A little this and a little that…

The last few weeks have been a time of reflecting and learning, refining and defining, and opening and expanding for me and my understanding of sexuality.   I’ve been honoured to be attending workshops with world-renowned sex educator Midori, participating as an ally in the first ever Trans Pride March, stomping my feet with a local sex worker organization in the Dyke March, and then taking in bits and pieces of Toronto Pride.

My output has been a little lax lately and I seem to be in an “I want to learn” mode, particularly seeking opportunities to increase my knowledge, get into student mode and take it all in.

As I said recently at a work meeting, “more sex education is always welcome”.

While teaching the popular Rock His World workshop earlier this week, I shared my perspective on sex and learning: there is always more to learn.  If any of us received any “official” sex education through the formal school system, it was most likely reproductive education, void of pleasure spots, orgasm how to’s, and creative ideas to heighten pleasure.  Where are we supposed to learn about sex?  When? How?

What about how some of us avoid even learning from ourselves, with ourselves (yes, masturbation included).   Taking the time to get to know yourself is not seen as fruitful or worthwhile in many circles.  More often seen as something “odd” or what other people do.  In all of the hustle and bustle, how dare you take the time to touch yourself?

We have to learn how to ride a bike, boil and egg, sew a button or change a light bulb. Sometimes sex knowledge is assumed to be something we are born with or that will just happen ever so perfectly if we are with the right person.  I might know the right person to go on a road trip with but we have to figure out who is going to drive and who is going to read the map and decide together if we are going to take the scenic route or the most efficient one.

Cheers to all of your road trips this summer!

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Communication: Are you asking for what you want?

Something that has been on my mind a lot lately is the art, challenge, ease and trials of communicating.  Asking for what you want may be the best and easiest way to get it, so why do we avoid making a direct request?  What stops us from “using our words?”  Most of us know that reading minds is not possible, regardless of how much we wish it were so (and I am aware of “The Mentalist” but have yet to meet one in real life).

I have noticed that people tend to try many things to create a situation where they can get t he outcome they wish but want to do it without direct, honest communication.  What have we got to lose?  Is letting someone know our true feelings really that bad?

What has this got to do with sex, some of you may ask?  The easiest way to get the pleasure/ touch/simulation you want from a partner is to actually ask for it. *Gasp*, yes I am encouraging actually talking about sex!  The realm seems one of the most taboo to dare to name your wants.  Understandably, since even in a society obsessed with sex, we are not actually taught how to communicate about it.  If we are not taught how to communicate in general, where does that leave our sex lives?

I understand the struggle and I am aware of the stakes, but I also know the payoff.  It is so gratifying to say “can you touch me there” and have someone willingly do it!  Leaving our egos at the door, and the idea that we should be able to read someone’s mind and know what they want without asking. Asking another what they want and keeping an open mind is just as important as asking for yourself.

Something to ponder next time you know what you want but are afraid to ask.  Comments welcome!

For more information about workshops with me, please contact me at mckeetara@gmail.com or check out the latest listings for general public workshops at sexualityworkshops.wordpress.com.

Get Your Flirt On!

What does it mean to flirt?  How do we do it?  It seems to be one of those things that you know what it is when it is happening but very difficult to describe.  This was my task at my first ever Flirtation Workshop last night.  A group of eight women wanted to know all there was to know about flirting, and more!  I called the workshop Get your flirt on! An experiential approach to the fun, sexy, exciting world of flirting! I wanted to provide an opportunity for the participants to discover for themselves what flirting is and how they do it.  A few things I discovered when developing the workshop and through observing last night: there are many elements to making a great flirt AND we also need  to know how to respond too.  It’s like compliments, which can be part of flirting – some of us find them easier to give than receive, or we immediately feel uncomfortable when we get a compliment and want to give one back, or dissect and discredit the one that was given to us. There were moments when it seemed like we were discussing social norms and how to navigate around them. What makes someone attractive?  How do you know when you want to interact with someone and what makes you worth interacting with?  For starters, a positive outlook, cleanliness and playfulness go a long way.  We talked about how this might play out for people who find themselves on the shy side…and perhaps we can all be shy sometimes?  There are ways to work your shyness and be coy and just have fun.  The main thing to remember with flirting is that it is just that, fun!  Flirting with someone is like a little gift or compliment, it makes them feel good and makes you feel good too.  It can elevate your mood, get you out of a rut and make the world around us seem a little more friendly.  We get so worried about sexual innuendo that we think we cannot even start.  How about “Hello”?
For more information about workshops with me, please contact me at mckeetara@gmail.com or check out the latest listings for general public workshops at sexualityworkshops.wordpress.com.

Sweet 16?

I have just confirmed a workshop for a young woman’s 16th birthday.  I am SO exited!  I was contacted by her mother about possibly topics and content that would be appropriate for these girls.  My workshop “The World at Your Fingertips: Self-Pleasure for Women” was the workshop that spawned her original email! I have been dreaming of doing a workshop like this for years…I have attempted to run a “Girl Talk” workshop for teens before but something about the fact that it woud take place in a sex shop seems to deter the parents and guardians, I wonder why?

I have spoken directly to the birthday girl and she is into it!  Then we had to compose an email to send out the girls and their parents to let them know what kind of stuff we would be talking about.  I commend this mother for taking an active step in educating her daughter and her friends.  It reinforces the fact that talking about sex does not make youth go out and do it.  They are already doing it whether we educate them about it or not.  If educators, parents, care givers, and all adults that have influence over youth start taking a more active approach and provide information, then youth can make informed choices.   What I also appreciate is that sometimes it is easier to have someone else come and do the talking…some one more distanced from the youth, this saves everyone some awkwardness and usually makes for greater participation and a more exciting workshop.

I will write about how it goes after I do the workshop in mid-March.  Maybe this will be the new birthday trend?  I remember slumber parties, movie nights, going to a comedy club, and even a roller-skating party or two from my youth.  Giving youth life skills in a fun way might one of the new options for how to spend out time and celebrate.

Sex skills are life  skills, learning about our own bodies is a life skill!  Knowing what we like and what we don’t like when it comes to sexuality is a survival skill.  Learning about how to set boundaries, negotiate, and ask for what we want is something that many of us are still  learning as adults.  Kudos to those who take a step to give youth a head start in the right direction!

G-Spots…again?

I taught a G-Spot workshop tonight.  I have taught G-Spot workshops for over 6 years now and I don;t seem to get tired of it.  Tonight it was “couples”, just in time for Valentine’s Day (aw).  A room full of couples hoping to learn something new, spice things ups, and learn how to squirt (yes, like in the pornos).

One lovely gentleman commented afterward “great presentation, you must have done thins before once, twice or many times”.  So true!  I cannot even give an accurate number of total workshops.   If I guess at 4 -8 times per year, times 6 years…that is 24-48 workshops on G-Spots alone.  Not to mention discussing G-Spots as often as possible!

In case you were wondering, the ” G”  actually stands for Grafenberg, Ernst Grafenberg, a doctor who studied this spongy tissue around the urethra in the 1950’s…it was named after him by the authors of  “The G Spot” (circa 1980’s).  I like to re-name it the goody-spot, goddess-spot…or perhaps “right there” might be appropriate and the most exciting.

There were a few seasons where it seemed that G-Spots were out of style, the workshops were not filling up.  I was surprised since I knew that not every women, let alone every man, knew where this spot was and had given it a fair shake.  I am glad to see that they are back in and a room full of folks were eager to learn.   Welcome back G-Spot…I know you are here to stay, and there is always more to discover.

For more workshop listings please follow these links:

www.goodforher.com

sexualityworkshops.wordpress.com

Labia shame rears its ugly head…

Do you have labia shame?  Have you ever shamed some labes?  Throughout my years working with women and sexuality, I have heard a lot of questions and commentary about labia.  What are “normal” labia?  Those nether lips that some women have never even looked at can bring about a whole new realm of physical insecurity and concern about body image.  Not only are women worried about what their labia look like and the response of a lover, most women never have a chance to see what other women look like.  Women who have sex with women have the honour of seeing a little variety of labes.   Straight women may go their whole lives without ever seeing another woman’s vulva.

Usually size is the biggest concern, as well as symmetry. In labia land, size does seem to matter.  The latin words used to describe the two sets of lips are sizeist.   Here’s a little review:

Labia Majora makes it sounds as though we are talking about some  “major labes” .  As far as location, these are the lips that are on the outside, or further away from the vaginal opening.  These lips usually have pubic hair on them (depending on what you have done with it!).  I like to call these “outer labia” .  Why not stick to location, vs. size?  We all know that size is relative but the location of eyes, ears and noses are pretty standard.

Labia Minora referres  to the labia that are further in, closer the the middle and the vaginal opening.  I call these inner labia to be specific. The problem is there are many different shapes and sizes of these labes.   Some women have very small  inner labia, almost so tucked in that you may miss them.  Other women have larger outer labia that may make you wonder who was labelling these in the first place and how well did they know their latin?  Some labia are flowing and may resemble petals, others may remind you of theatrical drapery or curtains (what kind of miraculous surprise might appear from behind them?).  Any other ideas come to mind?  How would you describe the last labia/labes you saw?

I like the word “labes“… I started using it when an awesome and creative  woman I know published a zine called “She’s Got Labe“.  What a wonderful, empowering and reclaiming use of  LABIA!  While anyone may “have the guts” and the guys may “have the balls”, some women have the labe!

There are some really positive discussions and depictions of teh vast cariety of labia.  I was sad to hear the photography book “Femailia”  has gone out of print – a full colour book of around 50 different vulvas.

As for negative images, or those that may contribute to women’s insecurity, one thought is that perhaps it is over exposure to “porno pussy” that has created this problem.  Anyone who has seen more than one mainstream porno film can see that there is a culture of “normal” labia being reinforced.  While I am a big proponent and supporter of porn, there are many aesthetics in mainstream porn that are not only damaging to women, but to men as well.  That may be the topic of a future blog.

I strongly suggest that we all take a good look at some labes!  If you have some of your own, you don’t have to go very far to see them.  A hand mirror and maybe a flashlight will really help you out.  If your partner has some labes that she will let you look at and treat respectively, lucky you.  Admiration might be nice too.  If you would like to see examples of larger labia, check out these sites:

http://largepussylips.blogspot.com/

http://www.sexylabia.com/

And find out how you can promote labia-loving, and discourage women from labia shame!  Some women consider surgery as the way to normaize their labia.  How far does this beauty /plastic surgery obsession need to go.  Check out  http://largelabialove.blogspot.com

Love those labes ladies!  And for all you labia lovers out there, spread the word!

Welcome to my musings…

Warning: sexy content may follow…

I just finished an email to a friend where I stated that discussing orgasms during childbirth is not TMI  for me! (And yay for you ladies who can have them and a baby too!)

I get to spend my days talking, teaching, learning and sometimes having orgasms! As a sex educator, workshop facilitator, and sales associate at some great feminist sexuality shops, it’s my job!

Yes, this is a great job to have.  I usually get to talk to people about ways to enhance their own pleasure or explore pleasure with and for their partners.   Sometimes people are new to sexual exploration and some people have done a fair bit but want to try new things.  Either way, I often say that there is always more to learn and the bodily possibilities are endless! That is the great thing about sex, a little creativity and enthusiasm go a long way.  Not to mention spending some time on it, a little or a lot, it’s up to you.

Until next time, have a safe + sexy day!