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Feb 19 2011

Safer Ways to Sexy

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by thepleasurechest

A basic guide to safe sex. See How To Pick the Perfect Condom for more in-depth info.

Condoms, Gloves, and Dams are a must-have for safer sex with partners and toys.

Never use oil-based lube with latex condoms, gloves, or dams.

For those with latex sensitivities, polyurethane or polyisoprene condoms and dams, plastic wrap, and nitrile gloves are great alternatives. Polyurethane and nitrile can be used with oil-, silicone-, and water-based lube. Use only water-based or silicone-based lube with polyisoprene.

Be sure your plastic wrap is the non-microwavable type, as microwave wrap has tiny holes and will not protect from infection.

To create a slippery sensation and increase pleasure for the receiver, use gloves to apply lube to the area beneath the dam or plastic wrap before cunnilingus or analingus.

Lube is actually a major player in the safer sex arena. It can not only increase the quality and duration of penetrative play, but makes sex safer for both partners, providing a slick cushion that prevents tearing.

Never use lubricants that contain the spermicide Nonoxynol-9 because it can irritate the skin and actually make you more susceptible to STIs.

Use extra lube for anal sex and never use oil-based lube with a latex condom.

Use fresh condoms, gloves, or dams when switching between partners or from the anal area to the vaginal area.

Feb 19 2011

Prostate (P-spot) Basics

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by thepleasurechest

The prostate, also known as the P-spot or male G-spot, is a gland located between the rectum and the bladder. During arousal the prostate fills with fluid which helps semen travel through the urethra upon ejaculation. The spot can be felt through a man’s anus as an area similar in size to a walnut. Stimulation of this area heightens pleasure for many men.

To locate the P-spot, insert a finger or fingers 2-3 inches into anus and press gently towards the belly button using a milking or come-hither motion. It helps to use lube and for the receiver to be very relaxed and comfortable.

Toys with a gentle curve aid in solo or partner P-spot exploration.

Angle and position are key during partner penetration. If a man is lying on his back, angle fingers or toy upward. If he is bent over, gently angle downward. Use a pillow and/or a little imagination to find the best way to hit the P-spot during anal penetration with a penis.

Bodies will respond differently to different types of stimulation, so experiment with pressure, rubbing, tapping, and vibration of the p-spot to find what feels best.

Studies have shown that regular prostate massage can help ward off cancer by increasing blood flow to the area.

Feb 19 2011

How to Pick the Perfect Condom

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by thepleasurechest

With the help of some innovative new products, materials, and styles, safe sex can be sexier (and more sensational) than ever. Condoms come in a variety of styles, materials, sizes, and even textures. Never use oil-based lube with latex condoms, gloves, or dams.

okamotoTraditional Condoms: Standard thickness and size for those who like a classic condom. Example: Trojan Non-Lubricated

Thinner Condoms: Extra to ultra-thin for that “skin to skin” feeling, yet tested to meet condom safety standards. Example: Okamoto .004

Flared Condoms: Wider at the head for extra penis stimulation and added friction and sensation for both partners. Example: ONE Pleasure Plus

Non-Latex Condoms: Great alternative for people with latex sensitivities, these also have no latex odor or taste. Today’s most popular latex alternatives are polyurethane (which can actually be used with any type of lube) and polyisoprene, which has more stretch for a more natural sensation, but can only be used with water-based and silicone-based lubricants. Both protect against pregnancy and STIs. Naturalamb condoms, which are made from part of a lamb’s intestine, protect against pregnancy but do not protect against STIs such as HIV and herpes. Example: Lifestyles Skyn (Polyisoprene)

skynSensation Condoms: Can intensify pleasure for both partners. Ribbed and studded condoms add titillating texture, warming and cooling condoms add a “tingle,” and flavored condoms are great for blow-jobs. Example: Trustex Flavored Condoms

Sized Condoms: Provide a more customized fit for larger or smaller-sized men. This will make the condom more comfortable to wear and can help solve breakage or slippage issues. Example: Trojan Magnum XL

Variety Packs: Can’t decide? Try a variety pack. It’s the perfect way to try something new or spice up safe sex. Example: ONE Mixed Pleasures

Feb 19 2011

Negotiating Sex with the Yes/No/Maybe List

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by thepleasurechest

Total surprises in bed are generally frowned upon, at least when it comes to a new partner or a new and/or exotic sex act. Want butt sex? Negotiate. Want to be tied up or tie someone up? Negotiate. Want to call your partner a filthy manwhore while working his nipples like a stuck zipper in a urinal at Mardi Gras? Yeah, definitely negotiate.

The Yes/No/Maybe List is a tool we use here in the store to help partners get the conversation started. It’s a list of sex acts (to which you can always add your own) and columns reading “Yes”, “No” and “Maybe.” We suggest each partner take a list and fill it out separately, then get together on a sex date, which incidentally is not actually a date in which you have sex, but one to get together and talk about the sex you might want to have without shaming or judging one another.

Go ahead and try it! It’s way more fun than, say, negotiating and delegating household chores. Although, we do recommend doing that as well. Better communication in any situation always leads to better sex. A little naughty housekeeper roleplay perhaps? The possibilities are endless.

Feb 19 2011

Love at First Lube

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by thepleasurechest

Lube, or “Personal Lubricant,” is actually one of the sexiest sex toys there is. The extra slickness allows you to have sex longer without irritation, can increase sensation, and will definitely spice up a ho-hum handjob. There are all kinds of lube to love, and each type has its pros and cons, but this guide will hopefully help you find the slippery sidekick(s) of your dreams.

Water-based lube is one of the most popular types because it feels natural and absorbs well into the body for minimal cleanup. Glycerin-free water-based lube is recommended for vaginal sex, especially for women who are prone to yeast and urinary tract infections. The classic water-based lubricant Slippery Stuff is one of our favs. If you are trying to conceive,using a water-based, sperm-friendly lube like Pre-Seed may increase your chances. That being said, other types of lube are NOT to be used as birth control methods.

Silicone lube wins hands-down in the test of time, being that it stays ultra-slick and does not absorb quickly into skin. Ultra-concentrated Pjur Bodyglide is the gold standard for quality silicone lubes. The staying power of silicone is great for anal sex because a well-lubed ass means hotter, safer butt sex. Some women are perfectly happy using silicone lube vaginally, while others who are sensitive or prone to bacterial and yeast infections will prefer something that washes away more easily. The fact that silicone does not wash away easily in water also makes it great for water play, such as in the shower or hot tub. Just make sure things don’t get too slippery, as head injuries are not sexy. One word of warning: Do not use silicone lube with silicone toys.

Hybrid
Water-based lubes with a small amount of silicone added for slip and creaminess are called hybrids. We love Liquid Silk because it lasts so long and feels really natural, plus the pump bottle is extra convenient. Sliquid Organics Silk is similar, but is natural, organic, paraben-free, and has a less noticeable taste.

Oil-based lube is not highly recommended for penetrative sex, as it can cause vaginal infection and is not condom compatible. Some people do enjoy using oil anally because of its lasting slickness, but this is only safe to do between partners that have been STI tested or are fluid bonded. Snake Oil is a rare exception to the condom compatibility rule and is safe to use with latex. Masturbation creams for men are commonly oil-based and work wonderfully for a good hand job. Boy Butter is one of our favorite lubes for… churning.

Flavored and warming lubes are most commonly water-based, and can add an element of playfulness and excitement to sex and oral sex. Be aware of those that contain potentially problematic ingredients likesugars, glycerin, or honey. Many flavored lubes contain glycerin and other sugars that may be sweet at first, but the risk of irritation or infection from these ingredients leave a bitter aftertaste. Luckily, Sliquid Swirl is formulated without glycerin, parabens, or sugars. It comes in four great, subtly sweet flavors and is the only flavored lubricant we carry that we recommend for oral and penetrative sex. When you want to feel the sensations of a warming lube, water-based, glycerin and paraben-free Sliquid Sizzle and Sliquid Organics Natural Warming Lubricant are our picks. The warming sensation in warming lubes is typically created by menthol or similar ingredients, and some are stronger than others. Test a small amount slowly to be sure you’re not overly sensitive. There are few things worse on the crotch than a big squirt of burning.

Odorless and Taste-free
Our favorite pure and simple lubes are water-based Sliquid H2O, which is glycerin and paraben free, and Uberlube, a silicone-based lube made from the highest-quality pure silicone and nothing else.

Anal
There are a few great water-based lubes made specifically for anal sex, as they are extra thick, cushioning gels. Maximus and Sliquid Sassy, for example,are also glycerin-free, so they’re vagina-friendly as well! That being said, silicone lube is a great choice for anal sex because it never dries out and keeps things very slick. Our favorites are Gun Oil,with moisturizing Vitamin E and Aloe, and Pjur Bodyglide, which is super-concentrated, pure silicone for added slip and cushion.

Eco-friendly and Natural
One of our favorite lube lines, Sliquid, has created an all-natural, organic, paraben and glycerin-free line called Sliquid Organics. For a classic water-based lube, try Sliquid Organics Natural. For something a little thicker that works great for anal or vaginal sex, we love Sliquid Organics Gel.

Feb 19 2011

G-spot Basics

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by thepleasurechest

The G-spot, also known as the urethral sponge, is the not-so-elusive-as-you-may-think area inside a woman’s vagina that fills with fluid when aroused. It is located at the front wall of the vagina and can feel textured and bumpy. Pressure applied to the G-spot can feel very pleasurable, and some women are even able to ejaculate fluid (which is not urine) from the urethra.

To locate the G-spot, insert a finger or fingers 2-3 inches into the vagina and press upward gently towards the belly button using a milking or come-hither motion. It helps to use lube and for the receiver to be very relaxed and comfortable.

Toys with a gentle, upward curve aid in solo or partner g-spot exploration.

Clit stimulation during G-spot play can enhance arousal and orgasm.

Position is crucial for G-spotting during partner penetration. Remember to angle fingers, toys, or penis upward, toward the belly button. Use a pillow and/or some imagination to find great sexual positions for G-spotting.

If you are trying to experience female ejaculation, a.k.a. squirting (it’s not pee!), bear down and pull toy/penis/fingers out of the vaginal canal during orgasm, as a full vagina can hinder ejaculation.

Bodies will respond differently to different types of stimulation, so experiment with pressure, rubbing, tapping, and vibration of the g-spot to find what feels best.

Your goal should be pleasure, exploration, and fun!

Feb 19 2011

Entering the Back Door:
Butt Sex Basics

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by thepleasurechest

When engaging in anal play, it is essential to relax and use plenty of lube. Unlike the vagina, the anus is not self-lubricating. One of the key things to remember about anal adventures with a partner is the incredible amount of trust involved. Practice open communication with your partner and let the person being penetrated control the action, at least in the early stages.

  • Use a lot of lube. Silicone lube is great for butt sex because it stays slick for a long time, but water-based lube can be thicker and more cushioning for delicate anal tissue. Experiment to find what’s right for you. And be sure to read about Our Favorite Anal Lubes.
  • Never use numbing lubes or creams, which are unsafe because they inhibit the body’s pain response and could cause you to over-do it.
  • Only use toys with a handle or flared base, otherwise they can slip inside the rectum during use. Cover porous toys with condoms for safer sex and easy cleanup.
  • Condoms, gloves, and dams are not only great for safer sex, but can reduce friction during anal play.
  • Before entering, use your finger to stimulate the sensitive outer area of the anus to excite and relax it. When penetrating with a finger, enter pad-first to avoid scratching. Short fingernails and/or wearing gloves can also help with this.
  • During butt play, do not enter the vagina with the same toy/finger/penis without thoroughly washing it or changing condoms. This can lead to infection.
  • Always pull out of the anus gently and carefully.

Jan 22 2011

Pussy Fitness

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by thepleasurechest

Before you get excited picturing a vulva riding a stationary bike, that’s not exactly what we have in mind.

What “Pussy Fitness” refers to is exercising the PC muscle, or pubococcygeal muscle, sometimes called “Kegel exercises” or simply “Kegels”. This muscle, found in both sexes, runs from the pubic bone to the tailbone, cradling the internal sexual organs. Having a well-toned PC muscle can be beneficial for men as also, is it controls urinary and ejaculatory function, but in this article we’re going to focus on the vag. Women with well-toned PC muscles can have stronger orgasms, better bladder control later in life and during pregnancy, and an easier time during natural childbirth.

The great news, once you locate it, is that the PC muscle is easy to exercise. There’s no set-aside time or equipment required, though there are many products that can enhance your workout.

To find your PC muscle you can imagine you are holding your urine stream or actually try to stop it while on the toilet. Another technique is to insert a finger inside your vagina and squeeze the surrounding muscles. You should feel your vagina tighten and pelvic floor move upward then back down to the starting position when you relax.

Caution: Don’t make a habit of starting and stopping your urine stream. Doing Kegels with a full bladder or while emptying your bladder can actually weaken the muscles and can also lead to incomplete emptying of the bladder, which increases risk of a urinary tract infection.

Now for the workout! Feel free to make a Kegel mix on your iPod. We recommend something mid-tempo or relaxing. This is more like pussy yoga than aerobics (that comes later when you’re getting your sex on). Make sure you empty your bladder completely, then sit or lie down and:

1.      Contract your pelvic floor muscles.

2.      Hold the contraction for three seconds then relax for three seconds.

3.      Repeat 5-10 times, increasing reps as it becomes easier to do.

4.      Adding more seconds to your contract/relax routine will help you strengthen over time. Try to work up to keeping the muscles contracted for 10 seconds at a time, relaxing for 10 seconds between contractions.

5.      Don’t hold your breath. Relax and breathe, coordinating your breathing with your exercises.

6.      Focus on isolating and tightening only your pelvic floor muscles.

7.      Toys work great as a resistance tool and to maintain awareness and focus on these muscles. You can think of the Pure Wand like a barbell, using muscles to lift and lower first the light end and eventually the heavier end. Lube up some exercise balls on a string, like Fun Factory Smartballs or Lelo Luna Beads, insert them into your vagina, and gently pull on the string, squeeze to keep the balls in place, then relax and repeat. You can even get an exercise ball kit, like the Ami Vaginal Exerciser Set, which comes with three balls of increasing weight, letting you work up to the heaviest.

The bonus with exercise balls is that they can be worn discreetly as you go about your day, squeezing your PC muscle as you blog, ride your bike, or go to work, and there’s a smaller ball inside the outer ball that rumbles around pleasantly as you move. Awesome, right? Now all you need is some of those shoes that allegedly give you a workout just by wearing them and you can totally cancel your gym membership. Just kidding.

Dec 10 2010

How to Choose a Vibrator

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by thepleasurechest

With so many buzzing, humming, and even rotating devices to choose from, what seems like a simple, sexy task can get a little intimidating. Whether you’re shopping for your first vibrator or in the market for something new, there are a few important questions you can ask yourself to help the process along.

Why should I get a vibrator?

Vibrators are fun! Most women find some kind of vibration pleasurable and many actually need that kind of steady stimulation to have an orgasm. That’s totally normal and ok. No, you won’t get addicted, but if you do find introducing a vibe into your sex life helps you get off, chances are your partner will be perfectly pleased as well.

What kind of vibrators are out there?

The amount of styles, speeds, and pulsations vibrators come in could create enough heavy breathing to power a small city for weeks.
form2
Clitoral Vibes
are vibrators specifically designed to be used externally. Pretty much any vibrator can be used on the clit, but many clitoral vibes aren’t meant to be inserted, like The Pleasure Chest Red Mini, a one-speed, water-resistant, portable classic. One of our most popular vibrators is the two-pronged Jimmyjane Form 2, which is rechargeable, ultra-powerful, and designed to rest on either side of the clit.
iconic smoothie
Slimline Vibes remain popular because they are a bit more versatile and most are fairly inexpensive. They usually have a twist dial or push button at the bottom to control the speed. The Jimmyjane Iconic Smoothie is the obvious choice, with its ultra-powerful motor and one-year warranty. The Je Joue Uma is a luxurious alternative, rechargeable and made of body-safe silicone.
g kii
G-spot Vibes
are curved to access the g-spot. Lelo’s Gigi 2 continues to blow our minds and fly off our shelves due to the spot-on curvature, silky silicone cover, and the fact that it’s rechargeable. The fully water-submersible G-kii is covered in 100% silicone and has joints that lock in place to reach just the right spots.
rabbit habit double plus good
Rabbit-style Vibes first hopped into our hearts and top drawers courtesy of Charlotte on Sex and the City. These vibrators feature a rotating or vibrating shaft of some kind and an external clit stimulator. They’ve seen a million incarnations and copycats since, but Vibratex, the founders of the original Rabbit, with an updated classic Rabbit Habit and the amazing Sugar Pop, which features vibration and rotation patterns galore. The Fun Factory Amorino doesn’t rotate, but its ingenious band also stimulates the often-neglected clitoral legs, making it both unique and freaking awesome.
aneros vice
Anal Vibes vibrate on the delicate, sensitive nerves around the anus or on the prostate. Make sure that your toy has a base, so that it can’t possibly get pulled into your butt. We love the Aneros Vice, which doubles as a hands-free prostate massager, and the taint-tickling Naughty Boy.
We-Vibe 4 remote pink
Couples’ Vibes can only be used with a partner. They literally explode when single people turn them on. Just kidding, anyone can use vibes geared toward couples, and likewise some couples prefer more traditional vibes. The more mainstream sex gets, though, the more thoughtful sex enhancers for couples come out on the market. The We-Vibe 4 is the hottest new item for two because it’s made of silicone, waterproof, rechargeable, and can actually be worn during sex. The Mio vibrating cockring from Je Joue is one of the only rechargeable vibrating rings on the market. It gives strong sensations – including multiple speeds and vibration patters – to both partners.
little chroma
Luxury Vibes often carry a pinky-out aesthetic, but the real benefit to most of these lies in the quality, body-safe materials they’re made of. Sure, Jimmyjane’s Little Chroma is a bit of an initial investment, but it’s nearly  silent, submersible in water, and boasts a stainless steel outer layer and replaceable motor. That’s more of a smart investment than splurge, if you ask us.
kandi kisses
Discreet Vibes had to be extremely slick to get into this category. Pick one of these if you have curious kids or roommates or travel a lot. There are the obvious hidden in plain sight vibrators, like the Kandi Kisses lipstick vibe and then there are those like the Lelo Mia, which is ultra-quiet and looks nothing like a sex toy, yet has multiple speeds and vibration patters.

How do I use my vibe?

The individual vibrator’s intended use, instructions, and your personal taste will guide you, but here’s a few tips: Experiment with the on/off, speed change, and pulsation functions before you get down to business. You can use your vibrator to tease your favorite spots like nipples, neck, and thighs. A drop or two of lube helps a clit vibe glide around nicely and is a must for inserting a g-spot vibrator, vibrating dildo, or anal vibe.

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