Relight that Fire

Relight that Fire

People of Sh!: the most wonderful time of the year is now upon us. Just in case you haven’t already heard us mention it; May is the month of masturbation.

In a period of #selfcare, now is the time to brandish those hashtags and jump fearlessly onboard. Many of you are already out there, in the field, rubbing one out time and time again in the name of sexual liberation.

But, what if you just don’t fancy getting down and dirty with your pleasure powerhouse? Is the only lubricant you’ve come close to recently the one that slid masturbation slowly down your priority list? What if you and your partner just aren’t in sync with each other sexually – but you feel guilty in pleasuring yourself without them?

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Allowing yourself to explore your sexuality either alone or with a partner requires a positive mindset. It’s not a selfish or indulgent act: it’s a bare minimum that can be a really empowering, rewarding action. However, if you’re not “feeling” sex much at the minute and you’re not sure why, then evaluating your mood and stress levels is always a good starting point. Take the other person out of the equation and think about what’s going on with you. Is something causing you stress? Perhaps you can try little strategies here and there to fix at least the smallest of your concerns.

Masturbation should never be a chore – it’s a bloody delight. The language you use determines how you think and vice versa. If you find yourself speaking about your body or sex negatively then perhaps you can try and consciously implement more positive language when talking about such topics. Saying this, there is no need to force anything if it really doesn’t feel natural.

Be kind to yourself by allowing space and time for your attitudes or context to change.

Otherwise, buy yourself a ticket to that pilates class you’ve been putting off. Lather up in your favourite moisturiser. Get those kids to their friend Jenny’s for dinner and chill out in the bath with a nice glass of whatever you fancy. If you’re feeling REALLY outlandish, read up on your favourite fantasies via a sweet slice of erotica. Soon enough you’ll find yourself raring to go, so dust off that trusty vibe of yours and get back on your rocking horse.

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On the other hand, you may be rolling an eye or two at this masturbation month malarkey thinking that there’s no reason to do that when you have a partner already. Relying on that one person for all sexual satisfaction is a lot of pressure, no? What would you do if they went on holiday?

Not only is masturbating a practical solution for staying in tune with your body and satisfying your own needs, but it can be really sexy to do with a partner and allow them the role of voyeur.

Face each other head-on as you individually touch yourselves together or in turn. You could even tie them up so that they are just out of reach of you (guaranteed they will be squirming in delight). Not only will this make you feel super sexy and confident but they are also essentially having a lesson in the sure fire way to get you off– which brings us to our next point.

Does your partner need a map around your hot spots but you’re not really sure which directions to give them? Masturbation is the perfect tour guide, enabling you to pass on your pearls of wisdom. Exploring your own body is a never-ending adventure in our eyes and letting someone else in on this journey is even more exciting.

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This tactic is especially great if your partner needs a little guidance in the way of your sexual pleasure and words are not your forté. If this is you and, to quote Ronan Keating, “you say it best, when you say nothing at all”; give your partner a V.I.P view and show them how you like it.

If you would like to make them feel like they have a bit more power than this, why not invest in a remote controlled vibe? This way, everyone’s involved. We-Vibe is a luxury brand that specialise in couples toys. They are so invested in ensuring that no one is feeling left out of masturbation by launching their latest toys that include vibes controlled by the smartphone apps on Android and iOS systems. They run in the background of your phone whilst you’re living your best life on Facetime. It’s music to our ears.

From whichever way you look at it, May only happens once a year. It’s the perfect excuse to make some time for your inner sex spirit. Let them out and enjoy!

A Monologue with My Vagina

A Monologue with My Vagina

You won’t be surprised to hear that we talk about vaginas all day long; what we love about them, what we don’t love about them, what to do if a vagina seems too tight, too elastic, too painful for pleasure…. If you have ever visited our shop in East London, chances are that you took part in a conversation about vaginas, or at least overheard one. It’s what we do.

We celebrate the pussy.

It’s Masturbation Month and we figure there’s no better time to start a online conversation with and about our vaginas. IRL we talk about our muffkins daily, so why not here too?

For some reason, talking about a male rubbing one off is perfectly ok but people still shy away from discussing techniques and tips when it come to tickling one’s yoniberry. Which is why many women assume there is only one way of doing it – their way, naturally.

Having come across a video of US sexuality educator Betty Dodson teaching a group of women how to masturbate many years ago, we were blown away: there were so many different ways of doing it!

We watched the old vhs video many times – just in case we’d missed something.

Then we set about recreating what we’d seen. Wowzers!

We’re not going to beat about the bush with this one, we’re diving in deep and we’re going to start from the beginning:

When Did You First Start Jiggling Your Jewel?

Whatever you want to call it, buffin’ the muffin, jilling off, diddling the skittle, or the more sophisticated menage a moi, there was a time when you discovered what your clitoris could do – and you probably haven’t stopped petting it since.

When was this?

An open poll amongst good friends came up with some funny answers.

Shower

Powerful, neverending and set to a comfortable temperature, we reckon shower jets are the number one reason teenage girls spend so much time in the shower – it’s an excellent way of working out what the V.A.G likes.

Also, not to be ignored is the power of bezzie mates – a best friend is worth her weight in gold. Especially if she knows how to buff a muff – it’s a skill that will no doubt come in handy (ha!) throughout life.download

It seems that ages 10-12 are important for sexual awakenings, as most of the friends we asked ‘found’ their happy button around that age – or at least discovered its magic.

One of us had a less-than-pleasant first experience, though. Whilst not deliberate masturbation, it seems an innocent play session with friends turned into an early orgasmic experience.

Having watched – in envy – her friends shimmy on up the swing frames, she decided to have a go. It was a slow, arderous climb, with some gliding back down before throwing herself back on the pole, when all of a sudden she developed a weird twitchyness and weak knees. Not understanding what was going on (that took another 10 years), she hopped off and never attempted to climb another pole or frame again… But a decade on, it suddenly made sense why her friends kept climbing those poles!

We’d love to hear what you have to say about your own discovery – leave a comment below or chat with us on  Twitter using #TickleYourPickle.

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High Time to Tickle Your Pickle

Masturbation Month, a.k.a May, is in full swing and if you’ve not yet taken time to tickle your pickle, it’s high time to lock the door, pull the curtains and switch off your phone.

Masturbation Month could be seen as something silly and indulgent, or maybe something only ‘sad’ people do; staying in and rubbing one out.

Let’s erase those thoughts right now.

It can be tiresome to hear about the great sex ‘other people’ are having, especially if you believe you are the only one who’s not experiencing regular fireworks and squirt-fests. We meet many women who assume there is something ‘wrong’ with them for this exact reason. There really isn’t – for women, having an orgasm is often a learned thing, a bit like riding a bike. It’s tricky, but once you get the hang of it, it’s bloody marvellous!

Growing up, boys are expected to be sexually curious and their sexuality is celebrated. A dad might congratulate himself when his teenage son is caught masturbating, thinking ‘that’s my boy, he takes after me!’

If a teenage girl is found with her hands down her panties, it’s not unlikely she’ll receive a hissed “what are you doing, stop that!” followed by a shocked or disgusted look from her mother.

Unfair, much?

It can be incredibly hard to smash the shame many of us have had instilled from an early age: it’s not ‘nice’ and we ‘shouldn’t be doing that.’

No wonder it’s hard to relax enough to have orgasms.

Starting off with just your fingers – because they make fantastic sex toys – and a little bit of lube is the best way. Your fingers has an immediate feel and translate the sensations into tiny messages for your brain: soft, coarse, wet and so on.

Feel your way around, feel the folds, the texture of your labia and the slickness as the body gets more turned on.

If you feel comfortable, why not grab a mirror and have a look as well? Colours and shapes change as the body becomes aroused, which can be darn exciting in itself! Your vulva and vagina are unique, just like the rest of you.

Great Wall of Vagina
Great Wall of Vagina

Happy Hour

The clit has a mind-blowing 8000 nervendings sitting atop it, and this is where things can get tricky. If stimulated the wrong way, the clit gets too sensitive and pleasure runs screaming from the room.

The ‘ringing a doorbell’-technique should be banished; pressing long and hard on the little jewel is not going to open the magic door to vaginal Narnia. Ever.

clock faceWomen have what we like to call their Happy Hour: imagine that the clitoris is a clock face (the Clit Face). Many women say that 10-11 or 1-2 are their most sensitive spots.

As small as your clitoris is, there are one or two spots that responds better to stimulation than any other part of your little jewel, and by working out when your personal Happy Hour is, you are well on your way to having an orgasm.

Squeeze!

It’s important to keep your pelvic floor in good shape – do your clenches as often as you can: in the bus queue, during dull meetings and whilst watching telly of an evening.

Keeping your pelvic floor toned has a number of health benefits which we’re sure you already know about, but did you know it can help you orgasm too?

An orgasm is a series of involuntary rhythmic contractions of the vagina, and a having a strong pelvic floor can be helpful.

Whilst you’re jiggling your jewel in all manner of wonderful ways, try squeezing your PC muscle in time. It’s what the mighty Betty Dodson calls “fucking forward” – simultaneously stroke, push forward with your hips and clench. Magic!

Buzz Me Up to Heaven Baby

Vibrators are notoriously reliable when it comes to producing orgasms, hence their popularity.  But if you’ve ever had a vibrator and it didn’t work for you, there could be good reasons for that:

1. The Wrong Kind of Vibrator

There area few types of vibes to choose from:

  • Clitoral vibrators – these are typically small and not designed to be used internally. They usually offer a high-pitched buzz.
  • G-spot vibrators –  a shaft with a pronounced curve or bump at the tip, designed to be enjoyed internally. G-spot vibes often deliver rumblier vibrations.
  • Rabbit vibrators – a dual stimulating-type toy, they have a shaft for internal pleasure combined with a clitoral tickler.
  • Wand vibrators – these tend to be large in size (rest assured, they are not for insertion) and offers deep rumbles that shakes you to the bone.
  • Sucking technology vibrators – these are the cool new kids on the block. They create a gentle vacuum and mimic oral sex for stunning sensations.

Vibes

2. The Wrong Kind of Vibration

Vibrators tend to fall in two categories: high-pitch or low & rumbly. These feel different and we find that women often fall into one of two camps: you need either a high-itched vibe for buzzy thrills, or deep vibrations for rumbly excitement.

The wrong type of vibration could be what isn’t working for you. If you’ve had a bullet vibe for example, and it produced nothing but boredom, try something with a heavier vibration.

3. Not Enough Time

Vibrators are fantastic at multi-tasking, but it would be wrong to assume they magically know what your preferences are. You need to work with the vibe; try different positions, different settings and different speeds. If you have a waterproof toy, you might like to try it in the shower or bath.

And give yourself plenty of time.

Learning how to have an orgasm can take a fair bit of time, a full hour of exploration and stimulation is not unusual. As you get to know your body and its particular likes & dislikes, you’ll be able to cut this time down if you want to.

There is no such thing as a ‘normal’  length of time to have an orgasm. There are a number of things to consider for each and every orgasm achieved:  level of arousal, how relaxed you’re feeling, if fingers or a vibe is being used… All of those things matter when it comes to your pleasure.

Some women can orgasm very quickly, others need more time. There are no rights or wrongs, just remember it’s not a race.

The Wetter the Better

Sh! Paraben-Free LubricantWe are firm believers in a li’l bit of additional lube, whether you are using sex toys or not, or whether you are usually plenty wet. Lube enhances sensations and you may find it makes everything so much more comfortable.

There are many different types of lube to try, but you can never go wrong with a paraben-free, water-based version as it is unlikely to cause irritation. For fancy occasions you might like to switch it up with flavours, warming or tingling options, but if your peach is sensitive, it’s always best to opt for a plainer lubricant with as few ingredients as possible.

Once you start having orgasms, you’ll likely find they are easier to come by. It’s about finding out what works for you – this may mean a good vibe, a certain position or maybe downloadable clips featuring your favourite type of fantasy or porn. As long as you’re having a great time, it’s all good.

Masturbation is about pleasure – your pleasure. You can take as much or as little time as you want or need, and you spend that time wisely: on yourself.

Not having to worry about a partner’s pleasure can be incredibly liberating. We spend so much time worrying about whether other people are having a great time, we forget or ignore our own wants and needs. Masturbation Month reminds us that our pleasure matter too.

Happy Masturbation Month!
The Victorians and Masturbation Hysteria

The Victorians and Masturbation Hysteria

As we hope you remember this May is Masturbation Month!

In a world where 44% of women will happily admit to using a sex toy (and for the other 56%, Masturbation May might be a nice time to start!) it’s hard to imagine strapping a device to your genitals to actively prevent your going to town on yourself. Or, even more distressingly, being deliberately mutilated to prevent masturbation.

In the Victorian era, male anti-masturbation devices were rife…

Jugum Penis
Jugam Penis

Inventions from the 1800’s such as the Jugum Penis, designed to torture wayward male genitals into submission, were once relatively common.

There was also the Spermatic Truss, a sort of permanent cold shower, and crackers (the idea being that bland food would bore your genitals into submission).

 

 

For female masturbators, there were less weird chastity devices but more in the way of clitorectemies and acid burns.

However, at the same time Doctors were torturing patients fun parts to prevent them sprouting hairy palms they were giving women ‘hysterical paroxysms’ with weird steam punk vibrators to cure their ‘hysteria’.

So what exactly was going on here? Were the Doctors so utterly clueless that they innocently masturbated patients to orgasm, with their dicks innocently trussed to prevent spermatorrhea (basically emitting too much sperm which was supposed to destroy your mind and body).

Part of the confusion comes from a strange mix of competing medical theories. In Ancient Rome Galen thought that hysteria was caused by women retaining sperm (and that men and women both produced seed). It was also thought that a woman’s uterus could drift around her body causing havock. What would solve this? The mighty penis!

Nuns and widows who didn’t get sex on the regular were thought to be the most susceptible to hysteria. A treatment for wandering wombs was massage and there are also medieval cases of physicians and midwives applying oils to or rubbing the genitals to restore sick women.

From these kind of beliefs and practices evolved a practice of Physicians giving women a ‘hysterical paroxysm’ to relieve their hysteria.  The world’s first vibrators were specifically invented to save Doctors this arduous and time-consuming task..

In 1903 Dr Samuel Howard Monell, writing on the treatment of hysteria, noted that ‘Pelvic massage has its brilliant advocates and they report wonderful results.’ He also went on to hail the vibrator as a godsend for Doctors as a quick and easy method of procuring treatment.

Early Vibrator
Early Vibrator

The question of whether or not everyone was slyly aware that a ‘hysterical paroxysm’ might be an orgasm is an odd point.

Seeing as the ‘treatment’ evolved from ideas about replacing sex it would seem weird if no one thought of it as sexual.

On the other hand, penis contraptions like the Spermatic Truss came out of a concerned 1712 pamphlet discoursing on the dangers of self pollution, which was alleged to cause everything from impotence, to epilepsy to, (bafflingly) gonorrhea.

These ideas were expanded upon in 1760 by the Swiss physician Samuel Tissot who believed semen was an ‘essential oil’ and that unnecessary emissions would cause Spermatorrhea in men and Vulvovaginitis in women. So the exact opposite of Galen, instead of expelling your semen your needed to hoard it like weird gold.

This eventually resulted in a range of baffling devices to kill your erection as hysteria treatment resulted in a range of specialist devices to ‘paroxysm’ your patients.

It’s interesting to look at how these two ideas interacted.

One Doctor, Isaac Baker-Brown, thought that manipulation of the clitoris to induce paroxysms just fed a patient’s lust and did nothing to cure their hysteria. You may be smiling knowingly now but I doubt you’ll be a fan of his alternate method.

Clitoridectemy.

This wound up being a popular treatment in the US for hysteria, nymphomania, and, interestingly, masturbation.

In some ways, despite their completely different approaches, those trying to burn off your clitoris and those trying to steam power your orgasm were trying to deal with the same thing. These are both ideas designed to control female sexuality. It might be ok for a Doctor to give you an orgasm but god forbid that you masturbate. And if you do, there’s a helpful man over there willing to burn your clitoris right off and fix that for you. That said ,let us all be grateful it was the vibrator and not the Jugum Penis that stayed with us; A small victory for fun sex.

And look how far they’ve come! Now you can even get one with an a vibrator controlled by an app – that’s what we call progress!