Louise writes about sex and relationships from a fact-based, sex-positive, feminist perspective. She is a sex educator & associate marriage and family therapist.
Often, the only advice we ever receive about sexually transmitted infections (STIs or STDs) is don’t get them. Chances are, your high school sex ed instructor reviewed a long list of scary STI symptoms paired with photos of gnarly vagina rashes and left it at that. Does anyone else find this unhelpful? STIs are still treated with tons of shame in our culture despite the fact that many of them are completely curable and almost all of them are treatable.
You’ve decided to go to therapy! Even better, you’ve identified a therapist you’re interested in and have set up an appointment. Now, how can you get the most out of your first session?
Here are some tips that can help you feel more prepared.
1. Identify Your Goals
Before your first session, give yourself some time to reflect on what you’d like to accomplish in therapy. Why did you decide that now is an important time to begin therapy? What do you hope to achieve in therapy?
For some people, ...
We want to take some space to celebrate a part of life that often gets overlooked for moms — Self-pleasure. We live in a culture that often de-sexualizes motherhood. Moms often feel pressured to appear 100% dedicated to their children with little room for their own multifaceted identities. And one massive part of being a human is your sexuality. So what does it mean to be a mom and to be feeling yourself? There aren’t a ton of nuanced cultural models showing us the way here.
Talking dirty to someone can be a deeply sexy and satisfying way to turn both you and your partner on. It can create suspense in a hookup as you paint a wet, hot picture of what’s about to go down.
Also. Talking dirty can be awkward. If you aren’t comfortable and in the mood, dirty talk can make you feel on the spot, unsure, or downright embarrassed.
Getting married and having children is increasingly becoming a choice and not an obligation in modern day America. As of 2012, less than 20 percent of households in the U.S. consist of married people with children.
While this could mean a lot of things, one interpretation is that marriage and child-rearing is now something individuals and couples approach with more intention, meaning, and choice, not with inherent expectation. Hopefully, this reflects an evolving culture where we honestly com...
By Louise Head, Sex Educator
The G-spot still fuels healthy controversy, even in 2017. The internet will assure you that everyone can have a G-spot orgasm. Patriarchal culture can often convince people that G-spot orgasms (vaginal orgasms) are somehow more real or more valid than clitoral orgasms and that these are the types of orgasms that should be happening during penis-in-vagina sex. However, when you talk to real people, there’s a lot of confusion about whether the G-spot exists, where y...
When someone you’re hooking up with says, “I’m so wet,” or “I’m so hard,” we understand it to mean, “damn, I’m really turned on, touch me.”
Our cultural understanding of desire assumes that we can tell if someone is turned on by how their body is responding during sex. Turns out that’s not really true! That’s because physical arousal is not the same thing as subjective arousal.
Physical arousal is when your genitals are responding to a sexual stimulus (like porn or a partner touching you). Su...
What does it mean to be an inclusive therapist and how can you get there?
Many therapy skills can be learned once and then implemented. A therapist can learn to fill out insurance paperwork. They can learn the rules about being a mandated reporter. They can learn about specific interventions to use in sessions. Inclusivity, however, is not a one-and-done skill. Being a truly inclusive therapist requires continuous engagement with principles of social justice and intersectionality.
Most people with vaginas can make themselves come in under ten minutes. Yet when it comes to having sex with a partner, only about 50% of women orgasm consistently while men almost always orgasm. If it’s a first-time hookup, women only come 11% of the time. Now there’s a fact that will make you feel about as cheerful as the Grinch who stole Christmas.
The orgasm gap is likely the product of our cultural norms and expectations around sex. It is not the natural consequence of women simply not n...
Oops! You had unprotected penis-in-vagina sex and now you’re worried about getting pregnant. What should you do? Most forms of birth control, like the pill, an IUD, or the implant, need to be in place before you have sex. However, emergency contraception are forms of birth control you can take after having unprotected p-in-v sex to significantly lower your chances of becoming pregnant.
Before jumping in, it’s worth noting that emergency contraceptives, also known as emergency birth control, d...
Q1: "How do I practice safe sex with someone of the same sex? Are there condoms or protection I can use? Specifically, how do I a female with a vagina have sex with another person with a body like mine?"
Q2: "Where do I get more resources on ftf sex? I guess I have always only been exposed to heteronormative sex and was wondering where I could learn about how women have sex with women - further resources on what can occur?"
I’m so happy you’re asking these questions! So many of us get a high ...
Using Self Pleasure to Tackle Chronic Pain — by Louise Head
Conversations about sex often focus on the fun and steamy side of sex. That’s great! It’s also really important to talk about the not-fun parts of sex — the stuff that gets in the way of experiencing pleasure — and what we can do about it. For people who experience chronic pain, enjoying sex can sometimes be challenging.
What is chronic pain?
About 20 percent of individuals in the general population experience chronic pain of some ki...