Last week I had the pleasure of teaching a two hour workshop on Hand Sex* to 40+ undergraduate students at University of California Santa Cruz (UCSC), and it was a total blast! As usual, at the end of every class I teach I collected the notecards I’d handed out earlier while encouraging the attendees to record any questions they had to be answered anonymously later on. I was absolutely overwhelmed with amazing questions, and since I ran out of time to answer them in class, here are some of the ones I didn’t get to. I’ll work to push out the entire stack within a week or so. Enjoy the first installment!
*I also taught a shiny new strap-on play workshop at Pure Pleasure in Santa Cruz, was received like a queen, and walked away feeling like some really incredible work had been done. Thanks, Pure Pleasure!
Seems like you have nail polish on. Do you always either take it off or use gloves when you’re making porn?
Funny you should ask! I often advise people engaging in hand sex to not be wearing nail polish (as I’ve been fucked more than once with a hand that had less polish on it after fucking me than it did before!). So yes, I either always wear a glove, abstain from wearing polish altogether, OR cheat the system and get a gel manicure – it’s a bit more expensive, but the nail polish doesn’t chip or peel the same way that traditional manicures do!
Is it possible to simply not be able to achieve orgasm from oral sex?…I mean to say, is it more likely that the person hasn’t met someone who “does it right”?
Well, first of all, I truly believe that there is no such thing as someone who is “bad” at sex – there is merely compatibility/incompatibility and good communication/bad communication. So if the person going down on you isn’t getting you off from oral sex alone, there are three possible conclusions to make: 1. You’re not communicating with each other thoroughly enough (what sensations you like/don’t like, etc), 2. Your sex styles aren’t very compatible and/or you don’t have a lot of chemistry to begin with, or 3. You just can’t cum from oral sex, period. Which is QUITE common, including in my own body!
Any tips on getting back into sex after a genital injury/traumatic experience?
I wish I knew more about this person’s history! Since I don’t, and since I’m also not a medical professional, I’ll just speak briefly from my own experience. For almost a year I was plagued with debilitating gynecological infections that meant I could only have penetrative sex (how I preferred to have sex) very occasionally and strategically. Not only was I consistently physically uncomfortable and struggling with feelings around my desirability, I also had to face how this complicated both my sex work (shooting porn) and my personal relationships. It’s been a long road, and I’ve been clear of infection for about 10 months now, but I still struggle with residual anxiety and insecurity. Worrying that if I have “too much” sex that the issue will start all over again. Wondering how my current partners would respond to my body shutting down in that way. Fearing sexual repulsion/rejection that would highlight how much of my perceived self worth is tied up in how I can “perform” sexually. It’s a long, brutal road, and I wish you the best of luck with whatever you’re dealing with.
If you are having trouble reaching orgasm while masturbating, what types of techniques would you recommend to start? (for a person with a vulva)
Hmmm, now it’s time to think back to my youth! I’ve been sexually active since age 14, but I couldn’t have an orgasm (including one at my own hands) until I was 20. I remember varying my positions – on my back, on my side, on my stomach. I would sometimes fantasize about sexy scenarios while touching myself, sometimes read a few pages from a piece of erotic lit for inspiration, and later started watching snippets of porn on my computer to get things going (tip: search for female solo masturbation videos to watch women getting themselves off. even if it isn’t your personal jam, you can probably pick up a new technique or two!). I experimented with a lighter vs a more intense pressure, as well as with penetration (one hand on my clit/holding a vibe to my clit while the other worked a dildo-like toy). I also made sure I felt safe and secure in the space I was masturbating in – I could never cum unless I was relaxed! Home alone, door locked, nowhere to be for a while so I wasn’t rushing. All that being said, it wasn’t until I tried masturbating with a Hitachi Magic Wand that I finally got myself off! Hopefully one of those suggestions helped!
Does being in porn affect your sex life in ways that it would not ordinarily be affected?
Oh, all the time! Let’s see:
1. I’m definitely more conscientious about personal hygiene. I shaved my pubic hair before I ever started doing sex work, but now I sometimes catch myself shaving my ass before a date! (I’m really into rimming!) I also started keeping baby wipes everywhere (by the bed, in the bathroom, in my backpack) for fast genital management, and I almost exclusively use cosmetic makeup sponges in place of tampons now (fold two wedge-shaped sponges into a little square and shove ’em up there – it’s like a tampon with no string, and you can even get penetrated comfortably while having them in your vagina!). It’s the little things.
2. I’m much more comfortable talking about testing with partners. In the state of CA, performers are required to get tested for STDs every 14 days in order to work, so we get REALLY comfortable discussing and sharing REALLY private sexual health information with people we barely know REALLY fast! Being able to always know when my last test was and what the results were in order to make an informed judgement call with a partner about the level of risk I’m willing to accept with my sex is, believe it or not, SUPER hot and empowering.
3. Porn has provided this incredibly safe, secure, controlled environment to experiment with dynamics and activities that I was previously unfamiliar with at the hands of folks who know what the hell they’re doing. In some cases (receiving an electrified dildo, having my hair put in bondage, getting clothespins clamped to my face) I thought afterwards, “Well, I’m glad I tried it, but there’s no way I’m ever doing THAT again!”. But in other cases (having someone gag on a dildo I’m wearing, getting hot wax poured on my body, being mummified in saran wrap) I’ve been incredibly turned on, and have rushed home afterwards to incorporate my newfound kinks into my personal life as quickly as possible! Having that opportunity to continue to push your sexual envelope and discover new and exciting things about yourself (as well as about the human body in general) WHILE getting paid is pretty frickin awesome.
Tips for painfully sensitive clits?
Off the top of my head, I would recommend varying your stimulation techniques – instead of doing the same stroke or vibration for a long period of time in order to cum, switch it up every little while so you don’t get overwhelmed/overstimulated – and put a barrier between any vibrator and your clit (ie a swath of fabric like a tshirt or a bedsheet) to dull and diffuse intensity. Also, I feel like oral sex may be a super awesome option for you! (often times people with vulvas can’t cum from oral alone because it’s not enough intense stimulation). Depending on how your junk is designed, perhaps encourage partners to not pull back your clitoral hood/expose your clit during stimulation.