Tuesday, February 28, 2006

Lubricants: Water-based vs. Oil-based

Overview

Generally there are two types of lubricants: water-based and oil-based. Oil-based destroy latex condoms, water-based don't.

Water-based

The ongoing AIDS crisis has prompted an increased need for waterbased lubricants for safer sex play. Amount of choice is both overwhelming and confusing. Most water-based lubricants seem to have the same ingredients - water and glycerin, mostly - and are priced more or less in the same range. While looking for lube at your local pharmacy or adult bookstore, the question may occur to you: "What's the difference between all of these products?"

Following is a list of lubes that were sampled, as well as the final evaluation of their merit. All lubes that were tested contained no nonoxynol-9 (a detergent/spermicide that kills HIV in test tubes) because it tends to irritate the skin.

I-D has an average price and a medium consistency. It stays wet for a long time and re-wets well with spit or water. It doesn't get tacky and is non-irritating. All lubes claim to be "odorless" and "tasteless" even though they usually have a mild aroma reminiscent of Play-Doh. I-D is probably the least offensive taste- and smell-wise. I-D works well for a variety of play. Overall Rating: Excellent

Body Wise Liquid Silk is imported from the UK and has no list of ingredients. The distribution in the US is limited, but it's available through the good people at Good Vibrations. Liquid Silk is incredible! It feels very silky, stays slick for a long time and re-wets very well. Highly recommended! Overall Rating: Excellent

Wet is medium priced and economical despite their widespread advertising. Wet does stay wet, primarily because it has a thin consistency due to the high water/glycerin ratio. I'd recommend Wet over other lubes for anal play as it stays slick the longest and re-wets very well. Overall Rating: Very good.

Aqua Lube is brought to you by the people who bring you Kimono condoms. Price-wise, it's probably the cheapest on the market. It stays slick for a very long time and has a thick consistency which can feel really incredible. While Aqua Lube doesn't tend to get gummy, it can be difficult to re-wet once it does dry out. Overall Rating: Average.

Astroglide falls between Wet and Probe in terms of consistency, on the thin, watery end of the scale. My main complaint about Astroglide is it's price -- in some stores this lube can cost twice as much as other brands! Astroglide stays wet for a long time and re-wets better than any other lube. Save yourself some money, though, and look into other brands. Overall Rating: Excellent, but expensive.

Probe had the thinnest consistency of all the lubes in our sample and dried up the most quickly as well. Probe contains grapefruit seed extract, which gives it a pleasant taste if you're going down on someone who's used it. This popular brand is moderately priced but dries much too quickly to be a good lube value. Overall Rating: Below average.

Corn Husker's Lotion has basically the same ingredients as most lubes, but the SD alcohol 40 in the lotion gives it a cool feeling. Unfortunately, Corn Husker's Lotion is absorbed into the skin very quickly and it gets gummy with repeated movement. A great moisturizer, but not a great lube, despite the cheap price. Overall Rating: Poor.

K-Y Jelly was the water-based staple before the market was flooded. K-Y is extremely thick and dry and therefore provides inferior lubrication. K-Y gets tacky and gummy quickly and cannot be re-wet. In our survey, K-Y did not respond well with latex in terms of providing proper lubrication. Some women I know swear by K-Y for vaginal lubrication, but our team gave it a thumbs-down. Overall Rating: Very poor.

Embrace is so thick it barely comes out of the bottle. It dries quickly and gets gummy, not allowing to be re-wet. This product also comes in a nasty strawberry scent that should be avoided. Embrace is very inexpensive, but is not a great lube value. Overall Rating: Disastrous

Oil-based

Vaseline - traditional, but not compatible with condoms.

Sex Toys: Why Human Is Better Than Plastic?

Why Human Is Better Than Plastic?

Sex toys can be a wonderful enhancement to lovemaking and a source of truly spectacular sexual pleasure. Unfortunately, the sex toys many of us have seen may not have been the best quality, and may not have been advertised or packaged tastefully. In this guide we give our recommendations for the best toys of each type in our opinion.


Vibrators

These toys are fun for almost everyone, but are especially popular with women. Using a vibrator to massage her clitoris is the easiest way for most women to reach orgasm. Many vibrators, such as the Hitachi Magic Wand and the Relaxus Rechargeable, can also be placed between two people during partner sex for mutually fun vibrations. Here are some basic vibrator tips for women (though most of the same ideas apply to men).

If the vibrations are the right speed for you but seem too intense, then you might try draping a cloth between your clit and the vibrator. If even this is too intense, then you might try folding the cloth. You might try using lighter pressure but moving the head of the vibrator on your clit, rather than keeping it stationary and using heavy pressure. Unless, of course, you like heavy pressure: there's no "right" or "wrong" way with this sort of thing...

If you feel comfortable making a little noise, you may find that letting yourself moan or sigh on your exhalations will improve the whole experience for you. If you want to see just how incredible of an orgasm you can have, then you might experiment with some of the following advanced tips.

Some women find that it feels especially good to combine moving the vibrator around on (or, alternatively, just to the side of) their clitoris while simultaneously rocking their pelvis using a gentle "fucking" motion. If you've learned how to voluntarily squeeze your "PC" muscle (the same muscle you squeeze to stop the flow of urine when you're urinating), then it can be fun to rhythmically squeeze this muscle while rocking forward (relaxing it while rocking back). If you want to get even more sophisticated, you can time your breathing to rhythmically correspond with to you're doing with your pelvis; this is often the extra touch that bridges the gap between "terrific" and "mind-blowing."

Some women find that clitoral orgasms (from their vibrator) feel especially good when they have a nicely-shaped dildo in their vagina. If you know you like G-spot stimulation, then a Crystal Wand or a Kegelcisor might be a good choice; if you don't care for G-spot stimulation, then one of the nice silicone dildos might be perfect for you. If you want to REALLY get sophisticated you can use one hand to move your dildo in rhythm with your pelvic movements (while continuing to do the PC contractions, if you like doing that) as you use your other other hand to move your vibrator around (or on) your clitoris.

Some women find they can have multiple clitoral orgasms with their vibrator. The secret is to back off on the pressure, keep the vibrator moving, and avoiding direct contact with your clit until the energy builds back up again.

Men can enjoy these same vibrators. For men with female partners, one obvious thing is for his partner to use the vibrator on her clit during intercourse with him; the vibrations will also diffuse into his penis, a sensation which some men really like. Men can also enjoy using vibrators on themselves, with or without a partner. This is a fundamentally different experience than masturbating with your hand, as (chances are) your penis will be semi-hard through much or all of the experience rather than fully erect; however, especially if you do the rhythmic breathing and pelvis rocking and PC muscle contractions, you may find that you like the sensation a LOT. Some men find they can reach pleasurable orgasms (and ejaculations) with a vibrator without ever having a full erection.

Hitachi Magic Wand

Good Vibrations reports that this is their most popular vibrator. It has a soft, round head that feels oh so lovely on your clit (or your testicles, or your neck, or your perinium, or your feet, etc.) It comes with a one year manufacturer's warranty.

Wonder Wand

This is an attachment for the Hitachi Magic Wand which fits over its head and provides a small four inch dildo (about 3/4 in diameter) for vaginal or anal penetration.

G-Spotter

This attachment for the Hitachi Magic Wand is just like the Wonder Wand, except that it curves upward slightly to press against the G-Spot when used vaginally. Another approach to G-Spot stimulation with vibrators is using an attachment-free vibrator on your clit while using a Crystal Wand toy (see below) on your G-Spot.

Wahl Coil

If you want a plug-in vibrator like the Hitachi Magic Wand but need it to run almost completely silently, this would be a good choice. It comes with a one year manufacturer's warranty.

The Twig

This is an attachment for the Wahl Coil which allows simultaneous clitoral stimulation and vaginal penetration.

G-Spotter Plus

This attachment for the Wahl Coil is like The Twig, but it curves upward for G-Spot stimulation and lacks the "twig" part that pressed against the clitoris. As was mentioned above, another approach to G-Spot stimulation with vibrators is using an attachment-free vibrator on your clit while using a Crystal Wand toy (see below) on your G-Spot.

Humdinger

You can plug your Hitachi Magic Wand or Wahl Coil vibrator into this device, which then plugs into your electrical outlet. The Humdinger will then transform your vibrator's continuous hum into a continuous hum with a nice rhythmic throb. The throb rate is adjustable. Call Good Vibrations at 1-800-BUY-VIBE if you'd like to purchase one.

Battery-Powered and Rechargeable Vibrators

Relaxus Rechargeable

This is the best of the rechargeable models. It carries a one-hour charge and has the same basic shape as the Hitachi Magic Wand. It has a one year manufacturer's warranty.

Auto Arouser

This vibrator is unique in that it is designed to run off the cigarette lighter of your car.

Aquassager

This battery-powered vibrator's main selling point is that it can be used under and around water (i.e. in a hot tub, bath, or shower).

Pocket Rocket

This battery-powered vibrator's claim to fame is its extraordinarily small size, making it a perfect addition to one's purse, etc.

Pink Pearl

This small egg-shaped, battery-powered vibrator can be used in a Treasure Chest dildo (see below) or else inside you against your prostate or G-Spot. It's connected to a control (which stays outside your body) that you can adjust for yourself or hand to a friend.

Rabbit Pearl

This Japanese battery-powered toy has a somewhat complicated but fun design: a rotating shaft vibrates inside your vagina (including rolling, textured "pearls" inside it near the entrance of your vagina which feel just lovely) while a separate part rests on and flutters against your clit.

Mini Dolphin Vibe

This is an elegant battery-powered vibrator and harness combination that keeps its vibrator nestled against your clit while leaving both your hands free. You can continue enjoying the vibrations while you have sex with a partner.


Vaginal Toys

Crystal Wand

Many women find this beautiful, S-shaped, clear lucite dildo to be perfect for G-spot stimulation. It can also be used for prostate stimulation, and comes with an instruction manual.

Kegelcisor

This cool steel dildo was designed to make it easier for women to find and exercise their PC (pubococcygeal) muscles. The main feature of this toy is its weight; because it's heavier and made of smooth steel, you can press against it with your vaginal muscles without pushing it out. It is featured in Betty Dodson's videotape Celebrating Orgasm, in case you want to see how it's used. By the way, this toy is somewhat expensive because it is also sold to doctors as a medical device.

Treasure Chest

This versatile dildo has a hollowed-out area at its base in which one can put a Pink Pearl vibrator (see above), and can also be used in a harness. This toy is made of silicone, which is considered by practically everyone who has tried toys made of it to be superior to rubber because it's simple to clean, feels better, and retains body heat (just don't use them with silicone-based lubes, like I-D Millenium or Wet Platinum or Eros).


Anal Toys

Scout 1

Our culture tends to put a lot of emphasis on intercourse, but the best way to get started enjoying anal penetration is either with fingers or an anal toy such as this. Unlike dildos meant for vaginal use, anal dildos like this one have a flanged base so they can't slip all the way inside you. If you want a vibrating sensation you can press the head of a plug-in vibrator against its base. Men can tilt it forward (towards the front of their body) if they want it to stimulate the prostate gland.


Harnesses

These are toys that allow women and men to wear a dildo on their hips or thighs to penetrate their lovers with, while leaving their hands free. Men who would like to wear a harness should probably avoid single-strap models such as the Dual Vibro model mentioned below.

Terra Firma

This two-strap harness is available in medium (for up to 44" hips) and large (for up to 56" hips) sizes.

Dual Vibro Harness Kit

This single-strap harness (for up to 46" hips) has two special pockets for two small (and removable, and included) vibrators: one vibrates the penetrator's clit, and the other buzzes the penetratee. The paired set of egg-shaped vibrators (which are connected to one control) can also be taken out and used independently of the harness.

Crown

This two-strap model holds the dildo higher on one's belly, and fits larger women and men quite nicely.

Thigh One On

This harness straps onto your thigh rather than around your hips. Two partners could each wear one and slide between each others' legs to allow penetration; this will probably work better for simultaneous penetration than trying to use "double dildos".


Toys for Men

Bolo Cock Ring

Cock rings cause a feeling of extra pressure in the penis when they're put on at the base of the penis (the testicles go through them, so the ring is between the testicles and the body). This model is adjustable and flexible.

Fleshlight

This masturbation toy is a soft, waterproof, space-age sleeve that surrounds your penis and returns amazing sensations.


Miscellaneous Toys

Blindfold

A fun toy for sensation play and many types of BDSM play.

Wrist Cuffs and Ankle Cuffs

Using wrist and ankle cuffs to restrain someone (for consensual BDSM play) is much easier than learning to tie knots, and is much safer than using handcuffs.


Hygiene

Keep your toys clean with a little soap and warm water. If you want, break out the hydrogen peroxide for that super clean feeling. Don't submerge the part of a battery vibe that holds the batteries. Do not submerge electric vibes at all.

Leather harnesses can be cleaned with a damp rag, and nylon webbing harnesses can go in the wash with the rest of your laundry.

Silicone dils and plugs can be boiled up to 3 minutes, cleaned with a bleach solution, or run through your dishwasher. For more delicate polymers stick to warm water and soap, and replace them every so often, as they are impossible to keep perfectly clean.

Oil products destroy latex! That means oil-based lubricants, massage oils, butter, olive oil...anything containing oil. Use only water-based lubricant with latex.

If cleaning seems like too much of a pain and you still want to use your toy with more than one person, you could always just put a latex condom (or latex glove, in the case of some larger vibrators) over your toy and discard the glove or condom when you're done. Rubber dildos are porous and it isn't really practical to completely sterilize them, so you should either put condoms on them if you're going to use them with multiple people or switch to silicone dildos (which can be boiled to disinfect them, as mentioned above).

5 Absolutely Best Positions for Her

1. Missionary position, but only with two pillows under her bottom. The man should support his weight by kneels and hands, so that his body does not put very much pressure on her body. The man should thrust and at the same move his thighs diagonally slightly rubbing her vulva and clitoris with his belly.

This position is much more superior to standard missionary position because his penis stimulates her pussy in a different more unusual angle and the rubbing stimulates the clitoris. At the same time the woman is not burdened by his body weight which allows her to concentrate on the orgasm not other dominating signals of her body.

2. Woman should lie on the table on her back and he should penetrate her standing at the edge of the table and keeping her legs upwards supprting them by his shoulders or hands. This position is very good, because it allows the man easily to stimulate her clitoris while thrusting. At the same time it is very comfortable position for the woman, and she can be very relaxed.

3. Woman should lie on the table on her side and the man should stand near the edge of the table and finger her anus (ass) while thrusting. Many women tend to enjoy it very much when both of their holes are penetrated at the same time. Try it also out in other positions where convenient.

4. Doggie style, but important thing here is to reach with your hand around her body and stimulate her clitoris while thrusting. Without such stimulation, many women experience difficulties reaching orgasm, because thrusting penis alone does not provide enough stimulation. Otherwise many women like doggie style very much because it is very comfortable, just be sure she can rest her knees and elbows on something soft.

5. She will enjoy very much a position, where she sits in his lap wrapping her legs around him and both partners facing each other. Movements in this position will resemble rather rubbing than thrusting, because his movements are very limited in this position. But she will enjoy such a position very much and might reach orgasm (usually a soft one) very easily, while he is hardly likely to reach orgasm in this position.

5 Common Mistakes - Using Condoms

Read this very carefully and memorize for it may turn out to be much more important than an extra orgasm or g-spot stimulation technique.

1. Use them 100% of the time. (Provided she does not take the pill.) Each of us has had an occasion of the ultimate lust, being of afraid of saying anything while hurringly undressing, or being lazy, when it just seems not so important to wear a condom. Take a deep breath, and take a minute or few seconds needed to get your condom out and on. You and your partner will ultimately appreciate it 100% of the time.

2. Never use a condom together with oil-based lubricants (baby oil is oil-based), because the condom will tear.

3. Don't forget to squeeze the tip of the condom to push the air out of it when wearing the condom.

4. Pick the right size condoms. Some guys tend to complain about the small size of condoms, which makes them painful to wear. Make some inquiries, there are condoms of different sizes around nowadays.

5. You'd be surprised to find out how many guys have gone through the humiliating experience of not being able to wear a condom in front of their partners. Hey, take a look from the funny side of it, it's not the end of the world. But seriously, the number one problem for not being able to wear a condom is that penis has not gotten hard enough. Take your time to get it hard, and a little blowjob is an excellent help. When the penis is hard, wearing a condom is no problem.

5 Common Mistakes - Why She Never Reaches Orgasm?

Many women experience difficulties reaching orgasm with a lover for many reasons. Following are some of the more common ones.

1. She is too busy in her head -- thinking about how aroused you are or aren't, what your partner thinks of you, whether s/he can keep the movement going, etc. She often thinks too much, instead of focusing on the sensations of what's going on sexually.

2. She may be afraid that she won't orgasm. Some women don't even bother trying and end up completely repressing their sexual response.

3. She can be afraid of seeming demanding by asking too much of her partner (that is, asking to be stimulated the way she likes it, and the way she knows it works). She can be afraid that if her partner concentrates on her pleasure only, she will feel too much pressure to come, leaving her incapacitated sexually.

4. You and your partner are trying too hard to have simultaneous orgasms. Given that they're pretty difficult to do, the trying could certainly get in the way.

5. You rush into sex with your partner. The woman is not leaving herself enough time to get fully aroused and come to climax. Her orgasm ends up getting pushed aside during sex.

If any of these ring true, don't blame yourselves harshly. All men and women have problems with their partners at certain times in their lives.