The Missing Female Pleasure Parts

The Search for Buried Pleasure

What’s wrong with our standard map of female genital anatomy? Unfortunately, what’s missing from the picture is most of the equipment responsible for pleasure, arousal and orgasm. The clitoris is just the tip of the volcano!

Women have a set of interconnected but separate erectile structures that I call the Female Erectile Network (“FEN”). It’s comprised of multiple parts that are functionally and structurally connected. They are the three parts of the clitoris, the paired vestibular bulbs, the urethral sponge and the perineal sponge.

While it’s beyond the scope of this article to go into detail about each of the female erectile structures, I do want to point out a few salient bits of information about the erectile network. Erectile tissue is penises are mostly made of. It’s what gives them the ability to go from small and soft to big and hard.

Here’s the key point: Pound for pound and inch for inch, women have just as much erectile tissue as men. It’s just arranged differently. The female genitals contain just as much of this expandable, engorgable, highly pleasurable tissue as male genitals do. Just as much!

Some of these pleasure parts are well known while others are almost unheard of (even by scientists, medical practitioners and sexologists).

female-erectile-network-labels-color-web_v2To start with the familiar, the FEN includes the super-sensitive ‘jewel in the crown’—the head of the clitoris. (That’s what most people are referring to when they say ‘clitoris.’) It’s a unique and remarkable structure and merits lots of attention. The clitoral head is the main and usually easiest orgasmic trigger for most women. It is not, however, the only path to female sexual pleasure. Just for starters, the clitoris itself also includes two other parts: the shaft (under the hood) and the three to four inch-long paired legs. And they are all composed of—that’s right—erectile tissue!

But that’s not all! In addition to the clitoral structures, the FEN includes the paired vestibular bulbs that bracket the vaginal opening, plus two additional structures—the urethral and perineal sponges.

The Vestibular Bulbs

These two substantial wads of erectile tissue are positioned on either side of the vaginal opening. Shaped like an upside-down comma, they’re thin at the top where they connect to the shaft of the clitoris. At the bottom each bulb is, well, bulbous. When engorged they swell, like all erectile tissue does. At that point, they cause the labia to bulge out and in and create intensely pleasurable sensations when stimulated, including when anything is moving into and out of the vagina. They can be stimulated by broadly pressing the whole vulva and labia and by ‘rubbing through the skin’, that is, using moderate to deep pressure to stroke the structure under the skin. When stimulated, they puff up considerably. The bulbs are are one of the important keys to increased female pleasure!

The Urethral Sponge

Another component of the Female Erectile Network is the structure known as the urethral sponge (a/k/a the female prostate). Comprised of erectile and glandular tissue, it’s a cylinder of erectile tissue that surrounds the tube of the urethra— like a roll of paper towels surrounding the inner cardboard tube. It’s analogous to the male prostate.

The urethral sponge can be stimulated through the roof of the vagina and by pleasuring the area surrounding the urethral opening. But it is not a magic orgasm button. Most women will not enjoy having it stimulated until after they’ve reached mid-to high level arousal.

Here’s a little-known fact lots of people miss—the underside of the tubular sponge is what in common (and incorrect) parlance is known as the g-spot. I prefer not to use that term. It is not a spot—it’s the bottom of the tube of the urethral sponge. So while I can truthfully say that the ‘g-spot’ as an anatomical structure doesn’t exist, the erectile tissue known as the urethral sponge most assuredly does. Got it? There is no g-spot, but there is a urethral sponge—an engorgeable (and potentially pleasurable) erectile tissue tube that lies just above the roof of the vagina.

The Perineal Sponge

The perineal sponge rests under the vaginal floor, in the wall between the vaginal and anal canals. It can be accessed via either passageway (or both!) It is also composed of engorgeable erectile tissue.

erectile-network-circuits-v2_webConnected Circuits

Each of the network’s structures is composed of erotically responsive erectile tissue. With proper stimulation, each can become engorged. When the whole female erectile network is engorged, it creates two overlapping, interlocking connected circuits of sweetly swollen erectile structures. While women can become aroused and orgasmic with only some of the network activated, for maximum pleasure get the whole network engorged. When all of the separate structures are engaged, the erectile network becomes like a snug and stretchy cuff of delightfully responsive equipment. Getting one component stimulated and engorged is good. Getting the whole network puffed up and pleasured is way better!

More Pleasure, Please!

When the whole network is activated, women are more likely to reach orgasm by a variety of forms of stimulation. All orgasms are good. None are superior–there aren’t any ways of getting to orgasm that are better or worse. For most women, direct stimulation to the clitoral head is required to get there. Woman can, however learn to expand their paths to orgasm, expand their orgasms and widen their orgasmic spectrum.

11809737_363410023868627_797739392_nOne way that many women would like to get orgasmic is with intercourse or penetration. Despite our cultural misconceptions, this is not the easiest way to get off (or help your partner get to the big O)! Learning to have orgasms from penetration is a learnable skill. One key to making intercourse highly pleasurable and much more likely to be orgasmic (for the woman) is to make sure that the whole circuit of erectile tissue is fully engorged prior to penetration. Other keys include making sure that the woman is in deep, high-level arousal prior to penetration; using our additional inner ‘sexcraft tools’ (such as breathing, sound, movement, awareness and imagination, to name just a few) to increase stimulation; having one or more orgasms prior to intercourse; and, during intercourse, using more pelvis-connected movements such as rocking or grinding rather than a penis thrusting in-and-out motion. These type of movements will stimulate the whole erectile network better then the old in-and-out.

However you use your erectile equipment (or pleasure a female partner’s parts), take the time to play with the whole erectile network. A full-on ‘herection’ is a beautiful, elegant and very rewarding pleasure matrix.


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Given how much interest there’s been in the topic historically, you’d expect people to know all there is to know about female sexuality and female genital anatomy. Well, they don’t. The vast majority of people know amazingly little about women’s sexual parts—and this is true for owners of the equipment as well as people who like to play there.


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A Breastmilk Theory of Love

 

The Milky Way by Rubens

A Breastmilk Theory of Love: Relationships, Love and Mothering

Does our infant feeding experience affect how we relate to relationships? Is there a template for love laid down in early life that creates unconscious patterns that lead to either healthy or dysfunctional connections? Hear what a Wholistic Sexuality educator, former nurse-midwife and intimate arts counselor thinks about the deep connections between the breast and the heart.

If we’d had our needs met, completely and efficiently, with love, security and nourishment all coming together from the abundant breast of a loving mama—would it be easier as adults to form secure and trusting love relationships? To not be possessive and jealous? To trust in the abundance of love and that our beloved(s) will be there when we need them? To be able to receive pleasure? I believe it would.

Auguste Renoir, Maternite dit aussi l'Enfant au seinThe Bountiful Breast

Ah, breastmilk, Mother Nature’s most perfect food, the true nectar of the Goddess. Evolution has developed an exquisite arrangement for nurturing young mammals, perfected through millennia. It is an elegantly simple system, based on supply and demand. A human breast is essentially a milk factory. When a baby sucks on the areola of the breast, it stimulates receptors which tell the breast (via the brain) to respond by producing milk. As the infant grows and its caloric needs increase, the baby gets hungrier and sucks more, producing more milk. Despite myths to the contrary, the breast is never empty. There is an endless supply of milk, always as much as a child needs. As long as the system is not interrupted, and the mother is adequately hydrated and nourished, there will always be an abundance of glorious milk.

Magic Milk

Mammalian milk has evolved to meet the highly specific needs of each particular species. Human milk contains the exact nutrients in the perfect balance to grow the complex brains and bodies of our infants. It contains living immune factors to protect the health of the child. It teaches both our immune system and our metabolism how to function properly for the rest of our lifetimes by mechanisms that are still poorly understood. Children who are breastfed for a year (or ideally two or more) suffer from less of every known disease, not just as infants but throughout their entire lifetime.

Durer - Life of the Virgin -small cropRelationship 101

Sweet and plentiful breastmilk is the perfect food, always ready, warm and delicious. And it comes in an attractive and time-tested package, that of the woman’s breast, firmly attached to the warm, soft, breathing, pulsating body of the mother. This perfect food is delivered from within the context of the first love relationship that the baby knows. This is how evolution set up the system. When the baby human feels one of its basic needs, that of hunger, the need is met, not with an external object, but by their own personal Beloved. Fed from her warm yielding body, cradled in her strong arms, enveloped in her scent, her loving touch, steadied by her heartbeat and breathing, gazed at by bliss-filled eyes. Ideally, the human need for food is answered in the context of a relationship, by a person, with love.

Sad Stand-in

For those who truly cannot breastfeed, it’s good that we have a substitute that’s at least adequate to prevent significant infant mortality. And, of course, a bottle can be given while the baby is held lovingly in arms. But nothing from a factory can come close to replicating a system that evolution has perfected.

Unfortunately, many modern industrial culture women believe that they can’t nurse, don’t have enough milk and that their body has failed. The truth is that it is our system that has failed them. In nature, it would be extremely rare for a woman (or any other mammal) to not be able to adequately nourish her child unless she’s starving. In our bottle-feeding culture many women have unsuccessful nursing experiences because the natural process, which certainly begins before and during labor as well as after, has been repeatedly disrupted in multiple ways. The result is that the elegant system is too disturbed to function properly and nursing doesn’t work despite many women’s heroic efforts to fix it. This is more then a shame, this is a tragic epidemic as the dysfunction of this system has so many sad consequences.

The Barren Bottle

Compare the perfect sweetness and ideal nourishment of breastmilk to the synthetic formula given to most of us as children and to many babies even now. Artificial infant formula tastes nasty, like wallpaper paste. It’s often given in a transparent bottle, clearly in a finite amount. When the bottle is empty, that’s it. It’s all gone. There is no more. The need for food is met, not in the context of a warm and loving relationship, from a soft and sensuous mother’s body, but with a ‘thing’, a hard and separate object. This is so removed from the context of relationship that it need not even be given while the child is held. A bottle can be propped up or self-held by an older baby.

Terrible Templafinger-1404202_1920te

This forms the template for love and attachment that many of us struggle with for the rest of our lives. Is it any wonder that so many people in our culture, as adults, look to consumer goods, to external objects, to satisfy their oh-so-human needs? But more stuff is never enough to really fill those needs. So we go out and buy more stuff, newer stuff, bigger stuff, better, faster, sexier stuff. More, more, more. But it’s really no good. No matter how much we accumulate, objects will never satisfy our needs for love, security and acceptance. Only relationships can do that.

Sick Substitute

Moreover, artificial infant feeding formulas are unhealthy and barely adequate substitutes that can’t come close to Mama Nature’s perfect food. Indeed, they cause innumerable infant health problems, including gastrointestinal distress, allergies, irritability and malaise. Food, nourishment and the associated feeling of love can become deeply connected with feelings of sickness and pain.

Life Lessons

In our first few years we learn some of our most basic life lessons. Is the world a good or bad place? Am I loved? Can I trust that my needs will be met? Is my body a good place to be in?

Sunga period, 1st century BCEShould we be surprised that so many people have mixed up feelings of love and desire with pain and dysfunction? After all, for most of us our first model of relationship taught us that food and comfort come from an object that is separate from another body. That satisfying our hunger is likely to make us feel uncomfortable and even ill. We learned that nourishment is finite in amount and unpleasant tasting to boot. It’s no wonder that we feel that love is a limited commodity with only so much to go around. It’s not surprising that we can’t get comfortable and form trusting relationships with others. Is that why it’s so hard for some people to receive pleasure? Scarcity consciousness and bottle-fed limits are deeply ingrained templates. Bottle-contained artificial infant formula, unsatisfying, toxic, and unpalatable has confused us about the nature of love.

If we’d had our needs met, completely and efficiently, with love, security and nourishment all coming together from the abundant breast of a loving mama—would it be easier as adults to form secure and trusting love relationships? To not be possessive and jealous? To trust in the abundance of love and that our beloved(s) will be there when we need them? To be able to receive pleasure? I believe this is true.

Reframing Scarcity and Embracing Abundance

For myself, I’m trying to re-frame my beliefs about love and attachment, about scarcity and abundance, from a breastmilk perspective. It’s remedial education, to be sure. It’s a process that requires practice and repetition to succeed at changing (or at least influencing) such old core beliefs. I’m rethinking love, in the breast-milk model. I’m granting myself my ditaly-695032_1280enied birthright, reminding myself, over and over, and over again that there is an abundance of love, there’s always as much as you need and plenty to go around. And that if you need more, just suck and more will come. The breast is never empty, just like the heart. There is always enough. And my hunger can only truly be satisfied by human relationships, never by things. True milk, like true love is plentiful and nourishing, never finite or toxic. And it tastes really, really good.

No wonder the breasts are right over the heart. It is where love comes from. Endlessly, without limits, because the breast is never empty and the heart can always give more love. Read more

Pleasurable Safer Sex: Sexual Interaction Guidelines


The Cautious Lover by Nicolas Tassaert, c. 1860

Pleasurable Safer Sex:

Sexual (& Sensual) Interaction Guidelines

Sheri, The Queen of Safer Sex and Good Condom Fairy Says, “JUST BECAUSE IT’S SEXY, DOESN’T MAKE IT SAFE!”

Talking about sex with a potential partner usually isn’t easy. Most of us have never seen good communication about sex modeled in our lives. We don’t see it on our screens, whether we’re watching sitcoms, mainstream movies or porn.

Why is it So Hard? (And Not in a Good Way)

We may think of sex as a scarce commodity that we need to  grab quickly before the opportunity evaporates. Or, perhaps we think that discussing a possible sexual encounter will ruin the moment, dissipating the  magic and deflating the erotic energy. Sometimes we’re conflicted and confused as our lusty desires war with internalized sexual shame. Often we’re uncomfortable with the limited vocabulary of sex and just plain inexperienced with talking about what we want or don’t want. Maybe we just don’t know what we want!

And finally, the ultimate challenge: arousal makes our thinking brains go off-line, leading to the classic inability to have enough blood flow for our heads and our genitals. I like to say that sex makes us stupid. There’s nothing personal here, it’s just how we’re wired.

The thing is, great communication about sex is what makes for really great, pleasurable, mutually satisfying and hot sex!

So, here’s a short guide to helping you navigate the tumultuous waters of erotic communication without capsizing or running aground so your sexual sailing is smooth and pleasurable.

Start with Yourself

Check in with yourself before engaging in sensual and sexual activities with someone else. Be honest and take as much time as you need to be clear about what you want to do or not do.  You need to start by checking in with yourself. This is not a one-time decision. This is an ongoing practice! Keep checking in as you go.

The Pre-Pre-Sex Talk: Communicate Clearly and Honestly

So easy to say but here it is: Communicate with your potential partners. Be honest, clear and overt. Use your ‘courage muscles’, take a deep breath and just do it.

Honor Boundaries

Make agreements about the boundaries for your erotic interactions and then honor them.
Honor prior agreements with others. Tell the complete truth about your agreements.
Discuss expectations, intentions and commitments before engaging in behaviors.
Be responsible and respectful to yourself and to others. Play nice.
Don’t assume permission, ASK! This, too, is an ongoing practice!

The Pre-Sex Talk

If you’re all in agreement about wanting to play erotically, have a Pre-Sex Talk.
If you can’t talk about it, don’t do it. Remember, sex makes you stupid, so be smart and have this conversation before you’re highly aroused.
Already aroused? Take a break, calm down until your brain goes back on-line and then talk.

Want to reduce health risks?

Consider staying in the shallow end of the pool–that is, playing in the safer realm of sensual activities. There’s a lot of fun to be had without contact of your genitals and the surrounding skin, or sharing sexual fluids and the accompanying risks of disease. You can still have a great and erotic time. It’s better to be careful then sorry!

The Pre-Sex Talk

This conversation includes:

  • Who are you currently being sexual and/or intimate with? Discuss current partner status and agreements.
  • History of sexually transmitted diseases
  • Testing history including HIV, as well as other sexually transmitted infections.
  • What intimate sensual or sexual activities will you engage in together, now?What kinds of pleasure do you enjoy giving and receiving?
  • What are your boundaries? At what points do you want to check in again?
  • What safer sex or risk reduction practices will you use?
  • Contraception, if applicable.
  • Anything else that needs to be talked about?

Sheri, The Sovereign of Safer Sex Says, YOU CAN STAY SAFE AND HAVE FUN!!!!”


 

The Love Song of Shakti and Shiva

The Love Song of Shakti and Shiva

From Sheri’s award-winning book: Women’s Anatomy of Arousal: Secret Maps to Buried Pleasure.

In the beginning was the One. The One was all and everything, and for eons it reveled in being One, millennia of magnificent unitary bliss. Over the course of unimaginable time, however, the One grew bored. (Even the Divine gets bored with itself eventually.)

So the One split into two. One part was Shakti — she of energy, flow, and movement. The other was Shiva — he of consciousness, presence, and purpose.

Shakti Shiva ExplosionAs soon as the one became two, they gazed upon each other, fell madly in love, and wanted nothing more than to re-unite. They clasped each other passionately and explored all the ways two could merge into one. They entered each other and dissolved the boundaries between them. For millennia they made love, exquisite erotic love. At long last they again achieved oneness as they exploded in mutual simultaneous orgasm. In that moment, the entire universe was born. All life sprang into being and is springing still. It was the original big bang!

Cosmic Connection

The story of Shakti and Shiva is an origin story about the universe, and a story about each and every one of us. Like them, we long for connection, are magnetized by attraction, and drawn by the desire to merge into oneness. Like them, passion is what connects us to all life, and desire is our path to divine union.

Sex — The Essential Life Force

The saga of Shakti and Shiva reminds us that ecstasy is our birthright and the source of all existence. It also tells us that sex is more than our individual desires, erotic experiences, intimate connections, and sexual behavior. It is the deepest expression of the power of creation. The mating drive is one of the most powerful forces in our world: it has to be or we wouldn’t be here, gloriously alive amid the wondrous diversity and complexity of existence. Asexual reproduction was a great starter plan for Earth, but it takes the desire to mate and mingle genes to birth the unimaginable and wondrous biodiversity of our world. That’s the foundational energy of sex: Sex is the most basic urge to merge.

Your Luscious Life Force

Your individual sexuality is your small piece of that primal power — the vital, pulsing life force. Your sexuality connects to that cosmic energy: they are one and the same thing, only on the micro and macro levels.

How you relate to that immense power has a pervasive impact on your life. You can repress your sexuality. (Or try to, it can’t be stopped) You can go “repression light” and downplay it. Or, you can take the other road and … celebrate it! Your sexuality can take you on a sacred ecstatic path that unites you profoundly to all life throughout time.

At the end of the day, the choice is yours. You can learn to fully and consciously open the inner portal to your sexual life force, and in so doing gain access to divine bliss and link to your uninhibited wild power. That exquisite connection to the cosmos —the erotic cosmos — resides inside you, right there in your sexy center. The choice is yours!


Did you enjoy that taste of Sheri’s award-winning book: Women’s Anatomy of Arousal: Secret Maps to Buried Pleasure? Find out why so many readers rave about the book and say things like this:

As a midArousal_frontcover-w-Book of theYear Awarddle-aged, plus-sized, average woman married 25 years who had never experienced a climax, to stumble upon this book has been an incredible blessing, to say the least. After reading it aloud to my husband on our road trip to the beach, we found freedom, healing, and other pleasures unknown to me before including (my first as well as) several orgasms. My husband also mentioned several times how helpful, detailed, and encouraging the book was for him.
We are both so encouraged!

Cindy Harvey, Amazon reviewer

Check it out!


The Elusive Female Orgasm: More Tips to Orgasm-ability (Pt 3)

Carlos Schwabe - Spleen and IdealThe Elusive Female Orgasm

Three More Tips to Orgasm-ability

(Part Three)

In Part One of The Elusive Female Orgasm, I described three basic solo skills that can get you started on the path to orgasmic pleasure. In Part Two, I gave you four more easy ways to have easier and more orgasms.

Here are another three suggestions that you can use right now to have an orgasm. The same skills that can get you to your ecstatic peaks can also dramatically expand your orgasmic capacity. So have two. Or ten. Or more!

To learn or expand your orgasm-ability, it helps to start with your own self-pleasure. Your solo-sex is your foundational learning laboratory. After you figure out what works for you, you can share your discoveries with your intimate partners. But, like learning to play the piano, it’s best to start solo and then move to duets. Here are three more things you can do by yourself and with yourself to ramp up your arousal and orgasms!

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8. Shake Your Booty

Rocking your hips is the basic mammal mating motion, so utilize that ancient pathway and pump your pelvis. Imagine your spine is a snake and undulate away. Even a small pelvic tilting motion will activate a basic sex reflex, so rock and roll your booty to enhance your turn-on and increase your climax. Pump it up, baby! Let your thrusting animal out and you’ll propel your orgasm sky-high.

9.      Relax

Sexual arousal is a dance between both excitement and relaxation, although our cultural model often focuses only on the revving it up part. Start to play with slowing it down as well. Dance with varying rhythms, from exquisitely slow through racing-car fast, and every speed in between. Sometimes you can even take time for stillness – in fact, that’s often where the pleasure and sensation can expand! Alternate speeding the rhythym up and slowing it down. Play with firing the energy up and cooling it down. Let go of the goal and focus on the experience. Enjoy the journey.

10. Practice and Experiment

The more you practice, the better you’ll get at anything. Practice allows your skills to become habitual. Sex is no exception. As you practice more, you’ll become increasingly proficient with your orgasmic abilities. So practice, lots and lots! It may not get you to Carnegie Hall, but it will get you where you want to go. And remember, your basic practice is with yourself. Partners are optional!

If you want to keep expanding your pleasure capacity, you need to keep trying novel things, running original experiments and exploring new pleasure pathways. Remember, there is no one right way to have sex or become mega-orgasmic. There are myriad paths to expanded sexuality. Don’t get stuck thinking about whether you’re doing it right or wrong. Just try different things; positions, fantasies, skills, toys and keep experimenting and exploring. Keep asking yourself, “What happens when I try it this way?” and run the experiment. Notice what works and what doesn’t. If something works, then add that to your practice.

Remember, even master musicians never stop trying new things and seeing where they can take their talents. An erotic virtuoso is always stretching toward new horizons, exploring new inner tools, and playing with the question of how far can I go. And the great thing about sex? You are your own instrument—and everyone has the capacity to access ecstasy.


This is an excerpt from Sheri’s book, Succulent SexCraft: Your Hands-On Guide to Erotic Play and Practice.

Want more? Check out our free e-book Orgasmic Abundance!

Do you miss Parts One and Two?
Read Part One and Part Two for More Tips.


 OLC_Succulent_SexCraft_Website header_ProductAre you ready to have Sheri personally help you learn to play your own instrument with skill and passion?

You can do it in the comfort and privacy of your own home with Intimate Arts Online Education!

Join us for a 4-week deep dive into Succulent SexCraft: Supercharge Your OWN Pleasure for a lifetime of MORE!

Amplified arousal, easy orgasms, expanded orgasms and access to your own ecstasy awaits you!

The Elusive Female Orgasm: More Tips to Awesome Orgasm (Part 2)

Woman on Wave by Baruffi

Woman on Wave by Baruffi

Four More Tips to Awesome Female Orgasm

(Part 2)

For most women, orgasm is a learned pathway. In Part One I offered some simple ways to learn to find your path, amplify your arousal and access your orgasm.

You aren’t broken if you haven’t yet discovered or established your orgasmic pathways. There are just some skills that you haven’t learned or mastered yet. Have faith that you can get there. You can!

Here are four more easy and effective ways to get where you want to go.

4.      Move It — Flex Your Floor

Inside the bottom of your body lies a hammock of muscles that surround your genitalia and associated organs. Every time you grasp and release these muscles, you’re squeezing, rubbing and fondling your sexy bits. Essentially, you’re playing with yourself without using your hands, which is convenient because during sex your hands are often busy elsewhere.

The pelvic floor muscles also act as a trampoline for sexual energy. The muscles ricochet and reverberate it all around your body, spreading your arousal and magnifying its intensity.

Again, there is no one right way to play with your pelvic floor muscles, so experiment with lots of different actions. Squeeze, pull up, cinch together, flutter, vibrate, push, hold and release them as you see fit. Just get them involved and you’ll heighten your excitement, experience easier arousal and extend your orgasm.

5.      Sing Your Sound

Sound inhibition is the enemy of freeing your orgasm, so to escalate your experience, open your mouth and let the sounds out. You don’t have to raise the roof or frighten the horses, just try playing with little gasps and moans. Start small by making your breath audible. Play with making soft, sexy sounds as you proceed through your arousal journey. Expand your sound repertoire as you become more comfortable with your sound ability. Moan, coo, sigh and whimper and you’ll enhance your experience. Allow yourself to have fun releasing your soundtrack of pleasure.

Use sound (and breath, of course) when you start coming and don’t stop. Allow the sound to roll out of your open mouth along with the orgasmic wave. As you’re climaxing, keep your sounds going and your orgasm will keep happening, too!

There you go (or come as the case may be).

6.      Say Yes to Yourself

Give yourself permission to feel more, do more, explore and go further, deeper and wilder than you ever have. Free your mind and the rest will come along.

When playing with your new skills, resistance, fear, anxiety and propriety will likely arise. Fend them off by repeatedly giving yourself permission to feel all of the pleasure you’re capable of and to be a wildly free sexual being.

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Give yourself permission, over and over, to release, to let go of inhibitions and to push yourself into new territory. Say, “Yes” to pleasure, “Yes” to getting wilder, “YES” to going further than you thought you could. When you start to orgasm, don’t let limiting beliefs stop you. Say, “Yes” to allowing yourself to keep going, and you will.

7.      Touch Yourself All Over

Treat yourself to the luxury of your own sweet touch. Connect to your entire body in a variety of delightful ways. Take your time exploring the feel of your skin and the sensations of pleasure. Add some wonderfully smelling massage oil and rub, caress and slide over your silky sensual surface. Be your own great lover and treat yourself to touch in the exquisite way you so richly deserve.

When you do arrive at your very own delicious genitals, explore all of the wonderful territory, tracing each contour, investigating every little nook, caressing each delicate cranny. There’s no right way to play with yourself, so just take your time and feel how it feels. When you find a stroke you like, repeat it. When you discover a move that moves you, do more of it!

Now, Go Play!

Take these ideas into the laboratory of your life and play with them. Do your own experiments and pay attention to what transpires. Try variations on each theme and notice where they take you. Explore and see what arises. Be your own scientist and observe what happens when you do it one way or another. Discover what works for you and then see if you can expand upon that. Try everything once or better yet, several times and attend to the results. Combine skills and notice how they enhance each other. Be creative and remember to play!


This is an excerpt from Sheri’s book, Succulent SexCraft: Your Hands-On Guide to Erotic Play and Practice.

Want more? Check out our free e-book Orgasmic Abundance!

Read Part One and Part Three for More Tips.


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The Ecstatic Journey of Birth and Sex

The Ecstatic Journey of Birth and SexThe Ecstatic Journey of Birth and Sex

Sex, Fertility, Bliss, Bonding & Birth—One Elegant, Ecstatic System

Here’s the straightforward (and elegant) reality: women’s sexual, emotional and reproductive structures and systems are one connected, coordinated, integrated arrangement. Sex, pregnancy, birth, orgasm, breast-feeding, bleeding (and not bleeding) — all participate in the same grand system. Science tends to break systems down into their components, in the process often overlooking the fact that the whole is much greater than the sum of the parts. It’s an approach that has its virtues, but misses the forest for the trees. While the female sexual system does depend on the contributions of muscles, hormones, nerves, psyche, energy, neurochemistry and more, it’s not just a compilation of parts. It’s a unified, brilliantly designed system, and we’re missing something important if we don’t see it in that light.

lausselConnected Systems

In humans, sex and reproduction, love and lust, and care and connection all overlap and interconnect. There are not three separate systems, one for pleasure, one for reproduction and one for bonding. It’s all one integrated, multi-purpose arrangement. It makes evolutionary sense that this is so. While it’s certainly possible to have unconnected, uncaring sex, we are definitely hard-wired for connection.

The Evolution of Human Female Sexuality

This is especially true for women, for whom sex is a high-risk activity. Female humans have limited reproductive opportunities, unlike males with their unending supply of sperm. Pregnancy and child-rearing are activities that require an enormous amount of time and energy. Since it takes human babies many years to become independent, and since two can raise a family more easily than one, having sex with someone you are emotionally bonded to tends to be a successful reproductive strategy.

givingbirth5Sex and Birth: Joined Journeys

Our culture tends to see birth and sex as unrelated activities. Not that people don’t understand that sex is what gets the baby started, but the subsequent processes—pregnancy, birth and breast-feeding—are generally seen as maternal, not sexual. This is a false dichotomy. The fact is that arousal and labor are very similar, and so are orgasm and birth. While it’s true that sex is intensely pleasurable and birth is wildly intense (and often intensely painful), both are consuming, extraordinary and powerful processes that are similar by evolutionary design, and not by coincidence.

Sex and giving birth are not just two ends of a journey: they are the same journey, an intimately connected system that follows a primal evolutionary template. Evolutionary design conservatively uses the same equipment, energy and biochemical tides in both the sex and birth experiences. Both journeys also involve similarly altered states of consciousness, with the kindred trance states choreographed by the same chemistry.

The Same Trip

Both the first stage of labor and the process of arousal are involve surrender, release and opening. Each requires a person to go with the flow, turn inwards and become entranced. Both orgasm and the decidedly more active propulsive second part of labor involve adrenalin-mediated action.

Also, either process can get derailed by the same antagonists—fear, anxiety, and the inability to trust and to open. Yet another antagonist for both is stimulation of the analytical neocortical brain, which can cause either process to stall. Despite our generalized cultural anxiety, labor and birth have the potential to be powerful, transformative and even ecstatic experiences. Some women actually have orgasms during the birthing process!

Surrender in Safety

As a practical matter, it’s useful to keep the parallels between sex and birth in mind. As a midwife with over two decades’ experience birthing babies, I can say with certainty that, to have the best possible birth experience, you should choose your birth place the same way you’d select a place to make love — where you’ll feel safe, private and undisturbed. Surround yourself with trustworthy allies and people who have faith in the innate wisdom of the natural birth process. Only when a woman feels secure can she open to the powerful tides of arousal or labor and release into orgasm, birth or ideally orgasmic birth in a flood tide of pleasure, wonder and love.

 The Milky Way by Rubens

The Milky Way by Rubens

Love Fest at the Breast

Breast-feeding is also part of women’s sexual experience, as it’s designed to be a pleasurable and even ecstatic lovefest between the sacred and intertwined dyad of mama and baby. The hormones of in-loveness and bonding are there to help us survive the exhausting demands of parenting and ensure that we nurture our offspring instead of ignoring or abandoning them, as we’d surely do if we didn’t love them madly.

The Integral Nature of Female Sexuality

All the aspects of the journey — cycles, fertility, pregnancy, arousal, orgasm, birth and breast-feeding — are part of the integral whole that is female sexuality. It is one of the tragedies of our culture that we’ve severed pregnancy, birth and breast-feeding from their messy, earthy, embodied sexual roots. To fully appreciate female sexuality, we must remember these connections, which hold true at a primordial level whether the woman in question chooses to (or is able to) reproduce or not.

Beyond that, we must also bear in mind that the integral nature of female sexuality does not begin and end with the body. The emotions are involved, too. There are not separate processes for love and lust. All these circuits are connected to and by the biggest sex organ of all, the brain. We’re hard-wired at all levels to bond, be blissful and to birth!

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Juicy Coconuts

Coconut Oil: Getting It In When You’re Getting It On!

Getting coconut oil onto your vulva is easy, but getting it where you need it most—deep inside your vagina—can be tricky. Luckily it’s easy to make suppositories or use applicators to help!

Lubricate and MoisturizePouring Coconut Milk

Lubricants make things slide and stay on the surface of your tissues. They’re wonderful for sex. They reduce friction and prevent irritation. Just as importantly, lubricants increase sensation and pleasure. While the vagina does produce its own lubrication, some women are just naturally less moist then others. Sexual arousal increases the production of natural vaginal juice, although when and how much can vary. At certain times of life, such as after menopause or after having a baby, there may be little lubrication no matter how aroused you are. I believe additional lubrication is always good since when it comes to erotic play, slipperier is better.

Moisturizers are absorbed into your tissues, improving tone, elasticity and resilience. They are particularly useful if your natural lubricating abilities are decreased such as during post-menopause, with certain medications and forms of birth control, and post-partum. If you’re going for healing your vagina, use coconut oil or other natural vaginal moisturizing products multiple times every day. Think of it as feeding your vaginal mucosa (the moist inner lining of the canal) and apply three times a day.

Vaginal Drynessjeff robinson_double coconuts_CC Lic

For those times in life when your vagina is dry, using additional lubricant can make the difference between pain and pleasure.

You may want to check out my Lube Rules blog post for lots more lube info.

Natural Plant-Based Oils

You can use any natural plant-based oil topically as a sexual lubricant. I highly recommend using organic products.

My favorite is coconut oil, which is a natural plant oil. It smells and tastes somewhere between barely-there and delicious. I also love coconut oil because it acts as both a lubricant and a moisturizer!

Other nice body-friendly and yummy oils include almond oil, jojoba oil, sesame oil and apricot kernel oil.

Plant-oils are NOT latex-compatible. DO NOT USE WITH LATEX PRODUCTS SUCH AS LATEX CONDOMS!

Phu Thinh Co-Coconut & Oil CC LicCoconut Oil

I like to use it straight. Just dip some out of the jar and slather it on.

Regular coconut oil is solid when cool and a liquid when warm. When it’s in its solid form, it melts deliciously at body temperature. If you want it to stay liquid at all temperatures, all the time, use fractionated coconut oil. Virgin coconut oil has a stronger coconut scent.

Coconut oil is also good for vaginas as it’s mildly anti-fungal and anti-bacterial (but only against the ‘bad’ bacteria and not the ‘good’ ones that live in a healthy vaginal ecosystem). (See Vaginal Ecology posts for more info,)

Getting In When You’re Getting Down

Slathering the outer parts of your genitals and using oil on anything that’s going inside is good! By using your fingers, you can get a little bit of oil inside the vagina, but not much and not far inside. So what are you going to do when the inner parts of your vagina need some extra luscious lubrication?

Make Coconut Oil Suppositories

To make: Start with warm liquid coconut oil. If you’re adding other oils, mix them in.

Pour the oil into ice cube trays, filling each compartment about ½ way. (Or about 1/2 inch deep) Or use a small glass square or rectangular baking dish.

Put the tray in the refrigerator. Cool until just firm. Take it out and slice each cube of coconut oil into 2 or 3 sticks, about the size of your pinkie. (About 1½ inches long)

Put it back in the fridge and leave it there until it’s very solid.

Remove the suppositories from the tray. You now have coconut oil vaginal suppositories. Yay!

Put them in a jar or container and store in the refrigerator.

To use: Unless it’s roasting hot out, the suppository will stay solid for a while at room temperature, so grab a few on your way to your sex place and leave them handy so you can use as needed. When you’re ready to be lubed up internally, take one and insert it deep into your vagina.

Besides using these for sex, you can also use them to help with general vaginal dryness issues. If you’re using them that way, insert one before going to bed.

Power Pack Your Suppositories

For additional healing, add any of these oils or a combination: Wheat germ oil, Vitamin E, evening primrose, borage, black current seed, comfrey, calendula, plantain, red clover.

These oils will stay liquid even when cold, so if you add too much of them, your suppositories won’t get hard. So either just add a little of these oils or make a salve.

It’s easy to make a salve: Just warm all your oils and mix. Then add a few tiny bits of melted pure beeswax or cocoa butter to your oil prior to making it hard.

The Easy Way

A favorite herbal company, Avena Botanicals makes this Vaginal Dryness Oil, which is an easy short-cut to add to your suppositories. (They also make a lovely Yoni Creme that makes for great lubricant and can be used daily as a soothing vulvar topical.)

Use an Applicator

If you don’t want to make suppositories, here’s another option for getting creams, salves and liquids into the vagina—use an applicator.

The plastic applicators that come with many vaginal cream products will work with any cream or salve. Clean your applicator with soap and water after use and it will last forever.

You can also use a large syringe (Not the needle — just the barrel). You can buy these marketed as lube applicators at many sexuality product stores. They come with applicator nozzles and are usually marketed as anal lubricators. They work fine for getting lube in your anus as well, but since anal bacteria should never be in your vagina, I recommend not using the same applicator for your butt and your vagina, even if you do clean them well, as of course you should.

It’s Worth It

Take a little time to make suppositories or get an applicator and you’ll be glad you did. Getting the lube deep inside and coating the inner walls of your vagina will make for a very happy vagina-owner. (And, if you have visitors, they’ll be happy, too.) You’ll be slippin’ and slidin’, satisfied and slathered!


Arousal_frontcover-w-Book of theYear AwardWant more info on vaginas and related parts? Check out my award-winning book, Women’s Anatomy of Arousal and/or the online course by the same name, Women’s Anatomy of Arousal Online Course to learn about all things vagina!

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Vaginal Ecology: An Owner’s Guide to Care & Maintenance (Pt 1)

Yoni SymbolVaginal Ecology: An Owner’s Guide to Care & Maintenance

Part One (Go here for Part Two)

Here’s what you need to know about vaginal health — by understanding the ecology of your vagina you can learn to keep yours healthy, and prevent most vaginal infections and problems. Your vagina is a self-regulating, self-cleaning, resilient yet delicate ecosystem and the less you disrupt the natural balance, the better off you’ll be. This is what every vagina-owner needs to know!

An Elegant System

The vagina isn’t just a nice place to own or visit, nor is it merely a passive space awaiting fulfillment; it’s a complex, integrated environment. Your vagina is a dynamic system with inherent safeguards in place to maintain a healthy equilibrium despite being susceptible to myriad influences that can alter its state of balance. After all, the vagina is exposed to fluctuating hormones, the consequences of our modern diet, our stress-filled lives and numerous artificial products that nature never intended our delicate tissues to withstand. And, of course, Mother Nature did intend our vaginas to have visitors whose presence and leavings can stimulate and impact our vaginal ecosystem. The vagina is well designed to handle many of these influences but sometimes succumbs to influences that cause imbalance, often leading to infection and general grumpiness all around when she’s out of commission.

Vaginal Ecology

Vaginal ecology is the study of the vaginal environment and its interactions. By understanding the ecology, you can better handle your vagina, and keep her happy and healthy by supporting the natural systems. When, despite your best efforts, the normal balance is disturbed and you get a vaginal infection (vaginitis), knowing how your ecosystem works can give you the power to remedy the situation and restore your environment.

Nice and Normal

A normal vagina is constantly kept moist by its slick, slippery and savory natural discharge. (I don’t like that its called discharge though — that sounds yucky — I call it vagina juice.) The smell and taste of a healthy vagina is mild, earthy and slightly pungent with a pleasant, musky aroma. It certainly doesn’t smell like fish or have a strong foul odor. A healthy vagina does not smell or taste bad! In fact, it’s full of sexy scent plus fabulous pheromones, the chemicals of attraction that we don’t consciously smell. Your vaginal juice is a naturally compelling, perfumed invitation.

Juicy Goodness

Vaginal fluid mostly comes from the cells lining the walls, which act similar to sweat glands, producing moisture from the inner mucus membrane surfaces. The rest of the juice is made up of small contribution from several types of glands, located in the cervix and near the vaginal opening. Normal vaginal fluid varies in color from clear to white, although when it dries it may appear yellowish.

The amount differs from one woman to another, as well as for the same woman at different times, and ranges from scant to moderate. Some women are naturally wetter or kunisada-43drier then others, just as some people have oily skin or dry hair or sweat more or less profusely.

What’s most important for you as your vagina’s caretaker is to know what’s typical for you in amount, color, texture and odor. The vaginal fluid reflects where you are in your cycle, your age, your sexual arousal, hormonal contraceptive use, even your diet and fluid intake.

For women who are having normal fertility cycles the shifting pattern is usually similar each month. In general, most women are juiciest during the week leading up to and including the day of ovulation. Most women are driest the week before their period. Girls prior to puberty, breast-feeding moms and post-menopausal woman are drier and less varying.

The Vaginal Garden

A healthy vagina is full of friendly bacteria, mainly particular strains of Lactobacillus acidophilus. These good bacteria protect the vagina and keep it healthy in multiple ways. Their job is to control the population of unfriendly microbes such as yeast and ‘bad’ bacteria. They do so first by filling up the space, like a garden which is profusely filled with flowers, leaving no space for weeds. Next, the acidophilus maintain the proper vaginal environment by producing two important chemicals: lactic acid and hydrogen peroxide, a liquid form of oxygen. The lactic acid maintains an acid-alkaline balance (known as pH) in the vagina that’s acidic. Your helpful bacteria also produce hydrogen peroxide to create an aerobic (oxygenated) environment that discourages bad microbes. The beneficial bacteria are the essential hard-working engineers of the ecology of your vagina. When something causes a shift away from the ideal, they get working to bring your ecology back into line.

There’s more! Go here for Part Two.


Want more info on vaginas and related parts? I got more!

Arousal_frontcover-w-Book of theYear Award

Check out my award-winning book, Women’s Anatomy of Arousal.

WAA-LOLC_Wegener-Self-Exam_V7-HeaderYou can also explore the online course by the same name, Women’s Anatomy of Arousal Online Course to learn about all things vagina!


 

Vaginal Ecology: An Owner’s Guide to Care & Maintenance (Pt 2)

ba19d3b6574adf0830b615465820dfebVaginal Ecology: An Owner’s Guide to Care & Maintenance

Part Two (Go here for Part One)

Flux and Flow

There are a variety of things that can shift the vaginal equilibrium and swing the system out of harmony.

To begin with there are the regular changes of the fertility cycle. The vaginal environment normally fluctuates slightly throughout the month for women during their fertile years. Just prior to menses, there’s a normal ebb in the population of good bacteria due to hormonal influences which causes the vagina to be less acidic. This pre-menstrual week is frequently a time when the vagina is driest, most tender and more prone to irritation and infection. During your period is another time when the environment is at risk of swinging out of balance. Blood is alkaline, (the opposite of acidic) and its presence can encourage imbalance. Semen is another alkaline influence that impacts the ecosystem. Ideally, you have a strong population of good bacteria, so your body can easily accommodate these factors and shift back to an acidic state quickly.

For post-menopausal women, the vaginal environment is most like that of the cycling woman’s pre-menstrual week. In other words, it’s somewhat dry, fragile, less acidic and has lower levels of good bacteria. It pretty much stays the same all the time although internal and external environmental factors play a role. For example, frequent arousal helps to promote blood flow and keep it more moist. Avoiding vaginal environment stressors is especially important.

Unfriendly Take-Over

If your beneficial bacteria die off then your ecosystem becomes fragile and susceptible to a take-over by unfriendly bacteria or yeast. There are many influences that can induce a decline in the population of good microbes. Sometimes imbalance just seems to happen for no reason, but factors such as high stress, poor diet, misguided ‘hygiene’ practices or other influences affecting the vaginal environment are usually at work. And when you kill off all the flowers in your garden, you can be sure that the weeds will take over.

Antibiotic Effects

One of the most common causes of a die-off of your normal flora is taking antibiotics to treat an infection. They can kill off your ‘good guys’ as they do their job of killing off the bad ones that were causing the original infection. Anytime you take antibiotics, you are at risk for yeast overgrowth, which can result in vaginal candida (a yeast infection) and gastro-intestinal problems such as indigestion and diarrhea. This is one of the many reasons to be careful about taking antibiotics and to use them only when you really need them.

Sweets for My Sweet

Normal vaginal discharge also contains a very small amount of natural sugars. The usual minimal level of sugar helps to discourage yeast overgrowth, while an increased level promotes it. The sugar level in the vaginal fluid is increased in diabetics and in pregnancy. Some women are sensitive to a high sugar diet and may find they need to be careful about their intake.

Keeping It Cool

Although the vagina is usually pretty steamy, at or slightly above normal body temperature (which is fairly toasty at almost 100°), its best if it doesn’t get much hotter then that. Anything that creates and holds in heat can contribute to an overgrowth of yeast and lead to a vaginal infection. A wet bathing suit on a hot day, pantyhose, lycra or spandex work-out clothes, synthetic panties or leggings, plastic-backed panti-liners, even tight jeans can all create an overheated crevice, at risk of disruption. Wear cotton panties, natural fiber leggings or tights, cotton menstrual pads, and nothing at all at night (or when you can get away with it!) Keep your crotch cool and you’ll be glad you did.

Contraceptive Concerns

Certain forms of contraception can affect the vaginal system, directly or indirectly. Any product that contains Nonoxynol 9, the chemical that’s in all spermicides can be problematic. Many women are highly sensitive to this chemical and will have inflammation as a result of its use. This includes condoms with spermicide, the jelly used with diaphragms and all other types of spermicidal creams, sponges and suppositories. It’s best to avoid this irritating sperm-killing chemical in all forms.

Hormonal birth control methods (birth control pills, the depo shot, implants, progesterone-containing IUDs, the ‘Patch’, the ‘Ring’), all work by tricking your body into thinking that its already pregnant and therefore doesn’t need to ovulate. So just like in actual pregnancy, there may be slightly higher amounts of natural sugars in your vaginal discharge, hormonal shifts and changes in the pH that may promote vaginal imbalance and infection.

Feminine Hygiene Crap

Exposure to synthetPelvicdoucheic chemicals and cleansing products can also shift the balance and cause a reduction in the supportive bacteria. Vaginal infections are commonly associated with what can be called “excessive American hygiene”, which includes the use of douche, vaginal deodorants, sprays, wipes, washes, powders, anti-bacterial soaps, deodorant soaps, body washes, bubble baths, and all of those so-called feminine hygiene products. These products are one of the main culprits in vaginal infections! Avoid them all. You do not need them! Don’t fall for the mass-marketing lies that tell you that you need to be “fresh” by using their chemical concoctions. You are fresh and delicious without that synthetic junk.

Luscious Lube

While a healthy vagina produces it’s own luscious lubrication, the amount varies from woman to woman, and for any individual, from time to time. Arousal certainly increases the amount to some extent, which may or may not be enough. In general, I’m a big fan of using extra lubrication for sex play. Slather it on! And, be aware that there are a wide variety of products, some wonderful and some not so great for your vaginal garden.

My favorite natural lubricant is organic coconut oil. It smells and tastes great, absorbs easily into skin and mucus membranes and is naturally antimicrobial against the ‘bad guys’ while promoting the health of the friendly forces. The only significant caveat is that is not compatible with latex. If you use latex barriers, do not use coconut oil!

There are a wide variety of natural, organic water-soluble lubes for those of you using latex for protection. Keep an eye out for products containing glycerin though–for some women it seems to encourage yeast infections. Silicon lubes, while not natural, do seem to work well without disturbing the vaginal ecology. Many mainstream commercial lubricants contains all sorts of very unnatural chemicals, some of which can be disruptive to the natural vaginal balance. This is a good area for you to go natural and organic!

(For more about lubricants, read Lube Rules!)

Keeping It Clean

Your healthy vagina doesn’t smell bad and doesn’t need artificial hygiene products to irritate it and kill off your normal flora. Clean with clear, clean water. That’s all you need. You can use your fingers to help rinse the crevices. A hand-held showerhead is excellent for crotch cleaning (and is also useful for self-pleasuring). A mild soap can be used on the outer areas such as the outside of the external lips but should be totally avoided on the inner lips and around the vaginal opening. There is never, ever a need to clean inside the vaginal canal at all. You have a self-cleaning vagina!

Watch for Warnings

Imbalance exists before an infection is fully manifest. By knowing what’s normal for you, you can often catch a problem early before it becomes a full-blown infection. By understanding the early signs and symptoms of a shift then you have the power to swing the ecology back into a healthy direction and prevent most problems. Or, at least catch and treat an infection early.

If there is increased or profuse discharge, if it smells wrong, tastes bad, or looks odd, that’s abnormal and usually a sign of imbalance or infection. Be alert for any changes including a funny color, if your vagina juice is thicker or thinner then usual, clumpy or milky. Your vaginal juice should never itch or burn. Swelling and irritation are also warning signs of a problem. So, be sure to check your own vaginal fluid regularly, so you’ll recognize any changes early.

Happy Healthy Havenyoni temple carving

Now that you understand the basics of your vaginal ecology, you have the means to make good decisions to protect and care for your delicate environment. You can support your healthy system and avoid the things that might disrupt your natural defenses. By knowing what’s normal for you, and paying close attention, you can detect early signs of a problem and often fix it before it becomes a full-blown infection. When signs of imbalance occur, you can take action to correct the system yourself or get help from your health care provider, before things get really bad.

Essentially, your genitalia are a self-regulating, self-cleaning ecosystem and the less you disrupt the natural balance, the better off you’ll be. Don’t mess with a good thing. Appreciate your elegant system with its natural resilience and ability to maintain itself. Respect and support your vaginal ecology and you’ll have a happy healthy haven that feels good so you, your vagina and your friends can have lots of luscious fun!


Want more info on vaginas and related parts? I got more!

Arousal_frontcover-w-Book of theYear Award

Check out my award-winning book, Women’s Anatomy of Arousal.

WAA-LOLC_Wegener-Self-Exam_V7-HeaderYou can also explore the online course by the same name, Women’s Anatomy of Arousal Online Course to learn about all things vagina!