung out emotionally.

Everything was a mess — the day, my to-do list, my emotions — and I burst into tears. Talking through things with my partner, one thing became clear to me: I really wanted another fuck. A really hard fuck.

We started by working out some details about non-fuck related things, I suppose so they wouldn’t distract me. And then he told me to go to the bedroom and take off my clothes.

I don’t know if it was because he wasn’t as hard as he could have been or because my cunt felt like a bottomless pit of want, but he gave me the hardest pounding I’ve had and I still wanted more, more, more. It never felt like too much; that surprised me a little.

When it was my turn to get off, the orgasm was good and yet I still wanted more, though neither of us were sufficiently motivated to do anything about it. It evened out my mood for the rest of the day, even if I wasn’t entirely satisfied…

two months

It’s been two months since my partner returned. I had been trying to keep myself warmed up all that day, but by the time he got in at the scheduled late hour (past my bedtime), I was tired and bored with trying to maintain interest, while he had been up for 24 hours and was wiped out from travelling. We decided not to bother and just got ready for bed. But we had been cuddle-deprived and so we spooned for a little while, and that was enough to heat the blood. I was good and wet and he eased into me from behind for some easygoing “gee, it’s good to be back in the same house” sex before we crashed out.

His internal clock was 6 hours ahead of mine, so I expected him to be up early the next day despite the tiring day of travel. I tend towards fatigue and late mornings and guard my sleep jealously; it was a small sacrifice on the altar of love when I told him he could wake me up as early 6:00 to play around. But, as it turned out, I didn’t sleep soundly and by 6:00 I was already awake, after a fashion. We started out easy but ramped up quickly; we had been eyeing the tasty treats on the other side of the glass for months and now were confronted with an all-you-can-eat buffet. We couldn’t even wait for morning light before getting started. Thus began a 9-day run of daily sex.

During these last two months, we’ve had sex an average of over 5 times per week. I still smile and shake my head at the novelty, because for many years 5 would have been an annual average, not a weekly one, and might still have been a little high. (I tend to have a poor memory for these things and I simply don’t recall. My partner, on the other hand, has quite a good memory on the topic, and he made a deliberate effort not to count.)

Last summer when this was completely new, I was cautiously optimistic but I still worried that the change would prove to be temporary. After two months of maintaining a pretty consistent sexual appetite and attitude, I feel less cautious and more optimistic.

And, most importantly, we’re having fun and feeling connected. (And not just in the groinal area.)

I’m not allowed to have sex today

I decided this yesterday and informed my partner. It’s a practical decision: I have a dance performance this evening, I can’t afford to burn up any significant amount of energy before I perform, and it’ll be too late and I’ll be too wiped out after.

Yet lying in bed this morning, when my partner reminded me that I wasn’t allowed to have sex, I felt a little hard done by. We cuddled, and he caressed my breasts, and I stroked his cock, and I was a bit disappointed that this was all I would get for the moment.

Now, zoom out. If you had told me a year ago that I’d get my knickers in a twist that I wouldn’t be allowed to have sex for one day and I’d be pissed off about it, I would have scoffed.

And then maybe the idea would have taken hold, and I would have imagined what it would feel like to desire so much that giving up one day would feel like a hardship, and I would have been a little sad, grieving for the libido that didn’t exist.

And now I laugh a little because I finally solved my mystery and it’s no longer like this. My libido does exist and has come out of hiding. My already excellent relationship is that much richer.

And he’s promised to fuck the shit out of me all morning tomorrow.