Monday, January 10, 2011

New Blog!

I have moved my Flexuality blog.

Please click on the link above to find the following:
  • new posts for 2011
  • including the new 'Ask the Doctor' series
  • archives from Flexuality
  • and archives from Flexuality X
  • introductory pages for straight, gay, and bisexual readers
  • in a new look you can share with family and friends without embarassment
  • and, coming soon, a new Flex Test!

Thank you for your patience, and welcome back!

Monday, November 29, 2010

One in Three

The summer after my junior year in college, we got together for pizza and beer in my parent’s backyard. I hadn’t seen Brad and Jason since Thanksgiving, when my girlfriend at the time was visiting. But now it was just the three of us, like in high school.

After a few drinks, the conversation turned to sex, and Brad did what he does best, showing off some bit of knowledge and putting us on the defensive. He had taken a course on human sexuality to satisfy his college science requirement. “And did you know,” he said, leaning forward over his beer, “That one out of every three men has had sex with another man?” He looked Jason in the eye. “That means, statistically speaking, one of us right here has fucked around with a guy.”

We were all silent for a moment, holding tightly onto our Buds. What a conversation stopper.

Jason was the straightest guy I knew, always bragging about screwing some girl, though he never held onto them for long. And Brad had dated the same girl since high school. We were always stumbling on the two of them having sex behind a tree or in a closet. You could say he was twisted, but he sure as hell wasn’t gay.

“So boys, which one of us has done it?” Brad continued, safe from scrutiny and not letting us off the hook.

I started to sweat.

These guys were my best friends, but I had never told them about the time I fooled around with a frat mate in sophomore year. We got drunk after soccer practice and ended up showering together back at the house, when no one else was around. It started with touching and teasing, and then we ended up in his bed, giving each other head. It never happened again, but I knew I’d do it again with a guy if I had the opportunity. For a couple weeks afterwards I even worried that I might be gay, which was stupid, because I’ve always liked girls and planned to get married.

Could Brad and Jason see that I was the one? I leaned back to take another drink and banged my head against the wind chimes hanging from the rafters of the porch, spilling beer across my chin. I blushed and looked away.

“Don’t be an ass,” Jason said. “None of us is gay.” He looked at me and back at Brad. “And nobody here has fucked a guy. You’ve got a sick mind, man.”

Tuesday, November 23, 2010

Truth or Dare

Most men and women have their first same-sex experience in the context of experimenting with a friend. Teenagers and young adults spend most of their time, and feel most comfortable, with friends of the same sex, at a time when hormones are flowing and sexual curiosity is high. Friends tease and test each other while pushing their affection to the limits, often becoming closer to each other than they have ever been with anyone before. It is only natural for sexual tensions to develop.

Friends have always found ways to explore each other without advice from others. But many also feel guilty or confused or miss opportunities because they have not considered their options. You may find yourself looking back with regret at the times when a friend gave you an opening and you were too surprised, nervous, or inexperienced to take advantage. In that spirit, I list some of the common ways in which young men and women create opportunities for mutual sexual discovery. If you find yourself in one of these situations, you will be better prepared to steer the encounter in a more interesting direction.

“Truth or dare” is a time-tested game which gives players permission to reveal secrets or engage in shocking behavior. For the game to work, the one posing the challenge must pretend to be intent on embarrassing the one who is commanded, who in turn must pretend to resist. In fact, each player takes turns exploring the others’ limits while projecting and pursuing their own desires. “Spin the bottle” and “strip poker” create similar opportunities in the guise of punishment. Young men and women play each of these games together, and the excitement of mixing sexes is part of the fun.

Young men are fascinated by their new-found ability to get an erection, and they want to share this discovery with their friends. Many teenagers have joined a “circle jerk” at some point in their younger years, where they compare the sizes of their erections, the speed with which they reach orgasm, or the trajectory of their ejaculations. Hazing rituals in fraternities may involve similarly juvenile, sexualized acts, such as being confined naked in close quarters with other pledges. After a few drinks, "straight" guys may find themselves patting each other on the butt, working out naked, or unzipping their pants and comparing genitals. Once that boundary has been crossed, and sexual excitement has been demonstrated, another dare, question, or casual gesture can lead to frank sexual exploration, even if the fun is “forgotten” in the next morning’s hangover.

Young women similarly compare the size and shape of their breasts and practice kissing with each other, which can lead to making out. Women can hold an x-rated version of a Tupperware party, where they compare and purchase sex toys. Groups of women also sometimes find themselves discussing the elusive G-spot and may assist each other in finding that sensitive portion of their vagina which is so poorly explained in books. What starts as innocent exploration of their bodies may turn into sexual play. After all, why wait for a man if a more knowledgeable woman can help you practice and attain the orgasm of a lifetime?

Sleepovers are a particularly good setting for sexual exploration. Women are more comfortable with physical intimacy to begin with and may share a bed or cuddle, and that may be satisfying enough or lead to something more. Men often wake in the middle of the night to find that they have an erection, which, though involuntary, may serve as an excuse for sexual teasing, touching, or making out. Camping trips, snow storms, movie or computer game marathons, late-night studying, or being too drunk to drive home may all serve as excuses for spending the night together, sharing a bed, and getting to know each other better.

Thursday, November 11, 2010

Picking up Popcorn

The other guys went home around midnight, but Tad told me he would stick around and help me clean up, which I really appreciated, because I was pretty stoned and the place would stink if I left it till the morning. There were cans of beer lying on their side on the floor and nuts and popcorn slipping into the cracks of the sofa. When we had nearly finished and were moving a table back into the kitchen, Tad asked me about Bobby, who had been making loud, obnoxious comments about all the girls in the movie: how he’d like to fuck this one or that one, how big her boobs were, and stuff like that.

“The thing is,” Tad said, “I had this experience last year with Bobby. We were at Jessica’s party, and when I went to pee, he sort of pushed his way into the bathroom behind me. He said he couldn’t wait, unzipped, and started pissing into the bowl while I was using it. I didn’t mind, but then he started playing around, crossing the streams and moaning like it was something sexual. We’d had a lot of beer, so this went on for a while, and I noticed his dick was getting bigger. After he shook it off, he pushed his underwear down and asked me to suck him off.”

Tad paused, like he was waiting for my reaction.

“So did you?”

“No, of course not.” He flashed an annoyed look. “He wasn’t kidding either. He was getting really hard. I told him he was drunk and got out of there fast.” Tad looked up at me. “Do I look like I’m gay, or something?”

I reached into the fridge, popped open another can of beer, and handed it to him. We were standing just a foot or two apart. “I don’t think gay is a way you look.”

He looked annoyed again, shifting back and forth and clenching his teeth in what could have been a smile or a frown. Finally he asked me, “What would you have done?”

I held his gaze and thought about my answer. “Well, I don’t like Bobby very much.”

He held out the beer and smiled. “So you might have, if it was somebody else?”

I let my fingers brush against his as I took the beer back and had a cold swig, looking into his eyes the whole time. “I’d give it a try, with the right person.”

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Missionary Position

The Missionary Position, supposedly named in honor of its promotion by the Church, is perhaps the most famous sexual position of all. The orthodox position involves vaginal intercourse with the man lying on top of the woman, face-to-face. The prime advantage of the Missionary Position is its simplicity and reciprocity. Partners can easily kiss and embrace. It is the ideal position for expressing love, as distinct from passion, power, or dexterity.

The Cobra: The top partner lifts himself up from the waist, on hands or elbows, to achieve greater tension and a view unobstructed by snogging.

The Lotus: The bottom encircles and crosses legs behind the top’s thighs, gripping and pulling the top in more deeply and tightly. This is the only Missionary Position that works well for anal sex.

The Fan: The bottom’s legs are spread wide for deeper penetration. Anal intercourse becomes possible, though still a stretch.

The Melon Vine: The woman lies on top, usually with legs bent to embrace the man.

Bone-2-Bone: Two women embrace and rub genitals, which often involves interweaving legs so that the clitoris and surrounding structures can press together.

Gemini: Two men embracing, which works best when the erections find a space to grind against, such as the juncture between the top of the thigh and pubic area. Be careful not to crush each other’s testicles.

Sunday, October 31, 2010

Sweet Fruit

Even though we couldn’t keep our eyes off each other on the base, I was nervous when I finally walked over to Jackie’s room to get her for the movie. I’d never been on a date with a woman before, and I had no idea what two women were supposed to do in bed. It couldn’t be anything like having sex with a man, unless she had one of those strap-on things, and that would be just ridiculous and anyway out of the question in the dormitory. I told myself not to worry. We were going off base, and if I could just hold her hand during the movie, that would be enough.

I had butterflies in my stomach as I knocked and heard her footsteps approaching from the other side. My cheeks were suddenly hot, and my mouth was dry. She opened the door, still wearing fatigues. We just stood there, smiling at each other like idiots. Then she took hold of me by the wrist and pulled me inside, closed the door, and pressed me up against the wall.

There was no talking and no kissing, at least not on the lips. She dropped down in front of me and pulled my panties down from under my skirt and pushed my skirt up with both hands and dug in with her tongue. I was still too shocked to do anything but lean my shoulders back against the wall and tilt my legs to give her room. She slid a finger into me, or two, while nuzzling and tugging with her lips. Her whole face was slippery against me now, and I put my hands on her braids and pulled her tight as my legs started shaking uncontrollably.

And then we lay down on her bed for more. We never did make it to the movie. In fact, I don’t think we even took a break for dinner. Thank god her roommate was on leave.

Tuesday, October 26, 2010


The experience of orgasm is similar for men and women. Pleasure builds until you feel a sense of inevitability, at which point your skin flushes, pulse accelerates, and breathing quickens. As the wave of tension and release surges through you, your muscles clench and spasm. Vaginal and anal muscles contract, squeezing the penis or other penetrating objects even more tightly than before, and the man’s throbbing erection may bounce up and down as it ejaculates.

Men can reach orgasm within a few minutes of intercourse or masturbation, or even faster if they are highly aroused. Women benefit from longer foreplay and stimulation of multiple erogenous sites.

By the time a man reaches the point of inevitability, spermatic fluids have accumulated in the prostate and other glands and ducts, from which they are forcefully ejected in a series of muscular contractions. The head of the penis becomes uncomfortably sensitive to touch during and after orgasm, so he may need to stop thrusting or withdraw his penis. If you are jerking or sucking a penis when the man starts to come, you should adjust the pace and tightness of your grip; do not squeeze harder or you may stymie the ejaculation.

Male ejaculate consists of sperm floating in a mixture of cholesterol, sugars, salts and protein, which has a sweet and salty taste and a faint smell of chlorine. Semen can vary in consistency from watery to gelatinous (or a mix of both), and the volume depends in part on the length of arousal and the number of days since the last ejaculation. A tablespoon is a typical amount, and maximum volume is reached after about five days. A thinner, slippery “pre-come” may also drip from the tip of the penis during arousal, and this contributes to lubrication during intercourse. Women also exude lubricating fluids and may ejaculate a small amount from the pee-hole at the time of orgasm.

Men experience a refractory period after orgasm, during which it is difficult to become erect again, and this refractory period becomes longer and longer with age. (Adolescents and young adults may be able to get hard again within a few minutes if they are sufficiently psychologically aroused.) Women have an advantage over men in their ability to reach orgasm multiple times in succession.

Wednesday, October 20, 2010

The Snake

The Snake is defined by the bottom partner lying face down with legs together. It can be thought of as a collapsed Doggy Style. In the standard version, the top partner lies on top of the bottom, chest-to-back. The advantage, relative to the Doggy Style, comes from the pressing together of the legs, so that the penis is gripped in part by the thighs and buttocks. The position may also be more comfortable and permit more groping and cuddling. The top can thrust forward into the vagina and either forward or downward into the anus, depending also on how the bottom tilts the hips.

Some variations:

The Plough: The top leans back at the waist and balances on hands or elbows, in order to have a better view and increase the tension and control of penetration.

Spread Snake: The bottom’s legs are spread wide and the top lies between them. What is lost in the grip of the thighs is gained by the depth of penetration. Conveys total prostration.

Spooning: Like the traditional Snake, except that both partners lie on their sides. Might be more comfortable when the bottom is pregnant or the top is overweight.

Cross Snake: The top lies perpendicularly across the bottom. May be less painful for the bottom during initiation of anal sex, because the width of the penis and anal sphincters are better aligned. The bottom can lie on one side and bend the upper leg to provide better access.

Dressage: The top partner straddles the bottom and thrusts into the ass while sitting up. May be more difficult to reach and stay in the vagina from this position. Provides the top with excellent control over the angle and tension of penetration. Easy to slip back down into the standard Snake for greater depth.

The Snake can also be enjoyed without penetration by “splitting rocks” (as it is called in Sri Lanka) between the thighs or by humping the buttocks.

Friday, October 15, 2010

The Vulva

If a woman undresses in front of you, you probably will not see her sexual organs, because they are folded together between her legs and covered by a triangular patch of pubic hair. The pubic hair grows from the skin of the lower abdomen and from the labial mounds between the legs. It is generally curlier than hair on the head, though it may be fairly straight in women of Asian or Native American background. If the woman has shaved her pubic area, you may see a cleft where the two labial mounds press together, concealing the rest of the genitals, though the inner labial lips may protrude a little, depending on their size. Only when the woman spreads her legs while sitting, lying, or bending over, do the labia unfold to reveal the nestled, elliptical structures around the vagina.

The labial mounds are fatty folds of skin that have hair and sweat glands. They are anatomically similar to scrotal skin in men and similarly sensitive to touch; running fingers through the hair can increase blood flow and lubrication to the region. Inside the labial mounds are the even more sensitive, thinner labial lips, which are hairless and usually darker in color. The lips come together at the top in a hood which can be gently pushed back to reveal the clitoris, a small knob of tissue that is the focal point for sexual pleasure in most women. The hood of the clitoris, also called the prepuce, is analogous to the foreskin of the male penis. Pulling gently on the hood or labial lips will also stimulate the clitoris.

Below the clitoris and between the labial lips is a small area of pink or reddish skin which serves as the floor into which the vagina opens. Doctors refer to this area as the vestibule. There is a tiny mound for the urethral opening, or pee-hole, in this area, midway between the clitoris and the vaginal opening. When a woman is sexually aroused, the urethra closes, and lubricating fluids are released from ducts opening invisibly into the urethral mound. Many women ejaculate a small amount of clear or milky fluid at the time of orgasm.

In girls, the reddish skin of the vestibule is continuous with the hymen, a small curtain of mucous membrane that incompletely covers the opening to the vagina. The hymen is rich in blood vessels and may bleed a little when it is torn during first sexual intercourse. This was (and in parts of the world continues to be) an important sign of virginity, especially for girls who married at an early age. The hymen becomes increasingly translucent, thin, and elastic with age, so many women now do not experience any bleeding by the time they first experience penetration. During childbirth, the hymen stretches to the point where it is no longer visible, or only tiny remnants may be visible around the edge of the vaginal opening.

Sunday, October 10, 2010

The Mouth

From the time we are infants, we derive pleasure and give and receive affection through our mouths. Freud thought oral sexuality was a developmental stage to be abandoned after breast-feeding, but the pleasures of the mouth are a unique and crucial part of the sexual repertoire. Teenagers who are not yet ready to have genital intercourse can enjoy kissing, necking, and even oral sex, and some men and women continue to prefer oral sex to other forms of intercourse. Kissing remains the most affectionate form of sexual expression, which makes it essential for some and a taboo for others (for example, a macho type will seek a blowjob from a man but turn away from his kiss).

Lips come in a variety of shapes and sizes that contribute to appearance and the quality of stimulation they provide. The skin of the lips has a dry surface on the outside and moist mucous membrane on the inside (which makes it similar to the entrance of the vagina). Fat lies beneath the surface of the lips, making them soft, while a thin muscle circles the mouth and allows for the pursing of the lips. This muscle is involved when you press lips together during passionate kissing, when you pucker around a nipple or clitoris, or when you encircle the shaft of a penis during fellatio. Since the outside of the lips are naturally dry, these activities may be more pleasant if they are wetted with saliva, lipstick, or petroleum jelly.

The lips work together with the muscles of the cheeks to create enough suction to lightly bruise the skin of the neck when making a “hickey” or love-bite. Some people also use their teeth to gently bite and tug on the nipples, labia, or foreskin during sex. This requires some control and attention to not hurt your partner. Some people also enjoy the light pain that comes from being bitten on the skin, and a full chapter is devoted to this form of love-making in the ancient Indian Kamasutra.

The tongue is essentially a muscle surrounded by mucous membrane. The muscle fibers run in all directions, so the tongue is able to stretch, curl, flick, and move dexterously. The upper surface of the tongue is textured, in order to better grip food, which contributes to the wet sensation of friction which makes a probing tongue so exciting.