I have a long history of wanking under my belt, so to speak. I started noticing that touching myself felt good at a young age, and since I am an older gentleman I didn’t have the advantage of the internet to help satisfy my sexual curiosity. So like many other young men I found my inspiration in the pages of a department store catalogue, specifically the lingerie pages. Now you wouldn’t think these could be that inspirational, but you would be very wrong. To my youthful eyes pictures like this were the closest thing I would see to a naked woman for a few years and so I would take the latest issue from the tray at the bottom of the TV stand (A black and white TV to give you an idea how long ago it was) into my bedroom with the race car wallpaper for a bit if personal time with my penis.
This kept me occupied until a neighborhood friend showed me a copy of Playboy that they had nicked from their Father. That was eye opening and provided me my first look at a fully naked adult woman, that fired my imagination and kept me warm on a lot of cold winters nights. My friends Dad was obviously quite the perv because other magazines quickly followed, Hustler, Penthouse and now I had not only seen naked, but also actual sex. This led to a lot of wanking and a lot of stiff socks (Hey, we all did it) because for some reason that seemed like a better option that getting a tissue and putting it in the trash. I’m going to go with, I was ecologically aware and you can choose to believe me or not.
Pictures like the one on this cover stayed with me for a long time and possibly brought me to an important wanking aid, lube, well not lube exactly because it was the dark ages and lube was not something you could ask your mom to put on the weekly shopping list. But TV came to my rescue and showed me something that we might already have ready at hand. Johnson’s Baby Oil.
This was a revelation because as a horny circumcised young man I was finding that just using my hand was causing a bit of… chaffing. Look this was before the internet or cable TV even existed I had a lot of time on my hands and so like many people wanking was a good way to spend that time.
Then I had my first sexual encounter where the number of participants was greater that one. I liked it, I liked it a lot. We pretty much did it every time we were even vaguely near each other. But, that doesn’t mean I stopped wanking because there was also remembering the sex I had just had once I got back home and my first experience of using technology, the telephone. Now we didn’t have it easy like the kids do today when I say a telephone I mean this.
Our telephone was downstairs in the “Rec room” and had a very long cord that while it wouldn’t reach into my bedroom would reach into what was known as the “Powder room” and as teens were often known to do we spent hours talking on that phone. Well, when I say talking I really mean having phone sex and wanking, she was very good at it, or at least that is how I remember it, I had nothing to compare it to and it was all very exciting. One thing I am sure of, even if she didn’t say so, was that my mother had to be grateful that the days of crunchy socks were over!
Life moved on and so did my first sexual partner and while there were many other partners there was also always plenty of wanking. Eventually I got married and had children. But marriage doesn’t mean the end of pleasuring yourself and so while I didn’t do it as much as before I certainly never quit and now I had cable television which brought more adult content right into my home. I put it to good use. But there was something new that none of us expected, a stunning innovation that revolutionized the world and brought a whole new way of showing sex and sexual desires. The internet!
Now the web didn’t leap into existence no matter what the youth of today might think. The early days meant hours of tying up the phone line to download something that maybe kind of looked like porn if you squinted.
It is a marvel that people were willing to spend so much time and, or money to do this, but we did and because we did you folks have unlimited access to all kinds of depraved filth that we could only dream about. I must have used hundreds of the free ‘100 hours of internet’ from AOL to download (yes download, streaming was not a thing over dial-up) pictures and stories and eventually movies (anyone else remember Usenet?)
Many years have passed since those heady early days of the World Wide Web and while lots of things have gotten worse, access to wanking material certainly hasn’t. And my life has changed as well, I have kids and also Grandkids. I got divorced and re-married, I have had a lifetime of changes and adventures, some good, some bad. But even as I get older I have found that wanking has not changed that much for me other than I don’t do it alone. I have a partner that greatly enjoys seeing and participating in good a wank and that brings a whole new level of fun and excitement to something that after all these wanking years you would think would have become dull and boring. But it has not, so I say to all of you men out there, whether it be nearer the beginning of your adventures in masturbation, or like me you are a more mature wanker, enjoy every bit of the journey and give yourself the pleasure of a good old wank if and when you feel like it. As the saying goes, no one knows you like you know you.
I’ve always struggled with belonging. It’s part of what makes me, me, I guess… a constant suspicion that something isn’t right about who I am, or what I’m doing, or even why things happen in my life. Yet a much larger part of me, frankly, doesn’t care how uncomfortable I am and acts in complete defiance of those thoughts.
Understanding womanhood has been no different for me. I am a woman, a beautiful, resilient, strong one, but finding my place in womanhood often comes with challenges, ergo my appearance, my attitude, my strength and career, and an often perilous unwillingness to give up in the pursuit of improvement and happiness.
In the real world, I’m a transgender active duty service member, so I must disclose to you, readers, that the opinions expressed in this article are my own and do not reflect the view of the Department of Defense or the United States government.
As a federal employee, the intent of the proposed transgender memorandum written by the Department of Health and Human Services effect me personally. Despite having changed my gender completely on every legal document discerning of who I am, I’ve become increasingly at risk of losing that identity by a crusade set on seeing me removed. First they came for my career and now they come to erase the possibility of my existence in the first place by removing ‘gender’ from the equation. It’s easier to get rid of something when you kill the roots and all of that.
So, perhaps the most inclusive form of womanhood that I’ve experienced so far has been the consistent attacks against it.
The first time I realized this was in a pretty big way, when my white, male doctor tried to warn me that by taking “women’s hormones”, specifically, as a “man taking women’s hormones”, I’d go crazy, yet, he vocalized that how supportive he was of me being transgender and of me transitioning. He couldn’t explain “how” I’d become more crazy, and finally found a way to vocalize his concern by saying “Well, you know how women are. You’ll be like that.”
It hit me like a slap to the face I guess. I wanted to ‘be like that’, I looked up to women and prayed about being just like them, in every possible way, for so long. His perception of women was that, as a normal, they were crazy. This was just a different way to say that ‘women are hysterical’ by someone who I thought ought know and care more, someone educated and privileged and, in that moment, directly and ideologically in charge of my wellbeing. He didn’t stay my doctor for long after this.
One of the more surreal experiences was the loss of friendships. Coming out wasn’t hard for me, I did it one day during roll call pretty early after the Air Force’s iteration of guidance for transgender service members, and for all intents and purposes, it was a positive experience for me. There was a very small scattering of disparaging comments from some of the more brazen civilian employees, but not a single one of my brothers and sisters made me feel unwelcome, with a bare minimum of inappropriate questions that were handled in a professional, calm manner… that is, until many months later when they felt emboldened.
Twitter has, a lot of the time, brought to me some of the best friendships and joy I’ve had in my only sort of young life. So it came with a lot of sadness when I saw a tweet by my oh so loving elected leader from this favourite social community of mine that I was suddenly and abruptly ‘not welcome, capable, or worth being’ in my career. I was pulled into an office that morning to asked, as all good First Sergeants do, if I was okay and if I could work or needed time off. I could work, but of course I wasn’t okay.
Not all of my once supportive coworkers remained supportive. “Well, of course he’d ban it. If you’re born with a dick you’re a man, why should the taxpayer be responsible for you to cut off your pecker?” was the very first comment I heard about it, said someone I never expected. More of this said differently with the same underlying meaning from increasingly empowered bigots followed and it wasn’t very clear to my supervision how to handle it, except from my section lead, who put an immediate stop to any and all comments once she overheard an argument from someone who supported me and someone who didn’t. She didn’t care how powerfully they felt about their opinions, I was to be treated with the same respect I had before and that was that, except that it wasn’t. What had been said was said and there wasn’t going to be take backs later, they weren’t disciplined and I was moved somewhere else where the animosity couldn’t be felt in the air.
These people have mostly been silenced in the greater public voice. Uniformed leadership understands that there isn’t room to treat me with disrespect and adversaries are denied a public forum to talk about me negatively to their begrudging dismay, but I’m constantly reminded that the threat looms just around the corner, or that it’s ‘only a matter of time’ for them to be given the freedom to be hateful.
I’m stronger than them, though. I will continue to outlast and stand in defiance of hatred by doing my job and performing at a level that isn’t easily matched by others. I mean, you know how women are, don’t you? If you don’t, this is how we are… we’re strong, capable, and we persist through an existence of continued hatred. Our bodies are constantly being debated by the court of public opinion and courts of law if they even belong to us, our minds are thought to be inferior and our opinions don’t really matter.
This battle, for me, continues here with the Department of Health and Human Services’ transgender memorandum. I am a tall, muscular woman. Taller than most men and certainly built stronger, yet, my body continues to confuse these people who hate me. I face increasing discrimination by the powerful and people temporarily in charge and the discomfort for myself and, certainly, others continues daily. I’m doing the things that need to be done by being the positive metric, but we still need help. Gender exists and cannot be stamped out overnight to further support an agenda that says womanhood is only about your vagina or chromosomes and being a man is all about having a cock. That it’s something that can be defined.
This isn’t just about our bodies. For me, it’s been about overcoming my adversaries and fighting for our rights. It’s been about being ignored, denied, ridiculed, shamed, and so many others. It’s been about living in fear that I won’t get to decide who or what I am, but, it’s also been about being understood by other women. Having my concerns shared and plights acknowledged. Transgender women are women, and transgender men are men.
Get out and vote. We can and will win this fight together.
The author of this piece declined to take the payment for writing this blog post and so we made a donation to a charity of their choice which was Transequality.org
We are delighted to host another piece of deliciously sexy erotica on our blog. This time we are welcoming Quinn Rhodes to our site with her story of summer holidays and swapped suitcases.
Not every summer holiday features golden sands and turquoise seas.
Sometimes it’s about booking a last-minute flight north, and a brand-new suitcase full of books and sex toys. I needed to get away for a bit, and the peace and quiet of the barren islands appealed. It didn’t hurt that it was cheap, either.
Most, though, don’t involve you grabbing the wrong bag at the airport.
The plane that had flown us there was tiny, as was the airport we arrived in. On reaching my hotel room, I found that the red suitcase I’d taken was older than mine: battered, worn from travelling. It’s not that which alerted me that it wasn’t my bag, though. It was the fact that when I opened it and reached for my Doxy – which should be on top, wrapped in a t-shirt and ready for me to christen my home for the next few days with an orgasm – it isn’t there.
They usually include changes of plans…
Plans to spend the week in my hotel room, getting over my break up with frequent masturbation and science fiction novels quickly vanish. While I can get off with my fingers, there’s not the same variety as fucking myself with different toys. Thus, I end up venturing out into the small town. Standing stones, buried settlements… I’m glad my camera was in my hand luggage. It’s been a while since I’ve tried my hand at non-erotic photography, but the beautiful landscape quickly helps me regain my skill.
… but they don’t often feature detective work.
I can’t help looking through the other suit case I’ve ended up with, just once or twice. I tell myself I’m looking for clues, in the hope I can spot whoever has taken my bag in the cobbled streets. The denim jacket covered in pin badges is helpful in that respect. A ‘Queer As In Fuck You’ badge, a Hufflepuff patch, a badge declaring that it’s wearer uses them/they pronouns, and a non-binary flag pin. These make me like them, as do the non-toxic, body safe toys in the case. There are sketch books as well – I flick through them quickly, wishing I could justify examining the drawings more closely.
They probably shouldn’t involve wanks with sex toys that aren’t yours.
I don’t mean to use the toys; exploring keeps me busy, and photography gives me something to focus on. But neither satisfies my desires, and after two orgasms and an evening of audio porn my fingers aren’t enough to push me over the edge a third time. I borrow the ultra-violet pink and silver-grey Adam dildo, slip a condom over it, and give myself a generous squeeze of lube. I fuck myself hard and fast with the toy, and come with a drawn-out groan, picturing that they were watching me squeeze my cunt around their dildo.
Very few people end up meeting a real-life cute-as-fuck genderqueer Teddy Lupin on holiday –
I call the airline, who inform me they’ll get in touch when they track down my luggage. When they contact me the next day, and I carefully repack the suitcase and lug it to the airport, I know instantly who I’m meant to be meeting. They’re wearing dungaree-shorts and stripy tights and have a pencil stuck behind their ear. They have short, tousled, green-blue hair – which they later describe to me as Teddy Lupin turquoise – and a clusterfuck of freckles. The biggest clue, of course, is that they have a red suitcase at their feet.
– and even fewer end up making out with them two hours later.
When you know there are sex toys in the cases you’re exchanging, it is easier, somehow, to get over any awkwardness. A few minutes of conversation, complete with punning and complimenting each other’s taste in sex toys, leaves me feeling warm and I ask them if they want to grab coffee with me. We continue talking, swapping stories and teasing each other. Soon they’re grinning and making me blush as they tell me sternly to put my purse away and insist on paying. They ask me questions and I end up sharing kinks and fantasies that make me squirm in embarrassment. And before I know it, they are pressing me against the brick wall of the alley beside the coffee shop and sucking a hickey into my neck.
Summer holidays frequently include fucking, sometimes even of the kinky kind.
They insisted on dinner that night, though I’d have happily turned the alley-way make-out into more straight away. They make me scarlet with gleeful shame and dripping wet with the words they whisper to me. We negotiate and flirt and laugh and work out what we’d like to do together. Humiliation and orgasm control are not topics that I feel comfortable about in such a busy place, but the gleam in their eyes tells me how much my stumbling confessions are turning them on. They pour filth into my ear while holding my hand as we walk back to their hotel, and the door has barely shut before they’re ordering me to strip.
However, I’m pretty sure getting pissed on by someone you’ve known less than 48-hours is slightly more unique.
I’m not sure that sleep happened that night. They fuck me with their strap-on, telling me I cannot come. They tie my hands behind my back and make me watch while they fuck themselves with their Godemiche dildo I’d used the other day, then make me use my mouth to clean it. When I lick my lips to taste all of them, they decide that I should use my mouth to make them come. Later they sit on my back, pressing my face into the pillows and jamming a powerful vibrator against my clit so I come – not once, but three times, until my body is shaking uncontrollably.
It takes a brilliant perv to bring a bicycle ride with a butt plug into your holiday.
They persuade me to come with them to visit the tiny chapel built in the 1940s. Partly because I want to spend more time with this funny, clever artist who fucks me so well, and partly because they tempt me with the idea that I could take some naked photos of them, I agree to hire bikes for the adventure. And agree to wear a butt plug while we ride down. I feel the plug push deeper inside me every time I cycle over a dip or bump on the single road and blush every time they grin knowingly at me. They examine my cunt when they remove the plug before our naked photography session, and tease me for being so wet.
Maybe no other summer holiday will ever end with your panties in your new fuck buddy’s suitcase, not to be reclaimed until you meet them in a few days, when they’ve promised to stuff them into your mouth and lead you back to their flat gagged with your own underwear.
I can’t wait.
I love having a cunt.
I deeply, sincerely do. I love its versatility, having a G-spot and an A-spot and a clitoris to experiment with and flit between, like having different handbags for different occasions. I love the way it looks, shaved and silky smooth or shrouded in dark, curly hair, encased neatly in lacy knickers or spread open in front of a mirror. I love its resilience, its elasticity and the strength with which I can clench it. And, of course, I love being able to clench it around fingers, penises and toys, and experiencing a whole buffet of different sensations.
It just so happens that I also love playing at having a cock.
I’m non-binary, and my gender identity and gender expression both fluctuate wildly. They exist outside of a linear scale from “masculine” to “feminine”: for example, sometimes I’ll dress in a tank top and shorts from the ‘Men’s’ section of a clothing shop, but with a full face of makeup to set it off. This fluidity means, among other things, that I don’t necessarily want to permanently change my body by transitioning in the ways a binary trans person might, and that I have no problem with keeping the cunt that I love.
It also means that I find it affirming and arousing to play with dildos.
The most obvious example: on a masculine-of-centre day, strapping on a dildo that’s a similar tone to my own skin and gazing down at it makes me feel a whole lot more at ease in my body. Watching someone sucking on said dildo, while their movements grind its base against my real-life clitoris, is almost unbearably hot. Getting to fuck someone with a strapped-on dildo – making them moan and gasp and clutch at the bed-sheets – fills me with a sense of power and strength that feels, in that particular setting, intensely masculine and intensely sexy. Add in a toy in my cunt, moving with each thrust (and strapless strap-ons are fantastic for this), and I can imagine it’s a real-life cock I’m fucking somebody with, until I come and collapse on top of them, shuddering with pleasure.
Playing with toy cocks isn’t always as straightforwardly masculine as that, though. A lot of the toys I own are less phallic and more abstract, and are typically pink or purple or ornate glass – traditionally “pretty” and, by extension, traditionally “feminine” – but that’s no bad thing. When I’m feeling more feminine, toys that are ornate and pretty can feel like a luxury to masturbate with, and can even aid age-play style fantasies wherein I’m all girlish and helpless. Similarly, if I’m feeling feminine and having sex with a girl, I can fuck her with a pretty toy in a harness (which is great for added closeness and sometimes for more forceful thrusting), or in my hand (for added dexterity and precision, and for focusing all my attention on her). Pretty, “feminine” and abstract toys can add to the joy of lesbian sex: they come in a broader range of shapes, producing a broader range of sensations, than imitation penises do, and they contribute to the unique joy of having sex with somebody whose gender is close to or the same as yours, rejoicing quietly in your shared femininity.
I have also used pretty, “girlish” toys on masculine days. Sometimes, I’ve used them simply because I’ve wanted a quick and strong orgasm, and I’ve ignored their appearance for the sake of enjoying the particular spots they might be able to hit (or, on occasion, built their appearance into a fantasy about having stolen the toy from a cute girl’s bedside drawer and needing to wank and put it back before she finds out). Other times, I’ve used them in humiliation scenes with a trusted Dominant, either inside my cunt or strapped on, to toy with the vulnerability I feel when I’m having sex in a more masculine head-space. Humiliation and condescension turn me on like little else, so having my cunt played with (and, often, my nipples tortured) while my Dominant mutters things into my ear about me “coming all over this pretty little pink dildo” will reduce me to a puddle in no time at all. Naturally, scenes which involve gender-related stuff can be more or less vulnerable and “edgy” for different people, depending on their own experiences of gender – but I’m fairly comfortable in my own fluidity, and very secure in the knowledge that my Dominant understands and respects my non-binary identity. And, if it ever gets a bit too close to the bone, I can always use my safeword and revert to a much more gender-neutral toy, like a black wand vibrator.
And therein lies the joy of dildos and vibes: there are literally hundreds of them out there, in different shapes, sizes, colours and materials. You can build them into fantasies and into sexual encounters however you like, meaning that there exists, in theory, an infinite number of ways to have sex involving a toy (or toys!), on your own or with a partner (or partners!) and alongside whatever kinks you practice. If you’re imaginative, or just plain slutty, you can make any toy suit any kind of gender expression, and you can have some excellent sex no matter what your gender identity may be.
[First, a quick note on terms: I am a queer, cisgender woman and am writing from that perspective. However, I have used the term “vulva-owners” and gender-neutral pronouns in this piece as much as possible in order to be more inclusive in my language. Not everyone who has a vulva is a woman, and not all women have vulvas!]
Strap-on sex is amazing. I love both giving and receiving penetration with a strap-on, regardless of the gender or genital configuration of my partner. But how can you get the best out of this often misunderstood sex act?
Let’s Bust Some Myths!
“Queer women who want to be penetrated with a strap-on are actually straight.” Nope! The sex acts you engage in (or the toys you use) have precisely nothing to do with your sexual orientation. A queer-identified person who wants to be vaginally penetrated with a strap-on isn’t secretly wishing they were having sex with a cis man, I promise. Orientation is based on who you do the things with (or don’t,) not on the things you do.
“Using a big dildo will stretch out my vagina permanently.” Again, no. Vaginas are muscles and muscles are pretty incredible things – they stretch and then spring back to their original state. No sex toy – or bio cock – can permanently stretch your vagina.
“The person doing the penetrating doesn’t get any pleasure.” In my experience, this is absolutely not true. There are all kinds of ways to ensure the penetrating partner gets pleasure too – some harnesses have little pockets where you can put a small vibrator to stimulate the wearer’s clitoris, and you can even get “strapless strap-ons” (think the Feeldoe) where one end sits inside the giver’s vagina while they penetrate their partner with the other end. (Note: I do not recommend these for beginners as they’re more difficult to use and control than standard strap-ons.) There’s also pleasure beyond the physical. For me, the “thud” of muscle on muscle as I fuck my partner, and the sounds and expressions of pleasure they make, are hugely gratifying in and of themselves.
Now that we’ve got those out of the way, let’s move on.
Picking the Right Gear
Godemiche recently published a fabulous piece on picking the right harness so do check that out. Personally I recommend picking something comfortable, adjustable, and with the ability to change the ring size so that you can use different dildos with it.
The next step is choosing your dildo. There are four main things to consider:
- Body safety! You want a non-porous and non-toxic material. For a strap-on dildo, that means going for pure silicone. Buy your toys from a reputable manufacturer or retailer, not on eBay or Amazon!
- Size. I recommend starting small if you’re not used to being penetrated regularly. You can always work up. Another option, if you can afford to, is to buy a selection of dildos of different sizes to play with.
- Texture. Some people love being penetrated with textured dildos – think ridges, bumps or realistic “veins”. Others, like me, find it painful. If in doubt I recommend starting with a smooth toy.
- Base. Your dildo needs to have a wide enough base to hold it securely in your harness. Look for words like “flared base,” “strap-on compatible” or “harness compatible” in the product listing.
And finally, don’t forget lube! If you’re using a silicone dildo, you need a good quality, water-based lubricant. Even if you or your partner produces a lot of lubrication naturally, a little extra can’t hurt and will help prevent any bad pain from happening. I recommend Sliquid.
Now the Fun Part!
Okay, you’re all set and you’re ready to have some strap-on fun! I hope these tips will help you and your partner get the most out of the experience.
First, try to take the pressure off yourselves. The goal shouldn’t be for the receptive partner to have taken your biggest dildo up to the hilt by the end of the night. The goal should simply be for you both to have a lovely, connective, sexy time together.
I don’t like the term “foreplay” (the acts we usually refer to as “foreplay” are part of sex!) but for want of a better term, it will have to do for now. So: plenty of foreplay. Start with cuddling, kissing, making out and touching each other until you’re both really turned on. Some people like to have an orgasm – or several – before being penetrated at all. If that’s the case, you can do hand sex, oral sex, play with toys, or masturbate together.
When it’s time for penetration, positioning is important – and what’s comfortable will depend on the size, shape and ability level of your bodies. I’m quite short, so I like to kneel between my partner’s legs and use a pillow or two to lift their hips up, giving me better access to their vagina. You can also use a piece of sex furniture such as a Liberator wedge, if that helps – this can be particularly useful for those in bigger bodies or with limited mobility. Other positions include the receptive partner on their back on the bed while the giving partner stands; missionary; doggie; or on your sides in the “spooning” position. Let your imaginations run wild and position yourselves in whatever way feels natural and comfortable.
You may need to guide the dildo into your partner’s vagina manually. Don’t be afraid to do this – better to have a little help from your hand than to go in at the wrong angle and cause them pain. Slide inside slowly at first, and give them time to adjust to the sensation.
The main tool you need is, of course, communication. Don’t be afraid to communicate verbally before, during and after strap-on play. You don’t need to carry on a full conversation during (unless you want to!) of course, but using your words is an important and underrated skill. Phrases like “How does that feel?” “Are you ready for me to go deeper?” and “Please let me know if anything hurts” are really useful for the penetrating partner. And phrases such as “Harder,” “Slow down a bit” and even “Can we change position, my leg’s going to sleep?” are useful if you’re the one being penetrated.
Try different types of movement. It’s not all about pounding! Try thrusting, try moving your hips in circles while your dildo is inside your partner, try moving the dildo very slowly just a few inches in and out, and try holding still and having your partner clench their vaginal walls around the dildo. Pay attention to the reactions you get and, again, communicate.
Let’s Talk About Orgasm!
The vast majority of people with vulvas do not experience orgasm from penetration alone. This doesn’t mean you’re doing anything wrong, and it doesn’t mean they’re broken! If you’re struggling with this, read Emily Nagoski’s amazing book, Come As You Are. In general, I don’t recommend making orgasm your main or only goal, because goal-oriented sex tends to feel too pressured to be fun. However, if the receiving partner would like to try to reach orgasm during your strap-on play and doesn’t get there just from penetration, you’ll need to introduce some clitoral stimulation. (Even if orgasm isn’t necessarily your aim, lots of people really like having their clitoris stimulated while they’re being penetrated!)
Rub your partner’s clit with your fingers while you fuck them, or have them touch themselves if they prefer – or you could use a vibrator, from a small bullet vibe right up to a mains-powered wand. Whatever feels good for you both, do it. Some people will want you to thrust hard and fast as they get close to orgasm, and others will want you to stop moving and just hold your dildo inside them. The only way to know your partner’s preference is to ask and to follow their body language, so do that!
What if it goes wrong?
In sex, as in life, sometimes things won’t go the way you want them to. Perhaps the receiving partner experiences pain as soon as you try to penetrate them (if this happens regularly, see a doctor.) Or perhaps you just bump their cervix or go in at slightly the wrong angle and it hurts. Perhaps everything’s going well, but one or both of you just can’t quite get off. That’s okay! Things might not go perfectly, the first time or any subsequent time. The key to good sex isn’t everything being perfect, it’s learning how to roll with the punches and adjust.
Good sex should never hurt unless it’s consensual, safely applied pain. So if it hurts, stop! Receiving partners, listen to me: please do not endure pain because you think it’s what your partner wants. No-one who loves you will be okay with hurting you in a way you don’t like.
Try not to see needing to stop or change something as a failure. You’re exploring each other’s bodies and this new activity. If you need to switch position, switch position. If you need a break, take a break. If you need to stop and do something else… you see where I’m going with this. Everything that goes wrong is a learning experience. With tonnes of mutual respect, affection, good communication and emphasis on consent, nothing truly terrible is going to happen – promise.
Congratulations, you’re done! I hope you had a wonderful time. Now have a long cuddle, tell your partner they’re awesome, and sterilise that dildo! (Boil it in a pot of water on the stove for about ten minutes.) Next time, maybe the other person will wear the cock…?
Watching Aaron painting his corkscrew hair is one of my favourite pastimes. When we first met he’d blushed when I caught him converting a patch of grey back to his natural black. After a few months, he’d just smiled sheepishly when I commented on how good he looked with a few highlights. But now? Now my eyes are flickering around as if I’m in the middle of REM sleep, watching his deft hands fly over his locks with primary coloured chalks, powders, and glitters.
Today isn’t just our first Pride event as a couple. It’s Aaron’s first ever. We met just after last year’s, in a café on the high street. I’d just thought he was a hetero guy. A straggler from the gig that had gone on at the university. It was his band tee that had made me assume, you know? I’d been worried that he was about to start something, with the way he kept staring at me. But when he did open his mouth it was to confess that he’d spent all weekend on the periphery of our colourful celebrations, all constricted and closeted and not knowing how to get out. Even today, he’s still half in, but that’s all about to change in the hugest of ways.
See, this year’s event will be televised. My sister, Syd, had called us brave this morning when we said we weren’t put off by the idea of cameras. I’d been so fucking proud when my usually meek boyfriend looked her square in the eye and said, “You’re calling us brave for going about the every day business of living our lives? You sure you’re an ally?”
The way he’d pulled back his shoulders and lifted his chin… it was the first time I’d ever seen him look so sure of his own identity. Damn, it had made my dick so hard. And now, thinking about how ferociously we’d fucked in the kitchen when Syd left is making me hard again.
As I watch Aaron finish blending a bright purple stripe of hair with a neon pink one, he shifts his gaze. He holds my eyes but doesn’t stop. He just switches to a different brush and starts to blend in some red. When his lips quirk into a smile I know he’s noticed. At this stage I’m only wearing a thong and a multi-coloured chain chest harness, so he knows what’s what.
All it takes is a sharp move of his desk chair for me to know what he wants me to do. There’s room for me now, under the table that’s littered with pots and powders. I don’t walk to him. I crouch, fall forward and let my hands slap against the floorboards, then crawl. I prowl across the room, chest so low it’s almost skimming wood. Even though my head is pulled back I still have to look up at him through my lashes.
Aaron pauses in the middle of smudging orange into the red stripe and groans, “Jesus, every time you look at me like that I just want…”
When I reach him, I smell him. Patchouli, black pepper, and vanilla. His signature shower gel. It’s faint at his ankles. His giggle when I lick his instep isn’t, though. It’s loud and it reverberates through me, making my eyes roll as I run my tongue up his shin bone, as I drag it through the rough hair and wrinkle my nose against the tickle.
As soon as I reach a patch of soft, smooth skin I start to suck. Aaron widens his legs and I see an opportunity. His cock is only half erect, but not for long. God, I can barely breathe. I’m about to do something that’ll make him purr and I know the sound will have me fucking the floorboards. I twist my neck, push my face into the hollow at the back of his knee, and bite.
A make-up brush bounces off my hand and rolls under the desk. I bite deeper, form a seal with my lips and suck so hard I know I’ll leave a lingering mark. But I won’t stop. I can’t stop, because Aaron’s heels are digging into my shoulder blades and he’s squirming so much his chair starts to roll over the floor.
I follow, still latched on, and as soon as the chair hits the bed I shift. Hands on Aaron’s soft thighs, pulling myself up, dipping my head to kiss and nibble my way over his skin. His goosebumps almost make me laugh, but my mirth fades when I catch another scent. The patchouli and pepper are stronger here, but there’s something else layered beneath them. It’s the scent of Aaron. Of his crotch. The natural fragrance that always clings to his pubic hair no matter how well he washes.
He’s supposed to be the big cat today, but I’m the one roaring. I’m the one losing my shit, lunging at his cock and taking it to the back of my tongue before I’m even ready. I gag. Splutter through my nose. Feel my eyes watering and don’t give a fuck about mascara tears because Aaron is already grabbing my hair and pumping his groin.
I love this. Love having his cock in my mouth. Its taste, its size, the feel of his foreskin moving beneath my tongue. The stretch of his over pronounced head pushing past the last barrier in my throat and sinking into my oesophagus makes my arse spasm.
Holding my head still, Aaron fucks my mouth. His balls slap of my chin. We’re not even on the bed and the springs are squeaking. I’m going to cry. Puke. Pass out. Come. Fuck, I’m so close to coming and my cock hasn’t even been touched.
Aaron must know. I don’t even realise he’s withdrawn until he’s on his knees in front of me, shuffling closer until our chests are touching. He grabs my cock and mashes it against his, shaking his wrist and wanking us both at the same time. I’d love to help, but I’m so overcome with desire it’s rendered me useless.
And this is what Aaron loves. Me, so fucking delirious with need for him that I become nothing more than thrusting hips, a ravenous mouth, and animalistic growls.
In a desperate bid to keep myself upright, I grab the edge of the desk. Aaron gasps, a sure sign that he’s about to blow, and my sack tightens in response. My balls ache so much I realise I’m afraid of this orgasm. How fucking intense is it going to be?
So intense I throw my head back and holler at God. Is that my spunk or Aaron’s splashing my Adam’s apple? Why do I want to get back on all fours so that he can fuck me? My head drops forward and I open my eyes. What the fuck? Aaron is laughing, and I immediately see why. A rogue pot must have rolled off the desk when I grabbed it and spilled its contents over our dicks. Mingled in with our sticky come is the cutest iridescent powder.
“Well, you did say we just have to be ourselves today,” Aaron says with a grin. He grabs my headpiece off the bed and fits it just above my sweaty forehead. “I wouldn’t be a lion if I didn’t have my rainbow mane, and you wouldn’t be a unicorn if you didn’t jizz glitter.”
People go to Pride for various reasons. Some go because it’s the only time they get to relax and be themselves, some go as a way to protest against the 74 countries where same sex relationships are still illegal; most go to enjoy the big colourful party. However, none of these are the reasons why Pride started in the first place, so let me tell you a little about its origins.
Being part of the LGBT+ community in 1950’s and 60’s America was tough. Homosexuality was illegal and therefore being part of the community alienated you from society. Young people were evicted by their families for bringing shame and employers shunned people for their sexuality.
One area of New York City, Greenwich Village, was known for its more liberal attitudes and this was where those marginalised by society were most likely to be found, those that were members of the LGBT+ community alongside people who were homeless or had nowhere else to turn. The bars and clubs in the area often welcomed LGBT+ community members in the way most businesses didn’t. Police were aware of this and routinely raided the venues, though they were mostly after payoffs in return for not arresting and publishing the names of the customers.
27th June 1969
The turning point was a raid on one such bar, a bar which at the time was owned by the Mafia and whose name is synonymous with LGBT+ campaigns, The Stonewall Inn, on 27th June 1969.
On the night in question a police raid occurred at the bar, on this occasion there had been no tip off and the raid occurred later into the night than raids usually occurred so was unexpected. There were around 200 people in the bar that evening, many of whom tried to run as they realised what was happening but were prevented from doing so by police who were blocking the doors and windows.
Normally people would be separated into two groups, the men would be lined up at the bar while the female presenting customers would be taken into the women toilets to have their sex verified by a female police officer. Any man refusing to give his ID or who was dressed as a women would then be arrested. However, on this occasion many refused to hand over their ID and with the growing hostility it was decided to process everybody at the police station instead.
By this point a crowd had grown outside the bar, the cars and vans needed to take people to the police station hadn’t arrived. As the crowd grew larger still the police started lashing out at a crowd who, thanks to police action during anti-war demonstrations of the time, were anti-police. As one lesbian was bundled into the back of a van, having allegedly been hit over the head with a police baton, she yelled at the crowd ‘Why don’t you guys do something?’ That was all it needed to turn a crowd into a mob.
Some people managed to escape from the police and more still attempted to turn the police vans on their sides. They found bricks from local construction sites and begun hurling these at the police along with cans of beers and anything else to hand that could be used as a weapon. As with situations like this violence breeds violence and soon parking meters had been uprooted and were used as battering rams to reach the police that had barricaded themselves into the Stonewall Inn and flaming rags were thrown through the smashed windows.
All in all it took almost 3 hours for the streets to settle down again, 13 people had been arrested, many people had been hospitalised and 4 police officers had been injured. The Stonewall Inn itself had been destroyed, everything in it had been smashed and broken apart. Each night the violence and rioting began again and this cycle lasted for around a week before it abated and a calmness was restored.
The feeling many people had, as riots began again the following night, was more and more groups had come along and were supporting the LGBT+ community. This is something that nobody had experienced before. Some members of the community seized this opportunity and started leafleting, asking for bars to be run by the community and move away from the problems with the Mafia. Other members of the community hung their heads in shame and didn’t want to be associated with violence, they would rather be part of the general population and keep themselves hidden.
Obviously what happened at the Stonewall Inn wasn’t the first altercation or protest for rights, however, many people see it as the turning point. Gone were the days of quiet pleas for change, now was the time to be vocal and demand change. Within 6 months of the riots three different LGBT+ publications were in circulation. Sadly the raid on the Stonewall Inn certainly wasn’t the last, in one such raid someone so scared of the repercussions of arrested for being gay, jumped out of the police station window and impaled himself on the railings below. It was this point calmer protests were held, speaking to the police rather than reacting with violence.
The first anniversary of the raid on the Stonewall Inn saw a large gathering at the site to mark the change. There were several other gatherings in the large cities in the US and these were considered the first Gay Pride marches. The second anniversary of the raid saw a march through the city of New York that took up 15 blocks, more support was gained throughout the march compared to the amount of hostility it created.
London had its first organised march in July 1972, on the closest Saturday to the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising, this march had around 2000 participants. Although it did have an unofficial gathering on the first anniversary of the uprising with around 150 participants. London Pride is now one of the biggest Pride events in Europe but is certainly not the only Pride event to happen in the UK. There are now over 100 events in the UK and increasing every year, from small community events right through to the larger events.
Whilst the original reasons of Pride have become diluted, they have certainly become more and more diverse in whom they attract. You were hard pushed to find many women at the first few marches, with some actually having their own separate events. Now there is a huge spectrum of the LGBT+ community and their allies joining in for one big colourful party with each individual having their own personal reasons for being there.
Whilst June is Pride month because it’s the anniversary of the Stonewall uprising because of the huge number of Pride events that are held worldwide now they stretch out over the next couple of months to give us one long colourful summer.
As part of our new series of posts inspired by our recent mistakes on social media we have been reaching out writers in the adult blogging community to get them to write some content for us that shows our commitment to both our own learning but also sharing useful, relevant and informative content with you our customer. This piece about female genital and sexual anatomy was written for us by Kayla Lords. We felt this was an important subject area for us to cover in this series and we are delighted with Kayla’s work
Think back to health classes in school, you know, the days when the reproductive organs were discussed. Even if you didn’t receive anything that looked or sounded like good sex education, at some point, in health or in science, anatomy was discussed. For most people, the only thing you learned about the female anatomy was the names of reproductive organs that no one can even see.
The problem with the way most of us have been educated about anatomy and sex is that the female genitals have been largely ignored. We all know what a penis is and where the testicles are, but most people have no idea what the vulva is or that the area where urine is released is different than the area for penetrative sex. Hint: it’s two separate openings.
With that in mind, to make everyone has a better understanding of the female genital and sexual anatomy, here’s a quick lesson that we all should have received many years ago.
The mons pubis, sometimes called the Mons Veneris, is the fleshy mound below the lowest part of the stomach and above the vulva. This is the part of the genitals covered in pubic hair. The purpose of the mons pubis is to cushion the pubic bone during sex.
The vulva is what most people (incorrectly) refer to as the “vagina.” This one word encapsulates the entire outer female genital area. This includes the labia, clitoris, vaginal opening, and urethral opening. When you want to refer to yourself or your partner’s genitals, call it the vulva, not vagina.
There are two parts to the labia, sometimes called the “lips” of the vulva: the outer labia (labia majora) and the inner labia (labia minora). Every set of labia will look different from person to person. Some people have large fleshy outer labia that are clearly visible. Others have small labia and that part of the vulva looks tucked in. Labia are different colors and sizes, and they change as people age.
The clitoris proves that looks can be deceiving. From the outside, you may or may not see it at the top of the vulva. It looks like a small and unassuming button and is covered by a clitoral hood. Like the labia and every other part of female genitalia, it can be bigger or smaller from person to person. But that little tip (or button) is quite literally just the tip.
The clitoris extends into the body a few inches and looks a little bit like a wishbone. This part of the body exists solely for pleasure and is filled with thousands of nerve receptors. The only area that can be easily touched is the small tip at the top of the vulva, but for many people, that’s enough. Clitoral stimulation is one of the more common ways people with a vulva orgasm, and for many of us, it’s an intense release.
The urethral opening is located just below the clitoris and above the vaginal opening. Urine comes out of the body from this location. The Skene’s glands are located on each side of the opening. Also referred to as the female prostate glands, the Skene’s glands release female ejaculation from the body.
There are two parts to the vagina. The part you can see and where penises, sex toys, fingers, and tongues are inserted is the vaginal opening, located right below the urethral opening. The rest of the vagina is actually a long tube on the inside of the body. While objects may enter the vagina, this is also where babies and menstrual blood leave the body.
Bartholin’s glands are located at the vaginal opening. This is what lubricates the vagina during arousal making penetration easier. The vagina is stretchy and elastic to accommodate penetrative intercourse and childbirth. While many people worry that a vagina can become too “loose,” the reality is that most vaginas contract back to their usual size after sex and childbirth.
Tip: A “tight” vagina is often an un-aroused vagina so don’t necessarily feel too proud if your partner is tighter than usual. Make sure they’re into the moment and properly aroused.
The uterus, sometimes called the “womb,” isn’t just for growing fetuses, although that is it’s main job. This small, pear-shaped organ is the reason the vagina grows longer during arousal. It lifts toward the belly button in a move known as “tenting.” This is meant to aid penetration.
The cervix is located between the vagina and uterus, separating them. It stretches and dilates to allow menstrual blood out and sperm in. Think of it as the connector between the vagina and the uterus. You can actually touch it with a finger, penis, or dildo which, in some people, can cause discomfort. Pounding sex is only exciting when the person being pounded likes the feeling. In some people those hard thrusts hit their cervix and cause pain.
The G spot was discovered by Dr. Grafenberg, for whom it’s named, and is a spot located inside the vagina. Some experts believe that the spot is actually the junction between the urethra, clitoris, and vagina, which makes it super sensitive for some people. When aroused and stimulated, the G spot can produce pleasurable sensations and even orgasms in some people.
To look for it, insert a finger or two into your vagina and hook your fingers so that you touch the anterior wall (the side closest to your stomach). Now make a “come here” motion. If you feel a spot that’s ridgy or different from the surrounding area, that’s likely your g-spot. If it it feels good, keep stimulating the area.
If any of these body parts are news to you, you’re not alone. Many people with vulvas don’t necessarily understand all the parts of their own anatomy. The benefit of understanding how the vulva works isn’t just so we’re all better educated. Knowing your own body, or that of your partner’s, can help make sex and intimacy more fun and pleasurable for everyone.
As loyal Godemiche followers may know, there was a recent social media incident where Adam expressed a less-than-favourable opinion of pubic hair, and many body-positive folks understandably took this as a major offense. While Adam and Monika issued a sincere apology, they also saw the opportunity to take a mistake and turn it into a learning experience to educate both themselves and others about body positivity. It’s a word we hear regularly around these parts, but it’s not something anyone’s often looking to define; for that reason, I was thrilled to be a part of this project both as a blogger, and as a fan of Godemiche.
In preparation to write this post, I read a lot of articles on the definition of body positivity, trying to put into words exactly what it means to love yourself and in what ways this is often practiced. But you know what? None of those articles satisfied me; everyone wanted to be specific, defining body positivity as something as simple as size acceptance or fat acceptance. These are both crucial pillars of which body positivity stands upon, but I’d like to think that in this day and age, body positivity comes down to one simple thing: your body.
To worry about whether you’re too fat or too thin to be loved by society, yourself, or those around you, is a parasite that seems to live in your brain forever. But what if those aren’t your issues, or at least, not your only issues? What if you hate your patchy skin, your thick leg hair, your big teeth, or that obvious scar on your arm? What if your genitals don’t live up to how society thinks they should look, or even more, what if your genitals don’t match up with the person you are at all? Where is the body positivity for these folks?
It’s for everyone. Loving your body is for every person experiencing self-doubt around their physical experience, and this doesn’t just mean size. Our bodies have a lot going on, and society has a lot of ingrained behavior that likes to tell us what is right and wrong – but that in itself is wrong. The only person who can decide you look good, is you.
I don’t think I could find a straight definition of what body positivity is, because it is really so many things.
What body positivity is:
- To recognize that no body is perfect, and that we are all worthy of love no matter our perceived flaws
- To celebrate these flaws and learn to love them as a part of ourselves
- To accept ourselves and others just as we are, and to see the beauty in all bodies
- To not give in to society’s standards, just because you feel it’s the thing you should do
- To express yourself through your body – whether it be tattoos, body hair, or wearing whatever you want – because it makes you feel damn good
What body positivity isn’t:
Glorification of Obesity
I’ve encountered some people who seem to think that fat acceptance is celebrating an unhealthy lifestyle and encouraging others to join – like a cult. (In fairness, telling me to eat pizza is probably the quickest way to get me to join a cult) But this is an image that needs to be broken; for one reason, because it’s not true. It’s just not. But the other reason is because if you buy into this, then you’re fat-shaming those who are a part of the body-positive movement by bringing faux “concern for your health” into the picture. Many think the health platform is an acceptable way to practice fat-shaming, but it’s not; it’s simply a more self-righteous way. You don’t truly care about our health; you just don’t like how what we look like doesn’t line up with what you think is acceptable.
A Way to Guilt Others
It should go without saying that a movement involving positivity of any kind should have no association with guilt, but it needs to be said. For instance, the diet and fitness community has a way of making us doubt ourselves in the form of before/after photos. How many transformations have you seen where the author states how much he or she hated themselves, how ugly they were, and how they NEEDED to lose weight? How many times have they proclaimed “never again” or “going to the gym is the only kind of body positivity”? There is no right and wrong kind of body positivity – if it makes you feel good and it’s a step towards being content with who you are as a physical person, then it’s not wrong. Just because one person found their body-positive journey one way, doesn’t mean that’s the way for you.
A Marketing Tactic
With the mainstreaming of the body-positive movement, it unfortunately brings about companies using it as a buzzword to sell everything from jeans to diet plans, touting how becoming your “better self” is what body positivity is all about. While nurturing your body in a physical sense is, of course, an act of self-love, claiming that these capitalist ways are the path to body love is false; body positivity is in the mind.
Now that we’ve established that, let’s visit just a few of the physical aspects that body positivity can include, depending on who you are.
As a pillar of the body-positive movement, learning to accept the size of ourselves and others has been a long road. When I’m not plagued with doubt while staring myself in the mirror and grabbing at my tum, I’m hearing other people remark on how “she’s too big to be wearing that” or “maybe she should eat a sandwich”. How on earth are we supposed to feel good when we’re surrounded by a constant negative dialogue stating how we SHOULD feel?
Accepting our size is the first step towards loving ourselves; if you’re already very happy with your weight, then congrats! You’ve crossed the first and most common hurdle into body positivity! But if not, simply look around and find beauty in all those around you; I often find myself looking at a woman on the subway and thinking “Wow she’s gorgeous. And she’s bigger than I am.” These moments call attention to the fact that our size is not the defining factor in our appearance, and it is definitely not the deciding factor in our self worth.
Pretty much all humans have body hair, and yet all genders face a stigma over this natural state (some more than others). Women are shaving themselves to resemble an Olympic swimmer from head to toe, while men hear all about brozilans and why they MUST wax their back hair. There’s no way to win… except to embrace what you love.
I for one prefer to keep smooth underarms and a trimmed vulva, and I even like the routine of shaving my legs in the tub; not everyone does, and that’s alright! Your body hair is no one else’s businesses, and while others can freely express a personal preference, they have no right to take away your comfort. Shaving is hard work, and for some, shaving the pubic area can be downright painful; discuss with your partners about what makes you both comfortable, while both acknowledging that what you do have is perfectly natural. There should never be any shame in owning your bush (no matter where it is).
Many people will argue that something as simple as skin doesn’t have a place within the body-positive community, but how is that possible? It is literally the casing for our entire body. Even before size, skin is the part of us that others see first, and it’s not always ideal. Ranging from those who hate their freckles or struggle with psoriasis, to the extremes of skin disorders like vitiligo, which is the loss of skin-darkening melanin in places all over the body. These days, freckles are celebrated rather than concealed, and even models with vitiligo are making a splash, but it’s not always so easy. Seeing yourself represented in the media is always fantastic, but this rarely changes the gnawing self-doubt, and body-positivity is there to help with the self-criticism that we all know so well.
This is an issue that stems well beyond body positivity, but it deserves a place within this community. Trans or non-binary folks may feel like they were born in the wrong body, with genitals and gender-biased features that don’t match up with their gender identity. If you think it’s hard to look in the mirror and see a flaw that you don’t feel belongs, then imagine that applying to the rest of your body. It’s a tough journey, and the brave people who reject the judgment and embrace their natural beauty deserve their body positivity moments as well.
For many, it comes in the form of mantras like, “I am strong” and “my body loves me” to remind them every day that there is nothing wrong with their body just as it is. Of course for others, transitioning is the most body-positive act for their life. In fact, this is one thing that some people in the body positive community wont tell you or even admit themselves: sometimes body positivity means changing something about yourself. There’s no shame in tweaking something to better fit what you feel is inside you, whether that’s something as minor as a new tattoo, or as major as sex reassignment surgery.
There is never a wrong way to love yourself.
As the founder of Godemiche, Adam, joked and mimed motions of ‘disgust’ at the thought of female pubic hair, his partner could be heard offering a reasoned defence for the natural growth that most people experience and which some elect to keep.
Adam’s sentiment was not well-received.
Since then Godemiche have offered a very heartfelt apology and have reached out to leaders in the adult blogging community to engage in an educational process involving various articles on the topic of pubic hair.
I am very honoured to be part of this initiative.
The Problem With Pubic Hair
Sadly, the initial attitude that Adam held towards pubic hair is not an uncommon one, and neither is it seen in a negative light by many. In a recent survey by Cosmopolitan it was reported that 46% of their male respondents preferred their women to be completely bare in the pubic region. Comparatively only 6% preferred the natural look.
This is especially interesting when contrasted against the female perspective—with only 12% of women liking their men bare, 70% preferring it trimmed, and a similarly slim 10% liking the natural look.
Perhaps equally worrying is that the main reason stated for grooming one’s pubic hair was the sense that it would make them more sexually attractive.
Let’s set the record straight right away—pubic hair is not a bad thing. It protects our body from bacteria and other unwanted nasties, it provides a buffer from friction, it regulates temperature, and (as an interested tidbit) it is thought to trap pheromones and similar scents that increase our sexual attractiveness to our partner.
These traits are highly beneficial and yet the current consensus is that pubic hair is unhygienic and somehow hinders sexual attraction.
What is going on!?
If there’s nothing wrong with pubic hair physically then there’s only one answer: The problem with pubic hair isn’t the hair itself, it’s our attitude.
Shame or Shave
Unsurprisingly, the history of shaving one’s pubic hair in modern society (especially if you’re a woman) is rooted in the fashion industry.
As early as 1915 companies were encouraging women to keep parts of their body trimmed to compensate for the increasingly revealing design of clothing. By 1922 it was considered an extreme embarrassment for women to allow unshaven parts of her body to be shown.
As fashion continued to get closer and closer to the pubic hairline so, too, did the mounting pressure to make sure that not a single stray hair was exposed.
The ultimate transition to being completely bare has often been associated with pornography, where it was a trend in the 1980s.
From a filmography perspective, the origins of this weren’t intended to shame women but were still catering to a male gaze. With porn being prevalently aimed towards men, shaving a woman’s pubic hair allowed them to see more of the vulva, as penetration occurred.
The perhaps unintended outcome of this was that a gradual expectation grew that women should be shaved and that a shaved vulva was more sexually appealing.
Tie this in with the fashion industry’s desire to profit off women’s insecurity, and the link between showing more skin and less hair and, gradually, a self-regulating attitude of shame and sexual aversion grew around women’s pubic hair.
Of course, these issues affect men and trans or genderfluid individuals, but the mentality has stemmed from an attitude that prevalently criticises women’s bodies. It’s hugely unlikely that a man will be asked to shave his pubic hair in case his partner ‘chokes on a hair’, or something similar, it is much more likely that a woman will be asked this.
It is one of many ways in which the criticism of women’s bodies (followed by an expectation that she will change to cater to the person’s needs) is condoned in our society, and the fact that the presence of a woman’s natural hair is now the subject of jokes and ridicule is indicative of just how used to this internal oppression we have become.
But What Can Be Done?
As with Godemiche, the first move in countering such attitudes is to realize that they’re a problem to start with.
This isn’t always as easy as it sounds. As a species, humans have a predisposed bias towards following the group consensus, even when presented with facts that may say otherwise. This means that to strike out against a common attitude is, itself, inherently difficult.
Once you’ve recognised the possible issues when it comes to problematic or misogynistic attitudes (in any instance) the next step is research.
In the case of pubic hair we have already explored the origins of a preference to keeping trim, but what are the benefits of removing one’s pubic hair?
In this instance, the consensus is none.
The removal of pubic hair can cause abrasions, soreness, or even infections—with up to 60% guaranteed to experience such abrasions. Ingrown hairs increase with shaving and STIs become more of a risk. The process of shaving or waxing is also rather painful, and can even be traumatic for some individuals.
All-in-all expecting a person to shave their vulva is essentially like expecting them to routinely hurt themselves for your aesthetic preferences.
Is this acceptable?
I think most of us would agree that it’s not.
But what if the individual in question shaves for themselves? What if a person feels more confident with a shaven bush and has self-esteem issues that are directly associated with the visibility of their pubic hair?
In such instances, it’s important to make sure that your partner is shaving out of a sense of confidence and empowerment rather than just a fear of rejection or being deemed unattractive. Perhaps they do not know the damage that shaving can cause—at least 59% of women shave because they believe it is for their own health—but do make sure that you approach the issue in a respectful way, rather than trying to explain the factors to them as if they may not know them.
Communication is crucial in any challenging of pubic conventions and taking a self-reflective and reasoned approach to such discussions (whether with a partner, an uninformed individual, or anyone else) is vital.
If the shaven individual you speak to knows all of this and is still perfectly happy with their grooming choices them awesome. It’s their body and their choices and as long as they’re informed and acting from their own agency then anything beyond that is none of your beeswax.
Equally, if someone chooses not to shave and it goes against your preference then this is something you must learn to respect. You may discuss your preference with them but, ultimately, you should recognise it as such—a preference, and not necessarily one that has the best of cultural origins. If this is a deal-breaker then so be it, but it’s important to recognise that such a situation would not be the fault of your partner, who is not obligated to change to suit your needs.
Lastly, if you really wish to cater the negative attitude that exists against people’s pubic choices (natural, shaved, or otherwise) the most important thing is to be fiercely vocal and make sure that you challenge derogatory attitudes towards people’s grooming choices when you see them.
Godemiche have seen the benefits of such activism and now they are trying to be part of it with this educational series. It is my hope (and theirs) that you read this piece and use it to (continue to) be an ambassador for pubic hair and personal grooming choices everywhere.
Here’s to the vulva in all its many states! Let no blame or shame meet its acquaintance.
Image courtesy of Wikimedia