Promoting healthy sexuality through sex positive education and activism

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Sexual Health Fest

SHF

Sex Out Loud is proud to present Sexual Health Fest: Get Wet with Sex Out Loud! This year we're bringing the beach to campus with fun beach-themed games, activities and free safer sex supplies!

Sexual Health Fest is our annual sexual health resource fair sponsored by Sex Out Loud and other health organizations including: PAVE UW-Madison, Campus Women's Center, Rape Crisis Center and UHS/EVOC on campus and more! Come outdoors for sexual health resources, and more information on getting involved with these campus organizations!

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Sex Out Loud is hiring for 2014-2015 Academic School Year!

Hiring

Are you interested in sexual health? Interested in gaining valuable experience in peer-to-peer education? Looking for an avenue to develop your administrative skills? Look no further! Sex Out Loud has available positions to begin in August 2014.

Program Facilitator (11 hrs/wk, $9.19/hr)
Program facilitators implement Sex Out Loud programming in dorms, Greek life, co-ops, apartments, and student organizations on campus. They are responsible for being up-to-date on the latest sexual health info and presenting sexual health information to our peers on campus! Program facilitators should be comfortable with public speaking and comfortable with discussing sexual health topics.
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Program Coordinator (16 hrs/wk, $9.69/hr)
The program coordinator is responsible for training, supervising, and providing continuing education opportunities to Sex Out Loud's team of peer educators. This position coordinates the internal and external communications of SOL's sex education programming on campus by acting as the liason between SOL, UW-Housing, Greek Life, and student organizations. Strong candidates will have interest or experience in sex education as well as strong organizational, leadership, and professional skills.
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Outreach/Events Coordinator (20 hrs/wk, $9.69)
The Outreach/Events Coordinator is in charge of collaborating with other student and community organizations to promote safer sex and healthy sexuality issues. You will be working with organizations that address different issues, therefore you must be able to address different views of sexuality. The Outreach/Events Coordinator is in charge of organizing several large events during the academic year including World Aids Week, National Condom Week and Sexual Health Fest as well as several other events such as homecoming and Condoms and Candy. The Outreach/Events Coordinator is also in charge of publicity, online social media and hiring.
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Applications, along with a resume are due by Wednesday, April 16th to Mikaela at sexoutloud@gmail.com. Any questions about application materials or hiring should also be directed to Mikaela. If considered for a position, all applicants must be available to interview on Friday, April 25th, Saturday, April 26th and Sunday, April 27th

“If I’m on birth control, do I still need to use a condom?”

We get asked this a lot in our anonymous Q&A sessions, and the answer is: it depends!

Hormonal birth control is extremely effective with perfect use (more than 95% effective), and still pretty darn effective with typical use, but it doesn’t protect against STIs. Use this nifty little flowchart to figure out when condoms will help us reduce our risk of unintended pregnancy and STIs, as well as when our other risk reduction techniques have us covered.

*This flowchart is assuming that at least one person involved is capable of getting pregnant and is also on some form of hormonal birth control (e.g. the pill, the patch, Nuva Ring, etc).

Want more information on birth control methods? Check out bedsider.org, or come to our in-office Birth Control 101 program this Wednesday at 7pm (or request your own!).

A Guide to Casual Sex Minus the Gender Roles

Navigating the world of casual sex isn’t always as easy as it seems. Maybe we’re trying to get with a cutie at a bar or party, or maybe we’re using online dating sites to find ourselves a one-night stand. In either case, a person’s gender marker is often the first way that we are able to connect with them. The Craigslist Casual Encounters section offers categories like “woman for woman,” “man for transgender,” and “man for woman” as guides for people who are looking to hook up. But for many, these categories are too limiting and frequently lead to disappointing sexual encounters that leave us feeling over-stereotyped and under-pleasured. For others who don’t fit into these gender categories, trying to have casual sex can end in violence and discrimination. While these are very serious issues, casual hookups can often be extremely rewarding experiences! The benefits of moving away from gendered sexytime are many, so here’s a guide for how to have casual sex without those gender roles:

1. Know what you want before you go searching for it.

Everybody’s sexuality is unique to them. No matter what kind of body a person has or how they identify, each of us has our own set of likes and dislikes. And that includes you! So what are you looking for tonight? Someone who loves a good make-out sesh? A massage and some oral sex? Rough sex? A threesome? If you don’t know what you’re looking for, try watching some porn or reading erotica to get in the mood and then take the time to figure out what you crave. Working from this starting point will allow you to find partners faster and easier, and will encourage you to speak up for what you want when you’re in the heat of the moment!

2. Focus on sexual interests rather than sexual roles.

Personal ads that seek certain kinds of people often leave us with a lot of questions about what someone is actually interested in doing. As we know, just being a gay boy doesn’t automatically point to a desire for anal penetration. Being a bisexual woman does not mean always wanting a threesome. Being a lesbian isn’t the same as disliking cock. These are stereotypes that erase the complexity of our desires. Try figuring out a potential partner’s specific sexual interests rather than deferring to the roles that you’ve been expected to play during sex.

3. Avoid people who ask a lot of questions about your body.

Questions like “do you shave” and “can you send me more body pics” are not often signs of an understanding, explorative, and fun potential sex partner. It’s difficult to feel comfortable with a stranger having access to our bodies when we know that they are concerned with the tuft of fluff on our pubic bone or with our age and race. This power dynamic can also lead to a one-sided search for pleasure rather than a mutual experience. If there is a certain body type that you are attracted to, then it may be more advantageous to meet people in person rather than over the Internet.

4. Incorporate chatting about pleasure with your foreplay.

Sometimes those first few minutes that we are alone with a new sexual partner can be especially intense. Create a calming atmosphere by putting on some music, burning incense, or changing up the lighting. Sit near your sexy new friend and ask them for consent to kiss, or to cuddle. Consent is a required part of any sexual experience, and it is also one of the fastest ways to be sure that your partner(s) are definitely down to mess around! It also shows that you are interested in talking. As you begin to play, try asking questions like “do you like having your nipples played with” or “what’s your favorite position” to figure out what your partner wants. Hopefully they will do the same! This would also be a great time to talk about each other’s STI statuses and about which barrier methods you want to use.

For any casual encounter, Sex Out Loud recommends that you let a trusted friend know your plans so that they can check up on you. Tell them the address where you are going and set up a specific time for a written or verbal check-in and plan what to do if that does not happen. Follow your instincts! If something feels unsafe to you, it probably is and you have the right to leave at any time.

Hopefully these tips will help you have fun and satisfying casual encounters that don’t leave you feeling unsassified! As always, happy hookups from Sex Out Loud!

How Do I Last Longer? A Guide to Premature Ejaculation

A common question we at Sex Out Loud receive during our Q&A sessions during programs is: “How do I last longer?” While this is a very general question, we’re going to assume right now that it is coming from a person with a penis who is not satisfied with their length of hang time inside their partners.

This is also known as premature ejaculation, rapid ejaculation, and early/rapid climax if you like to get technical; if you don’t, we’ll call it coming too quickly. The National Health and Social Life survey estimates that 1 out of 3 men (the study specifies men as opposed to anyone with a penis) are affected by this sexual disorder.  So what can we do if we find ourselves blowing our loads sooner than we would like? There are a few options, but first let’s get a definition of premature ejaculation.

The International Society for Sexual Medicine gathered their top premature ejaculation experts to create a very precise definition:

Premature ejaculation is a sexual dysfunction characterized by ejaculation which always or nearly always occurs prior to or within about one minute of penetration; and, inability to delay ejaculation on all or nearly all penetrations; and, negative personal consequences, such as distress, bother, frustration, and/or the avoidance of sexual intimacy.

With this expert definition we can see that premature ejaculation could be upsetting to some who wish to have longer penetrative sex with their partners. This might leave both receptive and insertive partners feeling unsatisfied in the bedroom, which can be upsetting and even lead to avoidance of sex overall. We definitely don’t want sex to be an upsetting thing, and definitely want people to have all the sex they want, so what can we do to last longer?

1. Relax

Premature ejaculation has a lot to do with anxiety and problems relaxing during sex. It could also stem from stress in our daily lives such as exams, homework and classes. Reminding ourselves to relax before sex can make things more enjoyable and help rid ourselves of anxiety that may be causing premature ejaculation. There are too many techniques to relaxation to mention in this blog post, however, it’s an easy Google search.

2. Talk to our partners.
Telling our partners that we might come faster than we would like is a genuine way of showing that we would like to satisfy them. This can also relax us and relieve anxiety we may have about sex, as we can talk about ways to work around coming too quickly.

3. Increase the foreplay.

Making out, feeling each other up, licking necks, stomachs, nipples, and balls. Not that there’s anything wrong with a quickie, sometimes we just want to bang it out during a study break. But if we take the time to get intimate, hot, and bothered with our partners we can increase the pleasure and duration of sex. If our partners have a vagina, it may take up to 40 minutes of foreplay to get their g-spot aroused. Utilize this time to relax, get into the mood, and enjoy our partner’s body – this will lead to some serious pleasure on both ends. We can also do the same or similar things during foreplay if our partners do not have a vagina.

4. Have more sex.

The saying “practice makes perfect” comes to mind in this scenario. The more we do it, the better we get at pleasing our partners and ourselves. Sex is different to everyone, it doesn’t have to be insertive-into-receptive intercourse, it could be blow jobs, hand jobs, titty fucking, and many other things. The more we do these things and communicate with our partners what we like, the more we can get out of sex.

5. Masturbate more.

Put away some time to get intimate with ourselves on a daily basis. Whether it is in the shower, before bed, after we wake up or in the middle of the day, masturbation can lift our spirits and really take a load off (literally). In fact, Sex Out Loud has a whole blog about treating ourselves to a great masturbation session.

Currently, there are no drugs that are approved by the FDA to treat premature ejaculation. But some antidepressants and topical anesthetic creams are used to help those who come too quickly. If we find that the above guide isn’t helping as much as we’d like, it might be a good idea to see a doctor to explore other treatment options.

Premature ejaculation is a common thing that can be treated with some common techniques. Relaxing, talking to our partners, increasing foreplay, having more sex, and masturbating more can help us overcome premature ejaculation. These tips can lead to a more satisfying sex life and can create some very intimate moments with our partners.

Good luck out there, Badgers, and have happy sex lives!

Focus On: Edging

Whether you’re not lasting as long as you’d like during sexy time or simply looking for a new technique to spice up your life, a technique called edging may be your new best friend. It’s pretty simple, but takes a good understanding of one’s body and how our orgasm and ejaculation feels; it can be done by people with penises as well as those with vaginas.

PEGym.com has a wonderful guide for edging, specifically for people with penises:

1: Get an erection. The best edging sessions are at least twenty minutes, so privacy and no distractions are the best conditions to start an edging routine.

2: Use a good lubrication, whether it be baby oil, Essential Vein Oil, or a penis lubricant designed specifically for penis exercising (such as Enlargel). I find that some lubricants, like KY Jelly, dry too quickly for a good edging session.

3: Stroke the base of your erect penis and slowly move up toward the frenulum. The frenulum and the head are the most sensitive parts of your penis, so avoid the frenulum unless you have complete control of your urge to come or you are ready to ejaculate. Remember, one of the goals of edging is to learn how to be in control of your biological sensations.

4: If you feel an urge to ejaculate, start to move back down to the base again. Keep the strokes slow at first and avoid stroking too fast until you have mastered edging.

5: Once you reach the point of no return (PONR), also known as the point in which if you keep going then you’re going to come, completely stop edging. Wait until the sensation leaves and then resume stroking your penis. While you are waiting for the sensation to subside, try taking deep breaths, rubbing the family jewels, or exploring other sensations of your body.

Edging can work great with mutual masturbation, as we can edge our partners as they edge us! If we’re looking for some awesome ways to give hand jobs, Sex Out Loud has a rad blog post about it here.

May the edging be ever in your favor,

The SOL Staff

 

The Buzz About Vibrators

Fortunately and unfortunately for us, sex stores generally have a no return policy, so picking out a good vibrator can be a daunting task. Here are some things to think about if we are picking out a first vibe.

Note: Most vibrators are designed with vulvas in mind. For this reason, this blog will focus mainly on toys designed for vulvas. There are also vibrators specifically designed for penises or for anal use. Truth be told, vibrators can be used on any part of the body. (Second note: if we’re going to use a vibrator in a butt, it must have a flared base.)

But as I said, the most variety can be found in toys designed for use with vulvas, so whether we are vulva owners ourselves or we want to buy a vibrator for someone with a vulva here are things to consider:

What Material Should it Be?

There is such a thing as an unsafe toy. Silicone and hard plastic are the safest and easiest toy materials to maintain. They are non-porous materials, which means that they can be easily cleaned with soap and water without the risk of bacteria sticking around. The only drawback of silicone toys is that they are not compatible with silicone lube, so instead we’ll want to use a water based or hybrid lube. Rubber, Elastomer, and soft plastic materials tend to be cheaper than silicone and hard plastic toys. However, these toys are porous so they can harbor bacteria and can never be fully sterilized. We can make these toys safer and easier to clean by using condoms on them. Jelly toys are not super body safe. First, they are porous, so they can harbor bacteria. Plus, jelly toys are usually made with phthalates, which are plastic softeners that are associated with some serious health risks. Products made with phthalates are being phased out of many products in the U.S. because they are not recommended for use in our bodies. For more information on sex toy material and safety and a list of stores that sell sex toys made out of body-safe materials, check out http://badvibes.org

Where is it going to go?

Most vibrators fit nicely into one of three categories

External toys: With over 8,000 nerve endings, the clitoris tends to be the organ that responds most strongly to vibration. Through the clitoris actually extends into the body and can be stimulated through the labia and the front of the vagina, many people prefer direct external stimulation. Vibes are designed in various shapes and sizes to directly stimulate the clitoris or the outside of the vulva. Some of these toys are small and thin and perfect for very directed pressure. Others are flat and can cover more surface area.

Internal Toys: Internal vibrators are often designed in long thin shapes that can be easily used for penetration. Some internal toys have defined “heads” or bulb-like shapes which are intended to easily stimulate the g-spot. Even though the g-spot tends to respond best to firmer massage rather than vibration, some people enjoy the feeling of fullness that internal toys offer, combined with vibration. Internal toys can totally be used externally too, so these toys can be very versatile.

Dual stimulation toys: These are toys designed to stimulate the inside of the vagina and the external vulva simultaneously. For those who have heard of the rabbit, that’s what we’re talking about here. Usually these toys have two motors, and some toys even occilate, which is a spinning sort of motion. These toys have a lot going for them. For some people, they can offer both clitoral and internal stimulation at once. Unfortunately, these toys are always a gamble. They tend to fit some bodies and not others, and they don’t leave much room for experimentation if we find they aren’t quite right. Dual stimulation vibrators also tend to be more expensive, so they aren’t recommended as first toys.

How should it feel?

Different vibrators feel differently.

Thuddy vs. buzzy: This distinction is pretty hard to describe, but some other descriptors could be deeper vs. tinglier feeling. Preferences are totally personal. This means it’s a great idea to stop by a store if we can. Also some websites have reviews about what the vibration of different toys tends to feel like.

Range: Some vibrators are “one speed.” Others have one or two settings. Some have dials or arrows that correspond with a huge range of speeds from slow and gentle to fast and hard. It’s always a good idea to start with a toy that has at least a little bit of variety, because this allows for experimentation, but prices tend to increase as variation potential does.

How does it run?: Vibrators are powerful. Battery run vibrators are often the least expensive type. Their biggest flaw is that some of them require a lot of changing of batteries, especially since they can feel noticeably softer and softer as their batteries die. Usually this is no big deal, because we can always keep batteries around, but make sure to check what type of batteries a vibrator takes before buying it. Some of them require N-batteries, or watch batteries which aren’t as easy to find. Rechargeable vibrators are sometimes pretty pricey, because they tend to have more advanced motors. Like other chargeable electronics these toys stay strong consistently until they die. However, the other side of that coin is that once these vibrators run out of charge, they require time to recharge. This means if a toy dies right before we are about to get to a really happy place, we might have to wait 5 minutes to an hour before we get to keep playing. This can be a very literal buzz kill. Some brands hold charges longer than others, and very fancy brands sometimes blink when they are getting close to running out of charge. Plug-in toys range in price. The “Hitachi Magic Wand” is an example of this type of toy. The Hitachi and other plug in vibes are famous for having the strongest vibrating potential of all toys. (Fun fact: the Hitachi originally was and continues to be marketed as a back massager, so it’s really crazy strong). Some people need this intense vibration, but for others, even the lowest setting will be too intense. These toys are large and require use in close proximity to an outlet. If we’re going for discretion, plug in vibes might not be the best choice. On the other hand, plug in vibes never need to be charged and they never require new batteries.

Phew! So many choices. For more information on this topic, click on some of these great stores in Wisconsin and Minneapolis, or feel free to email or stop by Sex Out Loud.

A Woman’s Touch, Madison, WI

 Smitten Kitten, Minneapolis, MN

 The Tool Shed, Milwaukee, WI

No matter what you choose, remember that it might take a while to find the toy that is just right for you. That’s okay. You’ve got a whole world of pleasure ahead….

Psst: Want to check out some different kinds of vibes but can’t make it to one of those awesome stores? Request our Advanced Pleasure program or stop by the office to check out the Sex Out Loud pleasure toolbox, filled with vibrators of different sizes, types and sensations!