Raising Awareness of Ontario’s Growing Gender Wage Gap Through Equal Pay Day 2016
April 19th, 2016 marks a day we’d rather not celebrate; it’s Equal Pay Day in Ontario.
Equal Pay Day is the day of the year when women in Ontario have worked enough to earn what men earned by the end of 2015. In other words, at a 31.5% gender pay gap, women have to work for 15.5 months to equal what men make in 12 (that’s an additional 3.5 months). The gender pay gap is even greater for women who are racialized, Indigenous, immigrants or temporary migrants, disabled, or LGBTQ.
Equal Pay Day in Canada
Across Canada, six provinces–Manitoba, New Brunswick, Nova Scotia, Prince Edward Island, Ontario, and Quebec–have enacted specific pay equity legislation while Saskatchewan, Newfoundland, and British Columbia have developed policy frameworks for negotiating pay equity. All provinces and Territories across Canada have human rights legislation which prohibits discrimination in employment. Federally, Canada’s first pay equity legislation was enacted in the federal jurisdiction in 1977 under section 11 of the Canadian Human Rights Act (CHRA). In 2004, a federal Task Force released a report with key recommendations including a new stand-alone equal pay legislation, but no such law has been developed.
Meanwhile, in Ontario…
In Ontario, the gender wage gap in 2011 (the most recent year of available data) was 31.5% and up from 28% in 2010. That means women made 68.5 cents to every dollar a man made in 2011, down from 72 cents in 2010. For that same period, men’s average annual earnings in Ontario rose by $200, while women’s average annual earnings decreased by $1,400. The wage gap is highest for women ages 35-44 (38.5%), while women who are racialized, first generation immigrants, or aboriginal fair worse than their male counterparts (24%, 27%, and 40% fewer earnings respectively). Taken over a lifetime, this means that women must work an extra 14 years and retire at 79 to retire with the same income as would a man at the standard retirement age of 65!
Wearing Red, and Other Awareness-raising Activities
In April 2014, the Ontario government agreed to hold Equal Pay Day on an annual basis to draw attention to the gender wage gap crisis in Ontario. Since 2013, Equal Pay Day has come exceedingly later, from April 9th, to the 16th in 2014, and now the 19th this year. There are many Equal Pay Day activities happening across Ontario and online. Supporters are encouraged to wear red to demonstrate that discriminatory pay gaps keep women “in the red,” and to share the hashtag #EPD2016 on social media.
In Ottawa, supporters will be gathering at the corner of Albert and Metcalfe Streets at 4:30pm - 5:30pm to hand out stickers and buttons. Further details about Equal Pay Day and the gender wage gap in Ontario can be found at http://equalpaycoalition.org/
Sexy Christmas Gift Guide
Christmas might not be the best time to give a partner a big ole dildo - especially when gifts are opened in front of the family - but that doesn’t mean you’re stuck giving gift cards and hand knitted sweaters. There is a way to be subtlety sexy with your gifts. We’ve rounded up the best sexy Christmas gifts and stocking stuffers that are the gift giving equivalent of a wink and a raised eyebrow. Feel free to conveniently leave this page open for your lover to find.
It looks like a candle, but it is so, so much more. No one will raise an eyebrow at a simple little candle, unless they happen to turn it over and read the suggestive name - our favourite is “Vanilla Fetish” by Shunga ($21.99). It burns nice and slow, giving you lots of time to get in the mood. And as the candle burns, not only does it waft a deliciously lush vanilla scent onto the air, it also melts into yummy, silky massage oil.
Screaming O “My Secret Vibrating Mascara”
Mascara is a staple in most women’s make up case. So buying a woman mascara would not arouse (ha!) any suspicion…but this little vibe will certainly arouse something. The little silicone tip seeks out all the right places, and packs a big punch for its size. Perfect to toss in a purse “just in case”! And at only $14.99, it’s a win-win.
Click here to purchase.
Body Spa Vibrating Mesh Sponge
It looks just like an average loofah. And it could be - at least according to any prying eyes. Even the packaging is deceivingly generic. But hidden inside the fluffy mesh folds is a little pouch that perfectly fits the included bullet vibe ($19.95). The mesh adds an interesting textual element to a standard favourite: the shower orgasm.
Click here to purchase.
A robe is the perfect way to gift your lover “lingerie” without the embarrassment factor. Silk is undeniably sexy - not only does it drape the body seductively, it also feel fantastic against the skin. Match the style to the receiver - lace details or florals for a girly girl, darker colours for a more masculine touch, or an animal print pattern for the wild child. Check out Nordstrom’s for cute colorus and patterns.
Sex Toy Jewelry
This looks like a gorgeous pendant… and it is! But it also double as a clit vibe. The vibration is intense along the tip, and just enough to tease along the length. Wearing your sex toy might seem strange, but it is oddly titillating (pun intended). It even comes in a 24k gold option, for extra luxury ($69-149). Purchase through Babeland to get the real deal.
Using Anal Toys
Anal sex can be a treasure trove of pleasure. Maybe you’ve already explored anal sex (and if you haven’t, check out our article!). Maybe not. Maybe you’re just curious about ways to go about anal play - beads, plugs, vibrators, dildos… there is certainly a lot of choice. Butt plugs are a popular first toy for anal play beginners.
So, what exactly is a butt plug?
A butt plug is a toy that is specifically designed to be inserted into the anus: it has a smaller tip that increases in size to the base, with a flayed end. That flayed end is crucial - that’s what stops the toy from going too far into your butt - yes, that is possible! They can be made with a variety of material: silicone, glass, rubber, vinyl, etc.
How do you choose a butt plug?
For beginners, it is recommended that you start with a small size. Many stores sell “kits” that come with plugs of various sizes that you can work up to as you get more comfortable.
As mentioned above, plugs come in various materials, but we recommend that you purchase a toy in a soft, smooth material like high grade silicone that is both soft and easy to clean. Make sure there are no rips, tears, or sharp edges that could tear the delicate lining of the anus.
We recommend the Little Flirt Butt Plug by Tantus - billed as the least intimidating butt plug for beginners!
For more advanced anal play, consider adding some vibration to your plug.
Tips for Using a Butt Plug
- Lube: Just like with any other kind of anal play, lube is absolutely crucial. The anus does not self-lubricate, so apply your lube of choice liberally. Apply more before removal, since things can get dry quickly. (We recommend this lube.)
- Lots of foreplay: As we discussed in our article on anal sex, the anus is designed to stay tightly closed. Get good and horny before attempting to insert a butt plug.
- Leave it in for only as long as you’re comfortable: Some people like to have a butt plug inside them for the entire duration of sex (or even throughout the day), while others prefer it only for a minute or two. Do whatever is comfortable for you.
Have fun. If you’re not having fun, or it hurts, or you decide you are uncomfortable halfway through, stop. This should be a pleasurable and exciting experience for both parties. If it isn’t, don’t do it.
aka Is it Normal to Have Hair on My Nipples?!
The short answer: YES. It is normal.
We have hair follicles around our nipples - you might have noticed very soft, downy-like hairs growing there. But some women also experience longer, darker, and courser hair growth around their nipples. Totally normal! Even Dita Von Teese has nipple hair.
Hair growth tends to be related to hormonal changes - puberty, pregnancy, menstruation, menopause. Some women are more sensitive to the cycle of testosterone in our bodies, and may experience an increase in hair growth when testosterone levels are at their highest.
When is nipple hair NOT normal?
** Abnormal growth is nipple hair is rarely the only symptom of these conditions, so don’t be too worried if the only issue you experience is the nipple hair alone.
Hirsutism: excessive hair growth on the face and body. According to drugs.com: “Hirsutism can be caused by abnormally high levels of androgens or abnormal stimulation of hair follicles even when androgen levels are normal.” This condition can also be caused by certain drugs (like birth control or body building steroids).
Polycystic ovary syndrome - a condition characterized by high androgen levels (“male” hormones), missed or irregular periods, and small fluid filled cysts in the ovaries. The high adnrogen levels may stimulate excess hair growth in areas such as the nipples (similar to hirsutism). Other symptoms may include infertility, weight gain, acne, pelvic pain, and depression.
What if you want to get rid of it?
That’s a completely personal choice. Feel free to leave your nipple hair be. But if you would rather not, then you have a few removal options.
- Pluck: Use sharp, slanted tweezers and pull the skin around the hair as taut as possible. Then firmly grasp the hair with the tweezers are pull quickly out. (Just like eyebrows!) Because of the nerve endings and “thin” skin around you nipples, you’ll likely feel some stinging.
- Shave: Make sure your razor is fresh. Hold your fingers over your nipple with one hand, pulling the skin tight. Use the other hand to gently skim the razor over the offending hair. This is a much riskier option because of how sensitive the skin in the area is.
DO NOT USE NAIR (or similar products) ON YOUR NIPPLES.
In the words of Louise Hung from xojane:
Oh, yeah, sure, the hair withered and melted and fell out, but I thought my nipples might, too. They were red, inflamed, bumpy and — for some reason — erect. I walked around for days with major titty hard-ons that caused me to grit my jaw and flinch every time something awful like cotton came into contact with them
Most nipple hair is totally normal. If it bothers you, pluck those suckers out!
Can women orgasm in their sleep?
Most people are aware that men have nocturnal emissions (aka wet dreams) – the evidence in the morning is pretty clear. But do women have wet dreams?
Although we may not be left with sticky sheets, we can most definitely experience orgasm during sleep - so yes, women have wet dreams!
In a landmark study in 1953, Alfred Kinsey found that by age 45, 37% of women in the sample had experienced a dream resulting in orgasm. (We like those odds…) And it wasn’t just a one-off (ha!) experience: women who experienced these “sleep-gasms” did so three or four times per year. Interestingly, a more recent 1985 study found the same percentage of the women involved – 37% - had experienced nocturnal emissions.
What is a Sleep-gasm?
It is an orgasm.
Orgasms that occur during sleep are essentially the same as orgasms that occur during wakefulness.
Typically, orgasms occur during “deep” sleep stages and REM sleep. That makes sense: during deep sleep, blood flow is directed towards the muscles – increased blood flow to the genital region mimics what occurs when you get turned on.
And in fact, the increase in vaginal blood flow that occurs during some REM events is identical to the increase in vaginal blood flow that occurs during erotic stimulation when awake.
That also means that nocturnal emissions may not be the direct result of a sexual dream – it could just be the body reaching a physically aroused state during REM sleep, and using orgasm as a natural release of that arousal. That being said, typically sleep orgasms occur during sexual dreams.
The vagina may lubricate, which may be the only evidence that an orgasm occurred during sleep. Some women report that the orgasm wakes them from sleep.
Why Am I Having Orgasms in My Sleep?
Some evidence suggests that
“Positive attitudes toward and knowledge of nocturnal orgasms, sexual liberalism, and waking sexually excited from sleep (without experiencing orgasm) were the most important predictors of nocturnal orgasm experience”
So having sexy dreams that result in orgasm doesn’t mean you’re unhappy with your sex life, or that you’re not getting enough sex.
It could just be the result of your sexually liberal brain in REM sleep!
Either way, it’s a very common phenomenon. (And not to worry if you DON’T have sleep-gasms – they aren’t the rainbow unicorn of sex.)
* CAUTION: This post may serve as a trigger for some individuals..
This is the second post in FYV’s “The 4 W’s of Rape Fantasy” Series. This article seeks to address the “what” aspect: what exactly are rape fantasies? Do women who have them really want to be raped?
- Penetration, no matter how slight, of the vagina or anus with any body part or object, or oral penetration by a sex organ of another person, without the consent of the victim.(According to the FBI)
- A sexual act that takes place without proper consent.
That doesn’t sound like fodder for fantasies.
Yet one study in the Journal of Sex Research that evaluated 355 female undergraduates found that
62% of women have had a rape fantasy…For women who have had rape fantasies, the median frequency of these fantasies was about 4 times per year, with 14% of participants reporting that they had rape fantasies at least once a week
Another study from the same journal that evaluated current research on rape fantasies found that
for 9% to 17% of women these are a frequent or favorite fantasy experience.
But what actually is a “rape fantasy”?
First of all, the term “rape fantasy” is not entirely accurate.
Rape in real life is an awful, traumatic, sometimes life threatening experience.
What many women fantasize about is “safe” rape - an oxymoron, to be sure. It essentially means that the dominating partner is driven beyond control by lust or need for the “victim”. There is no element of actual danger, so the traumatic elements are replaced by purely sensual ones.
- Thus the fantasy is not about actually being coerced, of actual forced submission, but the illusion of forced submission.
The fantasy offers validation - the dominating partner is so consumed by the desirability of the “victim” that they are willing to forgo traditional, socially-acceptable forms of sexual interaction simply to satisfy this intense and overwhelming sexual urge.
Fantasy allows us to explore the outer reaches of our sexuality.
In these fantasies, women can experience their sexuality in a raw and primal way, without the very real physical and psychological dangers associated with actual rape. In this way, “rape fantasies” are actually about willing surrender, as opposed to coerced surrender.
In fact, as Leon Seltzer, Ph.D explains in his article ‘Don’t Call Rape Fantasies”, women in rape fantasies retain their power: their own desirability has provoked a response that they then allow to come to fruition.
The fantasies themselves may include things like:
- physical restraint
- not being able to see the dominating partner
- not knowing the dominant partner
- ripping clothing
- rapid penetration
- darkness or a “dangerous” location
… all things regularly found in the genre of romance novels. The key element is that the submission is not associated with real danger, only the illusion of danger.
WOMEN WHO HAVE RAPE FANTASIES DO NOT ACTUALLY DESIRE TO BE RAPED IN REAL LIFE.
They desire the illusion of coercion into powerful sexual interactions where they are dominated by another, without any real peril.
In the next article in this series, FYV discusses the scientific theories on why women have rape fantasies.
How To Choose A Corset
I first came across corset training several years ago when researching ways to have better posture. I work at a computer all day and find myself sitting slumped over more often than not. During the course of researching how to choose a corset, I learned that corsets can also be used to reduce the size of your waist.
I can be skinnier?!?!
That settled it; I was going to give corset training a try! But where to start? This article outlines considerations to make when buying a corset, as well as a special Free Your V discount code from Alter Ego Clothing for those of you who are in the marketing for your own corset!)
1: Buy a good quality corset:
Corsets have come in and out of style since the Victorian age, so it was no surprise that there were thousands of options to choose from. Attractive and well reviewed corset choices ranged from $130 to over $1500. While I admit to spending quite a long time fantasizing about the $1450 USD Sian Hoffman Cleo Slave Suspender Corset, I decided that my first corset should likely be more practical.
Many of the lower priced corsets did not have the steel bones that my research told me was necessary to achieve waist slimming, so I focused my attention on brands that did. Amidst the thousands of reviews online, Northbound Leather, Alter Ego Clothing (ACE) and Coco De Mer emerged as top contenders.
2: Choose a Style:
An overbust corset covers the breasts, while an underbust corset stops just below them. Underbust corsets are far easier to buy off the rack than overbust corsets as they go by the waist measurement only, rather than waist and bust. If you are planning on wearing your corset underneath your clothing an underbust corset is far less obvious than an overbust corset.
Personally, I decided to go with an underbust corset, since they seemed less restrictive, in terms of both movement and what I could wear with it.
3: Look For a Steel Busk:
Look for a steel busk in the description of the corset, as they can stand up to the pressure created by drawing in your waist. Steel busks are stronger than zippers or hook and eye tape. They are metal hardware fasteners consisting of loops and knobs sewn inside the corset which open and close the center front of the garment.
4: Choose a Size:
I was told that a corset to be used for waist training should be around 6 inches smaller than your natural waist. My waist measured at 27.5 inches, which meant that I was to buy a size 22 corset (they only came in even numbers). I suggest posting in Waist Training 101 on Facebook to get some help from their mods when choosing a size for the first time.
Instantly upon putting it on I looked small in my waist. I whipped out the measuring tape, only to be shocked that my waist now measured 26 inches. The reflection in the mirror seemed so much slimmer, but the reality was the difference was of just over a single inch.
I started to get really excited, because, to me, this meant that I would be able to achieve drastic results. I already loved how my 1 inch smaller frame looked, and I had heard many stories about women losing several inches off their waist within a few months.
Here it is: all you have to do it put in the code freeyourv when you go through the check out process on Alter Ego’s website. Be sure to check out their signature product, the Waist Trainer Steel Boned Corset.
Alter Ego Clothing Discount Code Corset Waist Training
I will be documenting my waist training journey for Free Your V. Click here to check out the other articles on corset waist training!
This guest poster is not a doctor, nor is she advocating that anyone try corseting before weighing the decision with a medical professional. While some medical professionals say that wearing a corset has no risks, others say that the risks are the same as wearing other constrictive devices, such as Spanx or skinny jeans; skin irritation and restriction to the area. Free Your V decided to post this series after reading Dr. Ann Beaumont‘s take on modern corset use:
“The corset controversy spans centuries, as it had defenders in both camps. Opponents cited that dislodged organs caused various health issues, and proponents who claimed that even the most extreme forms of lacing were without consequence for health. As evidence was never gathered in a scientific manner, it is difficult, but not impossible, to find a relationship between the two.”
Most people have heard of cosmetic surgery for your nose, your tummy, your boobs… but what about your genitals?
There are actually several types of cosmetic surgery available for women wanting to modify their genitals in some way.
Purpose: To tighten the vagina.
What Does the Surgery Entail?: Incisions are made to the vulvovaginal muscle structure (either with a laser or, more traditionally, a scalpel) in order to knit the muscles and soft tissue together, and shorten them. The vaginal opening can be made smaller by removing excess “vaginal lining” (the mucosa layer). The surgery is typically done in an outpatient facility as a “day surgery” - patients are usually sent home the same day.
Average Cost: $3500 - $5000+
*To see a labeled photo of female genital anatomy, click here!
Purpose: To reduce the size of the labia,, or to “correct” asymmetry in the lips
What Does the Surgery Entail?: Through various techniques, a section of tissue is cut out from the labia - generally the labia minora, although the tissues is occasionally taken from the labia majora. The tissue can be taken from the edge, or the thickest part of the lips.The loose edges are stitched up. Some clinics offer the“Barbie” treatment, where most - or all - of the inner lips are removed, in order to create a single, tight line. Labiaplasty can be performed under general or local anesthesia, depending on the complexity of the procedure.
Average Cost: $4000+
Vagionoplasty and Labiaplasty are the two most common procedures. But there are more procedures out there:
- Hymenoplasty: “restoring” the hymen - with a membrane created from a flap of existing tissue with its own blood supply, or an artificial membrane without its own blood supply
- Clitoral hood reduction: reducing the amount of tissue covering the head of the clitoris
- Labia puffing: injection of artificial filler into the labia tissue, or grafting of fat from other parts of the body to inject into the labia lips
Risks of Genital Cosmetic Surgery
The The Society of Obstetricians and Gynaecologists of Canada produced a policy statement on female genital cosmetic surgery in 2013. Below are five of the more troubling revelations in this comprehensive document:
Evidence is currently lacking for the safety and efficacy of FGCS procedures, most of which have no clearly accepted or consistent definitions.
The labia continue to remodel with childbirth and can again undergo significant change with menopause… No data exists that tracks outcomes through these life transitions
During the normal female sexual response the vagina must be able to dilate and “balloon.” This capacity can be adversely impacted by both physiological processes such as menopause and iatrogenic causes such as cancer treatments, radiation, and surgery.
Urethra, bladder, and bowel are intimate with the vagina, and surgery to the vagina carries inherent risks of compromise of these important structures
Women considering these surgeries should be informed of the risks of the procedure, including bleeding, infection, scarring, dyspareunia, alteration in sensation, pain, wound dehiscence, decrease in sexual pleasure, and possible dissatisfaction with cosmetic or other results. There are no available long-term data on the safety or efficacy of these procedures.
“The SOGC’s position does not support non-medically indicated female genital cosmetic surgery procedures considering the available evidence of efficacy and safety.”
The American College of Obstetricians and Gynecologists released a document with similar warnings.
The risks are serious, and the cosmetic benefits are not well-documented, nor well-studied. The field is not as highly regulated as other cosmetic procedures, and the results are not often clear - especially in the case of “vaginal tightening”.
Obviously, women’s motivations for desiring such cosmetic surgery are varied, and we would never judge a woman’s choices. We respected and appreciated the choice of our previous guest poster to get a breast augmentation. And we recognize that a woman may make a fully informed, conscious decision to undergo elective surgery.
There are risks involved in any elective surgery. But genital cosmetic surgery is a relatively new field, and complications abound.
We aren’t doctors, so if you have questions about surgeries like this, talk to your health care provider.
aka What Having a Fetish Actually Means
Don’t get me wrong, I love shoes. Probably more than the average person. I cannot pass a shoe store without, at the very least, stopping to peer through the window. Sandals, boots, wedges, pumps… I love them all. My shoe collection takes up an inordinate amount of space in my closet. I have purchased shoes that were half a size too small simply because they were so beautiful I had to own them. I love the way I look in a pair of beautiful shoes, and I love the way other women look in a pair of beautiful shoes.
But do I really have a “shoe fetish”?
- an inanimate object worshiped for its supposed magical powers or because it is considered to be inhabited by a spirit.
synonyms: juju, talisman, charm, amulet;
- a course of action to which one has an excessive and irrational commitment.
“he had a fetish for writing more opinions each year than any other justice”
- a form of sexual desire in which gratification is linked to an abnormal degree to a particular object, item of clothing, part of the body, etc.
“Victorian men developed fetishes focusing on feet, shoes, and boots”
I suppose you could argue that definition number 2 might apply here, although that’s a stretch.
The thing is, when most people use the word “fetish”, they are referring to definition number 3: a sexual fetish.
There are plenty of articles out there listing sexual fetishes, intended for people to laugh or sneer at - ooo, isn’t that so weird? Isn’t that so gross? The idea is that fetishizing something like feet is a deviant sexual perversion.
It wasn’t so long ago that homosexuality was considered a deviant sexual perversion.
Think about that.
For many people, certain objects (like clothing) or body parts simply act to increase arousal or pleasure. It isn’t needed, perse, in order to achieve arousal, it just helps light the fire. So most people exhibit a very mild form of fetishism.
For those with true fetishism, the fetishized object is required to obtain sexual gratification. The item or object or body part is often rubbed, smelled, licked, etc to achieve gratification, or the partner is asked to interact with the item or object.
True fetishes can be categorized in two ways (although a fetish could be both):
Form fetish: the shape of the object is important (high heels, feet, etc.)
Media fetish: the material of the object is important (silk, leather, etc.)
So unless you require interaction with a certain object, item, or body part to acheive sexual gratification, you don’t really have a fetish.
Although there are more and more reputable adult stores, not everyone enjoys the idea of aimlessly browsing for sex toys in the company of strangers. Luckily, there’s the Internet. We’ve taken the liberty of compiling the coolest sex toys that you might actually use - so you don’t even have to leave your house! You’re welcome.
1. The We-Vibe 4
Solo or Couple: Both
Why It’s Awesome: There it an app. The shape of the We-Vibe 4 may not fit every couple’s anatomy perfectly enough to be used as it was intended (inside you during intercourse), but the remote capabilities more than make up for that. The vibe can be controlled via a smartphone app from anywhere in the world - suddenly being apart won’t be so hard anymore.
The possibilities are endless…
Buy It Here!
2. Nuo Vibrating Butt Plug by Je Joue
Solo or Couple: Both
Why It’s Awesome: The app. Yup, this one has an app too! Except this toy is specifically designed for anal play. It isn’t so large as to be intimidating for newbies, but offers much satisfaction for those more experienced in anal sex. Smooth, silky, and vibrating - it is the perfect anal toy.
Buy It Here!
3. Leaf Vitality 2
Solo or Couple: Solo
Why It’s Awesome: There are 2 arms - one for the vagina, one for the clit. Although that in itself is wonderful, the greatest thing about this toy is that both arms are controlled separately! Need strong clit vibrations but weaker ones inside? No problem!
Buy It Here!
4. Shunga Edible Body Paint in “Strawberry Wine”
Solo or Couple: Couple
Why It’s Awesome: The flavour is unreal. It doesn’t have the icky, slightly-plasticky candy store fake taste that most flavoured lubes have. The delicious fruity flabour just makes you want to keep on licking… the effects of which your partner will most definitely appreciate. If you’re apprehensive about oral, slather this stuff on and slurp away.
Buy It Here!
5. The UMA by Ju Joue
Solo or Couple: Solo
Why It’s Awesome: Purrrrfectly deep and powerful vibrations, and the best shape for optimal g-spot stimulation without hurting your wrist. It doesn’t require pushing down on the handle to hit that sweet spot, so your wrists will thank you. That shape is so perfect, it even pulls at your g-spot deliciously on the back-stroke, too.
Buy It Here!
6. Melting Candle Massage Oil by Booty Parlour
Solo or Couple: Couple
Why It’s Awesome: It can be lit as a regular candle during a romantic dinner, and by the time you’re in the mood it has melted into a warm, deliciously smooth massage oil. It smells as amazing as it feels, and skin is left silky rather than sticky. Perfect for the slow burn.
Buy It Here!
aka Now You’re Actually Going to Have Anal
You thought about it, you prepared for it (but you didn’t douche, right?!), and now it’s actually time. It’s actually time to put something (a penis, a toy, whatever) into your butt. Obviously you want to make sure this goes well, that it is actually pleasurable for both parties, and that no one is hurt.
The outer anal sphincter (the one you can control) is in a constant state of contraction, designed to keep the anal canal closed. That means that you need to be extremely relaxed and comfortable for those muscles to release. How do you relax? FOREPLAY. Kissing, stroking, petting, whatever gets you to your happy place. This is not a quick operation. Unless you’re relaxed, those muscles are going to want to stay nice and tight.
Your anus isn’t like your vagina: it isn’t designed to stretch and lubricate when you’re aroused. The specialized tissue that lines the anus and anal canal has no hairs, sweat glands, or oil glands, and it contains a larger number of sensory nerves than skin. So without lots of lube to make the area very wet, that tissue is very easily torn (and that will hurt much more than cutting your skin).
If you need more lube, more foreplay, or need to slow things down, SAY SO. This obviously applies to any kind of sexual interaction, but because this may be unfamiliar territory for one or both partners, and because the risk of injury is greater, communication is even more key here. Definitely discuss boundaries before hand. Maybe you even want a safe word!
Don’t Do it Doggy
When most people think of anal sex, they think of getting down on their hands and knees and thrusting their ass to the sky. Sure, that can work. But for the first time, that’s very overwhelming. You’re putting yourself in a very vulnerable position, which may make you nervous. And remember, nervous = tight anus = pain. Try a position where you have equal control of the depth and speed of penetration: spooning, or good ole missionary with your hips lifted (by a pillow, for example.)
Vaginal flora is very particular (which is why we don’t douche, remember?). Introducing things from the anal canal to the vagina is likely to lead to infections. Bacteria that is perfectly healthy in the anal canal is not meant to be in the vagina. So once you’ve put something in your butt (toy, penis, fingers, whatever), avoid putting it in your vagina.
Have fun. If you’re not having fun, or it hurts, or you decide you are uncomfortable halfway through, stop. This should be a pleasurable and exciting experience for both parties. If it isn’t, don’t do it.
aka What the hell is “female ejaculate?!”
You may have seen it in porn, or you may have experienced it yourself: the expelling of copious amounts of liquid through the urethra during orgasm, generally after the stimulation of the front wall of the vagina (aka the “G spot”).
Otherwise known as “squirting”.
The female sexual experience seems to be much more convoluted than the male sexual experience - large parts of our experience is hidden from view, for starters. It is surprising, therefore, that there is controversy surrounding the phenomenon of “female ejaculation”: here is a very visible sign of the sexual experience, and we still aren’t sure what it is or how it is produced! Because there are so many theories out there, we thought we would break them down.
Theory 1: Squirting is Urine
The fluid that is squirted comes from the urethra, so it makes sense that it could be urine. Since urine comes from the bladder, one recent study conducted pelvic ultrasound scans on 7 women after they peed, and during sexual stimulation (both before and after squirting). They found that during sexual stimulation, the recently emptied bladder filled very rapidly, and was empty again after squirting occurred.
To be sure, urine samples were analyzed before sexual stimulation, and after squirting occurred. Urine contains urea, ceratinine, and uric acid: all of which were found in both the samples taken before sexual stimulation, and the squirted fluid. However, prostatic-specific antigen (PSA), a compound secreted by the Skene’s glands (which are often referred to as the “female prostate”), was also found in the squirted fluids of 5/7 of the women.
Why this theory is problematic:
- Many women and their partners report that the fluid that is squirted during orgasm does not smell, look, or taste like urine.
- Women say the sensation of squirting feels nothing like voiding their bladder
- The study used only 7 women - that is a very small sample size
Although the sample size is small, the evidence is extremely convincing. The bladder was empty, filled up again very rapidly, and then was empty again.
Where did all that fluid go, if not out through the urethra?
The fact that the squirted fluid doesn’t smell, look, or taste like urine could be due to the fact that it is extremely diluted - the bladder fills so quickly that there isn’t time for the waste to accumulate in the urine. The highly diluted urine is mixed with PSA from the Skene’s glands when it exits the urethra, which could also contribute to the differing taste and smell.
Theory 2: Squirting is not Urine
The Skenes glands. (Photo from here)
Some studies purport that the fluid squirted during sexual stimulation is produced in the Skene’s glands (the female prostate), and is not, in fact, urine.
According to this study, the glands have long ducts that lead to the urethra. This leads to the possibility that the fluid squirted during sexual stimulation could have been produced in these glands, and travel to the urethra to be ejaculated. In this case, the squirted fluid would be mostly prostate secretions like PSA.
Why this theory is problematic:
- The Skene’s glands are very small - it is unlikely they could produce and store the amount of fluid that is often squirted
As this OB/GYN states:
the Skene’s glands are tiny, about the size of a pea, and are just not physiologically capable of producing any more than a few milliliters of fluid at best
Although the wet spots many women experience are due to the secretions from the Skene’s glands, it seems unlikely that the copious amounts of liquid some women squirt could be produced from these tiny glands.
Theory 3: “Female Ejaculate” is Not Urine, but “Squirt” IS
This theory is mostly semantics. Some studies say that there needs to be a distinction made between the secretions that come from the Skene’s glands, and the large amounts of squirted fluid that comes from the urethra during sexual stimulation.
One study explains:
“…female ejaculation is the release of a very scanty, thick, and whitish fluid from the female prostate, while the squirting is the expulsion of a diluted fluid from the urinary bladder”
Secretions from Skene’s glands = female ejaculate (likely named since the Skene’s glands are often called the “female prostate”): milky, whitish, small quantity.
Squirted fluid = dilute urine: clear, larger quantity.
WHY DO WE CARE?
What do we even want to answer the question: “what is squirting”?
- Many women feel inadequate because they cannot squirt. Understanding what squirting really is might help them realize that it isn’t the magical unicorn of sexual experience.
- In our mind, more research is needed about the female sexual experience in general, so we see this research as a step in the right direction.
That being said, we don’t NEED to care.
If you squirt - is it pleasurable? Is it fun?
Then who cares what the chemical composition of the squirt is, or where it comes from?!
In fact, if it is diluted urine, does that make it any less a part of the sexual experience? (As in: “Oh, it’s just pee. That’s not sexy.”) No, of course not. It is no grosser or more weird than semen.
If it’s pleasurable and fun, keep squirtin! (If it bothers you, or you think it might be indicative of other physiological problems, see your doctor!) If you have never squirted, don’t worry, you’re not any less of a sexual creature.
There is no doubt that 50 Shades of Grey is an international phenomenon. The books, and now the movie, has brought BDSM into the bedrooms of many more people than ever before, but how can you act out these fantasies? We have been exploring the safety surrounding this topic with our BDSM 101 series with Ms Morgan Thorne, but we thought that you could use a little inspiration. We scoured Pinterest, Facebook, and Instagram before we came across this sexy photography series from a team in Ottawa, Canada; how could we not share it with you?
Presenting 50 Shades of Mr. Charette:
The Team Behind The Images:
I discovered my passion for photography thanks to my father; I admire his work enormously. I decided to explore the dimension photographer in January 2015 when I went on a trip to cuba and voila! I became an avid photographer! Also, I discovered my dimension as a model during the last 4 years. I love organizing photoshoots; I am very artistic and always full of ideas. Photography, for me, is passion!
Model and Photographer
I have been a photographer since 2007; I specialize in event and sport photography. Occasionally I model, but I prefer to be behind the camera!
The joy of photography it allows me to express myself—my opinions and beliefs. “Everything has its beauty, everybody has its secret, everyone has its littlThe joy of photography it allows me to express myself—my opinions and beliefs. “Everything has its beauty, everybody has its secret, everyone has its little miracle to reveal. I’m always trying to capture that.” from the present momente miracle to reveal. I’m always trying to capture that.” from the present moment
Freezing the present moment in the form of photography is a real pleasure for me. I have been taking pictures for two years and for me; this is a real passion of mine.
Me a visual art That leaves the bodies Expression about a thousand and one being white as an artistic person I always loved the photo and picture The picture is payable on all forms . Me servant of my visual asset I get a FIND DIFFERENT angles For Models That Which Adds new opportunities for photos.
Orgasms are fantastic.
We could just leave it at that, but you already know that. Let’s go a little deeper; there are some pretty convincing studies out there about the health benefits of orgasms
Orgasms help calm you down, which can lead to better sleep. Climax is followed by the release of certain endorphins that help you to relax.
Orgasms are natural pain-relievers: oxytocin, dopamine, and serotonin levels surge during climax. This both significantly increases your pain tolerance, and acts as a pain-killer. Certain types of headaches seem to be reduced after orgasm, and this is likely why.
Orgasm can help prevent cervical infection and UTIs: during orgasm, the cervix “tents” open - this pulls the mucous lining within the cervix into the vagina. This essentially flushes out the old lining and gets rid of anything trapped in the mucous that shouldn’t be there.
This classic study found the following:
…masturbators had significantly more orgasms, greater sexual desire, higher self-esteem, and greater marital and sexual satisfaction, and required less time to sexual arousal
Who doesn’t want to be calmer, better rested, in less pain, with a healthier cervix and more self esteem?
With those benefits in mind, we are creating:
THE 30 DAY ORGASM CHALLENGE.
- You must orgasm every day, at least once, for 30 days.
That’s it. We honestly don’t care how or where, just that you orgasm at least once a day; It can be a quick thirty second jaunt with a vibrator, or an hour long love fest with your partner. We would love if you kept track of your orgasms: how you felt before, during, and after, how you were brought to orgasm, any other effects you notice during the 30 days.
For those who struggle with climaxing, we will totally accept any kind of sexual pleasure - whether self-love or with a partner - as part of the challenge.
Sometimes it feels like sex (solo or not) takes a back seat to the rest of life. There is hardly enough time in the day to breathe, never mind get aroused (that takes work), and orgasm. But that’s an important part of embracing your sexuality: realizing that you deserve to orgasm. It isn’t just something to do when you have a spare moment.
First of all, we will preface this with the reminder that we despise the use of the word “normal” at Free Your V.
That being said, many woman want to know what the “normal” frequency of masturbation is. We’ve been conditioned to accept that frequent male masturbation is “normal” (and even that men want sex more than women do), but we rarely discuss female masturbation frequencies: how often do most women masturbate? Once in a blue moon? Multiple times per day?
A 2009 study by the National Survey of Sexual Health and Behaviour studied the sexual behaviour (including masturbation) of 5,865 Americans between the ages of 18 and 94. We made our own graph of some of the results of this massive survey.
It is clear from the graph that the frequency of masturbation varies by age.
Regardless of age, the most common frequency appears to be “not in the past year”.
So if you’re in the “>4 times per week” category, you’re probably picking your jaw up off the floor at the moment.
Does this study tell us what is “normal”? Sure. If by “normal” we mean the result with the highest frequency for this particular group of subjects…
But one of the major problems with a lot of studies about sex is that they rely on self-reporting. And a lot of people aren’t totally honest when they report things, or may not have an accurate memory of the events they are reporting.
Be honest: do you remember how many times you masturbated last week? Last year? And if you did remember the exact number, would you share it with a stranger?
We need to be very, very careful when we talk about what is “normal.” If you happen to have a very high sex drive, then perhaps masturbating more than 4 times per week is your normal. If you have a lower sex drive, are really tired, just changed birth control pills, etc. then maybe masturbating once a month is your normal. Frequent (or in-frequent) masturbation is not something to be ashamed of. Do it whenever the urge hits you, and don’t worry about it!
So long as excessive masturbation isn’t negatively effecting the rest of your life, have at it.
AKA why being too tired for sex is a legitimate thing.
It’s isn’t just a lame excuse to avoid sex because you are wearing a t-shirt that looks like it hasn’t been washed in 3 years, or because you had cheese for lunch and are now farting toxic gas, or because your partner is actually having sex with their boss…
Don’t read too far into it. 1 in 4 Americans say they are too sleep deprived for sex.
Think about it: do you want to go to that restaurant you’ve been trying to get a reservation at for about a year when you’ve just had the longest day of your life? No, of course not. You’d be too tired to enjoy it properly: the food just won’t taste as good when you can hardly keep your eyes open. Same principle applies to sex.
Being tired is a distraction.
There are many, many reasons someone might be too tired for sex.
Some of the obvious reasons:
- Mental exhaustion: prolonged stress can zap your physical energy like a leech. Dealing with anxiety at work, for example, means that by the time you get home, you find you hardly have enough energy to put your pajamas on. It also means your mental capacity for sex is much diminished – and yes, sex is mental, too.
- Too much exercise: If you outdid yourself at the gym the other day, you may literally just not have the strength for sex! That applies to highly physical jobs like construction too. Aching muscles and burning limbs are not conducive to sex.
Some of the not so obvious reasons:
So give yourself or your partner a break if one of you is “too tired” – no eye rolling, no big sighs, no dramatic rolling over and brooding. There are legitimate and understandable reasons for being too tired for sex!
Not everyone loves Valentine’s Day. In fact, a lot of people hate it. That’s fine. If you’re one of those people, pretend this post is called “5 Realistic Gifts to Buy Yourself/Your Partner On Any Day You Like”.
Honestly, we just wanted an excuse to browse the internet for sexy products. This post justifies all the afore-mentioned browsing.
We decided on these gifts using 3 very scientific criteria:
- Would we want it? (For ourselves, our partners, or both!)
- Is it easy to send? (No giant sex swings…Those don’t fit in the mail really well.)
- Do I have to re-mortgage my house to purchase it? (The answer should be no.)
So, without further ado, we present 5 realistic Valentine’s Day gifts you might actually buy.
- Naked Fragrance Free Massage Oil
What Is it?: Vegan friendly, paraben free, unscented massage oil made with certified organic ingredients.
Why We Love It: If you have sensitive skin, massage oil can cause a reaction. Not this stuff!
Even Better!: Currently 35% off (only $14.99) at Pink Cherry!
- Pride and Promiscuity: The Lost Sex Scenes of Jane Austen by Arielle Eckstut
What Is It?: A short collection of deliciously funny erotic stories about Jane and Darcy, Emma, and Mr Collins and Charlotte.
Why We Love It: It’s fun and different and wickedly smart, and yes – sexy.
Even Better: Only $12.99 USD at Coco de Mer !
- Silky Sash Restraints
What Is It?: Silky ties perfect for tieing up or being tied.
Why We Love It: These soft ties make bondage play accessible to anyone! There is nothing harsh about them, so the ties are easy to use if you’ve never done this kind of thing before.
Even Better!: The ties are current 40% off at Pink Cherry!
- Love and Pride Jewelry
What Is It?: JEWELRY! … but that’s a cop out, so we picked 2 actual pieces-a gorgeous Pink Titanium Ring with Pink Sapphire, and a linked diamond pendant.
Why We Love It: Because it isn’t just jewelry. Love and Pride stands for equality, diversity, and tolerance – and they stand behind that message: a portion of all proceeds from Love and Pride is donated to non-profit organizations that support full equality and civil rights for our community (like gay marriage!). It really is statement jewelry, in the best possible meaning of the word.
Even Better!: Free Your V Readers get 20% off the Valentines Collection
- “After Fun” Cooling Lotion from Coco de Mer
What Is it?: A lotion that contains menthol and aloe and other wonderful ingredients to soothe a red bottom.
Why We Love It: Because sometimes your ass needs a little love after a little too much… er… love.
Even Better!: Currently 70% off!
aka So, you want to try anal sex.
That’s great. Toys, fingers, penises… all can result in wonderful feelings and much satisfaction when placed correctly (or not, that’s fine too. No one says you have to like it, or even want to try it. But, you’re here, so you probably do.)
We’ll just state the obvious, here. Everybody shits. Despite the many products out there to mask the evidence of said bodily functions – the most hilarious of which being Poo-Pourri – it doesn’t change the truth. You obviously already know this.
But there is no shame in wanting to stay as far away from the accidental shit-under-someone’s-fingernails dream that leaves you in a cold sweat. Every advice column ever will tell you that you need to relax to enjoy anal of any kind, so clenching your ass in fear of fecal matter ending up on your butt plug will ensure the experience is less than enjoyable.
So, what’s the solution? How do you prepare for anal sex so you aren’t busy worrying about poop?
DO. NOT. DOUCHE.
“But it’s only water!”
Don’t do it. Even using “only” water carries too many risks to make it worth it. Your rectum has a mucous lining that is CRUCIAL in maintaining bowel health, and douching, can wreck that lining and open the door for infection. Not to mention the potential for tearing – yeah, just think about that for a while.
We know that lots of people swear by douching, but we honestly can’t, in good faith, tell you to do it. (And likely, neither will your health professional)
So how do you “prepare” for anal sex? You wash your butthole with a warm washcloth.
That’s it, that’s all. Use a mild, unscented soap in the shower if you want, but you really don’t need to do much more than that.
If you have a healthy bowel, your rectum empties totally every time you poo. Feces doesn’t enter your rectum until it is about to be expelled, so unless you hold it in for too long, or aren’t getting enough fiber, there shouldn’t be much left in there after you poop.
Ok, so you bused out the washcloth and feel fresh as a cucumber.
Now on on to part 2 - having anal sex!
So, you prefer to remove all (or some) of your pubic hair – your body, your choice. AWESOME. And we hear you: you love feeling smooth. Makes sense. So you shave or wax or sugar your pubic hair away for a soft-as-a-baby’s-butt vulva. Then… disaster strikes.
A painful red bump, marring the smooth expanse of your freshly hair-free genitals.
The audacity, honestly…
What exactly causes an ingrown hair? It’s literally the hair growing back or sideways into the skin into the skin. Sometimes the hair follicle gets infected and you get those angry red “razor burn” type bumps.
Here’s a really gross picture of some ingrown hairs. BOOM.
How do you prevent ingrown hair?
There really is no way to totally prevent them unless you just don’t remove any hair. But since we’ve already established that you prefer to remove hair, that point is moot.
So what we try to accomplish instead, is to do everything possible to ensure the hair doesn’t start going back into the skin:
- Exfoliate (gently!) after hair removal: this ensures that there are no dead skin cells blocking the hair follicle. If it’s blocked, it grows in the only available direction: down, or sideways. But don’t use a loofah (too much bacteria): use a gel based cleanser with some abrasion.
- Salicylic acid: Usually used in acne products, there are some toners that contain this – use a few days after hair removal (not right after, or you’ll feel the burn). This is basically chemical exfoliation.
- Keep it clean: if you wipe down the bikini area with a clean washcloth after using sunscreen, or sweating a lot, it’ll help prevent stuff from blocking the follicle. (Normally we fully advocate for being dirty but… just don’t, in this case.)
- Shave properly: use shaving cream and go IN THE DIRECTION OF HAIR GROWTH. Avoid applying too much pressure to your razor – applying too much pressure may cut the hair shorter than the outer dermis layer, making it easier for it to grow sideways
So you didn’t listen to our fantastic advice and you now have an ingrown hair… what now?
Get it out.
Not the entire hair, just the end that’s stuck.
- Apply a warm washcloth to the area for a few minutes -DO NOT SKIP THIS STEP. (Caps locks means we’re serious.)
- Bust out the tweezers and try and dislodge the stuck end – don’t use your grubby fingers or you’ll make it worse.
So, now you know.
We come across a very common concern: “I want sex more than my boyfriend does. Does he not want me anymore?Am I no longer attractive to him?…
WHAT IS WRONG WITH ME?!”
First of all, the female sex drive is very complicated. Just try googling the topic –you’ll be met with a hailstorm of confusion. Society has certain entrenched views that seem to pop up as “facts” on an alarmingly regular basis.
- Men want sex all the time – they think about it all the time, and can be ready to go in a moment’s notice
- Women tend to value sex for the other things it brings (emotional intimacy, for example), not for the sex itself
- Men want sex more than women do
We’ll deal with these so-called “facts” and show you that you are NOT a freak for wanting more sex than your boyfriend (or husband… or just general male partner) does.
1. “Men want sex ALL THE TIME”
No, not necessarily. Men may be too tired to initiate sex, or too stressed. There are very legitimate, fully scientific reasons that a man may not feel like sex (of any kind). If a man turns down your offer of sex, it is not because he suddenly finds you unattractive or because he already came all over his female co-workers titties in the elevator at work… it might just be because he damn well doesn’t FEEL like it.
He may just not have the energy to INITIATE sex. Society seems to think that because men want sex all the time (they don’t), they should be the initiators (they don’t have to be).
So if you want sex and your male partner doesn’t, so be it. Don’t read into it.
Go get your vibrator and get the job done, or initiate it yourself.
Wanting sex more than your boyfriend does is perfectly normal - but if it’s really effecting your relationship, go ahead and talk about it. That’s normal too.
Side note: we may think that men think about sex more often, but if we consider that they also think of their physical needs more often in general (food, sleep, etc.), relatively speaking, it isn’t such a big difference.
Check out the second “fact” we put through the bullshit detector.
So what does “Free Your V” mean? It means we were tired of websites that talked down to us about sex, that showed us sex positions we’re 110% certain would only cause us to pull a muscle, and that didn’t discuss the things we actually want to talk about (like getting a boob job, or if vaginal wipes actually work, or what it’s like to be an escort, or porn that doesn’t involve facials). We wanted to “free” ourselves from those kinds of sites, and embrace our sexuality on a site that was by women, for women. Except… that site didn’t exist. We searched and searched, but in the haystack of the internet, there was no needle. So, “Free Your V” was born.
We want this to be the place that you go to for all things sex. We are unabashed, undaunted, and open to ideas: we want to create original content, and curate the best content already out there. There will be informative articles, interesting guest bloggers, videos, product reviews, tips, debates, news, and anything else we can dream up. Intelligent discussion about sexuality, from the perspective of women everywhere.
Join our movement. We want you to #ShowUsYourV . We want to see free, confident women expressing themselves and loving their sexuality – find sensuality in that little V at the top of your butt, or in tree branches, or your legs… whatever gets you going. Real women who are sassy, sexual beings, who want more from the Internet, and who want to free their V: show us what you got. We want to showcase your pictures on our website, because this is all about you (and a little about us, if we’re being honest). We love sex, honesty, and the internet. Let’s combine those things and banish the bullshit about sex.