On this Thursday afternoon, let’s have a little girl talk, shall we? Today, we’re sharing nine tips (and a discount code!) straight from the expert: Dame co-founder and resident sexologist, Alex Fine…
Alex’s background is in applied psychology, including the study of sexuality, and she believes sex is a powerful force in our lives. That’s why Dame is committed to researching and improving our relationship to sex.
“At Dame, we’re trying to make the world a happier place, one vulva at a time,” Alex says. To that end, here are her top ten tips:
1. Create good lighting.
“Your environment can really help you get in the mood and stay present with your partner. Like many people, we have a simple on/off light switch in our bedroom. That can be limiting. When you keep the lights fully on, it can take you out of the mood so quickly. But if you turn off the lights and it’s very dark, it can be hard to connect with your partner. So, if you have a dimmer switch, use it! And if you don’t, like us, you can get creative. Try a tinted lightbulb. Honestly, I’ll even throw a red T-shirt over the lamp in our bedroom. It makes such a big difference!”
2. Get to know yourself.
“Masturbation (with or without this magical toy) can be a quick release if that’s what you’re in the mood for. But it can also be a great time for you to explore how you like to be touched. Do you like tickles? Do you like hard pressure? Self-knowledge is power. Once you know this, you can communicate what you like to a partner.”
3. Have sex BEFORE dinner.
“One thing I’ve discovered over the years is that I do not, I repeat, do not want to have sex after a big dinner. That’s the worst time. After having food and drinks, you can feel full and sleepy. It can also put pressure on the night, like something needs to happen afterward. If you find the time for sex before dinner, it often feels so much better! And then you can just enjoy yourself, with no after-dinner expectations.”
4. Play with toys.
“Vibrators can help people to open up and enjoy sex, or to simply enhance the experience. No matter your preferences, there’s a vibrator out there for everyone! Fin is a tiny one, which makes it a great beginner toy. It fits onto your fingertip, and can face forward or backward, depending on whether you want more stimulation (vibrator facing down) or less (vibrator on the back of your finger, so your fingertips vibrate). You can use it alone, or with a partner. For partner play, Eva is amazing. It’s hands-free, and tucks in to provide clitoral stimulation. It doesn’t feel like it’s competing with the rest of the action, which a lot of people appreciate.”
5. Don’t be afraid to schedule sex.
“Sometimes, life gets in the way and it can be hard to be spontaneous. Scheduling sex may sound boring, but I actually think it’s the opposite. When you know you have something planned, you can can flirt and text and anticipate — all that lead time becomes foreplay.”
6. Use a pillow.
“Experiment with using a pillow or cushion to support your body at different angles. People don’t realize that holding your body weight up takes energy. Holding yourself in a certain position creates tension that can actually hinder your ability to relax and enjoy pleasure. Pillo, our pillow for sex, is created to provide different angles of support. If you have a male partner, propping yourself on a pillow can also help if he is on the bigger or smaller side and you want to feel it less or more.”
7. Try different positions.
“From my own conversations and experiences, many women report being able to have stronger orgasms on their stomachs. This is an easy thing to try, whether solo or with a partner. Lying flat on my stomach with a pillow underneath my hips is one of the easiest ways I know how to achieve an orgasm. So, turn over! Try different positions. Different things work well for different bodies.”
8. Don’t keep count.
“Don’t count how often you’re having sex. Just take stock of whether you’re feeling fulfilled or not. When you base your identity on how much or how often you’re having sex, it puts unnecessary pressure on the situation. You can be in a happy relationship where you don’t have much sex. Maybe you’re both really busy right now, and that’s fine. If you desire more sex, talk about it! But know that frequency is not indicative of the health of the relationship.”
9. Know it’s not just you.
“There’s one statistic I always want to remind people of, which is that 4 percent of women report that penetration is the main way they reach orgasm. That means 96 percent of women — 96 percent! — need some amount of clitoral stimulation to reach orgasm. However you slice the numbers, clitoral stimulation is really important. Whenever I share this number, women look so relieved to find out it’s not just them. It’s never just you!”
Needless to say, we are huge fans of Dame, the company founded by two women who want to revolutionize sex toys through research, smart design and plenty of empathy. Dame aims to close the pleasure gap — 91% of cis-men say they “usually” or “always” orgasm during sex, compared with only 39% of cis-women. Their products are beautiful and functional, with ingenious and thoughtful details. We love their mission and highly recommend them. (Especially this.)
Great news: Dame is offering Cup of Jo readers 10% off with code CUPOFJO. Thank you so much!
(Photos courtesy of Dame. This post is sponsored by Dame, a company whose mission we believe in. Thanks for supporting the brands that help keep Cup of Jo running.)