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What is Vaginismus & how can you overcome it?

We all want and expect that sex will feel great and bring pleasure. The truth is, though, that it’s very common for some vulva owners to feel pain during sex. For some, the discomfort is so severe that they are physically unable to have sex. 

If this sounds like you, you could have Vaginismus, a condition that causes the muscles around the vagina to spasm on their own. This makes penetration very painful and, in many cases, impossible.

Despite affecting almost 12–21% of vulva owners in North America, Vaginismus is rarely talked about. As a result, many individuals are left for years not knowing what’s going on with their bodies or how to rectify it.

But there is light at the end of the tunnel for those with the condition, and there are treatments that, with time and effort, can make sex possible and pleasurable. 

The most important thing is to recognize that you have it, which can be extremely difficult if you feel embarrassed or uncomfortable talking about it with other people. Here’s what you should know about Vaginismus.

What is Vaginismus?

This medical condition is characterized by uncontrollable pelvic floor muscular contractions, spasms, and cramps. This might be tightness, cramping, pressure, or discomfort.

These involuntary contractions are usually linked to stimuli (either psychological or physical), such as an anxiety or trauma reaction to sexual penetration or simply an involuntary non-psychological response to pressure or touch in that area.

This can make sexual activity, tampon use, and even a gynecological checkup unpleasant or even impossible.

The pubococcygeus (PC) musculature is the most commonly afflicted muscle group by this ailment (responsible for orgasms, intercourse, bowel movements, urination, and childbirth).

Facts About Vaginismus

  • The condition may worsen with time, but it is curable.
  • It is non-contagious and involuntary (not your fault).
  • Symptoms, severity, and type might differ from person to person.
  • Both medical and psychological reasons can cause Vaginismus.
  • Treatment can be beneficial. 

Do I suffer from Vaginismus?

Although only a medical practitioner can provide an official diagnosis of Vaginismus, many crucial signs may suggest you have this condition. Should you encounter any of these symptoms, consider seeking the advice of a licensed medical professional.

Just know that, while it’s tough to discuss, the situation is more prevalent than you think, and you’re not alone. Your body is communicating with you for a reason. Listen to it, and you’ll be one step closer to conquering any difficulties you’re facing.

Do I suffer from Vaginismus

Types of Vaginismus

1. Primary

The primary type, often known as “lifelong vaginismus,” causes pain and discomfort whenever something penetrates (or attempts to penetrate) the vagina.

People who have the primary type have always had the condition. It is usually first felt when attempting to use a tampon, having first-time intercourse, or when a doctor performs a pelvic examination.

2. Secondary

Secondary vaginismus patients have previously accomplished painless penetration. A life event, change in medical status, new health condition, or life stress may occur, making penetration difficult.

People with this type of Vaginismus may suffer pain or difficulties following penetration.

What are the Symptoms and Signs of Vaginismus?

Dyspareunia (painful sex) is the most common symptom of Vaginismus and is frequently the first sign of a problem. Although the discomfort associated with intercourse usually subsides when the penetration (or attempted penetration) is completed, this is not always the case.

Many women describe the discomfort as a burning sensation, pressure, or as if the penis has hit a block. Women suffering from Vaginismus may also experience bleeding. 

However, sexual intercourse is not the only source of pain. It is usual to experience pain or discomfort when using a tampon or during pelvic examinations.

Other common symptoms are as follows:

  • Inability to insert a tampon
  • Inability to insert a sex toy 
  • Sexual activity-related fear or pain
  • Loss of sexual desire or performance anxiety
  • Pelvic or wall muscle spasms 
  • Hypertonic pelvic floor: unpleasant or painful, lengthy, persistent contractions
  • Hip, hamstring, low back, and abdominal muscular tension

Symptoms might be minor to severe, are involuntary, and may not improve without intervention or therapy.

Vaginismus can cause significant emotional and psychological discomfort, lowering the quality of life and making it difficult to maintain healthy sexual relationships.

What to do if you have Vaginismus

If you suspect you have Vaginismus, the first step is to see your doctor; don’t be shy to request a female doctor if it helps you feel more at ease.

The examination may be uncomfortable, but your doctor will talk you through it and explain everything. To better understand your discomfort, they’ll ask you a few questions about when you feel pain. They’ll also check if your symptoms indicate anything else, such as a urinary tract infection (UTI).

If you have Vaginismus, several therapies are available, and it may take some time to discover the one (or combination of treatments) that works best for you. Four out of five people can enjoy pain-free intercourse after vaginismus treatment.

Treatment options include:

Vaginal Dilators

A vaginal dilator is a plastic or silicone rod used to relax and reduce discomfort in the pelvic floor muscles. Think of it like a medical dildo!

You gently insert the dilator (with lube) each week for a few minutes. You may work at your speed and gradually increase to a larger dilator when ready. Involving a partner may be a terrific way to establish closeness, but remember that you’ll need to be in charge of the situation.

Exercises

Exercises

Exercise might help you regain control of your muscles if you suffer from Vaginismus. Pelvic floor stretches, similar to yoga, can help you strengthen the muscles surrounding your vagina.

Vaginismus Exercises You Can Do At Home

PELVIC FLOOR BREATHING

Start by lying on your back with your legs straight out in front of you. If lying flat is uncomfortable, prop your legs up with one or two pillows. Pay attention to your breathing and try to expand your belly and rib cage.

 

PELVIC FLOOR BREATHING

Imagine them slowly rising up and out like an umbrella opening during the inhale. Allow the ribs and belly to return to their resting position on the exhale.

Getting Better With Each Exercise

Continue the breathing pattern and focus on your pelvic floor to advance this workout. This diamond-shaped set of muscles is placed between your tailbone and pubic bone from front to back and between your sit bones from right to left.

Notice how the pelvic floor dips down on the inhale and then rises back on the exhale. This movement is very slight, and you may perceive it as the tailbone falling toward the floor on the inhale and rising off the floor on the exhale.

This exercise can be performed while you’re seated on a firm chair. The chair might help deliver feedback during the workout by offering additional sensation to the pelvic floor. Keep this slow breathing pattern going for two minutes.

HAPPY BABY POSE

Start by lying on your back. With your legs apart, bring your knees up to your chest, then reach for your big toes. Softly bend your knees and push your feet toward the ceiling. If your hips or hamstrings are tight, use a towel or yoga strap behind your knees to extend your reach. 

HAPPY BABY POSE

Maintain this position while breathing deeply and allowing the pelvic floor to relax. Hold this posture for 2-3 minutes.

DEEP SQUAT

To help with balance, start by standing near a sturdy and steady object. A kitchen counter or a handrail is ideal, but a firm chair can also suffice.

Press your hips backward and drop into a deep squat while holding onto the counter or chair back for support. Breathe deeply into your rib cage and visualize dropping your pelvic floor, just like you did in the previous exercises. Hold this position for 1-2 minutes.

DEEP SQUAT

 

Mindfulness exercises can also be beneficial. You can reduce your anxiety and gain control of your Vaginismus by focusing on your breathing and filtering out undesirable ideas. Meditation, journaling, and adult coloring books are excellent methods to accomplish this.

Physical Therapy for the Pelvic Floor

Your doctor may suggest pelvic floor physical therapy. This therapy is intended to help persons with various pelvic floor disorders, including Vaginismus.

A physical therapist will assess the strength of your pelvic floor muscles and devise a strategy to help strengthen them, which may include exercise and even electrical stimulation.

Physical therapy has the benefit of being more likely to be successful since it is tailored to your specific requirements. According to studies, patients describe it as very rewarding/beneficial.

Counseling and therapy

If you feel a psychological condition is causing your Vaginismus, counseling might help you work through your issues and reduce your anxiety.

As previously stated, Vaginismus can be caused by physical and psychological triggers. Many people with the disorder have already suffered trauma or abuse, particularly in the context of sex.

Individuals will respond differently to treatment and counseling. Cognitive behavioral therapy gives you coping strategies by examining how your ideas and behaviors impact your Vaginismus. 

Sex therapy examines methods for improving communication and intimacy with your spouse. You can boost your confidence in the bedroom by discussing your doubts and concerns.

Botox and surgery

Some clinics offer botox to treat Vaginismus, which relaxes the vaginal muscles. While studies have shown that it can assist with symptoms, it’s important to remember that while Botox can help with the physical issues caused by Vaginismus, it won’t help if there are any underlying psychological concerns.

Remember that you’re not alone

Vaginismus can be uber frustrating, especially if you crave sex but know you’re having difficulties with it. The most important thing to keep in mind is that your condition does not define you. Many people with Vaginismus believe they are “broken,” but this is not the case.

Most people with Vaginismus can still get aroused, which means they can still enjoy oral sex, foreplay, and gentle masturbation. Take your time, and never be ashamed or embarrassed to tell your partner to stop or slow down.

 

Level Up Your Cowgirl: Stellar Ways to Make Being on Top Even Better

Do cowgirls have more fun? The Cowgirl, also known as woman-on-top and Reverse Cowgirl’s sister-wife, might just be the master key to greater sex. Why? Cowgirl positions can help women move in ways that feel comfortable to them, focus pressure in all the right places, and, for some women, set them up for more pleasure. 

Think about it… There’s a reason everyone knows the Cowgirl—it takes relatively little expertise to ride your way to the best sort of climax. 

When you’re on top, you can position yourself for maximum friction, stroke your clit with a hand or toy, and go at it according to your own preferred rhythm. It’s also ideal for a partner with a slightly larger package since you can control the depth and how much you want to take in.

If being on top isn’t your thing, that’s completely normal since we all have our preferences. Understandably, it may be super intimidating to be nude on top of someone, boobs all out, and entirely in charge of the sexing.  

Some women may also feel that cowgirl positions make them feel more self-conscious about their bodies or don’t know if they are moving correctly.  

These are feelings that, if embraced, can be conquered.  Focusing on pleasure rather than climax and focusing on how your body feels might relieve some worries.  

It can help you get out of your head and into your body, making it easier to have orgasms.

To be fair, focusing on your pleasure may make things easier, but what about the practical aspects like, what do you do with your hands, what should your hips be doing, or what should you do if your legs tire?

Yes, you may attend a class or just learn by doing, but chances are you’ll want a few pointers and techniques in your back pocket before getting ` the saddle.

From the basics to the best ways, here’s how to ride your partner like an expert when you’re on top.

Anal Play 101 - Lube

Remember.The.Lube.Always!

Lube not only makes sex more pleasurable, but it also makes it safer. If there isn’t enough lubrication, whether natural or store-bought, it might cause minor rips on the penis or in the vagina. 

This may be incredibly unpleasant and increase the risk of infection, causing you to avoid intimacy altogether, which is obviously not ideal.

 

Bottom line: Give yourself plenty of time to become nice and aroused before penetrating, and use some lubrication to minimize pain.  

Take it slow

If the Cowgirl is new to you, don’t feel compelled to dive in headfirst. Take it slow. Slow down, change your hip angle, or inch down onto the penis or toy to allow your body time to respond. 

Since this position allows for very deep penetration, some individuals may find it painful because their partner may come into contact with their cervix. 

All sexperts agree: if the position is exceedingly uncomfortable, quit immediately and consult your doctor. And while it’s uncommon, Cowgirl can cause the most “broken penis” injuries, which is another good reason to take things slowly.

The critical angle

The Cowgirl does not mean sitting up straight on top of your partner at a 90-degree angle but rather leaning forward slightly (up to a 45-degree inclination) for the simplest and most comfortable penetration.

Keep it exciting

Vary the pace and depth of penetration such that no obvious pattern emerges. Begin with shallow, fast thrusts and gradually descend onto your partner every fifth thrust. 

If you’re having trouble finding a rhythm, try alternating between bouncing and grinding or altering your speeds to suit your comfort and enjoyment.

Use your hands

Experiment with your partner’s and your own hands. Have them place their hands on your hips for further leverage. 

When you start getting tired, lean back slightly and rest your arms behind you and on your partner’s knees to help shift your weight. 

For added stimulation, try caressing your breasts or playing with your nipples. This also serves as a nice visual aid for your spouse.

Do not be shy to take charge

Want to make Cowgirl even sexier?  Tell your partner not to move and hold their hands above their heads or use cuffs or handcuffs. 

Taking that power away from them will drive them insane as you show them how you like to ride.  Just make sure you discuss it ahead of time if you’re going to use the cuffs.

Also, don’t be nervous to ask your partner to take over

In the same way, just because you’re in charge doesn’t mean you have to do all the work.  It’s perfectly ok to ask your lover to meet you halfway and thrust from below.

Toys Toys Toys

Try reclining back to allow better access to your clit while you’re on top. If you need to stabilize yourself using your hands, ask your partner to hold the vibe for you. 

This can be incredibly hot since you’re handing them the reigns (or toys) to your pleasure.

Positions to ride your partner like a cowgirl pro!

The Upside Thrust

Instead of moving down onto your partner, have them lift their hips up to thrust into you. You can reach behind them, finger their backside, or slowly trickle some lube down your vulva and stroke your clit while they watch.

The Bed Squat

If you have a sturdy headboard, go off-label and grab it while you’re on top. Instead of kneeling, squat—you’ll have the leverage you need to grasp on and lean further back to obtain well-aimed penetration into the upper wall of your vagina. 

Make it sensational by getting your lover to join in on the action by stroking your clit.

The Win-Win

Raise your arms, run your fingers through your hair, arch your back, pushing your chest out as you pump yourself to heaven. 

Put a bit of lube on your partner’s fingers and have them glide their fingers along your thighs to really up the ante. 

They may not even need to move their fingers if they maintain them firmly on each side of your clit—each thrust will suddenly feel 200 times more incredible. 

(You could also consider using a small vibe with low rumbly vibrations, such as the Ultra Bullet!)

FemmeFunn Sex Toys Ultra Bullet

The Long Burn

While on top, position yourself so that your clit rubs against their pubic bone—this is where all the magic happens. 

Just don’t thrust this time. Instead, rock and rub lightly against them as you please. They get to watch you have an orgasm while slowly building up their own sort of explosion. 

The Hot Seat

Sit them on an armchair, climb on top, drape your legs over the armrests, and lean back, your hands resting on their thighs. That’s all! Your work here is over. 

They pump up from the bottom, and the slant allows them to cling to your top vaginal wall in a very enticing way. And all the while, they have an *awesome* view of you in all your magnificence.

The Mariposa

Instead of straddling your partner, try squatting and leaning back for a raw, super-animalistic feel. 

Change up the vibe by pushing your knees together, then apart, as your spouse enjoys the view from lying down and facing you. Allow them to move your legs or, even better, use a toy on you for variety.

Rope’em, tie’em, hold’em down and ride’em! Giddy up Cowgirl!

The TOP 20 Aphrodisiac Foods to Rev Up Your Sex Drive

Named after Aphrodite, Greek goddess of love, Aphrodisiacs are foods said to boost sexual desire. While it’s tempting to believe that biting into something gooey and delectable can instantly boost your libido, is there evidence to back up the claim? 

The answer isn’t particularly straightforward and lies in somewhat of a gray area. The energy contained in a certain food, its cultural legacy and connotations, and the fragrance, texture, shape, and color of a dish may all contribute to arousal (remember, your largest sexual organ lies between your ears!) 

The bottom line is that experts recommend including aphrodisiac foods in a diet that supports healthy blood circulation, hormone balance, and vitality, all of which are necessary for higher libido.

You’d be astonished at the variety of natural foods available to jumpstart your sex drive, from leafy greens to fruits with high water content. 

While you’ve probably heard that oysters are aphrodisiacs in passing, there are many other less exotic foods (that you undoubtedly consume regularly) that also possess aphrodisiac properties. For some, it’s all about the chemical interactions occurring within the body. For others, it’s more of a placebo effect. Regardless, it’s essential to keep in mind that not everyone will react the same way to aphrodisiac foods. 

And while there is no concrete scientific evidence that any diet stimulates the human sex organs, it surely doesn’t hurt to stack the sexual odds in your favor by eating meals that both you and your lover find hot AF!

The 5 Types of Aphrodisiacs

Historically, the majority of aphrodisiacs have been classified into five broad categories, all based on unverified theories:

Keeping you hot and wet

Foods that generate warmth and moisture (such as chili or curry) were considered to evoke “heated” passion, whilst cool foods (such as lettuce and purslane leaves) were thought to induce “chilled” desire.

If it looks like a sex organ, it’s probably great for sex organs

It was believed that foods that resembled male or female genitalia increased desire. One such example is the legendary oyster, as are several fruits and root vegetables.

The remarkable reproduction hypothesis 

Sexual desire and potency were considered to be boosted by the consumption of reproductive organs and eggs (fish roe and bird eggs, animal genitals).

Exotic = Sexy 

Rare (and hence expensive) foods were believed to be sexually arousing. When several rare items became more easily obtainable, such as potatoes and cocoa, their reputations as sexual stimulants diminished.

Awaken the senses and awaken desire

Foods that pleasurably stimulate the senses (sight, smell, taste, and touch) were considered to arouse desire.

Our Top 20 Aphrodisiac Foods

Eat a varied diet, including a few of the foods mentioned below, and might just find yourself in the mood for some extra luvin!

1. Truffles

There are several reasons why truffles are one of the most well-known aphrodisiacs. They are uncommon and pricey for starters, which only adds to their allure. 

Plus, they contain a high protein content, which aids in stamina. However, and perhaps most intriguingly, their odor is thought to mirror male pheromones, subconsciously making individuals want to devour them.

TOP 20 Aphrodisiac Foods to Rev Up Your Sex Drive - Truffels

2. Ginger

Apart from its fabulous fragrance, ginger can help increase blood flow and circulation (two of the most common causes of erectile dysfunction) and has been utilized as a stimulant for desire in many cultures.

3. Sweet potatoes

You’re probably aware of sweet potatoes (also known as “yams”) sex-enhancing qualities due to Sex and the City 2. Samantha consumed them in an attempt to obtain a “natural” dosage of hormones at a period when she was unable to take her menopausal tablets. Vitamin A, which is found in the root vegetable, has a role in testosterone production and arousal.

4. Maca

According to Jenni Skyler, a certified sex therapist, sexologist, and licensed marriage and family therapist, Maca, the Incan root made into a popular tea, is also known as Peru’s ‘natural Viagra‘ and is believed to boost energy, stamina, fertility, and libido. 

The plant’s roots are rich in magnesium and fiber, beneficial for stamina and overall well-being.

TOP 20 Aphrodisiac Foods to Rev Up Your Sex Drive - Maca

5. Arugula

Arugula is one of the world’s oldest aphrodisiacs, and its dark, leafy greens are necessary for sexual wellness. According to research conducted at Al-Nahrain University, arugula can help block out environmental pollutants that can wreak havoc on our libidos.

6. Honey

TBT to ancient Greece, when Hippocrates used to prescribe honey for sexual stamina.  This “liquid gold”  includes boron, which aids in hormone regulation, and nitric oxide (which helps increase blood flow during arousal). 

Nitric oxide also promotes the dilation of blood vessels involved in erections and clitoral engorgement.

7. Pine nuts

If a man lacks zinc, pine nuts might help boost his libido. Additionally, pine nuts include a range of other beneficial oils and phytochemicals that support general health and increase libido.

TOP 20 Aphrodisiac Foods to Rev Up Your Sex Drive - Pine Nuts

8. Ginseng

Asian and American versions of the Ginseng plant have been shown to improve libido and sexual performance in studies. Ginseng most certainly affects the central nervous system, modifying hormones in the process.

9. Extra virgin olive oil

While the thought of dipping fresh bread or pita into olive oil is enough to turn anyone on, there are legitimate reasons for the oil’s seductiveness. Olive oil is antioxidant-rich, which helps keep the skin smooth and the body working smoothly. But, this isn’t new knowledge! In fact, from ancient Egyptian times, olive oil has been used for erotic massages.

10. Chocolate

Chocolate contains phenylethylamine, a stimulant that induces feelings of exhilaration and well-being. Natural caffeine is also beneficial. Make sure to get dark chocolate that has at least 75% cacao to reap the cardiac benefits.

TOP 20 Aphrodisiac Foods to Rev Up Your Sex Drive - Chocolate

11. Asparagus

Do yourself a favor — stock up on a handful of these nutrient-dense spears! Asparagus is high in vitamins A and C, which helps maintain healthy skin and hair. 

Often, looking good makes you feel good. And if you’re feeling good, you never know what kind of spontaneous fun might follow. 

In addition to being abundant in potassium and B vitamins, asparagus provides the body with a boost of histamine, promoting bigger orgasms.

12. Saffron

There is some compelling evidence supporting saffron’s sexual drive-enhancing properties. Saffron’s reputation as an aphrodisiac dates back to Cleopatra, who is said to have bathed in saffron-infused milk for its aphrodisiac properties. 

Saffron has also been demonstrated in recent research to boost sperm motility and mitigate some of the sexual adverse effects associated with using some antidepressants.

13. Chili peppers

Capsaicin is purported to activate nerve endings on the tongue, releasing epinephrine (adrenaline), the chemical responsible for increasing your heart rate, and releasing endorphins (natural opiates found in your body). Just make sure that you are eating them and not placing chili peppers anywhere near your partner’s body!

TOP 20 Aphrodisiac Foods to Rev Up Your Sex Drive - Chili Peppers

14. Avocados

A seductive, fascinating tidbit about your favorite nacho add-on: Avocado is referred to in Aztec as ahuacatl, which translates as “testicle.” 

Apart from their sexual attraction, avocados are abundant in folic acid, vitamin B9 (which gives the body more energy), and vitamin B6 (which aids in testosterone synthesis)

15. Pomegranates

Poms are packed with antioxidants, which are critical for preventing inflammation and plaque buildup in your arteries and assisting in delivering increased blood flow to all regions of your body, including your genitals. 

Research shows that pomegranate juice may be beneficial for erectile dysfunction. 

16. Pumpkin Seeds

Pumpkin seeds are high in zinc, which helps contribute to healthy testosterone levels. While pumpkin seeds are high in antioxidants, iron, zinc, magnesium, and other beneficial nutrients, zinc also inhibits the enzyme responsible for testosterone conversion to estrogen. 

Not only is this beneficial for males, but studies have shown that women with elevated testosterone levels have a greater sex drive.  

TOP 20 Aphrodisiac Foods to Rev Up Your Sex Drive - Pumpkin seeds

17. Red grapes

Red grapes are a rich source of boron, a mineral that aids in the stimulation of estrogen and testosterone production. 

Increased estrogen and testosterone levels can revitalize your sex organs and put you in a great mood.

18. Bananas

Bananas are an excellent supply of potassium, a necessary nutrient for muscular contraction, and vital for having high-quality sex

Also, bananas contain bromelain, which assists in the production of testosterone. This sweet and smooth fruit is worth incorporating into your diet to boost your sexual drive. 

19. Soybeans 

Soybeans are well-known for their isoflavone compounds, which behave similarly to estrogen. Estrogen lubricates the vaginal region, enhancing sexual pleasure. If you’re not too keen on tofu’s texture or taste, try adding soy milk to your next smoothie.

20. Oysters

Last but not least, the king of aphrodisiacs – the oyster! 

Oysters have been known to help stimulate libido for years – but why? Not only is Casanova’s favorite food high in zinc, it also includes D-aspartic acid and N-methyl-D-aspartate, which are two amino acids that have been shown to raise both male and female sex hormone levels.

Vaginal Health Matters: Golden Rules to Keeping Your Vagina Happy and Healthy

Every woman should be mindful of her vaginal health, but what exactly is a healthy vagina? 

While it depends on several factors, such as a woman’s age, a healthy vagina typically has an acidic pH and is naturally lubricated. 

The vaginal microbiome is delicate, and the bacterial balance of that microbiome can significantly impact your health.

Discharge is a natural physiologic reaction that consists mainly of shedded cervical and vaginal cells. A healthy vagina secretes small amounts of discharge as well. 

While some women may be unaware of it, others may notice up to a teaspoon or tablespoon of discharge every day.

Our vaginal health can affect the quality of our fertility and sex lives. Any change in a woman’s vaginal odor or the color of her discharge that is accompanied by discomfort — whether it’s pelvic or vulvar discomfort, itching, or burning — should be addressed.

Always remember that certain lubricants, talc, and vaginal cleaning soaps alter the vaginal bacterial balance and may increase your risk of urinary tract, bacterial, or sexually transmitted infections.

Yet, the burning question remains: What are the basics when looking after the department downstairs, and are there any big no-no’s to avoid?

If your vagina could speak, we’re guessing that she would be rather vociferous regarding vaginal care dos and don’ts. 

But considering that most of us aren’t natural-born vagina whisperers, we’ve compiled a list of vaginal health rules to ensure that vagina stays happy, healthy, and problem-free.

Rule 1: Don’t douche 

We’re so sorry to break it to you, but while you may appreciate the scent of a “summery fresh” douche—your vagina doesn’t—since douching is really damaging to the vagina. So, how do you keep it clean downstairs?

Well, it turns out that not only do these wonderful organs bring life into this world, but they also keep themselves clean. They achieve this by naturally regulating healthy bacteria and pH levels. 

Douching actually destroys some good bacteria, altering the pH and making you more prone to infection.

What about smelling extra fresh? Each person’s genitals have a distinct smell, and there are natural ways to alter your particular scent, such as modifying your diet. Pineapple, for example, can make vaginas taste or smell sweeter, whilst asparagus can have the opposite effect.

If you’re still adamant that you want to clean your vagina and vulva, use unscented products and only wash the labia majora. 

Rule 2: Check your lube

No reasonable person will ever argue the fact that lube is simply fantastic.  It has the potential to elevate sex for everyone involved. However, there are some ingredients that could be harmful to your health.

Glycerin, for instance, is related to sugar, and while it is effective at keeping lubes moist, it can also encourage bacterial growth in the vagina. Petroleum products are also considered no-nos since they can affect the vagina’s natural pH level. 

Other things to avoid:

  • Non-natural oils
  • Scents
  • Parabens
  • Flavors
  • Dyes

Rule 3: Use safe sex toys

Do you ever wonder how some adult toys work and if they’re completely safe? Well, it turns out that not all sex toys are safe and aren’t suitable for anything other than taking up drawer space.

Toys made from the following materials are, in general, safe:

  • Wood 
  • Silicone 
  • Stainless steel 
  • Glass 
  • Ceramic 
  • Stone 
  • ABS plastic

If you stick to toys made with any of the above materials, you should remain on the safe side. However, these must be pure, medical, or even food-grade materials, not blends. 

It’s also advisable to always buy your toys from a reputable supplier (like us!) to ensure a quality, body-safe product and an excellent investment into your sexual well-being.

Rule 4: Wipe from front to back

Although this one is fairly obvious, it must be said! Always wipe from front to back when peeing. 

This action has been shown to minimize the risk of developing urinary tract infections since you are less likely to contaminate your vagina with feces (which you want to keep as far away from the urethra as possible!).

Rule 5: Take precautions to have safe sex

This includes wearing a condom with any new sexual partner and getting STI (Sexually Transmitted Infection) testing done on a regular basis. STIs may affect people of any age, and while they are most frequent in those aged 25 and younger, the highest increase in infection rates in recent years has been amongst adults over the age of 50. 

Surprisingly (and rather scarily), most STIs are asymptomatic, so you won’t know you have one unless you get tested. The quicker an STI is diagnosed, the better the prognosis.

Rule 6: Don’t neglect your pelvic floor 

The pelvic floor comprises a sling of muscle that runs between your hip bones and supports your uterus, ovaries, bladder, and vagina. For healthy pelvic and sexual function, these muscles must be robust and in good working order. 

When they weaken, it causes incontinence, uterine prolapse, and vaginal wall prolapse. All women should incorporate pelvic floor exercises into their daily routines to strengthen these muscles.

If you’re not too sure where to begin, start here.

Rule 7: Urinate after sex

Make it a habit to go to the bathroom after sex, even if you didn’t try a complete penetrative sex position and instead just did some foreplay or used your favorite sex toys

Peeing after sex allows you to clean up discreetly, particularly if you’re prone to UTIs since it helps flush out any harmful bacteria from the urethra. 

Vaginal Health

Rule 8: Wear breathable clothing

Vaginas are much happier when dressed in breathable clothing such as cotton. And while cotton underwear isn’t always the sexiest option, this fabric possesses moisture-wicking qualities, which can help decrease the amount of moisture that stimulates bacterial development. 

No matter what kind of underwear you choose, make sure to replace it regularly. Removing damp clothing as soon as possible can also help reduce problems.

Rule 9: Change your sanitary products frequently

If you rely on pads, tampons, or menstrual cups, make sure you change them regularly. This will prevent harmful microorganisms from growing and disrupting the pH of your vagina.  

Always insert tampons with clean hands, and never use sanitary items if they’ve fallen on the floor. If you use a menstrual cup, cleanse it in hot water after each period.

Rule 10: Don’t forget your vaginal health checks

Getting regular health checkups may seem like a chore (and for those in long-term partnerships, unnecessary) but it’s crucial in terms of vaginal care. Health checkups include sexual health checkups and cervical screening checks

Smear tests are performed once every three years and take only a few minutes. They also allow your doctor to examine the health of your vagina and check for concerns such as warts.

Look after your vagina… it’s the only one you’ve got!

Maintaining optimal vaginal health is not a once-off job. Fortunately, there are many basic and straightforward things you can implement on a daily basis to ensure that your vagina is well-protected, happy, and healthy.

Ten Ways to Spice Up Your Valentine’s Day

Roses are red, violets are blue, and organizing the perfect Valentine’s Day— isn’t always easy to do! In other words, Valentine’s Day can involve a lot of fuss and a stack of pressure, regardless of your relationship status. But this really doesn’t need to be the case!  

While the day of love is essentially the hallmark of Hallmark holidays, there are many non-cliché ways to celebrate and express your love—romantic or otherwise. 

While virtually every company on earth will attempt to sell you something cheesy to commemorate the day, you (and your person) deserve a genuinely delightful experience, not just some red plastic junk that you’ll forget by March. 

And while gimmicky Valentine’s Day gifts are enjoyable in their own right, they are oh-so-much better when they’re meaningful. (While we’re on the subject, have a squiz of our not-so-lame list of the Seven Sexy Sex Toys You Should Buy this Valentine’s Day)

To help spread the love this year, we’ve compiled 10 Valentine’s Day ideas to make it the magical day you deserve.

1. Create a list of your fantasies

As seductive as it can be to have your S.O. whisper their desires to you, the fact is that expressing those fantasies out loud may be a little nerve-wracking! 

Putting pen to paper can help you regain your sexual confidence. Schedule a time to write letters detailing your deepest desires in advance and then exchange them with one another. 

You can trade on Valentine’s Day or before if you require additional props. Or, instead, go for the major reveal on Valentine’s Day and focus only on reading the sensual erotica you’ve written, rather than putting yourself on the spot.

2. Share the fun with a new sex toy

Sex toys used by couples are an excellent way to deepen intimacy, explore sexuality, and discover what works for you. If you’ve never tried partnered play with sex toys before, things may seem a little strange at first, and you’re bound to have some questions about how to get started. 

Fortunately, there is little distinction between solo play and using a toy with a partner (and to be frank, you could use most of the toys you use during partnered play as well!) 

Incorporating sex toys into your playtime opens up a plethora of exciting opportunities and, if both partners are keen, may prove to be a great complement to any sex life.

Ten Ways to Spice Up Your Valentine's Day - Sign up for Tantra Classes FemmeFunn

3. Take a virtual tantra lesson as a couple

In fact, any workshop or class will suffice, but tantra would be ideal for a steamy Valentine’s Day sex session since you and your lover will enjoy the benefits long after the program has ended. 

These sessions are geared at teaching proper touch, intimacy, and massage skills in a fun and seductive manner. Expect to learn new moves, participate in bonding exercises, and master new sensuous touching skills to keep the sexual energy running high.

4. Incorporate some role-play during sex

Prepare a “bar” in your kitchen for your meeting. Then, when your significant other sit next to you, introduce yourself. From there, you and your partner can act out a scenario using entirely different vocations and names. 

The options are virtually limitless! Take it to your bedroom and conclude your role-play fantasy with a fantastic finale. 

5. Create a playlist on Spotify

Combine your favorite sexy songs into a special Valentine’s Day playlist. Add your favorite tunes, making sure that there’s a variety of beats and tempos to ensure all kinds of rides during your numerous sex sessions.

6. Include your favorite meals

Feed your lover ice cream, chocolate mousse, or other favorite sweet treats while in bed. Whoever stated dessert had to be served at the dinner table was severely mistaken. Dessert never tasted better!

Ten Ways to Spice Up Your Valentines day

7. Recreate your first date

Return to where it all began, and recreate your first date, this time from home. Whether you’re preparing your first cocktails together or recreating the atmosphere of a messy college bar in your own house, this is a great way to reignite those first sparks, laugh about the embarrassing times, and relish how far you’ve come together.

8. Get massaging

Romantic date ideas don’t need to be complicated! Let the sensual power of touch take over and give your partner a seductive massage. 

Get your massage oil ready, warm the towels, and create some ambiance by lighting some candles and playing some music to set the tone.

9. Sext up a storm

Over the course of the day, send each other brief, sexually explicit texts outlining your plans for each other that evening.  Besides having a hot script to act out, the buildup of anticipation will definitely drive them wild!

 

Ten Ways to Spice Up Your Valentines day give them a gift card

10. Give them a gift card for you

Yes, we know…this sounds a bit weird and confusing, but hear us out! If you’re genuinely committed to the Sex Holiday vibe, purchase a gift card to a lingerie store of your choice, and write down your sizes with a message that reads, “You choose!” It’s basically a win-win for both parties – they get to see you in sexy lingerie, and you get to keep it!

Happy Valentine’s Day!

If Valentine’s Day isn’t your thing, don’t feel bad about wanting to give it a miss altogether.  However, if you wish to participate in the celebrations, there is plenty of fun to be had that doesn’t entail a lot of fanfare. 

Valentine’s Day activities should focus on spending quality time with your favorite people celebrating the love in your life. 

 

Strengthening your pelvic floor for better sex

When working out, a typical exercise routine will go as follows: you’ll tone your arms, work your abs, and lunge until your legs burn. But there is possibly one set of muscles that you may be forgetting … the ones in the nether regions – your vagina!

Sure, they’re teeny, but those muscles take quite a beating throughout life. Keeping them strong is more important than you think – their function goes beyond preventing you from peeing yourself! 

The pelvic floor muscles are involved in every movement and breath we take. Therefore, it should come as no surprise that these muscles can become stiff, painful, weak, or dysfunctional. 

While we’re constantly reminded by every women’s magazine on earth that we should be conscious of our pelvic floor muscles – what happens if you don’t have a clue where these little dynamos are found?

The pelvic floor muscles extend like a hammock from your pubic bone in front to your tailbone in the back and over the whole width of your pelvis from hip to hip. These muscles are frequently referred to as a hammock because they support all your pelvic organs above, just like a hammock supports your weight. 

For them to do a decent job, they must be secure and robust. The fabric of the hammock must be strong enough for the purpose, and the trees to which it is connected must be stable.

Want to get familiar with these muscles? Well, you can. Literally. Using a mirror, watch yourself do exercises. You’ll notice how the perineum rises higher, towards your head. 

Alternatively, place your hands firmly on your low belly, two fingers on each side, in the area around your panty line. As you perform the movements, you will feel a muscle softly press up against your fingers.

You can also test your pelvic floor strength by stopping your pee in the mid-flow – strong muscles should be capable of doing this easily. Feel that squeeze? Those are your pelvic floor muscles. Just try it once, though, as it can be harmful to your bladder. 

What are Kegels

“First and foremost, Kegels are a means to strengthen the pelvic floor muscles, which act as a hammock around the pelvis,” says Leah Millheiser, M.D., Head of Stanford University School of Medicine’s Female Sexual Medicine Program. Kegels function the same way that any other workout does: by contracting a muscle, you strengthen it.

In the case of Kegels, it means squeezing your pelvic floor muscles to keep them toned and tight—these are the same muscles you clench when you’re trying to stop yourself from peeing and the part of the body that your Pilates teacher always reminds you to engage in class. 

Benefits of Kegels 

Kegels are sometimes referred to as a below-the-belt rehab routine, particularly in the context of strengthening your vagina after giving birth. When a woman’s pelvic floor muscles are a bit slack after childbirth, Kegels can help strengthen them and speed up the healing process. 

Working your pelvic-floor muscles also helps reduce incontinence symptoms. In other words, Kegels may help if you ever pee a bit when you laugh, cough, or sneeze. It is not a cure-all for incontinence, but it is an excellent place to start. 

But the perks of Kegels don’t stop there – they can tighten your vagina, which helps with several physical issues (you’ll be happy to know that orgasms are included!). 

So, who’s on board?

Can Kegels make your orgasms more intense? 

Heck yes, they certainly can! An orgasm, when you think about it, is a rhythmic contraction of the pelvic floor, and strengthening those muscles may assist those orgasms in becoming more potent. 

Although Kegels are often a suggested practice for menopausal women who may feel that their orgasms have gotten a little womp womp over time, you don’t have to be in orgasm rescue mode to reap the benefits!

Though relatively few women can orgasm solely through vaginal intercourse, you can improve your chances by strengthening your pelvic floor. Kegel exercises assist in tightening the pubococcygeus muscle, which is one of the muscles that contract during orgasm. 

Though orgasmic contractions are voluntary, the more toned your little love muscles are, the easier it is for your body to use them during orgasms. To sweeten the deal, some women report being able to climax in positions they couldn’t previously, while others even experience multiple orgasms. If your orgasms are already intense, doing Kegels regularly may make them even more earth-shattering.

Kegels Increase Vaginal Blood Circulation

When you perform these inconspicuous exercises, you are toning and strengthening your vaginal muscles. Furthermore, you are boosting the quantity of blood flow to your vagina. Increased blood flow is an essential aspect of arousal. Like how many women are more sexually aroused during their periods, the blood flow that occurs during Kegel exercises might influence how interested you are in sex. 

A lack of feeling around your vaginal entrance is one of the symptoms of a weak pelvic floor. Kegels assist in strengthening your pelvic floor, enhancing sensitivity in your genitals, and can even boost your natural lubrication. It’s a win-win! 

Sexier sensations 

Most people want sex to be pleasurable. However, many women are unaware that practicing Kegels every day might enhance the quality of their intercourse. If you’ve recently delivered a baby, have a weak pelvic floor due to chronic coughing, or simply want to better what you were born with, flexing your pelvic muscles will help strengthen the whole area and make sex seem more pleasurable. 

Kegels aren’t merely for tightening and toning your vagina. If you’ve had painful intercourse, doing Kegel exercises regularly might help you learn to relax your pelvic floor.

Oh, and don’t forget about the advantages for him! Kegels might also help him have a better sexual experience. You can even use Kegels during intercourse — some men have stated that their partner just clenching and releasing their pelvic muscles surrounding their penis causes them to orgasm. 

Men can also lengthen their erections by using Kegels. All they have to do is squeeze as if attempting to hold a pee. They will be able to continue longer since the urethra can only do one function at a time — urination or ejaculation. Isn’t it worth a shot?

Improve your sexual confidence

Kegels are fantastic for improving your confidence, which is a non-physical benefit. When you feel good about your body – both inside and out – it will show in several aspects of your life. Since we’re talking about sex, it’s worth noting that sexual confidence is a significant advantage. When you feel tighter and more toned, and you become sexually aroused more readily, you’re more likely to want to have sex. And, because sex and orgasms release chemicals into your brain, such as oxytocin, you’re more likely to feel calmer, happier, and, of course, more confident.

How do you do Kegels properly?

Using a hand mirror, locate the muscle as explained above and squeeeeze! 

1. Ensure that you’re squeezing

Place a finger in your vagina and squeeze the muscles—you should feel a lifting and contraction around your finger if you’re performing Kegels correctly. If you’re still not sure if you’re doing it correctly, ask your gynecologist for advice at your next checkup. 

2. Remember to hold rather than pulse. 

Once you’ve mastered it, squeeze for three to ten seconds and then release for three seconds. Think of it as though you are attempting to keep a marble from dropping out of your vagina, pulling instead of pushing out.

3. Make Kegels a regular part of your daily routine. 

Do ten repetitions for one set, then two sets the next day, and so on. This isn’t something you practice for two weeks, and then you’re done with! You’ll have to keep up with these workouts on an ongoing basis. 

If you want to see results, you’ll need to be conscientious and do these exercises daily for around six months to see a difference. The good news is that you can do these exercises almost anywhere, and if you’re doing them correctly, no one else will ever know!  

4. Try using a mobile application. 

Several vaginal-fitness monitors are available to help you keep track of your pelvic floor gains, that is, of course, if you’re looking to up your Kegel game. For those who struggle to identify their muscles or simply want some feedback, these trackers may prove super handy. Most of these applications allow you to keep track of your progress over time.  

5. Be mindful of what you put up there. 

Make sure that it is manufactured from body-safe materials such as silicone and will not irritate your vagina. And although it goes without saying, make sure to clean whatever you are inserting with mild soap and water after each usage.

Is it essential for everyone to do Kegels?

Even if you don’t have incontinence difficulties, Kegels are generally recommended to your feminine health care routine. There are, however, certain exceptions. If you have symptoms associated with a tight pelvic floor, it is advisable to skip Kegels altogether since tightening these muscles is definitely not something you should try with a condition like vaginismus. 

If you have extensive pelvic-floor issues—either discomfort from a condition that produces tightness or weakness that isn’t improving after six months of doing regular Kegels—consider seeing a pelvic-floor physical therapist for further information on what can help.

Kegel balls

Kegel balls are available in a wide range of weights and sizes ranging from 10 to 100 grams. Your best bet is to use them regularly (or as often as you remember) and gradually increase the weight as you notice your muscles growing more robust. The heavier the ball, obviously, the more strength you’ll need to keep it inside—so start small.

When you’re not using Ben Wa balls for incontinence, Jess O’Reilly, PhD, host of the @SexWithDrJess Podcast, says you can use them for arousal and pleasure as well. She recommends using Kegel balls as sex toys that are held together with a silicone cable. “You might insert the balls and twist them or gently tug on the threads to produce a variety of sensations,” she says. “Some individuals love slowly drawing them out to increase awareness and draw attention to more subtle sensations.” 

To ramp up the sensations, run your Ben Wa balls under cold or warm water before insertion. “By stimulating the body’s delicate thermoreceptors, temperature changes can heighten arousal and modify the way we interpret pleasure,” O’Reilly says.

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While kegel balls are usually regarded as safe, they should not be used immediately after giving birth (you may have vaginal tearing that requires time to heal) and should not be left in for more than six hours. 

When you’re ready to go, use Ben Wa balls made of non-porous silicone (such as these), which won’t hurt your vagina.

Once again, remember to wash them after each use with gentle soap and water, no matter what they’re made of. Keep them in a clean, dry, and secure location, and check them before each use.

Enjoy!

 

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