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Question and Answer Sex-plosion!

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[ This is the massive question and answer piece i did for the feature *two page spread* in the Ontarion's 'Love/Lust/Sex' Issue]

In celebration of this special love/lust/sex issue of the Ontarion, the editors gathered up tons of questions from my readers for me to answer! So, here we go:

Dear Shay: What can I do to avoid condom breakage?

Now this is a situation where size really does matter; it’s very important to make sure that you have the right size condom! A condom that fits too tightly, besides being uncomfortable, is more likely to break and a condom that is too big could slip off!

An important tip for when you are putting on a condom is to make sure you leave a little “wiggle room” at the tip; just hold the semen reservoir as you unroll the condom down the shaft to make sure that it doesn’t get pulled tight over the tip.

Also stay far far away from any petroleum based lubricants. Besides causing all sorts of problems for a female partner, petroleum based lubricants also have a nasty habit of making the latex rot fall apart. But, do make sure that you use a lot of water based lube, especially in orifices that don’t produce their own lubrication (such as the anus), this will be more comfortable and will also help keep the condom from breaking.
And a final tip: like my Dad always told me, when in doubt, do like they do at the grocery store – Double Bag it.
[note: do not actually attempt to use 2 condoms at once, the friction between the two condoms can increase the risk of breakage. I just left this statement on here because I thought it was funny because my dad actually DID say this to me before]

Dear Shay: What is a Queef?

A “queef” (regrettably also known as a “pussy fart”) is the nickname for the often unfortunate incident of getting air trapped in one’s vagina. When the air gets smooshed out after sex or when changing positions, it comes out of the vagina making a little “farting” sound (which some people find quite erotic and others find quite embarrassing).

Some positions, such as being bent over (AKA “doggy-style”) can make some women more prone to queefing. But, you don’t need to avoid positions that encourage air to get trapped in your vagina if the position is otherwise pleasurable; there’s not really anything unhealthy about the queef. Just try to have a laugh about it, sex is supposed to be fun and can often be quite funny too.

Dear Shay: What does “two-spirited” mean?

The notion of being two spirited comes from the Native tradition where certain individuals were given the gift from the creator of being allowed to house two spirits: one male and one female. Being two spirited was (and still is) considered a great gift because these individuals are able to see the world from two different perspectives: the male and the female. These people were revered in Native culture as leaders, mediators, teachers, and spiritual guides with important sacred and ceremonial powers.

But with the arrival of Europeans, many new taboos were established and the two spirited people were driven underground and were no longer accepted by their communities. Today two spirited people enjoy less discrimination and are closely associated with the gay community.

There is a more scientific explanation for being two spirited (though I do like the spiritual explanation too). When a foetus is developing, there are important hormones needed to determine the gender of the infant. These hormones not only affect the outward physical appearance of the infant, but also the formation of certain structures in the brain. There is still some controversy around this issue, but many believe that it is a problem in how the hormones (or how they fail to) masculinize the brain that can lead some people to be born into a male body but “feeling” like a female or vice versa.

Whichever explanation you adopt, individuals who identify themselves as being two spirited still do have an important role in our modern society and communities. Among other things, they remind us not to rely on socially assigned genders to define ourselves and others.

Dear Shay: What’s the deal with the transmissions of STD’s via oral sex?

Engaging in oral sex is considered a moderate risk for transmitting a STI (sexually transmitted infection) or HIV and is therefore considered unsafe without protection. (As a side note, fellatio without ejaculation in mouth is considered a slightly lower risk, but is still deemed dangerous.) This is because it is very common for people to have minor cuts or abrasions on their gums, lips, or inside their mouth and these make excellent entrances for viruses like HIV.

The risks can vary depending on the STI and whether it is fellatio (a “blow job”) or cunnilingus (“eating out [a woman]”). For example, with Gonorrhoea, performing fellatio invites a very high risk of developing an infection of the throat, but when performing cunnilingus there is a very low risk for transmission. Whereas with Syphilis and Genital Herpes, there is a very high risk not matter what kind of oral (or non-oral) sex you are having.

When engaging in oral sex (or any type of sex) with a new partner or a partner with a known infection, it is very important to stay safe. Making a dental dam out of a condom is extremely easy, feel free to stop by the wellness centre if you are in need of instruction and/or condoms!

Dear Shay: Does the time you take your birth control matter?

I’m assuming this question is about oral hormonal birth control, like “the pill”. Timing is definitely a factor if you are using low dose pills (which most people do nowadays). If you take your doses too far apart, for example, in the morning one day and then at night the next day, you run the risk of your medication not working properly. This could mean anything from spotting blood to having an unplanned pregnancy. You should always follow your doctor’s directions when you are taking medications and the pill is no exception; you should take it every day at the same time.

If you miss a dose completely, Masters and Johnson recommend taking a double dose the next day, but if you miss taking your pill two days in a row or miss one day more than twice in a cycle, they say that you should just stop taking the pill until your next cycle begins.

Also, if you miss a dose or have taken it hours later than usual, don’t assume that you are still fully protected against pregnancy; you aren’t; so make sure you’re using a condom when you have sex. (And of course, birth control pills do not protect against STI’s or HIV.)

Dear Shay: What the heck is a Three Headed Turtle? And what does it have to do with sex?

“The Three Headed Turtle” is a term that refers to a particular way of manually stimulating a woman that takes advantage of how close all the sexually sensitive parts of a woman’s “lower region” are to each other.

Basically this is how you do it: insert one or two fingers into the vagina, stimulating the front wall of the vagina, which has nerves in common with the clitoris. While doing this, you stroke the clitoris. Sexual arousal is cumulative, which means that doing both of these things at the same time produces a bigger effect than stimulating each area separately.

Now for the third “head”, this will take the manoeuvre one step further. While the index finger is rubbing the front wall of the vagina, and the thumb is massaging (gently!) the clitoris, the third or fourth finger (depending on how many you have in the vagina) gently tickles or rubs the perineum (the area just in front of the anus) or, depending on you and your partner’s feelings, this last finger could enter the anus. So the hand is the body of the turtle and the fingers at each of the three stimulation points become the three heads of the turtle.

A variation on this is the “legendary” Venus Butterfly manoeuvre. The hand position is almost the same, except that you will be using two hands, palm to palm; thus devoting extra fingers to each area of stimulation.

This type of stimulation is supposed to be “mind blowing” and very often it is at least a good prep for great sex because the clitoris, vagina and perineum/anus share the same sensitive nerve endings and, like I said, sexual arousal is cumulative. And the more prepped (and psyched up) you and your partner are for sex, the better it should be.

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