Disclaimer: I am not a professional! If you want to find a professional sex educator please look at my "Resources" page. If you have any questions, feel free to ask on my ask site: FYsexeducationquestions, though check out my FAQ first!
Of course it looks like everyone’s going to want the most difficult article, Trans* Sex.
SO PLEASE GIVE ME TIPS.
This is supposed to be about talking about dysphoria and how to deal with dysphoria during masturbation and sexual conduct and different toys you can use to help.
I do know of what works for me, but I want other trans* people to tell me what works for them.
I know of a few popular techniques like the DFAB masturbation sleeve, curling the “penis” up so that it’s more like fingering, muffing, my own technique of treating a phallic vibrator like a penis during masturbation, and of course using strap ons, double dildos, and referring to your parts by the right gendered language but does anyone have any other useful tips?
Now that I’ve finished my Sex Aids post I’m going to get started on my post on how to introduce sex toys to your partner and use them during partnered sexual play.
If anyone has any questions or things they want to be sure I include let me know
So far I have
- how to bring up the subject of sex toys and talk about them
- how to address any fears or insecurities about using sex toys that your partner may have
- how sex will be made better with the use of sex toys
- how to use certain sex toys during partnered sexual play
Also remember I’m working on a post on trans* sexuality so if anyone wants to chime in on tips during masturbation or sex, different products they use, and how to deal with dysphoria and your sexuality let me know.
I’m also still working on my video on orientations so if anyone has any questions or comments before I finish it let me know.
[TW: Rape] How to talk to your sexual partner
Because of the reactions you may have after being sexually assaulted, your desire and ability to be sexual may be affected. It is important that you feel control over the amount and kind of sexual contact that you have. This control can be established by talking to your partner about your feelings, providing your partner is willing to listen and respect you. If you haven’t talked to your partner about sex before, it may seem difficult to start, or you may even feel angry or fearful about having to talk about it at all. Some people choose not to talk to their partner about the assault or sex. This choice is alright if it does not interfere with your recovery from the assault. However, in most cases, it is important to try to take some steps toward communicating even if it’s hard to do. Below are listed some common reactions with specific suggestions on how to talk to your partner. You may find that your comfort level changes - one day you may want to have sex and the next day hugging may feel threatening. Or you may want to stick to suggestions under #1 and #2 for several months. We suggest that you observe and honour your feelings. All of these responses are perfectly normal.
You don’t want any physical contact.
- Tell your partner about these feelings and suggest other ways to be together that show caring (i.e., cooking meals, taking walks, going to movies, etc.). You may want to spend time talking to your partner about what is bothering you, and what you feel good about from day to day. Emphasize verbal contact.
You don’t want sexual contact, but do want other forms of physical contact.
- Tell your partner about these feelings and suggest other ways to be physical: “I’m not feeling like having sex these days, but I would like to have physical contact with you. What I feel comfortable with are massages, hugs, kisses, holding hands, and sitting close to you when we are watching TV or reading on the couch. I will initiate some of these activities and want you to initiate, too.”
- It is sometimes helpful to actually set up times for touching, and to set a clear ground rule of no breast or genital touching even if either person is sexually aroused.
- Other specific activities may include taking a bath together and taking turns washing each other, cuddling under the covers and gently stroking each other, choosing a warm and comfortable room in the house and taking turns touching each other (excluding breasts and genitals), exchanging massages (try some oil or talcum powder) whether deep muscle or light and soothing. Don’t forget your favourite music or candles, and pay attention to how it feels to touch and be touched without the pressure to be sexual.
You are open to sexual contact but are cautious because you don’t know what your reactions will be. Certain behaviours touches, looks, and smells may trigger fear, anxiety, and/or flashbacks (memories of the assault).
- Stop the sexual activity at any time. It is particularly important to stop when you feel anxious, panicked, or scared. It’s OK to know your limits and act on them. Some couples set up a signal system, for example, a squeeze on the right shoulder means “stop now, I’m scared.”
- Before beginning any sexual activity, you may want to say to your partner: “Lots of times I’m not sure how I’m going to react during sex, so I may want to stop even after we’ve started. I’ll try to tell you what I want instead, like different kinds of touching or a different position.”
- Pay attention to what triggers your feelings and suggest other activities: “When you lie on top of me I feel scared and have flashbacks, and I’d like to lie side by side when we hug.” Don’t put any pressure on yourself to perform sexually.
- If there is any physical discomfort as a result of sexual contact, do not hesitate to get a medical examination.
You are open to sexual contact and don’t have anxiety reactions to specific activities, but you become aware of previous sexual issues that you have ignored or avoided (e.g., lack of orgasm, painful intercourse, lack of desire, previous sexual abuse, etc.)
- Tell your partner as much as you know about your feelings and what you want to change, if anything.
- Seek help from a therapist who specializes in working with sexual problems. The therapist can help you talk to each other, as talking can be embarrassing and difficult.
These suggestions require that your partner respects your wishes and stops when you say stop or stays within certain limits that you want. If you feel that your partner cannot do this without resentment or pressure, we recommend that you first deal with trust and respect in your relationship.
Information For Your Partner
When you learn that your partner has been raped, you will experience many feelings. It is common to feel extreme anger and a desire for revenge towards the rapist. You may feel very protective in the weeks following the rape and become angry with anyone who disturbs your partner’s sense of well-being. Your partner is likely to go through a wide variety of reactions that may cause you to be confused or to feel inadequate when you think about how to help.
One of the most sensitive issues you will face with your partner is how and when to reinitiate sexual contact. It is usually helpful to simply begin to talk to them about how they feel. Expect a broad range of feelings and responses. They may feel uninterested in sex or angry about any expectations you may have; angry at men or people in general, including you if you are a man; confused and anxious when you discuss the subject; or they may be open and interested in re-establishing contact. Whatever their response, make an effort to listen to their feelings and to understand them.
Once you understand your partner’s feelings, do your best to comply with any requests they make that allows them to feel safe and supported by you. They may interrupt lovemaking if they have unexpected feelings of fear and anxiety. Stop any contact immediately if they request it. Emphasize the type of sexual and non-sexual touching that allows them to relax. As a general rule, if your partner shows sexual interest, continue to initiate contact even if some sexual activities need to stop for a while.
If your partner is not open to sexual contact with you, understand that this is a normal response and not a total rejection of you. They are in recovering from a violent and intrusive act that has temporarily disrupted all her normal response patterns, including sexual desire. Do your best not to pressure them. You can find other outlets for your desires for awhile. This might include masturbation, or directing your energy into other areas of personal interest. Believe that your partner’s sexual desire will return in time.
You may notice that you lose your sexual desire also. This is not unusual, and may be the result of the many thoughts and feelings that you are having. You may be fearful of hurting or scaring your partner. You may feel that somehow they are “dirty” or “contaminated.” You may feel angry and suspicious about what they are telling you. Even though these feelings do not seem rational, they are common and can seriously affect your emotional and sexual relationship if they go on for long and are not talked about.
The good news is that these feelings can be talked about. If you are reluctant or scared to talk to your partner, talk to someone else as a first step. You will feel less confused and have a sense of relief if you talk to someone who knows about these feelings. You may find someone who can be of help by asking at a sexual assault center or calling a community crisis line.
You and your partner will recover from this difficult trauma, and are likely to resume normal sexual activity in time, though you may recover at different rates from one another. In the long run, you can look at this incident as an opportunity for the two of you to grow closer to each other and find new and lasting ways to express love and support.
[TW: Rape] How to recover your sexuality
Many women find that they need time to heal and recover following a sexual assault. You may be wondering about your future sexual relations: Should you tell your partner? Will you be too tense to respond? Will you be permanently affected by the rape? Should you avoid sex altogether? Should you just go ahead and pretend nothing happened?
Recovering from a sexual assault is an ongoing process that occurs over time. In this post I offer many suggestions for dealing with the sexual part of your life during this recovery period. Some approaches will be more helpful depending on your background and life situation. We urge you to experiment with some of these ideas. There is not a “right way” for handling sexual relations following an assault - see what feels safe and comfortable for you.
Feeling “safe” and “comfortable” are important guidelines for your sexual activity. After a sexual assault, many women are fearful and confused during sex. They may feel out of control like they did during the rape. Sex can become unpleasant and frightening. Healing happens most quickly when women are careful to avoid stressful sexual situations, and choose sexual activities that feel comfortable. You are the only one who can know and choose. We recommend many of the suggestions that we have included here as ingredients for a healthy sexual relationship: rape or no rape. Communicating, making choices about sexual activities, being assertive, and taking time to go slowly contribute to a satisfying sexual experience. As a result of the sexual assault you may want to become more assertive, or be more open about your feelings than you were in the past. You may find that you want to avoid certain sexual situations that really weren’t so great in the first place. In taking care of yourself in the sexual arena, you may find that you make changes that you will want to incorporate permanently.
Dating and New Relationships
It is common to feel hesitant about resuming dating and socializing following a rape. There is no need to force yourself into accepting dates too quickly. It may be more helpful to seek the company of close friends for social activities for a while. The delay may help alleviate some of your discomfort. Sometimes the very nature of dating with its potential for intimacy can be frightening, and there are a number of things you can do to decrease your anxiety.
- Taking control of planning the time you spend with someone.
- Think about what you want in order to feel safe, and make sure every date includes those elements. For instance, arrange only double dates with a trusted friend accompanying you, or only daytime dates or dates to public events. Don’t be alone with the person unless it feels absolutely right. Your desire for this kind of structure will subside over time.
- Making decisions that help you feel secure.
- Decisions that you made about dating in the past may not be right for you now. Since the assault, you may feel afraid to do what was easy or natural on a date before. If you feel scared or nervous about any aspect of the date, then this activity is something you shouldn’t do now: it is a limit for you. It won’t always be a limit. When you decide to change what you do, take small steps.
- Trust your feelings to help you in setting limits, and don’t criticize yourself for needing this extra care. Limits might include: deciding beforehand what time to be home; how much physical intimacy, if any, to allow; whether or not you will use any alcohol or drugs. These are all things that can be decided beforehand, or decided during the date. A way to discover what will feel safe is to close your eyes and imagine what a comfortable, secure date would include.
- Offering alternatives as your way of showing interest.
- If your date suggests an activity you are not comfortable with, decline by suggesting an alternative: “No, I don’t want to go have a beer tonight, how about getting together tomorrow afternoon for coffee?” or “No, I don’t want to go to your apartment for dinner, let’s go to a restaurant.” It may help to rehearse with a supportive friend so you feel more comfortable delivering these lines.
- Explaining only if you want to.
- In a new or casual relationship you may choose to say nothing about the rape, or you may simply say you’ve had something upsetting happen and you’re not ready to talk about it. Your desire to set limits is healthy, and there is no need to make excuses for yourself or your behaviour.
- As the relationship progresses toward more intimacy, you may feel the need to talk about the sexual assault. The information in the section titled “How To Talk To Your Sexual Partner” deals with this issue. Over time, you may realize you are selecting dates whom you feel very safe with, but whom you are not attracted to. Or you may not be having satisfying intimate relationships with those you are attracted to. If you realize this, you may want to seek counselling.
Is using condoms getting too expensive for you?
If you’re a University at Buffalo student, stop up to SBI Health Education on the 4th floor of Michael Hall on South Campus. We are happy to supply you with a wide variety of condoms and lube.
You can also pick up free condom bundles at the ticket office in the Student Union, or in the Wellness office.
If you’re not a UB Student, there are still opportunities to grab free goods. Many sexual health clinics (like Planned Parenthood) will gladly provide you with free prophylactics.
You can also check online. A simple google search for “free condoms” can set you up with free samples of different brands and lubes. I’m a fan of http://www.mysavings.com/free-condoms-condom-samples.asp.
any questions, shoot us a message.
^ TRUE DAT ^(via fcyeah)
Brainstorming consent t-shirt
don’t want consent is sexy because it’s been done
So has Got Consent? which I am very disappointed about because that’d be perfect
- consent is necessary
- ask me about my consent
- don’t assume consent
- Enthusiastic Consent
prompted by an ask I got about maybe making a shirt about content, like “consent means a yes” If anyone has any ideas or likes any of these let me know so I can make a design and get a shirt made!
Hm…How about these?:
“I want you [to get consent].”
“Talk consent to me.”
ooh I like “talk consent to me” or maybe “talk consensual to me”? anyone have any more ideas or want to chime in with what they like best?
Another idea someone suggested: Consent: Get in the NO-How
Objectum-Sexuality and Objectum-Romanticism
What is Objectum-sexuality?
Objectum-sexuality is, in theory, a pretty simple concept. OS is a sexual and/or romantic attraction to objects.
“Objects” is used here as an umbrella term for nonsentient or inanimate things, such as a computer, a book, a car, a building, or a lamp. OS/OR people form meaningful, emotional relationships with objects that are often long term and intimate, sometimes in a sexual way.
Here are some snippets from objectum-sexuality.org that I feel put this into words better than I can:
We love objects on a very significant level and many of us in an intimate way. This feeling is innate. Objectùm-sexual love comes for most in a similar awakening as other sexualities at the start of puberty. This is often followed by an acute awareness that we do not relate to peers due to the source of projected feelings. Often objectùm-sexual people feel outcast or pressured by mainstream sexuality with a helpless feeling that we cannot change what comes so naturally to us.
Just as mainstream are attracted to certain types of people, physical/intellectual, objectùm-sexuals develop strong feelings towards objects possessing, in particular, certain geometry/function.
And while OS is usually just referred to as, well, OS, objectum-romanticism is also a valid orientation for those who feel a romantic attraction to objects, but not a sexual one. Again, here’s some writing from objectum-sexuality.org:
How can one love an inanimate object?
Indeed, the meaning of love comes into question. However, there is no single definition because this feeling has many levels and crosses every part of the spectrum. Virtually every “one” and every “thing” can be loved. Love does not have any rules that requisite to “whom” or to “what” we express this multifaceted emotion, as long as it causes no violation or harm to the subjected.
The spectrum of love is so vast; one may relate it to a bell curve. In the middle appears the majority of those whose relationships can be characterized by the similarities to whom and how they love. Objectum-sexuality finds its place at one end as a minority which facilitates the criticism of our way of love and life. But none-the-less, we still fall under the curve of the enigmatic emotion known as love.
OK, so the question isn’t answered for those who strongly believe that love must be reciprocated to be in and have a relevant relationship. Naturally, if one sees objects as inanimate, then objectum-sexual love and our relationships would undeniably be scrutinized. Indeed, there are cases of love being one-sided as with any orientation, but in general we do feel love in return.
“Feel love in return?! Whaaaat?” It’s true! Many OS/OR folks, myself included, believe in a form of animism which says that anything an everything can possess a spark of life or a spirit. This spirit gives them a sort of energy that we feel as emotion, communication, or love. Does this mean that objects are “talking to us”? No, not really…it’s not a hallucination, its much more akin to a spiritual belief.
So why are people OS/OR?
Well, why are people any orientation?! This is actually quite a rude question. Please don’t ask it, as it’s really none of your business. However, I will say that in the community it has been noted that many OS/OR folks are on the autism spectrum. This could come from the difficulty that autistic or Aspergers syndrome folks have relating to allistics, but there is no scientifically researched link. Many are also animists, as stated before; and many are also synesthetic. (A condition where two or more senses are combined and/or processed differently, such as seeing sounds or smelling colors.)
Consent and OS/OR
This is a topic that I’ve seen come up fairly often. “How do you know [x] wants to be in a relationship with you?” How do you know your coffee maker wants to be woken up at 6am to make you coffee? How do you know your car wants to drive you to work in the morning?
Even though we feel emotionally attached to our objects, we still fully realize that they ARE OBJECTS. They aren’t people. And arguing over if an inanimate object can consent is trivializing the issues with living beings and consent!!
From an animist perspective: we might be interested in an object, but they might not be interested in us. It happens! Either there’s no emotional response, or they might have a definite ‘no’ vibe. And then obviously, we leave them alone.
Object Genders and Names
This isn’t going to be a long section, but I wanted to mention it. Two of the most common questions I’ve seen are “how do you know what [x]’s name is?” and “how do you know that [x] is [gender]?”
Which actually isn’t an easy question to answer. It’s just sort of a feeling. Objects come in all genders just like living folks do; binary and non binary. Same with names. Some are named after function, some have “human” names. We generally just “pick up on it”.
Sometimes we can’t really explain things. They just are.
OS/OR and The Media
Unfortunately, OS is an interesting topic for the media because it’s so “weird”. it’s been sensationalized in many documentaries such as “Married to the Eiffel Tower” and “Taboo”, which do not fairly represent OS/OR people, instead choosing to focus on how “strange” this orientation is. The problem here is that it’s not STRANGE…it’s just rare. Media attention also often focuses on folks who are in relationships with public structures or landmarks, which is comparatively rare. (Most OS/OR people realize that such a relationship is difficult, and don’t really seek them out.) If you really want to learn about objectum-sexuality, ask someone or do your own reading…don’t just trust what a sensationalist series like “Taboo” would tell you.
MX’s Personal Experience with OS/OR
As you might be able to tell from this essay…I’m OS/OR myself! I lean more heavily to the OR side, as I rarely experience sexual attraction to anything and consider myself asexual.
I’ve been in a romantic relationship with my car since 2009. She’s a feisty little bugger with attitude to spare who enjoys hip-hop and wishes I’d get her a better stereo already. Attraction to vehicles or machines is sometimes stuck under the term “mechaphiles”, which still falls under the general definition of OS and OR.
For many years I didn’t want to talk about this part of my orientation. I didn’t want to have these weird feelings. But you know what?
They’re not weird, they’re just rare.
You can’t help who you’re attracted to and who you love.
And now I want to talk about it, and show any others that might be nervous like I am that it’s okay to be objectum-sexual or objectum-romantic. It’s just as fine as any other orientation, just a little more rare. :)
If there are any questions, or you would like to talk to me about OS/OR, send us an ask!
And if you want to read more about this topic for yourself, I suggest checking out http://www.objectum-sexuality.org/ :)