20 Sep

VUSH: A Luxurious Sex Toy Brand 

The first time I watched the UP music video by Cardi B, I had to rewind and pause. Was that a vibrator? In a music video? 

It was! 

After a little investigating, I found out it was the Majesty II by VUSH, an Australian sexual wellness brand. I’ve always felt like the female orgasm wasn’t talked about (or experienced) often enough, and VUSH is on a mission to not only normalize female sexual wellness, but improve it. 

I loved the brand’s mission, but would its products match up to its big-picture goal? Having tested the Rose II, the Myth, and the Majesty II for myself, I can confidently say that VUSH not only talks the talk, but walks the walk. 

Overview:

My first impression can only be described with one word: luxury

Instead of being a secret to hide in bedside tables, Vush brands masturbating as not only a normal, but a fun part of your regular routine. The fact that they’re so aesthetically pleasing makes using them really feel like an indulgent self care experience. The Rose II, Myth, and Majesty II really made me feel like I was treating myself to something special, which made me feel special in return. 

They’re a great confidence boost, and a great boost in personal pleasure. 


Build Quality:

First, I’d like to talk about how pretty all of Vush’s products are. I’m a sucker for good packaging, and the millennial pink and gold foil packaging are legit. It’s so cute that I can’t make myself get rid of it.

Now onto the stars of the show: the actual products are gorgeous. As the owner of several vibrators, I confidently say that these are the most aesthetically pleasing ones I own. Usually, I put mine away once I’ve finished cleaning them up but these have stayed on my bedside table. They’re beautiful, and I like having them close at hand. 

All of Vush’s products are in the same trendy, cute but sophisticated color palette, which gives them just a little something extra. I also love the gold detail on them. They really put a lot of thought into making something pretty to look at as well as fun to use. 

Let me also rave about the material. All Vush products are fashioned out of medical-grade silicone. In the past, I’ve noticed some mild irritation from other vibrators, but the silky-smooth material never irritated me, even after prolonged periods of use. It’s also very hygienic, and easy to clean. If you take good care of them, your Vush products should last you for a long time. 

The actual product design is equally impressive. They’re both comfortable to hold for long or short periods of time and fit comfortably in or against the body. I can definitely tell that someone familiar with the female body took a lot of care designing these to be compatible to all body types. It’s #thickgirlapproved, which unfortunately I can’t say the same about a lot of other vibrators I’ve tried. 

Personally, I prefer external stimulation over internal stimulation, but I was pleasantly surprised by the Myth. Vush’s Myth is named after the supposedly mythical g-spot (hint, it’s not!). The ribbed head adds an extra pleasure feature, as if it needed it. The curved design coupled with the vibrating feature hugged my body in all the right ways.

The Rose II is a force to be reckoned with. It’s design is super unique, with petal-themed texture motifs to add to its unique design. The Rose II is compact, but still easy to handle and navigate. Also, in my opinion it’s fairly quiet as far as vibrators go, which is a huge benefit. It is definitely a great travel option. It will fit easily in any bag and it’s noise makes it fairly discrete. One of the best parts of the Rose II is how flexible it is. This thing is deceptively bendy, making it easy to access your hard-to-reach places. It would be a great option for you if you spend a lot of time traveling, or for the traveler in your life. 

But of the three, I preferred the Majesty II, a classic wand-style vibrator. It’s curved for easy handling and maneuvering. It’s also great for all body types if you’ve struggled to find one that’s comfortable for you. It’s a great size, and provides a tingly, full-bodied sensation that spreads throughout the entire vulva. It’s got multiple speeds and settings. I’ve tried them all, but my favorite is the consistent and even buzz.

My only qualm with the build of the Vush products is that I wish that the speed settings had a + and – option. It is a little frustrating to overshoot the speed setting and have to go through the entire speed cycle before I can get where I’m really trying to go, but that’s manageable once you’ve mastered the speed settings. 

Performance:

I was pleasantly surprised at how quickly the vibrators charged, and how long they hold a charge. It takes 2 hours to go from totally dead to fully charged. Also, as you use the battery, the strength and speed remain consistent until the vibrators are nearly dead. I use all of them quite a bit, and I can go nearly a week without having to recharge them. 

As I said earlier, the Myth was a surprise love for me. It works great for both clitoral and vaginal stimulation. And it works as a fun warm up if you just want to tease the genitals, or as the main event. 

Same goes for the Rose II. It’s tiny but mighty. I love it’s small size, which makes it easy to bring along if you’re looking for something that makes pleasure on the go easy. It works great for all kinds of stimulation. It works great as an aid if you’re using it for your partner, but it’s also really fun if you’re using it all for yourself. 

However, my absolute favorite from the line is the Majesty II. Like the other two, it has multiple speeds and patterns. It’s also a great size—not too big and not too small. The Majesty II fits perfectly against the body to provide great stimulation. 

Wand-style vibrators are my personal preference, but you can’t go wrong with any of them. 

The Rose II, Myth, and Majesty II all come with five speed settings, from a mild vibe to a powerful buzz. I like to start on the lowest setting on them and work my way up. They’ve all got a lot of oomph without feeling overpowering, which is something I’ve had trouble with in the past. They never feel overpowering or excessive. 

The different vibration patterns are also really nice. Typically, I’m not impressed by different patterns (they feel like Morse code to me), but there are some really impressive and fun options. If you enjoy edging or want to introduce it into your repertoire, any of the Vush products would be a great addition. 

My Experience: 

If I had to assign the Vush products a grade, I’d give them an A+. At this point, I’ve recommended Vush to all of my friends, and now I’d like to recommend them to y’all. Run, do not walk

Treat yourself to something that is both luxury and quality. These products can be used for a long time without any numbness or discomfort. They provide deep, satisfying pleasure. And they’re beautiful! 

You really can’t go wrong with these, no matter which you buy.

15 Sep

Sexuality for Any Size

The best part about sex is its infinite variety. We’ve said it before and we will say it again: there is no wrong way to have sex. Well, enthusiastic consent and lube are musts, but other than that, sex can be whatever you want it to be. It’s customizable and deeply personal. 

Coincidentally, that’s also the best thing about people. No two people are exactly alike. And while that’s an amazing thing that deserves to be celebrated, uniqueness can sometimes feel isolating. 

In a world where people are often inundated with photos of celebrities photo-shopped to perfection and normal features of the body are antagonized, it's easy to feel pressure to look a certain way or feel bad if you don’t fit into current beauty standards. 

Letting go of insecurities is incredibly hard, especially if you’ve struggled with poor body image for a long time. But you have the right to embrace and relish in your sexuality at any size. No one body type is more valid than others. 

Everyone’s body is built differently, is differently abled, has different needs. And this doesn’t make you less than, it just makes you different. And that’s not a bad thing.

Live in Your Own Skin

A little exposure therapy might be just the thing to lift your spirits and esteem. Allow yourself to sit in your skin, to really become familiar with all your curves and planes. A lot of people don’t spend much of their day naked beyond changing or bathing. Give yourself time to just be without feeling the need to cover yourself. 

Make it a point to familiarize yourself with your naked body. Luxuriate in your own skin. It’s yours to enjoy, too, so make a point to bask in it. Getting more comfortable with nudity will make you more comfortable with yourself and with being perceived while naked, which in turn will make intimacy easier. 

Also, make a point to not compare how you look to Instagram models or celebrities on TV, or even other people you know. Comparison is the thief of joy. This is easier said than done, but learn to accept that your own unique features are unique to you, and that is a special thing. 

Different kinds of beauty can exist in the same universe without conflict. 

But you don’t have to feel beautiful at all times. Accepting that you won’t always feel your most attractive is also a step in the right direction. Toxic positivity can be incredibly harmful to healing your body image. 

Something the body positivity movement gets wrong is trying to convince everyone to romanticize your perceived flaws. If this works for you, more power to you, but that isn’t accessible for everyone. You don’t have to feel that your insecurities are beautiful, but understand that they are normal. 

For many people, body neutrality is much more accessible and an easier (and sometimes more empowering) mentality to adopt. In essence, body neutrality is the idea that the human body simply exists and its beauty or flaws are just natural parts of the human body. It’s the idea that you can grant yourself permission to not look perfect, because no body actually is perfect. This isn’t to say that you shouldn’t find beauty in the body, because you should, but not everything is perfect and it doesn't have to be. 

Odds are, your body is the least interesting thing about you and you’ve got so much to offer in addition to your outer beauty.

Enhance Your Sexual Energy

If you don’t conform to conventional beauty standards, especially if you’re someone who is fat, learning to feel pretty or beautiful can come easier than feeling sexy. It’s easy to get bogged down in other’s impressions of what sexiness is or should look like. 

While beauty can feel subjective, sexiness and sexuality can feel so complicated that it might feel easier to write yourself off rather than learn to embrace your own sexuality. 

But sexuality is like energy. It can’t ever be destroyed. It’s something that’s innate to each person, and you have to figure out what brings your inner sexuality out. 

Like we recommended earlier, connecting to your body is a fantastic starting place. Take it a step further by appreciating it, decorating it. Your body is beautiful and deserves to be adorned with things that make you feel your best. 

Lingerie is an excellent way to boost your confidence and bring sexiness into your everyday life. It’s great to have something that makes you feel confident in the bedroom, but feel free to bring it out of the bedroom—and out of the house. 

In and of itself, lingerie isn’t sexual. It’s sole function is to help you feel sexy and confident. And while you can dress for your partner, lingerie will make you feel even better if you choose pieces that make you feel your best. 

Wearing lingerie under your clothes is a great way to go on an adventure all by yourself. It’s a sexy secret you can take to work, the store, out running errands, or even just wear around the house. What makes it fun is that it’s something just for you. It can bring a whole new kind of energy to your body and how you feel about it. Don’t wait for a special occasion: every day is a great day to embrace your sexuality.

If you’d like to dip your toes into lingerie for the first time, or if you’re already a fan looking for a new set, all Curve lingerie is currently 20% during the month of September. Curve offers inclusive sizes that can accommodate a variety of body types. The brand offers many beautiful designs, so you’re certain to find something you’ll love that works for you. 

Leg Avenue, another classic lingerie brand offers a range of different sizes and designs. Whether you’re looking for a bodysuit, stockings and garters, or a corset, you’ve got a ton of options.

Practice Makes Perfect

If you find yourself really wanting to try something but you’re not quite at that level yet, there’s nothing saying you can’t practice. Sex can be a physcally exhausting practice that can stretch the limits of the body. 

If you want to work on your performance, building up your strength and flexibility as you are able will make achieving and enjoying certain positions easier. 

And for those seeking instant gratification, try mixing up your positions. Missionary and doggy-style are great but certainly not your only options. Experiment with your ability level to see what’s comfortable for you and your partner. Maybe try switching who’s on top, or get really wild and try a position where you and your partner are both on your sides.

(Pssst: For position suggestions - check out Kinkly where Lion's Den was featured in their 30-day Sex Position Challenge!)

Get Creative

As always, you are more than welcome to bring tools into the bedroom to make things easier. Not all toys and tools are created equal, so finding the perfect thing for you can involve a little trial and error. To cut down on that, here are some products that might take the guesswork out of your love life. 

Vibrators:

Finding the perfect vibrator can be a challenge. If you’re in the market for a little self-love, the Majesty II by Vush was definitely made with all body types in mind. It’s ergonomic design makes it compatible with most any curves. 

Another top pick is this oldie-but-goodie: the Hitachi Magic Wand. The handle is long enough to accommodate even the most hard to reach places. Hitachi also offers mounts for hands-free options, great for couples or solo action. 

Accessories: 

Sex is all about the angles, so a little help getting propped up and positioned a certain way can make all the difference. Try using something like the Liberator Wedge to help you achieve different positions. The Liberator Wedge is a wedge-shaped pillow with enough slope and firmness to accommodate any body. 

Another great product could be this doggy-style strap by Sportsheets is incredibly versatile. If you have any kind of back or knee pain, some positions might feel too challenging. This strap helps ease tension in the back and makes thrusting easier. This accessory can make a range of positions more accessible for differently abled people. It also helps compress the body for tighter, more intense stimulation and makes thrusting easier, so a win on all fronts. 

Experiment with any of these tips, tricks, and products and see what feels the best. Rome wasn’t built in a day, and it can take some time to feel at home in your sexuality. But there’s no rush. Self-love is very much a journey, not a destination. 




09 Sep

Physical and Mental Issues Affecting Sexual Health

Most people want to have a rich and fulfilling sex life. Unfortunately, that’s not always the case. Maybe you’ve tried talking with your partner or you’ve tried this cool new thing you saw online, and you want things to work. But it seems like it doesn't matter what you do, you’re just not into it. 

Either it’s physically or emotionally unfulfilling, and you start to wonder “Am I the problem?”

First, we’d like to assure you that it’s not your fault. You’re not sabotaging your own sex life. The culprit behind your mediocre, or maybe nonexistent, sex drive or functionality could be caused by an underlying physical or mental issue you’re not even aware of. 

According to the National Institute of Health, sexual dysfunctions are highly prevalent, affecting about 43% of women and 31% of men. It’s a common issue, but it’s not something we talk about. 

Sexual dysfunction can be brought on by any number of things. Causes range from something as complicated as sexual trauma to something simpler and more treatable, like embarrassment jitters. The human body, especially the human brain, is a deeply complicated machine. Some maintenance work is to be expected, be that therapy or physical treatment. 

Sexual dysfunction can feel isolating, but you’re not alone

Physical Issues Affecting Sexual Health

A single health issue can have a domino effect into all the other aspects of your physical health, including your sexual health. According to the Mayo Clinic, low or high blood pressure, arthritis, heart and vascular disease, or hormonal imbalances can all cause diminished libido (sexual desire). So if you’re combating a physical health concern, that could be overlapping into your sexual health. 

Some medications and hormone therapies can also zap your libido. If you’re currently undergoing chemotherapy or radiation, that’s likely to take a toll on your sexual desire. Similarly, if you’re in the process of transitioning and have elected to use hormones, you were likely advised that hormone replacement therapy will cause decreased libido and will reshape how you experience and respond to arousal. This is normal, especially in the first few months. 

It’s also normal to experience some complications that result exclusively from the body. 

Vaginismus is defined by the Mayo Clinic as “the involuntary tensing or contracting of muscles around the vagina.” This can cause pain and prevent whoever has it from experiencing sexual pleasure. It can be brought on spontaneously, or as the result of trauma to the vagina like tears from childbirth. However, the exact cause of vaginismus is not known. 

Society often discourages female sexuality and undervalues female pleasure, so physical causes of sexual dysfunction in women can be harder to diagnose. Mayo Clinic even disclosed that they don’t have exact numbers on women affected because many are too embarrassed to discuss this issue or seek treatment. When speaking with your physician about your experience, advocate for yourself. Your pleasure is worth it. 

A weak pelvic floor can cause a whole host of problems in men and woman, from pain during sex to incontinence. The pelvic floor tends to weaken as we age, but it can also be affected by obesity, prostate or ovarian cancers, or strain from chronic constipation. It’s an often forgotten but extremely important muscle group of the body. And like all muscle groups, it needs to be exercised and properly cared for. Some physical therapists specialize exclusively in the pelvic floor, and these experts will be best equipped to help you combat any issues you’re having down there. 

One of the most common health problems affecting men’s sexual health is erectile dysfunction. Erectile dysfunction is the inability to get or maintain an erection. It is very common among penis owners, affecting roughly 30 million men in the United States. And although it’s more prevalent among older people or those with chronic health concerns, younger people can also experience erectile dysfunction. It’s usually a symptom of a broader health issue, such as metabolic syndrome, high cholesterol, heart disease, or diabetes. And like most other sexual dysfunctions can also be brought on or compounded by mental health concerns like anxiety or depression. 

Mental Issues Affecting Sexual Health

If you have any kind of mental illness, that could also be affecting your sex drive. It’s totally normal to have days where you’re not in the mood, or your energy is low, and all you want is to be left alone. Everyone has bad days or periods where you’re in a funk. Saying that, if it seems to be a chronic, persistent problem and you find yourself have more low energy, low esteem, low sex drive days, that could be an indicator you have depression. 

Depression causes a chemical imbalance in your brain that makes it hard for your neurotransmitters to pick up on sex-related chemicals. It also affects your overall mood and energy level, which impacts your sex drive and ability to derive pleasure. 

Sex can feel awkward or awaken personal insecurities like poor body image. If you find this to be the case, share your concerns with your partner or therapist. Just talking about it might be the morale boost you needed all along. Also, remember that sex is a skill and it has a learning curve. You don’t have to be perfect at the first attempt, or any attempt for that matter. Don’t let comparing yourself to what you read in books or see in porn rob you of your happiness. 

Solutions for Physical and Mental Issues

There are solutions if you’re suffering from any of the above. 

As always, we recommend you begin assessing the root of your problem with a trusted healthcare provider, be that your general practitioner or your therapist. These are the experts that will know the best course of action for you to take. Treatments for low sex drive could include medications, mechanical aids (think a penis pump or vibrator), or therapy. If your low libido is happening as a result of something else, continued treatment to resolve the root health cause will likely put you back on track sexually. 

If depression is the source of your sexual woes, your doctor or psychiatrist might prescribe antidepressants. Millions of people have had their life changed for the better with the aid of a prescription. However, some antidepressants can cause low libido. If you find this to be the case, talk to your doctor about potentially switching medications. Sometimes it takes a while to find your goldilocks combination of medicines. 

Outside of medicine, Johns Hopkins Medicine recommends trying the following actions at home: 

  • Keep heaving sex. 

  • Don’t compare yourself to others. 

  • Get buy-in from your partner. 

  • Redefine intimacy.

Sex looks different for everyone. As long as it’s consensual and you aren’t doing anything that might cause profound and lasting damage to the body, there really isn’t a wrong way to have sex. There also isn’t an exact amount of sex you’re supposed to be having. How often you have sex and what your sex life looks like depends solely on you and your partner’s preferences. 

Open communication is always of paramount importance, especially if you’re dealing with some type of sexual dysfunction. No matter what the root cause is, let your partner know what’s going on. They might not be able to solve the problem, but they can support you. And understanding where their partner is sexually will help them be a better partner to you.

06 Sep

Ovarian Cancer and Prostate Cancer Awareness

At Lion’s Den, we’re here to empower you to live your best sex life. Part of living that best sex life is taking care of your body. Sex is just as much about feelings and emotions as it is about physicality, it’s vital to keep your body in working order to enjoy any part of your sexuality. And diseases affecting your reproductive system will also influence your sexual health. 

Ovarian and prostate cancer affects the body to perform or enjoy sexual acts, as well as adding psychological stress that could lower your libido.  

Your body is the vehicle through which you experience the world. Taking care of it will make it last longer and keep it in working condition for all the life you’ve still got to experience. 

In honor of ovarian cancer and prostate cancer awareness month, we’re breaking down what these diseases are, how you can detect them, and what can be done to treat them if you’re diagnosed. 

What is ovarian and prostate cancer?

The ovaries are two small organs located on either side of the uterus that stores the eggs and produces estrogen and progesterone. The Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Ohio explains ovarian cancer as “a disease in which malignant or cancerous cells are found in the ovaries.” 

The prostate, aside from being an erogenous zone, produces seminal fluid which is vital in carrying sperm. Cancer of the prostate is when malignant cells begin growing in the prostate.

Symptoms and Causes of Ovarian Cancer

Some of the risk factors associated with ovarian cancer are things that cannot be changed, such as family history or your age. One’s age is a prominent factor in ovarian cancer. Cancer.org reports that ovarian cancer is rare in people under 40, and that ovarian cancer most commonly occurs after menopause. 

Other influences are weight, never having had children, previously cancer diagnoses, fertility, and smoking. These risk factors are not guarantees that you will develop ovarian cancer. Having an overall healthy lifestyle might lower your chance of developing ovarian cancer, but it is not a guarantee. Likewise, previous health concerns or risky behaviors will not not definitively cause ovarian cancer. 

Knowing the early signs of ovarian cancer can lead to an earlier diagnosis, which in turn will allow you to seek treatment earlier and begin seeking treatment while the cancer is still in the early stages. 

Kim Britt, president of the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Ohio, calls ovarian cancer a silent killer. “There is no true method for detecting ovarian cancer,” said Britt. “Your annual pap smear only detects cervical cancer. When it comes to the symptoms of ovarian cancer, most physicians will see the symptoms of ovarian cancer as normal. You have to know the symptoms.”

According to the Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Ohio, the most common early symptoms of ovarian cancer include:

  • Bloating

  • Fatigue

  • Pelvic or abdominal pain

  • Menstrual pain and pain during intimacy

  • Back pain

  • Trouble eating or feeling full quickly

  • Urinary symptoms such as urgency (always feeling the need to go) or frequency (having to go often)

  • Abdominal swelling with weight loss

The symptoms of ovarian cancer unfortunately overlap with many other illnesses, and it can be difficult to diagnose. While experiencing some of these symptoms is normal, monitor the severity of them. 

Britt advises, “It’s not just having a stomach cramp or pain. If you’re waking up in the middle of the night with a problem, if you’re waking up in pain, you need to see your doctor and ask hard questions.” 

Approximately 20,000 women will be diagnosed with ovarian cancer annually, but over 200,000 women will be misdiagnosed or their symptoms will be ignored. If you are experiencing any of the above, take it as a sign to visit your gynecologist and express to them your concerns. 

“Now more than ever, I am hearing more stories of more doctors who are now more aware of things going on in women’s health because women will hide and dismiss their own symptoms” said Britt. “We have to stand our ground and be our own advocates. If one doctor won’t listen to you, go and find another one. If you’re not happy with your doctor you are free to find another one.”

Many tend to forget or play down the importance of their reproductive health because people are often made to feel awkward talking about it, but it’s important to talk about reproductive health because it could save your life. Your health starts with a conversation and women should feel empowered to talk about their bodies.

Your health is important, and having an open dialogue with your primary healthcare provider as well as your gynecologist will be imperative in finding the early signs of any underlying illness and addressing them. 

Treating Ovarian Cancer

Ovarian cancer is the fifth leading cause of cancer related deaths in people with a female reproductive system aged 34-75. The Ovarian Cancer Alliance of Ohio reports that those who are diagnosed with ovarian cancer in the earliest stages have a “5-year survival rate over 90%.” However, because ovarian cancer’s vague symptoms and lack of early detection tests, “only 19% of all cases are found at this early stage. If caught in stage III or higher, the survival rate can be as low as 30.6%.” 

The stage at which the cancer is caught will affect the treatment plan your doctor will design for you. But based on the current medical precedents, most people with ovarian cancer can expect some kind of surgery to treat their cancer. Depending on how advanced the ovarian cancer is, you might require other forms of treatment.

Ovarian cancer might be able to be treated locally, meaning it only affects the area of the tumor (the area it is local to). This could mean surgery or radiation therapy. 

If the ovarian cancer is going to be treated via drug, this is considered systemic treatment. This is because the drugs can reach anywhere in the body, and are administered either by mouth or directly into the bloodstream. This could mean anything from hormone therapy to chemotherapy. These treatments might come before, after, or in lieu of surgery. 

Symptoms and Causes of Prostate Cancer 

Much like ovarian cancer, prostate cancer primarily affects older people. Typically men 50 and over are the most at risk. Family history and overall health also influence the likelihood you could develop prostate cancer. People who smoke, are overweight, have other chronic illnesses, have been exposed to chemicals, or have had a vasectomy all have an increased risk of developing prostate cancer. 

Cancer is the second leading cause of cancer-related death in American men, but most people who have prostate cancer will not die from it. 

The Prostate Cancer Foundation reports that the 5-year survival rate in the United States for men diagnosed with early-stage prostate cancer is greater than 99%.

Recognizing symptoms early can lead to quicker treatment, which can lead to a higher chance of recovery. Cancer.org lists some symptoms of prostate cancer as:  

  • Problems urinating, including a slow or weak urinary stream or the need to urinate more often, especially at night

  • Blood in the urine or semen

  • Erectile dysfunction

  • Pain in the hips, back (spine), chest (ribs), or other areas from cancer that has spread to bones

  • Weakness or numbness in the legs or feet, or even loss of bladder or bowel control from cancer pressing on the spinal cord

Fortunately, prostate cancer is usually found early with testing for prostate-specific antigen (PSA) levels in the blood or a digital rectal exam (DRE). Both of these procedures are part of a routine physical for older men. 

Treating Prostate Cancer

An annual checkup with your primary healthcare provider is the easiest and most reliable way to find prostate cancer early on. As it is both common and fairly easy to detect early on, regularly visiting with your doctor and communicating with them about your health and medical history will help ensure that your prostate cancer is caught early

If your PSA test or DRE yields abnormal results, the next step will be a biopsy of the prostate, which will offer a more definitive diagnosis. Once the biopsy is complete, your doctor will evaluate the best course of treatment. Different treatments for prostate cancer include surgery, radiation, chemotherapy, and hormone therapy, but this is a non-exhaustive list of treatment options. Treatment will depend on the stage and severity of your unique case. 

No matter the type of body you have, it's important to know the illnesses you might be at risk to and be proactive about monitoring your health and seeking help if you feel that something is wrong. 

Your health is your wealth. See its value and invest in it frequently.


The month of September, donate the change from your purchase at Lion's Den and help change the lives of patients and survivors of Ovarian Cancer. Join us as we inspire advocacy for and empower those affected by ovarian cancer.

Learn more



02 Sep

We Need to Talk More in Relationships

That also means regularly talking about sex.

Communication is key. 

It might sound cliché, but it’s true. All relationships, be that platonic or romantic, require frequent and honest communication. Some things are easy to talk to your partner about, but talking to your partner about sex can be hard. It can be even harder to tell your partner that you aren’t satisfied with your relationship. 

Through August 2020, we ran a survey asking our users about communication in their relationships. In this blog post, we’re going to break down our findings and discuss ways to improve communication in your relationships. 

When asked about how satisfied our customers are with their relationships, most of those surveyed said they are satisfied with the level of communication in their relationships, but more than 40% mention they could use tips for improvement. 

A great first step to improving communication is to share your emotions with your partner.

A majority of those surveyed infrequently share their emotions. 34% said they rarely talk about their emotions, but will open up to a trusted partner. 24.3% said they only share sometimes, and only when they need to. 

Emotions are deeply personal, and sharing them can feel incredibly intimate. And it’s exactly for this reason we’d like to encourage you to start sharing your emotional state with your partner. Emotional availability is one of the strongest foundations you can build your relationship on. Understanding what your partner is feeling, and allowing your partner into your own headspace, will help them to better understand you. Practicing emotional availability will increase trust in your relationship, which will grow your sexual chemistry. 

You don’t have to overload your partner with your feelings (that’s it’s own problem), but let them in on if you’re struggling mentally or are feeling frustrated about something. It’s also important to let them know when you’re feeling excited about something or you’re really happy with the way an aspect of your relationship is going. Your partner should be there for you for both the good and the bad. 

Now speaking of the bad. . . While most of those surveyed have talked through an intimate conversation with a partner or trusted friend, a little less than 30% say they have attempted, and it did not go well. 

Dissecting the successes and shortcomings of your relationship is certainly a sensitive topic that could cause emotions to flare. If this happens, it's totally normal, and something to be aware of before you even have this conversation. In order to keep things productive, be calm and be kind. No one wants to feel like they’re being criticized. 

When initiating this kind of talk, Healthline recommends beginning by focusing on both being heard and listening. It shouldn’t be a contest of who can debate better. The goal should be to improve the relationship you both share, which requires collaboration on both parts. Active listening and honesty will take you far. Avoid yelling, sarcasm, or anything that could give your partner the impression that you aren’t taking them seriously. You are responsible for your behavior and your actions. Be aware of how you might sound to your partner. 

You don’t have to solve all your problems in one go, but you should walk away from the conversation feeling like it’s been productive. There should be some kind of resolution. 

If your partner is not open to communicating with you, be that expressing their own needs or listening to your’s, and that feels like a problem to you, it might be time to evaluate if you want to continue the relationship. Of course, we suggest letting your partner know your concerns. Tell them that you feel that their emotional unavailability is causing problems in your relationship. This might be the wakeup call they needed. And if not, this might be a red flag you need to be aware of. 

One could argue that no matter the outcome, talking with your partner is better than not talking at all. Participants in our survey infrequently talk to their partner, family, or friends about their wants and needs. What does this mean for communication? Would sharing wants and needs improve communication in relationships? 

30% of participants said they rarely talk to a partner or friends/family about sex and intimacy, but will open up to a trusted partner. 22% said they only share sometimes when they feel that they need to. It seems like people wait until the mood strikes to discuss their feelings on sex and and intimacy, but it’s best to have these conversations beforehand. 

Online Mental Health service BetterHelp recommends that you communicate with your partner on a regular basis. Everyone’s rhythm will be different, but make sure it’s consistent. The sooner you can address an issue or bring up something on your mind, the better. 

It’s also interesting to note that of those surveyed, 19% will only talk about sex and intimacy if their partner or trusted friend asks. And while it’s good to not want to overburden your partner, you are important. Your partner can’t read your mind, so if there’s something you want to talk about, it is up to you to bring it up. 

Maybe you don’t want to cause trouble or you feel embarrassed to bring something up. You’re totally not alone in feeling like that. What we heard from 42.2% of our participants is that they didn’t want to rock the boat. Another 42% said they fear they will be unable to relate to what they are saying.

Sex is a big part of life, but society often makes it out to be something hidden or to be ashamed of. Unlearning religious or purity culture trauma takes time (and might be something to unpack with your therapist), it’s so worth it. The more comfortable you feel in your sexuality, the more you can enjoy your sexual relationships—both with your partner and with yourself. You can only be known as well as you know yourself. Be gentle with yourself, and learn to feel comfortable expressing your needs. 

Being comfortable with yourself is important, but being comfortable in your partnership is important, too. You’re both in the relationship, so keep that in mind when you want to bring something up. Protect your own feelings, but remember that “we” might take you further than “I.” If you want to address something, try framing the conversation around the two of you.

  • There’s something I think would be fun for us to try.

  • I feel like we aren’t connecting well lately. 

But don’t be afraid to be direct. You know your body and desires best. If you’d prefer your partner adjust their technique, whether it be for sex or snuggling, be clear but be kind. You don’t want to put-down or criticize them, so try bringing it up as “What if we tried X?” or “I think it would be better if you Y.” Keep things upbeat. 

Taking responsibility for your own pleasure is empowering, and will translate to other parts of your life. 

Include your kids in the conversation, too. It’s easy to forget, but kids are also people. And they’re never too young to learn how to clearly express their needs. It’s important to have open, honest conversations with your children about sexual health and consent early on. Forewarned is forearmed. The more information they have, the better equipped they are to make smart, fully-informed choices. 

Understanding sex is only going to make them feel more comfortable in their own skin and keep them safer. 

When you open a line of communication and make your child feel like they can come to you for help without risk of angering you or being judged, they’ll be more likely to communicate back. This way, you’ve become an avenue of information that they can bring their questions to, rather than learning from the internet and opening themselves to content meant exclusively for adults or to predators. 

Sexual education can be lifesaving. It will better equip your child to recognize when they are being groomed or exploited. They will also learn good habits, like using protection and understanding consent. You have to understand what the danger is in order to see it and avoid it. 

Open communication can only help all of your relationships.

30 Aug

The skin is the largest organ of the body, so it's important to take care of it. If you’re someone who shaves and has sensitive skin (or even if you don’t), Coochy Shave Cream might be just the thing you’re looking for. 

Coochy’s shave cream is suitable for even the most sensitive, dry skin. As someone who has keratosis pilaris, I’ve got to be selective about the kinds of products I put on my skin because anything can irritate it. The shave cream by Coochy doesn’t aggravate my skin whatsoever. It’s beyond soothing, and leaves my skin feeling nurtured and soft every time. Every time I use it, I get out of the shower feeling like I’ve already applied a rich moisturizer. 

Some moisturizing shave creams leave behind a film or can clog your razor, but the Coochy Shave Cream melts into the skin and lays a foundation for a fantastical close shave with no risk of razor bumps. 

The different creams are emollient and packed with good-for-skin ingredients like different nurturing oils such as Jojoba and Grapeseed Oil, and cetyl alcohol. You can use it anywhere on the body from feet, legs, bikini area, and the face. Since I’ve started using it, I’ve noticed that it’s cut down dramatically on razor bumps and ingrown hairs. It can also make it easier to shave hard-to-reach areas by cutting down on knicks and cuts. 

Another great feature of Coochy’s creams is that they can be used as conditioner in your hair. It works as a shaving cream because it softens the hair and conditions the skin, so it works just as well when applied to your hair. 

For when you’re between shaves, or if you don’t shave your body, you can apply some of the cream to your skin and let it sit while you shower. It acts like a conditioner for your skin if you need an extra boost of moisture. 

The line offers a variety of scents so there’s something for everyone, ranging from feminine florals to gender neutral tones. For people who don’t care for scents, the Au Natural is fragrance free, but is just as gentle and moisturizing as the scented creams. The Be Original scent is a great option for someone looking for a gender neutral scent. It’s a light, clean smelling scent that only lingers as a clean scent. 

For people who like more fragranced products, Island Paradise, Peachy Keen, and Floral Haze are wonderful for people who want something with a little pizzazz. Coochy’s products are never overpowering or overly sweet. They’re subtle, but they linger and mingle with your own body chemistry to give you a fresh smell that will last for quite a while after use. 

If you want to boost the moisturizing factor, try the Body Oil Mist. It’s formulated with botanical extracts and oils to improve skin texture and lock in moisture. Try using it on your body after shaving. The Body Oil Mist applies evenly and leaves behind a satiny finish that isn’t greasy or irritating. 

Coochy also offers Sweat Defense, a deodorant/anti-chafing cream-to-powder product. Once rubbed in, it’s velvety soft and will last for hours. It’s suitable for use in the underwear area, under the arms, under the boobs, or anywhere you might get sweaty. It’s also great between the thighs if you’re prone to chafing. 

Whoever you are and whatever your needs might be, there’s a Coochy product right for you. It’s suitable for people of all genders and all skin types. It can be used anywhere on the body without causing any irritation.

Hurry now, because in the month of August, Coochy Shave Creams are 20% OFF in-store and online. 


27 Aug

So, You Want to Buy Your First Toy

Vulva Edition

Heading into a sex toy store for the first time can be intimidating. It can be challenging going into an environment where you don’t know what to expect or even what you’re looking for. There are hundreds of items available and you have only a viral TikTok to go off of for product recommendations... So, where do you start?

Welcome to Lion’s Den!

There’s no need to be afraid! While there is an abundance of information out there and a lot of different things to try, it is easy to get overwhelmed. At the Lion’s Den, we take pride in offering a diverse collection of products designed to supply pleasure, passion, and romance to all. 

We also want to make your shopping experience as seamless as possible, so we’ve provided some tips for our first time shoppers! (Psst: this edition is for people with vulvas. Stay tuned for other editions that may be more suitable to your needs.)

Take a tour! 

There is lots to see so take 5-10 minutes to stroll around and get your bearings. All of our locations will have items sectioned off for easy shopping. Vulva centeric toys, penis centric toys, and anal centric toys are generally grouped together so if you have an idea of what you’re looking for, it should be pretty easy to find. We also carry lingerie, lotions/potions, and BDSM gear so don’t be surprised if you happen to see some spanking implements here and there.

Types of Stimulation

First thing first, determine what kind of stimulation you want. Since most vulva owners need to experience some kind of clitoral stimulation to orgasm, a bullet is a great place to start. 

Clitoral Stimulation

Bullets and compact vibes are about 2-4 inches long and are intended primarily for clitoris play. Like most vibes, they will have a low, medium, and high setting to adjust the level of intensity. This is not your mom’s vibe either; due to the advancement in technology, toys today are quite sophisticated and designed for maximum pleasure, so don’t be surprised if there are more than a few functions available. 

Vaginal Stimulation

Vaginal stimulation can best be achieved through penetration, either from fingers, a penis, or toys - like a dildo. Dildos come in a variety of shapes, sizes, and materials. They can look phallic, or like a piece of fruit, others look like nothing at all. There are an unbelievable number of dildos you can choose from at Lion’s Den, but do not fear! We are here to help. 

We understand that some may thrive and feel more comfortable in a purchase decision if they have all the information available to them, here is a blog we’ve shared where we describe every detail of dildos to make an informed decision.

Dual Stimulation 

If you feel like clitoral or vaginal stimulation alone isn’t going to cut it for you, fear not! One of the most iconic sex toys called the “rabbit” might be more what you had in mind. These toys can range in size and features, but will always have an insertable part and a vibrator on top that sits against the clitoris. 

Rabbits can vary widely, but the main differences with them will be the size/shape of the internal shaft and a few functions.

Anal Stimulation

Before you go shoving things up there, it’s best to understand your butthole and how it works. The anus is one of the most densely nerve packed areas of the body. Stimulating this area (regardless of your genitalia) will produce pretty intense sensations. 

Anal sex can be daunting, which is why we’ve provided a beginners guide to anal stimulation on our blog. No matter how you start incorporating anal play, ALWAYS USE LUBE.

If you’re wanting to try anal sex with a partner, start with a small toy or finger. You’re not going to be able to properly accommodate most penis sizes if you’ve never inserted anything before. Anal kits with a graduated plug size can be a great way to slowly work your booty up to something more substantial.

Set a Budget

Since this may be your first time buying a toy, a question you might be asking is “how much should I be spending?” 

A beginner model typically costs about $40-50 on a quality, rechargeable vibrator. You can absolutely find less expensive options if you’re more budget conscious, however, they may require batteries for power or might not come with some of the bells and whistles the rechargeable options may have. You can definitely opt for something on the less expensive side, like a bullet, if you’re unsure how your body might react to toy stimulation.

Rabbit style vibes tend to be more expensive and can range anywhere from $40-$200. If you want to ensure your rabbit will last and is a good introductory option, you should expect to invest around $60-$70. The rabbits are more expensive because of the number of features, quality, and durability.

It may seem like a lot to invest when you’ve never tried them before, especially when you consider that when it comes to sexual pleasure, everyone likes something a little different. That certainly can be true when it comes to more niche toys, but the toys we recommend for first-time users are just that: introductory toys. They will be tried and true designs and function in a way that is simple, but effective. The toys we carry have been curated based on 50 years of experience in the adult industry, so believe us when we say we know what we’re talking about! 

What Else Do I Need?

So you’ve made your selection. Hurray! Before you head up to the register, you might be wondering what kinds of additional things you may need to take care of your toy and body. Two things we consider an absolute must: Toy Cleaner and Lube.

Toy Cleaner

Here’s the basic run down: before and after play, rinse the toy in warm water, apply cleaner on the toy’s surface, and rinse again. The water will rinse off any particles and the cleaner will ensure there's no bacteria lingering. Make sure you avoid water in the electrical component (unless your toy is specifically water submersible.) After it's clean, give it a shake and let it air dry on a clean towel. 

When it comes to cleaners, you’ll typically have two choices: a spray option or foaming option. Foaming cleaner is easier to see, but it works the same as the spray. Lion’s Den carries a variety of toy cleaners, but we’d miss the opportunity if we didn’t recommend ours ;).

Toy cleaner is strongly recommended by both us and the manufacturer to extend the life of your toy and keep it bacteria-free. You made an investment, so protect it! 

For specific instructions on how to care for your toys, check out our previous blog on toy maintenance and storage

Lube

Using lubricant can not only make sex more enjoyable, but it increases the chances of reaching an orgasm. Lube can (and should!) be used by anyone and for any sexual activity because of the many benefits it has for partner or solo play.

If you’re gearing up for a play session apply a small amount of water based lube. Standard water based lube works well for most people, but if you have skin sensitivity, you may want to consider getting something specifically for sensitive skin. 

Water based lube also comes in warming or cooling sensations as well as a number of different sizes. If you don’t want to commit to the full bottle, most stores will have a 1oz or 2oz bottle to get you started. 

Take it Home!

Once you’ve got your new toy home, give it a charge! Most manufacturers recommend a full charge before use (if you can wait that long!) 

We also recommend hanging on to the receipt and box for at least 10 days. Should anything happen to your toy, most manufacturers will cover mechanical defects from 30 days to 5 years (depending on the manufacturer.)

If you have questions about your toy’s specific warranty coverage, please don’t hesitate to contact our customer service team for links to register your product. We’re also here to help if you have any questions or concerns about your new toy.

1.800.345.3308 | customer_service@lionsden.com | LIVE Chat on Website



Buying a toy for the first time can be daunting or maybe even feel embarrassing. You should know, you have nothing to feel embarrassed or ashamed about. Pleasure and sex are key components of a happy, healthy life. Buying a toy is a form of self-care and that is something to celebrate!

Our stores are bright, open, and have a very knowledgeable staff who want you to be as comfortable as possible while you’re shopping with us. As always, if you have questions or concerns, please don’t hesitate to reach out to us. 

We look forward to seeing you soon!



Psst: Not everyone is lucky enough to live within driving distance of the Lion’s Den. No worries! Our online store is curated much like our in-store shopping experience. Everything is laid out in easy to find categories and we have filtering options on the left side of the page which will allow you to get as granular as you like.

23 Aug

Outercourse: Non-Penetrative Play

It seems like a lot of times, conversations about sex revolve around penetration. But what if you or your partner don’t have a penis? Or what if you or your partner have a penis but don’t want to utilize it? If that’s the case, we’d like to introduce you to outercourse. 

What is Outercourse?

Yes, it’s a real thing. Healthline explains that outercourse can mean, “everything except penis-in-vagina (PIV) penetration” or it could mean “no penetration of any kind, including fingers, sex toys, and anal sex.”

Outercourse, as we are choosing to explain and explore in this post, is sexual contact that intentionally involves no penetration between people who would otherwise incorporate penetration into their sexual activity. 

We’d also like to give the disclaimer that sex looks different for everyone. Sex is subjective, and something that can be tailored to your and your partner’s needs. There does not have to be penetration with a phallic object or penetration of any kind in order to make sex between you and your partner valid.

Who Can Participate in Outercourse?

If you’re not totally ready to have penetrative sex or want to have direct genital stimulation, but still want to find a way to be intimate with your partner, this is a great option. Outercourse is an excellent launch point for people who are new to sex. 

It’s also a great way to reconnect intimately with your partner. Sometimes we can’t see the forest through the trees. Sex is just as much a mental act as it is a physical act. Outercourse can help you not only become more introspective of your own sexuality, but also more in tune with your partner’s particular quirks. 

We always recommend that you discuss your partner’s sexual health and history before becoming intimate, but sometimes there isn’t a right time to have that conversation. Outercourse is a reliable way to avoid pregnancy or the spread of STIs as long as you don’t come into contact with sexual fluids or engage in genital-to-genital contact. You can eat your cake and have it, too, pregnancy and STI free.

(Psst: always clean your sex toys before and after all uses even if you are not directly in contact your partner's genitals and/or fluid during outercourse play because bacteria can remain on your toys long after use, potentially transmitting an infection.)

How Do You Have Outercourse?

There is no wrong way to go about outercourse. We’ve outlined some ways you and your partner can have fun with each other, without penetrating each other, below. 

When you decide you want to try outercourse for yourself, lay out your expectations and some ground rules with your partner beforehand. Like we’ve said before, not everyone’s idea o sex is the same so you want to be on the same page as your partner when you decide to take penetration out of the equation.

Try Mutual Masterbation:

Like we explain in this blog post, mutual masterbation is when you and your partner both perform the act of masterbation while in each other’s presence. You can do this simultaneously, or take turns with one watching while the other performs. 

Aside from the physical pleasure you will receive, you’re also part of a voyeuristic act. Knowing that you’re being watched, that someone is viewing you with sexual desire, can increase your own enjoyment of the act.

Try Non-Penetrative Sex Toys:

External stimulation with the fingers out tongue are great contact options for outercourse. But if you want to spice up your handjob, try incorporating a masturbator. A masturbaotr is a sex toy inteded to be used by a penis owner, meant to mimic the act of mastubating. Using one during a handjob will create more complex sensations for your partner to enjoy.

We recommend something like the Tenga Hard Gel Egg. It’s inside is textured to add an extra layer of pleasure. Add some lube, and use it paired with your bare hand. 

For vulva owners, some styles of vibrators provide wonderful sensations exclusively to the exterior gential area. We recommend clit-specific vibrators, like wand, bullet, or clitorial-stimmulator styles. 

Satisfyer is a pioneer in clitoral stimulation toys. Using air-current technology, their unique products stimulate the clit with intense pulsations. The Satisfyer Pro 2 also comes with a vibrating feature for some extra oomph. 

A bullet vibe like the Rose 2 by Vush can be enjoyed by anyone, either as a warm up or some auxiliary support for the main act. This tiny but mighty vibrator packs a powerful punch that can be incorporated into any activity. Try stimulating your partner with it, either by itself or in addition to something else. 

Talk With Your Partner.

Paint them a picture of your favorite fantasy with your words. Homegrown, personalized erotica can be very hot. Discuss in vivid detail something you’ve always wanted to try, or something you want to try again.

Not only is this titillating for you and your partner both, but it’s also a great way to start a conversation about something you would enjoy trying. By framing it as not only a fantasy, but also making it part of something they are currently enjoying will only make both experiences more appealing. 

Get Your Grind On.

Grinding. . . dry humping. . . whatever you want to call it, it’s fun. It’s a great way to take your make out sesh to the next level without proceeding to all out sex.

Try an At-Home Couple’s Massage.

Skin on skin contact meant to elicit physical pleasure. . . that doesn’t involve the genitals. Give your partner a thorough, full-body rub down. You can do this with just your bare hands, but we recommend some kind of massage oil for a little extra lubrication, which is always a good thing. 

This one by Exsens of Paris also has warming technology that’s activated by skin to skin (or skin to mouth!) contact, so things are certain to heat up once you get going. 

Get Kinky!

Kink doesn’t always involve sex. Kink runs the gamut from sexual restraints to power-exchanges. Explore any kinks you have, be that a humiliation kink or an objectification kink. Anything is on the table. 

However, if you want to get physical, activities like spanking can also be very sexual without involving any kind of sex. 

Whatever you do, or whatever you want to try, feel free to get creative. Other than practicing safe sex and always having consent, sex doesn’t have any rules. It can be whatever you want it to be. Experiment as much as you like, and you’re guaranteed to find something that rubs you the right way.



19 Aug

Let's Get Serious about the Butt

Pain is like cinnamon: you might want to add a little to spice things up, but too much can ruin the dish. While a little pain or discomfort is a totally normal part of sex, watch out for the intensity. Intense pain or discomfort is the red flag signalling that something has gone wrong. You should never push through extreme feelings because it could mean that you’re damaging your body or that damage has already been done. 

Sexual discomfort, especially discomfort in the anal area, can be awkward to talk about. Despite that, it’s something you should take seriously and feel empowered to talk to your doctor about. You’ve got to live in your body for a long time, so you want to keep it in working order. Being aware of and open about pain you’re experiencing could keep you from getting hurt and keep your body in working order so you can have more fun for longer. 

Quick disclaimer: Here at Lion’s Den, we’re here to help. We like to provide useful information and advice to our readers, but we aren’t here to provide medical advice. If you think you’re experiencing a serious problem, as always, we recommend speaking to your doctor about anything you’re experiencing

But if you need help detecting warning signs that your discomfort is a serious issue or advice on initiating a conversation with your doctor, we can give some insight into how to initiate a conversation about your health with your primary health care provider. 

Knowing the Risks:

Sex, espeically anal sex, is not without risks. Of course, there are the risks associated with all sexual acts such as pregnancy or STIs. But the anus is a unique area with its own unique risks. 

The anal canal produces no natural lubricant which increases the risk of tearing. Additionally, the skin and muscle of the anus is less accommodating of sexual activity than other orifices, and is more absorbent than other skin of the body. The skin of the anal canal is also more absorbant than other skin on the body. This leads to a greater risk of STIs than other forms of sex. The National Institute of Health warns that anal sex is associated with a higher risk of acquiring an STI or other infections. 

Anal sex can still be performed safely. According to Planned Parenthood, anal sex is safe for both the short and long-term. However, it can irritate existing hemorrhoids if that’s something you experience. It also comes with an elevated risk of anal or vaginal prolapse. This is when the muscles of the pelvic floor weaken, which causes organs to slip further down. 

For all these reasons, it’s important to always, always use lube and protection. Not only does it dramatically increase pleasure, but it reduces risk of injury and spreading STIs. 

Recognizing an Issue:

Fortunately, it’s not too difficult to recognize when something has gone awry. If your anal play feels intensely painful, we advise you to stop and consult your doctor. A little pain is to be expected, but if it’s a lot, this could indicate some trauma in the anus. 

Another warning sign is blood, which usually accompanies a feeling of pain. Bright red blood means the trauma has come from the anus, anal canal, or lowet part of the colon. This could be from something like an aggravated hemorrhoid or an anal fissure. An anal fissure is a small tear in the anal canal caused by trauma, which could be anything from straining or rough anal sex. Cedar Sinai writes that some of the most common causes of anal fissures are anal sex or objects inserted into the rectum. 

But if it’s dark blood, that means the injury is further up and probably more serious, so go to the emergency room immediately. 

What to Expect When Consulting a Health Care Provider:

If you’re worried about talking to your doctor because you want to keep your issue private, let us assure you that you’re totally safe speaking to your doctor. Doctors are legally bound to keep any information you share with them private. Also, your health care provider’s job is to listen to your health-related concerns and help solve them, not to judge. Odds are, whatever you’re going through is something a ton of other people have also experienced and that your doctor has seen numerous times. 

Planned Parenthood outlines some questions your doctor will probably ask you when you go in to speak with them about sexual discomfort: 

                  - Are you sexually active? (this means anal, oral, and vaginal sex.)
                  - Have you ever had an STD, or think you have an STD?
                  - Are you using birth control, and what kind?
                  - Do you have any pain or bleeding during sex?
                  - Have you ever had sex without a condom or dental dam?
                  - Have you ever used drugs or alcohol? If so, how often?

Depending on the type of body you have, your doctor will have different questions. If you are biologically female, they will ask you about your menstrual cycle and any abnormalities you might be experiencing in your cycle. They will also ask if you have noticed a change in your discharge.

Penis owners will be asked if they have any abnormalities in getting or maintaining an erection, or if they have noticed abnormal discharge. Your doctor might also ask if you have noticed any abnormal lumps in your testicles or in your genital area. 

Whatever you are experiencing, it is important to be totally transparent with your doctor. They’ve spent years acquiring medical expertise, and will only be able to accurately diagnose the source of your problem if they’ve been made aware of the full scope of your symptoms. 

However, if you feel that your doctor is not listening to you or is brushing aside your symptoms, always feel free to seek a second opinion. Someone who is a great healthcare provider for others might not be the best fit for you, so shop around for a healthcare provider that best fits your needs.


16 Aug

How to Talk to Your Partner about Anal Sex

So, you’ve decided that you’re open to the idea of anal pleasure. 

There are a number of ways you can achieve anal pleasure all by yourself, but if you have a partner you’d like to try anal sex with, you have to get them on board as well. 

Bringing up anal sex can feel intimidating. Despite the large cult following of people who love anal sex, its still got a reputation for being taboo which makes people more hesitant to bring it up. 

Let us assure you that anal sex can be great for anyone, no matter who you are. Men, women, and people of all genders can get pleasure from pegging, rimming, or any other kind of penetrative play as either the receiver or performer. Like every other form of sex, it’s meant to be fun. 

And if you’d like some tips for pitching anal to your partner, keep reading. 

Talk With Your Partner Beforehand:

Be honest with your partner about what you want to try. Odds are that your partner can’t read your mind, and the only way they’re going to know that you want to try anal is if you tell them. 

Try catching your partner in a good mood when they have time to talk and let them know what you’re thinking. Approach this conversation with a collaborative attitude. Instead of just telling your partner you’d like them to do something to you or you’d like to do something to them, phrase your invitation to try anal as something you would like to try together

Kaitlyn Vanger writes for Bustle, “Remember that anal play is a mutual sex act, and your partner should be just as into it as you are before you head right in. Also, starting a sentence by stating your needs first can put pressure on your partner, which is never acceptable.” 

We totally agree. You're offering your partner a new aspect of your partnership. They have to be on board if you’re going to proceed. 

If you’re looking for another way to bring up the topic, you could try asking if they have any fantasies and begin a conversation about different things you’d like to explore with each other. Your partner might be thinking about anal too, and has just been waiting for the right opportunity to say something. Your partner might also have a totally different fantasy they’d like to explore with you. This conversation opens a line of communication about new things you’d both like to try, which is always a good thing. 

Give Them Something to Think About:

If you don’t want to immediately bring up anal sex, or you’d like to work your way up to it, you could suggest bringing anal toys into the bedroom. Fingering, or even the use of a butt plug, is a lot easier of a starting place than penetrative anal sex. 

Also, purchasing an anal safe toy and gifting it to your partner is another great way to bring up the fact that you’d like to try anal sex. Make it clear that they’re under no pressure to use it on themself or you (it all depends on what you’re going for). They might not be into it, or it might take them some time to warm up to the idea, but having a concrete first step on hand might bring you closer to anal sex.

Anal sex requires a fiar ammount of prep work, as the anus is less maleable than other sexual orifices. It takes time to build up the muscle strength and tolerance to find anal sex comfortable. 

Kaitlyn Vanger also writes, “You can make anal prep into a fun couples activity by heading to your local sex shop and picking out butt plugs and anal beads. Both of these toys will help relax your partner's anus before sex, which will put your partner's mind at ease and enhance the experience for both of you.” 

The B-Vibe Anal Training Set comes with three butt plugs of varying sizes with different vibrating functions. They’re discrete and comfortable, so you can keep them in for extended periods and wear them anywhere. Try them in the bedroom, or try wearing one around the house (or even out of the house) for an adventure you can go on all by yourself. 

Anal beads are also great for people looking to try anal stimualtion and work their way up to more intense forms of anal penetration. The beads increase in size, allowing you to stretch and build your flexibility. Curious Bottom Line Silicone Beads are a great starting place for your anal adventure. 

If you’re serious about trying anal sex, whether you want to be on the receiving end or want to give your partner a good time, we strongly recommend that whoever is going to be the recipient gets warmed up before you move on to actual sex. According to a survey on anal intercourse conducted by PubMed, “less than a third (27.7%) of participants who regularly engaged in anoreceptive intercourse in the past 12 months stated that they rarely or never experience pain/discomfort with the practice.” This does not have to mean actual anal sex. A buttplug, anal beads, or fingering are all great ways to build up your anal stamina. 

Be Willing to Try it Out Yourself:

One of the most memorable scenes on Keeping Up with the Kardashias was when Scott Disick, Kourtney’s former partner, continuously tried to convince Kourtney to “let him in through the backdoor.” In response, Kourtney jokingly bought a strapon, telling Disick that if he wanted to try anal sex he’d have to bottom first. And while this scene was certainly meant for comedy, somewhere in there is a good idea. 

First and foremost, don’t try anything you’re not comfortable with. However, it’s generally not good practice to try to talk someone into doing something you yourself won’t try. One of the best ways to learn what you’re doing is learn how it’s supposed to feel, or at least how it feels at all. 

Before initiating a conversation with your partner about anal sex, try some anal play out yourself and see what all the fuss is about for yourself. This way, you’ll understand what it feels like and be able to better talk your partner through what they might feel if they decide they want to try it out as well. Also, you might discover that you enjoy being on the receiving end. 

Knowledge, after all, is power. So learn as much as you can about anal sex beforehand. 

Be Alright With a NO:

We’ve laid out some great tips on how to bring up anal with your partner, but you’re still not guaranteed a go-ahead on anal sex. Some people just don’t have any desire to try anal sex, and that’s okay. It’s not for everyone. 

Consent is key in all aspects of sex, but if anything needs multi-factor authentication, it’s anal. While it can be an outstanding source of pleasure, it can also be uncomfortable and even painful. You absolutely must make sure that your partner is ready and willing to be penetrated. 

Your partner is free to retract their consent at any time, but they’re also free to decide that they would like to try anal after all. Never pressure your partner into anything. Give them space and time to think about if they’d lie to try anal. If it doesn’t sound appealing to them at the moment, it is possible that their “no” one day could turn into a “yes” the next. Whatever they say, respect it. 

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