Saturday, November 24, 2012

Avi has moved!

I have moved all my content to www.itsanavi.com
So please check over there for updates! I will not be using this again!

Wednesday, September 19, 2012

I'm performing at Bawdy Storytelling: The Sex Educator Dow Low. Do you have any favorite stories of mine from my sex shop days?

email me at avianswers@gmail.com

Wednesday, July 11, 2012

Where is Avi

Hi folks! I am currently working on a new website. I will let you know when it's up!!!

Wednesday, May 2, 2012

Dear Avi: I Bought the We-Vibe and I don't like it. Help!

Dear Avi,
I bought the We-Vibe (http://we-vibe.com/) and I don’t like it! I don’t want to throw it out cuz I spent money on it, but my boyfriend and I don’t like it. I got it cuz my friends liked it! What do I do?


Answer!


So you bought a toy and brought it home only to find out that this is not right the toy for you? You are not alone. I like to think of sex toys as lovers. You must date around to find a compatible lover, and what may be attractive in a lover for your friends may not be right match for you. Everybody is different when it comes to sex toys and it’s important to keep your own sexual preferences in mind over what’s “popular” or advertised as “the best”.


That being said, you bought the toy and you don’t like it. There are many ways to go from here. You could toss it and call it a loss (make sure to note what you did and didn’t like about the toy for future reference), you could give it to a friend (if the toy is sanitizable and the friend is willing) or you can think outside the sex toy box. I love to encourage folks to think outside of how the toy is “designed” to be used and figure out a way that fits your own sexual style (safely of course). For example, say you buy a vibrating cock ring and you (or your partner) just don’t like it. Think outside the box! Put the ring on your hand and use it as a vibrator for hand play, or slip it over a dildo to make it into a dual stimulation toy! Just because a toy is advertised for one specific purpose doesn’t mean that it can only be used that way.

Okay, so let’s talk about the We-Vibe.

The We-Vibe is advertised as a (male/female) “couples” toy, where one part is inserted into the vagina, and the other part lays on top of the vulva, vibrating the clitoris.
The inside part vibrates as well and is ribbed to create texture as well as possible g-spot action. The “couples” part of it is that the inside part is designed to be slim enough to allow penetration while the toy is inside.


Therefore, it allows hands free vibrations during penetration. Sounds intriguing, no? Did I mention that it’s also rechargeable, and that the new updated version is waterproof and remote controlled?



Since the We-Vibe is designed for a specific purpose (hands free vibrations for couples during vaginal penetrative sex) it is possible that it is not the right lover for everyone. Then again, it may be the perfect lover for some and they can't get enough of it. Everyone's different! Have I stressed that enough? Maybe it ends up you or your partner don’t like that kind of vibration, or maybe it doesn’t really hit your clitoris the way you like, or maybe it is uncomfortable for you to have the insertable part inside with penetrations. There are lots of different possibilities, and since this runs at over $100 I can understand your frustration on finding that it just isn’t right for you.

So here are some ideas and recommendations that I have given out to folks who want to use the We-Vibe in a different way! Also, thank you to my vulva puppet (http://www.houseochicks.com/) for assisting me with this demonstration; I couldn’t have done it without you!


1. Uncomfortable to use with a partner? Does you or your partner not like the sensation? Use it on the vulva for self or partner masturbation!



It may sound too simple, but just because the toy says that it can be used with additional penetration doesn’t mean that is HAS to. Use the We-Vibe by itself as a clitoral vibrator that has a penetrative aspect. Rock back and forth with it and see if you enjoy the slender penetrative part. Insert it and hump a pillow or your partner!



2. Don’t care for the insertion part? Use it for external clitoral stimulation!

I always say, “If it vibrates, it can (usually) be used as a clit vibrator”. You’d be surprised how many people believe that if something says that it is designed for penetration, then that is the only way it can be used. Use either end as a vibrator for your vulva. Try laying the intended insertable part on the clitoris, and then laying the rest of the toy on your public mound. By vibrating the public mound you can actually stimulate the inner workings of the vagina, like the g-spot!



3. Is the vibration not strong enough? Use it to pin point!

The design of the We-Vibe is in a U formation that can be used to “pinch” an area where vibration is desired. In addition to vibration, pressure is found to be very arousing as it makes vibrations stronger and pin points the area that the buzzing is directed to.



4. Put it on your hand and TADA! Your hand is a vibrator!

I mentioned this earlier in how putting a vibrating cock ring on your hand makes your hand a vibrator. Well, the same can be applied to the We-Vibe. Clip it to your hand to make vulva, penis, or any body part play tinglier!





5. Don’t like it inserted inside the vagina, but still want to use it during sex? Put it on a shaft!

The clip design of the We-Vibe makes it be able to sit on top of a shaft (dildo, penis, etc.), which then can be used for penetration if desired. Think of it as a cock ring that isn’t fully enclosed in a circle and is easily removable, but vibrates! Explore with the positioning of the toy on the shaft and see what feels good!



I hope I have given you a few good ideas on what to do when a toy doesn’t work out for you. Remember that just because a toy isn’t the right fit for you, it doesn’t mean that there isn’t one out there that can rock your socks off. Explore, play safe, and let me know if you have any more questions!
-Avi

Notes:



We-Vibe can be found at http://we-vibe.com/
Vulva Puppet can be found at www.houseochicks.com

Friday, April 6, 2012

Can I Ask my Boyfriend to Help Pay for my Birth Control?

Dear Avi Answers, Jezebel.com recently posted an article about the high cost of having lady parts. In that vein, is it fair to ask my boyfriend to start helping with the bills for some of these things (IE BCP)?

Answer!
Birth control is the responsability of all partners involved. If he is depending on you to take the pill as both of your forms of birth control, then technically he is taking it along with you. Just because you are the one ingesting it doesn't mean that he is not responsible for helping to pay. It's in your body, but both of you use it as your means of contraception. It is totally fine to ask for him to help out paying for birth control.
Birth control is not one partners responsability. All partners involved should be aware of what is being used and share the financial responsability of paying for it.

On that note, partners should offer to split the costs of all forms of birth control, including condoms. At work I often see M/F couples come in to purchase condoms, with the male partner paying for all of it. Sometimes the female partner will make a comment like, "Since he's the one using it, he needs to pay for it." Lady, you are using condoms too. Condoms are a form of birth control, and if your partner is using them as a barrier during sex, then you are also using them even if they are not on your body.

There tends to be a mentality of "It's not my body, so it's not my responsability."

It's both of your birth control, it's both of your responsability.

Wednesday, April 4, 2012

Avi goes to Japan Part 1. Sex Work!

I had the fortune of a quick visit to Japan, where I met with a local college student who showed me around and catered to my lust for seeing various forms of sex work. The trip was meant to be a vacation, but I always want to find out about sex and gender wherever I go. Though I learnt a lot in the few days I was there, I know that I didn't get a full prospective of everything that I saw. I would love an opportunity to go back and learn more! (Pssst, wanna send me to Japan??)

Today I am going to write about sex work.

There are numerous form of sex work in Japan, and the select few that I learnt about had sub categories that went on and on. I'm sure to some they are going to come as a surprise or seem ridiculous, but remember, what is weird to you is normal to another.

Host/ess

A "Host" (or "Hostess" for females) is a sex worker that I came across in almost every busy urban area. The concept of a host is to literally "host" someone, aka spend time with them and make them feel special. In the American sex world this is sometimes referred to as a "boy/girlfriend experience" where the customer is paying for companionship rather than sex. As far as I understand, various forms of sex work, like hosting, are legal in Japan as long as there is no penetration, though many times this is overlooked. Hosting doesn't always involve sex, because the expectation is that this person is going to spend time with you, and if the host chooses so, will do sexual things with you, but not always. I experienced hosts while walking across a bridge that is a main walkway for people in the downtown shopping area where there are bars and clubs. The hosts and hostesses will stand in certain area and approach you, but only if they feel like you would be the right customer. Since I was obviously a foreigner, as well as dressed in jeans and a frumpy shirt, they ignored me. Oh well. By the way, most hosts do not work with same gendered folk.

There is a typical style for hosts. For men they have big rock star straightened hair that reminds me of shaggy emo kids, that is usually bleached or dyed light.

They also wear snazzy suits and nice shoes. Hostesses dress very similar, with VERY big hair (usually wigs) and lots of fancy jewelry.


Hosts often work for "Host Clubs" which are bars where a customer pays to hang out with the hosts and have conversations. These are also all over populated urban areas, with lots of advertisements for the clubs on billboards and posters, as seen above.

What really interested me was the relation between prostitutes and hosts. According to my local tour guide, many time hosts will do trade with other hosts or prostitutes (aka sex workers where sex is required in their work life). The reason behind this is because many times sex workers just need to feel emotionally pampered and have a hard time connecting to people who don't work in the industry. I was also told that hosts that end up trading with each other can get confusing as to what is real and what is performed emotions. But isn't that true of any profession where you fake sincerity, like customer service or retail?

Love Hotels

If one were to trade with a sex worker, where would this occur? One option is a Love Hotel, which is a hotel set up specifically for sex. There are many reasons why someone would want to use a Love Hotel:
1. It is traditional to live with your family until you start your own. If you want private time, these offer perfect places to go.
2. If you want to trade with a sex worker.
3. If you want to have an affair. According to my tour guide, since some people marry young and many times through family pressure, having an affair is a pretty common occurrence in Love Hotels.
4. It's Christmas. It is a tradition to have sex at a Love Hotel on Christmas.

Love Hotels offer many different fun options, like different themed rooms....


...and options of toys and costumes for rent


So how can you tell if a building is a love hotel, or just a hotel? Love hotels will have their windows blackened....


Or look something a little like this...


Love hotels are known to cater only to male/female couples, though if located in the "gay districts" will cater otherwise.

Maid Cafes

Some may not consider this a form of sex work, but I certainly do. Maid cafes tend to be what the name implies, they are cafes where the servers are dressed in maid costumes and serve you in a polite and cheery manner.

I compare these cafes to Hooters, not because the girls are dressed in skimpy outfits, but because they work to create a certain experience for customers. The maids are overly enthusiastic, often doing cute girly things like playing with dolls or stuffed animals and asking customers to write them happy messages in their notebooks.

Here is our menu:

When I got served, the maid would get on her knees to take our order of tea and ice cream, and would give us compliments about how pretty and nice we were. The cafe was decorated with stuffed animals and hearts and anime pictures. Customers pay by the hour to hang out, and can pay extra for special accommodations, like having the girls karaoke, or having one of them be your personal bartender and hang out with you.



Sex Clubs
I honestly didn't get the chance to see any sex clubs, but they do exist! Again, like some host clubs, though penetration isn't legal, some do cater to it without detection. Here is a building that houses various forms of sex clubs, ranging from kinky, to transgendered, to I don't know what (Strawberry Time?).

Sunday, March 18, 2012

More international adventures for Avi!

I have been packing and preparing myself for the adventure that is called: Japan! I will be going for a week and a half to Osaka and Kyoto for vacation, but plan to find something sexy and educational to blog about.

Tuesday, March 13, 2012

Step by step harassment

Today I was harassed by a person in the shop.

I find that it is important for me to share this experience, because even though I have worked in sex shops for numerous years and have been hit on multiple times, it never stops affecting me. I am an advocate for safe spaces and respecting others, and am very passionate about sex worker rights. I believe that sex workers deserve the same respect as any other "normal" occupation, and that harassment is not something that should be brushed off. I've had a few people tell me that since I work in the industry, I should get used to this type of treatment.

I will never get used to it, and I will never be silent about it happening.

Here's my story:

Guy comes into the store and asks if it's okay for him to be in here. He is a local "street person" who hangs around the downtown shops asking if any of them would like to have their windows cleaned. He carries window washing equipment with him, hence why we call him "The Window Washer." He has been in the shop a few times before, and is known to go into the back book section, read a little, and then leave. The last time he was here he told me that he liked seeing all the people in the store, but especially couples. While his comment did register as odd, I didn't think anything past it. This time when he came in, he went straight for the register that I was at. He smiled and commented on how I looked, which I passed off with a smile. Then he started looking me up and down and asked what time I got off work. I told him that wasn't an okay thing to say and he smiles and laughs and says he's kidding and I should know that. I am taken aback, as this guy is usually harmless. He tries to get my name out of me, and I try to shut him down but am extremely flustered since I was caught off guard. He laughs and walks over to the book section.

I am going to break in here and make note that anyone can get caught off guard, no matter how much experience they have with sexual harassment. Even though I tend to consider myself a tough cookie when it comes to handling sex remarks during work, it doesn't always happen the way I plan. Sometimes I crumble under pressure.

I see that there is a middle aged woman already in the book section and I get worried that he's going to talk to her in the same manner that he talked to me. My co-worker is also looking concerned, so we both walk around the area to keep an eye on him. As I am standing in the middle of the store, he walks over to me with his hand in his pocket and says he has something for me. I actually find myself stepping backwards, preparing myself for either a knife, or his penis. He knows I look uncomfortable and shocked, and smiles. He takes out a pen and then motions on his hand that he would like my number while smiling at me. He moves in closer, and I finally gather myself to tell him that he is being inappropriate and I am not okay with his behavior. He looks puzzled and says "What, you don't like nice guys?" He stumbles away and I move to go back to the register so that I will have a counter in between us in case I need to do anything. I notice while walking that he is following me, and I make a loop around the store just to make sure. Yes, he is definitely following me. Suddenly he turns around and walks out, leaving his belongings in the book section. He returns a minute later to grab his things and makes sure to come very close to the counter so that I know he is there.

I find myself feeling like I didn't do enough. Like I needed to throw him out, or tell him off. That I should do better next time.

In reality, I do not have to do better. He does. I am not to blame for this incident. I should not have to feel guilty about my reaction to being harassed. Just because I work at a sex shop, doesn't give him the right to hit on me or make me feel uncomfortable. I am a fucking sex worker and a person. I am not your target.

Wednesday, March 7, 2012

Today a woman asked if we sold roofies...

…because she wanted to surprise her boyfriend. It was either that, or some peppermint flavored lube that tingled.

Your kink is not my kink,

but please don’t roofie your boyfriend without his consent.

Non-consent is not sexy.

Friday, March 2, 2012

Little tips from life

This week has had it's roll of interesting people coming in. I have to reiterate, that no matter how much I complain/bitch, I LOVE my job and love the weird/awkward/sexy/terrible interactions that I have with people. Anyways, let's get to the fun part.

This woman came in with her obviously 5-6 year old riding a bicycle. When I informed her that we don't allow children in the store she looked at me funny and said "you don't allow babies?" I looked at her and then the kid on the bike and held back the urge to inform her that her child was not a baby. I instead repeated the law, that anyone under 18 are not allowed in the store. I also held back the fact that bikes are also not allowed. Sorry, but it is ILLEGAL to have a walking, talking, bicycle riding child in the store. Sex shops have been closed down for much less.

A woman came in asking for advice on how to rim her boyfriend. If you are not familiar with this term, "rimming" is the act of oral sex on the anal opening. The reason people enjoy this is because the anal opening had just as many nerve endings as your lips and other sensitive areas. Some people enjoy the feeling on a tongue or a finger running across the opening. It is also a very intimate act, that some people find very sexy because of it's taboo nature. I first brought her to our condom and lube section and showed her a dental dam, which is what some people like to use for oral anal contact. Some people like this because it creates a barrier between the mouth and the anus as well as protects from any STI transmissions. We then looked at anal vibrators, because the anal opening is also very receptive to vibrations. As I was ringing her up, guess who walked in? Her boyfriend and his brother! They both laughed and blushed, but let each other have their private shopping experiences. If you run into your partner at a sex shop, it is totally okay to let them continue their visit on their own and then talk later. It's fun to know that there is something sexy coming to you or your partner. Also, exploring something new for your partner is also sexy!

A woman came in to return/exchange a vibrator that had broken. I noticed that it was unusually warm, and asked if she stored it with the batteries in it. She said yes. Important note! Remove your toys batteries because they can overheat and can break your toy! Oh, also please clean your toys before you bring them in. It's a little gross for us to have to clean toys after they've been returned.

Monday, February 20, 2012

Living with Sex Workers

About six months ago I moved in with a cute, kinky, tiny porn performer named Alexxa Bound (https://twitter.com/#!/AlexxaBound).



People always assume that since I am a sex shop worker, and she is in porn, that we must have a very sexy household. Also, that we must either fuck all the time, or go on wild sex filled adventures. I have gotten emails requesting that we put cameras in our apartment for a sexy reality show.

Currently we are sitting on the couch in our jammies with the cats, watching House. I guess someone out there has a fetish for that.

A fun aspect of living with someone whose day job is in the sex industry is that we can be more casual about cleaning toys and leaving things out. I don't find it weird when she hangs her enema bag from our shower...



And she is totally fine with me cleaning my toys in the dishwasher.




I can also be blunt about my work, and don't feel awkward when I overshare. In turn, she feels comfortable doing cam shows in our apartment, as well as bringing other porn members over.

For example, the last time she shot with Denali Winter...


they ended up doing different acrobatic sex positions in our living room for my amusement.



Sexy, no?

I also find it amusing and come home to find that she leaves random equipment around the place. For example, I was plugging in my laptop in the corner near our couch, and Hey! There's a Hitachi Magic Wand!



Or when I reach for the remote and Whoops! Bottle of lube!



I guess my point is,

damn we're sexy

Sunday, February 19, 2012

I was ringing up a customer today when another customer came up to me and demanded that I come over and help her find a certain lubricant that she wanted. When I explained that I will be happy to in just a minute, she appeared frustrated and walked away.

The customer I was ringing up smiled at me and said "You must have the best and worst job in the world. I mean, all jobs seem like the best and worst, but yours is the best and worst to the extreme. You are probably like, Yay sex positive moment! And then all, Ahh people are just terrible!."

Well put customer. Well put.

Saturday, February 11, 2012

A Short Guide to Sex Shop Etiquette for Sex Workers

Here are some tips for sex workers who come into sex shops (please note this does not apply to all sex workers/sex shops).

- Welcome! Sex shops, or at least my work/progressive ones, are open spaces for all types of workers, whether you are a doctor, a rabbi, a Starbucks employee, whatever! Everyone is sexual, therefore, everyone (over 18+) is welcome!

- Let us know you are in the industry! Or not! Your choice! The title "sex worker" can be placed on various types of work (which I talk about in previous posts). Whether you are a prostitute, a sex therapist, a pro domme, a stripper, a go go dancer, a sex educator, or a behind the scenes cameraman for porn, if you identify as a sex worker and want to tell us, go ahead! If you don't want, you don't have to! We never question our customers about their occupation, nor judge them on what they purchase.

- Feel free to ask questions that pertain to your job. Often times people come in with specific questions or are looking for items that are for their work. For example, I have helped sex therapists find good reference books for certain topics, or have shown cam girls certain toys that their viewers have requested. We are prepared for most questions, and if we don't know, we will refer you to someone who does.

- Feel free to ask vague questions that don't give out information about your work. Like I said before, you don't need to tell us about your occupation. And if you ask a vague question, we aren't going to delve into why you asked.

- Some sex shops give a sex worker discount. Feel free to ask, it never hurts. If the shop does give a discount (like my work) we won't ask what type of sex work you do. Identifying as a sex worker is enough to get a discount.

- While we welcome blunt interactions, please don't over share. At times I find that some sex workers get either too comfortable or too awkward in sex shops, which leads to over share. While this can be applied to non-sex worker customers as well, I have found that sex workers especially try to over share their sexual knowledge with us. Maybe it's because they are exited to be in a sex positive space, or maybe they want to show off their product knowledge, but honestly, it can get uncomfortable. I've had sex workers come in and start talking about themselves in very intimate ways that borders on non-consent. Working in the sex industry doesn't mean that you need to be crude or over share to everyone else who identifies as a sex worker. While I'm all for "sister-solidarity" I sometimes feel violated when people tell me more than I need to know on the job.

- Please leave the sex shop education to the sex shop worker. Sex shops are an intimate place where people come for some personal shopping. While some people are okay with strangers telling them about products, as a sex shop worker I prefer that you don't. Please leave the education to me, since this is what my job is and this is what I am here for.

- If you have clients, you are welcome to bring them in. Just please do not session with them in the shop. This is a safe space for all, and some people are not comfortable with public sexual acts. But feel free to bring them in and shop around and we will be glad to help!

Friday, February 10, 2012

Finish this story!



Today a woman walked in with her dog running around without a leash. As I opened my mouth to tell her that we don't allow dogs in, she cut me off by saying "I don't care! Here, I don't want this!" and shoves a Hitachi magic wand that she took out of her purse in my hands and then stormed out.

I stood there a little confused, as well as insulted that a stranger just yelled at me, as well as forced me to hold her used sex toy (which I threw away).

So here's the fun part. Let's make up a story for why she did this! My co-worker likes to think that she got too addicted to her Hitachi so she had to get rid of it quickly.


Let me know what you think!

Responses:

Denali Winters says: "Maybe it massaged her TOO well and it was a pandora's box-type dimension-bending experience."
Tsareia says: "She probably tried to actually use it as a massaging tool instead of its actual purpose."
Cathy says: "Her lover made her choose between them, or the Hitachi. She chose them, and needed to dispose of it quickly lest she be tempted."

Wednesday, February 8, 2012

A promise to my friends

To my friends who come into the sex shop:

I promise that I will never out you
Whether you know that I work here, or you find out once you walk in, I will never tell other people about you being here. Hell, if you want, we don't ever have to talk about it. What you do is your business. Though I do write a blog, I will never name you, nor say anything that will identify you.

Your shopping is safe with me
Whatever you buy, whatever you look at, I will not tell. Your sexual preference is your business, and I will not be reporting it to any of our friends or to your partner(s). If I find out you like anal, great, good for you. I'm not going to go running to facebook, twitter, whatever and giggle about what you like to put in your body. Your purchase is, well, yours.

If you want, I will stay away
Not everyone wants their friend who works at sex shops to be around them when they are at said shop. I have no problem giving you space just as much as I have no problem helping you pick something out. You don't even have to say it, I usually can tell when people want their space in the store.

If you are my friend, I will probably give you a discount
It's a perk of having a friend as a sex shop worker. I will happily give you one.

Thursday, February 2, 2012

Questions and Answers

1) Many women report that they have difficulty having an orgasm during sex with a partner. What could you tell a woman who has this issue? What products, if any, might you suggest and why?

First off, I would tell her that many women have difficulty having an orgasm during sex for a variety of different reasons. She is not alone. This is a completely common concern and has no reflection on either partner’s performance in the bedroom, nor their affection towards each other. One reason that women have this issue is due to pressure to orgasm. Just like a male-bodied person may have difficulties maintaining erections when pressured, women can be distracted or too flustered to orgasm if there is too much attention on the matter at hand. I would suggest practicing taking deep breaths and communicating with her partner about what is going on in her mind. Nerves can be pretty off putting and a stressed out body means clenched muscles and an unhappy body. She needs to feel at ease to be aroused, to which communication can help. I suggest practicing foreplay with the partner, and if that is already happening, extending it. A nice massage and heavy petting can really help relax the body. For this I would suggest a Rub Me bar or any other massage product. Small toys like a Fingo or a Pleasurette may help to stimulate arousal while still enjoying some intimate foreplay action. Avoiding jumping right into sex is also a great benefactor of foreplay, as it lets the body get comfortable with different touches and sensations and extends the sexual session.
Another reason that some women have trouble having orgasms is because they expect orgasms during sex to be the same as orgasms during solo play. In Sex for One the idea of mutual masturbation is brought up as a way to show your partner how you cause arousal and pleasure in your solo play, which can lead to ideas of how to incorporate it into the bedroom. How can a partner know what turns you on if you don’t tell them? Make sure to also learn from their own solo play practices, because arousal goes both ways! Orgasms are generated differently depending on the location of arousal, for example clitoral verse vaginal stimulation. A large majority of women can orgasm through clitoral stimulation, which is often ignored during penetrative sex. I would suggest stimulating the clitoris during penetration, using fingers, partner’s fingers, or a vibrator. If you have a favorite vibrator that you use in personal play, it would be a great addition with your partner. If this is the first time you are bringing a vibrator into the bedroom I would suggest something small and quiet that does not distract or take away from the sex. Again something like a Pleasurette, or the Form line by Jimmy Jane would be great toys that are small enough to be pressed into the palm of the hand or against each other’s bodies.
I would also strongly suggest reading materials like The Multi Orgasmic series or I <3 Female Orgasm. Informative guides can give the individual a much better idea of what is going on with their sex lives than any person can.

2) A customer says that she’s heard about the G-spot, but doesn’t know anything about it. What are two things that you would tell her about the G-spot?

The first thing I would say is that the G-Spot does exist, but people respond to it differently. Many women think they do not have a G-Spot because they cannot “find it”. Fact is, G-spot stimulation and response is different for every person, so you may be playing with it and not even know! Many women build up in their head what G-spot stimulation is supposed to feel like, but the fact is that some people love it, and some people don’t. The G-spot is an area of tissue about two to three inches inside the upper floor of the vaginal canal that is very sensitive and can cause sexual orgasm for some. For some people when it is stimulated it can feel like there is a lot of pressure happening inside their vaginas, which can be pleasurable, and for others it can feel uncomfortable, as if they have to pee. The best thing with any sexual exploration is to relax and take your time. I would suggest putting aside some time with yourself or with your partner for G-spot exploration.

The second thing I would say is that the G-spot responds to pressure, more so than vibrations. Whilst vibrations are enjoyable, just vibrating it will not stimulate the G-spot. A good technique to find it is to insert fingers or a toy and pull gently towards the belly button. In Expert Guide to the G-Spot Tristan Taeromino refers to this as a “come here” motion with your fingers. She also suggests using toys that have a strong hook and when having it inserted, make sure that the hook is pointing towards the belly button. In the GV Guide to the G-Spot the importance of sexual arousal is brought up in regards to finding the G-Spot. The G-Spot is most sensitive and reactive when the vagina is aroused, so foreplay before searching is highly recommended.

3) A customer says that he’s interested in exploring BDSM. Name two books that you might recommend to him and why you chose them.
One book I would recommend is SM 101 by Jay Wiseman. First off, Jay Wiseman is a great community figure and his book, though slightly outdated, is a great overall of a wide range of topics. As a community figure, Jay knows what he is talking about. It is also written from a personal narrative and not factual and hard to read. It reads as if you are having a conversation with him. I also really appreciated how personal the book was and how you can tell that his advice comes from experience. It also gives you space to jot down your thoughts about the topics that he brings up, which really makes reading the book seems more like having a conversation with him.
Another book that I would recommend is The Ultimate Guide to Sexual Fantasy by Violet Blue. The book explores and demystifies the world of sexual fantasy and lets the readers explore their own sexual fantasies without judgment or reprehension. What I really appreciated about the book was that she brings up ideas as well as explanations in regards to fantasies, and does so on such a wide range of topics. The book explores fantasies that can be acted up, and the taboo, and gives suggestions on how to play with certain fantasies without harming yourself or others as well as breaking any laws. I also really appreciated the stories that were placed in between sections that gave example to how the fantasy can be thought about and practiced.


4) List three things that you might tell a customer who has never tried anal sex and is curious about it.
First off, I would tell the customer that though there is much controversy and debate over the topic of anal play, it is totally safe and fun, if done properly. Of my three tips for customers, I would tell them to communicate, relax, and don’t be afraid to use lots of lube, as well as other safer sex supplies. Communication is very key in any type of sexual play, but especially when attempting anal play. Anal sex can be physically painful if there is no communication, as well as emotional. Approaching anal sex is an intimate topic and there may be some mixed feelings about it! People who have been raise thinking it is a sin may even have guilt! Both parties can end up with a negative experience if they do not talk. In the Ultimate Guide to Anal Sex for Women partner communication is a very key aspect before approaching anal play. Anal play for either partner can be an enlightening as well as sexually empowering experience. My second tip would be to relax. The anus can tighten due to stress, things cannot be inserted, and if attempted can cause a painful experience. I would advise the person to relax as much as possible when exploring with the anus. Practicing pushing the anus open is a good way to get in the right mindset, since it gets the anus ready for some type of interaction. In Tristan Taormino’s Expert Guide to Anal Sex she talks about the importance of lubricant, and repeats many times that you can never have enough. Therefore, my third tip would be to use lots of lube! A good water-based gel will help lubrication for insertion as well as provide a protective cushion for the anal walls. In addition to lube, I would recommend using safer sex items such as gloves or condoms when inserting things like fingers or toys. They create an easy cleaning opportunity in case things get dirty, or you do not want to have to rush from the room to clean. Just slip them off and throw away!

5) A customer wants to buy her first dildo and harness. What are two things that you would tell her?
The first thing I would tell her when picking a dildo is to think about what she and her partner would like. This may seem like an obvious answer, but many times what one partner likes is not in fact what the other person does. A toy can be too large or too realistic looking, or not something that one partner finds very sexy. Communicating with your partner about what type of toy you are looking for can really enhance your experience. For example, if you specifically want to explore prostate stimulation, I would suggest picking out something curved in order to hit the prostate. The same goes for g-spot stimulation. In The Adventurous Couple's Guide To Sex Toys picking out toys is seen as a couples activity, and can be seen as a type of foreplay for later sexy encounters.
For buying her first harness I would recommend a style where you can switch out rings as well as choose whether or not to have a back panel and one that has adjustable straps. The reason behind this is because you can switch up different toys as well as explore and adjust where you want the toy to sit on your body. I would also suggest trying on a harness and seeing how you like the fit! Harnesses are like pants, and you can’t tell how you look or feel in them unless you actually try them on.


6) What are two common sexual concerns or issues faced by older people? What would you suggest to someone who is facing them?

In the book Still Doing It many of the stories involved the concern that as one ages, they will become less sexual. Many of the writers disagree with this statement, stating that they are still sexual and sexually active and enjoy many, if not all of the same activities as they did when they were younger. Some do note that sex does seem to change as the body does, but it doesn’t mean that sex is not fun. Certain positions or action may be a little more difficult, but with negotiation and discussion sex can still remain just as fun! Sex is evolving, and though it may change, it is still sex and the person is still a sexual being, no matter what their age. What I would suggest to someone who is facing this problem is to explore various forms of sexual arousal, whether during solo play or with a partner. Honestly I would also suggest books like Still Doing It where there are personal stories that the person may relate to.
Another common concern is around the embarrassment of the body not performing the same functions are they used to do. For example, an ageing male-bodied person may not be able to have erections quite as often or at all. This can cause embarrassment, which can lead to him avoiding having any sexual interactions at all. What I suggest to someone who is facing them is to talk to their partner as well as other people their own age. These “problems” are not unique, they are just not discussed. Looking into other forms of sexual performance, like instead of having an erection, using a dildo on a partner, would also be something that I would suggest

7) Many of our customers have questions about Tantra. How would you describe Tantra to them?

Tantra is a spiritual sexual connection between and mind and the body. Its actual definition varies depending on the person and their background with the topic, but a majority of the time it will be related back to spirituality and sexuality. In Tantric Sex for Women the author discusses how Tantra can be both a partner experience, as well as an individual one. One of the reason Tantric practices is great is that they are not meant for specific genders or sexual orientations. Tantra can be practiced by anybody and to whatever level one aspires to. A large part of Tantric practice is focused on the movement of energy, whether it is through your body or from one partner to another. Sexual energy can be found all over the body, and is not just focused on the genitals. This is a great practice for people who want a spiritual connection to sex and who want to incorporate meditation and relaxation into their sexual lives.

Wednesday, February 1, 2012

We are people too

Recently I had a bit of an uncomfortable situation having to do with my job.

I found a yoga studio near my work and introduced myself to the instructor as well as told him where I worked. He smiled and welcomed me, and I joined the group for some sweaty, bendy, out of shape fun. While we were doing a position where I was standing with my legs spread, bending over he started walking around doing a punching massage motion into class members gluteal muscles. When he got to me and started punching my butt (which felt awesome) he chuckled and asked "Do you guys have spanking benches downstairs?"

Woah

There are many factors that bug me about this situation, and believe me I have been mulling over this interaction for days. Here I was in this very physically vulnerable position and a stranger who I trusted to be my instructor came over and made a very inapropriate comment. Making a sexual comment towards a yoga student whilst touching them in an intimate area is not okay. The instructor was in a position of power and the as a student I trusted him. Yoga is a place to relax and meditate on the day, it is a safe space, not a place to feel uncomfortable. I understand that he was making a joke, and probably didn't mean for it to come out as sleazy as it did, but I can't fight the felling this this was not an okay situation. Some people will argue that since I work in the sex industry, it must be okay to say sexual things to me. After all, isn't that part of my job?

Bottom line? No, it is not okay. Sex shop workers, sex industry members, porn stars, prostitutes, all of us deserve the same respect as everyone else. Like everyone else, when we are off the clock, we are not working and therefore should be treated as such.

I wrote him an email explaining all this, and then told him I was finding another studio. I don't know what I expect to get out of the email, but I feel like he needed to be told that sex shop workers are people too.

Tuesday, January 31, 2012

Bringing Your Daughter into Sex Shops for the First Time

This post is focused on the case of mothers bring their daughters (who are over 18) into adult shops for the first time. This is a much more common parent child combination verses mother and son, daughter and father, etc, at least in my experience. Sometimes these interactions are awkward, sometimes they are a great learning experience, and sometimes they are damaging. I think it's important for parents to think about certain aspects before taking their adult child into a sex shop.

Before bringing your daughter into the shop, think about whether or not she actually wants to go in. It would be best to talk about it before hand, and discuss what you expect to get out of it. Is this supposed to be educational? Funny? Does she intend on purchasing anything, or is this a walk around? This may sound silly and overly precautious, but springing a surprise trip to the vibrator store on your teenage daughter can be a very traumatizing thing. I once saw a mother literally drag her daughter by her arm into the shop and then announce to the staff that this is her first time in. The girl covered her face with her hands and stayed deadly quiet as her mother twisted her arm around the shop and explained what these buzzing things were. I can almost assure you that the daughter will not return to a shop for a very long time. An adult shop is for people who can behave like adults, parent and child included. It is not appropriate to force a daughter, no matter if she's 18 or 48 to come into a store without her consent.

Do you really want to know this much personal information about her, and/or does she want you to know? Sex is an intimate thing, and sex shops are there to help inform you about pleasure and explore your sexuality. Some parents don't want to know how their children express their sexual desires, just like some children don't want their parents to know how and and why they have sex. I have had mothers bring in their daughters to buy a sex toy, but when the daughter starts to explain what she likes, the mother freaks out. When people start to freak out over other peoples sexual preferences, it creates a sense of shame for the person who just expressed it. I had a daughter explain to me that she wasn't having orgasms during sex and wanted something for external stimulation. When her mother heard this she started freaking out by giggling and making perverted jokes to her daughter. The daughter stopped asking questions and chuckled uncomfortably. The daughter was feeling shame, just as much as her mother was feeling uncomfortable. Needless to day, both of them didn't buy anything, nor ask any more educational questions.

I once saw a mother daughter interaction where they came in together, asked some questions, separated for a while for private shopping, and then reunited at the end. The mother didn't ask questions about her daughters intentions with the things she purchased, and the daughter in turn didn't feel shamed for being there. Sex toys weren't forced upon her and instead were seen as a positive addition to her sexual exploration.

Think about what you want out if the trip before you shop!

Monday, January 23, 2012

V-Somes

I recently got in a discussion with someone on the topic of "three-somes". This was brought up because my work has recently started carrying a larger variety of guides and manuals on the art of multiple sex partner interactions. The person I was speaking to started telling me about how much she loved threesomes, so I asked bluntly if she had sexual interactions with all the participants, or was it a V-some? She wasn't familiar with the term, and though I can't remember where I originally adopted it from, I will share it with you.

V-Some: A sexual encounter where two partners focus on the third partner, but do not have any sexual interest/encounters with each other. For example, a version of a three-some that you may be familiar with is a guy and two girls, with the two girls servicing him. This would be considered a "v-some", since the girls are not interacting with each other.

I don't use this term to deny anyone the right to brag about their three-some experiences, but when I hear the term "three-some" I will assume that all partners are interacting in a pleasurable sexual manner with each other and are not just focused on one person. If someone uses the term "v-some" it makes it clearer to me in the story who is having sex with whom.

A fun technicality term for your multiple sex partner needs