Sex & Society » Sex positivity; Sex » Intercourse, Masturbation: "3rd Anniversary: With or Without a Partner"

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3rd Anniversary: With or Without a Partner

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In honor of our third anniversary, we thought we’d dredge up some of our awesome past. We’ve got so many posts in our archive that meant so much to us – and we hope to you! – and shouldn’t be forgotten. So over the next couple weeks, we’ll be sharing some excerpts with you.

  Doin’ the Nasty, Making Whoopie, Knockin’ Boots, Hide the Snake

How’s about a good old fashioned romp in the hay? It takes two to tango – or horizontal mambo, as the case may be. So come on, baby! Get sexy with us.

Most everyone does it. It feels good and it’s good for you. It's so ingrained into our culture that we have doctors and therapists and surrogates who specialize in treating disorders which are related to it. So here's what our readers had to say about sex with a partner.

Liz Nume told us about her first ever clitoral orgasm that she never would have had without the help of her husband.

I remember it perfectly: Our son was about three months old and we had just put him to bed for the night. We lived in a small apartment at the time, so his crib was in our room. My husband and I started feeling frisky on the couch. Things were getting pretty hot and heavy, so rather than risk waking the baby, we decided to stay right where we were. I’m pretty sure it was the first time we did it in a sitting position—me on top facing my husband—but everything lined up just right.

I didn’t realize that what I was doing was rubbing my clit against him, or that the result would be an earth-shattering orgasm. I just knew it felt good, so I kept doing it. All of a sudden, out of the blue, I was hit with a wave of sensations that went from the top of my head all the way down to my toes. It was a true Holy shit! What just happened? moment.

Kal Cobalt introduced us to robot sex! And we're not just talking about robot-like sex toys. Who can forget the A.I. in science fiction shows that have sex with humans and other robots?

What happens when it's not so easy to tell the difference between humans and robots? A lot of sex, apparently. Philip K. Dick's Blade Runner introduced the world to Rachael, a sultry “replicant” who could evidently give Data a run for his credits in bed. She displays a cool awareness of sexuality, inquiring of an intrusive question on a Turing-like test, “Is this testing whether I'm a replicant or a lesbian?” Another replicant, Zhora, works as an exotic dancer (shades of Metropolis, anyone?).

The Cylons of the re-imagined Battlestar Galactica series also “pass” as human and enjoy vibrant sex lives, both with other Cylons and with human partners. Possessing distinct personalities, biological makeup indistinguishable from humans except at the most basic molecular levels (allowing interspecies progeny), and the capacity to experience the full range of human emotions, Cylons redefine what it is to be “robotic,” with a culture much like a modernized version of Rossom's robot histories.

According to Nina Hartley, each of us must take his or her own path to Nirvana. You may not experience the same sights, sounds and sensations as others, but if you remain focused, you will get there.

  Polishing the Knob, Flogging the Log, Self Love, Double-Clicking Your Mouse

Don’t have a partner and not interested in a one night stand? Luckily, we’re born with fingers and hands, and humans have created toys for guys and toys for girls and toys for people who are neither and both. Just in case you’re still not sure of all the ins and outs of masturbation, here’s what we had to say.

Who better to tell us about male masturbation than a guy. Or, rather, Mr. Guy, to be precise. In his article The Bobble Head: The History and Hype of Male Masturbation, he reminds us everybody does it!

Ever since there have been men, there have been penises. Actually, that should probably be phrased the other way around, don’t you think? I think so too.


Ever since there have been penises, there have been people attached to them. And ever since there have been penises, their correspondingly attached people have been jacking them every chance they get.

And regardless of how you may feel about the male half of our species, you have to give us at least this much: when it comes to all things jackoffery, wankery, or monkey-spunking, we’ve totally got it down. We might screw up everything else we touch; but no one – and I mean NO ONE – can beat us at our own game.

Don't worry, boys. Girls do it to! And Cherry Trifle tells us allllll about it in her article Jilling Off, for which she interviewed a few ladies about their masturbatory practices.

I was an early self-explorer for sure—I have memories of bringing myself to orgasm as early as first or second grade—but the heady cocktail of pubescent hormones, bonafide male attention, and a book that gave my already-fertile imagination license to go anywhere without reproach, certainly set me on a path to… well, to becoming a sex writer, I suppose.

Thing is, I’ve never been shy about admitting I touched my naughty bits or talking about my past experiences. And while (in terms of research) it’s generally been easy to get men to talk to me about what they’ve been up to, alone or otherwise, it hasn’t always been the same with the ladies. Until now. Imagine my shock when it was the women—ranging in age from 20 to 63—who clamored to tell me all manner of secrets about the whys, whats, wheres and ways in which they pleasure themselves.

We really have come a long way, baby.

And Em & Lo discussed the ever present question: Is masturbating to porn cheating?

But for now, it remains a huge stumbling block for many couples. While we can sympathize with our sisters on this one, we're afraid we can't side with them. After all, very few sexually active women can say they've never entertained a sexual fantasy involving someone (or something) other than their partner -- and we certainly can't sic the thought police on those who have. What's "appropriate" is so subjective when it comes to sexual fantasy, and lines are difficult to draw. There's one's imagination. And then there's erotica. How about erotica with illustrations? Or sex manuals with photographs? What happens when you swap those photos for videos? And where does a website that offers sex toys and sex-related articles fit into the picture? We may like some of the above and abhor the rest, but who are we to say where the line gets drawn?

Now, this is not to say that every man should have carte blanche to ogle any kind of porn whenever and however he wants when he's in a relationship with a woman with strong opinions on the matter. Each relationship is different, and each man's relationship to porn is different. And there's a huge difference -- at least, most women would see a huge difference -- between rubbing one out to a Playboy centerfold and getting off on gang-rape porn. There's a huge difference between the occasional porn-supported wank and a true addiction that negatively affects his real sex life, his job, his ability to bathe and call his mama regularly.

Whether doing it alone or with a partner, sex is an amazing experience. It's normal. It's natural. It's beautiful. And we should all be having a lot more of it!

  We love to hear from you!

We know you’ve got a favorite sex post from our archive. How could you not? There are so many good ones! Drop us a line in comments and tell us which ones stuck with you most.

And don’t forget! To celebrate our third publishing anniversary, we’re taking 25% off your purchase when you use the code 3YRSEXIS till March 19th! You’re welcome! Thank YOU for being such a great audience.



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