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Four Pressing Sex Questions

Ask an Expert, Alex Fine

On this chilly February day, let’s talk about something fun, shall we? Today, one of our favorite experts, Dame co-founder and resident sexologist, Alex Fine, is answering four very intimate reader questions…

Q. How do I start exploring my sexuality? For religious reasons, I plan on saving myself for marriage. But that leaves me a 31-year-old virgin, with no idea where to start. Masturbating is so intimidating!

A. If masturbation feels intimidating, but you have an interest in it, then make time to honor that feeling, acknowledge it, and work through it. Then, set some time aside to explore your desire for pleasure.

If you don’t know where to start, my suggestion would be…watch Outlander! Everyone is feeling Bridgerton right now, other people liked Fifty Shades of Grey. These are obviously very heteronormative examples, but what I am saying is to find content that has romance and sexuality, and see how that feels. What are you interested in? Is there something about connection? Is there something about commitment? Is there something about physical touch? Is there something about desire? Let that spark your imagination in terms of what you like.

You know how when you hear a foodie friend wax poetic about a certain food, it makes you want to try it? When you see or hear someone else vocalize a desire, it makes you feel comfortable asking for the same thing.

Physically, you can start slowly by going over your underwear or clothes. Also, touching doesn’t have to mean genitals; it can mean just gentle touches on your arms and seeing what feels good. As for toys, Fin and Zee are great toys for beginners as they are super simple and not intimidating.

My own experience with discovering sex was eye-opening. I discovered that my body can do incredible things! It opened up a world of creativity and desire. My sexuality also made me feel connected spiritually. I hope that by sharing this, it might help you feel less intimidated and more excited about that many aspects of pleasure. Finally, know that many people feel the same way you do! Just by expressing your interest, you are already on your way.

Q. I’m in a new relationship — two lonely nurses during a pandemic, yada yada. Great guy. Good chemistry. Nice kisses. He is the kindest guy who has ever liked me. Unfortunately, the sex (penetrative sex specifically) isn’t very good. (His penis is smaller than I’m used to, and we’re working through some erectile dysfunction.) He’s worth the extra effort. But how can we optimize our sex life? Any position recommendations? Props? Toys? I’m listening!

A. If I had to choose which is more important, a good partner or passion, I would pick a good partner, any day. Sex is something you can work on. The the first step is understanding what you and your partner each want. Spend time being honest with yourself about what turns you on, whether it’s a scenario, a certain touch or act, a visual cue, dirty talk, or whatever rings true for you. Once you uncover it, getting to a place where you can say “What turns me on is okay!” Owning it and expressing it, to me, is the most important piece. (For what it’s worth, even though I talk about sex all the time, I still struggle to communicate exactly what it is that I want.)

The good news is, as far as toys go, there are SO many products to help you! It ultimately comes down to what you like. One of our favorites is the Eva, which you can wear to provide clitoral stimulation during penetrative sex. If you like something squishier, Pom is also great, because it’s easy to squish between you and feels good if you’re moving around. If you’re looking for additional penetrative pressure, there’s Arc, a G-spot vibrator which is fantastic.

As for positions, a lot depends on angles. Penises and vaginal canals curve in different directions, so it’s not just about size, but also the curvature of both parties. Experimenting with a pillow can be very helpful. You can try any pillow, or there’s also Pillo, which is designed to provide different angles. Some people find that sex from behind provides more pressure and feels great for both partners. Keep experimenting until you find what works for you.

Q. My dream is to have a threesome, but I’m so shy. How do I seriously transition to bringing in a third? Maybe on vacation? Through an app? Does this person come into my home, with kid toys all over the floor (OMG)? Do we meet at a hotel? How does this work?

A. Full disclosure: I don’t have a kid yet. But I have had a threesome. And in my personal experience, there are certain things that live better in our heads than they do in reality. However, that is what rings true for me; it may not be the case for you. If this is your fantasy, explore it! If you decide you want to follow through, my advice is: thoughtful is the way to go.

When it comes to finding a third, apps are great. They’re a fun and intentional way to find someone who is after the same thing you are. I do imagine meeting somewhere besides your house may be better — not because of the kid stuff, but because being in a different environment will likely feel like a safer place to have this new experience.

Before moving ahead, communicate with your partner: Why do you want to try this? Why does it turn you on? What are you after? The more details, the better. With three, it can be tricky to feel like everyone is getting the right amount of attention. So, I also think it’s best to be clear about ground rules from the beginning. Do you want attention from two people, or to be part of the group? Are there certain boundaries that are important to you (no kissing, or no penetration)? Defining these boundaries, and then clearly expressing them to the third, is really important. But I say, go for it! Take the steps to see how you can make it a reality.

Q. I’ve only ever been able to climax via clitoral stimulation. Is there a way I can orgasm via vaginal intercourse? Any advice would be appreciated!

A. First, some statistics: Only 30% of women report being able to have an internal orgasm, or an orgasm via vaginal penetration. Furthermore, only 4% of women report that as their main route to orgasm. What this means is that 96% of women are climaxing via some form of clitoral stimulation. In every movie or TV show we watch, we always see orgasms — simultaneous ones, at that — happening pretty quickly. We’ve all been brainwashed to think this is how you’re “supposed” to orgasm. But the truth is, it’s not. It takes time, and it often doesn’t happen by penetration alone. Knowing that is really important.

That being said, trying to orgasm via vaginal intercourse is certainly worth exploring. If you want to explore inside of you, Arc, a G-spot vibrator, is amazing. It can help you find different pressure points inside your body, and to learn exactly which spots feel best for you. It can also help you learn how far up you want to go.

Beyond that, I’d say it is certainly possible to have an orgasm by experiencing internal penetration AND clitoral stimulation at the same time. Most people report those orgasms feel more intense, because you’re applying pressure from multiple directions. So, I suggest having sex in a way where you can have both internal and external stimulation at the same time.

If you’re interested in toys to incorporate during penetrative sex, Fin, which you wear on your hand, is a great one, since either you or your partner can use it to touch you. Personally, I really love squishy products, so I like Pom. For me, clitoral stimulation helps everything feel better. And reaching orgasm has so much to do with my mental state — more than anything else — so the biggest part is to relax and enjoy.

Thank you so much, Alex! We love you.

Dame Products

Obviously, we are huge fans of Dame, the company founded by two women who want to “make the world a happier place, one vulva at a time.” Through research, smart design and plenty of empathy, Dame aims to close the pleasure gap with toys that are beautiful and functional (like this new one, which sounds amazing). We love their mission and highly recommend them.

Great news for all readers: Dame is offering 15% off all first-time purchases with code CUPOFJO15. Thank you so much!

(This post is sponsored by Dame, a brand whose products and mission we love. Thank you for supporting the brands that help keep Cup of Jo running.)

  1. Elizabeth says...

    I was surprised at the suggestion to watch Outlander– while there are undoubtedly good sex scenes in that series, there are also some violent sexual assaults and rape. Not the kind of thing I’d jump to for a someone wanting to explore their own sexuality. Some of Outlander, especially for assault survivors or those struggling with internalized misogyny, can be really hard to watch!

  2. Beth says...

    I really liked this article. There is so much about female sexuality, reproduction and stages of aging that historically have been kept quiet – even amongst closest friends. I appreciate anything that normalizes some of these topics for conversation – in a way that I perceive men talking about their related topics.

    I also am hugely supportive of the acceptance that women can and should enjoy sexual pleasure. I’ve come across so many women and men that had twisted guilt around this topic. I like to think that these sorts of articles are healing contrasts to those guilt inducing ideas. Thank you!

  3. Leslie says...

    The first questioner is uncomfortable even trying masturbation. Do you really think the expert needs to mention “The L Word”? Be sensible. That said, as a heterosexual, I found “The L Word” erotic.
    This does feel a bit like a sales pitch for items she sells. But sometimes it’s nice to hear about new things.

    • Wait, I’m confused — why exactly isn’t it “sensible” to mention The L Word here?

  4. Susan says...

    I love the idea of a sex toy company owned and run by women, and am glad that they are doing so well. But, like some of the other commenters here, there was something at this piece that didn’t sit right with me, and I couldn’t put my finger on what it was. None of the writer’s answers are definitively sex negative and I get that this is an ad – for sex toys! – so it couldn’t be sex negative. That would be counter productive, you would think. And yet, and yet, we have this ad (written by a woman. On our beloved and trusted blog, which lends it greater credibility to its audience than we would normally accord some random commercial for a product).

    After thinking about it for a bit and considering the other comments here, this is what I’ve come up with: A more effective tool at enforcing prevailing social (sexual) norms is not to do it out. Subtle suggestions and undermining have a greater impact. Especially if it comes from someone who is presented as cool and an “expert”.

    So we have the answers to these handpicked questions – 1) A 31 year old woman who is “saving herself for marriage” presented with no comment as to the use of language that implies loss of virginity equals losing something. 2) A nurse who asks how to improve her sex life with a nice partner whom she likes. But the first response is not suggestions aimed at that, but the assurance that a “good partner” should be chosen over “passion” (i.e. satisfying sex). Huh? That wasn’t even the question. I get it that it’s meant to be reassuring, but for whom? 3) A woman whose “dream” is to have a threesome. There’s no equivocation about that, just her acknowledgment of shyness and a question of where to begin. But again, the first response is that “certain things… live better in our heads than they do in reality”. There’s some tips about it afterwards. But to the unexperienced, you just had a so-called sexpert tell you that, for her, threesomes are problematic or at least won’t live up to the fantasy. So how can you not help but think that there’s something wrong with wanting this?

    This is my favorite blog, with such thoughtful content and comments. This ad was oddly tone deaf.

    • Ashley says...

      Very good critique. Maybe the whole topic wasn’t handled with the thoughtfulness that it warrants.

  5. sara says...

    reading through this brought me back to reading cosmo girl 20 years ago. would love a sex advice column from an actual expert, with some experience outside of only their own.

  6. Kate says...

    THANK YOU FOR SHARING THIS!

    FOLKS: Only 30% of women report being able to have an internal orgasm, or an orgasm via vaginal penetration.

    It enrages me that I only learned about this in my 30s, and no one else seems to know! I live in DC, and can honestly say close to none of the men I’ve dated know this! It has led to really unfulfilling sex for me and so many other women I know. We have to start educating more women and men about this – and, as women, communicating it and our needs more directly. There is no good reason that men in their 30s don’t know this, and think good sex is all about them coming. Because the myth that penetration leads to quick orgasms for women has left millions of women with terrible sex lives. And for those of us trying to communicate it, it’s a slow uphill battle. I shouldn’t be the first person telling you this when you’re a 35 year old man who is actively dating. Mind boggling.

    Please, please, please start talking about this! Let’s make this known.

    • Liz says...

      Ugh yes!! You are so right. This needs to be a widely known fact.

    • Emily says...

      👏👏👏Couldn’t have said it better myself!! I had plenty of sex like this when I was in my 20’s and it was SO unfulfilling for this very reason. One of my boyfriends put a pillow under my bum during intercourse and my world changed! Years later I taught my husband this and, while a pillow is no longer necessary, it helped making him understand how important it is that we be fair about climaxing.

  7. disappointed says...

    This piece was deeply disappointing and not up to the standards I expect from A Cup of Jo.

    – “These are obviously very heteronormative examples” By acknowledging your bias while doing absolutely nothing about it, you are saying that you do not are about people who have thoughts and desires outside of heterosexual coupling. Do you see that? How acknowledging that you see the problem but feel zero obligation to spend 5 minutes googling “hot lesbian TV show”, you are saying that you think your prejudice is just fine and that you feel no need to spend even the smallest effort to represent desire outside of heterosexuality? This honestly woke me up at 5:30 this morning. As a longtime reader, I was crushed.

    – “: I don’t have a kid yet. But I have had a threesome. And in my personal experience, there are certain things that live better in our heads than they do in reality. However, that is what rings true for me; it may not be the case for you. If this is your fantasy, explore it! If you decide you want to follow through, my advice is: thoughtful is the way to go.” This is carefully couched slut-shaming. “Hey, as the expert, this isn’t worth it, but you do you!” If you are taking the role of the expert, and this is one of the TOP FOUR questions your readers want to hear about, why not bother to find someone who can speak about it from a positive perspective? This is going through the motions of being open-minded and sex-positive while actually discouraging exploration outside of monogamous pair-bonding.

    – “If I had to choose which is more important, a good partner or passion, I would pick a good partner, any day. Sex is something you can work on.” This is terrible framing. No one is asking this person to choose between a good partner and passion! And SO many marriages end because people have made lifelong monogamous sexual commitments to people who they are not actually having satisfying sex with. Yes, sex is something you can work on, but it isn’t infinitely changeable, and it would be wise to note that before one makes a monogamous lifelong sexual commitment, it’s good to be sure that’s actually going to work for you for the rest of your life. Balancing the positive advice about how to work on a more satisfying sex life with their partner for this person AND affirming that if they can’t find that satisfaction, it is okay to keep looking for another partner would have been a better approach. Training people to settle for crappy sex is one of the reasons why infidelity is so common (research says cheating is *profoundly* common) — they’ve made a permanent, monogamous commitment with someone they don’t actually find sexually satisfying. Women are especially socialized to settle for mediocre sex.

    I hope you’ll work harder to have a genuinely sex-positive column next time. I love you, A Cup of Jo! But this one wasn’t your best work.

    • Agnès says...

      That sounds so harsh! I definitely didn’t read it the same way; the expert is giving answers to specific readers, and so the answers are adapted (the first one is heterosexual, so the heterosexual example!). It’s probably because I teach but it is important to let people do some research and use “advice column” to start questionning and not as guidelines.

    • R says...

      I do agree regarding the heteronormative examples. Hello, the L Word? Even if the asker is hetero, it does not mean that the answer can not serve a wider audience.

      I read another blog today where the writer was uplifting a queer voice and then in the next paragraph, assuming only hetero couples exist for Valentine’s Day Gift Ideas. The hypocrisy was stunning. I’m tired of it too. I know CoJ used to have a queer writer. I miss that voice. Not trying to be harsh at all. It’s just hard to see your existence ignored unless someone is expressly talking about a queer person. Hetero is ALWAYS default otherwise.

    • Natalie says...

      While I see how this comment could be inferred as harsh or overly sensitive I also see where the person who was disappointed is coming from. If someone is dubbed as a sex expert, there’s more of a responsibility and expectation with how their answers are framed than if it was say just an average person. I’m not an expert, so how people interpret my opinions are different as how the same person would interpret an expert’s opinion. And that difference is really important in how their feelings about something is formed.

    • Ezz says...

      I am *so with you* on this piece, it was uninformative, a bit close-minded (esp the threesome bit, and the sex vs good partner bit), and overall disappointing. It sounded like it was written by my sex ed teacher from 1997. I’m not sure what a “sexologist” qualification is, but meh – unimpressed.

    • Also Disappointed says...

      I agree with your points, Disappointed, especially the threesome shade. Why should *one* woman who has had *a* threesome get a platform to generalize about group sex to women who are genuinely curious to explore it?

    • Joanna Goddard says...

      I hear you. Thank you so much for this smart and nuanced feedback. Xo

    • Tori says...

      @Agnes, how do you know the first one is heterosexual? I didn’t get that from the question.

    • S says...

      I agree with your remarks about the hetero TV shows. Like even citing the L word would have been an improvement (though I think there are many more steamy shows with queer sex these days).

      Agnés, I see your point but the commenter only mentioned they were religious, they said nothing about their sexuality, for all we know they could be lesbian/queer/bi!

    • E says...

      Yikes! I had the same initial thought as you with the ‘heteronormative’ comment, but then I read the rest of the sentence: “what I am saying is to find content that has romance and sexuality, and see how that feels.” That content is going to be different for everybody! This isn’t about hiring practices or something like that–this is about masturbation, a wildly personal topic. I appreciate that she acknowledged that while wildly popular all of those examples are heteronormative, instead of just listing them as though this is all that’s out there or possible. Personally none of those shows do it for me [a heterosexual woman], but I too can google.

      Then-what part of specific, actionable advice about how to sort out moving ahead with a threesome gives you the idea that she’s slut-shaming??? Is “thoughtful” code for “don’t do it” to you? “Be thoughtful” seems like pretty sound advice to me, for almost any situation! Certainly something as intimate as sex.

      Finally, I am so annoyed at your comment that the new nurse response should have been along the lines of “it’s okay to keep looking”–I’ve seen that response SO many times, and it does nothing but invalidate this person’s decision-making around what sounds like a new, not nearly to the point of ‘lifelong monogamous commitment’ relationship. She asked about advice on improving sex with someone she likes. At no point did this response ever say that looking for more was off the table–it just focused on the *actual question* which was how to make a great relationship even better in this one specific area. If you asked a friend for sex tips, would you want them to tell you that maybe you should consider breaking up? (I have literally watched this conversation unfurl.) Women are all too often questioned on their own choices–as you are effectively doing. In my own experience I can definitely say that sex is not a static, or binary good/bad, experience. Sex with the same person can change so much over time. Shouldn’t that also be part of being sex-positive? Acknowledging that it’s not always instantly or automatically great–but can get better?

    • LD says...

      Agreed with ALL of these points. Thanks for raising them. @Ihartericka is an amazing sex educator on Instagram for a very different and inclusive perspective.

    • Gretchen says...

      I also hope that COJ is able to bring another queer writer/ editor on the team again. I love COJ so much. And Kat van der Hoorn’s recent house tour was so well done. COJ opened up space for such an important story about both the pain and joy of recognizing ones queerness in adulthood (one with many overlapping elements to my own story). I know from my own experience this this is not the type of story people generally make space for, yet COJ did.
      Yet this article existed in such a straight space. The idea that someone is asking about exploring their sexuality, but the only suggestions for where to look were portrayals of straight love & sex is hurtful. It is not intentionally hurtful, but it is actively doing harm. This type of discourse is part of why people like me make it to adulthood without realizing their queerness. We aren’t shown other options. We are assumed to be straight. Younger generations are moving away from such a heteronormative perspective. I hope that all of us can, as well.

    • Gretchen says...

      Gah, I hit enter and realized that I had made my own heteronormative assumptions in my comment. (We are all unlearning & learning) I actually do not know if any COJ team members are queer & I’m sorry for making that assumption based on people’s partners. It is not anyones responsibility to be out just because they write publicly. People have a right to privacy about their sexuality.

    • IJ says...

      I disagree with you – you’re taking this article really personally. It’s not about you. If you’re ‘crushed’ by this piece on a website, maybe you should work on your resilience.

    • Don’t settle for bad sex says...

      I feel if you are a more sexually driven person then you shouldn’t settle for sex that isn’t working early on. I believe you can work on feelings and emotions etc but the sexual connection needs to at least be there to work on ya know? I personally dated someone who I should’ve stopped dating after our first kiss – there were just no sparks. But I really wanted to make it work as we had been building a relationship so I went all in and was terribly disappointed with the sex. I always looked back and felt a bit selfish that that’s the main reason I broke up with him but actually it’s an incredibly important aspect of a relationship and I’m glad I didn’t stick around to try and work on something I just knew would never be good let alone great. I feel people start to panic when they can’t find ‘the one’ but as this commenter states, it leads to affairs down the track. I’ve met people where there is an immediate attraction (post marriage) but because my husband is so damn fine, loving, sexually delicious and incredibly kind I turn the other way and don’t entertain the idea.

    • +1 If a sex expert can’t think of a single sexy tv show that isn’t straight, that is…a problem? Acknowledging it in the way she did while also doing nothing about it is a really strange choice that reads as super dismissive.

  8. Lauren says...

    I learned to love toys in a partnership with my now ex-boyfriend…some people collect christmas ornaments when they travel, we started collecting toys! We referred to them by the name of the city we got each one in and it made it fun to remember each place and the associated memories. And especially in the beginning, it was easier/less awkward to introduce wanting to use one…”do you want to use albuquerque tonight?” or “I need denver!”

  9. LD says...

    Single woman here who has had plenty of threesomes, some involving a man and others all women, and they are DELIGHTFUL. If you want a good experience, though, you have to put some work into communication and expectations, just like any other relationship. Hash these things out over some dinners together, build up some tension, give some time for everyone to get tested, and make sure there is trust all around. And then have FUN. And for the person who worried that someone would be left out in a threesome, I promise there are plenty of creative ways to keep everyone involved and happy. Skin to skin contact is just so good- who wouldn’t want more of it if they could?!

    • Christen says...

      Agreed^ I’ve had my fair share of threesomes while being married. They were beautiful experiences that bonded us and we look back on with awe and wonder (unmasked and NAKED with a third! What!). Dan Savage has good advice on how to introduce a third in a way that elevates their needs and boundaries and also builds your primary relationship. You can’t have too much communication, in my experience. It is a delicate process, but if you find the right person (in our case, through an app) then it can be absolutely liberating.

  10. Rose says...

    I have the experience so far (I’m in my late 20s) that I can *only* orgasm with a vibrator (producing clitoral vibrations, and with nothing inside of me.) I definitely am turned on by oral and penetrative sex with a man, but I wonder how common this is and whether it’s physiological or psychological. Is this just me?

    This situation has made me feel bad when I was in past relationships, because I am worried it will make me seem less desirable as a sexual partner/upset the ego of my partner that he can’t *give* me an orgasm.

    • L says...

      Same here!! My partner gets it and we incorporate vibrators when we have sex. I think it’s pretty common and nothing to be ashamed of. No guy worth your time will be bothered :)

    • Katie says...

      Rose, I used to feel the exact same way! I never suggested to past partners that we should bring a toy into the mix because I was worried how they might react or if their ego would be hurt, etc. And to be honest, I think some of my past partners WOULD have felt that way. But now I feel like “how outdated is that mentality for a man to have??”. Like, if he’s not interested enough in me having a good time that he doesn’t want to use a toy to help get me there because his ego can’t handle it, maybe he’s not really deep down a guy I want to be sharing that experience with.

      After a stretch of being single where I really got to experiment with and come to love my little collection of toys, I finally felt confident enough with my current boyfriend to suggest using one. Not only was his ego not hurt, but he was actually pleasantly surprised and pleased that I suggested it. For him, having me really, REALLY enjoy myself during sex is a major turn on for him. And he says the vibrations when we use it together actually feel really good to him too (side note: why don’t sex toy makers actively and more vocally advertise this benefit to men??).

      So all this to say, find yourself a man who is confident enough in himself not to be threatened by your sex toys, teach him how to use them with you, and then enjoy. You can both thank me later :)

    • B says...

      Not just you. I rarely orgasm from penetrative sex. It took me months to have one at all with my current partner, and this was with trying all of the angles/positions that we could think of, despite my being turned on. Clitoral stimulation is pretty reliable, but more so by myself. Definitely took him a while to not take it as a performance issue on his part and I wish that we talked about this more as a society. Maybe women would feel less pressured to fake finishing.

    • Olivia says...

      You’re not alone. I’m the exact same. It’s much, much harder for me to have a (clitoral obv) orgasm while having sex. Finger or two is ok. Penis or toy no.

    • BH says...

      Me too! I thought something was wrong with me because I had never had an orgasm until we brought in a vibrator (the Maude Vibe is also a really great vibrator!). Only took us 13 years of marriage to figure that out…I only wish I would have tried it sooner!

    • Jessica says...

      To all the women here responding, YOU ARE NORMAL. Say it with me! The problem is cultural and a poor general understanding of female sexual anatomy. Imagine we started shaming men for not being able to orgasm from caressing their feet? Absurd right? We are just so used to a male centric sex point of view, we don’t think to question it. Most women simply cannot orgasm from penetration. It’s that simple. Don’t feel shame about, but you may have to spend some time educating your male partners about this basic anatomical fact. May I suggest “Come as you are” by Emily Nagoski as required reading (for you and your partner, if you really want them to understand). This book really does a fantastic job of explaining how female sexual anatomy works and why the traditional male centric view we’ve all accepted is damaging to pleasure. As a sex reference book, it’s scientifically based and very affirming, a must-read.

  11. AJ says...

    Reading this has made me think of something I wonder whether other single folk will relate to! So I’m single and jeez, never felt so celibate (pandemic!). Whenever I tell a married friend I’m feeling sex starved, they suggest ‘get a vibrator’… I’m like, really? Dude I have a whole cabinet full! Do you think I’d have done a year of pandemic with no sex toys?! (Not that I needed a pandemic to stock that cabinet!) it makes me laugh! Like, ok, so you really have been married a long time – and I really have been single forever! 🤣

    • Abbey says...

      Yes! Very relatable. Like I should be rejoicing they found me a replacement for actual skin-to-skin human connection? 😂😂😂

  12. A says...

    Is it weird to think that a foursome might be less awkward than a threesome? That way no one is ever left out? I haven’t and probably won’t because my husband and I are both awkward with new people, but my imaginary self would be down for it.

    • AG says...

      Ha! I like how your mind works.
      But wouldn’t be a foursome mean you would need to satisfy/play with 3 other people?Whew! The energy it would take!

  13. M says...

    Question: Can the Pom be used hands free in penetrative sex? I’m looking at the Eva too but shying away from it since others have said it’s super loud…

  14. Marian says...

    I want to echo what Alex said about threesomes often feeling better in the imagination than IRL. Not that I regret having done it! On the contrary. (And not that I’m discouraging it either, to be clear.) Just that it was way more awkward and decidedly UN-sexy than in my imagination. My husband also had one in his 20s and he said the same thing.

    That all said, my best friend had one a few years ago. Her and her husband brought a stripper home to their hotel and she said it was the hottest night of her life. So there you go! I guess don’t listen to me?

  15. Louise says...

    I second watching Outlander (focusing on Jamie and Claire’s love story and life) or Bridgerton. Also has anyone else noticed how sex just gets better with every year? I’m well over 40 now and happier for it.

    • AG says...

      Sex gets better every year? Does it really?! I never notice, maybe I need to get some LOL

    • Amy says...

      Same! Absolutely, and I’ve been with my husband for 30 years. You just figure out what works. So much better than when we were younger.

    • Agnès says...

      I really agree; going through so much (illnesses, pregnancies, ageing) and still have desire for each other is such a turn on. Also with age, you probably have more imagination, movies, literature, and all the people you meet and chose not to sleep with to focus on the one you’re committed to… It is one of the great things of ageing. Can I say ageing at 48?

    • KB says...

      100%! I am 40, have has the same partner since my early 20s, and I would say the past 2-3 years (after 2 kids) the sex has been the best of my life!

    • Laura says...

      yes, agreed! sex has gotten better and better the longer my husband and I have been married :)

  16. Katie says...

    I recently purchased the Pom after reading some CoJ reviews, and I don’t know why I ever waited so long… just get it. Trust me.

  17. R says...

    If you are a straight couple looking for your third to be a woman, please please please disclose this up front if you’re on apps. Many straight couples will “unicorn hunt” by only posting a photo of the woman in the relationship, making queer women believe they are swiping on a single queer woman. And then getting the “my boyfriend and I….” message SUCKS. Being up front with your pics is best because there are definitely people who will be into this. The whole thing should be built on a foundation of truth, imo.

    • AJ says...

      Totally! This honestly is a daily occurrence on dating apps for queer women and it does suck. Absolutely no judgement of mixed/straight couples using an app to look for a threesome – go for it! But please either seek an app that’s tailored to this, or create a profile that clearly discloses it and doesn’t just match you with single lesbians looking to meet other single lesbians/queer women. It’s disheartening that major dating app brands can’t fix their algorithms so queer single women don’t have to constantly feel like boundaries are being overstepped.

  18. Julie says...

    My genital anatomy is such that I’ve never had an orgasm from penetrative sex without me or my husband stimulating my clitoris simultaneously. There’s definitely an internal spot that feels the best at certain angles and that can get more intense the longer he lasts, but it’s never reached a plateau. My husband is quite awesome at The Sex though, he’s really creative and always takes time before we have intercourse to get me off with either his hands, mouth, or one of my toys, so missing out on the orgasm during penetration part has never been something I’ve focused on. It sounds nice though, I’m a little jealous of my girlfriends who experience this :)

    He has to be patient too, when I was a virgin I always thought that orgasms would be 1-2 minutes away, but the dude really has to work for it. I spend so much time internally yelling at myself to get out of my head, to stop stressing about work, life, pandemic, etc etc.

    • Olivia says...

      Wow, your comment really resonates with me. I am so so so ridiculously bummed that I can’t orgasm from penetration. I actually find it much more difficult for a variety of reasons. And even watching tv shows or reading books with sex scenes, I get jealous of these women! Ugh. I know I’m not in the minority, but still. I also feel that “internal spot” that feels great, but never hits a peak. It’s frustrating.

  19. AN says...

    I have the Pom and it’s amazinggggg. The texture and speeds work great. It’s my first vibrator ever and like another poster, I can’t believe I waited so long to try one. Thanks to dame for making it feel less intimidating.

  20. Alex says...

    I purchased the Eva after it was recommended on this site. Holy crap it is LOUD. Like significantly louder than any vibrator i’ve ever had (I currently own and regularly use 3 others from other brands). It’s so loud that its distracting and after trying to use it 1/2 a dozen times i’ve put it away in the back of the drawer.

    Alex – is mine damaged? Or is this just due to the design? I read a few reviews on other sites after I purchased it that said the same thing. I’m bummed cuz its SUCH a great idea – but i think it needs some more R&D.

    • J says...

      Oh my god… mine is super loud too.. I also thought it was broken and have t tried it again… we have older kids so need to be super stealth!

    • Claire says...

      I had an Eva II and tried it several times with a partner. While I don’t recall it being overly loud, I remember that the vibrations were so weak that neither of us felt anything. We also couldn’t get it to stay in place. I was so sad as it seemed like a great idea, but alas it just didn’t work. Sounds like it’s a difficult product to use correctly – maybe a video on the site could help people?

  21. Kate says...

    Just listened to this podcast on The Guardian about the clitoris. Absolutely fascinating. Interestingly, it posits that there’s no such thing as a g-spot, and that we don’t need to make a distinction between vaginal orgasms vs. clitoral orgasms; every orgasm is pretty much clitoral.

    Also: the clitoris has over 8000 nerve endings – more than twice as much as the penis!

    http://www.theguardian.com/news/audio/2021/jan/01/today-in-focus-revisited-the-clitoris-coverup-why-do-we-know-so-little-podcast

    • Maria says...

      As someone who has had both types of orgasms, the elusive g-spot orgasm is superior in my book and DEFINITELY exists. Penis size has a lot to do with reaching your G-spot and unfortunately not all men are that big.

    • Kat O says...

      Maria, I love that for you haha. But I saw a similar documentary segment on the clitoris and g-spot, and I think what Kate is referring to is that, anatomically, there is no singular “g-spot” in the vagina; the nerves/physical structure of the clit actually go much further back and sort of wrap around the vaginal wall. So what you and others experience as the g-spot is actually an extension of the clitoral nerves – a semantic difference, maybe, but very interesting nonetheless! (Also I’m not a medical professional so if I got that wrong, I apologize – check out the podcast or another trusted source to confirm haha.) As for size being important to reach the g-spot, I think that’s very different and probably depends on your personal anatomy.

  22. A says...

    I’ve wondered about that statistic re: the low number of women who have had internal orgasms—how many would be able to have one with the right position or with a sex toy vs it being physically impossible for them. I did not have an internal orgasm for a while until I discovered that missionary with my legs over his shoulders and just the right angle delivers almost every time. Also, I love the Arc toy from Dame for showing me just how intense an internal orgasm can be. Whew. Worth every penny!

  23. J says...

    This may be an odd question, but what do I do with sex toys I don’t want anymore? I have a bullet style vibrator that isn’t the right fit, and want to replace it with something different. I don’t want to just throw the old one out- it works perfectly well and I don’t want it just ending up in a landfill. But it doesn’t seem like the kind of thing that’s easy to donate alongside an old sweater. It seems so…personal. Any readers have advice on this?

    • suki says...

      What a great question. Would be so great if manufacturers allowed you to mail them back so they could recycle them. Waiting for this process to become the manufacturing norm in general. People need jobs.

      – steam sterilize
      – slice off silicone and sell to recycler
      – disassemble internals for parts/recycling
      – collect or sell carbon credits to offset cost

    • Megan says...

      I had a dame product that broke after a few uses too. I emailed their customer service and they sent me a new one! They have great customer service!

    • Sarah says...

      I’ve seen several sex toy posts in our local buy nothing group and it makes everyone’s day and gets the most comments! There are always plenty of folks interested. Though I don’t know if I’d be brave enough to post!

  24. Abbey says...

    I like this post and I don’t mean to be a downer but I was super disappointed with my Dame product. It worked *twice* before it broke. I don’t know if it was the button or the charger but neither worked after two very tame uses and of course you can’t return intimate toys so that was that.

    One of my biggest intimate toy questions is how to shop around and know you’re making a good investment. Every electronic toy I’ve ever bought — regardless of price or upstanding establishment from which I bought it — is junk. COJ, commenters… can you help?

    • jane says...

      I use Vibe Touch and they gave me a new one for free when the magnetic charger failed after a year or so. But they did require the receipt, which I had. I keep all receipts filed so fyi.

    • A says...

      I’ve had the Lelo Gigi for 15 years and it still works! It was the first vibrator I ever bought, and I still use it once or twice a month. Also I highly recommend (The G.O.A.T) the Hitachi Magic Wand.

    • M says...

      My Dame product also stopped working after a few uses. Dame actually has great customer service (It was all through email). I returned my item and they replaced for free.

    • M says...

      Did you ask Dame for a replacement? I’d start there. Or if you’re wary of the company/product now in general, I can vouch for Lelo – really solid, quality products that last for years.

    • Abbey says...

      Thank you all for chiming in with the recs and advice! You know, the funny thing is I had a Lelo that also conked out prematurely! Maybe I need to switch to non-electronic toys 😂

  25. Maureen says...

    I have some Dame products that I really like – Pillo and Arc. Pom seems perfect for me and I wanted to love it, but when you “squish” it like Alex says, it changes speeds and turns off. The power switch gets very easily squished. Major design flaw IMO.

  26. ellie says...

    What sensitive and thoroughly addressed explanations – this person knows how to communicate and should write much more!

    PS: none of COJ’s sponsored posts load through the privacy protection apps on my laptop. I get a blank page after opening the post – unsponsored posts load perfectly however. Could you possibly correct this on your end? I’d love to feel safe visiting and reading your sponsored posts! Thank you!

    • sammy says...

      I agree – none of their sponsored posts work on mine either, idk why. It’s been happening for years and I also wish it was fixed.

    • Joanne says...

      I have the same issue, Ellie! I usually just c/p the url into an incognito page (I use Chrome), and it usually works. Might be worth a try as a stop-gap measure.

    • ellie says...

      Thank you, Joanne! That worked!

    • Faith says...

      I have the same issue! I usually disable the ad blocker (temporarily) and refresh the page. Works like a charm.

    • Marian says...

      Same here! I had to open in incognito mode. I don’t even have an ad blocker on my browser.

  27. liz says...

    I hope this comes out ok. I really appreciate and respect anyone’s wishes to wait to have sex until they are ready, whatever the definition of ready is, whether that be a point of maturity, or a specific age, or a specific religious/legal marital status. I would like take a bit of issue of the phrase “saving yourself for marriage.” People are not lost after they have sex, they’ve just had sex. You may have shared a part of yourself, but it isn’t lost, and not having sex isn’t saving. There’s no bank of self that get expended when people have sex. This may just be a reaction left over from the high school sex ed that told me I would be a chewed piece of chewing gum that no one else would want to chew once I had sex, but I hope that people can start thinking of choosing not to have sex as a choice, rather than a way to save oneself. That being said, I totally get where the questioner is coming from, I came to solo sex pretty late in life (and came to partnered sex even later) and the whole idea was very intimidating. I wish I had had Alex’s gentle advice when I was starting out and totally freaked out!

    (Also I have the dame pillow and I love. it. so. much.)

    • ellie says...

      Religious ideals around sex are designed to protect women from being used for sex and to return the focus from animal pleasure to the pleasures of LOVE. But once you’ve decided you are mature enough to take full responsibility for your own choices, then you can protect your self – without “rules”. Regardless of age, marriage or whatever.

      I waited to have sex until I felt like I could handle the responsibility and masturbation was a huge gift of empowerment for me as a teen and beyond. Learning what you like as a woman and how your body responds to pleasure was very very healing for my sense of feminine power.

    • Greta says...

      Usually if you have to start a comment with, “I hope this comes out right…” it is an indication that it is probably better left unsaid. This questioner is speaking in the language of her experience and background. Although that language might be triggering to you, it might be better to just respect her background and individual experience by letting it go.

    • Maureen says...

      Totally agree with you, Liz. I was told that if I had sex as a teenager I would be like “a dog bone that had been claimed so no other dog would want it.” WTF?! I now have 2 young daughters and am working on learning how to teach them in a sex-positive way to make good choices and also own and pursue their own pleasure.

    • Kim says...

      Thank you for pointing this out! It’s not a gift you give away to the right person, it’s something you do- like any other physical activity. You aren’t damaged after wards, or less than.

    • Amy says...

      Amen!

    • Caitlin says...

      Liz, I really, really agree with you and thank you for bringing this up in such a respectful manner. Language is so powerful.

    • Leigh says...

      I think Liz raised an interesting point and I’m glad she said it. She was just asking for some grace so as to not trigger *others.*

    • Frances says...

      Hey Liz– I agree with you that the notion of anyone being some sullied or lost once they begin having sex is nonsensical, cruel, and misogynist. But, having come from a religious background that touted the same “save yourself for marriage language,” I do know that many people mean the phrase less in the sense of “save yourself, because once you do the deed you’re ruined” and more in the sense of “be discerning about who you offer the privilege and gift of your sexuality to.” The latter doesn’t mean that once you share your sexuality with someone you are in any way degraded, just that that sexuality is something special to save for someone you feel safe with/committed to. I don’t personally ascribe to the idea that sex should be saved for marriage or for one person, but I can understand those who take the position.

    • Megan says...

      @ Ellie I so appreciate this comment. There are so many reasons that sex is best in certain circumstances. I waited to have sex until marriage and am so glad, but it breaks my heart that sex ed has resulted in so much SHAME and misinformation in the US. I think a healthy discussion about masturbation for young people would be a game changer for, as others have said, young female empowerment, but parents and educators are so at a loss as to how to approach it that they gloss over it, to our collective loss. I imagine CoJ has already addressed this, but would love to see a post about how parents and educators are handling sex education in their communities (in the US and abroad).

    • Em says...

      Greta, I see what you mean that the writer was just using the language of her own experience, but language evolves! If gone unquestioned, we perpetuate use of language that’s inaccurate or damaging. When done respectfully (like Liz did), pointing out that certain phrases carry damaging ideas, will help us evolve language as society, so that’s it’s more inclusive and progressive.

    • Monica says...

      This comment thread right here almost made me cry. What a beautiful example of agreeing and disagreeing respectfully!

      Liz, I appreciate that you shared your concern about wording and not about the person who shared their question – I find that to be affirming in a way that moves conversation and understanding forward.

      I too grew up in a conservative religious framework, self sex was discouraged but I explored anyway and it is a complex and very personal experience.

      I also experienced the narrative of “saving” oneself and now in adulthood and married life continue to navigate how devastating the idea that we (mostly women, let’s be honest) would be spoiled by participating in sexual activity outside of marriage.

      Thank you for sharing honest experiences.

    • E says...

      The chewed gum, tape that loses its stickiness, etc metaphors MAKE ME SO MAD. Also it’s always targeted at women but somehow men seem exempt. Drives me batty

    • Brenna says...

      Em, I’m not sure what you mean. Language doesn’t change automatically, it changes because of what people think and do. It often ebbs and flows, or cycles: I don’t think it necessarily just gets better and better or more evolved. Being religious is often about following what are considered divine and timeless paths instead of following what are perceived as worldly trends. I would challenge you to ask someone who’s very religious (of any faith) about their views on these topics, and really listen.

    • Kiana says...

      My best friend in college was from a pretty religious, Christian family and there was a lot of “saving yourself” rhetoric in her household. She ended up having her first time with a boy she loved who she thought loved her back. They broke up two months after and she was devastated that she had given away something precious that she would never get back to the wrong person. It was pretty awful watching her go through that. I think people need to tone it down with that rhetoric. It comes from a good place but it can be taken to an extreme meaning whether it’s intended that way or not.

    • Kim says...

      Religious ideals around women’s purity were absolutely not written to keep women safe from being used. Remember when women were basically sold into marriage for a goat and some chickens? Religion has been used to subjugate women for a millennia. Let’s not pretend women have been treated fairly by patriarchal religions. These “traditions” were a means to control. It has nothing to do with protecting or respecting women.

    • Michelle says...

      I would like to echo what Frances said and just reiterate that often the phrase of “saving oneself for marriage” does not necessarily imply that someone is “lost” after having sex, or to be more extreme, makes someone less-than for having done so. It’s usually rooted in a choice to share a very intimate, personal part of your life with someone of your choosing and who you are committed to in a way that feels right for you. And what a wonderful, beautiful choice, if that’s what you choose to do! For many, it truly is a gift that you can share with someone else, and lots of people who have this commitment aren’t necessarily thinking that they are somehow less-than if they have chosen not to save sex in the past – and I know many people who have recommitted to saving sex to reestablish whatever boundaries they feel are right for them. It doesn’t necessarily imply a restrictive or unhealthy upbringing view of sex – quite the opposite. Many find it freeing! I’m glad that this thread is acknowledging what this language can mean – I just hope we refrain from making assumptions about one’s background or assuming that they have been brought up with unhealthy beliefs. Lots of individuals choose this for themselves, and I think it needs to be celebrated if it is coming from a healthy place!

    • K says...

      Thanks Liz for this comment. It made me realize how ridiculous that phrase is and the meaning behind it.

    • Rusty says...

      Language is SO important!

      I got burned by a mentee blogger on EHD for cautioning her against filppant use of the term “barren womb” in referencing her choice of being childless, and attempting to be funny, because it seemed a harsh and triggering way to state it for many people (not for me, I was thinking bigger audience on a public blog).
      Man, did I get flamed by do-gooder groupies!

      I need to stand for modern use of language that isn’t tribal, ostracising or excluding people just to get a laugh. It’s the same with anti-racism. If we don’t speak up, we’re complicit!!

      Anyway, it happened again, same person, about ugly rentals “who’d live in this kind of place!?” I spoke up about being sensitive in that many people have no choice and it’s all they have, it’s their home. Flamed by the groupies AND the writer (at length)!!

      I’ll call it out when I see it, no matter what.
      It is hurtful, though, to be ganged up on like I was abrasive and tore strips off her (I did not). I certainly have suffered strips being torn off me as a result.🙄

      Isn’t it important for us all to call out supposed joke making at the cost of unkniwn others in public forums???
      I’m genuinely interested in what others (you lot) think.
      Pleasd tell….

    • Kate says...

      I agree Liz – That language really rubbed me the wrong way. It feels very antiquated and founded in the basis that women need “saving” and there’s something that changes or has less value after sex. I don’t like it, and think we can do much better.

      Also, of course people need to choose when/how to have sex for their own reasons. But the WHY is often tied to antiqued and sexist views. I’ve never met anyone who was “saving” themselves for healthy reasons that had to do with their own desires.

      So for folks who disagree with you, I’d say this: There’s room for alternative views, and everyone should have control over their bodies. But when their choices are based in sexist and unhealthy cultural messaging, it’s okay (And great) for people like Liz to point it out.

      Thanks Liz!

  28. Maclean Nash says...

    We got our Fin vibrator delivered this week and we are both (one female, one male) loving it! It is our first sex toy (ever) and oh my gawd, why did I not do this sooner!?!