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10 Ways to Avoid the E.R. – A Sex Toy Safety Review

April 8, 2015

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LELO’s Ina 2 and Ida (sponsored post)

Recently, the Washington Post reviewed data from the Consumer Product Safety Commission and found that sex-toy-related injuries have been on the rise, dramatically spiking after the whole Fifty Shades of Grey phenomenon. (WP has a great chart.) Despite easier access to higher quality toys and a lot more helpful info on how to choose and use toys effectively and safely these days (a la sites like yours truly), people obviously don’t do their homework and often take the cheap and lazy route. Go, Amerrca! Just goes to show, Fifty Shades IS NOT A SEX MANUAL.

Below are some of the most common (and not so common) toy injuries that required hospitalization in recent years and how they could have easily been avoided. You’ll be happy to know, no one died (which makes them kind of hysterical).

1. “PUT METAL RING ON PENIS, UNABLE TO REMOVE”
Metal penis rings (aka cock rings) are only for the very experienced or the very stupid. This is one of the most common toy-related cases in ERs, just behind FBRs (see below): the blood rushes in during arousal, but it can’t get out because the metal’s so unforgiving. If you get your dick and/or balls stuck in a metal ring, we see bolt cutters in your future — and do you really want bolt cutters so close to your junk? Best to opt for a love ring (our preferred gentler-kinder term) that can either be undone (with a velcro strap, buckle, snap or tie) OR stretched easily enough to get around excessive engorgement (such as a silicone ring).

2. “CUT ON THE METAL EDGE OF A VIBRATOR”
Yikes! No decent sex toy will have sharp edges or rough seams. Those are cheap novelties “not intended for actual use.” Here’s where investing in your sex life comes into play. Pay a little more for a high quality toy made with body safe materials and designed ergonomically for your most sensitive bits — you’re worth it! For your money, you can’t go wrong with a LELO.

3. “NECKLACE CAUGHT MASSAGE MACHINE DX: ASPHYXIATION, CARDIAC ARREST”
Oh dear. Please familiarize yourself with your “massager” before you get jiggy with it: know how to turn it off quickly, in the dark, by feel alone. And consider taking off any jewelry that might get in the way: rings, necklaces, big earrings. By the way, this incident happened to a 61-year-old man: good for him for experimenting with toys at his age, but a necklace? Remember: Keepin’ it classy could save your life.

4. “RECTAL PAIN … AFTER USING PLASTIC TOY PENIS”
Again, let’s avoid cheap plastic items when it comes to our treasured family jewels. Invest in 100%, waterpoof, non-porous silicone toys.

5. “CAME TO ED WITH PENIS SLEEVE STUCK IN VAGINA”
If a sex toy is reputable, it will come with instructions for use (as well as care and cleaning tips). Make sure you get one with those kind of instructions (again, LELO is a winner here) and then follow them. Don’t use in a way it wasn’t intended. For example, penis sleeves are meant to go around penises, not inside vaginas. If this was one of the rare sleeves that can be used as a penis extender with a partner, then there’s no way it should have gotten stuck (see #7).

6. “VAGINAL TEAR WITH PAIN AND BLEEDING AFTER SELF STIMULATION WITH DILDO”
Here’s where knowing your own body comes into play. If you’re a petite 100-pound professional ballerina, then a mammoth, unrealistically sized dildo called “The Pounder” is not for you. Another great sex toy to use in conjunction with vibes and dildos? Quality lube. It will help keep things going smoothly and prevent rug burn. (And it’s not cheating — there are many reasons why your desire may not match your own wetness — so give yourself a helping hand.) At the risk of sounding like a broken record, high quality toys made of body-safe material will help you avoid the pitfalls of cheap novelties: rough seams, toxic phthalates, allergic reactions, etc. Finally, you may like it rough, but avoid doing serious damage. There’s the line: don’t cross it.

7. “SMALL VIBRATOR USED BY PT & HUSBAND,INSIDE VAGINA; BECAME STUCK, UNABLE TO REMOVE”
Again, to get a little Greek on you: know thyself. Learn the basics of genital anatomy and examine yourself. The vagina is only a few inches long. Without a doctor going in, or a baby coming out, nothing’s really getting past the cervix into the uterus. A small vibrator, ben wa balls, or a piece of a cheap broken vibrator may nestle into the crevice between the cervix and the very back of the vagina; but by bearing down and reaching in, most women should be able to retrieve it themselves (just get over your silly heebie jeebies — it’s your own body, fer chrissakes!). If your fingers are stubby, hopefully your lover’s are longer. As long as you go with a modern, quality toy made for the vagina, nothing’s getting “lost.”

8. “USED A PENIS PUMP AND IT GOT STUCK ON PENIS”
Just say no to penis pumps. Instead, learn to work with what you’ve got and become an exceptional lover so size truly doesn’t matter (here’s a great place to start).

9. “VIBRATOR/DILDO STUCK IN RECTUM”
The overwhelming majority (like 83%, according to the Washington Post) of injuries happen when people — and not just guys, plenty of gals too! — put something up their butts that they shouldn’t. The official terminology is “foreign body removal” (FB Removal). That can’t feel good, for your ass or your pride. We’ve said it a thousand times, we’ll say it again: when it comes to your anus, only use made-for-play sex toys that are non-porous and have a flared base. Otherwise, your butt will act like a greedy Dyson and you’ll have to go to the E.R. and sites like ours will invariably make fun of you for it.

1o. “PAIN TO TOE AFTER DROPPING HER BACK MASSAGER ON FOOT”
Um, just try to be less clumsy…?

 

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The Best (and Worst) Quotes from the 2015 Oscars

February 23, 2015

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Speeches about equal pay for women and gay rights…equal opportunity objectification (thanks, Neil!)…straight men being sensitive and highly emotional about their mothers…more jokes about balls than boobs…anyone would think it was 2015 out there! Here are our favorite quotes from the Oscars last night:

“I tried to commit suicide at 16, and now I’m standing here. I would like for this moment to be for that kid out there who feels like she doesn’t fit in anywhere. You do. Stay weird. Stay different, and then when it’s your turn and you are standing on this stage please pass the same message along.” — Graham Moore, accepting the Oscar for Best Adapted Screenplay for The Imitation Game

“If I may, call your mom. If you’re lucky enough to have parents or two alive on this planet…Don’t text, don’t email. Call them on the phone tell them you love them. Talk to them for as long as they want to hear you. Thank you, mom and dad.” — J.K. Simmons, accepting the Oscar for Best Supporting Actor for Whiplash

“To every woman who gave birth to every taxpayer and citizen of this nation, we have fought for everybody else’s civil rights. It is our time to have wage equality once and for all and equal rights for women in the United States of America.” — Patricia Arquette, accepting the Oscar for Best Supporting Actress for Boyhood (to enthusiastic cheers from Meryl and J.Lo. who basically stormed the stage in her support, see photo above)

“Benedict Cumberbatch: It’s not only the most awesome name in show business. It’s also the sound you get when you ask John Travolta to pronounce ‘Ben Affleck.’” — host Neil Patrick Harris

“They are four women. Plus — in accordance with California state law — Meryl Streep.” — Jared Leto introducing the best supporting actress nominees

“Our next film is amazing. I’m blown away right now myself. [tearing up] Our next nominee for best picture reveals how the visionary father of modern computing Alan Turing helps defeat the Nazis only to have his own greatness stripped away from him for his sexual orientation.” — Terrence Howard, introducing The Imitation Game (as he began to get choked up, most people assumed he was going to introduce Selma)

“Good luck charms work … tonight I am wearing the real Michael Keaton’s tightie-whities. They are tight and smell like balls.” — Alejandro González Iñárritu, accepting the Oscar for Best Director for Birdman

“I read an article that said that winning an Oscar could lead to living five years longer. If that’s true, I’d like to thank the Academy because my husband is younger than me.” — Julianne Moore, accepting the Best Actress Oscar for Still Alice (and for the record, he’s not just younger than her, he’s nine years younger!)

“Who gave this son of a bitch his green card? Birdman!” — Sean Penn, presenting the Best Picture Oscar to Birdman

“We don’t stand here alone, it’s possible through the great organisations that support us. The disclosures that Edward Snowden revealed aren’t only a threat to privacy but to democracy, when the most important decisions made affect all of us. Thank you to Edward Snowden.” — Laura Poitras, accepting the Best Documentary Oscar for Citizenfour

“Welcome to the 87th Oscars. Tonight we honor Hollywood’s best and whitest — sorry, brightest.” — host Neil Patrick Harris, in one of the rare funny jokes of the night

“Our next presenter is not only the star of the record breaker for biggest February premiere ever, Fifty Shades of Grey, she’s also the reason you had to explain to your grandmother what a spanking bench is.” – host Neil Patrick Harris, introducing Dakota Johnson

And, finally, the very worst quote of the night happened backstage:

“Fear is the condom of life. It doesn’t allow you to enjoy things.” — Oscar-winning Birdman director Alejandro González Iñárritu

Seriously, dude? It’s one thing to make fun of the ball-sweating properties of tight-whities. That’s funny, and also, it makes us think of balls during a night when it’s mostly golden globes on display. But don’t go giving condoms a bad name!

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STIs Are on the Rise. You Can Thank Tinder.

January 21, 2015

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by Amanda Chatel for YourTango | photo via flickr

“Thanks to Grindr or Tinder, you can acquire chlamydia in five minutes.”

When Grindr hit the online dating scene, it seemed too good to be true. An app that you have right in the palm of your hand that can pinpoint just how close your next potential hookup is? Um, yes please! So the gay community went nuts for it, while straight singles sat around, twiddling their thumbs, wondering when it would be their turn to get their hands on such technology. They didn’t have to wait too longer, because Tinder soon followed, and then everyone was happy.

But the problem with these apps is that maybe they’re a little too convenient. I’ve known people who have discovered people on these apps who were actually in the same apartment building and yet had never met before until a sweep to the right on Tinder put them in touch … in more ways than one. While that’s all well and good in a society that thrives on instant gratification, where it’s not so great is that, according to some doctors, these apps are to blame for a rise in STIs.

“Thanks to Grindr or Tinder, you can acquire chlamydia in five minutes,” says Peter Greenhouse, of the British Association for Sexual Health and HIV, and based on stats he’s not exactly exaggerating.

In England, both gonorrhea and syphilis cases have increased. From 2012 to 2013, cases of gonorrhea have gone up by 15 percentand cases of syphilis have gone up by 9 percent. Considering we live in a time where we should all not only know about the importance of safe sex, but have easy access to it, these numbers are pretty depressing.

In fact, according to Public Health England, the apps were the direct cause of six outbreaks of syphilis. Keep in mind, that’s not six cases of syphilis, but six outbreaks, meaning each outbreak affected a lot more than must one person. The apps, as Dr. Ian Simms of the Public Health England points out, were enabling “hyper-efficient transmission” of the infections. In other words, it was spreading like wildfire.

Having an active sex life is awesome, but not using protection during all this activity is just stupid. If you’re smart enough to know how to download an app, use it effectively enough to find some action, then you’re certainly smart enough to know where to get some condoms and how to use them. Seriously. If you can’t be responsible enough to have safe sex every single time then maybe someone needs to take away your phone. That’s right. We’ll just take that phone right away from you. Then how will you feel?

But in all seriousness, gonorrhea and syphilis are not STIs to treat lightly. Both gonorrhea and chlamydia can lead to infertility, and syphilis, can result in blindness, madness, and even death. You know who had syphilis? Adolf Hitler, Benito Mussolini, and Idi Amin just to name a few—not exactly the most stellar example of humanity. So, do yourself and every person you sleep with a favor, and use a condom. Every. Single. Time.

This article originally appeared on YourTango

More like this from YourTango: 

 



5 STDs You Should Worry About More Than Ebola

October 29, 2014

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photo via flickr

Yes, yes, yes, you should be very concerned about Ebola… if you’ve traveled to Liberia recently. (Or know someone who has.) But you should be very concerned about STDs… if you’ve had sex recently. Especially if you’re not in a long-term, monogamous relationship with someone who would never cheat on you (and, sorry folks, there’s no guarantee of this in life).

We’re going to go out on a limb here and say that a lot more of you have had sex than have been to Liberia. Yes? In which case, below are five infectious diseases you should focus on instead. Because more than half of all of us will get at least one STD at some point in our lives.

So remember: Practice safer sex, and get tested regularly, by your doctor, or at your local Planned Parenthood Health Center. Oh, and get a flu shot, too! Because that’s one thing that’s definitely more likely to kill Americans than Ebola this year.

1. Human Papillomavirus (HPV)
HPV is massively “popular” in this country (you probably have it, actually), and it’s a tricky little STD: it takes a second to contract, but a lifetime to understand. So check out the easy-to-digest video we made that tells you everything you need to know about HPV. And browse all our posts on HPV here.

2. Herpes
Got herpes? You might. More than one in five Americans is infected and less than a third of them know it. This is in part because it is so easily spread, even when there are no visible symptoms. Yowza! Browse all of our posts on herpes here to learn more.

3. HIV & AIDS
The biggie. The grand poobah. The mother lode. The leader of the pack. The only STD in history to get its own Broadway musical. The scary monster that really could be under your bed. It might seem like old news, and this is bad news, because old news usually means new nonchalance. And about 1 in 6 people with HIV don’t know they are infected, after all. Read up on HIV & AIDS at Planned Parenthood.

4. Pelvic Inflammatory Disease (PID)
Not an STD in itself, this is rather a common and serious complication of some STDs — it develops when an infection (usually untreated chlamydia or gonorrhea) spreads up from the vagina and cervix into the fallopian tubes, uterus, and ovaries. More than one million U.S. women get PID every year. Often, there are no symptoms, and, left untreated, it can lead to infertility, ectopic pregnancy, and chronic pain. Read more at Planned Parenthood.

5. Chlamydia & Gonorrhea
Yes, chlamydia and gonorrhea are easily treated and cured, but the symptoms for these two STDs can be easily missed, or easily mistaken for something else, like a yeast infection. And if you don’t treat these two, they can both cause serious complications, especially in women (see PID, above). Read more about the complications of these two STDs at Planned Parenthood.

… So, next booty call, or next one-night stand, or next time you sleep with someone new, think about asking them to discuss their sexual history — when they were last tested, what STDs they have had or still have, if they always use condoms, etc. And then, only then, may you ask them if they’ve traveled to Liberia recently!

MORE LIKE THIS ON EMandLO.com



EMandLO.com Is Giving Away Free Trojan Condoms!

April 18, 2014

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sponsored post

In honor of STI Awareness Month, we’ve teamed up with Trojan to offer one lucky person:

  • 2 10-count boxes of Trojan’s NEW Double Ecstasy Condoms
  • 1 Midnight Collection package (1 vibrating ring, 4 Pure Ecstasy condoms, 4 lubricant packets)

YOUR CHANCES OF WINNING ARE GREAT RIGHT NOW!

All you have to do is one or more of the following between now and EOD EST on April 21st, 2014. The more you do, the greater your chances of winning!:

* (Let us know you’ve retweeted/shared by mailing us a screenshot of each FB post/Tweet: on a Mac, Command+Shiftshift+4 lets you drag and capture an area of the screen; click here for instructions on taking screenshots on either a PC or a Mac)

 

In the meantime, brush up on your condom knowledge and start wrapping up!:

  • How To Use A CondomThis brief, informative how-to video gives viewers a fun and interesting look at the exact way to get it on before you “get it on.”
  • How Condoms Are MadeThis exclusive factory tour takes viewers on an unprecedented look “beneath the sheets” at a Trojan condom factory, and a condom’s journey from the conveyor belt to your nightstand.
  • History of CondomsThis short documentary includes expert commentary on the history and creation of the condom, starting from its humble beginnings, to the innovations we see on today’s shelves.
  • New Condom iPhone AppTrojan is adding a little protection to everyone’s “hardware” with a new iPhone app, which includes sexual health trivia and a condom selection tool.

Prepare to have your mind blown by these stats (and check out the infographic below):

  • There are 65 million people in the U.S. who are living with an incurable STI
  • Each year, STIs lead to infertility in more than 24,000 women in the US
  • One in two sexually active persons will contact an STD/STI by age 25
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are more than 110 million STIs among men and women in the U.S. This includes both new and existing infections.
  • YET – only 1 in 3 sex acts among singles includes a condom

WHAT?!?! That’s outrageous. Especially since we’ve been promoting condom use and other safer sex acts since forever! Have we even made a dent? Help us make more of one and win some awesome condoms in the process!

We’ve



April Is STI Awareness Month – Want Some Free Condoms?!?

April 8, 2014

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sponsored post

Prepare to have your mind blown by these stats (and check out the infographic below):

  • There are 65 million people in the U.S. who are living with an incurable STI
  • Each year, STIs lead to infertility in more than 24,000 women in the US
  • One in two sexually active persons will contact an STD/STI by age 25
  • Centers for Disease Control and Prevention estimates that there are more than 110 million STIs among men and women in the U.S. This includes both new and existing infections.
  • YET – only 1 in 3 sex acts among singles includes a condom

WHAT?!?! That’s outrageous. Especially since we’ve been promoting condom use and other safer sex acts since forever! Have we even made a dent? Help us make more of one and win some awesome condoms in the process!

We’ve teamed up with Trojan to offer one lucky winner:

  • 2 10-count boxes of Trojan’s NEW Double Ecstasy Condoms
  • 1 Midnight Collection package (1 vibrating ring, 4 Pure Ecstasy condoms, 4 lubricant packets)

All you have to do is one or more of the following between now and EOD EST on April 21st, 2014. The more you do, the greater your chances of winning!:

* (Let us know you’ve retweeted/shared by mailing us a screenshot of each FB post/Tweet: on a Mac, Command+Shiftshift+4 lets you drag and capture an area of the screen; click here for instructions on taking screenshots on either a PC or a Mac)

In the meantime, brush up on your condom knowledge and start wrapping up!:

  • How To Use A CondomThis brief, informative how-to video gives viewers a fun and interesting look at the exact way to get it on before you “get it on.”
  • How Condoms Are MadeThis exclusive factory tour takes viewers on an unprecedented look “beneath the sheets” at a Trojan condom factory, and a condom’s journey from the conveyor belt to your nightstand.
  • History of CondomsThis short documentary includes expert commentary on the history and creation of the condom, starting from its humble beginnings, to the innovations we see on today’s shelves.
  • New Condom iPhone AppTrojan is adding a little protection to everyone’s “hardware” with a new iPhone app, which includes sexual health trivia and a condom selection tool.


 



EMandLO.com Ranked 6TH in STDcheck.com’s Top 100 Love Blogs!

February 20, 2014

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sponsored post

In 2012, GetSTDtested.com released their list of the Top 100 Sex&Love&Dating Blogs, and our little ol’ humble home site EMandLO.com not only made the top 10, we were ranked third! This year, STDcheck.com has done their own TOP 100 SEX, LUST & LOVE BLOGS and we made their top 10! (Excuse us while we do The Running Man.) But this time we only got 6th place (we wererobbed!). Like before, we know this is just a clever marketing technique by STDcheck.com to drum up some buzz and get some shout outs, but we don’t care — we’re suckers for flattery! We’re also suckers for safer sex, regular STD testing for the sexually active, and open communication about one’s health history.

So hell yes, we’ll happily give STDcheck.com a shout out. And yes, we’ll put their badge of honor on our site. And damn straight, we’ll shamelessly collect the 10 $50 bribes gift card prizes to STDcheck.com they’re handing out to all the winners (to be dolled out to friends and readers in some TBD fashion).

But first, we had some quick questions, which STDcheck.com quickly answered:

Are you guys affiliated with GetSTDtested.com (they did almost the same thing two years ago)? And if not, how are you different?

We are not affiliated with getSTDtested.com, but we are also a health services provider. We provide STD testing that can be purchased online, but our services are more affordable than our competitors, our testing is more comprehensive (we’re the only service offering Hepatitis A in our complete panel), and we are able to offer an RNA test for the early detection of HIV that can actually identify the virus itself (not just HIV antibodies) as soon as 9 days after exposure. We try to provide the absolute best testing available. We also focus a lot more on awareness. We have a non-profit program that gives free HIV tests to any college student in the country, we partner with activists and organizations that focus on prevention and education.

How does the gift thing work? Do we have to put up the button or will a post about the contest and your site work too? What are the gifts? How can you offer that to so many bloggers?

The gift cards are sent out once the badge is on your site. Part of our goal with the Top 100 list is to increase awareness about the importance of getting tested among a wider audience than what we currently have, so we do ask that the badge be displayed, although blog posts are awesome, too. We allocated funds to do this because we felt that the long term results were worth it — increased awareness of why it’s important to get tested, an open dialogue among an audience who is comfortable with sexuality, a way to let people know how convenient and private the STD testing process can be, and (hopefully) new customers who can benefit the services we offer.

MORE FROM EMandLO.com:



Teen Sex? Planned Parenthood Has an App for That

November 19, 2013

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Actually, make that nine apps. Planned Parenthood knows better than anyone that most teenagers in this country don’t get the sex ed they need. Some schools continue to preach abstinence-only education, despite the fact that research has shown this leads to less safe sex, when the sex finally occurs (and in most cases it doesn’t eventually occur), and others offer a kind of lackluster, outdated program that’s easy for teens to tune out because it seems so irrelevant to their own lives (flour and egg babies are cute and all, but…).

Figuring that teens like (a) mobile apps and (b) learning about sex on their own, with no one present to giggle at how little (or how much) they know, Planned Parenthood designed nine apps for a range of ages: “Awkward or Not?” encourages teens to talk to their parents about dating and sex, complete with a pre-written prompt at the end of the quiz to send directly to their parents… which promises to be both truly mortifying and ultimately incredibly helpful, possibly even life-saving.

Various other apps let teens discover their “love personality”; give them tools to avoid peer pressure and postpone sex until they’re ready; help them set life goals, both short-term and long-term (everything from sex to career); and, finally, give them the tools to approach sex safely, when they’re ready for it. Because, yes, contrary to what the abstinence-only movement would like you to believe, even Planned Parenthood wants teens to wait to have sex. And it gives them real reasons to wait: Because sex feels better, both physically and emotionally, when you’re ready. Because an unwanted pregnancy could impact your short-term and long-term life goals. Because safer sex requires a cooperative, educated partner that you trust.

Sure, we know that teens are bound to roll their eyes at some of this stuff, but that’s what teens do — especially when the subject is sex. But where a parent may give up — out of embarrassment or frustration or ignorance — the app just keeps on going, and nobody but the teen needs to know that he or she is actually paying attention.

Got a teen in your life? You can check out all nine apps here.

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What Is the C-Spot?

September 24, 2013

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This is the final part of our series on Top Body “Spots” that any self-respecting, shall we say, “anatomy enthusiast” should be familiar with. Even if this is old news to you, it’s always a good idea to brush up

The C-Spot

a.k.a. The Clitoris, a.k.a. the female penis

Yes, some people actually call the clitoris the C-spot, but if you ask us, that seems to be pushing it (no pun intended). There’s no shame in that word — own it!

Contrary to popular belief, the clitoris is more than just that little nubbin you see or feel protruding near the top of the labia – that’s just the tip of the iceberg. No, the clitoris is actually a complex organ of nerve-rich erectile tissue (just like the penis) extending throughout the genital area. We’re talking four inches long (one inch shy of the average penis, but proportional to her body size) in the shape of a wishbone. During arousal, this tissue becomes engorged and erect, just like the penis – it’s just more difficult to notice in women because most of the erection occurs internally. Another difference in erections: a woman’s has a much better chance of lasting long after orgasm, hence her ability to achieve subsequent orgasms more easily than a man.

Below are the various parts of the clitoris — study up because there will be a quiz!

clitoral head, tip, or glans: The little “handle” of the wishbone which protrudes externally at the junction where the top of the labia connect – what most people usually think of when they think “clitoris”. Some clitoral heads extend out like an erect nipple, while shyer ones hide under the hood. (The more aroused she becomes, the more retracted the clitoral head may become as the ligament supporting it tightens with sexual tension.) One of the best ways to arouse the entire clitoris is to provide stimulation to this head/tip, not only because it’s external, but because it has more nerve endings than any other part of the body, male or female. (See clittage, p TK.)

clitoral hood: The female equivalent of foreskin: the clitoral shaft runs under it and the clitoral head sticks out of it. The hood is created by the junction of the outer edges of the inner lips meeting above the clitoral head.

clitoral shaft: You can often feel the short (i.e. less than an inch long) shaft of the clitoris underneath the hood as it burrows into the genitalia, first in the direction of the pubic mound, before it turns sharply back downward and splits into two long wishbone legs.

clitoral legs: The two slim prongs of the clitoral wishbone which run underneath the labia and flank either side of the urethra, the urethral sponge, and the vagina. Like the clitoral head and shaft, the legs are made of erectile tissue which stiffens during arousal.

clitoral bulbs: In addition to the wishbone, there are two eggplant-shaped bulbs that run along the inside of the clitoral legs, beneath the inner labia and around the sides of the urethra, the urethral sponge, and the vagina. This erectile tissue also becomes engorged during arousal, puffing up even more than the legs, and causing the inner labia to balloon.

Further Reading on the Clitoris from EMandLO.com:



Sex After Miscarriage & Stillbirth

September 19, 2013

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Reconceiving Loss is a new online resource for people coping with losing a pregnancy or an infant. There are articles on health and wellbeing, yoga and meditation suggestions, and opportunities for healing through creative expression (e.g. writing, photography, even playlist compilation). One of their contributors, clinical psychologist Dr. Julie Bindeman, recently wrote about sex after loss for the site, which we’re reposting here with permission. Be sure to check out Reconceiving Loss and recommend it to any friends who may be in need. Miscarriage and stillbirth happen more than most realize — addressing this reality openly is good step forward.

 

Re-conceiving Intimacy

by Dr. Julie Bindeman, Psy-D

 

Among the many losses couples face when they lose a pregnancy or an infant is the feeling of being sexually safe. Prior to a loss, sex and expressions of love occurred naturally and spontaneously.  Intimacy is no exception to a “before” and “after” designation as so many other things become post loss.

Primary to sex and intimacy being such a loaded arena is that this particular act is directly causal in bearing children.  Even the nursery rhyme specifies the order: “first comes love, then comes marriage, then comes baby in the baby carriage.”  For some, having sex after a loss is petrifying as it might create a pregnancy, which might end up in another loss.  In a lot of instances, a woman’s body might not feel comfortable to share due to surgery, childbirth, or her self-perception of what her body looks like. Many baby-loss moms feel as if their bodies have betrayed them by not being able to hold onto the pregnancy, thus they punish themselves by not seeking out anything that might feel good to that body.

Grief is a winding road, so for some, sex feels too normal, and not “right” for a grieving couple to engage in.  Ironically, for others, sex is the language that the couple is able to speak to one another, especially if talking about the loss is too painful. The gulf that can be expanded for a grieving couple can seem unbridgeable and exponential, so the very concept of sexual relations again can appear to be almost foreign.

How do couples bridge that gap? How do they enjoy one another again?  The answer, to most things in grief, is slowly and with time. How much time depends on the individuals in a couple as there is no set amount.  For many women, sex and arousal is not a switch that can be turned on and off.  Rather, it has to be nurtured. This can be done by starting slow. Talking. Dating. Recommitting to one another as a couple. Build intimacy from there.  Hormones can play a part in emotions in addition to the grief feelings, so if both decide to try for lovemaking, use lubricant, go slow (again), and communicate.

Eventually, sex for enjoyment might shift to sex for baby making. The idea of “trying again” is also scary as it can feel as if you stop caring about the baby that you lost, or that you are “over it”. Know that you are not forgetting your baby if you enjoy yourself. You are not forgetting your baby by trying to expand your family.  Many families wonder when they should start to try again. A basic rule of thumb is that when the fear of loss is outweighed by desire to have a child.

 

Reconceiving Loss is a resource center for coping with pregnancy and infant loss.